Trump delivers more doozies: ‘My generals and my military’ authorized the Niger mission, ‘I didn’t’

Donald Trump gave a meandering impromptu interview to the press corps Wednesday in which he touched on issues ranging from the Niger mission he claimed he didn’t authorize to his own superior intellectual capacities and how “extremely nice and extremely respectful” he was to the widow of slain soldier Sgt. La David Johnson.

Frankly, there was too much outlandishness to cover in one blog post, but let’s hit some central points from the presser, which aired on MSNBC. First, Trump claimed complete ownership over the military yet said he didn’t authorize the fateful Niger mission. Instead, he scapegoated his generals for the mission that resulted in the deaths of four American soldiers.

Asked by reporters whether he gave the go-ahead for the operation, Trump said: “No I didn’t. Not specifically.”

But just after that, Trump declared the very same generals as his own, not America’s.

With that being said, my generals and my military, they have

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Faced with Flake’s rally cry to save America, most Republicans say tax cuts are just too important

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Sure, GOP Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker made some good points Tuesday about how Donald Trump is “debasing” our political discourse and the entire country in the process, but they’re retiring from the Senate. Ask any Republican who plans on indefinitely clinging to his or her Senate seat, and they’ll tell you Flake and Corker are totally off track because giving tax cuts to America’s wealthiest is just too important to get sidetracked by the legal, ethical, moral, and existential questions surrounding Trump’s presidency. Take Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, for one.

”I’m focused on getting stuff done,” Portman said in response to a question about the Flake/Corker rally cry. “This week it’s about opioids, tomorrow it’s opioids. Today it’s tax reform. That’s my job.”

How about protecting the American people from a maniac—is that in your job description?

Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker, fighting for his political future

Continue reading “Faced with Flake’s rally cry to save America, most Republicans say tax cuts are just too important”

Cartoon: The Consoler-in-Chief

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‘Trump is treason!’: Protester yells directly at Trump in Capitol

A protester got rare access Tuesday to deliver a direct protest of Donald Trump as he entered the capitol to talk tax cuts with Republican senators.

“Why are you talking about tax cuts when they should be talking about treason?” the protester yelled as Trump passed by. “This president has conspired with agents of the Russian government to steal an election. We should be talking about treason in Congress …”

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The protester has been identified as “Ryan Clayton, same activist who tricked CPAC attendees into waving Russian flags during Trump’s speech.”

More video below.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker: Trump is ‘devolving’ as president

It’s not just people on the outside watching Donald Trump’s mental/emotional capacity disintegrate. Others, like Republican Sen. Bob Corker, are noticing the same thing. In a rather candid on-the-fly interview from the halls of Congress, Corker talked about the White House asking him to “intervene” with Trump in moments where he was going “off the tracks.” Corker’s conclusion—and probably a main driver of his recent straight talk about Trump—is that Trump’s getting worse, not better.

“I’ve had private meetings with him, dinners with him, I’ve played golf with him, I’ve had multiple occasions where the staff has asked me to please intervene—he was getting ready to do something that was really off the tracks,” Corker said, “And look, I’ve seen no evolution in an upward way. As a matter of fact, I would say, it appears to me that it’s almost devolving.”

Corker also expanded on his earlier assertions that Trump is debasing the

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Ryan sidelines questions about Trump’s mental fitness for something far more important: tax cuts

Wherein House Speaker Paul Ryan proves how uniquely useless he is when it come to showing any kind of leadership when it comes to Donald Trump. After Trump’s five-tweet rant against “liddle’” Bob Corker Tuesday morning, Ryan weighs in with: Nothing to see here.

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Translation:

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Just to piggyback on Corker’s paraphrased point, Paul Ryan will also be remembered for his debasement of our nation. He’ll be remembered as the guy who had a chance to help save

Continue reading “Ryan sidelines questions about Trump’s mental fitness for something far more important: tax cuts”

Disgraceful: GOP congressman gets three tries, won’t condemn Trump’s attack on soldier’s widow

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After the wife of Sgt. La David Johnson confirmed Monday morning that she was indeed upset by Donald Trump’s phone call to her and his inability to remember her husband’s name, Trump immediately took to Twitter to say Myeshia Johnson was lying. Apparently nothing is “sacred”—to use Chief of Staff John Kelly’s word. Trump relentlessly attacked Congresswoman Frederica Wilson as a liar, and now that Johnson corroborated Wilson’s version of events as “100 percent correct,” he’s turned his fire directly on the pregnant grieving widow. 

On Monday afternoon, Florida Rep. Francis Rooney had three chances (video below) in an appearance with MSNBC host Steve Kornacki to say the president’s actions were completely inappropriate, but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. Here’s the first installment of Rooney’s profile in cowardice:

Kornacki: Just hours ago this morning, [Trump] chose to go on Twitter and tell the world, everybody sees this message, to dispute the story that sergeant Johnson’s

Continue reading “Disgraceful: GOP congressman gets three tries, won’t condemn Trump’s attack on soldier’s widow”

Trump’s election ‘integrity’ chief using unsecured voter database primed for hacking

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Krobach has never been accused of being the sharpest tool in the shed, and now he’s proving why. Kobach, who co-chairs Donald Trump’s ‘election integrity commission’ (aka, voter suppression commission), has been utilizing an unsecured database platform to compare the voter rolls of 32 different states in search of duplicates. Mother JonesAri Berman has more on the hacker-friendly Interstate Crosscheck Program Kobach has been using to push his assault on voting rights.

Yet newly released documents show that the program touted by Kobach has major security vulnerabilities that could lead to sensitive voter data being hacked, released, and even modified. States that employ the program upload their voter data to an unsecured server and exchange usernames and passwords to access the server over unsecured emails. They have also released sensitive, unredacted information on voters to the public.

Crosscheck was founded in 2005 to compare registration lists

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McConnell so toxic, almost two dozen GOP Senate candidates decline to back him as leader

This is absolutely stunning reporting from The Hill:

The Hill asked nearly two dozen Senate candidates this week if they would support McConnell as leader if elected. Not one campaign said outright that they would support him, although two candidates appear to have expressed support in the past.

Several candidates declared their opposition to McConnell and attacked their GOP primary opponents for not taking a stance on the question. Other candidates deflected, or spoke on background about the bind they’re in over the question of McConnell’s leadership. Most candidates were eager to avoid the question entirely, and ignored multiple requests for comment.

Well, that gives us a sense of who’s winning the McConnell vs. Steve Bannon “war” in which everyone is staking out a position. Republican hopefuls won’t touch McConnell with a 10-foot pole, even as the guy who essentially helped create the GOP’s ruling class, Karl Rove, tagged Bannon

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Sinclair Broadcasting’s plan to take over local news should frighten us all

With 193 television stations across the nation, Sinclair Broadcasting’s influence already extends into 40 percent of American households. But the broadcast empire, which often requires its stations to air unabashed conservative content, now wants to reach fully 70 percent of households with its $3.9 billion bid to acquire Tribune Media’s 42 TV stations.

This a truly frightening prospect from a media conglomerate that’s already wielding enormous power in local TV markets, which polls show many Americans trust more than other news outlets. And the Trump administration appears to be serving as an ally in helping Sinclair achieve its goals. Mother Jones‘ Andy Kroll writes:

“The most important force shaping public opinion continues to be local, over-the-air television,” says Andrew Jay Schwartzman, a senior attorney at Georgetown’s Communications and Technology Law Clinic. “That’s the underlying premise of the FCC continuing to regulate broadcast ownership.”

But under the leadership

Continue reading “Sinclair Broadcasting’s plan to take over local news should frighten us all”

Democrats’ early fundraising eclipsing that of GOP incumbents

Republicans are stunned at both the sheer number of Democratic candidates throwing their hats in the ring for 2018 and the cash they are amassing in these early fundraising days. Politico writes:

Animated by opposition to President Donald Trump and the Republican congressional majorities, at least 162 Democratic candidates in 82 GOP-held districts have raised over $100,000 so far this year, according to a POLITICO analysis of the latest FEC data. That’s about four times as many candidates as House Democrats had at this point before the 2016 or 2014 elections, and it’s more than twice as many as Republicans had running at this point eight years ago, on the eve of capturing the House in the 2010 wave election.

Nearly three dozen Republican incumbents were outraised by Democratic challengers in the third quarter of this year – a stunning figure. Nine GOP incumbents already trail a Democratic opponent

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Cartoon: State of denial

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View from the Left: Has Trump’s instability ushered in a soft military coup?

Nothing was clearer this week than the fact that the White House under Donald Trump is experiencing a soul-sucking vacuum in leadership that his new chief of staff, former Marine general John Kelly, has stepped into.

All aspects of the federal government are in open rebellion against their commander in chief. Congressional Republicans are sending him bills he is loath to sign while ignoring his pleas to pass the one he wants. His military commanders are uniformly ignoring the spontaneous transgender ban he decreed last week via twitter. His cabinet heads, like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are doing their best to pretend their boss doesn’t exist when he, for instance, blames China for North Korea’s behavior and Tillerson comes back with, “We certainly don’t blame the Chinese for the situation in North Korea” (i.e. please ignore our idiot pr*sident).

The extraordinary lack of loyalty extends straight inside the walls of the

Continue reading “View from the Left: Has Trump’s instability ushered in a soft military coup?”

View from the Left: Has Trump’s instability ushered in a soft military coup?

Nothing was clearer this week than the fact that the White House under Donald Trump is experiencing a soul-sucking vacuum in leadership that his new chief of staff, former Marine general John Kelly, has stepped into.

All aspects of the federal government are in open rebellion against their commander in chief. Congressional Republicans are sending him bills he is loath to sign while ignoring his pleas to pass the one he wants. His military commanders are uniformly ignoring the spontaneous transgender ban he decreed last week via twitter. His cabinet heads, like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are doing their best to pretend their boss doesn’t exist when he, for instance, blames China for North Korea’s behavior and Tillerson comes back with, “We certainly don’t blame the Chinese for the situation in North Korea” (i.e. please ignore our idiot pr*sident).

The extraordinary lack of loyalty extends straight inside the walls of the

Continue reading “View from the Left: Has Trump’s instability ushered in a soft military coup?”

View from the Left: Has Trump’s instability ushered in a soft military coup?

Nothing was clearer this week than the fact that the White House under Donald Trump is experiencing a soul-sucking vacuum in leadership that his new chief of staff, former Marine general John Kelly, has stepped into.

All aspects of the federal government are in open rebellion against their commander in chief. Congressional Republicans are sending him bills he is loath to sign while ignoring his pleas to pass the one he wants. His military commanders are uniformly ignoring the spontaneous transgender ban he decreed last week via twitter. His cabinet heads, like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are doing their best to pretend their boss doesn’t exist when he, for instance, blames China for North Korea’s behavior and Tillerson comes back with, “We certainly don’t blame the Chinese for the situation in North Korea” (i.e. please ignore our idiot pr*sident).

The extraordinary lack of loyalty extends straight inside the walls of the

Continue reading “View from the Left: Has Trump’s instability ushered in a soft military coup?”

Justice Department seeks resumes since career lawyers won’t work on affirmative action investigation

To state what is so painfully obvious by now—Donald Trump’s administration has no idea what it’s doing. Sure, there’s the Steve Bannon modus operandi which involves tearing down anything and everything that currently stands. But the chaos approach isn’t actually a legitimate technique to governing. It seemed as if the one small thing standing between Trump and total destruction might have been career civil servants. After all, even if this horrific and dangerous crew has no experience, Washington is chock full of people who have worked in government for decades and know what they are doing. But sadly and not surprisingly, they aren’t being listened to.

For instance, take this week’s announcement that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is going to investigate universities for their affirmative action policies that allegedly discriminate against white students. This effort is being housed in the agency’s “front office” where the political appointees work, instead of being

Continue reading “Justice Department seeks resumes since career lawyers won’t work on affirmative action investigation”

Justice Department seeks resumes since career lawyers won’t work on affirmative action investigation

To state what is so painfully obvious by now—Donald Trump’s administration has no idea what it’s doing. Sure, there’s the Steve Bannon modus operandi which involves tearing down anything and everything that currently stands. But the chaos approach isn’t actually a legitimate technique to governing. It seemed as if the one small thing standing between Trump and total destruction might have been career civil servants. After all, even if this horrific and dangerous crew has no experience, Washington is chock full of people who have worked in government for decades and know what they are doing. But sadly and not surprisingly, they aren’t being listened to.

For instance, take this week’s announcement that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is going to investigate universities for their affirmative action policies that allegedly discriminate against white students. This effort is being housed in the agency’s “front office” where the political appointees work, instead of being

Continue reading “Justice Department seeks resumes since career lawyers won’t work on affirmative action investigation”

The no-win proposition of John Kelly’s White House tenure—succeed or fail, America still loses

John Kelly, a former Marine general, found the White House he is now overseeing unseemly. The New York Times writes:

In his six months as Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly often described the White House as one of the most dysfunctional organizations he had ever seen, complained to colleagues and allies about its meddling, incompetence and recklessness, and was once so angry he briefly considered quitting.

Yet after months of entreaties from the man who created and fostered all that dysfunction Kelly despised, he finally accepted a position that will most certainly test his integrity, his leadership skills and his depth of commitment to country. He can count on that because Donald Trump manages to bring everything he touches down to the depths of his low-level vibration—he is currently destroying U.S. standing in the world at record pace. Still, Kelly is reportedly giving it his Marine best.

Mr.

Continue reading “The no-win proposition of John Kelly’s White House tenure—succeed or fail, America still loses”

The no-win proposition of John Kelly’s White House tenure—succeed or fail, America still loses

John Kelly, a former Marine general, found the White House he is now overseeing unseemly. The New York Times writes:

In his six months as Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly often described the White House as one of the most dysfunctional organizations he had ever seen, complained to colleagues and allies about its meddling, incompetence and recklessness, and was once so angry he briefly considered quitting.

Yet after months of entreaties from the man who created and fostered all that dysfunction Kelly despised, he finally accepted a position that will most certainly test his integrity, his leadership skills and his depth of commitment to country. He can count on that because Donald Trump manages to bring everything he touches down to the depths of his low-level vibration—he is currently destroying U.S. standing in the world at record pace. Still, Kelly is reportedly giving it his Marine best.

Mr.

Continue reading “The no-win proposition of John Kelly’s White House tenure—succeed or fail, America still loses”

The no-win proposition of John Kelly’s White House tenure—succeed or fail, America still loses

John Kelly, a former Marine general, found the White House he is now overseeing unseemly. The New York Times writes:

In his six months as Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly often described the White House as one of the most dysfunctional organizations he had ever seen, complained to colleagues and allies about its meddling, incompetence and recklessness, and was once so angry he briefly considered quitting.

Yet after months of entreaties from the man who created and fostered all that dysfunction Kelly despised, he finally accepted a position that will most certainly test his integrity, his leadership skills and his depth of commitment to country. He can count on that because Donald Trump manages to bring everything he touches down to the depths of his low-level vibration—he is currently destroying U.S. standing in the world at record pace. Still, Kelly is reportedly giving it his Marine best.

Mr.

Continue reading “The no-win proposition of John Kelly’s White House tenure—succeed or fail, America still loses”