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Gender: Female
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member since: Mon Dec 13, 2004, 02:55 AM
Number of posts: 10,920

Journal Archives

"At least two candidates have turned down the job of White House communications director."


Controlling the message coming out of Donald Trump’s White House may seem like an impossible task — and it’s one that many are hesitant to try right now.

The White House has gone without a full-time communications director since Trump was sworn in last month, and although chief of staff Reince Priebus is spearheading a robust effort to fill the position, his overtures to several Republican communications professionals have been met with a lack of interest, according to a half-dozen sources with knowledge of the situation. At least two candidates have turned down the job, a position normally coveted by Washington political operatives, according to another source familiar with the conversations.

Interesting point WA Solicitor General makes about discovery and depositions for full court case


On Thursday, Purcell told reporters that discovery and potential depositions during the full court case could provide critical insight into the events leading up to the executive order.

“We would like to get some answers about what really was the order of events,” said Purcell. “We’ve heard a number of different stories from the administration about who did what and when, and whether this was even reviewed by the national security agencies.”

Hmm, I don't think 'alternative facts' will go over too well in the courtroom.

Yemen raid was approved over dinner


The mission was approved over dinner five days after the presidential inauguration by Trump and his closest advisers, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his special adviser and former Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon, as well as defence secretary General Jim Mattis.


The special forces, apparently lacking full intelligence, were confronted by heavily-fortified positions, including landmines, and faced heavy gunfire from buildings all around during the 50-minute firefight. One of the US planes sent in to help had to be left behind and was deliberately destroyed.

US military officials told Reuters that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.

The mission had been prepared under the Obama administration but it had not been approved.

"Its The Apprentice, Supreme Court Edition, as Trump Summons Finalists to White House"


It’s “The Apprentice, SCOTUS Edition.”

Mr. Trump, who has a penchant for the theatrical and loved teasing out suspense in his key appointments throughout the campaign, plans to bring his two top choices for the United States Supreme Court to the White House ahead of his announcement tonight at 8 p.m., according to a CNN report.


Trump wants a big show for his Supreme Court rollout. Networks oblige
The major broadcast networks are set to carry President Trump’s Supreme Court announcement live on Tuesday evening, cutting into regular prime-time programming.

The coverage by ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox broadcast affiliates is likely to significantly expand the television audience for the president’s announcement, which has taken on the air of a reality television special. Mr. Trump has used his Twitter account to encourage Americans to tune in for the event.

What's next? Call or text to 555-1212 to choose the next person he fires?

Travel ban impact outside the U.S.


Employee of an international airline at Dubai airport
We’ve had no written instructions yet from the US, at least not on the frontline, and the instructions that we have received don’t mention dual nationality or green cards – it’s very unclear what to do.

Some people are being stopped, while others are being given the benefit of the doubt. So if, for example, a passenger is Syrian holding a US passport we’re turning a blind eye – we’re pretending we haven’t seen the Syrian passport.

One passenger stuck in the airport here is a Syrian green card holder who was denied boarding. Her family, her job, her whole life is in the US and when she asks us when we will allow her to go home, none of us know what to say. Unfortunately because she’s Syrian it’s difficult for her to get a visa for Dubai and it’s difficult for her to go elsewhere.

At the moment her chances of getting into the US depend on which airport she goes to. If she’s landing in New York they’ll send her back, if it’s Houston they might accept her – what we’ve found is it really depends on which shift is operating; it’s not even a standard airport policy.

Chart of Senators' positions and statements on Trump's travel ban

I noticed this in the Guardian's live coverage:

Wondering if your senator backs or criticizes the travel ban executive order?

This Google document shows listssenators alphabetically, noting whether they have opposed or remained silent to the ban, any link or public statement about it and the dates they will be up for re-election.

It also includes contact information, such as their office address, phone number and online contact details.

The document shows, for example, Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona, a Republican, has spoken out publicly against the ban, while Senator Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, has made no statement.

The link goes to this spreadsheet :
US Senators on Muslim Ban

As Trump regime begins, 1984 hits #1 and is sold out on Amazon

Why George Orwell's '1984' is No. 1 and sold out on Amazon's best sellers list

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- George Orwell's "1984," that book you were probably forced to read back in high school, spent this week at the top of Amazon's best sellers list. It's so popular hard copies are currently out of stock. Even all of the Cuyahoga County Library's copies of the book are checked out.

Why? Alternative facts.

I just went and checked out on Amazon and Signet's paperback and hard cover versions are both 'temporarily sold out,' so yep, they are sold out.

Is Trump using his shadow cabinet to test repressive measures?

Trump has been installing a shadow cabinet to to report back to him and to control actions at departments. These are people who don't have to go through confirmation hearings and are political cronies from his campaign. They don't have expertise in the agencies they're assigned to, just the willingness to support Trump in every way.

By having his unappointed flunkies introduce directives, Trump can obfuscate where these originate and implement or pull back on these as needed, all the time maintaining their officials aren't the ones producing the orders. And of course the flunkies will willingly do this as part of what they're been hired to do.

The White House is installing senior aides atop major federal agencies to shadow the administration's Cabinet secretaries, creating a direct line with loyalists who can monitor and shape White House goals across the federal bureaucracy.
Two people involved in the transition said the new advisers are expected to maintain constant contact with the White House and the agencies and sign off on major decisions. The liaisons will also give the White House a window into agencies where Trump is not as personally close to the Cabinet secretaries, said a source close to the transition. Some of the senior White House advisers in the agencies have frequently met with their respective secretaries, who didn't pick them for the post.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he modeled his own government that way, with a handpicked senior aide installed in every agency. "I told my commissioners when I was mayor, you're going to have a spy in your agency,” Giuliani said. “I'm going to want to get two different perspectives of what's going on."

The jobs have rattled Obama administration political appointees, who have been surprised at young campaign hands having such authority at federal agencies. The advisers at each agency will not face Senate approval, like more than 1,200 other federal government positions, including deputy secretaries and administrators.

An example that hits closest to the Pacific Northwest: On Monday it was revealed that Trump is assembling a “shadow Cabinet” of right-hand men to oversee his new plans for various sprawling government agencies.

And his choice for the nation’s clean air, water and wetland-protection agency is a textbook case of party-patronage cronyism.

Trump tapped Don Benton, a former state senator from Vancouver and Trump’s Northwest campaign manager, to be his senior liaison to the Environmental Protection Agency. What’s shocking about this isn’t Benton’s anti-green views. It’s that he has an almost perfect track record of failure and interpersonal conflict, often resulting in legal or disciplinary action, at every public position he’s held.

There are a number of stories now noting directives that were given by some unspecified person, then were pulled after backlash.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday added a layer of confusion to reports that the Trump administration directed a communications crackdown on a handful of federal agencies.

“That’s nothing that’s coming from the White House,” Spicer told the press during his daily briefing. “They haven’t been directed by us to do anything.”

The comments by Spicer – who has proved himself capable of delivering falsehoods from the press briefing podium – are at odds with a report from the Associated Press that employees at the Environmental Protection Agency were expressly banned from tweeting, issuing press releases or speaking with reporters by the administration.

Over the administration’s first few days, at least five federal agencies including the EPA and Department of Agriculture (USDA) were reportedly directed to cut down on their publishing of public content, specifically to Twitter. The departments of health and human services (HHS), transportation (DoT) and interior (DoI) also received restrictive guidance.

Trump starts offensive against Democratic cities

The new directive to strip federal funds from sanctuary cities and the launch of an investigation about so-called illegal voting are both targeting Democratic cities.

Let's call these decisions what they are - moves against Democratic cities designed to defund them and repress voting.

Lying about illegal voting is cover for election manipulation

It redirects the focus from the many tactics used to manipulate the election - purging; gerrymandering; providing too few working machines, having fewer polling places in college areas, poorer districts, and those with higher numbers of people of color; placing barriers to registration; and hacking by a foreign country.

It is an attempt to change the conversation from the above to one about whether or not illegal voting occurred. As with their other lies, they don't care about needing or even trying to prove this. They only care about redirecting the the topic.

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