Opinion | Donald and the Delusion Discount – by Paul Krugman – The New York Times

“But as I said, markets appear to be celebrating: As I write this, stock markets are up, while long-term interest rates — a better barometer of investor views about economic prospects — are off their recent lows. What’s going on?

The answer, I’d suggest, is that financial markets are basically discounting Trump’s rants; they’ve stopped treating evidence of his unfitness for office as news.

Yes, he’s deeply ignorant about policy. Yes, his rage-tweets constantly remind us of his egomania and insecurity. But we’ve known all that for a while; Trump’s personality is, in effect, already priced in.”

Opinion |  – By Roger Cohen – The New York Times

Roger Cohen

By Roger Cohen

Opinion Columnist

President Trump and other world leaders looking on as Queen Elizabeth II arrived for a D-Day commemorative event in Portsmouth, England, on Wednesday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

“PARIS — How small he is! Small in spirit, in valor, in dignity, in statecraft, this American president who knows nothing of history and cares still less and now bestrides Europe with his family in tow like some tin-pot dictator with a terrified entourage.

To have Donald Trump — the bone-spur evader of the Vietnam draft, the coddler of autocrats, the would-be destroyer of the European Union, the pay-up-now denigrator of NATO, the apologist for the white supremacists of Charlottesville — commemorate the boys from Kansas City and St. Paul who gave their lives for freedom is to understand the word impostor. You can’t make a sculpture from rotten wood.

It’s worth saying again. If Europe is whole and free and at peace, it’s because of NATO and the European Union; it’s because the United States became a European power after World War II; it’s because America’s word was a solemn pledge; it’s because that word cemented alliances that were not zero-sum games but the foundation for stability and prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic.

Of this, Trump understands nothing. Therefore he cannot comprehend the sacrifice at Omaha Beach 75 years ago. He cannot see that the postwar trans-Atlantic achievement — undergirded by the institutions and alliances he tramples upon with such crass truculence — was in fact the vindication of those young men who gave everything.”

Opinion | Democrats- Do Your Damned Duty! – by Charles Blow – The New York Times

David Lindsay:
I wish it were so easy, and simple, but I fear it isn’t.
David Leonhardt and Bret Stephens have both argued that impeachment right away would give Trump the foil he needs to play the victim card over and over. He would then be exonnerated by the Senate. It would give him a boost before the 2020 election.
Here is a comment, I was able to endorse:
Ron Cohen
Ron Cohen
Waltham, MA3h ago
Times Pick
As others have pointed out, time favors the Democrats, not Trump. He wants impeachment now, so he can be exonerated by the Senate before the 2020 campaign begins.

He doesn’t want the drip, drip, drip of further revelations during the campaign, which surely will accelerate once impeachment proceedings have begun.

There’s nothing in the Constitution that REQUIRES Congress to impeach—now, or ever. Those who argue that Congress has a “Constitutional responsibility,” or “duty,” to impeach are wrong. There is no such thing. Whether to impeach is a political decision, and it has always been regarded as such. Congress is free to leave the judgment to the voters if it feels that is a less divisive and more certain means of redress.

And that is exactly what will happen if impeachment proceedings are delayed until next year, when the campaign is under way. The final verdict will be made by the voters—by then more fully engaged and informed—who may well “convict” via the ballot box. There’s no certainty they will do so, but it is certain the Senate will not. Once Trump is out of office, of course, his immunity to prosecution will be gone.

17 Replies213 Recommended

Opinion |  Donald and the Deadly Deniers – by Paul Krugman – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/opinion/trump-climate-change-deniers-republican.html

“Climate change is a hoax.

Climate change is happening, but it’s not man-made.

Climate change is man-made, but doing anything about it would destroy jobs and kill economic growth.

These are the stages of climate denial. Or maybe it’s wrong to call them stages, since the deniers never really give up an argument, no matter how thoroughly it has been refuted by evidence. They’re better described as cockroach ideas — false claims you may think you’ve gotten rid of, but keep coming back.

Anyway, the Trump administration and its allies — put on the defensive by yet another deadly climate change-enhanced hurricane and an ominous United Nations report — have been making all of these bad arguments over the past few days. I’d say it was a shocking spectacle, except that it’s hard to get shocked these days. But it was a reminder that we’re now ruled by people who are willing to endanger civilization for the sake of political expediency, not to mention increased profits for their fossil-fuel friends.

About those cockroaches: Details aside, the very multiplicity of climate-denial arguments — the deniers’ story keeps changing, but the bottom line that we should do nothing remains the same — is a sign that the opponents of climate action are arguing in bad faith. They aren’t seriously trying to engage with the reality of climate change or the economics of reduced emissions; their goal is to keep polluters free to pollute as long as possible, and they’ll grab onto anything serving that goal.”

Opinion | Earth- Wind and Liars – by Paul Krugman – The New York Times

“. . .  In the long run, these tactics probably won’t stop the transition to renewable energy, and even the villains of this story probably realize that. Their goal is, instead, to slow things down, so they can extract as much profit as possible from their existing investments.

Unfortunately, this really is a case of “in the long run we are all dead.” Every year that we delay the clean-energy transition will sicken or kill thousands while increasing the risk of climate catastrophe.

The point is that Trump and company aren’t just trying to move us backward on social issues; they’re also trying to block technological progress. And the price of their obstructionism will be high.”

Opinion | Trump’s Formidable 2020 Tailwind – The New York Times

Steven Rattner

By Steven Rattner

Mr. Rattner served as counselor to the Treasury secretary in the Obama administration.

Supporters of President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Montoursville, Pa., this month.CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

“The economy invariably ranks among the top issues on the minds of voters in presidential elections. At the moment, it appears to offer President Trump a meaningful tailwind.

But how big is that tailwind? Fortunately, economists have worked hard to develop models for predicting election outcomes, and according to one of the best of these, it should be quite large.

One of the first — and perhaps still the best — of these models was created by Ray Fair, a professor at Yale. He found that the growth rates of gross domestic product and inflation have been the two most important economic predictors — but he also found that incumbency was also an important determinant of presidential election outcomes.

How well has Professor Fair’s model worked?

In short, while not perfect, the Fair model has done remarkably well. In 2008, it predicted that Barack Obama would receive 53.1 percent of the popular vote; his share actually totaled 53.7 percent. In 2012, when Mr. Obama was running for re-election, its final estimate was a vote share of 51.8 percent, just two-tenths of one percent less than what the incumbent president received. (For Mr. Obama in 2012, the power of incumbency helped offset a still-recovering economy.)”

How Trump Is Outspending Every 2020 Democrat on Facebook – The New York Times

How Trump Is Outspending Every
2020 Democrat on Facebook
By THOMAS KAPLAN and SARAH ALMUKHTAR MAY 21, 2019

President Trump’s re-election campaign has spent far more than any single Democratic presidential candidate on Facebook advertising, reprising a strategy that was central to his 2016 victory.

Since entering the race late last month, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has pumped more than $1 million into Facebook ads, outspending Mr. Trump’s campaign for three of the past four weeks.

So far this year, Mr. Trump has spent about $5 million on Facebook advertising. Early in the year, Mr. Trump’s Facebook spending exceeded that of all of the Democratic candidates put together, though Democrats’ collective spending eventually surpassed Mr. Trump’s total.

Facebook Spending: Mr. Trump vs. the 2020 Democratic Field

23 Democratic candidates

$9.6 million

Mr. Trump

$4.9 million

Trump’s Love for Tariffs Began in Japan’s ’80s Boom – By Jim Tankersley and Mark Landler – The New York Times

InconvenientNews.Net

By Jim Tankersley and Mark Landler
May 15, 2019, 9
“WASHINGTON — Donald J. Trump lost an auction in 1988 for a 58-key piano used in the classic film “Casablanca” to a Japanese trading company representing a collector. While he brushed off being outbid, it was a firsthand reminder of Japan’s growing wealth, and the following year, Mr. Trump went on television to call for a 15 percent to 20 percent tax on imports from Japan.

“I believe very strongly in tariffs,” Mr. Trump, at the time a Manhattan real estate developer with fledgling political instincts, told the journalist Diane Sawyer, before criticizing Japan, West Germany, Saudi Arabia and South Korea for their trade practices. “America is being ripped off,” he said. “We’re a debtor nation, and we have to tax, we have to tariff, we have to protect this country.”

Thirty years later, few issues have defined Mr. Trump’s…

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Trump’s Love for Tariffs Began in Japan’s ’80s Boom – By Jim Tankersley and Mark Landler – The New York Times

By Jim Tankersley and Mark Landler
May 15, 2019, 9
“WASHINGTON — Donald J. Trump lost an auction in 1988 for a 58-key piano used in the classic film “Casablanca” to a Japanese trading company representing a collector. While he brushed off being outbid, it was a firsthand reminder of Japan’s growing wealth, and the following year, Mr. Trump went on television to call for a 15 percent to 20 percent tax on imports from Japan.

“I believe very strongly in tariffs,” Mr. Trump, at the time a Manhattan real estate developer with fledgling political instincts, told the journalist Diane Sawyer, before criticizing Japan, West Germany, Saudi Arabia and South Korea for their trade practices. “America is being ripped off,” he said. “We’re a debtor nation, and we have to tax, we have to tariff, we have to protect this country.”

Thirty years later, few issues have defined Mr. Trump’s presidency more than his love for tariffs — and on few issues has he been more unswerving. Allies and historians say that love is rooted in Mr. Trump’s experience as a businessman in the 1980s with the people and money of Japan, then perceived as a mortal threat to America’s economic pre-eminence.

“This is something that has been stuck in his craw since the ’80s,” said Dan DiMicco, a former steel executive who helped draft Mr. Trump’s trade policy on the 2016 campaign trail and in his presidential transition. “It came from his very own core belief.””

There are many reasons not to impeach Trump. The House should do it anyway | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian

“It’s a constitutional crisis all right. So what happens now? An impeachment inquiry in the House won’t send Trump packing before election day 2020 because Senate Republicans won’t convict him of impeachment.

So the practical political question is whether a House impeachment inquiry helps send him packing after election day.

That seems unlikely.

Probably no more than a relative handful of Americans are still unsure of how they’ll vote on 3 November 2020. An impeachment is unlikely to reveal so many more revolting details about Trump that these voters are swayed to vote against him, and their votes won’t make much of a difference anyway.

Besides, the inquiry probably won’t reveal much that’s not already known because House subpoenas will get tangled up in the courts for the remainder of Trump’s term (even though courts give more deference to subpoenas in an impeachment inquiry).

Worse yet is the chance that an impeachment inquiry plays into Trump’s hands by convincing some wavering voters that Democrats and the “deep state” are out to get Trump, thereby giving him more votes than he’d otherwise get.

Does this mean House Democrats should avoid taking the political risk of impeaching Trump? Not at all.

Another question needs to be considered – not just the practical political effect on the 2020 election, but something more important over the long run.

It is whether an action designed to enforce our constitution is important for its own sake – even if it goes nowhere, even if it’s unpopular with many voters, even if it’s politically risky.”

Source: There are many reasons not to impeach Trump. The House should do it anyway | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian