Saturday, June 30, 2018


Trump preps for the NATO meeting with hints that he might pull the US out of NATO
Will Donald Trump give Russian leader Vladimir Putin the best of all possible gifts: pulling the United States out of NATO? As insane as that sounds, Trump has been making noises to other world leaders threatening to do exactly that. . . 

Ahead of NATO meeting, Trump takes aim at key international alliances
U.S. Mulls Pulling Troops from Germany
Add the World Trade Organization to the list of Trump targets
Macron on Trump suggestion to leave EU: ‘You can imagine my response’

[NB: Here's the thing. They don't like him, and he knows they don't like him. I have never seen a president so dependent on flattery and bonhomie.]

The Supreme Court debate is going to be about Roe v. Wade
Justice Stevens: Roe Will Be Overturned if Kennedy Retires
Republicans are lying about Roe v. Wade. Trump’s nominee will do the same.
Big Majority Don’t Want to Overturn Roe v. Wade 

Trump is moving fast: he has a short list of five and will announce his nominee in about ten days

Here is a terrific short overview of the main candidates

Will there be Supreme Court payback from the Dems?

[NB: One of my mantras is that short term political "victories" can actually be losses in the long term. Trump is going to get his Supreme Court pick, and Collins and Murkowski notwithstanding I expect it will be an anti-choice pick. But that is just the sort of thing that could enflame and motivate women voters in the Fall, after Hillary, after #MeToo -- including a large number of Republican women who might be ready to put a check on Trump. If it plays out that way, Trump could be in for a world of hurt after the elections.]

Here is another reason why Trump won . . . and Clinton lost
Polling data shows Republicans turned out for Trump in 2016 because of the Supreme Court. . . They’re about to get exactly what they want. . . .

What Putin wants from Trump on Syria


Trump failed in North Korea. He got NOTHING
North Korea Has Increased Nuclear Production 

Intel Community Says North Korea Is Deliberately Deceiving Us

Is it possible to make Trump's immigration policy even more evil and mean-spirited? Let's see. . .
Trump Admin Preps New Rule To Deny Asylum To Border-Crossers


Trump's own State Dept
Children removed from their families and placed in institutional care are at greater risk of being trafficked, the U.S. warned Thursday in an annual report. The State Department report, which ranks governments in their efforts to combat slavery and the flesh trade, left the Trump administration open to accusations of hypocrisy as the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy has separated more than 2,000 migrant children from their parents on the country’s southern border. . . .

"Removal of a child from the family should only be considered as a temporary, last resort…. Even at their best, residential institutions are unable to meet a child’s need for emotional support that is typically received from family members or consistent caretakers with whom the child can develop an attachment."  

White House departures -- and no replacements -- are adding up
“The Trump White House could resemble a ghost town by the end of the summer — with an increasing number of open jobs, a still broken process to fill them, and a lack of interest from experienced Republicans willing to join a turbulent administration,” BuzzFeed News reports. . . .

Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein feels that Trump used him. Join the club, bub

The AP reviews the major claims of the Steele dossier in light of what we have learned since, and finds . . .

In other news . . .

Trump offers some token language expressing concern for the victims of the newspaper massacre, and their families -- with no sense of the irony of someone who has consistently attacked the press, riling up furious anger at them, and calling them "the enemy of the people." Does he know the origins of that phrase?  

Trump's threats against the press:

By the way, these comments were offered at a photo-op celebrating the "six-month anniversary" of the tax cut bill. Who celebrates six-month anniversaries, unless there is some other reason?
‘Not what we expected’: Trump’s tax bill is losing popularity 

Now Trump wants MORE tax cuts 

Inflation is going up under Trump -- have you heard anyone mention that?

Governing through lies
“The deficit, it’s coming down and it’s coming down rapidly.”  
          — White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, on Fox News Business, claiming something that everyone knows is not true.

[NB: In fact, the deficit is growing, significantly:
Trump has given up on his pledge to balance the budget]

Kudlow has learned Donald Trump’s golden rule mighty fast: “Billy, look, you just tell them and they believe it. That’s it: you just tell them and they believe. They just do.”

[NB: I've been meaning to comment on this. Ever since the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, and perhaps even earlier in U.S. history, there has been a reflexive suspicion, across the political spectrum, about the government as a source of information. That skepticism has generally served democracy well -- and more often than not has proven to be justified. So how is it that we see a third, maybe 40% of the country willing to take everything Trump says as gospel SIMPLY BECAUSE HE SAYS IT? We've explored the cultish and authoritarian implications of this trend. But it is unfathomable how someone with such a longstanding, documented record of rampant lies seems to escape any kind of accountability for it.] 

GM says that Trump's tariffs will force them to cut jobs

The Cesspool
Did Anthony Kennedy’s son loan Donald Trump $1 billion? 

The kind of people they are
Illinois Republicans botched four opportunities to stop an avowed Nazi from representing their party in a Chicago-area congressional district. Now they’re paying the price. . . .

Looks like Ivanka isn't any more successful with her areas of policy "expertise" than hubby Jared Kushner is with his

New apps that help identify "fake news"

***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.***

Friday, June 29, 2018


Trump is hard to stomach on a daily basis. But it's even worse when he is feeling his oats
The news of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement on top of a few Trump-friendly Supreme Court decisions sent a delighted President Donald Trump into an all-out insult spree, as he gleefully launched monikers and barbs at some of his favorite Democratic targets. . . .

Trump hates the EU, he hates NATO, he hates the G8, but he is really, really excited about meeting with Kim, Putin, and other autocrats
Trump and Putin will meet next month -- and Trump STILL continues to take Russia's denials at face value that they had nothing to do with election meddling. This despite the unanimous verdict of his own intelligence agencies that they did. Somebody is Lying

America’s European allies aren’t pleased.
The timing of the president’s tweet makes it even more significant: The remark came amid increasing anxiety about next month’s NATO summit in Brussels, which will be immediately followed by Trump’s one-on-one meeting with Putin in Helsinki...
U.K. Worries What Trump May Promise Putin 

By the way, even the Russian state-run media is admitting that they did
Take a look at the clip of what they’re saying on Russian television: “We just elected Trump, that’s all.” That’s not the first time I’ve seen a clip like that. Russians are absolutely gloating about how they elected Trump while the president pretends it never happened. In this instance, it’s not too hard to tell who’s lying.

What to expect from the Trump-Putin meeting -- and why our allies are worried
Another chapter in "Somebody is Lying"
At an event in Minnesota last week, Trump said, “The head of U.S. Steel called me the other day, and he said, ‘We’re opening up six major facilities and expanding facilities that have never been expanded.’ . . .” The president told the same story last night, saying U.S. Steel called him to announce the opening of six plants.
US Steel Is Not Opening Any New Plants

"Somebody is Lying," part three
Satellite images show Trump may have been duped: North Korea expanding nuclear facilities

I have to say, this article has a point -- and it's been bothering me too. The argument that McConnell's principle was "no SC nominations in an election year" really does misrepresent what he said. While it was a darkly cynical move, his claim was "no SC nominations in a PRESIDENTIAL election year" -- it would be very strange to argue that ANY election triggers the rule, since there are elections every other year

Trump has a list of 25 names to replace Anthony Kennedy for the Supreme Court. Here are the real insiders
A guide to the 9 likeliest picks to replace Anthony Kennedy

Does Sen. Mike Lee have the inside track?

How the Trump gang encouraged Kennedy to retire
Mike Pence's backhanded jab at Kennedy, on the way out
Could the Russia probe affect the SC process?
“One thing that makes this Supreme Court fight different from the ones during the Bush or Obama years is the Mueller probe. The president’s 2016 campaign — and the president himself — is under investigation for its possible ties to Russian interests.” “And if there’s a significant development in the next month — like another indictment or guilty plea — could Democrats make the case to the public that the president shouldn’t be able to appoint a justice to the court who will probably have to rule on some aspect of the Mueller probe?”

Trump can't be allowed to select the judge who will, inevitably, hear his own case

Trump hollers "Law and Order," then complains that the Mueller probe is looking at "old" crimes

What ‘Law and Order’ Means to Trump . . . In this view, crime is not defined by a specific offense. Crime is defined by who commits it. If a young black man grabs a white woman by the crotch, he’s a thug and deserves to be roughed up by police officers. But if Donald Trump grabs a white woman by the crotch in a nightclub (as he’s accused of doing, and denies), it’s locker-room high jinks. . . .

A political movement that rails against “immigrant crime” while defending alleged abusers and child molesters is one that has stopped pretending to have any universalist aspirations. The president’s moral framework springs from an American tradition of cultivating fear and contempt among its white citizens against immigrants, indigenous people and people of color . . . It’s a practice that has taken on new strength at a time when many white people fear they may be outnumbered, outvoted and out of time. This is the opposite of what we like to tell ourselves is the traditional American civic creed: one symbolized by a blindfolded Lady Justice who applies the law without fear or favor to whoever may come before her. It is one of Mr. Trump’s most insidious victories that he has given his supporters permission to drop any pretense of insisting that their actions and views should conform to this principle. If all that matters when it comes to “law and order” is who is a friend and who is an enemy, and if friends are white and enemies are black or Latino or in the wrong party, then the rhetoric around crime and punishment stops being about justice and is merely about power and corruption.  And this is what “law and order” means: the preservation of a certain social order, not the rule of law.

Oh, goody
“Prosecutors will get their hands on over 4 million files seized from the former personal lawyer for President Trump . . .” 
Another key witness
Former Aide To Roger Stone Subpoenaed By Mueller Team
More on Paul Manafort's ties to Oleg Deripaska, and other oligarchs
Mueller Eyes Russians Granted Access to Inaugural Events 

Special Counsel investigating Russian oligarchs who celebrated their victory at Trump's inauguration
The House GOP is demanding more documents from DOJ, and threatening contempt if they don't get them
What House Republicans say they want . . .
Rod Rosenstein testifies before the House Judiciary committee
[NB: Jim Jordan is a moron:
Jim Jordan tries to attack Rosenstein, the room erupts in laughter] 
“There’s an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. I think right now all of us are being denied. Whatever you’ve got, finish it the hell up, because this country is being torn apart.”  
       — House Oversight Committee Trey Gowdy (R-SC), quoted by The Hill, while urging Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to swiftly finish the investigation into Russian election interference. 
Gowdy’s comments might be defensible in a vacuum. But when he was chair of the House Benghazi Committee, Gowdy oversaw an investigation of Hillary Clinton that lasted more than two years. . . . Gowdy acknowledged his Benghazi investigation didn’t turn up much. 

[NB: Unfortunately, Trent, the country is going to be torn apart AFTER the Mueller report is issued. You can already see the shape of things: There will be a large group, probably a majority, that sees evidence of serious crimes and misconduct. And there will be another group for whom Trump can do no wrong, no matter what the evidence says. Nobody knows what comes next. But it will put people like Gowdy -- who claim to be defenders of the law -- in a very difficult position.]
The DOJ acted to REMOVE potential bias in the Trump investigation
Now, the first Republican to DEFEND Russia for interfering in the election
[Richard Shelby, AL] "We have to be realistic nations are going to do what is in their next [sic] interest; we’ve done a lot of things too."
John Kelly is finally leaving. Looks like "Trump unleashed" is too much even for him to take

In other news . . . 
Another mass shooting, this time in Annapolis MD, at a newspaper office. Let's not rush into the blame game -- for now, let's just reflect on a country in which this kind of thing has become a regular event. . . .
. . .oh, looks like the blame game has already started
Sean Hannity Immediately Blames Maxine Waters for ‘Capital Gazette’ Shooting
Fox News runs ideological purity test on newsroom that just experienced a mass shooting
No, it has NOTHING to do with Maxine Waters or political ideology
According to NBC investigative reporter Tom Winter, the alleged shooter at the Capital Gazette newspaper has been identified as Jarrod W. Ramos, who apparently has a serious grudge against the press broadly, and the newspaper in particular. Ramos' fury goes back many years, to a 2011 article in the paper about a harassment case filed by a high school classmate who felt she was being stalked by Ramos. . . .

I had been wondering about this: Where is Trump's Big Mighty Military Parade? The answer, it's coming along, slowly, sort of
Said one senior U.S. official: “There is only one person who wants this parade.”

As with Citizens United (a decision written by . . . Anthony Kennedy), the Supreme Court has been helping the GOP election machine, ignoring partisan gerrymandering and attacks on voting rights

The kind of people they are
“What is wrong with being a white supremacist? God is a racist and a white supremacist.”
           — North Carolina state House candidate Russell Walker (R)

“Based on recent behavior and previous statements, the North Carolina Republican Party is unable and unwilling to support the Republican nominated candidate for North Carolina House District 48,” GOP chairman Robin Hayes said . . . 

Families separated at the border can sue

By the way, MORE people support immigration today

The House "Freedom Caucus" is the concentrated distillate of everything toxic about today's Republican party
The big failure of the House’s Trump-backed immigration bill on Wednesday showed why it’s always a bad idea to negotiate with the extremists of the House Freedom Caucus—after weeks of “negotiating,” even the leader of the Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows, voted against the bill. That he’d negotiated. . . .The Freedom Caucus exists to be angry and feel betrayed. . . . And that’s why it was always stupid to negotiate with them—there was no way they would ever compromise, and they were always going to be enraged by something in the process.

Trump's record of legislative failure
The immigration fight becomes Trump’s latest legislative failure

Trump keeps blaming Democratic "obstructionism" and the filibuster for the failure of his legislative agenda -- but most of his initiatives are dying in the House, where the GOP has a clear majority and where there is no filibuster 

Watching Trump deal with Harley-Davidson's plan to move production overseas has been like watching someone go through the seven stages of grief: Flattery, Bargaining, Anger, Threats, and now openly Begging
"Harley-Davidson, please -- build those beautiful motorcycles in the USA, please, okay?" [read on] 

The Cesspool
Internal watchdog will investigate Zinke’s Montana land deal tied to Halliburton

The end of the Pro-Choice Republican

For example:
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) gets away with being called a "moderate" Republican because she continues to get crappy coverage like this tweet from The Hill: "Collins suggests she won't vote for Supreme Court nominee who doesn't support Roe v. Wade."  Is that what she actually said in the linked article? No. Not at all. This is what she said. "I view Roe v. Wade as being settled law. It's clearly precedent and I always look for judges who respect precedent," Collins told reporters . . ."

[NB: We have seen Collins fold so many times.]
How is Obamacare doing?
A look at the Senate races: Where the Dems will struggle to hold seats, and where they might gain them

Fox World tries hard to make Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the face of the Democratic party. That might backfire

Why Young Democrats Are So Open to Socialism
The Left Is Starting to Win 

Trump's infomercial for a major sponsor of Fox World
“You ever see this guy with the pillows on Fox? MyPillow guy, Mike Lindell, where is Mike? He is the greatest. . . . “First of all, he does make a great product, great pillows. I actually use them, believe it or not. But he’s been, he’s been a supporter from day one . . . ” 

***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.***