From The New Yorker:
From The New Yorker:
The acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services in a new interview revised the iconic poem on the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal to suggest that only immigrants who can “stand on their own two feet” are welcome in the United States.
From Esquire, by Jack Holmes:
“To be an American is to know that when you venture outside, you have a better chance than the citizen of any other country in the developed world of being shot by a complete and total stranger who has easy access to incredibly powerful weaponry.”
Think about that.
From Esquire, by Jack Holmes:
Other countries have people who suffer from mental illness. Other countries have racists and white supremacists. But only the United States of America has these mass shootings all the time, like a drumbeat in our collective consciousness. According to the Gun Violence Archive, which classifies a mass shooting as an event where four or more people are injured, there have been 255 in America this year. It’s the guns, and it’s about time for Objective Journalists to say so.
The time for Listening to Both Sides Until We Move On Without Doing Anything is over. What is the Republican Party’s solution to the gun violence epidemic? They talk about mental health, then attempt—by any means necessary—to strip millions of people of their healthcare. Right now, more than 20 Republican attorneys general are suing to abolish the Affordable Care Act, threatening the health insurance of 20 million Americans and the pre-existing conditions coverage of 50 million more. Will that help with mental health?
All the coverage of these events and the discussions that follow should reflect this reality. One political party wants to institute modest reforms to the ways Americans can acquire weapons and which weapons they can acquire. The other side seems to believe the current system is working perfectly, and has offered zero solutions. The president has come out for background checks—the absolute fucking minimum measure, which he’s motioned towards before and is attempting to tie to “immigration reform,” a surefire way to kill it—but Mitch McConnell is holed up in Kentucky and will probably never put the bill the House passed five months ago up for a vote in the Senate. Unless, of course, this reality was represented in the Very Objective Journalist Zone. Do not ask questions of fact and pretend you don’t know the answer. You can’t climb the stairs if you continually pretend the first step isn’t there.
From the Washington Post:
To experts in the field, the El Paso rampage was predictable. Frank Figliuzzi, a former head of counterintelligence at the FBI, wrote in a column published just four days earlier in the New York Times that Trump’s words eventually could incite bloodshed.
“The president has fallen short of calling for overt violence against minorities and immigrants, but unbalanced minds among us may fail to note the distinction,” Figliuzzi wrote. “If a president paints people of color as the enemy, encourages them to be sent back to where they came from and implies that no humans want to live in certain American cities, he gives license to those who feel compelled to eradicate what Mr. Trump calls an infestation.”
From the New York Times:
“In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate,” Dan Hodges, a British journalist, wrote in a post on Twitter two years ago, referring to the 2012 attack that killed 20 young students at an elementary school in Connecticut. “Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.”
“We cannot find a safe place to live… [ISIS] killed my mom. They killed my six brothers. They left behind them.”
— Yazidi activist and Nobel Prize winner Nadia Murad, to Trump in Oval Office
“Where are they now?”
“They killed them. They are in the mass grave in Sinjar and I’m still fighting just to live safe in safety. Please do something.”
“I know the area very well. We’re going to look into it very strongly…You had the Nobel Prize? That’s incredible. They gave it to you for what reason? Maybe you can explain.”
“For what reason?…I didn’t give up. I make it clear to everyone that ISIS raped thousands of Yazidi women.”
From The New York Times, by Roger Cohen:
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.
As Eisenhower, speaking at the Normandy American Cemetery, last resting place of 9,387 Americans, told Walter Cronkite for the 20th anniversary of the D-Day landings: “These people gave us a chance, and they bought time for us, so that we can do better than we have before.”
That was a solemn responsibility. For decades it was met, culminating with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Doing better, however, is not rising nativism, xenophobia, nationalism and authoritarianism given a nod and a wink by the president of the United States. It’s not Brexit, Britain turning its back on the Europe it helped free.
The American moral collapse personified by Trump is not “beautiful” or “phenomenal” or “incredible” or any of the president’s other clunky two-a-penny superlatives. It’s sickening and dangerous.
My impression here is that Europe has gotten used to Trump to the point that it is no longer strange that the American president is a stranger. In less than two and a half years Trump has stripped his office of dignity, authority and values.
His foreign policy increasingly consists of a single word, “tariffs.” His contempt for allies undermines American diplomacy, or whatever is left of it, from Iran to North Korea, from Venezuela to China. His trampling of truth is so consistent that when he says in London that Britain is the largest trading partner of the United States — it’s nowhere near that — the impulse is to shrug.
Before arriving in London, Trump set the tone. He mocked the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, as short. It was a tweet in keeping with the president’s signature stunt as schoolyard bully. Khan, who had criticized “rolling out the red carpet” for Trump, responded by comparing the president to an 11-year-old.
This was generous. Most 8-year-olds know better.
Of course Khan — the brown Muslim son of a bus driver, self-made guy — would get under the skin of a man like Trump, who was born on third base and imbibed his reflexive racism in the family real estate business.
Khan called Trump’s policies — on the reproductive rights of women, on immigrant children at the Mexican border, on “amplifying messages from racists” — the antithesis of Londoners’ values and “abhorrent.” In response, Trump tweeted that Khan was as bad as the “very dumb” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, “only half his height.”
There is something so disturbing about a very small man like Trump impugning the height of the mayor of the great international city he is visiting that even 28 months of progressive inurement to his outrages feels inadequate.
America is much better than this, much better than an American president who, as the cartoonist Dave Granlund suggested, probably thinks the D in D-Day stands for Donald and spends the night of the commemoration trashing Bette Midler on Twitter.
As for the Republican Party, don’t get me started. To recover its bearings the G.O.P. would do well to recall one of its own, Eisenhower, who in that same 20th-anniversary interview said that America and its allies stormed the Normandy beaches “for one purpose only.”
It was not to “fulfill any ambitions that America had for conquest.” No, it was “just to preserve freedom, systems of self-government in the world.” It was an act, in other words, consistent with the highest ideals of the American idea that Trump and his Republican enablers seem so intent on eviscerating.