Sunday, April 30, 2017

Carl Bernstein on Donald Trump: " He has lied as no president of the United States in my lifetime has, day in and day out."

Courtesy of The Hill:  

CNN commentator and veteran reporter Carl Bernstein on Sunday accused President Trump of lying "day in and day out." 

“He deserves respect as the duly elected president of the United States," Bernstein said on CNN's "Reliable Sources." "That doesn’t mean he deserves not to be called on lies. He has lied as no president of the United States in my lifetime has, day in and day out." 

"It is our job to, as I said in that address to the correspondents' dinner last night: follow the money, yes, but follow the lies as well." 

Bernstein urged fellow reporters to find the "best obtainable version of the truth." 

"We are struggling to cover factually, contextually, with nuance, who this president is, who this individual is, who his family is, who his business relationships are with, what his policies are, and how those working with him are doing," he said. 

Lately I have been feeling mad respect for Carl Bernstein as he has not been at all shy about calling things as they are.

He has been calling Trump a liar since way back in June of last year, and he was one of the first to point out that there was a coverup going on in the White House.

What we need right now is a whole army of Carl Bernstein's who are not afraid to call a lie a lie, a coverup a coverup, and bullshit exactly what it smells like.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus suggests that they might change libel laws so that Trump can sue the press.

Courtesy of Mediaite:  

While he was still a presidential candidate, Donald Trump floated out the idea of changing the libel laws to make it easier to sue media outlets over their reporting. Now that he’s president, it appears that this is potentially one promise that he’s looking to keep, commenting last month about changing the laws to go after the New York Times. 

Appearing on ABC’s This Week, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was pressed on this and he let it be known that the administration is considering going down that path. (Of course, it isn’t clear what they can do as libel laws are different in every state.) 

“I think it’s something that we’ve looked at,” Priebus told host Jonathan Karl. “And how that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story.”

“So you think the president should be able to sue the New York Times for stories he doesn’t like?” Karl asked. 

After Priebus said news agencies “need to be more responsible” with their reporting and Karl pushed back that the real issue here is whether Trump should “have a right to sue them,” the Trump advisor merely said he answered Karl’s question and that they are looking into it.

Okay personally I think that on the New York Times Christmas wish list is that Trump try to sue them over one of their stories about possible Russian collusion.

Could you even imagine what they would do for their journalistic credibility?

Through the roof my friends, through the roof.

By the way it took Adolph Hitler almost a full year to take over the press and bend it to his will.

So if Trump wants to outdo his idol he has a little time to work on this. 

Trump takes to Twitter to attack Democrats and promise better health care bill than Obamacare.

Actually I would argue that the Democrats have better leaders than the Republicans right now.

After this shot at the Dems Trump immediately jumped into selling some new and improved healthcare plan to his Twitter followers.

Wait, what?

So NOW the Republicans have a bill that covers preexisting conditions and  brings down deductibles?

What kind of wizardry is this?

That's what John Dickerson wanted to know on Face the Nation this morning.
Of course that does not really pass the smell test.

Courtesy of Think Progress 

It isn’t clear what Trump means when he claims that “pre-existing conditions” are in the bill. In fact, Republicans gutted protections for people with pre-existing conditions last week. On Tuesday, Republican leaders proposed an amendment to the latest version of the legislation that would raise premiums by thousands of dollars for people with pre-existing conditions and thus make health care unaffordable for many Americans. 

That’s why it was so puzzling that Trump insisted pre-existing conditions were covered “beautifully.” 

Journalists and health care experts, such as Andy Slavitt, Andy Slavitt, the former acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, all pointed out that the president doesn’t seem to be familiar with his party’s current plan or how it functions.

You see the problem is that Trump has been conditioned by the response of his most ardent supporters who swallow everything he says like guppies waiting for the fish food to fall into their open mouths, while  more intelligent folks, let's call them "NOT Trump supporters," fact check everything he says and realize that he simply lies all of the damn time.

In case you missed it here, is Hasan Minhaj's performance from last night's White House Correspondents' Dinner.

Certainly did not pull any punches did he?

I also saw some of Trump's pathetic rally last night, which should be described as a public therapy session for the tragically insecure.

The entire bitch fest was overflowing with lies that Trump gleefully shared with the crowd, secure in the knowledge that most of them are functionally illiterate.

Not only did Trump tell the unwashed dipshits that his presidency was the greatest presidency since the dawn of presidencies, but that he had completed a long list of amazing achievements.

Why have we not heard of these achievements? Simple.
Yeah, that's it.

Trump also claimed during his own version of the Nuremburg rallies that the crowd was "the largest every" in that venue and that people were left standing outside.

Unfortunately for Trump, there is a thing called Twitter.

All in all Trump's rally appeared to be a desperate cry for affirmation.

Perhaps the best ticket for entertainment last night would have been one for Samantha Bee's "Not the Correspondents' Dinner," which mocked...you know....pretty much everybody.

Here was my favorite part.  There was almost too much going on yesterday to keep up.

However if you had to miss anything, clearly the best event to skip was Trump's desperate cry for attention. 

White House considers giving Milwaukee Sheriff, who once called Hillary Clinton a "morally bankrupt," "straight up cop hater," the position of Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security.

Courtesy of Politico: 

The White House is considering David Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, for a position at the Department of Homeland Security, three people familiar with the administration’s planning told POLITICO. 

Clarke is in line to be appointed as assistant secretary at DHS’ Office of Partnership and Engagement, which coordinates outreach to state, local and tribal officials and law enforcement. The position does not require Senate confirmation. 

A senior administration official cautioned it’s “not a done deal yet.” 

Clarke, a longtime supporter of President Donald Trump, has long been rumored as a possible candidate for a job in the administration and met with Trump in November at Trump Tower. He also spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last year.

Besides making the aforementioned remarks about Hillary Clinton, he was also sued for negligent homicide after a prisoner gave birth and her baby died in one of his jails.

That was only one of four deaths that happened in a six month time frame.

So considering this man's considerable baggage, and the fact that he is not exactly lily white like most folks hired by the White House, what was the deciding factor that made Clarke such an attractive candidate?
Ahh, say no more.

Nothing says you have the right stuff for a job in the Trump Administration like ties with Russia.

More voters trust Donald Trump than trust the media covering his presidency. Because facts simply don't matter anymore.

Courtesy of the New York Post:  

President Trump has largely eroded America’s trust in the national political media during his first few months in the White House, according to a new poll. 

On the eve of Trump’s 100th day in office, a new national poll by Morning Consult finds that more voters trust the president than the reporters covering his administration on a daily basis. 

Thirty-seven percent of voters believe the White House has been more forthright than the media, versus 29 percent who favor the press. Another 34 percent were unsure or had no opinion. 

Trump has made media criticism a staple of his administration, often claiming that mainstream outlets are egregiously biased and guilty of disseminating “fake news.”

And that is how you dumb down America folks.

Undermine public education.

Push religion on the masses.

And convince people that the press is biased against a certain political party and their candidates. 

The next thing you know you have a disaster, which we have now come to know as the Trump presidency.

Donald Trump signs executive order to expand drilling in the Arctic. Because saving the planet is for pussies.

Courtesy of ADN: 

Surrounded by members of Alaska's congressional delegation, President Donald Trump on Friday signed an executive order that directs the Interior Department to rethink some of President Barack Obama's regulations and decrees that put large swaths of the Arctic Ocean off limits to oil drilling. 

The order requires Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review previously issued five-year development plans for offshore oil and natural gas leases and regulations governing oil, gas and renewable energy leasing in waters of the Arctic and Atlantic. 

The new move holds potentially big changes for Alaska: reopening the option of future Arctic Ocean drilling, a reversal of the Obama-era approach that sought to limit and eventually ban offshore drilling there. 

The executive order only outright rescinds one of Obama's orders, pertaining to the Bering Sea, issued on December 9, 2016. Actions related to the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas from 2015 and 2016 are modified, rather than rescinded, confirming status as a marine sanctuary, but not barring leasing and drilling. In all cases, the Interior Department will have to rework its five-year plan for oil and gas leasing — an effort that will take up to two years. The Interior Department will also review oil and gas regulations for offshore drilling, though the outcome is undetermined.

Oh I think the outcome is clearly determined and that we know the review is just a formality and that the Republicans will start raping the Alaska coastline just as soon as their drill bit Viagra kicks in.

Along with pen recipient Lisa Murkowski you can also see Rep. Don Young skulking in the background. 

I am not sure why Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan was not included, because if Alaska Republicans can agree on anything it is that drilling giant holes all over the state is job one.

I swear the more executive orders this tangerine colored shitgibbon signs that more desperately I miss President Obama.

Obama tried so very hard to protect us, this planet, and our future. And it seems with every stroke of the pen this POS brings us that much closer to disaster.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bill Maher tells Liberals that they are wasting their time trying to win over Trump supporters with facts.

Courtesy of Raw Story: 

“Trump supporters aren’t changing their minds because the problem isn’t in the mind. It’s lower. It’s emotional,” Maher said. “He could have Ann Frank’s skeleton in his closet. They’d all vote for him again.” 

Asking why, Maher walked through the cultural crisis many of the undervalued white voters face that Trump managed to harness. “I think it’s a gut feeling that the world has changed and they don’t like it,” he said. “Trump is going to change it back to the way it was.” 

Speaking occasionally in a thick southern accent, Maher railed against “damn Mexicans” flooding baseball fields like “the parking lot at Home Depot.” He was furious about two boys kissing on the kiss-cam. “And did I mention Bruce Jenner has tits now?” 

“I ain’t no racist, but why does American need to have a black Santa Claus?” Maher asked. “I think I speak for most liberals when I say, I don’t care about black Santa. I don’t think it’s going to make the Little Drummer Boy start cutting himself. But to Trump voters, making Santa black is unthinkable. It’d be like making Jesus Middle Eastern.”

Not only was that pretty damn funny, but it was also pretty damn true.

And I think is what really frustrates those of us whose thinking is reality based.

In my mind if Russia is working hard to get a candidate elected, that disqualifies them out of hand.

And if a candidate is caught on tape talking about grabbing pussies, that is a non-starter.

But to the Trump supporters those are either forgivable sins, or bullshit made up by the "liberal media."

Stupid is stupid, and it is apparently impervious to change.

So in response we just need to flood the upcoming elections with smart, liberal, forward thinking candidates, and push these paint chip eaters back to the fringe where they belong.

During interview with Reuters Donald Trump laments the loss of his old life, claims he thought being president would be easy, and hands out copies of electoral map to impress reporters.

Courtesy of Reuters:  

He misses driving, feels as if he is in a cocoon, and is surprised how hard his new job is. 

President Donald Trump on Thursday reflected on his first 100 days in office with a wistful look at his life before the White House. 

"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going," Trump told Reuters in an interview. "This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."

Yes, who didn't assume that being president would be a piece of cake?

You know, besides everybody.

At one point during the interview Trump got so depressed he suddenly started handing out evidence of his last victory.
More than five months after his victory and two days shy of the 100-day mark of his presidency, the election is still on Trump's mind. Midway through a discussion about Chinese President Xi Jinping, the president paused to hand out copies of what he said were the latest figures from the 2016 electoral map. 

"Here, you can take that, that's the final map of the numbers," the Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. "It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.

"He had copies for each of the three Reuters reporters in the room. 

Then Trump continued to lament how isolated he has been since winning that election.

Trump, who said he was accustomed to not having privacy in his "old life," expressed surprise at how little he had now. And he made clear he was still getting used to having 24-hour Secret Service protection and its accompanying constraints. 

"You're really into your own little cocoon, because you have such massive protection that you really can't go anywhere," he said.

You know I am not one to offer Donald Trump any assistance, but if he is so miserable at this job he could also just quit.

After all I know that would do much to increase his popularity.

And do you know who would NOT find the job of being president harder than they anticipated, or think that it was too isolating, Hillary Clinton.

Just a thought.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any investigations concerning Michael Flynn.

Uh...I think I'm busy that day.
Courtesy of Politico:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Friday that his recusal from Justice Department investigations into the 2016 campaign for president will extend into inquiries into the activities of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, under fire for his ties to foreign governments. 

“My recusal deals with the campaign issues,” Sessions told NBC’s “Today” show. “But I would expect not to be involved in this one.”

"You would recuse yourself from any decision dealing with general Flynn?" asked Today anchor Matt Lauer. 

"Yeah," Sessions replied.

This to me is a fairly clear indication that the Trump folks know that Flynn is well and truly fucked.

First the FBI and Justice Department refuse to grant any deals for immunity, and now the sitting Attorney General makes as much space as possible between himself and the former National Security Adviser.

If I were Flynn I would be flop sweating like crazy.

Donald Trump panders to the Ammosexuals.

Courtesy of TPM: 

President Donald Trump told the NRA’s annual conference Friday that “the eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” part of a a speech that was light on policy but heavy on conservative shout-outs and campaign rhetoric.

"Limber up them trigger fingers y'all,  bullets is gonna fly!"

Trump also did a little campaigning for Georgia congressional candidate Karen Handel, who essentially believes that every fetus should be carried to term and then armed as soon as possible.

“She’s totally for the NRA and she’s totally for the Second Amendment, so get out and vote,” he said of Handel. “You know, she’s running against someone who’s going to raise your taxes to the sky, destroy your health care and he’s for open borders — lots of crime — and he’s not even able to vote in the district that he’s running in, other than that, I think he’s doing a fantastic job. Right? So get out and vote for Karen.” 

Trump then went after the woman who makes HIM pee the bed, Elizabeth Warren: 

“I have a feeling that in the next election you’re going to be swamped with candidates, but you’re not going to be wasting your time,” he told the group. “You’ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over and you’re going to say, ‘No, sir, no thank you, no, ma’am,’” 

“It may be Pocahontas, remember that,” Trump said.

Apparently after all of this time that Pocahontas attack is still all Trump can come up with, which certainly bodes well for Warren if she DOES decide to run.

Of course a Trump speech would not be a Trump speech if it were not peppered with lies and misinformation.

“The NRA protects in our capitals and legislative houses the freedoms that our service members have won for us on those incredible battlefields,” Trump said. “And it’s been a tough fight against those who would go so far as to ban private gun ownership entirely.”

So no, Democrats are not trying to ban private gun ownership.  They would just like to see stricter background checks and tougher gun registration laws.

It should also be noted that Trump himself is not entirely against stricter gun laws either. Especially when it is about his own safety.
Well THAT doesn't seem terribly pro-2nd Amendment now does it?

Sarah Palin weighs in on Trump's first 100 days. Put your hip waders on folks!

This is unfortunately courtesy of Breitbart, so remember to take your air sickness pills and if you click the link also make sure to have your local mental health professional on speed dial.

Shall we begin?

“I’m extremely pleased, of course, that our new president is in there building the team that he believes he needs in order to fulfill promises to the American electorate, to make America great again, and I’m very, very happy that he’s there,” said Palin.

“Remember, those of you who maybe still aren’t aboard the Trump Train but know that the Trump movement had to be ushered in, in order to get rid of the status quo that was harming America, keep doing your ABCs and remember what that was: it was Anybody but Clinton,” she said. “So stick with your little alphabet analogy there. Those who are asking for a grade of this administration, just keep remembering it could have been Clinton.”

Well looky there!

Already there is something that I have in common with Sarah Palin.

Whenever I think of the job that Donald Trump is doing I also remember that it could have been Hillary Clinton, and then I sob ever so softly into my pillow.

Apparently she is not a fan of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and even less a fan of Common Core:

“If the leader now of the education sector of our country would deny that Common Core is in existence, she needs to try to tell that to our really, really great public school teachers, who still have to explain and kind of apologize to the public school parents – I’m one of them – as to why the curriculum is as confusing and burdensome and less freeing for our teachers, who know what our students need best, as do the parents. Good schoolteachers still have to explain to us that under Common Core, these requirements are quite burdensome and nonsensical,” she said. 

She accused DeVos of being “really out of touch” for denying all of this was happening.

Personally I think that Common Core is much better than NCLB, but it is still leaves a lot to be desired.

Wait did I just kind of agree with Sarah Palin twice?

Clearly one of us has been drinking.

Palin then attacked President Obama's so-called "lead from behind" strategy and suggested that Trump was much better at foreign relations. Wait, seriously?

“Trump quashed that. He said no more leading from behind. America is that ‘beacon of hope.’ We are a country … of just this perfect storm, if you will, with the natural resources to be developed, with the manpower, and with the intellect, and with the patriotism, the unity that a country needs in order to be so successful, to be great and to be a leader that other countries would wish to emulate. America has all that, and we can put it into play for the greater good of the world by leading, and not leading from behind, which is kind of Orwellian-speak,” said Palin.

Yes, Trump's new "not leading from behind" has almost got us into like three or four wars so far, and irritated and confused pretty much all of our allies, with the exception of course of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. But then again he's kind of nuts.

Hungry for some word salad?

Here you go: 

“Leading again on the global stage and the Supreme Court pick, those are two specifics – but Alex, we need to make sure to remind our friends, our supporters, people who are really tuned in to what’s going on today and get frustrated under any administration. Maybe they’re frustrated with what Trump does, some of the wrinkles that are certainly part of the agenda that we’ve witnessed,” she suggested. 

“We can never put our faith and our hope in man, in any one man, certainly not a politician,” Palin counseled. “Man is fallible. We’re going to be disappointed if we put all of our hope and faith in one man – a politician, a government that cannot make us happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise. We need to look at the bigger picture here, as you suggested in your opening.”

Believe it or not that is about as coherent as it got for the rest of the interview, but I will tell you that she babbled about Berkley,  government bureaucrats, globalists, professional politicians, and the yes men around Trump.

After careful analysis my take away from all of this is that Meth is a hell of a drug.

Not even once kids, not even once.

In a more reality based assessment of Trump's first 100 days, Jennifer Granholm wrote on the Huffington Post:

Despite his self-aggrandized deal making "abilities," Trump has failed to convince his own Republican-controlled Congress to pass a single piece of legislation that he promised in his "Contract with the American Voter" for the first 100 days - not one. His major executive orders are being blocked by courts. The Republican replacement plan for Obamacare would rip away health care from 26 million Americans and cause premiums for those with preexisting conditions to explode. Trump is saber-rattling us into another war. His budget slashes funding for everything from arts and research funding to after school programs to Meals on Wheels to food for poor women, infants, and children. His tax plan is a massive gift to millionaires and billionaires, paid for with trillions in debt to China. 

Granholm also wrote:  

With a 'honeymoon' like this, divorce can't come soon enough.

Now see THAT is the kind of accurate assessment that you would never find on a racist right wing rag like Breaitbart News. 

Facebook admits that it was used to spread propaganda. Gee, no shit.

Courtesy of The Guardian:

Facebook has publicly acknowledged that its platform has been exploited by governments seeking to manipulate public opinion in other countries – including during the presidential elections in the US and France – and pledged to clamp down on such “information operations”.

In a white paper authored by the company’s security team and published on Thursday, the company detailed well-funded and subtle techniques used by nations and other organizations to spread misleading information and falsehoods for geopolitical goals. These efforts go well beyond “fake news”, the company said, and include content seeding, targeted data collection and fake accounts that are used to amplify one particular view, sow distrust in political institutions and spread confusion. 

“We have had to expand our security focus from traditional abusive behavior, such as account hacking, malware, spam and financial scams, to include more subtle and insidious forms of misuse, including attempts to manipulate civic discourse and deceive people,” said the company. 

In its effort to clamp down on information operations, Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts in France before the presidential election. The company said it was a priority to remove suspect accounts with high volumes of posting activity and the biggest audiences. 

The company also explained how it monitored “several situations” that fit the pattern of information operations during the US presidential election. The company detected “malicious actors” using social media to share information stolen from other sources such as email accounts “with the intent of harming the reputation of specific political targets”. This technique involved creating dedicated websites to host the stolen data and then creating social media accounts and pages to direct people to it.

Look I see this as a positive step.

And working alongside Google who is now also working hard to suppress fake news, this might make it a lot easier moving forward to avoid the kind of fake news and purposeful propaganda which helped get Donald Trump elected and disenfranchised so many potential voters.

Having said that I should also reiterate that the very best filter for fake news is to stay informed as much as possible and to use your critical thinking skills to fact check information which seems odd or too good to be true.

Exactly!

And the same holds true for jobs numbers, criminal activity within the administration, and demonstrating patriotism.

He's white, and he's a Republican, so it just doesn't matter.