United States of Authoritarianism
Note: I will be skipping two weeks as I am on vacation, although I will likely still collect links to publish once I return. Try not to let the world fall apart while I’m gone, eh? ;-)
- Let’s start things off with a bit of a bang here. It may well be that considerable blowback from Trumpism finished Le Pen off in France. Very good news here, although the fact does remain that Le Pen’s party is basically a recognized party now, instead of a malignant fringe party forever on the edges.
In the last week of France's presidential election, posters sprung up picturing Marine Le Pen with Donald Trump's…talkingpointsmemo.com
2. Macron is fucking brilliant here. I am suddenly reminded of Spain’s shooting itself in the foot when it expelled the Jews and the Muslims… I have to admire this, even as I recognize the disaster it is for the U.S.
Oh look. Just in time to snap up more scientists:
A spokesman for the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate, as part of the wide net it plans to cast.
President Trump has directed Mr. Pruitt to radically remake the E.P.A., pushing for deep cuts in its budget — including a 40 percent reduction for its main scientific branch — and instructing him to roll back major Obama-era regulations on climate change and clean water protection. In recent weeks, the agency has removed some scientific data on climate change from its websites, and Mr. Pruitt has publicly questioned the established science of human-caused climate change.
WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board…mobile.nytimes.com
3. Ooh, keep a close eye on this. 45 appears to be VERY nervous about Sally Yate’s upcoming testimony.
The Trump White House is planning on running a smear campaign against Sally Yates while she testifies before Congress…www.politicususa.com
After reports that the Trump administration was looking to smear her reputation in advance of her testimony in front of…thepoliticus.com
And as a reminder, Sally Yates: American Hero
President Donald Trump fired Sally Yates from her position of acting attorney general on Jan. 30. Her dismissal comes…thewoostervoice.spaces.wooster.edu
4. It’s kind of depressing running down the list of things this WH is doing to fuck things up.
The numbers tell the story. Some 1.1 million jobs have been added in health care since 2014, when the Obamacare…money.cnn.com
5. He could actually get police departments upset with him.
President Donald Trump campaigned across the country promising to fix the opioid crisis, but public health advocates…www.politico.com
6. Never let it be said that the media can’t strive to improve their reporting.
Yesterday, we reported that a passel of grotesque Dickensian caricatures gathered in the House of Representatives to…www.avclub.com
7. Nevertheless the effort to silence protests continues.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said more than 30 separate anti-protest bills have been introduced since 8 November in “an unprecedented level of hostility towards protesters in the 21st century”. Their introduction comes amid a huge increase in activism and engagement, much of it inspired by Trump’s election to the presidency.
The ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild have said many of the bills are likely unconstitutional. “The proposed bills have been especially pervasive in states where protests flourished recently,” said Vera Eidelman, who works in the ACLU’s speech, privacy and technology project.
More than 20 states have proposed bills that would crack down on protests and demonstrations since Donald Trump was…www.theguardian.com
9. Wait, I missed this, where Yates was actually fired after warning about Flynn, not about putting a hold on the muslim ban.
On Jan. 30, less than two weeks after he took office, Trump abruptly fired Yates, ostensibly because of her refusal to defend legal challenges to his Muslim ban executive order.
But The Post’s subsequent reporting revealed that Yates was instead fired right after her warnings to McGahn.
Yates sheds light on what led to the firing of Michael Flynn.www.washingtonpost.com
No. 1: Trump's national security adviser lied about Russia, and it opened him up to potential blackmail from Russia.www.washingtonpost.com
Ooh, and here’s a transcript of Yates beating up Cruz.
Ted Cruz has often tried to use his debating skills to get the best of his opponents, but without flinching, Sally…shareblue.com
I love Franken. Boom. Boom boom. Boom boom boom…
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) pieced "a puzzle together" on Monday during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Russian…www.rawstory.com
10. This doesn’t mince words.
The AHCA disproportionately affects women, a group that has been most fierce in its opposition to Trumpwww.marieclaire.com
"The numbers are just in a different universe."www.washingtonpost.com
12. I can’t even.
Social media swiftly reacted after President Trump updated his Twitter header to include a superimposed image of his…thehill.com
The unconventional diplomatic manoeuvre - approaching the head of a foreign government to influence your own boss -…news.nationalpost.com
14. This is troubling, and this article nails it:
At issue in the two proceedings […]is the very idea of government as process rather than princely will. Both stories dramatize the casual contempt of Trump and those around him for the Constitution, the law, and the procedures that guard both.
Monday's court proceedings and Senate hearings offered troubling insight into how the Trump White House regards the…www.theatlantic.com
15. This is promising, but we still need a fully independent, funded, bipartisan committee to spearhead this investigation.
Now even Republicans appear to realize the serious questions about Trump's ties to Russia won't disappear overnight.shareblue.com
16. No, don’t hold back. Tell me how you really feel.
IVANKA TRUMP HAS WRITTEN a book about female empowerment, and it is about as feminist as a swastika-shaped bikini wax. That is its best quality. If there were a shred of advice in Women Who Work that were actually relevant to a single woman who has ever had to work for a living, we might have to take it seriously on its own terms. As it is, we can at least regard this eye-watering jumble of simpering platitudes shunted together by the heiress and entrepreneur — in between stints shilling as the acceptable face of an administration bent on destroying, among other things, women’s rights — in the cold, hard light of the post-liberal propaganda wars. Women Who Work is an unholy screed of late-stage patriarchal capitalist soothsayings masquerading as a blush-pink self-help manual. That the author of this Park Avenue spellbook could seriously be considered as a new “face of feminism” is as risible as any suggestion that the book and the multi-million-dollar personal branding project it promotes can somehow be separated from Ivanka Trump’s personal power in the new White House. This is the ultimate unholy, incestuous marriage of politics and public relations, and the very least of its faults is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy, as in everything the Trumps do, is the whole point.
At times, Ivanka Trump's Women Who Work reads like the panicked screams of a machine attaining sentience.thebaffler.com
17. Holy hell, I haven’t got my political seatbelt on at the moment. Also, that second paragraph…
I think Lawfare nailed it back in November, as much as I think Comey’s really more incompetent than this:
In fact, for those concerned that President Trump will trample the rule of law — liberals and conservatives alike — Comey’s fate is one potential canary in the coal mine. If Trump chooses replace Comey with a sycophantic yes-man, or if he permits Comey to resign over law or principle, that will be a clear bellwether to both the national security and civil libertarian communities that things are going terribly wrong.
There is but one key personnel decision, in the upcoming Trump administration, that is absolutely clear: FBI Director…www.lawfareblog.com
All the news outlets, social media, etc are just blowing up right now o.O. I’m going to leave it at that. But many interesting things, such as a small set of R senators finally sounding like they’ve had enough of this, the timing of the firing with a bunch of TrumpRussia FBI subpoenas having been sent out…well there’s a lot of Saturday Night Massacre comparisons being made across the board.
A good collection of the immediate reactions is here:
However, this is most likely the underlying reason, not over the laughably corny reason that they fired Comey for being mean to Hillary Clinton on her emails…
The subpoenas represent the first sign of a significant escalation of activity in the FBI's broader investigation begun…www.cnn.com
They can’t be this incompetent. And yet…
President Donald Trump weighed firing his FBI director for more than a week. When he finally pulled the trigger Tuesday…www.politico.com
18. This is necessary reading.
Information presently public and available confirms that Erik Prince, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump conspired to…www.huffingtonpost.com
19. I’ve decided his name is Трамп.
20. Just look at those numbers. GOP is a walking dead party: corrupt and complicit in the destruction of U.S.’s democracy.
Reaction has ranged from support for the decision to calls for a special counsel.www.nytimes.com
21. This is goddamn awesome.
“I hope every single Democrat next door to a dead-beat Republican does this. … I think it’s good to show people what it would be like to have a congressman who cares.”
Ruben Gallego speaks to campaign volunteers in 2014. Bill Clark/AP The bold new strategy grew organically after the GOP…newrepublic.com
22. Crazy headlines.
Even by the often bewildering standards of the Trump administration, the 24 hours following the firing of FBI Director…www.cnn.com
From the May 10 edition of CNN's New Day: Loading the player reg... CHRIS CUOMO (CO-HOST): Phil Mudd, you worked at the…www.mediamatters.org
24. Not going over well.
As news that President Trump had fired FBI director James B. Comey spread, Russian President Vladimir Putin went public…www.washingtonpost.com
25. I..the what? What the fuck? Geeze, the WH is likely hopelessly riddled with spy cameras by now.
Other former intelligence officials also described the access granted to the photographer as a potential security lapse, noting that standard screening for White House visitors would not necessarily detect a sophisticated espionage device.
The administration official also said the White House had been misled about the role of the Russian photographer. Russian officials had described the individual as Lavrov’s official photographer without disclosing that he also worked for Tass.
“We were not informed by the Russians that their official photographer was dual-hatted and would be releasing the photographs on the state news agency,” the administration official said.
As a result, White House officials said they were surprised to see photos posted online showing Trump not only with Lavrov but also smiling and shaking hands with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Kislyak, of course, figures prominently in #TrumpRussia connections, popping up virtually everywhere. Note also that clip at the top of the article is when Lavrov said, “He’s fired? Really?” and then turns away.
Longer version of the clip: https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/watch/russias-lavrov-on-comey-firing-was-he-fired/vp-BBAYUSO
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were meeting Wednesday morning, ahead of…www.washingtonpost.com
26. Unsurprised by this at all. However, I think the timetable McCabe has has just been shortened. Because yes, Трамп and his WH are that fucking stupid. But, respect for cojones here.
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe pledged Thursday to alert the Senate Intelligence Committee if there is any political…www.politico.com
At a time like this, it is important to express things plainly. On Tuesday evening, Donald Trump acted like a despot…www.newyorker.com
28. Can we at least tattoo the Constitution and such on every elected official? Because this is so wrong it’s not even funny.
“We don’t oversee the executive,” he added, earning a round of loud boos from the audience. “Congress is not the board of directors of the White House.”
Ahem. Do you think this one is at the appropriate grade level? http://www.congressforkids.net/Constitution_checksandbalances.htm
WILLINGBORO, N.J. ― Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), who helped revive efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, on…www.huffingtonpost.com
29. I’d seen this mentioned a few places, but the whole story is quite a doozy.
White House staff called the Prime Minister's Office last month to urge Justin Trudeau to persuade President Donald…news.nationalpost.com
30. Tell me. Do I have a permanent hand impression on my forehead by now? It’s okay. You can tell me if I do.
President Donald Trump came up with the phrase "prime the pump" to describe government stimulus of the economy, he…www.huffingtonpost.com
The FBI confirms agents are executing a search warrant at an office of a GOP fundraiser/consulting firm in Annapolis…www.wbaltv.com
32. Damning. And you’ll notice he just threw all his spox under the bus.
Every time FBI Director James B. Comey appeared in public, an ever-watchful President Trump grew increasingly agitated…www.washingtonpost.com
"We want this to come to its conclusion, we want it to come to its conclusion with integrity," said deputy press…www.cnn.com
35. That palm & forehead are getting awfully well acquainted.
speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of speaking about the president
President Trump set his sights on the Navy in a new interview, calling the service's new digital catapult to launch…www.washingtonpost.com
36. … How Nixonian.
President Donald Trump is still on Twitter this morning, and it seems he has issued an ominous message to James Comey…www.mediaite.com
The White House on Wednesday said this account is not correct. And Mr. Trump, in an interview on Thursday with NBC…www.nytimes.com
courtesy of (remember him?)
37. Show us the money.
39. More shade.
The aftermath is a presidency rocked by its most serious self-inflicted crisis yet, exposing dysfunction and distrust within his West Wing and imperiling his agenda. The momentum for the health-care bill that passed the House is gone, and a week scheduled to be devoted to Trump’s preparations for a high-stakes foreign trip was overtaken by distractions and fury.
Across Washington, Trump’s allies have been buzzing about the staff’s competence as well as the president’s state of mind. One GOP figure close to the White House mused privately about whether Trump was “in the grip of some kind of paranoid delusion.”
In deciding to abruptly fire FBI Director James B. Comey, President Trump characteristically let himself be guided by…www.washingtonpost.com
Also unreal. And really scary.
Several people close to the president say his reliance on a small cadre of advisers as he mulled firing Comey reflects his broader distrust of many of his own staffers. He leans heavily on daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as Hope Hicks, his trusted campaign spokeswoman and Keith Schiller, his longtime bodyguard. Schiller was among those Trump consulted about Comey and was tapped by the president to deliver a letter informing the director of his firing.
WASHINGTON (AP) - After four months in office, President Donald Trump has become distrustful of some of his White House…www.apnews.com
42. I have a tiny violin somewhere.
Elected Republican officials are publicly defending Trump but privately are dumbfounded, disgusted and demoralized by…www.axios.com