Category Archives: Other Things

Misc…things not covered by any other Category…and if you don’t put a tag

2017 CPAC…They are all Trumpists now…

If Ronald Reagan could see things today?

— Forty years ago this month, speaking at the same conference, Ronald Reagan offered a searing critique of Marxist-Leninism that could be read today as an indictment of Trumpism. “All the facts of the real world have to be fitted to the Procrustean bed of Marx and Lenin,” he explained. “If the facts don’t happen to fit the ideology, the facts are chopped off and discarded. I consider this to be the complete opposite to principled conservatism. When a conservative states that the free market is the best mechanism ever devised by the mind of man to meet material needs, he is merely stating what a careful examination of the real world has told him is the truth. When a conservative says that totalitarian communism is an absolute enemy of human freedom, he is not theorizing. He is reporting the ugly reality captured so unforgettably in the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn.”

Reagan’s 1977 CPAC speech remains one of the most important political addresses he ever delivered. Fresh off his loss to Gerald Ford in the Republican primaries, and Jimmy Carter’s victory in the general election, the former California governor went on to presciently outline a vision for “A New Republican Party” that would unite fiscal, social and national security conservatives in common cause. His clarion call helped win him his party’s nomination in 1980, ushered in the first political realignment since Franklin Roosevelt and allowed the GOP to win five of the next seven presidential elections.

— Alas, the Reagan era is over. And if you needed another data point that the Party of Reagan has been hijacked, this week’s “conservative” confab offers many. Needless to say, Trump will not quote Solzhenitsyn when he speaks here later this morning. Reagan embraced freedom in all of its forms — from the aspirations of Eastern Europeans looking to throw off the yoke of their Russian overlords to open markets and, to a lesser degree, open borders.

It’s always fraught to speculate on what a historical figure, who died 13 years ago, would say about current events. But based on a decade of closely studying the 40th president, including countless hours reviewing his archives, it seems safe to stipulate the following: Reagan would frown upon the dark portrait that Trump paints of his shining city upon a hill. He would be disturbed by his protectionist and isolationist rhetoric. And he would be aghast at the 45th president repeatedly drawing false moral equivalency between the United States and Russia.

Reagan would never have suggested that Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent who presides over an authoritarian regime, is a stronger leader than Barack Obama. Among the many words Trump says that would never have come out of Reagan’s mouth: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?”

But it’s much more than that: The Reagan Revolution was always more about ideas than a cult of personality built around a single man…..

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CPAC in Milo on and off invite shows an identity problem?

…from Politico….

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference, had a clear message when he announced on Saturday thatright-wing agitator Milo Yiannopoulos would be highlighting this year’s event. “We think free speech includes hearing Milo’s important perspective,” he tweeted. Yiannopoulos was an unexpected invitee. The central figure in a number of campus controversies, he traffics in shock then spins it as free-speech advocacy. Schlapp had clearly gobbled up the spin.

But not everyone was buying it. The announcement drew immediate protests from prominent conservatives. Peter Wehner, a conservative writer and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, called the invite “more evidence of the moral decay of conservatism.” Jonah Goldberg of National Review, who greeted the news as “sad and disappointing,” added, “This new big tent is gonna have some wild parties, but leave me off the invite list.”
It’s not hard to see why conservatives might object to Yiannopoulos. Emerging from the alt-right swamps of GamerGate and Breitbart (he calls himself a “fellow-traveller” of the alt-right, a white nationalist, misogynist movement), Yiannopoulos’s reputation hangs on his willingness to make all sorts of anti-woman, anti-Semitic, anti-gay (even though he is gay himself), anti-Islam, anti-everyone comments. His profanity and explicit sexual talk makes him anathema to the Christian right, and he’s never had a word to say about the economic policies that make the supply-side right tick. And this was before folks began to pay attention to his comments criticizing sexual consent and promoting sex with underage teens—comments that ended up getting him disinvited from the conservative conference on Monday.

So, why was he even invited to CPAC in the first place?

The answer has to do with an organization and a movement that have lost their way. CPAC, once the place where American conservatism defined itself, is in disarray because conservatives are in disarray. Having just traded much of their belief system to win an election, they’re finding it hard to reset their ideological compasses. Yiannopoulos is just a symptom. And withdrawing his invitation is not the cure….

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Establishment Democrats say hold-up on the impeachment talk….

With a newly stirred up base pushing hard against Donald Trump things are getting complicated for Democratic lawmakers….

While the people in the street would send Trump packing yesterday…

The facts of the way the system of American government set a high LEGAL standard for Congress undoing an election vote….

Donald Trump may be unpopular…

But he has done nothing that is publicly KNOW that would rise to level that could be the basis for removing him from office…

Furthermore ?

There is the fact that the Republicans, Trump’s adopted party is the majority party and have been loath to buck him in public in the last month…

THEIR votes would be what would be needed….

Added to this is the FACT the Democrats face a steep hill to climb for next years MidTerm elections….

So while Trump is quietly being mentioned in the same sentence as Nixon by some….

The Democratic base is WAY ahead of its lawmakers who numbers have been dropping and could almost completely disappear if protesters in the street do NOT go to the polls and vote next year no matter how pissed and how many protests they hold…

Democratic officials in Republican-dominated Washington view the entire subject as a trap, a premature discussion that could backfire in spectacular fashion by making the party appear too overzealous in its opposition to Trump. Worse, they fear, it could harden Republican support for the president by handing his party significant fundraising and political ammunition when the chances of success for an early impeachment push are remote, at best.

“We need to assemble all of the facts, and right now there are a lot of questions about the president’s personal, financial, and political ties with the Russian government before the election, but also whether there were any assurances made,” said California Rep. Eric Swalwell, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “Before you can use the ‘I’ word, you really need to collect all the facts.”

“The ‘I’ word we should be focused on,” added Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan Boyle, “is ‘investigations.'”

The problem for party lawmakers is that the hard-to-placate Democratic base has assumed a stop-Trump-at-all-costs posture. At a recent town hall in Albany, Oregon, Sen. Ron Wyden faced three questions about the issue. Rep. Jim McGovern, who was also confronted with the impeachment question at an event in Northampton, Mass., told his constituents it’s not the right strategy for the moment, according to local reports. In California, a real estate broker has launched a challenge to Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher using a new “Impeach Trump Leadership PAC.”

But it’s not just furious rank-and-file Democrats who are raising the idea….

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Chaffetz seeks Charges Against ex-Clinton aide IN Email Inquiry…

HUH?

The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who has refused Democratic requests to investigate possible conflicts of interest involving President Donald Trump, is seeking criminal charges against a former State Department employee who helped set up Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday asking him to convene a grand jury or charge Bryan Pagliano, the computer specialist who helped establish Clinton’s server while she was secretary of state.

Pagliano did not comply with two subpoenas ordering him to appear before the oversight panel. The GOP-led committee later voted to hold him in contempt of Congress.

Earlier this month, Chaffetz met with Trump at the White House and agreed not to discuss oversight. He has rebuffed calls for his panel to look into Trump’s businesses and possible conflicts….

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said pursuing charges against Pagliano would be a waste of time and money.

“Apparently, Chairman Chaffetz and President Trump are the only two people in Washington today who think we should still be investigating Secretary Clinton,” Cumming said in a statement. He added: “The Oversight Committee can’t afford to be distracted by political vendettas against Hillary Clinton while our constituents are begging us to conduct responsible oversight of President Trump.”….

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The IRS won’t withold your refund if you don’t have insurance…

The Trump Admin makes smalll changes in which the Affordable Healthcare is administered which soften the Obama mandate filing deadline and will help insurance companies while making it harder for some one to buy insurance by cutting the enrollment period and giving insurance companies leeway to hike deductibles …

It appears that the Trump Admin is helping the big business insurance companies at the expense of the consumer, something that Republicans live by….

The Trump administration is taking its first steps to put its imprint on the Affordable Care Act, reversing plans to withhold tax refunds this year from Americans who flout an insurance requirement in the law while proposing a series of rule changes to encourage insurers to remain in ACA marketplaces.

The Internal Revenue Service has revoked an Obama-era instruction to taxpayers that was taking effect during the current filing season as a way to further compliance with the ACA’s requirement that most Americans carry health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Under the instruction, the IRS had announced that it would no longer process tax returns for people who fail to send a notice with their returns that they have insurance, are exempt from the requirement or are paying the fine.

Instead, the agency said in a statement on Wednesday, tax returns will be processed as always, even for individuals who do not provide the required information. The IRS said the decision, made earlier this month but not previously publicized, was in line with an executive order that President Trump signed hours after his inauguration, giving agencies broad authority to lighten the burden of federal rules under the ACA.

The IRS confirmed the change on the same morning that Health and Human Services officials proposed a set of rules to help protect insurers and shore up ACA marketplaces in the short term while Republicans work on demolishing the law. The proposal drew swift praise from the insurance industry and condemnation from consumer advocates and congressional Democrats….

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Note….

The IRS action will be for this tax session….

The proposed rule changes only allow for 20 days of comments and will mostly go in effect NEXT year , when Midterm elections will be held….So of the rule changes where also under consideration by the Obama Admin….

Update….

The NY Times is out with a piece that gives more details on the GOP moves which would NOT make any structural changes in the Affordable Healthcare Law know as Obamacare , but would help richer people with healthcare insurance while hurting those who are poorer…

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Donald Trump may NEVER release his tax forms…

People have NOT forgotten about the put-off Donald Trump has keep up about NOT showing his taxes …..

Which is something EVERY modern day President has done…..

And will be protested in the streets across the country this spring….(April 15)

More than 800,000 Americans have signed a petition demanding the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns. Polls show that a majority of the country wants to see the documents.

On April 15, tens of thousands plan to take to the streets in protest of the president’s refusal to release his tax returns to the public. Some worry Trump is hiding financial ties to Russia. Others want to understand all the conflicts of interest that flow from his failure to divest from his business interests. Twenty thousand people say they’re going to a Los Angeles protest. Eleven thousand are signed up to attend in New York City. Folks will protest in Boise, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Raleigh, Pittsburgh, Knoxville, Salt Lake City, and other municipalities throughout the U.S.

And this week, the movement got a new champion and 23 new targets for ire.

The champion is Represenative Bill Pascrell, who sits on the Ways and Means Committee. He found that “a rarely invoked 1924 law could be used to examine President Donald Trump’s tax returns for possible conflicts of interest and Constitutional violations,” USA Today reported. “The 1924 law gives congressional committees that set tax policy the power to examine tax returns. It was used in 1974 when Congress looked at President Richard Nixon’s returns, and in 2014 when the Ways and Means Committee released confidential tax information as part of its investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s handling of applications for nonprofit status.”….

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Verizon Brings Back Unlimited Data Plans….

I for one ……Will welcome not STILL getting held up by the Verizon Data bandit….

Image result for verizon cell, phone service

610 × 241 – bradsdeals.com

Sprint and T-Mobile have been targeting Verizon’s customer base with unlimited offerings, which they began advertising heavily last fall. In recent Super Bowl commercials, both carriers slammed Verizon for its expensive bills. Sprint’s ad went so far as to show a father faking his own death to get out of a Verizon contract.

But Sprint and T-Mobile’s unlimited plans typically come with some caveats—such as only allowing for lower quality video streaming. Verizon says its unlimited plan allows users to stream high-definition video.

Like other unlimited plans in the industry, Verizon says it might slow data speeds for some users on congested cell towers if they have consumed more than 22 gigabytes of data in a single month. Verizon says two-thirds of customers don’t use more than 5 gigabytes of data a month.

Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said the new plan wasn’t a response to competition, rather it was a sign of network quality. “This is not following anybody,” Mr. Nelson said. “This is offering unlimited with great confidence that our network is built for it.”

The new plans will be available to both existing and new customers starting Monday. Verizon will also continue to sell plans with monthly amounts of data….

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image…bradsdeals.com

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Another Major Snow Storm coming to the New England Coast tomorrow…

It has been snowing on and off across the North East?new England Area….

A major winter storm is expected to dump 8 to 16 inches (20 to 40 cm) of snow on parts of the U.S. Northeast on Sunday night and Monday, prompting storm warnings from upstate New York to northern Maine, the U.S. National Weather Service said.

The weather stands to disrupt travel, likely to result in major airline delays and cancellations, and slow economic activity in much of New England, AccuWeather.com reported.

“Even away from the storm, airline disruptions can occur as flight crews are displaced,” AccuWeather said.

A low-pressure system tracking eastward across the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic region was due for “rapid intensification” on Sunday night and Monday morning after it passes through the New England coast…..

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Stephen Miller…The other guy in the room with Trump and Bannon…

Image result for stephen miller

A 31 year old ‘America First’ guy who has the ear of the President and has trouble speaking the truth….

Staff members on Capitol Hill recall Stephen Miller, the 31-year-old White House adviser behind many of President Trump’s most contentious executive orders, as the guy from Jeff Sessions’s office who made their inboxes cry for mercy.

As a top aide to Mr. Sessions, the conservative Alabama senator, Mr. Miller dispatched dozens and dozens of bombastic emails to congressional staff members and reporters in early 2013 when the Senate was considering a big bipartisan immigration overhaul. Mr. Miller slammed the evils of “foreign labor” and pushed around nasty news articles on proponents of compromise, like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

One exhausted Senate staff member, forwarding a Miller-gram to a reporter at the time, wrote: “His latest. And it’s only 11:45 a.m.”

The ascent of Mr. Miller from far-right gadfly with little policy experience to the president’s senior policy adviser came as a shock to many of the staff members who knew him from his seven years in the Senate. A man whose emails were, until recently, considered spam by many of his Republican peers is now shaping the Trump administration’s core domestic policies with his economic nationalism and hard-line positions on immigration.

But his unlikely rise is emblematic of a White House where unconventional résumés rule — where the chief strategist is Stephen K. Bannon, until recently the head of the flame-throwing right-wing website Breitbart News, and the president himself is a former reality television star who before winning the nation’s highest office had never shown much interest in the arcana of governing.

Yet all three men are bound by a belief in an America-first economic policy that has suddenly moved from the fringes of American politics to the Oval Office.

“Stephen was the kind of guy who would make a passionate ideological argument to a roomful of people who were there to make pragmatic decisions,” said Alex Conant, a former aide to Mr. Rubio who remembers squaring off against Mr. Miller at a routine Republican messaging meeting that turned into a full-dress immigration debate.

Mr. Miller has been at the epicenter of some of the administration’s most provocative moves….

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image…NY Magazine

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Will Chelsea Clinton follow in her mothers footsteps to the US Senate from New York?

The NY Daily News is out with a piece speculating that current New York junior US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand gets serious about running for President in 2020?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo COULD pick the Clinton daughter to serve in Gillibrand’s place…..

Gillibrand got into the US Senate replacing Hillary Clinton when she left to become Sec of State….

Image result for chelsea clinton/hillary

At THAT time Caroline Kennedy was thought to be the first in line to replace Clinton, but she mysteriously changed her mind about wanting the job….President Obama after a while sent her to Japan as the US Ambassador…..

She is now back and has to figure out if she eneter politics….

Chelsea Clinton has already indicated she would have no problem doing so….

The 2020 election could put the two biggest names in the Democratic Party on a collision course.

Democratic bigwigs are already rumbling about a Kennedy vs. Clinton showdown, should Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand set her sights on the White House in 2020. Both contenders would be former First Daughters: Chelsea Clinton and Caroline Kennedy.

And we’re told that it’s more than just fantasy football for liberals who have nothing else to look forward to.

“What you’re witnessing is the beginning of Chelsea Clinton’s political career,” says a source who has a longstanding relationship with both the Clinton and Kennedy families…

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Note…

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ex-wife was Kerry Kennedy the seventh child of Robert Kennedy , the brother of President John Kennedy…

Image…E! Online

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House Republicans sneak in a watering down of Ethic’s board…

Republican’s Contiune their move to waterdown or even get rid of ethic’s rules…

A 180 from the what they pursued against Hillary Clinton’s run for President…

And NO ONE seems to care….

In early January, House Republicans’ effort to weaken an independent ethics monitor was thought to have failed after then-President-elect Donald Trump intervened with a pair of tweets questioning the GOP’s priorities and timing.

But in fact, one change to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) slipped through shortly afterward at the behest of Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), little noticed by anyone but the OCE itself and good-government groups that fear it could undermine the office’s work.

The change relates to how new members are chosen for the OCE’s board, which authorizes its investigations. Under the final rules package adopted Jan. 3, the speaker and minority leader no longer must agree on their respective appointments to the board — they merely have to notify each other before proceeding with their own selections.

This subtle change — requiring the two parties to “consult” on new board members instead of “concur” — is raising concerns among accountability and ethics organizations, which say it could make the OCE more vulnerable to partisanship and, in the process, weaken its investigations of misconduct by lawmakers.

“Ethics in Congress has been done with an intentionally bipartisan approach,” said Meredith McGehee, the policy chief at Issue One, a group pushing for revisions to campaign-finance law, and a leading expert on congressional ethics. “This is a stark reversal of that approach. . . . It upsets the fundamental balance that has been key to fighting against the tendency for ethics issues to become partisan.”

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NYC Schools closed due to inpending storm Feb 9th….

Update….

NYC Mayor planning to open Schools on Friday…

Most Long Island Schools are also closed….

We now resume our regularly scheduled winter.After a sunny, spring-like day in the 60s, and weeks of winter without a significant snowstorm, New Yorkers are bracing for a nor’easter that could pile up as much as 12 inches of the white stuff.Schools are closed Thursday across the five boroughs.

Michael Spaventa with his daughter Isabella at Home Depot in Staten Island searching for snow shovels.

Michael Spaventa with his daughter Isabella at Home Depot in Staten Island searching for snow shovels.

(Megan Cerullo / New York Daily News)

“People need to understand, regardless of what it feels like today, it’s going to be a full-blown blizzard in the morning,” Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday on WCBS radio before tweeting that kids are getting an unexpected — though not unwelcome — holiday.

De Blasio’s proposed budget cuts 3,200 free summer camp slots

“Due to expected significant snowfall all @NYCSchools will be CLOSED tomorrow, Feb 9,” de Blasio tweeted.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

A man shovels snow in Manhattan after a snowstorm in January 2016.

The National Weather service issued a winter storm warning that was in effect from midnight Wednesday through 6 p.m. Thursday and cautioned drivers to prepare for a treacherous morning commute.

Temperatures are expected to hover in the 20s Thursday and drop into the teens during the night, with wind chills in the single digits. A high of 31 is predicted for Friday.

Larry Jones, 61, also at Home Depot prepping for the morning blizzard.

Larry Jones, 61, also at Home Depot prepping for the morning blizzard.

(Megan Cerullo / New York Daily New)

The forecast was enough to send shoppers to hardware and grocery stores in search of shovels, scrapers, water — and sympathy….

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2017 iPhone 8 could cost as much as $1,000….

more money….More Money…..MORE MONEY?

Apple’s 2017 iPhone, which is expected to feature premium parts and radical design changes, could cost “north of $1,000,” reports Fast Company, citing a source with “knowledge of Apple’s plans.”

Rumors suggest the upcoming iPhone, which may be called the iPhone 8, will feature an OLED display that’s more expensive than traditional LED displays. Other improvements, such as an increase in memory and wireless charging functionality may also drive up the price. It’s not hard to imagine the iPhone hitting that price point when the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus is already at $969 in the United States, and previous rumors have also suggested it will be a “premium” device.

Fast Company‘s source also confirms some iPhone 8 design rumors, describing the device as “something like a smooth black monolith, with few visual interruptions to its sleek design.” That jibes with rumors indicating Apple design chief Jony Ive has been aiming for an iPhone that looks like a single sheet of glass with the Home button and Touch ID fingerprint sensor located under the display.

iPhone 8 concept image via Thadeu Brandão

The Home button technology is still “evolving” according to Fast Company‘s source, but Apple’s goal is to get it done in time for inclusion in the iPhone 8. Physical buttons, such as the volume button, power button, and mute switch could also be eliminated, a rumor we haven’t heard before, and the iPhone 8 is said to include a “far bigger battery.”…
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Republicans Worry…How are they gonna pay for Trump’s BIG GOVERNMENT Plans…

Please note the above use of the word’s BIG GOVERNMENT.

Those two words up until the November elections where curse words for Republicans…

NOW?

Well the party seems to hitched to the  wagon of  a guy who revealed  in creating DEBT....

And he does NOT want cuts in entitlements? (Another Republican curse word)

How long are the Republicans keep riding in Donald Trump’s wagon?

President Donald Trump wants to rebuild the nation’s roads and bridges, boost military spending, slash taxes and build a “great wall.” But Republicans on Capitol Hill have one question for him: How the heck will we pay for all of this?

GOP lawmakers are fretting that Trump’s spending requests, due out in a month or so, will blow a gaping hole in the federal budget — ballooning the debt and undermining the party’s doctrine of fiscal discipline.

Trump has signaled he’s serious about a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, as he promised on the campaign trail. He also wants Republicans to approve extra spending this spring to build a wall along the U.S. southern border and beef up the military — the combined price tag of which could reach $50 billion, insiders say. And that’s to say nothing of tax cuts, which the president’s team has suggested need not necessarily be paid for.

Trump, meanwhile, has made clear he has little interest in tackling the biggest drivers of the national debt: entitlements. Republicans have been yearning to overhaul Medicare and Social Security for decades.

Even without Trump’s pricey wish list, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the $19.9 trillion debt will grow by a further $9.4 trillion over the next decade if nothing changes.

“I don’t think you can do infrastructure, raise defense spending, do a tax cut, keep Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security just as they are, and balance the budget. It’s just not possible,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a senior member of the House Budget Committee. “Sooner or later, they’re going to come to grips with it because the numbers force you to.”…

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Melissa McCarthy does WH Press Sec Spicer on SNL…The White House fall out….

America has moved from the REAL to the UNREAL….

A ‘Saturday Night Live’ spoof of White House Press Sec Sean Spicer has pissed off President Donald Trump nad might even cost Spicer his job….

No attempt to ridicule Donald Trump’s controversies — from his remarks about Mexicans to the “Access Hollywood” tape — could derail his successful road to the White House.

Trump acknowledged as much a year ago when he spoke about supporters so loyal that “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”

But that was candidate Trump. Now Trump is running the government as a president who cares very deeply about appearances — so much so that a “Saturday Night Live” sketch could affect how he does it.

Melissa McCarthy’s frustrated, unhinged parody of White House press secretary Sean Spicer on last weekend’s SNL unsettled the White House and bothered Trump, and her performance was seen as potentially hurting Spicer’s longevity in the job, Politico reported, citing people close to the president.

Yes, a late-night comedian’s performance could affect what Trump does as president — and this is exciting some anti-Trump comedians.

“I was just so excited to hear he was upset about it, because it feels like comedy is a weapon that we can use against them, that they don’t have,” said standup comedian Nikki Glaser….

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image…(Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

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