Author: Robert Reich

The End Of Trump

THE HUFFINGTON POST The question is no longer whether there are grounds to impeach Donald Trump. It is when enough Republicans will put their loyalty to America ahead of their loyalty to their party. Trump’s statements last week about his firing of former FBI director James Comey provide ample evidence that Trump engaged in an obstruction of justice – a major charge in impeachment proceedings brought against Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton. It’s worth recalling that the illegality underlying Nixon’s impeachment was a burglary at the Watergate complex, while the illegality underlying Clinton’s was lying to a grand...

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There Is A Trump Doctrine And It’s Mostly About Enriching Himself

THE HUFFINGTON POST What’s the “Trump Doctrine” of foreign policy? At first glance, foreign policy under Trump seems inconsistent, arbitrary, and devoid of principle. A few weeks ago, even before the airstrike on Syria, Trump communications director Mike Dubke told Trump’s assembled aides that international affairs presented a messaging challenge because the Trump administration lacks a coherent foreign policy. “There is no Trump doctrine,” Dubke declared.  I think Dubke is being grossly unfair. Of course there’s a Trump Doctrine. You just have to know where to look for it.  The Trump Doctrine began to emerge when Trump issued his...

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Gorsuch Shouldn’t Be Confirmed Until Trump Is Cleared Of Wrongdoing

THE HUFFINGTON POST Neil Gorsuch shouldn’t be confirmed until Trump comes clean. Nominating a new justice of the Supreme Court is one of the most important responsibilities of a president. But until we know Trump is a legitimate president, he can’t be presumed to have the authority to make such a pick. First, we need to be sure Trump didn’t collaborate with Russia to rig the election. The FBI says it has enough “credible evidence” that Trump aides colluded with Russian operatives to affect the outcome of the election, to move forward with a full-scale investigation.  At the least,...

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Trump’s War On The Truth Tellers

  Trump and his White House don’t argue on the merits. They attack the  institutions that come up with facts and arguments they don’t like. They even do it preemptively. Last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer warned that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office couldn’t be trusted to come up with accurate numbers about the costs and coverage of the Republican’s replacement for the Affordable Care Act. “If you’re looking at the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” he said. So what’s the right place? The Oval Office? Bear in mind the director of the CBO is a Republican economist and former George W. Bush administration official who was chosen for his position by the Republican Congress in 2015. No matter. The White House is worried about what the CBO will say about Trumpcare, so it throws the CBO under the bus before the bus arrives. Trump couldn’t care less about the long-term consequences, but the rest of us should. For more than four decades the U.S. budget process has depended on the CBO’s analyses and forecasts. The office has gained a reputation for honesty and reliability under both Republican and Democratic appointees. Now, it’s tainted. This has been Trump’s MO since he first met a fact he didn’t like. When candidate Trump didn’t like the positive employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing...

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WATCH: Robert Reich has one sure way to hit Trump where it hurts – Raw Story

Both Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, among other retailers, have dropped Trump brands, both Ivanka’s and her father’s. Their decisions came amid calls for a boycott against retailers that carry Trump products. Macy’s dropped Donald Trump’s clothing line early in his campaign after he called Mexican immigrants “killers” and “rapists.“ Now Macy’s is under increasing pressure to drop Ivanka’s as well. Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO, quit Trump’s economic advisory council after he was pressured by consumers and employees. That came after Trump’s Muslim ban and #deleteuber went viral. Keep the pressure on. Let’s make it unprofitable to work with Trump. Boycott Trump. Reject companies that do business with Trump. Boycott companies whose CEOs collaborate with Trump. You need to be both a political activist and a consumer activist. Go to www.grabyourwallet.org for a complete list of companies to boycott. [embedded...

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7 Signs Of Tyranny

As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically do 7 things: 1. They exaggerate their mandate to govern – claiming, for example, that they won an election by a “landslide” even after losing the popular vote. They criticize any finding that they or co-conspirators stole the election. And they repeatedly claim “massive voter fraud” in the absence of any evidence, in order to have an excuse to restrict voting by opponents in subsequent elections. 2. They turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum,” and telling the public that the press is a “public enemy.” They hold few, if any, press conferences, and prefer to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements (or what we might now call “tweets”). 3. They repeatedly lie to the public, even when confronted with the facts.  Repeated enough, these lies cause some of the public to doubt the truth, and to believe fictions that support the tyrants’ goals. 4. They blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias or even violence against them. They threaten mass deportations, “registries” of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees. 5. They attack the motives of anyone who opposes them, including judges. They attribute acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and use such events as excuses to beef...

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Trump’s War On The Courts, The Press And The States

  With congressional Republicans in the majority in Congress and unwilling to cross Donald Trump, the job of containing Trump’s incipient tyranny falls to three centers of independent power: the nation’s courts, its press, and a few state governments. Which is why Trump is escalating attacks on all three. The judiciary After federal Judge James Robart – an appointee of George W. Bush – stayed Trump’s travel ban last Friday, Trump leveled a personal attack on the judge. “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. This was followed by another, late Sunday night: “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system.” For a President to personally attack a federal judge who disagrees with him is a dangerous overstepping of presidential power. As Alexander Hamilton famously wrote in the Federalist No. 78, the judiciary is the “least dangerous” branch of government because it has “no influence over either the sword or the purse.” It depends for its power and legitimacy on congress and the president. Mike Pence tried to defend Trump, saying “the president of the United States has every right to criticize the other two branches of government. And we have a long tradition of that in this country.” Wrong....

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My Wishes For Obama’s Parting Shots

President-elect Donald Trump is accusing President Obama of putting up “roadblocks” to a smooth transition. In reality, I think President Obama has been too cooperative with Trump. In the waning days of his administration, I’d recommend Obama take the following last stands: 1. Name Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives the President power to fill any vacancy during the recess of the Senate. The Supreme Court is no exception: Justice William Brennan began his Court tenure with a recess appointment in 1956. Any appointments made this way expire at the end of the next Senate session. So if Obama appointed Garland on January 3, the appointment would last until December 2017, the end of the first session of the 115th Congress. 2. Use his pardoning authority to forgive “Dreamers.” With a flick of his pen, Obama could forgive the past and future civil immigration offenses of the nearly 750,000 young people granted legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Without an immigration offense on their records, they could more easily apply for legal status. 3. Impose economic sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 presidential election – including blocking all loans or investments by Russian nationals in all real estate ventures in the United States. 4. Protect the civil service from the Trump transition. Instruct all cabinet departments...

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