Archive | Right Wing Coup

Trump’s war on Social Security begins

Mick Mulvaney OMB Dir. student talk_18

Well, here we go. Trump’s new budget will be announced today, and it features massive cuts to Social Security disability. They are selling this to the media as “disability, not real Social Security,” and it’s up to us to stop them:

We pointed out back in March that Trump budget direct Mick Mulvaney displayed an alarming ignorance about Social Security disability benefits during an appearance on the CBS program “Face the Nation.”

Now it turns out that there was method to his muttering. In effect, Mulvaney was telegraphing that the Trump White House was planning to cut disability benefits sharply. Axios reported Sunday that the Trump budget due out Tuesday will include $1.7 trillion in cuts to major social insurance and assistance programs, including food stamps, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Social Security disability.

Any cut to disability would be a major violation of Trump’s oft-repeated campaign pledge not to cut Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare. Trump also broke that promise, by the way, by endorsing the American Health Care Act, the House Republican Obamacare repeal plan that incorporates a stunning $880 billion in Medicaid cuts.

It turns out that Mulvaney was setting up a flagrant deception during that “Face the Nation” appearance. He asked moderator John Dickerson, “Do you really think that Social Security disability insurance is part of what people think of when they think of Social Security? I don’t think so.”

Dickerson let the remark, which we described then as “a drive-by shooting” aimed at some of the nation’s neediest and most defenseless people, slide without comment.

But Mulvaney was tapping into a knowledge vacuum that appears to extend more deeply into the Washington press corps. Politico, which reports that the budget document will “avoid revamping Social Security and Medicare,” and the Associated Press, which says the budget “won’t touch Social Security or Medicare,” get snowed by the implication that a cut in disability isn’t a cut to Social Security.

Why is Reince coming home early?

It appeared that there wasn’t anybody minding the store when Air Force One went wheels up en route to the Middle East. All the big name advisors were on board, from Tillerson, to Bannon, to Kushner. But late last night–only 24 hours into the tour–The New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman tweeted that someone was cutting… Continue Reading →

‘It’s now considered a criminal investigation’

Following a rare briefing of the entire Senate by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Senator Lindsey Graham met with a pack of reporters on Capitol Hill to discuss the latest on the probe into Russian interference in the election.

And after Rosenstein’s appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel, Graham announced that the probe has fundamentally changed in nature.

“It’s now considered a criminal investigation,” Graham said.

Graham added that Congress will now have “severely limited” ability to conduct any investigation, and seemed to suggest that some of his colleagues on the Hill who banged the drum for a special counsel didn’t fully grasp the ramifications.

Signs of a failing republic

Italy

There was an actual lengthy, substantive discussion on Morning Joe this morning with Tim Snyder, a history professor and the author of the best-seller “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century,” Willie Geist, and Joe Scarborough. Snyder reminded them that “most republics and most democracies fail,” and that history provides tools to help. “Because a… Continue Reading →

Betsy’s edumacation budget

MIc'd Up | Part 1: A Conversation with John S. Watson | Part 2: A Conversation with Ernest MonizPart 1: A Conversation with Betsy DeVos, Secretary, U.S. Department of Education | Part 2: U.S. Education Policy Discussion

I wonder what the MAGA gang will think of this:

Funding for college work-study programs would be cut in half, public-service loan forgiveness would end and hundreds of millions of dollars that public schools could use for mental health, advanced coursework and other services would vanish under a Trump administration plan to cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives, according to budget documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The administration would channel part of the savings into its top priority: school choice. It seeks to spend about $400 million to expand charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools, and another $1 billion to push public schools to adopt choice-friendly policies.

President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have repeatedly said they want to shrink the federal role in education and give parents more opportunity to choose their children’s schools.

The documents — described by an Education Department employee as a near-final version of the budget expected to be released next week — offer the clearest picture yet of how the administration intends to accomplish that goal.

New report alleges Trump shared classified info with Russia


Photo via @obbiecole

According to the latest bombshell report by the Washington Post, Trump’s little meeting with Russian foreign minister Lavrov wasn’t just a photo opportunity with Tass. Instead it appears that Trump disclosed some sensitive and key information critical to national security with…Russia. According to the report, information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through… Continue Reading →

Paul Krugman on GOP treason

Paul Krugman on Twitter

Some of us have noticed this about the Republicans for a long, long time. Paul Krugman:

How did a whole party become so, well, un-American? For this story now goes far beyond Trump.

In some ways conservatism is returning to its roots. Much has been made of Trump’s revival of the term “America First,” the name of a movement opposed to U.S. intervention in World War II. What isn’t often mentioned is that many of the most prominent America-firsters weren’t just isolationists, they were actively sympathetic to foreign dictators; there’s a more or less straight line from Charles Lindbergh proudly wearing the medal he received from Hermann Göring to Trump’s cordial relations with Rodrigo Duterte, the literally murderous president of the Philippines.

But the more proximate issue is the transformation of the Republican Party, which bears little if any resemblance to the institution it used to be, say during the Watergate hearings of the 1970s. Back then, Republican members of Congress were citizens first, partisans second. But today’s G.O.P. is more like a radical, anti-democratic insurgency than a conventional political party.

The political analysts Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein have been trying to explain this transformation for years, fighting an uphill battle against the false equivalence that still dominates punditry. As they note, the G.O.P. hasn’t just become “ideologically extreme”; it is “dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

So it’s naïve to expect Republicans to join forces with Democrats to get to the bottom of the Russia scandal — even if that scandal may strike at the very roots of our national security. Today’s Republicans just don’t cooperate with Democrats, period. They’d rather work with Vladimir Putin.

In fact, some of them probably did.

Now, maybe I’m being too pessimistic. Maybe there are enough Republicans with a conscience — or, failing that, sufficiently frightened of an electoral backlash — that the attempt to kill the Russia probe will fail. One can only hope so.

But it’s time to face up to the scary reality here. Most people now realize, I think, that Donald Trump holds basic American political values in contempt. What we need to realize is that much of his party shares that contempt.

Why was Comey fired?

Other than the obvious reason, I mean:

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