Saturday, March 25, 2017

Dakota Meyer's Fox News interview about his Medal of Honor and Islamic terrorism is all you need to see to understand why he fits in so well with the Palins.

Why do I think that somewhere there is a chart which says "You have to be this dumb to marry a Palin?"

Look I respect that Dakota won such a prestigious medal, that is quite an accomplishment.

But let's not forget that he disobeyed direct orders to do it, and that the story told about his bravery did not pass the smell test. 

Look I wish no ill will to Dakota, after all his life must be hell already.

However I would suggest that he resist the urge to go on TV and give his opinion on ANYTHING, unless it is concerning shit he has seen while living in the Palin compound.

That would at least be worth the pain of listening to him struggle to formulate a coherent sentence.

So why is Donald Trump's favorite tabloid, the National Enquirer, suddenly throwing Michael Flynn under the bus?

Inside the tabloid you see this:

The Enquirer claims that their source for this accusation is in the White House.

In the past the Enquirer has had seemingly unfettered access to Donald Trump, who by the way is also in the White House.

I'm just saying.

So exactly what has happened that would convince the White House to scapegoat Michael Flynn?

Well, it might have something to do with this:

Former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey told CNN Friday that former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn met with representatives of the Turkish government in 2016 and discussed potential ways to send a foe of Turkey's president back to face charges in that country. 

As a representative of his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, Flynn met with senior representatives of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government in September 2016, Woolsey said. Woolsey was a Trump campaign adviser at the time and attended the meeting, but said he arrived after it was already well underway. 

Woolsey claims that those present discussed sending Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim leader who Erdogan has accused of being behind a failed military coup to overthrow him, back to Turkey to face charges -- possibly outside the legal US extradition system. 

"What I saw and heard was sort of the end of the conversation -- it's not entirely clear what transpired because of that," Woolsey said on "CNN Tonight" with Don Lemon. "But it looks as if there was at least some strong suggestion by one or more of the Americans present at the meeting that we would be able, the United States would be able, through them, to be able to get hold of Gulen, the rival for Turkey's political situation."

Yeah, that's pretty troubling. And when added to the fact that there are transcripts of conversations that Flynn had  a Russian ambassador, and that he was paid by Russian-related entities, I guess Trump might be thinking he needs to cut Flynn lose before things get traced back to him.

OR, it could be because of this:
Oooh, the plot thickens.

Before he sabotaged the House intelligence investigation into Trump's ties with Russia, Devin Nunes received a mysterious phone call and disappeared.

Courtesy of the Daily Beast: 

Hours before the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee announced his shocking claims about surveillance of the Trump transition team on Wednesday morning, he practically disappeared. 

Rep. Devin Nunes was traveling with a senior committee staffer in an Uber on Tuesday evening when he received a communication on his phone, three committee officials and a former national security official with ties to the committee told The Daily Beast. After the message, Nunes left the car abruptly, leaving his own staffer in the dark about his whereabouts. 

By the next morning, Nunes hastily announced a press conference. His own aides, up to the most senior level, did not know what their boss planned to say next. Nunes’ choice to keep senior staff out of the loop was highly unusual.

That next morning Devin Nunes did this:
So the question to ask is who could have suddenly called Nunes that night to convince him to ditch his Uber ride, and then sabotage the investigation, and possibly his own career, the next morning?

Look I pride myself on having a fertile imagination, but I could NEVER have written a more convoluted and crazy scenario on my best day.

Trump administration wants to strip one billion in funding from UN peacekeeping operations. Gee, how humane.

Courtesy of Yahoo News:  

The White House is seeking to cut $1 billion in funding for U.N. peacekeeping operations and to eliminate hundreds of millions of dollars for other U.N. programs that care for needy children and seek to lift the world’s poorest out of a life of grinding poverty, according to two diplomatic sources briefed on the plan. 

The proposal is certain to face strong pushback from Democratic and Republican congressional leaders, who warned that President Donald Trump’s budget will never be passed. But it reflected the White House’s clear desire to jettison America’s traditional role as the champion of the downtrodden and embrace that of a military powerhouse to be feared. 

The White House budget office informed State Department officials this week that the administration plans to eliminate all U.S. funding to the $326 million International Organizations and Programs account, which provides more than $130 million to UNICEF — a sizable chunk of the more than $500 million the United States contributed to the U.N. agency in 2016 — and around $70 million to the U.N. Development Programme. 

They were also told to brace for a 40 percent cut to the State Department’s U.N. peacekeeping budget. The United States contributed more than $2 billion to the U.N.’s $8 billion-plus peacekeeping budget last year.

I guess Trump is trying to save money to cover the costs of around the clock Secret Service protection for his family and repeated trips to Mar-a-Lago.

What are the lives of a bunch of people who are clearly not Americans in comparison to that?

It is so hard to type while I keep having to face palm in shame.

Gun injuries cost Americans 730 million annually.

Courtesy of the LA Times:  

Americans paid more than $6.6 billion over eight years to care for victims of gun violence, according to a new tally of hospital bills. And U.S. taxpayers picked up at least 41% of that tab. 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, say the authors of a study published this week in the American Journal of Public Health. Their sum does not include the initial — and very costly — bill for gunshot victims’ care in emergency rooms. Nor does it include hospital readmissions to treat complications or provide follow-up care. The cost of rehabilitation, or of ongoing disability, is not included either. 

“These are big numbers, and this is the lowest bound of these costs,” said Sarabeth A. Spitzer, a Stanford University medical student who co-wrote the study. “We were surprised” at the scale, she added. 

That, arguably, makes gun-injury prevention a public health priority, Spitzer said. The GOP’s healthcare reform measure would reduce federal contributions toward Medicaid, which foots roughly 35% of the hospital bills for gunshot victims. The GOP plan would also cut payments to the hospitals that absorb much of the cost of caring for self-paying (in other words, uninsured) patients, whose hospital bills accounted for about 24% of the $730 million-per-year tab. 

“These are expensive injuries,” Spitzer said.

But can we REALLY put a price on a citizen's constitutional right to bear arms?

Hell yes we can! And it is a lot less than 730 million dollars a year.

I think that every gun owner should not only be forced to register their weapon, AFTER going through a strenuous background check, but that they also be forced to purchase insurance that specifically pays for any injuries that they or others may suffer as a result of that purchase.

I can tell you that I personally do not want to pay for the hospital bills of some fool who accidentally shot himself with his own gun. In my opinion he is too dumb to live anyhow.

New legislation in Alabama might allow a fundamentalist church to form its own police force. Wait, what?

Courtesy of Salon: 

Donald Trump’s election didn’t just empower the alt-right troops with their #MAGA hats and Pepe the Frog avatars. The religious right is also more quietly making moves to consolidate power on a state and local level, aided by Trump’s promises to appoint conservative-friendly judges and to strike down legal limits on church-based politicking. 

But even in the current environment, it’s startling to learn that the Alabama legislature is considering a bill to give a Birmingham-based church its own police force. The bill, Senate Bill 193, would specifically authorize the Briarwood Presbyterian Church, which has more than 4,000 members, to hire its own police force that would be “invested with all of the powers of law enforcement officers in this state.” 

“The sole purpose of this proposed legislation is to provide a safe environment for the church, its members, students and guests,” the church said in a memo sent to Salon after requests for comment. The memo also mentioned the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, claiming that the church needs “qualified first responders” in case such a thing would happen there.

As the article goes on to point out this church is not sitting in the middle of the wilderness. In fact it is within the jurisdiction of two different sheriff's departments.

Besides allowing this may be unconstitutional.

“This proposed legislation seems like a clear violation of church-state separation, and a clear violation of the Constitution,” Alex Luchenitser, the associate director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said in a phone call. “Government bodies must not delegate official power to religious entities.” 

Luchenitser cited a 1982 Supreme Court case, Larkin v. Grendel’s Den, in which an 8-1 majority found that states could not give churches the official authority to grant and deny liquor licenses. 

The ACLU of Alabama cited the same decision in a memo sent, upon request, to Salon. 

“Indeed, allocating any quintessential governmental power to a religious institution plainly violates the Establishment Clause,” the memo said, warning the state of Alabama that giving a church its own police force “would not survive a legal challenge.”

You know it is bad enough that some churches and Christian schools still allow corporal punishment, but allowing them to have their own police force?

Oh hell no!

I think this is the perfect way to start the day today.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Devin Nunes backtracks on claim that Trump and aides were incidentally monitored by US Intelligence agencies.

Courtesy of NBC News:  

The chairman of the House intelligence committee has backed down from his dramatic assertion that Donald Trump and his aides were "monitored," by U.S. spies — a claim the Republicans have cited this week in emails to loyalists. 

Rep. Devin Nunes told reporters Friday he can't be sure whether conversations among Trump or his aides were captured in the surveillance that has become a source of controversy since Nunes made it public in two news conferences this week. 

"He said he'll have to get all the documents he requested from the (intelligence community) about this before he knows for sure," his spokesman, Jack Langer, said earlier.

Nunes continued to refuse to say how he had learned about the surveillance, including whether his source was in the White House.

I want to say WTF here but that doesn't even seem to cover this.

This idiot went before reporters, not once but twice, claiming that he had seen this evidence and that he was "actually alarmed by it."

And now he is not sure that he saw anything of the kind?

What's more Nunes just cancelled a major public hearing with former CIA director John Brennan, former DNI James Clapper, and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
This was how Nunes explained this decision:

Panel chairman Devin Nunes said he had to cancel next Tuesday's hearing with officials from former Democratic President Barack Obama's administration in order to have a classified briefing with the directors of the National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

"The committee seeks additional information ... that can only be addressed in closed session," Representative Nunes told reporters. 

But Rep. Schiff was having none of it:  

Representative Adam Schiff, the intelligence committee's top Democrat, said the cancellation was not in the public interest. 

"I think that there must have been a very strong pushback from the White House about the nature of Monday's hearing. It's hard for me to come to any other conclusion about why an agreed upon hearing would be suddenly canceled," Schiff told a separate news conference.

At this point there is literally no other conclusion that can be reached except that Nunes is attempting to sabotage this investigation.

The only question I have is who has the dirt on Nunes?

Trump or Putin?

Trumpcare is dead. Update!

Courtesy of WaPo:

House Republican leaders abruptly pulled a Republican rewrite of the nation’s health-care system from consideration on Friday, a dramatic acknowledgment that they are so far unable to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

“We just pulled it,” President Trump told the Washington Post in a telephone interview. 

The decision came a day after President Trump delivered an ultimatum to lawmakers – and the defeat represented multiple failures for the new president and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). The decision means the Affordable Care Act remains in place, at least for now, and a major GOP campaign promise goes unfulfilled. 

The decision also casts doubt on the GOP’s ability to govern and to advance other high-stakes agenda items, including tax reform and infrastructure spending. Ryan is still without a signature achievement as speaker – and the defeat undermines Trump’s image as a skilled dealmaker willing to strike compromises to push his agenda forward.

Trump has previously said that if this fails he wants to move on, so there is little chance the Republicans will attempt this again.

And let's face it they really don't want to anyway.

The response on Twitter was epic!

Now all we have to do is sit back and wait for the next Trump failure.

Update: Even Paul Ryan gets it.
Update 2: Trump says the real losers today were Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.
No buddy, YOU were the loser today. And so were the rest of the Republicans.

By the way according to the CBO Obamacare is in no danger of "failing" anytime soon. 

Trump associate Roger Stone wants to "spank" his accusers "like children."

Courtesy of Raw Story:  

“Neither the president or I have anything to fear from a full and fair investigation of these bogus charges of Russian collusion,” Stone insists. “But now Adam Schiff, having slimed me in public session seems to be backing away from the confrontation. I demand a right to face my accusers. I will deconstruct their lies and spank them like children.” 

The letter goes on to blast Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who he calls a “pretty boy” and a “first term mannequin”, for suggesting that Stone’s Twitter communications with Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0 were evidence of collusion. 

“I am specifically accused of colluding with Guccifer 2.0 in the hacking and release of the DNC documents yet my only communications with him come over a month after Wikileaks had released said documents,” Stone says. “Thus collusion would have been impossible unless I owned a time machine.” 

According to Stone, a Jan. 20 New York Times story about intercepted Russia communications is proof that he has been “unfairly monitored by the deep state.” 

“Quite clearly my telephone conversations with president candidate Trump was bugged and recorded,” Stone charges. “My e-mails and phone conversations with my wife, children, grandchildren, business associates, friends, and hundreds of reporters had been monitored and recorded yet no real meaningful evidence of collusion with the Russian state had been found.”

"Deep state?"

"Spank them like children?"

Oh yeah, this is definitely a Trump supporter alright. 

Donald Trump: "I'm president and you're not."

Trump playing in a truck.
Courtesy of the New York Times:

Presidents usually choose their words carefully, the result of personal discipline and careful vetting by White House staff. President Trump is an exception. 

In an interview with Time magazine, published on Thursday, Mr. Trump veers from topic to topic, praising himself and dismissing his critics in language that sometimes is hard to follow.

Here are some of those excerpts.

On his claim that Obama wiretapped him:

Why do you say that I have to apologize? I’m just quoting the newspaper, just like I quoted the judge the other day, Judge Napolitano. I quoted Judge Napolitano, just like I quoted Bret Baier. I mean Bret Baier mentioned the word wiretap. Now he can now deny it, or whatever he is doing, you know. But I watched Bret Baier, and he used that term. I have a lot of respect for Judge Napolitano, and he said that three sources have told him things that would make me right. I don’t know where he has gone with it since then. But I’m quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks. 

It does not seem to bother him at all that one of Napolitano's sources later said that the judge misquoted him or that Napolitano lost his job at Fox News over this.

Concerning those "terrorist attacks" in Sweden:

I am talking about Sweden. I’m talking about what Sweden has done to themselves is very sad, that is what I am talking about. That is what I am talking about. You can phrase it any way you want. A day later they had a horrible, horrible riot in Sweden and you saw what happened. I talked about Brussels. I was on the front page of The New York Times for my quote. I said Brussels is not what it used to be, very sad what has happened to Brussels. I was absolutely lambasted. A short time later they had the major attack in Brussels. One year ago today. Exactly one year ago today. And then people said, “You know, Trump was right.” 

So now he is Nostradamus, predicting events BEFORE they happen?

Trump also apparently knows the meaning of life:

I happen to be a person that knows how life works. I said I was going to win the election, I won the election. In fact, I was number one the entire route, in the primaries. From the day I announced, I was number one. And The New York Times and CNN and all of them, they did these polls, which were extremely bad and they turned out to be totally wrong, and my polls showed I was going to win. We thought we were going to win the night of the election.

Actually the reporting I have seen demonstrated that Trump did NOT know he was going to win, and in fact was caught by surprise when he did.

And finally:

I inherited a mess with jobs. Despite the statistics, you know, my statistics are even better, but they are not the real statistics because you have millions of people that can’t get a job, O.K. And I inherited a mess on trade. I mean we have many, you can go up and down the ladder. But that’s the story. Hey look, in the meantime, I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not. You know. Say hello to everybody, O.K.? 

"I can't be doing badly, because I'm president and you're not." I don;t even know how to respond to that.

Actually as we know Trump did NOT inherit a mess, he inherited a country that had already been rescued from the LAST unfit president to hold office.

Let's face it folks, the Russians convinced a lot of really stupid people to elect a psychotic toddler.

And now we are stuck with him.

Well, at least for the time being.

Secret Service requests 60 million more dollars to protect Donald Trump and his family.

Courtesy of the Washington Post: 

The U.S. Secret Service requested $60 million in additional funding for the next year, offering the most precise estimate yet of the escalating costs for travel and protection resulting from the unusually complicated lifestyle of the Trump family, according to internal agency documents reviewed by The Washington Post. 

Nearly half of the additional money, $26.8 million, would pay to protect President Trump’s family and private home in New York’s Trump Tower, the documents show, while $33 million would be spent on travel costs incurred by “the president, vice president and other visiting heads of state.” 

The documents, part of the Secret Service’s request for the fiscal 2018 budget, reflect the costly surprise facing Secret Service agents tasked with guarding the president’s large and far-flung family, accommodating their ambitious travel schedules and fortifying the three-floor Manhattan penthouse where first lady Melania Trump and son Barron live. 

Trump has spent most of his weekends since the inauguration at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, and his sons have traveled the world to promote Trump properties with Secret Service agents in tow.

I know what we are all thinking but let's not make any comments which could be misconstrued as threats on this blog.

Having said that I really think this is money that could be better spent elsewhere.

ANYWHERE in fact. 

In what could be the most predictable news ever, it turns out that Donald Trump and his wife NEVER sleep together.

Courtesy of US Magazine: 

“They have separate bedrooms,” says another Trump insider. “They never spend the night together — ever.” (A third source says the couple do sleep in the same room but keep separate beds: “It’s very ‘royal’ of them!”) 

Upset with the former reality star for trapping her in a life she despises, “Melania wants as little to do with Donald as possible,” explains the family source. “She is not interested in Donald, the presidency or anything involving him.” A rep for Melania denies the claims telling Us, "It’s unfortunate that you are going to feature unnamed 'sources' that have provided fictional accounts."

"Fictional accounts." 

Well we might accept that if we did not have eyes of our own.

That is NOT a woman who is excited about the prospect of spending the night in this man's bed.

I think US Magazine has good sources on this.

Trump voters in a nutshell.