Sunday, April 23, 2017


Trump says the 100 day metric is "ridiculous" and meaningless. . . then schedules a big rally for the night of the 100th day. You can be sure he will claim revolutionary achievements, and you can be sure the crowd will go wild

Trump: I'm Not Even At 100 Days, You Miscounted

How Hillary Clinton got screwed over
The New York Times has a deep-dive into Comey’s FBI suggesting what we've long suspected; Comey's letter to Congress "informing" them that the FBI had "new" information in the long-running hunt for something damning in Hillary Clinton's emails was done not out of high-minded concern for the country but two considerably less noble concerns; distrust of Democrats in the Justice Department—especially Attorney General Loretta Lynch—and protecting the department itself from criticism. . . .
It makes for depressing reading. . . .At every step of the way, Comey demonstrated either his fear of crossing Republicans or his concern over protecting his own reputation from Republican attack. It was the perfect intersection of a Republican Party that had developed a reputation for conducting relentlessly vicious smear campaigns and a Republican FBI director who didn't have the fortitude to stand up to it. . . .
There's a reason I blame Comey, and it's not because I live in a bubble. It's because a massive amount of evidence points that way. Today I want to put the whole case in one l-o-o-o-o-ng post so everyone understands why I think Comey was the deciding factor in the election. If you still disagree, that's fine, but this is the evidence you need to argue with. . . .
The New York Times, following an extensive investigation into the conduct of FBI director James Comey over the course of the last year’s U.S. presidential election, reports that President Obama rejected Comey’s proposal to publish a late-summer op-ed announcing that Russia was trying to undermine the vote. According to the report, after it became clear to the FBI that Russia was attempting to intervene, Comey wanted to “inoculate” American voters from that possible influence by alerting them in an op-ed that the Russian meddling was happening — though he did not plan to announce that members of the Trump campaign were also under investigation with regards to the issue.  President Obama, according to the Times’ sources, thought that acknowledging Russia’s attempted interference would not counteract their influence, but magnify it, causing American voters to doubt the election’s legitimacy. Then candidate Donald Trump was already loudly and frequently claiming, without evidence, that the election was rigged, and the White House did not want to be seen as stepping in on behalf of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. . .

[NB: The story shows how Comey (AND Obama, AND the press) all assumed that because she was winning, they didn't need to do or say certain things that they SHOULD have done, which might have had the effect of helping her. Instead, they did things that ended up costing her the election.]

The FBI is trying (again) to stop leaks
The FBI is getting another public relations makeover of sorts starting from the inside out—it amounts to "Quit the leaks, dammit." . . . Hmm, why now? Oh yeah, cuz journalist reports of contacts between Trump associates and Russian operatives is eating the White House alive. . . .

The blame game
One of the most consistent features of President Donald Trump’s public statements is his drive to take credit and assign blame. It’s a tendency that consistently lands him in trouble with history, either recent or long ago, and has been on display as he approaches his 100th day in office.  Over the past week, the president claimed unprecedented achievement as he tried to shape perceptions of his 100-day legacy. He then pooh-poohed that benchmark as time ran short for him to get big things done. He disparaged the record of his predecessor, specifically on fighting the violent MS-13 gang, and Trump addressed his abandonment of a central campaign promise on China by denying he’d changed his mind. . . . [read on]

No. Plan.
Ryan Urges Members To Focus On Spending Bill, Put Health Care On Hold 

Not one member of Congress representing the region that President Donald Trump's proposed border wall would run through has declared support for his request for funding to begin construction . . . 

Off message!
Secretary of Defense James Mattis told Congress that President Donald Trump’s Pentagon budget plan will not be sufficient to fulfill his campaign promise to “rebuild” the U.S. military . . .

It's NOT "Trump Derangement Syndrome" (thanks to JT for the link)
Our problem is not Trump Derangement Syndrome; our problem is Deranged Trump Self-Delusion. This is the habit of willfully substituting, as a motive for Trump’s latest action, a conventional political or geostrategic ambition, rather than recognizing the action as the daily spasm of narcissistic gratification and episodic vanity that it truly is. . . . It explains the real reason for the sudden willingness to imagine that Trump is capable of being “Presidential.” People who have acts and actions that add up to some coherent plan—or even to an evil scheme—tend to have an ideology. It possesses them, or they are possessed by it. With Trump, it is perfectly clear that he only has a series of episodic wounds and reactions—it’s all fears and fits.
What is Trump’s particular ignorance? It is not a stretch to say that Trump knows less about policy, history, the workings of government, and world affairs than any of the men who preceded him as President. Trump’s ignorance sends historians and commentators scrambling for sufficient adverbs: to Daniel Bell of Princeton, Trump is “abysmally” ignorant; to Josh Marshall, of Talking Points Memo, he is “militant[ly]” so. “Proudly” is another popular one. Last summer, Trump told the Washington Post that he doesn’t need to read much because he makes great decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense.” The problem is not just what Trump doesn’t know; there is an expanding, alternative universe of things he imagines or insists to be true . . .
At Yale, Psychiatrists Cite Their ‘Duty to Warn’ About an Unfit President


Where does the money go?
Chaffetz, Cummings Ask Trump Org. For More Details On Plan To Donate Profits

Companies donated twice as much to Trump's inauguration as to any other  

Is Trump letting Breitbart and other influences make his hiring and firing decisions?

Once again, nothing makes sense in the Trump White House....  Late Friday the Trump White House sought and received the resignation of Vivek Murthy, who has been Surgeon General of the United States since 2014. His term ends in 2018. And here's the deal: Trump doesn't have a replacement lined up for Murthy. . . .

The Dems are making "small money" work for them

First Ailes, then O'Reilly: more trouble ahead for Fox?

Bonus item: The "March for Science" nerd-fest. Lots of photos!
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Saturday, April 22, 2017


Love it. After bragging repeatedly that he has had the greatest first 100 days EVER, Trump now says it's an artificial and meaningless standard (as it becomes more clear that aside from a Supreme Court appointment chosen for him by the Heritage Foundation, Trump will have fulfilled NONE of his promises for the start of his tenure)

After campaigning on a “100-day plan,” Trump now calls it a “ridiculous standard” 

Trump outlines policy plans for first 100 days before taking office

The 100 day deadline means nothing -- so why is Trump scrambling frantically to get something done?
Trump promises the White House’s tax plan is coming next week . . . Except maybe it isn't?

The White House will release on Wednesday the “broad principles and priorities” of their plans to overhaul federal taxes, a White House official said Friday night, downplaying expectations that the Trump administration would reveal key details underpinning the plan. . .

[NB: Translation -- they still don't have a plan yet.]

Trump desperate to revive failed, unpopular GOP health care plan
While popular vote loser Donald Trump and his toady House Speaker Paul Ryan are talking up the imminent return of Zombie Trumpcare, they are sending out the help to do the dirty work. "It's not going to happen next week," whisper a bevy of anonymous "senior" aides. . . .
Trump Will Fail Again On Health Care 'Reform'
As health care reform remained in limbo, Trump also announced he would drop a major tax reform plan next week, saying it would include “massive” cuts. But as Reuters reported, “the news came as a surprise to lobbyists and congressional aides who had no idea what Trump’s announcement might include.” Indeed, few Republicans on the Hill expect tax reform to happen anytime soon, not only because it is predicated on health care’s passage but also because Trump has not embraced leadership’s border adjustment proposal. Once hopeful for a bill being passed by August, Republicans now expect that action will take place well beyond then. . . [read on]

No deal
Mulvaney offers Democrats an Obamacare funding deal too stupid to be true

Donald Trump is holding Obamacare hostage to get his border wall
Trump Makes Democrats An Offer They Absolutely WILL Refuse
Schumer Laughs Off Trump’s ‘Border Wall for Health Care’ Deal
Democrats to Trump: You don't have the leverage. We do.

Duh-dum, duh-dum, duh-dum. . . .
U.S. intelligence officials obtained evidence that Russian operatives tried to infiltrate the Trump campaign through its sprawling network of advisers, CNN reported Friday.  Carter Page, who served as an adviser on Russia and energy policy until he departed over allegations that he met with Kremlin-allied figures during a July 2016 visit to Moscow, is one of those advisers, according to the report. . . .

He had to
Exxon asked for a waiver to resume drilling in Russia. Trump said no.


"A diplomatic clean-up mission." How Mike Pence has to go and repair the damage Trump has done with allies


Up is down, in Trump World
Trump Argues There's 'No Right' To Protest Inside His Campaign Rallies

Donald Trump’s lawyers say anti-Trump protesters were actually trampling on the president’s First Amendment rights 

The lead Justice Dept investigator on Trump-Russia ties is stepping down in May. This is a chance for some major shenanigans

In other news:
Report: CIA's Liaison To The NSC Fired After Clash With Controversial Aide

Add it to the list
A mysterious company spent more than $3 million last year on buying condos from Donald Trump

No, China is not going to help us rein in North Korea

The Trump gang is threatening to punish "sanctuary cities" -- but that's not the worst part

Feel the Hate

I've said it before, I think Trump thinks he's establishing an hereditary dynasty -- eight years of him, then hand it off to THE FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT
After Donald Trump was elected, he said his children would serve no role in his administration . . . Only a few months later, it was announced Ivanka Trump would join the administration as a senior adviser to Donald Trump. The role is unpaid, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t costing taxpayers a bundle. In an unprecedented move, the “special” assistant to the president has hired a chief of staff. . . . That’s not all. Ivanka Trump is also getting her own taxpayer-funded spokesman . . . A White House official declined to comment on how many more staffers she planned to hire. 

Trump fundraises for Georgia-6, says the Democrats are trying to "steal" the seat (through that nefarious trick of GETTING MORE VOTES)

Why is Jason Chaffetz stepping down from his secure Utah House seat?

Some good news
Victory! Court strikes down Texas's GOP-drawn state House gerrymander over racial discrimination  

Remember those "paid protestors" Trump likes to complain about?

Today is the March for Science

Bill Nye!

Bonus item: "Trump" has become a new character in playground games

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Friday, April 21, 2017


One of the consequences of this drip, drip, drip of Trump-Russia connections is that the drama of each new revelation is reduced. We have ample evidence of Russian interference AND some degree of coordination with the Trump campaign already, but there hasn't been a single "smoking gun" revelation (so far). That has reduced the seriousness with which most people have taken this whole criminal escapade. Viewed from a distance, as a whole, it's an outrage -- but we're viewing it from the inside, as a sequence of momentary events that pop up in the news, then get forgotten
NYT: Carter Page Moscow Trip Prompted FBI Probe Into Trump Camp-Russia Links

Russia makes moves on Ukraine again -- and the U.S. stands silent

We are starting to realize that the amateurish, disorganized and uninformed way that Trump and his mouthpieces blurt out comments is having real consequences in foreign affairs. It's one thing to exaggerate your influence on a local congressional race -- but it's something else to say that an "armada" is streaming toward a zone of conflict. . .  when it isn't
South Korea Mocks Trump's 'Ignorant Remarks'


Whatever the "swamp" meant during the campaign -- and Trump's promises to "drain" it -- at the very least you might think it would include things like this:
Typically, when a company requests special permission to be exempted from U.S. sanctions, it provides the government with an argument for how granting such a waiver would advance the public interest. . . . But Exxon has opted to forego that nicety. Rex Tillerson’s former company is asking the government for a waiver allowing it to resume its joint venture with Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, to pump billions of barrels of oil out of the Arctic, Siberia, and the Black Sea — on the grounds that such a waiver would be good for Exxon’s profitability . . .

The Associated Press reports that a four-year review conducted by government scientists of three pesticides – chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion – found that they “pose a risk to nearly every endangered species they studied.” Federal agencies are poised to issue findings on how to limit use of these pesticides.  The story takes on a broader political significance, however, when we consider what one of the pesticide manufacturers is up to. . . [read on]
EPA Chief Delays Methane Rule At Behest Of Oil And Gas Firms

Another huge Trump failure coming up: trying to pass a budget with huge cuts AND spending on the Wall (that Mexico was supposed to pay for). The Dems are itching for a fight

Trump and the Republicans claim they have a great new repeal and replace plan. Great! Except that it no longer covers preexisting conditions, which Trump vowed to preserve
The Republican leadership is stuck: the only way to pass a bill is to do it fast, before there's a CBO score and a million phone calls and an outbreak of fighting between moderates and HFC ultras. But there's a limit to how far they can push even the folks who sympathize with them. I mean, negotiate in secret, drop the text, and then give everyone 24 hours to read it before holding a vote? That's a mockery of your own caucus, let alone everyone else. . . .
The GOP’s health care talks are stuck in a vicious cycle

Broken health care promises
Trump glows: 'This is a great plan'
The GOP’s biggest health care achievement has been making Obamacare more popular

Trump says he is going to save the U.S. steel industry. He can't

NO! We aren't going to fall for this one again!
Trump’s treasury secretary: The tax cut ‘will pay for itself’


Trump to cut science research funding -- and even withholds funds from grants ALREADY approved 

Looks like the CIA is serious about finding who gave sensitive documents to WikiLeaks 

Jeff Sessions announces it will seek charges against Julian Assange
Jeff Sessions, dumb ass
Attorney General Jeff Sessions can’t believe that a federal judge based on “an island in the Pacific”—what the rest of us simply call Hawaii—was able to block President Donald Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from a handful of majority-Muslim countries. . . [read on]

Sessions Suggests That Hawaiians Aren’t Real Americans
Hawaii Dems Swiftly Hit Sessions For 'Island In The Pacific' Remark
After Sessions Remark, DOJ Says Hawaii ‘Is, In Fact, An Island In The Pacific’

What do you do when you're the head of the House Oversight Committee, and the only things to exert "oversight" over are the misdoings of the Trump administration?

Donald Trump’s base grades his first 100 days in office: B –

Trump brings a menagerie of angry nitwits to the White House

Trump's White House dinner guest called Hillary a 'worthless bitch,' Obama a 'subhuman mongrel'

All duplicates, I'm sure
Indiana cancels nearly half a million voter registrations 

What was it really like as a woman to work at Fox?
Bonus item: What politicians say when they're trying to ignore or discredit the results of science

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL ( with others via email or social media.

Thanks for helping to spread the word!

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***