Tag Archives: trump

To get along in Trumpland, you have to shame yourself

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, left, and Florida Congressperson Frederica Wilson, whom nobody has apparently told that dressing as a back-up singer in a Garth Brooks cover band harms her credibility.

Vanity Fair notes in a current piece by writer Tina Nguyen how we all knew that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, presented in the media as the straight shooter who is bringing order to the Trump Administration, would eventually have to shame himself in order to keep favor with the mercurial Trump and his loose association with anything resembling the truth:

All senior White House staffers duty-bound to serve President Donald Trump have, at one point in their tenure, stood in front of a crowd of reporters and delivered untruths to cover for their boss—a ritualistic torching of their integrity, as it were. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was forced to dodge accusations that he had called Trump a “moron”; National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, meanwhile, had to defend Trump after the president shared another spy agency’s intel with Russian officials. It was only a matter of time before Chief of Staff John Kelly’s turn arrived, and arrive it did, with Kelly unexpectedly taking the podium during a press briefing Thursday to exculpate Trump after he was accused of mishandling a phone call to a grieving war widow. Standing before the press, Kelly used his position as a four-star general who has lost a son in battle to take Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson to task, saying he was “heartbroken” by her comments criticizing the president, and accusing her of bragging about appropriating money for an F.B.I. building—a claim that was disproved hours later, when video of Wilson’s speech was released.

Plenty of Trump staffers have doubled down on more egregious falsehoods (beleaguered former Press Secretary Sean Spicer comes to mind), but to hear the claims coming from the sterling four-star general was a departure. Kelly, after all, entered the White House as part of a contingent of sober grown-ups, and reportedly felt duty-bound to restrain Trump when he supplanted Reince Priebus as chief of staff. Hopes rose that Kelly’s military discipline and love of country would keep the president in line. “He has a lot of credibility,” presidential historian Douglas Brinkley told The Washington Post at the time. “Trump better not double-cross him . . . The integrity is so high.”

That reputation held after Trump’s Charlottesville press conference and speech at the United Nations, where Kelly was photographed staring dourly at the ground in apparent shame. As my colleague Gabriel Sherman reported last week, Kelly is “miserable” in his job but has remained out of a sense of duty, while carefully eyeing an eventual exit strategy. But after Wilson told reporters that Trump had upset the widow of slain solder La David Johnson, saying of her late husband, “I’m sure he knew what he was signed up for,” Kelly took it upon himself to defend the president. Rather than delivering boilerplate condemnations, he leaned in to his own experience as a father of a slain soldier to attack Wilson, who had heard Trump call Johnson’s family and relayed his comments to the public.

“I just thought the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield, I just thought that might still be sacred,” a visibly emotional Kelly said, describing how his first reaction, upon hearing Wilson’s remarks, was to take refuge at Arlington National Cemetery. “I hope, as you write your stories, let’s not let this last thing that is sacred—a young man or woman giving his or her life for country—let’s somehow keep that sacred. It eroded a great deal yesterday by the selfish behavior of a member of Congress.” Kelly then called Wilson’s integrity into question, saying that, during the dedication ceremony for a building honoring two slain F.B.I. agents, she had bragged in a speech about how “she got the money” for the building.

You have probably seen the video evidence, released soon after Kelly’s comments, showing that Rep. Wilson said no such thing. In fact, she said things that would make any right winger proud in praising two murdered FBI agents and her bipartisan efforts to rush through legislation on Capitol Hill naming a new building after them.

(Of course she was taking some credit for what was an honorable thing to do. That is what politicians do. They transmit to the folks who vote for them that they have done something that warrants continued support. But that is nowhere near falsely claiming to have secured funding to get something built. )

In light of all of this, Kelly’s beatification in the press as one of the lone credible people trying to bring order to a chaotic, dissembling White House begs some questions.

Has he been turned to the dark side, willing to say anything to keep his job and puff up Trump’s fragile ego? Or has he always been there and this episode brought it out?

Perhaps Kelly’s love and dedication to country, the main reason he is rumored to have taken the chief of staff job in the first place, has taught him that he needs to go along to get along and keep an easily distracted and offended Trump from veering off course over an incident that, while certainly important to Wilson and La David Johnson’s family, is only another blip in the President’s continued campaign to bamboozle everyone into not paying attention to the real harm he is doing behind the scenes of the chaos he creates and craves.

It says much that is terrible that we live in a time when we have a presidency wherein the ability to tell, and further, easily disprovable lies is a chief job description for even Marine generals with a long history of rectitude.

 

This explains a lot

Trump tweeted a pic from his latest physical.  ECHO!! (Echo, echo, echo, echo)

A handy timeline on who will pay for the wall

A staff member on the show “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” kept this ongoing list of who is going to pay for Trump’s wall.

Interacting with everyday people here in Chicago, during which politics comes up as a topic often, has taught me a few lessons.

  1. Not everyone who voted for Trump is an idiot.
  2. Some of those people had what they thought were very good non-racist reasons for doing so.
  3. The people you often expect to be Clinton, Trump or Sanders supporters from just looking at them will often surprise you.
  4. Many people took Trump at his word because he has been so masterful at painting himself as a guy who does what he says and they thought his bad traits were just for show.

That last one is most important, IMHO.

If you voted for Trump because of #4, then honestly ask yourself: How many promises has he broken? At what point do you have to admit (if you are being honest with yourself) that he is just not the person he said he is, and that he conned you just as he has conned so many other people?

When do you just get mad at what he did to you and so many of his non-rich followers? Or do you just keep up the charade because admitting you were fooled is just too painful?

 

Is the Russian Trump operation ongoing?

If you’ve not been watching Rachel Maddow connect the dots on Trump and Russia, you’ve been missing a thing of beauty.

You, too, can have Trump funny money

I truly hope there is some progressive person or cause secretly behind wringing money from the suckers…er. customers who buy this Trump $2 bill.

  • Completely legal tender!
  • Only 25,000 made!
  • Made in the U.S.A.!
  • Ha! Ha ha HA!

The web site’s fine print says this:

SECTION 3 – ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS AND TIMELINESS OF INFORMATION
 
We are not responsible if information made available on this site is not accurate, complete or current. The material on this site is provided for general information only and should not be relied upon or used as the sole basis for making decisions without consulting primary, more accurate, more complete or more timely sources of information. Any reliance on the material on this site is at your own risk.
 
This site may contain certain historical information. Historical information, necessarily, is not current and is provided for your reference only. We reserve the right to modify the contents of this site at any time, but we have no obligation to update any information on our site. You agree that it is your responsibility to monitor changes to our site.
 
And this:
 
SECTION 11 – ERRORS, INACCURACIES AND OMISSIONS
 
Occasionally there may be information on our site or in the Service that contains typographical errors, inaccuracies or omissions that may relate to product descriptions, pricing, promotions, offers, product shipping charges, transit times and availability. We reserve the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions, and to change or update information or cancel orders if any information in the Service or on any related website is inaccurate at any time without prior notice (including after you have submitted your order).
 
We undertake no obligation to update, amend or clarify information in the Service or on any related website, including without limitation, pricing information, except as required by law. No specified update or refresh date applied in the Service or on any related website, should be taken to indicate that all information in the Service or on any related website has been modified or updated.
 
Please, please, puh-LEEZE let the people who are fleecing…er, enticing folks with this AMAZING OFFER — the BEST OFFER! — covertly be black lesbian abortionists.
 
Because, if there are going to be grifters attached to this shady administration, I’d just as soon they be our grifters.
 
In a related thought: I really should start a right-wing pro-GOP church which preaches the Prosperity Gospel and then secretly give all the proceeds to Planned Parenthood.

Trump shocked — shocked! — by health care complexity

From The Week:

President Trump admitted he was floored by how “complicated” the health care system is when speaking Monday at the National Governor’s Association meeting at the White House. “It’s an unbelievably complex subject,” Trump said, while outlining the plans his administration has come up with to repeal and replace ObamaCare. “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”

Trump explained that his team has come up with a solution that gives states “the flexibility they need to make the end result really, really good for them.” But “statutorily” and because they “have to know what the health care is going to cost,” Trump explained, health care has to get sorted out before he can go ahead with his tax cut plan — though he promised that will be “major, it’s going to be simple, and the whole tax plan is wonderful.” “It’s actually, tax cutting has never been that easy, but it’s a tiny little ant compared to what we’re talking about with ObamaCare,” Trump said, deeming the Affordable Care Act a “failed disaster” that’s “no longer affordable.”

Who could have guessed that a $3.2 trillion expenditure that makes up over 17% of GDP could be so complicated? I mean, who’da thunk?

“I loved you in your documentary, Chris”

“I have a room covered in plastic. For Megyn Kelly.”

Girl, you trippin’

When someone tells you they don’t like what Trump stands for but they appreciate his honesty.

Say what?!?

Keeping the heat on the GOP

These fliers have started to show up around the district of GOP Congressman Peter Roskam of Illinois, who is refusing to meet with constituents.

The fliers read, in part, “last seen ducking out back door in Palatine, avoiding his constituents.”

Trump war on the press goes into overdrive

The White House press briefing room

This is pretty outrageous:

Journalists from The New York Times and several other news organizations were prohibited from attending a brieäng by President Trump’s press secretary on Friday, a highly unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps.

Reporters from The Times, BuzzFeed News, CNN, The Los Angeles Times and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, 

[snip]

Aides to Mr. Spicer only allowed in reporters from a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed. Those organizations included Breitbart News, the One America News Network and The Washington Times, all with conservative leanings. 

Journalists from ABC, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Fox News also attended. 

Reporters from Time magazine and The Associated Press, who were set to be allowed in, chose not to attend the briefing in protest of the White House’s actions.

Who knew that Politico, which started as a news source favoring Republicans, would be in this group? Politico seems to have found its journalistic footing while covering The Orange Great Leader.

I may need to renew my lapsed New York Times subscription, which I had let lapse over their shameful following of the journalistic lemmings over the Hillary emails cliff.

If nothing else, Trump is proving that the glorious White House access the media has long held as the sine qua non of prestigious presidential coverage is proving to be somewhat of a bust since the media outlets who are being shut out are doing a better job than the non-right-wing “mainstream” ones still in the White House’s good graces.

Along those lines, David Frum, once a reliably pliant journalist during previous GOP White House regimes, tweeted this very good question: