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WTF Happened Now? (April 5, 2017)

Steve Bannon gets booted from the National Security Council as the Trump administration continues to wreak havoc on our nation like an orange Godzilla that hates gays and affordable healthcare.

Donald Trump

On November 8, 2016, America went from a nation that was admittedly rife with problems — albeit problems that we were slowly overcoming — to a goddamn dystopian horror show in the blink of an eye. To make matters even more terrifying, Donald Trump, the squinting, carrotoid subhuman in a garbage bag suit who narrowly managed to flipped the switch by activating a legislative booby trap, seemed the most surprised out of anybody that he was now responsible for the fate of nation. He’s often described as the dog who caught the car and has no idea what to do with it, except I’d take that analogy one step further and say that Donald Trump is the dog who caught the car, and then got behind the wheel and tried to drive that shit with his tail.

So thanks to our president’s bumbling drunk style of governance, there is no less than one million stories pouring out of Washington every second of every day as administration staffers leak information — for the sake of their own careers or the fate of the country — at an unprecedented rate, and swamp monster appointees wreak havoc on the very foundations of our government through a staggering combination of gross incompetence and malicious intent. It is nothing short of a nightmare where the only light at the end of the tunnel is Mike Pence or Paul Ryan sitting in the Oval Office until we flip the coin all over again in 2020 as overwhelming evidence already suggests that the suckers who voted for Trump haven’t learned a goddamn thing and can’t wait to double down on new and spectacular ways to blow themselves up if it keeps the Mexicans out. (Warning: Link may cause aneurysm.)

On that note, I’m testing out a new nightly feature for the Banter where I’ll run down the day’s highlights that will either keep you up to speed on our present hellscape or leave me dead by the end of the week.

Steve Bannon Removed From The National Security Council

Obviously, the big news today is that Steve Bannon was removed from the National Security Council where, to be clear, he had no fucking business being. According to Bloomberg, who first broke the story, the administration is attempting to spin Bannon’s removal as routine business and that he was only there to keep an eye on Michael Flynn because the White House was totally on top of that the whole time. (They weren’t.) The more likely scenario is National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster — who now has “greater control” over the council — wanted Bannon gone for presumably being the architect behind the horseshit Susan Rice unmasking debacle. For being a Trump appointee, McMaster was the adult in the room who learned of the “scandal” and immediately told the idiots investigating it to knock it off because Susan Rice was doing absolutely nothing illegal or out of the ordinary. Instead, right-wing clownstick slash rape apologist Michael Cernovich ended up being briefly confused for an actual journalist, and that should never, ever happen.

However, a new theory emerged late in the day when Fox News' John Roberts reported that Trump "was not particularly happy at the way Bannon had been grabbing the limelight," which sounds about right because it's a decision based entirely on Trump's ego and nothing else. And it's good to know where his priorities lie: Who has the most headlines first. The effective functioning of the executive branch whenever.

In the meantime, the more disturbing implication is that Roger Stone might have been right about something, and Jared Kushner actually is running a shadow government with the help of Joe Scarborough. Cool.

Banter Take: Bannon’s Removal From National Security Council Puts Trump’s Alt Right Support at Risk

Our President: 'Bill O'Reilly Shouldn't Have Settled'

Not even a full week into National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and already Donald Trump has given an interview to The New York Times where he defends Bill O'Reilly from multiple accusations of sexual harassment and actually said these words out loud for other humans to hear: "I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong."

Keep in mind, Bill O'Reilly was caught on tape. But then again, so was Donald Trump, and it's worked out pretty great for him because he's the president and you're not. Say hi to everybody, okay?

Jared Kushner Hired The Publicist For 'The Purge'

So remember how I said earlier that we're living in a goddamn dystopian horror show? Well, Jared Kushner took that a bit too literally and hired the publicist for The Purge to do PR for the Office of American Innovation. Which is the least Kushner could do after Trump stole The Purge: Election Year slogan "Keep America Great" for his 2020 campaign. These are actual events that happened in real life, and at the top level of the government. How the hell are we all not dead right now?

Banter Take: Trump Wants to Transform Government Into a Business, Just After Learning it Doesn't Work Like That

Neil Gorsuch Is Going To Do Some Real Damage As SCOTUS Judge

Despite Jeff Merkley’s filibuster, Neil Gorsuch is almost definitely going to be nominated to the Supreme Court after Republicans use the nuclear option on Thursday. Profile in courage John McCain has been publicly stating his opposition to blowing up the filibuster, but will still go ahead and vote for Gorsuch anyway because never forget this is the asshole who unleashed Sarah Palin: The beer-drinking, “aw shucks” John the Baptist to Trump’s Pussy-Grabbing Christ.

More importantly, according to Mother Jones, Gorsuch will be a key instrument in Steve Bannon’s quest to destroy the administrative state. He’ll also more than likely be a nightmare for LGBT Americans who saw a momentary reprieve when an appeals court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers sexual orientation. The Daily Beast reports that Gorsuch’s preference for using textualism to dictate conservative policies could see him ruling against the appeals court’s decision leaving the door open for wide-scale discrimination. Which matters because we’re liberals, dammit, and it's always the time for identity politics. (Sorry if that wasn't zingy enough.)

North Korea

Because brewing wars in Syria and Iran aren’t enough, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has apparently taken the position that the United States will no longer comment on North Korea until they do something really crazy, which shouldn’t encourage North Korea to finally do something really crazy. Nothing to worry about there.

Banter Take: Trump Versus North Korea: We’re One Step Closer to Seeing a Mushroom Cloud

Trump Lawyer Confirms He Can Pull Funds From Businesses Whenever He Wants

After Sean Spicer derided ProPublica as a “left-wing blog” and criticized its reporting on Trump’s blind trust, Trump’s own lawyer confirmed that not only can Trump pull funds whenever he wants, but this development was, in fact, a recent change as ProPublica initially reported. And, again, we’re talking about the “blind trust” run by Trump’s own children who he converses with regularly and lets them oversee key matters of government where decisions will surely be made in the best interest of America and not, say, filling what’s clearly a goddamn open piggy bank.

Trumpcare 2 Is Already Falling Apart

Despite the first attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, which even with a GOP-controlled House and Senate, ended in a huge fucking failure that took Donald Trump’s supposed skills as a dealmaker down with it, Republicans are still trying to screw Americans out of health coverage at every possible turn. And despite tough talks about running primaries against the Freedom Caucus, or committing the cardinal sin of working with Democrats, Axios reports the latest attempt to revive Trumpcare is just as much of a disaster. Because, again, Republicans can’t agree on how badly to fuck over sick Americans so things that people like (and need to survive) don’t have Obama’s name on them.

Banter Take: Republican’s New Health Care Proposal Would Specifically Hurt the Sickest Americans

Louis CK: Trump Isn’t Hitler, He’s Just A Lying Sack of Shit

This seemed relevant.