Monday, July 31, 2017

The Mooch Is Pooch

Anthony Scaramucci has been fired--- just 10 days on the job, making him the shortest-serving high-profile appointee of the Trump administration.  Here's a rundown of how long others have lasted:
  • Reince Priebus, Chief of Staff--resigned July 28--lasted 189 days
  • Michael Short, Asst. Press Secretary--resigned July 28-- lasted 187 days
  • Sean Spicer, Press Secretary--resigned July 21--lasted 183 days
  • Walter Shaub, Dir. of the Office of Govt Ethics--resigned July 6--lasted 181 days
  • James Comey, FBI Director--fired May 9--lasted 100 days
  • Michael Dubke, Dir. of Communications--resigned May 30--lasted 86 days
  • Katie Walsh--Deputy Chief of Staff--fired March 30--lasted 70 days
  • Michael Flynn--Natl Security Advisor--fired February 13--lasted 23 days
  • Sally Yates, Acting Attorney General--fired January 30--lasted 11 days
  • Anthony Scaramucci, Dir. of Communications--fired July 31--lasted 10 days

Odds are that this won't be the last prominent personnel change from Trump-- his term has a long way to go and his attention span is very short.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Scaramooch, Scaramooch-- but will he do the Fandango?

The new White House Communications director has been caught making a unbelievably profane and unprovoked rant to a reporter for the New Yorker magazine.

Scaramucci was pissed about what he saw as leaks targeting him after only a few days on the job.  Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker had tweeted Wednesday night that Trump and  Scaramucci were having dinner wit Fox News host Sean Hannity.  Scaramucci angrily called Lizza to get him to disclose his source.  When that failed, he threatened to fire the entire White House communications staff, saying “What I’m going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we’ll start over!  I’m going to fire every one of them, and then you haven’t protected anybody, so the entire place will be fired over the next two weeks.”

Gucci Scaramucci ranted on-- in the process letting loose a blistering tirade against his perceived detractors, including Reince Priebus, who he thought was leaking information to damage him.  “They’ll all be fired by me.  I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you.  Reince Priebus — if you want to leak something — he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.  Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”

Scaramucci is particularly incensed by his belief that Priebus had leaked his financial disclosure form-- not realizing that it was already publicly available via his previous work at the Export-Import Bank.  Scaramucci was on roll at this point in the phone call, and began mocking Priebus:   "Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months."  Switching back to his own voice, he continued:  “They’re trying to resist me, but it’s not going to work. I’ve done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they’re going to have to go fuck themselves.”

Scaramucci then claimed not to have any interest in media attention-- in the process disparaging Trump strategist Steve Bannon: “I’m not Steve Bannon. I’m not trying to suck my own cock.  I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country.”

The Mooch cryptically suggested that he had more information about White House aides, saying: “O.K., the Mooch showed up a week ago. This is going to get cleaned up very shortly, O.K.? Because I nailed these guys. I’ve got digital fingerprints on everything they’ve done through the F.B.I. and the fucking Department of Justice.”

Scaramucci closed the conversation by saying that he had to get going. “Yeah, let me go, though, because I’ve gotta start tweeting some shit to make this guy crazy.”

The phone call further underscored the depth of divisions within the West Wing, which have only widened with Scaramucci’s arrival. Not only did Priebus and Bannon oppose his appointment, but Sean Spicer resigned as press secretary in protest.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How Republican Schmucks Are Born

Anti-tax freak Grover Norquist recently shared an anecdote on Twitter called "How Republicans Are Born."  He described how his 8-year-old daughter, who had saved up $35 to buy a guitar, was unprepared for the total cost of buying the guitar because she did not know about sales tax.

The pathetic maneuver backfired spectacularly, generating a string of replies that quickly exceeded 4,000-- including the following:

Friday, July 21, 2017

Trump Stirs The Pot; Sessions Soldiers On

Amid reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry is expanding in scope, and just hours after Trump had publicly criticized his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions nevertheless had to appear at a press event for a major DOJ operation, where he gave a muted defense of his continued work for the Trump administration.

Sessions insisted that he would continue in his job “as long as that is appropriate”, despite Trump’s unexpectedly critical remarks.  “We wholeheartedly join in the priorities of President Trump,” Sessions said, adding later: “I am totally confident that we can continue to run this office in an efficient way.”.

Rod Rosenstein, who earned Trump’s ire by choosing to appoint an special prosecutor to oversee the Russia investigation, made a more spirited defense, telling reporters: “I was proud to be here yesterday, I’m proud to be here today and I will be proud to work here tomorrow.”

In a half-hearted attempt to turn attention back to DOJ's work in fighting transnational crime, Sessions noted that the take-down of the dark website AlphaBay was an example of DOJ carrying out one of the president’s top priorities.

After a barrage of questions regarding the Russia investigation and Trump's criticism of Sessions, reporters were asked if any of them had questions about the AlphaBay case. When not a single reporter raised a hand, the press conference was abruptly ended.  Sessions left the briefing room to reporters repeated shouted questions: “Attorney General Sessions, will you not resign?” One reported asked if Sessions feared being “seen as a zombie attorney general”. He made no answer.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Is Putin Scared Of Poland?

A plane carrying Russian President Vladimir Putin made a 300 mile detour to avoid flying over Poland and the Baltic States on his way to the G20 summit.

According to the FlightRadar24 website, the Russian government jet flying from Moscow to Hamburg on Thursday deviated from the direct route over Belarus and Poland.

Poland and the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have been particularly vocal in their criticism of Moscow since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

The Ilyushin with the registration number RA-96022 flew over the Baltic Sea, crossing on its way territory of neutral Finland and Sweden before making its final approach to Germany.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on the reasons for the detour.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Beached Whale Spotted At New Jersey Shore

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is facing heavy criticism after he was photographed relaxing on a state beach he had ordered closed to the public.

The Republican gave the go-ahead for non-essential services to be shut down - including the Island State Beach Park - over the 4 July holiday weekend because of a budget impasse.

Christie then lied about his whereabouts on Sunday, saying his family was spending the weekend at the governor's residence In Princeton and he was commuting to work by state helicopter.  "

"I didn't get any sun today," he claimed, before the aerial photos emerged.  The pictures show Christie and his family on an otherwise empty beach.  Other visitors were turned away due to closure of state parks as part of a partial government shutdown. The lack of a state budget resulted in the shutdown, which included the closure of Island State Beach Park, one of New Jersey's few free public beaches.

After being confronted with the photographs, Christie spokesman Brian Murray was forced to admit the governor had "briefly" been on the beach "talking to his wife and family before heading into the office."

"He did not get any sun. He had a baseball hat on," Murray added.

The partial government shutdown in New Jersey arose because state legislators had not passed a health insurance bill that Christie said had to be passed alongside the state's budget.  New Jersey is one of at least nine states that were unable to meet their budget deadlines at the beginning of the month.


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