Being Press Secretary For Trump Is A No Win Job

trump_spicerI don’t envy the job of White House Press Secretary for this Administration.  The job is never going to be a cake walk, especially in a 24 hour news cycle that changes by the minute, but Sean Spicer (who I am no fan of on a good day) has a particularly difficult job made more challenging by a non-compliant President who feeds the ravenous alligators tasty morsels via frequent tantalizing tweets that other Press Secretaries absolutely didn’t have to deal with.

Consider this scenario:

Inauguration day:  Aerial drone photos are taken of the crowds gathering on the Mall. Side by side comparisons are made between the 2009 crowd and the 2017 crowd.  The National Parks Service, using an established and accepted method to estimate the crowd size, gives their rough estimate of 250,000 on The Mall.  Instead of accepting the side by side shots as fact and simply moving on, there are accusations of the media lying and subversive attempts by the White House to force the National Parks Service to doctor the photographs to make the crowds larger…  The White House then send Spicer out to face the press with lies that he was told to read to them as the official statement.  He looked like an idiot and it was only made worse when Presidential Adviser, Kellyanne Conway, made the now infamous gaffe when she referred to Spicer’s statement as, “alternative facts.”

You kind of have to admire the daily linguistic gymnastics he does trying to:

  • Justify the flow of controversial Executive Orders;
  • Address the latest protest, march or threatened march against the increasingly unpopular President;
  • Address why POTUS has spent 3 out of his first 4 weekends in office, at great taxpayer expense, hosting dignitaries and Cabinet replacement hopefuls, at the very technologically insecure Trump owned resort in Florida, where he holds meetings in front of other club members, instead of at the White House;
  • Address the latest rumors, leaks and beltway gossip flying;
  • Address the rapidly falling (and conflicting) approval polls;
  • Address questions from the press as to why POTUS is out speaking at campaign type rallies instead of taking care of business in Washington, D.C.;
  • Make sense of the lies and made up world events spoken and tweeted out by POTUS;
  • Creatively spin the questionable pasts of some of Trump’s more controversial nominees and appointees (when they aren’t resigning or being walked out by White House Security for failing FBI background checks); while at the same time
  • Begging the media to be nicer to the overly popularity conscious POTUS,

Let’s face it.  Sean Spicer’s job sucks and he has a really shitty boss.  Saturday Night Live parodies him, by having Melissa McCarthy hilariously play him, to HUGE ratings, and he gets derided by his boss because a woman played him.  Yeah.  It sucks to be Sean Spicer.

sean_spicer_press_conference_cold_open

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

 

Pointing Out the Idiocy in DC Isn’t Fun

americaheartI love this country.  I am a history geek and a political junkie. Anyone who thinks I enjoy pointing out every ill or poorly advised, moronic, illegal, unethical, immoral and dangerous thing that the Donald Trump White House has done in their first 3 weeks, couldn’t be more wrong.

Whether I think the man occupying the Oval Office is a buffoon or not, he is The President of The United States, and he swore an Oath to Uphold the Laws and Constitution of the United States of America.  He isn’t doing that so far and it is the right and obligation of every American to demand that he do as he has sworn to do.  He owes at least that to you, me, and everyone in these United States.

It breaks my heart to see the country I love brought down in reputation and esteem and to be a laughingstock in the world’s media.

worldviewoftrump

We have become an international punchline because one man with a monumental ego, the people he has surrounded himself with in the White House, and one party are on a giddy path of deploying vengeful racist, sexist, immoral, and unethical policies, actions and behaviors toward their peers and the populace that hasn’t been seen in my lifetime.

That’s just a few things in the first 3 weeks folks…Hmmm

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 3,000 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

How’s Trump Week 1 Treating You?

Trump Presidency Day 6:  It’s a good thing I ate a light breakfast this morning, because these headlines made me want to throw up.

President Trump intends to move forward with a major investigation of voter fraud that he says cost him the popular vote, White House officials said Wednesday, despite bipartisan condemnation of his allegations and the conclusion of Mr. Trump’s own lawyers that the election was ‘not tainted.'” The New York Times

tiffanytPart of that investigation is to include weeding out and punishing those who are registered, and supposedly voted, in multiple states.  Do you think he can comprehend that most of his cabinet, his son-in-law, and his youngest daughter are registered in 2 states?

We all remember how appalled Trump was that Secretary Clinton used a private email server, right?  Remember the chants of, “Lock her up!”?  Take a look at this verified headline: Trump White House Senior Staff Have Private Email Server  Um, Pot Meet Kettle!

First he pisses off the scientific community by “disagreeing” with their lifes’ works, then he erases all mentions of global warming/climate change from the White House and other government websites, he freezes all grants and contracts to the scientific community AND imposes a gag order on all employees of the National Parks, EPA, USDA, US Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies so that they cannot Tweet, send Emails nor comment publicly in their capacity as government employees.  In some cases, via a memo that’s circulating on The Hill, that gag order extends to restrictions on communicating with Congress!  After pubic outcry the USDA lifted their ban on public communications, but as of today, all other departments are still gagged.  Thank God for the rabble rousers over at the National Park Service who started non-government owned Twitter accounts that cannot be shut down!  Other agencies quickly followed suit.

v1Donald Trump has proven that vengeance is his main focus, and this Biggest F You yet to “The Donald” could very well result in mass firings, but I applaud the efforts of those who refuse to be silenced by the Mad Man occupying the Oval Office!

Mass exodus from the State Department:  “the emptying of leadership in the management bureaus” is “disruptive because those offices need to be led by people who know the department and have experience running its complicated bureaucracies.” And, of course, now #TeamTrump are using state run media (Fox News) 😉 to declare that he “Fired them.”  Yeah, I call Bullshit.  They needed them to teach the morons how to run things. UG!

A little levity for the morning

Since Donald Trump has a habit of using the songs of artists who absolutely don’t want their music associated with him, let’s pick one that actually fits him (as much as The Rolling Stones‘  “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” does)

Do you think the Trump administration’s theme song should be:lies-lies-lies-yeah

  1. Lies” by Thompson Twins; or
  2. Highway to Hell” by AC/DC?

highway_to_hell

Both are far more appropriate choices than “Hail to the Chief.”  Hmmm

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Federal Week in Review (2)

Last week’s post of the most asinine moves made in Washington, D.C., or in the case of Donald Trump, New York City, was so popular that I decided to make it a weekly thing.  It appears there will be plenty of material for the foreseeable future, so here goes….

  • The week started with Donald Trump aiming his petty vengeance at an 89 charliebrotmanyear old man!  Charles Brotman has announced every Inaugural Parade back to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s in 1957, but found out VIA EMAIL that, after 60 years, his services were no longer needed.  Brotman told CNN’s Carol Costello, that he was heartbroken and detroyed, “I felt like Muhammad Ali had hit me in the stomach.”  He’ll be replaced by a local freelancer who volunteered for the Trump Campaign.
  • Last week Trump told all Ambassadors and Envoys worldwide to vacate their posts by January 20th, now he has demanded the resignation of the two heads of the National Nuclear Security Administration as of Jan. 20, with no nominees waiting in the wings to replace them.  Yeah that’s brilliant!
  • There are 3,000 to 4,000 positions that need to be filled to keep the government agencies and departments running.  Most jobs are filled by career civil servants and Trump is so eager to, “Drain the Swamp” that he is leaving agencies unable to perform their tasks because there will be no leaders to hand down the new administration’s marching orders.
  • The Tuesday BOMBSHELL that last week Trump, Obama and the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” were given a classified forewarning, by the intelligence community (in the same report as the Russian Hacking of the election), that highly compromising and personal intelligence information concerning the depth of Trump’s relationship with Russia and much more, was being circulated, and had been since last summer.  FBI chief Comey was aware of this information, but chose not to comment, confirm knowledge of, nor investigate Trump for it before the election.  Seriously questionable considering Comey so infamously sabotaged Hillary Clinton a week before the election.  Not only did he speak out of place, but he went rogue by issuing a letter, contrary to DOJ protocol, to Congress (which was then leaked to the public) with more unfounded email accusations against Clinton, which most certainly cost her electoral votes and ultimately the Presidency.
  • 7 days before the Inauguration, Donald Trump has still not provided his Tax Returns.  He personally owes roughly three-quarters of a billion dollars to foreign banks!  He has not provided a solidified and comprehensive plan for separating his ownership and management of his vast business empire from his responsibilities as President of the United States.  An attorney spoke of putting his holdings in a trust, one he will receive updates on, but it fails all five tests laid out by the ethics committee as they pertain to opportunities for undue influence or favoritism of foreign dignitaries or countries who, for instance, make allowances for properties of his in their countries, or who spend their money at his hotels, resorts, companies, etc.
  • No sooner had the head of the ethics oversight watchdog issued a response to Trump’s lack of separation from his businesses than Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, posted a Tweet threatening an investigation into the Office of Government Ethics.  “His memo asked that the director present himself for an interview with the committee by the end of January. Richard W. Painter, an ethics lawyer who served in President George W. Bush’s administration, said Chaffetz appears to be punishing Shaub for the criticisms of the president-elect. “They are strong-arming them. They are obviously very upset the Office of Government Ethics is leaning on Trump and not willing to jam through his nominees. It is political retaliation.””
  • In response to the allegations of Trump’s collusion with the Russian’s leading up to and following the election, mounting outcry over the appearance of election interference and possibly multiple Logan Act violations by Team Trump, and what role FBI Director James Comey played in interference with the outcome of the election, Justice Dept. Inspector General launches review of FBI and DOJ actions ahead of 2016 presidential election.
  • This one may be my favorite bit of #TeamTrumpIdiocy this week. Trump team to remove commander of D.C.’s National Guard in middle of inauguration The Army general who heads the D.C. National Guard and has an integral part in overseeing the inauguration said Friday that he will be removed from command effective at 12:01 p.m. Jan. 20, just as Trump is sworn in as president.  That means that, in the middle of the Inaugural Ceremony, before the rest of the Inaugural festivities begin, security for which he spent months helping plan, the commander of thousands of troops on the ground, plus 5,000 unarmed troops dispatched from across the country, in addition to all military air support protecting Washington, D.C., during the inauguration, will be required to leave his command.  Yeah, that makes me feel secure.  #WTFTrump

The list has many more items but I’m already pushing 900 words and there will be plenty more to digest next week, I’m sure.  HMMM

Do you use Facebook?  If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017

To say Donald Trump brings out extreme emotions, anger, hostility, really bad language, and wildly differing opinions is a gross understatement.  Because I know this, I am never this political on my blog.  Alright, I’ll scale that back to, rarely.  I’m rarely this political on my blog and most certainly not 3 days in a row.  But into the muck I am going to slog because some of what I talked about and wished for yesterday (Cooler Heads May Still Prevail) started to happen today!

While old school (and by old, I mean those with an average age of 81) Republican Senators began the first day of confirmation hearings for Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, there was a very important piece of bi-partisan legislation introduced on the Hill: “Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017.”

russiasanctions

“We have been attacked by Russia. That’s no longer up to any debate,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D., Md.), one of the co-sponsors of the bill. “It cannot be business as usual.”

The measure would:

  • Impose Visa bans and freeze the assets of “those who undermine the cyber security of public or private infrastructure and democratic institutions”
  • Impose sanctions on transactions with the Russian defense and intelligence sectors, potentially making it harder for banks to do business with the Russian military and spy agencies
  • Solidify Obama-era sanctions on Russia, imposed in response to the country’s election meddling and its 2014 annexation of Crimea – meaning, no action could be taken that implies recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea.
  • Authorize $100 million for the State Department and other U.S. agencies to fight Russian propaganda, including by supporting programs to counter “fake news”

sanctions-1Because all sanctions bills typically contain a “national security waiver,” even if the measure receives enough votes to become law, there is little Congress could do to force the Trump administration to implement the new sanctions.

According to the Legal Information Institute, in order for the President to enact a national security waiver of application of sanctions with respect to a foreign financial institution:

  1. The President must declare that he has determined that the waiver is in the national security interest of the United States; and
  2. He must submit to the appropriate Congressional Committees a report on the determination and the reasons for the determination.

What gives me hope is that, in a Senate comprised of 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats,  4 of the 5 Republican Senators I named yesterday, as imperative to keeping the GOP and Trump’s agenda in check:

  • Senator John McCain (R) Arizona
  • Senator Lindsey Graham (R) South Carolina
  • Senator Marco Rubio (R) Florida
  • Senator Ben Sasse (R) Nebraska

stepped across the aisle before the inauguration to serve notice that:

  1. The laws of our country are to be followed by all, especially the President of the United States and those he appoints or nominates to serve in his administration;
  2. That countries that act against the United States are going to be served with sanctions by Congress;
  3. That the President of the United States is bound by honor and oath to uphold and enforce those sanctions.

Do you use Facebook?  If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments

 

 

Cooler Heads May Still Prevail

us-capitol-east-front-sunny-dayYesterday Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made the same request of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that was made to Senator Harry Reid BY Mitch McConnell 8 years ago when their parties’ roles were reversed:  The request is simply that President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees must meet the same traditional standards that were demanded of President Barack Obama’s nominees eight years ago.

Schumer even went so far as to use a copy of Mitch McConnell’s original document (lest he forget his own words) just marking up/overwriting the necessary areas to reflect the changed circumstances regarding the incoming administration:

shumerletter

Here’s why the request was made :

  • Republicans, who control the Senate, are starting to hold confirmation hearings but Nominees haven’t completed background checks & ethics clearances that are traditionally required of Cabinet appointees.
  • These were the first two standards that McConnell demanded of Obama’s Cabinet nominees eight years ago — and that the Obama administration met — when Democrats controlled the Senate.

Federal Week in Review

A.K.A. Things the GOP controlled House and Senate tried to slip past the unsuspecting citizens of the United States of America last week. Hmmmm 😡

  1. Trump fires all Ambassadors and Special Envoys, ordering them out by inauguration day.

  2. House brings back the Holman rule allowing them to reduce an individual civil service, SES positions, or political appointee’s salary to $1, effectively firing them by amendment to any piece of legislation. We now know why they wanted names and positions of people in Energy and State.

  3. Senate schedules 6 simultaneous hearings on cabinet nominees and triple-books those hearings with Trump’s first press conference in months and an ACA budget vote, effectively preventing any concentrated coverage or protest.

  4. House GOP expressly forbids the Congressional Budget Office from reporting or tracking ANY costs related to the repeal of the ACA.

  5. Trump continues to throw the intelligence community under the bus to protect Putin, despite the growing mountain of evidence that the Russians deliberately interfered in our election.

  6. Trump breaks a central campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall by asking Congress (in other words, us, the taxpayers) to pay for it.

7. Trump threatens Toyota over a new plant that was never coming to the US nor will take jobs out of the US.

  1. House passes the REINS act, giving them veto power over any rules enacted by any federal agency or department–for example, FDA or EPA bans a drug or pesticide, Congress can overrule based on lobbyists not science. Don’t like that endangered species designation, Congress kills it.

We – progressive, liberal, libertarian and conservative – need to all wake up to what is actually happening to our beloved country.

#UnitedWeStand.

Do you use Facebook? If you’re interested in the occasional product that intrigues me or something I’ve bought that’s a waste of time or money, things that make me wonder, piss me off, tickle my fancy, scream like a maniac, giggle, or yell in frustration, you can receive an email each time I’ve got something new to ponder or you can join the nearly 2,900 people who find me engaging or amusing at the Facebook page dedicated to this blog: https://www.facebook.com/extremeblondemoments