American Fascism: Trump Is The Symptom, Not The Problem

Concern regarding ascendant fascism isn’t necessarily misguided— the question back is: where have you been for the last fifty years? [Editor’s Note: This is an especially insightful column that peels away to “the” problem we are facing in our political and tilted economic system. — Mark L. Taylor] By Rob Urie CounterPunch (9/17/18) From Whence ‘We’ Came Fascism is a loaded topic for Americans. The term is usually put forward as oppositional, as the flip side of representative democracy, e.g. authoritarian. Left unaddressed is whose interests’ American representative democracy represents. Twenty years of research by political scientist Thomas Ferguson strongly supports the…

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Intercept Report Reveals Senate Ignored Federal Court Employees Willing To Testify Against Kavanaugh

  Democracy Now! (9/18/18) Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley has announced that the committee will hold another hearing on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh next Monday in light of accusations that he attempted to rape a 15-year-old girl at a party while he was in high school. Both Kavanaugh and his accuser, professor Christine Blasey Ford, will testify under oath. As the allegations against Kavanaugh gain steam, a new report from Ryan Grim for The Intercept has revealed that attorney Cyrus Sanai tried multiple times to reach out to Senators Charles Grassley and Dianne Feinstein on behalf of federal…


Ex-RNC Chair Michael Steele: Republican Defense Of Kavanaugh Despite Sex Scandal Is ‘reminiscent of Roy Moore’

    By Bob Brigham The Raw Story (9/18/18) For the second time during Donald Trump’s presidency, a sex scandal involving a Republican judge is causing heartaches for the GOP. In the fall of 2017, former Judge Roy Moore’s campaign for the United States Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions was rocked by allegations of sexually assaulting women and girls. The Washington Post won a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting and Democrat Doug Jones won the December special election. Now, Judge Brett Kavanaugh is facing allegations of attempting to rape Dr. Christine Ford when was an underage high school girl. The allegations against Judge Kavanaugh are…


Michael Moore Plays His Trump Card: A New Movie, Modern Fascism & A Prediction For 2020

  By Gregg Kilday The Hollywood Reporter (9/5/18) The first time Michael Moore encountered Donald Trump, the filmmaker uncharacteristically held his tongue. The two had been booked as guests in 1998 on Roseanne Barr’s afternoon talk show, The Roseanne Show, taping at New York’s Tavern on the Green. Trump’s The Art of the Deal had been published in 1987 while Moore had already earned a reputation as a cheeky provocateur out to puncture capitalism’s balloon with his 1989 doc Roger & Me, and so when Trump spotted Moore, he threatened to walk. One of the show’s producers pulled Moore aside: Could he convince the…


Facebook Empowering Right-Wing Magazine To “Drive Liberal News Outlets Into The Ground”

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (9/14/18) When Facebook selected the right-wing, Iraq War-boosting magazine The Weekly Standard as an official fact-checking partner last year as part of its effort to combat “misinformation,” progressives warned that the conservative publication would use its power to suppress accurate articles published by center-left and left-wing outlets. That’s precisely what happened. After ThinkProgress published an article by Ian Millhiser last week arguing that Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh’s comments during his Senate confirmation hearings combined with a speech he gave in 2017 eliminates “any doubt” that the judge opposes the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, the Weekly Standard deemed the article “false“—a designation that,…


History Democrats Need To Remember: FDR’s Message 78 Years Ago To Corporate Quislings In The Democratic Party Applies Today

  By Alfonso KC ExtraNewsFeed (3/30/17) The 32nd president of the United States, the one that brought us Social Security and The New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, wanted us to criticize corporate Democrats from the very beginning. I’m not kidding. In 1940, when he was running for his third term, he decided to drop his former Vice President, John Garner. He did this mostly because Garner was not progressive enough; Garner was opposed to a majority of The New Deal, and was opposed to FDR running for a third term. Ouch. After FDR replaced him with former Secretary of Agriculture,…


Stormy Daniels Attorney Michael Avenatti Asks How Fox News & Sarah Sanders Will Confirm Details About Trump Genitalia

“‘I had sex with that,’ I’d say to myself. Eech.” — Stormy Daniels’ reaction every time she saw Trump on television, Full Disclosure (2018). By Dominique Jackson The RawStory (9/18/18) Stormy Daniels’ forthcoming book entitled Full Disclosure provides intense details about her time with President Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Daniels lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told CNN’s Jim Acosta that people would be a fool to continue to call Daniels a liar. “She’s included a lot of the details relating to Donald Trump because she’s tired of being called a liar,” Avenatti said. “She has been called a liar by Sarah Sanders repeatedly, by…


Russia Monitor: Fun Facts — Trump Has Much In Common With A Mushroom, Water Is Wet & Republicans Are Corrupt

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/20/18) Dear Fellow Readers, The news is dominated by a negotiation over whether the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee will give a fair hearing to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford over her accusations that SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her during a party in the 1980’s. Eleven Republicans make up the majority on the committee; all of them are men. One in particular was on the committee when Anita Hill testified about sexual harassment perpetrated by now SCOTUS Judge Clarence Thomas. That hearing was a circus, a travesty of injustice to Hill and…


Escaping Auschwitz: ‘I Have A Message For You’

‘Hells Gate’ at the Auschwitz Nazi concentration death camp.  [Editor’s Note: At a time of our own official governmental concentration camps and the cruel separation of families this story is a powerful warning of where we may be heading in this nation. Beware. Resist. — Mark L. Taylor] The  New York Times (8/3/18) This week’s Op-Doc is Matan Rochlitz’s powerful film “I Have a Message for You,” about a woman’s extraordinary journey of survival and redemption. It’s a remarkable piece, both for the creativity of its visual approach and for its unusual combination of tragedy, beauty and catharsis. Link to…



Bernie Sanders: A Growing International Authoritarian Axis Demands An International Progressive Front

  The Tip Of The Problem By Bernie Sanders The Guardian (9/13/18) There is a global struggle taking place of enormous consequence. Nothing less than the future of the planet – economically, socially and environmentally – is at stake. At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, when the world’s top 1% now owns more wealth than the bottom 99%, we are seeing the rise of a new authoritarian axis. While these regimes may differ in some respects, they share key attributes: hostility toward democratic norms, antagonism toward a free press, intolerance toward ethnic and religious minorities, and a…


Cuomo’s Win: It’s All About The Money

By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (9/14/18) Andrew Cuomo won the Democratic primary last night [9/13] in the New York gubernatorial race, a high-profile win over celebrity actress Cynthia Nixon that has some convinced all is right in the Democratic world again. Politico is already touting Cuomo as a presidential candidate, despite the fact that he just swore he would serve four years in Albany unless “God strikes me dead.” Cuomo won by a fair margin, by about 65 percent to 35 percent, which wasn’t exactly a surprise. He spent over $16 million in a period of six weeks this summer, or about 25 times what Nixon was spending. At…


Massachusetts Police Tweet Lets Slip Scale Of Routine Surveillance Of Left Wing Groups

  By Sarah Betancourt The Guardian (9/15/18) At the height of Thursday night’s gas emergency that affected 8,000 people and in which one person was killed, Massachusetts state police posted to Twitter a map of responses to fires and explosions. It was an image of a computer monitor, showing locations of 39 incidents as confirmed “by MSP Watch Center”, and it included a vital message: “Reminder: all residents of Lawrence/Andover/N[orth] Andover who have Columbia Gas must evacuate, as should anyone else who smells gas.” But the image also showed something else: a bookmarks bar at the top of the browser window which listed…


Author Caitlin Rosenthal On The Role Of Slavery In The History Of American Business

    “Masters And Management”   By Kimberly Adams & Ariel Plotnick Marketplace (8/14/18) Historian Caitlin Rosenthal extensively researched the morally reprehensible business of slavery for her new book, “Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management.” In the book, she lays out the case that slaveholding “planters” employed accounting and management techniques that are still in use by businesses today. Below is an edited transcript of Rosenthal’s conversation with Marketplace senior reporter Kimberly Adams. How did you end up writing this book? After college, I went to work as a management consultant. And I got really interested in how businesses that employed tens of thousands of…


I Thought Democracy In Chile Was Safe. Now I See America Slipping Into The Same Trap

  By Ariel Dorfman The Guardian (9/11/18) It can’t happen here. That’s an avowal I have been hearing from Americans ever since my family and I, fleeing a dictatorship in our native Chile, finally came to settle in the United States in 1980. What happened to you in Chile can’t happen here. Democracy in the US is too stable, the institutions too deeply rooted, the people too much in love with liberty. Weary of wandering, desperate for refuge, I wanted to believe that the American experiment would not abide tyranny. And yet I remained sceptical, stubbornly wary. I had pronounced similar words…


Impunity For American War Criminals: Why John Bolton Really Hates The International Criminal Court

  By Brett Wilkins Common Dreams (9/13/18) On February 12, 2010, US Army Rangers conducted a nighttime raid on a home in the village of Khataba, outside Gardez, Afghanistan. Dozens of men, women and children, including the district prosecutor and local police chief, had gathered at the house to celebrate the naming of a newborn baby just before the raid occurred. The Rangers stormed the home with guns blazing, killing the prosecutor, police chief, two pregnant women and a teenage girl. The US military lied about the Khataba raid, initially making the outrageous claim that the women and girl had been killed…


Chris Hedges Lays Out Our Risks, Challenges & Thin Opportunities: The Collapse Of The American Empire?

  The Agenda With Steve Paikin (9/12/18) The Agenda welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, who over the past decade and a half has made his name as a columnist, activist and author. He’s been a vociferous public critic of presidents on both sides of the American political spectrum, and his latest book, ‘America, the Farewell Tour,’ is nothing short of a full-throated throttling of the political, social, and cultural state of his country. Link to 28-Minute Video


History They Don’t Want You Know: How Depression Era Co-Ops Built A Healthy Alternative Economic Model

Public domain photo. The idea of a genuine economy shorn of Wall Street contrivance touched a chord.  By Jonathan Rowe Yes! Magazine (9/14/18) he mood at kitchen tables in California in the early 1930s was as bleak as it was elsewhere in the United States. Factories were closed. More than a quarter of the breadwinners in the state were out of work. There were no federal or state relief programs, nothing but some local charity—in Los Angeles County, a family of four got about 50 cents a day, and only 1 in 10 got even that. Not long before, America…


Russia Monitor: Ahh, The Music Of Breaking Broom Sticks!

    “Manafort has flipped! BOOM (the sound of broomsticks breaking the sound barrier crashing to earth – NO witches). The entire Trump family now in jeopardy. No pardon for Paul from Trump. No nice things to say about Mansfort by Rudy. Nightmares at the White House will be unending.” — Onetime Nixon White House attorney of Watergate fame John Dean tweet (9/14/18) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/17/18) Dear Fellow Readers, On Friday Trump campaign chariman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty. This is in addition to his recent conviction on eight federal criminal charges. Manafort’s plea deal says he…


Dear Carolinas: You Can’t Outlaw Storm Surges & Climate Crisis Because Physics Isn’t Interested In Your Silly Laws

“The GOP’s reassurance that if only you don’t mention it in the newspapers, climate change won’t happen, may be goofy and endearing to some, but for most of the people in the world it ruins their chances of taking the climate crisis seriously and doing something practical about it.” — Juan Cole, “Dear Carolinas: You Can’t Outlaw Storm Surges and Climate Crisis; Physics Isn’t Interested in Your Laws.” Read the Rest and 3-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


A Commoner Writes: Readers Need ‘Less Tongue, More Teeth’

  This morning’s cartoon gets it right [9/10].  The main issue is Republican support for Trump.  After all, if the Republican president  gets impeached, we get Pence, another Republican president.  Arguably more dangerous, because more subtle and devious.  At least the current  Republican president is out in the open with many of his actions.  And he is stealing a lot of potential Democratic lightning and thunder, with his attacks on manufacturing job losses and foreign trade deficits and debt. Please focus more on the mental and political state of Republicans, and name the names of feeble, flabby corporate Democrats like…


Taking Down Trump Is Not Enough. Corporate Owned Neoliberal Democrats Need To Be Booted As Well

  By David Sirota The Guardian (9/10/18) After a scorching summer of discontent, Donald Trump’s endless tweets and scandals have given Democrats their best chance to retake Congress since George W Bush’s second term. And yet, insurgent progressives are not limiting themselves to dethroning Republicans: they are taking aim at corporate-friendly Democrats within their own party, too. Amid an upsurge of populist energy that has alarmed the Democratic establishment, a new wave of left-leaning insurgents have been using Democratic primaries to wage a fierce war on the party’s corporate wing. And, as in past presidential primary battles, many Democratic consultants, politicians and pundits…


Of Course We’ll Slash Your Hard-Earned Social Security & Medicare To Fund Tax Cuts For The Wealthy, Republicans Admit

  By Rebekah Entralgo Think Progress  (8/21/18) Slowly but surely, Republicans that supported the trillion dollar Trump tax bill are revealing their true motivations: slashing Medicare and Social Security. During a Sunday interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) urged entitlement reform as the deficit continues to balloon as a result of the GOP tax cuts. [Language Note: Social Security and Medicare are not ‘entitlements’. They hard earned benefits people have invested in through wage deductions. — Ed.] “I do think we need to deal with some of our spending,” Stivers said. “We’ve got try to figure out how…


Chicago Hotel Strike Pits Exploited Workers Against Billionaire Dem Party Candidate Pritzker For Governor

  By Jerry White World Socialist Website (9/12/18) The strike by over 5,000 Chicago hotel workers spread to 26 locations Tuesday, as hundreds of workers walked off the job at the Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile hotel, just north of downtown. Thousands of housekeepers, bellhops, servers, cooks and other hospitality workers walked out across the city last Friday to demand increased wages, year-round health benefits and reduced workloads. Labor agreements covering 6,000 members of the UNITE HERE in Chicago expired on August 31, along with thousands of others at major hotels across the country. On Tuesday, hotel workers in Hawaii voted…


Why The Anonymous Op-ed Sets Dangerous Precedent

  By Michael Blake The Conversation (9/10/18) The New York Times recently published an anonymous op-ed from a “senior official” in the Trump administration. In the op-ed, the unnamed author describes President Donald Trump as “impetuous, adversarial, petty, and ineffective.” He or she depicts a White House in which the author – together with like-minded colleagues – work to undermine the president’s “half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless” decisions. A tweet from the president, in what appears to be in reference to the op-ed, asked: Treason? Some commentators, making clear that they had difference of opinion with President Trump’s policies, nonetheless, condemned the author for…


Here’s What Happened To 99 Immigrant Children Kidnapped By ICE & Sent To Chicago

  By  Jodi S. Cohen, Melissa Sanchez & Duaa Eldeib ProPublica (9/10/18) They were as young as 10 months, as old as almost 18. About one-third of the children who ended up in Chicago came from Guatemala. Others had fled Brazil, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Romania and India. All had at least one parent locked up, often hundreds of miles away. Months after the plight of children separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration crackdown sparked outrage, prompting a reversal of the policy, those children’s identities and experiences in detention remain largely unknown. But ProPublica Illinois has obtained confidential records…


The Left Has Won The Debate Over Which Ideas Should Direct The Democratic Party

By Osita Nwanevu Slate (7/25/18) Last week, moderate Democrats gathered for Opportunity 2020, an invite-only convention in Columbus, Ohio, hosted by the prominent centrist think tank Third Way. “Unlike a traditional conference, expect a stimulating mix of thought provoking presentations and interactive small-group sessions focused on the urgent need for the next generation of Democrats to offer a new social contract for the Digital Age,” the event’s webpage read. NBC News’ account of the event suggests it wound up being little more than a group therapy session for Democrats fretting about the rise of an insurgent left energized by Bernie…


Reinforcing US Status As World ‘Bully and Hegemon,’ Bolton Threatens ICC Over Probes Into America’s War Crimes

John “Bones” Bolton   By Owen Bowcott, Oliver Holmes & Erin Durkin The Guardian (9/10/18) John Bolton, the hawkish US national security adviser, has threatened the international criminal court (ICC) with sanctions and made an excoriating attack on the institution in a speech in Washington. Bolton pushed for sanctions over an ICC investigation into alleged American war crimes in Afghanistan. He also announced on Monday the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington because of its calls for an ICC inquiry into Israel. “The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from…


Russia Monitor: No, Honestly, More & More Americans Understand Trump Is A Liar

“You’re a fucking liar.” — Former Trump lawyer John Dowd, “something he could not bring himself to say to the president”, from Bob Woodward’s ‘FEAR, Trump in the White House’.   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/13/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Are Trump’s lies catching up with him? While most Americans somberly reflected on September 11 Trump managed to draw negative attention including much attention to past statements and claims about 9/11 over the years. We’re reminded of Trump’s complete lack of empathy, in this instance he was interviewed that same day by Alan Marcus for WWOR: What Trump & Clinton Did On…


The U.S. Is Winning In Afghanistan. No, Really … As Long As We Keep Losing Really, Really Bad!

  By Nick Turse The American Empire Project (9/5/18) 4,000,000,029,057. Remember that number. It’s going to come up again later. But let’s begin with another number entirely: 145,000 — as in, 145,000 uniformed soldiers striding down Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue. That’s the number of troops who marched down that very street in May 1865 after the United States defeated the Confederate States of America. Similar legions of rifle-toting troops did the same after World War I ended with the defeat of Germany and its allies in 1918. And Sherman tanks rolling through the urban canyons of midtown Manhattan? That followed the triumph over the Axis in 1945….


Register To Vote At The Vernon County Fair, In Viroqua!

Do you need help registering to vote? The Vernon County Democrats can help you protect your right to vote in this important November election. Do you want to see if the Walker administration has purged you and deprived you of your vote? Stop by our table at the Vernon County Fair, in Viroqua through Sunday.  We have trained voter registration assistants to help you through the process! Find us in the Vernon Healthcare Expo Center.  


Michael Moore Warns Donald Trump Could ‘absolutely’ Be The Last President Of The United States

  By Noor Al-Sibai The Raw Story (9/13/18) At a town hall event in Flint, Michigan, Fahrenheit 11/9 filmmaker Michael Moorepredicted that Donald Trump could “possibly” be the last president of the United States. “It’s possible,” Moore told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. When the host expressed incredulity, the documentarian said he “absolutely” believes the claim. “I think that we have someone in the White House who has no respect for the rule of law,” Moore said, “who dislikes democracy by an incredible degree.” Trump’s disdain for democracy “doesn’t really make him that different from any other billionaires or CEOs because their businesses are not…


If Trump Shot Michael Cohen In Broad Daylight, Here’s What Republicans Would Say

  By Lawrence Douglas & Alexander George The Guardian (8/23/18) You can just imagine the tweets, denials and equivocating that would follow a murder committed by Trump on Fifth Avenue, can’t you? Link to Tweets ***** Reality Check: A Few Flashbacks Of Republicans Dismissing Trump As ‘crazy’ And “kook”Before They Began Licking Him With Praise What happened to the Republican Party? As just one example we have Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who said of Donald Trump back in 2016: “I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office.” Then recently Graham said, “You know what concerns me about…


Thousands Of Mental Health Professionals Agree With Woodward & The NY Times Op-ed Author: Trump Is Dangerous

  By Brandy X. Lee The Conversation (9/6/18) Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear,” describes a “nervous breakdown of Trump’s presidency.” Earlier this year, Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” offered a similar portrayal. Now, an op-ed in The New York Times by an anonymous “senior White House official” describes how deeply the troubles in this administration run and what effort is required to protect the nation. None of this is a surprise to those of us who, 18 months ago, put together our own public service book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” My focus…


On The Media Podcast: The NY Times Op-Ed Raises Questions & The Future Of Press Freedom

  On The Media (9/7/18) Between the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill and an anonymous op-ed from within the Trump White House, a wave of rule-bending and -breaking has crashed on Washington. This week, we explore how political decorum and popular dissent have evolved since the early days of our republic — and how the legal protections for those core freedoms could transform our future. 1. Brooke and Bob on how best to cover the anonymous op/ed written by a “senior official in the Trump administration.” 2. Geoffrey Stone, professor of law at University of Chicago, on our evolving…


Weasel Walker’s Foxconn Bait-And-Switch: Fewer Jobs & Business For Other States

Is Walker’s big deal turning into just another empty election year promise? By Dave Hansen, State Senator Dist 30 Green Bay Progressive (9/8/18) GREEN BAY, WI – Since Governor Walker’s initial announcement of the Foxconn deal he has been promising it will create 13,000 jobs. But anyone who remembers his promise back in 2010 to create 250,000 jobs during his first term in office knows to take such promises with a large grain of salt. The same day that Walker made his promise of 13,000 new jobs, Foxconn’s owner Terry Gau would only commit to creating 3,000 jobs and even President…


News Flash (Duh) For Kavanaugh: Contraception Is Not Abortion

  By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (9/6/18) In what was dubbed a telling “red-alarm moment” in his turbulent confirmation hearings Thursday, increasingly slimy Brett Kavanaugh dropped his fastidious “Roe v. Wade is important precedent” mask long enough to conflate birth control – a form of basic health care used by over 95% of women during their lifetimes – with “abortion-inducing drugs,” a dog whistle used by extremist ideologues and blasted by critics as “anti-woman, anti-science propaganda.” With Kavanaugh’s anti-choice views already clear, he had till then adopted a strategic caution, repeatedly assuring legislators he viewed Roe v. Wade as “important precedent” and “the settled law of the land.” “I understand the importance people attach to the Roe v. Wade decision,”…


Police State America: Trump Administration Reveals ‘Gitmo For Children’ Plan To Indefinitely Imprison Families With Children

  By Julia Conley Common Dreams (9/6/18) Attempting to change two decades of precedent, the Trump administration announced its intention Thursday to lift court-ordered limits on how long migrant children can be detained—a proposal multiple critics promptly denounced as “Gitmo for children.” The administration said Thursday it intends to enter into the Federal Register new regulations that would allow it to hold families who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border indefinitely, for the duration of their immigration proceedings—a period that could last years. “Locking up children indefinitely is cruel and heartless, even for the Trump administration,” CREDO Action campaign manager Nicole Regalado…


A Small Syrian Refugee Gave Me This Message To Show You

A child’s drawing of the reality of life in Syria from the book “Home: Drawings By Syrian Children”. “In a strange way it is journalism at its best.” By Ben Quilty The Guardian (9/1/18) In 2016, with my friend Richard Flanagan, I stopped at a transit station halfway across Serbia. It was a clear day – blue sky from horizon to frozen horizon. Three dirty black buses rolled into the makeshift rest stop and 200 Syrian people climbed down off the big final bus step in need of food and a toilet break. Anywhere else in the world, a group of…


Russia Monitor: The Waters Are Deep, Uncharted & Full Of Dead Carp

  “Well, for one thing, everyone’s wrapped up in the guessing game. But the underlying problem remains: Republicans don’t want to know what’s wrong and don’t want to conduct oversight. There can be no better reason to throw them out of power than their unwillingness to perform basic duties — defending our constitutional system of elected government…” — Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post (9/7/18)   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/10/18) Dear Fellow Readers, We’ll begin where we left off with the last edition with commentary on the New York Times Op-Ed written by someone senior in the Trump…