Monday, January 23, 2017

The Resistance: Still Rising

The Peaceful People's Parade to raise awareness about global climate change ... getting underway this afternoon in Boone.

More Voter Suppression Coming in North Carolina, You Bet!

Colin Campbell, reporting in today's News&Observer:
Republicans have made it clear they want to ban people from voting outside their assigned polling place, end same-day registration during early voting, and limit early-voting hours.
Their cover excuse will be Pat McCrory's howls of voter fraud between Nov. 8 and the day he finally conceded the election. Don't expect logic. Only expect anti-democratic laws based on lies.

They will not notice that the voters are already pretty riled up about the loss of rights.

Lie Down With Dogs, You Get Fleas

The glorious honeymoon between Trump and WikiLeaks is likely over now (according to a McClatchy reporter):

Trump Counselor Kellyanne Conway stated today that Trump will not release his tax returns. Send them to:  so we can.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

In His First Hour, Trump Signed Order To Raise Mortgage Rates

Trump spoke at his inaugural about what a man of the people he's going to be, helping all the little guys in the red baseball caps who have been forgotten by Washington elites, and then he went to the Oval Office and signed an executive order rescinding a rate decrease on FHA-backed home loans.

One of those guys in a red baseball cap with a $200,000 FHA mortgage will pay an additional $500 a year on their mortgage now.

Do they care that Trump just screwed them?

American Carnage

So in his first full day in office, Trump went to CIA headquarters and stood in front of the Memorial Wall with its 120-some stars for fallen CIA operatives (about which he said not one word to honor their sacrifice) and talked about himself, about how the lying media did not report the "one million, million-and-a-half" people on the Mall for his inauguration speech (that he himself had clearly seen from the podium, "stretching all the way to the Washington Monument"), and he blamed the press for manufacturing a feud between Himself and the CIA, which just last week he was accusing of being no better than Nazis.

While Trump was speaking at the CIA, a group of White House aids bused in for the purpose cheered wildly in the back of the room for every Trump lie assertion.

Meanwhile, across this country and even in foreign countries (and including Antarctica, no less -- see below), protesters filled every major city, peacefully massing to resist Trumpism. Some speculate that Trump made his hasty visit to the CIA, which doesn't even have his director pick confirmed yet, in order to draw the TV cameras away from the anti-Trump crowds.

Women's March against Trump, Los Angeles:

Photo Brian Feinzimer

Women's March, Nashville, Tenn.:

Photo Melanie Balakit

Women's March, Raleigh, NC:

Women's March, Washington, D.C.:

Antarctica, y'all!

Yep. Trump is unifying the nation, all right.

When you lie as flagrantly as Trump does, with plenty of documentary evidence to the contrary, eventually even your most ardent supporters will be onto you.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The National Mall as Trump was being sworn in. All the white you see is unoccupied space. Photo Reuters Pictures

Stupid Protesters

Hearing reports of violence and property damage in DeeCee.

Please, people! You don't give a guy (Stephen Bannon) who made his reputation demonizing the Left all the ammunition that he and Trump need.

Protest, yes. But break stuff? Come on!

Trump at Noon Today: "Thank Whatever Gods That Be for Barack Obama!"

Donald Trump had 660 executive department appointments to make by noon today ... because at noon today, the 660 executive department managers who were Obama political appointees are out the door, no longer employed, paycheck ended. Some of the things they've been managing are highly sensitive and crucial for public safety -- disaster management, anyone? -- and Trump has made exactly 29 of those 660 appointments. America's wide ass is about to be hanging out there by noon today, and thank Gawd someone rational in the Trump organization realized they'd better be asking Obama appointees to stay on and continue to do their jobs, or crash the hell out on Day One. Last night, the Trump people begged 50 Obama appointees to stay on a while longer.

Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush got the inside scroop on why the Trump transition walks like a three-legged horse:

1. Turns Out ... Trump Is Superstitious
Trump didn't like the "bad Karma" of being too involved "in the minutiae of his transition." Whichever Trump insider Haberman and Thrush talked to told them that, "at one point, [Trump] wanted to halt the planning altogether, out of superstition."

Okay, didn't see that one coming.

2. Chris Christie Got Fired from the Transition
Haberman and Thrush document how meticulous Christie had been in laying out a rational and effective transition blueprint over six months ago. Son-in-law Jared Kushner got rid of Christie. No one was left capable of doing what Christie outlined.

Footnote on Donald Trump's inability to focus on but one shiny object at a time:
Still, there was thought put into the transition [after Christie's exit] and what would come next, including a draft of dozens of executive orders and recommendations for a communications plan to avoid “idle” time in the president-elect’s schedule that the news media would use to describe him as unfocused.
 The Donald, unfocused? Say it's not so, Omarosa!

3. Trump (A Notorious Gossip) Has a New Phone
"A secure, encrypted device approved by the Secret Service with a new number that few people possess."

Haberman and Thrush talked to several aids who said they were relieved about the new phone, because they were tired of being "blindsided when a reporter, outside adviser or officeseeker dialed the president-elect directly" -- because Trump had given out his cell number freely and likes to yak. (He's obviously still tweeting too.)

But get this: Trump's closest aids "expect the new president to satisfy his compulsion for continuous communication by calling outsiders and by tramping from office to office in search of gossip and sounding boards."

Who's got Trump's new number? Putin?

4. Priebus to Whitehouse Staff: Don't Even Look at the Boss!
According to Haberman and Thrush, Trump's Chief of Staff Reince Preibus "informed midlevel aides that they should avoid interacting with Mr. Trump without his permission, that they were prohibited from talking to the news media, and that they should carefully restrict their social media posts, according to two people with knowledge of the call.

Trump's Law: "Do as I say, not as I do."

How Fast Will Prez Trump Squash This New Russian Investigation?

Photo Ryan McGuire
News came out this morning that a multi-agency investigative team (including personnel from the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, and the Treasury Department's financial crimes unit) have been looking into (and have evidently found) multiple contacts between top Trump campaign people and unnamed officials in the Russian government.

The investigation was leaked and then confirmed by a half-dozen of the investigators because "they feared the new administration would obstruct their efforts." As of noon today, Donald Trump will be in charge of all executive branch agencies, and as soon as he's confirmed, Jeff Sessions will be in charge of the FBI.

Three Trump campaign operatives were named as targets of the investigation: Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign director up until August 20, 2016; Carter Page, businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign; and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative and friend of Trump.

The NSC apparently has eavesdropped on conversations between these three and various officials in Russia and various Russia-friendly officials in the Ukraine. You can thank expanded eavesdropping laws put in place by the Bush administration after 9/11 for those intercepts.

Roger Stone

"Mr. Stone, a longtime friend of Mr. Trump’s, said in a speech in Florida last summer that he had communicated with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that published the hacked Democratic emails. During the speech, Mr. Stone predicted further leaks of documents, a prediction that came true within weeks."

Stone is denying today that he has any Russian contacts.

Paul Manafort

"The F.B.I. investigation into Mr. Manafort began last spring, and was an outgrowth of a criminal investigation into his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and for the country’s former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. In August, The Times reported that Mr. Manafort’s name had surfaced in a secret ledger that showed he had been paid millions in undisclosed cash payments. The Associated Press has reported that his work for Ukraine included a secret lobbying effort in Washington aimed at influencing American news organizations and government officials."

Manafort is calling the investigation "a Democrat Party dirty trick."

Carter Page

Page, a former Merrill Lynch banker, founded Global Energy Capital, an investment firm in New York that has done business with Russia. He's also been a foreign affairs advisor for Trump's transition.

Page decided to go one better than Manafort's denial: Page is blaming Hillary Clinton for this news.