Friday, November 24th, 2017

Pushing the buttons and ringing the bells that waken his Twitter army, Our Amazing President tweeted:

“Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!” — Donald Trump, via Twitter, 11-24-2017

Other Twitter users couldn’t help but have some fun with it:

“Right Said Fred called to say that I was PROBABLY too sexy for my shirt like last year, but I would have to do my little turn AND shake my tush on the catwalk. I said I’m a model and took a pass. Thanks anyway!” — Jonny Law, via Twitter, 11-25-2017

“Patton Oswalt called to say that he was going to tween that GET OUT was PROBABLY his favorite move of the year, but I would have to agree to get lunch with him and do a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!” — Jordan Peele, via Twitter, 11-24-2017

“Good Boy Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Dog of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway.” — Vanessa Ramos’ dog, via Twitter, 11-24-2017

“Sports Illustrated called and said I was probably going to be Sportsman of the Year, but it was going to take a long photo shoot and interview. I’m not proud of my recent perm and have a interpretive dance class at the interview time so I turned it down! No thanks SI!” — Noah Sydergaard, pitcher for the New York Mets, via Twitter, 11-25-2017

“The Republican National Committee called and said I was PROBABLY going to be their next Chairperson, but I would have to commit to supporting a ‘president’ who is a sexual predator and endorses pedophiles for the Senate. I said probably was no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!” — Charles Clymer, via Twitter, 11-25-2017

“The folks at @NASA called and said I was PROBABLY going to be the next resident of the International Space Station, but I would have to commit to supersonic flight training and wear a big round helmet. I said probably was no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!” — Joy Reid, via Twitter, 11-24-2017

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Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

“Steve Bannon … has declared … Trump is “manically focused” on fulfilling his campaign pledges … “The mainstream media ought to understand something: all those promises are going to be implemented” … The Guardian, 23 February 2017

Ehhh, really? All of them? He’s going to release his tax returns? He did promise to do that, many times. Trump also promised to sell his business, and he promised that he wasn’t going to take any vacations or spend all his time golfing the way his predecessor did, because there was too much work to do. He’s already broken that last one, and he doesn’t seem too keen on keeping the other two, either, so forgive me if I’m a little skeptical when you say shit like he’s “manically focused” on keeping all his campaign promises.

NDofPD Plus 34 | 9:12 pm CST
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34 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Evening Edition)

This has got to be the best story of the day:

“Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) invoked the 2011 shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) at a constituent event this week as a reason not to hold a public town hall. “Threats are nothing new to me and I have gotten my share as a felony judge. However, the House Sergeant at Arms advised us after former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot at a public appearance, that civilian attendees at Congressional public events stand the most chance of being harmed or killed.” The Hill, 23 February 2017

“Former Rep. Gabby Giffords is not going to put up with a cowardly Republican using her shooting to justify hiding from his constituents … “I was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning my offices were open to the public. Ron Barber – at my side that Saturday, who was shot multiple times, then elected to Congress in my stead – held town halls. It’s what the people deserve in a representative … To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls.” Daily Kos, 23 February 2017

Gabby Giffords makes my day just about every time she’s in the news.

That’s enough smiling, though. Back to more of “How stupid can legislators make themselves look?”

“Rep. Mike Burgess (R-Texas), a doctor who sits on a House health subcommittee, [said] a reduction in the number of people with health insurance coverage shouldn’t be viewed as a negative. “If the numbers drop, I would say that’s a good thing,” Burgess said, “because we’ve restored personal liberty in this country, and I’m always for that.” Burgess seemed to imply that there are people who hate the idea of having health insurance but were forced to buy it because otherwise IRS agents would be “chasing [them] down” under the current law.” Mother Jones, 23 February 2017

Trump’s imigration policy has removed the safeguards that prevented the deportation of military spouses while soldiers were deployed:

“In 2013, President Obama, at the express request of the Defense Department, created a program for military families to prevent the deportation of military spouses, parents and children … This week, this administration rescinded the Parole in Place program, harming thousands of military families across the country … It is unconscionable to reverse a policy that strengthens our military and our veterans. That the program was not even named in the memo demonstrates either a lack of awareness, or worse, a casual disregard of the effect that this will have on those most vulnerable members of our military.” The New York Times, 22 February 2017

Still no investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia …

“Seeking to avoid a full House vote on the so-called “resolution of inquiry” – a roll call that would be particularly embarrassing and divisive for the right – Republicans will send proposal [to force the disclosure of President Donald Trump’s potential ties with Russia and any possible business conflicts of interest] by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) to the House Judiciary Committee for a panel vote on Tuesday, two Democratic sources said. The GOP-controlled committee is expected to kill the resolution.” Politico, 22 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 34 | 8:45 pm CST
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34 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

“Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad – even before anything actually happened. SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others … By including rioting in racketeering laws, it actually permits police to arrest those who are planning events … The 17-13 party-line vote sends the bill to the House.” The Arizona Capitol Times, 22 February 2017

“Rep. Keith Kempenich introduced the North Dakota bill, which states that if a driver “unintentionally” causes injury or death to someone blocking traffic on a roadway, then the driver will not be liable for damages … In recent weeks legislatures in Minnesota, Indiana and Iowa have moved to add laws specifically targeting roadway blocking … in Minnesota … a Republican-led House committee passed a measure … that would allow local governments to sue criminally convicted protesters for law enforcement costs. … In Indiana, a lawmaker proposed a bill that would require officials to direct police to clear protesters from roadways by “any means necessary,” according to the Indianapolis Star. ” KTLA5, 26 January 2017

“House and Senate committees advanced bill that would make blocking highway traffic, airport access or public transit a gross misdemeanor, which requires jail time. Rep. Nick Zerwas, R-Elk River, who’s sponsoring the House bill, said some people wrongly believe that they have a right to shut down freeways. “If you block a freeway, you should go to jail,” he said.” Minnesota Public Radio, 22 February 2017

“Senate Bill 285, authored by Sen. James Tomes (R-Wadesville), would have required law enforcement to be dispatched within 15 minutes of a report of 10 or more protesters unlawfully blocking traffic. Those police would be required to “use any means necessary” to move those protesters out of the road. But lawmakers expressed serious concerns and amended the bill, striking “any means necessary” – virtually rewriting the bill. The new version creates an infraction for “mass traffic obstruction” and allows state police to help local law enforcement enforce it.” Indiana Public Media, 22 February 2017

“People who intentionally block traffic on Iowa highways could be charged with a felony punishable by up to five years in prison under an Iowa Senate bill co-sponsored by nine Republican lawmakers. Senate File 111 has been introduced in response to an incident in November when more than 100 protesters blocked Interstate Highway 80 in Iowa City, said Sen. Jake Chapman, R-Adel, the bill’s lead sponsor … Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, plans to introduce his own version of the legislation in the House [which focuses] on those who organize protests intended to shut down highways.” The Des Moines Register, 23 January 2017

 

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

33 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

“A federal civilian hiring freeze ordered by President Donald Trump has forced at least two Army bases to indefinitely suspend some child care programs. Officials at Fort Knox, Kentucky, notified families Feb. 17 of the suspension to the on-base part-day child development center (CDC) programs, its hourly care program and the enrollment of new families into the CDC. “We are prevented from bringing new caregivers on board but are still having our usual staff turnover and illnesses, which creates challenges to maintaining ratios and providing quality childcare,” the Fort Knox letter states. Officials at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, Germany, announced that all part-day programs will be suspended in a letter dated Feb. 22 but circulated Tuesday. Part-day programs at Wiesbaden will be suspended starting March 1, that letter states. That letter does not address hourly care or other CDC enrollment. “The closure is a result of staff shortage due to the federal hiring freeze,” says the letter, signed by Wiesbaden garrison commander Col. Todd Fish.” Military.com, 21 February 2017

“President Donald Trump’s sweeping crackdown on immigrants in the country illegally will strain an already tight U.S. job market, with one study suggesting that removing all of them would cost the economy as much as $5 trillion over 10 years. That represents the contribution of the millions of unauthorized workers to the world’s largest economy, about 3 percent of private-sector gross domestic product, according to a recent paper issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research. There were about 8 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally working or looking for work in 2014, with California, Texas and New York accounting for the largest share of the workforce, according to Pew Research Center estimates. Most of them are likely to be of working age, which makes them about 5 percent of the U.S. labor force and 3.5 percent of the total U.S. population. The Chicago Tribune, 22 February 2017

“Buried deep in the Trump administration’s plans to round up undocumented immigrants is a provision certain to enrage Mexico — new authority for federal agents to deport anyone caught crossing the southern border to Mexico, regardless of where they are from. If present immigration trends continue, that could mean the United States would push hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Brazilians, Ecuadorans, even Haitians into Mexico. Currently, such people are detained in the U.S. and allowed to request asylum. President Trump wants them to do so from Mexico, communicating via videoconference calls with U.S. immigration officials from facilities that Mexico would presumably be forced to build.” Pro Publica, 20 February 2017

“President Trump could issue new guidelines as early as Wednesday to rescind anti-discrimination protections for transgender students, overruling his education secretary who had pushed to keep them in place. “I would expect further guidance to come out on that today,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said, declining to provide specifics. Mr. Trump, he added, is “a firm believer in states’ rights.” Mr. Spicer declined to discuss details of a rift on the issue between Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, and Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, who was adamant that the administration move quickly to reverse an order from the Obama administration that allowed transgender students to use the restroom of their gender identity. The New York Times, 22 Feb 2017

“A bill in the Iowa Senate seeks to achieve greater political diversity among professors at the state’s Board of Regents universities. Senate File 288 would institute a hiring freeze until the number of registered Republicans and Democrats on the university faculty fall within 10 percent of each other. “I’m under the understanding that right now they can hire people because of diversity,” said the bill’s author, Sen. Mark Chelgren, R-Ottumwa. “(Students) should be able to go to their professors, ask opinions, and they should know publicly whether that professor is a Republican or Democrat.” The Des Moines Register, 20 February 2017

“The Trump administration on Wednesday revoked federal protections for transgender students who sought the right to use the public school restrooms that match their gender identity, taking a stand on a contentious issue that has become the central battle over LGBT rights. Officials with the federal Education and Justice departments notified the U.S. Supreme Court late Wednesday that the administration is ordering the nation’s schools to disregard memos the Obama administration issued during the past two years regarding transgender student rights. … gay and transgender rights advocates … accused President Trump of violating past promises to support gay and transgender protections. “Attacking our children … is no way to say you support and respect LGBTQ people,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.” The Washington Post, 22 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 33 | 7:34 pm CST
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Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

32 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

“We will follow two simple rules: BUY AMERICAN & HIRE AMERICAN!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 20 January 2017

“The Trump Winery, also known as Trump Vineyard Estates, LLC, is asking to bring in 23 workers this spring to plant and harvest grapes. The workers are being sought under the federal H-2 visa program, which permits American employers to hire foreign laborers under temporary work visas as long as no qualified US workers want the jobs.” Buzzfeed, 16 Feb 2017

“Trump has vowed repeatedly to clamp down on immigration and make jobs available for Americans. But Trump’s various businesses have been granted approval to hire at least 1,256 foreign guest workers over the last 15 years …

“Most of the requests for foreign workers were for the Mar-a-Lago Club … In the past 10 years, 849 foreign guest workers were approved to work at the resort, mostly as servers, cooks, housekeepers or similar positions.

“Trump has said publicly that he has turned to foreign workers when his businesses cannot find Americans to take the jobs he is looking to fill. “You cannot get help during the season. The season goes from like October to March. It’s almost impossible to get help,” Trump said during the campaign, when asked why Mar-a-Lago hired foreign guest workers. “And part of the reason you can’t get American people is they want full time jobs.”

“Records show Mar-a-Lago appears to have done the bare minimum required by law to advertise the jobs to U.S. workers … [they] did not place advertisements in the area’s largest newspaper. Instead, ads were placed in a local paper with a small circulation. Additionally, the ads were routinely posted for just two days, the minimum required by law.CNN, 22 December 2016

“Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has signed sweeping new guidelines that empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the United States and at the border. In a pair of memos, Kelly offered more detail on plans for the agency to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speed up deportation hearings and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests. The new directives would supersede nearly all of those issued under previous administrations … aimed at focusing deportations exclusively on hardened criminals and those with terrorist ties.” The Washington Post, 21 Feb 2017

“President Trump denounced anti-Semitism Tuesday after coming under pressure to address an uptick in incidents targeting Jewish institutions across the U.S. “Anti-Semitism is horrible and it’s going to stop and it has to stop,” Trump told MSNBC during a tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.” The Hill, 21 Feb 2017

“This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms,” Trump said Tuesday, delivering brief remarks after visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture for the first time. “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.” Politico, 21 Feb 17

“The most egregious claim Spicer made – a claim he made over the weekend, too – is that Trump has been “very forceful with his denunciations” and that “no matter how many times he talks about this that it’s never good enough.” … Rarely did [Trump] explicitly condemn racist or anti-Semitic behavior, choosing instead to defend himself or distance himself from those acts. … the first main problem for Trump [is]: He has consistently been squishy about replying to questions about racism and anti-Semitism. … The second problem? Many of his policy proposals – on immigration, for example – overlap with the stated aims of racist groups, and the rationalizations for those proposals often use language that reinforces negative or erroneous claims about minority groups.” The Washington Post, 21 Feb 2017

“On Monday, the Anti-Defamation League reported a wave of bomb threats directed against Jewish Community Centers in multiple states, the fourth series of such threats this year. More than 170 Jewish gravestones were toppled at a cemetery in Missouri over the weekend. Calls for Trump to condemn the violence had been growing. … Trump was offered an opportunity to condemn the rising violence at a new conference Thursday. In response to an invitation by a reporter to do so, Trump called the question “insulting” … Earlier in the week … Trump was asked about rising anti-Semitic violence across the country and started his answer by talking about the size of his electoral college victory in the fall. Trump said he wants to heal “a divided nation,” but did not explicitly condemn the spate of violence.” The Washington Post, 21 Feb 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 32 | 7:47 pm CST
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Monday, February 20th, 2017

31 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

“[I]t costs $500,000 per day for nearly 200 police officers to protect Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, which houses the Trump family business headquarters and serves as the home of the first lady, Melania Trump, and the couple’s son, Barron … the cost could rise to as much as $183m annually … officials in Palm Beach said the cost of hosting the president at his Mar-a-Lago estate amounted to $60,000 a day for police overtime … Lantana, the small airport near Mar-a-Lago, is closed for business during the president’s trips. A banner-flying company operating from there told the Chicago Tribune it has lost more than $40,000 in contracts.” The Guardian, 20 February 2017

“On Friday, President Trump and his entourage will jet for the third straight weekend to a working getaway at his oceanfront Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla. On Saturday, Trump’s sons Eric and Don Jr., with their Secret Service details in tow, will be nearly 8,000 miles away in the United Arab Emirates, attending the grand opening of a Trump-brand golf resort in the “Beverly Hills of Dubai.” Meanwhile, New York police will keep watch outside Trump Tower in Manhattan, the chosen home of first lady Melania Trump and son Barron. And the tiny township of Bedminster, N.J., is preparing for the daunting prospect that the local Trump golf course will serve as a sort of northern White House for as many as 10 weekends a year … [T]he unusually elaborate lifestyle of America’s new first family is straining the Secret Service and security officials, stirring financial and logistical concerns in several local communities, and costing far beyond what has been typical for past presidents. … Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said Trump’s 25 days in the county since the election have cost local taxpayers about $60,000 a day in overtime police payments. Local officials said the U.S. Coast Guard has run round-the-clock shoreline patrols alongside Mar-a-Lago when the president is in town. A Coast Guard spokesman declined to share costs or specifics, citing security concerns.”The Washington Post, 16 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 31 | 7:54 pm CST
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Sunday, February 19th, 2017

30 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Morning Edition)

“Jeffrey Medford, a small-business owner in South Carolina, voted reluctantly for Donald Trump … Mr. Medford should be a natural ally for liberals trying to convince the country that Mr. Trump was a bad choice. But it is not working out that way. Every time Mr. Medford dips into the political debate – either with strangers on Facebook or friends in New York and Los Angeles – he comes away feeling battered by contempt and an attitude of moral superiority. “We’re backed into a corner,” said Mr. Medford, 46, whose business teaches people to be filmmakers. “There are at least some things about Trump I find to be defensible. But they are saying: ‘Agree with us 100 percent or you are morally bankrupt. You’re an idiot if you support any part of Trump.’ ” He added: “I didn’t choose a side. They put me on one.” The New York Times, 19 February 2017

What the hell is wrong with this guy? Is he totally spineless? Has he got no self-determination at all? Nobody put him on a side. Nobody put me on a side. If he’s on a side, if I’m on a side, it’s because we chose to be there. We may have made the wrong choice, but for Christ’s sake, own it. Own up to your beliefs. Stand on your principles. Don’t whine about how the mean old liberals or conservatives or whoever made you do it.

“The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is pursuing at least three separate probes relating to alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential elections … The FBI’s Pittsburgh field office, which runs many cyber security investigations, is trying to identify the people behind breaches of the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems … Those breaches, in 2015 and the first half of 2016, exposed the internal communications of party officials as the Democratic nominating convention got underway and helped undermine support for Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile the bureau’s San Francisco office is trying to identify the people who called themselves “Guccifer 2” and posted emails stolen from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s account … Those emails contained details about fundraising by the Clinton Foundation and other topics. Beyond the two FBI field offices, FBI counterintelligence agents based in Washington are pursuing leads from informants and foreign communications intercepts.” Reuters, 18 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 30 | 8:56 am CST
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Saturday, February 18th, 2017

29 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Extra!)

“At Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Florida, Trump addressed a hangar packed with supporters in an event organized not by the White House but by Trump’s own campaign committee. “I’m here because I want to be among my friends and among the people,” Trump told the enthusiastic crowd before running through a long list of campaign promises and what he said were his administration’s early accomplishments.” National Public Radio, 18 February 2017

“Trump used [Air Force One] to stage a dramatic arrival at a hangar filled with 9,000 of his supporters. For 45 minutes, Trump basked in the glow of the love of those who still believe in him and who interrupted him with adoring applause nearly 100 times. He reiterated his campaign promises, bragged about things he has already done, blamed Obama for leaving him with “a mess like you wouldn’t believe,” denounced the “fake news” media, pulled a fan onto the stage, referenced a terrorist attack in Sweden the night before that didn’t happen, and compared himself to Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln.” The Washington Post, 18 February 2017

“Swedes reacted with confusion, anger and ridicule on Sunday to a vague remark by President Trump that suggested that something terrible had occurred in their country. During a campaign-style rally on Saturday in Florida, Mr. Trump issued a sharp if discursive attack on refugee policies in Europe, ticking off a list of places that have been hit by terrorists. “You look at what’s happening,” he told his supporters. “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?” Nothing particularly nefarious happened in Sweden on Friday – or Saturday, for that matter – and Swedes were left baffled.” The New York Times, 19 February 2017

Video and full transcript of Trump’s speech, via Vox.com

 

NDofpD Plus 29 | 11:59 pm CST
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29 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Morning Edition)

“[A] conversation between Milo Yiannopoulos, the incendiary right-wing author and lecturer, and Bill Maher, the comedian and host of HBO’s “Real Time,” on that program Friday night was a largely docile, chummy affair. There was little conflict or cross-examination, as both men chided the political left for avoiding or drowning out Mr. Yiannopoulos’s views rather than engaging with them. Describing himself as “a virtuous troll,” Mr. Yiannopolous said, “I hurt people for a reason.” The New York Times, 18 February 2017

“After being asked by [Bill] Maher why he singled out a transgender student for ridicule during a recent speech at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, [Milo] Yiannopoulos intentionally referred to the former student as a “he” (she is a she), saying, “He had already left the university. And I make no apologies for protecting women and children from men who are confused about their sexual identity … I did it on purpose … I think women and girls should be protected from having men who are confused about their sexual identities from their bathrooms.” [Larry] Wilmore stepped up to the plate. “I just think it’s sad, because the same arguments that were used against gay people, treating them like aliens who wanted to fuck anything that moved and that’s why we should avoid them at all costs, are being used [against the trans community].” The Daily Beast, 18 Feburary 2017

“Milo Yiannopoulos … spoke at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he … used his platform to mock a transgender student, displaying her name and photo prominently … “He got into the women’s room the way liberals always operate, using the government and the courts to weasel their way where they don’t belong … I have known some passing trannies in my life. Trannies – you’re not allowed to say that. I’ve known some passing trannies, which is to say transgender people who pass as the gender they would like to be considered.” He then referred to the photo, which was still onscreen, and said, “Well, no. The way that you know he’s failing is I’d almost still bang him.” New York Magazine, 15 December 2016

 

NDofPD Plus 29 | 11:59 pm CST
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Friday, February 17th, 2017

28 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Extra!)

“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Donald Trump, 17 February 2017

“It’s not normally news when language shifts meanings – when the definitions of words like “decimate” or “literally” start to soften. Few (aside from copy editors and dictionary publishers) would call it a crisis. But with fake news there are serious potential problems … problems that go even beyond disputes over what is fact and what is fiction. The shifting definition of fake news may be a sign of a broader gap between right and left. In July, author George Saunders painted a picture of that gap:

“Intellectually and emotionally weakened by years of steadily degraded public discourse, we are now two separate ideological countries, LeftLand and RightLand, speaking different languages, the lines between us down. Not only do our two subcountries reason differently; they draw upon non-intersecting data sets and access entirely different mythological systems.”

National Public Radio, 18 February 2017

“[T]he notion of the news media as an enemy of the public – especially when voiced by a sitting president – went a step beyond Mr. Trump’s usual rhetorical turns. The New York Times, 17 February 2017

“Although Trump has long colorfully criticized news coverage and sparred with reporters who question him, he had not yet labeled the fourth estate as being an enemy of the country. The Washington Post, 17 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 28 | 10:36 pm CST
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28 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Evening Edition)

“When President Trump called on [Jake Turx] at a news conference on Thursday, saying he was looking for a “friendly reporter,” Mr. Turx was prepared. He had spent an hour crafting a question about a recent surge of anti-Semitism, with a preamble that he hoped would convey his supportive disposition toward Mr. Trump. But the exchange did not go the way he expected. A few hours later, with the clip replaying on social media and Jewish groups issuing news releases, Mr. Turx, 30, was still reeling. His editor, Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter, watched aghast from the magazine’s offices as his young correspondent received a tongue-lashing from the president: “It was a very disheartening moment for us, to watch him being berated.” The New York Times, 17 February 2017

“The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border … The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana. Governors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general. The memo is addressed to the then-acting heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It would serve as guidance to implement the wide-ranging executive order on immigration and border security that President Donald Trump signed Jan. 25. Such memos are routinely issued to supplement executive orders. Also dated Jan. 25, the draft memo says participating troops would be authorized “to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States.” The draft memo also mentions other items included in Trump’s executive order, including the hiring of an additional 5,000 border agents, which needs financing from Congress, and his campaign promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. The signed [executive] order contained no mention of the possible use of state National Guard troops.” The Associated Press, 17 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 28 | 10:02 pm CST
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28 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Morning Edition)

“Robert S. Harward, the retired vice admiral and former Navy SEAL who was President Trump’s top choice to replace his ousted national security adviser, on Thursday turned down the post in the latest setback for a White House already in turmoil. Mr. Harward had harbored strong reservations from the beginning about taking the post because of Mr. Trump’s unpredictable style and the level of chaos that has engulfed his White House.” The New York Times, 16 February 2017

“A friend of Harward’s said he was reluctant to take the job because the White House seems so chaotic. Harward called the offer a “s*** sandwich,” the friend said.” CNN, 16 February 2017

“Well, I guess one of the reasons I’m here today is to tell you the whole Russian thing, that’s a ruse. That’s a ruse. And by the way, it would be great if we could get along with Russia, just so you understand that. Now tomorrow, you’ll say “Donald Trump wants to get along with Russia, this is terrible.” It’s not terrible. It’s good. We had Hillary Clinton try and do a reset. We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 percent of the uranium in our country. You know what uranium is, right? This thing called nuclear weapons? Like, lots of things are done with uranium, including some bad things. Nobody talks about that. I didn’t do anything for Russia. I’ve done nothing for Russia. Hillary Clinton gave them 20 percent of our uranium. Hillary Clinton did a reset, remember? With the stupid plastic button that made us all look like a bunch of jerks. Here, take a look. He looked at her like, what the hell is she doing with that cheap plastic button? Hillary Clinton, that was the reset, remember it said reset? Now if I do that, ooo, I’m a bad guy.” — Donald Trump, 16 February 2017

 

NDof PD Plus 28 | 5:46 am CST
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Thursday, February 16th, 2017

27 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

“U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter.” The Wall Street Journal, 16 February 2017

“Trump has in fact been receiving what’s known as the President’s Daily Brief, [which] does not routinely include raw data or discussion of sources and methods … former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn wanted to pull together overnight intelligence reporting, including raw data, for the president to review, and this may explain the reported roadblocks.” Fox News, 16 February 2017

“China has awarded Donald Trump a 10-year trademark for construction services in his own name, a decade after the businessman began his attempts to have the measure approved. It is thought to be the first trademark awarded to Mr Trump’s real-estate business since he was elected. It comes days after the US President said he would stick to the country’s “One China” policy, ending weeks of speculation he could break four decades of foreign policy by addressing Taiwan directly rather than as part of “One China”. Mr Trump previously stirred up diplomatic concerns after he arranged a phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen shortly after the 2016 election. The call was the first by a US president-elect or president since Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979. Following the phone call, China lodged a protest with US officials. Mr Trump won the legal dispute over the right to use his name in China shortly after he was elected US President.” The Independent, 16 February 2017

“[F]or 77 minutes, the president offered the verbal equivalent of the brash and impetuous early-morning tweets that have become the alarm clock for much of Washington. He took aim at everything from the recent controversies over Russia, which he dismissed, to the “criminal leaks” within the intelligence community. Although he inherited a growing economy, low inflation and low unemployment, he repeatedly portrayed a country in shambles under President Barack Obama.” The Washington Post, 16 February 2017

18 WTF Moments From Trump’s Unhinged Press Conference That time he explained uranium:
“We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 percent of the uranium in our country. You know what uranium is, right? This thing called nuclear weapons, and other things. Like, lots of things are done with uranium, including some bad things. Nobody talks about that.” The Rolling Stone, 16 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 27 | 9:43 pm CST
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Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

26 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Evening Edition)

Before we get on to the stuff that happened today, I feel I just have to backtrack to a story that apparently broke last weekend and I somehow missed it:

“I understand that they [women] feel like that is their body,” [Oklahoma] State Rep. Justin Humphrey said, referencing women. “I feel like it is a separate – what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant. So that’s where I’m at. I’m like, hey, your body is your body, and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.” NewsOK, 13 February 2017

He’s using the word “host” in the same way biologists use it when talking about parasites like wasps and worms, right? Not the best choice, if you ask me. Makes me wonder what kind of a man thinks that pregnancy is something that happens to women, willingly or unwillingly, rather that something men and women do together?

Now, on to the shitshow!

“Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election … American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee … The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election … the intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials, and included other associates of Mr. Trump. On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the government outside of the intelligence services …” The New York Times, 14 February 2017

“Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, echoing his boss in Washington, warned on Wednesday that the amount of American support for NATO could depend on whether other countries meet their own spending commitments. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do,” Mr. Mattis said in his first speech to NATO allies since becoming defense secretary. “I owe it to you to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States and to state the fair demand from my country’s people in concrete terms.” “America will meet its responsibilities,” he said, but he made clear that American support had its limits.” The New York Times, 15 February 2017

“Two days after Trump’s [electoral] victory, Russia’s deputy foreign minister told a reporter in Moscow that “there were contacts” between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. “Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage,” he said. That prompted a vigorous denial from Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who insisted there had been “no contact with Russian officials.” The Washington Post, 15 February 2017

“Join me in Florida this Saturday at 5pm for a rally at the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport! Tickets: http://bit.ly/2lQarqaFLORIDA” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 15 February 2017

“Trump is hosting his first rally of the 2020 campaign just 29 days into his presidency. The idea of a “permanent campaign” has been floating around American political circles since 1980, when Sidney Blumenthal used it as the title for a book. Yet Trump’s choice to hold a campaign rally less than a month into his presidency breaks new ground. Where his predecessors practiced electoral politics between cycles, none was willing to do so as baldly, as quickly, as Trump. Trump … is planning a straightforward campaign-style rally on Saturday. It’s at an airport, in a swing state, and it’s being advertised through his campaign website. His press secretary even called it a campaign event. Making the event a campaign event rather than a speech … means that … it might also grant Trump more leeway to make straightforwardly political arguments and attacks that it might be unseemly for a president to make at an official event – though Trump has shown such little regard for those unwritten rules that it’s hard to imagine he could be significantly more strident.” The Atlantic, 15 February 2017

“It’s now official: President Donald Trump is planning a rally Saturday evening at Orlando Melbourne International Airport. Free tickets for the event, scheduled for 5 p.m., can be obtained by going to Trump’s website. Doors are scheduled to open at 3 p.m. The White House [said]that Trump’s plane would be stopping at the Melbourne airport on Saturday as he made his way down to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, the third visit in as many weeks to what the Trump administration calls the “Winter White House.” the Orlando Sentinel, 15 February 2017

“The fast food executive Andrew F. Puzder withdrew his nomination to be President Trump’s labor secretary on Wednesday amid growing doubts among Republican senators that he can be confirmed. The chief executive of the CKE Restaurants fast-food chain, owner of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., had come under intense fire from Democrats and liberal groups who accused him of mistreating his workers, opposing the minimum wage and supporting automation in the workplace. The attacks on his policy views were compounded by intense scrutiny of his personal life, including allegations that he abused his ex-wife in the 1980s.” The New York Times, 15 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 26 | 6:51 pm CST
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26 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Morning Edition)

This is possibly the saddest, most desperate message Trump has tweeted since his inauguration:

“This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 4:08 am, February 15 2017

I mean, talk about grasping at straws. Like anybody gives a shit about Clinton’s campaign besides Trump. There’s something soothing about the oddly old-fashioned use of hypens, though, so thanks for that.

Then Trump goes and pretty much confirms that the press has been printing intelligence from the same reports he’s been briefed on:

“Information is being illegally given to the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost by the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?).Just like Russia” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 4:19 am 15 February 2017

“U.S. immigration authorities have detained a 23-year-old Mexican man who was brought to the United States illegally as a child and given a work permit during the Obama administration … The man’s lawyers say this could be the first time under U.S. President Donald Trump that a person covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has been taken into immigration custody. The program was established in 2012 by Democratic President Barack Obama to allow those brought to the country while young to attend school and work.” Reuters, 15 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 26 | 5:47 am CST
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Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

25 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Evening Edition)

“Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile despite complaints from American officials that it violates a landmark arms control treaty that helped seal the end of the Cold War … The ground-launched cruise missile … is one that … had been tested in violation of a 1987 treaty that bans American and Russian intermediate-range missiles based on land … the Russians now have two battalions of the prohibited cruise missile. One is still located at Russia’s missile test site at Kapustin Yar in the country’s southeast. The other was shifted in December from that test site to an operational base elsewhere in the country.” The New York Times, 14 February 2017

“[A]cting attorney general [Sally Yates] informed the Trump White House late last month that she believed Michael Flynn had misled senior administration officials about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and warned that the national security adviser was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail … The message … was prompted by concerns that Flynn, when asked about his calls and texts with the Russian diplomat, had told Vice President-elect Mike Pence and others that he had not discussed the Obama administration sanctions on Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. James R. Clapper Jr., who was the director of national intelligence, and John Brennan, the CIA director at the time, shared Yates’s concerns and concurred with her recommendation to inform the Trump White House. They feared that “Flynn had put himself in a compromising position” and thought that Pence had a right to know that he had been misled.” The Washington Post, 14 February 2017

“The head of the Secret Service [Joseph P. Clancy], a retired presidential detail leader who was given the assignment of shoring up the agency in a period of crisis, is leaving his post, a little more than two years after arriving in one of Washington’s toughest jobs.” The Washington Post, 14 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 25 | 11:34 pm CST
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25 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Morning Edition)

“Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser removes an immediate political headache for the White House but will do little to dispel suspicions about his ties with Russia that now threaten to envelop President Donald Trump’s nascent administration. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee … warned that the controversy was far from over. “Flynn’s departure does not end questions over his contacts with the Russians, which have been alleged to have begun well before December 29,” Schiff said in a statement. “These alleged contacts and any others the Trump campaign may have had with the Kremlin are the subject of the House Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation … Moreover, the Trump Administration has yet to be forthcoming about who was aware of Flynn’s conversations with the Ambassador and whether he was acting on the instructions of the President or any other officials, or with their knowledge.” CNN, 14 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 25 | 6:41 am CST
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Monday, February 13th, 2017

24 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Evening Edition)

“President Trump and his top aides coordinated their response to North Korea’s missile test on Saturday night in full view of diners at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida – a remarkable, public display of presidential activity that is almost always conducted in highly secure settings. The scene … was captured by a club member dining not far away and published in pictures on his Facebook account … Shortly before Richard DeAgazio, a new member of Mr. Trump’s club, snapped the pictures, North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its eastern coast.

“HOLY MOLY !!! It was fascinating to watch the flurry of activity at dinner when the news came that North Korea had launched a missile in the direction of Japan,” Mr. DeAgazio wrote later on Facebook, describing how the two leaders “conferred and then went into another room for hastily arranged press conference … Wow…..the center of the action!!!” The New York Times 13 February 2017

“Richard DeAgazio … did the current president no favors with his fanboy posts from Mar-a-Lago this weekend in a public dining room as the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and the president of the United States scrambled to respond to a North Korean ballistic missile test. It was a remarkable display on Mr. Trump’s part of a lack of concern for prying eyes and security awareness. Mr. DeAgazio also posed with the service member who carries the nuclear launch codes for the president.” The New York Times, 13 February 2017

“[T]he photos appear to corroborate an important detail from the CNN report. “The patio was lit only with candles and moonlight, so aides used the camera lights on their phones to help the stone-faced Trump and Abe read through the documents,” Liptak writes. In DeAgazio’s first photo, you can see a phone flashlight being used in that way.

Why is this important? Mobile phones have flashlights, yes – and cameras, microphones and Internet connectivity. When Edward Snowden was meeting with reporters in Hong Kong at the moment he was leaking the material he’d stolen from the NSA, he famously asked that they place their phones in the refrigerator – blocking any radio signals in the event that the visitors’ phones had been hacked. This was considered the most secure way of ensuring that the phones couldn’t be used as wiretaps, even more secure than removing the battery. Phones – especially phones with their flashes turned on for improved visibility – are portable television satellite trucks and, if compromised, can be used to get a great deal of information about what’s happening nearby, unless precautions are taken.

“Precautions weren’t taken. One of DeAgazio’s photos shows Trump using a phone at the table, within view of other diners (and while sitting next to a foreign leader). It’s not clear what phone Trump is using in that picture, but it’s known that he uses a relatively old Android device, even while serving as president. As we noted last week, Trump generally uses that device when he’s not in the middle of a work day. Shortly before the dinner with Abe, he tweeted from it. The Washington Post 13 February 2017

“Trump and Abe turned their dinner table into an open-air situation room. Aides and translators surrounded the two leaders as other diners chatted and gawked around them, with staffers using the flashlights on their cellphones to illuminate documents on the darkened outdoor terrace.” The Washington Post, 13 February 2017

“Flynn’s possible talk of sanctions – and the fact that he likely misled Vice President Mike Pence about his talks – created a turbulent 72 hours for the White House, leading many to speculate that Trump’s national security adviser could be asked to leave three weeks into his tenure. But Kellyanne Conway, the counselor to the president, said that was not the case. “Gen. Flynn does enjoy the full confidence of the President,” Conway said on MSNBC. She later declined to detail how much the President knew about the issue and when he knew it, deeming those conversation private.” CNN, 13 February 2017

“Michael Flynn has … delivered his resignation to … President Donald Trump … Flynn resigned late Monday. At issue was Flynn’s contact with Moscow’s ambassador to the United States. Flynn and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak appear to have discussed U.S. sanctions late last year, raising questions about whether he was freelancing on foreign policy while President Barack Obama was still in office and whether he misled Trump officials about the calls.” The Associated Press, 13 February 2017

“Americans believe the world at large sees the U.S. more unfavorably (57%) than favorably (42%), their worst assessment of the country’s image in 10 years. A year ago, Americans’ perceptions were more positive than negative. Fewer than three in 10 Americans (29%) say leaders of other countries have respect for the new president, with 67% saying world leaders do not have much respect for him. Gallup, 10 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 24 | 12:01 am CST
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Sunday, February 12th, 2017

23 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Evening Edition)

“Miller also repeated the false claim that Trump underperformed in the general election because of “massive voter fraud.” Miller repeated claims Trump made privately to senators this past week that he narrowly lost the general election in New Hampshire because thousands of Massachusetts residents were bused into New Hampshire to vote illegally there. “I can tell you that this issue of busing voters into New Hampshire is widely known by anyone who’s worked in New Hampshire politics,” Miller said. “It’s very real. It’s very serious.”

Miller went on to say that there is “enormous evidence” of people being registered to vote in more than one state, of “dead people voting” and noncitizens being registered to vote. At that, Stephanopoulos intoned: “For the record, you have provided zero evidence that the president was the victim of massive voter fraud in New Hampshire. You provided zero evidence that the president’s claim that he would have won the popular vote if 3 million to 5 million illegal immigrants hadn’t voted — zero evidence for either one of those claims.” The Washington Post, 12 February 2017

“The reason voter fraud has become an issue in American politics is because there have been a slew of bills introduced (and often passed) at the state level alleging voter fraud that needed to be curtailed. That legislation generally makes it harder to vote, with the effects of that increased difficulty felt more among populations that tend to vote more heavily Democratic.” The Washington Post, 12 February 2017

“One of the great achievements of free society in a stable democracy is that many people, for much of the time, need not think about politics at all. The president of a free country may dominate the news cycle many days — but he is not omnipresent — and because we live under the rule of law, we can afford to turn the news off at times. A free society means being free of those who rule over you — to do the things you care about, your passions, your pastimes, your loves — to exult in that blessed space where politics doesn’t intervene. In that sense, it seems to me, we already live in a country with markedly less freedom than we did a month ago. It’s less like living in a democracy than being a child trapped in a house where there is an abusive and unpredictable father, who will brook no reason, respect no counter-argument, admit no error, and always, always up the ante until catastrophe inevitably strikes.” New York Magazine, 10 February 2017

“The United States has its very own Mad King to cope with, even if, by some measures, they elected him. In stabler times, questions about a politician’s sanity are either offensive, irrelevant or both – usually, when people say ‘that man is mad’, what they actually mean is ‘I don’t agree with him, and I don’t like him’. These are not stable times, however, and some brave souls are already starting to raise the mental health question we’ve all been dreading because we don’t want to hear the answer … The problem, however, is not that Donald Trump is mentally ill. The problem is that he is unstable, vengeful, sexually predatory, misogynistic, racist, unscrupulous, notionally in charge of the world’s most powerful country and, possibly and incidentally, mentally ill.” New Statesman, 11 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 23 | 9:06 pm CST
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23 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Morning Edition)

“This weekend, the president hosts the prime minister of Japan at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida resort. The president says he will pay the prime minister’s hotel bill to avoid profiting from the Japanese prime minister’s visit. But Kathleen Clark of Washington University in St. Louis says that by using his own resort, the president still profits. “Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago establishment is a commercial establishment, and he has a financial interest in promoting that business. [This is] free publicity … this is just yet another example that we don’t know whether he was motivated by his own financial interest or his concern about the American public.” National Public Radio, 10 February 2017

“The two world leaders and their wives headed straight to Mar-a-Lago, where they enjoyed a late dinner at the crowded patio restaurant. Joining them under a white-and-yellow striped canopy were Robert Kraft, the owner of the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots, and several interpreters. Paying members and their guests took in the scene and mingled with Trump and Abe into the night.

Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said Trump and Abe don’t need to meet at Trump’s commercial property, where the membership fee recently was doubled to $200,000. “Hosting a foreign leader at the president’s business resort creates impossible sets of conflicts,” Weissman said. “Fine, you want to go to a resort in Florida? Don’t go to one Trump’s family owns.” The Associated Press (via Global News), 11 February 2017

“On Saturday, as Trump and Abe spoke about North Korea, a wedding reception was in full swing in a building less than 100 yards away connected by a walkway and canopy.” The Washington Post, 12 February 2017

“On Wednesday, a Tarrant County, Tex., jury convicted 37-year-old Rosa Maria Ortega on two felony charges of illegal voting, for casting a ballot as a noncitizen in 2012 and 2014. Ortega is a green-card holder who was brought to the United States from Mexico when she was an infant, her attorney said.

Ortega was a registered Republican who had been voting for more than a decade … On her voter application, Ortega was faced with only two options – to mark herself as a ‘citizen’ or a ‘noncitizen’ … “She doesn’t know. She’s got this [green] card that says ‘resident’ on it, so she doesn’t mark that she’s not a citizen,” [defense attorney Clark] Birdsall said. “She had no ulterior motive beyond what she thought, mistakenly, was her civic duty.”

Birdsall said Ortega has voted in five elections since 2004, each time casting only a single ballot. Ortega voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election and then — somewhat ironically — for Ken Paxton for Texas attorney general in a 2014 Republican primary runoff. Paxton would go on to win and, less than three years later, deal the eight-year sentence to Ortega.” The Washington Post, 11 February 2017

“The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 3:34 am, 12 February 2017

“Republicans have gained power rapidly in the states since the 2008 presidential election, winning 33 governorships and in many instances entrenching themselves in power through legislative redistricting. Riding to office on a wave of discontent with the Obama administration, headstrong governors in states like Wisconsin and Ohio embarked on a ferocious quest to transform their states, repeatedly battling powerful unions and popular backlash. Sidelining Democratic lawmakers and grinding down liberal interest groups, these Republicans may have helped pave the way for Mr. Trump’s victories in a string of traditionally blue Midwestern states last year.

Acting fastest at the moment, though, are four states where Republicans won total control of the government only in November. In addition to Kentucky, Missouri and New Hampshire became one-party states with the election of Republican governors, and Republicans in Iowa snatched away the State Senate, where Democrats had held their last grip on power. In all four states … [t]he Republican agenda … goes well beyond limiting unions. Party leaders in Kentucky, New Hampshire and Missouri have signaled that they plan to expand school-choice and charter school programs and, in some instances, to pursue tort reform and to place new regulations on voting. Beleaguered Democrats see each policy as devised to undercut one of their core political constituencies: teachers, trial lawyers, minority voters or young people.” The New York Times, 12 February 2017

“Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban warned American CEOs to be careful in their dealings with President Trump in comments published Friday by The Star-Telegram, a newspaper in Fort Worth, Texas. “Do what you think is right,” Cuban said. “Be an American citizen first. In the bigger scheme of things, our country benefits from peaceful activism a lot more than it benefits from one more shoe being sold, or one more basketball ticket being sold, for that matter.” The Week, 12 February 2017

“I know Mark Cuban well. He backed me big-time but I wasn’t interested in taking all of his calls.He’s not smart enough to run for president!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 5:23 am

 

NDofPD Plus 23 | 7:38 am CST
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Saturday, February 11th, 2017

22 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Evening Edition)

“Thousands of people attended an annual civil rights march Saturday in Raleigh that in recent years has focused on fighting the conservative-leaning agenda in North Carolina state government. But Saturday’s 11th annual “Moral March on Raleigh” led by the state NAACP included speakers focused on opposition to actions by President Donald Trump, particularly on immigration.WRAL, 11 February 2017

“At times, the massive march wending its way from downtown Minneapolis to the University of Minnesota Saturday afternoon felt more like a parade than a protest. Among the 2,000 demonstrators were many children who toted homemade heart-shaped signs, grasped red balloons and handed out candy and flowers to immigrants they passed along the way. Calling itself the Caravan of Love, the crowd, which stretched out along several city blocks, turned out to express support for refugees who may be affected by President Donald Trump’s efforts to limit travel from seven nations with majority Muslim populations.” The Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11 February 2017

“Anti-abortion rights protesters gathered outside Planned Parenthood clinics across the country Saturday, in a series of rallies calling on politicians to end federal funding for the century-old organization. The activists planned to picket outside roughly 200 Planned Parenthood clinics — but at many of those locations, counterprotesters were there to meet them.” National Public Radio, 11 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 22 | 10:21 pm CST
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22 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Morning Edition)

“Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said that the thousands of protestors who swarmed his town hall on Thursday night were not actually from his state and were “paid” to protest, the Deseret News reported Friday.

Chaffetz told the paper that he was sure that the protesters, who chanted “shame!” and grilled him on investigating President Donald Trump, were Democrats and that they were trying to cause “chaos” because they don’t like Trump and are upset about the results of the 2016 election.

“You could see it online a couple days before, a concerted effort in part to just cause chaos,” he said, according to the Deseret News. “Democrats are in disbelief that they have nothing but flailing and screaming to deal with this.” Talking Points Memo, 10 February 2017

“I was there and interviewed many members of the audience. None I spoke with were paid, and all I met were from Utah.” Eric Bradner, CNN politics reporter, via Twitter, 11 February 2017

“US veterans are returning to Standing Rock and pledging to shield indigenous activists from attacks by a militarized police force, another sign that the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline is far from over.

Army veterans from across the country have arrived in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, or are currently en route after the news that Donald Trump’s administration has allowed the oil corporation to finish drilling across the Missouri river.

“We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force,” said Elizabeth Williams, a 34-year-old air force veteran, who arrived at Standing Rock with a group of vets late on Friday. “We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.” The Guardian, 11 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 22 | 12:47 pm CST
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Friday, February 10th, 2017

21 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Extra!)

“Immigration officials said Friday that they arrested more than 160 people – most of them with criminal histories – during an operation this week across Southern California. The arrests, which officials have described as routine and not part of a crackdown promised by President Trump, have sparked fear and anger in immigrant communities. “Many of the arrestees had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges and assault,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said in a statement. “The arrestees included nationals from a dozen countries. Ninety-five percent were male.” The arrests sparked a protest in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday evening.” The Los Angeles Times 10 February 2017

“U.S. immigration authorities launched a series of raids, traffic stops and checkpoints in at least half a dozen states across the country on Thursday and Friday, sweeping up an unknown number of undocumented immigrants, immigration lawyers and advocates said. The raids, which appeared to target scores of undocumented immigrants, including those without criminal records, mark the first largescale episode of immigration enforcement inside the United States since President Trump’s Jan. 26 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally.” The Washington Post 10 February 2017

“Federal immigration authorities launched a new wave of raids and other actions in several states over the past five days aimed at sweeping up people who are in this country illegally. It’s not known how many people were rounded up across the country, but immigration advocates say they’ve received reports of raids in California, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, New York and Kansas.

An official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, in southern California, David Marin, called the actions routine “surge operations” that target “priority cases,” in other words, people in this country illegally who have criminal convictions. “We made 161 arrests, and of those 161, 151 of those had prior criminal convictions. … The majority of them were felons and those felons which had prior convictions included sex offenses, domestic violence, assault, robbery and weapons violations, just to name a few,” said Marin in a press teleconference held late Friday.

Immigrant advocates dispute officials’ claims that the operations were routine. “What they’re trying to do is a really concerted effort to instill fear and terrorize our communities,” said David Abud, an organizer with the National Day Labor Organizing Network based in Los Angeles told NPR. “It’s a way in which Trump and ICE are retaliating against sanctuary jurisdictions,” he added.” National Public Radio, 10 February 2017

“As the reports spread on social media, so did the rumors. Police departments in Pomona and Los Angeles attempted to dispel false hearsay that their agencies were helping federal immigration officials with the arrests. “We want our community to know that The Pomona Police Department is not participating in any immigration checkpoints nor are we aware of any such checkpoints scheduled in the City of Pomona,” the statement read. “We encourage the community to always fact check to avoid ‘fake news’.” Los Angeles considers itself a sanctuary city where local police decline to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Bob Green told the Los Angels Times that the department would not assist in immigration sweeps, contrary to rumors. “There is information that is out there that is wrong,” Green said. “We are working hard with the immigrant communities to dispel fears.” The San Diego Union Tribune

“Jacqueline Rayos-Garcia, who goes by Jackie, is 14 and lives in Mesa, Arizona. She has a passion for school, particularly learning about biomedical sciences (you guessed it: she’s studying to be a doctor), and like many other people her age, she loves hanging out with her loved ones. But her family has been separated: On Wednesday, immigration authorities detained her mom, Guadalupe García de Rayos … By Thursday morning, [her mother] was deported to Mexico. Now, Jackie is vowing to bring her mom back home.” Teen Vogue, 10 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 21 | 9:32 pm CST
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21 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Evening Edition)

“On Thursday night, two Republican members of Congress – Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Diane Black of Tennessee – were each confronted with impassioned constituents during simultaneous events. The shouted questions, emotional pleas and raucous protesters of the evening crystalized the GOP’s tough political road ahead as it forges ahead with rolling back Obama’s accomplishments, including the Affordable Care Act.” CNN 10 Feburary 2017

“[Education Secretary Betsy] DeVos was prevented by protesters from entering a Washington public school on Friday morning. After the demonstrators blocked the staircase she was trying to use and shouted at her, DeVos returned to her car, escorted by an aide. She later used another school entrance and went about her work. DeVos, due to her support for school vouchers and her wealth (which she previously spread around to the senators who later confirmed her), has found herself singled out as someone the left will try to make life very difficult for going forward.” The Washington Post 10 February 2017

The top Federal Reserve official charged with financial regulation said on Friday that he would resign, just a week after the new administration of President Donald Trump said it would undertake a review of what it sees as onerous bank rules. Daniel Tarullo, who had served at the Fed since 2009 and helped shape its response to the 2008-2009 financial crisis, said in a letter to Trump on Friday he would leave the central bank “on or around April 5.” Both Tarullo and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen have said the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, introduced in the wake of the 2008 crisis should not be watered down, saying they had reduced the risks in the financial system.” Reuters, 10 February 2017

“Bilateral auto trade likely loomed large in Friday’s meeting here between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at a time of American demands for more domestic production to create jobs and narrow the trade deficit with Japan. The U.S. has pushed not only for Japanese automakers to expand American production, but also for the Japanese government to rework environmental regulations to lower barriers to sales of American vehicles there. A hard line by Washington would force Tokyo to take a more combative posture with such demands as immediate elimination of tariffs on Japanese autos. If the two sides cannot see eye to eye here, cooperation on other issues such as investment rules will become trickier.” Nikkei Asian Review 10 February 2017

“[A]t a press conference in the east room, Trump welcomed Abe to the “very famous White House” … Although he nodded along and seemed to be listening intently, Trump was not wearing a translation earpiece during Abe’s remarks. Asked if Trump had worn an earpiece, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House deputy press secretary, said: “I don’t believe during that time. But he did see the text and they spoke quite extensively before the remarks.” The Guardian, 10 February 2017

“On Thursday, during a meeting with 10 senators … the president … suggest[ed] again that he was a victim of widespread voter fraud … Trump began to talk about the election … triggered by the presence of former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who lost her reelection bid … The president claimed that he and Ayotte both would have been victorious in the Granite State if not for the “thousands” of people who were “brought in on buses” from neighboring Massachusetts to “illegally” vote in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton narrowly won New Hampshire’s four electoral votes over Trump by nearly 3,000 votes.” Politico, 10 February 2017

“When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets on Friday with U.S. President Donald Trump, Japan’s bulging automotive trade surplus will be a sore spot, but the path to balancing auto exports and imports will be no easier than it was in the 1980s. Many Japanese consumers, faced with congested cities, favor tiny domestically-made vehicles, called kei cars, which make up more than a third of the market. Priced from around 1.1 million yen, or about $9,800, these cars have engines most Americans would consider inadequate for a motorcycle. Even Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co cannot convince Japanese consumers to buy models that are popular in the United States. Small sport utility vehicles such as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda’s CR-V are seen by Japanese consumers as too big.” Reuters, 10 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 21 | 9:09 pm CST
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21 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Morning Edition)

“Weeks before President Trump’s inauguration, his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, discussed American sanctions against Russia, as well as areas of possible cooperation, with that country’s ambassador to the United States …

Throughout the discussions, the message Mr. Flynn conveyed to the ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak – that the Obama administration was Moscow’s adversary and that relations with Russia would change under Mr. Trump – was unambiguous and highly inappropriate …

The accounts of the conversations raise the prospect that Mr. Flynn violated a law against private citizens’ engaging in diplomacy, and directly contradict statements made by Trump advisers. They have said that Mr. Flynn spoke to Mr. Kislyak a few days after Christmas merely to arrange a phone call between President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Mr. Trump after the inauguration.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence … denied that Mr. Flynn had discussed sanctions with Mr. Kislyak. He said he had personally spoken to Mr. Flynn, who assured him that the conversation was an informal chat that began with Mr. Flynn extending Christmas wishes.

“They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia,” Mr. Pence said … The New York Times, 9 February 2017

Wonder how that investigation into Russian interference with the election is going?

NDofPD Plus 21 | 5:57 am CST
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Thursday, February 9th, 2017

20 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(Extra!)

“A federal appeals panel on Thursday unanimously rejected President Trump’s bid to reinstate his ban on travel from seven largely Muslim nations, a sweeping rebuke of the administration’s claim that the courts have no role to act as a check on the president.

“The three-judge panel, suggesting that the ban did not advance national security, said, for instance, that the administration had pointed to “no evidence” that anyone from the seven nations had committed terrorism in the United States.

“The ruling also rejected the administration’s claim that courts are powerless to review a president’s national security determinations. Judges have a crucial role to play in a constitutional democracy, said the decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco.

“It is beyond question,” the unsigned decision said, “that the federal judiciary retains the authority to adjudicate constitutional challenges to executive action.”The New York Times, 9 February 2017

“SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” Donald Trump, via Twitter

“We have been saying this for a while.” The American Civil Liberties Union, via Twitter, retweeting Trump’s “see you in court” posting

“WA state AG responds to Pres. Trump’s “SEE YOU IN COURT” tweet: “We have seen him in court twice, and we’re 2 for 2” CNN, via Twitter

 

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20 days after the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(late edition)

Ahhh, ethics schmethics:

“Go buy Ivanka’s stuff is what I would tell you,” Conway [said]. “I hate shopping but I’m gonna go get some myself today. It’s a wonderful line, I own some of it…I’m just going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.” Buzzfeed, 9 February 2017

You say Orlando, I say Atlanta:

“President Donald Trump’s press secretary says he meant to say Orlando when he repeatedly referenced a terror attack in Atlanta during interviews and a press briefing last week. Sean Spicer first referred to an Atlanta attack in an interview on Jan. 29 on ABC’s “This Week.” He also named the city in reference to a terror attack during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Jan. 30 and in a press briefing later that same day.” ABC News, 9 February 2017

Can I put you on hold for a moment? Thank you …

“In his first call as president with Russian leader Vladimir Putin … When Putin raised the possibility of extending the 2010 treaty, known as New START, Trump paused to ask his aides in an aside what the treaty was, these sources said. Trump then told Putin the treaty was one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration, saying that New START favored Russia.” Reuters, 9 February 2017

While we’ve got Putin on hold, why don’t we talk about this anymore?

“According to the consensus assessment of US intelligence agencies, Russian intelligence, under the orders of Vladimir Putin, mounted an extensive operation to influence the 2016 campaign to benefit Donald Trump … the key twin questions — what is Trump doing regarding the Russian hacking, and are Trump associates being investigated for interactions with Russia? — have not been regular items on the agenda during the White House briefings.” Mother Jones, 9 February 2017

It’s been almost three weeks now, but he’s still using that line, “there’s a new sheriff in town”:

“Declaring that a “a new era of justice begins,” President Donald Trump signed three executive orders on Thursday that he said were intended to reduce crime. Trump told reporters one of the orders would create a task force on reducing violent crime and that another would instruct the Department of Justice to implement a plan to stop crime against law enforcement officers.” The Baltimore Sun, 9 February 2017

And so, we finish with the guy with 5 deferments pissing on a combat veteran again:

“President Trump lashed out at Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday, saying that the senator’s negative assessment of a deadly raid in Yemen last month “emboldens the enemy!” The Washington Post, 9 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 20 | 9:05 pm CST
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20 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

(evening edition)

This was a dick move:

“On Wednesday, immigration agents arrested [Guadalupe García de Rayos], 35, and began procedures to send her back to Mexico, a country she has not seen since she left it 21 years ago. The Obama administration made a priority of deporting people who were deemed a threat to public or national safety, had ties to criminal gangs, or had committed serious felony offenses or a series of misdemeanor crimes. That all changed under Mr. Trump. Among the 18 executive orders that he has issued since taking office on Jan. 20 is one stipulating that undocumented immigrants convicted of any criminal offense – and even those who have not been charged but are believed to have committed “acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense” – have become a priority for deportation. Ms. Rayos might be the first undocumented immigrant to be arrested during a scheduled meeting with immigration officials since Mr. Trump took office. Thousands of others run a similar risk when they report for their regular immigration checks, in large part because federal agents are now free to decide who is and is not a threat to public safety.” The New York Times, 8 February 2017

“Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos … has been deported to her native Mexico … Carlos Garcia, director of immigration rights group Puente Arizona, told reporters that Garcia de Rayos had been deported to Nogales, Mexico. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Garcia de Rayos was detained “based on a removal order issued by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review which became final in May 2013.” CNN 9 February 2017

This wasn’t about the safety and security of our nation. This wasn’t about deporting criminals. This was about enforcing the letter of the law to the point of being the most officious prick anybody could possibly be. This was pure dickishness.

NDofPD Plus 20 | 8:56 pm CST
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20 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

When you wake up to a president with 5 draft deferments pissing on a senator for missing the Vietnam war:

“Sen.Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie),now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 3:57 am, 9 February 2017

“In other news, Trump got 5 draft deferments from Vietnam: 4 for college, one for bone spurs in his feet.” Jack Jenkins, photojournalist, via Twitter, 9 February 2017

A bit of background:

“Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s nominee to the supreme court, called the president’s tweet attacking the federal district court judge James Robart “disheartening and demoralizing”, his spokesman has confirmed. Gorsuch criticized Trump in a private meeting with Senator Richard Blumenthal on Wednesday.” The Guardian, 8 February 2017

 

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

19 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY Donald J. Trump called Senator Ted Cruz “a pussy.”

“Donald Trump echoed a supporter during a rally on the eve of the New Hampshire primary Monday night who called his Republican presidential rival Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) a “pussy.” “You know what she said? Shout it out, ’cause I don’t want to,” Trump continued. “OK, you’re not allowed to say – and I never expect to hear that from you again – she said … he’s a pussy.” The Hill 8 February 2017

Because he’s a guy who says what’s on his mind, and that’s a good thing, all the time, even when words like “pussy” are coming out of his mouth. That’s just the way he talks. Anyway, all guys talk like that. Why wouldn’t we want the president to talk like that?

And why wouldn’t we want the president to defend his daughter at all times, even if it looks like he’s telling other people how to run their businesses?

“Nordstrom shares briefly tumbled after President Donald Trump tweeted that the department store chain had treated his daughter “so unfairly.” [Trump used his personal Twitter account, then retweeted his personal tweet using the POTUS account.] The company announced last week it would stop selling Ivanka Trump’s clothing and accessory line, saying that was based on the sales performance of the first daughter’s brand.” The Chicago Tribune, 8 February 2017

“Days after Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus announced they would stop selling the Ivanka Trump collection due to lagging sales, the brand has also disappeared from Belk, Jet, and ShopStyle.” Buzzfeed, 8 February 2017

“[T.J. Maxx] told employees not to display Ivanka Trump merchandise separately and to throw away Ivanka Trump signs … “Effective immediately, please remove all Ivanka Trump merchandise from features and mix into the runs,” the note read. “Runs” refers to the normal clothing racks where the majority of products hang. “All Ivanka Trump signs should be discarded.” The New York Times, 8 February 2017

“The White House on Wednesday defended President Trump’s feuding with Nordstrom … “There’s clearly a targeting of her brand and her name was out there, so even if she’s not running the company, it’s clearly her name on it and there’s clearly efforts to undermine that name based on her father’s positions on particular policies he’s taken,” [White House press secretary Sean] Spicer said. “This is a direct attack on his policies and her name and so there’s clearly an attempt for [Trump] to stand up for her being maligned because they have a problem with his policies.” The Hill, 8 February 2017

“President Trump tweeted a jab at Nordstrom department stores from his personal account Wednesday morning, which was then retweeted by the official @POTUS account. @POTUS, the official Twitter account for the president, had so far been reserved for government issues.” CNN 8 February 2017

He’s not misusing his position as the executive of the federal government, he’s just a dad defending his daughter. A dad who happens to be president of the United States. With a POTUS Twitter account.

And why shouldn’t he collect rent from the military?

“The Department of Defense is seeking to rent space in President Trump’s New York skyscraper, Trump Tower, a move that could directly funnel government money into the president’s business interests.” The Washington Post, 7 February 2017

Enough with the snark. This is not the fine line that everybody seems to think it is. If Trump won’t give the military rent-free space in Trump Tower, then the military should rent space in an office building across the street. The president should not profit from his position, period.

Then there’s this:

“As you know I approved two pipelines that were stuck in limbo forever. I don’t even think it was controversial. You know, I approved them and I haven’t even heard one call from anybody saying, ‘oh, that was a terrible thing you did.’ “You know, usually, if I do something it’s like bedlam, right? I haven’t had one call from anybody.” — Trump lying to the press about the Dakota Access Pipeline

… because he pulled the plug on the phone lines. The phones don’t ring if you shut them down. That’s how phones work.

I don’t follow sports, so I don’t know either of these guys, but I’m pretty happy that they’re not so wowed by an invitation to the White House that they forget who they are:

“A second player from the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots has passed on a trip to the White House to meet President Donald Trump. Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty told Time in a text message that he won’t be attending any White House ceremonies celebrating the team’s victory over the Atlanta Falcons. “I’m not going to the White House,” McCourty said in the text. “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.” Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett also stated that he wouldn’t be making the White House trip leading up to Super Bowl 51 Bennett made his feelings known about President Trump.” Rolling Stone, 7 February 2017

I don’t know this woman, either, but she has a message worth ready about for Trump, too:

“On Monday, Trump accused “the very, very dishonest press” of covering up terrorist attacks around the world. His staff promised to release a list of them. What the White House came up with was full of typos and questionable examples of “under reported” terrorism. It cited 78 cases, including “two killed and one wounded in a knife attack at a hostel frequented by Westerners” in Queensland, Australia. “My daughter’s death will not be used to further this insane persecution of innocent people,” [Rosie Ayliffe] wrote in an open letter to President Trump.” The Washington Post, 7 February 2017

And speaking of people who will casually politicize a young person’s death to further their agenda:

“White House press secretary Sean Spicer had a sharp message for those who have criticized the recent raid in Yemen that resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL … “It’s absolutely a success, and I think anyone who would suggest it’s not a success does disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens … He fought knowing what was at stake in that mission. And anybody who would suggest otherwise doesn’t fully appreciate how successful that mission was.” He added: “I think anybody who undermines the success of that raid owes an apology and [does a] disservice to the life of Chief Owens.” The Washington Post, 8 February 2017

Trump has repeatedly called the Iraq war a “huge mistake” and a “disaster,” so I guess he owes an apology to quite a few people, eh?

And then there’s the much-deserved backlash that Wisconsin’s own Sean Duffy is getting for saying that “good things” came from the church shooting in Charleston last summer:

“A Republican congressman said Tuesday that “good things” came from the shooting of nine black parishioners at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in 2015.” The Post and Courier

Just a couple of good stories about Senator McConnell’s feud with Senator Warren:

“Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) thought he was giving a valid reason for the Senate’s decision to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Tuesday night. “She was warned. She was given an explanation,” McConnell said. “Nevertheless, she persisted.” It’s that last part that quickly caught fire on social media, almost immediately trending as #ShePersisted as soon as the words were public.” Vox, 8 February 2017

“When presiding Senate chair Steve Daines, of Montana, interrupted his colleague, Elizabeth Warren, as she was reading the words of Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor on Tuesday evening—and, then, when Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell intervened to prevent her from finishing the speech—many women, regardless of their politics or place, felt that silencing, viscerally.” The Atlantic, 8 February 2017

And this is just for color:

“Congressional Democrats are under intense pressure from the liberal base to oppose President Donald Trump at every turn, a dynamic that will color nearly every debate on Capitol Hill this year and complicate prospects for action on all issues. It’s sure to be a topic of debate as House Democrats gather for a policy retreat in Baltimore on Wednesday, but the 10 Senate Democrats up for re-election in states Trump won are under particular pressure. They must balance demands from their base to stand up to Trump with the need to appeal to independent and swing voters statewide.” The Associated Press, 8 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 19 | 6:10 pm CST
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Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

18 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

14 days since Trump announced he would ask for “a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD.”

“While President Trump is promising to launch an investigation into his belief that millions of illegal ballots were cast in 2016, the Republican-led House Administration Committee voted Tuesday to shut down the federal agency set up to help states improve their election systems.” USA Today, 7 February 2017

InfoWars has been claiming for months that the mainstream press covers up news of terrorist attacks. Where have I heard that before?

“Under questioning from Democratic Rhode Island Rep. Jim Langevin as to whether any new information prompted the ban, Kelly said the measure was based on concern about countries that couldn’t provide adequate vetting information on potential immigrants and noted that “thousands” of Syrian fighters could possibly make it into the US. He later qualified that they would not be able to “easily” enter the US.” CNN, 7 February 2017

“[N]either Donald Trump nor Steve Bannon personally detained any of the more than 100 people held at airports over the weekend pursuant to the administration’s executive order on immigration, visitation and travel to the United States. They relied on assistance. The men and women who reportedly handcuffed small children and the elderly, separated a child from his mother and held others without food for 20 hours, are undoubtedly “ordinary” people. What I mean by that, is that these are, in normal circumstances, people who likely treat their neighbors and co-workers with kindness and do not intentionally seek to harm others. That is chilling, as it is a reminder that authoritarians have no trouble finding the people they need to carry out their acts of cruelty.” The Baltimore Sun, 6 February 2017

“As the media picks apart the White House’s absurd suggestion that attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Orlando, and elsewhere were somehow ignored, the bigger story may be this: Trump has been almost entirely silent about terror plotted and carried out by white supremacists and other far-right extremists.” Mother Jones, 7 February 2017

“The U.S. Constitution does not define these presidential instruments and does not explicitly vest the President with the authority to issue them. Nonetheless, such orders are accepted as an inherent aspect of presidential power.” Congressional Research Service

“President Trump met Tuesday morning with a group of sheriffs from the National Sheriffs Association … [a]nd to this sworn group of law enforcement veterans, with reporters taking notes, he again repeated a falsehood about the murder rate in America. According to Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal who filed a pool report: “At one point POTUS said the country’s murder rate is highest it’s been in 45-47 years. He singled out Chicago. He said Chicago is worse than some places in Middle East where there are wars going on.” The country’s murder rate is not the highest it’s been in 40 years. It is almost at its lowest point, actually, according to the FBI.” The Washington Post, 7 February 2017

“Sheriff Harold Eavenson of Rockwall County was among a group of law enforcement officials from across the country who met with Trump, Vice President Pence and several senior staff members at the White House. During a portion of the meeting that a press pool was permitted to observe, Eavenson complained that a senator from his state was offering asset forfeiture legislation that Eavenson thinks would aid Mexican drug cartels. “Who is the state senator? Want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career,” Trump said, prompting laughs from the room.” The Washington Post, 7 February 2017

“The U.S. Army said it will grant Energy Transfer Partners LP the easement it needs to finish the line that will ship almost half a million barrels of crude a day from North Dakota’s shale fields to refineries across the Midwest and on to the Gulf Coast. The approval of the easement the company needs to complete work follows Trump’s memorandum that advised expediting review of the project [known as the Dakota Access Pipeline, or DAPL].” Bloomberg, 7 February 2017

“Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, said Monday that the administration will continue using the term “fake news” until the media understands that their “monumental desire” to attack the President is wrong. “There is a monumental desire on behalf of the majority of the media, not just the pollsters, the majority of the media to attack a duly elected President in the second week of his term,” Gorka, a former Breitbart editor who also holds a PhD in political science, told syndicated conservative radio host Michael Medved. “That’s how unhealthy the situation is and until the media understands how wrong that attitude is, and how it hurts their credibility, we are going to continue to say, ‘fake news.’ I’m sorry, Michael. That’s the reality,” he added.” CNN, 7 February 2017

“First lady Melania Trump has said little about what she intends to do with her prominent position. But in new court documents, her lawyers say that the “multi-year term” during which she “is one of the most photographed women in the world” could mean millions of dollars for her personal brand. Mrs. Trump “had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model, brand spokesperson and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world,” the lawsuit said. Richard Painter, who advised former President George W. Bush on ethics, said the language in the lawsuit shows Melania Trump is engaging “in an unprecedented, clear breach of rules about using her government position for private gain.” The Chicago Tribune, 7 February 2017

“Vice President Pence cast the deciding vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as education secretary Tuesday after opponents failed amid a groundswell of opposition to produce the additional “no” vote required to sink her nomination. DeVos was confirmed by a vote of 51-50 just at 12:30 p.m., with Pence breaking a 50-50 tie — the first time a vice president has cast a Senate vote since Richard B. Cheney helped break a tie on a procedural matter in 2008.” The Washington Post, 7 February 2017

“Angry at the civilian casualties incurred last month in the first commando raid authorized by President Trump, Yemen has withdrawn permission for the United States to run Special Operations ground missions against suspected terrorist groups in the country … Grisly photographs of children apparently killed in the crossfire of a 50-minute firefight during the raid caused outrage in Yemen. … While the White House continues to insist that the attack was a “success” – a characterization it repeated on Tuesday – the suspension of commando operations is a setback for Mr. Trump.” The New York Times, 7 February 2017

“Senate Republicans passed a party-line rebuke Tuesday night of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for a speech opposing attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, striking down her words for impugning the Alabama senator’s character. In an extraordinarily rare move, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) interrupted Warren’s speech … and said that she had breached Senate rules by reading past statements against Sessions from figures such as the late senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and the late Coretta Scott King. The Washington Post, 7 February 2017

McConnell, later giving his reasons for shushing Warren: “Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Social media seized on McConnell’s words immediately and turned them into a meme. “He’s literally describing every female hero in history.”

“Wisconsin congressman and former Real World: Boston cast member Sean Duffy appeared on CNN Tuesday to defend the Trump administration’s fixation on the public safety threat presented by natives of seven specific majority-Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa. (No immigrant from those countries has ever carried out a terror attack in the United States.) CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota asked Duffy why the White House wasn’t expressing similar concerns about the threat presented by white extremists in light of last week’s murder of six Muslims by a white supremacist Trump supporter in Québec City. That’s when Duffy started doing something that is colloquially known down by the docks as “talking out of his ass.”Slate, 7 February 2017

Let the tweeting begin:

“I don’t know Putin, have no deals in Russia, and the haters are going crazy – yet Obama can make a deal with Iran, #1 in terror, no problem!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 4:11 am, 7 February 2017

Trump respects Putin, doesn’t care if he’s a killer or not, thinks American government is full of killers & is okay with that – problem!

“It is a disgrace that my full Cabinet is still not in place, the longest such delay in the history of our country. Obstruction by Democrats!”> Donald Trump, via Twitter, 5:04 pm, 7 February 2017

“This, of course, is demonstrably false. Clinton didn’t have Cabinet in place until March 11. George HW was March 17. Obama not till April 28” Anthony Zurcher, BBC senior North America reporter, via Twitter, 5:43 pm, 7 February 2017

Finally, this: Postcards to Bannon becomes a trending hashtag on social media, the idea being that you address a post card to “President Bannon, 1500 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC 20050” as a way of needling Trump. Senders post photos of the postcards on Twitter and other social media before sending. Seems like poking the bear to me, but some of them are kind of funny.

NDofPD Plus 18 | 7:35 pm CST
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Monday, February 6th, 2017

17 days since the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

Wow, this is getting old:

“Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 4:01 am, 6 February 2017

If a news organization doesn’t support the Trump administration, it’s fake and not worth your time. That’s what I’m getting from this tweet. Only news that supports Trump is real news.

You know where else the news works like that? I’ll give you a hint: We used to make fun of them because their two biggest newspapers were named “Truth” and “News.”

“I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it. Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize, lies!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 4:07am, 6 February 2017

“LIES! FAKE NEWS! LIES!” This is a broken record and it just keeps skipping the groove …

“The failing @nytimes writes total fiction concerning me. They have gotten it wrong for two years, and now are making up stories & sources!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 8:32 am, 6 February 2017

According to Trump, the press has to prove what they say, while Trump can make whatever baseless claims he likes.

“Speaking at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., Trump [accused the news media of refusing to report on terrorist attacks], saying: “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported,” he told a group of senior commanders. “And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” The president implied that media organizations have an ulterior motive to bury coverage of such attacks. “They have their reasons, and you understand that,” he said. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said there are “several instances” of what the president described when asked by reporters aboard Air Force One, but he did not cite specific examples.” The Hill, 6 February 2017

This is truly remarkable. Terrorist attacks are reported in the news virtually every week. It’s not possible Trump is unaware of this, so why would he make an official statement in front of military personnel claiming the press is suppressing information?

Here’s another source on the same story:

“Speaking to the U.S. Central Command on Monday, President Trump went off his prepared remarks to make a truly stunning claim: The media was intentionally covering up reports of terrorist attacks. “You’ve seen what happened in Paris, and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening,” he said to the assembled military leaders. “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.” With his comments on Monday, Trump implied that the media is complicit in making terrorists successful. It’s part of a recent pattern of suggesting that others are standing in the way of his terrorism-fighting efforts, which includes disparaging a federal judge who halted his immigration executive order.” The Washington Post 6 February 2017

The press naturally wanted to know specifically which terrorist attacks they didn’t cover, so the White House hurriedly threw together a list.

“The White House on Monday night released a list of 78 terrorist attacks in response to an assertion earlier in the day by President Trump that the “very dishonest press” often doesn’t report on them. The list, which includes domestic and overseas incidents, starts in September 2014. It includes some very heavily covered news events, including last year’s attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and the series of attacks in Paris in 2015.” The Washington Post, 6 February 2017

It’s anybody’s guess where they got that list, but if they’d sat down at a terminal and Googled any of the names, they would have found plenty of reports from multiple media outlets.

Maggie Astor, a copy editor at The New York Times, began tweeting links to press coverage of every attack on the White House’s list.

Meanwhile, Sean Spicer called into question the authenticity of the protest movement that has risen in response to the Trump administration’s policies, without presenting a shred of evidence to support his claims:

Brian Kilmeade: “Do you sense that instead of being an organic disruption, do you sense that there’s an organized pushback and people are being paid to protest?”

Spicer: “Oh, absolutely. I mean, protesting has become a profession now. They have every right to do that, don’t get me wrong, but I think that we need to call it what it is. It’s not these organic uprisings that we’ve seen through the last several decades. The Tea Party was a very organic movement. This has become a very paid, ‘astroturf’ type movement.” Mediaite, 6 February 2017

Well, so long as we’re on the subject of Trump’s closest advisors talking about fake shit:

“Kellyanne Conway thinks she took too much flak for citing a nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre” to justify President Trump’s travel ban. She said she simply meant to say “Bowling Green terrorists,” and she later said, “I misspoke one word.” Except now she doesn’t appear to have misspoken at all; she seems to have believed that the Bowling Green massacre was a real thing.” The Washington Post 6 February 2017

Moving from the ridiculous to the even more ridiculous:

“The Kremlin wants Fox News to apologize for a comment journalist Bill O’Reilly made about Russian President Vladimir Putin during an interview Sunday with U.S. President Donald Trump. O’Reilly called Putin “a killer” after Trump said he respected the Russian leader.” Voice of America, 6 February 2017

If there’s the slightest possibility I’ll get to see Bill O’Reilly apologize for slandering Vladimir Putin, I’ll park myself in front of a television set at the corner bar and wait as long as it takes to see it happen.

Meanwhile, back in reality:

“Dozens of top tech companies – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter – have filed a joint legal brief arguing against President Donald Trump’s travel ban. It charged that the ban “inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth as a result,” according to a copy of the document published by US media outlets.” AFP News Service, 6 February 2017

“Apple, Google and more than 90 other companies are pushing back in court against President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban, calling it unconstitutional, un-American and bad for the economy. The companies filed briefs Sunday to back lawsuits from Washington state and Minnesota fighting Trump’s travel ban. The ban keeps refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.” The Washington Post 6 February 2017

Huh. Big businesses don’t like the restrictions Trump has placed on immigration and can present an argument against it based in actual fact. This ought to be very sobering to politicians who consider themselves friends of business. Will they grow a spine and say something to Trump?

“Former secretaries of state John F. Kerry and Madeleine Albright, along with Leon Panetta and other former top national security officials, entered the fray over President Trump’s travel ban early Monday with an unusual declaration stating that it “undermines” national security and will “endanger U.S. troops in the field.” The six-page joint declaration was addressed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in support of the temporary order blocking implementation of Trump’s ban on entry for travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Others signing the declaration … were John E. McLaughlin, deputy director of the CIA from 2000 to 2004 and acting director in 2004; Lisa O. Monaco, former assistant to Obama for homeland security and counterterrorism; Michael Morell, a career CIA official who has served as deputy director and acting director; former homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano; and Susan E. Rice, Obama’s ambassador to the U.N. and national security adviser.” The Washington Post 6 February 2017

Well how about that? Now if only the ones currently infesting the capitol building would say something.

“In a case currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, lawyers for the states of Washington and Minnesota cite previous court holdings on religious discrimination that it is “‘the duty of the courts to distinguish a sham secular purpose from a sincere one … Here, the sham of a secular purpose is exposed by both the language of the order and defendants’ expressions of anti-Muslim intent,” the lawyers wrote. Constitutional scholars agree that those statements made by Trump and his surrogates could be used in proceedings. “Those statements are definitely relevant, because there’s a longstanding doctrine that there can be laws or executive orders that on their face don’t discriminative on the basis of race or religion but that is their motive — and if that is their motive, they can be struck down,” said Ilya Somin, a George Mason University law professor. CNN, 6 February 2017

And other governments aren’t all that thrilled with Trump, either:

“The date and details of President Trump’s state visit to the U.K. are still to be penciled in. But following an extraordinary intervention Monday evening, it now seems unlikely that he will be extended the honor of addressing both houses of British Parliament. Citing “racism” and “sexism,” the speaker of the House of Commons told lawmakers Monday that he was “strongly opposed” to the president addressing both houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall.” The Washington Post, 6 February 2017

And then, there’s this:

“A Massachusetts college has created a refugee scholarship in response to President Donald Trump’s order on immigration and refugees and is calling on other colleges to do the same. Wheaton College President Dennis Hanno says the scholarship announced Jan. 31 is meant to show that the college in Norton embraces its foreign-born community.” Western Mass News, 6 February 2017

Bring me your tired, your poor …

“Inside Terminal 4 at Kennedy International Airport in New York, a 6-year-old boy sprinted across the arrivals hall to embrace a family friend who had finally made it back to the United States after being marooned for a week in his home country, Sudan. With the door open again for travelers and refugees who had been excluded by President Trump’s order on immigration, the race to reach the United States accelerated on Sunday among waves of people fearing the opportunity might be fleeting.” The New York Times, 6 February 2017

Finally, a little comedy relief:

“[T]he devastating “Saturday Night Live” caricature of Spicer that aired over the weekend – in which a belligerent Spicer was spoofed by a gum-chomping, super soaker-wielding Melissa McCarthy in drag – did not go over well internally at a White House where looks matter … it was Spicer’s portrayal by a woman that was most problematic in the president’s eyes … “Trump doesn’t like his people to look weak,” added a top Trump donor. Politico, 6 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 17 | 12:01 am CST
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Sunday, February 5th, 2017

16 days after the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

I did not see this coming:

“A federal appeals court early Sunday rejected the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) request to restore President Trump’s travel ban on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco denied the DOJ’s request an emergency stay, pending full consideration of the motion.The Hill, 5 February 2017

I sincerely expected to see the appeals court knuckle under to Trump’s DOJ. Instead, the court issued a one-page ruling (quoted here in its entirety):

“The court has received appelants’ emergency motion (Docket Entry No. 14). Appellanets’ request for an immediate administrative stay pending full consideration of the emergency motion for a stay pending appeal is denied. Appellees’ opposition to the emergency motion is due Sunday, February 5, 2017, at 11:59 pm PST. Appellants’ reply in support of the emergency motion is due Monday, February 6, 2017, at 3:00 pm PST.”

I especially like the bit at the end where they appear to be channeling the giant slug Roz from Monsters, Inc.: “You didn’t file your paperwork!”

In his first and only tweet of the day, Trump takes one more swipe at the judge who issued the stay on his immigration ban/it’s not a ban:

“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!” Donald Trump, 12:39 pm, 5 February 2017

Trump was the one who whacked that hornet’s nest in the first place. Trying to blame it on the courts with this and other tweets makes this whole mess look like something Trump wanted to smear on the judicial branch from the start.

This quotation from an interview with Trump by Fox’s Bill O’Reilly is amazing:

O’Reilly: Do you respect Putin?

Trump: I do respect him but —

O’Reilly: Do you? Why?

Trump: Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him. He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world – that’s a good thing. Will I get along with him? I have no idea.

O’Reilly: But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.

Trump: There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?

So much to unpack:

  • Trump says he respects Putin because Putin is the leader of his country, as if the idea that a vicious tyrant could rise to that position is not worth Trump’s consideration. Putin’s a leader, therefore he must be respected.

    I’m pretty sure that’s how Trump sees himself, by the way: He’s America’s leader, therefore he must be respected. It would explain why he’s so cranky about the protests and the criticism he gets.

  • Trump doesn’t know if he’s going to “get along with” Putin, whatever that means. Doing deals with Putin? Having coffee on Tuesday mornings with Putin? Forming an alliance with Putin? It’s one of the fuzzy, meaningless phrases Trump uses when he has to say something but doesn’t want it to be anything too concrete.

    To make it even fuzzier, his comment indicates he clearly wants to “get along with” Putin, but he says he has no clue if that’s going to happen. Fuzzy phrase + no commitment = easy to walk back.

  • Trump is not only perfectly comfortable with O’Reilly’s assertion that Putin’s a killer, he’s also perfectly comfortable with the idea that there are killers in our government. If that’s not what Trump’s talking about, if what he meant was there are a lot of killers in America like mobsters or gang members or people who fly off the handle and kill their spouses, then he failed to say that, and failed in a big way.

    O’Reilly specifically asked how Trump felt about Putin, the man at the peak of the Russian government, being a killer, and here I’m going to extrapolate a bit and assume that O’Reilly is referring to how a lot of Putin’s political opponents end up poisoned or shot in the head or otherwise assassinated. That is what most people seem to be referring to when they say “Putin’s a killer.” And Trump said, I’m okay with that. And then Trump matter-of-factly implied that there are killers at the peak of the American government, and O’Reilly shouldn’t be shocked by that.

    If Trump knows who those killers are, then congress really ought to subpoena him and every other person on capitol hill and grill them under hot lights until every one of those killers is rooted out and put on trial, because that’s a pretty serious allegation.

Trump has made a lot of comments that were poorly thought out, but this is one of the worst. When Mike Pence appeared on Face The Nation and Meet The Press this morning and was asked specifically to comment on Trump’s casual acceptance of killers in the highest corridors of government, Pence just chuckled in that way he has when asked about a subject he wants us to believe a question is unfounded and overblown, then strung a whole lot of weasel words together and wouldn’t say more. Killers in government but nothing to see here, move along.

“Up to 8 million people in the country illegally could be considered priorities for deportation … Far from targeting only “bad hombres,” as Trump has said repeatedly, his new order allows immigration agents to detain nearly anyone they come in contact with who has crossed the border illegally. People could be booked into custody for using food stamps or if their child receives free school lunches.” The Los Angeles Times, 5 February 2017

This oddly disturbing detail was buried in an otherwise ordinary story about Trump and his staff settling into the White House:

“[F]or the moment, Mr. Bannon remains the president’s dominant adviser, despite Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council, a greater source of frustration to the president than the fallout from the travel ban.” The New York Times, 5 February 2017

What did I just read? Did The New York Times say that Trump signed an executive order that put Bannon on the National Security Council without knowing he was doing it? And if so, am I justifiably worried that Trump’s staff may be giving him executive orders to sign without telling him the full impact of those orders?

 

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Friday, February 3rd, 2017

14 days after the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

In his first tweet of the day, Trump continues to pick a fight with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who took over Trump’s spot on the television show Celebrity Apprentice. Because what else would be on your mind? (A senseless shooting, perhaps?)

“Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger did a really bad job as governor of California and even worse on the apprentice … but at least he tried hard!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 3 February 2017

After jabbing Schwarzenegger, Trump has some really tough talk for Iran:

“Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how “kind” President Obama was to them. Not me!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 3 February 2017

“Not me! Imma get tough! Imma put em on DOUBLE SECRET PROBATION!”

Okay, that’s taken care of. Who else he gotta beat on? Oh, yeah. The press:

“Thank you to Prime Minister of Australia for telling the truth about our very civil conversation that FAKE NEWS media lied about. Very nice!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 3 February 2017

And finally, JOBS! TAXES! TRUMPCARE!

“Meeting with biggest business leaders this morning. Good jobs are coming back to U.S., health care and tax bills are being crafted NOW!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 3 February 2017

Fuck that. What’s in the news?

“Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to Donald Trump, has … blam[ed] two Iraqi refugees for a massacre that never happened. Conway … cited the fictional “Bowling Green massacre” in an interview in which she backed the travel ban imposed on visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries.” The Guardian, 3 February 2017

“Kellyanne Conway, the adviser to President Trump who coined the phrase “alternative facts,” is facing another firestorm of criticism and fact-checking after she falsely spoke of a “Bowling Green massacre” by Iraqi refugees. She acknowledged and corrected her mistake Friday morning on Twitter.” The New York Times, 3 February 2017

I hope that the Bowling Green Massacre gets at least a footnote in future history books when Kellyanne is mentioned, but not if they have to leave out “alternative facts.” That’s got to stay in. That’s a deal-breaker right there.

And today’s act of civil disobedience belongs to the Yemenis in New York City:

“Thousands of Yemeni-Americans and their supporters rallied in Brooklyn on Thursday to denounce President Trump’s executive order on immigration, hours after hundreds of Yemeni-owned bodegas and grocery stores around New York closed to protest the order.” The New York Times, 3 February 2017

Good for them.

“Nordstrom Inc. will stop selling the controversial Ivanka Trump brand this season, a move that follows boycott threats and concerns about the first daughter’s conflicts of interest. The department-store chain made the decision based on sales, according to a statement from the Seattle-based company.” Bloomberg 2 February 2017

Countdown to a tweet from Trump calling out the “failing Nordstrom stores” in three … two … one …

“A French soldier shot and seriously wounded a knife-wielding man Friday who attempted to attack security forces outside the Louvre museum. French police said the attacker was armed with at least one machete and was carrying two briefcases as he attempted to enter the museum’s shopping center. When he was refused entry to the Carrousel du Louvre, he allegedly pulled out a knife and attacked the soldier, who then fired five rounds into the attacker’s stomach, France’s interior ministry tweeted. Bernard Cazeneuve, France’s prime minister, described the knife attack as clearly “terrorist in nature.” No explosives were found in the man’s two bags.” The Washington Post 3 February 2017

“Less than a week before the 2016 presidential election, when most media observers thought Hillary Clinton was a lock to win, Elon Musk called CNBC and unloaded on Donald Trump. “He doesn’t seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States,” he said. In the three months since Trump’s surprise victory, Musk has changed course, becoming something of an ally to Trump.” The Atlantic

“The U.S. Treasury Department announced additional sanctions on Iran on Friday, less than a week after a ballistic missile test prompted the Trump administration to accuse Iran of violating an international a weapons agreement.” NPR, 3 February 2017

“… not only was this the leakiest White House I’d ever seen but also that the leaks – whether purposely or not – seemed to cast the president as a child who badly needs to be managed. What’s truly remarkable is that the leaking appears to be growing even more frequent and even more deleterious to President Trump’s image within just the last few days.” The Washington Post, 3 Febuary 2017

“Over 100,000 visas have been revoked as a result of President Trump’s ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, an attorney for the government revealed in Alexandria federal court Friday.” The Washington Post, 3 February 2017

Maybe the financial crisis won’t be so bad this time:

Say Goodbye to Your Life Savings (Again) President Trump’s team of Goldman Sachs alums are in the hen house. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, 3 February 2017

“President Trump mounted an all-out assault on financial regulation on Friday, announcing an array of steps to tear down safeguards enacted to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis and turning to the Wall Street titans he had demonized during his campaign for advice.” The New York Times, 3 February 2017

“President Barack Obama’s former White House photographer is taking to Instagram to show frustration with the new administration. Pete Souza was responsible for documenting the Obama administration … he’s taken to the visual platform in the last few days, posting a series of photos subtly knocking President Donald Trump.” CNN 3 February 2017

“White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn told CNBC in a TV interview that the fiduciary rule limited customers’ choices in financial products. “I don’t think you protect investors by limiting choices,” said Cohn, who previously was Goldman Sachs’ COO. “We think it is a bad rule. It is a bad rule for consumers,” Cohn told The Wall Street Journal. “This is like putting only healthy food on the menu, because unhealthy food tastes good but you still shouldn’t eat it because you might die younger.”” Business Insider, 3 February 2017

“The military convoy seen flying a Trump flag in Louisville on Sunday belonged to a Navy Special Warfare unit, and the flag was “unauthorized,” a Navy spokeswoman said. Lt. Jacqui Maxwell of the Naval Special Warfare Group 2 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, said a command inquiry is underway. “Yes, it was inappropriate,” Maxwell said. “It was unauthorized.”” Navy Times, 3 February 2017

“A federal judge in Seattle has imposed a nationwide stop on the travel ban imposed by President Trump on seven Muslim countries. Judge James Robart granted a request from Washington state to put a temporary restraining order on key parts of last week’s executive order.” New York Daily News, 3 February 2017

“The federal government announced Friday that it was dispatching Bureau of Indian Affairs agents to help clear Dakota Access Pipeline protesters from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Acting assistant secretary of Indian affairs Michael S. Black said the agency had sent “enforcement support and will assist” the tribe “in closing the protest camps within the Standing Rock Reservation boundary.”” The Washington Post, 3 February 2017

This next tweet only makes sense if everybody in Trump’s reality has a sugar daddy:

“Professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters are proving the point of the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 3 February 2017

And yet when a white guy who professed his love for Trump, Marine Le Pen, and right-wing ideology shot helpless Muslims, you were silent:

“A new radical Islamic terrorist has just attacked in Louvre Museum in Paris. Tourists were locked down. France on edge again. GET SMART U.S.” [And have remained silent.] Donald Trump, via Twitter, 3 February 2017

Well of course we must. When does your “flight” leave?

“We must keep “evil” out of our country!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 3 February 2017

Or, we could just, you know, let the market take care of it, seeing as how you’re all about less regulation:

“Countries charge U.S. companies taxes or tariffs while the U.S. charges them nothing or little. We should charge them SAME as they charge us!” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 3 February 2017

 

NDofPD Plus 14 | 12:01 am CST
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Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

13 days after the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

“U.S. military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations. As a result, three officials said, the attacking SEAL team found itself dropping onto a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger than expected contingent of heavily armed Islamist extremists. One of the three U.S. officials said on-the-ground surveillance of the compound was “minimal, at best.” “The decision was made … to leave it to the incoming administration, partly in the hope that more and better intelligence could be collected,” that official said.” Business Insider, 2 February 2017

“A speech by conservative firebrand and British writer Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled at UC Berkeley on Wednesday amid violent protests that sparked a fire in a campus plaza. Yiannopoulos, 32, writes for Breitbart News – a popular website among the far right – and he is an avowed supporter of President Trump. He’s also a flamboyant provocateur who has been denounced for propagating racism, misogyny and anti-Islam views, but he styles himself a champion of free speech.” The Los Angeles Times, 1 February 2017

Trump defends the right to free speech of Milo Yiannopoulos, who was scheduled to make a speech at Berkeley until the university canceled the appearance after students protested and riot police were called in to disperse them. “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 2 February 2017

“Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch founded and led a student group called the ‘Fascism Forever Club’ at his elite high school … The club was set up to rally against the ‘left-wing tendencies’ of his professors [at] a Jesuit all-boys preparatory high school near Washington D.C. Gorsuch founded the ‘Fascism Forever Club’ during his freshman year at Georgetown Preparatory … He served as president until he graduated in 1985, according to his senior yearbook.” The Daily Mail, 2 February 2017

“This week, President Donald Trump and his deputies hit out at some of America’s closest friends, blasting a “dumb” refugee resettlement deal with Australia and accusing Japan and Germany of manipulating their currencies. Ties with Mexico have deteriorated to the point its government had to deny reports that Trump told President Enrique Pena Nieto he might send U.S. troops across the southern border. The dilemma for officials globally is figuring out if Trump’s blunt style is simply a tactic to keep them off balance or the start of a move to tear up the rule book that has guided relations with the U.S. since World War II. In the meantime, allies have little choice but to prepare for the worst.” Bloomberg, 2 February 2017

“The U.S. Treasury Department … eased sanctions on [the] Russian intelligence agency … put in place by former President Barack Obama last year over accusations that Moscow launched cyber attacks to try to influence the U.S. presidential election. The Treasury Department said in a statement it would allow U.S. companies to make limited transactions with the intelligence service that are needed to gain approval to import information technology products into Russia.” Reuters, 2 February 2017

At the National Prayer Breakfast, Trump promised to “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment and allow our representatives of faith to speak freely and without fear of retribution. I will do that, remember.” Time, 2 February 2017

“[The Johnson Amendment] is one of the brightest lines in the legal separation between religion and politics. Under the provision, which was made in 1954, tax-exempt entities like churches and charitable organizations are unable to directly or indirectly participate in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate. Specifically, ministers are restricted from endorsing or opposing candidates from the pulpit. If they do, they risk losing their tax-exempt status.” The New York Times, 2 February 2017

“Uber was under attack – unfairly, many staff members believed – after people accused the company of seeking to profit from giving rides to airport customers in New York during weekend protests against President Trump’s immigration order. But there was another matter disturbing the employees: Mr. Kalanick himself. He had joined Mr. Trump’s economic advisory council in December. After the immigration order against refugees and seven Muslim-majority countries, many staff members wondered why Mr. Kalanick was still willing to advise the president. “What would it take for you to quit the economic council?” at least two employees asked at the Tuesday meeting.” The New York Times, 2 February 2017

“One of the most successful lies in modern US politics has been that of “right to work” laws, which break unions under the guise of protecting workers … A national right to work law has been a pipe dream of corporate lobbyists, the chamber of commerce, the Koch brothers, and the politicians on their payroll for decades, and is about to become a reality. Right to work laws already exist in more than half the states in the country, where unions are weak or nonexistent, wages are correspondingly low, and workers are correspondingly disposable. In theory, these laws are about guaranteeing workers’ freedom of association. In practice, they’re about keeping workers from forming unions, by making unions financially unsustainable.” The Guardian, 2 February 2017

NDofPD Plus 13 | 12:01 am CST
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Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

12 days after the National Day of Patriotic Devotion

“A half-dozen of Trump’s campaign aides have formed a nonprofit group called America First Policies to support and promote the president’s agenda, The Associated Press reported Monday. [I]nvolved are … Brad Parscale, Trump’s digital and data director … Katrina Pierson, who served on the campaign’s communications team, and deputy campaign manager David Bossie, who also headed the conservative advocacy group Citizens United, as well as Nick Ayers and Marty Obst, advisers to Vice President Pence.” NPR, 1 February 2017

“[T]here’s [a] level of resistance to the new president that is less visible and potentially more troublesome to the administration: a growing wave of opposition from the federal workers charged with implementing any new president’s agenda. Asked whether federal workers are dissenting in ways that go beyond previous party changes in the White House, Tom Malinow­ski, who was President Barack Obama’s assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, said, sarcastically: “Is it unusual? … There’s nothing unusual about the entire national security bureaucracy of the United States feeling like their commander in chief is a threat to U.S. national security. That happens all the time. It’s totally usual. Nothing to worry about.”” The Washington Post, 1 Feburary 2017

“President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refu­gee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win … “This is the worst deal ever,” Trump fumed as Turnbull attempted to confirm that the United States would honor its pledge to take in 1,250 refugees from an Australian detention center. Trump, who one day earlier had signed an executive order temporarily barring the admissions of refugees, complained that he was “going to get killed” politically and accused Australia of seeking to export the “next Boston bombers.”” The Washington Post, 1 February 2017

“You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Pena Nieto, according to the excerpt given to AP. “You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.” Associated Press, 1 February 2017

“The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism … The program, “Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE, would be changed to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” … and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States.” Reuters, 1 February 2017

“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday that he spoke with Vice President Pence about how the White House can implement on a federal level parts of the Republican governor’s contentious policy that all but eliminated collective bargaining for public sector unions in the state.” New York Daily News, 1 February 2017

“The Trump administration has said it was “officially putting Iran on notice” in reaction to an Iranian missile test and an attack on a Saudi warship by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen but gave no details about how Washington intended to respond. The threat was made on Wednesday by the national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in his first public statement since taking office.” The Guardian, 1 February 2017

“Moving to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s legacy on the environment and other issues, House Republicans approved a measure Wednesday that scuttles a regulation aimed at preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams. Lawmakers also voted to rescind a separate rule requiring companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments relating to mining and drilling.” The Chicago Tribune, 1 February 2017

Republican lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee voted to suspend the rule that required the presence of at least one Democratic representative in order to move the nominations of Steve Mnuchin and Tom Price to the full Senate. CNN, 1 February 2017

“A leaked copy of a draft executive order titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom,” obtained by The Investigative Fund and The Nation, reveals sweeping plans by the Trump administration to legalize discrimination.  The four-page draft order, a copy of which is currently circulating among federal staff and advocacy organizations, construes religious organizations so broadly that it covers “any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations,” and protects “religious freedom” in every walk of life: “when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts; or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments.” The draft order seeks to create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious or moral objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity, and it seeks to curtail women’s access to contraception and abortion through the Affordable Care Act.” The Nation, 1 February 2017

In his remarks reflecting on the beginning of Black History Month, Trump proved his conviction yet again that there is nothing in this world that is not about him:

Hello, everybody. These are a lot of my friends, but you have been so helpful. And we did well. The election, it came out really well. Next time we’ll triple it up or quadruple it, right? We want to get over 51, right? At least 51.

Well, this is Black History Month, so this is our little breakfast, our little get-together … and just a few notes. During this month, we honor the tremendous history of the African Americans throughout our country, throughout the world, if you really think about it, right? And their story is one of unimaginable sacrifice, hard work and faith in America.

I’ve gotten a real glimpse, during the campaign, I’d go around with Ben [Carson] to a lot of different places that I wasn’t so familiar with. They’re incredible people. And I want to thank Ben Carson, who’s going to be heading up HUD. It’s a big job, and it’s a job that’s not only housing, it’s mind and spirit, right, Ben? And you understand that. Nobody is going to be better than Ben.

Last month, we celebrated the life of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., whose incredible example is unique in American history. You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office, and it turned out that that was fake news. It was fake news. The statue is cherished. It’s one of the favorite things in the, and we have some good ones. We have Lincoln and we have Jefferson and we have Dr. Martin Luther King, and we have, but they said the statue, the bust of Dr. Martin Luther King was taken out of the office, and it was never even touched. So I think it was a disgrace, but that’s the way the press is. Very unfortunate.

I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King. So many other things: Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice. Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today. Big impact.

I am proud to honor this heritage, and we’ll be honoring it more and more. The folks at the table in almost all cases have been great friends and supporters. And Darrell, I met Darrell when he was defending me on television. And the people that were on the other side of the argument didn’t have a chance, right? And Paris has done an amazing job in a very hostile CNN community. He’s all by himself, seven people and Paris. So I’ll take Paris over the seven. But I don’t watch CNN so I don’t get to see you as much as I want to. I don’t like watching fake news. But Fox has treated me very nice, wherever Fox is, thank you.

We’re going to need better schools, and we need them soon. We need more jobs, we need better wages, a lot better wages. We’re going to work very hard on the inner city. Ben is going to be doing that, big league. It’s one of his big things that we’re going to be looking at. We need safer communities, and we’re going to do that with law enforcement. We’re going to make it safe. We’re going to make it much better than it is right now. Right now it’s terrible, and I saw you talking about it the other night, Paris, on something else that was really, you did a fantastic job the other night on a very unrelated show. I’m ready to do my part. It’s the only time I can see him. I’m ready to do my part, and I will say this: We’re going to work together.

This is a great group. This is a group that’s been so special to me. You really helped me a lot. If you remember, I wasn’t going to do well with the African American community, and after they heard me speaking and talking about the inner city and lots of other things, we ended up getting, I won’t go into details, but we ended up getting substantially more than other candidates who had run in the past years. And now, we’re going to take that to new levels.

I want to thank my television star over here. Omarosa is actually a very nice person. Nobody knows that, but I don’t want to destroy her reputation. She is a very good person and she’s been helpful right from the beginning of the campaign. And I appreciate it. I really do. Very special. And so I want to thank everybody for being here.

The New York Daily News, 1 February 2017

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Monday, January 30th, 2017

10 days after the National Day of Patriotic Devotion (NDofPD+10)

This has got to be the single most cynical message from Donald Trump since he took the oath of office: “Where was all the outrage from Democrats and the opposition party (the media) when our jobs were fleeing our country?” Donald Trump, via Twitter, 30 January 2017

“On Sunday afternoon, four Democratic members of the House of Representatives arrived at Dulles airport in Virginia on word that people had been detained and denied access to lawyers. “We have a constitutional crisis today,” representative Don Beyer wrote on Twitter. “Four members of Congress asked CBP officials to enforce a federal court order and were turned away.”” The Guardian, 30 January 2017

In what appears to be an attempt to bring the funny to his assessment of America’s reaction to his travel ban, Trump says the only problems at the airport are computer glitches, protesters and liberal tears. “Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage, protesters and the tears of Senator Schumer. Secretary Kelly said that all is going well with very few problems. MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN!” Donald Trump via Twitter, Part One, Part Two

“A petition to stop US President Donald Trump’s UK state visit has gathered more than a million signatures. PM Theresa May announced the visit on her recent US trip. Downing Street said while it disagreed with the policy it was right to still work with the US.” The BBC, 30 January 2017

Trump, who campaigned as a “law and order” candidate, wants to eliminate 75% of the laws regulating the country. “President Trump’s latest executive action, fulfilling another campaign pledge, will eliminate two regulations for every new one enacted. Trump said earlier on Monday that he wants to eliminate “a little more than 75 percent” of the regulations now on the books. There are some 80,000 pages in the Federal Register, where all federal rules are published.” NPR, 30 January 2017

U.S. Embassy Contradicts U.K. Foreign Office Over Travel Ban, Bloomberg, 30 January 2017

“The US embassy in Britain’s capital sent out new advice on Monday, urging people with dual citizenship from those countries affected by US President Donald Trump’s travel ban not to apply for US Visas, despite claims from the UK government that such a ban does not apply.” Business Insider, 30 January

“Numerous Foreign Service officers and other diplomats have drafted a dissent memo expressing opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States.” Lawfare, 30 January 2017

“It’s a very dangerous thing to have a White House that can’t with the remotest pretense of competence and governance put together a major policy document on a crucial set of national security issues without inducing an avalanche of litigation and wide diplomatic fallout.” Lawfare, 28 January 2017

“Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz says his company plans to hire 10,000 refugees in the next five years in the 75 countries where it does business.” NPR, 30 January 2017

“Starbucks customers are threatening to boycott the coffee giant after its CEO took a stand against President Donald Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US.” Business Insider 30 January 2017

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson compared Trump (apparently meaning to do it in Trump’s favor) to Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe and Romanian despot Nicolae Ceausescu. The BBC, 30 January 2017

“The Democrats are delaying my cabinet picks for purely political reasons. They have nothing going but to obstruct. Now have an Obama A.G.” Sauce for the goose, Mr. Trump. Donald Trump, via Twitter, 30 January 2017

“Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, ordered the Justice Department on Monday not to defend President Trump’s executive order on immigration in court. Mr. Trump has the authority to fire Ms. Yates, but as the top Senate-confirmed official at the Justice Department, she is the only one authorized to sign foreign surveillance warrants, an essential function at the department. “For as long as I am the acting attorney general, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the executive order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so,” she wrote.” The New York Times, 30 January 2017

“The Acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States. This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel. Tonight, President Trump relieved Ms. Yates of her duties …” Gant News, 30 January 2017

“Gregg Phillips, whose unsubstantiated claim that the election was marred by 3 million illegal votes was tweeted by the president, was listed on the rolls in Alabama, Texas and Mississippi, according to voting records and election officials in those states.” Trump cited Phillips as an authority on voter fraud. via AP News, 30 January 2017

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Sunday, January 29th, 2017

9 Days after National Day of Patriotic Devotion (NDofPD+9)

“These are the people who stood up for us.” Senator Corey Booker, via CNN, 29 January 2017

“The Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce all of President Trump’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people. President Trump’s Executive Orders remain in place — prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time … The Department of Homeland Security will comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement President Trump’s Executive Orders.” Department of Homeland Security, 29 January 2017

“A broad array of clergy members has strongly denounced Mr. Trump’s [executive] order [giving preference to refugees who belong to a religious minority in their country, and have been persecuted for their religion] as discriminatory, misguided and inhumane. Outrage has also come from some of the evangelical, Roman Catholic and mainstream Protestant leaders who represent the churches most active in trying to aid persecuted Christians.” The New York Times, 29 January 2017

“The sweeping, indiscriminate and abrupt character of President Trump’s recent Executive Order halts the work of valued students and colleagues who have already passed a rigorous, post-9/11 review process, are vouched for by the university and have contributed so much to our campuses. If it stands, it will over time diminish the scope and strength of the educational and research efforts of American universities … above all, it will demean our nation, whose true greatness has been its guiding ideals of fairness, welcome to immigrants, compassion for refugees, respect for religious faith and the courageous refusal to compromise its principles in the face of threats. We respectfully urge the president to rescind this order.” Father John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president, University of Notre Dame, 29 January 2017

“As President Trump signed a sweeping executive order on Friday, shutting the borders to refugees and others from seven largely Muslim countries, the secretary of homeland security was on a White House conference call getting his first full briefing on the global shift in policy. Gen. John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, had dialed in from a Coast Guard plane as he headed back to Washington from Miami. Along with other top officials, he needed guidance from the White House, which had not asked his department for a legal review of the order. Halfway into the briefing, someone on the call looked up at a television in his office. “The president is signing the executive order that we’re discussing,” the official said, stunned.” The New York Times, 29 January 2017

“I’ll tell you the whole history of it,” Giuliani responded eagerly. “So when [Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.'” The Washington Post, 29 January 2017

“President Trump has reorganized the National Security Council by elevating his chief strategist Steve Bannon and demoting the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Bannon will join the NSC’s principals committee, the top inter-agency group for discussing national security. The National Security Council is the staff inside the White House that coordinates decision making by the president on such matters, in coordination with outside departments including the State Department and the Pentagon. The NSC principals committee is defined as “the Cabinet-level senior interagency forum for considering policy issues that affect the national security interests of the United States.” It’s chaired either by national security advisor Michael Flynn or homeland security advisor Tom Bossert. the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will now attend Principals Committees meetings only when ‘issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.'” National Public Radio, 29 January 2017

Ridesharing company Lyft announced it will donate $1m to the Americal Civil Liberties Union in opposition to Trump’s immigration policy. The Hill, 29 January 2017

One American solder was killed and three wounded in Yemen, the first soldiers to die in combat since Trump took the oath of office. Trump’s first statement of the day? A 5:00 am post on Twitter in which Trump continued to grind his axe with The New York Times: “Someone with aptitude and conviction should buy the FAKE NEWS and failing @nytimes and either run it correctly or let it fold with dignity!” Donald Trump via Twitter, 29 January 2017

After attacking the Times, Trump appeared to address the protesters at every major international airport by tweeting at 5:08 am: “Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world – a horrible mess!” Donald Trump via Twitter, 29 January 2017.

Trump follows up with a 7:03 am tweet: “Christians in the Middle-East have been executed in large numbers. We cannot allow this horror to continue!” Donald Trump via Twitter, 29 January 2017

“Multiple people were killed and others injured Sunday after gunmen opened fire on worshipers at a Quebec City mosque as evening prayers were ending. A police spokesperson said that two suspects had been arrested.” The Washington Post, 29 January 2017

“We fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism.” Statement issued jointly by Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham, 29 January 2017

“The joint statement of former presidential candidates John McCain & Lindsey Graham is wrong – they are sadly weak on immigration. The two Senators should focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start World War III.” Donald Trump, via Twitter, Part One, Part Two

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Saturday, January 28th, 2017

8 Days after National Day of Patriotic Devotion (NDofPD+8)

“Thousands of protesters gathered at airports across the country Saturday to denounce President Trump’s recent executive order that barred citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, from entering the U.S. for 90 days. Demonstrations took place at airports servicing big cities, including New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and [Dulles airport] outside Washington, D.C.” National Public Radio, 29 January 2017

“The Department of Homeland Security said that the order also barred green card holders from those countries from re-entering the United States. In a briefing for reporters, White House officials said that green card holders from the seven affected countries who are outside the United States would need a case-by-case waiver to return.” The New York Times, 28 January 2017

“Mr. Trump shrugged off the sense of anxiety and disarray, suggesting that there had been an orderly rollout. “It’s not a Muslim ban, but we were totally prepared,” he said. “It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over.”” The New York Times, 28 January 2017

Senator Elizabeth Warren rallies with protesters at Boston’s Logan airport. via Twitter

“A federal judge in Brooklyn came to the aid of scores of refugees and others who were trapped at airports across the United States on Saturday after an executive order signed by President Trump, which sought to keep many foreigners from entering the country, led to chaotic scenes across the globe. The judge’s ruling blocked part of the president’s actions, preventing the government from deporting some arrivals who found themselves ensnared by the presidential order.” The New York Times, 28 January 2017

“President Donald Trump added his top adviser and strategist Steve Bannon to the National Security Council while removing the Director of National Intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” The Wall Street Journal, 29 January 2017

“In a statement on Friday, President Trump broke with the bipartisan practice of past presidents by failing to include any mention of the anti-Semitic views that fueled the Holocaust and left 6 million Jews and millions of others dead. What might have been seen as an oversight was confirmed by White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks to have been an intentional decision. “Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered,” Hicks told CNN on Saturday.” The Washington Post, 29 January 2017

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Friday, January 27th, 2017

7 Days since National Day of Patriotic Devotion (NDofPD+7)

“A statement from President Trump marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day omitted any mention of Jews or anti-Semitism, a departure from recent bipartisan precedent set by previous presidents. The statement calls for remembrance of “victims, survivors, heroes,” but nowhere does it mention the millions of Jewish people killed during the Holocaust, nor does it mention the ideology of anti-Semitism that led to the killings.” The Washington Post, 27 January 2017

“It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.
“Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest. As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent.
“In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.” President Donald Trump, 27 January 2017

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Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

5 days after the National Day of Patriotic Devotion (NDofPD+5)

Trump tweets: “I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!”

The National Association of Secretaries of State responded with this press release: “We are not aware of any evidence that supports the voter fraud claims made by President Trump, but we are open to learning more about the Administration’s concerns. In the lead up to the November 2016 election, secretaries of state expressed their confidence in the systemic integrity of our election process as a bipartisan group, and they stand behind that statement today.”

The Ohio Secretary of State, a Republican, responded with this tweet: “We conducted a review 4 years ago in Ohio & already have a statewide review of 2016 election underway. Easy to vote, hard to cheat.”

An ongoing but largely completed state audit of the November 8 presidential election in Detroit has yet to produce any evidence of fraud, Michigan Bureau of Elections Director Chris Thomas said Tuesday. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s office launched the audit in mid-December after voting irregularities were discovered during a partial recount of the election, including mismatches between ballot boxes and recorded vote totals in nearly 60 percent of the city’s precincts. While state auditors continue to review data in Lansing, they have finished on-the-ground work in Detroit. The Detroit News, Jan 24, 2017

The New Yorker reported that Steve Bannon, chief counselor to President Trump, is registered to vote in two states.

NBC reported Tiffany Trump is registered to vote in two states, New York & Pennsylvania.

Tom Bonier, CEO of Target, tweeted: “Two people named Reinhold R. Priebus, both born in March ‘72, are registered to vote in Kenosha County, WI. Different addresses. Fraud?” and “Fun with voter files: I found Steven Mnuchin on the voter rolls in both CA and NY. Thank God President Trump is looking into this fraud.”

A draft White House order seeks review of interrogation rules and if CIA-run prisons outside US should be reopened. AP News via Twitter

Agriculture Department lifts gag order for scientists after public outcry. The Hill via Twitter

Government agencies continue to apparently subtweet at Donald Trump:

Department of Defense tweets: “From refugee to #Marine. @USMC Cpl Ali. J. Mohammed takes the fight to the doorstep of those who cast his family out.” On Twitter, this is known as a “subtweet,” a Twitter post that appears to talk smack about another Twitter user without mentioning the user by name. Via Twitter

Death Valley National Park posted several tweets regarding the internment of Japanese Americans in Death Valley.

Golden Gate National Park tweeted a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

“Mr. Trump has the television — and his old, unsecured Android phone, to the protests of some of his aides — to keep him company. That was the case after 9 p.m. on Tuesday, when Mr. Trump appeared to be reacting to Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News, which was airing a feature on crime in Chicago.” The New York Times

Senior Trump administration staffers including Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer and Steve Bannon have active accounts on a Republican National Committee email system … The system (rnchq.org) is the same one the Bush administration was accused of using to evade transparency rules after claiming to have “lost” 22 million emails. Making use of separate political email accounts at the White House is not illegal. In fact, they serve a purpose by allowing staff to divide political conversations from actual White House work. Commingling politics and state business violates the Hatch Act, which restricts many executive branch employees from engaging in political activity on government time. Newsweek

Membership fees at Mar-A-Lago double to $200,000. The Palm Beach resort is owned by Donald Trump. He recently referred to it as his “Winter White House.” via CNBC

Trump signs an Executive Order to start the Mexico border wall project. AP News

“Trump says US taxpayers will pay initial bill for border wall, which will begin construction in ‘months.’” The Hill

Former Mexican president Vicente Fox tweets at Donald Trump, not for the first time: “There is no way Mexico is going to pay for that fucking wall.”

“What we are witnessing is the destruction of the credibility of the American government. This spectacle of obvious lies being peddled by the White House is a tragedy for U.S. democracy. But the rest of the world — and in particular America’s allies — should also be frightened. A Trump administration that is addicted to the “big lie” has very dangerous implications for global security. As Robert Moore, the Washington correspondent for ITN, puts it: “If the White House press secretary says things that we know to be demonstrably false, why will we trust him on North Korea, Russia, Iran [and the] war on ISIS?” That is not just a good question — it is a vital one.” The Financial Times

“Trump administration mandating EPA scientific studies, data undergo review by political staff before public release.” AP News

“Trump administration preparing executive orders to drastically reduce U.S. role in U.N., other international groups.” The New York Times

“The victim of a politically charged shooting at a public speech by Milo Yiannopoulos in Seattle is calling for dialogue and “restorative justice” rather than criminal charges. The victim, whose attorney asked that he not be identified by name, was shot in the stomach while protesting at a speech by the rightwing provocateur at the University of Washington on Friday night.” The Guardian, 25 January 2017

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Trump tweets: “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible “carnage” going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!” The language of Trump’s tweet appears to echo a broadcast by Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly an hour or so earlier. via Twitter, 24 January 2017

Trump’s administration instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the climate change page from its website, which contains links to scientific global warming research, as well as detailed data on emissions. Reuters, 24 January 2017

In a meeting with members of congress, Trump asserts without evidence that he lost the popular vote because three to five million people voted illegally, all for Clinton. When the White House press corps asks press secretary Sean Spicer what evidence Trump has, Spicer said “research” without specifying. NPR reporter Mara Liasson asks Spicer if the president will ask for an investigation; Spicer says no, the president is satisfied with the results of the election. Liasson asks how Trump can be satisfied with a scandal of these proportions; Spicer dissembles. 24 January 2017

A former employee of the National Park Service who still has the password to the Twitter account of Badlands National Park began tweeting statistics about CO2 levels in the atmosphere, the second time a National Park Service Twitter account seemed to be subtweeting Donald Trump after the main National Park Service account posted photos comparing the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration to the crowd at Obama’s.

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Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Donald Trump signs a proclamation declaring January 20, 2017, to be “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.” The Federal Register, 24 January 2017

“Days after being sworn in, President Trump insisted to congressional leaders invited to a reception at the White House that he would have won the popular vote had it not been for millions of illegal votes, according to people familiar with the meeting. Trump has repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud caused him to lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, even while he clinched the presidency with an electoral college victory. Two people familiar with the meeting said Trump spent about 10 minutes at the start of the bipartisan gathering rehashing the campaign. He also told them that between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused him to lose the popular vote.” The Washington Post, 23 January 17

“With little warning or explanation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently canceled a major climate change conference that had been scheduled for next month in Atlanta. The Climate and Health Summit, which had been in the works for months, was intended as a chance for public health officials around the country to learn more about the mounting evidence of the risks to human health posed by the changing climate. But CDC officials abruptly canceled the conference before President Trump’s inauguration, sending a terse email on Jan. 9 to those who had been scheduled to speak at the event. The message did not explain the reason behind the decision.” The Washington Post, 23 Jan 17

Donald Trump signs an executive order reinstituting the “Global Gag Rule” “The so-called Mexico City policy, established by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1984, blocks federal funding for international family planning charities that provide abortions or “promote” the procedure by providing patients with information about it, including by offering referrals to abortion providers.” The Hill, 23 January 17

Donald Trump signs an executive order withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “Trump signed the executive order formally ending the United States’ participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Oval Office after discussing American manufacturing with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room. The order was largely symbolic — the deal was already essentially dead in Congress — but served to signal that Trump’s tough talk on trade during the campaign will carry over to his new administration.” The Washington Post, 23 January 2017

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Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Day 1 after the National Day of Patriotic Devotion (NDofDP+1)

Canadians traveling to Washington D.C. to take park in the Women’s March were turned away at the border after Customs and Border Patrol agents questioned their intentions. The BBC, 21 January 2017

“The National Park Service (NPS) has resumed tweeting after it was temporarily ordered by the Interior Department to shut down its Twitter activity over two retweets — one about the attendance of President Trump’s inauguration and the other about the disappearance of some White House web pages.” CBS News, 21 January 2017

“In a Saturday phone call, Trump personally ordered [acting National Park Service director Michael T.] Reynolds to produce additional photographs of the previous day’s crowds on the Mall … The president believed that the photos might prove that the media had lied in reporting that attendance had been no better than average. Trump also expressed anger over a retweet sent from the agency’s account, in which side-by-side photographs showed far fewer people at his swearing-in than had shown up to see Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.” The Washington Post, 26 January 2017

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Friday, January 20th, 2017

National Day of Patriotic Devotion (NDofPD+0)

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