Friday Reads: The Daily Drumpf DetritusPosted: October 6, 2017
I’m not sure what’s worse. I’ve got one eye on a developing Hurricane Nate and the other on the ongoing chaos in what is not passing as a functional administration of a developed nation. I’ve been attending cyber conferences too as well as grading econ homework. I keep looking at homes in Washington State and I’m focused on the area around Olympia now and the Sound. I feel overwhelmed and trapped.
Nate has killed 22 in Central American and is near Cancun, Mexico right now. We’re expecting it late Saturday. The photos on the post are various locations in Nicaragua and Honduras.
Tropical Storm Nate is winding up to wallop the Gulf Coast this weekend.
The latest NBC News forecast has the storm making landfall somewhere on the Mississippi or Alabama coasts sometime around 1 a.m. Sunday, possibly as a Category 1 hurricane.
With Nate expected to drench the region with anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of rain, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a statewide emergency and a dozen or so members of the National Guard were dispatched to New Orleans to help monitor the low-lying city’s fragile pumping and drainage system.
The big guns from the Weather Channel are around Gulf Port so I’m feeling a little better than last night about Nate. But still, there’s a blue tarp on the roof over my bed. The pumps are still busted in New Orleans. Our infrastructure never holds up in anything any more so I’m expecting outages. Hence, my first two hurricane supplies have been laid in. Basically, it’s Perrier and a box of wine.
Here’s the Daily Drumpf Dump. This one totally creeped me out last night around dinner time. Trump, during photo shoot, talks of ‘calm before the storm’. Did we mention he was surrounded by lots and lots of military brass?
President Donald Trump delivered a foreboding message Thursday night, telling reporters as he posed for photos with his senior military leaders that this might be “the calm before the storm.”
White House reporters were summoned suddenly Thursday evening and told the president had decided he wanted the press to document a dinner he was holding with the military leaders and their wives.
Reporters were led hastily to the grand State Dining Room, where they walked into a scene of the president, his highest-ranking military aides and their wives posing for a group photo. The cameras clicked and they smiled. A joke was made about someone’s face being tired. Live classical music played.
Dear Leader wanted to impress us. He doesn’t know how to do that. He just gives us all agita and nightmares. What would today’s propaganda be like without some selective site erasure? No bad news for the peons of Drumpfistan. “FEMA removes statistics about drinking water access and electricity in Puerto Rico from website.”
As of Wednesday, half of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water and 5 percent of the island had electricity, according to statistics published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on its Web page documenting the federal response to Hurricane Maria.
By Thursday morning, both of those key metrics were no longer on the Web page.
FEMA spokesman William Booher noted that both measures are still being reported on a website maintained by the office of Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, www.status.pr. According to that website, which is in Spanish, 9.2 percent of the island now has power and 54.2 percent of residents have access to drinking water. Booher said that these measures are also shared in news conferences and media calls that happen twice a day, but he didn’t elaborate on why they are no longer on the main FEMA page.
“Our mission is to support the governor and his response priorities through the unified command structure to help Puerto Ricans recover and return to routines. Information on the stats you are specifically looking for are readily available” on the website maintained by the governor’s office, Booher said.
Nobody calls dear leader a ‘fucking moron’ in Drumpfistan. Tillerson is bad but Pompeo in charge of State and 4th in line to BLOTUS? Good Wisdom Beings help us! Help the world!
- We’re told that President Trump is quite comfortable with Pompeo, asking his advice on topics from immigration to the inner workings of Congress.
- Pompeo personally delivers the President’s Daily Brief, making him one of the few people Trump spends a great deal of time with on a daily basis.
- Pompeo is one of the few in the administration who knows how to convey tough news to the president, and how to push back without turning DJT off. (SecDef Jim Mattis is good at that, too.)
- Trump doesn’t see Pompeo as a showboat.
- Pompeo would take the job, as the cap to a career that included being a U.S. House member from Kansas.
- Pompeo would have credibility with world leaders, who’d know he was a legit part of the president’s inner circle — something no one thinks about Tillerson.
Sources tell us Trump recognizes that a Cabinet shuffle would bring bad press. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wants stability, and so is discouraging high-level departures before next year.
And yet, insiders say Trump’s relationship with Tillerson is broken beyond repair. We’re told Trump was furious that Tillerson didn’t try to blunt the story about him calling the president a “moron,” by just going out and denying it (whether or not it actually occurred).
WASHINGTON Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas, just tapped to be Donald Trump’s new CIA director, has had a lot to say about torture, Muslims, terrorism, the Iranian nuclear deal and NSA spying. Here’s a sample:
Pompeo on the release of the 2014 Senate torture report:
“Our men and women who were tasked to keep us safe in the aftermath of 9/11 — our military and our intelligence warriors — are heroes, not pawns in some liberal game being played by the ACLU and Senator Feinstein,” Pompeo said in a statement on Dec. 9, 2014. “These men and women are not torturers, they are patriots. The programs being used were within the law, within the constitution, and conducted with the full knowledge Senator Feinstein. If any individual did operate outside of the program’s legal framework, I would expect them to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Pompeo on American Muslims:
“It’s been just under two months since the attacks in Boston,” said in a speech on floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on June 11, 2013. “In those intervening weeks, the silence of Muslim leaders has been deafening. And that is sad, but most importantly, it is dangerous. When the most devastating terrorist attacks on America in the last 20 years come overwhelmingly from people of a single faith, and are performed in the name of that faith, a special obligation falls on those that are the leaders of that faith. Instead of responding, silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts and more importantly still, in those that may well follow.”
Pompeo on the Iran deal:
“It’s not a question whether America can prevent a nuclear Iran or stop Russian aggression; it’s a question of whether (the Obama) administration has the backbone to use the tools and solutions available,” Pompeo said on Dec. 3, 2014. “Each of these nations poses real threats to America and the West – what is needed is not ambiguity, but clarity, forcefulness and commitments that do not exceed America’s willingness to fulfill them.
“Ayatollah Khamenei watches America allow Iran to expand its power while our President writes him missives ensuring we will protect Iran’s interests. This is dangerous. The Islamic Republic cannot even feed its own people without access to markets and our President rewards that nation, which has killed countless Americans, with sanctions relief. Congress should immediately act to stop all oil shipments out of Iran, reinstitute economic sanctions and demand that our allies do so as well. We should make clear that nuclear enrichment is not acceptable inside of Iran for any purpose and, as President Bush once said, those who harbor terrorists who kill Americans will be treated in the same manner as if they had committed the act of terror themselves.”
Ladies! Kiss your birth control coverage good bye! All things Obama must go in Drumpfistan. “Trump just officially made it easier for employers to stop covering birth control. The new rules let big companies end contraceptive coverage — and take effect immediately.”
The Trump administration is relaxing an Obama-era requirement that nearly all employers offer health insurance that covers a wide array of contraceptive methods.
New regulations released Friday significantly broaden the types of companies and organizations that can request an exemption from that rule. This could lead to many American women who currently receive no-cost contraception having to pay out of pocket for their medication.
The new rules take effect immediately. And they allow large, publicly traded companies to seek an exemption from the birth control requirement if they have a religious or moral objection to providing such coverage. The Obama administration barred these large businesses from such exemptions.
“This provides an exemption, a limited one, for those with religious or moral convictions implicated by the contraceptive mandate,” an HHS official said in a Friday morning briefing with reporters previewing the rule.
HHS projects that “99.9 percent of women” will be unaffected by these changes but gave little explanation of how it came to that data point. Officials did note that only a few hundred small businesses have so far raised religious or moral objections against the requirement by filing lawsuits.
But it is possible that larger publicly traded companies could join their ranks as the exemption gets widened. And the rule itself is blunt about the possible effect, noting that “These final rules will result in some enrollees in plans of exempt entities not receiving coverage or payments for contraceptive services.”
Women’s health groups, including the National Women’s Law Center and the Center for Reproductive Rights, have been preparing to file lawsuits against the regulation, based on an earlier draft that Vox obtained in late May.
Of course, you know how beneficent those “pro-lifers” can be when it comes to forced birth and supporting the living children. “Inside Tim Murphy’s reign of terror. The anti-abortion lawmaker’s abortion scandal was just the tipping point. Former aides say abuse inside his office was rampant.” Abortions are perfectly okay for mistresses of culture warring Congress Critters.
Rep. Tim Murphy, a staunch anti-abortion advocate, thought he could withstand the media furor that engulfed him after reports that he’d encouraged his extramarital lover to end her apparent pregnancy.
Just one day after announcing he would retire after the 2018 election, Murphy reversed course and told Speaker Paul Ryan he was resigning effective Oct. 21. Murphy’s abrupt decision ended a 15-year career on Capitol Hill in a shocking manner. The 65-year-old Pennsylvania Republican was so safe in his conservative district that Democrats hadn’t even fielded an opponent against him during the past two election cycles.
Ironically, Murphy’s swift collapse came not because of text messages he sent to a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair, encouraging her to have an abortion as first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday. In fact, fears among senior Republicans about a potential wave of negative stories on how Murphy ran his congressional office were what ultimately pushed him out the door.
Multiple top House Republicans during the past 24 hours pressured Murphy to resign once it became clear that the House Ethics Committee might have to investigate allegations tied to his reported mistreatment of staffers. Numerous GOP sources were aware of systemic problems in Murphy’s office, including high staff turnover, which had been the topic of gossip and speculation for years.
The Post-Gazette had reported on a June 2017 memo in which Murphy’s longtime chief of staff, Susan Mosychuk, warned the Pennsylvania Republican that he was mistreating and “harassing” staff, causing 100 percent turnover.
So, I can’t wait until I get the opportunity to play fetch with Dear Leader. Paper towels work so well in place of functioning pumps, you know. What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
And, JJ … hang in there. We’ll make it through this one too!!!