Monday, January 22, 2018


The child in our White House. Trump has a sad because he couldn't go to Mar-a-Lago for his one-year celebration party and love fest. The optics of leaving town in the middle of a govt shutdown were too much even for him. So of course he spent the day in intense meetings and phone calls trying to reach a compromise, right? Right?
President Donald Trump spent the day frustrated and angry, watching videos of himself in 2013 attacking President Obama’s leadership during the shutdown that happened that year . . . However, the White House has refused to even talk to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who said that the White House had “not called” him that day. Neither Trump nor White House Chief of Staff John Kelly have called Schumer as of Sunday morning. . .  [read on]
“Senior advisers counseled him to do less, not more, negotiating, arguing that the shutdown was a political problem that Democrats had created for themselves, and had to find their own way to resolve. But Mr. Trump, a highly reactive personality who detests headlines questioning his leadership — like those that dominated cable TV throughout Saturday, during coverage of the shutdown and women’s marches throughout the country denouncing his presidency — felt stymied and wanted somehow to intervene. . . .”

Trump's solution to the budget impasse: change the Senate rules so you never have to negotiate with the Democrats again

McConnell says, do your job and stop telling us how to do ours:

Workers get furloughed, program recipients get stiffed, important services get cancelled -- but because it's Trump he thinks the shutdown is all about him
Trump Pouts Over Shutdown: Dems Gave Me ‘Present’ On Inauguration Anniversary


Me, me, me, me, me!
Trump to South Korean president: Give me credit for diplomatic progress with North Korea 

WH releases ridiculous photos that show Trump "working" during the govt shutdown. Social media has a field day
“I too conduct most of my most important work with a phone in my hand and nothing on my desk, while staring vacantly off into space”


Good Lindsey makes an appearance
"As long as Stephen Miller is in charge of negotiating immigration, we are going nowhere. He's been an outlier for years," Graham told reporters  . . . "I’ve talked with the president — his heart is right on this issue," Graham said. "He’s got a good understanding of what will sell, and every time we have a proposal it is only yanked back by staff members."  

Looks like there might be a deal -- if Trump doesn't screw it up. A short-term CR, a commitment to bring an immigration bill for a vote. And the Great Deal Maker had nothing to do with it. Vote at noon today . . . maybe

Democrats Must Decide if They Trust McConnell . . . In a short address from the Senate floor just after 9 p.m. on Sunday, McConnell said “it would be my intention to proceed on legislation that would address DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], border security, and related issues” if those bipartisan priorities are not resolved before funding expires on Feb. 8—assuming the government’s lights are turned on before then.
McConnell's empty promise, explained . . .

Trust McConnell's promises?
[Dec 20] McConnell's statement came after Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake had said he received a commitment for a vote on immigration. Flake's statement and tweet came after he voted for the GOP tax bill that passed early Wednesday morning...
[Dec 20] Sen. Susan Collins announced Wednesday that crucial Affordable Care Act stabilization bills will be delayed until 2018 despite the promises she received from Republican leaders that they would be approved by the end of this year. Collins had emphasized passage of the two bills to secure her vote for the tax reform bill. . . . “I am the first to say that I am not happy about that, that I’m disappointed about that,” Collins, a moderate Republican, told the Portland Press Herald  . . .Collins, in the Press Herald interview Wednesday, contended that she still has commitments of support for the bills from McConnell . . .   

[NB: I think the Dems will require something more than just McConnell's say-so.] 

Who's getting blamed for the shutdown?
More Voters Blame Republicans for Shutdown 


The phony report that suggested that immigrants were responsible for 3/4 of terror attacks was presented as the work of the Dept of Homeland Security. But in fact DHS had nothing to do with it

Two more Trump Cabinet members that he has lost patience with
Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross has lost President Trump’s trust, according a new Axios report featuring some pretty brutal blind-quotes. . . . “Wilbur has lost his step,” the 71-year-old Trump reportedly said to someone at some point last year. “Actually, he’s probably lost a lot of steps.”
Trump Turns on His Interior Secretary

Jared Kushner, for reasons you know all too well, has been unable to get a security clearance. Turns out, they've been sharing classified information with him anyway

Kushner’s Meetings With Chinese Officials Raised Red Flags  

Another Mueller target?

House Intel chair Devin Nunes had his people put together a secret "report" supposedly demonstrating FBI perfidy in gaining FISA approval to conduct wiretaps. The Repubs who have seen it say it demonstrates serious misconduct. Others say it is dishonest and misleading. But guess who HASN'T been allowed to see it? 

The hateful new Trump campaign ad, like his earlier quote that "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best . . .They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists," paints immigrants as dangerous criminals. Here's the truth
Contrary to Trump’s Claims, Immigrants Are Less Likely to Commit Crimes  

The Trump White House denies responsibility for the ad. But . . .
The ad concludes with Trump saying “I’m Donald Trump and I approve this message” and a photo of Trump with two thumbs up.

They don't even see how ugly and offensive this is
Welcome to Mar-a-Lago!” Fox News host Jeanine Pirro said as she took the stage. “A magnificent place . . . ”  She was smiling. That was a setup. Here was the joke: “It sure ain’t no shithole!” Pirro said. The Donald J. Trump Grand Ballroom erupted. [read on]

The way in which Michael Wolff gained access to the Trump WH tells a lot about their confusion and incompetence

Another book on the Trump WH, the same basic picture
“Kurtz’s book, Media Madness: Donald Trump, The Press, And The War Over The Truth, offers a portrait of a White House riven by chaos, with aides scrambling to respond to the president’s impulses and writing policy to fit his tweets.”

In an interesting strategic shift, the Dems are recruiting vets to run in 2018

Sen. Tammy Duckworth reminds Trump he is a “five-deferment draft dodger”
As the country has become more racially and ethnically diverse, so has the U.S. military.

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Sunday, January 21, 2018


When will there be a deal to fund the govt? It's complicated, and Trump doesn't like complicated

Two shutdown takeaways: Republicans didn't even try and Trump sowed insurmountable confusion
“Negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with jello. It’s next to impossible. As soon as you take one step forward the hard right forces the president three steps back… It’s next to impossible to strike a deal with the president because he can’t stick to the terms.” 
               — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Now what?

Here’s how the government shutdown ends

The new Trump position: no negotiations on DACA until after the Dems agree to the House budget bill. Period

[NB: That sounds very firm and macho right now, but Trump is the chief executive -- and as time goes by the pressure on him to get the parties together and find a solution will climb.]

Who's getting the blame?

There are no limits any more, I guess
The Trump campaign on Saturday released a new campaign ad calling congressional Democrats “complicit” in all murders committed by undocumented immigrants. . . .

[NB: Looks like Stephen Miller got his way. So much for Trump's "bill of love."]

So typical. Trump: my shutdown is better than Obama's shutdown  

Here's a great way to celebrate Trump's one-year anniversary
Women’s marches and other protests . . .

Throughout the nation today, Women's Marches are matching or exceeding the turnout of 2017

What. A. Jerk:
[Trump] "Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March. Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!"  

What Steve Bannon can tell Robert Mueller 

More on the "Nunes memo." Guess who is also promoting it as a huge scandal discrediting the FBI and the Mueller investigation? 

Trump isn't really in charge -- and that's just the way establishment Republicans like it (thanks to DK for the link)

Trump's newfound sanctimony (thanks to RR for the link)
Thrice-Married Porn Lover Who Was Pro-Choice Until Five Minutes Ago Speaks at Anti-Abortion Rally

Bonus item: It started as a joke
'SPOT THE RUSSIAN SPY BLENDING IN' Donald Trump inauguration sparks wave of memes posted on social media

But it's no joke:
WaPo: FBI Was Alarmed By Presence Of Key Russian Elites At Trump Inauguration

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Saturday, January 20, 2018


The Dems, and even a handful of Repubs, refuse to go along with a dishonest short-term govt funding bill. What we don't know is how long a shutdown will last -- but the blame game has started
This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued this statement . . . “Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown. Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans. We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands . . . This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators.”


"He walked away from two bipartisan deals including one today in which I even put the border wall on the table. . . . What will it take for President Trump to say yes and learn who to execute the rudiments of government?"

More blame game:
The first real government shutdown under one-party government, ever

The NYT drinks the kool-aid
New York Times blames Democrats for ‘blocking’ Senate funding bill only 45 Republicans supported

Here's the fact: the Repubs chose a House bill that, as usual, was developed with no Dem input and which they knew would fail in the Senate. There is a deal to be had on these issues, which Trump sometimes seemed to support, but then let himself be pulled away by hardliners. Dem leader Chuck Schumer spent the day negotiating with Trump and made real concessions on The Wall™ and other issues -- but Trump walked away from that deal too. In the Senate you need Dem votes, and that means real negotiations and compromise. Trump and the hardliners don't accept that
President Trump and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the top Democrat in the Senate, came close to an agreement to avert a government shutdown over lunch on Friday, but their consensus broke down later in the day when the president and his chief of staff demanded more concessions on immigration . . . Mr. Schumer left the White House believing he had convinced the president to support a short, three to four-day spending extension to finalize an agreement, which would also include disaster funding and health care measures. Then everything fell apart. . . . 

What Trump said about Obama in 2013
“Well, if you say who gets fired it always has to be the top,” Trump said. “I mean, problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top and the president’s the leader. And he’s got to get everybody in a room and he’s got to lead. . . . when they talk about the government shutdown, they’re going to be talking about the president of the United States, who the president was at that time.”

The government could shut down because Donald Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing

I find this fascinating. Here is how Trump's minions turned him against the Graham-Durbin compromise: they gave him a short, superficial set of bullet points, almost entirely false, and since they knew that he had no idea what was actually in the bill, he bought their lies. This reveals not only the idiotically stupid level of policy "debate" in this White House, but also that his own people lie and manipulate him to get what they want . . . and it is SO EASY to do
  1. Fails to Secure the Border: “provides less than 10 percent of the necessary funds to construct the border wall.”
  2. Increases Illegal Immigration and Guarantees Future Amnesties: “provides immigration benefits to certain illegal aliens who came to the United States as juveniles.”
  3. Proposal Not Only Grants Citizenship To Up to 3 Million “DREAMers,” But Also Grants Legal Status to Their Parents: “grants a path to citizenship to an illegal population that is nearly five times larger than the population of DACA recipients.”
  4. Increases Chain Migration: “keeps chain migration in place while increasing the number of individuals eligible to bring in their foreign relatives through chain migration.”
  5. Fails To End the Visa Lottery.
Debunking the lies:

Trump, aiming at the Dems, says opposing the continuing resolution hurts the military. The truth is a more complicated
Trump’s rhetoric about shutdowns and the military doesn’t add up

"This is the ninth straight year with a continuing resolution," Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Monday. "This lack of predictability and that lack of stability in the budget has not allowed us to most efficiently plan and use the resources available to us." . . . 

King Cotton
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told President Donald Trump this week that there will be no deal on Dreamers if hard-line conservative GOP Sen. Tom Cotton is involved, according to several congressional sources. Schumer also told the president that he was not being well-served by White House staffers during negotiations over the fate of 700,000 young immigrants who face potential deportation if no deal is reached to protect them. Trump grew defensive during the private exchange . . .

Graham too:
Republican Senator blames possible shutdown on Trump listening to Tom Cotton, Stephen Miller 

Are the Dems playing this issue right?

A new CNN poll finds 56% of Americans say avoiding a shutdown is more important than passing a bill to maintain the program allowing people brought to the US illegally as children to stay. . . . 

Everyone saw this coming . . . except the crack machine put together in the White House
Trump administration is completely unprepared for a shutdown

There was never any reason to bring Omarosa into the White House, except that she was a loyal reality show character from The Apprentice and a friendly black face when Trump didn't have too many of those around. But she had no real role there, and left unhappily. Now we learn. . . . she may have recordings

Wow. Trump's first year, day by day 

Happy anniversary, Donald
“Activists are returning to the streets a year after a million people rallied worldwide at marches for female empowerment, hoping to create an enduring political movement that will elect more women to government office,” the AP reports.
Well, that's a strategy, I suppose

Repubs and Trump defenders keep talking about a "secret FISA memo" that PROVES that Obama illegally wiretapped Trump. And they keep not releasing it so we can judge for ourselves 

[NB: We'll see it eventually, but from what I read and hear, the great breathless scandal is that the FBI used segments of the Steele dossier (along with lots of other evidence of possible wrongdoing) as part of their case to get a FISA warrant. Since all that is needed is showing probable cause, the truth of every part of the dossier is not necessary for it to provide sufficient cause -- nor is it relevant that it was originally commissioned as oppo research against Trump. We know that Steele was a respected intelligence officer who found enough evidence of criminal mischief that he took his evidence to the FBI, and we know the FBI saw enough there to take it very seriously. And we know that much of the dossier's findings have in fact been confirmed. So where, exactly, is the "scandal"?]

The memo was developed BY GOP staffers on the House Intell committee. They're calling it the "Nunes memo"

Natasha Bertrand of Business Insider adds that the so-called “Nunes memo” embodies “a level of irresponsible stupidity that I cannot fathom. Purposefully misconstrues facts and leaves out important details.”
How your senators and representatives reacted to Trump's "shithole" remark -- if they commented at all 

As we have said here
Donald Trump’s fitness for office isn’t a medical question

The decline of unions is a big reason why we have lost a middle class in this country


No, Trump can't save coal

The black anti-abortion movement. Yes, it's a thing

They watch Fox World so we don't have to
The night Fox News went completely off the rails

How Fox World's alternate reality views the Mueller probe:

Bonus item: Please don't. Please. Don't
Stormy Daniels: ‘I Can Describe His Junk Perfectly’

***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. 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.***