Wouldn’t Be A Bit Surprised

This is perfect.

Posted in 4th Reich | 2 Comments

From the Department of No D’Uh

Trump did what?!

From the NYTimes, presumably written without guile:

President Trump began a two-day visit to Israel on Monday with a blunt assessment for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: If Israel really wants peace with its Arab neighbors, the cost will be resolving the generations-old standoff with the Palestinians.

We are so eff’ed in the dark.

Posted in Death of the Media, media, snark, The Russian Usurper | 7 Comments

Nothin’ Goin’ On ‘Round Here (Part Infinity)

Watergate vs. Moscowgate

WaPo:

President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials.

Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election…

Small style guide correction: that is called a “lie.” He asked them to “lie.”

Trump sought the assistance of Coats and Rogers after FBI Director James B. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 that the FBI was investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Mike ‘Payola’ Allen writing at Axios’ morning email thingie:

The West Wing appears to be absorbing key lessons from its predecessors, although even Trump allies tell me he’s just beginning to take steps to wall off the controversy that should be begun on Day 1:

  • Trump aides recognize the Russia defense will be essentially permanent, and are finally planning structures to reflect that.
  • A key takeaway from past administrations is to designate one office or official to handle all the legal and communications issues, so there’s a consistent response and everyone else isn’t constantly sucked in.

…which will make it even easier for The Russian Usurper to undermine this official.

  • In “Trump looking at outside counsel for Russia probe,” the WashPost’s Bob Costa and Ashley Parker report: “[A]ttorneys who have spoken to the White House and who are seen as the finalists are Marc E. Kasowitz; Robert J. Giuffra Jr.; Reid H. Weingarten; and Theodore B. Olson.”

…and I’d be surprised if any of them would take on a client as undisciplined as The Russian Usurper.

  • “Two other attorneys who were originally viewed as contenders but have since drifted away from the mix … are Brendan V. Sullivan Jr. … and A.B. Culvahouse Jr.”

…I rest my case.

  • “Kasowitz, who has known Trump for decades, is expected to take a leading role.”
  • Separately, Trump “personally reached out to two of his former campaign aides — his first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and his deputy campaign manager, David Bossie — to sound them out about working with the administration as crisis managers,” per Politico’s Eliana Johnson and Josh Dawsey.

If they cannot stop the leaks, they can punch the reporters who print the leaks?

What could go wrong? One Trump ally said the list of legal eagles is encouraging: “These guys know how to fight a war.”

  • Be smart: Both Republican and Democratic lawyers tell me the legal “Team of Rivals” could replicate some of the West Wing’s dysfunction, forcing lawyers who are used to being in charge to compete for Trump’s ear.

It won’t work. The Russian Usurper will eff-up.

Posted in 4th Reich, The Russian Usurper | 4 Comments

RIP, Compassionate Conservativism

Before we begin commenting on The Russian Usurper’s deeply troubling budget, let’s recall that all budgets proposed by all preznints are aspirational. Whatever comes out at the end of the process rarely is the same as what goes in.

That said, we can see that the preznint aspires to kill us all.

The president’s budget plan calls for more than $1 trillion in cuts to a wide range of social programs with millions of beneficiaries, from farm subsidies to federal student aid. That includes a $600 billion cut to Medicaid over 10 years, despite Trump’s repeated promises on the campaign trail not to cut the program. The budget also takes an ax to the federal food stamp program and Social Security Disability Insurance.

Trump also proposes some of the deepest cuts to agriculture subsidies since Ronald Reagan, squeezing out nearly $50 billion over 10 years.

Trump’s budget would drastically cut domestic programs controlled by Congress, slashing $1.7 trillion over 10 years. At the end of the decade, the U.S. would spend nearly twice as much on defense as on other domestic programs. Domestic discretionary spending would be capped at $429 billion per year, below 2004 levels, while military spending soars to $722 billion.

I have not read the document yet, so I’m relaying heresay info, so this may all change later:

Safety-net programs cut significantly: No Social Security (retirement payments) or Medicare cuts. But many will argue that cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) would break his promise not to cut SS.

Massive cuts to non-defense discretionary spending. Hardest hit: EPA (31.4% off budget in first year), State (-29.1%), Ag (-20.5%), Labor (-19.8%), HHS (-16.2%).

And as part of the balancing act, The Russian Usurper plans to sell off about half of the Strategic Oil Reserve. And as part of the attempt to make this pig balance, they assume that cutting these programs, cutting taxes on the very wealthy will stimulate the economy to grow at 3% annually, which is about double our current rate. Lotsa luck with that. Study after study shows that giving more money to rich people and corporations means rich people stash it away and companies buy-back their own stock, while average people spend it. Our demand-based economy depends upon people spending money.

ZEGS and amply be-chinned Mitch McConnell have cut a deal with Trump that he can grift us unimpeded as long as he signs whatever they put in front of him. I think they will like this budget, it accomplishes their goals of punishing the poor and lavishing favors on the wealthy.

Cleek’s Law says that the base will go along with it because it sure makes them Liberals mad. Not so sure what happens when Meemaw and PawPaw have to move in with them as assisted living care for the elderly ends. But I suppose that they will have a spare bedroom after Junior addiction resolves itself. So there’s that.

We’ve noted before that Compassionate Conservativism was a marketing slogan, and now that is clearly dead. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney has fetishized money to the point that he wants us to feel compassion for it, too. A line from Axios:

Takeaway from briefing by White House budget director Mick Mulvaney: The Trump administration wants to redefine what “compassion” means. Mulvaney says it should no longer be measured based on how many programs are in effect or how many people are receiving the benefit. He wants “compassion” to be broadened to include whether the government is ripping off taxpayers.

 

Posted in 4th Reich | 3 Comments

Here’s Some Stupid For Your Coffee

The Russian Usurper doesn’t seem to know/think that Israel is in the middle east. Watch Ambassador Ron Dermer execute the very difficult face-palm-to-hair maneuver. Even the Russian Judge would give him a 9.0 score at the Olympics.

Posted in snark | 6 Comments

Jared and the Giant Leech

OK, not really, but this press announcement is the pits:

One assumes that Betsy DeVos proofread that.

Posted in 4th Reich | 9 Comments

Bad Packaging, Cont.

Caterpillar

I bet Trump cried every time he read this one.

Posted in Bad Packaging | 3 Comments

News That Will Drive You To Drink

Happy Hour News Briefs

There are other things you can do than watch Hair Führer.

All I can do is sigh:

Yup, the Russian Usurper just gave press credentials to InfoWars, but more notable is that Jerome Corsi is the guy who really pushed the birther stuff originally, and then moved into the secret Muslim stuff, and then worked the Kenyan Usurper was secretely gay married in college, and I think for a while he worked on the Michelle Obama is actually a man beat.

Posted in 4th Reich, Death of the Media, media | 10 Comments

“Eye of Newt…”

The re-make of “Sleeper” looks really disappointing.

 

 

Posted in snark | 9 Comments

Well, That’s A Relief

The Russian Usurper wants us all to know that he never outed the Israeli intelligence source to the Russian spies whom he invited into the oval office. He wants us to know that as he stands next to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Just to emphasize that he never said it to the Russians, so you know it was just more fake news, which I guess he is now confirming.

(Hat tip: Crooks and Liars who give us a pro tip: watch ol’ Benjie’s face, and then the bum’s rush to get him outta there before he confirms that Israel is a nuclear power. But I’m only guessing.)

Posted in 4th Reich, The Russian Usurper | 5 Comments