Thursday, November 30, 2017


No, the corporate tax cuts in the GOP bill will not create jobs or raise wages. How do we know? The CEOs tell us so
CEOs keep contradicting Republican tax plan promises

James Hohmann reports the promises that allowed the GOP tax bill to make it through the Senate Budget Committee are very fragile. . . .
The Republican tax bill sailed out of committee Tuesday after former hold-out Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) secured a “verbal promise” from President Trump to include a “trigger” mechanism in the bill that would undo some of the bill’s tax cuts if they—as predicted—balloon the federal deficit in the coming years. . . . At least four senators – Dean Heller (R-NV), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and John Kennedy (R-LA) – say they’re opposed to the idea of a deficit trigger. Grassley told TPM on Tuesday that it would inject uncertainty into the economy. On the House side, several lawmakers have also come out against the idea, and powerful conservative advocacy groups are mobilizing as well. . . . Neither group addressed the question of why, if they are so convinced the tax cuts would create plenty of economic growth and wouldn’t grow the deficit, they oppose a backstop measure that would only kick in in the event that fails to happen. 

What happens if the Senate does pass a tax bill? There's still a long way to go
The House and Senate have to pass the same bill for it to become law. Despite months of negotiations between top House and Senate Congress members and members of Trump’s administration — a working group dubbed the “Big Six” — Republicans in the House and Senate came out with two drastically different bills.  That means if the Senate passes its bill, two things can happen: 1) the House can take up the Senate’s bill and pass it outright, or 2) the House and Senate have to come together and hash together a hybrid of the two bills in what’s called a Conference Committee. With such a slim margin in the Senate, it wouldn’t be unheard of for the House to just try to pass the Senate’s bill. But that would break a lot of good will with House Republicans, many of whom took a difficult vote on a promise of more negotiations once the Senate was done with its work. Senators, too are expecting a conference with the House.

As Vox’s Andrew Prokop explained, conference committee is the formal process by which the House and Senate can bring together different versions of the same bill: 

The gist is that after the House and Senate both pass some version of a bill, each chamber will name designate some of its members to be their negotiators — the conferees. Sometimes these are members who have expertise in a particular issue area, and sometimes they’re members handpicked to do leadership’s bidding. And this is a bipartisan process — the minority party gets to appoint conferees too, in proportion to how many seats they control in each chamber.  

There are some rules: Those on the committee “may not change a provision on which both houses agree, nor may they add anything that is not in one version or the other,” according to the Congressional Research Service. The final product is a “conference report,” passed by the majority of the members in the conference committee, and then sent to the full House and Senate floors. Both the House and Senate have to pass the conference report outright for it to be sent to the president’s desk. 

The GOP leadership had a plan to try to get Democratic support on some budget issues and avoid a government shutdown -- then Trump took a crap in the pool and ruined it for everybody 

Trump, for his part, seems to assume that a govt shutdown is inevitable and wants to be sure the Dems are blamed for it. It may not work out that way  

CNN anchor Erin Burnett narrated a mashup of President Donald Trump's Tuesday press stunt with Republican leadership and his previous hit reality show "The Apprentice." . . . “President Trump — always the showman — an executive producer at heart, did not waste an opportunity to turn this situation into political theater . . . "

Trump offers a deal: accept the end of Obamacare's individual mandate, and we can talk about a health care market stabilization bill like Alexander/Murray. Here's why that's a terrible deal

Trump gives a speech on the tax bill, and it is really just one lie after another
Trump said, "I don't mention the word reform because people don't know exactly what we are talking about. You know for years, they have not been able to get tax cuts. Many, many years, since Reagan and the problem was they talked about tax reform, not tax cuts."

"This is going to cost me a fortune, this thing, believe me. This is not good for me," Trump said. "I have some very wealthy friends, not so happy with me. But that's OK." [read on] 

Trump keeps retweeting, and promoting, extremist web sites


By the way, there are numerous reports that at least one of the videos was actually staged. The WH response? It doesn't matter if they are real or not 

Whenever the president starts losing control politically, he looks to incite rage in his base. [read on]
Trump’s hypocrisy, bigotry, and dishonesty are not an act. He means it all. . . . [read on]
“Again and again, Trump veered far past the guardrails of presidential behavior. But despite the now-routine condemnations, the president is acting emboldened, as if he were impervious to the uproar he causes.”
“Something is unleashed with him lately. I don’t know what is causing it. I don’t know how to describe it.” 
Exhausted by the Trump presidency? Brace yourself: White House officials expect Trump to be even more outrageous and cocksure in coming months. What we're hearing: Officials tell us Trump seems more self-assured, more prone to confidently indulging wild conspiracies and fantasies, more quick-triggered to fight than he was during the Wild West of the first 100 days in office. . . .

You are actually hearing people In the White House use the word "delusional"

[NY Daily News] After his latest spasm of deranged tweets, only those completely under his spell can deny what growing numbers of Americans have long suspected: The President of the United States is profoundly unstable. He is mad. He is, by any honest layman’s definition, mentally unwell and viciously lashing out. . . .

Here's a bit of speculation about Trump's unusually reckless and irresponsible recent behavior -- even for him 
Trump's spectacularly unhinged day is now making sense: Flynn may have flipped
The latest on Trump-Russia 

Kushner questioned about Flynn, Associated Press reports

The new opioid czar is a familiar face

How Trump will try to help Roy Moore win 

Why some cases of sexual harassment get taken seriously and others don't
Bonus item: We need a stronger word than "hypocrisy"
Jimmy Kimmel Calls Out Trump’s Blatant Matt Lauer Hypocrisy
***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.***

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Trump keeps complaining that the Democrats are "obstructionist" -- but when he treats them this way, why should they cooperate with him?
If President Donald Trump wants to pass anything with Democratic support, he will need to do a better job of convincing Democrats that he is genuine about wanting their support. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were apparently discouraged from meeting with Trump after he posted a tweet insulting them . . . [read on]

The art of the deal: Trump blows up anti-shutdown negotiations before they even start

[NB: It's an ugly phrase, but it's an example of what Josh Marshall called "bitch slap" politics. For Trump, demonstrating dominance and the desire to demean and humiliate others is inseparable from his willingness to work with them. It has to be on his terms, and it has to be from a position of vulnerability. Schumer and Pelosi rightly said, to hell with that!]

Why he did it

Later, Trump stages a phony set-up with empty chairs, as if Schumer and Pelosi's decision not to show up wasn't in fact due to his own attacks on them and his insistence that meeting with them would be a waste of time. He's no negotiator -- he'd much rather attack than find common ground. So then, he attacks and insults them some more. This is going to work out SO WELL when he actually needs their votes to pass something 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) did not appear happy with Democratic leaders’ decision to not attend a meeting with President Donald Trump after the President criticized the Democratic lawmakers ahead of the gathering. “I never refused to go to a meeting that President Obama called, a bipartisan meeting,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday afternoon.  . . . The Senate Republican leader’s comments about “never” refusing a meeting with Trump’s predecessor aren’t entirely accurate. In 2010, House Democratic leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) criticized McConnell and other Republican leaders, saying he was “disappointed” that Republicans were too busy to accept a bipartisan meeting with Obama and Democratic leaders  

The more they change the tax bill, the worse it gets. And they won't let the CBO score it
Trump’s phony populism is fully exposed in the Republican tax bill
The Senate tax cut on alcohol could lead to more than 1,000 people dying per year
Republicans had a big idea to give tax relief to the poor. Then it disappeared.

Trigger warning: a new gimmick might win over enough votes to pass this mess
A deficit trigger can’t fix the GOP tax plan
GOP’s new scheme to save Trump’s tax plan reveals the scam at its core


Like other Republicans, Trump was brutal about the Federal debt under Obama. But now that it's HIS debt . . . 
5 big problems the Senate Republican tax bill creates 

Trump gets his way on CFPB

Victorious Trump moves to reshape consumer bureau
Mulvaney Can Lead Consumer Watchdog, But the Legal Battle Over the Agency Is Just Beginning

On Trump's love affair with strong-man leaders  (thanks to RR for the link)

Trump retweets "snuff video" -- does he have ANY idea of what it means to be President?  
The footage was part of a series of videos posted by an Islamophobic street campaigner called Jayda Fransen. . . . Two of Fransen’s other videos—which were also retweeted by the president—were apparently aimed at inciting religious hatred. One was titled “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” the other was “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!”

For hard-core Trumpians, if Trump says something that MAKES it true. So, as he disses the women accusing Roy Moore and makes his support for Moore clear, even people who had their doubts about Moore start to change their minds

Advisers Stunned as Trump Keeps Making Up Facts
He does not merely tell lies in order to gull the public, or to manipulate allies. He tells lies in private that he has no reason to tell. He still questions the authenticity of Barack Obama’s birth, despite the birth certificate. He insists voter fraud may have denied him a popular vote triumph. He tells people Robert Mueller will wrap up his investigation, with a total vindication of the president, by the end of the year. He questions whether the Access Hollywood tape, on which he was recorded boasting of sexual assault, is even him . . . 

Michael Flynn is in big trouble


Rex Tillerson is making a mess of the State Dept
Rex Tillerson hired a CEO to overhaul the State Department. She quit 3 months into the job.

Tillerson: State Department Won’t Need Much Money After Trump Solves World Problems
Rex Tillerson just took another stab at winning the contest for Worst Secretary of State in Modern History. . . . 

Kris Kobach, the head of Trump's fraudulent voter fraud commission, is a cesspool of conflicts of interest (thanks to RR for the link)

It makes your brain hurt. Now the fact that Disney made a movie ABOUT POCAHONTAS called "Pocahontas" is an excuse for Trump calling Elizabeth Warren by that name

Navajo Nation President: Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ Attack Is An Ethnic Slur  

Access Hollywood tells Trump, yes the infamous tape IS real


Bonus item: Seth Meyers says that Trump may not last out a full year

***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.***