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Trump is spiraling out of control while Republicans pretend everything is fine: report

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President Donald Trump’s already erratic behavior has become even more bizarre in recent weeks leading some to speculate that he is becoming altogether untethered from reality.

Vanity Fair‘s Tina Nguyen wrote on Thursday that most Republicans are plugging their ears and hoping to pass their radical tax cut bill while ignoring the increasingly unhinged rages and tantrums of a president who “doesn’t think in terms of policy” and who shows no interest in the work of governing.

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Trump has reportedly told aides and lawmakers that he believes that the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape was faked — even though he admitted it as real and apologized for it in 2016. Privately, he has also continued to question the legitimacy of former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate — in spite of public statements disavowing “birtherism.”

“This past week in particular saw Trump plummet to levels predicted by few, making a racially insensitive joke during an event celebrating Native Americans, and retweeting propaganda videos from a far-right British group and activist,” Nguyen wrote. “And on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that, even in the wake of pushback, Trump feels emboldened, with sources adding that the president feels he can ‘largely operate with impunity.’”

In fact, White House officials are warning that Trump is set to go even wilder in the weeks ahead. If the GOP’s wildly unpopular tax bill clears the Senate, the victory will likely go straight to Trump’s head, say insiders, and no-one — neither Congress nor the president’s staff — know what direction the administration intends to take next.

“There is very little in the pipeline, and no obvious next item on the agenda after tax reform except maybe a return to health care,” said Yuval Levin of the conservative National Affairs to Politico. “Combine that with a president who doesn’t think in terms of policy, and you’ve got no clear next step.”

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Meanwhile, Republicans like Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT) are lavishing Trump with praise, calling him “one of the best presidents I’ve ever served under” or standing by and “letting Trump be Trump.”

GOP strategist John Brabender told The Washington Post, “We’re seeing the message hijacked by the messenger.”

He added, “That’s been problematic for a long time and it’s still problematic . . . Sometimes we all just scratch our heads.”

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Meanwhile, the Republican tax bill, if passed, is expected to be “catastrophic” for senior citizens and other vulnerable groups in the U.S. who will lose their healthcare coverage virtually overnight.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO)’s analysis of the tax plan said that it will grant a massive tax cut to the country’s wealthiest people while raising taxes on the majority and hit poor people the hardest. Furthermore, it would explode the national debt and decrease government revenues by $1.6 trillion dollars.


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Trump took out DNI head Dan Coats to install a new acting director in charge of whistleblowers: CIA veteran

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Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy," a longtime veteran CIA official said the whistleblower, who ran to the inspector general with a complaint about Donald Trump asking Ukraine's president for dirt on Joe Biden, should expect the president and his aides to come after them.

Speaking with host Joy Reid, Jonna Mendez said she saw the first warnings signs that something was up in the U.S. intelligence community when the president forced DNI head Dan Coats and his top deputy out.

"Through the lens of someone who spent 27 years at the CIA, the thing that caught my eye instantly was Dan Coats' resignation follow by Sue Gordon," Mendez explained. "The fact that Dan Coats went into a meeting and said 'Sue, you've got to resign' and that she did, truncating a career that clearly hadn't reached its zenith."

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2020 Election

GOP’s cancellation of presidential primaries could blow up in Trump’s face — here’s why

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In recent weeks, Republican state party committees have been moving to cancel presidential primaries to prevent Never-Trump conservatives, like former Reps. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) and former Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA), from challenging the president from the right. So far, Republicans in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina have all announced they will scrap the voting process for 2020.

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Alternet 2020

Nancy Pelosi faces serious challenges — but she’s failed miserably in two key ways

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As I wrote earlier this week, with its muddled messaging on impeachment, the House Democratic leadership may have figured out a way of both demoralizing the Democratic base and firing up Trump's supporters. It's a mess.

But fairness requires us to acknowledge an important fact: Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn't have the votes to launch an official impeachment process. And it's not close. At present, The Washington Post's tally finds 137 members of the House in favor of launching an impeachment inquiry, with 92 opposed and 6 others not taking a position. Leadership can twist arms on a close vote, but when you're close to 100 votes shy of a majority, it's impossible to whip a measure across the finish line--especially one of such consequence.

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