Right-Wing Bogeymen

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Just like in the old days, when I used to get the Newsmax ‘newsletters’ for oppo research, I now get all kinds – and I mean ALL kinds – of newsletters from various trumpian groups.  I delete most of them, but sometimes the subject headline is just so whacked out that I have to take a look.

Here’s one from American Patriot Daily, with the headline, “George Soros is Linked to a Coronavirus Attack – this is why You’ll be Seeing Red.”  Here’s part of this laughable article:

Donald Trump and the rest of his administration are doing everything in their power to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
But now the President is fighting the invisible enemy on a new front.

Democrats are worried that polls showing the American people supporting the President’s response to the coronavirus will lead to Donald Trump’s re-election in November.

Top party officials also can read the polls that show the American people approve of the President’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

Polls not only show that the public approves of how Donald Trump is managing the crisis, but that his overall approval numbers are also rising to the highest levels of his presidency.

Priorities USA responded to that anger with an announced TV ad campaign falsely attacking President Trump for a supposedly sluggish federal government response to the coronavirus pandemic.

And George Soros is helping to bankroll this smear campaign by pumping three million dollars into Priorities USA’s coffers.

These folks don’t actually care about the attack of the coronavirus pandemic, they only care about how trump is perceived to be handling it.  I have not yet seen a single poll indicating that the majority of citizens “approve of the President’s handling”  Au contraire, right now the polls are showing that approximately two-thirds of “the American people” DISAPPROVE of trump’s spastic and contrarian responses to the pandemic.  And as of this writing,worldometer shows that 112,639 Americans have died of COVID-19.

Next, another right-wing bogeyman:  Antifa.  From a recent NBC news article:

“A Twitter account claiming to belong to a national “antifa” organization and pushing violent rhetoric related to ongoing protests has been linked to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, according to a Twitter spokesperson.”

“The antifa movement — a network of loosely organized radical groups who use direct action to fight the far-right and fascism — has been targeted by President Donald Trump as the force behind some of the violence and property destruction seen at some protests, though little evidence has been provided for such claims.”

The tweets in question have been removed by Twitter, but here’s a screen shot – IMHO, all you have to do is read them to know that they’re a clumsy attempt to target Antifa:

antifa fake tweet

Note the misspelt hashtag #BlacklivesMaters.  Yeah, these guys at Identity Evropa are real fucking pros.

And here’s a question from an interview I started to read on Raw Story.  It’s a question that should be asked by EVERYONE in America:

Many people in the news media and among the American public are upset that Donald Trump is not acting “presidential” in response to the nationwide protests and the apparent murder of George Floyd. They keep expecting Trump to behave like a responsible leader who can help calm and heal a country in pain. He is incapable of doing such a thing. This is honestly pathetic: Why do so many public voices keep pleading with Trump to be something he is not?

Lastly, just for fun,  some cute dog pics from Bored Panda – here’s two of my favorites:

funny-dogs-pic1

There’s always ONE family member who refuses to pose normally for the cameras:

funny-dogs-pic2 there's always one

THIS IS OUR OPEN THREAD – AS ALWAYS, TALK ABOUT ANYTHING YOU WANT.

 

A Room with a View

Even though I spend much of my day sitting at the computer gazing in despair at all of the continually horrifying headlines, I often end up turning instead to watch the various birds and squirrels enjoying our bird feeders.  Right now we just have two feeders:  one is set up about six or seven feet outside the computer room windows; the second is maybe fifteen to twenty feet beyond the first.  In addition, I sprinkle some seed under the feeders for the ground-feeding birds, plus I put a layer of seed on the bench on the back deck.

So far this season, the usual suspects have been hanging out each day:  cardinals, mourning doves, chickadees, titmice, sparrows, red-winged blackbirds, brown-headed cowbirds, blue jays, grackles, starlings, a family of groundhogs, and the ubiquitous gray squirrels.  In addition, we’ve had a couple of newcomers visiting recently – a male and a female turkey have wandered through separately, but only the female stopped to snack on the seed, and she’s come back more than once.  Red squirrels started encroaching on the gray squirrels’ territory last year, so I’m seeing a few of them in the last week or so.  And we’ve had another bird visiting that I’ve only seen once or twice before in my life, despite their supposedly being ‘common’ in our area: a rufous-sided towhee (aka ‘Eastern Towhee’), which looks like this:

I’ve been very pleased to see that, in addition to the smaller downy woodpeckers, a pair of red-bellied woodpeckers have become regular visitors, particularly enjoying ‘perching’ on the edge of the bench where the seed is easier to access than at the feeders.  A pair of them is shown in the brief video below – turn on the sound for both videos so that you can hear the birdcalls, most of which I’ve recognized for much of my life.

 

 

The few times we’ve been able to open the window, listening to the birds has been a distinct pleasure and distraction during this time of ‘shelter-at-home’.  And when I listen to them, I can’t help thinking about our dear departed friend Ebb (“ebb and flow”, “to ebb and flow”) and her love of all things “on the wing or under the sea.”  I miss her serene outlook, her insightful empathy, and her beautiful soul

This thread is dedicated to the memory of Ebb, whose spirit is flying free.

Open Thread – enjoy this little oasis whenever you need to.

Happy Easter!

Even though we’re all homebound for this holiday, I hope that a little ‘spirit of the season’ remains with everyone.

Little things like bunnies and chicks, daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths, can help to brighten things up –

bunny and chicks

easter flowers

Some members of our family celebrate with the “Easter Rat” – this year having special ‘pandemic’ themes –

This one’s from my brother Bobby and Wayne’s sister Judy:

easter rat 2

And this one is from our niece Emily and her husband Michael:

easter rat emily

Whatever way you celebrate, or if you celebrate at all, I hope that everyone has a special day!  And don’t forget how the tradition of the Easter Bunny started –

easter bunny

OPEN THREAD – HOP ON BY AND TALK ABOUT WHATEVER YOU WANT.

ICYMI: Yeah, We’re Fucked

First and foremost, I hope that none of our Critters and Zoosters, especially those of you in California and the Northwest, are in imminent danger of contracting the “novel coronavirus”, aka “COVID-19.”

New York state’s main COVID-19 epicenter of New Rochelle, previously only known for being the home of fictional Rob and Laura Petrie, is maybe 35-40 miles south of us.  The illness is cropping up in other NY counties besides Westchester and NYC’s 5 Boroughs, so I’m going to assume that its spread northward is inevitable.

I checked in on our pregnant(!!!) niece Emily and her husband Michael, who live near Boston, which is having its own outbreak subsequent to a recent Biogen conference.  One of the companies which had had a presence at the conference is Michael’s employer; and, even though no one from his particular office was an attendee, the company instructed all employees who could to work from home through May 31st.  Both of them are fine, which relieved me greatly.

I was going to compile some of the many lies that trump has told since COVID-19 arrived on our shores; however, since starting this post, the progression of both the disease and the lies have made that idea pretty much pointless.

So I’ll just include a couple of items along those lines.

First this, from March 7th at Salon, regarding trump’s awful presser at the CDC.   Here’s the video – sorry it’s posted twice, but it’s from the original on the twitter feed of @ddiamond:

And this: after trump finished his recent “presidential address” about the pandemic, apparently he got caught on C-SPAN showing just how seriously he takes this:

In case you no longer trust the info from the CDC, here’s a site that is keeping track worldwide.  You can refresh it throughout the day for updates.

I won’t inflict any more trumpness on you, so I’ll end on a high note.  Crank the music to 11  🙂

Feel better?

OPEN THREAD – DO WHAT YOU WANT

Are You Ready for IMPEACHMENT?

US-POLITICS-INVESTIGATION-WOMEN-RUSSIA

With the Senate’s Impeachment Trial of “donald john trump” beginning tomorrow, here’s some light reading to prepare yourselves regarding each team’s basic arguments, should you wish.

Okay, it’s not really “light reading” – well, the trump team’s “Answer” to the House impeachment managers’ “Trial Memorandum” was “light reading” as far as substance and credibility go. It’s also literally light in weight: at a mere six pages, maybe an ounce?, vs the weightier (in all aspects) 110-page House Trial Memorandum.

Since I haven’t actually read the House’s tome, let’s start with the trump team’s “Answer.”

“Ridiculous” is the best way to describe it, starting with its heading:

IN PROCEEDINGS BEFORE
THE UNITED STATES SENATE

ANSWER OF PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP

Seriously, they won’t even use the word “impeachment” in the heading, as if not saying it means it didn’t happen.

The opening paragraph repeats the tired arguments that the Dems have been trying to impeach trump since his inauguration, and trying to “overturn” his election:

The Articles of Impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous on the right of the American people to freely choose their President.  This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election – now just months away.  The highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the President began the day he was inaugurated, and continues to this day.

It has already been argued by smarter people than me that, if an election were to be “overturned” (and the second paragraph also mentions “nullifying an election”), then the candidate who lost would become the winner, and all of the current president’s actions would automatically be null and void.  This idea is just as impossible as it sounds, and no one except an idiot would believe it.  Therefore, trump’s minions all subscribe to this notion.

The trump team’s arguments continue by stating that Article 1 of the Impeachment doesn’t indicate any “crime or violation of law whatsoever”, and claims that “At all times, the President has faithfully and effectively executed the duties of his Office on behalf of the American people.” At this point, they go into the so-called “perfect call” to Zelenskyy, trying to push that the call was about corruption and about other countries “not carrying their fair share.”

Here’s the fun part (and from this and other details included in trump team’s arguments, you can see why many say that trump had direct input or wrote some of this himself):

…the transcripts of the April 21 call and the July 25 call disprove what the Article alleges.  When the House Democrats realized this, Mr. Schiff created a fraudulent version of the July 25 call and read it to the American people at a congressional hearing, without disclosing that he was simply making it all up.”

Anyone who watched the first impeachment hearing knows that Chairman Schiff both preceded and followed his ‘mob’ parody of trump’s call with a disclaimer stating that he was paraphrasing.  Conservatives simply don’t get ‘irony’, ‘sarcasm’ or ‘satire’.

In trump team’s argument against Article 2 of the Impeachment, regarding obstruction of Congress, they state, in part:

…the notion that President Trump obstructed Congress is absurd.  President trump acted with extraordinary and unprecedented transparency by declassifying and releasing the transcript of the July 25 call that is at the heart of this matter. [emphasis theirs]

This is an out-and-out lie.  The actual “transcript” is still hidden in the ultra-secret server (gee, I can’t imagine why) and all we have seen is the call memo, which is damning enough.

Here’s one part that I really don’t get:

Following the President’s disclosure of the July 25 call transcript[sic], House Democrats issued a series of unconstitutional subpoenas for documents and testimony.  They issued their subpoenas without a congressional vote, and, therefore, without constitutional authority.

Huh?  AFAIK, a congressional committee doesn’t need a full vote of the House in order to issue subpoenas.  I have no idea whose ass this came out of, but it smells pretty bad to me.

You can read the rest of the trump team’s arguments and see for yourself how pathetic and, indeed, ignorant they sound.

Now the House’s “Trial Memorandum”: as I said, I haven’t read it yet, but here’s a brief synopsis from Raw Story.:

The document divides the argument by the House of Representatives into three points.

“The Senate should convict President Trump of abuse of power,” is the first section.

“The Senate should convict President Trump of obstruction of Congress,” is the second section.

“The Senate should immediately remove President Trump from office to prevent further abuses,” is the third section.

Raw Story also includes the outlines for the House’s arguments regarding each point.  If you’re like me, and watched or otherwise kept up with the impeachment hearings, their arguments should be familiar to you.

I’ll stop here in order for there to be time to read more of the details.

And while I was finishing up this thread, the House Impeachment Managers issued their own response to the trump team’s “Answer.” I should have waited a little longer!

Edit:  For reference, here’s White House Counsel Pat Cipollone’s “fuck you” letter to Gerry Nadler.  I think he used trump’s Sharpie to sign it:

THIS IS AN OPEN THREAD – FEEL FREE TO COMMENT THROUGHOUT THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL.

Happy Birthday, RUCerious!

And many happy returns of the day!

So, what kind of birthday cake would you like?

One with your age on it?

bday cake 21
bday cake 30.jpg

One with fruit on it?

bday cake w raspberries

Or one in the shape of a fruit?

bday cake pineapple

Something simple?

bday cake simple

Or something amazingly elaborate?

bday cake elaborate

I know! How about one with frogs on it?

bday cake frogs

Or maybe not frogs – okay, lessee, R2D2?

bday cake r2d2

Something a tad more dignified?

bday cake wine

Now, I like this one ’cause it comes with matching cupcakes –

bday cake w cupcakes

Okay, I think I found the right one – it has my birthday wish to you on it ~

PEACE, MY FRIEND!

bday cake peace sign

~ OPEN THREAD ~

Rambling Idiot Sez What?

cant look at trumps face

At the GOP “Retreat” in Baltimore, trump spit out a whole bunch of words. The transcript is from the Washington Post, with the caveat that it “was compiled from uncorrected closed captioning. (Some of the transcribing errors are pretty funny, BTW.) It’s pretty long, as trump supposedly spoke for 70 minutes. I’m leaving it in all-caps, but I tried to break it up where trump jumped from one topic to another.

THANK YOU, IT HAS BEEN FANTASTIC. A LOT OF POWER. A LOT OF POWER. THANK YOU FOR YOUR FRIENDSHIP AND YOUR DEVOTION, TO OUR NATION . I AM DELIGHTED TO BE HERE WITH SO MANY TERRIFIC REPUBLICAN MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. YOU ARE TERRIFIC. I WANT TO THANK OUR AMAZING LEADERSHIP TEAM, REPUBLICAN WHIP AND ONE OF THE BRAVEST MEN I KNOW, STEVE SCALISE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. [APPLAUSE] CONFERENCE CHAIR LIZ CHENEY, THANK YOU, LIZ. [APPLAUSE] NRCC CHAIR TOM EMMER. TOM, THANK YOU, TOM. CHIEF DEPUTY WHIP BILL FERGUSON. GREAT JOB. THANK YOU, GREAT JOB. AISLES AND WANT TO PROUDLY WELCOME OUR NEWEST REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMEN, PEOPLE THAT THOUGHT A BIG FIGHT AND THEY ARE WINNERS. THEY REACTED SO INCREDIBLY UNDER PRESSURE THE WORLD WAS WATCHING. A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE HOPING FOR THE OPPOSITE OUTCOME BUT MANY MORE PEOPLE WERE HOPING FOR THE OUTCOME WE HAD. A MAN WHO WAS NOT EXPECTED NECESSARILY TO WIN, THEN HE WAS BRUTAL AND BRILLIANT AND DID A GREAT JOB, NOW SOON-TO-BE AND NOW CONGRESSMAN DAN BISHOP FOR MANY YEARS. THANK YOU, DAN. WHAT A GREAT JOB. WHAT A GREAT JOB, DAN. AND ANOTHER MAN WHO FOUGHT SO HARD, AND HE WAS SUPPOSED TO WIN BY A LITTLE TINY BIT AND HE WON BY A LOT OF POINTS, IT WAS A BIG VICTORY AND I WANT TO CONGRATULATE YOU, GREG MURPHY. HE WILL BE WITH YOU FOLKS FOR A LONG TIME. THEY ARE SPECIAL PEOPLE. NORTH CAROLINA, THANK YOU. IT WAS SOME CROWDS THAT TURNED OUT, LIKE PEOPLE NEVER EXPECTED, AND IT WAS A GREAT EVENING OF TELEVISION. I WOULD NOT SAY THE FAKE NEWS WAS TOO HAPPY WITH THE OUTCOME OF THAT IS OK. WE DID IT AND WORKED TOGETHER AS A TEAM. IT WAS VERY INSPIRATIONAL FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE TO WATCH.

EVERYONE HERE TONIGHT HAS A CRITICAL ROLE TO PLAY IN THE FINAL CROSSROADS. IN CONGRESS DEMOCRATS HAVE EMBRACED A DANGEROUS AGENDA. RADICAL SOCIALISM AND OPEN BORDERS. DEMOCRATS ARE DETERMINED TO REPLICATE THE MOST CATASTROPHIC FAILURES OF WORLD HISTORY RIGHT HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. THEY HAVE NEVER LEARNED. THEY HAVE NOT WATCHED. EACH OF YOU IN THE HOUSE REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE IS ON THE FRONT LINES DEFENDING AMERICAN FREEDOM, AMERICAN SECURITY, AMERICAN PROSPERITY AND THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE. YOU ARE THE ONES DOING THE DEFENSE. HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF OUR FELLOW CITIZENS ARE COUNTING ON US AND SO HELP US, GOD, WE WILL NEVER, EVER LET THEM DOWN. [APPLAUSE]

TOGETHER WE ARE GOING TO FIGHT HISTORIC RATTLES, AND WE HAVE HISTORIC BATTLES AHEAD OF US. GOING TO MAKE OUR COUNTRY EVEN GREATER AND WE ARE GOING TO WIN OVERWHELMING VICTORIES FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THE SPIRIT WE HAVE IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, I DON’T BELIEVE HAS EVER BEEN THIS HIGH. OVER THE PAST 2.5 YEARS WE HAVE ALREADY DELIVERED UNPRECEDENTED PROGRESS FOR CITIZENS OF EVERY BACKGROUND AND WALK OF LIFE. NOW WE MUST GO DIRECTLY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO SHARE THE STORY OF WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED AND TO EXPLAIN OUR BOLD VISION FOR THE FUTURE.

WORKING WITH REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS, WE SLASHED 30,000 PAGES OF REGULATIONS FROM THE FEDERAL REGISTER. [APPLAUSE] AND THAT IS AN ALL-TIME RECORD AND WE DID THAT IN A LOT LESS YEARS. IT IS A RECORD NO MATTER HOW LONG THE PRESIDENT’S HAVE SERVED. WE SAVED AN AVERAGE AMERICAN HOUSEHOLD $3000. EARLIER TODAY MY ADMINISTRATION FORMALLY REPEALED THE HORRIBLE, DANGEROUS ANTI-EVERYTHING WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES RULE. [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU, LOUIS. THANK YOU, LOUIS. [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU. I ALWAYS SAY THE ONLY THING THAT HAD GOING FOR IT WAS THE TITLE. I SAID I AM THE ONLY ONE THAT WOULD FIND THIS, BUT IT WAS A GOOD THING WE DID, RIGHT, LOUIS? GOVERNMENT WILL NO LONGER TRY TO MICROMANAGE EVERY RAIN PUDDLE AND DRAINAGE DITCH ON PRIVATE LAND. THEY TOOK YOUR LAND AWAY FROM YOU.

WE ENACTED THE ACCOUNTABILITY ACT SO ANYONE WHO MISTREAT OR ABUSES OUR VETERANS CAN BE PROMPTLY FIRED. [APPLAUSE] THERE WAS A TIME YOU COULD NOT FIRE ANYONE KNOW HOW MATTER — ANYONE KNOW MATTER HOW MUCH THEY STOLE OR WERE SATANIST, AND WE HAD SOME OF THOSE. YOU COULD NOT FIRE THEM AND NOW WE CAN DO IT QUICKLY AND EASILY. THEY DON’T TREAT THEM WELL, WE GET THEM OUT. WE HAVE REMOVED 7000, 600 EMPLOYEES AND GIVE OUR VETERANS THE CARE THEY DESERVE. WE ARE ALSO VERY PROUD TO TELL YOU THE VETERANS CHOICE WHICH IS SOMETHING SPECIAL, THEY HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET IT FOR DECADES AND DECADES, CHOICE SO MORE VETERANS HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEE A PRIVATE DOCTOR IF THEY HAVE TO WAIT IN A LINE, INSTEAD OF THREE OR FIVE WEEKS WITH NUMBERS YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE, YOU ARE SICK, NOT FEELING WELL AND THEY SAY COME BACK IN FOUR WEEKS. NOW YOU GO TO A LOCAL DOCTOR OF YOUR CHOICE, BY THE WAY. UNLIKE SOMEBODY ELSE WERE THEY SAID YOU COULD HAVE YOUR DOCTOR AND YOU CAN HAVE YOUR PLAN 28 TIMES. THAT DIDN’T WORK OUT TOO WELL. YOU CAN SEE A DOCTOR, WE PAY THE BILL AND IT HAS BEEN AN INCREDIBLE THING. WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THE V.A. HAS BEEN REALLY SOMETHING SPECIAL. YOU JUST SEE IT. ALL YOU USED TO SEE AND READ ABOUT WAS HOW BAD THE V.A. WAS RUN, AND I DON’T HEAR THE STORIES ANYMORE. PEOPLE WILL RUN OUT AND START TRYING TO FIND SOMEBODY. WHO IS UNHAPPY? THOUSANDS AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, PLEASE CALL US IMMEDIATELY AND THAT IS THE PROBLEM. PEOPLE ARE REALLY HAPPY. WHAT WE HAVE DONE THERE IS INCREDIBLE.

WE ACHIEVED RECORD FUNDING TO RESTORE THE HEIGHT OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY, $700 MILLION LAST YEAR, AND NOW JUST TO PROVE , THANK YOU VERY MUCH, $700 BILLION NEXT YEAR, MORE MONEY BY FAR THAN EVER BEFORE. [APPLAUSE] AND REMEMBER THAT IS ALL MONEY THAT IS BUILT IN THE USA. WE BUILD IT RIGHT HERE. AMERICA IS RESPECTED AGAIN. OUR NATION IS STRONGER TODAY THAN EVER BEFORE. WE HAVE THE GREATEST EQUIPMENT. WE HAVE PEOPLE WITH SPIRITS LIKE THEY HAVE NOT HAD. WE HAVE THE GREATEST EQUIPMENT. OUR EQUIPMENT 2.5 YEARS AGO WAS OLD AND TIRED, AMMUNITION WAS LOW, OUR PLANES DID NOT FLY WELL OR AT ALL. NOW WE HAVE BEAUTIFUL NEW PLANES AND JETS AND FIGHTER JETS AND BOMBERS, AND WE HAVE HOPEFULLY EVERYTHING — HOPEFULLY WE DON’T HAVE TO USE THEM MUCH OR AT ALL BUT WE HAVE THE GREATEST MILITARY WE HAVE EVER HAD. [APPLAUSE]

AND TOGETHER, SO IMPORTANTLY WE ENDED THE LAST ADMINISTRATION ‘S HEARTLESS WAR ON AMERICAN ENERGY FOR ALL THE FOLKS IN TEXAS. YOU ARE HAPPY, PLENTY OF OTHER PLACES BUT YOU ARE HAPPY. THE U.S. IS THE NUMBER ONE ENERGY PRODUCER ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD BY FAR. [APPLAUSE] FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN 60 YEARS, WE ARE NOW A NET EXPORTER OF AMERICAN NATURAL GAS. [APPLAUSE] WE ARE ENDING DECADES OF FOREIGN ENERGY RELIANCE TO UNLEASH THE BLESSINGS OF AMERICAN ENERGY INDEPENDENCE. WE ARE REALLY, IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT IS GOING ON IN CERTAIN COUNTRIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST, AND YOU LOOK AT THE STREETS, AND YOU SEE THE SHIPS — STRAITS, AND YOU SEE THE SHIPS BEING TAKEN AWAY — IRAN IS MUCH DIFFERENT. NUMBER ONE, THEY WOULD NOT TAKE THEM. THEY BETTER NOT. NUMBER TWO WE DON’T HAVE MANY THERE. WE USED TO BE FLOODED. WE USED TO GET EVERYTHING THERE. NOW IT IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY. WE ARE VERY ENERGY INDEPENDENT.

WE HAVE INVESTED BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO COMBINE — COMBAT THE OPIOID CRISIS AND THOSE STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION TO FIND ACCESS TO TREATMENT, EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT, TREMENDOUS PROBLEM. WE HAVE HAD SUCCESS WITH OPIOIDS , NOT THAT IT GOES AWAY BUT LOOKING VERY STRONGLY FOR SOMETHING THAT CAN REALLY TAKE AWAY THE PAIN WITHOUT BEING ADDICTIVE AND WE ARE GETTING CLOSE. THIS IS A — PEOPLE GO INTO THE HOSPITAL FOR A WEEK AND COME OUT DRUG ADDICTS. THEY COME OUT ADDICTED. IT IS A TERRIBLE THING BUT WE ARE WORKING HARD AND GETTING CLOSE, FINDING A PAINKILLER THAT IS NOT ADDICTIVE. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THREE DECADES DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS HAVE DECLINED OVER 30 YEARS. [APPLAUSE]

FIRST TIME. THANKS TO THE ENTIRE REPUBLICAN TEAM IN CONGRESS, WE PASSED BIGGEST TAX CUT AND REFORM IN AMERICAN HISTORY. [APPLAUSE] AND WE ARE NOW WORKING ON A MIDDLE TAX, A TAX CUT FOR THE MIDDLE INCOME PEOPLE THAT IS GOING TO BE VERY INSPIRATIONAL. IT IS GOING TO BE SOMETHING THAT I THINK IS WHAT EVERYONE IS LOOKING FOR. WE WILL BE ANNOUNCING IT IN THE NEXT YEAR. IT WILL BE A VERY SUBSTANTIAL TAX CUT FOR MIDDLE INCOME FOLKS WHO WORKED SO HARD. WE WILL WORK ON IT ALTOGETHER. YOU SEE WHAT THE OTHER TAX CUT HAS DONE AND FRANKLY I AM NOT SURE BUT I WOULD SAY THE REGULATION CUTS, THE MASSIVE CUTS IN REGULATION, STILL HAVE PLENTY OF REGULATION BUT THE MASSIVE CUTS EQUAL THE TAX CUTS IN TERMS OF JOBS AND AND BUSINESSES. THE COMBINATION OF EVERYTHING WORKED BECAUSE WE PROBABLY HAVE RIGHT NOW THE STRONGEST ECONOMY IN THE HISTORY OF OUR NATION. [APPLAUSE]

AND WHAT THE MEDIA IS TRYING — THEY WANT A RECESSION SO BADLY. THE WORD, AND EVERY TIME THEY GO AFTER US, THE MARKET GOES UP. YOU HAVE GOT TO EXPLAIN THIS TO ME. WE ARE VERY CLOSE TO HAVING ANOTHER STOCK MARKET RECORD. WENT UP AGAIN TODAY. I THINK IT IS OVER 100 RECORDS AREA DAYS WHERE THE STOCK MARKET HIT IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY ALL-TIME HIGHS. IT IS OVER 100. I WILL GET THE EXACT NUMBER BUT IT IS REALLY SOMETHING. THREE WEEKS AGO IF YOU LISTENED IT WAS LIKE DOOM AND GLOOM. I DON’T THINK THEY BELIEVED IT, BUT THAT IS OK.

WE ARE DOING VERY WELL WITH CHINA. CHINA WOULD LIKE TO DO SOMETHING. WE ARE TAKING IN BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF TARIFFS AND THEY ARE EATING THE COST. IT IS NOT BEING BORNE VERY MUCH BY US. BILLIONS AND BILLIONS, MONEY FLOWING IN. WE NEVER HAVE TAKEN $.10 FROM CHINA. SUPPLY CHAINS ARE BEING BROKEN LIKE TOYS AND PEOPLE ARE LEAVING AND MILLIONS OF JOBS IN CHINA ARE BEING LOST. WE DON’T WANT THAT BUT WE WANT A FAIR DEAL. WE HAVE LOWERED OUR BUSINESS TAX FOR ONE OF THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD TO ONE OF THE MOST COMPETITIVE. NEARLY $1 TRILLION HAVE RETURNED TO OUR SHORES, $1 TRILLION, PART OF WHAT WE DID.

WE DOUBLED THE CHILD TAX CREDIT. [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU TO A NUMBER OF PEOPLE FOR THAT, BUT ESPECIALLY THE IVANKA TRUMP. IT WAS IMPORTANT TO HER THAT SHE UNDERSTOOD JARON IS HERE, BUT SHE UNDERSTOOD WHAT THAT MEANT. SHE WORKED SO HARD. WE CREATED OPPORTUNITY ZONES TO REVITALIZE THE DISTRESSED COMMUNITIES. TIM SCOTT WAS FANTASTIC AND MANY OTHER SENATORS WHO WORKED HARD ON THAT BUT TIM SCOTT IN PARTICULAR REALLY WORKED HARD, SOUTH CAROLINA AND WE THANK TIM. THEY ARE DOING NUMBERS NOBODY BELIEVED POSSIBLE. SO MUCH MONEY IS GOING INTO AREAS THAT HAVE NEVER SEEN MONEY IN A LONG TIME.

WE ELIMINATED OBAMACARE’S CRUEL AND UNPOPULAR INDIVIDUAL MANDATE. [APPLAUSE]

SINCE OUR ELECTION IN 2016, WE HAVE CREATED 6 MILLION NEW JOBS INCLUDING ONE MILLION MANUFACTURING, ENERGY AND CONSTRUCTION JOBS. REMEMBER WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID FORGET MANUFACTURING, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. WE HAVE ALMOST 600,000 IN TERMS OF MANUFACTURING JOBS AND NOBODY THOUGHT THAT WAS POSSIBLE. AS SOON AS WE GET THE TRADE STUFF PERFECT THE WAY WE WANT IT, ONLY SIGN IT WHEN IT IS REALLY GOOD, WE DO UNTIL YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS WITH THIS ECONOMY. WE ARE READY TO REALLY ROCK IT EVEN MORE. YOU GO FROM ELECTION NIGHT, THE DAY AFTER, NOVEMBER NINE, AND YOU LOOK AT THE NUMBERS ON STOCK MARKETS, OVER 50%, THROUGH ONE CASE ARE — 401K’S ARE THROUGH THE ROOF. 72%, WHATEVER IT MAY BE, NUMBERS THEY HAVE NEVER HAD BEFORE, NO ONE SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT.

THIS IS WHEN WE ARE FIGHTING PEOPLE ON TRADE, WOULD WE HAVE THIS GREAT MILITARY AND WE DEFEND COUNTRIES THAT ARE IMMENSELY WEALTHY AND THEY DON’T HELP US OUT. THEY DON’T PAY US FOR ALMOST ANYTHING. WE ARE TALKING TO THOSE COUNTRIES. THEY ARE OUR FRIENDS AND ALLIES. SOMETIMES OUR ALLIES TREAT US WORSE, BUT WE DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN. TAKES A LITTLE GETTING USED TO BECAUSE NO ONE HAS EVER ASKED THEM. WE ARE DEFENDING YOUR COUNTRY, YOU ARE RICH AS CAN BE, YOU HAVE TO PAY A LITTLE BIT. THEY GO NO. NO. MR. PRESIDENT, GOT TO PAY. YOU GOT TO PAY. THE ANSWER IS, BUT NOBODY HAS EVER ASKED US TO DO THAT. THAT IS WHY I AM DIFFERENT. [APPLAUSE] I SAY TELL ME WHY WE ARE DEFENDING YOU FOR FREE. WHY A TINY FRACTION OF WHAT IT COSTS, THEN YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE UNITED STATES FOR MANY YEARS ON TRADE. SO WE GET KILLED WITH TRADE, WE GET KILLED DEFENDING YOUR NATION. TELL ME, MR. PRESIDENT, MR. PRIME MINISTER, KING OR QUEEN, WHY ARE WE PROTECTING YOUR COUNTRY, AND THEY GO, BUT NOBODY HAS EVER ASKED ME THAT. THEY CAN’T THINK OF AN ANSWER. THE ONLY THING THEY SAY ALL THE TIME, BECAUSE IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY. I SAY IT WILL NOT BE THAT WAY ANY LONGER. YOU GOT TO PAY. IT IS TRUE. [APPLAUSE] NOT GOING TO BE THAT WAY ANY LONGER.

LAST MONTH WE WERE 600,000 PEOPLE JOINED OUR WORKFORCE FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, MOST NEW HIRES ARE MINORITIES AND WOMEN. NOBODY KNOWS THAT BECAUSE THE MEDIA DOESN’T GET THAT ACROSS. [APPLAUSE] MORE THAN 7 MILLION AMERICANS HAVE BEEN LIFTED OFF OF FOOD STAMPS AND WE NOW HAVE A 13 STRAIGHT MONTHS OF WAGE GAINS OF AT LEAST 3%. [APPLAUSE] THINK OF THAT. DURING THE CAMPAIGN I USED TO SAY PEOPLE WOULD GO BACK 21 YEARS, WHEN I WAS RUNNING, AND THEY MADE 21 — MORE MONEY YEARS AGO THAT THEY WERE MAKING 2.5 YEARS AGO. THEY WERE MAKING MORE MONEY. ETIHAD TWO JOBS AND EVEN THREE JOBS. NOT ANYMORE. AFRICAN-AMERICAN, HISPANIC AMERICAN UNEMPLOYMENT HAVE REACHED THE LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY. [APPLAUSE] I WONDER IF THAT WILL BE MENTIONED DURING THE DEBATE. I DON’T KNOW. I HAVE A FEELING — KEVIN, YOU THINK THEY WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THAT? IT IS A GOOD DEBATE POINT. THEY HIT ME LEFT AND RIGHT, I WILL SAY AFRICAN-AMERICAN UNEMPLOYMENT IS THE LOWEST IT HAS EVER BEEN. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, GOOD LUCK. BUT ANOTHER GOOD ONE IS AFTER AFRICAN-AMERICAN AND HISPANIC AMERICAN POVERTY RATES HAVE ALSO REACHED THE ALL-TIME IN OUR HISTORY RECORD LOWS. HOW DO YOU LOSE THIS DEBATE? HOW DO YOU LOSE THIS? IT IS A TOUGH ONE TO BEAT ALSO. OUR PLEDGE TO THE WORKERS ARE SECURING COMMITMENTS FOR 13 MILLION EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS. WE HAVE THE GREATEST COMPANIES IN THE WORLD AND THEY ARE TRAINING PEOPLE — GOVERNMENT CAN’T REALLY TRAIN THEM. WE ARE TRAINING PEOPLE THROUGH THESE PROGRAMS WHERE WE ARE GOING TO THESE — WALMART IS AN EXAMPLE AND SO MANY OTHERS. WE ARE GOING TO THE COMPANIES AND THEY ARE TAKING PEOPLE AND TRAINING THEM. NO ONE CAN TRAIN THEM, ONLY THE COMPANY ITSELF. 13 MILLION PEOPLE AND IT IS SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL TO SEE.

WE GATHER TO CELEBRATE THESE EXTRAORDINARY GAINS. WE HAVE DONE THINGS I DON’T THINK ANY ADMINISTRATION HAS COME CLOSE TO. WE HAVE DONE THINGS THAT FEW HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT DOING, BUT WE NEED TO PREPARE FOR THE COMING FIGHT BECAUSE THE TRADITIONS AND BELIEFS THAT HAVE MADE THE DREAM POSSIBLE ARE UNDER ATTACK LIKE NEVER BEFORE. YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT. HOUSE DEMOCRATS ARE PURSUING THE MOST RADICAL FAR-LEFT PROGRAM EVER PUT FORWARD IN THAT HISTORIC CHAMBER.

IT IS THE DEMOCRATS AND IT IS THE MEDIA. WE ARE FIGHTING TWO BATTLES. THE DEMOCRATS AND THE MEDIA. IT IS AS IF THEY ARE ONE BECAUSE THEY ARE ONE. THEY ARE WORKING TOGETHER. THEY ARE COLLUDING AND THEY ARE EXTRACTING. — ABSTRACT — THEY ARE OBST RUCTING. WITH THE GRIM SPECTER OF SOCIALISM DESCENDING ON THE DEMOCRAT PARTY IT IS UP TO ALL OF US TO ENSURE THE SURVIVAL OF AMERICAN LIBERTY. WE HAVE A VERY BIG TASK. PEOPLE SAY YOU ARE GOING TO BEAT THIS ONE OR THAT ONE, THEY ARE SO FAR-LEFT. IT IS HARD TO BEAT A SOCIALIST WHEN YOU HAVE A WEALTHY COUNTRY. WE HAVE A WEALTHY COUNTRY. WHEN THEY SAY WE WILL GIVE AWAY YOUR HEALTH CARE, WE WILL DO FREE EDUCATION, WE WILL CUT STUDENT LOAN DEBT DOWN TO NOTHING, $1.6 TRILLION OUT THE WINDOW, EVERYTHING IS GIVEN AWAY, THEN THEY SAY WE DON’T HAVE TO RAISE YOUR TAXES — IF YOU PAY FIVE TIMES WHAT PEOPLE ARE PAYING YOU WOULD NOT COME CLOSE.

WE ARE WORKING HARD ON A PLACE CALLED VENEZUELA. 15 YEARS AGO IT WAS ONE OF THE WEALTHIEST AND TODAY THEY DON’T HAVE FOOD OR WATER OR ANYTHING. THEY DON’T HAVE ANYTHING. WE ARE SENDING THINGS TO HELP THEM ON A HUMANITARIAN BASIS AND WE ARE WORKING WITH COLUMBIA AND OTHER NATIONS TO HELP THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ESSENTIALLY ESCAPE BUT THAT WAS SOCIALISM. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM IN A SHORT TIME. ISSUE AFTER ISSUE AMERICANS MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT VISIONS THAT WILL DEFINE OUR NATION FOR MANY GENERATIONS TO COME. MORE THAN 130 DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS HAVE SIGNED UP FOR THE BERNIE SANDERS TOTAL GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF HEALTH CARE. CRAZY BERNIE. HE IS A CRAZY GUY. WHEN FRENCH — WHICH WOULD DRAMATICALLY RAISE MIDDLE-CLASS TAXES, ELIMINATE PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE FOR 180 MILLION AMERICANS AND DESTROY MEDICARE FOREVER. REPUBLICANS WILL ALWAYS PROTECT MEDICARE FOR OUR GREAT SENIORS WHO EARNED IT AND PAID FOR IT, AND WE WILL ALWAYS PROTECT PATIENTS WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. [APPLAUSE]

228 HOUSE DEMOCRATS VOTED TO PUT AMERICA BACK INTO THE DISASTROUS PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD. HOW IS THAT WORKING OUT FOR PARIS? THE YELLOW VESTS. THEY DIDN’T LIKE ALL OF THAT MONEY BEING SENT TO PEOPLE THAT THEY HAD NEVER HEARD OF THE COUNTRY FROM WHICH THEY CAME, AND HASN’T BEEN WORKING OUT WELL BUT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A DISASTER FOR US. IT WOULD HAVE COST US A TREMENDOUS FORTUNE. THEY WERE GOING TO TAKE AWAY OUR WEALTH AND SAY WE CAN’T DO CERTAIN BUSINESSES. WE CAN’T TAKE NEW ORLEANS GAS. WE CAN’T DO ANYTHING. THIS WOULD HAPPEN ONE OF THE GREAT TRAVESTY.

THAT AND THE CLEAN WATERS ACT DIDN’T GIVE YOU — TODAY WE HAVE THE CLEANEST AIR, THE CLEANEST WATER WE HAVE EVER HAD IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY. [APPLAUSE] JUST FOR THE PRESS BECAUSE THEY WILL GET ME, LET’S SAY OVER THE LAST 25 YEARS. I WOULD SAY THE FIRST FEW YEARS THEY HAD CLEANER AIR AND WATER BECAUSE THERE WAS NOBODY HERE. I HAVE TO BE ACCURATE BUT THEY WILL NOT PUT IT ON, THEY WON’T PUT THE SECOND PART ON. THEY WON’T PUT THE EXPLANATION ON. WE HAVE CLEAN AIR AND WATER. THE PARIS ACCORDS WOULD DO NOTHING TO IMPROVE OUR ENVIRONMENT. IT WOULD ONLY PUNISH OUR COUNTRY WHILE FOREIGN PEOPLE OPERATE WITH IMPUNITY. YOU LOOK AT CHINA, INDIA, RUSSIA AND OTHER PLACES, SMOKESTACKS POURING OUT, EVERYTHING IS POURING OUT.

WE ARE GOING TO BE CLEAN, BUT ISN’T IT SORT OF NAIVE — THEN THEY TALK ABOUT PLASTIC STRAWS. WHAT ABOUT THE PLATE, WHAT ABOUT THE WRAPPER MADE OUT A MUCH TOUGHER PLASTIC? WE HAVE NOT GOTTEN TO THAT. JUST STRAWS. SOME DAY YOU WILL EXPLAIN THAT TO ME, LOUIS. YOU ARE A BIG ENVIRONMENTALIST. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE STRAW? THEY CAN’T EXPLAIN IT. WE DID A COUPLE OF THINGS. WE ARE WORKING ON CARS BECAUSE FOR A VIRTUALLY INSIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF ENERGY WILL BE ABLE TO PRODUCE CARS THAT ARE SUBSTANTIAL BY $300,000 OR SO CHEAPER, LESS EXPENSIVE, MUCH SAFER, BECAUSE THE HEAVIER — THEY ARE HEAVIER, STRONGER, NOT MADE OF PAPIER-MACHE. HEAVY, STRONG AND THEY WILL COST A LOT LESS MONEY.

PEOPLE SAID WHAT IS WITH THE LIGHTBULB? HERE IS A STORY. I LOOKED AT IT. THE ONE WE ARE BEING FORCED TO USE — NUMBER ONE TO ME MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE LIGHT’S NO GOOD. I ALWAYS LOOK ORANGE, AND SO DO YOU. THE LIGHT IS THE WORST. NUMBER TWO IT IS MANY TIMES MORE EXPENSIVE THAN THAT OLD INCANDESCENT BULB THAT WORKED VERY WELL AND VERY IMPORTANTLY I DON’T KNOW IF YOU KNOW THIS, THEY HAVE WARNINGS. IF IT BREAKS, IT IS CONSIDERED A HAZARDOUS WASTE. IT IS GASES INSIDE. READ WHAT THEY SAY. IF IT BREAKS, BRING IT TO YOUR LOCAL WHATEVER, HAVE IT WRAPPED — WHAT ARE WE DOING? I SAID TO ONE OF THE PEOPLE TODAY, THEY BREAK A LOT, SO WHAT DO THEY DO — THEY THROW THEM AWAY. THEY CALL IT HAZARDOUS WASTE, BUT MANY TIMES MORE TO EXPENSIVE — IT IS MANY TIMES MORE EXPENSIVE AND THE LIGHT IS NOT AS GOOD. WE ARE GOING TO SELL THAT BUT WE ARE GOING TO SELL INCANDESCENT BULBS AND PEOPLE ARE HAPPY, IT HAS BEEN AMAZING. [APPLAUSE] PEOPLE DON’T TELL YOU WHY. THEY SAY HE IS GETTING RID OF AN ENERGY-EFFICIENT BALL. THEY DON’T TELL YOU ABOUT THE DANGERS OF THE BALD AND THE COST OF THAT BOLD. OVER 100 DEMOCRATS SIGNED UP TO SUPPORT THE $100 TRILLION GREEN NEW DEAL. THAT IS A BEAUTY. NO MORE COWS, NO MORE PLANES, I GUESS NO MORE PEOPLE. BECAUSE KEVIN [McCarthy] IS JUST LIKE A COW , JUST SMALLER. I HAD TO PICK SOMEBODY AND I LOOKED AT THAT BEAUTIFUL, POLITICAL FACE OF YOURS. A LITTLE TRUTH TO THAT.

I SEE HARDENED DEMOCRATS POLITICIANS THAT — I SAY IT IS INCREDIBLE. THEY ARE STANDING BEHIND AOC. I CALL HER CORTEZ. YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO GO THROUGH THE WHOLE NAME. HER NAME IS CORTEZ. I CALLED HER AOC AND THE OTHERS AOC PLUS THREE. AOC PLUS THREE. THAT IS THE DEFINITION. I SEE WHAT SHE IS TALKING, SHE IS GOING THROUGH THIS DEAL THAT IS SO INSANE BUT I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.

I HIT POCAHONTAS TOO EARLY. I THOUGHT SHE WAS GOD. SHE HAS EMERGED ON THE ASHES AND NOW IT LOOKS LIKE SHE COULD BEAT SLEEPY JOE. HE HAS NO IDEA WHAT HE IS DOING OR SAYING. PRESIDENT XI OF CHINA, HE IS TOUGH. HE IS A. KIND OF A GUY. GREAT GUY BUT HE IS DYING TO SEE — HE WANTS SLEEPY JOE. IMAGINE THIS, THOSE GUYS IN A ROOM. HERE IS XI. HI. HERE IS SLEEPY JOE. WHERE AM I, WHERE AM I? JUST SIGN HERE. LIKE YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN DOING THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, LET US TAKE MONEY OUT OF YOUR ACCOUNT AND KEEP REBUILDING CHINA WITH AMERICA’S MONEY. A LOT OF THINGS ARE STOPPING THAT ARE BAD, FOOLISH AND CRAZY.

BUT WE WON’T LET DEMOCRATS OBLITERATE DOMESTIC INDUSTRY AND CRIPPLE WORKING-CLASS FAMILIES WITH SKYHIGH ENERGY PRICES. DEMOCRATS ARE PROPOSING TO PACK THE COURTS WITH LAWS AND ACTIVIST JUDGES. LOOK AT THESE. DOING WELL, LATELY WE ARE DOING WELL. [APPLAUSE] AND TODAY I SIGNED THE 150TH JUDGE, FEDERAL JUDGE. [APPLAUSE] THINK OF IT, 150 INCLUDING COURT OF APPEALS IN TWO GREAT SUPREME COURT JUSTICES. THINK ABOUT IT. [APPLAUSE]

AND YESTERDAY, COINCIDENTLY, WE JUST WON THE ASYLUM CASE, THE BIG ONE, THE BIG ONE. WE WON IT IN A VOTE OF 7-2 SO IT WASN’T A VERY CLOSE ONE. AND TO ME, SO IMPORTANTLY, BECAUSE WE WANT TO BUILD THAT WALL, WE ARE BUILDING THAT WALL BECAUSE THREE MONTHS AGO WE GOT THE CASE ON THE WALL. THAT WALL IS BEING BUILT AND IT IS BEING BUILT RAPIDLY, AND WE HOPE TO HAVE AS MUCH AS 500 MILES OF WALL BUILT BY THE END OF NEXT YEAR, 500 MILES. THAT IS A LOT. THAT IS ABOUT WHAT WE WANT. AND THAT IS BEING BUILT DESPITE THE MOST OBSTRUCTIVE GROUP OF PEOPLE I HAVE EVER SEEN. IF THEY WANT TO RUN THEIR CAMPAIGN WITH OPEN BORDERS, THEY WANT TO RUN THEIR CAMPAIGN ON SOME OF THE THINGS THEY ARE SAYING, GREEN NEW DEAL AND ALL IT ENTAILS, I SAY LET THEM GO. DON’T CRITICIZE TOO MUCH, PLEASE.

ONE THING I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT POLITICS, YOU CAN SAY SOMETHING ONE DAY BUT IS ABSOLUTELY INSANE , LIKE THEY ARE SAYING, THEN TWO WEEKS LATER SAY THE OPPOSITE AND NO ONE WILL EVER CALL YOU ON IT. YOU ARE IN THE CRAZIEST BUSINESS I HAVE EVER SEEN. YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT AND TWO WEEKS LATER THEY WILL SAY SOMETHING DIFFERENT. I WANT TO BRING THEM DOWN THE PIKE BEFORE WE START CRITICIZING THE GREEN NEW DEAL. I WANT TO SAY BECAUSE WE ARE ON TELEVISION, EVEN THOUGH I GUESS THEY SHOULD BE WATCHING THE DEBATE BUT PROBABLY WATCHING US — WE HAVE A LOT. SEE THOSE CAMERAS? WE KICKED REPORTERS OUT BUT THOSE CAMERAS, WE ARE ON LIVE. THE GREEN NEW DEAL, WE WANT THAT THING TO GO AS LONG AS IT CAN BECAUSE ANYONE THAT CAN WIN OFFICE PROMOTING THE GREEN NEW DEAL, THEY DESERVE TO WIN. THEY GOT TO BE REALLY GOOD AND HAVE THE GREATEST LINE OF CRAP ANYBODY HAS EVER HAD IN THE HISTORY OF POLITICS. THEIR DELIVERY HAS TO BE PERFECT, SOMETIMES — LOUSY POLITICIANS, BUT THEY HAVE ONE THING THAT IS INCREDIBLE, THEY STICK TOGETHER. YOU PEOPLE HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER. WE HAVE MORE SPIRIT WITH OUR CONGRESS MEN AND WOMEN THAN WE HAVE EVER HAD THAT I SEE. YOU ARE IN A SMALL — JUST A LITTLE SHORT OF TAKING THE MAJORITY. YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE IT. YOU ARE GOING TO TAKE THE MAJORITY. [APPLAUSE]

AND DAN, DAN BISHOP, AND CRAIG MURPHY, THEY WILL TELL YOU BECAUSE THEY SAW WHAT HAPPENED. WE WENT INTO THOSE COMMUNITIES AND THEY WENT OUT TO VOTE LIKE NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN. I WILL STAFF IN EVERY COMMUNITY I CAN. WE WILL MAKE A LIST — I GOT A LOT OF ENERGY. YOU DON’T HAVE THE ENERGY, YOU CAN FORGET THAT ONE. EVERY SAYS I GOT TO REST FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS AFTER TWO STOPS. LET ME REST. SHE DID NOT LIKE STAIRS, SHE DID NOT LIKE AIRPLANES, SHE DID NOT LIKE A LOT. SHE SAID I DON’T HAVE TO GO TO WISCONSIN TO CAMPAIGN. HER HUSBAND WAS A PRO. I SAW WHAT THEY WERE DOING IN WISCONSIN, I DON’T LIKE IT. A LOT OF THOSE TRUMP AND TRUMP HENCE SIGNS, A LOT OF THEM. I DON’T LIKE IT. DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT, DARLING. WISCONSIN WILL BE FINE. THE WINNER OF WISCONSIN IS DONALD TRUMP. A LOT OF SIGNS, SHE SAID. IN MICHIGAN THERE WERE A LOT OF SIGNS IN THE LONG. SIGNS ALL OVER THE PLACE. GOT TO GO BACK TO MICHIGAN MORE OFTEN. MICHIGAN HASN’T BEEN WON FOR DECADES BY A REPUBLICAN. MY PEOPLE TELL ME GREAT. I DON’T KNOW WHO HER PEOPLE WERE. IF THEY EVER THREATEN ME WITH THAT THAT I COLLUDED WITH HER PEOPLE THAT I COULD UNDERSTAND. THAT I COULD. BECAUSE THEY TOLD HER DON’T GO BACK TO MICHIGAN. DON’T GO BACK. DONALD TRUMP HAS WON THE GREAT STATE OF MICHIGAN. DONALD TRUMP HAS WON THE GREAT STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, GREAT STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, THE GREAT STATE OF FLORIDA, THE GREAT STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA. REMEMBER THEY SAID WE WOULD LOSE TEXAS. THEY DIDN’T SAY THAT. THEY ARE CROOKED AS HELL, BUT THEY DID SAY TEXAS IS IN PLAY. BEING SOMEWHAT NEW TO THE GAME, I SAID LET ME ASK YOU A QUESTION. WHAT DOES IT MEAN AND THEY SAY IT IS IN PLAY? IT IS TOO CLOSE TO CALL. I AM SIX OR SEVEN MONTHS AT THIS THING. TEXAS IS IN PLAY. I WENT TO MAKE A SPEECH, WE HAD A LINE MILES LONG. EVERYBODY WAS TELLING ME A GREAT GUY GOT INTO TEXAS, WEARING HIS BIG COWBOY HAT, I WISH WE COULD WEAR THEM — NO ONE WOULD LOOK AT MY HAIR AND CRITICIZE. YOU EVER NOTICE IN TEXAS THEY WEAR THE HAT — I WOULD DO THAT. I WOULDN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HAIRSPRAY OR MY HAIR BLOWING, BEAUTIFULLY BLOWING IN THE WIND. THIS GUY IS ON TELEVISION, STRONG TEXAS GUY AND THEY ASK HIM ABOUT THE RACE BEING SO CLOSE LIKE FIVE MONTHS BEFORE THE ELECTION. HE SAID I DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU COME FROM BUT I COME FROM TEXAS. ONE OF THE THINGS I WILL TELL YOU FOR REAL, THIS RACE IS NOT CLOSE AT ALL. TRUMP IS GOING TO WIN BY A LOT. GET TO THE EVENING AND THEY ARE SAYING TEXAS IS IN PLAY, IT IS TOO CLOSE. THE POLLS CLOSE AT 8:00. UNLESS YOU HAVE A HUGE COMMANDING LEAD — IT TAKES AN HOUR OR THREE BEFORE THEY SAY WHO WON. THE POLLS HAVE CLOSED, DONALD TRUMP HAS WON THE STATE OF TEXAS. LIKE SIX MONTHS, THEN TODAY I HEARD IT AGAIN.

I THINK IT WAS BUTTIGIEG. THEY SAID — BOOT AND THEN EDGE — NO ONE CAN PRONOUNCE HIS LAST NAME. NOBODY. THE JUDGE. THEY SAY BUTTIGIEG AND TRUMP. WHAT I’VE DONE FOR ENERGY, IF ANYONE BEAT ME IN TEXAS — I DON’T THINK ROCKEFELLER COULD BEAT THE IN TEXAS. THE REAL ROCKEFELLER, THE FIRST ROCKEFELLER. HE WOULD HAVE A HARD TIME. THEY SAID BUTTIGIEG — HE IS DOING A ROTTEN JOB RUNNING HIS OWN CITY. LOUSY JOB. BUT THEY SAY BUTTIGIEG IS TWO POINTS UP IN THE STATE OF TEXAS AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP. I SAID I DON’T THINK SO. I DON’T THINK SO. I DON’T WORRY ABOUT THAT TOO MUCH. YOU THINK BUTTIGIEG’S WINNING TEXAS? I HAVE HAD HIM UP TO HEAR. — HERE.

DEMOCRATS CARE MORE ABOUT ILLEGAL ALIENS AND THEIR OWN CONSTITUENTS. REPUBLICANS KNOW OUR DUTY IS TO AMERICAN CITIZENS. DEMOCRATS VOTED AGAINST’KATES LAW — AGAINST KATES’S LAW AND THE CHARGE ABOUT GUN POSSESSION WHICH WAS LIKE — GOT AWAY WITH MURDER, CAN YOU IMAGINE? IT IS NOT OVER YET. WHAT A HORRIBLE THING TO LACE IN SAN FRANCISCO, HOLDING HER OTHERS HAND AND SAYING, WHAT HAPPENED, CAN YOU IMAGINE THE SHOCK OF IT? THAT IS INCREDIBLE. THIS LOW LIFE GETS OUT. GETS OUT. PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD SEE THAT AND SAY WHAT IS WRONG WITH UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WHEN THEY SEE THAT?

LAST YEAR MORE THAN 80% OF HOUSE DEMOCRATS REFUSED TO SUPPORT OUR HEROES, ICE AND NEARLY EVERY HOUSE TO MCGRATH VOTED IN FAVOR OF SANCTUARY CITIES ALLOWING ILLEGAL ALIENS WITH SEVERE CRIMINAL RECORDS TO TERRORIZE INNOCENT COMMUNITIES AND THESE GUYS WERE TREMENDOUSLY SUCCESSFUL IN NORTH CAROLINA BECAUSE ALL WE KEPT DOING WAS SAYING THE GOVERNOR AND ALL OF THESE DEMOCRATS, RIGHT, ALL OF THE DEMOCRATS WANT SANCTUARY CITIES AND THEY LET SOMEBODY OUT FAIRLY RECENTLY AND THAT SOMEBODY WREAKED HAVOC. I WILL TELL YOU, IT WAS SO HORRIBLE. INSTEAD OF TAKING HIM, GETTING HIM TO ICE, BUT I WILL TELL YOU THE FOLKS AT ICE AND BORDER PATROL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT, THEY ARE NOT TREATED PROPERLY AND WE RESPECT THEM, MOST AMERICANS REALLY RESPECT THEM. [APPLAUSE] YOU KNOW WE HAVE MS 13, THE TOUGHEST PEOPLE YOU HAVE EVER SEEN BUT NOT AS TOUGH AS ICE. ICE RUNS IN TO THEIR NESTS. THEY CALL THAT A NEST. THEY DON’T LIKE GUNS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT PAID FOR IN A. THEY TAKE YOUNG PEOPLE, SLICE THEM UP, BEAUTIFUL, YOUNG AND IN A CASE, 16-YEAR-OLD YOUNG GIRLS WALKING HOME FROM SCHOOL. THEY TOOK THEM AND SLICED THEM UP BECAUSE IT WAS MORE PAINFUL. ANIMALS. NANCY COLLUSIVE ATTACKED ME BECAUSE I CALLED THEM ANIMALS. SHE SAID THEY ARE NOT ANIMALS, THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS. I DON’T THINK SO. ICE WILL GO INTO A NEST. THEY CALL IT A NEST. WE HAVE A LOT OF THEM CONGREGATED, UP TO NO GOOD AND ICE WILL RUN INTO THE NEST LIKE IT IS, LIKE THEY ARE HAVING BREAKFAST WITH THEIR FAMILY MONDAY MORNING. THEY ARE TOUGH AND THEY ARE PATRIOTS AND LOVE OUR COUNTRY AND WE ARE THROWING OUT MS 13 BY THE THOUSANDS. WE ARE GETTING THEM OUT OF OUR COUNTRY. [APPLAUSE]

AND EVEN TOUGH SHERIFFS SAY, BETTER THAN THEY DO IT. I AGREE WITH THEM, BETTER THAN THEY DO IT, THE SHERIFFS AGREE BUT THEY SAY BETTER THAT THEY DO IT. THEN THE DEMOCRATS WANT TO KEEP THEM AROUND AND ACTUALLY TAKE CARE OF THEM AND PROTECT THEM. I DON’T KNOW, TELL ME IF IT IS GOOD POLITICS AND I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE POLITICS. IT IS SO BAD FOR OUR COUNTRY BUT IF YOU TOLD ME YOU COULD WIN WITH THAT, OPEN BORDERS, — WE TAKE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, REALLY BAD PEOPLE. PUBLIC SERVANTS LIKE A SACRED PLEDGE TO DEFEND THE NATION AND ITS PEOPLE, POLITICIANS WHO SUPPORT SANCTUARY CITIES, HAVE FORSAKEN THE SOLEMN VOW INSTEAD OF MAKING A SHAMEFUL FACT TO SHIELD AND HARBOR CRIMINAL FEUDED — FUGITIVES. THEY WILL DO IT AT ANY COST. PEOPLE IN CALIFORNIA, THEY DON’T WANT SANCTUARY CITIES. IT IS THE POLITICIANS THAT WANT THEM. A LOT OF THE PEOPLE ARE REVOLTING. THEY DON’T WANT SANCTUARY CITIES. THEY CAN’T BE SAFE IN SANCTUARY CITIES. THEY ARE PROTECTING CRIMINALS. IN JULY, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND DECLARED ITSELF A SANCTUARY CITY FOR CRIMINAL ALIENS, FORCING LOCAL JAILS TO RELEASE THESE DANGEROUS INMATES INSTEAD OF SAFELY HANDING THEM OVER TO ICE. ICE WILL TAKE CARE OF THE REST. TWO MONTHS LATER EIGHT ILLEGAL ALIENS HAVE BEEN ARRESTED FOR RAPE OR SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A MINOR. LAST MONTH LOCAL OFFICIALS IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY RELEASED AND ACCUSED TERMINAL ALIEN RAPIST ONTO THE STREETS, DEFYING ICE’S POWERFUL REQUEST TO TURN THEM OVER TO THEM. HAVE IN MARCH, IN DURHAM NORTH CAROLINA A ARRESTED — A SHORT TIME LATER THAT SAME ILLEGAL ALIEN WAS CHARGED WITH MURDER OF A 19-YEAR-OLD WOMAN IN GEORGIA. THIS IS HAPPENING OVER — THESE ARE STORIES I COULD GIVE ALL DAY LONG.

I LOVE THE ANGEL MOM’S. I LOVE THOSE WOMEN. WOMEN AND FAMILIES I GOT TO KNOW A LOT OF. THEY HAVE SUFFERED. THEY ARE SCORNED BY THE RADICAL LEFT. WHO COULD SCORE AND A PERSON WHO LOST THEIR DAUGHTER, PUT IN AN ASHCAN AND BURNED? THEY FIND THE PERSON AND IS LIKE WHO CAN EVEN, WHO COULD GO THROUGH WHAT THEY HAVE? IT HAPPENS A LOT. FAR WORSE THAN WHAT I’M TELLING YOU TONIGHT, FAR WORSE. DEMOCRATS BELIEVE OUR CITIES SHOULD BE SANCTUARIES FOR VIOLENT CRIMINAL ALIENS. REPUBLICANS BELIEVE OUR CITIES SHOULD BE SANCTUARIES FOR LAW-ABIDING AMERICANS. [APPLAUSE] DEMOCRATS ALSO BELIEVE ANY ILLEGAL ALIEN WHO MERELY SETS FOOT ON U.S. SOIL SHOULD BE AUTOMATICALLY RELEASED INTO THE INTERIOR OF THE UNITED STATES AND GIVEN FREE HEALTH CARE FOR LIFE. THESE POLICIES IMPOVERISH U.S. IMMUNITY’S WHILE ENRICHING HUMAN SMUGGLERS, TRAFFICKERS AND VICIOUS CRIMINAL CARTELS.

208 HOUSE DEMOCRATS, 90% OF THE CAUCUS, VOTED AGAINST NOTIFYING ICE WHEN AN ILLEGAL ALIEN TRIES TO BUY A GUN. DEMOCRATS WANT TO CONFISCATE GUNS FROM LAW-ABIDING AMERICANS SO THEY ARE DEFENSELESS WHEN SOMEONE WALKS INTO THEIR HOUSE WITH A GUN. IT IS LIKE, WHATEVER YOU WANT. WHATEVER YOU WANT. I AM DEFENSELESS. WHATEVER YOU WANT. HOW CRAZY IS THIS? REPUBLICANS WILL FOREVER UPHOLD THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU. THE AGENDA OF THE DEMOCRAT PARTY IS THE DEMOLITION OF THE AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS. A REPUBLICAN AGENDA IS TO MAKE OUR NEIGHBORHOODS SAFER, FAMILIES STRONGER AND OUR MIDDLE-CLASS BIGGER AND MORE PROSPEROUS THAN EVER BEFORE, AND WE ARE ON OUR WAY TO DOING IT, BUT WE HAVE TO WIN THIS NEXT ELECTION.

I SAID THE OTHER DAY, I DON’T KNOW IF ANYONE SAID IT BEFORE, SOUNDS LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN SAID MANY TIMES BEFORE BUT IT IS LIKE A PLANT. YOU GREW THE PLANT, PUT IT IN BUT IT HAS NOT REALLY GRABBED ON YET. HE WILL NOT. IT NEEDS TIME. WE NEED TIME. WE HAVE DONE TREMENDOUS CHANGES, TREMENDOUS, AND WE WILL DO OTHER CHANGES, GREAT OTHER CHANGES. WE NEED THE ADDITIONAL TIME TO LET IT GRAB ON BECAUSE THEY WILL DESTROY WHAT WE HAVE DONE. WE CAN’T LET THAT HAPPEN. YOU WON’T HAVE ENERGY, BUSINESS, JOBS, INCOME, IT WILL BE A DISASTER. YOU HAVE TO FIGHT LIKE HELL.

I TELL THE STORY OF A MAN WHO PLAYED — HATES ME, ALWAYS HATED ME AND I ALWAYS HATED HIM. CAN’T STAND THAT GUY. I MEET HIM AND HE IS WORKING WITH MY PEOPLE ON HELPING US OUT WITH FUNDRAISERS AND EVERYTHING. I SAY WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? TRYING TO HELP YOU GET ELECTED. I SAID YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I SAID, YOU DO HAVE NO CHOICE. YOU DON’T HAVE A CHOICE. HE SAID I REALLY RESPECT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS, ALMOST THREE YEARS NOW. I RESPECT YOU. IT HAS BEEN GREAT FOR BUSINESS AND JOBS. I HAVE MORE PEOPLE WORKING THAN WHEN YOU BECAME PRESIDENT AND IT IS A CREDIBLE WHAT HAS HAPPENED. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I LIKED THIS GUY. TOUGH GUY. BUT NO, HE IS ONE OF MANY.

I WAS JOKING ONE-TIME, WALKED UP TO — I SAID I DON’T HAVE TO MAKE A LONG SPEECH. YOU HAVE TWO LIKE ME — WHETHER YOU LIKE ME OR NOT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE BECAUSE OUR COUNTRY WILL GO TO HELL IF ANY OF THESE PEOPLE GET IN. IT WILL GO TO HELL. I’M GOING TO LEAVE, I JOKED, THEN I CAME BACK AND TALKED BUT I SAID I WAS JOKING BUT I AM REALLY NOT. YOU HAVE NO CHOICE. WERE THE INCOME OF THE SEINE — THE SANER THEY ARE, THE WORST THEY ARE DOING. THE LEFT WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY, THEY WILL TAKE AND HURT YOUR FAMILIES. I DON’T THINK PEOPLE COULD ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN. WE HAVE A COUNTRY THAT IS DOING I THINK BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE, THE ECONOMY THE STRONGEST IT HAS EVER BEEN, MILITARY, ALL OF THE THINGS WE HAVE DISCUSSED AND YOU HAVE TO FIGHT SO HARD THAT WE WIN THIS ELECTION.

I HAD A BIG MEETING ON ETHANOL AND THE FARMERS. IT WAS INCREDIBLE. CHUCK GRASSLEY WAS THERE AND JONI ERNST, MIKE DOWNS, A GROUP OF GREAT PEOPLE. JUST SITTING AROUND THE ROOM. BEN SASSE, WHO HAS BECOME GOOD — WE HAD ARGUMENTS BEFORE BUT DOESN’T MATTER, BEN SASSE WAS THERE. WE HAD A GREAT GROUP OF PEOPLE. AS WE WERE SITTING IN THE OVAL OFFICE TALKING ABOUT FARMERS, I REALIZED ALL OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE WIN BECAUSE FARMERS WILL BE TOTALLY PUT OUT OF BUSINESS. MANY BUSINESSES WILL BE PUT OUT. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY ARE THINKING. WHAT ARE THEY DOING? I SENT TO SOME OF THE PEOPLE — SET TO SOME OF THE PEOPLE, STRONG REPUBLICANS, I SAID YOU REALLY HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE WIN BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T, THIS COUNTRY IS IN SUCH TROUBLE.

I USED TO TALK ABOUT 2016 AS BEING A VERY IMPORTANT ELECTION AND IT WAS. IN ITS OWN WAY THIS IS — I WILL NEVER SAY MORE IMPORTANT BUT I CAN ALMOST SAY OF EQUAL IMPORTANCE BECAUSE EVERYTHING WE HAVE DONE, AND THE BIGGEST GAINS ARE TO COME BECAUSE THE HARD WORK OF GETTING IT APPROVED, YOU WERE INVOLVED, IT WAS SO HARD. WE GOT THINGS DONE. THE TAX CUTS, ALL OF THE THINGS WE DID, WE WOULD HAVE HAD HEALTH CARE DONE AND WE WILL GET IT DONE IF WE GET BACK THE HOUSE AND KEEP THE PRESIDENCY. WE WOULD HAVE HAD HEALTH CARE DONE EXCEPT FOR — [APPLAUSE] WE HAD ONE LITTLE SURPRISING VOTE LATE IN THE EVENING BUT WE WOULD HAVE HAD IT DONE. WE WOULD HAVE HAD IT DONE AND WE WILL GET IT DONE IN THE HOUSE. EVEN ON HEALTH CARE WE HAVE DONE AN INCREDIBLE JOB. THE MANDATE AND ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO. WE ARE FIGHTING FOR EVERYDAY CITIZENS WHO WORK HARD, RAISE THEIR CHILDREN, FOLLOW OUR LAWS, SERVE OUR COMMUNITIES, RESPECT OUR POLICE AND BELIEVE IN AMERICA WITH THEIR EVERY OUNCE OF THEIR HEART, THEIR SOUL. WE ARE FIGHTING TO PROTECT THEIR JOBS, DEFEND THEIR FAMILIES AND TO ENSURE THEIR CHILDREN CAN LIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM.

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS ACTUALLY LOVED IN THIS COUNTRY, AND I THINK IN A CERTAIN WAY LOVED LIKE NEVER BEFORE BECAUSE THEY SEE WE ARE FIGHTING FOR THIS COUNTRY, WHAT WE GREW UP WITH, THE VALUES THAT WE WANT. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, SOME PEOPLE TAKE IT FOR GRANTED BUT YOU ARE LOVED. I SEE IT ALL THE TIME. I SAW IT IN NORTH CAROLINA, BACKSTAGE, SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE SAID THANK YOU FOR SAVING OUR NATION. WHEN YOU HAVE DONE IS INCREDIBLE. SOME OF THE THINGS YOU HAVE DONE IN A SHORT TIME IS PRETTY INCREDIBLE. [APPLAUSE] A NATION’S FIRST DUTY IS TO CARE FOR ITS OWN CITIZENS AND THAT IS WHY WE ARE WORKING TO GIVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE A HIGH QUALITY — THIS IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. A LOW-COST HEALTH CARE SYSTEM WITH MORE TRANSPARENCY AND WE ARE DOING TRANSPARENCY. YOU HAVE SEEN THAT. A MAN WHO CAME IN WHO IS AN EXPERT, TREMENDOUS MAN, WHO I HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT FOR. HE SAID TRANSPARENCY. EXPLAIN TRANSPARENCY, SOUND SIMPLE. I GOT IT DONE. THIS IS WHERE PEOPLE CAN GO TO HOSPITALS AND PRICE AND PICK THEIR DOCTOR. HE SAID THIS IS BIGGER THAN ANY HEALTH CARE YOU CAN DO. IT WILL BE PUT INTO EFFECT. THE SECRETARY IS DOING AN INCREDIBLE JOB. IT WILL BE PUT INTO EFFECT SOON. PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO GO AND NEGOTIATE THE PRICE IS. YOU HAVE POORER STORIES WHERE A WOMAN WILL CUT HER HAND AND GO INTO A HOSPITAL — DON’T ASK HOW MUCH BUT GO INTO A HOSPITAL AND HAVE THE HAND AND THEN THEY GET BILLED $5,000 AND DON’T HAVE $5,000. THE HORROR STORIES ARE UNBELIEVABLE, AND WE WENT THROUGH IT, SOME OF YOU IN THE ROOM, WHEN I DID SIGNINGS. WE ARE HAVING TRANSPARENCY WHERE YOU CAN HAVE LISTS OF PRICES, SOME PROBLEM, THEY LIST IT. YOU CAN NEGOTIATE PRICES. YOU CAN GO TO THE DRUGSTORE AND SAY, WE WANT TO SEE HOW MUCH IS THAT — RIGHT NOW YOU CAN’T DO THAT. THEY DON’T LET YOU DO THAT BUT NOW WE DO.

WE HAVE DONE A LOT. RIGHT TO TRY IS SOMETHING WE HAVE DONE. [APPLAUSE] YOU HAVE TO SEE THE RESULTS. A PERSON CAN BE TERMINALLY ILL IN THE OLD SYSTEM AND WE COULD HAVE A DRUG THAT WE KNOW WORKS BUT WILL TAKE ANOTHER YEAR OF TESTING UNTIL THE PERSON, SORRY, YOU CAN’T USE THAT BECAUSE IT MAY HURT YOU. IT WILL KILL YOU, YOU ARE TERMINALLY ILL. THEY WANTED TO DO THIS FOR 45 YEARS. IT IS NOT AS EASY AS ALL OF THAT. THE COUNTRY WAS WORRIED THEY WOULD SUE THE COUNTRIES. THE DOCTORS WERE WORRIED THEY WOULD SUE THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES. THEY GOT EVERYONE INTO A ROOM. WHAT WE DO IS SIGN AN AGREEMENT WHERE WE GUARANTEE IN OUR TOUGH AGREEMENT WHERE YOU GUARANTEE WE HAVE NO LIABILITY, THE DOCTOR HAS NO LIABILITY, THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY HAS NO LIABILITY AND VARIOUS OTHER THINGS AND EVERYBODY IS HAPPY. THEY SAID WE DON’T WANT TO RUN THE RISK. IF A PERSON IS TERMINALLY ILL — WE DON’T WANT THEM ON THE LIST BECAUSE THEY DO A LIST OF SUCCESS. WHEN A PERSON IS VERY, VERY SICK KNEW THE END OF THEIR LIFE, TERMINALLY ILL, WE DON’T WANT THAT PERSON ON OUR LIST AS A SAMPLE. I SAID I UNDERSTAND SO WE WON’T HAVE THAT PERSON. HE WILL NOT HAVE THAT PERSON. — YOU WILL NOT CREATE — VERY, SICK TERMINALLY ILL PEOPLE BUT FOR YOUR LIST — THEY SAID WELL, WE LIKE THAT AND WE GOT IT SIGNED. YOU HAVE TO SEE THE SUCCESS. USED TO GO TO ASIA, EUROPE, ALL OVER THE WORLD IF THEY HAD MONEY. MOST PEOPLE DID NOT HAVE MONEY SO THEY WOULD GO HOME AND DIE. NOW THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO TRY, AND I WILL CONGRATULATE YOU ON THAT BECAUSE YOU WERE THE ONES WHO DID THAT JOB AND GREG WAS GREAT, WHEREVER HE IS. YOU STOOD UP FAST. THAT IS GOOD. THANK YOU, GREG. I CALLED GREG AND SAID, YOU GOT TO GET IT DONE. IT WASN’T EASY. WE HAD MORE PEOPLE COMING AT US. THANK YOU VERY

THAT IS WHY WE ARE ENDING YEARS OF ECONOMIC SURRENDER AND WE ARE CONFRONTING CHINA’S CHRONIC TRADING ABUSES. PAST PEOPLE LET THEM LOOT OUR ECONOMY, RACKING UP TRILLIONS AND TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN TRADE DEFICITS. NOW, THE WORLD IS ON NOTICE THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT TO THE UNITED STATES ANYMORE. THEY GET IT. THEY COME TO ME, AND THEY SEE ME. THE LEADERS, I KNOW THEM ALL. SOME OF THEM, I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR. SOME, I DO NOT GET ALONG WITH AS WELL. THERE WAS A POLL THAT OBAMA IS MORE POPULAR IN GERMANY THAN I AM. I SAID, OF COURSE HE IS. HE IS NOT SAYING TO GERMANY, YOU HAVE TO PAY US FOR THE MILITARY, AND WHY ARE YOU PAYING BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO RUSSIA FOR A PIPELINE COMING IN THAT WE DEFEND? WE PAID BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO RUSSIA, AND THEN WE DEFEND GERMANY FROM RUSSIA. DOES THAT WORK? RIGHT, DOES THAT WORK? GIVE RUSSIA BILLIONS AND THEN WE DEFEND YOU. THAT IS A WONDERFUL DEAL. WE HAVE PLENTY OF THOSE. THAT IS ONE OF THE BETTER ONES. WITH YOUR HELP, WE WILL ALSO ACHIEVE AN HISTORIC VICTORY FOR THE AMERICAN FARMER, RANCHER, AND WORKERS BY REPLACING THE HORRIBLE DISASTER. TO ME, ONE OF THE WORST DEALS EVER, NAFTA, AND WE ARE REPLACING IT WITH THE USMCA, WHICH REALLY IS BETTER. [APPLAUSE]

GOT TO GET IT UP FOR A VOTE. I GOT TO PUT IT UP FOR A VOTE. THE DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR IT. UNIONS LOVE IT. FARMERS LOVE IT. I WOULD SAY UNIONS LIKE IT, BUT THEY LIKE IT. WE HATE NAFTA. IT IS THEIR ALL-TIME LEAST — MANUFACTURERS LOVE IT. THE FARMERS ARE DESPERATE FOR IT. IT IS SO IMPORTANT, AND THAT IT BIPARTISAN. I TOLD NANCY PELOSI — NANCY PLOTTED UP FOR A VOTE. YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN TRY AND IMPEACH SOMEBODY THAT DID NOT DO ANYTHING WRONG. YOU HAVE TO. [LAUGHTER]

I SAID IT IS HARD TO IMPEACH SOMEBODY WHO DID NOT DO ANYTHING WRONG. “THE MUELLER REPORT IS OUT!” “THERE IS NO COLLUSION” AFTER TWO AND A HALF YEARS. RUSSIA SAID, YOU KNOW, IF WE REALLY DID PICK HIM, WE MADE A REAL BAD CHOICE. [LAUGHTER]

THINK OF IT. EVEN TONIGHT, I AM TALKING ABOUT — WE HAVE THE STRONGEST MILITARY. WE ARE SPENDING BILLIONS AND BILLIONS. STRONGEST MILITARY, RIGHT? WE HAVE THE STRONGEST ENERGY. HILLARY WANTED WINDMILLS. SHE WANTED SOLAR. SOLAR IS FINE. YOU KNOW, SMALL POTATOES COMPARED TO WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. DOES NOT HAVE THE POWER THAT YOU NEED. I LOVE SOLAR. I THINK SOLAR IS GOOD, BUT IT IS LIMITED. THE WIND IS VERY EXPENSIVE BECAUSE YOU PUT UP THIS WINDMILLS — THEY ARE MADE IN GERMANY AND CHINA. THINK OF THE POLLUTANTS THAT GO IN THE AIR WHEN THEY ARE MAKING THESE MASSIVE STEEL THINGS. IF IT IS ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR HOUSE, YOUR HOUSE GOES WAY DOWN IN VALUE. TRY DROPPING A WINDMILL SOMEWHERE CLOSE TO YOUR HOUSE. TRY SELLING YOUR HOUSE. THEY MAKE NOISE, THEY KILL ALL THE BIRDS. THE ENERGY IS INTERMITTENT. YOU HAPPEN TO BE WATCHING THE DEMOCRATIC DEBATE AND THE WIND IS NOT BLOWING, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SEE THEM. WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS DEBATE? [LAUGHTER]

HE SAYS, DARLING, THE WIND IS NOT BLOWING. THAT WHEN MEL STOPPED. THAT WINDMILL STOPPED. REPUBLICANS KNOW THAT AMERICAN FAMILIES ARE THE TRUE BACKBONE OF AMERICA. THAT IS WHY I WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO PROPOSE NATIONWIDE PAID FAMILY LEAVE IN MY BUDGET. VERY IMPORTANT. [APPLAUSE]

WOMEN WANT IT. OUR GOAL IS TO ENSURE THAT EVERY AMERICAN FAMILY ENJOYS AN AMAZING QUALITY OF LIFE. TOGETHER, WE ARE GOING TO FIX OUR HOUSING FINANCE SYSTEM. WE ARE WORKING ON THAT VERY HARD TO PROTECT THE DREAM OF OWNERSHIP FOR THE NEXT GENERATION. WE ARE GOING TO MAKE NEW CARS MORE AFFORDABLE AND MUCH SAFER. MY ADMINISTRATION WILL ISSUE STANDARDS THAT WILL SAVE FAMILIES THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS, AS I SAID, OF DOLLARS PER CAR. WE ARE GOING TO FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF CITIES LIKE BALTIMORE THAT HAVE BEEN DESTROYED BY DECADES OF FAILED AND CORRUPT RULES.

THE LEFT-WING AGENDA OF TOTAL GOVERNMENT DOMINATION CRUSHING REGULATION, CRIPPLING TAXES, UNRESTRICTED MIGRATION, AND — I MEAN, THINK OF THIS. IT IS UNDERMINING ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT. THEY UNDERMINE LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND THEY DEVASTATE AMERICA’S ENTER CITIES. THEY HAVE BEEN — INNER CITIES. EVEN THE CITIES LIKE LOS ANGELES, LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING. IT IS LIKE — LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING! SAN FRANCISCO, TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT IS GOING ON, AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO STEP IN TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT BECAUSE WE CANNOT ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN TO OUR GREAT CITIES. LOS ANGELES IS A GREAT CITY. WE CANNOT ALLOW IT. IN THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE, WE ARE GOING TO STEP IN. WE ARE NOT GOING TO ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN WHERE MAJOR COMPANIES ARE LEAVING THEIR CITIES. LEAVING OUR COUNTRY WHEN THEY SEE THAT! YOU WALK IN, THEY PAY A LOT OF RENT. THEY WALK INTO A BEAUTIFUL BUILDING, THE BEST STREET IN CALIFORNIA, AND YOU HAVE A SITE THAT NO BUT — SIGHT THAT NOBODY CAN BELIEVE AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, AND WE WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. WE ARE GOING TO GIVE THEM NOTICE. WE GAVE THEM A NOTICE TODAY. CLEAN IT UP! YOU GOT TO DO SOMETHING. WE CANNOT HAVE IT. THESE ARE OUR GREAT AMERICAN CITIES, AND THEY ARE AN EMBARRASSMENT, WHAT DEMOCRATS HAVE LET HAPPEN. REPUBLICANS WANT TO REBUILD OUR INNER CITIES AND PROVIDE A FUTURE OF LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL AMERICANS. AND REPUBLICANS BELIEVE THAT PARENTS SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEND THEIR KIDS TO THE SCHOOL OF THEIR CHOICE. [APPLAUSE]

SO JUST IN CONCLUDING, AND EVERYTHING WE DO, REPUBLICANS ARE FIGHTING FOR THE VALUES THAT BRING US TOGETHER AS ONE NATION UNDER GOD. WE SUPPORT, PROTECT, AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES. WE STAND UP FOR THE HEROES OF LAW ENFORCEMENT. WE REJECT GLOBALISM, AND WE EMBRACE PATRIOTISM. WE BELIEVE THAT THERE IS NO TREASURE ON EARTH MORE VALUABLE THAN OUR AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP. WE BELIEVE — [APPLAUSE] THAT CHILDREN SHOULD BE TAUGHT TO LOVE OUR COUNTRY, HONOR OUR HISTORY, CHERISH OUR HEROES, AND ALWAYS RESPECT OUR GREAT AMERICAN FLAG. THESE ARE THE VALUES THAT UNITE US TONIGHT. THESE ARE THE VALUES THAT BIND OUR COUNTRY. THESE ARE THE VALUES THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHARE DEEP IN THEIR SOULS. AND THESE ARE THE VALUES THAT REPUBLICANS WILL CHAMPION ALL ACROSS THE LAND. AND THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING, AND THAT IS WHY PEOPLE LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING. THAT IS WHY PEOPLE ARE LOVING THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AGAIN. [APPLAUSE]

OUR TASK IS TO BE CONFIDENT TO THESE TRUTHS, CERTAIN TO THIS VISION, BOLD IN OUR ACTIONS, AND FOREVER LOYAL TO THE CITIZENS WE SERVE. IF WE STAY TRUE TO OUR MISSION, AND WE HAVE TO, AND WE HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER, LIKE THEY DO, THEY GOT NOTHING ELSE ON US, BUT LIKE I SAID, THEY STICK TOGETHER. IF WE REMAIN FIRM IN OUR CONVICTIONS, IF WE ALWAYS PUT AMERICA FIRST, THEN THERE WILL BE NO LIMIT TO THE PROGRESS THAT WE WILL MAKE, NO BOUNDS TO THE GOOD THAT WE WILL DO, NO CEILING ON THE HEIGHTS THAT WE WILL REACH, AND NO AND TO THE VICTORY — END TO THE VICTORIES WE WILL ACHIEVE.

WE WILL WIN, WIN, WIN, AND WE WILL KEEP ON WINNING. YOU KNOW, I TELL THAT STORY, AND SOME PEOPLE LOVE IT, AND PROBABLY, SOME DO NOT, BUT I THINK THEY ALL LOVE IT. I AM GOING TO WIN THAT PLACE LIKE, HERE WE GO. I AM GOING TO USE DAN AS AN EXAMPLE. I AM IN NORTH WE ARE GOING TO WIN — NORTH CAROLINA. WE ARE GOING TO WIN SO MUCH. WE ARE GOING TO WIN, WIN, WIN. OUR COUNTRY, WE GO BACK, AND WE HAVE BEEN DOING SO MUCH WINNING WITH TRADE AND ALL OF THESE DIFFERENT THINGS, AND I AM GOING TO GO — I AM GOING TO GO TO DAN BISHOP, AND I WILL SAY, DAN, WE ARE GOING TO WIN. THEY WILL COME IN TO SEE DAN. THEY WILL SAY, PLEASE, PLEASE, STOP THE PRESIDENT FROM WAITING PERIOD YOU ARE A NEW CONGRESSMAN. GO TO THE OVAL OFFICE. HE RESPECTS YOU BECAUSE UNLIKE THESE OTHER PEOPLE, HE DOES NOT KNOW YOU SO WELL, SO YOU ARE SO RESPECTED, AND PLEASE, SEE THE PRESIDENT AND TALK TO THE PRESIDENT. TELL HIM TO STOP WHINING SO MUCH. WE DON’T WANT TO WIN SO MUCH IN THE GREAT STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA. AND I AM GOING TO SAY, DAN, I AM SORRY. I AM NOT DOING THAT. WE ARE GOING TO KEEP WINNING, WINNING, WINNING. RIGHT? WE ARE GOING TO KEEP WINNING, WINNING, WINNING. [APPLAUSE]

CONGRATULATIONS. AFTER ALL WE HAVE ACHIEVED AND AFTER EVERYTHING THAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED, OUR MESSAGE IS SIMPLE. THE BEST IS YET TO COME. [APPLAUSE] THE BEST IS YET TO COME! TOGETHER, WE WILL MAKE AMERICA STRONGER AND SAFER AND PLOWED HER AND GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE. YOU ARE A TERRIFIC GROUP, AND I KNOW ALMOST ALL OF YOU. I LIKE MOST OF YOU. I KNOW ALL OF YOU. [LAUGHTER]

NOW, YOU ARE A TERRIFIC GROUP, AND I THINK WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A TERRIFIC LONG TIME TOGETHER. KEVIN AND EVERYBODY, I WANT TO THANK YOU. THIS WAS AN INCREDIBLE EVENING. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. GREAT JOB. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. (music) (music)

OPEN THREAD – HAVE AT IT!

Recent ‘Toon Gnuz from Paul Jamiol

Our good friend and honorary Critter Paul Jamiol has been busy lately: illustrating a children’s book; working on a new collection of his excellent editorial cartoons to come out in early 2020; plus, most days, putting out new, grimly accurate observations on these terrible times.  (All images are copyrighted by Paul Jamiol.)

jamiol banger the sausage dog book cover

pauls new book

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jamoil detention

jamiol racist rant

That’s just a sampling.  For more, and to see how talented Paul’s wife, Lin, is with her green thumb [and who knew that Paul is an amazing photographer!], visit Jamiol’s World.

Paul has been chronicling political/current events since September 2000.  His encouragement and kindness to us Critters when we left ThinkProgress to start TheZoo, as well as our longstanding friendship, will always be appreciated – hell, I still LOVE our personalized header ‘toon.  I know that we here at TheZoo became pretty burnt out trying to do our part – it’s so damned hard to keep covering this shitshow, when day after day, even hour after hour, horrors upon horrors unfold.  Thank you, Paul, for your dedication to illustrating  what could well become America’s downfall.  It’s a grim task, and I don’t envy you.  Please carry on for as long as you can stand it, and we’ll try to keep up.

 

Open Thread – Come and get it!

Old Gnuz: Look Back in Irony

While clearing out an old magazine rack, we ran across – surprise! an old magazine!  (Seriously, we almost never buy any magazines.)  Actually, it was the ‘People Magazine’s 2006 Sexiest Man Alive’ issue, with George Clooney on the cover – which may explain why we happened to have that particular issue.

But don’t worry, this isn’t going to be about sexy men.

Nope – it’s about Donald Trump, Jr., and the “Scoop” in that People issue: 

“Another Trump on the Way”

“The Donald may soon be known as The Gramps.  Donald Trump, Jr. and his wife of one year, Vanessa, have confirmed to Scoop that their first child – the mogul’s first grandchild – is due early next summer.  “Everyone’s very excited,” says Vanessa, 28. Although “if you mention the ‘grandpa’ word [to Donald Sr.], he might not be so excited.”

Complicating the family dynamics:  The new baby’s uncle Barron (son of the elder Trump and his wife Melania) is just 8 months old.  “They’ll be more like brothers, or brother and sister,” says Vanessa, who wants her baby’s sex to be a surprise.

What kind of father will Donald Jr., a Trump Organization executive VP, be?   A lot like his own dad.  “Trumps don’t do diapers,” says Don, 28.  But he does vow to be more hands-on – think playing catch – with his own kids.  “She [wants] five,”  Don says. I’ll wait till [sic/mine] she cranks out one, and then I want to renegotiate that back a bit.”  Spoken like a Trump.”

Looks like he’s had to renegotiate more than just the number of kids his wife “cranks out” – now it’s more like the number of kids he gets to see.    “Spoken like a trump,” indeed.

Open thread – what’s on your mind?

Marching into Fascist Madness

I’m not ready to discuss A.G. Barr’s “summary” of the Mueller Report, which came out as I was starting this. I didn’t bother watching most of the press coverage, I was too disappointed. Besides, I’d rather wait to see if Jerry “Nads” Nadler, Adam Schiff, etal, can come up with something to cheer me.

In the meantime, I had already run across this survey, which I decided on a whim (of a hat?) to take a look at. I’m glad I did, but when I started reading the questions, I was disturbed – to say the least.

We all know that trump would love to change the libel laws so that he (and his cohorts) can sue a reporter, a newspaper, a network, whoever, over any criticism of trump or his administration.  And of course we all know that trump has been in a verbal war with every news agency except Fox, aka “trumpTV”, although he has lately begun to call out certain Fox reporters who are not lobbing softball questions.

And lastly, we all also know that trump LOVES dictators, and is just dying to emulate them.  So far trump has mainly stuck to his well-documented verbal and Twitter war with journalism and journalists, despite the fact that trump’s stochastic terrorism has already spurred trumpists to violent actions and plots. However, the even stronger stench of fascism in this survey leads me to conclude that the next battle will be much scarier and, eventually, even more violent.  It also seems certain that trump will do whatever he can to try to subvert the First Amendment in order to jail journalists whose questions piss him off for any reason.  The survey also panders to single-issue voters, i.e., anti-choice/”religious-freedom” and/or 2-A voters.

If you don’t want to take the survey or go to the link, below is a description plus the questions.

The survey was titled (in a big red box):

“MAINSTREAM MEDIA ACCOUNTABILITY SURVEY”, above which it states

“Certified Website Of President Donald J. Trump”

The response choices to almost all of the following questions are YES, NO, or NO OPINION:

Do you believe that the mainstream media actually cares about working Americans?

Do you believe that the mainstream media has unfairly reported on our presidency?

Do you trust MSNBC to fairly report on our presidency?

Do you trust CNN to fairly report on our presidency?

Do you trust Fox News to fairly report on our presidency?

On which issues does the mainstream media do the worst job of representing Republicans? (Select as many that apply.)
-Immigration
-Economics
-Pro-life values
-Religion
-Individual liberty
-Conservatism
-Foreign policy
-Second Amendment rights

Which television source do you primarily get your news from?
-Fox News
-CNN
-MSNBC
-Local news

Do you use a source not listed above?  [I added BBC News, just for fun – although I was also tempted to add Al Jazeera]

Do you trust the mainstream media to tell the truth about the Republican Party’s positions and actions?

Do you believe that the mainstream media does not do their due diligence fact-checking before publishing stories on the Trump administration?

Do you believe that the media unfairly reported on Trump’s executive order temporarily restricting people entering our country from nations compromised by radical Islamic terrorism?

Were you aware that a poll was released revealing that a majority of Americans actually supported our temporary restriction executive order?

Do you believe that the media is engaging in a witch hunt to take down President Trump?

Do you believe that people of faith have been unfairly characterized by the media?

Do you believe that the media wrongly attributes gun violence to Second Amendment rights?

Do you believe that the media has been far too quick to spread false stories about our movement?

Do you believe that the media has turned a blind eye to Planned Parenthood’s worst actions?

Do you believe that the media uses slurs rather than facts to attack conservative stances on issues like border control, religious liberties, and ObamaCare?

Do you believe that the media purposely tries to pit Republicans against each other in order to help elect Democrats?

Do you believe that the mainstream media has been too eager to jump to conclusions about rumored stories?

Do you believe that if Republicans were obstructing Obama like Democrats are doing to Trump, the mainstream media would attack Republicans?

Do you agree with the President’s decision to break with tradition by giving lesser known reporters and bloggers the chance to ask the Press Secretary questions?

Do you agree with President Trump’s media strategy to cut through the media’s noise and deliver our message straight to the people?

Do you believe that our Party should spend more time and resources holding the mainstream media accountable?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let me repeat that last one:

Do you believe that our Party should spend more time and resources holding the mainstream media accountable?

Um, in what way, trump?

This is more than just shouting “FAKE NEWS!”, or even “THE PRESS IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” This is painting “the media” as the enemy of everything trump’s cult holds dear, the enemy of the trumpian “reality” that trumpists are so desperately trying to force on the rest of us, despite the evidence before everyone’s “lying” eyes. It is an attack on one of the most sacred foundations of our democracy and our freedom, and it must be stopped.

OPEN THREAD – Chime in!

(Descending into) March Madness – Week One Gnus

Let’s start with some bad news, hopefully I’ll come up with some good news later.

First, to get it out of the way, the first Manafort sentence – WTF was the judge in the VA Manafort trial thinking, 47 MONTHS? “…an otherwise blameless life…”? This is the guy whose lobbying firm partners were Roger “Nixon Tattoo” Stone and Lee “Evil Incarnate” Atwater, the slimiest trio of political operatives in several decades. Not to mention all of his foreign entanglements with vicious dictators. “Blameless?!” And poor, poor Manafort, so “humiliated and shamed” during the court proceedings. Not “humbled and ashamed”, of course. No, he was “humiliated and shamed” because he had to be seen, even if just in court drawings, in jumpsuit and chains with graying hair, instead of his usual natty expensive suits and jet-black coif. Oh, and there’s the gout, can’t forget the gout- that’s what the wheelchair is for, to remind everyone. Funny how that gout hit him once he was jailed, because in all of the videos we see of Manafort going into and out of courtrooms, he seemed to be walking just fine.

That nominal sentence is a goddamn outrage. A slap on the wrist for an unremorseful lifelong thug, and (another) slap in the face to justice in these United States. I’d go on a good rant, but I’m concerned about my blood pressure. And sanity. 😦

Moving on…

For some reason which I don’t currently remember, I’ve been getting these ‘breaking news’ emails from “Christian Headlines”. Regardless…I got one this afternoon and the title of the article is pretty frightening: “Judge Lets Father Represent Aborted Baby in Wrongful-Death Suit.” Yeah, here we go down an extremely slippery slope, deliberately greased by religious fanatics and misogynistic politicians. This “personhood” nonsense is unconstitutional and dangerous.

According to the article by Michael Foust:

“An Alabama judge has let a wrongful death lawsuit proceed in which a father is suing an abortion clinic on behalf of his aborted unborn child…The lawsuit references a constitutional amendment passed by Alabama voters last year stating “it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children.”

“The case in Alabama is chilling because it represents the real-life consequences of anti-choice ‘personhood’ policies, which, by design, seek to demote the fundamental rights of women, and are a stepping stone in the anti-choice movement’s ultimate goal of criminalizing abortion and punishing women,” Kimmell [Adrienne Kimmell, V.P of NARAL Pro-Choice America] said. “To see it playing out in this case in Alabama should serve as a grave warning sign.”

(But the good news from Christian Headlines is that you can have “free devotions from Dr. Charles Stanley sent right to your door!” Okay, I was a Roman Catholic, so I have no idea what that means.)

Next…

We all remember what a mendacious git Judge Andrew Napolitano has been in the past. So he continues to surprise me in his appearances on Fox by his relative frankness regarding trump’s myriad legal troubles and appearance of guilt. I wish that Napolitano would apprise his Fox viewers of his opinion as published in yesterday’s Washington Times. Yes, sorry it’s the WT, but it’s actually worth the read. And while I take issue with a few things, i.e., his reference to trump’s “tormenters”; and his interpretation of the Republican-destroyed rule that “politics ends where the water’s edge begins” (that doesn’t mean that the House can’t hold hearings while trump is out “negotiating” with a murderous dictator), Napolitano did clarify some things about which I, at least, had been curious. Just one excerpt:

“Can a lawyer testify against his own client? What has become of the attorney-client privilege? These are sound questions that were not asked last week because of something called the crime-fraud exception. Normally, all communications between a client and his lawyer are privileged from revelation. The exception comes when the lawyer can demonstrate that he and the client were together engaged in criminal or fraudulent acts.”

You’ll have to read the rest, for some reason I can’t copy-and-paste from the Washington Times article.

Let’s get to some cheerier stuff…

Like the penguins in this snippet on Twitter – play it with the sound on, and watch all the way ’til the end. Enjoy!

Also, too…

April the Giraffe is due to give birth any moment, and you can watch her here.** April may have calved by the time I post this, but in that case the morning might bring us a little cutie like this:

UPDATE:  March 13th, 12:26am ET, still no baby giraffe.  I’ve heard that April was more than a month late with her last calf, so…watch this space!

**UPDATE!:  Baby BOY giraffe born approximately 12:42pm ET on Saturday, March 16th.  5′-11″ (taller than our own Zookeeper!) and 139 lbs.  Baby to be named in some sort of contest in the near future.  In the meantime, you can watch mom April and the little guy (with dad Oliver in the far pen) live, almost 24/7, here (The link is a new one, the one above has been taken down for archiving.)

Lastly…

Doesn’t everyone need a hug?

This is our Open Thread – batten down the hatches, ’cause we’re in for some rough political weather!

Distractions for Election Day, November 6th, 2018

Georgia voter suppression hasn’t changed much since the last midterm election.  At least this piece from an older Daily Show has humor mixed in with the overt racism.

Republican Activist Resigns After Racially-Charged ‘Daily Show’ Comments

Some satire from The PEN, a progressive activist group:

“Despite the fact that the Statue of Liberty was extensively restored
and rebuilt from 1984 to 1986, today Trump ordered the National Park
Service to further modify it to be in sync with the political climate
he wants to create.

Said Trump, “Unarmed asylum seekers are such a national threat we are
no longer interested in a torch lighting the golden door of the
application office.” Instead, Trump has invited the NRA to submit
models of a new statue in a flak jacket, toting various models of
military assault rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers, fire
throwers, etc.

Though critics, a lot of people actually, are calling this proposal a
“Statue of Bigotry,” Trump is also directing that the statue to be
moved to our southern border. “That ought to scare these people off,”
added Trump, as if the military deploying 15,000 heavily armed troops
was not enough. Though the problem remains of whose property to seize
by eminent domain for the purpose of a new statue site.

And given the increasingly short attention span of our current
culture, the statue’s famous inscription is to be replaced by a more
blunt and direct, “Get Off My Lawn.””

And here’s some cats, kittens, etc. to help counteract the tension.

UPDATED 1:30pm – now with MORE photos!

“Blaze”

Luna

Squiggy

squiggy2

“Squiggy”

Belz and Lissa play while Splatter watches.

Nog (N.O.G. = Not Orange Guy)

Becca prepares to leap.

Mouse and Butterball (“Balls”)

Amelia

“Face” with spotted belly

“Splatter” and “Preston”

“Pip” and “Valerie”, “Fitzgerald” and “Cecilia”

Wayne holding “Tippy”

Dulcinea and Tippy napping

 

Tippy with Velveteen Rabbit

“Tippy” and “Dulcie”

Stubby in a Planter

“Troi”, aka “Little One”

“Troi” cuddles with “Jack”

“Troi” with “Dulcie”, “Tippy” and “Face”

Sophie’s litter, “The Sophists”

“Missy”

“Valerie” and “Cecilia”

“Gregg”

“Gregg” relaxing

“Missy” and “Gregg”

Eight is enough

How about some nature photos, too?

GLORY10

2221717180

SUNSETVERTICAL

Skyfire Sunset

SKYFIRE4V

Fading Sunset Reflection

GLAD7

 

31370006-1

Honeybee

BFLYCROPZOOM

BIGRHODO

great egret visiting pond

Great Egret Visiting Pond

Before

Before First Winter Storm

After

~ After first winter storm

31370009

Lone Pine Reflected

SUNSHOWER1crop

Fall Season Tree

Jane’s Maples

GardenGateWithMaple

Garden Gate

I hope that this might help us get through Election Day.  Enjoy!

~ and DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

March 24th MARCH FOR OUR LIVES

We’ve been watching the young speakers at the Washington, DC, “MARCH FOR OUR LIVES” rally, and I am in awe of them. One poised and eloquent speaker is an 11-year-old girl. Right now an 11-year old boy who lost his brother to gun violence is speaking. These “kids” have been forced into early adulthood by horrific events in their lives, and each and every one of them is more than a match for that man-baby terrorizing our White House and our country.

Let the battle begin.

This is our weekend open thread.

Daily Gnuz, Saturnday Edition

I received this email this morning from Congress.org:


Elizabeth Warren must be defeated because she is the most extreme, liberal politician out there. And we need your help to STOP her! We must reach our goal of 5,000 signatures and yours is missing- SIGN THE PETITION NOW to defeat Extreme Elizabeth in 2018 >>>

Just how extreme is she? Why don’t we let Extreme Elizabeth speak for herself?

Add your name to the petition before it’s too late >>>

Extreme Elizabeth has made her positions all too clear. Medicare for All. Universal health care. Blood money.

We need you to ACT NOW before she can mobilize her radical, national base.

There’s no denying Elizabeth Warren is extreme when it comes to the issues. And she’s not even hiding it anymore.

We cannot allow Elizabeth Warren or her rhetoric to represent Massachusetts any longer. That’s why I’m asking you to join me by adding your name to stop Elizabeth Warren!

In this together,
John Kingston

I don’t think that WE’RE “In this together”, John – here’s my response:

Go fuck yourselves – I like Senators who have a spine. Not a PENIS, a SPINE – I know that those words contain the same letters, but they’re NOT the same thing.

There’s a reason I’m registered as an Independent: because I’m a Liberal, and I believe that Elizabeth Warren represents my interests and my view of what America should and CAN be, more than any other Senator or Congresscritter (particularly my own John Faso.)

I want someone in DC fighting for the poor and middle-class, not the corporate donors and dark-money interests. I want Citizens United overturned so that the uber-wealthy and foreign-moneyed interests do NOT control my government.

So you can take your ubiquitous conservative white male and shove him up trump’s ass.

Sincerely,

Jane E. Schneider

If you’d like to contact this John Kingston fellow, here’s his home page.

Open Thread – talk about whatever you want.

Daily Gnuz, Sunday Shitehole

America’s descent into hell is accelerating inexorably.

From Friday’s ThinkProgress, another murderous police officer gets off in a stupefying “innocent” verdict. WARNING: the article does include the graphic bodycam video of the murder. I did NOT watch it, as the article’s description of the senseless killing was more than enough. Read it and weep – I did.

Next, here’s what Rep. Mark “Trailhiker” Sanford said about the “tax reform” bill in a brief interview with Erica Werner of the Washington Post:

Mark Sanford (R) admits tax bill is a sham.

A new survey shows that 30% of white Evangelicals are still willing to overlook pretty much every non-christian thing that trump says or does. Here’s a brief excerpt from an article by Christian Post reporter Samuel Smith:

“On Tuesday, PRRI [Public Religion Research Institute] released its annual American Values Survey titled “One Nation, Divided, Under Trump,” which found that just over four in 10 white evangelicals (42 percent) were weak Trump supporters, answering that although they support Trump, it is still possible for them to lose their support. Meanwhile, 30 percent of white evangelicals say they approve of Trump and “there’s almost nothing President Trump could do to lose my approval…”

NOTE: Definitely check out the link at “One Nation, Divided, Under Trump”, interesting statistics laid out there.

Last, in keeping with the above Christian Post theme, another article confirms that not ALL Evangelical “christians” believe that getting another anti-abortion vote in the Senate is worth the cost. This opinion piece by Craig M Watts in The Christian Post starts out:

“Once again, abortion is being used to justify supporting a political candidate that deserves nothing but condemnation by Christians.”

Open Thread – enjoy! (or whatever more appropriate term you want to use.)

The Sechny-Schneider Thanksgiving, 2017

Some scenes from our Thanksgiving, courtesy of friend and prolific photographer Lisa Nagy Isaacson:

Some of the food:
While we mostly drank champagne/mimosas, we also test-tasted this not-at-all-bad “Covfefe” wine Our niece Emily with Wayne’s sister Judy.My brother Bobby with one of his oldest friends from the neighborhood, Saul Isaacson.Mike and Emily, slaving away in the kitchen.

Mike and his mother, Mary.

Saul and Judy perusing, as far as I recall, DIckens.

Saul and his wife (and now our family photo archivist, as I told her) Lisa.

Wayne and I melting into the couch.  Those plush ‘drumsticks’ you see in the foreground were actually Thanksgiving-themed ‘party’ headgear, which we were forced to wear for a photograph later, and which I will NOT post here (or anywhere else!)

Several (many many) Mimosas later, after some wonderful NY cheesecake over which some of us drizzled a maple/cream/pecan sauce, Wayne and I headed home to our hungry kitties.  It was an enjoyable visit that, now that we’ve gotten more used to the newer ‘family and friends’ dynamics, we’re looking forward to more and more each holiday.

I hope that all of our Zoo family and friends enjoyed just as comfortable – and tasty! – Thanksgiving.

Daily Gnuz

Evangelical Christians’ reactions/non-reactions to Charlottesville, via The Christian Post:

First, there are actually a couple of articles where pastors, etal, are finally allowing their collective conscience to break through. Here’s one, and here’s another

Of course, those voices are few, and they’ve got competition, i.e.:

Here’s an opinion piece from “guest contributor” Brad Huddleston, the title of which I thought promising, until I actually read it: “Charlottesville: Jesus Commands Us to ‘Tell The Truth’, So Why Aren’t We?” A few excerpts:

“I was in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the riots and what I observed and what I saw in the media’s coverage are, for the most part, two very different narratives.

Although the atmosphere was volatile everywhere I walked, I have to believe that it was Sovereignty that kept me away from the physical confrontations. I did, however, observe verbal ones. I saw various white supremacist groups filled with hate and evil intentions. They were armed with weapons and ready for a fight. I also watched members of Black Lives Matter as well as Communists/Marxists, carrying their hammer and sickle flags. They were also filled with hate and evil intentions.”

Sounds to me as though it wasn’t “Sovereignty” that kept him away from the physical confrontations, it was his own cowardice. So all he did was “observe” certain things, verbal interactions, certain flags, and interpret them in the light of his own prejudices [“during the RIOTS”.]  How dare he automatically credit BLM with “evil intentions”, when they were protesting against NAZIS and WHITE SUPREMACISTS! And if BLM were involved in extremely heated arguments defending their right to exist as equals in the face of horrifying insults, threats, violence, etc., who would blame them for hating everything that these armed, sometimes uniformed, Confederate-and-Nazi-flag-waving un-American RACISTS do, say, and stand for. The hammer-and-sickle flag-waving “Communists/Marxists”? The author ‘identifies’ them in a later section as the Antifa. I call bullshit. Apparently the author was so terrified he couldn’t even verify what these people were marching for/against.

“The media was slamming the various white supremacist groups (and they should). But I immediately noticed something very perplexing. Very little if any coverage was being given to the various Communist and Marxist groups and violent Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists. It was as if the white supremacists were the only ones who were filled with hate. I kept waiting and waiting for someone to show images of the reality that we, who were actually there, observed.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Let’s never forget that the Communists and Marxists have killed far more people than Hitler. Nevertheless, they are all equal in their evil, and all should be equally condemned. If they are participating in the same riot, they should share the same headline. Because white supremacists’ numbers are small, we should be far more concerned about their Marxist and their Socialist cousins. Our American universities have been cranking them out for years, and we’re now seeing the results.

Both extremes were represented in Charlottesville on that scary day. To give the extreme left a pass, and even affirm them, would make Hitler proud.”

I can’t even comment, I’m so gobsmacked by this. But I would like to ask Mr. Huddleston if any of the BLM or Antifa drove a car at speed into a crowd of human beings, killing one and injuring more than a dozen others; and how many BLM or Antifa were “ARMED WITH WEAPONS and ready to fight” as the Nazi/KKK and white supremacist pseudomilitary actually were?

And then we have conservative black pastors and others defending trump’s abhorrent remarks in “Black Christian Leaders Detest Claim That Trump Is the ‘Driver’ of Racial Division in America.” Here’s just one little slice of this twisted, surreal pie:

“Corrogan Vaughn, a political activist who ran against Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland in the 2016 election, argued that those in the media who blame Trump for the racial tension in the United States are trying to turn Trump into a “villain.”

“Don’t make our commander in chief a villain when in actuality it is more the villainess of the media in terms of making something where nothing is,” Vaughn stated.

Oh, joy, keep screaming that the “media” is to blame, and this imaginary ‘alt-left’, ffs – like who’re you gonna believe, trump and the evangelicals, or your lying eyes?

For more, here’s the Christian Post’s Political page. Have fun.

This is our Open Thread – enjoy!

The Watering Hole, Monday, May 15th, 2017: Commence[IMPEACH]ment

On Saturday, Donald trump gave the commencement address at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Here’s the entire transcript, courtesy of Time Magazine. I’ll just provide this one excerpt, the opening of trump’s remarks:

“Thank you very much. everybody. And congratulations to the class of 2017. That’s some achievement.

This is your day and you’ve earned every minute of it. And I’m thrilled to be back at Liberty University, I’ve been here, this is now my third time, and we love setting records, right. We always set records. We have to set records, we have no choice.

It’s been a little over a year since I’ve spoken on your beautiful campus and so much has changed. Right here, the class of 2017 dressed in cap and gown, graduating to a totally brilliant future. And here I am standing before you as President of the United States, so I’m guessing — there are some people here today who thought that either one of those things, either one, would really require major help from God. Do we agree? And we got it.

But here we are celebrating together on this very joyous occasion, and there is no place in the world I’d rather be to give my first commencement address as President than here with my wonderful friends at Liberty University. And I accepted this invitation a long time ago. I said to Jerry that I’d be there, and when I say something I mean it.”

That’s more or less representative of how the rest of the address goes. There’s some semi-coherent and event-appropriate sentences, obviously written by someone other than the usual trump spokesvermin. But then trump’s off on tangents (the most lengthy one being about football), and the trump brand limited-edition, limited-vocabulary, limited-attention-span WTFery. I lost count of the lies and ignorant statements; however, I do recommend reading the entire thing. [WARNING: for those whose health (mental or physical) might be at risk, ask your doctor if reading trump’s commencement address is right for you. Your doctor may suggest adding a low-dose Xanax to your current medications.]

In better news, here’s something from the NY Daily News.

And here’s a website to track impeachment efforts.

This is our Open Thread–have at it!

The Watering Hole, Monday, April 24th, 2017: The Boob Tube Prez

In the same troubling vein as the recent Time Magazine interview with President trump, here’s a few disturbing articles about trump’s overriding fascination with all things TV.
A recent Raw Story article demonstrates the incompetence of both trump and his aides, and shows that trump’s is a presidency without anything resembling an “administration”:

“Some of President Donald Trump’s top aides worry that too much of his time is unsupervised, which — in the past — has led to serious unforced errors that undermine him and his administration.”

Yeah, not to mention the entire country, and world stability.

“And while some advisers support the president’s unconventional approach to the job, others worry that these holes in the president’s schedule are where he goes awry and “watches too much TV”, gets overexcited and posts inflammatory — frequently inaccurate — rants online or speaks by phone with people who encourage his worst instincts.”

What trump’s advisors SHOULD primarily be worrying about is the fact that there are so many “holes in the president’s schedule.” His aides should be scheduling tutors in remedial civics, the Constitution, presidential protocol, history, geography, oh, hell, EVERYTHING he doesn’t seem to have a clue about when it comes to the U.S. government. Maybe if they tried teaching him via videos on a big-screen TV – and kept referring to it as “Reality TV” – they might get him to learn something.

From a second Raw Story article:

“The Washington Post said Sunday that in addition to fretting over what the president will do if left alone too long, Trump’s aides and advisers struggle to keep the president from consuming too much TV or watching things that will upset him and cause him to erupt on Twitter.”

Yes, the President of the United States, the most powerful person in the world, needs a babysitter. I think it would be more helpful if they hired a boot camp drill instructor.

A few excerpts from the Washington Post article by Ashley Parker and Robert Costa:

““President Trump is someone who comes to the White House with a sophisticated understanding of how to communicate, the power of television, the power of imagery, the power of message, and how message, messenger and delivery all work together,” said Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president.”

Although Kellyanne managed to actually string words together that made a somewhat coherent sentence, her seeming point that trump’s TV savvy makes him better qualified as a president is ridiculous. The crudeness and ignorance of the actual content of trump’s communications, messages and delivery overshadow any “sophisticated understanding” of the medium used.

“He is also a natural showman. During the campaign, he riveted viewers with his raucous rallies, where he often spoke for more than hour without any notes or teleprompters. And in TV interviews, he sometimes offers tips on matters including lighting and chair placement, with an intuitive sense of what makes for good TV.”

Being a “natural showman” is all well and good for magicians, game-show hosts, carnival barkers, and snake-oil salesman, but again, it is not the top qualification for running a working government. And trump’s speeches where he rambled for “more than [an] hour without notes or teleprompters” are infamous for their non-sequiturs, weird tangents, and outright made-up bullshit.

“During a small working lunch at the White House last month, the question of job security in President Trump’s tumultuous White House came up, and one of the attendees wondered whether press secretary Sean Spicer might be the first to go.

The president’s response was swift and unequivocal. “I’m not firing Sean Spicer,” he said, according to someone familiar with the encounter. “That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in.”

Trump even likened Spicer’s daily news briefings to a daytime soap opera, noting proudly that his press secretary attracted nearly as many viewers.

For Trump — a reality TV star who parlayed his blustery-yet-knowing on-air persona into a winning political brand — television is often the guiding force of his day, both weapon and scalpel, megaphone and news feed.”

This is a president for whom “ratings” and appearance are more important than honesty and integrity. A president who is superficial, crass, and so limited in his ability to learn or mature that, at 70, he still bases decisions as president on what he sees on cable TV, particularly Fox, his favorite propaganda network. A frightening concept, right?

What I find almost as frightening is that the Washington Post article isn’t screaming “THIS PRESIDENT IS TOTALLY FUBAR”, or even “THIS PRESIDENT IS INCOMPETENT”, let alone “THIS IS NOT NORMAL!”

This is our Open Thread – say anything you want.

The Watering Hole: Sunday, April 16th, 2017: Easter Sunday Roast

The Tappan Zee Bridge, which crosses the Hudson not very far to the south of us, has just been equipped with a live-feed Peregrine Falcon camera. So now that April the giraffe has calved, one can switch gears and watch for a hatching and subsequent hatchlings.

Peregrine chicks are cute little balls of white fluff:

It’s hard to believe that those adorably ungainly hatchlings eventually turn into such impressively majestic birds of prey:

And for those who celebrate Easter, here’s the Easter Rat to wish everyone a Happy Easter!

This is our Open Thread – just go with it.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 15th, 2017: Eve of Destruction? Enjoy the View

If we’re lucky, trump and/or Kim Jong-Un won’t blow up the planet this coming week. Unless something insane happens during the imminent fly-by of asteroid 2014 JO25, on April 19th, at a distance of 1.1 million miles, we could get through the week.

And if we’re really lucky and make it safely through these fucked-up times, and humankind is still around ten years from now, another asteroid will be visiting us at approximately 236,000 miles, about the same distance away as our moon. If the scientists are off a bit in their calculations, who knows, perhaps 1999 AN10 will be merciful and finish us off.

In the meantime, enjoy these glorious pictures of a wide variety of places on this planet we call home.

This is our Open Thread-say anything.

The Weekend Watering Hole: Friday, March 24th, 2017: FAUX Pas

On Wednesday, March 22nd, TIME Magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief, Michael Shelton, interviewed FAUX president Donald trump. I give Shelton credit, he apparently did not laugh in the FAUX president’s face (which is the least I’d like to do to trump’s face on any given day at any given minute. But I digress.)  I have to feel sorry for poor Mr. Shelton, as there was no way that any human could possibly keep up with the gibberish uttered by the “Most Embarrassing Man In The World”(TM). ‘Sad.’

The following is an except from ‘President trump’s Interview With TIME on Truth and Falsehoods.’ If you’re not dizzy by the time you’ve finished reading it, you will be if you read the entire interview. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

FAUX POTUS: “Yeah well if you’d look at, in fact I’ll give you the front page story, and just today I heard, just a little while ago, that Devin Nunes had a news conference, did you hear about this, where they have a lot of information on tapping. Did you hear about that?”

SHELTON: “I have not, no.”

FAUX POTUS: “Now remember this. When I said wiretapping, it was in quotes. Because a wiretapping is, you know today it is different than wire tapping. It is just a good description. But wiretapping was in quotes. What I’m talking about is surveillance. And today, [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Devin Nunes just had a news conference. Now probably got obliterated by what’s happened in London. But just had a news conference, and here it is one of those things. The other one, election, I said we are going to win, we won. And many other things. And I think this is going to be very interesting.”

SHELTON: “So you don’t feel like Comey’s testimony in any way takes away from the credibility of the tweets you put out, even with the quotes?”

FAUX POTUS: “No, I have, look. I have articles saying it happened. But you have to take a look at what they, they just went out at a news conference. Devin Nunes had a news conference. I mean I don’t know, I was unable to see it, because I am at meetings, but they just had a news conference talking about surveillance. Now again, it is in quotes. That means surveillance and various other things. And the New York Times had a front-page story, which they actually reduced, they took it, they took it the word wiretapping out of the title, but its first story in the front page of the paper was wiretapping. And a lot of information has just been learned, and a lot of information may be learned over the next coming period of time. We will see what happens. Look. I predicted a lot of things that took a little of bit of time. Here, headline, for the front page of the New York Times, “Wiretapped data used in inquiry of Trump aides.” That’s a headline. Now they then dropped that headline, I never saw this until this morning. They then dropped that headline, and they used another headline without the word wiretap, but they did mean wiretap. Wiretapped data used in inquiry. Then changed after that, they probably didn’t like it. And they changed the title. They took the wiretap word out.”

Almost the last thing the FAUX president said in the interview was this:

“Hey look, in the mean time, I guess, I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not.”

So…I gather from all that Nunes held a news conference, and the NY Times took out “the wiretap word”, and voila! he’s magically vindicated. Oh, and also, too, he’s the president.  Badly.  So there!

Words fail me.

This is an early edition of the Weekend Watering Hole. Have at it.

The Watering Hole, Monday, March 20th, 2017: Comey, You Owe Us

After FBI director James Comey wantonly helped to destroy Hillary Clinton’s chances to win the Presidential election, thereby saddling us with the madman trump and his anti-semitic, white supremacist cabal, Comey owes all of us, big time. Today he has his chance to start making up for his treacherous douchebaggery.

Adam Schiff (D-CA) of the House Intelligence Committee stated yesterday regarding trump’s various claims about Trump Tower being wiretapped:

“I hope that we can put an end to this wild goose chase… What the president said was just patently false. And the wrecking ball it has created has just banged into our British allies and our German allies and it’s continuing to grow in terms of damage and he needs to put an end to this.”

In addition, both Comey and James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, will be testifying today in a hearing on the Russia-trump connections. According to Bloomberg,

“Committee chairman Devin Nunes said Tuesday that he has also invited National Security Agency chief Mike Rogers, former director of national intelligence James Clapper, former CIA director John Brennan, former acting attorney general Sally Yates and two executives from CrowdStrike Inc., a cybersecurity company, to the March 20 hearing.”

The Bloomberg article continues,

“The hearing will likely be the first in-depth public inquiry into allegations of connections between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government, as well as Russia’s efforts to influence the U.S. election…The House Intelligence panel’s top Democrat, Adam Schiff of California, told reporters Tuesday that Comey wasn’t forthcoming with information when the panel held a closed hearing last week.

“The first obstacle we met was the FBI director’s unwillingness to answer questions,” Schiff said.

Comey had better overcome that “unwillingness to answer questions” and start being more “forthcoming with information” today. He owes it to the entire country, which is now becoming unrecognizable as a civilized nation under the trump regime. If Comey has the least tiny bit of patriotism in him, then he MUST be truthful and share any and all information that he’s hiding.

As I’ve said before, “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.” OUR country demands no less.

This is our Open Thread – talk about whatever you want, but also, please post any updates you hear/read about today’s hearings.