Notes and Comment Blog

Based on the paperwork we have to put forward

Jul 28th, 2017 4:42 am | By

Kellyanne Conway considers ethics rules an unreasonable imposition.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, speaking on Fox & Friends Thursday, said the Trump administration’s hiring efforts are being hindered by the “hoops you have to jump through” to comply with Office of Government Ethics rules.

“There are so many qualified men and women who wanted to serve this administration and their country who have been completely demoralized and completely disinclined to do so based on the paperwork we have to put forward, divesting assets,” Conway said.

The “hoops” are intended to prevent people from using government jobs to help their own financial interests. The reason for that is that we want people in government to be working for the public good as opposed to their own profit. It’s not a difficult concept; it’s pretty disgusting that Conway pretends not to understand it.

Kathleen Clark, an ethics law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, disagreed about the impact of ethics disclosure forms, saying they help ensure that government employees prioritize the public good.

“Someone who is not used to putting the interests of the people first is probably more likely to see this as an inappropriate burden, but if you put it into the context of the ethics laws, it makes sense that people have a requirement to make these disclosures,” Clark said.

Someone who is not used to putting the interests of the people first shouldn’t be in politics or government work.


Jul 28th, 2017 4:34 am | By

So McCain sucker-punched them after all. He joined Murkowski and Collins in voting down the latest repeal of the ACA, which means that effort is over for now.

Republican senators said there was no consensus and no plan for what comes next on health care. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, warned of potentially severe political consequences for Republicans for failing to deliver on what has been the GOP’s unifying campaign pledge for the previous three elections.

“I sadly feel a great many Americans will feel betrayed,” Cruz told reporters, “that they were lied to, and that sentiment will not be unjustified.”

And a great many Americans will feel relieved that their health insurance won’t be yanked away.

The “skinny repeal” was a pared down version of Republican proposals to undo Obamacare with no plan for what to replace it with. It would have eliminated the individual and employer mandate and key taxes, defunded Planned Parenthood for a year and eliminated key protections of health benefits that were required under Obamacare.

The bill was deeply unpopular, but GOP leaders worked to assure members it would never become law. Instead, they wanted the Senate to pass it in order to advance the legislation to a third round of negotiations with the House to try to craft a final bill both chambers could pass.

Yeah brilliant, pass a terrible bill by promising it won’t become law. What could possibly go wrong?

No this isn’t McCain being a hero. I enjoy the sucker-punch aspect though.

In his mind, he is his own best advocate

Jul 27th, 2017 6:24 pm | By

Will he, won’t he? Nobody knows for sure. Don really really wants to get rid of Sessions, but how to do it without getting into another mess that could turn out to be just as bad or even worse? It’s keeping him awake on the job.

President Trump has discussed with confidants and advisers in recent days the possibility of installing a new attorney general through a recess appointment if Jeff Sessions leaves the job, but he has been warned not to move to push him out because of the political and legal ramifications, according to people briefed on the conversations.

Still raging over Sessions’s recusal from the Justice Department’s escalating Russia investigation, Trump has been talking privately about how he might replace Sessions and possibly sidestep Senate oversight, four people familiar with the issue said.

Those who have discussed Sessions this week with Trump or with top West Wing officials have drawn different conclusions from their conversations — in part because the president ruminates aloud and floats hypotheticals, often changing his views hour to hour.

Like the chaotic indiscreet undisciplined child he is.

Some advisers have come away convinced that Trump is determined to ultimately remove Sessions and is seriously considering a recess appointment to replace him — an idea that has been discussed on some of the cable news shows the president watches. These advisers said Trump would prefer that the attorney general resign rather than have to be fired.

“My understanding is the Sessions thing ends with Sessions leaving the attorney general job to go spend more time with his family,” said one outside counselor to the White House, who, like many others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the subject is highly sensitive.

But others involved in the discussions have concluded that Trump is merely venting with his continued assault against Sessions — one described it as “an emotional exercise,” while another called it “just a rough-up job.” They said Trump has neither fully articulated nor set in motion a plan to replace Sessions.

Instead he just talks a lot of reckless smack that makes him sound like an idiot. No problem.

everal lawyers around Trump have been urging the president to stop his saber-rattling against Sessions and Mueller, according to three advisers. The president has countered that he believes the probe is a mere political attack — a “witch hunt” and “hoax,” as he often says on Twitter — and that he has no legal jeopardy to worry about.

But several lawyers have told Trump that his comments send a signal to Mueller that the president is trying to shut down or curtail the probe, as though he does have something to hide.

Trump has largely shrugged off these concerns. “In his mind, he is his own best advocate, his own best lawyer,” one adviser said. “He’s not willing to let the Mueller probe and other events unfold without taking action himself. ”

In his own mind he’s a genius, and more presidential than anyone except possibly that Lincoln guy.

His dinner with Donnie

Jul 27th, 2017 6:13 pm | By

Nothing at all sleazy about this, oh no, perfectly normal and appropriate.

President Trump dined at the White House on Wednesday night with Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity, former Fox executive Bill Shine and newly installed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci to discuss overhauling the West Wing staff and his political strategy, a senior White House official said.

The private dinner comes as Trump is contemplating major changes inside his White House, empowering Scaramucci to reimagine his communications strategy.

The president and his new aide solicited advice from Hannity and Shine over a meal in the Blue Room that was described by the senior White House official as social.

Hannity has his head so far up Trump’s ass he can study how the comb-over is done…or as the Post put it,

Hannity hosts one of Fox’s highest-rated programs and is one of cable television’s staunchest Trump boosters. Shine was a longtime lieutenant to the late Roger Ailes, former Fox chairman and chief executive, and served as co-president of Fox News until resigning this spring amid the sexual harassment scandal involving Ailes and ousted anchor Bill O’Reilly.

Hannity works for the sleazy dishonest rabidly right-wing “news” station that helped get Trump elected, and the head of state has him over for din-dins. Hannity fawns on Trump on Fox “News” while telling lies about his critics, and Trump shares the presidential ice cream with him.

All perfectly fine.

Actively working to expose people to discrimination

Jul 27th, 2017 5:16 pm | By

Meanwhile in Trump World

The Justice Department has filed court papers arguing that a major federal civil rights law does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, taking a stand against a decision reached under President Barack Obama.

The department’s move to insert itself into a federal case in New York was an unusual example of top officials in Washington intervening in court in what is an important but essentially private dispute between a worker and his boss over gay rights issues.

“The sole question here is whether, as a matter of law, Title VII reaches sexual orientation discrimination,” the Justice Department said in a friend-of-the-court brief, citing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in the workplace based on “race, color, religion, sex or national origin.” “It does not, as has been settled for decades. Any efforts to amend Title VII’s scope should be directed to Congress rather than the courts.”

The Pussygrabber wants to put those nasty HoMoSekshual people back in their place. They give good red-blooded Amurrican pussygrabbers the squicks.

The filing came in a discrimination case before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit involving Donald Zarda, a skydiving instructor. In 2010, Mr. Zarda was fired by his employer, a Long Island company called Altitude Express. Before taking a female client on a tandem dive, Mr. Zarda told the woman he was gay to assuage any awkwardness that might arise from his being tightly strapped to her during the jump. The woman’s husband complained to the company, which subsequently fired Mr. Zarda. Mr. Zarda then sued Altitude Express, claiming it had violated Title VII.

The woman’s husband complained because…the skydiving instructor wasn’t a pussygrabber?

Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Justice Department has now stepped into the fray. In its brief, the department noted that every Congress since 1974 has declined to add a sexual-orientation provision to Title VII, despite what it called “notable changes in societal and cultural attitudes.” The brief also said that the federal government, as the largest employer in the country, had a “substantial and unique interest” in the proper interpretation of Title VII.

In 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, under Mr. Obama, issued a contrary ruling, deciding on a vote of three Democrats to two Republicans that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was illegal. That ruling, which was reviewed by the Obama administration’s Justice Department, did not formally bind the federal courts, although courts often defer to federal agencies when they interpret laws that come under their jurisdiction.

In its brief, the Trump administration’s Justice Department said the E.E.O.C., which had also filed court papers supporting Mr. Zarda, was “not speaking for the United States.”

It couldn’t be; it has the word “equal” in the very title. Republicans are allergic to that word.

Shortly after the new brief was filed, civil rights activists attacked it. In a statement on Wednesday, Vanita Gupta, who ran the Justice Department’s civil rights division under Mr. Obama, said the Trump administration’s court filing “contravenes recent court decisions and guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.”

On Twitter on Wednesday night, Ms. Gupta, who is the president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, noted that only political appointees, not career employees, from her former office at the Justice Department had signed the brief.

The American Civil Liberties Union called the brief a “gratuitous and extraordinary attack on L.G.B.T. people’s civil rights.” In a statement, James Esseks, the director of the organization’s L.G.B.T. and H.I.V. Project, added, “The Sessions-led Justice Department and the Trump administration are actively working to expose people to discrimination.”

It’s how they roll.

Their most stylish and advanced beauty product to date

Jul 27th, 2017 1:34 pm | By

The Onion reports:

Touting it as their most stylish and advanced beauty product to date, officials from global cosmetics brand Maybelline unveiled Thursday the Ideal-Woman Rubber Mask, a flexible facial covering that can be worn over the head in lieu of makeup. “Instead of spending hours each morning applying multiple cosmetic products, now women can simply roll out of bed, grab their stunning latex polymer beauty mask that has been molded to accepted standards of female beauty, and stretch it snugly over their face and hair,” Maybelline spokeswoman Jessica Healy said of the one-size-fits-all contoured masks, which designers carefully crafted with rouged cheeks, pouty full lips, high cheekbones, and a small taut chin for maximum physical appeal. “In the short time it takes to line up the mask’s mouth, nose, and eye holes with your own features, you’ll easily achieve a look that would have otherwise taken hours to create, allowing you to confidently go through the day without ever having to pause to reapply.” Maybelline executives noted that the Ideal-Woman Rubber Mask is only available in Caucasian.

Princess Ivanka in short.

Trump punishes Alaska

Jul 27th, 2017 1:18 pm | By

Trump is taking revenge on the people of Alaska for Murkowski’s refusal to vote the way he wants. Yes really. He’s telling her that’s what he’s doing, too.

The Alaska Dispatch News reported Wednesday night that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called Murkowski and fellow Alaskan Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) after Tuesday’s health care vote to let them know her position had put some of their state-specific projects in jeopardy ― particularly those pertaining to energy.

Sullivan told the outlet that Zinke’s phone call carried a “troubling message,” and the interior secretary made it clear to him that the call was in response to Murkowski voting no on the motion to proceed on Tuesday.

Nice little state ya got here; too bad we’re gonna have to fuck it up.

They’re gang bosses; that’s all they are.

Sir, point of order, Sir

Jul 27th, 2017 1:12 pm | By

So the question of the hour is: does a Twitter blurt from the Toddler President equal a direct order to the military if it announces a new policy on who can join that military?

It seems to be blindingly obvious that it doesn’t, but not everyone agrees. Some say it’s a direct order and the military is disobeying a direct order by saying they’re not doing anything until they hear from the White House.

I just don’t see how it can be a genuine order to the military. It’s not addressed to them. It’s much closer to a “who will rid me of this meddling priest?” than it is to a direct explicit do it now order. Telling the world about a new policy isn’t the same thing as directing the relevant agency or department to carry out that order. A generalized tweet isn’t an order just as a press release isn’t an order. A tweet actually addressed to the Secretary of Defense or the head of the Joint Chiefs might qualify as an order, but a general unaddressed tweet? It can’t be. Something that addresses everyone can’t be an order to someone specific, surely?

(And an order delivered via a tweet addressed to the Secretary of Defense or the head of the Joint Chiefs would be grotesque. What non-deranged head of state would ever do that?)

But I ain’t no lawyer and I ain’t no expert on military procedures, neither.

Sir, not so fast, Sir

Jul 27th, 2017 12:07 pm | By

Subtext: Yet again Trump shot off his mouth on Twitter as if he were three years old and having a meltdown at the supermarket checkout because he wants the candy bar HE WANTS IT WAAAAAAAH. Literal text: no change unless and until the White House talks to the Defense Department by a more reliable and discreet channel than fucking Twitter.

The nation’s highest-ranking military officer said Thursday that the Defense Department was making “no modifications” to current policy regarding transgender service members until President Trump gives more direction.

“I know there are questions about yesterday’s announcement on the transgender policy by the President,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said in a statement. “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.”

Which hasn’t happened yet because no oddly enough just blurting about it on Twitter does not equate to the President’s sending direction to the Secretary of Defense, no even though Toddler Donald did say very official-like “please be advised.”

“In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect,” he added. “As importantly, given the current fight and the challenges we face, we will all remain focused on accomplishing our assigned missions.”

Sort of admits that in future they might stop treating all of their personnel with respect, if Toddle Donald orders them to.

The Department of Defense echoed that message, saying it was “awaiting formal guidance from the White House,” according to a statement by chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White. “We will provide detailed guidance to the Department in the near future for how this policy change will be implemented.”

Subtext: Mr President, Sir, with all due respect, you fucking fool, TALK TO US BEFORE YOU ANNOUNCE A NEW RULE FOR THE MILITARY ON FUCKING TWITTER.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the White House and the Pentagon would work together to implement the policy, with the Defense Department taking “the lead.”

But the statement from Dunford pushes back on that idea — and instead indicates the Pentagon is waiting for guidance from Trump.

Guidance from an enraged toddler. What a world we live in.

Rape transfer

Jul 27th, 2017 6:56 am | By

Oh god. Brace yourselves. From the Times:

 The Pakistani police arrested 25 people in a rural village on Thursday, after the village council ordered a man to publicly rape a teenage girl to avenge the sexual assault of his sister.

Earlier this month, the council told Mohammad Ashfaq, 20, to rape the 16-year-old girl after Mr. Ashfaq’s family accused the girl’s brother of raping his 12-year-old sister, the police said.

Hell and damnation! It just can’t get any more stark than that – a man is accused of raping a woman so the solution is to rape the man’s sister.

We’ve been here before. I wrote post after post about it when B&W was young. The Guardian, March 2005:

[Mukhtaran] Bibi was catapulted to world attention after a panchayat , or tribal council, at the remote Punjabi village of Meerwala in June 2002.

Her 12-year-old brother was accused of having an affair with a woman from the higher-caste Mastoi tribe. In punishment, the elders ordered that Mukhtaran be raped. As several hundred people watched, four men dragged her screaming through a cotton field. Pushing her into a mud-walled house, they assaulted her for more than an hour.

A male person is accused of a sexual crime so a female person related to him is gang-raped. (The evidence indicated that the accusation against the brother was bogus.)

Back to the current case:

The case was brought to the attention of the police in Punjab Province after the mother of the 16-year-old reported that Mr. Ashfaq had carried out the rape on July 18 in Muzaffarabad, a village near the city of Multan.

Some members of the council were present at the time of the rape, according to a complaint filed with the police by the girl’s mother.

The so-called honor rape, or vengeance rape, occurred after the council ruled that the rape of a minor family member was a fair punishment for the accused rape of the 12-year-old.

Oh yes, what could be fairer?

Vendetta rapes to settle issues of family honor remain common in the southern part of Punjab Province despite efforts by the government and rights groups to end the practice.

Such village councils are considered illegal, but in many poor and far-flung regions residents are reluctant to go to the police.

This recent case is reminiscent of the 2002 gang rape of Mukhtar Mai, who became an international cause célèbre. Ms. Mai was ordered raped as a punishment for her younger brother’s affair with a woman from a rival tribe, the Mastoi. Investigations later revealed that three Mastoi tribesmen had molested the boy, and the accusation against him had been false.

Sometimes human beings are enough to make you sick.

The rape case has caused an uproar in Pakistan and rights advocates decried the state of women’s rights in the country.

“It seems that nothing has changed since 2002,” Ms. Mai said in a telephone interview, referring to the year when her own case made international headlines. Ms. Mai now runs a nongovernmental organization for women’s rights in her village in the Muzaffargarh District. “Until poor people get justice, such incidents will keep happening. When the perpetrators of such crimes do not fear the law or punishment, when they enjoy political patronage, such practices will not stop.”

“It seems that my efforts of 15 years have gone to waste,” she said.

It’s a wonder any women survive childhood.

Trump heading for Mount Rushmore

Jul 26th, 2017 6:02 pm | By

More from the latest fascist uprising speech:

So we’re going to start enriching our country. We’re going to start bringing back our jobs, and we will be fools no longer, folks. We’ll be fools no longer. Every single President on Mt. Rushmore — now here’s what I do. I’d ask whether or not you think I will some day be on Mt. Rushmore, but, but here’s the problem. If I did it joking, totally joking, having fun, the fake news media will say, “he believes he should be on Mt. Rushmore.” So I won’t say it, okay? I won’t say it. But every president — they’ll say it anyway tomorrow. “Trump thinks he should be on Mt. Rushmore.” Isn’t that terrible? What a group. What a dishonest group of people, I’ll tell you. [Cheers from crowd] And you know the funny thing is that you would think they’d want to see our country be great again. You would really think so. But they don’t. Some day they’ll explain it to me why. Every president on Mt. Rushmore believed in protecting American industry. We have to protect our industry. And now we are going to start, we are reclaiming our heritage as a manufacturing nation again. Bob Kraft, the owner of the New England patriots, I don’t know if you like New England but they have a hell of a team. [Boos from crowd] That’s okay. But he came to the Oval Office and he brought a sheet with him that just came out. Manufacturing enthusiasm in the United States is at an all-time high. Isn’t that great? To me that’s so great. because we’re going to bring back our jobs,bring back our wealth, and we are going to bring back our dreams, and we are going to bring back, once again our sovereignty as a nation. As a nation.

As a nay-shun.

Nobody is coming anymore because they know they can’t get through our southern border. So they don’t even come. [Cheers from crowd] Never again will America surrender the security of our people, the safety of our communities or the sovereignty of our nation. We are cracking down hard on the foreign criminal gangs that have brought illegal drugs, violence, horrible bloodshed to peaceful neighborhoods all across our country. We are throwing MS-13 the hell out of here so fast. You know, we’re actually — hard to believe that we’re talking about our great country. We are actually liberating towns and cities. We are liberating — people are screaming from their windows, thank you, thank you to the border patrol and to General Kelly’s great people that come in and grab the thugs and throw them the hell out. We are liberating our towns and we are liberating our cities. Can you believe we have to do that? [Chants of “build that wall wall” from crowd] Earlier in year and immigration and customs enforcement conducted the largest single raid of transnational gangs in the history of our country. We are dismantling and destroying the bloodthirsty criminal gangs, and well, I will just tell you in, we’re not doing it in a politicly correct fashion. We’re doing it rough. Our guys are rougher than their guys. I asked one of our great generals, “how tough are our people? How tough are they?” He said, “sir, you don’t want to know about it.” Then I saw one guy come out, a customs officer who is a monster. I said, “so general, you think i could take that guy in a fight?” He said, “Mr. President, sir i don’t even want to think about it.” I said “you’re right, actually.” We have tough people. Our people are tougher than their people. Our people are tougher and stronger and meaner and smarter than the gangs.

Yep, that’s fascism. Flabby puffy lazy Donald Trump has a lust for violence as long as he gets to stay out of it.

One by one we are finding the illegal gang members, drug dealers, thieves, robbers, criminals and killers. And we are sending them the hell back home where they came from. And once they are gone, we will never let them back in. Believe me. The predators and criminal aliens who poison our communities with drugs and prey on innocent young people, these beautiful, beautiful,innocent young people will, will find no safe haven anywhere in our country. And you’ve seen the stories about some of these animals. They don’t want to use guns, because it’s too fast and it’s not painful enough. So they’ll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others and they slice them and dice them with a knife because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die. And these are the animals that we’ve been protecting for so long. Well, they’re not being protected any longer,folks. And that is why my administration is launching a nationwide crackdown on sanctuary cities. American cities should be sanctuaries for law-abiding Americans, for people that look up to the law, for people that respect the law, not for criminals and gang members that we want the hell out of our country.

What’s he telling the people in that audience? That immigrants are in gangs that slice up beautiful young girls with knives. He’s encouraging them to think that he’s describing all immigrants.

We are going to get criminals off our streets. And we are going to make America safe again. We also strongly believe that our borders must always be closed to terrorism and extremism. We don’t want radical Islamic terrorists in our country. We’ve seen the total devastation in Europe.

The what? The total devastation? So it’s like April 1945 – much of Europe is a smoking ruin?

Of course it isn’t. The attacks are horrible, but they’re nothing like total devastation. He’s fear-mongering, as fascists do.

My administration is working every single day to heed and honor the will of the voters. That includes working on one of the biggest tax cuts in American history. And actually if I get what I want it will be the single biggest tax cut in American history. We have the highest taxes anywhere in the world, and this will really bring them down to one of the lowest.

Huge lie. He tells it every chance he gets, but it’s a lie.

We want this country that we love so much, America, to be strong, proud and free. Which means America must also be united. Because when America is united, America is totally unstoppable. Although I’ll be totally honest with you even if it’s not united we’re unstoppable so don’t worry. We’re gonna to be unstoppable either way but it would be nice, wouldn’t it? Our small differences are nothing compared to our common history, common values and common future. We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny. Now it is up to us to preserve the birth right of freedom and justice, the birth right of prosperity that our ancestors won for us with their sweat, with their sweat, with their blood, with their work, with their muscle, with their brain. They won it for us and we’re gonna make it bigger and better and stronger than it ever was before.

So that we’ll all live in a huge condo overlooking Central Park; it’ll be awesome! Fuck common values, man, just give us the money.

Weak voice, weak voice, don’t worry

Jul 26th, 2017 5:06 pm | By

Some horrors from Trump’s speech in Youngstown, Ohio yesterday.

Then yesterday I was in West Virginia with almost 50,000 of our most impressive young Americans. They are young men who learned to cherish words like duty, honor, god, and country, the Boy Scouts. Then only a few hours ago the senate approved a vote to begin debating the repealing and replacing the Obamacare disaster. [ cheers and applause ] Finally. You think that’s easy? That’s not easy. We’re now one step closer to liberating our citizens from this Obamacare nightmare, and delivering great health care for the American people.

I’m here this evening to cut through the fake news filter and to speak straight to the American people. Fake news. fake, fake, fake news. [Chants of “drain the swamp” from arena]. Boy oh boy, people. Is there anyplace that’s more fun, more exciting and safer than a Trump rally?

This has been a difficult week for the media because I forced them to travel with us all around the country and spend time with tens of thousands of proud Americans who believe in defending our values, our culture, our borders, our civilization, and our great American way of life.

It’s funny he says that, really, because in reality he is no fan of our values, our culture, or our way of life. Our values include various norms about how people in government should behave, and he spits on those every minute of every day. Our values are not just right-wing values. Our culture includes science, scholarship, arts – music, dance, design – originality, creativity, discipline, collaboration – none of which he shows the smallest sign of sharing. The only version of “our great American way of life” he believes in is the one he shares with mobsters and Ponzi schemers – do whatever it takes to get as rich as you possibly can, and call everyone else “losers.” All he really means by that string of phrases is “white people.”

And finally, we believe that family and faith, not government and bureaucracy, are the foundation of our society. You’ve heard me say it before on the campaign trail and I’ll say it again tonight. In America we don’t worship government. We worship God.

Says a man who worships nothing but money and himself.

[Crowd boos at something]. They’re pointing to a protester. Honestly, if you don’t point, nobody’s even going to know he’s here. Weak voice, weak voice, don’t worry. [Chants of “USA” from crowd.] Boy,he’s a young one. He’s going back home to mommy. Oh is he in trouble. He’s in trouble. He’s in trouble. And I’ll bet his mommy voted for us, right?

Political correctness for me is easy. Sometimes they say he doesn’t act Presidential. And I say, hey look, great schools, smart guy, it’s so easy to act presidential but that’s not gonna to get it done. In fact, I said it’s much easier, by the way, to act presidential than what we’re doing here tonight, believe me. And I said — and I said with the exception of the late great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any President that’s ever held this office. That I can tell you. It’s real easy. [Cheers]


Image result for trump youngstown

Image result for obama speech

We will never be silenced by the media. I want to protect America, and i want to protect the citizens of america. Your hopes are my hopes. Your dreams are my dreams. I’ve had a great successful career. I’ve built a great, great business. This is the only thing that matters. This is the only thing that matters. There is nothing else.


As Einstein said

Jul 26th, 2017 4:39 pm | By

Princess Ivanka in 2013:

“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” – Albert Einstein #quote #sunday


It’s entirely our choice

Jul 26th, 2017 4:03 pm | By

Image may contain: 1 person

To step outside

Jul 26th, 2017 3:49 pm | By

Those Republican women voting no are trying the patience of their more responsible and reasonable male colleagues.

Throughout the ongoing attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare), female Republican senators have been at the front of a push for a reasonable plan that does not hurt millions of Americans. In June, Senators Murkowski and Collins stood up for women’s health — and specifically Planned Parenthood. And on Tuesday, July 25, Senators Murkowski, Collins, and Capito all said they would vote against repealing Obamacare without a replacement. Without their votes, that plan failed.

Also on Tuesday, Collins and Murkowski were the only two Republicans to vote against opening a discussion on repealing Obamacare. Vice President Mike Pence had to come in to be the tie-breaker to get Republicans the vote.

Now, these three female politicians are facing backlash from their party — and it’s taking on a violent tone.

On Monday, July 24, Blake Farenthold, a Republican congressman from Texas, said,

There are some female senators from the Northeast — if it was a guy from South Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.

In other words challenge them to a duel in order to shoot them dead.

If you did that in an ordinary workplace you might be fired.

[O]n Wednesday afternoon, Representative Buddy Carter of Georgia spoke on MSNBC, where he was asked what he thinks about the president going after Murkowski. Carter answered,

I think it’s perfectly fair. Let me tell you, somebody needs to go over there to that senator and snatch a knot in their ass.

Reporters had to look that up in the urban dictionary. It means hit.

It’s not a coincidence that men are making physical threats against their female colleagues. These are women who have entered a male-dominated space and claimed power through their votes. As some men see it, who’s giving them the right to that power? Someone’s gotta tell them who’s in charge around here.

Democracy at its finest.

Let’s ask her

Jul 26th, 2017 3:26 pm | By

It’s been way too long since I shared a Jesus and Mo.



Don’s snuff porn

Jul 26th, 2017 12:31 pm | By

The American Prospect tells us about Trump’s latest crowd-incitement, yesterday in Youngstown, Ohio.

On Tuesday evening, at a campaign-style rally in Youngstown, Ohio, President Donald Trump treated his audience to a bit of snuff porn involving high-school age girls and some bad hombres.

After painting all the people currently under deportation orders as drug-importing gang members, the president described their purported crimes. “So they’ll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15—and others—and they slice them and dice them with a knife because they want them to go through excruciating pain before any die,” Trump said. “And these are the animals that we’ve been protecting for so long.”

A more perfect encapsulation of the proclivities of the president’s poisonous psyche could not be imagined by even the likes of Quentin Tarantino. It’s all there, the racism, the dehumanization of immigrants, and a sexualized violence involving bleeding women—or, in this case, girls.

He what?

It’s true.

Mens sana in corpore sano

Jul 26th, 2017 11:58 am | By

Surprise Fact Department: the US Defense Department spends 84 million bucks a year on Viagra & its cousins.

In the DoD system, which dispensed eight types of ED meds in 2014, Viagra, added to the DoD formulary in 2012, tops the list for most popular: Of the 1.18 million prescriptions, 905,083 were for Viagra, at a cost of $41.6 million.

Cialis ranked second, with 185,841 prescriptions totaling $22.82 million.

Revatio — one of the costliest ED medications in the DoD formulary — was the least frequently prescribed: 1,699 prescriptions in 2014 for a total cost of $2.24 million, according to DHA.

Worth every penny.

It’s just a tantrum, official says

Jul 26th, 2017 11:23 am | By

Don is still making an exhibition of himself on Twitter, asking the world why Sessions does what he does when he’s the one who appointed him and we’re not. Dude why are you asking us?

But, you know, it’s all part of his cunning plan to bully Sessions into quitting, or inspiring Rod Rosenstein to jump up in the middle of the night and fire Mueller, or something. It looks like crazy but it’s actually fiendishly clever manipulation.

Or is it. The Post talked to people who say it’s just Trump being Trump.

President Trump renewed his attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wednesday, questioning on Twitter why the top U.S. law enforcement official had not replaced the acting FBI director — a move that Trump himself has the authority to do.

In two tweets just before 10 a.m., Trump wrote, “Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!”

Drain the Swamp! he cries, but he’s the one who chose the swamp and appointed the swamp. He chose Sessions, he nominated Sessions, he made Sessions part of his administration. It was you, Charlie.

Trump has for days been attacking his attorney general, and he has similarly been critical of McCabe, who took over as the acting director of the FBI after Trump fired James B. Comey. But his latest attack is curious.

Sessions was not the attorney general during the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. And the president himself could remove McCabe without Sessions. Administration officials actually contemplated doing so after Comey’s firing. Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein met with four other candidates to lead the FBI on an interim basis, though the administration ultimately stuck with McCabe.

Plus…why is he asking us?

A person familiar with internal White House discussions about Sessions said Trump’s attacks on Sessions are a public airing of what the president has been saying for months privately — that he blames Sessions’s recusal for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate possible ties to Russia. But the person cautioned that neither the president nor his advisers have articulated a plan for replacing Sessions with someone else, and the angry words are primarily a venting of the president’s anger, rather than a calculated effort to drive the attorney general out of office.

Oh yes? So it’s not a cunning plan – it’s just Trump acting like a giant baby, “venting” his narcissistic rage in public on social media?

It’s hard to tell which is more terrifying: his malignancy or his stupidity.

The degradation of the independent law enforcement function itself

Jul 26th, 2017 7:14 am | By

Benjamin Wittes has thoughts on the effects of the current situation on people at the Department of Justice and on the rest of us.

The trouble is that remaining in office does not merely demean the individual dignity of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general when the President whines about the attorney general’s compliance with Justice Department recusal rules; when he attacks the attorney general for not investigating a political opponent; when he openly suggests that the Justice Department’s leadership should act in his personal interests; or when he suggests that the deputy attorney general is biased against him as a result of previous service as U.S. attorney in a Democratic-majority city. These are also degradations of the institutional offices these men hold. And continuing to hold those offices in silence when the president says these things them permits that degradation to go unchallenged—both before the workforce and before the public.

To the workforce, this sort of rope-a-doping by the department’s leadership might provide a short-term protection against political interference in an investigation, and I don’t diminish the importance of that protection. Rosenstein and Sessions (who is recused, in any event) may by tolerating belittling by the President to allow their investigators and prosecutors to do their work unmolested. But the long-term cost is the corrosion of the norm not merely that investigators and prosecutors are ultimately protected from White House interference on investigative matters, but that presidential attempts at such interference are themselves unacceptable. To allow the Justice Department and FBI workforces to witness on an ongoing basis the president hectoring, threatening to fire, and belittling the attorney general and deputy attorney general is to allow them to witness also the degradation of the independent law enforcement function itself. For the departmental leadership to tolerate the repeated statements by the president of his expectation that their function is nothing more elevated than that of agents of his political power and protection is, at some level, to accede to the acceptability of those statements. Even if in practice, in the short term, law enforcement functions independently as a result, accepting this characterization of its function has to socialize over time the way people at the relevant agencies understand the jobs they are doing. It will drive honest people away, prevent good people from coming on board, and over time it will influence the way many people think about their work.

Perhaps even more important than the message that leadership’s rope-a-doping sends to law enforcement officers is the message it sends to the public about law enforcement. For the public to see this kind of presidential behavior towards the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, for the public to see both men tolerate it, and for the public to see there be no consequences for it will, again over time, make it acceptable behavior. That’s the way political norms change—the way old norms get discarded and the way new ones develop. If it’s okay for the president to criticize the attorney general for recusing when it’s not convenient for his interests for the attorney general to do so, then why is not okay for him to demand as a condition of appointment that the attorney general promise not to recuse? And why is it not okay for a prospective attorney general to comply with such a demand? If it’s okay for the President to tweet that his political opponent should be investigated, why is it not okay for the attorney general to investigate those the President says should be criminally investigated? Why is it not okay for the President to order up such an investigation?

That’s all the more true since a lot of people are probably paying more attention to the DoJ right now than they ever have before. We’re drinking in what’s being played out before us day after day; how can we help but absorb the messages being sent?