Of Walls And Memos

 

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

WaPo reports that our president is lying to his base about progress on his wall.

As pressure mounts on President Trump to fulfill his key campaign pledge to build a border wall, he has hit on a quick and easy method to demonstrate progress: Just inflate how much his administration is already spending on the project.

Over the past week, including at a campaign rally Thursday night in Billings, Mont., Trump has begun boasting that he has spent $3.2 billion on the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border — twice as much as has been authorized by Congress.

“We’ve started the wall,” Trump told thousands of supporters at the event. “We’ve spent $3.2 billion on the wall. We’ve got to get the rest of the funding.” Later, he repeated the monetary figure and added: “We’ve done a lot of work on the wall. A lot of people don’t understand that.”

Perhaps that is because it is not entirely true. The Trump administration has begun work on 14 miles of a wall in San Diego and 20 miles in Santa Teresa, N.M., under a $341 million appropriation from Congress last year, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Additional border security projects, including levee walls and a secondary wall in San Diego, have been planned and could begin soon under $1.6 billion allocated in the spring, the agency said.

But Trump, who touted the $1.6 billion figure in rallies in June and July, has suddenly upped the figure, suggesting at a rally in Charleston, W.Va., in late August that the administration has spent “over $3 billion. It’s moving along very nicely.”

And I can hear the chants now, ”Build the Wall,  build the wall” [rinse and repeat].  When he wants to sell shit as shinola we know where he goes – Charleston. And they buy everything he has.  I’m so proud.

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It’s the message, not the messenger, stupid

patd By PatD, a Trail Mix Contributor

Mark Shields (PBS Newshour):

The anonymous thing — I disagree with many of my colleagues, […] — when I first ran political campaigns, an old manager said to me, never have anybody sign a memo. Just give the memo and let read — and I said, why? He said, because you want to look at the substance, not the source. You don’t want to be deferential because it’s somebody important writing it or dismissive because it’s somebody young and inexperienced.

And if the person’s name had been on this piece, the anonymous piece in The New York Times, then the response would have been the typical Washington attack machine. They would have gone after the writer, attacked, and say, here — got a DWI charge in 1983 or something of the sort, and just try and savage that.

As a consequence, we’re forced to look at the substance of what was written. And I think these together, they come from Republicans, they come from people who work in the Trump administration. And, I mean, the significance of it demands our attention.

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WE Will Perpetuate That Which WE Dislike

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

From Michelle Ye Hee Lee in Wapo:

Top officials with the donor network affiliated with billionaire industrialist Charles Koch this weekend sought to distance the network from the Republican Party and President Trump, citing tariff and immigration policies and “divisive” rhetoric out of Washington.

At a gathering of hundreds of donors at the Broadmoor resort here, officials reiterated their plans to spend as much as $400 million on policy issues and political campaigns during the 2018 cycle. Earlier this year, they announced heavy spending aimed at helping Republicans to hold the Senate. But in a warning shot at Trump and the GOP, network co-chair Brian Hooks lamented “tremendous lack of leadership” in Trump’s Washington and the “deterioration of the core institutions of society.”

He called out the White House and Trump-allied GOP lawmakers, particularly over trade policy and increased federal spending, and added that “the divisiveness of this White House is causing long-term damage.”

* * *

Asked about Democrats possibly retaking control of the House, he said: “I don’t care what initials are in front, or after, somebody’s name. . . . I’d like there to be many more politicians who would embrace and have the courage to run on a platform like this.”

In reality, the network is expected to be a powerful force for the political right during the midterm elections, particularly in states where Senate Democrats are most vulnerable. It is also heavily backing the confirmation of federal judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Some of the network’s biggest donors and most experienced activists are Trump’s most ardent supporters.

All nonsensical shots across Republicans’ bows, somehow I can’t seeing the nutty donor network be anything more than the funding source for Republicans to keep the House and Senate majorities they currently hold.

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SO WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT?

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

OK, July 4th has come and gone and we’re entering the political doldrums of the late summer. Of course with Trump (aka Peter “Wrong-way” Peachfuzz) at the helm of the ship of state, who knows what will happen over what is usually a quiet period in US politics?

But we are entering the Atlantic hurricane season, California is burning from San Diego to Oregon, over half the country is sweating its ass off and Houston is flooded again, without the need for a hurricane this time.

With all of this I’m focused on helping my kid find a place to live in NYC  for the upcoming year.

So what’s important to you?

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Oh, for the good old days

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

Remember when presidents used to protect our country?

President Trump on Friday shattered several decades of protocol — and possibly violated a federal directive — by hinting strongly that the monthly U.S. jobs report would be a rosy one 69 minutes before its release.

In an 11-word Twitter post, Trump jolted financial markets and provided the latest example of how he is reshaping the presidency to fit his freewheeling impulses, pushing aside years of tight controls on the public release of sensitive material that were put in place by Republicans and Democrats.

……

In May 2017, the president revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a private Oval Office meeting. Specifically, Trump shared details of an Islamic State terrorist threat, which were believed to have been provided by Israel, a key U.S. ally.

Wapo, ~~thanks~~ for reminding us how far from normal the SFB administration has taken us. 🙄 MAGA?  BS.

Kudlow: ‘I Suppose I Hope’ Trump Doesn’t Talk About Jobs Numbers Early Again

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Molly and Michelle Got it Right

Michelle Wolf

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

Oh, the hand wringing and criticism of Michelle Wolf for her performance at the White House Correspondent’s Association dinner Saturday night.  You would think she mailed envelopes of smallpox to Trump, Sanders, etc.  She should be rending her clothes after getting bad reviews from SFB, Spicy and the rest of the conservative Washington elites, right?  Well, not so fast pilgrim.

I think she got it right, and Washington Post opinion columnist Molly Roberts also thinks Michelle got it right.

“Thank you!”

That’s how comedian Michelle Wolf answered Sean Spicer’s declaration that her headlining stand-up set at the the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner was “a disgrace.” Her response is instructive: To Wolf, an insult from Spicer is an accolade – and accolades, surely, would be an insult. She’s right.

Wolf managed Saturday night to scandalize the majority of Washington’s tuxedo-clad intelligentsia with a barrage of bon mots that, in the eyes of much of the press and political establishment, weren’t really so bon at all. The speech, these pundits have argued, wasn’t amusing; it was lewd, and worse than that, it was mean.

Wolf faced particular criticism for (besides all that sex stuff) her satire of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who apparently was a profile in courage for sitting still with pursed lips while someone told jokes about her — “to her face!” These commentators spun the strange narrative that Wolf went after Sanders for her appearance, when in reality Wolf’s barbs centered on the press secretary’s falsehood-filled performance on the White House podium.

“She burns facts, and then she uses the ash to create a perfect smoky eye,” Wolff said of Sanders. Correct, on both counts — and many would rejoice at such an endorsement of their eye makeup. Callous attacks on women for their looks, even after Saturday night, still belong to the president who refused to attend Saturday night’s event — not to the comedian who skewered his cohorts.

All the same, countless journalists rallied behind Sanders, the same woman who spends her days lying to them. And that says a lot more about them than it does about Wolf’s routine. Everyone who told Wolf to read the room is missing the point: The room, and the misplaced notion of a “special” night to celebrate the “special” relationship between the press and the presidency that brought everyone to it on Saturday, is precisely the problem.

* * *

That persistent chumminess is why Wolf’s performance, in the end, wasn’t really for the press. It was about us. “You guys love breaking news, and you did it,” Wolf said to CNN. “You broke it.” To everyone else, she said: “You helped create this monster, and now you’re profiting off of him.” Instead of listening — to that or to Wolf’s final line, “Flint still doesn’t have clean water” — we got grumpy on Twitter. Which means Wolf did a better job of defending the First Amendment than those who say that’s our business.

My favorite line of the night was, “I would drag him here myself, but it turns out that the president of the United States is the one pussy you’re not allowed to grab. He said it first. Yeah, he did. You remember? Good.”

Someone buy this woman a drink.

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