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Tuesday :: May 23, 2017

Trump's First Budget Confirms the Obvious

by Deacon Blues

Actions speak louder than words, and millions of blue collar voters in the “fly-over states” voted for Donald Trump last fall because he repeatedly said:
-He would drain the swamp of corporate, K Street lobbyist types controlling our government
-He would Make America Great Again, by protecting the working class, and
-He would protect Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.

And then with his first budget proposal today, he shredded all of those campaign promises and instead proposed a savaging of Medicaid and food stamps and the rest of the safety net, cutting Medicare and Social Security, and wiping out consumer protections and other programs needed by Trump voters.

He knowingly proposes to inflict this much pain and family destruction in order to finance large tax cuts for corporations and wealthy people like him. Which means millions of Americans were bamboozled and lied to by Trump and stoked with endless stories about Hillary’s emails and alleged criminality.

Of course GOP senators and representatives are running as fast as they can from this budget, but Democrats will happily hang it around their necks in 2018. But can we also finally call out Trump working class voters for what they are?

Trump is essentially telling his base what he thinks about them with this budget. The proposal represents utter disdain and contempt for his own voters, who he obviously thinks are nothing more than rubes. Yet there were millions of suburban and educated female voters who also couldn't bring themselves to vote for Hillary, who now have been slapped around as well.

You get what you vote for.

Deacon Blues @ 2:11 PM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::

Monday :: May 22, 2017

Traveling Man

by Deacon Blues

Anyone thinking that Donald Trump would fall on his face on his first foreign trip because of his difficulties back here at home need to recalibrate their thinking. From many accounts, Trump did a good job with his speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia, hitting the right notes about responsibility without bashing the religion, and yes, he never uttered "radical Islamic extremism". Note that Fox News and the right wing echo chamber let him get away with it.

Now Trump is in Israel, telling Bibi Netanyahu's government that they need to still think about a grand deal with the Palestinians, without actually yet doing any of the hard work himself. This is the secret to Trump: he loves doing the CEO-type work like doing speeches and dinners, shaking hands, and rubbing elbows with the world's elites, and will likely do well in this capacity as long as he is in office. In short, he loves thinking the world's problems are ripe for Trump deal making, which tells you there may be a North Korea play here as well.

But Trump hates the core element of his job, which is the inside-the-Beltway deal-making that Obama also had trouble with. Trump hates being constrained by equal actors like Congress or the courts, and can't sell a legislative agenda to save his life. But unlike Obama, Trump doesn't have a team around him to make up for his personal defects in this area. He has surrounded himself with a Romper Room cadre of misfit toys chosen for their loyalty and groupthink.

Of course, this assumes things don't blow up later this week during Trump's appearance at the Vatican, the G-20, or at NATO. But for right now, Trump the road show is doing OK.

Deacon Blues @ 2:13 PM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::
Thursday :: May 18, 2017

Mentally Unfit for the Job

by Deacon Blues

After lying last night that he always supported an outside inquiry into the Russia story, Trump twittered again a course reversal this morning that the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller represented a "witch hunt" against him. Then a short while ago, Trump went further and told television anchors that the appointment hurts our country because it showed the world that we are a divided country, as if the country would unite behind our Dear Leader if only the Russia story went away.

Yikes. And why is that Don?

Trump's level of self-pity, victimhood, paranoia, and now detachment from reality reflect emotional and mental challenges. Conflating personal challenges with national ones is a sign of grandiosity and a narcissistic personality disorder.

His stance now squarely isolates him and the White House from the rest of the government, and sets up an adversarial relationship with Mueller and the law enforcement community, which is a harbinger of a bad outcome for Trump, the GOP, and this country.

Deacon Blues @ 1:54 PM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::
Wednesday :: May 17, 2017

Robert Mueller Named Special Counsel

by Deacon Blues

Congressional Republicans are quietly cheering a little tonight. They can now talk about their agenda and put off any more questions about Trump's latest stupidity with the news that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave in to the inevitable and appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 election and any connections between them and the Trump campaign.

The Justice Department has decided to appoint a special counsel to investigate possible coordination between Trump associates and Russian officials seeking to meddle in last year’s election, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Robert Mueller, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, has agreed to serve in the role, Rosenstein said. The move marks a concession by the Trump administration to Democratic demands for the investigation to be run independently of the Justice Department. Calls for a special counsel have increased since Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last week.

The move will energize the FBI investigative efforts with the knowledge that their work now cannot be buried by political hacks inside the Trump administration, and it assures that any future move by Trump to stonewall or kill the inquiry by firing Mueller would immediately lead to impeachment proceedings. However, as has always been the case, it comes down to the evidence.

But one thing is certain: Mueller is a Bureau alum and any more moves by Trump or his team to besmirch Comey will only make things worse.

And Trump brought this upon himself the moment he fired Comey.

Deacon Blues @ 3:35 PM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::


by Deacon Blues

It takes a really small man to go to a Coast Guard Academy commencement address and whine to the graduates and their families that no politician in history had been treated worse or more unfairly than he. But Donald Trump, the man whose whole existence rests upon his manipulation of the media, is the epitome of that small man.

Deacon Blues @ 10:41 AM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::
Tuesday :: May 16, 2017

The Kremlin's Man Inside the White House

by Deacon Blues

In the latest of a series of discouraging incidents demonstrating his unfitness to be Commander in Chief, Donald Trump saw the need to brag to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador about the amount of intelligence he gets every day, as if he was trying to show them how important he is. But Trump went beyond that, and gave a specific example of intelligence he received about ISIS operations and planning, without understanding that the intelligence came from a confidential source and without caring that the intelligence was highly secret.

Oh, did I mention that it was the Israelis that he exposed? And that this comes at a time when the Netanyahu government's initial glee at having Trump in the White House has now been replaced with worry about his allegiances inside Israel. Worse yet, Trump's personal attorney-turned Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt is trying to strong-arm Bibi into not making waves with Trump, so watching the Donald burn Israeli intelligence assets should make them think again about whose ass they kissed last November. No matter what they think of her, the Mossad knows that Hillary would never have done this.

Now his staff are left with trashing their own credibility to sell the distasteful notion that it was wholly appropriate for the president to share whatever intelligence he wants with whomever he wants to share it, especially if Trump didn’t know the source. (I'm sure the Mossad agrees with that) In saying this incredible defense of Trump’s indefensible actions, previously-credible General H. R. McMaster wants us to believe that by being ignorant of now intelligence sharing works, Trump can burn our sources and intelligence partners anytime he wants to, as long as he is the most ignorant and unqualified commander in chief in our country’s history. If we were to accept this rationale, Trump could say or do anything as long as Trump remains Trump. And the president confirms that he feels he can do whatever he wants with intelligence, which is what you’d expect the Kremlin’s controlled asset to say.

Aside from the fact that his own party is now showing concern over this latest development, and aside from the fact that the GOP had said that Hillary should be jailed for being careless with intelligence and wasn’t qualified to be commander in chief, we are now presented with a federal government under total GOP control that is untrustworthy and careless on national security. And despite pathetic attempts to spin their way out of this, the White House and their supporters in the GOP have now opened themselves up to arguments that the GOP cannot be trusted to protect the United States.

Because if Paul Ryan thought Hillary should be barred from intelligence information, he must now explain why Trump deserves to get the PDB’s each day from this day forward. And since Ryan or any other Trump defender can’t and won’t hold Trump to the same standard they held Hillary to, the GOP cannot be trusted with America’s secrets if everything, even national security, is nothing but a political football to them.

Deacon Blues @ 10:15 AM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::
Thursday :: May 11, 2017

The Impeachment Clock Has Started

by Deacon Blues

Through his own ham-handed bungling and that of his lackeys, Donald Trump confirmed he obstructed justice in the sacking of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday. The original, laughable rationale given for Comey's firing, that he was fired for his mishandling of the Clinton email inquiry fell apart quickly. This was confirmed by spokesperson trainee Sarah Huckabee on Fox News Tuesday night when she immediately called for an end of the Russia inquiry. Nice job dimwit.

Yesterday's developments, wherein multiple news sources confirmed that Comey had asked for more resources just Monday, and told Senators of this request, as well as the revelations that he was getting daily briefings on the inquiry because of increased indications of collusion between Trump associates and the Russians, in some cases involving Trump business interests, only makes the case clearer that Trump canned Comey to slow down and stop the investigation from getting any closer to him.

Now today the acting Director of the FBI told the Senate that the smear job done by the White House yesterday against Comey's character and support inside the Bureau were false.

We are now firmly in obstruction of justice territory, which leads us towards impeachment. Republicans, who just last year yelled for Hillary to be jailed over Russian-supplied fake news alleging corruption, lying, and abuse of power now seemingly can't be bothered with Tuesday's developments. Why? Because they need Trump around long enough to sign their tax cut legislation and to appoint more conservatives to the federal bench.

As for the administration itself, a fundamental misunderstanding permeates the political people and the president himself: they actually think the FBI Director and the Attorney General are there to serve the president and should swear loyalty to him. This is also how they feel about the intelligence services, and the notion that these key intelligence and law enforcement officials are in fact independent actors focusing on fact-finding wherever it takes them is an alien concept to them.

But even GOP stalwart Steve Schmidt said the obvious last night on MSNBC: a stubborn GOP resistance to a full independent inquiry now only enables the Democrats to take back one or both houses of Congress in next year's midterms. Sure, a good deal of Trump's base wouldn't care if Trump banged sheep and committed treason as long as he looked the part and kept telling them what they wanted to hear (read: A white tough guy tells them that their problems stem from women and brown people). But when the president's approval ratings fall into the low 30's and independents begin bailing out on him and his agenda, even GOP incumbents will pay attention.

It may not take until the midterms for the cracks to develop in the GOP cover-up inside Congress. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are asking their caucuses going into an election year to defend an immoral, mentally unstable president who freely acts upon impulse with no adult supervision. If the GOP wants to be associated with that kind of branding, Democrats should welcome such an early Christmas present.

But will the GOP wait for that damage to be done, knowing that it imperils their own seats, if they think that impeachment or the threat of it can deliver a better future for the Beltway Republicans?

Deacon Blues @ 9:35 AM :: Link :: Comments (0) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It! ::
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