Saturday, April 29, 2017

Trump's Big CON: He Finally Realizes He's Not Presidental Material

UPDATE II:  And The Donald is right, he's not really presidential material. Being president is not a contrived so-called reality show where it's all about winning, which is his only obsession.

But he just doesn't get it.

"More than five months after his victory and two days shy of the 100-day mark of his presidency, the election is still on Trump's mind. Midway through a discussion about Chinese President Xi Jinping, the president paused to hand out copies of what he said were the latest figures from the 2016 electoral map.

'Here, you can take that, that's the final map of the numbers,' the Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. 'It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.'

He had copies for each of the three Reuters reporters in the room."

Read Reuters, Exclusive: Trump says he thought being president would be easier than his old life.

As noted before, Trump is a psycho-narcissistic con man.

Read also Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man & Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man (Cont.).

UPDATE:  "[T]his president and this Congress have not a clue how to proceed. They would potentially do much more harm than good. They are prisoners of extreme ideology, unrealistic expectations and their own incompetence.

Perhaps under another president, the center-right and center-left can make progress on key issues. For the remainder of Trump’s term, however, the best-case scenario would be no new wars or new nuclear powers and the status quo at home." [Emphasis in original]

Read the Washington Post, Here’s why, even with control of everything, the GOP cannot govern.

"Donald Trump spent a great portion of 2016 insisting that being president would be easy — at least for him. HuffPost compiled a number of examples of him dismissing the problems that accompany the job as being easily dispatched. Building a wall on the border with Mexico is easy. Beating Hillary Clinton would be easy. Renegotiating the Iran deal would be easy. Paying down the national debt would be easy. Acting presidential? Easy.

To a reporter from Reuters this week, though, Trump had a slightly different assessment of the presidency.

'I love my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life,' Trump said. 'I thought it would be easier. I thought it was more of a … I’m a details-oriented person. I think you’d say that, but I do miss my old life. I like to work so that’s not a problem but this is actually more work.'

It wasn’t the first time that Trump copped to the job being trickier than he anticipated. In November, NBC News reported that Trump had told former House speaker Newt Gingrich that 'This is really a bigger job than I thought.' (Gingrich’s response? “…good. He should think that.”) Then there are individual issues. “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” he said at one point. At another, he revealed that it took a conversation with the president of China to realize that the situation on the Korean peninsula was 'not so easy.'"

Read the Washington Post, Trump now agrees with the majority of Americans: He wasn’t ready to be president

So far his presidency has just seemed like a joke gone bad.  But he should resign before he harms the country.

Of course, he love the fame.

Read the Washington Post, Alone in the White House, Trump is enjoying the perks of his new home.

Trump Big CON: The Fill-In-The-Blank of His Hundred Days of Scamming the Public

UPDATE:  "As we cross the finish line of President Trump’s first 100 days, no leader in recent memory has benefited more from low expectations. A more typical president who tumbled from an approval rating in the high 60s to one in the low 40s would be in a political crisis. Trump’s current performance is only a slight dip from his divisive norm. A president with pretensions of rhetorical coherence would be embarrassed by gaffes and mediocre speeches. For Trump, gaffes and inarticulateness are part of the package. A president with high standards of integrity would be mortified by a brewing scandal that seems to involve smarmy aides and a foreign government. For Trump, well, what would you expect? . .

In a number of cases, Trump has not been cunning but credulous; not an authoritarian but a pushover. During his campaign, Trump looked down on the weak; now, it turns out, he is weak.

Ultimately, Trump is failing because he has little knowledge of the world and no guiding star of moral principle. The best of our leaders — think Abraham Lincoln — have been sure about the truth and uncertain about themselves. Trump is the opposite. His mind is uncluttered by creeds. He knows what he wants at any given moment, but it can bear little relation to the moment following. Who really believes that he would be sleepless if the wall were not built or if NAFTA ultimately survived? Who believes he would not be sleepless because of a nasty joke at his expense during a dinner party?

Without deep and thoughtful beliefs, persuasion is impossible. It is public reasoning that allows others to follow a leader’s footsteps in the snow. What has Trump done to rationally and respectfully persuade his critics?

Without deep and thoughtful beliefs, the prevailing advice is often the latest advice. For a rootless leader, in Oscar Wilde’s phrase, “passions are quotations.”

Trump clearly wants to be judged by a frenetic level of activity. But the issue at hand is direction, not momentum. It is useful to undo some past liberal excesses, as Trump has done. But negation can’t be confused with inspiration. There can be no measure of political progress without a measuring stick of political conviction. Instead, we are treated to hysterical self-praise. Appalling — but, hey, what did we expect?"

Read the Washington Post, We set a low bar for Trump. He still failed to meet it.

"President Trump surprised everyone by announcing that he'd take a break from pretending he had a [fill in the blank] plan to pretend he had a [fill in the blank] plan,  instead.

That has been the 32-word history of Trump's first 100 days. This week, those blanks are "health-care reform" and "tax reform." Last week, they were "tax reform" and "health-care reform." And the one before that, they were, you guessed it, "health-care reform" and "tax reform." The problem, you see, is that Trump doesn't know enough about what he's trying to negotiate to, well, negotiate. The result is an ouroboros of incompetence that even the most naive people inclined to take Trump's words at face value — Wall Street traders — have begun to tune out. . .

[T]he second part of the history of Trump's first 100 days:

President Trump tweeted that his [fill in the blank] plan is going to be [better/the best], that people are saying [great/terrific] things about how [great/terrific] it is, that they shouldn't believe the fake media that say [it isn't close to passing/would cost 24 million people their health insurance/would blow up the deficit], and that it's all going so well that, for now, he's going back to work on his plan to [fill in the blank]."

Read the Washington Post, The 32-word history of Trump’s first 100 days.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Trump's Big CON: 'The Simpsons,' Celebrate His Many "Accomplishments"

UPDATE III:  "For nearly a century, American presidents have played an important, if informal, role in our politics as the leader of their parties. But nearly 100 days into his term, President Trump not only has failed to provide Republicans with skilled leadership, but also seems unaware that he’s even supposed to do so. This failure could doom his presidency before it even really begins. . .

Absence of political leadership is particularly damaging to the modern Republican Party because of the intense and deep fissures running through it. The GOP was bitterly divided into at least four factions prior to Trump’s emergence, and their civil war had waged since at least the 2010 primaries. None of the existing party leaders has the stature, power or credibility to unite this group into a cohesive majority. The president’s failure to step into this fray simply makes the divisions harder to heal.

Trump was elected to change Washington and 'drain the swamp.' Our modern system won’t allow him to do that without first wading deep into the murky waters himself to corral the alligators. If the president does that by the summer months, he might yet begin to fulfill his promises and move the nation in a new direction. But if he doesn’t, he may find the swamp will have drained his power and authority by the time Congress reconvenes in the fall."

Read the Washington Post, This failure may doom Trump’s presidency before it really begins.

In other words, The Donald doesn't have the leadership skills to get the job done.

UPDATE II: "Unless he can summon a miracle, President Trump is going to reach 100 days in office without getting anything on his wish list through Congress. And the fact we're measuring his failures by this timetable is largely his fault. . .

Even the stuff Trump can do on his own — executive orders — have hit quicksand. His most significant executive orders, a travel ban and pressure on sanctuary cities, are stuck in the courts.

Trump has about exhausted his unilateral power. The rest of his agenda needs Congress to get done.

No president — no matter how much of a dealmaker  — can force Congress to pass bills. But Trump set himself up for failure in a way past presidents never have. He promised to get his priorities through Congress in a matter of months.

That was an amateur move, says pretty much anyone who knows anything about Congress. Major legislation doesn't happen in increments of weeks or months. It happens in years: Medicare, gun reform, Obamacare. These things took years, if not decades.

'He didn't grasp the reality of legislating,' [Steve Bell, a former GOP Senate budget aide now with the Bipartisan Policy Institute] said. 'It takes a lot of time.'

The fact Trump would make promises like that also suggests he doesn't have a lot of people around him who understand Congress. And that's to Trump's disadvantage on any day of his administration."

Read the Washington Post, Trump is about to be 0-4 on his legislative promises for his first 100 days

UPDATE: "In the outpouring of commentary on President Trump’s first 100 days in office, his greatest single achievement is almost never mentioned, which is itself a sign of what a major triumph it is: We are not talking much about whether Russia colluded with Trump’s campaign to help elect him."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s greatest single achievement almost never gets mentioned.

Read also:

Trump's Big CON: What's He Hiding: Is Trump a Russian Agent?, where I noted that Trump "may be an unwitting agent, but Putin has the kompromat to control Trump, and Trump knows it since he knows his own compromising financial and personal information."

Trump's Big CON: What's He Hiding: Is Trump a Russian Agent? (Cont.)

 "'The Simpsons,' of course, famously predicted a Trump presidency in an episode aired in 2000. The real estate mogul seemed to be the right comedic fit at the time, episode writer Dan Greaney told The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna. They needed a celebrity name that would sound slyly absurdist.

'He seems like a ‘Simpsons’-esque figure — he fits right in there, in an over-the-top way,' Greaney said. . .
[But] in the first show to air after Trump’s victory, 'The Simpsons' writers expressed their regret.

In the opening credits, which change every episode, Bart Simpson grimaced as he wrote on the blackboard: 'BEING RIGHT SUCKS.'"

And on Sunday, 'The Simpsons' will celebrate some of The Donalds many accomplishments after 100 days in office, such as: "lowering his golf handicap and increasing his Twitter following by 700.

'And finally we can shoot hibernating bears. My boys will love that,' the Trump character says. His wig reveals itself to be a small dog."

Read the Washington Post, ‘The Simpsons’ has a grim take on Trump’s first 100 days.

Trump's Big CON: The Donald Has Exposed the Republi-CON's So-Called 'Less Government' Hypocrisy

"Republicans tend to be more skeptical of the size of government when Democrats are in power.

But even more than that is Trump's rhetoric. While other Republicans will at least talk a good game about shrinking government, he hasn't really bothered; instead he has talked about a $1 trillion infrastructure plan and increasing government borrowing while borrowing is cheap. He gave lip service to balancing the budget as president, but as with many Trump goals, it has quickly gone by the wayside. The White House isn't even pretending that is still a goal.

And Trump's affinity for big government may be one of the truly big paradigm shifts of his presidency. He has taken in a GOP that got religion on the size of government during the Obama administration and is anxious to see what Trump's brand of populist big government can do for it -- the national debt apparently be damned."

Read the Washington Post, The era of big government is back. Thanks, Trump.

Trump's Big CON: "I’m Going to Rip Up Those Trade Deals" Edition

UPDATE III: Another broken promise.

Read the Washington Post, Trump says no plan to pull out of NAFTA ‘at this time’.

UPDATE II:  "President Trump on Wednesday said he would not label China a currency manipulator, contradicting one of the biggest economic promises he made on the campaign trail.

Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he had changed his mind because China is not currently manipulating its currency, adding that he hoped to enlist China’s help on containing the nuclear threat from North Korea."

Read the Washington Post, Trump says he will not label China currency manipulator, reversing campaign promise.

Read also the Washington Post, 3 big ways Trump is starting to sound like Obama on the economy.

UPDATE:  "President Trump, who made opposition to free trade with China and other countries a centerpiece of his campaign and has continued with tough talk since entering office, is struggling to enact policies that match his trade rhetoric. . .

[W]hile Trump has called China “grand champions” of currency manipulation as recently as February, three people familiar with the discussions say it did not appear likely that the Treasury Department would officially designate China in its semiannual foreign currency report due Saturday. . .

Trump had promised to label China a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office, but his administration has moved slowly to follow through on many of his trade-related threats. . .

Ahead of that meeting, Trump had warned of a 'very difficult' discussion “in which we can no longer have massive trade deficits and job losses.” Yet the meeting ended with the White House announcing a '100-day plan' to review the U.S. trade relationship with China. . .

[Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), said] '[t]he ‘100-day plan’ seems typical of what they do: a lot of talk, no action'. . .

Beyond China, the White House has also missed an internal mid-March deadline to begin renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, as a draft letter that would begin the process has not been formally signed.

It also announced a mix of other relatively minor or technical measures to strengthen U.S. trade protections, but experts say those won't do much to benefit U.S. industry unless they're followed by far more substantial action. . .

On trade, the White House has launched numerous reviews but so far done little to change policy."

Read the Washington Post, Ahead of major decision, Trump is struggling to deliver on his trade promises.

You might remember from the campaign, The Donald has many plans, like his pan for ISIS, none of which he can talk about.

"[N]ow he’s president, and guess what? It turns out that he may not end up keeping that promise [about ripping up trade deals], after all . . .

This all fits in well with a pattern that we’ve seen repeated over and over as the Trump candidacy turned into the Trump presidency. Here’s how it works.

    Trump makes a grandiose promise that sounds great to at least some voters but no serious person believes.

    Trump runs headlong into reality and discovers that doing what he promised would either be impossible or disastrous.

    Trump initiates a hasty retreat from his promise."

Read the Washington Post, Another Trump promise bites the dust.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Trump's Big CON: The Con Man Bluffs A Lot

As I suggested many times, Obama should have called the Republi-CON bluff many years ago.

Trump's election left no choice.

"For the second time in two major legislative battles, the Trump White House has issued an ultimatum — only to back down.

In the health care debate, the president was going to force a House vote on the package and dare skeptical Republicans to vote against replacing Obamacare, before abandoning that plan in the face of defeat.

And now, in the government funding debate, he's backing off his previous demand that Congress approve funding for his border wall. . .

This kind of bluffing and having it called is undoubtedly something Trump is used to in the business and real estate worlds. But in the political world, you are negotiating with the same people over and over again. And the lesson of the first two big congressional debates is that when Trump says a bill must contain XYZ, he doesn't really mean it; it's just posturing. And that doesn't bode well for future Trump demands.

During the last government shutdown in 2013, when Republicans demanded defunding Planned Parenthood, they were at least willing to follow through on that demand. The government was closed for more than two weeks before the GOP relented. That served notice to Democrats that Republicans were at the very least willing to go all-in on their strategy and follow through — that they weren't bluffing when they made such demands in order for a bill to pass. And that made their threats on other things seem more legitimate.

Trump has shown no such inclination to make it so people take his demands at face value. And given what's happened in the first two legislative debates, the next time he draws a line in the sand, you can bet lawmakers know how easily it can be raked over."

Read the Washington Post, President Trump just had his bluff called — again.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Trump's Big CON: It's All About the Show, Mars Edition

"What we are reporting here isn't fake news. But it doesn't feel exactly like real news, either. It's in that foggy realm of Trump news in which everything is slightly ambiguous and wobbly and internally inconsistent and almost certainly improvisational and not actually grounded in what you could call “government policy.” What happened was: Trump called the International Space Station and talked to astronauts and, in passing, mentioned that he's going to send Americans to Mars, and soon, like really lickety-split. . .

It's hard to know if Trump was entirely serious (it's possible he was just joshin') or if he even has been briefed on the current NASA human spaceflight program. He may not know where Mars is. (Who does, really? You know it moves around a lot.)

[The] "NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017, passed by Congress and signed by Trump this year . . . essentially keeps NASA on the same course it's been for years when it comes to human spaceflight — aiming at a mission to Mars with a 2033 launch. The first mission would be an orbital mission only; a later mission would attempt a landing.

NASA, understanding that Trump wants to do something big in the first term, has pondered adding astronauts to a test flight of the new Space Launch System rocket. There is very little chance that NASA is sending humans to Mars by 2024."

Read the Washington Post, Trump wants NASA to send humans to Mars pronto — by his second term ‘at worst’.

Read also the Washington Post, Will Trump echo JFK’s moonshot and vow to send humans to Mars?, which noted that "Trump understands the power of a big idea, and the leverage that can come from a cult of personality. He has been interested in John F. Kennedy’s vow to send humans to the moon."

Of course, it's a con job because he doesn't believe in science and his "budget calls for a seismic disruption in government-funded medical and scientific research. The cuts are deep and broad."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s budget calls for seismic disruption in medical and science research.

Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man (Cont.)

UPDATE II:  Read the other posts about the Trump Family Show.

Of course, the purpose of the show is to promote the Trump family and brand. The office of the Presidency give him a great way to do so.

"As NPR spelled out:

    An article on a State Department website about President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort has been removed after criticism that it was an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds.

    Critics complained that resources were being used to tout the for-profit club, which Trump refers to as the Winter White House. The club, in Palm Beach, Fla., is held in Trump’s trust, of which he is the sole beneficiary.

The State Department claimed that there was no intent to promote Trump’s property, but it was hard to see what possible other purpose it could have served. ('On the webpage about Mar-a-Lago, there was no discussion of policy. The page showed photos of the members-only club’s opulent rooms and exterior, and noted that 'When he acquired the house, Trump also bought the decorations and furnishings that [original owner Marjorie Merriweather] Post had collected over the years, preserving Mar-a-Lago’s style and taste.''

Trump had already doubled the new-membership fee for the club in January.

Jordan Libowitz of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington tells me: 'This is very troubling and further shows the extent to which the Trump businesses are intertwined with the Trump administration. Things like this add to the constant ethical questions raised by the Trump administration’s behavior when it comes to the president’s portfolio.'"

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s brazen self-promotion crosses the line.  

UPDATE:  "Trump's boast of highest TV ratings since ‘the World Trade Center came down’ was made during "a wide-ranging interview with Julie Pace of the Associated Press on April 21, [in which] President Trump yet again made many false or misleading statements."

For a "a roundup of 14 claims", read the Washington Post, Fact-checking President Trump’s Pinocchio-laden Associated Press interview.  

Trump is an incredible narcissist.

Read the Washington Post, Trump boasts of highest TV ratings since ‘the World Trade Center came down’.

That is a truly incredible, and scary, statement

Read also Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man, which noted that Trump is a psycho-narcissistic con man.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Trump's Big CON: He's Become Irrelevant

"It is more than five months since the election, three months since the inauguration — enough time to be able to make an informed prognosis about economic and domestic policy under President Trump and the Republican Congress.

What we know, first and foremost, is that it hardly matters what Trump says because what he says is as likely as not to have no relationship to the truth, no relationship to what he said last year during the campaign or even what he said last week. What he says bears no relationship to any consistent political or policy ideology or world-view. What he says is also likely to bear no relationship to what his top advisers or appointees have said or believe, making them unreliable interlocutors even if they agreed among themselves, which they don’t. This lack of clear policy is compounded by the fact that the president, despite his boasts to the contrary, knows very little about the topics at hand and isn’t particularly interested in learning. In other words, he’s still making it up as he goes along.

What all this means, in effect, is that in terms of formulating and passing legislation, or even a budget, Trump and his White House are mostly irrelevant, except to the extent that he establishes a credible threat to veto legislation he decides not to like."

Read the Washington Post, What happens if the president doesn’t matter?

Read also the Washington Post, Wall Street is giving up on Trump.

The read the Washington Post, Democrats to Trump: You don’t have the leverage. We do., which notes that government funding is about to run out at just about the 100-day mark of Trump's presidency, and the timing is likely to show "that Trump and Republicans are making an enormous mess of governing."

Meanwhile, Trump plays golf.

Trump's Big CON: His Voters Have Been Hoodwinked

UPDATE IV: Did not-reality TV forshadow The Donald?

"On the show ['The Apprentice], Trump’s politics were rarely visible, but his methods and values certainly were. The familial favoritism, the bravado, the blame-shifting — it was all right there. The lack of evidence-based decision-making. The refusal to take responsibility for an action. That was the Trump we saw week after week. . .

Two years ago, when Trump faced television critics at a news conference for his final season of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” he was the same person we have watched during his first 100 days in office. He took credit for things he couldn’t possibly be responsible for, such as the fame of people who were on a show based on their fame. . .

Backed into a corner about blatant falsehoods — in this case, inaccurately claiming high ratings for his flailing show — Trump’s only concession was vague blame: “That’s what I was told,” he said of the ratings.

Sound familiar? Those are the words Trump used in a February news conference when challenged about his false claim that he’d secured the biggest electoral college win since President Ronald Reagan . . .

Reality television continues to be blamed for Trump’s rise, or at least used as a label to demean him: He’s a reality-TV president, not a real president. But reality TV was only a window into Trump’s behavior and methods, not the cause of them.

Reality television is, of course, still edited and produced. Could it have presented him as worse than he really is? That’s not likely. Editors who worked on “The Apprentice” said they were instructed to excise the frequent contradictions in his statements and create a coherent narrative out of often nonsensical decisions.

But even edited, sanitized Trump was the one who told a female contestant that 'must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees' on television. He was not fundamentally different from what voters saw unfiltered for more than a year during the campaign, nor from the version we’re seeing in office.

He was authoritarian, once threatening to fire any of the celebrities who said they wouldn’t vote for him. He valued loyalty to a contestant’s team over rational arguments. He replaced his trusted, experienced advisers with his children. He was reckless and persistent once set on a particular course by the latest thing to capture his attention."

Read the Washington Post, Forget 100 days — we’ve been watching this Trump for years.

UPDATE III: Trump has been hoodwinking, deceiving, tricking, fooling, cheating, defrauding, double-crossing, swindling, scamming, conning (you get the idea) in every way his whole life.

For one example, read the Washington Post, What Trump's giving to charity -- or lack thereof -- foreshadowed about his presidency.

UPDATE II:  "President Trump’s ethical sloth and financial conflicts of interest are unique in American history. (The Harding and Grant administrations were rife with corruption, but the presidents did not personally profit. Richard Nixon abused power but did not use his office to fatten his coffers or receive help from a hostile foreign power to get elected.) But it keeps getting worse.

Ryan Lizza’s stunning report reveals ample evidence that Trump misused the intelligence community and manipulated Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) to concoct a plot meant to distract from the investigation into his Russian ties . . .

On the financial side of the Trump sewer, matters are going from bad to worse. Trump never divested himself of his business holdings or released his tax returns. The extent of his conflicts of interest are therefore unknown. He has now amended the trust (showing how flimsy it is if it can be altered on a whim) to allow him to withdraw funds and to receive periodic briefings from his son Eric (who “can do that as chair of the trust’s advisory board, and told Forbes magazine last month that he plans to give his father big-picture financial briefings every quarter or so”). All this should underscore how ludicrous it is to claim separation between Trump and his business operations.

Now, the sludge has engulfed Ivanka Trump. The Associated Press reports:

    On April 6, Ivanka Trump’s company won provisional approval from the Chinese government for three new trademarks, giving it monopoly rights to sell Ivanka brand jewelry, bags and spa services in the world’s second-largest economy. That night, the first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, sat next to the president of China and his wife for a steak and Dover sole dinner at Mar-a-Lago, her father’s Florida resort.

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s ethical squalor is worse than you thought.

UPDATE:  Read also the Washington Post, Trump administration grudgingly faces reality on the Iran nuclear deal.

To Hoodwink is to: deceive · trick · dupe · outwit · fool · delude · inveigle · cheat · take in · hoax · mislead · lead on · defraud · double-cross · swindle · gull · scam · con · bamboozle · hornswoggle · fleece · do · have · sting · gyp · shaft · rip off · lead up the garden path · pull a fast one on · put one over on · take for a ride · pull the wool over someone's eyes · sucker · snooker · cozen

And to Trump's voters, that about sums it up.

"In the past week or so, Donald Trump has decided not to be totally Donald Trump. He has changed his positions on many issues, often by simply contradicting himself and sometimes by repudiating what he once said. However he does it, it comes down to this: If policies were gender identities, Trump wouldn’t know which bathroom to use. . .

These reversals represent nothing less than a retreat to the status quo ante — that halcyon era before Trump and his cast of mental munchkins started messing with foreign policy. The policies that now seem to be in place are ones that even former president Barack Obama might support. In fact, with the exception of hitting Syria, he did. . .

NAFTA remains in place, Obamacare is still the law of the land, tax reform ain’t coming soon, and the swamp that was supposed to be drained has been replenished with, among others, former Goldman Sachs executives — most prominently Gary Cohn, once No. 2 at Goldman and now, for much lower pay, apparently No. 2 at the White House. . .

This reversal by personnel was not triggered by unforeseen events — Syria’s use of a nerve agent, for instance. It is, instead, a strong indication that Trump’s campaign was a lie. His wooing of the American working class was insincere. For instance, he put more effort into denouncing Obamacare than he did in preparing legislation to replace it. Those who thought Trump was somehow going to pay their doctors’ bills simply got taken. They were — as were the students of Trump University — suckered.

Sooner or later, Trump’s supporters will realize they have been seduced and abandoned."

Read the Washington Post, Meet the new Trump . . . same as the old Trump?

Read also the Washington Post:

Trump’s no populist. He’s a swamp monster., which notes that "ProPublica and the New York Times reported over the weekend that the Trump administration is being populated with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who are making policy for the industries that had been paying them."

Trump’s true ideology has been revealed, which observed that "It's just the same old conservatism rebooted for reality TV."

And read also Trump's Big CON: He Won't Be Draining the Swamp, Quite the CONtrary.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Trump's Big CON: Repeal & Replace Was a Scam All Along

"Imagine a man who for some reason is determined to stuff a balloon into a box — a box that, aside from being the wrong shape, just isn’t big enough. He starts working at one corner, pushing the balloon into position. But then he realizes that the air he’s squeezed out at one end has caused the balloon to expand elsewhere. So he tries at the opposite corner, but this undoes his original work.

If he’s stupid or obsessive enough, he can spend a long time at this exercise, trying it from various different angles, and maybe even briefly convince himself that he’s making progress. But he’s kidding himself: No matter what he does, the balloon isn’t going to fit in that box.

Now you understand what’s happening to G.O.P. efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans have spent many years denouncing Obamacare as a terrible, horrible, no good law and insisting that they can do much better. They successfully convinced many voters that they could preserve the good stuff — the dramatic expansion of coverage that has brought the percentage of Americans without health insurance to a record low — while reducing premiums, shrinking deductibles and, of course, doing away with the taxes on high incomes that pay for the program.

Those promises basically define the box into which they’re trying to stuff health care. . .

The only way Republicans might have been able to do what they promised would be if they had some way to make health care much cheaper. That would in effect let some air out of the balloon, and maybe make it possible to get it into the box after all. But they don’t.

The truth is that while Republicans have portrayed Obamacare as a crazy, inefficient scheme, it has in fact been much more successful at containing costs than even its proponents expected.

There are some things we could do that would probably make it even cheaper, but they would all involve moving left — say, introducing a public option, or going all the way to single-payer. The G.O.P., which is determined to move right instead, reducing the public sector’s role, has offered no reason for anyone to believe that it could do better.

All of this raises the obvious question: If Republicans never had a plausible alternative to Obamacare, if this debacle was so inevitable, what was the constant refrain of “repeal and replace” all about?

The answer, surely, is that it began as a cynical ploy; at first, the Republicans hoped to kill health reform before it really got started. And now they’ve trapped themselves: They can’t admit that they have no ideas without, in effect, admitting that they were lying all along."

Read The New York Times, The Balloon, the Box and Health Care.

As I suggested many times, Obama should have called the Republi-CON bluff many years ago.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Trump's Big CON: Where in the World Is Trump's 'Armada'?

UPDATE:  Apparently Trump didn’t lie because he "didn’t have any idea where his armada was. 'He probably saw it on TV.'

Trump, who tends to eschew security briefings, spends much of his day watching Fox News, often tweeting about what he sees. And Fox News was beating the drums of war in the days and hours before Trump spoke of his armada . . .

Trump’s many falsehoods aren’t necessarily lies; he seems not to be able to distinguish between fact and fiction, believing that whatever he says is true."

And whaever he saw lat on TV.

Read the Washington Post, Where is Trump’s ‘armada’? Apparently, wherever Fox News says it is.

"Trump administration officials on Wednesday denied misleading the public about the location of an aircraft carrier and whether it was redeployed as a show of strength against North Korea.

The whereabouts of the USS Carl Vinson, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, and its accompanying strike group were swept up last week in an intensifying standoff between the United States and Pyongyang, which Washington has warned is risking American military action by pushing ahead with its disputed nuclear and missile programs.

As North Korea escalated its war of words with Washington, President Trump declared last week that he was “sending an armada, very powerful” toward the Asian nation. He, like other officials, made that assertion after U.S. Pacific Command’s April 9 announcement that the ship was headed from Singapore toward the western Pacific, part of a U.S. response to tensions with Pyongyang.

But news early this week that the ship at the time was actually in the Indian Ocean, thousands of miles to the southwest, triggered speculation that the Trump administration, eager to illustrate its hawkish stance on a range of national security issues, was using deceptive means to send a message to Pyongyang."

Read the Washington Post, Trump administration defends how it described ship movements amid North Korean tensions.

Read also the Washington Post, Where America’s carrier groups were as the administration talked about its ‘armada’.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Trump's Big CON: He Is a Hypocrite (A Polite Way of Saying Liar)

UPDATE: And just how does he do it?

Take China as an example: "Trump has said repeatedly that he would label China a currency manipulator — as many as a dozen times as a 2016 candidate and three times on Twitter back in 2012, according to the Donald Trump database."

Read the Washington Post, The unmistakable anatomy of a President Trump flip-flop, which explains:

"This is a nice little microcosm of Trump's repeated flip-flops and contortions. It goes a little something like this:

    Amateur politician makes big statement (in this case, that China is a currency manipulator)

    Amateur politician promises to take swift and controversial action (to label China a currency manipulator as president)

    Crowd cheers

    Amateur politician repeats promise over and over, to more cheers

    Amateur politician actually becomes president

    Amateur politician-president realizes his stance was completely impractical (given China's role in containing North Korea, among other things)

    Amateur politician-president can't understand why people would have taken him at his word in the first place"

To review more of the The Donald's many lies, see this database of Donald Trump  Speeches. Tweets. Policy.  Unedited. Unfiltered. Instantly.

"Over the last two weeks, President Trump has attacked Syria without congressional approval, ratcheted up the use of force in Afghanistan with a huge bomb, and moved to reverse the Obama administration's policy of releasing White House visitor logs.

Each of these actions runs completely counter to the views and values once espoused by Trump on Twitter. And they join an amazingly long — and growing — list of old Trump tweets that have become eerily applicable to Trump's own presidency in ways that scream 'hypocrisy.'"

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s old tweets are becoming a minefield of hypocrisy.

The article includes a list of some of The Donald's many hypocrisies.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Trump's Big CON: Reasons Republi-CON's Voted For Our President the Con Man

UPDATE:  Guess who is now endorsing the book with 250+ blank pages, saying it is a "great book for your reading enjoyment".

Read the Washington Post, Trump plugs ‘Reasons to Vote for Democrats’ book filled with blank pages.

That's right, The Donald wants his supporters to "read' blank pages. (I'm not making this up.)

I guess that's all their empty minds can understand.
Read the Washington Post, ‘Reasons to Vote for Democrats’ jumps to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list. But its pages are blank.

I posted this comment (without the links): 

This book should include a short epilogue (with actual words) titled: Reasons Republi-CONs Voted For Our President the Con Man

A con man is one who 'defrauds a person or group after first gaining their confidence, using confidence tricks to exploit characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty, honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naïveté and greed.'

Stupid people are easily conned, for example into buying snake oil.

And to understand just how stupid a significant number of Republi-CONs are, look at how many people are paying $10 for 250+ blank pages.

So next time you try to discuss politics with someone, first ask them if they bought this book.

And remember, there is no reasoning with people this stupid.

Follow my chronicle of Trump's Big CON at

Trump's Big CON: Is the Con Up?

UPDATE IV:  "The 100-day mark of the Trump presidency is approaching, and his aides are worried that the media narrative will depict his historically awful lack of accomplishments with highly unflattering levels of accuracy. But don’t tell that to President Trump. He knows the real problem is that the news media won’t acknowledge how terrific the start to his presidency has actually been in comparison with his loser predecessors:

A new Gallup poll out this morning, however, strongly suggests that an increasing number of Americans just don’t believe Trump’s spin about his presidency anymore."

Read the Washington Post, This brutal new poll shows that fewer and fewer people believe Trump’s lies.

UPDATE III:  "Everyone in Washington is trying to figure out why President Trump’s agenda has stalled on multiple fronts and why his approval numbers are swirling down the toilet. CNN’s Chris Cillizza suggests Trump’s penchant for disruption and chaos actually works against him. (I agree.) Others point to Trump’s failure to forge relationships on Capitol Hill. . .

Still others say the problem is congressional Republicans. . .

All this has some truth to it. But here’s another overarching reason for Trump’s travails: As his campaign promises are getting translated into concrete policy specifics, Americans are recoiling from the results. What’s more, this process is unmasking the disconcerting levels of dishonesty, bad faith, and lack of concern for detail and procedure that are rotting away at the core of his agenda and approach to governing, all of which is plainly working against him. . ."

The bottom line is that the ongoing translation of Trump’s agenda into policy specifics is showing that major elements of it are unpopular, or unworkable because they are premised on lies, or both.

Read the Washington Post, Why is Trump flailing? Because Americans hate his agenda, and it’s based on lies.

UPDATE II:  Trump is "inexperienced, uninformed, easily provoked and supremely confident in his own judgment. . . .

Mere incompetence would be bad enough. But foreigners trying to understand the United States must now study (of all things) the intellectual influences of White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon. His vision of a Western alliance of ethno-nationalist, right-wing populists against globalists, multiculturalists, Islamists and (fill in the blank with your preferred minority) is the administration’s most vivid and rhetorically ascendant foreign policy viewpoint. How does this affect the alliances of the previous dispensation? That is the background against which Trump’s peevishness is being viewed.

Foreigners see a president who has blamed his predecessor, in banana-republic style, of a serious crime, for which FBI Director James B. Comey testified Monday there is no evidence. They see an administration whose campaign activities are being actively investigated by the executive branch and Congress. If close Trump associates are directly connected to Russian hacking, foreigners will see the president engulfed in an impeachment crisis — the only constitutional mechanism that would remove the taint of larceny from the 2016 election."

Foreigners see a Darwinian, nationalist framework for American foreign policy; a diminished commitment to global engagement; a brewing scandal that could distract and cripple the administration; and a president who often conducts his affairs with peevish ignorance.

Some will look at this spectacle and live in fear; others may see a golden opportunity.

Read the Washington Post, The American presidency is shrinking before the world’s eyes.

And just who sees a golden opportunity?

UPDATE:  "'There’s a smell of treason in the air,' presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said. 'Imagine if J. Edgar Hoover or any other FBI director would have testified against a sitting president? It would have been a mind-boggling event.'

Brinkley, who has published biographies of such presidents as Gerald Ford, Franklin Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt, said of Trump’s start, 'This is the most failed first 100 days of any president.'

'To be as low as he is in the polls, in the 30s, while the FBI director is on television saying they launched an investigation into your ties with Russia, I don’t know how it can get much worse,' Brinkley said."

Read the Washington Post, President Trump faces his hardest truth: He was wrong.

Read also the Washington Post, Comey’s testimony humiliates Trump, which noted that "[t]o hear the head of the FBI in essence call the president a liar or wide-eyed conspiratorialist is bracing, if not humiliating, for the chief executive. And reflecting on the morning tweet, Trump now seems desperate, childish and vulnerable. He’s been tripped up by his own grandiose lies. At some level he must know it."

"Trump continues to vaguely believe that what he tweeted will somehow be validated later, at least in some form. But at the same time, Trump himself is growing aware that his nonstop lies — or delusions, or self-deception, or whatever you want to call all of it — are failing him. And he’s frustrated by it. This is coming to us according to people close to Trump.

The way in which Trump made those charges about Obama; the way the White House subsequently handled the mess, by demanding that Congress investigate them after an internal search that turned up nothing to back them up; the way in which Trump continues to blithely dismiss the need to get to the bottom of Russian meddling in our election — all of those things are a function of something that is seeping into pretty much everything the White House is doing these days.

This bad faith — this deep contempt for process, fact-based debate and policy reality — borders on all-corrosive. It includes a frontal assault on the news media for accurately reporting on Trump’s inaugural crowd size, in defiance of Trump/White House lies about it. It includes Trump’s explicit exhortations to his supporters to disbelieve the news media and choose their own facts and reality instead. It includes the laughably slapdash process that produced the first travel ban, and the decision to delay the second one to bask in good press from Trump’s speech to Congress, even though it was supposed to be an urgent national security matter (never mind that the substantive case for it was undercut by Homeland Security’s own analysts).

It includes Trump embracing a health plan that would leave 24 million people uninsured after promising 'insurance for everybody.' . .

[T]he FBI investigation will continue overshadowing the Trump presidency. And in the present moment, the Comey takedown — a brutal institutional debunking of one of Trump’s and the White House’s highest-visibility moments of pure contempt for norms and process — has exposed the deep rot of bad faith in a new way. And this could have consequences. It could help inspire an escalation in institutional pushback — from the courts, the media, government leakers and civil society — that exercises a further constraining effect.

If the sources who spoke to the Times are to be believed, Trump is already reportedly frustrated that his showmanship and improvisational approach to reality are failing him. One shudders to imagine how he will react to more serious setbacks."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s lies are failing him, and it is making him deeply frustrated.

Read also The New York Times, Trump’s Weary Defenders Face Fresh Worries, which noted that "it’s the obsessiveness and ferocity of Mr. Trump’s pushback against the Russian allegations, often untethered from fact or tact, that is making an uncertain situation worse. . .

there’s some evidence that the president’s magic medium is losing its effectiveness, in part because Mr. Trump’s Twitter persona seems to have shifted from puckish to paranoid."

Monday, April 17, 2017

Trump's Big CON: After an Isolated and Pampered Life, He is Clueless (and As We Are Learning a 'Bigly' Liar)

UPDATE:  "Donald Trump believed he could convince China to pressure North Korea to stop its nuclear activities. Then President Xi Jinping tutored him on the history of the region.

'After listening for 10 minutes, I realized that it’s not so easy,' Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, recounting the session at Mar-a-Lago. 'You know, I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power over North Korea. But it’s not what you would think.'

This comment is funny because, in 2011, Trump claimed that he has read “hundreds of books about China over the decades,” including works by Henry Kissinger, American journalists and Chinese novelists. Looking to do more business with Beijing, he provided a list of 20 books about China to Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, that he said had helped him understand the country, its politics and its people. 'I know the Chinese. I've made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind,' Trump said six years ago. His list had some surprising titles on it, including 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.'

Color me skeptical that Trump has read anything by Amy Chua."

Read the Washington Post, Trump doesn’t know much about history. It’s making his on-the-job training harder.

Just another example that "Trump tells the truth only when he cannot think of a lie."

"To Trump, the world is 'a mess,' as he said during a White House news conference this week with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. . .

'It’s crazy what’s going on,' Trump said. 'Whether it’s the Middle East or you look at — no matter where — Ukraine — whatever you look at, it’s got problems, so many problems.'

'Right now,' he concluded, 'it’s nasty.'

What a time to be alive.

To ordinary Americans, the gulf between the worldviews of the United States’ two most recent leaders could not be more vast.

But historians and foreign affairs analysts said that, despite their apparent contradictions, both things can be true. The world is always a mess. Bad things happen. There are crises. People die.

The question, they said, is how a president responds to the mess and how he frames the threat and the response to the public — a challenge made more difficult in an age of immediate and nonstop news from across the world.

'President Obama constantly reminded us that our own times are not uniquely oppressive,' said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian and author at Rice University. 'There’s a feeling due to the 24-7 news cycle that everything is a crisis mode, when the fact of the matter is, Americans have it better now than ever before.'

Throughout his campaign, Trump railed about the dangers and threats to Americans: inside the country in the form of undocumented immigrants and violent inner cities, and abroad in the form of Islamic State terrorists, swarms of refugees and rapacious U.S. trading partners.

Time and again, Obama sought to counter Trump’s apocalyptic rhetoric by putting the purported threats in broader context and cautioning Americans not to succumb to fear or anger. . .

A war here, an environmental disaster there, and suddenly 'everybody is shouting and everybody hates each other,' Obama said. 'And you get kind of depressed. You think, ‘Goodness, what’s happening?’?'

But, Obama emphasized, 'if you had a choice of when to be born and you didn’t know ahead of time who you were going to be — what nationality, whether you were male or female, what religion — but you had said, ‘When in human history would be the best time to be born?’ — the time would be now.'"

Read the Washington Post, Obama said there was never a better time to be alive. Trump thinks a ‘nasty’ world offers nothing but problems.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Who Was He?

A man with 'a troubled background, born out of wedlock, a jobless thirty-something of Middle Eastern origin.

He had had previous run-ins with local authorities for disruptive public behavior and vandalism, and associated with the members of a fringe religious group. He spent his time in the company of sex workers and criminals.

When he was arrested, he had not held a fixed residence for years, and led an itinerant lifestyle, staying at the homes of friends and advocating the redistribution of wealth.'

Read the Washington Post, Crucified man had prior run-in with authorities.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Trump's Big CON: The Con Man is Exposed

UPDATE IV:  Will the Con Man be impeached?

"Trump has repeatedly, as a businessman, flouted the law. He kind of began his career by getting in trouble with the Department of Justice, which had a very strong case against him that he’d broken the Fair Housing Act. Reporting indicated that he’d broken the Cuban embargo in the 1990s, when that was a serious crime. Reporting also indicated that he had broken laws with respect to the employment of illegal immigrants, ironically contradicting his own campaign, and there are certainly laws that he could now break, for example, laws that ban torture.

Over the course of his entire business career, he has a pattern of playing fast and loose with the law, and letting statutes of limitations run out, settling cases, protracting lawsuits, walking away from failed deals. He also has a pattern and practice of not telling the truth. That is not just something that started when he was a candidate.

His overriding pattern is Donald Trump first, and nothing else matters nearly as much. And when you’re not president, you can get away with that, you can walk away from things. But as president, you can’t. You are accountable for what you do and for what you say. And what is the ultimate accountability for a president? That accountability is impeachment." [Emphasis added]

Read the Washington Post, ‘Prediction professor’ lays out eight reasons Trump could be impeached.

UPDATE III:  As noted before, Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man.

Who gave this man power?

Read the Washington Post, Trump appears dazzled by being able to bomb Syria over dessert.

UPDATE II:  "On Wednesday, President Trump took to Twitter to inform Americans about how his administration was doing:

Donald J. Trump

One by one we are keeping our promises - on the border, on energy, on jobs, on regulations. Big changes are happening!
6:10 PM - 12 Apr 2017

This whole 'keeping our promises' theme is pretty interesting, because a lot of other things happened that suggest Trump might be in error. Here’s a sampling of the past 24 hours:

    OMB Director Mick Mulvaney told CNBC’s John Harwood in response to a question about Trump’s promise to eliminate the national debt, “it’s fairly safe to assume that was hyperbole. I’m not going to be able to pay off $20 trillion worth of debt in four years.”

    Trump told the Wall Street Journal that in a 10 minute conversation, Chinese President Xi Jinping had changed Trump’s mind on the leverage China could exercise over North Korea.

    Trump also told the Journal that he would not label China as a currency manipulator;

    Trump then told the Journal that he wants to keep the Export-Import Bank that he pledged to cut as a candidate

    After saying throughout his campaign that NATO was obsolete, Trump reversed course and said it was not obsolete at a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson went to Moscow and said that “there is a low level of trust between our countries,” which seems at odds with Trump’s campaign rhetoric about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Again, let me stress that all of this happened within the past 24 hours alone.

As CNN put it, 'Within a few hours of extraordinary political shape-shifting, President Donald Trump abandoned stances that were at the bedrock of his establishment-bashing campaign.'"

Read the Washington Post, Trump fought the Blob and the Blob won. Why?

UPDATE: The Donald now realizes that reality sucks.

Recently he "remarked on a couple of occasions (health care, North Korea) that things are more complicated than he realized. The easiest solution to all of it is to tack to the middle. And if Bannon is sidelined — either officially or just has less power — the voices pushing Trump toward the middle could certainly be more successful in getting him there. Trump's policies are certainly malleable. "

Read the Washington Post, Is Trump flip-flopping toward the middle?

So many lies, so little time to refudiate.

Read the Washington Post:

Trump backs off fiscal pledges and adopts centrist policies that he once fought;

Trump on NATO: ‘I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete.’;

Trump says he will not label China currency manipulator, reversing campaign promise;

3 big ways Trump is starting to sound like Obama on the economy.
No one should be surprised.

The Donald is clueless, willful ignorant, inept, habitually dishonest, unpleasant, and arrogant.

In other words, he’s a loser.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Trump's Big CON: 'I'll Rarely Leave the White House'

UPDATE VIII:  From the Washington Post: “The Center for American Progress has created a new web page that answers three questions at any given time: Is Trump at Mar-a-Lago? How much in total have taxpayers shelled out to support these trips? And what government programs (school lunches; Medicaid; Pell Grants) could that money cover?

Something tells us that those sums are going to climb to truly astonishing heights before this is all over."

UPDATE VII:  Where is the outrage?

"Conservatives frequently attacked Obama for spending on his travel while president . . .

[But] Donald Trump's travel to his private club in Florida has cost over an estimated $20 million in his first 80 days as president, putting the president on pace in his first year of office to surpass former President Barack Obama's spending on travel for his entire eight years."

Read CNN, Trump on pace to surpass 8 years of Obama's travel spending in 1 year.

UPDATE VI:  As of April 5, 2017, "Donald J. Trump has spent nine of his 11 weekends as president visiting at least one of his properties", he has visited Mar-a-Lago 17 times and his Palm Beach golf course 10 times.

Read The New York Times, Tracking the President’s Visits to Trump Properties, which notes that "Trump’s visits to properties owned, managed or branded by the Trump Organization amount to free publicity for the company and blur the line between his family business and presidential duties."

UPDATE V:  "For the eighth weekend in a row, President Trump has visited a property that bears his name. He has done so on 21 of the 66 days he has been in office, meaning that for the equivalent of three full weeks of his just-over-nine weeks as commander in chief, he has spent all or part of a day at a Trump property — earning that property mentions in the media and the ability to tell potential clients that they might be able to interact with the president. And, despite his insistence on the campaign trail that he would avoid the links — 'I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf,' he said in August — he has made 14 visits to his own golf courses since becoming president, likely playing golf on at least 12 of those occasions."

Read the Washington Post, Nearly 1 out of every 3 days he has been president, Trump has visited a Trump property.

UPDATE IV:  "President Donald Trump, once a critic of his predecessor's golfing, has visited one of his golf courses in Florida -- seemingly to play the sport -- five of the last seven weekends. . .

Trump has visited the two courses near his Mar-a-Lago estate -- Trump International Golf Course in West Palm Beach and Trump National Golf Course in Jupiter -- 10 times in the first two months of his presidency. . .

[B]efore he ran for president, Trump would tweet about Obama's golfing.

'Can you believe that, with all of the problems and difficulties facing the US, President Obama spent the day playing golf,' Trump tweeted in October 2014. 'Worse than Carter.'

Now, citing the President's privacy, Trump's aides are left trying to conceal the President's frequent golfing."

Read CNN, Trump, critic of Obama's golfing, regularly hits the links.

UPDATE III:  Read the Washington Post, Why President Trump’s frequent golfing is even more hypocritical than it seems.  

UPDATE II:  At least six times (Nov. 18, 2013, Sept. 9 & 26, 2014, Oct. 13 & 23, 2014, and May 21, 2016), Trump complained that Obama played to much golf.

Only 30 days in office, Trump has played golf 6 times.

Read also CNN, Trump's aides don't want to admit the President is golfing, which notes that "Trump even suggested during a 2016 event in Virginia, in a knock on Obama, . . . 'I'm going to be working for you, I'm not going to have time to go play golf,' and in comparison, Obama didn't play golf during his first three months in office"

UPDATE: If he just wanted rest and relaxation, Trump could use the Presidential retreat, Camp David, "a symbol of simple American values".

It is secluded and has "built-in security".

But Trump is a 'blue-collar billionaire'.

Read the Washington Post, Mar-a-Lago 3, Camp David 0. With Trump as president, is the rustic Md. retreat doomed?

"On Friday, President Trump and his entourage will jet for the third straight weekend to a working getaway at his oceanfront Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla.

On Saturday, Trump’s sons Eric and Don Jr., with their Secret Service details in tow, will be nearly 8,000 miles away in the United Arab Emirates, attending the grand opening of a Trump-brand golf resort in the “Beverly Hills of Dubai.”

Meanwhile, New York police will keep watch outside Trump Tower in Manhattan, the chosen home of first lady Melania Trump and son Barron. And the tiny township of Bedminster, N.J., is preparing for the daunting prospect that the local Trump golf course will serve as a sort of northern White House for as many as 10 weekends a year.

Barely a month into the Trump presidency, the unusually elaborate lifestyle of America’s new first family is straining the Secret Service and security officials, stirring financial and logistical concerns in several local communities, and costing far beyond what has been typical for past presidents — a price tag that, based on past assessments of presidential travel and security costs, could balloon into the hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of a four-year term. . . 

Trump’s frequent travel belies his repeated criticism of Obama as a 'habitual vacationer' enjoying taxpayer-funded golf getaways. It also comes after his own promises: He told the Hill newspaper in 2015, 'I would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done.'"

Read the Washington Post, Trump family’s elaborate lifestyle is a ‘logistical nightmare’ — at taxpayer expense.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Trump's Big CON: He is the Hypocrite-in-Chief (or Coward-in-Chief)

UPDATE VI:  The Republi-CON party itself is hyper-partisan in support or opposition to war/the use of military force.

"In 2013, when Barack Obama was president, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that only 22 percent of Republicans supported the U.S. launching missile strikes against Syria in response to Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons against civilians.

A new Post-ABC poll finds that 86 percent of Republicans support Donald Trump’s decision to launch strikes on Syria for the same reason. Only 11 percent are opposed. . .

For context, 37 percent of Democrats back Trump’s missile strikes. In 2013, 38 percent of Democrats supported Obama’s plan. That is well within the margin of error."

Read the Washington Post, Reflexive partisanship drives polling lurch on Syria strikes.

UPDATE V:  Trump isn't the only Republi-CON hypocrite.

"The Republican leaders of the House and the Senate this past week were quick to praise President Trump’s strike on Syria after an apparent chemical weapons attack. But in 2013, when President Barack Obama was weighing a strike, they were opposed."

Read the Washington Post, Ryan and McConnell flip-flop on use of force in Syria to deter chemical weapons.

Read also the Washington Post, Obama aides push back against criticism of inaction on Syria, which noted that Obama "proposed similar airstrikes in Syria to the ones President Donald Trump ordered this week, but were stymied by a Republican-controlled Congress reluctant to go along with the Democratic president’s plan."

UPDATE IV:  It's a different world when you are the one in charge.

"President Trump — who ran a presidential campaign excoriating interventionism, ridiculed the idea of action in Syria, voiced confidence we could leave Bashar al-Assad in place and reintroduced the noxious 1930s “America First” rhetoric — when confronted with the real world threw away all that refuse and launched a retaliatory missile strike on the airfield from which planes carrying sarin gas took off earlier in the week. . .

And that really is the rub: What comes next, and what is our strategy for Syria? It surely seems that contrary to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s remarks just a few days ago, we are not willing to stand aside with the false presumption the Syrian people can decide (in the fog of Sarin gas) the fate of Assad. Eliot Cohen, an ardent critic of the president, was pleased to see some action, but remarked to me that Trump’s missile strike was “Better than nothing. How much better than nothing is not clear, until you know what damage is done.” He added: “For this kind of thing to be effective, it really has to hurt the Syrian regime — and one cannot be sure whether or not it has.”"

Read the Washington Post, Trump launches cruise missile strike, eradicates 'America First'.

Trump should have targeted Assad, but at least he did something.

UPDATE III:  "Trump is now commander in chief. He must decide whether to continue our passive approach and watch continued genocide unfold or whether we chart a new course. Frequent Trump critic Eliot Cohen tweeted, 'Whining is cowardly & counterproductive.'"

Read the Washington Post, The Syrian genocide is now Trump’s problem

UPDATE II:  "Assad has continued to dress smart and kill with abandon. His security forces maintain jails where torture is common. His army drops “barrel bombs” on civilians. The extent of the killing, the torture, the attack on doctors and the bombing of hospitals are hard to envision and impossible to accept. Yet this week, both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, a man of few words and no policies, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said it was no longer U.S. policy to rid Syria of Assad. A day or so later, Assad apparently used nerve gas. . .

No one can say with any certainty that Assad acted after the Trump administration shrugged indifference to his remaining in office. But it is not illogical to think so. The words of a U.S. president matter and are obsessively examined by foreign governments. They assume that these words mean something. They base policy on them. They sometimes kill on account of them. Vagueness is sometimes useful; it can also be deadly.

Read the Washington Post, Trump finally realizes the truth about Syria’s Assad. Now what?

UPDATE:  "As the Western world processed stomach-churning images of dead children, apparently murdered by chemical weapons, the president couldn’t help but take a potshot at his predecessor. 'These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution,' Trump said in a statement yesterday afternoon. . .

As he ripped Obama, Trump mentioned neither Russia nor Iran. Both countries are actively propping up Assad’s regime.

The president also offered no path forward, except to say that the savagery, which observers on the ground say killed at least 72 people, “cannot be ignored.” . .

This White House is stuck in permanent campaign mode. . .

This has been a pattern during Trump’s first 75 days in office. When it suits him, the president takes credit for his predecessor’s successes. More often, he points the finger. Trump’s unsubstantiated allegation that Obama 'wiretapped' his office is the most memorable illustration, but there are many others. After the botched raid in Yemen that killed a Navy SEAL, for instance, the White House claimed that the operation was authorized by the Obama team."

Read the Washington Post, Trump keeps blaming Obama. Fresh polls show voters don’t buy it., which includes 6 other 2013 tweets that warned Obama not to attack Syria.

In August 2013, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons that killed nearly 1,500 civilians, including at least 426 children.

After Obama threatened action, Republi-cons, including The Donald, warned Obama not to attack Syria.

On August 29, 2013, Trumps tweeted "What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict? Obama needs Congressional approval."


And on September 7, Trump tweeted"President Obama, do not attack Syria. There is no upside and tremendous downside. Save your "powder" for another (and more important) day!"

Now Assad is using chemical weapons again.

And Trump's response, blame Obama.

Read the Washington Post, A chemical weapons attack in Syria exposes Trump’s Assad problem.

Of course this should be no surprise, Trump is the 'I Want The Credit, Don't Blame Me' President.

Republi-CON Family Values, Alabama Edition

UPDATE IV: After an affair and an attempted coverup, and more than a year, we may finally learn more about Republi-CON Family Values, Alabama Edition.

And how did this man get elected?  It's all about the hate.

"'The idea that moral hypocrisy hurts you among evangelical voters is not true, if you’re sound on all of the fundamentals,' said Wayne Flynt, an ordained Baptist minister and one of Alabama’s pre-eminent historians. 'Being sound on the fundamentals depends on what the evangelical community has decided the fundamentals have become. At this time, what is fundamental is hating liberals, hating Obama, hating abortion and hating same-sex marriage.'"

Read The New York Times, For Alabama Christians, Governor Bentley’s Downfall Is a Bitter Blow.

UPDATE III:  "On Monday, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) made what appeared like a typical apology for a politician admitting to a sex scandal. At an unrelated public appearance, he asked for forgiveness from God, from those he hurt and from Alabama residents for his transgressions. . .

But wait a minute. Forgive him for what? Bentley hasn't ever admitted to the affair he has been accused of. He has denied having inappropriate physical contact with his now-former chief political adviser, even as state officials formally file an ethics complaint to see whether he used public money and personnel to carry out the alleged affair.

Most reasonable Alabama residents following this scandal (and many in the state are) would probably sum up their governor's weird apology this way: He's asking them for forgiveness for something everyone is pretty darn sure happened but he won't say happened. It's almost like he's speaking in code to his own state."

Read the Washington Post, As Alabama lawmakers move to impeach, Gov. Robert Bentley struggles to explain himself.

UPDATE II:  "Anyone who has doubts about the importance of journalists in 2016 need be acquainted only with the reporting team at, the largest statewide news organization in Alabama. The group's reporters cracked open a scandal involving their governor's alleged infidelity last week and have been covering the unpredictable fallout aggressively ever since."

Read the Washington Post, The inside story of how Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s sex scandal broke wide open.

Sadly, Northwest Florida's Mullet Wrapper doesn't do investigative journalism anymore.  

UPDATE:  Is The Lying Canadian (© a serial adulterer?

And why is that important?

Because "[e]xposing the hypocrisy of Republican legislators not only makes our political system more honest—it can actually change behavior."

Read Salon, Why Ted Cruz’s sex life matters: The GOP’s toxic “family values” charade deserves continued scrutiny.

He is the Republi-con Governor of Alabama, 73 and was married for 50+ years.

She is 30+ years younger, a married mother of 3 and his a political 'advisor', who he has paid $100,000s to 'assist' him, including $426,978 in 2014 during the Governor's reelection campaign.


Alabama Media Group, Shocking affair allegations, criminal charges and more: It's all Alabama politics,

Heavy, Rebekah Caldwell Mason: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know, and

Alabama Media Group, Gov. Robert Bentley had affair, says fired Alabama top cop.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Trump's Big CON: He Saved Us, Hallelujah

UPDATE V:  "China isn't manipulating its currency, and all Trump had to do was nothing. Success!"

Read the Washington Post, Trump finds his niche: fixing problems that no longer exist.  

UPDATE IV: The problem with lying is that it is hard to be consistent.

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s budget chief says Obama fudged jobs data. If that were true, he’d be able to prove it., which notes that "Mick Mulvaney, President Trump's budget director, accused the Obama administration on Sunday of doctoring federal data to minimize the number of Americans out of work."

So which is it: are the employment numbers to be believed and Trump has saved us, or can the President fake the numbers?

UPDATE III: "In the opening moments of his presidency, Donald Trump used his inaugural address to paint a picture of a bleak economy, where wealth was consolidated among a cadre of insiders while the Americans he promised to support were left to languish in 'carnage.'

On Friday, the president appeared to take a much brighter view of the American economy, keying off a monthly job growth report to declare, via a retweet of the conservative website Drudge Report, that the American economy was 'GREAT AGAIN: +235,000.'

But while Trump's fortunes have changed dramatically during his ascension from political outsider to president, it's not so clear that life has changed for many of his supporters who had been stuck in economic distress. Indeed, the jobs report that Trump now touts as proof of renaissance shows the economy largely on the same path it was before he took office.

Read the Washington Post, Trump is already claiming credit for a strong economy. But for his supporters, almost nothing has changed.

UPDATE II: "Not so long ago, however, Trump's view of the monthly jobs report, which comes courtesy of the nonpartisan federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, was markedly different. As recently as December, he described the report as “totally fiction.”

If there was any argument over whether Trump was flip-flopping on the jobs report at the precise moment it reflected positively on him, White House press secretary Sean Spicer laid it to rest Friday afternoon, telling reporters: 'I talked to the president prior to this, and he said to quote him very clearly: 'They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.''"

Read the Washington Post, 19 times Trump called jobs numbers ‘fake’ before they made him look good.

UPDATE:  "President Trump has inherited an economy that set a record Friday with 77 consecutive months of job growth, or, as [he] put it, a 'mess.' . .

All Trump has to do is nothing. Which even an administration as dysfunctional as his might be able to do."

Read the Washington Post, The Obama recovery is about to make Trump look good.

Just 50 days ago we were damned to live in a rotten place

Now we sinner are saved!!!

Read the Washington Post, Trump team taking more and more credit for Obama successes and Trump keeps claiming he’s created U.S. jobs since Election Day. Not so.

Hallelujah, Praise Our Donald!!