Senate and House leaders reached a budget deal that gives the God-King almost nothing he demanded. (More)

“It was [definitely not] a victory for Trump”

Trust the AP to lead with this outright bullshit:

Top Capitol Hill negotiators reached an agreement on a huge $1 trillion-plus spending bill that avoids a government shutdown, aides said on Sunday.

The deal means virtually all the day-to-day-operations of the federal government will be funded until September.

It was a victory for Trump, who got an extra $12.5 billion to strengthen the military and another $1.5 billion to enhance border security.

I guess the AP defines “victory” differently than anyone else on the planet. Here are the budget bill’s key provisions:

  • Budget calls for $12.5 billion increase in military spending, even though President Trump demanded $30 billion
  • $1.5 billion for border security – with strict stipulation that it be used only for technology investments and repairs to existing fencing and infrastructure
  • No allocation of money toward construction of a border wall along the frontier with Mexico
  • Budget does not include any money for a deportation force which Trump wants to remove undocumented migrants
  • There is also no cut in funding for so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ – jurisdictions that permit undocumented aliens to receive services
  • Continued federal funding for Planned Parenthood
  • $2 billion to be held in reserve for the National Institutes of Health
  • Budget maintains 99 percent of current levels of funding for the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Key Obamacare subsidies to aid lower-income earners will remain
  • $295 million to help cover a Medicaid deficit in Puerto Rico
  • Permanent extension of program that offers health benefits to coal miners
  • $407 million earmarked for wildfire relief for Western states
  • $61 million to reimburse local law enforcement in New York and Florida for the cost of protecting Trump and his family when he’s not in Washington

So he got less than half the military increase he demanded, a small increase in border security funding that expressly cannot be used for his precious wall or a deportation force, no funding cutoffs to sanctuary cities, Planned Parenthood, the NIH or EPA, or Obamacare subsidies – and Democrats got $295 million to help Puerto Rico, permanent extensions to health benefits for miners, and $407 million for wildfire relief …

… but this is “a victory for Trump” because … well … I guess that $61 million to reimburse New York and Florida law enforcement agencies for the extra protection his extravagant lifestyle demands?

As Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum puts it:

So how did the negotiator-in-chief make out? President Trump had demanded money for his southern border wall, funding for a new deportation force, spending cuts for “sanctuary cities,” defunding of Planned Parenthood, cuts in science and clean energy spending, and cuts to the NIH. I don’t think anyone really understood that last demand – who hates medical research? – but for some reason Trump wanted lower NIH spending.

Drum runs through the bill’s provisions and adds:

So there’s a bit of extra defense spending – though less than half of what Trump wanted – that nobody really objected to in the first place, and that’s it.

Well, and that extra $61 million to protect his extravagant lifestyle….

“That would require, as I understand it, a constitutional amendment. Is he really going to pursue that?”

Props to ABC’s Jonathan Karl for grilling the Outhouse Chief of Staph on the God-King’s dream to gut the First Amendment:

KARL: I want to ask you about two things the President has said on related issues. First of all, there was what he said about opening up the libel laws. Tweeting “the failing New York Times has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change the libel laws?” That would require, as I understand it, a constitutional amendment. Is he really going to pursue that? Is that something he wants to pursue?

PRIEBUS: I think it’s something that we’ve looked at. How that gets executed or whether that goes anywhere is a different story. But when you have articles out there that have no basis or fact and we’re sitting here on 24/7 cable companies writing stories about constant contacts with Russia and all these other matters—

KARL: So you think the President should be able to sue the New York Times for stories he doesn’t like?

PRIEBUS: Here’s what I think. I think that newspapers and news agencies need to be more responsible with how they report the news. I am so tired.

KARL: I don’t think anybody would disagree with that. It’s about whether or not the President should have a right to sue them.

PRIEBUS: And I already answered the question. I said this is something that is being looked at. But it’s something that as far as how it gets executed, where we go with it, that’s another issue.

So we’re clear, changing the First Amendment to let the President of the United States sue people who report news he doesn’t like would effectively end freedom of the press. And because the same libel standards apply whether a story is reported in the New York Times or merely on Twitter, the change the God-King wants would effectively end free speech. Karl pressed that detail, twice – and the Outhouse Chief of Staph still said “this is something that’s being looked at.”

“The bounds of reasonable discussion”

Speaking of … the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple was unimpressed by the New York Times’ lame defense of Bret Stephens climate change denialism, which he quotes:

If all of our columnists and all of our contributors and all of our editorials agreed all of the time, we wouldn’t be promoting the free exchange of ideas, and we wouldn’t be serving our readers very well.

The crux of the matter here is whether the questions Bret’s raising and the positions he’s taking are outside the bounds of reasonable discussion. I don’t think a fair reading of his column remotely supports that conclusion – quite the opposite, actually. He’s capturing and contributing to a vitally important debate, and engaging that debate directly helps each of us clarify what we think. We’re already getting some spirited and constructive responses, and I’m looking forward to reflecting those views in our pages, too.

Okay, what are “the bounds of reasonable discussion?” Does that mean merely not using curse words or hurling monkey feces? Can there be a “reasonable discussion” about whether and how Times owners, officers, and employees should be executed and the building demolished?

Yes, that’s absurd … but no more absurd than a “reasonable discussion” that likens climate science to voter profiling, lies about what climate scientists actually publish, ignores current events that fit the forecasts, and smears climate advocates for unspecified “hyperbole.”

Just sayin’….

“He either doesn’t understand how the American Health Care Act works, or doesn’t want to tell the truth about it”

And Vox’s Sarah Kliff debunks the God-King’s lies about the Wealthcare Act:

President Trump gave a lengthy interview Sunday morning to CBS’ John Dickerson about the Republicans’ health care plan.

His responses to basic questions – like what provisions the bill includes or how it would change the health insurance system – suggest he either doesn’t understand how the American Health Care Act works, or doesn’t want to tell the truth about it.

Simply, the bill the God-King described to Dickerson bore no resemblance to the bill House Republicans hope to pass this week. The God-King insists preexisting conditions will be covered; the Wealthcare Act will let states opt out of that, and will let insurers charge higher premiums for sick people, enough that few sick people could afford insurance. The God-King insists that deductibles will come down; the CBO says they’ll increase, and dramatically. The God-King says insurance premiums will come down … and they will, unless you’re older or sick – that is, unless you really need health insurance – in which case your premiums will skyrocket.

Kliff leaves open the possibility that the God-King hasn’t bothered to read the Wealthcare Act and is describing what he thinks it says. Yeah … no.

This fits his lifelong pattern of lying about stuff to lure in suckers, so I’m gonna go out on a limb – squirrels do that – and say he’s lying again.

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Photo Credit: Ervins Strauhmanis (CC-BY 2.0)

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Good day and good nuts