Saturday, February 16, 2019

Bordering On Madness: Trump’s Bizarre, Rambling Announcement of a National Emergency

Mod: The certifiable madman in the White House took his race war border fantasies to new depths yesterday. Just one more in a seemingly endless series of fake Trump events that are both dangerously detached from reality and an embarrassment to our country.

Trump’s Bizarre, Rambling Announcement of a National Emergency (The Atlantic link): After failing for two years to persuade Congress to fund a wall on the southern border, President Donald Trump on Friday said he will declare a national emergency and reallocate some $8 billion to build the wall through executive fiat. Trump announced the move in a rambling, free-associative appearance in the White House Rose Garden that was more MAGA rally than presidential announcement.

Even by the standards of this president, his remarks were confusing, untruthful, and often off topic, with strange ad-hominem attacks on other politicians and sharp exchanges with reporters. Despite claiming that the nation faces an acute crisis that requires immediate attention, the president meandered through a long preamble about trade deals and North Korea. When he finally got to the point, he struggled to stay focused.

“We’re going to be signing today and registering national emergency,” he said. “And it’s a great thing to do, because we have an invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people, and it’s unacceptable. And by signing the national emergency, something signed many times by other presidents, many, many times, President Obama, in fact, we may be using one of the national emergencies that he signed having to do with cartels, criminal cartels. It’s a very good emergency that he signed … And what we really want to do is simple. It’s not like it is complicated. It’s very simple. We want to stop drugs from coming into our country. We want to stop criminals and gangs from coming into our country. Nobody has done the job that we have ever done.”

Yet Trump also undermined his own case for the national emergency, effectively saying the declaration was all about political expediency.

“I can do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this. I would rather do it much faster,” the president said, an astonishing acknowledgment that could come back to haunt him in court. Read: What the president could do if he declares a national emergency

It was one of the least coherent appearances Trump has made in a presidency noted for its incoherence. Yet the circus in the Rose Garden threatened to distract from a major policy announcement.

During a briefing Friday morning, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that Trump would take $600 million from a Treasury Department forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion from a Defense Department counter-drug fund, and another $3.6 billion from Pentagon military-construction money. Only the construction funds require an emergency declaration. Trump will not take money from disaster-relief funds, an idea that had been discussed.

The move is sure to draw legal challenges, and might not take effect exactly as Trump described. But the fact remains that the president has declared a national emergency in order to save face with anti-immigration members of the conservative media and his base, having been roundly defeated in a joust with Congress over funding. In essence, the president has created a new crisis to get himself out of a previous crisis—which he also created. And the timing of Trump’s announcement, after months of equivocating and congressional debate, hardly supports the idea of an acute crisis.

CBS Goes With 'The Price Is Right' Over Conclusion Of President Trump's Emergency Speech ( link): National emergency on the border? In one network’s news judgment, it was more important to say, “Come on, down!

CBS coverage of President Donald Trump’s televised address on his national emergency declaration ended 21 minutes before its conclusion, as the eye network opted to return viewers to game show The Price Is Right. All of the other broadcast and cable news networks carried the declaration and press conference on Friday afternoon to its conclusion.

The Trump announcement from the Rose Garden of the White House was delayed from its original 10:30 AM eastern time start. Trump said he was declaring the emergency “because we have an invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people.”

CBS News reported that the White House assured the network Trump’s speech would be no longer than eight minutes. But Trump started at 1:10 PM and finished at 2 PM.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Conservative Washington Examiner Trashes Trump's Border Wall "National Emergency" In 100 Words

Mod: Maybe this is the world's record for succinctness in an editorial from a newspaper that you can find on Google News? Whatever the case, I think this means they really do mean it.

Why, in 100 words, Trump is wrong to declare a national emergency (Washington Examiner link): We are a constitutional republic which grants Congress the power of the purse. This ensures democratically supervised expenditure of the people's money.

Congress has said no to President Trump's border wall, and democratic authority matters. And by declaring a national emergency on a domestic policy issue in the traditional preserve of Congress, which makes this different than most other national emergencies, "future President Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez" now has a remit to bypass Congress to get her "Green New Deal."

In short, this is good short-term politics for Trump, bad long-term politics for Republicans, and a bad precedent for the nation.

Mod: Nancy Pelosi gives an example of how Trump's "national emergency" could set an interesting precedent for a future president from her party.

Pelosi Shames Trump: Why Don’t You Declare Gun Violence a National Emergency? ( link): Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reacted to the announcement that Trump will declare a national emergency at the border by asking, on the first anniversary of the gun massacre in Parkland, Florida, why he doesn’t declare gun violence a national emergency. At her weekly press conference Thursday, Pelosi was asked about Trump’s intention to declare a national emergency in order to secure funds for the border wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for.

“It’s important to know that when the president declares this emergency, first of all, it’s not an emergency, what’s happening at the border,” Pelosi said, and repeatedly blasted Trump for “doing an end-run around Congress.”

“Because if the president can declare a National Emergency on something that he has created as an emergency, an illusion that he wants to convey, just think of what a president with different values can present to the American people,” Pelosi continued.

“You want to talk about a National Emergency? Let’s talk about today,” she said. “The one-year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America. That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency, Mr. President? I wish you would.”

“But a Democratic president can do that, a Democratic president can declare emergencies as well. So the precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans,” Pelosi concluded.

The speaker was later asked if she would want to see a Democratic president declare a national emergency in order to enact gun laws, and she clarified that she would not.

“No I’m just saying if president could do that, if you want to go down that path, then let’s look at what really is a national emergency,” Pelosi said. “I’m not advocating for any president doing an end-run around Congress. I’m just saying that the Republicans should have some dismay about the door that they are opening, the threshold they are crossing.”

Mod: It will all likely be tied up in the courts for years, anyway.

National emergency will be blocked by courts temporarily, DOJ warns White House (ABC News link): The Justice Department has warned the White House a national emergency declaration is nearly certain to be blocked by the courts on, at least, a temporary basis, preventing the immediate implementation of the president's plan to circumvent Congress and build the wall using his executives powers, ABC News has learned.

However, a senior White House official tells ABC News that the administration is confident it could ultimately win the case on appeal. Lawyers at the White House, the Department of Homeland Security and at the Pentagon have been working for weeks to iron out different options the president would have to obtain funds for his border wall.

By declaring a national emergency at the border, the president could potentially free up billions of dollars to begin work on construction of a southern border wall. Much of that money would be pulled from the Department of Defense.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

BBC: Why the attack on our cameraman was no surprise

video link here.
Mod: Violence against the news media is nothing new at Trump rallies. For his knuckleheads it is all part of the fun. Monday night's Trumpolini fest in El Paso was no exception. Here the BBC's Jon Sopel responds to an attack on one of his people.

Why the attack on our cameraman was no surprise ( link): I would really love to be able to say when I heard about the attack on our cameraman Ron Skeans that I was surprised. Or shocked even. I wasn't.

Once I found out that he was OK, and that the rest of the team were OK, I thought this was a pretty unsurprising event. What is shocking is that my reaction should be like that - because surely it can never be right that a person going about doing their job, in a country which cherishes the First Amendment and the rights of a free press, is pushed to the ground. But it is an incident that's been coming for a long time.

Before we get to that, let me say a word about Ron Skeans. Ron is the only one of our camera-people to have a "hard pass" that gives you direct access to the White House estate. I have a hard pass too. That means more or less whenever I am broadcasting live outside the White House, I am working with Ron.

He is the kindest, politest, most decent, patriotic man you could wish to meet. Frankly, there are a few cameramen that I've worked with over the years that are argumentative, provocative and generally belligerent. None of those adjectives could be applied to Ron.

He and I did a report together on Rolling Thunder, the day in Washington when thousands of bikers converge on the city to commemorate those missing in action in Vietnam or who'd been taken as POWs.

I rode my motorbike, he rode pillion on another to film the event. We were both slightly overwhelmed by the patriotism and emotion of the day. He is a proud son of Ohio - where like in most American families there were those of his relatives who supported Trump in 2016, and those who didn't.

The idea that someone would attack Ron is frankly preposterous. He's the wrong guy. But of course it wasn't Ron that was being attacked.

To the drunken lout in the red Make America Great Again hat at the Trump rally, who bravely attacked him from behind while he was looking through the 12lbs (5kg) of camera on his tripod and couldn't see him, that didn't matter.

Ron wasn't Ron. Ron was the media. And the media are fair game, aren't they?

I covered endless Trump rallies in the run-up to the election and since - and there is a pattern. The attacks on the media are hugely popular with his supporters. They are every bit as much a part of his "set" as Honky Tonk Woman and Satisfaction are part of a Rolling Stones concert. You just can't imagine it not happening.

If you've never been to a Trump rally let me describe what it's like.

At some rallies at the end of the election campaign there were police officers posted on the access points to each press riser (the platforms where our cameras are mounted towards the back of the venue); even if there were no police they were confined areas.

There was no security last night, and the attack on Ron was stopped by a Trump-supporting blogger. Law enforcement were slow to get involved.

At some point in the president's remarks he will point a finger to where we are filming and you know then the fun is about to begin. "Have you seen a group of more dishonest people? They are fake news; they are the enemies of the people."

And like at a Christmas pantomime the crowd would jeer and boo. Honestly, for the overwhelming majority it is good fun; a part of the ritual. Like being at a football match and saying disobliging things about the referee.

But for a few - and I should add, a growing few, it is more than that. The uncomfortable truth is that with each month that passes the attacks have become more vociferous, the violent atmosphere on these occasions more palpable.

All of my colleagues have stories of occasions when they've been jostled; some have been spat at. Last night Ron heard the words 'CNN sucks' and '[expletive] the media' before he was taken down.

Mod: The rest of the article is available at the link.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Was Beto's Bigger? El Paso Fire Department denies Trump's crowd claim at rally

Mod: Apparently for Donald size matters. So much so that he can't help but lie about it. 

El Paso Fire Department denies Trump's crowd claim at rally (Politico link): The El Paso Fire Department late Monday denied President Donald Trump's claim that officials gave him special permission to pack more people in to his rally than the facility allowed. During his rally at the El Paso County Coliseum, Trump touted his base supporters, saying "there has never been anything like this in the history of our country."

"If you would say, as an example, that tonight 69,000 people signed up to be here," he said. "Now the arena holds 8,000. And thank you, Fire Department. They got in about 10,000. Thank you, Fire Department. Appreciate it."

The El Paso Fire Department said Trump's statement was untrue.

Fire Department spokesman Enrique Aguilar told the El Paso Times on Monday that Trump did not receive permission to exceed the limit and that there were 6,500 people inside the building during the president's rally. The coliseum holds about 6,500 people. There were thousands more watching Trump's speech on big screens outside the facility.

Aguilar added that "it might be 10,000 with the people outside," but said that the Fire Department didn't track the number of people outside of the coliseum, the El Paso Times reported.

Trump has inflated his crowd sizes in the past and hit back at critics who questioned the numbers.

The president also falsely claimed on Monday night that former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who is considering a 2020 presidential run, only had a couple hundred people attend his counter-rally in El Paso. "So we have, let's say, 35,000 people tonight," the president said. "And he has 200 people, 300 people. Not too good," Trump said of O'Rourke.

Estimates from O'Rourke's anti-border wall protest show that 7,000 to 8,000 people attended his rally. Some other reports put attendance as high as 10,000 to 15,000.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Trump bizarrely says babies come out and ‘talk’ to their mothers before liberals ‘execute’ them

Mod: The Mango Madman did his usual Mussolini impersonation last night in El Paso. The suckers ate it up, of course. At one point in his diatribe he said, "Babies come out, talk to the mother and then execute the baby. Execute the baby. Incredible." Astonishingly weird. Perhaps he was speaking from some personal experience?

Report: Trump Allegedly Paid Hush Money For Eight Abortions (The Intellectualist link): According to the Spectator, President Donald Trump might have paid as many as eight women to have abortions and stay quiet about sexual affairs — which would be felony offenses, if they occurred during his presidential campaign.

There are rumors, too, of Trump mistresses paid to have abortions and kept quiet with non-disclosure agreements. One source tells Cockburn that there are eight such women. This is more than merely sad and sordid: if any of these payments were made while Trump was running for President, there would be new campaign finance violations, all felony offenses.
[Michael] Cohen was said to have handled all this. Cohen was also a vice-president of the Trump Organization and knows about how the secretive family business was conducted. This matters because state prosecutors in New York are now said to be looking again at how condos in Trump buildings were sold – not by Trump, but by his older children, Don Junior, Eric and Ivanka.

Mod: The Spectator article can be viewed here.

Trump bizarrely says babies come out and ‘talk’ to their mothers before liberals ‘execute’ them (Raw Story link): President Donald Trump alleged that liberals “execute” babies as they come out of their mother’s womb. But it was the details he provided about this baby after it’s born that was a little bizarre.

Trump was referring to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who the president thanked for taking the heat off of his White House. ” We should find more guys like this one. He wanted to moonwalk! I like him. He keeps us out of the paper. I like him,” Trump said.

Northam was doing a radio interview where he talked about terminally ill fetuses being born. He said that the child would be born and the mother and doctors would do whatever they could to make the baby comfortable. Conservatives twisted that to mean make the baby comfortable before they killed it. Northam meant before the baby succumbed to the illness.

“The governor stated that he would even allow a newborn baby to come out into the world and wrap the baby and make the baby comfortable,” Trump said. “And then talk to the mother. And talk to the father and then execute the baby. Execute the baby. Incredible.”

As a fact check, babies don’t speak when they’re first born. He has five children.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Elizabeth Warren: Donald Trump 'may not even be a free person' by 2020

Mod: Elizabeth Warren smacks back, and with the kind of obvious truth that needs to be heard more often.

Warren: Trump 'may not even be a free person' by 2020 (CNN link): President Donald Trump might be in jail by the time Election Day comes around, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren said on her first full day of campaigning as a declared presidential candidate. "By the time we get to 2020, Donald Trump may not even be President," Warren said to voters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, gathered at the Veterans Memorial Building. "In fact, he may not even be a free person."

The moment marked a notable shift in tone for Warren, who has been reluctant to take on Trump directly by name since she announced her exploratory campaign on New Year's Eve.

Warren elaborated on those comments to reporters at an event in Iowa City, pointing to the ongoing investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election by special counsel Robert Mueller. "Well, come on. How many investigations are there now? It's no longer just the Mueller investigation," Warren said. "They're everywhere and these are serious investigations, so we'll see what happens."

Warren, who has repeatedly said over the weekend that bigotry has no place in the Oval Office, also told reporters that she has already called out Trump for being a racist "many times." "I don't think there's much doubt of that," she said.

"Every day, there's a racist tweet, a hateful tweet, something really dark and ugly," Warren said of Trump. "And what are we, as candidates, as activists, the press, going to do about it? Are we going to let him use those to divide us?"

California Gov. Gavin Newsom To Withdraw Hundreds Of National Guard Troops From Border (Huffington Post link): California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans Monday to withdraw several hundred National Guard troops from the state’s southern border with Mexico in defiance of the Trump’s request for support from border states.

About 100 of the 360 troops will remain deployed under California’s agreement with the federal government to focus specifically on combating transnational crime such as drug and gun smuggling, Newsom spokesman Nathan Click said.

Specifically, they will be tasked with providing intelligence on transnational crime and assist with cargo dock operations and searches of commercial trucks for contraband. Newsom’s move comes on the heels of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, also a Democrat, pulling back her state’s troops from the U.S.-Mexico border. The two state’s former governors agreed to send troops to the border last April at the Trump administration’s request along with Texas and Arizona.

Newsom’s and Grisham’s actions are a fresh, if symbolic, affront to President Donald Trump’s description of an immigration crisis on the nation’s southern border.

Fox & Friends host says he hasn’t washed hands in 10 years: ‘Germs are not a real thing — I can’t see them’ (Raw Story link): Fox News host Pete Hegseth explained on Sunday that he doesn’t wash his hands because “germs are not a real thing.”

Following a commercial break, Fox & Friends co-host Jedediah Bila revealed that Hegseth had been munching on day-old pizza that was left on the set. “Pizza Hut lasts for a long time,” Hegseth replied, defending himself. “My 2019 resolution is to say things on air that I say off air. I don’t think I’ve washed my hands for 10 years. Really, I don’t really wash my hands ever.”

“I inoculate myself,” he continued. “Germs are not a real thing. I can’t see them. Therefore, they’re not real.”

Hegseth argued that his unsanitary habit leaves him immune to sickness. “These hands look pretty clean to me,” he remarked.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Too Much Winning? Average Tax Refunds Down 8.4 Percent As Angry Taxpayers Vent On Twitter

Mod: Enjoying your promised Trump tax cut yet (link)? You aren't? Well, apparently you are not the only one.

Average Tax Refunds Down 8.4 Percent As Angry Taxpayers Vent On Twitter (Huffington Post link): Average tax refunds were down last week 8.4 percent for the first week of the tax season over the same time last year, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Dipping refunds are inflaming a growing army of taxpayers stunned by the consequences of the Trump administration’s tax law — and the effects of the partial government shutdown.

The average refund check paid out so far has been $1,865, down from $2,035 at the same point in 2018, according to IRS data. Low-income taxpayers often file early to pocket the money as soon as possible. Many taxpayers count on the refunds to make important payments, or spend the money on things like home repairs, a vacation or a car.

The IRS had estimated it would issue about 2.3 percent fewer refunds this year as a result of the changes in the federal tax law, according to Bloomberg. MSNBC reports that 30 million Americans will owe the IRS money this year — 3 million more than before Trump’s tax law.

“There are going to be a lot of unhappy people over the next month,” Edward Karl of the American Institute of CPAs told Politico. “Taxpayers want a large refund.” Some 71 percent of taxpayers received refunds last year worth about $3,000 on average, according to Karl.

Scads of taxpayers are complaining on Twitter that they have always received a refund — but now owe the IRS instead.

The number of refunds sent out by the IRS was also down — about 24 percent — as the agency struggled to get up to speed after the government shutdown. The agency sent out about 4.67 million tax refunds in the week ending Feb. 1, compared with about 6.17 million in the same period in 2018, according to IRS data.

This year’s filing season, which began two days after the shutdown ended on Jan. 25, is complicated because it’s the first after the 2017 tax law was enacted. Though President Donald Trump boasted that the new code would be so simplified that people could file their taxes on a postcard, that’s not the case.

In addition, the changes complicated payroll withholding, so that not enough money was withheld by employers in many cases, meaning that people now owe more taxes. The new law also capped IRS deductions for paid state and local taxes, including real estate taxes, resulting in a nasty surprise for many filers. Several other deductions are no longer allowed.

The frustrations will likely continue to fuel support for plans to boost taxes on the ultra-wealthy. A poll last month found that nearly 60 percent of registered voters support a plan by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to impose a 70 percent marginal tax rate on the portion of annual income that exceeds $10 million a year.

Twitter is filling up with complaints from people whose situation has changed radically.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Those who expected big returns from the so-called "10% Trump Middle Class Tax Cut" were played for fools

Video of Trump and other swamp scum lying about tax cuts found here.

Mod: Trump and bottom feeding administration swamp slugs like Steven "Granny Evictor" Mnuchin told you that tax cut beneficiaries would include middle class Americans such as you. Over and over again they promised a "10% Middle Class Tax Cut." It is tax time and millions of the easily misled now know they were lied to. 

Middle Class Dads Freak Out About Trump Tax Hike (Yahoo News link): It’s February which means it’s officially everyone’s favorite time of year: tax season! And while most of us will be putting off tracking down our W-2’s until early April, some people have already managed to file their taxes. And among those early birds, many in the middle class have been shocked to find that instead of the nice little chunk of change they were expecting with their return, they actually owe money to Uncle Sam.

What’s the reason for this financial switcheroo? It stems from President Trump’s tax reform, which was passed in 2017 and was touted by Trump and the GOP as a win for the middle class. However, with the new tax system now in place, Americans are discovering that most of the tax relief from the bill is actually being experienced by corporations.

Meanwhile, many people are seeing an increase in taxes due to the bill eliminating many of the deductions that were used by middle-class families in order to lower the amount of taxes they were required to pay. Most notably, the tax reform placed a cap on deductions for taxes on both state and local levels.

Unsurprisingly, people have not been happy to discover that what they expected to be a decrease in taxes paid is actually an increase. Those who had been supporters of Trump are especially infuriated, as many were under the assumption that he would provide financial relief for middle-class families, something that he consistently promised during his Presidential campaign. Many have even taken their anger online, with #GOPTaxSCAMStories trending on Twitter as more and more members of the middle-class express their feelings of betrayal towards Trump and Republicans.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Rage Tweeting Trump losing his mind as Schiff hires former NSC employees for House investigations

Mod: The House investigations into Trump admin corruption and treason haven't even started yet and poor Donald is on the verge of having a major stroke. You're going to want to stock up on popcorn, it looks like this is going to be quite a show.

Trump furious after Schiff hires former NSC aides to help oversee his administration (CNN link): House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has hired officials with experience at the National Security Council to help with his panel's oversight of President Donald Trump's administration, according to a committee aide.

The aide declined to say how recently the newly hired officials worked at the council, whether they served under Trump or to identify the individuals. But the move appears to have enraged the President and some members of his senior staff, who view the move as an intrusion. It comes as Democrats prepare to wield new investigative power after winning a House majority in 2018. Trump fumed on Twitter Thursday about the recently launched investigations led by the Democratic intelligence chair and suggested he was raiding the White House staff.

"I hear other committee heads will do the same thing. Even stealing people who work at White House! A continuation of Witch Hunt!" Trump wrote.

Later, the White House implied Schiff, who announced a sweeping investigation into the President and his finances this week, has recently hired or is interviewing officials from the administration to work on his committee that is now investigating the President.

An administration official told reporters to "ask Adam Schiff what that means" when asked about the President's claim Democrats are "stealing people who work at White House."

A House Intelligence Committee aide responded, telling CNN the panel has hired individuals with experience on the NSC staff and that it would not discriminate about hiring individuals from the current administration.

Schiff defends hiring from administration as Trump feud deepens (The Hill link): The head of the House Intelligence Committee is defending his decision to hire former administration staffers to serve on the panel, saying it is part of a long tradition to hire from the intelligence community. Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) offered the remarks amid a deepening feud with President Trump, who earlier in the day tweeted that Schiff was "stealing people who work at the White House" to work on his "witch hunt."

"We have a long tradition of hiring out of the intelligence community, the National Security Council (NSC)," Schiff said. "And if the president is worried about our hiring any former administration people, maybe he should work on being a better employer."

A congressional source told The Hill that the committee has hired Abigail Grace, a former NSC staffer. Grace has a background in examining China-related matters, such as Beijing's approach to foreign policy and multilateralism, according to her biography at the Center for New American Security.

The biography says Grace served as a member of the NSC staff from 2016-2018, which spans across both the Obama and Trump.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Adam Schiff hits back at Trump: He’s ‘terrified’ of House Russia probe

Mod: Apparently the cat has escaped its bag, and it is a fearful Trump that let kitty out. The one thing driving Donald these days is the fear of House investigation, which he revealed in his SOTU speech Tuesday. And that, of course, is what he is about to get. 

Schiff hits back at Trump: He’s ‘terrified’ of House Russia probe (The Hill link): House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Wednesday fired back at President Trump after the president accused him of being a "political hack," saying that he could understand why Trump was scared of congressional oversight.

The comments from Schiff came just minutes after Trump denounced the California Democrat for opening a sweeping committee probe into Trump’s ties to Russia and his personal finances.

“He has no basis to do that. He’s just a political hack who’s trying to build a name for himself,” the president told reporters at the White House. “It’s just presidential harassment and it’s unfortunate and it really does hurt our country."

Schiff announced earlier Wednesday that the House Intelligence panel's investigation would extend beyond potential links between Russia and the Trump campaign. Among other things, Schiff said the probe would evaluate if Trump's decisions have been motivated by financial gain.

“The president’s actions and posture towards Russia during the campaign, transition, and administration have only heightened fears of foreign financial or other leverage over President Trump and underscore the need to determine whether he or those in his administration have acted in service of foreign interests since taking office,” he said in a statement. Trump said during the State of the Union that an "economic miracle" was taking place in the U.S. and that the only thing that could stop it were "foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations.”

The remark was criticized by both Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

"You know what I think it shows, he’s scared," Schumer said on CNN's New Day. "He’s got something to hide. Because if he had nothing to hide he’d just shrug his shoulders and let these investigations go forward."

Democrats just called Trump's 'investigations' bluff (CNN link): In his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, President Donald Trump minced no words when it came to the ongoing -- and planned -- investigations into him and his Cabinet.

"If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation," Trump said, to murmurs of disapproval from many Democrats in the House chamber.

The message was simple: If you like the current run of economic prosperity and (relative) peace in the world, then you had better end the special counsel investigation being run by Robert Mueller and stop before you start any congressional investigations. If you don't, bad -- if amorphous -- things will happen to the country.

That threat didn't hold for 12 hours. By Wednesday morning, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (California) announced he was launching a wide-ranging inquiry into Trump's finances and whether financial considerations were driving decisions made by the administration.

The investigation will "allow us to investigate any credible allegation that financial interests or other interests are driving decision-making of the President or anyone in the administration," explained Schiff.

Also on Wednesday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (New York) forewarned acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker that he would be expected to answer questions -- and not simply cite executive privilege -- in a hearing scheduled for this Friday. Nadler has gone so far as to issue a subpoena to compel Whitaker to testify in the event the acting AG chooses not to answer questions Friday.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Pat Robertson: Global Warming Won’t Affect America Because God is Protecting Trump

The Lord's chosen nostril hairs.
Mod: That tedious fib-fest, delivered last night by the Reality TV star now faking it as our president, isn't worth the time it would take to chat about the topic. So instead maybe we'll talk about the Reality TV star who claims God choses to speak through him.

Robertson: Global Warming Won’t Affect America Because God is Protecting Trump (The Business Standard News link): Televangelist Pat Robertson has released some predictions for the New Year. And he claims that the United States will be protected from the ravages of climate change because of President Donald Trump.

“A few years ago, God came to me in a dream and said that if America elected Trump, he would protect us from the effects of global warming,” said Robertson on “The 700 Club.” “America had been sliding away from God, what with the ‘60s and Obama, but now we are back in God’s good graces, nothing bad is going to befall us.”

Like Robertson, the majority of Evangelicals are still solidly behind the bumbling Trump, who was recently accused of running national security based on his gut. Eighty-one percent of Evangelicals backed Trump.

However, fundamentalist preachers don’t have a great track record when it comes to making predictions. According to Right Wing Watch, self-proclaimed prophet Mark Taylor predicted that Republicans would win the midterm elections.

Another fundamentalist prophet, Kat Kerr, had an even crazier idea She claimed that Democrats, recently elected to the House of Representatives, were undercover Republicans.

“Similarly, self-proclaimed ‘prophetess’ Kat Kerr declared that her guarantee of a red tsunami had also been accurate, insisting that lots of the Democrats who had been elected to the House of Representatives were secretly Republican ‘scouts’ sent to infiltrate the party,” said Right Wing Watch.

Mod: Crazy? You bet. But no crazier than what you heard last night.