Priebus Gets the Boot, Rough ’em Up

Shakeup: It’s impossible to keep up.

As turmoil in the White House continues, Chief Chief of Staff Reince Priebus resigned yesterday to be replaced by Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly.

Priebus has been in the crosshairs for weeks, the target of the President’s rage about leaks from his staff and the failure to push a healthcare bill through Congress. This past week Priebus was the object of open and obscenely-expressed repudiation by the new Director of Communications, Anthony Scaramucci. Expressing no bitterness, Priebus told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “The president has a right to change direction. The president has a right to hit the reset button.”

Trump tweeted about Kelly, “He is a Great American and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration.” Kelly is a retired four-star Marine general who’s been running the iron-fisted campaign to deport illegal immigrants.

Just a week after the departure of Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the latest shakeup says that Trump has been unable to establish a functioning administration. In just six months he has fired his national security adviser, the FBI director, the acting attorney general, and his press secretary.

Street Justice: In a speech to law enforcement officers on Long Island yesterday, Trump endorsed roughing up suspects and the cops cheered. “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head, I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’”

Trump said current laws protect criminals more than cops. “You do something wrong, you’re in more jeopardy than they are. These laws are stacked against you. We’re changing those laws.”

Fake President: After offering no ideas and little leadership to repeal and replace Obamacare, Trump was on Twitter yesterday blaming other people for his party’s utter failure and promising the collapse of the existing healthcare system. “3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!”

The failure is deeply embedded in the Republican leadership which, after seven years of promising to kill Obamacare and replace it, was bereft of ideas to actually improve health insurance for 30 million people. Their entire focus was on repealing or crippling Obamacare, not improving it.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona is being cast as a hero for coming to his senses and providing the one vote that was a silver bullet in the heart of the Republican effort. It failed 49-51. But the real heroes were Senators Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska who, like Ginger Rogers, had to dance backwards and in high heels to lead the men.

Having a Blast: North Korea launched another ballistic missile yesterday, one day after Congress voted to increase sanctions on the Hermit Kingdom along with Russia and Iran. The missile flew for about 45 minutes, suggesting it may have a longer range than any previous missile launched by the North.

Your Friendly Banker: Wells Fargo Bank charged about 800,000 car loan customers for insurance they didn’t want or need, according to an internal report. The added expense pushed about 274,000 customers into delinquency and led to 25,000 wrongful vehicle repossessions, according to the 60-page report obtained by The New York Times. Some of the gouged customers included service members on active duty.

This doesn’t help Wells Fargo, which is still trying to repair its image after the revelation that its employees created millions of phony accounts in the name of real customers in order to meet sales targets.

Death Be Not Proud: Charlie Gard, the British infant with irreversible brain damage who was the subject of an international legal dispute in an effort to save him, died yesterday, a day after a court ruled that he could be removed from life support. The boy who was just a week short of his first birthday had a genetic disorder. He could not see, hear, or even swallow.

Social Notes: Deirdre Ball, the wife of rookie White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, has filed for divorce after just three years of marriage.

Emily Smith writes in the NY Post that Ball is sick of the Mooch’s “naked political ambition” and that she became “fed up with his ruthless quest to get close to President Trump, whom she despises.”

Can the whole country get in on that divorce?


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

" 'The enemy of the people,'" was what the president of the United States called the free press in 2017 ... It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase 'enemy of the people,' that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of 'annihilating such individuals' who disagreed with the supreme leader."
Arizona republican Sen. Jeff Flake speaking on the floor today.

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