Putinology considered harmful: the many legends we tell ourselves about Vladimir Putin

Russian emigre -- and Putin opponent -- Keith Gessen writes at length and very well about the different guises that Vladimir Putin takes on in the imaginations of western political writers: genius, nothing, secret stroke survivor, KGB agent, killer, kleptocrat, a man with the suspicious name of "Vladimir." Read the rest

Angry Constituents Are Saving America From Trump And We Are Here For It

Person of the Year so far in 2017? The Angry Constituent.

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Milosevic, Berlusconi, Trump

I saw this coming, for the past ten years or more. I saw small Trumps, rising and tramping around, first timidly, then bravely, and finally boldly.

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Confronted by angry voters, GOP Senator Joni Ernst flees Iowa town hall through a side-door

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, a "rising star" in the GOP, ran as an "independent" thinker, but has dutifully toed the GOP line since taking office -- that's why the town halls on her "99-county tour" of Iowa are packed with angry people who want to know about Trump's relationship to the Russian government, and the GOP's plan to destroy their health care without anything credible to replace it; it's also why most of the stops on Ernst's tours are planned photo-ops at factories instead of public events where voters can actually talk to their elected rep.

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Breaking: Trump names Army Lt. Gen. HR McMaster as national security adviser, after Flynn ousted in Russia scandal

Embattled President Donald Trump has chosen Army Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster as national security adviser, replacing the disgraced and resigned Michael Flynn, whose name is stained with the still murky Russia scandal.

America's status, folks? It's complicated.

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Mental

Via John Aravosis: "Does no one in that White House do any advance work at all? Look closely. They're just sloppy." Read the rest

Li'l Trump

Tiny Trumps is a new subreddit page that features the little fella in his daily life. From Melania making sure he doesn't take a tumble to Obama doing his best not to laugh to Trumpkin entertaining Justin Trudeau, Tiny Trumps is my current go-to when I need a good chuckle. Read the rest

Trump EPA nominee Scott Pruitt ordered to release his fossil fuel emails, as EPA staff revolt

A state judge today ordered the office of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to release thousands of documents, including emails, related to Pruitt’s conversations with energy industry executives. Tomorrow, the United States Senate votes on Pruitt’s nomination to run the Environmental Protection Agency, for the administration of Donald Trump.

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Here's the weirdest, scariest stuff Trump said at 77-minute 'I’m not ranting and raving' meltdown

“Peace through strength,” Donald Trump said to reporters today in a rambling, aggressive, monologue news conference that lasted 77 minutes. Trump rattled on in circular patterns about plans to “build and rebuild” the “great” military and law enforcement. He dodged questions on Flynn, Obamacare, leaked reports of turmoil within the administration, and expressed outrage at being questioned repeatedly about “this whole Russia scam that you guys are building so that you don’t talk about the real subject which is illegal leaks.”

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Puzder to withdraw labor secretary nomination, as Team Trump fails and flails

Trump's pick for Labor Secretary is reported to be withdrawing his name from consideration.

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President Bannon welcomed to higher level of hell

Nick Douglas imagines Stephen Bannon, Trump's political brain, receiving a smarmy credit-issuer welcome letter from the Abyss in recognition of his services.

Congratulations on your upgrade to Malebolge, the Eighth Circle of the Abyss. This tier of our eternal rewards program is reserved for customers of our Fraud department, including flatterers, adulterers, hypocrites, and thieves. And what a dedicated customer you have been.

We thank you for your use of our offerings, including Graft, Pandering, Deceit, and the Promotion of Discord. You earned your Fraud points through a surprising variety of purchases, ranging from tax evasion to promoting white supremacy.

...

While Malebolge is one of our highest membership tiers, there is one higher. If you fulfill certain requirements, we would be delighted to upgrade you to Cocytus, the Ninth Circle. This lake of ice is reserved for our most honored guests, the traitors.

All others pay cash. Read the rest

Trump aides were in constant contact with top Russian officials during campaign

This is so much bigger than Watergate. America has not seen a political crisis of this magnitude for generations. The other shoe drops on #Flynngate tonight. Trump, Manafort, and Flynn's activities “raise a red flag.” The U.S. government is in "unbelievable turmoil." Who is in charge of America?

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'I hope they sort it out soon because we’re a nation at war,' says U.S. Special Operations Command chief of Trump

As Mike Flynn departs amid Russia blackmail suspicions, the dysfunction inside Trump's regime is boiling over. There's talk of multiple investigations into multiple staff members, even blaming Obama 'sleeper cells' inside the White House.

Today's New York Times includes yet another exposé of what an increasingly hobbled hot mess Team Trump is. The piece includes a whopper of a quote from one of our nation's senior-most defense officials. Get a load of this.

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Kim Jong-Un's half-brother assassinated in Malaysia

Two assassins used poisoned needles to off the disfavored half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, reports South Korean media. Kim Jong-nam was attacked in Kuala Lumpur airport by the women, who then escaped in a taxi and remain at large.

Malaysian police told Reuters an unidentified North Korean man died en route to hospital from a Kuala Lumpur airport.The police said the man's identity had not been verified. An employee in the emergency ward of Putrajaya hospital told the agency a deceased Korean there was born in 1970 and surnamed Kim. A source close to the Malaysian Prime Minister's office confirmed Mr Kim's death to the BBC, adding that his body was now undergoing an autopsy.

Kim fell into disfavor with his then-ruling father, leading to his younger brother winning the throne after his death. Nam's screw-ups included being caught trying to get into Japan on a false passport in order to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

The North Korean government's not saying anything, but you can generate a fake Press release with our North Korean press release generator. Read the rest

Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn resigns amid Russia scandal

He's out. Trump national security adviser Michael T. Flynn resigned Monday night after revelations he misled VP Mike Pence and other senior White House officials about his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States.

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The peculiar struggle to make parts of India "Open Defecation Free"

One of the high-profile campaigns by India's Prime Minister Modi is an end to the practice of defecating in public places, with access to toilets for all. Read the rest

US investigators corroborate elements of Russia dossier on Trump, CNN reports

Reporters with CNN interviewed federal investigators who confirm for the first time that some elements in that mysterious British spy's dossier on Donald Trump's Russia hijinks are legit.

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