Mooch screws the Pooch

Less than a fortnight into his tenure as President Donald Trump’s communications director, Anthony Scaramucci has been fired.

The decision to can Scaramucci was made by the president’s new chief of staff, John Kelly, according to a report by The New York Times:

The decision to remove Mr. Scaramucci, who had boasted about reporting directly to the president not the chief of staff, John F. Kelly, came at Mr. Kelly’s request, the people said. Mr. Kelly made clear to members of the White House staff at a meeting Monday morning that he is in charge.

While it is unclear whether Scaramucci will remain at the White House in another role or if he has been totally fired, there is little question that losing the communications gig is a giant embarrassment for him. The communications director had already garnered bad press for his seemingly unhinged public rants, and his hiring ultimately resulted in the departure of two of Trump’s highest profile appointees — his first press secretary Sean Spicer, who left upon learning of Scaramucci’s hiring, and his first chief of staff Reince Priebus, who Scaramucci publicly accused of being a leaker with Trump’s blessing.

The news also comes out an unpropitious time in Scaramucci’s personal life. Shortly after he began his brief tenure as Trump’s communications director, it was reportedthat his wife had filed for divorce (although not, as some reports claimed, due to his political ambitions or relationship with Trump).

This is also not the first powerful Trump position to ultimately prove short-lived for its holder. The president’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was pressured into resigning after only 18 days on the job due to his failure to disclose conversations about Russia with Vice President Mike Pence.

Trump will start a war with Iran in October

Something extraordinary has happened in Washington. President Donald Trump has made it clear, in no uncertain terms and with no effort to disguise his duplicity, that he will claim that Tehran is cheating on the nuclear deal by October—the facts be damned. In short, the fix is in. Trump will refuse to accept that Iran is in compliance and thereby set the stage for a military confrontation. His advisors have even been kind enough to explain how they will go about this. Rarely has a sinister plan to destroy an arms control agreement and pave the way for war been so openly telegraphed.

The unmasking of Trump’s plans to sabotage the nuclear deal began two weeks ago when he reluctantly had to certify that Iran indeed was in compliance. Both the US intelligence as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency had confirmed Tehran’s fair play. But Trump threw a tantrum in the Oval Office and berated his national security team for not having found a way to claim Iran was cheating. According to Foreign Policy, the adults in the room—Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster—eventually calmed Trump down but only on the condition that they double down on finding a way for the president to blow up the deal by October.

Prior to the revelation of Trump’s Iran certification meltdown, most analysts and diplomats believed that Trump’s rhetoric on Iran was just that—empty talk. His bark was worse than his bite, as demonstrated when he certified Iran’s compliance back in April and when he renewed sanctions waivers in May. The distance between his rhetoric and actual policy was tangible. Rhetorically, Trump officials described Iran as the root of all problems in the Middle East and as the greatest state sponsor of terror. Trump even suggested he might quit the deal.

In action, however, President Trump continued to waive sanctions and admitted that Iran was adhering to the deal. As a result, many concluded that Trump would continue to fulfill the obligations of the deal while sticking to his harsh rhetoric in order to appease domestic opponents of the nuclear deal—as well as Trump’s allies in Saudi Arabia and Israel.

But now, assessments are changing. The tangible danger of Trump’s malice on the Iran deal—as well as the danger of the advice of the “adults in the room”—became further clarified this week as tidbits of the reality TV star’s plans began to leak.

How to Wreck a Deal

Recognizing that refusing to certify Iran would isolate the United States, Trump’s advisors gave him another plan. Use the spot-inspections mechanism of the nuclear deal, they suggested, to demand access to a whole set of military sites in Iran. Once Iran balks—which it will since the mechanism is only supposed to be used if tangible evidence exists that those sites are being used for illicit nuclear activities—Trump can claim that Iran is in violation, blowing up the nuclear deal while shifting the blame to Tehran.

Thus, the advice of the adults in the room—those who we are supposed to restrain Trump—was not to keep the highly successful nuclear deal that has taken both an Iranian bomb and war with Iran off the table. Rather, they recommended killing it in a manner that would conceal Trump’s malice and shift the cost to Iran.

According to The New York Times, the groundwork for this strategy has already been laid. Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Corker (R-TN) calls this strategy “radical enforcement” of the deal. “If they don’t let us in,” Corker told The Washington Post, “boom.” Then he added: “You want the breakup of this deal to be about Iran. You don’t want it to be about the U.S., because we want our allies with us.”

This is a charade, a rerun of the machinations that resulted in the Iraq war. It doesn’t matter what Iran does or doesn’t do. If it were up to Trump, he’d never have accepted that Iran was in compliance in the first place. He admitted as much to the Wall Street Journal. “If it was up to me, I would have had them [the Iranians] non-compliant 180 days ago.”

Sounding supremely confident of the “radical implementation” strategy, Trump added that “I think they’ll be noncompliant [in October].” In so doing, he further confirmed doubts that the process is about determining whether Iran is in compliance or not. The administration is committed to finding a way to claim Iran has violated the accord, regardless of the facts—just as George W. Bush did with Iraq.

Potential for Backfire

But Trump’s confidence may be misplaced on two levels. First, abusing the inspection mechanisms of the deal may prove harder than Trump has been led to believe. The inspections are the cornerstone of the deal, and Iran’s ability to cheat on the deal is essentially non-existent as long as the integrity and efficiency of the inspections remain in tact. But if Trump begins to abuse the mechanism to fabricate a conflict, he will end up undermining the inspections regime and actually enhance the ability of those in Iran who would like to pursue a covert nuclear program. Precisely because of the commitment of Europe and others to non-proliferation, they are likely to resist Trump’s efforts to tinker with the inspections.
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Second, by revealing his hand, Trump has displayed his duplicity for all to see. That includes the American public, whose anti-war sentiments remain strong and are a key reason they supported the nuclear deal in the first place.

The American public knows the Iraq playbook quite well. Trump’s own supporters remain enraged by the disastrous war with Iraq. They know how they got played. It’s difficult to imagine why they would allow themselves to get played again by a president who has left little doubt about his intent to deceive.

Trump is not an aberration . . . he is the natural result of the last decades of conservative lies

Anti-Trump Republicans love to claim Donald Trump is an aberration, a fake conservative destroying their ideals of individual liberty, small government and even smaller taxes with a cavalcade of lies. Conservative senators like Lindsey Graham and John McCain grandstanded last week about the GOP’s broken health care policy and the erosion of senatorial norms. But what these speeches conveniently ignore is that Republicans have been lying to their constiutents for years.

As Paul Krugman argues in his Monday column, “the Republican health care debacle was the culmination of a process of intellectual and moral deterioration that began four decades ago, at the very dawn of modern movement conservatism—that is, during the very era anti-Trump conservatives now point to as the golden age of conservative thought.”

It all started back in 1970, Krugman continues, when Irving Kristol, a political commentator and the “godfather of neoconservatism,” endorsed supply-side economics, “the claim,” according to Krugman, “refuted by all available evidence and experience, that tax cuts pay for themselves by boosting economic growth.” Fellow conservatives ate it up, grateful to have a palatable explanation for taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

Krugman notes that Kristol was downright gleeful about his deception, “[conceding] to having had a ‘cavalier attitude toward the budget deficit,’ because it was all about creating a Republican majority—so ‘political effectiveness was the priority, not the accounting deficiencies of government.'”

This flagrant disregard for the truth about the economy ultimately set the stage for the GOP’s lies about the Affordable Care Act, and again today during its quest for repeal. In 2009 Republicans raged against Obamacare for not covering enough people while shutting down all discussion of universal healthcare. Remember when they made giant out-of-pocket costs the cornerstone of their policy? Well, Republicans have conveniently forgotten that, as they shout about the act’s high deductibles. Caught in their own lies, the GOP needs to create even more to try to destroy Obamacare.

The issue, as Krugman sees it, is “once you accept the principle that it’s O.K. to lie if it helps you win elections, it gets ever harder to limit the extent of the lying—or even to remember what it’s like to seek the truth.”

Which is not to say that the past 40 years have been entirely free of Republican political courage. Krugman points to the Affordable Care Act’s origins in a 1989 Heritage Foundation proposal. Yes, the plan Republicans have spent the past seven years trying to destroy had roots in an idea from one of their favorite think tanks. George H.W. Bush even proposed a cap and trade system for regulating acid rain, which would ultimately become law. Still, these moments of grace are few and far between.

Krugman would like to be optimistic that a bipartisan solution is possible, but he’s not holding his breath. He concludes, “Republicans have spent decades losing their ability to think straight, and they’re not going to get it back anytime soon.”

Read the entire column.

THIS is what Trump is

Trump is the political version of a pickup artist, and Republicans — and America — went to bed with him convinced that he was something other than what he is. Trump inherited his fortune but describes himself as though he were a self-made man.

He has had a middling career in real estate and a poor one as a hotelier and casino operator but convinced people he is a titan of industry. He has never managed a large, complex corporate enterprise, but he did play an executive on a reality show.

He presents himself as a confident ladies’ man but is so insecure that he invented an imaginary friend to lie to the New York press about his love life and is now married to a woman who is open and blasé about the fact that she married him for his money.

He fixates on certain words (“negotiator”) and certain classes of words (mainly adjectives and adverbs, “bigly,” “major,” “world-class,” “top,” and superlatives), but he isn’t much of a negotiator, manager, or leader.

He cannot negotiate a health-care deal among members of a party desperate for one, can’t manage his own factionalized and leak-ridden White House, and cannot lead a political movement that aspires to anything greater than the service of his own pathetic vanity.

He wants to be John Wayne, but what he is is “Woody Allen without the humor.”

He is soft, weak, whimpering, and petulant. He isn’t smart enough to do the job and isn’t man enough to own up to the fact.

For all his gold-plated toilets, he is at heart that middling junior salesman watching Glengarry Glen Ross and thinking to himself: “That’s the man I want to be.” How many times do you imagine he has stood in front of a mirror trying to project like Alec Baldwin? Unfortunately for the president, it’s Baldwin who does the good imitation of Trump, not the other way around.

Okay, Mr. Deal Maker – – – what do you do now?

As we all know, failed businessman Trump wants us to believe he is the King of the Dealmakers.

So, tell us, Mr. Dealmaker, what will you do about:

  • Putin throwing 755 American State Department personnel out of Russia?
  • North Korea’s ICBM that is capable of ranging will into the US?
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions who refuses to resign?
  • The Republican Senators who support him and who tell you, if you fire him, there will be “hell to pay?”
  • The fact that you have ZERO legislative accomplishments after six months in office and not a single accomplishment on the horizon?

Face it, Trump, you are a failure of historic proportions.  You couldn’t make a deal with 52 marked cards.

Serves them right for nominating the fool . . . GOP worried that Trump will turn his rabid, mad-dog base against the Party

Republicans in Congress and the broader Grand Old Party (GOP) are worried that now that President Donald Trump has cut loose former Republican National Committee (RNC) honchos Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer, he could turn his followers against the party itself.

In a Politico essay published Sunday, reporter Tim Alberta said that members of the Republican Party are fretting that Trump will go rogue and use his followers’ fanatical devotion to undermine other figures in the GOP should they disappoint him.

Reince Priebus was a well-connected Wisconsin Republican with long-standing relationships with Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Spicer, too, has spent years working with various factions within the GOP and uniting fractious coalitions.

However, Spicer and Priebus both ran afoul of their new boss early on.

“Trump trampled Priebus from Day One,” wrote Alberta, “sending out press secretary Sean Spicer, a longtime Preibus ally, to deliver a demonstrably false rant about the inaugural crowd size. Trump resented the idea that his chief of staff was there to tame him, and resented even more the notion that Priebus was the conduit to a Republican Party he had conquered.”

Trump has ridiculed the soft-spoken, laid back Priebus as “weak” and called him bad at his job for months, but in firing him, the president has effectively severed a connection to the Republican Party’s vast network of wealthy donors and left Vice President Mike Pence as the last fully fledged Republican official in the administration.

Alberta wrote, “Unlike past presidents of his party, Trump entered the White House with few personal relationships with prominent Republicans: donors, lobbyists, party activists, politicians.”

Now, Republicans are worried that Trump — faced with a failed attempt to repeal Obamacare, a party in disarray, an Attorney General who won’t protect him from the Russia investigation — will declare war on the GOP and turn the 35 percent of the country that supports him against the Republican Party.

“It would represent a new, harsher type of triangulation, turning his base against the politicians of his own party that they elected,” Alberta said.

In recent days, Trump has lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and saying the GOP “look like fools” for not changing the filibuster rule in the Senate. Democrats, he said, are “laughing at” Republicans, a situation that the thin-skinned first executive finds intolerable.

 

Oh, you poor, poor pitiful thing

 

Well, cry me a river, you asshole.

Listen:  There is no humiliation, no failure, no amount of suffering and degradation that Trump does not deserve.  He cannot be treated too badly.  He has earned everything awful that happens to him.

He is a disgusting piece of shit who has trashed almost everyone who has come into his orbit and now he deserves exactly what he has dished out.