The Trump Prophecies.

Mark Taylor really wants in on that sweet prophet profit. I guess the whole “Trump cracking down on satanic pedophiles” went over well.

It all started as the retired firefighter watched Trump give an otherwise innocuous interview to Fox News. In his book, Taylor describes how God spoke to him as the interview went on: “The Spirit of God says, ‘I have chosen this man, Donald Trump, for such a time as this. For as Benjamin Netanyahu is to Israel, so shall this man be to the United States.’”

From that moment on, Taylor explains, he felt his political and religious role shift dramatically—realizing that he “was no longer simply Mark Taylor” but also “Shakina Kami,” a name that supposedly translates from a combination of “African” and “Indian” languages into “Beautiful One Whose Desires Are Fulfilled, and in Whose Life the Lord Dwells with the Divine Wind of Providence.” The rest of the book is devoted to revealing Taylor’s visions about how Trump is the “chosen one” who will unite the “Army of God.”

In case you’re wondering, Mr. Taylor is quite white in appearance. I wonder if he bothered to think over that name business, it’s hardly the sort of name to win Trump’s affection. And why supposedly African/Indian names? All the pasty white names gone?

For example, Taylor argues that “we simply must stop saying that the Church and/or God doesn’t belong in politics” and, as such, he believes that God will use Trump to unite Church and state by evicting “the evil that currently resides” in the government, in some cases “possibly” arresting politicians who oppose the administration. Among those that will be replaced are five Supreme Court justices, who will be overthrown in a dramatic fashion: with one retired, one dead, and three forced to resign amidst scandal. In addition to purging the government, Taylor explains, the Spirit of God often tells Taylor that President Trump will finally defeat all threatening non-state actors as well, such as the “illuminati and ISIS.”

Goodness. That’s an awful lot to put on an incompetent moron’s plate.

However, according to Taylor, this process will not be without difficulty. Taylor frequently supplements his prophecies with stories of personal obstacles: Namely, Taylor describes how he is targeted by evil spirits for “speaking out against the powers of evil that have strongholds in high places,” especially in the Supreme Court. In some instances, Taylor uses self-aggrandizing superhero tropes to depict his battle with “demonic” and “powerful” spirits, who try to undermine his mission to expose them. Taylor boasts about how he has called upon “the physical self-defense strategies” that he “had learned to rely on as a fireman” in order to “reach out and attack” the “powerful” and “demonic” spirits that torment him at night.

Right. So you do battle with your blankets at night. I’m sure I’m all impressed over here. How about a squid spirit, had one of those yet? I’d like to know what awesome super fireman physical defense strategies you use for that one.

Taylor describes how the Christian Army should oust political opposition:

The Spirit of God says, ‘America, get ready, for I AM choosing from the top of the cream, for I AM putting together America’s dream team, from the president and his administration, to judges and congress to ease America’s frustrations!’ The Spirit of God says, ‘Rise up, My Army, and get in the fight… Rise up! stomp the enemy’s head with bliss; send the enemy back to Hell and into the abyss.’

I certainly hope you aren’t planning on writing a bible, Mr. Taylor. That’s worse than the crappy prose in the bible, and it’s not easy being worse than that. So, you skimmed Exodus and Psalms, and that’s what you came up with. Yikes. I do imagine you and the Tiny Tyrant would have a grand time talking to one another, a perfect storm of idiotic incoherence.

Oh, there is much more at RWW, along with a photo of Mr. Taylor.

“Napoleon finished a little bit bad,”

The Tiny Tyrant has been talking again. It’s not good.

Donald Trump gave a long, rambling interview to the New York Times on Wednesday in which he mangled facts about French history.

Reflecting on his time in France earlier this month, the president talked about the downfall of Napoleon and showed a high level of historical illiteracy.

“Napoleon finished a little bit bad,” the president began. “His one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death. How many times has Russia been saved by the weather?”

Trump then reflected that Hitler made the same mistake in his decision to wage war in Russia during the winter.

“Same thing happened to Hitler,” he said. “Not for that reason, though. Hitler wanted to consolidate. He was all set to walk in. But he wanted to consolidate, and it went and dropped to 35 degrees below zero, and that was the end of that army.”


“But the Russians have great fighters in the cold,” he said. “They use the cold to their advantage. I mean, they’ve won five wars where the armies that went against them froze to death. It’s pretty amazing. So, we’re having a good time. The economy is doing great.”

Oh hey, here’s everything I know about French military history: Napoleon, well, bad. Russia, great! Hey, this is a good time. Is there chocolate cake? Oh yeah, the economy is doing great! Bottomed out, but great! Jesus Fuckin’ Christ.

Via Raw Story.

“What do you want us to do?”

Photo illustration by Sagmeister & Walsh. Set painters: Colossal Media.

The Atlantic has an article up about what congressional rethugs think about the whole Trump/Russia business. Turns out, they don’t much care. I’m sure we’re all veddy surprised. This little bit stood out though:

Like many of his colleagues, the aide expressed profound annoyance when I asked him if there would ever come a time when Republicans turn on Trump. “What does that even mean? What do you expect us to do?” he replied. “I hear this with every little Tweet [from Trump]: ‘Oh, when are Republicans going to put an end to this?’ What do you want us to do, seize his Twitter account?”

No, you silly twit. I’d like for you to do your fucking job, and impeach this illegal, traitorous idiot. That’s what I want. Now that you know, perhaps you could all do your job?

Full story at The Atlantic.

Made In ‘Murica.

Vice President Mike Pence laughs as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a baseball bat as they attend a Made in America product showcase event at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria.

It seems this is “Made In Murica” week, one of those mind-numbing idiocies of the Tiny Tyrant. As usual with all of Donny’s ideas, this one means absolutely nothing. Very little is manufactured in uStates anymore, and for that to be different, oh my, radical changes would be needed, to say the least. What this all comes down to is Donny playing with some toys, and puffing hot air around a bit.

Donald Trump promised on Monday he would take more legal and regulatory steps during the next six months to protect American manufacturers, lashing out against trade deals and trade practices he said have hurt U.S. companies.

Trump climbed into an American-made fire truck parked behind the White House, took a swing with a baseball bat in the Blue Room, and briefly donned a customized Stetson cowboy hat in front of cheering manufacturing company executives from all 50 states gathered to hear him praise their products.

“I want to make a pledge to each and every one of you: No longer are we going to allow other countries to break the rules, steal our jobs and drain our wealth,” Trump said.

Other countries are not breaking rules, nor are stealing jobs. American corporations hand them jobs. That’s a bit different. They aren’t draining “our” wealth. The people doing that, gosh, they would be you, your family, and others who have mass amounts of money which is never ever enough.

He was speaking to a trade show – albeit one with a protectionist bent – organized by the White House to spotlight his efforts to revive the flagging manufacturing sector.


Trump did not give details about what his administration would do to protect manufacturers, but he railed against tariffs charged by other countries and unfair trade practices.

“That includes cracking down on the predatory online sales of foreign goods, which is absolutely killing our shoppers and our shopping centers,” he said.

“If you look at what is going on with shopping centers and stores and jobs and stores, it’s been very, very tough for them. They’ve have had a very hard time, closing at numbers and records that have never been seen before,” he said.

Who in the fuck knows what Donny means by predatory online sales. Pretty sure he’s not talking about Amazon. The world is full of amazing goods, why shouldn’t people buy those things? When I have a bit of extra pocket money, I like to shop at Novica. Every now and then, I get a fierce craving for Yorkshire Gold Tea or other such goodies, and I love being able to buy them, and no, I don’t buy anything through Amazon. For the most part, I try to support independent businesses, whether they are in uStates or not. I don’t see the slightest thing wrong with that. What Donny misses is that shopping in uStates is near dead because most people don’t have money to spare, and big box corporation stores are eating everything else alive. Not that I expect the Tiny Tyrant to have the very least understanding of economics. All he knows is graft, tax write-offs, and not paying anyone except himself.

Trump spoke in front of a panoply of iconic American-made products: Gibson guitars, Maryland crab pots, a Delaware-made NASA space suit and Cheerwine soda.

Ah, well, I’m sure we’ll all run out and purchase all those things.

He discussed sales of Sikorsky helicopters – “I have three of them!” he said, lifted horseshoes made with Nucor Corp steel, and strolled past vacuum-sealed Omaha steaks.

Jesus Fuck. Divorced from reality does not even begin to cover it.

He told the manufacturers that he was working for a “level playing field” for their wares.

“But if the playing field were slanted like a little bit toward us, I’d accept that also,” Trump said.

Mmmm hmmm. But it better not be level or slanted a little bit towards anyone else, oh no! Asshole.

Via Raw Story.

Now, when it comes to all the crap the Trumps sell:

The White House on Monday refused to say whether President Donald Trump’s business would cease manufacturing in China and other countries during the administration’s “Made In America” week.


But it wasn’t clear if Trump — who manufactures his products in Bangladesh, China and Mexico — was ready to give his jobs to American workers.

A White House official ducked the question when CBS Correspondent Mark Knoller asked about products made abroad.

“I will get back to you,” the official reportedly said.

Uh huh. Full story here.

Terrorism Tourism.

A group of tourists take part in a two hour “boot camp” experience, at “Caliber 3 Israeli Counter Terror and Security Academy ” in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank. It is part of a counter-terrorism “boot camp” organised by Caliber 3, a company set up by a colonel in the Israeli army reserves.
REUTERS/Nir Elias.

A tourist takes part in a two hour “boot camp” experience, at “Caliber 3 Israeli Counter Terror and Security Academy” in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. Entrance to the gated compound in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc – built on land the Palestinians want for their own state – costs $115 for adults and $85 for children.
REUTERS/Nir Elias.

A tourist carries a poster as he takes part in a two hour “boot camp”. The aim of the mock scenario is to teach foreign visitors how to deal with an attack on a market.
REUTERS/Nir Elias.

An Israeli instructor speaks to children from overseas holding wooden cut-out rifles. Yasser Sobih, mayor of the nearby Palestinian town of al-Khader, condemned the Israeli venture. “The participation of tourists in training in these camps built on occupied Palestinian land means that they support the occupation and we ask them to stop it,” he told Reuters.
REUTERS/Nir Elias.

Here’s one stupid fucking idea. Unsurprisingly, the majority of tourists having themselves all kinds of fun at terrorist boot camp are Americans. Reuters has an extensive slideshow, and article about this particular bit of idiocy, catering to morons with superhero fantasies run amok in their heads.


Holy Laughter and Privy Secret Information.

Who are all these people? I can’t keep track of them.

Last week, President Trump met with a variety to right-wing pastors in the Oval Office, where the group laid hands upon him and were led in prayer by pastor Rodney Howard-Browne.

Howard-Browne, a pioneer of the Holy Laughter movement, posted a video late last week in which he explained that he had been moved to pray over Trump because he is privy to secret information about a “planned attack on our president.”

Uh huh.

“There is a planned attack on our president,” he said, “and that’s all I can tell you about right now; I know what I’m talking about, I’ve spoken to high-ranking people in the government and this is being planned by people that hate God, hate America, hate our president and we have to stop this, in Jesus name.”

Yes, yes. It’s a terribly privy, and of course, no one actually knows a damn thing except you. I imagine if “high-ranking” people in government knew anything about an actual plot of any kind, they would simply deal with it. Of course, given what ‘government’ has been reduced to these days, I suppose there would be much flapping of arms and denials, while no one did anything.

People that hate “god.” No. Again, let’s be god specific, please. The planet is littered with gods. So, people that hate Jehovah. Bad news, Rodney – the only people who might hate Jehovah are those who believe in it. People like myself, atheists, we know your psychopathic figment is simply that, a work of imagination. You don’t hate that which is not real. (And no, please do not make asinine comments about ‘hating’ fictional characters. That’s not genuine hate, it’s more of a sport.) People that hate America. Well, I can’t say I’m fond of your version of it, which is a fucking nightmare for all decent peoples. Hate our president. What president? We don’t have one at the moment. We have an engorged, malignant narcissist of an idiot sitting in the white house, weaving a web of fascism and nonsense, manufacturing hate by the truckload. I would love to go back to not caring one whit about Donny Trump, and being only marginally aware of him, if at all.

Howard-Browne stated that he is going to have the photo of the group praying over Trump posted in the prayer room at his church where, 24 hours a day, there will be a prayer warrior stationed “just for the purpose of praying over our president, that God would protect him, that the plan of the wicked would be cut off … that if the enemy digs a ditch [for the president], that he will fall into himself.”

Pray all you want. Indulge in hysterical laughter. Who the fuck cares? It won’t do a damn thing. Jehovah doing something about wicked people, right. Seems to me you’re flourishing just fine.

“Some of you might not understand that, you might think we’re crazy, but I tell you, if you knew what I knew, then you’d understand the urgency of the hour,” he said.

Right. There’s always some “urgency of the hour” with you people. You’ve been waiting on your big one for a couple thousand years now. Pardon my yawn. I don’t know what you supposedly have under your hat, but I don’t need to know, either. It’s all emptiness, whipping people up into a nonsense froth of fear, so you can shake their pockets out, and they’ll be grateful for it. Unfortunately, I don’t think you have the defense of insanity, all you assholes are greedy, cold, and calculating to the last penny. Fear is an easy business, easy as sex. They both sell.

“There is a fight on for the soul of the republic and God had raised President Donald Trump to be the trumpet that is going to sound in this hour …

The republic doesn’t have a soul. Neither does anything else. Trump as a Trumpet? :laughs: Out here in reality, all we’re getting is a stream of broken tweeting.

There are many traps being set all the time and already the Lord has averted many things just in the short time that he’s been in office. Let’s pray for him like never before. Maybe you didn’t vote for him, I don’t care; if you want to live a peaceful life, then pray.”

If I thought it would help, I’d pray to all the gods to have Donny drop dead in a timely manner, and we might possibly work our way back to that peace business. If any gods read this, and want to strike a deal, you know where I live.

Full article and video at Right Wing Watch.

Kellyanne’s Flash Cards.

More like flash paper, really.

Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday deployed two small flash cards to make the case that there has been no collusion between the Trump administration and Russia … “yet”.

Speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity, Conway said she was using the cards “to help all the people at home” understand the significance of revelations that Donald Trump Jr agreed to meet a Russian lawyer, after being told the lawyer would provide damaging information about Hillary Clinton because the Russian government was supporting his father’s presidential campaign.

At the end of her interview with Hannity, Conway held up her first placard, which read: “conclusion, collusion”.

Conway crossed out the word collusion and explained: “What’s the conclusion? Collusion? No. We don’t have that yet.”

She then held up a second card, which read “Illusion, delusion”, and said: “I just thought we’d have some fun with words.”

I have fun with words all the time, words are wonderful. That said, I’m something of a stickler for using them correctly. Unfortunately, Ms. Conway doesn’t allow herself to be bothered by that overly much.

Defending the Trump administration, Conway told Hannity the media talks “more about Russia than America”.

The cards, she said, were like Sesame Street’s “Word of the Day”, a reference to the children’s TV show which features a segment in which Elmo and occasionally other muppets, such as the hapless Grover, explain the meaning of words such as vote, stumble and canteen.

I have Word Wednesday every week. What I do, and what Sesame Street does, is to provide nifty things like definitions of those words. That’s not at all what Ms. Conway was doing. She was attempting to switch one word for another in blatant propaganda style.

Conway later tweeted a link to an article about her segment and said: “Apologies to the humorless.”

I’m not humorless, Ms. Conway. I find often find you quite funny, but not in any way you meant.

But by Thursday morning, inevitably, her appearance had become a meme:

Scott Kerr: Kellyanne Conway did the worst version Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues”

You can see additional responses at The Guardian.

America On Its Baby Hobby Horse.

Lance Wallnau is at it again. Does the man ever shut up? This time, he has the explanation for all that Russia stuff, and America is being too whiny, and sucking its thumb too much.

“Do you know why Russia made it a point to interfere with our election?” Wallnau asked. “Because Putin was incensed that Hillary Clinton, during the Obama administration, had utilized organizations in the West to plant operations in Moscow for the pro-democracy movement because—get this—the Democrats want the LGBT social agenda to be embraced and Russia won’t get on board with it.”

“Putin is virulently anti-homosexual, same-sex marriage,” he continued. “The Democrat progressives targeted Putin for regime change, so we put money and organizations into Russia for pro-democracy and Putin did a massive crackdown on it, kicked them all out … and then went on the offensive and decided to let Hillary experience what it’s like to have your political system meddled with by a foreign power.”

This business of assigning all these amazing actions to one woman is getting past tiring. I suppose it’s just beyond all reason to think that gay people in Russia might have some passing interest in having full human rights, and other little things, like not being murdered. Yes, Putin is about as homophobic as one can get, but he’s one person. He is not all of Russia, and he certainly does not speak for every person in Russia. Naturally, this has jack shit to do with anything. Trump is convenient puppet, a moron who is easily influenced. Anyone who was looking for an idiot puppet would have chosen him, he has no capacity when it comes to thinking for himself. The man is a dictator’s wet dream, as far as puppets go.

“America has to get off its little baby hobby horse here, sucking its thumb, being all offended,” Wallnau said, “because we did it to [Putin] and that’s why he did it to us. So America is guilty of this stuff too.”

Oooh, well that’s telling America. You wouldn’t be calling your listeners snowflakes, would you?

Via Right Wing Watch, there’s video.

“Trump’s crackdown on satanic pedophile and child sacrifice cults…”

Sacrifice of Isaac, Caravaggio.

Mark Taylor is a former firefighter who styles himself a prophet. I had not heard of him before today, but that’s not surprising as self-styled prophets are popping out of the woodwork everywhere these days. I get the feeling that Mr. Taylor is attempting to rival Alex Jones.

“Divine justice is being poured out right now,” Taylor said. “3,000 elite pedophiles have been arrested since the inauguration, but that’s not a whole lot of common knowledge, people don’t understand that because they’ve had a 100 percent media blackout on it.”

Oh yes, a media blackout, but you know all about it! That’s how these things work when you just dream them up. I’m getting pretty damn tired of all this “divine justice” which is conveniently invisible, with no discernible effect on our particular plane of reality. If that all mighty Jehovah is real and hanging about someplace, let him show hisself already.

Taylor said that thousands of well-known, high-ranking figures have been arrested in recent months as part of Trump’s crackdown on satanic pedophile and child sacrifice cults, but we are not hearing anything about it because Trump is keeping it all under wraps.

Ah. I’d think that if well-known, high-ranking people went suddenly missing in large numbers, someone would notice. There would, at the very least, be rampant speculation.

“The Clintons are going to go down, Obama is going to go down, they’re all going to go down,” Taylor said. “Time is up for those who are corrupt … God is very serious when He says He is going to clean house. Everybody keeps asking, ‘When is it going to start, when is it going to start?’

This body is not asking that at all. Corruption. That happens to be a frequently used category on Affinity, always used whenever there’s a post about the Tiny Tyrant and/or his hench ants, the rethuglicans and the other filthy rich. Y’know, those financially elite people. It’s of interest to me how on the conservative side, elite has been twisted about to mean knowledgeable/educated for the most part. The decades long move towards obscurantism has gathered great speed, and conservatives of all stripes are doing whatever they can to make education not only a very bad thing, but to strip most peoples’ ability to obtain any. Trump is held up by idiots everywhere as non-elite, using their very own definition. And, in the sense of dumber than dirt, they are correct. In the actual sense, of course, they are wrong. Mr. Taylor seems to be yet another who is using elite incorrectly, and obviously derides anyone who has an education, and uses it, oh, to speak in full sentences which are coherent. Awful stuff like that.

It’s already started, it’s just they’re not saying anything. And the other thing you have to understand, with Trump being ten places ahead of everybody else, he’s not going to tip his hat as to what he’s doing.”

:Tries to not choke on tea: Goodness. The Tiny Tyrant is ten paces ahead of everyone else? Okay, I’m just going to be gobsmacked here. It seems to me that Trump has a very difficult time keeping pace with anyone else.

“You’re just going to wake up one morning and Hillary Clinton is going to be in jail,” he said, “[and] it will be a sign to the United States that that spirit called Jezebel has been locked up and the key thrown away.”

Oh for fuck’s sake. Can this tiring business not be dropped already? There’s no such spirit as Jezebel, and I’m getting pretty sick and fucking tired of women being blamed for every damn thing ever. Ms. Clinton won’t be jailed, she’s not hosting any spirits, and she’s not the most evil thing since Eve, either. What an idiot.

Via Right Wing Watch, where there’s video, if you’re feeling like you need to be mean to yourself.

No Credibility: The Regime in a Nutshell.

Melania Trump. CREDIT: AP/Alex Brandon.

“I wish Melania would really take this on. There’s no way that she can,” Parry Aftab, founder of WiredSafety, told the Globe. “She can’t. It won’t work. There’s no credibility.”

Think Progress has an article up about the so-called initiative of the queen, er, first tyrantess (yes, yes, I know, deal with it), which was supposed to be all about cyberbullying, with a particular focus on children and social media. The above quote says it all, really. No Credibility covers the whole clown show of the current regime. Not only has there been no move by the first tyrantess to do one damn thing, how on earth could anyone take her seriously, when she defended the Tiny Tyrant’s bullying on Twitter? Something to the effect that “if you hit at Donny, he hits back 10 times harder.” That’s hardly the sentiment of someone who is anti-bullying. It is the sentiment of someone who stands firmly behind a bully, with nary a shrug as long as it results in them getting what they want.

This is yet one more small item in a sea of them which shores up Ms. Tyrantess’s role in things. She is not a victim, in any way. She’s a woman with agency, who has made various decisions in her life, and she obviously quite likes the life she has at the moment, and shows no desire whatsoever to go rocking the boat now. This is why there won’t be any retraction of her various defenses of bullying on the part of the Tiny Tyrant; if there’s any attempt at such, it will be a mouthful of mush which evades any actual apology or responsibility. I suspect she came up with cyberbullying as a focus because she couldn’t think of anything else, and had to say something. I have no doubt she now regrets it, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if her focus undergoes a change in the coming days.

Full story.

God has raised up…a breaker anointing.

If anything is to be said for the nonsense to follow, it’s that it’s at least somewhat accurate. Not the “god” business, of course, but the extremely limited skill of the Tiny Tyrant.

“So, you know, North Korea, you’d better be on your toes because you’re up against a breaker anointing of God,” he said. “This isn’t about politics, this isn’t government as usual, this isn’t even militaristic, God has raised up…a breaker anointing. Anything that God opposes him against, he breaks up. He broke up the Republican Party…he broke up the Democratic Party, he broke up the news media. Everything that comes against him, he has a hammer against. So, I’m telling you, North Korea, you’d better stand down because you’re up against the breaker anointing of God.”

Does it really need to be pointed out, even to fundamentalist, conservative christians, that having only one tool that allows you smash, and nothing more, is not a good thing? Regardless of any “hammer”, it won’t stand up to nuclear weapons; nor will it stand against other nations coming to the conclusion that America no longer has any significant role to play on the world stage. Isolation is not the glory the Tiny Tyrant attempts to sell.

Bakker and Amedia then discussed the president’s volatile Twitter presence, which Bakker said was all part of the “gift of wisdom” that God had told him he gave Trump.

No matter how you slice it, Jehovah keeps winning the worst god ever dreamed up contest. The idiocy which keeps drooling out of Trump could not pass as wisdom under any definition. More than half the time, it barely reaches coherency.

Amedia offered that Trump tweets because he gets bored with nonconsequential things, part of his God-given gift of “discernment.”

Well, that’s, um, special. Pretty much all the Tiny Tyrant does tweet about is non-consequential crap, so I wouldn’t call that discernment, of any kind. For one thing, in order to be discerning, it certainly helps if you have knowledge of things first. We can definitely rule that one out.

“I believe he receives downloads that now he’s beginning to understand come from God,” Amedia said.

:Snort: Ah, it’s downloads now, is it? There’s always this terrible desperation on the part of fundamentalists to sound modern and relevant, and they never, ever get it right. That sort of thing will happen when you insist on believing in a god that would be too psychopathic and regressive for the stone age. If Donny’s receiving downloads, they’re coming in on a floppy disk in a worn out drive.

Right Wing Watch has the story, and video.

The Death of A Trumpian Paradise.

Politico has an excellent story up about the Colorado Springs experiment. The town elected a real-estate maven, with no political experience at all, who promised to make Colorado Springs great, just run it like a business. Sound familiar? In most respects, Steve Bach is just like a certain Tiny Tyrant. Bach also made much hay out of the whole “jobs, jobs, jobs!” business, which did not pan out in the slightest. This is a good lesson, because this is the road the whole damn country is going down, and it is going to fail, spectacularly. People rarely want to employ sense when it comes to money, and this is particularly true of Americans, who are always looking for a whole lot of something for nothing.

For a city, like the country at large, that was hurting economically, Steve Bach seemed like a man with an answer. What he promised sounded radically simple: Wasteful government is the root of the pain, and if you just run government like the best businesses, the pain will go away. Easy. Because he had never held office and because he actually had been a successful entrepreneur, people were inclined to believe he really could reinvent the way a city was governed.

The city’s experiment was fascinating because it offered a chance to observe some of the most extreme conservative principles in action in a real-world laboratory. Producers from “60 Minutes” flew out to talk with the town’s leaders. The New York Times found a woman in a dark trailer park pawning her flat screen TV to buy a shotgun for protection. “This American Life” did a segment portraying Springs citizens as the ultimate anti-tax zealots, willing to pay $125 in a new “Adopt a Streetlight” program to illuminate their own neighborhoods, but not willing to spend the same to do so for the entire city. “I’ll take care of mine” was the gist of what one council member heard from a resident when she confronted him with this fact.

That’s where Colorado Springs was frozen in the consciousness of the country—a city determined to redefine the role of government, led by a sharp-elbowed businessman who didn’t care whom he offended along the way (not unlike a certain president). But it has been five years since “This American Life” packed up its mics. A lot has changed in that time, not least of which is that the local economy, which nearly drowned the city like a concrete block tied around its balance sheet, is buoyant once again. Sales tax revenue has made the books plump with surplus. Enough to turn those famous streetlights back on. Seven years after the experiment began, the verdict is in—and it’s not at all what its architects planned.

One of the lessons: There’s a real cost to saving money.

Take the streetlights. Turning them off had saved the city about $1.25 million. What had not made the national news stories was what had happened while those lights were off. Copper thieves, emboldened by the opportunity to work without fear of electrocution, had worked overtime scavenging wire. Some, the City Council learned, had even dressed up as utility workers and pried open the boxes at the base of streetlights in broad daylight. Keeping the lights off might have saved some money in the short term, but the cost to fix what had been stolen ran to some $5 million.


There has been a lot of this kind of reckoning over the past half-decade. From crisis came a desire for disruption. From disruption came, well, too much disruption. And from that came a full-circle return to professional politicians. Including one—a beloved mayor and respected bureaucrat who was short-listed to replace James Comey as FBI director—who is so persuasive he has gotten Colorado Springs residents to do something the outside world assumed they were not capable of: Five years after its moment in the spotlight, revenue is so high that the same voters who refused to keep the lights on have overwhelmingly approved ballot measures allowing the city to not only keep some of its extra tax money, but impose new taxes as well.

In the process, many residents of Colorado Springs, but especially the men and women most committed to making the city thrive, have learned a few other lessons. That perpetual chaos can be exhausting. That the value of the status quo rises with the budget’s bottom line. And that it helps when the people responsible for running the city are actually talking with one another. All it took was a few years running an experiment that everyone involved seems happy is over.

Politico has the full story, recommended reading.

The Tiny Tyrant’s Campaign Scam.

The Trump International Hotel at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, is seen in Washington on Dec. 21, 2016. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex Brandon.

It should be more than obvious by now that Trump never wanted to actually be president. He sucks at the job, to say the very least. He’s a fucking idiot who doesn’t have the slightest idea of what he’s doing, he’s incapable of learning, and doesn’t have the sense to surround himself with sane, responsible, knowledgeable people. He did get one thing right: campaigning. He could go out, be himself, an empty void of narcissism and hate, and discovered people in fear of losing their white privilege would cheer. He also discovered that campaigning was a great scam. So, he’s doing what he’s capable of doing, going back to the scamming. Ignoring that whole pesky president business, he’ll be hosting a re-election fundraiser tonight. If there’s a better argument for stripping obscenely people of their wealth, I don’t what it is. This might all be fun and power games for them, but it’s a different story for all of us out here on the ground.

If there’s anything President Donald Trump loves more than his business empire, it’s being a candidate on the campaign trial. Wednesday night, he’ll combine both roles as he hosts his first reelection fundraiser, the earliest of any sitting president.

The fundraiser, which people have paid anywhere from $35,000 to upwards of $110,000 to attend, will be held at Trump’s second residence along Pennsylvania Avenue — the Trump International Hotel.

Trump International has become one Trump’s most glaring conflicts of interest, visible from the White House lawn. When he signed a 60-year lease with the General Services Administration in 2013, he signed a contract that contains a clause that reads:

No member or delegate to Congress, or elected official of the Government of the United States or the Government of the District of Columbia, shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.

In March the GSA released a letter saying the Trump Organization is in “full compliance” with the lease, largely because he moved his business interests from the hotel into a trust. However as ProPublica reported in April, the trust is handled by Trump’s children and he is the sole beneficiary, able to remove funds from the trust without disclosing it to the public.

Being in a continuous campaign mode is profitable. In 2000, Trump speculated that he could “be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it,” and there is evidence to support the claim that he has profited off of both the campaign and the presidency. When Trump initially set up his campaign headquarters at Trump Tower, he prided himself on being self-funded with a low-cost operation. He later quadrupled the rent to $169,758 after he began receiving funds from donors even though he employed less staff than in the months prior.

The pattern of profiteering off his initial run is continuing into his reelection campaign. According to FEC filings, the Trump campaign has sent $274,000 in rent to his offices in Trump Tower, even though his reelection campaign only employs 20 people. That works out to about $91,000 a month, which is more than half of what he paid at the height of his campaign when 168 employees were on payroll.

So donors who are paying upwards of $110,000 to attend Wednesday night’s even for Trump’s reelection campaign, are also funneling funds back to Trump twice. First, through the Trump hotel for the space, food and drinks. Second, the money that’s left over will go to Trump’s campaign expenses, which includes rent at Trump Tower. Because he still retains ownership, any event hosted at a Trump Organization Property by Trump the president, also benefits Trump the businessman.

Trump has also found ways to leverage the presidency to advance his business interests outside of his campaign.

Think Progress has the full run down on the scam.