Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

The White House Lawyers Up

June 21, 2017

The White House Lawyers Up

President Trump hired a lawyer to help him with Trump-Russia investigations. In fact, he hired a whole bunch of lawyers. His vice president and son-in-law are hiring lawyers. Even the president’s lawyer has hired a lawyer.

Though four top law firms turned down the chance to represent Team Trump, this administration is creating lots of high paying jobs for DC lawyers.

Job Creation. Another campaign promise met.

More:

“White-collar lawyers see opportunity in Trump scandals,” Darren Samuelsohn and Andrew Restuccia, Politico

Update:

“Sessions Hires Attorney as Russia Probe Expands,” Daily Beast

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Channel Hopping

June 19, 2017

Channel Hopping

“It seems our desire for instant gratification has conquered politics. Voters are channel-hopping, snacking on ideologies and political styles, moving on as soon as they’re bored. In that light, Donald Trump is a political genius: His slippery, shifting positions on just about everything command attention and perfectly reflect the restless mood of the times. People are eager for something—anything—different, and damn any concerns about consistency.”

— Jason Karaian, Quartz

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The Trick to Covering Trump

May 29, 2017

“While major news networks have struggled to figure out the right way to cover the Trump administration, political satirists like Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers have demonstrated why comedy can be such a powerful antidote to bullsh*t.”
— Carlos Maza, and Coleman Lowndes, Vox

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2017 Coast Guard Academy Commencement Whine

May 17, 2017

2017 Coast Guard Academy Commencement Whine
President Donald Trump delivered the commencement speech to the 2017 graduating class of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. Faced with young people committed to public service, he spoke about himself,  blaming the messengers for his problems:

“Look at the way I’ve been treated lately – especially by the media.  No politician in history – and I say this with great surety – has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

More:

“Trump Keeps the Focus on Himself in Coast Guard Commencement Address,” Adam K. Raymond, New York Magazine

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El Caudillo Trump Demands Loyalty

May 12, 2017

El Caudillo Trump Demands Loyalty
President Donald Trump invited FBI Director James Comey to dinner in January and asked for his loyalty. Mr. Comey, a career law enforcement official, promised him honesty. Honesty clearly has no place in a Trump administration, so Comey was sacked, then threatened.

As former FBI agent Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, observes,  “Trump’s loyalty pledge tactic comes straight from the worst aspects of authoritarians and mob bosses who see their rule above the rule of law.”

More:

“Trump Asked Comey for Loyalty a Day After He Was Warned About Flynn: Report,”  Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

“Trump said he was thinking of Russia controversy when he decided to fire Comey,” Devlin Barrett and Philip Rucker, Washington Post

“Trump Threatens Fired FBI Director Comey With ‘Tapes,'” John T. Bennett, Roll Call

“The Threat in President Trump’s Interview with Lester Holt,” Amy Davidson, The New Yorker

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FBI Director Comey Seeking New Opportunities

May 10, 2017

FBI Director Comey Seeking New Opportunities

In a stunning act of ingratitude towards the man who made him President, Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey. Maybe it’s a reflex Mr. Trump developed during his reality TV career.

Hey, this couldn’t have anything to do with the ongoing FBI investigation of the Trump Campaign’s Russian ties, could it?

(more…)

Goodbye Palm Beach; Hello Bedminster

May 5, 2017

Goodbye Palm Beach; Hello Bedminster

In May, as Florida heats up, flocks of migrating golf bums head north. This weekend our Golf-Bum-in-Chief has landed in New Jersey‘s Trump National Bedminster Golf Club. You can join him for a mere $350,000 initiation fee and thousands a year in dues, food, drinks, and facilities charges. Not to mention golf bets and tips for caddies, waiters, and parking valets.

While the stop-gap federal spending bill will reimburse Bedminster Township police overtime for round-the-clock security, it does nothing to mitigate Somerset County resident headaches due to the road closures, traffic congestion, and inevitable protests attendant on the Garden State presidential golf excursions.

We hope all this doesn’t scare the goats. Mr. Trump keeps about 4 of them on the luxury property to pretend it’s a farm, which lowers his taxes from about $80,000 to less than $1,000 a year. Does this mean there’s fresh chèvre and cabrito on the club’s menu?

More:

“6 Things to Know About Bedminster, NJ, Trump’s Summer Getaway,” James Ramsay, WNYC

Updates:

“Trump reportedly hits the links in NJ,” Brandon Carter, The Hill

“Could Trump golf course get slapped with a tax to cover cost of his N.J. visits?” Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

“Anti-Trump protesters take to Bedminster, gear up for summer rallies,” Nick Muscavage, Courier News and Home Tribune

“‘Spend Your Free Time In A Red State’: A motorcade of protesters rolls by Trump’s N.J. property,” John Wagner, Washington Post

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The Art of the Threat

May 3, 2017

The Art of the Threat
Borrowing a stratagem from every petty thug with a protection racket, President Donald Trump has threatened to shut down the federal government in October if he doesn’t get his way:

“President Trump on Tuesday called for a government shutdown later this year and suggested the Senate might need to prohibit future filibusters, dramatic declarations from a new commander in chief whose frustration is snowballing as Congress continues to block key parts of his agenda.

‘Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!’ Trump wrote in a series of tweets Tuesday morning. He likely meant a shutdown in October, as the current spending bill lawmakers have agreed to would fund government operations through Sept. 30.

Trump’s call for a shutdown, which appears to be unprecedented from a sitting president, come as his problems are mounting within the House and Senate, chambers that are both controlled by his party.”

— “Trump raises prospect of government shutdown to leverage better budget for GOP in fall,”  Damian Paletta and John Wagner, Washington Post

More:

“Trump Says U.S. Needs Government ‘Shutdown,'”Julie Hirschfeld Davis, New York Times

“President Trump Wants a Government Shutdown,” David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“Trump May Be Spoiling For A Shutdown Fight, But It Could Spell Disaster In 2018,” Jessica Taylor, NPR

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Why ‘The First 100 Days’?

April 28, 2017

Why are new presidents judged by their accomplishments during the first 100 days of their term? Ron Elving explains.

More:

“Trump has fulfilled only 10 of 38 promises in first 100 days,” Jill Colvin and Calvin Woodward, AP via Chicago Tribune

“Trump’s first 100 days according to the group that matters most: ‘Many people,’” Phillip Bump, Washington Post

“What did Trump tweet in his first 100 days?” Jessica Estepa, USA Today

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It’s Magic! Trump’s Tax Cut Will Pay for Itself.

April 27, 2017

It's Magic! Trump’s Tax Cut Will Pay for Itself.

On Wednesday the Trump Administration rolled out its Tax Plan, less a ‘plan’ than a plutocrat’s wet dreamCorporate tax rate slashed, huge new pass-through business loophole opened, giveaways to wealthy heirstaxes for the rich slashed and their nannies and mansions subsidized through tax deductions.

This won’t produce a federal revenue shortfall, the Tax Fairy promises; tax cuts for the wealthy will pay for themselves.  How? Magic! The same magic that worked so well during the 30 years of the GOP’s trickle-down, deregulating, big-corporate, no-taxes-for-the-rich philosophy, the failed policies that crashed the world economy when Republican leadership was last inflicted upon the nation, making the rich even wealthier at the expense of the rest.

More:

“Trump’s treasury secretary: The tax cut ‘will pay for itself,'” Damian Paletta and Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

“Mnuchin: Our Tax Cuts for the Rich Are Not About Cutting Taxes for the Rich,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“The New GOP Math: ‘Dynamic Scoring’ Doesn’t Add Up.” NotionsCapital

Update:

“37 top economists all say Trump’s tax plan won’t pay for itself,” Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox

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