Friday, June 30, 2017

Trump's Big CON: Our Ill-Tempered, Incompetent and Ineffective President

UPDATE V:  "If you want to look at the bright side of things, at least we’ve learned that the nation can survive for half a year without a sane, functioning presidency.

We’ve had nothing of the sort since Inauguration Day. The man who works in the Oval Office is a walking, talking, tweeting advertisement for Ritalin and perhaps some calming therapeutic activity such as yoga. We are fortunate, in a sense, that President Trump’s lack of focus and his anger-management issues keep getting in the way of his policy agenda, given that the agenda is so wrongheaded. But that is an awfully thin silver lining in a very thick cloud.

As I’ve written before, I’m not qualified to assess Trump’s mental health. But there are moments when it would be dishonest not to raise questions about his stability. If the commander in chief of the most powerful military force in history has a problem with impulse control, the whole world has a problem. . .

One doesn’t need a degree in psychology to wonder if the president suffers from some deep-seated insecurity. I can’t help but think about that Cabinet meeting this month in which the top officials of our government, one by one, obsequiously told Trump what a 'privilege' and a 'blessing' it was to serve him. . .

What’s truly alarming is the self-defeating nature of Trump’s spasms. At the moment, he is trying desperately to get GOP senators to agree on a health-care bill. . .

The obvious question: What happens if there is an international crisis and Trump’s delicate ego is threatened? Can those around him contain his worst instincts?"

They’d better be able to. Not since Richard Nixon’s final days in the White House have I been so worried about a president’s grip on reality.

Read the Washington Post, There Trump goes again.

And see what I said below: "just think, he has his finger on the nuclear button."

UPDATE IV:  "It is disturbing that the president of the United States keeps up his unrelenting assault on women. From his menstruation musings about Megyn Kelly, to his fat-shaming treatment of a former Miss Universe, to his braggadocio claims about grabbing women’s genitalia, the 45th president is setting the poorest of standards for our children. . .

The Donald Trump we knew before the campaign was a flawed character but one who still seemed capable of keeping his worst instincts in check."

Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump is not well.

UPDATE III:  "Donald Trump's tweet Thursday attacking MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski is just the latest in a long line of disparaging jabs he has hurled at prominent women."

Read CNN, Donald Trump's long history of disparaging women's appearances.

UPDATE II:  And The Donald hates the pretty ladies, or anyone for that matter, that talks back.

 "The hosts of 'Morning Joe' on MSNBC criticized President Trump's Twitter habit Thursday — 'that's your president of the United States lying to you,' Mika Brzezinski said of one tweet — and then, as if succumbing to involuntary spasms, Trump's thumbs tapped out whatever nasty, sexist thought popped into his head."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s latest attack on Mika Brzezinski is dripping with sexism.

Mika Brzezinski responded to The Donald's outburst with a tweet that included this image:

I'm guessing The Donald is having a hissy fit right about now.

Read also the Washington Post, Trump’s ‘Morning Joe’ tweet shows his ‘viciousness’ has no limit, which stated:  "Anyone defending Trump’s sophomoric, misogynistic, immature, sexist, demeaning, unbecoming, unpresidential tweet is nothing less than repulsive."

No question about it, The Donald is incapable of self-restraint.

And just think, he has his finger on the nuclear button.

Then read the Washington Post, Donald Trump is in the small minority of Americans who thinks Trump’s tweets are good., which notes that "[i]n no group — even Trump supporters — did at least half say [his] tweets were effective and informative."

UPDATE: But The Donald loves the pretty ladies (as long as they don't talk back).

Read the Washington Post,  ‘I bet she treats you well’: Trump calls over Irish reporter, compliments her ‘nice smile’

"History suggests that presidents who have governed successfully have been both revered and feared. But Republican fixtures in Washington are beginning to conclude that Trump may be neither, despite his mix of bravado, threats and efforts to schmooze with GOP lawmakers. . .

In private conversations on Capitol Hill, Trump is often not taken seriously. Some Republican lawmakers consider some of his promises — such as making Mexico pay for a new border wall — fantastical. They are exhausted and at times exasperated by his hopscotching from one subject to the next, chronicled in his pithy and provocative tweets. They are quick to point out how little command he demonstrates of policy. And they have come to regard some of his threats as empty, concluding that crossing the president poses little danger. . .

One senior Republican close to both the White House and many senators called Trump and his political operation 'a paper tiger,' noting how many GOP lawmakers feel free 'to go their own way.'"

Read the Washington Post, Who’s afraid of Trump? Not enough Republicans — at least for now.

MAGA -- Stop Trump

UPDATE:  Read the Washington Post, How Trump’s nationwide voter data request could lead to voter suppression.

No kidding, and when Trump learns you didn't vote for him, watch his tweets!!

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s voter-fraud commission wants to know voting history, party ID and address of every voter in the U.S.

This is outrageous, and dangerous.

There is no meaningful voter fraud that justifies this commission, let alone the creation of the database which could be subject to abuse.

In addition, Trump is ill-tempered, with little self control or restraint, and inclined toward authoritarianism. So NOTHING good will come of this.

And it would be useless to try to reason with Donald Trump.

For evidence, see Donald Trump's diary: @realdonaldtrump

Also see my diary chronicling Trump's Big CON at:

You can help MAGA -- Stop Trump!

Money collected will be used to file a lawsuit to stop this, and expose the commission as a fraud.

Trump's Big CON: His 2009 Time Magazine Cover is a FAKE!!

See these two Time magazine covers:

The one on the right is a FAKE!

Read the Washington Post, A Time Magazine with Trump on the cover hangs in his golf clubs. It’s fake., which begins:

"The framed copy of Time Magazine was hung up in at least four of President Trump’s golf clubs, from South Florida to Scotland. Filling the entire cover was a photo of Donald Trump.
'Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!' the big headline said. Above the Time nameplate, there was another headline in all caps: 'TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS . . . EVEN TV!'

This cover — dated March 1, 2009 — looks like an impressive memento from Trump’s pre-presidential career. To club members eating lunch, or golfers waiting for a pro-shop purchase, it seemed to be a signal that Trump had always been a man who mattered. Even when he was just a reality-TV star, Trump was the kind of star who got a cover story in Time.

But that wasn’t true.

The Time cover is a fake.

There was no March 1, 2009, issue of Time Magazine. And there was no issue at all in 2009 that had Trump on the cover.

In fact,the cover on display at Trump’s clubs, observed recently by a reporter visiting one of the properties, contains several small but telling mistakes. Its red border is skinnier than that of a genuine Time cover, and, unlike the real thing, there is no thin white border next to the red. The Trump cover’s secondary headlines are stacked on the right side — on a real Time cover, they would go across the top.

And it has two exclamation points. Time headlines don’t yell."

Nothing better and more simply proves the point that I've tried to make: Donald Trump is a CON MAN!

Trump's Big CON: A Report Card

"Trump has been ruled by compulsions, obsessions and vindictiveness, expressed nearly daily on Twitter. He has demonstrated an egotism that borders on solipsism. His political skills as president have been close to nonexistent. His White House is divided, incompetent and chaotic, and key administration jobs remain unfilled. His legislative agenda has gone nowhere. He has told constant, childish, refuted, uncorrected lies, and demanded and habituated deception among his underlings. He has humiliated and undercut his staff while requiring and rewarding flattery. He has promoted self-serving conspiracy theories. He has displayed pathetic, even frightening, ignorance on policy matters foreign and domestic. He has inflicted his ethically challenged associates on the nation. He is dead to the poetry of language and to the nobility of the political enterprise, viewing politics as conquest rather than as service.

Trump has made consistent appeals to prejudice based on religion and ethnicity, and associated the Republican Party with bias. He has stoked tribal hostilities. He has carelessly fractured our national unity. He has attempted to undermine respect for any institution that opposes or limits him — be it the responsible press, the courts or the intelligence community. He has invited criminal investigation through his secrecy and carelessness. He has publicly attempted to intimidate law enforcement. He has systematically alarmed our allies and given comfort to authoritarians. He promised to emancipate the world from American moral leadership — and has kept that pledge.

For many Republicans and conservatives, there is apparently no last straw, with offenses mounting bale by bale. The argument goes: Trump is still superior to Democratic rule — which would deliver apocalyptic harm — and thus anything that hurts Trump is bad for the republic. He is the general, so shut up and salute. What, after all, is the conservative endgame other than Trump’s success?

This is the recommendation of sycophancy based on hysteria. At some point, hope for a new and improved Trump deteriorates into unreason. The idea that an alliance with Trump will end anywhere but disaster is a delusion. Both individuals and parties have long-term interests that are served by integrity, honor and sanity. Both individuals and the Republican Party are being corrupted and stained by their embrace of Trump. The endgame of accommodation is to be morally and politically discredited. Those committed to this approach warn of national decline — and are practically assisting it. They warn of decadence — and provide refreshments at the orgy.

So what is the proper objective for Republicans and conservatives? It is the defeat of Trumpism, preferably without the destruction of the GOP itself. And how does that happen?"

Read the Washington Post, The GOP’s hard, messy options for destroying Trumpism.

Don't have too much pity for their situation, Republi-CONs sowed the seed of Trumpism for decades. The article even admits with a conclusion: "they brought this fate on themselves and the country."

To understand how, read the older posts on this blog, and start with Trump's Sycophant Gingrich's Big CON: Political Hatred and Violence is the Other Party's Fault.

Trump's Big CON: His Win Will Make You Sick

UPDATE II:  "The basics of Republican health legislation, which haven’t changed much in different iterations of Trumpcare, are easy to describe: Take health insurance away from tens of millions, make it much worse and far more expensive for millions more, and use the money thus saved to cut taxes on the wealthy.

Donald Trump may not get this — reporting by The Times and others, combined with his own tweets, suggests that he has no idea what’s in his party’s legislation. But everyone in Congress understands what it’s all about.

The puzzle — and it is a puzzle, even for those who have long since concluded that something is terribly wrong with the modern G.O.P. — is why the party is pushing this harsh, morally indefensible agenda.

Think about it. Losing health coverage is a nightmare, especially if you’re older, have health problems and/or lack the financial resources to cope if illness strikes. And since Americans with those characteristics are precisely the people this legislation effectively targets, tens of millions would soon find themselves living this nightmare.

Meanwhile, taxes that fall mainly on a tiny, wealthy minority would be reduced or eliminated. These cuts would be big in dollar terms, but because the rich are already so rich, the savings would make very little difference to their lives. . .

Why would anyone want to do this? . .

[O]ne way to understand this ugly health plan is that Republicans, through their political opportunism and dishonesty, boxed themselves into a position that makes them seem cruel and immoral — because they are.

Yet that’s surely not the whole story, because Obamacare isn’t the only social insurance program that does great good yet faces incessant right-wing attack. Food stamps, unemployment insurance, disability benefits all get the same treatment. Why?

As with Obamacare, this story began with a politically convenient lie — the pretense, going all the way back to Ronald Reagan, that social safety net programs just reward lazy people who don’t want to work. And we all know which people in particular were supposed to be on the take.

Now, this was never true, and in an era of rising inequality and declining traditional industries, some of the biggest beneficiaries of these safety net programs are members of the Trump-supporting white working class. But the modern G.O.P. basically consists of career apparatchiks who live in an intellectual bubble, and those Reagan-era stereotypes still dominate their picture of struggling Americans.

Or to put it another way, Republicans start from a sort of baseline of cruelty toward the less fortunate, of hostility toward anything that protects families against catastrophe.

In this sense there’s nothing new about their health plan. What it does — punish the poor and working class, cut taxes on the rich — is what every major G.O.P. policy proposal does. The only difference is that this time it’s all out in the open."

Read The New York Times, Understanding Republican Cruelty.

UPDATE:  The Donald just wants another party in the Rose Garden.

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s latest idea: Senate could repeal Obamacare now and replace it later.

Who cares if people get sick and die, it's all 'bout the show, 'bout the show, stupid people!!! (Repeat til you get it).

"President Trump has said his health-care plan will be 'something terrific' that will 'lower premiums and deductibles' and have 'insurance for everybody' without cutting Medicaid.

Senate Republicans, though, apparently didn't get the memo, given that that their health-care bill would break every one of these promises — not that Trump seems to have noticed. 

The big picture is that the Senate plan would, over the next decade, cut nearly $1.2 trillion of health- care spending for the poor and middle class to pay for $700 billion in tax cuts for corporations and the rich. The slightly more detailed one being that $408 billion of these cuts would come out of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance subsidies and $772 billion out of Medicaid. In any case, though, the unsurprising result is that spending $1.2 trillion less on health insurance for people would, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, lead to 22 million fewer people having it in 10 years' time.

But even the people who managed to keep their coverage would in a lot of cases end up paying more to get less of it. . .

Trump, though, seems blissfully unaware of all this. He reportedly didn't realize that this plan would be a big tax cut for the rich when a moderate Republican senator worried about getting attacked for it. And he still doesn't seem to grasp that it would be a massive cut to Medicaid. When he was asked about that on Wednesday, all he had to say was that it would be "great for everybody”— something the 15 million people the CBO says would lose their coverage as a result of these cuts would probably disagree with. Instead, he has insisted that these $772 billion in cuts aren't cuts at all. That taking money out of a future budget isn't really taking it out as long as the budget is still getting bigger. That Medicaid will still grow, just by 36 percent less than it would have. It's not a very convincing argument.

At some point, Trump may realize that he is endorsing a health-care plan that may be even harsher than the House one he said was "mean.” But he may not care. Even though this bill wouldn't keep any of his promises, it would give him an excuse to hold another victory party in the Rose Garden. Which may be enough for him.

Trump is going to win so much, you'll get sick from it.

Read the Washington Post, Trump loves the Senate health-care plan. It would break all of his promises.

But who cares, it's all 'bout the show, 'bout the show, stupid people!!! (Repeat til you get it).

Read also:

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

Trump's Big CON: "Making Ignorance Great Again",

Trump's Big CON: It's All About the Show, Health Care Edition, Cont., and

Trump's Big CON: It's Not a Health Care Plan, It's a 'Yuge' Tax Cut for the Wealthy.

Trump's Big CON: President Twit

UPDATE V:  "The longer such antics go on, more and more people will question whether the leader of the free world is not just damaging his own presidency, but demeaning the office itself and potentially diminishing it for whoever comes after him."

Read CNN, Delegitimizing his presidency, one tweet at a time.

UPDATE IV:  "By now most plugged-in news watchers know that with his health-care bill going down in flames, the North Korea crisis percolating, a special prosecutor investigating both the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia and President Trump’s own very public attempts to obstruct the investigation, Trump chooses to tweet two obnoxious, gross and misogynistic tweets in retort to criticism from 'Morning Joe’s' two anchors. You can care to read them if you like; we find it unnecessary to amplify them further. His spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, asked about the tweets on the administration’s state TV, Fox News, blithely declared that he 'will not be allowed to be bullied by liberal media or liberal elites in Hollywood or anywhere else.' The president is once again a victim of bullying, the poor dear. For the umpteenth time, we are obliged to ask what this suggests and whether it matters. . .

President Trump’s latest outbursts are not part of a brilliant strategy. He gains nothing, at a time when his grasp of his job is openly questioned. He gains no allies in the health-care debate. He reminds the country that Republicans who chose to ignore or rationalize this kind of behavior will go down as moral quislings. He reminds us that the conservative evangelicals who embraced him are not exemplars of moral or religious behavior. They are apologists and tribalists who rejoice in his exacting revenge on “elites.” No upside comes from this behavior; it’s the reaction of a man-child who cannot contain his belligerence.

As for Sanders, she joins the legions of those who will do anything, defend anything, justify anything for their moments(s) in the White House. Patriotism, decency, honor? These have no place in their calculus. We need shed no tears when they are humiliated, undercut and eventually fired by their boss. They’ve made their pact with the devil and deserve no sympathy.

Read the Washington Post, Why are these tweets different from any other?

UPDATE III: The Donald has another twit-burst (©

Read the Washington Post, Donald Trump is in the small minority of Americans who thinks Trump’s tweets are good., which notes that "[i]n no group — even Trump supporters — did at least half say [his] tweets were effective and informative."

UPDATE II:  "Trump’s Twitter timeline is the realest real-time expression of what he thinks, and how he thinks. From his brain to his phone to the world, the 'unfiltered' stream of 140-character blurts makes up the written record with which Trump is most identified. 'I think Twitter,” one White House official told POLITICO, 'is his diary.'

It is, presidential historian Robert Dallek told me, 'a kind of presidential diary.'"

Read Politico, I Found Trump’s Diary—Hiding in Plain Sight.

UPDATE:  "Surely, even Trump can’t believe that people are so gullible as to accept that the media, in reporting [London Mayor Sadiq] Khan’s complete quote [following the London terrorist attack] rather than the abridged 'presidential' version, are trying to put something over. But then, Trump doesn’t have to believe it. He knows his fans will consume whatever he serves because they elected him, didn’t they? . .

So, yes, on one hand, Trump must stop tweeting. On the other, how else would we know how truly demented the man is? Luckily, it’s not too late to save the country, yet. But if Jack is worried about the president’s tweeting, it may be time for congressional Republicans to acknowledge what has long been obvious, declare the man incompetent and deliberate accordingly.

Read the Washington Post, If Trump stops tweeting, how will we know who he really is?

A twit is"a silly or foolish person."

And that's just what The Donald is when he tweets.

Read the Washington Post, On behalf of the entire news media, Mr. Trump: Please, tweet away, which notes that:

"The media is, in fact, very happy to have you tweet what you’re thinking at any given moment. It offers a fascinating glimpse into your presidency and your train of thought and allows us to flesh out other stories about your administration with first-person reflections from the chief executive himself. . .

The goal of the news media is to share and amplify the truth, a goal toward which we strive with admitted imperfection. Your tweets are a constant fuel supply for analysis, fact-checking and insight into your administration."

Read also the Washington Post, Now you can fact-check Trump’s tweets — in the tweets themselves.

And read also Trump's Big CON: There is a Database of the Lies.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Trump's Big CON: "I'll Work Hard for America'


Criticizes Obama for golfing.

Says he won’t golf as president during the campaign.

Golfs every 6 days.

Doesn’t admit it.

9:43 AM - 25 Jun 2017

The tweet included this:

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

Trump's Big CON: It's Not a Health Care Plan, It's a 'Yuge' Tax Cut for the Wealthy

UPDATE III:  "[S]urprised the GOP crashed and burned."

You should be.

Read the Washington Post, 20 reasons the GOP crashed and burned on health care, which lists as one of the reasons: "You cannot pass major legislation with a policy-illiterate president who cannot explain what’s in it and therefore cannot persuade voters and lawmakers of its merits."

UPDATE II:  Read also the Washington Post, ‘Repeal and replace’ was once a unifier for the GOP. Now it’s an albatross.

And next election, after millions have lost their health care, remember the many lies Trump and the Republi-CONs made about health care before, during and since the election, then Trump complained that: "nobody knew that health care could be so complicated".

UPDATE:  "The Senate's health-care bill might be too much for even Marie Antoinette.

After all, about the only way it could be more regressive is if it took the cake a certain French queen wanted the poor to eat for dinner and gave it to the rich for dessert. Or, say, cut Medicaid and middle-class health insurance subsidies so much that 22 million fewer people have health insurance -- all so that the government could afford to cut the capital gains tax for households making $250,000 or more.

Oh, wait. That last one is actually what the Senate bill would do. . .

It's really pretty simple. The Senate bill would, over the course of the next decade, cut Obamacare's health insurance subsidies by $408 billion and Medicaid by $772 billion all to pay for $700 billion of tax cuts, nearly half of which the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says would go to the top 1 percent of households. Not only that, but the fact that it would only peg the value of its remaining subsidies to higher-deductible plans means that a lot of people would be pushed into them. They couldn't afford anything else. On an apples-to-apples basis, the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the Senate bill would increase the cost of a "silver" plan that covers 70 percent of expected medical costs by an average of 74 percent over the next three years—and more for the type of older, poorer people who overwhelmingly went for Trump.

Although it's actually even worse than that. A 64 year-old making $26,500 would, according to the Congressional Budget Office, see their premiums for a silver plan go from $1,700 under Obamacare to $6,500 under the Senate bill—but it'd be for a silver plan that covered 17 percent fewer of their expected medical expenses. So they'd be paying more to get less. How much more? Well, the Kaiser Family Foundation calculates that, in the case of our hypothetical 64 year-old, their deductible would go from $809 to $6,105. And it'd be an even bigger jump for people a little bit lower on the income ladder. Someone making just $18,090 would see their deductibles increase from $255 to the same $6,105. The Senate bill, then, would leave a lot of people with a choice between plans they couldn't afford to buy and couldn't afford to use.

Or, as the Republicans would call it, freedom! And if you lived in a red state, you would probably get more of it. That's because the Senate bill would let them opt out of so-called "essential health benefits" like mental health, maternity care, and prescription drugs—and in the process, the Brookings Institution's Matthew Fiedler points out, bring back annual and lifetime limits on benefits. The result would be a system where healthy people would mostly buy cheaper plans that didn't cover much, and mostly sick people would buy ones that did, you know, cover things—which would only make those more comprehensive plans so expensive that hardly anybody would be able to buy them at all. People would be forced to buy skimpy insurance that might not even insure you if you use too much of it."

This isn't a health-care plan that helps you if you need health-care. Not when it would give you higher premiums, higher deductibles, and worse coverage. No, this is a health-care plan that only helps you if you're wealthy and have a lot of investment income.

Read the Washington Post, The Senate health care bill is proof: Trumpism isn’t populism.

Trump voters are real suckers, aren't they.

"That's clear enough from how little thought it puts into actually stabilizing insurance markets versus how much it does into showering the rich with as much money as possible. Indeed, it would go so far as to retroactively cut the capital gains tax — something, remember, that's supposed to be about incentivizing future investment — in an apparent bid to get people to create jobs six months ago. The way it would slash Medicaid to pay for this tax-cutting largesse, though, is even more important. It would be more than just a transfer of wealth from the poor and sick to the rich and healthy. It would be a transfer of financial risk from the government to individuals.

This isn't about keeping taxes low for our time. This is about keeping taxes low for all time. . .

So if you think the problem with Obamacare is that deductibles aren't high enough, markets aren't wobbly enough, and sick people aren't on their own enough, well, the Senate bill is for you. . .

It's an inspiring piece of legislation for everyone who thought Robin Hood was picking on the wrong people."

Read the Washington Post, The real reason Republicans want to pass this Obamacare bill so much.

Trump's Big CON: He is a Joke, and The World is Laughing at Him and U.S.

UPDATE:  Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross spoke to this week’s Economic Council of the Christian Democratic Union meeting in Berlin by teleconference from Washington.

"Ross was allotted 10 minutes to speak. After he spoke for more than 20, the conference organizers cut his feed mid-sentence. The audience 'laughed and clapped' in response, according to Bloomberg News."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s pledge to keep the world from laughing at us hits another setback.

"Two weeks ago in the Rose Garden, President Trump declared that under his leadership, foreign leaders won’t be 'laughing at us anymore.'

Since then, he’s been the butt of jokes in capitals around the world. . .

In Mexico, former president Vicente Fox posted a profane video on YouTube, mocking Trump’s taste for taco bowls ('they’re not even Mexican!') and border walls ('Mexico will not pay') that has been viewed nearly half a million times.

In France, new President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a website titled 'Make Our Planet Great Again' and invited U.S. scientists to move there, a week after Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate accord.

And in Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who sparred with Trump in a testy phone call in February, this week treated a black-tie gala to a snarky impersonation of 'The Donald,' referring to the Russia investigation and employing the president’s famous catchphrases.

'In the private conversations I’ve had with heads of states and ministers of foreign relations . . . they all feel what Turnbull just basically came out and said: This is, by far, the least capable person ever to sit in the office and it’s appalling they have to deal with him,' said Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group, a global risk-assessment firm. 'Even in a country that really needs to have a good relationship with the United States, you’re just not willing to deal with it. Your own ego will say, 'Screw this guy.'?'

White House officials did not respond to a request for comment."

Read the Washington Post, Trump said foreign leaders wouldn’t laugh at the U.S. Now they’re laughing at him.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Republi-CON's Big CON: Tax Cuts for the Middle Class

"While Republicans in the Senate work out how to take health insurance away from millions of Americans, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) turns his attention to the other great crusade that animates his career: tax cuts. . .

While Ryan may not get everything he wants out of tax reform, he stands a very good chance of getting most of it. Republicans will move heaven and earth to pass something not because they feel pressure from their constituents — Americans are not exactly crying out for tax cuts — but because they believe in it. If we can’t cut taxes on the wealthy, they ask each other, then why are we here? What’s the point of having power if you don’t use it for this? So here’s what Ryan is proposing to do, per the speech excerpts:

    Lower income-tax rates
    Reduce the number of tax brackets
    Raise the standard deduction
    Eliminate the inheritance tax (Big congrats to Donny Jr., Eric, Ivanka and Barron for not having to worry about paying taxes! Oh, and Tiffany — she’ll probably get something, too.)
    Eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, which is meant to ensure that the wealthy can’t get away without paying anything
    Eliminate unspecified loopholes
    But keep the mortgage interest deduction and charitable giving deduction
    Cut the corporate tax rate
    Allow corporations to pay reduced taxes on profits they bring back from overseas
    Institute a border adjustment tax to favor exports over imports

Among these, only the increase in the standard deduction is aimed at the non-wealthy. As the Tax Policy Center wrote last year about an earlier version of this plan:

    Three-quarters of total tax cuts would go to the top 1 percent, who would receive an average cut of nearly $213,000, or 13.4 percent of after-tax income. The top 0.1 percent would receive an average tax cut of about $1.3 million (16.9 percent of after-tax income). In contrast, the average tax cut for the lowest-income households would be just $50."

Read the Washington Post, Paul Ryan’s passionate call to cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

Trump's Big CON: BREAKING NEWS (NOT): Trump Lies

UPDATE:  The New York Times has "catalogued nearly every outright lie [The Donald] has told publicly since taking the oath of office."

Read The New York Times, Trump’s Lies.

OMG, say it ain't so!

Trump LIES??!!!

Read the Washington Post, Comey, unplugged: President Trump is a lying liar who lied.

Read also:

Trump's Big CON: SURPRISE, He and His Staff Routinely Lie to the Public,

Trump's Big CON: He Clings to Lies "Like a Drunk to an Empty Gin Bottle",

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

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

Trump's Big CON: There is a Database of the Lies.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Trump's Big CON: He is Putin's Puppet

UPDATE:  In July 2016 Trump asked the Russian to interfer in the election, when he said "he hoped Russian intelligence services had successfully hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, and encouraged them to publish whatever they may have stolen, essentially urging a foreign adversary to conduct cyberespionage against a former secretary of state."

Now, of course, it's Obama's fault for not stopping the Russians.

Read the Washington Post, White House blames Obama for failing to stop Russia collusion.

Read also Trump's Big CON: 'It's Obama's Fault'.

Russian President Vladi-mir Putin had "direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump."

Read the Washington Post, Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault, which also noted that senior Republican officials knew about the Russian operation and objected to making the information public, but used material hacked by the Russians while pretending it didn't come from the Russians.

Read also:

The Donald is Putin's Puppet,

Trump's Big CON: What's He Hiding: Is Trump a Russian Agent?,

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

Trump's Big CON: What's He Hiding: Is Trump a Russian Agent? (Cont., Part 2),

Trump's Big CON: What's He Hiding: Is Trump a Russian Agent? (Cont., Part 3),

Trump's Big CON: The Comey Conspiracy and Russian Agent Coverup,

Trump's Big CON: The Comey Conspiracy and Russian Agent Coverup by the Republi-CON Party (Cont.), and

Trump's Big CON: He is a Russian Agent, Whether He Realizes It or Not.

Trump's Big CON: 'It's Obama's Fault'

UPDATE:  Read also NPR, Former New Mexico Governor Discusses His Role In Otto Warmbier Negotiations.

So, before he was released, how much did The Donald say about Otto Warmbier?

And how would he have gotten him released earlier?

Read the Washington Post, Trump calls Otto Warmbier’s death ‘a total disgrace,’ indirectly blames Obama’s inaction.

Of course, he didn't say much, if anything, and made little or no effort.

Sort of like that secret plan to defeat ISIS, or even his tax cut plan, that he's still trying to put together.

Read also:

It's HER Fault,

Trump's Big CON: The 'I Want The Credit, Don't Blame Me' President, and

Trump's Sycophant Gingrich's Big CON: Political Hatred and Violence is the Other Party's Fault.

Trump's Big CON: He is "the Healthiest Individual Ever Elected to the Presidency"

UPDATE:  "President Trump committed a golfing sin when he drove his golf cart on a putting green of a New Jersey golf course."

Read the New York Daily News, President Trump caught on video driving golf cart on putting green of New Jersey golf course.

He can't even park the golf cart near the green and walk 50-100 feet.

This explains why The Donald is gaining weight.

That how "his doctor" describe Trump in December 2015.

But he can't walk 700 yards.

"Last week, at the Group of Seven meetings, the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan together walked the streets of Taormina, Italy, to a photo op about 700 yards away.

President Trump, the healthiest man ever elected president (or so his doctor assured us), followed in a golf cart."

Read the Washington Post, Trump experiences life through the windshield of a golf cart. That explains a lot.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Trump's Big CON: 'Ha, Ha, Ha, I Lied! There Are No Tapes.'

UPDATE II:  For Republi-CON's favorite sycophant media, the truth doesn't matter!

When asked why he said there might be tapes, Trump answered "because then he’ll have to tell what actually took place at the events."

“Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt then said: "It was a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those hearings."

"Let’s juxtapose: On one hand, we have a lying president who made 669 false and misleading claims over his first 151 days in office. On the other hand, we have a career law enforcement official who was promoted to FBI director in part because of a famous act of integrity; who had won the respect of the FBI rank and file by the time he was fired by Trump; and who has told a wholly consistent and, thus far, largely unchallenged narrative of his dealings with Trump.

So the dodgiest president ever is keeping honest a man of proven integrity. A reversal this comical is possible only on one television news program."

Read the Washington Post, ‘Fox & Friends’ propagates the most astounding piece of pro-Trump propaganda yet.

In other words, Trump sycophants want you to believe that he lies just to keep everyone else honest.

How admirable of him!!

UPDATE:  For Republi-CONs, the truth doesn't matter!

Read the Washington Post, Gingrich just admitted Trump was being dishonest about White House tapes — because nothing matters, which notes in response to Trump's favorite sycophant:

"Apparently not being a “professional politician” is a license for dishonesty -- because that's what this was. And adding insult to injury, it didn't even work.

This is just the latest in a long line of Trump bluffs. There was the time he was going to force the House to vote on its health-care bill, pass or fail, until he urged that it be delayed in the face of defeat. There was the time during the spending debate when the White House signaled Trump would allow a shutdown if the bill didn't fund his border wall, only to back down just a couple of days later. More examples abound.

But this has been a particularly brazen brand of bluffing from the president of the United States. Trump threatened a former top government official using a falsehood to try to get him to soften his testimony. It's not difficult to attach this to the lengthening list of things suggesting Trump has tampered in the Russia investigation, or even obstructed justice in doing so.

And for a president who has huge trouble with facts, it displays a rather striking disregard for the truth. . .

And the final point here is that Comey essentially called Trump's bluff. In rather blistering testimony that pointed to Trump's potential obstruction of justice two weeks ago, Comey didn't really hold back at all. And at one point, he addressed the threat of tapes directly and suggested they would vindicate him if they did exist.

'I’ve seen the tweet about tapes,' Comey said. 'Lordy, I hope there are tapes.'

So basically Trump appears to have not only done something dishonest that undermines his credibility going forward, but it didn't even work."

Read the Washington Post, Trump says he has no ‘tapes’ of Comey conversations.

Now, is this true?

With Trump you never know. There could be tapes that shiow Comey was telling the truth.

But either way, Trump revels himself to be a liar, and finally acknowledges he is a con man!

Trump's Big CON: 'I'm So Pretty, And I Have/Had Such Big [Fill-in-theBlank]' (AKA Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man (CONt., Part 5))

UPDATE II:  "[I]n recent days, Trump has boasted about all the legislation he has signed.

'We passed and signed 38 pieces of legislation, which nobody likes to talk about,' Trump said June 13 before a lunch with lawmakers. 'I think probably seldom has any president and administration done more or had more success so early on, including a record number of resolutions to eliminate job-killing regulations.'

And he tweeted the same message on Friday morning. . .

A White House spokesperson confirmed to NPR that at the time of Trump's tweet, the number was actually 39 — not 38.

Measuring laws passed by counting rather than by significance is pretty meaningless. More on that in a bit. Among modern Oval Office occupants, Presidents Jimmy Carter (52), George H.W. Bush (41) and Bill Clinton (41) had all signed more bills into law than Trump has by this point in their presidencies.

So, what has Trump accomplished with Congress so far? Nothing that political scientists would categorize as major pieces of legislation." 

Read NPR, Despite Claims To Contrary, Trump Has Signed No Major Laws 5 Months In.

UPDATE:  It's all about The Donald, and a few superficial rallies and so-called wins.

Read the Washington Post, Why Trump will never get anything done,  which points out:

"Donald Trump promised to get Congress to repeal Obamacare, enact tax reform, pass a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, impose tariffs on outsourcers, subsidize child care and fund a border wall with Mexico — all in the first 100 days of his presidency. Not surprisingly, none of those things happened. What is surprising is that little of this agenda has even been submitted by the president to Congress: no tax bill, no infrastructure bill, no anti-outsourcing bill, no child-care bill and no legislation to build the wall. Why?

The explanation goes beyond the usual factors that bedevil any new president — overpromising on the pace of action, underpreparing for the challenges of office, trouble in staffing up. These do play some part in Trump’s achingly slow start. But Trump’s failure to get key agenda items to the starting line reflects more fundamental problems in policymaking — problems that will persist even after this administration is fully staffed and acclimated.

First, policymaking at the White House is hard and tedious work that involves digesting reams of paper, weighing difficult trade-offs and enduring hours of meetings. There is little evidence Trump has any interest in this sort of endeavor. . .

Second, Trump’s career reflects an inconsistency and expediency about ideas that indicate he will never take policymaking seriously. . . He has embraced government-funded universal health care, supported late-term abortions and proposed the largest tax hike in history — and the exact opposite of all of these things, as well — to achieve his political objectives at a given moment. While running for president, Trump said that the minimum wage was 'too high,' that it should not change and that it 'has to go up.' On a single day of the 2016 campaign, he broadcast three stances on his core campaign issue — immigration policy. . . [A]bsent specific direction from the president at each juncture in the process, his team is probably hard-pressed to divine the Trump policy approach to any question, beyond political expediency. . .

Finally, the Trump policy process must surely be gridlocked because — to the extent there is any indication of what Trumpism is as a policy philosophy — it is a jumble of populist slogans and corporatist concessions totally at war with itself. The Trump plan includes a promise to raise taxes on corporations that outsource and a pledge to cut taxes on those same corporations to a record low. Trump has embraced a Democratic plan to restore limits on Wall Street that were removed 20 years ago — while advancing a Republican plan to strip away limits imposed after the 2008 financial crisis. He has called for $1 trillion in new infrastructure spending but proposed a budget without a penny of net new spending or borrowing. He promised voters they would get better health-care coverage, then held a party in the White House Rose Garden for a House bill that would allow insurance companies to slash benefits — a bill that he characterized as “mean” the following month. Every campaign agenda contains some half-zebras, half-elephants — but the Trump platform designed to appeal to disaffected manufacturing workers who resent globalization, and disaffected globalists who resent taxation and regulation, is especially problematic in implementation."

But The Donald sure is pretty!

Trump at his most recent rally:

I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any anyone who doesn't worship me now.

I feel charming,
Oh, so charming
It's alarming how charming I feel!
And so pretty
That I hardly can believe how many stupid people are here tonight.

See the pretty President in that mirror there:
Who can that attractive President be?
Such a pretty face,
Such a pretty hands,
Such a pretty smile,
Such a pretty me!

I feel stunning
And entrancing,
Feel like running for President again,
For I'm loved
By a lot of foolish people!

Read the Washington Post:

With a raucous rally in Cedar Rapids, Trump transports himself back to 2016,

Trump simply can’t stop exaggerating his electoral wins, and

Back in campaign mode, Trump hits on immigration and a border wall.

Read also:

Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man, where I first noted that Trump is a psycho-narcissistic con man,

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

Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man (Cont., Part 2),

Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man (Cont., Part 3), and

Trump's Big CON: Thank You Dear Leader (AKA Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man (Cont., Part 4)).

Trump's Big CON: Don't Ask About the Republi-CON Health Care Plan, Or You'll Be Needing Health Care

UPDATE III:  Read also the Washington Post:

Republicans’ Obamacare repeal would be one of the biggest cuts to the social safety net in history, and

The Republicans’ Obamacare repeal is one big lie.

UPDATE II:  Read the Washington Post, Here comes the Senate GOP’s health bill. It’s a cruel and cynical shell game., which explains that "[i]t's all about cutting health spending on poor people, and cutting taxes on rich people."

UPDATE:  "Here's what we know right now about the health-care plan Senate Republicans are working on: They want to pass it next week.

That's just about it, and all we can say for sure. While there have been some leaks and rumors about what might be in it, that's all they are. There haven't been any hearings or legislative text for anyone to analyze. It's been a backroom process that, whether there's any cigar smoke or not, has been more secretive, according to the Senate's historian emeritus, than any other in the past 100 years.

If you think this is a good way to restructure 18 percent of the American economy, well, then you must be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the exclusive group of Republicans he's letting in on the project — because it's hard to see how anyone else could. There's been no input from anyone who has anything to do with any part of the health-care system. Why, it's almost as if Republicans weren't acting in good faith when they complained that Obamacare, which actually did go through months of hearings and amendments, had, as the Senate's now-No. 2 Republican John Cornyn put it at the time, happened “behind closed doors with secret [health-care] negotiations.”

Despite this lack of transparency, there are still a few things we can guess about. Whatever else it does, it seems like a good bet that the Senate GOP's bill will have the same basic structure as the House GOP's: a trillion-dollar tax cut for wealthy investors that's paid for by slashing Medicaid for the poor  and Obamacare subsidies for the middle class. . .

You just can't cut taxes the way Republicans want and have 'insurance for everybody' like Trump promised. Heck, you can't even have cheaper insurance. On an apples-to-apples basis, the House Republican plan, at least, would probably increase premiums and deductibles, according to the center-left Brookings Institution and the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. To the extent that people would pay less, it would only be because they were getting less and people who needed more had been priced out of the market. None of this is going to change in the Senate version unless the GOP changes its commitment to cutting taxes for the rich.

So I guess that makes it two things we know about the Senate GOP's health-care plan: they want to pass it next week, and it will be something Trump thinks is mean.

Read the Washington Post, The simple reason the Senate has been keeping its health-care plan a secret.

Read also the Washington Post, Republicans who decried Obamacare secrecy now writing legislation in secret, which states:

"Hypocrisy has always been a vital lubricant to making the gears turn in Washington. Give politicians some power and a job to get done, and they quickly forget their righteous critiques of the seamy practices they denounced when the other side was running things.

Rarely, however, has the double standard been so flagrant as now, when Republicans are scrambling to keep their promise to 'repeal and replace Obamacare.'" 

Speaking of bullies:

"The GOP candidate in the Montana special House election was charged with misdemeanor assault late Wednesday night, after allegedly body-slamming Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian. The candidate, Greg Gianforte, grew incensed after being asked an impertinent question about whether he supports the GOP’s brutalization of our health-care system — and rather than answer, he allegedly brutalized the reporter. . .

In a sense, Gianforte was employing a version of the evasion that many Republicans have performed on Obamacare for years. They have consistently said that of course they want to repeal the disastrous Affordable Care Act, but don’t worry, they will replace it with something that offers all the good stuff in it (the protections for consumers and people with preexisting conditions, the expansion of coverage to the poor) without any of the bad (the taxes, the regulations, the mandates). This worked beautifully, as long as Republicans could demand the repeal of Obamacare, secure in the knowledge that they would never have to deal with the actual consequences of it happening, or explain how their alternative would do what they said it would.

The CBO score has upended this tidy little arrangement as brutally as Gianforte allegedly upended Jacobs. Even after the GOP bill was written and passed the House, Republicans continued to employ a variation on that evasion, falsely claiming that no low-income people would be worse off (they would have access to coverage) or that the bill would increase protections for the sick. But the CBO now projects that it would leave 23 million fewer insured after 10 years; that 14 million of those people, the poorer ones, would lose coverage due to a staggering $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid; and that its deregulatory provisions could cause premiums to soar for people with preexisting conditions in large swaths of the country, pricing some out of the market entirely.

Gianforte had suggested in early May that he would declare whether he supports the GOP bill once he hears from the CBO. This month, he was caught on audio praising the bill during a phone call with lobbyists, and his campaign again declined to say publicly whether he backs it (pending the CBO analysis), suggesting it is politically too radioactive even for Montana. Yet now that we do have the CBO score, as best as I can determine, Gianforte still has not answered Jacobs’s question. . .

Can a Republican get elected to the House of Representatives after being charged with assault and despite refusing to say whether he will vote for a bill that would impact many millions of people and one-sixth of the U.S. economy? We’ll soon find out."

Read the Washington Post, Asked about GOP assault on health system, GOP candidate allegedly assaults reporter.

Trump's Big CON: 'I Saved Us From China'

UPDATE:  "Since his inauguration, President Trump has backed off several core campaign positions, including making a stark reversal of his posture toward China. He has explained that rather than pursue a tough-on-China trade policy, he will capitulate on U.S. trade interests to win Beijing’s cooperation on North Korea. . .

In fact, he has made trade threats against U.S. allies such as Canada and South Korea while giving China a pass.

The reason? Trump believes that obliging China on trade will win its cooperation in handling North Korea. He’s gone so far as to promise even more favorable trade terms if China can “solve the North Korea problem.” This approach deeply misreads China’s motivations, and the president seems to have just realized it. He recently tweeted: “While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!” We will wait to see if this tweet actually signals a shift in U.S. policy, but no doubt it is a confession that the president’s conciliatory approach toward China has failed.

The president should have known from the very beginning."

Read the Washington Post, Chuck Schumer: Trump railed against China while campaigning. Now he’s gone soft.

"President Trump's interview with the Economist contains a few strange claims. . .

[In one,] Trump appeared to claim credit for China reversing its long-held practice of intentionally holding down the value of its currency to make its exports relatively cheap and boost business abroad.

'You know, since I’ve been talking about currency manipulation with respect to them and other countries, they stopped,' Trump said about the Chinese.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who spent decades working on Wall Street and in hedge funds, backed up Trump's specious claim. 'Right, as soon as the president got elected they went the other way,' said Mnuchin.

The claim is patently untrue. For roughly a decade and a half leading up to 2014, China did depreciate its currency, to the detriment of U.S. businesses. But data shows that China abandoned the practice long before Trump came into office."

Read the Washington Post, Trump just took credit for something China did in 2014.

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

UPDATE:  "President Trump has placed his hopes on Chinese promises to more fully implement U.N. sanctions. But as even he now seems to acknowledge, this hasn’t happened. He tweeted on Tuesday: 'While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi [Jinping] & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!'

Although Trump has criticized President Barack Obama’s 'strategic patience' policy as weak and ineffectual, he has yet to distinguish his North Korea policy from his predecessor’s. Trump’s policy of 'maximum pressure' is anything but, and he continues to pull his punches against North Korean and Chinese violators of U.S. law. The Trump administration has also sent conflicting signals about whether it would negotiate with North Korea or potentially conduct a military attack to prevent the regime from mastering an intercontinental ballistic missile."

Read the Washington Post, We participated in talks with North Korean representatives. This is what we learned.

Read The Atlantic, How to Deal With North Korea, which notes that "[t]here are no good options. But some are worse than others."

"The White House announced Monday that it would host an unusual private briefing on North Korea for the entire Senate, prompting questions from lawmakers about whether the Trump administration intends to use the event as a photo op ahead of its 100-day mark. . .

Congressional staffers suggested that the briefing’s proximity to Trump would make it easy for him to 'drop by' and perhaps take over the briefing.

The image of senators meeting with Trump at the White House on a top national security concern could be touted by the White House as a key moment in the run-up to Trump’s 100th day in office — a milestone that the president has mocked in recent days but that his administration is working aggressively to promote."

Read the Washington Post, Senate staff perplexed by unusual White House private briefing on North Korea.

Read also:

Trump's Big CON: It's All About the Show (The Trump Family Show)

Trump's Big CON: It's All About the Threatre.

Trump's Big CON: Trump Lied About Stopping Jobs From Moving Overseas

UPDATE:  Read CBNC, Trump's Carrier deal is not living up to the hype — jobs still going to Mexico, which states:

"More than 600 employees at a Carrier plant in Indianapolis are bracing for layoffs beginning next month, despite being told by President Trump that nearly all the jobs at the plant had been saved"

Remember those jobs that Trump said wouldn't go to Mexico.

They are going to Mexico.

"Carrier, the company President Trump pledged to keep on American soil, informed the state of Indiana this week that it will soon begin cutting 632 workers from an Indianapolis factory. The manufacturing jobs will move to Monterrey, Mexico, where the minimum wage is $3.90.

That was never supposed to happen, according to Trump's campaign promises. He told Indiana residents at a rally last year there was a '100 percent chance' he would save the jobs at the heating and air-conditioning manufacturer."

Read the Washington Post, Trump said he would save jobs at Carrier. The layoffs start July 20.

It was all just a con.

Read also Trump's Big CON: He's Really a Crony Capitalist.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Trump's Big CON: Violence Against Minorities Isn't As Important

UPDATE:  Fear, anger and hatred is a profitable business for Trump, and others.

Read the Washington Post, Anti-sharia group offers donors a private tour and cocktails at Trump hotel, which reports:

"A controversial group that has held rallies against the spread of Islamic law is seeking to harness the allure of President Trump’s brand as it raises money for its upcoming Washington conference.

For $10,000, sponsors of the ACT for America gathering can enjoy 'pre-conference cocktails' and a 'private tour of the historic Trump International Hotel' alongside the group’s founder, Brigitte Gabriel, among other benefits, according to promotional materials published on the group’s website.

The walk through the hotel, located in the stately Old Post Office Pavilion a few blocks from the White House, is scheduled to take place before participants head to Capitol Hill to hold lawmakers’ 'feet to the fire' on national security issues, according to plans posted on the group’s website. The organization, which critics have decried as anti-Muslim, has repeatedly claimed that Judeo-Christian culture is under “assault” in America and radical Islam is to blame.

The promotion represents a new twist in the story line of Trump’s luxury hotel, which has sparked several lawsuits and criticism from ethics experts alleging that the president is improperly profiting from foreign governments and other interest groups holding events at the property. Although groups typically pay to book meeting space and food service at the Trump hotel like they would at any event venue, ACT is touting the chance to enjoy access to a signature business owned by the president of the United States. . .

Officials from the Trump Organization and ACT declined to answer questions about the event, including whether ACT was paying the hotel for the tour and, if so, how much. . .

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit organization that tracks hate organizations, has labeled ACT an extremist group characterized by “wild hate speech demonizing Muslims” and a mission to advance anti-Muslim legislation around the country. Heidi Beirich, who runs SPLC’s Intelligence Project, said that Gabriel’s national prominence has recently surged. . .

Last summer ACT announced that retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn, who was advising then-candidate Trump on national security issues, had joined its board of advisers. In August, Flynn appeared at an ACT event in Dallas and referred to Islam as a 'cancer,' according to a Dallas Morning News account of his speech. A person close to Flynn told The Post that he is not involved with ACT and has no plans to attend the group’s conferences."

Read also the Washington Post:

This group believes Islam threatens America: ‘It’s a spiritual battle of good and evil.’, and 

Anti-sharia demonstrators hold rallies in cities across the country.

"A full 24 hours after the incident, Trump had yet to express condolences to the attack's victims or support for London. Contrast that to his rushed messaging when groups like the Islamic State are suspected to be involved."

Read the Washington Post, The White House’s Islamophobia problem can no longer be ignored.

So why does Trump act like this?

Because pandering to fear, anger and hatred is just a Republi-CON campaign strategy.

Why BlackLivesMatter, And What White People Don't Understand

UPDATE II:  This is criminal:

""The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop last year fired a volley of bullets within seconds of learning the driver was armed, according to a video recording released publicly Tuesday.

When the traffic stop began, the two men interacted calmly. Officer Jeronimo Yanez, a police officer in the Twin Cities suburbs, greeted Castile and examined his insurance card.

“Sir, I have to tell you that I do have a firearm on me,” Castile said 30 seconds after they began speaking.

“Okay,” Yanez interrupted, his voice remaining steady as he shifted his right hand onto the holster of his gun.

Yanez told Castile not to reach for the gun or pull it out. Castile said he was not, which was echoed by Diamond Reynolds, his girlfriend, sitting in the Oldsmobile’s passenger seat.

“I’m not pulling it out,” Castile responded. Yanez again yelled: “Don’t pull it out!” He then unholstered his gun and pushed it into the car.

“Don’t pull it out!” Yanez yelled. “I’m not!” Castile said as Yanez, seven seconds after being informed of the gun, began firing into the car."

Read the Washington Post, Video footage shows Minn. traffic stop that ended with Philando Castile’s death.

And watch the video:

Read also the Washington Post:

What the police officer who shot Philando Castile said about the shooting,

‘I don’t want you to get shooted,’ girl, 4, begged mother after Philando Castile shooting, and 

Gun owners are outraged by the Philando Castile case. The NRA is silent.

Then if you don't think this was criminal, you must be white.

UPDATE:  Incident #1:  'Two men were lying in a pool of blood. 19-year-old Austin Harrouff was making 'guttural sounds and animal noises,' and not only appeared to be killing John Stevens — he was also chewing off chunks of the 59-year-old victim’s face with his teeth.  The stun gun’s paralyzing bursts had no effect. A flurry of punches and a powerful kick to the head didn’t, either.'

Incident #2: 'Charles Kinsey, an unarmed behavioral therapist who was lying on his back with his arms raised while he attempted to assist an autistic patient.'

Which one did the police shot?

Hint:  Austin Harrouff is white, Charles Kinsey is black.

Read the Washington Post, Police killed the black ‘Miami zombie.’ So why did a terrifying, face-eating white teen live?

Wait patently, seal off area, arrest/try to arrest the terrorists, then give them trials.

Read the Washington Post, Authorities seal off Oregon refuge after leaders of occupation arrested. 1 killed in gunfire.

Why is the organization BlackLivesMatter necessary? Because that's not how black people get treated.

Read Gawker, Unarmed People of Color Killed by Police, 1999-2014.

Read also Vox, This chart explains why black people fear being killed by the police.

And it is not just black people being shot by the police.  Remember Trayvon MartinSandra Bland, Victor Stein, Flint Michigan.

I could go on for days.

Some people call BlackLivesMatter racist, but they don't remember, or want to remember, how minorities are and have been treated.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Trump's Big CON: Tranparency is For Suckers

UPDATE:  "Increasingly, politicians are weaponizing public anger at the media to justify operating in the shadows. Democracy is dying in that darkness. We cannot and must not accept it becoming the new normal. . .

Even if yesterday’s briefing had been on camera, this is just the seventh press briefing in June. That’s a sharp drop not just in comparison with Trump’s early days but also from the frequency of press briefings under Barack Obama (there were 23 briefings in June 2016; Obama averaged more than 19 per month).

Trump himself is also avoiding on-camera press conferences. Obama held 65 solo press conferences, an average of more than eight per year. George H.W. Bush averaged 22 per year. After five months, Trump has held just one — and none since February. This is a deliberate and undemocratic attempt to shield the president from direct public scrutiny. . .

Last week, Republican leadership in the Senate attempted to outlaw the long-standing practice of journalists interviewing members of Congress in hallways (unless they had specific permission from the Senate Rules Committee). In Montana, Greg Gianforte’s decision to body-slam a journalist earned him a ticket not to jail but a chance to serve out his probation in the hallowed halls of Congress, welcomed by Republicans with open arms.

The White House has also ended the practice of releasing visitor logs, so we don’t know who is meeting with the president or his senior staff. . .

In the Senate health-care saga, reporters can’t even be barred from hearings because there are none. Instead, 13 white Republican men from 10  states, representing fewer than 1 in 4 Americans, are bypassing normal public hearings as they secretly craft a health-care bill that will affect every American and one-sixth of the U.S. economy.

These are all commonly used tactics in the shadows of authoritarian societies: If people don’t know what’s happening, it’s a lot harder to criticize it. After all, we all know that Vladimir Putin is corrupt, but we can’t prove it because the Russian government deliberately shrouds itself in darkness. We cannot allow such authoritarian practices to become part of our open, transparent and free society. Democracy rests on a simple foundation — the informed consent of the governed. That principle is now under attack.

Read the Washington Post, What is it that the Trump administration doesn’t want us to see?

"The Senate bill to scale back the health-care law known as Obamacare is being written in secret by a single senator, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and a clutch of his senior aides.

Officials at numerous agencies of the Trump administration have stonewalled friendly Republicans in Congress — not to mention Democrats — by declining to share internal documents on sensitive matters or refusing to answer questions.

President Trump, meanwhile, is still forbidding the release of his tax returns, his aides have stopped releasing logs of visitors to the White House and his media aides have started banning cameras at otherwise routine news briefings, as happened Monday.

Trump even refuses to acknowledge to the public that he plays golf during his frequent weekend visits to his private golf courses.

More and more in the Trump era, business in Washington is happening behind closed doors. The federal government’s leaders are hiding from public scrutiny — and their penchant for secrecy represents a stark departure from the campaign promises of Trump and his fellow Republicans to usher in newfound transparency."

Read the Washington Post, In Trump’s Washington, public business increasingly handled behind closed doors.

Read also Columbia Journalism Review, As president, Trump sings a different tune on ‘transparency’, which list numerous examples of Trump's hypocrisy on transparency.

Trump's Sycophant Gingrich's Big CON: a Republican President Can't Obstruct Justice to Hide a Relationship With a Foreign Country

But a Democratic President can, to hide a relationship with an intern.

Read CNN, Despite Clinton impeachment vote, Gingrich says President 'cannot obstruct justice'.

It takes a ginormous level of hypocrisy to b a Republi-CON.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Trump's Big CON: Stupid Is As Stupid Does

UPDATE:  "While Trump is erratic and impulsive much of the time, he seems particularly so with regard to this investigation. In some limited way it’s understandable — no president likes being investigated — but it seems to be pushing Trump to particular heights of irrationality. If you were trying to limit the investigation and its political fallout and not antagonize the prosecutors, it would be utterly insane to send out these kinds of tweets. Trump’s staff and lawyers are surely begging him to stop. But they can’t control him. There may be people who are willing to stand up to him and tell him that he’s making a mistake, but he’s obviously not willing to listen.

In an ordinary scandal, you have some initial set of misdeeds, and then possibly a coverup that adds more misdeeds that could themselves be criminal. In the Russia scandal we could have those two sets of actions, but on top of them we have a paranoid, infantile president seemingly determined to put himself in ever-greater political and legal jeopardy. The more we learn about how deep Mueller’s investigation is reaching, the higher the chances that Trump will, in a moment of rage, order Mueller to be fired. If you think things are dramatic and absurd right now, just wait — it’s going to get worse."

Read the Washington Post, Trump’s outburst of rage just sent the Russia scandal hurtling forward.

Honestly, I have no idea how this man got to where he is?

Stupid is as stupid does, and Trump has proven himself to be too stupid to be president.

Read the Washington Post, Prospect of Trump firing Mueller keeps becoming more untenable, which stated:

"If Donald Trump thought he could intimidate Bob Mueller, he thought wrong.

A person who spoke with Trump on Tuesday told the New York Times that the president was pleased by the intentional ambiguity of his position on firing Robert S. Mueller as special counsel, 'and thinks the possibility of being fired will focus the veteran prosecutor on delivering what the president desires most: a blanket public exoneration.'

If the president truly believes this, he fundamentally misunderstands what motivates the former FBI director – who has stood up to previous administrations and never swayed under political pressure.

Marines Corps veterans don’t scare easily. Mueller, 72, earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with Valor for his gallantry in Vietnam before devoting most of the rest of his life to public service. Trump, 71, avoided military service by claiming a medical deferment for 'heel spurs,' and he’s said that his 'personal Vietnam' was avoiding sexually-transmitted diseases while sleeping around in New York. 'I feel like a great and very brave solider'" the president once told Howard Stern."

Read also, the Washington Post:

Trump keeps creating his own personal hell,

Trump finds himself exactly where he doesn’t want to be,

Trump is hastening his own political death spiral, and 

Trump still could have obstructed justice — even if he didn’t break the law, which concludes, correctly I think, that:

"Too much time has been spent asking whether Trump might eventually be charged with a crime. Whatever he did or didn’t do, there is virtually no chance he’ll be subject to a criminal prosecution as a result. . .

[The investigation true ramifications will be political.], no matter one’s reading of the relevant statutes.

There are two reasons the political implications are more important: First, even if a particular action or statement is legal, that doesn’t automatically make it appropriate, wise or in keeping with the duties of the highest office in the land. Americans have an undeniable interest, not only in whether their elected representatives are acting within the four corners of the law but in whether they are acting in the interests of the nation. Second, and related, the ultimate remedy contemplated by the Constitution for malfeasance in office by a president is the very political, not legal, remedy of impeachment. Ultimately, the Constitution leaves it to Congress, not the courts, to decide whether a president should be 'removed from Office' for 'Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'"

Trump's Sycophant Gingrich's Big CON: Political Hatred and Violence is the Other Party's Fault

UPDATE IV:  "Wednesday’s shooting at a congressional baseball practice was a ghastly example of the political polarization that is ripping this country apart. Political scientists have shown that Congress is more divided than at any time since the end of Reconstruction. I am struck not simply by the depth of partisanship these days, but increasingly also by its nature. People on the other side of the divide are not just wrong and to be argued with. They are immoral and must be muzzled or punished.

This is not about policy. . .

Partisanship today is more about identity. Scholars Ronald Inglehart and Pippa Norris have argued that, in the past few decades, people began to define themselves politically less by traditional economic issues than by identity — gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation. I would add to this mix social class, something rarely spoken of in the United States but a powerful determinant of how we see ourselves. Last year’s election had a lot to do with social class, with non-college-educated rural voters reacting against a professional, urban elite.

The dangerous aspect of this new form of politics is that identity does not lend itself easily to compromise. When the core divide was economic, you could split the difference. If one side wanted to spend $100 billion and the other wanted to spend zero, there was a number in between. The same is true with tax cuts and welfare policy. But if the core issues are about identity, culture and religion (think of abortion, gay rights, Confederate monuments, immigration, official languages), then compromise seems immoral. American politics is becoming more like Middle Eastern politics, where there is no middle ground between being Sunni or Shiite. . .

Today, everything becomes fodder for partisanship. Consider the now-famous production of the Public Theater’s 'Julius Caesar' in Central Park, in which Caesar resembles President Trump. Conservatives have pilloried the play, raising outrage among people who have never seen it, saying that it glorifies the assassination of a president, and seeking to defund the production. Since I tweeted a line praising the production, I’ve received a barrage of attacks, many of them quite nasty. In 2012, a production of the same play had an Obama-like Caesar being murdered nightly, and no one seemed to have complained.

In fact, the central message of 'Julius Caesar' is that the assassination was a disaster, leading to civil war, anarchy and the fall of the Roman Republic. The assassins are defeated and humiliated and, racked with guilt, die horrible deaths. If that weren’t clear enough, the Public Theater play’s director, Oskar Eustis, has explained the message he intended to convey: 'Julius Caesar can be read as a warning parable to those who try to fight for democracy by undemocratic means.'

Political theater is as old as human civilization. A sophisticated play by Shakespeare — that actually presents Caesar (Trump) in a mixed, somewhat favorable light — is something to be discussed, not censored, and certainly not to be blamed for the actions of a single deranged shooter, as some on the right have suggested."

Read the Washington Post, The country is frighteningly polarized. This is why.

UPDATE III:  "Extreme partisanship may not be the direct cause of violence. But political violence acts like lightning, illuminating and freezing the whole political landscape for a moment. And what we see is a ready recourse to violence — punches at rallies, assaults, death threats, violent protests and intimidation. The system seems unbalanced — easily veering off course with every provocation.

The capacity for human evil is always there. But stable societies construct restraints. Some of those restraints are institutional — balancing interest against interest, power against power. In America, such institutions are strong, even under considerable current strain. Yet human beings are also restrained by norms — unenforced and unenforceable standards of civility and respect. We rely on character in countless ways to keep people from destroying themselves and each other. And here all the demonization and decapitation fantasies — all the talk of revolution and warfare against our fellow citizens — have taken a toll.

This type of language isn’t new, of course. But the Trump era has unleashed it with a kind of fury. The routine violation of norms has taken on the nature of an arms race. Each transgression justifies and requires a response. Both sides cultivate a merciless certainty. And, in some cases, they have made anger into an industry — using it to run up the number of listeners, viewers and hits. The trashing of norms has been not only normalized but monetized. This type of hashtag animus is not merely change but decay. The damage is clear. If words can inspire, then they can also incite or debase. We are on a descending path of enmity.

In our politics, dehumanization is far along. This is true against outsiders and political opponents. And it is true against those who govern us. We have often dehumanized the leaders who result from our free choices — men and women, on the whole, of public spirit, with a talent for friendship and persuasion. And this should be a reminder to opponents of President Trump as well. His violation of norms is a reason for criticism and opposition; it is not a justification for demonization. As offense and response spin faster and faster, someone must get off this carousel.

The success of our politics, the quality of our culture and the order of our society are very much at stake.

Read the Washington Post, America is riding a carousel of hate.

Although I don't agree on equivalency, criticism and opposition is perfectly American and appropriate, fear, anger and hatred must be renounced and condemned.

UPDATE II:  "Plenty bad before Trump’s campaign and presidency, it has gotten markedly worse. This is what happens when the president and his surrogates portray opponents as immoral, subhuman and criminal, when they hack away at the courts, the press and other pillars of a free society — and when they promote conspiracy theories suggesting American justice is tainted. . .

Revolting in a different way is the speed with which a few on the right have tried to use the shooting to delegitimize the justifiable and widespread anger that Trump has generated. Rush Limbaugh called the gunman “a mainstream Democrat voter.” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said of the shooting: 'I do want to put some of this at the feet of Barack Obama.' Sean Hannity of Fox News, broadcasting from the scene of the shooting, alleged a 'record level of vicious left-wing hate,' claiming this is the 'biggest issue we have to face as a country.' . .

The president himself is stoking fear and fury. Seven months after the election, he is still attacking Hillary Clinton as a criminal. He is frightening allies, attacking the courts, discrediting the intelligence community and the 'fake news media' and suggesting there’s a major conspiracy against him in the justice system.

This recklessness causes enormous fear, which generates the 'ferocity' Ivanka Trump perceives. President Trump could calm the anger — if he could calm himself."

Read the Washington Post, Ivanka Trump has noticed a new ‘level of viciousness.’ Its sources are clear.

UPDATE: Other Republi-CON sycophants are joining the blame game.

Read the Washington Post, Rep. Steve King is right. ‘America has been divided,’ and he helped divide it.

And in case you are new or forgot, read also about the longtime Republi-CON campaign strategy of fear, anger and hatred.

You must read the Washington Post, Newt Gingrich’s hypocritical comments on the Alexandria shooting, which I quote in full:

"Newt Gingrich, a peripatetic soul who apparently treks from one TV studio to another with sound bites in hand, the other day came up with the cause of the baseball field shooting that left the House majority whip and four others wounded: 'an increasing hostility on the left' toward the apparently angelic President Trump. He clearly has the president confused with the Dalai Lama.

It ought to be apparent that one man with one rifle does not make a political movement. The shooter was deranged, consumed by hate, and while our times are tense and polluted by excessive partisanship, the list of political assassinations is long — Lincoln, McKinley, John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Harvey Milk and Huey Long, to name some of the more prominent. Just as an infinite number of monkeys dancing on an infinite number of typewriters will produce 'Hamlet,' so will a nation of 350 million people and even more guns produce the occasional massacre.

Gingrich was not content to stick to the facts. In his depiction, the shooter represented something called 'the left.' Just a couple of weeks ago, Kathy Griffin held that title. On Fox News, her single (astoundingly) tasteless depiction of the decapitated Trump made her into the face of the Trump opposition. Sean Hannity carried on about her as if she was an actual elected political leader. For Griffin, this was not a bad day’s work: She brought Hannity down to her level.

Now Gingrich has gone further. Appearing on Fox and commenting on the shooting, he said, 'You’ve had a series of things that send signals that tell people it’s okay to hate Trump,' he said. 'And now we’re supposed to rise above it?' He added, 'Maybe this is a moment when everybody takes a step back, but there is no evidence of it.'

But this is the very same Trump who campaigned as a bully in the schoolyard. He ridiculed Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio; he slandered Ted Cruz by linking his father to the Kennedy assassination. He called Hillary Clinton 'crooked Hillary.' He egged on his followers to attack political demonstrators, he encouraged hatred of immigrants and he called Mexicans 'rapists.' Finally, he mocked a disabled journalist.

Through all this, Gingrich contained his desire to speak out in condemnation. He, in fact, supported Trump, becoming an unofficial adviser. He did not get the reward he must have thought behooved him — secretary of state or something – but his wife is going to be the ambassador to the Vatican. Just recently, Gingrich added one side of his mouth to the conspiracy theory that Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer, was murdered last year to keep him from telling what he knew about how WikiLeaks got thousands of hacked Democratic Party emails.

'Nobody’s investigating that, and what does that tell you about what’s going on?' Gingrich said on Fox. 'Because it turns out, it wasn’t the Russians. It was this young guy who, I suspect, was disgusted by the corruption of the Democratic National Committee. He’s been killed, and apparently nothing serious has been done to investigative his murder. So I’d like to see how [Robert S.] Mueller [III] is going to define what his assignment is.'

In a flash, we got an insight into Gingrich’s jaundiced mind. In fact, from the day he first entered Congress, to the day he was forced to resign as House speaker, no one has been more bitterly partisan than Gingrich. He has been on one specious crusade after another — remember the adulterous Gingrich on Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky? — and now, suddenly, he poses as the voice of reason. Gingrich has accomplished much in his career, but his real triumph is to give hypocrisy a bad name." 

Read also the Washington Post, The bogus claim that a map of crosshairs by Sarah Palin’s PAC incited Rep. Gabby Giffords’s shooting, which noted that although no link to the shooting was found, "Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map of targeted electoral districts that put Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs."