Oh Fuck. Can’t be happy for 3 minutes.

Shutterstock.

Shutterstock.

Oh, the joys of living in nDakota. Or sDakota, for that matter. I loathe republicans. Their constant embrace of utter stupidity, it’s, oh, here:

North Dakotans will no longer need a permit to carry a concealed weapon after Republican Governor Doug Burgum signed legislation lifting restrictions, a victory for gun rights advocates that came a week after South Dakota’s governor vetoed a similar bill.

The law, which takes effect on Aug. 1, mandates that gun owners only need a North Dakota driver’s license or state identification card for at least a year before they can carry a concealed firearm in public.

The measure, signed late on Thursday, was approved by the Republican-controlled legislature despite concerns over public safety if the state made it easier to carry hidden weapons. Advocates framed the issue in terms of the constitutional right to bear arms.

“North Dakota has a rich heritage of hunting and a culture of deep respect for firearm safety,” Burgum said. “As a hunter and gun owner myself, I strongly support gun rights for law-abiding citizens.”

Yeah, because everyone knows you go deer hunting with a fuckin’ handgun. Not enough fuck, just not enough. nDakota isn’t exactly a hotbed of crime, so there’s no supposed justification there, either. There’s such a “culture of deep respect” that bigoted white dudes think it’s funny to drink, get in their truck full of guns, and go threaten Indians and other brown people with them. Yeah, respect my ass. Godsdamn gun fondlers, you love those things so much, go fuck one. I won’t be feeling better, being surrounded by a fucktonne of people who are also very bigoted, and not prone to cool thinking things out, being able to hide guns all over. Also, this is a state where all manner of knives are legal, but it is illegal to conceal one, so yes, if you have a little bitty pocket knife, in your pocket, that’s illegal. But guns? Yeefuckinghaw. Well, at least the hospitals will be doing more business. And the funeral homes. I have to get out of here.

Full story here.

Bannon’s Hit Shit List.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast.

According to multiple Trump administration officials speaking to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity to talk freely, the president is angry that his first big legislative push is crumbling before his eyes—and his chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon is advising him to take names and keep a hit list of Republicans who worked for Trumpcare’s defeat.

“[Bannon] has told the president to keep a shit list on this,” one official told The Daily Beast. “He wants a running tally of [the Republicans] who want to sink this…Not sure if I’d call it an ‘enemies list,’ per se, but I wouldn’t want to be on it.”

One aide described it as a proposed “hit list” for Republicans not sufficiently loyal. Courses of action stemming from any related tally is yet to be determined, but the idea and message is that “we’ll remember you.”

Two senior Trump administration officials with direct knowledge of the process told The Daily Beast that Bannon and Trump have taken a “you’re either with us or against us” approach at this point, and that Bannon wants the tally of “against” versus “with us” mounted in his so-called West Wing “war room.”

“Burn the boats,” Bannon (in his typical, pugnacious style) advised Trump, according to one official involved. Burning one’s boats is a reference to when military commanders in hostile territories order his or her troops to destroy their own ships, so that they have to win or die trying.

Sources also said that others including Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget and co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, endorsed the idea of the running list, and that Trump agreed with the idea.

The Daily Beast has the full story.

The Fuck You Fuck You Fuck You Care Plan. UPDATED.

The Message to Women Everywhere.

The Message to Women Everywhere.

As most everyone now knows, the bill was withdrawn before a vote. Yes, be happy. That said, go ahead and read all the following, and remember. Remember just what they wanted to do, and still want to do. We cannot afford to forget.

 
This post brought to you with a leaden heart sinking in a simultaneous sea of fury and despair. It’s going to be a roundup, because I just can’t. I can’t.

Trump budget boss: If you want insurance to cover maternity care, lobby your state legislature. Trumpcare: Giving you the freedom to purchase health insurance that covers nothing.

On Thursday, President Trump and the House Freedom Caucus tentatively worked out a deal: Trump would agree to remove mandatory coverage of “essential services” from his health care bill in order to win the far-right caucus’ support for it.

Essential services include maternity and newborn care, pediatric care, emergency services, substance abuse treatment, and prescription drug coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, every health insurance plan sold in the US must cover them.

White House says maternity care won’t be more expensive for women —if they’re on a family plan: A story of male priorities on women’s health care, in two acts.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Thursday that women wouldn’t have to worry about paying more for maternity care under Trumpcare, as long as they’re on a family plan.

The exchange came as a reporter pressed Spicer on reports that the GOP is considering repealing Obamacare’s 10 essential health benefits mandate — a requirement that all insurance plans cover services such as hospitalizations, prescriptions, preventative care, and pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.

Spicer called the furor over these benefits a “philosophical discussion,” and argued that repealing them was a way to bring premiums down.

The White House may have skirted federal law to try and save its failing health care bill: Several official Twitter accounts lobbied Congress in support of the AHCA bill.

On Thursday morning, as the Trump administration frantically tried to save its deeply unpopular Affordable Care Act replacement bill, White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. tweeted out a message to Trump’s dwindling pool of supporters urging them to call their congressperson in support of the American Health Care Act.

Hours later, similarly worded tweets were sent from the official @POTUS account and Donald Trump’s personal account.

But as some people were quick to note, directly lobbying Congress in support of (or opposition to) a bill using federal dollars—including White House staff who earn federal salaries—is strictly forbidden under 18 U.S.C. § 1913.

The Trump White House seems confused about how pregnancy works: Let me teach you about the birds and the bees.

The House is expected to vote Friday on a bill that, if a faction of the most conservative House Republicans gets its way, will eliminate the requirement that insurance plans cover certain essential health benefits. These benefits include maternity care, a fact that the Trump White House views as an opportunity to pit men against women.

It’s a common joke among the Affordable Care Act’s opponents. Why should a man pay for women’s health care? Hilarious!

At least with respect to maternity care, however, there’s a very simple answer to this question. Because of the unusual nature of pregnancy, either everyone must pay for pregnancy coverage, or no one will have pregnancy coverage.

The reason why is a problem known as “adverse selection.”

In last ditch effort for votes, Trump says goal of Trumpcare is to end Planned Parenthood: Trump quite literally plays politics with women’s health.

A photo of the House Freedom Caucus and Mike Pence went viral on Thursday, and for good reason — it showed that in a discussion over the future of women’s health insurance plans, the only people in the room were white men.

In a bid to get the far-right Freedom Caucus on board, President Trump and GOP leadership (again, all men) offered to repeal Obamacare’s Essential Health Benefits provision, which mandates that health insurers offer coverage for basic care like hospitalizations, prescriptions, and notably for women, pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.

According to reports, however, the Freedom Caucus still doesn’t think the bill goes far enough. And on Friday, Trump took to Twitter to levy one more threat at its members, dangling women’s health coverage in front of them as bait:


The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!

There’s many ways in which Trumpcare would disproportionately affect women. It would price abortion care out of reach for many women, even some on employee-sponsored plans. It would roll back Medicaid and charge seniors more for health insurance, hurting two populations that are predominately female. With the new revisions, it will roll back maternity coverage.

And, as Trump alludes to, it would federally defund Planned Parenthood —which in practice, actually means preventing low-income and rural women and men who depend on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, STD testing, and birth control consultations. In 105 counties, Planned Parenthood is the only birth control clinic. Annually, 2.5 million women and men seek care at Planned Parenthood clinics.

Trump knows this.

Do the Scandals Matter? Not to Trumpholes.

170322_scandals-1

Click for full size.

A poll done by Morning Consult and Politico shows that the constant quake of scandals simply don’t matter much to Trumpholes. If anything, it solidifies their faithfulness to the Tiny Tyrant. That’s a prime marker of how fascism operates, and it emphasises, starkly, just how much The Resistance and all manner of activism simply cannot stop, or slow down at all.

The full story is here.

Oh, the Stupid. Too Much.

Sean Spicer speaks about health care benefits (CNN/screen grab).

Sean Spicer speaks about health care benefits (CNN/screen grab).

See that list in the photo? Those are all things we are about to lose here behind The Gold Curtain. America the Fucked Up. CNN tackled Spicer, who was going with full out bluster, in an attempt to defend this monstrousness. I’m just going to remark on a bit of the stupid, I’m close to overdosing on it already today.

According to Spicer, “older men, older women” who had “gotten passed [sic] maternity age” were being forced to pay for maternity care, driving up the overall cost of insurance.

When, exactly, do men get past maternity age? There are men in their 70s who have very young children, under the age of 5. Also, a lot of women don’t have children until they are in their 40s, so can we at least define this “passed the maternity age” business? Then, if you don’t mind, would you answer as to why you think any of this is your fucking business? Also, y’know, lot of people out there, older ones, who have children who are now having children, and they have a vested interest in them having good healthcare. That sort of thing is called family. You should look it up.

“People who were at the younger end of the age scale were buying end-of-life benefits,” he added.

What, I wonder, do you mean by that one? It’s not in the least uncommon for younger people to make plans for the end of their life, that would be why people make wills, have insurance, and so on, you stupid dipstick of an idiot. What in the fuckety fuck makes you think being younger automatically rules out catastrophic health problems? Accidents? Terminal illness? Not everyone dies at the age of 100something. Most of us won’t make it that far. At your age, Mr. Spicer, I’d think you’d know just how fast it flashes past, and before you know it, you aren’t 25 anymore. Trying to have some safety nets laid out in front of you is one way to prepare, so you can have a good life that isn’t completely wiped out by one unforeseen complication.

The people in charge of the Fuck You Care Plan, now with added Fuck. You.!

Via Raw Story.

ETA: In the comments, I included a link to yet another callous rethuglican, who made a very nasty remark about mammograms. The tweetstream following his notpology is very long, and a good many people brought up a very important point: men also have breasts, and yes, they can get breast cancer too. This is not brought up enough, and men, seriously, if you find you have a lump, get your self to a doctor, immediately! Ignoring such a thing leads to one place: death. Also, manhandle your breasts every month, have a check for anything suspicious. If you have a partner, it can be fun to check each other!

The Male Breast Cancer Coalition.

So Much For An Investigation.

Nunes, speaks with reporters outside the White House on Wednesday following a meeting with President Trump. CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais.

Nunes, speaks with reporters outside the White House on Wednesday following a meeting with President Trump. CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais.

House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) claims to have evidence that President Donald Trump was surveilled after all.

During a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday, FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers both said they know of no information supporting the president’s allegation. They also confirmed that President Trump’s connections with Russia are under investigation. On Wednesday, however, Nunes called a press conference and said he “recently confirmed that on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition.”

He framed his claim as big news.

And there’s a problem. It’s not big news. It’s not a vindication. It is obstruction of justice, which Nunes doesn’t seem to be overly concerned about.

But incidental collection isn’t uncommon when American citizens are in touch with foreign agents. Leaks regarding Michael Flynn’s talks with the Russian ambassador were what led to Flynn’s ouster as Trump’s national security adviser, because they confirmed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence regarding the substance of those talks.

Any intelligence report detailing communications between Trump transition officials and foreign agents would be classified. But instead of bringing whatever information he has to the attention of the intelligence community, Nunes addressed reporters and then headed straight to the White House to inform the target of an ongoing FBI investigation.

[…]

After talking to the president, Nunes again faced the media and contradicted himself about what his evidence means, saying in the same breath that it both supports and refutes Trump’s wiretap allegations. He was also evasive about where the alleged surveillance occurred, who it targeted, and what form it took.

Yes, that happens when you don’t have evidence, and you simply make shit up out of whole cloth.

On MSNBC, Jeremy Bash, former chief of staff for the CIA, said he’s “never heard of a chairman of an oversight committee going to brief the president of the United States about concerns he has about things he’s read in intelligence reports.”

“The job of the committee is to do oversight over the executive branch — not to bring them in to their investigation or tip them off to things they may have been looking at,” Bash added. “I’ve gotta believe other members of the committee are horrified at what they just witnessed.”

I certainly hope someone other than all us reading about this are horrified. This is not on the same level of Keystone farce the rest of the regime show has been, this is very serious, and it should be taken seriously, and be investigated properly.

In a statement, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Community, released a statement saying that whatever information Nunes has “should have been shared with members of the committee” before the president was informed.

“The Chairman also shared this information with the White House before providing it to the committee, another profound irregularity, given that the matter is currently under investigation,” Schiff said. “I have expressed my grave concerns with the Chairman that a credible investigation cannot be conducted this way.”

I fully agree. It remains to be seen if a proper, credible investigation can even take place inside the big ol’ circus tent which used to be a government.

As chair of the Intelligence Committee, Nunes is currently overseeing the House’s investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia.

Right. An oversight chair who is going to go running to the press with nonsense every 5 seconds, and while busy decrying leaks, running off to leak to the Tiny Tyrant at every opportunity.

Think Progress has the full story.

Cybercrime? Missing and Exploited Kids? Who Cares?

Secret Service members wait with a motorcade before President-elect Donald Trump disembarks his plane in Hebron, Ky., on Dec. 1, 2016. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post).

Secret Service members wait with a motorcade before President-elect Donald Trump disembarks his plane in Hebron, Ky., on Dec. 1, 2016. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post).

The Washington Post has an in-depth look at just how much the Tiny Tyrant is costing in protection. We already know the cost of his constant weekend mini-vacations, at over three million a pop; the unbelievable cost of attempting to protect all of Trump Tower in New York City because the wife and kid refuse to move to Washington, and the constant and mounting cost of following the other Trump kids all over the world, as they attempt to con people out of money.

The Secret Service has requested that additional funds be directed their way, to try and offset the enormous cost. It’s not likely to be approved by the Tiny Tyrant, so the money will have to be found elsewhere. The Secret Service doesn’t just protect the current inhabitants of the white house, it also investigates things like cybercrime, and missing and exploited children cases. It rather looks like those things won’t be investigated much now.

The U.S. Secret Service requested $60 million in additional funding for the next year, offering the most precise estimate yet of the escalating costs for travel and protection resulting from the unusually complicated lifestyle of the Trump family, according to internal agency documents reviewed by The Washington Post.

Nearly half of the additional money, $26.8 million, would pay to protect President Trump’s family and private home in New York’s Trump Tower, the documents show, while $33 million would be spent on travel costs incurred by “the president, vice president and other visiting heads of state.”

The documents, part of the Secret Service’s request for the fiscal 2018 budget, reflect the costly surprise facing Secret Service agents tasked with guarding the president’s large and far-flung family, accommodating their ambitious travel schedules and fortifying the three-floor Manhattan penthouse where first lady Melania Trump and her son, Barron, live.

Trump has spent most of his weekends since inauguration at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, and his sons have traveled the world to promote Trump properties with Secret Service agents in tow.

Go have a read, and see just how much your pockets are being picked.

The Dubious Dealings of Shite Supremacists.

NPI.

NPI.

The largest donor to Richard Spencer’s nonprofit National Policy Institute had no idea the funds were going to a white nationalist.

A Georgia community group, the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area, gave $25,000 to Spencer’s group in 2013 and 2014, according to three years of tax returns Spencer provided to the Los Angeles Times.

The community foundation, which receives much of its funding from the Masters golf tournament and promotes a wide range of philanthropy, gives away between $5 million to $9 million a year, according to the newspaper.

Neither Berry nor Spencer would reveal the original donor’s identity, the newspaper reported, and those funds were then funneled through the community foundation in a common arrangement in the charity world.

The foundation’s chief executive, Shell K. Berry, told the Times that money was given to Spencer’s group as part of a “donor-advised fund,” a common arrangement for charitable groups where donors give money to one organization with the intention of those funds being passed on to others.

Not being a rich person, I’m not so sure that the “donor-advised fund” leaves everyone involved innocently unaware of where the money was going. I have to think that some people certainly did know. I know that if I had $25,000 to give, I’d be very sure of where it was going.

Spencer, who says the nonprofit organization is his full-time job, collected salaries of $3,156 in 2013, $7,984 in 2014 and $13,275 in 2015, according to the tax returns.

The records also show the National Policy Institute used donor money to pay off more than $26,000 in credit card debt since 2011.

Spencer refused to tell the Times how that debt was accumulated, saying those details weren’t important.

Oh, the devil is in the details, as the old saying goes. Those tax returns certainly strike me as suspect, but I’m not an agent of the IRS.

The white nationalist also declined to tell the newspaper how he supports himself financially, but a recent report by the Center for Investigative Reporting showed his parents received at least $2 million in federal farming subsidies over the last decade.

Goodness. I guess part and parcel of the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States is to game the system, then sit back and blame it on all those brown people who happen to be poor. That’s quite the gig.

The Times reported last week that Spencer’s group lost its tax-exempt status after failing to file required forms with the IRS.

Spencer stated that was an embarrassing mistake, and the NPI’s bookkeeper has been fired. A bookkeeper, fancy that. I wonder if they were getting by on three thousand a year, too.

Via Raw Story.

The Key to Republican Votes? More Cruelty.

Disney.

Disney.

It seems the key to all the Republican Cruellas is Cruelty. The Fuck You Care Plan was looking at crashing and burning, but the two prime Cruellas, Trump and Ryan, have found a way to pull in the reluctant rethugs, who felt the “replacement” was simply too kind.

In a sane world, the problem with the House’s Trumpcare bill would be that it kicks 14 million people off of their health insurance in year one and uses the savings to give rich people a big tax cut.

In our world, though, the problem for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was that scores of his own members didn’t think the bill was harsh enough. With only a couple dozen votes to spare in the House, and party leaders rushing toward a vote to minimize public scrutiny, the initial revolt was enough to force tweaks.

Those changes landed Monday night in the form of a “manager’s amendment” to the Trumpcare proposal. The amendment makes Medicaid cuts even deeper, frees up governors to raid the program to plug other budget holes, and ends Medicaid expansion under Obamacare much sooner than Ryan’s original bill.

This would be why there was the previous insistence of a vote first, without looking over the changes. No one is being allowed all that close of a look, however, so there are no estimates as to how many people this version will screw over. You can be certain it will be more.

The new version accelerates that process of shoving poor, disabled, and elderly people off a health care cliff. Medicaid expansion would freeze immediately rather than in two years. While the 11 million slightly-less-poor-than-the-poverty-line Americans who today receive health insurance thanks to Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid would technically be grandfathered in, there’s a false bottom to their recently-gained financial and medical security.

Anyone whose coverage lapses, or who takes a seasonal job that bumps their income up too high to be covered, would not be able to re-enroll in Medicaid after that blip. At the same time, the topline reductions in federal Medicaid spending would create fiscal attrition, effectively forcing states to throw Medicaid expansion patients back into the uninsured gutter a bit more quickly than the first version of Trumpcare.

The amendment also adds a cash incentive for states to impose work requirements for non-pregnant, non-disabled, non-elderly Medicaid recipients. Work requirements in anti-poverty programs are a longstanding and bipartisan white whale, despite their failure to achieve anything other than higher poverty rates.

Medicaid will be no exception, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities health care policy expert Judy Solomon told ThinkProgress. “While most adults on Medicaid already do work, the work requirement would likely prevent other eligible people from enrolling, including, for example, a young adult attending college, a married mother taking care of an infant, or an adult caring for an aging parent,” Solomon said.

There really is no limit to just how much rethuglicans want to stomp all over poor people. I expect what they’d truly like to do is “cull the herd”, but as that might meet some hard edged resistance, this slow way of killing people will have to do.

A few key low-ranking Republicans have already hinted the changes will secure their votes. A dozen members of the hard-right Republican Study Committee summoned to the White House on Friday agreed to embrace Trumpcare if the deeper Medicaid cuts were added, Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) told the Washington Post.

Is everyone feeling loved by their representatives?

The amendments to Trumpcare effectively trade American lives for Republican votes. Like its predecessor, the 2.0 version is a swindle masquerading as technical, wonky reform. It will take medical care away from low-income families, which will mean more people in those families die sooner than they would have if they could still afford insurance coverage.

The bodies will be piling up against The Great Gold Curtain.

Via Think Progress.

Oh yes, almost forgot – this is what the Tiny Tyrant is concerned about:

According to CNN, Trump began his meeting with Republicans by congratulating himself for the crowd size at a Monday night rally in Louisville, Kentucky. The president warned that the value of his earned media would be diminished if the health care bill fails.

“We won’t have these crowds if we don’t get this done,” he reportedly complained.

There Was A Wiretap!

Brian R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images.

Brian R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images.

Oh my. There was a wire “tapp”. It was in 2013, in pursuit of Russian mobsters inhabiting Trump Towers. The Daily Kos has an excellent breakdown. Contrary to what Trumpholes might think, this isn’t, in any way, good news for the Tiny Tyrant. This simply highlights unsavoury and possibly illegal ties, and illuminates the nest of lies which pass for facts in Trumpland.

Via Daily KosABC News reports that the FBI obtained a warrant to eavesdrop on “a sophisticated Russian organized crime money laundering network that operated out of unit 63A in Trump Tower” starting in 2011 and ending in 2013.

ABC News notes that the FBI’s investigation into the mobsters led “to a federal grand jury indictment of more than 30 people, including one of the world’s most notorious Russian mafia bosses, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov.” Despite the fact that the scheme was being run out of Trump Tower, Trump himself was not implicated in the FBI’s indictment.

Although Tokhtakhounov evaded arrest in the early part of 2013, he did manage to publicly resurface later that year when he appeared at the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in November — where he was spotted near Donald Trump in the VIP section.

Oh look, there’s Donnie, happily hanging with the other villains. Trump’s insistence that he “doesn’t know any of these people” is such a weak attempt at covering up, I’m surprised he’s trying it on. Ah well, Trumpholes will swallow anything.

Trump in 2013 took to Twitter to express excitement about attending the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow that year, and even wondered if Russian President Vladimir Putin would become his “new best friend.”

Yes. Look how that’s turned out. Tsk.

Via Daily Kos, ABC News, and Raw Story.

The Hidden History of A Homicidal Cop.

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo holds Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold. CREDIT: YouTube/New York Daily News.

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo holds Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold. CREDIT: YouTube/New York Daily News.

The cop who murdered Eric Garner is still employed. As of last year, his salary was $119,996 , a 14% increase over what he was making when he murdered Garner. A person could get ideas about that. I certainly have number of ideas, none of them painting cops in a good light. Think Progress has gotten an exclusive look at hidden documents which highlight Pantaleo’s past behaviour as a cop, and it’s not a good record in any way. The article is long and in-depth, so head on over for a read.

Now, documents obtained exclusively by ThinkProgress indicate that Pantaleo, who is still employed by the NPYD, had a history of breaking the rules. These records are the subject of an ongoing lawsuit, and the city refuses to release them.

Before he put Garner in the chokehold, the records show, he had seven disciplinary complaints and 14 individual allegations lodged against him. Four of those allegations were substantiated by an independent review board.

Neither Pantaleo nor the NYPD responded to Think Progress requests for comment.

EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENTS: The disturbing secret history of the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner.

Trump-Russia Ties Confirmed.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta.

FBI Director James Comey opened Monday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing with a big reveal: The FBI is, in fact, investigating Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election, including links between the Trump campaign and Russian government and any coordination between the two.

Naturally, this led to the appearance of a rabid Mr. Tweet again. The multiple tweets can be seen at Think Progress and Raw Story. A certain sense of weariness sets in when I once again glance at the manic ravings of Mr. Tweet, but I can’t help but notice just how stuck the Tiny Tyrant is, like a skipping needle on a glaring scratch. Without fail, he always regresses back to the election, the one moment where he felt competent. He continues to bring up Ms. Clinton, like a superannuated revivalist preacher, terrified of letting go of one thing he knows will whip up a froth among his faithful. In the same manner, he drags back the old bone of the electoral college, desperately trying to remind people of his big “win”.

Then, of course, there’s the old “Fake! Fake I say!”, this time over a CNN poll, which points to plummeting approval ratings. Mr. Tweet scorns CNN, while patting the head of FOX, seeming to be blissfully unaware of a FOX poll which also showed a tremendously decreasing amount of confidence and approval in the Tiny Tyrant. Oops. The Tiny Tyrant demonstrates his own lack of relevance, by continually parroting the recent past, unable to move on, and unwilling to face the realities of being a despot who does something other than tweet and continually take 3 million dollar weekends.

This directly contradicts statements made both by President Trump himself as well as his administration. Monday morning — likely in anticipation of Comey’s hearing — Trump tweeted that any insinuation of collusion between him and Russia is “FAKE NEWS” and that Democrats simply invented the scandal. He nevertheless insisted that the leakers responsible for that information getting out should be investigated.

Oh yes, that too. What is becoming yet another old, old song, “Leaker!” Perhaps, given the rumours about the Tiny Tyrant’s obsession with having people leak on the beds of his enemies, he should attempt to find a different word. Unfortunately for him, people will talk, that’s one of those things people do.

In the wake of Comey’s confirmation of the investigation, it remains to be seen if the congressional Republicans defending Trump will continue to insist that the FBI should be investigating the leaks of the classified information that raise these concerns, but not the concerns themselves.

Think Progress has the full story. For a quick rundown:

 

The Poisonous Glee of Paul Ryan.

Another one heads to President Trump’s desk. This legislation allows states to have drug testing to receive federal unemployment benefits.

Another one heads to President Trump’s desk. This legislation allows states to have drug testing to receive federal unemployment benefits.

Last year, President Obama’s Department of Labor issued a regulation restricting the number of unemployment insurance beneficiaries that would be subject to drug testing. The move infuriated Republicans like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who had made such a program a centerpiece of his agenda.

Despite their vows to eliminate wasteful government spending, the Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump are now poised to overturn that rule — despite significant evidence that similar drug testing regimes cost a lot more than they save.

In February, the House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 42  — nearly along party lines — disapproving the regulation. Because such rules are not subject to filibuster, the Senate approved the same last week on Friday 51–48, strictly along party lines. The Trump administration has indicated it “strongly supports” the effort, making it very likely the bill will be signed very soon.

A smiling Ryan could barely contain his glee, tweeting out a picture of himself signing the House version of the resolution, alongside its author, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX).

That crushing sensation? Oh, that’s the federal thumb of the regime over your head, about to come down. All that constant talk about getting “government” out of peoples’ lives. Hmmm, what happened to that not so brave sentiment? It seems to be limited to removing healthcare. Unfortunately, people are still refusing to see and understand what is happening to them, and amazingly enough, there’s still a great deal of blind trust in the Tiny Tyrant, “oh, he wouldn’t do anything bad!” Even people who do understand simply sigh and have another beer. (That’s explained in the AJC link.)

Many states — including Ryan and Walker’s home state of Wisconsin —  have adopted rules in recent years to require beneficiaries of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to be screened for drug use. ThinkProgress published examinations of the 2014 and 2015 data provided by each state with those rules and found that the states paid millions of dollars to implement the testing and combined to find only hundreds of positive tests.

[…]

TANF is a federal welfare program through which the states provide aid to their poorest citizens. Unemployment is an insurance program; employers are required to pay-in to it for their employees during the time they are employed. Now, in Wisconsin and other states that followed its lead, people will have to endure drug screening just to get access to their own insurance benefits.

Emphasis mine. Right. A massive waste of money, to no point at all, outside of punishing people for not being wealthy. Now, there’s going to be an even bigger waste of money! But it’s not some kind of commie socialist plot, like healthcare, so I guess it’s all okay. Yep, everything is grand behind the Gold Curtain.

Via Think Progress.