The Weekly White House Bible Study.

Photo via AP.

Evangelism everywhere, promoting a theocracy, with a firm footing in the white house.

…The schedule does not list who attended that session, but Ralph Drollinger, a right-wing pastor with a long history of ties to Perry and other Trump Administration officials, claims on his web site to be running weekly Bible sessions specially for the Trump Cabinet. He has praised the new administration for its power to “change the course of America in ways that are biblical.”

[…]

In a January radio interview, Drollinger praised then-senator Jeff Sessions, who “hungers and thirsts for the Scripture,” for his performance during his confirmation hearing, when he provided a Biblical justification for his draconian views on immigration. “I’ve had the distinct honor of teaching him on this subject, and many others,” Drollinger said. “There’s nothing more exciting, when you’re a Bible teacher, to see one of the guys you’re working with—to see him or her articulate something you’ve taught them when they’re under the gun.”

Vice President Mike Pence, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, nominee for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, HHS Secretary Tom Price, and Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, have all sponsored the Capitol Ministries Cabinet Bible study, according to literature put out by Capitol Ministries.

The Cabinet Bible study is the just newest piece of what Drollinger has described as a “para-church ministry” with a “target audience” of political members. In a September 2015 interview, Drollinger described his mission as creating a “factory” to mass-produce politicians like Michele Bachmann, who is on the Capitol Ministries board. “She thinks Biblically,” Drollinger said. “She doesn’t need a whole lot of time to figure out how to vote because she sees the world through a scriptural lens. We need more men and women like her in office.”

[…]

For an outside group to hold an event in a Congressional building, they must be sponsored by a senator or representative; dozens of Members of Congress sponsored Drollinger’s group, including Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Tom Price, and Sessions while they were all still on Capitol Hill. Rep. Mike Conaway, who recently took over the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election from Devin Nunes, is also a Capitol Ministries sponsor.

Now, Capitol Ministries holds three separate Bible Studies each week which it describes in its literature: one for Cabinet members (“7:00 am Wednesdays Mornings. Location Undisclosed. Light Refreshments Served.”); one for the Senate (“8:00 am Tuesdays, Rotating Offices of Senators. Hot Breakfast Served.”); and one for members of the House (“Capitol H324: Monday or Tuesday Evenings after First Votes Back. Dinner Served.”) In an interview in January, Drollinger described the House study as feeling like a truck stop and the Senate study feeling like a country club.

Everything in the article is highly disturbing and frightening. Recommended Reading. Fusion has the full story.

You Can Get An Ignorant Unpresident To Do Anything.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney (R) listens as U.S. President Donald Trump meets with members of the Republican Study Committee at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 17, 2017.

John Harwood at CNBC has an enlightening interview with Mick Mulvaney, the person who is going to decide just how many programs and people can be screwed over by the regime.

MULVANEY: I’ll tell how I wrote it. And then you can decide for yourself. We looked at the speeches to try and figure out where he wanted to spend more money. And then we also had instructions not to add to the deficit. I laid to him the options that Mick Mulvaney would put on a piece of paper. And he looked at one and said, “What is that?” And I said, “Well, that’s a change to part of Social Security.” He said, “No. No.” He said, “I told people I wouldn’t change that when I ran. And I’m not going to change that. Take that off the list.” So I get a chance to be Mick Mulvaney. I get a chance to have those same principles. And I give ’em to the president, and he makes the final decisions.

HARWOOD: He over and over went to West Virginia, went to rural parts of Kentucky and Ohio, said, “I’m going to take care of you guys.” He didn’t say, “I’m going to get rid of the Appalachian Regional Commission.”

MULVANEY: Yeah, and my guess is he probably didn’t know what the Appalachian Regional Commission did. I was able to convince him, “Mr. President, this is not an efficient use of the taxpayer dollars. This is not the best way to help the people in West Virginia.” He goes, “Okay, that’s great. Is there a way to get those folks the money in a more efficient way?” And the answer is yes. And that’s what’s we’re going focus on doing.

“More efficient.” In the current regime, that equals nothing at all.

HARWOOD: How cognizant is he of the fact that many of the people who supported him would be hurt by cuts that you proposed in the budget?

MULVANEY: The president is certainly conscious of the people who voted for him, right. But he cares about more than just the Trump voters. So when you say you know, people that voted for him are hurt, that’s not the issue. He wants to know, “Are the folks in Appalachia, are the coal miners in West Virginia going to be better off under my presidency whether or not they voted for me?” He doesn’t care if they voted for him. I think what the president will tell you is, “The best thing I can do for those folks, whether or not they voted for me, is to figure out a way to get 3.5 percent economic growth.”

Well, there was a lot of Newspeak, translating to “nope, no one gives a shit about them, because hey, they aren’t the issue!”

HARWOOD: I’ve had interviews with Republicans from Paul Ryan to John Thune who have been making the case that, “We are going to persuade the president that we have to do something about entitlements.” How are you going to manage that?

MULVANEY: We’re working on it right now. He went through the list and said, “No, that’s Social Security. That violates my promise. Take that off. That’s Medicare. That violates my promise. Take that off.”

HARWOOD: Is Social Security Disability on that list?

MULVANEY: I don’t think we’ve settled yet. But I continue to look forward to talking to the president about ways to fix that program. Because that is one of the fastest growing programs that we have. It’s become effectively a long-term unemployment, permanent unemployment program.

Oh look, about the last social safety net, going to be shredded. There’s much more at CNBC, along with the requisite “oh hey, we all golf together, we’re great cronies, everyone is happy, happy, happy, no KAOS* regime at all, nope!

*My current image of the U.S. “Government”:

Conrad Siegfried, Head of KAOS, Get Smart.

Bannon and the Fine Mercer Hand.

The substantive impact of Steve Bannon’s exit from the NSC on foreign policy remains to be seen. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.

The substantive impact of Steve Bannon’s exit from the NSC on foreign policy remains to be seen. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.

Rumours and leaks have been swirling about in the chaos which marks the Regime. The official line is that Bannon had nary a thought about resigning in a huff, however, sources inside the chaotic mess say Bannon was prepared to walk, but held back due to Rebekah Mercer’s counsel, which sounds quite ominous, telling Bannon that this is a long-term play. Going by what we know of Bannon’s playbook, I imagine we’d all be relieved if Bannon had walked.

The man credited with honing Donald Trump’s populist message and guiding him into the White House has grown frustrated amid continued infighting in the West Wing, so much so that in recent weeks a top donor had to convince him to stay in his position.

Five people, including a senior administration official and several sources close to the president, tell POLITICO that Bannon, one of Trump’s closest advisers, has clashed with the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who’s taken on an increasingly prominent portfolio in the West Wing. Bannon has complained that Kushner and his allies are trying to undermine his populist approach, the sources said.

Republican mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, a longtime Bannon confidante who became a prominent Trump supporter during the campaign, urged Bannon not to resign. “Rebekah Mercer prevailed upon him to stay,” said one person familiar with the situation.

Another person familiar with the situation, a GOP operative who talks to Mercer, said: “Bekah tried to convince him that this is a long-term play.”

[…]

The White House said that Bannon had not taken any steps to leave, and Bannon told POLITICO that any suggestion he threatened to resign was “total nonsense.”

[…]

The “big fight is between nationalists and the West Wing Democrats,” said a person familiar with Bannon’s thinking.

“You have these New York interlocutors who are just not political and who want to think that they’re above the way Washington thinks, but if anybody is allied on delivering on things that Trump ran on, it’s Bannon and Reince and the vice president,” said the Republican who has spoken to Bannon recently.

So, we have President Bannon, who is busy having a hissy fit, and President Kushner, who is responsible for all the shit, and Daughter First Lady, who is doing who knows what the fuck, and I imagine Unpresident Trump is busy abusing taxpayer money and golfing again. What a fucking joke.

Politico has the full story.

Christians Hating Christians, Progressive Equals Monstrous.

Janet Mefferd.

Janet Mefferd.

A story from Reuters has fired up the Religious Reich. The story has to do with the increasing political activism on the part of progressive Christians, who lean left rather than reich. They are all false prophets, false teachers, and generally horrible people all around. They twist the bible to pieces, oh my! That latter accusation based on taking the very few decent bits of the New Testament seriously, like be kind to the poor and so on. Turns out it’s quite monstrous to interpret “feed the poor” as “feed the poor”. Oh, and of course, blame is placed squarely on women. Seems that horrible progressive type Christianity has been infested with women, oh my!

On Thursday, the American Pastors Network’s Sam Rohrer, along with his guests Gary Dull and Dave Kistler, devoted their entire “Stand in the Gap” show to trashing the religious progressives highlighted in the Reuters story.

Rohrer was quite fond of his formulation that, unlike the Religious Right, the “religious left” is in fact “irreligiously wrong.”  Rohrer and his co-hosts were not shy about judging the progressive religious activists as “false prophets” and “false teachers” that the Bible warns against.

Dull said that progressives deny the “authority of scripture” and a “biblical worldview” and he offered one possible explanation:

I have found that a lot of the leaders and pastors, a lot of the pastors in this particular movement are ladies, and we believe as we look at the word of God in its true sense, that the word of God teaches us that ladies do not, well, they should not be in the pastorate.

Rohrer has previously said that having women in political leadership is a mark of God’s judgment upon a nation.

Oh that pesky “true sense”. It’s a pity there’s no such fucking thing when it comes to the Christian Book of Myths. It can be interpreted any way a person wants, which would be why there are so damn many types of Christianity. Most of them, however, do agree on the women leaders icky stance.

Kistler ticked off a list of issues motivating progressive activists—providing sanctuary for undocumented immigrants, protecting LGBTQ people, defending Obamacare, denouncing Trump’s proposed cuts in foreign aid—and decreed them “all leftist causes…that are very, very unbiblical in nature.” Kistler said flatly that it is not possible for a “Bible-believing Christian” or “genuine, true believer in Jesus Christ” to be part of the “religious left.”

Time to play No True Christian! They are right about all those things being unbiblical in nature, given that the bible is basically a long treatise on how to be a psychopath. There are decent bits sprinkled here and there in the New Testament, such as found in the slim Jefferson Bible. It should not be forgotten though, that the NT also has Jesus saying he is there to uphold every jot and tittle of the old laws. Of course, there follows a number of passages which refute Jesus’s statement, so we’re back to where we started, and the bible can mean anything you like, making it quite meaningless.

There’s more about Sam and his companions here. Moving on to the ferocious Janet Mefferd…

On her Tuesday “Janet Mefferd Live” show, Mefferd was quick to challenge the faith of progressive Christians included in the article. “These people are progressives,” she said. “They’re progressives! And for many of them progressivism is their religion. It’s not Christianity.”

No, it’s not filled with hate, so it can’t be Christianity! I didn’t listen to the soundcloud, but I’d bet there’s a serious amount of poison in her spitting out of “progressives!” Everyone should know that true Christianity is all about being a regressive, hateful asshole!

“The problem is when they start quoting scripture, it turns into something monstrous, and really, really, out-of-control not biblical,” Mefferd said, warning that progressive politics are “popping up” even in evangelical circles and among millennial evangelical Christians.

Oh no, someone leaked compassion into Christians, the horror of it all! Better get that nasty stuff out of there right now, it’s infectious.

Mefferd read from Jeff Jacoby’s March 23 guest column in the Boston Globe, entitled, “Deliver us from Scripture-citers,” in which Jacoby says biblical exhortations to feed the hungry and clothe the naked are “personal, not political.” Mefferd said of a recent letter from religious progressives that cited those verses, “They’re constantly taking the Bible and twisting it.  They twist it. They take it out of context.”

Whereas the Religious Reich, always looking for confirmation of their hatred and biases, would never ever twist scripture or take it out of context, no.

Mefferd also cited Kelly Monroe Kullberg, who has a record of rallying conservative Christians in opposition to progressive religious voices; a few years ago she organized Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration, which was meant to counter the Evangelical Immigration Table, and Christians for a Sustainable Economy, which criticized progressive Christians who argued against cuts to federal programs that serve the poor. Kullberg spearheaded  a group of more than 600 conservative Christians who last year called on progressive Christians to “repent” for “work that often advanced a destructive liberal political agenda.”

Well, here’s hoping Christians with a conscience and glimmerings of empathy win the day. I would ask Ms. Mefferd how she squares the regressive attitude towards women preachers/teachers with her mouthing off, but I’m sure I’d get sprayed by a mouthful of shit, so I’ll refrain.

Via RWW.

Russia Investigation: Let the Tantrums Begin!

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes arrives for a weekly meeting of the Republican Conference with House Speaker Paul Ryan and the GOP leadership on Wednesday. CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes arrives for a weekly meeting of the Republican Conference with House Speaker Paul Ryan and the GOP leadership on Wednesday. CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite.

On Tuesday, House Intelligence Committee chair and former Trump transition team official Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) made the extraordinary claim that Democrats are actually the ones obstructing his committee’s investigation into connections between President Trump and Russian officials.

Nunes — who abruptly cancelled all scheduled committee hearings last week, including one that was to feature testimony from Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general who alerted the White House to Michael Flynn’s deceptions about his communications with Russian officials and was fired for refusing to enforce President Trump’s Muslim ban — told NBC News that “it appears the Democrats aren’t really serious about this investigation.”

“They need to give us their witness list because we have no idea who they even want to interview,” Nunes said. “So, at the end of the day here we’re going to get to the truth, we’re going to find out who’s actually doing a real investigation… we’re going to do an investigation with or without them, and if they want to participate that’s fine, but the facts of the matter are pretty clear.”

But a source with knowledge of the situation tells ThinkProgress that Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee actually submitted a tentative witness list to Republicans on Tuesday and haven’t yet heard back. That information was corroborated by Business Insider’s Natasha Bertrand, who reported that a “[c]ommittee aide tells me Dems provided witness list to Nunes yesterday and offered to schedule hearings next week, have not heard back.”

[…]

Nunes might say “the facts of the matter are pretty clear,” but they’re not. Here’s what we do know. Last Wednesday, Nunes held a press conference where he appeared to clumsily validate Trump’s claim that Obama wiretapped his Trump Tower phones by saying he has “recently confirmed that on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition.”

Instead of sharing that information with the intelligence community or his committee members, Nunes raced to the White House to brief Trump, whose campaign is under investigation for possible collusion with foreign agents. In the week since, Nunes has steadfastly refused to share what he claims to know about legal incidental collection at Trump Tower with his House Intelligence Committee colleagues.

The list of willful obstruction on the part of Nunes and Gowdy continues over at Think Progress, and it’s quite the long recount of obstruction. It would be downright laughable, the weak attempt to place blame on democrats, except for the fact that this is extremely serious. If this was anyone else, everyone would be going apeshit, screaming for impeachment and imprisonment. The silence of those on the right is more than telling, it’s an indictment all its own, of just how much they truly don’t care about such treasonous actions, as long as the crimes are being committed by someone on their side of the fence.

Think Progress has the full story.

Tin Cap Time.

1477417057308

The Heartland Institute recently had their “Fuck the Planet!” conference, attended by the Mercers, and all those others who have some sort of vested interest in killing off everyone and everything. I guess they’ll bug out to Mars with Musk when life becomes unsustainable.

The atmosphere was buoyant at a conference held by the conservative Heartland Institute last week at a downtown Washington hotel, where speakers denounced climate science as rigged and jubilantly touted deep cuts President Trump is seeking to make to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Front and center during the two-day gathering were New York hedge fund executive Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer, Republican mega-donors who with their former political adviser Stephen K. Bannon helped finance an alternative media ecosystem that amplified Trump’s populist themes during last year’s campaign.

The Mercers’ attendance at the two-day Heartland conference offered a telling sign of the low-profile family’s priorities: With Trump in office, the influential financiers appear intent on putting muscle behind the fight to roll back environmental regulations, a central focus of the new administration.

The Washington Post has a full run down on the conference.

I’ll just focus here on the batshit element of such conferences, this time, embodied by ever loony Lord Christopher Monckton:

Raw Story has a rundown of his 5 main points, so click on over if you prefer to read.

Homicidal Cop, Good. Whistleblower, Bad.

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.

A short while back, I posted about the history of the cop who murdered Eric Garner. It was an ugly history, one which was ignored in keeping Daniel Pantaleo employed. That employment continues, but the  person who disclosed that hidden history? No, they are no longer employed.

The release of previously secret disciplinary records of the NYPD officer that killed Eric Garner is stirring controversy in New York City, reinvigorating a heated debate among activists and city officials over transparency and police accountability.

On Tuesday, ThinkProgress published the disciplinary records of Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who used a prohibited chokehold against Garner in 2014. The records — which were previously hidden from the public — originated from the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), the independent city agency that fields complaints about officer misconduct. They were leaked to ThinkProgress from an anonymous source who was discovered by the agency and forced to resign.

The news also forced the CCRB to formally confirm that the documents are real.

The CCRB’s actions triggered indignation from Cynthia Conti-Cook, a lawyer at the Legal Aid Society’s Special Litigation Unit. The group is currently involved in lawsuits to obtain disciplinary records from both the CCRB and the NYPD.

“When there is more political will to fire a whistleblower than an officer who killed an unarmed man, it sends a message about the Mayor’s capacity to act quickly and therefore simultaneously sends a message about his lack of political will to hold police like Pantaleo…accountable for misconduct,” she said, referring to the fact that Pantaleo remains employed by the NYPD, and received a raise last year.

I could not possibly agree more. This is shocking behaviour. Well, it should be shocking. I’m afraid we have all become much too inured, and given the increasingly open shite supremacist feeling in uStates, there tends to be little more than an ennui laden shrug over such heinous actions.

Civil rights groups and several city officials were also outraged by the content of the documents, which showed that Pantaleo had 7 complaints and 4 substantiated allegations years before his encounter with Garner—far more than the overwhelming majority of his fellow NYPD officers, according to CCRB data. The revelations also raised questions about whether Pantaleo was properly disciplined, as the documents showed that the NYPD repeatedly enacted lesser penalties than those recommended by the CCRB.

Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother, said that earlier review of the records could have saved her son’s life.

“Someone should have taken a look at his record a long time ago,” Carr told the New York Daily News. “If they had done that maybe my son would still be alive.”

That’s assuming that anyone looking at Pantaleo’s record would have actually done something about it, which is more than questionable. Cop shops all over the country simply don’t have a problem with bigoted, homicidal cops, nor do they seem to be overly concerned about dead brown people. It seems the only time they do care is if they end up in the public spotlight, and even then, the result is rarely justice.

Think Progress 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

“No One Is Safe.”

Hassan Aden -- via Facebook.

Hassan Aden — via Facebook.

Writing on Facebook on Saturday, retired cop Hassan Aden said he was returning from Paris where he helped his mother celebrate her 80th birthday when he was singled out and pulled from line by a customs official at John F. Kennedy International Airport who asked, “Are you traveling alone? Let’s take a walk.”

“I was taken to a back office which looked to be a re-purposed storage facility with three desks and signs stating, ‘Remain seated at all times’ and ‘Use of telephones strictly prohibited’—my first sign that this was not a voluntary situation and, in fact, a detention,” Aden wrote. ” By this point I had informed CBP Officer Chow, the one that initially detained me, that I was a retired police chief and a career police officer AND a US citizen—he stated that he had no control over the circumstance and that it didn’t matter what my occupation was.”

According to Aden after handing his passport over he was told that someone was using his name and that he had had to be cleared “so that I could gain passage into the United States… my own country!!!”

Aden said that he was not allowed to leave or contact his family at the same time an official told him he wasn’t being detained.

“He had the audacity to tell me I was not being detained. His ignorance of the law and the Fourth Amendment should disqualify him from being able to wear a CBP badge—but maybe fear and detention is the new mission of the CBP and the Constitution is a mere suggestion,” he wrote. “I certainly was not free to leave.

[…]

“I spent nearly 30 years serving the public in law enforcement. I interface with high level U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Court officials almost daily,” he wrote. “Prior to this administration, I frequently attended meetings at the White House and advised on national police policy reforms. All that to say, if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone with attributes that can be ‘profiled.’ No one is safe from this type of unlawful government intrusion.”

I’m a little torn here. What happened to Mr. Aden was not, in any way, right. Just another instance of the police state. Mr. Aden, unlike many people being caught up in the nets of the current police state, had considerable resources to call on. I’d say it’s a good thing for a cop to experience what it’s like, being in the clutches of such; that said, it’s not an experience I would wish on anyone. In the end, Mr. Aden was released, and reunited with his loved ones. That certainly cannot be said for scores and scores of people who are being picked up, detained, and wrenched away from their families and their lives. And no, please don’t point out that what happened to Mr. Aden was somehow in defense of stopping a terrorist; it wasn’t, and no, please don’t point out this is way different from the current “round ’em up and deport them!” business, it isn’t. It’s all one and the same thing: xenophobia, accompanied by the clang of The Gold Curtain™. America First, y’all.

Via Raw Story.