Trumpsterfire

Judge in Paul Manafort trial says he has been threatened and is now under US Marshal protection

Judge T.S. Ellis said at a hearing in Manafort’s case that he will not release the names of jurors deliberating Manafort’s fate because he is worried about their safety. Manafort is being prosecuted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
Judge in Paul Manafort trial says he has been threatened and is now under US Marshal protection

Civility!

Ex-CIA officials: 'Country will be weakened' if political litmus test applied to experts

Sixty former CIA officials warned President Donald Trump in a statement on Friday that “the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.”
Ex-CIA officials: ‘Country will be weakened’ if political litmus test applied to experts

This is important. Trump is putting national security at risk for political reasons. This is dangerous.

Matthew Yglesias on Twitter

“I would really like to see an apology from some of the people who wrote columns demanding that liberals give Trump credit for his obviously fake diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea.”
Matthew Yglesias on Twitter

It’s always a con, there is nothing “real” about anything Trump says or does. No one should have been surprised that there was no progress with NK. It’s always a con.

Peter Baker on Twitter

“The president of the United States praises the convicted felon who ran his campaign because “he refused to break” and give information to prosecutors.”
Peter Baker on Twitter

This sounds like the scene in Goodfellas where the mobsters praise young Henry Hill for not being a rat.

Lone Manafort Juror Blocked Conviction On All 18 Counts

Paula Duncan, a juror in the Paul Manafort trial, told Fox News on Wednesday that one holdout juror was the…
Lone Manafort Juror Blocked Conviction On All 18 Counts

‘Duncan said that for herself personally, her allegiance to the President made it difficult for her to contribute to the conviction of his former campaign chairman.’ The GOP is a crime family, not a political party. Until we face this basic fact, we can not fix this country.

Adam Schiff on Twitter

“In his praise for Manafort, now convicted of multiple felonies but refusing to spill the beans, to his ire with Cohen for a willingness to cooperate, to his absurd claim that turning state’s evidence should be outlawed, Trump acts more like a mob boss than a president.”
Adam Schiff on Twitter

Trump’s words and actions should be instantly recognizable as a call for “omerta” as policy. It’s horrible. But this was W’s policy during the torture memo and Plame investigation. Oliver North became a hero during Iran contra for following the GOP rules on Omerta. It’s a crime family, not a political party.

AP source: It's not just audio, Manigault Newman has video

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s not just audiotapes. Omarosa Manigault Newman has a stash of video, emails, text messages and other documentation supporting the claims in her
AP source: It’s not just audio, Manigault Newman has video

There were recordings made in the white house and as far as I know, I’m the only one talking about an investigation. How do we know that she doesn’t have blackmail material on senior officials? This is a problem.

This Is 'Not Fine': New Evidence Of Russian Interference Meets Inaction, Frustration


Senate intelligence committee Chairman Richard Burr summed up how lawmakers and Trump administration officials have failed to acknowledge the dangerous problem of foreign influence operations in America on Wednesday, with an internet meme.
via This Is ‘Not Fine’: New Evidence Of Russian Interference Meets Inaction, Frustration
If not collusion, what is the possible reason?

I was a real Republican, before the 'wingnuts' took over my party


About the same time the Trump administration had perfected its cruelty against families and children, the Hamilton County Republican Party in Cincinnati decided to hand out bumper stickers proclaiming, “Trump 2020.
via I was a real Republican, before the ‘wingnuts’ took over my party
These articles are disapointing. The wingnuts took over your party in the mid 1990s. It just took you this long to notice.

Wyden: Trump is starting an 'enemies list' with efforts to strip security clearances


(CNN)Sen. Ron Wyden accused President Donald Trump of assembling an “enemies list” of critics through his efforts to strip a half-dozen national security officials of their security clearances.
via Wyden: Trump is starting an ‘enemies list’ with efforts to strip security clearances
The same people who worry about the chilling effect of keeping nazis from speaking on some random college campus seem oddly silent about the president no-platforming his enemies.

Under Trump, everything gets trashed and degraded


as we’ve learned in so many areas, there are rules and there are norms, and violating norms is possible if you decide you don’t care about them. “The judiciary is not supposed to be involved in choosing the judiciary,” says Hauser. “Sometimes we don’t have rules to prevent the most obvious misconduct because it’s just considered to be beyond the pale. But in 2018, we need to codify every single thing that is beyond the pale.”
via Under Trump, everything gets trashed and degraded
This is a must read.

The Far-Right Book Every Russian General Reads


The chief aim of Foundations is to revive Evola’s fascist idea of traditionalism, which calls for the eradication of any trace of modern, polyethnic, egalitarian, feminist, and democratic cultures—“American globalism”—in favor of a vast, Eurasian, authoritarian empire of racially pure regimes in which women are confined to the home and breeding. That empire would unite regimes across Europe and extend to the United States and Latin America.
via The Far-Right Book Every Russian General Reads
A must read.

Donald Trump Is Fulfilling All of Those Obama Conspiracy Theories


For the better part of his presidency, conservative commentators and provocateurs dogged Barack Obama with accusations of disloyalty and subversion, questioning his commitment to American exceptionalism and accusing him of being a secret agent for foreign powers. But Obama never did anything remotely as damning as Trump’s inexplicable defense of Vladimir Putin on Monday, when the sitting president publicly sided with his Russian counterpart over the findings of American intelligence.
via Donald Trump Is Fulfilling All of Those Obama Conspiracy Theories

Surely the Trump Administration Will Follow All the Rules When Stripping People of Citizenship


the most immediately pressing issue is that this administration cannot be trusted to restrict the task force’s operations to investigating people who allegedly lied during the naturalization process. Trump’s White House has displayed a generalized hostility to immigration best summed up in its proposal to cut legal immigration in half. At the border, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has sought to criminalize asylum-seekers—who are pursuing a human right under international law and treaties to which the United States is a signatory—by preventing them from presenting themselves at official checkpoints and restricting the criteria for seeking asylum.
via Surely the Trump Administration Will Follow All the Rules When Stripping People of Citizenship
We already know this will end with the administration attempting to forcibly deport people it perceives as political enemies. If you’ve been paying attention, this should be totally expected.

Trump Calls His Supporters ‘Elite,’ Doesn’t Understand How Populism Works


This is not, of course, how populism works. It trades on either cultural or economic grievance. One’s enemies possess all the privilege, and we the people must take it back. Once you have declared that you already possess the privilege, the whole basis for it disintegrates.
via Trump Calls His Supporters ‘Elite,’ Doesn’t Understand How Populism Works
He’s claiming status as both elite and victim.

ICE Plans to Start Destroying Records of Immigrant Abuse, Including Sexual Assault and Deaths in...

ICE Plans to Start Destroying Records of Immigrant Abuse, Including Sexual Assault and Deaths in Custody

The ACLU and partners submitted public comments opposing Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s request to the National Archives and Records Administration last year. As a result of the campaign and overwhelming opposition from the public, NARA decided to review ICE’s proposal more closely.

via ICE Plans to Start Destroying Records of Immigrant Abuse, Including Sexual Assault and Deaths in Custody

The Civility Debate Has Reached Peak StupidityShe did not use an official government Twitter account...

The Civility Debate Has Reached Peak Stupidity

She did not use an official government Twitter account to discuss the episode, as Sanders did later. She did not use the power of the Oval Office to try and destroy someone’s business, as the president* found time to do later. She asked the staff what they wanted to do. She took a vote. She abided by their wishes. If there’s a more civil way of saying “no” to someone, I don’t know what it would be.

via The Civility Debate Has Reached Peak Stupidity

This Alternative To Detaining Immigrant Families Works. Trump Just Won't Use It.


The Family Case Management Program, which President Donald Trump ended several months after taking office, was meant to keep track of immigrant parents and kids in removal proceedings without having to keep them locked up. It was relatively small ― about 950 families in five locations. But it was hugely successful: More than 99 percent of families in the program showed up for their court dates, and 97 percent participated in required check-ins with their case managers, according to a report from Geo Care, the private prison company that operated the program. And it reportedly cost the government just $36 per family each day, versus $319 per bed per day in a family detention center.
via This Alternative To Detaining Immigrant Families Works. Trump Just Won’t Use It.
This should be a bigger story.

Trump: We must ‘immediately’ return undocumented immigrants ‘with no judges or court cases’


President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP lawmakers preparing to vote on bill allowing migrant children to be detained longer than 20 days: report Wasserman Schultz: Infants separated from their parents are in Florida immigrant shelters Ex-White House ethics chief: Sarah Sanders tweet violates ethics
via Trump: We must ‘immediately’ return undocumented immigrants ‘with no judges or court cases’
Trump would like to ignore the constitution and the conservative movement seems to be ok with this.

The border crisis is a reminder that Trump has no idea what he’s doingSo you get instead what he’s...

The border crisis is a reminder that Trump has no idea what he’s doing

So you get instead what he’s delivered over the past two weeks — aggressive hostage-taking, lying, trolling, chaos, dissembling, and cruelty — none of which is going to advance Trump’s legislative goals or address the underlying issue of the northward flow of asylum seekers. Even the executive order he signed on Wednesday raises more questions than it will probably solve.

via The border crisis is a reminder that Trump has no idea what he’s doing

Trump's executive order only protects against family separation for 20 daysThough President...

Trump’s executive order only protects against family separation for 20 days

Though President Trump declared that the executive order he signed Wednesday would “solve” the problem of family separation while parents are prosecuted for illegal border crossing, the order is really only good for 20 days, CBS News’ Paula Reid reports, citing a source familiar with the drafting o

via Trump’s executive order only protects against family separation for 20 days

He’s fishing for the level of cruelty people are willing to look past.

Trump aide Stephen Miller, meet your great-grandfather, who flunked his naturalization testEshman...

Trump aide Stephen Miller, meet your great-grandfather, who flunked his naturalization test

Eshman went on to pose, and then refute, what has become the most familiar objection to these stories, writing: “But it’s different now, you say. Miller’s forebears came here legally…” It is an argument that Megan Smolenyak, a former chief family historian and spokesperson for Ancestry.

via Trump aide Stephen Miller, meet your great-grandfather, who flunked his naturalization test

Renowned Economist Jeffrey Sachs Rips Trump As A Gibbering, 'Delusional' ThreatHe might...

Renowned Economist Jeffrey Sachs Rips Trump As A Gibbering, ‘Delusional’ Threat

He might be a “Manchurian Candidate” who is working as a “stooge” for some foreign power to destroy the U.S., Sachs wrote on CCN’s website Friday, referring to the spy movie thriller.

via Renowned Economist Jeffrey Sachs Rips Trump As A Gibbering, 'Delusional’ Threat

Worth a read.

The week Trump went full dictator and no one tried to stop him | Will BunchIt sounds bad when you...

The week Trump went full dictator and no one tried to stop him | Will Bunch

It sounds bad when you describe it this way: The president of the United States explicitly violating a government rule to divulge secret jobs data, causing a billions-of-dollars move in the world’s financial markets.

via The week Trump went full dictator and no one tried to stop him | Will Bunch

We tried to warn you.

Trump calls for comedian Samantha Bee's firing after crude Ivanka slur


“Why aren’t they firing no talent Samantha Bee for the horrible language used on her low ratings show?” Trump said on Twitter on Friday. “A total double standard but that’s O.K., we are Winning, and will be doing so for a long time to come!”
via Trump calls for comedian Samantha Bee’s firing after crude Ivanka slur
I keep hearing that the problem with SJW protests is that it leads to a chilling effect that silences debate. In this instance, Trump is acting exactly in that way and yet the right wing concern trolls seem not to care about any chilling effect? They also don’t seem to care about the president telling private companies how to conduct themselves? They’re ok with the president demanding people lose their jobs because he was offended?

Public Demands Investigation of Why F.B.I. Infiltrators in Trump Campaign Failed to Prevent Him from Being Elected


WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Millions of Americans are demanding an investigation into why, if F.B.I. operatives managed to infiltrate the 2016 Trump campaign, they utterly failed to prevent a nightmarish despot from being elected.
via Public Demands Investigation of Why F.B.I. Infiltrators in Trump Campaign Failed to Prevent Him from Being Elected

New Poll: Most Americans don’t realize Robert Mueller’s investigation has uncovered crimes

“A majority of Americans — 59 percent — say in a new survey that Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia and the 2016 campaign has not yet uncovered evidence of any crimes, even though in reality, Mueller has already obtained five guilty pleas and 17 criminal indictments.”
New Poll: Most Americans don’t realize Robert Mueller’s investigation has uncovered crimes

This is in less than 1/3 of the time spent on the Benghazi investigation.

Rob Reiner on Twitter

“Richard Nixon was driven from office over obstruction of justice and abuse of power. Donald Trump, at a minimum, has done those things in plain sight. Difference is current GOP is ok with that. Today’s WH mtg. with DOJ is a big shot over Democracy’s bow. We’re heading for war.”
Rob Reiner on Twitter

Meathead has a point.

Yes, a Reasonable Prosecutor Would Have Ordered an Investigation of the Trump Campaign | National Review

I find the notion that the Russia investigation itself was corrupt from the beginning to be so bizarre as to border on fantastical. There was ample reason to investigate whether the Trump campaign had improper contacts with Russians. … The CIA, NSA, FBI, and the Republican-run Senate Intelligence Committee agree that this disruption operation morphed into an effort to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.
Yes, a Reasonable Prosecutor Would Have Ordered an Investigation of the Trump Campaign | National Review

This is the national review saying this.

President Trump warns if Democrats win midterms he will be impeached


President Donald Trump at a Michigan rally warns Republicans to maintain the House Majority, otherwise he would face impeachment. Veuer’s Maria Mercedes Galuppo has more. Buzz60
via President Trump warns if Democrats win midterms he will be impeached
Guy who promised his supporters he would use an extra-constitutional process to jail a political opponent is upset at the idea of a constitutional process being used on him.

Diamond and Silk say under oath they weren't paid by Trump campaign; FEC filings say otherwise


The two later backtracked under questioning from Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesHouse Judiciary delays markup of prison reform bill Music bill backed by streaming services advances in the House Prison reforms groups battle over strategy MORE (D-N.Y.
via Diamond and Silk say under oath they weren’t paid by Trump campaign; FEC filings say otherwise
They were paid protestors.

3 Russian spy chiefs visited the US days before Trump decided against new sanctions on Russia


Sergey Naryshkin of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service and Alexander Bortnikov of its Federal Security Service met with Pompeo to discuss the US’s and Russia’s mutual interest in counterterrorism.
via 3 Russian spy chiefs visited the US days before Trump decided against new sanctions on Russia This is an insane story. It should have been covered more.

Survey: two in three Trump supporters want a president who breaks the rules


Some 66% of Republicans classified by the researchers as “Always Trump” agreed that “because things have gotten so far off track in this country, we need a leader who is willing to break some rules if that’s what it takes to set things right”, according to a random sample of 2,019 adults.
via Survey: two in three Trump supporters want a president who breaks the rules
This didn’t get the coverage it should have. This is scary. Much more so than Antifa every could be.

3 Men Accused Of Kansas Mosque Bomb Plot Ask Judge For Pro-Trump Jurors

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Three men accused of plotting to bomb a mosque and apartment complex housing Somali refugees asked a federal judge Friday to include prospective jurors from rural western Kansas because they are twice as likely to have voted for President Donald Trump. via 3 Men Accused Of Kansas Mosque Bomb Plot Ask Judge For Pro-Trump Jurors

This is terrorism and they think that rural juries will be more sympathetic to it.

A Second Chance: This Amazing Organization Helps Disgraced Pedophiles Rebuild Their Lives By Getting Them Elected To Political Office


For many pedophiles, it’s impossible to make ends meet. These sex criminals are often shunned both socially and professionally, making it extremely difficult for them to find any sort of gainful employment.
via A Second Chance: This Amazing Organization Helps Disgraced Pedophiles Rebuild Their Lives By Getting Them Elected To Political Office

Column: If Trump revokes DACA, it will create a humanitarian crisis

Column: If Trump revokes DACA, it will create a humanitarian crisis:

The parents of these children brought them here to give them better lives. The children didn’t knowingly break any laws. These Dreamers grew up as Americans, believing they were entitled to the same rights and freedoms as their friends were. Yet when they became old enough to work or to go to college, they learned that there are limits on where they can study and what they can do. They had to live as second-class citizens—in the shadows of society.

This isn’t protecting the borders. This is punitive action against immigrants.

Poll: Half of Republicans would back postponing 2020 election if Trump proposed it

Poll: Half of Republicans would back postponing 2020 election if Trump proposed it:

It’s not both sides. It’s the GOP that’s the problem.

This is the same party that called Obama a dictator and yelled about him shredding the constitution based on random rumors about FEMA camps and Jade Helm.

So publicly funded health care is tyranny. Voter disenfranchisement and nullifying democracy is fine somehow?

It’s the GOP. They’ve lost their minds.

Scott Adams lives in the Trump bubble

Scott Adams lives in the Trump bubble:
I predicted that the end of this three-part story would involve President Trump’s critics complaining that indeed he was “effective, but we don’t like it.” Or words to that effect. I based that prediction on the assumption he would get some big wins by the end of the year and it would no longer make sense to question his effectiveness, only his policy choices.
My prediction is that someone will write an article that has some possible interpretation that someone thinks Trump did a non zero number of things and Scott will use it as proof that he was right all along.

Republican threatens to re-open investigation for Hillary’s emails if media keeps reporting on Russia

Republican threatens to re-open investigation for Hillary’s emails if media keeps reporting on Russia:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) appeared on CNN Wednesday morning to issue an ultimatum: Congress would be “forced” to start investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails again if Democrats didn’t stop talking about the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian government.

It isn't a conspiracy theory, it's the finding of 17 intelligence agencies

Trump Russia isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s the finding of 17 intelligence agencies.

There are public documents explaining the current findings. There are independently verifiable claims. The investigations will make reports public. The investigation is being carried out by agencies and committees that have carried out similar investigations before. It isn’t being done any differently than other investigations by these groups.

It isn’t a conspiracy. It’s not happening in secret. It’s a legal investigation into possible criminal acts and possible obstruction of justice. It’s a perfectly normal function of these groups for basic government accountability to the public they serve.

The idea the media, the deep state and the prior administration are conspiring to fabricate evidence of colusion for some unknown nefarious purpose; that’s a conspiracy theory.

Donald Trump Has No Plan for Making America Great Again

Donald Trump Has No Plan for Making America Great Again:

He didn’t go into specifics because there were no plans. He doesn’t even understand the problems well enough to hire people to come up with plans. He doesn’t have a plan to defeat ISIS. There is no magic healthcare plan. He can not negotiate the trade deals to help workers. There are no plans. There is just Trump, his ego and golf. That’s all.

Wrecking the Ship of State

Wrecking the Ship of State:

After Donald Trump’s surprise election victory, many people on the right and even in the center tried to make the case that he wouldn’t really be that bad. Every time he showed a hint of self-restraint — even if it amounted to nothing more than reading his lines without ad-libbing and laying off Twitter for a day or two — pundits rushed to declare that he had just “become president.”

But can we now admit that he really is as bad as — or worse than — his harshest critics predicted he would be?

The Comey Fog

scottadamsblog:

Ex-FBI Director Comey released a statement ahead of his appearance before Congress, and it has heads spinning. I’ll tell you how things look through what I call the Persuasion Filter.

Keep reading

Could a trained lawyer sort out this complexity and at least tell you whether or not a law has been broken? Apparently not. Otherwise the lawyers on both sides would agree. They don’t.

Scott Adams doesn’t understand how law works? The lawyers for the defense would be working to find arguments that their client didn’t break the law, or did not intended to break the law etc. It’s ridiculous to suggest that Trump’s defense would have to agree that Trump is guilty for Trump to be guilty. Scott Adams is an idiot.

Everything Conservatives Said About the Paris Climate Agreement Is Already Wrong

Everything Conservatives Said About the Paris Climate Agreement Is Already Wrong:

The only reason conservatives hate this agreement is that liberals like it. It’s a non-binding agreement. The sole purpose is to make sure that those who live up to the agreement get a voice in the next phase four years from now. Pulling out serves no US interest other than Trump’s desire to troll the American public.

Trump’s Cult Was Designed to Withstand This Current Media Onslaught and That’s What’s Happening

Trump’s Cult Was Designed to Withstand This Current Media Onslaught and That’s What’s Happening:

I have even come up with the hashtag of #Cult45 to describe Trump’s biggest fans. This is a nod to him being our 45th president and the old Billy Dee Williams TV commercial for beer whose famous catchphrase I imagine being transformed into, “Cult 45… they will believe him EVERY time.”

Trump loyalists pay little heed to revelations rocking DC

Trump loyalists pay little heed to revelations rocking DC:

“I didn’t want to be depressed. I don’t want to feel that he’s not doing what he said, so I just choose to not listen.”

This is the saddest thing I’ve read in a while.

It’s sadder when you consider that after Trump, she’ll tune into right wing alt facts about how awesome Trump was doing until the liberals in the deep state and media made up all this stuff about him and Russia because they hate American.

Experts on authoritarianism are absolutely terrified by the Comey firing

Experts on authoritarianism are absolutely terrified by the Comey firing:

“This is very common — in semi-authoritarian and authoritarian regimes,” Erica Chenoweth, a professor at the University of Denver, tells me. “Purges, summary firings, imprisonment: These are all things that authoritarian leaders do when they attempt to rid themselves of rivals within government.”

The Comey Firing

scottadamsblog:

What do Bernie Sanders’ hair and CNN have in common today? They are both saying, “Comey” every time you look at them.

The news coverage of Comey’s firing has become excellent entertainment. This is the biggest cognitive dissonance cluster bomb we’ve seen since election night. This one has everything.

Keep reading

My cursory understanding of the topic is that Trump’s critics say he fired Comey to put a chill on the FBI’s investigation of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. This theory sort-of-almost makes sense, in a hypothetical and indirect way. I could see how taking out the top dog would make the underdogs at the FBI worry about going hard at the President. On the other hand, the people doing the actual investigation are professionals, and there would be too many witnesses if they did a bad job.

Scott Adams is an idiot.

The critics were right. Adams dismisses the idea because he doesn’t see how bad Trump is at even basic things. Adams is suffering from cognitive dissonance. Trump’s critics are not.

The Continuing Fallout from Trump and Nunes’s Fake Scandal - The New Yorker

It is now clear that the scandal was not Rice’s normal review of the intelligence reports but the coördinated effort between the Trump Administration and Nunes to sift through classified information and computer logs that recorded Rice’s unmasking requests, and then leak a highly misleading characterization of those documents, all in an apparent effort to turn Rice, a longtime target of Republicans, into the face of alleged spying against Trump.

(via The Continuing Fallout from Trump and Nunes’s Fake Scandal - The New Yorker)

Abuse of power. Stack this on the pile of impeachable offenses.

Trump’s Housing Hypocrisy

Trump’s Housing Hypocrisy:

“Trump is wealthy today because of government housing subsidies. While still a young man, he inherited his father Fred’s real-estate empire, worth tens of millions of dollars. The senior Trump made his fortune by building middle-class housing financed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). In the 1930s, Fred Trump built single-family homes for middle class families in Queens and Brooklyn, using mortgage subsidies from the newly created FHA in order to obtain construction loans. After his real-estate business fell on hard times, he revived his firm during World War II by constructing FHA-backed housing for U.S. naval personnel near major shipyards along the East Coast. After the war, he continued to rely on FHA financing to construct apartment buildings in New York’s outer boroughs.”

Worth a read.

White House Accuses Russia of Cover-Up in Syria Chemical Attack

White House Accuses Russia of Cover-Up in Syria Chemical Attack:

The White House accused the Russian government on Tuesday of engaging in a cover-up of the chemical weapons attack in Syria last week, saying that United States intelligence had confirmed that the Assad regime used sarin gas on its own people.

Trump has no credibility. Even if he is right, no one will trust him on this.

Bloomberg: Trump's Golf Courses Would Benefit From His Water-Rule Rollback

The Trump Organization lists 17 golf courses among its properties, including 12 in the U.S. that probably would be subject to the rule. The golf industry, along with numerous business groups, has been trying to kill the rule since before President Barack Obama finalized it in June 2015. It has been under legal challenge and so far hasn’t been put into effect. Once it takes effect, it would raise costs for golf courses.

(via Trump’s Golf Courses Would Benefit From His Water-Rule Rollback - Bloomberg)

Conflict of interest?

Why is federal government data disappearing?

Why is federal government data disappearing?:

for eight years, the Obama White House championed the practice of making government data freely available to the public in order to promote transparency and accountability, to serve as a resource for researchers, and to allow innovators to create new tools and services that spur economic activity and solve social problems.

While the Trump administration has not yet signaled that it will oppose open data across the federal government, its silence on the issue suggests that open data may not receive the same level of priority it has in the past. In sharp contrast, President Obama declared a “new era of openness” on his first full day in office and directed federal agencies to be more transparent.

Reading about Trump supporters is counter productive.

After reading 20+ articles on what Trump supporters want most common themes seem to be

  1. End of political correctness
  2. Stop making fun of us

I think you can only pick one.

  1. Do something to help us
  2. Keep government out

Again, pick one.

  1. Protect our culture by building a wall
  2. Stop calling us bigots

Ok.

I give up.

Fox News Congratulates Rand Paul For Being Trump’s Stooge

While the GOP Congress has ignored the president’s self-enrichment, refusal to disclose his tax returns, and clear violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, some have expressed willingness to investigate his opaque ties to Russia. Paul is not one of them. And not only does he see no need for investigation on Russia, Paul has staked out a stance against any investigations, period, on the brutally frank grounds that it would impair the party’s legislative agenda. “I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party,” he told “Kilmeade and Friends.” “We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans.”

(via Fox News Congratulates Rand Paul For Being Trump’s Stooge)

I remember hearing so many libertarians advocating for Rand Paul back in 2015 and 2016 when the most recent libertarian moment was about to arrive.

President Trump Has Done Almost Nothing

President Trump Has Done Almost Nothing:

There is a wide gap, a chasm even, between what the administration has said and what it has done. There have been 45 executive orders or presidential memoranda signed, which may seem like a lot but lags President Barack Obama’s pace. More crucially, with the notable exception of the travel ban, almost none of these orders have mandated much action or clear change of current regulations. So far, Trump has behaved exactly like he has throughout his previous career: He has generated intense attention and sold himself as a man of action while doing little other than promote an image of himself as someone who gets things done.

It is the illusion of a presidency, not the real thing.

All talk, no action.

President Trump and Three Stooges Syndrome /r/politics

President Trump and Three Stooges Syndrome /r/politics:

I’m starting to see one of the disadvantages of making this list so long: People don’t believe it. Rather than seeing each item and realizing that Donald Trump really is that bad, they’re starting to dismiss the criticisms entirely. “The List” has offically contracted Three Stooges Syndrome, which is why next week I’ll be paring this down to just ten or fifteen links. All the good arguments in the world don’t do a whit of good if no one bothers to read them.

Amazing list. With sources. It’s shocking when you see the last two weeks in list form. In a normal world, any one of those items would be a news cycle dominating scandal. In Trumpworld it’s just a placeholder.

US officials: Trump approved Yemen raid 'without sufficient intelligence' - Business Insider

US Central Command said in a statement that an investigating team had “concluded regrettably that civilian noncombatants were likely killed” during Sunday’s raid. It added that children may have been among the casualties.

(via US officials: Trump approved Yemen raid ‘without sufficient intelligence’ - Business Insider)

Who is Trump going to throw under the bus for this one? Expect every botched action to result in someone being scapegoated by Trump.

WHIP COUNT: Here’s where Republicans stand on Trump’s controversial travel ban

WHIP COUNT: Here’s where Republicans stand on Trump’s controversial travel ban:

If you’re a constitute of one of the GOP senators or representatives who is speaking out against Trumps unamerican and inhumane actions, contact them and thank them. Especially if you’re a democrat. This isn’t us and then. This is American values versus Trump.

The first days inside Trump’s White House: Fury, tumult and a reboot

The first days inside Trump’s White House: Fury, tumult and a reboot:

Trump has been resentful, even furious, at what he views as the media’s failure to reflect the magnitude of his achievements, and he feels demoralized that the public’s perception of his presidency so far does not necessarily align with his own sense of accomplishment.

Why isn’t he getting credit for the things he hasn’t done yet?

trumpgrets: [image: frank luntz tweets: marriot lobby full of...



trumpgrets:

[image: frank luntz tweets: marriot lobby full of drunk, angry protesters harassing paying customers. if you are still in dc, avoid this area. hashtag womens march. tweet includes picture of starbucks crowded with peacefully sitting women, all presumably sipping tea.]

(ok ok technically not a trumpgret but testimony to level of denial needed to be overcome by trumpgretters. plus funny)

Look at that angry crowd and their cups of tea. It’s practically a riot.

Donald Trump becomes America’s 45th president

Donald Trump becomes America’s 45th president:

there was nothing for those hoping to see a more pragmatic, moderate President Trump take office, or to hear him admit that the world is complex and less pliable than he pretended on the campaign trail. All populists are at heart conspiracy theorists, who pretend that easy solutions exist to society’s woes and have only not been tried to date because elites are wicked and deaf to the sturdy common-sense of decent, ordinary folk.

Trump's Age of Ignorance Threatens Humanity

Trump's Age of Ignorance Threatens Humanity:

He seems hell-bent on ushering in an era where expertise is not just ignored, but actively disdained. This has manifested itself all over his still-short list of appointees, but the nominees related to science and health seem particularly egregious. These are Trump’s “unspecialists”—anti-experts, candidates that would be laughed off as absurdities if we weren’t living in the middle of a Philip K. Dick dystopia.

Trump: crime and gangs are ruining the country. Actual statistics: that’s not remotely true.

Trump: crime and gangs are ruining the country. Actual statistics: that’s not remotely true.:

Trump’s description of this country being a mess of crime and high unemployment is largely false. We have problems. We even have some growing problems with substance abuse. But crime is nearing historic lows and the economy is growing.

If you think the country is falling apart, you’re living in a bubble.

Trump’s real war isn’t with the media. It’s with facts.

Trump’s real war isn’t with the media. It’s with facts.:

Delegitimizing the institutions that might report inconvenient or damaging facts about the president is strategic for an administration that has made a slew of impossible promises and takes office amid a cloud of ethics concerns and potential scandals.

I think the lies are just going to get more and more brazen and the defenses of his lies more and more bizarre.

The Case for Not Being Crybabies

The Case for Not Being Crybabies:

Why are we still saying Trump isn’t doing enough to avoid conflicts of interest? He’s made clear he wants to profit off his presidency. Let’s accept that. That is what he wants to do. If you’re a journalist, start documenting the details. If you’re an activist or politician start mobilizing against his corruption.

The Music Donald Trump Can’t Hear

The Music Donald Trump Can’t Hear:

The collapse has been almost total, and shockingly uncritical. A few resisters aside—in the press, the names Jennifer Rubin, Max Boot, and David Frum come to mind—even those who know better, or did, have allowed the ancient habits of hatred to overwhelm their normal sense of right and wrong. Republican legislators who, a year ago, would have been aghast at any politician who praised the brutal dictator Vladimir Putin now have little trouble swallowing their tongues when Trump insists that Putin’s good opinion, however earned, is “an asset.” Those who made a fuss about pursuing any possible conflict of interest among Obama’s appointees now meekly allow the most conflict-ridden and least “vetted” of candidates for high office to walk through largely unmolested. And the insistence of the leader that he has no obligation to release any record of his financial entanglements, with the bold repeated lie that an “audit”—whose existence can’t be confirmed and wouldn’t matter anyway—prevents him from doing so, is simply and mutely accepted. The collapse—motivated for some by opportunism, for others by the intimidation of the mob—is complete.

This should be a bigger story.

Why Rural America Voted for Trump

Why Rural America Voted for Trump:

“The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans believe people are fundamentally bad, while Democrats see people as fundamentally good,” said Mr. Watts, who was in the area to campaign for Senator Rand Paul. “We are born bad,” he said and added that children did not need to be taught to behave badly — they are born knowing how to do that. “We teach them how to be good,” he said. “We become good by being reborn — born again.” He continued: “Democrats believe that we are born good, that we create God, not that he created us. If we are our own God, as the Democrats say, then we need to look at something else to blame when things go wrong — not us.”

That’s not actually what Democrats believe.

Donald Trump’s trade team has based their analysis on a remarkably silly mistake

Donald Trump’s trade team has based their analysis on a remarkably silly mistake:

Reading this, you might wonder why it is that in the real world, economists actually do try to develop complex computer models of the economy. The answer is that the alternative method Ross and Navarro are proposing doesn’t even remotely work.

This is 101ism. The idea that a simple Econ-101 level understanding of a topic will just scale up to the macro level. The assumption that every market will work like a guns and butter chart from day three of Econ 101 is easily disproved, but this doesn’t stop 101ism. People like simple solutions. This DSGE charts are hard, have Greek letters and lots of math. 101ism sells.

Obama Says U.S. Will Retaliate for Russia’s Election Meddling - The New York Times

“We need to take action,” the president said. “And we will — at the time and place of our choosing.”

(via Obama Says U.S. Will Retaliate for Russia’s Election Meddling - The New York Times)

Does Trump see the trap here? If he ends the investigation and reverses the sanctions he will be sending a clear signal that he is Putin’s puppet. If he doesn’t then Putin will want to pressure him to reverse leading people to ask if he owns Putin something.

Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House

Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House:

These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history.“

Both of these statements are false.

The CIA didn’t say Saddam had WMD. That was the Bush 43 White house.

And his EC victory was the weakest since Bush 43 in 2000. It wasn’t a landslide.

America’s Berlusconi

America’s Berlusconi:

Trump will probably pursue what is essentially a permanent political campaign, injecting himself directly into conversations. Berlusconi has often used television, especially his own commercial channels, to that end. Instead of giving interviews he cannot control, Berlusconi has often worked with favored acolytes, or simply talked directly to the camera. When he was in office, many a political talk show was interrupted by a phone call from the prime minister demanding to have his say.

How to Deal With the Lies of Donald Trump

How to Deal With the Lies of Donald Trump:

Journalists need to understand what Trump is doing and refuse to play by his rules. He is going to use the respect and deference typically accorded to the presidency as an instrument for spreading more lies. Reporters must refuse to treat him like a normal president and refuse to bestow any unearned legitimacy on his administration.

Trump’s proxies need to be asked over and over again to provide evidence. When they are unable, they need to be asked why they are unable to defend the president’s assertion and if they believe what the president said. You can not play he said she said here.

Kellyanne Conway Gets Flustered Refusing To Answer Whether Trump's Voter Fraud Tweet Was True

Kellyanne Conway Gets Flustered Refusing To Answer Whether Trump's Voter Fraud Tweet Was True:

George replied, “There is no evidence that there were millions of illegal votes, zero.”

Conway continued to whine about the media and legal recounts that are being conducted and cried, “Why can’t you allow this President-elect to form his government the way that President Obama and Secretary Clinton had suggested they would like him to do?”

wow.

Seduced and Betrayed by Donald Trump - The New York Times

by looking at Census data from 2013 to 2015, which show the impact of the full implementation of Obamacare. Over that period, the number of uninsured Americans dropped by 13 million; whites without a college degree, who voted Trump by around two to one, accounted for about eight million of that decline. So we’re probably looking at more than five million Trump supporters, many of whom have chronic health problems and recently got health insurance for the first time, who just voted to make their lives nastier, more brutish, and shorter.

(via Seduced and Betrayed by Donald Trump - The New York Times)

Krugman does the math.

CNN Host's Mind Blown: Trump Voters Believe Voter Fraud Claims

CNN Host's Mind Blown: Trump Voters Believe Voter Fraud Claims:

in this case it comes with one minor caveat: evidence is not needed if you’re a Trump voter. Period. Alysin Camerota of CNN’s New Day is a bit flummoxed over a group of these folks.

It’s no use asking for proof. They don’t have proof and their opinions on voter fraud as based on feelings, not facts.

Worth watching.

NYTimes: Trump Backers Go to Court to Block Vote Recounts in 3 States

NYTimes: Trump Backers Go to Court to Block Vote Recounts in 3 States:

Trump Backers Go to Court to Block Vote Recounts in 3 States

“In an election already tainted by suspicion, previously expressed by Donald Trump himself,” she said, “verifying the vote is a common-sense procedure that would put all concerns around voter disenfranchisement to rest. Trump’s desperate attempts to silence voter demands for recounts raise a simple question: why is Donald Trump afraid of these recounts?”

An ethical double standard for Trump — and the GOP?

An ethical double standard for Trump — and the GOP?:

“If Hillary Clinton wins this election and they don’t shut down the Clinton Foundation and come clean with all of its past activities, then there’s no telling the kind of corruption that you might see out of the Clinton White House,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt.

Presumably Cotton will take the lead in advising Donald Trump to “shut down” his business activities and “come clean” on what came before. Surely Cotton wants to be consistent.

TheMoneyIllusion » Trump favors teasier money

TheMoneyIllusion » Trump favors teasier money:

So what are Trump’s views? Very simple. For elderly savers, Trump favors higher interest rates. For big developers, he favors low rates. For consumers, he wants a strong dollar. For exporters, he wants a weaker dollar. Each group will get what they want, but not all in the same universe. You see, Trump’s monetary views are best described as a wave function, which will collapse to a single outcome on January 20th. Trump is the first post-modern candidate, the first to understand that truth is what the voters let you get aways with, and that the multiverse offers the possibility of achieving seemingly irreconcilable aims.

Up is down, rich is poor

When Ivanka was a kid, she got frustrated because she couldn’t set up a lemonade stand in Trump Tower. “We had no such advantages,” she writes, meaning, in this case, an ordinary home on an ordinary street. She and her brothers finally tried to sell lemonade at their summer place in Connecticut, but their neighborhood was so ritzy that there was no foot traffic. “As good fortune would have it, we had a bodyguard that summer,” she writes. They persuaded their bodyguard to buy lemonade, and then their driver, and then the maids, who “dug deep for their spare change.” The lesson, she says, is that the kids “made the best of a bad situation.” In another early business story, she and her brothers made fake Native American arrowheads, buried them in the woods, dug them up while playing with their friends, and sold the arrowheads to their friends for five dollars each.

Her “bad situation” was being wealthy; her solution was to compel her servants and bodyguards, you know, the little people, to give her more money, and to lie to her friends to trick them into giving her yet more money. And she’s completely oblivious to the ethical problems with what she did!

(via Up is down, rich is poor)

Worth a read.

Paul Krugman: 5.5 million Trump voters could lose health care — because they voted for him

Paul Krugman: 5.5 million Trump voters could lose health care — because they voted for him:

As Krugman notes, 6 million non-Hispanic whites gained insurance between 2013 and 2015; considering 66 percent of white people without a college degree (and therefore likely uninsured before Obamacare) voted for Trump, Krugman reasons at least 3.96 million non-college educated Trump voters will lose their insurance.

Sure you’ll lose your healthcare, but think of the tax cuts coastal elites will get.

Trump Threatens to Roll Back Obama’s Cuba Policy - The New York Times

In a post on Twitter, he said he would “terminate” the pact President Obama made if Cuba is unwilling to make “a better deal for the Cuban people.”

(via Trump Threatens to Roll Back Obama’s Cuba Policy - The New York Times)

I’m going to guess that the “better deal for the Cuban people” he speaks of involves building a Trump Plaza Havana.

And this is happening while everyone talks about his newest dumb tweet.

Americans keep looking away from the election’s most alarming story

Americans keep looking away from the election’s most alarming story:

U.S. intelligence agencies determined that the Russian government actively interfered in our elections. Russian state propaganda gave little doubt that this was done to support Republican nominee Trump, who repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and excused the Russian president’s foreign aggression and domestic repression. Most significantly, U.S. intelligence agencies have affirmed that the Russian government directed the illegal hacking of private email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and prominent individuals. The emails were then released by WikiLeaks, which has benefited financially from a Russian state propaganda arm, used Russian operatives for security and made clear an intent to harm the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

This is so much worse than any of the Clinton email or Clinton Foundation stories. It should be investigated.

Stop Being Trump’s Twitter Fool - POLITICO Magazine

Haven’t any of these people raised children? Don’t they know about bait and switch? Have none of them been paying attention to Trump’s Twitter strategy for the past 17 months? For anybody who has read a half-dozen of Trump’s tweets, the pattern is obvious. He compiles these tweets precisely in order to elicit strident protest. It doesn’t matter to Trump that the cast of Hamilton was polite and respectful to Pence. It doesn’t matter that being rude to officeholders is an inalienable right—hell, a responsibility!—of all Americans. To Trump’s followers the content of any one of his rebukes matters less than whom it’s directed at—New York liberals and their fellow travelers in this instance. He could have tweeted something equally belligerent about the “unfair” treatment his daughter Ivanka is receiving in the press for having attended his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and he would have earned the same satisfying comeback from his foes.

(via Stop Being Trump’s Twitter Fool - POLITICO Magazine)

Americans keep looking away from the election’s most alarming story

Americans keep looking away from the election’s most alarming story:

Part of the Russian operation’s success is that we cannot measure the effect. Did the DNC emails depress the Sanders vote for Clinton? Did the Podesta emails turn off independents? Would voters have responded differently if major media had reported the email releases not as legitimate news but as an intelligence operation by a hostile foreign power aimed at undermining the integrity of U.S. elections? There are no clear answers. But there are certainties: The email operation increased negative stories about Clinton, fueled an immense propaganda attack and diminished coverage of actual issues. The large polling lead Clinton gained after the debates slipped significantly under this barrage of negativity — even before FBI Director James B. Comey’s bombshell.

Trump’s big infrastructure plan? It’s a trap.

Trump’s big infrastructure plan? It’s a trap.:

Trump’s plan is not really an infrastructure plan. It’s a tax-cut plan for utility-industry and construction-sector investors, and a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors. The Trump plan doesn’t directly fund new roads, bridges, water systems or airports, as did Hillary Clinton’s 2016 infrastructure proposal. Instead, Trump’s plan provides tax breaks to private-sector investors who back profitable construction projects. These projects (such as electrical grid modernization or energy pipeline expansion) might already be planned or even underway. There’s no requirement that the tax breaks be used for incremental or otherwise expanded construction efforts; they could all go just to fatten the pockets of investors in previously planned projects.

If you voted for new infrastructure, you were conned.

'I'm in a room full of liars': Trump reams execs and anchors from 'the dishonest media' at 'candid' meeting at Trump Tower that turned into a 'f****ng firing squad'

'I'm in a room full of liars': Trump reams execs and anchors from 'the dishonest media' at 'candid' meeting at Trump Tower that turned into a 'f****ng firing squad' :

Special snowflake in chief is demanding the press hold him to “participation trophy” standards so his feelings can be spared.

Donald Trump will wield the biggest media operation in the history of the U.S. presidency

Donald Trump will wield the biggest media operation in the history of the U.S. presidency:

“ The Ford situation provides the first look at what news about the Trump administration will be like once the president-elect is sworn in come January. On one side, there’s the traditional media, already plenty maligned after an exhausting election. On the other, there’s the collection of media entities that have formed around Trump. Let’s call it the Trump News Network (TNN for short).

TNN provides a way for Trump to leapfrog the traditional press entirely. Particularly for supporters of Trump, TNN will serve as their primary news source, unchecked by the much-loathed mainstream media. For the rest, it’ll be a well-oiled propaganda machine capable of muddying the waters of even straightforward news. ”

Guess which candidate's foundation was caught in an illegal campaign funding scheme?

Guess which candidate's foundation was caught in an illegal campaign funding scheme?:

“recently he’s found out that Trump’s charitable foundation made an illegal campaign contribution to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (this reporting is based, in turn, in part on work done by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington). Then when they found out they had broken the law, they kinda sorta corrected the error but didn’t actually follow their legal obligation to get the money back.

It’s all at least a little suspicious”

High crimes and misdemeanors as of day one.

Trump can now loot millions of dollars from the Secret Service with no disclosure

Trump can now loot millions of dollars from the Secret Service with no disclosure:

> by asking for Secret Service protection for family members who fly on his plane, Donald Trump can directly funnel taxpayer money into his own pocket.

> Justin Bachman at Bloomberg has the story:

> For any of the Trump or Pence clans assigned a protective detail due to safety risks— and the rancor of the 2016 vote could well produce many — Secret Service travel on a Trump-owned plane means the agency would need to reimburse the aircraft’s owner. In this case, the president.

The Italian experience provides a blueprint for how to defeat Mr. Trump. Only two men in Italy have...

“The Italian experience provides a blueprint for how to defeat Mr. Trump. Only two men in Italy have won an electoral competition against Mr. Berlusconi: Romano Prodi and the current prime minister, Matteo Renzi (albeit only in a 2014 European election). Both of them treated Mr. Berlusconi as an ordinary opponent. They focused on the issues, not on his character. In different ways, both of them are seen as outsiders, not as members of what in Italy is defined as the political caste. The Democratic Party should learn this lesson.”

- The Right Way to Resist Trump - The New York Times

Trump poised to violate Constitution his first day in office, George W. Bush’s ethics lawyer says

Trump poised to violate Constitution his first day in office, George W. Bush’s ethics lawyer says:

“the incoming president, in other words, is actively soliciting business from agents of foreign governments. Many of these agents, in turn, said that they will accept the president-elect’s offer to do business because they want to win favor with the new leader of the United States.

In an exclusive exchange with ThinkProgress, Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor who previously served as chief ethics counsel to President George W. Bush, says that Trump’s efforts to do business with these diplomats is at odds with a provision of the Constitution intended to prevent foreign states from effectively buying influence with federal officials.”

…so the tea party will now call on Trump to follow the Constitution, right?

Donald Trump Meeting Suggests He Is Keeping Up His Business Ties - The New York Times

The meeting, with Indian executives linked to an apartment tower bearing Mr. Trump’s name, raises questions about how he will separate his business dealings from his politics.

(via Donald Trump Meeting Suggests He Is Keeping Up His Business Ties - The New York Times)

He isn’t. Or he won’t unless congress forces him. He will use the office for financial gain for himself and his children.

Trump Wants Son-in-Law to Get Presidential Briefing Too Just for an Extra Pair of Real Estate Developer Eyes

Trump Wants Son-in-Law to Get Presidential Briefing Too Just for an Extra Pair of Real Estate Developer Eyes:

I am confident that those who were concerned about the potential mishandling of confidential material because of Hillary’s email server will hold Trump to the same high standard and demand that his kids and son-in-law be fully vetted before having access to confidential material.