donhall16 / Flickr good news only...
donhall16 / Flickr

I think most of us wake up every morning (or afternoon) wondering why we still have a criminal squatting in the Oval Office.  The volume of potential chargeable offenses committed by our National Embarrassment and his faithless minions is staggering.  His supporters have to be extremely high to not notice all the crimes and misdemeanors.  I find the idea of an army of Drumpf Drunks to be extremely disturbing.  There ought to be a law against public tRumpeness  — maybe the hate crimes legislation could be applied?

Anyhow, it seems each day brings a group of new revelations of sleaze, corruption and hate from our wannabe aristocratic ruling class.  Much of that seems to be ok with the “tell us what to think” base of the conservative party.   But, now that the tax returns aren’t big enough, we’re seeing a few more people listing themselves as former supporters.  It’s nice to see the 2018 Tax Scam finally causing its authors some real pain.

Are there any crimes they haven’t committed?  Here’s a quick recap of cabal captures to this point.

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Early stages of the investigation

There are a reported slew of sealed indictments sitting in the dockets like a giant shoe centipede waiting to drop and hanging over the heads of tRumplandia.  We’re all waiting for Mueller to give birth to the rest of the story and hoping it’s healthy and ready to poop all over the taint of a maladministration we’ve been subjected to.  If gratuitous dickishness was prosecutable, most of the republican elite and their backers would be in jail.

Ok, on to the news

Dueling Rallies and Deeper Issues

Last night in El Paso, tRump staged another lie fest to promote his stupid, stupid wall.  Beto O’Rourke headlined a competing protest rally right down the street.  tRump crowd size claims aside, the El Paso police estimated Beto’s crowd as larger than tRump’s.  Tiny hands, tiny junk, tiny crowds and tiny mind just about sums up the reality of tRump.

Texas Monthly:  Donald Trump vows to “Finish the Wall” in El Paso Political Rally

Trump on several occasions repeated his false claim that border wall construction is underway. Though some replacement of existing barriers has occurred since he took office, no new barriers have been built. He opened his speech by saying, “I am very, very thrilled to be here in the great state of Texas. Right on the banks of the legendary Rio Grande, where by the way, I don’t know if you heard, right, today we started a big beautiful wall right on the Rio Grande, right smack on the Rio Grande.” It’s not clear what Trump was referring to. No new wall construction has been announced on the border, and existing barriers are hundreds of feet from the river.

Trump on several occasions referenced O’Rourke, the three-term El Paso congressman who narrowly lost the Texas Senate race in 2018 to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. O’Rourke was the lead speaker at a rally at a neighborhood sports complex across the street from Trump. The president seemed particularly sensitive to crowd size, as he often is. He said “69,000 people signed up to be here. Now the arena holds 8,000. And thank you, fire department, they got in about ten. … And if you want to really see something, go outside. Tens of thousands of people are watching screens outside.” Trump said his total crowd was 35,000.

However, the El Paso Fire Department told the El Paso Times it only let 6,500 people in the building for Trump’s rally. Brian Kennedy, who manages the coliseum, told Texas Monthly about 6,000 people watched the speech on screens set up in the parking lot, putting the total crowd at just over 12,000.

Trump also sought to diminish the size of the rally protesting his appearance, saying it drew about 200 people. El Paso police told Bloomberg News that the march and rally organized by the groups opposing Trump drew 10,000 to 15,000 people

Huffington Post:  Trump Came To El Paso To Lie About It

Before President Donald Trump’s campaign rally Monday night, local politicians and law enforcement officials lined up to rebut his claims that border fencing had made El Paso one of the safest cities in the U.S. and demanded that he correct the record.

tRump/Miller are trying to destroy the idea of the American Dream.  They are attacking Lady Liberty with lies and prejudice.  Some brave immigrants in El Paso (and elsewhere) are responding. They try to justify caging children by dehumanizing refugees.  It is not moral.  It is not ethical.  And it should not be American.

The New Yorker:  A Message from Migrants to Donald Trump, on the Occasion of His Visit to El Paso

On Monday night, in El Paso, Texas, President Trump will hold a rally to press his case for a wall on the southern border. A counter-event, against the wall, is set to take place less than a mile away—Beto O’Rourke, El Paso’s former congressman and a potential 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate, will be there, as will Veronica Escobar, O’Rourke’s successor in Congress. Hours before those two events, though, a less widely noted but no less urgent event was hosted by Annunciation House, a migrant shelter that has been, as its executive director, Ruben Garcia, said, “on the front lines,” helping undocumented people navigate the traps and horrors of federal immigration policy.

The event was a chance for the press to hear from migrants themselves. It took place in an Annunciation House building not far from the Paso del Norte bridge, one of the main border crossings connecting El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Garcia sat at folding tables alongside two families of recent migrants and a man who received asylum, after fleeing to the U.S. from El Salvador, in the nineteen-eighties. Other migrants stood behind them. “We’re here this morning to talk about the criminalization of refugees,” Garcia said. A reporter asked Garcia, in Spanish, what he thought of Trump’s wall. Garcia answered in Spanish. “Could you say that in English, please?” another reporter asked. Garcia obliged. “The question was whether or not the construction of the wall is designed to correlate the criminalization of the immigrant with the wall,” he said. “And the response was that, obviously, it very much is. There is an incessant mantra coming from the Administration that they are criminal, they are criminal, that they are a threat, that they are a danger—even though that is not the truth.”

Here’s a bonus Jake Tapper CNN video debunking tRump’s El Paso lies.

CNN:  Trump’s distorted view of life in El Paso [Video 3:38]

[Insert Really Bad Pecker Pun Here]

I’m not going to talk about Bezos beating a Pecker or how much fun it will be when the SDNY gets around to kicking AMI’s Pecker right in the … er, oh well.  It appears the National Enquirer has stepped into some serious legal jeopardy.  If karma has her way, there’s going to be one less tRump friend in the media.

The Atlantic:  Can Freedom of the Press Survive David Pecker?

American Media Inc. admitted to breaking campaign-finance laws when it coordinated closely with Donald Trump’s lawyer in paying for, then burying, a story about an alleged extramarital affair. Its problem was fundamental. It was not engaged in the performance of the journalistic function on which the press’s constitutional and legal protections depend.

Once AMI chose to subsidize a presidential candidacy, it was subject to the legal restrictions and requirements that apply to super PACs and political-action committees. Now the company faces more legal trouble after using the acquisition of personal materials to pressure a critic of its publishing activity, Jeff Bezos, into silence. In other words, it did not cover this story: It engaged in what looks like extortion to suppress it.

By passing over from the pursuit of news to corporate bullying for self-interested purposes—or, in the campaign-finance case, coordinated political activity with a candidate—a media organization risks forfeiting the constitutional protections normally working in its favor. Adherence to professional norms constitutes the first line of legal defense, the backbone of the claim for privileged treatment based on First Amendment values.

Bloomberg:  Jeff Bezos Weighs Options While National Enquirer Publisher Goes on Defensive

Pecker has gotten himself in — and out — of much trouble over the years. But fighting with Bezos may be a step too far. It’s doubtful Bezos is willing to let the matter drop. Rather than pay hush money he certainly could afford as the world’s richest person, he said he’d rather risk embarrassment of the publication of intimate messages or pictures — including those “under the belt” — than “capitulate to extortion or blackmail.”

Bezos is probably mulling whether AMI will now be in deeper trouble with prosecutors — or whether he will draw from his deep pockets to destroy them on his own. Or both.

Here’s Meet the Press on Bezos and Pecker.

Good Border News

More politicians are taking a cue from the Speaker’s slap back example.

Huffington Post:  California Gov. Gavin Newsom To Withdraw Hundreds Of National Guard Troops From Border

California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans Monday to withdraw several hundred National Guard troops from the state’s southern border with Mexico in defiance of the Trump administration’s request for support from border states.

In case you missed it New Mexico already did so.

NPR:  N.M. Governor Pulls National Guard From Border, Citing A ‘Charade’ At Federal Level

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has ordered the majority of National Guard troops deployed at her state’s Southern border to withdraw, condemning what she called a “charade of border fear-mongering” by President Trump, who has warned of an immigration emergency in the region.

“I reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the Southern border,” Lujan Grisham said, adding that the area has “some of the safest communities in the country.”

I Got Georgia (and Stacey) on My Mind

There’s a stench around Brian Kemp. And it’s not just because of questionable hygiene.  I really hope this story gets some legs.  The most credible theory about why this happened involves a conspiracy.  It happened under Kemp’s watch.  That makes him culpable in my view.

The Root:  Exclusive: Thousands of Black Votes in Georgia Disappeared and No One Can Explain It

The nonprofit group, Coalition for Good Governance, discovered that approximately 127,000 Georgia voters simply did not have a recorded vote for lieutenant governor. Officials claimed that most of these voters simply left that part of their ballot blank. And for some reason, the “drop-off” (the difference between people who voted and people who skipped one race) was disproportionately Democrat.

They had never seen it before. The drop-off rate in Georgia was higher than almost any statewide office drop-off rate they had ever seen. So they gathered the best minds in the election data field from across country to try to figure out the mystery of Georgia’s disappearing votes. It seemed so random. Researchers researched, voting machine experts looked at the machines’ known vulnerabilities and professors ran analytics and statistical regressions. But no one could figure out the pattern.

One Way to Solve the Shutdown Crisis (read the caption)

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I’m taking away your cheeseburgers until you sign the bill funding the government

Short Takes

The National Noise Pollution Police have determined that if tRump and the rest of the Republican talking anuses (ani?) would just shut the hell up, we’d reduce overall noise pollution in the United States by a whopping 73%

tRump is treating the citizens of the United States like his sexual conquests.  He’s screwing all of us without consent.

Some people suck all the air out of a room.  tRump sucks all the content out of a sewer and into his administration.

Donnie is suffering from fecal brain syndrome.

The real reason tRump talks so much crap has been revealed -— He’s unwilling to have his buttplug removed.  Axios reporters have finally identified the plug.  Wild media speculation has proved correct in this case.  It’s Stephen Miller.

tRump’s idea of the American Melting Pot consists exclusively of cave-aged white cheddar well past its expiration date.

Donald tRump is an honesty desiccant.

In the game of truth, tRump is scoreless.

There’s a new tRump biopic due out soon -— Stuporman and the Fortress of Squalitude.

Shakespeare to tRump:  The stench of perfidy rises from thy corpulent person as the stench of offal from a thousand slaughtered pigs.

Today’s Quote

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.  — Elie Wiesel

Final Thoughts

For the last forever years, authoritarian forces have continuously attempted to keep their feet pressed onto the necks of everyone.  For, at least, the last 60 years the Republican party has increasingly denied its roots and embraced an agenda of privilege and wealth.  By cynically mating their naked greed with under-educated religious zealots’ misplaced fervor they’ve created a large committed minority of unquestioning lemming-like followers.  While they may succeed in some of their present endeavors, history will not be kind to them.  History is already calling BS and it’s happening in real time.

As is becoming more and more the case, there was a lot of news that I didn’t manage to include; mostly because who has time to read War and Peace on a daily basis!!!

With El Paso in the news, there was only one song that came to mind to play us out.  Here’s a Marty Robbins tune performed by Bob Weir and some other guys at Capitol Theatre in April of 1977.

Disclaimer:  No brain cells were intentionally destroyed during the creation of the short takes.  They just sort of dribbled out during the fortnight between putting these together.

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