Stupid Trump Tricks – by Gail Collins – NYT

“If we were going to cruise down the highway of political virtue this week, talking policy and watching the climate change, we’d discuss health care. Trump is deliberately undermining a program that many working and middle-class Americans rely on to pay for their insurance coverage. Among many deeply depressing changes, he’s axing government payments to insurance companies that help subsidize policies for the poor.

On Friday the president talked about it very briefly with reporters. But he managed to explain, in a nanosecond, why he hates the subsidies: “Take a look at who those insurance companies support and I guarantee you one thing. It’s not Donald Trump.”

Low road beckons. Really, it’s waving its hand in desperation. So let’s just mention that at the signing ceremony held to celebrate one of the new health-care-wrecking changes, Trump forgot to sign. Pence had to drag him back to the little bitty table to write down his name.

There are good reasons the most influential commentators on this administration are the late-night comedians.”

Spot on Gail Collins.

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Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski- the Health Vote Heroines – by Gail Collins – NYT

“And he underestimated two Senate Republicans, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. John McCain’s “no” vote was the high point of the drama, but Collins and Murkowski were the fierce, consistent forces of resistance that gave McCain his opportunity.
My favorite moment came when Trump dispatched Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to warn Murkowski that if she continued to vote against the bill, her home state of Alaska would lose stuff it wanted from the federal government.”

Wow- Trump Can’t Terminate – by Gail Collins – NYT

Gail Collins today is priceless. For everything else, there is Mastercard.

“Trump appears completely unaware that he’s beginning to look like the worst terminator in history. Introducing Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services, at an event this week, the president jovially said that Price had better get the health care bill passed through Congress, “otherwise, I’ll say: ‘Tom, you’re fired.’ I’ll get somebody.”

This was at that Boy Scouts jamboree when Trump did such a great job of impersonating your Uncle Fred Who Gets Drunk at Family Dinners. How many of you think the Boy Scouts have been yearning for the day when the president would come to their big event, tell the teens that their federal government is a “sewer,” recount a long and incoherent story about a real estate developer who went off to make whoopee on his yacht, and brag incessantly about having won the election? On the plus side, Trump did not misrepresent the Scout position on Hezbollah.”

To understand this brilliantly funny last line, you will have to read all of Gail’s column.

The Warp-Speed Presidency – by Gail Collins and Brett Stevens – NYT

“Gail Collins: Bret, it’s been a while since I had a chance to converse with a fellow Times columnist. Welcome! And in honor of your arrival, you get to choose our first subject.

Bret Stephens: Thanks, Gail. It’s flattering to step into David Brooks’s shoes. Kinda daunting, too.Here’s my topic: Acceleration. The pace of news, of scandal, of Trump. It’s like a hot dog-eating contest. We’re shoveling in the Trump news with little time to chew it over and even less time to digest it.

I know this is a little dated but the other week I noticed someone on Twitter trying to summarize five days’ worth of Trump news. I can’t find the tweet but here is how I remember it. On Monday it was 18 Days of Flynn. On Tuesday we had the Comey Firing. Wednesday brought the full flowering of the Rosenstein Defense. With Thursday came the Holt Admission. Friday featured the Comey Threatening.”

Nice column. Good comments. This one inspired my to post the op-ed.

Historian Aggieland, TX 13 hours ago

“Conservatives always point out that U.S. corporate tax rates are among the highest in the world, but they don’t tell the rest of the story. There are so many loopholes that 26 firms, among the Citigroup and AT&T, paid more to their CEO alone than they paid in corporate taxes in 2011. In fact, our corporate tax revenue, 1.8 percent of GNP, is tied with Turkey for the lowest in the developed world. If libertarian models are correct, our current corporate tax structure manages to achieve the worst of all possible worlds: the least revenue and the most economic distortion from attempts to dodge it. We need to lower the nominal rate, but also to devise policies that assure it is actually paid. For starters, restore the old rule on offshoring that requires any corporation with less than 50 percent foreign ownership to be taxed as American.”

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Trump’s Can’t-Do Record – by Gail Collins – NYT

“Well, heck, who said Donald Trump isn’t going to accomplish anything in his first 100 days? All of a sudden there’s a one-page tax plan and a raft of deal-making, while the Senate was bused over to the White House grounds for a briefing on North Korea.

Maybe the president believes that when you can make an entire chamber of Congress ride around like so many tour groups, the world will understand that you’re a can-do kind of guy.”

David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval at NYT

Gail,
This is a very funny piece, thank you. I can’t get over how the commentators do not reference your piece at all. They are so busy continuing their own personal public blog, that they do not even reference that they are enjoying your readership, and your fount of wit.

One of the better belly laughs: “Everybody knows that Trump wants a can-do record when he hits Day 100 on Saturday. To get there, he appeared to be adopting the garb of Somewhat Normal Republican (SNORE).”

The Trump War on Public Schools – by Gail Collins – The New York Times

“One of the most disturbing things about the Trump administration is its antipathy toward public schools.

Perhaps you remember the president’s mini-rant in his inaugural speech about an “education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.”

Well, Trump’s choice for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, is responsible for Michigan’s charter school boom, which currently costs the state about $1.1 billion a year. A 2014 investigation by The Detroit Free Press found myriad examples of “wasteful spending and double-dipping.” Thanks in large part to DeVos’s lobbying in the Legislature, there’s virtually no oversight. So much for the young and beautiful students.

Take that for a rant.”

Mike Pence Pulls President Trump’s Strings – by Gail Collins – The New York Times

“Do you think Donald Trump is just Mike Pence’s puppet?Interesting idea, right? Particularly since the very idea would make our new president totally nuts. Hehehehe.

And it’s possible. Trump is not a man who concentrates on policy issues. So far, the parts of the job that have obsessed him most are crowd size and vote size. And yeah, the wall. But there has to be somebody behind the scenes deciding the non-ego questions. Pass the word that it’s Pence.”

Spot on. Here is a delicious comment:
Socrates is a trusted commenter Verona NJ 8 hours ago

“Nothing warms the cockles of Trump Nation’s Muslim haters’ hardened hearts than the global implementation of Christian Shariah law by a bunch of crusty old white men running the churchbound, patriarchal American capitals of state and federal government.

These American Ayatollahs are clear on their views:

No sex education; ignorance and abstinence are best.

No contraception; women are birthing vessels for men.

No treatment of STDs;(“Drop dead and rest with the Devil”)

No family planning; overpopulation and environmental degradation is best.

No female control over uteruses; Father Knows Best.

No affordable healthcare; (i.e., “please just drop dead again”)

While these misogynistic white men do their radical Salem Witch Trial best to assert their medieval ways and male inferiority complexes, real women’s lives are ruined every day with forced pregnancies, a veritable raping of a woman’s free will, self-control and basic dignity in the ‘name of God’.

Why are men deciding the fate of women ?

American Christians pretend they are decent moral folks, but they cling to the violent immorality of male power and male dominance and female submission to man.

“Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

If Trump-Pence’s GOP loves regulating the world’s uteruses so dearly, then it’s well past time to start regulating their testicles.”

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The Dark Days of Donald Trump – by Gail Collins – The New York Times

“Do you think Donald Trump has given up?

It was a little strange to see him campaigning Wednesday in that critical swing state of … Washington, D.C.“He’s coming to open a hotel that’s under budget and ahead of schedule,” campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, insisting it was all a part of the presidential sales pitch.Blitzer noted mildly that the hotel has actually been open for some time.“This is the grand official opening,” Conway insisted.

Aren’t you beginning to feel a little sympathy for Kellyanne Conway? Until recently she was just that terrible Trump talking head, but now she seems like a woman laboring valiantly under an impossible burden.“Saturday Night Live” recently did a parody of her day off, in which Kellyanne eagerly tried to do yoga or cook dinner, but kept getting dragged back to CNN to recalibrate some new awful tweet from her candidate. (“Of course Mr. Trump thinks that Mexicans can read, and actually what he wants them to read the most is Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails.”)

Conway herself once admitted that the campaign was behind, but then had to spend days trying to pedal back from the obvious. In — yes! — another CNN interview, she said that she had reprimanded Trump for sounding as if he thought they were going to lose. And that Trump responded: “O.K., honey, then we’ll win.” That was probably her best moment of the day, and it was an “O.K., honey.” ”

Source: The Dark Days of Donald Trump – The New York Times

You Choose or You Lose, by Gail Collins – The New York Times

“If you’re a Republican politician, announcing you’re not going to vote for Donald Trump is a little like declaring that you’re not going to rob a bank to finance your next campaign. Really, you don’t get any credit unless you say what you’re going to do instead.

“I truly don’t know,” said Senator Susan Collins unhelpfully.Collins made news this week when she penned an op-ed for The Washington Post, announcing that she couldn’t support her party’s nominee because “Mr. Trump’s lack of self-restraint and his barrage of ill-informed comments would make an already perilous world even more so.”It’s tough being a high-profile Republican these days. People are always demanding to know what you think about your candidate’s latest horrific remark. But unless you come up with an alternative, disavowing a candidate is more like a sulk than a solution.”

Source: You Choose or You Lose – The New York Times

Hillary, Beyond Email, by Gail Collins at her best – The New York Times

“Chances are, Hillary Clinton did not grow up dreaming that someday she’d be a woman of whom it could be said that “no reasonable prosecutor” would indict her.But think positive: Between the F.B.I.’s 11-month email investigation and the eight congressional Benghazi inquiries, Clinton has now probably been examined more thoroughly than any candidate not up for canonization in the Catholic Church. How many times have you, as a concerned citizen, witnessed a famous politician felled by a terrible revelation and thought, “My God, who knew?” Not likely to be a problem with this one.

In his big press appearance Tuesday, F.B.I. Director James Comey took the now-familiar prosecutorial path of smearing the target he couldn’t nail. But the bottom line was that Clinton had used less-than-secure private email servers rather than the State Department system, which was the proper procedure, albeit possibly even less less-than-secure. Worse, she did not tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth when she was cornered.”

Source: Hillary, Beyond Email – The New York Times