Nothing to Add to the “Shit Sandwich” That is the Trump Presidency

So there was a press conference yesterday.  77 minutes of crazy.  The media then competed to identify all the crazy.  Talking Points memo had The Eight Craziest Moments of the Press Conference. Rolling Stone upped it to 18 WTF Moments from Trump’s Unhinged Press Conference.

The leaks are real, but the news is fake.

He inherited a mess.

Treating an Orthodox Jewish reporter shabbily and not answering his question about anti-semitism after the guy bent over backwards to NOT call him an anti-semite.

The administration is acting like a fine tuned machine.

Hillary Clinton gave Russia 20% of our uranium.

Asking black reporter April Ryan to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus – because she would know them, of course.

So much crazy that the man Trump had asked to be his second National Security Advisor declined the invitation because it was a “shit sandwich.”  Harward wanted to bring his own staff and Trump wanted to saddle him with Flynn’s staff, a group of people assembled because they were a-okay with the nature of Flynn’s wingnuttery so-lovingly called “Flynn Facts” (ie. racist nonsense that Flynn got from the internet but believes).

Who wouldn’t want to be part of such a fine tuned machine?

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This is Evil and Wrong

I’ve heard from my Filipino friend that Trump’s ICE Deportation Force set up a roadblock on main highways in the Raleigh-Durham area of NC.  It’s being operated kind of like a DUI checkpoint except in this case they’re using racial profiling to check the credentials of all of the brown people.  None of this “we’re going to get rid of the violent criminals” it’s completely indiscriminate and sweeping up anybody who might not have their papers with them.  That’s how fathers and mothers in the country 20 years with no criminal record, or minor misdemeanor infractions, are getting deported in raids.  Dreamers too are getting caught up in the nets and the promise made to them is being broken.

His son was pulled over and hassled for being brown. But he is a citizen, so he was just late for school.  If you can’t prove you’re a citizen, maybe you didn’t bring your papers with you, then you are detained and have to miss work, even if you are a citizen or legally here, but you just can’t prove it.

What happens during a deportation raid in the U.S. – Al Jazeera

Checking Google on these checkpoints shows nothing but denials from ICE that they do this.  Or rumors of checkpoints that the media knocks down.  Well, it’s happening.

Like everything else in the Trump administration it’s haphazard, hamfisted and the wrong people suffer for it.

Today is a a day without immigrants day. So good luck getting anything done today without our immigrant community.  And get used to it because reportedly many are making their way to a more welcoming Canada.

Worst People in the World – Eli Lake

Hat tip to Atrios on the text.  I just knew when I saw fundamentally dishonest Bloomberg News foreign affairs correspondent Eli Lake on my TV last night asserting that the leaking of intelligence about Trump administration connections to Russia is interfering in our politics and essentially worse than, you know, treasonous activity that Flynn, Manafort, Carter Page, others? engaged in, that Lake said the opposite when Gen. Petraeus violated security.

But viewing the Petraeus case in a vacuum — a powerful and ambitious man falling from grace — misses an important larger point: Leaking confidential and classified information is engrained in our political culture. The enforcement of laws against it is inconsistent, hypocritical and often enables excessive secrecy.

So when Petraeus does it it’s just boys will be boys leaking information.  But when American intelligence agencies investigate interference in our elections and inappropriate contact between one candidate’s representatives and Russia, they should keep that to themselves.

All you need to know is these tweets defending Lake from Fox News and Trump.

Terrible people keep each other’s company.

 

 

 

Worst People in the World – Rand Paul

It just wouldn’t be useful for Republicans to investigate other Republicans.  This is awful, but I’m giving Paul a special bullshit bump because of the people out there who want to give this idiot credit because sometimes he does vary from his party’s orthodoxy.  Some will even give him credit for this form of “honesty.”

“I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party. We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense,” Paul said.

But this kind of obvious, self-serving hypocrisy stinks from the head.  Paul clearly had no problem with the perpetual partisan investigations during the Obama administration, which took a great deal of time away from any sort of positive legislative action that Republicans could, theoretically, have engaged in, if they cared about legislating positively.

What Paul has a problem with is bipartisan governance and oversight.  He swings like a pendulum between sucking up to his ignorant Kentucky GOP core and building his pot-smoking-college-professor image (think Donald Sutherland in “Animal House”) among the young nerdy libertarian set who voted for Gary Johnson and think Paul is “fascinating” and “real.”  He’s neither.  He’s just another GOP dick.

And just dicking around is his specialty.

 

Dems Try to See Trump Taxes, GOP Says Nyet

NJ Congressman Bill Pascrell and his fellow Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee haven’t forgotten about the fact that we never saw Trump’s tax returns.  They came up with an obscure 1924 law that would give the Committee the right to pull Trump’s returns in order to see if he would benefit from the tax reform he’s proposing.  Seems reasonable enough and really, who at this point would object to seeing Trump’s tax returns?  The GOP members of the Committee of course, who are so afraid of Trump that they had to block the effort and voted on a party-line 23-15 against.

“In 1924, Congress put in place this statute, 6103, in our tax law, specifically to investigate conflicts of interest in the executive branch of government,” Pascrell said at the committee meeting, pointing out that the law was passed shortly after the Teapot Dome Scandal. “Following that scandal, Congress wanted a way to examine business ties in the Executive Branch of government. That is the law, Mr. Chairman.”

But the GOP Chairman’s response was this:

“My belief is that if Congress begins to use its powers to rummage around in the tax returns of the president, what prevents Congress from doing the same to average Americans?” Brady said, telling reporters that Pascrell’s request “misrepresents the legislative intent of that provision, which in fact creates confidentiality and privacy for Americans in their tax returns.”

But Brady himself has voted to use the law in the past so he’s, shockingly, a hypocrite. University of Virginia law professor George K. Yin says the objections are bullshit.  The law was notably used to expose an abuse by Nixon.

Following Watergate, Congress changed the law to eliminate the president’s ability to order a disclosure. But it retained the right of its tax committees to do so as long as a disclosure served a legitimate committee purpose. Such a disclosure must be in the public’s interest, and today’s understandable concerns about Trump’s potential conflicts of interest would seem clearly to justify a congressional effort to obtain, investigate and possibly disclose to the public his tax information.

Pascrell and company need to keep pushing on this as Trump’s approval slides to oblivion. Perhaps the GOP members of the Ways and Means will develop backbone in direct correlation to such slide.

 

 

 

 

 

Worst People in the World (Besides Trump and Gang)

Are the people who will bend reality to make them look like the good guys.

Like the artist who drew this cartoon that essentially says conservative is the new nigger. And by the way, the NEA is the new KKK.  Oh, I see where you’re coming from, you’re an idiot!

The cartoon, created by artist Glenn McCoy, depicted Devos as the African-American girl in Norman Rockwell’s 1964 painting “The Problem We All Live With,” who is walking to an all-white school amid protests and violent resistance to school de-segregation.

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For reference the original painting:

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All you can say is, what a dick!

 

In the Laboratories of Democracy – Iowa Sell Out Edition

Iowa is completely in the hands of Republicans since the last election.  What consequences that holds for many of the good, solid, salt of the Earth Iowans (you know, morons) that voted for Republican rule is the passage of Koch Brothers sponsored laws to change collective bargaining for public service unions.  Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, etc. wherever Republicans can espouse their heartfelt love of the average working man and (to some extent) woman, they will stab those good people in the back at their first opportunity.  If not with right-to-work (for less) laws (like recently in Missouri), then attacks on said unions of police, firefighters, teachers, nurses, sanitation, etc. in order to take away their well established ability to negotiate a contract with the state.

Or  everybody but the unions that vote Republican.  The Iowa legislature proposed to take away bargaining rights for everything except wages (health insurance, working conditions, etc.) for everyone except police and firefighters, who generally vote Republican, so that they’ll wink, wink, go along with their fellow union brothers and sisters’ rape.  They played this game of divide and conquer in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, in Chris Christie’s NJ with pension reform.  It’s common.  But the police and firefighters in Iowa, to their credit, can see through the game and can figure, they’ll be on the menu next.

Firefighters as well as members of private sector unions rallied alongside public union workers at the Capitol on Tuesday.

“We do everything we can for our brothers and sisters that are union,” said Richard Duddeck, president of United Auto Workers Local 1982 in Dyersville. “It doesn’t matter private or public. We all support each other. We all want a good wage, good working conditions.”

Stay strong Iowans, support your public sector unions.  Fight back.  And stop voting Republican for crying out loud!  Jeeeeeeez!!!!