Trump is using the government as a bargaining chip – like a dictator would | Robert Reich
— Read on www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/10/trump-government-shutdown-democracy-power-dictatorship
CCTV may contradict Magnitz On Wednesday, however, prosecutors in Bremen questioned whether Magnitz was assaulted in exactly the manner he described. A spokesman told German news agency DPA that CCTV footage of the attack showed Magnitz being elbowed once, then falling over as his attackers ran away. Bremen police have said that the attack was “lightning quick,” and that they were investigating charges of grievous bodily harm, saying they had no photographic evidence that Magnitz was kicked while already down. Magnitz himself on Wednesday conceded that the attack may not have been politically motivated and may in fact have been an attempted robbery.
“This is a gratuitous and entirely unreasonable swipe at the EU by the Trump administration,” said Nicholas Burns, who was under secretary of state for political affairs in the George W Bush administration. “It coincides with Trump’s campaign to depict the EU as a competitor, and not a partner, of the US It continues the administration’s delegitimization of international organizations and the supranational organization that is the EU. “Americans should remember that the EU is our largest trade partner and largest investor in our economy,” Burns added. “Trump’s entire policy toward the EU continues to be misguided and ineffective.”
But the degree to which senior officials have had to reverse or slow roll precipitous, ill-considered, even dangerous decisions by the president also erodes civilian control of the military and sows uncertainty. Such an approach will embolden adversaries, confuse friends and confound the servicemen and servicewomen who depend on their president for clear, principled leadership, especially when they are putting their lives at risk. Mr. Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are crisscrossing the Middle East this week to reassure friendly governments that the administration is pursuing a coherent agenda, particularly in building a coalition against Iran. Is Mr. Trump also on board?
Morrison has remained quiet about the independent Queensland senator Fraser Anning, who attended the rightwing event alongside its organisers. The acting Labor leader, Tanya Plibersek, said she was pleased Morrison had condemned the rally but “he also has to criticise Fraser Anning for attending a rally that’s been organised by people with a known record of seeking to divide Australians”. “What really concerns me is that this is a fellow that the government has to continue to rely on to get measures through the Senate,” Plibersek said. “He has voted with the government about 90% of the time.
The wave toward legalization ignores the serious health risks of marijuana.
“I am proud to shut down the government…I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not gonna blame you for it.”—Donald Trump, December 11
“The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world,” Trump said. “It’s not fair when the burden is all on us, the United States.” “We are spread out all over the world,” Trump added. “We are in countries most people haven’t even heard about. Frankly, it’s ridiculous.” Trump also boasted to the troops that he had delivered them “one of the biggest pay raises you’ve ever received” — stating, incorrectly, that he had authorized the first military pay increase in a decade. “You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years,” Trump said. “More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.” Military pay, in fact, has risen every year for three decades. It was raised 2.4% in 2018 and will rise by another 2.6% in 2019, due to the National Defense Authorization Act.
The president has the power to declassify information, which means that posting the video is not a crime. However, revealing the identities of currently serving special forces is a breach of protocol and could endanger the troops, according to former and current Department of Defense officials. “Operational security is the most important aspect of personnel deployments. The real names, faces, and identities, of personnel involved in special operations or activities, are usually a closely held secret in a combat zone,” Malcolm Nance, a former U.S. Navy intelligence specialist, told Newsweek. “Revealing them casually through an unusual media exposure … would prove a propaganda boom if any of this personnel are detained by a hostile government or captured by a terrorist group. There would be no denying who you are and what you do.” “The deployments of special operation forces, including Navy SEALs are almost classified events [sic]… to protect those men and women that are on the front lines of every overt and covert conflict the United States is involved in,” an unnamed Defense Department official told Newsweek. “Even during special operation demonstrations for congressional del
Trump regularly repeats inaccurate claims about payments to Iran. According to the website Politifact, the $1.8bn figure is a slight exaggeration of a transfer that covered an order for military equipment made before the 1979 revolution and thus never fulfilled. The attack on McGurk echoed remarks by Mulvaney and other aides. He was appointed as Isis envoy by Barack Obama in 2015 but his first senior jobs as a diplomat, on Iran and Iraq, were under George W Bush. Senators asked Trump to withhold a final decision on Syria for 90 days. But on Monday the Pentagon confirmed that Mattis had signed the withdrawal order. No operational details were provided. On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “President Erdoğan of Turkey has very strongly informed me that he will eradicate whatever is left of Isis in Syria … and he is a man who can do it plus, Turkey is right ‘next door’. Our troops are coming home!” In Syria, Turkish troops were reported to be concentrating near Manbij, a town held by Kurdish fighters.