Rolling Stone is out with a new report stating that New York prosecutors are honing in on events that occurred just prior to Trump’s inauguration, and specifically money paid from the inauguration committee to the Trump organization for “space rented.” The most delicious part? It looks like Ivanka is the one up to her eyeballs in criminality. Per Rolling Stone: According to reporting by WNYC and ProPublica, President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee paid large sums of money to the Trump organization to host events at the Trump-owned property, and the president’s daughter discussed charging $175,000 per day for the space, despite organizers’ concerns that it would look like the Trumps were lining their pockets. Yes, back then they worried what it would “look like,” not that they actually were lining their pockets, which was the entire point of being elected in the first place. They never cared about making America great, they cared about getting as rich as possible, even as president. (Which is just so inconceivable if you think about it. For 99.9% of the world, if elected to the highest office in existence, one’s only “worry” would be whether one could do a job that history would look upon as successful in guiding the nation. These people worried about haggling an extra couple hundred thousand.). “These events are in PE’s [the president-elect’s] honor at his hotel and one of them is for family and close friends. Please take into consideration that when this is audited it will become public knowledge. I understand that compared to the original pricing this is great but we should look at the whole context. In my opinion the max rental fee should be $85,000 per day,” Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, an event planner who helped with the inauguration, wrote to caution Ivanka and others involved with the planning. For those of you scoring at home, you will note that the $175K proposed, and the $85K insisted upon as “market value” (and that’s puffed-up market value to begin with), look suspiciously like “doubling” the amount that should have been paid, or what lazy people who are simply looking to take advantage of rubes do as a rule of thumb, “double it.” A spokesperson for Ivanka Trump’s ethics lawyer denied the first daughter’s involvement in the negotiations: “When contacted by someone working on the inauguration, Ms. Trump passed the inquiry on to a hotel official and said only that any resulting discussions should be at a ‘fair market rate.’ Ms. Trump was not involved in any additional discussions.” Riiiight. Suckers! And that’s why she was prominently mentioned in the emails concerning what they will damn well charge. Let us be assured of one thing. The Trump Inauguration Committee raised more than double what any previous president-elect had raised, and organized about one-quarter of the number events typical. Yet, the money is gone. Given what we know about the Trumps, not a single person doubts that the money went straight into Trump pockets. Republicans will simply adopt a new position. They will suddenly believe that presidents have the right to personally profit off whatever they damn well please, breaking whatever laws they damn well please, and f-you for believing otherwise, as it would be un-American and socialist to not do so. But, you – Ivanka, should be […]
It says a great deal when one examines the low expectations one has now for an “acceptable” presidential speech. Nowadays, any speech in which Trump doesn’t commit, or pledge to commit, a crime is a pretty good one. I listened to Trump’s speech on Iran and didn’t notice anything too amiss, which – again – just goes to show where things stand. Because the net noticed that Trump sounded way more monotone, out of it, detached. He slurred through quite a few words. Of course nothing will really come of it. But his performance in this speech seems to have brought out some criticism with an edge to it. One cannot ignore the context. It comes a day after a phone call about bombs dropping on (Or near, we find out) US troops. He may have to actually work in this next period, maybe square up and get familiar with the issues. Anyway. Trump is high as a kite on some drug he sniffed. — parislady1492 (@parislady1492) January 8, 2020 Trump looks & sounds like he's overloaded on adderall. He's sniffing, slurring his words, robotically reading words off teleprompter. His remarks were vapid, rambling, incoherent.No substance or detail.Trump's entrance was staged like a light show. We get cheap theater. https://t.co/e7eWNerk3P — Charles Campisi (@1813Doncarlo) January 8, 2020 Every single time Donald Trump gives a major speech, he has the sniffles. This is a discussion that needs to be had. Has any major outlet every asked Donald Trump directly whether he uses Adderall? The American people have a right to know if the president has a drug dependency. This is interesting. I happen to disagree. I don’t think we have a right to know the president’s prescription drug regiment. That goes down a slippery slope on which I don’t want to step. We do have a right to know that his prescriptions and access to medicines are all being overseen properly, reviewed on occasion, that it is proper, all of that. If he is “on” a medicine that is not prescribed, well, that is an issue which touches back upon our rights because we do have a right to know if he is physically able to do the job. It also throws us right back into the whole “crime” thing. Meanwhile, Trump used this speech to both frighten the nation about his substance use, and to explain how it is that everything that is going wrong right now with respect to Iran is because a black guy used to head-up this joint that Trump runs. You know what that means. The last guy made some bad decisions, according to Trump’s speech today. It was a shame. Actually, that is the part of the speech that stands out. Trump’s hatred for Obama and Democrats deepens by the week. He had to make a half dozen (approximation) snide comments on the last administration versus what he has done. His enmity for Democrats (and especially Obama) far surpasses any for Iran. His feelings about Iran are likely neutral. What can they give him? There was some good humor that came of the criticism of the speech. It is possible that the dead-flat affect is not due to Adderall, but could be the result of a tranquilizer. The biggest, and most consequential dose ever distributed. whoever […]
Down South, Sunday morning means church. But throughout much of blue America, it means the New York Times, the farmers’ market, and Sunday talk shows, the period during which the news is analyzed, not made. Today revealed, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the nation is coming undone. Where to begin? How about Fox News, where none other than Sith Stephen Miller decried the coup instigated by those anti-American Deep Statists against the greatest president to bless this nation. Up with this, even Chris Wallace would not put: Via CrooksandLiars: “This is a deep state operative, pure and simple,” Miller charged. “People who haven’t been in the federal government, who haven’t worked in the White House may not appreciate this but the situation is you have a group of unelected bureaucrats who think that they need to take down this president.” “Enough with the rhetoric,” Wallace shot back. “Let’s talk about some specific facts in this.” Done? Nyet. “How about answering my question?” Wallace interrupted after Miller tried to avoid the topic. “I understand,” Miller replied. “I understand that you have your question, I have my answer.” “It’s a non-answer at this point,” Wallace observed. Well, alrighty then. It must be frustrating to be the Trumpiest of the Trumpers, go on Trump TV, only to get one’s ass grilled for brunch. Over on CNN, yet another Trump apologist got ridiculed by known liberal Democratic-Socialist Bill Kristol, not at all happy that Trumper David Urban refused to actually answer a question, preferring instead to focus upon meany Adam Schiff and his “made-up” story about Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president. “Pathetic” Kristol labeled the attempt, as the two began shouting over each other: via Rawstory: After Urban frantically attacked Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for reading a parody of the highly redacted transcript of Trump’s conversation with the president of Ukraine, Kristol said he was making too big of a deal about it in order to deflect from the president’s criminality.”This is pathetic,” Kristol began only to have Urban yell over him and what followed was a quick-paced back and forth. “This isn’t about the chairman [Schiff], it’s about the president of the United States,” Kristol charged. “Will you defend the president’s behavior? The real transcript?” Short answer? No. “You think President Trump’s behavior was proper?” Kristol demanded. “Is it proper for Adam Schiff to read something,” Urban attempted, which Kristol dismissed as unimportant. To be real clear, this particular “always-Trumper” believes the real scandal is Schiff’s characterization of the transcript, and not the obvious illegalities within the transcript. Once respectable Republican Lindsey Graham demonstrated that he either continues his descent into madness, or is having an increasingly difficult time fulfilling his role as the wholly compromised U.S. Senator in charge of covering for all things felonious Trump. Lindsey wonders why we haven’t yet heard from all the witnesses and are going forward on “hearsay,” apparently forgetting that Trump admitted to the gist of the charge, and also banking on Trump supporters’ inability to understand the words “impeachment investigation.” Also via Rawstory, from Face the Nation: “The complaint sounds like a legal document,” Graham insisted. “Who helped this guy write it or this girl write it. We are not going to try the president of the United States based on hearsay. […]
Donald Trump Jr. and Vanilla Ice have been discussing the sale of a town in Florida, Briny Breezes, which is comprised solely of a 43 acre trailer park, to be the site of the Trump presidential library. This would be a poetic ending for this saga, because it would be the perfect tacky finale to this classless presidency, whenever it ends — which can’t be soon enough. Palm Beach Post: The best candidate to buy the town, Arena [land developer] said, is Trump. The president and wife Melania filed paperwork in October changing their primary residence from Manhattan to Palm Beach County, specifically Mar-a-Lago. Every president since Herbert Hoover has established a presidential library in his home state. The president or his representatives are responsible for construction costs, usually paid for by non-profit foundations. Arena said Trump could develop the land by building a hotel, marina and restaurants along with the presidential library and make the site a major tourist attraction. “It makes a lot of sense for him to do something like that here,” Arena said. And think of what this “presidential” library could contain: The fake TIME Magazine covers, the nude photos of Melania, the pictures of Donald Jr. and Eric proudly displaying the corpses of endangered species, MAGA hats and Christmas ornaments in glass cases, yes sir, all this and more, to make for redneck kitsch heaven, no doubt in my mind. But alas, not everybody is crazy about the idea. A neighbor of Santa Cruz’s who has lived in Briny for four generations and did not want to be identified said she would not attend the meeting or sell at any price. The thought of selling to Trump, she said, was particularly distasteful. But Littlefield, who is no fan of the president’s, said his family’s future well-being and not politics would be decisive. “As crazy as Trump Town sounds and I don’t like the idea, on the other hand I do like the idea,” Littlefield said. “It’s a wild thought but something we should think about.” Water finds it’s own level, and Trump is trailer trash with cash. This is exactly the right spot for his presidential library and his memoirs. Maybe he can be interred in Trump Town. And then perhaps one day, that portion of Florida will split off from the mainland and sink beneath the waves, and Trump Town will become a legend — just like Atlantis. And then people will fly over the submerged Trump Town and have paranormal experiences when they do. Boats and planes will vanish into what will become known as the Trump Triangle. And all that will be just fine. As long as he’s gone. As long as he’s gone. And takes all the MAGA shit with him.
It is easy to sit back and be all cool about shit, and talk about the rubes who watch Fox News, and the stuff they want to believe so badly that they talk themselves into it. I do challenge people, however, to consider the impact upon you if you unknowingly throw yourself into a highly professional propaganda machine. Propaganda is a well-studied science and no one does it better than the Russians, and their nationalist far-right sympathizers. For that precise reason, it matters when Fox News refuses to back a Trump lie. Indeed, one of Trump’s latest was such whopper that even Neil Cavuto admitted he didn’t even know “where to begin” to debunk the lie. First, the lie, as reported by Huffington Post: Trump on Friday told White House reporters that “the tariffs are not being paid for by our people” but “by China” because “of devaluation and because they’re pumping money in.” “Remember this, our country is taking in billions and billions of dollars from China,” the president added. “We never took in 10 cents from China. And out of that many billions of dollars, we’re taking a part of it and giving it to the farmers because they’ve been targeted by China. The farmers, they come out totally whole.” Do you understand macro-economics? I do not. But, I listen to people who DO understand economics, and I find it straightforward when they explain that the cost of tariffs are simply passed directly on to the consumers. Okay, that makes total sense. Evidently, making sense is important enough to Neil Cavuto that he will – on rare occasions – call Trump out on the lie: “I don’t know where to begin here,” responded Cavuto, who on Wednesday entered into a war of words with Fox Business host Lou Dobbs about the government deficit under Trump. “But just to be clarifying, China isn’t paying these tariffs. You are. You know, indirectly and sometimes directly,” he explained. “It’s passed along to you through American distributors and their counterparts in the United States that buy this stuff from the Chinese and then have to pay these surcharges. Not the Chinese government or China in particular.” Yes, do note that it was Lou Dobbs’ show in which Cavuto appeared, and certainly note that dangerous and never-to-be-sufficiently-damned Lou Dobbs will carry the water for Trump, regardless of the truth. But anytime there is an “argument” at Fox News about Trump, you can bet that over half of Fox’s audience knows it’s due to water finding its way through “truth cracks” in the propaganda dam. The audience may not “care,” they might “immunize” themselves from the truth by not caring, but they do hear it. I find that important. As I noted in a previous article, breaking Trump is about breaking the mystique. The mystique pervades most strongly in the cable propaganda set up specifically to propel him forward. If Fox tells their viewers that Trump lied to them, on any one thing, it makes that voter/viewer more wary of the next lie. And this is not some “meaningless” lie. This is about money in that American’s pocket. If that voter visits Walmart tomorrow and notes the shoes “seem” more expensive than expected, there will be a part of their brain that entertains the possibility: “Am […]
Mike Pompeo sounded like the wife of an out of control drunkard trying to clean up hubby’s mess the next day, when he unconvincingly tried to explain that he hadn’t really walked back his statements Tuesday about how “imminent” a threat Qassem Soleimani posed, and oh no, Donald Trump was right in Ohio, when he told the crowd that Soleimani was planning to blow up several embassies, jimmy pronto. Roll Call: Pompeo told reporters U.S. officials acted on “specific information on an imminent threat,” and that the “threat stream included attacks on U.S. embassies. … Full stop.” American officials did not know “exactly which minute,” but he claimed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani was planning “broad, large-scale attacks” on American targets. But in an interview with Fox News aired Thursday night, Pompeo said, “There was no doubt that there were a series of imminent attacks that were being plotted by Qassem Soleimani. And we don’t know precisely when and we don”t know precisely where, but it was real.” When pressed for his definition of the word “imminent,” Pompeo said, “This was going to happen.” The sun is going to go dark at some point, too. It is going to happen. However, it would be ludicrous to call it “imminent.” Likewise, there is no credible intelligence to support an imminent threat to any embassy, this is just blowing smoke. Even Republican Mike Lee of Utah is bristling at Pompeo and other administration officials demanding that Trump’s ordering an assassination not be called into question, as “insulting,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Lee said that the intelligence briefing on Soleimani was the “worst” he’d ever seen. Trump believes that he should be allowed to do whatever he wants, unilaterally and unfettered, and if you don’t believe that, just take a listen to his unhinged Thursday rally in Ohio. Trump insulted and delegitimized Democrats, saying Nancy Pelosi, “wasn’t playing with a full deck,” and calling Adam Schiff “you little pencil neck.” He went beyond the norms last night, even for him. Greg Sargent, Washington Post: Mockery of the opposition is, of course, a constant in politics. But this is different. Trump regularly crosses over into a form of harsh belittling and abuse that is designed to delegitimize the opposition, that is, to tell his voters that the opposition has no legitimate institutional role in our politics at all. This is sometimes accomplished via dehumanizing residents of parts of the country that don’t support him, such as when Trump exaggeratedly derides the districts of black lawmakers as “rodent-infested.” Other times it appears deliberately scripted into Trump’s speeches. When Trump claimed that the Democratic impeachment shows hatred for “the American voter,” a phrase Trump probably wouldn’t improvise, he was flatly declaring that only his voters constitute the American electorate. Now Trump is claiming that the House and the Republican-controlled Senate have zero legitimate claim to oversight when it comes to Trump’s warmaking. “You should get permission from Congress,” Trump scoffed at his rally during a rant about Soleimani, mimicking congressional lawmakers’ demands. “You should tell us what you want to do.” Trump has never had any concept of government, separation of powers, nothing. He has gone on record countless times citing Article II of the constitution, “Article II says I can do whatever I want.” Interesting construction of that clause, he’s the first president in history to come up […]
Another day, another delusion from the White House, set forth for the purpose of gaslighting the American people. Obama photographer Pete Souza compared the time stamp of the photo of the Serious White Men that Dan Scavino tweeted out, and the actual time of the al-Bahgdadi raid. The raid, as reported, took place at 3:30PM Washington time. The photo, as shown in the camera IPTC data, was taken at "17:05:24". https://t.co/XV0MFfFiTt — Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) October 27, 2019 It was asked on Twitter if they all could have been there two hours later. “Sure, it’s possible,” Souza replied. However, there’s another tell, other than the time stamp, to let you know this photo is a phony. They’re all staring into the camera, which in a real war room situation, is not the case. Souza’s war room photographs are taken from a fly-on-the-wall perspective. Here’s an example. The propaganda never ends with the Trump admin. For those who need to cleanse their eyes with a picture that wasn't staged … pic.twitter.com/Pj3nwDHisO — Denise Shearin (@DeniseShearin) October 27, 2019 Above is the Osama bin Laden moment that Trump is desperately trying to create for himself. The Baghdadi raid reportedly took place yesterday at 3:30PM EST. According to yesterday's pool report, Trump and crew didn't leave Trump National Golf Club until 3:30PM EST. So, as Pete Souza points out, the Trump "war room" photo tweeted by @DanScavino was clearly staged. pic.twitter.com/aUKBzSN4sL — Avi Bueno (@Avi_Bueno) October 27, 2019 Additionally, the subsequent pool report indicates they didn't return to the White House until 4:18PM, at which point "Trump was spotted walking in wearing navy blue pullover and red cap". pic.twitter.com/C6cFJWH7jB — Avi Bueno (@Avi_Bueno) October 27, 2019 Personally, I like the unconnected cables a lot. Nice touch. I used to work on B-movies as a young woman and we weren’t that sloppy — but I can well believe that the White House is less professional than a non-union no-budget crew. But we know that Trump only employs the “best people” and that includes IT, right? So, this has to be the real thing. Right??? The orange one in the center (cable, not person) is my favorite. I fantasize that it’s the cable that Putin attaches to Trump to keep the big blowhard pumped up and lying. Or maybe it’s the equivalent of a shock collar, and Putin wants Trump to have it in sight at all times, to remind him who’s boss. Sweet Jesus, where do we go from here? What’s down wind of faking a war room photo? What can possibly stink worse than this? Iconic. The sign & grin photo-op 45th so-called president of the US. All dressed up for Halloween with ‘his generals’; pitifully still trying to best @BarackObama. Never. Trump: Always Queens. Never Manhattan. — Plmnmo (@Plmnmo) October 27, 2019 Poets have said, maybe life is but a dream. I don’t know about that, but I do know that the Trump administration is nothing.but.a.sham/scam.
Here are some of the best editorial cartoons this week — mainly focused on the whistleblower complaint which has uncovered much of the treasonous wrongdoings of the past two and half years and has...
Whoa. It appears that his week’s breaking story, Trump withholding Ukrainian aid in an attempt to extort Ukraine into investigating Biden, is not a breaking story within the DC “beltway.” People “in the know” have known for months. This is more than just an interesting aside, it has direct implications for who may be going to jail, or impeached, including Mike Pence and William Barr. The notes and transcript may have been contained in a top-secret server, but it certainly was not “top secret.” From Rawstory: Scarborough said he and Brzezinski heard almost two months ago from a former Department of Defense official that Trump was holding up the aid as leverage, and he said the allegation was widely known. “It seemed to be the worst kept secret in Washington, D.C., that’s why Republicans denying a quid pro quo today is so laughable,” Scarborough said Now, if Joe and Mika knew of the story, having been told by a “Department of Defense” official, someone outside of the White House and outside the formal intelligence community, it defies belief that Mike Pence, and William Barr knew nothing about the threat. Speaking of Mike Pence, perhaps we didn’t appreciate Pence’s trip to Poland enough, at the time. We were too focused upon sharpies and hurricanes hitting Huntsville. But Pence had his eye on the ball, and a message from his boss, to give to the Ukrainian president, who was also in Poland at the time: Pence met with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky early this month in Poland, where he denied speaking about Biden but did admit to discussing corruption — which Trump has used as a code word for his efforts to investigate the former vice president’s son. Both Trump and Rudy Giuliani used “corruption” as the code word when they address the need to investigate Biden. It is hard for me, or anyone, to believe that Pence did not deliver the exact same message to Ukrainian president Zelensky, “you must investigate Biden.” Pence could be destined for impeachment himself, especially if that discussion was more “express” in its quid pro quo. Though, of course that would be tough to prove. But, want to know who would “know” exactly what was discussed? Joe Scarborough assures us that John Bolton will know, and will talk. Pence is in real trouble. But the problems for the Trump crowd do not end there, because the fact that this was “widely known” among the right circles in Washington also means that Barr’s denial that he knew “anything” about what Trump said during the phone call, or had been asked to do anything, becomes less tenuous. James Maguire, the DNI who testified yesterday, said the complaint had been forwarded to the Department of Justice for investigation, and the DOJ declined to investigate the matter. Perhaps prior to today, we might have believed that the matter didn’t come to Barr’s attention. Though, to be sure, even that is doubtful, a complaint asking that the president be investigated for extortion is likely something of which the Attorney General would be aware. But, now that we know that this was the “worst kept secret” and that it had been making the rounds, all combined with the fact that the funds certainly had been withheld, makes it impossible to believe that Barr didn’t […]