The GOP Is Becoming A Domestic Terrorist Organization

They’re tryng to be responsible for the suffering and death of thousands of Americans, and they’re proud of their efforts. Not so proud they aren’t lying as fast as they can talk, of course…



Mitch McConnell Will Not Hesitate to Abuse People with Disabilities

Literally. As long as he doesn’t have to show his face on camera, of course.

I doubt McConnell does think he’s a good guy, actually; he figures he’s defending his cushy “leadership” job, and whatever it takes to accomplish that is just fine by him.



Trump’s Foreign Policy “Team”: Uneasy Sits the Arse That Warms A Throne

Like any other cartel boss, Trump can’t trust his lieutenants unless he’s got them within arm’s reach — forever checking their body language, the eye contact between underling & underling, the pauses after his applause lines and the enthusiasm of their individual responses. And it’s not as though the Trump administration took any effort to keep the lower bureaucratic offices they inherited properly staffed or funded while the new crew figured out how to work the light switches…

The CIA director’s treks to the West Wing reflect Trump’s insistence on frequent meetings with favored members of his team. Every president has regular contact with key Cabinet members, but Trump, who remains deeply mistrustful of career agency officials, has turned the White House into a hangout for his chosen department heads.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has met with the president at least 34 times since he was confirmed in February, according to a POLITICO analysis of Trump’s interactions since taking office. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross are also frequent guests at the White House — so much so that one White House staffer quipped, “Wilbur practically lives here.” Defense Secretary James Mattis has enjoyed private meetings with the president, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has taken to eating at the White House mess several times a week.

Senior aides say Trump demands face time with his appointees in part because he doesn’t trust bureaucrats who do the day-to-day work of the federal government. The president shuns them as tools of what he often refers to as the “deep state,” and blames them for frequent, unflattering news stories coming from his White House, according to two White House aides…

Two administration officials said the parade of Cabinet officials going into the White House on a daily basis has prompted worries that their focus is being diverted from the day-to-day operations of their departments and agencies.

“We’ll see how long it lasts,” one of the officials said, noting that many secretaries don’t yet have a full cast of undersecretaries to brief top White House officials. “They don’t have their politicals yet, so some of it is a necessity.”…

Some of the Cabinet officials are also his friends, and they are beckoned to the president for political advice, even if it’s outside the purview of their agency…

One senior administration official said White House staff members understand the president’s desire to rely on agency heads to learn about complex issues, but they wish that the meetings would be coordinated in advance. Instead, Cabinet secretaries like Mnuchin and Ross just stroll in with little notice.

Others in the administration remain concerned that Cabinet officials are spending too much time schmoozing with the president and attending events, and not enough at their agencies…

Just a buncha guys from the old neighborhood, hangin’ around, shootin’ the breeze. They’re not running the country, they’re too busy running the ongoing Donald Trump campaign / crime cartel.

THANKS, REPUBLICANS!



Early Morning Open Thread: Ron Ziegler, to the White Courtesy Phone, Please…

This is not the behavior of an administration that feels everything’s going well. Even their own team is irked, per the Washington Post:

By early June, House and Senate Democratic aides had compiled lists of more than 400 written requests that they said had been ignored by the White House or federal agencies.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) described “an overall pattern of fear of any level of transparency.”

“If they can’t control the message or have it come directly from the president via his Twitter account, I think they’re very fearful of any level of sharing basic facts and how they come to their conclusions and decisions what policy should be,” Heinrich said…

…Lawmakers from both parties have been angered by a Justice Department opinion issued in May that instructed agencies not to comply with requests for information from most members of Congress, including Democrats. The May 1 opinion by the Office of Legal Counsel said that individual lawmakers could not make requests of the executive branch unless they are committee chairmen or participating in a request by a full committee or subcommittee.

“This is nonsense,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote in seven-page letter excoriating the opinion. He said that the OLC demonstrated a “shocking lack of professionalism and objectivity.”…



Open Sessions Session Recap Thread: “… ‘Zectif PRIVIJJ!…”

Julia Ioffe — a Russian immigrant who has some experience in such areas — thinks that Sessions may be most fearful that, during his mid-2016 stint as Trump’s “political affairs expert”, he may have gone beyond skirting-the-ethical-line to outright-violation-of-Congressional-regulation when he opened his offices and his arms to every international dignitary willing to be seen in Trump’s company. While the two men are undoubtedly soulmates, right now Sessions needs Trump a lot more than Trump needs Sessions, if Jefferson Beauregard III is to keep his cushy job abusing the rights of uppity women, people of color who don’t know their place, young free-speech drug-defending absolutists, and all the other felons unjailed during That Black Man in the White House’s tenure. Should his Repub fellows get too agitated about Sessions’ flagrant rule-breaking, of course Trump will have no qualms whatsofekkingever throwing the Malevolent Leprechaun to the media wolves…


 



Open Thread: Turtles Trial Balloons, All the Way Down

Mean!

President Donald Trump told Republican senators Tuesday that the House-passed health care bill he helped revive is “mean” and urged them to craft a version that is “more generous,” congressional sources said.

Trump’s remarks were a surprising slap at a Republican-written House measure that was shepherded by Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and whose passage the president lobbied for and praised. At a Rose Garden ceremony minutes after the bill’s narrow House passage on May 4, Trump called it “a great plan.”

The president’s criticism, at a White House lunch with 15 GOP senators, also came as Senate Republican leaders’ attempts to write their own health care package have been slowed by disagreements between their party’s conservatives and moderates.

Trump’s characterizations seemed to undercut attempts by Senate leaders to assuage conservatives who want restrictions in their chamber’s bill, such as cutting the Medicaid health care program for the poor and limiting the services insurers must cover. Moderate GOP senators have been pushing to ease those restrictions…

The remarks provided ammunition to Democrats who have unanimously opposed the Republican effort to dismantle President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul…

Place your dearest wishes in the hands of a bloviating narcissist, discover he doesn’t care how much you suffer when he abuses them. World’s tiniest violin orchestra, stat!



Post-Sessions-“Intelligence”-Live Feed Open Thread


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Well, about the only thing I learned from that shiteshow was that in a less smarm-rich environment, Senator Burr would be renowned for both his natural gifts and his deep commitment to professionalism in the field of smarm.

Here’s a palate-cleanser, while we discuss the proceedings.