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6 Of Donald Trump’s Most Appalling Moments This Week

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Say what you will about the possibly fictional “dossier” containing damaging information about our president-elect that Buzzfeed released this week, but it sure seems to have annoyed him, and there’s something distressingly enjoyable about that. On the cusp of the inauguration of a certifiably deranged idiot, that’s going to have to pass for fun for now. Never has there been a leader more deserving of stories full of innuendo and giggle-inducing allegations about him. You reap what you sow, to quote Donald Trump’s second-favorite book, right after his own ghostwritten tome.

Here are 6 terrible things Donald Trump did in the last week that will probably pale in comparison after he is sworn in and all hell breaks loose.

1. He attacked one of the most beloved and respected actresses in the world.

Meryl Streep masterfully used her platform at the Golden Globes to express her profound dismay at the fact that the soon-to-be leader of the free world is the sort of person who would mock a person’s disabilities for laughs.

There is not a human being on the planet who can deny that derisive mimicry was precisely what Trump was engaging in at one of his campaign rallies to illustrate his displeasure with Timesman Serge Kovaleski’s reporting. But there are two sub-humans who denied it. Stepford propaganda minister Kellyanne Conway accused Streep of “inciting” people’s “worst instincts,” and insisted that even if it really looked like Trump was mocking Kovaleski, that’s not what was in Trump’s so-called heart. Donald Trump also counterpunched on Twitter of course, calling Meryl Streep “over-rated,” one of his 5 favorite adjectives, and saying she had misunderstood his perfectly marvelous piece of performance art. Why not just admit it, apologize and move on, Chris Cuomo asked Conway?

As if.

It is safe to say, the Trump team will spend the next four years denying the various truths that are in plain sight for us all to see.

2. He called himself a victim, much like six million murdered Jews, of Nazi-like tactics.

Well, that didn’t take long. Distressed by the leak of the “dossier” full of embarrassing, titillating, and compromising information the Russians were alleged to have on Trump, the tweeter in chief hauled out the Third Reich metaphor earlier than most odds makers would have bet. Trump tweeted, “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public,” the morning of his press conference. “One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

At his much-awaited press conference on Wednesday, he was asked if he thought that was the right choice of words, and yes indeed he did.

“I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out,” he repeated. “I think it’s a disgrace, and I say that, and that’s something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do.”

Ummm, no.

But speaking of Nazis, France’s far-right National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, an advocate of ethnically cleansing France of Muslim immigrants, paid a little visit to Trump Tower later in the week.

The entire Trump team claimed not to have met with her, and of course they are telling the complete truth just as they always do.

3. He held a fake news conference, and lied, preened and most of all bullied his way all the way through it.

Trump’s long-awaited first press conference since July started with the small, and weirdly unnecessary, lie that press conferences are second nature to him and very familiar events that he really enjoys. It proceeded through a multitude of attacks on the press and bogus assertions that he had now separated himself from his business by giving it to his sons, and proof of that was in all the manila folders stacked up on the table next to him like Trump Steaks. Right.

More weird stagecraft included a cheering squad of staffers whenever he felt he landed a blow against the “dishonest media.” Trump falsely claimed he still cannot release his tax returns, and bullied a CNN reporter into silence by calling him “fake news,” and nearly dispatched his goon squad to remove him. He also just generally made us yearn for George W. Bush’s expansive vocabulary.

4. He gloated about the imminent destruction of Obamacare and depriving millions of health care, possibly on his first day in office.

Asked for specifics about his plans for the promised “replacement” for Obamacare at his dog and pony press conference, Trump just repeated the mantra of how he was going to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, very quickly, possibly on the same day, maybe in the same hour.

How is that an answer?

Then, because simply dodging the question is not enough for him, he is compelled to completely turn truth on its head each time he speaks, he described how Republicans are generously actually doing Democrats a favor by immediately destroying Obama’s signature legislative achievement that has given 20 million Americans health insurance and saved lives. “We could just sit back,” he said, “and it was a thought from a political standpoint, but it wouldn’t be fair to the people—we could sit back and wait and watch and criticize.”

Later that night, the House voted to take the first step to dismantle Obamacare. No replacement is in sight and when it is it will likely involve health savings plans, which are the same as you paying for all your medical care, chemotherapy, surgery, everything. When a cancer survivor told Paul Ryan his life was saved by Obamacare, Ryan was undaunted.

So was Trump, who later tweet/gloated: “The ‘Unaffordable’ Care Act will soon be history!”

5. He attacked a civil rights icon on the eve of Martin Luther King Day.

After meeting with FBI director James Comey at week’s end, a number of Democrats were outraged and enraged at what appeared to be gross and improper favoritism toward Republicans on behalf of the bureau. While Clinton’s emails were investigated continually, and information about those investigations leading nowhere was publicized strategically to hurt her, Comey refused to say whether his bureau had even looked into the matter of the Russians hacking the DNC’s computers in order to sway the election for Donald Trump.

On Friday, Georgia congressman and civil right icon John Lewis told Chuck Todd that in light of intelligence reports about Russia’s interference he doesn’t “see this president-elect as a legitimate president.” Earlier in the week, Lewis had stirringly testified against Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions becoming attorney general given his long history of racism. “We need someone as attorney general who’s going to look out for all of us, and not just some of us,” Lewis told the judiciary committee.

With his legitimacy questioned, Trump took the high road, of course. HA! Kidding! No, the world kept spinning on its axis and Trump counterattacked a man who was beaten by police when he fought for the right for black people to vote.

“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district,” the tweeter-in-chief said, “which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to…… mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

That is in fact not what is sad, not what is sad at all.

6. He perfectly demonstrated how he has no idea how this whole ethics things works.

The recent revelation that one of the wealthy granddaughters of the L.L. Bean company, Maine Republican Linda Bean, contributed money to the Trump campaign led to a call to boycott the company. While discussion of the wisdom of buying flannel shirts and duck boots elsewhere circulated around social media, Trump decided it was time for him to use his lofty perch to help one of his supporters.

“Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L. Bean for your great support and courage,” Trump tweeted before greatly overestimating his own popularity. “People will support you even more now. Buy L.L. Bean.”

This piece of blatant advertising for the benefit of a private company led to a swift rebuke from the government ethics office, which had already had a busy week pointing out that Trump had accomplished exactly nothing in clearing up his conflicts of interest and parrying attacks from Republican hacks like Jason Chaffetz for doing their job.

That and looking for a new job on LinkedIn.

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

10 Most Scathingly True Takedowns Of Trump’s Press Conference

Trump took the opportunity to attack the “dishonest media,” and especially the “failing” Buzzfeed site for releasing salacious and damning documents about his activities in Russia. And he suddenly was all about praising the New York Times, his new best friend, for not jumping on the bandwagon. Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted that, “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

Yes, he went there.

Trump bragged about selflessly turning down a $2 billion deal with Dubai and being the “greatest jobs creator god ever created,” and he seemed to be still campaigning by describing his “movement like we have never seen before” and attacking Hillary Clinton and the Democrats for allowing themselves to be hacked.

To a question about releasing his tax returns, he held to his lie of not being able to release them because of an ongoing audit, and said no one is interested in his taxes except the press. After repeated attacks on Buzzfeed and CNN, he bullied a CNN reporter into silence and accused him of propagating fake news rather than letting him finish a question about whether Trump can work with the U.S. intelligence community. Asked about his specific plans for Obamacare, he simply repeated the words “repeal and replace,” called it the biggest disaster in the history of mankind and gave zero specifics.

The internet and commentators immediately got busy. Here are some of the most scathing reactions on Trump’s favorite medium.

1.

2.

After , it’s clear that we’re facing a new era of dictatorship with @realDonaldTrump. He’s not a democratic leader.

3.

 

Donald Trump isn’t even president yet and he’s already losing his shit at press conferences http://bit.ly/2idCQID 

4.

“You are fake news!” says the guy who spent 8 years birthering Obama, and said Ted Cruz’s father helped kill JFK…..

5.

Trump spent ages insisting Obama born in Kenya citing “extremely credible source” and now he’s crying about fake news.

6.

7.

Trump is right about one thing. Watching him bully reporters who disagree with him is a lot like Nazi Germany.

8.

I’m not gonna release my taxes. There’s nothing bad in them, but it’d be boring television, and I care about ratings.

9.

Trump refused to confirm no one in his campaign was in contact with Russian officials, after being directly asked.

10.

My assessment of .
“… it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” – (Macbeth)

5 Deranged Right-Wing Moments This Week From Trump On Down

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

The tweeter-in-chief managed to keep the attention largely focused on himself this week with inane, reality-defying statements about hacking, television ratings and being a really “big fan” of intelligence.

If Trump wasn’t so scary, he’d be ridiculous, but he is ridiculous as well as being really really scary. Those are the two realities we all need to hold simultaneously in our heads. And it hurts.

A discussion on CNN about Trump’s cavalier tweets goading North Korea about nuclear missiles provided the perfect illustration of just how terrifyingly low expectations have sunk for his presidency. After commentator Bakari Sellers called Trump’s tweeting habit a dangerously provocative and ill-considered way to conduct foreign policy, Trump mouthpiece Kayleigh McEnany stunned her co-panelists. “We’re still here,” she said. “There hasn’t been a nuclear war yet.”

Yikes.

Here are five instances of deranged thinking emanating from the right-wing Trump-o-verse this week.

1. Trump displayed one of the sicker parts of his mentality.

Trump said all manner of nutty and troubling things about the burgeoning Russian hacking scandal this week—threatening to overhaul the intelligence community until it gives him the answers he wants, calling the whole matter a “political witch hunt,” and calling for an investigation of NBC rather than the Russians, among others. But he also pursued a story line that is of a piece with his general blame-the-victim mentality, saying the Democrats were at fault for being hacked in the first place.

“Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place,” he tweeted, “The Republican National Committee had strong defense!”

This, of course, is nonsense. All indications are that the hacking and leaks of information were to benefit Trump, and that the Democrats were targeted deliberately. The Republicans were also hacked, but the material was not leaked. But the tweet is also of a piece in the sick, sordid, empathy-bereft stew sloshing around in Trump’s mind. Trump, after all, blames losers for losing, prisoners of war for being captured, taxpayers for paying taxes, and for all we know agrees with his pal and cabinet appointee Ben Carson that shooting victims are to blame for just sitting there and letting themselves get shot.

We are all in deep, deep trouble, but you knew this already.

2. Kellyanne Conway has a bizarre misunderstanding of her own style.

In a contentious interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo this week, Kellyanne Conway did all the dodging, bobbing and weaving she could muster to avoid answering the direct question Cuomo had posed about hacking. The topic was Trump’s false assertion that no one brought up the hacking story until after the election.

“Third time: Did Clapper come out in early October and say we know Russia is behind the hacks, period, full stop?” Cuomo said, growing obviously impatient. Conway, who had evaded the question thus far, tried to change the subject.

Cuomo would not let her. “Why won’t the president-elect acknowledge what is so clear to the intelligence community that Russia was involved in the hacks?” he asked.

Finally, Conway, whom Rachel Maddow aptly dubbed a “puppet without a hand,” advanced her counter-offensive, which was to accuse those who are so concerned about Russian interference in the election on behalf of Trump as trying to “delegitimize his presidency.”

That would be a dirty trick, one which would certainly appall the birther-in-chief and his spokes-pods. Only the lowest pond scum would try to delegitimize a president selected by an overwhelming minority of the American electorate.

Cuomo said he was “just trying to put the facts out there” and accused Conway of “ducking the obvious.”

To which she took great umbrage. “Hey, Chris, I’m not ducking a thing. Not my style.”

Then she collapsed in a heap from all the ducking, dodging and weaving she had performed.

3. Mitch McConnell turns out to have hilarious sense of humor.

When Senator Chuck Schumer intimated that at least some Democrats might have some backbone in fighting what are sure to be Trump’s extremist Supreme Court nominees, Republicans were outraged. How dare Democrats tear a page from the Republican obstructionist playbook. No fair!

Trump’s reaction was to oh-so-presidentially tweet that Schumer, with whom the PEOTUS had previously had cordial relations, was the Democrats’ “head clown” in an otherwise typo-filled tweet. Moments later, having suffered something resembling a brain aneurysm, he tweeted that Democrats and Republicans need to work together to gut Obamacare and deprive millions of life-saving health insurance. A real kumbaya moment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems to have a case of amnesia that unfolds over a longer time frame than the nine minutes that passed between Trump’s contradictory tweets. McConnell’s response to Schumer’s laying down of the gauntlet was: “Apparently there’s yet a new standard now, which is to not confirm a Supreme Court candidate at all. I think that’s something the American people simply will not tolerate.”

Oh ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, Mitch! It’s not as if you spear-headed the blockade against even considering President Obama’s middle-of-the-road nominee to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, Merrick Garland in an unprecedented act of craven obstructionism.

Good one, “American people will not tolerate . . . ” stop, our sides are hurting.

4. Tomi Lahren gave us the perfect reminder that she is an unconscionable monster.

Finally, the right wing got the fodder it needed to rail about black people committing crimes again. That’s been a lot harder lately with crime rates plunging in general, black on white crime practically non-existent, and the trial of white racist mass church murderer Dylann Roof grabbing the whole spotlight.

No person with the decency level of a toenail would politicize the horrendously cruel, days-long attack on a mentally disabled man in Chicago this week, video of which appeared on Facebook, and in many major media outlets until it was taken down.

Enter right-wing YouTube star Tomi Lahren, who quickly displayed her uncanny ability to take hatefulness to new unprecedented heights by mashing together this apparent hate-crime with Dylann Roof’s black church massacre. Other right-wing commentators, like the not-at-all reformed Glenn Beck, hastened to blame the peaceful Black Lives Matter movement for the attack, without a shred of evidence other than the fact that the assailants appeared to be black. Lahren derided the media, the police and Obama for not immediately calling the assault a hate crime. Which they actually did.

“Chicago police aren’t sure if it was politically motivated,” Lahren said. “Are you freaking kidding me? This is the definition of a hate crime, and these four sick individuals deserve a seat on death row right next to Dylann Roof.”

Hmmm. Really? Nine slaughtered, one assaulted. Same.

Her tirade continued as she very originally blamed the decline of black families, inner cities, and hip-hop culture for the assault, and demanded Black Lives Matter disavow the attackers. (They did, of course, with DeRay McKesson describing the attackers as “thugs.”) Try as we might, we cannot remember similar hand-wringing over the decline of the white family, rural lifestyles and country music when Roof was arrested. Did we miss when white nationalists like Steve Bannon and Lahren herself disavowed Roof? Or when anyone described remorseless, lilywhite Roof as a thug?

Most of the right-wing commentators made hay out of the racial and political aspects of the crime—the attackers insulted their victim for supporting Trump, whether or not it’s true. The sickening frequency of attacks on the disabled barely seemed to register and was not politically useful.

5. Newt Gingrich crawls out from under a rock to say something stupid.

In a shocking development (not), Trump fanboy Newt Gingrich blamed President Obama for the fact that four black Chicagoans committed a horrific crime.

This makes perfect sense to Newt. It is also why he is always welcome to appear on Fox & Friends where he can make these nonsensical statements to his heart’s content.

Gingrich’s reasoning appears to be this: Obama is black, and sometimes black people do bad things, therefore he is to blame.

“I think a lot of their language, a lot of their approach heightened that sense of racial tension,” Gingrich said of the Obama administration. “And I think we have to oppose white racism, we also have to oppose black racism.”

Clearly, the Newtster managed to miss Obama’s statement immediately calling the livestreamed attack a “despicable hate crime?” And we must have miss the part where Obama juiced up racial tension. Apparently, he did this by being black and occupying the White House and by producing a birth certificate that said he was not born in Kenya.

More of Newt’s false narrative went like this: “And I think if this had been done to an African-American by four whites, every liberal in the country would be outraged and there would be no question that it’s a hate crime,” Newt continued.

Earth to Moonrocket Newt. Liberals too were outraged by the wanton cruelty shown to this disabled man.

IMAGE: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump makes his way through the crowd after addressing a Tea Party rally against the Iran nuclear deal at the U.S. Capitol in Washington September 9, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

12 Moments Of Right-Wing Horror And Absurdity In 2016

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

President-elect Donald Trump had the most perfect New Year’s tweet. And by “perfect” we mean perfectly awful. Say what you will, the man has an uncanny ability to compress his entire sick personality into a mere 140 characters.

“Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!” he tweeted.

It’s a little hard to celebrate the end of 2016, a truly awful year, when in 20 days, this petty, vindictive man with the maturity and impulse control of a five-year-old and the ossified views of a dinosaur will be president.

Though you may be cowering hungover under your bed in dread at the idea, we thought we’d take you on a little stroll to recap of some of the horrors—and absurdities—the right-wing visited upon us during the year that was.

1. Donald Trump staged a year-long assault on truth.

Donald Trump lies all the time. He lies malignantly, and he lies ridiculously. Of course, his entire political career is founded on the “birther” lie, which he still brags about. He ran his campaign on lies about black crime, dangerous immigrants, and non-existent jobs, more or less defrauding the American people in the same way he defrauded students at Trump University. In some cases, the lies he told were so utterly, demonstrably false that they were almost funny. Almost.

Two examples:

“There is no drought,” Donald Trump told Californians while campaigning there last May.

If there is a water problem, he continued, it’s because someone closed the water, and he’s going to open it.

“If I win, believe me, we’re going to start opening up the water so that you can have your farmers survive,” Trump said.

It’s just so crazy to say this. Arguably, it’s one thing to deny climate change, which is a bit complicated and requires scientists to explain it. But droughts? Not to mention air pollution. Dude, we can see those.

Another bizarre one in the final days of the campaign was a depiction of how President Obama treated a protester at a Clinton campaign rally:

“He was talking to the protester, screaming at him, really screaming at him,” Trump told his apparently insanely gullible crowd in Tampa, Florida.

“By the way, if I spoke the way Obama spoke to that protester, they [note: the mean old media] would say, ‘He became unhinged! He spent so much time screaming at this protester and frankly, it was a disgrace.”

This was, in fact, the very opposite of what had happened and been televised. Obama had urged the slightly rowdy crowd to take it easy on the protester, who was older and appeared to be a veteran. It was not just a lie, it was a masterpiece of projection. For, Trump is the one who consistently endangered protesters at his rallies by literally inciting his supporters to rough them up and worse.

2. Trump spokesperson Scottie Nell Hughes confirms facts don’t matter anymore.

The persistence and outrageousness of lies can be attributed the sobering reality that the Trump era helped usher in the “post-truth” world we now find ourselves living in. The tweeter-in-chief spreads unfounded conspiracy theories, spins minor victories into major coups, and occasionally in an unguarded moment spews some accidental truth about how he can’t believe how many people actually believe anything he says.

But still, you’re not supposed to just come out and say that truth and facts don’t matter.

CNN Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes confirmed all of our worst fears after the election when she said, “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts,” on the Diane Rehm Show on WAMU, an NPR affiliate.

She was explaining the truth according to Trump to her fellow aghast panelists when it comes to the tweeter-in-chief’s claim of, “millions of fraudulent voters,” having given Hillary Clinton her 2.8 million popular vote victory.

Here is what Hughes purported to be her logic:

“Mr. Trump’s tweets amongst a certain crowd, a large—a large part of the population, are truth. When he says that millions of people illegally voted, he has some—in his—amongst him and his supporters, and people believe they have facts to back that up. Those that do not like Mr. Trump, they say that those are lies, and there’s no facts to back it up.”

That is seriously scary. We have a president and his minions who now believe truth is what he says it is.

3. Trump surrogates wildly misunderstand Pussygate.

Trump’s recorded assertions that he could grab women by the genitals because he is famous threw some of his surrogates into disarray, but not all. And a few of them performed some of the more hilarious contortions seen on the campaign trail to deflect attention from the damaging revelations.

One was Newt Gingrich who reinforced his already creepy image by conflating sex and sexual assault in a dustup with Megyn Kelly in October. While she pressed for answers and expressed concerns for women’s safety, Gingrich countered with the accusation that Kelly is just “fascinated with sex,” because she kept on talking about it.

Funnier still was Betsy McCaughey, the former Lieutenant Governor or New York, whose nut job takedown of Obamacare invented the concept of death panels. She argued that if you like Beyonce’s music, you can’t complain about sexual assault. Like other right-wingers, she seemed to think the problem with the tape was Trump’s foul language, rather than the whole rapey/consent thing.

Hillary Clinton, a fan of Beyonce, likes bad words more than Donald Trump, McCaughey argued, before whipping out and performing the lyrics to “Formation.”

“‘I came to slay, bitch. When he f-ed me good I take his ass to Red Lobster.’ That happens to be from Beyoncé, her favorite performer,” McCaughey said of Clinton. “Whom she says she idolizes and would like to imitate. There’s a lot of hypocrisy, in Hillary Clinton expressing such horror at language on the bus.”

McCaughey was triumphant. She really scored there.

Later, after several women accused Trump of sexually assaulting them, McCaughey called such accusations an example of “man-shaming” and suggested the women should not be believed.

“With all due respect, that was the same thing that the folks over at Bill Cosby’s camp said,” CNN Don Lemon pointed out.

“Well, and sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong,” McCaughey countered.

Ummm, yeah. They were right.

4. Ted Cruz’s unconscionable defense of Senate’s despicable blocking of Obama Supreme Court appointment, and threat to continue under a Clinton administration.

In October, Ted Cruz, who for some reason had forgotten that everyone including his own party detests him, floated an idea about the Supreme Court. Maybe, if Hillary Clinton were to win the presidency, Senate Republicans really would just take all of their toys and go home and stonewall on any Supreme Court appointment she attempted to make. So there.

“There is long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices,” Cruz lied at a campaign event. “Just recently Justice [Stephen] Breyer observed that the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the court to do its job, that’s a debate that we are going to have.”

Cruz’s threat did not quite pack the punch of fellow tea partier Joe Walsh’s threat to “grab a musket” if the election did not go Trump’s way, but was more in Cruz’s trademark mealy-mouthed and thoroughly dishonest style.

For starters, there is no long history of that, and secondly, Breyer did not say that. The Senate’s inaction on Supreme Court appointees has severely and demonstrably affected the high court’s ability to do its job. Deadlocking on cases involving immigration and unions and other vital issues that have come before it means the court is literally failing to do its job, which is to decide things.

The Supreme Court is only the best known example of the harm GOP stonewalling has done to the judiciary. Republicans have confirmed only 18 of Obama’s federal court nominees, and created a “judicial emergency,” which is a term for when courts are so back-logged and caseloads are so high that Americans’ access to justice is endangered.

Cruz knows about this emergency and has gleefully propagated it. Unlike his idiotic fellow traveler, John McCain, whom Cruz was echoing. Cruz is a lawyer and touts himself as a constitutionalist, but for some reason it’s okay for him to ignore that part of the constitution that gives the powers of appointing justices to the president.

Cut to present and Cruz’s name has sickeningly been floated for a Trump appointment to the Supreme Court, and Cruz accused the Democrats of threatening to be the most obstructionist party in history.

Ha! One hopes.

5. Melania Trump’s barely hidden misogyny revealed itself in her softball interview with Anderson Cooper in October.

At first glance, Melania Trump did a good job of seeming like a decent sane person in her softball interview with Anderson Cooper in October. She reported that her husband had apologized to her about bragging he sexually assaults women, and that she accepted his apology. But, she pointed out, it was not his fault. Billy Bush made him do it. Donald is, she acknowledged, a big kid, barely more mature than their 11-year-old, Barron.

But her mixed messages about her husband’s level of maturity were only part of the problem. On closer inspection, there was quite a bit of misogyny lurking behind her words and viewing women as the real predators seems pretty firmly ensconced in her worldview. Since boys will of course be endearing if potty-mouthed boys, Melania blamed the manipulative women who are always hitting on her husband, sometimes right in front of her, throwing themselves at him “unappropriately.” This was in the context of talking about sexual assault allegations, so the unmistakable conclusion was that she was implying some women ask for it.

As for Natasha Stoynoff, the People magazine writer who said Trump forcibly kissed her at Mar-a Lago, the most important thing Melania wanted to convey was that she was never friends with Stoynoff and would not recognize her on Fifth Avenue, despite the fact that Stoynoff attended the Trumps’ wedding. (And the most important thing Mr. Trump would have you know, is that Stoynoff is not his idea of attractive enough for him to sexually assault.) And Stoynoff has recently confirmed that knowing Trump would attack her looks did give her pause before going public with her ordeal. How many more?

6. Rudy ‘9/11’ Giuliani conveniently forgot when 9/11 happened.

In September, self-proclaimed September 11 hero Rudy Giuliani managed to forget when 9/11 happened so that he could make the laughably false statement that there were no terrorist incidents before Obama took office. Around the same time he made that brain fart, and right after the first debate where Trump tanked badly, Rudy posted a banner week that week sucking up Trump’s fumes. Here were some of the lowlights:

  • Immediately following the debate, Giuliani was the first to float the idea that Trump should skip the rest of the debates. Why? Because Trump blew it so badly, and his gnat-like attention span prevents him from actually preparing? No, because it was rigged! Lester Holt was so unfair when he corrected Trump a few times on his lies! (Especially when Holt pointed out to Trump that the police practice he and Giuliani so love, stop-and-frisk, is unconstitutional and racist.)
  • Later in the week, Giuliani joined the fray in criticizing Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs, because that’s just extremely relevant to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and Giuliani has always been an exemplary husband and father. Because he cares so much about women and children, Giuliani helpfully pointed out how “stupid” Hillary is to have stayed with Bill. In the same dizzying spew, Giuliani called Trump a “feminist” for hiring women (even if he fat-shames them and fires them for not being attractive enough). He also claimed Bill Clinton “violated” Monica Lewinsky, and as a former prosecutor, isn’t he supposed to know that’s not the case?
  • By the end of the week, Giuliani decided it was appropriate to make racist, anti-immigrant remarks and insult Mexicans working in the kitchen at the Waldorf Astoria during a black tie event there, even managing to offend the various business leaders assembled. Red-faced, the head of the Commercial Finance Association, obviously a left-wing organization, was forced to issue a formal apology to attendees.

Diagnosis: The bile has finally eaten all the way through Giuliani’s brain.

7. Britt Hume’s idiotic whining about how he’s not even allowed to say Hillary Clinton is shrill and needs to smile more.

Britt Hume, Fox News’ so-called reasonable one, gave the following critique after Hillary Clinton’s Democratic convention speech: “She has a habit, when speaking, of breaking into a kind of a sharp, lecturing tone, [it] makes you feel like. She has a great asset, as a public person, which is a radiant smile, but she has a not-so-attractive voice.”

Now, technically, he did not actually use the word “shrill” having somehow gotten the message that that word is not very well-disguised sexism. A few weeks later, Hume and Tucker Carlson, were having a little chat about what they can and cannot say about Hillary Clinton. It’s so frustrating being a white male these days. Everybody’s always picking on you, trying to take away the privileges to which you’ve become accustomed.

They were discussing the outrage of Clinton not smiling enough while she was talking to the families of dead soldiers during the “Commander-in-Chief” forum. Carlson said he admires Clinton’s toughness (ha! no), but thinks she undercuts that when she mentions the sexism in the media’s coverage of her. How so? Not sure.

But poor Hume just doesn’t even know what he can say anymore; everything has become so unfair.

“You know at the Democratic convention, I was on after her speech, and it struck me that she did some things effectively in that speech, particularly her critique of Donald Trump,” Hume said. “But she seemed—and she has at other times in the campaign—to be kind of angry and joyless, and yes, unsmiling. I said that on the air, and I really caught it on Twitter from people who said, ‘You’re just a sexist, I can’t believe somebody’s saying that.’ But it raises this question, Tucker, in America today, is it possible for a woman to be shrill, and if so, or joyless, or unsmiling, is it possible for somebody to say that without ending up in jail?”

The dreadful persecution of Hume continued apace and other men who wish to call women shrill with impunity continues .

8. Pond scum emerges, says vile scummy things, gets book contract.

If there is a more despicable piece of shower mold than Breitbart.com’s Milo Yiannopoulos, then we do not know it.

In a mediascape that normalized Trump’s demagogic drunk uncle act and legitimized him into the presidency, this other creature from a hateful lagoon was granted a hearing on ABC “Nightline” with Terry Moran.

Yiannopoulos has been banned from Twitter for leading a harassment campaign of deeply disgusting misogynist and racist abuse of the comedian Leslie Jones, something of which he is apparently proud.

“I like to think of myself as a virtuous troll,” Yiannopoulos bizarrely self-aggrandized in the interview.

We like to think of him with a stake driven through his tongue, but hey, we like to think lots of things.

Moran thought maybe he could pull some decency out of this cockroach, and asked if Yiannopoulos would tell Leslie Jones “she looks like a dude” in person.

“Yeah, probably,” Yiannopoulos replied. ”I probably would.”

“Then you’re an idiot, really,” Moran said

Moran again tried to reason with the moron. “You’re going to go after somebody’s body to denigrate their ideas? What grade are you in? Seriously. Are you a 13-year-old boy? Because somebody doesn’t have a weight that you think is proper? That’s revolting.”

Revolting is a word Yiannopoulos can relate to.

“I’ll tell you what’s revolting,” Yiannopoulos responded. “What’s revolting is the body positivity movement. What’s revolting is this idea now that you can tell women that they’ll be healthy at any size.”

And now, having discussed this vile piece of bellybutton lint, we need to go take a bath.

It was a great year for racist, misogynist Alt-Right scum! While some ended up in the White House, Yiannopoulos ended his 2016 with a book contract.

9. Trump sons went from comparing refugees to Skittles to just making sh*t completey up.

It was Donald Trump, Jr. who compared refugees to Skittles, prompting the candy to distance itself from the Trump campaign (as Tic Tac later did.) But it was son Eric who made up the absurd original lie of his father’s sh*tshow of a campaign in the Fall. He swore it was not President Obama’s Kenyan birth, or secret status as a Muslim “Manchurian candidate,” it was a Christmas story. Who doesn’t love a Christmas story?

During an interview, Eric said Trump entered the political sphere because the Obama/Grinches stole Chistmas. “He sees the tree on the White House lawn has been renamed ‘Holiday tree’ instead of ‘Christmas tree. I could go on and on for hours. Those are the very things that made my father run, and those are the very things he cares about.”

One teeny tiny leetle problem. It’s not true. As in has no basis in reality. Didn’t happen. Throughout the Obama Administration, The White House Christmas Tree was called the “White House Christmas Tree.” It’s not even the “White House Xmas Tree.” There’s been no concession to secularism, to separation of church and state. It’s a made-up story, a myth, a manufactured crisis, and all part of the nonexistent war on Christmas that isn’t being waged anywhere.

Eric also pointed out other pseudo outrages galvanizing his father’s run.

“He opens the paper and some new school district has just eliminated the ability for its students to say the Pledge of Allegiance, or some fire department in some town is ordered by the mayor to no longer fly the American flag on the back of a fire truck,” Eric Trump told The Stream’s James Robinson.

There are just a few things wrong with this statement. First of all, Donald Trump doesn’t open a paper. He opens his Twitter feed, Fox News or maybe Breitbart. Sometimes he glances at the National Enquirer, especially if “people are saying” there’s a good conspiracy theory about Ted Cruz’s father, or Hillary Clinton’s health on the cover. Second, a newspaper that covers things like that would go out of business fast due to snoozing readers.

The Kool-Aid in the Trump household was clearly very strong.

10. Before Trump surrogate Carl Paladinosaid horrendously racist and hateful things about the Obamas, he said other horrible racist things.

Back in August, while Trump was attacking the Khan family for having an American war hero son while being Muslim, his pal and upstate New York school board official Carl Paladino went on “Imus in the Morning” to defend his right to do so. He started by making stuff up about Hillary Clinton.

“We’ve got an un-indicted felon [he means Clinton] as his opponent and you’re talking about Khan, about [Trump] making a remark about this man? All right, I don’t care if he’s a Gold Star parent. He certainly doesn’t deserve that title, OK, if he’s as anti-American as he’s illustrated in his speeches and in his discussion. I mean, if he’s a member of the Muslim Brotherhood or supporting, you know, the ISIS-type of attitude against America, there’s no reason for Donald Trump to have to honor this man.”

It’s hard to be worse than Trump himself, but apparently manageable for some.

Keeping the level of discourse as high as possible, Paladino went on insist that Obama is a Muslim and Hillary Clinton is “devious” for hiding her alleged health problems, health problems that have been debunked.

“But if you’re really looking at what’s been exposed about Hillary and Hillary’s demeanor, I mean, just look at the deviousness. If it is true about her health problems, I mean, how devious can a woman possibly be? And not telling the American people that she’s got some sickness, she’s definitely impaired.”

Diagnosis: Paladino is morally impaired.

11. Bill O’Reilly instructs black people to hate Black Lives Matter.

In December Bill O’Reilly let his White Supremacist flag fly in a rant about opponents of the Electoral College.

But we shouldn’t let that despicable moment obscure another one back in July, when several police officers in Dallas were gunned down after a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration, which has nothing to do with the shooting.

Bill O’Reilly took the opportunity to insist that everyone must hate and fear Black Lives Matter immediately. He and other Fox Newsians spent a good deal of their post-Dallas airtime whipping up as much hysteria and anger as possible against a group that has a name and a message no sane person can argue with. But sane people do not sit at Fox roundtables, as an episode of “Outnumbered” clearly shows. Meanwhile, colleagues Megyn Kelly and racist ex-cop Mark Fuhrman took it upon themselves to lecture black people to stop exaggerating about problems with police. You got that, Philando Castile, Eric Garner and Alton Sterling?

But O’Reilly is just so sick and tired of black people not listening to him when he tells them what is good for them. Speaking to his guest, NAACP director Hilary Shelton on Friday, O’Reilly said, “So, you know what I think? I think that if you really want, if African Americans really want to bring the country together and have good racial relations, they have to distance themselves from Black Lives Matter. Am I wrong?”

Yeah, you’re wrong, Shelton said, explaining that the Black Lives Matter marches are occurring for a very good reason. And lots of people understand that.

But white people ha-a-a-te Black Lives Matter, O’Reilly whined, mistaking the echo chamber in his head for reality once again. “White Americans despise this crew. And if black Americans don’t understand that, we’re just going to grow further apart.”

Shelton carried on saying reasonable things that are in the spirit of bringing people together, among other things pointing out that people of all races join Black Lives Matter marches and believe in the movement and in justice for all Americans.

All on deaf ears. O’Reilly was just too busy breaking the douchebag-o-meter.

12. Fox Newsians say asking Trump for his tax return is discrimination against rich people—with straight faces.

No, seriously, Kimberly Guilfoyle really did say this. She and her other co-hosts from “The Five” were discussing this terrible miscarriage of justice—the fact that Mitt Romney suggested there might be a bombshell in Donald Trump’s unreleased tax returns, and that now everyone is all over his case to release them. The Donald has come up with various reasons not to produce them, including the hilarious statement that the IRS picks on him because he’s such a strong Christian. One suspects the real secret the Donald is hiding is that he is not nearly as wealthy as he makes himself out to be, which is the only revelation in the universe that could bring the shameless reality star the remotest sense of shame.

But Guilfoyle and equally idiotic Eric Bolling just think it is so mean—so, so rude—to ask the Donald to produce his tax returns. Co-host Dana Perino tried to explain that the office of the presidency is that of a public servant, not the gold-plated throne from which to order decrees that Trump imagines it to be, and pointed out that although taxes are “complicated for [insert the word rich] people,” they would likely be an issue in the general election.

Juan Williams pointed out that Donald’s taxes are “relevant right now.”

Guilfoyle jumped all over that, whining, “What about discrimination, Juan?”

Huh?

“Against rich people,” Guilfoyle said. “And one percenters. Nobody ever asks to see the poor—it’s so rude.”

So rude. Poor people get all the breaks.

IMAGE: DonkeyHotey/Flickr

Kellyanne Conway Offers Ridiculous Defense Of Trump Sons’ Selling Access

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Kellyanne Conway has not only drunk the Trump Kool-Aid, it’s running in her veins. Which is why she was just promoted to the highest position any woman holds in the Trump administration, counselor to the president. What this likely means is that she will keep up her whispering to Trump (about what he should say in order to hide his racist, misogynist buffoonery) and that she will continue to appear on TV shows and spin utter nonsense as ever more damning revelations about the deeply corrupt Trump administration come out.

Chris Cuomo grilled Conway Wednesday about the almost laughably blatant way the Trump sons are selling access to their dad. The hefty $1 million price tag on a sit down with the Trumpster was supposedly all for a well-meaning charity. Hmmm, Cuomo wondered, isn’t that sort of like what the Trump campaign was hammering Clinton about? Paying for access to power to benefit a charity that does good work?

“I think we should go back and look at what Don Jr. and Eric have done and wanted to continue to do, which is raise money for charities,” Conway said. “The Eric Trump Foundation is ten years old. It has done enormously great work.”

“It’s the same thing the Clinton people said when they were defending their allegations of pay-for-play,” Cuomo noted, and then turned back to the Trumps, who were, “selling off a million-dollar trip to hunt with the boys and hang out with the president. That sounds like paying for access.”

Conway tried to pivot back to the Clintons, spewing allegations that were often repeated during the campaign and proven untrue.

“So paying a million dollars to hang out with the president is okay?” Cuomo pressed.

“I didn’t say that,” Conway said after a moment of silence.

“I know, you’re not answering,” Cuomo observed. “You’re going after the Clintons. I’m saying, what’s your answer? You mentioned the Clinton Foundation, you said it’s the same,” Conway shot back. “I’m saying it’s absolutely not the same.”

Cuomo wondered, if what the Trump sons were doing was so noble and charitable, why have they since rescinded the offer?

Because the media is sooo unfair, was basically Conway’s response.

First, Conway engages in some of her trademark Islam- and refugee-bashing. Then to the corruption doublespeak.

Watch:

5 Trump Abominations This Week

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

While atrocities played out in Syria, Trump visited homegrown tragedies and travesties upon America. The week began with his appointment of Exxon chief Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, continued with wild dissembling about Russia’s hacks on his behalf and ended with him calling his own supporters “vicious and nasty.” It was all completely “unpresidented,” as Trump might say—in fact, as he did say about China’s seizure of a U.S. Naval Underwater Drone.

Here are just 5 of the low points in Trump world this week.

1. He just up and cancelled his big December 15 announcement about how he’ll divest from his businesses.

Shortly after Trump was elected, amid dawning concern that as president he would be riddled with unprecedented conflicts of interests due to his business holdings around the world, he tweeted an important announcement. On December 15, he would hold a press conference about exactly how he would handle this gravely concerning matter. This would be four days before the Electoral College met to vote, and some had suggested Trump needed to be abundantly clear about his plans before then.

With just a few days to go before that much-awaited press conference, the mercurial president-elect cancelled it, tweeting simply that his eldest sons would run the Trump Organization while he runs the country. Also, he said they would not “do any deals” while he is president, and neither will he.

Most business and government ethics types agreed that they have no idea what that means.

Trump gave no new date for this press conference, though there were vague intimation about it being shortly after the new year. But don’t count on it. Trump had plenty of luck dodging, weaving and evading the demands to see his tax returns during the campaign and even now. It was a winning strategy for him then, and in all likelihood, he’s banking on it still.

2. He appointed a cabinet member with white supremacist ties and sympathies the same week that Dylann Roof was convicted of one of the most atrocious hate crimes in recent American history.

The march of idiots, billionaires, oil men and extremists into the Trump cabinet continued apace this week. For the Secretary of the Interior, now that Sarah Palin was no longer in contention due to criticizing Trump’s absurdly Trumped-up Carrier deal, Trump named Montana Freshman Rep. Ryan Zinke.

The former Navy SEAL and early Trump backer has an obsession with homeland security and part of his vision for that seems to entail keeping America as white as possible. He has accepted money from hideous white supremacist Earl Holt, of the Council of Conservative Citizens, whose demented racist screeds found their way onto the manifesto of now-convicted Charleston church killer Dylann Roof. Zinke also backs legislation to make English the official language of the United States and has aligned himself with anti-immigrant groups the Southern Poverty Law Center calls hate groups.

So, maybe hold off on breaking out the bubbly that Sarah Palin did not land that cabinet position.

3. He accused his own crowd of being “nasty, mean and vicious” as if it had nothing to do with anything he’s ever said.

The Trumpster appeared to have entered a dissociative state during his victory, thank-you rally party to rile up his base, in Florida on Friday. The rowdy crowd was there to celebrate, and wanted to revisit Trump’s greatest hits, tunes like “lock her up” and “build the wall.” Trump said he didn’t like those songs anymore and pretended this kind of rhetoric was not of his own making.

Chiding them like a drunk uncle, Trump said their behavior was a little deplorable during the campaign. “You people were vicious, violent, screaming, ‘Where’s the wall? We want the wall.’ Screaming, ‘Prison, Lock her up.’  I mean you were going crazy. You were nasty and mean and vicious.” It was a textbook example of projection. Has Trump not seen the video of his Republican National Convention speech? There was foam coming out of his mouth (and blood coming out of his whatever.)

The man who called protesters at his rallies paid inciters, and promised to pay the legal bills of supporters who might, say, beat the crap out of them, just could not believe how vicious everyone was being.

But that was then, this is now, he might say, or maybe he’ll just deny any of it happened despite all the video evidence the “dishonest media” has at its disposal. He creepily counseled the rowdy chanters. “Now, you’re laid back, you’re cool, you’re mellow, right? You’re basking in the glory of victory.”

Too late. All the violent hateful emotion is out of the (wind) bag.

4. He dumbed down the Department of Energy by appointing the dumbest guy possible.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is famous for being kind of dim witted, and Trump has already told us he loves the poorly educated, so much so, apparently, that he is stocking his cabinet with them. With the appointment of Perry to head the Department of Energy, Trump achieved a pretty stunning act of dumbing down. Under Obama, the department was headed by physicists with PhD’s including one Nobel Prize laureate. Under Trump, you’ve got Perry who barely scraped his way out of Texas A&M with a bachelors in chemistry. So mentally or at least memory-challenged is Perry that he could not even remember the name of the department he will now be heading when he proposed doing away with it in 2011.

Oops.

It’s a mind boggler, all right, except when you consider that Perry was an early supporter of Trump. And there are even more troubling things about Perry’s appointment, like the fact that he is on the board of the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, deepening the ties between this administration and that Earth-ruining project.

In general, the moves the Trump team has been making when it comes to the nation’s energy policy (and environment) are among the most terrifying signals of what we are in for with the new administration. At every turn, Trump has signaled his commitment to fossil fuels and determination to gut any progress made on clean energy and mitigating climate change. The Trump team even attempted to ferret climate scientists (and just people who believe in science) out of the Department of Energy by sending out a questionnaire about their activities. The Energy Department balked, to its great credit.

According to the New York Times, Perry’s primary responsibility as Energy Secretary “is to protect and manage the nation’s arsenal of nuclear weapons.”

That does not make us feel any better at all.

5. Got into ridiculous fight with Vanity Fair magazine, which he apparently lost.

The problem with Donald Trump is that he doesn’t win anymore. Maybe he got tired of winning. He said that might happen. As the people of Aleppo were being slaughtered, mass killer Dylann Roof was being convicted, and the CIA and FBI came to an agreement about Putin’s interference in our election, Trump had more important things on his mind. He was not going to take that terrible review that Vanity Fair gave Trump Grill lying down.

So he bravely tweeted that Vanity Fair is a bad magazine, and Graydon Carter is a failure as an editor. Both, he predicted would soon be gone.

That’ll fix ‘em.

This made Vanity Fair very sad. So sad that they turned Trump’s attack on them into a subscription pitch and within just 24 hours sold the highest number of subscriptions ever sold in a single day at Conde Nast.

IMAGE: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a USA Thank You Tour event in Mobile, Alabama, U.S., December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

10 Electors Demand Intelligence Briefing About Trump’s Ties To Russia

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet. 

Ten members of the Electoral College, including nine Democrats and one Republican, have asked for an intelligence briefing about whether there are any ongoing investigations into Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia. Their demand comes in the wake of the bombshell CIA report that Russia did indeed interfere with the 2016 election to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. In a strongly worded letter, the group said such information is vital to their December 19th decision about whether Trump is fit to serve as the nation’s president, Politico reports.

The letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper reads in part:

“The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations. We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.”

The letter is signed by electors from five states and the District of Columbia, including Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Christine, who is a Democratic elector from California. Former (and future) Congressmember Carol Shea-Porter from New Hampshire, who was recently elected to her old seat, also signed, along with three other New Hampshire colleagues—Terie Norelli, Bev Hollingsworth and Dudley Dudley. D.C. Councilwoman Anita Bonds, former Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Clay Pell, Maryland activist Courtney Watson and Colorado Democratic elector Micheal Baca, leader of an effort to turn the Electoral College against Trump, are also on the list. The Republican signatory is Texas’ Chris Suprun, an emergency responder who has already gone public with his criticisms of Trump.

There is also a separate effort on the part of electors from California, Washington and Colorado to stop Trump. Two Democratic congressmen, Rhode Island’s David Cicilline of Rhode Island and Connecticut’s Jim Himes of Connecticut said this weekend that the Electoral College should seriously consider blocking Trump’s election in light of the new revelations.

One sitting Republican Senator who is very concerned about the latest intelligence revelations of Russian interference in our election to help Trump is John McCain. He called the hacking of Russian intelligence services into Democratic campaign e-mail accounts “another form of warfare,” according to the New York Times.

McCain, who chairs the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, also said that a Senate investigation into Russian hacking would be necessary, since the inquiry ordered by President Obama last week could very easily be discontinued in the Trump presidency.

The 538-member Electoral College is set to vote on December 19th.

IMAGE: Donald Trump speaks during the first debate. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

5 Nightmarish Things Donald Trump Did This Week

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

The mind reels with the mounting horrors and the sheer pace at which they come. How could one mere week contain so many terrible and impulsive actions from a man who has managed to get elected leader?

At the beginning of the week, Donald Trump did everything he could to completely piss off the Chinese government, which holds billions of U.S. debt. At the end of the week, he dissed the entire U.S. intelligence community, when they suggested he might not have won the election fair and square. In the middle, he tweeted bullying threats to people who had the audacity to criticize him, and unfurled a string of ghastly cabinet appointments destined to undo hard-won progress on labor rights, environmental regulation and more. Terrifyingly, he and his transition army of bigots, deniers and destroyers sent out a questionnaire designed to ferret out civil servants who worked to help mitigate the Earth’s climate crisis in what might be the first of many witch hunts.

Science, reason, the First Amendment, and decency are now all under threat. Clearly, this is not one of those nightmares from which you can just wake up and say, Phew, glad that’s not really happening!

This week, Trump…

1. …made some of his most terrifying cabinet picks yet.

Trump got off to a flying start when he named the dangerous lunatic General Michael Flynn (Ret.) as his national security adviser. While people wrap their minds around the horror that the man Trump will listen closely to on matters of national security is a rabid Islamaphobic conspiracy theorist who even other conservative generals like Barry McCaffrey call “demented,” Trump distracted everyone by saying, Look over here! Look, I appointed not just a climate change denier, but an air pollution denier to head the EPA! And a known exploiter of workers and women to head the Labor Department! Bet you didn’t think it could get any worse!

Those cabinet announcements followed on the heels of Trump’s appointment as education secretary a woman who detests and wants to dismantle public education (Betsy DeVos), and a housing department pick of a man—Ben Carson—who has said he has no business running a federal bureaucracy and that the government should not be involved in helping people get housed fairly anyway.

The sound you are hearing is millions of heads dropping into hands, and saying, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, make it stop, please. Get me off of this funhouse ride to oblivion!”

And no points for feeling relieved that Rudy Giuliani will not serve as chief diplomat, since the frontrunner for the Secretary of State job is now Rex Tillerson, CEO of fossil fuel giant Exxon Mobil and good friend to Russia. And militant nutjob John Bolton is to be number #2.

We can’t, we just can’t.

2. …made it clear that there will be a witch hunt to ferret out people of science who performed scientific work in their jobs for the government.

The Donald allowed various people to come and kiss his ring at Trump Tower this week, which was big of him. These included former Vice President Al Gore, who pled the case that climate catastrophe is all but certain without keeping and expanding global agreements to mitigate it. Silly Gore said afterward that the discussion had been “productive,” obviously forgetting that nothing a malignant narcissist says is ever to be believed. Environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio was granted an audience with the Trumpster as well.

Obviously, both got a careful hearing. The announcement of the appointment of climate denier, fossil fuel industry shill and EPA-suer Scott Pruitt came Wednesday, a clear signal that Trump fully intends to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change as well as the whole concept of environmental protection. The fossil fuel industry cheered as one of their own champions, who has argued that pollution regulation is a matter of states rights, ascended to the helm of the agency charged with regulating them.

Then damned if it didn’t get worse. On Thursday, Bloomberg revealed the existence of an extensive questionnaire circulated by the Energy Department designed to ferret out anyone who might believe climate change is real and ever worked toward its mitigation, whether as an employee or contractor. Employees at the DOE told the Washington Post the clear message is that the Trump transition team is intentionally singling out individuals in an obvious purge of climate scientists (or even just those who believe in climate change).

No, McCarthyism is not even close to being too strong of a word to describe this.

3. …decided to stay on as executive producer of his NBC reality show while being president.

At the end of the week, Trump decided he’d keep his job and paycheck at “Celebrity Apprentice.” Previously, he had said he’d shed his other business commitments and conflicts of interest because being president and running the country is such a big and important job, but since when have any of Trump’s promises gotten in the way of Trump doing precisely what he feels like doing?

Not even Trump apologist Newt Gingrich thinks this “Apprentice” decision is a good or even normal idea, but shocker of shockers, spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway says it is A-OK, in part because Trump is always such a wonderfully “transparent guy.” So refreshingly so. Maybe he’ll transparently brag about how now that he is president, he can grab even more pussy than ever!

Also, Conway pointed out, nobody complained about the fact that President Obama sometimes played golf. And playing golf is exactly the same as taking money from a major network that also has a news division that is supposed to cover you, right?

4. …tweeted insane and bullying things to anyone who criticized him and incited violence and harm to them and those related to them.

Never thought we’d have a lot of sympathy for aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing, but Trump’s vindictive behavior toward the company’s CEO—who dared gently criticize the president-elect’s hostile rhetoric about trade—managed to make us brief bedfellows.

When Trump got wind of CEO Dennis Muilenburg’s mild suggestion that trade is important to his company and others, Trump immediately retaliated, tweeting: “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!”

That caused the shares to plummet. Never mind that Boeing doesn’t even have a $4 billion order to make Air Force One planes. It’s a post-factual world, remember.

Worse still was when Trump went after Chuck Jones, an Indiana union leader who criticized Trump’s much-vaunted, hugely over-hyped Carrier deal. Trump tweeted, “Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!”

Never mind that suggesting unions are responsible for corporate flight flies directly in the face of candidate Trump’s oft-repeated and resonant claim that companies leave because of bad trade deals. This was petty vindictiveness taken to a new level.

Since then, Chuck Jones and his family have been getting death threats from Trump’s lovely legion of supporters.

5. …said he was just kidding about that whole jail-Hillary thing.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, on yet another leg of Trump’s creepy post-election thank-you tour (clearly he prefers appearing before adoring crowds to learning how to be president or getting security briefings, say), the jazzed crowd began to jeer and sing one of its, and the RNC’s, favorite refrains about Hillary, chanting, “Lock her up, lock her up!”

Trump does not want to sing that tune anymore, however.

“No, it’s okay,” he told them. “Forget it. That plays great before the election. Now, we don’t care, right?”

Translation: nothing I ever said should ever be taken seriously, you idiots.

Lest anyone forget, Trump said at the second presidential debate: “I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it, but if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception, there has never been anything like it and we’re going to have a special prosecutor.”

Yes, the most jaw-droppingly dishonest, deceptive and corrupt person who has ever run for and apparently been elected president thinks a special prosecutor should be appointed for behavior such as his.

We agree.

IMAGE: Flickr/DonkeyHotey

5 Idiotic Trump Moments This Week

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet. 

We don’t want to alarm you or anything, but it’s beginning to look like Donald Trump does not know how this whole president-ing thing works. And since he has the curiosity level of a pet rock, chances don’t seem great that he’ll be learning anytime soon.

His week was a combination of gaffes, bizarre confessions, and weirdly tone deaf phone calls that appear to be setting off international incidents. He seems to miss campaigning, and held a rally in Ohio to crow again about all the other people he vanquished when he beat Hillary. He tweeted how he’s going to just unconstitutionally toss flag burners out of the country. (Whee, this presidenting thing is fun!) And he also took the time to oh-so-presidentially tweet his detail-free “big announcement” about how he’s going to step back from running his companies, so no more “conflicts of interest!” Poof, they’ll just magically disappear.

Here are 5 of his headscratchingly stupid moments during the week that was:

1. He had a succession of bizarre and tone-deaf phone convos with foreign leaders.

Though he is an avowed teetotaler, the President-elect appears to be doing the equivalent of drinking and dialing world leaders this week, or at least drinking and picking up the phone, if he can be believed that the Taiwanese president called him, not the other way around. By all appearances, he did not have the foggiest notion that speaking with Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen might cause a teeny problem with China, or that it broke four decades of diplomatic protocol.

Protocol schmotocal, he might say. He’s a rule breaker, a rebel, which is so much easier when you just don’t bother to inform yourself about the rules. Freedom from knowledge is just so darn liberating.

Earlier in the day, he had spoken with the murderous Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte, who is rapidly becoming an international pariah. But Trumpie described the conversation as “engaging and animated.” Frighteningly, the two aspiring authoritarians share a view about the violence with which the drug war must be waged. Duterte just pretty much has people murdered, about 4800 of them so far.

And a brief chat with the Pakistani Prime Minister was all Trump needed to make a complete about-face about that nation. The country he once described as “not our friend,” he suddenly claimed was “fantastic.”

See? Easy peasy, this presidenting thing.

2. He appointed a fellow conspiracy theorist to powerful post at helm of Health and Human Services Department.

It’s bad enough that Donald Trump himself is a sucker for a good conspiracy theory  (birtherism, massive amount of voter fraud, etc…), but now he seems to be surrounding himself with conspiracy theorists as well, (well, conspiracy theorists and billionaires.)

Georgia Rep. Tom Price is just about the most disastrous pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services that can be imagined. He is not only a sworn foe of Obamacare; he opposes Medicare and will seek to dismantle it given half the chance. He is a doctor, a so-called upholder of the Hippocratic Oath, but opposes all forms of government involvement in medicine, which he, of course, calls socialism.

But Price does not just have vile plans to dismantle the nation’s safety net, he has nutty ideas as well. Granted, being a medical doctor is no inoculation against being a whacko, look at Ben Carson, but Price has been touted as a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). This horrifyingly right-wing group of ideologues masquerading as men and women of science  “to fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine.” It’s members are urged to refuse to treat Medicare patients and the group rejects required vaccination programs in schools. That’s not just evil. It’s colossally stupid for anyone with a passing acquaintance with public health.

It’s hard to know which cabinet appointment to be most horrified by this week, but Price might have beat out predatory banker Mnuchin at Treasury, and bottom feeder Wilbur Ross at Commerce. Unlike those two blatant profiteers, Price has been put in charge of a henhouse he seems intent on destroying.

3. He held a bizarre campaign rally in Ohio, appearing to be stuck in a time machine from three weeks ago.

The Donald called the event in Cincinnati on Thursday a “thank you” rally, but it was eerily similar to his campaign rallies, and he kind of forgot the whole thank you part. The crowd chanted “Lock her up,” any time Hillary Clinton’s name came up, which it did because the Trumpster bragged about the great fun he had “fighting” and beating her. He pranced and preened about the stage, basking in the glow of adoration, revisiting old grudges and spouting nationalism. “There is no global anthem, no global currency, no certificate of global citizenship,” Trump said apropos of nothing. “We pledge allegiance to one flag. And that flag is the American flag.” That spurred the crowd’s other favorite chant, “U-S-A, U-S-A.”

No one seemed the least bit convinced when he read off the teleprompter to call for some sort of unity now that he will be president, because he said so. “It is time and the people are angry,” he rambled. “They are angry. And they are going to get together.” They are going to get together because he said so. The hall was so silent you could hear a pin drop.

But before he pursues all that unity stuff, he just wanted to make fun of a weeping woman, and spent some time mocking ABC’s Martha Raddatz for her choked up performance on election night. “How about when a major anchor who hosted a debate started crying when she realized that we won? How about that?” he grinned. Then like a cruel 9-year-old with developmental delays he imitated her sobs, saying “No, tell me this isn’t true.”

Very presidential.

4. He told this truly baffling story about the Carrier deal apparently unaware that it makes him look more awful than usual.

In Indiana to gloat about his supposed genius deal to save maybe a thousand jobs at the Carrier conditioning plant, which was accomplished through huge tax breaks and corporate giveaways, Trump addressed a roomful of the factory workers. He decided this might be a good time to mention he really hadn’t intended to keep those Carrier jobs from going to Mexico in the first place. Huh?The president-elect recounted how he had been watching the nightly news—“I won’t say which one because I don’t want to give them credit”—when a “gentleman worker, a great guy, handsome guy” invoked a promise Trump had supposedly made on the campaign trail. The man, a Carrier employee, said that Trump had vowed to keep the Indianapolis factory open. “I never thought I made that promise—not with Carrier. … I made it for everybody else,” Trump confessed. But why?

Seems like a little bit of a diarrhea of the mouth problem.

5. One of his surrogates just flat out confirmed that facts don’t matter any more.

The Trump era helped usher in the “post-truth” world we now find ourselves living in. The tweeter in chief spreads unfounded conspiracy theories, spins minor victories into major coups, and, yes, as we have seen, sometimes in an unguarded moment spews some accidental truth about how he can’t believe how many people actually believe anything he says.But still, you’re not supposed to just come out and say that truth and facts don’t matter. You’re supposed to stake out some “truthiness” even for your thinnest of ideas. But damned if CNN Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes didn’t manage to confirm all of our worst fears this week when she said, “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore of facts,” on the Diane Rehm Show on WAMU, an NPR affiliate.

She was explaining the truth according to Trump to her fellow aghast panelists when it comes to the tweeter in chief’s claim of, “millions of fraudulent voters,” a claim which is both false and stupid particularly when you’re fighting a recount effort.

Here is what she purported to be her logic: “Mr. Trump’s tweet amongst a certain crowd, a large — a large part of the population, are truth. When he says that millions of people illegally voted, he has some — in his — amongst him and his supporters, and people believe they have facts to back that up. Those that do not like Mr. Trump, they say that those are lies, and there’s no facts to back it up.

If your brain now hurts from all the stupid, you are not alone.

IMAGE: FILE PHOTO –  Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally in at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida, U.S. November 5, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

5 Deeply Obnoxious Things We Learned About Donald Trump This Week

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet. 

Donald Trump spent Thanksgiving week leaking his potential cabinet picks, making Mitt Romney grovel and turning down security briefings. He also made the time to sit down with the New York Times to flatter and lie to them, which seemed to have inexplicably fooled the paper of record into saying look, he’s not that bad. The next day, the Times ran a piece about how Trump was “diversifying” his cabinet appointments because look he gave Nikki Haley a job for which he has no respect and she has no qualifications, U.N. Representative. His appointments ping ponged between know nothings, right-wing ideologues the likes of which would make Dick Cheney blush, and gazillionaires who have gutted the very working class Trump once claimed to champion.

Here are some of the most deeply disturbing things we learned this week about the pussy grabbing birther in chief:

1. He loves the poorly educated so much, he wants to expand their numbers.

You may remember one of the more bizarre campaign statements Donald Trump made when talked about his love for the “poorly educated” after winning the Nevada primary. It was a true headscratcher for the slightly better educated who thought, who the hell says something like that? This week, Trump took steps to expand this demographic this week when he named AmWay heiress, anti-public school zealot Betsey DeVos as his pick for Secretary of Education. “As one of the architects of Detroit’s charter school program, she is partly responsible for what even charter advocates acknowledge is the biggest school reform disaster in the country,” is how an op-ed in the Times put it. Horrible on so many levels, DeVos is notably bad on education.

As an extra added bonus, DeVos is also active in anti-LGBTQ causes including some of her gazillions to fund thoroughly debunked, deeply inhumane, definitely not educational “gay conversion therapy.”

2. He literally does not mean one single thing that he says.

It’s going to be impossible to count Trump’s lies, given that he talks just about every day, rarely sleeps and nothing that he says seems to bare the remotest resemblance to shared reality or be an accurate depiction of what he actually thinks. This is why he has apparently ushered in the “post-truth” world that the rest of us somehow have to figure out how to negotiate. Still, in the sea of lies, there were some notable and disturbing disconnects this week.

A little background: Trump got a lot of mileage on the campaign trail when he ridiculed rival Ben Carson for his autobiographical story about having stabbed a friend in his youth due to some uncontrolled fury that he managed to pray away. Trump reminded his audience that Ben Carson himself said he is pathological.

“He has a pathological disease,” Trump said before launching into a comparison between Carson’s pathology and that of a child molester.

“Can’t be cured,” Trump shrugged. “It’s pathological.”

That pathology turned out not to be bar to, say, holding a high cabinet position in the Trump administration. Carson announced this week that he had been tapped to head up Trump’s Housing and Urban Development Administration, an area in which arguably a big city real estate developer might know some truly knowledgeable people. Carson’s qualifications: “I grew up in the inner city and have spent a lot of time there, and have dealt with a lot of patients from that area and recognize that we cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities,” he told Fox News. Oh, okay.

This development comes amidst the weirdness of Carson’s own post-truth world where just one week ago he said he was not qualified to run a government bureaucracy in regard to another potential appointment. (Arguably one he had some qualifications for, Health and Human Services.)

Trump’s utter mendacity was hardly left behind on the campaign trail. While sitting down with the New York Times, an institution he has reamed for over a year on twitter, usually calling it the “failing New York Times” even this week, Trump fell over himself to flatter the paper. He called it a “great, great American jewel” and talked about the “tremendous respect” he has for it. “The slime factor was overwhelming,” Charles Blow wrote. We may never be able to shower it all off.

He also told the editors that he had an “open mind” about climate change, including the idea that there may be “some linkage” between human activity and climate change. This of course directly contradicted every statement he made on the campaign trail about climate change being a hoax, perhaps one perpetrated by the Chinese. He also directly and terrifyingly contradicted the “open mind” statement the next day when he proposed cutting Nasa funding for climate change research and called it “politicized science”

Why be bound by the truth when you can just way whatever gets you through that particular moment?

3. He sees no barriers to his view that the presidency is an opportunity to expand his wealth and brand.

Trump made abundantly clear this week that he in no way sees the presidency as any bar to his business activities. He met with some Indian business partners, boasted that his win has made his brand “hotter” overnight, and told the New York Times that he will continue to invite business partners to the White House for photo ops.

Having once said (on that silly old campaign trail where there are no records of anything ever being promised) that if he were to win the presidency, he would cease his business activities in order to fully devote himself to running the country, President-elect Trump did a full 180 on that. “The law’s totally on my side” he told the Times, “The president can’t have a conflict of interest.”

This is not correct as numerous lawyers, including Bush’s ethics lawyer, have since stated, but to Trump it is correct anyway, facts be damned. Anyway, it would be really hard to sell off all his real estate, and he does not want to do it. Nor would he trust anyone besides his kids to run the empire and he still needs to talk to them and also include them in high-level matters of state. Apparently, he is also exempt from federal antinepotism laws. He just is.

Just to “cap” off the brand-building exercise the Trump presidency so clearly will be, the Trump campaign put a version of those “Make America Great” red hats on sale for the low-low price of $150 as Christmas tree ornaments. Now that’s class.

4. He is unencumbered by facts, knowledge or the desire to gain more of either.

Being incurious frees up lots of time, thus Trump skipped several national security briefings traditionally attended with interest by presidents-elect. But he did accidentally learn something that surprised him: waterboarding might not work.

Tough-talking candidate Trump bragged about how he would reinstate waterboarding and “a lot worse” during interrogations with terror suspects if he became president. This was as horrifying as it comes, on a par with his promise to kill suspected terrorists’ families and other promised war crimes. This week we learned that it is quite possible that Trump never actually had a conversation with anyone before in his life about waterboarding and whether it works to extract valuable information, never mind the whole torture thing. He told The New York Times that during his conversation with retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, a leading candidate to be secretary of defense, he was “surprised” to learn that Mattis had never found waterboarding “to be useful.” In fact the general suggested a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers were better truth serums. Huh! Trump said. Imagine that! Torture doesn’t work. It’s not as if reams of studies have been published stating this clearly.

5. He’s fine with other people and taxpayers footing his bills.

Melania Trump announced that she and son Barron would not be moving to the White House come January, and will maintain their residence at Trump Tower while Barron finishes the school year at his Upper West Side private school. This move, it has been estimated, will cost New York City taxpayers about a million dollars a day, something Trump-loving New Yorkers were oh-so-delighted to hear. (Trump got a measly 18 percent of the vote citywide, and just 10 percent in Manhattan. He was also loudly booed when he went to cast his own vote.)

It was also revealed that Trump is really good at getting people to pay for walls he built to screw them over. He did this in Scotland near his golf course, where he built a wall blocking the neighbors’ view of the sea. He did this to punish the homeowners for refusing to sell their property to him, according to the Times.Then he sent them to bill for the wall he built, but most are refusing to pay.

IMAGE: U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Delaware, Ohio, U.S. October 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Why Trump’s Infrastructure Proposal Is A Huge Scam

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet. 

Progressives might think they can find some common ground with a Trump administration over a infrastructure rebuilding plan, but don’t be fooled, Paul Krugman writes in Monday’s column. It’s just another scam, kind of like Trump University. “Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist, is a white supremacist and purveyor of fake news,” Krugman opens. “But the other day, in an interview with, um, The Hollywood Reporter, he sounded for a minute like a progressive economist. ‘I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan,’ he declared. ‘With negative interest rates throughout the world, it’s the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything.'”

But Trump’s infrastructure rebuilding plan is really just a scheme to enrich a few wealthy and well-connected people, with taxpayers once again footing the bill.

Of course, it could be done the right way, with the federal government able to borrow money quite cheaply and spending money where it is truly needed, on transportation, sewage treatment, building levees, etc… But that is not what is being proposed, Krugman writes:

Instead, (the Trump team) calling for huge tax credits: billions of dollars in checks written to private companies that invest in approved projects, which they would end up owning. For example, imagine a private consortium building a toll road for $1 billion. Under the Trump plan, the consortium might borrow $800 million while putting up $200 million in equity — but it would get a tax credit of 82 percent of that sum, so that its actual outlays would only be $36 million. And any future revenue from tolls would go to the people who put up that $36 million.

There is no reason to do it this way, Krugman writes. Infrastructure should be built the way it always has been, the way the Interstate Highway System was built, with public money. “While involving private investors may create less upfront government debt than a more straightforward scheme, the eventual burden on taxpayers will be every bit as high if not higher.” Krugman points out. There is also the fact that private investors will have no interest in building infrastructure that can’t be turned into a profit center. Privatizing these public projects is a gratuitous handout to select investors, who would be aquiring public assets for “just 18 cents on the dollar, with taxpayers picking up the rest of the tab.”

The inevitable corruption in what Trump and Bannon are proposing is a feature not a bug. Krugman’s suggestion:

The Trump people could make all my suspicions look foolish by scrapping the private-investor, tax credits aspect of their proposal and offering a straightforward program of public investment. And if they were to do that, progressives should indeed work with them on that issue.

But it’s not going to happen. Cronyism and self-dealing are going to be the central theme of this administration — in fact, Mr. Trump is already meeting with foreigners to promote his business interests. And people who value their own reputations should take care to avoid any kind of association with the scams ahead.

IMAGE: The George Washington Bridge toll booths are pictured in Fort Lee, New Jersey January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

6 Despicable Things President-Elect Trump Has Done This Week

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

It has been one of the longest weeks in human history and the Trump presidency has not even begun yet. Any notion that reasonable, well-intentioned people should give him a chance—hey, maybe he was just kidding about all that hateful, bigoted stuff he spewed on the campaign trail—was immediately dispelled. One of his first official acts was to name the anti-Semitic mastermind of the racist “alt-right,” fake news website Breitbart, Steve Bannon, to chief propagandist and horse’s ass whisperer. The president-elect dodged the media, regained control of his Twitter account and proceeded to confirm all of our worst fears about him.

If it was not already clear, Trump plans to surround himself with sycophantic yes-men who share his racist views and will just as gleefully set about laying waste to civil liberties and justice as he will. Also, his unelected children will be playing major roles in the new White House, it appears, while also running his businesses.

“We won,” he and his team have told anyone who disagrees with them. They have every plan to claim all the spoils. Here is a partial list of the both the horrors and the mere affronts to decency Trump has visited upon us this week.

1. He tapped Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General.

Early loyalist Sessions has been rewarded for being one of the earliest lap dogs for Trump with one of the most powerful positions in the country, Attorney General. The two men share a deep love of racist policing, hatred of civil rights and desire to roll the clock back to approximately the 1950s. That would place us well before the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, Roe v. Wade and nationwide legalization of gay marriage. Sessions would also be perfectly positioned to undo some of the gains made during the Obama Administration to reverse the worst effects of the 1994 Omnibus Crime bill that rained mass incarceration down on vast portions of the black and Latino populations. The two share a hatred and demonization of marijuana. Sessions once hilariously joked that he liked the KKK until he heard they smoked weed. Another piece of common ground: they both hate immigrants, with Sessions saying in 2006 that no one from the Dominican Republic has anything of value to contribute to the United States.

Alabama Senator Sessions was deemed too openly racist to be a federal judge by Senate Republicans in 1986 after President Ronald Reagan nominated the then United States attorney from Alabama. Former colleagues gave devastating testimony about Sessions’ blatant racism. But Senate Republicans are not what they used to be.

There’s no evidence that the years have dimmed Sessions’ racist views, which are apparently right in line with his new boss man. On Friday, Sessions praised Trump’s demand for the death penalty for the Central Park Five in 1989. He said it shows that Trump has always been a “law and order” guy. The teenagers Trump demanded death for were fully exonerated by DNA evidence and shown to have been victims of police railroading. Despite all this inconvenient truth, Trump has continued to stand by his earlier bloodlust, and now the nation’s likely top prosecutor has praised him for it.

That is some very twisted law and order.

2. His surrogate floated the Muslim registry idea and justified it by citing one of the most shameful pieces of American history.

One of the more terrifying campaign ideas Trump floated was the idea of a registry for Muslims in this country. Undaunted by the very real comparison between this and the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany, the president-elect has made it clear that this awful breach of human rights, and act of outright religious persecution, is still very much a possibility.

A prominent Trump backer and spokesman for a major super PAC that backed him by the name of Carl Higbie laid out the legal justification for this atrocity on Wednesday to a horrified Megyn Kelly. His argument was that the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was a “precedent” for Trump’s planned Muslim registry. Since it has a “precedent,” a kind of legalistic term that Higbie was just using to mean something like this happened before, the Muslim registry would therefore “hold constitutional muster,” Higbie argued.

Kelly tried in various ways to express her utter shock and dismay that Japanese internment camps were being used as some sort of positive example of how the United States should behave today.

Higbie may just be a Trump-loving supporter with no official role, but word is that the Muslim registry is definitely being considered. A day earlier, an actual member of Trump’s transition team, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, said Trump’s advisers were discussing whether to send him a formal proposal for a national registry of immigrants and visitors from Muslim countries. It’s happening.

Kobach, whose other claim to fame is crafting a law making it legal for police to profile Latinos, was said to be in line for the Attorney General position. Now he’ll have to wait for another plum position, like czar of immigration.

3. He tapped insanely Islamophobic retired General Michael Flynn for top national security post.

There is every indication that Trump has great respect for fellow hotheads, as long as they are sufficiently sycophantic and Islamophobic. Retired General Michael Flynn, Trump’s truly frightening pick for national security adviser, fits the bill perfectly.

Flynn served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was later tapped to lead the Defense Intelligence Agency. Obama subsequently fired him. It is unclear at what point he became the virulent Islamophobe with a shaky grasp on the truth, but that is who he is today. Ever since, he has been sounding the amped-up alarm about the threat posed by extremist Islamic groups and blaming Obama for “coddling” them to anyone who will listen. And Trump very obviously listens to him and in fact wants to keep on listening to him.

What President Trump will likely hear from Flynn are variants on his recent tweet, “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.” He has also said in interviews that he considers Islam—yes, the whole religion—a cancer that has metastasized. Another thing Flynn likes to say is: “Lock her up,” referring to Hillary Clinton.

4. He invited his daughter to a meeting with the Japanese prime minister.

Way before his election, Trump had shattered every norm of someone aspiring to public office, using campaign press conferences to promote his hotels, refusing to release his tax returns, and ignoring the usual rules regarding conflicts of interest. Surprise, as president-elect, he’s still writing his own rules as he goes. Early in the week, he was said to be requesting security clearance for his kids and son-in-law.

He has promised to place his business holdings in a “blind trust” while he is president, and of course he always keeps his promises. The “blind trust” would also be run by his kids, so not really blind at all. Plus, his kids are part of the government now! They are part of the transition team!

As the week wore on, after confusing the hell out of the Japanese prime minister about when and where they would meet, Trump invited daughter Ivanka to attend. So far no word if she will be selling any of the items she wore to the meeting online.

5. He took credit for the fact that a Ford factory is not moving to Mexico when it was never going to move to Mexico.

On Thursday, the president-elect tweeted that he got a phone call “from my friend Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford, who advised me that he will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky—no Mexico.”

He tweeted this because had he sent a press release, the mainstream media just might have (no guarantees, but might have) looked into it and found out that Ford was never going to close the factory in question. To get even more granular, the company had considered moving one production line to Mexico, but the move would not have cost any Americans their jobs, and then it decided not to. Details, details.

But that did not prevent Trump from taking credit for it and calling it a win for him. And it did not prevent various fake news outlets from agreeing and perpetuating his false claim. And now he’ll say it a bunch more times, and the fake news outlets will say it a bunch more times and then it will become true.

That’s the way things work in the post-truth world.

6. He demanded an apology from the “Hamilton” cast.

On Friday night, our virulently homophobic VP-elect Mike Pence went to see the smash hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” There, in addition to being entertained, he was also booed. At the end of the show, cast member Brandon Victor Dixon delivered the message to Pence that many Americans are truly afraid and worried that the new “administration will not protect us, defend us and uphold our inalienable rights.”

This rather mild, and completely true statement—millions of Americans really are worried!—was termed “harassment” by our new commander-in-chief in waiting on Twitter the next day. It was so rude, Trump said, and demanded an apology.

Without a trace of the bitter irony that surrounds us every day, Trump invoked the notion of a “safe space” in his tweets about the incident. “The theater must always be a safe and special place,” he said.

Let the boos continue to rain down upon both of these deplorable men and their cast of horribles, forever.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump yells to members of the media from the steps of the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Medicare: Trump’s Most Blatant Bait-and-Switch Lie

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Donald Trump ran as the champion of the “forgotten man,” the working class, those left behind, supposedly. And, because he knew that undermining overwhelmingly popular and necessary entitlements like Social Security was a no-go, he promised to leave them alone. “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I am not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” he declared.

Lie number .. . . 6,497? We’ve lost count.

As Paul Krugman points out in Friday’s column, the team Trump is assembling is gunning for entitlements. “The transition team’s point man on Social Security is a longtime advocate of privatization,” he writes, “and all indications are that the incoming administration is getting ready to kill Medicare, replacing it with vouchers that can be applied to the purchase of private insurance. Oh, and it’s also likely to raise the age of Medicare eligibility.”

If that sounds in any way like a good idea, Krugman just wants to make three itsy bitsy little points about it, the first of which is that it would be one of the most blatant and cynical violations of a campaign promise in history:

Some readers may recall George W. Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security, in which he claimed a “mandate” from voters despite having run a campaign entirely focused on other issues. That was bad, but this is much worse — and not just because Mr. Trump lost the popular vote by a significant margin, making any claim of a mandate bizarre.

Candidate Trump ran on exactly the opposite position from the one President-elect Trump seems to be embracing, claiming to be an economic populist defending the (white) working class. Now he’s going to destroy a program that is crucial to that class?

Which brings me to the second point: While Medicare is an essential program for a great majority of Americans, it’s especially important for the white working-class voters who supported Mr. Trump most strongly. Partly that’s because Medicare beneficiaries are considerably whiter than the country as a whole, precisely because they’re older and reflect the demography of an earlier era.

Beyond that, think of what would happen if Medicare didn’t exist. Some older Americans would probably be able to retain health coverage by staying at jobs that come with such coverage. But this option would by and large be available only to those with extensive education: Labor force participation among seniors is strongly correlated with education, in part because the highly educated are healthier than the less educated, and in part because their jobs require less physical effort. Working-class seniors would be left stranded, unable to get the health care they needed.

Krugman’s last point is that it is a complete fabrication that anything needs to be done about Medicare at all. The authors of this particular lie are Paul Ryan and his ilk, who have perpetuated the fiction that there is a valid economic concern about the program. Reality check from Krugman: “Medicare is actually more efficient than private insurance, mainly because it doesn’t spend large sums on overhead and marketing, and, of course, it needn’t make room for profits.”

Of course, there is also the inconvenient truth, which Krugman has long been at pains to point out, that Obamacare has helped rein in the long-term rise in Medicare outlays.

Why do Republicans want to destroy successful government programs? Precisely because they are successful government programs, and they can’t have that. Krugman concludes with a note to the media. Do your job. He firmly believes that once voters know what is actually going on, they will never allow such destruction to happen.

With the inmates fully in charge of the asylum, the chance of a sanity outbreak just got a whole lot lower.

Trump’s Whining And Projection Hit New Crazy Highs

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

There is no telling what Donald Trump might say in the final days before Election Day. Two things we do know, it will be whiny, and it will bear no relation to reality. Trump doesn’t understand why all the cool celebrities like Jay Z and Beyonce don’t like him. And projection? No one projects better and more hugely than the Donald. No one.

While campaign manager Kellyanne Conway is likely begging him to stick to the teleprompter, there are already signs that Trump is going far far off script to a place that exists only in his orange little head..

Some of the nuttier moments in the final days are here:

1. Trump’s greatest single piece of projection ever.

On Friday, President Obama generously gave Donald Trump a perfect little object lesson in civility and graciousness. At an event for Hillary Clinton in North Carolina, a pro-Trump protester had infiltrated the crowd and was trying to disrupt the proceedings. When the crowd began to boo, President Obama chastised them. When they ignored him, he scolded them some more, urging them to focus on what’s important. “We live in a country that respects free speech,” Obama reminded the crowd. “Second of all, it looks like maybe he might have served in our military and we have to respect that. Third of all, he was elderly and we have to respect our elders. And fourth of all, don’t boo, vote!”

This objective and documented reality is, perhaps not surprisingly, what Donald Trump observed. First, he wasn’t quite sure why President Obama was campaigning for his opponent. After all, no presidents, current or ex- are helping him out. What gives? No fair!

Trump told his apparently insanely gullible crowd in Tampa, Florida: “He was talking to the protester, screaming at him, really screaming at him.” And now, commence whining. “By the way, if I spoke the way Obama spoke to that protester, they (the mean old media) would say, ‘He became unhinged!’”

He was on a roll: “He spent so much time screaming at this protester and frankly, it was a disgrace,” Trump bellowed.

Yeah, that’s not unhinged at all coming from a man who has urged rally goers to get rough with protesters, called them thugs (when they are black), talked about the good ole days when security could actually beat them up, and just out and out said he would like to punch them in the face.

Students of abnormal psychology behold your textbook case of projection run amok.

2. And now a message from a man you hoped to never hear from again.

Not content to sit upon the dust heap of history, John Sununu, former Governor of New Hampshire, and former Bush Sr. chief of staff, hit the campaign trail in his now contested home state. Sununu did not waste his moment in the campaign sun. He immediately used it to elevate the presidential discourse.  “You think Bill was referring to Hillary when he said, ‘I did not have sex with that woman?'” he said referring to Bill Clinton’s notorious denial of an improper dalliance with Monica Lewinsky.

Way to connect with women voters, though, amirite? Of course, insulting Hillary Clinton sexual attractiveness to aging, paunched out lecherous white men is a staple of the Trump campaign, so Sununu fit right in. After all, it wasn’t so very long ago when Trump helpfully offered his “not impressed” assessment of Hillary Clinton rear view after creepily stalking behind her in the Town Hall debate. And of course, obscenely sexist signs, mugs, t-shirts and other paraphernalia about Hillary are all staples of Trump rallies and will fill the world’s landfills for years to come.

Sununu’s son (nunu), Chris, is attempting to follow in his father’s oh-so-classy footsteps in a bid to be New Hampshire’s next governor. He had no comment on the important matter of Hillary Clinton’s imagined bangability.

3. Trump complained about quite possibly the stupidest thing about Jay Z.

Licking his wounds over his lack of celebrity firepower in the final days, Donald Trump just could not believe that Jay Z and Queen Bey had joined up with team Hillary. The royal couple of hip hop and pop played a mini-concert for adoring fans in Cleveland at a get-out-the-vote event for Clinton in Cleveland that was said to be one for the ages.

For his part, Trump was shocked, shocked I tell you, at the language Jay Z used. The would-be “pussy-grabber” in chief, who enjoys boasting about such activities thought that Jay Z had a bit of a potty mouth.

“I actually like Jay Z,” Trump told supporters in Florida Saturday morning.” But, you know, the language last night. He used every word in the book.”

Finally, he got back to his well-worn practice of whining about how very unfair everything is. “I won’t even use the initials, because I’ll get in trouble. They’ll get me in trouble,” they being that mean nasty old press that is always picking on him by reporting things he has actually said and done.

It was almost as rich as Melania impassioned plea this week about fighting cyber bullying, which reminded many people of those horror movies where you want to tell the pretty girl that the monster is actually right there in the house with her.

4. Trump surrogate outdoes even his certifiably insane self.

In their infinite wisdom, CNN has hired one of the most odiously bizarre Trump apologists on the planet. While a laundry list of possible candidates just flashed through your head, we are talking about Jeffrey Lord, the world’s weirdest and most racist pseudo historian. Lord has staked out the position that the KKK was created by progressive leftists, and that modern Democrats should be spending more time apologizing for slavery which they alone caused.  Poor Van Jones has expended considerable brain power trying to talk sense into this hateful nutjob without achieving one iota of progress for his trouble.

So naturally, Anderson Cooper invited Lord on to shed intelligent light on the enthusiasm the KKK has expressed towards Donald Trump this week In fact, Lord wasn’t even the only Trumpian on the panel. Georgia Republican Jack Kingston was happy to kick things off with a little typical disinformation about how Democrats are playing the “race card,” by just pointing out the whole KKK thing.

Note: Democrats only play the race card when they cannot play the woman card, fyi.

“Congressman, you don’t want to deal with race…”, fellow panelist Bakari Sellers shot Kingston down. “You support Donald Trump. Why don’t you apologize to the Central Park Five? Why don’t you apologize to Miss Mae Wiggins, who was discriminated against –”

Enter Jeffrey Lord. ” When is Bakari going to get around to apologizing for slavery? I’m still waiting on that.”

Wait, wa-a-ah?

Bakari and the rest of the sane world buried his face in his hands and said, “Oh, my God.”

Truth reversal complete: A white idiot has now asked a black man to apologize for slavery.

5. Trump surrogate comes up with brilliant new strategy to insult Beyonce’s mother.

Clueless actress Stacey Dash has been admirably performing her duty as head of Trump’s black outreach, a position she shares with Omarosa Manigualt. Together, they have found all two of Trump’s African American voters.

In a brilliant piece of strategy, Dash decided to pick a fight with the mother of Beyonce, quite possibly one of the most adored performers in the universe, who performed on behalf of Hillary Clinton on Friday.

It seems that Dash was miffed when she caught sight of Beyonce and Solange’s mom, Tina Knowles, posing with former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland — who was dressed for Halloween as the character Dash played in Clueless, pretty much her sole claim to fame.

“This is my baby Dione last night of course she is prettier and more smarter than the one from the movie, but I was confused cause she kept saying something about her pager,” wrote Knowles.

Dash, who, quite honestly might have already been relieved of her post as head of black outreach for the Trump campaign and therefore might have some time on her hands decided this required a response on her blog. “Beyonce’s mom just threw some shade at me? Here’s my unedited response,” she wrote. “First of all, if you’re trying to throw shade about someone’s intelligence, maybe use ‘smarter’ instead of ‘more smart,’” she pettily pointed out.

Ah well, it’s all pretty petty, but the internet swarmed in response. Nothing gets by the fanatical “bey-hive” which stung ferociously in response. Read some of the tweets here.

 

IMAGE: Republican nominee Donald Trump speaks at “Joni’s Roast and Ride” in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., August 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

5 Fresh Right-Wing Outrages: Trump Surrogates Reach Hysterical New Heights

Reprinted with permission by AlterNet. 

By week’s end, Donald Trump was celebrating the fact that everyone finally stopped talking about his tendency to grope women against their will. Instead, the conversation had moved on, to the equally damning fact that Hillary Clinton sometimes sends people emails, and those emails can be found on computers!

The horror!

Trump really needed that. Maybe the system’s not rigged after all, he told his supporters on Friday. Too late. The armed right-wing militias are already mobilizing to intimidate voters who look like they might be Democrats.

It was a good week for gun-toting right-wing freedom fighters everywhere—the white ones, anyway. The Bundy brothers and their merry band of mischievous pranksters were acquitted of charges stemming from their armed takeover of federal land in Oregon. It was, their supporters said, God’s will.

And former tea-partying Congressman Joe Walsh helpfully explained that when he suggested “grabbing a musket” if Trump loses the election, he didn’t really mean violence or anything. “That’s just silly,” he said. He just meant, you know, freedom, which is what right-wingers always mean when they suggest guns are a good way to settle political differences.

Here are some other gems from the week that was.

1. Trump surrogate Betsy McCaughey outdoes herself just one week after absurdly quoting Beyonce.

Even if Trump thinks the whole “nasty” topic of his tendency to sexually assault women is a thing of the past, his minions demonstrated perfectly that they will remain confused about what sexual assault is anyway.

Newt Gingrich reinforced his creepy image when he conflated sex and sexual assault in his dustup with mean ol’ Megyn Kelly on Tuesday. She’s “fascinated with sex,” he said, when the Fox anchor was talking about women’s safety. When he attends his consciousness-raising workshop explaining the difference, he should bring kooky Betsy McCaughey along as his plus-one. McCaughey, who last week tried to argue that if you like Beyonce’s music, you can’t complain about sexual assault, this week put forth the absurd proposition that accusing a man of sexual assault is “man shaming.”

Nope, this is not a joke.

“The polls show that Americans are not buying this roll-out of accusers and this bigger theme of man-shaming,” McCaughey told CNN’s Don Lemon about the women who have come forward to accuse Trump of assaulting them. Quick note: the polls were showing that voters do believe it, aided no doubt by the fact that Trump bragged about doing this very thing. Just saying.

Man-shaming, huh. That’s a new one.

“With all due respect, that was the same thing that the folks over at Bill Cosby’s camp said,” Lemon pointed out.

“Well, and sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong,” McCaughey countered.

Ummm, yeah. They were right.

2. Ted Cruz threatens the U.S. Constitution, because he loves it so much.

Ted Cruz, who for some reason has already forgotten that everyone including his own party detests him, floated an interesting idea this week. Maybe, if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, Senate Republicans really will just take all of their toys and go home and stonewall on any Supreme Court appointment she attempts to make. So there.

“There is long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices,” Cruz said at a campaign event. “Just recently Justice [Stephen] Breyer observed that the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the court to do its job, that’s a debate that we are going to have.”

Cruz’s threat did not quite pack the punch of fellow tea partier Joe Walsh’s threat to “grab a musket” if the election does not go Trump’s way, but was more in Cruz’s trademark mealy-mouthed and thoroughly dishonest style.

For starters, there is no long history of that, and secondly, Breyer did not say that. The Senate’s inaction on Supreme Court appointees has severely and demonstrably affected the high court’s ability to do its job. Deadlocking on cases involving immigration and unions and other vital issues that have come before it means the court is literally failing to do its job, which is to decide things.

The Supreme Court is only the best known example of the harm GOP stonewalling has done to the judiciary. Republicans have confirmed only 18 of Obama’s federal court nominees, and created a “judicial emergency,” which is a term for when courts are so back-logged and caseloads are so high that Americans’ access to justice is endangered.

Cruz knows about this emergency and has gleefully propagated it. Unlike his idiotic fellow traveler, John McCain, whom Cruz was echoing, Cruz is a lawyer and touts himself as a constitutionalist, but for some reason it’s okay for him to ignore that part of the constitution that gives the powers of appointing justices to the president.

Can someone put Cruz back in the casket he sleeps in? He’s scaring the children.

3. Sean Hannity comes up with an insane and completely unnecessary conspiracy theory about the FBI email story.

By now, it is common knowledge among news junkies that the latest email mess for Hillary Clinton arose somewhat absurdly from a probe into Anthony Weiner’s alleged texting of his junk to underage girls. The fact that the latest piece of evidence is not Hillary Clinton’s computer; that the emails have likely been seen before; that they likely come from Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner; and that they could well prove to be much ado about nothing is not sitting well with Sean Hannity.

“This story is total bull. I don’t believe this for a minute,” “Hannity sputtered in his usual zero-information mode. Making very little sense, Hannity seemed to be suggesting he does not believe the tie to the Weiner investigation.

“Maybe Huma didn’t take a sledgehammer to her devices the way Hillary Clinton did. But this is not what resulted in the reopening of this case. No way, shape, manner, or form.” (That always makes things sound more truthy, when you say “no way, shape, manner ror form,” we find.) He went on to ramble about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

Hannity said the Times report is all part of that massive media conspiracy to “preserve” Hillary Clinton’s innocence. Also in on that conspiracy are media outlets including Fox News, which have said, along with FBI director James Comey himself, that the emails may not be significant. Comey is already under fire for calling attention to these emails and fueling the false hopes of rabid anti-Clintonites everywhere that Hillary is being investigated again.

It’s a tenuous mess, as is Hannity’s ever-loosening grip on reality.

4. Trump sycophant has the nuttiest justification for sexual assaults yet.

Having first bonded over insane conspiracy theories about President Obama, Trump and right-wing Christian nutjob Wayne Allyn Root have been bosom buddies every since.

Kind of literally.

In an interview with The Real Side radio this week, Root spouted some fairly unhinged theories about Trump’s “godliness” and whether a fellow as good looking as the Donald would engage in sexual assault. Clearly Root, who once ran for president as a Libertarian, is one of them deep thinkers.

Despite the fact that Trump openly (and let’s face it, rather pathetically) bragged about groping women to Billy Bush, Root told his equally bonkers host Joe Messina that Trump doesn’t even have to assault women, because he’s “one of the handsomest billionaires that’s ever lived.”

Hmmm. All kinds of crazy are packed into that statement.

Demonstrating some more contortions, Root explained how Christians ought to feel about Trump’s behavior, because they’re doing it wrong.

“If you’re a Christian, you just can’t spend your life worrying about the words of Donald Trump from 11 years ago, or what women he groped 30 years ago,” Root said. “I don’t think he ever had to grope a single woman ever. I think they threw themselves at him.”

There are 12 women and counting who definitely say otherwise, and even Trump isn’t suggesting they “threw themselves” at him.

Root allowed that Trump is not exactly “a perfect Christian,” but that doesn’t mean he’s not part of God’s ingenious plan. He is “the perfect guy sent from God and from central casting to be the vicious guy we needed to save America, save capitalism, fight the Clinton crime cartel and save Christianity from these vicious, vicious people,” Root said, as he spun out of control. “Only a dirty player could win the war, so I think Donald’s the perfect guy, sent by God to fill the perfect role and save us all.”

So that just about clears all of that up.

5. Wittle Donnie Trump’s feewings are hurt by Saturday Night Live.

In a huge blow to the comedy world, the very unfunny Donald Trump does not think he’s going to appear on Saturday Night Live anymore. Not even if they beg. And they will beg, believe me.

While many are howling with laughter at Alec Baldwin’s Trump portrayal in the show’s debate skits, Trump has been pouting about it.  Actually, come to think of it, Alec Baldwin does a pretty good imitation of that pout, too.

Here’s the thing: Trump suffers from what can only be seen as the delusion that he is a nice guy. We’re told that Hitler also considered himself a regular sweetheart.

“I think I’m a much nicer guy than he’s portraying,” Trump told Extra. “He’s portraying someone who’s very mean and nasty, and I’m not mean and nasty. I think I’m a much nicer person than he’s portraying.”

The word “nasty” has revealed itself to be one of Trump’s favorite adjectives, along with huuuuge, beautiful and rigged. Also bad and mean.

“I’m not interested in going back,” he said. “They’re making me out to be a very mean, bad kind of a guy.”

Actually, they are making you out to be a ridiculous kind of guy, Donald. New adjective for you.

Photo: Sean Hannity speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Flickr/Gage Skidmore

5 Right-Wing Outrages This Week

By the end of the week, the fresh shocks of the most disturbing moments of the third and thankfully final presidential debate were beginning to subside. A madman who is perfectly comfortable taking down our democracy because his ego is bruised is uncomfortably close to being president. To recoin Michelle Obama’s well-worn phrase, when Trump goes low, he somehow manages to redefine the word low. To Trump’s chagrin, he also inadvertently provided Hillary Clinton with one of her catchiest campaign slogans thus far, “nasty woman,” a mantle an awful lot of newly minted millennial Hillary voters are now sporting with pride.

Tailspinning wildly, Trump has been showering his supporters with some of the whiniest drivel ever heard on the campaign trail. On Saturday, he treated the soggy masses to his sad version of his first 100 days.

Here are some of the low points of the week from Trump and the rest of the country’s right flank.

1. Trump’s first 100 days: First, deploy all the lawyers!

Win or lose, Donald Trump is bent on revenge after the election. In a speech demonstrating his visionary leadership style Saturday, Trump laid out his plans for his first 100 days, and they were just as inspiring as you might imagine.

“All of these liars will be sued after the election,” Trump told a crowd in historic Gettysburg, PA, referring to the 10 and counting women who have come forward to accuse him of sexually inappropriate touching in recent weeks. “I’m so looking forward to doing that.”

The thin-skinned candidate has long been a vengeful guy. Just ask real billionaire Richard Branson who went public this week with a description of a bizarre and unsettling lunch the two shared some years ago during which all Trump talked about was getting even with five of his enemies. The encounter confused the hell out of Branson, who has since concluded that, “Mr. Trump’s temperament is irrational, aggressive and he lacks informed ideas on how to grow jobs in America.”

Although, he does keep his lawyers fairly well-employed, it should be said.

Back when Branson had his somewhat stomach-turning lunch with Trump, he was only gunning for people who declined to lend him money when his businesses failed. Running for president has been a huge boon to Trump’s enemies list, and he can’t wait to start settling those scores.

It’ll be such fun for him. Whee!

2. Trump decided it was a really good idea to go after inceasingly popular Michelle Obama.

The first lady has been getting a lot of attention lately for speaking poignantly and powerfully about the harm men like Donald Trump can do and her shock that such a vile nincompoop is running for president. Even right-wingers like Glenn Beck find themselves nodding in agreement and commending her rhetorical gifts. Donald doesn’t like that. He does not care how popular the first lady has become. He’s taking her down. Trouble is, he has no ammo.

In one of his soaring speeches in North Carolina, Friday, Trump said, “We have a bunch of babies running our country. They’re losers. Babies. Losers.”

That is verbatim.

“We have a president, and all he wants to do is campa-a-a-ign,” Donald said. “His wife, all she wants to do is campa-a-a-ign.”

Ooh, yeah, that’s terrible. Why would anyone with any sway, who cares about the future of the country want to be out campaigning now? Crazy. It’s not like there’s something important at stake. Anyway, women shouldn’t be out on the campaign trail. They should know their place, right smack at the other end of Trump’s short, unwanted fingers. Putting women in their place is right where Trump was headed with this.

“And I see how much his wife likes Hillary,” Trump continued, still not able to say Michelle Obama’s name. “But wasn’t she the one that originally started the statement, if you can’t take care of your home — right? — you can’t take care of the White House or the country.”

“Where is that? I don’t hear that. I don’t hear that. She’s the one that started that. I said, ‘We can’t say that, it’s too vicious.’ Can you believe it? I said that.”

Hahaha, right. Too vicious for you, Donald! Good one. You would never go there.

Of course, Michelle Obama, whose daughters were still quite young when her husband was first running for president, was not talking about Hillary Clinton at all when she said in 2007: “So our view was that, if you can’t run your own house, you certainly can’t run the White House. So, so we’ve adjusted our schedules to make sure that our girls are first, so while he’s traveling around, I do day trips.”

She was talking about herself.

Using women to take down other women. That’s novel.

3. Speaking of women taking down other women, Mrs. Trump.

At first glance, Melania Trump did a good job of seeming like a decent sane person this week in her softball interview with Anderson Cooper. She reported that her husband had apologized to her about bragging he could grab pussy without a woman’s consent, and that she accepted his apology. But, she pointed out, it was not his fault. Billy Bush made him do it. Donald is, she acknowledged, a big kid, barely more mature than their 11-year-old, Barron.

What a zany, fun household. We’re seeing sitcom!

But her mixed messages about her husband’s level of maturity were only part of the problem. On closer inspection, there was quite a bit of misogyny lurking behind her words and viewing women as the real predators seems pretty firmly ensconced in her worldview. Since boys will of course be endearing if potty-mouthed little boys, Melania blames the women. Women, those manipulative creatures, are always hitting on her husband, sometimes right in front of her, throwing themselves at him “unappropriately,” a pissed Mrs. Trump said. This was in the context of talking about sexual assault allegations, so the unmistakable conclusion is that she is implying some women ask for it.

Also, these women reporters writing these nasty articles about her husband (those nasty women), are they doing a good job? Melania wondered. Are they looking into the “backgrounds” of his accusers? Maybe these women journalists haven’t studied their journalism 101. As for Natasha Stoynoff, the People magazine writer who said Trump forcibly kissed her at Mar-a Lago, the most important thing Melania wants you to know is that she was never friends with Stoynoff and would not recognize her on Fifth Avenue, despite the fact that Stoynoff attended the Trumps’ wedding. (And the most important thing Mr. Trump would have you know, is that Stoynoff is not his idea of attractive enough for him to get all rapey with.)

Melania’s other main message of the evening, apart from the women who are stalking her husband, is that it’s all a vast left-wing conspiracy. All of it.

So conspiracy theories and misogyny are the flavor of Kool-Aid being downed in the gold-plated Trump household.

4. Trump supporter Curt Schilling, who is not Jewish, is pretty sure he knows what’s good for the Jewish people.

Among the many outstanding citizens inspired by Donald Trump’s run at the presidency is former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who, glory be, has said he is planning a run for the Senate in 2018.

This marvelous wannabe public servant and meme aficionado who has bravely spoken out in support of his pal Donald Trump’s right to ogle underaged girls is also pretty sure he knows what is good for the Jews.

Appearing with Jake Tapper on CNN, Schilling first thought it was a good idea to point out that Tapper is “a person of the Jewish faith,” and then demanded an explanation for the voting behavior of Tapper’s tribe. “Democrats hate Israel,” Schilling said in essence. “Why are Jews Democrats?”

Yeah, you’re a Jew, Jake! Riddle me that!

“Well,” Tapper was forced to point out, “I don’t speak for Jews….” Nevertheless, in his temporary role as King of the Jews, he stammered out that some Jewish people might have other things on their minds.

“I would imagine, just to try to answer your question, uh, that for many Jews who support Democrats it has more to do with Democratic support for social welfare programs than with Israel…. But some Jews who support Israel do vote Republican,” Tapper said.

Schilling thanked Tapper, because he genuinely seeks to understand how “someone of your faith” can feel the way some Jews do.

Because they’re being wrong.

5. Oops! Hard-right Arizona governor Jan Brewer just helped Hillary bigly.

Sometimes Republican women do help out other women, though sometimes it is quite inadvertent, and only while they are insulting another group of people for no good reason.

With Trump’s lead rapidly shrinking in bright-red Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer was asked whether she thought part of the reason might be because of the rising number of eligible Latino voters in the state, especially Mexicans, whom Trump has described as “criminals and rapists.”

She was unperturbed. “Nah,” she told the Boston Globe. “They don’t get out and vote. They don’t vote.”

Brewer is a well-known expert on Latinos. And she’s totally down with profiling them. After all, she’s the one who signed the law saying law enforcement can stop people they suspect of being in the country illegally.

But she might want to check her numbers before insulting and galvanizing what could potentially be a rather large group of voters. According to Pew Research, the number of eligible Latino voters is projected to be 40 percent higher than it was in 2008,” a huge jump.

So, thanks Gov. Brewer. Your diss might just be their command.

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., May 31, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Still More Appalling Revelations About Trump’s Misogyny? Coming Right Up!

After ex-“Apprentice” producer Bill Pruitt promised more disgusting Trump revelations would come, sure enough the drip continues. The adolescent man-boy and confessed sexual predator bragged about being able to gawk at beauty pageant contestant’s naked bodies because he owned the pageant, according to a Buzzfeed report.

“I sort of get away with things like that,” Trump told Howard Stern in a 2005 interview CNN released Saturday. The story had been around since spring when a pageant contestant in Miss USA 2000 told of how Trump would invent an excuse to barge into the dressing room. Trump vehemently denied it. Surprise, surprise! He was lying.

In other news, in a fine piece of irony, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the womanizing former GOP governor of California who replaced Donald Trump on “The Apprentice” TV show, has said Donald Trump should step aside in the presidential race.

On Saturday, Pruitt tweeted that there are still far worse Trump tapes to come. (You didn’t really think bragging about grabbing women by the pussy was just a one-time thing, did you?) “As a producer on seasons 1 & 2 of #theapprentice I assure you: when it comes to the #trumptapes there are far worse. #justthebegininng,” Pruitt tweeted. This followed the revelation Saturday that Trump told shock jock Howard Stern 13 years ago, after a graphic discussion of his daughter Ivanka’s figure, that it was okay to refer to her as a “piece of ass.”

Republicans are stampeding to exit the Trump bus. After sticking it out for as long as he could, John McCain has finally had enough. Saturday afternoon, the Arizona senator and former GOP presidential candidate rescinded his support for Donald Trump in a statement to Politico.

“I have wanted to support the candidate our party nominated. He was not my choice, but as a past nominee, I thought it important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by the rules our party set. I thought I owed his supporters that deference,” McCain said. “But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy. Cindy, with her strong background in human rights and respect for women, fully agrees with me in this.”

McCain did not call for Trump to drop out, as Condoleezza Rice and a rising chorus of Republicans has since the Friday release of a 2005 video of Trump making lewd remarks about women, asserting his ability to kiss and grope them because he is a star (just months into his marriage to Melania Trump).

His exact recorded words: “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump told Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush. “And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p*ssy. You can do anything.”

After huddling all day in Trump tower with campaign insiders Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani and others, Trump remained defiant about staying in the race until the bitter end. Apparently, that is what Republican voters apparently want. According to a new Politico poll, only 12 percent of Republicans and 13 percent of Republican women want him to drop out.

Giuliani was dispatched to Sunday morning programs as Trump prepared attacks on the Clinton and lashed out at his high-ranking Republican critics. “So many self-righteous hypocrites. Watch their poll numbers – and elections – go down!” Trump tweeted.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Saturday, Trump said there is “zero chance” he will drop out.

He reiterated that sentiment in all caps on Twitter Saturday afternoon. “The media and establishment want me out of the race so badly – I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN!” he tweeted.

It would be uncharted territory if he did drop out. As Reuters notes:

There is no precedent for a major party to replace their nominee this late in the campaign and it remains unclear if there is an avenue to force him from the race. Voting has already begun in several states, including the important swing states of Virginia and North Carolina.

Trump has been attempting to do his brand of damage control ever since the tape was first revealed on Friday, though the damage does continue to spread like wildfire, throwing both his campaign and the party into disarray. to recap, first he issued a lame, “I’m sorry if you were offended” apology. Then he released a brief video saying, “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.” He proceeded to threaten to bring up the Clintons’ marital troubles. Later he made light of the whole thing tweeting, “it sure has been an interesting 24 hours.”

In a first, even his wife Melania has issued a statement critical of her husband. “The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me,” it read. “This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”

Ivanka Trump has yet to weigh in.

Of the other Republicans who have decamped besides McCain, Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has said she will write-in Trump’s running mate Mike Pence when she votes. Paul Ryan canceled a campaign event in Wisconsin with Trump calling his comments “sickening,” though stopped short of withdrawing his endorsement. Crowds reportedly jeered at Ryan at the event, and Trump tweeted about the “great crowds” there. Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah did withdraw his, saying, “I’m out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president. It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine.”  By Saturday night, 9 Republican Senators, 11 Reps., and 3 GOP governors had decamped from Camp Trump.

A pained-looking Mike Pence issued this brief statement Saturday: “As a husband and father I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in an eleven-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them.” Pence is reportedly busy praying in hopes that God will give him some guidance on how to handle this whole mess.

Click to enlarge.

There are also indications that the RNC may also be bailing on Trump, with chairman Reince Priebus redirecting funds away from his campaign. On Friday, Priebus immediately denounced Trump’s comments as “indefensible.”

On Saturday, the RNC also appeared to be halting some of the operations of the “Victory” program that is or was all about getting Donald Trump elected, according to Politico, which reports:

In an email from the RNC to a victory program mail vendor, with the subject line “Hold on all projects,” the committee asked the vendor to “put a hold” on mail production.

“Please put a hold/stop on all mail projects right now. If something is in production or print it needs to stop. Will update you when to proceed,” Lauren Toomey, a staffer in the RNC’s political department, wrote in an email that was obtained by Politico.

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

IMAGE: THE APPRENTICE “Episode 306: The Writing on the Wall” — Pictured: Donald Trump — NBC Universal Photo: Kevin T. Gilbert