• And the cuts roll-on. A few more thoughts on the Trump budget

    John already previewed this story, but after so long wandering through the fiscal conservatve desert I wanted to chime in on this. We don’t know actually know yet what the details of Donald Trump’s first budget will include and we likely won’t for at least another month. But as John pointed out, some hints can be found in that internal memo which went out this week. Given that Mick Mulvaney was put in charge of that department and he’s a known budget hawk, it shouldn&rsqu
  • PBS, NEA, AmeriCorps on the chopping block in Trump’s first budget

    The New York Times reported yesterday that the White House budget office has prepared a list of programs that could be eliminated in Trump’s first budget proposal. Among those programs are the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities and AmeriCorps. From the NY Times:
    Work on the first Trump administration budget has been delayed as the budget office awaited Senate confirmation of former Representative Mick Mulvaney, a spending hard-liner, as
  • Mystery: What was Comey’s secret briefing yesterday to the Senate Intelligence Committee about?

    I have no deep thoughts about this but it’s worth flagging, as reporters who cover the Senate regularly and were there after the briefing ended found it unusual and potentially significant for a number of reasons. For one thing, the briefing was long — close to three hours by one account. It was also secretive even by traditional standards: Although Comey was photographed leaving the meeting, committee members wouldn’t admit that he’d been there. And it seemed as though t
  • New Republic author suggests Trump may have an STD

    Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is in full swing, particularly at liberal outlets. Efforts to discredit the new president’s executive orders, speeches and various policy initiatives are understandable. We’re not really all that surprised when such criticism ranges far over the line of hyperbole as disillusioned and perhaps delusional sore losers continue to stomp their feet. But what showed up at the new Republic this week ups their game to an entire new level. Dr. Steven Beutler ac
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  • Congress to look into Soros’ meddling in European politics

    Last weekend we looked at a story involving the Prime Minister of Hungary and his complaints about certain foreign non-government organizations interfering with the operation of his government. Viktor Orban has become incensed with liberal billionaire George Soros and what he perceives as his meddling in local affairs. But as it turns out, Hungary isn’t the only nation where Soros has been stirring the pot. Some members of Congress have been receiving complaints and they had already begun
  • Bill Maher reminds Democrats why they’re going to keep losing

    I should probably start this by stating up front that I’m still not a huge fan of most of Bill Maher’s work and generally only catch it in news clips if I see it at all. Still, you do have to respect the guy for sticking up for his own positions and being willing to call out not only Islamic extremism but his own liberal allies when he feels they’ve gone astray. A small but telling example of this pattern cropped up again this week after it was announced that internet provocate
  • CBS: Petraeus out of running to replace Flynn

    Down goes another option to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser, CBS News reports, and from a rather surprising source. After a speech overseas that apparently angered the White House, David Petraeus is no longer in the running for the spot — and that comes from sources close to Petraeus rather than the White House:
    Sources close to retired Gen. David Petraeus say the White House eliminated the former CIA director from consideration for the open national security advise
  • Will Congress finally at least scale back “official time” for government worker unions?

    We recently discussed a report which indicated that some departments in the federal government have no idea how many hours their employees spend on “official time.” In case you missed it, that’s the designation given to hours during the workday when workers are ostensibly conducting union business while on the clock. What we do know is that at least in some cases it’s quite a bit. In fact, some employees spend literally all of their time, all year long doing nothing but u
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  • Florida county abandons sanctuary city status

    Anybody tired of winning yet?
    There’s been a lot of tough talk coming from mayors of municipalities around the country regarding President Trump’s plans for so-called “sanctuary” cities and states. The real question has always been how firm that resolve will be if the White House makes good on its threats and begins slashing funding to areas which refuse to comply with federal law regarding immigration. The as yet unofficial policy is now producing some early results, spe
  • Poll: More voters trust White House to tell the truth than trust the media to do so

    I guess you could call this a win for the Trump White House, but as you’ll see in a moment it’s not all good news. From Fox News:
    By a slim 45-42 percent margin, more voters say they trust the Trump administration to “tell the public the truth” than the reporters who cover the White House.  Ten percent say neither…
    There are the expected partisan differences.  Eight in 10 Republicans (81 percent) trust the Trump administration more to tell the truth, whil
  • Video: McCain attacks Trumpism at German security conference

    The T-word is never mentioned so you’re free to read this as an attack on nationalism more broadly if you like, but given the antagonism between McCain and Trump, there’s really no doubt at whom this speech is aimed. Like WaPo says, the line “I refuse to accept that our values are morally equivalent to those of our adversaries” is obviously a barely disguised shot at Trump’s recent ambivalence about Putin being called a “killer.” (It’s also a point
  • Education Secretary DeVos receiving additional security

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is receiving additional security protection from the U.S. Marshals Service. Politico reports:
    Drew J. Wade, a spokesman for the Marshals Service, said in an email to POLITICO that the law enforcement agency “is not aware of providing a protective detail for the U.S. secretary of Education in the past.”
    “The Attorney General authorized the U.S. Marshals to provide the protective detail for Secretary DeVos,” Wade said. The Marshals Service, w
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  • The AP's Flawed Immigration 'Round-Up' Scoop and the White House Response

    Click here for reuse options!The AP dropped a big story on the Trump administration's immigration plans and all hell broke loose. The Associated Press dropped a big scoop Friday morning on a draft memo in which the Trump administration, as the AP put it, “considered a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.”The AP’s characterization of the memo touched off some harsh reactions from critics of the adm
  • 4 Nasty Ways Federal Prohibition Hurts Pots Smokers—Even Where It's Legal

    Click here for reuse options!Marijuana may be legal where you live, but it remains illegal under federal law. With the ascension of California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada to the ranks of the legal marijuana states after last November's election, nearly a sixth of the country now lives in places that have freed the weed.Still, even though it may be legal under state law, marijuana remains prohibited under federal law. Pot smokers in California or Colorado don't have to worry about a DEA age
  • Is Trump considering replacing Reince Priebus with Chris Christie?

    A fun bit of nonsense from a few days ago, inspired by Christie’s lunch with Trump on Tuesday. Christie insists that no administration job was discussed but it’s no secret that he’s expecting lots of turnover within the Trump administration over the next four years, with a high-ranking vacancy destined to open up for him to fill. Flynn’s already gone, rumors that Spicer is on thin ice continue to swirl, and even Reince Priebus has been dogged by accusations of incompetenc
  • Trump tweets: The “fake news media” is the enemy of the American people

    Even Steve Bannon, online heir to one of the right’s most ferocious media critics in Andrew Breitbart, would only go so far as to call the media “the opposition party.”
    We all understand that our shoot-from-the-hip strongman president is going to have moments when he sounds a little Chavez-y, but this is too on the nose.The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonald
  • Democratic base eager for Trump’s impeachment or some means to ‘restore the Republic’

    It has been just over 100 days since Donald Trump was elected president but the left wing of the Democratic party doesn’t seem any closer to making peace with the fact that he is their president.
    Buzzfeed noted Wednesday that a New York Times report on contact between the Trump campaign and Russia had progressives daydreaming about a #TrumpImpeachmentParty. And a story published at Huffington Post yesterday titled “Four Ways to Impeach Trump” has been shared nearly 5,000 t
  • GOP Strategist Steve Schmidt: Trump's Constant Lies and 'Endless Self-Pity' Are Unlike Any Other American President

    Click here for reuse options!Trump has taken up a "mantle of victimhood" in press conferences.Steve Schmidt, campaign director for John McCain’s 2008 presidential run, had some choice words for Pres. Donald Trump after the president’s wild and unhinged press conference on Thursday.On Thursday night, Schmidt appeared on The Eleventh Hour with Brian Williams to call out Trump’s habit of cloaking himself in “the mantle of victimhood” and his constant lying.Du
  • Trump's Inside Team Tightens Travel Ban to Avoid Constitutional Objections; Leaves National Security Council Out in the Cold

    Click here for reuse options!Donald Trump’s controversial executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries is being tightened up to get around legal and constitutional objections with minimal input from the National Security Council, the Guardian has learned. Donald Trump’s controversial executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries is being tightened up to get around legal and constitutional objections with minimal input from the Na
  • Ted Cruz: Why not John Bolton for national security advisor?

    Hugh Hewitt has been all over this idea lately.Perhaps now @POTUS @realdonaldtrump will turn to @AmbJohnBolton for a loyal, hyper-competent NSC adviser: https://t.co/7kpqgzQck9
    — Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) February 17, 2017
    chance to be heard by @realDonaldTrump and the leaks will slow then stop. @AmbJohnBolton runs a tight ship. And the smarts…off the charts
    — Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) February 17, 2017
    assessment and reveal of what they did –and any side deals not previ
  • Gallup: Number of Americans who see foreign trade as an opportunity rather than a threat reaches … all-time high?

    This is … not what I would have expected from a country that just elected a protectionist, who spent part of the campaign fantasizing about 45 percent tariffs on China. If I had to explain it, though, I would have guessed that there was an enormous “Trump effect” on the left in which Democrats, knowing that Trump is a harsh critic of foreign trade deals and feeling reflexively opposed to pretty much anything he supports, would have reacted to a poll like this by overwhelmingly
  • Japanese Designers May Have Created the Most Accurate Map of Our World: See the AuthaGraph

    “The world is not an illusion,” said Alfred Korzbyski, “it is an abstraction.” You may know Korzbyski for another famous maxim, “the map is not the territory.” Jorge Luis Borges took this idea to its most absurd lengths by imagining in his story “On Exactitude in Science” a map that corresponded in size and scale at every point with the territory. Borges, wrote Colin Marshall in a previous Open Culture post, “illustrated the idea that a
  • Donald Trump's Approval Rating Slides to Historic New Low

    Click here for reuse options!Republicans are still behind him, but the rest of the country is growing weary of its new president.President Trump loves numbers as long as they tell him what he wants to hear. During a Thursday press conference, he was all too eager to tout a right-leaning Rasmussen poll that had his approval rating hovering at 55 percent. This despite the fact that his top national security advisor resigned in disgrace just three and half weeks into his term. The Pew Research
  • Captured ISIS soldier: Rape of Yazidi women ‘is normal’

    It’s widely known at this point that ISIS rapes and enslaves captive women. Stories about it have been making their way into the newspapers for years. Today Reuters has an interview with a captured ISIS soldier who confirms this behavior was encouraged and considered “normal” as ISIS seized territory. What’s disturbing here is not only that this happened but that someone involved considers it so routine he would defend it when speaking to journalists:
    Islamic St
  • Limbaugh to Trump: Full speed ahead

    It’s two days old but even more applicable after Donald Trump’s press conference yesterday and the personnel issues that have followed. On Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh offered the president perhaps the best advice so far — just get to your agenda. If Trump can deliver on his promises, everything else will fall in place politically for him:
    I’m gonna tell you what I think is the best thing Donald Trump could do. Just focus on repealing Obamacare, and then focus on tax reform,
  • Former Harvard Education Dean: Why College-in-Prison Programs Work

    Click here for reuse options!The recidivism rate for graduates of the Bard Prison Initiative is 2 percent—compared to a national rate of return to prison of over 50 percent. The following is an excerpt from the new book Liberating Minds: The Case for College in Prison by Ellen Condliffe Lagemann (The New Press, February 2017): On a hot June day in 2008, I sat with about one hundred other visitors in the yard of the Woodbourne Correctional Facility in upstate New York. W
  • Nordstrom's Decision to Ditch Ivanka Is Really Getting to These Women Trump Voters

    Click here for reuse options!The president is fuming, and so are his most ardent supporters.
    Earlier this month, Nordstrom dropped Ivanka Trump's line of clothing, citing declining sales. For Grab Your Wallet co-founder Shannon Coulter, the retailer's decision was nothing short of a triumph.Big news everyone. You did this. I am in awe. https://t.co/q9vwmyfpbn— Shannon Coulter (@shannoncoulter) February 2, 2017Following the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape, Coulter dr
  • Religious Freedom Is a Progressive Value

    Click here for reuse options!We must not fall for the ancient tactic of allowing the kings, nobles and priests of our time to divide and set us against one another. To read press coverage about it, one might think that religious freedom is a concern only for religious and political conservatives, and not one of the most liberatory ideas in history. One would also think religious freedom and civil rights are at odds with one another. Indeed, U.S. history is filled with examples of such competing
  • 21 Facts That Explain Exactly Who Stephen Miller Is

    Click here for reuse options!The new Trump mouthpiece has been like this for a long time.
    Even among the right-wing ideologues doing the actual presidenting in this administration, Stephen Miller stands out for the copious amounts of Kool-Aid he mainlines. Speaking to the New York Times, a Trump team colleague described Miller as “fiercely loyal” to the president, “a true believer in every sense of the word.” Though he joined the campaign in its early days, penning m
  • Report: Tillerson, State Department “out of the loop” on administration diplomacy

    Maybe this finally explains why Team Trump preferred a dark horse like Tillerson, who had zero government experience, to an old hand like Stephen Hadley or John Bolton. One theory of that was that Bolton was too controversial to get confirmed; another theory was that Trump wanted someone softer on Russia than either Bolton or Hadley would have been. But what if the truth is that they wanted Tillerson because they planned all along to sideline the State Department in the policymaking process and
  • Scott Pruitt confirmed to head EPA as union talks to PR firms about continued resistance

    Scott Pruitt has been confirmed to head the Environmental Protection Agency. The final vote was 52-46 with two Democratic Senators, Manchin and Heitkamp, voting for him and one Republican, Sen. Collins, voting against him.Meanwhile, the union that represents Environmental Protection Agency employees is planning to continue “the resistance” if Scott Pruitt is confirmed to lead the agency. The NY Times reported Thursday that the union was already urging employees to call their Senators
  • Face the Nation host: Media has to take ownership for its own credibility issues

    John Dickerson provided this prescient comment early this morning to Hugh Hewitt, hardly knowing that national media outlets would only take a few hours to prove him right. The host of CBS’ Face the Nation discussed Donald Trump’s press conference yesterday, in which the president gave full vent to his frustration with the media — and the frustration of tens of millions of voters, too. Dickerson tells Hewitt that we can’t throw out our standards on how presidents handle t
  • Japanese Priest Tries to Revive Buddhism by Bringing Techno Music into the Temple: Attend a Psychedelic 23-Minute Service

    Many religious leaders would like to liven up their services to attract a younger, hipper flock, but few have the necessary background to pull it off in a truly impressive way. Not so for the Japanese Buddhist priest Gyōsen Asakura, who answered the higher calling after a career as a DJ but evidently never lost his feel for the unstoppable pulse of electronic music. Getting behind his decks and donning his headphones once again, he has begun using sou
  • Fox News: Trump was fully briefed on what Flynn told the Russian ambassador and Flynn had a “full recollection” of the call

    Man. The news side of Fox News is on the case, huh?
    There are two different claims here, one about Trump and one about Flynn. I can’t tell if the claim about Trump is significant or not because John Roberts is vague about who, exactly, briefed Trump on the Flynn call. All he says is that it was “people who would know what the content of those phone conversations was.” If he means that the DOJ briefed Trump in late January, fearing that Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail by Russi
  • Republicans Bar Latino Lawmakers From Meeting With ICE

    Click here for reuse options!In what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called “highly unusual," Republicans booted some Hispanic Caucus members.“I’m pretty shaken,” Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez said after he and Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., were asked to leave a meeting on Capitol Hill with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on Thursday afternoon.“I’ve been here 25 years and I’ve never been told by the Speaker of the House tha
  • Fake news? White House says AP report on 100K Nat’l Guard deportation force “100% not true”

    Has the White House considered a call-up of 100,000 National Guard reservists to use as a deportation force? It depends on the definition of the word “considers.” The Associated Press sent out a tweet earlier this morning that reported that plan under consideration — which would result in “unprecedented militarization” of immigration efforts:BREAKING: Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigran
  • Armed Services Committee Democrat: Gen. Mattis Might Resign Because Trump Is 'So Crazy'

    Click here for reuse options!Moulton said Trump’s immigration ban also impacts the Arab translators who help soldiers overseas.Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, told MSNBC’s Greta Van Susteren that he’s worried President Donald Trump’s Sec. of Defense James Mattis will eventually resign because “his boss is so crazy.”“It seems like Democrats and Republicans like Mattis,” Van Susteren noted.Mattis ha
  • 5 Scary Ways Trump Mirrors Some of the Worst Leaders in History

    Click here for reuse options!Five faces of dystopia to remember in the era of Trump. Based on reliable news sources, his biographer and his own writings, the most powerful man of his era has been referred to as an "egomaniac" and a "narcissist," possessing a "big mouth" with an "impulsive style," unable to differentiate between truth and falsehood, preferring emotion over facts, focused on national greatness and law and order, fearful of "foreignization," prone to coarseness and put-downs in spe
  • Did Kim assassination plot wake up China?

    For decades, China has acted as benefactor and big brother to the Stalinist dynasty in North Korea. At times, it has joined with the international community on sanctions to stop or curtail Pyongyang’s nuclear-weapons program, but for the most part has run interference on those efforts on behalf of the Kims. Now, however, China might be reassessing its relationship with Kim Jong-un after the stunning and amateurish assassination of Kim Jong-nam, whom China had hosted for years and saw
  • 'Morning Joe' Reveals the Secret Panic of GOP Lawmakers After Trump's Unhinged Press Conference

    Click here for reuse options!“That would have been a really funny hour or so of television if he weren’t president of the United States."
    MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski weighed in on Trump's alternative press conference early Friday. Horrified by the president's narcissism and deceit, the "Morning Joe" hosts also revealed why Trump's "fake news" battle has just begun. “That would have been a really funny hour or so of television if he weren’t president o
  • Rufus Harley, the First Jazz Musician to Make the Bagpipes His Main Instrument, Performs on I’ve Got a Secret (1966)

    Musician Rufus Harley did the people of Scotland a great favor when he took up the bagpipes. Like the Loch Ness Monster and haggis, outside its country of origin, the national instrument has evolved into a hackneyed punchline.
    What better, more unexpected ambassador for its expanded possibilities than a certified American jazz cat?
    He certainly stumped the all-white celebrity panel when he appeared on Steve Allen’s popular TV game show, “I’ve Got a Secret” in 1966.Politic
  • Preibus: Harward wanted to spend more time with his family

    Normally that’s something a person says on the way out of an administration, not as a reason for not going into one. After retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward declined a job offer to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser — an offer that had leaked out two days earlier — rumors had it that Harward balked because of an issue over staffing. Not so, says White House chief of staff Reince Priebus; Harward’s family vetoed the move after 40 years of service:.@Reince
  • Robert Harward Turns Down Trump's Offer to Be National Security Adviser

    Click here for reuse options!Former Navy Seal was eyed to replace Michael Flynn, who was asked to resign over contacts with Russia and his attempts to cover up nature of those contacts. Robert Harward, a respected former Navy Seal who earned high marks for his management skills, has turned down Donald Trump’s offer to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser.Reached by the Associated Press on Thursday evening, Harward, who is a senior executive at Lockheed Martin, cited family an
  • New Republican Bill Calls for Israeli-Style Spying on Social Media of All U.S. Visa Applicants

    Click here for reuse options!The vaguely-worded legislation would mandate that DHS agents interrogate children as young as 11 years old. Freshman Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana introduced legislation on February 16 requiring the Department of Homeland Security to monitor the social media activities of all visa applicants including their Facebook and Twitter accounts. The bill explicitly mandates DHS agents to interrogate children as young as 11 years old.The legislation is titled the Visa
  • Krugman Floats a Far Scarier Possibility Than a Trump-Putin Axis

    Click here for reuse options!The hard-liners in Congress do not seem to care whether Trump colluded with Russia or not. Rand Paul summed it up best when he explained: “We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans."There it is in a nutshell. The hard-liners in the Republican Party are not going to let the little whiff of the possibility that Americ
  • Trevor Noah Hilariously Nails Trump's Clear Fear of Easily Google-able Facts

    Click here for reuse options!"That reporter just shoved Trump's face in that like it was a pile of bullsh*t!"
    Donald Trump's first solo press conference as President of the United States was a smack down for the ages. After lamenting over the "mess" he'd inherited, Trump continued his crusade against "fake news", which consisted of dodging questions while repeating his long held lies. "Tomorrow they will say 'Donald Trump rants and raves at the press'," Trump predicted from the podium. "I'm
  • Colbert Demolishes Trump's Biggest Press Conference Lie

    Click here for reuse options!"You inherited a fortune. We elected a mess."
    Donald Trump's first solo press conference as President of the United States was more like a stress conference. Being surrounded by journalists, or rather the "opposition party," appears to have triggered a meltdown of epic proportions."This was just him, by himself," "Late Show" host Stephen Colbert said Thursday night soon after. "Evidently, he didn't even bring his meds with him."Thursday's press conference, which
  • Pasta for War: The Award-Winning Animation That Satirizes 1930s Propaganda Films & Features Marching Rigatoni

    From art director Zach Schläppi comes Pasta for War, an animation that satirizes propaganda newsreels from the 1930s. The plot is simple:
    It begins with fresh pasta marching towards the podium. There, the Great Dictator orates. A young recruit envisions formations of dive bombing bow-ties flying above columns of ravioli tanks, while he wades through marinara sauce to battle against utensils at the bottom of the sink. The realisation that he may die ends his fantasy, but his comrad
  • An Undocumented Woman Was Arrested While Seeking Legal Protection from Domestic Abuse

    Click here for reuse options!Trump's xenophobia has a human cost.
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested an undocumented woman at a Texas courthouse where she was seeking legal protection from domestic abuse. According to the Guardian, two federal agents showed up in a domestic violence court and apprehended the woman moments after she was granted an order of protection. A local lawyer speculated that the woman’s abuser tipped the ICE agents off to her immigration status and w
  • bizEDGE NZ - Adobe: CX, mobile apps, social media and culture tops the priority list - bizEDGE NZ

    bizEDGE NZ
    bizEDGE NZ - Adobe: CX, mobile apps, social media and culture tops the priority list
    bizEDGE NZ
    According to Scott Rigby, Adobe's head of Digital Transformation, investing in the right technology is crucial but businesses are also recognising the importance of a customer-oriented, agile and collaborative company culture. Adobe received double the ...and more »

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