We Agree: Oprah Don’t Do It

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 9, 2018

Oprah Winfrey Delivers Speech at the Golden Globe Awards, Sunday, January 7, 2018

Oprah Winfrey Delivers Speech at the Golden Globe Awards, Sunday, January 7, 2018

Today’s print edition of the New York Times carries an OpEd by Thomas Chatterton Williams with the terse headline, “Oprah Don’t Do It.”

The column follows a powerful speech delivered by Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday evening. (See video below.) That speech set Twitter and cable news ablaze with talk of an Oprah run for President in 2020. By Monday evening, CNN was reporting that she is “actively thinking” about a Presidential run.

In hearing that pronouncement on CNN, our first thought was that media outlets wouldn’t have the guts to tell a black female celebrity with the stature of Oprah Winfrey that she could doom the already shaky credibility of the Democratic Party with a run for the White House; that her lack of prior government service and national security naiveté would be weaponized against her by Republicans.

Instead of silence, however, Americans are showing they are mad as hell about the prospect of another celebrity billionaire totally lacking in government experience setting up shop in the White House.

Williams had this to say in the New York Times today:

“I am not immune to Oprah’s charms, but President Winfrey is a terrible idea. It also underscores the extent to which Trumpism – the kowtowing to celebrity and ratings, the repudiation of experience and expertise – has infected our civic life. The ideal post-Trump politician will, at the very least, be a deeply serious figure with a strong record of public service behind her.”

As for the Democratic Party being intimidated into shoving another candidate down the American people’s throats that they don’t want in the top office of the land, Williams added this succinct message:

“The idea that the presidency should become just another prize for celebrities – even the ones with whose politics we imagine we agree – is dangerous in the extreme. If the first year of the Trump administration has made anything clear, it’s that experience, knowledge, education and political wisdom matter tremendously. Governing is something else entirely from campaigning. And perhaps, most important, celebrities do not make excellent heads of state. The presidency is not a reality show, or for that matter, a talk show.”

One point that Williams misses is worth noting. Both Trump and Oprah are billionaires because of their brands. Oprah will have many of the same conflicts of interest as Trump. She is certainly not going to close the businesses bearing her “Oprah” trademark for a four or eight year stint in the Oval Office. Additionally, the hard choices that a Commander-in-Chief has to make regarding military attacks would diminish the wholesome, spiritual Oprah brand – raising the question as to how fit she would be as a Commander-in-Chief.

By yesterday afternoon, the prospect of another billionaire celebrity in the White House sent the pen of Mehdi Hasan at The Intercept into a fiery response. Hasan asked “Have We All Gone Bonkers,” adding that he is “old enough to remember when liberals gave a damn about experience, qualifications, and judgment; when Democrats mocked the idea of Trump — a former reality TV star and property developer who struggled to tell the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah — running for the presidency.”

Unlike Williams, Hasan pulled no punches in his assessment of Oprah’s fitness for the job. He wrote:

“Another clueless celebrity in possession of the nuclear codes? Another billionaire mogul who doesn’t like paying taxes in charge of the economy? And how would it be anything other than sheer hypocrisy for Democrats to offer an unqualified, inexperienced presidential candidate to the American electorate in 2020, given all that they said about Trump in 2016?

“Prior to Trump, the only presidents to never have served in public office prior to being elected to the White House were Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dwight Eisenhower. The first won the Mexican-American War; the second, the Civil War; and the third, the Second World War.

“Well, the Oprah fans might argue, she could surround herself with big brains. But isn’t that the argument that Trump supporters make, too? Do we really want another president deferring to unelected generals and Goldman Sachs?”

The Goldman Sachs reference should be taken seriously. As Wall Street On Parade has repeatedly reported, we have seen a Wall Street takeover of both the presidencies of Obama and Trump. It all happened behind a dark curtain between election day and inauguration day when Wall Street’s unelected cronies and lawyers staffed up both administrations as part of the “transition team” process. In the case of Obama’s transition team, the unseemly deference to Wall Street was kept out of public view until WikiLeaks released the damning emails showing how a Citigroup executive, Michael Froman, was in charge of the process of naming the people for top posts while his bank was in the midst of investigations for fraud and was receiving the largest taxpayer bailout in U.S. history after its stock collapsed.

In the case of Trump’s transition team, a pack of law firms that had supported Hillary Clinton’s candidacy were somehow in charge of the hiring for the Trump administration. Despite Trump’s denigration of Goldman Sachs on the campaign trail, Goldman Sachs’ veterans ended up in multiple major posts in the Trump era. (See “Here’s How Goldman Sachs Became the Overlord of the Trump Administration.”)

It’s time for Americans to get deadly serious about whom they put in charge of the U.S. economy, the U.S. financial system, the skyrocketing U.S. national debt and unprecedented wealth equality — not to mention those nuclear buttons being joked about on Twitter by the President of the United States.

Shhh! Trump’s Wall Street Regulators Keep Public in the Dark

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 8, 2018

Joseph Otting, Trump's Head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Joseph Otting, Trump’s Head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Under the Obama presidency, a key executive of the scandalized Wall Street bank, Citigroup, was secretly in charge of selecting the people who would fill top administration posts in Obama’s White House and cabinet, while the bank was in the midst of the largest taxpayer bailout in U.S. history. The staffing recommendations included top posts at the Justice Department, which would fail to prosecute any major Wall Street executives for the crimes leading up to the financial crash of 2008.  (See our prior reporting on this here and here.)

Under Trump, who ran on a populist platform, the top cop of Wall Street at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, is a lawyer who had represented 8 of the 10 largest Wall Street banks prior to his nomination by Trump and confirmation by the U.S. Senate to become SEC Chairman. The U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, who also sits at the helm of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to make sure Wall Street doesn’t blow up the economy again, was actually a foreclosure king at OneWest Bank Group. The top national bank regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees Wall Street’s biggest and serially charged banks like Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, is now headed by Mnuchin’s former pal at OneWest Bank Group, Joseph Otting.

During Mnuchin’s Senate confirmation hearing, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon had this to say:

‘Widow foreclosures’ on reverse mortgages – OneWest did more of those than anybody else. The bank defends its record on loan modifications, but it was found guilty of an illegal practice known as ‘dual tracking.’ One bank department tells homeowners to stop making payments so they can pursue modification, while another department presses on and hurtles them into foreclosure anyway.”

Last Thursday, the American people got a good look at how Otting plans to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The Federal agency released a statement advising that the insured bank under the Citigroup umbrella, Citibank, has been fined $70 million for failing to live up to its 2012 cease and desist order involving money laundering. But neither the press release nor the consent order provided a clue to the American people as to what Citibank had actually done. It was one of the least transparent documents that we have ever seen coming from a bank regulator, leaving the American people to wonder if a Wall Street bank, as is typical, engaged in billions of dollars of illegal activity and got off paying pennies on the dollar in a fine to a captured regulator.

What we do know is that the bank violated its 2012 cease and desist order from the OCC which pertained to the bank’s failure to follow anti-money laundering rules. The OCC wrote in 2012:

“The Bank has failed to adopt and implement a compliance program that adequately covers the required BSA/AML [Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering] program elements due to an inadequate system of internal controls and ineffective independent testing.  The Bank did not develop adequate due diligence on foreign correspondent bank customers and failed to file Suspicious Activity Reports (‘SARs’) related to its remote deposit capture/international cash letter instrument activity in a timely manner.”

Based on Citibank’s history, one has to wonder if violating anti-money laundering rules is part of its official business model.

On November 9-10, 1999 the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations conducted hearings into the dubious internal workings of Citibank.  Senator Carl Levin had this to say in his opening remarks:

“Today we are looking at the private bank of Citibank. It is the largest bank in the United States, and it has one of the largest private bank operations. It has the most extensive global presence of all U.S. banks, and it had a rogues’ gallery of private bank clients. Citibank has been private banker to:

“– Raul Salinas, brother to the former President of Mexico; now in prison in Mexico for murder and under investigation in Mexico for illicit enrichment;

“– Asif Ali Zardari, husband to the former Prime Minister of Pakistan; now in prison in Pakistan for kickbacks and under indictment in Switzerland for money laundering;

“– Omar Bongo, President of Gabon; subject of a French criminal investigation into bribery;

“– sons of the General Sani Abacha, former military leader of Nigeria; one of whom is now in prison in Nigeria on charges of murder and under investigation in Switzerland and Nigeria for money laundering;

“– Jaime Lusinchi, former President of Venezuela; charged with misappropriation of government funds;

“– two daughters of Radon Suharto, former President of Indonesia, who has been alleged to have looted billions of dollars from Indonesia…

 “– General Albert Stroessner, former President of Paraguay and notorious for decades for a dictatorship based on terror and profiteering.”

Unfortunately, mainstream media is now consumed with Donald Trump and little else. Cable news, network news and the front pages of newspapers rarely do an in-depth investigative article on Wall Street’s continuing dark secrets – despite this being the industry that was responsible for the epic financial collapse of 2008-2010 – a collapse which has left the United States with the greatest wealth inequality in its history and tepid economic growth for a decade.

Related Article:

Exclusive: Panama Papers Hub in Miami: Citigroup’s [Very] Private Bank

Trump’s Lawyer Threatens a Book Publisher: It Backfires Big Time

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 5, 2018

Michael Wolff Is Interviewed by Savannah Guthrie on the "Today" Show, Friday, January 5, 2017.

Michael Wolff Is Interviewed by Savannah Guthrie on the “Today” Show, Friday, January 5, 2018.

How does one make an unreleased book an even bigger bestseller than it already is? Threaten a libel suit and demand that the publisher not release the book – ever. Michael Wolff’s explosive book on the chaos and incompetency of the Trump administration, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, is now the number one bestseller on Amazon.

Yesterday Wolff posted blistering excerpts from the book at the Hollywood Reporter. The President is variously characterized by his own appointees as “a moron,” “dumb as s**t,” “a hopeless idiot,” or someone who has “lost his mind.”

Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder of Harder Mirell & Abrams LLP, whipped off an 11-page letter to Wolff and Steve Rubin, President of Henry Holt and Company, the book’s publisher. Most of the letter consisted of boilerplate demands to retain documents and emails, an effort to strongly suggest that an actual lawsuit would follow. If, indeed, the lawyer had wanted to head into court, he could have asked a judge for an injunction to prevent publication. Instead, Harder simply demanded the following in a letter:

“Mr. Trump hereby demands that you immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the Book, the Article, or any excerpts or summaries of either of them, to any person or entity, and that you issue a full and complete retraction and apology to my client as to all statements made about him in the Book and Article that lack competent evidentiary support.”

The publisher’s response was to effectively flip the bird to Trump and his legal team. The publisher announced that it would move up the publication date from January 9 to 9 a.m. this morning.

To say the legal threat backfired would be a gross understatement. After two solid hours of news coverage of the book and the legal threat on CNN last evening, by 7 p.m. Erin Burnett opened her CNN show waving a hard copy of the book, which the publisher now seemed to be readily handing out to all media takers.

It was also announced that Wolff had moved up his book tour, which he would launch on NBC’s “Today” show this morning. That would be followed by an interview on “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd this Sunday.

During the “Today” show interview with Savannah Guthrie, Wolff had this to say about the threatening letter from Trump’s lawyer attempting to block the publication of the book:

“Where do I send the box of chocolates? Not only is he helping me sell books but he’s helping me prove the point of the book. This is extraordinary that a president of the United States would try to stop the publication of a book. This has not happened from other presidents, would not even happen from a CEO of a midsize company.”

As for the accuracy of the book, which has come under attack by Trump and his White House press office staff, Wolff told “Today” viewers that he had “recordings, I have notes, I am certainly and absolutely in every way comfortable with everything I have reported.” He also noted that he has written millions of words over the course of his career and said “I don’t think there has ever been one correction.”

Wolff is a veteran journalist who has written for New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, the Hollywood Reporter, USA Today and the Guardian. In a column in USA Today in January 2017, Wolff intimated that he understood that he would likely be attacked by Trump over the book. He wrote:

“Presidents are accused of many things and tend to respond judiciously. Trump, who likes to describe himself as a counter-puncher, tends, however, to respond in kind. This is partly because Twitter makes it easy to do, and offers a way around advisors and cooler heads who might urge otherwise. And this is, in part, because, so far it’s been an effective tactic for him.”

Adding to Trump’s furor over the book, the New Yorker’s John Cassidy published an excerpt from the book yesterday that further questioned the President’s fitness for office. Wolff wrote:

“Trump didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. If it was print, it might as well not exist. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semiliterate …Some thought him dyslexic; certainly his comprehension was limited. Others concluded that he didn’t read because he didn’t have to, and that in fact this was one of his key attributes as a populist. He was postliterate — total television.

“But not only didn’t he read, he didn’t listen. He preferred to be the person talking. And he trusted his own expertise — no matter how paltry or irrelevant — more than anyone else’s. What’s more, he had an extremely short attention span, even when he thought you were worthy of attention.”

Is Wolff’s book an exaggeration? Or would a careful perusal of Trump’s own Tweets on his Twitter page make the identical case that his own appointees are making in the book.

Wall Street On Parade Responds to New Publisher at New York Times

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 4, 2018 

A.G. Sulzberger

A.G. Sulzberger

On Monday, 37-year old Arthur Gregg (A.G.) Sulzberger took the helm as the new Publisher of the New York Times, succeeding his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., whose tenure in the post lasted for the past quarter of a century.

A.G. has previously held positions at the Times as metro reporter, national correspondent, associate editor for strategy and deputy publisher. He marked the occasion of becoming the fifth generation of his family to assume the mantle of Publisher by invoking his great-great grandfather, Adolph Ochs, who promised readers he would “give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.” A.G. then added his own 900-word promise for “independent, courageous, trustworthy journalism” on his watch.

In one particularly poignant passage from the missive, A.G. writes:

“The Times will hold itself to the highest standards of independence, rigor and fairness — because we believe trust is the most precious asset we have. The Times will do all of this without fear or favor — because we believe truth should be pursued wherever it leads.”

Wall Street On Parade has a unique basis on which to test the sincerity of A.G.’s promise for “truth.” For the past five years Wall Street On Parade has requested that management at the New York Times correct the extraordinary, non-factual reporting it has published on the relationship that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act had on the epic Wall Street collapse of 2008, which resulted in the most devastating economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The New York Times has good reason to be defensive about the Glass-Steagall Act repeal in 1999. It was one of the major cheerleaders for the repeal.

The 1933 Glass-Steagall Act was passed by Congress at the height of the Wall Street collapse that began with the 1929 stock market crash, the insolvency and closure of thousands of banks, followed by the Great Depression. The legislation tackled two equally critical tasks. It created Federally-insured deposits at commercial banks to restore the public’s confidence in the U.S. banking system and it barred commercial banks that were holding those insured deposits from being part of a Wall Street investment bank or securities underwriting operation because of the potential for high risk speculative trading and losses to render the taxpayer-supported bank insolvent.

The Glass-Steagall legislation protected the U.S. banking system for 66 years until its repeal under the Bill Clinton administration in 1999 at the behest of Wall Street and its legions of lobbyists. It took only nine years after its repeal for the U.S. financial system to crash, requiring the largest public bailout in U.S. history.

In 1988 a Times editorial read: “Few economic historians now find the logic behind Glass-Steagall persuasive.” Another in 1990 ridiculed the idea that “banks and stocks were a dangerous mixture,” writing that separating commercial banking from Wall Street trading firms “makes little sense now.”

On April 8, 1998, the editorial board of the New York Times became an outright cheerleader for a bank merger that would end up devastating Wall Street. The editorial was so pro-Wall Street and anti-public interest that it could have come straight from the desk of Sandy Weill, the man who wanted to merge his brokerage firm, Smith Barney, his investment bank, Salomon Brothers, and his insurance company, Travelers Group, with the large insured commercial bank, Citicorp, owner of Citibank. (The behemoth bank became known as Citigroup as a result of the merger and was the single largest recipient of the taxpayer bailout during the 2007-2010 financial crisis.)

The New York Times editorial was absolutely gleeful in its push for demolishing the walls between taxpayer insured deposits and Wall Street casinos. The Times wrote:

 “Congress dithers, so John Reed of Citicorp and Sanford Weill of Travelers Group grandly propose to modernize financial markets on their own. They have announced a $70 billion merger — the biggest in history — that would create the largest financial services company in the world, worth more than $140 billion… In one stroke, Mr. Reed and Mr. Weill will have temporarily demolished the increasingly unnecessary walls built during the Depression to separate commercial banks from investment banks and insurance companies.”

Just one decade after that editorial ran and nine years after Congress repealed Glass-Steagall, Wall Street collapsed, leaving the U.S. in an economic crisis that continues to this day in terms of unprecedented wealth inequality and subpar economic growth. (The Editor of Wall Street On Parade, Pam Martens, testified before the Federal Reserve on June 26, 1998, warning that a financial crisis would result from the Glass-Steagall repeal. See the video of that testimony here.)

After the Times cheerleading helped to usher in the financial crisis, its management had the temerity to allow its business reporter, Andrew Ross Sorkin, to write an extraordinary, error-filled revisionist history about the financial collapse. We critiqued that piece as follows in an article jointly published at AlterNet and Wall Street On Parade:

“On May 21, 2012, the Times published a piece by Sorkin, titled: ‘Reinstating an Old Rule Is Not a Cure for Crisis.’ The premise was that the Glass-Steagall Act would not have prevented the financial collapse, the very claptrap coming out of the mouths of Wall Street lobbyists into the attentive ears of the Senate Banking Committee. The article put forth the following ‘facts.’

‘Let’s look at the facts of the financial crisis in the context of Glass-Steagall.

‘The first domino to nearly topple over in the financial crisis was Bear Stearns, an investment bank that had nothing to do with commercial banking.  Glass-Steagall would have been irrelevant. Then came Lehman Brothers; it too was an investment bank with no commercial banking business and therefore wouldn’t have been covered by Glass-Steagall either. After them, Merrill Lynch was next — and yep, it too was an investment bank that had nothing to do with Glass-Steagall.

‘Next in line was the American International Group, an insurance company that was also unrelated to Glass-Steagall.’

“There are four companies mentioned in those five sentences and in every case, the information is spectacularly false. Lehman Brothers owned two FDIC insured banks, Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB and Lehman Brothers Commercial Bank.  Together, they held $17.2 billion in assets as of June 30, 2008, 75 days before Lehman went belly up.  Lehman Brothers Banks FSB is where Lehman handled its mortgage loan originations.  When the FDIC approved the Lehman Brothers Commercial Bank application in 2005, it specifically noted that the FDIC insured bank ‘anticipates acting as a derivatives intermediary, engaged in matched trading of interest rate products, primarily interest rate swaps, as well as forward purchase agreements and options contracts.’

“Merrill Lynch also owned three FDIC insured banks.  At an FDIC symposium held at the National Press Club in 2003, Merrill Senior VP, John Qua, explained the banking side of Merrill as follows:

‘Merrill Lynch conducts banking in the United States through two depository institutions – Merrill Lynch Bank USA, a Utah industrial loan corporation; and Merrill Lynch Bank and Trust, a New Jersey state non-member bank. We also own a federal savings bank that offers personal trust services to our clients. And we conduct significant banking activities outside the United States through banks in London, Dublin, Switzerland, and elsewhere. The combined balance sheet of our global banks is approximately $100 billion.’

“Bear Stearns owned Bear Stearns Bank Ireland, which is now part of JPMorgan and called JPMorgan Bank (Dublin) PLC.  According to JPMorgan, ‘It is the only EU passported bank in the non-bank chain of JPMorgan and provides the firm with direct access to the European Central Bank repo window. It has also been added to the JPMorgan Jumbo issuance programs to issue structured securities for distribution outside the United States.’

“As for the statement that AIG was ‘an insurance company that was also unrelated to Glass-Steagall,’ one has the initial reaction to cancel one’s subscription to the New York Times.  AIG owned, in 2008 at the time of the crisis, the FDIC insured AIG Federal Savings Bank.  On June 30, 2008, it held $1 billion in assets.  AIG also owned 71 U.S.-based insurance entities and 176 other financial services companies throughout the world, including AIG Financial Products which blew up the whole company selling credit default derivatives. What this has to do with Glass-Steagall is that the same deregulation legislation, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that gutted Glass-Steagall in 1999, also gutted the 1956 Bank Holding Company Act and allowed insurance companies and securities firms to be housed under the same umbrella in financial holding companies.”

We appealed to the Public Editor, the Managing Editor, and the Publisher of the New York Times to correct Sorkin’s grossly erroneous report on multiple occasions. Nothing has been corrected to this day. What followed instead were subsequent writers pushing this false narrative in the pages of the New York Times. (See our Related Articles below.)

The situation today is that the serially charged JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, Weill’s Frankenbank, continue to own two of the largest insured commercial banks in the U.S. – Chase and Citibank. They are also two of the largest derivative dealers, housing trillions of dollars in high risk derivatives, the instruments which played a major role in blowing up Wall Street in 2008.

According to a 2015 report from the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Financial Research, those two banking institutions now pose the greatest interconnected risk to the U.S. financial system, which reaffirms the need for the restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act. In May of 2015, after an endless stream of dangerous trading scandals at both firms, the two banks admitted to criminal felony charges involving the rigging of foreign currency trading.

If A.G. Sulzberger is sincere in his promise to publish the truth and the facts, he will immediately correct and acknowledge the gross errors in Andrew Ross Sorkin’s piece and issue an apology for making the American people wait this long. We will be writing to him today and asking him to do just that.

Related Articles:

NYT Editorial Board Is Pounding the Wrong Table Again on Bank Reform

Readers Pummel New York Times Writer Over His Big Bank Stance

The New York Times Has a Fatal Wall Street Bias

This Chart Proves Paul Krugman Is Dead Wrong on Wall Street Reform

Protest Planned for 5:30 Today at Twitter HQ Over Trump Nuclear Tweet

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: January 3, 2018 

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO

The sitting President of the United States, Donald Trump, is actively taunting North Korea on Twitter over who has the bigger, more powerful nuclear button.

On September 23, Trump tweeted: “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!” Little Rocket Man is Trump’s preferred insulting moniker for North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.  Yesterday, following a New Year’s speech by Kim in which he bragged about his country’s nuclear capability to hit the U.S. mainland, Trump had this to say on Twitter:

“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

These juvenile taunts over a nuclear war in which millions of innocent civilians and children could die ensure that the historically low confidence that Americans have in the Federal government will persist. According to the polling organization, Gallup, “the federal government has the least positive image of any business or industry sector measured, Congress engenders the lowest confidence of any institution that Gallup tests, and Americans rate the honesty and ethics of members of Congress as the lowest among 22 professions in Gallup’s most recent update.”

Is Congress taking any action to stop this reckless nuclear war mongering on Twitter? As you might surmise, this institution, which enjoys a 12 percent confidence rating from Americans according to Gallup, has taken no action to stop the President from destroying the credibility of the United States on Twitter or Tweeting the country into nuclear war. That job has been left up to a grassroots organization in San Francisco called Resistance SF.

Yesterday, following the latest Trump nuclear taunt on Twitter, the group projected the text “@jack is #complicit onto Twitter’s headquarters building in downtown San Francisco. The projection was a warning to Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, who has justified his failure to take action against Trump’s threats and slurs on Twitter on the basis that they are “newsworthy.”

In a 2017 interview on NBC, Dorsey had this to say about allowing Trump’s dangerous Tweets:

“I believe it’s really important to hear directly from our leadership; and I believe it’s really important to hold them accountable; and I believe it’s really important to have these conversations out in the open, rather than have them behind closed doors. So if we’re all to suddenly take these platforms away, where does it go? What happens? It goes in the dark. And I just don’t think that’s good for anyone.”

Newsweek reports that it has been “estimated that Twitter could lose nearly a fifth of its [stock market] value,” were it to ban Trump from its platform.

Dorsey’s weak justification for his tolerance of Trump’s Twitter rampages, which frequently fly in the face of Twitter rules against making threats on its platform, has resulted in Resistance SF calling for protesters to turn out from 5:30-6:30 PST today at the Twitter headquarters at 10th and Market Street in San Francisco. The group explained the protest as follows on its Facebook page:

“Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, has enabled @realDonaldTrump from his first dog whistles in the birther movement to his latest nuclear pissing contest.

“Twitter is endangering the world and breaking its own terms of service to do it. Trump or Jack must go.

“Bring signs, chants, and perhaps your umbrella. We will protest even if it rains.

“If you’d like to endorse or help organize this action, please reach out.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper told his viewers last evening that “It may be difficult for those of you at home to wrap your minds around a US president who makes statements like this about the use of nuclear weapons, which would, of course, murder millions of people.”

CNN political reporter, Stephen Collinson, also weighed in, writing the following about Trump’s Tweet:

“Trump’s move was remarkable on many levels. It illustrates how he has turned the United States from being a bulwark of stability and sobriety in the international system into an agent of disruption and unpredictability in his own volatile image.

“It also undercuts the idea that his unpredictable instincts are reined in by more experienced administration officials, such as Defense Secretary James Mattis.

“There was no immediate reaction from the White House or elsewhere in the US government about Trump’s shocking tweet on Tuesday night.”

Trump’s Tweet also triggered Congressman Ted Lieu of California to release a November 7, 2017 letter from Jan-Marc Jouas, a retired Lt. General of the U.S. Air Force who was previously the Deputy Commander of US Forces Korea from January 2012 to December 2014. The letter warned that “the 28,500 US Armed Forces personnel in South Korea are vastly outnumbered by North Korean forces” and that “North Korean artillery, rockets, and missiles that threaten the capital will take days to eliminate, even under ideal conditions. During that time an enormous casualty and evacuee crisis will develop and include over a hundred thousand non-combatant Americans, many of who will turn to US forces to get them off the peninsula.”

It’s time for Congress to find a backbone when it comes to this President.