This is what is happening now. It is the Trumpian Anschluss, the peaceful takeover of a party too craven to fight back. Republican leaders cry, “You’re helping the Democrats win!” But that doesn’t matter to Bannon and Trump. For one thing, it may not even be true, for who can be sure that a thoroughly Trumpist Republican Party won’t be able to defeat a Democratic Party apparently bent on nominating unelectable candidates on the left? But either way, Bannon and Trump undoubtedly believe it is more important to turn the party into Trump’s personal vehicle, to drive out the resisters, the finger-waggers, the losers, the proud scions of the responsible establishment who could not stop Trump and apparently cannot legislate their way out of a paper bag.
Should we have rooted for Republican leaders to fight back? Sure. And we did. The party would be worth saving if it contained even a dozen women and men of courage. But of course if it did contain such people, it wouldn’t need saving. Today the definition of a brave Republican is someone who is not running for reelection. So rooting for them is no longer an answer. The best thing for the country may be to let the party go. Let it become the party of Trump and Bannon, and as fast as possible. Let the 35 percent of the country who believe Trump is a suitable president, or who hate Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama so much that they would elect Mussolini to the White House, have their party.
US President Donald Trump has griped about emergency relief efforts in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, saying federal aid cannot continue "forever".
In tweets, he accused Puerto Rico of a "total lack of accountability", adding that "electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes".
The island, whose 3.4 million residents are US citizens, is 90% without power, some three weeks after Hurricane Maria.
Congress is weighing a multi-billion dollar aid package for the territory.
Lawmakers are expected to approve $36.5bn (£28bn) in emergency storm relief for Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and the US Virgin Islands, as well as wildfire-ravaged California.
In Thursday's tweets, the US president noted it was up to "Congress to decide how much to spend".
But he added: "We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!"
It comes a week after US Vice-President Pence pledged the administration would be with Puerto Rico "every step of the way", as he visited the island.
The storm killed at least 45 people in the US territory, while more than 100 others remain unaccounted for, say Puerto Rico officials.
The island is saddled with about $72bn in pre-hurricane debt that is being overseen by a federally created oversight board.
Imagine a devastating hurricane hits New York City, and the president repeatedly notes how bad things were there before the disaster. Or, three weeks after an earthquake levels Los Angeles, he says the government won't provide aid "forever".
There would be outrage. It's difficult to even imagine such responses.
That, however, is how Donald Trump is handling hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. For the president, the US territory - occupying a political no-man's land between US statehood and independence - is different.
When the chequebook comes out, empathy ends and reality sets in. The administration and Congress are in the middle of tough negotiations over government spending and tax reform. Coming up with billions for Puerto Rico relief is an unwelcome challenge.
So the president has said there is a limit to the help available for these taxpaying US citizens. Things were bad before - and they may stay that way.
Mr Trump's tweets provoked a swift backlash from some Democratic lawmakers, who accused him of preparing to abandon US citizens.
"There is still devastation, Americans are still dying. FEMA needs to stay until the job is done," Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer replied on Twitter, using the acronym for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Puerto Rico-born congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, another New York Democrat, tweeted that Mr Trump's latest comments were "outrageous, indefensible and irresponsible".
"We will not allow our government to abandon our fellow citizens," she wrote.
President Trump visited the US territory last week, where he told residents that recovery efforts had "thrown our budget a little out of whack".
He also told the islanders they should be "very proud" that the death toll was not as high as a "real catastrophe" like Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005.
The US president was pilloried by local officials after he threw rolls of paper towels at residents during his trip.
Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of the Puerto Rican capital San Juan, described that incident as "terrible and abominable".
But Mr Trump later depicted the outrage as confected, insisting to the Trinity Broadcasting Network that the crowd "were having fun" as he distributed "these beautiful, soft towels".
Trump just renewed his threat to go after the licenses of news organizations. He tweeted: “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!” But as Paul Waldman has shown, while this is reprehensible as an attack on the idea of a free press, these threats are ridiculous as a substantive matter. Yet that is irrelevant: Trump has devolved to a level where the underlying sentiment and the gesture of a threat are the whole point.
As political scientist Greg Weiner observes, attacks on norms such as respecting the independence of the press work with Trump’s base, because many elements of it “associate these customs with failed politics,” and “every violation reinforces the sense that he sides with them over a corrupt establishment.” It’s basically authoritarian malice for show — at least for now — to create the impression that he’s fighting for “his people,” who, he fears, may be coming to view him as weak.
Donald J. TrumpVerified account
I commend Roger Ailes for publicly supporting @FoxNews’ employees against the Obama administration's intimidation of its reporters.
12:24 PM - 28 May 2013
From Robert Kagan.
Quote:This is what is happening now. It is the Trumpian Anschluss, the peaceful takeover of a party too craven to fight back. Republican leaders cry, “You’re helping the Democrats win!” But that doesn’t matter to Bannon and Trump. For one thing, it may not even be true, for who can be sure that a thoroughly Trumpist Republican Party won’t be able to defeat a Democratic Party apparently bent on nominating unelectable candidates on the left? But either way, Bannon and Trump undoubtedly believe it is more important to turn the party into Trump’s personal vehicle, to drive out the resisters, the finger-waggers, the losers, the proud scions of the responsible establishment who could not stop Trump and apparently cannot legislate their way out of a paper bag.
Trump Health Care Executive Order Will Harm the Working Class
Most Americans appear to agree with Jimmy Kimmel's belief that no one in this country should have to go without lifesaving health care simply because they can't afford it, or couldn't find a health insurance company willing to cover them. It's a big reason why multiple efforts by both the U.S. House and Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, failed this year. Yet, with an executive order issued Thursday, President Donald Trump attempts to achieve what Congress could not – an effective rollback of the health care law's protections for people with pre-existing or chronic health conditions.
Yes. It is time for Trump and Bannon to take over the Republican Party. And it is time for a Bannonist Republican Party to crush the Democratic Party under their heels so decisively that the Republicans will hold the White House for the next 20 years.
It was a sweltering July afternoon in the swamp, and a small group of well-dressed, conservative college students from across the country—the next generation of Megyn Kellys, George Wills, and Tucker Carlsons—was filing into an auditorium at the Heritage Foundation’s Washington, DC, headquarters. They had come to study at the feet of Breitbart News Washington editor Matt Boyle, a zealous prophet of the new right-wing media. Boyle’s sermon was not about how to break into the mainstream media and steer the national news agenda toward conservative aims—it was about the end days of journalism itself. And he was not about to skimp on the fire and brimstone.
“Journalistic integrity is dead,” he declared. “There is no such thing anymore. So everything is about weaponization of information.” Standing behind a mahogany podium in a baggy dark suit, Boyle preached with the confidence of a true believer. In a stuttering staccato, he condemned the nation’s preeminent news outlets as “corrupted institutions,” “built on a lie,” and a criminal “syndicate that needs to be dismantled.” Boyle and his compatriots were laboring to usher in an imminent—and glorious—journalistic apocalypse. “We envision a day when CNN is no longer in business. We envision a day when The New York Times closes its doors. I think that day is possible.”...
In other words, the dirty *^%$#@en hippies were right.