When Words Come Back To Bite Your Ass.

In this photo taken April 21, 2010, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks about financial reform at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. In a letter circulated by Hatch Thursday, March 3, 2011. CREDIT: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak.

With all the secrecy and other slimy moves in the ramming through of the Fuck You Care Plan, an interesting op-ed has surfaced, from Orrin Hatch. It certainly highlights the ongoing hypocrisy of rethuglicans, and why you can never trust anything they might say, and certainly not what they might do.

In short, in less than a week, Senate Republicans are considering ramming through a major piece of legislation that the public has not seen and will not be able to respond to, and they’re using a method specifically designed to circumvent any mechanism the Constitution allows the Senate’s minority party to stop it.

But don’t take it from me: Take it from Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who agitated fiercely against the Senate Democrats’ rumored plan to pass Obamacare through reconciliation in 2010.

“This use of reconciliation to jam through this legislation, against the will of the American people, would be unprecedented in scope,” Hatch wrote in a 2010 Washington Post op-ed titled “Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process.” “And the havoc wrought would threaten our system of checks and balances, corrode the legislative process, degrade our system of government and damage the prospects of bipartisanship.”

In the op-ed, Hatch details exactly how reconciliation allows a majority party to abuse parliamentary power, and why it’s inappropriate for health care. “It sharply limits debate and amendments to a mere 20 hours and would allow passage with only 51 votes (as opposed to the 60 needed to overcome a procedural hurdle),” he wrote. “But the Constitution intends the opposite process, especially for a bill that would affect one-sixth of the American economy.”

Now, of course, Hatch is all for the terrible process, and defends the secrecy on the basis it won’t give democrats a chance to criticise, because as we all now know, criticism is just the worst thing ever.

According to Hatch, holding public hearings on Senate Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan would be useless, because those hearings would only give Democrats opportunity for criticism.

“We have zero cooperation from the Democrats,” he told reporters. “So getting it in public gives them a chance to get up and scream.”

When it was Obamacare on the table, Hatch was a staunch proponent of bipartisanship, arguing in an open letter to Obama that “our nation expects us to solve this challenge in an open, honest and bipartisan manner.” He added that “the American people deserve an open and vigorous dialogue on this critical legislation and the use of this process would be a clear signal that Washington continues to ignore their voices.”

Think Progress has the full embarrassing story. Well, it would be embarrassing to anyone except a rethuglican.

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.

Sunday Facepalm.

“Obama, he’s a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun. Hey Hillary [Clinton], you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.”

“I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame enough Americans to be ever vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America,” Nugent said.

Ted Nugent, doucheweasel extraordinaire, has recently found a way to foist himself into the public eye again, by now claiming he’s oh so over all the hateful rhetoric, like that quoted above. Nothing about actually shaking up the ol’ brain cells and experiencing even fractional enlightenment, no. This is just a tone thing – “we must be civil!” Yeah. Anyone experienced in discussions, on or off line, knows that you can use all the ‘nice’ words, and be a hundred times more poisonous than someone who peppers their discussions with ‘fuck’ or ‘Jesus Christ!’. Claiming that Black people are intellectually inferior, you have [shoddy] evidence, and really, all you want is for someone to listen to you, and no, of course you aren’t a bigot, that’s no different from Nugent’s “subhuman mongrel”.  Just a difference in icing on a shit cake.

A day or two ago, Nugent noisily claimed to have seen the light, after republicans were shot at (boy, those gun fondlers, they love their guns, but are ever so shocked when they are used against people they happen to like), and that he would stop with hateful rhetoric, because … well, because he doesn’t want anymore republicans shot. When I first saw the headline, a skeptical eyebrow rose, nothing more. Of course, the washed up asshole simply can’t keep his mouth shut, now that he’s found a way to get peoples’ attention once again, no matter how briefly. Ted decided to show up on Fox and Friends, his pal Trump’s favourite show.

“Let me make it perfectly clear, I have never projected hate,” Nugent insisted. “When I said that about sucking on my machine gun, that was a direct response to the liberal Democrats — Obama and Clinton, et al — [trying] to ban certain types of firearms, violating their oath to the Constitution and the Second Amendment.”

“That was a metaphor and nobody is too stupid not to know that,” he continued. “The left is so dishonest that they misrepresented that, and make it perfectly clear with my Fox & Friends, I have never threatened anybody. I have never hinted at violence.”

Right. Never, ever even so much as hinted at violence. Calls to decapitate people in November (If Obama was re-elected), mentions of nooses, lynchings, guns, and more. Not at all hinting at violence. Well, on some planet anyway, not this one. It’s much too late to play saint, Ted.

“I am reaching out across the aisle, and I am saying we must unite to bring no violence, no harm to any of our fellow Americans,” he opined. “I have always been civil. Again, during the outrage of a rock and roll performance, machine gun references have been made but nobody could possibly think I want anybody’s lips near my machine gun.”

Nugent complained that there had been no signs of civility from “the left.”

Interesting notion of civility Ted has, it certainly wouldn’t meet my definition. Anyroad, surface civility is to no point when your head is still full bigoted, poisonous hate. As for his whole “hey, outrage!” defense, I’m rather reminded of the Twinkie defense. “Hey, I was all lost in the music man, I mistook the machine gun for my guitar!” Christ, cheap and contemptible, as always.

“They’re still going to burn down buildings if they disagree with your speech, and turn over cars and attack people if they don’t agree with you,” he remarked.

“I think that’s all something we needed to hear right now,” Fox News host Abby Huntsman concluded.

It is? Pretty sure I didn’t need to hear that, because it’s yet another clod of stupid, lobbed aimlessly into a crowd. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have not been getting so gosh darn worked up I’m out and about committing arson, tipping cars, or attacking people.

If you want it, there’s video at Raw Story.

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.

Trump Morality.

CREDIT: Eric Trump steps off Air Force One as he arrives Sunday, April 16, 2017, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. President Donald Trump and family are returning from his Mar-a-Largo resort in Florida. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex Brandon.

After Eric Trump spent some time with Sean Hannity, spitting bitterness and claiming that democrats aren’t even people to him, as he opined over the complete lack of morality these days (the fault of liberals, natch),  a report from Forbes has revealed an instance of what passes for morality in the Trump Klan.

On Tuesday, Forbes reported that Eric Trump has diverted more than $1 million donations to his kids-cancer charity to Trump golf courses. These costs were incurred during the Eric Trump Foundation’s annual golf fundraiser. But according to charity experts, “the listed expenses defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament.”

The golf fundraiser was marketed as an opportunity for donors to have nearly their entire gift go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, since the golf and other services were provided free of charge.

A former employee of the club, however, told Forbes that beginning in 2011, the charity was charged for the use of course and other services. Ian Gillule, membership and marketing director at Trump National Westchester, said the club began billing Eric Trump’s foundation after Donald Trump “had a cow.”

“I don’t care if it’s my son or not — everybody gets billed,” Donald Trump said, according to Gillule.

The payments by the charity to the Trump Organization for its one-day tournament were also confirmed by a former member of the Eric Trump Foundation board. And the payments increased dramatically over time — from $46,000 in 2011 to $322,000 in 2015.

Eric Trump appears to have gone to significant lengths to cover up these payments. Last year, he told Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold that none of the money actually went to the Trump Organization. Rather, Eric Trump insisted, the money was simply passed from the Trump Organization to “to cover the cost of outside vendors.”

In July, Eric Trump excoriated Fahrenthold for even suggesting otherwise:

Eric Trump also criticized The Post for a recent blog post — and recent Twitter messages by this reporter — about a payment made by the Eric Trump Foundation to one of Donald Trump’s golf courses.

“It’s disgusting. It is so disgusting what’s happening,” Eric Trump said. “I’m saving dying children. We do tremendous good for people. And you’re sitting there tearing us apart.”

“I save dying children! I do! There’s nothing wrong with profiting from that! This speaks to one of the worst things about the Trump Criminal Organization – the insistence that they are prime signifiers of morality; of being truly good and decent people. Ivana Jr. wants to profit by pretending to identify with working women. The elder sons slaughter animals for fun, are up to their necks in sleazy business, and now do whatever they must to protect their sire, lying and spreading bullshit by the fucktonne.

Think Progress has the full story.

From Integrity to Trumpery.

The crest, right, that President Trump displays at his American properties is a coat of arms, left, that British authorities granted to another family. Click for full size.

LONDON — At the Trump National Golf Club outside Washington, which hosted the Senior P.G.A. Championship this weekend, the president’s coat of arms is everywhere — the sign out front, the pro shop, even the exercise room.

The regal emblem, used at President Trump’s golf courses across the United States, sports three lions and two chevrons on a shield, below a gloved hand gripping an arrow.

A different coat of arms flies over Mr. Trump’s two golf resorts in Scotland. The lions on the shield have been replaced by a two-headed eagle, an image the company has said represents the “dual nature and nationality” of Mr. Trump’s Scottish and German roots.

But this emblem was not just about honoring his heritage.

The British are known to take matters of heraldry seriously, and Mr. Trump’s American coat of arms belongs to another family. It was granted by British authorities in 1939 to Joseph Edward Davies, the third husband of Marjorie Merriweather Post, the socialite who built the Mar-a-Lago resort that is now Mr. Trump’s cherished getaway.

[…]

In the United States, the Trump Organization took Mr. Davies’s coat of arms for its own, making one small adjustment — replacing the word “Integritas,” Latin for integrity, with “Trump.”

Joseph D. Tydings, a Democrat and former United States senator from Maryland who is the grandson of Mr. Davies, learned that Mr. Trump was using the emblem, at least at Mar-a-Lago, when he visited the property. Mr. Trump had never asked permission.

“There are members of the family who wanted to sue him,” said Mr. Tydings, a lawyer who wears his family’s coat of arms on a ring. “This is the first I’ve ever heard about it being used anywhere else.”

[…]

The College of Arms, which oversees coats of arms in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, provided more detail. The emblem originally submitted in 2007 by Mr. Trump to Britain’s trademark office matched one that had been granted to Mr. Davies, an American of Welsh descent who once served as ambassador to the Soviet Union.

“It couldn’t be a clearer-cut case, actually,” said Clive Cheesman, one of the college’s heralds, who oversee coats of arms, their design and their use.

“A coat of arms that was originally granted to Joseph Edward Davies in 1939 by the English heraldic authority ended up being used 10 or 15 years ago by the Trump Organization as part of its branding for its golf clubs,” said Mr. Cheesman, a lawyer by training. “This got them into difficulty.”

The White House referred questions to the Trump Organization, which did not respond to requests for comment.

The organization has trademarked the Davies coat of arms in the United States, which has far less attachment to such symbols. It is used on the company’s website and is a prominent branding detail of Mr. Trump’s many American golf courses and resorts — emblazoned on golf balls, shirts and bottles of body lotion.

When the Trump Organization created a Civil War memorial at the golf course near Washington commemorating a battle and a “river of blood” that never occurred, a plaque marking the fictitious event was embossed with the coat of arms.

The NYT has the full, sordid story. There is not one thing which is genuine when it comes to Trump, he’s a cheap plastic shell surrounding a vacuum of screaming ego. #Trake – If It’s Trump, It’s Fake. You can see some of the choice tweets over this matter here. My favourite:

Mr. Tweet Returns.

After the Unpresident’s disastrous ‘tour’, it didn’t take long before Mr. Tweet once again made an appearance, having another multi-tweet meltdown, scattering his delusions like dandelion achenes in the wind. It also didn’t take long for the Twitterati to respond to the latest salver of idiotbites laid before them.

Mr. Tweet: “I suggest that we add more dollars to Healthcare and make it the best anywhere. ObamaCare is dead – the Republicans will do much better!”

As one astute person observed in response, we had healthcare with more dollars in, it was called the ACA, aka ObamaCare.

Mr. Tweet: “The massive TAX CUTS/REFORM that I have submitted is moving along in the process very well, actually ahead of schedule. Big benefits to all!”

Oh yes, let’s see, you promised this mess within 100 days. It’s over that now. Benefits to all? I do believe he thinks only filthy rich people actually exist. Oh, and maybe the servant class. Outside of that, I think we all disappear.

Mr. Tweet: “The Fake News Media works hard at disparaging & demeaning my use of social media because they don’t want America to hear the real story!”

This piece of America is intelligent enough to read actual news, not shitshows like Fox, is capable of doing basic fact checking, is not afraid of words or the reading of them, and can judge shite filled tweets when seen.

It’s amazing, really, just how easy it is to get Donny unglued. I hope people all over take a clue from the scathing Twitterati, and show up in masses at his planned ‘campaign rallies’, and let fly with the questions and mockery. That might result in getting his ass out of office, something the democrats won’t even try to do until fucking 2019. What the hell is the point? He needs out now. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of mockery!

You can see some of the choice responses at Raw Story.

Climate Accord: Trump To Pull Out.

“Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, center right, after appearing to be pushed by Donald Trump, center.” CREDIT for caption/photo: AP/Matt Dunham.

There’s been a great deal of anxiety laden speculation over the Paris Climate Accord, as that represents our last, best hope. It seems it’s a last, best hope that the Tiny Tyrant wants no part of, and plans to withdraw from.  This is not yet formal, and the Tiny Tyrant is subject to doing rapid turnabouts on a whim, but he’s never been secretive about his scorn for the climate accord, or his desire to pull out. The damage he has already done here in uStates is tremendous, it won’t be long before we’re back to 1970s levels of pollution, with smog alerts and steeping in trash and toxicity once again. Naturally, this will lead to a much sicker populace, one which will not be able to take care of themselves, thanks to the Fuck You Care Plan. There’s one other country which is also adamantly against the climate accord. Bet you don’t need three guesses, either. It’s Russia.

President Donald Trump has privately told “confidants” he intends to leave the Paris accord on climate change, “according to three sources with direct knowledge,” Axios reported Saturday.

After persuading voters that America isn’t great anymore, Trump apparently intends to make sure of it — by having this country lead the effort to kill humanity’s last, best hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

Quitting a unanimous agreement by 190+ nations after a two-decade negotiating process would make us a rogue nation, a global pariah, like Vladimir Putin’s Russia. And, it could make Putin happy, as we’ll see.

While Trump tweeted out Saturday from Italy that “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after the G7 meeting, “The whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory.” She added, “Here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want to add the EU, stand against one.”

Axios notes that “Although Trump made it clear during the campaign and in multiple conversations before his overseas trip that he favored withdrawal, he has been known to abruptly change his mind.” They add, however, top political appointees at EPA “were relieved” when Trump refused to join a consensus G7 statement reaffirming “their strong commitment” to the Paris accord.

While the White House’s attack on domestic climate action already undermines the global effort to avert climate catastrophe, we shouldn’t discount the importance of a U.S. withdrawal from Paris — especially if Trump teams with Russian President Vladimir Putin to undermine the whole global negotiating process.

Think Progress has the full story.

Sunday Facepalm.

ccckenya.com

Wayne Allyn Root is at it again, metaphorical saliva foaming over. Oh, those awful fellow conservatives, they are lazy, cheap, wussie country clubbers! They aren’t properly motivated programmed, so it’s time to call in the pros, those who will attack , and have experience in killing people. That will fix everything right up, because otherwise, he seems to think his life, and that of other batshit conservative christians, will be erased. I think Mr. Root has been watching bad movies.

Outraged that WorldNetDaily had its Twitter account temporarily suspended for its incessant promotion of the debunked Seth Rich conspiracy theory, Root fumed that conservatives “are all wussies and they don’t understand that we have to fight back so viciously and we have to boycott every liberal company in this country.”

Any company that advertises on MSNBC or CNN or in the New York Times, Washington Post or on any liberal website must be universally boycotted by every Trump voter in America, Root said, “before we are taken off the airwaves and our lives are erased.”

I can’t imagine anyone having the time, resources, and energy to “erase” lives such as yours, Mr. Root. Reality is not a bad movie. As for the rest of your plan, while there are too many Trumpholes, as in one is too many, they are actually a very small percentage of the population, and don’t have the power to make a boycott effective.

Reading from a letter he received from a friend, Root claimed that progressive organizations like Right Wing Watch, Media Matters, and the Center for American Progress have massive offices all over the country filled with staff who do nothing but send emails, letters and make phone calls “to sponsors and newspapers and cable and TV networks all over this country and all over this world to try to destroy the right.” Conservatives don’t have a similar operation, Root fumed, because they are “lazy, cheap, wussy, country club, RINO a-holes.”

Oooh, a letter from a friend. What an authoritative source. Nothing like advertising your gullibility. I imagine if these massive offices existed, there would be quite the buzz, because jobs. It’s true that lefties tend to pay attention, and get involved in a lot of grassroots action, sign petitions and all that, but that’s a far cry from this odd conspiracy you have cooked up. Most of us have to get on with the daily business of living, working every day, taking care of families, all that. Not much time leftover to be a paper assassin.

“We need to hire an attack dog,” Root declared. “We need to hire former CIA or NSA or FBI or Navy Seals that have been involved in counter-insurgency operations all over the world, that have killed people, that understand how to fight; that don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, that bring a gun to a gunfight, preferably a shoulder-fired missile to a gunfight, preferably a nuclear weapon to a gunfight!”

We? Who the hell is We? A slight hint here, Mr. Root – people such as you’re describing might not appreciate being called an attack dog. A nuclear weapon to a gunfight. Yeah, there’s that good ol’ christian conservative spirit: obliterate the fuckers, all of them! I can’t say I’d mind if you dropped dead, Mr. Root, because you’re a dangerous zealot, who thinks unleashing nuclear weapons would be a good idea. It would probably be a good thing if you figured out that if nukes fly, you’re dead, too. Jesus Fuck, what is wrong with you people?

“It is time to go after the left as viciously as they go after us,” Root proclaimed. “These people are mentally insane … and I will tell you right now, they would burn books if they could.”

“They would love to burn the Bible, because we all know they hate God,” he added. “And you know they hate the country.”

Let’s take a look. According to you, the left are viciously engaged in letter writing and phone calling. So, you think killers, guns, and nuclear weapons are an appropriate response. And that’s supposed to be mentally sane? Now, as for this: “they would burn books if they could”, um, what is it that you think is preventing people from burning books, if that’s what they want to do? I haven’t burned a bible, but I’ve shredded a couple. *shrug* Nothing happened, no one cares.

I don’t hate “god” because gods don’t exist. I don’t hate the country, either, but I certainly don’t like many of its inhabitants.

Via RWW.

Oh Good, A War Room. That’s Sure To Help.

Trump speaks to U.S. troops at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy, on May 27. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters).

A war room. Why? All the scandals engulfing the Tiny Tyrant, of course. The mere fact that the Tiny Tyrant feels this is a situation of war lends credence to the malignant reality reaching out with a stranglehold on us all. This is a siege mentality overlaid on an already highly unstable and paranoid mindset.

President Trump and his advisers, seeking to contain the escalating Russia crisis that threatens to consume his presidency, are considering a retooling of his senior staff and the creation of a “war room” within the White House, according to several aides and outside Trump allies.

Following Trump’s return to Washington on Saturday night from a nine-day foreign trip that provided a bit of a respite from the controversy back home, the White House plans to far more aggressively combat the cascading revelations about contacts between Trump associates, including Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and Russia.

White House officials are also trying to find ways to revive Trump’s stalled policy agenda in Congress and to more broadly overhaul the way the White House communicates with the public.

That includes proposals for more travel and campaign-style rallies throughout the country so that Trump can speak directly to his supporters, as well as changes in the pace and nature of press briefings, likely including a diminished role for embattled White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

Oh right, a “return” to campaigning. A good portion of Trumpholes have now figured out that supporting him is akin to having your hands filled with a steaming pile of shit, so I don’t imagine the campaign rally trail will be quite so happy this time around. This also means that Trump will once again be preaching and hollering hate everywhere, in an attempt to provide a salve for bruised egos everywhere, a place for people to lay blame. Like last time, I also expect there will be another spike in hate fueled violence, on top of the one which is still ongoing.

It would be truly great if every person in uStates could figure out that campaigning is not the same as presidenting, and it has been made more than obvious which one Trump can manage, and which one he clearly cannot manage.

While much remained fluid Saturday, the beefed-up operation could include the return of some of Trump’s more combative campaign aides, including former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was fired nearly a year ago, and former deputy campaign manager David N. Bossie, who made his name in politics by investigating Bill and Hillary Clinton for two decades. Both of them have already been part of ongoing discussions about how to build a “war room,” which have been led in part by chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

[…]

“Go to the mattresses,” a line from “The Godfather” film about turning to tough mercenaries during troubled times, has circulated among Trump’s friends, according to two people close to the “war room” discussions.

Well, how … apt.

Meanwhile, White House counsel Donald McGahn is mulling expanding his office, and an outside legal team led by Marc E. Kasowitz is readying to meet with Trump and guide him, including on whether he should continue to comment on the Russia probes on Twitter.

Kushner has played an active role in the effort to rethink and rearrange the communications team, improve the White House’s surrogate operation, and develop an internal group to combat the influx of negative stories and revelations over the FBI’s Russia probe, said someone with knowledge of the coming changes.

“The bottom line is they need fresh legs; they need more legs,” said Barry Bennett, who served as a political adviser to Trump during the general election. “They’re in full-scale war, and they’re thinly staffed.”

[…]

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, is being considered as a replacement behind the lectern and is likely to appear on camera more often in coming weeks. White House aides have also talked about having a rotating cast of staff brief the media, a group that could include officials such as national security adviser H.R. McMaster. Having several aides share the briefing responsibilities could help prevent Trump — who has a notoriously short attention span — from growing bored or angry with any one staffer.

Shuffle, move, scoot, change, whatever the fuck. The key words in the above would be: 1) Trump 2) short attention span 3) bored 4) angry. The problem? Trump. The solution? Get rid of Trump.

Aides and allies of Trump say they have come to the realization that unflattering stories about Russia will be part of the daily conversation for the foreseeable future and acknowledge that the White House has been ill-equipped to handle them.

Christopher Ruddy, a longtime Trump friend, said the White House has been caught flat-footed on many of the Russia stories.

“Because they did not believe there’s anything to it, they’re playing catch-up to get their side of the story out,” Ruddy said.

Oh, fucking bullshit! Bullshit. This didn’t take anyone by surprise, they just assumed he’d get away with it, like he has before.

Being outside of Washington among his supporters, particularly in a state he won last year, energizes Trump and provides a way for him to communicate without the filter of the media, his advisers say.

“The conventional ways of communicating are not working for them,” one adviser said, adding that Trump should consider Facebook Live sessions and get out on the road “as frequently as possible.”

“They have to get the campaign brand back,” the adviser said.

Oh yes, the brand. All you need is hate and the brand. Intelligence, compassion, competency? Nah, who the hell needs those things?

“I hope he’ll travel more and do these rallies once a week,” Bennett said. “You get to say whatever you want to say, and you don’t have to take questions.”

You know what would be great? If lots and lots and lots of people showed up at said rallies, and refused to stay quiet and listen, and yelled out all their questions about just how he’s fucking everyone and everything over, and why does he hate America so damn much.

There’s much, much more at The Washington Post.

A $2 Trillion Error and More…

CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais.

The math in crafting the budget was seemingly too difficult for an administration embroiled in scandal. President Donald Trump promised that he would balance the budget for the first time in over a decade and he would do it without cutting spending for defense or Social Security. The numbers were flawed, however.

According to New York Magazine, Trump’s budget assumes a $2 trillion increase in revenue through economic growth that can’t be verified or supported by any estimations by anyone, anywhere. Even the Trump administration’s supposed economic growth wouldn’t pay for the $2 trillion error. Previously, Trump claimed his cuts would be paid for by the growth expected to come in, as a result of his tax breaks. The plan is akin to a credit card that has an interest rate that pays off your card as you spend money on it. The administration has double counted the growth.

Via Raw Story.

This whole mess is turning out to be worse than the Fuck You Healthcare Plan. Apparently, our Tiny Tyrant is not in the least disturbed by numbers which simply do not work. It will be great, yes, of course it will, because it has ‘greatness’ on the label, see, and if you have branding, you don’t have to care about anything else. Might be best if everyone prepares for bankruptcy. There’s a great deal to be disturbed about, so here’s the Oh Fuck Roundup:

Congressional Republicans balk at the arrival of Trump’s cruel budget: Not everyone’s on board; in fact, plenty aren’t.

Trump’s budget sacrifices diplomacy for bigger guns: The State Department would see massive cuts, while the Defense Department would get its budget padded further.

Here’s where the White House got its insane growth projections: Trump’s budget sets a wildly implausible growth target and then seeks to achieve it by cutting food stamps and disability benefits.

Student loan borrowers should brace themselves for Trump’s budget: The news is particularly grim for graduate students.

The outrageous assumptions hiding a $6 trillion hole in Trump’s budget: The budget is so detached from reality, it’s created its own theory of economic growth.

Trump’s budget would destroy the health coverage of at least 14 million poor people: The budget blueprint embraces Trumpcare’s massive cuts to Medicaid — and then cuts the program even more.

Trump’s ‘welfare reform’ will destroy the program: Welfare fails to help families in poverty. Trump would make it much worse.

Asshole Mulvaney’s Take.

That’s enough bad news, ennit?

Caitiff.

Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Photo: Defense Intelligence Agency).

It will be a surprise to exactly no one that Flynn has decided to go full court coward, a common trait in military persons who try to go political. That Flynn plans to invoke the 5th, that’s hardly a shocker.  Flynn has also stated he will not comply with a documents subpoena. Golly, wouldn’t it be grand if us regular folks could get away with that sort of thing? I rather doubt Flynn will be locked up until he decides to comply.

Former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn plans to ignore the subpoena issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee and will cite his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

According to an Associated Press report, Flynn plans to officially invoke the Fifth Amendment sometime on Monday.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) said last week that Flynn had not yet complied with the Senate’s subpoena, and added that he didn’t expect Flynn to agree to testify under oath.

Flynn asked for immunity from the Senate in exchange for testifying, but so far the Senate has been unwilling to grant his request.

Raw Story has the full article.

Sheriff David Clarke Gets His Trump Appointment.

Sheriff David Clarke Jr. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin.

I’m sure that Dave Clarke is just giddy over being appointed to homeland security. For the rest of us, it’s a walking, talking, nightmare. No one could possibly be less qualified than Clarke, whose hatred knows no bounds. Many times over, this man should have been tried for his crimes, and if there was any justice, he’d be sitting in a prison cell for the rest of his life.  He’s in the midst of a prison deaths scandal right now, but apparently, that doesn’t matter, anymore than his previous crimes. This is just the tip of the Clarke iceberg:

Clarke has called the Black Lives Matter movement “black slime” that “needs to be eradicated from the American society and the American culture,” “garbage” and a “subversive movement” that seeks to overthrow the government, and said that the movement is driven by “an ideology of victimhood with a list of grievances that do not exist.” He has dismissed concerns about police brutality by saying that “black criminal abuse, black criminal brutality” is “the real brutality going on in the United States.” The real problem in “the American ghetto,” he has said, is “modern liberalism.”

Clarke said that Michael Brown, the black teenager shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, was a “co-conspirator in his own demise” because he “chose thug life.” After Sandra Bland, a black woman who had been thrown to the ground during a traffic stop, died in police custody, Clarke went on Fox News to chastise her. He said that he would have used even more force against a group of black teenagers who were thrown to the ground by police outside a public swimming pool in Ohio, telling people who saw a racial component in the action to “shut up already.”

Clarke has been colorful in his condemnation of President Obama and Hillary Clinton for sympathizing with the Black Lives Matter movement, calling them “straight-up cop haters.” He called Obama a “heartless, soulless bastard” for speaking up about “goons” killed by police and said that the Obama administration’s attempts to address racial disparities in policing were a plot to “emasculate the police” in order to impose dictatorial control.” He accused the president of worsening racial divides in the country by pitting “whites against blacks” and “Hispanics against Americans.”

The sheriff is also happy to throw red meat to his conservative audience on a number of other topics. After the Supreme Court struck down state marriage equality bans, Clarke called for a “revolution” to “get this country back,” complete with “pitchforks and torches,” urging his audience to launch a standoff against the federal government the next time a bakery or the like is fined for refusing business to a same-sex couple.

When Trump caused a national uproar when he attacked a judge because of his Mexican-American heritage, Clarke took to his radio show to defend the candidate.

Clarke first became a conservative hero when, in 2013, he aired radio ads in his county urging citizens not to rely on calling 911 but instead to learn to protect themselves against crime. Speaking at the National Rifle Association’s convention last year, he proposed adding a semi-automatic rifle to the Great Seal of the United States. Appearing on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio program, Clarke warned that a renewal of the federal assault weapons ban would lead to gun confiscations that would spark “the second coming of the American Revolution, the likes of which would make the first revolution pale by comparison.”

While Clarke has no patience for African Americans who have deadly run-ins with the police, he has repeatedly associated himself with anti-government militia groups who have staged armed standoffs with federal government agents or who threaten to defy federal law. Earlier this year, when a group of armed activists took over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, Clarke backed their cause, saying that the country had reached a “pitchforks and torches moment” that couldn’t be solved by an election.

In 2013, after he aired his ads discouraging citizens from relying on 911, Clarke accepted the “ Constitutional Sheriff of the Year” award from the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, an anti-government group that promotes the idea that county sheriffs are the highest law enforcement officers in the country and thus have the power to defy federal laws that they believe are unconstitutional. In his acceptance speech , Clarke declared that “government” was the “common enemy” of the “patriots” in the room. In a radio interview that year, he said that “on an everyday basis, to me, federal government is a bigger threat” than terrorism.

Just this year, Clarke spoke at a fundraising event for the New York chapter of the Oath Keepers, an anti-government group aligned with the Constitutional Sheriffs that urges law enforcement officers and military personnel to defy laws they believe are unconstitutional and encourages its members to form militias ready to defy an out-of-control federal government. At that event, Clarke called Black Lives Matter a “hate group” and vowed to do “everything I can” to get Trump elected president.

Via RWW, click on over for the full story.

Also see: Why Sheriff Clarke will be a disaster in his new job, according to his predecessor: ‘Just plain awful’.