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Nothing ‘to lose’: White House officials warn ‘quick-triggered’ Trump will go further off the rails

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If you think the last few days of President Donald Trump’s presidency have been crazy, watch out. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

White House officials expect the increasingly emboldened president to become even more outrageous in the coming months, especially if Republicans manage to pass a major tax reform bill, reported both Axios and the Washington Post.

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“Officials tell us Trump seems more self-assured, more prone to confidently indulging wild conspiracies and fantasies, more quick-triggered to fight than he was during the Wild West of the first 100 days in office,” reported Mike Allen for Axios.

Trump, who overcame a never-ending deluge of scandals during his campaign, hasn’t faced any pushback from the GOP congressional majority.

“If there are consequences for his actions, Trump does not seem to feel their burden personally,” reported the Post‘s Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker. “The Republican tax bill appears on track for passage, putting the president on the cusp of his first major legislative achievement. Trump himself remains the ­highest-profile man accused of sexual improprieties to keep his job with no repercussions.”

The president has this week attacked individual media figures by name, called for the boycott or investigation of others, re-tweeted virulently anti-Muslim videos posted by a British fascist, cast doubts on the “Access Hollywood” tape he has already admitted was real, and again pressured the Department of Justice to bend to his will.

Allen, a longtime Washington insider, suggested the president would become even more unrestrained if Roy Moore, whom he’s endorsed despite multiple allegations of child molestation, wins election to the U.S. Senate in Alabama.

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“Trump has internalized the belief that he can largely operate with impunity, people close to him said. His political base cheers him on,” the Post reported. “Fellow Republican leaders largely stand by him. His staff scrambles to explain away his misbehavior — or even to laugh it off. And the White House disciplinarian, chief of staff John F. Kelly, has said it is not his job to control the president.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said this week that Trump was “one of the best presidents I’ve served under,” and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) praised the president’s efforts on the tax reform bill.

Alex Castellanos, a GOP campaign consultant, said Trump’s hardcore supporters like his aggressively unhinged behavior.

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“A strong daddy bear is what a lot of voters want,” he said. “Right or wrong, at least he’s fighting for us.”

He said the highly polarized political environment gave Trump plenty of room to operate however he pleases.

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“In an intensely polarized world, you can’t burn down the same house twice,” Castellanos added. “What has Donald Trump got to lose at this point?”


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In a secluded region in Russia’s Arctic they are rejecting Putin in rare protest

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Lyudmila Laptander, an activist advocating autonomy for her mineral-rich Nenets region in the Russian Arctic, worries authorities are planning to sacrifice its traditions for the promise of economic enrichment.

"If Nenets is merged with another region, I worry that no one will look after our language or our traditions, and that our small villages in the tundra will be forgotten," said Laptander, 61, a member of the Yasavey cultural group.

The autonomous region on the edge of the Arctic Ocean was gripped by protests in May against the government's plans to integrate it with neighbouring Arkhangelsk.

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People are paying to hire this donkey to crash their Zoom meetings

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The coronavirus pandemic has led millions of people to embrace meetings via Zoom, but admittedly, those can be as tedious as in-person conferences.

So one animal sanctuary in Canada, in dire need of cash after being forced to close to visitors, found a way to solve both problems.

Meet Buckwheat, a donkey at the Farmhouse Garden Animal Home, who is ready to inject some fun into your humdrum work-from-home office day -- for a price.

"Hello. We are crashing your meeting, we are crashing your meeting -- this is Buckwheat," says sanctuary volunteer Tim Fors, introducing the gray and white animal on a Zoom call.

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Republican senators are suddenly trying to social distance — from Trump

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There’s something interesting in today’s news:

A number of Republican Senators have said they are skipping the Republican National Convention this year. The convention was originally scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina, but at Trump’s insistence was relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, last month. The stated reason was that Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper would not commit to permitting a full convention out of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, but the abrupt switch to Florida, less than 80 days before the convention, still seems odd to me. Regardless, the switch has created a new problem: Florida is in the midst of a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases, setting a record for new cases in a single day during the weekend —11,458—and running low of ICU beds.

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