Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Elizabeth "Pocahontas" Warren releases a DNA test that shows she does indeed have Native American roots. Now will Trump STFU?


Nope: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-on-elizabeth-warren-dna-test-who-cares
Trump On Elizabeth Warren DNA Test: ‘Who Cares?’

Will Trump Pay Up?  . . . [July 5, 2018] President Trump joked Thursday night that he would give Senator Elizabeth Warren $1 million to a charity of her choice if she took a DNA test and it proved that she has Native American roots.

“I didn’t say that. You better read it again,” Trump said. . . [just watch the video]  

Kellyanne Conway said Monday that Warren’s DNA test was cherry-picked “junk science.” 

By the way: https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/15/elizabeth-warren-releases-dna-test/
“The analysis of Warren’s DNA was done by Carlos D. Bustamante, a Stanford University professor and expert in the field who won a 2010 MacArthur fellowship, also known as a genius grant, for his work on tracking population migration via DNA analysis.”

Calling Dr. Trump!

Trump: I’ll Only Donate To Charity If I ‘Personally’ Test Warren’s DNA

[NB: Shades of birtherism. Trump rails for months that Obama should release his birth certificate. He eventually does. Then Trump says -- with no evidence -- that the document is fake.]

Warren Says Trump’s Desire To Personally Test Her DNA Is ‘Creepy’ 

Look, here is what this is all about. It was never about whether Warren did or didn't have a Native American background. It's not about DNA tests. Amanda Marcotte nails it

An overwhelming amount of public information suggests that Trump has an unhealthy obsession with questions of bloodlines, ethnic heritage and genetics. Worse yet, his understanding of these issues appears to be filtered through the lens of eugenics, a pseudo-science with an unsavory history that looks even more troubling in light of Trump's overt and well-documented racism. . . . [read on] 

Trump's first response to the Jamal Khashoggi murder? To take the Saudi line over the information from his own intelligence agencies

Trump: ‘Rogue Killers’ Could Have Murdered Jamal Khashoggi

After initial denials that they had anything to do with it, the Saudis now admit that they are responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's death -- and Trump looks like a sap for believing them

This also means that Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself, were lying when they said Khashoggi left the consulate freely. It also means that King Salman was either lying to Donald Trump when he “firmly denied any knowledge” of what happened to Khashoggi or is remarkably uninformed. The idea that the operation was carried out “without clearance” does sound awfully close to the “rogue killers” theory that Trump put out this morning. The new admission will probably be enough for Trump to brush this incident under the rug. Will it be enough for the media and Congress to move on as well?  

In Russia news . . . 

Michael Cohen Spent 50 Hours with Mueller’s Team 

After the midterms . . .

Sensing an inevitable shift in the House, Trump now says he wants to work with the Dems. (No, he doesn't)


Things he has called them: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-42954829/trump-calls-democrats-treasonous-and-un-american
Trump calls Democrats 'treasonous' and 'un-American'

Trump calls Democrats 'an angry leftwing mob'

Trump calls Dems 'party of crime'

Donald Trump Calls Democrats "Con Artists"

Trump calls Democrats ‘unhinged’

Trump Calls Democrats 'Too Dangerous' to Govern

How Defense Sect'y Mattis lost Trump's favor, and will soon be gone

Mattis works to keep Trump at bay. He’s failing. . . . [read on]

But, Mattis says, you're gonna have to fire me: https://www.thedailybeast.com/mattis-isnt-going-anywhere-unless-trump-says-youre-fired

In other news . . .  

Team Bolton

National Security Council Chief Of Staff To Leave WH, Lead Anti-Muslim Hate Group

DHS used to be the folks who kept us safe. Under Trump, it has become ground zero for hateful, racist anti-immigrant policies


Of course

Trump taps Medicaid critic to run Medicaid

More: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1804524
Trump EPA ends two more advisory panels as agency's war on science continues 

Remember when the deficit was a nightly news story?

Budget Deficit Jumps Nearly 17% in 2018

How crazy is Trump's manic commitment to coal? This crazy


So needy

Trump, Upset About ’60 Minutes’ Questions: ‘I’m President And You’re Not’

More: https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/15/fox-host-complains-trump-was-peppered-with-questions/
Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt complained on Twitter that President Trump’s interview on 60 Minutes was unfair because he was “peppered endlessly with questions” . . .

Trump wants you to know he has very big . . .  crowd sizes


Here's a little trick to create standing-room only overflow crowds: pick small venues


Continuing a theme from the other day, Trump has no inclination or ability to reach out and expand his constituency. He only appeals to the base he already has

Trump Stays Away from Swing Voters

[NB: I think it's even more than this. I think he, or at least his advisors, realize that more exposure to his typical routine actually DRIVES AWAY moderates and independents.]

Trump hangs a painting OF HIMSELF in the White House


Boo hoo

Trump rallies are getting less and less TV coverage

The Dems made a deal with Mitch McConnell on 15 judicial appointments. Then McConnell broke it


More on the vicious new generation of Republicans

Republican congressman Duncan Hunter’s campaign has devolved into Islamophobic trash

More: https://thinkprogress.org/karin-housely-compared-michelle-obama-to-chimp-in-facebook-post-09d91ef7158a/
Republican Senate candidate compared Michelle Obama to a monkey in Facebook post

Why the "blue wave" isn't helping the Senate: because the Senate is fundamentally undemocratic -- and designed to be


More: https://www.vox.com/2015/1/6/7500935/trende-senate-vote-share
The Senate is undemocratic and it matters

Revamping the Senate Is a Fantasy

Why Liberals Should Stop Whining About the Senate

Following the governor races


More: https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/15/republicans-fall-flat-in-trump-country/

Money tells

Republicans have begun to concede defeat in the evolving fight to preserve the House majority. . . .

More: https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/15/gop-blame-game-begins/
“And as they initiate a painful and strategic triage, the early Republican-on-Republican blame game has begun as well. . . .”

Bonus item: John Oliver on Trump and Saudi Arabia


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Monday, October 15, 2018


Don't call it a gender gap

2018 voting gender gap is becoming an abyss 

The US economy has been on a sugar high from deficit-exploding tax cuts, and Trump is -- predictably -- crowing about it. But the underlying fundamentals of the economy just aren't that great



More: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-07/sorry-mr-president-but-best-economy-was-probably-eisenhower-s

Health care is probably the biggest single area of Trump's false and broken promises. So what does he do? Lie, of course

Ladies and gentlemen, your president, on 60 Minutes

Stahl: Well, I mean him personally, Vladimir Putin—
Trump: I think I’m very tough with him personally. I had a meeting with him. The two of us. It was a very tough meeting and it was a very good meeting.
Stahl: Do you agree that Vladimir Putin is involved in assassinations? In poisonings?
Trump: Probably he is, yeah. Probably. I mean, I don’t--
Stahl: Probably?
Trump: Probably, but I rely on them, it’s not in our country. [read on]

Journalist Lesley Stahl asked Trump in an interview aired on 60 Minutes Sunday night why he had mocked Ford at a rally a few days after she testified before the Senate that Brett Kavanaugh had attempted to rape her when they were teenagers.

“Do you think you treated her with respect?” Stahl asked.
“I think so, yea, I did,” the president said.
Stahl followed up: “But you seem to be saying that she lied.”
“I’m not going to get into it,” Trump said. “Because we won. It doesn’t matter. We won.” 

The president also didn’t deny that the climate was changing but told Stahl the environment would likely bounce back. “I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again. I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade,” he said, countering a report from his administration that concluded “human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming.” 

Trump suggested addressing climate change would be too financially costly and said some nebulous “they” say hurricanes have been worse than, for example, the recent Hurricane Michael. The exchange:
Stahl: Who says that? “They say?”
Trump: People say. People say that in the —
Stahl: Yeah, but what about the scientists who say it’s worse than ever?
Trump: You’d have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda, Lesley. 

“Well, I — I don’t pledge anything. But I will tell you, I have no intention of doing that. I think it’s a very unfair investigation because there was no collusion of any kind. There is no collusion. I don’t want to pledge. Why should I pledge to you? If I pledge, I’ll pledge. I don’t have to pledge to you. But I have — I have no intention of doing that.”
              — President Trump, in an interview on 60 Minutes, on whether he would pledge not to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. 

Trump lets out the secret that he LIKES the family separation policy, because he thinks it's a deterrent for immigrants (it isn't)


Trump talks tough about "severe punishments" if the Saudis were involved in Jamal Khashoggi's killing. Pretty much admitting that they were, the Saudis say they will respond with even "greater action" to any punishments. Now what will Trump do?


Bad taste

Trump Hangs ‘Tacky’ Fantasy Painting of Himself With GOP Presidents in White House
After the midterms. . . 

Trump unsure if Mattis will stay: 'He's sort of a Democrat' 

More: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/10/trump-calls-mattis-sort-democrat-tensions-rise/572995/
Stahl asked, “Is it true General Mattis said to you, ‘The reason for NATO and the reason for all these alliances is to prevent World War III?’”
“No, it’s not true,” Trump said emphatically.
“What’s not true?” Stahl interjected.
“Frankly, I like General Mattis,” Trump said, looking indignant. “I think I know more about it than he does. . . .”

In other news . . .                                                      

In Trump's ongoing effort to politicize security clearances and punish his opponents, Hillary Clinton's, and several of her former aides, are withdrawn


Trump, Absent Father to the nation



Trump Goes Golfing For 210th Day As Hurricane Michael Death Toll Continues To Rise 

Trump endlessly mocks Elizabeth "Pocahontas" Warren for her claims of Indian ancestry. But what about this?

A construction company owned by the in-laws of House Republican second-in-command Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was awarded more than $7 million in federal contracts since 2000 based on a “dubious” claim of Native American heritage . . .

Tip for GOP candidates: don't talk about Nazis



More: https://thinkprogress.org/missouri-senate-nominee-misleads-on-his-pre-existing-condition-hypocrisy-26e703adb4d3/ 

Immigration as a wedge issue may be working for the Repubs

More voter suppression. This time: Indiana


Ten hard-core progressive causes that may cause the Dems trouble politically


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***n

Sunday, October 14, 2018


What's up with Trump's nonstop schedule of rallies? Partly, of course, it is an expression of his view that the way to minimize damage in the midterms is to whip up his supporters in a frenzy to vote for HIM HIM HIM. He barely knows or cares about the local candidates or issues. Partly, too, it is his need for the adoration of selected crowds of a few thousand people who revere him and who reflect back to him his endless litany of gripes, enemies, self-praise, attacks on the media, lies about the Democrats, and exaggerated (or simply false) accomplishments. Partly, it seems to be a strategy by his advisors to use these events to get him out of the White House and distract him from actually doing things that would prove more problematic. Partly it's because he prefers campaigning to governing and is already (he thinks) laying the groundwork for 2020. 

The problem is that getting his shrinking base more and more fired up may be gratifying to him but is politically futile. His problem isn't that his base doesn't love him enough -- it's that more and more people, including FORMER Republicans, think he's a maniac . . . and his rally performances exacerbate that problem



More: https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/i-listened-to-all-six-trump-rallies-in-october-you-should-too
The Increasingly Menacing Tone of Trump's Rallies
“Air Force One has become a flying call center, the Oval Office, a revolving door of journalists, dignitaries and celebrities. Rock stars and cabinet secretaries wander the White House driveway, a place that at any given moment can be the site of an impromptu news conference.” “When President Trump enters one of the more talkative cycles of his presidency — and ahead of the midterms, post-Supreme Court confirmation, he is definitely in one — the environment around him becomes a stage, and inevitable questions of a grand strategy arise.” “But there is none, people close to him say. His aides are simply clearing a path as the president speaks — and speaks, and speaks, and speaks — up for himself.”

Did Trump know about the Saudi plan to attack Jamal Khashoggi?


More: https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/13/trump-vows-severe-punishment-if-saudis-killed-dissident/
President Trump told 60 Minutes that the Saudis could be behind the disappearance of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi and, if so, the U.S. would inflict “severe punishment.” He also said the matter is especially serious because, “this man was a reporter.” He added: “There’s something – you’ll be surprised to hear me say that, there’s something really terrible and disgusting about that if that was the case.”

[NB: Yes, I am surprised. Now let's see what he thinks counts as “severe punishment.”]

This is a fascinating aspect of the story: Khashoggi, suspecting something, left his phone with his fiancee -- but kept his iWatch turned on

Trump's financial links with the Saudis go way back -- and they continue

Saudi Record Of Trump Biz Bail Outs Under Scrutiny As US Responds To Missing Writer

More: https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/msnbcs-rachel-maddow-explains-why-trumps-shady-business-ties-saudi-arabia-leave

Here's the most gobsmacking three-way link


[NB: Remember that Linda McMahon is in his Cabinet.]

Deep in the heart of taxes

Donald Trump got an even bigger tax break from the Republican tax bill than we thought

Kushner Likely Paid No Federal Incomes Taxes for Years

More: https://thinkprogress.org/jared-kushner-tax-evasion-scheme-14bf2f4b8f7a/

In other news . . .                  

The man who is trying to destroy the Justice Dept says with a straight face

Trump: ‘Republicans Believe In The Rule Of Law, Not The Rule Of The Mob’

Mobs? You want to complain about left-wing "mobs"?

Mob of white nationalist ‘Proud Boys’ brutally beat several men: ‘Are you brave now faggot?!’

Trump has been brag-tweeting about his response to Hurricane Michael. The people in the Florida panhandle would not agree


[NB: Mexico Beach, Panama City -- maybe Trump doesn't think it's really the US. Besides, he's been awfully busy at all those rallies.]

Trump helps secure the release of a detained US pastor from Turkey, and that's great. What's one of the first questions he asks him?


The most transparent administration ever, huh?

Zinke Leaves Meetings Off His Public Schedule

Some good news from the Education Dept

The Education Department said Friday it will no longer try to delay an Obama-era regulation that helped students defrauded by for-profit colleges get their loans forgiven. A federal court ruled last month that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ decision to delay the regulation, known as borrower defense, was unlawful and that the rule should go into effect. . . .

Don McGahn's replacement as WH Counsel


For once it's the Dem candidates awash in money -- but it's going to take more than money


"We’ve got a Latino problem"


More: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/13/latino-turnout-democrats-midterms-898556

The GOP cuts loose two more losing incumbents


Devin Nunes is a pig. But what interests me is this new generation of Republicans, and how they do politics

The Sacramento Bee has endorsed Republican Rep. Devin Nunes eight times. This year, though, it endorsed his Democratic challenger, Andrew Janz. Nunes is not taking that—or the newspaper’s reporting on his businesses—well. At all. . . . Mr. Nunes has launched a full-scale attack on The Bee, calling it a “left-wing rag,” and sending out a 40-page glossy mailer that called the newspaper a “propaganda machine.” Mr. Nunes has sought to discredit The Bee’s critical reporting on his businesses. He also tried to suggest that the newspaper, in reporting on protests against him, was somehow behind them. . . .
The Trump campaign has a database of 20 million personal emails and phone numbers (think about that for a moment). And. . .  it's for rent


Bonus item: I like "Someone"

Someone bought BrettKavanaugh.com and made it a forum to help sexual assault survivors

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Saturday, October 13, 2018


"Trump Anxiety Disorder." Yes, it's a thing


It is truly uncanny: even people in his own administration say that they ignore what he says and don't take him seriously


Trump praises Robert E. Lee at his latest rally


Is this why Jamal Khashoggi was killed?

Missing Saudi Writer Had Big Plans To Promote Democracy In Troubled Region

More: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trump-sure-could-use-ambassadors-saudi-arabia-and-turkey-right-now
There was a point over the summer when Donald Trump abruptly – and as we later learned, temporarily – canceled his summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. The White House did not, however, give a heads-up to our South Korean allies, who were left terribly confused by the American president’s antics. Ordinarily, it’d fall to the U.S. ambassador to South Korea to help smooth things over, but that wasn’t possible: a year and a half after taking office, the Trump administration didn’t have an ambassador to South Korea.  

This came to mind yesterday as the White House confronted an intensifying international incident over the disappearance and apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lives in the United States, who was reportedly killed inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey by a squad of Saudi Arabian officials.  Turkish officials have reportedly provided U.S. officials with proof of Khashoggi’s slaying. The American president, meanwhile, is prioritizing an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which doesn’t really exist. As the pressure mounts, our U.S. ambassadors in Turkey and Saudi Arabia have their work cut out for them. Or at least, they would if we had U.S. ambassadors in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. . . 

What financial interests does Trump have that make him not want to punish the Saudis?

“Saudi Arabia, I get along with all of them. They buy apartments from me. They spend $40 million, $50 million,” Trump told a crowd at an Alabama campaign rally in 2015. “Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.”
America deserves to know how much money Trump is getting from the Saudi government
President Trump’s refusal to cancel arms sales to Saudi Arabia, in response to the disappearance and likely murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, is certainly cruel, cold, and callow—a dark parody of realpolitik foreign policy. But his rationale for doing so is also based on several false premises, and it reflects Trump’s stunning weakness as an international negotiator. . . . [read on]

Meanwhile: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/bipartisan-coalition-senators-wants-punish-saudis-cut-off-arms-trade
Bipartisan Coalition Of Senators Wants To Punish Saudis, Cut Off Arms Trade

[NB: Notice that the only kind of bipartisanship Trump can create are bipartisan coalitions opposing him. He's a uniter!]

Donald Junior recycles an evil conspiracy theory about Khashoggi

Trump Jr. Boosts Smear Tying Missing Journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Islamic Terrorism
What is Saudi Arabia doing with the weapons we sell them?


Thanks to the odious Stephen Miller, the Trump gang is seriously considering renewing their policy of separating immigrant families



And it's costing a fortune: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1803977

In Russia news . . .

Having Trump's lawyers submit written answers to questions from Mueller doesn't remove the risk of perjury

Trump is unmanageable as a client, so it’s likely he continues to lie to his own lawyers. [read on]

Here's why people are worried about Sessions chief of staff Matthew Whitaker taking power over the Mueller investigation


More: https://www.vox.com/2018/10/12/17967594/jeff-sessions-attorney-general-trump-mueller
What happens to Mueller’s investigation if Jeff Sessions is fired or quits? 

After the midterms . . .

How Trump and His Enablers Will Respond to a Blue Wave

In other news . . .                                                      

No, I don't want to hear these people lecture us about "civility"

Sure looks like Commerce Sect'y Wilbur Ross lied to Congress

Trump still wants to make Ivanka the UN Ambassador -- but he won't


[NB: I have been saying since the election that Trump's fond hope is to serve eight years and then turn the presidency over to Ivanka -- because that's how he thinks things should work.]

The long tradition is to consult senators about Circuit Court appointees in their state. Of course, Trump doesn't care about that



Nevertheless, she persisted -- I'm not a huge fan of Elizabeth Warren as a presidential candidate, but I love her ability to get under the Republicans' skin



The Washington Examiner publishes a kiss-kiss article listing "289 accomplishments" by Trump. But to get that number, they have to ridiculously double-count items and add as "accomplishments" hypothetical predictions, proposals and poll results

  • 9 in 10 American workers are expected see an increase in their paychecks thanks to the tax cuts, according to the Treasury Department.
  • More than 6 million of American workers have received wage increases, bonuses, and increased benefits thanks to tax cuts. . . .
  • Proposed infrastructure plan would utilize $200 billion in Federal funds to spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment across the country. . . .
  • 12 percent of Americans rate the economy as the most significant problem facing our country, the lowest level on record. 
Trump is in full-out campaign mode

According to two knowledgeable sources, the president told some of his top lieutenants, including White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Bill Shine, that he was frustrated and believed he wasn’t getting his message out enough on mainstream channels in the weeks leading up to the critical midterm elections. Trump then directed his top communications brass to make sure he would get on the phone and Facetime with more journalists from various outlets (not merely Fox), to supplement his increasingly busy 2018 campaign-trail schedule. He wanted a media strategy for “flood[ing] the zone,” as one senior administration official put it, and to make himself an even grander presence on the TV shows and print publications he so addictively consumes.
GOP voter enthusiasm cuts slightly into the Dem lead for the House


The Senate looks out of reach: https://politicalwire.com/2018/10/12/democrats-chance-of-taking-the-senate-fading/

'I love him so much I can hardly explain it'

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***