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.

 

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.

 

Early warning signs of fascism

From the Holocaust Museum in Washington (click to enlarge):

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OK, so what inspired my latest surge of paranoia?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has earned a rare rebuke by the Senate for quoting Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor.

The Massachusetts Democrat ran afoul of the chamber’s arcane rules by reading a three-decade-old letter from Dr. Martin Luther King’s widow that dated to Sen. Jeff Sessions’ failed judicial nomination three decades ago.

The chamber is debating the Alabama Republican’s nomination for attorney general, with Democrats dropping senatorial niceties to oppose Sessions and Republicans sticking up for him.

King wrote that when acting as a federal prosecutor, Sessions used his power to “chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.”

Quoting King technically put Warren in violation of Senate rules for “impugning the motives” of Sessions, though senators have said far worse stuff. And Warren was reading from a letter that was written 10 years before Sessions was even elected to the Senate.

Still, top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell invoked the rules. After a few parliamentary moves, the GOP-controlled Senate voted to back him up.

Now, Warren is forbidden from speaking again on Sessions’ nomination. A vote on Sessions is expected Wednesday evening.

That’s right Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Turtlewax) felt that the delicate sensitivities of Sen. Beauregard (R-Lynchmob) were being besmirched because another U.S. senator was reading a letter from one of the icons of the civil rights movement that explained how the Alabama dandelion used his power to suppress black voters.

Which is totally relevant to the debate on the confirmation of an attorney general, in case you didn’t notice.

I’m sorry Democrats, but this is where you’re supposed to take a stand. When Warren was silenced, every Democratic senator (and every independent, Bernie!) should have marched to the Senate chamber and stood in line to stand at the podium and read King’s entire letter. And when McConnell silenced the next senator, one should marched to the lectern immediately to read the same letter.

If that had happened, and if every Democrat (and you too, Bernie!) had been silenced, then we would have known if the Holocaust Museum’s warning sign was an abstract concept to contemplate or the new reality in the era of Hookerpiss.

By the way, this is what McConnell said:

“She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

And at 7:20 Eastern time Tuesday night, the Alabama pussy willow was confirmed as attorney general in a 52-47 vote.

The Senate split mostly along party lines in the vote for Sessions. Only one Democrat – West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin – crossed the aisle to support Sessions.

Time to get rid of Manchin. Since he’s going to vote Republican, he should join the Republican party.

The Super Bowl ad Fox didn’t want you to see

Now, why a lumber company based in a small conservative town in western Pennsylvania (called Eighty Four) would run such a pro-immigrant ad is beyond me, especially in the Hookerpiss era.

But I really appreciate the commitment, because Super Bowl ads aren’t cheap. And as I watched the cut down version, I wanted to see how it would end, which I’ve never done when a TV ad says go to the website to see the rest.

Still, Fox refused to air this in full, probably because it’s five minutes long, but mostly because Fox is owned by an illegal Aussie immigrant and virgin blood sucker named Rupert Murdoch. (OK, he isn’t illegal. He’s a billionaire who paid off a lot of people to get in so he could brainwash a bunch of mouth breathers to hate non-white immigrants).

In the ad’s initial iteration, a Mexican mother and daughter, who appear to be on their way to the United States, come across a depiction of an imposing border wall, reminiscent of the one Trump has touted will eventually divide the country from Mexico.

“Ignoring the border wall and the conversation around immigration that’s taking place in the media and at every kitchen table in America just didn’t seem right,” said Rob Schapiro, the chief client officer at Brunner, the agency that worked with 84 Lumber to come up with the ad. “If everyone else is trying to avoid controversy, isn’t that the time when brands should take a stand for what they believe in?”

But while 84 Lumber believed in its message, Fox, which aired Sunday’s game, thought it was a little too controversial.

“Fox would not let us air ‘the wall,’ ” Schapiro said. 

The Monday night massacre

On Jan. 30, the acting attorney general of the U.S. was fired:
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Just to be clear, Sally Yates did not betray the Justice Department. She refused to enforce a Hookerpiss proclamation that was in violation of the Constitution. In case the pump truppets have forgotten:

Congress shall make no law respecting an 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.

Proclaiming that one group of people cannot come into America because of their religion is unconstitutional. Period.

On Jan. 20, a tiny-fingered vulgarian put his paw on two Bibles in front of the denizens of Animal Farm and said:

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Nowhere does that Oath of Office say:

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

The refugee ban is in clear violation of the First Amendment. It doesn’t preserve, protect or defend the Constitution of the United States.

The thrice-married Lügenorange has broken his vow. But then, as his former wives know, he never takes a vow seriously.

Time to impeach.