Janitorial Duties

A member of the European press asks why leaders in the EU should believe Pence’s conciliatory remarks over Trump’s inflammatory ones:

Shorter Pence: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis had to do clean-up duty while visiting Iraq today:

As a part of his global tour to clean up after President Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis stopped in Baghdad Monday where he sought to reassure Iraqi’s feeling skittish about Trump’s continued insistence that the U.S. should have already taken Iraq’s oil and his suggestion that “we’ll have another chance.”

“We’re not in Iraq to seize anybody’s oil,” Mattis flatly told reporters. The secretary said his visit to Baghdad was to “get current on the situation there, the political situation, the enemy situation and the friendly situation.” But as with several of his recent stops in Europe, Mattis had to spend some of his time in the country smoothing over some of Trump’s more controversial remarks.

As noted in this space many times, everything Trump touches turns to shit, very much including the reputations of people who willingly associate with him, not that Dense Pence had much of a reputation to preserve. Interestingly, Pence seems to be defying gravity better than other Trump admin lackeys thus far, possibly because he started from such a low place — awaiting his firing by the state of Indiana — and because establishment Repubs have a vested interest in keeping Pence relatively unsullied in case Trump’s presidency implodes in scandal.

Speaking of scandal, Josh Marshall and others seem to believe this Felix Sater business is a BFD. I hope so, but it’s certainly looking like Congressional Republicans will countenance any malfeasance to secure tax cuts for billionaires and an opportunity to slash the social safety net.

Still, drip, drip, drip. The mop buckets are a’slosh, and we’re only a month in.



Is it just me?

Or does this seem like something a paranoid, unhinged demagogue who doesn’t understand the role of the press in a free society would say?

Sweet fancy Moses!

I showed it to my husband (who doesn’t do the Twitter), and he thought it was a parody account. If only!

ETA: I mean what the actual FUCK? Enemy of the American people? Don’t we go to war with enemies? This is General Franco-level shit.



Immigrants Get the Job Done*

The AP reports that the Trump regime floated a proposal to activate 100K National Guard troops to round up undocumented immigrants.

The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

Four states that border on Mexico are included in the proposal — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four — Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the AP report was “100 percent not true” and “irresponsible.” ”There is no effort at all to utilize the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants,” he said.

The denial issued by the slab of Spam with eyes that Melissa McCarthy occasionally impersonates on SNL isn’t very convincing since the Trump regime, from its titular head on down, lie all the time. And AP has a memo.

Valued commenter Ajabu had an idea for a response to the so-called president’s constant fear-mongering about immigrants: a photo array featuring select immigrants and “real Americans.” He edited a ton of photos that illustrate the foolishness of Trump’s “ooga-booga” act. Here’s a sample:

Dennis Hastert, Real American

Khizr Khan, Immigrant

Ted Kaczynski, Real American

Albert Einstein, Immigrant

I think I’ll make this a recurring feature until I run out of photos from the cache Ajabu sent, rather than just publishing the whole array in one fell swoop. Sadly, I’m confident we’ll have many more opportunities to respond to scaremongering on immigration in the coming months.

*Yes, I know this is a line from “Hamilton.” I’m still not joining your stupid cult! :)



This Is How Republicans Are Going To Get People Killed

This happened:

A hearing in El Paso County in Texas went from ordinary to “unprecedented” last week when half a dozen Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents showed up at a courthouse where an undocumented woman was seeking a protective order against the boyfriend she accused of abusing her.

The woman, a citizen of Mexico who was living in El Paso had been driven to the courthouse by a victim’s advocate from the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, a shelter for victims of domestic abuse where she had been living.

She left under arrest.

This is a disgrace, and an incredibly dangerous one.

Most obviously: anyone w/out documents facing a threat from their partner, former or present, has just been told that the legal system, cops, anyone, are no longer available to them. They’re on their own. They’ve got a target on them, as their abusers now know that they can act without fear of official action.

Some of them will die. One third of the murders of women in the US are committed by an intimate partner.

Increasing the pressure to stay in an abusive relationship tees up more victims.  Making it harder — or impossible — to seek official help locks people in danger.

The chilling effect extends beyond the home.  If reporting a crime puts you in contact with officialdom; if agreeing to testify does so…and so on. You get the idea. The risks of trying to engage public safety resources have just shot up for immigrant and minority communities — from an already no-fun base.

ICE, Trump, and the Republican party:  accessories before the fact to harm, murder and misery.

Every day, down every avenue, these folks have got to named, shamed, and fought.

Image: Unknown artist, A Very Bad Man — on the trial of Ephraim K. Avery for the murder of Sarah Maria Cornell. 1833.



And DeVos Is In

Republicans are so intent on destroying public education that they trotted out Pence to break the 50-50 split.

An smarter administration would have noticed the strength of the opposition and found a better candidate. Other nominees have been confirmed with quite large margins. But they don’t care. This is a win for the talibangelicals and the profiteers.

Question- if you were nominated and had this much opposition, wouldn’t you withdraw?

Also, watch the video. No cheering. No one present. No one wants this hung around their neck. They know what they are doing but they just can’t help themselves.








Oh Fer Fucks Sake Republicans

The Trump administration is now literally on the side of kicking puppies:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today removed public access to tens of thousands of reports that document the numbers of animals kept by research labs, companies, zoos, circuses, and animal transporters—and whether those animals are being treated humanely under the Animal Welfare Act. Henceforth, those wanting access to the information will need to file a Freedom of Information Act request. The same goes for inspection reports under the Horse Protection Act, which prohibits injuring horses’ hooves or legs for show.

The agency said in a statement that it revoked public access to the reports “based on our commitment to being transparent … and maintaining the privacy rights of individuals.”

The reports apply to 7813 facilities that keep animals covered by the law. Roughly 1200 of these are research labs, which are often housed at major academic centers or run by government agencies themselves, including the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although the act covers animals like dogs and chimpanzees, it does not cover rodents like laboratory mice.

These motherfuckers.








So, Did I Miss Anything

I was basically offline all day doing things and out of town, so let’s recap the day:

1.) Mexico and the Fucking Wall

* Trump rolled out a 20% tariff proposal on Mexican goods to pay for the wall.

* The Mexican President told Trump to go fuck himself and cancelled a scheduled meeting.

* Trump White House is walking back the 20% tariff.

* As Anne Laurie noted, Texans are telling Trump to fuck off.

* Former Mexican President Vicente Fox continues to have all the fun in the world fucking with Cheeto Jeebus:

***

2.) Cybersecurity

* As Adam noted, Trump is controlling his online presence through an easily guessed gmail account.

* Sean Spicer is still a moron, and has two days in a row tweeted his password:

* This speaks for itself:

***

3.) General Governance:

* Basically the entire upper management of the State Department quit, choosing to retire or have other foreign service appointments rather that work the Tangelo Tyrant.

* Trump bullied the National Park Service director and called him personally to back up his claims about the size of his inauguration crowds.

* Trump and his minions have pulled all advertising about ACA signups, pulling even ads that have ALREADY been paid for and placed.

* The US has suspended all interviews with potential refugees, fucking people who may have been in the process for years.

***

That’s the big stuff- THAT WE KNOW ABOUT. Oh, yeah. The Doomsday Clock advanced but that’s almost an afterthought at this point. What is this- Day Six? A couple more weeks and I will be begging for the sweet radioactive release of nuclear armageddon.