2017-03   383

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At long last, a forum where Trump cannot escape the truth - The Globe and Mail
Power lies with Mr. Trump, who exploits the brevity of Twitter by using it to build murky yet self-serving narratives.

During the hearing, that power began to wane. From the opening questions, focusing on the President’s tweeted fabrications about a wiretapped Trump Tower, to the midway debunking of his own tweet about the hearing, the medium no longer became a tool of propaganda, but a means of self-indictment.
2017-03 
2 days ago by Weaverbird
Paul Manafort's Ties to Russia and What They Mean for Donald Trump
Maybe it's time now to put on ice the notions that the billowing clouds of smoke engulfing Camp Runamuck as regards its ties with Putin, Inc. are either a) some sort of distraction to draw attention away from the fact that the administration can't get out of its own way with Congress, or b) a "Deep State" cabal aimed at bringing down the people's champion.

Anybody who's spent five minutes covering a state capital can recognize the basic infrastructure of the shady dealings under examination. Rich guy of dubious provenance needs a political power player to get richer. Political power player needs rich clients to acquire more power.
2017-03 
2 days ago by Weaverbird
Mitch McConnell on Neil Gorsuch and Vacant Supreme Court Seat
You can howl now about how Garland got hosed and how Gorsuch should be a little bit ashamed that he's walking onto the Supreme Court over the body of someone he says he respects. None of that matters, either, because Mitch McConnell does Not Give A Fck.

Do not minimize the political potency of Not Giving A Fck. If you are a leader in a party that as a matter of principle is opposed to the full functioning of the federal government, Not Giving A Fck can take you a long way. You can even add a new definition of "chutzpah" in a political context and nobody of any note can gainsay the way you did it. The whole thing is staggeringly bizarre.
2017-03 
2 days ago by Weaverbird
Trump's Team Said It Didn't Ask For Military Vehicles At Inauguration. Emails Show It Did. | The Huffington Post
The month after Donald Trump won the presidential election, his staff asked the Pentagon to send photographs of military tactical vehicles that he could include in his inaugural parade, emails obtained by The Huffington Post show.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee “is seriously considering adding military vehicles to the Inaugural Parade,” a Pentagon official wrote in an internal email dated Dec. 13, 2016. “The conversation started as ‘Can you send us some pictures of military vehicles we could add to the parade,’” the official wrote.
2017-03 
2 days ago by Weaverbird
Donald Trump is going to be livid if his health-care bill fails in the House - The Washington Post
The most likely reaction from Trump if the Republican-controlled House votes down the health-care proposal Thursday night then is anger — and payback. Trump is vengeful as a politician — his ouster of Chris Christie, his shabby treatment of Mitt Romney post-election — and believes it's central to his brand and his effectiveness. People need to know that when they act in ways he doesn't approve of, there are real consequences. Not like, “Hey, I wish you hadn't done that” consequences, either. Like, beat-you-in-an-election consequences.

If Trump goes full napalm on Republicans in the event of a failed health-care vote, it probably dooms any chance of taking another bite at that apple
2017-03 
2 days ago by Weaverbird
Confidential Memo Unearthed: Heat On Full Blast for Former Trump Campaign Manager Manafort
On top of recent accusations of money laundering, Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, secretly worked for a Russian oligarch to advance the interests of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, according to a report from The Associated Press. As early as 2005, Manafort signed a $10 million annual contract with Putin ally Oleg Deripaska to “influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government,” the AP report continues.

“We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort wrote to Deripaska in a 2005 strategy memo. The effort, he continued, “will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.”
2017-03 
2 days ago by Weaverbird
Senator Al Franken Schools Gorsuch in Confirmation Hearing
Today we will see if the other Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee took notes on Senator Al Franken’s methods. Franken, unlike the other committee members, was able to pin down Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.
2017-03 
2 days ago by Weaverbird
This British MP desperately tried to save the dying police officer outside London’s Parliament - The Washington Post
The ensuing scuffle left at least one police officer gravely wounded. Shots had been fired; no one knew whether the danger had subsided.

That didn't stop British MP Tobias Ellwood.

While his colleagues gathered on the chamber floor, Ellwood headed outside to see whether he could help. Just steps from the exit, he found an unconscious police officer, bleeding from multiple wounds. At that moment, Ellwood's military training kicked in. According to witnesses, he attempted mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and applied pressure to the wounds to stem the blood flow. He didn't stop until medical staff and an air ambulance landed in Parliament Square.
2017-03 
2 days ago by Weaverbird
Birth of the Biggest Lie - The New York Times
Oddly, it is likely that the reason Trump is even in the Oval Office is Comey’s original, extraordinarily inappropriate and unprecedented action. The Trump machinery then used that action to scare Americans about Clinton, in one of the most astonishing acts of deflection and hypocrisy in American history.

The timeline of how the lie of Clinton’s constitutional crisis was born and grew is full of Machiavellian-level misdirections.
2017-03 
2 days ago by Weaverbird
Man Stops Teens from Fighting, Says 'Right Thing to Do' | Time.com
Miller, a self-employed contractor, is also being honored by his local City Council on Wednesday even though he believes he didn’t do anything exceptional.

“I’m a Muslim. I was raised by Muslim parents. That’s what we were taught in my house, always, growing up,” he said. “For me, I don’t look at it like I’m a peacemaker. I did what I was supposed to do, what I was raised to do.”
2017-03 
2 days ago by Weaverbird
Republicans May Have Saved Trumpcare by Making It Crueler
Earlier Wednesday, the Republican health care plan appeared all but doomed heading into Thursday night’s scheduled House vote. But a last-minute alteration has dramatically revived its prospects. Republican leaders are reportedly planning to add to the bill provisions to strip away essential health benefit requirements for insurance. This move would placate many, perhaps all, of the most arch-conservative opponents of the bill, making it far more likely to assemble a majority. It would also probably make the bill radioactive in the Senate by making the insurance system even more punitive and unaffordable to Americans with serious medical needs.

The proposal is to eliminate ten essential benefits that, according to the Affordable Care Act, must be offered as part of any insurance plan. Those benefits are:
2017-03 
2 days ago by Weaverbird
Fleeing a town hall, congressman caught on hot mic plotting to portray constituents as 'un-American'
Solicitous staffers had taken every precaution to limit the damage, scheduling the town hall to begin in the first hour past sunrise on a snowy Saturday morning, in a venue they were obliged to vacate in time to make way for the boat show opening 90 minutes later. The weather gods were complicit, whipping up a sudden blizzard that spun cars into ditches and brought traffic on the major arteries leading to the Suburban Collection Showplace to a standstill.

Still they came, arriving by the hundreds before plows had cleared the parking lot. By the time the doors opened at 8 a.m., there were close to a thousand, more than twice as many as the 425 seats set out for the event would accommodate.
2017-03 
3 days ago by Weaverbird
Robert Reich (My Visit to Trump’s Washington)
I spent much of this past week in Washington – talking with friends still in government, former colleagues, high-ranking Democrats, a few Republican pundits, and some members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. It was my first visit to our nation’s capital since Trump became president.

My verdict:
2017-03 
3 days ago by Weaverbird
Trump to GOP critics of health care bill: ‘I’m gonna come after you’ - The Washington Post
Asked whether Trump believed that Republicans who opposed the bill would be damaged at the ballot box, Spicer answered: “I think they’ll probably pay a price at home.”

Spicer explained that statement was not a threat but “a political reality.”
2017-03 
3 days ago by Weaverbird
Trump's Diplomat
So why, then, did he want the gig?

“I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job.” He paused to let that sink in.

A beat or two passed before an aide piped up to ask him why he said yes.

“My wife told me I’m supposed to do this.”
2017-03 
3 days ago by Weaverbird
President Trump faces his hardest truth: He was wrong - The Washington Post
Questions about Russia have hung over Trump for months, but the president always has dismissed them as “fake news.” That became much harder Monday after the FBI director proclaimed the Russia probe to be anything but fake.

“There’s a smell of treason in the air,” presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said. “Imagine if J. Edgar Hoover or any other FBI director would have testified against a sitting president? It would have been a mind-
boggling event.”
2017-03 
3 days ago by Weaverbird

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