John Kelly is not a “Beacon of Discipline”

Remember when then-newly minted White House Chief John Kelly was imagined to be a “beacon of discipline” who’d suddenly make Trump presidential, and bring order to Trump’s right-wing, self-cannibalizing, and wildly incompetent administration? That was two weeks ago.

Here’s a list of things that have happened since Kelly shifted from overseeing brutal and exploitative ICE raids as Homeland Security secretary, to trying to keep Donald from too loudly verbalizing his racist dog-whistle urges.

Over the past two weeks, Trump has…

Refused to disavow and denounce white supremacists

Los Angeles Times: Three dead, dozens hurt after Virginia white nationalist rally is dispersed; Trump blames ‘many sides’

Washington Post: One group loved Trump’s remarks about Charlottesville: White supremacists

TPM: David Duke: Charlottesville Rally ‘Fulfills The Promises Of Donald Trump’

And declined to address a Minnesota mosque bombing,

HuffPost: Trump’s Silence On Minnesota Mosque Attack Speaks Volumes

After allowing a top White […]

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Trump Hikes Rates As He Sells Access, Invites Bribes At DC Hotel

After projecting $2.1 million in losses at the Trump International Hotel DC over the first four months of 2017, the Trump Organization instead beat expectations by a whopping $4,700,000, turning a $1.97 million profit, according to the Washington Post.

Trump’s DC hotel’s success is no coincidence. President Donald Trump is selling access to himself, his family and cabinet; welcoming cash transfers from lobbyists, donors, corporate special interests, and foreign governments; and otherwise abusing his presidential influence, all to up-charge guests 131% versus DC hotels in his competitive set. It’s a pay-to-play scam.

“Trump’s pay-to-play scam isn’t a victimless crime: as President Trump sells access to the highest bidder and welcomes millions in bribes from donors and foreign governments, he’s putting his wallet over the best interests of the American people and compromising our economic and national security.” –Brad Bainum, American Bridge spokesperson

Other examples of Trump exploiting the presidency for personal profit:

Trump  Read more after the jump.

Editorials Roundup: Nuclear Vacation Edition

While the President is in the middle of a 17-day taxpayer-funded vacation, editorial boards across the country haven’t taken a break. This week they took Trump to task for threatening to start a nuclear war in between rounds of golf, pushing a reckless and racist immigration plan, stifling new climate change findings, and more. Take a look at what Americans read in their hometown newspapers in our weekly roundup:

8/4

Dallas Morning News: How Trump’s plan to cut legal immigration could backfire

Regrettably, the president seems to have made legal immigration into a boogeyman to join illegal immigration as a reason for job losses and lower American wages. He’s so wrong to fan these flames. Most economists and businesses agree that legal immigration has been a net benefit to the nation and a reflection of the country’s values and diversity. But Trump — along with bill sponsors Sens. […]

Read more after the jump.

Bridge Project Releases ACA Sabotage Report, Digital Ad Blitz on Trump’s Attempts to Undermine State Insurance Markets

In response to Trump’s ongoing threats to sabotage state health insurance markets, Bridge Project is releasing a new report detailing the potential consequences of the Administration’s behavior and the fallout that awaits the Republican Party if the President follows through on his plans. Additionally, Bridge Project ​is launching a digital ad blitz that will demand Republican members of congress stand up to Trump on behalf of the millions of people who could potentially lose their coverage or be forced to pay higher premiums if the President acts on his threats. The campaign will hold Republicans accountable for sabotaging current law in the interest of their partisan agenda. 

To read the new report, click here.

The view the new digital ad, click here.

“Make no mistake about it: Donald Trump is trying to sabotage state health insurance markets and force premium spikes so he can ultimately leverage […]

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FBI’s Manafort Raid Required Probable Cause And Other Important Context For Today’s Trump Russia Bombshell

The FBI would have needed to show probable cause or  – “information sufficient to warrant a prudent person’s belief … evidence of a crime or contraband would be found” to obtain the warrant to raid Manafort’s home, per the Oxford Companion to American Law.

Here are five other things to keep in mind while reading about this bombshell from the Washington Post:

1.  In 2015, things were not looking great for Manafort’s finances. He reportedly owed millions debt to a close friend of Putin.

2.  Shortly after Donald Trump announces his campaign, Manafort volunteers to work for Donald Trump ‘s campaign for free and was eventually hired in March of 2016.

3.  Trump’s positions on Russia – and the Republican Party platform – start to change in Putin’s favor shortly after Manafort takes a formal role in the campaign.

4. Manafort is part of a meeting literally billed as being […]

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On Vacation, Trump Is Failing To Combat The Opioid Crisis

American Bridge Vice President Shripal Shah released the following statement on Donald Trump’s vacation meeting about the opioid epidemic:

“More than 2,700 Americans are expected to die from opioid overdoses during Donald Trump’s 17-day vacation and a meeting at his golf course today will be of little comfort to the families and friends of the victims.  The administration’s actions speak louder than his words: since taking office, Trump has backed $800 billion in cuts to the largest payer of opioid treatment and his sham commission has twice failed to produce any strategy to combat this epidemic. What more does he need to hear about this crisis before he puts the golf clubs away and does his job?”

 

Trump’s Budget Included $800 Billion In Medicaid Cuts, The Largest Payer For Opioid Treatment

Medicaid Is The Largest Payer For Behavioral Health Treatment, Including Opioid Treatment, In The Nation. [United States Government Accountability Office, 2015]

Trump’s Budget Proposal Cut Over […]

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Trump’s 17-Day Taxpayer-Funded Promotional Tour

The hypocrisy of Trump’s frequent golf trips to his properties in Virginia, New Jersey, and Florida at taxpayer’s expense, is no secret. Despite years of attacking past Presidential vacations and vowing he would never take one if elected, Trump doubled-up President Obama’s travel away from the White House over their first 200 days in office, while putting himself on pace to exceed Obama’s 8 years-worth of taxpayer-funded travel spending in his first year, alone.

The starkest difference between the two presidents as far as “vacation” days are concerned — beyond Trump’s increased time spent golfing, superior drain on taxpayer resources for his family’s travel, and general hypocrisy on the issue (including that he keeps getting caught lying about how he’s not golfing but busy with “meetings”) — is that Trump has spent his time at businesses he owns, turning the trips into promotional tours that funnel taxpayer dollars […]

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Editorials Round Up: West Wing Remix Edition

Remember Anthony Scaramucci? Yeah, that was Monday. This week — which felt like a year — editorial boards across the country once again took the Trump Administration to task, this time making clear that the problems plaguing the White House come from the top that no amount of unceremonious firings can fix it.

From adopting a flagrantly racist new immigration plan, to “jokes” about police brutality, to a new feud with the Boy Scouts of America, the Trump administration continues to be stuck in chaos and scandal. Here’s what Americans read in their local newspapers this week as the President heads off on a two-week taxpayer-funded vacation after accomplishing exactly nothing at work.

7/31

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: White House shakeup still doesn’t fix Trump’s fundamental flaw

Trump, who has repeatedly berated Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the past, got his comeuppance when McCain tipped the balance in voting against […]

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Trump Economy Update: 157,735 Announced Layoffs

In conjunction with today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, American Bridge released its latest TrumpEconomy.com tabulation of announced layoffs since Donald Trump took office.

At least 157,735 American workers have been given pink slips in the just over six months since Trump’s inauguration, but President Trump has done nothing to meaningfully protect or create American jobs. Instead of introducing a bold jobs plan or comprehensive infrastructure bill, Trump has spent all of his political capital trying to slash his own tax rate with a series of dangerous health care bills that’d strip health insurance away from anywhere between 16 and 32 million Americans.

“Trump’s economy isn’t working for the middle-class and his lies and broken promises are exactly why. From ditching promises to invest in infrastructure to pushing a sham ‘healthcare’ bill that was really a tax cut for the rich, the President has done next to nothing for American jobs since […]

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What Just Happened

​Here’s what we learned about the ongoing Russia scandal in the last hour: 

1. WSJ: Special Counsel Robert Mueller impaneled a grand jury in Washington DC. Legal experts agree this will help Mueller subpoena records and testimony from witnesses. 

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, a sign that his inquiry is growing in intensity and entering a new phase, according to two people familiar with the matter. The grand jury, which began its work in recent weeks, is a sign that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry is ramping up and that it will likely continue for months. Mr. Mueller is investigating Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign or associates colluded with the Kremlin as part of that effort. […] Grand juries are powerful investigative tools that allow prosecutors to subpoena documents, put witnesses under […]

Read more after the jump.