LIES, LIES, LIES. AND WORSE.

Stephen Miller appears on CNN's State of the Union (screen grab).

Stephen Miller appears on CNN’s State of the Union (screen grab).

Although White House adviser Stephen Miller has quickly emerged as a fall guy for this past weekend’s chaos at major American airports, he nonetheless appeared on CBS’s This Morning to paint the Trump administration’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries as a massive success.

Oh sure. Absolute chaos, people trapped in airports, crying, wondering if they will ever be able to see their families again, people trying to commit suicide out of despair, yeah, that’s success alright! Godsdamned evil fucking nazis, who call this orgy of hate a “success”. :spits: As noted in a previous thread:

So many people in this country are just fine with this evil. They can’t even manage to think for 5 fucking seconds – who in the hell wants to be a refugee? No one, that’s who. Leaving your home, uprooting your whole life, struggling, facing bias and hatred, having to start all over again? Yeah, sure, people do that sort of thing just for fucking fun.

If you’re one of the people okay with this demonstration of stupidity and cruelty, congratulations, you’re officially a fuckwit.

Miller also said that the Trump administration will, over the next month, develop screening procedures to ensure that only foreigners who “love” America are allowed into the country.

“We’re going to take the next 30 days to develop a new set of screening protocols to try and ensure that people entering our country, particularly on a permanent basis, truly love and support the United States of America,” he said. “There’ll be a 60-day period where countries will be asked to comply with the new directives. Countries that are in compliance will have regular, ordinary and routine migration with the United States.”

Oh, well that’s not Orwellian at all, no. “I do declare I love America in the most bigly, yugely way possible! I love America more than anything!” Talk about sickening. If you’re not up on your history, I suggest you do some reading, stat. Fascists and Nazis just adore this sort of disgusting bullshit. Note that little “comply” up above, too. When dictators and tyrants start tossing “comply” around…Yeah.

Miller then went on to say that the administration’s overall goal is to make sure people who are intolerant of others’ differences shouldn’t be granted entry to the United States.

“It only makes sense that we engage in some kind of selections process that prioritizes the entry of people who, as the order stated, don’t hold bigotry, hatred or violence against any sexual orientation, against any race, or against any particular class of people,” he said.

:chokes; sputter: Oh please! Christ, I can’t take this sort of shit first thing. uStates, a country founded on intolerance, hatred, greed, genocide and theft, and hasn’t gotten any better. Now we’re the country of love and tolerance? We have now surpassed Orwell, and that is no mean feat. FFS, I can’t even, I oh fuck. This godsdamned country, where hate and bigotry reign supreme, where cops murder people of colour at will, where the government is still trying to finish the genocide of Indians, where a host of stupid white people spew toxic bigotry every moment of the day, where half the states still defend fucking slavery, and the flag symbolizing it’s glories, a country where LGBTQ peoples are assaulted and murdered, and where the government tries at every turn to legislate their bigotry and hate, *deep breath* a country that is so damn stupid they still try to teach creationism, a country where half of the people are attempting to legislate all women into the untrustworthy, subhuman slut category, shoving their damn noses into our pants at every turn, vile, evil, immoral, fanatical christians who think they have the right to oppress and glory in hate, and that barely covers it.

Aaaaaaauuuuuuugh. I will be screaming in fury all damn day. Unfuckingbelievable.

Via Raw Story.

NO DAPL Roundup.

Malia Obama (Pinterest)

Malia Obama (Pinterest)

Malia Obama has chosen to stand with Standing Rock.

A group of 100 people gathered in Park City to protest the revival of the project by new U.S. President Donald Trump. Despite freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, Malia Obama joined the protester who were holding up signs that read: “Exist. Resist. Rise.” and “Impeach corporate control,” according to the Daily Mail.

Along with protesting the construction of the pipeline, which will disturb sacred grounds and introduce contaminants into the local water supply, the group was protesting the festival sponsorship by Chase Bank, which is invested in the pipeline. The rally was held in front of the Chase Sapphire on Main lounge.

Courtesy MSNBC via YouTube.

Courtesy MSNBC via YouTube.

Chairman Archambault on MSNBC: ‘President Is Circumventing Federal Law’.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II was more surprised at the rapidity with which Donald Trump signed presidential memoranda purporting to speed up the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and reinstate the Keystone XL pipeline than he was by the act itself.

“We were prepared for President Trump take a run at everything we have accomplished in the last two years,” Archambault told Tamron Hall on MSNBC on Wednesday January 25, the day after Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum attempting to move DAPL along. “This nation better start bracing itself for what’s to come if in the first four days we’re witnessing him using an executive order to circumvent federal laws. It’s not right, and it’s something we better get ready for. I was disappointed that it came this soon, because we had worked so hard for the last two years.”

The tribe wants closer study of the pipeline’s potential effects on water supply, sacred sites and treaty rights, he said, and Trump is trying to do an end run around such statutes as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“The troubling thing is that this president is circumventing federal law,” Archambault said. “We have Treaty rights, we have water rights with our Winter’s Doctrine, we have NEPA.”

The Keystone XL Pipeline Will Create Just 35 Permanent Jobs. Don’t Believe the Lies.

For those who still insist fossil fuels are the future, the Trump administration represents a new day for some old ideas. In an early sign of things to come, the president showed his faith in big oil when he signed documents Tuesday pressuring federal agencies to support construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines. Each of these projects faced enormous protests and was put on hold by the Obama administration because of legitimate environmental and due process concerns.

Congressional Republicans frequently howled at far less heavy-handed exercises of executive power under the previous administration. Today, they applaud Trump’s move on the mistaken premise that these pipelines are good investments. Not only will these projects not create long-lasting jobs – as CNBC, not exactly an anti-corporate mouthpiece, has noted: “Pipelines do not require much labor to operate in the long term” – they will further delay the inevitable transition to clean, renewable energy our economy needs and the American people demand.

Standing Rock Chairman Archambault Sends Strong Letter to Trump.

Editor’s note: Reaction was swift and strong when President Donald Trump signed a series of Presidential Memoranda and Executive Orders designed to move the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) forward and revive the Keystone XL pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe responded immediately, and on January 25 Standing Rock Chairman Archambault wrote a letter to Trump explaining the legal constraints, the support that the Environmental Impact Statement and the tribe have, and the need for a leader-to-leader meeting. The full text is below.

DAPL Profiteers Steal Marty Two Bulls Designs.

You’ve probably seen and shared at least one of the many brilliant political cartoons by Marty Two Bulls at some point in time. Marty Two Bulls—an artist from the Oglala Lakota Nation—has been drawing political cartoons with great success for many years. His work has long been a staple on the pages of ICTMN. He’s known for bringing clever humor and hilarious imagery to hot, controversial issues: most recently the anti-DAPL movement in Standing Rock.

But now, you might see his work in places it shouldn’t be: dozens of t-shirt sellers who are hoping to make a buck from the #NoDAPL campaigns have ripped off Marty Two Bulls designs and been using them to sell t-shirts of their own with no credit, profit, or acknowledgement offered to the artist. Now, Two Bulls has taken the matter into his own hands. In addition to filing dozens of reports to stop production of the rip-offs, he has decided to sell t-shirts of his own.

The design thieves are mostly from overseas with no connection to Native country.
“So far I caught over 20,” Two Bulls said, “I go online, I search terms like #NoDAPL and Water is Life on Facebook, and there they are.”

Marty is an amazingly talented artist, and one of the best political cartoonists in the world, he’s brilliant. Please, if you want to show support for Standing Rock, take the time to make sure your item is coming from the actual artist. Most artists aren’t rolling in money, and this theft hurts, one more than one level. Marty is trying to do something for his people, and if you want to help, and like his artwork, please buy from Marty Two Bulls.

Anti-Corruption. That’s Bad, Right?

Shutterstock.

Shutterstock.

Lawmakers in South Dakota are invoking emergency powers to overturn an anti-corruption law that was passed by a ballot measure during the 2016 election.

The South Dakota Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act makes it illegal for lawmakers to receive more than a total of $100 annually from lobbyists in the form of “any compensation, reward, employment, gift, honorarium, beverage, meal, food, or other thing of value made or given directly or indirectly.”

The law, which was passed by a majority of voters in November, immediately incited panic among state officials and lawmakers. Some resigned from their posts while others cancelled meetings with any groups represented by lobbyists.

[…]

“In an unprecedented maneuver, state lawmakers are planning to declare a state of emergency so their repeal of the Anti-Corruption Act would take effect immediately, and deny voters their right to another vote on the measure through a veto referendum,” the statement explained. “The bill guts all of the Act’s provisions, including creation of an independent ethics commission, limits on lobbyists gifts to politicians, tougher penalties for bribery, stronger transparency, and a two-year ban on politicians becoming lobbyists when they leave office.”

Represent South Dakota warned that the repeal measure (HB 1069) was so poorly worded that it “may actually legalize bribery.”

Now it’s fake emergencies. Fake, fake, fake, fuck this planet. I want off. Via Raw Story.

Following the Trail of Trump Slime.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File.

Less than a week ago, Trump, via his ‘team’ announced there would be no new foreign deals, in an attempt to quiet critics who keep noting he will not deal with his conflicts of interest. It was also stated that all pending deals would be off the table. Naturally, it didn’t take long for Trump to blithely break his word, which is utterly worthless. As usual, Trump found a way to skate around his statements, and he’s busy sliming over Scotland once again.

A multi-million dollar expansion of President-elect Donald Trump’s golf resort in Scotland is reportedly underway — less than a week after Trump’s attorney told reporters that the president-elect had, in an effort to distance himself from conflicts of interests with regards to his businesses, “ordered that all pending deals be terminated.”

According to the Guardian, which first reported the story on Sunday, the Trump Organization is moving forward with a plan to greatly expand the president-elect’s Trump International Golf Course Scotland, located in Aberdeenshire. The plans include construction of another 18-hole golf course, a new 450-room five-star hotel, a timeshare complex, and a private housing estate. The expansion would greatly increase the value of the property to the Trump Organization, according to the Guardian’s report.

A spokesperson for the Trump Organization told the Guardian that “implementing future phasing of existing properties does not constitute a new transaction” and therefore the Trump Organization plans to proceed with the deal, despite Trump’s assertion that he would no longer pursue foreign investments relating to his company.

I doubt the residents of Balmedie, Scotland are pleased by this move. If you don’t know why Trump is almost universally loathed and reviled by residents of Scotland, have a read. Then you can start wondering which parts of uStates are going to get smothered under the same Trump slime.

Full story at Think Progress.

I believe in a BIG god.

Mike Farris.

Mike Farris.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian hate group, has a new prez, Mike Farris. Mike is intent on “winning”, meaning he’s all fired up to make sure that certain people are not accorded full human rights, what with their being subhuman and all. Primarily, this means all who fall under the LGBT+ umbrella, and women. Mike believes in a BIG god, so he’s confident. Just once, I’d like to see any of you Christian assholes actually leave something up to that god of yours. We both know you can’t do that though, because there is no god out there just waiting to stomp all over people. Unfortunately, this sort of wishful thinking is capable of a great deal of harm, not that these sanctimonious, so-called lovers of life care about that. Unwanted children? Eh, who cares. Dead women? Eh, who cares. Queer people subjected to violence and discrimination? Eh, who cares.

Farris described himself as a problem-solver by nature, and said ADF was founded to address “the general erosion of religious freedom” as well as “attacks” on marriage, human life, and the right to “preach the gospel” and “live the gospel.”

There has not been one single instance of erosion in regard to religious freedom. Religious freedom has expanded, in truth, and you don’t like that at all, no sir. You can’t stand the fact that secular people are allowed to have their own little scenes up in public, you can’t stand that the narrative isn’t just yours anymore. So, say what you really mean: we aren’t a fuckin’ dictatorship anymore, and we want that back! There’s been no attack on marriage. Again, that has been expanded to be more inclusive. No one is knocking on your door announcing “marriage dissolved!” and glitter bombing you. Although that’s a tempting thought. Since when don’t you have the right to preach the gospel and live the gospel? Just who in the fuck is stopping you? From my perspective, you asses never manage to shut up, and your gospelish lives aren’t terribly impressive, so there’s not much there to keep one’s attention. In short form, no one cares. Live your bloody life however you like. All that’s asked in return is that you allow others the same. Oh, but can’t have that, can we?

Winning means religious freedom is robustly protected. Winning means Roe versus Wade is reversed. Winning means that same-sex marriage by judicial edict is reversed, and we go back to the states and let the states make their own policy on this.

Religious freedom is already protected. That’s not what you want. You want to rule, much like Lucifer did. Is it really all that much to ask that you jackasses pay mind to your own fairy stories? Roe v Wade, yes, because viewing women as autonomous human beings who have a right to make their own personal medical decisions is unthinkable, someone must think of the wonders of misogyny, yes? After all, what’s the point of being a patriarch if you don’t get to make women miserable, that’s one of those perks, ennit? Oh, and marriage. Marriage is marriage is marriage. Marriage is a legal contract, it only has to do with a god if you decide that matters. So, some people have church a/o god based weddings, and some people have civil ones. Me, I went civil. It’s all marriage. Mine is not invalid because it did not invoke a god. It’s not invalid because I chose to not have children, even those of your view do consider childfree marriages to be invalid. Basically, it’s none of your business. The right to marry is a basic human right, you don’t get to withhold it from those you don’t like. If we could do that, I’d certainly never approve of you being married or breeding, Mr. Farris. You’re much too busy passing on hate for my tastes. However, that is not the case, so I have to accept your marriage. That’s how these little social contract thingies work.

The “left elites” want to restrict religious freedom, he said, and “that battle is at a pitched fever [sic] right now.” Farris said winning won’t be easy because “the other side is well funded, well organized, smart, and they don’t play fair.” But, he said, “I believe we can win because I believe in a big God and I’ve seen Him deliver before.”

Oh ffs. This idiocy again. I’m left, yes. Elite, no. I’m certainly not swimming in the same money pool as all you Christian hustlers and swindlers. A con, every single one of you, fleecing money left and right from those who can most ill afford it, while you live the high life, busy spoonfeeding lies and hate into those who think the sun shines out your arse.

Mostly, I’d like you to shut up and mind your own business. That’s all. You live your life, and let the rest of us live ours. I’m perfectly willing to make peace, but you aren’t. No, you must rule, you must destroy, you must always be at war of some fucking kind or other. Without your hate, you have nothing. Ugh. I just can’t go on, I feel like vomiting all over this awful excuse of a human being. The whole mess is at Right Wing Watch.

Warren v Carson.

Elizabeth Warren questions Ben Carson at a Senate confirmation hearing (screen grab).

Elizabeth Warren questions Ben Carson at a Senate confirmation hearing (screen grab).

It is still so difficult to process that Ben Carson is going to be in charge of anything, let alone Housing and Urban Development. This is a man who can barely string a sentence together, and when he does, it’s usually a mess, as he’s not someone you could describe as quick on the uptake. As usual, he’s ill-informed and clueless. It’s rather obvious he doesn’t much care if HUD is used to funnel money into Trump’s pockets, either. It’s not even clear whether or not that had occurred to him at some point.

At Carson’s confirmation hearing for secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Warren noted that President-elect Donald Trump will be uniquely positioned to benefit from HUD contracts due to his real estate business. During a press conference a day earlier, Trump had revealed a plan * to allow his sons to run his business instead of putting his assets in a blind trust as other presidents have done.

“My concern is that among the billions of dollars that you will be responsible for handing out in grants in loans,” Warren said to Carson. “Can you just assure us that not one dollar will go to benefit either the president-elect or his family?”

“It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American,” Carson declared boldly. “It’s for all Americans.”

[…]

After Carson had a flustered moment, he came out with this:

“You can take it to mean that I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people,” Carson insisted. “If there happens to be an extraordinarily good program that’s working for millions of people and it turns out that someone that you’re targeting is going to gain $10 from it, am I going to say, ‘No, the rest of you Americans can’t have it’? I think logic and common sense probably would be the best way.”

Warren had the correct response to that puddle of lukewarm vomit:

Warren replied: “The problem is that you can’t assure us that HUD money — not of $10 varieties, but of multi-million dollar varieties — will not end up in the president-elect’s pockets.”

“And the reason you can’t assure us of that is because the president elect is hiding his family’s business interests from you, from me, from the rest of America,” the senator said. “And this just highlights the absurdity and the danger of the president-elect’s refusal to put his assets in a true blind trust.”

“He knows what will benefit him and his family financially but the public doesn’t.”

And there’s the big old rub to it all. Trump refused to hand over his taxes, so he could be worth much less than he claims, how would we know? Trump refuses to obey nepotism laws, insisting on making “president” a family job. Trump refuses to place his assets in a blind trust, openly intending to use the office of president to strongarm a whole lot of money into his pockets. For all the Trump-Idiots out there, how well would any of this openly corrupt garbage have gone down with President Obama, or any other president? Would have been howling your heads off, wouldn’t you? Fucking hypocrites.

I edited out the ‘controversial’ in that link. I am sick to death of media latching onto the word controversial to describe things which are outright fucking wrong. Any time you see ‘controversial’ being used, it’s yet another part of normalising every thing that is immoral and wrong.

Via Raw Story.

The Man Behind the Curtain.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at CPAC 2011 (Gage Skidmore/Flickr).

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at CPAC 2011 (Gage Skidmore/Flickr).

Trump’s antics are excellent at diverting attention, and certainly, for many people, trolling the Pendejo-elect is fun, and no doubt a safety valve. As these distractions trundle along, the man behind the curtain is busy doing all the nefarious dirty work. It’s the hands of the man behind the curtain that need watching.

Exhibit A in this sordid department is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is as comfortable lying with a poker face as Trump is attacking critics like Streep. The takeaway is, watch what they do, not what they say.

McConnell’s latest bout of high-stakes hypocritical lying came Sunday, when he told CBS-TV’s “Face the Nation” he would not slow down or reschedule any of this week’s conformation hearings, after Democrats protested that nominees like billionaire Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education designate, had not submitted financial disclosure forms. McConnell has scheduled most of the hearings for Wednesday, the day Trump gives his first press conference since Election Day and the day after President Obama gives his farewell address. The hearings will get scant coverage on television, the medium that most helped elect Trump.

“All of these little procedural complaints are related to their frustration at not only having lost the White House but having lost the Senate,” McConnell said, referring to Senate Democrats’ demands for probing the many conflicts of interest and private agendas of the most billionaire-filled cabinet in history. “I understand that, but we need to, sort of, grow up here and get past that.”

When McConnell mocks “procedural complaints” and says “grow up,” he means the GOP must be free to quash anything that interferes with their power grab. This is the GOP’s Senate leader who single-handedly blocked President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, a moderate praised by Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT. McConnell is also responsible for blocking Obama’s appointment of 84 federal district court judges—one-eighth of the district court bench—including noncontroversial nominations. And he is the same Republican who in February 2009 wrote a letter to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, saying “prior to considering any time agreements on the floor on any [Cabinet] nominee, we expect the following standards will be met.” That included completing FBI background checks, all financial disclosures, Office of Government Ethics vetting, committee questionnaires and “courtesy visits with members.”

McConnell has long been one of the least principled Republican leaders. In the late 1990s, he opposed all forms of campaign finance reform when the McCain-Feingold bill was proposed, countering deregulation of donation limits and disclosure by donors was all that was needed. McConnell changed his tune on disclosure after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, because the biggest GOP donors wanted to throw all the mud they could but were too cowardly to publicly attach their names to the political attacks they funded.

McConnell is a committed hypocrite, a master of two-faced falsity, and filled with sociopathic ruthlessness. While all eyes are on Trump, he’s busy pushing the mountains of shit through the door before anyone even notices. It’s past time to take eyes off the puppet, and pay attention to the puppet masters.

Full article at Raw Story.

Trump: $5 Million Owed to Workers.

In the months after Trump and his family cut the ribbon at Trump’s D.C. hotel in October, three subcontractors filed liens seeking more than $5 million in bills they claim have not been paid. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post).

In the months after Trump and his family cut the ribbon at Trump’s D.C. hotel in October, three subcontractors filed liens seeking more than $5 million in bills they claim have not been paid. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post).

In an all too standard move, Trump has been bragging and boasting about handing over a historic hotel to daughter Ivana for redecoration and all that, and has refused to pay all the people who worked their arses off to get it up and running.

In the frenzied final six weeks of work at the hotel, while Trump touted the project on the campaign trail, AES of Laurel, Md., claims it assigned 45 members of its staff to work 12-hour shifts for nearly 50 consecutive days to get the lights, electrical and fire systems prepared on time.

“We had people there well over 12 hours a day for weeks because they had a hard opening of Sept. 12 and you can’t open if the lights don’t work and the fire alarms don’t work and the fire marshal can’t inspect it,” said Tim Miller, executive vice president of AES. “There is a lot of work that went into that hotel, and it didn’t happen by accident.”

Trump got his wish: The hotel was ready enough that on Sept. 16 he held a campaign event there honoring veterans, which was carried live on national television. He touted the hotel as having been completed “under budget and ahead of schedule” and said that when it opened officially the following month it would be “one of the great hotels anywhere in the world.”

But around the same time, Miller said, the Trump Organization and its construction manager, Lendlease, stopped paying AES. Three days before Christmas, AES filed a mechanic’s lien with the D.C. government alleging that it was out almost $2.1 million. “Merry Christmas and a happy new year to us,” Miller said.

The AES filing brings the total of allegedly unpaid bills on the hotel to more than $5 million. Washington-area plumbing firm Joseph J. Magnolia Inc. and Northern Virginia construction company, A&D Construction, are seeking $2.98 million and $79,700 respectively.

This is the Trump organization response:

“In developments of this scale and complexity the filing of nominal liens at the conclusion of construction is not uncommon as part of the close out process,” a representative for the company wrote.

Now, I’m not a businessman, but I’m going to call a big ol’ bullshit on this one. Why force companies to file at all, a costly and I’m sure, unwanted procedure? Why not just pay them? Oh of course, this is Trump, a man renowned for reneging, stiffing, and not paying anyone, at least not until it’s time to settle yet another court case. There’s the “smart” businessman Trumpoids have put their trust in.

“We’re not in this for any sort of political reasons,” Miller said. “We have no ax to grind, political or otherwise. We’re a business. We have 700 employees that we pay every week. We have bills. We are effectively financing this work, and we don’t think it’s right. That’s really it.”

Oh, but Donny is so gosh darned concerned for workers, right?

The Washington Post has the full story.

Ethics & Team Trump: Never the Twain Shall Meet.

ethics

The Office of Government Ethics has been attempting to chase down Team Trump, who are doing everything in their power to evade, so far, successfully. Is “people who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear” still a thing? If so, it would appear that Team Trump has everything to fear.

New emails reveal that the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) reportedly “lost contact” with President-elect Donald Trump’s team during the ongoing transition to power, despite efforts to warn officials about ethical issues posed by nominees and “blind trusts.”

According to emails uncovered by MSNBC, OGE director Director Walter Shaub contacted Trump aides in November expressing deep frustration with the lack of cooperation between his organization and the president-elect’s team. Shaub reportedly cautioned Trump against creating a blind trust of his business holdings without speaking to the OGE first, noting that the ethics office only considers something a blind trust if its assets have “been sold off”—a very different standard that the “half-blind” trust floated by Trump’s own team. (To date, Trump has not suggested that he will sell off his assets.)

MSNBC noted that the emails, which it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, included few details regarding any efforts by the president-elect to divest from assets that could result in potential conflicts of interest during his presidency.

[…]

Shaub also argued that Trump’s staff was risking “embarrassment” by refusing to allow the ethics office to review the financial records of potential cabinet selections before they were announced, saying some could potentially violate federal law.

“They run the risk of having inadvertently violated the criminal conflicts of interest restriction at 18 USC 208,” Shaub wrote. “If we don’t get involved early to prevent problems, we won’t be able to help them after the fact.”

The tension may explain the OGE’s effort to troll Trump on Twitter in late November.

Look, a bonus Sunday Facepalm! The only way to maybe get the Pendejo-elect’s attention is to troll him on Twitter. For fuck’s sake. Even some conservatives are appalled:

Yes. And not only that, but McConnell’s deep hypocrisy is on show as well:

The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate plans to rush forward this week with confirmation hearings for many of Donald Trump’s nominees for cabinet and other key executive positions. Though many of the picks have not yet completed the customarily required ethics clearances and background checks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has shown no willingness to delay.

[…]

But back in 2009, McConnell took the exact opposite view. A letter to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), posted on Twitter by Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington co-founder and former Obama administration ethics adviser Norm Eisen on Sunday, shows he demanded that “financial disclosures must be complete” before any confirmation hearings be scheduled.

How things change, eh?

Think Progress has the full stories: Government Ethics and McConnell.

ALEC: We Can Do Whatever We Want.

Scott Walker, ALEC marionette. Credit: Donkey

Scott Walker, ALEC marionette. Credit: DonkeyHotey.

The American Legislative Exchange Council — a nonprofit better known as ALEC — briefed its members and allied groups on the bright future for its agenda now that Republicans will effectively control 68 of the nation’s 99 state legislative bodies, as well as 33 governor’s mansions. Among other things, group members said they would push bills to reduce corporate taxes, weaken unions, privatize schooling and influence the ideological debate on college campuses.

“We can pretty much do whatever we want to right now,” said Rep. Jim DeCesare, a Republican state legislator in Kentucky, where the party gained the state House for the first time in nearly a century.

DeCesare, who had been minority whip, described plans for “a pretty intense agenda” including a so-called right-to-work law allowing employees who are covered by collective bargaining agreements to opt out of joining labor unions. Another, he said, would be repealing rules that require government contractors to pay employees more than the minimum wage. Neighboring states competing for new businesses, he said, had already gutted such regulations.

“We’ve got some catching up to do, but we plan to make up a lot of ground in a very short time,” DeCesare said. “This is our time to shine.”

[…]

Inez Feltscher, director of ALEC’s education task force, outlined plans to advocate for legislation giving money to parents who take their children out of public schools — stipends they could use for private schooling or other educational expenses. Critics of these “education savings accounts” say they’re a drain on public-school funding, while proponents argue they give parents a chance to pick the best situation for their kids.

Feltscher acknowledged another motivation: “To break the monopoly on one of the most important institutions in America.” Conservatives have long been at odds with teachers unions over the structure and curriculum of public schools. “We’ve let the left take over almost all of the cultural institutions of this country,” she said.

Another ALEC target, Feltscher said, would be the state of “free debate on American universities,” which conservatives say are largely dominated by left-leaning faculty, courses and speakers. For example, she said, lawmakers could use a range of tactics to press administrators to include multiple ideologies during on-campus public policy talks, such as demanding an annual count of campus events that included more than one perspective. Simply requiring measurement and public reporting would apply pressure, she said, but legislators could also take it to “the nuclear level” and threaten to pull funding from schools that are perceived to be limiting discourse.

“There’s going to be a lot more aggression on this,” Feltscher said.

Corporate rule. Oh, joy. They’ll get all the money and cozy breaks, friendly legislation, and all the people working? Screwed. And no more education, we prefer ignorant dumbfucks!  Oh, we are beyond fucked.

ProPublica has the full story.

More Jobs? No, More Lies.

President-elect Donald Trump speaking to reporters at Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

President-elect Donald Trump speaking to reporters at Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

On Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump made a huge announcement: because of his presidency, Sprint has decided to bring back or create 5,000 jobs in the United States, while satellite startup OneWeb will create another 3,000.

The claim, however, was false. Those jobs are part of a $50 billion investment from SoftBank, which owns 80 percent of Sprint and has made a large investment in OneWeb, that was previously announced as part of a deal with a Saudi investment fund before Trump won the presidency. Meanwhile, not all of the jobs promised by Sprint will be at the company itself, but instead at contractors.

But it’s in both the company’s interests and Trump’s to create glowing, if misleading, headlines about cooperation between the administration and the corporation.

For Sprint, cozying up to Trump is almost certainly related to the hope that it can get approval of its previously failed attempt to merge with T-Mobile. Sprint was in the process of making a bid to buy T-Mobile in 2014, and thus combining the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the country, but ended up abandoning the plan in the face of regulatory opposition from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Both agencies have stated an intent to keep four major carriers in the country, rather than let them combine, under current leadership.

While Sprint has been able to remain solvent since then, it hasn’t turned an annual profit since 2006 and has more than $30 billion in total debt. SoftBank’s CEO Masayoshi Son, who personally met with Trump after the election and re-announced his company’s intents to invest in the United States from Trump Tower, has made it clear that he sees consolidation as a must for getting the company to profitability. “We need scale,” he told Bloomberg in 2014. And he still reportedly has his eyes on T-Mobile.

If the FCC and DOJ become more friendly to mega-mergers under Trump, that would be an enormous win for the company. And even before Sprint started currying favor with Trump, his administration has been shaping up to be just what the company is looking for. One of the president-elect’s top policy advisers on technology has suggested abolishing the FCC altogether and is a proponent of industry mergers, writing, “Telecommunications network providers and ISPs are rarely, if ever, monopolies.” Other advisers are staunchly against net neutrality regulations that aim to keep the internet a level playing field but have been opposed by giants like AT&T and Verizon.

Rarely monopolies. Right. In what fucking universe? Have people forgotten Ma Bell already? It wasn’t that bloody long ago.  Living rural, I already get screwed royally when it comes to net access, and I’m capped, too. No streaming for me, I can’t afford it. Whether or not I’ll be able to afford net access at all once the incoming administration guts everything, who knows? I really hate interesting times.

There’s much more at Think Progress.

The Inauguration Huckster.

Donald Trump with Pastor Paula White (Photo: Facebook).

Donald Trump with Pastor Paula White (Photo: Facebook).

Take a good look at the background in that photo.

In 2007, TV preacher Paula White got investigated by the U.S. Senate for her shady fundraising practices.

Ten years later, she will pray at Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Yes, really.

White is a televangelist with a huge audience and a knack for stirring controversy. She’s been a Trump booster for years, and she helped organize a summit for him in the early days of his presidential campaign with other televangelists. Her presence at the inauguration is a very strong indicator that Trump’s White House will be a safe space for the Christian right’s most controversial characters.

Think of Paula White’s ministry as the church version of Trump University. She preaches the prosperity gospel, an approach to Christianity that is, shall we say, unorthodox. Prosperity-gospel preachers teach that God wants people to be rich, and that he makes them wealthy as a sign of his blessing and favor; the richer you are, the more God loves you.

[…]

While Grassley was investigating White, Trump was praising her. CNN quoted him in a broadcast aired Nov. 26, 2007, describing her in glowing terms.

“Paula White is not only a beautiful person, both inside and out, she has a significant message to offer anyone who will tune in and pay attention,” Trump said. “She has amazing insight, the ability to deliver that message clearly, as well as powerfully.”

White has expressed similar sentiments about Trump, once describing him as “a diamond that reveals a new facet each time it is turned in the light.”

And during Trump’s campaign, she vouched for his saintliness.

[…]

As The Daily Beast detailed last year, the overlap between Trump’s and White’s message is glaring. One of the sermons for sale on her website is called “Why God Wants You Wealthy.” Trump, meanwhile, wrote a book titled Why We Want You to Be Rich. Trump and God both. Why aren’t you rich already?

Via The Daily Beast.

The Twists and Turns of Extortion.

Foreign governments and lobbyists have rushed to book rooms at the new Trump International Hotel in D.C., expecting to curry favor with the president-elect. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Foreign governments and lobbyists have rushed to book rooms at the new Trump International Hotel in D.C., expecting to curry favor with the president-elect. Chip Somodevilla/Getty.

Newsweek has broken a story about the twisty financial ties of Trump, and how very easy it would be for foreign governments to do some serious arm twisting, to get Trump to do their bidding. As I hope has been made clear through dozens upon dozens of posts, Trump is primarily concerned with his name and his wallet. This whole government thing, not so much. Anyone who thinks Trump will actually divest prior to inauguration, oh please, make it back to reality land. That simply won’t happen. Trump has already stated he doesn’t care if it’s a violation of the constitution. Unfortunately, that particular mess does not rest there. If you need one more reason to actively fight against Trump, here it is – this is person who thinks of the presidency as nothing more than a good business opportunity. He not only does not understand the implications, he does not care. This is just the tip of the iceberg, one which spells out, very clearly, that Trump is placing the U.S. government in a prime position to be blackmailed by an assortment of other governments.

Despite universal condemnation of the ongoing slaughter of Filipinos, Trump signaled his approval of Duterte’s policies during a phone call on December 2. According to Duterte—an account that has gone uncontested by Trump—the president-elect endorsed his tactics as “the right way.” Duterte added: “[Trump] was wishing me success in my campaign against the drug problem.” (He also said Trump invited him to the White House, a courtesy not yet extended to Theresa May, the prime minister of Britain, America’s most important strategic ally.)

[…]

One thing, however, is clear: The Trump family has an enormous financial interest in keeping Duterte happy. Trump Tower at Century City in Makati, Philippines, is on the verge of completion, with potential buyers having placed deposits on at least 94 percent of the condominiums, according to Century Properties, the Trump Organization’s business partner there. During the U.S. presidential campaign, Trump’s sons Donald Jr. and Eric traveled to Makati to shovel some dirt in a ceremony to celebrate the structural completion of the building; a photograph of the two men shoveling alongside top Century Properties executives was posted on the building’s website. (On that same website, a line of jewelry by Trump’s daughter Ivanka is offered for sale, and it is expected to be available for purchase at the $150 million property.) As with almost every property with Trump’s name on it built over the past decade, his company is not the developer; it merely sold its name to Century Properties to use on the building. Although details of the transaction are not public, contracts for other Trump branding deals reviewed by Newsweek show that they require a multimillion-dollar up-front payment as well as up to 25 percent of the developer’s revenue, year after year. So, under the deal, Trump’s children will be paid millions of dollars throughout their father’s presidency by Jose E.B. Antonio, the head of Century Properties.

Duterte recently named Antonio the special government envoy to the United States. The conflicts here could not be more troubling or more blatant: President Trump will be discussing U.S. policy in Southeast Asia with one of his (or his children’s) business partners, a man who is the official representative of a foreign leader who likens himself to Hitler. Also note that the Trump family has an enormous financial interest in Duterte’s deadly campaign: Rooting out crime in the Philippines is good for the real estate values.

The full, in-depth article is here.

Rachel Maddow also addressed highly troubling concerns when it comes to a Trump financial tangle and Turkey.

According to Maddow, Trump has a business relationship with the Doğan family, owners of Doğan Holding, which is building twin towers in Turkey bearing the Trump name for which the Trump family stands to make millions of dollars.

[…]

Maddow then got to the heart of the matter.

“Turkey desperately wants the U.S. government to extradite an imam [Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen],” Maddow explained. “They [the U.S.] have said that they are not extraditing him. But if that’s what you wanted, what if you could squeeze the personal financial interests of the American president as a way to get what you want from the American government?”

“I mean, the Trump family and the president-elect themselves, they stand to make millions of dollars from their relationship with the Doğan group in Turkey. That will stop if they get locked up,” she continued. “So they started locking them up. Nice leverage, right? It would be one thing if it was business leverage — but it’s leverage against all of us as Americans.”

As Eichenwald notes in his article: “If Erdoğan’s government puts more pressure on the company that’s paying millions of dollars to Trump and his children, revenue flowing from that tower complex in Istanbul could be cut off. That means Erdoğan has leverage with Trump, who will soon have the power to get Gulen extradited.”

Full story and video here.