Posted by: maboulette | January 14, 2019

Ted Lieu Drops A House On Donald Trump


lieu

We’re now more than three weeks into Donald Trump’s pointless, absurd, and increasingly harmful government shutdown over his imaginary border wall. This comes even as we learn more details by the day about Trump’s status as a Russian spy, and the extent he’s gone to hide his espionage from everyone, including his own staff.

HOW TO END

Yesterday the news broke that Donald Trump has no idea how to end the shutdown, and that it could last for several more weeks. Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu has been going after Donald Trump loudly and strongly from day one. The news prompted Lieu to drop a proverbial house on Trump’s head.

LIEU TWEET

Ted Lieu posted this tweet: “Trump is President of the most powerful nation on earth. But @realDonaldTrump spent this weekend, during a shutdown he caused, alone in the White House twiddling his thumbs. That’s not strength, it’s impotence. And it’s embarrassing. Mr. President: Reopen our government.”

IMPOTENT

That’s right, a prominent member of Congress just called the President of the United States “impotent” – and he’s totally justified in doing so. In addition to everything else that’s wrong, failed, objectionable, and criminal about Trump’s illegitimate presidency, he’s too impotent at politics to function on even a basic level.

END THREAT

Ted Lieu also sought to put an end to Donald Trump’s hollow threat to magically fund his border wall by declaring a national emergency. Lieu pointed out that funding simply doesn’t work that way: “Could Trump declare a national emergency due to Afghanistan and build a beautiful fleet of low tech blimps that Congress refused to authorize? NO.”

 

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trump recent

During Friday’s meeting at the White House over the ongoing shutdown standoff, President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made little substantive progress as Pelosi and Schumer urged Trump to reopen the government by Tuesday, according to three people familiar with the meeting.

ONE SOURCE

One of these knowledgeable sources told The Daily Beast President Trump kicked off the meeting with a rant lasting roughly 15 minutes that included his $5.6 billion demand for a border wall, and threatened that he was willing to keep the government closed for “years” if that’s what it took to get his wall. He also, unprompted, brought up the Democrats who want him impeached, and even blamed Pelosi for new Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib saying at a party earlier this week that Democrats would impeach the “motherfucker” Trump. (It is unclear why Trump would think Pelosi was responsible for this.)

TOO POPULAR  TO IMPEACH

Trump proceeded to tell the room he was too popular to impeach. Along with saying the word “fuck” at least three times throughout the meeting, the president bizarrely stated that he did not want to call the partial government shutdown a “shutdown,” according to the source. Instead, he referred to it as a “strike.” (Many of the federal employees affected by the weeks-long shutdown have been working without pay. That is essentially the opposite of a strike.)

VISIBLY SHAKING HEADS

During the course of this meeting, the Democrats in the room were visibly shaking their heads in exasperation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was one of the Republicans in the room. An aide to McConnell did not provide a readout of the meeting—citing office policy—but noted that the senator rarely talks in such sessions.

ANOTHER SOURCE

Another person familiar with the meeting disputed that Trump said “fuck” three times, though conceded he said it once.

THIRD SOURCE

This third source contended that the president “didn’t bring up impeachment unprompted,” but did so in the “context of how he wants to work together” with Democratic lawmakers and how impeachment efforts would be counterproductive to that. The source added that the little that McConnell did contribute included calling on Democrats to work this weekend on a solution to the shutdown impasse.

NO RESPOND

The White House did not respond to a request for comment as of press time. But according to one source familiar with the meeting, Schumer did press the president to reopen the government before continuing negotiations on a border wall. Otherwise, the Senator suggested, the president was effectively using government employees and shuttered government agencies as leverage.

TRUMP TO SCHUMER

“I’m not going to say it’s for leverage, but I’m not going to get a deal unless I do this,” the president replied, according to the source.

The Democrats in the room shook their heads, the source said, as if to say “so, you’re doing it for leverage…”

 SATURDAY MEETING

Senior Trump administration officials and Democratic congressional staffers failed on Saturday to break a deadlock over a proposed border wall and end a two-week-old partial government shutdown, but will meet again on Sunday.

STILL $5.6

President Donald Trump is demanding $5.6 billion to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico but Democrats in control of the House of Representatives this week passed a bill to reopen the government without providing additional funding for the wall.

Trump says he will not sign the bill until he gets the money for the wall.

VP PENCE

Vice President Mike Pence led the administration’s team in a meeting with Democratic negotiators on Saturday. An aide to Pence said the meeting was “productive” but that there was “no in-depth conversation about [a] dollar figure

 ACTING WH CHIEF OF STAFF

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told CNN, “We didn’t make much progress at the meeting, which was surprising to me.”

The two sides agreed to meet again on Sunday.

 


angry trump

 

The president’s isolation appears to be showing. After issuing a video with an underhanded insult on Americans spending New Year’s Eve partying while he said he’s “working,” 

The president’s isolation is showing.

ALL-CAPS RANT

After issuing a video with an underhanded insult on Americans spending New Year’s Eve partying while he said he’s “working,” President Donald Trump unleashed an all-caps rant.

WHO’S PAYING FOR WALL

 “MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL through the many billions of dollars a year that the U.S.A. is saving through the new Trade Deal, the USMCA, that will replace the horrendous NAFTA Trade Deal, which has so badly hurt our Country. Mexico & Canada will also thrive – good for all!” the president said.

DEMOCRATS

“The Democrats will probably submit a Bill, being cute as always, which gives everything away but gives NOTHING to Border Security, namely the Wall. You see, without the Wall there can be no Border Security – the Tech “stuff” is just, by comparison, meaningless bells & whistles,” Trump continued moments later. “Remember this. Throughout the ages some things NEVER get better and NEVER change. You have Walls and you have Wheels. It was ALWAYS that way and it will ALWAYS be that way! Please explain to the Democrats that there can NEVER be a replacement for a good old fashioned WALL!”

 

Posted by: maboulette | December 28, 2018

Trump Made a Mess of Trip to Visit Troops in Iraq


troops

On Christmas night Trump and Melania took off for a surprise trip to Iraq, where the president visited with the active duty service members in a combat zone for the first time since taking office. Accompanying the trip was the requisite hype video, this one set to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.”

CONTROVERSIES

This being Trump, the trip overseas wasn’t without a small flurry of controversies. Newsweek even pointed out that the hype video may have revealed the location of SEAL Team Five, a covert operations unit. In the video, Trump appears to be shaking hands with members of the unit, and a pool report notes that he took a picture with U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Kyu Lee, who identified himself as the unit’s chaplain.

OPERATIONAL SECURITY

“Operational security is the most important aspect of personnel deployments,” former intelligence specialist Malcolm Nance told Newsweek. “The real names, faces, and identities, of personnel involved in special operations or activities, are usually a closely held secret in a combat zone. 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.”

VIDEO ENDS

The video ends with some shots of Trump in a bomber jacket speaking to an assemblage of troops. This, too, wound up being problematic. Marred by partisan rhetoric and lies, the address was almost indistinguishable from one he might give at a campaign rallies. “The Democrats don’t want to let us have strong borders,” the president griped. He then trailed off, talking about how the troops he was addressing are “modern-day warriors,” before musing that the best way to get the wall would be to tell Democrats that he doesn’t want it. “I figured out the solution,” he said. “First Lady, tell Nancy Pelosi I don’t want the wall.”

TOLD THE TROOPS

Trump also told the troops, falsely, that they hadn’t received a pay raise in 10 years before he took office (they’ve received one each of the last 10 years) and that he’d secured for them a pay raise of “more than 10 percent” (service members will see a 2.6 percent pay bump in 2019, up from 2.4 percent in 2018). “We had plenty of people that came up,” began the president, “they said, ‘You know, we can make it smaller. We can make it 3 percent. We can make it 2 percent. We can make it 4 percent.’ I said, ‘No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent.’”

HATS AND PATCHES

Several of the troops present were shown toting Trump merchandise, including “Make America Great Again” hats and “Trump 2020” patches. The president spent time signing a lot of these items, which may have violated military rules. Department of Defense guidelines state that “active duty personnel may not engage in partisan political activities and all military personnel should avoid the inference that their political activities imply or appear to imply DoD sponsorship, approval, or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign, or cause.”

 CAMPAIGN SLOGAN

“It is, in fact, a campaign slogan, that is a campaign item, and it is completely inappropriate for the troops to do this,” Retired Rear Admiral John Kirby said on CNN.

UPSET IRAQIS

 Trump managed to piss off the Iraqis, as well. The nation’s lawmakers called the trip an infringement on its independence, as Trump failed to stop by Baghdad or meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. “Trump’s visit is a flagrant and clear violation of diplomatic norms and shows his disdain and hostility in his dealings with the Iraqi government,” read a statement from Iraqi parliament’s Bina bloc. Sabah al Saadi, the leader of the opposing Islah bloc, called a session of parliament “to discuss this blatant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and to stop these aggressive actions by Trump who should know his limits: The U.S. occupation of Iraq is over,” according to Reuters.

 UNWILLING TO MEET

Trump reportedly was not willing to meet with Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi anywhere other than a military base.  Prior to making the trip, the president had been criticized for failing to visit a combat zone despite being in office for nearly two years. In November, the Washington Post reported that Trump was worried about his safety. “He’s never been interested in going,” a White House official told the Post, citing conversations with Trump. “He’s afraid of those situations. He’s afraid people want to kill him.”

 TRUMP CONFIRMED

 Trump confirmed to reporters this week that safety was one of his concerns in traveling to Iraq. “I had concerns for the institution of the presidency because — not for myself, personally,” he said. “I had concerns for the First Lady, I will tell you. But if you would have seen what we had to go through, with the darkened plane, with all windows closed, with no lights on whatsoever, anywhere — pitch black. I’ve never seen it. I’ve been in many airplanes — all types and shapes and sizes. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

 QUICK TRIP TO GERMANY

The president is out of harm’s way for now. After a quick trip to Germany to refuel, he tweeted early Thursday morning that he had returned from overseas and that “we have incredible people representing our Country.” Seven minutes later, he resumed his standard attacks on Democrats while reminding followers that he is holding the pay checks of federal workers hostage over a border wall that isn’t going to be funded anytime soon.

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | December 22, 2018

700th Day In Washington


NewTrump

President Trump’s 700th day in Washington will go down as the most chaotic yet. On the 11th Hour, Brian Williams provided a loose tally of where we are after that busy day:

  • The President of the United States is under investigation, his children facing possible legal jeopardy.
  • The President has shut down government at midnight last night; over funding a border wall that he described as being more like “steel slats.”
  • The Senate was called back to D.C. for a vote over border wall funding that, as of now has failed.
  • The Defense Secretary announced his resignation, presumably because he couldn’t go along with the policy of pulling out U.S. forces from Syria (a surprise announcement made by the president on Twitter). Defense Secretary Mattis, a four star general, was openly referred to as “the last adult in the room.” In his resignation letter, Mattis implicitly criticized Trump for not treating allies with respect and for not being “clear-eyed” about U.S. enemies and competitors.

The stock market is headed for the worst December since the 1930s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | December 22, 2018

The Government Shutdown Is Here. How Does It Affect You?


closed capitial

The government is closed – possibly for a “very long shutdown” according to President Donald Trump – but will it make a difference in your life?

THE ANSWER? IT DEPENDS.

If you’re among the 800,000 government employees who are not deemed “essential,” you will feel the effects of the shutdown: You will either be furloughed or forced to work without pay until the standoff is resolved.

MIDNIGHT SATURDAY

The shutdown, which began at midnight Saturday when Congress couldn’t agree on a spending plan that included $5 billion for Trump’s border wall, affects nine departments: Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Interior, State, Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development, as well as several agencies. Six departments had budgets approved earlier.

WILL IT AFFECT YOU?

What won’t be affected by the shutdown?

Flights. Air-traffic controllers and security officers still will be on the job even if there is a shutdown.

Amtrak. The trains are run by a government-owned corporation and will operate as usual.

The border. Customs and border agents will continue working at border crossings and ports of entry.

Social Security checks. Social Security benefits still go out.

Medicare. Like Social Security, benefits will still be provided.

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and Women, Infants and Children. Benefits available for at least if some carryover money in the states or the federal accounts are available.

Smithsonian museums and zoo. They will be open every day except Christmas.

NORAD’S Santa Tracker. The beloved Christmas Eve tracker will still follow St. Nick around the world.

What will be affected?

State and local farm service centers. They would be closed, leaving no one to answer

Posted by: maboulette | December 19, 2018

Trump Shuts Down HIV Cure Research To Placate Religious Right


AID Research

Scientists are speaking out against a directive by the Trump administration that has shut down research into a cure for HIV.  A scientist who was supposed to supply mice that have been modified with human fetal tissue for an HIV study emailed researchers that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “has directed me to discontinue procuring fetal tissue.”  “This effectively stops all of our research to discover a cure for HIV,” he wrote.

FETAL TISSUE RESEARCH

A “pause” on research that uses aborted fetal tissue, something Christian conservatives strongly oppose, was announced by the Trump administration this past September. The move will affect numerous biomedical research programs.

CONGRESSIONAL GOP

Congressional Republicans have tried to ban all fetal tissue research for years to appease the religious right. 85 Republican House members wrote a letter to the head of the FDA asking for a ban on fetal tissue research shortly before the “pause” was announced.

GOAL OF ANTI-ABORTION INDUSTRY

The ban has long been a goal of the anti-abortion industry and has been part of the most recent attacks on Planned Parenthood. The group was falsely accused of selling aborted fetuses earlier this year.

NIH STATEMENT

In a statement, the NIH said that there is only a “pause in place” on the research, which is “an action NIH thought was prudent given the examination of these procurement.”

HUMANIZED MICE

Studies relying on fetal tissue donated by women who have had legal abortions in order to produce “humanized mice,” mice that have human-like immune systems, according to Science. The mice have been used for years for research in infectious diseases, including HIV.

INFECTED MICE

Mice are one of the few non-human animals that can be infected with HIV, which makes them key to testing HIV medication.

CONSCIENCE AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DIVISION

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division that would handle complaints from health care providers who did not want to take part in an abortion or treat transgender people.  This sounds like someone is trying to set up a theocracy and that is not what our Constitution is founded on.

 

 


trump-mueller2

It’s being treated by the federal court system like it’s the most crucial case in United States history. Yet because it’s also being treated as one of the most secretive court cases in U.S. history, we know virtually nothing about it. It’s the case of Special Counsel Robert Mueller (we think) vs someone in the Trump-Russia scandal who’s important enough to make the entire DC Court of Appeals bend over backward to accommodate the matter accordingly. Here’s what little we do know about the case:

NO 1

Not one official word has been said about this ongoing court case by anyone involved. We only know it exists because secretive hearings keep taking place. That said, various reporters have spotted Robert Mueller’s top prosecutors in just enough proximity to the court case to make clear that it almost certainly involves him.

NO 2

Minor details have leaked out which strongly suggest that this is a court battle over a grand jury proceeding. Some legal observers suspect Mueller has subpoenaed Trump to testify, but we’re not sure that alone would be enough to warrant all the secrecy. Other legal observers have suggested that Mueller may have already had a grand jury indict Trump, and he’s seeking to get the court to allow him to unseal it. Still others think Mueller may have indicted Pence. But all of these are merely logical guesses, based on almost no available evidence.

NO 3

Whatever this court battle is, it’s been going on since August. It’s currently at the U.S. Court of Appeals level, meaning that it started out in lower court, one side won, and the other side is appealing. We have no way of knowing which side won the initial ruling and which side is appealing. But this is clearly a battle that’s been going on a long time, meaning it’s not a result of anything that’s sprung up in the past few months.

NO 4

Secrecy surrounding this court matter is off the charts. Various reporters have tweeted that the entire floor of the courtroom was sealed off ahead of time in order to keep them out. This level of security is typically only reserved for cases in which a witness is being shielded from the public. But an appeals court case of this type wouldn’t involve having a witness testify. This suggests that the secrecy is due to the sheer importance of the case.

 NO 5

The entire DC Court of Appeals has dropped what it’s doing in order to hear this case – it’s apparently that crucial to the fate of the nation. That said, one judge has recused himself from the panel; it’s a guy who was recently nominated by Trump, after he did some legal work for Trump’s defense. His recusal strongly suggests that this case is about Trump, or directly involves Trump.

 

Posted by: maboulette | December 17, 2018

Story Behind This Picture


george__bush_bill-clinton_diana_walker.jpg

The story behind this photo is very unusual. In 2005, President George W. Bush had asked both his father and Bill Clinton to work together on a fund for Hurricane Katrina relief in New Orleans. Clinton, of course, had beaten Bush back in 1992. They weren’t supposed to be friendly.

RARELY SEEN TOGETHER

During that campaign, many believe  President George H.W. Bush don’t think he had a high regard for Clinton, because it was a tough loss for him. He really thought he would be re-elected.

BECOMING FRIENDS

They were  rarely seen together over the years, except at formal ceremonies. They were together at Richard Nixon’s funeral and at the White House for the official unveiling of Bush’s portrait. But New Orleans was the first time anyone ever saw them together like this—quietly, away from other people.

 

Posted by: maboulette | December 14, 2018

Nancy Pelosi the Soon to be Speaker of the House Again


nancy

On Tuesday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) showed President Trump how it’s done.

MEETING WITH TRUMP

The occasion was the now infamous public meeting Tuesday between Pelosi, Trump, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Vice President Pence to discuss avoiding a government shutdown at the end of next week. A major sticking point: the wall Trump would like to build on the Mexican border.

FLASHCARDS

Trump turned up with flashcards. Pelosi took over and schooled Trump. She called the government shutdown the “Trump shutdown.” She corrected misstatements. She kept her temper and focus as he interrupted her 15 times. And when he made a not-so-veiled reference to her ongoing fight to keep her speakership, she quickly filleted him. “Mr. President, please don’t characterize the strength I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats, who just won a big victory.”

 EXITED THE WHITE HOUSE 

When Pelosi exited the White House, she emerged the latest feminist heroine for the age of the female resistance to Trump. A snapshot showing her wearing a red coat and adjusting her sunglasses quickly became a Twitter and Facebook meme. “The name’s Speaker … Speaker Pelosi. And she will be back,” one tweet read.

MORE

She’s overcome a Republican party that’s spent millions on attack ads against her. She’s overcome the inherent misogyny in the media. She’s overcome people in her own party attacking her. She’s overcome it all and delivered for America for 31 years. She is @NancyPelosi.

I greatly admire her!

 

 

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