Wednesday, November 30, 2016


A few weeks reading prepared speeches off a teleprompter, taking away his twitter privileges, and reminding him not to make any public comments about dark-skinned people, and voters allowed themselves to believe that Trump was "disciplined" and "moderating." Uhhh . . . no. His handlers just managed to shield his true character from people, and the desperate need of supporters and GOP pols to convince themselves that he isn't the man he had already proven himself to be, did the rest. Now people are slowly realizing who they have put in the most powerful position in the world: an erratic, thin-skinned juvenile, uninformed about even the basics of the constitution and governing, susceptible to paranoid conspiracy theories, and hateful in his attacks against anyone who opposes him
Donald Trump tweets a new attack on the First Amendment, threatens exile for flag burners

As pressure mounts, Trump’s tantrums become more frequent
How to Manipulate Donald Trump . . . He’s an emotional weakling, and his recent interviews give us models for dealing with it. . . . [read in]

Donald Trump released a video announcing his agenda for his "first day in office." One of the things he said is, "I will formulate a rule which says that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated." Can we count the number of ways this is absurd and dangerous? . . .
Republicans allowed voter paranoia to flourish. They got a president-elect who embraces it.

Trump calls his election a "landslide." Let's do the math, shall we?

Hurricane Katrina makes a comeback!

Mitt does the dance of obeisance. Is this enough to get him the Sect'y of State job?
Watch: "[Trump] continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together."

Twitter reacts:

Trump re-appoints a Bush cabinet member to his own cabinet. Is the fact that she's Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's wife a factor?

Chao is actually very qualified for this position. That's...a little unusual for Trump. So it's hard to make too big a fuss over the obvious cynicism of picking Mitch McConnell's wife to be the head cheerleader for his infrastructure plan. . .  [read on]
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whose wife Elaine Chao is Trump’s pick for transportation secretary, was asked if he plans to recuse himself from her Senate confirmation process. McConnell’s answer? . . . “Let me be quite clear: I will not be recusing myself.”

Mr. Populist appoints a former Goldman Sachs exec and hedge fund manager to be Treasury Sect'y. Because he's all about challenging the Establishment and draining the swamp

Trump's Attorney General thinks we've gone too far in accommodating kids with disabilities in schools. Just thought you'd like to know

The Cesspool: Trump's blatant conflicts of interest are even worse than we realize

Role for Donald Trump’s children continues to raise questions  

Rep. Jason Chaffetz had investigations lined up for Hillary Clinton from the day she started in office until the end of her term -- because Congress needs to hold those in power accountable. But on Trump's taxes, his Foundation, and his multiple conflicts of interest Chaffetz just isn't interested
Back in October, Representative Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight Committee, had big plans for 2017. After leading the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, he positioned himself to be President Clinton’s greatest foe in Congress . . . And it wasn’t a partisan thing! Really, it wasn’t.… he claimed his committee would investigate President-elect Trump with equal fervor. “I am optimistic that a Trump administration would actually be cooperative,” Chaffetz said. 

The requests are coming in. . . . Chaffetz has responded to each of these requests with complete silence.


And now this:
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) declined to express an opinion Tuesday about whether President-elect Donald Trump’s talks with world leaders about his business interests violate the Constitution. But McCarthy did have some advice for Democrats, telling reporters they should back off calls for Congress to investigate how Trump and his transition team are separating the president-elect’s business interests from the demands of the nation. . . . [read on] 

Breaking news: Trump tweets out his promise to take himself out of his business dealings and turn them over to his kids ("Even though I am not mandated to by law"). This is nowhere near adequate
Will Trump's promises to the working class become a wedge issue Dems can use against the Republicans?
Trump announces he has convinced Carrier not to move 1000 jobs to Mexico, and that's great. But how exactly did he do it, and what did he promise them?
It was unclear whether 1,000 new jobs were being saved in the U.S. or whether that figure included 400 jobs the company agreed to preserve earlier this year under pressure from Indiana officials. . . .

Donald Trump is a hopeless cable news addict: Here’s why that matters
Is Fox 'News' Instructing Trump On Policy, Including Flag Burning?  

The reason why Trump has skipped those intelligence briefings, we were told, is because he's locked in on the crucial work of filling his Cabinet. Focused like a laser beam. So why now, you might ask, is he taking time off this Crucially Important But Unfinished Task to do a pep rally with his supporters in Cincinnati?
Donald Trump’s presidential transition is looking more and more like Donald Trump’s campaign. . . The president-elect has been firing off daily broadsides on Twitter just as he did as a candidate -- attacking CNN, making false accusations about widespread voter fraud, and launching veiled attacks at his old nemesis Hillary Clinton, for participating in a recount. . . . On Thursday evening, Trump will kick off a “thank you” tour in Ohio, with a massive rally at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, according to a source familiar with the planning. Trump has said he wants to get back to the trail and revisit the states he won, on a victory tour where he can re-energize the base of white, working class voters who put him in the White House. It's also where Trump still feels most comfortable. . . .But the victory tour comes as Trump has yet to settle on some main Cabinet positions -- most glaringly, secretary of state, which has become a proxy war for the rival factions of his incoming administration.  And it offers Trump -- a master of reading a crowd, who has revealed a more moderated version of himself in meetings with the New York Times and with President Barack Obama -- the dangerous possibility of returning to some of his most divisive and fiery rhetoric on the trail, with his base.

So we're going to see one of those countdown clocks telling us how many days it's been since Trump had a press conference. . . . just like they did with Hillary Clinton, right? Right?
It's been four months since his last press conference, and there's no sign that he plans to hold one anytime soon. During the campaign, he barely spoke to anyone aside from Sean Hannity. In the two weeks since he won the election, it's been even worse: Trump has been all but invisible aside from his periodic Twitter outbursts. . . .

Go Liz!
Warren calls on Democrats to resist: 'Republicans do not have majority support in this country'

On challenging Trump: focus on policy, not personality

[NB: What do you think?]

In other news . . .
Texas will now require funeral services whenever a woman has an abortion  

Bonus item: Safe spaces
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Yesterday I expressed doubt that Kellyanne Conway was "going rogue" in her attacks on Romney. Now Team Trump puts out word that he is very angry with her -- which could mean he is, or could mean some typical campaign Kabuki (he wants the anti-Romney stuff out there, but he wants deniability, etc). But THEN it gets interesting . . .
Trump 'furious' over Kellyanne Conway comments on Sunday shows about Romney
Co-host Joe Scarborough delivered what he said was a response from Conway in the show’s second hour, although it was unclear if he was directly quoting her.  “And we have a response from Kellyanne Conway, who says about our reporting this morning, it is sexist,” Joe Scarborough deadpanned. “She says she can have any job she wants and is thinking about taking a role inside and outside of the campaign.”  

"Is she suggesting that the people that she's working with, the three people at the top of the Trump transition campaign are sexist?" he asked. "Because that's where all the sourcing comes from, people closest to Donald Trump." . . .

Later, Scarborough claimed he could report on Conway’s motivation for attacking Romney.  “Kellyanne doesn't have a job yet and she's angry about that. She hasn't been offered the job she wants. No, she is. I can report that,” he said. "She's not in any of the meetings where these decisions are being made and she's angry about that."
Conway’s conduct has inspired shock and awe in official Washington and beyond. David Axelrod, a former top White House aide to President Obama, mused on Twitter: “I have never, EVER, seen any aide to a POTUS or PEOTUS publicly try and box the boss in like this. Extraordinary.”

GOP Congressman rips ‘egomaniac’ Romney as Trump transition team devolves into further chaos 

Stop me if you've heard this before: the Man in Charge is losing control of the selection process for his own Sect'y of State. One leading candidate (the "loyalist") is openly lobbying for the job. Trump's own people are publicly threatening that he can't pick the other guy because there will be a rebellion. Steve Bannon's now has an online poll designed to drive furious popular opinion against Romney. The final answer may be "none of the above," and Trump may have to pick the least controversial choice -- not necessarily the best one. There hasn't been a major Cabinet post filled like this before. This is what happens when a guy who really can't lead puts together a team of people with multiple agendas that don't coincide with each other, or with his

Why (part of) Trump really wants Romney

Trump is "speed dating" other candidates for high-level positions

Conway threatens Clinton
Conway: Clinton Better Watch Out Or Trump Will Lock Her Up 

You'll be relieved to know that the reason why Trump is skipping his official classified briefings is because he gets his information from "a number of sources"

Here are the kinds of sources where he gets his information

Foreign policy by tweet 

Trump unleashes a twitter assault against the media, because . . . . they can't prove that voter fraud DIDN'T happen 


Trevor Noah:

I read it the same as this: Trump is yelling about voter fraud not because he's unhappy about the results of the election, but because he wants to lay the groundwork for massive new voter restrictions . . . and Jeff Sessions is just the guy to do it


The Cesspool
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump pledged to oust special interests from government by promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington. These three words may make for a clever chant. But Trump’s key proposals — hiring freezes for the federal workforce, term limits for Congress and a few cosmetic lobbying bans —are to ending corruption what bloodletting and leeches are to healing the sick. They won’t work, and they only make matters worse. . . . [read on] 

From Government Executive magazine on the ye olde Trump Post Office deluxe hotel:

The Post Office Lease differs from many of Mr. Trump’s other business arrangements. That’s because, in writing the contract, the federal and D.C. governments determined, in advance, that elected officials could play no role in this lease arrangement. The contract language is clear: “No ... elected official of the Government of the United States ... shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom...” The language could not be any more specific or clear. . . .

Trump's threat to unions 


Trump vows to save the coal industry. He can't


More promises he may not be able to keep

282 of them, to be exact:

Interesting that Trump doesn't want to keep reminding people of his promise to "make America great again" -- now he's marketing a new hat

How Trump does it
Trump and the Shiny Object Strategy

Trump’s lies have a purpose.

National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, a whole big pile of trouble waiting to happen . . .

‘It was like Russia was running a super PAC for Trump’s campaign’ 

HHS nominee Tom Price signals an all-out attack on Obamacare and Medicare


Looking more closely at Don McGahn, White House Counsel
If McGahn’s name sounds at all familiar, it may be because he served as Tom DeLay’s lawyer 10 years ago when the Texas Republican was caught up in a variety of scandals. He was also general counsel for the National Republican Congressional Committee for many years.  But the part of McGahn’s background that jumped out at me was this tidbit: McGahn was “a lead lawyer for a key group in the Koch brothers’ network – Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce – before joining the Trump campaign. He’s one of a growing number of people with ties to the Kochs to join Trump’s administration.” . . .

Look for Trump's pick for White House counsel to give Trump a free pass on those interest conflicts  

The debt is coming due
What the alt-right actually wants from President Trump

Theocracy watch
Church Speaks In Tongues To Praise Trump's Win: 'Thank You, Lord, For Bringing Jezebel Down'

The recount . . . is a distraction


In other news . . .

Trump's chief strategist
Bannon Said Curbing Black Vote Wouldn’t Be ‘Such A Bad Thing'

Foul-mouthed Trump supporter banned from Delta flights for life

The NRA now wants to "go on offense"

What Jared Kushner thought about Bridgegate

Bonus item: When a corny holiday ad can actually have wider social significance

Here it is:

 ***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.***