Monday, December 31, 2018
There is this Tea Nut guy in my neighborhood who lives in a Trumped out camper truck. His colorful shtick includes his rather large pet pit bull, which he has fallen afoul of the law for on several occasions by taking it on walks at the local kid park.
"Trump's Pit Bull," as he calls himself, occasionally likes to wrap that happy pup up with cop-style yellow crime scene warning tape, which in his overly active mind means everyone has been fairly warned.
Most of the children using that park are Hispanic, and probably believe this mad gringo has brought his dog there to eat them. The Sheriffs, who are mostly Hispanic themselves, usually run him off. The damned fool then scampers away to our beautiful mountainous national forest where he camps out alone and listens to a lot of AM talk radio.
TPB's biggest splash in the neighborhood, however, is with that truck. When driving around he will have a large blue Trump flag flapping from the back, with a clearly misused old glory by its side. Donald's fat orange head, emblazoned on one side, looks on menacingly in a Big Brother sort of way at anyone watching this spectacle from their lawns or cars.
But now TPB has a dilemma. On the doggier side of the crazy truck is testimony to his love of "Mad Dog Mattis." And as any Tea Nutter will tell you, you can no longer love Donald and Mad Dog Mattis at the same time. It just is not done.
An Orwellian requirement of true Tea Nutterhood is once fired by The Donald, that accursed person must be hated by all true believers just as much as the portly POTUS hates him.
Immediately and with no equivocation.
Today is Mad Dog Mattis's last day at the White House. We'll let you know if there are any changes to the truck.
Posted by The Moderator at 7:00 AM
Sunday, December 30, 2018
Trump approved extra $129M to help House investigate Hillary. Now Pelosi has it. (Daily Kos link): 2019 is going to be great. 2020 even better. Yeah, the shutdown sucks, but I imagine it can only last so long—Trump’s 54,000 border patrol agents are currently not getting paid, nor are the farmers who can’t get their bailout payments until the furlough ends. Trump will cave, and its not going to get any better for him.
It has also been pointed out that Nancy could even put some funding aside in reserve, just in case Trump tries to fire Mueller and his team.
Posted by The Moderator at 7:30 AM
Saturday, December 29, 2018
Majority in poll want Trump impeached or censured (The Hill link): Nearly 60 percent of U.S. voters surveyed say President Trump should be either impeached and removed from office or formally censured, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill. The poll shows that a majority of voters polled think some kind of action should be taken against Trump, though they are divided on how far lawmakers should go as Democrats prepare to take over the House majority.
Impeachment would require a majority vote by the House — a possibility with a Democratic majority, though leadership in the party have been cautious on the topic. Conviction in the Senate would require a two-thirds vote, something unlikely in a body that will have 53 Republicans.
Twenty percent of poll respondents said lawmakers should vote to formally censure the president.
The poll results come as Trump faces criminal investigations in both Washington, D.C., and New York related to whether his campaign coordinated with Russian officials and actors to help sway the 2016 presidential election.
At the same time, federal prosecutors implicated Trump earlier this month in a separate case related to payments made to two women to keep them quiet about affairs they say they had with him. In a memo recommending a prison sentence for Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, federal prosecutors said Trump directed the payments to the two women to ward off a potential sex scandal as he sought the White House in 2016. Those payments, prosecutors argue, amounted to illegal contributions to the real estate mogul’s campaign.
Donald Trump will be impeached in 2019, says 'prediction professor' (DW.com link): The US president's basic conduct and politics are unlikely to change in 2019, but the new Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, coupled with the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, will lead to the impeachment of Donald Trump, predicts Allan Lichtman. "I think it's more likely than not he will get impeached," the American University professor told DW. After previously predicting 30 years of presidential elections correctly, Lichtman became a media phenomenon when he — against mainstream wisdom — predicted early on that Trump would win in 2016. Now Lichtman is convinced that as of 2019, and for the remainder of his term, Trump will be engaged in a fight to remain in office — a fight he well may lose.
That's because until now, Trump could rely on a Republican-controlled Congress to shield him from impeachment or removal from office proceedings — essentially a political trial process — which can be triggered by a single majority vote in the House of Representatives. That process has long been a hot topic among the president's opponents in the Democratic Party and, in the wake of the midterm elections that flipped the House, Democrats will hold a solid a majority in 2019.
As soon as the new Democratic-run House convenes on January 3 next year, impeaching Trump moves from theory to reality. And while top Democrats have so far routinely downplayed calls for impeachment by the so-called anti-Trump resistance movement and by lawmakers demanding a more aggressive stance against the president, the pressure to act could force the party's leaders to pursue it. "If Mueller comes up with some devastating findings, the Democratic base will demand impeachment," said Lichtman. "I think [Trump] is in grave peril from the Mueller probe."
Posted by The Moderator at 6:30 AM
Friday, December 28, 2018
Lying to Our Military: Trump Boasted 10% Raises to the Troops He Visited. The Actual Raise Is Much Lower
Trump Boasted 10% Raises to the Troops He Visited. The Actual Raise Is Much Lower (Time Magazine link): For years, sitting U.S. Presidents have shared the tradition of visiting military members around the holidays in order to boost morale. Former President Barack Obama visited the Marine Corps Base in Hawaii throughout his two terms, former President George W. Bush visited injured troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 2003 to 2008 and President Donald Trump visited Walter Reed in 2017.
“You protect us. We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, because you just got one of the biggest pay raises you’ve ever received,” he said. “You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years — more than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one.
However, figures from the Department of Defense indicate military personnel have received at least a 1% raise each year since 2007, adjusted to resemble pay increases in the private sector.
“They said: ‘You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3%. We could make it 2%. We could make it 4%.’ I said: ‘No. Make it 10%. Make it more than 10%.’”
But recent raises are nowhere near 10%. In fact, the increase in 2018 was just 2.4%, according to the Department of Defense figures. In 2019, it will be 2.6%, thanks to the Fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.
Although the raises offered under Trump’s administration are higher than those from 2011 through 2016 — which averaged at 1.3% per year — neither 2018’s or 2019’s represent the highest in the last decade.
Troops received a 3.9% boost in 2009.
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Mod: More grotesque and destructive incompetence from our worst president ever.
Donald Trump Twitter Account Video Reveals Covert U.S. Navy SEAL Deployment During Iraq Visit (Newsweek link): President Donald Trump and the White House communications team revealed that a U.S. Navy SEAL team was deployed to Iraq after the president secretly traveled to the region to meet with American forces serving in a combat zone for the first time since being elected to office.
While the commander-in-chief can declassify information, usually the specific special operations unit is not revealed to the American public, especially while U.S. service members are deployed. Official photographs and videos typically blur the individual faces of special operation forces, due to the sensitive nature of their job.
The president’s video posted Wednesday did not shield the faces of special operation forces. Current and former Defense Department officials told Newsweek that information concerning what units are deployed and where is almost always classified and is a violation of operational security.
Trump flew to Iraq late Christmas Day after facing a barrage of negative headlines over the holiday season amid a partial government shutdown. The president and first lady Melania Trump posed for pictures with U.S. service members at al-Asad air base in Iraq.
The clandestine trip came a week after Trump ordered the Pentagon to begin planning the withdraw of roughly 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria and around 7,000 from Afghanistan over the next few months. The abrupt decision prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who disagreed with the drawdown.
A pool report during Trump’s visit said the details of the trip were embargoed until the president finished giving his remarks to a group of about 100 mostly U.S. special operation troops engaged in combat operations in Iraq and Syria.
The pool report went on to say that Trump paused to take a selfie with U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Kyu Lee, who said he was the chaplain for SEAL Team Five, based out of Coronado, California. The chaplain said Trump told him: “Hey, in that case, let’s take a picture.”
After Air Force One left the Iraqi airspace, Trump posted a video to his Twitter account of his time spent with American forces during his visit to Iraq. Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” plays over the video and shows the president and the first lady posing for pictures with service members that appear to be from SEAL Team Five. The special warfare operators are dressed in full battle gear and wearing night vision goggles.
The video cuts to team members shaking the president’s hand before cutting to other special operations personnel and support troops.
Malcolm Nance, a former U.S. Navy intelligence specialist with experience in Iraq told Newsweek on Wednesday that posting the video was a break from traditional procedures that are usually strictly enforced and designed to safeguard the identities of U.S. special operation forces, especially when deployed to a combat zone.
“Operational security is the most important aspect of personnel deployments. The real names, faces, and identities, of personnel involved in special operations or activities, are usually a closely held secret in a combat zone,” Nance said. “Revealing them casually, through an unusual media exposure even if it’s the commander in chief, would prove a propaganda boom if any of this personnel are detained by a hostile government or captured by a terrorist group. There would be no denying who you are and what you do.”
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Mod: Businesses are just now beginning to bake impeachment into their 2019 plans. Personally I don't think the Democrats will make the big move until it appears that they don't have any other choice and are being forced by events to do so. Which will likely occur sometime around April. The full article is available at the link.
Markets are bracing for a more difficult 2019, with risks such as interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve and an escalation in U.S.-China trade tensions at the top of many people's minds. But the possible impeachment of Trump has rarely been discussed, partly because it still isn't clear whether Democrats will go down that route when they take control of the House in 2019.
"Democrats will do something on impeachment next year," he told CNBC's Nancy Hungerford on Wednesday.
Okun noted comments by Jerry Nadler, the expected chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, that Trump may have committed "impeachable offenses" if he's found to have a hand in paying hush money to several women.
Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly nearing the end of his investigation into whether Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential elections. He's expected to submit a report to the attorney general as early as mid-February, NBC News reported.
"Washington is going to shut down, literally ... because the president is not going to be able to focus on anything but that. I think that is a huge risk going into 2019," he added.
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Trump Gets Into Holiday Spirit By Raging At Everyone On Christmas Eve (Huffington Post link): President Donald Trump spent Christmas Eve “all alone” in the White House railing on Twitter against just about everyone as financial markets plunged and the federal government shutdown appeared likely to stretch into January.
Most lawmakers have left town amid a stalemate on legislation to reopen the government, which partially shut down Saturday and forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers off the job. Democrats have ardently rejected Trump’s demands for $5 billion to build the wall, and anticipate more leverage once they take the House majority in January.
Both men, Trump tweeted, were responsible for President Barack Obama’s “horrific” Iran nuclear deal that he terminated earlier this year.
“It’s Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement on Monday. “The stock market is tanking and the president is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve – after he just fired the Secretary of Defense.”
Mod: Apparently even Santa wasn't safe.
In a Christmas Eve call with a young child Monday night, Trump asked a 7-year-old named Coleman whether he or she still believes in Santa Claus, saying that was a "marginal" age for knowing the truth.
"Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven, it's marginal, right?" Trump asked the child.
The call came around 6:30 p.m. as the President and first lady Melania Trump spoke on separate phones to children whose calls to NORAD had been patched through to the White House lines.
Monday, December 24, 2018
CNBC Survey: Wealthy Republicans lose faith in Trump, as nearly 40% say they wouldn't vote to re-elect him
CNBC Survey: Wealthy Republicans lose faith in Trump, as nearly 40% say they wouldn't vote to re-elect him (CNBC link): The 2020 race for the White House is just barely under way, but the latest CNBC Millionaire Survey shows some troubling signs for the incumbent President Donald Trump, including an energized base of wealthy Democrats and unsteady support from wealthy Republicans. Just 34 percent of America's millionaires say they would vote to re-elect President Trump if the election were held today.
Among Republicans, Trump has lost more than one-third of wealthy voters, with only 62 percent of Republican millionaires saying they would vote for the president if the election were held today. Thirty-six percent of the overall vote was scattered among 10 different possible Democratic nominees, while 22 percent went to other Republicans.
It all started with Trump saying he would not sign a funding bill passed by the Senate because it does not include the $5 billion he has requested for border wall funding, all but guaranteeing a government shutdown. This stunned Republican lawmakers, CNN reports. When she heard about what Trump said, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) remarked, "Ugh, are you ruining my life?" Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) observed, "This is not a good situation." Politico reports the chaos literally made Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) laugh out loud, saying, "You can't make this stuff up!"
There was also a report Thursday that the administration plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, which Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), normally a Trump ally, said could be "paving the way toward a second 9/11."
"Yes, just like Mexico is paying for the wall," Corker tweeted, before using the hashtag "#AlertTheDaycareStaff."
Corker has been repeatedly critical of the Trump administration, and has previously referred to the White House as an "an adult day care center."
The latest statement from Corker came after Trump ripped into the senator over an earlier Sunday show appearance in a pair of tweets.
Sunday, December 23, 2018
Robert Reich: The End of Trump Is Near (Daily Kos link): This morning I phoned my friend, the former Republican member of Congress.
ME: So, what are you hearing?
HE: Trump is in deep sh*t.
ME: Tell me more.
HE: When it looked like he was backing down on the wall, Rush and the crazies on Fox went ballistic. So he has to do the shutdown to keep the base happy. They’re his insurance policy. They stand between him and impeachment.
ME: Impeachment? No chance. Senate Republicans would never go along.
HE (laughing): Don’t be so sure. Corporate and Wall Street are up in arms. Trade war was bad enough. Now, you’ve got Mattis resigning in protest. Trump pulling out of Syria, giving Putin a huge win. This dumbass shutdown. The stock market in free-fall. The economy heading for recession.
ME: But the base loves him.
HE: Yeah, but the base doesn’t pay the bills.
ME: You mean …
HE: Follow the money, friend.
ME: The GOP’s backers have had enough?
HE: They wanted Pence all along.
ME: So …
HE: So they’ll wait until Mueller’s report, which will skewer Trump. Pelosi will wait, too. Then after the Mueller bombshell, she’ll get 20, 30, maybe even 40 Republicans to join in an impeachment resolution.
ME: And then?
HE: Senate Republicans hope that’ll be enough -- that Trump will pull a Nixon.
ME: So you think he’ll resign?
HE (laughing): No chance. He’s fu*king out of his mind. He’ll rile up his base into a fever. Rallies around the country. Tweet storms. Hannity. Oh, it’s gonna be ugly. He’ll convince himself he’ll survive.
ME: And then?
HE: That’s when Senate Republicans pull the trigger.
ME: Really? Two-thirds of the Senate?
HE: Do the math. 47 Dems will be on board, so you need 19 Republicans. I can name almost that many who are already there. Won’t be hard to find the votes.
ME: But it will take months. And the country will be put through a ringer.
HE: I know. That’s the worst part.
ME: I mean, we could have civil war.
HE: Hell, no. That’s what he wants, but no chance. His approvals will be in the cellar. America will be glad to get rid of him.
ME: I hope you're right.
HE: He’s a dangerous menace. He’ll be gone. And then he'll be indicted, and Pence will pardon him. But the state investigations may put him in the clinker. Good riddance.'
Saturday, December 22, 2018
President Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, remarked: “The idea that Putin is happy about this [Trump's decision to withdraw US forces from Syria] is ridiculous. It puts them at a greater risk, so I think that's just silly.” To the contrary, the idea of an American withdrawal from Syria is being widely perceived in Russia as “a total dream come true” if it truly takes place.
Texas Representative Lloyd Doggett told The New York Times that the move to lift Rusal sanctions amounted to Trump “sliding another big gift under Vladimir Putin’s Christmas tree.” The gesture is certainly being interpreted that way in Russia. Deripaska’s attorneys are reportedly mounting an aggressive campaign to pursue the removal of personal sanctions from the Putin-linked oligarch as well.
Discussing the planned departure of the U.S. from Syria, state TV host Olga Skabeeva pondered why Trump suddenly decided to leave at this point in time: “Americans say, it’s because he is beholden to Putin. Is that logical? Yes, it is.”
Posted by The Moderator at 6:00 AM
Friday, December 21, 2018
Jim Bakker: God Chose Trump so Christians Could Prepare For the End Times (BeliefNet.com link): Jim Bakker is a well-known End Times prepper in the Christian sphere. On one of his recent television broadcasts, he said that God told him that President Trump was elected in order to give Christians enough time to prepare for the return of Jesus Christ.
“Have you ever seen a time when we hate our president like the people do now?” Bakker stated. “Literally half the nation hates the president and would probably kill him if they got a chance.”
Bakker prayed to God and asked Him why the climate was turning into the way it was. He stated that God told him “you are in Revelation, Chapter 6,” which tells of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Furthermore, God told Bakker that the first horse of the Apocalypse had been released on earth.
“This is what He told me,” Bakker claimed. “He said, ‘Donald Trump is a respite in this troubled times and I sent him in grace to give you time to prepare for what’s coming on earth.’”
Bakker isn’t the first person to believe that our current climate is showing signs that the end of the world is coming shortly. There are many other prominent Christians theorizing that problems between the nations, lack of faith, and the like are prophecies straight from the Bible.
What do you think? Do you believe Trump was sent by God to warn us of the End Times?
“There’s going to be an intervention,” a former senior White House official told the Post. “Jim Mattis just sent a shot across the bow. He’s the most credible member of the administration by five grades of magnitude. He’s the steady, safe set of hands. And this letter is brutal. He quit because of the madness.”
The situation inside the White House was dire Thursday night, the report said. A Republican close to the White House told The Washington Post that Trump was in “a tailspin,” acting “totally irrationally” and “flipping out.”
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Rudy Giuliani lied about a Trump Tower Moscow letter of intent. CNN has receipts. Trump personally signed it.
Rudy Giuliani lied about a Trump Tower Moscow letter of intent - CNN has receipts (Vox link): On Tuesday evening, CNN host Chris Cuomo announced that the network has obtained a letter of intent personally signed by Donald Trump to proceed with a lucrative Trump Tower Moscow project that would have provided his company with a $4 million upfront fee.
Cuomo brandished the document on his show and highlighted how it contrasts with what Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said as recently as Sunday, when he told CNN that Trump Tower Moscow “was a real estate project. There was a letter of intent to go forward, but no one signed it.”
Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, told Congress last year that Trump signed the document. CNN has now published proof.
CNN reports that the non-binding letter of intent — also signed by Andrey Rozov, owner of the Russian firm that would have partnered with the Trump Organization on the project, I.C. Expert Investment Co. — outlined a deal that would have given Trump’s company “a $4 million upfront fee, no upfront costs, a percentage of the sales and control over marketing and design. The deal also included an opportunity to name the hotel spa after Trump’s daughter Ivanka.”
Even though he personally signed a letter of intent for Trump Tower Moscow, Trump repeatedly claimed during his campaign that he had “nothing to do with Russia” and “I know nothing about Russia ... I don’t deal there.” During a news conference held days before his inauguration, Trump offered a comment that now seems especially dubious in light of the signed letter of intent. “I have no dealings with Russia, I have no deals in Russia, I have no deals that could happen in Russia because we stayed away,” Trump said. “We could make deals in Russia very easily if we wanted to. I just don’t want to because I think that would be a conflict. So I have no loans, no dealings, and no current pending deals.”
Trump has already tried to rewrite this history. After Cohen agreed to a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller last month that acknowledged he made false statements to Congress about the Trump Organization’s dealings with Russia, Trump claimed “everybody knew” about his secret business dealings with Russia. In a tweet posted November 30, Trump even characterized his dealings as “very legal & very cool.”
During a question-and-answer session with reporters on November 29, Trump referred to the letter of intent but suggested he never signed it. “I don’t even remember it,” Trump said. In tweets posted that same day, Trump hinted at a line new of defense — that even if he didn’t tell the truth about his dealings with Russia, lying is not a crime, and therefore the Mueller investigation “is an illegal Hoax that should be ended immediately.”
The president has also emphasized that the deal didn’t end up happening in the end. “I didn’t do the project, I decided not to do the project, so I didn’t do it,” he said on November 29.
But as Cuomo highlighted during his show on Tuesday evening, legal defenses are one thing — lying to voters about your business dealings with a foreign adversary during a presidential campaign in which that adversary is interfering in the election on your behalf is another.
“Why are they doing this?” Cuomo said, referring to the disconnect between Giuliani’s comment that “no one signed” the letter of intent, and the document affixed with Trump’s signature. “This doesn’t matter legally, and that’s the point — they’re not preparing for trial. Don’t examine it that way. They are preparing for a PR campaign to convince you of what they want you to believe.”
After CNN obtained the letter of intent signed by Trump, Giuliani told the New York Daily News that the letter is “bullshit because it didn’t go anywhere.”
“That was the end of it,” he added. “It means nothing but an expression of interest that means very little unless it goes to a contract and it never did.”
Giuliani also flatly denied saying what he said on Sunday, when he told CNN that “no one signed the letter.”
“I don’t think I said nobody signed it,” Giuliani said to the Daily News.
Posted by The Moderator at 4:30 AM