Liveblogging the Trump presidency, one catastrophe at a time.
Congrats, folks. We’re currently living in a country that wants to
- starve children and the elderly,
- kick the poor and elderly off their health insurance,
- has enabled thugs to hunt down undocumented immigrants so they can drag them out of courthouses where they’re seeking help to escape abusive husbands and stealing them away after they drop their kids off at school to deport them,
- and is picking fights with anyone who looks at them funny.
America? Never heard of it.
NEWS: “The speaker of the House, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman and the ranking Democrat on the committee said Thursday that they’ve seen no evidence of President Donald Trump’s accusation that he was wiretapped last year by his predecessor.” (CNN, TPM) And there’s the final nail in that coffin.
QUOTE: “Meals on Wheels sounds great. We’re not going to spend [money] on programs that cannot show that they actually deliver the promises that we’ve made to people.” – OBM Director Mick Mulvaney. (Politico, TPM, Politico)
NEWS: Immigrant families – legal immigrant families – are canceling their SNAP benefits out of fear of deportation. (Washington Post)
NEWS: “Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on Thursday said that she will not vote for the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, solidifying the legislation’s problems in the Senate.” (TPM)
NEWS: “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday it may be necessary to take pre-emptive military action against North Korea if the threat from their weapons program reaches a level ‘that we believe requires action.'” (AP, Also: Politico, Reuters, New York Times)
QUOTE: “This is the President’s budget, I’m not sure where the details came from. But when we get into appropriations, Meals on Wheels is a wonderful program. It is one I would never vote to cut even one dollar.” – Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY). (TPM)
- RELATED: The UK has called Spicer/Trump’s claims “nonsense” and “ridiculous.” (Politico)
- UPDATE: My bad, apparently they did not apologize. At least, that’s what the White House and Spicer are saying now. (New York Times, CNN)
- RELATED: Trump also told German Chancellor Angela Merkel today that they had something in common because they’d both been wiretapped by Obama. (Washington Post)
- RELATED: Trump tried to put the blame for dragging the GCHQ into his wiretapping mess on Fox News. Fox News, for their part, isn’t having any of it. (Mother Jones, TPM)
NEWS: The House GOP thinks they’re gonna bring Republicare to a vote next week. (TPM)
NEWS: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has asked Trump to confirm whether Sebastian “Racist Hungarian Medals, Fight Me IRL, Hungarian Nazi for Life” Gorka is actually a nazi or not. (TPM)
NEWS: Governors John Kasich (R-OH), Rick Snyder (R-MI), Brian Sandoval (R-NV) and Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) have come out against Republicare and offered their own proposals. (TPM)
NEWS: The AARP issued a press release that told Congress, basically, “We’re watching you,” on Republicare, and that they’ll report the vote to their members. Also, they sent a letter to each House member asking them to vote no. (TPM)
NEWS: “Health groups say President Donald Trump’s proposal to slash funds for the nation’s engine of biomedical research would be devastating for patients with all kinds of diseases – and for jobs.” (AP)
NEWS: “President Donald Trump called Thursday for eliminating subsidized air service to rural communities, many of which supported his election last year after he promised to create jobs.” (AP)
NEWS: Former national security adviser Michael Flynn made a whole bunch of money working for foreign governments, as it turns out, including Russia, which paid him $33,750 for appearing at a Moscow event in December 2015, just before he started working for the Trump campaign. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has asked Trump to provide a comprehensive report on Flynn’s foreign government dealings. (AP, NPR)
ANALYSIS: Trump wants to put an awful lot of money into the defense budget, and the AP is wondering why. Read it here.
NEWS: “The House has unanimously passed legislation designed to speed up the hiring of doctors and nurses at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The vote was 412-0.” (AP) “Look, Ma! We’re governing!”
NEWS: Republicans in Congress don’t seem too fond of Trump’s budget, either. (Politico)
NEWS: “The rural voters who turned out in droves to elect President Donald Trump would be some of the biggest losers under the new White House budget. […] Trump would slash programs that invest in rural infrastructure, target rural public radio and demolish food-aid programs that farmers rely on to buy their products.” And that’s just for starters. (Politico, Also: NPR)
NEWS: “President Donald Trump’s pressure on the military to ‘demolish and destroy’ the Islamic State is raising anxiety inside the Pentagon that the United States could end up in another open-ended ground war, according to current and former military officials.” (Politico)
NEWS: German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Trump today and did the whole “sit awkwardly in chairs while people take photos” thing. She offered to shake hands for the photos, and Trump appears to have blown her off on it. (Politico)
Merkel: “Do you want to have a handshake?”
Trump: [crickets. scene.] pic.twitter.com/LLFxuyGDY0
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 17, 2017
AMUSEMENT: “The White House linked on its online daily briefing page to a satirical Washington Post opinion article with a headline that actually sharply criticizes President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.” (Politico) Whoops.
NEWS: Senator Joni Ernst has called for Trump to release his taxes. (Politico)
EXPLAINER: NPR explains why it’s a lot easier to say you’re going to eliminate government agencies than to actually do it. Read it here.
NEWS: “The U.S. Secret Service said on Friday a laptop was stolen from an agent’s car in New York City but that such agency-issued computers contain multiple layers of security and are not permitted to contain classified information. […] ABC News, citing law enforcement sources, said the laptop contained floor plans for Trump Tower, details on the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and other national security information.” (Reuters, ABC News)
QUOTE: “We’ve been dreaming of this since I’ve been around, since you and I were drinking out of kegs.” – House Speaker Paul Ryan to National Review editor Rich Lowry about using Republicare as an opportunity to cut Medicaid. (Vox)
EXPLAINER: White House budget director Mick Mulvaney claimed yesterday that Meals on Wheels doesn’t offers any “results,” which is not the case. Vox explains the benefits of Meals on Wheels here.
NEWS: Trump’s budget proposal has the scientific community mourning a “lost generation” of scientific research. (The Atlantic)
NEWS: “The House Budget Committee narrowly advanced the GOP health care plan Thursday morning, despite “no” votes by three conservatives on the panel, underscoring Republicans’ disagreements over the legislation as it moves closer to a vote on the House floor.” (ABC News)
NEWS: Trump reaffirmed his “strong support” for NATO today… just so long as they pay what they owe. (Washington Post) Pretty rich sentiment coming from a guy with a reputation for stiffing people.
NEWS: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cut his visit to South Korea short, citing “fatigue.” (The Hill)
- RELATED: We’d know more about what was going on, except Tillerson refused to take reporters on his trip to Asia, bucking decades of tradition, and saying he did so to save the tax payers money. That’s a BS explanation, by the way – reporters pay their own way on those trips. (Poynter)
NEWS: Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court begin Monday at 11am EDT. SCotUSBlog will be liveblogging the whole thing. (SCotUSBlog)
NEWS: Trump promised early on that he would donate profits from foreign government guests in his hotels to the Treasury Department. He has not been doing so. (USA Today) Quelle surprise.
OPINION: “It’s the latest sign of a larger trend that goes like this: Little by little, the narrative that President Trump and his top adviser, Stephen K. Bannon, have been telling about what is happening in this country is getting translated into concrete policy specifics. And Americans are recoiling from the results.” (Washington Post)
Looking for old Trumpster Fires? Look here.