Obama slams Trump for rescinding DACA, calls move ‘cruel’

Washington (CNN)Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday bashed his successor’s decision to rescind an immigration order shielding some children of undocumented immigrants from deportation, calling the move “cruel” and “self-defeating.”

“To target these young people is wrong — because they have done nothing wrong,” Obama wrote in a post on Facebook hours after the decision was announced by President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “It is self-defeating — because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel.”
The lengthy statement is among Obama’s most forceful since departing office. Though he didn’t mention Trump by name, he sharply criticized the President’s motives and insisted rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was not legally required.
    “It’s a political decision, and a moral question,” Obama wrote. “Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us.”
    Obama said he hoped lawmakers pass a bill allowing those eligible for the DACA program to remain in the United States. And he framed the decision as a question of “basic decency.”
    “This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated,” he wrote. “It’s about who we are as a people — and who we want to be.”
    Former President Bill Clinton joined Obama in calling Trump’s decision “cruel.”
    “It’s wrong because it’s bad policy that solves no pressing problem and raises new ones. It’s wrong because it’s irresponsible, passing the buck instead of offering sensible solutions for immigration reform. Most of all, it’s wrong because it’s cruel to send these young people to places many of them have never lived and do not know. For them this is home. The United States is their home,” Clinton said in a statement on Tuesday.
    Clinton’s statement also called on Congress to act immediately to “protect their status and pave the way for their future and America’s future.”
    Former Vice President Joe Biden also criticized Trump’s move.
    “Brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here. Now they’ll be sent to countries they’ve never known. Cruel. Not America,” Biden tweeted.

    Promised to speak out

    Just before leaving office in January, Obama told reporters during a news conference that he would speak out sparingly in his post-presidency. But he said revoking DACA was among the actions that would prompt him to weigh in.
    “The notion that we would just arbitrarily or because of politics punish those kids, when they didn’t do anything wrong themselves, I think would be something that would merit me speaking out,” Obama said at the time.
    DACA amounts to Obama’s chief legacy item on immigration, though it’s far reduced from the vision for major changes that he entered office promising.
    During his first years in office, Obama focused heavily on repairing a damaged economy. Instead of immigration, he chose health care as his first major legislative push.
    He approved the program in 2012 after unsuccessful efforts in Congress to pass a measure that would allow children of undocumented immigrants brought into the country illegally to avoid deportation.
    During most of his first term, Obama insisted that taking action unilaterally to spare DACA recipients from deportation wasn’t possible. Instead, he said it was up to Congress to craft a solution.
    But after legislative efforts failed, Obama asked his attorney general and other administration lawyers to reassess his options for taking executive action. His administration argued that circumstances had changed after Congress was unable to pass legislation.
    Months before his re-election, he announced in the Rose Garden that he was taking action on his own, though qualified his move as a short-term fix.
    “This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix,” Obama said. “This is a temporary stopgap measure.”
    His decision ignited controversy and legal challenges, though polls show a large majority of Americans support measures that would allow people who came to the country illegally as children to remain.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/05/politics/obama-daca/index.html

    You Are The United Nations Secretary-General! Can You Use The Bathroom For 5 Freaking Minutes Without World War III Breaking Out?

    This is the United Nations, the center of global diplomacy. Countries from all over the world gather here to bicker about their differences and get nothing accomplished. This may seem like a huge waste of time, but it’s actually much better than the alternative, which is World War III.

    Yes, it would be very bad. Every human would die, and the Earth would become a radioactive cinder. World War III is one of the worst things that could happen.

    No, it would be very bad. Every human would die, and the Earth would become a radioactive cinder. World War III is one of the worst things that could happen.

    You are the U.N. secretary-general, the director of the United Nations. This is you.

    Running the United Nations is a challenging job, but you know how important your work is. Without your tireless diplomatic efforts, World War III could erupt at any moment.

    This is the start of a new day, and it’s bound to be a stressful one. You have just enough time for a soothing chamomile tea before you talk to world leaders and try to delay nuclear holocaust a little bit longer.

    Soon the weight of the world will be on your shoulders, but right now, for one brief moment, you can revive your spirits with the calming taste of chamomile.

    The second you swallow the tea your bowels seize up in knots. Number one and number two are stirring through your guts like a pair of incestuous pythons, angrily slamming against the walls of your intestine and bladder. What the hell did you just drink?

    Oh no. You wanted to make chamomile tea, but must have grabbed the wrong box. You have to find a bathroom, fast.

    Maybe you should do a little diplomacy first though, before you visit the toilet. You’ve already left the world unattended while you had your tea, and there’s no telling what mischief the countries are getting themselves into.

    Diplomacy can wait five minutes. You desperately waddle straight to the bathroom.

    While you’re in the bathroom, World War III occurs, and a nuclear shockwave obliterates New York City, which is where the United Nations headquarters is. You are instantly killed without even realizing there’s a problem. Soon every other city on Earth is also erased by nuclear hellfire.

    Within minutes, a global population of billions is reduced to millions. The survivors struggle on for several decades, their numbers continually dwindling due to radiation sickness and famine caused by nuclear winter. The few that survive are often infertile from constant background irradiation.

    Fifty years after World War III, fewer than 100,000 humans remain alive on the face of the Earth, surviving in scattered hunter-gatherer tribes. They eke out a tough existence on the toxic husk of the Earth, but even those hardened nomad bands are slowly killed off by the inhospitable wasteland.

    Five hundred years after World War III, only two humans are left on Earth, a mother and her son. They live on the outskirts of the radioactive ruin of what was once called Cincinnati, eating cockroaches to survive. She dies of cancer when the boy is 10 years old. He lives the rest of his life alone on a dead planet, making up imaginary friends to keep himself company. He dies at the age of 49 from an untreated tooth infection.

    This tragic fate befell humanity because you couldn’t hold in your feces for a few minutes before using the bathroom. It didn’t have to be this way.

    You visit the conference room where ambassadors hang out to argue with each other. “Good morning, Mr. Secretary-General,” the diplomats greet you in unison.

    Your stomach is rumbling like a blender full of rocks. You really need to wrap up this diplomacy stuff, pronto.

    You deliver a long and eloquent speech on the importance of diplomacy, ignoring the furious writhing of your intestine. Unfortunately, you take too long. As soon as your finish speaking, your colon erupts in a geyser of shit. Liquid rivers of warm dung flow down your pant leg, over your shoes, and spread across the floor like the Exxon Valdez spill.

    “Hey, the secretary-general just shit his pants!” screams the Belgian ambassador.

    “Whoa, what a loser!” shouts the Japanese ambassador. “We used to respect him, but he can’t even keep his crap inside his body where it belongs.”

    “All these years, we’ve listened to him when he told us that World War III would be bad,” says the Chilean ambassador. “But now that we know he’s actually an idiot who shits his pants, what if that means World War III would be good?”

    Excited murmurs start to fill the room. “Yeah, World War III!” “The Big War!” “World War III would be good!” “Nukes nukes nukes nukes!”

    The ambassadors ignore your desperate pleas and phone their home countries to tell them to start World War III. It doesn’t take long before a nuclear shockwave reduces the United Nations to radioactive ash, and you with it.

    The French ambassador clears his throat. “Yes, we are about to go to war with our hated enemy England.”

    Uh-oh, he’s lifting weights. This is a traditional form of diplomatic saber rattling that countries use to show their power. If he’s doing exercise at the United Nations, that means armed conflict could erupt between France and England at any second.

    “The arrogant and imperialistic British have been hogging Stonehenge all for themselves. Why do they get to own Stonehenge? They didn’t even build Stonehenge, it was druids a long time ago. France should get a turn owning Stonehenge. If not, we have no choice but to start World War III.”

    The diplomats watch you in puzzled silence as you struggle to control your spastic bowels. After a few perilous seconds you manage to resist defecating, for at least a little bit longer.

    The English ambassador scoffs disdainfully. “How dare the devious French try to take our Stonehenge, when they’ve been selfishly hoarding the Eiffel Tower all to themselves for years. If France wants to do World War III, England welcomes the chance to best them in a contest of nukes. After we win, we’ll bring the Eiffel Tower to London where it belongs.”

    With your blessing, England and France begin lobbing nuclear weapons at each other, destroying both Stonehenge and the Eiffel Tower, as well as all their cities and buildings and people.

    The destruction of two countries would be bad enough, but England and France were both NATO signatories. As soon as they went to war, that invoked Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which declares that an attack against one NATO member is an attack against all and must be responded to with military action. All the other NATO members fulfill their obligations to defend England and France from England and France by bombing England and France. Attacking England and France invokes Article 5 of NATO again, which forces all the NATO nations to start bombing all the NATO nations that attacked England and France, including themselves.

    You are killed in a nuclear explosion when the United States retaliates against the United States by bombing the United States.

    Knowing that your bowels could evacuate the entire frozen package of hot dogs you ate this morning at any moment, you have to propose a peace treaty between England and France on how to equitably divide Stonehenge and the Eiffel Tower, and pronto!

    The British ambassador falls silent for a long moment, then takes a nude photo of the queen out of his briefcase. “This photo of the queen’s glorious bare body is one of England’s most treasured possessions,” he says gravely, handing it to the French ambassador. “England will not trade it for anything less precious than the Eiffel Tower.”

    The French ambassador examines the photo for a few seconds. “She looks pretty good for her age,” he says with utter solemnity.

    The British ambassador nods. “Yeah, she’s in her nineties. Not bad at all.”

    The two ambassadors shake hands, signaling a new era of peace between their countries. Now that you’ve averted war, nothing stops you from running to the bathroom.

    “The Mona Lisa is one of France’s most valued treasures,” says the French ambassador in a hushed and reverent tone. “We stole that painting from the Italians, and it’s ours now. Until now, we’ve had a policy to never paint on the Mona Lisa, but we would break that rule in exchange for Stonehenge.”

    “Manchester United rules!” shouts the English ambassador. “They kick the ball very well. We’d be honored to have Mona Lisa become a fan of Manchester.”

    The two ambassadors shake hands, signaling a new era of peace between their countries. Now that you’ve averted war, nothing stops you from running to the bathroom.

    You sprint toward the toilets, using every ounce of willpower to contain the furious contents of your twitching asshole. The door of the U.N.’s bathroom beckons to you like a lighthouse in a storm.

    You stride triumphantly toward the toilets, ready to drop your pants and destroy the plumbing. There’s no time to spare either, because shit is ramming against your sphincter like Vikings at the castle gates.

    There are four stalls in this bathroom. Which one do you want to use?

    Wow, you just offended a Nobel Prize winner, and you still have a runaway brown train chugging down your colon, next stop sphincter junction. And without your guidance, World War III could break out in the general assembly at any time. Better make this quick!

    Which stall do you want to use?

    You open the door to the first stall, and a young woman sitting on the toilet shrieks in alarm.

    “Excuse me, this stall is occupied!” screams Malala Yousafzai. “What the fucking hell is wrong with you? Can’t a Nobel Prize winner take a dump in peace?”

    “Well, fucking knock next time! Now get lost, so I can finish up in here and get back to a conference on the importance of women’s education in the developing world.”

    The Dalai Lama is sitting on the toilet. “Suffering must be our teacher, not our master,” he says while smiling at you benevolently. There is a quiet continuous sound of trickling urine.

    “You are filled with sorrow,” says the Dalai Lama. “Instead, be joyous, for the world’s beauty is all around you!” Urine continues to steadily trickle.

    “Our needs and wants are roadblocks on the path to nirvana.” The sound of urine slows down to intermittent spurts, and eventually stops entirely. Five quiet seconds pass as the Dalai Lama smiles at you. Then suddenly urine starts pouring again twice as loud as before.

    You drop your pants and seat your bare ass on the Dalai Lama’s naked thighs. In response, the Buddhist spiritual leader calmly takes a can of mace out of his robes and pepper-sprays you in the eyes.

    The world is a painful blur. You try to fumble your way to the sinks to wash the pepper spray from your stinging eyes, but instead accidentally wander out of the bathroom into the U.N.’s hallway, right in front of an elementary school tour group.

    There are shocked gasps and giggles from the students as you waddle around with your fallen pants, reluctantly shitting a breadcrumb trail of turds behind you.

    Police handcuff you and throw you in the back of a squad car. You face some pretty serious charges. Shitting in front of minors will get you put on the sex offender registry, which will get you fired from your job at the United Nations and make it impossible to ever get employed again.

    However, you’re never charged for your crimes. On your way to the police station, World War III happens, and you’re disintegrated by a nuclear explosion.

    Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is sitting on the toilet. “Occupied,” says the brutal tyrant. “My bad, I should have locked the door.”

    “No, they only killed one of my body doubles,” says Gaddafi. “I was at the United Nations for a diplomatic summit when my government was overthrown, so I decided to lay low and live in the bathroom here.”

    “Sure, help yourself,” says Gaddafi as he stands and pulls up his pants. “Heads up, though, I just dropped a monster deuce, and this toilet is completely clogged. Sorry about that.”

    The odor from the toilet is absolutely horrendous. Gaddafi’s dump smells like a combination of dog sweat and spoiled cheesecake. You flick the handle a few times, but it doesn’t flush. You definitely do not want to sit on top of that mess, but you need a toilet and you’re getting desperate.

    You sit down on top of the steaming dung and defecate. It’s pretty gross feeling the polluted Gaddafi-water splash up against your ass cheeks, but at least you get rid of your diarrhea.

    You have succeeded in using the toilet for five minutes without World War III breaking out, so congratulations! Technically, you win! On the downside, you get all kinds of weird diseases from exposure to Gaddafi’s shit, which is to be expected from someone who slept with thousands of prostitutes and sex slaves over four decades. A few hours after using the bathroom you start hemorrhaging blood from your anus and then die. After your death, there’s nobody around to prevent World War III, and humanity is eradicated by nuclear warfare.

    If you’re okay with this, you can quit now and consider this a victory, but maybe there’s a way to take a shit and also prevent World War III from happening at all.

    You open the door and find Bill Gates sitting on the toilet, but not actually defecating. The toilet lid is down, and Bill Gate’s pants are up.

    The billionaire philanthropist is lost in thought and doesn’t notice you enter.

    “Oh, hello, Secretary-General,” says Bill Gates. “No, I don’t need to use the bathroom. I just came here to think about all the strides the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made in the fight against malaria. The bathroom is one of my favorite quiet places to think about doing charity.”

    “Sure, of course you can use this toilet,” says Bill Gates. “Unfortunately, not everyone on Earth has a toilet. And other unfortunate people have malaria, a serious and sometimes deadly disease spread by mosquitoes. There are over 200 million cases of malaria each year. It’s an enduring problem that I hope to fix in my lifetime.”

    “Oh right, you need to use the toilet,” says Bill Gates. “I forgot because I was talking about malaria, a serious disease endemic in tropical climates. Combating malaria will require a threefold approach: 1) reducing mosquito populations by eliminating standing water sources and employing judicious use of pesticides; 2) developing effective drugs and vaccines to protect at-risk populations from malaria; 3) employing barriers such as mosquito nets to prevent contact between humans and mosquitos.”

    “I’m sorry to hear that. I will get off the toilet immediately so you can use it,” says Bill Gates while remaining seated on the toilet. “Diarrhea is also one of the symptoms of malaria, a serious disease that is sometimes fatal. Other symptoms of malaria include fever and vomiting. Over half a million people die each year from malaria, a grim annual toll that is too often ignored in the Western world.

    “The good news is that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made huge strides against malaria, reducing deaths by 20 percent since the year 2000. Our scientists have made promising breakthroughs experimenting with recombinant protein-based vaccines, and we intend to keep funding grants to pursue that area of research.

    “Eradicating malaria is a long-term goal, but an attainable one, that will require ongoing cooperation between government health departments and NGOs. By the way, didn’t you say you needed to use the toilet? Sorry, I got distracted talking about malaria.”

    Bill Gates stands up and gestures at the toilet. “It’s all yours.”

    You shit your pants because you let Bill Gates ramble on about malaria for too long. There’s no way you can conduct diplomacy like this. None of the ambassadors will take you seriously if you have sopping-wet shit legs. You have no choice but to go shopping for a new pair of pants.

    You and your befouled pants squeeze onto a packed subway train. The other straphangers give you disgusted looks and inch away.

    In your worst nightmares you never dreamed that you, the secretary-general of the world’s most esteemed diplomatic institution, could become a social pariah stinking up a train car. You pray the subway gets to your stop quickly so you can reach Macy’s and buy clean pants as soon as possible.

    You’re traveling through a tunnel when the subway comes to a screeching halt. The lights flicker, and the car shakes as the ground trembles.

    The train conductor’s voice crackles over the intercom. “Sorry passengers, this train is experiencing service delays because World War III just happened on the surface and everyone up there is dead. Thank you for your patience.”

    You climb a service ladder to the street level and behold the grim aftermath of World War III. Charred corpses litter the streets amidst burning rubble. This is the exact kind of situation you tried to warn people about when you said World War III would be bad.

    Fortunately, you managed to survive doomsday and become a nomadic scavenger. You spend the rest of your grueling life searching through the radioactive ruins of civilization for canned food and bugs to eat. However, in all your decades of wandering the nuclear wasteland, you never find a clean pair of pants.

    “Don’t worry, I’ll squish it!” shouts Bill Gates. He runs out to the United Nations parking lot, hops into his car, and drives into your car at 90 mph, totaling both vehicles.

    Bill Gates dizzily climbs out of the wreckage of his car. He has a long gash bleeding on his forehead where it hit the steering wheel. “I don’t see the mosquito,” he shouts out in warning. “I think it got away. Don’t let it bite you, or you might get malaria!”

    You’ve successfully tricked Bill Gates into leaving the toilet.

    You drop your pants and lower yourself down. The ring of the toilet seat feels cool and refreshing on your buttocks.

    Just as you prepare to tense your colon and expel all the filth within, there is a loud commotion from outside the bathroom. You hear angry shouting. Someone screams, “If World War III is what you want, then World War III is what you’re gonna get!”

    Yes, Donald Trump really did look into the sky during the solar eclipse

    (CNN)There’s literally only one rule with eclipses: Don’t look at the sun during them.

    And, again:
    And, because three times is a charm:
      That’s Donald John Trump on the White House South Portico, seemingly looking directly into the sun. At the peak of the solar eclipse. Without any sort of protective eyewear on.
      This, from the White House pool report of the moment filed by the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs is, um, amazing: “At approximately 2:39, the President initially gesticulated to the crowd below and pointed at the sky. As he did so, one of the White House aides standing beneath the Blue Room Balcony shouted ‘don’t look.'”
      Trump did, eventually, put on protective eyewear — as did first lady Melania Trump.
      what Their son Barron got in on the action too:
      Heck, even “beleaguered” Attorney General Jeff Sessions got on the protective eyewear bandwagon (alongside Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross)!
      Just in case Trump is still President when the next solar eclipse comes in 2024 — it could happen! — here’s a story he should read. Titled “Can you really go blind staring at a solar eclipse?,” CNN’s Ashley Strickland writes:
      “The retina may translate light into an electrical impulse that the brain understands, but one thing it can’t translate to your brain is pain. So even if you’re excited about the eclipse and think one brief glimpse at the sun before it completely hides behind the moon is worth it — it’s not. There’s no internal trigger that is going to let you know that you’ve looked at the sun for too long. Any amount of looking at it is too long.
      Even the smallest amount of exposure can cause blurry vision or temporary blindness. The problem is, you won’t know whether it’s temporary.”
      Remember, Mr. President: “Any amount of looking is too long.”
      CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly identify where the President was standing.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/21/politics/trump-solar-eclipse/index.html

      Intel CEO Becomes Third Chief to Quit Trump Council After Riots

      Intel Corp.’s Brian Krzanich joined Under Armour Inc.’s Kevin Plank in becoming the latest chief executives to quit President Donald Trump’s council of U.S. business leaders, as membership on the panel has become enmeshed in the country’s volatile politics after violent riots in Virginia over the weekend.

      The moves come hours after Merck & Co.’s Kenneth Frazier first stepped down from the business council. Plank’s departure is a particularly sharp rebuke to Trump, after the Under Armour executive earlier this year came under fire for commenting that the president was a “real asset” for the country.

      "I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing," Intel’s Krzanich said in a company blog post.

      Plank said in a tweeted statement that “Under Armour engages in innovation and sport, not politics,” while Merck’s Frazier said he quit “as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.” 

      Trump responded to Frazier with a couple jabs, tweeting late Monday that “@Merck Pharma is a leader in higher & higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S.”

      Over the weekend, one woman was killed and many others were injured after a man in a car rammed a group of counter-demonstrators during a daylong melee in Charlottesville, Virginia. White supremacists and other hate groups had massed in the city to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

      Trump was widely criticized by U.S. lawmakers and other officials for not denouncing white supremacists in a statement on Saturday in which he said “many sides” were at fault for the violence. The president has repeatedly drawn fire for his relations with white nationalist groups and his handling of issues related to minorities.

      Speaking from the White House on Monday, Trump denounced white supremacists and declared racism “evil.”

      “To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held accountable,” Trump said, calling for unity in the wake of the tragedy.

      The CEO departures show how corporate leaders are walking a narrow line in working with the Trump administration to help shape policy around taxes, immigration and other issues, while trying not to alienate customers in an increasingly tense political environment.

      Plank’s pro-Trump commentary earlier this year sparked an uproar from shoppers and very public dissent among Under Armour’s athletes, including his most-valued sneaker pitchman, basketball star Stephen Curry. The CEO in a television interview had declared that Trump is “pro-business” and a “real asset.”

      After a Wall Street analyst downgraded the company, Plank took out a full-page newspaper ad, saying his words praising Trump “did not accurately reflect” his intent. He said the company opposed the president’s executive order to ban refugees from certain countries.

      The president’s council has included top executives from Boeing Co., Dow Chemical Co. and Johnson & Johnson. A handful of CEOs have stepped down from two White House business groups, which have met only sporadically, over political controversies.

      The president hasn’t been shy about calling out businesses for perceived missteps. After his 2016 election victory Trump took aim at defense contractors Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp. for what he called the high cost of some aircraft, and muscled United Technologies Corp. unit Carrier into keeping a plant in Indiana after the company said it would be closed and production shifted to Mexico. 

      Corporate Pushback

      Trump created two CEO advisory groups early in his presidency. Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman leads one described as a strategy and policy forum, and Dow Chemical’s Andrew Liveris organized a manufacturing initiative. After an initial burst of activity and press attention, the councils have fizzled with neither meeting since April.

      Earlier this year, Elon Musk of Tesla Inc. and Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger quit the strategy and policy panel after Trump said he would withdraw from the Paris climate pact. Former Uber Technologies Inc. CEO Travis Kalanick quit in February after Trump’s executive order on immigration.

      Trump and a range of corporations have previously been at odds on other fronts.

      The administration drew criticism from a wide swath of companies over its executive order restricting immigration. More than 160 technology firms, including Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc., and Google corporate parent Alphabet Inc. joined a legal brief criticizing the order. Technology firms have also criticized the administration’s efforts to restrict access to H-1B visas for high-skilled workers, and eliminate an Obama Administration program that would have provided visas for foreign entrepreneurs who received startup funding.

      Other members of the Trump councils, including Lockheed Martin and PepsiCo Inc., declined to say whether they would follow the moves of the other executives in stepping down.

      Merck’s Prices

      Merck has in the past taken stands on social issues. In 2012, the company’s foundation ended funding for the Boy Scouts of America over the group’s exclusion of gays from its leadership ranks. Frazier is a registered Democrat, according to Pennsylvania voter records.

      Trump made U.S. drug prices an issue during the presidential campaign and after — at one point accusing drug companies of “getting away with murder.” While his rhetoric on the subject has cooled, the Food and Drug Administration has taken steps to try and bring more competition to the market for some drugs, and speed more generic drugs to the market.

      Frazier, in December, said his company has a “restrained” approach to price increases, calling aggressive price increases a foolhardy move by the industry. In a company report published this year, Merck said it has a “long history of making our medicines and vaccines accessible and affordable through responsible pricing practices.”

      For 2016, the list price on its drugs rose by 9.6 percent on average while the net price, which more closely reflects what is paid by consumers, rose 5.5 percent, according to the report.

      Merck shares were up 0.7 percent to $62.79 at 12:02 p.m. in New York, roughly in line with a broader advance in the U.S. stock market.

      Toby Cosgrove, the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, plans to remain on the strategy and policy group, said Eileen Sheil, a spokeswoman for the health system. She said the group hasn’t met since April, and there are no meetings scheduled.

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO Lloyd Blankfein also took to Twitter Monday in response to the violence, citing former president Abraham Lincoln. “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” wrote Blankfein, whose inaugural tweet in June expressed disapproval over Trump’s decision to ditch the Paris climate accord.

        Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-14/merck-ceo-quits-trump-council-as-matter-of-personal-conscience

        Donald Trump’s eyeroll of a 2020 campaign ad is as bad as you think it is

        Donald Trump is barely seven months into his scandal-ridden first term as president and he’s already dropped a ludicrous ad that both makes the free press out to be an enemy of the American people and sets the stage for a 2020 reelection campaign.

        Because what we really need is another reason to drink on Monday.

        And this ad … hoo boy.

        It’s just 30 seconds long but, much like the Trump administration, it feels like it exists in a plane beyond our normal concept of time, where everything slows down and each moment feels like a fever dream that stretches into eternity.

        In other words, Donald Trump packed a whoooole lot of intense ideas in a short, half a minute ad. So let’s break it down, everlasting second by everlasting second.

        0:00 – Okay, before we even hit play, please note that the title of the ad is called “Let President Trump Do His Job.” I don’t know who has the power to keep Trump from doing his job, though. No one’s keeping him off the golf course so how can anyone keep him from being president?

        0:01 – Democrats are criticized for being obstructionists with a quick shot of “Cryin'” Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren. Like Mitch McConnell didn’t just spend a year blocking President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination.

        It’s also entertaining that a president so used to criticizing the opposition is now mad that the opposition is also, well, opposing him.

        0:02 – “The media, attacking our president,” screams the ad. Indeed, how dare the free press hold the president accountable? Among those singled out at this point are Anderson Cooper, Joe Scarborough, Chris Hayes, George Stephanopoulos, Chuck Todd, John King, Erin Burnett, Rachel Maddow, and Don Lemon. That’s a lot of media!

        But you know who the ad doesn’t display on screen? Anyone from print or digital journalism. There are no New York Times or Washington Post headlines critical of Trump called out in the ad. These are the publications that are actually making the big scoops that are doing the main damage to the the administration.

        And, yet, the ad focuses on TV figures, which makes a weird sort of Trumpian sense given that this president pretty much reacts to whatever he sees on television.

        0:06 – The ad rolls out shots of Rep. Maxine Waters and Rep. Steny Hoyer, Democrats who have been very vocal in their criticism of Trump, calling them “career politicians” who keep “standing in the way of success” for Trump. For whatever criticism these two lawmakers may deserve, it’s incredibly misplaced here.

        This cannot be stressed enough: the GOP has a majority in both houses and the president is a Republican so if you still can’t get your agenda through, you might want to do a little soul searching.

        0:09 – “But President Trump’s plan is working!” The issue here is: which plan?

        IS AMERICA GREAT AGAIN YET OR NAH?

        Image: YouTube

        His health care reform? His border wall? The Mueller investigation into Russian involvement in the election? A stable White House staff?

        This is a particular moment where time feels like it slows down to a crawl, the past and future visible from the same fixed point in space, warping around me like a stream around a stone, polishing me down until I am nothing.

        0:10 – There’s a lot of touting of strong economic numbers and we know our president has a way of touting economic milestones that are either misleading or not a result of his work.

        Remember when Trump said jobless numbers were phony until they magically weren’t anymore?

        It’s hard to take anyone that admits this seriously though that doesn’t stop Trump from expecting voters to.

        0:20 – The military is strong! Look at this mighty plane and aircraft carrier. Behold, the power of a man leading a nation to nuclear war via Twitter!

        0:23 – In case you were still wondering how Trump feels about the press, we return to the same collage of TV news anchors with the voiceover proclaiming, “The president’s enemies don’t want him to succeed.”

        Again, Trump is treading on dangerous but familiar ground by proclaiming the press as the enemy and hatching a conspiracy that reaches Nixon-level paranoia. If this ad were two minutes long (God help us), it’d be a soft first step toward a Two-Minute Hate.

        And what better time, really, to release a campaign ad denouncing the free press as the enemy of the people than after a violence-marred weekend involving Nazis who were emboldened by your success and rhetoric?

        0:27 – “Americans are saying ‘Let President Trump do his job’.”

        Well, if you consider abysmally low approval ratings as a way of saying, “Get the hell off Twitter and start doing your damn job,” then, yes, this line of reasoning works.

        If time is really a flat circle, then may it eventually spin fast enough to launch me off into the nethersphere where I can at last be at peace.

        Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/08/14/trump-campaign-ad-freedom-of-press/

        The 29 most cringe-worthy lines from Donald Trump’s hyper-political speech to the Boy Scouts

        Washington (CNN)On Monday night, President Donald Trump jetted to West Virginia to address the annual Boy Scout Jamboree. And oh what a speech it was!

        I went through the speech and picked out the 29 oddest, cringiest lines — no easy task given the sheer strangeness of Trump’s speech.
        Here they are — in the rough order Trump said them.
          1. “Boy, you have a lot of people here. The press will say it’s about 200 people. It looks like about 45,000 people. You set a record today. You set a record.”
          The Charleston Gazette estimated 40,000 people in the crowd — which is a lot! Not sure there is a “record” for attendance at a Boy Scout Jamboree. Also worth noting from the Gazette: “Press staff handling the event did not allow local media to bring film equipment into the amphitheater.”
          2. “I said, ‘Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?’ Right?”
          Trump, apparently. He spent the VAST majority of this speech jabbing at his political foes and recounting his 2016 successes.
          3. “Today, I said we ought to change it from the word ‘swamp’ to the word ‘cesspool’ or, perhaps, to the word ‘sewer.'”
          Remember: “Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?”
          4. “Many of my top advisers in the White House were Scouts. Ten members of my Cabinet were Scouts. Can you believe that? Ten.”
          One of them is Eagle Scout and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who Trump neither brought along on the trip or mentioned in his speech.
          5. “Some of you here tonight might even have camped out in this yard when Mike was the governor of Indiana, but the scouting was very, very important.”
          Your guess is as good as mine.
          6. “We’re doing a lot with energy.”
          This was part of Trump’s introduction of Boy Scout and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who was in attendance. Apparently, we are “doing a lot” with energy.
          7. “He better get them. Oh, he better — otherwise, I’ll say, ‘Tom, you’re fired.’ I’ll get somebody.”
          This “joke” was directed at Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price who was, awkwardly, standing on stage next to Trump. It came amid Trump’s public effort to force Sessions to resign and less than a week after Trump threatened Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, on health care.
          8. “As the Scout Law says: ‘A Scout is trustworthy, loyal’ — we could use some more loyalty, I will tell you that.”
          Is this about Sessions? Republicans in the Senate on health care? Staffers leaking to reporters? All of the above?
          9. “I’m waving to people back there so small I can’t even see them. Man, this is a lot of people.”
          This has to be a record, right?
          10. “By the way, what do you think the chances are that this incredible, massive crowd, record-setting is going to be shown on television tonight? One percent or zero?”
          As Trump was saying this, CNN was showing shots of the crowd. Also, that crowd was “massive” and “record setting.”
          11. “By the way, just a question, did President Obama ever come to a jamboree?”
          “Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?”
          12. “I’ll tell you a story that’s very interesting for me when I was young. There was a man named William Levitt — Levittowns, you have some here, you have some in different states.”
          This is my favorite part of the entire Trump speech. He regales a crowd of kids — most of whom are teenagers — about life in New York in the post-World War II age. Nothing like knowing your audience!
          13. “Oh, you’re Boy Scouts, but you know life. You know life. So — look at you.”
          ???????
          14. “He so badly wanted it, he got bored with this life of yachts and sailing and all of the things he did in the south of France and other places.”
          Same.
          15. “And in the end he failed, and he failed badly. Lost all of his money.”
          Aim for the stars, kids!
          16. “I saw him at a cocktail party, and it was very sad because the hottest people in New York were at this party.”
          Again, Trump is speaking to a crowd of teenagers. And recounting his glory days in New York City high society — decades before they were even born.
          17. “You have to know whether or not you continue to have the momentum, and if you don’t have it, that’s OK. Because you’re going to go on and you’re going to learn and you’re going to do things that are great.”
          Momentum is the key. Having it is everything. If you don’t have it, though, everything is still going to be great.
          18. “I have to tell you our economy is doing great.”
          For the 80th time: Trump is speaking to tens of thousands of teenagers.
          19. “Do we remember that date? Was that a beautiful date? What a date.”
          He’s talking about Election Day 2016. Because of course he is.
          20. “But do you remember that incredible night with the maps and the Republicans are red and the Democrats are blue, and that map was so red, it was unbelievable, and they didn’t know what to say?”
          ICYMI: Donald Trump won the 2016 election, winning 304 out of a possible 538 electoral votes. That election was 260 days ago.
          21. “And you know we have a tremendous disadvantage in the Electoral College — popular vote is much easier.”
          “Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?”
          22. “I went to Maine four times because it’s one vote, and we won. But we won — one vote. I went there because I kept hearing we’re at 269.”
          He’s speaking to teenagers gathered for their annual Jamboree in West Virginia. And he’s talking about how Maine splits its two electoral votes by congressional district.
          23. “But then Wisconsin came in. Many, many years — Michigan came in.”
          “Many, many years.”
          24. “Wisconsin hadn’t been won in many, many years by a Republican. But we go to Wisconsin, and we had tremendous crowds. And I’d leave these massive crowds. I’d say, ‘Why are we going to lose this state?'”
          Not sure if you’ve heard but Trump won Wisconsin. He was the first Republican presidential candidate to win the state since Ronald Reagan in 1984.
          25. “So I have to tell you what we did, in all fairness, is an unbelievable tribute to you and all of the other millions and millions of people that came out and voted for Make America Great Again.”
          Most of the people who were in the audience weren’t 18 in 2016 and, therefore, did not vote to Make America Great Again.
          26. “And by the way, under the Trump administration, you’ll be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again when you go shopping. Believe me. ‘Merry Christmas.'”
          Trump gave this speech on July 24.
          27. “They’ve been downplaying that little, beautiful phrase. You’re going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again, folks.”
          First of all, “they.” Second of all, Merry damn Christmas.
          28. “I promise you that you will live scouting’s adventure every single day of your life, and you will win, win, win and help people in doing so.”
          So much winning. You will be bored by all of the winning.
          29. “I’ve known so many great people.”
          The best people. Believe me.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/25/politics/donald-trump-boy-scouts-speech/index.html

          Donald Trump just held the weirdest Cabinet meeting ever

          (CNN)Leave it to Donald Trump to reinvent the Cabinet meeting.

          Donald Trump did something very different in his Cabinet meeting Monday.
          First, he reviewed the various alleged successes of his first 143 days and made this remarkable claim: “Never has there been a president….with few exceptions…who’s passed more legislation, who’s done more things than I have.”
            Um, ok. While Trump has signed a number of executive orders and actions — the most high profile of which, the so-called “travel ban” was, again, blocked by a court on Monday — what he hasn’t really done is pass actual legislation through Congress. The health care bill is tied up in Senate machinations. Tax reform hasn’t moved an inch. Funding for the border wall hasn’t happened. And so on.
            (Nota bene: You can’t say “never has” something happened and then say “with few exceptions.” Either it’s never happened or it, well, has.)
            But, that wasn’t even close to the weirdest part of the Cabinet meeting!
            Once Trump finished touting his administration’s accomplishments, he turned to several of his newly-minted Cabinet secretaries like Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Each of those Cabinet secretaries lavished praise on Trump, which he accepted without comment but with a broad smile.
            At first, I thought Trump was just going to have the new members of the Cabinet spend a few minutes praising him. NOPE! It soon became clear that Trump planned to have every Cabinet member speak. And when I say “speak” what I really mean is “praise Trump for his accomplishments, his foresight, his just being awesome.”
            You think I am exaggerating. I am not. Here’s what White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said about Trump: “We thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda.”
            I mean, WHAT?!?
            The whole thing reminded me of a scene directly from the boardroom of “The Apprentice.” A group of supplicants all desperately trying to hold on to their spots on the show by effusively praising Trump — each one trying to take it a step further than the last. And Trump in the middle of it all, totally and completely pleased with himself. (Reminder: Around that Cabinet table are hugely accomplished generals, billionaires and political people with long track records of success.)
            What those contestants knew is the same thing Trump’s Cabinet has now realized: Flattery will get you everywhere. Donald Trump’s favorite topic of conversation is Donald Trump. The best way to talk about Donald Trump, if you want to keep working for Donald Trump, is to praise Donald Trump. The more over-the-top, the better.
            Chuck Schumer was quick off the line to mock Trump with this re-creation of the Cabinet meeting:
            There’s a tendency in Trump’s presidency to overlook or dismiss these smaller sorts of things. “Keep focused on the stuff that really matters,” people tweet at me every day, all day. (For liberals sending those tweets, it’s about Russia and Trump’s finances. For conservatives, it’s Trump’s many accomplishments that are being allegedly ignored.)
            My contention is that things like this Cabinet meeting — while totally inconsequential in terms of actual policy — are deeply revealing about who Trump is and how he views himself, the people who work for him and the world. And how he views all of those things is this: With Trump at the center and everyone a spoke emanating from his hub.

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/12/politics/donald-trump-cabinet-meeting/index.html

            Trump to reinstate US military ban on transgender people

            Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the US armed forces.

            The decision reversed a policy initially approved by the Defense Department under President Barack Obama, which was still under final review, that would allow transgender individuals to openly serve in the military. Defense Secretary James Mattis announced last month that he was delaying enactment of the plan to begin allowing transgender individuals to join the US military.
            “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump said in a series of tweets Wednesday morning. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
              “Thank you,” he added.
              But Trump’s decision came without a plan in place to implement it.
              White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not have an answer on what would happen to active transgender military members but said the White House and the Defense Department would work together “as implementation takes place and is done so lawfully.”
              Sanders said transgender service “erodes military readiness and unit cohesion” citing health costs. She said the move was based on a “military decision” and is “not meant to be anything more than” that.
              Sanders said the decision was made based “on what was best for the military” and was made in council with the President’s national security team.
              Ash Carter, the Defense secretary under Obama, ended the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military in 2016, but allowed for a year-long review process to allow the Pentagon to determine how it would accept new transgender recruits into the military.
              On the eve of that one-year deadline, Mattis announced that he was delaying the implementation of the new policy, saying he needed more time.
              “Since becoming the Secretary of Defense, I have emphasized that the Department of Defense must measure each policy decision against one critical standard: will the decision affect the readiness and lethality of the force?” Mattis said in a memo late last month. “Put another way, how will the decision affect the ability of America’s military to defend the nation? It is against this standard that I provide the following guidance on the way forward in accessing transgender individuals into the military Services.”
              A 2016 Rand Corp. study commissioned by the Defense Department concluded that letting transgender people serve openly would have a “minimal impact” on readiness and health care costs, largely because there are so few in the military’s 1.3 million-member force.
              The study put the number of transgender people in the military between 1,320 and 6,630. Gender-change surgery is rare in the general population, and the RAND study estimated the possibility of 30 to 140 new hormone treatments a year in the military, with 25 to 130 gender transition-related surgeries among active service members. The cost could range from $2.4 million and $8.4 million, an amount that would represent an “exceedingly small proportion” of total health care expenditures, the study found.

              Trump’s decision marks a setback for LGBT rights groups who have expressed concerns that the Trump administration could chip away at progress the community has seen in recent years on the backs of a series of landmark decisions in recent years that have included the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide and a repeal of the ban on gay people openly serving in the military.
              Trump’s decision is also another setback for the transgender community following his decision several months ago to reverse an Obama administration policy allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.
              The announcement was immediately criticized by LGBT leaders and civil rights groups.
              The American Civil Liberties Union called the decision “outrageous and desperate” and said it was exploring ways to fight the policy shift.
              “Let us be clear. This has been studied extensively, and the consensus is clear: There are no cost or military readiness drawbacks associated with allowing trans people to fight for their country. The President is trying to score cheap political points on the backs of military personnel who have put their lives on the line for their country,” said Joshua Block, the senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project.
              Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Michigan, the vice chair of the congressional LGBT caucus, called Trump’s decision a “slap in the face to the thousands of transgender Americans already serving in the military” and said it “undermines our military’s readiness.”
              “Anyone who is willing to put on the uniform of the United States and risk their life in service to our country should be celebrated as patriots, regardless of their gender identity. This short-sighted and discriminatory policy will make America less safe,” said Kildee.
              The Obama administration faced heated criticism from conservatives last year when it announced the repeal of the ban, and several Republican members of Congress have urged the Trump administration to reverse the decision, saying that the decision does not serve the US’ defense interests.
              The President’s decision flies in the face of his 2016 campaign rhetoric, when he said he would be a strong defender of the LGBT community — and even claimed he would be a better president for LGBT Americans than his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
              Trump seized on the terrorist attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, as an opportunity to reach out to the LGBT community and promised he would be a better friend to the community than Clinton.
              “I will tell you who the better friend is and some day I believe that will be proven out big league,” Trump said.

              Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/26/politics/trump-military-transgender/index.html

              Amid 2020 buzz, Warren urges Democrats to reject centrist policies and move leftward

              Atlanta (CNN)In the aftermath of last year’s election, the centrist old guard is out and progressives have won the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party, Elizabeth Warren declared Saturday.

              “But, boy, we’ve inherited a hell of a challenge, haven’t we?” she said at an annual gathering here of thousands of progressive activists.
              In a speech that outlined Warren’s vision for the party’s future, the Massachusetts senator offered a series of policy prescriptions, calling on Democrats to push for Medicare for all, debt-free college or technical school, universal pre-kindergarten, a $15-an-hour minimum wage and portable benefits.
                She dug in against President Donald Trump, saying Democrats would defend undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as children and that “we’re never, ever going to build your stupid wall.”
                And she celebrated the ascendant progressive wing’s takeover of the party — which has accelerated since November’s election.
                “We don’t have to tip-toe anymore. We don’t have to hedge our bets,” Warren said.
                Through her speech, Warren didn’t shy away from the prospect of a 2020 campaign for the presidency.
                “We’re going to fight to put more women in positions of power,” she said at one point, “from committee rooms to boardrooms to that really nice oval-shaped room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
                The crowd responded with chants of “Warren 2020!” Warren paused and smiled, and then moved on without directly addressing the chants.
                Warren is already seen as one of Democrats’ foremost voices — along with Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders — on progressives’ economic policies.
                So she used her speech in front of about 3,000 attendees at the progressive Netroots Nation conference Saturday to dive into issues of culture, which have split progressive and centrist Democrats since Hillary Clinton’s loss in November.
                In a shot at Bill Clinton-era Democratic policies, Warren said Democrats are not “going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill.”
                “We’re not going back to the days of being lukewarm on choice,” she said. “We’re not going back to the days when universal health care was something Democrats talked about on the campaign trail but were too chicken to fight for after they got elected.”
                Warren’s comments came at a crucial moment for the Democratic Party.
                Its base is energized by the fight against Trump, and Democrats were thrilled to see the GOP effort to repeal former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act fail in late July.
                However, the party is also without a national leader, and its path forward on policy is not yet settled.
                For the first time in decades, Democrats reacted to a national election loss by moving leftward — rather than to the center. The party’s leaders have embraced confrontational tactics against Trump, while a growing list of its top prospects for the 2020 presidential race — including Warren — are embracing Sanders’ call for a “Medicare for all” single-payer health care system.
                But that shift has caused consternation in some quarters. Some leading Democrats — including Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy — recently backed the launch of a group called “New Democracy,” aimed at moving Democrats toward positions that can win over moderates, independents and disaffected Republicans.
                Warren pointed to a New York Times op-ed by Mark Penn, a Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign strategist, who called for the party to abandon “identity politics.”
                Warren noted that those calls, after previous election losses, had prevailed.
                “This time, no one cared,” she said. “Big yawn.”
                “In the wake of the last election, I’ve heard people say we need to decide whether we’re the party of the white working class or the party of Black Lives Matter,” Warren said.
                “I say we can care about a dad who’s worried that his kid will have to move away from their factory town to find good work — and we can care about a mom who’s worried that her kid will get shot during a traffic stop,” she said. “The way I see it, those two parents have something deep down in common — the system is rigged against both of them — and against their kids.”
                Warren argued that many of the voters who abandoned Democrats and either fell into Trump’s camp or stayed home in November because they see a “rigged” system and “don’t feel like anyone in politics is doing anything to un-rig it, or it’s too broken to un-rig at all.”
                “So spare me the argument about whether we ought to be trying to bring back folks who voted for Donald Trump or trying to turn out folks who just didn’t vote,” she said. “Because we can’t do either of those things until we can show that things can change — and that we will fight to change them.”
                Warren broke out her biggest applause line mid-speech, saying Democrats don’t need permission from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — a reference to a clash between her and the Kentucky Republican earlier this year.
                “He would probably tell me to sit down and shut up,” Warren said. “Nevertheless, I would persist.”

                Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/12/politics/elizabeth-warren-netroots-nation/index.html

                The 39 most eyebrow-raising Donald Trump quotes today

                (CNN)After largely avoiding the media since a solo press conference in mid-February, President Donald Trump held two extended press availabilities on Thursday at his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

                Below, I picked out the 39 most remarkable quotes from Trump. They’re in no order other than the way I heard them.
                1. “The people who were questioning that statement, ‘was it too tough,’ maybe it wasn’t tough enough. They have been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years. It us about time someone stuck up for the people of other country (sic). If anything, maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough and we are backed by 100% by our military, we are backed by everybody and we are backed by many other leaders.”
                  So, when Trump said Tuesday that “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States, …they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” the problem wasn’t that he went too far, it was that he didn’t go far enough. Aha! And yes, this is a classic example of Trump leaning into criticism and refusing to ever even consider apologizing or pulling back from something he said off-the-cuff.
                  2. “For a thing like that to happen is a disgrace. And frankly, it shouldn’t have happened. That I can tell you — it shouldn’t have happened.”
                  Trump is talking here about the one-vote failure of the Senate Republican attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare. What’s interesting is that, by all accounts, Trump was at best a neutral force in the attempts to bring 50 GOP senators on board — and he may have been a negative one. His public threat to Republican Sen. Dean Heller and his attempts at persuading GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) all seem to have backfired, making passage of not only health care but any other major legislation that much more difficult.
                  3. “Well, I’ll tell you what, if he doesn’t get repeal and replace done and if he doesn’t get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn’t get a very easy one to get done, infrastructure — if he doesn’t get them done, then you can ask me that question.”
                  The president of the United States floating the possibility of the Senate majority leader (of his party) stepping down. No words.
                  4. “The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially, right now, it is an emergency. It’s a national emergency.”
                  Yes, Trump declared a national emergency on the spot. And, yes, that decision did seem to conflict with what his administration had said a few days earlier.
                  5. “There are no mixed messages. There are no mixed messages.”
                  6. “The people of this country should be very comfortable, and I will tell you this: If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about (attacking) anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous. I’ll tell you what.”
                  This is, um, not terribly reassuring.
                  7. “I have great respect for China and Russia, what they did on sanctions. I believe that will have an effect. I don’t think it will have the kind of effect, even though I was the one — we were the ones that got it.”
                  Trump is trying to claim credit here for the 15-0 UN Security Council vote on tightening sanctions against North Korea while also, seemingly, getting on-record that he doesn’t think they will work.
                  8. “But, if China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade, a lot differently toward trade. So we will do — I think it’s — I — the people of our country are safe. Our allies are safe.”
                  Um, OK. So, China should help more on North Korea and then we will do something with them on trade. Also, our allies are safe.
                  9. “We are having a meeting today. We (inaudible) a much larger group than this. This is the finals.”
                  “The finals.” Everything a competition, everything a reality show.
                  10. “But that has been a place — 17 years, our longest wars, I read in one of your columns.”
                  Trump is talking about Afghanistan here. But it’s worth noting the “I read in one of your columns” reference — proving, for the billionth time, that he consumes more media than any previous president.
                  11. “He’s our friend. He’s my friend. And he’s a very talented man. I like him and I respect him.”
                  So, would you say national security adviser H.R. McMaster is a friend of mine or a friend of ours?
                  12. “I think I have great support, or have had great support from that community. I got a lot of votes.”
                  Trump is saying he got a “lot of votes” from the transgender community. Which, in case you were wondering, is not quantifiable in any way.
                  13. “No, I want to thank him, because we’re trying to cut down on payroll. And as far as I’m concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll.”
                  This may be the oddest moment of the entire day. Trump is saying here that he appreciates Russian President Vladimir Putin expelling hundreds of US diplomats from the country. It would seem Trump is a) unaware that Putin did this as a penalty to the United States and b) these diplomats are still on the payroll.
                  14. “I thought it was a very, very strong signal, or whatever.”
                  Trump’s take on the pre-dawn raid of one-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s Virginia home by the FBI. It did send a strong signal. Or whatever.
                  15. “But to do that early in the morning, whether or not it was appropriate, you’d have to ask them.”
                  In truth, no one likes to get up before dawn. Especially when the people doing the waking up are FBI agents seizing things they believe are connected to a special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in a presidential election.
                  16. “To wake him up, perhaps his family was there — I think that’s pretty tough stuff.”
                  The real crime here is waking Manafort up. He could have been in REM sleep for all we know!
                  17. “It’s fine. It is what it is. It’s fine.”
                  Two things here: 1) “it is what it is” is the worst phrase ever and needs to be excised from the English language 2) If I am Attorney General Jeff Sessions, this is not exactly the endorsement I was looking for from the boss.
                  18. “We had 42 to 48 bills passed.”
                  It’s one or the other right? Not a range?
                  19. “I think that General Kelly is going to be a fantastic chief of staff, however.”
                  That’s how Trump finished his answer to a question about whether he had confidence in Sessions. So…
                  20. “He got away with it for a long time, between him and his family. He’s not getting away with it. This is a whole new ballgame.”
                  Shorter Trump on Kim Jong Un: There’s a new sheriff in town. Or a new baseball manager. One or the other.
                  21. “You’ll see. You’ll see. And he’ll see. He will see.”
                  Yes, we will. All see. Or will we?
                  22.”It’s not a dare. It’s a statement. It has nothing to do with dare. That’s a statement.”
                  No dare! No dare! Just a statement.
                  23. “Yeah, nuclear to me — number one, I would like to de-nuke the world.”
                  Trump nuclear policy: Step 1 — de-nuke the world. Step 2: See step 1.
                  24. “And nobody, including North Korea, is going to be threatening us with anything.”
                  25. “I did extremely well with the military vote.”
                  Among the 13% of voters who were military veterans, Trump beat Clinton 60%-34%. Also, the election ended 275 days ago.
                  26. “We’re … increasing our budget by many billions of dollars, because of North Korea and other reasons, having to do with the anti-missile.”
                  Ah, yes. The “anti-missile.”
                  27. “You have the leaks where people want to love me and they’re all fighting for love.”
                  The love leaks, of course. What Trump is trying to say is there is a difference between leaks of classified information and leaks about who is in good with the President and who isn’t. He is right about that.
                  28. “So they’re investigating something that never happened.”
                  This is Trump’s take on the special counsel investigation being run by Robert Mueller. Trump’s argument is that no collusion has been proven and so the investigation is a waste of time. The special counsel was convened, however to look at Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election primarily, and possible collusion secondarily.
                  29. “Russia — is very important for Russia, oil. Oil and gas.”
                  [Nods head] Yes, yes. Go on…
                  30. “The Democrats colluded on the Ukraine. So they colluded.”
                  This has been a hobbyhorse for Trump — and conservative media — for some time. The allegation is that a woman named Alexandra Chalupa, who worked as a consultant to the Democratic National Committee, served as a conduit for damaging information about Trump via the Ukraine. Here’s a good piece that explains all that.
                  31. “Did they do something wrong because they didn’t file the right document or whatever? Perhaps. You’ll have to look at them.”
                  Did some people who work for me break the rules? Maybe. But that’s their problem.
                  32. “I’m not dismissing anybody.”
                  Trump knocks down rumors that he might fire Mueller. Of course, given his changeability from day to day, this promise has a quick expiration date.
                  33. “There’s no — there is no collusion. You know why? Because I don’t speak to Russians.”
                  That Trump doesn’t speak to the Russians is not proof — or anything close to it — that there was no collusion in the election. To be clear: There is no proof that collusion happened. But this is not evidence it didn’t.
                  34. “I won because I went to Wisconsin. I went to Michigan. I won Pennsylvania.”
                  The election happened 275 days ago.
                  35. “I’m very disappointed in Mitch. But if he gets these bills passed, I’ll be very happy with him.”
                  Look, Mitch. You are giving me a sad face right now. But pass some bills I want and that frown will turn upside down!
                  36. “He just left the Democratic Party, and he became a Republican, which was a great moment; hasn’t happened in many years.”
                  Democratic Gov. Jim Justice of West Virginia announced plans to switch parties last week. But party switching is slightly more common than Trump seems to believe.
                  37. “They make the Apple iPhones. They make all of the desktop. They make — they’re the biggest in the world.”
                  They make the desktop. So true.
                  38. “Nobody has better respect for intelligence than Donald Trump.”
                  And no one — and I mean no one — goes third person like Donald Trump.
                  39. “I don’t know that it’ll be the end-all, but I think it’ll be a very, very — I think it’ll have a big impact on North Korea and what they’re doing.”
                  This feels like a good place to end.

                  Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/10/politics/trump-presser/index.html