Showing posts with label Common Sense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Common Sense. Show all posts

Monday, July 24, 2017

GOP trashes Trump’s plan to end dozens of government programs



President Donald Trump’s plan to eliminate dozens of federal agencies and programs has collapsed, as a conservative Republican Congress refuses to go along.

Among the programs spared are agencies promoting rural business development and the arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Community Development Block Grants and the National Wildlife Refuge Fund. Those and many others are getting money in bills approved by the GOP-run House appropriations committee. The House plans to vote on spending bills throughout next week, and the Senate is expected to consider spending plans shortly.

Trump unveiled his $4.1 trillion budget plan in March, pledging to “reduce the federal government to redefine its proper role and promote efficiency.”

But in the House, where all 435 members face voters next fall, budget legislation has far more money than Trump had sought for a host of programs. The spending bill for agriculture contains $4.64 billion beyond what Trump requested, an increase of about 30 percent. For interior and the environment, the bump was $4.3 billion or 16 percent. For transportation, housing and urban development, the committee approved $8.6 billion, about 18 percent, more than the budget request.

"There’s that old saying in Washington that the president proposes and Congress disposes," said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog.

Indeed, after many House and Senate Republicans complained to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney in hearings about the impact of some of Trump’s cuts, congressional budget-writers quickly made sure they don’t happen.

For example, instead of slashing the Appalachian Regional Commission, the House Appropriations Committee last week approved $130 million for the independent agency, created 52 years ago, that helps fund infrastructure and job-training projects in Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and other Appalachian states that Trump won in 2016.

Lawmakers including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., vowed that doing away with the ARC wasn’t going to happen.

"I am very proud that the House Appropriations Committee approved a bill that includes important funding for the ARC, an organization that does a great deal of good in East Tennessee and rural Appalachia," Roe said.

Even agencies and programs conservative Republicans purport to dislike are avoiding the Capitol ax.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has been on the list of programs many conservatives and Republicans have wanted to defund since Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., was House Speaker in the 1990's.

Trump wants it off the federal books, too, but House appropriators instead included $445 million for the agency.

The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities have also been favorite conservative targets, and got a death sentence in Trump’s budget plan. That didn’t stop the House Appropriations Committee from approving $145 million for each endowment last week with plenty of Republican help.

"Throughout this year, we’ve seen some of the Republican members of that committee saying that they were working hard to make sure that the NEA would be receiving significant funding and certainly rejecting the administration’s termination proposal," said Narric Rome, vice president for government affairs for the Americans for the Arts, an advocacy group.

All this still enrages plenty of conservatives.

"The problem with the Republicans is that so many of them aren’t team players," said Chris Edwards, director of tax policies studies at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute and editor of DownsizingGovernment.org. "They’re parochial or, with appropriators, it’s just a single-minded devotion to increase spending on the programs that they fund."

Edwards said he was stunned when leading Republicans railed against Trump’s budget plan to eliminate the Community Block Grant Development program, which allocates funds initiatives from affordable housing to after school programs.

House appropriators approved $2.9 billion for CDBG, $100 million less than its Fiscal 2017 funding level.

"Appropriators and other Republican congressmen, they love to give speeches about fiscal responsibility, they love to complain how Obama was a big spender, but now’s the real test," he said.

"Trump has given them the way forward here with some reasonable cuts. Can they rise above their parochial interests and do something that’s good for the overall budget here?."

Other budget-watchers note that the real money issues aren’t even being addressed. Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director for the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said that even Trump’s cuts ignore the fastest growing parts of the federal budget, entitlements like Social Security and Medicare.

"To me, it just doesn’t seem to make much sense to be focusing all our energy on cutting the slowest growing part of the budget," he said.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sean Spicer is the latest Trump casualty. He won’t be the last.


White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned on July 21st, the same day Anthony Scaramucci became the new communications director. The Post's Callum Borchers looks at Spicier's tenure as the White House spokesman and the difficulties he faced representing the president. (Erin Patrick O'Connor, Meg Kelly/The Washington Post)

Opinion writer

Sean Spicer wasn’t a Trump guy. 

During the primaries, when he was chief strategist to the Republican National Committee, Spicer told friends that he was confident Donald Trump wouldn’t win the nomination and that if Trump did, both Spicer and RNC chairman Reince Priebus would have to do some soul-searching about whether they could remain in their jobs.

Not only did Spicer and Priebus continue, but also they became fierce advocates for Trump during the general election and took senior roles in his White House. A cynic would say they saw Trump as their meal tickets. A more charitable interpretation is that they were hoping to tame Trump, to temper the crazy. Mike Pence, who had reservations about Trump but accepted the vice presidential nomination, made a similar calculation.

The choice wasn’t irrational. I don’t blame them for trying. But they were wrong: This beast will not be tamed.

Spicer, disgraced for the past six months because of his extravagant pugilism and lavish untruths on Trump’s behalf, finally quit Friday.


Here's what you need to know about Anthony Scaramucci. (Victoria Walker/The Washington Post) 

Priebus, suffering the shame of being a chief of staff with neither power nor the president’s ear, will likely follow soon, at least if he wishes to keep intact some dignity.

Pence plainly can’t talk sense into Trump, either, and he could yet get the ultimate prize if Trump doesn’t finish his term — but it would be under the most ignominious circumstances.

In business, Trump tended to destroy those around him, walking away from failure relatively unscathed while others — lenders, partners, vendors — paid the cost. Something similar is happening to those around Trump now, but this isn’t a casino — it’s our country.

Nobody has been more slavishly loyal to Trump than Attorney General Jeff Sessions, one of his earliest supporters in the Senate; now Trump is publicly savaging him. Trump is likewise disparaging Rod J. Rosenstein, the man he appointed to be the No. 2 at the Justice Department, as well as the special counsel that Rosenstein appointed. Trump has publicly contradicted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson twice (on Qatar and Russia sanctions) and has denied Tillerson even the dignity of staffing his own agency. Trump accepted Chris Christie’s over-the-top support during the campaign, then cast him aside.

He demands loyalty but offers little. Bodies, meritorious and otherwise, pile up: James B. Comey, Preet Bharara, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Corey Lewandowski, Carter Page, Mike Dubke, Monica Crowley, Mark Corallo, Marc Kasowitz and, now, Spicer.

In comes Trump pal Anthony Scaramucci, financier and Fox News chatterbox, named White House communications director Friday. He appeared before the cameras to praise Trump (“he’s genuinely a wonderful human being”), to suspend disbelief (“I actually think the White House is on track and we’re actually, I think, doing a really good job”) and to say that “there is probably some level of truth” even to things Trump says that sound patently false. Asked if he’ll be truthful, he replied, “I hope you can feel that from me just from my body language.”

He’ll fit right in. This is more of the same for a president who prefers friends and kin to the threat to his ego that could come from appointing people with the experience to run the federal government and the heft to tell Trump when he is wrong. Steven Mnuchin produced a good film in “The Lego Batman Movie” but, as treasury secretary, he doesn’t know much about negotiating with Congress and is barreling toward a default on U.S. debt. Trump’s Cabinet of billionaires has proven more adept at flattering their boss (Incredible honor! Greatest privilege of my life!) than navigating the bureaucracy. Young son-in-law Jared Kushner, out of his depth as he runs everything from Middle East peace negotiations to reforming the federal government, has, along with Donald Trump Jr., worsened the president’s Russia headaches.


Sean Spicer resigned as White House press secretary July 21. He had many memorable moments during his time in the role. Here's a look back at some of the most notable. (Video: Bastien Inzaurralde/Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) 

Conservative foreign-policy academic Eliot Cohen in November wrote a prescient op-ed for The Post saying conservatives should not serve in the administration because Trump “is surrounding himself with mediocrities whose chief qualification seems to be unquestioning loyalty.”

Cohen argued that the president’s team would be “triumphalist rabble-rousers and demagogues, abetted by people out of their depth and unfit for the jobs they will hold, gripped by grievance, resentment and lurking insecurity. Their mistakes — because there will be mistakes — will be exceptional.” He predicted that until the administration can acquire humility and magnanimity, “it will smash into crises and failures.”

So it has. Luckily, the lack of expertise in the White House hasn’t been tested by a major crisis yet, such as war, a large-scale terrorist attack or economic collapse. The troubles Trump faces are of the self-inflicted variety.

Scaramucci won’t succeed any more than Spicer. The problem is more than personnel — it’s the principal.


Twitter: @Milbank
 
Read more from Dana Milbank’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.
 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer Resigns

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, during a briefing last month. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times
WASHINGTON — Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned on Friday morning, telling Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of the New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.

Mr. Trump offered Mr. Scaramucci the job at 10 A.M. Trump requested that Mr. Spicer stay on, but Mr. Spicer told Mr. Trump that he believed the appointment was a major mistake, according to a person with direct knowledge of the exchange.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trump counterterrorism adviser blames Russia for election hacks

In a break with his boss, Thomas Bossert said Russian entities clearly tried to meddle in the 2016 race.

 By Ali Watkins 07/20/2017 12:49 PM EDT Thomas Bossert is pictured. | Getty The hacking and subsequent release of stolen Democratic National Committee emails last year were “unacceptable efforts and behaviors by a foreign nation state,” Thomas Bossert said on Thursday. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

ASPEN, CO — Donald Trump’s chief counter-terrorism adviser said Thursday that the Russian government clearly tried to manipulate the 2016 election, and declared that the Obama administration’s retaliatory sanctions didn’t go far enough.

“There’s a pretty clear and easy answer to this and it’s 'yes,'” Thomas Bossert said when asked whether the Russians worked to manipulate the U.S. election — a widely held conclusion that his boss in the Oval Office has repeatedly questioned.

The Obama White House’s response — kicking out 35 diplomats and closing two Russian diplomatic facilities in December — “wasn’t adequate in my mind,” Bossert, a top national security aide under former President George W. Bush, added during a wide-ranging discussion at the National Security Forum in Aspen.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election with the intent of helping Trump win. Trump said he pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue during their recent meeting at the G-20 in Germany, but the two sides offered different accounts, with Russia saying Trump accepted Putin’s denials.

The hacking and subsequent release of stolen Democratic National Committee emails last year were “unacceptable efforts and behaviors by a foreign nation state,” Bossert said on Thursday. He stressed, though, that there had been no manipulation of ballot counts.

The administration is not yet in a place to crack down harder on Russia, Bossert said, but is exploring how to deter cyber-attacks. There’s “no evidence,” he said, that offensive cyber operations deter foreign hackers, so the White House is exploring more “draconian” retaliations, like financial penalties.

Those cyber policies are in the works, he said, but their implementation — including potential responses to aggressive cyber-attacks from countries like Russia — will take longer than most would prefer.

“We’ll satisfy you, but we won’t satisfy you in enough time,” Bossert said.

The question of Russian interference in the 2016 election — including whether any of Trump’s associates colluded with the Kremlin — has clouded Trump’s presidency. Special counsel Robert Mueller and multiple congressional committees are probing not only the issue of election meddling, but other related issues — including whether Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey.

Bossert touched on several other controversial topics, including Syria, U.S. detention and interrogation policies, and the creation of a bio-defense force.

The administration continues to explore long-term detention facilities for captured combatants overseas, including the use of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, Bossert said. Further, the White House is keeping “all options open” when it comes to reopening notorious black site secret prisons overseas, he said.

Bossert underscored the Trump administration’s commitment to Syria, but said Syrian President Bashar Assad’s departure was not a top priority. The White House has reportedly ended a covert program dedicated to arming anti-Assad groups.

“It’s not important for us to say Assad must go first,” Bossert said, but added, “The U.S. would still like to see Assad go at some point.”

The Trump adviser repeatedly chastised his interviewer, New York Times national security reporter David Sanger, about his newspaper’s coverage of classified U.S. programs. He also strongly objected to a Times article that he said unfairly implied the U.S. has responsibility for the effects of computer vulnerability exploitation programs designed by the U.S. government which fall into foreign hands and are used for malicious purposes.

Bossert also said the Trump administration would develop a comprehensive plan to defend the nation against bio-terrorism, an issue he said has been dangerously neglected, and which has taken on new urgency because of rapidly advancing biotechnology that allows for the creation of synthetic viruses.
Bossert said scientists may now be able to create a synthetic smallpox virus without access to the only two known laboratory samples of the deadly disease — a prospect he called terrifying.

Michael Crowley contributed to this report.

Trump Voters Were Wrong, So Fuck Their Opinions

Posted by Rude One

In just six short months, it's become absolutely clear: Everyone who didn't vote for Donald Trump was right and everyone who voted for him was wrong. Yeah, yeah, they weren't wrong in that Trump won the election, just as someone isn't wrong for supporting a shitty baseball team. But it's incredibly clear now that the poor suckers and greedy fuckers who wanted to nuzzle up to Trump's man-teats for a suckle were wrong on just about every account regarding who he is and what he'd do.

They were wrong that he's a man of his word, they were wrong that he would look out for working people, they were wrong that he would make the nation respected "again" (as if it wasn't before), they were wrong that he wouldn't have scandals, and they were just wrong about him being a human being worthy of the office. They were wrong and we who voted against him (and I'm tossing anyone who voted for Hillary Clinton, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, and Deez Nutz into the category of "voted against him") were right.

Trump voters fucked the goat, and so everything they say should be framed within the fact that they are goatfuckers. "Oh, you have an opinion on health care? Sorry, you fucked a goat. I don't give a shit about your goat-fucking opinion," we should think. But that's not what we do. We don't shun the goatfuckers, no matter how savagely they fucked that goat. We see that most clearly by the fact that the news networks and other media outlets still entertain the opinions of people who supported the Iraq war and never said they were wrong about it. Goatfuckers get away with it.

So we're treated on an almost daily basis to articles and stories about Trump voters and what they think about some issue and whether or not Trump's evil, batshit incompetence is enough for them to bail on the Orange King. Every single one of these stories is the same: Here are some assholes who voted for Trump. Let's treat them with reverence, as if they have hard-won wisdom because they shovel shit or work at Wal-Mart. Let's tell them about all the fuckery that Donald Trump has been up to and see what they think. Oh, look, they don't give a shit because he still hates the Mooslems and Messicans. And what might change their minds about Trumpochet? "I don’t know what he would have to do...I guess maybe kill someone. Just in cold blood."

That's an actual quote from an actual person in a Tennesseean article on Wayne County, Tennessee, an almost entirely white rural area with less people than my neighborhood. The thrust of the piece is that Trump voters couldn't give a happy monkey fuck about the Russia scandal. In fact, they think Trump is being maligned and Don Jr. is awesome. This is the newest wrinkle in the genre: What do stupid people think about something they don't understand at all? In the last week, Vox has done a story on Michigan Trump voters, who don't think the Russian connections are any big deal. The BBC sent a reporter to the Nebraska State Fair to get some American color (yes, ironic, I know) and some video of deluded shit heels sharing their delusions.

As Newsweek's Alexander Nazaryn wrote, "The real story here is how thoroughly Trump supporters have been deceived, both by Trump and tireless boot-lickers like Hannity and Jones. Every quote from an Ohioan who declares the Russia investigation is irrelevant is a testament to the delusive brand of Republicanism that now reigns supreme." Joshua Green said much the same in the New York Times.

Each of the Trump voter pieces generally has a token interview with someone who doesn't support Trump. But they are presented as curiosities, the two-headed cow that shouldn't exist but somehow does. But the reality is, obviously, people who think Trump is full of shit vastly outnumber the aforementioned suckers and fuckers who stand by their man. How about interviewing some of us? How about asking us, "How did you know?" And we can say, "Anyone with a fuckin' brain knew." Ask us, "What do you think about the Russia dealie?" And we can say, "Either we do something about it or we're fucked."

Hell, you don't even have to stick to the cities, where the majority of the country lives. Since you've got a rural jones, you can head to Bolivar, Tennessee, a town in the ass-crack of nowhere, near to the Alabama border, as Deep South as you can get. They went for Hillary Clinton, as did nearby Whiteville. Of course, those are majority African American towns, so you'd have to change the whole goddamned narrative away from the mighty white working class.

Or, here's an idea, why not go to the communities that went for Trump and find the people who didn't. Talk to them. See if they're feeling smug or sad or angry. See what their ideas are for getting us out of this or through this goddamn bullshit time. Find out how they're feeling about Trump's relationship with Russia. Ask them because they, like the majority of the country, were right.

Let's spend a little time and energy, dear, sweet reporters, on people who aren't barking mad or madly barking.

(Note: If you didn't vote at all, go suck a donkey's dick.)

(Note: If you wanna write to me about "goatfucker shaming," I hate you already. Same for "donkey-dick sucker shaming." Some things are just fucking shameful. Sucking a donkey's dick, fucking a goat, and voting for Donald Trump, for examples.)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Six Long Months Of Trump

By Frank Bruni

From the beginning, people around me talked nonstop about the end.

How long could Donald Trump’s presidency possibly last? Would impeachment or the 25th Amendment undo him? Before Trump, few of us even knew of the 25th Amendment, which allows the vice president and a majority of the cabinet to decree the president unfit. But suddenly everybody was up to speed, and no sooner had Trump been inaugurated than the “would you rather” question du jour became him versus Mike Pence. All-purpose lunacy or religious zeal: Choose your governance. Pick your poison.

Part of this, yes, reflected the company I keep. It doesn’t brim with Trump enthusiasts. But more of this came down to Trump himself — the lidless grandiosity, the bottomless vulgarity, the lies atop lies upon lies. I’ll never forget his second day in office, not just because he used an appearance at the C.I.A. to crow at great length about his many Time magazine covers and to insist, despite ready evidence to the contrary, that any beef of his with intelligence agencies was a media invention. It stays with me because of a text message I received from a journalist who covers him as well as any other, understands him better and was utterly flabbergasted by that display.

“We’re all going to die,” it said. While there was jest and hyperbole in that, there was also genuine alarm and the dark realization that Trump would not be transmogrified by the oath of office into anything approaching a dignified, responsible statesman. No, his extra power was just making him extra mean, and what we saw before Nov. 8 was what we got from Jan. 20 onward: a child in a man’s suit, a knave in a knight’s armor, a dangerous experiment with unforeseeable consequences.

They’re more seeable now. As of Thursday, July 20, Trump will have inhabited the presidency for a full six months, and we can reach certain conclusions with a measure of confidence.

No one can yet say how or when it ends. His dim namesake’s antics, evasions and omissions have reinvigorated talk of impeachment, but Republican lawmakers’ statements last week don’t support that scenario. With rare exception, the sternest words came from the most predictable quarters and hardly rose to the level of revolt. Maybe that’s a relief. Can you imagine Trump, with his thin skin and martyr complex, in the throes of impeachment? He’d wail and thrash and tear down everything around him. I mean, more than now.

We have to stop rolling our eyes when he brags about how much he has done, because he’s right. He has done plenty.

With his stances on climate change, trade and refugees and with all the air kisses blown at Vladimir Putin, he has altered our place in the world and splintered its postwar framework. 

Don’t be reassured by the recent pleasantries between him and Emmanuel Macron: Much of Western Europe is reeling from what it considers a surrender of American leadership. This, post-Trump, may be reparable. But I wonder if our sturdiest allies will ever feel quite the same way about this country again.

With his first Supreme Court appointment, he showed what he would almost surely do with a second and third: fully indulge the social conservatives who are one of the most dependable components of his base. If he lasts a full term and the Senate remains, as is likely, in Republican hands after the 2018 midterms, he could leave behind a court that leans sharply to the right for a generation to come.

With his sloppiness, scandals and inner circle of arrogant neophytes, he is frittering away time. That’s hardly a singular accomplishment, but we can’t afford more government paralysis and procrastination. Infrastructure that’s no longer competitive (or safe), a tax code crying out for revision, a work force without the right skills: When do we fix this? How far behind do we fall?
And what, in the meantime, happens to Americans’ already shriveled faith in Washington? Trump’s election reflected many voters’ exasperation with the status quo and sense of permanent estrangement from some gilded clique of winners. He was their pyrrhic retort. How much hotter will their anger burn when they realize they got played?

I’m more likely to win a season of “The Bachelorette” than he is to build that incessantly promised wall. His professed disdain for Wall Street was a campaign-season pose, abandoned the minute he started assembling his administration. Health care that’s better, cheaper and more universal? Oh, please.

It’s possible that Trump’s fans will never blame him, because of one of his most self-serving and corrosive feats: the stirring of partisanship and distrust of institutions into the conviction that there’s no such thing as objective truth. There are only rival claims. There are always “alternative facts.” Charges of mere bias are the antiquated weapons of yesteryear; “fake news” is the new nullifier, and it’s a phrase so dear to him that his unprincipled acolytes are building on it. Last week a Trump adviser, Sebastian Gorka, lashed out at the “fake news industrial complex.” Trump reportedly swooned.

What happens to a democracy whose citizens not only lose common ground but also take a match to the idea of a common reality? Thanks in part to Trump, we may find out. He doesn’t care about civility or basic decency, and even if he did, he lacks the discipline to yoke his actions to any ideals. The Democratic strategist Doug Sosnik expressed it perfectly, telling me, “His presidency is what happens when you have road rage in the Oval Office.”

I was just 9 when Richard Nixon resigned and a teenager during the Jimmy Carter years. I began paying close attention only with Ronald Reagan. He and every one of his successors bent the truth, to varying degrees. He and every successor had a vanity that sometimes ran contrary to the public good. But none came close to Trump in those regards.

None shrugged off conflicts of interest the way he does. None publicly savaged women (and men) based on their looks or supposed cosmetic surgery. None made gloating a trademark of his public discourse. Two scoops for Trump, one for everybody else. He’s president and you’re not. The pettiness radiates outward, as does the viciousness and lack of ethics — to his lawyers, to his kin

And it’s more than just coarse spectacle. It’s an assault on what it means to be president and what the presidency means. The injury to the office won’t be quick to heal.


I can’t shake two incidents in particular. A few weeks before his inauguration, Trump tweeted a New Year greeting that was, instead, a spitball thrown at anyone who hadn’t genuflected before him. Last month, he coaxed his cabinet members to kiss his ring as the television cameras rolled. Those grotesque bookends affirmed that he is changeless and that he rules as he lives, for Trump and Trump alone.

Still I try for optimism: We won’t all die.

But suffer? Count on it.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Random Thoughts on Trump(s) and Russia

Posted by Rude One

1. Let's do this one more time, President Pussygrabber McCrazy. Consider this a lesson in the law.

James Comey could have leaked all the classified information he could get his large hands on.

Hillary Clinton could have mishandled classified emails and done something something with uranium and Russia.

Bill Clinton could have told Loretta Lynch exactly what to say about Hillary.

Every news channel that isn't Fox could be totally fake.

Barack Obama could have done nothing about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Democrats could have colluded with Russians or Ukrainians or another foreign country during the election.

All the intelligence agencies could be leaking to do damage to the administration.

All of those things can be true, but none of them change the fact that you can still be guilty of obstruction of justice.

A murderer cannot use as a defense that his neighbor is a murderer, too. But both Trump and his son constantly tweet out what they say others are guilty of, as if to say, "If you let them get away with it, you have to let us get away with it." It's like neither of them understand that Hillary Clinton isn't the president and that Barack Obama is out of office.

2. Speaking of Pussygrabber McCrazy, Jr., he is still insisting there was nothing untoward about his meeting, along with Paul "Eyes That Have Seen Trump Nude" Manafort and Jared "Would Gladly Fuck a Dead Raccoon If His Father-in-Law Told Him To" Kushner, with a Russian lawyer. His explanation for having giving two seemingly contradictory statements about the meeting is "No inconsistency in statements, meeting ended up being primarily about adoptions. In response to further Q's I simply provided more details." No, motherfucker, you lied and thought you could get away with it. It's just like the campaign lied from the start about hookups with Russians in general.

3. First off, this "adoption" thing is a bullshit excuse. It has to do with the Magnitsky Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2012 in order to punish Russian government officials and oligarchs who are involved in human rights abuses and fraud. It froze the assets of some really rich Russian dicks, and Putin had a hissy, so he banned Americans from adopting Russian babies. Putin hates the Act and wants it repealed. The lawyer who Junior met with, Natalia Veselnitskaya, is involved in an effort to get it repealed. Adoption is part of it, but this is about cold fuckin' cash and power.

4. But the really fucked-up part of this is that when a Russian associated with the Kremlin wanted to get together at Trump fuckin' Plaza because she had dirt on Hillary Clinton, Junior's response was, "Well, sure" when it should have been "I better call the FBI." But he couldn't do that because Junior is cut from the same scuzzy cloth as his father and the Trumps likely owe the Russians a metric fuck-ton of money and jump when told to.

4a. One fun part that hasn't gotten much discussion: Veselnitskaya "recalled that after about 10 minutes, either Mr. Kushner or Mr. Manafort left the room." She makes it seem that it's because nothing significant was discussed. But it could have been that they thought, "Oh, crap, this is illegal" and got the fuck out of Dodge. (Or they were rushing to tell Daddy about what they learned. He was in the building that day, June 9, 2016.)

5. Look, I'm not running around with my hair on fire and game theorizing the shit out of all this on Twitter. I've been circumspect, definitely leaning towards the "this is hinky" side of things with Russia. But at some goddamned point, if you keep sucking dicks for money for meth, you're a meth whore. Sure, sure, you suck one or two dicks and get paid and then go buy meth, maybe we can let it slide as tweaker shit. But if you're doing it every day, then you, my friend, have a problem with meth. And handling your finances. But mostly meth.

It's becoming more difficult to deny that the Trump administration is a meth whore. And we know who the john is.

73 percent of Democrats would give up drinking for Trump impeachment



Over 73 percent of Democrats would give up alcohol for the rest of their life if it meant President Trump would be impeached tomorrow, according to a survey released on Thursday by a drug and alcohol rehabilitation group.

Only 17 percent of Republicans would give up alcohol for Trump’s impeachment. The poll also found that nearly 31 percent of Republicans would give up drinking if it meant the media stopped writing negative things about President Trump.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) formally introduced an article of impeachment against President Trump on Wednesday, accusing the president of obstructing justice during the investigation of Russia’s 2016 election interference. It was the first time a lawmaker had offered an impeachment article against Trump.

Detox.net surveyed 1,013 active alcohol drinkers on March 14 and asked questions related to what they would be willing to sacrifice in exchange for alcohol. Forty-one percent of those surveyed identified as women, 58 percent as men and 1 percent identified as a gender not listed on the survey.

As for political affiliation, 21 percent identified as Republican, 43 percent as Democrat and 36 percent as other.

The minimum amount of money the Americans surveyed would accept to quit drinking for a year is at least $4,700 and to give up alcohol for life they would expect at least $365,458.

There was a 5 percentage point margin of error when asking about the average minimum amount of money respondents would be willing to give accept to give up alcohol.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Look At The Timeline

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Got fed up. Wrote to NBC's Phil Griffin and Andy Lack about MSNBC grotesqueries

By calimary

Let me know what you think. Address included at the top here, in case you want to use it for your own letter.

Phil Griffin
NBCUniversal
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

Dear Mr. Griffin –

Longtime loyal MSNBC viewer here. Demographically: female, white, 64, college grad, wife/mother, news/politics junkie, retired news anchor/reporter, lifelong liberal Democrat, and I vote! Honored to be a member of your loyal viewership that’s lifted MSNBC to #1 in cable news in prime time, thanks to two true gems - Maddow and O’Donnell!

First: THANK YOU for relieving us of Greta Van Susteren. I wrote you months ago to point out that such a signature Fox News name DOES NOT BELONG on a network like MSNBC. Her ratings failure proved my point. PLEASE understand your audience better. We’re home at MSNBC precisely BECAUSE it does not feature programming or on-air talent like what you’d find at Fox News. If we wanted that presentation, we’d already be watching over there.

2) WHY did you force Megyn Kelly on NBC? The ratings already prove that’s another fail. She reads ice-cold on camera. She does not, and will not, appeal at any network whose audience isn’t predominately male, old, white, conservative, and horny. Move her over to MSNBC at your peril. There are far better and smarter ways to spend $17+ million/year.

3) WHY is the #1 BEST interviewer in cable news being squandered on weekend mornings? Joy Reid deserves and has earned massively better exposure, like a Monday-through-Friday show.

4) WHY do Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle deserve so much Monday-through-Friday exposure? There are THREE shows between those two people alone. You really don’t have any other available talent? Are you planning to change the name of MSNBC into the Velshi/Ruhle network?

5) WHY is MSNBC being turned into a whites-only club? You gave up a Tamron Hall for the Alpha blonde from Fox News??? While the excellent Craig Melvin is reduced to a mere fill-in, and the brilliant Joy Reid languishes on the weekends?

6) WHY would you even consider the smug, arrogant, and obnoxious Hugh Hewitt for ANY exposure on MSNBC??? WHY does ANY conservative merit a show on MSNBC in the first place??? Do you just have a thing for a bad fit? Do you buy your suits that way?

I represent your largest and most loyal constituency. WHY do you make programming choices like you have? Unless you’re a mole for CNN (or worse, Fox)?

PLEASE consider the constituency you have, which is THE reason why MSNBC now reigns in cable news. If you continue to alienate us with your bad hires and programming decisions, you can count on legions of us finding new homes for our loyalty.

I was right about Greta. I’m right about this, too.

Signed, and CC'd to Andrew Lack

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Chris Christie’s Tutorial In Hubris

Declaration Of Disruption