The Government You Paid For

Number 41 of a Series

I probably need to check with a lawyer, just in case. Recently I began to be concerned that it’s not legal for me to be having this much fun. So I’m going to play it safe.

Later.

I’m talking to people I know who call themselves conservatives and also voted for Donald Trump. I’m getting different reactions. Some are putting their chins up and saying they are glad they voted and that Donald Trump as President is doing everything they expected and hoped for. Others are grasping for words, and refusing to discuss points I bring up. And I am having way too much fun.

Here is the latest from a story that ran yesterday on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir streaming on Hulu, where I obtained these screen shots.

Trump cites Russia probe as motivation for revoking former CIA director John Brennan’s clearance

In a striking admission after his unprecedented move to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, President Donald Trump said in a new interview that his true motive for targeting Brennan was his role in the start of the Russia investigation.

“I call it the rigged witch hunt, [it] is a sham,” Mr. Trump said in a Wednesday interview with The Wall Street Journal. “And these people led it. So I think it’s something that had to be done.”

For the record:

Confronted with the admission, the President squirmed:

A highly paid government employee paved over the facts.

Saying:

Reading off a statement from the president from the briefing room podium prior to his interview, Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said Wednesday the president’s move to revoke Brennan’s clearance was related to “risks posed by his erratic conduct and behavior.”

“Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations – wild outbursts on the internet and television – about this Administration,” according to the president’s statement. “Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary, is wholly inconsistent with access to the Nation’s most closely held secrets and facilitates the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos.”

And I watched and giggled—without remorse.

Former CIA Director John Brennan committed the unpardonable sin of speaking harsh truth about President Trump:

Retired Admiral William McRaven weighed in with an oped penned to The Washington Post:

Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President

August 16 at 2:44 PM

William H. McRaven, a retired Navy admiral, was commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014. He oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Dear Mr. President:

Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

I am obviously having way too much fun.

Way too much fun. I need to stop. No, I’m sorry. I can’t. There’s more:

That sharp-looking woman strolling with Eric Trump is his wife, Lara Trump. She is in this story because she is President Trump’s daughter-in-law and for no other reason whatsoever. Being loosely related to the president she obtains the privilege of weighing in on important political matters, one such matter being how to deal with a former government employee with the ability to do some damage to the president:

That’s Lara Trump talking to Omarosa Manigault Newman, Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison until January of this year. Apparently on the occasion of Omarosa’s involuntary departure from government service, Mrs. Trump contacted her with a deal aimed at sweetening her future actions and commentary. Omarosa unkindly recorded the conversation and has recently played it back, along with dribbles of other recordings:

Lara Trump: It sounds a little like, obviously, that there are some things you’ve got in the back pocket to pull out. Clearly, if you come on board the campaign, like, we can’t have – we got to –

Omarosa: Oh, god, no –

Lara Trump: Everybody positive, right?

Lara Trump: So I know you were making $179 K at the White House. And I think we can work something out where we keep you right along those lines.

Lara Trump ended offering Omarosa $180,000 yearly to “come on board”( my wording).

I am guessing that an ounce of personal integrity was never a qualification for working for the Trump organization. As viewed:

I need to go now. I think the Happiness Police squad just rolled up to my front door. May Jesus have mercy on my soul.

The Government You Paid For

Number 39 of a Series

You may not be satisfied with the weather we’re having, and you may be disappointed in your choice of friends, but one thing you can count on is getting the government you paid for. It would be interesting at this moment to take a look and see what kind of government you most recently purchased. The story comes from CNN streaming on YouTube and also from ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, streaming on Hulu, where I obtained these screen shots.

This centers on a story that’s been around for over a year, and it concerns a meeting involving some of candidate Donald Trump’s campaign advisors and a Russian promising help in Mr. Trump’s plan to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The meeting occurred in Trump Tower, and what attracted Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and campaign manager Paul manafort was the promise that Natalia Veselnitskaya was prepared to dish up some dirt on Clinton. Others attended the June 2016 meeting, as well. One was Rinat Rafkatovitch Akhmetshin, “a Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer.”

So, when prosecutors and intelligence agencies began to dig into Vladimir Putin’s scheme to tip the scales for the election, one of the things they learned about was this meeting. What did the Trump team expect to gain by meeting with these Russians? It was beginning to look mighty suspicious. Denials started to fly. Don Jr. went full-throated to put some distance. He thought the meeting was going to be about adoption. There was a law on the books about adopting Russian children, and the Russians wanted some relief. Emails quickly put the lie to that explanation.

It’s worth noting that Sarah Sanders, a highly-paid government employee, has weighed in, quoting the President’s denial.

I’m beginning to think “I love it” will be the catch phrase by which this administration is tagged in the history books.

Incredibly, Don Jr. is under the impression that continuing to lie about the matter will make everything all right.

Things further unraveled a few days ago. Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s long-time attorney and fixer of problems, is now cooperating with the feds. He is saying that, despite denials over the past year, President Trump knew about the Russian meeting in advance. The President has responded, tweeting yesterday:

For the record, and so search engines can find it, here is the text of the President’s denial:

…..I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!

In order to repudiate Mr. Cohen’s charge, the President’s supporters need to impugn the character of Michael Cohen. Here is Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, and currently one of President Trump’s personal lawyers.

Yeah. That’s going to fly. Listen up, people, and that includes you, Mr. Mayor. When you set out to lay a string of lies, you need to concentrate on keeping your story straight.

In all my life I never expected every politician to be honest. I was hoping, however, to find at least one. I have been told that Diogenes still has his lamp, but that’s only a rumor.

This is your President speaking.

Number 122

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!

Some may think I post these presidential proclamations in great agony. That could not be more far from the truth. It is with great pleasure that I present proclamations of the President of the United States on these pages. They are, after all, part of the historical record of my beloved country. In earlier days I might have posted other words of great historical significance. Here are a few samples from our nation’s past:
  • When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
  • We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
  • But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
  • Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
So much for that. It has now come to this:
  • I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!
So let it be said. So let it be done. We sail forward into a brave future with a fool at the helm.

The Government You Paid For

Number 35 of a Series

As I have mentioned before, I am so glad we are finally getting the government we paid for. That said, it’s time to turn our attention to one who daily puts service to the American public front and center on a daily basis.

On Wednesday CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, now moved to prime time, was down to the nation’s capital, and he interviewed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She’s really just Sarah Sanders, being married to Mr. Bryan Sanders, but I like to insert her maiden name to remind us she is descended from former Arkansas governor and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. My observation has been that in this case the apple did not fall far from the tree, but that’s a matter for another story.

Anyhow, Mrs. Sanders has done an admirable job of speaking on behalf of President Trump since last year, when she took over for Sean Spicer, who had a tendency to wilt under the pressure. Apparently you can stand only so long telling reporters that it is so when all the while they know that it is not so. Saying it is so when it is not seems to be built into Sanders’ DNA, a definite requirement for the job. Take the above screen shot from Cuomo’s Wednesday night show. Before getting around to talking with Mrs. Sanders he cruelly put up a video, apparently of remarks she made on Monday regarding the low esteem the administration holds for mainstream media. She is quoted as saying of these news hawkers, “My credibility is probably higher.”

See what I mean? Sean Spicer, the previous press secretary, was able to make such statements, to his credit, but there was the perception he was having difficulty keeping a straight face. And, as I have said, he soon wilted and had to be pulled. Historically, Mrs. Sanders has stood firm and unblinking going on for nearly a year. Pardon the expression, but the lady has balls. This is one of those cases that require further analysis.

To begin with, the statement, “My credibility is probably higher,” could be misinterpreted. Without forewarning, the casual listener would be tempted to fill out the unsaid portion. To give an example, listeners might presume to reconstruct the statement like this: “Compared to Willie Sutton, my credibility is probably higher.” That was the thought that came to my mind, along with the thought that the conclusion is debatable.

Anyhow, Chris Cuomo’s segment runs over 19 minutes on YouTube, and CNN has been kind to post a transcript on-line, saving my having to run the tape back and forth to pick up snatches of the conversation. It’s interesting to examine a few excerpts. Here is one:

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: The most visible member of the administration outside of the president himself is Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and she is here.

Sarah, it is good to see you.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE: Good to see you.

CUOMO: I respect you taking the opportunity.

SANDERS: Thank you. Thanks for being in D.C.

CUOMO: Well, I came for you.

What do you think about this as a positive pivot? Let’s take a look at this situation and see if we can get to a place, mutual respect, both sides think credibility counts, and we move forward. What do you say?

SANDERS: All right. We’ll give it a shot.

Yeah, and that just about does it for the pleasantries for much of the remainder.

They begin by talking about the meeting at Trump Tower in New York on 9 June 2016 between members of the Trump campaign team and a Russian lawyer who promised to provide dirt on Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee. Trump campaign members attending included campaign manager Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr.

Records of the meeting preparations came to light, and there was an element of embarrassment. Trump Jr. attempted to put our minds at ease by asserting the meeting was not about Clinton, rather it concerned the adoption of Russian orphans. That was obviously a lie.

It was suspected that President Trump issued a statement for Trump Jr. to unload on pesky reporters. When these suspicions were voiced, the White House, in the person of Mrs. Sanders pushed back:

On August 1, at the next day’s White House press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that Trump “certainly didn’t dictate, but … he weighed in, offered suggestion, like any father would do”

As we now know, that didn’t wash, despite reassurances from President Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulov:

On July 16, 2017, in an NBC interview Donald Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulov again said that Donald Trump did not draft the response and was not involved in the drafting of the statement.

Rather than continuing to bore you with the lengthy history, the lie has now been put to rest:

(CNN) – In a confidential letter to special counsel Robert Mueller in January, President Donald Trump’s legal team acknowledged for the first time that Trump “dictated” the first misleading statement put out about his son’s controversial 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower.

And that’s the lead-in to the following exchange between Cuomo and Sanders:

CUOMO: All right. Where’s the sticking point? This meeting matters, you know it does. I understand the reference to counsel. I get it. Not just because I’m an attorney, but you don’t want to answer for the lawyers, you don’t want to answer for an operation that you’re not a part of. I get it.

But you can answer for what you said. You don’t have to refer to counsel for that. Sekulow is not your lawyer. He’s the president’s lawyer. You’re saying, he didn’t dictate this. He did what any father would do.

That turns out not to be true. You agree with that?

SANDERS: Once again, I know I answered this question on Monday. I answered it on Tuesday, and I’m going to answer it the same way today and you’re probably not going to like it anymore on Wednesday than it sounds like you liked it on Monday or Tuesday. But this is a legal matter and the appropriate individuals to answer questions on a legal matter are the outside counsel.

And I would direct you to them. And frankly, I did direct you to them. And you had them here on your set and asked them that question and I would refer you back to that statement.

See? That’s why Sanders makes the big bucks. She can stare a reporter in the face and say she already answered that question, which she did not do, and she will refer you back to an original statement in which she did not answer the question but instead referred back to another source, which source she observes is not covered by her job title, and that’s that, and you can take your silly questions and stick them where the sun does not shine.

There’s a lot more, and here’s a part of what gives me the most joy:

CUOMO: Let’s look at it a different way. Do you wish that the White House had corrected the error between where it started and where it wound up with Sekulow in this letter sooner?

SANDERS: I wish that we spent a lot less time focused on things the American people don’t care about. I wish we spent a lot less time talking about this witch hunt and that we talked about things that impact everyday Americans. I wish we spent a lot more time talking about the economy.

I wish that your network had spent a lot more time today covering a very important piece of legislation that the president signed when he spent a good bit of time this afternoon talking about the importance of Veterans Choice Act that he signed into law today. And your network didn’t even take that.

I wish those were the things that we spent time talking about that.

That’s right. We should be talking about the economy and the veterans bill just signed. Except that… Except, lady, your house is on fire! Don’t you think we should talk about that?

Truth be told, I do miss Sean Spicer. He squirmed so deliciously. Sanders, to my simultaneous dismay and wonder, pastes on that smile of self-righteous certitude and reminds us that we are wrong, and she is right. Move over, Willie Sutton.

Odd Ball Conservatives Say the Darndest Things

A Continuing Thread – Number 2

So I watched this, after the fact, and it was something to behold. At the White House Correspondents’ Press Association annual dinner, comedienne Michelle Wolf rose to deliver the benediction. Actually, they may not have anything like a benediction at these functions, but they traditionally invite somebody in to roast popular people. It’s in the spirit of H.L. Mencken: “My job is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.” There is no evidence Mencken ever said such a thing, but it is good reading. Anyhow, Wolf saw her duty Saturday night to afflict the comfortable, and afflict she did, not so much with a prick but with a blackjack. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was a particular target:

I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful,” Wolf said. “She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.

I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders,” the comedian continued. “Is it Sarah Sanders? Is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Is it Cousin Huckabee? Is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women?

Yeah. I’m noted at times for being crude and lewd, but I probably could have finessed this one. Predictably, Wolf caught some flak over this and other bludgeonings of the night, definitely from the Left, but from the Right with a vengeance. I’m going to give the Left a pass on this and direct my attention to comments from the Right. Let’s start with prominent conservative politician Mike Huckabee, a close relative of Sarah Huckabee Sanders. A sample response from Governor Huckabee:

The WHCD was supposed to celebrate the 1st Amendment. Instead they celebrated bullying, vulgarity, and hate. They got all dressed up so they would look nicer when they had a hired gun savagely attack their guests. Do they really wonder why America has no respect for them? Sad!

Yes… This is the kind of thing I long to hear (read). It’s the yodel of the congenitally indignant. It’s the defense of  the indefensible. Missing from Governor Huckabee’s self-righteous lament is a vast amount of perspective. It may be time for a review of what it is that Mrs. Sanders does for a living. From all appearances her daily routine consists of attempting to explain away a flood of massive lies and insults. Let us not allow the sun to set before visiting some of this ripe fruit:

Katie Couric, the third rate reporter, who has been largely forgotten, should be ashamed of herself for the fraudulent editing of her doc.

Lyin’ Ted Cruz consistently said that he will, and must, win Indiana. If he doesn’t he should drop out of the race-stop wasting time & money

. was one of the worst performing stocks on the S&P last year, plunging 46%. Very disloyal company. Another win for Trump! Boycott.

I gave a woman named Barbara Res a top N.Y. construction job, when that was unheard of, and now she is nasty. So much for a nice thank you!

I know Mark Cuban well. He backed me big-time but I wasn’t interested in taking all of his calls.He’s not smart enough to run for president!

Comey drafted the Crooked Hillary exoneration long before he talked to her (lied in Congress to Senator G), then based his decisions on her poll numbers. Disgruntled, he, McCabe, and the others, committed many crimes!

Watched low rated for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show

. is a total low life— read his past tweets. A dummy with no “it” factor. Will fade fast.

The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use….

That’s enough of Twitter. President Trump’s candor in assessing various people out of favor is legendary. From earlier this year:

Self-obsessed billionaire Donald Trump earlier snatched the campaign torch from the Republican Party by scooping up conservative America’s low-hanging fruit. Full disclosure: it’s something I proclaimed over a year ago could not be done. I was wrong! How wrong? Very wrong. Donald Trump is the one candidate who displays an astonishing degree of class:

In the article, I wrote that Trump could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman said the man’s comments were “categorically untrue.”

The story ran below the fold in the business news section with the headline: How a Curious Visitor Beat Trump at the Casino Game.

And now I was holding for Mr. Trump.

There was no hello. But there was yelling, lots of yelling.

The word “shit” was used repeatedly as a noun and adjective.

I had shit for brains.

I worked for a shitty newspaper.

What sort of shit did I write.

Before I could reply, he hung up.

Then he called my editor in Philadelphia, Craig Stock. Now it was Craig’s turn to “Hold for Mr. Trump.”

Craig was treated to the same Trumpian wordplay, but got an added treat. Trump referred to me as “that cunt.”

There is more from that same post:

A cute nickname for a United States senator:

Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets go FBI & Justice Dept.

Characterization of a rival candidate.

Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is so good for the Republican Party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years!

NFL players who protest.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’” the president said at a rally for Republican senator Luther Strange, who is running in a special election next week to remain in the seat vacated by attorney general Jeff Sessions.

A writer who writes unkind things about Donald Trump.

The Mercer Family recently dumped the leaker known as Sloppy Steve Bannon. Smart!

Most would envy Mrs. Sanders’ professional obligation to front for such as this. One might wonder whence comes the wherewithal. Here’s a hint:

Huckabee has voiced his support of intelligent design and he has stated that he does not accept the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution. He was quoted in July 2004 on Arkansans Ask, his regular show on the Arkansas Educational Television Network: “I think that students also should be given exposure to the theories not only of evolution but to the basis of those who believe in creationism.”

In April 2011, Huckabee said, “I almost wish that there would be a simultaneous telecast and all Americans would be forced, at gunpoint, to listen to every David Barton message,” in praise of the Christian revisionist historian David Barton.

Within hours of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Huckabee made headlines in the U.S. and abroad for stating on Fox News: “We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” and further asked, “Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”

In September 2014, Huckabee said, “Fire the ones who refuse to hear not only our hearts, but God’s heart” (for which he was criticized by Richard Dawkins).

Support for Intelligent Design? Disdain for modern theories of modern biology? Praise for David Barton? Defiance of the rule of law? Add to that a deliberate distortion of American history:

The story starts in a class room where the teacher has the kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, with the “under God” wording. One kid refuses because of the under God language, and later the teacher is threatened with dismissal for this breach of school protocol.

OK, right there I hit a snag. I’ve been around the sun a few times, and I recall the time before the “under God” language was added, and I as yet unaware of any public school that disallows the “under God” language. Actually, a few years back Michael Newdow sued his daughter’s school, the United States Congress, et al, over the use of the “under God” language. The Supreme Court ultimately dismissed Newdow’s suit, since he was not the custodial guardian of his daughter and really had no legal standing in the matter. More recently, a family in Massachusetts has sued over the pledge as a violation of that state’s own equal protection clause in its constitution. So far as I know, all attempts to prohibit the “under God” language have been thwarted. So, where did the producers of One Nation get this scenario. We may have to ask learned historian Mike Huckabee.

Yes, it would appear the fruit does not fall far from from the tree, and for the Huckabees the truth is a sometime thing. Setting the crude and lewd aside for a moment, on Saturday night it was obvious to all the slings and arrows were well directed. That Mrs. Sanders has not resigned her unenviable position speaks for itself. In case I have not made my point, here it is. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a lying sack of shit, a trait that seems to run in the family.

Fire and Fury

The Start of a New Series

The monkey spit has certainly hit the fan, and on-lookers are choking with joy. Especially am I in another level of Heaven. The book went on sale at 8:00 a.m. Central Time Friday, and at 8:00 a.m. plus a second or more I hit the button on Amazon and pulled down a Kindle edition, $14.99 plus tax. Let the fun begin. Images are screen shots from ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, streaming on Hulu this morning.

Of course the President of the United States had some objections.

“Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past …” People, your President is totally irony-deficient. Being a world authority on these matters, he is definitely one to spot lies, misrepresentations, and sources that don’t exist when he sees them. And, to be sure, many reviewers have spotted such in the book.

The author is Michael Wolff, who wrote from a few month’s history with the Trump presidential campaign and also from inside the first year of the Trump White House. Wolff apparently draws most of his material second hand from  sources close to the President. For example:

Trump, observed Walsh, had a set of beliefs and impulses, much of them on his mind for many years, some of them fairly contradictory, and little of them fitting legislative or political conventions or form. Hence, she and everyone else was translating a set of desires and urges into a program, a process that required a lot of guess work. It was, said Walsh, “like trying to figure out what a child wants.”

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 113). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

The author is seen on ABC saying, “They all say he is like a child,” citing what staffers have told him about the President. “Walsh” is Katie Walsh:

Katie E. Walsh (born November 2, 1984) is an American Republican political operative who briefly served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Implementation in the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. She is currently working with the Trump-aligned 501(c)(4) America First Policies.

Wolff talks of the President’s need for “immediate gratification.”

But it wasn’t Bannon versus everybody else so much as it was Bannon Trump versus non-Bannon Trump. If Trump, in his dark, determined, and aggressive mood, could represent Bannon and his views, he could just as easily represent nothing at all—or represent solely his own need for instant gratification. That’s what the non-Bannon people understood about Trump.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 174). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

“It’s all about him,” Wolff says, again from close sources. He drills down, using terms like “moron” and “idiot.”

In early October, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s fate was sealed—if his obvious ambivalence toward the president had not already sealed it—by the revelation that he had called the president “a fucking moron.”

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 304). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

From a White House email:

Purporting to represent the views of Gary Cohn and quite succinctly summarizing the appalled sense in much of the White House, the email read:

It’s worse than you can imagine. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump won’t read anything—not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored. And his staff is no better. Kushner is an entitled baby who knows nothing. Bannon is an arrogant prick who thinks he’s smarter than he is. Trump is less a person than a collection of terrible traits. No one will survive the first year but his family. I hate the work, but feel I need to stay because I’m the only person there with a clue what he’s doing. The reason so few jobs have been filled is that they only accept people who pass ridiculous purity tests, even for midlevel policy-making jobs where the people will never see the light of day. I am in a constant state of shock and horror.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 186). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

We see Wolff stating, “This is a man who does not read, does not listen.”

But not only didn’t he read, he didn’t listen. He preferred to be the person talking. And he trusted his own expertise—no matter how paltry or irrelevant—more than anyone else’s. What’s more, he had an extremely short attention span, even when he thought you were worthy of attention.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 114). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

The president did not truly listen to anybody. The more you talked, the less he listened. “But Steve is careful about what he says, and there is something, a timbre in his voice and his energy and excitement, that the president can really hone in on, blocking everything else out,” said Walsh.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 182). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

Others have noted this:

In early August, less than a month after Ailes had been ousted from Fox News, Trump asked his old friend to take over the management of his calamitous campaign. Ailes, knowing Trump’s disinclination to take advice, or even listen to it, turned him down. This was the job Bannon [took] a week later.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 3). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

Wolff notes Donald Trump’s unsettling repetition. From ABC News, “Wolff paints a portrait of a mentally unstable man, saying the President often repeats the same story every three minutes.”

The president’s advisers felt he shouldn’t put himself in a position where he would be compared with Bannon. The worry among staffers—all of them concerned that Trump’s rambling and his alarming repetitions (the same sentences delivered with the same expressions minutes apart) had significantly increased, and that his ability to stay focused, never great, had notably declined—was that he was likely to suffer by such a comparison. Instead, the interview with Trump was offered to Sean Hannity—with a preview of the questions.

Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 309). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

At Mar-a-Lago recently the President failed to recognize life-long friends ABC News reports, although my copy of the book does not appear to recount this episode.

Of course, President Trump is slinging back.

At the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders reminds us how ridiculous these accusations are. From the video:

It’s disgraceful and laughable. If he was [sic] unfit, he probably wouldn’t sitting there. … This is a strong and great leader.”

And that, readers, has to be one for the history books. Being unfit did not prevent Donald Trump from becoming President. He became President through the intervention of a mass of American voters who, themselves, may be unfit. Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers. “A strong and great leader,” completely defining the meaning of the terms “strong” and “great,” with “leader” thrown in for good measure.

The scene from the White House news briefing closes with a view of Sanders’ backside as she exits stage left. Hey! How would you like to have that job?

President Trump weighs in, saying he never spoke to Wolff for the book. Sanders has conceded Wolff did interview Donald Trump, and Wolff says it was for the book, regardless of what Trump thought.

ABC White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega delivers the coup de grace.

… This is a West Wing used to dealing with crisis, David. As one senior White House official told us, quote, “People expect us to be running around with our hair on fire, but it’s hard to do that when it’s already been burned off.”

There is going to be much more of this. I have not had so much fun since cousin Elroy stuck the dynamite down the outhouse. Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Snowflake-in-Chief

Number 42 of a series

Here is how a real man handles personal offenses:

Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts….

…Corker dropped out of the race in Tennesse when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!

Isn’t it sad that lightweight Senator Bob Corker, who couldn’t get re-elected in the Great State of Tennessee, will now fight Tax Cuts plus!

Sen. Corker is the incompetent head of the Foreign Relations Committee, & look how poorly the U.S. has done. He doesn’t have a clue as…..

…the entire World WAS laughing and taking advantage of us. People like liddle’ Bob Corker have set the U.S. way back. Now we move forward!

Only kidding. That’s how President Donald Trump handles transgressions against his baby-soft ego.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday defended tweets President Donald Trump wrote earlier in the day that included a sexist attack on MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski.

“I think the president has been attacked mercilessly on personal accounts by members of that program,” Sanders said, referring to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “When he gets attacked, he’s going to hit back.”

Sanders repeated her initial defense of the tweet, arguing that Trump “fights fire with fire.”

“The things this show has called him, not just him but numerous members of his staff … are very deeply personal,” she added, saying she thinks “it’s kind of like we’re living in the Twilight Zone.”

Sanders argued against the “Morning Joe” hosts’ treatment of Trump, saying it wasn’t the same for President Barack Obama.

“If these attacks happened in previous administration, the rest of the media would have said, ‘Guys, no way, hold on,’ but nobody does that,” Sanders said. “The president, he’s not gonna step back.”

Apologies here for a moment. I have to laugh.

Suck it up, Sweetcakes. There’s more where this came from.

Buyer’s Remorse

Number 6 in a series

It haunts your troubled sleep. It drags down your day. It gags like a prickly pear cactus stuck in your throat. It’s called buyer’s remorse. And for a reason.

You had reservations. It had a nice sheen, and it tinkled when thumped. But it had a hollow feel to it. It seemed to lack a degree of substance. And there was the stench. Something was not right. You attributed its malodorous quality to rough handling by others. Not your friends. Did I mention how shiny it was?

You purchased it, and you brought it home, to your house. Where you lived with your family. People who trusted your judgment and advice. Who looked up to you. Previously. And you brought this home. Along  with the odor. The awful  smell that would not go away. And you showed it to your family. And they asked about the odor. You reminded them how shiny it was.

Now it sits there. And you know you can’t take it back. Back to the place where you purchased it. That place is no longer there. That place was just a store front. Set up for a fleeting period. To make the sale. And then move on. Buyer’s remorse hangs like rotting road kill around your neck.

And here is when you first began to notice:

Mika Brzezinski:Nothing makes a man feel better than making a fake cover of a magazine of himself, lying every day, and destroying the country It’s a good feeling..

That wasn’t enough. Brzezinski and Morning Joe co-host (also fiancé) Joe Scarborough continued to mock President Donald Trump. Continuing from above:

She didn’t stop there, continuing to mock Mr Trump by calling him the man with the “teensy” hands – which are out of view on the cover – before adding: “Yeah the guy with the little hands … I was talking about Trump.”

The president is notoriously sensitive about the size of his hands, so much so that he assured the American people there was “no problem” in that regard during a televised presidential debate. Read into that what you will.

During the segment, Ms Brzezinski also criticised the Trump administration at length and said its officials should not act “lobotomised” because they are scared of the president, Reuters reported.

The Morning Joe hosts featured live interviews of Mr Trump during the 2016 election, to the point where they were accused of being too close to him, but have become much more critical.

The honeymoon is over. Within a span covered by an egg timer, the Leader of the Free World answered back, displaying the aplomb and maturity that has marked his public life:

I heard poorly rated speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came..

…to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!

This to be clear. The foregoing was not found scribbled on the restroom wall in a TA truck stop alongside Interstate-35. This is on White House stationery and emanating from  1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in our nation’s capitol. This is is an official communication of the United States of America. Things have sunk that low. And conservative America is erupting  in buyers remorse:

Fox News anchor Julie Banderas blasted President Trump’s attacks on Mika Brzezinski Thursday, saying “that’s not how you run a country” and imploring Trump to “just walk away.”

Banderas hit Trump’s tweets during a segment with Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. Fox News carried the interview instead of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s remarks at a White House press briefing, according to The Washington Post.

Continuing:

Banderas knocked McDaniel’s defense of Trump, saying the president didn’t “need to stoop to that level.”

“I don’t care who you are. You don’t stoop to the level of that. I mean that’s like me scolding my 4-year-old for using a bad word and then me repeating it. That’s just not how you run a country or you parent a 4-year-old,” Banderas said.

“I mean I have to be honest, you know, if you see this negative commentary on a show, change the channel. Ignore it. I mean that’s what I tell my kids: When somebody’s mean to you, don’t fight back. Just walk away.”

Banderas also defended former President Barack Obama’s lack of reaction to attacks on him during his presidency.

“People used to call him a Muslim. People used to call him under-qualified, a sellout to America, a hater of Israel,” she said. “I mean they called him every name in the book, but you didn’t see him lash out.”

The Hill further reported:

After Trump slammed “Morning Joe” co-host Brzezinski and suggested that she had been “bleeding badly” from a “face-lift,” Republican lawmakers rushed to denounce the remarks, saying they were beneath the dignity of the presidency.

“The President’s tweets today don’t help our political or national discourse and do not provide a positive role model for our national dialogue,” Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said in a statement.

“It’s hard to understand, and not presidential,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, according to NBC News’s Frank Thorp. “I’m just embarrassed — embarrassed isn’t the right word — I just regret it.”

“Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) wrote on Twitter.

And more. However, evidence abounds the rot penetrates to the core. From acting Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

Filling in for White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer for the second time this week, Sanders spent most of the briefing struggling to defend President Donald Trump’s viciously personal tweets directed at Morning Joe co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.

“I think the American people elected somebody who’s tough, who’s smart, and who’s a fighter, and that’s Donald Trump,” Sanders said, painting him as the victim of “bullies” in the media who criticize his actions and policies on a daily basis.

Reiterating some of the language expressed on Morning Joe of late, she said, “Frankly, if this had happened in the previous administration, the type of attacks launched on this program, the things they say ‘utterly stupid,’ ‘personality disorder,’ ‘mentally ill,’ constant personal attacks, calling multiple members ‘’liars,’ liars to their faces, while they’re sitting on their programs, the rest of the media would have said, guys, no way, hold on.”

Deeper than that. From the First Lady of the United States:

“As the First Lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder,” the first lady’s communications director Stephanie Grisham said in a statement to CNN when asked about the tweets.

It is all too clear from this most recent excursion to the depths of depravity there will be no redemption.

To conservative America I take great joy in reminding you that it was you who spied the package on the shelf, you smelled the package, you admired the package, you bought the package. There will be no taking it back to the store. You paid for it with your souls, and now you own it. It is your own brand writ large. It is what you have come to stand for, now all grown up and installed in the highest position in the land. This piece of putrid flesh is not only your embarrassment, it belongs to all of us, as well. This mental midget, the culmination of American conservative politics, is deranged, impetuous, petty, pathologically dishonest, immoral. And he has access to the nuclear codes.

There are some who may say, “John, tell us what you really think of the current president.” To that I will respond. You know where I live. Come by to visit. Buy me a beer. I will tell you. I may even buy the beer.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

The Quintessence of Dumbshitia

Number 3 in a continuing thread

People keep asking… Actually, nobody has asked, but here it is. Dumbshitia is an imaginary world I have concocted, and that is where the dumb shits dwell, hence the name. Here’s another one.

Yesterday the cameras (unfortunately) were turned back on in the White House briefing room, and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was fielding questions. A reporter brought up the case of a story CNN got completely wrong a few days ago. The story was retracted by CNN, CNN apologized to any and all defamed by the story, and three CNN news staff resigned (were fired). One of those maligned by the story accepted the apology offered by CNN, but apparently President Trump did not. Why not?

Sanders saw the opportunity to drill down, and she exercised that opportunity, twisting  the knife until  it snapped off at the hilt, so to speak. The Media Research Center (MRC), which is often a source of material covered in this blog, posted a transcript, apparently from CNN:

CNN Newsroom
6/27/17 3:13

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: I think it’s the constant barrage of fake news directed at this President, probably, that has garnered a lot of his frustration. You point to that report. There are multiple other instances where that outlet that you referenced has been repeatedly wrong and had to point that out or be corrected. There’s a video circulating now, whether it’s accurate or not, I don’t know.

But I would encourage everybody in this room and frankly everybody across the country to take a look at it. I think if it is accurate, I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism. I think that we have gone to a place where, if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America, and I think if that is the place that certain outlets are going, particularly for the purpose of spiking ratings, and if that’s coming directly from the top, I think that’s even more scary. And certainly more disgraceful. And I hope that that’s not the direction we’re headed. I hope that outlets that have continued to use either unnamed sources, sometimes stories with no sources at all, we’ve been going on this Russia/Trump hoax for the better part of a year now with no evidence of anything. Things like the success at the VA barely get covered. They may get covered for an hour at a time, but this story gets covered day in, day out, and I think America is frankly looking for something better. They’re looking for something more. And I think they deserve something better from our news media.

That about does it. Except that Sanders proceeded to step right into it, deeply. Continuing:

SANDERS: If we make the slightest mistake, the slightest word is off, it is just an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room. But news outlets get to go on, day after day, and cite unnamed sources, use stories without sources, have, you know, you mentioned the Scaramucci story where they had to have reporters resign.

And that is something that can benefit from Skeptical Analysis.

“If we make the slightest mistake, the slightest word is off…” Yes, the slightest mistake:

  • JUNE 21 “They all say it’s ‘nonbinding.’ Like hell it’s nonbinding.” (The Paris climate agreement is nonbinding — and Trump said so in his speech announcing the withdrawal.)
  • JAN. 23 “Between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote.” (There’s no evidence of illegal voting.)
  • JAN. 25 “Now, the audience was the biggest ever. But this crowd was massive. Look how far back it goes. This crowd was massive.” (Official aerial photos show Obama’s 2009 inauguration was much more heavily attended.)
  • JAN. 25 “Take a look at the Pew reports (which show voter fraud.)” (The report never mentioned voter fraud.)
  • JAN. 25 “So, look, when President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech. You can’t have that.” (There were no gun homicide victims in Chicago that day.)
  • JAN. 30 “Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage.” (At least 746 people were detained and processed, and the Delta outage happened two days later.)
  • FEB. 4 “After being forced to apologize for its bad and inaccurate coverage of me after winning the election, the FAKE NEWS @nytimes is still lost!” (It never apologized.)
  • FEB. 6 “It’s gotten to a point where it is not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” (Terrorism has been reported on, often in detail.)
  • FEB. 9 “Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave ‘service’ in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!” (It was part of Cuomo’s first question.)
  • FEB. 9 Sen. Richard Blumenthal “now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?” (The Gorsuch comments were later corroborated.)
  • FEB. 10 “I don’t know about it. I haven’t seen it. What report is that?” (Trump knew about Flynn’s actions for weeks.)
  • MARCH 4 “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” (There’s no evidence of a wiretap.)
  • APRIL 2 “Now, my last tweet — you know, the one that you are talking about, perhaps — was the one about being, in quotes, wiretapped, meaning surveilled. Guess what, it is turning out to be true.” (There is still no evidence.)
  • APRIL 12 “The secretary general and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism.” (NATO has been engaged in counterterrorism efforts since the 1980s.)
  • APRIL 21 “When WikiLeaks came out … never heard of WikiLeaks, never heard of it.” (He criticized it as early as 2010.)
  • APRIL 29 “As you know, I’ve been a big critic of China, and I’ve been talking about currency manipulation for a long time. But I have to tell you that during the election, number one, they stopped.” (China stopped years ago.)
  • MAY 4 “We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world.” (We’re not.)
  • JUNE 21 “They all say it’s ‘nonbinding.’ Like hell it’s nonbinding.” (The Paris climate agreement is nonbinding — and Trump said so in his speech announcing the withdrawal.)
  • JUNE 21 “Right now, we are one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” (We’re not.)

That was since becoming President. Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star has commented on 337 false statement by Donald Trump since inauguration.

Previously:

Hopefully nobody will ask me to go on.

But wait. This story is drawn from an item posted by Scott Whitlock on MRC News Busters. Here is what Whitlock had to say:

An anti-Trump journalist on Tuesday suffered a total meltdown, screaming at Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Brian J. Karem, a reporter for a local Maryland paper The Sentinel, lost it after Sanders fought back against a “barrage of fake news.” Sanders lectured the assembled journalists: “If we make the slightest mistake, the slightest word is off, it is just an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room. But news outlets get to go on, day after day, and cite unnamed sources.”

Karem, who wasn’t called on, interrupted and yelled, “Come on! You’re inflaming everybody right here right now with those words!” He exploded, “You’re here to provide the answers and what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country…”

Apparently this is what goes for a “total meltdown” in some circles. We have to wonder what Whitlock would call it if somebody actually experienced a total meltdown. Anything is likely in the world of Dumbshitia.