Jeff Bezos stands his ground

Much remains mysterious about the Enquirer’s actions, and in particular its connections, if any, with President Trump and the government of Saudi Arabia — a possibility that Bezos alluded to in his blog post. Both the Saudis and Trump are aggrieved at The Post, and Trump wrongly blames Bezos for the newspaper’s accurate but unflattering coverage of him. When the Enquirer’s initial article about Bezos’s extramarital relationship was published, the president gloated in a tweet: “So sorry to hear the news about Jeff Bozo being taken down by a competitor whose reporting, I understand, is far more accurate than the reporting in his lobbyist newspaper, the Amazon Washington Post. Hopefully the paper will soon be placed in better & more responsible hands!”

The president would obviously love to see a sale of The Post to a friendlier owner — perhaps Trump pal David Pecker, the chairman and chief executive of AMI. (One is reminded of autocrats such as Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who have benefited from bullying media organizations into submission in their own countries.) The Enquirer was threatening Bezos in order to get him to affirm that its coverage was not “politically motivated or influenced by political forces.” Might the Enquirer have, at a minimum, pursued the story to curry favor with Trump?

.. This is apparently not the first time the publication has been accused of extortionate demands. Other journalists, including Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker, have said they were threatened by the Enquirer’s lawyers while investigating the tabloid’s relationship with Trump. And Bezos wrote that “numerous people have contacted our investigation team about their similar experiences with AMI.” These machinations are now being exposed because of Bezos’s smart and courageous decision to confront the Enquirer rather than give in. “I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out,

.. I suspect David Pecker will rue the day that his friend Donald Trump became president — if he does not already. And he is not alone.

  • Paul Manafort had a flourishing business as an international influence-peddler before he became Trump’s campaign chairman. He now faces a long stretch in prison after having been convicted of felony financial charges. Trump’s friend
  • Roger Stone has now been indicted for the first time after a long career as a political dirty trickster.
  • Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, has gone from well-respected general to felon.
  • Michael Cohen had a cushy career as Trump’s personal lawyer before his client became president. Now Cohen, too, is a felon. Numerous other Trump associates and family members are facing, at a minimum, hefty legal bills and, at worst, serious legal exposure.

Every organization Trump has been associated with — the Trump Organization, the Trump Foundation, the Trump campaign, the Trump administration — is being investigated by prosecutors and lawmakers. His name, long his biggest asset, has become so toxic that bookings are down at his hotels. And Trump, a.k.a. Individual 1, faces a serious threat of prosecution once he leaves office. Before it is all over, Trump himself may regret the day he became president. His unexpected and undeserved ascent is delivering long overdue accountability for him and his sleazy associates. We have gone from logrolling to having logs rolled over — and it’s about time.

Brené Brown

Listening to shame | Brené Brown (2012)

Vulnerability:
  • Vulnerability is not weakness. It is our most accurate measure of courage.
  • Vulnerability is the birthplace of
    • innovation,
    • creativity, and
    • change.
Shame: has focus on self.  Guilt is focus on behavior.
  1. Shame has two scripts:
    • You are never good enough.
    • Who do you think you are?
  2. Shame is correlated with:
    • addiction,
    • depression,
    • violence,
    • aggression,
    • bullying,
    • suicide,
    • eating disorders.
  3. Shame is organized by gender:
    • For women is not being able to do it all perfectly while never letting them see you sweat.
    • Shame for men is appearing weak.
  4. Shame is fed by
    • secrecy,
    • silence, and
    • judgement.

The antidote to Shame is Empathy.

The power of vulnerability: TEDx Houston (2011)

(Jan 2011) Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

 

Brené Brown: Create True Belonging and Heal the World with Lewis Howes (2017)

 

Whenever there is not love and belonging there is suffering.

Belonging:

  • Belonging is being part of something bigger than yourself, but belonging is also the courage to stand alone.
  • Belonging never asks us to change who we are.
  • Fitting in can mean betraying yourself if it asks us to change who we are to belong.

Teams and Groups can deliver the illusion of belonging.

If you become so adaptable that the goal of adapting is to make you like me, you betray yourself.

There are two kinds of kids:

  1. Kids who ask for help
  2. Kids who don’t

Lewis: my way was of asking was getting angry, mad, and lashing out, turning fear into rage and ploughing over others

  • In 3rd or 4th grade, Lewis was shamed by getting picked last in a dodgeball game
  • He turned his loss into fuel for athletics, eventually playing football in the NFL.
  • He felt like every loss was an attack on his life because he feared he couldn’t be accepted.
Vulnerability
  • Involves: uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure
  • You can’t be a courageous leader if you aren’t willing to be uncomfortable

The ability to opt-out of talking about Charlottesville and having it “not affect her” is the definition of privilege.

  • Charlottesville is about powerlessness

I can’t imagine a way though the next decade that doesn’t involve dealing with pain. (34 min)

James Baldwin: people hold on to their hate so stubbornly because once they let it go their is nothing but pain.

After a difficult breakup while at college, Lewis took out his rage on the football field.

Every social crisis, almost without exception, is about our inability to deal with our pain:

  • Opioids: physicians
  • Medicated, addicted, in debt, obese.

Our inability to deal with pain and vulnerability is what leads to many problems.

The football team that acknowledges its vulnerabilities will be more successful.

Charlottesville comes down to identity, belonging, and power.

  • This is the concept of “power-over”‘s last stand
  • last stands are violent, desperate
  • nostalgic: “It was so much better when people knew their place”

We can’t solve the next issues with national solutions

 

Vulnerability is not weakness.  It is about the willingness to be seen when you can’t control the outcome.

When you experience shame:
  • Talk to yourself like you talk to someone you love.
  • Talk to someone else: shame can not respond to being spoken

You either own your story or it owns you.

What is Greatness?
  • Greatness is owning your story and loving yourself though that.

 

Brené Brown Shows You How To “Brave the Wilderness” (2017)

(Warning: There is swearing in this video)

 

Dehumanization is not a social justice tool (15 min)

Police-Protester Dichotomy: shaming us for not hating the right people.

I’m not going to let my imperfection move me away from the conversation because its too important

I contributed more than I criticized.

There is a difference between holding people accountable and shame.

Shame is not a strategy.  It will hurt them and you.  Shame begets shame.

Holding people accountable is not as much fun as raging against them.

There should be more tools in your tool bag than shame and coddling. (25 min)

Listening to shame | Brené Brown

Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.

  • Vulnerability is not weakness.  It is our most accurate measure of courage.
  • Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.

Shame is correlated with depression, bullying

Shame for women is doing it all but never let you sweat.

Shame for men is not appearing weak.

Shame is fed by Secrecy, Silence, and Judgement

The antidote to Shame is Empathy

What do you expect will happen to Trump if President Trump lasts to the end of his term and is not re-elected?

I believe we are now just beginning to see the real world results of Trump’s policies on the economy, Wall Street and the jobs markets and I don’t think it will be pretty. Already GM has had to close factories in the US with the number of jobs lost in the thousands. One of the reasons the company cited was the increase in steel prices made manufacturing cars in the US too expensive to maintain GM competitive in the medium and long run. As you might recall the increase in Steele prices is a direct result of Trump’s policies. This explains why he reacted so poorly and even threatened to take away GM’s subsidies (something he cannot do without congress).

.. So why did I mention this? Because it tells me how this will go down. Trump has made a lot of off the cuff policy decisions based not on policy carefully crafted by experts or any any coherent economic strategy, but on what Trump thought made him look “tough” and “decisive” in the moment. His instinct is to demand and bully others into submission on the force of his will alone and Trump being the showman he is wanted to play to his base. His decisions didn’t result in any immediate negative changes so he just blew it off and went on to the next manufactured “tough guy” act without a second thought. But time doesn’t stop and all the actions he has taken are having serious consecuences that only now are starting to show, and it looks bad.

.. Already economic experts are predicting that the US is close to entering another recession, including very wealthy people who enthusiastically applauded Trump’s irresponsible tax cut[1] Once the economy spirals into a recession and the average American feels the direct effect there will be no one else to blame but him.

.. Once his popularity falls below some magical number you will start to see how the well honed Republican instinct for political survival will kick in and they will start to abandon the SS Trump like rats from a burning ship.

Trump will lash out when he realizes his “allies” in Congress are no longer protecting him from the Meuller investigation with the same ferocity they once did. His first instinct is the call them traitors and poison the Republican well which might work to a degree but at some point he will realize that his options are truly limited.

.. Meuller is smart and he knows that Trump is trying to interfere, so he is most likely handing off investigations and lots of evidence to state prosecutors in as many states where possible crimes were commited as fast as he possibly can in order to keep them out of Trump’s reach. He also very likely has extensive copies of every single detail he has uncovered in safe places so that once acting attorney general and Trump stooge Mathew Whitaker inevitably brings down the hammer to stop the investigation all the information will be safeguarded so the investigation can resume from where it left off at some future point if and when the Democratic House appoints a special prosecutor.

.. If all else fails then it can be arranged so copies of the information can be “anonymously” sent to trusted people in The New York Times and other news media. The point is to deny Trump control of who sees the information and thus he looses control of the narrative. This most likely already has happened and he knows he has no way out. By this time he will also likely realize the prospects of him winning re-election are low and his Republican allies will not protect him. He knows that no matter what he does the information will come out and as soon as he is out of office he will be indicted.

.. Trump has a strong instinct of self preservation but like all bullies he is also a coward. He might talk the talk of insurrection and violence, but at the end of the day he will not be willing to put his orange hair to the fire. His lawyers will look for a deal where Trump can leave the presidency at the end of his term while appearing like he left on his own terms and he won’t make any more trouble and they will most likely get most of what they ask for. Those in power will want to avoid the serious constitutional crises and violence that indicting a sitting president will entail so they will see it in everyone’s best interest to just let him go away with as little fuss as possible.

.. The way I see it Trump will get a deal similar to what Nixon got and leave the presidency only to immediately get a blanket pardon by then president Pence. The criminal cases pending in state courts would be a whole different matter. Not only will he have to fight there, but his children will also be targeted, especially by ambitious states attorneys looking to make a name for themselves.

.. On the bright side for Trump (if you can call it that) he is 72 years old and not exactly the picture of health. The cases will take years before reaching any conclusion and that’s not counting the inevitable appeals and the man will probably die a free man before any case reaches a conclusion. His children though are fuuuuu…..