Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

Reality TV Prez Names Reality TV Quack to Fitness Panel

May 8, 2018

Reality TV Prez Names Reality TV Quack to Fitness Panel
Donald J. Trump, TV personality and “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” has nominated TV celebrity, Dr. Oz (Mehmet Cengiz Öz, MD) to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. A 2014 study determined that half of Dr. Oz’s medical advice was baseless or wrong.

Other Trump acquaintances and Council nominees include: former New York Yankee reliever and failed restaurateur Mariano Rivera; former New Jersey Generals football player Herschel Walker;  Trump endorser and LPGA pro golfer Natalie GulbisTrump-endorsing NFL Patriots coach Bill BelichickBrenda L. Becker of the Boston Scientific medical device corporation; Trump-campaigning former MLB outfielder and Celebrity Apprentice contestant Johnny Damon; “Incredible Hulk” and Celebrity Apprentice contestant Lou Ferrigno; “anti-aging medicine” promoter and “Sports Hall of Fame” founder Dr. Bob GoldmanBannon– and Weinstein-linked producer Trevor Drinkwater, whose failed company made classical music recordings for babiesTrump-supporting ex-congresswoman, private equity shill and former ophthalmologist Nan Hayworth; Palm Beach denizen and SlimFast CEO Chris Tisi, Matt Hesse, whose “nutritional supplement” firm is best-known for Ab Cuts snake oil; hunter and 2013 Ms. Wheelchair USA Ashlee Lundvall2016 GOP Delegate and health club owner Samuel James Worthington, Jr.; and “hockey & gymnastics mom” Linda Yaccarino of NBC Universal, who sold ads for Celebrity Apprentice.

Truly, with a Fitness Council like that, America is destined to be a nation whose “physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.”

More:

“Trump Picks TV Snake Oil Salesman Dr. Oz, of All People, to Serve on Health Council,” Tom McKay, Gizmodo

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Roy Moore Claims Pulitzer-Winning Exposés Are ‘Forces of Evil’

April 26, 2018

Roy Moore Claims Pulitzer-Winning Exposés Are 'Forces of Evil'

The Washington Post won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for its investigative reporting of Roy Moore’s courtship of underage girls. Mr. Moore, failed senate candidate,  defrocked judge and gun-slingingtheocraticracist homophobe, calls that reporting “lies and slander” in a fundraising email he sent out to raise money for his legal defense in a defamation lawsuit filed by one of his accusers.

“They spread slanderous lies and made numerous false accusations. They attacked my character. They dragged my reputation through the mud. They even attacked my wife and family. But instead of being held accountable in a court of law, the Washington Post just won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for their lies and slander against me and my family. Meanwhile, I’m being sued for standing up and defending myself and my family from ruthless lies and attacks. And it’s exactly why you and I must stand strong in our legal fight against the forces of evil.”

Hey, y’all. Pulitzer. That some kinda Jewish name?

More:

“Roy Moore fundraising off Pulitzers won for stories about him, cites ‘forces of evil,'” Leada Gore, AL.com

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Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Pruitt & Crapo ‘Put the Con in Condo’

April 25, 2018

Pruitt & Crapo 'Put the Con in Condo'

A new poster plastered around Capitol Hill (above) points out that Idaho’s Republican Senator Mike Crapo used the same energy lobbyist’s condo that Scott Pruitt bunked at for a fundraising event, and he got an even better deal than Pruitt’s $50 a day: It was free. Senator Crapo is on the Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure — what a coincidence.

The phone number on the poster’s tear-off tabs belongs to the Federal Election Commission. Since Mr. Crapo didn’t claim use of the condo as an in-kind campaign donation, a complaint has been lodged with the FEC.

More:

“EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Lobbyist-Owned Pad Was GOP Fundraising Hub,” Lachlan Markay, Sam Stein, Daily Beast

“Complaint claims Idaho senator didn’t report donated time at DC condo,” Cynthia Sewell, Idaho Statesman

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Rocket Racer Named NASA Administrator

April 20, 2018

Rocket Racer Named NASA Administrator

The U.S. Senate voted 50-49 to confirm Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) as NASA Administrator. Mr. Bridestine, unlike the first 12 space agency leaders, is not a scientist or aerospace engineer, though he flew an E-2C Hawkeye turboprop in Latin America as part of the War on Drugs. Mr. Bridenstine’s more recent aerospace experience was as Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, where he managed to put the museum in the hole by using its resources to fund a Rocket Racing League exhibition at the Tulsa Air Show in 2010. One of the owners of the Rocket Racing League was Jim Bridenstine, a classic case of self-dealing.

Annual budget of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum: $1 million. Annual budget of NASA: $18.5 billion. Houston, we have a problem.

More:

“How Trump’s NASA Nominee Used a Nonprofit He Ran to Benefit Himself,” Nick Schwellenbach and Adam Zagorin, Daily Beast

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Top photo: D J Shin – My Toy Museum via Wikimedia. 

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Steve Mnuchin Inadvertently Tells the Truth

April 9, 2018
Steve Mnuchin Inadvertently Tells the Truth

Steve Mnuchin and wife  view the tax refunds of average Americans.

“… government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites,” admits U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Mr. Mnuchin was referring to the Russian government, but we fail to see any distinction from the way he and other Trump Administration billionaires operate in the USA. “Oligarchy” is not just a Russian word.

And the world’s oligarchs are globalized:

“U.S. sanctions ensnare Russians with ties to Trump world,” John Hudson and Paul Sonne, Washington Post

“Mueller’s team questioning Russian oligarchs,” Kara Scannell and Shimon Prokupecz, CNN

“NRA’s ‘Man in Moscow’ Hit by New U.S. Sanctions,” Daily Beast

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Trump: ‘Scott Pruitt Is Doing a Great Job!’

April 9, 2018

Capitol Hill celebrity Scott Pruitt, spoofed by Friends of the Earth. The tear-off phone number is that of the EPA Public Affairs Office.

In the face of mounting criticism for extravagant personal spending of public dollars and ethical lapses, EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt seems to be fighting for his job, but President Trump thinks he’s doing a great job of rolling back environmental regulations:

But it’s actually Scott Pruitt’s PR office that’s doing all the work. In reality, the process of rolling back regulations is as lengthy and difficult as establishing them. You can’t do it by press release.

More:

“The Myth of Scott Pruitt’s EPA Rollback,” Michael Grunwald, Politico

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Photo (“$50 a Night on Capitol Hill”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com. Read about the posters here.

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Scott Pruitt’s DC Bargain Bedroom Guide

April 6, 2018

Scott Pruitt's DC Bargain Bedroom Guide

Let’s say you were an energy state Attorney General who sued the EPA 13 times to reduce clean air restrictions on oil, gas, and coal use. You’d expect energy companies to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to your election campaigns, even in 2014, when you ran unopposed. What you might not expect is for Donald Trump to name you EPA secretary. But he did, Scott Pruitt. Now you’ve got to stay in DC, at least when you can’t jet somewhere else.

Scott Pruitt doesn’t mind spending taxpayer dollars on first-class air travel, a custom soundproof phone booth for his office, dubious raises for his appointees, or a full-time security detail, but spending his own money when he’s in Washington? No way. Mr. Pruitt is the poorest member of the Trump Cabinet, so of course he accepted a sweetheart deal on a Capitol Hill condo owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist, $50 a night, at least half the AirBnB rate for the neighborhood.

Ethical lapses may mean Scott Pruitt is on the way out, but not before he’s destroyed his agency and America’s environmental safeguards.

More:

“Pruitt Had a $50-a-Day Condo Linked to Lobbyists. Their Client’s Project Got Approved,” Eric Lipton, New York Times

“Scott Pruitt’s D.C. Lobbyist Landlord Also Funded His Oklahoma Attorney General Campaign,” Sam Stein and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

“EPA chief Pruitt joined by family in condo tied to lobbyist ‘power couple,'” John Santucci, Matthew Mosk, and Stephanie Ebbs, ABC News

“EPA ethics official says he didn’t have all the facts on Pruitt’s lease,” Cristina Alesci, CNN

“5 lies Scott Pruitt told this week about his mounting scandals,” Umair Irfan, Vox

“Scott Pruitt’s defenses are crumbling,” Aaron Blake, Washington Post

“Scott Pruitt Stiffed Taxpayers for Around $3 Million in 24/7 Security and Expensive Flights,” Tom McKay, Gizmodo

“Top EPA staff who criticized Scott Pruitt were either demoted or reassigned,” Kyla Mandel, Think Progress

“Top Pruitt aide resigns amid growing scandal at EPA,” Katherine Faulders, John Santucci, Trish Turner, and Stephanie Ebbs, ABC News

“Inside the EPA: ‘It’s just a slow-motion train wreck,’” Emily Holden, Politico

“Chief of Staff Advised a Resistant Trump to Fire the E.P.A. Chief,” Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Lisa Friedman, New York Times

“Let’s Meet Scott Pruitt’s Potential Replacements,” Brian Kahn, Earther

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Guilty: Kellyanne Conway Violated the Hatch Act

March 16, 2018

Guilty: Kellyanne Conway Violated the Hatch Act

The federal U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) recently ruled that Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act twice, both times while appearing on television in her official capacity.

“In the first interview, Conway advocated against one Senate candidate and gave an implied endorsement of another candidate. In the second interview, she advocated for the defeat of one Senate candidate and the election of another candidate. Both instances constituted prohibited political activity under the Hatch Act and occurred after Conway received significant training on Hatch Act prohibitions ….” — OSC

That “significant training” was mandated after an earlier televised ethical breach, when Ms. Conway shilled for Ivanka Trump products during an interview on Fox News.

Special Counsel Henry Kerner sent his office’s findings to President Donald Trump “for appropriate disciplinary action.” As a presidential appointee, it is up to the president to decide on Ms. Conway’s punishment, so naturally she received a firm executive shrug. A career federal employee would be terminated for this. “The White House cannot continue to have one standard for the federal workforce generally and a lower standard for appointees who are close to this President,” observed Walter Shaub, former Director of the Office of Government Ethics.

More:

“Kellyanne Conway found to have violated Hatch Act,” John Bowden, The Hill

“Kellyanne Conway broke the law. The White House shrugs.” Washington Post editorial

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Why Trump Is Cranky

March 5, 2018

Why Trump Is Cranky

Last week President Trump suddenly imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, much to the horror of free-trade Republicans, economists, farmers, and Americans who make things out of metal or buy that kind of stuff. The market plunged, and trading partners prepared to retaliate. Mr. Trump made the move without the knowledge of White House staff because he was in a bad mood. Why was he cranky? For the past two weeks the president has been on a diet, eating salads instead of his adored Big Macs.

More:

“Officials try to contain damage from Trump trade war declaration,” Ben White and Nancy Cook, Politico

“This story about how Trump impulsively launched a trade war is shocking — and shockingly unsurprising,” Aaron Blake, Washington Post

“Trump was angry and ‘unglued’ when he started a trade war, officials say,” Stephanie Ruhle and Peter Alexander, NBC News

“Trump’s trade war could erase all the tax-cut gains,” John Podhoretz, New York Post

“Five US jobs will be lost for every new one created by Trump’s steel tariffs,” Heather Timmons, Quartz

“Trump’s Tariffs Dim the Prospects for Trump’s Wall,” Kriston Capps, CityLab

“Trump’s disdain for experts, even on his own staff, drives tariffs push,” Nancy Cook, Politico

(more…)

NRA Counter-Proposal?

February 26, 2018

NRA Counter-Proposal?

After the horror of the Parkland school shooting, many were outraged that the perpetrator was able to buy a military-style rifle at the age of 18, when he was still too young to buy beer.  President Trump has suggested raising the minimum age for purchasing an assault rifle to 21, and so has Florida Governor Rick Scott, but the NRA isn’t having it. To address the gun/beer inequity, we expect the NRA to propose lowering the legal drinking age to 18 any day now.

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