Donald Trump

Red Dome Group has connections to Trump and Manafort

Along with a history of suppressing African-American voters:

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who ran the ’96 convention for Bob Dole’s campaign, has hired Bill Greener, who was the GOP’s convention manager that year, according to two sources familiar with the personnel move. Greener starts work in his new role Thursday in Cleveland. A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to a request for comment.

For the 1996 convention, Manafort and Greener took cues from television infomercials to direct a fast-paced, entertaining program that reimagined the political convention format and irked many reporters, who felt the tight control eliminated any news value.

Not sure how Greener ended up working with (for?) Andy Yates at Red Dome, but no doubt with his buddy Manafort facing an extended jail term, he's probably low-profiling it for the time being:

The epitome of a brown-noser: MAGA Mark Meadows

If he had a tail it would wag like crazy when Trump approaches:

The North Carolina Republican has emerged as one of the most visible names to potentially take over in the role for General John Kelly, largely due to his proximity to the president and his relationship with the White House. And while he had not spoken to Trump as of Monday evening, that could change at a moment's notice.

Meadows is known to speak frequently with the president — almost daily — on a myriad of topics. Throughout Trump's first two years in office, Meadows has been among his top allies, particularly in multiple high-level negotiations in Congress and on the front lines on the president's behalf to push back against the FBI's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He, along with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, have also led efforts to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and declassify sensitive documents in the Russia investigation.

In other words, Meadows has engaged in obstruction of justice and endangered national security, all in an effort to protect the worst President our nation has ever been foolish enough to elect. And this is not surprising, either:

Subpoenas issued in Trump emoluments case

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Having to deal with that pesky Constitution again:

The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia on Tuesday formally demanded financial records from U.S. President Donald Trump's businesses as part of their lawsuit alleging his dealings with foreign governments violate anti-corruption clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The attorneys general issued subpoenas to the Trump Organization Inc, the president's privately owned real estate company, and related corporate entities.

The U.S. Department of Justice, which is defending the president in the litigation, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

That last sentence reflects just how damaged our Republic has become under this twisted President. The United States Department of Justice should be the one investigating and bringing the charges against Trump, not being his personal defense team. It boggles the mind. Shortly after Trump was elected, Brookings looked into the issue:

Burr & Tillis vote in support of journalist-killing Saudi Crown Prince

And for continuing the genocide in Yemen:

Furious over being denied a C.I.A. briefing on the killing of a Saudi journalist, senators from both parties spurned the Trump administration on Wednesday with a stinging vote to consider ending American military support for the Saudi-backed war in Yemen.

The Senate voted 63 to 37 to bring to the floor a measure to limit presidential war powers in Yemen. It was the strongest signal yet that Republican and Democratic senators alike remain vehemently skeptical of the administration’s insistence that the Saudi crown prince cannot, with certainty, be blamed for the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

This was merely a procedural vote, indicating an interest in intervening in Trump's War Powers Act authority, but it will likely be followed next week by genuine action. The ironic (and extremely hypocritical) move by Richard Burr to vote against this centers on his role as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. In any other instance, the refusal of the CIA to cooperate would have Burr turning red in the face. But since the CIA (apparently) has overwhelming evidence of the Crown Prince's involvement in Khashoggi's brutal assassination and dismemberment, Burr simply "doesn't want to know." But luckily for us (and maybe those Yemeni children), other Senate Republicans refuse to play possum:

Coal Ash Wednesday: The world's dirtiest business continues

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Running headlong into a global catastrophe:

Cheap, plentiful and the most polluting of fossil fuels, coal remains the single largest source of energy to generate electricity worldwide. This, even as renewables like solar and wind power are rapidly becoming more affordable. Soon, coal could make no financial sense for its backers. So, why is coal so hard to quit?

Because coal is a powerful incumbent. It’s there by the millions of tons under the ground. Powerful companies, backed by powerful governments, often in the form of subsidies, are in a rush to grow their markets before it is too late. Banks still profit from it. Big national electricity grids were designed for it. Coal plants can be a surefire way for politicians to deliver cheap electricity — and retain their own power. In some countries, it has been a glistening source of graft.

I really do hate to throw this on you right after that stunning climate report, but there's no help for it. If we don't understand the scope of the problem, we'll never be able to solve it. Our advocacy here in the United States has been, if not wildly successful, at least a sign of steady progress. Older and dirtier coal plants have been shuttered, and relatively few new ones are coming online. But unfortunately, that is not the case in many other parts of the world:

Not a hoax: Multi-agency Climate Change report predicts devastation

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And of course Trump is on the wrong side again:

The report, which was mandated by Congress and made public by the White House, is notable not only for the precision of its calculations and bluntness of its conclusions, but also because its findings are directly at odds with President Trump’s agenda of environmental deregulation, which he asserts will spur economic growth.

Mr. Trump has taken aggressive steps to allow more planet-warming pollution from vehicle tailpipes and power plant smokestacks, and has vowed to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, under which nearly every country in the world pledged to cut carbon emissions. Just this week, he mocked the science of climate change because of a cold snap in the Northeast, tweeting, “Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

Trump is an idiot. But he isn't just an idiot, he's a "Contrarian" idiot; he automatically opposes and attacks opinions held by those more intelligent than he is (an extremely long list), because it's not about the science, it's (always) about his ego. Call them what you will, long-term "agency bureaucrats" or "deep-state operatives," most of these people are professionals, highly credentialed, and they need to keep doing their job the way they see fit, and not the way the 72 year-old orange toddler thinks they should. Here are just some of the findings in said report:

Tyrants of a feather: Trump's love affair with murderous Crown Prince

If we're not talking about oil, guns, and money, I don't want to hear it:

Tuesday’s message could become something of a blueprint for foreign leaders — a guide to how they might increase their standing in the eyes of the American president as well as how far they can go in crushing domestic critics without raising American ire.

It was also a revealing meditation on the role that Mr. Trump believes facts should play in political decision-making. The C.I.A. concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia had ordered Mr. Khashoggi’s killing, American officials said last week. But on Tuesday, the president dismissed not only that assessment but also the very process of seeking the truth, implying that it did not really matter anyway. (“Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Mr. Trump wrote of Prince Mohammed.)

It's not just the Khashoggi killing that such irresponsible behavior affects; those 85,000 dead Yemeni children will likely be joined by tens of thousands more, because Trump will allow Saudi Arabia to continue with business as usual in that war-torn country. And what may be behind that unflinching support is that Saudi Arabia has only spent a fraction of the money on arms deals that Trump has been bragging about, and the more bombs they drop on Yemen, the more $$$$ may be forthcoming:

Trump wants to define transgenderism out of existence

We're back to the whole birth certificate thing again:

The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the department proposed in the memo, which was drafted and has been circulating since last spring. “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”

And just like that, another freedom is arrogantly stripped away. In other contexts, we might say a "definition" is merely a mundane classification, with no real-world consequences. But in the context of the Trump administration, where putting toddlers in concentration camps is considered "sound" policy, that definition becomes a lot more sinister. How far away from the further step: "You don't meet our definition of a human being, so human rights are no longer applicable" could we be? Not far enough, that's for sure. And we can now put to rest the presumption that right-wing think tanks are relatively harmless:

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