Steve Bannon Tells NY Times The Media Should ‘Keep Its Mouth Shut’

From Talking Points Memo:

Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News-chairman-turned-White-House-chief-strategist, said in a Wednesday interview that the media “is the opposition party” for President Trump and should “keep its mouth shut.”

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” he said in an interview with the New York Times.

“I want you to quote this,” he said. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country.”

Bannon railed against “the elite media,” whose failure to predict Trump’s election he called “a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away.” He told the Times that no “mainstream media” journalists who reported on Trump’s campaign were “fired or terminated,” apparently suggesting that they should have been, and decried them as “outright activists of the Clinton campaign.”

He did not name any specific members of the press in that diatribe, according to the report.

Bannon also dismissed questions about White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s contentious relationship with the press. The Times noted Bannon initiated a phone call in order to talk up Spicer.

“Are you kidding me?” he told the Times. “We think that’s a badge of honor.”

You’ll Pay More For These Foods If Trump Taxes Mexican Imports

Eater has a rundown on some of the food items that we’ll pay more for in Trump’s insane proposal to make Mexico pay for this ridiculous wall:

Here are all the foods and beverages you can expect to pay more for if this tax is actually imposed:

• 93 percent of Hass avocados sold in the U.S. come from Mexico [Hass Avocado Board, 2017]

• Currently, the U.S. imports 78 percent of Mexico’s avocado production [USAID, 2014]

• 71 percent of tomatoes sold in the U.S. come from Mexico [USDA, 2016]

• The U.S. imported over $1.3 billion worth of beer from Mexico last year [Statista, 2016]

• The U.S. imports about 79 percent of Mexico’s total annual exports of tequila [Tequila Regulatory Council, 2014]

• 15 percent of all sugar consumed in the U.S. comes from Mexico [USDA, 2017]

• U.S. consumers bought $58 million worth of trendy Mexican sparkling water Topo Chico between June 2015 and June 2016 [iRI, 2016]

• Mexican Coke enjoyed “double-digit growth” in U.S. sales between 2012 and 2014, although a spokesperson declined to give exact sales numbers to the New York Times. Could the Mexican Coke boom of the mid-2010s be coming to an end? [NYT, 2014]

Mexican President Cancels Meeting With Trump

I guess Mexico doesn’t really want to pay for the wall:

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday morning canceled his upcoming visit with President Trump amid outrage in Mexico about Trump’s plan to build a border wall and his threats to force Mexico to pay for it.

After Trump signed his executive orders on the border wall and other measures to crack down on illegal immigration, Peña Nieto sent out a recorded message on Wednesday night saying that he “regrets and disapproves” of the U.S. decision to move forward with the wall, but that he still planned to come to Washington next Tuesday to meet with Trump because of the importance of the negotiations.

But that decision changed after a Thursday morning tweet from Trump saying that if Mexico is not willing to pay for the wall, then it would be better for Peña Nieto to cancel the meeting.

The State Department’s entire senior management team just resigned

From the Washington Post:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s job running the State Department just got considerably more difficult. The entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era.

Tillerson was actually inside the State Department’s headquarters in Foggy Bottom on Wednesday, taking meetings and getting the lay of the land. I reported Wednesday morning that the Trump team was narrowing its search for his No. 2, and that it was looking to replace the State Department’s long-serving undersecretary for management, Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy, who has been in that job for nine years, was actively involved in the transition and was angling to keep that job under Tillerson, three State Department officials told me.

Then suddenly on Wednesday afternoon, Kennedy and three of his top officials resigned unexpectedly, four State Department officials confirmed. Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Ambassador Gentry O. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Missions, followed him out the door. All are career foreign service officers who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Doomsday Clock: Humanity might be edging closer to its end

I meant to check on this recently but got distracted:

(CNN)We are creeping closer to the apocalypse, according to a panel of scientists and scholars.
The Chicago-based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved the “Doomsday Clock,” a symbolic countdown to the end of the world, to two and a half minutes to midnight.
It marks the first time since 1953 — after hydrogen bomb tests in the US and then Soviet Union — that humanity has been this close to global disaster.

The group cited US President Donald Trump’s “disturbing comments” about the use of nuclear weapons and views on climate change among other factors, including cyberthreats and the rise in nationalism, that have contributed to the darkened forecast.

“The board’s decision to move the clock less than a full minute reflects a simple reality: As this statement is issued, Donald Trump has been the US president only a matter of days,” the organization said in a statement.
The emblematic clock had remained at three minutes to midnight for the past two years.

Alex Jones: White House offered Infowars press credentials

Granted, Alex Jones also says that the government has weaponized tornadoes but if this is true then it’s time to get out of the country before the wall is put in place:

Radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s website Infowars has been offered White House press credentials, Jones said in a video he posted Wednesday.

“Here’s the deal, I know I get White House credentials, we’ve already been offered them, we’re going to get them, but I’ve just got to spend the money to send somebody there,” Jones says in the clip.

“I want to make sure it’s even worth it. I don’t want to just sit there up there like ‘I’m in the media, look our people are there.’ “

White House press secretary Sean Spicer indicated Monday that four “Skype seats” would be made available to some journalists who are outside of a 50-mile radius of Washington, D.C.. It is not known when the Skype seats will be deployed during daily press briefings.

The White House is denying this.