Here We Go Again

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that President Trump might refuse to sign a government spending bill that does not include money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, leaving open the possibility of a federal government shutdown toward the end of the week.

“Will he sign a government funding bill that does not include funding for the border wall?” Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday,” asked Mulvaney during a televised interview.

“Yeah, and I think you saw his answer just in your little lead-in, which is: We don’t know yet,” Mulvaney responded. He was referring to comments Trump made to the Associated Press.


“And it’s got to be at least this high.”


And Yet Another One “Hoist With His Own Petard”

The Florida lawmaker under fire over racially inflammatory remarks toward his African-American colleagues has resigned, a spokeswoman for the Florida Senate Majority Office told CNN. The embattled state senator, Frank Artiles, submitted his letter of resignation to Senate President Joe Negron on Friday, just days after apologizing on the Senate floor for his remarks.

And what remarks were those? Well, here you go, sir:

Artiles was having drinks at the Governors Club in Tallahassee with fellow Sens. Audrey Gibson and Perry Thurston when he told the pair that Senate President Joe Negron had only risen to his position of power because “six [N-word]” in the Republican caucus elected him,The Miami Herald reported. Gibson and Thurston are both black.

On Wednesday, Artiles apologized on the Senate floor for his remarks.
“I extend a heartfelt apology to my colleagues and to all those I have offended,” Artiles said in his prepared remarks.
He also apologized to Gibson for calling her a “bitch” during his tirade.

And…Another One Bites the Dust

“The O’Reilly Factor” has been canceled amid a cloud of harassment allegations against the conservative broadcaster.

Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan, who run 21st Century Fox, made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” Fox said.

O’Reilly had no immediate comment, but one of his attorneys said a statement is forthcoming.

Bye, Bill! Don’t let the screen door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

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One Down…

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and chairman of the House’s powerful oversight committee, will not seek re-election to Congress, he announced Wednesday.

In a message on his Facebook page, Chaffetz thanked supporters and announced he will “not be a candidate for any office in 2018.”
“After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018,” Chaffetz wrote.
Chaffetz said that he has no “ulterior motives,” but instead said he is ready to return to the private sector.
And he’d been so looking forward to persecuting…er…prosecuting Hillary for another four years.

We Are Not Amused…

The president of the United States has requested to ride in Queen Elizabeth II’s golden state carriage during his upcoming visit to Buckingham Palace — a choice that will require a “monster” security operation. Officials told the Times of London that, “The White House has made clear it regards the carriage procession down the Mall as an essential element of the itinerary for the visit currently planned for the second week of October.”

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“Crucified Man Had Prior Run-in with Authorities”


From Alexandra Petri in the Washington Post:

I guess this is how we are writing up the victims of crimes now. I did not realize that when you boarded a plane you gave away the right to have your past remain your past, but a theme of life these days is that only people who have never done anything wrong, or are in some way related to Donald Trump, deserve to go through their lives unmolested. 

In accordance with this new house style I am writing up an incident whose anniversary some people are celebrating this week. 


The gentleman arrested Thursday and tried before Pontius Pilate had a troubled background.


He had had prior run-ins with local authorities — most notably, an incident of vandalism in a community center when he wrecked the tables of several licensed money-lenders and bird-sellers. He had used violent language, too, claiming that he could destroy a gathering place and rebuild it.

At the time of his arrest, he had not held a fixed residence for years. Instead, he led an itinerant lifestyle, staying at the homes of friends and advocating the redistribution of wealth.

He had come to the attention of the authorities more than once for his unauthorized distribution of food, disruptive public behavior, and participation in farcical aquatic ceremonies.

Some say that his brutal punishment at the hands of the state was out of proportion to and unrelated to any of these incidents in his record.

But after all, he was no angel.


And This Is Why I Always Wash “Pre-washed” Salad Mixes

Two people were recommended for post-exposure rabies treatment after a consumer in Florida reported finding a dead bat in a packaged salad mix, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday.

The bat was sent to the CDC after it was found in a bag of Fresh Express Organic Marketside Spring Mix.
“The deteriorated condition of the bat did not allow for CDC to definitively rule out whether this bat had rabies,” the Atlanta-based agency said.
The CDC said the risk of rabies transmission was extremely low but not zero, so the two people who ate salad mix were recommended for treatment as a precaution.
They are fine and show no signs of having rabies, the CDC said.
How can you not notice a deteriorated bat in your salad before you eat it?
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Just Another Thug in a Suit

Andrew Sullivan in New York Magazine:

While we’re on the subject of Trump’s “foreign policy,” I can’t get out of my head two recent White House pressers with two foreign leaders. The first showed a petulant, scowling child seated next to the leader of the free world, Angela Merkel. He pouted; he pursed his lips; and he refused pointedly to shake her hand, even after she suggested it. By many accounts, his private conversation revolved around Germany’s financial contribution to NATO, insisting, as if the alliance were a shakedown racket, that the Germans repay the U.S. countless billions for defense over the years. It was as if the Second World War had never happened.

Now watch the public meeting with the Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Trump was almost as fawning, excited, and thrilled as the Egyptian leader himself. “We agree on so many things,” the president said. He praised the tyrant for his “fantastic” record; he nodded and beamed when Sisi noted that he hadn’t been allowed in the White House under Obama. And then the handshake — except this time, it was markedly un-Trumpy. There was no sudden pull, no endless glad-handing, merely a brief, affectionate normal handshake. And a giant beam on both faces.

The contrast sickens. I completely understand the realist belief that the U.S. needs Egypt for strategic purposes. For all the foulness of its current regime, which overthrew a democratically elected government, there’s a reasonable case that developing a good relationship with the leadership there is important. I’m not a purist in these matters. But what I cannot fathom are the supine paeans of praise for a dictatorship, and the obvious thrill Trump got from sitting down with another thug in a suit. After Sisi’s military coup, the Egyptian leader was “elected” by a Soviet-style 96.1 percent of the vote. Tens of thousands of people are currently political prisoners. Torture is commonplace. Coptic Christians are persecuted. The press has been completely cowed by threats, violence, and imprisonment. Freedom House argues that civil society in Egypt has been “crushed.” Sisi’s brutal repression of Islamism has, moreover, led to a surge of terror attacks in the last few years.

As a giant cherry on the shit sundae, the U.S. gives Egypt aid of, on average, $1.3 billion a year — well over $35 billion since 1978. Why, one wonders, would Trump harangue democratic Germany, which receives no direct aid, while fawning over a dictator of a country that is one of the top recipients of American tax-payers dollars? Yes, I know he has a soft spot for tyrants. But squeezing a democracy for hundreds of billions while rhetorically fellating a dictator who actually does suck the Treasury dry seems, well, as coherent as his “policy” on Syria.

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