Donald Trump and the Terrible Politicization of Everything

In a flurry of comments historically unsuited to any head of state, yet hardly shocking for the current American president, Donald Trump this weekend targeted the two most popular sports in the country and elicited sharp criticism from some of their most important figures.

On Friday, Trump encouraged franchise owners to fire players who protest during the national anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. He’s fired,’” the president said at an Alabama rally.

Trump’s comment provoked Roger Goodell, the typically reticent commissioner of the NFL, to issue a strong statement condemning the president’s divisive language. The comment was particularly surprising, since most NFL owners who elect the league commissioner, are staunch Republicans. Many of the most prominent owners donated to the Trump campaign.

Trump was undeterred. On Saturday, he disinvited the NBA champion Golden State Warriors from the White House, in a tweet. This came after several players, including star guard Stephen Curry, suggested that they would skip the ceremonial visit.

Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team.Stephen Curry is hesitating,therefore invitation is withdrawn!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017

In response to Trump, LeBron James, the basketball superstar whose Cleveland Cavaliers are rivals of the Warriors, called the president a “bum” on Twitter. The basketball star also pointed out the fecklessness of revoking an invitation after the other party has already declined. (Trump’s you-can’t-fire-me-because-I-quit instinct here recalls his earlier announcement to dissolve several business advisory councils, only after one of them had already disbanded.)

U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

The Meaning of Trump’s Attack on Colin Kaepernick

Speaking to a crowd in Huntsville, Alabama Friday night, President Trump said he hoped NFL players who knelt during the national anthem—which they’ve done to protest unjustified police killings of black Americans—would lose their jobs.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag,” Trump said, “to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’ ” The crowd of supporters erupted in cheers. The president appeared to be referring to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who last year began kneeling during the national anthem to draw attention to unjustified killings of black men by law enforcement.

This is the second time in as many weeks that the president or one of his subordinates has called for black sports figures to be fired for expressing opinions he found distasteful. Last week Trump demanded an apology for a series of tweets in which the ESPN anchor Jemele Hill described him as a white supremacist; earlier White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had argued Hill should be fired for her criticism of the president. The president has been generally hostile to criticism and protest throughout his tenure—early in his presidency he labeled the press an “enemy of the people” out of frustration with critical coverage of his administration.

Some NFL players have been kneeling in protest in solidarity with Kaepernick, who is currently unemployed because of a league-wide backlash against his political views.

The president’s condemnations of Kaepernick and like-minded players, as well as Hill, stand in stark contrast to his earlier, sluggish reaction to the white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, in which a counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was killed, allegedly by a white supremacist.

That protest, the president insisted, …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

Democratic Megadonor Tom Steyer Still Isn’t Ruling Out a 2020 Run

Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer might not be a household name, but he’s not ruling out a 2020 presidential run or a 2018 run for California governor.

In a recent interview, Steyer expressed skepticism at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s deal-making with President Trump. And he talked about how fes his background as a former hedge-fund manager with a Democratic Party whose progressive grassroots insists big money should be driven out of politics.

Steyer has spent years as an environmental activist advocating for climate action and bankrolling Democratic candidates who do the same. He spent more than $70 million in the 2014 election cycle, over $80 million in 2016, and has said that there’s “no limit” to what he will spend to counter the Trump administration.

Despite that heavy spending, he’s faced political disappointment. In 2014, the Sunlight Foundation concluded that Steyer had “little to show” for his investment after a number of his preferred candidates lost. But setbacks don’t seem to have deterred him.

With Trump in the White House, Steyer has expanded his reach in the world of liberal politics. In July, he rebranded his political organization, changing its name from NextGen Climate to NextGen America, to focus on issues ranging from health care to immigration to economic policy in addition to advocating an environmental agenda.

Steyer advocated for progressive economic policies before the 2016 election too—joining the “Fight for $15” in his home state of California in 2015 and launching a commission to study inequality the same year. The decision to rebrand NextGen is a signal, however, that the Democratic donor wants to do even more to align himself with a wide array of progressive causes.

Steyer is a frequent Trump administration critic. He has said before that he …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics