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Trump Blames Puerto Rico for Inconveniencing Him With Another Potential Hurricane



Levin Report
Trump Blames Puerto Rico for Inconveniencing Him With Another Potential Hurricane
The president lashed out at the U.S. territory for being in the possible path of another natural disaster.
By Bess Levin
August 27, 2019

Donald Trump is mad at Puerto Rico. You see, in September 2017, the U.S. territory had the audacity to be hit by a devastating hurricane. Nearly two weeks later he was forced to take time away from his busy schedule of harassing NFL players, which was grueling and required total focus, to publicly trash the mayor of San Juan for daring to request more relief funds. When Trump finally saw fit to visit the disaster zone, he noticed that, despite Puerto Rico’s bitching, its catastrophe wasn’t “real...like Katrina” and that the survivors were a little too quick to lunge for the paper towels he threw into the crowd. Almost two years after the humanitarian crisis, Puerto Rico still manages to chap the president’s hide daily, taking federal money that could otherwise be used for drinks at Mar-a-Lago or on Don Jr.’s hunting trips and never once saying, “Thank you, Mr. President, you are so rich,” or, “Thank you, Mr. President, you’re so much better than that Obama guy and more fit too.” Despite Trump’s attempts to block aid to the commonwealth, Puerto Rico just keeps sucking at the government teat, telling sob stories about not having electricity or clean water and, Trump strongly suspects, vastly inflating the number of people who actually died in Maria to make him look bad. And now these con artists are trying to scam him again with another natural disaster?

Donald J. Trump


Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end? Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico last year, an all time record of its kind for “anywhere.”
12:09 PM - Aug 27, 2019

Two hurricanes in two years? Sounds a little too convenient if you ask the president, especially when Puerto Rico could easily have moved out of the path of the hurricane and clearly chose not to. “So I guess they’ll be expecting more money again,” you can hear Trump telling aides. Well, not on this president’s watch, no way, no how. Maybe under Obama U.S. citizens thought they could push the federal government around, but if Puerto Ricans get hit by another natural disaster, they best not come crying to Uncle Don for yet another free lunch. Now, they want to talk quid pro quo, that’s another story. Think about erecting a giant bronze statue of 45 at his most regal and he’ll consider sending a case of water and Melania’s condolences. Before the storm hits, so it shows they really mean it.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Aug 27, 2019, 10:24 PM (2 replies)

Paul Ryan will now profit off his failures to strip healthcare from millions of Americans

Paul Ryan will now profit off his failures to strip healthcare from millions of Americans
As Speaker of the House, Ryan tried to take away coverage from 23 million Americans.
Josh Israel
Aug 27, 2019, 11:13 am

As Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-WI) was best known for his repeated attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) and take away health insurance coverage from tens of millions of Americans. Now a private citizen, Ryan is about to profit from his own legislative failures.

According to his hometown paper, Ryan has joined the board of directors at SHINE Medical Technologies. The Janesville-based company makes molybdenum-99, a radioactive isotope used to illuminate bones and body tissue in medical tests — the sorts of tests typically paid for by health insurance plans.

In a statement announcing the news, the company’s CEO Greg Piefer said the former 10-term congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee “will provide critical guidance to SHINE as we expand into domestic and international markets that require deep mastery of global policy, economics and leadership.”


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Aug 27, 2019, 06:43 PM (4 replies)

Has Trump's cheese finally slid off his cracker?

Jonah Goldberg??


Column: Has Trump’s cheese finally slid off his cracker?
By Jonah GoldbergColumnist
Aug. 27, 2019
3 AM

Last week there was a sharp uptick in speculation that President Trump is a few fries shy of a Happy Meal.

Obviously, this is not the first time the idea has popped up that the commander-in-chief’s cheese might have slid off his cracker. Early in his presidency, and again in 2018, there was a lot of chatter that Trump should be removed via the 25th Amendment. Through it all, the president responded by insisting he was a “very stable genius.”

But after what has seemed like a personal best in whackadoodle statements over the last few weeks, cable news networks and prominent Twitterati are ratcheting up the talk that the president’s wheel might still be turning, but the hamster’s dead.

Whether it was his tweet declaring that American companies “are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative” to doing business in China or his decision to cancel a trip to Denmark because the Danish prime minister didn’t have a “nice” reaction to his desire to buy Greenland, or his suggestion that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell might be a greater enemy than China’s premier-for-life, it did seem like the West Wing’s nurse might have accidentally switched his meds for M&Ms.

“This is not normal. And I don’t mean that as in, ‘Trump is violating the shibboleths of the Washington establishment,’” wrote the Washington Post’s Megan McArdle. “I mean that as in, ‘This is not normal for a functioning adult.’”

CNN’s in-house media critic (who often seems to define “media” as Fox News) said over the weekend: “He’s getting worse. We can see it. It’s happening in public but it’s still a very hard, very sensitive story to cover. I’m talking of course about President Trump, about his behavior, about his instability.”


Whether or not he’s a stable genius, the Trump on display now is the same one we’ve always seen. What’s changed are the circumstances. Like an unsteady man long held upright by pushing on a locked door, he’s tumbling now that the path is suddenly open. He needs some new enemy to brace against, and he’s flailing around in search of one. That makes him appear wobblier than before, but he’s exactly as unbalanced as he’s always been.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Aug 27, 2019, 05:48 PM (41 replies)

At the G-7, Trump Showed Again That He's a Terrible Negotiator

At the G-7, Trump Showed Again That He’s a Terrible Negotiator
If you’re going to go with “maximum pressure,” don’t immediately undermine it.
By Fred Kaplan
Aug 27, 20193:15 PM

President Donald Trump’s wild and woolly press conference at the end of the G-7 summit shows, once again, that the putative author of The Art of the Deal is a lousy negotiator.

It’s one thing, and fairly risky, to go all-out “maximum pressure” on China and Iran, but at least that’s a strategy. It’s another thing, and simply bumbling, to do so, then to admit having “second thoughts” about escalating tariffs against China (then to have a spokesman backpedal on that) and to welcome a dialogue with Tehran (only to have President Hassan Rouhani blow him off).

Similarly, it’s one thing, though unconstitutional (and, therefore, a mindless bluff), to order U.S. companies to stop doing business with China, as Trump did just before the summit. But another then to say, at the press conference afterward, that President Xi Jinping is a “great leader” who will make a deal soon, and once he does, the companies should stay put and “do a great job.”

If you’re a corporate executive doing business in China, or an investor trading currencies, or even engaged in commerce almost anywhere in the world, what are you supposed to do? How are you supposed to plan even months, much less years, ahead? As Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times, protectionism, though bad enough, can be accommodated, but “erratic protectionism” is the stuff of chaos and downfalls.

The fundamental problem with Trump’s meanderings is that he doesn’t know what he wants.

It’s not just finance and industry that Trump is running ragged; this erraticism also warps diplomacy and damages U.S. interests. Asked about his tendency to veer back and forth at the press conference, Trump replied, “It’s the way I negotiate. It’s done very well for me over the years, and it’s doing even better for the country.”

Well, no. It has not done very well for Trump over the years, unless you define “very well” as boosting profits by bilking suppliers and evading debt by declaring multiple bankruptcies. And neither technique has an analogue in the more complex arena of international politics.


Posted by babylonsister | Tue Aug 27, 2019, 03:45 PM (4 replies)

Climate plan sets Sanders apart from the rest of the pack

Climate plan sets Sanders apart from the rest of the pack
By Varshini Prakash, opinion contributor — 08/27/19 07:30 AM EDT

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recently released his vision for a Green New Deal plan in Northern California, alongside communities scarred by the record wildfires last fall.

While fires in the Amazon forest and the Arctic catch headlines, the policy itself has also gotten significant attention — and for good reason: It is the boldest and most ambitious plan out there to stop our climate from breaking down and address the inequities caused by our fossil fuel economy.

With this plan, Sanders has not only raised the bar for presidential candidates, but he lays out a real political strategy to make his Green New Deal happen.

The scale and scope of Sanders’ Green New Deal set his plan apart from the rest. A $16-trillion federal investment over 10 years to transition to publicly-owned clean electricity, create 20 million new jobs, and address the historical harm from pollution on poor communities and communities of color show that Sanders takes the climate emergency seriously.

Although he’s not the only candidate to advance the conversation, Sanders’ Green New Deal stands out in making it clear from the beginning that he is preparing to be an “Organizer-in-Chief.” He pledges to “generate the political will necessary for a wholesale transformation of our society” and take on the “fossil fuel billionaires whose greed lies at the very heart of the climate crisis.”



Varshini Prakash is the executive director and a co-founder of Sunrise, a movement of young people stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process. The movement is best known for a November 2018 sit-in at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, which helped put the Green New Deal in the national spotlight. Prakash recently was Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-Mass.) guest to the State of the 2019 Union address and was named one of Grist’s 2018 50 “Fixers.”
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Aug 27, 2019, 08:19 AM (12 replies)

US Diplomat Quits Publicly And Warns Of Exodus


US Diplomat Quits Publicly And Warns Of Exodus
Alex Henderson August 26, 2019

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Bethany Milton spent 11 years working for the U.S. federal government as a consular officer in the Foreign Service. But in an op-ed for the New York Times, Milton explains that this summer, she finally decided to leave the State Department — and the straw that broke the camel’s back was hearing supporters of President Donald Trump chanting, “Send her back, send her back” in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar during a recent rally.

“When President Trump’s supporters chanted, ‘Send her back!’ I took that as a charge for me as well,” Milton asserts. “I asked the Trump Administration to send me back from my overseas posting, shipping home the family, foreign language textbooks and various tchotchkes from ‘shithole countries’ that I’ve collected in my years as a United States diplomat. I am joining a growing list of Foreign Service officers who refuse to serve this administration any longer.”

Milton, in her op-ed, explains that she has a long resumé with the federal government. From 2014-2016, for example, she “oversaw immigrant visa processing at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, India” — and she “oversaw immigrant visa operations in Kigali, Rwanda, from 2018 to 2019.”

Milton recalls that when she joined the U.S. State Department in 2008, she sat through some presentations as part of her orientation. And in one of them, she was told, “The day you can no longer publicly support your administration’s policies is the day you need to resign.” And for Milton, she writes in her op-ed, that day came when she found the “Send her back, send her back” chants intolerable.

She also noted that there is a “growing exodus” from the executive branch under Trump.

“As a Foreign Service officer, your job is to support the administration,” Milton explains. “Without exception. Despite my personal views, I spent more than two years working to carry out the Administration’s immigration and foreign policy priorities. I continued to do so until the very minute I handed in my badge and headed to the airport.”

Milton wraps up her op-ed by noting that having left the State Department, she now has a new priority — and it involves doing her part to prevent Trump from being reelected in 2020.

“On Friday,” Milton writes, “I cleared immigration and officially returned to life as a private citizen. And today, I have a new challenge: putting my time and energy into helping elect new leadership that serves the true interests of all Americans, regardless of where they were born.”
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Aug 27, 2019, 07:56 AM (16 replies)

The DEA just made a huge change to how the government treats medical marijuana

The DEA just made a huge change to how the government treats medical marijuana
A bland announcement in the Federal Register on Monday may mark the beginning of the end of federal drug cops' 50-year Reefer Madness crusade.
Alan Pyke
Aug 26, 2019, 12:37 pm

The federal government announced plans to expand cannabis research Monday, paving the way for the robust clinical trials cannabis experts believe will force the government to downgrade marijuana’s Controlled Substances Act classification.

The decision comes just two days before a key deadline in a lawsuit against the agency brought by cannabis researcher Dr. Sue Sisley of the Scottsdale Research Institute. Sisley had sought to end three years of stalling by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Monday’s regulatory filing, and the warm remarks from Attorney General William Barr that accompanied it in a press release, effectively mean Dr. Sisley’s won. Coupled with Barr’s ardently anti-pot predecessor Jeff Sessions’ departure, progress toward looser federal treatment of cannabis may resume.

“Until today, no one could do anything. We were handcuffed, in limbo,” said Shane Pennington, a member of Dr. Sisley’s legal team. “Now they’ve done something. It’s a huge, huge deal.”


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Aug 26, 2019, 01:54 PM (9 replies)

'The chosen one': Now more than ever, the press needs to address Trump's manic instability


'The chosen one': Now more than ever, the press needs to address Trump's manic instability
Eric Boehlert for Daily Kos
Sunday August 25, 2019 · 1:00 PM EDT


Most D.C. journalists just don't want to be part of a national discussion about Trump's fitness for office, which is why the same newspapers that demanded Bill Clinton resign from office remain silent on Trump today. The press appears to be terrified of the fitness-for-office framing because of the right-wing backlash it would create. The media's lack of serious, constant attention is especially galling considering how much time and attention news outlets these days are giving to documenting so-called "gaffes" produced by Democratic candidates. These are relatively trivial verbal missteps that are sometimes portrayed as possibly campaign-ending miscues. But Trump's mental incapacity largely get a pass.

"To not mention the batshit craziness with which Trump approaches issues of huge importance like a national emergency, to turn a blind eye to the way he behaves in front of all of us, is journalistic dereliction of duty," stressed Medhi Hasan, host of the Deconstructed podcast. "It’s media malpractice."

When the issue of Trump's obvious instability does get mentioned, it's often to portray Trump as being wily and savvy. "I can't assess the president's mental state, but I will tell you is my sense of it, covering him for a pretty long period of time now, is that he's more crazy like a fox," CNN's Jim Acosta recently noted, suggesting that Trump's incoherent ramblings were all part of a larger communications strategy to stay two steps ahead of the media. That's the exact wrong message to be sending about Trump and his deeply erratic ways—that it's somehow all pre-planned and doesn’t represent a dangerous path for the country.

Meanwhile, the calls of concern are growing louder, and they're not coming from the fringes of our political debate. "This guy is having a complete and total meltdown," tweeted Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, suggesting constitutional steps should be taken to remove Trump from office. "The President is a raving lunatic. He is not well," tweeted former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. And from retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey: "Trump cancels trip to Copenhagen because the Danes won’t let him “buy” Greenland. Trump wants Russian dictator who seized Crimea, invaded Ukraine, hacked US elections back into G7. Erratic. Unstable. Dangerous."

On MSNBC, host Lawrence O'Donnell devoted an entire segment to Trump's mental failings. And appearing on CNN, longtime Trump chronicler David Cay Johnston addressed the issue forcefully. “Given how common mental illness is, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that at some point we’re going to have a mentally ill president,” said Johnston. “That’s what we’ve got now.”

That's how the media should be dealing with Trump's manic instability: forthrightly and unapologetically.

Eric Boehlert is a veteran progressive writer and media analyst, formerly with Media Matters and Salon. He is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush and Bloggers on the Bus. You can follow him on Twitter @EricBoehlert.

This post was written and reported through our Daily Kos freelance program.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Aug 25, 2019, 08:37 PM (9 replies)

Trump Seriously Suggested Nuking Hurricanes To Stop Them


Posted on Sun, Aug 25th, 2019 by Jason Easley
Trump Seriously Suggested Nuking Hurricanes To Stop Them
Trump wants to stop hurricanes from hitting the United States by dropping nuclear bombs on them, and he has raised this plan on multiple occasions.

Jonathan Swan of Axios has the scoop:

President Trump has suggested multiple times to senior Homeland Security and national security officials that they explore using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from hitting the United States, according to sources who have heard the president’s private remarks and been briefed on a National Security Council memorandum that recorded those comments.

Behind the scenes: During one hurricane briefing at the White House, Trump said, “I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?” according to one source who was there. “They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can’t we do that?” the source added, paraphrasing the president’s remarks.


Trump also raised the idea in another conversation with a senior administration official. A 2017 NSC memo describes that second conversation, in which Trump asked whether the administration should bomb hurricanes to stop them from hitting the homeland.

One tries to refrain on commenting on the president’s intellect, but Trump’s lack of knowledge is scary on multiple levels. First, Trump appears not to know what a hurricane is. Secondly, the president is very willing to use nuclear bombs. It is unclear if Trump doesn’t understand that dropping a nuclear bomb on hurricane will kill lots of people and possibly destroy an entire part of the Earth, or if he doesn’t care.

There are so many unanswered questions. What does Trump think happens to the bombs? Why does Trump think that a weather system can be blown up?

Congress needs to act and investigate this report, because if it is true, Donald Trump’s mental state is presenting a grave threat to the country and the world.

The cult within the White House will never invoke the 25th Amendment, but Congress needs to find out for the American people what is going on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Aug 25, 2019, 07:33 PM (46 replies)

Trump Allies Mount Attack To Discredit Hundreds Of Journalists Before 2020 Election


Posted on Sun, Aug 25th, 2019 by Jason Easley
Trump Allies Mount Attack To Discredit Hundreds Of Journalists Before 2020 Election

The allies of Donald Trump have collected dossiers of information which they plan to use to discredit hundreds of journalists and news organizations ahead of the 2020 election.

The New York Times reported:

A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists.


It is the latest step in a long-running effort by Mr. Trump and his allies to undercut the influence of legitimate news reporting. Four people familiar with the operation described how it works, asserting that it has compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing social media posts and other public statements by hundreds of people who work at some of the country’s most prominent news organizations.


Operatives have closely examined more than a decade’s worth of public posts and statements by journalists, the people familiar with the operation said. Only a fraction of what the network claims to have uncovered has been made public, the people said, with more to be disclosed as the 2020 election heats up. The research is said to extend to members of journalists’ families who are active in politics, as well as liberal activists and other political opponents of the president.

The White House and the Trump campaign both deny involvement in the operation, but these are Trumpian tactics.

The message being sent is that Donald Trump can’t run on his own record. The president can’t run on any positive accomplishments. He may not match up well against Biden or any of the other top Democrats, so the president and his allies are going to run against the free press. They are going to try to destroy and discredit any press that covers Donald Trump with a critical eye.

It is an attack on journalism, which means that it is also an attack on the institution that keeps the American people informed. Trump and his allies have never hidden their goal of demolishing the free press and making all media coverage like Fox News, and if Trump loses in 2020, his friends are putting in place a mechanism to blame his defeat on the media.

The right of the American people to know what their government is doing is in grave danger thanks to the undemocratic impulses of Trump.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Aug 25, 2019, 03:24 PM (40 replies)
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