Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Trump says, "I don't have a schedule, but if I did have a schedule, I would say we are substantially ahead of schedule." Let's unpack that, shall we? Trump DID have a schedule, the countless promises he made to do things "on day one" or "immediately" or in his first hundred days. There are plenty of pages that list those promises, almost none of which have been accomplished. Many of them won't be done in his first YEAR, and some will probably never be done


"Day one" https://thinkprogress.org/on-his-first-day-in-office-trump-broke-34-promises-683c957286dc/
The new president made 36 promises about his first day, but kept only two of them.

First month: https://thinkprogress.org/trump-broke-64-promises-in-his-first-month-in-office-5470f2c337e1/
Trump broke 64 promises in his first month in office He kept 7.

Boo effing hoo

Friends say President Donald Trump has grown frustrated that his greatness is not widely understood, that his critics are fierce and on TV every morning, that his poll numbers are both low and “fake,” and that his White House is caricatured as adrift. So on Monday, the consummate salesman — who has spent his life selling his business acumen, golf courses, sexual prowess, luxury properties and, above all, his last name — gave the Trump White House a Trump-sized dose of brand enhancement. With both the Roosevelt Room and the Rose Garden as backdrops, he mixed facts and mirage, praise and perfidy in two head-spinning, sometimes contradictory performances designed to convince supporters and detractors alike that everything’s terrific, moving ahead of schedule and getting even better. His opponents were cast as misguided, deluded or even unpatriotic. It was the latest instance of Trump bypassing his own communications staff to speak directly to the press, and the public, after weeks of blistering criticism and as White House aides struggle with the increasing possibility that they may end the year without accomplishing any of their grand legislative goals. . .  

Four US troops killed, and Trump hasn't said anything about it. Why?


In explaining why, Trump tells a vicious despicable lie that Obama didn't meet with the families of fallen troops



More: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/white-house-official-trump-wrong-grieving-families

Trump used to hate presidential executive orders. Then he became president


Trump: Obamacare is dead! And I killed it!

“Obamacare is finished. It’s dead. It’s gone. It’s no longer, you shouldn’t even mention it”

[NB: Okay, so then YOU should stop talking about how it's hurting people. This is YOUR policy now.] 

More: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/10/16/1707225/-Democrats-won-t-help-Trump-destroy-Obamacare
Democrats won't help Trump destroy Obamacare

Trump says "we" failed to pass health care -- but don't blame me!


[NB: No, it's never, ever his fault. The story give a long list of examples of Trump's blame-shifting.]

Trump meets with Mitch McConnell, says they are "closer than ever before" . . . . then insults him


More:  https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/10/16/1707296/-Trump-and-McConnell-assure-everyone-things-are-copacetic-We-re-together-totally
'We are together totally'

10 secs later: “I’m going to be surprising people with [plan]…I haven’t even told Mitch.” . . .  Trump on drug companies: "They contribute massive amounts of money to political people...Mitch, maybe even to you." 

Steve Bannon is out for McConnell's scalp -- so what is Trump going to do to protect his new best buddy?

Trump Says He’ll Talk to Bannon  

I love you! I hate you!

Trump White House fed up with the Senate
More: https://www.salon.com/2017/10/16/trump-sticks-by-steve-bannon-defends-attacks-against-gop/
Trump added later that while he has a "fantastic relationship" with Republicans in the Senate, "there are some Republicans, frankly, that should be ashamed of themselves."

The tax cut bill could very well carry over until next year. Meanwhile, Trump breaks his promise to give tax cuts to the middle class. He has something better! Massive corporate tax cuts that he says will give each middle class family thousands more in income

The scamming runs very, very deep

Trump's choice as drug czar runs into a little trouble

Trump's pick for drug czar blocked the DEA from fighting the opioid epidemic

More: https://www.salon.com/2017/10/16/democrats-war-on-trumps-drug-czar-explosive-dea-expose-provides-opening-on-opioids/

Trump just can't stop blaming Puerto Rico


Remember? http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/10/trump-said-puerto-rico-repeatedly-in-a-spanish-accent.html
"We love Puerto Rico"

It really IS an adult day care center


More: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-adult-day-care-washington-post 

Musical chairs: if CIA director Mike Pompeo takes over for Sect'y of State Rex Tillerson, who takes over the CIA?


Trump tells the American people that the American people are sick of the Russia investigation

Bonus item: John Oliver, the king of nerdy outrage, takes on Equifax


***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!

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Monday, October 16, 2017


An "I can't recall" that reeks. If someone told you, one way or the other, you would certainly remember. So, that means. . .

Mike Huckabee: 'Can't Recall' If Trump Admitted Sexually Assaulting Women After Weinstein Scandal

Graphic: https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/10/nobody-has-respect-for-women-like-me.html

Another shoe falls . . .

Trump Subpoenaed for Documents Related to Sexual Assault Allegations
Bob Corker said Trump had "castrated" Sect'y of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson responds in just the way you would expect. Yes he did

Tillerson also dodges, again, a chance to deny he called Trump a "moron." We all know what that means too


It's really remarkable: a party that controls the branches of government, that earned an expected presidential win, that has a lot of safe seats virtually locked in by gerrymandering and other electoral ploys, still is terrified of the responsibility of being in power and and what will happen if they fail

Graham Says ‘We’re Dead’ If Tax Reform Fails 

[NB: As I've said before, when the REPUBLICANS can't pass tax reform, something is really broken. Of course, part of it is a president who can't/won't lead.]

No, Trump doesn't understand his own policies


The kind of man he is

What was taking place in Jupiter (Florida) was an essential part of Trump’s modus operandi. In every deal, he has to win and you have to lose. . . . [read on]

More: https://www.salon.com/2017/10/16/is-trump-unraveling_partner/
Is Trump unraveling?

Trump mocks Pence


I don't spend too much time worrying about what Sean Hannity says. But here are his many, many attempts to spin, deflect, or deny Trump's Russia troubles. Again, the frequency and desperation speak volumes


Just a little reminder that "Christian" doesn't mean "white conservative evangelical" (even if they might think so)


Bonus item: SNL: Trump destroys everything from the Obama admin, even Michelle's vegetable garden


***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.***

Sunday, October 15, 2017


18 states sue over Trump's efforts to sabotage Obamacare

As Salon reported, Trump proudly proclaimed that he knew the impact of the halted payments would likely result in higher premiums and less coverage, and suggested the Democrats should call him to make a deal. The administration cited a "federal district court ruling that said it's unconstitutional for the president to make those payments if Congress hasn't appropriated the money for them," Axios reported. The ruling has been on the books for over a year now, and Trump has made the payments — just as former President Barack Obama did — since he has been in office. . . .

More: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/bannon-admits-it
Bannon admitted what the White House has repeatedly denied, which is that Trump decided to cut off CSR payments to make the health insurance exchanges blow up, thus making prices skyrocket. 

Be careful what you ask for

Republicans demanded a major say on the Iran nuclear agreement two years ago and never got it from Democrat Barack Obama. Now that President Donald Trump has directed Congress to make the international pact more stringent, the GOP is finding it won’t be easy. . . .

Ted Cruz, the only GOP senator not targeted by Steve Bannon's "movement," tells his colleagues they'd better get on board or face a "bloodbath" in 2018


More: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/354641-bannon-is-recruiting-2018-candidates-to-challenge-every-republican

Trump declares war against members of his own party. Astonishing!


Paul Ryan, moral coward

“It’s what he does. We’ve kind of learned to live with it.”  
                 — Speaker Paul Ryan, in an interview on MSNBC, on President Trump

Only with this dysfunctional administration would it be news that the president picked up the phone and talked to the Senate majority leader from this own party


Uhh . . . wait a second. Hasn't Trump been bragging about soaring stocks as a sign of his brilliant economic policy?

"Health Insurance stocks, which have gone through the roof during the ObamaCare years, plunged yesterday after I ended their Dems windfall!"

More: https://thinkprogress.org/trump-insurance-stocks-8c2edd4db513
Trump brags that plunging stocks are evidence of his success

[NB: They go up, he brags, they go down, he brags, Nice gig!]

The nationalist-evangelical alliance -- where have we seen this before?


The White House has said that Trump's Twitter feed provides official statements from the President. They can't then also treat it like a "personal" account


Paul Manafort changes his story . . .  again


We're still more than a year out, but. . . .

Democrats Have a Good Shot at Winning the House

***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 14, 2017


He's a deal breaker, not a deal maker. He has no idea of the damage he is doing

Trump To ‘Decertify’ But Not Withdraw From Iran Nuclear Deal

Donald 'I alone can fix it' Trump tells Congress to fix the Iran deal

Corker and Cotton move to fix flaws in Iran nuclear deal

Count the lies

Earlier today Trump said, "The Iranian regime has committed multiple violations of the agreement," but that seems to be another lie he's telling the American people. . . . On October 3rd, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said, "Iran is not in material breach of the agreement and I do believe the agreement to date has delayed the development of a nuclear capability by Iran." Rex Tillerson told CBS, "My view on the nuclear deal is they are in technical compliance of the nuclear arrangement." And when Gen. Mattis was asked if it was in our best national security interests to remain in the JCPOA, Mattis replied, "Yes, Senator, I do." The NY Times reported, "Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis argued that it was in the national security interests of the United States to keep the deal’s constraints on Iran." [read on]

More: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/10/trump-tried-reality-tv-tricks-in-his-iran-announcement.html
If the theatrics of today’s speech reminds you more of a reality-show season premiere than high diplomacy, it’s not accidental. Trump and his team are stage-managing Iran policy as if it were an episode of The Apprentice. He intentionally built drama for weeks — from his September taunt to the United Kingdom, our closest ally, that he’d made a decision but wasn’t willing to share it, to a steady drip of leaks and time changes in the lead-up to today’s announcement. European ambassadors were called to the State Department days ahead of time, then told the State Department had nothing to tell them. [read on]

Inside Trump's head

The best reporting in this case suggests he became annoyed that Iran’s compliance—and America’s obligation to certify its compliance—contradicts his campaign rhetoric, and makes him look weak. When he was running for the presidency he called the Iran deal “the worst deal ever negotiated” and promised to withdraw. To save face, he has apparently ordered his team to rationalize an irrational and damaging decision. . . . The fact is that Donald Trump appears to have no idea what is in the Iran deal, which took seven years of painstaking sanctions and diplomacy to achieve. I have never heard him discuss its provisions at length, or seen him pressed to explain which ones he disagrees with. . . . [read on]

Trump’s lack of those specific goals — or to put it another way, the lack of a defined end-state he’s trying to reach — may be one of his most underappreciated weaknesses as a president. Most people, even many in his own party, understand that he’s spectacularly uninformed about policy, not particularly bright and distressingly impulsive. But he also seems to have no idea where he’s trying to go, and we’re seeing it play out on multiple issues right now. . . .

Nikki Haley is after Rex Tillerson's job

Corker (R-Tenn.), who publicly laid into Trump earlier this week on Twitter by saying the White House had become an “adult day care center,” slammed the president by saying he was undermining Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and creating scenarios in which the United States might be forced to choose between waging war on North Korea or Iran or allowing those countries to threaten the U.S. with nuclear weapons. “You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice,” Corker told The Washington Post in an interview Friday. He added that it was the undercutting of Tillerson that he was “most exercised about.” . . .

Haley would become the administration’s most vocal public proponent of decertification—and Trump’s favorite internal voice on Iran—further boosting her standing with the president at a time when she is seen as a potential successor to Tillerson, whose tense relationship with Trump has burst into the open in recent days. A month after her talk with Trump, Haley flew to Vienna to visit the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Association, where she pressed officials about Iranian compliance with the deal. Soon after, she delivered a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., airing her “doubts and concerns” about the agreement. . . . 

Trump admits he is destroying Obamacare and intentionally hurting Americans to get what he wants

If President Donald Trump didn't want the American public to believe that his recent executive actions against the Affordable Care Act weren't a deliberate attempt to sabotage it, he probably shouldn't have sent out this tweet Friday morning. . . By offering Democrats to "call me to fix" health care, he made it very clear that he knew his actions weren't fixing the health care market. It's quite the opposite: He's engaged in a program to systematically destroy health insurance for Americans after Congress tried and failed to overturn Obamacare. . . . [read on]

More: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/trump-goes-war-against-his-own-countrys-health-care-system
Trump goes to war against his own country’s health care system

Who’s going to be hurt by Trump’s new attack on Obamacare

Fewer people will have insurance — and the government will spend more. 

Count the lies

Here are a series of lies Republicans have been making about CSR payments and current health law . . . 

A a solid majority of the public — 71 percent — wants to see President Donald Trump make Obamacare work instead of dismantling the law . . .

More: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/13/16472686/brian-sandoval-aca-trump
“It’s going to hurt everybody”: Nevada’s GOP governor rips Trump over ACA sabotage 

How should the Dems play this?

By the way, at the big ceremony to trumpet his sabotage of Obamacare, Trump forgot to sign the Executive Order (again)


It's happened before: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/326796-trump-appears-to-forget-to-sign-executive-orders 

Straight to court

Democratic attorneys general from a handful of states announced Friday their plans to file a lawsuit against President Trump’s efforts to end Obamacare subsidies to insurers. . . . 

More: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/13/trump-end-obamacare-subsidy-legal-battles-243755

So, let's sum up: on these two issues, the Iran deal and Trumbamacare, he is going to need votes from the Dems. Expect them to drive a hard bargain

Donald Trump on Friday placed a gun to the head of the landmark 2015 Iranian nuclear deal while telling Congress and U.S. allies it will be their fault if he pulls the trigger. Both are refusing to go along with the murder. Democrats in the Senate, who by sheer legislative math are pivotal to Trump’s plans, are gearing up to protect the deal and calling the prime legislative effort from the Republicans to cash out Trump’s hostile posture to Iran a “nonstarter.” And the European allies who are parties to the deal immediately rejected Trump in a striking defense of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). . . .

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer called the end of the cost-sharing payments “a spiteful act” of “sabotage.” They expressed confidence in a joint statement that the politics will play in their favor: “Make no mistake about it, Trump will try to blame the Affordable Care Act, but this will fall on his back and he will pay the price for it.” . . .

More: http://crooksandliars.com/2017/10/trump-wants-play-lets-make-deal-trumpcare


At the same time, Trump's relationship with Congress has never been worse


Trump suggests that U.S. assistance won't stay in Puerto Rico much longer. Have you heard him say anything like that about Florida or Texas?

San Juan mayor blasts Trump's failure in Puerto Rico: 'You are incapable of empathy'

More: https://www.salon.com/2017/10/13/trumps-conduct-toward-puerto-rico-a-national-disgrace/
Trump’s conduct toward Puerto Rico: A national disgrace

Feeling the heat, Trump has to un-tweet his coldheartedness

After threatening to pull aid, Trump says he 'will always be with' Puerto Rico

More: https://www.salon.com/2017/10/13/rick-perry-calls-puerto-rico-a-country-while-trump-offers-tepid-words-of-support/
Tepid words of support. . . 
From a Republican strategist
But the real problem has always been Trump’s fundamental unfitness for high office. It is not Trump’s indiscipline and lack of leadership, which make carrying a legislative agenda forward nearly impossible. It is not his vulgarity and smallness, which have been the equivalent of spray-painting graffiti on the Washington Monument. It is not his nearly complete ignorance of policy and history, which condemns him to live in the eternal present of his own immediate desires. No, Corker has given public permission to raise the most serious questions: Is Trump psychologically and morally equipped to be president? And could his unfitness cause permanent damage to the country? It is no longer possible to safely ignore the leaked cries for help coming from within the administration. They reveal a president raging against enemies, obsessed by slights, deeply uninformed and incurious, unable to focus, and subject to destructive whims. A main task of the chief of staff seems to be to shield him from dinner guests and telephone calls that might set him off on a foolish or dangerous tangent. Much of the White House senior staff seems bound, not by loyalty to the president, but by a duty to protect the nation from the president. . . .

Trump throws in the with theocrats -- his one dependable base

In a radical departure, Trump health officials want to define life as starting at "conception" 

‘An answer to our prayers’: Religious conservatives look past Trump’s indiscretions

More: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-values-voters-summit
Trump Tells Conservative Christian Audience: Times ‘Are Changing Back’

[NB: How about the Fifties?] 

Gary Cohn, chief economic advisor to Trump, has tried to quit many times


Another anti-environmental pick

Trump’s pick to run White House environmental office says more CO2 is good for humanity

More: https://www.salon.com/2017/10/13/trumps-noaa-nominee-wanted-to-limit-the-governments-free-weather-service/ 

Trump's dangerous ignorance

During his latest Fox News interview, Donald Trump briefly addressed the burgeoning crisis with North Korea, and expressed confidence in the United States’ position. “We have missiles that can knock out a missile in the air 97% of the time,” the president boasted on Wednesday, “and if you send two of them, it’s going to get knocked down.” As the Washington Post explained this morning, this is plainly wrong. . . .

Chaos theory

REPORTER: I asked you about Senator Corker and some of the comments he made a few weeks back. Earlier this week, he said that Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis, and General Kelly are basically what’s keeping the country separated from chaos. And he said there are other people in the White House that aren’t putting forth policies in a coherent fashion. Do you have any response to Senator Corker’s statement?

SANDERS: Look, I think that the president is the one that’s keeping the world from chaos.  

I really wish that were true. It’s not. . . [read on] 

Interesting. Susan Collins (R-ME) decides to stay in the Senate 


Is it possible that Jared Kushner just isn't very bright?

Background Check Official Says He’s ‘Never Seen’ Mistakes Like Kushner’s

More: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/10/democrat-kushner-enriched-himself-by-lying-on-disclosure.html

Hmmmm . . . 

Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's team on Friday, according to his lawyer, William Burck. “Mr. Priebus was voluntarily interviewed by Special Counsel Mueller’s team today. He was happy to answer all of their questions," Burck said. . . .

More: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/13/muellers-team-interviewed-priebus-on-friday-243765

Paul Manafort's $60 million relationship with a Russian oligarch


Twitter deleted evidence in the Russia probe


***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.***