Monday, February 20, 2017

Maverick McCain

John McCain—the original Maverick, ol’ Walnuts, the brave teller of truths—is somehow once again positioning himself, to credulous journalists, as a renegade Republican who isn’t afraid to buck his party, despite his three-decade record of not ever actually bucking his party in any meaningful way.


McCain has supported every one of Trump’s nominees besides one: budget director Mick Mulvaney, who lost McCain’s support because he has supported defense budget cuts. McCain’s sole inviolable principle is that we must spend an unlimited amount of money on war with everyone forever.


[T]he sum total of McCain’s record of brave or maverick-y actions consists of “giving good quote to reporters.” That’s it.


McCain was and always had been a mostly unremarkable party-line Republican, whose obvious discomfort with the far-right was not actually supported by the backbone necessary to challenge the far-right. Now, with a deranged Republican president and a wholly Republican Congress, McCain will once again try to paint himself as a voice of reason and a courageous truth-teller, while not actually doing anything.


McCain is not going to “fight” Trump. He’s going to say various anti-Trump things, on TV and to reporters, while never using his very real power as a senior Republican senator to interrupt the implementation of Trump’s, and his party’s, eschatological agenda.

  Alex Pareene @ The Concourse

The title of this article is:

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Welcome to America

Did I say welcome? I meant, we don't want your kind here.
A British Muslim schoolteacher travelling to New York last week as a member of a school party from south Wales was denied entry to the United States.

Juhel Miah and a group of children and other teachers were about to take off from Iceland on 16 February on their way to the US when he was removed from the plane at Reykjavik. The previous week, on the 10 February, a US appeals court had upheld a decision to suspend Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily banned entry to the country from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The trip proceeded as planned but pupils and colleagues from Llangatwg comprehensive in Aberdulais were left shocked and distressed after the maths teacher, who had valid visa documentation, was escorted from the aircraft by security personnel.


A council spokesman said Miah was left feeling belittled at what it described as “an unjustified act of discrimination”. The council said the teacher is a British citizen and does not have dual nationality.


“We are appalled by the treatment of Mr Miah and are demanding an explanation. The matter has also been raised with our local MP.

“No satisfactory reason has been provided for refusing entry to the United States – either at the airport in Iceland or subsequently at the US embassy in Reykjavik. Mr Miah attempted to visit the embassy but was denied access to the building."


Think of the Queen

The US president was compared to a “petulant child” and had his intelligence questioned by [British] MPs during a three-hour debate triggered after more than 1.8m people signed a petition urging Theresa May to cancel her invitation.

So many politicians packed into Westminster Hall for the debate that they had to have their speeches limited to five minutes each.


Labour’s Paul Flynn said that only two US presidents had been accorded a state visit to Britain in more than half a century and it was “completely unprecedented” that Trump had been issued his within seven days of his presidency.

Flynn – who started the debate because he is on the petitions committee – said Trump would hardly be silenced by the invitation being rescinded, accusing him of a “ceaseless incontinence of free speech”.


Nigel Evans, MP for Ribble Valley, warned against sneering at the 61 million Americans who voted for the president, describing them as “the forgotten people”.

But definitely not forgettable.
Crispin Blunt, who chairs the foreign affairs committee, said the Queen would be embarrassed if the invitation was now withdrawn.

Edward Leigh, Conservative MP for Gainsborough, told colleagues that he was going to make a “difficult argument” and then claimed that Trump’s racism and misogyny had been overstated. “Which one of us has not made some ridiculous sexual comment at some point in his past,” he said, prompting an angry response from female MPs.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Going Rogue: Twitter Anonymity

ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS Donald Trump did when he took office was temporarily gag several federal agencies, forbidding them from tweeting.

In response, self-described government workers created a wave of rogue Twitter accounts that share real facts (not to be confused with “alternative facts,” otherwise known as “lies”) about climate change and science. As a rule, the people running these accounts chose to remain anonymous, fearing retaliation — but, depending on how they created and use their accounts, they are not necessarily anonymous to Twitter itself, or to anyone Twitter shares data with.


The FBI, a domestic intelligence agency that claims the power to spy on anyone based on suspicions that don’t come close to probable cause, has a long, dark history of violating the rights of Americans. And now it reports directly to President Trump, who is a petty, revenge-obsessed authoritarian with utter disrespect for the courts and the rule of law.


If you plan on following these steps [to maintain your anonymity on Twitter] you should make sure you understand the purpose of them, in case you need to improvise. I also can’t guarantee that these techniques will protect your anonymity — there are countless ways that things can go wrong, many of them social rather than technical. But I hope you’ll at least have a fighting chance at keeping your real identity private.

  The Intercept
Continue reading.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

President of All the People

By the way, the White House Spanish site is still not functioning.

Can't wait to see what it looks like if they ever decide to put it back up.  Perhaps it will have a self-reporting form and nothing else.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fake News!

That's a good question:  "Who would believe this?"  Trump Turds.  That's who.  The people at that "rally".  He's gone back to rallies because that's the only place he gets adulation and applause.

Waiting for T-Rump to Take Credit

So, How's It Going?

Some of the malaise can be attributed to the growing pains that plague any new administration. Some is said to be down to the factional struggles, imported to the White House from Trump’s businesses. And much is believed to be on the shoulders of the capricious, egocentric, volatile president, the first in US history to have been elected with no political or military experience.

Yet both Trump and his supporters deny the dysfunction, pointing to executive orders, a supreme court nomination and the scrapping of a Pacific trade deal at breakneck speed.

“Don’t believe the main stream (fake news) media,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning. “The White House is running VERY WELL. I inherited a MESS and am in the process of fixing it.”

Sleeping just four or five hours a night, Trump’s manic pace has made the world’s head spin. He had an angry phone call with the prime minister of Australia, a Twitter spat that convinced the president of Mexico to cancel a meeting, and consulted the prime minister of Japan about a North Korean missile launch in full view of dinner guests at his Florida country club, Mar-a-Lago. He approved, over dinner, a commando raid in Yemen that resulted in the death of a Navy Seal and an eight-year-old girl.

At home, he was caught on live television making a false claim about his electoral victory, press releases have been littered with spelling mistakes, and the president has fought Twitter battles with everyone from senators to Arnold Schwarzenegger to a department store that dropped his daughter’s products.

Then there were the White House contradictions around the abrupt departure of Flynn, who misled the vice-president over his conversations with the Russian ambassador. Then Trump’s pick for labour secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination after facing questions over his personal background and business record.

Not even in his fourth week, there was the president’s ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, an order widely denounced and sowing disarray and demonstrations at airports. Trump sacked his acting attorney general for refusing to defend the ban, attacked the courts for pausing it to weigh its lawfulness, and insisted this week that it was “a very smooth rollout”.

“This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine,” he said at a rambling, impromptu press conference.


But operations have also been hampered by competing interests and seething mutual suspicion. Media reports describe paranoid staff using a secret chat app that erases messages as soon as they are read.


Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for president in 2008, told reporters this week that “whole environment is one of dysfunction in the Trump administration”.

Sure. But he got himself captured. So...

So That's How It's Going to Be

A top aide to President Trump’s housing secretary nominee, Ben Carson, was fired and led out of the department’s headquarters by security on Wednesday after writings critical of Mr. Trump surfaced in his vetting, according to two people briefed on the matter.

Shermichael Singleton, who was one of the few black conservatives in the Trump administration, had been working at the Department of Housing and Urban Development since Jan. 23 as a senior adviser.


“My party in particular has allowed itself to be taken over by someone who claims to be a Republican but doesn’t represent any of our values, principles or traditions,” he wrote in The Hill in October 2016.

The firing was reminiscent of the decision by the White House to block a senior Republican foreign policy adviser, Elliott Abrams, from becoming deputy secretary of state. The move came after Mr. Abrams’s anti-Trump writings came to the president’s attention.


A person close to Mr. Singleton said an initial vetting of the 26-year-old by HUD and White House personnel had come up with his criticism. He answered a number of questions regarding the article and expressed remorse for the piece and support for Mr. Trump.

Yeah, that was his first mistake.
On Wednesday, Mr. Singleton was presented again with the piece and told it was the reason for his termination.
Now how stupid does he feel? Black man groveling, then whacked anyway.
Mr. Singleton plans to return to a previous job he held as a vice president with Howard Stirk Holdings, a media company run by Armstrong Williams, a conservative media personality and close friend of Mr. Carson’s.
It's hard for me to understand why a black man would be a Republican in the first place. Hard to feel sorry when someone who won't stand up for himself gets canned. But that doesn't take away from the fact that the reason here is abhorrent and disturbing.

You must not criticize the T-Rump.

When he can get his Supreme Court nominee in, perhaps he can sign an EO firing all journalists who do not speak glowingly of him. He'll start with the prize-winning journalist - black man with some dignity - who wrote this:
Dear Mr. So-Called President:

So let me explain to you how this works.


The bottom line is, you were elected.

And this does entitle you to certain things. You get your own airplane. You get free public housing. You get greeted with snappy salutes. And a band plays when you walk into the room.

But there is one thing to which your election does not entitle you. It does not entitle you to do whatever pops into your furry orange head without being called on it or, should it run afoul of the Constitution, without being blocked. You and other members of the Fourth Reich seem to be having difficulty understanding this.


Three weeks ago, your chief strategist, Steve Bannon, infamously declared that news media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”


Just last Sunday, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller declared on CBS’ “Face The Nation” that “our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”

What you do “will not be questioned?” Lord, have mercy.


Just who the hell do you think you are?

Meaning you and all the other trolls you have brought clambering up from under their bridges. Maybe you didn’t notice, but this is the United States of America. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Nation of laws, not of individuals? First Amendment? Freedom of the press? Any of that ringing a bell?

Let’s be brutally clear here. If you were a smart guy with unimpeachable integrity and a good heart who was enacting wise policies for the betterment of all humankind, you’d still be subject to sharp scrutiny from news media, oversight from Congress, restraint by the judiciary — and public opinion.

And you, of course, are none of those things.


I know, too, that you’re accustomed to being emperor of your own fiefdom. Must be nice. Your name on the wall, the paychecks, the side of the building. You tell people to make something happen, and it does. You yell at a problem, and it goes away. Nobody talks back. I can see how it would be hard to give that up.

But you did. You see, you’re no longer an emperor, Mr. So-Called President. You’re now what is called a “public servant” — in effect, an employee with 324 million bosses.


Yet you and your coterie of cartoon autocrats think you’re going to cow them into silence and compliance by ordering them to shut up and obey? Well, as a freeborn American, I can answer that in two syllables flat.

Hell no.

  Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Hell yeah.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Business with Russians vs. Business in Russia

At a raucous press conference on Thursday, President Trump faced a volley of questions about his and his inner circle’s ties to Russia. At one point, he declared: “I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don't have any deals in Russia.”

And he’s right. Trump has a long history of trying to do business in Russia, but despite many efforts and plenty of boasting and angling, he hasn’t managed to land a single major real estate deal there.


"Five separate times Trump attempted Russian projects, hotels, apartments, and retail on the grandest scale.


But that’s only part of the picture. He has partnered with Russian financiers on major projects elsewhere around the world. Russian investors have been instrumental in helping him cope with all the credit problems he has thanks to his serial bankruptcies. And a number of Trump’s former and current advisers have had financial ties to Russia.

As of now, there isn’t any kind of evidence that suggests Trump has some spectacular financial prize to gain by warming to Russia. There’s no particular reason to think that getting friendly with Vladimir Putin ensures something for his real estate empire that couldn’t be gained by cozying up to, say, the president of Argentina.

Still, Trump’s business ties to Russia are striking nonetheless. Without venturing into conjecture about hidden business interests, it’s clear that Trump has an affinity for doing deals with Russians. Furthermore, it’s clear that his affinity for doing business with them is intertwined with how he perceives them politically; as Franklin Foer points out in Slate, Trump’s public affection for Vladimir Putin corresponds with his dependence on Russian investors.


[I]t’s clear that Trump’s attempts at making deals in Russia have gone beyond business.


In his essay for Slate, Foer recalls how Trump planted fabricated stories in the tabloid press about how Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was going to make a stop by Trump Tower during a visit to New York in 1988. But in a bizarre turn of events, a Gorbachev impersonator did show up at his hotel, and Trump enthusiastically greeted him, thinking he was the real deal.

Flim-flam fool.
That being said, Trump did have a few modest victories in Russia. He has made a little bit of cash from allowing Drinks Americas Holdings to use his name to sell 8,000 cases of vodka in Russia.

More notably, he brought the Miss Universe Pageant to Moscow in 2013, in partnership with Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov.


In 2008, Trump sold a mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million. On the campaign trail, Trump at one point claimed it was his only dealing with Russia, but that’s not accurate.
Do you mean "it's a lie"?
"And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York,” Trump Jr. said in the interview. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia. There's indeed a lot of money coming for new-builds and resale reflecting a trend in the Russian economy and, of course, the weak dollar versus the ruble."

Money from Russia was particularly important to Trump’s business interests because his many bankruptcies had taken a toll on his creditworthiness. Bankers on Wall Street became unwilling to lend him money due to what they termed “the Donald risk.”
Read more


Every broadcaster, every comedian, and pretty much every sane person in the world has been alternately flabbergasted and completely disgusted by the insane clown president's first solo press conference.  But Rush Limbaugh likes it!  It's a hit!

See for yourself:

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Picking Up the Pieces from the Trump Administration

A Legend in His Own Mind

Rolling Stone has "18 WTF Moments" from T-Rump's recent presser.
NBC reporter Peter Alexander: "You said today that you had the biggest electoral margin since Ronald Reagan – 304, 306 electoral votes. In fact, President Obama got 365 in 2008."

Trump: "Well, I'm talking about Republicans."."

Alexander: "President Obama 333, George H.W. Bush 426 when he won. So why should Americans trust..."."

Trump: "I was given that information, I was just given it. We had a very big margin."."

Alexander: "I guess the question is: Why should Americans trust you when you accuse the information they receive as being fake, when you're providing information that is not accurate?"."

Trump: "Well, I was given that information. I was, actually, I've seen that information around. But it was a very substantial victory. Do you agree with that?"."

Alexander: "You're the president."

  Rolling Stone

He was given that information. He's seen that information around.

Given to him by himself.  Seen in his own head.."

I did not watch this fiasco.  I can't watch him.  Can't.  Did he tell Peter Alexander to be quiet like he did the reporter that asked him about anti-Semitism engendered by his campaign?
"We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 percent of the uranium in our country. You know what uranium is, right? This thing called nuclear weapons, and other things. Like, lots of things are done with uranium, including some bad things. Nobody talks about that."
Nobody talks like that. He would like them all to be dumber than he is. Alas, they are not.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.


Somebody's going to get a good talking to.  I can tell by the face.

Seems He Doesn't Like His Job

Who knew a government was so different from a private business?  If he doesn't like it, he can always step down.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The State Department That Isn't

Senior state department officials who would normally be called to the White House for their views on key policy issues, are not being asked their opinion. They have resorted to asking foreign diplomats, who now have better access to President Trump’s immediate circle of advisers, what new decisions are imminent.

The public voice of the state department has fallen silent. There has not been a daily press briefing, the customary channel for voicing US views and policy on world events, since January.

When he flew to Germany, [Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson took a small press pool with him but did not give it the opportunity to ask questions. At his first meeting on Thursday with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, journalists were hustled out of the room before Tillerson opened his mouth, according to the Bloomberg news agency, rather than be allowed to stay to record the routine exchange of introductory platitudes. When Tillerson emerged, he delivered a very short statement, but refused to take questions.


Neither he nor his staff were consulted on the executive order imposing a travel ban on refugees and nationals of seven predominantly Muslim countries. A memo strongly dissenting from the policy has been signed by about 1,000 state department employees.

When Trump decided over a dinner to approve a special forces counter-terrorist raid in Yemen, there was no one from the state department present who would normally have highlighted the dangers of civilian casualties from such operations for wider US interests in the region. The raid on 29 January went badly wrong and 25 civilians were killed.


Tillerson had previously assured Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, that he would have a free hand in choosing staff. He has brought a handful of personal aides with him but many of the state department senior staff either resigned or were summarily dismissed days before Tillerson arrived in the building, and there is no list of nominees to replace them. Given the time vetting and congressional confirmation takes, Tillerson is now facing many months of working with a severely depleted team of senior staff.


“My nagging suspicion is that the White House is very happy to have a vacuum in the under-secretary and assistant secretary levels, not only at state but across government agencies, because it relieves them of even feeling an obligation to consult with experts before they take a new direction," [said Thomas Countryman, former assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation and one of the senior staff who was suddenly sacked before Tillerson’s arrival.]

That would be my reading.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

And Will Now Be Feuding with Shepard Smith

Who has had enough.

And a Threat to Europe

The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has added U.S. President Trump to a list of forces threatening Europe, reports the BBC.  Tusk made the declaration in a letter sent to 27 European Union heads in advance of a summit in Malta.  According to a CBS News report, he “mentioned the Trump administration as part of an external ‘threat’ to the bloc alongside China, Russia, radical Islam, war and terror.” 

  One News Page
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Also Pathological

"We got 306 [electoral votes] because people came out and voted like they've never seen before so that's the way it goes," Trump said. "I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan," Trump said.

President Obama won 332 electoral votes in 2012 and 365 in 2008. President Clinton got 379 in 1996 and 370 in 1992. The first President Bush received 426 in 1988. 

Not only that, but it wasn't 306, it was 304.  

And he's still talking about it.

Also Dangerous

U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter.

The officials’ decision to keep information from Mr. Trump underscores the deep mistrust that has developed between the intelligence community and the president over his team’s contacts with the Russian government, as well as the enmity he has shown toward U.S. spy agencies. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump accused the agencies of leaking information to undermine him.

  Wall Street Journal
If he's going to have sensitive meetings with foreign leaders out on the dining balcony surrounded by wait staff and dining public citizens, then it's a wise move. He's the one undermining them with his absolutely mind-boggling flippancy.
Mr. Trump doesn’t immerse himself in intelligence information, and it isn’t clear that he has expressed a desire to know sources and methods. The intelligence agencies have been told to dramatically pare down the president’s daily intelligence briefing, both the number of topics and how much information is described under each topic, an official said.


But in these previous cases in which information was withheld, the decision wasn’t motivated by a concern about a president’s trustworthiness or discretion, the current and former officials said.


The current and former officials said the decision to avoid revealing sources and methods with Mr. Trump stems in large part from the president’s repeated expressions of admiration for Russian PresidentVladimir Putin and his call during the presidential campaign for Russia to continue hacking the emails of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.
But it's not that they don't trust him.
A White House official said: “There is nothing that leads us to believe that this is an accurate account of what is actually happening.”
What will it take? A letter?

...but hey, do what you will anyway.


Absolutely clueless.

And a liar, to boot.
Journalist April Ryan, who serves as the White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, followed up: “When you say the inner cities, are you going to include the CBC, Mr. President, in your conversations with your urban agenda?”

When Mr. Trump seemed unfamiliar with the “CBC” acronym, Ryan, who is black, clarified: “Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus -- “

The president interrupted: “Well I would. I’d tell you what -- do you want to set up the meeting?

“Do you want to set up the meeting?” the president pressed again. “Are they friends of yours?”

Ryan emphatically shook her head and said, “No, no, no, I’m just a reporter...I know some of them but --”

“No, get us -- set up the meeting,” he urged. “Let’s go, set up the meeting, I would love to meet with the black caucus - the Congressional Black Caucus.”


President Trump went on to say he had once had a scheduled meeting with Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, who is a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus. --”

“Every day I walked in and said I would like to meet with him, because I do want to solve the problem,” Mr. Trump said. “But he probably was told by [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer or somebody like that … he was probably told don’t meet with Trump. It’s bad politics.”  --”

“I was all set to have the meeting,” he said.--”

But Rep. Cummings, a Democrat, pushed back against the president’s claims in a short statement immediately after the news conference. “I have no idea why President Trump would make up a story about me like he did today. Of course, Sen. Schumer never told me to skip a meeting with the President,” Cummings wrote Thursday. 

...but hey, do what you will anyway.


A week after the surfacing of the infamous "grab them by the pussy" video, Trump presented himself as the common man's only defense against a vast conspiracy of global financial interests:

"There is nothing the political establishment will not do," he said, "and no lie they will not tell, to hold on to their prestige and power at your expense."


"For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests they partner with, our campaign represents an existential threat," Trump said.


Months later, with the self-proclaimed "existential threat" to special interests in office, the "establishment" has it better than ever.


Tuesday, for instance, Trump signed a repeal of a bipartisan provision of the Dodd-Frank bill known as the Cardin-Lugar Amendment.

The rule was stalled for the better part of six years by a relentless and exhausting parade of lobbyists, lawyers and other assorted Beltway malingerers. It then lived out of the womb for a few sad months before Trump smothered it this week.


The law was designed to prevent energy companies from bribing foreign dictators. The simple goal was to ensure that the wealth of resource-rich countries would be enjoyed by their citizens, and not converted into obscene personal collections of yachts, mansions, sports cars and Michael Jackson memorabilia – as, for instance, it was when oil was discovered in Equatorial Guinea, and the brutal dictator Teodoro Obiang started doing business with Rex Tillerson's ExxonMobil.


The oil-and-gas people, of course, pretended the whole time that they didn't want to kill the provision, exactly, just improve it.


This is why laws like Dodd-Frank end up being unwieldy monstrosities of thousands and thousands of pages: On the road to trying to kill a law outright, lobbyists usually try to weigh it down first by adding exceptions and verbiage.


Another irony here is that the public perception that nothing ever gets done in Washington is driven by this very dynamic.


This leads to frustration with Washington inaction. And as we've seen, this leads to political support for big talkers like Trump who promise, hilariously, to cut through the red tape and "get things done."


Ask Trump supporters about this episode, and many would say they won't weep for the loss of any government regulation.

But they should ask themselves if, when they were whooping and hollering for the man who promised to end special interest and lobbyist rules in Washington, they imagined the ExxonMobil chief in charge of the State Department cheering as the new president wiped out anti-bribery laws. The "establishment" sure is on the run, isn't it? 

  Matt Taibbi
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

T-Rump and Deutsche Bank

You've got to read this one to believe it. It's why Trump supporters think he's just the wiley dealer to "Make America Great Again" and the rest of us understand he's a slimeball, double-dealing cheat with no morals who makes his presumed fortune by stiffing those who dares do business with him..

Sorry to Say, He's Still Here

Bad stuff - Democrats. Good Stuff - Me!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

And Then There's Kellyanne

The director of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) says White House counselor Kellyanne Conway misused her official position by hawking Ivanka Trump's product line on TV and is recommending that the White House discipline her for it.

"Under the present circumstances, there is strong reason to believe that Ms. Conway has violated the Standards of Conduct Act and that disciplinary action is warranted," OGE director Walter Schaub wrote in a Tuesday letter to White House legal counselor Stefan Passantino.

Schaub asked the White House to respond by Feb. 28 with the results of its investigation and any disciplinary action it may decide to take.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Spellin' Is Also Hard

On sale through the Library of Congress...

The print was on sale at the Library of Congress online store for $16.95 until about 9:30 p.m. Sunday night. It’s not clear how many prints, if any, were recalled over the error.

The image is credited to John Rupert, creator of the graphic design firm Celebrating America, as the New York Daily News notes. A version of the portrait on the Celebrating America website is slightly cheaper and spelled correctly.

Perhaps the only thing more embarrassing than the misspelling on the Library of Congress portrait was the description on the product page (which has been archived): “This print captures the essence of Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency of the United States.”

Indeed it does.

Recalled?  If you got one, keep it.  It's now a collector's item, and you're going to need to get something out of these next four years.


Can We Just Admit They're Both Completely Incompetent for the Job?

Mr. Trump is not learning any diplomacy, I can assure you that.  And who's afraid at the Times?  Call a spade a spade.  Jared Kushner is no more qualified to be involved in Israeli-Palestinian affairs than T-Rump is to be the president of the United States.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Presidentin' Is Hard

Poor T-Rump. Dubya could have told him that. Everything is suddenly coming down around his useless ears.
WASHINGTON — Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile despite complaints from American officials that it violates a landmark arms control treaty that helped seal the end of the Cold War, administration officials say.

The move presents a major challenge for President Trump, who has vowed to improve relations with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and to pursue future arms accords.

The new Russian missile deployment also comes as the Trump administration is struggling to fill key policy positions at the State Department and the Pentagon — and to settle on a permanent replacement for Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who resigned late Monday. Mr. Flynn stepped down after it was revealed that he had misled the vice president and other officials over conversations with Moscow’s ambassador to Washington.

So I was wrong.

Flynn had to go.  Fall on his sword, perhaps.  Interesting.

Unlike T-Rump, Putin is no fool.  He will have the advantage at every turn.  Now is not the time to have a president who isn't even smart enough to take the Japanese PM into a secure, private area when North Korea fires a missile in Japan's direction.

No, nitwit, the real story is that you don't have a fucking clue what you're doing.  And when are you going to "deal on" North Korea?  Your "deal" was to say that the US stands 100% behind Japan.  Big deal.  While you're congratulating your new appointees on Twitter, Russia is climbing your backside.

And, yes.  These leaks will be happening as you do everything.  As you screw the country, so shall ye be screwed.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Insane Clown President

If anyone can fill any of the space left by Molly Ivins, it is Matt Taibbi. In fact, his latest book, Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus, begins with a quote from Molly: "I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth."

I hope that Matt will now take up the work of chronicling the T-Rump years the way Molly did with Bushwhacked.

What follows after the break are some of my favorite Insane Clown President quips and passages.  Do buy a copy though.  Support Matt's work and have a permanent reference for what could well turn out to be the most mind-blowing period in American history.  And you were there.

T-Rump Follies - Continued

Brian Cash can put a figure to the cost of Alabama's new immigration law: at least $100,000. That's the value of the tomatoes he has personally ripening out in his fields and that are going unpicked because his Hispanic workforce vanished literally overnight.


Cash gets angry when people tell him that his Hispanic workforce was taking jobs away from Americans. Since the new law began two weeks ago only two American citizens have come by his farm asking for work.

The couple had driven two hours from a city to offer their services, but they barely lasted that long in the fields. Cash discovered that they were trying to fiddle him by notching up two baskets of tomatoes for every one they picked.


"That's just the kind of stuff you come across. Somebody who really wants a good job and is prepared to work hard and honest for it isn't going to come up here for four months in the year.

"But Hispanics will do that, and move on to Florida when the picking's finished."


This year he had 64 men out in the fields.


Then HB56 came into effect, the new law that makes it a crime not to carry valid immigration documents and forces the police to check on anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally.

The provisions – the toughest of any state in America – were enforced on 28 September. By the next day Cash's workforce had dwindled to 11.

Today there is no-one left.


On Friday, the 11th circuit appeals court in Atlanta blocked the first of those measures, but allowed the state to continue detaining suspected illegal migrants. So it is unlikely that Cash's workers will dare to reappear.


...but hey, do what you will anyway.

National Security?

How about International Security?
The iceberg wedge salads, dripping with blue cheese dressing, had just been served on the terrace of Mar-a-Lago Saturday when the call to President Donald Trump came in: North Korea had launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile, its first challenge to international rules since Trump was sworn in three weeks ago.


Sitting alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with whom he'd spent most of the day golfing, Trump took the call on a mobile phone at his table, which was set squarely in the middle of the private club's dining area.

As Mar-a-Lago's wealthy members looked on from their tables, and with a keyboard player crooning in the background, Trump and Abe's evening meal quickly morphed into a strategy session, the decision-making on full view to fellow diners, who described it in detail to CNN.


National security analysts have identified [North Korea's] nuclear program as one of the imminent threats facing Trump as he begins his tenure in the White House.

Two fools with nukes.
Even as a flurry of advisers and translators descended upon the table carrying papers and phones for their bosses to consult, dinner itself proceeded apace. Waiters cleared the wedge salads and brought along the main course as Trump and Abe continued consulting with aides.


Trump's National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and chief strategist Steve Bannon left their seats to huddle closer to Trump as documents were produced and phone calls were placed to officials in Washington and Tokyo.

The patio was lit only with candles and moonlight, so aides used the camera lights on their phones to help the stone-faced Trump and Abe read through the documents.
Perhaps a move to an acutally private location within the "Winter Whitehouse" might have been in order? Or am I picking nits?

Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon are his National Security Advisers in this moment.  How secure are you feeling?

They eventually adjourned to the ballroom to make a joint statement on the nuclear launch.
Standing in front of an American and Japanese flag, a stern-faced Abe called the launch "absolutely intolerable," and insisted North Korea adhere to United Nations Security Council resolutions barring it from testing of ballistic missiles.
And then Trump:
"I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100%."


He declined to read from a set of prepared remarks, which photographers captured images of, that were resting on his podium.


Trump left the impromptu briefing room without taking questions, having delivered the first emergency foreign policy statement of his presidency.
And what a statement it was. We're behind Japan 100%. That will go down in history as one of the all-time great speeches from a sitting president, I have no doubt.

I wonder what else photographers got shots of.  Not to mention, diners and staff.  How about the ability of spies (not limited to the NSA) to access those phones that were being used as flashlights? There is a fortune to be made off this idiot's ineptitude with foreign powers willing to pay well.
But even as he confronted one of the gravest matters of his office, Trump nonetheless found it impossible to resist dropping in on a nearby wedding reception, already underway in his treasured Grand Ballroom.


Entering the ornate room, Trump took a photo with the bride and her bridesmaids, who posed in red gowns next to the commander in chief, mimicking his signature thumbs-up.

Then he grabbed a microphone.

"I saw them out on the lawn today," Trump said of the bride and groom, who were standing nearby. "I said to the Prime Minister of Japan, I said, 'C'mon Shinzo, let's go over and say hello.' "

"They've been members of this club for a long time," Trump said of the newlyweds. "They've paid me a fortune."
Jesus wept. And probably Abe, too.

(h/t Jean)

Membership fees at Mar-a-Lago are going to double again, aren't they?

Foreign spies will be willing to triple.  Or just get wait staff jobs.

[T]he club was hiring foreign workers this winter as cooks, waiters, waitresses and housekeepers, at between $10.17 and $12.74 an hour, according to the Palm Beach Post.


 ...but hey, do what you will anyway.


DeAgazio also posted a picture of a Marine that he called "Rick," claiming that he carries the nuclear "football," the briefcase-sized device that allows the president to order nuclear strikes.

  The Hill
Jesus Christ.

Somebody doesn't seem worried.

Sports Conscience

From the University of Missouri football team to Colin Kaepernick to Michael Bennett - after Muhammed Ali in the 60s, who would have thought our sports celebrities would become the voice of political conscience in America?
[Two] NFL players have backed out of a scheduled week-long trip to Israel sponsored by the Israeli government. Michael Bennett, the Seattle Seahawks defensive end, was the first to issue a public statement on Friday.


Bennett did not link to the specific article he read, but he did mention quotes which were published by the Times of Israel on February 5, in which multiple Israeli government officials made it clear that the goal was to enlist NFL players as propagandists, even if their unwitting participation was limited to cheery social media images and accompanying hashtags.


Shortly after Bennett’s tweet, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills declared that he too would not be participating.


On Thursday, the Nation published an open letter signed by a slew of prominent civil rights activists urging NFL players to reconsider, connecting the human rights abuses in Palestine—a crisis that will only worsen if Israel goes ahead with its plan to seize privately-owned land in the West Bank—to the efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement.


The trip will kick off tomorrow, assuming the remaining players still choose to board the plane, that is.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Another Rejection

The Trump administration is preparing a sweeping executive order that would clear the way for the C.I.A. to reopen overseas “black site” prisons, like those where it detained and tortured terrorism suspects before former President Barack Obama shut them down.

President Trump’s three-page draft order, titled “Detention and Interrogation of Enemy Combatants” and obtained by The New York Times, would also undo many of the other restrictions on handling detainees that Mr. Obama put in place in response to policies of the George W. Bush administration.

If Mr. Trump signs the draft order, he would also revoke Mr. Obama’s directive to give the International Committee of the Red Cross access to all detainees in American custody.

[C]areer military and intelligence officials rejected a draft executive order that would have resurrected the torture regime that existed immediately after 9/11, reflecting campaign promises by President Trump to bring waterboarding (and “much worse”) back into America’s interrogation arsenal.


The order directed Defense Secretary James Mattis to keep Guantanamo Bay open and use it not just for existing detainees but new ones, too. Trump’s order also directed the military to review its interrogation manual to determine whether it needed more enhanced interrogation tools. And, most notably, the order asked the CIA to consider restarting its “black sites” program for retention, detention, and interrogation of terror suspects, which was shut down by President Bush in late 2006.


Career professionals in the Defense Department, the CIA, and elsewhere don’t want torture because it doesn’t work, corrodes their integrity, makes it harder to work with allies, and carries enormous risk for strategic blowback. The value of human intelligence has also diminished in relative terms as other American intelligence tools have improved, so there is less incentive for intelligence agencies to want torture in their kits.


In response, the Trump White House developed a more milquetoast order, keeping Guantanamo’s prison open but jettisoning plans to revive the CIA’s torture program and the military’s more aggressive interrogations, too.


In the past, America’s torture regime made it very difficult for our allies and partners to work with us or share intelligence with us. The career professionals in Defense, CIA and other agencies know this better than President Trump. They understand all too well that foreign are far more likely to work with the U.S. without the antagonism of torture in the mix. Two recent high-profile cases illustrate this—with cooperation flowing from Turkey, Jordan, and Italy precisely because the U.S. provided assurances it would not use Guantanamo for certain detainees, let alone enhanced interrogation, let alone torture.


Implicit in the statements on torture by then-Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. James Mattis in the counterinsurgency manual they co-authored is a sense that torture degrades the honor of those who practice it. Discipline and integrity are paramount to being effective in war, or clandestine operations in the shadow of war. Mattis, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, and Sen. John McCain understand this better than the president and do not want an executive order that undermines the ethics of their forces or agencies.

No Muslim ban, no torture, and most probably no wall. Sorry, Trumpers.
[T]he deep state is our best hope for putting the Trump administration on a better path.
Whoa. Whoa. You had me until that shit. If the deep state is our best hope for anything, we are totally lost.  I am not going to be rooting for the deep state under any circumstances.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

The Domineering Handshake

One hand atop the other man's shoulder.  Here it is being practiced on Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. Trudeau almost pulls a standoff.

This Is What Comes of T-Rump's "Fake News" Whining

Six journalists, including three media owners, have been arrested in the Ivory Coast for "spreading false information" about a mutiny by security forces, their newspapers and the public prosecutor said.


The editor and owner of the independent dailies L'Inter and SoirInfo were arrested and held in a police camp in the capital Abidjan, along with the editors and owners of the opposition newspapers Le Temps and Notre Voie.


The move came after elite forces became the latest troops to protest over pay in recent weeks in the West African nation, firing into the air in the army barracks town of Adiake.

  al Jazeera
And don't think it can't happen here.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

President Agent Orange

That's a good one. I wonder if that's the Secret Service's name for him, too.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Turmoil in the Kingdom

Meetings with the National Security Council have no glamor, and thus no TV appeal. So, T-Rump has no time for that.  NSC employees will just have to figure out a way to try to figure out what he wants, and get messages to him by another route.  How about Twitter?  It's not like he's going to care what they have to say, anyway.
These are chaotic and anxious days inside the National Security Council, the traditional center of management for a president’s dealings with an uncertain world.

Three weeks into the Trump administration, council staff members get up in the morning, read President Trump’s Twitter posts and struggle to make policy to fit them. Most are kept in the dark about what Mr. Trump tells foreign leaders in his phone calls.


The national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, has hunkered down since investigators began looking into what, exactly, he told the Russian ambassador to the United States about the lifting of sanctions imposed in the last days of the Obama administration, and whether he misled Vice President Mike Pence about those conversations.


This account of life inside the council — offices made up of several hundred career civil servants who advise the president on counterterrorism, foreign policy, nuclear deterrence and other issues of war and peace — is based on conversations with more than two dozen current and former council staff members and others throughout the government. All spoke on the condition that they not be quoted by name for fear of reprisals.

This is the exactly what T-Rump is looking for in government employees: fear of reprisals.
[M]ost of the cabinet haven’t even been in government before.


New Trump appointees are carrying coffee mugs with [the Make America Great Again] Trump campaign slogan into meetings with foreign counterparts, one staff member said.


“It’s so far a very dysfunctional N.S.C.,” Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a telephone interview.
Good luck keeping your post, Adam.
Two officials said that at one recent meeting, there was talk of feeding suggested Twitter posts to the president so the council’s staff would have greater influence.
That could actually work.
Last week, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was exploring whether the Navy could intercept and board an Iranian ship to look for contraband weapons possibly headed to Houthi fighters in Yemen.
A page out of the Israeli playbook.
But the ship was in international waters in the Arabian Sea, according to two officials. Mr. Mattis ultimately decided to set the operation aside, at least for now.


And while Mr. Obama liked policy option papers that were three to six single-spaced pages, council staff members are now being told to keep papers to a single page, with lots of graphics and maps.

“The president likes maps,” one official said.


Officials said that the absence of an orderly flow of council documents, ultimately the responsibility of Mr. Flynn, explained why Mr. Mattis and Mike Pompeo, the director of the C.I.A., never saw a number of Mr. Trump’s executive orders before they were issued.


[Flynn's] aides say he is insecure about whether his unfettered access to Mr. Trump during the campaign is being scaled back and about a shadow council created by Stephen K. Bannon.
And, speaking of Mr. Flynn...
Two people with direct access to the White House leadership said Mr. Flynn was surprised to learn that the State Department and Congress play a pivotal role in foreign arms sales and technology transfers.


Several staff members said that Mr. Flynn, who was a career Army officer, was not familiar with how to call up the National Guard in an emergency.
Apparently, he has a lot to learn for his job as National Security Adviser.
On Dec. 28, President Obama took actions against Russia in response to Moscow’s role in undermining the American elections. On Dec. 29, Flynn allegedly had multiple conversations with the Russian ambassador, including a chat about the sanctions.


Flynn, who previously insisted no such conversations took place, is now saying he’s not sure whether sanctions came up during his calls with Kislyak or not.


Why did Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and Press Secretary Sean Spicer tell the public Flynn didn’t talk about sanctions with the Russian ambassador?

There are really only two possibilities: Either Flynn told his colleagues a lie, which they repeated because they believed him, or Flynn told them the truth, and they chose to help cover up his alleged wrongdoing.

For his part, Pence and his office have gone out of their way to say that the vice president relied entirely on Flynn’s word when he addressed the subject publicly. In other words, the VP is arguing that he was lied to.

Unfortunately for the VP, he's not high on the White House totem.
Despite the uproar on Friday, the president spoke briefly to reporters on Friday aboard Air Force One, where he claimed to have no idea what story journalists were even referring to. “I don’t know about that, I haven’t seen it,” Trump said. “What report is that? I haven’t seen that. I’ll look into that.”
Yeah, that sounds real.  Imagine talking to the Russians without letting T-Rump know.  I don't believe it.
Although Mr. Trump suggested to reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday that he was unaware of the latest questions swirling around Mr. Flynn’s dealings with Russia, aides said over the weekend in Florida — where Mr. Flynn accompanied the president and Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe — that Mr. Trump was closely monitoring the reaction to Mr. Flynn’s conversations.
Why would he have Flynn with him during Abe's visit? Doesn't sound like access to T-Rump is being scaled back.  I think the Rump told him to talk to the Russians. Maybe he's setting him up, but he's definitely using the man for some end. And T-Rump knowing about (ordering) the Flynn conversation would not mean Pence wasn't lied to. Pence, I think, is going to find his job extremely difficult. He may often find himself on the outside looking in, being the fool and possibly the scapegoat. He'll learn to just keep his mouth shut.
There are transcripts of a conversation in at least one phone call, recorded by American intelligence agencies that wiretap foreign diplomats, which may determine Mr. Flynn’s future.
The Times report doesn't elucidate that statement.

Like anyone else in the administration, Flynn can be FIRED! without notice or concern, whether he does the Rump's bidding or not. T-Rump cares for no one but himself. The rest of the world are props for his selfie.
[Robin Townley, a] top deputy to national security adviser Michael Flynn was rejected for a critical security clearance, effectively ending his tenure on the National Security Council and escalating tensions between Flynn and the intelligence community.

The move came as Flynn’s already tense relationships with others in the Trump administration and the intelligence community were growing more fraught after reports that Flynn had breached diplomatic protocols in his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States.


“They believe this is a hit job from inside the CIA on Flynn and the people close to him,” said one source, who argued that some in the intelligence community feel threatened by Flynn and his allies.


Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, dismissed as “baloney” any suggestion that the clearance was denied because the intelligence community was trying to brush back Flynn.

Trump and Flynn “see treachery everywhere they go.”

Schiff, you could be skating on thin ice.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Weekend's Over - Back to D.C.

T-Rump is our nation's first Monday thru Friday president. And unlike every other president who entertained a foreign leader, Trump didn't receive Mr. Abe at the White House, but at Trump's private Mar-a-Lago resort.

He's congratulating one of his advisers for "representing" him on TV. Is that odd for a president?

Big crowds like those lining Pennsylvania Avenue for the inauguration?

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

It's Sunday


Fake News

On Friday, NBC News reported that an unnamed “US senior official” had claimed that the Russian government was actively considering the possibility of handing over Snowden “to curry favor” with President Trump. The official said that he had drawn the conclusion upon studying a “series of highly sensitive intelligence reports.”


“Today, US intelligence agencies have stepped up their work, updating two stale stories, ‘Russia can gift Snowden to Trump’ and ‘confirmation found on the details of the scandalous dossier on Trump allegedly collected by an ex-employee of British intelligence.’ But it may seem so only to those who do not understand the essence of the game,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.

“None of these statements have been made by representatives of the special services, but is information coming from NBC and CNN, citing unnamed sources. The difference is obvious, but only to experts. Yet it is useful for scandalizing the public and maintaining a degree of [public outrage],” she said.


...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Standing Rock Update

US veterans are returning to Standing Rock to support and protect Native American protesters as the Dakota Access Pipeline continues to meet resistance despite President Trump’s executive order to continue construction of the $3.7 billion pipeline.

The veterans are gathering in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, with many on their way.

“We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force,” Air Force veteran Elizabeth Williams told the Guardian. “We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.”


The Veterans Stand group is fundraising for the protesters who continue to resist the pipeline being built by Energy Transfer Partners, and has raised close over $220,000 so far.


“We’re not coming as fighters, but as protectors,” Jake Pogue, a Marine Corps vet, told the Guardian. “Our role in that situation would be to simply form a barrier between water protectors and the police force and try to take some of that abuse for them.”


And You Thought Our Racism Was Out of Hand

You were right, but check out Slovakia.
In a series of blog posts, Nebbia CEO Martin Pecko threw himself into the uproar sparked by photographs posted on Nebbia Žilina’s Facebook page on February 3 that featured [black bodybuilder Dennis Johansen] alongside a white female model. Žilina is a city of about 85,000 people in northwestern Slovakia.

Comments on the photo quickly turned into a heated racial debate on immigration and multiculturalism, with some of the most disturbing comments describing the black athlete as “a monkey in clothes” and “a murderer.” One commenter promised to boycott the company, while another warned that the ad campaign would only “discourage” potential buyers, as majority-white Slovaks wouldn’t relate to it.


In May of last year, [Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico declared] that Islam “has no place in Slovakia,” arguing that Muslim migrants were “changing the character of the country” and eroding its Christian foundations.

People suck.
“The person in our picture is our good friend Dennis. He’s European, just like you. [He] has a university degree, a figure that you’ll never have, and a beautiful wife at home (who is white and blond),” Pecko wrote in an entry from February 7 on the company’s blog.


As the first blog post only seemed to add fuel to the fire, Pecko then vowed to make good on his promise to refund disgruntled customers in full. However, the offer came with a catch: to receive compensation, outraged buyers would have to send their requests to – a newly-set up email address that means “I am a racist” in Slovak.

Only that bit about Johansen having a white and blond wife could just make matters worse for the man.

Good luck.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Speaking of Smart...

The US Tennis Association was left red faced after playing part of the German national anthem used during the Nazi period at the Fed Cup tournament in Hawaii. Germany’s Andrea Petkovic described it as “the worst thing that has ever happened to me.”

The offensive first stanza has been banned in Germany since the end of the Second World War, but it was precisely those bars that were played during the opening ceremony of the quarter final match on Saturday between the Alison Riske of the US and Germany’s Andrea Petkovic.

Riske subsequently beat Petkovic, who described hearing the verse as the “epitome of ignorance.”

“I’ve never felt more disrespected in my whole life, let alone in Fed Cup, and I’ve played Fed Cup for 13 years now and it is the worst thing that has ever happened to me,” she said, stressing “It’s 2017 – something like this simply should not happen in the United States.”

Get used to it.

Ignorance is our game.

Does she get a "do-over"?

Does this help?
A German arms producer has refused to deliver key components for a new US grenade launcher, citing an 1868 convention prohibiting grenades being fired straight at a person.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.


Somebody get the man a sedative.

Case in point: Donald Trump. Another case in point: George W Bush. No one has to be smart to run for president - or even win!

Nasty man.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

The Rump Is Up

Hmmmm. Yesterday, when he posted the stat, he said it was 77%. Must be an alternative fact. (They're still mostly countries where we're making refugees.)

So now it's a crackdown on illegal criminals, not immigrants. Sure. Like the mother of two who had been in this country since she was 14, working and paying taxes, and under annual review by ICE since 2008.

 ...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Insane Clown Country

That's a small clip from Matt Taibbi's latest book: Insane Clown President, Dispatches from the 2016 Circus.

Here's a nice interview he did with Chris Hedges:

Taibbi's opening page of Insane Clown President is a quote from Molly Ivins:
"I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil.   And that no one knows the truth."

Good Point

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

Cock O' the Walk

Oh, "the government" made the accounting estimate error.  Not the Don.

So, don't worry yourself about that pesky wall. Instead...

...everything is grand.

But let's talk about that F-35 deal he made.  It turns out, he didn't.  He had a talk with Lockheed's CEO during which she told him that they expected to lower the price of the next run of planes due to "the company’s long-term effort to bring down the cost of the F-35 by lowering costs in the supply chain and manufacturing."  He immediately went forth and claimed credit.

As for Air Force One, we'll have to wait and see.
Richard Aboulafia, a senior aviation analyst with the Virginia-based Teal Group, questioned the usefulness of Trump’s tactics. He said he assumed Tuesday’s meeting was “theater.”

“These sorts of programs are all extremely complicated in terms of requirements, definitions and trade-offs.”


Neither Boeing nor the Air Force have indicated what might be reduced to cut costs.

Trump “probably has an idea that Air Force One is a little like his personal business jet so that you use a different supplier to get a cheaper grade of gold on the faucet rather than different electronic warfare suites,” Aboulafia said. “It’s really not like that at all.”

  Dayton Daily News
...but hey, do what you will anyway.