EXCLUSIVE: Top Senate Rs have urged the WH to withdraw Puzder nomination. There are 4 firm no votes and up to 12, source says. Next on CNN
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 15, 2017
You know what to do.
Call Congress. If your Senator is a firm No vote to Puzder, thank them and their staff.
If they are a firm Yes vote, tell them they are wrong.
If they are mushy, encourage them to vote no.
Burn those phone lines up.
And let’s see if we can get another minor win.
Puzder is withdrawing.
McCain, Cochran, Flake, Collins, Murkowski, Donnelly, Manchin, & Nelson are wavering on Mulvaney.
You know what to do now. Let’s win this.
— Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) February 15, 2017
Are we still doing phrasing?
He’s a terrible candidate for Labor Secretary and this is great news. So we’ve gone form the conventional wisdom that all the nominees would be confirmed to the Army Secretary pulling out, the National Security Adviser being fired, the Acting AG being fired and now the Labor Secretary being withdrawn. And because Trump is way more concerned about photo ops than making appointments, there are hundreds left to go; not to mention judicial vacancies. The opposition is working; we haven’t got that many victories, but contrary to expectations, we’ve got some.
Major Major Major Major
One of these things, of course, is not like the others.
If anyone wants to watch the interview with Oprah, here it is via TPM.
@Major Major Major Major: In fact none are quite alike.
The good news, though, is now I bet we’ll get a new nominee for Labor Secretary who will be fantastic!!! I think my tongue just hurt the inside of my cheek there.
Yeah, that’s the problem, isn’t it?
Still every little bit undermines him.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
Nice Archer reference….
@hovercraft: The Oprah interview is salacious, but I’m far more concerned about the allegations from his employees that they have to clock out and go sit in the parking lot when the fast food business is slow and that they have to pay for the privilege of wearing the store’s uniforms and that they get their hours routinely cut at the last minute – all while working for minimum wage in states where it hasn’t been raised above $7.25 as yet.
Tim Scott (R-SC) sounds skeptical on Puzder. I told his staffer I was pleased with that stance.
I can’t find anything Graham has said on this, so I’m guessing he’s a squish. I told that staffer that he should oppose and issue a statement, like Scott.
Glad I saw this post. I hadn’t realized this one was so close or that my Senators might matter.
@Mike J: Well, that’s fantastic. Let’s return to the list of reasons we need to call our Reps about Trump.
@Kropadope: The next nominee would/will be terrible for sure, but it’ll be a while before the new nominee will be selected and it’ll probably be 1-2 more months before confirmation and that’d be 3 months or so (out of Trump’s 48) where the Labor department will be led by career professionals rather than Trumpites. Any delay is helpful.
mai naem mobile
@Mike J: I am glad Puzder withdrew because he’s a shifty candidate and,hey, it’s another scalp. But, Dolt 45, I have no doubt ,will manage to come up with another odious nominee. Also too FYI my POS Senator, not to be outdone by Sen McCain on douchiness is for a “temporary” suspension of Davis Bacon because of “fat union contracts.”
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: When they are dead, they’re just hookers.
favorite line is the “pele” line.
First of all, you’re right.
Second of all, how did we find ourselves in a position where favoring career professionals over billionaire saviors from on high is elitist? Repubs and the media are weird.
Mike in DC
How many cabinet positions unfilled at this point? If we’re lucky maybe we can knock out one or two more.
Oprah still Queen of All Things.
Lamar Alexander said this about the tape of the show Oprah gave the Senate where Mrs. Pudzer was disguised to detail how Pudzer had abused her.
Apparently, Lamar was wrong.
Major Major Major Major
Earned, learned, trained competency is elitist. Innate competency is what conservatives like. That being a billionaire apparently has little to do with innate competency is lost on them.
Congress takes aim at state retirement accounts
02/15/17 01:13 PM EST
One of the first high-stakes battles testing the relationship between states and President Donald Trump’s administration will hit the House floor Wednesday, as Republicans seek to roll back an Obama-era rule that would allow states to create retirement savings accounts for low-income workers.
The House will vote on a resolution offered by Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee Chairman Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) that would roll back a rule allowing states to create retirement plans for private-sector workers whose employers do not offer retirement plans on their own.
The Employee Benefits Security Administration implemented the rule in October.
Seven states have taken steps toward creating such programs, requiring employers who do not offer retirement plans on their own to enroll employees in a state-run option.
Employees can opt out of those retirement plans, and employers are not required to contribute to the accounts.
But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several financial firms oppose such state-run retirement plans. The Chamber has said state plans will give employers an excuse to end better 401(k) programs for employees.
“Our nation faces difficult retirement challenges, but more government isn’t the solution,” Walberg said in a statement. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.), who sponsored another resolution disapproving of the rule, called it a “last-minute regulatory loophole” that “will lead to harmful consequences for both workers and employers.”
Supporters of the new rule say state-run programs will help millions of low-income workers begin saving for retirement.
In a letter to California’s congressional delegation, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) blasted the financial industry for opposing his state’s program, known as Secure Choice.
“They think the dollars that move into Secure Choice should instead flow into their own products. I consider this a feature, not a defect, of Secure Choice,” Brown wrote.
State Senate President Kevin de Leon (D), who shepherded Secure Choice into law, called Congress’s move “just another Wall Street trick designed to thwart the effort by California and other states to expand retirement security for millions of American workers.
Interesting. Pew did a poll of how Americans feel toward different religious groups. Every group is being more warmly accepted except for one: Evangelical Christians.
Gee, I wonder why?
In the breakdowns by age, atheists tie with evangelicals on that score and Muslims are only one point behind among 18-29 year olds. Demographics are going to kill the GOP.
This week keeps getting better for the WH, Reports: Trump Labor Pick Andy Puzder Expected To Withdraw.
See what happens when we all do our jobs, even this crew can be shamed.
@patroclus: True, but when it comes to our media, they focus on the salacious bullshit, in this case it got us the desired result, so all’s well that ends well.
@? Martin: They are trying to preempt that fate by killing us instead.
By Josh Marshall Published February 15, 2017, 12:57 PM EDT
Scoop by Wikipedia?
O. Felix Culpa
One of my senators (Heinrich, D-NM) is on the Intelligence Committee. Called his office to ask him to pursue investigations of the Russian Connection(s). Staffer told me that he walked into the office this morning to find scads of voice messages on the phone urging the same thing.
@Bnad: How so?
Heh, 21st century wall meet 14th century tech.
I’m waiting for them to find one fitted with a lawn chair. In the meantime, fetchez la vache.
Cripes, they’re so transparently evil. Jerry’s ‘feature, not bug” crack shows he’s aware of all internet traditions. :-)
Does this mean we won’t be seeing a revival of Postal Service banking services?
@Aleta: Well, that was fast. When I looked at the page at 3:05, it had said “On February 15, 2017, Puzder withdrew his name from consideration.” Sometime in the last 20 minutes, that sentence got deleted.
Is our president learning? No.
With the pressure on, Trump thinks a Twitter tantrum will help
02/15/17 12:57 PM
By Steve Benen
Nearly a month into his presidency, Donald Trump is failing by practically every metric. His White House is facing a deeply serious scandal; his National Security Advisor has been forced out; members of his campaign team are facing a counter-espionage investigation; and polls show the American mainstream rejecting what they’re seeing out of the West Wing.
The result is something of a test for the new president. How does Trump respond under pressure? Can he show grace under fire? President Obama excelled at keeping his cool – in ways that often seemed to annoy pundits – and current conditions offer his successor an opportunity to show he can do the same.
So far, it’s not going well.
President Donald Trump blamed “conspiracy theories and blind hatred” — and an attempt to “cover-up” for Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign — in a series of tweets Wednesday morning as he tried to distance himself from any links to Russia.
Trump tweeted that the “fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred,” and added that “this Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.”
Yes, the president, who loved leaks when they related to Hillary Clinton, had quite a series of angry missives this morning, starting early with complaints about the media and “conspiracy theories” – this from a man who’s been largely defined by his bizarre affection for ridiculous and racially charged conspiracy theories – which was followed by a torrent of related tweets.
Of particular interest was Trump’s complaints about “classified information” from intelligence agencies being shared “illegally” with major news organizations. It creates an interesting contradiction: the information can either be “fake news” or it can be classified materials from official sources, but he really ought to pick one or the other.
At another point, the president raised concerns about the FBI possibly intervening in politics – which was ironic given James Comey’s role in helping Trump win the election.
But aside from the specifics of his social-media tirade, this morning seemed to also offer the public a peek into the president’s internal monologue.
Trump consumes enough media to know he’s in trouble, and he’s probably roughly aware of his options. Come clean? Change the subject? Time for a staff shake-up? Hunker down for a while?
With the pressure on, the president made a decision – and chose to go with a Twitter tantrum.
As a result, we know exactly what’s going on in his mind. Trump is thinking about Hillary Clinton’s campaign missteps, his animosity towards news organizations, Obama’s Russia policy, how annoying he finds intelligence agencies, and some other “real scandal” he wishes would replace the actual scandal.
The point is not just to marvel at the president’s strange and erratic behavior, but rather, to note that nearly a month into his term, he seems to believe such behavior is in his interest. Today’s tantrum was weird, but I’m more alarmed by the idea that Trump thought the tantrum was a good idea.
This is an important time for Trump to show that he’s capable of leading, taking responsibility, and being in control. This morning was an unsettling reminder that he’s actually unable to do any of these things.
Time for Trump to roll out his backup candidate for Labor, Allan Pinkerton.
When I looked at your comment a few minutes ago I could have sworn it was by @Baud, now it’s @Bnad, who are you and what have you done with the future president?
@Sloegin: The man who died after biting his own tongue? Sad!
I just called Thom Tillis’s DC office and they told me Puzder withdrew his nomination about an hour ago. The staffer also said Tillis was undecided on the vote because he “had concerns” about the nomination. Sure he did.
@hovercraft: Baud becomes Bnad’d?
David ?Canadian Anchor Baby? Koch
He’s got six kids. This is probably the first time he ever withdrew.
Gin & Tonic
@trollhattan: Was it a catapult or a trebuchet?
There are several things I’d like to call Congress.
But, being a gentleman…
Should it become Buad’Dib, stand back and watch out!
Obviously some snowflakes are more special and fragile than others.
@Kropadope: Plenty more wingnut masters of fast food empires where he came from. Is Papa John looking for a new gig?
OT, but good news (may not be news to some of you junkies): Morning Joe will no longer book Conway (per The Hill). Good. As Jay Rosen likes to say, viewers know less after one of her appearances than before.
@Gin & Tonic: My friend was talking to me about the taxonomy of catapults v trebuchets v a couple other things, but I’ll be damned if I can remember a word of it now.
Dog Dawg Damn
Honestly? Who cares. He’ll just nominate another billionaire asshole. There is no shortage of them.
All Trump needs to do is find someone on par with Puzder for being a scumbag to their employees, but who is less ethically compromised. Wait….I thought I had it but that clearly needs work.
@Dog Dawg Damn:
The 0.1% is, after all, 7,000,000 people. And the worst among them are all eager to get their hands on the levers of government.
That said, Patroclus was right upthread. Slowing them down is also helpful. The career professionals have more sway when Trump can’t staff the leadership positions.
@Dog Dawg Damn: A face, badly in need of being punched straight in the dickhole.
@Gin & Tonic: They call it a catapult (seems to be a pivot powered by truck springs). That it was literally welded to the fence makes it extra hilarious.
The Moar You Know
@Raoul: Read the same at another source. Mika in particular seems to have some real issues with Conway. It’s not the lying, because all their guests do that.
@jl: Is that his Jem’Hadar name or his dragon bonded name.
This is good news, but what was it about Puzder that made a handful of Republicans bolt? He’s no more odious and unqualified than the rest of them.
@Kropadope: A trebuchet is a counterweight device. Big heavy weight at one end of the fulcrum, small light projectile at the other end. Big weight goes down, small one goes up fast and then goes flying off. Catapults are torsion (spring) devices; store energy by twisting a big heavy ribbon of something, let it quickly untwist to provide the throwing power.
Things must be getting bad. Donald is holding a rally to gin up his remaining supporters:
There’s an image along with the tweet that says, “We are going to put America back to work. We are going to put people before government.” Note it’s at the airport in Florida. That must be the one he flies in and out of to go to Mar-a-Lago. So it’s not like he’s going out of his way to go to the rust belt or anything.
@Dog Dawg Damn:
Trump was supposed to be a competent businessman who was a “winner”. The more he struggles with even routine Presidential duties the better it is for the opposition. Republicans can bear just about anything but being portrayed as hapless, fumbling losers.
And as you say, it doesn’t matter which jerk he appoints so there’s no need to worry about “the less bad alternative” or anything- they’re all horrors.
@ruemara: The poor guy is probably working on a nickname for the next campaign. Swing voters like strength and high activity. Add a little virility to the mix and.. winner!
I suggest B-nads.
I won’t believe he’s withdrawing until either Trump or Conway says he’s not. Then I’ll know for sure he is.
@dmsilev: My fault, I should have been clearer. The mechanisms of each I remember, however the flight patterns and specific military purpose of each I forget. There was also a third one I can’t remember the name of that I think was specifically for breaking down walls.
@jl: or does B-nads suggest grade B nads? Don’t want that. A-nads? Political messaging is harder than I thought.
Read someplace that the presidential plane was using MacDill AFB for landing. Cannot say 100% that is so.
They are, after all, the show-horses, not the work-horses.
A trebuchet is powered by a counterweight on the other end of the arm. Often the missile is in a sling, whose whip action increases range.
Other catapults may be powered by tension in wound rope or other kinds of stored mechanical entergy.
ETA : or what dsmilev said more quickly.
My kid and I built a so-so trebuchet out of K’nex about sixteen years ago: arm was over three feet long, and we could throw a marble across the street.
There’s good internet video of a bored British aristocrat with a full-sized trebuchet throwing pianos and automobiles about.
With a little searching you can find sellers of pre-cut assemble-yourself wooden desktop trebuchet kits.
@Yarrow: Even taking weekends off, he already needs a pick-me-up. There is truly nothing admirable about him.
I saw that, apparently Mika was all in a tiff about her constant lies this morning, KAC has been blacklisted. SAD :-(
@Yarrow: Drumpf was doing a lot of rallies before and right after inauguration, wasn’t he? He likes those. He can do grade-D stand-up improv, doesn’t take any work, gets cheers for nothing. A dream gig.
Someone told him he actually has to show up for presidentin’, but looks like that is no fun so far. So, why not do a few rally gigs if they don’t take you too far out of the way?
well he certainly has turned ‘fact checker’ into a growth industry
@AliceBlue: The video, this one you can chalk up to Oprah.
@Kay: At this point, maybe we need to insist on a certain minimum level of incompetence in the millionaires and billionaires Trump is appointing. We don’t want them to be able to actually implement a plan of any kind.
Admin has already canceled 2 events within the past week or so. One in Ohio, and another, IIRC, in Tennessee.
Things are starting to get hairy in the Midwest too.
Iowa is hopefully waking up.
maybe thinking of the onager ?
Bad linky. Fix.
@joel hanes: That’s it.
Gin & Tonic
@joel hanes: I think some of the competitive pumpkin-throwing events use trebuchets.
@Kropadope: A ballista, perhaps? Basically an overgrown crossbow.
Is there a difference between B-nads and Go-nads? Inquiring minds want to know.
@NotMax: Really? I didn’t know that! Wonder why…
@hovercraft: Wow. Let’s hope so.
It’s funny that they value this image just as they supposedly value fiscal responsibility, and yet each one of the last has been anything but competent at anything other than dismantling the federal government and any protections it offers, and none of them have been in the least bit fiscally responsible. Okay maybe Poppy was more responsible than the rest, but only marginally so.
Reagan was the likable dope whose evil minions did Iran-Contra behind his back. Poppy threw up in Japan, the Shrub was the Shrub, and now this clown show is a clown show. Someone needs to point out the name of the game shouldn’t be to get someone who comes across as successful and competent, but someone who actually is those things.
The glamour of the administration has disappeared quickly. It will be much harder to find new candidates.
Reality dawns: Obamacare might be here to stay
By Jennifer Rubin February 15 at 10:30 AM
The burgeoning crisis over President Trump’s and former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s connections to Russia makes the already difficult task of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act even more confounding for Republicans, who won the White House and both houses of Congress based on unrealistic expectations about an as-yet-unidentified replacement plan.
Consider Paul Ryan’s feel-good meeting with Senate Republicans on Tuesday. The House speaker trekked across the Capitol to reassure senators that lawmakers are making more progress toward repealing the health care law than the media are reporting.
But not everyone was buying it. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) left before it was over, having heard enough of a conversation that he says centers around keeping Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion intact and creating tax credits that he called a “new entitlement program,” though a Republican in the room rebutted the notion that the topic of Medicaid expansion came up in the Tuesday meeting with Ryan.
But what is too much (too much government, too much spending) for the libertarian-minded senator is wholly insufficient for others, especially for Democrats, eight of whom must cross over to vote for a GOP replacement plan. Ryan’s incessant cheering about a GOP alternative only serves to keep expectations high that there is a plan that does not raise taxes, does not include an individual mandate, does not require high deductibles, does not raise out-of-pocket costs, does not open the floodgates of red ink and does not require cuts in Medicare (which Trump ruled out).
Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire
@Yarrow: That airport is too far north to be convienent to Mar a Lago. Pretty sure the one he uses for that is in Palm Beach County. That airport is already complaining that Dolt 45 is costing them money.
not just the glamour but the grifting opportunities are getting slimmer and slimmer too. biggest problem with hiring ‘business’ people for government positions is the ones who are actually good at what they do (even the evil ones) can usually make way more money grifting in the private sector. And there isn’t all that media attention 24/7/365. Twittler might feed off that shit. But normal people don’t want any part of it. The firings and resignations and chaos aren’t attractive to competent people. Big CEOs are pretty good about covering their own asses first and no way do they believe Twittler is gonna be around to protect them when it matters.
@D58826: pretty sure that’s what his wife said…and the reason he’s het ex…