1. microraptor says

    Ogvorbis @496:

    I just assume that Trump’s lying whenever his lips are moving. Saves time.

  2. says

    Rick Wilson wrote an article for The Daily Beast, “White House Death Match: Plutocrats vs. Racists.” Excerpts below:

    […] Trump’s populist base and advisers are getting their asses kicked by […] Washington insiders, swamp dwellers, and Team Goldman so thoroughly it’s surprising they can even sit. […]

    On one side, Steve Bannon’s “populist” wing advocates for a culture-war government of signifiers and winks to their alt-reich, alt-light, and alt-facts cohorts. Their Cartmanesque race warrrrrr tough talk on Muslim bans, border walls, trade wars, and lock-’em-up-and-hang-’em-high law enforcement complete with a Reefer Madness revival all come down to a not-so-subtle message: “Trump will take care of the scary brown people for you.” […]

    Bannon and Team Pepe ran into a hard wall of political and cultural reality; most of what they want Trump to do is box-office poison to anyone except his most febrile supporters, and […] the Bannonites made it worse with sloppy execution, terrible messaging, legislative wrong-footedness, and a stubborn belief that their beloved bullshit tornado was a substitute for governance. […]

    At this point, Pepe has a sad. Aside from Jeff Sessions at Justice, the alt-reich sleeper cell in the White House has been marginalized and diminished almost beyond recognition. […] Trump has decided Team Goldman and the Swamp dwellers are more to his liking. […]

    As for Trump’s base, if they can briefly rouse themselves from their Fox-n-OxyContin stupor, they’d realize they were conned by the populist scam and that the White House today is run by people more than willing to leverage every tool in the D.C. toolbox to enrich the Wall Street mothership. […]

    The losers in this fight? Trump’s base.
    They get nothing.
    No Wall. […]

    The next thing you know, Trump won’t deliver on his promises of a zillion coal miners heading down-pit on the daily. […]

    A trillion dollar stimulus plan? Team Goldman loves it since it’s not even project-driven, but largely a set of tax giveaways to favored sectors and companies. Obamacare repeal with a poison pill that is bound to include features that will piss off red-state voters just in time for 2018 and still give insurance and pharma a sweet, sweet payday? Check!

    The Trump tax plan? Lord knows I’m all for lowering rates and simplifying the tax code. […] a single page of bullet points to paper over a deficit hole that goes a trillion or two deep isn’t terribly serious. As one economist said to me yesterday, “The scoring on that plan better be really, really dynamic.”

    So 100 days in, the plutocrats are spanking the racists as Trump has chosen a domestic leadership team utterly at odds with his base. But that means Team Goldman needs to produce, or get spanked themselves—don’t count Bannon and his barely-disguised alt-reich ideology out just yet.

  3. says

    Stephen Colbert wondered aloud about Trump not reading what he is signing (a reference to Trump having said that he “sometimes” reads the executive orders):

    Sometimes he looks at the things he’s signing? Sometimes? Just randomly? Not all the time? Has anyone tried putting a resignation letter in front of him? It’s worth a shot.

    The video is 6:54 minutes long.

  4. says

    This is great – CREW’s Trump Inc: A Chronicle of Presidential Conflicts.

    It’s really breathtaking. Trump, his family and associates are like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park testing the fence. Each time they see the Republicans aren’t going to do anything to stop them or that the media will just move on, they become a bit more brazen and shameless, increasingly relishing and celebrating their corruption openly.

  5. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Does anyone else have the knee-jerk mental reaction I do? Every time Trump says, “Believe me,” I automatically think his is lying.

    Con men always say “believe me”. They must control the facts, not reality.
    It is a poker tell the equivalent of pulling on your nose to make it longer every time you bluff.

  6. says

    Marine Le Pen – with the help of Russian media – is now opportunistically appealing to Mélenchon’s supporters. This morning she put out a pandering video on Twitter addressed to them.


    [W]hat many have taken from [Mélenchon’s] rhetoric is that both candidates now competing for the presidency are so reprehensible, so poisonous to their aspirations, that the only respectable option is to sit out the election’s final round.

    Their blanket rejection brooks little subtlety, except for a slightly more sympathetic attitude toward Le Pen. Macron, they argue, is an undercover agent of international finance who will waste no time turning France into a gigantic casino for the ultra-rich. Le Pen runs a racist party, “but at least she has the merit of criticizing the banks,” wrote one Facebook poster.

    To partisans of the “ni ni” vote, it does not matter that one of the candidates, namely Le Pen, is under investigation for having allegedly misused funds from the European Parliament. Nor does it appear to make any difference that Jean-François Jalkh, the man nominated to take over the leadership of her National Front party while she focuses on the presidential runoff, was shown to have disputed the use of Zyklon B in the Nazi gas chambers. (Jalkh stepped down to “defend himself” against accusations of Holocaust revisionism.)

    According to this school of thought, Macron’s links to high finance are at least as bad, if not worse, than the National Front’s long legacy of Holocaust revisionism, racism, and xenophobia. “I should not have to choose between two forms of fascism,” wrote another Mélenchon supporter in a Facebook post two days after the election’s first round. “Democracy is about choosing a candidate whose beliefs you share.”

    Many of his supporters are young, politically inexperienced, and unaccustomed to slow struggles that involve strategic voting, alliances, organizing, and direct action and often face multiple setbacks. They’re also uncomprehending of the nature of Le Pen’s fascism and just what a sleazy Kremlin-backed manipulator she is. They don’t appreciate the danger. For many, regardless of the outcome, abstaining in this election will be a source of great shame and regret in the future, and there’s nothing arrogant or disrespectful about explaining that. What Mélenchon has been doing so far amounts to political malpractice. The article does note:

    Mélenchon, aged 65, has declined to offer his mostly young supporters any guidance on what to do in the second round. Breaking with a decades-old tradition by which left- and right-wing candidates work together to keep the far-right out of power, Mélenchon also failed to clarify his personal choice or come out with a critical word against Le Pen, whom he has nonetheless denounced in the past. (Mélenchon said he would consult members of his France Unbowed movement through a vote before clarifying his own stance in a YouTube video, which has yet to be published.)

    This isn’t really leadership, but I can only hope they shake some sense into him and his video appears soon.

  7. says

    From the Kansas City Star’s editorial board:

    Next week, Kansas lawmakers will once again try to figure out how to cover a massive shortfall in the state’s budget.

    We hope President Donald Trump will be in the gallery, taking notes. That’s because the president’s tax plan, unveiled by the White House Wednesday, strongly resembles the disastrous tax plan passed in Kansas in 2012.

    Trump wants to consolidate individual tax brackets and lower the top rate. He would eliminate some deductions and, most crucially, dramatically reduce taxes for business owners, including millions of people who own businesses but pay taxes on their profits as individuals.

    Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s 2012 tax reform blueprint was quite similar, and we know why. The same worn-out supply-side “experts” helped write both proposals. […]

    […] the president, the Congress and millions of Americans may be somewhat unfamiliar with the outcome of what Gov. Sam Brownback once called a “real live experiment” in tax policy.

    No problem. We’re happy to offer some of the lessons we’ve learned first-hand over the last five years:

    ▪ The economy won’t grow at the rate you think. Brownback promised his tax cuts would provide a “shot of adrenaline” to the Kansas economy.

    It never happened. Job growth in Kansas has lagged behind peer states, neighboring states and even some states that raised taxes.

    A recently published academic paper suggests why: Kansans used the small business exemption to avoid taxes, not to add workers.

    The governor and his allies blame slow growth on unanticipated slumps in the farming and energy sectors. That merely proves tax cuts are usually less significant than other macro-economic trends.

    The American economy is changing dramatically. Health care jobs are up, while retail jobs have collapsed. Coal mining isn’t coming back.

    Giving companies a huge tax break won’t change that.

    ▪ The deficit will increase. Remember when Republicans worried about the federal deficit? Good times. […]

  8. says

    I think Trump may be about to experience another “nobody knew how difficult …” moment. Trump told Reuters:

    I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians. There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians — none whatsoever.

    Trump might use his “nobody knew how complicated,” or his “it turns out …” phrases, but the conclusion will be the same. Trump is ridiculous and ignorant, and he projects his ignorance onto everyone. I resent that. Trump blusters, bloviates, and boasts … then reality slaps him the face and he retreats.

  9. says

    Unlike many presidents before him, Trump decided it was a good idea to be a featured speaker at the National Rifle Association’s annual conference. His speech was larded with NRA talking points, and with support for other Republican politicians:

    […] “the eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” part of a a speech that was light on policy but heavy on conservative shout-outs and campaign rhetoric.

    Trump noted the impending election [in Georgia] in his remarks.

    “She’s totally for the NRA and she’s totally for the Second Amendment, so get out and vote,” he said of [Karen] Handel. “You know, she’s running against someone who’s going to raise your taxes to the sky, destroy your health care and he’s for open borders — lots of crime — and he’s not even able to vote in the district that he’s running in, other than that, I think he’s doing a fantastic job. Right? So get out and vote for Karen.”

    The endorsements didn’t stop there: Trump praised Singer Lee Greenwood (“We’re all very proud, indeed, to be an American.”); Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, whose ouster was reported Friday (“Those people have been fantastic, they’ve been real friends.”); Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society Leonard Leo (“They really helped us out.”); Govs. Rick Scott, Phil Bryant and Nathan Deal; and Sens. David Perdue (R-GA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) (“Like, dislike, like,” Trump said of his relationship with the latter).

    NBC’s Ali Vitali reported a sighting of Donald Trump Jr. in the audience, despite the Trump scion’s pledge to stay away from government. […]

    “I have a feeling that in the next election you’re going to be swamped with candidates, but you’re not going to be wasting your time,” he told the group. “You’ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over and you’re going to say, ‘No, sir, no thank you, no, ma’am,’”

    “It may be Pocahontas, remember that,” Trump said,[…]

    The speech was celebratory, even triumphant, though it frequently veered abruptly away from the truth.

    “The NRA protects in our capitals and legislative houses the freedoms that our service members have won for us on those incredible battlefields,” Trump said. “And it’s been a tough fight against those who would go so far as to ban private gun ownership entirely.”

    No national office-holding Democrat has proposed banning private gun ownership. […]

  10. says

    Follow-up to comment 11.

    Another excerpt from Trump’s speech to the NRA annual conference:

    It’s truly wonderful to be back in Atlanta and back with my friends at the NRA. You’re my friends. […] It was in the middle of a historic year and in the middle of a truly historic election. What fun that was? November 8th. Wasn’t that a great evening? Do you remember that evening? […]

    Hundreds of times I heard, there is no — you know, there’s no route. There is no route to 270 and we ended with 306. […] That was some evening. [..]

  11. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, checked up on the Bundy Sr. Trial. The jury convicted 2 out 6 accused, and were deadlocked on the four. A retrial will occur.

    A federal jury in Las Vegas found two men guilty Monday in an armed standoff that stopped government agents from rounding up cattle near Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch in 2014, but then deadlocked on federal charges against four others.
    The six men were the first to be tried in the standoff, which was hailed as a victory by states’ rights advocates who want vast stretches of federal land in the U.S. West put under local control.
    Their case was seen as a preview for an upcoming trial for Bundy; his eldest sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy; and two others who prosecutors have characterized as leaders of a conspiracy to defy the government with guns.
    The judge declared a mistrial for Richard Lovelien, Scott Drexler, Eric Parker and Steven Stewart and scheduled a new trial for June 26, the same day the Bundys are set to be tried.
    Earlier, the same jury convicted Gregory Burleson, 53, of Phoenix, of eight charges, including threatening and assaulting a federal officer. He faces a minimum of 57 years in prison at sentencing July 26.
    Todd Engel, 49, of Boundary County, Idaho, was found guilty of obstruction and traveling across state lines in aid of extortion. Engel could face up to 30 years at sentencing July 27.

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