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Unprovoked Attack

The White House has started attacking special counsel Robert Mueller. Why would they do that?

Donald Trump continues to say the investigation is a “witch hunt”, and even called it “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history”. As if that weren’t crazy enough, Trump then tweeted:

They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice

This is incredibly hypocritical on so many levels. First of all, how can this be a witch hunt when Trump himself went on national TV and told us that he fired James Comey because of his investigation into the connections between Trump and Russia?

Trump is also demanding that we have “proof” before we even start an investigation. Wrong. You start an investigation when you see things like an unprecedented number of meetings between multiple members of the Trump team and Russian officials both before and after the election, followed by Trump’s people lying about these meetings. You start an investigation when you have strong evidence that Russia meddled in the US election and may even have thrown the election to Trump. You start an investigation to see if there was any illegal collusion. You don’t wait patiently until you have proof of collusion before you start the investigation.

Did the dozens of Benghazi investigations require any proof before they got started? Of course not. And those investigations never found much evidence, let alone proof of anything. Instead, they veered off to investigate Clinton’s email server, and even Anthony Weiner’s laptop. But again they found nothing.

And that isn’t the only investigation that Republicans have launched against Democrats. Remember the WhiteWater investigation? Which morphed into a sex scandal against president Clinton, which then morphed into impeachment of the president for obstruction of justice (the same charge that Trump is now complaining about)?

What makes the attacks against Mueller really suspicious is that they aren’t just coming from Trump. We are seeing attacks on Mueller coming from Newt Gingrich, Carter Page, congressman Louie Gohmert, and others. An article in Slate points out that the people attacking Mueller are all making the same arguments, as if they are reading Republican talking points.

Why would Trump round up people to discredit Mueller? And do this even before Mueller has announced anything? Mueller is still assembling this team! Would an innocent person do this?

To see the depths of their hypocrisy, one only needs look at the tweets of Newt Gingrich. On May 17th, just after Mueller was appointed the special counsel, Gingrich tweeted:

Robert Mueller is superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity. Media should now calm down

That’s right, Gingrich was telling the media to shut up and let Mueller do his job.

Last week, less than one month later, Gingrich had completely changed his tune, tweeting:

Muelleris now clearly the ti[p of the deep state spear aimed at destroying or at a minimum undermining and crippling the Trump presidency.

And talking about the charge of obstruction of justice, Gingrich tweeted:

The brazen redefinition of Mueller’s task tells you how arrogant the deep state is and how confident it is it can get away with anything

On Friday, Gingrich announced “Technically, the President of the United States cannot obstruct justice. The President of the United States is the chief executive officer of the United States. If he wants to fire the FBI director, all he’s got to do is fire him.”

Trump’s base may have short attention spans, so I may need to point out that Gingrich led the Republican effort to impeach Bill Clinton for obstruction of justice — the exact same charge from which he now claims that a sitting president is exempt. And for an added dose of hypocrisy, the whole time that Gingrich was attacking Clinton for having an affair, Gingrich was himself having an affair.

Not only did Gingrich get Clinton impeached for obstructing justice, Richard Nixon was about to be impeached for obstructing justice when he resigned. So why would Gingrich now claim that the president cannot obstruct justice?

I think there is only one possible explanation. And I’m beginning to believe that Trump’s days as president are numbered.


Late Night Political Humor

[Jokes from May 23, 2017]

President Trump is still on his big trip overseas. And I saw that he actually took over an entire hotel in Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph were like, “Seriously? You make room for THAT guy?” – Jimmy Fallon

A White House memo contained a typo that said Donald Trump wants to promote, quote, “lasting peach” between Israel and Palestine. I’m surprised they went with a peach. I always thought of Trump as more of an orange guy. – James Corden

Tomorrow, Trump will visit with the Pope. Trump said he’s really excited because he’s always wanted to meet Jude Law. – Jimmy Fallon

Today, President Trump arrived in Rome. He’s so excited to finally meet Jude Law. “You look much older in person. You need to moisturize.” – Stephen Colbert

Trump has a meeting with the Pope tomorrow at the Vatican. And you know he’s dreading that. It’s like getting called to the principal’s office. Only instead of detention you go to hell as a result. – Jimmy Kimmel

President Trump will meet with Pope Francis tomorrow at the Vatican. “I can’t wait to ask him why he wears that ridiculous thing on his head,” said the Pope. – Seth Meyers

Trump is going to visit the Pope tomorrow, and I bet they’ll get along because it looks like the president and Melania are living a life of celibacy. – James Corden

There’s another viral video of Melania Trump rejecting President Trump’s attempt to hold her hand. Now even Israelis and Palestinians are saying “Geez, work it out, you two.” – Conan O’Brien

It’s come out that President Trump asked two intelligence chiefs to push back against the Russia probe. Trump also asked them to make Melania hold his freakin’ hand. – Conan O’Brien

Donald Trump is out of the country, but his scandals aren’t. On Monday, it was revealed that Trump asked two intelligence chiefs to deny that his campaign had any ties to Russia. This is shocking. I’m not saying Trump is participating in a cover-up, but I’d say he is participating in some kind of weird comb-over. – James Corden

Today, the former head of the CIA told investigators that the Russians “brazenly interfered” with our election and actively contacted members of the Trump administration. And according to The Washington Post, the president asked two top intelligence officials to publicly deny evidence of collusion, and also asked them to find ways to get FBI Director James Comey to drop his investigation. Just like an innocent person would do. – Jimmy Kimmel

He asked the director of intelligence and the head of the NSA to lie for him. What was he thinking? He does realize they’re intelligence chiefs, right? Intelligence. It’s right there in their titles. They’re not “born yesterday” chiefs. – James Corden

Even though he’s thousands of miles away, the president released his budget today for the upcoming year, and it’s exactly what you would guess it would be. It cuts programs for the poor and the elderly to give tax breaks to the rich. It’s like Robin Hood if Prince John was the good guy, OK? – Jimmy Kimmel

So this budget makes huge promises that it can’t possibly deliver. It could leave millions of Americans without necessary services like healthcare or even food. It’s basically the Fyre Festival of budgets. – Jimmy Kimmel

The whole thing is particularly cruel to one minority group: Trump’s voters. Because the president’s budget hits his own voters the hardest, taking aim at the social safety net on which many of them rely. It’s all there on Trump’s new hat, “Make the Poor Live on Squirrel Meat Again.” – Stephen Colbert

The budget also calls for major cuts to the Centers for Disease Control. So whenever that thing inside Steve Bannon bursts out and goes airborne, we will not be prepared to handle it. – Stephen Colbert

This budget cuts things like the food stamp program, SNAP, and the children’s health insurance program, CHIP. So he’s cutting SNAP and CHIP, to which America’s children replied “STOP” and “HELP.” – Stephen Colbert

But he did set $1.6 billion aside to build a wall. Maybe it will be like one of Trump’s buildings — Mexico will have nothing to do with it, but in the end they’ll throw their name on it in big gold letters. – Jimmy Kimmel

Meanwhile, Trump just released his new budget proposal. And Bernie Sanders said his cuts to Medicaid are “just cruel”. But Bernie will get his medicine the same way as always: finding an old pill in his suit pocket. – Jimmy Fallon

This morning, the Trump administration unveiled their 2018 budget, titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” which is just slightly grandiose for a financial document. It’s like calling your grocery list “A Bold Vision for Yogurt and Dog Food.” – Stephen Colbert

President Trump released a 2018 budget plan today titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness.” Boy, you can tell from that name that Trump loves this budget. When he doesn’t love something, he’ll give it a boring name like “Eric”. – Seth Meyers

Donald Trump’s budget director said people need to stop taking government money and get a job. He then loudly cleared his throat while glaring at Ivanka Trump. – Conan O’Brien

The president gets back home on Saturday after nine days abroad. Those nine days have been a big relief to the White House staff. Especially Sean Spicer. Let’s just say he had the first good week on the job in quite some time. – Jimmy Kimmel

This Russian investigation into Trump is like one of those Russian nesting dolls, except every time you open one, the doll inside is somehow bigger. And instead of it being a doll, it’s a horrible conspiracy concocted by Russian hackers to systematically erode America’s democratic freedoms. – James Corden

This week, a man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat caused a disruption and was removed from an international flight. It’s the first time a sitting president has been kicked off Air Force One. – Conan O’Brien

It’s been reported that O.J. Simpson could be released from prison this year. When he heard this, Donald Trump said, “Finally, someone to play golf with.” – Conan O’Brien

Yesterday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said that people who oppose school choice are “flat earthers”. She was like, “Which is ridiculous, because everyone knows the Earth is a cube.” – Jimmy Fallon

A new report found that legal marijuana brought in more money last year than Girl Scout cookies did. Though to be fair, Girl Scout cookies wouldn’t have made as much money if it weren’t for marijuana. – Jimmy Fallon

Scientists have been able to create baby mice from freeze-dried mouse sperm that was kept on the International Space Station. When asked about it, the astronauts said, “Wait a minute, so that WASN’T ice cream?” – Conan O’Brien

A man in Russia recently proposed to his girlfriend by hiding a ring inside his stomach wound and asking her to change the dressing. And this is exciting: She said “gross!” – Seth Meyers


The Privatized State of America

© Brian Mcfadden

With all the scandals swirling around Donald Trump, did anyone notice that the Senate is again attempting to repeal Obamacare?

And speaking of Trump and Republican efforts to erase everything that Obama accomplished, Trump also rolled back Obama’s changes to the relationship between the US and Cuba, making it harder for US citizens to visit Cuba. You know, we tried that for over 50 years, and it didn’t help bring freedom and democracy to Cuba. In fact, if anything it kept Castro in power.


Late Night Political Humor

[Jokes from May 22, 2017]

Donald Trump was away from the White House this weekend, so it was pretty much like every other weekend since he became the president. – James Corden

But this time he was on his first international trip visiting several countries in the Middle East. His first stop was Saudi Arabia. Trump is visiting the Muslim nations as part of his “don’t come to us, we’ll come to you tour.” – James Corden

Trump spent over a year just trash-talking Muslims. Now he’s going to go and visit them, which is a bit like when you bad-mouth your friend’s ex and then they get back together. – James Corden

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a little extra pep in my step tonight because Donald Trump has left the country. Breathing a little easier. Federal judges, now would be a good time to reinstate that travel ban. – Stephen Colbert

President Trump is still on his big overseas trip. Today, he arrived in Israel and landed in Tel Aviv. Then when they welcomed him to Tel Aviv, Trump said, “Who’s Aviv and what am I supposed to tell him?” – Jimmy Fallon

I saw that today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave Trump a 150-year-old bible. Which got awkward when Trump autographed it and gave it back to him. – Jimmy Fallon

After Air Force One landed in Israel, Donald Trump reached for Melania’s hand and she slapped it away. Yeah, there’s video of it. She slaps it away. So, we’ve been wrong all this time. They apparently do have a normal marriage. – Conan O’Brien

The president and first lady visited Israel today. Trump arrived in Tel Aviv this morning with his wife Melania. He went to hold her hand and she kind of gave him a little, kind of, get-that-away-from-me. I’m no body language expert but I think that’s a sign for “I’m supposed to be shopping on Fifth Avenue right now.” – Jimmy Kimmel

It’s the first time the first lady has smacked a president since every day of Bill Clinton’s administration. – Conan O’Brien

Either that or his hand is so tiny she just didn’t see it. – Jimmy Kimmel

Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem. His staff said he was praying but people nearby heard him counting Mississippi. – Jimmy Fallon

In spite of whatever’s going on domestically, the president made history today by becoming the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall. Now, I don’t know what’s going through his head here. My guess is that he’s pretending to be praying or something. We’re not paying for this. Don’t get any ideas. – Jimmy Kimmel

President Trump visited the Jewish holy site, the Western Wall, in east Jerusalem today. He also said the wall was the reason Israel doesn’t have any Mexicans. – Seth Meyers

Now, while in Israel, Trump visited a sacred historical site, the Western Wall. He wasn’t praying at the wall, he was shopping. “This is beautiful stone, beautiful stone. How much does 2,000 miles of this wall cost?” – James Corden

Even brought out a tape measure. “Melania, how big is Mexico?” – Seth Meyers

Before his visit to Israel, Trump was in Saudi Arabia. This is where the wheels came off. First of all, his commerce secretary was on TV raving about how there were no protesters in Saudi Arabia. Because protesters are beheaded in Saudi Arabia. That’s why. People without heads tend not to speak out. – Jimmy Kimmel

Somehow, the Saudi king always gets the U.S. president to bow. It happened to George Bush in 2008, and Obama in 2009. Trump gave Obama a lot of grief for that. So, there was “no way” Trump was going to bow when King Salman gave him the medal. Here he is going from the knees — trying not to — and the bow, and a little curtsy at the end there. – Stephen Colbert

President Trump was given an official welcome ceremony in Saudi Arabia this weekend where he was greeted with an honorary collar. As opposed to Michael Flynn who could soon be presented with an honorary anklet. – Seth Meyers

The Saudis know that the quickest way to Trump’s heart is through his ego. So they put up Trump-themed billboards everywhere. Including one of his tweets, “Great to be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Looking forward to the afternoon and evening ahead. #Potus-abroad.” – Stephen Colbert

They even put one of his tweets on the welcome sign. “Welcome to Riyadh. Rosie O’Donnell is a fat pig.” – Stephen Colbert

In both Israel and Saudi Arabia, many U.S. journalists are being barred from Trump press events because they’re women. – Conan O’Brien

As opposed to here in the U.S. where they’re barred from Trump press events because they’re journalists. – Conan O’Brien

I saw that the president of Egypt told Trump he has a unique personality. And Trump told him that he had nice shoes. Sounds less like two world leaders, more like a bad Tinder date. – Jimmy Fallon

President Trump said today he never mentioned the word “Israel” as the source of intelligence about ISIS during a meeting with Russian officials. Dude, nobody said you did. That’s like if your wife said, “Are you having an affair?” And you said, “I am not sleeping with Jenna.” – Seth Meyers

A company has released a GPS with President Trump’s voice as a navigator. It doesn’t guide you anywhere. It just keeps reminding you that he won the Electoral College. – Conan O’Brien


A Closer Look at Kansas

Business Insider has a detailed analysis of Kansas’s Grand Conservative Experiment of reducing the size of their government by cutting taxes and cutting government. They did something interesting in that they analyzed the results based on the results predicted by Governor Sam Brownback’s administration:

Nick Jordan, the state’s revenue secretary, said the administration ultimately imagines the creation of 22,000 more jobs over ‘normal growth’ and 35,000 more people moving into the state over the next five years. And he expects the tax changes to expand disposable income by $2 billion over the same period.

Those are fairly precise predictions, so let’s look at the results:

  1. Promise: 22,000 more jobs over “normal growth”. Reality: 25,000 fewer jobs compared to “normal growth” — a difference of 47,000 jobs. The number of jobs actually declined.
  2. Promise: 35,000 more people moving into the state. Reality: 50,000 fewer people moving into the state — a difference of 85,000.
  3. Promise: $2 billion increase in disposable income. Reality: disposable income decreased by $18 billion — a difference of $20 billion.

That’s right, in every case the promised increases not only did not appear, but they turned into decreases.

Even worse, if you measure the results in the four neighboring states, none of which enacted tax or services cuts, the four states did much better than Kansas. In fact, even in areas where before the cuts Kansas was doing better than their neighbors, after the tax cuts Kansas did worse.

How much more proof do you need that trickle-down economics is a complete failure?

Apparently much more, because even now, Donald Trump and the Republicans are working hard to enact a tax agenda that is frighteningly similar to what was done in Kansas:

President Trump’s tax plan, for instance, includes trillions of dollars in tax cuts that would flow overwhelmingly to millionaires and wealthy corporations.

It even includes a very similar proposal to Brownback’s policy of giving a special low tax rate for so-called “pass-through” income.

Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. I applaud the Kansas legislature, who despite being solidly Republican voted to repeal Brownback’s tax cuts and even overrode his veto. Let’s hope that the Republicans in Congress can also wake up.

UPDATE: Considering that Sam Brownback is one of the least popular governors in the US (even Republicans are turning against him), he needs to start looking for a new job. And Donald Trump is having a very hard time finding anyone willing to work for him. So it is not a surprise to anyone that Brownback is being vetted for a position in the Trump administration. Brownback must be very desperate.


The Jeff Sessions

First, Conan O’Brien reveals how you can tell when Jeff Sessions may be stretching the truth:

Second, Kate McKinnon reveals that her favorite person to impersonate is Sessions, and the facial trick that she uses to do it:

My only question is whether Sessions is related to The Grinch.


Late Night Political Humor

[Jokes from May 18, 2017]

President Trump is having one heck of a week. The Justice Department appointed a special counsel to investigate ties between his campaign and Russia, which he did not like at all. But sources inside the White House say when he found out about it, he didn’t yell or scream. He told his staff, “We have nothing to hide.” He was calm. He punched Sean Spicer in the stomach a few times. – Jimmy Kimmel

The announcement of a special counsel [to investigate the Trump administration] shocked everyone, including the White House, which reportedly only got 30 minutes warning before the announcement went public. Sean Spicer barely had time to dive in the hedges and cover himself with mud. He learned that from Schwarzenegger in “Predator.” – Stephen Colbert

The Justice Department yesterday appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation into Trump and Russia. “I’m gonna get to the bottom of this,” said Donald Trump to a pint of Haagen-Dazs. – Seth Meyers

The twist is that the counsel was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Remember Rosenstein? Last week when the administration was looking for someone to blame for the Comey firing, they tried to throw Rosenstein under the bus — forgetting that as deputy AG, he’s actually the bus DRIVER. Next stop: Indictment Avenue. – Stephen Colbert

It’s been a wild week for President Donald Trump. On Wednesday, the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to investigate Trump’s connections to Russia. Robert Mueller will be the special counsel. And today, Trump reacted by saying, “No fair, why does that guy get to be called special?” – James Corden

I’m kidding; Trump reacted by tweeting, of course. This morning, Donald Trump tweeted that he is the victim of “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.” The single greatest — even when he’s whining, Trump still has to be the greatest. – James Corden

Then this morning at 7:52 a.m. he got on Twitter and wrote: “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.” Even his witch hunts are the greatest in American history. – Jimmy Kimmel

President Trump today called the appointment of a special counsel to investigate his campaign’s ties to Russia “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.” Though it didn’t help his case much when he flew away on a broom. – Seth Meyers

Meanwhile, Trump started tweeting again. Today he criticized the Russia investigation, saying, “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.” Then one guy was like, “Do you still want to see my birth certificate?” – Jimmy Fallon

He also posted, “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign and Obama administration, there was never a special counsel appointed.” I’m not sure if he’s bragging about that. Maybe that’s because neither one of them fired the person who was investigating them at the time? – Jimmy Kimmel

The new special counsel is former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is Trump’s worst nightmare — a competent adult who owes him nothing and who, I am guessing, has not seen “The Apprentice.” – Stephen Colbert

Tomorrow Trump will leave for Saudi Arabia, even though he publicly bashed the country while he was campaigning. The only way staffers got him to go was by telling him he gets to meet Aladdin and Princess Jasmine. – Jimmy Fallon

With all the drama going on, Trump is getting out of town, he’s headed to Saudi Arabia tomorrow. He’s going to give — this is not a joke — he’s there to give a speech on Islam. Seems like a good idea. I’m sure the Muslim community is very eager to hear the orange man who’s trying to ban them from the country give a little speech. “Islam is fantastic, I have so many Muslim friends.” – Jimmy Kimmel

Trump will be out of the country for nine days. See, this is when they should put that travel ban in place. You know? – Jimmy Kimmel

According to multiple reports, there may be some changes when the president gets back from his trip. White House “stress secretary” Sean Spicer might not be allowed to do the daily press briefings anymore, which would be a shame because that’s one of my favorite shows right now. – Jimmy Kimmel

During a press conference this afternoon, President Trump said that his administration is getting things done at a record-setting pace. For example, most presidents take four years to finish a term and it looks like Trump’s going to get it done in, like, eight months. – Seth Meyers

A recording just came out from a closed-door meeting where Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy says he thinks Vladimir Putin actually pays Donald Trump. Trump said he never accepted any money from Putin, because he was paid entirely in KFC gift cards. – Jimmy Fallon

A Girl Scout troop leader in Kentucky is on the run from police after she allegedly stole $15,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies. The suspect is now at large. And getting larger every minute. – James Corden

Rapper A$AP Rocky had $1.5 million worth of jewelry stolen from his home in Los Angeles earlier this week. Well, here’s a free tip: Stop spelling your name with a dollar sign. That’s like having the license plate “I LUV COCAINE” and being surprised when the cops pull you over. – Seth Meyers

A princess in Japan is giving up her royal status so she can marry a commoner. Which is something she’ll definitely bring up in every single fight she has with her husband. “Your friends are coming over for dinner? I gave up being a princess for you.” – Jimmy Fallon


Keep Calm!

If you ever wonder what it might be like to find yourself in the middle of a terrorist incident, there is a good essay from an American who was right in the middle of the terrorist attack in London.

But the most interesting part are his conclusions. I’ll just quote one of them:

Keep calm and carry on

I wish we hadn’t built a memorial after 9/11. I wish we’d just rebuilt those same two towers, but even taller, if only to say “You didn’t beat us: we still here. You knock down these towers, we build them right back.”

The West is still strong, and no one can defeat it from the outside. That’s why terrorism exists as a tactic: terrorists know they can’t beat a Western army on the battlefield, so they resort instead to cowardly and cruel acts of killing civilians to try to provoke us into beating ourselves. They want us to overreact and do something that accidentally kills civilians in Muslim countries or alienates Muslims in Western countries. That’s how you recruit people to your side: by showing people they’re the “us” in a war of us-against-them.

And as scary as Saturday’s events were, I continually remind myself that statistically speaking, the most dangerous thing I did Saturday was the taxi ride from the airport.

That’s right. Being killed in a terrorist incident has similar odds to being struck by an asteroid.

His conclusion: “It’s only if we give in to fear that the terrorists win.” We should be more like this guy, who fled the terrorist attack carefully carrying his pint of beer:


Late Night Political Humor

[Jokes from May 16, 2017]

According to the New York Times, President Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. And that comes on the heels of revelations that Trump shared highly classified information with Russian officials last week. You know, at this point, I’d give anything to return to the simpler days of the campaign. The days when the only thing he gave away was his autograph. – Seth Meyers

I just want to see you sign hats again, Mr. President. Re-sign that hat. Still a lot of hats out there you can get back to. – Seth Meyers

The Washington Post is reporting that President Trump revealed classified information to Russian officials in the Oval Office last week. And there’s talk that Congress might investigate him for it. Trump says he has nothing to hide and that he’ll fire whoever’s investigating him anyway. So, doesn’t matter. – Jimmy Fallon

The big story today is that Donald Trump shared secret information with the Russians last week. The good news for Trump is that he’s been named Employee of the Month by Russia. – James Corden

Apparently — this is being reported in the Washington Post — Trump was showing off for his guests telling the Russians: “I get great Intel. I have people brief me on great Intel every day.” Well, yeah. You’re the president. It’s the job. – Stephen Colbert

It’s like the guy working the fry station saying, “You would not believe the tater tots I have access to.” – Stephen Colbert

Trump revealed secret information about ISIS to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador. Trump was like, “Don’t worry, I traded the information for three magic beans.” – Jimmy Fallon

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster today defended President Trump for sharing classified information with Russia, saying, “The president wasn’t even aware where the information came from.” Well, that doesn’t surprise me. I would bet Trump isn’t even sure where babies come from. – Seth Meyers

Israel was the source of the intelligence Trump gave to the Russians. And oopsa shalom — Trump is scheduled to visit Israel next week. That is really going to be one awkward state dinner. “Mr. President, can you please pass the hummus, or would you prefer to pass it directly to Russia?” – Stephen Colbert

A new Gallup poll finds that President Trump’s approval rating has dropped to 38 percent. You know it’s bad when your approval ratings reach the numbers where you get concerned your phone is going to die. – Seth Meyers

It is rumored that Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle could replace Sean Spicer as White House press secretary. Spicer’s friends were going to take him out for drinks, but he said, “Actually, I’ve been drunk since January.” – Jimmy Fallon

Hillary Clinton is forming a group called Onward Together, a political organization that is anti-Trump. Experts are calling it bold, ambitious, and six months too late. – James Corden

Last week, a man in Washington State tried to get out of drug charges by bribing the policeman with Taco Bell. Um, “nacho” smart. Police got suspicious of narcotics when they saw the man doing 75 miles per hour — he was on foot. – James Corden

A new study found that more than half of American doctors are burnt out, exhausted, and losing their sense of purpose. So, if your doctor seems burnt out, exhausted, and losing their sense of purpose, ask if Zoloft might be right for them. – Jimmy Fallon

Hackers have stolen a copy of the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie and are holding it for ransom. Yeah. They could release this movie illegally. I guess you could say it’s a “pirated” video. – James Corden


The Erosion of Trump’s Base

The numbers guy, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight has been sifting through the data and as usual has come up with a conclusion that contradicts conventional wisdom — Donald Trump’s base is actually shrinking.

But, I hear you say, a somewhat stable 35% to 40% of the country approves of Donald Trump. That’s not shrinking. However, the number of people who strongly approve of Trump is eroding. In February, 30% of Americans strongly approved of Trump, but that number has now declined to 21 or 22%. Or as Silver puts it “Far from having unconditional love from his base, Trump has already lost almost a third of his strong support.”

Silver’s point is that people who strongly approve of Trump are not just going to switch all the way to disapproving of him. Erosion happens over time.

Not surprisingly, many of the people who used to strongly approve of Trump have become people who “somewhat approve” of him, and that category has actually increased (but only slightly).

Meanwhile, the number of people who strongly disapprove of Trump has risen sharply, to the point where the number of people who approve of Trump (either strongly or somewhat) has become smaller than the number who strongly disapprove of him. In fact, twice as many voters strongly disapprove of Trump as strongly approve of him. That is what you call an “enthusiasm gap”, which is a very bad sign for the Republicans in midterm elections.

We are already seeing actual results from this enthusiasm gap. On Tuesday, Virginia had a primary to pick candidates for statewide offices, including governor. 540,000 Democrats voted, compared to 365,000 Republicans. This is also a historical increase, as in 2009, only 320,000 Democrats voted in that primary.

And finally, this is just the start of the problems for Republicans. In a new poll, young people (18 to 34 years old) absolutely hate Trump — only 19% of them approve of him. Even if you just limit this to Republicans, only 35% approve. Given that most people’s political beliefs become set by the time they first vote, this is not good news for Trump or the Republicans.


Who Would Do That?

Seth Meyers hits the nail on the head. Not just about Donald Trump’s crazy behavior, but also who would believe anything Trump says? It is so easy to catch him in a lie, even obvious lies.

Who cares if Trump made recordings of his conversations with James Comey (which he almost certainly did not)? You just have to look at publicly available video of Trump making speeches (or holding a public cabinet meeting) to see him lie.


Late Night Political Humor

[Jokes from May 15, 2017]

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news: The Washington Post reports that Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador. Good news: Trump found the leaker. – Stephen Colbert

The Washington Post this evening reported that President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during their closed-door meeting last week. You have to be kidding me! How can you let highly classified information fall into the hands of Donald Trump? – Seth Meyers

When Kislyak and Lavrov were in the Oval Office last week, Trump apparently went off script and began describing details about an Islamic state terrorist threat. That is unbelievable — Trump has a script? I don’t believe that for a minute. I need intel on that. – Stephen Colbert

The information is so sensitive, the article can’t describe in detail what was shared, but one official said, “This is code-word information.” ”Code word” means the vital aspects of the story have to be replaced with other words. You have to say things like, “The package has been delivered.” “The squirrel is in the basket.” ”The idiot is in the Oval.” – Stephen Colbert

The president, I’m sure you know, fired FBI Director James Comey last week and then tweeted this. He wrote, “James Comey better hope there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” I don’t know, if I was Donald Trump I wouldn’t mention tapes and leaking in the same sentence. Just in case. – Jimmy Kimmel

Lawmakers in Washington are now demanding if there are tapes, Trump turn them over. Not just Democrats, but Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham are urging the White House to clear the air too. Here’s the thing: Donald Trump will never release tapes because the only tapes he has were recorded on the “Access Hollywood” bus. – Jimmy Kimmel

President Trump yesterday issued a statement calling for paid family leave. Which is a little surprising until you remember that he’s already paid two families to leave. – Seth Meyers

According to the Social Security Administration, the fastest growing boy’s name in 2016 was Kylo, after Kylo Ren, the main villain in the “Star Wars” film “The Force Awakens”. I guess villains are popular right now. Which means a year from now, the hot new baby name is going to be Donald. – James Corden

Parents at a Florida school are reportedly outraged after a video surfaced of students in a classroom twerking and giving lap dances. Or as it’s called in Florida, Career Day. – Seth Meyers

Sadly the president did not get to go to Florida this weekend. He had to stay back to give the commencement speech at Liberty University on Saturday, where he inspired graduates by marveling at the size of the crowds he’s able to draw. [Video of Trump] “This is a beautiful stadium. And it is packed. I’m so happy about that.” Donald Trump is the only person who can show up at an event where families come to see their children graduate and assume the crowd is there to see him. – Jimmy Kimmel

President Trump gave a commencement speech at Liberty University on Saturday and he said, “Always have the courage to be yourself and chase your dreams.” Then he stopped talking because he ran out of fortune cookies. – Jimmy Fallon

I guess there was one awkward moment during the speech, when Trump said that there are more job openings than ever. And the students said, “Yeah, ’cause you keep firing everyone.” – Jimmy Fallon

President Trump had a message for the moms of the world yesterday. He wrote, “Wishing FLOTUS Melania and all the great mothers out there a wonderful day with family and friends.” Then he went to play golf by himself. I’m pretty sure going to play golf alone on Mother’s Day while your wife takes care of the kid is grounds for divorce, isn’t it? – Jimmy Kimmel

I have to say I’m very proud of myself. I made sure my wife had a great Mother’s Day. I got up early. I got up at 7 a.m. I quietly slipped out of bed. I left the house, didn’t come back until nighttime. That way she could have the whole day with the kids, just her and a 2-year-old and an infant. And you know what’s weird, she didn’t even thank me. – Jimmy Kimmel

Not only was it Mother’s Day, also this weekend we had the mother of all cyberattacks, the biggest cyberattack in history. More than 300,000 people and institutions in about 150 countries had their data held hostage by ransomware called WannaCry, which sounds like a new single from Harry Styles. – Jimmy Kimmel

Over the weekend, the world’s biggest-ever cyberattack spread around the globe infecting 150 countries. It’s pretty horrifying. Computers have been totally destroyed. In some cases, in extreme cases, people were forced to have actual face-to-face conversations. It was a nightmare. – James Corden

The virus involved in the attack is called ransomware and it locks up your computer and tells you that you can unlock it by paying the hackers $300. Which is kind of insulting when you think about it, when the hackers are like, “If you want your life back, you give us … $300.” That’s it? That’s all I’m worth? My life, $300? – James Corden

Now this was interesting: The virus was stopped by a computer security expert who is only 22 years old. It is incredible. It’s the first time a 22-year-old guy has stopped a virus without putting ointment on it. – James Corden

Customs officials in Malaysia have seized over 300 tortoises that were being smuggled through the airport. Three hundred tortoises, or as it’s technically known, a McConnell family reunion. – Seth Meyers

Yesterday, 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron became the youngest president in French history. You can tell he’s young ’cause after they swore him in, his first words in his speech were, “So, that just happened.” – Jimmy Fallon

South Korea just elected a new president. And I don’t know if you saw this, one of his bodyguards is so super-hot that people on the internet are losing it. This is the security guard [shows photo]. I mean come on, ladies — that guy can debrief me any time. – James Corden

I get what is going on here. The new South Korean president is kind of average-looking, you know, so why not surround yourself with someone young and hot. Did I mention Harry Styles is here all week? – James Corden

American Airlines says it’s getting rid of seat-back TV screens, because most people bring a device with them. While United’s doing the same thing on their flights, because most people just watch the live entertainment. – Jimmy Fallon

A 101-year-old man recently became the oldest person to sky dive. At least that’s the explanation coming from United Airlines. – Seth Meyers

Two people in Arkansas were arrested for stealing $5,000 worth of Little Debbie snack cakes. They were charged with theft and I assume possession of weed. – Jimmy Fallon

It’s prom season right now, and at a prom in Memphis, Tenn., the rapper Drake made an appearance attending the event with his cousin and her date. Kind of a mixed bag though, because on one hand you came to the prom with Drake. On the other hand you came to the prom with your cousin. – James Corden


Kissing Trump’s Ass

© Michael Andrew

Donald Trump held his first full cabinet meeting, and of course he started it off by praising himself and castigating the Democrats and calling them names. But then he did something that chilled me to the bone. One after another, he had his cabinet members sing his praises, like he was some kind of demigod glorious leader. Where did he get this idea from? North Korea?

The video starts with Trump’s initial self praise, included again claiming that no president in history has done as much as he has and that he has passed more legislation than any other president (easily debunked). And then blaming any problems on the Democrats. You can skip forward to the ritual kissing of the president’s ass, starting at 11:47. I challenge you to watch more than a minute of it without feeling sick:

Luckily, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer has the remedy — humor. He mocked Trump’s cabinet meeting, including one person directly quoting what Reince Priebus said in praise of Trump, which manages to crack everyone up.

© Mike Luckovich


Late Night Political Humor

[Jokes from May 11, 2017]

The big story still is Trump firing FBI Director James Comey, and it turns out Comey had six years left on his 10-year term. It’s easier get out of your FBI contract than it is your AT&T contract. – Jimmy Fallon

I think the strategist thing about how all this went down is that Trump fired James Comey by letter. He had a letter delivered to his office at the FBI. He didn’t even say, “You’re fired”, which is his catch phrase! It would be like Arnold Schwarzenegger leaving a party and just going, “See ya.” – Jimmy Kimmel

Tonight President Trump gave his first TV interview since he fired the director of the FBI on Tuesday. You know, one of the reasons they’re giving for that firing is that Trump said James Comey lost the trust of rank and file FBI agents. And today the acting head of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, flatly contradicted that. He said the vast majority of agents hold a deep positive connection to Director Comey. So he’s fired too, then, right? Everybody’s fired. – Jimmy Kimmel

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee today. It went like this: “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” “I do.” “OK. You’re fired.” – Seth Meyers

In that same interview while talking about the economy, Donald Trump used the common phrase “prime the pump”, and he then went on to say — these are his actual words — “Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.” – James Corden

Trump did an interview with The Economist in which he claims to have invented the phrase “priming the pump”. For real. He said he came up with it a couple of days ago and he thought it was good. He’s right, it is good. The phrase “priming the pump” has been around since the early 1930s. – Jimmy Kimmel

Later — this is absolutely true — Merriam-Webster Dictionary tweeted this at the president: “‘Pump priming’ has been used to refer to government expenditures since 1933.” But Trump’s not worried about criticism over this. He says that he faced the same backlash when he invented the term “on fleek.” – James Corden

Everyone is very focused on the Comey firing and whether Trump’s people colluded with the Russians — and all that is important. But I think this is even more important. Because forget everything politically, forget everything you believe for a minute, forget whether you’re a Democrat or Republican. Just clear your mind and ask yourself, what kind of a person thinks he came up with the phrase “priming the pump”? – Jimmy Kimmel

Now think about this: The dictionary is mad at Trump. But this is isn’t the first time he’s had trouble with books. You remember his inauguration when he put his hand on that Bible and it burst into flames? – James Corden

I mean, who would ever say, “Yeah, thought of that” — only a crazy person. Every sane English-speaking person knows that unless Donald Trump is secretly 120 years old, he didn’t come up with “priming the pump”. That’s a red flag for a mental disorder. Even Melania was like, “You didn’t write that.” – Jimmy Kimmel

It’s funny, every time Donald Trump does something like this, people go, “Is he crazy? Or is he crazy like a fox?” Well, I’m here to tell you there’s no fox. It’s just all crazy. – Jimmy Kimmel

Although Trump doesn’t get credit for creating the term “prime the pump”. he has created lots of other things. He has, for example, created Sean Spicer’s ulcers, soaring stock prices for Xanax, and he created — let’s not forget — he created lots of jobs for his kids. – James Corden

Today was Eat What You Want Day, but “how can you eat a father’s love?” asked Eric. – Seth Meyers

In the middle of all this, Trump met with the Russian foreign minister yesterday and the White House says Russia tricked them by posting photos of the meeting. Got suspicious when the photographer told Trump, “OK, now do silly one when you hold up nuclear codes.” – Jimmy Fallon

Today Donald Trump signed an executive order to establish a commission to investigate voter fraud. Trump says that he and his commission want to make sure every American gets a vote, and that every Russian gets two. – James Corden

In other Trump news, in an interview with The Economist published today, Trump said he might release his tax returns one day, once he’s out of office. So if we want to see those tax returns, all we have to do is get him out of office. Let’s see if we can speed that up! – James Corden

In a newly released interview, President Trump said that he might release his tax returns after he leaves the White House. So keep your eyes peeled, ’cause he leaves the White House a lot. – Seth Meyers

Now Trump’s exact quote about his tax return was, “Oh, at some point I’ll release them. Maybe I’ll release them after I’m finished because I’m very proud of them, actually, I did a good job.” Who talks about their tax forms like that? We want him to release his taxes, but at this point, I’d settle for him releasing his high school diploma. – James Corden

He says he’s going to do the right thing but after the fact. That’s like saying I’m going to put a condom on right after the baby is born. – James Corden

President Trump’s approval rating has sunk to near-historic lows. According to a new Quinnipiac poll, his approval rating is down to 36 percent. If it gets down to the 20s he might start dating it. – Jimmy Kimmel

A Confederate monument was removed today from New Orleans. No word on if they’ll relocate it to D.C., [shows photo of Jeff Sessions] like the Confederate monument they removed from Alabama. – Seth Meyers

The next season of “Scandal” will be its last. ABC is ending “Scandal.” Fortunately, the White House picked it up for four more seasons. – Jimmy Fallon

Trump claims he would have won the popular vote if there hadn’t been voter fraud but there is absolutely no proof of that. We are now just creating commissions to prove Trump’s dumb theories. I can’t wait for the report from the Senate commission on “But No Seriously, Meryl Streep Is Overrated.” – James Corden

Blue Cross is partnering with Lyft to give people rides to the doctor. It costs $600. The drivers are specially trained, and — it’s just an ambulance. – Jimmy Fallon

Ride hailing service Uber will now allow users to save addresses other than home or work for quick access in the app. So get ready to get caught! – Seth Meyers


Environment Up!

© Jen Sorensen

Jen Sorensen has some great commentary to go with her hilarious comic:

Most people seem to get the sarcasm of this cartoon, but I’d like to be clear that my intention is to neither deprecate the “feminine” nor celebrate hyper-masculinity. I’ve been wanting to write a comic for a while about how virtually everything is gendered, especially when it comes to political rhetoric. Trump’s statements about climate change (and, well, lots of other things too) are loaded with manly-man dog whistles. Which is ironic, considering that Trump is hardly a chiseled specimen of manhood — the low-energy duffer had to ride in a golf cart behind European leaders as they walked a short distance. The thing is, a large swath of the American electorate is, unfortunately, swayed by tough talk — however stupid — and a fear of being perceived as weak or female. And I’m afraid that to reach those people, you may need to “speak their language” to some extent, by appealing to ideas of toughness. But toughness should not be understood as necessarily male. Caring for the planet we inhabit is a form of strength, virtue, and personal responsibility, qualities that can apply to men and women equally. Incidentally, I wouldn’t go so far as to call Republicans “climate cucks” in real life, as that particular term has problematic alt-right origins, and I use it satirically here. But climate weaklings? Hell yeah.

It’s true. Donald Trump likes to play the tough guy, who never apologies, never backs down, and doubles down even when he is totally wrong.

Like that’s not a recipe for disaster for someone with the nuclear codes.