The obvious cruelty throughout Trump's smash-the-state budget shocked and awed America this week, but right after the thief-in-chief proposed to destroy an array of relatively low-cost federal programs that feed poor rural school children and keep grandmothers from freezing to death, he did something really extraordinary.
He flew to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. On our goddamn dime.
Local officials, who are starting to grapple with the idea that they might foot the bill, say if the county has to pay for it, it will mean either tax hikes or cuts to services in the coming years.
"It means the local taxpayers will have to bear the added burden of being part of the security for the president of the United States," Paulette Burdick, the Democratic mayor of Palm Beach County, told CNN Friday. "It will either be cuts or increase in taxes."...
Trump regularly hassled his predecessor, President Barack Obama, for traveling to Hawaii. "The habitual vacationer, @BarackObama, is now in Hawaii. This vacation is costing taxpayers $4 milion +++ while there is 20% unemployment," Trump tweeted in 2011 with an incorrect unemployment figure.
Trump later tweeted: "President @BarackObama's vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars——Unbelievable!"
But now, Trump, a former reality-TV star with a lavish lifestyle, is the one looking to get out of the White House every weekend.
Due to variations in each trip Trump takes, it is difficult to estimate the exact amount each Trump trip is costing the federal government. But a 2016 Government Accountability Office report about a four-day trip Obama took to Florida in 2013 found the total cost to the Secret Service and Coast Guard was $3.6 million.
That figure was also conservative: It did not include classified Defense Department costs or the salaries of anyone involved in the trip, according to the Government Accountability Office.
President Donald Trump's travel expenses have already cost taxpayers millions, but his frequent Florida visits are hitting one Palm Beach County airport particularly hard.
According to CBS Miami, Lantana Airport tenants are unlikely to receive any concessions from the government to make up for the business they've lost from airport closures during Trump's visits.
On Monday, March 6, U.S. Reps Lois Frankel and Ted Deutch revealed that Secret Service had met with tenants at the airport, telling them it is too dangerous to let aircraft take off from the airport while the president is in town.
The bill, introduced Thursday by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for events, overnight stays, food or other expenses at hotels owned or operated by a president or his relatives.Blumenauer said he's long been concerned about Trump's refusal to divest his ownership stake in the Trump Organization. The issues have become more evident with reports of taxpayers footing bills for Secret Service and embassy officials to travel with Trump's children on a business trip and as government officials spend time at Trump facilities.
Trump won West Virginia with 69 percent of the vote, a margin of more than 42 percentage points over Hillary Clinton. It was one of his best state performances. And a president's budget is a wish list that hardly ever comes anywhere near becoming law. (Congress, as members of Congress like to remind the executive branch, decides how money in the federal budget gets spent.)
Still, headlines such as this shouldn't be ignored. Remember that Trump won — in large part — because he represented change at a time when that's what people really, really wanted. But “change” means very different things to different people. The central question for Trump as president is whether the change he delivers is the sort of change people want.
Idiot Trump says baloney. That includes his Obama spying on Trump Towers stuff that he saw on Fox News (uhm, #fakenews, amirite?) Yahoo News
WASHINGTON — The White House has contritely reached out to Britain after infuriating that close ally by recycling a Fox News commentator’s charge that the U.K. spied on President Trump in 2016 at Barack Obama’s request, officials in Washington and London said Friday.
Trump’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, assured his counterpart by telephone that the White House had not meant to endorse the claim. White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who touched off the unusual diplomatic controversy on Thursday, did the same in a conversation with Britain’s ambassador to Washington.
“We have made clear these allegations are utterly ridiculous, and have received reassurances that they will not be repeated,” said a spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May.
And what about his ridiculous Obama spying on him charge, based on something he watched on teevee?
The job of government spokespeople is generally recognized as explaining and clarifying government policy and actions. They are there to fill in gaps or clear up points of uncertainty. But in the Trump White House the job has become the thankless task of trying to hide the fact that the man chosen by Americans for the world’s most powerful office is a raging idiot who lacks the brains to ask questions before he makes accusations, forms his opinions based on half-baked information gleaned from what he sees on television, and accepts without question the strange conspiracy theories fed into his ear by semi-coherent “advisers” (note the quote marks) plucked from worlds that exist largely in their own fevered imaginations. Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, who gave the world the notion of “alternative facts,” now thinks it’s weird that onlookers would be asking for proof of Trump’s accusation.
“I’m not in the job of having evidence,” she said Monday.
If Trump didn’t mean Obama when he said Obama, why did he say Obama? And, in that case, who was he calling a “sad (or sick) guy?” Some kind of generic occupant of the Oval Office named Obama? Is Trump suggesting that there can be a vast array of “sitting president(s)” out there who might have been responsible for wiretapping him, while not specifically wire-tapping him?
It’s a colossal, hundred-car, flaming train-wreck of a presidency, and it’s only a few weeks old. The world is now unequivocally aware that, somehow, it has to get through the next four years in the knowledge that the White House has no credibility whatever, that nothing Donald Trump says or tweets can be taken at face value, that the current U.S. administration is the equivalent of a kindergarten class when teacher has left the room, and that those of us living outside the U.S. will have to deal with it.
“I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” Trump told the conservative Daily Signal way back in May 2015. “Every other Republican is going to cut, and even if they wouldn’t, they don’t know what to do because they don’t know where the money is. I do.”...
That fall, his promises got even bigger. "I am going to take care of everybody," he told 60 Minutes. "I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now."
Even after the election, Trump continued to insist that his plan was to offer patients a more generous deal than they were getting from the Affordable Care Act.
In an early January interview with the Washington Post, he said that Trumpcare would feature “insurance for everybody,” in contrast to an ACA that, while bringing the uninsurance rate to a historic low, has still left 25 million people without coverage. The plans, he said, would have “much lower deductibles.” And ability to pay, he said, wouldn’t be an issue. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.”
The Republican-proposed bill to replace Obamacare would be a credit negative for U.S. states, according to Moody's Investors Service, because it would shift a greater share of the cost of Medicaid to the states.
The bill, known as the American Health Care Act, aims to replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
The bill proposes to shift federal funding for Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor, from a state-match to a per capita cap, resulting in a greater financial burden on states, Moody's reported.
The proposal would also phase out funding for expanded Medicaid by 2020, leaving states to pick up the difference or to drop enrollees from their Medicaid programs.
Yeah. What do you think Texas will do for that? pffftttt.
Access to healthcare is not the same thing as HAVING healthcare. Chicago Tribune
"Insurance is not really the end goal here," Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Budget and Management, later told NBC. "We're choosing instead to look at what we think is more important to ordinary people: Can they afford to go to the doctor?"
OK, call me old-fashioned but I thought being able to afford to go to the doctor is why we have insurance.
But, no, said White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn to host Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" about the prospect of millions losing their health insurance: "It's not just about coverage, it's about access to care. It's about access to be able to see your doctors."
So where did I get the idea that the goal was coverage? Maybe President Donald Trump had something to do with that when he promised a Republican plan that would provide "insurance for everybody."...
All of which makes it all the more poignant — or sad, as President Trump might tweet — that the biggest losers in what's being called "Trumpcare" probably would be the core supporters of Trump's election campaign.
The same lower-income, older voters who voted for him in rural red-state America stand to lose more in federal insurance subsidies than any other demographic, according to an analysis of country voting and tax credit data by Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times.
That's the political base that Trump in his inaugural address lauded as the forgotten men and women to whom he had given a political voice. Now the burden is on Trump to show whether "access" to health insurance is as good as the real thing.
But the American Health Care Act, unveiled last week by Paul Ryan and now endorsed by the president, makes a mockery of his January statement. This GOP plan is not the plan President Trump promised and it is not the plan we want for America. The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan analyst of proposed legislation, estimates that 14 million people who are currently insured through Obamacare would be without health insurance in 2018 if this GOP plan passes. And another 10 million would be uninsured by 2026. Many would be hit hard by this plan but those in worst shape would be the 50- to 64-year-olds. The Congressional Budget reports that a 64-year-old who makes $26,500 would face a 700-percent jump in the cost of premiums, from $1,700 under Obamacare to a whopping $14,000. AARP's analysis of the GOP plan comes up with similar numbers. There are other reasons to be horrified by the GOP health care plan, but at the top of this other list is: It gives hundreds of billions in tax breaks to the wealthy.
It took more than 25 minutes into his speech here for President Trump to make his pitch in support of the biggest legislative fight facing his administration: repealing and replacing Obamacare.
“I want to get to taxes, I want to cut the hell out of taxes,’ Trump said by way of introduction. “But before I can do that — I would have loved to have put it first, I’ll be honest —there is one more very important thing that we have to do: We are going to repeal and replace the horrible, disastrous Obamacare.”
The legislative process to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it — potentially— with the Republican Party’s version, is just beginning. But Trump can’t hide his eagerness to get it over with.
There are big winners and big losers in Trump's first budget plan - if approved by Congress. Military spending would increase by nine percent to $54bn, while 18 other agencies will experience budgets cuts
International efforts to tackle climate change could be dealt a blow with the Environmental Protection Agency losing over 30 percent of its budget.
Domestically, programmes that aid the poor and unemployed, as well as funding for the arts, sciences, healthcare and infrastructure, could be stripped of huge sums of money.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $100-million grant to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to fund drinking water infrastructure upgrades in Flint, funding that had been approved by Congress and former President Barack Obama late last year.
You like Meals on Wheels? Trump and Republicans don't. Esquire
Who in the hell zeroes out Meals on Wheels? Who decides that a program that spends $3 million to help volunteers feed the elderly and infirm in their communities is something that the country can no longer afford? Who are the men in the meetings who make this kind of call? What are their names? Trot them out so the country knows who they are. C'mon, David Brooks, find out who they are and explain why National Greatness Conservatism has a problem with starving elderly shut-ins.
The administration is proposing cutting the EPA's budget by 31 percent, from $8.3 billion in fiscal year 2017 to $5.7 billion in fiscal year 2018. That's the largest cut among all Cabinet departments and major agencies.
The EPA's new administrator, Scott Pruitt, is a longtime critic of what he sees as the agency's activist agenda. He and the president have both promised to scale back environmental regulation, including efforts to curb carbon pollution and promote alternative energy. Last week, Pruitt reiterated his doubts that carbon emissions are a primary contributor to climate change. That puts him at odds with the overwhelming scientific consensus.
You like National Parks? Trump doesn't. Missoulian
Both agencies would see reduced funding for new federal land acquisitions through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that’s been consistently supported by Montana’s congressional delegation. The budget document was unclear whether the $120 million in offshore oil royalties that now go to LWCF would be diverted to other areas or shifted to maintaining and investing in existing parks, refuges and public lands.
The changes to the conservation fund drew widespread criticism from outdoors organizations in and around Montana. Backcountry Hunters and Anglers President Land Tawney in Missoula called the proposal "unacceptable."
“Our federal workers already are operating under anemic budgets that preclude investments necessary to enhancing public lands management and expanding front-line staff in our communities,” Tawney wrote in an email on Thursday.
“President Trump’s proposal sets them up for failure by denying them the tools they need to do their jobs and serve the American people. It also would erode proven success stories like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has done more than any other federal program to conserve important landscapes and expand public opportunities to access and enjoy them."
Oh, and forget cleaning up Superfund sites or going for clean power
Of particular consequence to Montana is the plan to severely cut Superfund work. The network of mining and smelting-caused damage areas along the Clark Fork drainage in southwest Montana is considered collectively the largest Superfund site in the nation.
The plan would also discontinue funding for the Clean Power Plan. The Obama plan was an effort to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
You want privatized national parks? Maybe with advertising all over the place? Ugh. People that want all the other stuff, just watch teevee, okay? Or go to Disneyland or some other theme park. LEAVE THE NATIONAL PARKS ALONE to be as pristine as possible.
It featured testimony from Bozeman-based Property and Environmental Research Center Director Reed Watson, who suggested the park system pursue more privatized support. Watson recommended allowing private companies to manage parks as franchise owners, the same way chain restaurants or hotels are managed with strict brand guidelines.
“Some franchise parks could also be required to be financially self-sufficient, whether funds were acquired through user fees, partnerships, or donations," Watson said. "A franchise could give park units the flexibility to manage for local priorities as determined by on-the-ground managers, the protection and status provided by the national parks brand, and the incentives to meet visitors’ desires at low cost."
Who the hell eliminates research funding for the climate crisis in an age of mega-storms, and wildfires, and steadily vanishing coastlines? Who pulls the country out of the Paris Agreement? Who takes the United States of Goddamn America out of the fight against the biggest existential crisis the planet has faced since the asteroid landed near the Yucatan? Gee, why don't we take a wild guess and say it's the political party—and the political movement that is its only life force—that for decades has taken billions from the extraction industries, placed a climate denier at the head of the EPA—where he isn't going to have much to do, anyway—and appointed an oilman to be Secretary of State. Which reminds me…
The fcking State Department?
Who the hell virtually defunds the goddamn State Department? The party that tolerates a Tea Party hack like Mick Mulvaney, taking him as such a serious person that he can become to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget, instead of the extremist loon he's always been. Mick Mulvaney didn't need the rise of Donald Trump to become a crackpot who would be marginalized in any sane democratic republic. He was always there on the fringes. He is as much a creature of movement conservatism as Paul Ryan is, even more so because Mulvaney was one of the prime movers in the defenestration of John Boehner.
There are other goodies in here besides. The budget proposes to privatize the air-traffic control system, finishing the work that Reagan started in 1981, and adapting the system to a philosophy that has worked so very well in the prison system and in education. Speaking of which, the Department of Education is taking a 13.5 percent cut, but there's going to be $1.4 billion shifted over into various charter and voucher schemes that have proven worthless in practice, but that warm the heart of Betsy DeVos, our anti-public-education Secretary of Education. Pell Grants also take a whack. I'm sure that any kid from, say, McDowell County in West Virginia who dreams of a college education will be thrilled by that news.
There are so many wildly upsetting cuts in Trump's budget proposal that it's almost impossible to determine which one is the most cruel.
Somewhere near the top of that very long list should be the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees both SeniorCorps and AmeriCorps, one of America's largest community service organizations. Even if you haven't heard of AmeriCorps, chances are you benefited from it and didn't even realize it. Maybe you walked on a trail some AmeriCorps member cleared for you free of charge, or attended a cheesy but helpful after-school program that some service member spent weeks planning without your knowledge.
By eliminating AmeriCorps, Trump doesn't just put the most vulnerable Americans at risk (again), he creates the possibility that a generation of young people might not enter politics or a career in public service.
Trump holding on to his bullchit about Trump towers being wiretapped despite nobody but the gullible believing it
Trump also stood by unproven claims that the Obama administration tapped his phones, and expressed solidarity with a surprised Merkel, whose government charged Washington in 2013 may have been spying on her.
“As far as wiretapping, I guess, by this past administration, at least we have something in common perhaps,” Trump said to Merkel, who looked bewildered as she stared back at him from her podium.
In 2013 the German government said it had information that the United States may have monitored Merkel's mobile phone, prompting her to call Obama to demand immediate clarification.
The Republican and Democratic leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee issued a statement on Thursday rejecting Trump's assertion that the Obama administration conducted surveillance on him.
Ivanka Trump gatecrashed Angela Merkel's ill-fated summit with Donald Trump Friday, the latest in a line of questionableappearances at gatherings where she probably doesn't really belong.
The reality TV star, businesswoman and jewelry vendor had a seat next to the German chancellor, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry and speaks fluent Russian, for the roundtable discussion with German and U.S. business leaders. Twitter was quick to spot a theme in the photos that emerged from the encounter.
“Trump actually kicked us out of his hotel once,” Payne said. “You wouldn’t believe it. It was about [meeting] his daughter. He phoned up our manager, and we were asleep. He said ‘Well, wake them up,’ and I was like ‘no’ and then he wouldn’t let us use the underground garage.”
Can you believe a bunch of musicians who were probably exhausted from a relentless touring cycle didn’t want to wake up to take selfies with a rich kid?
Trump’s tantrum didn’t stop with denying the band garage access. “Obviously in New York we can’t really go outside,” Payne continued. “New York is ruthless for us. So he was like, ‘Okay, then I don’t want you in my hotel.’ So we had to leave.”
Neat. Our President is the shitbag kid who takes his ball and goes home when he loses. Never would have guessed that.
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