Reince Priebus Is Butt-End Of Donald Trump Jokes

Associated Press has an interesting read about White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.  One has to wonder, especially with the calamity of the health care bill which Priebus championed as a matter first out of the gate, how long he will last in his job.

The president likes to make good-natured digs at Priebus in public remarks, joking about his ‘crazy name’ and telling a meeting of auto industry executives that his chief of staff might end up running a car company someday.

For laughs, Trump will sometimes recount a tense exchange with Priebus at one of the campaign’s lowest moments: the release of a video in which Trump is heard making predatory comments about women. During an emergency campaign meeting, Priebus told Trump he should either drop out of the race or risk dragging down Republican candidates across the country.

Priebus is said to be sensitive to the criticism that has sprouted up about him, particularly when it’s focused on his competency and management of the West Wing. That’s created a mild sense of paranoia among his allies, according to another White House official, leading them to respond in outsized ways, both privately and publicly.

Donald Trump Hopes To Cash In Even More From White House Job

This news is not stunning for those who know what it happening.   That many Republicans do not care should further underscore the national concern.

Donald Trump’s company is actively seeking to open a second Washington hotel as part of a planned nationwide expansion, potentially creating another venue where he stands to benefit financially from customers doing business in the nation’s capital. Representatives of the Trump Organization, now run by the Trump’s adult sons, have inquired in recent months about converting one of several boutique, medium-sized hotels in upscale neighborhoods in and near downtown and reopening it under the company’s new Scion brand. Unlike the luxurious Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, which Trump and his family own, the more affordable Scion hotels would be owned by other developers who would pay the Trumps’ company for licensing rights and management. … While some of the inquiries predate the election, the company has continued to look for a Washington partner.

David Blaska Correct With Views On Madison Alder Marsha Rummel

How can one alder be so consistently wrong and seemingly more interested in going out of her way to be a running joke than a competent member of local government?  Whatever the reasons for her behavior Marsha Rummel has done it again.  David Blaska, one of Dane County’s prominent conservatives and a pithy blogger, called her out on last night’s vote against common sense. 

As if to give the people our money’s worth, Ald. Marsha Rummel — the lone nay vote — performed a comedy routine that would have gotten her gonged by the late Chuck Barris.

It is a good read.  Not only taxpayers should read this, but concerned citizens who care about the way things can get out of control without reasonable brakes applied, should also pay attention.   How we got to this crazy place in this city I love is troubling.  Blaska nails it.

Madison Alder Marsha Rummel Still Trying To Build Her Street Cred

It was exactly what I knew would happen, so there was no surprise when Madison Alder Marsha Rummel, thy best example of what shameless politics looks like on the local level, cast another vote that undermines the Madison Police Department.  Tonight she voted at the Board of Estimates and Finance Committee to not allow for Chief Mike Koval to be paid $22,000 for legal bills that were incurred while dealing with a matter that proved not to rise to the level his detractors had hoped.

Following the discharge of the matter there was a very hefty legal bill which needed to be dealt with.  Since the matter in question took place during the time Koval was on-duty for the city, and that he prevailed in the challenge against him, meant the issue of the city paying is not difficult to understand.   At least for the mature ones in the city.

The vote at the committee level was 3-1 with alders Barbara McKinney, Zach Wood, and Maurice Cheeks acting as rational members.  The Chair was Mike Verveer who in his capacity for this meeting did not cast a vote.  But we have his vote come the next council meeting.  Only Rummel, with her eyes glazed no doubt from reading her beloved Guardian newspaper, cast the dissenting vote.

Lets be honest, Madison.  This is a city that prides itself on free speech and that matter resonates very near and dear to me.  So one can argue, given what was happening the night Kovel told a citizen she was a “raging lunatic”, that it can be argued two different ways.  First, Koval was being honest as he saw the situation.  Second, he was being more circumspect than what many in that same situation would have been.  It was a long day and the council meeting was just rude.

Koval did later apologize for the matter.  But to defend himself legally before the Police and Fire Commission the bills climbed to $22,000.  City policy calls for those bills to be paid if one prevails–and Rummel knows at least that much, one would hope.   To not pay these bills now would only allow for those whose mission is to undermine Koval to continue this dog-and-pony show again and again.  There would be no end to the chaos.

And with someone like  Rummel, who continually demonstrates her lack of reasoning on matters like this, and encourages such behavior as with this vote, there is only one way for the council to act at their next meeting.   The legal bills for Koval must be paid.  End of story.

And then maybe Rummel can apologize to her constituents for always embarrassing us.  It would be nice if every now and then she would throw a lonely vote of maturity and soundness our way.

Paul Ryan Did Not Heed The Voices From America

Nate Silver writes a very strong summation of where House Speaker Paul Ryan left the road and took to the ditch when it came to the political pit falls with health care legislation.

Republicans have been running on repealing and replacing Obamacare for seven years, and they’ve won a lot of elections in that period. You can argue that they have a mandate on the issue, even if they don’t have one overall. But Ryan and Trump pretty much ignored where public opinion stands on health care. Medicaid, which the AHCA would have rolled back, is extremely popular, for instance. About two-thirds of voters support government funding for Planned Parenthood; the AHCA would have cut it. But the bill didn’t do much to address the problems voters were actually concerned about, such as rising premiums.

Furthermore, Ryan and Trump advanced this bill despite receiving a warning shot from the public: Obamacare had almost immediately become more popular after Trump won the election. I don’t recall a lot of other times when public opinion shifted so quickly on a bill in response to an election result. It was as though voters were throwing up a big yield sign to congressional Republicans — we didn’t expect Trump to win the election; instead, we elected you to serve as a check on Hillary Clinton, so proceed with caution. Ryan barreled right on through it.

If Trump Wants To Work With Democratic Members Of Congress We Will Have Ground Rules

Donald Trump is acknowledging that to have success at his legislative priorities he will need to think beyond the Republican members of the House and Senate.  Trump was once a Democrat. He favored abortion rights most of his adult life, has shown little stomach for fighting over social issues and espoused views that at times echoed Bernie Sanders.  So if there is to be an effort to court Democratic members of congress in order to get his agenda passed–those parts of the agenda that we can allow–there needs to be some ground rules established with Trump.  A great read about this matter can be found at Politico.  Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi is smack dab where she wants to be and where she is most effective.  And be mindful Senator Schumer and Pelosi insist that they are open to working with Trump if he shifts to the middle and abandons Republican hard-liners.   And since Trump now has a full mouthful of what right-wingers in congress are capable of……

Trump and Republicans will be unable to attach policy riders to government-funding bills, including the one that needs to be passed in the next month. That means no whacking Planned Parenthood and no chipping away at Obamacare. The debt ceiling increase will have to be clean — no spending cuts and no fights over whether it gets hiked. Tax reform will look a lot different, and will take a lot longer — Democrats and Republicans are miles apart on an overhaul of the tax code.

Sean Hannity Got Slapped Around On National TV

In a story about political partisanship in the country, CBS Sunday Morning contributor and former Nightline host Ted Koppel interviewed Fox News host Sean Hannity. And now Hannity has his undies in a bunch because he was not able to control the way the final story was edited and presented.

Here is how the conversation flowed.  Koppel’s story wasn’t a profile of Hannity, but rather how Hannity’s show, and those like it, exacerbate the divide, which led to a contentious moment:

Hannity: You think we’re bad for America? You think I’m bad for America.

Koppel: Yeah. Yeah. In the long haul I think you, and all these opinion shows…

Hannity: You do? Really? That’s sad.

Koppel: …because you’re very good at what you do and because you have attracted a significantly more influential…

Hannity: You are selling the American people short.

Koppel: Let me finish the sentence before you do that.

Hannity: I’m listening. With all due respect. Take the floor.

Koppel: You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts.

Of course CBS edited down the lengthy interview for the broadcast.  This is not the first time Hannity has been on television and clearly knows the constraint of time in a broadcast.  So the rabid right-winger is upset that his interview ends with Koppel remarking that Hannity has “attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts”.  Which is a fact.

In the interview, Koppel told Hannity that his show is “bad for America.” The discussion occurred after a segment aired on the show about political polarization of the country and “alternate universes” Americans are living in where TV pundits such as Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh may be contributing to blurring the lines between opinions and facts and are “driving the country further and further apart.”

Later in the segment with White House spokesman Sean Spicer, Koppel asked whether Americans should take President Trump literally in light of criticism that he spreads falsehoods.

“No, I think you should take him literally. The president’s very authoritative when he speaks. He wants to be taken literally. And also you have to understand that when you have 140 characters, that somebody trying to look at that and say, ‘This means the following’ is a little bit too much,​”​ Spicer said.​

“That’s one good reason for not using Twitter to communicate serious issues,” said Koppel.

Donald Trump Behind The Eight Ball

Perhaps the best summation of where Donald Trump now finds himself was put into one concise paragraph.

Trump is coming off of a week where he lost both credibility and control. He also lost something that is harder to define and may be harder to restore: the mystique of power. Since November, even Trump’s harshest critics had to recognize his political talents, which show in two ways: The seemingly unbreakable connection and communications link he has with a loyal block of voters, and the deal-making skills that grew his brand all the way to the presidency. But the Republicans who opposed the health care bill showed they neither fear nor love Trump. That turns the question to the consequences: In the Trump playbook, look for a power move – something that goes beyond tweets and executive orders. If we’re ever going to be tired of all the winning, the Trump White House needs some victories.