Trump's favorite terrorist Duterte tells his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina

This is the man Donald Trump has been praising non-stop.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told soldiers last week to shoot female rebels in their genitals, the latest in a series of violent, misogynistic remarks. […]

Tell the soldiers. ‘There’s a new order coming from the mayor. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your vagina,’ ” he said.

“If there is no vagina, it would be useless,” Duterte continued, according to local media reports, appearing to imply that women are useless without their genitals.

Trump last November bragged about his “great relationship” with Duterte. Last April he praised Duterte for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem”, referring to Duterte’s campaign of extrajudicial murders targeting suspected drug dealers and users, and telling him to “keep up the good work.”

It is unlikely that any reporter will ask the White House for Trump’s opinion on Duterte’s new “order,” which Duterte’s allies are already dismissing as a “joke,” to shoot female rebels in “your vagina.” It would be pointless; Trump has already made it unambiguously clear where he stands on Duterte’s state-sponsored campaigns of terror.

Trump's budget 'science fiction' and Republican tales of horror

Donald Trump may not have done much else, but he’s definitely developed a style—throw out a story, no matter how ridiculous, and count on the base to believe it anyway. This technique gets a new test this week as Trump not only launches Ridiculous Infrastructure Plan 2.0, but introduces a budget whose chances of passing are less than one in it’s $4 trillion cost.

Readers should file both documents under the genre of “science fiction.” The budget is dead on arrival because presidential budgets are always dead on arrival, and the infrastructure plan appears to be dead on arrival because of a larger crisis facing the party.

The crisis of the moment isn’t located along the Trump-Nunes axis of attempting to invert the justice system for fun and profit. Instead it’s the immediate result of the the Republican tax bill, other than giving all Americans that “I’ve got an extra buck and a half in my pocket” swagger. The tax gift to corporations and billionaires scooped money out of the budget by the double handful, creating a fresh trillion or so of debt for the country. And against that backdrop, Republicans just agreed to increase spending, so they could brag about what they’ve done for the military. It’s enough to make fiscal conservatives scream. If there were any.

So now Trump is left peddling an infrastructure plan in which $1.8 trillion out of $2 trillion comes from … somewhere. And the remaining $200 million comes from … somewhere else. Neither of those somewheres is at all defined and neither of them is likely to be discovered in Congress. Already Rand Paul is defending his vote against the spending bill not because the treasury was emptied by hollowing it out for billionaires, but because the budget didn’t include enough cuts of Medicare and Social Security, and Paul Ryan seems ready to rediscover the Randian religion, now that it’s more convenient.

Unable to agree on a budget, unable to find any remaining crumbs to create a real infrastructure plan, unable to agree on anything other than that average people really should be made to suffer, Republicans are struggling to come up with a solid approach to the coming elections.

A source close to the White House tells me that with an eye to getting Republicans excited about voting for Republicans in midterms, the president this year will be looking for “unexpected cultural flashpoints” — like the NFL and kneeling — that he can latch onto in person and on Twitter.

The Republican plan for the fall is literally looking for ways to divide the nation … for the win.

'The Swamp' scored big time as businesses jockeyed to cash in on Trump's tax giveaway

The so-called “swamp” isn’t going anywhere under Donald Trump. In fact, it scored a huge payday last year as lobbyists stormed Capitol Hill to help their clients capitalize on GOP lawmakers’ giant tax giveaway to big business. CBS writes:

The figures for the heavyweights are eye-popping.

The National Association of Realtors tallied $22.2 million between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, according to newly filed disclosure reports. That’s double what the organization spent in the third quarter on lobbying activities. The Business Roundtable spent $17.3 million in the fourth quarter, nearly quadruple the amount over the three previous months, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported spending $16.8 million, a $3.7 million increase.

President Donald Trump swept into the White House promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington, but lobbyists continue to wield considerable influence and they plied their trade with vigor as Congress crafted the $1.5 trillion tax-cut package that Trump signed into law in late December.

The nonprofit group Public Citizen found that upward of 5,000 lobbyists swarmed the Capitol to make sure their clients profited from the GOP’s tax rewrite.

Unfortunately, any American taxpayer who isn’t a millionaire or billionaire didn’t have much leverage as Republicans picked the winners and losers of their tax overhaul. So most American taxpayers came out losers in that negotiation. But not corporate America or the top 1 percent—they did just peachy.

Trump's aides insist he 'deplores' domestic violence, but when he speaks for himself he's deplorable

Donald Trump’s aides are trying to convince the press and the public that Trump cares, really cares about domestic violence and has great sympathy for the two ex-wives his now-former staff secretary, Rob Porter, abused. It would probably help if this wasn’t Trump’s public stance:

Mr. Trump has expressed sympathy for Mr. Porter and none for the two ex-wives who have accused him of physically abusing them. Despite photographs showing one of the women with a black eye, Mr. Trump on Friday emphasized that Mr. Porter had protested his innocence, and on Saturday he complained that a “mere allegation” could ruin someone without due process.

That speaks a little louder and more convincingly than this:

Hogan Gidley, a White House deputy press secretary, said Monday on Fox & Friends that “the president has been out against domestic violence for a long time” and that “the president deplores, thinks that domestic violence is grotesque. He’s said that on multiple occasions and there’s no place for it in this country. There’s no place for it in this White House and the president won’t stand for it.”

Or than Kellyanne Conway saying “I have no reason not to believe the women,” which is rather different than “I believe the women.” But Jennie Willoughby, Porter’s second wife, doesn’t need Conway or Trump—she’s speaking out on her own, writing in Time magazine that “my strength and worth are not dependent on outside belief—the truth exists whether the President accepts it or not.” But she sees clearly what’s going on:

The words “mere allegation” and “falsely accused” meant to imply that I am a liar. That Colbie Holderness is a liar. That the work Rob was doing in the White House was of higher value than our mental, emotional or physical wellbeing. That his professional contributions are worth more than the truth. That abuse is something to be questioned and doubted.

Donald Trump calling victims of abuse liars is nothing new—he’s done it repeatedly to his own groping and harassment victims. No wonder he has so much sympathy for Rob Porter. They’re two peas in a misogynist pod.

View from the Left: Trump's drag on House Republicans continues, despite national polling

One of the most endangered Republicans in Congress, Rep. Barbara Comstock (VA-10), must have sat there, mouth agape, as Donald Trump repeatedly declared Tuesday how much he would “love to see a shutdown” over immigration issues. He was insisting that his so-called four-pillar wish list of immigration goodies be included in any budget deal, leaving Comstock—with a district full of government workers—little choice but to challenge Trump’s assertion

“We don’t need a government shutdown on this,” she said, according to video of the exchange.

In particular, she didn’t need a GOP-inspired shutdown. Some pundits thought it was a good moment for Comstock, showing she could stand up to a pr*sident that proved deeply unpopular in her Virginia district during elections last year. But Comstock didn’t speak up because she was eager to take on Trump—few-to-none Republican lawmakers have dared engage in gratuitous Trump bashing. Instead, Comstock acted out of desperation to distance herself from the man who, one way or the other, will loom large over the midterm elections. 

Trump is at least part of the reason that Cook Political Report this week revised their ratings in 21 districts to be more favorable to Democrats. Though Republicans have been taking solace in a bump in their national polling, Cook Political’s David Wasserman writes

…most new district-by-district fundraising and polling numbers are downright terrible for Republicans, even in seats previously thought to be safe. […]

Republican leaders believe they can save their majority with a four-pronged approach: emphasize strong economic fundamentals, a muscular national security posture, opposition research against untested first-time Democratic candidates and the possible return of Nancy Pelosi as speaker. But historically, it’s been difficult to frame midterms as anything other than referenda on the president and party in charge.

In other words, even though Democrats’ generic ballot lead has tightened to about seven points, Trump’s approval rating has increased to nearly 41 percent, and people are feeling pretty positive about the economy (or at least they were before the stock market correction), Trump is still serving as a drag in congressional district polling.

In fact, two California Republicans are a perfect example of the liability Trump now poses to many House Republicans. Polling in the districts of GOP Reps. Steve Knight and Dana Rohrabacher shows that Trump’s sagging approval ratings are directly correlate the lawmakers’ reelection bids.

Former Navy SEAL who killed bin Laden: Trump's military parade is 'third world b*llsh*t'

A string of heavy-hitting military veterans are hammering Trump over his ill-conceived idea to blow an estimated $20 million or more to line our troops up and force them to march down Pennsylvania Avenue, saluting him in his private box outside the White House. 

First, Major General (Ret) Paul Eaton, the former commander of the U.S. Army Infantry Center and the man dubbed the “father of the Iraq Army” for his work training Iraqis after the U.S. invasion, released an absolutely blistering letter calling Donald Trump a ‘wannabe banana republic strongman.’ Then Admiral (Ret) James Stavridis released a public letter saying the troops don’t need a ‘puffy parade,’ they need real-life support like higher wages, better veteran care, and the weekend off to rest, not wasting their time in the summer heat inflating Trump’s ego. 

Adding to the list is Robert J. O’Neill, the former Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden in 2011. 

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A military parade is third world bullshit. We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation.

— Robert J. O’Neill (@mchooyah) February 8, 2018

The list of people objecting to Trump’s costly parade is growing by the minute. The D.C. City Council also weighed in on the idea of tanks rolling through the streets of D.C. and said “tanks, but no tanks.”

Grade A suck-up Mike Pence praises Trump's military parade, condemns North Korea's

Mike Pence proved on Friday that he can suck up to Donald Trump from anywhere in the world and at any cost to logic. Speaking to reporters in South Korea, where he was attending the Olympics opening ceremonies, Pence simultaneously praised Trump’s desire for a big military parade and attacked a North Korean military parade:

“I think any opportunity we have to celebrate the men and women of the armed forces of the United States is a great day,” Pence said, supporting Trump’s request to plan a military parade. “I heartily support the president’s call to celebrate our military.”

But Pence continued, calling the North Korean parade “an ongoing provocation.”

“Make no mistake about it, what we witnessed in Pyongyang, and we witnessed again yesterday, on the eve of the Olympics — what [South Korean] President Moon [Jae-in] said last night, he hopes will be an Olympics of peace — was once again an effort on the part of the regime in Pyongyang to display their ballistic missiles, to display a military that continues to make menacing threats across the region and across the wider world.

Provocation, he said?

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North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018

Right, Donald Trump would never ever use military displays as a provocation.

Trump's latest conspiracy, straight from his Fox News intelligence operation, already debunked

The Nunes memo flopped after several weeks of “It’s worse than Watergate!” hype. The FBI texts “BOMBSHELL” bombed within a single day after it bore no resemblance to reality. But faithfully uninformed and undaunted, Donald Trump is moving on! His new target is Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. 

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Wow! -Senator Mark Warner got caught having extensive contact with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch. Warner did not want a “paper trail” on a “private” meeting (in London) he requested with Steele of fraudulent Dossier fame. All tied into Crooked Hillary.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2018

Source? Fox News, natch! As the Maddow blog’s Steve Benen notes: “The president—who ostensibly has access to a vast, multi-billion-dollar intelligence apparatus, providing him with almost limitless amounts of vetted information—was apparently relying on something he saw on Fox News.”

HuffPost describes the latest Fox fabricated “scandal”:

Fox’s “exclusive” Thursday report said Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, had “extensive contact last year” with lobbyist Adam Waldman to set up a meeting with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote a dossier on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Waldman runs the Endeavor Group, a Washington lobbying firm that worked with a Russian oligarch named Oleg Deripaska in 2009 and 2010.

Waldman offered last March to connect Warner with Steele to discuss the infamous dossier. The article states that “secrecy seemed very important to Warner” and that the senator “seemed particularly intent on connecting directly with Steele without anyone else on the Senate Intelligence Committee being in the loop ― at least initially.”