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May 8, 2018

May 9-10, 2018

Thurday, May 10, 2018

My Daily Kos story today:

Morning thoughts:

Trump was in is glory meeting the three hostages at 2 AM, the three great folks captured, accused of various crimes against the regime, and just released. How does he know they were great folks, meaning ordinary innocent men? Maybe in fact, they were spies. In fact, it would be good to know we actually managed to get spies into NK. Not great spies since if they were great they wouldn't have been captured.

Meanwhile in today's news, in the ABF media world (anywhere but Fox) it turns out that Pence basically said what Nixon said about it being time to get the Watergate investigation over. MSNBC and hopefully other stations are replaying Nixon and Pense back to back. 

‘I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of the matter to an end. One year of Watergate is enough.’ 1974 State of the Union address

"Israeli fighter jets struck dozens of Iranian targets in Syria overnight, Israeli officials said, following soon after what the Israeli military described as an unsuccessful Iranian rocket attack against its forces in the Golan Heights." NY Times This leads me to wonder why, if Iran really did this, whether this was a response to Trump pulling out of the nuclear deal, a move which Netanyahu enthusiastically supports. 

Well said: "Like a bloated, portly fake billionaire rolling off a hooker after a hot 45 seconds of passionate sex, Donald Trump’s ardor for Rudy Giuliani seems to have cooled." From "Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump: This Will End Badly. And Probably Soon." Daily Beast story

Pro-Trump lawyer freaks after being questioned on Michael Cohen’s sleaze - watch video

Weds. May 9, 2018

Ed. Note:

The bloodluster-in-chief is Donald Trump. As a psychotherapist, I have tried to get a sense of what goes on his mind. Most of you know how child therapists take very seriously what children draw, and with adults projective tests can often tease out psychopathic violent fantasies. I would like to see a collection of drawings Trump made as a child.

Excerpts (emphasis added):

• Trump just tweeted that it might be time to “take away credentials” from some news media. He cited a report claiming that “91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake).” Trump explicitly defined all merely negative stories about him as “fake.” This is basically a declaration that the news media’s efforts to hold him accountable are inherently illegitimate, or at least are grounds for retributive action. Is Trump even capable of imagining that criticism of him flows from the crucial institutional role the press plays in our democracy? This sort of thing isn’t mere bluster: It has convinced a majority of Republicans that the press is the “enemy of the people.”

• The Senate Intelligence Committee just released a report finding that Russia waged an “unprecedented, coordinated cyber campaign” against the United States’ voting infrastructure. The larger context: Trump has failed to organize a strong response to future Russian electoral sabotage, because he is reluctant to acknowledge that it happened at all in 2016, as that would diminish the greatness of his victory. This puts Trump at odds with members of his own administration who regard the fact of Russian interference “as objective reality,” putting future elections at risk out of sheer megalomania.

Again and again and again, independent reporting has revealed that when the decision-making rubber hits the road — that is, when the actual process kicks in of weighing pros and cons, and complexities and contingencies, and upsides and downsides for the country — other factors have intruded: Trump’s rage over something else. His desire to please his base. His fear of appearing weak. His megalomania. At what point can we say that Trump’s decision-making has become detached from any meaningful effort to act in accordance with any conception of what is good for the country? It’s a question that deserves more airing.

A major story to follow:

John Bolton and Mike Pompeo Are Headed for a Clash Politco

They may seem like kindred spirits, but their personal interests are totally different. That makes them destined for rivalry.

The Special Counsel's Office Has Been Looking Into Payments To Michael Cohen's Company Since Last Year - Buzzfeed 

Ed Note: Think of your favorite guilty pleasure food. For me it's New York style pizza, my late spouse's homemade lasagna, meat loaf, and pancakes with blueberries fresh off one of our bushes. That's how delicious it would be if the Stormy Daniels / Micheal Cohen revelations turned out to be linked to Trump Russian collusion.

Trump Just Publicly Threatened to Throw Media Out of the White House for Not Being Nice Enough to Him The president mused about it on his favorite social media platform.

Ed. Note: I lost count months ago of how many times I was stymied in my attempts to find words appropriate to describe Trump's authoritarian and/or psychopathological actions. I have exhasted the thesaurus. There are simply no words yet. However I believe that years from now Trumpian will have the same meaning that Hitlerian does today. Think Progress notesBut there was also a major tell in Trump’s tweet. Perhaps more explicitly than he ever has before, by writing “negative (Fake),” the president made explicitly that he considers all negative coverage of him to be fake.

Trump fans freak out on right-winger Matt Drudge for warning against president’s ‘fake news crusade’

May 7, 2018

May 7-8, 2018

BACK, May 5-6, 2018 | New: My essays from when I wrote a weekly politcal column for Capitol Hill Blue circa 2009. || Archive of Daily Kos articles

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Quote of the day from Joe Scarborough this morning about Rudy Guiliani: “I can mention this: Everybody around Donald Trump said he was drinking too much — Donald Trump suggested as much — that was two years ago. And the fact that Donald Trump brought this guy in two years later despite his own reservations about him, almost two years ago, that’s not any, it’s not 3-D chess. That’s not even checkers, that’s a monkey throwing poo against the wall, and it doesn’t usually turn out well.”

Hey  Donald, you can see what's inside by buying a copy online. Here's the subscription link.

I rushed to get a story about this on Daily Kos before someone beat me to it.

Girlie magazine history: Trump, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter have this in common.

The Daily Beast offers a few tidbits but no photographs. So, sorry Donald, you will have to shell out $10.99 to see them.
By the end of the day, we will discover how many journalists have read the article. We can only hope that Stormy said something in the interview that would justify a reporter asking Sarah Sanders about it in the next press conference. 
What can you say when there’s an article in Newsweek like this?
From an article in the Washinton Post quoting Rick Wilson: “I’ve road-tested a ton of different insults for Donald Trump, and this is the one that seems to have a little bite to it,” he said. (It’s true: The man once called Trump an “epic douche-canoe” on CNN.) The nickname captures the “Weird affectation of this guy, with his fake skin and his fake hair” as well as the “Creepy, messianic … Jonestown aspect of his followers,” said Wilson.
A Cheeto, as it turns out, is an evocative metaphor, and politicians and activists across the spectrum bring up the dusty orange snack when they want to conjure up a certain image of their opponents: That they’re junky, artificial, bad for you, bad for America and likely to leave you with crumby fingers and a weird aftertaste.
Adult film star Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) has been inundated with requests since alleging she had an affair with President Donald Trump in 2006, but surely none stranger than the crowd who asked her to stamp on Cheetos during her "Make America Horny Again" tour.
In an interview with Penthouse released on Tuesday, Daniels says a crowd of gay men holding bags of Cheetos paid her $20 to crush the orange snacks underfoot, in what appears to be a sly reference to the president’s shade of fake tan.
“Money was exchanged, Cheetos were scattered, and the hardworking porn star turned international news story ground them to orange powder beneath her high-heeled stripper shoes,” an extract from the interview, shared by The Daily Beast, reads.  NEWSWEEK
I can imagine Rachel Maddow trying to find new words to describe how she feels about how our body-politic (so to speak) has degenerated to the degree that a Penthouse Magazine cover is making the news. 
In a surreal way this is probably the most politically significant girlie magazine article since Jimmy Carter admitted he had lust in his heart in a Playboy interview.
What Christ taught about most was pride, that one person should never think he was any better than anybody else. The thing that’s drummed into us all the time is not to be proud, not to be better than anyone else, not to look down on people, but to make ourselves acceptable in God’s eyes through our own actions and recognize the simple truth that were saved by grace. I’m not trying to commit a deliberate sin. I recognize that I’m going to do it anyhow, because I’m human and I’m tempted. And Christ set some almost impossible standards for us. Christ said, I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust has in his heart already committed adultery. I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times. This is something that God recognizes I will do–and I have done it–and God forgives me for it.
Not all of Bill Clinton’s admitted and alleged lovers made it into the news. I never heard of most of these women: Bill Clinton's Loves & Hookups. Of course, there never was a whisper of a rumor that any of Bill’s peccadillos was non-consensual.
As for Melania, this has to be adding insult to injury. Not only does she have to deal with her own feelings about her husband’s infidelities and the sexual assault accusations which I think she thinks are true, but she has to worry that Baron may manage to see the images online from his friends while he’s at school. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

And, then there's Rudy:

John Oliver: Trump And Giuliani Have Something In Common And It’s Gross, HUFFPOST Rudy Giuliani’s confusing media appearances over the past week, in which his attempts to defend President Donald Trump backfired, have some wondering what happened to the once-respected former mayor of New York City.John Oliver revealed the answer on “Last Week Tonight” on Sunday. “Nothing,” he explained. “He was always this awful.” Then, Oliver took a look back at the lowlights of Giuliani’s career before concluding that the former mayor and current president were basically ”two versions of the same person.”