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Memo to Trump: Don't Forget to Turn Off the Lights On Your Way Out

There is a hugely scathing (and in my view, pretty accurate) op-ed in today's New York Times by Frank Bruni, The Week When ... Trump Resigned.

Bruni opines that Trump voluntarily abdicated the Oval Office on Tuesday: [More...]

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White House Confirms Steve Bannon is Out

Sarah Huckabee Sanders today at the press briefing:

“White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”

Am I the only one who sees Jared's and Ivanka's hand in this?

The Washington Post must have been in a hurry to get this news out. It's rare to seem them print a typo like this:[More...]

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Donald Trump is No "Teflon Don"

Donald Trump may already be a lame-duck. He is so embattled that none of his plans are going through and Congress is practically at a stand-still.

The White House announced yesterday he was ending two advisory commissions: one on manufacturing and one on infrastructure.

"[Donald Trump] has announced the end of the Manufacturing Council and the Strategy & Policy Forum. In addition, the President's Advisory Council on Infrastructure, which was still being formed, will not move forward," a White House official said Thursday.

The Teflon Don he is not. Republicans are so concerned about his effect on their re-election, they are distancing themselves from his as much as possible. Democrats just want to scrape him off the bottom of their shoes. His chances of doing anything while occupying a desk in the Oval Office are zilch.

Will he resign? Don't count the chickens before they're hatched. The pressure must stay on and the media must do the job now they failed to do during his campaign. [More...]

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National Revile at Donald Trump

Donald Trump keeps imploding. Here's the transcript and video of his latest debacle. How bad was it?

“You had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest, and very legally protest – because I don’t know if you know, they had a permit,” Trump helpfully explained to the astonished press corps at Trump Tower. “The other group didn’t have a permit. So I only tell you this: there are two sides to a story.”

From Richard Wolffe at the Guardian:

Sadly for Trump, there is only one side to the political reaction to his comments: sheer disgust. As an apologist for racist protestors – even though they obtained a precious permit – Trump has magically created a sense of spine in his own Republican party.

I agree about the disgust, but I do not think Republicans have that kind of spine. I wish they did.

Trump's response to Charlottesville is utterly predictable. Since he has such a limited playbook, his reaction to the negative publicity is also likely to be predictable. Which member of his team will he turn on and blame for the negative reaction? I suspect it will be the one who encouraged him to walk down this thorny path. Steve Bannon comes to mind. [More...]

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New Yorkers Protests as Trump Visits Trump Tower

Donald Trump returned to Trump Tower yesterday. He was met by throngs of protesters and Bronx cheers.

Trump Protesters are a very very diverse group. Not so much Trump supporters (from one of his campaign rallies):

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Guam Issues Safety Guidelines for Nuclear Attack

Via Reuters: Guam has issued safety guidelines to follow in case of a nuclear attack:

Guam posted emergency guidelines on Friday to help residents prepare for any potential nuclear attack after a threat from North Korea to fire missiles in the vicinity of the U.S. Pacific territory.

The main safety advice seems to be:

Do not look at the flash or fireball – It can blind you," it said. "Take cover behind anything that might offer protection."

"Remove your clothing to keep radioactive material from spreading. Removing the outer layer of clothing can remove up to 90% of radioactive material," read the guidelines of what to do if caught outside.

Until I read that Donald Trump and his entire family have taken a sudden trip across the globe, I'm not worried. I don't think he cares a whit about putting Americans in danger -- so long as his children and and extended family is safe.

Is anyone surprised that he's only had a desk in the oval office for 7 1/2 months and he's already got his tiny finger on the button, itching to push it?

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Donald Trump's Russia Signing Statement

Here is Donald Trump's signing statement on the Russia Sanctions bill. The meat:

....Still, the bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate. Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together. The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice.

....I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.

He is such an embarrassment to America.

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DHS to "Waive Laws" for Border Wall at San Diego

The Department of Homeland Security issued a press release today stating it is "waiving" the law to start building sections of Donald Trump's "border wall" in San Diego.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a waiver to waive certain laws, regulations and other legal requirements to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads in the vicinity of the international border near San Diego. The waiver will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days.

... The [San Diego]sector remains an area of high illegal entry for which there is an immediate need to improve current infrastructure and construct additional border barriers and roads. To begin to meet the need for additional border infrastructure in this area, DHS will implement various border infrastructure projects. These projects will focus on an approximately 15-mile segment of the border within the San Diego Sector that starts at the Pacific Ocean and extends eastward, to approximately one mile east of what is known as Border Monument 251.

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Scaramucci: Don't Let the Door Hit You....

Anthony Scaramucci is out as Trump's Communications Director. He lasted 9 days. Reports are it was at the best of the newly installed John Kelly.

The New York Times reports Page 6 is having a field day with the reports that his wife filed for divorce and gave birth to their second child just last week while he was in D.C.

They ought to install revolving doors at the White House.

Over at Yahoo News, Robert Reich has a column, Donald Trump: The Biggest Loser. [More...]

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Reince Priebus Out as Chief of Staff

Reince Priebus is out as Donald Trump's Chief of Staff. John Kelly, currently the head of Homeland Security, will replace him.

Donald Trump seems to be rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. He and his inexperienced family members, masquerading as policy makers, are the problem, not his underlings.

Every thing he does is a fail.

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Scaramucci Goes Off the Charts With Fuming Tirade

Don't miss this article by Ryan Lizza in today's New Yorker. Anthony Scaramucci called him last night and went beserk over Lizza's reporting who was eating at the White House last night. He demanded to know who leaked it and when Lizza would not say, he unleashed his fury on leakers, threatened to fire the whole team, and in a graphic, expletive-filled tirade, went after Chief of Staff Reince Priebus:

They’ll all be fired by me,” he said. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.” The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn’t been invited. “Reince is a f*cking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said. He channelled Priebus as he spoke: “ ‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the f*cking thing and see if I can c*ck-block these people the way I c*ck-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’ ” (Priebus did not respond to a request for comment.)

Same thing when he talked about Steve Bannon: [More...]

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Another Health Care Setback for Donald Trump

The bully in the oval office lost today. The Senate voted against repealing the Affordable Health Care Act (Obama Care) without a replacement. Also,

On Tuesday night, a version of a repeal and replace plan, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, failed to overcome a parliamentary objection that the bill had not yet been scored by the Congressional Budget Office.


Here's how they voted
.

There are a lot of Republican plans in the works. Here's how they compare.

There may be a vote later this week on whatever Republicans settle on. But they are all bad.

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Trump Ramps Up Criticism of AG Sessions

Donald Trump is increasing his attacks on Jeff Sessions. In addition to his recusal on Russia, he's now focusing on investigating Hillary Clinton. He says Sessions is weak on this.

This is classic deflection. He wants the attention off of his children. In his desire to protect them, he's turned into even more of a bullying dictator. Now he not only wants to dictate the outcome of DOJ investigations, he wants to choose what DOJ investigates.

With every turn of the media pump's handle informing us of new allegations of malfeasance by Team Trump, he blasts up the pressure on Republicans. At what point do they feel like fools for voting for him?

Trump seems worried. He must know he's in deep water. He also knows that calling for investigating Hillary will re-energize his under-informed base. He can't afford to lose their support.

Now that he's has a few cabinet and judicial confirmations under his belt, I wouldn't put it past him to try and sneak Rudy Giuliani in the back door to replace Jefferson Sessions. I doubt he's seriously considering Ted Cruz (as was speculated in yesterday's media) because I don't think he'd ever fully trust him. (Cruz will never forget how he used to call him "Lyin' Ted". Neither will we.)

If Rudy Giuliani gets any speaking role in the Trump Administration, I'm going to have a lot of fun re-posting all his peccadilloes. And there are legions of them.

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Repeal of Affordable Health Care Act Advances in Senate

An ailing John McCain flies in to vote, Republicans once again kowtow to the Charlatan's boisterous threats, and Mike Pence breaks a tie vote. The Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act advances.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows..... The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles.

This is an utter train wreck that is barreling towards us. [More...]

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Jefferson Sessions vs. Sergey Kislyak: Whom to Believe?

According to the Washington Post:

Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

The source of information is current and former U.S. officials. Did Donald Trump order this leaked as payback for Sessions' recusal or Sessions' statement this week he won't step down? If so, the only person I can think of who fights dirtier is Senor de los Cielos. [More...]

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