Friday, April 28, 2017

DAY 99

Looks like the House Republicans may try to force through a health care vote today -- on a bill their own moderates hate, which has received zero publicity (so no one knows what's in it), and which has no chance in the Senate. Why? Simply and only so that Trump can claim he "passed" an Obamacare repeal and replace bill before his 100 days are up
Trump demands moderate Republicans walk the plank on his futile Trumpcare 3.0 effort
GOP Moderates Boxed In On Latest Obamacare Repeal Bill
GOP looks short on repeal vote 

BREAKING NEWS: Nope, no vote, another failure
There are at least 21 verified "No" votes from Republicans on the amended bill, and apparently a few more who are not on the record. . . .

[NB: Eight tweets from Trump blaming the Democrats for the failure of the bill.]

More failures (it's quite a list)
Congressional Republicans are unimpressed with Trump’s tax plan: “Not even close” to tax reform
President Trump says he’s considering breaking up the 9th federal judicial circuit since it’s been the source of so many of his reversals. First of all, the President can’t do that. . . [read on]

Trump does himself no favors with attacks on the federal judiciary
Trump’s jobs numbers aren’t as good as his website says they are
A Case Study in Trump Chaos: NAFTA
Donald Trump’s North Korea briefing was a political stunt
'Oh, come on': Supreme Court justices incredulous at Justice Department immigration argument
Team Trump launches a misguided anti-immigrant effort
Trump and Sessions are constitutional idiots

Will Trump's tax cut help the middle class? Don't ask

Hey, working class Trump voters. Remember when Trump promised tax cuts for you and not the rich?  

The 100 day countdown
Donald Trump is historically unpopular as he reaches the 100-day mark
ONE HUNDRED days into the Donald Trump presidency, we have neither achieved the nirvana he promised nor entered the dystopia critics, including us, feared. Since nirvana was never likely, it may be more productive to examine why we have, so far, avoided the worst. Preliminary thanks are owed to Congress, judges, the Congressional Budget Office, the American citizenry, and voters in the Netherlands and France.  . . . [read on]
“The Simpsons” rips President Trump’s first 100 days in office  

Here's a couple of lists for you:
100 Days, 100 Horrors
Relax, Donald: After 100 Days, You’ve Already Done So Much

One undeniable success
Donald Trump’s first 100 days have been a moneymaking success story

Trump's learning curve
Politico has published an article on "The Education of Donald Trump" and it is really alarming. It's not just him. It's the whole White House . . . “I kind of pooh-poohed the experience stuff when I first got here,” one White House official said of these early months. “But this shit is hard.”

“If you’re an adviser to him, your job is to help him at the margins,” said one Trump confidante. “To talk him out of doing crazy things.”  ....“You don’t walk in with a traditional presentation, like a binder or a PowerPoint. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t consume information that way,” said one senior administration official. “You go in and tell him the pros and cons, and what the media coverage is going to be like.”...What the president hears on the cable morning gabfests on Fox News, MSNBC and CNN can redirect his attention, schedule and agenda. The three TVs in the chief-of-staff's office sometimes dictate the 8 a.m. meeting — and are always turned on to cable news, West Wing officials say.
Trump’s aides now prefer to present him with one option rather than letting him choose among several
Donald Trump thought leading the country would “be easier”: “This is more work than in my previous life” 

Oh, how he loves to threaten
Trump Warns of ‘Major, Major Conflict’ With North Korea

MSNBC analyst Rick Wilson was having none of it whatsoever.  "Donald Trump keeps looking at these things as a real estate negotiation with a lot of bluster and a lot of bluffing. and fails to realize that we're dealing with a country that is not a rational actor and that is poised to do damage to a significant ally of ours if we miscalculate on this thing," Wilson fumed. "A lot of people could die unless Donald Trump leaves this to the grown-ups," he continued. "I would much rather have Mcmaster and Mattis and even Rex Tillerson handling this right now than this verbally incontinent man-child who feels like he is moving little toy soldiers around the board."

Flynn is screwed
Michael Flynn Hid $33,000 Russian Payday From Feds, Officials Say

Michael Flynn’s latest legal problems: a brief guide

The Trump response? It's all Obama's fault (no, I'm not joking)
When pressed by Major Garrett and Jim Acosta on whether there were any regrets for the lack of vetting of General Michael Flynn, Spicer blamed the Obama administration for giving him a security clearance in 2014, before Flynn's contacts with and payments from foreign agents. . . . [read on]

Obama fired Michael Flynn. Trump made him national security adviser. Guess who Spicer blames.

How Trump's lies work for him

Spicey blurts out something he doesn't know anything about and nearly triggers a financial crisis
JAVERS: “Can you lay out what the president’s vision is for 401ks and specifically tax deductions surrounding those, does the president imagine removing those deductions entirely, or is he going to protect them?” SPICER: “So the Secretary of the Treasury and director Cohn yesterday both talked about that the current plan both protects charitable givings and mortgage interest and that’s it.”

WH Quickly Clarifies

The far right are going after Ivanka (and Jared)

In other news. . .
The Trump family’s massive grift: Who cares about policy? As a business and branding venture, this presidency is going swell
Trump might put a professional union-buster on board intended to protect workers' right to organize
A Republican proposal could be our best chance to save net neutrality
Department Of The Interior Scrubs 'Climate Change' Page
Ben Carson is proving to be the bizarre and incompetent Secretary of Housing and Urban Development we expected him to be 

Bonus item: What/Who Made Trump Look Like An Even Bigger Fool This Month
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Thursday, April 27, 2017


You remember what an utter outrage the Clinton Foundation was (run by FORMER officials of government) and their fundraising with foreign governments. An outrage! Blatant exploitation of government connections! A palpable conflict of interest!

Well, forget all that now
Ivanka Trump wants foreign leaders to give money to her foundation 

Like her husband, Jared, Ivanka Trump is wearing many hats in her role as a “special assistant” to the president. Although she has no defined role, she has been given her own chief of staff, who presumably will oversee a full staff attending to Ivanka Trump, something that is wholly unprecedented in American history. Her role pushes ethical boundaries relating to nepotism rules in the White House, but that may not be the only ethical boundary she’s testing. . . .  Collecting donations for a “massive fund” from foreign governments while working in the White House? Do we seriously need to spell out why this is problematic?
This is really quite astounding. . . .
Ethics Experts Baffled
AP's Clinton Foundation non-scandal was the worst journalistic malpractice of the 2016 election

More money-making from government office
How Trump could make himself richer through tax reform
Donald Trump is getting rich off states

Hmmm . .  how many shoes does a centipede wear?
Sen. McCain On Flynn: Russian Activities Are Like A 'Centipede' And 'More Shoes' Will Drop

I think this is what you call "getting cut loose":
When asked at yesterday's presser if Donald Trump stands by his statement earlier this year that Michael Flynn was the victim of a "media witch hunt," Sean Spicer wouldn't go there: "I think all the facts haven't come out." said the press secretary. . . .

Trump keeps issuing Executive Orders of dubious legality, then getting challenged in the courts, then blaming the courts. Maybe he should draw a different lesson from these experiences
“See you in the Supreme Court”: Donald Trump rages over blow to his sanctuary city crackdown
President Trump’s Tantrums Sink Him in Court Again

Oops -- wrong court!
[Trump] "First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities-both ridiculous rulings. See you in the Supreme Court!" 

But in this case, there’s an eensy issue with Trump’s tweet other than just it’s open disdain for the third branch of the government. . . . Judge William Orrick does happen to be in San Francisco. No, he’s not on the Ninth Circuit. This was a United States District Court ruling.

Dumb ass:
Trump Floats Breaking Up 9th Circuit Court Of Appeals

Another one
Trump Admin Considering Draft Executive Order To Withdraw From NAFTA
President Donald Trump’s top advisers are embroiled in a debate over how aggressively to proceed on reshaping U.S. participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement, with hard-liners favoring a threatened withdrawal as soon as this week and others advocating for a more measured approach to reopening negotiations with Canada and Mexico. Some of Trump’s advisers want a dramatic move before Trump’s 100th day in office on Saturday to fulfill a key campaign promise . . .

And . . . . within hours, he backs down:
Hours After Floating Threat to Scrap NAFTA, Trump Says He’ll Renegotiate 

Talk tough, fold like a cheap suit
Coming down off a hard to demand from less than a week ago (that Obamacare would get it if Dems didn’t fund his border wall) OMB Director Mulvaney says Trump will sign a funding bill without any money for a border wall.
Bluster Followed By Surrender: Is This Another Trump Pattern? 


Funny. Trump says the 100 day mark is "ridiculous" and doesn't matter. But there's never been a president so obsessed with it

Seth Meyers!

However low your expectations were about Trump's trumpeted "tax plan" release, all we got was a one-page, 500 word outline
A joke, not a ‘plan’
Trump’s “tax plan” isn’t a real plan
“Not even close to reform”
Trump Officials Unveil Their Plan to Make a Plan
‘Lots And Lots Of Details’ On The Way

Overall, it’s a huge cut to corporate taxes and individual rates for high earners, with some significant cuts to deductions that are nowhere near enough to pay for it all. The plan is almost identical to the final plan Trump released on the campaign trail . . .
It's not worth the 60 seconds it would take to check this, but I'm pretty sure this is less detailed than Trump's campaign document. What a f---ing embarrassment. It's like something a high school class would put together. . .  [read on]
Unadulterated Trickle-Down Fundamentalism
What it means for the rich, for the world and for you

Trump's wacky tax plan math

This is the United States of America, the biggest, richest country on the planet. The leader of the free world. And this is what we get from our president these days. He wants to cut taxes by $4 trillion or more—$4 trillion!—and he can't be bothered to produce more than a single page of bullet points about it. No details. No legislation. No analysis from the OMB. Nothing. Just a comic book version of a tax overhaul. The contempt and incompetence this displays is breathtaking. . . .

Donald Trump invited the entire Senate for a briefing at the White House on North Korea and military preparation, but only spent 14 minutes with his fellow leaders. Based on what those senators are now telling reporters, the entire meeting seems to have been a colossal waste of time. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told the Washington Post, “There was very little, if anything new” in the meeting, adding, “I remain mystified about why the entire Senate had to be taken over to the White House rather than conducting it here.” A Democratic senator told the New York Times that, during the meeting, Trump did his “ridiculous adjective” bit, and that in response there were “about 80 sets of invisible eyes rolling.” . . . 

Trump is a joke around the world. The evidence is everywhere
Laughable White House claim: Trump has ‘rebuilt’ US global standing

The growing problem of unfulfilled govt jobs -- not because of "Democratic obstruction," but because the Trump gang can't get their act together to appoint them (and apparently because a lot of people are turning them down)

Nope, still nowhere near an agreement on health care

Donald Trump Is a Terrible Negotiator

The new Trump threat to destroy Obamacare

Betsy DeVos blurts an inconvenient truth

In other news. . .
Alabama Lawmakers: Faith-Based Adoption Groups Can Spurn Gay Couples
9 radical changes that are coming to transportation
Republicans launch effort to roll back the Dodd-Frank banking regulations
Sanders and 21 Democrats introduce bill to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour
Barack Obama’s $400,000 speech to Wall Street sparks liberal blowback
Industry is counting on Trump to back off rules that tell you what’s in your food

Fox World still has lots of pigs


Bonus item: A linguist looks at Trump-speak

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Closing the loop
Flynn Lobbied For Turkish Businessman With Business Ties To Russia
Flynn probably broke the law by failing to disclose foreign payments, House Oversight leaders say
“I see no data to support the notion that General Flynn complied with the law,” Chaffetz said. “It does not appear to us that [permission] was ever sought.” “As a former military officer you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else, and it appears as if he did take that money,” the soon-to-be former House Oversight chair continued. “It was inappropriate and there are repercussions for the violation of law.”

Now the questions come: Was Flynn vetted? How did this not come up when he was hired?
Why Wasn't Gen. Flynn Properly Vetted? Spicer: 'He Filled "Out The Forms'
Asked If He Thinks Flynn Broke Law, Spicer Says That's 'A Question For Him'

Unpacking Spicer's Arguments about Flynn 

Of course, the Trump gang is cooperating fully

Here are two statements President Donald Trump has made: "I condemn foreign interference in American democracy and I welcome any investigation into Russia's involvement in the presidential election."  "I will cooperate fully with any investigation." . . .

White House refuses to hand over documents related to Michael Flynn 

Get ready: Sally Yates, who warned the Trump gang about Flynn months before they did anything about it, will testify in open session
Trump LOSES on The Wall, bigly
Republicans move forward with spending bill that excludes Trump's new border wall funding
On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, lawmakers took Trump’s apparent shift as a given and are moving forward in their discussions across the aisle with the assumption that the funding bill will contain appropriations for broader border security—including surveillance technology and personnel—as opposed to a physical barrier.  “I think Trump’s backed off the wall,” said Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), who had dinner with the president Monday evening. “I got the sense that he’s not going to take this fight too far. He understands border security is important, but he’s not going to overplay his hand.”
Trump Says His Proposed Border Wall Will '100 Percent' Get Built 'Soon'
“Yesterday, President Trump reportedly said that he’s going to delay pushing the wall through. Can you just clarify what the status is?” Associated Press reporter Vivian Salama asked Spicer at his daily briefing. . . . “His priorities have not changed. There will be a wall built.”  Spicer said that there is “plenty of planning that can be done” in the current fiscal year.  “Our priorities are clear going into FY17, the remainder of budgeting for that, and we’ll continue to ask for more in FY18,” he said, referring to fiscal years 2017 and 2018.  “So it’s delayed for now,” Salama pressed.  “No, I didn’t — no, no, no, no. I never — no one said delayed. No, no,” Spicer said.
Mulvaney Says Trump Will Sign Funding Measure Without Money For Border Wall
Trump waffles on whether his wall gets built in his first term: 'Yea. Yea. Sure' 
Trump LOSES on his attempt to punish sanctuary cities 
California judge blocks Trump's anti-sanctuary cities executive order

Trump, White House Go After Court Over Sanctuary Cities Ruling 

Trump LOSES in his race to accomplish anything more in his first 100 days
'An utter failure'


Today we learn about Trump's tax plan -- which already looks like another LOSER in Congress

The things Trump doesn't know

Trump used to hate Executive Orders -- now he brags that he's signed THE MOST

He doesn't read them: 

It's becoming clear that Trump wants to eliminate all signs that Obama ever was President, if he can

Chicago's Trump Tower can't find tenants

Well played! 
Progressive advocacy group Common Cause filed a complaint Tuesday after the State Department posted promotional materials about President Donald Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago club on government websites. . . .

The Repubs exempt their own insurance from their health care bill for everyone else 

No, Ivanka Trump is not a feminist

See a pattern?
The campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has been targeted by hackers that are linked to Russia and may be the same hackers responsible for breaching the emails of Democratic officials before last year’s election in the U.S. . . .

Hate group leader: Our allies 'are now very well placed' in the Trump administration

Team Trump has utter contempt for the media. Here's proof

Fox World is slowly imploding

***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 ( with others via email or social media.

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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.***