Misadventures of a minority-elect President 32

Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return released – possibly by Trump himself, Trump ramps up President Obama’s illegal drone strikes, Trump’s alt-national security council operating in the White House to collude with the European right, our fatally flawed political system enabled the rise of Trump when it should have prevented it, Trump signs executive order to grant himself the power to eviscerate federal agencies that might inconvenience the Trump cabal, alleged ‘shadowy deep state’ purportedly trying to sabotage the Trump cabal, Trump approval continues sinking thanks to TrumpCare, coincidences over Russian ties to Trump piling up, Trump’s budget slices and dices Americans and foreign aid, Trump’s paranoid work environment in the White House, top Trump ally questions validity of his wiretap claims, Trump continues breaking campaign promises by adding another leech from Goldman Sachs to his cabinet, Trump’s infrastructure boondoggle, Trump’s second biased Muslim travel ban blocked by Federal Judge in Hawaii, Medicaid head appointed by Trump exposing her intent to eviscerate recipients and more.

The wall around Donald Trump’s taxes cracks, a little article from Yahoo! News. –

The last time we heard about Trump’s tax returns he wasn’t paying taxes. Suddenly he allegedly paid them in 2005, suggesting they may have been doctored or leaked on purpose…

Five Ways This Trump Tax Story Stinks article from Common Dreams. –

Reporter who got Trump’s tax return questioned if Trump leaked it himself article from AOL News. –

Donald Trump… Leaker-in-Chief? article from Common Dreams. –

Trump administration secretly resumes CIA drone assassination program article from the World Socialist Web Site. –

“The Trump White House has secretly authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to resume drone assassination strikes that in the latter years of the Obama administration had been largely reserved for the US military, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The Journal cited unnamed US officials revealing that the authorization was granted shortly after Trump visited CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia on January 21, the day after his inauguration. No announcement has been made as to the change in policy, and the White House as well as the CIA and the Pentagon have declined to comment on the matter.

According to the report, the authorization initially provided to the CIA was in relation to drone strikes in Syria, where the agency killed Egyptian Al Qaeda leader Abu al Khayr al Masri in an airstrike late last month.

It appears, however, that the policy has already been expanded globally, with an apparent CIA drone strike in Pakistan that killed two men, and a wave of strikes in Yemen—more in a single week this month than in any single year under the Obama administration—for which the Pentagon failed to take responsibility…”

Bannon and Trump Have Quietly Installed an Alt-National Security Council Operating Inside the White House article from AlterNet. –

“The Strategic Initiatives Group is the White House pipeline to the white nationalists of the European right.

Less than a month after much-admired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster took over from Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser, Trump’s alter-ego Steve Bannon appears to be more in control of U.S. foreign policy than ever.

There is little sign McMaster will be able to restore traditional U.S. foreign policy commitments to NATO and the European Union, and every indication that Bannon’s shadowy Strategic Initiatives Group, denounced by two national security experts as “dangerous hypocrisy,” is driving U.S. policy.

McMaster, a lieutenant general with a reputation as an intellectual, was perhaps the last-gasp hope of Washington’s foreign policy professionals against the radical ambitions of the Trump administration. He was seen as a man who could speak unpopular truths to Trump and block Bannon’s improvisations while restoring a degree of continuity to U.S. foreign policy under Obama and Bush…”

The Empire Should be Placed on Suicide Watch article from Information Clearing House. –

How Our Political System Has Cracked – and Why It Probably Can’t Be Fixed article from AlterNet. –

Our political system was designed to stop moronic demagogues like Trump from taking power, not enable it.

The Executive Branch Is About to be ‘Reorganized’ into Oblivion article from Esquire. –

“This was ominous from the first tweet. While everyone was breathlessly awaiting the CBO numbers on the Republican tax-cut plan, the one that was so well-camouflaged beneath gauze and surgical gloves, the president* announced that he would be signing an executive order through which he planned to “reorganize” the executive branch of government. On Monday, not long after the CBO numbers lit the entire healthcare debate aflame again, he made good on his threat. He signed the “Comprehensive Plan For Reorganizing The Executive Branch.” I didn’t like the sound of this at the time, and it sounds even worse now that it’s here.

Quite simply, this empowers the president* and his advisers simply to eviscerate the federal agencies that might inconvenience them by actually acting like they’re part of the government or something. Not long ago, the president*’s plans for drastic budgetary cuts in discretionary spending leaked. People howled. (The Coast Guard? Really?). This latest move impresses me most as a backup plan in case those cuts don’t fly in Congress. And considering that the White House really is being run by Steve Bannon, last heir to House Harkonnen and destroyer of the administrative state, it seems likely that this is the fundamental purpose behind the order.

In theory, the job has been handed to Mick Mulvaney, the new head of the Office and Management and Budget, most recently seen throwing shade at the CBO, and one of the original Tea Party fanatics elected in response to the Obama Presidency. (Mulvaney was one of the chief architects of the 2013 government shutdown.) But the fine print of the measure shows that it is likely more a creature of Bannon’s professed love for vandalism for its own sake. From the order itself:

The proposed plan shall include, as appropriate, recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs, and to merge functions. The proposed plan shall include recommendations for any legislation or administrative measures necessary to achieve the proposed reorganization…”

Trump’s “Reorganize Government” Order More Like Plan to Destroy It article from Common Dreams. –

Trump White House sees influence of shadowy ‘deep state’ article from ABC News. –

Paul Ryan won’t escape blame for failing on health care article from Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. –


Yachts of Trump financial backer, Russian oligarch seen together article from SF Gate. –

“WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The coincidences are piling up.

After disavowing any contact with President Donald Trump last week, Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev’s state-of-the-art yacht Anna sat anchored in the British Virgin Islands on Friday night when another equally resplendent luxury liner, the Sea Owl, sidled up, according to a website that tracks the movement of yachts.

The owner of the dark-hulled yacht? President Donald Trump’s biggest financial supporter and Breitbart News moneyman, Robert Mercer.

Rybolovlev has repeatedly said he has never met Trump or had any dealings with anyone in his campaign. The oligarch did purchase a Palm Beach mansion from the developer in 2008 through a family trust, Rybolovlev’s spokespeople say…”

Trump budget would slice domestic programs, foreign aid article from Reuters on Yahoo! News. –

Despite campaign promises, Trump adds another Goldman Sachs vet article from Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. –

Mark Hamill brutally shuts down Trump staffer in 1 tweet article from Mashable. –

LOL. Simply awesome.

White House staffers describe paranoid work environment: ‘People are scared’ article from AOL News. –

One of Trump’s top allies questions validity of wiretap allegations article from Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. –

Trump’s Infrastructure Boondoggle article from Counter Punch. –

“We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals…. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

— President Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan is not an infrastructure plan and it won’t put $1 trillion of fiscal stimulus into the economy. It’s basically a scheme for handing over public assets to private corporations that will extract maximum profits via user fees and tolls. Because the plan is essentially a boondoggle, it will not lift the economy out of the doldrums, increase activity or boost growth. Quite the contrary. When the details of how the program is going to be implemented are announced, public confidence in the Trump administration is going to wither and stock prices are going to plunge. This scenario cannot be avoided because the penny-pinching conservatives in the House and Senate have already said that they won’t support any plan that is not “revenue neutral” which means that any real $1 trillion spending package is a dead letter. Thus, it’s only a matter of time before the Trump’s plan is exposed as a fraud and the sh** hits the fan.

Here are more of the details from an article at Slate:

“Under Trump’s plan…the federal government would offer tax credits to private investors interested in funding large infrastructure projects, who would put down some of their own money up front, then borrow the rest on the private bond markets. They would eventually earn their profits on the back end from usage fees, such as highway and bridge tolls (if they built a highway or bridge) or higher water rates (if they fixed up some water mains). So instead of paying for their new roads at tax time, Americans would pay for them during their daily commute. And of course, all these private developers would earn a nice return at the end of the day.” (“Donald Trump’s Plan to Privatize America’s Roads and Bridges”, Slate)…”

Trump’s Bonkers Budget article from Common Dreams. –

Federal Judge in Hawaii Blocks Trump’s Second Travel Order article from NBC News. –

Trump’s New Medicaid Head Wastes No Time Urging States to Make System More Cruel article from Common Dreams. –

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