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Problem with being a bigly unpopular US president who has a lot of foreign properties is that Trump's finances are taking a major clobbering!

Absolutely unacceptable! As of Day 113 of after Hurricane Maria, over 1.3 million in Puerto Rico are still without electricity. As Vox points out, Puerto Rico's power grid was in very poor shape before the hurricane, making recovery doubly difficult. 


Bristol Palin (Daughter of Sarah) makes a comment: "If Donald Trump were still just a regular old billionaire and threw a party at Trump Tower in New York City, celebrties would be lined up out the door." Dinesh D'Souza quotes her and responds: "Bristol Palin seems so much smarter than her horse-faced counterpart Chelsea Clinton."
It's difficult to see how Palin's statement qualifies as more than an elementary school-level comment. It's even less apparent that D'Souza is any sort of intellectual. 

Update: D'Souza makes an entirely accurate comment about Democrats and racism and the Southern "one-drop rule" versus the Nazi rule of who constituted a Jew. Of course, in emphasizing that he's referring to Democrats, he's ignoring that Democrats and Republicans, between the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, essentially switched places between being the parties of racism and equality. 


So apparently, the problem with that fellow in the White House is that he's a vague and confused old man, uninterested in policy details and very easily manipulated by his subordinates. The really serious problem beyond that is that the hard-liners of the Freedom Caucus aren't the slightest bit interested in any deal that the rest of the country can support.


So first President Trump declares that the US Government will do something about opoids. It takes about 11 weeks to then produce a very underwhelming policy document. Then a wildly-under-qualified 24-year old person gets assigned to run the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Yep, situation normal, all effed up. Further details.


The move to open up the coast to oil drilling looking like a serious blunder.


See, here's the problem with President Trump's "fake news awards." We know for a fact, the Wall Street Journal had recordings, that he was quoted accurately, but he attacked them as "fake news" anyway. To the President "fake news" is simply news that he doesn't like


So when economic protests broke our in Iran, President Trump attempted to put himself and the US on the side of ordinary Iranians and against the Mullahs. How'd that work out? Ehh, not well. Problem is, Iranians are not the slightest bit convinced that the US is really on their side or cares the slightest bit about their concerns. 


Thoughts on President Trump and racism.


"Stormy Daniels" is the porn performer who slept with the President back in 2006 and got paid $130,000 to keep hushed up about it. Interesting thread about the financial/criminal implications of that.


Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was the head of the recently-disbanded Voter Integrity Commission. He created a lot of questions with his suggestion that the disbanding was purely for the purpose of frustrating Democratic attempts to force the Commission to be somewhat accountable. The Commission requested voter data from all 50 states. Some complied, some didn't and many did so partially. Kobach has now been forbidden to use that data under any circumstances.


Very interesting! The President sees the Mariel Boatlift of 1980 as the template for all migration from non-wealthy countries to the US. Of course, for Cuba to dump its population of criminals and people with mental problems onto Florida was a highly unusual one-off.
Of course, President Trump's disparaging the people of Haiti and praise for the people of Norway is a gift to US competitors and enemies.


"Trump administration offshore drilling move reeks of illegal political favoritism"
In light of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's statement that "Florida is obviously unique" as far as offshore drilling is concerned, Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) says: 

His decision reeks of improper political favoritism. It’s also illegal. By treating Florida differently than other similarly situated states, Zinke’s planned program will likely be struck down by the courts and demonstrates that his decision-making is an abuse of discretion, and is arbitrary and capricious. There is no legal standard that would appear to allow his decision to stand.


Excellent commentary from MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush Administration Republican, on the Presidet's "shuthole" comment. President Trump's words aren't just anti-liberal, they're anti-American!

And yeah, I agree with whoever this other person was:

More from today’s “sh*thole” mtg: Trump said, “Why do we need more Haitians, take them out,” according to our sources. Someone else in room responded: “Because if you do, it will be obvious why."


"Walmart quietly lays off thousands of workers after bonus announcement" Um, isn't that the exact opposute of what Republicans said would happen after they rammed their tax plan through Congress? Can we blame Walmart for its action? Eh, ya bring a picnic lunch out into the woods, realize you forgot napkins, go back to the car, return and some bear is eating your lunch. Is it the bear's fault or is the bear just being a bear? The real problem is that the Republican Party is alleged to have thought that tax cuts would cause companies to keep people employed.


Presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway and CNN's Chris Cuomo demonstrate fundamentally different approaches to combatting bad speech. Conway and her boss President Trump want to "look at the libel laws." Cuomo argues for the compettion of ideas, for American ideals to be carried out in real time. 

Also, Kellyanne Conway says that the declaration that the US will move their Israel Embassy to Jerusalem was an "accomplishment." It was a unilateral move made without any coordination with Middle East countries or with the Democratic Party. The Republican Party just said "Oh, okay." and went back to sleep. Most of the world voted against us in reaction. Hard to see how this counts as an accomplishment.


Two people message each other and one of them expresses concern that Trump might win the 2016 election. President Trump considers his comment to be "treason."

Problem with being a bigly unpopular US president who has a lot of foreign properties is that Trump's finances are taking a major clobbering!


Absolutely unacceptable! As of Day 113 of after Hurricane Maria, over 1.3 million in Puerto Rico are still without electricity. As Vox points out, Puerto Rico's power grid was in very poor shape before the hurricane, making recovery doubly difficult. 


Bristol Palin (Daughter of Sarah) makes a comment: "If Donald Trump were still just a regular old billionaire and threw a party at Trump Tower in New York City, celebrties would be lined up out the door." Dinesh D'Souza quotes her and responds: "Bristol Palin seems so much smarter than her horse-faced counterpart Chelsea Clinton."
It's difficult to see how Palin's statement qualifies as more than an elementary school-level comment. It's even less apparent that D'Souza is any sort of intellectual. 

Update: D'Souza makes an entirely accurate comment about Democrats and racism and the Southern "one-drop rule" versus the Nazi rule of who constituted a Jew. Of course, in emphasizing that he's referring to Democrats, he's ignoring that Democrats and Republicans, between the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, essentially switched places between being the parties of racism and equality. 


So apparently, the problem with that fellow in the White House is that he's a vague and confused old man, uninterested in policy details and very easily manipulated by his subordinates. The really serious problem beyond that is that the hard-liners of the Freedom Caucus aren't the slightest bit interested in any deal that the rest of the country can support.


So first President Trump declares that the US Government will do something about opoids. It takes about 11 weeks to then produce a very underwhelming policy document. Then a wildly-under-qualified 24-year old person gets assigned to run the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Yep, situation normal, all effed up. Further details.


The move to open up the coast to oil drilling looking like a serious blunder.


See, here's the problem with President Trump's "fake news awards." We know for a fact, the Wall Street Journal had recordings, that he was quoted accurately, but he attacked them as "fake news" anyway. To the President "fake news" is simply news that he doesn't like


So when economic protests broke our in Iran, President Trump attempted to put himself and the US on the side of ordinary Iranians and against the Mullahs. How'd that work out? Ehh, not well. Problem is, Iranians are not the slightest bit convinced that the US is really on their side or cares the slightest bit about their concerns. 


Thoughts on President Trump and racism.


"Stormy Daniels" is the porn performer who slept with the President back in 2006 and got paid $130,000 to keep hushed up about it. Interesting thread about the financial/criminal implications of that.


Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach was the head of the recently-disbanded Voter Integrity Commission. He created a lot of questions with his suggestion that the disbanding was purely for the purpose of frustrating Democratic attempts to force the Commission to be somewhat accountable. The Commission requested voter data from all 50 states. Some complied, some didn't and many did so partially. Kobach has now been forbidden to use that data under any circumstances.


Very interesting! The President sees the Mariel Boatlift of 1980 as the template for all migration from non-wealthy countries to the US. Of course, for Cuba to dump its population of criminals and people with mental problems onto Florida was a highly unusual one-off.
Of course, President Trump's disparaging the people of Haiti and praise for the people of Norway is a gift to US competitors and enemies.


"Trump administration offshore drilling move reeks of illegal political favoritism"
In light of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's statement that "Florida is obviously unique" as far as offshore drilling is concerned, Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) says: 

His decision reeks of improper political favoritism. It’s also illegal. By treating Florida differently than other similarly situated states, Zinke’s planned program will likely be struck down by the courts and demonstrates that his decision-making is an abuse of discretion, and is arbitrary and capricious. There is no legal standard that would appear to allow his decision to stand.


Excellent commentary from MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush Administration Republican, on the Presidet's "shuthole" comment. President Trump's words aren't just anti-liberal, they're anti-American!

And yeah, I agree with whoever this other person was:

More from today’s “sh*thole” mtg: Trump said, “Why do we need more Haitians, take them out,” according to our sources. Someone else in room responded: “Because if you do, it will be obvious why."


"Walmart quietly lays off thousands of workers after bonus announcement" Um, isn't that the exact opposute of what Republicans said would happen after they rammed their tax plan through Congress? Can we blame Walmart for its action? Eh, ya bring a picnic lunch out into the woods, realize you forgot napkins, go back to the car, return and some bear is eating your lunch. Is it the bear's fault or is the bear just being a bear? The real problem is that the Republican Party is alleged to have thought that tax cuts would cause companies to keep people employed.


Presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway and CNN's Chris Cuomo demonstrate fundamentally different approaches to combatting bad speech. Conway and her boss President Trump want to "look at the libel laws." Cuomo argues for the compettion of ideas, for American ideals to be carried out in real time. 

Also, Kellyanne Conway says that the declaration that the US will move their Israel Embassy to Jerusalem was an "accomplishment." It was a unilateral move made without any coordination with Middle East countries or with the Democratic Party. The Republican Party just said "Oh, okay." and went back to sleep. Most of the world voted against us in reaction. Hard to see how this counts as an accomplishment.


Two people message each other and one of them expresses concern that Trump might win the 2016 election. President Trump considers his comment to be "treason."


"after congressional lawmakers proposed reinstating protections for immigrants from" nations with largely non-white populations, the President asked: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

The President's staff felt this comment might help with Trump's base voters, so hey, no biggie!


So Sarah Huckabee Sanders "gaslights" a journalist (The bad guy turns down the lights and then says "What? No, it's not getting dark in here. You're imagining things again.") by telling the journalist that two completely contradictory tweets are in fact, perfectly consistent with each other.


If Ronald Reagan was the king of "magical thinking," then Oprah Winfrey was its queen. Yes, that means President Trump is very much a product of the landscape that Winfrey played a role in creating.


Hmm. Did candidate Donald Trump's apparent opposition to foreign adventurism ("America First") combined with Clinton's apparent willingness to continue with them contribute to her defeat in 2016?


President Trump lets his authoritarian flag fly, making it clear that, although he's not a dictator, he sure does want to be. Very disturbingly, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), gave a response that no one in such a position should ever give, suggesting he was eager to comply with the President's demand.


The NY Times betrays a pro-Trump bias by waits several paragraphs to deliver this line: "He did not lapse into incoherence but neither did he demonstrate mastery of policy details after a year in office." Think they call that "grading on a generous curve."


Representative John Lewis (D-GA) sponsored a bill to upgrade the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Happy to say the bill was signed into law. Does this prove that President Trump is not a racist? It's tempting to read too much into the signing, but I'd say Dr. King is a pretty safe, non-controversial, historical figure by this point.


There's an object about 3 billion light-years away (Milky Way Galaxy is 100,000 light-years across) that's throwing off magnetic bursts that last from 30 microseconds to 9 milliseconds. Each burst throws out as much power as our sun puts out in a day. If this object were in our galazy, we would definitely have known about it a long time ago. 


What a completely insane idea! "U.S. officials are mulling the possibility of launching a military strike against North Korean targets without provoking war on the Korean Peninsula." I hav absolutely zero confidence that such a strategy could ever work under any circumstances.


Working for the White House is a really tough, exhausting job under any president. Word that this particular WH is an absolutely horrible workplace along with this president being incapable of doing the job makes staffing an extremely serious problem.


President Trump tries to prove the Wolff Book "Fire & Fury" wrong by conducting an open meeting/debate on immigration. Politically, for him, the results were disastrous. It reminds me of Democrats trying to deal with Speaker of the House John Boehner in 2011. He was perfectly willing to make deals. He just couldn't deliver the votes of the Tea Party/Freedom Caucus people. It was a complete waste of time to talk with him. Same here. It's a complete waste of time to talk with the President because he can't deliver on his own vote as he can't seem to remember what his vote was ten minutes after he's cast it.

Heh! The very right-wing Ann Coulter gives us a very accurate assesssment of the meeting. 

By contrast, the moderate CNN panel is ridiculously over-impressed with what was clearly a doddering, vague president who didn't understand what was going on around him.


Good! Democrats have been calling for the release of the Fusion GPS interview, which Republicans have refused to do. Senator Feinstein did so over their objections and hey, whattaya know? There appear to be claims that the GOP has made that are inconsistent with the transcript! 

The following statement from Senator Grassley's office would have more impact if Fusian GPS hadn't requested that the transcript be released.

A Grassley spokesperson, in a statement, called Feinstein’s release of the transcript “confounding” and said her action “undermines the integrity of the committee’s oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid voluntary testimony relating to the independent recollections of future witnesses.”


Oh, Good Lord! This is completely insane! Absolute fascism! The Louisiana schoolteacher here asks a very good and very legitimate question and got manhandled and cuffed and dragged out of the building for it.


Whew! Good!!!

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) unanimously rejected Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to raise consumer energy bills in order to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants — a major blow to the Trump administration’s effort to slow the growth of solar and wind power.

Ohio wants to purge voters from the rolls who haven't voted recently. Hard to see what legitimate purpose this would serve. My understanding of registering to vote is that after you've registered, you're on the rolls until some life change happens, like dying, being imprisoned or moving to another town/state/country.


Ivanka Trump gives Oprah's speech a "You go, girl!" endosement. Eh, if she gets criticized from the right wing, she'll retreat right off. 

Turns out that, in the Wolff Book "Fire & Fury," Steve Bannon attacked Don Jr. and Ivanka Trump. I agree that when Rush Limbaugh attacked the 13-year old Chelsea Clinton over the issue of her looks, that was disgusting. When Bannon criticizes Don Jr. and Ivanka, who are both in their 30s? Ehh, I don't blame our President for reacting strongly, a dad defending his kids is perfectly understandable. But I have a much harder time getting protective of grown-up White House children who both have children of their own.


In response to the report that President Trump shows up for work around 11:00am these days.

For comparison, George W. Bush was usually in the Oval by 7am. Obama had a morning workout routine, but he was in there by 8:30-9am according to reports. Both worked until 6pm or so. Obama often came back late at night. You know, it's a pretty demanding job. For most people.


Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is mightily impressed that Donald Trump prevailed against 17 fellow Republicans. To me, the fact that Trump ran against 17 Republicans and won doesn't tell me he's smart and talented. It tells me about the degraded and deplorable state of the Republican Party. The fact that he won against Clinton tells me about the headwinds that Clinton was battling, from media bias to foreign interference to a last-minute FBI intervention. And no, I'm still not convinced that there needs to be an investigation of the Steele dossier.


Wow! Having finally gotten around to watching the whole Stephen Miller trainwreck of an interview with Jake Tapper, I can easily see Stephen speaking at a basement meeting of fellow Brownshirts and waxing poetic about "Our Glorious Fuhrer."


Senate bill to reverse Trump Administration Net Neutrality decision gains 30th co-sponsor.


I was under the impression that the proposed move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem had blown any deal between Israel and the Palestinians to bits, but the news that Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner has extensive financial ties to Israeli banks and financial institutions should make any deal out of the question. 


So how's the big infrastructure plan going? Any ideas on how to both cut $1.5 trillion out of the budget in tax breaks for the wealthy and pony up $200 billion for infrastructure? Nah, of course not. 


Oprah Winfrey gives a really good speech at the Goden Globes Awards.


In response to the President's "Fake News Awards" being postponed

Translation: I'm incapable of managing even made-up imaginary bullshit that I designed entirely to make myself feel better. Even THAT was too much work for me. This is like a child delaying the opening of a fucking pretend tea party.


Schooling under President Trump. Classrooms in Baltimore are at 40 degrees. Not that he's to blame specifically, the problem goes back to "white flight," but I'll betcha he doesn't find time to address the problem in his twitter rants this morning or any other morning.


AT&T and Comcast not only got a big tax cut, they got the end of Net Neutrality. How have they rewarded the American people for the generosity of the Republican Party? "Companies that announced big bonuses after GOP tax cut are now laying off their workers"


Gotta love the headline here!
"Trump Insists He's A 'Very Stable Genius' In Unhinged Twitter Rant"
Um..."the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence....."
Yeah, erm, Reagan had Alzheimer's and we saw signs of that in response to Iran-Contra.


Kinda depressing that the "War on Pot" seems to be about the only thing Rs & Ds agree on these days, but yes, the news on that is good. Neithe party has any use for Attorney General Sessions' "War." 


No, I disagree with the Fox News "comedian" Greg Gutfeld. I don't think the Wolff "Fire & Fury" book humanizes President Trump, that any amateur would produce the same horrific results that he has. Trump's style is to tear people apart and to divide them and to have everybody at each other's throats. He's not just "everybody's uncle."

President demonstrates his confidence that the Wolff book is "Fake News" by runnning away from reporters who try to ask questions about it.


It's good to see the phrase "open secret" redefined as "Well, why didn't you do anything about it?" As the Hollywood Reporter observes "they all—100 percent—came to believe [President Trump] was incapable of functioning in his job." So the real and important question the book raises is "Why has the Republican Party failed to act?"


The Obama Administration started easing marijuana regulations back in 2013. If having pot legalized was causing any problems, there has been plenty of time for anti-pot partisans to gather those facts and the current AG has had a year to present them. Attorney General Sessions clearly doesn't have any such facts, else he'd have presented them. Public opinion agrees with the last President, so it's pretty obvious that Sessions is reversing the last administration's pot policy purely and entirely due to his own personal belief.

Heh! Those who supported the Confederacy both during and after its existence used "State's Rights" as a major justification, so it's sweetly delicious to see pro-pot Republican senators use state's rights against AG Sessions here.

How did marijuana become illegal in the first place? An explainer.


*Sigh* Again with that marvelous, subtle diplomacy. The US gives Israel $3 billion a year in aid. Palestinians get $400 million. President Trump is threatening to withhold the aid to the Palestinians unless they start negotiating with Israel. Uh yeah, Sure. that's going to work! [/snark]


Further commentatry on "Fire & Fury."

Wolff book on how top aides regard Trump: “For Steve Mnuchin and Reince Priebus, he was an ‘idiot.’ For Gary Cohn, he was ‘dumb as shit.’ For H.R. McMaster he was a ‘dope.’ The list went on.


Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says: “The president and the people of this country should be concerned about the mental fitness of the leader of North Korea.” Well, we are. but that doesn't mean we're prepared to overlook our President's mental health and fitness for office! 


Excellent! A more ridiculous waste of time, money and resources was hard to imagine. The commission accomplished nothing except to drive home the point that in-person voter fraud (the kind that could be battled with people having ID cards) was a non-problem.


One thing struck me in this piece (Excerpt of "Fire & Fury" by Michael Wolff). Rupert Murdoch had sagely warned that Trump's opportunity to make a real impression was going to be very short-lived. He had to make an impact within the first 100 days. Problem was, no one on the Trump team thought they were going to win the presidency, so no one had prepared any sort of agenda. Steve Bannon wanted to undertake a "shock and awe" approach, but his re-design of the immigration system called for the involvement of so few people and such limited advice and buy-in that it was a complete cluster-&%$@. Instead of "crushing the liberals," it energized us far more than it depressed us.


Yeah, mission accomplished. No questions about money laundering or Fusion GPS. But yeah, I very strongly disagree that Obama just sat around, refusing to deal with either North Korea or Iran. In both cases, he took the best approach that would yield best results. We need his kind of leadership back!


Kind of interesting as you consider that Laura Ingraham is speaking from the same movement that cried and wailed and beat their chests about "Sharia Law" being imposed on us poor, innocent Americans. But by suggesting that actresses wear more modest clothing in order to then be taken seriously as people who oppose sexual harassment, isn't Sharia Law what Ingraham is recommending here? And no, "staring" does not equal "harassment."


I agree with the blogger here (NSFW language) The Iranians are demonstrating hate and discontent with their leadership, but the President has absolutely zero moral authority to stand with Iranian protesters. He never gave a crap about them and never will.


Working in the White House is a rough job under any president. The burn-out rate is high and has been for many decades. Add to that a temperamental, president who likes a workplace in chaos and where there isn't much prestige in serving there. Add to that the publicity over the fate of Sean Spicer, who lied so much that no one will hire him and you've got a recipe for a very thin, stressed-out, overworked staff.


(I live in Horsham) The 2018 Horsham Town Council welcomed two new Democratic members, Bill Gallagher and Veronica Hill-Milbourne. Asked someone there when the Council last had any Democratic members. She thought it was sometime back in the 70s.


So, a bit over 100 days after Hurricane Maria, how's Puerto Rico doing?

Status.pr reports:
55% power consumption
*70% power generation
*97% of the island has water
*295,000 individuals have arrived in Florida from Puerto Rico, since October 3rd
*354 survivors are staying in 20 shelters that remain open


Presidetnt Trump takes credit for there being no deaths from commercial air travel in 2017. Erm, actually, the last such deaths were in 2009.


Ah, okay. I remembered upon reading about President Trump talking about health care associations "What? 'Millions' of people are joining these association? Really? I would have thought I would have heard of them by now." Well, it turns out that associations are not even real on paper. There have been a few small, private associations and they've had lots of waste, fraud and abuse problems. Congress hasn't even begun drafting any legislation for the kinds of national-scale associations that the President was referring to.


Four problems that President Trump claimed he was going to solve by now. Nope. Nowhere even close. They were 1. “'Everybody' was supposed to have health insurance." Number is actually down by 3 & 1/2 million.  2. "America was supposed to be 'respected again.'” Favoable view of US has crashed from 64% to 49%. 3. "The deficit was supposed to 'go away rapidly.'” The only piece of major legislation to get through increases the deficit by $1 trillion over 10 years.  4. "Trump was supposed to have quit Twitter.” Yeah, he should have done that more for his own sake than anyone else's . 


First NJ Governor Christie canceled a railway tunnel from New Jersey to New York's Manhattan, now President Trump cancels another proposed tunnel! There's only one tunnel that leads to Penn Station, the busiest transportation hub in the US. It's old and it's deteriorating.


President Trump gets BJ from NY Times: "where NYT argues that unlike 'aloof' Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Trump is a president of the people."
Keep in mind that popular support for Net Neutrality is over 80% and a Trump-appointed FCC just repealed Net Neutrality without making the slightest attempt to explain why. No, Trump is not a "president of the people!"
And discussing the truly idiotic NY Times piece that claims that "President Trump has brought a reality-show accessibility to a once-aloof presidency, invigorating voters who felt alienated by the establishment."


Hmm, does a Chinese action film mark a sea change in world affairs? Chinese action film where Chinese hero defeats the bad guy, a white American. American Embassy is useless. 


Cause for all Americans to feel deeply ashamed. The Electoral Integrity Project "has measured 213 elections in 153 countries and is widely agreed to be the most accurate method for evaluating how free and fair and democratic elections are across time and place." If North Carolina were a country, it would rank somewhere in the middle of democratic integrity in terms of how free and fair its election in 2016 was.


"After Years of Lies, a Federal Judge Brought a Swift End to the Hillary Clinton Benghazi BS"
Good! Hillary Clinton gave public testimony about Benghazi in late 2013. That was really the last notable, meaningful word on the case. Everything since then has been the opposition political party just trying to score points and to tear down Clinton's reputation.