This is what’s happening in the Oval Office

gkr542vThe Lügenduck tweets:

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Because he really understands the concept of classified information:

Korea launched a ballistic missile that traveled over 300 miles before crashing into the Sea of Japan—far enough to hint at the ability to drop a nuke on one of the US’ closest allies.

Naturally, President Trump discussed the matter with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was visiting the US, and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. But here’s the problem: He did so in full view of guests at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, with smartphone cameras and flashlights pointed at presumably sensitive material.

On Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that “no classified material” was shared at dinner, and that the president had received an intelligence briefing beforehand in an on-site Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, a specially outfitted room with one purpose: Keep out the spies.

Whatever comfort that reassurance affords, it doesn’t change the reality that a high-level diplomatic conversation took place that night in full view of waitstaff and nearby diners—at least one of whom posted about the show on social media.

“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,” wrote Richard DeAgazio in his now-private Facebook caption. A briefing may have happened in the SCIF, but plenty of discussion happened outside of it, too. The documents in Trump’s hands may not have been classified, but Flynn and White House adviser Stephen Bannon deemed them important enough to huddle over.

If the bulk of the president’s security discussions took place in a SCIF, great. If even a small portion of them didn’t, Trump and his team took an inexcusable risk with national security.

 

The Rude Pundit asks pump truppets a question

Trump_gifSomething I’ve wondered since Jan. 20 about those who backed the Lügenorange.

Does any of this embarrass you? Any of the shit with Michael Flynn and Russia? Any of the ridiculous things Trump says, like threatening to “destroy the career” of a state legislator? Any of the ludicrous comments and promises he makes? His complete lack of understanding of the way the government actually functions? His complete lack of knowledge about the United States’s relationships with other countries? The disastrous and unnecessary military mission in Yemen? The fact that he is literally doing the things he said he was going to do, like tearing families apart? The demonstrable lies? Does any of it make a dent with you?

But he comes up with the same answer I do:

I realized that it doesn’t.

So what’s left?

Shame is a powerful tool. We need to deploy it more and make Trump’s ardent supporters feel like outcasts for denying reality.

Maintaining the family business

541085768Some people say we shouldn’t point to the foibles of President Hookerpiss’s family, because criticism of him should be aimed at his policies. But if you know about this

President Trump lashed out on Wednesday at the Nordstrom department store chain for dropping his daughter Ivanka’s accessories and clothing line, once again raising ethical questions about the relationship between his presidency and his family’s sprawling business interests.

And this …

Melania Trump’s lawyers recently noted in a February 6 court filing that the First Lady’s “brand” had lost “significant value” and that “major business opportunities” in the “multiple millions of dollars” that “were otherwise available to her have been lost and/or substantially impacted.”

Her attorneys further lamented that Melania Trump “had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model and brand spokesperson, and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories,” among them apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance. As my colleague Emily Jane Fox recently noted, Melania Trump is at least being transparent about the way that other members of her family may be viewing the White House—as a vessel to get filthy rich.

And let’s not forget the boys

One of President Trump’s sons made a business trip to Uruguay in early January that cost taxpayers $97,830 to put Secret Service and embassy staffers in hotel rooms, according to a new report.

Eric Trump visited the South American nation on behalf of the Trump Organization before his father’s Jan. 20 inauguration, The Washington Post reported Friday.

In the coastal town of Punta del Este, Eric Trump met with real estate brokers, dined at a beachfront eatery and spoke at an “ultra exclusive” party at Trump Tower Punta del Este, according to the report.

The Secret Service spent $88,320 on hotel rooms, according to purchasing orders analyzed by the Post, and the U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Montevideo paid another $9,510 so staffers could stay in hotel rooms and “support” the Secret Service for the “VIP visit.”

… you see that the motto of this clan is “grifters gotta grift.” The Lugenorange’s economic policy for America is to put as much money in his family’s pockets as possible.

So the family is fair game.

Let the games begin.

While so much of his attention is taken up with making sure that he and his family are adequately enriched by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Trump hasn’t actually done much of anything real on the economy. There’s been no legislation signed, and just a few executive orders preparing to roll back regulations from the Obama years protecting workers and consumers. As NBC pointed out, by this time in previous presidents’ terms, they had either signed major economic legislation or were well on their way.

What Trump has done instead, in addition to try to prop up Ivanka’s clothing line, is stage a bunch of events in which he took credit for micro developments he had nothing to with. For instance, on Wednesday the chief executive of Intel went to the White House so he could announce in Trump’s presence that the company will be creating 3,000 jobs at a factory in Arizona. This is the latest in a series of such events, at which clever business leaders realize they can get a bunch of free publicity and win the favor of the most powerful person in the world by letting him take credit for something they were going to do anyway.

 

President Hookerpiss showers his followers

And the reason I post this (via CNN Money):

What Trump will do for the little guy is on everyone’s minds in Beattyville (Ky.). The town earned the unfortunate distinction of being the “poorest white town in America” from 2008 to 2012. Depending on which metric you look at, it still ranks among the most impoverished in the country. …

Today, the town is a ghost of its former self. The vast majority of Beattyville residents get some form of government aid — 57% of households receive food stamps and 58% get disability payments from Social Security.

“I hope [Trump] don’t take the benefits away, but at the same time, I think that once more jobs come in a lot of people won’t need the benefits,” says Hayes, who currently receives about $500 a month from government assistance. She’s also on Obamacare. …

But today it’s also easy to come by heroin and cocaine in Kentucky’s hills. Almost every family CNNMoney met in Beattyville had been impacted by drugs.

Puckett and her husband are currently raising a great niece and nephew because their biological parents are drug addicts. The situation is so common in Beattyville that the local elementary school runs a support group for grandparents raising grandkids.

Caudhill estimates that 40% of kids in the area don’t live with their birth parents because of drugs.

“We need help. Eastern Kentucky is beautiful, but it needs help,” says Patricia “Trish” Cole. Her son died of an overdose when he was 27. Pictures of him are all around her living room. She’s normally quick to smile, but she gets choked up when his named is mentioned. She has a tattoo on her chest that reads: “Can’t keep your arms around a memory.”

These people think the Immortan Donald is going to turn their lives around and make their concept of America great again.

But when their benefits are cut, and they have no healthcare and the jobs never come, and they sink deeper into heroin addiction, they’re going to watch all of the country’s wealth flow into the pockets of the Lügenorange and his cadre of scavenger plutocrats.

And they brought it all on themselves.