“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.

Gosh, I’m shocked.

Steven Mnuchin testifies before a Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be Treasury secretary in Washington, U.S., January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts.

The Trump administration is not considering a plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans in order to pay for tax breaks for the middle class, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Sunday.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Mnuchin said the administration plans to release its tax plan in early September and is aiming for a vote on Congress on it by the end of this year.

Gee, I am so not surprised. Is anyone surprised that filthy rich assholes are not planning to pay one cent more than they are forced to do? I am seriously surprised than anyone might so much as surmise that the regime would consider raising taxes on the rich. Guillotines keep intruding on my thoughts whenever they center on the Regime show…

Via Raw Story.

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.

The Wisdom of Rick Joyner, Fucking Idiot.

 

WISDOM IN THREE PARTS:

Part I:

A. Back off and let those men who want to marry men, marry men.
B. Allow those women who want to marry women, marry women.
C. Allow those folks who want to abort their babies, abort their babies.

In three generations, there will be no more Democrats.

Part II:
10 Poorest Cities in America (How did it happen?)
City, State, % of People Below the Poverty Level

1. Detroit, MI 32.5%
2. Buffalo, NY 29.9%
3. Cincinnati, OH 27.8%
4. Cleveland, OH 27.0%
5. Miami, FL 26.9%
5. St. Louis, MO 26.8%
7. El Paso, TX 26.4%
8. Milwaukee, WI 26.2%
9. Philadelphia, PA 25.1%
10. Newark, NJ 24.2%

What do these top ten cities (over 250,000 pop.) with the highest poverty rate all have in common?

Detroit, MI – (1st on poverty rate list) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961

Buffalo, NY – (2nd) hasn’t elected one since 1954

Cincinnati, OH – (3rd) not since 1984

Cleveland, OH – (4th) not since 1989

Miami, FL – (5th) has never had a Republican mayor

St. Louis, MO – (6th) not since 1949

El Paso, TX – (7th) has never had a Republican mayor

Milwaukee, WI – (8th) not since 1908

Philadelphia, PA – (9th) not since 1952

Newark, NJ – (10th) not since 1907

Einstein once said, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’
It is the poor who habitually elect Democrats… yet they are still POOR.

Part III:

“You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”
~Abraham Lincoln

“Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him had better take a much
closer look at the American Indian.”
~Henry Ford

Okay, all this idiocy can be distilled right down to: kill off all political parties except for conservative republican, always support the rich, and if you’re poor, go fuck yourself, because that’s your fault, natch. I’ll just briefly note that a good many white people on the poor side of life voted for the Tiny Tyrant, and many of them are now crying in their beer, because he hasn’t done one thing for them. At least the ones bright enough to figure out what a scam it all is. That last quote by Ford is pernicious, to say the least. After a partially successful genocide, and massive theft, no, the government didn’t do much for Indians, because they were busy stealing every fucking thing they could, and really didn’t want those inconvenient leftovers getting in the way. This would be Joyner’s way of expressing that ol’ white supremacy: white is might is right, yessir.

Let’s take a brief look at what some of those brilliant republicans have been saying about all us peons:

Paul Ryan says people just don’t want insurance, that’s all.  All those millions who would lose healthcare, ah, that’s their choice.

The Regime has threatened the insurance of low income people if Trumpcare isn’t passed, but hey, they care about you, they really do!

Sen. Ron Johnson explained how people with pre-existing conditions don’t deserve health coverage, because it’s like crashing a car.

Rep. Pete Olsen was laughing over prenatal and maternity care, pointing out that since people with those nifty X chromosomes didn’t need that shit, why should they pay for it?

Now, the vote on Trumpcare has been canceled. (Yay!) Don’t get over excited though, because this is far from over, and McConnell will not give up easily, nor will Ryan, Trump, or all the other empty bags of flesh who are utterly devoid of empathy.

Yes, I’m sure we are all so darn impressed with how republicans care for people, especially those pesky poor people. Rick Joyner’s “wisdom” can be found here.

The Death of Medicaid.

Al Franken at The BookExpo2017 in New York City, 6/1/17. CREDIT: Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx.

Getting back to the Fuck You Care Plan, which gets worse at every small reveal. The denials over medicaid come in fast and furious, from evasive denials to outright lies, but the bottom line is quite simple: money will go into select filthy rich pockets; medicaid will be dead in few short years.

The bill would in fact massively cut Medicaid, threatening to completely phase out the program as we currently know it. The legislation would roll back Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, starting in four short years. It would also make deeper cuts to Medicaid by placing “per capita caps” on the program such that states will receive only a set amount of money for each recipient, no matter how much their care actually costs.

Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicaid in the Obama administration, said on Twitter that “the main event in the Senate bill is the destruction of Medicaid,” characterizing it as “far, far worse than even the House bill.” And the House bill, as scored by the Congressional Budget Office, would leave 23 million more people without coverage.

But Trump administration officials presented alternative facts on Sunday.

Full story here.

Monday morning on MSNBC, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) countered Roy’s argument. He noted that the tax cuts that Trumpcare would deliver to the richest 400 taxpayers would pay for 750,000 people to be on Medicaid. Franken didn’t rely on a single study but cited the more comprehensive analysis of recent research on Medicaid published in NEJM. These researchers found that for every 750,000 people who lose Medicaid coverage, 1,000 to 2,000 people would die.

Franken actually understates the case. The NEJM cited a recent study estimating that Medicaid expansion has saved one life for every 239 to 319 people covered. That means enrolling 750,000 people in Medicaid could actually save 2,300 to 3,100 lives.

Full story here.

Tiny Tyrant: Poor People Need Not Apply.

Screen capture.

Politics tends to be a game for the wealthy, although every now and then, someone without significant monies gets in. A short while ago, the Tiny Tyrant, looking at crushing disapproval and clouds of scandals coming home to roost, decided to get back on the ol’ campaign rally trail, because by gosh, some people just love him. I’m getting the distinct feeling this “strategy” isn’t going to work out all that great for Donny. He seems to forget that he’s not a candidate now, so just saying whatever pops into that pea brain of his isn’t the brightest of plans. In Iowa, he explained how poor people just weren’t wanted, and how they are just, um, icky.

Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to appoint cabinet members with significant personal wealth, arguing he doesn’t “want a poor person” in charge of the economy.

Trump was speaking about Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs banker the president appointed as his chief economic advisor—despite promising to “drain the swamp” during his presidency.

“I love all people,” Trump said during a campaign-style rally in Cedar Rapids, IA. “Rich or poor. But in those particular positions I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense?”

No, it doesn’t make sense. Not one little fuckin’ bit, Donny. I’d like to know how Donny defines poor. What constitutes a poor person in TrumpWorld? I imagine a two income household that manages to scrape past the $100,000 mark each year would be considered pitifully poor to those on billionaire’s row. As for all of us well below that mark? I’m not altogether sure we’re even visible.

Trump has received significant criticism for his appointment of Cohn, as well as Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Although he ran on a populist platform, Trump’s cabinet has a combined net worth of $6 billion.

Six billion. There’s a figure which is little more than a nebulous abstract to this person. How does anyone in the rarefied, atrophic atmosphere of billions and billions define poor? And how does that definition relate, in any way, to those of us on planet earth?

Via Raw Story, where there’s video. Turns out, this post is hand and glove with one of Marcus’s, on Propaganda.

The Tiny Tyrant’s Tax Evasion.

Via Twitter.

The people of Briarcliff Manor, NY, are rather upset with the Tiny Tyrant, and for very good reason. Turns out, Trump doesn’t want to pay his taxes. Alright, everyone who’s surprise, raise your hand. Not wanting to pay taxes is no great shock, there’s a reason people want to see those tax returns; what is of interest is why Trump doesn’t want to pay the property tax on his golf course.

ABC News reports that the Trump organization has filed a legal challenge with Briarcliff Manor to knock $250,000 off the property tax bill for the Trump National Golf Club, Westchester. ABC News notes that the organization’s challenge is “who resent having to assume the burden of paying additional taxes to support town services and the local school district.”

Emphasis mine. I’m just gonna let that sit there and sink in. This is from the Major Moron who never shut up about “making America great again”.

And Gloria Fried, the receiver of taxes for Ossining, tells ABC that “it is very difficult when you see someone who has all these assets at his disposal who would rather pay lawyers to avoid his civic duty of paying taxes.”

I imagine that avoiding civic duties is a way of life for the Tiny Tyrant, and all the fucking idiots put him in the white house. If I thought they were capable of it, I’d say they ought to be absolutely mortified.

Via Raw Story.

Media, Oh Media, Wherefore Art Thou?

CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

The Senate secrecy over the Fuck You Care Plan is working, and like a dream. It’s not being covered, anywhere, by anyone. Granted, there’s not a whole lot of story there, but media has no business ignoring it to the point that it seems it’s not a reality. If anything, media should be pounding on this, hard. If there’s a case of the death of democracy, it’s right there.

The informal July 4 deadline Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has set for Senate Republicans to pass a health care bill that could strip coverage from 23 million Americans is rapidly approaching — but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the front page of major newspapers across the country on Monday.

National outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post featured no front-page coverage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), also known as Trumpcare, which is being secretly written by an all-male group of senators. The lack of attention being paid to the bill indicates McConnell’s strategy of avoiding publicity by drafting the bill behind closed doors, holding no hearings, and unveiling the bill’s text at the last possible minute is paying dividends.

[…]

People who consume their news online also didn’t see any coverage on major outlets’ homepages Monday morning.

Trumpcare has also been a blip on the TV news radar. According to an analysis by Media Matters looking at coverage from June 1 through June 14, the bill has received scant mention on broadcast and cable news, with Republican secrecy surrounding the bill barely even being mentioned.

There’s a reason Republicans want to Trumpcare on the down low — even Fox News is unable to spin the unpopularity of the bill, which is essentially a tax cut for the rich masquerading as health care reform.

[…]

Progressive senators are trying to make the media take notice. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to Republican committee chairs with jurisdiction over Trumpcare requesting that they “schedule hearings to discuss, debate and hear testimony about the health care bill you are currently drafting in secret.”

The letter, which goes on to list each of the 31 rooms where a hearing could be held, says the millions of American who would be negatively impacted by Trumpcare “deserve an open and public debate over the bill.”

“The American Health Care Act would fundamentally redefine health care in our country,” it concludes. “To draft it behind closed doors and pass it without even one hearing is nothing short of legislative malpractice and a repudiation of all the Senate stands for.”

So…how about it, media? Can we get a little bit of outrage over this travesty? A little bit of attention? Think Progress has the full story, along with many images showing the complete lack of coverage.

Not Dead Does Not Equal Healthy.

Jim Cooke.

Mike Huckabee is once again wearing his folksy, backwoods preacher coat in an attempt to defend the Tiny Tyrant. It’s one helluva bad attempt, I’ll say that much. “The Tiny Tyrant has kept America Alive!”

“Donald Trump is kind of like a doctor who sometimes has a rather gruff bedside manner,” Huckabee said. “Nobody’s going to argue that point.”

Oh, I could argue that point. I imagine lots of people could, and would argue that point. If you want a more accurate comparison, how about: Trump is kind of like that old dodderer of a small town doctor, stuck in the past, with no notion of how to treat people in a modern and effective manner? Personally, I think even that descriptor is too kind. The reality is more akin to ‘con man fakes being doctor, kills half the town before caught’.

“He can be crude and he can come across sometimes less than people think, but, by golly, the patient is alive and I’d rather have this president, who gets things done, than one who comes in, he’s nice and he’s polite and he smiles, but my family member dies in the hospital bed,” Huckabee added. “America needs to say two words to Donald Trump: Thank you.”

Gets things done? What, exactly, has the Tiny Tyrant done? Rolled back every regulation he could, ensuring mass pollution will once again take over. Making sure all working people are fucked into the ground. Destroyed the slight healthcare people had. Arresting and deporting citizens for no good reason. Being a stone cold killer when it comes to those seeking refuge. Screamed exhortations of bigotry, hate, guns, and violence, to the point that “America” is now a splintery mess, with mass shootings taking place every. single. day. People being attacked and murdered for no reason other than irrational bigotry every. single. day. Made sure to engorge his already bulging pockets. Spreading his filthy disease of corrupt criminality.

Thank you? I don’t fucking think so. All the Tiny Tyrant gets from me is: FUCK YOU, AND GET THE FUCK OUT, YOU FUCKING IDIOT.

Via Raw Story.

The Incompetency Path To Autocracy.

Slate has an interview with Masha Gessen on the current state of affairs:

[… ] You wrote a piece for the Times called “Trump’s Incompetence Won’t Save Our Democracy.” I think the common answer from many Trump opponents is that his incompetence has been the real saving grace. Why do you disagree?

I think that incompetence is actually an integral part of autocracy taking hold. Basically, what we mean when we say that he is incompetent, in large part, is that he doesn’t understand the way American government functions. But because he’s wielding power, he’s reshaping government very quickly to fit his idea of how government should function, and that is autocracy. His incompetence is actually an integral part of the damage that he’s doing by turning something like a democracy into something like an autocracy.

That may be true, but wouldn’t autocracy function better if he was competent enough to actually staff his administration with cronies and pass laws that would entrench his power?

I guess it depends on what your ultimate fear is. If your ultimate fear is that he will pass legislation that will do terrible things, then you’re right. My ultimate fear is different. My ultimate fear is that he is destroying the structure and culture of American government.

That’s my fear too, aside from nuclear war.

But you don’t do this legislatively. The thing is, if you pass this terrible legislation, that’s reversible because the mechanism is transparent, the mechanism of damage, and then in the post-Trump era you reverse it by passing a different piece of legislation. That’s great. When he destroys things by eviscerating institutions, by changing the way that they actually function, that’s a much more difficult thing to reverse in a post-Trump era. The fact that they haven’t been able to fill positions is actually part of what I’m talking about in terms of the way that government is breaking up into discrete, opaque parts.

The State Department, which I happen to know more about than other agencies, which isn’t a whole lot, but the State Department is basically missing that entire layer of political appointees who would normally ensure that there’s communication between the top and the career staffers who do most of the on-the-ground work. With that layer gone, they are all sort of functioning in a kind of airless space. If they still have money that they’re supposed to spend on programs that are still sort of maybe valid, then they will, but they’re not sure that that’s what they’re supposed to be doing, and they have no one to talk to about it, which is not to say that they’re making terrible decisions. They’re possibly, in fact probably making the best possible decisions under the circumstances, but they’re making those decisions out of the public eye. Restoring that system of accountability, which wasn’t that great in the first place, is much more difficult than reversing legislation.

The full interview is at Slate, and well worth reading. I’d say Ms. Gessen’s take on the incompetency factor takes on a new urgency, because this is the new strategy of the GOP, protecting and defending Trump from all accountability and accusation, “he didn’t know better” and “he’s not competent in politics”.  Think Progress has the full story on the new double speak of the incompetency defense.

Another Bad Bush.

John K. Bush, one of Trump’s federal judicial nominees, found himself in the position of having defend previous blog posts, which cited heavily from WorldNetDaily, the batshit christian conservative’s “news” source. Bush is a profound birther, and rabidly anti-choice. In spite of all this, he will most likely end up confirmed, unless some rethuglicans root around and find both a brain and a conscience.

Given Bush’s prolific history as a political blogger, those opinions were on full display during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

Birtherism came up after Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) noted a blog post where Bush relied heavily on World Net Daily, a conservative site famous for touting conspiracy theories such as the birther libel against President Obama. In the post — which bears the grammatically-dubious title “‘Brother’s Keeper’ — As In, Keep That Anti-Obama Reporter In Jail!”  — Bush touted a World Net Daily story claiming that one of the publication’s reporters was being held by immigration officials in Kenya after the reporter went there to investigate Obama’s Kenyan half-brother.

[…]

In any event, Bush felt that he needed to distance himself from the birther website he once cited, telling Franken that “I was certainly not intending to endorse any views of another group, as far as birtherism goes,” when he wrote this particular blog post.

Questionable citations aside, many of Bush’s other blog posts stated much more directly how the judicial nominee views the world. In one post in particular, for example, Bush claimed that “the two greatest tragedies in our country” are “slavery and abortion.”

After Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asked Bush if he still held this view, Bush attempted to paint his views on Roe v. Wade as relatively innocuous. “I believe that [Roe] is a tragedy,” he said, “in the sense that it divided our country.”

Later in the hearing, however, Bush revealed that he either does not believe that all divisive decisions are tragic, or that he has a very poor command of American history.

“Wouldn’t you characterize Brown v. Board of Education,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Bush, as “a case that divided our country?” In response, Bush first pled ignorance, then gave an historically-inaccurate answer.

“I wasn’t alive at the time of Brown,” Bush said. “But I don’t think it did.”

Well. There’s a heaping dose of flaming stupid. I didn’t exist at the time of Brown either, but I’m certainly aware of it, and aware of the massive divisiveness it caused, ripples of which abound to this day. You would have to be somewhere in the realm of complete dedication to ignorance to claim unawareness in this regard, especially if your career in life is that of a fucking judge. Fucking Idiot does not even begin to cover this.

In fairness, Bush’s ignorance of American civil rights history, while certainly not an optimal trait in a judge, might not prevent him from performing the core responsibilities of an appellate jurist. Typically, judges spend far more time parsing statutory language and consulting legal precedents than they do digging into political history.

But Bush is not like most people named to the federal bench. In a 2009 panel hosted by the conservative Federalist Society — an organization which has played a major role in selecting Trump’s judicial nominees — Bush aligned himself with originalism, the belief that the only valid way to interpret the Constitution is to apply its text in the way those words were originally understood at the time they were drafted.

Whatever the virtues or demerits of originalism as an interpretive method, it only works if the judges applying it have a deep command of history and the skills necessary to sort good historical arguments from bad ones. After all, how can someone figure out the original meaning of a text if they don’t understand the historical and political context that brought that text into being?

The fact that Bush knows so little about one of the most famous judicial decisions in American history does not suggest that he is up to this task.

I’d say that’s quite the understatement. The reality? Bush is yet another toady who will do whatever the Tiny Tyrant wants, regardless of law.

Think Progress has the full story.  * RWW watch also has this, along with video of the questioning by Franken.

DAPL Approval Illegal, Judge Finds.

Trump on DAPL. © Marty Two Bulls.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the law in its fast-tracked approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a U.S. District Court Judge in Washington D.C. has ruled. Judge James Boasberg said the Corps did not consider key components of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in granting the Lake Oahe easement under the Missouri River when directed to do so by President Donald Trump shortly after his swearing-in.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, with the Cheyenne River Sioux as interveners, had challenged the approval on the grounds that adequate environmental study had not been conducted. Boasberg agreed on many points, though he did not rule on whether the pipeline should remain operational. It has been carrying oil since June 1.

“Although the Corps substantially complied with NEPA in many areas, the Court agrees that it did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial,” Boasberg said in his 91-page decision. “To remedy those violations, the Corps will have to reconsider those sections of its environmental analysis upon remand by the Court. Whether Dakota Access must cease pipeline operations during that remand presents a separate question of the appropriate remedy, which will be the subject of further briefing.”

A status conference will be held next week, according to the environmental law firm EarthJustice, which is representing the tribes in this case. Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline’s builders, did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

“This is a major victory for the Tribe and we commend the courts for upholding the law and doing the right thing,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II in a statement. “The previous administration painstakingly considered the impacts of this pipeline and President Trump hastily dismissed these careful environmental considerations in favor of political and personal interests. We applaud the courts for protecting our laws and regulations from undue political influence, and will ask the Court to shut down pipeline operations immediately. ”

Indian Country Today has the full story.

Where there’s the smallest good news, there’s always bad news, and in this case, it comes in the form of Zinke:

“I think, talking to tribes, they’re very happy,” Zinke said of his proposal, adding that he “talked to all parties, and they’re pretty happy and willing to work with us.”

But this is not so, according to tribal representatives. In a June 12 press call hosted by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), the vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch said the tribe’s leaders have “maintained a consistent position that they support the monument designation.

“If there is any happiness,” Branch said,” it’s probably that the monument remains intact as of now.

“I think [the ‘happy’ characterization] is probably just a characterization coming from Trump,” Branch added.

Natalie Landreth, a lawyer with the Native American Rights Fund who represents the Hopi, Zuni and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes on Bears Ears issues, said during the Udall call that the proclamation that set up Bears Ears as a national monument had already formed a structure in which five tribes, known as the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, work together to co-manage the monument.

“It’s unclear exactly what the secretary is suggesting, so until we know more details about what he’s talking about, it’s difficult to have a view on it,” Landreth said. “Our initial reaction on behalf of the three tribes we represent is that this was really a cynical effort to distract Indian country from the devastating blow of reducing the size of the monument.”

Landreth said that some of her impacted tribal clients told her as of June 12 that Zinke had not been in touch with them on this matter.

“We don’t know who he’s talking to and what they may have said,” Landreth said.

Full story here.