#SuperShutdown

And here we are. Those government-lovin’ fools, the Republicans, have somehow managed to tie the one and only federal authority we have into a pretzel. AGAIN. What’s going to happen now no one knows – in part because the idiot the GOP has tapped to run the whole shebang doesn’t even know his own mind.

Would Donald Trump like to have some timely legislation to keep the government going? Sure he would, he’ll sign whatever the congress gives him. Would he like to confront the double-dealin’ Democrats on their backstabbin’ immigrant-lovin’ #AMNESTY? You bet he would. Don’t let the moonbats think for a second they can get away with letting illegals hang around, no sir.

After the president ordered cameras out of the Cabinet Room that day, the group delved into the details. Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump’s homeland security secretary, and her staff passed out a four-page document on the administration’s “must haves” for any immigration bill — a hard-line list that included $18 billion for Trump’s promised border wall, eliminating the diversity visa lottery program and ending “extended family chain migration,” according to the document, which was obtained by The Washington Post.

But one person seemed surprised and alarmed by the memo: the president.

With Democrats and Republicans still in the room, Trump said that the document didn’t represent all of his positions, that he wasn’t familiar with its contents and that he didn’t appreciate being caught off-guard… That meeting nearly two weeks ago, and the president’s ambivalence, marked the beginning of yet another period of Trump-fueled tumult that helped push the federal government into a shutdown at midnight Friday.

You’d think that sort of epic dysfunction and chaos would have sorted itself out by now. Y’know, seeing as how the deadline for shutdown was last night. But no. President Donald Trump knows nothing more today about any of the issues, or about himself, than he did yesterday.

So what will he do? Now that he’s all but killed the thing he was put in charge of running? Well…what can he do?

Trump’s attempt to deflect blame for the shutdown included, of course, a Twitter hashtag campaign, which was meant to show that the public blames Schumer for the shutdown. His entire family and top aides joined in on the effort, posting tweets with the hashtag #SchumerShutdown in the hopes of amplifying its reach.

He can Tweet.

But as the Republican-controlled Senate moved to shut down the government late Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday morning, another hashtag was dominating Twitter’s top trends — and this one pinned the blame squarely on Trump’s shoulders.

By just before midnight Friday evening, #TrumpShutdown was the top trending hashtag worldwide. The hashtag continued to dominate throughout the morning on Saturday, making for an unpleasant surprise when Trump awoke on the anniversary of his inauguration.

Seriously. It’s all he can do. Good luck with that, pal.

It’s pretty rare in life you come across such a total nob that you can just point at him and the truth becomes clear: WHAT A COMPLETE LOSER. But there he is, in all his blubbery glory. President Trump, biggest fuckup in the world.


AND: The Atlantic has more.

…the president [is] repeatedly backing out of commitments he makes to them in private once he hears from conservative Republicans. That occurred when Trump initially told Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois he would support the immigration deal Durbin struck with Graham and four other lawmakers only to flip his position a few hours later. And, according to Schumer, the president did it again in the final hours before the shutdown began, after the Senate minority leader said he bolstered the Democrats’ offer and put funding for Trump’s border wall on the table. “He backed off at the first sign of pressure,” Schumer complained early Saturday morning after the midnight deadline had passed.

Politically speaking, Trump is spineless. He’s terrified of appearing soft, so he’s backing out of one deal after another that his Nazi base (thank you, Stephen Miller) could consider ‘compromise.’ I don’t know how he survives going on like this. I cant believe I have to type this, but here we go: The administration’s white supremacists have got him by the balls.

Wingers unclear on the concept: MLK edition

There are fewer things more bizarre than conservatives trying to lecture us about the true nature and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Please stop politicizing Martin Luther King Day. It’s a day for national unity, not political division

Oh boy. Fox News’ Jeremy Hunt would like to return Dr. King back to his uncontroversial and apolitical origins. Which is to say HUH?

It seems that no national holiday is exempt from the media’s need for political controversy.

This Monday, on what should be a day for Americans to put aside politics and come together to honor the legacy of an extraordinary American, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the media has decided instead to seize upon it as yet another opportunity to further sow the division and partisan polarization already plaguing our country.

Oh dear. Why can’t we avoid politics and polarization the way the Great Man did? You might remember it was Dr. King who once wrote a couple of heartfelt letters to the Journal-Constitution. Sometime in 1968 he also gave an Easter sermon some parishioners still recall fondly. Some years later he died a contented and righteous old man, a much-beloved hero to the South. Your nihilism may vary.

…This day shouldn’t be about whether or not Dr. King would support the national anthem protests. Frankly, no one will ever know. Perhaps, we should reflect on what we do know about Dr. King: his teachings on love, his commitment to ministering the Gospel, his dream of equality for all people.

How could anyone know whether or not Dr. King would support peaceful protests? Against the violent deaths of defenseless black people? At the hands of government authority? There’s just no way to be 100% sure. 99% maybe, but not much beyond that.

Regardless of the national anthem debate, we can all at least agree that when Dr. King knelt—he knelt in prayer.

Oh, for the love of Pete.

This took me all of 30 seconds to find.

Indeed, before ever becoming a civil rights icon, he was always a minister first. Let this day serve as a reminder that now—more than ever—we should follow his example and pray that someday America would lay aside bitterness and contempt and, instead, choose unity and understanding.

Even now, they can’t take him. They can’t come close to seeing him for what he really was – a rebel. Maybe the greatest troublemaker in American history. If this Fox dork’s dinner is ruined over the thought of a kneeling ball player, Dr. King would have ruined his whole week. I have a sneaking suspicion that a previous incarnation of Jeremy would have found himself right there with Martin, just a few feet away, with a very big dog, on a thin leash.

Trump paid porn star $130,000 to shut up

…so says the National Enquirer? Nope, try again. Well alright…so says the Smut Slime And Panderers Daily? Nope. Though you’re certainly getting closer. Okay then…OH hell I dunno. I give up.

So says…the Wall Street Journal:

“A lawyer for President Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to a former adult-film star a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Michael Cohen, who spent nearly a decade as a top attorney at the Trump Organization, arranged payment to the woman, Stephanie Clifford, in October 2016 after her lawyer negotiated the nondisclosure agreement with Mr. Cohen.”

This is the same Michael Cohen who is currently suing Buzzfeed and Fusion GPS for sullying the president’s spotless reputation.

“Ms. Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels, has privately alleged the encounter with Mr. Trump took place after they met at a July 2006 celebrity golf tournament… Mr. Trump married Melania Trump in 2005.”

So Donald was probably getting his jollies with Stormy while Melania was pregnant. He is having a helluva week.


ADD:

Sadly neither Trump’s fans nor party will care

People with personality disorders don’t do well under pressure.

…lawmakers this week condemned President Trump for a series of racist comments he made during a meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday, in which he disparaged immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and several African nations.

After the Wolff book gave America, by way of accurate reporting or long-form innuendo, a taste of what it’s like to live in his orbit, Donald Trump’s handlers decided to arrange an hour-long bipartisan meeting in front of cameras, where the DACA Dreamers’ fate was discussed. In spite of whatever praise the suddenly-sensible Trump received for it, you can probably guess how he really felt. You can’t tell Him what to do.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump reportedly asked the bipartisan group of senators, who had met with him to discuss an immigration deal. “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out.”

Again, you can guess what I have to say. This is Narcissism, the real thing. This is his bruised and temporarily restrained ego reasserting its swaggering self. Good luck getting him to apologize for it – that won’t happen. He’s feeling his oats again, feeling pretty good about himself.

As for the rest of his minions? They’re stuck doing hard labor. They’re resigned to pick up the facade-pieces, or defend him going forward. Right-radio’s John Fredericks did yeoman’s work last night on CNN:

“Truer words today in the Oval Office have never been said. This is what people say around their kitchen table. Right?”

This was after Don Lemon cut his mic off for being insulting.

“This is what you guys have to understand that you don’t really get. This is not about race, this is about economics…”

John later explained that the pointy robe Trump wears on weekends is a miners habit. Then the rest of the panel chuckled with a ‘thats-Don-for-you’ look on their faces. Or maybe not.

We’re already seeing what will happen next. Republicans are going to act as if it’s a big nothing. What is now the most obvious and open expression of a president’s proud racism will become overheated rhetoric. Tough talk. Something that merely…crossed a line.

Truth-teller Paul Ryan for instance said “that the first thing that came to mind is it’s ‘very unfortunate’ and ‘unhelpful.'” Clearly he’s a man concerned (about Social Security cuts). Senator Orrin Hatch nearly blew a gasket: “I look forward to getting a more detailed explanation regarding the President’s comments.” OKAY, calm down there Vesuvius. I’m sure there’s a perfectly sensible interpretation for “shithole.”

Thanks to Think Progress for their work. They managed to find a couple Republicans who could somehow read and then make sense of Trump’s kitchen table chatter:

Rep. Mia Love (R-UT)…call[ed] on him to apologize for denigrating immigrants.

“The President’s comments are unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values,” Love wrote in a statement posted to her official Twitter account. “This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation.”

And:

Sen. Tim Scott (R-FL) was also critical of Trump’s comments, telling CNN in a statement,

“If these comments are the president’s words they are disappointing to say the least. The American family was born from immigrants fleeing persecution and poverty and searching for a better future. Our strength lies in our diversity, including those who came here from Africa, the Caribbean and every other corner of the world. To deny these facts would be to ignore the brightest part of our history.”

Are we surprised? Well, yes. But then perhaps we shouldn’t be. Love is the sole Haitian in the Republican congress. Scott is their only black senator. This pretty much tells us why the GOP isn’t fit to govern: They don’t have the resources.

You can’t spin this, Donald

Donald can deny the “collusion” thing all he wants, to his bizarre and whacko heart’s content, but there are a few things the drip-drip revelations of Mueller’s inquiry have established. Beyond doubt. Beyond hype, or Fox news, or Twitter propaganda.

This latest one, involving George Papadopoulos, is a huge deal if you’re asking me. And it’s that…

1.) Papadopoulos knew that a foreign country either hacked or caused to be hacked e-mails from the Democratic National Committee.
2.) He knew that the country fully intended to release the e-mails in order to damage Hillary Clinton and her campaign.
3.) He knew that it was Russia.

By way of the New York Times:

During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton. About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign….Two months later, when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts.

…It is unclear whether Mr. Downer was fishing for that information that night in May 2016….It is also not clear why, after getting the information in May, the Australian government waited two months to pass it to the F.B.I. In a statement, the Australian Embassy in Washington declined to provide details about the meeting or confirm that it occurred.

Assuming the account is accurate, and there’s good reason to believe it is, not least because Papadopoulos has already pleaded guilty to crimes related to the inquiry, then we can establish a fourth thing: Russia knew that senior staffers in the Trump campaign were aware of what they’d done and what they’d do next.

To put it simply, Russia committed a cyber theft. They meant to tarnish Clinton with the ill-gotten gains. And members of the Trump campaign were made aware of the effort. But instead of them acting like decent Americans, and telling the FBI what a foreign power was trying to do to their country, they waited. They wanted to see if the threat would become real and damage the opposing campaign, which it did.

So now we know the essential story. If the awareness of the Russian operation got anywhere near Donald Trump, Mueller is now likely trying to find that out.

But even putting that aside, this latest revelation is damning. A decent (perhaps ‘innocent’) human being, having been confronted with this truth, would be shocked that any of this went on his campaign. But of course, for one reason or another, that’s not Donald.

Merry Christmas from Trump’s BFF

Well. At least we won’t have to hear Vlade complain that millions of illegals voted for Crooked Alexei:

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian election officials on Monday formally barred Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny from running for president, prompting calls from him for a boycott of next year’s vote.

The Central Election Commission decided unanimously that the anti-corruption crusader isn’t eligible to run.

No point in having Kris Kobach over for borscht. He’ll only steal the silverware.

Navalny is implicitly barred from running for office because of a conviction in a fraud case which has been viewed as political retribution. He could have run if he was given a special dispensation or if his conviction was cancelled….

Navalny, 41 is the most serious challenger that Putin has faced in all his years in power, and the court cases against him have been widely seen as a tool to keep him from running for office.

Here’s a gratuitous photo of Putin’s Palace:

It cost the people about $1 billion worth of Kremlin Kash. Because why not? Who’s gonna stop the asshole? Donald’s more likely to phone him congratulations.

This at least prevents Crooked Alexei from becoming Croked Alexei. Although that’s still possible. They just looove to poison people, don’t they?

Trump’s oval office meltdown: Haitians “all have AIDS”

…and the thousands of Nigerians who visit America will never want to “go back to their huts.” This is a major problem for him, our president.

So reports the New York Times. Citing six sources, the Times tells us how Stephen Miller handed his boss a document detailing current immigration statistics and Trump went ballistic, accosting his staff for letting such scum into his country.

Late to his own meeting and waving a sheet of numbers, President Trump stormed into the Oval Office one day in June, plainly enraged.

…so many foreigners had flooded into the country since January, he vented to his national security team, that it was making a mockery of his pledge. Friends were calling to say he looked like a fool, Mr. Trump said.

According to six officials who attended or were briefed about the meeting, Mr. Trump then began reading aloud from the document, which his domestic policy adviser, Stephen Miller, had given him just before the meeting. The document listed how many immigrants had received visas to enter the United States in 2017.

More than 2,500 were from Afghanistan, a terrorist haven, the president complained.

Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They “all have AIDS,” he grumbled, according to one person who attended the meeting and another person who was briefed about it by a different person who was there.

Forty thousand had come from Nigeria, Mr. Trump added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa, recalled the two officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss a sensitive conversation in the Oval Office.

Can’t say much for Trump’s presidential style, other than that it’s direct. He will let you know what he’s thinking, that’s for certain.

As the meeting continued, John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security, and Rex W. Tillerson, the secretary of state, tried to interject, explaining that many were short-term travelers making one-time visits. But as the president continued, Mr. Kelly and Mr. Miller turned their ire on Mr. Tillerson, blaming him for the influx of foreigners and prompting the secretary of state to throw up his arms in frustration. If he was so bad at his job, maybe he should stop issuing visas altogether, Mr. Tillerson fired back.

Tempers flared and Mr. Kelly asked that the room be cleared of staff members. But even after the door to the Oval Office was closed, aides could still hear the president berating his most senior advisers.

Sarah Sanders has called the claims false, but of course Sarah would.

If the story is correct then the senior staff are essentially colluding with a monster. Anyone with a sense of decency would have quit on the spot and gone straight to the press – because he deserves to impeached. This minute.

But if you’re tempted to think an account like this can’t possibly be true, think twice. I know what it’s like to be sucked into the tragic/awesome vortex of someone with a serious mental illness, specifically Narcissistic Personality Disorder. These are dangerously unstable people who need to be rescued on a daily basis.

If you love your father, as I did, then you do whatever is necessary, and you cover for him constantly. You lie like a rug. The thought of him being exposed is too great to bear. Regardless of whether this particular account is true, or the details correct, I can tell you that plenty of people have been rescuing Donald on a daily basis. The specific facts and dates here can probably be shuffled for others without the essential story being much different.

It will however be interesting to see what Tillerson et. al. will try to say when asked about this. At some point, we’ve all just had enough.

Sic Semper Crazypants

In a bizarre Fox News appearance on Friday, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) claimed that President Trump has “changed the entire complexion of our entire country.”

I think Kelly meant it in the I-just-took-three-tabs-of-Roger-Rabbit sorta way.

“But the big news — the big news is for America, you look at today, and I can tell you walking around the streets of Pittsburgh, people walking more erect, not just whispering ‘Merry Christmas’ but saying ‘Hey, Merry Christmas.’ You can feel it, you can see it. And I’m not just pumping sunshine for the sake of pumping sunshine. I am telling you, this is a different country.”

The congressman presents an intractable circumstantial problem. People who have been conned entirely out of their life savings, houses, dignity, etc. cannot bear to know the truth. It’s too traumatic. I have no doubt Kelly walks around Pittsburgh with a song in his heart and a bluebird on his shoulder. Because it beats the hell out of knowing a sex criminal with a personality disorder could launch a first strike on Pyongyang any minute – thanks in part to you. Merry Christmas to the unsuspecting bastards shuffling down the sidewalks.

“I will tell you what. For those people on the Trump train or not on the Trump train, this is high-speed rail right now. And so if you’re not on the Trump train, you get on the train or get off the tracks. You’re gonna get run over…”

That’s the spirit:

President Trump’s criticism of the FBI is reportedly damaging morale among agents in the bureau, current and former FBI officials told The New York Times.

The agency’s new director is also reportedly under pressure to remove people whom he perceives as loyal to former Director James Comey

Trump earlier this month said on Twitter the FBI’s “reputation is in tatters — worst in history!”

…cue fading steam whistle. Anyway, back to the Hon. Yellow Sunshine. Think Progress notes the same communities where the Representative reportedly sees people bouncing in step to Trump’s siren song have been polled. And they hate his guts.

President Donald Trump’s job performance rating has declined measurably in Pennsylvania, but despite that shift, he maintains strong support among his core base.

That is the overall finding of a new Franklin & Marshall College Poll released [3 months ago].

The poll – conducted by the college’s Center for Politics and Public Affairs – finds that Trump’s support…has slipped since May, declining, falling from 37 percent in a May poll to 29 percent in the September poll.

29 percent. That’s across all of Pennsylvania. Meaning the polling isn’t limited to Kelly’s enthusiastic and erectile Pittsburgh, where black people live and Trump’s numbers are guaranteed to be even lower. That was also back at the end of Summer, before Trump’s pals got all their commemorative counsel indictments and complimentary mug shots.

Here’s something else: Good luck getting Trump impeached. You can see what a long haul that will be. Kelly, et. al., will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the Masons’ hall where that clip of Trump tending spit-roasted orphans plays on a loop…

TRUMP The Insult

The Times writes about the word ‘Trump’ being used as a bludgeon.

Across the country, students have used the president’s name to mock or goad minority opponents at sporting events. In March, white fans at suburban Canton High School in Connecticut shouted “Trump! Trump! Trump!” as players from Hartford’s Classical Magnet School, which is predominantly black and Latino, took foul shots during a basketball playoff game… As if Donald J. Trump was the president of here, in white suburbia, and not there, in the diverse inner city.

It’s not planned, it’s spontaneous. Schools full of white kids see colored students walking into their gyms and start chanting ‘Trump’ at the enemy.

…it was not confined to high schools like Dallas Center-Grimes in Iowa, where students mocked a basketball team from the more diverse community of Perry with chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump” in February 2016. Colleges and universities were experiencing similar moments.

Nor was it confined to places of learning. In March 2016, for example, video surveillance at a Kwik Shop in Wichita, Kan., showed a white motorcyclist arguing with two college students — one Hispanic, one Muslim — then assaulting one of them before driving off. The victims later said that the man interspersed his racist epithets with: “Trump, Trump, Trump.”

Donald is not responsible for any of this. Any more than he’s responsible for anything else you might complain about. That’s not your Gift from God. Trump is a firebrand who rouses the confidence fairies and market forces, so shut up and be thankful for it. That’s our President™.

…the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes, published a report called “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the 2016 Election on Our Nation’s Schools.” Based on a survey of more than 10,000 educators, it detailed an increase in incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes and Confederate flags.

“Kids saying, ‘Trump won, you’re going back to Mexico,’” wrote a teacher from Kansas. “A black student was blocked from entering his classroom by two white students chanting, ‘Trump, Trump,’” wrote a teacher from Tennessee. “Seventh-grade white boys yelling, ‘Heil Trump!’” wrote a teacher from Colorado.

And when his biggest fans get even more inflamed, to an extent that their knuckles end up battered and caked in blood? Don’t blame Donald. It’s not like he told them to do anything, right? Who knows what any of these people are thinking…

Sessions’ DOJ released these private texts…why?

Democrats want to know why Justice Department released FBI texts

That was shocking. I’d like to know too.

The messages, sent while the two FBI officials were reportedly having an extramarital affair, refer to Trump as an “idiot”, express support for Democrat Hillary Clinton and disparage several other political leaders, including Bernie Sanders and Attorney General Eric Holder.

There are your clues. Trump’s an idiot, Hillary not so much, and there’s a special counsel investigation that’s been doing a pretty good job of rolling up criminals loitering around the upper echelons of the Trump administration. Obviously Republicans in Congress can’t just let Mueller do his job, that would be stupid. They can’t allow him to throw their president in jail over something as silly as obstruction of justice. These are law n’ order people, after all.

[Aside: Ever helpful, Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro…

Pirro singled out Special Counsel Robert Mueller, former FBI Director James Comey, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and FBI official Peter Strzok. Fox News opinion hosts have been using the discovery of “anti-Trump text messages” from Strzok as an excuse to undermine the entire Mueller investigation as corrupt.

“The stench coming out of the Justice Department and the FBI is like that of a third-world country where money and bullies and clubs decide election,” she said…

“There is a cleansing needed in our FBI and Department of Justice — it needs to be cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired, but who need to be taken out in cuffs!”

…/aside.]

Republicans heard about Strzok’s texts and saw a perfect opportunity to bury Mueller with them. So they went to the DOJ wearing their best shocked! faces and demanded to see them. The DOJ being a Jeff Sessions production, of course he obliged.

In a statement Thursday sent to POLITICO in response to the House Democrats’ latest letter, Isgur Flores said DOJ had provided key Judiciary Committee members with the texts in their offices Tuesday night before Justice’s Public Affairs division shared the same messages with the media.

“As we understand now, some members of the media had already received copies of the texts before that — but those disclosures were not authorized by the department,” she added.

DOJ had been planning to include the text messages as part of the final IG report, Isgur Flores added, but then changed course and opted for the early release after getting congressional committee requests for the material.

DOJ originally wanted to do the right thing – allow the Inspector General to release them as part of a final report 6 months from now, or more like a year. But Louie Gohmert showed up on their doorstep with his eyes bugging out of his head and his scalp dancing with bogfire. So they shrugged, handed them over, and Breitbart and the Daily Stormer had gold-filigree copies of them 15 minutes later. Funny how that works.

DOJ is saying, or pretending, that this is all perfectly normal. But Eli Lake’s ‘Real Scandal’ post makes that sound dubious:

This week, the Justice Department not only disclosed to Congress their private texts during an ongoing investigation, but then briefed their private texts to the media. This last point was first reported Wednesday by Natasha Bertrand of Business Insider. I was also able to confirm it.

If this isn’t bizarre, why then would it need confirmation? Anyway, we can be grateful that our GOPers aren’t any smarter. They have a canny habit of throwing crap first and hoping it sticks later.

The Journal reports that FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was removed from the investigation for texts that were critical of Trump, also privately insulted Chelsea Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

Strzok called Sanders, who campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination, an “idiot,” and used the same name for Sanders’ supporters. In another text, he referred to Chelsea Clinton as “self-entitled.”

When Eric Holder spoke at the Democratic Convention, Strzok texted, “Oh God, Holder! Turn it off turn if off!!!”