Monday, May 29, 2017

Donald Trump mouthing the words to the National Anthem right before Memorial Day speech.

Oh.....my......God!

The man does not have a respectful bone in his body.

He acts like he is standing on the sidelines at a school dance, rather than attending a solemn occasion to memorialize the soldiers who died defending his country.

Every day we see more of this kind of shit, and every day I have to ask out loud "How much longer can this go on?"

French President Emmanuel Macron attacks two Russian media outlets for spreading fake news while standing right next to Vladimir Putin.

Check out Putin's body language.
Courtesy of the AP:

French President Emmanuel Macron has made an extraordinary attack on two Russian media outlets, saying they acted as “propaganda” organs during France’s election campaign. 

Speaking at a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Macron accused the two outlets, Russia Today and Sputnik, of spreading fake news. 

He said that’s why he banned their reporters from his campaign headquarters during the race for the French presidency, which he went on to win May 7.

Damn! Look at the set of balls on Macron!

You know it is not often that I feel jealous of France, but damn do I feel jealous of France.

I would give almost anything to have a man with that kind of courage and integrity leading our country.

Oh wait, we just had that. 

(H/T to Democratic Underground.)

Jared Kushner has a new defender on Twitter, Julian Assange. Wait, what?

Okay so to be clear Kushner is now getting support from the guy who has been named by American intelligence agencies as the guy utilized by the Russians to spread hacked data and propaganda to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election.

Anybody else find this highly suspicious?

After all why would Assange give two shits about freaking Jared Kushner?

Well perhaps because they were both on the front line of disseminating that hacked information to undermine the Clinton campaign.

Courtesy of a Mother Jones article from September 2016:

On Tuesday, the Observer published a piece maintaining that the DCCC had coordinated—presumably improperly—with the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2015. The story, written by a freelance contributor named Michael Sainato, cited "an internal DCCC memo" leaked to the Observer from Guccifer 2.0—the handle of the hacker or hackers who have successfully targeted these Democratic committees. The Observer is owned by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has been a top adviser to the Republican presidential nominee.

The New York Observer is of course Jared Kushner's newspaper, and it was certainly more than peripherally involved with spreading the material hacked by the Russians.

You know it is almost as if these people don't even care anymore if folks figure out that all of this was a coordinated effort, or who it was that coordinated it.

Are we still pretending that there is no evidence of collusion?

You undoubtedly saw this coming, White House staff may have deleted information critical to Russia collusion investigations.

Courtesy of Politico:

Unlike the White House, which is subject to federal recordkeeping requirements, campaigns aren’t bound to preserve documents. But staffers may have some emails still backed up on their phones or computers, or documents — including calendars and other records that could wind up being critical for investigators.

Trump’s campaign, said a former senior aide, didn’t do much in the way of establishing a backup plan to preserve those digital records. “You’d be giving us too much credit,” said the former staffer. “The idea of document retention did not come up. The idea of some formal structure did not come up.” 

The White House declined to comment when asked what staff have been told about preserving documents related to the ongoing investigations. In March, The Associated Press reported that White House counsel Don McGahn instructed White House staff in late February to save all materials that could potentially be relevant for investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The AP report noted that the memo also applied to materials belonging to White House staffers who worked on the campaign.

I think it is safe to predict that investigators will find that much of what they want to see is no longer available.

In fact I have little doubt that this information started to get deleted the minute that news broke with the first mention of a possible investigation.

The Trump White House is already attempting to blame any loss of data on the widespread use of apps like Confide, Signal and WhatsApp. But that seems just a little TOO convenient.

Remember back in February when Sean Spicer gathered up staff cell phones so he could check for security leaks? Do we really think any information helpful to these investigators was left untouched?

I think the only real hope that the investigators will have is that there are clearly members of Trump's staff, both campaign and White House, who are upset and frightened by what they have seen.

Those are the folks most likely to have preserved data on their devices, or uploaded it to their home computers, that would be of the most help to those involved in the Russian probes.

This journalist's response to a Trump supporter is perfect.

And that's really it.

Here we are learning more and more damaging information about Donald Trump, his campaign, and his administration every day, and still his base of supporters think HE is the victim instead of realizing that THEY are the victim.

I really don't know if that support from his base will ever completely dissipate, but I predict that every single day there are a small number of newly enlightened supporters who wake up and realize that the king has no clothes, and that they were taken in by an orange tinned con artist using the oldest tricks in the book. 

The next time somebody tells you that Obamacare is failing, read them this list of ten ways that Republicans worked to make it fail.

1. CO-OPs short-changed from the start 

Let’s start by considering the ACA’s Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or CO-OPs. Early drafts of the ACA called for $10 billion in federal grants for the CO-OP program. But insurance lobbyists and conservative lawmakers insisted on $6 billion in loans instead of $10 billion in grants, restrictions limiting CO-OPs to the individual and small-group market (and not the more stable and profitable large-group market), and limitations stating that the federal loan money could not be used for marketing. 

The ACA passed in 2010 and the CO-OPs were to be up and running in the fall of 2013, in time for the first open enrollment period. But during 2011 budget negotiations, $2.2 billion was cut from the CO-OP funding. And then during the “fiscal cliff” negotiations at the end of 2012, another $1.4 billion in CO-OP loan funding was eliminated. 

Those Republican led changes undermined and ultimately killed most of the original 23 co-ops.

Just as the GOP planned.  

2. Day One legal challenges 

On March 23, 2010, the same day the ACA was signed into law, attorneys general from 14 states began the process of challenging the ACA’s individual mandate via the court system. A total of 26 states eventually joined in the lawsuit, which went all the way to the Supreme Court. 

3. Refusal to take ACA’s Medicaid expansion 

I think these t-shirts will soon start selling like hotcakes.

As an American I don't think I would leave the country without one.

You can order yours here.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

After Trump visit Chancellor Angela Merkel laments the loss of America as a reliable ally.

Courtesy of the New York Times: 

In the aftermath of a contentious Group of 7 meeting in Taormina, Sicily, where leaders failed to persuade President Trump to back the Paris climate accord, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said on Sunday that tried and tested global alliances were no longer as reliable as they once were, citing her experience “in recent days.” 

Ms. Merkel, who is campaigning for a fourth term in the September elections, did not name the country or leader she had in mind. 

It seemed clear, however, that she was referring mainly to the United States and Mr. Trump, who refused to commit to the goals of the 195-nation climate agreement hammered out in 2015. He has said it would be bad for the United States economy.

“The times in which we could rely fully on others, they are somewhat over,” she said, according to German news media. “This is what I experienced in the last few days.”

And just like that decades of friendship between the United States and Germany come to a close.

I guess this what the White House meant by a "successful" trip.

Here was an observation by former Bush speechwriter David Frum:
This presidency is now officially an international crisis.

How much longer can it be before even the Republicans in Washington realize that everything that America has fought and stood for is now hanging in the balance?

Jared Kushner has both a terrible memory and a case of the sads.

Courtesy of Politico: 

Once the untouchable son-in-law in a White House where top aides jockey for the president’s ear, Jared Kushner has now been cast in a new role: reassuring people that he’s not going to resign, while colleagues question whether he can survive politically. 

Any victory lap Kushner hoped to enjoy after pulling off a successful presidential foreign trip to the Middle East was cut short after the Washington Post reported that during the transition he discussed setting up a secret backchannel with the Russian ambassador. He also failed to disclose earlier phone calls with Russian officials, according to a Reuters report.

The backchannel was never established. But the news puts Kushner squarely in the middle of a wide-ranging FBI investigation into whether Trump campaign advisers were working with Russian operatives to influence the results of the 2016 election. 

And it means that the main architect of Trump’s visit to the Middle East is now the lead distraction that will greet the president, who was flying home from nine days abroad on Saturday, returning from what was seen as overall a successful foreign trip.

I'm sorry, "successful foreign trip?"

What news coverage were THEY watching?

Politico also reports that Kushner is frustrated and saddened by his ineffectiveness in his role as Trump's closest adviser: 

The spotlight on Kushner’s involvement with the Russians comes at a time when the powerful son-in-law has been telling associates that he is frustrated with his job. 

Two associates who have spoken to Kushner in recent weeks described him as “unhappy” and “miserable,” in part because he has not been able to make the changes he wants to under his father-in-law. Kushner, the source said, has recently seemed resigned to the fact that the internal dysfunction that has defined the first months of Trump’s administration is unlikely to pass. “He’s still trying to tell people it will improve but he seems like he was trying to convince himself,” the source said.

You would think that somebody who has been around Trump as long as Kushner has would realize that he is broken and there is just no fixing him.

As for all that talk about Kushner having multiple contacts with the Russian Ambassador, he apparently has developed a case of amnesia:

Top presidential adviser Jared Kushner’s legal team pushed back Friday night against a report that the White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law had at least three undisclosed contacts with a Russian ambassador during and after the 2016 presidential campaign, saying he had “no recollection” of the alleged exchanges. 

"Mr. Kushner participated in thousands of calls in this time period. He has no recollection of the calls as described,” Kushner’s lawyer Jamie Gorelick told POLITICO in a statement, responding to a Reuters report about Kushner's contacts with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. 

“We have asked (Reuters) for the dates of such alleged calls so we may look into it and respond, but we have not received such information," Gorelick added. 

Ah yes the "I did not disclose my contacts with Russian operatives, as was my legal obligation, because they simply slipped my mind" defense.

Much like the "How could I have robbed that bank if I do not remember leaving the house?" defense.

Keep in mind that this guy is supposed to solve the opioid crisis, establish peace in the Middle East, and reform criminal justice in this country, all while forgetting important meetings that he has attended.

Yep, that should work out just peachy.

Of course remember in the eyes of Donald Trump all of this is "fake news."


"In my opinion?"

"It is very possible that those sources don't exist?"

Wouldn't Trump know for a fact whether or not these sources were telling the truth or not?

Yeah, I think he would. Which means he is trying to sow the seeds of doubt when he already knows what the harvest of truth will reveal.

100 eighth graders boycott picture with Paul Ryan during Washington field trip.

Courtesy of Common Dreams: 

One hundred eighth grade students refused to be photographed with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan during a field trip to the nation's capital because they "didn't want to be associated with a person who puts his party before his country," as one student put it. 

According to reporting, roughly half of the 200 students who traveled from South Orange Middle School in New Jersey protested the photo-op on Thursday, watching instead from a parking lot across the street. 

"It's not just a picture," eighth grade student Matthew Malespina told the local ABC News affiliate. "It's being associated with a person who puts his party before his country." 

Most recently, Ryan has come under fire for forcing through legislation that would strip healthcare from 23 million Americans.

Well look at that, we now live in a country where eighth grade students have more integrity than the entire Republican party. 

Looks like the future might be in good hands after all.

While other world leaders walk toward location for group photo, Donald Trump is taken by golf cart.

 Courtesy of The Hill: 

President Trump chose to ride in a golf cart while his foreign counterparts took a walk through Taormina, Sicily on Saturday during the Group of 7 (G7) summit. 

The Times of London reported the six other world leaders - from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - walked 700 yards to take a group photo at a piazza in a hilltop town. The U.S. leader decided to wait until he could get a golf cart. 

Trump was late for the photo, but joined the other world leaders during the walk down from the piazza.

As if that was not embarrassing enough Trump had earlier refused to pledge America's support for the Paris climate deal, making our country the only one present to do so.

It should be remembered that this summit used to be called the G8, before Russia was kicked out over it's invasion of Ukraine.

Now it appears that Trump might be angling to get the name changed again, this time to the G6.

By the way, according to Fox News, it is Donald Trump who is being disrespected:

Nile Gardiner said that NATO leaders acted in an "absolutely appalling" way toward President Trump. 

Gardiner, an aide to late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, said he was disgusted at leaders who were caught smirking and chuckling during Trump's speech. 

He criticized Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel for appearing to laugh when Trump spoke about the need for nations to pay what they owed to NATO. 

Gardiner called the actions of Bettel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel "absolutely appalling."

Yes, how shameful that these people laughed at the giant orange clown. 

Sean Hannity has gone "underground" while contemplating his future at Fox News.

Courtesy of IJR: 

Hannity has gone “underground” and is actively considering whether or not he will return to Fox News on Tuesday, a source close to Hannity told Independent Journal Review. It's a stunning development at the network, which has seemingly remained in a constant state of turmoil since the ouster of the late Roger Ailes. 

Speculation ran wild earlier this week when the network announced Hannity would be taking a mid-week vacation amid controversy over the host’s promotion of unverified reports suggesting a link between murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich and his alleged contact with WikiLeaks. Hannity is currently facing threats of advertiser boycotts from liberal groups like Media Matters. Multiple companies have since pulled ads from “Hannity.” 

In response to the rumors, a Fox News spokesperson said Hannity would “be back on Tuesday” after his Memorial Day weekend vacation, and people who “suggest otherwise are going to look foolish.” 

But the well-placed source said Hannity has since retreated to isolation — even temporarily “swearing off” social media — while he makes a decision regarding his future at Fox News. Hannity’s last tweet was posted on Thursday afternoon. 

“He has stopped answering his phone, and communicating even with his close friends,” the source added.

Oh please, Hannity is getting canned and he knows it.

He is leaking this information to give the appearance that he has some say in whether he continues on at the cable outlet, but with advertisers fleeing like their hair is on fire, and his refusal to accept the truth about that Seth Rich story, I think we all know that he is simply trying to save face.

Though with a face like that I am not sure it is really worth saving.

The Simpsons wade into the Trump/Comey controversy.

I swear I am not sure we have needed humor in our lives more since the Great Depression.

What the three top cable news outlets were reporting the night we learned that Jared Kushner wanted a back channel to communicate with Moscow.

Apparently these were captured at almost the exact same time from all three networks.

Is it any wonder the conservatives are not all up in arms over this Russia collusion thing?

They don't even know about it yet!