Posted by: maboulette | September 15, 2017

Ivanka and Jared Kushner Are Leaving Washington – Rumor Has It

Ivanka and husband

Of all the various failed experiments of the ill-fated Donald Trump administration, one of the most notorious has been the nepotistic anointment of Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner as clueless White House advisers. Ivanka has had no influence or success whatsoever, and appears to have no reason to be there. Jared was briefly influential, but he’s fallen out of favor and he’s awash in scandal. Now it turns out they’re considering packing up and leaving town.


That’s the word according to a new Vanity Fair profile, which reports “One well-connected strategist in New York told me that the two were eyeing a move at the end of the school year in 2018” .This is a remarkable revelation. Not only does it point to their belief that there’s nothing for them to accomplish in Washington DC, it also suggests that they’re not sold on the idea that Donald will still be in office by the end of the school year.


Although Ivanka has had no apparent influence over her father’s political decisions, it’s difficult to envision her skipping town and abandoning him altogether. Donald Trump’s cognitive abilities have been clearly and rapidly worsening since he’s taken office. He can’t deliver a coherent sentence without a teleprompter. He forgets whom he’s talking to. He gets confused and wanders off in the middle of his own public appearances.


If Ivanka Trump is truly looking at leaving Washington DC a mere eight or nine months from now, it may be because she’s now expecting her father to resign or be ousted by that time. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is breathing down Trump’s neck, and the Republican Party has largely sided with Mueller over Trump. The GOP could try to strategically force him out before the midterm races heat up. Even if Donald hasn’t yet figured out the clock is ticking, Ivanka and Jared may already be planning for his inevitable early exit.


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Sarah Huckabee Sanders

With each passing day, yet another current or former member of Donald Trump’s team has been targeted by Congress or by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal. But today we may have seen a first: one member of the Trump administration may have stepped up and volunteered to be targeted for obstruction of justice scrutiny. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders essentially just potentially committed obstruction, or conspiracy to commit obstruction, from the briefing podium.


Huckabee Sanders has begun pushing the false narrative that former FBI Director James Comey lied and perjured himself during his testimony to Congress about the scandal. This has clearly been at the behest of Donald Trump himself, who instructs his staffers what to say from the podium. The intent was apparently to create a distraction in the media, even as Mueller targets the staffers who discussed Comey’s firing with Trump. One little problem for Huckabee Sanders: she took it too far for her own good.


When asked if the Department of Justice should prosecute James Comey for his (imaginary) perjury, Huckabee Sanders replied that it’s something the DOJ should “certainly look at.” So she’s using her position as White House spokesperson to call for false criminal charges to be brought against a witness who was fired by Trump in an attempt at obstructing justice. There is a legal argument to be made that in so doing, she committed obstruction or conspiracy to commit obstruction, by saying this – particularly if Trump instructed her to bring up the topic during the briefing.


So now, even during a week in which Robert Mueller is targeting at least half a dozen Trump advisers in relation to obstruction of justice and the Comey firing, he may have just been handed an angle for pursuing Sarah Huckabee Sanders as well. The goal, of course, is to get them to flip on Donald Trump.


Trump looking like crying

Anyone who has been paying attention to Donald Trump’s words and behavior is aware that he’s suffering from worsening cognitive issues. He struggles to put together a coherent sentence of his own. He comatosely reads prepared speeches off teleprompters in a manner which suggests he has no idea what he’s reading. He gets confused and wanders off in the middle of his own public appearances. Whatever is going wrong with Trump, it’s growing so severe that his own friends are now going to absurd lengths to try to explain it away.


It began when Trump’s friend Alex Jones, known for spinning deranged phony conspiracies in Trump’s favor, felt compelled to spin one about Trump himself. Jones asserted that Trump is being drugged by his own staffers to keep him compliant; this is supposed to explain why Trump increasingly appears confused and out of it and unable to speak properly during public appearances. Jones is either a whack job or he pretends to be one, so his claims can be dismissed automatically. But the upshot is that even Jones feels the need to cover for Trump’s worsening condition – and he’s not the only one now doing so.


Another longtime Trump friend, Roger Stone, who is just as far out into the ether as Alex Jones but more likely to keep his shirt on while ranting, is now pushing the same story. Stone appeared on Jones’ InfoWars show to assert that he’s heard from multiple sources of his own that Trump is being covertly drugged.


Stone is accusing General John Kelly of being behind it, which is a shamefully baseless assertion. But now we have two of Trump’s friends, who speak with him privately on a regular basis and are aware of what condition he’s truly in, feeling compelled to float absurd excuses to try to cover for him. Whatever worsening mental capacity issues Trump is suffering from, it may be even worse than we’ve publicly seen.


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Posted by: maboulette | September 12, 2017

Donald Trump’s Failed Hurricane Irma Photo Op

trump home from trip

There are many valuable lessons that Donald Trump could have learned from his tone-deaf and poorly received response to Hurricane Harvey. Don’t use a storm visit to try to sell hats. Don’t brag about crowd size once you get there. Don’t brag about the size of your hands. But it appears Trump has only managed to take one lesson away from it: don’t let Mike Pence steal the photo op. Here’s a lesson Trump clearly has not learned: don’t be on vacation during landfall.


When it was announced that Donald Trump was dragging his entire cabinet up to Camp David last weekend, many reporters wrote what many of you were probably thinking: he wanted to make sure that this time around, he got to have the photo op looking presidential while interacting with officials about the hurricane. During Harvey, Trump wandered off and ended up allowing Pence to have that “presidential” photo op instead. Not this time, however.


In fact, Trump posted not just a photo op, but an entire video, of him holding the Camp David cabinet meeting in question. As has become his norm during this disaster season, Trump managed to use bombastic words (his cabinet is going to do “fantastic things”) while simultaneously sounding completely lifeless and uninterested. He even hauled Mike Pence to the meeting, just so everyone could see which one of them was running it. But worse than his performance during his cabinet meeting is the fact that everyone now knows he’s on vacation.


What kind of “President of the United States” can’t be bothered to cancel his weekend getaway so that he can remain at the White House where his leadership is needed? The same kind of “President” who forces his entire cabinet to travel on vacation with him, just so he can get a gratuitous photo op with them during the hurricane. He still hasn’t figured out that the photo op in question is merely serving as a reminder to those in the path of Hurricane Irma that he’s indeed gone on vacation while they’re hunkering down.


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Posted by: maboulette | September 12, 2017

Pope Francis scolds Trump on DACA

Vatican Pope Trump

Pope Francis called out President Trump for ending the Obama-era program that shielded young illegal immigrants from deportation, questioning whether the Republican billionaire is really as “pro-life” as he claims.


“If he is a good pro-life believer, he must understand that family is the cradle of life and one must defend its unity,” the Pope told reporters during a flight to Colombia. “I hope they rethink it a bit. Because I heard the U.S. president speak. He presents himself as a person who is pro-life.”


Trump last week announced his administration would wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that offered protections to roughly 800,000 young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.


Trump’s order gave Congress six months to address the fate of the so-called “Dreamers” before their permits start to expire in March 2018.


Former White House adviser Steve Bannon told “60 Minutes” in an interview Sunday that he’s worried DACA will cause the GOP to lose control of the House.

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priebus and spicer.jpg

Donald Trump treated his Chief of Staff Reince Priebus so poorly that the jokes were flying about his inevitable firing from the day he was hired. Trump treated his Press Secretary Sean Spicer so poorly that it was the stuff of Saturday Night Live sketches. Trump disloyally ran them both off just to bring in a replacement who only lasted eleven days. This is the part where Priebus and Spicer get their revenge – and it turns out to be a dish served very, very cold.


Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now targeting six Donald Trump staffers who were involved in Trump’s decision to instruct his son to lie about his Russia meeting. This means Mueller views it as obstruction of justice on Trump’s part. Further, it likely means that Mueller is willing to use the threat of ancillary criminal charges against the six advisers to get them to flip on Trump.


Some of those advisers still work for Trump, and may still be under his spell, willing to remain silent in exchange for the promise of a pardon. But it just so happens that two of the six advisers being targeted are – you guessed it – Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus. Maybe they resent Donald Trump enough that they want to take him down just to get their revenge, and maybe they’ve moved on from their resentment. But here’s the bottom line: they certainly no longer trust Trump to be loyal to his word.


So, when Priebus and Spicer find themselves having to decide whether to flip on Trump in exchange for immunity from Mueller, or remain silent in exchange for the promise of a pardon from Trump, which one do you think they’ll choose? There is simply no way that these two guys would trust Trump with their future and freedom at this point. If Mueller has indeed found grounds to threaten them with viable criminal charges, they will indeed flip on him – and it may happen quickly.



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If you’re holding out any hope that Donald Trump might be able to effectively lead the nation through the rescue and recovery efforts that are set to follow in the wake of Hurricane Irma, you probably weren’t paying attention when he used his Hurricane Harvey visit to brag about crowd size while trying to sell hats. You’ll have even less faith in Trump’s abilities to deal with Irma once you realize that he doesn’t even know the storm’s name.


Trump posted a video to Twitter in which he read a prepared script about Hurricane Irma. True to form whenever he’s working from a teleprompter, he used bombastic phrases like “absolutely destructive” and “totally united” while still somehow managing to come off as detached and robotic. One would think he was a football announcer trying to sound excited about a game between two teams he didn’t care about. But in Trump’s defense, he did at least try to convey the right message for once. The trouble: it’s unlikely anyone got past the first few seconds of the video, when he comically screwed up the storm’s name.


Trump started off his video by garbling the name of Hurricane Irma so badly that there’s debate across social media as to whether he was trying to say “Irmer” or “Immer” or something along those lines. You’d think someone in his administration would have caught this bizarre slip-up and gotten him to do it over, but no, Trump really did release a video in which he got the name of the hurricane wrong. Watch for yourself.


If you’re holding out any hope that Donald Trump might be able to effectively lead the nation through the rescue and recovery efforts that are set to follow in the wake of Hurricane Irma, you probably weren’t paying attention when he used his Hurricane Harvey visit to brag about crowd size while trying to sell hats. You’ll have even less faith in Trump’s abilities to deal with Irma once you realize that he doesn’t even know the storm’s name.


Perhaps we’re being too harsh. But the entire reason for Donald Trump to post this video was to instill confidence in those being affected by Hurricane Irma. If he couldn’t be bothered to re-do the video in order to get the name of the hurricane correct, it creates at least some concern that his real world response to the storm may not be any more thoughtful.



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Posted by: maboulette | September 9, 2017

The Real Reason Donald Trump Suddenly Loves Going to Camp David

trump golf

For the first six months in office, Donald Trump spent nearly every weekend visiting his own golf resorts in various states. You couldn’t pay him to spend any time at Camp David, the official vacation home for the President of the United States. Now, suddenly, Trump has lost interest in visiting any of his own properties, and he’s instead visiting Camp David on a regular basis. There’s a fairly obvious reason why, and it does in fact have to do with getting paid.


Trump spent those first six months visiting his own properties for a thinly veiled reason: it allowed him to charge the Secret Service for everything from space rental to golf cart rental. As the owner of these properties, that money went right into his own pocket. He used these weekend trips TO SWINDLE so much money from the Secret Service that in August it was revealed its entire budget for the year is already gone.


Now that Trump can’t continue pocketing money from his weekend trips to his own golf resorts, he’s suddenly lost any interest in golfing. We’re a long way from winter, and the weather is still fine for golf, particularly at his courses down south. But now we’re seeing rather clearly that it was never about golf to begin with.


In fact Donald Trump is now in a position to potentially lose money by visiting his own properties, because it means he has to pay the private employees who show up to cater to his every whim, without any way to cancel that out by bilking the Secret Service. So now Trump suddenly loves going to Camp David instead. He can’t pilfer any money during those trips, but he at least benefits from not having to pay any of the government employees who work there. It’s why he’s heading back there this weekend.



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Posted by: maboulette | September 8, 2017

Donald Trump’s Labor Day from Hell

sad trump 1

Donald Trump picked the wrong day to get out of bed Labor Day He occupies the office of President of the United States for now, but rarely in American history has anyone been so vulnerable and so weak and so assured of demise. Everything is going wrong for him on Labor Day that could possibly go wrong, and it’s that was on Monday.


Let’s start with the baggage that Trump has brought with him into this new week. The Special Counsel investigating him now has a letter in which Trump admits committing obstruction of justice. Worse for Trump, someone in his own ranks turned over that letter, meaning he can no longer trust any of his own people. They all now have a motive to flip on him, because they’re all criminally liable in his obstruction plot, and some of them will choose cooperation over prison. Trump also set himself on fire domestically on the 3rd.


In a cowardly attempt at kicking the immigration can down the road, Trump decided to announce the end of DACA on a six month delay. This has even moderate conservatives up in arms, because no one anywhere near the American mainstream likes the idea of punishing children based on skin color. And yet what’s left of Trump’s racist base won’t be happy either, because he just handed Congress six months to undo his own decision.


Donald Trump also entered Labor Day with Congress having just officially revealed that it’s investigating his Trump Tower Moscow deal, even as his own Russia lawyer has melted down to the point that he’s accusing a reporter of being on drugs. After spitefully getting rid of nearly everyone in his orbit, Trump now hates the few people still working for him, and they hate him. He’s miserable, his life sucks, and his illegitimate presidency is circling the drain.


Hope You Had a Happy Labor Day, Donald!


Posted by: maboulette | September 8, 2017

Russian Facebook ad buy blows Donald Trump’s Russia

facebook ads

“Follow the money” has proven to be such a definitive guidepost for getting to the bottom of any political scandal, it’s become the best remembered quote of the Watergate era — despite merely having been a fictional quote created for the resulting movie. Proving election collusion between Donald Trump and Russian has always come down to following the money. Thanks to a belated and embarrassing admission by Facebook, that process just became a whole lot easier.


After having spent months denying it, Facebook finally admitted today that fake accounts in Russia bought political ads on its website during the 2016 election. The company posted a statement today acknowledging that the ads were in fact purchased and run during the election cycle.  This changes everything. Demonstrating Trump-Russia election collusion no longer hinges on proving that Donald Trump Jr had collusive intentions when he sat down with Russian government. It no longer hinges on proving that Donald Trump had collusive intent when he approached the Kremlin about a real estate deal during the election. Now, instead, there’s actual money to follow.


Someone bought these ads. Someone paid for them, with credit cards, or debit cards, or bitcoin, or some other form of currency. That money likely changed hands a few times, but it’s still traceable. MSNBC just reported that Facebook is now fully cooperating with the Special Counsel on this, making it easier to trace these transactions. If the Trump campaign and Russia were conspiring to run these ads, following the money will prove it. If Trump’s team knew this money was being spent, that’s game over. There’s zero deniability about intent when money is involved. Moreover, this is only the beginning of the story.                                      


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