The More Things Change Files

Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie tells us:

White House press secretary Sean Spicer is leading a search for his own replacement on the briefing room podium as part of a larger plan to shake up the White House communications operation, according to two people with knowledge of the effort.

Man, that like Silicon Valley harsh, finding his own replacement and probably training this person to be stupid and angry (Spicy’s core competency). Perhaps he could steal away an H1-B visa holder from an airline help desk in Bangalore? Navigating the phone tree would be about as effective as Spicy. Just a thought.

Say, what about Elmira Gantry? You know, the Possum Queen?

Or maybe Dumb Spice is finally quitting? Naw:

The daily appearance by the press secretary has become rarer, and moved off camera. Asked for an explanation, Steve Bannon said, “Sean got fatter.”

Laura Ingraham Salutes Hair Furer Donald Trump

Last week, Spicer and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus reached out to Fox News personality Laura Ingraham about the role of press secretary and Daily Mail editor David Martosko about the role of communications director, according to a White House official. Spicer and Priebus have had preliminary discussions with Ingraham and interviewed Martosko.”

INGRAHAM?!?!? Elsa, she-wolf of the Nazis?

Anyway, the Fourth Reich has been phasing out press briefings (on camera and/or audio), so it seems like an odd choice to have a media personality at all. But as far as changing us from a democracy to an authoritarian regime goes, this is a brilliant first step: one cannot quiz the Russian Usurper if there are no press briefing.

In related News of the Opaque (also from Tiger Beat’s email thingie):

WAPO A18 — “In Trump’s Washington, public business increasingly handled behind closed doors,” by Phil Rucker and Ed O’Keefe: “The Senate bill to scale back the health-care law known as Obamacare is being written in secret by a single senator, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and a clutch of his senior aides. Officials at numerous agencies of the Trump administration have stonewalled friendly Republicans in Congress — not to mention Democrats — by declining to share internal documents on sensitive matters or refusing to answer questions.

“President Trump, meanwhile, is still forbidding the release of his tax returns, his aides have stopped releasing logs of visitors to the White House and his media aides have started banning cameras at otherwise routine news briefings, as happened Monday. Trump even refuses to acknowledge to the public that he plays golf during his frequent weekend visits to his private golf courses. More and more in the Trump era, business in Washington is happening behind closed doors. The federal government’s leaders are hiding from public scrutiny — and their penchant for secrecy represents a stark departure from the campaign promises of Trump and his fellow Republicans to usher in newfound transparency.”

This is not normal. Write this down in your What Has Changed book.

(Apologies for the mangled previous version: the late-edition gif rubbed out (ew, gross!) the text.)

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