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Spicer Digs Himself a Bigger Hole

On the opening days of Passover, and the anniversary of the U.S. liberation of Buchenwald Concentration Camp (4/11/1945) Sean Spicer dug himself a hole on the Holocaust. He's still apologizing.

His two biggest gaffes: saying Hitler didn't gas his own people and referring to Hitler's death camps as "Holocaust Centers" (as if they are stores located in shopping malls.) The correct term is killing centers. There were also, of course, concentration camps.) [More...]

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NPR: Trump No Longer Defending Bannon

NPR says Donald Trump is no longer backing Steve Bannon in interviews, which it takes as a signal that Bannon is soon to be out of a job.

The reason, like with other departed Trump aides, is a clash with family members, particularly Prince Jared.

And so we learn Trump has another unappealing trait: The inability to be loyal to anyone who is not related to him. (Which seems to be more fealty than loyalty.) Among his roadside-kill: Chris Christie, Corey Lewandowski, even Rudy Giuliani (That's not to say he showed anything but bad judgment in picking them -- only that once he did, he dropped them the minute they ran into bad weather.) Here's what he said about Bannon:

"I like Steve, but you have to remember, he was not involved in my campaign until very late," Trump said. "I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn't know Steve. I'm my own strategist, and it wasn't like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary."

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AG Sessions Border Rant

Update: Sessions may have been misquoted.

Simply unacceptable comments by Jefferson Sessions. Pretty soon I will refuse to preface his name with the words "Attorney General." He doesn't deserve the respect that has traditionally accompanied the title.

He also returned to a common theme from the Trump campaign by saying drug cartels and criminal gangs are turning American cities into “war zones” by raping and killing innocent people.

“It is here, on this sliver of land, where we first take our stand against this filth,” he said.

I wonder how many AUSA's will have the courage to quit and refuse to be part of implementing Sessions' and Trump's filthy agenda.

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ISIS Says U.S. is Being Run By an "Idiot"

ISIS has released an official 37 minute audio statement in Arabic by spokesman Abi al-Hassan al-Muhajer. It is ISIS's first reference to Donald Trump since he acquired a desk in the Oval Office.
He said the United States is "being run by an idiot".

"America you have drowned and there is no savior, and you have become prey for the soldiers of the caliphate in every part of the earth, you are bankrupt and the signs of your demise are evident to every eye." "... There is no more evidence than the fact that you are being run by an idiot who does not know what Syria or Iraq or Islam is," he said in a recording released on Tuesday on messaging network Telegram.

Al-Muhajir called for more attacks on the U.S., Russia and Europe. The name of the statement translates to "Patience, the promise of Go-d is truth". (Others have it as "So be patient. Indeed, the promise of Allah is truth")

The statement was released through the al-Furqan Foundation, which publishes many of ISIS's most important audio & video releases.

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Trump's Border Wall Funding in Trouble

Donald Trump was wrong when he promised America that Mexico would pay for his border wall. Then he said the U.S. would pay for it. He submitted a budget to Congress. Republicans say they probably will leave it out of the final 2017 budget. They said it's better taken up as a supplemental stand-alone bill due to the opposition to it.

Senator Roy Blunt said cash for the wall would be left out of a spending bill that must pass by 28 April to avert a partial government shutdown.

His remarks came on Tuesday after Mr Trump requested a supplemental funding bill to include money for the wall along with military programmes.

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Pay Your Own Way Petition Close to 200k Votes

The Change.org petition to make Melania Trump pay her own security costs at Trump Tower until she moves to the White House has 198,000 votes.

“The U.S. taxpayer is paying an exorbitant amount of money to protect the First Lady in Trump Tower, located in New York City,” the petition reads. “As to help relieve the national debt, this expense yields no positive results for the nation and should be cut from being funded.”

Yesterday, there were only 108,000 votes.

The NYPD estimated it costs between $127,000 and $146,000 per day to protect Mrs. Trump and Barron while President Trump is out of town, according to the New York Times. The cost to guard Mr. Trump and his family between the election and Inauguration Day reached $24 million, the NYPD said.

The petition now goes to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. (I'm not sure what they are expected to do with it.)

Donald, meanwhile, says his duties are so important he should be immune from having to answer a state lawsuit against him. Gloria Allred disagrees.

1,392 days and counting.

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SuperKush to Save America

He's a bird, he's a plane, he's SUPERKUSH!

All Hail Family Trump. Today it's the son in law with zero policy or political experience who had already been tapped by the "me, my, mine" Trump to bring peace to the middle east and handle our trade relations with Mexico. Now he gets his own Yuuge Department so he can play with some real moguls like Bill Gates and rid the world of opiate addiction.

The Washington Post reports on Trump's announcement of the creation of the White House Office on Innovation, to be led by Kushner, advised by Trump's preferred list of billionaires, including Apple chief executive Tim Cook and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

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Trump Blames Dems For Failure of Health Care Bill

TrumpCare is dead. Republicans, not having enough votes, pulled the bill.

Trump is not "the closer" he thought he was. The Washington Post reports: [More...]

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Trump Threatens GOP on Health Care Bill

Trump issues an ultimatum to Republicans on his health care bill: Take it or I'll move on.

Republicans should tell him to move on.

The move was a high-risk gamble for the president and speaker, who have both invested significant political capital in passing legislation that would rewrite the 2010 Affordable Care Act. For Trump, who campaigned as a skilled dealmaker capable of forging a good deal on behalf of Americans, it could either vindicate or undercut one of his signature claims. If the measure fails, it would mean that Obamacare — something that congressional Republicans have railed against for seven years — would remain in place.

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Trump, Russian Connections, Falsehoods and an Empty Gin Bottle

Spicer can try all he wants to distance Trump from Paul Manafort, but until Donald Trump removes his campaign website, his past announcements about Manafort are there for all to see. Spicy yesterday:

Spicer on Monday described the former campaign chairman as someone “who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.” He also said Manafort was hired in June, even though he was brought on board in March.
As Foreign Policy reports, ..."White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon led the Trump campaign for 83 days, compared to Manafort’s 144 days"

Factcheck from Trump's campaign website: Trump announces Manafort joining team, 3/29/16 [More...]

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Ivanka Trump to Get West Wing Office Space

Does this family ever tell the truth about anything? Via Politico:

Ivanka Trump, who moved to Washington, D.C., saying she would play no formal role in her father’s administration, is now officially setting up shop in the White House.

The powerful first daughter has secured her own office on the West Wing’s second floor — a space next to senior adviser Dina Powell, who was recently promoted to a position on the National Security Council. She is also in the process of obtaining a security clearance, and is set to receive government-issued communications devices this week.

Ivanka has also lawyered up, with the same lawyer representing her husband on conflict issues (who publicly assured us all there were none): Former Deputy AG Jamie Gorelick. [More...]

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Trump Kids Visit Aspen, 100 Secret Service Agents In Tow

There were anti-Trump protests in Aspen today where the Trump siblings and their children, along with their Secret Service entourage, are visiting for a family holiday.

The Aspen Times reports Donald Trump's adult children are visiting Aspen (with their 8 children) this weekend, along with their Secret Service Agent entourage, which are estimated to include 100 agents.

Props to Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo who says his agency will not be providing security for the Trump kids' vacation:

the U.S. Secret Service has not contacted him about the visit, DiSalvo said. Regardless, he said he would not offer his department’s aid for their visit.

“We’re doing absolutely nothing,” DiSalvo said of assisting the Secret Service. “Our responsibility is to the president and the first lady, not friends or family members.”

The Secret Service signed a contract with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (which teaches local young children to ski) for $12, 208.25, but it looks like they fudged on what it was for: The contract says rental ski equipment and clothing, but the club doesn't rent ski equipment. And the Club's director says he doesn't know anything about the contract. And, get this, the contract had a phony phone and fax number. [More...]

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Preet Bharara Fired as SDNY US Attorney

Donald Trump personally summoned U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to Trump Tower after the election and asked him to stay on as U.S. Attorney. He agreed. Jeff Sessions also asked him to stay on and he said he would.

Today, he's fired. Bharara confirmed the firing on his twitter account.

I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.

Trump now gets another label: Double-crosser.[More...]

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Republican's Unveil Their Inadequate Health Care Bill

I didn't have to read a word of the Republican proposed health care bill to know it would be an as*-backwards approach to medical care. I've now read one article, and need go no further than this to prove the point: It swaps penalties for not buying insurance for penalties for letting it lapse:

People who let their insurance coverage lapse, however, would face a significant penalty. Insurers could increase their premiums by 30 percent, and in that sense, Republicans would replace a penalty for not having insurance with a new penalty for allowing insurance to lapse.

No major health care bill passes without months or years of discussion and amendments. The final version is always a compromise, and looks little like the original proposal. So other than demonstrating once again, what bad ideas Republicans have, I'm not going to be reading too much about it as of now, but for those of you who are worried about it, here's a place to discuss it.

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Donald Trump Signs New Travel Ban

Donald Trump has signed a new executive order banning people from six countries from getting visas for 90 days. (Iraq was omitted.) You can read the order here. Trump also issued a Memorandum for the Secretary of State on how it is to be implemented, which you can read here.

Also, according to the Washington Post article linked above:

the nation’s refu­gee program will be suspended for 120 days, and it will not accept more than 50,000 refugees in a year, down from the 110,000 cap set by the Obama administration.

A few other exceptions were included: [More...]

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