Reality Check.

Credit: Bigstock.

Credit: Bigstock.

The inaugural speech was dark, ominous, painting a picture of a disintegrated America. The inaugural speech was also a lie. All of it. This should not come as a surprise; if there has been any consistency about Trump, it’s been that he lies, constantly. It’s in Trump’s interest to paint such a picture, and it’s also necessary for his plans for fascism – reality is not his friend. Fortunately for us, Think Progress has a nice point by point refutation of all Trump’s inaugural claims.

During his inaugural address on Friday, President Donald Trump painted a bleak picture of an America beset by violent crime, drugs, and lack of education. He presented himself as a savior who will “fight for you with every breath in my body and I will never ever let you down.”


But as was the case during Trump’s similarly dire Republican National Convention speech, many of the claims he used to paint his picture of “American carnage” were false. In other instances, Trump referred to real problems, but didn’t mention that he has no plan to fix them.


Here are some of the ways in which Trump tried to deceive the American people about the state of their country during his first speech as president.


“Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed… We will bring back our jobs,” Trump said.

But during the Obama years, the economy has actually been adding jobs each month at a steady pace: it added jobs for 75 straight months, the longest streak on record. There were 2,157,000 more jobs added over the last year, and 11,250,000 created over Obama’s presidency.

Head over to Think Progress for the full reality check.

The Power to Nullify.

Reps. Julio Gonzalez and John Koster.

Reps. Julio Gonzalez and John Koster.

Two state legislatures are considering measures that would allow lawmakers to overrule decisions by Supreme Court majorities — and one Florida Republican wants to change the U.S. Constitution to allow Congress to do the same.

In Florida, state Rep. Julio Gonzalez (R-Venice) has filed two bills that would allow the state legislature or the U.S. Congress “to override or nullify court decisions.”

House Joint Resolution 121 would allow lawmakers to undo any state court decision by a two-thirds vote for up to five years, and House Memorial 125 would permit Congress to propose a similar constitutional amendment to give themselves the power to nullify federal court decisions.

Gonzalez, an orthopedic surgeon, said the bills are necessary because judges are often unaccountable to voters and unable to decide cases without considering their practical or political impact.

“(The legislation) would curtail the tendency of activist judges to manipulate the law to suit their political views and agendas,” Gonzalez said. “Equally as important, this would force the people to engage the Legislature in enacting rectifications to current laws that they see as objectionable or flawed, restoring the natural relationship between the people and their legislative bodies. This would also force the electorate to more carefully look at their candidates and their actions during times of re-election.”

There’s that dog whistle, “activist judges”. Yes, we only want judges who will do what we want, fuck the law!


Washington is considering a similar measure that would allow lawmakers to “reject the determination of the court” by a simple majority on cases where the state’s Supreme Court rules an act unconstitutional.

State Rep. John Koster (R-Arlington Heights), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said he supports the measure because he believes the court overstepped its authority in deciding a lawsuit on education funding.

“It’s a worthy effort to tap (judges) on the shoulder and remind them of separation of powers,” said Koster, who admits the bill might not pass.

Gonzalez identified rulings on public displays of religion — including holiday celebrations and school prayer — and laws against flag-burning as his justification for the bills.

Emphasis mine. Well, that didn’t take long, did it? There isn’t even the slightest effort to wrap this in flowery language. I wonder how long it will be before bibles and public prayer are foisted on what’s left of schools.

Via Raw Story.

Some People and Their Kids…

Retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn, left, his son Michael G. Flynn, second from left, and Boris Epshteyn, a spokesman for President-elect Donald Trump, third from left, board an elevator at Trump Tower in New York on November 17, 2016. CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File.

Retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn, left, his son Michael G. Flynn, second from left, and Boris Epshteyn, a spokesman for President-elect Donald Trump, third from left, board an elevator at Trump Tower in New York on November 17, 2016. CREDIT: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File.

On Monday night, Michael Flynn Jr. — son of and former chief of staff for President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn — tweeted out a story published on Voltaire Network entitled, “General Flynn’s Proposals to Reform Intelligence.”

The story, published last month with a Damascus dateline and authored by Thierry Meyssan — a 9/11 truther who published a book in 2002 entitled, “The Big Lie” — previews how Flynn plans to rollback “the big reforms that took place during the Bush and Obama years.”

Perhaps most significantly, the story says the “radical overhaul” Flynn is planning involves the elimination of the office of the Director of National Intelligence, an office created by President Bush in 2004, with power centralized under Flynn instead.

“The 16 agencies should no longer be accountable to the National Intelligence Director but only to the National Security Adviser,” Meyssan writes. “In other words, they will be accountable to General Flynn personally.”

The story cites anonymous sources, which some informed observers believe include Flynn Jr. himself.


In recent weeks, Trump has repeatedly bashed reputable outlets like CNN as “FAKE NEWS” while linking to content from staunchly pro-Trump sites like One America News and LifeZette. In his most recent post on Gab, a social media platform that caters to white nationalists, Flynn Jr. struck a similarly anti-mainstream media tone, writing, “Im sick of these fake news media a$$holes pulling at strings, trying to pit Trumps cabinet against each other. Piece of advice, good number of his cabinet sat across from (in @GenFlynn case interrogated) members of Al Qaeda so nothing LSM can OR WILL EVER do to shake these TRUE PATRIOTS!!”

The full, depressing story is at Think Progress. We are in so much trouble.

Repeal of ACA and Native Lives.


© Marty Two Bulls.

Mark Trahant has an in-depth article about the problems of no healthcare.  In related news, Trump’s Health and Human Services pick is busy trying to fan the stench of corruption away from himself, but the stink is speaking loudly:

Washington (CNN)Rep. Tom Price last year purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company, raising new ethics concerns for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary.
Price bought between $1,001 to $15,000 worth of shares last March in Zimmer Biomet, according to House records reviewed by CNN.

Less than a week after the transaction, the Georgia Republican congressman introduced the HIP Act, legislation that would have delayed until 2018 a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulation that industry analysts warned would significantly hurt Zimmer Biomet financially once fully implemented.

Full story at CNN.

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.

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.

On This Day…

Now-Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX), during his 2012 campaign CREDIT: AP Photo/Pat Sullivan.

Now-Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX), during his 2012 campaign CREDIT: AP Photo/Pat Sullivan.

A day after Donald Trump shouted down CNN reporter Jim Acosta at his first “press conference” since July and accused his network of providing “fake news,” a Republican Congressman is demanding that Acosta be fired.

Two years ago to the day, Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) made national news for a tweet comparing the president of the United States — unfavorably — to Hitler. He laterapologized for his observation that “Even Adolph [sic] Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn’t do it for right reasons,” and deleted the tweet.

He never removed a January 2014 tweet in which he called Obama “Kommandant-In-Chef”… the Socialistic dictator,” nor others suggesting POTUS stood for “Poor Obama Trashed U.S.”

But now, apparently, Weber has decided that being rude to the president is an offense worthy of firing.

On Thursday morning, he tweeted:

The CNN reporter who was disruptive to the press briefing, & disrespectful to Trump-should be fired & prohibited from any press briefings.

Ah, where’s that ferocious con love for free speech? As always, it’s the first casualty whenever there’s criticism or hard questions.

Via Think Progress.

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.

The Bombshell.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic.

The Russian involvement in the election gets more and more interesting. As much as the Pendejo-elect wants this ignored and forgotten, that’s one wish he’s not going to get. The ‘net suffered yet another minor explosion over the latest allegations, which have not been verified.

Yesterday, CNN published a bombshell report: The classified briefing on Russian interference in the U.S. election includes information, collected by a former member of British intelligence, that Russia possessed compromising personal information on Donald Trump. The allegations are unsubstantiated but were sufficiently credible for the intelligence community to inform President Obama and President-elect Trump.

CNN builds on a report by Mother Jones published before the election, based on the same information. BuzzFeed subsequently published the full dossier, which has been circulating among journalists and others for weeks, that was the basis of CNN and Mother Jones’ reporting.

The dossier contains a variety of sensational allegations, including that Russia has videotape of Trump engaging in exotic sexual acts with prostitutes and that there was an ongoing exchange of information between the Trump campaign and Russia. (The later allegation is substantiated, in part, by Russian officials.)

If you’re going to click about and indulge in reading all that juicy intel, I suggest having an empty stomach. Yes, some of it is that bad. Over at Think Progress, it’s been noted that the verifiable and public statements by Trump about Russia, and Putin in particular, take on a brand new shine and spin, given the new allegations. They take a good look at 15 of Trump’s statements, waxing eloquent over the intelligence and strength of Putin.

Full Story at Think Progress.

Also see: ‘Trump claims he has ‘nothing to with Russia.’ His son said the opposite. Donald Trump Jr. claimed “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

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.


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.

Ethics? We don’t need no stinkin’ ethics!


In a secret vote held behind closed doors Monday night, House Republicans voted to cripple the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent body created in 2008 to rein in corruption and other misconduct by members of Congress.

The move was spearheaded “by lawmakers who have come under investigation in recent years,” according to Politico. Among those speaking in favor of the changes were Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), who was accused by a staffer of sexual harassment, and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), who allegedly received “an impermissible gift when he and his wife traveled to Taiwan in October 2011.”

Under the new rules, the Office of Congressional Ethics would be renamed the Office of Congressional Complaint Review and, critically, lose its independence. It would be placed under the auspices of the House Ethics Committee, which famously has turned a blind eye to wrongdoing by members of Congress. It became clear that an independent body was necessary after scandals largely ignored by the the Ethics Committee sent several members of Congress, including Randy “Duke” Cunningham and Bob Ney, to jail.

Ooooh, a complaints department! We’re all so sure that will work wonderfully, right?

Many of the new restrictions on the body appear designed to make it easier to sweep misconduct under the rug.

The new Office of Congressional Complaint Review cannot make any of its findings public — or make any other public statement — without the approval of the House Ethics Committee.

Ah, how cozy. All the corrupt, unethical, immoral republicans now have a lovely shelter, and no one will ever tell them they are wrong.

Even if the Office of Congressional Complaint Review finds evidence of criminal conduct, it cannot report it to the police without prior approval.

Even better! If caught, they can’t be punished.

The rules also prohibit the new office from considering anonymous complaints or investigating any conduct that occurred before 2011.

Very convenient. That effectively prohibits any investigation via a complainant who might have every reason to be concerned about retaliation.

The House leadership will get a chance to prove their opposition Tuesday, when a public vote on a rules package that includes the changes to ethics oversight will occur on the House floor.

Yeah, I’m not gonna hold my breath. More American Greatness™ folks, Look Ma, no ethics! Via Think Progress.

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.