Wed, 31 January 2018
Greg Dworkin brings us his Wednesday institutional rot report:
Yesterday was the day Teleprompter Trump finally became president, although real Trump was there too. Trump can sell an improved economy, but not himself. The corporate world prepares for chaos if DACA isn't renewed.
You hear it here first! Greg and David coin the term “Hide-lighting” to describe Devin Nunes efforts to to obfuscate by clarifying misdirecting details. Rod Rosenstein told John Kelly releasing the memo was a horrible idea, and Christopher Wray warned Trump not to, so you know he promised to, 100 percent.
Still in a daze from covering last night’s train wreck—the figurative, not literal one, Joan McCarter stepped up to applaud Joe Kennedy III’s performance, and message last night. Paul Ryan declared himself complicit in Trump’s Russia cover-up, although he believes “What’s said in the family stays in the family”. Joan’s also pretty steamed about Butch Otter’s health care plan, although we are all getting into the same boat. America, where you still have to win the lottery to go to the doctor.
Tue, 30 January 2018
“Nuance” (another great slogan to print on our as-yet-still fantasy line of KITM T-shirts) is theme of most our shows, but today it is a preoccupation. David discusses how Donald Trump destroys little and big norms every minute. Every minute the State of the Union degrades. Must we codify norms to make certain our government is competent and trustworthy? We must! But, there are plenty of pitfalls, unintended consequences and nuances on that path.
Mon, 29 January 2018
You heard it weeks ago on KITM! Or as David Waldman puts it today: “We have a pretty good eye for what is going to become more widely shared news in the next couple of days, and we like to give you an early in on it.”, and that’s going on our T-shirts!
The US media has caught up to how the Dutch monitored Russian hacking group Cozy Bear. We are now at the point of debating if "Cozy Bear" is really a network of hackers, or if “Russiagate” is really about “Trump”, or “Russia”, or “gates”.
The bar is low. Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech could be a 45 minute sustained fart and still be lauded for its refreshing authenticity. Donald could read 4chan off a teleprompter, and it would seem presidential compared to 2017. So, if Trump has won, destroyed institutions and made this nightmare normal, is it time to turn traditions into laws? And, can Massachusetts's 4th congressional district representative Joe Kennedy III give the SOTU response we’re asking for?
Not all horrific behavior goes unpunished, at least once it gets really horrific and lasts decades. Girls wanted to escape pain, parents wanted to trust a doctor and Michigan State wanted to win some games. Larry Nassar fed on all of that. The institutions failed the victims, until they got their story into the news.
Fri, 26 January 2018
Today, as usual, David Waldman discusses the big news, highlighting what pundits will start noticing next week and citing as conventional wisdom three years from now:
Donald Trump ordered Robert Mueller fired, but backed off when Don McGahn’s conscience or dignity or morals or something got in the way. Trump, his lawyer John Dowd, and Kellyanne Conway were unaware things like that ever existed. Maggie Haberman was just… unaware. Many now look at this event and have determined Donald was quite a dumb baby way back 7 months ago. Fox and Friends says meh. Sean Hannity however, deeply cares, and is an idiot. Crossed Fox messages explain why Matthew Gertz has been delayed in telling you what Donald Trump thinks Fox thinks he should think. Maybe Recep Erdoğan needs to tell Fox what to think first.
Here’s a blockbuster so new that it’s barely in English: For years, Dutch intelligence had access to the infamous Russian hacker group Cozy Bear. Dutch concerns were linked to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. All of this should be a great sequence in the upcoming Trump movie.
A Maryland federal judge may just be open to an emoluments suit against Trump.
The Guggenheim gives Donald a going away to Davos present.
G. Payne Griffin, how does he do it?
Thu, 25 January 2018
That’s a reason to tune to KITM. We have to smile, to keep our head up, and so David Waldman is our, uhm, “Patch Adams”…
Greg Dworkin (who now knows how to pronounce everyone’s name) has always understood the farce: Trump says everyone is dirty except him. Trump says he is willing to speak under oath to Mueller. Trump says he is open to a path to citizenship for “dreamers”. Laughing yet?
Bill Kristol is a little less of a joke now that he is beginning to see the “ethno-nationalism” of Fox News. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz wants to continue repealing Obamacare, and the alt-Right thinks it’s funny to cyberharrass anyone in higher education.
Armando calls in to discuss the not-so-funny: We lost the shutdown. Our next loss is coming in less than three weeks. The Senate Democratic strategy is to drop their demand for relief for Dreamers, give Trump the wall, and throw in a massive boost to the Pentagon’s budget. We will be sick of winning! Our base does get screwed, but in turn we get to pick who gets screwed most, first, and then take the resulting boost in image right into the 2018 elections. And you thought politics was easy.
Wed, 24 January 2018
It’s a quiet news morning as Donald Trump flees the Samsung Secret Society to hideaway amongst the Davos illuminati. This frees you up to join the KITM Cabal of David Waldman, Greg Dworkin, and Joan McCarter for its weekly rendezvous:
The shutdown sandwich we just ate might be a big nothingburger, but it did seem to have a predominant flavor, one that we will be tasting more of in the next few weeks, and up until November. But, if we look at it just right, aren’t we actually “winning” and Trump “losing”? After all, there were plenty of tasty nuggets in the last sandwich, and many more coming up, if we merely play our cards right and get those elusive Independents. Anyhow, it’s only three weeks until the next Trump Shutdown sandwich is served, and this one could be just as tasty!
Greg tells us about a reporter who lost his voice, not figuratively, but literally.
The Kentucky school shooting is the 11th this year, and it’s January 23. It happens again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.
Joan calls in with personal anecdotes ranging from GunFAIL to Rapture, a demand that Neil Gorsuch recuse himself and that Republicans Shut. The. Hell. Up. A provision slipped in to the CR gives Donald Trump even more power to use the intelligence community to go after his enemies.
Tue, 23 January 2018
The Democrats deal with Republicans to reopen the government, and less than 24 hours later Tsunami Warnings are cancelled after a magnitude-7.9 earthquake off Alaska "because additional information and analysis have better defined the threat". Coincidence? Yes. Except, with both maybe we are better off than we thought.
Maybe we have master tacticians on our side, and this strategy saved CHIP, exposed Trump, and is backing the Republicans, not us into a corner. Or Maybe Chuck and Nancy should’ve spent the weekend at a nice public golf course.
David Waldman is waiting and seeing today, and suggests you wait and see with him. (At least until his mouse charges and he can move the cursor.) Armando reviews the lead up to the shutdown, and determines what to do now. It’s Republicans breaking their promises to Dreamers, not us. Armando also reminds us the phrase is “Family Repatriation” (or reunion) from now on.
So, does anything matter anymore? Team Trump is crawling with Russians. Trump staff still works without certified financial disclosures. Jared works without security clearance. The White House knows much of what they do is illegal, but not doing it will get them fired. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke might get fired for hooking up more than his boss.
Some people just sit around doing nothing but hating on journalists, Muslims, Jews and Blacks. Brandon Griesemer does do all those things, but also decided to become proactive, grabbing a guest seat at the SOTU?
Mon, 22 January 2018
Each day, KITM brings you to the forefront of the latest news and opinion, unless it’s later than 11 Eastern. So don’t peek at any of that new stuff!
Instead, listen as David Waldman spoons up a subtly, salty KITM, the caviar of podcasts:
Greg Dworkin tells us the Trump shutdown is being driven by a hardline immigration stance, and a tribal battle over what it means to be an American. The two sides are speaking with two languages, while the Dotard in Chief can barely speak one. President Miller and the Republicans should be blamed. The Gop sees Dreamers as criminals on parole. Meanwhile, the shutdown reveals a Democratic Party becoming a little less wussy, maybe even a little... Republican in tactics. The Women’s March voting bloc is set to be bigger than the Tea Party’s by the same ratio of their protest marches. Greg checks the latest polling, with special attention to likely voters.
Fri, 19 January 2018
Who’s got two thumbs, and has been telling you and telling you that Donald Trump is a doddering infantile egotistic autocrat? Almost everybody! But I’m pointing my two thumbs at David Waldman because he tells you first (weekday mornings). David TOLD YOU Trump’s inaugural fundraising committee is paying Donald an “appearance fee” plus a lot more. Actually they aren’t saying that yet, BUT THEY WILL.
As you probably would have guessed, The Donald is terrified/obsessed with sharks and likes his tighty whitey bottom beat by porn stars with pictures of his own face. Shhh! If more news like this comes out the New York Times will be forced to interview more rustbelt villagers in diners.
That’s it, things are so so dire in Washington that the President might only golf this Sunday. Today he is needed to apply his personal magic touch. Today tweeting just isn’t enough to get his ideas across. The Wall Street Journal explains how to talk to Trump: be the last guy to talk to Trump. Or be money, money talks to Donald any time. Never say racist, sexist, anti-Muslim or anti-LGBT things around Trump, he hates his train-of-thought interrupted.
The DNC’s rules and bylaws committee is meeting today, and Armando calls in for the last half hour for an informative 11th hour rant/discussion of the Unity Commission, voter suppression, and the reformation the nomination process for President and the expansion of primary elections.
Thu, 18 January 2018
David Waldman, Greg Dworkin and Armando got together and managed to assemble their new Skyype without a manual today! No screws loose with this bunch:
The Gop had their difficulties too, 404ing on their highly anticipated upload of petty grievances. Was this chaos expertly crafted to troll the libtards? Look it up! Meanwhile, Mastermind Donald Trump (who can draw a clock) creates chaos too chaotically for either side to figure out. Trump is just one of his supporters who ended up president... and how hard can that be? Donald blows up the Republican plan to blame Democrats for blocking CHIP and to hold DACA hostage while forcing them to choose between maintaining a hard line on immigration or spending more on the military. The Gop has today and tomorrow to avoid a shutdown, and today is halfway over. Millennials have learned that governing is a tough job best left to professionals.
The only thing better than the FBI taking down Trump is if the FBI takes down Trump and the NRA and a few Russians. Social media companies warned the Senate that foreign countries plan on fomenting all-American violence.
Wed, 17 January 2018
It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means! If you don’t, then wow, you should be listening to the show more often.
Greg Dworkin rounded up the pundits and punditry: Credibility is like virginity, don’t let either of them anywhere near Donald Trump. Donald will always be a pound from obese, a day from dementia, an inch from the trigger. Don’t worry, he has good genes.
Trump says he wants voter ID, he doesn’t mean, want or know what he’s talking about, but it’s a good idea.
Joan McCarter helps us figure out the looming shutdown, and more importantly—whose fault it is. The government shutdown could backfire on Republicans, but not if Republicans can help it. Republicans don’t mind trading CHIP kids for DACA kids.
Your emails, chats, photos, videos and phone calls might soon be viewed without a warrant, by people like Jeff Sessions. Democrats are one vote shy of the majority necessary to preserve net neutrality.
Inviting Michael Wolff to the White House seemed like such a good idea at the time.
Tue, 16 January 2018
Martin Luther King Jr. Day found citizens performing many acts of civic work and community service in honor of Dr. King's extraordinary life. Donald Trump, for instance, spent time in s-hole places working with Haitians, who in return extended to him the appreciation he deserved. David Waldman brings us the beginning of this short “work week”:
While Donald golfed, many spent the weekend taking one for Team S-hole—Joni Ernst tells us that finally the US is standing up to Norway. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen didn’t know there were so many white people in Norway. Tom Cotton and David Perdue say Trump said “s***house” countries, not (gasp) “s***hole” countries. Mike Pence has a come to Jesus moment, but probably still did not see the light. Rep. James Clyburn, said the Congressional Black Caucus is pursuing a censure resolution against Trump. Maybe it’s time to invent DACA?
Eric Greitens likes to shoot guns, tie up nude women for blackmail, and misappropriate public funding. David follows the money from Greitens to Lucinda Luetkemeyer, past the dog to Tony Luetkemeyer close to Todd Graves, and maybe on to Blaine Luetkemeyer.
The DOJ, and DHS report that international terrorists are born internationally. As for domestic terrorists, if they find one they’ll let you know. Armando calls in to talk about the report, and talk about what the report doesn’t talk about.
Devin Nunes goes down, but for the moment not far enough.
Thanks Obama, while it lasted. The uninsured rate goes back up.
The Pentagon plans for a couple small “starter” nukes.
Mon, 15 January 2018
Greg Dworkin had plenty of outrageousness to round up. There were plentiful indications of Trump’s racism, as well as plenty of rejections of it. Then there was the farce of supporters (and some journalists) trying to hide from it. But nobody’s buying it.
Not coincidentally, the certain and impending doom of Congressional Republicans was a big weekend theme. As was Hillary Clinton’s role in forming another silver lining. And no one has forgotten the book.
Armando didn’t join us, but he did share some thoughts with us, including wondering what ever happened to those celebrated “moderate” Republicans (which sent us off on a KITM tangent), and “the first scholarly account of why tweets lack the legal status of formal presidential directives.” (The answer is, “they’re tweets,” plus several thousand other words.)
Another day, another terrible Trump appointee. Another day, another terrible Trump racism story. Another day, another instance of Trump toady hypocrisy. Another day, another media outlet comes to understand the extent of Trump’s money laundering.
And finally, another day, another nausea-inducing Kaspersky story.
Fri, 12 January 2018
Today David Waldman teaches us that it is important to judge people not by their words, but by their deeds.
Either way, Donald Trump is a s***-head. The Dips*** in Chief was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, as if we needed more proof he’s certifiably bats***. He says he “probably” has a good relationship with Kim Jong Un, and maybe Steve Bannon. You “probably” love him too—anybody can dream. Seventeen former nuclear launch officers don’t want that dumbs*** anywhere near a launch button. Too chickens*** to go to London, he blames Obama—just in time to contradict his US Ambassador. As it turns out, his campaign promise to liberate Americans from the scourge of addiction was total bulls***. And—his 40 word tweet caused a 101 minute s***storm among his own allies and staff.
Remember Jared Kushner? He wishes you didn’t. He especially wishes the Securities and Exchange Commission would forget about him, but it didn’t.
Jerry Seinfeld and his family visited an anti-terror fantasy camp in the West Bank where they learned how to establish equitable power relationships, conflict resolution and … no, they practiced killing people.
Thu, 11 January 2018
David Waldman brings you the KITM deep state report, traffic and weather on the 10s:
Donald Trump demands that we “Get smart!” on foreign intelligence, but as usual, he missed it by that much. He’s our chaos agent in chief, and Republicans like it that way. As for domestic surveillance, the House will vote on letting the FBI spy on you without a warrant.
Greg Dworkin brings us new polling, approved by Donald Trump, except for all those numbers and stuff. Republicans are through doing things, because doing things is tough. Except quitting. Many are finding that quitting is doable. Meanwhile, it’s much much more difficult to find lazy shiftless people receiving Medicaid. Robots work longer and cheaper than you, but aren’t blamed as much as other minorities, or as effectively. Maybe “American values” mean more than fear and discrimination?
The governor of Missouri led a woman into his basement, tied her up, blindfolded her and blackmailed her. He also had an affair. He admits whichever one will let him keep a job.
Anchor baby chain immigrants coming to take our jobs! Oh, they're white - OK.
Wed, 10 January 2018
Wednesday is always Hump-day on KITM. Let’s see if you can climb this mountain of information and links that David Waldman, Greg Dworkin, and Joan McCarter have brought us today:
Greg warns us not to get gaslighted by Trump and his allies, and polls are showing most of us might be avoiding that. Trump and Republicans focus on their core “Putin” supporters. Maybe earmarks would help?
Donald Trump reboots the “Ronald Reagan, Mastermind” sketch from Saturday Night Live, except in Donald’s version he’s even dumber behind closed doors. Yesterday was the day Donald trump finally became TV president. Trump was normalized again by the press, but why stop now when that’s where they excel? The Fusion GPS transcripts demonstrate the downfall of the press, the corruption of Trump, the treachery of Republicans, and blows a lot of right wing spin pumped to you by the New York Times and others. Trump’s agreement on the need for a clean dreamer bill is left on the cutting room floor.
Greg suggests we brush up on modern American politics by watching old British comedy.
“Neoliberal” is what you call the person that’s not enough like you.
Inexperienced evil is pushed into one end of Washington as experienced evil drops out of the other end. Darrell Issa joins the retreat. Donald Trump won’t let unqualified court picks get away just because they are “not qualified”.
Tue, 9 January 2018
We will never know—as long as we rely upon the New York Times as the “paper of record”.
Armando takes over the KITM microphone to rail on the NYT—the “Texas School Board” of News, whose size and recognition warps the national dialog, not just normalizing Trump, but creating a symbiotic relationship wherein the two need each other to succeed in order to survive.
David and Armando lay out their case:
The vehicle the Mercers & Bannon used to shop Trump opposition research was GAI, the "Government Accountability Institute." GAI was also the vehicle used to market "Clinton Cash." Often in... unique ways.
So, take the story on the exclusive agreements The New York Times, The Washington Post and Fox News made with “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer. The NYT tells it their way, and most follow, whereas, over at, say, Newsweek, they saw things differently, as did Media Matters.
Mon, 8 January 2018
Should we take Michael Wolff’s reporting literally or seriously? Is access journalism “bad journalism”, or it it ”journalism”? The White House knew Wolff was there to write a book, they just didn’t quite know what a book was, or even how to use a calendar. At least the book is keeping them busy. Trump is in bed to 11AM each day not watching tv coverage of it, while the rest take care of business. The problem is that it’s Fredos all the way down. Trump health care nominee Bob Weaver had his resume eaten by a tornado. This year is shaping upon to be a clash of Republican idealists vs. realists—which ones are bringing charges against Christopher Steele? Let’s find out, by reading the transcripts of testimony on the Steele Dossier into the congressional record. With all of the obstruction of justice, money laundering, global sex trade and racketeering going on, there is a risk of violating federal statutes.
Meanwhile the clampdown on rampant royal princes in Saudi Arabia continues.
Fri, 5 January 2018
KITM is more concerned with “the story” behind the stories you are reading, to supply you with the context, background and insight behind stories... but you already know that too, so let’s get to it:
It’s been an open secret all along. We don’t need Steve Bannon to tell us what we already know about Donald Trump. Trump isn’t harnessing chaos, Bannon isn’t smart. There is no plan, no team loyalty, there was never any loyalty. Michael Wolff had more access than the press, even after calling Trump the most frightening, dangerous presidential candidate. Bannon and Roger Ailes went to Wolff’s home to gossip for hours. So—did they feel free to talk because they felt the press was incapable or unwilling to tell you what was really going on?
Armando tells us that even as the New York Times habitually presents a handful of facts diffused through talking points as journalism, sometimes their ability to gather details shines through. Why hasn’t Rod Rosenstein recused himself from the Mueller Investigation?
Meanwhile, Neo-Nazis keep coming.
Thu, 4 January 2018
Greg Dworkin finally digs his way out of the snow, etc., to begin his round-up of punditry on KITM for 2018. Did you know that the Donald Trump isn’t cut out for the presidency? Hard to imagine, right? Michael Wolff tells us that Donald is uniformed, unprepared and lacking focus. But just because we know all that, should we believe this guy? Well, Wolff does have tapes. So, now we need to pick between Trump and Steve Bannon? Can’t we just hate them both? The Mercers quit loving Steve. Donald and Steve quit loving—nah, Donald and Steve never have. Lawyers love Donald and Steve for a little while longer.
Trump has hours to burn through today before he can golf again, so where will he go today to try to keep the charade going? If he was a stupid celebrity plutocrat from central casting, he might want to leak racist attacks to a gossip column. Mentioning child porn arrests in his voting commission would play against character though.
Armando enjoys calling in for a rant on the failing New York Times way more than shoveling snow. There are many other news sources to go to as a newspaper of record. In fact, go to The Intercept to get a first-person inside account of reporter James Risen’s time at The Times.
KITM correspondent Rosalyn MacGregor doesn’t get to read it, but she recommends you read a detailed update on the ongoing Flint Water Crisis.
Wed, 3 January 2018
You couldn’t find a nicer day this week in Connecticut than today. You could find a nicer activity than septic system overhaul though, and Greg Dworkin just wishes he could be rounding-up pundits with us!
Everyone knows Donald Trump has no peers, Fox & Friends can tell you that. The White House Correspondents' Association likes how lies have become so accessible recently. Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon is exactly as loyal as you would expect.
The Department of Interior regrets being caught as Ryan Zinke’s piggy bank. Zinke doesn’t yet regret being the go-between of shady government deals, private spies and white supremacists. After all, he’s upholding the traditions of his position.
Joan McCarter shares the load with her community septic-wise, and thus was free to call in with a welcome for Tina Smith and Doug Jones, and a good riddance for Orrin Hatch. Mitt Romney puts down his knitting needles and packs his carpet bag yet another time. Yes, Congress is still talking about how to divert a government shutdown. A year of Republican governance proves how disastrous they are at this. They start off 2018 to repeal and replace Obamacare again, and change the rules to jam the courts with Trump appointees, again. Meanwhile — what’s happening with CHIP and Medicaid?
Tue, 2 January 2018
2018! We begin our second century under the Trump administration—though that’s barely 30 in golf-years. Is it good when Donald takes his post Fox and Friends dotardisms out on golf balls rather than us and the rest of the world?
David Waldman begins his In Memoriam section by reminding us the counter has already begun to roll for this year in “gun deaths”, often by caused by bullets coming out of the guns, even during times of play and joy.
Cuba, Indonesia, Sierra Leone and North Carolina score about the same as functioning democracies. An Alabama newspaper publisher “regrets” spanking women reporters as he was a “very young man” in his 40s.
Even while busy flouting national, international and constitutional rules, laws and norms, Trump took time to stick his thumb in the eye of the Palm Beach town council.
Armando rings in the new year, by ringing into Skype to help us put together a 2018 agenda, including making things happen about emoluments, which Trump has so far willed away the way he holds planes up in the sky. Armando reminds us that the Russia inquiry began before the Dossier.