ProgressVirginia reported Tuesday afternoon that the Virginia Senate’s Privileges and Elections Committee killed Sen. Charles “Bill” Carrico Sr.’s electoral college-rigging bill, despite an offer by Carrico to amend the bill to award electors in proportion to the state’s popular vote. The vote was 11-4 against the bill, although it will not be official until the close of the committee meeting.
If there is any job segment that Trump has excelled in bringing about, it is in the wingnut welfare of hiring former Trump aides to CNN as commentators to muddy and pollute the national dialog.
Take, for example, Jason Miller. Miller was hired as a communications director for Trump, but had to step down during the transition because it turns out, like so many Republican men, he couldn't keep it in his pants.
That meant that Miller was available to provide that all-so-important perspective that the media deserves to be called "fake news" when they report so negatively on the president, irrespective of whether the reporting is factual.
But veteran journalist Carl Bernstein wasn't having it. As Miller played into the trope that the media was out of touch elitists who sneer at Trump and want him to do poorly, Bernstein jumped on him quickly.
I have a bone to pick with Fareed Zakaria on this segment.
His "Today, Donald Trump became president" gaffe notwithstanding, Fareed Zakaria has been very critical of Donald Trump. And this segment, which more or less sneers at Donald Trump's ignorance/naivete about the difficulties of the role of president, is pretty spot on until about midway through the commentary.
At that point, Zakaria shifted the blame squarely on the American voters. His larger point is that even if Donald Trump was at all competent, he would be running square into the contradictions of the American populace as outlined by Michael Kinsley:
Kinsley writes in the introduction that the people ""make flagrantly incompatible demands--cut my taxes, preserve my benefits, balance the budget--then explode in self-righteous outrage when the politicians fail to deliver."" Anger at Americans for their hypocrisy--and at politicians, especially of conservative bent, who cynically exploit it--is the common theme that runs through these columns.
Pope Francis told reporters over the weekend that a nuclear war between the United States and North Korea could destroy a "large part of humanity."
According to CNN, the pope was traveling from Egypt to Italy when he echoed earlier remarks about the danger of a "piecemeal third world war."
"It's piecemeal but the pieces are getting larger, and are concentrated in places which were already hot," Pope Francis explained. "Today a wider war would destroy, I won't say half of humanity, but a large part of humanity and culture. It would be terrible. I don't think humanity today could bear it."
"I think the United Nations has the duty to resume its leadership, because it has been watered down a bit," the pope said, adding that a third-party nation like Norway could help mediate talks between North Korea and the United States.
Donald Trump told CBS' Face the Nation host John Dickerson that after his tax audit is complete, he'll make a decision on releasing them to the public.
This is just another broken promise from Trump.
For months he said he'd release them after the longest tax audit in the history of the world was completed. His bogus attempts to distract Americans from ever seeing what is contained in his documents is becoming more farcical with each passing day.
The Face The Nation host brought up the question of Trump's tax returns after his Treasury secretary said Trump had no intention of ever releasing his tax returns during Wednesday's press conference.
Dickerson asked, "When your Treasury secretary was asked about whether you were going to release them, Secretary Mnuchin said, 'The president has no intention.' Is that right?"
Trump said he never discussed his tax returns with Mnuchin and then tried to filibuster time explaining how huge his returns are and how unfair it has been for him to be constantly audited.
Dickerson tried to make the point that if true, Trump was breaking another pledge to the public.
The CBS host said that he's been under audit for over fourteen months which "seems like a long time."
Trump replied, "It could happen soon. I don't know. I mean, I think--"
Dickerson, "When? Give me a sense of--
Hey all, patrickB goode again this weekend. Still holding up to the Trumpsky onslaught. How 'bout you?
Louise Mensch (Love her or leave her.) plants another Russian hacking bombshell.
The Palmer Report confirms that the DOJ has convened two Trump-Russia grand juries.
Meanwhile, Yastreblyansky inadvertantly explains how there are essentially three distinct realities: Our's, Trumpsky's, and David Brooks'. With each getting loopier by
One more assessment of the dreaded First 100 Days. This time Tengrain looks at it from the media's perspective. And wouldn't you know he's being a big meanie again against Axios and Politico.
And finally, Matt Osbourne from Freak Out Nation reports on what amounts to the only good news coming out of the White House these days.
We're supposed to believe their incompetence is somehow all Obama's fault. Never mind the fact that it appears they did vet former NSA Michael Flynn, knew about his business ties to Turkey, and hired him anyway:
The White House and President Trump's transition team reportedly did a background check on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in addition to his already approved security clearance, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported Friday evening.
"NBC News has learned from sources close to the Trump-Russia investigation that both the Trump transition and the White House did do a background check on Flynn," Maddow said on her program, citing reporting from NBC's Andrea Mitchell.
"This is in addition to his already approved security clearance. They did a background check on Flynn specifically for him to become national security adviser." [...]
Maddow said Friday that NBC reporting showed that "the vetting of Flynn was done and sources close to the investigation tell NBC that it was done 'very casually.'"
"One person involved tells NBC that the Trump transition was aware of Flynn's business ties to Turkey," she said.
President Donald Trump promised--multiple times--over the weekend that his replacement for Obamacare would cover pre-existing conditions, but argued that the government should spend more time solving the North Korean problem than worrying about Americans' health care.
Trump told CBS host John Dickerson that he advised Republicans in Congress to "just relax, don't worry about this phony 100-day thing, just relax, take it easy, take your time, get the good vote and make it perfect."
"We're going to drive down premiums, we're going to drive down deductibles because right now deductibles are so high -- unless you're going to die a long, hard death, you can never get to use your health care," the president insisted.
"Pre-existing [conditions] is going to be [in the Obamacare replacement bill and we're also going to create [high risk] pools and pools are going to take care of the pre-existing [conditions]." Trump apparently has not been apprised of the current negotiations for "Trumpcare 3.0", because part of the appeal to the Freedom Caucus was to remove any mitigation for pre-existing conditions, except for Congress.
As Dickerson pressed for details, Trump began to get annoyed.
The president of the United States slurred a CBS News program by calling it "Deface the Nation" during an interview that was broadcast over the weekend after the host called out his numerous policy reversals during the first 100 days of his presidency.
While appearing on Face the Nation, President Donald Trump reluctantly admitted to host John Dickerson that being president was harder than he had anticipated.
"It's always a challenge like life itself is a challenge," Trump opined. "It's very funny when the fake media goes out -- which we call the mainstream media, which sometimes, I must say is you."
"You mean, me personally?" Dickerson wondered.
"Your show, I love your show," Trump quipped. "I call it 'Deface the Nation', but your show is sometimes not exactly correct."
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told ABC's Jonathan Karl that the Trump administration has "looked at" the possibility of changing libel laws to allow them to sue The New York Times.
Good luck with getting that Constitutional amendment passed Reince. He knows it's going nowhere but that won't stop them from attempting to bully the press at every opportunity for daring to report on this corrupt administration.
Transcript via ABC:
KARL: So I want to move on, before you go, we have a segment coming up with Ann Coulter and Robert Reich. Of course, there's a big controversy at Berkeley over freedom of speech.
I want to ask you about two things the president has said on related issues.
First of all, there was what he said about opening up the libel laws, Tweeting, "The failing "New York Times" has disgraced the media world, gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change the libel laws."
That would require, as I understand it, a constitutional amendment.
Is he really going to pursue that?
Is that something he wants to pursue?
So what exactly did this stupidity achieve last night?
According to David Gergen, former adviser to Ronald Reagan, just more divisiveness:
Gergen said on a CNN panel following Trump’s speech that bringing “your campaign speech into the presidency is something presidents rarely do.” He added: “I think this is the most divisive speech I’ve ever heard from a sitting American president.”
He “played to his base,” Gergen added. “He treated his other listeners — the rest of the people who have been disturbed about him or oppose him — he treated them basically as, ‘I don’t care, I don’t give a damn what you think because you’re, frankly, the enemy.’”
Sure, it played well with his base. But that base is dwindling, even if Trump doesn't want you to believe it. Despite his claims that the arena was at capacity and there were people waiting disappointed outside, a journalist showed that wasn't the truth.
Here's another part of the arena where Trump says people have been left standing outside. Lots of ppl here, but not at all capacity pic.twitter.com/M6gtVF0PhN
Economist Robert Reich suggested to Ann Coulter on Sunday that the fight to defend free speech was not limited to her campaign against the college campuses which have banned her citing security reasons.
During a discussion on ABC's This Week about Coulter's battle with University of California, Berkeley, host Jonathan Karl wondered whether President Donald Trump's war on media outlets also set a dangerous precedent for free speech.
Coulter, however, preferred not to talk about the president.
"Universities ought to be places where I am not the only conservative most students will hear in four years of college," she opined. "This whole incident shows the radical insulated left on the college campuses. And the entire left wing, including President [Barack Obama] and Bill Maher, are on the other side."
"And what useless institutions our universities are," she continued. "The lefties are on the side of the thugs. They've taken over the universities. I don't think anyone learns anything at college anymore. It's a four year vacation. And I think that's what people ought to be looking at because the taxpayers are supporting these universities."
Reich, however, redirected the conversation back to the subject of President Trump's attack on the free press.
Fox News being disingenuous? Say it ain't so.
When they pull crap like this it's evident that the contempt they have for their viewers is just staggering.
Source: The Hill
Fox News posted a series of graphics Saturday on Twitter comparing the economic records after the first 100 days of the past four presidents, but social media users quickly pointed out missing context about each presidents' time in office.
The first graphic highlighted the unemployment rate after 100 days in office for the past four presidents. President Trump was shown as having the second-lowest unemployment rate at 4.5 percent compared to former President Barack Obama at 9.0 percent.
Jobless rate after first 3 months: Trump vs. Obama vs. Bush vs. Clinton. pic.twitter.com/EUTEseJyTj
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 29, 2017
I have many times said that the one set-in-stone rule in politics is he who frames the issue wins the debate.
For too long, we have ceded the debate on taxes to the Republicans. If I hear one more Democrat on a Sunday news show say, "Well, no one wants to pay more taxes than they have to..." I'm gonna scream. Even Bernie Sanders, when he speaks to increasing social programs, only speaks to raising taxes on the top 1 percent or corporations.
If we're going to have the post-election discussion of how the party is going to go forward into the midterms, I suggest right here and now that we regain the framing on taxes. Especially in the age of Trump, we need to make tax evasion to be the act of someone who hates this country, not of being "smart."
And there's plenty of evidence around us that paying taxes--not lowering them for the wealthiest--actually makes for a happier populace. My own bias is to Denmark, the birthplace of my husband and a place I've spent significant time in, and one of the nations with the highest "happiness index" on the planet.
I have to be honest, I preferred Samantha Bee's Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner to both the actual #NerdProm and Donald Trump's Alternative Political Reality Rally in Pennsylvania.
I especially liked this little tweak on the "fake news" that took up so much oxygen during the 2016 election season and filled it with toxic garbage.
Resurrecting her "The West Wing" character CJ Cregg, actress Allison Janney held a press conference for the cold open, taking questions from some not-that-far-off-from-the-truth outre publications. Those odd little publications that Sean Spicer keeps calling on, like "Wakeupsheeple.com."
Because that's apparently a thing now.
Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner
I remember Al Gore doing a bit on SNL after the 2000 loss that was intended to be funny and bittersweet, but literally just made me cry. So did this bit from Samantha Bee's "Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner." Every morning I wake up with a part of me still clinging to the hope that this is all a bad dream.
On Trump's 101st day, he's going to go visit John Dickerson. With all due respect to Dickerson, I can't watch it. It's too painful to contemplate, especially if my suspicions of Trump's declining mental faculties are true. Just like the mainstream media cannot bring themselves to be honest that we have one functioning political party and one batshit crazy obstructionist party (h/t Driftglass), I don't think that they can be honest that POTUS may be suffering from some sort of dementia...until it's too late.
ABC's "This Week" - President Donald Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Ann Coulter; Robert Reich. Panel: Kaitlan Collins of The Daily Caller, Jeff Mason of Reuters and Perry Bacon Jr. of FiveThirtyEight.com.
— Hannah Wanebo (@hannahwanebo) April 22, 2017
h/t Dexter. Open thread below....
You have laid your plans carefully. You stopped 50 yards from the drive-in to transfer your beer from the shopping bag to a space just big enough under the hood of your car because they never look there. You have carefully chosen something scary so that your date will need you to put an arm around her at the crucial moment. You have picked your spot, gotten you dogs and popcorn from the place by the thing. The sun is now fully down. The burnouts and Frisbeetarians who have been hanging out in the kiddie playground have returned to their vehicles. The beer has been moved back into hand-reaching range. You have carefully placed the 80 pound iron speaker in the window.
You are good to go.
Then John Carpenter gathers you around a literal campfire to tell you a ghost story, and about an hour later your notice that your beer remains unopened and you have forgotten to put your sweet I-will-protect-you moves into action.
Damn you, John Carpenter!
The cast of this underrated horror gem from back in the day includes Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Houseman, Janet Leigh and Hal Holbrook.
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) goes there:
The nation’s conspiracy-theorist-in-chief is facing a momentous decision. Will President Donald Trump allow the public to see a trove of thousands of long-secret government files about the event that, more than any other in modern American history, has fueled conspiracy theories – the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy? …Under the 1992 JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, the library of documents about Kennedy’s death must be made public in full by the deadline of this October 26, the law’s 25th anniversary, unless Trump decides otherwise. It is his decision alone.
So finally, The Russian Usurper can prove to us that he was right! Ted Cruz’ father killed JFK!
Crossposted at Mock Paper Scissors
In a new interview, Donald Trump has conceded that the job of president is harder than he expected it to be:
“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.”
A response to this from The Washington Post's Philip Bump is headlined "Trump Now Agrees with the Majority of Americans: He Wasn’t Ready to Be President." Bump notes that Trump has said things like this before (“This is really a bigger job than I thought”) and cites a number of polls showing that Americans had serious doubts about Trump's qualifications.