Jul 03 2017

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Paul Krugman: Oh! What a Lovely Trade War

Remember when Donald Trump declared that “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated”? It was a rare moment of self-awareness for the tweeter-in-chief: He may, briefly, have realized that he had no idea what he was doing.

Actually, though, health care isn’t all that complicated. And Republican “reform” plans are brutally simple — with the emphasis on “brutally.”

Trump may be the only person in Washington who doesn’t grasp their essence: Take health insurance away from tens of millions so you can give the rich a tax cut.

Some policy subjects, on the other hand, really are complicated. One of these subjects is international trade. And the great danger here isn’t simply that Trump doesn’t understand the issues. Worse, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.

Joseph Stiglitz: Tell Donald Trump: the Paris climate deal is very good for America

Under President Donald Trump’s leadership, the United States took another major step toward establishing itself as a rogue state on 1 June, when it withdrew from the Paris climate agreement. For years, Trump has indulged the strange conspiracy theory that, as he put it in 2012: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” But this was not the reason Trump advanced for withdrawing the US from the Paris accord. Rather, the agreement, he alleged, was bad for the US and implicitly unfair to it.

While fairness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, Trump’s claim is difficult to justify. On the contrary, the Paris accord is very good for America, and it is the US that continues to impose an unfair burden on others.

Charles M. Blow: The Hijacked American Presidency

Every now and then we are going to have to do this: Step back from the daily onslaughts of insanity emanating from Donald Trump’s parasitic presidency and remind ourselves of the obscenity of it all, registering its magnitude in its full, devastating truth.

There is something insidious and corrosive about trying to evaluate the severity of every offense, trying to give each an individual grade on the scale of absurdity. Trump himself is the offense. Everything that springs from him, every person who supports him, every staffer who shields him, every legislator who defends him, is an offense. Every partisan who uses him — against all he or she has ever claimed to champion — to advance a political agenda and, in so doing, places party over country, is an offense.

We must remind ourselves that Trump’s very presence in the White House defiles it and the institution of the presidency. Rather than rising to the honor of the office, Trump has lowered the office with his whiny, fragile, vindictive pettiness.

The presidency has been hijacked.

Richard Wolffe: The president of the United States appears untethered from reality

It’s hard to be disappointed by Donald Trump. Unlike his predecessors, he never promised to heal the nation. Or if he did, nobody believed him.

George W Bush said he was a uniter, not a divider. Barack Obama said there was no red America and no blue America. Only the United States of America. The closest thing to a unity message from Donald Trump came at his curiously underpopulated inauguration, when he said: “When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.”

Sadly, the only unstoppable part of America under Trump is his increasingly outlandish brain farts on Twitter. His best shot at uniting the nation is to create a bipartisan sense of disgust at his outbursts.

Robert Reich: Donald Trump did more than ‘wrestle’ CNN in a video. He attacked democracy

On Sunday morning, Donald Trump seemed to promote violence against CNN. He tweeted an old video clip of him performing in a WWE professional wrestling match, with a CNN logo superimposed on the head of his opponent.

In it, Trump is shown slamming the CNN avatar to the ground and pounding him with punches and elbows to the head. Trump added the hastags #FraudNewsCNN and #FNN, for “fraud news network”.

This tweet culminated a bizarre week of Trump attacks on the media.