Friday, March 31, 2017
John got Lucy and Eliza to sing his song
And Red Horse, a collaboration of Lucy Kaplansky, Eliza Gilkyson and John Gorka does a fine job on "Blue Chalk"
And your Healthcare, Nunh-unh!
Gonna take more than an interview
But so far Michael Flynn's proffer to the Senate Committee is no more than that. And The Tangerine Shitgibbon's tweeting for him to take any immunity offer makes Flynn's offer seem suspiciously like a way to bulletproof a dangerous individual.
Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, has offered to be interviewed by House and Senate investigators who are examining the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in exchange for immunity from prosecution, according to his lawyer and a congressional official.At this point it is not enough to say he is a piece of the puzzle, he and the agencies investigating this have to show where his piece fits in. What he has to offer has to have value and so far no one except Flynn knows what that value is.
But the congressional official said investigators were unwilling to broker a deal with Mr. Flynn — who resigned last month for misleading White House officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States — until they are further along in their inquiries and they better understand what information Mr. Flynn might offer as part of a deal.
In a statement on Thursday evening, Mr. Flynn’s lawyer confirmed discussions with the House and Senate intelligence committees about possible testimony by his client. The lawyer, Robert Kelner, did not provide specifics about the terms under which Mr. Flynn would testify, but said that “no reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch-hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution.”
“General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should circumstances permit,” the statement said.
The Wall Street Journal reported Mr. Flynn’s offer to testify.
The F.B.I. is investigating whether any of President Trump’s advisers colluded with the Russian government in its efforts to disrupt the 2016 presidential election. An immunity deal would make it extraordinarily difficult for the Justice Department to prosecute Mr. Flynn.
It is unclear whether any of Mr. Trump’s other former advisers have asked for immunity from the congressional committees.
It is common for witnesses to demand immunity in exchange for their testimony to ensure that their words cannot be used to prosecute them. Under federal law, Congress can grant witnesses immunity for their testimony, but lawmakers normally do so only after consulting with prosecutors.
Congress normally avoids doing anything that could disrupt a federal investigation. Federal law allows the Justice Department to delay a congressional immunity deal but not block it outright.
The Justice Department declined to comment on Thursday evening.
This man is Really Deplorable
Samantha Bee gives us a look at Johnnie Caldwell
Another pop quiz
Thursday, March 30, 2017
First cut from their new album
The Secret Sisters sing "Tennessee River Runs Low" with some people who must have had fun making the video.
After the shoes have been licked clean
GOP civil war begins with Trump shelling whackdoodles
The first salvos of the Republican civil war have been fired by the White House equivalent of Big Bertha, the Tangerine Shitgibbon's Twitter account.
President Trump declared war on the conservatives of the House Freedom Caucus on Thursday, suggesting Republicans should “fight them” in the 2018 midterm elections if they do not back his agenda.And the quick response of the whackdoodles shows us that we can expect a hard fought and hopefully viciously destructive war between the loons.
“The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast,” Mr. Trump said Thursday morning on Twitter, escalating a fight that began when the conservatives from the caucus blocked his Affordable Care Act repeal last Friday.
“We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” Mr. Trump wrote, apparently making good on suggestions that he would support Republican challengers to lawmakers in his own party who oppose him, a stance advocated by his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon.The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
Friday’s loss on health care rekindled a long-running civil war between the party’s establishment, represented by Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who drafted the original bill, and anti-establishment conservatives in the caucus, who thought it preserved too many elements of the Obama-era program.
The post from Mr. Trump did not seem to have been impulsive: Mr. Bannon, who has counseled a tough tone with the rebels, has instructed his staff to more closely monitor the president’s Twitter messages to use them as leverage in negotiations.
Dan Scavino, an aide who controls Mr. Trump’s official White House Twitter account, recently moved into Mr. Bannon’s West Wing office, where he closely monitors social media activity by and about the president, according to two officials.
Minutes after Mr. Trump’s post, his Republican critics took to Twitter to respond, in Trump-ese: “It’s a swamp not a hot tub. We both came here to drain it. #SwampCare polls 17%. Sad!” wrote Representative Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican who often sides with the caucus on votes.
“It didn’t take long for the swamp to drain @realDonaldTrump,” said Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, a member of the Freedom Caucus who has emerged as one of Mr. Trump’s most caustic Republican critics. “No shame, Mr. President. Almost everyone succumbs to the D.C. Establishment.”
Michael Flynn Jr., a conservative activist — and son of Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser — went even further. “Why is @realDonaldTrump siding w/ estab Repubs (which we know r closet Dems) and looney Dems like Pelosi and Schumer? NOT WHAT WE VOTED FOR,” he said on Twitter.
We didn't have to wait so long this time
After a decent interval, it has been revealed who notorious Trump Stooge Devin Nunes' White House sources were. Unlike Watergate which had one Deep Throat, Cheeto Mussolini Gate required two. They are Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsel’s Office.
A pair of White House officials played a role in providing Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with the intelligence reports that showed President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.As they were discovered too soon to get a catchy nickname I shall do what I can to remedy that by suggesting "Knob Gobbler" and "Poop Chute Rider". Apply them as appropriate.
The revelation that White House officials assisted in the disclosure of the intelligence reports — which Mr. Nunes then discussed with President Trump — is likely to fuel criticism that the intelligence chairman has been too eager to do the bidding of the Trump administration while his committee is supposed to be conducting an independent investigation of Russia’s meddling in the last presidential election.
Mr. Nunes has also been faulted by his congressional colleagues for sharing the information with President Trump before consulting with other members of the intelligence committee.
The congressman has refused to identify his sources, saying he needed to protect them so others would feel safe coming to the committee with sensitive information. He first disclosed the existence of the intelligence reports on March 22, and in his public comments he has described his sources as whistle-blowers trying to expose wrongdoing at great risk to themselves.
Mr. Cohen-Watnick is a former Defense Intelligence Agency official who was originally brought to the White House by Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser. The officials said that earlier this month, shortly after Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter about being wiretapped on the orders of President Barack Obama, Mr. Cohen-Watnick began reviewing highly classified reports detailing the intercepted communications of foreign officials.
Samantha Bee eulogizes Trumpcare
Remember the China Syndrome?
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
They dropped a new video into YouTube
So here is my favorite Japanese Maids of Metal band Band-Maid with "Secret My Lips"
Repurposing the mascots
Something Cheeto Mussolini is doing along with repealing the environment.
Their turn to worry
Two birds with one lump of coal
By dismantling President Obama's Clean Power Plan, The Tangerine Shitgibbon gets to eliminate one of President Obama's initiatives for a better world AND pretend to follow through on one of his campaign promises for all those poor deluded unemployed coal miners.
Many fossil fuel executives are celebrating President Trump’s move to dismantle the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. But their cheers are muted, because market forces and state initiatives continue to elevate coal’s rivals, especially natural gas and renewable energy.At best it will give coal executives some more time to extract all the value from their companies before sticking the remaining miners with all the losses, including their pensions and health care. And alternative fuels will continue to eat coal's lunch and the utilities will have the scales drop from their eyes and see the value of clean energy despite what the old fossils think.
In coal’s favor, there is the new promise that federal lands will be open for leasing, ending an Obama-era moratorium. Easing pollution restrictions could delay the closing of some old coal-fired power plants, slowing the switch by some utilities to other sources.
And with the government pendulum swinging from environmental concerns back to job creation and energy independence, share prices of many energy companies, particularly coal producers, soared Tuesday on the news.
For coal executives, however, optimism and expansion plans remain guarded. Regulatory relief could restore 10 percent of their companies’ lost market share at most, they say — nowhere near enough to return coal to its dominant position in power markets and put tens of thousands of coal miners to work.
“At the end of the day, coal will still have to compete with a host of other fuels,” said Rick Curtsinger, a spokesman for Cloud Peak Energy, one of the country’s leading coal producers. “Utilities’ long-term decisions are based on economics and the need for long-term certainty.”
Just as economic realities produced a frenzy of oil and gas drilling during Barack Obama’s two terms as president — notwithstanding his environmental agenda and aggressive policies to combat climate change — economics and technological advances are bound to shape the country’s energy landscape despite Mr. Trump’s very different blueprint.
Nothing has changed that landscape more than cheap natural gas, and improved drilling techniques in shale fields from Pennsylvania to Texas are driving down production costs to the point where gas supplies are growing and prices continue to slump.
“If the Clean Power Plan is reneged upon, I don’t think you will see utilities going back to investing in coal because they have already reduced their infrastructure and they already have commitments geared toward natural gas,” said Tamar Essner, an energy analyst at Nasdaq Advisory Services.
Wind and solar power are also taking market share, as the costs of utility-scale generation have become competitive with those of hydrocarbons in many parts of the country.
He never promised us a Rose Garden
He has one and we don't. Seth Meyers takes a closer look at Trump's Greatest Failure, to date.
He knows all the best people
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Daphne and The Mystery Machines
You can tell a man by his pets
After trying 60+ times for show
It would be hard to imagine the Republican Party giving up on ACA/Obamacare repeal after just one try. There are millions of non-donors who need to be beaten down and kicked and then kicked again. With that in mind, the GOP leadership has let it be known they will try again.
House Republican leaders and the White House, under extreme pressure from conservative activists, have restarted negotiations on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with House leaders declaring that Democrats were celebrating the law’s survival prematurely.They may all have the same end in mind but as long as theyinsist on their own paths to get there they will never make it. And with a traffic director like Lyin' Paul Ryan that should be a solid result,
Just days after President Trump said he was moving on to other issues, senior White House officials are now saying they have hope that they can still score the kind of big legislative victory that has so far eluded Mr. Trump. Vice President Mike Pence was dispatched to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for lunchtime talks.
“We’re not going to retrench into our corners or put up dividing lines,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said after a meeting of House Republicans that was dominated by a discussion of how to restart the health negotiations. “There’s too much at stake to get bogged down in all of that.”
The House Republican whip, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, said of Democrats, “Their celebration is premature. We are closer to repealing Obamacare than we ever have been before.”
It is not clear what political dynamics might have changed since Friday, when a coalition of hard-line conservatives and more moderate Republicans torpedoed legislation to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. The replacement bill would still leave 24 million more Americans without insurance after a decade, a major worry for moderate Republicans. It would also leave in place regulations on the health insurance industry that conservatives find anathema.
Mr. Ryan declined to say what might be in the next version of the Republicans’ repeal bill, nor would he sketch any schedule for action. But he said Congress needed to act because insurers were developing the premiums and benefit packages for health plans they would offer in 2018, with review by federal and state officials beginning soon.
Corporate help for public lands
Sure, they are looking after their own bottom lines as they do so, but the companies supplying those who enjoy the great outdoors are helping to organize their customers in the fight against the Great Republican Rape And Pillage of Public Lands.
Two generations ago, they were often written off as a bunch of hippies making backpacks and climbing gear for niche markets. But in recent decades, companies such as Patagonia and REI have become consumer powerhouses and political players, increasingly eager to influence decisions over public lands.The Outdoor Industry may not be the biggest lobby but they have the advantage of catering to a socially conscious and active customer base who don't normally need as much prodding to get out and make their feelings known. And it will take a lot of activity in the fight against two notoriously ruthless groups, Big Cattle and Big Mining.
A sign of that clout came this year, when the outdoor industry decided to pull its twice-yearly trade show from Salt Lake City, where it been based since 1996. The shows injected tens of millions of dollars into the Utah economy, but industry leaders decided to pull out after Gov. Gary Herbert and other Utah Republicans started lobbying President Donald Trump to roll back the Bears Ears National Monument, a 1.35-million-acre conservation area in south Utah that Native Americans and environmentalists have championed for years.
Industry leaders said they had mixed feelings about leaving Salt Lake but felt compelled to make a move after Herbert refused to reconsider his position.
“Outdoor recreation is a huge economic driver in Utah and Colorado, and we felt it wasn’t being respected,” said Sam Mix, outdoor marketing manager for Osprey Packs, which is headquartered in southwest Colorado. “Public lands are where our customers go to recreate. Without these big wide-open spaces, we’d have no business and no reason to exist.”
Made up of 1,200 companies, the Outdoor Industry Association is based in Boulder, Colorado, with an outreach office in Washington, D.C. The group estimates that consumers spend about $120 billion on outdoor recreation products each year, ranging from apparel to tents, bicycles and camping gear.
Since 1989, dozens of leading outdoor companies have paid into a mechanism to support public lands and environmental causes. With membership dues based on a company’s annual revenues, the industry’s Conservation Alliance has doled out more than $15 million in grants.
From a week off to a lively dissection of The Great Republican Health Care Failure.
You may have a different ordering
Monday, March 27, 2017
New album called Semper Femina
Laura Marling performing "Nouel" from the album.
More informative than tax returns
Join us as we learn Cheeto Mussolini's inner thoughts as he presidents, from his newly leaked diary that Tom Tomorrow reveals to us.
It's in the definition
Stupid can be very expensive
Just consider the state of North Carolina. It instituted a Peckerchecker Bill to prevent a problem that did not exist but sure did sound dangerous. Decent people across the country were appalled and the reaction included companies leaving the state and musical and sporting events staying away. And the cost $3.76 Billion.
Despite Republican assurances that North Carolina's "bathroom bill" isn't hurting the economy, the law limiting LGBT protections will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years, according to an Associated Press analysis.But that cost will pale in comparison to damage that will be done if Texas adopts their own Peckerchecker Bill, a very real possiblity in a state with some of the dumbest politicians ever to walk the face of the earth. And all for a problem that doesn't exist.
Over the last year, North Carolina has suffered financial hits ranging from scuttled plans for a PayPal facility that would have added an estimated $2.66 billion to the state's economy to a canceled Ringo Starr concert that deprived a town's amphitheater of about $33,000 in revenue. The blows have landed in the state's biggest cities as well as towns surrounding its flagship university, and from the mountains to the coast.
North Carolina could lose hundreds of millions more because the NCAA is avoiding the state, usually a favored host. The group is set to announce sites for various championships through 2022, and North Carolina won't be among them as long as the law is on the books. The NAACP also has initiated a national economic boycott.
The AP analysis — compiled through interviews and public records requests — represents the largest reckoning yet of how much the law, passed one year ago, could cost the state. The law excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide antidiscrimination protections, and requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in many public buildings.
Still, AP's tally is likely an underestimation of the law's true costs. The count includes only data obtained from businesses and state or local officials regarding projects that canceled or relocated because of HB2. A business project was counted only if AP determined through public records or interviews that HB2 was why it pulled out.
Some projects that left, such as a Lionsgate television production that backed out of plans in Charlotte, weren't included because of a lack of data on their economic impact.
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan — who leads the largest company based in North Carolina — said he's spoken privately to business leaders who went elsewhere with projects or events because of the controversy, and he fears more decisions like that are being made quietly.
"Companies are moving to other places because they don't face an issue that they face here," he told a World Affairs Council of Charlotte luncheon last month. "What's going on that you don't know about? What convention decided to take you off the list? What location for a distribution facility took you off the list? What corporate headquarters consideration for a foreign company — there's a lot of them out there — just took you off the list because they just didn't want to be bothered with the controversy? That's what eats you up."
Congress is going to Jared
Not for any jewelry, they wouldn't buy that cheap shit, but for information regarding Jared Kushner's father-in-law's connections with Russians and their running dogs in his administration. And the curious serial remembering of meetings that honest people would would log in and memorialize for the file.
Senate investigators plan to question Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a close adviser, as part of their broad inquiry into ties between Trump associates and Russian officials or others linked to the Kremlin, according to administration and congressional officials.Jared as a member of the campaign team did have legitimate reasons for talking to various Russians and also as a member of the Potemkin President's business team. However in both cases a legitimate meeting should have produced either a transcript of a memo of what was discussed and a log of such meetings should have been kept. To have not done so is more than amateurish, it strongly suggests something shady.
The White House Counsel’s Office was informed this month that the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, wanted to question Mr. Kushner about meetings he arranged with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, according to the government officials. The meetings, which took place during the transition, included a previously unreported sit-down with the head of Russia’s state-owned development bank.
Until now, the White House had acknowledged only an early December meeting between Mr. Kislyak and Mr. Kushner, which occurred at Trump Tower and was also attended by Michael T. Flynn, who would briefly serve as the national security adviser.
Later that month, though, Mr. Kislyak requested a second meeting, which Mr. Kushner asked a deputy to attend in his stead, officials said. At Mr. Kislyak’s request, Mr. Kushner later met with Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank, which the United States placed on its sanctions list after President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia annexed Crimea and began meddling in Ukraine.
Members of presidential transition teams routinely meet with foreign officials, and there is nothing inherently improper about sitting down with the Russian ambassador. Part of Mr. Kushner’s role during the campaign and the transition was to serve as a chief conduit to foreign governments and officials, and Ms. Hicks said he met with dozens of officials from a wide range of countries.
She added that Mr. Kushner was willing to talk to Senate investigators about the meetings with Mr. Kislyak and the banker, saying, “He isn’t trying to hide anything and wants to be transparent.”
Still, meetings between Trump associates and Russian officials or others linked to Mr. Putin are now of heightened interest as several congressional committees and F.B.I. investigators try to determine the scope of the Russian intervention in the election and links between Russians and anyone around Mr. Trump.
The Senate panel’s decision to question Mr. Kushner would make him the closest person to the president to be called upon in any of the investigations, and the only one currently serving in the White House. The officials who initially described that Senate inquiry to The New York Times did so on the condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about Mr. Trump’s son-in-law.
The F.B.I. declined to comment. There are no indications that Mr. Kushner is a focus of its investigation, and Ms. Hicks said he had not been questioned by the bureau.
Be glad of what you are not
Sunday, March 26, 2017
What would we do without all of her recordings
Linda Ronstadt, "What'll I Do?"
And a hat tip to the late Nelson Riddle for arranging those 3 fantastic albums.
Wile E. GOP does it again
When your career is all self-proclaimed
You really have to be careful about avoiding mistakes. Lyin' Paul Ryan Speaker of the House self proclaimed policy and budget wonk, has proved once again that Paul Krugman's assessment of Ryan as "a man whose fraudulence, lack of concern for those he claims to care about and lack of policy coherence should have been obvious to everyone" is spot on. This time his failure is great enough to actually damage the balloon man.
Less than 18 months after being elected speaker, Mr. Ryan has emerged from the defeat of the health care bill badly damaged, retaining a grip on the job but left to confront the realities of his failure — imperiling the odd-couple partnership that was supposed to sustain a new era of conservative government under unified Republican rule.No, they weren't there and probably never will be without a major replacement of the membership. Before that happens, Lyin' Paul Ryan may be the one tossed out as Fux Nooz's Jeanine Pirro has begun the calls for his head. Is this the beginning of his end?
So far, to the surprise of some close to Mr. Trump, the president has remained upbeat on Mr. Ryan, a frequent punching bag during the 2016 campaign and an ideological mismatch whose instincts informed the molding and selling of the health bill far more than the president’s own.
But after a humiliating defeat, which many Trump advisers are eager to pin on the speaker, Mr. Ryan is now tasked with defending not just his leadership abilities but his very brand of conservatism in a party fitfully searching for a coherent policy identity that can deliver tangible victories.
In this first fight, Mr. Ryan’s more orthodox right-leaning vision was co-opted only halfheartedly by Mr. Trump, who has few fixed political beliefs, in service of a bill the president never well understood, even as he laid on the superlatives in praising it. Now, Mr. Ryan must tug a ruptured conference toward future agenda items, like overhauling the tax code, made all the more difficult by this initial failure.
“Oh, I’m sure he’ll get blamed,” Representative Billy Long, Republican of Missouri and a vocal Trump supporter, said of the speaker as he left the Capitol on Friday, making clear he did not believe this would be fair. “He’ll get blamed for everything.”
The episode not only demonstrated an inability to honor a longstanding pledge that powered Republicans through a string of election cycles. It was also a remarkable setback for Mr. Ryan as the body’s principal arm-twister, in his first major test as the speaker under a Republican president.
In January, he coasted to re-election with almost unanimous party support, prompting allies to gloat that he had tamed the hard-line House Freedom Caucus far more deftly than his predecessor, John A. Boehner.
By Friday, his bill had at once alienated those archconservatives and more moderate members who abandoned the legislation as Mr. Ryan and Mr. Trump began caving to demands of the far right, to little effect.
“We were a 10-year opposition party, where being against things was easy to do,” Mr. Ryan said at a sheepish news conference shortly after the bill was pulled, adding with uncharacteristic candor that Republicans were not yet prepared to be a “governing party.”
“We will get there,” Mr. Ryan said, “but we weren’t there today.”
A closer look at Republican Healthcare Failure
With so much involved you might have missed a few points
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Still in mint condition
Despite having a few years under its belt "Mint" by Kathleen Edwards still freshens the air.
Brackets is harder than I thought
The monkey in the middle
Devin Nunes, Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee show clearly the disadvantage of selecting the least capable people for to serve on the various House and Senate committees. Instead if quietly and efficiently steering the investigation of our Potemkin President away from his Russian master. his evey step this week has led to a bigger disaster and earned him the enmity of everybody.
Even on Fox News, Representative Devin Nunes, the beleaguered Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, could not escape the venom from his left.Having covered for Trump, the question becomes, does Nunes really think that Trump will have his back when he needs it? If Trump's history is any indication, and the many repetitions would indicate so, the answer is a big fat NO.
Mr. Nunes, the California lawmaker, stood inside the Capitol’s Statuary Hall on Thursday evening, assuming a familiar set of positions: in front of a camera, giving cover to President Trump and defending himself.
The subject this time was his decision on Wednesday to brief Mr. Trump, whose campaign his committee is investigating, about possible “incidental” surveillance of the president or his associates. “I still think it’s the right call,” Mr. Nunes said of his decision not to tell members of his committee about his trip to the White House.
But as he spoke inside the Capitol, a committee colleague, Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut, peered into a different camera, belonging to CNN, a few feet to the left. “It is almost inconceivable,” Mr. Himes said of his chairman’s behavior, more than loud enough to hear nearby. “Lo and behold, a couple of hours later, Donald Trump gets to put the barest of fig leaves on the outrageous tweet about Barack Obama wiretapping him.”
Since Mr. Trump took office, Mr. Nunes has proved an eager purveyor of executive fig leaves. As the leader of an investigation involving the campaign of a man he cheered vocally and served directly as a transition team official, the congressman has often appeared almost incurious about the chief subject of the inquiry.
Of greater concern in the intelligence sphere is his recent burst of media exposure, with a public speaking style that can at times seem cavalier while discussing sensitive information. This has led to misgivings about sharing national security details with him, a senior American intelligence official said.
Many lawmakers crave attention, racing to microphones and pounding lecterns in search of cable news glory. But Mr. Nunes, who can seem by turns earnest and reticent in person, is something different: After over a decade in the House, he has appeared to lurch haphazardly into the spotlight, like Kramer entering a room on “Seinfeld,” straining to keep his balance as a human shield in Washington’s daily Trump wars.
Mr. Nunes said on Fox News that he felt he “had a duty and obligation” to tell Mr. Trump about the possible surveillance. “Because as you know, he’s taking a lot of heat in the news media.”
Now the president has company in that regard: Mr. Nunes, a former dairy farmer, elected to Congress in 2002 at age 29, from a deep-red section of a deep-blue state. The Democratic National Committee has even adopted a new label for him: “White House stooge.”
It was always "Bait and Switch"
Bill Maher explains The Great Con that Orange Don is running.
When opportunity presents itself
Friday, March 24, 2017
Long Dark Hallelujah
Beth Bombara from her album Raise Your Flag
Trump Shit Is Always Biglyer
R.I.P. Chuck Barris
Your creation of The Gong Show offset all the other shows you created
After seven years of practice
With every Republican member who requested being allowed to introduce their very own Repeal Obamacare bill, when it came time to shit or get off the pot, the Republicans in Congress failed to drop their favorite dookie.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, facing a revolt among conservative and moderate Republicans, rushed to the White House Friday afternoon to inform President Trump he did not have the votes to pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to decide whether to pull the bill from consideration.And the irony of its defeat is that it failed to be painful enough to poors and others to satisfy the most cruel and reactionary elements of the GOP. But if it had pleased that group it would have offended that small remaining group that still have a breath of humanity in them. So in the end it is like our Potemkin President, it looks good on the face of it but has nothing to back it up.
The president and the speaker faced the humiliating prospect of a major defeat on legislation promised for seven years, since the landmark health legislation was signed into law. President Trump had demanded a vote regardless, which has been scheduled for Friday afternoon. But House leaders were leaning against such a public loss.
The Republican legislation, called the American Health Care Act, would end the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that almost everyone have health care, replacing it with a system of age-based tax credits to purchase health insurance — a shift that would save the government hundreds of billions of dollars and would cut taxes, but could leave 24 million more Americans without coverage in a decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said.
Republicans said President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, the 2010 health care law, had been a failure, disrupting coverage for millions of people and fueling big increases in health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical costs. Insurers in many states, they said, were losing hundreds of millions of dollars under the health law and have dropped out of the public marketplaces.
“For seven years, Americans have been hurt by Obamacare,” said Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. “They have pleaded with Congress to get the government out of the examining room and give them health care they can afford. This failed Obamacare experiment is over. It’s time to act.”
But Republican divisions were still on public display. Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, announced Friday that he would oppose the Republican bill, joining other moderates from Northeastern states.
“Seven years after enactment of Obamacare, I wanted to support legislation that made positive changes to rescue health care in America,” he wrote in a statement. “Unfortunately, the legislation before the House today is currently unacceptable as it would place significant new costs and barriers to care on my constituents in New Jersey.”
With experts like this
The terrorists have nothing to worry from our Potemkin President, as Samantha Bee explains to us.
A man of many promises
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Poor Man's Melody
What? You wanted a ride?
Schumer moves in the right direction
As of now, it looks like the Senate Democrats will filibuster the nomination of notorious torture enabler and all around asshole Neil Gorsuch.
Democrats signaled on Thursday that they would filibuster the nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, setting up a showdown with Republicans who may be forced to change longstanding rules to seat him on the nation’s highest court.Mitch The Turtle has said he would employ the rule change option if necessary, but as with all other moves, that is only if he has the votes to do so. It remains to be seen if Gorsuch is sufficiently attractive a candidate to allow that.
“He will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said on the Senate floor Thursday morning, citing the threshold for breaking a filibuster on the selection. “My vote will be no.”
The announcement came one day after Judge Gorsuch completed his second day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, emerging largely unscathed amid a series of bland deflections and folksy digressions.
Many Democrats are facing dual pressures as they make their decisions: The party’s progressive base has pressed them to oppose Mr. Trump at every turn, and many are still seething over the treatment last year of Judge Merrick B. Garland, President Obama’s nominee, whom Republicans refused to consider in an election year.
But several lawmakers face re-election races next year in states that Mr. Trump won, compelling some to weigh supporting Judge Gorsuch. Still, based on interviews and internal discussions, Judge Gorsuch appears to be short — at least for now — of the eight Senate votes he must earn from the Democratic caucus to reach 60 votes. (Republicans hold a majority with 52 seats.)
Also on Thursday, Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, who is up for re-election next year, said he would vote against Judge Gorsuch.
“I have serious concerns about Judge Gorsuch’s rigid and restrictive judicial philosophy,” he said, suggesting that the nominee “employs the narrowest possible reading of federal law and exercises extreme skepticism, even hostility, toward executive branch agencies.”
Both Mr. Schumer and Mr. Casey echoed longstanding Democratic attacks on Judge Gorsuch: that his decisions tend to favor the powerful.
“His career and judicial record suggest not a neutral legal mind but someone with a deep-seated conservative ideology,” Mr. Schumer said.
Republican leaders have signaled an openness to changing longstanding rules regarding the filibuster and confirming Judge Gorsuch on a simple majority vote. And Mr. Trump has urged them to pursue this so-called nuclear option if necessary.
As Trump slashes environmental regulations
Oil and gas companies are telling their shareholders, the important people in their world, that the regulations have little or no effect on their bottom lines.
In annual reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 13 of the 15 biggest U.S. oil and gas producers said that compliance with current regulations is not impacting their operations or their financial condition.So a few individuals are jonesing for return to smog filled filthy air but the companies affected repeatedly say, No big deal. A normal president would say Meh! but a Tangerine Shitgibbon is guaranteed to attack. And we have to breathe that shit.
The other two made no comment about whether their businesses were materially affected by regulation, but reported spending on compliance with environmental regulations at less than 3 percent of revenue.
The dissonance raises questions about whether Trump’s war on regulation can increase domestic oil and gas output, as he has promised, or boost profits and share prices of oil and gas companies, as some investors have hoped.
According to the SEC, a publicly traded company must deem a matter "material" and report it to the agency if there is a substantial likelihood that a reasonable investor would consider it important.
"Materiality is a fairly low bar," said Cary Coglianese, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who runs the university’s research program on regulation. "Despite exaggerated claims, regulatory costs are usually a very small portion of many companies’ cost of doing business."
Continental Resources (CLR.N) CEO, Harold Hamm, who advised Trump on energy issues during his campaign for the White House, told the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July that stripping regulation could allow the country to double its production of oil and gas, triggering a new "American energy renaissance."
Yet Continental's annual report, filed last month with the SEC, says environmental regulation - after eight years under the Obama administration - does not have a "material adverse effect on our operations to any greater degree than other similarly situated competitors."
Continental's competitors who reported actual spending on environmental compliance told investors that such expenses amount to a small percentage of operating revenues.
Samantha Bee and the Trump "Budget"
There will be a hot time in the old town tonight.
Impeach The Motherfucker Already!
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Hence the need of a Special Prosecutor
GOP Governors Hate Trumps Budget
Ever since the advent of St Ronald of Reagan, Republicans in Congress have been beavering away at the funding provided to people and states to save their corporate masters from paying taxes. As a result states have had to either raise taxes and fees to provide what the citizens want or submit underfunded programs to the Death of a Thousand GOP Cuts. And now with the first budget of Cheeto Mussolini, this process has reached its ultimate end, slashing everything except defense and corporate welfare.
In private, Mr. Bevin has been blunter about the party’s disagreements. Just days before appearing with Mr. Trump in Louisville, he joined a conference call with the president’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, to protest a White House proposal to defund the Appalachian Regional Commission, an economic development agency that spans 13 states and steers millions of dollars in federal money to Kentucky.And none of this includes the anticipated decimation of Medicaid which is guaranteed to make any governor feel like a sack of corn in a gristmill. Maybe Trump will be the end of the Republican dominance in the South. He certainly will leave destruction in his wake worthy of the biggest hurricane.
Mr. Bevin was not alone in his dismay.
As Mr. Trump and his advisers press for bone-deep cuts to the federal budget, Republican governors have rapidly emerged as an influential bloc of opposition. They have complained to the White House about reductions they see as harmful or arbitrary, and they plan to pressure members of Congress from their states to oppose them.
Of acute concern to Republicans are a handful of low-profile programs aimed at job training and economic revitalization, including regional development agencies like the Appalachian commission and the Delta Regional Authority, which serves eight Southern and Midwestern states, seven of them with Republican governors. They are also protective of grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a $3.4 billion job-training program funded through the Labor Department.
Mr. Trump’s budget office has proposed to eliminate or deeply slash funding for all of those programs, along with dozens of others.
Kim S. Rueben, a budget expert at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, said the retrenchment in Mr. Trump’s spending plan appeared to be significantly out of step with his campaign promises to use the federal government as a machine for creating jobs, especially in distressed Midwestern and rural areas.
“It just seems like you’re going after places that are so pivotal to what you are arguing you wanted to do for your base,” Ms. Rueben said of Mr. Trump’s budget. “They’re cutting all sorts of infrastructure projects and economic development projects at the same time that the president is still talking about how much of an investment he’s going to put into infrastructure.”
The White House’s proposed cuts would be felt in matters well beyond economic development: A budget briefing circulated last week by the National Governors Association, a nonpartisan group, identified a long list of Trump-backed cuts to programs that support states. They include the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a $3 billion project in the Department of Health and Human Services that helps people pay for heating and air conditioning, and the Community Development Block Grant program, a $3 billion initiative of the Department of Housing and Urban Development that funds local projects from affordable housing to Meals on Wheels.
Gorsuch grilled on Torture
Which is only fair as he was one of the Bush administration lawyers involved in torturing the law tofind a way to legitimize torture and extend Dick Cheney's life.
Senator Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, pressed Judge Gorsuch about a torture-related document from his time as a senior Justice Department official in 2005-6. It was a set of questions about the C.I.A. program, including: “Have the aggressive interrogation techniques employed by the administration yielded any valuable intelligence? Have they ever stopped a terrorist incident? Examples?” In the margin next to this, Judge Gorsuch had scribbled, “Yes.”Gorsuch did so well at his legal justifications that he was appointed to his current position. Imagine that! An unindicted felon sitting in judgement of others.
Ms. Feinstein, who was the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee when it conducted an investigation into the Bush-era torture program that concluded otherwise — asked Judge Gorsuch what information he had received that led him to write “yes.”
He replied: “My recollection of 12 years ago is that that was the position that the clients were telling us. I was a lawyer. My job was as an advocate, and we were dealing with detainee litigation. That was my job.”
Senator Leahy, of Vermont, also returned to the question of whether Judge Gorsuch believed in the Bush administration’s theory that the president, as commander-in-chief, could override torture and surveillance laws.
Asked about that on Tuesday, Judge Gorsuch had repeatedly said the president was not “above the law.” Mr. Leahy pointed out that Mr. Bush’s legal team did not argue that he was “above the law,” but rather that “the law” meant the Constitution gave presidents inherent authority to lawfully bypass such statutes.
The senator pressed Judge Gorsuch to be more specific. He replied that “presidents make all sorts of arguments about inherent authority — they do — and that is why we have courts, to decide.”
Mr. Leahy followed up, asking whether Judge Gorsuch could think of a case in which a court decided that a president could override a statute. Judge Gorsuch said he could not think of one, and Mr. Leahy agreed.
Some news bits you may have missed
In all the excitement as The Gilded Dumbass moves ever closer to impeachment.
Send him up the river
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
That's his story and he's sticking to it
The legislation may suck bigly
But The Gilded Dumbass wants the repeal and maybe replace of The Affordable Care Act to happen or some of these Republicans may lose their seats next election. The fact that it is an irreparable piece of shit doesn't matter when you have an agenda to push.
President Trump offered a closing argument on Tuesday to on-the-fence lawmakers, warning House Republicans that they risked losing re-election next year if they failed to get behind legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.So Trump says they lose if they don't pass it. And they all know they will lose if they do pass it. And in the end it all comes down to how much lipstick needs to be put on this pig.
Mr. Trump’s warning, delivered in a closed-door meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday morning, came as House leaders were trying to pin down a majority to pass their repeal legislation, which is set for a floor vote on Thursday.
Mr. Trump told lawmakers that many of them would lose their seats in next year’s midterm elections if the repeal effort failed.
“He warned us that there are consequences if we don’t come together, for us as a party and also for individuals,” said Representative Richard Hudson, Republican of North Carolina. “He wasn’t threatening in any way. He was just giving us a pretty clear warning.”
Republican leaders have pointed to Mr. Trump’s advocacy for the House bill — though less than rock-solid at times — as they have struggled to gain enough support to push their measure through the House. But conservative lawmakers who are skeptical of the House bill could be hesitant to vote against it if such a vote might prompt a public shaming from the president.
“He made it very clear he’s all-in on this legislation,” said Representative Kevin Brady, the Texas Republican who is chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. “This is a historic moment and a historic promise for Republicans to deliver on this Thursday.”
Speaker Paul D. Ryan was upbeat. “The president just came here and knocked the ball out of the park,” Mr. Ryan said. “He knocked the cover off the ball.”
On the eve of Mr. Trump’s visit to Capitol Hill, House leaders released a set of revisions to their bill, including a provision sought by Republicans from upstate New York that would shift Medicaid costs from counties to the state government.
Following the Comey Hearing
Seth Meyer had a closer look
Which way to the Dumpster
Monday, March 20, 2017
Enjoy this tune from a few years back
"Why Baby Why" While The Secret Sisters work on their new album being produced by Brandi Carlile & The Twins.
The Circle of Life
In Washington DC can become just another string of distractions, as Tom Tomorrow shows us.
Cold, hungry, sick, ill-housed but safe
Knowing nothing about the military
And caring nothing for diplomacy, Precedent Shit-For Brains is ceding more control of military actions back to the military. This puts the authority to blow up other countries in the hands of people who are constantly looking for a reason to blow up something.
President Trump is shifting more authority over military operations to the Pentagon, according to White House officials, reversing what his aides and some generals say was a tendency by the Obama White House to micromanage issues better left to military commanders.When you spend most of your time playing golf, watching Fux Nooz or whining on Twitter, it is safe to say Shit-For-Brains is not exercising sufficient oversight and does raise questions about the intelligence of those who thought he ever could.
The change is at the heart of a re-engineering of the National Security Council’s role under its new leader, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, and reflects Mr. Trump’s belief that the N.S.C. should focus less on military operations and tactics and more on strategic issues. A guiding precept for the president and his team is that the balance of power in the world has shifted against American interests, and that General McMaster should focus on developing foreign and economic policy options in concert with the Pentagon, State Department and other agencies to respond to that challenge.
The new approach to managing military operations was evident this month when a Marine artillery battery and a team of Army Rangers — some 400 troops in all — arrived in northern Syria. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signed off on the deployments and notified the White House. But General McMaster neither convened a meeting at the White House to discuss whether to send the forces nor presented the Pentagon with questions about where, precisely, the troops would operate or what risks they might confront.
Though the streamlined decision-making has been welcomed by many in the military, it could raise questions about whether Mr. Trump, who has drawn heavily from current and former generals to fill key jobs in his administration, is exercising sufficient oversight.
How much is an Afghani worth
Not the currency of the country but the life of your average Abdul in the street? After 15 years of blowing up anything of value that we don't control and killing anyone who gets in the way, the US military uses a situational system for determining how much, if any, blood money the survivors will get.
In March 2014, the U.S. military paid an Afghan man just over $1,000 to compensate for killing his civilian son in an operation near the border with Iran, according to U.S. military records released to Reuters.Who you are, where you are, who do you know all determine how little the local commader can get away with paying for your dead family. And we want to keep on doing this with no end in sight.
Six months later, another Afghan father was given $10,000 by the U.S. military after his child, also a civilian, was killed in an American-led military operation in the same province.
And 68-year-old Haji Allah Dad lost 20 relatives, including his brother and sister-in-law, in a U.S. and Afghan special forces operation near the northern city of Kunduz last November.
Allah Dad said he received no money from the U.S. military, though he did get compensation from the Afghan government.
Nearly 16 years since invading Afghanistan, the United States has no standardized process for making compensation payments to the families of thousands of Afghan civilians killed or injured in U.S.-led military operations.
It first started paying the families of Afghan victims as a way to counter Taliban militants who were doing the same.
America's approach to compensation is arbitrary by design as it tries to negotiate Afghanistan's cultural and regional sensitivities as a foreign military force.
But civil activists say the system is unfair and confusing for often poor and uneducated Afghans.
A Pentagon spokesman said the military leaves the decision on how much to pay to commanders on the ground because they are best positioned to judge the incidents.
"Condolence payments in Afghanistan are based on cultural norms of the local area, advice from Afghan partners, and the circumstances of the event," said spokesman Adam Stump.
"U.S. commanders in theater are therefore empowered to make decisions regarding payments as they have the greatest understanding of these factors," Stump said.
"A man in Kandahar may get $4,000 for his damaged car while a woman in Gardez gets $1,000 for her dead child. Civilians deserve better,”
Trump is the stopped clock of assholes
John Oliver reduces Trump's budget request to ashes
So many things to investigate
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Ryan's health care baseline
R.I.P. James Earle Breslin
A life of writing that touched so many, from the New York Mets to Crazy Joe Gallo's crew that couldn't shoot straight and Son of Sam who did and so many more. Your typewriter is stilled but your voice will echo through the City for a long time.
Can Tillerson play the bad cop?
And probably more importantly, can North Korea's only friend China bring them around to a sensible course of nuclear policy. And the unmentioned elephant in the room, can Donald Trump keep his mouth and Twitter quiet long enough to pull it off.
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson ruled out on Friday opening any negotiation with North Korea to freeze its nuclear and missile programs and said for the first time that the Trump administration might be forced to take pre-emptive action “if they elevate the threat of their weapons program” to an unacceptable level.Having a mad man in the White House may have a much needed influence on North Korean bullyboy Kim Jong Pudge. And denuclearizing Norh Korea is a worthy goal. But it's a thin tightrope to walk when the Mad Man is truly unhinged and the Secretary of State doesn't do nuance and has let go most of the people who could help him. And since the last 64 years have relied on an armistice to stop the shooting, it wouldn't take much to start it again.
Mr. Tillerson’s comments in Seoul, a day before he travels to Beijing to meet Chinese leaders, explicitly rejected any return to the bargaining table in an effort to buy time by halting North Korea’s accelerating testing program. The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, said on New Year’s Day that North Korea was in the “final stage” of preparation for the first launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach the United States.
The secretary of state’s comments were the Trump administration’s first public hint at the options being considered, and they made clear that none involved a negotiated settlement or waiting for the North Korean government to collapse.
“The policy of strategic patience has ended,” Mr. Tillerson said, a reference to the term used by the Obama administration to describe a policy of waiting out the North Koreans, while gradually ratcheting up sanctions and covert action.
Negotiations “can only be achieved by denuclearizing, giving up their weapons of mass destruction,” he said — a step to which the North committed in 1992, and again in subsequent accords, but has always violated. “Only then will we be prepared to engage them in talks.”
His warning on Friday about new ways to pressure the North was far more specific and martial sounding than during the first stop of his three-country tour, in Tokyo on Thursday. His inconsistency of tone may have been intended to signal a tougher line to the Chinese before he lands in Beijing on Saturday. It could also reflect an effort by Mr. Tillerson, the former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, to issue the right diplomatic signals in a region where American commitment is in doubt.
Almost exactly a year ago, when Donald J. Trump was still a presidential candidate, he threatened in an interview with The New York Times to pull troops back from the Pacific region unless South Korea and Japan paid a greater share of the cost of keeping them there. During Mr. Tillerson’s stops in South Korea and Japan, there was no public talk of that demand.
On Friday afternoon, after visiting the Demilitarized Zone and peering into North Korean territory in what has become a ritual for American officials making a first visit to the South, Mr. Tillerson explicitly rejected a Chinese proposal to get the North Koreans to freeze their testing in return for the United States and South Korea suspending all annual joint military exercises, which are now underway.
Mr. Tillerson argued that a freeze would essentially enshrine “a comprehensive set of capabilities” North Korea possesses that already pose too great a threat to the United States and its allies, and he said there would be no negotiation until the North agreed to dismantle its programs.
R.I.P. Charles Edward Anderson Berry
It's a shame your only #1 song was a piece of shit because every other song you wrote has withstood the test of time and the depredations of white music leeches.
Tapper Trashes Twitler
With some help from Bill Maher
Comforting the Comfortable
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Just to hear your voice
Serena Ryder performs "Call Me"
Smiling and Lying
Wanted: Judges Who Will Overturn The Constitution
Most Americans don't really want that sort of judge, but the small anarchic cell of the Republican power structure in Congress are creaming their jeans at the thought of filling the court vacancies they saved from President Obama with just such 'jurists'.
Most Americans have probably never heard of Leonard A. Leo, who has long served as executive vice president of the Federalist Society, an organization of conservatives and libertarians who “place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values and the rule of law.” But as Mr. Trump begins the process of filling what could be the most federal court vacancies left to any president in nearly a half-century, Mr. Leo is playing a critical role in reshaping the judiciary.The Tangerine Shitgibbon is in a position to fuck up the judicial system for decades. While he is going to fuck up everything else in government as well, the judiciary is where we turn for surcease from the trouble everything else in government gives us. WASF
He sits at the nexus of an immensely influential but largely unseen network of conservative organizations, donors and lawyers who all share a common goal: Fill the federal courts with scores of judges who are committed to the narrow interpretation of the Constitution that they believe the founders intended.
“The Supreme Court needs to be an institution that helps to undergird limited constitutional government,” said Mr. Leo, 51, whose cerebral, unassuming demeanor belies the enormous clout he has developed in Washington.
It is a worldview that has brought Mr. Leo and his allies together with a range of conservative players. In addition to major corporate backers such as Google and Chevron, the Federalist Society’s supporters include well-known industry-oriented and libertarian-minded business leaders like Charles G. and David H. Koch; the family foundation of Richard Mellon Scaife; and the Mercer family, which gave significantly to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and helped start Breitbart News.
This judicial reformation is being coordinated from Washington by a relatively small team closely aligned around Mr. Leo, who is on leave from the Federalist Society while he helps the White House shepherd the Gorsuch nomination. The network includes John G. Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation and Ann Corkery, a Washington lawyer who along with her husband, Neil, oversees the Judicial Crisis Network and related dark-money groups that also support the cause.
While a free-market agenda and the desire to place judges who will be more skeptical of federal and state regulations is a driving force, several central players in the group are also motivated by intense religious beliefs.
Mr. Trump already has 124 judgeships to fill — a backlog created by Senate Republicans who blocked the confirmation of many of President Barack Obama’s nominees. That includes 19 vacancies on the federal appeals courts.
Because of the age of many judges today, the White House expects between 70 to 90 appeals court positions to open up over the next four years. That would give Mr. Trump the opportunity to fill anywhere from one-third to half of all appellate seats — a profound impact considering that those courts are often the final word on thousands of cases that never reach the Supreme Court.
The most important task of The Resistance
Voting. And Samantha Bee explains it to those who may have forgotten.
Too bad your name isn't Everybody
Friday, March 17, 2017
All the people who voted for Trump
"Faithful Son" by Patty Griffin from her album American Kid
Please welcome our new sponsor
If you suffer from Trump Induced Anxiety Disorder T.I.A.D. Ask your Doctor
The Purges have begun
R.I.P. James Henry Cotton
I hope Heaven is ready for your harp playing.
Trump Press Sec bleats out some fake news
And really, truly pisses off one of the few countries that has not distanced itself from Precedent Beetlefart.
The White House has tried to soothe an angry Britain after suggesting that President Barack Obama used London’s spy agency to conduct secret surveillance on President Trump while he was a candidate last year but offered no public apology on Friday.The Press Secretary is fully capable of determining if such an act truly happened and, hopefully, keeping his yap shut if it did. But Spicy Sphincter is part of an administration so untrustworthy that the intelligence agencies would never give them an answer to that question so its denizens get their inside info from Fux Nooz. WATF!
A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday that the White House had backed off the allegation. “We’ve made clear to the administration that these claims are ridiculous and should be ignored,” the spokesman said on condition of anonymity in keeping with British protocol. “We’ve received assurances these allegations won’t be repeated.”
The reassurances came after British officials complained to Trump administration officials. Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to Washington, spoke with Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, at a St. Patrick’s Day reception in Washington on Thursday night just hours after Mr. Spicer aired the assertion at his daily briefing. Mark Lyall Grant, the prime minister’s national security adviser, spoke separately with his American counterpart, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.
“Ambassador Kim Darroch and Sir Mark Lyall expressed their concerns to Sean Spicer and General McMaster,” a White House official said on condition of anonymity to confirm private conversations. “Mr. Spicer and General McMaster explained that Mr. Spicer was simply pointing to public reports, not endorsing any specific story.”
Other White House officials, who also would not be named, said Mr. Spicer offered no regret to the ambassador. “He didn’t apologize, no way, no how,” said a senior West Wing official. The officials said they did not know whether General McMaster had apologized.
The GOP obstacle to Trump's Yuge Defense builup
Precedent Beetlefart wants to build a yuge navy like he saw in Victory At Sea as a kid. Sure it will cost $Billions but the real obstacle will be the steady Republican elimination of skilled workers going back to St. Ronny, which leaves shipbuilders with a lack of trained employees to achieve the numbers Beetlefart wants.
U.S. President Donald Trump says he wants to build dozens of new warships in one of the biggest peace-time expansions of the U.S. Navy. But interviews with ship-builders, unions and a review of public and internal documents show major obstacles to that plan.Assuming Beetlefart gets his funding, the trained people with security clearances in facilities capable of building his fleet won't happen until long after he is gone. And his replacement probably won't be such a douchebag.
The initiative could cost nearly $700 billion in government funding, take 30 years to complete and require hiring tens of thousands of skilled shipyard workers - many of whom don't exist yet because they still need to be hired and trained, according to the interviews and the documents reviewed.
Trump has vowed a huge build-up of the U.S. military to project American power in the face of an emboldened China and Russia. That includes expanding the Navy to 350 warships from 275 today. He has provided no specifics, including how soon he wants the larger fleet. (For graphics on projected strength of U.S. Navy, shipyard employment see: tmsnrt.rs/2n3vOr0)
The Navy has given Defense Secretary Jim Mattis a report that explores how the country's industrial base could support higher ship production, Admiral Bill Moran, the vice chief of Naval Operations with oversight of the Navy’s shipbuilding outlook, told Reuters.
He declined to give further details. But those interviewed for this story say there are clearly two big issues - there are not enough skilled workers in the market, from electricians to welders, and after years of historically low production, shipyards and their suppliers, including nuclear fuel producers, will struggle to ramp up for years.
Seth Meyers looks at Trumps dumps
Are you sick of winning yet?
The Price of a Senator
Thursday, March 16, 2017
And when Trump starts to fill the camps
The menfolk may be brave but it is the women who are the support. Los Centzonles made this 5 years ago and it stands as straight today.
Be hard to adjust this
Trump's Muslim ban blocked
Just in time to distract from his horrendous first budget. Indeed, the construction of both Muslim bans was so sloppy and cocooned in a wreath of Trump's own words guaranteed to reflect badly on them that one is tempted to believe they were meant to be blocked.
A federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order Wednesday evening blocking President Trump’s ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world, dealing a stinging blow to the White House and signaling that Mr. Trump will have to account in court for his heated rhetoric about Islam.No doubt the ruling makes Trump look weak and ignorant and incompetent, which by the way he is. But these Imperial Decrees are issued to excite the followers and realistically could never be expected to hold water in all but the most totalitarian countries. Which is probably what he hopes we will become.
A second federal judge in Maryland ruled against Mr. Trump overnight, with a separate order forbidding the core provision of the travel ban from going into effect.
The rulings were a second major setback for Mr. Trump in his pursuit of a policy that he has trumpeted as critical for national security. His first attempt to sharply limit travel from a handful of predominantly Muslim countries ended in a courtroom fiasco last month, when a federal court in Seattle halted it.
Mr. Trump issued a new and narrower travel ban, affecting six countries, on March 6, trying to satisfy the courts by removing some of the most contentious elements of the original version.
But in a pointed decision that repeatedly invoked Mr. Trump’s public comments, Judge Derrick K. Watson, of Federal District Court in Honolulu, wrote that a “reasonable, objective observer” would view even the new order as “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose.”
Mr. Trump lashed out at Judge Watson during a campaign-style rally in Nashville late on Wednesday. Raising his voice to a hoarse shout, Mr. Trump accused the judge of ruling “for political reasons” and criticized the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which upheld the earlier decision against his administration and will hear any appeal to the Hawaii ruling.
“This ruling makes us look weak, which by the way we no longer are, believe me,” Mr. Trump said, to mounting cheers from a loyal crowd.
Mr. Trump even said he might reissue the initial version of the order, rather than the one blocked on Wednesday, which he described as “a watered-down version of the first one.”
After he signed the revised ban, Democratic attorneys general and nonprofit groups that work with immigrants and refugees raced back into court, claiming that Mr. Trump’s updated decree was still a thinly veiled version of the ban on Muslim migration that he proposed last year.
Trump needs $2.6B to start his fence
O, that great big beautiful fence to keep out the unwanted other people from crossing into the US. Precedent Beetlefart's first budget has come down and he is asking for $2.6 Billion to start construction on this monument to his ignorance and stupidity.
President Donald Trump will ask Congress for $2.6 billion to start construction on a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, another significant step toward carrying out his signature – and most controversial – campaign promise.Precedent Beetlefart is obviously planning to build the Trump Tower of border walls, minus the gold painted bathroom fixtures. I would suggest something simpler, a line of concrete block wall with a 10 ft tall picture of Precedent Beetlefart every 100 yards to beautify it.
The money is part of a $44 billion request for the Department of Homeland Security that includes $4.5 billion in additional spending for the wall, 1,500 new immigration agents, immigration judges and expanded detention capacity.
“We’re going to keep our citizens safe,” Trump said during a campaign-style rally in Nashville, Tennessee, Wednesday night.
The multi-billion-dollar request for the border wall is expected to kick off a major congressional showdown later this month or next about whether such a plan is a good use of taxpayer resources. Democrats largely oppose the building of the wall and so do some Republicans. It’s unclear whether a wall proposal can get the needed 60 votes in the Senate needed to overcome a likely Democratic filibuster.
Building the wall was hugely popular among Trump’s base, with supporters chanting “Build the Wall” regularly at rallies, and Trump has made it clear he intends to carry out promises to crack down on illegal immigration and bolster national security.
Today’s budget proposal outlines how he’d pay for those promises – by cutting foreign aid, environmental protection and the arts, among other programs.
But less than $3 billion is far from enough to carry out all the initiatives that he has promised supporters. Experts estimate that he would have to more than triple that amount to fund the wall, let alone expand detention and hire thousands more border patrol and immigration agents.
The wall will cost $8 billion to $10 billion or perhaps much more. Hiring new immigration agents will cost more billions. For comparison, the DHS’s 2017 budget request sought $7 billion to pay more than 40,000 officers.
What does a white dude have to say to get fired?
A question that Sam Bee is asking about Steve King this week.
Easy to see why
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
A hard working woman
Lori McKenna was married with 3 children when she started writing songs professionally. Two more kids and a whole lot of songs later "Wreck You" is from her latest album The Bird And The Rifle.
Trumpcare failing? Get louder
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