Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that her boss had no participation whatsoever in his own inauguration. “The biggest thing the president did, his engagement in the inauguration, was to come here and raise his hand and take the oath of office,” she said. However, people who worked on the inauguration are saying something quite different. Bloomberg: Trump’s involvement in inaugural planning started early. He wanted to give exclusive broadcasting rights to Fox News, with on-air talent that was broadly supportive of his candidacy, according to three people familiar with his thinking. But in a late November phone call with Trump, Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN, argued it would be a mistake to broadcast only to his most loyal supporters, these sources said. Afterward, Trump told Barrack they’d do deals with both Fox and CNN, two of the people said, but the idea was never executed. Now here’s the irony, but certainly not surprising. Sanders says Trump had no involvement with the inauguration, people who were there said he had substantial involvement, down to micro managing the numbers of reporters. Trump loved Barrack’s dinner, where he was swarmed by foreign diplomats and Republican donors, according to two people who were there. But he found one thing lacking: a robust media presence. Trump wanted “tons” of journalists at his own candlelight dinner the night before he was sworn in, according to people familiar with the order. The article goes on to state that even the table decorations were under Trump’s control. He didn’t like the retro white leather tables with metal studs, he insisted on tablecloths. So tablecloths he got. More details should come out as investigation into the finances of the inauguration continue to be explored. This regime has been corrupt from the beginning, with the very first thing it ever did, plan it’s own inauguration celebration. The die was cast then, and the pattern has never wavered.
You probably remember back in November when Trump was touting the virtues of “decorum,” probably a word that Stephen Miller taught him, on the one hand — and on the other, tweeting about “Little Adam Schitt?” There’s no love lost, ever, between the Conman in Chief and the brilliant California congressman. Here’s Rep. Schiff’s latest salvo over the Trump bow, directed at John Bolton. I’ve at times posed the unanswerable question of how one can ethically serve a deeply unethical man. It appears the National Security Advisor’s approach is to pretend he doesn’t understand English. https://t.co/DGDLfpesZ6 — Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 3, 2019 Now John Bolton is far and away not the first Republican, nor the last, to come up with ambiguous, nay, incomprehensible translations, when they can’t bear to address the fact that they’re looking as bad as they are. Remember then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with the knowns and the unknowns? Refresh your memory with this squib from Wikipedia: “There are known knowns” is a phrase from a response United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gave to a question at a U.S. Department of Defense(DoD) news briefing on February 12, 2002 about the lack of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups. Rumsfeld stated: Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones. The statement became the subject of much commentary, including a documentary by Academy Award–winning film director Errol Morris.” Now, again, this is Republican-speak. This is not unusual. This is more common than you would know, unless you’ve been paying close attention. Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes made an appearance on NPR back in December, 2016, where she made the incredible statement that, “There are no such things as facts.” And of course, there’s Rudy Giuliani’s signature line, “Truth isn’t truth!” So, what is truth, Rudy? Never mind, we know what it’s not. It’s not what it is, so it’s something else. Oh, my, where was I? Oh, my ears and whiskers. I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date. Because you see, Lewis Carroll is the only man who understands this. He was the visionary who foresaw the Trump administration in a crystal ball, when he said, “The words mean what you want them to mean.” Ask Kellyanne the next time she’s on Hannity’s show, she’ll give you a choice of pills and explain it to you.
Blogger Stonekettle has distilled this story down to its essence. Here’s his take on it. "The bullet entered just above his penis and exited his scrotum." Responsible Gun Owner removes himself from the gene pool. Carrying concealed, no license, no holster, no brains. https://t.co/7x3s3hTvMB — Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) March 3, 2019 Mark Anthony Jones of Marion, Indiana, did not have a license for the gun he was carrying, nor did he have even a basic idea about safe gun ownership. Apparently, the safety wasn’t on, or maybe he turned it off when fumbling with it, because here’s what happened. Marion Police Department issued a news release via Facebook that said Mark Anthony Jones did not have a license for the Hi-Point 9mm gun he was carrying. Jones, in the emergency room of Marion General Hospital, told police he was walking about 6:44 a.m. Thursday on a riverside trail near the Marion Girl Scout Cabin. That’s west of the Washington Street bridge over the Mississinewa River. He said when the gun began to slip from his waistband, he reached to adjust the firearm and it discharged. “The bullet entered just above his penis and exited his scrotum,” the release said. Hopefully Jones, 46, doesn’t want to have any more kids. This is what happens when you watch Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruize and the rest of them effortlessly tuck a gun into a waistband and jump out of a moving car, helicopter, what have you. Why Jones felt he had to carry a gun to go grocery shopping in a small town in Indiana has not been disclosed at this time. One would think that in a mid-Western town of 28,000, a man could go shopping for Doritos and Bud and be unmolested, but perhaps not.
It’s not a new observation that the election of Donald Trump stunned the world and made everybody question who and what America is today — and nobody has been asking that question more than Americans themselves. It’s also no secret that a great many people live lives of quiet desperation and are disgruntled about their lot in the world and they feel that they’ve gotten the short end of the stick. Trump’s appeal to these people is that, he, too, is angry and petulant about what he’s been given in life, because to him, it’s never enough, and he’s been wronged. The buttons he pushes amongst his supporters is to articulate their mockery of the norms of American society, their desire for revenge, and their rage. Trump carried on at CPAC for over two hours, a bizarre record even by his standards. Yet, if you listen to just a few of the clips, the two hours distills down to a few common themes: us against them, threats about what he’s going to do to “them” (his claim that he’s going to deny funding to colleges who don’t cater to conservatives, is a case in point) and last, but emphatically not least, his whitewashing of past events and what he said, i.e., Gaslighting 101. Trump on Stacey Abrams: "Who showed up? Oprah Winfrey. Michelle Obama. And President Obama. And they campaigned for her and they worked so hard and all our man had was Trump. And we kicked their ass." pic.twitter.com/pe2VoDfWxp — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019 Trump tried to claim at CPAC that his comment about Russians hacking Hillary Clinton’s emails was meant as a joke. Take a look and listen, and see if it plays out to you that way. Trump now claims it was just a "joke" when he asked Russian hackers to attack Hillary Clinton. Watch the footage side-by-side and judge for yourself. #gaslighting pic.twitter.com/zwq5W2xOrz — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 2, 2019 You can follow Aaron Rupar’s thread as far as your stomach and psyche will allow. But, it’s a good idea to do so, at least a little, because listening to this particular rant gives insight into the negativity and lack of reasoning that characterizes Trump supporters. Conservative commentators are saying that this year’s CPAC hit an all time low. If you want an example of how rancid large parts of the American right have become, watch Michelle Malkin at CPAC raging against the "ghost of John McCain." This display of cruelty and moral sickness brings a standing ovation. What a freak show. https://t.co/ySNI3YXMCw — Peter Wehner (@Peter_Wehner) March 1, 2019 It’s good that conservatives with some sensibility of what conservatism used to stand for are speaking out. It’s also an exercise in futility. Mitch McConnell is going to ride the Trump train all the way to the end of the line. He knows that he’s got the opportunity to stack the courts with ultra-conservative judges and he’s going to make hay while the sun shines. He said as much last November, “We’re going to keep appointing judges as long as we are able to do so,” and judges are being appointed in an unprecedented number, due to the total obstruction of judicial appointments in Obama’s last two years in office. The bottom line is […]
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich penned an editorial just two days ago, and now with the explosive Cohen testimony behind us, and news of Trump slinking back to Washington in the wee hours, after yet another botched attempt to negotiate the de-nuclearization of North Korea, it’s grown even more relevant, incredibly. Reich’s premise is simple: the issue with Donald Trump is not whether he will be impeached or forced to resign, like Nixon, our last manifestly corrupt Republican president. Reich’s take, is that the American people have already fired Donald Trump. Reich says that when the American people fire a president before election day, as they did with Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, and Herbert Hoover, they don’t send him a letter telling him he’s fired, they simply render him invalid. The person isn’t gone already, but he might as well be, because all the attention of the country is elsewhere, and not on the irrelevant, ineffectual former leader. Or in Trump’s case, n’er was leader. Reich also points out that in the cases of the presidents named, the work of the country is carried on by career civil servants, and we see that today, and more interesting and effective politicians claim the spotlight. We see that as well, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being a prime example. Reich fantasizes America writing a termination letter to Trump and it would go something like this: Common Dreams: (cross-posted at Salon, and the San Francisco Chronicle) Dear Mr. President, While many of us disagree on ideology and values, we agree on practical things like obeying the Constitution and not letting big corporations and the wealthy run everything. Your 35-day government shutdown was a senseless abuse of power. So too your “national emergency” to build your wall with money Congress refused to appropriate. When you passed your tax bill, you promised our paychecks would increase by an average of $4,000, but we never got the raise. Our employers used the tax savings to buy back their shares of stock and give themselves raises instead. Then you fooled us into thinking we were getting a tax cut by lowering the amounts withheld from our 2018 paychecks. We know that now because we’re getting smaller tax refunds. At the same time, many big corporations aren’t paying a dime in taxes. Worse yet, they’re getting refunds. For example, GM is paying zilch and claiming a $104 million refund on $11.8 billion of profits. Amazon is paying no taxes and claiming a $129 million refund on profits of $11.2 billion. (This is after New York offered it $3 billion to put its second headquarters there.) They aren’t breaking any tax laws or regulations. That’s because they made the tax laws and regulations. You gave them a free hand. You’re supposed to be working for us, not for giant corporations. But they’re doing better than ever, as are their top executives and biggest investors. Yet nothing has trickled down. We’re getting shafted. Which is why more than half of us support Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed 70 percent tax on dollars earned in excess of $10 million a year, and more than 60 percent of us support Elizabeth Warren’s proposed 2 percent tax on households with a net worth of $50 million or more. You’ve also shown you don’t have a clue about health care. You promised us something better than the Affordable Care […]
Boy, the rules are sure different for people who are card-carrying members of the Trump inner sanctum and those who are excommunicated from same. Night and day doesn’t even begin to describe it. In May, 2018, Rudy Giuliani was quoted as saying about Michael Cohen, “He doesn’t have any incriminating information about the president or himself. The man is an honest, honorable lawyer.” That morphed into, “He’s lied all his life,” in July, and that became, “He is a career criminal liar. He is demonstrably unable to tell the truth,” in the past 24 hours, as part of a series of tweets to the Daily Beast: “[I] just pointed out the numerous articles saying he and his father-in-law were alleged to be associated with organized crime,” Giuliani added, defending his salvos against Cohen’s family. “Also they allege there were allegations about his wife. If there was a threat then [it was] not from President [Trump] or me but if true from organized crime.” “I never heard of a lawyer surreptitiously taping his client to whom he now claims he was loyal,” Giuliani texted, unprompted, roughly an hour and a half after Cohen’s statement. He went on to allege that Cohen could have “doctored” recorded audio of a conversation with Trump—a theory the president trotted out on Twitter last year. “Also there are a number of people who can testify that [Michael Cohen] was relentlessly seeking a government position and was very upset he did not get one,” Giuliani wrote, contradicting Cohen testifying that he wasn’t seeking a job in the Trump White House. “Another area of provable perjury.” Cohen hasn’t been sitting idle through all this. He called Giuliani Trump’s “TV lawyer,” in his opening remarks to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday, thereby incurring Giuliani’s wrath, which was swift in coming. Meanwhile, somehow Tom Steyer has become the new George Soros. I guess when deflection is the name of the game, you throw everything at the wall and pray that the law of gravity has been repealed and something, somehow is going to stick, because it’s got to. Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jody Hice (R-Ga.), suggested, without evidence, that billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer had somehow played a role behind-the-scenes for Cohen’s hearing or paid for his legal fees. This was also echoed by talk radio host and Trump cheerleader Rush Limbaugh, who said, “one of the Democrat donors that’s heavily involved in orchestrating this whole thing today is Tom Steyer, who is a Democrat billionaire from California who is a gigantic participant in the worldwide man-made climate change hoax.” (Steyer tweeted during the hearing that he had never paid for Cohen’s legal fees.) While all this has been going on, Newt Gingrich was quoted as saying, “The Cohen hearing was specifically planned to stop the coverage [of North Korea] and step on the president.” And Ronna Romney McDaniel charged that Cohen’s appearance before Congress was merely a publicity play, “in an effort to distract from the historic progress President Trump is making overseas with North Korea.” The only thing historic about Trump’s relations with North Korea is that he is egregiously naive and ill informed about U.S. relations, at a level never heretofore seen in the annals of American diplomacy. Former CIA chief of staff Jeremy Bash says that Trump is going to Korea in a dream world of his own and not grounded […]
The Shadiest Show On Earth had a big ring set up in the House of Representatives Wednesday, as Michael Cohen finally got around to taking the stand, while on the other side of the world, Trump is meeting with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam, sporting his fine new coiffure. If you haven’t gotten a peek at that, let’s do so without further ado. Why a sitting U.S. president would dye his hair a new color before meeting with a murderous tyrant on the other side of the globe is a case of first impression. Trump purportedly stayed up all night to watch the Cohen show. From what’s already transpired, he must be sweating bullets. CNN: Wednesday’s hearing sets the stage for a classic Washington split-screen: Cohen will be testifying publicly the same day that Trump is in Vietnam for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, albeit the two events will be occurring on opposite sides of the world with a 12-hour time difference between Washington and Hanoi. ___ White House officials in Washington will be watching Cohen’s testimony and taking notes, in case the President wants to be briefed on what was said, according to a senior White House official. The official told CNN the expectation is, however, that Trump will stay up overnight in Hanoi and watch Wednesday’s hearing. Meanwhile, the Cohen show has not disappointed. It’s a first rate farce, complete with GOP reps live-trolling Cohen, trying to break his concentration — so far unsuccessfully. The last time I saw something like this was a scene from “Ron Burgundy: Anchorman,” where the good ole boys in the newsroom were doing everything to break the concentration of the female anchor, making her debut, by making faces and stripping down to their shorts, off camera, but in her sight line. Apparently, the current iteration of Republican congresspeople is cut from the same bolt of cloth. And this is on top of Matt Gaetz’ ill advised tweet, which has been characterized as both witness tampering and witness intimidation, and which has landed him in hot water with the State Bar of Florida. Cohen’s testimony for the day concluded a short while ago, and GOP reps offered no defense of their standard bearer, Donald Trump. In lieu of any substantive defense all day long, the best they could come up with was damning innuendo and inference that Cohen’s sole motivation in testifying is to make a bundle of money with book and movie deals. Evidently, since they lack facts with which to defend Trump, they’re putting all their eggs in the basket of ruining Cohen’s credibility, as is the RNC and the White House. Roll Call: GOP Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky countered Connolly’s questioning by asking Cohen whether Trump had explicitly told him to lie to Congress or if Cohen had simply relied on his “intuition.” “So you just went on your intuition?” Massie asked. “I don’t know if I would call it intuition as much as i would just say, my knowledge of what he wanted, because it happened before and I knew what he had wanted.” Asked by Massie about how Trump would communicate indirectly with subordinates, Cohen replied, “That’s how he speaks. He doesn’t give you questions, he doesn’t give you orders — he speaks in a code. And I understand the code because I’ve been around him for a decade.” This provided a moment […]
Nobody can write a lede better than Charlie Pierce, so let him catch you up to date on the latest developments in NC-9. Esquire: Those of you who have been following the madcap antics down in the Ninth Congressional District in the newly insane state of North Carolina may have wondered how in the hell Mark Harris, the Republican preacher whose campaign got caught ratfcking absentee ballots so cold that Harris got finked on by his son and then called for a new election himself, was planning on running in the do-over election with his scandalous first campaign hanging around his neck like a stole made of roadkill possums. The white suit has been worn to better effect than Rushing does it. As you probably know by now, the answer is, Harris is not running, he chose a replacement. And what a replacement. A white tornado, Boss Hogg look alike, anti-Saturday Night Fever-dream, none other than Stony Rushing, depicted in the photo above. Rushing owns the Take Aim Training Range, a store that sells both guns and classes in how to shoot ‘em. Rushing has been a County Commissioner in Union County since 2014. This is the only undecided congressional race from last November. And the GOP has a candidate who’s a poster child for the Three Biggest Killers of Americans, namely obesity, tobacco, and firearms. I’m going snowblind just looking at Rushing. Do you suppose Stony is hoping that old hippies will vote for him? Don’t even want to speculate how he got that name. Free advice to the GOP: Get another candidate. District 9 is a very strange place. Let me see if I’ve got it all straight, the preacher with the election scandal so bad, that his own kid dropped a dime on him, is now endorsing this all-hat-no-horse clown, have I got that right? And he thinks this guy is the answer? The image of statesmanship to which Republicans aspire. Sweet Jesus. I will always say vote for the Democrat, friends, but in this case, it’s not only a no-brainer to do so, this clown, Rushing, is a candidate for the Darwin award. Finally, here’s a link to the Democrat, Dan McCready’s campaign. My God, I haven’t cringed at the difference between candidates like this since the Moore v. Jones imbroglio. Let’s bring it home for the Democrat, friends, or District 9 is going to be as perverse as it’s science fiction cinema namesake. To receive articles of mine not published elsewhere become a patron on Patreon. Please follow me on Twitter @ursulafaw56
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit court ruled Tuesday that Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel is constitutional. This is not good news for Stephen Calabresi, chairman of the Federalist Society’s board of directors, who published a 21-page memo arguing that Mueller’s appointment is unconstitutional. He now looks rather foolish, but it’s far from the first time Calabresi has authored a controversial memo — or been wrong. Think Progress: Calabresi also authored a later-withdrawn memo arguing that Congress should double or even triple the number of federal appeals court judges after President Trump’s election with the goal of “undoing the judicial legacy of President Barack Obama.” As a presidential candidate, Trump promised that, if he were elected, “we’re going to have great judges, conservative, all picked by the Federalist Society.” Since Trump took office, the Federalist Society and its executives played a major role in selecting Trump judges — including Trump’s nominees to the Supreme Court. […] According to Calabresi, Mueller should count as a principal officer because he “is investigating a large number of people and has already charged defendants with many different kinds of crimes” and “that’s too much power for an inferior officer to have.” “Only a principal officer, such as a U.S. attorney, can behave the way Mr. Mueller is behaving,” Calabresi incorrectly wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed summarizing his argument. (U.S. Attorneys are inferior officers, and a federal statute permits the Attorney General or a federal district court to appoint these officers.) Make no mistake, whatever ignominy Trump leaves office with, he will leave a lasting legacy for an entire generation, one cobbled together by Mitch McConnell: he will have appointed a vast number of conservative judges, all handpicked and delivered by the right-wing Federalist society. They have already been successful in placing two Supreme Court justices on the bench, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Restructuring the federal judiciary is the goal of this administration and the sole reason that McConnell sold the GOP’s soul to Donald Trump to begin with. So far, McConnell has achieved this goal in a stunning fashion. Trump has already appointed 154 judges. On November 7, 2018 McConnell said, “We intend to keep confirming as many as we possibly can as long as we’re in a position to do so,” which is GOP-speak for, “until we are finally forced to cut bait with Trump for the preservation of the party.” McConnell’s gambit the last two years of the Obama presidency has paid off. The obstructionist Senate didn’t approve a single judicial nominee of Obama’s, leaving 112 federal judgeship vacancies for Trump to fill, more than twice what Obama had to fill. Had Hillary Clinton been elected, that strategy would have backfired on McConnell big time. But McConnell apparently counted upon the political pendulum swinging back to a Republican victory. And maybe he knew about Russian interference in the 2016 election. Not saying he did, but in the event that he might have, then it would make a lot of sense for him to obstruct all the judicial appointments in the last two years of Obama’s term, and leave the field so fertile and open for Trump. After the circus sideshow of the Trump administration is long gone and just a laughable walk down memory lane, the awful reality of a stacked ultra conservative judiciary will still be with us. It’s taking […]
It’s been said ad nauseum that we live in two countries, America and Amerika, co-existent and contiguous. Here is more grist for the mill of that proposition. Trump/Pence sends out a regular email to supporters, usually asking for a contribution. Here is today’s, claiming that the Trump wall, of legend and lore, is actually being built. It seems pretty obvious that Trump is counting on residents of Amerika to only read his emails and watch Fox News and listen to his shills on the radio. Unfortunately, if they talk to residents of America, may find out unpleasant facts, such as there has been zero new construction on any wall, much less that a $6.3Bil project is underway, without a dime’s worth of approval from Congress. You can’t blame Trump for trying. He convinced enough rubes to vote for him, why in the world shouldn’t he assume that he can just keep it all going, spin more lies and weave more fraud tapestries?