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General Category => General Forum => Topic started by: Kiwithrottlejockey on July 28, 2017, 05:34:04 pm

Title: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on July 28, 2017, 05:34:04 pm

from The New Yorker....

Anthony Scaramucci Called Me to Unload About White House
Leakers, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon

He started by threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff.
It escalated from there.

By RYAN LIZZA | 4:52PM EDT - Thursday, July 27, 2017

(https://media.newyorker.com/photos/597a054d3cdfa859e4ba577b/master/w_900,c_limit/Lizza-Scaramucci.jpg) (https://media.newyorker.com/photos/597a054d3cdfa859e4ba577b/master/w_1200,c_limit/Lizza-Scaramucci.jpg)
The new White House communications director has become obsessed with leaks and threatened to fire staffers if he discovers that
they have given unauthorized information to reporters. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images.

ON Wednesday night, I received a phone call from Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director. He wasn't happy. Earlier in the night, I'd tweeted (https://twitter.com/RyanLizza/status/890403810182561793), citing a “senior White House official,” that Scaramucci was having dinner (http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/344068-trump-dines-with-sean-hannity-scaramucci-at-white-house) at the White House with President Trump, the First Lady, Sean Hannity, and the former Fox News executive Bill Shine. It was an interesting group, and raised some questions. Was Trump getting strategic advice from Hannity? Was he considering hiring Shine? But Scaramucci had his own question — for me.

“Who leaked that to you?” he asked. I said I couldn't give him that information. He responded by threatening to fire the entire White House communications staff. “What I'm going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we'll start over,” he said. I laughed, not sure if he really believed that such a threat would convince a journalist to reveal a source. He continued to press me and complain about the staff he's inherited in his new job. “I ask these guys not to leak anything and they can't help themselves,” he said. “You're an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I'm asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it.”

In Scaramucci's view, the fact that word of the dinner had reached a reporter was evidence that his rivals in the West Wing, particularly Reince Priebus (http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/steve-bannon-and-reince-priebuss-war-for-the-white-house), the White House chief of staff, were plotting against him. While they have publicly (http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1707/21/cnr.06.html) maintained that there is no bad blood between them, Scaramucci and Priebus have been feuding for months. After the election, Trump asked Scaramucci to join his Administration, and Scaramucci sold (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/business/dealbook/trump-aide-scaramucci-sells-investment-business-to-chinese-consortium.html) his company, SkyBridge Capital, in anticipation of taking on a senior role. But Priebus didn't want him in the White House, and successfully blocked (https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/the-scaramucci-takeover/534570) him for being appointed to a job until last week, when Trump offered him the communications job over Priebus's vehement objections. In response to Scaramucci's appointment, Sean Spicer, an ally of Priebus's, resigned (http://www.newyorker.com/news/ryan-lizza/sean-spicer-will-be-remembered-for-his-lies) his position as press secretary. And in an additional slight to Priebus, the White House's official announcement (https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/07/21/president-donald-j-trump-appoints-anthony-scaramucci-be-white-house) of Scaramucci's hiring noted that he would report directly to the President, rather than to the chief of staff.

Scaramucci's first public appearance as communications director was a slick and conciliatory performance (http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson-sorkin/when-anthony-scaramucci-fell-in-love-with-donald-trump) at the lectern in the White House briefing room last Friday. He suggested it was time for the White House to turn a page. But since then, he has become obsessed with leaks and threatened (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/25/anthony-scaramucci-changes-white-house-communications-office-240928) to fire staffers if he discovers that they have given unauthorized information to reporters. Michael Short, a White House press aide considered close to Priebus, resigned (http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news-other-administration/343648-white-house-press-aide-resigns-amid) on Tuesday after Scaramucci publicly spoke about firing him. Meanwhile, several damaging stories about Scaramucci have appeared in the press, and he blamed Priebus for most of them. Now, he wanted to know whom I had been talking to about his dinner with the President. Scaramucci, who initiated the call, did not ask for the conversation to be off the record or on background.

“Is it an assistant to the President?” he asked. I again told him I couldn't say. “O.K., I'm going to fire every one of them, and then you haven't protected anybody, so the entire place will be fired over the next two weeks.”

I asked him why it was so important for the dinner to be kept a secret. Surely, I said, it would become public at some point. “I've asked people not to leak things for a period of time and give me a honeymoon period,” he said. “They won't do it.” He was getting more and more worked up, and he eventually convinced himself that Priebus was my source.

“They'll all be fired by me,” he said. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I'll fire tomorrow. I'll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus — if you want to leak something — he'll be asked to resign very shortly.” The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn't been invited. “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said. He channelled Priebus as he spoke: “‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months’.” (Priebus did not respond to a request for comment.)

Scaramucci was particularly incensed by a Politico report (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/26/scaramucci-trump-skybridge-profits-241006) about his financial-disclosure form, which he viewed as an illegal act of retaliation by Priebus. The reporter said on Thursday morning that the document was publicly available and she had obtained it from the Export-Import Bank. Scaramucci didn't know this at the time, and he insisted to me that Priebus had leaked (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/us/politics/scaramucci-priebus-leaks.html) the document, and that the act was “a felony.”

“I've called the F.B.I. and the Department of Justice,” he told me.

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“The swamp will not defeat him,” he said, breaking into the third person. “They're trying to resist me, but it's not going to work. I've done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they're going to have to go fuck themselves.”

Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. “I'm not Steve Bannon, I'm not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, speaking of Trump's chief strategist. “I'm not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I'm here to serve the country.” (Bannon declined to comment.)

He reiterated that Priebus would resign soon, and he noted that he told Trump that he expected Priebus to launch a campaign against him. “He didn't get the hint that I was reporting directly to the President,” he said. “And I said to the President here are the four or five things that he will do to me.” His list of allegations included leaking the Hannity dinner and the details from his financial-disclosure form.

I got the sense that Scaramucci's campaign against leakers flows from his intense loyalty to Trump (http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson-sorkin/when-anthony-scaramucci-fell-in-love-with-donald-trump). Unlike other Trump advisers, I've never heard him say a bad word about the President. “What I want to do is I want to fucking kill all the leakers and I want to get the President's agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people,” he told me.

He cryptically suggested that he had more information about White House aides. “O.K., the Mooch showed up a week ago,” he said. “This is going to get cleaned up very shortly, O.K.? Because I nailed these guys. I've got digital fingerprints on everything they've done through the F.B.I. and the fucking Department of Justice.”

“What?” I interjected.

“Well, the felony, they're gonna get prosecuted, probably, for the felony.” He added, “The lie detector starts …” but then he changed the subject and returned to what he thought was the illegal leak of his financial-disclosure forms. I asked if the President knew all of this.

“Well, he doesn't know the extent of all that, he knows about some of that, but he'll know about the rest of it first thing tomorrow morning when I see him.”

Scaramucci said he had to get going. “Yeah, let me go, though, because I've gotta start tweeting some shit to make this guy crazy.”

Minutes later, he tweeted, “In light of the leak of my financial info which is a felony. I will be contacting @FBI and the @TheJusticeDept #swamp @Reince45.” With the addition of Priebus's Twitter handle, he was making public what he had just told me: that he believed Priebus was leaking information about him. The tweet quickly went viral.

Scaramucci seemed to have second thoughts. Within two hours he deleted the original tweet and posted a new one denying (https://twitter.com/Scaramucci/status/890433477337915393) that he was targeting the chief of staff. “Wrong!” he said, adding a screenshot of an Axios article that said, “Scaramucci appears to want Priebus investigated by FBI.” Scaramucci continued, “Tweet was public notice to leakers that all Sr Adm officials are helping to end illegal leaks. @Reince45.”

A few hours later, I appeared on CNN to discuss the overnight drama. As I was talking about Scaramucci, he called into the show himself and referenced our conversation. He changed his story about Priebus. Instead of saying that he was trying to expose Priebus as a leaker, he said that the reason he mentioned Priebus in his deleted tweet was because he wanted to work together with Priebus to discover the leakers.

“He's the chief of staff, he's responsible for understanding and uncovering and helping me do that inside the White House, which is why I put that tweet out last night,” Scaramucci said (http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/27/politics/scaramucci-new-day-transcript/index.html), after noting that he had talked to me on Wednesday night. He then made an argument that journalists were assuming that he was accusing Priebus because they know Priebus leaks to the press.

“When I put out a tweet, and I put Reince's name in the tweet,” he said, “they're all making the assumption that it's him because journalists know who the leakers are. So, if Reince wants to explain that he's not a leaker, let him do that.”

Scaramucci then made a plea to viewers. “Let me tell you something about myself,” he said. “I am a straight shooter.”

Ryan Lizza (http://www.newyorker.com/contributors/ryan-lizza) is the Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, and also an on-air contributor for CNN.


Related to this topic:

 • How Jared Kushner Helped the Russians Get Inside Access to the Trump Campaign (http://www.newyorker.com/news/ryan-lizza/how-jared-kushner-helped-the-russians-get-inside-access-to-the-trump-campaign)

 • When Anthony Scaramucci Fell in Love with Donald Trump (http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson-sorkin/when-anthony-scaramucci-fell-in-love-with-donald-trump)

 • Sean Spicer Will Be Remembered for His Lies (http://www.newyorker.com/news/ryan-lizza/sean-spicer-will-be-remembered-for-his-lies)

http://www.newyorker.com/news/ryan-lizza/anthony-scaramucci-called-me-to-unload-about-white-house-leakers-reince-priebus-and-steve-bannon (http://www.newyorker.com/news/ryan-lizza/anthony-scaramucci-called-me-to-unload-about-white-house-leakers-reince-priebus-and-steve-bannon)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on July 28, 2017, 05:34:19 pm

from The Washington Post....

This week in the totalitarian White House

A summary of the current happenings in the Trump administration.

By CARTER ESKEW | 6:02PM EDT - Thursday, July 27, 2017

(https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_975w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/27/Production/Daily/Editorial-Opinion/Images/AFP_QW9KI.jpg&w=975) (https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_960w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/27/Production/Daily/Editorial-Opinion/Images/AFP_QW9KI.jpg&w=1484)
President Trump waves after speaking to Boy Scouts during the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Glen Jean, West Virginia, on July 24th.
 — Photograph: Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

PRESIDENT TRUMP acts more like a totalitarian every day. How long before we have massive billboards of him on every corner and highway with his face and slogan looming over us? Hyperbolic? Well, in the White House press briefing yesterday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders began with two announcements. First, the White House summoned Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to announce that the president had donated his second-quarter salary of $100,000 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/07/26/trump-donates-100000-his-second-quarter-salary-to-education-department-for-science-camp) to her department, the same one he proposed cutting by $9.2 billion (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/trumps-first-full-education-budget-deep-cuts-to-public-school-programs-in-pursuit-of-school-choice/2017/05/17/2a25a2cc-3a41-11e7-8854-21f359183e8c_story.html) earlier this year. Next, the press secretary read a letter from an 9-year-old boy (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sanders-tries-to-turn-page-but-press-sparring-continues/2017/07/26/50b57b30-7252-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014_story.html) praising Trump. Even on a day when the future health care of millions of Americans was at risk because of him, the White House asked us to pledge allegiance to the flag of Trump.

Meanwhile, other news was happening. The new minister of public information, Anthony Scaramucci, was busy hunting the leakers (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2017/07/25/why-scaramuccis-war-on-leaks-is-certain-to-backfire). A Trump ban on transgender people serving in the military in part to help congressional supporters (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/26/trump-transgender-military-ban-behind-the-scenes-240990). More intimidation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. More of what appeared to be White House-sponsored leaks speculating about a recess appointment (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-talks-privately-about-the-idea-of-a-recess-appointment-to-replace-sessions/2017/07/26/2a347d32-723c-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html) of a new attorney general. More speculation about firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tried to intimidate (https://www.adn.com/politics/2017/07/26/trump-administration-signals-that-murkowskis-health-care-vote-could-have-energy-repercussions-for-alaska) Senator Lisa Murkowski (Republican-Alaska) on her “no” vote to repeal Obamacare by threatening to withdraw administration support for policies and programs beneficial to her state.

Even some welcome news came tinged with ominous signs. Foxconn announced that it will build a new plant in House Speaker Paul D. Ryan's district (http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/trump-announces-usd10-billion-foxconn-plant.html). Like many of these deals, the tax giveaways (up to $3 billion, or as much as $1 million per each new job (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-27/america-and-the-foxconn-dream)) undermine the value, but the larger point is that the deal seems consistent with Trump's approach of making decisions exclusively based on his personal interests. The factory's location is no accident: Wisconsin was key to Trump's victory, and Ryan can be either a key ally or an obstacle for the president's agenda. The announcement is carrot and a stick for Ryan.

It is worth remembering that almost none of Trump's behavior is consistent with democratic traditions. He is a demagogue who rules like a totalitarian. Many know this, but are too tired, angry or depressed to even note it anymore. I understand the feeling. We democrats are like frogs who boil in water; it's uncomfortable, but we get used to it. But we need to keep croaking.

• Carter Eskew is a founder of The Glover Park Group who oversees the firm's branding, corporate reputation and creative services groups. Before forming GPG in 2001, Carter worked as a political media consultant and corporate strategist.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/07/27/this-week-in-the-totalitarian-white-house (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/07/27/this-week-in-the-totalitarian-white-house)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on July 28, 2017, 05:36:33 pm

from the Los Angeles Times....

White House infighting gets very public and very profane

By NOAH BIERMAN and BRIAN BENNETT | 4:20PM PDT - Thursday, July 27, 2017

(http://www.trbimg.com/img-597a7f16/turbine/la-1501200147-islngvodrf-snap-image/955) (http://www.trbimg.com/img-597a7f16/turbine/la-1501200147-islngvodrf-snap-image)
White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci speaks on a morning television show from the White House lawn on Wednesday.
 — Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP (http://www.latimes.com/topic/politics-government/donald-trump-PEBSL000163-topic.html) and his aides love to complain about back-biting leaks from within the White House (http://www.latimes.com/topic/politics-government/government/white-house-PLCUL000110-topic.html). But on Thursday, the infighting was out in the open, live on television.

The incoming communications director, Anthony Scaramucci (http://www.latimes.com/topic/business/anthony-scaramucci-PEBS00040-topic.html), in a morning phone call broadcast on CNN, compared the West Wing to a fish that “stinks from the head down,” implying that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (http://www.latimes.com/topic/politics-government/government/reince-priebus-PEPLT00008036-topic.html) is responsible for at least some of the leaks.

“There are people inside this administration who think it's their job to save America from this president,” Scaramucci said.

Another Trump advisor, Kellyanne Conway (http://www.latimes.com/topic/politics-government/kellyanne-conway-PEGPF00207-topic.html), used a prison analogy for the broader backstabbing, telling Fox News that her White House colleagues were using “the press to shiv each other.”

Later, Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (http://www.latimes.com/topic/politics-government/sarah-huckabee-sanders-PEGPF00231-topic.html) declined to come to Priebus's defense and say whether Trump has full confidence in his chief of staff.

While the discord might suggest a new level of chaos in a White House known for it, the style is all Trump. As a businessman, he has a history of fostering rivalries among his employees.

“He always did sort of like competition, backstabbing, infighting kind of stuff,” said Barbara Res, who spent nearly two decades as a top executive in Trump's real estate business. “He set people up to do that.”

“He'd pick the winner and blame the loser,” she added.

As president, he hasn't changed, Sanders told reporters: “The president likes that kind of competition and encourages it.”

Trump led the charge this week, using his Twitter account (http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-updates-trump-tweets-beleaguered-a-g-jeff-sessions-htmlstory.html) and an interview with The Wall Street Journal to ridicule his attorney general, Jeff Sessions (http://www.latimes.com/topic/politics-government/government/jeff-sessions-PEPLT005938-topic.html), one of Trump's first and most prominent campaign supporters. By Thursday, both Priebus and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were seeing their fates publicly deliberated as well, less than a week after Press Secretary Sean Spicer (http://www.latimes.com/topic/politics-government/sean-spicer-PEGPF00220-topic.html) was forced out after months of speculation and presidential slights.

The Priebus intrigue was amplified by Scaramucci on Twitter and in the CNN interview. He blamed Priebus for leaking Scaramucci's personal financial disclosure forms — forms that are publicly available — and suggested that Trump encouraged his attack on Priebus in a phone conversation the two men had just had before Scaramucci dialed into CNN.

Later on Thursday, New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza reported that Scaramucci (http://www.newyorker.com/news/ryan-lizza/anthony-scaramucci-called-me-to-unload-about-white-house-leakers-reince-priebus-and-steve-bannon), in a profanity-laden phone call to him on Wednesday night, referred to Priebus as a “paranoid schizophrenic” who had blocked him from the White House for six months. He accused White House strategist Steve Bannon of seeking to “build [his] own brand off the … strength of the president,” and he claimed to have evidence from the FBI about who in the White House had been leaking derogatory stories.

Infuriated that someone had told Lizza about a dinner that night at the White House, Scaramucci demanded to know the reporter's source and said he would “eliminate everyone in the comms team and we'll start over,” unless Lizza told him.

Priebus has declined to engage publicly. But hours after Scaramucci first aired his side in the two men’s strife, Sanders called it “healthy competition.”

The result of all the drama is a White House that increasingly resembles the set from the president's former way of life, as the star of a reality TV show. His aides' cable television appearances recall the “confessionals” familiar to fans of the genre, in which contestants look directly at the camera to confide their anger or enmity toward others on the show.

“The primary attribute for a successful tenure in the Trump White House is masochism,” tweeted Rick Wilson, a longtime Republican operative and Trump critic.

The repeated evidence of dysfunction and the high level of insecurity among Trump’s core aides help explain the White House's inability to focus on its agenda.

Trump's critics suggested the public staff blow-up was a deliberate distraction from several controversies — the struggle in Congress to pass a healthcare bill; ongoing investigations into potential collusion between his campaign and Russia; and the blowback from Republicans and others to Trump's surprise Twitter announcement on Wednesday that transgender people will be barred from military service.

But those issues also were being heavily covered on cable news. The stories that were overshadowed were those the White House was trying to promote this week: a deal the administration helped strike with Foxconn to build a production facility in Wisconsin, creating thousands of new jobs, and nascent efforts to craft a tax overhaul plan.

“Right now, the president is operating the White House by himself,” relying on only a handful of aides, including Scaramucci, said Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign advisor who maintains contacts in the White House.

It's Scaramucci's “natural inclination to go after Reince and he's not getting any kind of halt sign,” Bennett added. “One of them is not going to make it.”

The tension between Scaramucci and Priebus was widely known for months behind the scenes, as Scaramucci came to believe Priebus sabotaged his early attempts to join the Trump administration. Priebus, in turn, was miffed as Scaramucci recently edged aside Sean Spicer, his closest ally in the White House, as press secretary.

Trump has given Priebus little comfort. During Wednesday's White House announcement about the planned Foxconn facility in Wisconsin on Wednesday — a deal that Priebus, a Wisconsin native, helped secure — Trump failed to recognize him even as the president praised the state's governor, congressional delegation and other members of his cabinet who came to the East Room event.

Scaramucci joins a cadre seen by some West Wing officials as “enablers” who encourage Trump's most defiant and often self-defeating impulses, a group that notably includes strategist Steve Bannon.

In recent months, on foreign policy in particular, Bannon has taken a step back as a faction of so-called “realists” — or, as Bannon likes to call them “globalists” — including son-in-law Jared Kushner, daughter Ivanka Trump and economics advisor Gary Cohn have held sway.

But Trump's surprise announcement on Twitter during Wednesday morning of a ban on transgender troops, without a plan from the blindsided Pentagon leadership to enforce it, showed that the realists only have so much power to rein in the president.

Sanders defended Trump's controversial speech at the Boy Scouts national jamboree from earlier in the week, a campaign-style event that prompted an apology from the organization's chief executive on Thursday.

“I saw nothing but roughly 40,000 to 45,000 Boy Scouts cheering the president on,” Sanders said on Thursday.

David B. Cohen, a political science professor at the University of Akron who has studied the role of the White House chief of staff, said many administration problems stem from Priebus' lack of power to help set Trump’s agenda and manage the staff members competing for his attention.

“In many ways Trump is his own chief of staff, and he's not a very good one,” Cohen said.

The fact that Scaramucci was hired last week over Priebus' objections and reports directly to Trump, Cohen said, “shows that Priebus has been effectively neutered in the West Wing.”

Scaramucci seems eager to fill any void. But as other Trump aides have learned, the glow of the president's affection is seldom permanent.

One Republican in regular contact with the White House, who asked for anonymity to preserve his access, said of Scaramucci, “What got him there was the ability to being an effective counterpuncher.”

“But at a certain point, you become at risk of becoming the punching bag,” the Republican added.

Sessions, who gave up a secure Senate seat to become Trump's attorney general, learned that lesson over the past week as Trump began openly expressing his frustrations, blaming him for the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III (http://www.latimes.com/topic/crime-law-justice/robert-mueller-PEPLT0008908-topic.html) to lead the Russia investigation.

Sessions said again on Fox News on Thursday that he intends to stay in the job if Trump does not fire him. Trump's humiliation of Sessions lately has aroused more open complaints from congressional Republicans than any presidential action to date.

Senator Lindsey Graham (http://www.latimes.com/topic/politics-government/government/lindsey-o.-graham-PEPLT002479-topic.html) of South Carolina warned that “there will be holy hell to pay” if Trump fires Sessions. Any attempt to get rid of Mueller, Graham added, could be “the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency.”

Noah Bierman and Brian Bennett reported from Washington D.C.

• Noah Bierman covers the White House in Washington, D.C. for the Los Angeles Times. Before joining the newspaper in 2015, he worked for the Boston Globe in both Boston and Washington, covering Congress, politics and transportation in the immediate aftermath of the Big Dig. He has also reported on higher education, crime, politics and local government for the Miami Herald, the Palm Beach Post and the Duluth (Minnesota) News-Tribune. Bierman is a native of Miami who attended Duke University.

• Brian Bennett covers the White House for the Los Angeles Times and writes about national security and immigration as well. Since starting in the L.A. Times Washington bureau in 2010, he has documented a pattern of excessive force by U.S. Border Patrol agents and revealed the first arrest on U.S. soil using a Predator drone. He reported for TIME magazine starting in Hong Kong in 2000, from Pakistan and Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks and was its Baghdad bureau chief in 2003 and 2004. A native of Riverside, California, he misses being able to pick avocados and oranges in the backyard.


Related to this topic:

 • Adam Schiff, President Trump and the serendipity of slander (http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-on-politics-column-170728-story.html)

 • Trump's war against elites and expertise (http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-elites-20170725-story.html)

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-white-house-chaos-20170727-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-white-house-chaos-20170727-story.html)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Donald on July 28, 2017, 07:45:04 pm
Yes , I agree...it's great to live in NZ under a conservative govt😜

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on July 29, 2017, 04:32:12 am

from The Washington Post....

The King is Mad: The worst is yet to come

Trump's reign is not a presidency. It is an affliction that must be fiercely resisted.

By EUGENE ROBINSON | 8:04PM EDT - Thursday, July 27, 2017

(https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_900w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/28/Editorial-Opinion/Images/Botsford170725Trump18635.JPG) (https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/28/Editorial-Opinion/Images/Botsford170725Trump18635.JPG)
Mad King Donald J. Trump. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.

THE Court of Mad King Donald is not a presidency. It is an affliction, one that saps the life out of our democratic institutions, and it must be fiercely resisted if the nation as we know it is to survive.

I wish that were hyperbole. The problem is not just that President Trump is selfish, insecure, egotistical, ignorant and unserious. It is that he neither fully grasps nor minimally respects the concept of honor, without which our governing system falls apart. He believes “honorable” means “obsequious in the service of Trump”. He believes everyone else's motives are as base as his.

The Trump administration is, indeed, like the court of some accidental monarch who is tragically unsuited for the duties of his throne. However long it persists, we must never allow ourselves to think of the Trump White House as anything but aberrant. We must fight for the norms of American governance lest we forget them in their absence.

It gets worse and worse. The past week has marked a succession of new lows.

Trump has started a sustained campaign to goad or humiliate Attorney General Jeff Sessions into resigning. Trump has blasted Sessions on Twitter, at a news conference (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/25/trump-press-conference-lebanon-highlights-health-care-240945), in newspaper interviews (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/19/us/politics/trump-interview-sessions-russia.html) and at a campaign-style rally. He has called Sessions “beleaguered” (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/889467610332528641) and said repeatedly how “disappointed” he is in the attorney general.

Forget, for the moment, that Sessions was the first sitting U.S. senator to support Trump's campaign, giving him credibility among conservatives. Forget also that Sessions is arguably having more success than any other Cabinet member in getting Trump's agenda implemented. Those things aside, what kind of leader treats a lieutenant with such passive-aggressive obnoxiousness? Trump is too namby-pamby to look Sessions in the eye and say, “You're fired.”

That's what the president clearly is trying to summon the courage to do, however. The Washington Post reported (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-talks-privately-about-the-idea-of-a-recess-appointment-to-replace-sessions/2017/07/26/2a347d32-723c-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html) that Trump has been “musing” with his courtiers about the possibility of firing Sessions and naming a replacement during the August congressional recess.

Trump has no respect for the rule of law. He is enraged that Sessions recused himself from the investigation of Russia's meddling in the election, and thus is not in a position to protect the House of Trump from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. According to The New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/us/politics/white-house-aides-think-trump-will-let-sessions-stay-for-now.html), “Sharing the president's frustration have been people in his family, some of whom have come under scrutiny in the Russia investigation.” I'm guessing that means the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Who elected them, by the way?

Trump seeks to govern by whim and fiat. On Wednesday morning, he used Twitter to announce a ban on transgender people serving in the military, surprising his own top military leaders. A Pentagon spokesman told reporters (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/us/politics/transgender-military-trump-ban.html) to ask the White House for details; White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters to ask the Pentagon. Was Trump trying to reignite the culture wars? Would the thousands of transgender individuals now serving in the military be purged? Was this actual policy or just a fit of indigestion?

Inside the mad king's court, the internecine battles are becoming ever more brutal. Members of Trump's inner circle seek his favor by leaking negative information about their rivals. This administration is more hostile to the media than any in recent memory but is also more eager to whisper juicy dirt about the ambitious courtier down the hall.

Trump's new favorite, Anthony Scaramucci, struts around more like a chief of staff than a communications director, which is his nominal role. Late on Wednesday night — after dining with Trump and his head cheerleader, Sean Hannity — Scaramucci took a metaphorical rapier to the actual chief of staff, Reince Priebus, by strongly hinting on Twitter that Priebus leaks to reporters. The next morning, Scaramucci told CNN that (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/07/27/scaramucci-if-reince-wants-to-explain-that-hes-not-a-leaker-let-him-do-that) “if Reince wants to explain that he's not a leaker, let him do that.” And in a profanity-laden phone call to the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza, Scaramucci called Priebus “a f---ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”

Why bring in Scaramucci? Because, I fear, the mad king is girding for war. Trump is reckless enough to fire Mueller if he digs too deeply into the business dealings of the Trump Organization and the Kushner Companies.

What then? Will Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) draft and push through a new special-prosecutor statute so that Mueller can quickly be reappointed? Will House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Republican-Wisconsin) immediately open debate on articles of impeachment? Will we, the people, defend our democracy?

Do not become numb to the mad king's outrages. The worst is yet to come.

• Eugene Robinson writes a twice-a-week column on politics and culture for The Washington Post, contributes to the PostPartisan (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan) blog, and hosts a weekly online chat with readers. In a three-decade career at The Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor, and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper's Style (https://www.washingtonpost.com/style) section.


Related to this topic:

 • It's time to start thinking about the unthinkable (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/its-time-to-start-thinking-about-the-unthinkable/2017/07/27/0b63b776-7311-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html)

 • VIDEO: How Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump's relationship turned sour (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/ca2b20c6-6d7c-11e7-abbc-a53480672286_video.html)

 • PHOTOGRAPH GALLERY: A look at President Trump's first year in office, so far (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-look-at-president-trumps-first-year-in-office-so-far/2017/05/02/690f15ae-2f5b-11e7-9dec-764dc781686f_gallery.html)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-worst-is-yet-to-come/2017/07/27/9c2bef6a-72ff-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-worst-is-yet-to-come/2017/07/27/9c2bef6a-72ff-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Donald on July 29, 2017, 05:42:59 am
Yes, I agree...it's great to have a president with a bit of humor....unlike the last dryballs idiot😄

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on July 30, 2017, 02:18:49 pm

from the Los Angeles Times....

The most notable firings and resignations in the Trump White House

By LEN DE GROOT, CHRIS KELLER and JON SCHLEUSS | Friday, July 28, 2017

(http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-na-pol-trump-firings-resignations/static/img/revolvingdoor.gif) (http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-na-pol-trump-firings-resignations/static/img/revolvingdoor.gif)

A LOT OF PEOPLE have left President Trump's early administration — Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was replaced on Friday.

The White House communications staff has been the scene of many of the recent turnovers as it wrestles to craft a message sometimes at odds with Trump's frequent tweeting.

At the National Security Council, there has been a leadership struggle since Michael Flynn resigned in the face of pressure over undisclosed contacts with Russia. One appointee was fired over comments he made at a private function. Others have been removed as Flynn's successor, H.R. McMaster, has moved to add loyalists to the council.

To see the most noteworthy departures and the number of days each spent in the administration before heading for the exit, CLICK HERE (http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-na-pol-trump-firings-resignations).

Animated image by Swetha Kannan.

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on July 30, 2017, 03:08:44 pm

Hahaha....at this rate I'll have to get in considerably larger stocks of beer & popcorn.

Watching a “first world” country destroy itself, politically, is hugely entertaining and amusing.

It is riveting, must-see viewing.

I think I'll get in some champagne stocks for the eventual celebration party when Trump's “World of Jesusland” explodes altogether.

from The Washington Post....

The White House is imploding

This president appears incapable of allowing his presidency to be saved.

By RUTH MARCUS | 10:15PM EDT - Friday, July 28, 2017

(https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_900w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/28/Editorial-Opinion/Images/2017-07-28T190556Z_1913783234_RC18F66CE700_RTRMADP_3_USA-TRUMP-2349.jpg) (https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/28/Editorial-Opinion/Images/2017-07-28T190556Z_1913783234_RC18F66CE700_RTRMADP_3_USA-TRUMP-2349.jpg)
President Donald J. Trump speaks to a gathering of law enforcement officials in Brentwood, New York, on Friday.
 — Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.

THE Trump White House is imploding. The only real thing to debate in that sentence is the tense. “Has imploded” is certainly arguable. Still, as the events of the past few days have shown, implosion, in politics as in physics, is not a moment but a process. The damage continues. It builds on itself as the edifice collapses.

The temptation, of course, is to begin with Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci and his profane rant (http://www.newyorker.com/news/ryan-lizza/anthony-scaramucci-called-me-to-unload-about-white-house-leakers-reince-priebus-and-steve-bannon) against soon-to-be-former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

But the more powerful, more ominous evidence of implosion and its consequences is found in the collapse of congressional efforts (https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-rejects-measure-to-partly-repeal-affordable-care-act-dealing-trump-and-gop-leaders-a-major-setback/2017/07/28/f2865b10-7364-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html) to repeal/replace/do something, anything, with the Republican Party's chief nemesis over the past seven years: the Affordable Care Act.

Who could have imagined, on the day after the election, or even on Inauguration Day, that this would end so ignominiously?

You might be asking why the Senate's failure to move repeal forward, by a single vote in the early morning hours, signifies presidential weakness. Indeed, back in the days when Donald Trump's election seemed fanciful even as the Republican Party prepared to award him the nomination, GOP lawmakers offered a soothing vision of a Trump presidency: They would navigate the policy differences and political chasms and emerge with legislation to be duly signed by the inexperienced, compliant president. Health care, check. Tax reform, check. And so on.

That it didn't work out that way, or certainly hasn't so far, is evidence, in part, of the unavoidable complexities of health-care reform and the ideological schisms within the party.

But it also illustrates a truism of modern American politics: Moving forward with a complicated or ambitious legislative agenda requires the propulsive force of presidential leadership. Troops do not perform effectively without a general at the helm, a leader they both respect and fear.

A master legislative tactician such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky) can get you only so far; the rules of the Senate make it easier for McConnell to block (see, for example, the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland (http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/273230-mcconnell-no-hearing-for-garland)) than to enact. A president distracted by infighting, inattentive to detail and sagging in the polls can announce all he wants (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/07/13/im-sitting-waiting-when-the-president-isnt-interested-in-being-president) that “I am sitting in the Oval Office with a pen in hand.” No wobbly lawmaker is going to rally to that cry.

While health-care reform fizzled, Trump burned. First over his “weak” and “beleaguered” attorney general (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/07/25/trump-is-ratcheting-up-his-abuse-of-jeff-sessions-and-sessions-has-no-good-options), then over the hapless, doomed-from-the-start Priebus. Will the president's new choice for chief of staff, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, fare much better? Don't count on it.

Daily, the president's boundless anger seems to find a new target: He is variously unhappy with his lawyer/his strategist/his press secretary. There is always someone else for Trump to blame, never himself.

He constructed, enabled, even encouraged an organization lacking clear lines of authority and ridden with factions. “The fish stinks from the head down,” Scaramucci told CNN's Chris Cuomo (http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/27/politics/anthony-scaramucci-reince-priebus/index.html), and while he meant to attack Priebus, he was more on target than he intended. As dogs have an uncanny tendency to resemble their owners, so Scaramucci channels Trump — bullying, vulgar, egotistical and undisciplined. In a week on the job, he has achieved the impossible: making us yearn for Sean Spicer.

Every new White House has its rocky moments and personnel readjustments, some more than others. Every White House suffers from factionalism and infighting, to some degree. But Washington and the country have never seen anything like this. The truest — and scariest thing — that Scaramucci said on CNN was that “there are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save America from this president.”

So a staff shake-up of the sort that Trump tweeted out on Friday afternoon is the ordinary solution to a White House in trouble — but this is no ordinary White House problem. Even if Kelly is theoretically empowered in a way that Priebus never was — to have all staff report to him, control access to the Oval Office, above all to say “no” to Trump — it would be naive to expect some sudden transformation in the president himself.

Trump appears incapable of allowing his presidency to be saved, primarily because he is incapable of and unwilling to change. He will not allow himself to be governed; he cannot govern himself. Perhaps things will settle down, but that is hard to imagine. The past six months feel like prologue to even more turbulence.

For example, CNN describes national security adviser H.R. McMaster as “increasingly isolated” and at odds with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, worrying those of us calmed by the idea of an adult buffer against presidential pique. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, publicly undercut by Trump, took time off last week, generating rumors of a “Rexit” to come.

At this point, the remaining mystery is how, when and how badly this disaster of a presidency will end.

• Ruth Marcus is a columnist for The Washington Post, specializing in American politics and domestic policy.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: The unsurprising, yet still humiliating departure of Reince Priebus (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/5ee23b28-73ea-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014_video.html)

 • VIDEO: Trump names John Kelly new chief of staff (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/1a1b6cfc-73dc-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014_video.html)

 • Eugene Robinson: The worst is yet to come (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-worst-is-yet-to-come/2017/07/27/9c2bef6a-72ff-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html)

 • Fareed Zakaria: Say hello to a post-America world (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/say-hello-to-a-post-america-world/2017/07/27/aad19d68-7308-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html)

 • Kenneth Starr: Mr. President, please cut it out (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kenneth-starr-mr-president-please-cut-it-out/2017/07/26/b9af0c78-723e-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html)

 • Joe Scarborough: Trump is killing the Republican Party (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-killing-the-republican-party/2017/07/16/048056dc-68c4-11e7-a1d7-9a32c91c6f40_story.html)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-white-house-is-imploding/2017/07/28/2143a68a-73cc-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-white-house-is-imploding/2017/07/28/2143a68a-73cc-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on July 30, 2017, 03:13:08 pm

from the Los Angeles Times....

Frustrated in defeat, Trump threatens healthcare of voters
 — and lawmakers

After replacing Reince Priebus as chief of staff, Trump takes aim at healthcare.

By JOSEPH TANFANI | 11:55AM PDT - Saturday, July 29, 2017

(http://www.trbimg.com/img-597b31e8/turbine/la-1501245925-mq88oe05n4-snap-image/900) (http://www.trbimg.com/img-597b31e8/turbine/la-1501245925-mq88oe05n4-snap-image)
President Donald J. Trump at a “campaign” rally in Youngstown, Ohio on Tuesday, July 25th. — Photograph: Mike Cardew/TNS.

FRUSTRATED by the failure of the Obamacare repeal in the Senate, President Trump on Saturday threatened to end federal subsidies for healthcare insurance — for Congress as well as the rest of the country.

“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” Trump tweeted, fuming about Congress' failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which he said was “imploding”.

Such a move (http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-obamacare-fail-20170728-htmlstory.html) could cause havoc and much higher premiums in insurance markets, since many low- and moderate-income people depend on those subsidies to help cover the cost of their policies. Through a series of administrative maneuvers by Congress and the Obama administration, members and their staffs also benefit from those subsidies.

Targeting congressional healthcare might score Trump some populist points with his base, but it would likely come at a cost of poisoning his relationship with Congress. Just making the threat on Saturday highlights how far things have eroded between Trump and top GOP lawmakers. And it comes a day after Trump pushed out former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, an establishment Republican who was the GOP congressional leadership's trusted liaison in the White House.

Trump's longstanding threat to let the health insurance plans fail would come with its own political price.  The federal government sends about $600 million a month to insurance companies to help cover the cost, and Trump is threatening to cut that off to allow Obamacare markets to collapse.

His goal is to pressure Congress to send him a repeal bill, but so far the strategy has failed. The confidence Trump has expressed that if he followed through with the threat the fallout would land not on him but on Democrats, because they created Obamacare, is not widely shared in Washington.

• Joseph Tanfani covers the Justice Department and Homeland Security in in the Washington, D.C., bureau. Before joining the Los Angeles Times in 2012, he worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he was a reporter and investigations editor, and at the Miami Herald, the Press of Atlantic City and the Williamsport Sun-Gazette.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-trump-once-again-threatens-to-yank-1501350963-htmlstory.html (http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-trump-once-again-threatens-to-yank-1501350963-htmlstory.html)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Donald on July 30, 2017, 11:22:33 pm
Yeah...he needs to change the balls up that Oh-bumma left behind....what a mess it's turned out to be😉

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on July 31, 2017, 12:06:41 am

from The Washington Post....

EDITORIAL: The GOP steps up to check an out-of-control president

Republicans begin to stand up to Trump. Let's hope they'll be doing more of that.

By EDITORIAL BOARD | 5:58PM EDT - Saturday, July 29, 2017

(https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_900w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/28/Editorial-Opinion/Images/823645974-2360.jpg) (https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/07/28/Editorial-Opinion/Images/823645974-2360.jpg)
Senator Lindsey O. Graham (Republican-South Carolina) has said he will pursue legislation to prevent President Donald Trump
from firing independent counsel Robert S. Mueller III. — Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

FROM THE beginning, the Trump presidency posed a unique challenge to the American system of government and, indeed, to the political theory upon which it was built. By separating the legislative, executive and judicial powers among three co-ordinate branches and providing means for each branch to check or balance the others, the framers of our Constitution sought to protect liberty from the various menaces posed by human nature itself. Ambition, recklessness, greed, incompetence and excessive partisanship — any or all of these might gain a foothold in one part of government, but as long as countervailing forces existed they could be prevented from ruining the whole thing.

President Trump's rise tests the American system because he was elected on the strength of radical protest against it — the claim that it's all “rigged” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/14/donald-trumps-first-tv-interview-since-getting-elected-president-shows-hes-not-going-to-change-much) — and because his party dominated Congress as well as the White House. The erratic disrupter-in-chief came to power with a political escort of enablers. And so any hope that checks and balances would work to constrain Mr. Trump's worst impulses hinged, in part, on the willingness of Republicans in Congress to act in defense of values higher than short-term political advantage, or at least to interpret their short-term political interest as requiring them to counter Mr. Trump.

This  week brought the most encouraging signs yet that members of the GOP are indeed willing to behave as the framers would have had them do. Republicans in Congress voted with Democrats in overwhelming, veto-proof, numbers to pass a Russia sanctions bill (https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/trump-may-veto-russia-sanctions-bill-that-seeks-to-restrain-his-power/2017/07/27/0e9f5e8c-72ca-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html) that constrains Mr. Trump's ability to indulge his strange sympathy for Vladimir Putin's despotic regime. And they pushed back against Mr. Trump's increasingly aggressive and increasingly bizarre attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/07/27/republicans-are-starting-to-draw-red-lines-on-trump-firing-sessions-and-mueller), which were implicitly attacks on independent counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (Republican-Iowa) made it clear that his committee would give the president no opportunity to appoint a replacement to Mr. Sessions (https://twitter.com/ChuckGrassley/status/890365726825099271) if he tried to fire him. Meanwhile, Senator Lindsey O. Graham (Republican-South Carolina) announced a joint effort with Democrats to legislate a bar to firing Mr. Mueller, an eventuality which, he said, would mark “the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/gop-lawmakers-openly-defy-president-as-frustration-mounts/2017/07/27/2ddb8a2e-72e7-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html).

To be sure, Mr. Graham's attempt to impose judicial review on a president's firing of a special counsel might fail in practice, for any number of technical legal and constitutional reasons. We admire the spirit behind it, however, just as we support Republican efforts to rein in Mr. Trump's worst instincts on Russia policy, as well as the efforts of the Republican-chaired Senate intelligence committee to investigate the Russian nexus to the 2016 campaign. In the minds of many of Mr. Trump's harshest critics, especially Democrats, anything short of impeachment constitutes Republican submission to an unfit and illegitimate president. What GOP lawmakers' first serious steps toward checking and balancing Mr. Trump showed this week, however, is that there is a middle ground, which members of his own party are no longer afraid to explore.


Related to this topic:

 • U.S. police chiefs blast Trump for endorsing ‘police brutality’ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/07/29/u-s-police-chiefs-blast-trump-for-endorsing-police-brutality)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-gop-steps-up-to-check-an-out-of-control-president/2017/07/29/329146bc-73c3-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-gop-steps-up-to-check-an-out-of-control-president/2017/07/29/329146bc-73c3-11e7-9eac-d56bd5568db8_story.html)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Donald on July 31, 2017, 12:18:21 am
Yes, I agree, draining the swamp was never going to be easy...but still worth doing....sounds like Winnie wants to do the same in NZ😉

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on August 02, 2017, 12:14:44 pm

(http://www.trbimg.com/img-59800c5b/turbine/la-1501563990-qmxrxba4eu-snap-image/1000) (http://www.latimes.com/opinion/topoftheticket/la-na-tt-mooch-kelly-20170731-story.html)

(click on the cartoon to read the accompanying column by David Horsey)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Donald on August 02, 2017, 02:47:13 pm

...military style....good move..😜

Lock up the leakers? Sessions to unveil crackdown, as Kelly gets White House staff in line

By Barnini Chakraborty Published August 01, 2017 Fox News
Sessions to announce investigations into 'criminal leaks'
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to announce a major crackdown on leakers this week, in the latest sign the administration is pushing to run a tighter ship as John Kelly seizes the reins as White House chief of staff.

One of the first tasks facing the retired general and former Homeland Security boss will be plugging the leaks at the White House that his predecessor struggled to stanch.

"If Reince [Priebus] couldn't control those leaks ... then he was the one who was ultimately responsible, and General Kelly was brought in to make sure those leaks do not continue," former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday.

Kelly, with his apparent role in Monday's removal of Anthony Scaramucci as communications director, already has demonstrated he'll oust staff members he thinks are causing problems.

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 04, 2018, 11:04:59 pm

from The Washington Post....

‘Pure madness’: Dark days inside the White House
as Trump shocks and rages

The president has fumed about news coverage of scandals and remains furious
with his attorney general, while friends worry that he is becoming too isolated.

By PHILIP RUCKER, ASHLEY PARKER and JOSH DAWSEY | 4:26PM EST — Saturday, March 03, 2018

(https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_955w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/03/03/Local/Images/trump8-001.jpg) (https://img.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2018/03/03/Local/Images/trump8-001.jpg)
President Donald J. Trump prepares to board Marine One as he heads to the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 23rd.
 — Photograph: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post.

INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE, aides over the past week have described an air of anxiety and volatility — with an uncontrollable commander in chief at its center.

These are the darkest days in at least half a year, they say, and they worry just how much farther President Trump and his administration may plunge into unrest and malaise before they start to recover. As one official put it: “We haven't bottomed out.”

Trump is now a president in transition, at times angry and increasingly isolated. He fumes in private that just about every time he looks up at a television screen, the cable news headlines are trumpeting yet another scandal. He voices frustration that son-in-law Jared Kushner has few on-air defenders. He revives old grudges. And he confides to friends that he is uncertain about whom to trust.

Trump's closest West Wing confidante, Hope Hicks — the communications director who often acted as a de facto Oval Office therapist — announced her resignation last week, leaving behind a team the president views more as paid staff than surrogate family. So concerned are those around Trump that some of the president’s oldest friends have been urging one another to be in touch — the sort of familiar contacts that often lift his spirits.

In an unorthodox presidency in which emotion, impulse and ego often drive events, Trump's ominous moods manifested themselves last week in his zigzagging positions on gun control; his shock trade war that jolted markets and was opposed by Republican leaders and many in his own administration; and his roiling feud of playground insults with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Some of Trump's advisers say the president is not all doom and gloom, however. He has been pleased with the news coverage of his role in the gun debate and lighthearted moments have leavened his days, such as a recent huddle with staff to prepare his comedic routine for the Gridiron, a Saturday night dinner with Washington officials and journalists.

Still, Trump's friends are increasingly concerned about his well-being, worried that the president's obsession with cable commentary and perceived slights is taking a toll on the 71-year-old. “Pure madness,” lamented one exasperated ally.

Retired four-star Army general Barry McCaffrey said the American people — and Congress especially — should be alarmed.

“I think the president is starting to wobble in his emotional stability and this is not going to end well,” McCaffrey said. “Trump's judgment is fundamentally flawed, and the more pressure put on him and the more isolated he becomes, I think, his ability to do harm is going to increase.”

This portrait of Trump at a moment of crisis just over a year after taking office is based on interviews with 22 White House officials, friends and advisers to the president and other administration allies, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly discuss Trump's state of mind.

The tumult comes as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation of Russia's 2016 election interference and the president's possible obstruction of justice has intensified. Meanwhile, Kushner, a White House senior adviser, was stripped last week of his access to the nation's top secrets amid increasing public scrutiny of his foreign contacts and of his mixing of business and government work.

Trump has been asking people close to him whether they think Kushner or his company has done anything wrong, according to a senior administration official. Two advisers said the president repeatedly tells aides that the Russia investigation will not ensnare him — even as it ensnares others around him — and that he thinks the American people are finally starting to conclude that the Democrats, as opposed to his campaign, colluded with the Russians.

Still, the developments have delivered one negative headline after another, leading Trump to lose his cool — especially in the evenings and early mornings, when he often is most isolated, according to advisers.

For instance, aides said, Trump seethed with anger last Wednesday night over cable news coverage of a photo, obtained by Axios, showing Sessions at dinner with Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the Russia investigation, and another top Justice Department prosecutor. The outing was described in news reports as amounting to an act of solidarity after Trump had attacked Sessions in a tweet that morning.

The next morning, Trump was still raging about the photo, venting to friends and allies about a dinner he viewed as an intentional show of disloyalty.

Trump has long been furious with Sessions for recusing himself from oversight of the Russia probe, and privately mocks him as “Mr. Magoo,” an elderly and bumbling cartoon character. But this past week the president was irate that his attorney general had asked the Justice Department's inspector general — as opposed to criminal prosecutors — to investigate alleged misdeeds by the FBI in obtaining surveillance warrants.

On Friday morning, Trump targeted his ire elsewhere. About an hour after Fox News Channel aired a segment about comedian Alec Baldwin (https://twitter.com/MattGertz/status/969543178998120448/photo/1) saying he had tired of impersonating Trump on NBC's “Saturday Night Live”, Trump lit into Baldwin on Twitter (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/969529668234829825), initially misspelling his first name. “It was agony for those who were forced to watch,” the president wrote at 5:42 a.m.

“Trump's fundamentally distorted personality — which at its core is chaotic, volatile and transgressive — when combined with the powers of the presidency had to end poorly,” said Peter Wehner, a veteran of the three previous Republican administrations and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “What we’re now seeing is the radiating effects of that, and it’s enveloped him, his White House, his family and his friends.”

Trump jetted on Friday to his favorite refuge, his private Mar-a-Lago Club in South Florida, where he dined on the gilded patio with old friends — former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and wife Judith and Blackstone Group chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman, among others. Trump tried to convince his companions that trade tariffs were more popular than they think, according to someone with knowledge of their conversation.

Shortly after 8 a.m. on Saturday, he rolled up to the Trump International Golf Course for a sunny, 70-degree morning on the greens. Rather than firing off a flurry of angry messages as on other recent weekend mornings, the president tweeted (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/969939200933056512) only, “Happy National Anthem Day!” But then shortly after noon, once he returned to Mar-a-Lago from the golf course, Trump tweeted (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/969989251537481730) that the mainstream media has “gone CRAZY!”

Christopher Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax and a Trump friend, said, “I'm bewildered when I see these reports that he’s in turmoil. Every time I speak to him he seems more relaxed and in control than ever. He seems pretty optimistic about how things are shaping up.”

Trump is testing the patience of his own staff, some of whom think he is not listening to their advice. White House counsel Donald McGahn and national economic council director Gary Cohn have been especially frustrated, according to other advisers.

The situation seems to be grating as well on White House chief of staff John F. Kelly, who had been on the ropes over his handling of domestic-abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter but who now appears on firmer footing. Talking last week about his move from being homeland security secretary to the West Wing, Kelly quipped, “God punished me.”

Last Friday, Kelly tried to explain anew the timeline of Porter's dismissal with a group of reporters — an unprompted move that annoyed and confused some White House staffers, who thought they were finally moving past the controversy that had consumed much of February.

“Morale is the worst it's ever been,” said a Republican strategist in frequent contact with White House staff. “Nobody knows what to expect.”

Since Trump entered presidential politics three years ago, Hicks has been his stabilizing constant, tending his moods and whims in addition to managing his image. Within the president's orbit, many wonder whether Trump has fully absorbed the impact of Hicks's upcoming departure.

Trump told one friend that Hicks was a great young woman, who, after three intense years, was ready to do her own thing. He told this friend that he recognized the White House was full of “tough hombres,” according to someone briefed on the conversation.

But other confidants said the president feels abandoned and alone — not angry with Hicks, but frustrated by the circumstance. Coupled with last fall's departure of longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller, Trump will have few pure loyalists remaining.

“Losing people is too much of a story for the president,” said oil investor Dan K. Eberhart, a Trump supporter and a Republican National Committee fundraiser. “It just seems like it's imploding … Trump had momentum with tax reform, the State of the Union speech. He should try to keep that going.”

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers were left in varying states of consternation by Trump's whipsaw on guns. He suggested publicly last Wednesday that he favored tougher background checks and would forgo due process in taking away guns from the mentally ill, but then sent opposite signals after huddling with National Rifle Association lobbyists the next night.

Trump's aides said his vacillation was a function of the controlled chaos the president likes to sow. Trump recently has come to favor opening his meetings to the media — “It's like his own TV show,” said one adviser — where he often chews over outlandish ideas, plays to the assembled press and talks up bipartisan consensus, even if it never leads to actual policy.

Trump doesn't see guns through the traditional prism of left versus right, but rather as a Manhattan business developer, said one senior administration official, adding that he has told staff that he doesn't understand why people need assault rifles.

The president's decision last Thursday to announce steep new tariffs on aluminum and steel — and gleefully tout a possible trade war — caught almost his entire team, including some of his top trade advisers, by surprise.

Earlier in the week, Cohn was telling people he was going to continue stalling Trump on tariffs. He described the tariffs as “obviously stupid,” in the recollection of one person who spoke to him.

“Gary said to him, you can't do this, you can't do that,” a senior administration official said. “The more you tell him that, the more he is going to do what he wants to do.”

Trump's allies say that in his past ventures he has thrived in chaotic environments, and he has replicated that atmosphere in the White House. Representative Peter T. King (Republican-New York) recalled visiting Trump in the Oval Office for a bill-signing photo opportunity a few weeks into his presidency that was scheduled to last just a few minutes.

“We were in there over an hour, and every White House character was in there at one point or another…. It was like Grand Central station,” King said. “He has a way of getting things done. He had the worst campaign ever. On election night, he was the guy smiling and had won.”


• Philip Rucker is the White House bureau chief for The Washington Post. He previously has covered Congress, the Obama White House, and the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns. He joined The Post in 2005 as a local news reporter.

• Ashley Parker is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2017, after 11 years at The New York Times, where she covered the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns and Congress, among other things.

• Josh Dawsey is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. He joined the paper in 2017. He previously covered the White House for Politico, and New York City Hall and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for The Wall Street Journal.


Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: What Hope Hicks's departure says about the White House (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/754f9658-1dbd-11e8-98f5-ceecfa8741b6_video.html)

 • VIDEO: Officials in four countries discussed manipulating Jared Kushner (https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/6a59e46c-1c17-11e8-98f5-ceecfa8741b6_video.html)

 • ‘Jared has faded’: Inside the 28 days of tumult that left Kushner badly diminished (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/jared-has-faded-inside-the-28-days-of-tumult-that-left-kushner-badly-diminished/2018/03/02/62acb9ce-1ca8-11e8-9de1-147dd2df3829_story.html)

 • ‘Every day is a new adventure’: Trump upends Washington and Wall Street with shifts on trade, guns (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/every-day-is-a-new-adventure-trump-upends-washington-and-wall-street-with-shifts-on-trade-guns/2018/03/01/f7c68230-1d7d-11e8-9de1-147dd2df3829_story.html)

 • Trump aide Hope Hicks to resign amid personal tumult and Russia probe (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-communications-director-hope-hicks-to-resign/2018/02/28/13760a8c-1ccf-11e8-b2d9-08e748f892c0_story.html)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pure-madness-dark-days-inside-the-white-house-as-trump-shocks-and-rages/2018/03/03/9849867c-1e72-11e8-9de1-147dd2df3829_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pure-madness-dark-days-inside-the-white-house-as-trump-shocks-and-rages/2018/03/03/9849867c-1e72-11e8-9de1-147dd2df3829_story.html)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 04, 2018, 11:09:42 pm

Hehehe....at The Washington Post website, I posted the following reader comment in reply to the above article....

Please keep up the comedy show at 1600 Pennsylvania. Us folks down-under in New Zealand (the sane, intelligent people as opposed to the small number of Trump supporters down here) are absolutely loving the daily entertainment & amusement.

I got a shitload of “likes” and a lot of replies to my comment. Most of them were favourable (only a couple of bile- & hatred-filled replies from stupid Trump supporters), but one reply I particularly like was this one....

It's like America's a bus and an 71 year old narcissist speed addict is maniacally driving and we're all staring at each other because 30% of the passengers like how his driving upsets the rest of us.
--John Fugelsang

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on March 06, 2018, 10:02:19 am
The Washington Post is a globalist deep state cia operation mockingbird troll factory echo chamber for leftist clowns they are mostly full of shit

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 06, 2018, 06:55:16 pm

The Washington Post provides links to all the sources they get their information from.

Stupid troll sites, such as InfoWars, provide no such information because they are basically full-of-shit!!

Just as well they have stupid, gullible Woodville residents to be sucked in by their bullshit, eh?

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on March 08, 2018, 12:13:02 am
the washington post owner jeff bezos has a 600 million dollar contract with the CIA which means he has a conflict of interest and cannot be trusted with truth.

operation mockingbird was the paid for MSN public brainwashing which is now declassified which means you can look it up
the CIA also invented the phrase conspiracy theory to make people who questioned the JFK assassination story as conspiracy theory nuts 




Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 08, 2018, 07:23:08 pm

The latest Forbes rich-list of billionaires has just been published.

Jeff Bezos is the sort of successful businessman a “seven times bankrupt” failure like Donald Trump isn't even worthy enough to lie down and be a doormat for.

He is worth even more than Bill Gates.

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on March 09, 2018, 04:02:50 pm
You are getting so excited you are nearly cumming in your shorts
i think Bezos is gay and might fancy you as his bit on the side

bezos might get shot in the head by some terrorist with luck
trump could make Bezos vanish like a smelly fart mist

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on March 09, 2018, 04:44:22 pm
So i gave you evidence below of why you cannot trust the washington post or most of MSM agenda driven propaganda news

and you quickly change the subject to Bezos being the world's richest man ::)


Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 09, 2018, 08:00:29 pm

The Washington Post is a REAL news media organisation.

Unlike that stupid InfoWars bullshit outfit you worship....they couldn't even get it right about the paedophile ring they claimed was operating beneath a pizza joint in Washington D.C. and ended up making total dicks of themselves when one of the stupid retards gullible enough to believe them carried out an armed house-invasion of the place and got busted for being a stupid boofhead.

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on March 09, 2018, 11:26:06 pm
a second council is coming soon
and soon we will see the real criminals get their comeuppance
your left is dead and dying get over it ;D

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 10, 2018, 04:07:33 pm

Yep, I agree....when the Democrats win control of Congress and the Senate in the mid-term elections later this year, Trump will be basically fucked!!

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on March 12, 2018, 05:35:53 am

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 24, 2018, 08:19:41 pm

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DY-YQozUQAANnwJ.jpg) (https://twitter.com/rodemmerson/status/977167069748670466)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on March 25, 2018, 05:37:46 am

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on February 19, 2019, 06:22:58 pm

from The Seattle Times…

What new horrors await our national lands?

The Interior Department nominee crawled straight from the special interest swamp.

By DAVID HORSEY | 1:30PM PST — Tuesday, February 12, 2019

(https://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Swamp-ONLINE-COLOR-1020x671.jpg) (https://static.seattletimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Swamp-ONLINE-COLOR.jpg)

AFTER spending two years catering to the desires of the oil, gas and coal industries, Ryan Zinke, President Donald Trump's first Secretary of the Interior, left his job in a flurry of ethics investigations.

The man nominated to be Zinke's successor is even closer to those special interests, having been a long-time lobbyist for the titans of the energy industry. Once again, the president who pledged to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C., has dipped into that swamp (https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/trump-turns-to-swamp-for-interior-boss) to find a new member of his cabinet.


• See more of David Horsey's cartoons at The Seattle Times HERE (https://www.seattletimes.com/author/david-horsey).

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/what-new-horrors-await-our-national-lands (https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/what-new-horrors-await-our-national-lands)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on February 20, 2019, 06:47:23 pm
talking about the real lunatic lying fake victim


Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 02, 2019, 01:27:27 pm

(https://media1.tenor.com/images/ed88efeb70f0602d731166117934145b/tenor.gif) (https://tenor.com/view/trump-draws-train-choo-choo-gif-7690460)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on March 03, 2019, 04:31:37 am

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 03, 2019, 11:52:17 am

It's faaaaarking hilarious about the USA having a president who is such a stupid dumbarse that he gets “played like a fiddle” by Kim Jong-un.

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on March 03, 2019, 11:43:18 pm
silly rocket man fan

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 04, 2019, 12:10:13 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nTBNHwar5o (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nTBNHwar5o)

Title: Re: The lunatic asylum at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on May 14, 2019, 04:09:08 pm

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/Cr3zlmgZ_U2-nqhh6T3wskUTrX8=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/J26C4Q5LKFFX3PNLNJ54L7RNVA.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/05/13/trump-is-looking-like-big-blockhead)