More lying about Obamacare, voter fraud, Bannon’s role in the White House, prepare for a false flag for an illegal power grab from the Trump cabal, ethics violations, conflicts of interest, staff shake ups and more.
Donald Trump Only Knows How to Do One Thing — And It Isn’t Being President article from the Huffington Post. –
“It is time to stop pretending that Donald Trump has the intelligence, integrity, or understanding to be President. He is not smart, he is not a good person, and he is not even a good businessman. If he was smart, he would not talk about how smart he is all the time. If he was a good person, he would not lie all the time. And if he was a good businessman, he would release the tax forms and other records to prove it.
He only knows how to do one thing. It is a technique that got him pretty far on reality television and as a famous-for-being-famous-type celebrity. It has now catapulted him into a job he did not want and is hopelessly inadequate for. He knows it and yet has neither the will nor the ability to learn from his mistakes and rise to the occasion.
The sole and only thing Donald Trump knows how to do is what economists call “externalizing.” That means making others pay for your choices or behavior. He uses this technique in business and in responding to criticism.
Trump is a one-trick pony who externalized his costs over and over to make money by using the bankruptcy and tax laws and underpaying his contractors and those who worked for him to force others to pay the costs of his failures while he got to keep the profits. Those gains are probably less than he claims, of course, because otherwise he would show us the details.
That’s it. That’s all he knows how to do…”
National Security Council staff reportedly dreads Trump’s morning tweets, crafts policy to match article from The Week. –
“The National Security Council, nominally headed by embattled National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, is the White House’s central nervous system for foreign challenges and relationships, with staff drawn from the State Department, Pentagon, and other agencies. President Trump’s NSC is “so far a very dysfunctional NSC,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tells The New York Times, and “more than two dozen current and former council staff members and others throughout the government” corroborate his judgment. The Times draws from those accounts to explain how the day starts for many NCS staffers:
Three weeks into the Trump administration, council staff members get up in the morning, read President Trump’s Twitter posts, and struggle to make policy to fit them. Most are kept in the dark about what Mr. Trump tells foreign leaders in his phone calls. Some staff members have turned to encrypted communications to talk with their colleagues, after hearing that Mr. Trump’s top advisers are considering an “insider threat” program that could result in monitoring cellphones and emails for leaks. [The New York Times]
Many of the Times’ anonymous anecdotes involve Flynn — he was reportedly “surprised to learn that the State Department and Congress play a pivotal role in foreign arms sales and technology transfers,” and “was not familiar with how to call up the National Guard in an emergency.” But there are also stylistic differences in presenting intelligence to Trump, who reportedly likes policy options presented on a single sheet of paper with lots of graphics and maps…”
Trump’s chief policy adviser says the president’s power ‘will not be questioned’ by the courts article from Think Progress. –
Senior White House Policy Adviser Stephen Miller raised plenty of eyebrows on Sunday as the perused the talk-show circuit talking about cases of voter fraud (that don’t exist) and Steve Bannon’s lack of involvement in drafting executive orders (which, according to most reports, is the exact opposite of the truth).
But perhaps his most alarming statement was in reference to the federal judges in Washington rejecting President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.
“I think that it’s been an important reminder to all Americans that we have a judiciary that has taken far too much power and become in many cases a supreme branch of government,” Miller told John Dickerson of CBS News, as first noted by Will Saletan of Slate. “The end result of this, though, is that our opponents, the media, and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.”
Miller’s boss was, unsurprisingly, watching his performance, and gave the 31-year-old rave reviews…”
Stephen Miller: ‘Steve Bannon has no role whatsoever in drafting executive orders’ article from Think Progress. –
“Trump’s Senior Adviser’s claim is wholly unbelievable.
On Sunday morning, President Donald Trump’s Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller made the rounds on the political talk shows. Across the interviews, he defended Trump’s Muslim ban as well as a series of new sweeping deportation raids conducted this week. One of the most bizarre claims he made, however, was when he said that Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has had no role in crafting Trump’s executive orders.
Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace asked Miller about how he and Bannon rolled out the Muslim ban. “Steve Bannon has no role whatsoever in drafting executive orders,” Miller countered.
This unbelievable claim contradicts everything that has been reported during the first three weeks of Trump’s presidency. Indeed, reports suggest that Bannon has been responsible, along with Miller, for just about every executive order, leading many to satirize Trump as his puppet.
Bannon certainly seems to have been responsible for the order that placed himself on the National Security Council — an order that, according to the New York Times, angered Trump because he was not fully briefed on it before he signed it…”
Trump administration invents new story to support claims of massive voter fraud article from Think Progress. –
“Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a completely fictional voter fraud story from her home state of Arkansas.
President Donald Trump continues to claim, without evidence, that there was massive voter fraud in the 2016 election — and that but for that fraud he would have won the popular vote. Sunday afternoon, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shared some new “information,” which she said supported the president’s position.
“Look, I don’t know how many different voters voted illegally, but I do know that they exist,” Sanders told MSNBC. “In my home state of Arkansas, there was a judge that was caught with I think roughly 180 ballots sitting on his kitchen table, so to pretend like voter fraud isn’t something real and doesn’t exist is laughable.”
There is no evidence anywhere of Sanders’ story about the Arkansas judge. What it seems she may have been referring to was a story about 160 absentee ballots in Hot Springs, Arkansas that hadn’t yet been counted the day after the election. They weren’t on a kitchen table; they were in the vault where they were supposed to be. They never went uncounted, and they didn’t even change the outcome of the very tight mayor’s race. The votes were legal and were counted according to procedure…”
Kansas official spars with CNN over voter fraud claim, but fails to provide evidence article from Yahoo! News. –
“The Kansas state official who was name-checked by President Trump’s senior policy adviser as having proof of voter fraud in New Hampshire sparred with CNN host Kate Bolduan on Monday during a segment in which she demanded to see the evidence.
Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, was cited by Trump aide Stephen Miller on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when George Stephanopoulos asked Miller for proof that thousands of Massachusetts residents were bused to New Hampshire to illegally cast votes in November.
“Many, many highly qualified people, like Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, have looked deeply into this issue and have confirmed it to be true and have put together evidence,” Miller told Stephanopoulos. “And I suggest you invite Kris Kobach onto your show and he can walk you through some of the evidence of voter fraud in greater detail.”
Kobach told Bolduan that New Hampshire has joined an investigation into claims of voter fraud enlisting 30 states, headed by Kansas, and that he would be able to provide evidence at the end of the month.
“Stephen Miller said thousands and thousands did vote illegally, definitively saying that this actually happened,” Bolduan said. “You are saying that there is going to be more data coming at the end of the month. Do you have the evidence?…”
Republicans Are Still Lying About Obamacare and Americans Aren’t Having It article from GQ. –
“The ACA has never been more popular and you can see it at town halls across the country.
For years, one of the dogmas of the Republican party was that Obamacare needed to be repealed. Forget for a second that many of the most controversial sections of Obamacare (like the individual mandate) began their life as ideas from the Republican party; Republicans have spent the years since the ACA was passed spreading lies about the bill. Paul Ryan has said that it’s bankrupting Medicare, when in fact the truth is just the opposite. This comes from FactCheck.org.
As for Ryan’s claim that Obamacare had worsened Medicare’s financing, that’s not the case, either. In fact, the law both expanded Medicare funding—adding a 0.9 percent tax on earnings above $200,000 for single taxpayers or $250,000 for married couples—and cut the growth of future spending. Additional revenue and savings actually extend the life of the trust fund. The trustees’ 2010 report estimated that the ACA had added 12 years to the life of the Part A trust fund.
That’s right! Literally the exact opposite is true. The ACA has PROLONGED Medicare’s life. But the worst of the lies that Republicans have trotted out is the trusty old “Death Panels”, or the idea that a government panel would decide if elderly people weren’t worthy of care anymore. (It’s funny how Obamacare has now been in place for years, and yet there have been no death panels. It’s almost like it was never true at all.)…”
Trump’s Desperate Search For a ‘Reichstag Fire’ article from Information Clearing House. –
“February 10/11, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – “Al Jazeera” – Donald Trump and his top Islamophobe nomenklatura gathered at the White House, now led by the militant crusader Stephen Bannon, are on a desperate lookout for their “Reichstag Fire” and their favourite propaganda outlet, Fox News, is franticly searching for it – even in Canada.
“Reichstag Fire” was an arson attack on the Reichstag, the German parliament, in Berlin on February 27, 1933. The incident was soon abused by Adolf Hitler and his gang to demand a suspension of civil liberties in systematic preparation for his putsch for total fascist power.
Ever since, the term “Reichstag Fire” is used metaphorically to mark a dreadful event abused by any proto-fascist movement to blame an amorphous internal enemy, to be coupled with an external enemy, and rapidly from there rapidly move towards a total control of the state apparatus by criminalising and crushing public dissent.
Given the fact of Trump’s serious unpopularity with a significant portion of American society, this “Reichstag Fire” incident is increasingly a dangerous possibility.
From the historic Women’s March in Washington to widespread airport rallies against his Muslim ban, Trump and his handlers know only too well his loss of the presidential popular vote by about three million nationwide is now growing into widespread public discontent, state-level gubernatorial opposition, and systematic resistance by the judiciary branch…”
The World According to Bannon article from Information Clearing House. –
“February 10/11, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – “Jacobin” – The chaos unleashed by President Trump’s executive order selectively barring Muslim entry into the United States has stoked an urgent debate about the man behind it, Stephen K. Bannon. Bannon, we now know, had a direct hand in both drafting the travel ban and directing the Department of Homeland Security to bar lawful residents and green card holders from entering the country.
Some commentators see the indifference to legal procedure and mass protest as evidence of Bannon’s gross incompetence; others divine incipient signs of a full-scale coup. Often overlooked, however, is the broader vision of politics informing Bannon’s new experiment with state power.
Behind the chaos he’s let loose stands a prophetic theory of civilizational crisis and violent renewal — one with deep roots in the American political tradition…”
White House for Sale: Trump Team Openly Flouts Ethics Rules in the Nordstrom Flap—Because Congress Will Do Nothing article from AlterNet. –
“Do not purchase Ivanka Trump’s products. I’m not really sure what the president’s oldest daughter sells or where it’s sold, but that doesn’t really matter. Don’t buy it. The reason to swear off all Ivanka Trump-branded items is straightforward: You don’t want to reward an openly corrupt White House.
Let’s run down the series of events that has unfolded over the past 24 hours or so. On Wednesday President Donald Trump fired off a tweet attacking the Nordstrom department store for its decision to stop carrying Ivanka Trump’s products. The president claimed his daughter — or, more precisely, his daughter’s business — was being treated unfairly by the retailer even though she is “a great person.” Nordstrom, for its part, made clear that the decision was driven by the fact that her merchandise wasn’t selling.
Regardless of why Nordstrom pulled the plug, Donald Trump’s behavior was massively unethical: He was using his official capacity as president to promote his daughter’s product line and attack a company for refusing to do business with his family. There’s also the fact that Ivanka has apparently not yet followed through on her promise to resign from her business interests ahead of assuming her nebulous role within the Trump administration…”
WEEK FOUR: Rumors of a massive staff shakeup — NYT: Inside the turmoil on the National Security Council — THE JUICE: Puzder gets reinforcements and female biz leaders huddling with Trudeau/Trump article from Politico. –
“WELCOME TO WEEK FOUR OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. Twenty-four days into Donald Trump’s presidency there is already public musing about drastic senior staff shakeups that would reshape the new White House.
JOSH DAWSEY and ALEX ISENSTADT — “Trump reviews top White House staff after tumultuous start”: “Trump has told several people that he is particularly displeased with national security adviser Michael Flynn over reports that he had top-secret discussions with Russian officials about and lied about it. The president, who spent part of the weekend dealing with the Flynn controversy, has been alarmed by reports from top aides that they don’t trust Flynn. ‘He thinks he’s a problem,’ said one person familiar with the president’s thinking. ‘I would be worried if I was General Flynn.’
“Yet Trump’s concern goes beyond his embattled national security adviser, according to conversations with more than a dozen people who have spoken to Trump or his top aides. He has mused aloud about press secretary Sean Spicer, asking specific questions to confidants about how they think he’s doing behind the podium. During conversations with Spicer, the president has occasionally expressed unhappiness with how his press secretary is talking about some matters — sometimes pointing out even small things he’s doing that he doesn’t like. Others who’ve talked with the president have begun to wonder about the future of Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. Several Trump campaign aides have begun to draft lists of possible Priebus replacements, with senior White House aides Kellyanne Conway and Rick Dearborn and lobbyist David Urban among those mentioned. Gary Cohn, a Trump economic adviser who is close with senior adviser Jared Kushner, has also been the subject of chatter…”
THE UTTERLY INSUFFICIENT EFFORTS TO SEPARATE TRUMP FROM HIS BUSINESSES from the New Yorker. –
Trump Goes Full Nixon on Law-and-Order Executive Orders, Vows ‘Ruthless’ War on Drugs and Crime article from AlterNet. –
“We have no choice” but to double down on failed crime-fighting strategies, the president claims.
Unraveling the Koch Brothers’ Connection to Trump’s EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt article from AlterNet. –
For the Kochs, a guy like Pruitt heading the EPA is a dream come true.
Donald Trump Simplistically—and Dangerously—Sees the World as One Big Reality Show article from AlterNet. –
The line between politics and entertainment blurs, and America suffers.
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