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Updated: 5 days 14 hours ago

Trump calls Russia’s interference in our election “a hoax”

Thu, 2017-06-22 10:20

Donald Trump today, yet again this morning, questioned whether Russia interfered in the 2016 US election.

While it’s been an established fact for a while now, Trump has vacillated on the issue for months.

Here’s what Trump said this morning on Twitter:

When asked this week whether Trump believes Russia interfered, White House spokesman Sean Spicer claimed, incredibly, that he hadn’t spoken to Trump about it.

A second White House spokesman claimed that Trump already answered the question this past January. And he did. Trump then proceeded to change his story every time he got asked about it.

CNN’s Marshall Cohen did a great write-up of everything Trump has said about Russian interference:

June 15, 2016: Trump campaign says DNC hacked itself.

September 8, 2016: On Russian TV, Trump “dismissed claims Russia hacked the DNC.”

September 27, 2016: “I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China, but it could also be lots of other people, it also could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?”

October 10, 2016: “But I notice, anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say the Russians are — she doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking. Maybe there is no hacking. But they always blame Russia. And the reason they blame Russia because they think they’re trying to tarnish me with Russia.”

December 11, 2016: “I think the Democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country. They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. I mean, they have no idea.”

December 15, 2016: “If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?”

January 3, 2017: “The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!”

January 4, 2017: “Somebody hacked the DNC.”

January 5, 2017: Trump says DNC was “supposedly hacked by Russia.”

January 11, 2017: Trump finally says he thinks it was Russia. “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia. But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people.”

April 30, 2017: Trump is back to questioning whether Russia actually did it. “Knowing something about hacking, if you don’t catch a hacker, OK, in the act, it’s very hard to say who did the hacking. With that being said, I’ll go along with Russia. Could’ve been China, could’ve been a lot of different groups.”

May 11, 2017: “If Russia hacked.”

If Russia hacked, if Russia did anything having to do with our election I want to know about it,” Trump said. When Hold said US intelligence has said Russia is responsible, Trump said: “I’ll tell you this — if Russia or anybody else is trying to interfere with our elections I think it’s a horrible thing and I want to get to the bottom of it and I want to make sure it will never ever happen.”

And now, this morning, Trump is still saying “if” again.

Trump then followed this with a pair of tweets calling claims of Russian involvement in the election “a hoax.”

In fact, we now now that Russia tried to hack the election system in 21 states. And they tried to alter voter data. That’s huge. That’s our worst fear, that the Russians tried to literally cheat the election by changing voter data. And we now know they did tried to do just that.

But what’s even more important, they’ve tried to interfere in the UK, Italian and French elections, and US officials believe the Russians will try to interfere in future US elections as well. So it’s hugely important, and hugely dangerous, that Trump is still denying that Russia even did anything. You can’t have the US prepare for a future Russian election attack if the president is claiming it never happened.

Russia attacked our democracy, and plans to do it again, and our president couldn’t care less.

And Trump wonders why he’s being investigated for possible collusion with Russia.

 

With the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

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Omarosa is now demanding people call her “Honorable”

Wed, 2017-06-21 11:46

Former Trump reality star, and current Trump White House adviser, Omarosa Manigault, has taken to Twitter to demand that people refer to her with a title.

Specifically, Omarosa wants to be referred to as “The Honorable Omarosa Manigault,” a title normally reserved for members of Congress, heads of federal agencies, and judges.

It all started when CBS News White House reporter Jackie Alemany published a copy of a letter in which Omarosa referred to herself as “The Honorable.”

A copy of follow up invite to the WH from Omarosa from CBC source — signed “The Honorable Omarosa Manigault” pic.twitter.com/93RGdxDr04

— Jackie Alemany (@JaxAlemany) June 21, 2017

Omarosa Manigault, photo by Gage Skidmore.

I spent five years working as a lawyer in the US Senate, and we routinely used “The Honorable” when sending letters to other members of Congress, cabinet secretaries, judges and similarly situated people. I don’t, however, recall referring to senior White House staff, below the level of chief of staff, as “The Honorable.” (Though we were happy to call a janitor “the honorable” if we thought it would get better results.)

And what’s more, I’ve never quite seen someone publicly demand that they be called the title.

I was one of those Omarosa challenged online:

Hi John!! Please stop with the #FakeNews. A little google search will help you blog… pic.twitter.com/PnUexqpFan

— OMAROSA (@OMAROSA) June 21, 2017

A few points:

1. It’s supremely tacky to publicly defend calling yourself “honorable.” Real honorables have “people” to do such things.
2. I seem to remember OTHER people calling you honorable, when addressing letters to you. I don’t recall people calling themselves “honorable” when signing a letter they sent to you.
3. The document Omarosa published does mention assistants to the president. I can tell you that in practice, I doubt we’d have ever used that title for anyone below White House chief of staff.

But more importantly, the Republicans are on the verge of taking health care away from 24 million people, and gutting health insurance protections for people who get insurance through their jobs, and top White House staff are spending their workdays defending their royal titles online. And Trump wonders why he’s at 36% in the polls.

With the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

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Next week, the Republicans will gut your work health insurance

Tue, 2017-06-20 12:05

There’s a lot of confusion about the new Republican health care plan, simply because they’re refusing to release it. In the US House, they kept it secret until literally the last-minute — they didn’t even give the Congressional Budget Office a chance to look at the cost or effect of the bill before voting on it.

And in the US Senate, they’re now planning a vote on their version of the bill next week, even though no one has seen it, CBO hasn’t reviewed it, there have been no hearings for experts to weigh in — nothing.

It’s a lousy way to pass legislation that will affect the health insurance of nearly everyone in this country. And it’s even lousier because we already know from the US House version, and leaks of the US Senate’s, that Republicans are crafting a bill that is popular with only 17% of the American public. Why? Because they gut protections for pre-existing conditions, and will bring back annual and lifetime caps on coverage. Let me explain.

At the bottom of this story is contact information for key US Senators who need to receive calls from constituents. PLEASE do so.

Pre-existing Conditions

In the old days, insurance companies could deny covering you for the simplest of things. Allergies, eczema, high blood pressure, high cholesterol — all reasons to deny you insurance. And forget about serious illnesses like cancer. And if they did give you coverage, they would exclude your “pre-existing condition” from coverage for a period of time, or even permanently. So you’d technically have insurance, but it wouldn’t cover, say, your bum leg.

Then there’s women. In the pre-Obamacare days, insurers could and would charge women more for the same policies they sold men at a cheaper price. Why? Because women are just so pesky expensive with their lady parts. What’s more, many insurance policies wouldn’t cover pregnancy unless you bought a more expensive rider, and even then you had to wait a few months to get pregnant after you got the policy, or they still wouldn’t cover you.

And if you ever had a c-section, they’d refuse to cover any other pregnancies.

That was life before the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Now, because of President Obama and the ACA, insurance companies can no longer refuse to sell you a policy, nor can they set the price based on your current health (or pre-existing conditions). They have to cover you, and have to charge you what they charge everyone else your age in your region.

The Republican Pre-existing Condition Plan

Republicans claim they’re still protecting pre-existing conditions by not permitting insurers to turn you down for having an existing illness. But, they’re no longer going to require insurers to charge you the same for a policy that they charge everyone else your age. So you’ll be thrown into an insurance ghetto with other “sick” people, where they can offer you really bad policies for exorbitant prices. You could be charged three or five times what you pay right now for a monthly premium, and the policy will likely offer you less coverage than now. And if you can’t afford to pay for it, you die.

The Republican Annual & Lifetime Cap Plan

The second way Republicans sock it to people with pre-existing conditions is by bring back annual and lifetime caps. Under Obamacare, every plan has annual limits on what insurers can charge you. Meaning, in any one year, once you spend $2,000 or say $6,000 (depending on your plan) on copays, your insurance will pay 100% of your essential medical treatments (or benefits) for the rest of the year. That’s great news for people with more serious and expensive illnesses. Well, that’s going to go away with the Republican plan.

The Republicans have found a crafty way to let states opt out of the annual limit protections. It’s a bit complicated, but in a nutshell, Obamacare requires insurers to cover 10 “essential benefits,” like prescription drugs, maternity, and emergency care. The Republicans are going to let states opt out of Obamacare’s “essential benefits” guarantees. That means, states could decide that prescription drugs or maternity are no longer “essential,” and therefore they won’t be counted in your annual cap. So if you have a $2,000 annual cap, and your prescriptions cost you $4,000 a year, they will no longer count towards your cap beyond which you pay nothing for that year.

It also means that if the benefits aren’t “essential,” insurance companies don’t have to offer them at all. You’d instead buy expensive riders, to get “extra” insurance, just like the old days. Here’s how much those riders could cost under the Republican plan:

GOP to Gut Annual & Lifetime Limits too

Oh but there’s worse news. Essential benefits are also relevant for annual and lifetime limits on coverage. In the pre-Obamacare days, a lot of plans, whether you realized it or not, capped your lifetime coverage at $1 million to $2 million dollars. Once your plan payed out that much in benefits, you lost your insurance for the rest of your life. Insurers also had annual caps on benefits — for example, my pre-ACA plan only paid $1,200 per year in subscription drug benefits. Anything more I paid out of pocket, 100%.

People with cancer were typically the first to max out their coverage. After a few years of chemo, and some serious surgery, and they lost their insurance. Just imagine.

Under the Obamacare, anything that is considered an “essential benefit” can’t have an annual or lifetime limit on benefits. But, under the GOP plan, they’re going to let states opt out of these limits, so Alabama can decide that it no longer wants to consider maternity or prescription drugs or even cancer part of an essential benefit. That means the state can decide to let the insurance companies: a) no longer put a $2,000 to $6,000 limit on what you have to pay for your annual treatments, and b) the state can let the insurance company reimpose annual and lifetime limits on how much in benefits they’ll pay out for those conditions.

And this applies to everybody. Not just people who work for themselves. Not just the poor. If you get insurance through your job, these Obamacare annual and lifetime limit protections, and protections for pre-existing conditions, protect you.

And under the Republican plan being voted on next week in the US Senate, in secret, it won’t.

People Over 50 Will See Premiums Soar

The other neat little trick the Republicans are doing is changing the law to permit insurers to raise premiums on Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 (at 65 you get Medicare). Under Obamacare, insurers can charge people age 50-64 a maximum of three times what they charge the youngest people they insure. Under the House bill, insurers can charge older Americans five times what they charge younger people. That’s a 67% increase in premiums. That’s huge. And it doesn’t take into account the increased premiums for pre-existing conditions. This is just your “you’re old” tax.

And why is the GOP doing all of this? Because they need the Obamacare money to give a tax cut to the rich.

What you can do?

Get angry. I worked as a lawyer in the US Senate for five years. Nice gets you nowhere with a member of Congress. Their entire existence is driven by fear of their next election. You have every right to be pissed about what the Republicans are doing, and you should be. Call your US Senators and tell them you are mad as hell, and you expect them to kill the Obamacare repeal bill, also called the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by the House Republicans. In particular:

Tell Democrats: Shut it all down. If Republicans are going to try to pass legislation that that could risk all of our lives, and is only supported by 17% of the American people, while refusing to hold hearings — then shut it all down.

Tell Republicans: You are mad as hell, and you will do everything in your power to make them lose next election if they don’t stop trying to repeal Obamacare. If you have a personal health care story, feel free to share it. But remember, they only care if you’re angry. And you should be livid.

US Senate contact info:

Main number: 202-224-3121 (you can ask the operator for your Senator’s office by main, or tell them what state you’re from and they can connect you to one of your two Senators).

You can look up your individual Senators here. This page will tell you who they are, whether they’re Republicans, Democrats or Independents, and what their main phone number in Washington, DC is. You can also click through to their Web sites and find the phone numbers for their offices in the state. Sometimes it’s easier to get through.

And via a few other sites, here are some of the Senators you might want to focus on — those more likely to vote NO –0 even though EVERYONE needs to hear from us:

Lisa Murkowski (Alaska): 202-224-6665, 907-271-3735

Dan Sullivan (Alaska): 202-224-3004, 907-271-5915

Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia): 202-224-6472, 304-347-5372

Susan Collins (Maine): 202-224-2523, 207-780-3575

Dean Heller (Nevada): 202-224-6244, 702-388-6605

Rob Portman (Ohio): 202-224-3353, 614-469-6774

Cory Gardner (Colorado): 202-224-5941, 303-391-5777

Todd Young (Indiana): 202-224-5623, 317-226-6700

Jeff Flake (Arizona): 202-224-4521, 602-840-189

Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania): 202-224-4254, 412-803-3501

Rand Paul (Kentucky): 202-224-4343, 270-782-8303

Tom Cotton (Arkansas): 202-224-2353, 479-751-0879

Bill Cassidy (Louisiana): 202-224-5824, 225-929-7711

And finally if you want even more information on how to fight back, how to call a congressional office, what to say — Ben Wikler has some GREAT tips. Ben includes the names and phone numbers of the Senate staffers working on health issues. Definitely give them a call too (if you click the list on this page, and the next page it takes you too, you’ll finally see a larger more readable copy):

When you call a Senate office, ask to speak to the relevant Health Legislative Assistant. Hey look, a list of staffer names! 18/ pic.twitter.com/UQ0yZNaSxc

— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) June 8, 2017

(See my earlier article on this topic.)

With the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

Please support our work with a generous donation. (If you prefer PayPal, use this link.) We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

 

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Trump to break lower-drug-price promise

Mon, 2017-06-19 16:22

The man who never met a promise he wasn’t willing to break is about to do it again. Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise to lower drug prices by allowing cheaper foreign drugs to be re-imported into the United States, and just as importantly, to permit Medicare to negotiate for better drug prices, has — surprise! — changed his mind.

Add your name: Tell Donald Trump to keep his promise!

For those unaware of just how big a racket prescription drug prices in America are, let me explain.

1. Americans pay higher prices than Europeans for the same prescription drugs made by the same big pharmaceutical companies in order to subsidize cheap prices in Europe.

The drugs you buy are 5 to 20 times more expensive in America than in Europe, and not because the Europeans subsidize the prices. Simply because European countries negotiate better prices with the drug companies, and America doesn’t. So the drug companies take a hit in Europe and then simply charge Americans more.

So every time you buy a prescription drug, you are quite literally subsidizing cheaper drugs in Europe.

And it’s illegal for you to go to Europe (or Canada) and buy those cheap drugs, then bring back more than a few month’s worth to the US. Why? Because the FDA falsely claims it is afraid you might buy bad drugs abroad. Except those drugs are made by the same companies that make them in America, so how exactly would they be bad in Europe but okay in the good ole US of A?

2. Did you know that Medicare is forbidden by law from negotiating a better drug price on behalf of its 44 million members?

Yep. US law bans Medicare from using its market leverage to negotiate a better price from Big Pharma. Why? Because Big Pharma bought off enough members of Congress to do it. And now, Big Pharma apparently owns Donald Trump too. Trump promised to do this, but now he won’t.

This one is particularly insane. What possible reason is there to restrict the free market and force Medicare to buy drugs at higher prices, when it could simply negotiate a lower price? There’s no earthly reason why that’s good policy. It’s simply a tax on seniors that goes straight into the pocket of Big Pharma.

One of the big reasons that Trump is breaking his word on drug prices is because, big surprise, a Big Pharma guy, Joe Grogan, was hired to be OMB’s director of health programs.

“Our industry sources indicate that pharma expects it has successfully shifted the dialogue from the high price of innovation to transparency and other parts of the supply chain,” Wells Fargo analyst David Maris wrote in a note to investors Thursday evening. “As such, several drug company executives have expressed the belief that Trump’s drug price approach will not include drug re-importation and Medicare negotiation of drug prices.”

The industry’s growing confidence comes in part from the presence of key allies in the White House: Joe Grogan, OMB’s director of health programs, is working on the executive order, according to multiple sources inside and outside of the government. Grogan spent the last five years as the head of federal affairs for Gilead Sciences — the drug company that helped ignite the drug pricing debate in 2013, when it set the price of a new hepatitis C treatment at more than $80,000.

Please add your name to those demanding that Donald Trump keep his promise and help lower American drug prices:

With the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

Please support our work with a generous donation. (If you prefer PayPal, use this link.) We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

 

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Georgia GOP says mass shooting of congressmen is actually a good thing

Mon, 2017-06-19 13:29

Always like a Republican to see the mass-shooting glass half-full.

A local GOP party chairman in Georgia, Brad Carver, says the recent attempt by a crazed gunman to kill several Republican members of Congress who were playing softball will be a boon for GOP candidates, especially Karen Handel in Georgia, who is running against Jon Ossoff.

“I’ll tell you what: I think the shooting is going to win this election for us,” Carver told a get-out-the-vote rally.

Carver explained:

“Because moderates and independents in this district are tired of left-wing extremism. I get that there’s extremists on both sides, but we are not seeing them. We’re seeing absolute resistance to everything this president does. Moderates and independents out there want to give him a chance. Democrats have never given this president a chance.”

“Left-wing extremism.” Really? How’s that work exactly? Most of the mass-carnage we’ve seen over the past several decades, from Oklahoma City to the murder of abortion providers and judges, has come from right-wingers. “Left-wing” extremism usually takes the form of a candlelight vigil follow a right-wing extremist’s attempt to shoot up a movie theater, college, or elementary school.

Then there’s that small thing about Republicans trying to take health insurance away from 24 million Americas, and lower the coverage for everyone else. No extremism there.

Or Paul Ryan’s plan to privatized Medicare — actually, let’s be more precise — Paul Ryan’s plan to eliminate Medicare, and give people vouchers to buy insurance from the private insurance market where they won’t get coverage because of pre-existing conditions and/or won’t be able to afford it.

In fact, moderates and independents are suffering from the worst buyer’s remorse in a generation. (Though to be fair, the majority of those who voted didn’t vote for Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 3 million votes.) And Trump has the worst approval rating of any president at this point in his presidency.


And independents aren’t terribly happy with Trump either.

With the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

Please support our work with a generous donation. (If you prefer PayPal, use this link.) We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

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What if all of Shakespeare’s plays were written about Trump? What would they be called?

Mon, 2017-06-19 11:28

I had an interesting idea this weekend for a tweet: What if all of Shakespeare’s plays were actually written about Donald Trump? What would their titles be?

For example: “King Lear” would be “King Leer.”

I also added the hashtag: #ShakespeareInTheTrump

Things went viral pretty fast, and I got a TON of great responses. I’ll share some of the best below.

First off, as some background, this all got started because a NYC theater troupe was doing a production of “Julius Caesar” in Central Park, but with a twist. The lead character of Caesar is dressed and portrayed Trump-like. Far-right protesters, led by a Pizzagate conspiracy promoter, disrupted the show in outrage, not fully realizing that Caesar’s death in the play is hardly portrayed as a good thing. Quite the contrary, in fact.

It wasn’t lost on liberals that Trump supporters were outraged that the cast of “Hamilton” simply spoke politely to Vice President Pence following a show several months ago. Yet, their shutting down an entire production is acceptable.

Also, Trump supporters keep saying “what if someone did this to Obama!” In fact, they did back in 2012, and you probably never heard about it because no one cared.

Back to Shakespeare in the Trump. Here are a sampling of the tweets. People really stepped up on this one:

 

\

Feel free to add your own!

With the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

Please support our work with a generous donation. (If you prefer PayPal, use this link.) We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

 

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Denny’s Father’s Day tweet is pretty hilarious

Mon, 2017-06-19 11:01

Denny’s Father’s Day tweet is hilarious. Or rather, the responses to it.

For some reason, Denny’s tweeted yesterday that people were wishing the diner-ish restaurant chain a happy Father’s Day.

Denny responded by tweeting that it was a restaurant, not a dad.

Then people started responding back. And it was good twitter, rather than bad twitter, that held the day. The responses are pretty funny.

Enjoy.

You can check out the rest of the comments here.

With the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

Please support our work with a generous donation. (If you prefer PayPal, use this link.) We don’t make much on advertising, we need your support to continue our work. Thanks.

 

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It’s time for a somber national discussion about [insert latest mass shooting here]

Wed, 2017-06-14 12:24

This story, was first published years ago, inspired by some American mass-shooting long-forgotten. Sadly, we are forced to republish it on a regular basis.

It’s time to have a somber national discussion about the [insert shooting tragedy here] tragedy.

Before we get started, let’s go over a few basic ground rules.

1. In the wake of the __________ tragedy, it’s time for us all to come together as a nation and not assign blame. This is not the time, for example, to talk about how it’s easier to purchase a gun in America than it is to vote (or buy French cheese). I fact-checked the graphic below, it’s for real:

And I quote White House spokesman Jary Carney, speaking about the murder at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut of at least 18 young children:

“I’m sure [there] will be rather a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates,but I don’t think today is that day,” Carney said.

Fortunately, the President’s subsequent statement was better.

2. And we won’t tolerate any second guessing of the Second Amendment right to carry assault weapons, or questions about how the Framers could have possibly envisaged an assault rifle over 200 years ago, or why a “hunter” needs six thousand rounds of ammunition, or kevlar, or smoke grenades to kill a pheasant.

Open -carry gun owner at JC Penney store in Utah. What could possibly go wrong?

3. While the shooter may have been inspired by political fliers showing the victim in cross hairs, or may have come unhinged by inflammatory rhetoric about how said victim was coming for the shooter’s guns, discussing such motivation at this sensitive moment would be completely inappropriate. Not to mention, disrespectful to the __________ victims.

Sarah Palin showed US Rep. Gabby Giffords’ district in crosshairs shortly before Giffords was shot in the head and nearly killed in an assassination attempt.

4. If the tragedy involved someone flying a plane into a government building, or for that matter blowing up a government building, now is not the time to discuss people like Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity (no names, please), or Republicans generally (no political parties, please), incessantly trying to convince their audience that the occupant of the White House, or any government official, agency, or entire branch of government is evil and/or “un-American” and/or out to get them or our country or our freedom.

5. And definitely don’t mention the Republican party’s frequent claim and/or insinuation, including suggestions from the GOP candidate himself, Mitt Romney, that the sitting Democratic President is a socialist, which in American parlance actually means “communist,” which actually means “Soviet,” which was America’s deadliest enemy out for our utter destruction.

Sure, it would be entirely understandable why someone would take up arms against a Soviet takeover of the United States, but a Democrat said something mean once about a Republican’s dog, or something, so aren’t both parties really to blame, thus making the charge moot?

Tea Party rally. The Islamic symbol at the bottom right of the poster is a nice touch. Ira Bostic / Shutterstock.com

6. Never, ever mention the NRA.  Sure, they’ve proven themselves, time and again, incapable of passing laws that effectively keep guns out of the hands of crazy mass murderers, but that’s no reason to blame them for the _______ tragedy because it’s just too early to cast blame on anyone other than the shooter, who was obviously crazy, and thus this month’s anomaly.

Now, let’s discuss for a moment the race of the shooter and the race of the victims.

7. If the ______________ tragedy involved angry white men opening fire on brown people of faith, this is definitely not the time to replay clips of bombastic commentators and politicians getting white men in places like Kansas whipped into a frenzy over Manhattan’s zoning criteria for non-Christian houses of worship.

8. But feel free to discuss if all brown people, and thus the shooter, or his victims, were Muslims – sorry, I meant to say “radical Islamists.”  And even if neither was a Muslim, make sure you discuss that point incessantly – Muslim, Muslim, Muslim, Muslim – so as to eventually sow suspicion in the public’s mind as to whether there really is a Muslim angle to this story.

9. Speaking of which, this is not the time to discuss the more general fear mongering around words like “Muslim,” including the ongoing, successful, attempt by Republicans to convince their base that our dark-skinned President is one.

Okay, I think we’re ready now to discuss the ______________ tragedy.

First off: It is entirely acceptable for a Republican to opine that the tragedy could have been averted had the victims all been armed (please disregard previous tragedies where armed police officers, or members of the military, were themselves injured by the shooter).

Second: Poignant, but ultimately meaningless, gestures such as lighting tragedy candles at nighttime vigils, and posting anti-gun petitions on Change.org, are to be encouraged.

Finally: Clutch your pearls, and all together now, ask the purely rhetorical question: “How could this happen?”

Forty-eight hours after the shooting, return to talking about the Olympics and the latest Kardashian wedding until the next shooting occurs, then refer to point 1 above.

PS: If the victims of the ___________tragedy were black, ignore the above restrictions and take up a collection for the shooter’s defense fund.

Another mass shooting. You know the drill.

Wed, 2017-06-14 12:19

Reprinted from October 1, 2015.

Earlier today, someone took a killing machine and loads of ammunition into a heavily-trafficked area and opened fire, killing some and wounding more. The shooter may have a history of mental health problems; they may be a militant racist; they may be a Men’s Rights Activist; they may be a religious extremist; they may have just gotten laid off from work. Whatever their motive, they will almost certainly have obtained their killing machine legally.

You’ve probably read the details elsewhere by now, but at the end of the day, they don’t matter. This story isn’t all that different from the many that came before and are sure to come after. America averages one shooting of at least four fatalities per day, with one shooting per week at schools. These shootings are happening faster than we can meme them. The routine is familiar, and we already know how the next few days are going to play out:

First, we will be reminded that this is definitely not the time to discuss ways that we could have prevented this shooting, along with tomorrow’s and next week’s and the ones to follow. At times like these, a bad reading of the Second Amendment is more important than a basic understanding of the First:

There needs to be a mandatory waiting period imposed on anti-gun extremists commenting on breaking news crime incidents. #UCCShooting

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) October 1, 2015

Instead, it would be much more productive for all of us to quietly appeal to a higher power — one that has pretty clearly signaled to us that they’re agnostic when it comes to American gun policy:

Praying for Umpqua Community College, the victims, and families impacted by this senseless tragedy.

— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) October 1, 2015

Second, we will be reminded that although America’s homicide rates are practically off the charts compared to other countries, now is definitely not the time to second-guess our borderline religious commitment to the killing machines that make it way easier to kill a bunch of people at once:

After all, don’t you know we might need to revolt against the government some day?

Gun policy from America’s gun experts

Third, someone from the NRA will say that the real solution that would have prevented all of this is more guns. Most of America will find this ridiculous. Congress will find this reasonable. President Obama will scold them.

Fourth, there will be a new round of public opinion polling showing broad support for public policies that could have prevented the shooting, ranging from universal background checks to a ban on high-capacity magazines. We will flash a momentary glance at Congress to see if they will pass any of these policies, and then remember how unbothered they were by what that guy from the NRA said.

Fifth, gun sales will go through the god damn roof.

Sixth, this video will go viral:

[iframe src=”http://www.liveleak.com/ll_embed?f=747bd787120c” width=”640″ height=”360″]

Seventh, another mass shooting will take place. We will go back to step one.

See you next week.

Trump is considering firing special counsel Mueller

Mon, 2017-06-12 21:18

One of Donald Trump’s closest friends, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, told the NewsHour tonight that Trump is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller.

As you know, Mueller is investigating any connections between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election, and according to former FBI Director James Comey, is also now investigating Trump for obstruction of justice.

This news comes on the heels of Trump’s lawyer saying yesterday that Trump wouldn’t rule out firing Mueller.

First, here’s Ruddy:

Chris Ruddy to @JudyWoodruff: President Trump is considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who he considered for another position. pic.twitter.com/X4IIHlh8at

— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) June 12, 2017

Lawyer and professor Seth Abramson did a great write-up on Twitter about how much of a mess it will be if Trump tries to fire Mueller. In a nutshell, it’s not clear that Trump, or anyone, can. In a nutshell, Trump would need “good cause” to fire Mueller, and he doesn’t have it. And even if Trump tried, according to Abramson, Mueller could refuse to go.

It gets a lot messier from there. Do read Abramson’s thread for the rest.

This is just crazy.

As Abramson notes, Trump also risks incurring even more obstruction of justice charges if he goes after Mueller, as does anyone who helps Trump do it.

The big question is how much craziness needs to happen, how much corruption, before Republicans in Congress and Republican voters have had enough. We clearly haven’t reached that point yet. Reportedly, GOP members of Congress are terrified of Trump’s crazy far-right and Alt-Right (white supremacist) base. But, as the GOP’s chances of holding on to the US House in the 2018 elections dim, Republicans won’t have a choice but to start publicly distancing themselves from Trump.

Also, we do need to keep an eye on the GOP effort to repeal Obamacare. It’s clear that Senate Republicans are using the growing Trump scandals as cover to work behind the scenes crafting a final repeal bill. And GOP Senate leader McConnell wants to pass the bill by the end of June, so keep your eyes and ears glued to this issue as well.

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Trump tweets about the Pulse Nightclub mass-shooting anniversary

Mon, 2017-06-12 15:18

Donald Trump commemorated the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub massacre on Twitter today.

49 people were killed and 58-wounded in a mass shooting on June 12, 2016 at the LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The attack officially designated a terrorist attack and a hate crime.

Here is Trump’s tweet:

It should be noted that Trump infamously used the shooting to help his election campaign in 2016. In classic Trump dysfunction, Trump’s first impulse, on finding out that dozens might be dead, was to congratulate himself:

Things didn’t get any better in the following day. Trump response to the shooting thanked the LGBT community… for what it isn’t clear:

I’m honestly not sure what to make of this. Trump is hardly Machiavelli, his motives are usually pretty transparent, so I’m not likely to chalk this up to some grand plan. Rather, the simplest explanation is usually the right one. Trump takes every opportunity he can to slam Muslims, and highlight “Muslim” terrorism, at the expense of other terrorist incidents.

For example, Trump repeatedly use the recent attacks in London to go after the Muslim mayor and push his travel ban.

Back to Orlando. Omar Mateen, the Pulse shooter, was raised a Muslim. Trump is “commemorating” the attack because it fits into his larger message about how Muslims are dangerous and evil, and we need to ban them from entering the country. That’s why Trump is tweeting about this.

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AP brutally fact-checks Trump

Mon, 2017-06-12 12:27

The Associated Press wrote a beautifully wicked fact-check of Donald Trump this morning. It’s so good, it’s downright sassy.

AP walks through a variety of issues, including Trump claiming: that former FBI Director James Comey is a “coward”; that Comey broke the law by releasing his notes of the meeting in which Trump tried to kill the FBI’s probe of Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia; that “money is pouring into NATO”; that Trump doesn’t know Comey; that Democrats are obstructing Trump’s appointees and agenda; that Comey’s testimony “vindicated” Trump; that Obamacare is in a “total death spiral”; Trump’s claims about Obama’s stimulus; Trump’s EPA chief lying about new coal jobs and climate change.

Rather than summarize the story, just go read it. It’s good.

I’d rather talk about what the story represents. It’s a rather strong story, with a strong voice, for AP. AP, like Reuters, traditionally has a more staid “just the facts, ma’am,” approach to journalism. This, however, is written more in the style of the Economist, with the voice of a real person behind the story, and someone who’s not willing to put with any BS.

I suspect this is a pushback against the Fake News phenomenon, which includes what the Russians did during the election, but also the lies that Donald Trump spews on a regular basis, putting him in a uniquely dishonest category for presidents. The media is finally fighting back, and rather than simply striving for balance — which often leads to a he-said-she-said article that simply regurgitates GOP lies as though they’re perhaps a valid argument — the media’s goal is now truth.

Yes Virginia, corporate America played an important role in the LGBT rights revolution

Sun, 2017-06-11 14:13

Let’s have a frank talk about the role corporate America has played in the LGBT rights movement. Because it’s likely more than you realized.

I started working on national LGBT rights in the early 1990s. I did the usual stuffing of envelopes for the big-name groups in 1992, but the real work began when I started spending 40 hours per week as a fellow with Senator Ted Kennedy. I assisted Kennedy’s staff on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in early 1993, fought a number of anti-LGBT bills and amendments (usually from Jesse Helms and the Family Research Council), worked on discrediting the ex-gay movement, and ended my tour in 1996 trying to get the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA — legislation to ban anti-gay job discrimination) passed in the Senate (we lost by only one vote).

Ted Kennedy and his staff were masters at the legislative process. I learned much of what I know today about activism from my time in his office. And what I think most impressed and surprised me about Kennedy and his staff was their ability to woo and work with allies, and use those allies to in turn woo the media and Congress. This went far beyond the usual suspects. I saw Kennedy’s office engage movie stars and pro athletes to appear at events, write op eds, and lobby on behalf of LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS. But most interesting, I watched them work with Republicans, even conservative Republicans, when GOP interests coincided with ours. For example, Barry Goldwater became an outspoken ally on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Conservative GOP Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) routinely partnered with Kennedy on HIV/AIDS legislation. And incredibly, Kennedy got anti-gay bigot Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) to help on the international AIDS fight.

Which raises a fascinating point I want to explore as it concerns corporate America and any potential LGBT ally (like the police). It’s not about picking allies who are pure, and agree with you on every issue. And it’s not about picking allies who are motivated by their love for you and your people. Being successful in politics, and getting what you want in both policy and legislation, is about knowing what levers to push. And usually you get politicians to help you because they see it in their own self-interest. It’s an added, but unnecessary, benefit if they actually like you too.

Which takes us to corporate America. No one is suggesting that American companies “like” us. I am, however, telling you that in the early 1990s, when we were fighting to get ENDA passed, our corporate allies were a huge help, and continued to be helpful through this day. From Nicole Raeburn’s book “Changing Corporate America from Inside Out: Lesbian and Gay Workplace Rights”:

Raeburn has more. Note that most companies weren’t great in the late 80s, then something changed:

More on Disney from a Florida reporter and then a former employee of the company:

Why did it matter that a growing number of corporate leaders, especially in the tech industry, were supporting LGBT rights? Because ENDA was about workplace discrimination, and its critics claimed ENDA would cripple American business. Instead, here were some of America’s top business leaders, including high-flying high-tech moguls, saying just the opposite: that what’s bad for business is discrimination. Corporate America had shot the anti-gay movement in the foot, and taken away their #1 argument against us. It was a huge deal.

Lesbian Subaru ad. Note the rainbow bumper sticker, and the license plates (“CAMP OUT” and “XENA LVR”).

But aside from legislation, what was also important was corporate America’s willingness to adopt non-discrimination policies, and eventually domestic partner benefits, for gay couples who couldn’t get such benefits from their legislative bodies. You have to remember that we still don’t have federal protections against firing someone for being gay or trans. Yet, few large companies don’t now protect their employees with their own policies. And the same thing happened with domestic partner benefits. When American law refused to step in, many companies stepped forward and treated their gay-partnered employees the same as those who were straight-married.

And a wee bit more on the early history of corporate support for LGBT rights, from Raeburn — how Coors and Disney rocked the boat against anti-gay bigotry:

What Coors and Disney did came as a great shock:

A number of large companies stuck their necks out for LGBT rights in other ways as well, including advertising. Subaru, Absolut and then Ikea were some of the earliest advertisers to embrace gays. And if you want to know what influence that had on the culture at large, ask the religious right — they were livid, and launched boycotts left and right to stop corporate America from being so gay-friendly.

For example, Absolut made history in 1989 by advertising in the gay press:

Ikea’s ad — called the first gay TV commercial — showed a gay couple shopping at Ikea, ran in 1994. You really have to appreciate how not-pro-gay America was in 1994. This was huge visibility for our community.

NPR has the story of how Subaru stuck its neck out in the mid 1990s by advertising to lesbians.

And I’m having a hard time finding the original Subaru ad, but here’s one they did in 2000 with tennis superstar Martina Navratilova:

Business Insider has more ads over the years.

And that corporate support has continued to this day. Companies like Dow Chemical, Marriott, and Procter & Gamble are all now supporting passage of ENDA. And I’d argue that the fact that many of us don’t like Dow (a chemical company) or Mormon-run Marriott is exactly why the support of those companies is so important. It’s easy and expected to have your friends support you. But when unlikely allies step up, it can make your opponents — or at least people in the middle — think twice.

For example, 379 companies recently urged the Supreme Court to support marriage equality. That’s not to suggest that some companies, like Microsoft, were always 100% okay. They weren’t. Even Microsoft, an early supporter of LGBT rights, had a hiccup in the mid 2000s, when a local religious right leader convinced them to stop supporting LGBT rights. Because of a lobbying campaign I ran, Microsoft came back in to the LGBT fold and never looked back. And while I was ticked at the Microsoft at the time, you’d better believe I’m glad Microsoft is now again on our side, and I am happy to embrace their support because it helps us get what we want, and that’s the only test that matters if you want to win.

(And, as an aside, some critics are arguing that these same corporations weren’t on our side in 1969, during the Stonewall riots. True. And most of our allies in the Democratic party, and even the larger civil rights movement, weren’t “on our side” in 1969. Most of America hated us. That’s not a standard for judging who we will accept help from today. Otherwise, the answer would be “no one.” Also, critics are saying “but the Mattachine Society and Stonewall happened before companies helped us in the 1990s.” And that is absolutely correct. But it doesn’t negate the significant support that those companies gave us, and that’s the point of this article, to simply recognize the contribution.)

Even if you think corporations are evil, that doesn’t mean you should shun corporate support for LGBT rights. Historically, corporate support has been extremely helpful, especially when our chief opponents were and are Republicans, a party beholden to whom? — corporations! And in the same way we shouldn’t turn away GOP support for LGBT rights, we shouldn’t shun business support either. It simply doesn’t matter what’s motivating them. Of course, companies are looking out for their own bottom line. So am I. So is every politician. In politics, as I said above, the goal isn’t to find people who love you. It’s to find people who will do what you want, regardless of their motivation. I wanted DADT repealed, and I wanted marriage equality to be the law of the law. It didn’t matter to me WHY Congress repealed one or why the Supreme Court legalized the other. All I cared about is wining, and we did.

CNN’s Toobin: “There may well be obstruction of justice, absolutely”

Wed, 2017-06-07 16:30

CNN’s Jake Tapper asked the network’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin if there was any crime committed when Donald Trump told then- FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Toobin’s response: “There may well be obstruction of justice, absolutely.”

Toobin’s comments came in response to Comey’s written testimony released today, in anticipation of his appearance before the US Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow (Thursday June 8). In his testimony, Comey repeated his claim that Trump asked him to drop the investigation of Flynn.

Here is a snippet of Comey’s written testimony:

The President then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying, “He is a good guy and has been through a lot.” He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” I replied only that “he is a good guy.” (In fact, I had a positive experience dealing with Mike Flynn when he was a colleague as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the beginning of my term at FBI.) I did not say I would “let this go.”

And here’s Jeffrey Toobin on the obstruction of justice charge:

CNN’s @JeffreyToobin: “There may well be obstruction of justice, absolutely” – https://t.co/9GqBh0IBwJ pic.twitter.com/H2UUZ8px6v

— John Aravosis (@aravosis) June 7, 2017


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NSA chief Rogers & DNI Coats stonewall Senate Intel hearing on Trump

Wed, 2017-06-07 11:35

National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats are testifying before the US Senate Intelligence Committee today about Donald Trump’s efforts to influence the FBI’s Russia probe.

In their testimony, Rogers and Coats are doing an awfully good job of not answering the Senators’ questions — even the GOP members who are trying to get Trump off the hook.

Senators are trying to find out what Donald Trump asked Rogers and Coats about the Russia probe. Specifically, Trump reportedly asked both men to publicly deny that there was evidence showing the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, and Coats was further asked to ask the FBI to drop its probe of Michael Flynn.

When asked about this today, Rogers responded that he never felt “pressured” by Trump, and that he doesn’t believe he was ever asked to do anything “illegal.” Which wasn’t the question. The question is “what did Trump ask you to do,” not “did you feel pressured or did you feel it was illegal.”

When Rogers was pressed on what Trump actually asked him to do, Rogers responded that he’d already answered the question, which he hadn’t.

Coats and Rogers gave the same non-responsive answer when asked what Trump asked them to do with regards to Russia investigation. pic.twitter.com/BPpre09Zjr

— John Aravosis (@aravosis) June 7, 2017

Coats gave the same non-answer, nearly verbatim, which makes one wonder whether they were coached and/or colluded on their testimony.

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That face when… you’re listening to Sean Spicer peddle BS from the White House podium

Tue, 2017-06-06 16:34

This is great, from Vice News.

Here are a few of the faces they captures, with the video following.

 

TFW you’re listening to Sean Spicer pic.twitter.com/pSKuxDA6kv

— VICE News (@vicenews) June 3, 2017

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Trump lied about $110bn Saudi arms deal — it doesn’t exist

Tue, 2017-06-06 14:28

We learn this morning that Donald Trump lied about the alleged $110 billion arms deal he claims to have inked during his visit to Saudi Arabia.

The deal doesn’t exist.

Or, as Brookings’ Bruce Riedel, who uncovered the ruse, put it: “The $100 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia is fake news.”

Not only did Riedel discover that there is no arms deal — and that many of the agreements Trump claimed credit for actually happened during the Obama administration — he also found that Saudi Arabia probably doesn’t have the money to pay for a deal of such a size.

Much of what Trump calls a “deal” are letters of interest and letters of intent, that have zero legal weight. They’re not contracts.

Trump curtsies to the Saudi King.

I’ve spoken to contacts in the defense business and on the Hill, and all of them say the same thing: There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts. Many are offers that the defense industry thinks the Saudis will be interested in someday. So far nothing has been notified to the Senate for review. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the arms sales wing of the Pentagon, calls them “intended sales.” None of the deals identified so far are new, all began in the Obama administration….

Which leads Riedel to call this “fake news”:

What the Saudis and the administration did is put together a notional package of the Saudi wish list of possible deals and portray that as a deal. Even then the numbers don’t add up. It’s fake news.

And he notes, the Saudis couldn’t pay for this large a package anyway:

Moreover, it’s unlikely that the Saudis could pay for a $110 billion deal any longer, due to low oil prices and the two-plus years old war in Yemen. President Obama sold the kingdom $112 billion in weapons over eight years, most of which was a single, huge deal in 2012 negotiated by then-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates. To get that deal through Congressional approval, Gates also negotiated a deal with Israel to compensate the Israelis and preserve their qualitative edge over their Arab neighbors. With the fall in oil prices, the Saudis have struggled to meet their payments since.

This reminds me of during the transition, when Trump claimed credit for all of these “new jobs” that companies were allegedly bringing to America now that Trump had strong-armed them. Much of the media breathelessly reported on Trump’s “success,” only to find out later that most of it too was fake news (they were jobs created under Obama).

But Trump knows that an early lie lives longer than a late truth. Everyone hears about his “big deals”; few hear the follow-up debunking the lie once again. It argues, at the very least, that any of Trump’s future business deals or jobs numbers have to be reported as unproven, and possibly untrue based on past experience.

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Trump creates diplomatic row with UK by attacks on Muslim London Mayor

Mon, 2017-06-05 12:44

Donald Trump has created yet another diplomatic row with a key American ally. This time the United Kingdom.

For the second day in a row, Trump tweet-attacked Sadiq Khan, the Muslim mayor of London, for being soft on terror. And now the British Prime Minister has been forced to condemn Trump’s words.

First, what Khan actually said:

Next, what Trump yesterday claimed Khan said:

And here’s what Trump wrote today about Mayor Khan:

It should be noted that Mayor Khan is a Muslim. And that Trump’s son Donald Jr. (the angry one) launched a similar Twitter attack on Mayor Khan immediately following an earlier terror attack on London this past March:

And now, the Trumps have caused a diplomatic row with our top ally. British Prime Minister Theresa may was forced today to condemn Trump’s attacks on the mayor.

It’s bizarre that any American leader would weigh in to immediately criticize a top US ally in the wake of a terror attack. Imagine the UK calling George Bush “pathetic” on September 12, 2001. It’s unheard of because it’s unhinged.

We know Trump is an insecure uncurious narcissist. He is motivated, as David Brooks recently noted, by avenging himself. Policy is simply an extension of his bruised psyche. Trump pulled out of the Paris Accord because the French president shook his hand too hard, and now he’s causing a fracture with America’s #1 ally because the mayor of London is a Muslim.

Vladimir Putin certainly got his money’s worth.

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Trump tweet-attacks Muslim mayor of London for being soft on terror

Sun, 2017-06-04 12:09

On the heels of a series of terrorist attacks in London that left 7 dead and 48 wounded, Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning to attack the Muslim mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, for being soft on terror.

Particularly interesting is that Trump’s attack-tweet echoes a similar Twitter attack his son Don Jr. made against the mayor this past March, immediately following a previous attack.

It’s difficult to believe that the two Trumps are attacking the same mayor in the immediate aftermath of two terrorist attacks for the same alleged reason: because the mayor’s quotes allegedly show that he is soft on terror. It’s more plausible, in my mind, that this is happening because Mayor Khan is Muslim.

Here is Trump this morning:

Note Trump’s reference to being politically correct — that’s code for “Muslims.”

Here is Don Jr’s (the angry son) earlier attack on the mayor this past March:

In the earlier criticism, Trump Jr. took the mayor’s quote out of context. In fact, the mayor of London was explaining that citizens have to be ever-vigilant because terrorism has become a fact of life in the modern world. And the mayor’s is a fair point.

It’s unclear what set Trump Sr. off this morning, but considering the attack is the same one his son Don Jr. made two months ago, it’s hard not to believe they’re related in some way. It’s also hard not to believe that this ongoing Trump family attack on the mayor of London, calling him soft on terror, isn’t related to the mayor being Muslim.

Also disturbing, Trump’s emotional social media director, Dan Scavino Jr., also attacked the Mayor of London this morning on Twitter. Scavino wrote that Trump’s criticism of the mayor was payback for the mayor criticizing Trump 13 months ago during the campaign.

So Donald Trump is making terrorism policy, and ruining our relations with our number one ally, based on his personal pet peeves from the campaign.

Putting that aside, this is an idiotic and ill-conceived move by the Trump family. Twice now, the eponymous Donalds have attacked the Brits in the hours following a major terror attack on their country. This is not what normal human beings do, it is not what allies do. It is, however, consistent with Trump Sr.’s disastrous recent visit to NATO and the G7. Trump pretty much alienated everyone.

Our unpresidented disaster strikes again.

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Donald Trump’s Kathy Griffin is named Ted Nugent: Why is he still welcome in the White House?

Sat, 2017-06-03 15:28

Donald Trump has a Kathy Griffin: His name is Ted Nugent.

You’re by now likely familiar with the brouhaha earlier this week over comedian Kathy Griffin doing a photo shoot in which she posed with a bloody decapitated Donald Trump head.

People were understandably upset, myself included, and Griffin promptly and profusely apologized.

You know who hasn’t yet apologized for repeatedly calling for Hillary Clinton’s and President Obama’s death? Trump and Fox News bff Ted Nugent.

Kathy Griffin lost her CNN New Years Eve show as a result of the stunt, and has also had a number of bookings canceled. As for Ted Nugent, he hasn’t yet apologized. Instead, he’s been invited to the White House by Donald Trump, and is a frequent guest on Fox News.

Donald Trump and Ted Nugent in the Oval Office earlier this year.

And before anyone suggest that Griffin’s offense was more grave because she had props, Griffin is a comedian, Nugent is not. Griffin was telling a bad joke; Ted Nugent sounded deadly serious, and to this day sticks by his comments. If I were the Secret Service, I’d be far more worried about NRA poster-boy Ted Nugent’s apparently-serious repeated calls for the deaths of presidents and first ladies than I would a comedian making one dumb, albeit pretty horrid, joke, for which she apologized.

And what’s more, Nugent reiterated his hideous comments yesterday, once again calling for Hillary Clinton to be put to death. And he apparently meant it.

More Ted Nugent wisdom:

NRA board member Nugent: America might be better had South won the Civil War.
Ted Nugent likes to use the n-word.
Ted Nugent has called President Obama “a piece of sh*t.
Ted Nugent thinks Nancy Pelosi is “sub-human” and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a “brain-dead idiot.”
Ted Nugent has called Hillary Clinton the c-word, a b*tch and a wh*re.
And big surprise, NRA board member Ted Nugent has a problem with gays too.

So the question arises, why did Donald Trump invite Nugent to the White House? And why did White House press secretary Sean Spicer refuse to condemn Nugent this week when asked? And why hasn’t the Trump family have anything to say about Ted Nugent calling for Hillary Clinton’s death yesterday? They had no problem speaking out about Kathy Griffin, but suddenly Melania and Donald are silent when it comes to other political assassinations.

With the election of Donald Trump, AMERICAblog’s independent journalism and activism is more needed than ever.

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