Trump vs. Military Widow, Senators Play Dumb About Niger Troops, Mark Cuban Still Considering Presidential Run: P.M. Links

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  • Mark Cuban
    John Nacion / Splash News/Newscom

    So we are apparently still arguing about whether President Donald Trump behaved appropriately presidential in a call to the widow of a soldier killed in an ambush in Niger and not about the issue of having troops in Niger, so that's just swell.

  • Meanwhile, some senators say that they didn't even know that the United States had troops in Niger. I don't know if they're blatantly lying or not, and I'm not sure which possibility is worse.
  • Trump also tweeted that he would not consider adding new limits to how much people can contribute to their 401(k) programs, in response to some tax reform rumors that have been circulating.
  • Democratic-leaning lobbying firm The Podesta Group and Tony Podesta are now reportedly subjects of investigation by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller to determine whether they've violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
  • Mark Cuban is still mulling over a run for president in 2020. He says if he runs, it will probably be as a Republican. This trial balloon has been floating around for most of the year.
  • Members of Trump's opioid commission worry that he won't actually follow through on their recommendations or even actually declare a national emergency like he said he would. Read about the commission's report here.

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  1. So we are apparently still arguing about whether President Donald Trump behaved appropriately presidential…

    Look, the president is falling behind in his outrage production. They’ll be a new one any day now.

    1. Good, the current president is starting to get a little stale.

    2. I don’t read the NYT so I get to pretend we’re not still arguing about this.

        1. He was blocked by every single user, not banned but blocked. And as a Libertarian he respects each of their individual rights to block him, but also it means the site is basically starting at a blue bird in the corner.

          1. Blue Bird In The Corner is my nickname at the Russian spa.

            1. Blue Canary in the Alcove By The Light Switch is my favorite song lyric.

              1. But who watches over you?

                1. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

              2. In the outlet.

                It is a nightlight.

                Just sayin.

    3. Hello.

      So he’s not versed in death calls. Whatever happened to decorum anyway? Just shut up all of you already. Jesus everyone has to run to the media to cry.

      At least he’s not scripted like a phony politician. Maybe someone should tell him even if he means well, it’s not a good idea given he’s not exactly, erm, tactful.

  2. Meanwhile, some senators say that they didn’t even know that the United States had troops in Niger.

    Too busy with not passing legislation.

    1. Too busy with not passing legislation.

      You say that like you want them to be passing legislation.

      You gonna lose your Libertarian Card.

      1. Yeah, I’m hoping they all go play golf all day.

    2. Good God, man, think before you type!

  3. Mark Cuban is still mulling over a run for president in 2020.

    But will the country be ready by then for normalized Cuban relations?

    1. Billionaire, has a reality TV show….I have a strange feeling we’ve been here before.

  4. Members of Trump’s opioid commission worry that he won’t actually follow through on their recommendations or even actually declare a national emergency like he said he would.

    Members of the commissions further commented that “if he refuses to act all of extra money not given to our agencies will be on his head.”

    1. Pending his inaction, he just got my 2020 vote.

  5. Trump also tweeted that he would not consider adding new limits to how much people can contribute to their 401(k) programs…

    Does he not know the damage saving does to the nation’s economy?

    1. Social Security is a broken system, so we need those damn peoples tax money so that we can keep having social security.

    2. Windows, we needz ’em broken – lots of ’em.

  6. Meanwhile, some senators say that they didn’t even know that the United States had troops in Niger

    , because their staffs had redacted the N-word.

  7. Democratic-leaning lobbying firm The Podesta Group and Tony Podesta are now reportedly subjects of investigation by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller to determine whether they’ve violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

    Witches everywhere!

    1. Buy timber futures?

    2. If teams Red and Blue would stop trying to play gotcha with one another over this mess, and actually did their damn jobs, this would be a huge issue. Podesta (Dem) and Manafort (GOP) were both working on a Russian PR Campaign. Some of the biggest power brokers for both parties have been actively slurping at the Russian trough. And strangely, there hasn’t been much of any talk about Russia’s shenanigans in Eastern Europe.

      There should be whole swaths of Dem and GOP lobbyists being kicked out on their asses, or at least publicly shamed for their ties to Russia. Instead, this Team Red vs Blue BS has both sides trying to beat each other up about it. They only see it as an opportunity to indict the Other Side, rather than a terrible sign that the Russian rot has wormed its way into much of the US political class.

      1. The Russian Rot was my nickname when i got back from a semester abroad in St. Petersburg.

        1. Did the antibiotics work?

          1. Nope, he’s actually the origin of those super-Mersa viruses you hear about these days.

            1. Patient Zero is my nickname at the CDC. :’-(

              1. Did you also kill a guy in prison while you were there?

        2. St Petersburg? Did you make it to Clearwater too?

  8. Members of Trump’s opioid commission worry that he won’t actually follow through on their recommendations…

    They knew what they were getting into.

    1. I suppose Frederica Wilson will soon be along to express her outrage.

  9. Mark Cuban is still mulling over a run for president in 2020.

    He knows he doesn’t stand a chance against Oprah.

    1. Maybe with Kanye or Kid Rock as his running mate though…

  10. Senators don’t play dumb, they just are.

  11. Shackford is King of da Liiiiiiiiinks!!!!

  12. So we are apparently still arguing about whether President Donald Trump behaved appropriately presidential in a call to the widow of a soldier killed in an ambush in Niger and not about the issue of having troops in Niger, so that’s just swell

    Well, you know. Priorities.

    1. Priorities is what Richard Pryor used to call his wife’s breasts.

    2. Well said, X.

  13. Democratic-leaning lobbying firm The Podesta Group and Tony Podesta are now reportedly subjects of investigation by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller to determine whether they’ve violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

    The Clintons and plenty of Democrats are just as fucking intertwined in the Russia corruption web as Trump is. I hate the stupid anti-globalists, but there is indeed a giant international web of rich people just sloshing billions of dollars around between governments and “foundations”.

    Arrest everybody. Clear house. Putin is playing everybody, and he doesn’t even have to try or even be smart about it. Our media is doing all the work for him.

    1. Now I don’t think there’s any sinister full-fledged collusion that’s unprecedented going on here. It is just the same bullshit shenanigans that have always been going on. Trump is just really really really bad at the game.

  14. Trump also tweeted that he would not consider adding new limits to how much people can contribute to their 401(k) programs, in response to some tax reform rumors that have been circulating.

    How about increasing the limit?

    1. Look. Do you want to be taxed out the ass or not? Jesus.

    2. ^^ This.

      The dirty little secret* of 401ks is that even if you max them, they will not come close to paying for your retirement unless you happen to convert to bonds at the top of some dot-com level bubble. I’ve been maxing my employer 401(k) for over 15 years, and only in the last few years has its proceeds started really exceeding my contributions (largely a result of the 2008 financiappocolypse). And it is hardly at a level that I would feel comfortable retiring for longer than 8 years or so.

      *: I know that many are aware of this, and I realized it about 5 years ago. But to this day, when people start work, they tell people about the magic of compound interest and that you are getting the right start by maxing out a 401k. They should be telling people to save another 20% of their income in addition to FICA and 401k.

      1. I don’t know if it works like RRSPs up here but if your contributions aren’t matched by solid growth it becomes even more difficult to fund your retirement given once it converts to what is called a RRIF (i.e. start to declare as income the portion you begin to take out) the government takes back its taxes.

      2. Which is why my retirement plan involves death before 60.

        It’s the only way to go.

        1. That’s three chinchilla lifetimes.

      3. If you are starting today, and then maxing it out (18,000 now) for 35 years (and assuming no increases in the limit), a 5% avg gain would be just about $1.7m.

        Obviously this does not fully account for the effect of inflation, and the occasional downturn or meltdown.
        It also doesn’t account for the portion that is matched by an employer, which would to some extent offsets the two conditions above.

        Over that 35 years the limit and the wage you earn would likely both increase with inflation, so the 1.7 would also likely be more assuming you continued to save the max.

        So unless you plan on taking multiple four week all inclusive overseas vacations every year I don’t see how it couldn’t be made to last and still be comfortable. Assuming of course no major health issues.

        That’s not to say you shouldn’t save and/or invest more, but rather maxing the 401k is a considerable amount in and of itself. You will almost certainly better off than not saving at all and relying on SS.

        1. It depends.

          First of all, most people aren’t maxing out their contributions in their first job. They max out the percentage of their paycheck that they are allowed to contribute. For example, my first employer (at a salary of $24,000 a year back in 1996) allowed a max contribution of 10%, and only matched 3%.

          Second, most people can’t realistically max out the cap in their first jobs. The cap was $9,500 in ’96 and there was no way I’d make that. The realistic scenario for people is that they spend their 20s getting established, and then start hitting their peak earning in their 30s and 40s. This is when they should be putting away a decent nest egg, but the current system doesn’t allow for that. I was an aggressive saver in my 20s and I left my first ~8 years of work with around $40k in 401ks.

          Third, we’ve had two major meltdowns in the market. That essentially meant that the gains I had earning up through around 2008 really weren’t compounding any interest. I have friends who lost their jobs in the last melt down, and so they didn’t get to buy in for 6 mo – 1 yr when the market was rebounding.

          The major point is that people need to be able to double their savings during their peak earning years, and the current regulations deter or prevent it.

          1. My only point is that people should be learning earlier that they need an additional nest egg in addition to SS and 401(k). If they have a decent brokerage account that they build in their 30s and 40s, then they are in a much better place. $1.7MM can draw around $85,000 without impacting the principle and that is taxed as normal income.

            That’s great for people who were earning about that much at retirement. But the people earning in the $150k range, that may not be enough, especially if they pay taxes on their house or live in expensive cities (I estimate that if they don’t change Prop 13, I’ll be paying $18,000 a year on prop taxes). Certainly I might just sell my house at that point, but “You’ll need to lose your house” is not the message they send with retirement planning.

            Bottom line, you should be saving about 20% of your income every year for all your life. When you max out your 401k, you should be putting that in some other tax shelter- Whole life or IRA or whatever- and if that isn’t possible, you should be putting it in a brokerage.

            1. I don’t disagree that saving more if possible is wise.

              Just saying you made it sound like maxing out for 30+ years is hardly worth doing when in fact it is a very sizable sum that can be stretched pretty far without having to live like a pauper.

            2. Having started maxing out the early 80s, the 401k has worked great for me.

              However, I agree that one should save even more outside of the 401k. My strategy has been to put the high tax investments (bonds and REITs) in the 401k and low tax investments (stocks and limited partnerships) outside of the 401k.

              Starting a habit of saving and investing early is essential to success. People don’t need a new car, the latest IPhone, a daily Starbucks, or a cable TV subscription nearly as much as they need to save and invest from the outset of their careers.

              Of course, most people have very strong time preferences and the benefits of saving aren’t realized for decades. That’s why Medicaid (not Medicare) pays for 62% of nursing home residents. link Come to think of it, maybe saving is for suckers since the government is going to pay for everybody else’s geezerhood expenses.

  15. Mark Cuban is still mulling over a run for president in 2020.

    Fact: in 2013 Cubes took on the government and won!

    It is a sad reminder that Billions isn’t fiction.

    1. You Sugarfree’d the link.

  16. The budget resolution passed by the Senate last week only allows a tax bill to add up to $1.5 trillion to the deficit over a decade. The House is likely to pass the Senate’s measure this week.

    Well, it’s good to see Congress is finally taking this stuff seriously.

    1. I love when both sides can come together and agree.

      1. Stupid AND evil!

  17. How Common Are Sex Injuries? Here’s Why They’ve Quadrupled Among Men In The Last Few Years

    The main cause of sexual injury? Shower sex. “When it comes to sex, we see everything from neck injuries to wrist fractures, ankle sprains, and, of course, back problems,” Dr. Makinde said. “Hernias are common, too, close to where the adductor muscles of the pelvic region become strained. With the back, we see everything from facet joint locks ? where the back spasms and locks in a particular position ? to full-blown disc prolapses and sciatic pain.”

    A reminder: shower foreplay = good, shower sex = not-so-good. Also, anyone over the age of 45 shouldn’t be having sex anyway.

    1. Apparently you posted this from the shower, C.

      1. Did you really want to read the article?

        1. Sort of. I don’t believe shower sex is the “main cause of sexual injury”.

          1. At least we all know that the main sexual injury is a broken heart.

            1. Keys, bottles, and vegetables have all been inadvertently lodged in the male urethra

              However, the pleasure makes it all worthwhile.

    2. Shower sex really does suck. Never again.

    3. Anyone under the age of 45 shouldn’t either. The age 45 though should just an off-year of just insane levels of fucking.

    4. Shower sex always seems like a fun idea, and then you learn that water is a terrible lubricant, and nobody ends up happy.

      1. Soap, however, is a *great* lubricant.

        1. Just reading that made my urethra burn.

          1. You have to eradicate all traces of the Russian Rot before safely engaging in speculum play, Citizen X.

      2. Toilet sex, on the other hand…

        1. Chipper is eventually going to come to an unpleasant realization about his favorite gloryhole.

          1. Chipper is the “Maven of the Stall.”

            1. I really need to finish that show.

              NO SPOILERS

          2. What I do to the walls of my bathroom at home is my business.

            1. As long as you understand the phrase “They’re all pink on the inside” isn’t referring to your wall insulation.

    5. Reminder: this happens because all women are heavy.

      Reminder: after you injure yourself during shower play, blame your partner for being too heavy.

      1. You do that. That’ll be the *beginning* of your injuries.

  18. These Senators who are playing dumb (or are dumb, I don’t know which is worse) should be absofuckinglutely blasted from all directions. You don’t get to jerk off on the flag, praise the troops, then play dumb when they’re killed in a county where – constitutionally – you are responsible for putting them.

    1. Just shut up and pay your taxes, so we can spend it!

      /politicians

  19. as far as I’m concerned the president doesn’t need to call anyone who started calling people could you imagine how busy the president would have been calling everyone during WWII

  20. “Meanwhile, some senators say that they didn’t even know that the United States had troops in Niger.”

    Bs I’ve know that for a long time now and I’m not even in the Military could probably even google it tpo prove it but why bother.

    1. We are in something like 90 different countries.

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