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First 100 Days: Trump and the Degradation of the Presidency

Trump’s failure to accomplish little or any of his agenda during his first 100 days shouldn’t blind us to the vast harm he has done in this comparatively short time to our system of government, especially his degradation of the presidency.

From early in the Republic, we have looked at the office of the president as a focal point for the nation’s values. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and the two Roosevelts exemplified for generations of Americans the moral authority of the highest office in the land. It is not merely what these men accomplished, but how they did it; not just their policies but their positive effects on the institutions of democratic governance.

True, many of our presidents have fallen short of those ideals. But our disappointments in those individuals reflected the high expectations we have had for those who hold that office.

Yet under Trump, the moral authority of the presidency has all but disappeared.

I’m old enough to recall when John F. Kennedy invited the world’s great artists, writers, and philosophers to dine at the White House. The nation felt ennobled. 

Donald Trump invites Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent, who once called President Obama a “mongrel,” and we feel sullied.

But it has not just been Trump’s vulgarity.

There have also been Trump’s lies – blatant, continuous, and unsubstantiated even after the lack of evidence has been pointed out repeatedly. 

They are not just any lies, but lies that deepen Americans’ suspicion of one another and undermine our confidence in our system of government – such as his repeated contention that “three to five million” people voted illegally in the last election, or that Obama spied on him during the campaign.

Prior presidents have embellished the truth and on occasion have lied about a particular important thing, such as the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But never before Trump have we had a president who chronically lies, whose lies have become an integral part of his presidency even in the first 100 days.

There is also Trump’s vast family business, from which he continues to benefit even though the decisions he makes in office affect what he earns, and the almost certain decisions by foreign governments to curry favor with him by bestowing benefits on his business. 

Trump shrugs off such conflicts – even refusing to release his tax returns, even inviting his daughter and son-in-law, each with their own businesses and conflicts of interest, to join him at the highest reaches of the White House.

Some presidents have profited from their presidencies after they leave office through large speaking fees and book contracts. But never before Trump have we had a president for whom conflicts of financial interest during his presidency are so flagrant yet ignored.

The first 100 days has also been marked by Trump’s divisiveness – turning Americans against each other, legitimizing hatefulness toward Mexican-Americans and Muslim-Americans and African-Americans, fueling violence between his supporters and his opponents.

We have had divisive elections before. But after them, other presidents have sought to heal the wounds. Even after the horrors of the Civil War, Lincoln famously asked us to come together without malice. 

Trump, by contrast, has fomented the warring camps – calling his opponents “enemies,” suggesting they are plotting against his administration, and staging rallies to encourage and fuel his bedrock supporters.

We have also seen Trump’s cruelty – toward refugees, undocumented immigrants, and the poor among us. He has issued a budget that would deeply harm the least advantaged Americans, and supported a repeal of the Affordable Care Act that would also hurt those most in need.

He has refused asylum to refugees at a time when the world faces the largest refugee crisis since World War II, and unleashed immigration enforcers on 11 million residents of the United States, many of whom have been productive members of their communities for years. He has even deported people who have been here since childhood and know know no other nation.

Other presidents have on occasion been cruel. But Trump’s cruelty has defied reason. It is utterly unnecessary.

There has also been Trump’s affect on the rest of the world – legitimizing crude nationalism and hateful xenophobia. He has promoted France’s Marine Le Pen and encouraged authoritarians such as Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan, while at the same time confusing our democratic allies and friends.  

Finally, there is Donald Trump himself – who in the first 100 days as president has shown himself to be narcissistic, xenophobic, paranoid, vindictive, and thin-skinned; who takes credit for the work of others and blames others for his own failings; who lashes out at the press and journalists when they criticize him, and who demonizes judges who disagree with him.  

We have before had presidents whose personality defects harmed their presidencies and tainted the office of the president, such as Richard Nixon. But Donald Trump is in a different league altogether. He exhibits the opposite of every civic virtue ever encouraged in our school rooms, town halls, and churches.

The first 100 days is an artificial landmark for presidents. But it does offer an opportunity to pause and assess what they have done. Too often, though, we think in the narrow gauge of policies and legislation.

With Trump, it’s important to think more broadly. Among the most significant legacies of his first 100 days is his degrading of the moral authority of the office of the president, and, thereby, of America.


Pennsylvania college plans “teach-in” as response to planned KKK rally

  • What do you do when the Klan comes to your town? At least one Pennsylvania professor has decided to battle the bigotry and hatred with tolerance and education this weekend.
  • Africana studies professor Amanda D. Kemp of Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s Franklin & Marshall College hosted a campus “teach-in” on Friday after earlier reports began circulating that the Ku Klux Klan would stage a rally and a cross-burning in the area.
  • “We decided to use the alarm that spreads in the community when the Klan says it’s going to come, to draw people out,” Kemp told Lancaster Online. “The threat is credible,” she added. Read more (5/19/17)

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anonymous asked:

i just found out!!! that i share the same birthday as Theodore Roosevelt!!! do you have any facts on him? if you do, could you please share them?

  • As a child, Roosevelt witnessed the Abraham Lincoln funeral procession. 
  • Theodore Roosevelt had a really, really good memory. Roosevelt claimed he had a photographic memory, but it is a statement that can’t be easily proven today. 
  • Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt were fifth cousins. Eleanor Roosevelt was Theodore’s niece. And Uncle Theodore presented the bride at Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s wedding.
  • Roosevelt was the first President to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Roosevelt was a prolific writer. Aided by his excellent memory and his always-high energy level, TR wrote about 35 books in his lifetime and an estimated 150,000 letters. And he did write an autobiography!He was also the father of the modern U.S. Navy. 
  • Roosevelt was a grad college dropout. 
  • Roosevelt was blind in one eye after a boxing injury in the White House. 
  • His mother and his first wife died on the same day. On Valentine’s Day in 1884, Roosevelt’s mother passed away from typhoid fever. One floor above in the same house, his first wife, Alice, died less than 12 hours later from Bright’s disease and complications from giving birth to the couple’s first child just two days before. 
  • Roosevelt went skinny-dipping in the Potomac River.
  • Roosevelt was the first sitting president to leave the country.
  • He volunteered to lead an infantry unit in World War I. The ex-president was eager to return to the front lines. Roosevelt lobbied President Woodrow Wilson to send him to France at the head of a 200,000-man expeditionary force. Around the country, supporters of the hero of San Juan Hill staged rallies of support. 
  • Roosevelt would not get called to fight in the war that eventually claimed his son Quentin, who was killed in action when his plane was shot down over France in 1918.
  • Roosevelt had been a Sunday school teacher, he believed strongly in the separation of Church and State. While taking the oath of office during his inauguration after McKinley’s assassination, he did not swear on the Bible.
  • President Roosevelt was the first president to be commonly known by his initials.
  • 1910, Roosevelt took a four minute flight in a plane built by the Wright brothers, making him the first president to fly in an airplane.
  • Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest president, assuming the office at the age of 42 after President McKinley was assassinated. 
  • 1912, Roosevelt was campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when a local saloon-keeper shot him. The bullet lodged in his chest after passing through a jacket pocket containing his steel eyeglass case and a copy of his 50 page speech which had been folded in half. Being an anatomist, Roosevelt concluded that since he wasn’t coughing blood the bullet had not penetrated the chest wall into his lung. He declined immediate treatment and gave his 90 minute speech with blood seeping from the wound into his shirt. 

Sources: (x) (x) (x)

consultinggallifreyanwinchester  asked:

can you review the revolt in France in 1830? thank you!


Absolutely! Here’s a quick overview of the French Revolution of 1830.

  • During the 1830 elections, the liberals are by far victorious. At this point, King Charles X decides to go ahead and seize momentum, and issues repressive edicts.
  • These edicts spark the July Revolution. Barricades rise in the streets of Paris; wealthy liberals form a new government. Charles X runs away and a new government is formed under Louis-Philippe, a cousin of Charles’, as the new king. He was known as the bourgeois monarch because he was put on the throne by the wealthy, revolutionary bourgeoisie.
  • Constitutional changes made sure that the bourgeoisie benefited - suffrage was expanded, the middle class grew. However, the lower classes were disappointed by the terrible conditions and rapid expansion of the 1830s and 40s. There was sporadic violence and unrest.
  • Industrial and agricultural depression shakes France in 1846. The lower classes face hardship, corruption and strife increase, and the government still refuses to extend suffrage any further. This sparks anger in the middle class. Forbidden to stage rallies to spur revolution, they instead have to hold “banquets” - known as the Winter Banquets of 1847-8, the revolution was planned out slowly.
  • Louis-Phillipe realizes what’s happening and really wants to reform the system, but he’s virtually powerless at this point (the real fight is between these two bourgeois politicians Thiers (the Party of Movement) and Guizot (the dominant party, the Party of Resistance.)
  • Louis-Philippe abdicates and a provisional government takes over. This allows us to come full circle from the initial revolution in 1830.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you need anything else!


The History Geek

President Trump’s executive order on immigration late Friday ignited nationwide protests — and a slew of legal challenges.

At least four federal judges across the country have blocked part of the order and temporarily ensured refugees and travelers who reached U.S. soil would not be deported.

Here’s an explanation of what happened so far and what could come next.

5 Questions About The Law And Trump’s Immigration Order

Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images                                                     Caption: Activists stage a rally at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Saturday against President Trump’s order barring travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.


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Demos fill Venezuela streets in tense test of strength

© AFP Juan Barreto

Caracas (AFP) - Demonstrators crowded the streets Thursday in a test of strength between Venezuela’s government and opponents seeking a referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro, raising fears of violence.

Thousands of protesters dressed in white marched in the east of the capital, waving signs reading “Change now” in what the opposition dubbed “The Taking of Caracas.”

A rival pro-government rally was also planned in the center of the city.

The rallies come at a volatile time for Venezuela, stricken by shortages of food and medicine, violent crime and outbreaks of looting in the once-rich major oil exporter.

“This demonstration will mark a change of direction for Venezuela,” said one opposition protester, Jose Castillo, 32, an oil worker.

“Today we will show that the referendum must take place this year because the people are crying out for it.”

Hundreds of soldiers and police in armored cars were deployed.

Opposition leaders were hoping to bring hundreds of thousands of people into the streets to demand quick action on a recall vote that Maduro has vehemently resisted.

“All of Venezuela is mobilizing for the right to vote,” said Jesus Torrealba, the head of the main opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD).

He called it “the most important political mobilization of our recent history” and vowed marchers would defy the government’s “strategy of fear, blackmail and intimidation.”

- Government warning -

The pro-government “Chavistas” – named after Maduro’s predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez – staged rallies on Tuesday and Wednesday.

They called on their supporters to “defend the revolution” with a massive turnout Thursday at what they call “The Taking of Venezuela.”

“Don’t provoke us because not only are we going to block up Caracas so that no one can enter, but we will also make sure that no one can leave,” said former National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello.

Maduro has accused the opposition of planning a “coup” and threatened to imprison opposition leaders if violence breaks out at Thursday’s protests.

“Squeal, cry or scream, jail is where they’ll go,” he said.

The president said Wednesday he would ask the Supreme Court to consider a request to lift immunity from prosecution granted to public officials, starting with the country’s lawmakers.

The move would allow him to target opposition legislators who control the National Assembly.

- ‘Recall hunger’ -

The referendum’s timing lies at the heart of the battle.

If it takes place before January 10 and Maduro loses, new elections must be held. If he loses in a recall after that date, he would simply turn over power to his hand-picked vice president.

The polling firm Venebarometro says 64 percent of the electorate would vote against Maduro.

Maduro blames the crisis on the collapse of oil prices and an “economic war” by businesses.

But he faces deep public discontent over shortages of basic goods and an inflation rate projected to hit 720 percent this year.

In 2014, the government crushed weeks-long anti-government protests in a confrontation that left 43 dead and prominent opposition leaders in prison.

Former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, who distanced himself from the protests in 2014, told AFP that this time the opposition is banking on mass mobilizations and international pressure to get the government to accept the recall election.

- 'Imperialist plot’ -

Maduro has lashed out at the protest as a plot by the “fascist right” that “comes directly from North American imperialism.”

Capriles meanwhile urged people not to be intimidated, estimating that a million people would heed the call to march.

The authorities arrested two opposition leaders in the days ahead of the march. They sent back to prison a former mayor, Daniel Ceballos, who had been under house arrest following the 2014 protests.

They also barred three journalists planning to cover the march from entering Venezuela after they landed at Caracas airport, one of them, John Otis of NPR, said on Twitter.

See Also:

This is BBC bias at work.

On the left there is a staged rally for Jim Murphy the Labour leader in Scotland who was accompanied by Eddie Izzard (for some reason), and a couple of numpties turned up and tried to shout down Murphy - This is “Chaos”, apparently.

On the right are a bunch of neo-nazi’s waving union flags celebrating the victory of the “no” vote in last year’s independence referendum by committing act of violence and vandalism including some flag burning.