Tuesday, January 24, 2017
This time for real?
Thanks for a job well done
The Director of the FBI James Comey received a vote of confidence from The Tangerine Shitgibbon for his tireless efforts to get him elected this past election season.
The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, told his top agents from around the country that he had been asked by President Trump to stay on the job running the federal government’s top law enforcement agency, according to people familiar with the matter.At the reception on Sunday Trump all but kissed Comey, in the Russian manner, and no doubt extended well wishes from their boss Putin as well. Oh well, it took the Brits 20+ years to uncover Kim Philby and about the same time for the FBI to find Robert Hanssen.
A decision to retain Mr. Comey would spare the president another potentially bruising confirmation battle. It also would keep Mr. Comey at the center of the F.B.I.’s investigation into several Trump associates and their potential ties with the Russian government.
Retaining Mr. Comey could also help calm the bureau’s work force, which has been rattled after a tumultuous few months in which the F.B.I. and the director himself were sharply criticized for moves that many felt influenced the outcome of the presidential election.
Like any good businessman
Your balance sheet will have some debt on it along with the assets, liabilities and equity. You keep the various elements in balance by judiciously adjusting revenues and expenses.If, on the other hand, you plan to loot the company of all value in the manner of a classic Mafia 'bust out' , you reduce revenues on the premium products that your buddies can afford, jack up borrowing to the max and slash or refuse to pay expenses.
After seven years of fitful declines, the federal budget deficit is projected to begin swelling again this decade, adding $8.6 trillion to the federal debt over the next 10 years, according to projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that reveal the strain that the government’s debt will have on the economy as President Trump embarks on plans to slash taxes and ramp up spending.Anybody who can add and subtract can see that none of the budgets proposed will do anything like the promises. And we have the fiscal debacles in Kansas and Wisconsin to show us how badly they will fail when implemented. But the people who have to make this happen in Congress are either clueless about economics (Teabaggers) or stand to make too much money from it to refuse to go along. And so the people who expected the new sheriff to clean up the town will find out what it is like when he turns out to be the biglyest thief of all.
The deficit, which is expected to shrink in the next two years before swelling later in the decade, will amount to 3.8 percent of the country’s total economic output, above the 3 percent that economists view as the danger point for the economy.
The new deficit figures will be a major challenge to congressional Republicans, who were swept to power in 2010 on fears of a swollen deficit and who have made controlling red ink a major part of their legislating. Statutory caps imposed in 2011 on domestic and military spending have helped control the deficit. But those controls are likely to be swamped by the aging baby boomer generation, which is ramping up spending on health care and Social Security.
Now, congressional leaders will have to choose between their fealty to the cause of fiscal prudence and the demands of the new president, who wants $1 trillion in infrastructure work over 10 years, a surge in military spending and large tax cuts for individuals and corporations.
The Congressional Budget Office’s budget and economic outlook said that the share of debt held by the public is expected to reach 89 percent in 2027. Such a high level of debt could increase the likelihood of a financial crisis and raise the possibility that investors will become skittish about financing the government’s borrowing.
Over the next 10 years, real economic output is projected to grow at an annual rate of 1.9 percent.
Mr. Trump has promised that his combination of tax cuts and investment on infrastructure will cause growth to surge above 4 percent.
Seth in the morning
Mr Meyers illuminates the first days of our 45th Precedent
Old guys doing their worst
Monday, January 23, 2017
From Canada to America and back to Canada
Paul Anka wrote this song first done by Buddy Holly, memorably by Linda Ronstadt and now reprised by Canadian singer Serena Ryder, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore"
All the Breaking News
That broke when you weren't looking and might want to see again, brought to you by Tom Tomorrow.
Pat Benatar along with producer/songwriter Linda Perry produced a new song, “Shine”, an anthem and rallying cry for women’s rights to accompany the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st. Joining them on the production of the song is producer, guitarist, songwriter, NEIL GIRALDO, a lifelong advocate for women’s rights and creator of the Benatar/Giraldo sound. Download the song at http://shinetogether.info . When we shine together, we shine brighter. Proceeds from the song will go to the B.A. Rudolph Foundation supporting women pursuing careers in public service and government.
The answer came too quickly
No normal President inside the Trump fat suit
Bill Maher's opening monologue. It starts slow but he gets his wind soon
God's Judgment Is Swift
Sunday, January 22, 2017
A song of farewell
SNL used it to say farewell to President Obama and I will to. "To Sir With Love" by Lulu/
Thin skinned and empty headed
R.I.P. Maggie Roche
With your sisters you made sweet harmonies, spiced with wit and intelligence. Thank you for all the great music
Reassuring words from Pooty
So needy for approval
Donald Trump has taken to reviewing and praising his own speeches, just in case you missed it. Needless to say, like so much of what he says in his speeches, his reviews are mostly bullshit, like his one for the CIA speech yesterday.
Donald Trump has stayed true to campaign-trail form, using his personal Twitter account rather than his newly acquired handle @POTUS on Sunday to praise his own performance in a meeting with intelligence officials and dismiss the worldwide protests against his presidency.His speech was a typical Trumpoon mashup of self agrandizement, falsehoods and slogans with polite golf claps from the crowd. And since he made no policy announcements, he really didn't need to give it for any reason beyond self-satisfaction. We will probably get a lot of that in the days ahead.
A little after 7am ET, the president tweeted:
Had a great meeting at CIA Headquarters yesterday, packed house, paid great respect to Wall, long standing ovations, amazing people. WIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2017
Trump spoke on Saturday at the CIA HQ in Virginia, in front of the memorial wall for officers killed in the line of duty.
His 15-minute speech included boasts about the supposed – and inaccurate – size of crowds for his inauguration; expressions of airily defined love and support for intelligence agencies with which he has been at odds over their belief in Russian attempts to influence the election on his behalf; boasts about the number of times he has appeared on the cover of Time magazine; the supposed God-given fact that it stopped raining when he spoke at the Capitol on Friday (it didn’t); and an insinuation that he might start another war in Iraq.
The speech met with laughter and applause from an audience composed largely of CIA staffers. On Saturday night, however, the recently retired CIA director John Brennan communicated through a former aide that he was “deeply saddened and angered at Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandisement” in front of the memorial wall.
Appearing on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said it was time for the president “to put in his own security intelligence community” and added: “We really would prefer the intelligence community that’s going out the door to be much more respectful toward the president and his vision in moving forward.”
Ashley Judd - Nasty Woman
Great Moments In Holiness
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Forgot to add 'rich' before people.
Donny gets his Wormtongue
After the appropriate hemming and hawing lawyers from the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel have said it is OK for the Tangerine Shitgibbon to hire his son-in-law despite his nearly complete lack of qualifications for what Tangerine has in mind.
In a 14-page opinion issued by the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, government lawyers said that the president’s special hiring authority exempted White House positions from federal laws barring the president from appointing relatives to lead a federal agency. The White House, the department said, is not technically an “executive agency.”Other than being jewish, Kushner has nothing to recommend him in the Middle East, unless they plan to build a Trump resortin any country than promises to make nice.
The opinion was issued a day after Mr. Trump was sworn into office.
Some legal experts had raised concerns that Mr. Kushner’s appointment violated a 1967 law that was intended to curtail nepotism in the federal government. Six years earlier, President John F. Kennedy had appointed his brother Robert as attorney general.
The decision issued on Saturday paves the way for Mr. Kushner, 35, to have nearly unfettered access to Mr. Trump in the Oval Office. Mr. Kushner is Mr. Trump’s closest adviser and was a figure of stability throughout the campaign and the transition.
Mr. Trump announced on Jan. 9 that he would appoint Mr. Kushner to the post and that Mr. Kushner would not accept a salary. His portfolio is expected to include the Middle East and Israel, government partnerships with the private sector and matters involving free trade.
On Thursday, Mr. Trump lavished praise on Mr. Kushner at a candlelight dinner for donors at Union Station in Washington.
“If you can’t produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can,” Mr. Trump said.
Heroin - the gateway to being a Republican
Bill Maher looks at the confluence of politics and drug abuse.
Quote from Thomas Paine
Friday, January 20, 2017
A song of woe
Eva Cassidy sings "Wayfaring Stranger"
Truth be told
An American first
The first time in the history of the country that a man has been sworn in as Precedent while his 'posse' is under investigation for working with a foreign hostile power. And despite The Tangerine Shitgibbon having taken his oaf of office, the matter has not been put to rest.
American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.Perhaps the 45th Precedent can set a new president by being the subject of a rare prosecution.
The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.
It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. The American government has concluded that the Russian government was responsible for a broad computer hacking campaign, including the operation against the D.N.C.
The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia. Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia’s Federal Security Service, one of the officials said.
Mr. Manafort is among at least three Trump campaign advisers whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny. Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.
The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.
Counterintelligence investigations examine the connections between American citizens and foreign governments. Those connections can involve efforts to steal state or corporate secrets, curry favor with American government leaders or influence policy. It is unclear which Russian officials are under investigation, or what particular conversations caught the attention of American eavesdroppers. The legal standard for opening these investigations is low, and prosecutions are rare.
Waiting for his post-Inaugural report
Lewis Black will have something good to say
Mnuchin is not the name of a boy band
Samantha Bee explains to you what manner of swamp critter it is.
Happy Inaugural Day
Thursday, January 19, 2017
When the learning curve stretches far above you
Like a rainbow reaching to the stars and you have just discovered that the first step involved nuclear energy including all those big bombs that go BOOM! You are now in the position that Rick Perry has found himself in.
In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.In Rick Perry's favor, he does know how to operate a gas pump when his gas gauge reads low.
Two-thirds of the agency’s annual $30 billion budget is devoted to maintaining, refurbishing and keeping safe the nation’s nuclear stockpile; thwarting nuclear proliferation; cleaning up and rebuilding an aging constellation of nuclear production facilities; and overseeing national laboratories that are considered the crown jewels of government science.
“If you asked him on that first day he said yes, he would have said, ‘I want to be an advocate for energy,’” said Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist who advised Mr. Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign and worked on the Trump transition’s Energy Department team in its early days. “If you asked him now, he’d say, ‘I’m serious about the challenges facing the nuclear complex.’ It’s been a learning curve.”
Mr. Perry, who once called for the elimination of the Energy Department, will begin the confirmation process Thursday with a hearing before the Senate Energy Committee. If approved by the Senate, he will take over from a secretary, Ernest J. Moniz, who was chairman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology physics department and directed the linear accelerator at M.I.T.’s Laboratory for Nuclear Science. Before Mr. Moniz, the job belonged to Steven Chu, a physicist who won a Nobel Prize.
For Mr. Moniz, the future of nuclear science has been a lifelong obsession; he spent his early years working at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Mr. Perry studied animal husbandry and led cheers at Texas A&M University.
Mr. Moniz had such deep experience with nuclear weapons that in 2015, President Obama made him a co-negotiator, along with Secretary of State John Kerry, of the Iran nuclear deal.
The Inaugural Schedule of Events
Oh, That $100 Million!
Prior to assuming a cabinet position it is normal procedure to reveal to the government the state of your finances, especially if one is going to be Secretary of the Treasury. Therefore it was somewhat surprising that The Tangerine Shitgibbons choice for that position managed to overlook $100 Million in assets overseas as well as a lucrative directorship of a tax avoidance investment fund.
Steven T. Mnuchin, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s pick to be Treasury secretary, failed to disclose nearly $100 million of his assets on Senate Finance Committee disclosure documents and forgot to mention his role as a director of an investment fund located in a tax haven.Just about par for the course from a former Goldmine Sachs banker but surprising in a man who would foreclose on a 90 year old widow over a 29 cent error in payment.
The revelation came hours before Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, was scheduled to testify on Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee, which has historically been bipartisan in its demands for transparency from nominees. Mr. Mnuchin was ready to outline his vision for the economy and defend himself against claims that he headed a bank that ran a “foreclosure machine” during the financial crisis.
“In his revised questionnaire, Mr. Mnuchin disclosed several additional financial assets, including $95 million worth of real estate — a co-op in New York City, a residence in Southampton, New York, a residence in Los Angeles, California, and $15 million in real estate holdings in Mexico,” Democratic staff members of the Senate Finance Committee wrote in a memo on Thursday. “Mr. Mnuchin has claimed these omissions were due to a misunderstanding of the questionnaire.”
According to the memo, Mr. Mnuchin also initially failed to disclose that he is the director of Dune Capital International, an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands, which is a tax haven, along with management posts in seven other investment funds.
And he belatedly disclosed that his children own nearly $1 million in artwork.
Democrats pounced on the “inadvertent” omissions Thursday morning, calling them more evidence that Mr. Mnuchin is not fit to steer the country’s economic agenda.
“Never before has the Senate considered such an ethically challenged slate of nominees for key cabinet positions,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said in a statement. “Mr. Mnuchin’s failure to disclose his Cayman Islands holdings just reeks of the swamp that the president-elect promised to drain on the campaign trail.”
We can just imagine what's in it
Just when you thought the Trump "administration" could not get any crookeder or sleazier, along come the bald headed king of Southern sleaze, Rick Scott, Governor of Florida. And out of the goodness of his heart, the world's biggest Medicare fraud has offered to work on the Republican chimera to replace the Affordable Care Act.
Kicking off a series of meetings with incoming Trump administration officials, Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday he hopes to help them devise a less costly alternative to Obamacare.While, as usual, failing to provide any details, given Gov. Scott's history it is a fair guess that any plan he comes up with will include unlimited painkiller prescriptions and abundant opportunities for billing fraud for the common man.
Scott said he’s talking with Donald Trump every week or two while working closely with Rep. Tom Price, the president-elect’s choice to run the government agency that oversees Medicaid, Medicare and the landmark 2010 health-insurance law.
Mirroring previous comments by Trump himself, Scott indicated that the two men are not looking to repeal the entire law, unlike some fellow Republican members of Congress.
“I’ve spent quite a bit of time already with Congressman Price, who I’ve known for a long time, to try to come up with a plan to repeal what doesn’t work and to replace it with something that’s going to drive down costs and improve access,” Scott told reporters in Washington.
Despite being asked several times for specifics of a replacement plan, Scott did not provide any.
Trump said over the weekend that any plan he and Congress devise to replace Obamacare should cover everyone, a stance at odds with many GOP lawmakers.
At a Senate health committee confirmation hearing, Price also appeared to back off from complete repeal, at least immediately, of a law that has helped 20 million Americans gain insurance in the last nearly seven years.
Colbert does Trump and meets his God
You thought you knew Kellyanne
Sam Bee looks at Kellyanne Conway
Trump is an insult to carbuncles
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
When doing a cover, cover the best
Like Maggie Rose does with "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"
Lyin' Ryan has been planning this a long time
He has to take the weekend off
The Tangerine Shitgibbon has declared that his presidency will not begin until the Monday after he is sworn in. Some say this is because he is a lazy dumb fuck who would rather party but the truth is he has no functioning team to work with yet. And the most disturbingly disfunctional team is in the area of National Security.
The Obama administration has written 275 briefing papers for the incoming Trump administration: nearly 1,000 pages of classified material on North Korea’s nuclear program, the military campaign against the Islamic State, tensions in the South China Sea, and every other kind of threat the new team could face in its first weeks in office.Trump's team may nnot have read those national security transition papers, but it is a safe bet that Putin has and will keep his puppy up to speed on what he nedds to know and do.
Nobody in the current administration knows whether anyone in the next has read any of it.
Less than three days before President Obama turns the keys to the White House, and the nuclear codes, over to President-elect Donald J. Trump, Mr. Trump’s transition staff has barely engaged with the National Security Council below the most senior levels. His designated national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, has met four times with his Obama counterpart, Susan E. Rice, most recently on Tuesday afternoon.
But the chronic upheaval in Mr. Trump’s transition, a delay in appointing senior National Security Council staff members, and a dearth of people with security clearances have deprived the Trump team of weeks of prep work on some of the most complex national security issues facing the country.
“We really wanted to make sure there was nothing a new team needed to know that we hadn’t told them,” Ms. Rice said in an interview. “It took them more time than we expected for them to be ready to engage with us.” Now, she added, “we’re racing to make up lost time.”
In a statement, Mr. Flynn said, “Members of our incoming team have held extensive meetings with their N.S.C. counterparts.” He thanked Ms. Rice for her “cooperation and assistance.” Last week, the two engaged in a public display of harmony, shaking hands at a “pass the baton” conference sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace.
Still, officials from both the Obama and Trump teams acknowledged that the transition had been rocky, in no small part because Mr. Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton caught both the outgoing and incoming administrations so completely by surprise. Had Mrs. Clinton won, her staff planned to place a transition team in the N.S.C. within a couple of days.
In Mr. Trump’s case, the first contact with the National Security Council did not come until Nov. 22, two weeks after Election Day. That delay was caused by the purge of the original transition team led by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. Among those swept out was Matthew Freedman, who had been chosen to run the N.S.C. transition but quickly came under scrutiny because of his foreign lobbying ties. Mr. Freedman’s replacement, Marshall Billingslea, a former Pentagon and State Department official, arrived in the West Wing with six people, only two of whom had security clearances.
And one supports legalized marijuana
Jimmy Kimmel did some on street interviews to see which is better, Obamacare of Affordable Care Act.
Are you one of the Big Seven-Oh?
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