Trump Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About. Shocker.

Donald Trump (CPAC)

Oh here’s a big ol’ shocker – the Tiny Tyrant is running his mouth without the slightest hint of knowledge behind it. Mr. Tweet had a Twitter frenzy this morning, screeching out “Obamacare is dead!” and other shite. He kept spewing shit in an interview, making it as plain as could be that he doesn’t have the slightest idea of what comprises his “great new healthcare plan”. Fucking idiot.

In an interview with Face The Nation’s John Dickerson that aired Sunday, it appeared that President Donald Trump did not fully understand what was in the latest version of the Republican health care bill.

When Dickerson pushed Trump to acknowledge why there are critics of the bill, noting higher premiums for older people, Trump interrupted him to say that issue was fixed. Throughout the interview, Trump insisted that the latest version of the bill addressed all of the problems Dickerson mentioned, even though the bill has only become worse for low-income people, older people and people with pre-existing conditions.

When Dickerson asked Trump explain how higher premiums were “fixed” under the new health care bill, he didn’t have an answer.

Think Progress has the full story. Honestly, this level of incompetence should be an automatic disqualification.

Sunday Facepalm: Guns & Death Edition.

Image credit: STILLFX.

The NRA is all fired up by Donny’s sucking up. They really didn’t expect the Tiny Tyrant to win, and hadn’t planned on having a new target, as they were completely focused on Clinton. They’ve had to do a bit of scrambling to identify a new enemy, and as the Tiny Tyrant is doing such a good job of shoving his head up the NRA arse, they’re supporting him in the ‘enemy’ department.

But with President Trump’s win — unexpected even for many here at the NRA’s annual meeting — the group had to reorient itself around a new target able to drive just as much anger in its millions of members.

ISIS or other international threats may have been easy marks. But judging by the rhetoric used by NRA leaders and President Trump in Atlanta this week, the gun lobby has set its sights elsewhere: the media.

“It’s up to us to speak up against the three most dangerous voices in America: academic elites, political elites, and media elites. These are America’s greatest domestic threats” LaPierre told thousands of NRA members on Friday at the group’s Leadership Forum, explaining that the media is trying to destroy Trump and his administration.

When do we get to talk about dangerously obsessed gun fondler elites? I’d like to have that discussion.

“Leftists media elites deliberately deceive and spin and twist the truth to grow their anti-American agenda,” he said. Later he asked: “When did the media stop being journalists and start becoming PR flacks for the destruction of our country?”

Taking it a step further, LaPierre told his members that the job of the NRA is to give “the media the big fat black eye it so often richly deserves.” Dana Loesch, a conservative media personality and NRA spokesperson, later used similarly incendiary language in a video segment, saying gun owners need to “fight this violence of lies with a clenched fist of truth.” And Chris Cox, the group’s chief lobbyist, claimed that the media “drew their knives from the very beginning” and led a “vicious” attack against Trump.

The line drew huge applause from the audience, and a mention of CNN later in the event led NRA members to take to their feet chanting “CNN sucks.”

Oh great, the aging white dudes think they are playing war. Did they not get the memo that guns are passé? Donny has nukes!

The NRA spent more than $30 million last year to elect Trump — more than three times the amount it spent on Mitt Romney’s campaign — and the investment paid off. Speaking on Friday as the first sitting president to address the NRA in over three decades, Trump confirmed his commitment to upholding the group’s agenda.

When it comes to attacking the press, the NRA appears ready to do Trump’s bidding. And its members are ready to fall in line.

[…]

With similar thinking coming from the Trump administration in Washington, that kind of language could translate into policy when it comes to freedom of the press. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told ABC News Sunday that the president is open to considering changing the constitution so that he could sue journalists for unfavorable coverage.

Well, didn’t take the Tiny Tyrant long to focus on the merits of fascism once again. Speaking of, the Tiny Tyrant is all a gush over his new bestest buddy ever, Rodrigo Duterte. Donny really, truly admires Duterte’s war on drugs. Yeah, we’re very fucked here.

Full stories at Think Progress: NRA, Duterte, Suing Journalists.

The Mad, Maniacal Dash.

Tucker Viemeister.

In spite of the Tiny Tyrant’s insistence that the first 100 days just don’t matter, he’s tipped over into the obsessed side to rack up something, anything, and he’s driving everyone else more than a bit crazy. So basically, business as usual, amplified by magnitudes of order.

President Donald Trump has dismissed the idea of measuring the success of his first 100 days in office as “ridiculous.” But the president and his top officials have made a number of startling moves this week with the deadline in mind, and Trump has privately obsessed over getting a win before the cutoff.

The last-minute moves have frustrated some of Trump’s allies, caused a scramble across his government and proved once again that decisions are made by one man on his whims — and often with an eye to his media coverage.

To his supporters, it looks like the kind of action Trump promised as a candidate. “That’s how a CEO makes decisions,” said Rep. Chris Collins, a New York Republican.

Trump’s promise last Friday to deliver a tax plan within five days startled no one more than Gary Cohn, his chief economic adviser writing the plan. Not a single word of a plan was on paper, several administration officials said, and Treasury officials worked all weekend to draft a one-page summary of his principles with a news conference the president demanding the action.

“The reason your head is spinning on this is that the plan isn’t even written yet,” one senior White House official said this week as conflicting details emerged about what would be in the plan. “This was all about doing something in the first 100 days and really it’s doing the process backwards.”

When White House officials demanded last week a health care vote by the 100-day mark, Speaker Paul Ryan was traveling in Europe and taken aback. The leader of the House of Representatives wasn’t in on the plan, had no desire to vote this week and feared it wasn’t even possible. No one even knew what the bill would say because the language had not been written.

“It was totally insane,” one senior GOP aide said. “It made no sense. There was no reason to say a vote was happening this week.”

[…]

Still, aides described the lead-up as mad-dash, even by the typical Trump White House standards, with more focus on optics than substance.

Definitely business as usual for the regime. There’s much more to the story, click on over to Politico for the full article.

Collusion: The Trump Campaign and Moscow.

Reports of possible collusion between the Trump administration and the Kremlin have led to a political storm in the US. Photograph: Elaine Thompson/AP.

The Guardian has the latest on British intelligence which highlights yet more collusion on the part of Trump and Russia.

The UK government was given details last December of allegedly extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow, according to court papers.

Reports by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer, on possible collusion between the the Trump camp and the Kremlin are at the centre of a political storm in the US over Moscow’s role in getting Donald Trump elected.

It was not previously known that the UK intelligence services had also received the dossier but Steele confirmed in a court filing earlier this month that he handed a memorandum compiled in December to a “senior UK government national security official acting in his official capacity, on a confidential basis in hard copy form”.

The court papers say Steele decided to pass on the information he had collected because it was “of considerable importance in relation to alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election”, that it “had implications for the national security of the US and the UK” and “needed to [be] analysed and further investigated/verified”.

The December memo alleged that four Trump representatives travelled to Prague in August or September in 2016 for “secret discussions with Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers”, about how to pay hackers secretly for penetrating Democratic party computer systems and “contingency plans for covering up operations”.

Between March and September, the December memo alleges, the hackers used botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs and steal data online from Democratic party leadership. Two of the hackers had been “recruited under duress by the FSB” the memo said. The hackers were paid by the Trump organisation, but were under the control of Vladimir Putin’s presidential administration.

The Guardian has the full, in-depth story.

The Problem With “I Thought It Would Be Easier”.

President Donald Trump honks the horn of an 18-wheeler truck while meeting with truckers and CEOs regarding healthcare on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 23, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik.

Pretty much everyone has had something to say about the whole “I thought presidenting would be easier!” comment, most of it snarky in nature, and rightly so. One thing the Tiny Tyrant can be counted on for is to continually remind everyone he’s a fucking idiot. Now, I’m sure he thought he was driving home just how difficult a job it is, therefor people should give him a break and all that. It may not have been such a brazen line of bullshit if he had actually been working the last few months. That’s not the case, however. The Tiny Tyrant has spent less time working at the job than anyone else, full stop. When you are not actually working, you don’t get to moan and whine about how gosh darn hard it is.

President Donald Trump told Reuters on Thursday that, as he reaches the 100 day mark of his presidency, he’s been surprised by just how difficult running the country actually is.

“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” Trump said. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

I’m sure people would be incredibly gracious if you disappeared back into your previous life. Problem with that one is, you never left it. The one thing you have managed to do as Unpresident is to make sure you and yours have cashed in, milking that government cow for all it is worth.

…Yet despite Trump’s frequent laments about the difficulty of his job, indications point to him spending far less time and effort on it than his predecessors.

Trump, who slammed Obama for golfing during his presidency, has spent 19 days at the golf course since becoming president. That’s a double digit lead over Trump’s three immediate predecessors (and at this point in their presidencies, neither Obama nor Bush had golfed at all).

Trump has also spent half of the weekends he’s been president at his resort at Mar A Lago — sometimes leaving for the weekend as early as Thursday afternoon. Each trip reportedly costs taxpayers over $3 million.

Even when he’s in D.C., reports indicate that Trump has taken a less hands-on approach to the presidency. Unlike previous presidents, who styled themselves as “deciders,” Trump’s aides have reportedly learned to just decide on the best course of action on their own and present that to the president — because presenting too many competing actions doesn’t work for him. Trump continues to watch hours of cable news.

When offered intelligence briefings prior to his inauguration, Trump only attended around one per week, instead of the proffered seven. And even then, intelligence analysts were instructed to pare nuance out of their reports and get them down to one page, if possible. That’s far less information than presidents traditionally receive — and is about a quarter of the information President Obama consumed.

Think Progress has the full story.

Where Are The Jobs? Abroad.

Signs from Trump rally’s and from protests of Trump’s visit to Carrier Factory; CREDIT: Diana Ofosu.

Oh, all that talk of jobs. Of making America ‘great’. The supposed reason so many people voted for the Tiny Tyrant. It’s a right pity it was only talk, one huge lump of bullshit, which too many people were eager to eat. Think Progress has an in-depth look at the job bleed out. Recommended reading.

Jobs are still leaving the country

 

This is the very kind of job loss Trump repeatedly promised—on the campaign trail and from the Oval Office—would come to a full stop under his watch. “We’re just shipping company after company after company is leaving the country and leaving jobs behind. And I’m going to get it stopped,” he promised in early 2016.

“Believe me. Nobody’s leaving,” he said later in the year.

Not only would he stop the losses, he claimed, but he pledged to act immediately. “We are going to stop it day one,” he said. “A Trump administration will stop the jobs from leaving America… Promise.”

But so far, that promise is going unfulfilled. Haines and Vanacker aren’t the only ones waiting to see if their president will intervene to save their jobs.

Since Trump was sworn in on January 20, at least 11,934 American jobs have either been moved abroad or are in the process of leaving the country, according to Department of Labor data analyzed by Think Progress.

The 11,934 figure is gleaned from the DOL’s Trade Adjustment Assistance program and offers the best, most accurate baseline, though the actual number is almost certainly much higher. There is no accurate, complete dataset that tracks how many Americans are losing their jobs because they get shifted overseas. “Nobody has really been able to count the number of workers that have been affected by offshoring,” said Dan Marschall, director of the Working for America Institute at the AFL-CIO.

The lost jobs span geography and industry. Workers have been laid off from Maine to Florida, from Arizona to Wisconsin. While plenty are in industrial manufacturing, a range of other industries are represented: medicine, technology, even finance.

Think Progress has the full story, recommended reading.

And, as us reasonable people pointed out, time and time again, all those jobs good ol’ Americans refuse to do? They aren’t getting done.

#Hints You Are In Hell.

The U.S. Forest Service is not happy. They have very good reason for that, too. Some reading on the destruction to come:

Trump to sign executive order putting two decades of national monuments in jeopardy.

Trump’s order on national monuments decried as corporate ‘give-away’.

Via Raw Story.

“This Shit Is Hard!”

Politico has an in-depth article about what has really been going on these first 100 Days: people are learning that this shit is hard. While there are faint glimmers of hope in the article, they are faint indeed, and fragile, as it is duly pointed out that even a somewhat educated Trump is still Trump.

Interviews with White House officials, friends of Trump, veterans of his campaign and lawmakers paint a picture of a White House that has been slow to adapt to the demands of the most powerful office on earth.

“Everyone is concerned that things are not running that well,” said one senior official. “There should be more structure in place so we know who is working on what and who is responsible for what, instead of everyone freelancing on everything.”

But they’re learning. One key development: White House aides have figured out that it’s best not to present Trump with too many competing options when it comes to matters of policy or strategy. Instead, the way to win Trump over, they say, is to present him a single preferred course of action and then walk him through what the outcome could be – and especially how it will play in the press.

“You don’t walk in with a traditional presentation, like a binder or a PowerPoint. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t consume information that way,” said one senior administration official. “You go in and tell him the pros and cons, and what the media coverage is going to be like.”

Downplaying the downside risk of a decision can win out in the short term. But the risk is a presidential dressing-down—delivered in a yell. “You don’t want to be the person who sold him on something that turned out to be a bad idea,” the person said.

Advisers have tried to curtail Trump’s idle hours, hoping to prevent him from watching cable news or calling old friends and then tweeting about it. That only works during the workday, though—Trump’s evenings and weekends have remained largely his own.

[…]

“He has always been a guy who loves the idea of being a royal surrounded by a court,” said Michael D’Antonio, one of Trump’s biographers.

[…]

Several senior administration aides said Trump loves nothing more than talking to reporters – no matter what he says about the “failing” New York Times or CNN – and he often seems personally stung by negative coverage, cursing and yelling at the TV. Kushner, too, sometimes calls TV personalities and executives, in particular MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, according to people close to the Trump son-in-law. (It didn’t go unnoticed in the West Wing that, at the height of the Kushner-Bannon war, the Drudge Report and Scarborough’s Morning Joe had an anti-Bannon flair to their coverage.)

If the goal of most administrations has been to set the media agenda for the day, it’s often the reverse in Trump’s White House, where what the president hears on the cable morning gabfests on Fox News, MSNBC and CNN can redirect his attention, schedule and agenda. The three TVs in the chief-of-staff’s office sometimes dictate the 8 a.m. meeting – and are always turned on to cable news, West Wing officials say.

[…]

Since taking office, Trump has 16 times tagged Fox and Friends, the network’s morning show, in his tweets, and countless other times weighed in on whatever they were talking about on air. After Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings went on Morning Joe and asked the president to call him, Trump did. After Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher defended Trump in an early Saturday morning Fox News hit, Trump called him moments later, inviting him to an Oval Office meeting. And after news segments, Trump will sometimes call his own advisers to discuss what he saw.

[…]

Trump may be learning and adjusting. But he is still Trump. On Saturday, he’ll celebrate his 100th day in office by boycotting the traditional White House Correspondents’ Dinner in favor of a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The rallies, which remind of the campaign trail, often improve his mood, several people close to him say. “I will be holding a BIG rally in Pennsylvania,” he tweeted by way of announcement. “Look forward to it!”

Full story at Politico.

Healthcare: A Congressional Exemption.

© nicolasjoseschirado, fotalia.

Rethuglicans are still hard at work, trying to figure out how to repeal the ACA, without working overly hard on the whole ‘replacement’ aspect. The more egregious parts of the repeal ‘n’ replace have kept some conservatives from getting on board, but Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) has come up with a cunning plan: we’ll exempt members of congress and their families! Now we can screw over all those peons and stay safe, yay! Disgusting asshole.

A new amendment to the Republican ObamaCare replacement bill exempts members of Congress and their staff from its effects.

The new changes to the bill would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal key ObamaCare provisions, such as the protection against people with pre-existing conditions being charged more and the requirement that insurers cover a range of health services, like prescription drugs and mental health.

The GOP amendment exempts members of Congress and their staffs to ensure that they will still be protected by those ObamaCare provisions.

The exemption was flagged by health law professor Tim Jost.

Democrats quickly jumped on the development, arguing that Republicans are willing to take away protections for the general public, but not themselves.

“The best evidence yet that the new GOP repeal plan is a disaster for people’s health care is that the GOP exempted Members of Congress from living under it,” said Leslie Dach, director of the Protect Our Care Campaign, one of the main groups fighting repeal.

The amendment is helping to woo some conservatives, who argue that the ObamaCare regulations are driving up premium costs, and note that high-risk pools would be able to fill the gap.

Via The Hill.

“And now there’s a lot of words, I won’t bother reading everything,”

Time for a Pants On Fire Reality Check! The white house has released “President Trump’s 100 Days of Historic Accomplishments.” Historic. Right. I suppose “President Trump’s 100 Days of Abysmal Failure” didn’t go over well. As usual, the press release is “alternative fact” based, and has little to do with reality in any way, shape or form.

The release sorts Trump’s accomplishments into three categories. Front and center is a section entitled “TAKING EXECUTIVE ACTION” that touts the 30 executive orders Trump has signed in hist first 100 days — a total the White House says is higher “than any other President since Franklin Roosevelt.”

There are two big problems with that claim, however.

First, it’s false. As historian Peter A. Shulman explained, the White House is overlooking executive orders not included in the American Presidency Project, the non-comprehensive source the Trump administration appears to have used to tally the number of executive orders signed by previous presidents.

When executive orders not included in the American Presidency Project are included, FDR’s total actually dwarfs Trump.

FDR signed 99 of them. That’s considerably more than 30, but this isn’t a bloody contest, in spite of the Tiny Tyrant’s trying to make this all about ratings too. Fucking idiot.

…Besides those inaccuracies, it’s odd that Trump would tout EOs as an accomplishment, since he repeatedly criticized President Obama for signing them. In December 2015, candidate Trump blasted Obama’s EOs and characterized them as the last resort of presidents who can’t work with Congress.

“I don’t think he even tries anymore. I think he just signs executive actions,” Trump said of Obama. “That’s the way the system is supposed to work. And then all of a sudden, I hear he tried, he can’t do it, and then, boom, and then another one, boom.”

Trump also blasted Obama’s executive orders in 2012, tweeting that they represent “major power grabs of authority.”

[…]

There’s also the question of how much credit Trump should take for signing executive orders that in some cases he seems to be barely familiar with. For instance, during a signing ceremony for an executive order on agriculture on Tuesday, Trump, reading off a sheet of paper, said, “So this is promoting agriculture and rural prosperity in America. And now there’s a lot of words, I won’t bother reading everything, but agriculture and rural prosperity in America — that’s what we want.”

And that alone rather neatly sums up the Idiot Unpresident. “I don’t have the slightest idea of what I’m doing, and I’m not going to *gasp* read, but it must be good, because I’m going to sign it, and someone said…”

Oh gods. Just not enough facepalm in the universe. Not enough. Think Progress has the full reality check.

Caving On The Wall and Other Sundry Items.

Tucker Viemeister.

The Tiny Tyrant has backed off on the “fund my wall or else” threats, now saying it can wait until September. Think Progress has the full story.

In the meantime, in spite of the Tiny Toddlin’ Tyrant’s tweets about destroying healthcare, the ACA is becoming more and more popular. Rather funny how it took Trump to make people realize that the ACA is a good thing.  Raw Story has the full article.

Politico has an exposé on the white house fake war on fake news. It’s quite enlightening! Recommended Reading.

And, Amnesty International has compiled 100 human rights violations committed by the Tiny Tyrant in these first not-quite-100 days. A good illumination of just how much damage has been done in regard to human rights in a very short amount of time. Think Progress has the full story.

And then, there’s the trouble with Flynn. – Aaaaaand, the white house didn’t hire Flynn, oh no, no, no, nope, we didn’t!

Reactions on 100 Days…

Can the bar go any lower? Donald Trump brags he got ‘higher ratings than 9/11’ in interview about the first 100 days. Link.”

The Twittersphere isn’t too impressed by all the trumpeting over those first 100 days which don’t count at all, no.

Via Raw Story.

NC: Judge Smacks Republicans, Hard.

North Carolina Judge Douglas McCullough. Image courtesy of Loiacono Literary Agency.

North Carolina rethuglicans are once again trying to use dirty tricks in an attempt to nullify Gov. Cooper’s authority. One republican judge refused to play along, and went for an ethical play of his own, which certainly paints the rest of the rethugs in a very ugly light indeed.

In a dramatic response to a power-grab by Republicans in the North Carolina legislature, a Republican judge resigned today to circumvent efforts to strip power from the Democratic governor.

The Charlotte Observer reports that following today’s surprise resignation by Republican Judge J. Douglas McCullough, Democrat John Arrowood was sworn in.

[…]

North Carolina has a mandatory retirement age for judges. To prevent the Democratic Party governor from appointing replacements for Court of Appeals judges nearing forced retirement, the Republican Legislature passed a bill to shrink the size of the court from 15 to 12 judges — thereby denying the Democrat of three scheduled appointments.

The legislation was vetoed on Friday, but a successful veto override was expected later tonight.

However, before the legislature could vote to override Governor Cooper’s veto of House Bill 239, Judge McCullough resigned 36 days prior to his forced retirement. This allowed the appointment of Judge Arrowood at 9:45 a.m. this morning.

“I did not want my legacy to be the elimination of a seat and the impairment of a court that I have served on,” Judge McCullough explained.

Newly sworn-in Judge John Arrowood is the first openly gay member of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

A standing ovation for Judge McCullough, a man of integrity and ethics. You deserve a resounding thank you from all over, and if they were capable of it, the rest of the republicans should be damned ashamed of themselves. If all republicans were like you, Sir, I would not have a problem with them.

Via Raw Story.