Editorial Roundup: Still the Worst Edition

Newspapers across the country slammed President Trump and his Administration’s continued incompetence this week, in editorials condemning Trump’s dishonest voter commission, his faux “tax reform” push that increasingly appears to be a giveaway for the rich at everyone else’s expense, his bungled response to natural disasters, and more.

Here’s a recap of what Americans read about Trump in their local newspapers this week:


Home News Tribune: Don’t Forget About Trump’s Tax Returns

Trump, of course, defied 40 years of presidential tradition by refusing to release his tax returns while campaigning. He concocted an explanation that he couldn’t be transparent because he was being audited, but it was apparent then and even more obvious now that the president never had any intention of offering that information to the public. He wants everyone to move on.

That means one thing: He’s hiding something. Not something illegal, necessarily, or even particularly unethical. But something that would at the very least be embarrassing. Or worse.

Newark Star-Ledger: Who Needs Policy Wins? Trump Still Profits

Let us not forget that despite President Trump’s many legislative failures, despite his public shaming on health care, Charlottesville and Russia, his swamp business is still booming.

So while Americans haven’t been winning so much that they’re sick and tired of winning, Trump almost certainly is.

After being elected on his promise to drain the D.C. cesspool, the Donald has instead done what he does best: found new ways to enrich himself with it.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Trump Administration Tries Bureaucratic Sabotage To Kill Obamacare

The Trump actions mean that fewer Americans will sign up for coverage. Those who do will tend to be sicker and thus more alert to the need for insurance. Younger, healthier Americans won’t bother, or won’t hear about the program, meaning more insurers are likely to lose money in 2018 and bail out of the program in 2019.

Trump continues to threaten cost-sharing subsidies to insurance companies, which keep coverage affordable for some 7 million low-income Americans. The Congressional Budget Office says eliminating them would drive up premiums by 20 percent and add $194 billion to the deficit over 10 years.

Newark Star-Ledger: Central Bank To Trump: Keep Your Tiny Hands Off Dodd-Frank

We are governed by a faux-populist president from a gilded penthouse with little regard for the middle class and a Republican-dominated Congress that lives to feed the deregulation bonfire, which is an unsettling combination if you value stability in our banking institutions.

So Janet Yellen came out and admitted it: The Federal Reserve chair smells another financial catastrophe like a distant blaze if there is a wholesale rollback of Dodd-Frank regulations, and she deserves our national gratitude for speaking truth to reckless power.

Goshen News: An Incoherent Strategy On North Korea

The North Korean nuclear threat is worsening by the day. Tougher economic sanctions have not accomplished much, if anything. Nor has President Trump’s bellicosity. Sunday’s nuclear test was the North’s most powerful blast in the 11 years it has been detonating nuclear weapons. There are signs of another test soon.

Mr. Trump’s approach has so far consisted of sanctions, pressure on China — North Korea’s chief ally — and taunts against the government in Pyongyang. These messages have not only produced zero positive results but they have also sowed confusion about his intentions. The president and his team seem unable or unwilling to put together a realistic and coherent strategy that goes beyond pressure tactics and harsh rhetoric to include a serious effort to engage the North Koreans.


Springfield Republican: Justice Department Nixes Trump’s Claims That Obama Wiretapped Trump Tower

For the Justice Department to say what it did – effectively tossing Trump’s wiretap claims into the trash bin – should make clear for all what most have long suspected: This president’s relationship with the truth is fanciful. At best.

The words he speaks, the nonsense he tweets, perhaps even the things he himself seems to believe – none of it has any real meaning.


Northampton Daily Hampshire Gazette:  Forcing Presidential Candidates To Release Tax Returns Deserves Support

Americans deserve to know how much the nation’s first billionaire president pays in taxes, whether there are any conflicts of interest in his business dealings and if there is any evidence of financial ties to Russia.

So long as Trump refuses to volunteer that information, Massachusetts and other states must continue their efforts to prevent future presidential candidates from avoiding financial transparency.

Poughkeepsie Journal: Trump’s damaging move against ‘Dreamers’ must be countered

This profound, difficult issue has a major impact on the local area. As recently detailed in the Poughkeepsie Journal, about 20,000 Hudson Valley residents have temporary residency in the United States through the so-called “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” or DACA.  Nationwide, the right-minded initiative has shielded nearly 800,000 young people from deportation. But their status is now wrongly threatened, with President Donald Trump pledging to wind down the program, though he is giving Congress six months to find a legislative remedy.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Kobach voter fraud commission still can’t find Bigfoot

Which, of course, it is. Expecting to lose last November’s election, Trump ginned up outrage over a “rigged” system. When he won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, he claimed he would have won that, too, “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

It’s as if Trump thinks Bigfoot is real and appointed Vice President Mike Pence and Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, as co-chairs of the new commission and told them to go find evidence. At the commission’s first meeting in July, Trump said, “There’s something. There always is.”

Albany Democrat-Herald: Vote fraud claims again fall flat

Instead of trying to build specious justifications for legislation that makes it harder for citizens to vote, Kobach’s commission could be working to develop ways to modernize voting machines and safeguard election systems against hacking. It could be taking a hard look at how to encourage states to explore virtually hack-proof vote-by-mail systems like the one Oregon uses.

But that would suggest Kobach and the commission actually are interested in finding ways to expand this fundamental building block of our democracy. Unfortunately, the evidence to date suggests that is not at all part of the commission’s agenda. (mm)

Springfield Republican: Ongoing Russia investigation gets closer to president

What’s the one sentence that White House aides least want to hear?

“I’ve got Bob Mueller on the phone for you.”

Mueller, of course, is the special counsel who was named to investigate Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election, possible links between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and those efforts, and related matters. Last week, it was reported that Mueller has been looking to interview some who have been very close to the president, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus, ex-press secretary Sean Spicer, and communications director Hope Hicks. All had been close to, or were part of, discussions relating to people and matters of interest in the Russia probe.

Charleston Gazette-Mail: Trump budget would squeeze WV workers for the richest

With everything going on, you could be forgiven for losing track of some of things at stake in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. It would be terrible for working people, in general, and West Virginia, in particular.


Madison Capital Times: Paul Ryan’s Words Not Enough — Congress Must Censure Trump And Confront White Supremacy

It is clearer than ever that the Trump administration will not lead. President Trump and his attorney general continue to use the politics of prejudice to divide Americans against one another, most recently with the assault on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections for Dreamers.

Denver Post: Congress unanimously condemned hate; now Donald Trump must decide if he agrees

In other times such a statement might not seem important. But the joint resolution now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature, and sadly we all must question whether the president agrees with Congress’ assessment that White nationalism, White supremacy, and neo-Nazism are “hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”

Baltimore Sun: Facts don’t slow Trump election integrity commission’s rush to cry fraud

Over and over again, Mr. Kobach and others who claim rampant voter fraud in U.S. elections ignore facts, make sweeping generalizations and come to conclusions that simply aren’t justified. The commission has operated in a secretive manner and sought information about voters from states that is clearly protected. The entire enterprise was built on a falsehood — Mr. Trump’s claim that millions of noncitizens voted in the election, a whopper so enormous and so often debunked that its continued circulation, particularly among Trump supporters, raises serious doubts about whether mere fact-checking and truth-telling can ever penetrate such a closely-held, hyper-partisan belief.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Trump’s words of praise encourage dictators to abuse

Likewise, Trump’s attacks on the news media have helped justify the roundup and harassment of reporters by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom Trump also has praised.

We’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Words have consequences. The American president’s words have the power to destroy lives and get people killed in faraway lands. Wouldn’t it make more sense for him to think first, then speak, instead of the other way around?


Los Angeles Times: Enough DACA Drama. Make A Deal And Stop Letting ‘Dreamers’ Twist In The Wind

Trump, though, rode anti-immigrant fervor to the White House; among other things, he promised to deport DACA participants. He softened his stance for a while, telling the Dreamers he was “gonna deal with DACA with heart.” But then he announced this month that the program would be phased out in March 2017 unless Congress acted to give the Dreamers legal status. So the Dreamers are once again — or still — twisting in the wind.

San Francisco Chronicle: White House Cannot Silence ESPN’s Jemele Hill

The Trump White House is the ultimate glass house when it comes to judging outrageous tweets, racial sensitivities — or what constitutes a firing offense for damaging an American institution.

After all, this is the president who has spewed a succession of insults with his predawn tweets, spent years spreading the a racist myth about President Barack Obama’s birthplace, began his campaign by slandering Mexican immigrants, spread lies about Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11, and drew praise from white supremacists for his hesitancy in condemning the racist rally that turned violent in Charlottesville, Va.

Asbury Park Press: Refugees Not Part Of America, They Are America

The core of the American ideal is that people regardless of who they are can find sanctuary here from oppression regimes. We must have “borders,” to echo the president. We need to carefully vet who we allow into the United States. But we cannot put on blinders and not look at humanitarian crises across the globe. On Wednesday, the New York Times reported the Trump administration is considering reducing the number of refugees admitted into the country to below 50,000. In 2016, then President Barack Obama said 110,000 should be admitted. Elections have consequences and Trump promised less immigration, not more. But dropping the refugee number below 50,000 does not make America safer, just more exclusionary. And that is antithetical to our founding principles.

Keene Sentinel: Protecting Elections: Panel Seems Intent On Suppressing Votes, Not Addressing Real Threats

It was sparked by Trump’s ludicrous claim that he really won the nation’s popular vote last November — in fact, he lost it by several million votes. His claim is that if millions of “illegal” votes for Hillary Clinton, including in New Hampshire, were discounted, he would have won.

And despite his claim being rebutted in every state he mentioned — again, including the Granite State — Trump used his own unsubstantiated claim to form the committee, stocking it with renowned “voter fraud” conspiracists. Chief among them is Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state whose zeal for finding nonexistent fraud is such that he’s been fined for misleading the courts in at least one Kansas voter-fraud case.


Charleston Gazette: Another Damaging Lesson

Southern Texas and southern Florida lie ravaged by record-breaking hurricanes. Millions of Floridians are without electricity. Yet the president hasn’t retracted his claim that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.

Nor has Donald Trump restored America to the Paris climate agreement, which is designed to reduce losses from hurricanes, tornados, floods, sea rise, wildfires and other horrors worsened by global heatup.

The back-to-back hurricanes that wounded America are like an Old Testament rebuke of polluters and politicians who spent decades denying that global warming is real, or that it causes worse weather.