Do the Scandals Matter? Not to Trumpholes.

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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.

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.

What Is It About Wisconsin?

Rep. Glenn Grothman (YouTube).

Rep. Glenn Grothman (YouTube).

Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Glenn Grothman…is there some pool deep in the wilds of Wisconsin that tosses out empathy-devoid politicians? Grothman has decided that it is very necessary to cut federal aid to students because … goodies. Yep, goodies.

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) complained Tuesday during a congressional hearing that low-income students are spending their Pell Grant funds on commercial goods that he deems unnecessary, reported Inside Higher Ed.

“I know in many ways in this country we hate the middle class,” Grothman said. “We love the rich, we love the poor and we hate the middle class.

Wait, wait, wait, wait. “We” love the poor? Since when has anyone or anything rethuglican demonstrated a love for poor people? The constant efforts to strip every teensy safety net is love? Yeah, definitely Nineteen Eighty-Four here.

People wonder why — sometimes they use the Pell Grants, too, for goodies and electronics, and they resent the fact that by doing it right, their kids are penalized.”

Uh, most middle class kids have all the goodies and electronics, y’know. I realize it’s probably been a hundred or so years since Mr. Grothman has seen the inside of a classroom, but these days, it’s rather important to have those goodies and electronics. Things do change over the years, sir. I’m still a bit at a loss over just what constitutes “goodies”. Computers and phones are pretty much standard equipment these days, and quite necessary in pursuit of your education.

Grothman complained that poor students were given grant aid that he believes is largely subsidized by the middle class, and he said those taxpayers are resentful that their own children must take out loans to pay for their education.

He “believes”? How about some evidence? That would be good. You aren’t supposed to govern based on your opinion.

“People get tired of the American government hating the middle class, and they have to kick in for their kids’ programs, so their (own) kids have to take out loans,” Grothman said. “Well, the kids from some other families seem to get things for free.”

Oh gods. Yet another fucking idiot who doesn’t have the slightest idea of how things work, or just how damn difficult it is for kids in poverty to attain college, or how hard you have to work to get a grant in the first bloody place. No recognition of all those kids who don’t make the cut for a grant, either. Of course, if America was the kind of country that actually gave a shit about its citizens, an education wouldn’t cost much, if anything, at all. Other countries have such a system, and they have smart, happy, productive people. Oh, but that would be socialist, oh no! And yes, to fund such a system, you have to pay taxes, but it is to the benefit of everyone. Here in Amerikka, if the bloated military budget was brought down to be in line with most other countries, you wouldn’t even have to raise taxes by much. You could educate a whole lot of peoples with that money. This would also mean completely overhauling the fucked up college system here, too. Much better to just make sure poor kids can’t ever get in.

He suggested first-year students should be ineligible for Pell Grants so the government was not “wasting money” on students who won’t graduate.

“At least have, for your freshman year, have the kids who aren’t in the middle class take out loans like the kids in the middle class already have to,” Grothman said. “That way you could make sure that everybody was going to college after are more serious about college. Do you think that would be a fair thing to do?”

No, I don’t think that’s fair at all. No one should have to go into debt to get a fucking education. That is something a government should provide. Insisting poverty ridden students get into equal debt of their middle class peers is not fair. And why do I have this feeling that what you really mean by “students who won’t graduate” are women, who are only in college to husband hunt, because of course they don’t want an education, no.

Grothman also claimed he had “anecdotal evidence” that Pell Grants, which are allocated based on financial need, discourage students from getting married so their income remained low enough to qualify for aid.

“If you don’t get married, of course, it’s easier to remain in poverty and not get Pell Grants,” he said. “I’ve heard it from several people.”

AAUUUUGGH NO NO NO. That’s it – it’s more than obvious Grothman had no fucking education whatsoever, and any fucking idiot who uses anecdotal evidence as if it means something – that should immediately disqualify you from the job. What. A. Fucking. Idiot.

Via Raw Story.

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.

Outside the Gold Curtain: Ugly Americans.

Students party on a beach in Cancun (Screen cap).

Students party on a beach in Cancun (Screen cap).

The Gold Curtain is on its way down, to encompass oh-so-special Amerikka, but unfortunately, the ugly is still escaping, and is busy leaving trails of Trumpslime all over the place.

CANCUN — What would be a dream night for Suly and Anaximandro Amable, a newly married couple who went to Cancun for their honeymoon, became a bitter experience on Monday March 13.

During a family show on the high seas, young American spring breakers began to sing the controversial “Build That Wall” chant, which shocked Mexican national tourists and workers.

This is just one of the many blameworthy behaviors that young spring breakers have shown recently in Cancun and that are described as acts of xenophobia and discrimination against Mexicans within their own country, which is (or should be) totally unacceptable.

Anaximandro, from Perú, made the following statement on social networks: “Today I was with Suly, my wife (who is a native of Mexico), watching an entertainment show off the coast of Cancun aboard a boat, and at the end of the show, a flock of Americans (maybe under the influence of alcohol, or maybe not), began to sing the infamous “Build that wall” chant louder and louder”.

[…]

Several Mexican tourists on board the ship expressed their annoyance, but the Americans did not stop at all and continued singing the racist hymn.

This situation is far from being an isolated incident, and it adds to the growing number of complaints from tourism sector workers, who point out that in recent days many Spring Breakers have been offensive, rude and haughty towards Mexican people.

This is way beyond embarrassing. Light years beyond. This is a type of terrorism: ugly, screaming, insistent braggadocio of invasive idiots, who are utterly certain of their greatness and specialness. Well, you’re special alright, you excel at being fucking idiots. Here, have a teeny star for mindless braying, never once having a thought invade those shit filled heads, about how you would feel, if upon arrival for your drunken revelry, you were greeted with “Back behind the Gold Curtain!” and swiftly expelled from a place you expected to enjoy. Americans have a tendency to assume they are oh so grand, and of course, always welcome, and oh yes, always right. There’s little realization of just how many Americans are poisonous, entitlement-stuffed bigots, whose mouths are one hundred times larger than their brains. Many times, even when that’s realized, there’s a bit of scuffing, grabbing a broom to sweep such under the rug, and an assumption of innocence. This doesn’t even cover the exceptional stupidity attached to exceptionally ugly Americans: they are spending money in the country they so denigrate. Heeeeeey, we’re spending Amerikkkan money here, so we have a perfect right to be shit-filled, obnoxious fucking idiots! Yaaaaay Amerikkka!

Christ. I’d think such fucking idiots would have been insistent on being really truly good Amerikkans, and spending behind the Gold Curtain, in Florida or something. Guess the good ol’ USA ain’t good enough for the Trumpholes.

Given the incredible ugliness of too many Americans, I don’t think it’s going to be long before other countries decide they have had enough, and just ban us all. If you want a fine example of the ugly I’m talking about, head on over to the Yucatan Times, and read the comments. You might want to make sure you have an empty stomach.

Via The Yucatan Times.

A Congress of Tantrums: No, Vote First!

paul-ryan

There’s the face of Republican empathy, folks. Are you impressed? Didn’t think so. Ryan is emulating the Tiny Tyrant, and going with the Tantrum Method. This is one of those days I could just slam my head into a wall, yelling loudly “this is not how a fucking government is supposed to fucking work, noooo!” As that wouldn’t do much good, I’ll refrain and just cuss my head off here. The Fuck You Care Plan (FYCP) is meeting resistance from both sides of the aisle, and now Ryan is insisting that a vote is taken before the changes made to it can be scrutinized. Remind you of recalcitrant 3 year old? “No! Swallow it without looking first!” I don’t think so, Paulie. You’re a tad too toxic for that kind of nonsense.

Speaker Paul Ryan announced Sunday he would be willing to make major changes to the Republican health care bill this week, but not push back the scheduled vote Thursday. He’s considering those changes in response to division among party members over the bill in its current form: conservatives say they won’t vote for it because it’s “Obamacare-lite,” while moderates are spooked by the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment that 24 million Americans stand to lose coverage if it passes, among other warning signs.

He told Chris Wallace Sunday that unspecified changes would “help bring market freedom and regulatory relief to the insurance markets to dramatically lower the price of the plan for the 50- and 60-year-olds.” Other changes under discussion would impose work requirements for people receiving Medicaid benefits and increase tax credits for older Americans.

Oh, there’s a poison pill. Ryan has been trying to kill medicare for years. As for the regulatory blather, don’t be falling for that crap, either. Every single person in uStates is about to get royally screwed by all the deregulation, oh, pardon, not everyone. The billionaires will be okay. The rest of us, we’ll be screwed over, and we will be living on poisoned land, rivers which will once again burn, choking on pollution, dealing with food scarcity, no healthcare, all while trying to figure out how not to get screwed over financially by every single company we have to deal with in daily life. Oh, right, FYCP. Okay, here’s the little poster boy for sociopathy:

But Ryan wants members of Congress to vote on the updated bill before they know what its impact on constituents will be. The House will still vote on Thursday, before the CBO has a chance to make another assessment.

Emphasis mine. This is not how a government runs. It is how a regime runs, even if those in it are still trying to deny the switchover.

Still, Ryan says he is confident it will pass, despite his own admission that major components are still under construction. “The reason I feel so good about this is because the president has become a great closer. He’s the one who has helped negotiate changes to this bill with members from all over our caucus.”

This is not a godsdamned corporate raiding thing, you fucking dimwitted monstrous asshole. It’s supposed to be a fucking government. Wait, what am I saying? Yeah, it’s a corporate raider thing these days. Sorry, I’ve been accustomed to a government most of my life.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote Ryan last week and demanded he give the CBO an opportunity to analyze the changes health care bill before any floor vote.

“Republicans are terrified the American people will see the reality of their disastrous TrumpCare bill. If the GOP are afraid of the public having the facts about their bill, they shouldn’t be voting on it,” Pelosi said in a statement released Sunday after Republicans announced they will not wait for the CBO.

Yeah, that’s the truth, but what good is it going to do? FYCP it’s gonna be, praised to the skies by the filthy rich here behind the Gold Curtain.

Via Think Progress.

Paul Ryan’s Fantasy Life.

CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

Unfortunately, this is not as amusing as the rest of today’s posts. It’s not amusing at all. There’s no more hedging or obfuscation over The Fuck You Plan, Trump has been interviewed, and admitted it will aid rich people and fuck over the poor (and everyone else), and now Ryan is blathering away about just how long he has yearned to rip healthcare away from people. From where I sit, this isn’t fantasy, it’s an obsession, an evil one.

…And, if you were House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), it was a time to dream about how, someday, you would take health care away from millions of poor people.

In a conversation with the National Review’s Rich Lowry on Friday, Ryan bragged about how conservatives now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take health coverage away from the most vulnerable Americans.

“So Medicaid,” Ryan told Lowry, “sending it back to the states, capping its growth rate. We’ve been dreaming of this since I’ve been around — since you and I were drinking at a keg. . . . I’ve been thinking about this stuff for a long time. We’re on the cusp of doing something we’ve long believed in.”

Ryan is 47 years old, which means that, if he started “drinking at a keg” early in his college career, he’s fantasized about all the poor people who could be stripped of health care for nearly three decades.

And he’s downright gleeful about finally being able to culminate his long standing obsession. Why? Why are these people voted in to government in the first place? I do not want to belong to a country in which its so-called leaders have long standing fantasies about fucking people over in the worst possible way, and spend their whole lives in pursuit of that fantasy. People like Ryan should be ashamed, and wondering just what in the fuck is wrong with them, but that never seems to happen.

Full story at Think Progress.

Aaaaand, We Are Back to Reefer Madness.

The famous ending

The famous ending

Oh, the regressive idiocy never ends. The manufactured war on drugs has caused an untold amount of misery, primarily in the form of people being tossed into a prison without a glance, or worse, shot to death by those oh so valiant drug hunting cops. (Deep sarcasm, in case you’re hard of sarcasm.) Jeff Sessions, bigot extraordinaire, and asshole ignoramus has decided we need to go straight back to the days of Tell Your Children. Yes, lies, oh lies are wonderful! And just when we, as a society, were finally making some progress on the whole weed front. A nice smoke now and then goes a long way with my pain issues, but as I’m a pain patient, I’m under the federal thumb, and am routinely drug tested as a requirement to receiving scrips for mild pain meds. There may have been a shot at medical weed, but not any more. Fuck Sessions, and fuck the so-called war on drugs. Mano Singham has an excellent post up which tangentially addresses that manufactured mess. In that post, he quotes a bit from John Ehrlichman:

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Harper’s writer Dan Baum for the April cover story published Tuesday.

“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

And that’s the truth, right there. This shit has been going on all my life, and all it has done is fuel the prison complex, enable murderous cops, and cost taxpayers an obscene amount of money. There is no “war on drugs”. You’ll note that it’s never one, or even two specific drugs that remain a constant in this war, because that doesn’t keep the money pouring in to militarize cops even more. No, there’s always a new, terrifying “epidemic”, oh my yes! When I was a sophomore in high school, it moved from weed to speed. I still remember the stupid anti-drug comics which were handed out. They had as much value as a Chick tract. It’s just fucking propaganda, the same old propaganda. This is what they looked like:

14-15

Freedom Road. Full comic here.

Actually, it’s this specific image I remember, the rest not so much:

02

Anyroad, as most people will have noticed, it’s always a “new” drug “crisis”, weed, heroin, speed, coke, crack, meth, and on and on. Right now, we’re doing the prescription opiates “crisis”. You’ll also have noted, I’m sure, that none of these so-called crises are ever actually dealt with before moving on to the next exciting drug to titillate the masses and incite fear. And here we go the fuck again, back to weed.

Marijuana users and heroin addicts are basically the same, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday in Richmond, Virginia.

“I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana — so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful,” said Sessions. He went on to call for a revival of hardline ’80s- and ‘90s-style “educating people and telling them the terrible truth about drugs.”

“Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life,” Sessions said.

For someone on a bar stool arguing with his friends, this would be a stupid but harmless “hot take.” But for the top law enforcement official in a nation of 320 million people, it’s a malicious string of lies intended to justify dangerous policies.

Sessions’ mockery of the idea that marijuana could help people struggling with opiate addiction is especially frustrating to Steve Miller, who retired as a sergeant after 18 years on a suburban Detroit police force and now works as a private investigator at a lawfirm specializing in medical marijuana cases.

“He’s out of reality in that statement. Marijuana has proven to be very beneficial medically for people. And there are studies coming out now showing it is helping people get off their opiate and heroin addictions, and showing it helps kick alcohol addiction as well,” Miller, one of many law enforcement professionals who advocates to end marijuana prohibition, told ThinkProgress. “I don’t know where his medical training comes from that he makes these statements.”

Oh well, that one’s easy, Sessions doesn’t have any medical training. He doesn’t have as much training as your average dog. Sessions is dragging out one of the oldest, most incorrect of all drug propagandism: “it’s just as bad as heroin!!111!!!” There is no reason for this bullshit to be waved about again, especially not by a suspect attorney general. As pointed out in Mano Singham’s post, this is to largely fuel the prison industrial complex. How else can you legally enslave people and get your labor done for free? This is absolutely intolerable, and people should not put up with it for one second. Unfortunately, I’ve had many years in which to watch people fall for this utter bullshit time and time again. It’s time to wake up.

Think Progress has the full story.

“Palace Intrigue.” “Loyalists.”

MW-FA026_trump__20161111070915_ZH

MarketWatch photo illustration/Shutterstock.

Palace intrigue. Loyalists. What country is this again? From the sound of it, we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque or something. Politico has in-depth look at the paranoia-infused administration regime, where people admit to being paranoid, while paranoia is also dismissed. The whole thing is a dismantled mess, more resembling Bedlam of yore than any type of government. Splintered, running on mistrust, paranoia, and lies, all on a wobbly base of fake news fueled insanity.  And of course, the gold-plated unpresident, who can’t seem to find time for anything, um, presidential, but once again resorts to Mr. Tweet, going after Snoop Dogg, who does not seem to have bothered noticing the gold menace.

A culture of paranoia is consuming the Trump administration, with staffers increasingly preoccupied with perceived enemies — inside their own government.

In interviews, nearly a dozen White House aides and federal agency staffers described a litany of suspicions: that rival factions in the administration are trying to embarrass them, that civil servants opposed to President Donald Trump are trying to undermine him, and even that a “deep state” of career military and intelligence officials is out to destroy them.

Aides are going to great lengths to protect themselves. They’re turning off work-issued smartphones and putting them in drawers when they arrive home from work out of fear that they could be used to eavesdrop. They’re staying mum in meetings out of concern that their comments could be leaked to the press by foes.

Many are using encrypted apps that automatically delete messages once they’ve been read, or are leaving their personal cellphones at home in case their bosses initiate phone checks of the sort that press secretary Sean Spicer deployed last month to try to identify leakers on his team.

It’s an environment of fear that has hamstrung the routine functioning of the executive branch. Senior advisers are spending much of their time trying to protect turf, key positions have remained vacant due to a reluctance to hire people deemed insufficiently loyal, and Trump’s ambitious agenda has been eclipsed by headlines surrounding his unproven claim that former President Barack Obama tapped his phone lines at Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign.

One senior administration aide, who like most others interviewed for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the degree of suspicion had created a toxicity that is unsustainable.

“People are scared,” he said, adding that the Trump White House had become “a pretty hostile environment to work in.”

[…]

One senior aide said staffers have become almost obsessed by daily news accounts of palace intrigue and spend hours in the office dissecting them in hopes of deciphering who is dishing — and who is trying to hurt whom.

Another Republican who is close to the White House said junior-level staffers are simply “mimicking what they’re seeing at the top … Everyone at the top is so suspicious that it trickles down the org chart, so everyone has become paranoid and suspicious.”

The distrust, some contend, isn’t unfounded.

“I wouldn’t call it paranoia under the circumstances,” said a Republican who communicates with many administration aides through encrypted apps. “It’s not paranoia if people really are out to get you, and everybody actually is out to get everyone else.”

Many staffers say they don’t like the idea that supervisors — or anyone else — could have access to their emails. Some have taken to using secure messengers like Confide and Signal in order to communicate on their personal phones. One program gaining popularity within the administration is Wickr, which allows users to set an expiration time on how long an unread message can remain in a recipient’s inbox before it self-destructs.

The encryption programs can’t be accessed from White House-issued phones, which prevent users from downloading most apps. There are no restrictions on employees using encrypted apps on their personal phones, the White House official said, as long as they’re not being used to conduct official business.

The most stress, however, may be outside the West Wing, in executive branch agencies, where staffers worry about career bureaucrats who are hostile to Trump.

The whole article is excellent, and quite disturbing. Recommended reading.

In keeping with all the palace paranoia, there’s been a showdown between Mattis and the palace:

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis reportedly told the White House he would resign unless a Trump campaign loyalist was removed from her job.

DefenseNews reported on Wednesday that supporters of Mattis were expecting the White House to reassign Mira Ricardel from her job at the Office of Presidential Personnel.

According to the report, Ricardel is a former member of Trump’s campaign who is seen as “a loyal soldier who is looking out for the interests of the President.”

Sources told DefenseNews that Ricardel was “a roadblock for nominees,” making it difficult for Mattis to fill top-level positions at the Pentagon.

Ricardel has allegedly imposed an ideological purity test that blocked many potential nominees. Sources said that the White House has blacklisted all candidates who signed “never Trump” letters during the election.

A source within the administration said that Ricardel’s opposition to “politically unacceptable” candidates was seen as a “badge of honor” in the White House.

“Mattis told the White House either Mira goes, or he walks,” one Pentagon source explained to Defense News. “They blinked.”

That full story is here. I have no doubt there will be more intrigue oozing out of Bedlam, and no doubt, Mr. Tweet will be back once again.

The Response to Open White Supremacy.

Tucker Viemeister.

Tucker Viemeister.

Well, the response to Rep. Steve King’s open embrace of white supremacy has been, as Mrs. Slocombe would say, weak as water, weak as water!

In his Monday press briefing, Sean Spicer told a reporter who asked about Trump’s reaction to the tweet that he would have to check with the president to see what he thought. On Tuesday, Spicer clarified: “This is not a point of view he shares,” he said. That has been the White House’s only response.

Wow. There’s a bloodless response if there ever was one. Basically, a compleat non-response. The Tiny Tyrant doesn’t share that point of view, no, but all his actions speak to just how much he does share that view.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), initially responded to King’s comments through a spokesperson, who said “the speaker clearly disagrees and believes America’s long history of inclusiveness is one of its greatest strengths.”

Over 24 hours after King’s words hit Twitter, Ryan directly responded in a Fox interview, saying that he disagreed with King but that “I would like to think — and I haven’t spoken to Steve about this — I would like to think he misspoke, and it wasn’t meant the way it sounds, and I hope he’s clarified that.”

Oh, King misspoke. Right. I think it’s pretty damn clear that King did no such thing. He has held these views for decades, and he now feels supported enough to come right out with them, and stand by them without the slightest hint of apology. The apologetics have already started, with Nazis everywhere trying to somehow soften King’s words, and that no, his views aren’t really that stark, just y’know, he’s concerned and stuff.

For fuck’s sake, this wide open, blatant Nazism. We’re standing in it, folks, and it’s rising higher as you read. If you’re one of those people keeping their head down, ignoring everything, you’re going to drown in it first. Get that head up, open your eyes, pay attention, and get involved in The Resistance. This is seriously, horribly bad.

Via Think Progress.

The Political Email Entanglement: Wayne Tracker.

email

Oh, politicians and their email. If one is guilty of committing an email no-no, they all are. Honestly, it’s when politicians try to be smart that they plumb the depths of stupid. Emailitis is doing the rounds of many new appointees. We’ll start with Wayne Tracker, also known as Rex Tillerson. What a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive.

Another alias email account — that of “Wayne Tracker”— is poised to cause problems for a high-level official, this time former Exxon CEO and current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson used an alias email account from at least 2008 to 2015 to discuss climate change, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said in a court filing Monday.

Schneiderman, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and the Securities and Exchange Commission are currently investigating whether Exxon defrauded the public by engaging in a campaign to discredit climate science, propping up the value of its oil and gas reserves. The Wayne Tracker email account — Tillerson’s middle name is Wayne — was discovered in the course of the investigation, known as the Exxon Knew case.

“This is a significant development in Schneiderman’s investigation into what Exxon knew about climate change, when it knew it, and what the company did to conceal it,” Naomi Ages, Greenpeace’s lead on the climate liability project, said in a statement. “Was Rex Tillerson that worried about climate risks for Exxon? Or was he more worried about the risk of revealing them to his shareholders and to the public? Or was it both?”

Documents uncovered in 2015 suggest that as far back as the 1970s, Exxon scientists knew that burning fossil fuels were the primary contributor to climate change.

Environmentalists have long been saying that to prevent catastrophic climate change, humanity needs to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels. But Exxon — as well as the Koch brothers and other fossil fuel interests — have worked against that effort, funding attempts to discredit the theory of global warming.

It is illegal for a company to withhold liability risks from its shareholders.

[…]

It has come to light that, as governor of Indiana, now-Vice President Mike Pence conducted official business via an AOL account that was subsequently hacked.

[…]

EPA head Scott Pruitt’s emails are also under scrutiny. His former office, the Oklahoma Attorney General, is currently embroiled in a lawsuit to force the release of emails between Pruitt, his deputies, and oil and gas interests. Pruitt also used a private email account to conduct official business, a fact he denied during his Senate confirmation hearing.

For all the people screaming over Hillary Clinton using a private, secured server for emails, to the point of wanting her locked up, where’s all the yelling over Pruitt, Pence, and Tillerson? Why is it their particular fuck-ups and deliberate obfuscation and lying is okay? It’s not even making minor scandal points among the Trumpholes, which goes to show, I suppose, they never actually gave one tiny shit about Ms. Clinton’s emails, they simply used it as an excuse, and unfortunately, it’s one that worked, as we now find ourselves neck deep in a corrupt regime.

Think Progress has the full story.

McCrory: Sweet Schadenfreude.

Pat McCrory

Pat McCrory.

There are times schadenfreude is ever so sweet, and this is one of them. Pat McCrory, that eternal bigot, is now whining that his bigotry is interfering with him finding a job. It turns out that a lot of people aren’t terribly interested in hiring an attention-pandering bigot. Who knew?

In an interview with the Raleigh News & Observer, McCrory complained that his decision to champion HB2 — the infamous “bathroom bill” that banned transgender people from using the bathrooms of their choice — was hurting his career prospects.

“People are reluctant to hire me, because, ‘oh my gosh, he’s a bigot,’” McCrory explained to the newspaper. “Which is the last thing I am.”

Unfuckingbelievable. He still clings to this insistence that he’s not a bigot, oh no, why he’s a champion superhero, protecting peeing people!

McCrory said that while he’s been considered for part-time teaching positions at some universities, campuses have been reluctant to hire him over fears that he might spark a backlash among students, who would then respond with disruptive protests.

“That’s not the way our American system should operate – having people purged due to political thought,” he complained.

Oh no, don’t be dishonest, Pat. This isn’t a case of thought crime. You did much more than have an unpopular, stupid, bigoted political thought. You drove the bigoted HB2 at any and all cost, even when your own constituents stood against it, and you were costing your state millions upon millions of dollars. That’s different from having a political thought. Our ‘American’ system should not be stuffed to the rafters with incompetent bigots, either, but it is, and people have the right to oppose them, which they did. You lost your job through your own actions, and you have not taken one step back on your draconian views.

McCrory’s complaints echo similar comments he made recently during a podcast interview in which he claimed that “if you disagree with the politically correct thought police on this new definition of gender, you’re a bigot, you’re the worst of evil.”

Oh For Fuck’s Sake! You godsdamned piece of shit masquerading as a human being! Such a fucking liar. This has absolutely nothing to do with political correctness, nor thought police, nor a ‘new’ definition of gender, and you are a fucking bigot, a terrible, toxic, venomous one, and yes, you are on the side of evil. Someone should have, at some point, taught you there are consequences to both speech and actions. There are *four* pages on Affinity, all posts about McCrory’s evil legislation, and yet all he can manage to do is whine about what a victim he is. And here I thought it was only us SJW snowflakes who did that. Tsk.

Via Raw Story.