Thursday, May 31, 2018

Chasing Twisters


Delta Rae


Watch Sam Bee call Ivanka feckless



What to watch next?


From the pen of Kevin Siers



R.I.P. Fred Thomas Kovaleski


Playing tennis and spying, what a precarious way to see the world. Still your son says you were not the inspiration for "I Spy". More disinformation?

A look at Ireland's future


From the pen of Joel Pett



Talks with North Korea abruptly end


And neither side is explaining why the talks ended earlier but, as usual, the Trumpoons are saying that things are going well. Or at least as well as they can when one side demands everything and offers nothing.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a senior North Korean official ended two days of talks Thursday with no immediate announcement that a canceled summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump is back on.

The State Department said Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, the right-hand man to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, abruptly concluded their meetings before noon, roughly 90 minutes earlier than expected.

A State Department official said the schedule change was not the result of an impasse in efforts to set the agenda for a reinstated leader summit in Singapore next month, but provided no details of what had been accomplished.

“The secretary’s meeting ended early as a result of the parties making progress and the meeting going well,” the official said.

Trump canceled the planned summit last week, blaming “hostility” from North Korea, and U.S. officials said Pyongyang had been uncooperative in finalizing the details. A flurry of diplomacy has followed to put the meeting back on track, including the extraordinary scene of the American secretary of state welcoming an accused North Korean spy chief to two days of meetings over tea in a luxury Manhattan apartment.

“Substantive talks with the team from #NorthKorea. We discussed our priorities for the potential summit between our leaders,” he wrote.

Kim is the most senior North Korean to visit the United States in almost two decades. He sat down with Pompeo at 9:05 a.m. in the government-leased residence of the deputy head of the U.S. mission to the United Nations two short blocks away.

Pompeo was accompanied by two North Korea experts and an interpreter. Kim and his unidentified aides, two men and a woman, sat facing a curved window with a sweeping view of the East River and Lower Manhattan.

Pompeo and Kim were smiling but silent as they prepared to hold talks over tea at the same table where they shared a private dinner Wednesday night. Both men ignored questions shouted by journalists allowed in to witness them shaking hands and sitting down to start their delicate discussions that could seal, or sink, the chances of a June 12 summit.
Move along now, nothing to see here everything is just dandy.

If you can't get Congress to gut its own laws


Then like every good toady before her, Betsy DeVos plans to pillage the existing Higher Education Law with regulations removing any restriction on criminal activity.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, frustrated by stalled efforts in Congress to rewrite the federal law governing higher education law, is moving ahead with a plan to overhaul the system through her regulatory powers.

Her determination was ratified on Thursday by the chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Lamar Alexander, who told a New York Times education conference in New York that the Senate will not produce promised higher education legislation this year.

Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the committee’s ranking Democrat, has said repeatedly that her party is not the problem. She is willing to come to the table to negotiate a rewrite of the Higher Education Act if the talks include talks on college affordability beyond the changes to the existing financial aid application, a dominant concern of Mr. Alexander’s.

She has also said the two senators could not renegotiate the higher education law in good faith when Ms. DeVos has not enforced the elementary and secondary education law that she and Mr. Alexander crafted in 2015. She said Ms. DeVos is approving state education reform plans that do not properly consider minority and other underserved student populations, as the law requires. Mr. Alexander and Ms. DeVos disagree.

Mr. Alexander’s problems extend well beyond the Democratic Party.

A conservative rewrite of the decades-old Higher Education Act has passed the House Education and the Workforce Committee, but the panel’s chairwoman, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, has not gotten a vote on the House floor. Her version, which would remove constraints on for-profit and religious institutions, cannot pass the Senate, where the Republicans hold a one-seat majority.

Meanwhile, Ms. DeVos has announced a sweeping regulatory agenda that targets revisions to key accountability measurements in the existing law, such as accreditation, credit hour and making nontraditional programs, such as “competency-based education,” eligible for federal financial aid. Competency-based education makes the acquisition of specific skills — not just test-taking and attendance — key graduation requirements.

Mr. Alexander backed changes to eligibility rules for financial aid, “so you just don’t get paid in whether your butts in a seat or not; you get paid if you’re learning.”

The department has already taken measures to renegotiate rules around for-profit colleges, which have been tarred by scandal, and the handling of sexual assault cases on college campuses.

Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for Ms. DeVos, said the secretary is in constant communication with Republican leaders in the House and the Senate, and “is unequivocally supportive of their efforts to reauthorize the H.E.A. this Congress.” But Ms. DeVos will not wait for Democrats, she said.

“While a full rewrite of the law by Congress is the preferred method for fixing H.E.A., it requires a willingness by Democrats to come to the table,” she said. “As long as Democrats continue to be unwilling to engage in productive bipartisan discussions around common sense solutions, the department must move forward with the law that we have.”

Mr. Alexander generally praised Ms. DeVos’s willingness to step in to complex topics, such as Title IX, the part of the Higher Education Act that governs sexual harassment and misconduct on campus. Ms. DeVos is revising existing rules to be more sensitive to students and faculty accused of misconduct and to pull back from automatic investigations into virtually any allegation.
With the rule of law becoming a memory in Washington, DeVos has been well primed by her henchmen to devolve he American system of education to two parts, Sunday School and highly lucrative tax devouring private enterprises.

Anatomy of an Asshole


Trevor Noah does Rosanne


As we all know



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Paper Doll


Tina & The B-Sides


Not fast enough


From the pen of Jim Morin




Always gamble with your own money


Unless you happen to be one of the Big Banks who love to make huge, wild bets in an attempt to realize profits they can't generate on their own thanks to laregely incompetent management. In an effort to get bigger piles of money to gamble with, they are getting the Volker Rule watered down. It restricted the Big Banks to gambling with non-depositor funds. Water down the rule and they will be able to use any and all funds you may have on deposit as well when they make their big bets.
Regulators including the Federal Reserve will propose loosening the Volcker Rule, which was put in place to prevent banks from making risky bets with depositors’ money. The rule, which took five regulatory agencies more than three years to write, has been criticized by Wall Street as onerous and harmful to the financial markets.

Regulators view the rule as too complicated to enforce, with both current Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell and his predecessor, Janet L. Yellen, calling for simplification of the rule.

The Fed will meet Wednesday afternoon to propose a series of changes aimed at making the rule simpler and easier for banks to comply with, according to the people familiar with the proposal. It is expected to keep the core of the Volcker Rule intact and will continue to prevent banks from trading with depositors’ money.

But the people said that some small word changes are likely to usher in big changes on Wall Street.

Perhaps the biggest change would allow banks to more freely engage in hedging, in which they execute trades in an effort to counteract risk in other parts of their businesses. Such trading had been curtailed by the Volcker Rule, which required banks to show regulators specifically how each trade acts as a hedge against specific risks.

Regulators are expected to propose relieving banks of that responsibility. That would put the onus on regulators to prove that a trade was not done to hedge an actual risk.

The change would come by omitting a single word, “demonstrably,” from a section of the Volcker Rule. That provision states that banks can count their complex trades as hedges as long as they “may reasonably be expected to demonstrably reduce or otherwise significantly mitigate the specific, identifiable risk(s).” Removing the word “demonstrably” relieves banks of the responsibility for showing regulators specifically how their trades act as hedges.

Regulators are also expected to give foreign banks more freedom to engage in riskier trading activity overseas. The proposal is expected to require foreign banks to ensure that trading done within the United States is compliant with the Volcker Rule.
Seems simple, if you are going to make a move with a large sum of money, you can tell anyone who asks why you are doing so. In the current state of Big Banks, this is too great a burden. No doubt about it, the Banksters fell they did not steal enough of the wealth of the country in the last collapse, so they are going for another go-round. BOHICA.

Buddy, can you spare $17 ?


The families of Parkland are forming a SuperPAC called FAMILIES VS ASSAULT RIFLES PAC. Here is your chance to buy a legislator and do something about the NRA sanctioned murders of innocents that happen on an all too regular basis in this country. Give $17 or more and help make American schools safe again. DONATION LINK

PS Spread the word to everybody you know.

Abolish ICE


Samantha Bee calls for the end of the #1 source of Official Thuggery


Georgia and Abortions


Samantha Bee looks at the good and the bad


Coming soon to a post office near you

Known by multiple aliases including, Cheeto Mussolini, Tangerine Shitgibbon, Mango Muffinbutt and other orange related names. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Silence


The Accidentals


What about the moral and ethical sinkholes ?


From the pen of Nick Anderson



MAGA forced to reveal true self


And according to Tom Tomorrow all it took was the umbrage of a penguin.

For once he is right



It Doesn't Matter Anymore


Linda Ronstadt


Monday, May 28, 2018

We forget sometimes



Where Have All The Flowers Gone


Joan Baez


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Conococheague


The Hello Strangers


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Mother Superior


Katzenjammer


Friday, May 25, 2018

Look Away


Larkin Poe


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pony


Kasey Chambers


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Caramel


Suzanne Vega


Scarscalp


From the pen of Kevin Siers



Still works for them


From the pen of Jim Morin



R.I.P. Norman Eugene Walker


As Cheyenne Bodie Clint Walker was one of the cowboy icons of early television and even in the Dirty Dozen you were a decent guy who made a mistake. And back then 6'6" was pretty darn tall.

How to scare godless rightwing evangelicals


I'm not referring to the usual FUD spread like shit in farm field among the 'faithful'. I mean scaring them to the core of their being by actually preaching and witnessing like the Jesus of the Bible does. Even a powerful Pharisee like Jerry Falwell Jr needs to threaten them when they hold a revival in Lynchburg, VA.
The night before Shane Claiborne came to town to preach at a Christian revival, he received a letter from the chief of police at Liberty University warning that if he set foot on the property, he would be arrested for trespassing and face up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

At first glance, Mr. Claiborne hardly appeared a threat to Liberty University, a dominant force in Lynchburg, Va., and a powerful engine in evangelical Christianity. Wearing baggy clothes that he sews himself, Mr. Claiborne preaches the gospel, lives among the poor and befriends prisoners on death row, modeling his ministry on the life of Jesus.

But to the leaders of Liberty, he was a menace to their campus. He and his national network of liberal evangelicals, called the Red Letter Christians, were holding a revival meeting to protest in Liberty’s backyard. Their target: Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty’s president and a man who has played a pivotal role in forging the alliance between white evangelicals and Donald J. Trump, who won 81 percent of their vote.

Mr. Claiborne and his group are the other evangelicals. The Red Letter Christians, a reference to the words of Jesus printed in some Bibles in red type, are not the evangelicals invited for interviews on Fox News or MSNBC. They don’t align neatly with either political party. But they have fierce moral and theological objections to those evangelicals who have latched onto Mr. Trump and the Republican Party.

“Let’s go where the Christians are, go where toxic Christianity lives,” Mr. Claiborne said last year, when proposing the idea for a revival in Lynchburg at an annual retreat for the Red Letter Christians.

The revival last month was the most energetic of several recent attempts by Christians in various camps to confront what they see as Mr. Trump’s “court evangelicals” selling out the faith. The critics have written columns, and a book called “Still Evangelical?” They convened a closed-door summit last month at Wheaton College. A number of bereaved, eminent elders plan a procession to the White House soon to hand over their manifesto, “Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis.”

Mr. Claiborne and his group were far more audacious, but they also faced disappointment, resistance and fear. They were taking on Lynchburg, a company town where Liberty University is the biggest employer. Their “Red Letter Revival” revealed the state of the evangelical church in 2018: The loudest voices and institutional power and money are with Mr. Trump; the dissenters are fired-up, underfunded and scattered; and the vast majority of pastors are silent for fear of dividing their congregations or risking their jobs.

“There is another gospel in our country right now, and it is the gospel of Trump,” Mr. Claiborne preached at the revival in his Tennessee drawl. “It doesn’t look much like the gospel of Jesus.”
Like Daniel in the lions den, Shane Claiborne went where the heresy is strongest and proved the courage of his faith and bore witness for those who feel left behind by the adoration of the Orange Anti-Christ.

With a pillow over the Constitution's face


Stephen Colbert on the investigation of Mango Muffinbutt


Just can't get rid of them


Seth Meyers on Mango Muffinbutt's hiring choices


Don't ask what it could have bought



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Broke My Own


Shannon Shaw


Just no end to that prick


From the pen of Dave Granlund



When 3 stooges go their seperate ways


The latest round of Sino-American trade talks was never really going to go anywhere for the simple reason that the three mani US players all had different, divergant agendas because, as usual, theyreceive no guidance from the Big Orange Toad in the White House.
By the time American negotiators wrapped up high-level talks with a visiting Chinese delegation last week, President Trump’s ambitions for a multibillion-dollar trade agreement had, for the time being, shriveled into a blandly worded communiqué without any dollar figures. It was not clear that the talks set a path to success.

Ceaseless infighting and jockeying for influence on the White House’s trade team helped deprive Mr. Trump of a quick victory on his most cherished policy agenda, several people involved in the talks said. The deep internal divisions carried over into how officials characterized the agreement and muddied the outlook for the next phase of the negotiations between Washington and Beijing.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that the United States would hold off on imposing tariffs on China, putting the trade war “on hold,” but hours later, the United States trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, warned the Chinese that the Trump administration might yet impose tariffs.

On Friday, Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told reporters that China had offered to reduce its trade surplus with the United States by $200 billion. Two days later, he said that the number was merely a “rough ballpark estimate,” and that the two countries never expected to reach an agreement and merely planned to issue a statement laying out next steps.

It was a muddled end to a chaotic process — one that revealed an American team riven by conflicts over tactics and policy, working for a president eager for a victory but torn by his desire to have a smooth summit meeting next month with North Korea, over which China wields enormous influence.

Now the future of the negotiations falls to Wilbur Ross, the 80-year-old commerce secretary, who will travel to China in the coming days to try to nail down the commitments that proved so elusive in last week’s negotiations.

Mr. Ross brings uncertain credentials to this task: Last summer, he attempted to strike a deal with China to reduce its steel production capacity. When Mr. Trump heard of the plan, he berated Mr. Ross and demanded that his advisers bring him a package of draconian sanctions.

On Monday, Mr. Trump put the best face on the talks, highlighting a Chinese pledge to buy more American agricultural exports. “Under our potential deal with China,” he said on Twitter, “they will purchase from our Great American Farmers practically as much as our Farmers can produce.”
Maybe Wilbur can achieve something when the 3 stooges failed, if he can stay awake long enough to know what he is agreeing to. More likely the Chinese will keep playing with the Trump people, agreeing when they get what they want and playing hardball whenwhen asked to give something. Whichever it may be, Trump will declare it the greatest win ever.

Lots of leaks


Stephen Colbert


Meetings, meetings, meetings


Seth Meyers takes a Closer Look


Making it easy for Putin



Monday, May 21, 2018

Deep Purple


Helen Forrest with Artie SHaw's Band


To see the world as he sees it


Tom Tomorrow
shows us what the world looks like through the fevered mind of Mango Muffinbutt, Great Leader of Extraordinary Ability

They work well together


From the pen of Sean Delonas



Getting fat on Trump's lunch


That is what the Chinese negotiators feasted on during the most recent round of Sino-American trade negotiations. And surprising to no one outside of the White House the US ended up with nothing after making a huge concession.
Chinese negotiators left Washington this weekend with a significant win: a willingness by the Trump administration to hold off for now on imposing tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese imports. China gave up little in return, spurning the administration’s nudges for a concrete commitment to buy more goods from the United States, and avoiding limits on its efforts to build new high-tech Chinese industries.

The trade fight is far from over. And large Chinese technology companies in particular could be vulnerable if the United States starts punching again, with administration officials appearing to back away from Mr. Trump’s pledges to help ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications company hit with severe American penalties.

Still, the latest round of negotiations showed that a confident China could be more than a match for divided American officials who have made often discordant demands. Mr. Trump, who proclaimed earlier this year that “trade wars are good, and easy to win,” and his advisers may find that extracting concessions from China is much harder than they expected it would be.

On Monday, Mr. Trump defended the approach, promoting the talks as a success. On Twitter, he said that barriers would “come down for the first time,” and China will “purchase from our Great American Farmers practically as much as our Farmers can produce.”

But American negotiators were dealing with a China eager to show its strengths. During last week’s talks, China for the first time sent a strategic bomber to an island reef in the South China Sea, an area where Beijing has laid claims of sovereignty — claims the United States has challenged.

China’s success partly comes from its ability to stick to a single strategy in trade. Even as Beijing has shown a willingness to talk and make peace offerings in the form of multibillion dollar import contracts, it has held fast to its refusal to make any commitment for a fixed reduction in its trade gap with the United States. The trade imbalance between the countries has actually widened since Mr. Trump visited Beijing in November and oversaw the signing of import deals on everything from beef to helicopters.

Beijing also has not bent on its Made in China 2025 initiative, an industrial modernization program that Washington and American business groups complain forces foreign companies to share their best technology while potentially creating state-sponsored rivals.

China said on Monday that it welcomed more talks.

“The two sides have come to recognize that only through consultation can we properly handle trade disputes,” Lu Kang, the spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said during his daily news briefing on Monday.
Having succeeded so well, China naturally welcomes more talks. And knowing what they want and staying with that goal using skilled professional negotiators makes their triumph over the World's Greatest Deal Maker so much easier.

A Bayonet Up The Arse


John Oliver On Bolt-On's diplomacy


Pissing money up a wall


John Oliver dissects the Rehab scam


It's Tick Season Again !



Sunday, May 20, 2018

Impossible Story


Brooke Miller


Shattering America


From the pen of Bill Day



$500 Million Talks, Tariffs Walk


It is now quite clear that China knows the value of a strategic investment, in this case a $500 Million investment in a Trump resort project in Indonesia. Mango Muffinbutt's much ballyhooed tariffs on China are on hold instead.
The United States has put on hold its plan to impose sweeping tariffs on Chinese products as it presses forward with negotiations to reduce its trade deficit with Beijing, a top priority of President Trump.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said on Sunday that the two countries had made progress as they concluded two days of intense trade negotiations in Washington late last week. The planned tariffs on $150 billion worth of Chinese goods are off the table while the talks proceed, he said.

“We’re putting the trade war on hold,” Mr. Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

After finishing the talks in Washington, the two sides released a joint statement on Saturday that offered little detail about what had been decided. Mr. Mnuchin said on Sunday that they had agreed on a “framework” under which China would increase its purchases of American goods, while putting in place “structural” changes to protect American technology and to make it easier for American companies to compete in China.

While American officials had signaled last week that China had agreed to increase purchases by $200 billion, Mr. Mnuchin declined to confirm that figure. “We have very specific targets; I’m not going to disclose what they are,” Mr. Mnuchin said. “They go industry by industry.”

He suggested that under a deal, China would make big increases in its purchases of American agricultural products and energy over the next several years.

Larry Kudlow, Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser, said on Sunday that the $200 billion number was a “rough ballpark estimate” that both sides had used. It is a figure that simply “interests the president a lot,” he said, and is not an indication that a deal of that size is imminent.

“They are offering to make structural reforms, such as lower tariffs and lowering nontariff barriers, which will permit us to export billions and billions more goods to China,” Mr. Kudlow said of China on ABC’s “This Week” program. “That’s the elementary point. That’s the key point.”

Economists have voiced doubts about the $200 billion figure, an amount equivalent to more than half the annual American trade deficit with China. They say it would be difficult to increase American exports by anything close to that figure, given structural hurdles in China and limits to how much the United States could increase its production of goods.

Mr. Mnuchin rejected the notion that the United States as part of the trade talks was revisiting its penalties on ZTE, the Chinese telecommunications company that has been crippled by a Commerce Department ban that prevents it from buying American components. Mr. Mnuchin said that there had been no “quid pro quo” relating to ZTE and the trade talks, but that President Xi Jinping of China had asked Mr. Trump to consider offering relief to the company.
When it comes to eating Trump's lunch in the negotiations, the Chinese are much smoother than Kim Jong Un and much more voracious. We can expect an truly bad deal in the near future.

What good is he ?


That is a question several Republicans facing difficult election battles are asking themselves. Do they want campaign help from Mango Muffinbutt? Is it any value to them to have him spend 90% of his time talking about himself and maybe remember the candidate before he leaves?
“It depends,” said Fitzpatrick, a Republican from a suburban Philadelphia district that Democrats are targeting. “On what issue is he campaigning for me? If he campaigns on term limits — I just met with him on that. If he’s able to get public support behind it, absolutely.”

But would a campaign rally be helpful? “We’ll see, we’ll see what our schedule is looking like,” he said, getting into an elevator at the Capitol.

Rep. David Valadao of California, whose district Hillary Clinton won by nearly 16 percentage points, offered a similar calculation: “If it’s a topic like water or something positive on immigration that actually benefits us — I think if the president of the United States wants to come to the district to highlight something that’s actually helpful to the district, I think it would make sense, but it depends on the topic.”

And Miami-area Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who represents the most Democratic-leaning district in the country held by a Republican running for reelection this year, suggested he would welcome Trump's help — if he "supports my work."

"I’m not asking nor have I ever asked anyone to come down and campaign, I don’t need it from anyone,” said Curbelo, who is leading an effort to force votes on immigration-related bills, rankling House conservatives. “The conditions for anyone to support me, to campaign for me, is that they support my work and are helping me achieve it for the benefit of the country."

Midterm elections are often challenging for the president’s party, and the question of where polarizing presidents can campaign tends to be a fraught one. It’s a reality that has applied to a range of leaders including Presidents George W. Bush in 2006 and Barack Obama in 2010 and 2014, when beleaguered candidates from their respective parties were loathe to make joint appearances or offer public praise.

This year, Trump has emerged as a strong fundraiser for his party, and in the red-state Senate contests where Republicans are playing offense, from Missouri to West Virginia, GOP strategists say he is an asset and their best surrogate for energizing the conservative base.

While Trump remains enormously popular with Republican rank-and-file voters, his presidency has energized progressive activists across the map — and in competitive House districts, especially those that Clinton won, his presence on the campaign trail tethers vulnerable GOP candidates to the national party just as they scramble to localize their races and separate from the Trump-stamped Republican brand.

“It might help get out the base who might not be as fervently for a candidate such as myself,” said retiring GOP Rep. Ryan Costello, who currently represents another Philadelphia-area suburban district Clinton won. “I think, though, it would be a reminder, negatively, to swing voters who view him unfavorably but who I would want to have respond to my message of being an independent check-and-balance.”
Knowing there is no way to control what he does can be scary. And will he be a plus with the base that outweighs the nagative with the intelligent voters? Tough questions that some have answered and some are still mulling over.

They investigate shady people like you.


Bill Maher opens with Trump




Trump's finale


SNL Cold Open


Reading isn't the same as understanding



Saturday, May 19, 2018

Keep The Home Fires Burnin'


Sarah Shook & The Disarmers


Urgent need of re-supply


From the pen of Jack Ohman



Working hard for us


From the pen of Kevin Siers



So long Trump's Nobel


And Trevor throws in Bolt-On's moustache too.


Republicans are fresh out of honor


Bill Maher on Mango Muffinbutt's disdain for the law


May 19 2018



The Turning Point



Friday, May 18, 2018

Wichita


Gretchen Peters


China, Russia, Qatar, who will pay for this one ??


From the pen of Jim Morin



Easy money


From the pen of Joel Pett



A Closer Look, if you can stomach it


Seth Meyers


The Three Colluges


Stephen explains a pack of lies very well


Trumpoons display exceptional stupidity



Thursday, May 17, 2018

Green Rolling Hills


Kathy Mattea


Senate confirms criminal as new CIA head


Thanks to Donnelly, Heitkamp, Manchin, Warner, Nelson and Shaheen



Maybe after lunch...


From the pen of Monte Wolverton



Crooked Little Marco


It is long been understood that the crooked members of Congress will talk a good game of 'Lawnorder' but when push comes to shove will work to prevent any actions that hinder their crooked friends. Much like the steps taken by Crooked Little Marco Rubio for the corrupt power structure in Guatamala.
It is a crime-fighting force which has toppled presidents accused of corruption, dismantled criminal networks commanded by former army officers, and detained security chiefs who operated death squads.

The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig) has dented the immunity long enjoyed by the country’s criminal rich and powerful, using 21st-century law enforcement techniques such as witness protection, wiretapping and covert operations to expose criminal networks.
Guatemalan president's downfall marks success for corruption investigators
Read more

The UN-backed force is Latin America’s most successful and popular anti-corruption venture, and is reviled by corrupt officials and criminal networks in Guatemala. It is also currently leading corruption investigations against the country’s president, Jimmy Morales, and his family.

These opponents now have an unlikely ally in Washington DC: the Republican senator Marco Rubio, who last week suspended US aid to Cicig amid claims of Kremlin infiltration.

“This was a stich-up. Rubio changed policy after hearing one side … this is a classic fake news scenario,” said Jo-Marie Burt, Guatemalan expert from the Washington Office on Latin America.

In what appeared to be a separate assault on Cicig, Sweden’s ambassador, Anders Kompass, was last week declared persona non grata and given 30 days to leave the country.

The official justification for the move was that Kompass meddled in domestic affairs by describing Guatemala as a “corrupt society”, but observers said that the real aim was to remove a prominent supporter of Cicig, which Sweden – along with the US and the European Union – has supported financially.

“The most reasonable explanation for demanding ambassador Kompass’s withdrawal is to weaken Sweden’s diplomatic and financial support to Cicig,” the former foreign minister Fernando Carrera told the Guardian. “[Guatemala] has not experienced such international isolation since the worst years of the armed conflict.”

Cicig was created in 2007 to tackle impunity and help dismantle an alliance of criminal networks and clandestine security structures operating as a “corporate mafia state”.
It must be a great comfort to the corrupt Guatamalans to know they have a US Senator on their side, as least as long as they pay for it.

The Bluster Bus has returned


Following the recent statements by Kim Jon Un most people would realize that diplomatic negotiations with an unstable third world country do not go the way you want just because you have said so. It is reasonable to expect that Donald Trump does not understand this. He has made it clear that he wants North Korea to denuclearize without offering anything in return.
The White House on Wednesday brushed aside threats by North Korea to cancel a summit meeting between President Trump and its leader, Kim Jong-un, but the harsh words underscored the chasm that will separate the two leaders next month in Singapore over how to deal with North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.

Mr. Trump struck a noncommittal tone about the status of the meeting — “We’ll have to see,” he told reporters — but said he still planned to demand that the North surrender its entire nuclear program. A top North Korean official said Mr. Kim would not tolerate attempts to “drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment.”

While administration officials and outside experts said they believed the meeting would go off as planned, the clashing messages brought a diplomatic high-wire act temporarily back to earth, replacing the talk of history-making handshakes and Nobel Peace Prizes with the sober recognition that North Korea views disarmament very differently than the United States does.

The reversal came after months in which Mr. Kim presented himself as a statesman, halting missile tests and freeing imprisoned Americans. Now, the North has reverted to its earlier hard-line stance on keeping its nuclear weapons and to a playbook that includes sudden shifts in tactics when negotiating with other nations.

North Korea’s warning came as Mr. Trump faced pressure to settle an escalating trade dispute with the North’s principal economic patron, China. Mr. Kim has made two trips to China to seek its support since inviting Mr. Trump to meet. Some administration officials said they believed that China was exploiting its leverage over North Korea to pressure Mr. Trump into a deal on trade.

American officials also said the North appeared to be exploiting the differences between the hawkish views of the national security adviser, John R. Bolton, and the more moderate tone of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has met twice with Mr. Kim in Pyongyang to arrange the summit meeting.

Mr. Bolton has said the precedent for the North Korea negotiations should be Libya, which agreed in 2003 to box up its entire nuclear program and ship it out of the country without conditions. North Korea, he said, should expect to receive no benefits, including the lifting of sanctions, until it has done the same.
For some reason Kim took offense at being threatened. And Mango Muffinbutt thinks he can threaten his way through their first point of disagreement. It's beginning to look like a Korean Stand-Off with the amateur set to lose bigly.

They finish each other's prison sentences


Stephen Colbert on the latest Trump shit


Betsy DeVos lets the fox guard the hen house


And Trevor Noah has an honest for profit college ad.


American Sign Language is so eloquent



Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Daughters


Samantha Fish


Torture Queen faces success thanks to sell out Dems



16 years 7 months 1 week and 2 days


That is how long we have been fighting in Shitholeistan. So far, with what the Pentagon like to call the greatest military in the world, we have accomplished jack shit beyond making a lot of dead bodies. From initially seeking to destroy the Taliban we have settled into training our favorite group in Kabul.And the results so far?
Taliban insurgents abandoned their effort to take over the capital of the western Afghan province of Farah, leaving the city early Wednesday without apparent opposition, local residents said.

Even with 25 members of the security forces and five civilians killed, officials immediately hailed the insurgents’ departure as a victory. They said that hundreds of insurgents had been killed in the one-day assault on Farah city and that the government’s response proved it could beat back any Taliban initiative to take and hold territory.

But for many Afghans, especially residents in battered Farah, the assault showed mostly that the insurgents could attack at will even against a well-entrenched government position backed up by both Afghan and American air power.

“The Taliban managed to leave the city without a single shot being fired, and the night was calm,” said Abdullah Khan, a resident reached by telephone. “It shows the utmost incompetence of our forces. The Taliban were wandering the Farah city streets openly without fear as if they had lived there a long time, making jokes with their friends and telling citizens to stay calm and not worry.”

A team of American Army Special Forces commandos, accompanied by armed drones and A-10 ground attack jets, was dispatched to Farah to help Afghan forces push back the Taliban, according to United States military officials.

The decision to send the Green Beret soldiers into an area that is usually overseen by the Italian military echoes a similar tactic in October 2015 after the Taliban took control of the city of Kunduz. Then, the team of roughly 12 soldiers fought alongside their Afghan counterparts and helped call in airstrikes. The Green Berets were later found partly responsible for the Oct. 3, 2015, bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital, which killed at least 30 people.

The governor of Farah Province, Basir Salangi, vowed revenge for the assault. “Security forces will follow the enemy in the districts as well, and military operations will continue until the Taliban are defeated in the province,” he said. “The Taliban will pay the price for attacking Farah.”

But across the country, the insurgents were claiming more territory on Wednesday. The Taliban said that two more areas had fallen to their fighters: Jaghatu district in Ghazni Province in the country’s southeast, and Dara-e Bom in Badghis Province in the northwest, according to a WhatsApp statement from the Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid.

In Badghis Province, Faiz Mohammad, the deputy governor, denied the Taliban assertion on Dara-e Bom. “This area is in government control, and the claims in this regard are untrue,” he said. Officials in Ghazni Province could not immediately be reached.

But Mirza Ali, the departing governor of Qades district, which includes Dara-e Bom, confirmed that government forces abandoned their defense of Dara-e Bom against the Taliban late Tuesday night.

He said that there had been 360 soldiers and police guarding the strategic area but that all had fled without offering resistance, allowing the insurgents to take control.
Running away without a fight. If that is the best we can do we need to be packing up and telling the Taliban don't bother us, we will be gone by X date and stick to it. We certainly aren't doing any good propping up a bunch of losers.

There's no cure for assholes


Stephen Colbert takes the leaks for a ride.


Anatomy of a Distraction


Trevor Noah describes the McCain non-apology fart from the White House


Probably lots of money



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

KW


The Accidentals


Congress slops the hog


From the pen of R J Matson



It might break their mojo


This country is sadly burdened with an administration that lies, fucks up and otherwise makes mistakes on a scale never before seen since the Confederate States of America had their asses whipped for promoting slavery. One thing this administration almost never does is apologize for these actions.
Slowly, several of Mr. McCain’s fellow Senate Republicans — including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Cornyn of Texas, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Dan Sullivan of Alaska — began to call for an apology. But relenting to others’ critiques is not the way of the Trump White House. And it is certainly not the way of President Trump. As pugilistic a president as he was a candidate, Mr. Trump’s apologies are rare.

“The president has always throughout his career had a stance of ‘never apologize, never back down,’” Kevin Madden, a Republican strategist, said in an interview. Aides are “more likely to face the wrath internally” from the president for admitting a misstep than they are “fighting the media’s instincts,” he added.

This combative ethos has stood firm amid an assortment of insults and missteps. Mr. Trump and his top aides did not apologize for his disparaging remarks about Haiti and countries in Africa. He mended fences with — but stopped short of a direct apology to — Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain after retweeting anti-Muslim videos posted by an ultranationalist British group. And his remarks last year that there were “very fine people on both sides” of a white supremacist rally that left one woman dead in Charlottesville, Va., prompted sustained criticism from Congress and many fellow Republicans, but no apology from Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump had also refused to apologize for disparaging remarks he made about Mr. McCain on the campaign trail in 2015: “He’s not a war hero,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. McCain, who was shot down during the Vietnam War and held prisoner for more than five years in Hanoi. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Even the rare mea culpa seems to bear an asterisk. In 2016, about a month before the election, when comments Mr. Trump made about grabbing women during an “Access Hollywood” segment surfaced on tape and threatened to destroy his campaign, he quickly apologized in a short video statement.

“I’ve never said I’m a perfect person,” his apology began. But by the end of the statement, he had returned to a more familiar message: “Let’s be honest,” Mr. Trump concluded, “we’re living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we’re facing today.”

According to a senior White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations, this ethos is again behind the White House’s lack of an apology over the remark made by Kelly Sadler, a special assistant to the president, in a meeting last week.

In off-the-cuff comments that were quickly leaked to the news media, Ms. Sadler assessed Mr. McCain’s opposition to Mr. Trump’s nominee for C.I.A. director: “It doesn’t matter,” she said. “He’s dying anyway.”

Two other forces are driving the decision not to apologize, that official said: The first is that White House officials believe that the Obama administration apologized for the United States’ behavior on the world stage too often. And the second is a pervasive feeling of frustration among aides who fear their every word will be leaked to the news media. (An impassioned plea made last week by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, to keep internal discussions private was leaked to the website Axios by five aides within hours.)
It is enough that Obama did apologize for mistakes to make them anathema to Mango Muffinbutt. Layer that on top of his very fragile, snowflake like psyche, and the idea that anything he does needs an apology is just unthinkable.

What's old is new again


Trevor slices and dices the anti-immigration attitude


Trump namedrops Hannity ??


Stephen examines the Trump/Fux Love Fest


The Right got it so Wrong



Monday, May 14, 2018

Love Lives On


Dana Fuchs


R.I.P. Margot Ruth Kidder


A successful acting career mixed with a cruel mental interlude but you did get to fly with Superman.

Fun with Tom Tomorrow


This week Tom Tomorrow uses his cartoon to create a fun game of "Spot The Mistakes" How many can you find ?

Trump knows Kim so well, he won't need to prepare


From the pen of Mike Peters



If you are going to start a war


And that war is halfway around the world from your borders, it had better be short unless you have a capable merchant marine to supply the voracious needs of your military. Airlift can handle small, short term needs but isn't capable of a long term effort. Sadly the current US Merchant Marine consists of 84 vessels. Any needs beyond that capacity would have to come from foreign flag vessels.
The once-mighty U.S. Merchant Marine fleet has nearly collapsed under the weight of high labor costs, zigzagging federal policies and intense competition from abroad, damaging America's position as the only country in the world able to supply and sustain a long-distance war.

The U.S. Merchant Marine has declined from 1,288 international trading vessels in 1951 to 81 today.

“It’s a matter of national security,” said Maritime Administration chief Mark H. Buzby, a retired Navy rear admiral.

The Merchant Marine is a a fleet of U.S. ships that carries cargo during peacetime and becomes an auxiliary of the Defense Department during wartime to deliver troops and supplies to conflict zones. The Navy itself does not have enough ships to handle a large-scale supply mission on its own and has relied in almost every conflict on the Merchant Marine.

“I tell people we’re kind of on the ragged edge here of our ability to conduct a large-scale sea-lift operation to move our combat forces overseas. Even in an uncontested environment, we would be challenged,” Buzby told McClatchy.

An Air Force general warned Congress last month that the Pentagon might have to turn to foreign vessels to mobilize equipment, just as it did in the 1991 Gulf War mobilization. But in that war, the crews of 13 of the 192 foreign-flagged vessels carrying cargo rebelled and forced their ships away from the war zone.

“If the fleet continues to lose ships, a lengthy, mass deployment on the scale of Desert Shield/Desert Storm could eventually require U.S. forces to rely on foreign-flagged ships for sustainment,” Air Force Gen. Darren W. McDew, head of the U.S. Transportation Command, told a Senate panel April 10.

McDew said the dwindling Merchant Marine fleet, along with an aging Navy transport fleet, "threatens our ability to meet national security requirements."

U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East and Afghanistan still receive much of their supplies via U.S. flag vessels. Despite the usage of heavy lift aircraft, large oceangoing vessels remain crucial to military mobility in the 21st century.

Vessels flying the flags of places like Liberia, Panama and the Marshall Islands usually have smaller multinational crews that stay at sea for longer periods, even as the value of the cargo aboard their ships — sometimes surpassing 20,000 containers — grows ever higher. U.S. flag ships have more robust crews — a minimum of 22 — and all mariners take an oath of allegiance to the United States.

Foreign crews shouldn’t be allowed near armaments and supplies the Pentagon uses in fighting wars, Buzby said.

“They could sabotage equipment or have access to classified equipment and systems,” Buzby said. Or “just be slow or nonexistent about delivering it.”
And at a time when our ability to fight wars is waning, the people in a position to decide our wars have their minds stuck in a combination of M-I-C propaganda and memories of glory days long past. Any war for Bibi would probably strain our reliable logistics train to the max with no help from our allies, past and present.

Forget what Trump says


John Oliver has the straight skinny on Venezuela


John Oliver Sums Up Michael Cohen



Just the beginning



Sunday, May 13, 2018

Come To My Window


Melissa Etheridge


How the Bag Business works


From the pen of Brian McFadden



Finally Trump works to save jobs


Unlike what most #MAGAts expected, Mango Muffinbutt is working with China to save jobs in China that were endangered by his tariffs and the jobs are in a company that has been accused of multiple trade export violations regarding restricted technology.
President Trump tweeted on Sunday that he was working with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to prevent the collapse of the Chinese electronics giant ZTE, which shut down major operations after being sanctioned by the United States Department of Commerce last month.The department last month banned shipments of American technology to ZTE for seven years, saying the company had failed to reprimand employees who violated American trade controls on Iran and North Korea.

The company had already agreed last year to a $1.2 billion fine in connection with those violations. But now, barred from using American microchips, software and other components, ZTE struggled to manufacture its telecommunications equipment and smartphones.

Mr. Trump’s tweet on Sunday left many initially scratching their heads, in part because he has regularly trumpeted his efforts to save American jobs.In addition, the prospective shutdown of ZTE was seen as major leverage in ongoing discussions between China and the United States over Chinese trade practices. If the president was announcing a huge concession, it was without any indication of what he might have gotten in return.

In addition, the prospective shutdown of ZTE was seen as major leverage in ongoing discussions between China and the United States over Chinese trade practices. If the president was announcing a huge concession, it was without any indication of what he might have gotten in return.

“Given his pressure on Beijing on trade, I don’t understand concern for Chinese jobs,” in the tweet, said Adam Segal, a technology and security expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. It “goes against the steady stream of security warnings about ZTE,” he added.

ZTE said on Wednesday that it had halted “major operating activities.” It has 75,000 employees and says it has business in more than 160 nations. Although large American wireless carriers do not use the company’s telecom equipment out of security concerns, it is the No. 4 smartphone brand in the United States, behind Apple, Samsung and LG.
Such A Deal !! Kim Jong Un must be watching closely so he doesn't miss any of Mango's weaknesses.

At least we go 3 idiots back from North Korea


Bill Maher on this past week


A cop's gotta shoot what a cop's gotta shoot


Trevor Noah on the Armed Gendarmerie


The evangelical way



Saturday, May 12, 2018

Rise Up


Diane Birch




When the Boss is a thug


From the pen of Monte Wolverton



Who DOES Devin Nunes work for ?


A serious question that needs to be answered
in light of his efforts to obstruct justice and reveal National Security secrets willy-nilly. His efforts to please the White House and end the House investigation into Trump's treasonous behavior makes one wonder if his connections end in the Oval Office or do they extend to the Kremlin?
The chairman, Representative Devin Nunes of California, has issued increasingly bold demands for access to some of the Justice Department’s most sensitive case files. He has courted a series of escalating confrontations over access to materials that are usually off limits to Congress under department policy. And when those efforts failed, he threatened top law enforcement officials — mostly Republicans appointed by Mr. Trump.

In the latest episode, splashed across cable news this past week, Mr. Nunes demanded more documents and related materials for his investigation into allegations of surveillance abuse by federal law enforcement officials. His claim pitted him against not just the Justice Department, but also officials in the F.B.I., the intelligence community and the White House, who warned that disclosure could endanger a longtime source who is aiding the special counsel’s investigation.

As Mr. Nunes sees it, the cycle of confrontation is part of a legitimate effort by him and other House Republicans to conduct oversight of obstinate law enforcement officials.

But increasingly, top officials at the Justice Department have privately expressed concern that the lawmakers are simply mining government secrets for information they can weaponize against those investigating the president, including the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

Mr. Nunes was unconvinced by the warnings about the intelligence and law enforcement source, first issuing a subpoena ordering that the Justice Department comply with his latest records request and then a pointed threat to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who is not involved in the case — in contempt of Congress.

The relationship between the Justice Department and Mr. Nunes has so eroded that when he trekked down Pennsylvania Avenue on Thursday from the Capitol to the department to discuss his latest request, Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, a Republican colleague and former federal prosecutor, tagged along at the encouragement of the House speaker to help keep the meeting civil, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Democrats believe the pattern is clear: Mr. Nunes is abusing his authority to undermine the Russia investigation.

“The goal is not the information,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee. “The goal is the fight. And the ultimate objective is to undermine the Justice Department, undermine Bob Mueller and give the president a pretext to fire people.”

The requests have also sent waves of tension through the department itself. The F.B.I. is generally opposed to giving lawmakers access to any materials related to a continuing investigation. But Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who is overseeing the Russia investigation, has political considerations to weigh. To completely withhold information could be politically untenable — and potentially put the Mueller investigation at risk — given the support Mr. Nunes enjoys from Mr. Trump.

After months of giving into requests, Mr. Rosenstein has signaled that he is unwilling to go much further.

“If we were to just open our doors to allow Congress to come and rummage through the files, that would be a serious infringement on the separation of powers,” Mr. Rosenstein said at an event this month, amid reports that another House Republican had drafted articles of impeachment against him.

For now, tensions between Mr. Nunes and Mr. Rosenstein appear to have eased somewhat after Thursday’s briefings, which included both classified and unclassified sessions. The department did not share the requested documents with lawmakers, but it convened officials from the F.B.I. and Office of the Director of National Intelligence to lay out their case.
Imagine how delighted Putin would be if his running dog Nunes could do serious damage to the major national investigative agency? And if he succeeded in preventing the termination of Putin's favorite agent in the White House, Vlad might be ecstatic enough to let Nunes try his latest nerve agent since Devin isn't smart enough to keep his mouth shut.

What the Heartland used to call assholes


Bill Maher looks at Trumps mob connections


Not the pictures you were hoping for


Stephen Colbert on the images in the Post Office


Princess of Lies



Friday, May 11, 2018

All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun


Sheryl Crow


A new, improved name for the old same


From the pen of Steve Sack



It's not often a CEO will concede a mistake


However it is not often that mistake is as high profile as paying a $600,000 bribe to the President's bagman and having it splashed across the headlines nationwide. Something of that nature does require a public apology.
AT&T's chief executive said Friday that the company made a “serious misjudgment” to seek advice from President Trump's personal attorney and announced that its top lobbying executive in Washington would be leaving the firm.

“There is no other way to say it — AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake,” AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson wrote in a companywide internal email.

The email comes after revelations that AT&T agreed to pay $600,000 to Cohen last year in exchange for advice on how to approach the Trump administration. Internal AT&T documents, obtained by The Washington Post on Thursday, outlined how Cohen was expected to provide guidance on matters facing the company at the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department, specifically mentioning AT&T's $85 billion Time Warner merger.

Three days after Trump was sworn into office, the telecom giant turned to Cohen for help on a wide portfolio of issues pending before the federal government — including the Time Warner merger, according to documents The Post obtained. Trump had voiced opposition to the merger during the presidential campaign, and his administration ultimately opposed the AT&T effort. The Justice Department filed suit in November to block the deal, and that case is pending.

Cohen’s deals with AT&T and other corporate clients were first revealed this week by an attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels, but the new documents obtained by The Post offered greater detail about his arrangement with the telecom company and the type of work he had been hired to perform.

It is unclear what insight Cohen — a longtime real estate attorney and former taxicab operator — could have provided AT&T on complex telecom matters. At the same time that he was collecting $50,000 a month from AT&T, Cohen was being paid large sums to advise other companies on a broad variety of issues, including the Affordable Care Act, accounting practices and real estate.

“Everything we did was done according to the law and entirely legitimate,” Stephenson wrote. Companies routinely hire political consultants at the outset of new administrations, he said, and AT&T has done so in the past.

But, Stephenson added, AT&T's Washington team failed to fully vet Cohen before hiring him, and that Stephenson takes responsibility.

In a supplemental document linked from the email, Stephenson explained that Cohen was the one who approached the company offering insight on the administration’s “key players, their priorities and how they think.”
And it was all a big mistake even though it was allegedly all legitimate. And we will never do it again unless we get another chance. And despite this example of patently bad judgement, Mr. Stephenson will give himself a big raise and a large helping of bonuses and stock options.

One of his better campaign promises


Among all the calls for racism and other forms of raging hostility, Mango Muffinbutt included an idea that made sense and would benefit a large segment of his voting base and other Americans as well. Medicare pays huge sums of money to Big Pharma because it was prohibited from negotiating drug prices by a previous Republican Congress. Mango promised he would do something about that. As with most of Mango's promises, this one was just so much blown air.
The White House will issue a blueprint that represents “the most comprehensive plan to tackle prescription drug affordability of any president,” a senior official told journalists on Thursday night.

Asked if the plan would include direct negotiations by Medicare, the official said, “No, we are talking about something different.”

“We are not calling for Medicare negotiation in the way that Democrats have called for,” the official said later. “We clearly want to make important changes that will dramatically improve the way negotiation takes place inside the Medicare program.”

As he campaigned for the presidency, Mr. Trump boldly broke with his party and embraced a longstanding Democratic proposal when he called for the federal government to use its buying power to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare recipients. The proposal was popular with voters but not with other Republican politicians, who had been battling it for years.

Under Part D of Medicare, millions of older Americans receive insurance coverage for prescription drugs. The benefit is delivered entirely by private entities under contract with Medicare. These private entities — insurance companies and the middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers — negotiate prices with drugmakers. But under a 2003 law, the federal government “may not interfere” in those negotiations.

The president’s plan will make it easier for private plans to negotiate “better deals for our seniors, especially for high-cost medications,” said the senior administration official, who spoke on the condition that he would not be named. The official refused to provide details, which he said would be disclosed on Friday.

Congressional Democrats said they would like to work with Mr. Trump on plans to rein in drug costs, but they predicted that his proposals would be inadequate.

“On the campaign trail, he spoke like a populist,” the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, said on Thursday. “He talked the talk, but he has failed — at least so far — to walk the walk.”

The president’s plan will make it easier for private plans to negotiate “better deals for our seniors, especially for high-cost medications,” said the senior administration official, who spoke on the condition that he would not be named. The official refused to provide details, which he said would be disclosed on Friday.

Congressional Democrats said they would like to work with Mr. Trump on plans to rein in drug costs, but they predicted that his proposals would be inadequate.

“On the campaign trail, he spoke like a populist,” the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, said on Thursday. “He talked the talk, but he has failed — at least so far — to walk the walk.”
That certainly is an unusual approach to the problem, making other countries pay more for drugs and hoping that Big Pharma will drop their domestic prices because of the huge profits they will be making overseas. Sure sounds like a winner from Our Beloved Leader Mango Muffinbutt.

The crazy on full burn


Stephen Colbert


Trevor's Take on Mango's Mistake


The Daily Show


And he thinks its a good day



Thursday, May 10, 2018

Barricades


Tina and the B-Sides


Don't you hate it when he is right ?


From the pen of Adam Zyglis



It's a Miracle that Bibi waited


Just barely, but endangered criminal thug and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi 'Bugsy' Netayahu managed to wait until Mango Mussolini officially violated the Iran Nuclear deal before staging a transparently fake attack on Israeli controlled territory to be followed by a series of raids on Israeli denominated Iranian targets in Syria.
Israeli fighter jets struck dozens of Iranian targets in Syria overnight, Israeli officials said, following soon after what the Israeli military described as an unsuccessful Iranian rocket attack against its forces in the Golan Heights.

The response — which Israeli officials claimed struck a severe blow to Iran’s military capacity in the area — came amid drastically ramped up tensions in the Middle East after President Trump’s move this week to pull the United States from a multinational nuclear deal with Tehran. Israel had railed against the agreement, and Mr. Trump had campaigned on the promise of withdrawing from it, but European countries and many analysts had seen it as a crucial element holding Iran and Israel, implacable foes, from all-out conflict.

In the aftermath of the president’s decision, the rhetoric between the two sides has heightened sharply. And while Israel and Iran have been conducting a shadow war in Syria for months under the cover of the civil war there, the conflict has now burst into the open.

Overnight, Iranian forces fired around 20 rockets at the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, targeting forward positions of the Israeli military, according to an Israeli military spokesman. The rockets were all either intercepted or fell short of their mark in Syrian territory, the spokesman said, but were nevertheless a significant escalation in Iran’s maneuvers in the Middle East.

Though Israel has hit Iranian forces in Syria with a number of deadly airstrikes, Tehran has been restrained in hitting back, until now. The rocket attack against Israel appeared to be in response to Israeli strikes on southern Syria on Wednesday.

Hours later, Israel responded. By Thursday morning, the country’s air force had destroyed “nearly all” of Iran’s military infrastructure in Syria, according to Israel’s defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman.

“If there is rain on our side, there will be a flood on their side,” Mr. Lieberman said in remarks broadcast from a policy conference in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv. He added, “I hope we have finished with this round and that everybody understood.”

In all, at least 23 people were killed in the strikes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group. The Syrian Army, by contrast, said that three people had died.

In a sign of international concern that the conflict could escalate, Britain, France, Germany and Russia were quick to call for calm. Moscow — which enjoys warm ties with Israel and has had ever-closer relations with Iran in recent years — in particular called for “restraint from all parties,” Mikhail Bogdanov, a Russian deputy foreign minister, was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency Interfax.
It has been a few years since Israel attacked any of its neighbors, longer if you discount various bombing and artillery attacks on the Gaza ghetto and no doubt the military is really feeling its oats with this raid. The sad part is even without Bibi running the show, Israel will continue to show the many foreign policy and military skills it learned from the Third Reich.

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