OH FFS.

This is unbelievably infuriating, but I’ll leave you to discover your own outrage here, as it’s another work day, and I must work, rather than try to figure out what the fuck to say about the latest idiocy from the regime.

President Donald Trump won’t be attending this year’s White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner, but quietly invited some of his favorite news outlets for a small, private reception Monday ahead of the annual event. The group features some of the farthest right and most nationally recognized conservative media outlets and hosts, while networks such as CNN and MSNBC—which the president has repeatedly condemned throughout his first 100 days for reporting on his approval ratings—were left off the guest list.

Instead, the networks and publications invited to the soiree include sites such as Breitbart and The Daily Caller, often accused of Trump propaganda and fake news during the 2016 election season, as well as headlines like “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” and “Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?”

The event was called to honor right-leaning outlets after “they were neglected the last eight years,” Sean Spicer said in an interview Monday.

Neglected? Right. They are nothing more than tabloids, with zero credibility, they just make shit up. Oh, yes, right up Trump’s backside, then.

“They’re an important medium to communicate to a massively growing number of Americans who, frankly, have grown tired of mainstream media’s coverage,” Spicer said. “We’ve definitely done our fair share of meetings with mainstream reporters. Once in a while it’s important to appreciate the folks who have really covered the president fairly and covered a lot of issues ignored by mainstream media.”

Making shit up out of whole cloth equals fairness now, does it? Christ. I don’t just want out of this country anymore, I want off this planet. One with no Trumps at all. You can read the full article at Raw Story.

Oh look, it actually gets worse! A Fox and Friends anchor has been declared the new U.S. State Deparment spokeswoman [sic].

“Heather’s media experience and long interest in international affairs will be invaluable as she conveys the administration’s foreign policy priorities to the American people and the world,” the statement said.

Uh huh. Fuckety fuck fuck. That’s all I got.

“I Don’t Watch Them!”

Jim Cooke/FMG.

Just the other day, Unpresident Trump insisted that he simply does not watch mainstream media anymore, no, not ever. He doesn’t watch anything which is negative. Naturally, that statement is belied by his frequent morphs into Mr. Tweet, ranting about this, that, and the other negative something as seen or read on mainstream media. He’s running away to a ‘campaign rally’ in order to avoid the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, but does anyone think the Tiny Tyrant won’t be obsessing over every remark anyway?

It would seem that the Tiny Tyrant’s staff was unaware of his insistence that he does not watch, no, not ever, not anymore, as they have said that it’s extremely difficult to curb his excessive reliance on television. They also said he ‘hate watches’ in the evening, going over all the negative stuff, which outside of Fox, is pretty much everything everywhere.

“When I see it’s such false reporting and such bad reporting and false reporting that I’ve developed an ability that I never thought I had,” Trump insisted. “I don’t watch things that are unpleasant. I just don’t watch them.”

“I don’t watch CNN anymore. I don’t watch MSNBC anymore. I don’t watch [negative] things, and I never thought I had that ability. I always thought I’d watch.”

Contrary to this statement:

Trump turns on cable news immediately upon arising each morning and spends the day checking in via a television in the White House dining room. However, once the president goes upstairs at the end of the day, aides lose their ability to monitor and moderate the president’s intake.

“Once he goes upstairs, there’s no managing him,” one adviser told the Post.

“Sometimes, at night, he hate-watches cable shows critical of him, while chatting on the phone with friends, said someone familiar with the president’s routine — a quirk a senior official jokingly called ‘multi-teching.’” the Post said.

[…]

Foreign leaders are urging their diplomats to go on U.S. television when they visit the country so as to catch Trump’s attention. Trump has insisted that he wouldn’t dream of firing Press Secretary Sean Spicer — even after his gaffe comparing Hitler favorably to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

“I’m not firing Sean Spicer,” said Trump. “That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in.”

There we are again – “great ratings”. That’s all this unstable, stupid asshole cares about. He thinks of himself and everyone around him as being on a television reality show. And if the world is going to hell in a handbasket, eh, who cares? Ratings! Things going bad again? Oh, have Spicer say something stupid about Hitler.

Via Raw Story, one and two.

400.

ProPublica has gathered all the very, very quiet hires of the current regime, many of which were lobbyists, who love themselves a swamp. All are ‘loyalists’ to the regime.

While President Trump has not moved to fill many jobs that require Senate confirmation, he has quietly installed hundreds of officials to serve as his eyes and ears at every major federal agency.

ProPublica has obtained a list of many of them. They include dozens of former lobbyists, Trump campaign staffers and some affiliated with the online far-right.

You can see the database here, and the related story here.

Sunday Facepalm.

Big Cartel.

Rick Wiles is going full court paranoid with yet another screed, this time claiming that the Tiny Tyrant is under house arrest. I’d be okay with that, actually, perhaps he’d finally pretend to do his fucking job, rather than behaving as though the election hadn’t happened. According to Wiles, there is a terrible conspiracy going on, to hush the far right, to still all those screeching voices, oh my yes. And who is doing all this horrible hushery? Why, the Deep State, of course. I think that must be the new name of the Illuminati or something. I can’t keep up with it all.

Wiles said that O’Reilly’s firing from Fox News over numerous sexual harassment allegations and Jones’ custody battle are the work of the deep state, which he claimed is out to silence influential voices on the Right. Trump, according to Wiles, has also been muzzled by this “shadow government.”

“I’m not sure he’s sending out the tweets,” Wiles said. “I think, more than his Twitter privilege—hey, I’m going to go ahead and say it, this is what I think—I think Donald Trump is under house arrest by the deep state. I think they’ve put him under house arrest. He’s changed. He doesn’t even act the same anymore. He doesn’t behave the same. He’s not the man we elected. Something’s happened to him.”

Yes, something happened. He has been elevated, a la The Peter Principle, to a position so far over his level of competence that even he can’t ignore it anymore. Golly, presidenting is hard! Who knew it was so complex! As for his “twitter privilege”, people have been desperately trying to separate Mr. Tweet from his phone from day one. I’m sure most of us are quite grateful for that effort, too. It’s a pity his house arrest won’t prevent him from heading back out on the Yeehaw Rally campaign trail.

“I think the shadow government said to him, ‘You were not supposed to win, but you did it, but we’re going to allow you to stay in the White House under our terms,” he continued. “I honestly believe the man is under house arrest. I believe that they have locked him down, they have isolated him and he has been surrounded by the deep state goon squad and they are making the decisions … I do not believe he is the president of the United States anymore, I believe he is a figurehead.”

He was never the president. Never. He’s an unstable bully, perched in a position of power, who has realized that his usual bully tactics aren’t suited for government, and who doesn’t have the spine to commit to a full tyrancy. Apparently, he’s not the only one who doesn’t know how government is supposed to work. If anyone has isolated Trump, it’s the man himself.

Wiles later cited the news of O’Reilly’s firing, Jones’ trial, and the retirement announcement of Rep. Jason Chaffetz as proof that the deep state is “taking out” powerful conservatives “one by one.”

Oh gods. Chaffetz? Who the hell cares? At least Chaffetz finally had the sense to realize that he was fucking up on the behest of Trump multiple times, which was going to kill his career if he didn’t get out. That puts him a bit ahead of the other rethugs. As for O’Reilly, well, perhaps if the man had stopped doing everything penis first, he would not have lost his job. As it stands, he got millions of dollars in a golden parachute, and is going to start doing podcasts. I don’t see the slightest sign of him being silenced.

“Alex Jones may not survive what’s happening to him right now,” he said. “They’ve got his lawyer on record in the courtroom saying, ‘He’s just acting, he’s a performance actor.’ I mean, that’s from his own lawyer.”

Wiles claimed that Jones may have been set up by the supposed deep state, saying, “They just took down Bill O’Reilly. Now Alex Jones is on the ropes. Who is next? Who is the next person that’s going to be taken down? They are eliminating all opposition to the shadow government.”

Jones is professional liar. He lies, and if that isn’t swallowed, he tries a different lie. He’s also claimed that eating chili affects his memory, and he smokes weed once a year to test potency. As for who is going to be next? Does the shadow government have a request line, because I’d be happy to submit your name, Mr. Wiles.

Via RWW.

A Profile in Avoidance.

The couple with Donald’s daughter Ivanka at the 2004 Met Gala.
By Evan Agostini/Getty Images.

Vanity Fair has an interesting profile of Melania Trump, who, it seems, simply wanted a life of quiet avoidance cushioned by a great deal of money. Interesting reading, but also truly sad, a look at brittle, splintery, unhappy lives.

As the gorgeous wife of a Manhattan billionaire, Melania has had every opportunity to become a fixture on the gala-going benefit circuit. But that would presume an interest in social status or a cause. As Bytner recalls, “She was passionate about . . . Well, I can’t think what she was passionate about.”

[…]

Trump decided not to run in 2012, saying he wasn’t ready to leave the private sector. Four years later, the time had come. Trump’s official story is that he consulted with his family about his decision to run, and they all agreed. A former campaign aide recalls a conversation in which Melania told this aide that she didn’t want Donald to run, because she was terrified he might win. According to another Trump insider, “She never wanted this, and never had any interest.” (Grisham maintains that “Mrs. Trump has always been supportive of all her husband’s endeavors.”) Tolerating his boorishness—that she could do. Repeating a couple of lame sound bites to Joy Behar—fine. But serious campaigning for one’s spouse required far more actual effort.

Melania seemed to do her best to ignore the new reality, on the grounds that she wanted to be home for Barron. Over the course of Trump’s 17-month campaign, she rarely joined her husband at rallies, and the speeches she gave could be counted on one hand. Compare that with Michelle Obama, who spoke all over the country on Barack’s behalf, though she too had young children. During the primaries, Donald made do by re-tweeting a picture of Melania next to an unflattering shot of Heidi Cruz, Ted’s wife, with the caption “The images are worth a thousand words.”

But then he clinched the nomination, and more Melania participation was required—which, alas, did not do her any favors. In February 2016, in an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, Melania expounded on illegal immigration, using her personal story as an example of model behavior. “I followed the law . . . . And you should do that. You should not just say, O.K., let me stay here. And whatever happens happens.”

The full article is here.

Oh Gods, Stop Campaigning. Just Stop.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally Wednesday in Anaheim, Calif. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images).

The Incredible Thin-Skinned Man With The Terrifyingly Fragile Ego can’t cope with the upcoming White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Oh, whatever is a compleat loser to do? Why hold a campaign rally, of course! Rather than face the slightest criticism, or gods forbid, a witty and cutting remark, Trump is going back, back, back to the campaign trail, the only place apparently, where he felt sufficiently loved and somewhat successful. Problem being, of course, that the fucking campaign is over, and he got the job he professed to want. Might be nice if he did the damn job, rather than run back to the campaign crap, yet another pacifier for the Tiny Tyrant. Everyone knows that no matter much how he tries to avoid what has become a presidential tradition, he’s going to take in every remark, every witty jab, every tiny criticism, *poof* into Mr. Tweet and have one fit after another, so why not just go, and pretend to be an adult for one night? Christ, what a waste of space.

President Trump on Saturday announced plans to hold a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on April 29, marking his 100th day in office.

The White House did not offer additional details about where the rally would take place or what Trump’s focus would be, referring questions to Trump’s campaign apparatus. The campaign listed on its website an event scheduled for that night at 7:30 p.m. in Harrisburg, Pa.

The rally will coincide with the annual White House correspondents’ dinner, which Trump elected not to attend in a break from tradition.

[…]

Trump’s rally would offer counterprogramming to the annual celebration of political journalism that draws more than 2,000 reporters, celebrities and advertisers to the Washington Hilton. Trump announced in February that he would be the first president in 36 years to skip the dinner. His staff also turned down invitations to be guests at the event.

Counter programming, eh? I’d be willing to place my bet on what will garner the most views, and the most press! The Washington Post has the full story.

And then there’s this problem when he’s not running back to the refuge of pretend campaigning: ‘Anything could happen’: Trump aides fret when he gets free time because that’s when he screws up.

Ruth Hopkins Sums Up.

Putting Oil CEO Kelcy Warren on a Parks & Wildlife Board is ludicrous. Its like giving Darth Vader a spot on the Jedi Council.”

Yep. Who better to be a steward of wild spaces? Think Progress has the full story.

A Trump Tantrum and Government Shutdown.

Toddler Trump, by Sham.

Despite the Tiny Tyrant’s recent reversal on the importance of the first 100 days, he’s absolutely desperate for a “win” of some kind. For the most part, this involves another attempt at repealing the ACA, or failing that, trying to force congress to hand over forty billion dollars for the Grate Wall of Stupidity™.  More and more Americans are standing fast on not wanting the wall at all, and it’s not a remotely realistic “win” to push for, but Mulvaney is dangling an ACA concession, but only if all the money is handed over for the wall. Things were working, more or less, before Trump had to toss a late night wrench into the works, making everything all about his “wins” and nothing more. He has said “yeah, we want to keep government open”, but his actions don’t match that sentiment in any way. As usual, government in this case doesn’t mean jack shit if it doesn’t translate to “wins and approval” for the monstrous ego of Trump.

Trump’s instability has already caused a great deal of damage and irreparable harm; that harm keeps being extended with every rollback, all in the service of making the Tiny Tyrant feel like a big man. Now, he’s looking to toss anything into the cavernous maw of his always hungry ego, and if government shuts down, well who cares? I have no doubt that Trump would see that only as a bully tactic he could use, as that’s the current tactic, and the only one he possesses.

As the deadline for a spending bill looms, the Trump administration is reportedly throwing a monkey wrench into negotiations. The Trump administration is fighting for border wall funding or a crackdown on sanctuary cities, according to Politico, to give the president a victory during his first 100 days in office.

Desperate for a win, the administration is risking a government shutdown by insisting on funding the border wall. Congress has until April 28 to clear a spending bill — but negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate stalled over the last 24 hours after White House officials showed they wouldn’t move on funding the wall, Politico reported on Thursday evening.

A victory! The Tiny Tyrant must have a victory! Once again, language choice reveals a very nasty, unstable mindset. Think Progress has the full story, as does Politico.

Inaugural Donors: Phony Numbers and Front Groups.

Pablo Delcan; Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.

President Donald Trump smashed records this month with a reported $107 million dollar worth of donations to the “58th Presidential Inaugural Committee”—doubling the amount received in 2009 by former President Barack Obama. But a deep dive into Trump’s Federal Election Committee filing, spearheaded by the Huffington Post’s Christina Wilkie, presents evidence that a large number of donors used “phony records” or are “front groups.”

“Wow: Scores of donors to Trump’s inauguration are phony records or front groups. Help us did, spreadsheet is open! https://t.co/e7IVvIx8gB

The look into all this fraud is being crowd-sourced, if you can help dig around a bit, do so!

Via Raw Story.

Paranoid and Delusional.

Jim Cooke/FMG.

Doctors are speaking out, once again, about the Tiny Tyrant’s mental state. I don’t think it has escaped anyone’s notice that Trump is not exactly the most stable of individuals; nor that his ego is a monstrosity truly out of control. I have no doubt that even the Trump Faithful have noticed this, they just find justifications and rationalizations for it. The big problem here is power. The amount of harm Trump could cause outside of the political arena was high, on an individual level, however, the possibility for harm now is past the stratosphere. This is not someone you want in charge of a monstrously over-powered military and weapons. This is not someone who should even be close to knowing the nuclear codes. This is not someone who can pull off a brinksmanship game with nukes, because no sane person would even consider doing such a thing, the potential for catastrophe is simply too high. The other terrifying aspect to all that is that Trump has no resources other than his standby of bullying. He’s not knowledgeable, he’s not in the least shamed by his willful ignorance; he’s a 70something year old white man who relies completely on Fox News for his information. This does not make him different from all those other 70something white men who do the same, but they aren’t sitting in the perch of power, and no one really cares about whatever nutty stuff they might believe, thanks to Fox feeding.

As usual, there’s much talk about violating the Goldwater Rule, but we aren’t talking about someone who is campaigning anymore, we are talking about someone who has secured a position of great power, and someone who is not mentally or emotionally capable of handling such power. We should not be so cowed, as individuals or as a society, to hush everything up based on politeness, a la you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead. There’s a time and place for such courtesies, but this is not one of them. There’s a maniacal, knowledge-deficient bully sitting in the white house, who is swayed by the last person to speak with him. This is not someone who is a thinker, let alone an independent thinker. This is a person who is utterly dependent on the thoughts and feelings of others, and does most things on a whim, much like turning into Mr. Tweet in order to parrot Fox and Friends on Twitter. There should be a discussion of Trump’s overall health, and that most certainly includes his mental health.

Donald Trump has a “dangerous mental illness” and is not fit to lead the US, a group of psychiatrists has warned during a conference at Yale University.

Mental health experts claimed the President was “paranoid and delusional”, and said it was their “ethical responsibility” to warn the American public about the “dangers” Mr Trump’s psychological state poses to the country.

Speaking at the conference at Yale’s School of Medicine on Thursday, one of the mental health professionals, Dr John Gartner, a practising psychotherapist who advised psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, said: “We have an ethical responsibility to warn the public about Donald Trump’s dangerous mental illness.”

[…]

The doctors have said that even if it is in breach of tradition ethical standards of psychiatry, it was necessary to break their silence on the matter because they feared “too much is at stake”.

It is not the first time Mr Trump’s mental health has been called into question. In February, Duty to Warn, which consists of psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers, signed an open letter warning that his mental state “makes him incapable of serving safely as president”.

The letter warned that the  President’s tendency to “distort reality” to fit his “personal myth of greatness” and attack those who challenge him with facts was likely to increase in a position of power.

The Independent has the full story.

Climate Change, Now A Witch Hunt!

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has come to Exxon’s defense — again. AP Photo/Eric Gay, File.

Climate change, why it’s a witch hunt, it is, for real and true! What this is actually about is protecting Exxon, with republicans going full court testerical over the issue, claiming the usual excuse, freeze peach.

Citing Exxon Mobil’s right to “free speech,” 11 state attorneys general — all Republicans — filed in court this week to stop an investigation into the oil and gas giant’s decades-long history of climate denial.

The attorneys general — from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin — filed a brief to support Exxon’s request to stop the so-called “Exxon Knew” investigation, arguing that there is a “public policy debate” over climate change and that the investigation is an “unconstitutional abuse” of power.

“The Constitution was written to protect citizens from government witch-hunts such as this one, where officials use their authority and the threat of criminal prosecution to try and suppress speech on a viewpoint they disagree with,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.

This isn’t the first time Texas has intervened in the investigation on behalf of the state’s largest company. Paxton and his counterpart from Arkansas filed on behalf of Exxon in May of last year when it challenged a Virgin Islands subpoena. Paxton has said the investigations are “ridiculous.”

Think Progress has the full story.

Also see:

The Earth just passed another carbon threshold.

Climate change will fuel terrorism, report warns.

Dow Chemical gave $1 million to Trump’s inauguration, now wants pesticide risk study buried.

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.