How bad is it?
Really bad. Abysmal. As in, staring into the abyss.
You could check the long list of clues to know that Trump engaged in criminal conduct on his way to the White House and after. Or you could just observe his behavior. From the repetition of “no collusion” a thousand times to the release of an inept memo against the warnings of his own Justice Department and FBI to the false equivalency attacks on Hillary Clinton to the firing of James Comey, everything Trump does screams “I’m guilty.”
But that’s not what brings us to the edge of the abyss. Richard Nixon’s criminality was on a par with Trump’s, as were his self-incriminating words (“I am not a crook”) and actions (Saturday Night Massacre).
In one crucial respect, Nixon was far more menacing than Trump. In my simple mind, the danger posed by an evil actor, by himself, is a function of two factors: (1) his level of moral turpitude — that is, his capacity for evil ends, and (2) his raw intelligence — that is, the means he possesses to achieve those evil ends. We could debate endlessly how Nixon and Trump compare on the first of those factors, but not the second. Nixon was an intellectual giant; Trump is a mental midget.
Ultimately, however, the danger presented by an evil actor is a function less of the actor than of the actor’s surrounding environment. And that’s what brings us so much closer to the edge today than we ever were in Nixon’s time. Continue reading
So the GOP’s alleged boy genius and Ayn Rand fanboy, Paul Ryan, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,” went ahead with his kabuki theater plan to pass his fifth temporary spending bill (CR) that everyone knows was DOA in the Senate. He no doubt wants credit for his farce. House passes stopgap spending measure with defense money:
House Republicans passed a spending package on Tuesday night that pairs a full year of defense funding with a temporary patch for the rest of the government, even as Senate leaders pursue a different plan to avoid a shutdown when funding runs dry on Thursday.
The continuing resolution (CR), which passed the House 245-182, would fund the Defense Department for the rest of fiscal 2018 and keep the rest of the government’s lights on until March 23. It also includes two years of funding for community health centers and extends several expiring health care programs.
But the defense-CR package is unlikely to fly in the Senate, meaning senators will need to rewrite the stopgap measure and “ping-pong” it back to the House.
Spending bills are supposed to originate in the House, but since that clown show is held hostage by the House GOP Freedom Caucus who are not serious about governing responsibly, the serious work of keeping the government functioning is being done in the Senate. Senate leaders see two-year budget deal within their grasp:
Top Senate leaders were working Tuesday to finalize a sweeping long-term budget deal that would include a defense spending boost President Trump has long demanded alongside an increase in domestic programs championed by Democrats.
As negotiations for the long-term deal continued, the House passed a short-term measure that would fund the government past a midnight Thursday deadline and avert a second partial shutdown in less than a month.
The House bill, which passed 245 to 182, would fund most agencies through March 23 but is a nonstarter in the Senate because of Democratic opposition.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Budgets, Congress, Constitution, Courts, Economics, Ethics, GOP War On..., Healthcare, Immigration, Infrastructure, International, Legislation, Military, Party Politics, President, Racism, Scandals
Tagged DACA, disaster relief, federal debt ceiling, GOP Budget Sequester, government shutdown