Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Tag Archives: Accountable Leaders


It would have been bad even with the best of governments. It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset — of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’ — when that mindset is operationalized in our government.

— Former President Barack Obama, describing the United States’ response to the 2019-2020 coronavirus pandemic (Reuters: In leaked call, Obama describes Trump handling of virus as chaotic disaster)


Personally, I have never met anyone whose behavior can be described as perfect, but so often has the president repeated this obvious untruth that it has become a form of dogma in our party. And sure enough, as dogma demands, there are members of our party denying objective reality by repeating the line that “the president did nothing wrong.” My colleagues, the danger of an untruthful president is compounded when an equal branch follows that president off the cliff, into the abyss of unreality and untruth.

— Jeff Flake: Trump is on trial. So are my Senate Republican colleagues.


Slowly, gradually, but inexorably, our country is accepting the unacceptable. We thought we had a consensus about basic norms that protect freedom and self-government. That consensus has been swept away by Republican partisans who value political power over the constitutional liberties they have always claimed to revere above everything else.

— E.J. Dionne: Our country is accepting the unacceptable

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Rudy Giuliani butt-dials NBC reporter, heard discussing need for cash and trashing Bidens

In the call, “Giuliani can be heard discussing overseas dealings and lamenting the need for cash, though it’s difficult to discern the full context of the conversation,” NBC’s Rich Schapiro reports.


Nancy Pelosi confronts Donald Trump

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, confronts Donald Trump in the White House. (Official White House Photo.)


Trump’s old techniques are failing — and not just due to the volume of the bad news. What’s unique about this phase of his presidency is that he’s being attacked with so much damning information from so many directions and so many different power centers that he can’t keep up. Not even a street fighter with Bruce Lee’s skills could repulse this sort of pile-on.

Politico senior media writer Jack Shafer

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‘Total panic’ as ‘shell-shocked’ White House struggles to find impeachment footing

While many in the Trump White House are battle-tested from the Mueller investigation, this is starting to feel different, aides and advisers told NBC News.

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WATCH: Georgia Democratic Representative John Lewis takes to the House floor to call for the beginning of impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump in the wake of a whistleblower complaint about the president’s July 25th phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, in which he reportedly pressured him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.


John Bolton leaves the Trump regime

There goes another one.

[Donald] Trump on Tuesday pushed out John R. Bolton, his third national security adviser, amid fundamental disputes over how to handle major foreign policy challenges like Iran, North Korea and most recently Afghanistan.

The departure ended a 17-month partnership that had grown so tense that the two men even disagreed over how they parted ways, as Mr. Trump announced on Twitter that he had fired the adviser only to be rebutted by Mr. Bolton, who insisted he had resigned of his own accord.

Calling it a partnership seems like a stretch. It was more like an arrangement.

Few people can last long doing the bidding of neofascist Donald Trump, except for perhaps his children and a few other soulless sidekicks.

The Trump regime has been characterized by turnover since its very first days, when Michael Flynn was forced out as National Security Advisor.

And there’s an even bigger problem that goes beyond turnover. The regime has neglected to nominate people to key posts, leaving lots of holes in the country’s executive branch. As National Security Action noted:

“The senior echelons of our national security institutions may be hollower than ever. The administration has no National Security Advisor, no Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, no Director or Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and features acting officials in nearly twenty top positions at the Pentagon and several key ambassadorial posts.”



Given the fine margins Trump is dealing with in his reelection campaign, Fox News could help sink him. Fox can lose some viewers and win the ratings wars; Trump basically cannot lose any supporters and win reelection. You could even make an argument that Trump needs Fox more than Fox needs Trump.

— Aaron Blake: Trump had better be careful about hate-tweeting Fox

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Revealed: Matt Shea aided group training young men for ‘biblical warfare’

Archconservative Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told The Guardian that“it almost sounds like going back to the Hitler Youth concept”.


[W]e would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are “good people” among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.

— Excerpt from The Baltimore Sun’s Better to have a few rats than to be one

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Via NBC News, this is quite the find: “Newly found footage from NBC News’ archives shows Donald Trump apparently talking about women with Jeffrey Epstein, now a registered sex offender, at a party at Mar-a-Lago in November 1992. The party was a decade before Epstein’s plea deal in Florida.”

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Inspector General finds detainees ‘standing on toilets’ for room at packed border facility

The Trump regime’s un-American conduct continues to reach disgusting, horrific depths.


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This morning, Robert Mueller announced his resignation from the Department of Justice and commented publicly on the investigation he led as Special Counsel. Mueller’s complete statement can be watched by clicking play above.


The West Coast is crushing it against Trump. Using the law to fight a bully, the Constitution to challenge an authoritarian, and facts against Fox News-driven fantasy, California, Oregon and Washington have stalled some of the most despicable of Trump’s retrograde policies.

— New York Times opinion columnist Timothy Egan opines that the Left Coast is doing pretty darn well in its battle to keep the Trump regime in check.

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Cambodians who fled to Seattle ‘shocked’ as details emerge of Republican Doug Ericksen’s $500K deal with regime

Donald Trump booster and Tim Eyman pal Doug Ericksen has teamed up with disgraced former State Representative Jay Rodne to promote the interests of Cambodia’s authoritarian Hun Sen regime in the United States. The pair have a deal with the regime worth half a million dollars.

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Corrupt, through and through: North Carolina Republican Chair indicted in probe

“A federal grand jury has indicted the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party and a major Republican campaign donor on conspiracy and bribery charges,” The Charlotte Observer reports. “Robin Hayes is also charged with three counts of making false statements to the FBI. Hayes had announced Monday that he wouldn’t seek another term as NC GOP chairman, a decision he attributed to health concerns.”



It’d be a little different… If President Obama had done the national emergency, Republicans would have gone crazy.

— Idaho Republican Mike Simpson, a long-serving member of the United States House of Representative, publicly acknowledging the party’s double standard.


Trump blows off ceremonial presidential duties so he can sulk in the White House

The magnitude of last Tuesday’s losses have sunk in.

For weeks this fall, an ebullient Trump traveled relentlessly to hold raise-the-rafters campaign rallies — sometimes three a day — in states where his presence was likely to help Republicans on the ballot.

But his mood apparently has changed as he has taken measure of the electoral backlash that voters delivered Nov. 6.

With the certainty that the incoming Democratic House majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of additional indictments by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment, according to multiple administration sources.

Behind the scenes, they say, the president has lashed out at several aides, from junior press assistants to senior officials. “He’s furious,” said one administration official. “Most staffers are trying to avoid him.”

Trump may project confidence through social media or when he appears in public, but it’s apparent that behind the scenes, he’s not feeling confident at all. There really was a blue wave… and it hasn’t even crested yet. Races keep getting called in favor of Democrats, and in Florida (where recounts are underway), it’s unclear who won the top races: Trump’s loyalists or their Democratic opponents.

All those Democratic gains — and the ongoing media coverage of them — have seriously wounded Trump’s pride and left him feeling very bitter and angry.

Trump ought to have been able to see this coming. The pendulum has always historically swung back after periods of one party rule. But Trump is a narcissist and sociopath, so he was nicely positioned for a big emotional crash.

Although Democrats did win a number of special elections last year (and took back the governorship of New Jersey in addition to keeping the governorship of Virginia), the just-held midterms showed that Trump’s Republican Party isn’t invulnerable.

Democrats are on track to have their best showing in U.S. House races since the 1970s. The party has flipped seven governorships and increased the number of trifectas in its column. And it also took two U.S. Senate seats away from the Republicans in the southwest with the victories of Jacky Rosen and Kyrsten Sinema.

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Trial balloon or imminent news? Trump is preparing to remove Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security secretary, aides say

The Washington Post: “Trump has told advisers he has decided to remove Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and her departure from the administration is likely to occur in the coming weeks, if not sooner, according to five current and former White House officials.”