Spicey's gone. FLY AWAY, SPICEY, BE FREE. AND DON'T LOOK BACK.
At least we'll have Season 42 of Saturday Night Live to comfort us.
"I had a good run!" - Melissa McCarthy's final line as Spicer
President Donald Trump declared Tuesday he's going to "let Obamacare fail" after the Republicans' effort to rewrite the 2010 health care overhaul imploded in Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed a vote on a backup plan simply repealing the statute, but desertions by his own party seemed to ensure that would fail, too.
Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said they opposed McConnell's Plan B. That's enough to spell defeat and could send a message to conservative Republicans that it is time to abandon efforts to tear down Obama's law.
Yet with Donald Trump Jr.’s release of self-incriminating emails on Tuesday, the nation learned that the wildest of fantasies was all too real: Granted the chance to take what he believed to be damaging information about Hillary Clinton from a Russian government official, provided because the Kremlin wished to aid his father, Trump Jr. eagerly seized the opportunity. “If it’s what you say I love it,” he wrote to an intermediary. Not only that, but he brought along his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort...
...If Trump really knew nothing about the June 9 meeting, one wonders what it was that he was so eager to suppress in his calls to the intel chiefs and his firing of James Comey. And as the collusion scenario that once seemed so implausible is verified by an email trail, which of the other allegations are true, too?
But the basic story line is clear. It was clear in real time—and it’s clearer than ever after the Hamburg summit. Whatever exactly happened at the meeting between Trump and Putin, the president’s Sunday morning Twitter storm confirms: Trump has accepted Putin’s denials as the final word on the matter.
Why would not Trump accept it? He has insisted that the accounts of Russian interference in the US election are a “made-up story,” a hoax by sore-loser Democrats. Putin told Trump nothing that Trump did not already believe—or anyway, that Trump wanted everyone else to believe. If there was any question before Hamburg, that question was settled at Hamburg: There will be no consequences for Russia. They attacked American electoral processes and succeeded. The president Russia helped to install will not punish Russia for helping to install him.
I don’t expect to like any Republican president’s policies. And Trump is a person of exceedingly low character, so I expect him to behave in an embarrassing manner. But sometimes I wonder if my antipathy toward the man distorts my view of his performance. Is it possible that, while he routinely fucks up and brings shame upon the country, Trump’s presidency isn’t the unmitigated disaster I think it is?
Then I watch something like this summary from an Australian analyst, and I think, nah, it’s not just me...
A compromised, incompetent, deranged buffoon is the president of the United States. The president is surrounded and enabled by amoral, unpatriotic, power-hungry people who will paper over his gaping deficiencies and corruption to pursue their own agendas.
That’s bad, obviously. But the normalization of the situation poses its own dangers.
To pick on NBC for a moment, how could a “top-5 takeaways” piece fail to mention Trump’s insane assertion that “everyone” at the G-20 was talking about John Podesta, which also indicated Trump has no idea what role Podesta played in 2016 or, more alarmingly, the CIA’s role in investigating crimes against U.S. citizens? How could a round-up piece not include the weird and unprecedented insertion of Trump’s knockoff bag and shoe peddler spawn into the conference? Or his capitulation to Putin on an attack on U.S. sovereignty?
My complaint isn’t just about the sorry state of Beltway coverage. We’ve been kvetching about routine hackery for decades and will for decades to come, I suspect. But living in a country run by a madman and his accomplices warps reality for everyone, including the people whose job is to provide facts that help shape our perceptions. It’s probably easier for news sources outside the U.S. to frame the Trump menace accurately. But this interminable national crisis will require all of us to keep a grip on what’s real and what’s an illusion...
The setup is actually fairly simple: would the Republican desire to pass massive tax cuts for its donor class overwhelm its fear of being punished at the ballot box for taking healthcare away from millions of Americans, including their own voters? Under normal circumstances fear of electoral consequences would prevail. But we live in an age of unprecedented partisanship and big money influence, which leads many Republicans to feel insulated from the consequences of even openly cruel actions that damage their loyal constituents. That Republicans would actually destroy Obamacare went from remote possibility to very real.
President Donald Trump apparently forgot to book a hotel room in Hamburg, Germany, for the annual Group of 20 summit of key global leaders, and was stuck scrambling to find somewhere to stay, BuzzFeed reported Thursday.
The White House apparently waited too long before making a reservation for Trump and his traveling staff for the summit, which begins on Friday. All the luxury hotels in the city were completely booked by other world leaders, leaving the US president — who made his name in business building, uh, luxury hotels — without a place to stay.
So why does this keep happening? It might have to do with the fact that the State Department is currently understaffed and unorganized. Only nine key positions out of 124 have been confirmed at the State Department.
No one has even been nominated as the director in the Office of Foreign Missions, which is responsible for planning and providing security for US missions when diplomats and other top officials travel abroad.This is seriously a major problem for our nation: The Executive offices necessary to represent us abroad and to ensure a functioning government at home aren't working at all. And sooner rather than later this void of organization is going to get people killed.