Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Megabot » 2018-12-21 07:06am

Highlord Laan wrote:
2018-12-20 07:11pm
Mattis just resigned Spoiler
Washington (CNN)Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned Thursday on the heels of President Donald Trump's plans to withdraw troops from Syria, citing irreconcilable policy differences in a move that took Washington by surprise.

"Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position," Mattis wrote in his letter to the President.

Earlier Thursday, a senior administration official told CNN's Jake Tapper that Mattis was "vehemently opposed" to the Syria decision and a possible Afghanistan troop withdrawal.

Indeed, Mattis' resignation letter amounts to a rebuke of several of Trump's foreign policy views, with the outgoing defense secretary touting the importance of US alliances and of being "unambiguous" in approaching adversaries such as Russia and China. It is devoid of any praise for the President.

The resignation emerged at a chaotic moment in Trump's presidency: The US government is teetering on the edge of a government shutdown, the Trump administration is about to face the hot light of Democratic investigations and the President is grappling with the fallout of a series of firings and resignations. Trump, seeking to downplay the news, stepped out in front of Mattis' resignation, spinning it as a retirement.
Mattis did not explicitly cite his opposition to the President's planned withdrawal of US troops from Syria -- which caught US allies off guard -- but the retired four-star general was privately adamant in urging Trump against the pullback.

It was just the latest issue on which Mattis has sought to position himself as a bulwark against some of the President's rashest decisions, but his relationship with the President has grown increasingly fractured in recent months and his efforts to deter Trump on key issues less influential.
In his letter, Mattis pointedly stated that the strength of the US depends in part on the strength of its alliances around the globe, many of which have become notably frayed under Trump.

"One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies," he added.

Mattis met with Trump one-on-one in the Oval Office, a senior White House official told CNN's Kaitlan Collins. Mattis told Trump he was going to be leaving and offered his resignation letter.

"They had differences on some issues," the official said.
Trump announced Mattis' departure in a tweet, saying, "General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years."
The President touted the "tremendous progress" that has been made during Mattis' tenure at the helm of the Defense Department and thanked him for his service.

Trump said a successor "will be named shortly."
In a sign of the swift nature of the resignation, senior White House officials found out about it from the President's tweet, according to two officials. A senior administration official could not say if armed forces were told before the tweet.

Mattis' resignation comes just a day after the President ordered the "full" and "rapid" withdrawal of US troops from Syria over the objections of Mattis, other senior officials and scores of lawmakers, who declared it a strategic blunder.

The announcement of his departure comes just over an hour after reports emerged that Trump may also be considering a drawdown of US troops in Afghanistan. Sources told CNN's Jake Tapper that the President has not yet made a final decision, but officials are concerned and convinced that he might do so, and soon.

Mattis is the latest senior administration to leave Trump's Cabinet, after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was pushed out the day after the midterm elections in November, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was unceremoniously fired in March and national security adviser H.R. McMaster was replaced earlier this year.

But reaction to Mattis' departure was strikingly different.
"This is scary," tweeted Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. "Secretary Mattis has been an island of stability amidst the chaos of the Trump administration."

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a strong Trump supporter who opposes the President's decision to pull out of Syria, expressed "great sadness" over Mattis' resignation.

"He is one of the great military leaders in American history. He should be proud of the service he has rendered to President Trump and our nation," Graham tweeted.

Mattis' future was brought into question most recently after Trump, in an October interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," labeled him as "sort of a Democrat," adding that the retired general "may leave" and that "at some point, everybody leaves."

He also added that the 68-year-old Washington native was "a good guy" and the two had "a very good relationship."

Mattis, a bachelor, has been described as a "warrior monk," married to the Marines. He served in the first Gulf War and in Afghanistan. He once led the all-important US Central Command, which is in charge of the US military in the Middle East. He was also supreme allied commander of NATO.
After the 2016 election, Trump broke with protocol by tapping Mattis to be his secretary of defense, a position typically reserved for civilians.
In his first six months in office, Trump oversaw a steady transfer of power from the White House to the Pentagon, handing off several war-fighting authorities that previously rested in his hands -- and those of past presidents of both parties -- to the Pentagon and the commanders overseeing the US' military campaigns.

But while Mattis was widely considered one of Trump's most trusted advisers during his first year in office, his influence within the administration appeared to be waning in recent months as speculation swirled about a growing rift between the two men.

Bob Woodward's book "Fear: Trump in the White House," published in September, fueled that notion, detailing how senior aides, including Mattis, grew exasperated with the President and increasingly worried what they described as his erratic behavior, ignorance and penchant for lying.
Specifically, Woodward details several instances in which Mattis made disparaging comments about Trump and military actions he sought to take against Syria and North Korea.

One of the most striking accounts, according to Woodward, occurred after a charged meeting about South Korea, during which Trump wondered why the US backs Seoul. Woodward wrote that Mattis said Trump understands issues at the level of an elementary school student.
Mattis denied those assertions and the accounts detailed by Woodward's sources, including claims that he ignored or slow-rolled Trump's ideas.
CNN's Nicole Gaouette, Kaitlan Collins and Ryan Browne contributed to this report.
Article in spoiler.

The sane man in the room has left the building. Fuck. Whomever replaces him will absolutely be some brainless sycophant that won't tell the worthless dumb motherfucker in chief "No, using the Army on the American people is unconstitutional."

At least he getting out before it all comes crashing down.
Here's Mattis' resignation letter in full:
Dear Mr President:

I have been privileged to serve as our country's 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.

I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department's business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong US global influence.

One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.

Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.

My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department's interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability within the Department.

I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.

I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.

James N Mattis

Honestly, it makes me think back to Captain Sair Yonka's resignation message to Director Ysanne Isard in the Star Wars Legends EU novel The Bacta War, and I'll bet Mattis wishes he could give Trump a sendoff that's worded more like this:
"Madam Director Ysanne Isard Mr. President, I regret not being able to bring you this message personally, but not that much. In the time I have been associated with you I have found you to be sociopathically self-centered, prone to irrational and impulsive reactions to situations, and prey to a preference for appearance over substance. I have no doubt these affectations were seen as skills by the late Emperor your voting base, and indeed may have enhanced your ability to comply with his orders get yourself elected, but by no means are these traits that make for great, or even adequate leadership."

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2018-12-21 08:27am

The resignation of US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis is a protest that will be heard around the world.

The former General was widely regarded - despite his colourful nickname of Mad Dog - as the most measured and thoughtful leader in the Trump orbit.

Who now can European allies turn to when they need a friend in Washington? (You guessed it: there’s no one left that they trust).

Mattis’ resignation letter was a spectacular rejection of the President’s worldview and sends a warning shot not so much over the White House as straight into the Oval Office.

The defence secretary was clearly appalled at the decision-making over Syria.

He fears that a precipitous withdrawal of US troops abandons Kurdish allies, humiliates NATO friends, and emboldens Tehran, Damascus, Ankara and Moscow.

The metaphor being used most frequently by analysts and retired generals is that the wheels are finally coming off.

It is partly because of Mattis’ departure, but it goes beyond that.

Trump is poised today to announce - no doubt on Twitter - a major troop withdrawal from Afghanistan as well.

That also will be vehemently opposed by Republican senators who see Trump as surrendering costly gains and creating a dangerous vacuum in some of the least stable places on the planet.
Why the resignation of US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis could be the least of Donald Trump's problems.
It's no use debating a moron; they drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Just because you have the attention span of a fruit fly doesn't mean the rest of us are so encumbered.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-21 01:55pm

Major Bipartisan criminal justice reform bill passes the Senate:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/20/politics ... index.html
Washington (CNN)The House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly passed bipartisan criminal justice legislation, marking a win for Republicans, Democrats and the administration alike.

The legislation, dubbed the First Step Act, includes measures that will allow thousands of federal inmates to leave prison earlier than they otherwise would have, will ease some mandatory minimum sentences and will give judges more leeway in sentencing, among other things. It would also retroactively apply the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the disparity between sentences for offenses involving powder versus crack cocaine.
RELATED: How Jared Kushner, Kim Kardashian West and Congress drove the criminal justice overhaul
President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill Friday in the Oval Office, a source familiar with the event said.
"Congress just passed the Criminal Justice Reform Bill known as the #FirstStepAct. Congratulations! This is a great bi-partisan achievement for everybody. When both parties work together we can keep our Country safer. A wonderful thing for the U.S.A.!!" Trump tweeted on Thursday.
Reps. Doug Collins, R-Georgia, Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York, Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, Jerry Nadler, D-New York, Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Mark Walker, R-North Carolina, and Cedric Richmond, D-Louisiana, assembled Thursday afternoon for a news conference after the passage of the "historic" bill, which the Senate passed earlier this week.
"First of all, I want to say that we're not letting out criminals," said Jackson Lee. "We're responding to mass incarceration, but we're not letting out criminals. We're letting out people who have the opportunity to go through programs, be counseled."
At the news conference, the members all gave remarks and echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the bipartisan effort that had been required to move the legislation through both chambers.
"Historic criminal justice reform is now a reality because we have brought together a coalition of the unusual suspects," Jeffries said.
"Democrats and Republicans, the left and the right, progressives and conservatives, the ACLU and the Koch brothers, the House and the Senate partnering with Jared Kushner, Donald Trump and the administration to strike a serious blow against the mass incarceration epidemic in the United States of America," he later added.
Collins wrapped up the news conference by saying the legislation had been done through "the art of the possible."
"I can't think of a better way on this day to celebrate who we are as Americans, and who we are as people of compassion and faith, to say we are giving a first step to many who have not had that in the past. And the first step will get us to many others," Collins said.
The bill, which needed a two-thirds majority, passed by 358-36.
However, the mark of rare bipartisanship was beset by news about the government funding bill, which stood in limbo. Trump told House GOP members that he would not support the stopgap legislation that the Senate passed on Wednesday.
Apparently this was a pet project of Jared Kushner (probably relating to his own father's time in prison).

Sigh... while I am tempted to crack some jokes about the Trump administration reforming the prisons before they end up serving in them, I am afraid I must give the Devil his due- the Trump administration actually did something good for the country.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-21 02:02pm

Giant orange baby threatens lengthy shutdown if he doesn't get his way:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-us- ... -1.4955559
The U.S. government was careening toward a partial shutdown Friday after President Donald Trump's quest for a border wall left Congress without a clear plan to keep the government running past a midnight deadline.

The Senate was being called back to session to consider a package approved by House Republicans late Thursday that includes the $5.7 billion US Trump wants for the border with Mexico. It is almost certain to be rejected by the Senate. Senators already passed their own bipartisan package earlier in the week to keep the government running with border security at existing levels, $1.3 billion, but no money for the wall. Both bills would extend funding through Feb. 8.

The White House said Trump will not travel to Florida on Friday as planned for the Christmas holiday if the government is shutting down. More than 800,000 federal workers will be facing furloughs or forced to work without pay if a resolution is not reached before funding expires at midnight Friday.


He was meeting with Senate Republicans at the White House in the morning.

"The Democrats, whose votes we need in the Senate, will probably vote against Border Security and the Wall even though they know it is DESPERATELY NEEDED," Trump tweeted earlier Friday. "If the Dems vote no, there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time. People don't want Open Borders and Crime!"

House funds border wall, but U.S. government shutdown still looms
U.S. convinces Mexico to allow some migrants to wait south of the border
Trump then implored Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to employ the so-called nuclear option, in which the rules would be changed so that a simple majority would advance legislation to the final vote instead of the typical 60-vote threshold.

A McConnell spokesperson reiterated McConnell's opposition, saying McConnell "has said for years that the votes are not there" among Republicans for the change.

"Just this morning, several senators put out statements confirming their opposition, and confirming that there is not a majority in the conference to go down that road," David Popp said.

At issue is funding for nine of 15 cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, State and Justice, as well as national parks and forests.

Many agencies, including the Pentagon and the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, are funded for the year and would continue to operate as usual. The U.S. Postal Service, busy delivering packages for the holiday season, would not be affected by any government shutdown because it's an independent agency.

The shutdown crisis could be one of the final acts of the House Republican majority before relinquishing control to Democrats in January. Congress had been on track to fund the government but lurched when Trump, after a rare lashing from conservative supporters, declared Thursday he would not sign a bill without the funding. Conservatives want to keep fighting. They warn that "caving" on Trump's repeated wall promises could hurt his 2020 re-election chances, and other Republicans' as well.

In another tweet, Trump said Democrats should be blamed if a shutdown ensues.

Only a week ago, Trump said he would be "proud" to shut down the government, which Republicans now control, in the name of border security, a fact that both Senate minority leader Charles Schumer and Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi reminded him of on social media.

"I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down," Trump asserted in their contentious meeting on Dec. 11.

House Democrats unanimously opposed

Late Thursday, the Republican-led House voted largely along party lines, 217-185, to attach the border wall money to the Senate's bill after Republican leaders framed the vote as a slap-back to Pelosi. She is poised to become House speaker on Jan. 3 and had warned Trump in a televised Oval Office meeting last week that he wouldn't have the votes for the wall.

House Republicans also tacked on nearly $8 billion in disaster aid for coastal hurricanes and California wildfires.


The National
Washington and the road ahead for 2019 | Political Panel
WATCH 00:00 12:38
It's been five weeks since the U.S. midterm elections, and for anyone following politics in that country it already feels like a lifetime ago. But the changes those midterm results are likely to trigger are just beginning. The National brings back our team of U.S. political experts to help decode the state of play in Washington and map the road ahead for 2019. 12:38
"No matter what happens today in the Senate, Republican House Members should be very proud of themselves," said Trump on Twitter early Friday, emphasizing that no Democrats voted in favour.

I looked him in the eyes today, and he was serious about not folding without a fight.
- Republican congressman Mark Meadows, on Trump
Some Republicans senators cheered on the House, but prospects in the Senate are grim amid strong opposition from Democrats. Even though Republicans have a slim majority, 60 votes are needed to approve the bill there.

One possibility Friday is that the Senate strips the border wall out of the bill but keeps the disaster funds and sends it back to the House. House lawmakers said they were being told to stay in town for more possible votes.

ANALYSISTrump's clash with Pelosi, Schumer may be a glimpse into next 2 years
Judge blocks Trump asylum restrictions on those fleeing gang, domestic violence
With Pelosi's backing, the Senate-passed bill likely has enough support for House approval with votes mostly from Democratic lawmakers, who are still the minority, and some Republicans.

Others were not so sure. "I don't see how we avoid a shutdown," said retiring Rep. Dennis Ross, Republican from Florida.

'Steel slats' enters the lexicon

Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, said he was not convinced after a White House meeting with GOP leaders that Trump would sign the Senate bill.

"I looked him in the eyes today, and he was serious about not folding without a fight," said Meadows, who represents North Carolina's 11th District in the House.

Trump's sudden rejection of the Senate-approved legislation, after days of mixed messages, sent Republican leaders scrambling for options days before Christmas.


Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer of New York said improving border security can be accomplished by methods other than a wall, which the Democrats consider 'unnecessary and exorbitantly expensive.' (Manuel Balce Ceneta/Reuters)
By Thursday afternoon, Trump shifted his terminology, saying he's not necessarily demanding a border wall but "steel slats" — which is similar to the border security fencing already provided for in the bill.

The nuance could provide Trump a way to try to proclaim victory since the Senate bill includes money for fencing, but not the wall.

"The Trump temper tantrum will shut down the government, but it will not get him his wall," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Democrats favour border security, Schumer said, but he denounced the wall as "ineffective, unnecessary and exorbitantly expensive."

Ryan and McCarthy had endured complaints during a private morning meeting earlier Thursday from rank-and-file Republicans in the Capitol that they were closing out their majority without battling hard on a major issue.

Ryan had promised a "big fight" after November's midterm elections, but as Republicans lost House control, negotiations over the year-end spending bill have largely been between Trump and Democrats.

Trump has bounced back and forth with mixed messages. Just last week he said he would be "proud" to shut down the government over the wall. Earlier this week he appeared to shelve shutdown threats, with the White House saying he was open to reviewing whatever bill Congress could send him.

"Republicans are in a state of disarray," said Pelosi. "Wall funding is a non-starter."
Basically, Trump wants to cut off the paycheques of a bunch of government employees over the holidays (and important government services) in order to push his ethnic cleansing campaign.

You know what? Bring it, Dickless. I'd rather have no government than one that submits to and serves neo-fascism.

I also regard this as a test of Pelosi's fitness to be majority leader. Trump has gone on television and taken responsibility for causing a shutdown to advance a campaign of ethnic cleansing. If she caves now, if she gives him his wall rather than standing her ground and putting the blame for the fallout where it belongs, she will have demonstrated her unfitness to lead, and I will call my new Congressman and demand her removal as majority leader.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-12-21 02:09pm

I thought the senate was where he had a strong majority?
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Captain Seafort » 2018-12-21 02:10pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-12-21 02:02pm
You know what? Bring it, Dickless. I'd rather have no government than one that submits to and serves neo-fascism.
I suspect that the employees of said government, who are the ones who would find themselves out of pocket as a result, would disagree with you.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-21 02:16pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
2018-12-21 02:10pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-12-21 02:02pm
You know what? Bring it, Dickless. I'd rather have no government than one that submits to and serves neo-fascism.
I suspect that the employees of said government, who are the ones who would find themselves out of pocket as a result, would disagree with you.
Probably so. And it is deeply unfair that they have become pawns in Trump's power games. But there are more important things. If our government will cave to threats (thus encouraging more such threats in the future) in order to facilitate a racist campaign to Make America White Again, or to stroke the President's ego, then it does not deserve to exist.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-21 02:43pm

Mattis's resignation letter:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/20/politics ... index.html
Dear Mr. President:
I have been privileged to serve as our country's 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.
I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department's business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.
One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO's 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.
Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model - gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions - to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.
My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.
Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department's interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability Within the Department.
I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.
I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-12-21 02:47pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-12-21 02:43pm
Mattis's resignation letter
Check the top post on this page, mate.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-21 02:52pm

Ah, my apologies.

It's certainly striking, though. Although he was now serving in a civilian government post, it is very uncommon for military officers to publicly criticize the civilian leadership like that. It is also telling that he basically accuses Trump of trying to dismantle America's alliance to the benefit of Russia and China.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-12-21 10:41pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-12-21 02:52pm
Ah, my apologies.

It's certainly striking, though. Although he was now serving in a civilian government post, it is very uncommon for military officers to publicly criticize the civilian leadership like that. It is also telling that he basically accuses Trump of trying to dismantle America's alliance to the benefit of Russia and China.
It would've been a violation of the UCMJ for him to have done so, had he remained in uniform.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Broomstick » 2018-12-22 06:40am

Captain Seafort wrote:
2018-12-21 02:10pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-12-21 02:02pm
You know what? Bring it, Dickless. I'd rather have no government than one that submits to and serves neo-fascism.
I suspect that the employees of said government, who are the ones who would find themselves out of pocket as a result, would disagree with you.
Shutdown is now a thing.

That's about 800,000 people with no paycheck this Christmas. Are you happy now, TRR?
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-12-22 06:46am

In a way, TRR is becoming an accelerationist, I see. The worse, the better?

The doom of the Noldor drew near... (c) BG
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Broomstick » 2018-12-22 07:03am

It's easy to be an accelerationist when you aren't the one who's going to suffer the consequences.
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Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-12-22 07:11am

Broomstick wrote:
2018-12-22 07:03am
It's easy to be an accelerationist when you aren't the one who's going to suffer the consequences.
Isn't he the one going to suffer, though? He is, after all, in the US or at least in the Americas. Even if not a government employee, some fallout from a systemic crisis is going to hit him.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-12-22 07:46am

Broomstick wrote:
2018-12-22 06:40am
Captain Seafort wrote:
2018-12-21 02:10pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-12-21 02:02pm
You know what? Bring it, Dickless. I'd rather have no government than one that submits to and serves neo-fascism.
I suspect that the employees of said government, who are the ones who would find themselves out of pocket as a result, would disagree with you.
Shutdown is now a thing.

That's about 800,000 people with no paycheck this Christmas. Are you happy now, TRR?
Rom failed to take into account that the bits of the government serving neo-fascist ends(ICE, for example)are considered essential personnel, and will continue business as usual under the shutdown.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-12-22 07:49am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-12-22 07:11am
Broomstick wrote:
2018-12-22 07:03am
It's easy to be an accelerationist when you aren't the one who's going to suffer the consequences.
Isn't he the one going to suffer, though? He is, after all, in the US or at least in the Americas. Even if not a government employee, some fallout from a systemic crisis is going to hit him.
For the moment, he's protected by Canada's social safety net.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-12-22 09:38am

I wonder if this act of... not being in the Trump administration will endear him to the US left so that everyone forgets his involvement in the invasion of Iraq, and conduct throughout. At this rate, the Democrats will likely try to have George W Bush canonised, just because he publicly disagreed with him.
K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-12-22 07:11am
Broomstick wrote:
2018-12-22 07:03am
It's easy to be an accelerationist when you aren't the one who's going to suffer the consequences.
Isn't he the one going to suffer, though? He is, after all, in the US or at least in the Americas. Even if not a government employee, some fallout from a systemic crisis is going to hit him.
Dual US/Canadian citizen IIRC. So yeah, that's his government.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-22 12:59pm

Broomstick wrote:
2018-12-22 06:40am
Captain Seafort wrote:
2018-12-21 02:10pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-12-21 02:02pm
You know what? Bring it, Dickless. I'd rather have no government than one that submits to and serves neo-fascism.
I suspect that the employees of said government, who are the ones who would find themselves out of pocket as a result, would disagree with you.
Shutdown is now a thing.

That's about 800,000 people with no paycheck this Christmas. Are you happy now, TRR?
Happy? No. I think that Trump is a despicable sack of human shit for pushing things to this point.

But consider the alternative. We cave to Trump. We fully fund his wall, one of his signature policies which has become emblematic of both his narcissism and his racism. No deal, no compromise. Just give him everything he wants, with no guarantee that he won't continue the shutdown anyway, when he already walked back his support for an earlier deal, proving once again that his word is worthless. In doing so, we once again send the message that the Democrats have no spine, that there is no real difference from having Democrats in power in Washington, validating "Both Sides" rhetoric which will potentially affect our chances of turning out the base in 2020. We also once more send Trump a message that he can get whatever he wants by holding the government and the financial security of its employees hostage, which means that he will play this card again, and again, and again. And sooner or later, we will either have to cave to him on everything... or we will have to bite the bullet and draw a line, and pay the price for doing so.

I think that, as cold as it sounds, we have reached a point as a country where we have to be willing to make some sacrifices to stop the resurgence of fascism.
K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-12-22 06:46am
In a way, TRR is becoming an accelerationist, I see. The worse, the better?

The doom of the Noldor drew near... (c) BG
Not the right term for me. As I understand it, an accelerationist would actively seek to increase the injustices of capitalism in order to provoke a revolution against it. I knew a Bernie-or-Buster or two who ended up supporting Trump in 2016 on more or less that rational, and I considered it (and still do) a profoundly callous and arrogant approach which essentially threw the whole world under the bus, on the presumption that it would lead to something better down the line. When you get right down to it, it reminds me very much of a redressed version of the classic apocalypse myth, which you can find in practically every religious text every invented. Destroy the world, and it will somehow magically usher in a new utopia after all the bad people have been burned/drowned/sent to Hell. It's a fairy tale. One which resonates deeply with most human minds, perhaps because it offers a total, permanent, and simple solution to complex problems, but the world doesn't really work that way, in my view.

My view here is more along the lines of "Don't negotiate with terrorists". If Trump takes a hostage (in this case, 800,000 government employees), we don't just immediately cave and give him everything he wants, because it will encourage him to keep taking hostages.
U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-12-22 07:46am
Broomstick wrote:
2018-12-22 06:40am
Captain Seafort wrote:
2018-12-21 02:10pm
I suspect that the employees of said government, who are the ones who would find themselves out of pocket as a result, would disagree with you.
Shutdown is now a thing.

That's about 800,000 people with no paycheck this Christmas. Are you happy now, TRR?
Rom failed to take into account that the bits of the government serving neo-fascist ends(ICE, for example)are considered essential personnel, and will continue business as usual under the shutdown.
To an extent that's true. I still feel that this shutdown will inhibit Trump's agenda somewhat, it is the price we pay for blocking funding of his wall, and again, see the argument reg. not negotiating with terrorists. Also, not negotiating with people who have shown that they will break every promise they ever make.
K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-12-22 07:11am
Broomstick wrote:
2018-12-22 07:03am
It's easy to be an accelerationist when you aren't the one who's going to suffer the consequences.
Isn't he the one going to suffer, though? He is, after all, in the US or at least in the Americas. Even if not a government employee, some fallout from a systemic crisis is going to hit him.
I am an American, but currently residing in Canada, so I am relatively immune to direct fallout from this decision. I do know people who live in the US, and may be directly affected by this.

That said, no one in the world is really immune if the United States continues on its downward course towards political and economic ruin. Canada would merely be collateral damage in the collapse of the United States.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by Dominus Atheos » 2018-12-22 01:11pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-12-22 12:59pm
Broomstick wrote:
2018-12-22 06:40am
Captain Seafort wrote:
2018-12-21 02:10pm

I suspect that the employees of said government, who are the ones who would find themselves out of pocket as a result, would disagree with you.
Shutdown is now a thing.

That's about 800,000 people with no paycheck this Christmas. Are you happy now, TRR?
Happy? No. I think that Trump is a despicable sack of human shit for pushing things to this point.

But consider the alternative. We cave to Trump. We fully fund his wall, one of his signature policies which has become emblematic of both his narcissism and his racism. No deal, no compromise. Just give him everything he wants, with no guarantee that he won't continue the shutdown anyway, when he already walked back his support for an earlier deal, proving once again that his word is worthless. In doing so, we once again send the message that the Democrats have no spine, that there is no real difference from having Democrats in power in Washington, validating "Both Sides" rhetoric which will potentially affect our chances of turning out the base in 2020. We also once more send Trump a message that he can get whatever he wants by holding the government and the financial security of its employees hostage, which means that he will play this card again, and again, and again. And sooner or later, we will either have to cave to him on everything... or we will have to bite the bullet and draw a line, and pay the price for doing so.

I think that, as cold as it sounds, we have reached a point as a country where we have to be willing to make some sacrifices to stop the resurgence of fascism.
Depending on how comfortable you are with proving Godwin's law, my favorite comparison is that Schumer must not be an appeaser, and agree to the Munich Diktat giving Trump the Sudetenland.

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-22 01:57pm

On the lighter side:

https://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/4 ... or-federal
A bar in Washington, D.C., just blocks from the Capitol is offering federal workers special $5 drinks every day during the potential partial government shutdown.

Capitol Lounge unveiled a new drink menu on Twitter on Friday, saying the drinks would be available at 12:01 a.m., when parts of the government are currently set to run out of funding.

The $5 drinks include “Nothing Really Mattis,” an ode to outgoing Defense Secretary James Mattis, and “Mexico Will Pay For This,” a reference to President Trump’s claim that Mexico will pay for a border wall.

The fight over border wall funding is threatening funding deals for multiple federal departments as Trump digs in on his demand for billions of dollars toward the southern border project.

The drink specials are only available to federal employees with an ID badge.


This is at least the second instance the Capitol Lounge has taken advantage of a possible government shutdown. Earlier this year, the bar offered up similar specials.

Other play-on-word drinks include the “Border Wall Banger” and “Stephen Miller’s Hair Affair."
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-12-22 01:59pm

The Romulan Republic wrote: I still feel that this shutdown will inhibit Trump's agenda somewhat...
(ellipsis mine)

Given that part of his agenda is the dismantling of government agencies he doesn't like, I fail to see the logic in that statement.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-22 02:02pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-12-22 01:59pm
The Romulan Republic wrote: I still feel that this shutdown will inhibit Trump's agenda somewhat...
(ellipsis mine)

Given that part of his agenda is the dismantling of government agencies he doesn't like, I fail to see the logic in that statement.
Because his agenda also paradoxically relies on the government machinery working efficiently to carry it out (and that means more than just the "essentials" like the military and police). And because if the Democrats don't completely drop the ball, it is very easy to pin this shutdown entirely on him, which will politically damage him.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-22 02:49pm

Slightly old article, but there are ongoing legal challenges to the legitimacy of Whitaker's appointment:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... es-backing
President Donald Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general is illegal and throws the legitimacy of the U.S. Justice Department into doubt, a group of more than a dozen state attorneys general said in a federal court filing.

The group, including New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois, filed a joint brief Monday in support of a lawsuit by Maryland challenging Trump’s power to appoint Whitaker without Senate approval. Maryland seeks a court order barring Whitaker from exercising his new authority.




“The law is clear -- and Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general is illegal, violating longstanding rules,” New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement.

Whitaker, who was chief of staff to former attorney general Jeff Sessions, took control of the Justice Department on Nov. 7 after Trump ousted Sessions and now has authority over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, though that probe wasn’t mentioned in the states’ brief.

The attorneys general said Whitaker would have control over issues “fundamentally affecting” the states’ citizens, including the future of the Affordable Care Act and the treatment of immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. And those decisions will now be subject to challenges based on Whitaker’s appointment, they said.

Perfect Example

The Maryland lawsuit on Monday also drew other briefs from watchdog groups either challenging or supporting Whitaker’s appointment.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said Whitaker’s elevation is a perfect example of why Senate scrutiny is needed, citing his public statements in which he criticized Mueller’s investigation and disputed Trump’s potential criminal liability, as well as his relationship with a key witness in the investigation, Sam Clovis.

“Each of these issues, to be sure, would have been thoroughly examined had Mr. Whitaker gone through Senate confirmation,” according to CREW’s filing. “But the president bypassed that process altogether by naming Mr. Whitaker acting attorney general, commencing what some have called a ‘slow-motion Saturday Night massacre’ that could lead to curtailment of the special counsel’s investigation.”

‘Naked Attempt’

Lawyers for the conservative Judicial Watch said in one of the friend-of-the-court briefs, “The State of Maryland’s naked attempt to wage a political battle in the courts should be denied.”

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec declined to comment, referring to previous filings by the department justifying Whitaker’s appointment.

The Trump administration has pointed to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, a 1998 law, as allowing the president to temporarily fill a vacancy for a position that requires Senate approval with any senior official who has been in office for 90 days or more. Whitaker meets that criterion. The states argue that law is trumped by the Attorney General Succession Act of 1977.

The states “have an urgent interest in the resolution of this issue, so that no doubts surround the legitimacy and authority of the United States attorney general and the United States Department of Justice,” the attorneys general said in the filing Monday.

Underwood said Congress took measures to protect the Senate’s confirmation power by requiring that in the event of a vacancy in the attorney general’s office, the Senate-confirmed deputy attorney general, if available, would temporarily assume the position.

“Since Congress first established DOJ in 1870, it has provided for a specific order of succession in the U.S. attorney general’s office to maintain continuity of government,” the statement said. “The appointment of Mr. Whitaker directly undermines Congress’ intent in creating this order of succession.”
In short, it is entirely possible that the US does not, and has not for over a month, had a lawful Attorney General.
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Re: Trump Dump: Internal Policy (Thread I)

Post by TimothyC » 2018-12-22 03:07pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-12-22 02:02pm
Because his agenda also paradoxically relies on the government machinery working efficiently to carry it out (and that means more than just the "essentials" like the military and police). And because if the Democrats don't completely drop the ball, it is very easy to pin this shutdown entirely on him, which will politically damage him.
You do know that the DoD (both military and civilian) is not impacted by this shut down right? Neither is the the VA or HHS. All three of those departments already had their budgets passed. Elements of the rest of the feds can be made to stay open by making employees 'essential'. This means that Pres. Trump can, unfortunately, probably drag out longer than you think.
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