For any and all these reasons, today I urged my colleagues to vote NO on Wilbur Ross for @CommerceGov. https://t.co/n5KKjRI5ps
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) February 27, 2017
The Guardian has all the grimy granular details here.
Thanks to the GOP, Mr. Ross was confirmed regardless of his many conflicts.
Speaking of Repubs with questionable ties to shady Russian financiers, and their defenders…
MORE: House intel committee chairman says hasn't seen transcripts of Flynn's talks with Russian diplomat; nothing worrisome from briefings
— Reuters Live (@ReutersLive) February 27, 2017
Per CNN, “House intel committee agrees to scope of Trump-Russia probe” [warning: autoplay]:
… “We have a document that we’ve signed and we’ll be giving out obviously, some announcement at some point,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes told CNN when asked if the members had agreed on the terms of their investigation.
Nunes, a California Republican, added that members have already been briefed on the transcripts of calls between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador and are proceeding deliberately on the investigation…
Nunes also brushed off calls by Democrats and at least one Republican, Rep. Darrell Issa, for an independent investigation into Russia’s influence and hit back against allegations that he coordinated a response to previous reports with the White House.
“They can say whatever they want, but at the end of the day, I hold the gavel, they’re in the minority and we’re going to do what we want to do. We have the votes and we’ve been elected to do that. If that ever changes, then obviously that would be different,” Nunes told CNN. “At this point, I’m not going to give up jurisdiction of this committee that for a long time that has been trusted with the nation’s top secrets. We are not going to give up that jurisdiction to anyone else as long as I’m here.”
Tensions escalated Monday between Nunes and the top Democrat working on the Russia investigation, Rep. Adam Schiff, after Nunes said he had seen no evidence yet of Russian officials communicating with Trump campaign aides and Schiff said it was too early to tell.
Schiff later told CNN’s Erin Burnett that if high-ranking intelligence officials have been communicating with the White House about the investigation, it “threatens the integrity of the organizations and I think they ought to call a halt to that.”
“If we are going to do this in a thorough and objective and nonpartisan way, we need to follow the facts where they lead and not begin with the conclusion the White House would like us to,” Schiff said on “OutFront.”…
Cotton: There's 'no doubt' Senate's Russia inquiry will be fair https://t.co/X7r8JyKLhk pic.twitter.com/rg2OJUImFH
— POLITICO (@politico) February 26, 2017
Aside from the head of it doing the White House's bidding and telling the press there's nothing to see there? Sure. https://t.co/Z2d8zIp4D6
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) February 26, 2017
Spicer personally arranged for CIA head + Nunes/Burr to deny Trump Russia leaks to non-NYT media https://t.co/Mf71r7nWi2
— David Frum (@davidfrum) February 27, 2017
AL, what’s your twitter handle?
I read somewhere that Nunes also has Russian business ties.
I think you’ll find MANY rich people have Russian business ties.
Money is bigger than country. Has been for a while. Of course they have Russian ties. There’s a lot of rich-person money there.
Cocky as hell. California Democrats need to do more gerrymandering to get rid of Republican Congress Critters from their state. They’re just awful.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 2/27/17
New Commerce Secretary at nexus of lucrative Trump Russian deal
With a line that runs through newly confirmed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Rachel Maddow connects the dots between a billionaire Russian oligarch and a Donald Trump deal worth tens of millions of dollars.
putin: this is going swimmingly well. and it is much, much easier than I thought it would be.
@Applejinx: This is exactly the point and I think it is naive to believe that only conservatives have been on the take with Russian money. There are no doubt at least a few high-level Dems in equal jeopardy if a real investigation were to proceed and they are not going to be terribly motivated to do their job. The only chance of getting to the bottom of this will be relentless pressure from the public for as long as it takes.
@Belafon: Perhaps having ties to Russia is a Trump-era requirement to even be a Republican.
@Patricia Kayden: California removed redistricting from the Legislature, it’s done by a panel of retired judges. It’s worked out quite well.
ETA: It’s something that other states with initiatives should consider.
aaand the ‘bs bots’ have arrived. nice coincidence.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: This. The solution to bullshit gerrymandering by the Republicans is not bullshit gerrymandering by Democrats.
@Patricia Kayden: We’re light on gerrymanders here in CA. We have an independent body that draws the lines. But you’re right about the need to get rid of Cali Rs. We just need to do it the other way — votes!
@dr. bloor: Districts follow local boundaries, like cities, counties and natural features. It’s also worked well for Democrats.
Getting a kick out of the twitter nothingburger of KellyAnn on the Couch. Of course the RWNJ’s turned Obama not wearing a tie in the Oval Office into an impeachable offense so what was good for the gander is equally good for the goose
IMO, the Republicans are traitors to this country.
@Mickee: In the interconnected global economy it is probably impossible for the ricj not to have ties with lots of places. That’s why full public disclose is important so that the public can determine if the ties are a threat to American security as well as a conflict of interest.
The financial ties should n ot be automatically disqualifying but they do have to be disclosed and evaluated.
Nunes represents the 22nd district, it’s in the Central Valley, I doubt he’s going anywhere.
ETA: Kind of surprised that Cal State Fresno’s in his district, maybe he should be worried.
Villago Delenda Est
Another accessory after the fact. Nunes should burn for this. Party before country…that’s the GOP.
The Moar You Know
@dr. bloor: Actually, it is, and I will never understand this “show up with a Super Soaker to a gunfight” mentality that Dems have. It’s fucking disgusting, and destroying the country.
I think in addition to “jungle primaries”, CA has independent, non partisan redistricting boards or some such. But I would love to see him get a serious challenger next year. Unfortunately he is in a “safe republican” district, he won re-election 67.6 to 32.4 in November, so he feels comfortable doing this.
@The Moar You Know: No, it’s not. It’s implementing better solutions. You know, LIKE THE ONE BILL DESCRIBED IN HIS COMMENT.
Black/white thinking: not just for Republicans anymore.
@hovercraft: It’s a rural district except the northern part of Fresno and Clovis.
He also had the audacity to put his shoes up on his desk, which they howled had never been done before, till all the pictures of Reagan, W and others showed up.
So the type who are bitching all of a sudden that when he said he was getting rid of all the “illegals” he meant everyone, but the people working on their farms and picking their crops? The ones who like and want to keep the good ones, yes I’m sure those people will continue to send him back, after all he’s also one of the “god ones”, see no racists there. they just want law and order.
@hovercraft: There was something different about that Obama guy, can’t quite put my finger on it. I should ask a Republican. //
One of these “Russian-connection” land-mines is is eventually going to explode spectacularly and do irrevocable political damage to the Trump Administration, beyond the ability of the Trump Administration to contain, or the ability of GOP committee chairpersons to deflect or conceal. The fact that so many within Trump’s inner circle, and so many of his cabinet nominees have curiously close Russian connections is far beyond the coincidence of a commercially interconnected world, especially given the curious affinity of Trump and his inner circle for adopting Russian-friendly positions sharply against the grain of decades of American foreign policy.
What are the chances that factions within the intelligence community, either within ours or within one of our until-recently close allies in Europe, already has most of the requisite material and is waiting to put the info out there for the right circumstances where it will be impossible to dismiss, deflect, or successfully defuse the information’s impact?
@hovercraft: Yup, pretty much.
Nunes, Cotton, Spicer can now be accused of participating in the cover up.
@cmorenc: Trying to “ride it out” doesn’t have a good history of working well.
Speaking of Commerce… GovExec:
This is my Shocked, Shocked face.
@hovercraft: Yep. And that totally treasonous act of getting off of Marine One with his coffee in the wrong hand and a wrong handed salute.
Question for the military types – should civilians (including POTUS) be using the military salute in this manner. Seems like St Ronulus the Unready started it
So long as they keep repressing the Latino vote the down-Valley districts will remain solidly red. Killing ACA would hit those districts like a sledgehammer. Ironic, no?
The question needs to be asked over and over.
What do the Russians have on Devin Nunes?
@rikyrah: I saw this last night. The Chump administration is really, really testing my limits on my tendency to dismiss conspiracy theories.
Receipts are a wonderful thing.
As for KellyAnn and that picture…
I need proof to believe your baseless allegations. Put up or shut up. I hear that Smolensk is rather chilly this time of the year.
Why dismiss it, when it’s right in front of your face.
There aren’t this many coincidences in the Western World.
Nothing to see here folks, there shall be no exploding landmines.
And if there are:
So you see there’s definitely nothing to see, and if something does materialize, it’s just Obama and his group playing politics.
@hovercraft: “we’ve seen no evidence” =/= “there is no evidence”.
Willful blindness isn’t a defense. It’s misdirection.
As Bill said upthread, Nunes’ district is in the central valley, the most conservative part of the state. Visalia, Dinuba and the eastern Fresno. He is cocky because he thinks he is safe, not matter what. That needs to change.
More shady stuff. President can’t have conflicts of interest. Bloomberg thinks otherwise.
The FBI sources that Spicer is using here are OBVIOUSLY the same jerks in NY office in league with Giuliani who repeatedly leaked Clinton investigation scoops universally overstated or simply false.
But not releasing financial information should be disqualifying. Unfortunately in 2017 it wasn’t. For someone to be eligible to run for president at least ten years of tax returns, whether under audit or not, should be required to be made public.
Remember when we could all dismiss conspiracy theorists as kooks? Those were the days, now we are all in one way or another becoming believers. Not in the where are the bodies, or W blew up the towers crap, but there is real evidence here that unless this administration is the nexus of a web of coincidences like we’ve never seen before, Russia has infiltrated the highest reaches of our government and one of our two parties has no problem with that. Country First !!
As well as the bodies stacking up on the Russian side…
like I said..
not this many coincidences in the Western World.
We can’t. California turned its redistricting over to an independent citizens’ committee back in 2010. We have to get rid of them the good old-fashioned way.
The chances are 100% if the GOP leadership doesn’t do their job right and Trump isn’t made to resign or impeached. They are releasing info and will continue to do so. The pressure is going to build on the members of Congress to do their job properly. When they don’t, information will be shown to them or released to the public with the goal to incentivize them to do so. Drip, drip, drip. Meanwhile, journalists across the globe are investigating these issues. The IC has many outlets by which to release information.
Betsy DeVos May Need a Civil Rights Reality Check
Former civil rights chief of the Education Department on why the agency is indispensable
by Catherine E. Lhamon
February 27, 2017 9:00 PM
I led the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, so I can offer Secretary DeVos a dose of reality about just how far we have to go as a nation to fulfill the law.
In Lee County Schools system in rural Alabama, for example, which had years earlier convinced a federal court that it had eliminated the effects of segregation, one of the four public high schools served more than 90 percent black students – even though the district student population was only 23 percent black.
The majority-black high school had never offered an Advanced Placement course to its students until three years before the civil rights office investigated, while the other three high schools offered a broad range of A.P. courses. Investigators from the Office of Civil Rights asked the principal of the overwhelmingly black school why he didn’t offer high-rigor courses. He said his students needed remedial education, not A.P. It took federal intervention in 2013, almost 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, to ensure that all students in Lee County – not just the white students and the few black students attending majority-white schools – had access to an education that would prepare them to fulfill their dreams.
In a district in the Southwest, teachers required a boy with autism to stand in front of his class and listen to his peers tell him what they didn’t like about him, as a way to discipline the child. When his mother complained, administrators defended the decision, saying the school needed to be able to innovate. It took federal intervention to ensure that this child, and his peers, did not suffer further discrimination at school.
At Shaw University in North Carolina, a student with cerebral palsy arrived on campus for orientation only to be told his admission had been rescinded because of his disability. University officials told the civil rights office that they routinely denied admission to students with disabilities if the school couldn’t readily accommodate the student. It took federal intervention to ensure that the Americans with Disabilities Act, which had become law some 25 years earlier, would apply for students wanting to attend Shaw.
Exactly, closing your eyes and refusing to look at the evidence does not mean it doesn’t exist. Just what’s out there in the media is damming enough, as Speaker with the power to subpoena anyone, or simply review what the IC has, he could see evidence of collusion and at the very least contact. The administration and the campaigns defense so far has been pathetic, Manafort saying he had no way of knowing if his contacts were government operatives and the like would never stand up in court. Twitler can say he has no business ties to Russia because he knows that no one is going to look at his business operations, or his taxes, the media and the republicans have brushed that away as irrelevant, so he thinks he’s safe. But nothing ever stays hidden forever.
@Patricia Kayden: noooooo we solved gerrymandering, we can’t go back on it now that it’s convenient. His district just needs to get its shit together.
Yes, Paulie, but what will happen when you take off your blinders?
Re: redistricting, I’d be thrilled to have more states take CA’s approach. However, my fear here is that the reliably Democratic states- your Massachusettses, (that’s a fun word to say out loud– everyone take a sec to do it) New Yorks, Oregons, etc will go non-partisan redistricting, while the reliably red states continue to gerrymander ruthlessly.
I don’t have a good solution, but I hope you’ll subscribe to my mimeographed newsletter anyway.
What an oddly weak, wishy washy reply. We haven’t seen anything yet? Ryan really is selling this country down the river long enough to push through his dream of gutting the social safety net. I hope Trump ends up bringing all these fuckers down with him.
Is there anybody in this fuckin Trump Administration who does not have ties to Russia?
I’ve given up on the nomination of thieves. I have heard people say that if Trump or his crony appointees ever cheated anyone, it’s only because the people were suckers who should have known better.
Why that’s downright shady! Do tell!
Republicans are hoping that the fat that they control both houses will allow them to sweep this all under the rug.
They say that payback is a bitch, how many times did they say they needed to investigate Benghazi because there were still more questions? Jason Chafettz just announced in January that he was still not satisfied and that he was still investigating Hillary, and yet they think that they will get away with just telling us to move along?
There are two problems with this approach, too many actual journalist are on the case, and more importantly, people who’ve made protecting and defending our nation their lifes work are pissed about Russia interfering and penetrating this deep into our government. Spicey can check all the phones he wants, but he will not stop the leakers from leaking. They actually are putting country first, and they will make sure that it all comes out.
@FlipYrWhig: Play nice. Saint Bernie had no Russian ties at all before he inexplicably got lucky and talked the influential Tad Devine into running his campaign. No one can prove Russian intelligence ordered Devine to offer his services so he could disrupt the Democratic primary.
@Craig McMahon: They probably would, but the problem isn’t so much the red states, but the purple states. Partisan districting in California would be stupid anyway- why throw away our reputation and ability to sell this to other states to gain a seat or two? 75% of our delegation is Democrats already.
@Shalimar: Fair enough, but AJ does love him some guilt-by-association.
Clearly, Ryan believes that he must destroy America in order to save it.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
I differ with conservatives a lot, but I am postive “sell the country out to the Russians” isn’t on their agenda. What is wrong with these twats?
@FlipYrWhig: That Tad Devine thing is what makes me think the Russians were at least partially responsible for Wilmer, too. Not everything, but maybe his reluctance to concede in a timely fashion, etc.
@Yarrow: I agree. w/o the disclosure there is no way to determine if the ties are disqualifying or just the normal part of being involved in the global economy. But the rules change for the GOP
I want every single Republican, from their clueless voters to the highest echelon, to spend their nights listening to their hearts pounding from the stress of utter realization of the ditch they are still digging for themselves.
Color me shocked, shocked…..except that there’s no conspiracy as such, it’s right out in the open.
@manyakitty: Most of the inflammatory rhetoric about taking it to the convention was from Devine and Weaver, not Sanders himself. They were unhinged in June and early July if they thought they had any chance at all of winning.
@manyakitty: I don’t really think so, TBH. I think he was just a Don Quixote trying to bring back the days of the SDS. But I do have a fondness for trolling the Sandersites about it.
Is there a single one of these 45ers who doesn’t have Russian ties?
Paul Ryan Sees Trump ‘As More Of A Chairman’
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said on Tuesday that he sees President Donald Trump “as more of a chairman” who delegates the details of his campaign promises to others.
“He’s a business guy who came to office not as some policy wonk, you know, working in Congress on health care,” Ryan said in an interview with TODAY’s Matt Lauer.
“Doesn’t it seem often, Mr. Speaker, that President Trump talks about big ideas without diving into the details of how to accomplish his promises?” Lauer asked. “Doesn’t that frustrate you sometimes?”
“Not really,” Ryan said. “I see him as more of a chairman, as a president — much like many successful presidents have been — where he gets people around him who are detail people who can execute those plans.”
On Monday, Trump told a bipartisan group of governors at a White House reception that Republican tax reform would have to wait until lawmakers make progress on repealing Obamacare.
“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” he said. “I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject.”
Republicans voted repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the last eight years despite not having a consensus on what their replacement would look like, a dilemma that has only escalated since the election.
@FlipYrWhig: Several of the WikiLeaks leaks were clearly aimed at inflaming the BernieBros, so it isn’t like Devine was the only way they were being played by Russia.
The senators who emerged from a top secret briefing with James Comey last week did not sound like they had just been told that there was “nothing worrisome” in the FBI’s inquiry so far.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
The Moar You Know
@SatanicPanic: Until the GOP regains power in CA (it will happen, probably not for at least twenty years though) and then right back to gerrymandering.
I honestly don’t get it, folks. They WILL do it to you. They’re never going to stop doing it to you. Hell, two more state legislatures and they can just rewrite the whole fuckin’ Constitution.
But Dems won’t even consider doing it to them.
I hate to take this tone, but what the fuck is wrong with you guys? WE ARE GETTING KILLED NATIONALLY. And yet, fighting back effectively is anathema. Can anyone explain this to me? I really need to know as I’m having kind of a crisis of faith in my party today.
Trump blames his generals for botched Yemen raid. Video
KILMEADE: Have you attacked recently McCain, the FBI, Democrats. Is there a method to the attacks or is it just venting?
TRUMP: No method really — it’s not venting, either. I felt badly when a young man dies and John McCain said that was a failed mission. According to general Mattis it was a very successful mission. They got a lot of information, a lot of different things that they really wanted to get. And I thought it was he inappropriate. I thought it was inappropriate that he goes to foil soil and criticizes our government. I just think that’s inappropriate. People have to be careful with that people really have to be careful with that. But it does allow me to go around dishonest media. I don’t have to go around you folks. I don’t have to go around a lot of the media. I do have to go around some media.
It does allow me to do that because the following is so large. Between Twitter and Facebook and all of the different things I have so many millions of people it allows me to give a message without going to people where I’m giving them a message and putting it down differently from what I mean.
AINSLEY: A lot of people like it. They say you are tough. They like when you go after people for attacking you. You have people attacking you on both sides of the aisle you are going after enemies on Twitter they want you to stop it will you?
TRUMP: Most of the people that want me to stop it are the enemies, to be honest with you. The enemies would like me to stop it. If I felt the media were honest, all of it, or most of it, I wouldn’t do it. But it is a modern day form of communication, especially when have you, you know, tens of millions of people like I have.
DOOCY: Mr. President, you mentioned — John McCain mention that young man who died, the Navy seal who died in that mission.
DOOCY: His father said he didn’t want to talk to you. Your reaction to that?
TRUMP: This was a mission that started before I got here. This was something that was, you know, they wanted to do. And they came to see me. They explained what they wanted to do the generals. Who were very respected. My generals are the most respected leadership that we have had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan. And I was at the airport when the casket came in, the body came. In and it was a very sad with the family and it’s a great family. Incredible wife and children. I met most of the family. And I can understand people saying that. I would feel — I would feel what’s worse? There is nothing worse. There is nothing worse. Again, this was something that they were looking at for a long time doing. And according to General Mattis it was a very successful mission. They got a tremendous amount of information.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: Republicans seem to have made it clear they are for sale to anyone who has the money. Why assume that is limited to American billionaires? Putin is the richest man in the world.
Speaking of Commerce – Pt. 2. Reuters:
Expect more shoes to drop.
(Who has cut back quite a bit on shopping since November…)
@hovercraft: Actually, pace Paul Ryan, the problem with Trump is that he is not, and never has been, a real CEO. He’s been the pompous grandee of a privately held family business where he was completely unaccountable to anyone and the one time he did try to run a public company where he actually had to perform for shareholders (his casino venture), he failed spectacularly.
He’s not a chairman of anything, he’s a spoiled buffoon who’s in way over his head. My only hope if the country is still standing four years from now is that we will finally, at long last, get over this stupid notion that somebody with a business background knows fuck all about governing.
That is fucked up. He inherited all his generals from the Obama administration and they are the ones who fucked up, but his generals are the best ever, you guys. Trump boasts about the stupidest shit.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
Sell the country to whoever will piss off liberals the most and help us win, is their philosophy, period. These people have been screaming about reds under the beds for decades, but they all turned on a dime en mass because Putin was helping them. Winning is their agenda, over the last two decades we’ve seen bedrock “principle” fall one after another, remember when privacy and civil liberties were sacrosanct, then the Patriot Act passed and suddenly it was what’s the big deal? Deficits, entitlements, Medicare Part D and record deficits soon followed. The one thing that they seem loath to renege on is tax cuts, that’s inviolable.
typical narcissist. swear up and down that his failure is a huge success, and when that’s finally no longer tenable, say ‘it was like that when i got here’.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Good christ. Where to begin? “My generals…” “Most respected…. ” up yours, Petraeus and McChrystal. “My generals… lost Ryan”.
You lie down with a Shit-Gibbon….
Iowa Old Lady
@hovercraft: Remember how they all recoiled from the idea of a national ID? Now it’s all ID all the time.
@The Moar You Know: no that’s shorts-sighted. We’ve set a precedent here in California and it’s the right thing to do. We should be shouting that this is how it needs to be done nationwide and start the process towards a Constitutional Amendment. Engaging in tit-for-tat gerrymandering is not a solution and it’s not going to work. When people on our own side won’t be comfortable doing it we’ll get rolled. And they won’t, because it’s wrong.
@Another Scott: When ya gots no money, ya gots no shopping.
I am wearing a pair of shoes and a pair of boots just one more winter, despite their obvious issues (duct tape on a crack, etc) because getting both is an investment.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
The Russian and Trump thing isn’t a kook conspiracy theory – 911 was done by the Bush Administration is a Kook Conspiracy because it requires the same admin that couldn’t even handle a hurricane properly to execute something involving thousands of otherwise loyal Americans murdering thousands of other Americans while leaving no evidence and no one talking. For a Russian-Trump Conspiracy we already know the Russians messed with the election and Trump admin members were in contact with Putin, the only question is are the two things linked.
Iowa Old Lady
A raise in the minimum wage would help all those low end retailers enormously.
J R in WV
I didn’t see that flash of lightning just now that created the horrendous thunder, because I blinked when I sneezed! That doesn’t mean there wasn’t lightning, just that my eyes were closed.
Seems like the
Hon.CongressmanPaul Ryan keeps his eyes closed a lot when Russian connections are the subject of discussion, do it not?
@The Moar You Know: to put it another way- we could hand the Republicans a huge moral victory- they’d accuse us of cheating, and they’d be right because that’s what it is. Then, in 20 years when they retake the state (I doubt this will happen, but whatever), they’ll do it anyway. All their complaints about cheating will be forgotten. Why hand them a victory now for, at best, 5 or 6 seats? Especially if people in our coalition are going to be uncomfortable? “You guys are doing the right thing too much” is a very difficult argument to win.
“The people elected Vladmir Putin, and the jurisdiction of Vladmir Putin is what they’re gonna get. And that’s that,” Nunes said, then finished his rant by banging his shoe on the table.
@The Moar You Know:
Yes!!! I’m on the same page here. While I agree CA gerrymandering anything is unlikely to have huge affects in their representation, I’m on board with the general sentiment of “when will the Democrats finally stop pretending the GOP is doing ANYTHING in good faith?”
The asymmetry is astounding- the GOP will lie, cheat, and steal to get their way. They have no interest in representative government, in listening to their constituents, or in serving as the country’s “loyal opposition” when they’re not in power. They stole FL in 2000, stole Ohio in 2004, and gerrymandered/suppressed their way to an EC victory in 2016– then have the gall to say the DEMOCRATS are the ones who rig elections.
@J R in WV:
It’s Republican sex: Close your eyes, lie back, and think of tax cuts.
Trump’s EPA chief already at the center of multiple controversies
02/28/17 08:00 AM
By Steve Benen
Donald Trump’s hostility towards the Environmental Protection Agency isn’t exactly subtle. The president’s new budget proposes slashing the EPA’s funding; the White House is moving forward with plans to dramatically scale back the agency’s work; and Trump’s chosen director for the EPA makes no secret of his overt hostility towards the agency’s purpose.
And it’s against this backdrop that the president’s EPA administrator has found himself at the center of several ongoing controversies. The Associated Press reported late yesterday:
Why Trump is so preoccupied with ‘central casting’
02/28/17 12:11 PM
By Steve Benen
Donald Trump spoke to members of the National Governors Association yesterday at the White House, and the president took a moment to thank his vice president, Mike Pence. Trump told his audience:
The phrasing stood out in part because of the frequency with which we’ve heard that language from Trump. It was on Inauguration Day, for example, that the new president turned to James Mattis, “This is central casting. If I was doing a movie, I pick you, general.”
A month earlier, when Trump considered Mitt Romney to lead the State Department, Trump’s transition officials said the president believed Romney “looks the part of a top diplomat right out of ‘central casting.’” A Washington Post reporter told MSNBC in December that “central casting” is “actually a phrase he uses quite a bit behind the scenes.”
And Ronnie, you have to think of Reagan if you want it to truly be um, satisfying.
@rikyrah: You know who is not central casting and does not look the part? Does not fit it to the T?
New Trump claims about deadly Yemen raid appear to be untrue
02/28/17 09:38 AM—UPDATED 02/28/17 10:41 AM
By Steve Benen
Following up on a story we’ve been following, Donald Trump continues to face important questions about the first military raid he ordered as president, which tragically turned deadly. The fact that the Republican president is avoiding responsibility for what happened – and doesn’t appear to be telling the truth about the mission itself – makes the questions all the more serious.
As we’ve discussed, the plan was to acquire intelligence and equipment at an al Qaeda camp in Yemen, but the mission quickly went sideways: Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, a member of SEAL Team 6, was killed; several other Americans were injured; and by the end of the operation, multiple civilians, including children, were dead.
It’s been described as a mission in which “almost everything went wrong,” a dynamic made more complicated by U.S. military officials suggesting to Reuters that Trump approved the mission “without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.”
Owens’ father, Bill, has refused to meet Trump and wants an investigation into the mission. The president was asked for his reaction in a Fox News interview that aired this morning, and Trump responded by effectively saying the mission he ordered wasn’t his idea.
There are a couple of key problems with Trump’s assessment. First, it’s genuinely bizarre to hear a Commander in Chief, reflecting on a mission he personally authorized, try to avoid responsibility for the mission he green-lit. I realize Trump’s new at this, but as a rule, presidents at least try to appear accountable.
Second and more important is the fact that Trump’s version of events is at odds with the available evidence. As Rachel noted on the show last week, Team Trump has maintained in recent weeks that it was the Obama administration that approved the mission at a meeting of the National Security Council on Jan. 6, even if it was carried out soon after Trump took office.
That was directly contradicted by Colin Kahl, a deputy assistant to President Obama and National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden, who participated in that National Security Council meeting and explained that no such decision was made. On the contrary, officials expected the new administration to begin its own deliberative process to evaluate whether the operation should go ahead.
Trump instead approved the mission over dinner at the White House residence, alongside political adviser Steve Bannon. While the deadly raid was underway, the president did not go to the Situation Room and did not monitor the developments in real time.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I don’t think it’s the “left” that’s gonna vote you out, Senator.
I just saw Manchin on MSNBC. He combines almost hysterical sentimentality– West Virginians are the most patriotic Americans, the whole world relies on WV coal, WVa’ns and coal miners are like the Vietnam vets returning to an ungrateful nation– with a stupidity you can almost feel come through the TeeVee screen. He made several sneering allusions to Obama– wouldn’t work with Manchin to preserve jobs– and how he’s ready to work with Trump.
Ha, I was just reading that, he thinks this is an expanded version of the Apprentice and he’s the executive producer. Unfortunately we are not behaving the way everyone on the set did.
WTF, it was amusing till I read that, because it’s true.
i know we’ve cut back on spending just because of the general state of unease the country is in, and not because we are concerned about either of us losing a job; it just seems prudent to be even better prepared for bad economic times than it usually does. The crap these guys are doing or trying to do will be huge economic shocks, and economics 101 says that big shocks tend to produce unpredictable results. Even without considering any of that, when people are scared or uneasy, they spend less. Spreading fear seems to be their biggest success yet. I doubt that shitgibbon’s followers are going to make up for the spending everyone else is cutting back on.
Oh, I know. I know, all of the Katie.
This is the White House and a cabinet, not Melrose Place or Baywatch, either way, Twitler wouldn’t be cast in either, unless you were producing a sit com about a buffoonish character who stumbled into the presidency and found himself out of his depth.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@rikyrah: There was a great article, I think in the NYRB in response to Edmund Morris’ infamous Reagan bio, about how the key to understanding Reagan was understanding that he saw life, from his family to geopolitics, as if he were watching a 1950s movie made by one of the big studios. I think Trump may be as dumb and detached, also meaner and more arrogant.
J R in WV
“Is there a single one of these 45ers who doesn’t have Russian ties?”
Probably Tiffany and Barron, neither of whom have had time yet to become invested in fascism, yet. Tiff’s Mom probably too, only she’s no longer a Trump hanger-on. She moved as far away as she could get and still be in the continental US.
@rikyrah: What exactly is the role for which Mike Pence is “central casting”? “Dumb, rules-obsessed prison guard number 3”?
@rikyrah: So now we live in a reality show.
Well, in New York a non-partisan system actually probably would be a big benefit to the Dems, as it would end the gerrymandering (and other maneuvering) that has left Republicans in control of the State Senate, and probably would, as a result, shift a couple more seats in Congress from R to D. The current delegation is 1/3 Republicans.
For grins and giggles I looked up gun control in Russia. Chump’s base is going to be surprised when Donnie comes for their guns.
I remember when Americans didn’t want Russkies to play hockey in the NHL, and didn’t trust them to not buy off an Eastern Bloc basketball referee in the Olympics.
Pillsbury Dough Boy all growed up.
Just watch, it will turn out to be a friendly fire incident before this is over.
But you have to admit he has truly magnificent political hair.
Matter of fact, his hair may be his smartest part.
Bland middle aged white man, lies without blinking, and standing solidly behind the orange shitstain. And O agree with @danielx: , he has great hair. I’d say it makes him look distinguished, but unfortunately he has a habit of opening his mouth to speak, and then there’s nothing distinguished about him.
Yep. At best, Wilmer got really, really bad advice.
@hovercraft: His face is too damn small on his head. To me he looks like Hank Hill’s father Cotton.
Barely 2 months into his presidency, and Trump again confirms that he lies to make himself look good, and denies to evade responsibility for anything unpleasant.
The sad thing is that Trump’s supporters refuse to believe that he lies or that he will ever betray them.
@FlipYrWhig: I think of an adult Zika baby myself, but maybe I’m just reacting to his intellect.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: was that “Ronald Reagan, The Movie”, by any chance?
@D58826: I have a book by Merriman Smith, “Thank You, Mr. President,” about his experiences as White House correspondent for United Press during the end of FDR / beginning of HST admins. In it, he says FDR was saluted by a military person, and thinking he was, after all, CINC, FDR returned the salute, though it was not standard at the time. FWIW.
(Smith later was in the press car following JFK’s limo in Dallas, and curled himself around the only radio to send in his exclusive, while his fellows fought to get at it).