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BOOK ALERT: Keep your eyes open for my new ebook: "144k: The First Fun Days of Trump's Reality Show"
DAY 57: Trump still has not released his tax returns. When asked if he will release his 2016 returns, which will be filed later this month, Sean Spicer told the funniest joke ever in his short career as WH Press Secretary: "The president has made his views on his taxes clear."
SECRETARY OF THE DECONSTRUCTED STATE
Okay. For this snippet, I need audience participation. I want you to imagine that you are living in a nice little place in Seoul, S. Korea. Or imagine you are an American solider stationed anywhere in S. Korea. Or imagine that you are a solider from any of several countries who are stationed in S. Korea. Or, (last one), imagine you are an American ally and that you have military people in S. Korea. Got it? Do you have one of those images in your mind. Yes? Okay. The card you're thinking of is the 3 of clubs!
No? Okay. Let's try something different. For this exercise, I want you to remember. Remember how shockingly funny it was when Donald Trump didn't know what the nuclear triad was? And remember when he was asked about it again, weeks later, and he STILL didn't know what it was? And remember when he said, in an interview, that perhaps Japan and S. Korea should arm themselves with nukes, because the U.S. was tired of policing the world?
Okay. Remember all that.
|I PICKED A HELLUVA DAY TO GIVE UP DIPLOMACY|
Now. Take all those good time memories and add last week's memory, when Sec. of State Rex Tillerson said he was going to Asia to play poker, and that the press pool couldn't come because the seats on the plane are small and Rex never has enough elbow room.
OUR POLICY OF STRATEGIC PATIENCE POLICY IS OVER
That's what Tillerson sad. He also said no option is off the table, expressly highlighting our readiness to respond with military force, and that we are going to take a new approach to N. Korea. What is that new approach. I don't know. You know who else doesn't know? Citizens of S. Korea, our military personnel in S. Korea, other nations' military personnel who are in S. Korea, and all our allies and adversaries.
And, of course, the press pool. The American free press. The guys who were not invited along on Rex's little jaunt to Asia, where he decided to change decades of American foreign policy toward a rogue state that is quickly becoming a nuclear power.
Fortunately, things in S. Korea are very stable right now. Except for the days old impeachment of it's president and the likely replacement of a government that is inclined to talk nicely with N. Korea and not crazy about the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system we have put there.
This is all a bit wonky for the average person to appreciate. And I am way below average, so you can imagine how much I'm struggling with it. Abandoning "strategic patience," which is essentially, working with allies to continue to pressure N. Korea into giving up its apocalypse dreams, may be the right thing to do. Before the impeachment, the U.S. and S. Korea were on the same page here. Now, not so much. And N. Korea clearly continues to pursue goals that threaten the entire world.
But it seems to me that Rex Tillerson's decision to finally prove to the world that he can speak, Rex's big debut, came as a bit of a shock to our allies, China and the world. Worse, saying "those days are over," without saying what the new deal is, is a problem.
Against the background of Tillerson's complete lack of experience in foreign policy, his close ties to Russia, his use of his other porn star's name to send emails regarding climate change, his failure to appoint a deputy of Sec. of State, and a president who has remarkably little knowledge of anything outside his own business interests, and even less inclination to learn it (does anyone really think that Trump read, or even sat still for a briefing, on the GOP's proposed healthcare disaster?), going to Asia and saying, almost literally, "there's a new sheriff in town," without even a heads up to our allies, should scare the shit out of you.
I want to point out that the last paragraph is one sentence. Thank you.
EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER
The leading Republicans and Democrats of BOTH the House and Senate Intelligence committees have now said they have seen no evidence to suggest that Trump was mentally functional when he tweeted that SAD Obama wire tapped him.
Trump accused Obama of committing a high crime against the country and Trump's people. The House and Senate say "No he didn't." They have been briefed by intelligence agencies, so we can assume they have also said "No he didin!" And the Attorney General said he never briefed Trump or was asked to brief Trump on any wiretapping. Comey is coming over for a visit Monday, where it is expected that he will say, among other things, "Oh no, he didn't."
None of this means Trump lied. Just ask your uncle Ralph. If he's already locked himself in the bathroom with Gateway Pundit articles, then just ask Sean Spicer. Sean starts by attacking the press, then smoothly goes into reading a series of articles, opinions, and fortune cookies that have absolutely nothing to do with Trump's tweets. Then he attacks CNN's Jim Acosta. A man so handsome that even I, the most heterosexual news viewer in the history of media, want to buy him a drink. If you haven't seen the entire farce, it's worth 20 minutes. And like Sean Spicer says, try to clam down.
You probably heard about this plenty. I'll flesh it out in the ebook. Just a quick shout out to two casualties of the proposed budget, which will never be passed as is: 1. Trump's promise to spend 1 Trillion on infrastructure (The budget cuts funding for infrastructure). 2. Meals on Wheels, the program where volunteers deliver food to senior citizens who can't get out to eat, will suffer.
Foreign Aid (Relax Israel. You get a 3.8 billion dollar pass).
Funds to the UN that cover climate change agreements, peace keeping forces and a bunch of other stuff
What remains of the EPA and it's ability to ensure we have clean drinking water. (Congratulations Nestle Water).
THE MUSLIM BAN
No one in Washington, with the exception of Trump, Bannon and Miller, think the second ban will keep America safer. Just a few things to think about.
The ban was to last 90 days, so Trump could figure out how to extreme vet. SPOILER ALERT: All he has to do is look at how we do it now. Homeland Security leaked reports show there is no confidence that such a ban does anything to help us. Plenty of military and State Dept. guys say it hurts us. Two federal judges believe the second ban violates the Establishment Clause.
The first ban was introduced about 45 days ago. Remember, it's only a 90 day ban. So, even if it had passed, it would be halfway done by now. So, what's the point of fighting to get the second one passed. In about a month, Trump will have figured out how to extreme vet (again).
One other thing to think about. Two days ago, Trump said he changed the second ban even though he didn't want to. In fact, he likes the first ban better and he should fight for that. That means, among other things, Trump wants Iraq back on our list. But I thought Iraq was taken off the list IN THE INTERESTS OF NATIONAL SECURITY?? It is almost as if Trump's reasons for this ban don't have anything to do with National Secuirty.
LET'S TALK ABOUT EXTREME VETTING:
If there is one person who has demonstrated his complete inability to do anything that remotely approaches vetting, never mind "extreme vetting," it's Donald Trump.
His National Secuirty advisor, who had to resign for reasons we don't yet know, was a paid foreign agent for Turkey. He accepted and failed to disclose that he was paid almost $50,000 for speaking to Russians and keeping Putin's water glass full at a Russian function. He was paid about $500,000 by the Turkish government. It's against the law for any public official or military officer to lobby for a foreign power with PRIOR permission. Flynn didn't have that. That was our national security guy. Who the fuck vetted him?? As our lovable Maddow says, if it weren't for Trump's continuous scandals, this alone would be the biggest scandal in decades.
Our intelligence committees are demanding answers on Flynn and how he got caught talking to Russians about lifting sanctions. Today we may find out if Flynn was illegally wiretapped (EPIC SCANDAL!), if he was simply caught because the ambassador was tapped (EPIC SCANDAL BECAUSE TRUMP KNEW OF IT WEEKS BEFORE HE ASKED FLYNN TO RESIGN), or if Flynn was himself the subject of an intelligence investigation (EPIC SCANDAL!).
His Attorney General lied under oath. And he didn't lie about the usual stuff, like his weight and whether or not he planned on watching this season's "Bachelor." He lied about speaking to the Russian Ambassador.
The pro-nazi, far right Hungarian group known as The Order of Vitez, confirmed that Trump's top aide, Sebastian Gorka, is a gold card member of the group. Are you jumping up and down now, shouting "NEIN, NEIN!"? Yes, Yes! CLICK HERE
And that's just the tip of Trump's vet-less iceberg.
It's 9:09 a.m.