White House Mystery Man gets McMastered

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Ezra Cohen-Watnick (???)

I’ve been too busy to keep track of all the crap that comes out of the White House (speaking of which, Trump is now on his 17-day “working” vacay at his golf resort in Bedminster, NJ. Out of all the places he could have gone, he chooses New Jersey), but one thing that has caught my attention is that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster has finally managed to fire Ezra Cohen-Watnick.

If you will recall, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, before his termination, was Senior Director for Intelligence Programs for the National Security Council. It was alleged that he had shown Representative Devin Nunes classified material regarding incidental intelligence collected on Trump’s campaign by US intelligence agencies, leading to Nunes’s recusal from the Russia inquiry. Cohen-Watnick is somewhat of a mysterious figure. He landed a senior director position on the council despite his young age (born May 18, 1986) and lack of extensive intelligence experience (Cohen-Watnick was a junior employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency). He has no social media presence, which is flat-out weird these days, to say the least. Only one (possible) photo of him has been unearthed. And he seems to have some powerful people at his back.

McMaster tried to fire him earlier this year, but Trump overruled him. One has to wonder why this guy was so important to Trump. This is someone I am keeping my eye on, but there is already very little information about him out there. I have to think that is by design. With his firing, I have the feeling that while this keeps him out of the NSC it also provides him other, lower profile opportunities to carry out whatever agenda he and his handlers are working toward.

One interesting point of note is that in November 2016 he married a Rebecca Miller, who worked for Ketchum Inc., where she did public relations work for the Russian government(!). All roads lead to the Kremlin, it seems.

If anyone out there knows anything about Mr. Cohen-Watnick, or had any personal experience with him (school, work, etc.) I’d love to hear about it. Better yet, tell a journalist.

Here are some links, in no order, about Ezra Cohen-Watnick, as much for my own reference as for yours:

The Mystery of Ezra Cohen-Watnick

We’ve found a bunch of personal details about Trump’s White House ghost Ezra Cohen-Watnick

NSC’s Senior Intelligence Director Ezra Cohen-Watnick Fired

Report: CIA’s Liaison To The NSC Fired After Clash With Controversial Aide

Trump steps in to keep 30-year-old NSC aide

Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report

Trump Removed Bannon from the NSC —What About His Protégé?

Jason Chaffetz and Ezra Cohen-Watnick– What is up with these two jackasses?

Wikipedia entry

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Trump thinks the White House is a dump.

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Next on Trump’s agenda.

Oh, so many things to write about. Should I write about how White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus got kicked to the curb? Or how Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly swooped in to take his place? Or maybe I should write about how big mouth White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci got his ass kicked out of his job by now-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after only ten days on the job? (Oh, but they were a wonderful ten days, weren’t they?)

Maybe I should make mention of the fact that our “president” actively attempted to deceive the public about the reason for his Don Jr.’s meeting with a Russian national?

Those are fun stories, but today I think I’ll simply make note of how remarkably unimpressed Donald Trump is with American historical institutions. While former president Barack Obama had this to-day of the presidential residence:

The inside of the White House doesn’t have the luminous quality that you might expect from TV or film; it seems well kept but worn, a big old house that one imagines might be a bit drafty on cold winter nights. Still, as I stood in the foyer and let my eyes wander down the corridors, it was impossible to forget the history that had been made there—John and Bobby Kennedy huddling over the Cuban missile crisis; FDR making last-minute changes to a radio address; Lincoln alone, pacing the halls and shouldering the weight of a nation.

Donald Trump said, “That White House is a real dump.”

Sad.

Trump fails to repeal Obamacare; Americans who aren’t dead inside celebrate

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McCain gives the repeal a big thumbs down.

I expressed in an earlier post some disappointment at John McCain voting to continue the debate to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If he had disappointed me at that time, he has more than made up for it today. In the early hours of Friday, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, along with two other Republicans (Rep. Susan Collins of Maine and Rep. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. ABC News reports McCain’s statement following the vote:

In a statement released following the vote, McCain said, “From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people. The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals.”

McCain added, “While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens.”

McCain offered a plan going forward, saying, “We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people. We must do the hard work our citizens expect of us and deserve.”

I applaud the courage of John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to vote for what is right and what makes sense rather than be a slave to partisan politics. This is America at its best.

Trump said in a tweet that he would let Obamacare “implode”:

3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!
–@realDonaldTrump

But the Affordable Care Act is now Trump’s responsibility. If it “implodes” it will be because of him. It’s his duty to ensure it succeeds.

Good. So now we can move on. Or can we?

Call me a cynic, but I don’t think it’s beneath Trump to actively try to sabotage or neglect the ACA. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen, but if it does it’ll probably be as successful as any of Trump’s other endeavors. That is to say, not very.

Donald Trump is nuckin’ futs.

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“They’re coming to take me away, hee heee!”

Let’s go over the past week:

Does this seem normal to you? This seems to me beyond what most people would consider sensible, reasonable behavior. I always figured Trump to be a spoiled, narcissistic, moronic asshole, but it’s time I seriously consider the possibility that Donald Trump is fuckin’ nuts.

This notion has been posited before. As we get deeper into the his presidency Trump’s mental instability is becoming more and more apparent. And I think this also plays into the Trump-Russia scenario; a man with mental hang-ups like Trump is easier to exploit.

Even if the Russia thing turns out to be a dead-end (yeah, right) I think at least we will be exposed further to Trump’s mental incapacity. Trump is beyond merely politically inexperienced. He’s beyond mere incompetence. I think he has a severe mental problem. He may have been able to get by with it in the business and entertainment world, but as the leader of the free world? Does anybody of any political stripe think Trump’s behavior makes sense?

Lolllllll no one likes you

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Because I’d much rather look at Chrissy Teigan than Trump any ol’ day.

Hotstuff supermodel Chrissy Teigan just got blocked on Twitter by Donald Trump. After Trump tweeted this:

It’s very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their President.
@realDonaldTrump, 8:14 PM – 23 Jul 2017

she responded to his tweet with this:

Lolllllll no one likes you
@chrissyteigan, 8:21 PM – 23 Jul 2017

which is funny because it’s true. Well, not completely true. I mean some people like him, but no one should like him and I’m surprised that some people actually do.

Whom I find ridiculous are those who once disliked Trump but are now jowls-deep in his ass cheeks. Case in point, the new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci who once called Trump a “hack politician” but now seems to think that Trump’s farts smell like roses. Remember Ted Cruz? During the election campaign Trump went after Cruz’s wife on Twitter. If Trump went after my wife on Twitter there’s no way I’d be kissing his ass like Cruz did last September by endorsing him. Mitt Romney also showed his lack of backbone by flip-flopping on his stance toward Trump.

In fact, we can thus far characterize most of the GOP as spineless worms who are willing to trade in their integrity simply because they hate the Democrats. Most should know better. They know that, Republican or not, Donald Trump is a shitty excuse for a human being and is mind-blowingly underqualified in both experience and character to hold the office of President. Yet how many Republicans have spoken out against him in any significant way?

Even Senator John McCain, who returned to the senate today after being treated for brain cancer and is one of Trump’s most vocal critics in the GOP, disappointed me today when he succumbed to partisan loyalty over logic in regards to Trump’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Although I don’t agree with McCain’s politics in many cases, I do consider him a great American and a necessary voice considering the likes of Trump and his flunkies. But I can’t help but be disappointed that he can’t act more out of his own conscience than party allegiance. As it is, however, the health care story is in flux and the GOP may yet be able to save their integrity before the issue is resolved. To quote Trump out of context, “Time will tell.”

Another rather incredible thing are the defenses of Trump among some left-leaning personalities. I mean, I don’t get how Glenn Greenwald, of all people, can dismiss the possibility of a Trump-Russia collusion when it seems so plausible. I mean, I might be wrong, and if I am I’ll own up to it, but the Trump-Russia connection appears too real to ignore. So I just don’t get Greenwald’s position.

I can understand that a lot of people didn’t like Hillary Clinton and didn’t vote for her. Fine, cool. But did you really think Trump was a good idea? If you are still behind Trump after this soup sandwich of a presidential term then I have to question the existence of your brain.

Chrissy Teigan was almost right. Not everybody dislikes Trump. Just the decent ones.

I almost felt sorry for the guy–almost: Sean Spicer resigns as Press Secretary

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“I’ll resign. That’ll show ’em. They’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”

Sean Spicer resigned from his post as White House press secretary today. According to the New York Times, Spicer resigned “after telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with his appointment of Anthony Scaramucci, a New York financier, as his new communications director.” I have, on a number of occasions, characterized Spicer as a “dumb motherfucker.” That characterization still holds, but when I learned that he resigned because he felt so strongly against Scaramucci’s appointment I thought, “He might be dumb, but at least maybe he’s got some balls.” After all, it takes some conviction to resign over something like this.

But then I remembered that Donald Trump hasn’t been too pleased with Spicer’s performance of late. We haven’t even seen Spicer much lately, with Sarah Huckabee Sanders frequently substituting for him in press conferences. Spicer has experienced much well-deserved ridicule in the media for his deluded defenses of the Trump administration and his unintentionally comic ways of avoiding the White House press corps. The guy’s an idiot and Melissa McCarthy’s impersonation of Spicer on Saturday Night Live proves that there is truth in art. Spicer may be an idiot, but you have to admit that his loyalty is admirable quality. But to Trump loyalty only goes one way. Like every proper super-villain, he’s all too happy to throw any of his loyal minions under the bus if it will be to his benefit. So, I thought, perhaps Spicer’s resignation under the pretense of protest was simply a way to let Spicer go with a little dignity. After reading this final paragraph from the New York Times article linked above,

The end came in operatic fashion, befitting Mr. Scaramucci’s namesake — a stock character in Italian musical theater. As Mr. Scaramucci made his big entrance, Mr. Spicer exited quietly, disheartened that the president never quite appreciated his performance.

I have to admit, I felt a little bad for the guy. He may be a poor little pudgy, dumb motherfucker, but he’s loyal to a fault. Even after Trump didn’t let Spicer, a Catholic, meet the Pope.

Then Spicer said this, something about he felt “increasingly disappointed in how so many members of the media do their job, or rather, don’t do their job,” and I thought, ah, fuck’im.

Anthony Scaramucci, by the way, seems as deluded as Spicer is, regarding Trump’s supposed greatness. I guess delusion is a prerequisite to work in the Trump White House. Whatever the case, I don’t think hiring Scaramucci as communications director is going to help anything. Reshuffling the staff like this six months into Trump’s presidential term is a sign of the White House’s desperation.

It’s fun to pretend: Trump’s vivid fantasy life and the ACA

Ain’t it cute? Little Donnie Trump must be having a blast in the White House:

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“I’m a truck driver!”
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“I’m a Top Gun!”
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“I’m a cowboy!”
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“I’m a fireman!”

…and of course:

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“I’m a president!”

Of course, he’s not really those things, but it’s fun to pretend. Okay, technically, he is the actual president, even if he can’t get anything done. Case in point: repeal and replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Six months into his presidency, Donald Trump still hasn’t made any progress getting rid of Obamacare. I mean, I think this is a good thing, but it does point to Trump’s ineffectiveness as president. Of course, the GOP can’t seem to decide on what they want. The moderates want one thing, the more right-wing types want another, but a good leader could bring them together. Leadership is a quality that Trump lacks. Trump is not a leader. One might argue that he is an accomplished businessman, certainly an accomplished showman, but a leader he is not.  It’s not an easy task to bring together the diverse viewpoints of the GOP, and get them to work with their opponents/colleagues the Democrats, but a leader would be able to do that. Trump does not lead, and his whole attitude concerning the Affordable Care Act is evidence of this.

Here is what he had to say after yesterday’s defeat:

It’s an absolute disaster. And I think you’ll also agree that I’ve been saying for a long time, let Obamacare fail, and then everybody’s going to have to come together and fix it. And come up with a new plan and a plan that’s really good for the people with much lower premiums, much lower costs and much better protection. I’ve been saying that, Mike (Vice President Pence), I think you’ll agree, for a long time. Let Obamacare fail. It will be a lot easier, and I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail, and then Democrats will come to us and say, how do we fix it? How do we fix it? Or how do we come up with a new plan?

In particular, note this part: Let Obamacare fail…We’re not going to own it…We’ll let Obamacare fail, and then Democrats will come to us and say, how do we fix it? How do we fix it?

Trump seems to care less about actually doing the job of being POTUS than defeating the Democrats, and probably in particular former President Obama. If he’s willing to let Obamacare “fail” then he doesn’t seem to really care about providing affordable healthcare to Americans. What he’d really like is to see the Democrats come crawling to him on their hands and knees begging for Trump to save them, but that isn’t going to happen because if Obamacare “fails,” it won’t be because of the Democrats; it’ll be because of Trump.

What Trump seems to fail to realize is that he is the President of the United States. That means he serves all Americans, not just his partisan supporters. The Affordable Care Act is in effect and if it fails then it will be because Trump is not doing his job. If it fails it will be because of either neglect or sabotage on the part of Trump and the GOP. Not going to “own” it? Tough shit, laughing boy. You already do. You took ownership of it the second you raised your right hand and took the oath of office. A true leader would understand that.

Trump is already taking heat for not being able to repeal and replace the ACA (and thank goodness for that), but if Obamacare also fails nobody’s going to be blaming Obama. They’ll be looking squarely at Trump.