Trump met in the Oval Office Tuesday with the NATO secretary general, who had a look on his face similar to the one Mike Pence had, when he was hoping to blend in with the wall paper, the day that Chuck Schumer was openly laughing at Trump, who at that time was threatening to shut down the government, and “wear the mantle.” This meeting was one for the books, which considering this is Trump, is saying something. First, Trump rhapsodized about how much he loves Germany, home of his father’s birth — which is not only untrue, it’s not the first time Trump has made this particular gaffe in public. Trump just said "my father is German, was German. Born in a very wonderful place in Germany." Fred Trump was born in New York. pic.twitter.com/U6eWYPzjrJ — Tommy MMXIXtopher (@tommyxtopher) April 2, 2019 I can understand if Trump and his father were not close. That happens to a lot of people. But the fact that he doesn’t even know where the man was born? Then Trump went on to say that the answer to immigration is simple and he can get it done in about 45 minutes. TRUMP threatens to close border with Mexico as soon as this weekend, then rants about immigration during Oval Office meeting with NATO secretary general: "What we have to do is Congress has to meet quickly & make a deal… to be honest with you, we have to get rid of judges." pic.twitter.com/DAbeXVXUIK — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 2, 2019 If you missed this stellar performance today, Trump went on to say that closing the border would affect trade ($1Trillion Dollars worth, FYI) but some vague concept of “security,” which Trump did not expound upon, is more important than that $1Trillion bucks. To whom, you may ask yourself, to whom? I don’t know a living soul who thinks that one trillion in taxpayer money is insignificant, and I don’t care what’s on the other side of the equation. REPORTER: Are you worried that closing the border will be bad for the US economy? TRUMP: "Sure, it will have a negative effect on the economy… we're going to have security in this country. That's more important than trade." pic.twitter.com/p9pdNLgoUA — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 2, 2019 And of course there was discourse on the “phenomenal” health plan to come — and nobody would like further illumination on this topic more than the Republicans. They don’t know nuthin’ bout no new healthcare bill. Ask Mitch McConnell. McConnell has flat out stated that he has “explained” to Trump that there will be “no comprehensive health care reform.” This has not sunk in, evidently. TRUMP on his new, as-of-yet-unspecified health care plan: "We're going to have a phenomenal health care… we will be showing you at the appropriate time. It's much better than Obamacare." (He has had 4 years to come up with a viable health care plan!🙃) pic.twitter.com/gJiQUq4xlr — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 2, 2019 The look on the face of the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, is priceless. Hit the button for a few seconds of that. The poor man reminds me of an episode of “Outer Limits” where the protagonist was told by space aliens that if he was ever in a situation where he felt […]
In January, 2018 I wrote a piece, “Trump’s Only Worried About One Candidate In 2020, and It’s Not Oprah.” Reportedly, Trump loves to sit around and handicap the odds on who is going to run against him. He wasn’t afraid of Sanders, and he didn’t have reason to be. Polls at that time didn’t indicate a come back for Bernie. But polls put Joe Biden in the cat bird seat and Trump was plenty worried about that. Biden has an intrinsic appeal to the white blue collar workers that Trump desperately needs to hang onto. Here’s a few excerpts from that piece: “What we can’t let voters do is think they can get the same policies with someone they like better, like Joe Biden — someone who would fight for them but who doesn’t have the crass edge,” said the former White House staffer. “I hope CNN has Kirsten Gillibrand on every minute of every day. Love it. Bring it. She’s easy to destroy. If you’re the president, or the RNC, you’re more worried about someone who looks like Biden — someone who has more mainstream appeal, who blue-collar workers could identity with.” One former White House official outlined a theory of the case that has gained some traction: Trump’s policies will continue to be popular all the way through his reelection campaign, but his approval rating will never crack 45 percent — creating an opening for Biden, or someone like him, to recapture the loyalty of white Rust Belt Democrats who helped elect Trump in 2016. Biden not only has great appeal to rust belt Democrats, but he has two other advantages, being well known and being a part of the good Obama years, which after this circus side show we’ve been subjected to in the era of Trump, is a much dreamed of return to sanity. Uncle Joe has a hell of a lot of fans. But Democrats seem bound and determined to throw him under the bus. Apparently we have learned nothing from 2016. The presidential race is not about policies. It should be, but it’s not. It’s about having a candidate that can push buttons and win. In a perfect world, you get somebody like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who can both affect people positively on a gut level and they have great policies and leadership abilities. There is no question in my mind, whatsoever, that any one of our Democratic presidential candidates would fill the job successfully and bring sane leadership back to Washington. (With the exception of Gillebrand, and that’s a piece for another day.) That is not the issue. The issue is: Who can beat Donald Trump? Who can get votes away from the people who are sick of Trump but too sexist or racist to consider voting for Warren or Harris? Or Buttigieg? It seems obvious to me that Joe Biden is the person we need to nominate and end this nightmare of Trump. Run because you have strengths that no other Democratic candidate does, including your depth of experience and connection to the Obama presidency. Run because your populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation. Run because you will never have another chance — and because you are not afraid of losing. …the country needs to maximize the […]
The fact that Javanka, a couple off the pages of GQ and Vogue, but with zero business achievements or government experience to recommend them, occupy the positions of power in our government that they do, is stunning on it’s face. Add to that the fact that they both hold security clearances, which they were initially denied and the picture truly becomes frightening. Tricia Newbold, a security clearance specialist, spoke before Congress on this issue. Politico: “According to Ms. Newbold, these individuals had a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct,” aides wrote in the 10-page memo, summarizing Newbold’s testimony. Newbold, who sat for an interview with the House Oversight and Reform Committee on March 23 about the Trump administration’s security clearance process, is the highest-ranking White House official to speak out about the issue which has come under intense scrutiny from lawmakers. She told the committee that coming to Congress was her “last hope” to bring “integrity” back to her office, noting that her internal complaints were ignored even as she amassed a list of more than two dozen officials whose clearances were approved despite an initial denial. “I do not see a way forward positively in our office without coming to an external entity, and that’s because I have raised my concerns throughout the [Executive Office of the President] to career staffers as well as political staffers,” she said, according to a memo prepared for members of the committee. “And I want it known that this is a systematic, it’s an office issue, and we’re not a political office, but these decisions were being continuously overrode.” Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump should never have been given security clearances. Trump loves his discretion with security clearances, like he loves his pardon power. He was all set to revoke Adam Schiff’s security clearance the other day and shut him down in doing so, when he sadly found out that the Congressman’s security clearance didn’t work that way and that Schiff was a member of the Gang of 8. You remember Trump showing Jim Acosta who was the big boss by pulling his clearance. Unfortunately, this isn’t just a childish Trump game, national security is at stake. We need to vote the Trump crime family into oblivion.
If the White House was a restaurant, “lies du jour” and “gaffes extraordinaire” would be the two dishes it would be known for. That being said, the performances by Mick Mulvaney and Kellyanne Conway on Sunday, were two for the books. Mulvaney was on ABC and Conway on Fox and they both stumbled over exactly the same material, to wit, they could not keep the words of Robert Mueller and William Barr straight, as they desperately tried to gaslight everybody that Trump had indeed been fully exonerated from any claim of obstruction of justice by the Mueller report. Take a look at the transcripts, courtesy of PoliticusUSA. First Mulvaney: These types of investigations are not designed to exonerate people. So what you’ve saw here is simply Mueller saying you know what? I’m going to let Barr call this one. He had plenty of evidence to say on collusion absolutely not and he [Mueller?]actually punted over to Barr. Again, that’s the way the system can and does work. Barr, if you go elsewhere in the letter, lower down again I don’t have a copy sitting in front of me, it says that he and Rod Rosenstein, who up until last week was a darling of the left, found not a single – not a single piece of conduct, not a single act that constituted obstruction. So that’s why we are absolutely comfortable saying that the president has been fully exonerated. Yes, Barr – excuse me – Mueller does use those words, but again, those are words you would typically find in this type of investigation. Then we have Kellyanne Conway over at Fox News, getting pushed into a corner by Chris Wallace, who, admirably, was relentless and made her stick to the point. It’s always amazing when a Fox host commits a random act of journalism and gets the facts. Kind of like a full blood moon, it doesn’t occur all that often, you want to catch it when you can. WALLACE: …so when the president says that its total exoneration on obstruction, Kellyanne, that’s just not true. CONWAY: Well, the president is probably comparing that report and the ultimate conclusions of no conspiracy, no collusion, no contact with any Russian at a campaign that I managed into its final successful phases and have always been offended than anybody would think that we would cheat, lie, steal or talk to any Russians. That’s ridiculous and always was. We wasted a lot of money and a lot of time in people’s anxiety over it. WALLACE: Look — take yes for an answer, I’m agreeing with you on collusion. I’m asking you CONWAY: I’m always going to take yes for an answer on the Barr report. WALLACE: I’m asking about obstruction, though. CONWAY: We will see with the full report says but there’s nowhere in the Barr report that says the president obstructed justice. There’s nowhere in the Barr memo that says you or I (ph) obstructed justice. And remember, we — WALLACE: Well, there was no Barr report. Barr is simply summarizing — CONWAY: The Barr memo summarizing, but I think — WALLACE: Mueller. And Mueller says it did not exonerate him. Now, what is ludicrous, is that this is plain English being discussed. These are not abstract legal concepts, which might be […]
Do you like to play “Connect the Dots?” How about these, for openers? Amazon, Trump, Kushner, MBS, AMI. They all connect. Bezos owns the so-called “Amazon Washington Post” which Trump hates. The Saudis also hate the Washington Post, for breaking the Khashoggi murder story. Kushner, of course, loves the Saudis and his buddy Mohammad bin Salman, just like Big Daddy Trump loves Vladimir Putin. The Trump family simply loves despots and gangsters, makes them feel part of a really special clique, apparently. Trump used to love AMI/National Enquirer, before they got into a tacky states evidence mode. Now Trump doesn’t love them anymore. But when he did love them, and they loved him, AMI put together that glossy magazine about what a hero MBS is, and how the future is bright in Saudi Arabia under his autocratic rule. Bottom line here, the Washington Post prints facts, AMI is a propaganda machine, and therein lies the rub. Jeff Bezos’ private investigator says they’ve determined with high confidence that Saudi Arabia got access to Bezos’ phone. He cites my @AP story with @JeffHorwitz that used forensic evidence to show Saudi got advance copy of AMI’s pro-MBS magazine https://t.co/rDQm79lYNL — Josh Lederman (@JoshNBCNews) March 30, 2019 Golly! Why on earth would the Saudis want to hack Bezos? I mean, it's not like they're colluding with a dude who hates Bezos and happens to be POTUS, right? https://t.co/l7rakCEXvi — John Battelle (@johnbattelle) March 30, 2019 This could be a whole new level of trouble that needs to be exposed by bright sunlight. Possibly @JeffBezos most important work. He is courage personified. https://t.co/KHGlWOnTYz — Richard J. Siegel (@RichardJSiegel) March 30, 2019 So what happens if and when the FBI confirms this and DOJ wants to indict a bunch of Saudi officials? Lot of difficult conversations inside the administration. https://t.co/pXni4C5xMO — Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) March 30, 2019 It will be interesting to see how William Barr and Mike Pompeo weigh in on this, if at all. This is what happens when Jared Kushner is calling the shots and dictating policy to Big Daddy. Kushner told Trump to fire Comey, the “greatest mistake in modern political history” as Steve Bannon dubbed it. Kushner also told his father-in-law, “Don’t worry, it’ll all blow over,” with respect to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Right. Impeccable political instincts there, on the part of Jared, yep. Jeff Bezos is not somebody Trump should screw with and that’s going to become apparent if it hasn’t been so before. Bezos not only has the resources to investigate all this, he has the brains and the balls. Trump and Kushner’s IQs and balls added together don’t add up to Jeff Bezos’. Apparently the rest of us know this, but Kushner and Trump don’t. This will be interesting to watch develop.
So funny that The New York Times & The Washington Post got a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage (100% NEGATIVE and FAKE!) of Collusion with Russia – And there was No Collusion! So, they were either duped or corrupt? In any event, their prizes should be taken away by the Committee! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2019 Trump is using the Barr letter, which has never been professed to be anything more than a preliminary summary of the Mueller report, to make himself the Big Kahuna, the winner in the battle of Trump v. The Press. He is setting himself up insanely for a fall. It isn’t going to happen that way. If you read the other piece put up on PolitiZoom this morning, about Trump escalating his war on the press by making 30 second promos of reporters talking about collusion, you know he’s out of his mind. Even Mark Meadows is against this idea. He’s not going to shame the press, he’s going to dig his own grave. Look for this narrative to go another few weeks and then with the release of the Mueller report, things will change dramatically. But the last word goes to Donald Trump Jr., whose idiocy outdistances even his father’s. He’s right… unless they give Pulitzer’s for fiction. #fakenews https://t.co/TN5CE84tvw — Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 29, 2019 Yes, junior, we hate to tell you, but there IS a Pulitzer Prize for works of fiction. Both the Times and Post had a calm response: The New York Times and Washington Post also defended themselves from the Trumps’ charges of fake news. Their Pulitzer-winning reporting tackled the numerous interactions between Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives—including Don Jr.’s infamous Trump tower meeting. None of the reporting was disputed in Barr’s memo on the Mueller report, and both papers stand by their articles. “We’re proud of our Pulitzer-prize winning reporting on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election,” wrote The Times‘s public relations Twitter account in response to Trump’s initial tweet. “Every @nytimes article cited has proven accurate.” Reign of the simpletons. Government of the simpletons, by the simpletons, and for the simpletons, that’s Trumpworld. Only, where the hell does that leave the rest of us?
It’s no secret that Trump hates the press, because his vision of them is as a repository for press releases from the White House, nothing more, and certainly not as an institution that speaks truth to power. On that basis, Trump, who is punch drunk in the wake of William Barr’s short summary of the Mueller investigation, which he sees as the gospel, proving his innocence, is planning to escalate his assault on the “enemy of the people.” The Atlantic: Trump allies see Barr’s letter as a kind of Swiss Army knife—a tool useful in all kinds of situations. Not only is it exculpatory, they say, but it also implicitly rebukes the press for its coverage of the Russia investigation, inoculating Trump from any future scandal that reporters might unearth. According to a source familiar with internal discussions at the Republican National Committee and the pro-Trump super PAC America First, both organizations are “geared up for any nonsense to come.” They’re already prepared to attack reporters. “Any reporter who tries that will be hit with 30-second spots of all their ridiculous claims about collusion,” said the source, who, like others interviewed for this story, requested anonymity to describe private conversations. “Their tweets have all been screencapped. It’s all ready to go.” (“It’s the same thing we’ve been doing the last two years. We’re going to hold the media accountable when we see fit,” an RNC official clarified, adding that this would include digital clips shared on social media.) Earlier this week, Trump’s campaign previewed the in-your-face tactics they have in mind. A campaign official sent a letter to TV producers cautioning them against booking certain guests who had alleged that Trump colluded with Russia, including Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Democratic Representative Adam Schiff of California, and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. Even Trump’s ally, Mark Meadows, is invalidating this plan. He said, “Calling on the media to apologize is not something that most people would advocate for, as much as hitting the remote and changing to a different channel.” Donald Trump is such a child, that he needs everybody who has been “mean” to him (read: disagrees in any way) to be punished and to apologize and be sent to sit in the corner. He is never going to figure out how government works or how to behave as a statesman because he is constitutionally incapable of same. He’s just a coarse little buffoon of a man who managed to take advantage of television to jockey his way into the highest office in the land. His election has always been and always will be a complete travesty. Hopefully, cooler heads in his inner circle can prevail upon him to stand down from this insane course of persecuting the press. Although, if he goes ahead, it will backfire on him, and that will be interesting as well. Let the games proceed.
Brunei sounds like Hell, or at least it will do until the real thing comes along. Brunei, a country on the island of Borneo, recently passed a truly horrific law, stating that Muslims who are gay will be stoned, or whipped to death, if found out. The same punishment also goes for sodomy, rape, or adultery. Bear in mind, this is a country where the law prescribes amputation of a hand or foot for stealing a loaf of bread. Actor and human rights activist George Clooney has called for a boycott of nine Brunei-owned hotels in retaliation. RawStory: “Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery,” Clooney wrote on website Deadline Hollywood. “I’ve learned over years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can’t shame them. But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way,” he added. The nine hotels are located in the US, Britain, France and Italy. This is a good proposal and a good beginning. It’s also good that American citizens are taking a firm moral stance on this issue, since our government can’t seem to cope with this crisis, any better than it’s coping with anything else right now.
If there is a Goddess of Diplomacy on Mt. Olympus, Diplomite, or some such name, she is probably ready to slash her wrists right about now. Donald Trump has already ruined our relationship with our good neighbor to the south, Mexico, quite possibly beyond the ability of any future administration to ever restore, and now here’s more gasoline on the fire. The DEMOCRATS have given us the weakest immigration laws anywhere in the World. Mexico has the strongest, & they make more than $100 Billion a year on the U.S. Therefore, CONGRESS MUST CHANGE OUR WEAK IMMIGRATION LAWS NOW, & Mexico must stop illegals from entering the U.S…. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2019 ….through their country and our Southern Border. Mexico has for many years made a fortune off of the U.S., far greater than Border Costs. If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States throug our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING….. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2019 ….the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week. This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and “talk.” Besides, we lose so much money with them, especially when you add in drug trafficking etc.), that the Border closing would be a good thing! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2019 No word yet of response from Mexico. This story will be updated. By the by, during the 2016 campaign, Mexicans used to smash Trump pinatas for sport, and they had a video game, whereby one could throw various objects at Trump for points, to wit, a cactus, a volleyball, or a tequila bottle. The tequila bottle was my favorite. This man is hated by sane and decent people throughout the world and his vile spewing of hatred, like these absurd tweets, is the reason why.
Maybe this is the magical incantation that will convince Trump to release the Mueller report in full: Russia wants it. God knows Trump seems to jump to please Vladimir Putin and advance his agenda anytime that he can. Bloomberg: Russia called on the U.S. to publish in full Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, saying this is the best way to clear up allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. “I’d like to read the entire report,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio on Thursday. “Let them publish it in full and at least we’ll find out what it’s based on.” Russian officials, who repeatedly poured scorn on allegations of collusion with the Trump campaign, were delighted by the outcome of the Mueller investigation, even as some said it would do little to ease pressure in Washington on the president over his desire to improve relations. Seriously, I hope Trump gets wind of this somehow. This will save the rest of us a lot of time and grief.