April Fool’s Day Reads with the Fool in Charge

Morning Sky Dancers!!

There’s nothing like a good congressional hearing on White House malfeasance to cheer an old crone up.  Why, I may even take up knitting names into something. What creepy crawly blatantly unconstitutional and illegal things has the Trump Family Crime Syndicate committed that we find out about today?  Well, in the Trump White House … you get a security clearance, he get’s a security clearance!  Everybody gets a Security Clearance even though the chances that they are doing nefarious things in their own interests and against that of our country has led the nation’s security apparatus to just say no.  A Trump never lets anything like the national interest get in the way of a shiny penny or two.

We knew the evil princeling  Kushner and his wife the vain sorceress I’vain’ka have been cooking up some money making schemes all over the world which has worried just about everyone in the NSA, FBI, and CIA.  Never Fear though!  King Fool will let them have it any way. Grift away! Grift away! Grift away all!!

From the New York TImes and the usual suspects comes this lede: “Whistle-Blower Tells Congress of Irregularities in White House Security Clearances”.  Ah, ‘irregularities!’  Such a slight word for such a situtation where the  concerns are of kompromat and scheming to make money off US power and purse!

A whistle-blower working inside the White House has told a House committee that senior Trump administration officials granted security clearances to at least 25 individuals whose applications had been denied by career employees, the committee’s Democratic staff said Monday.

The whistle-blower, Tricia Newbold, a manager in the White House’s Personnel Security Office, told the House Oversight and Reform Committee in a private interview last month that the 25 individuals included two current senior White House officials, in addition to contractors and other employees working for the office of the president, the staff said in a memo it released publicly.

The memo does not identify any of 25 individuals referenced by Ms. Newbold. The New York Times reported in February that President Trump had personally ordered his chief of staff, John F. Kelly, to grant a clearance last year to Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser. Mr. Kelly had recorded Mr. Trump’s direction to him in a memo, according to several people familiar with its contents. Mr. Trump had denied playing a role in an interview with The Times in the Oval Office a month earlier. Mr. Kelly left the White House at the end of last year.

Ms. Newbold told the committee’s staff members that the clearance applications had been denied for a variety of reasons, including “foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct,” the memo said. The denials by the career employees were overturned, she said, by more-senior officials who did not follow the procedures designed to mitigate security risks.

Ms. Newbold, who has worked in the White House for 18 years under both Republican and Democratic administrations, said she chose to speak to the Oversight Committee after attempts to raise concerns with her superiors and the White House counsel went nowhere, according to the committee staff’s account.

“I feel that right now this is my last hope to really bring the integrity back into our office,” she said, according to a summary of her March 23 interview with the committee’s staff distributed on Monday.

Good luck with that as long as King Fool is in charge.

And whoa!  Look over there!  Better stock up on avocados!!!

But back again to my state of panic and a Reuters’ headline: “America would run out of avocados in three weeks if Trump shuts down the U.S.-Mexico border. Nearly half of all imported U.S. vegetables and 40 percent of imported fruit are grown in Mexico.”  I’m going to have to get Temple to stand guarding over all these darling little baby avocados budding on the tree outside my window.  Whatever will we do!  Cinco de Mayo cannot be without a lot of guacamole!  But, King Fool doesn’t care as long as he can get that stale McDonald’s take out and a side of NAZIs at his rallies.

Are we winnng yet?

President Donald Trump’s threat to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border would hit American consumers — in the gut.

From avocado toast to margaritas, the United States is heavily reliant on Mexican imports of fruit, vegetables and alcohol to meet consumer demand. Nearly half of all imported U.S. vegetables and 40 percent of imported fruit are grown in Mexico, according to the latest data from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Americans would run out of avocados in three weeks if imports from Mexico were stopped, said Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce, the largest distributor and grower of avocados in the world.

“You couldn’t pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100 percent of the avocados in the U.S. right now. California is just starting and they have a very small crop, but they’re not relevant right now and won’t be for another month or so,” said Barnard.

Trump said on Friday that there was a “very good likelihood” he would close the border this week if Mexico did not stop immigrants from reaching the United States. A complete shutdown would disrupt millions of legal border crossings in addition to asylum seekers, as well as billions of dollars in trade, about $137 billion of which is in food imports.

“When a border is closed or barriers to trade are put in place, I absolutely expect there would be an impact on consumers,” said Monica Ganley, principal at Quarterra, a consultancy specializing in Latin American agricultural issues and trade.

“We’re absolutely going to see higher prices. This is a very real and very relevant concern for American consumers.”

Jonathan Chait characterizes King Fool today as: an  “Adolescent Bully”.  I always wonder if he even got to that level of maturity. I’ve seen preschoolers with more self awareness and control.

Trump’s use of bullying tactics against his rivals for the Republican nomination in 2015–2016 played a critical role in endearing him to the Republican base. Trump’s rollouts of new terms of abuse for his rivals have become mini-events celebrated by his fans. The Trump campaign capitalized on the new insult by hawking celebratory T-shirts. His continued use of these methods, and the delight it gives his supporters reveals something important about what binds them together.

Bullying is most closely associated with adolescence, because teenagers are most naturally prone to it. Children that age tend to lack empathy or well-developed moral worldviews, and they often gravitate toward peers who engage in displays of dominance and cruelty. It is also the age when people are most prone to judge themselves and others by their appearance, and when social relations tend to be the most hierarchical.

Like a teenage bully, Trump fixates on a superficial characteristic in his target. He mocks male targets (Marco Rubio, Schiff, Bob Corker) as short, and a variety of women as fat or ugly. When reporter Serge Kovaleski challenged one of his lies, Trump mimicked his disability. He mocked Senator Charles Schumer for tearing up over Trump’s Muslim ban, either disgusted or unable to comprehend that somebody would empathize with the plight of immigrants.

Trump’s innovation of winning the election through adolescent-style bullying has carried over to his presidency. Presidents traditionally inculcate the virtues of decency, gentleness, and generosity as part of their role as ceremonial head of state. One little-noticed feature of Trump’s presidency is how little time and attention he devotes to what used to be the banal presidential work of celebrating charitable good works and public service. Speeches and photo ops with volunteers, do-gooder business leaders, hospital visits and the like, once the barely noticed daily bread of presidential messaging, has all but disappeared.

While Trump waits in prey for his next mean stunt (Via Axios) “Scoop: Trump “saving” Judge Amy Barrett for Ruth Bader Ginsburg seat”., Mitch Mconnell  works on making it so like some evil sorcerer in the dark tower. What better way of kicking women in the teeth than to remove them of another American Heroine?  But again, wtf is McConnell up to and who pulls its strings while it puts the Constitution in its basket?  This is from HuffPo: “Mitch McConnell Plans To Change The Rules Again To Confirm Trump Judges The GOP leader, who blocked lots of Obama’s court picks, is ready to make it easier to confirm district judges now.”  We’re fucked if this happens.

He changed the rules to make it easier to confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court picks. He tossed out Senate traditions to make it easier to confirm Trump’s circuit judges. So, naturally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants to adjust the rules again to make it easier to confirm the rest of Trump’s nominees to lifetime seats on federal courts.

The Senate will vote this week to reduce its debate time for most nominees ― district court judges and lower-level executive nominees ― from 30 hours to two hours. This will not apply to Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court nominees or circuit court nominees.

Without a whiff of irony, McConnell, whose greatest legacy is denying a Supreme Court seat and dozens of other federal court seats to President Barack Obama, said Thursday that the rule change is necessary because of Democrats’ “unprecedented obstruction” of Trump’s nominees.

“Obstruction for obstruction’s sake,” bemoaned McConnell, who was so Machiavellian about denying Obama the ability to confirm judges that he drove Republicans to block their own nominees and fueled a vacancy crisis on federal courts.

It would take 67 votes to make the rules change. All 45 Democrats, along with the two independent senators who caucus with them, are expected to vote against it. But the 53 Republicans could still get it done if they invoke the so-called “nuclear option,” a more confrontational approach that would allow them to change the rules with a simple majority, or 51 votes. It’s not clear if McConnell is prepared to go nuclear to make the change, but he’s previously suggested that he is.

Since Trump became president, McConnell has used the nuclear option to lower the vote threshold for confirming Supreme Court nominees from 60 to a simple majority. He’s also endorsed repeated violations of the “blue slip” rule, a Senate tradition of only moving forward with a judicial nominee when both of his or her home-state senators sign off on it.

Those changes, along with his latest push to make another rule change, are all part of McConnell’s grand plan: to use Trump’s presidency to put piles of young, anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ, anti-voting rights ideologues into lifetime federal court seats before Trump is up for reelection in 2020.

1x93myWell, let’s hope this year, the joke’s not on us but on King Fool.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?  And excuse my fracturing some fairy tales and mixing many metaphors today!  Oh, and I took liberty with literature too.  Well, it is April’s Fools day.

 

And just in case you’re curious:  Where did April’s Fools Day come from?

Although April Fools’ Day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery.

Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563.

People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.

These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises.

There’s also speculation that April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.

April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.

Read more at the link about to the History Channel.


22 Comments on “April Fool’s Day Reads with the Fool in Charge”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Democrats Begin Subpoena Process for Mueller Report, Trump Aides

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-01/democrats-begin-subpoena-process-for-mueller-report-trump-aides?utm_campaign=pol&utm_medium=bd&utm_source=applenews

    House Democrats are taking the first steps toward issuing subpoenas for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s entire report, as well as for documents from five former associates of President Donald Trump, setting up potential legal showdowns.

    The House Judiciary Committee plans to hold votes on Wednesday to authorize the subpoenas, the panel said Monday in a news release. Three days earlier, Attorney General William Barr said he would provide Congress with a redacted version of Mueller’s report on his investigation into Trump and Russian election meddling by mid-April.

    “Congress requires the full and complete Special Counsel report, without redactions, as well as access to the underlying evidence,” Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said in an emailed statement Monday. “Attorney General Barr has thus far indicated he will not meet the April 2 deadline set by myself and five other Committee chairs, and refused to work with us to provide the full report, without redactions, to Congress. The Attorney General should reconsider so that we can work together to ensure the maximum transparency of this important report to both Congress and the American people.”

    Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing For Brett Kavanaugh
    Don McGahnPhotographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
    The Judiciary Committee said it also plans to authorize subpoenas for certain documents from former White House Counsel Don McGahn, former White House strategist Steve Bannon, former communications director Hope Hicks, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former White House aide Ann Donaldson.

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. bostonboomer says:
  4. bostonboomer says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Corruption through and through. Because of course Trump is running the presidency* the way he does his businesses.

    • quixote says:

      “is no longer acting as a responsible leader of a democratic nation”

      So he did once? I must have blinked and missed it.

  5. NW Luna says:

  6. Enheduanna says:

    That he is looking forward to replacing RBG on SCOTUS makes me seethe with rage. And we know he doesn’t care how she leaves the court.

    Karma – please come save us from the atrocity of another Dump SCOTUS pick. Surely these Best Laid Plans need a kick in the teeth.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    • bostonboomer says:

      • Pat Johnson says:

        God’s will, bb, god’s will. You can justify anything by proclaiming “god’s will”.

        Murder, mayhem, guns, rape, illness, suffering, war, Trump.

      • quixote says:

        Well, it was the Church that thought the Inquisition was a good way to apply God’s word. And the same Church that thought witch burnings were a good way to get rid of the devil within.

        Francis seems like a benevolent sort, but at least as far as women are concerned he hasn’t tried to throw off the weight of centuries. Still, you have to start somewhere, so maybe he’ll repudiate the latest garbage from the Supremes.

      • NW Luna says:

        “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Xians in name only.

  8. bostonboomer says:

  9. dakinikat says:

    BB: