Sunday, April 21, 2019

How Does He Do It?

The latest voluntary political self-sacrifice

There is an ability that Donald Trump has that continues to astonish me.  That is his skill at getting people to destroy their reputations and their future credibility to provide him with the most temporary of escapes from his self-generated troubles.

Okay, I can understand how a public nobody like Kirsten Nielsen or Wilbur Ross will, when they have the highest position of their lives dangled in front of them, tell themselves that they are clever enough to escape the fate of all their predecessors in the Trump administration, and give the job a try.  But William Barr was already the Attorney General, however disgracefully he acted in that position, and he emerged pretty much unscathed.  He could go on to an honorary retirement on the basis of that.  What is it about Trump that could have led Barr to voluntarily offer himself up as a self-sacrifice, permanently dishonored within a month of taking office?  Barr must have seen what the result of his mendacious behavior would be, but he did it anyway.  Even Hitler had to have the threat of imprisonment or death to compel many people to follow him. How does Trump do it?  I just can't figure it out.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Count the Atrocities

As readers of my blog may remember, the number one mainstay of my posting for many years was a feature called Wingnut Wrapup, which documented on a regular basis, the monstrous lies that made up the entirety of the right wing internet world.  As I have said, I stopped compiling that information, because with the White House becoming as lunatic and unhinged from reality as anything online, who cared any more what Jim Hoft or Larry Klayman had to say?  The actions of the Trump administration and their Republican enablers are doing immediate and widespread damage to the country in a way far beyond what the financiers of Town Hall, Red State, etc. could have ever hoped for.

Well, I have thought for a while that perhaps it would be useful to document the moral and political outrages committed by the Trump administration on a daily basis, with Green Eagle's patented analysis provided too.  This compilation covers the last three days, and is a sort of test of concept.

WEDS APRIL 3

Things aren't bad enough on the border:

"In what sounded a bit like an Alex Jones fever dream, former Kansas Secretary of State and potential Trump administration appointee Kris Kobach suggested Wednesday that the government create “processing town” detention centers for asylum-seekers along the southern border...And so when someone comes in and falsely claims asylum, we don’t release them for six months onto the streets of the United States, we process them right there in that camp, where they have the three square meals, they’re living in a nice mobile home,” Kobach said. “And then as soon as they’re done, as soon as the claim is rejected, they’re on the next plane back home.”


"Processing towns."  Like this, I'm guessing:

And the best thing to do about real terrorism is ignore it, I guess:

"The Department of Homeland Security has disbanded a group of intelligence analysts who focused on domestic terrorism, The Daily Beast has learned. Numerous current and former DHS officials say they find the development concerning, as the threat of homegrown terrorism—including white supremacist terrorism—is growing.
“It’s especially problematic given the growth in right-wing extremism and domestic terrorism we are seeing in the U.S. and abroad,” one former intelligence official told The Daily Beast.

That should work really well.  And now some cutting edge science, from Donald Trump, which you have probably heard about by now:

"Trump Says Wind Turbine Noise Causes Cancer. (It Does Not.)
A power source that does cause many health problems, including cancer, is coal, an extremely dirty fuel Trump loves and has attempted to bolster, with almost no success. Aside from costing more to produce than other sources of power, and in addition to enormous air pollution side effects, coal also emits greenhouse gases in large amounts. Though this, of course, is another aspect of science Trump rejects."

Accuse your opponents of your own crimes- a tried and true Republican tactic.  Now on to a nice example of the degree to which Trump takes his responsibility to protect the American people seriously:

"After hundreds of crashes, (a) Britax jogging stroller faced recall. Then Trump appointees stepped in.   The crashes were brutal. With no warning, the front wheel on the three-wheeled BOB jogging strollers fell off, causing the carriages to careen and even flip over. Adults shattered bones. They tore ligaments. Children smashed their teeth. They gashed their faces. One child bled from his ear canal.
The untold story of the Britax case shows how changes in the safety agency’s leadership under President Trump influenced the handling of a product that the commission believed had injured consumers... the agency’s Republican chairwoman kept Democratic commissioners in the dark about the stroller investigation and then helped end the case in court.  These events occurred with little notice amid other, higher-profile deregulatory moves by the Trump administration."


THURS APRIL 4

The Treason Marches On

"RUSSIA INVESTIGATION"Some on Mueller team say evidence against Trump stronger than Barr disclosed...hey believe the evidence that Trump sought to impede the investigation is stronger than Barr suggested"
"A former federal prosecutor familiar with Barr's thinking said the attorney general believed the obstruction case was complicated by the fact that the questionable actions taken by Trump, such as firing his FBI director, were authorized under the powers of the presidency."
"Trump lawyers have pushed back against some of this reporting.
"They're a bunch of sneaky, unethical leakers," Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News about the Mueller team. "And they are rabid Democrats who hate the president of the United States, and I can't tell you how much false information they leaked during the course of the investigation."

Leaking false information...once again the standard Republican tactic of blaming your opponents for what you do every single day.  And now on to the way Trump is laboring to see that our economy remains stable:

"Trump plans to nominate Herman Cain to Fed board, a move that would escalate White House pressure on the central bank"

A former pizza parlor operator whose only well known national policy involves reducing income tax rates on the rich to 9%.  That should work out well, as should this:

"Kushner ID’d As Person Denied Clearance Due To Foreign Ties In Whistleblower Testimony"

I mean, who better to give access to our nations most vital secrets than someone in debt by hundreds of millions of dollars to hostile foreign countries?  And here's some more action from Republicans to insure that the quality of Trump's appointments remains at exactly the level we've seen the last two years:

"Senate GOPers Ram Through Rules Change To Expedite Trump Picks...The rules change limits debate on most nominees to two hours instead of 30. White House selections for the Cabinet, Supreme Court and appeals courts would be exempted from the new rules. Every Democrat opposed the maneuver, joined by two Republicans: Susan Collins of Maine and Mike Lee of Utah."

Just making sure that nobody knows who is in charge of our lives.  Presumably it will be more people like this Trump pick:

"Ethics experts sound alarm over confirmation process of Trump’s pick to lead NOAA...Barry Lee Myers, President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), moved one step closer to confirmation Wednesday after a Senate committee voted swiftly, with no debate, to advance his nomination.
(Myers' family business) AccuWeather...relies heavily on NOAA’s weather service data for its forecasts. Under Myers’ leadership, the company argued that NOAA should reduce the amount of weather information it releases directly to the public. In essence, AccuWeather sought to restrict public access to data funded by taxpayers and instead make it available exclusively to private companies that would then use the data in products sold to the public."

Just business as usual, nothing to see here.  With the Republican Senate approving people like this, why bother to have hearings at all?  But even this sort of thing pales in comparison to the following classic Trump proposal:

"Trump, airing grievances with immigration system, says U.S. needs to "get rid of judges"...(Trump) railed against the U.S. immigration system and said he wants to "get rid" of immigration judges who hear migrants' cases.
"And to be honest with you, have to get rid of judges," Mr. Trump said in his laundry list of frustrations with the U.S. immigration system."

We have to get rid of judges!  Just let Trump decide everything!  Why didn't we think of that before?  I mean, it worked so well in Germany.  Then we can have this sort of thing in every area of our lives:

"States sue Trump admin over rollbacks on school lunch standards"

Childrens' health?  Who the hell needs that?  Or who could be against this sort of thing from our President?

"Nuclear regulators were unaware of transfer of sensitive technical information to Saudi Arabia...When the Trump administration on seven occasions authorized companies to share sensitive nuclear energy information with Saudi Arabia, it was supposed to consult with several agencies, including the independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission."

I can see a future coming in which school lunches are a totally irrelevant issue, since all the children (and adults) will be dead.  A capitalist paradise!



FRI APRIL 5

Who could have doubted that this would be Trump's behavior after his "attorney general" released his coverup of the Mueller report?

"In the days after Attorney General William Barr released his four-page summary of Robert Mueller’s 300-plus-page report, Donald Trump veered between vindication and vindictiveness. The president told a friend he was going to make an enemies list of the Democrats and media figures who advanced the Russia narrative. “He was saying, ‘We’re going to go after them"..."Trump was feeling really good...Even on the question of obstruction, which Mueller left unresolved, Trump told a Republican that it didn’t matter if the report showed he broke the law."

Enemies list...hmm, I seem to remember one of those from a previous Presidential administration.  But even that guy didn't openly state that it didn't matter if he broke the law.  And yet his base remains firmly behind him.  And speaking of breaking the law, this is not a good sign:

"Trump withdraws ICE director pick to take agency in 'tougher direction'  “We’re going in a little different direction,” Trump said. “Ron’s a good man, but we’re going in a tougher direction. We want to go in a tougher direction.”

A tougher direction that putting children in concentration camps.  It will be really interesting to see what that amounts to.  Meanwhile, our leader is off to celebrate his signature "accomplishment:"

"The popular vote loser and would-be autocrat Donald Trump is off to the border Friday to visit the new commemorative plaque he commissioned for himself, praising himself for building a wall. The plaque hangs on a fence, which is not a wall, and the section it's hanging on is not new and according to Border Patrol is not even part of Trump's wall. But it's a shiny thing with Trump's name on it, so that's what counts."

And here it is, the plaque- the only new thing there at all.    Well, congratulations, President Trump, for your hard work.  Now, if you thought that the school lunch story was abominable, well, we are all in for it, I am afraid:

"Trump Is About to Make the Pork Industry Responsible for Inspecting Itself...USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is currently responsible for overseeing the kill line, making sure that tainted meat doesn’t enter the food supply. The plan would partially privatize federal oversight of pork facilities, cutting the number of federal inspectors by about 40 percent and replacing them with plant employees, Kindy adds. In other words, the task of ensuring the safety of the meat supply will largely shift from people paid by the public to people being paid by the meat industry."

Next: Trump issues regulation for murderers to try themselves.  As long as they are Republicans, of course.

And now the good news, from the Vanity Fair article quoted above:

"sources said Don Jr. is likely to emerge as the campaign’s chief strategist. “Unofficially, Don is the main political adviser,” a Republican close to the campaign said.  If there’s someone to challenge Don Jr.’s primacy at the campaign, it’s Jared Kushner."

Guaranteed to provide a smooth rollout of the Trump 2020 campaign, huh?  And let's just finish with a couple of better stories, to help you forget some of the above.  First, this news:

"Dog owners are much happier than cat owners, survey finds"

The article has this to say:

“A cat has absolute emotional honesty,” as Ernest Hemingway put it. “Human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.” 

Neither does Donald Trump.  Anyway, from another article:

‘It’s true companionship’: He’s biking around the world, with a cat on his back"

Companionship?  The guy is riding a bicycle all the way around the world, trying to get away from the cat and it won't let go.  That's sort of like us and Trump too.

Well, there you have it- three days in the world of Trump, and I am sure that I missed half of it.  What a life, huh?