Trump Responds To SOTU Postponement With Petty Tit-For-Tat

Ken AshfordCongress, Gubmint Shutdown, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

After Nancy Pelosi opted yesterday to un-invite Trump to give a State of The Union speech because of the shutdown, Trump responded just now with this: Hah! That’ll show her!  I triple-dog cancel your trip https://t.co/7bzgwNe2uF — Michael Bitzer (@BowTiePolitics) January 17, 2019 He’s capitalizing shutdown in official letters. As well as “Southern Border Security”. Congresspeople use Air Force aircraft … Read More

The Sound Of Goalposts Moving Again

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Polls, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Rudy Giuliani on Cuomo last night: Rudy Guiliani to @ChrisCuomo tonight: “I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign… I have not. I said” no collision with, “the President of the United States.” pic.twitter.com/Smb0OuNzL9 — andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 17, 2019 According to Giuliani, what Trump meant in the sixty tweets in which he’s … Read More

“We Are Getting Crushed”

Ken AshfordGubmint Shutdown, Immigration and Xenophobia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Maggie Halberman writes in the NY Times about the pressures inside the White House: President Trump has insisted that he is not going to compromise with Democrats to end the government shutdown, and that he is comfortable in his unbendable position. But privately, it’s sometimes a different story. “We are getting crushed!” Mr. Trump told his acting chief of staff, … Read More

Trump Doesn’t Like Plans

Ken AshfordGubmint Shutdown, Immigration and Xenophobia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

From Axios’ Jonathan Swan: When a frustrated adviser once tried to convince President Trump to consider a strategic plan, the president launched into a story about his friend Mike Tyson, the former world heavyweight boxing champion. What he’s saying: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” Trump said, echoing a famous Tyson quote. I had asked the adviser whether … Read More

Update On Nastya Rybka

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

About a year ago, I pointed to a curious story about Nastya Rybka, a Russian escort and sex trainer being held in Thailand and being charged with prostitution and related offenses. She had made curious claims about Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (having spent time on his yacht) and the whole Trump-Russia connection. Deripaska is an ex-business associate of former Trump … Read More

ISIS Not Defeated

Ken AshfordMiddle East, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

NBC News reports: U.S. service members were among those killed by an explosion in Syria on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the coalition fighting the Islamic State group said. Earlier, a senior Kurdish security official told NBC News that members of the U.S.-led coalition were caught up in a blast at a market in the northern city of Manbij. The official could … Read More

Country REALLY Divided on Day 26 of Shutdown

Ken AshfordGubmint Shutdown, Immigration and Xenophobia, Polls, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

From Gallup today, the country is more divided on Trump than with any other president in polling history. The average 79-percentage-point difference between Republicans’ and Democrats’ job approval ratings of President Donald Trump during his second year in office is the largest Gallup has measured in any presidential year to date.  But Trump still polls at historical lows. Overall, an … Read More

Pelosi Rescinds “Invite” For Trump’s State Of The Union

Ken AshfordCongress, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

What Pelosi does in this letter is rescind Trump’s invitation to speak in the House chamber during the shutdown and then suggest some alternatives he could pursue. The press is saying that she is “asking” to postpone the SOTU, but framing it as “asking” for a postponement is misleading because it wrongly implies Trump has power to say yes or … Read More

Socialized Medicine For Me But Not For Thee

Ken AshfordHealth CareLeave a Comment

Rand Paul, one and a half years ago: He adds: We know the current system isn’t working for families or health-care providers, so perhaps it’s time to try something new. I say we try freedom. More freedom to choose and innovate, leading to more access and affordability, which will help ensure our health-care system remains the best in the world. … Read More

Exhausting Futility Continues

Ken AshfordGubmint Shutdown, Immigration and Xenophobia, L'Affaire Russe, Polls, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Shutdown Day Number 23 and there is no sign of movement. Trump apparently has little to do but tweet all day — childish attacks on Elizabeth Warren (racist attacks there) and on Jeff Bezo’s personal life. But that is kind of the point that Trump wants to make — he’s ready to work on a deal and Dems are off … Read More

Weekly List 113

Ken AshfordWeekly ListLeave a Comment

This week Trump struggled to create stagecraft and find narratives to justify funding for his border wall, while keeping the government shuttered. Trump delivered a prime-time Oval Office address, visited the U.S.-Mexico border, and held an immigration round-table to make his case, while the reality of the shutdown hurt federal workers and contractors, and agencies started to cut back or … Read More

The Buck Stops With Everybody

Ken AshfordGubmint Shutdown, Immigration and Xenophobia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Impasse. Government is shut down. Nobody is budging. At a meeting yesterday with Pelosi and Schumer, Trump asked if they would fund his wall. He specifically said “wall” and NOT “border security” (he lied in a later tweet about this). Pelosi said no, and Trump said (verbatim) “Bye bye” and left. At present, he seems to have rallied the Republicans … Read More

Breaking: Mystery Foreign Company Gets No Help From SCOTUS

Ken AshfordBreaking News, L'Affaire Russe, Supreme Court, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

A few weeks ago, there was a super-secret hearing in DC Court regarding a subpeona issued to an unknown foreign company from the Mueller investigation. The company was fighting the subpoena. This just happened: "(Bloomberg)—The U.S. Supreme Court refused to shield a mystery company from having to provide information in what’s believed to be the criminal investigation being conducted by … Read More

This Sounds Like Collusion

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Ooops! Due to a redaction error by Manafort’s attorneys, we just learned that: 1) Paul Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, who has been tied to Russian intelligence, met in Madrid during the campaign; 2) Manafort shared 2016 polling data with Kilimnik; and 3) They discussed a “Ukrainian peace plan.” Here is the filing in question. You can copy (Ctrl-C) the redacted … Read More