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.

 

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!

Daily Gnuz – Late Edition

Mid-week, and here’z the Gnuz!

Bannon Says Trump Tower Meeting Was ‘Treasonous’ And ‘Unpatriotic’
H/T TPM
Looks like the traitors are calling the traitors traitors.

And

‘It Is Time To Stop Chasing Rabbits’: Fusion GPS Founders Accuse GOP Of Protecting Trump
H/T C&L
Covering up is what R’s do best. Watergate, Iran/Contra, etc, etc, et effing cetera

Finally,


The scary reality behind Trump’s long Tuesday of weird tweets…He’s relying on Fox News for all his information.

H/T Vox
What could possibly go wrong?

Open Thread, Shred it!
RUCerious @ TPZoo

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, February 27th, 2017: FAKE President/REAL Threat

Each and every day of the last 37 days since trump started his residency of the White House, we are seeing the true nature of the “policies” in the Bannon/trump agenda. Some examples from this past week follow.

Last week brought us the annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference, or NAMBLA (well, they might as well be, as far as ‘family values’ goes.)

Acting President and White Supremacist Steve Bannon, hand-in-hand (briefly) with White House (coughincompetent) Chief of (coughincompetent) Staff Rience Priebus, made a special appearance, during which Bannon casually confirmed that his true agenda is to a) gut First Amendment rights, muzzling the “free press” and protestors; then b) destroy our form of government/turn it into a kakistocracy.

BANNON: “Just like they were dead wrong on the chaos of the campaign and just like they were dead wrong in the chaos of the transition, they are absolutely dead wrong about what’s going on today because we have a team that’s just grinding it through on President Donald Trump promised the American people. And the mainstream media better understand something, all of those promises are going to be implemented…
“… every business leader we’ve had in is saying not just taxes, but it is — it is also the regulation. I think the consistent, if you look at these Cabinet appointees, they were selected for a reason and that is the deconstruction, the way the progressive left runs, is if they can’t get it passed, they’re just gonna put in some sort of regulation in — in an agency.

That’s all gonna be deconstructed and I think that that’s why this regulatory thing is so important.”  [emphasis mine]

A Daily Kos diary from 2/24 describes Bannon’s treacherous goal as well. A brief excerpt, though you should read the entire post:

“Remember the interview in which Bannon wanted to burn down democracy?
“I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed. …

“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

Back to CPAC: Puppet FAKE president trump also gave a “speech” – and I use that term in the very loosest definition, in that he DID at least utter many many words, one after the other, i.e.:

“Great to be back at CPAC. It’s a place I have really — I love this place. I love you people. So thank you very much. First of all, I want to thank Matt Schlapp and his very, very incredible wife and boss, Mercedes, who have been fantastic friends and supporters and so great when I watch them on television defending me; nobody has a chance. So I want to thank Matt and Mercedes.
When Matt called and asked, I said absolutely I’ll be there with you.

The real reason I said it, I didn’t want him to go against me, so I said absolutely. And it really is an honor to be here. I wouldn’t miss a chance to talk to my friends. These are my friends. And we’ll see you again next year and the year after that. And I’ll be doing this with CPAC whenever I can, and I’ll make sure that we’re here a lot.

If you remember, my first major speech — sit down, everybody, come on.

You know, the dishonest media, they’ll say he didn’t get a standing ovation. You know why? No, you know why? Because everybody stood and nobody sat. So they’ll say he never got a standing ovation, right?

They are the worst.

So sit down. Donald Trump did not get a standing ovation. They leave out the part they never sat down. They leave that out. So I just want to thank you.”

NO, YOU FUCKING IGNORAMUS, THEY NEVER SAT DOWN BECAUSE YOU NEVER FUCKING TOLD/ASKED THEM TO! IT’S CALLED PROTOCOL, DAMMIT, HAVE SOMEONE EXPLAIN IT TO YOU!

Sorry.

Anyway, that was as much as I could read before my brain threatened to short out. If you’re tougher than I am, you can read the whole thing at the link above.

Kevin Drum of Mother Jones had this to say after trump’s “press briefing” prior to which CNN, the N.Y. Times, and the L.A. Times were shut out in favor of (puke) Breitbart [FAKE] “News” and the Washington Times:

“A few days ago, there was some talk about whether Trump would slow-walk federal disaster relief for the Oroville Dam [California] area. As it turned out, he didn’t, but the possibility was taken seriously for a while.
This is what makes the Trump presidency so unpredictable. No modern president would even think of taking revenge on a state that voted against him by refusing disaster aid. No modern president would dream of evicting news outlets from a press briefing because they had criticized him. No modern president would lie about easily checkable facts on a routine basis. No modern president would loudly cite every positive bit of economic news as a personal triumph. No modern president since Nixon would casually ask the FBI to take its side in an ongoing investigation.

 

It’s not that modern presidents couldn’t do these things. They just didn’t. And we all came to assume that none of them would.”

Then there’s this series of tweets from the tiny fingers of the childish man-baby, after the DNC selected Tom Perez as its Chairman:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Congratulations to Thomas Perez, who has just been named Chairman of the DNC. I could not be happier for him, or for the Republican Party!
5:02 PM – 25 Feb 2017

Tom Perez

✔ @TomPerez

Call me Tom. And don’t get too happy. @keithellison and I, and Democrats united across the country, will be your worst nightmare.
5:49 PM – 25 Feb 2017

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The race for DNC Chairman was, of course, totally “rigged.” Bernie’s guy, like Bernie himself, never had a chance. Clinton demanded Perez!
6:33 AM – 26 Feb 2017

Seriously, America, FAKE president trump is OUR “worst nightmare.”  When are the Republicans going to finally acknowledge that trump is an incompetent puppet with no morals, whose strings are being pulled not by the GOP, but by an anarchist who, with assistance from murderous Russian strongman Putin, will bring THEIR world “crashing down”, too?  What President-in-effect Bannon plans won’t just destroy the R’s hated “big government”, it will destroy the United States, and totally fuck up the balance of power in the world.

Democrats alone cannot stop trump.  If there are any Republicans with an ounce of patriotism left in their hearts, well, “now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.”  And quickly.

This is our Open Thread, you know what to do.

The Watering Hole, Monday, February 20th, 2017: ICYMI

A few articles from the past week:

I noticed something in one of Raw Story’s articles on Stephen Miller, and had to look into it:

“Though he denies it, Miller is believed to have written a significant portion of the travel ban, with some help from Steve Bannon and congressional aides sworn to contractual secrecy.[emphasis mine]

The Daily Mail article linked to in the above excerpt had more:

“Senior House Judiciary Committee staffers helped produce President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration ban, even as top lawmakers and cabinet heads were left in the dark.
The aides were required to sign nondisclosure agreements as they labored in secret to help draft the ban, Politico reported.

Trump’s transition brought in the Hill aides during the transition, while it was still rushing to staff the administration.”

And the Politico story had even more:

“The work of the committee aides began during the transition period after the election and before Donald Trump was sworn in. The staffers signed nondisclosure agreements, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Trump’s transition operation forced its staff to sign these agreements, but it would be unusual to extend that requirement to congressional employees.”

Now, wait a minute – since when do the president-elect’s staffers and congressional aides sign non-disclosure-agreements?  Aren’t any of them subjected to any vetting process, any background check, in order to work for the president-elect, or for congresspersons and congressional committees?  These are all government public servants, not trump’s TV employees!

I honestly don’t know anything about the legalities of this.  Both the Daily Mail and Politico articles are from the end of January, but I don’t remember hearing about this then. Considering that the articles also state that the congressional aides’ ‘bosses’, such as both the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairmen, were not consulted, I’m a little surprised by that.  Am I just a suspicious cynical alarmist, or is this secretive ‘reacharound’ to bypass normal procedural channels just one more example of trump’s delusional version of presidential power, one that just slipped by amidst the hundreds of other trump delusions?

(sigh)  However…

Maybe there’s hope that there may be a REAL investigation into the trump-Russia cabal. From the Raw Story article:

[T]he Senate Intelligence Committee has ordered more than a dozen individuals and agencies to preserve records related to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.

According to the Associated Press, a congressional aide confirmed that the committee had sent formal requests that all materials related to Russian meddling be preserved.

The AP notes that the letters were a bi-partisan affair with both the panel’s chairmen, Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and vice chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) signing on.

The Friday letters come on the heels of a closed door meeting with FBI Director James Comey who spent nearly three hours answering questions Friday afternoon in a secure room in the Senate basement used for classified briefings.”

Finally, some humor amidst the destruction of our world as we know it: if you didn’t catch John Oliver last night, here’s Raw Story’s thread covering it. Enjoy.

This is our Open Thread – say anything.

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, February 15th, 2017: First Hypocrisy, Now Treachery

It’s been well known for a long time that the GOP is the party of hypocrisy–hence the acronym IOKIYAR. Now, with all of the trump cabal’s innumerable Russian connections, it appears that the GOP is also the party of treachery.

Despite the fact that several U.S. Intelligence agencies have already been investigating key trump personnel, none of the pertinent House and Senate committees want to do a damn thing about it, with the minor exception of Kellyanne Conway’s “free commercial” for Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. No, instead, GOP leaders are either silent on the subject, or say that we should just “move on” now that Flynn has resigned. Apparently they do NOT give a damn that trump knew all about Flynn’s conversations with Russian contacts, in particular the call that Flynn made, on the day that Obama announced sanctions against Russia for interfering with our elections, to let Russia know that president trump would lift those sanctions.

Would ANY Democrat, even one not running for the Presidency, get away with something like this? FFS, the GOP held, what, seven or eight hearings on Benghazi, and went fucking nuts over Hillary Clinton’s emails, none of which in any way, shape or form, endangered the security of the United States. Yet the fact that trump has surrounded himself with people who have, in many cases, had longtime relationships with Russian officials doesn’t seem to worry our ever-so-patriotic Republican majority “leaders.” “Move along, nothing to see here, looky-loos” and “but what about Hillary and her emails” are the typical responses from the GOP.

Well, FUCK YOU, GOP, fuck you hard with something sharp. You are all useless pieces of shit, and I hope that not only does trump go down in flames, I hope he drags you all to hell with him.

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

Now, just for laughs, here’s an article from the Christian Post that I know you’ll find amusing. I mean, just the title alone is hysterical: “God Delivered US from ‘Spirit of Witchcraft Through Trump”. Here’s an excerpt:

Appearing on “The Jim Bakker Show” on Tuesday, Christian thought leader Lance Wallnau spoke about President Donald Trump’s inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington that followed, saying God used Trump to deliver “the nation from the spirit of witchcraft in the Oval Office.”

“What I believe is happening is there was a deliverance of the nation from the spirit of witchcraft in the Oval Office,” said Wallnau, an evangelical business strategist and leader of the Lance Learning Group consulting firm in Dallas.

“The spirit of witchcraft was in the Oval Office, it was about to intensify to a higher level demon principality, and God came along with a wrecking ball, shocked everyone, the church cried out for mercy and bam—God knocked that spirit out, and what you’re looking at is the manifestation of an enraged demon through the populace,” he added.

“This is biblical,” Wallnau, author of God’s Chaos Candidate, added. “Many of the disruptions we are gonna see are going to be the evidence that we are seeing the awakening already began.”

Wallnau, who holds an M.A. from South Western Theological Seminary in Texas, predicted before the election that Trump was the “prophesied president.” He earlier explained that he came to this conclusion after attending a widely-publicized meeting between Donald Trump and evangelical leaders at the Trump Tower last year.

Giving an address at the 3rd Christian Inaugural Gala hosted by Women for a Great America at the Washington Hilton along with prominent Christian speakers and authors last month, Wallnau claimed that when he returned home to Dallas following the meeting with Trump, the Lord put the biblical passage of Isaiah 45 on his heart and told him that “the 45th president is Isaiah 45.”

[He actually had to use Google to confirm that trump would be the 45th president – and these evangelicals are demanding the right to preach politics from the pulpit?]

This is our Open Thread – have at it!

The Watering Hole, Monday, February 6th, 2017: Don’t Forget RUSSIA

Two recent articles to remind us that at least Senator Ron Wyden has our back when it comes to investigating Vlad the Imputin’s Russians having hacked our election for trump.

First, an excerpt from David Corn’s article at Mother Jones:

Since Trump has moved into the White House, there has been less public chatter in political and media quarters about the Russian hacking that, according to the US intelligence community, was mounted by Putin’s spies as part of an extensive clandestine operation to undermine the US presidential campaign in order to benefit Trump. The same goes for allegations that Trump or his associates interacted with Russian officials or intermediaries during the campaign. After the election, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said “there were contacts” between Trump’s team and Russian officials, and various news reports have noted that the FBI has examined connections between Trump associates and Putin-allied Russians—without offering much detail about these FBI inquiries. Yet in the first, chaos-filled weeks of the Trump presidency, the story of Russian meddling in the election—after blowing up with the disclosure that President Barack Obama and Trump were briefed about private intelligence memos alleging Russia had run a yearslong secret program to cultivate Trump and gather compromising intelligence on him—has seemed to move off the center stage.

Second, a diary by Mark Sumner at Daily Kos adds commentary to the above Mother Jones story:

“Now that the intelligence committees are supposedly on the case—and with the FBI not discussing whatever inquiries it may be holding on this front—the controversy (or scandal!) has been nudged to the back burner. This often happens in Washington: a secret investigation is launched, the story goes dark.”

“Helping cast those shadows is a press that seems to have instant amnesia about anything Russia related, to the extent that Russian forces attacking towns in Ukraine just one day after Trump and Putin had their contents unknown chat, wasn’t enough to push aside Trump’s latest tweets on television ratings. The connections between Putin and Trump, Manafort, Flynn, Page, and others in the regime seldom merits a mention.”

We HAVE to keep this investigation front and center, and demand that our Congresscritters and Senators not only support the search for the truth, but inform we, the people, of that truth, no matter the cost. This is OUR country, OUR democracy, and OUR freedom at stake. We cannot let this issue fade into the background, despite all of the distracting crap continuously popping up in the foreground. There are many fights to fight in this travesty of a presidency, but said presidency’s legitimacy is the biggest fight that we all face.

This is our Open Thread–say whatever you want.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, January 28th, 2017: “The Emperor’s New Clothes”

Since so many people are referencing the Hans Christian Andersen tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, in regard to Trump’s first week in office, I thought I should post the classic for all to re-read.

Many years ago there was an Emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed. He cared nothing about reviewing his soldiers, going to the theatre, or going for a ride in his carriage, except to show off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day, and instead of saying, as one might, about any other ruler, “The King’s in council,” here they always said. “The Emperor’s in his dressing room.”

In the great city where he lived, life was always gay. Every day many strangers came to town, and among them one day came two swindlers. They let it be known they were weavers, and they said they could weave the most magnificent fabrics imaginable. Not only were their colors and patterns uncommonly fine, but clothes made of this cloth had a wonderful way of becoming invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office, or who was unusually stupid.

“Those would be just the clothes for me,” thought the Emperor. “If I wore them I would be able to discover which men in my empire are unfit for their posts. And I could tell the wise men from the fools. Yes, I certainly must get some of the stuff woven for me right away.” He paid the two swindlers a large sum of money to start work at once.

They set up two looms and pretended to weave, though there was nothing on the looms. All the finest silk and the purest old thread which they demanded went into their traveling bags, while they worked the empty looms far into the night.

“I’d like to know how those weavers are getting on with the cloth,” the Emperor thought, but he felt slightly uncomfortable when he remembered that those who were unfit for their position would not be able to see the fabric. It couldn’t have been that he doubted himself, yet he thought he’d rather send someone else to see how things were going. The whole town knew about the cloth’s peculiar power, and all were impatient to find out how stupid their neighbors were.

“I’ll send my honest old minister to the weavers,” the Emperor decided. “He’ll be the best one to tell me how the material looks, for he’s a sensible man and no one does his duty better.”

So the honest old minister went to the room where the two swindlers sat working away at their empty looms.

“Heaven help me,” he thought as his eyes flew wide open, “I can’t see anything at all”. But he did not say so.

Both the swindlers begged him to be so kind as to come near to approve the excellent pattern, the beautiful colors. They pointed to the empty looms, and the poor old minister stared as hard as he dared. He couldn’t see anything, because there was nothing to see. “Heaven have mercy,” he thought. “Can it be that I’m a fool? I’d have never guessed it, and not a soul must know. Am I unfit to be the minister? It would never do to let on that I can’t see the cloth.”

“Don’t hesitate to tell us what you think of it,” said one of the weavers.

“Oh, it’s beautiful -it’s enchanting.” The old minister peered through his spectacles. “Such a pattern, what colors!” I’ll be sure to tell the Emperor how delighted I am with it.”

“We’re pleased to hear that,” the swindlers said. They proceeded to name all the colors and to explain the intricate pattern. The old minister paid the closest attention, so that he could tell it all to the Emperor. And so he did.

The swindlers at once asked for more money, more silk and gold thread, to get on with the weaving. But it all went into their pockets. Not a thread went into the looms, though they worked at their weaving as hard as ever.

The Emperor presently sent another trustworthy official to see how the work progressed and how soon it would be ready. The same thing happened to him that had happened to the minister. He looked and he looked, but as there was nothing to see in the looms he couldn’t see anything.

“Isn’t it a beautiful piece of goods?” the swindlers asked him, as they displayed and described their imaginary pattern.

“I know I’m not stupid,” the man thought, “so it must be that I’m unworthy of my good office. That’s strange. I mustn’t let anyone find it out, though.” So he praised the material he did not see. He declared he was delighted with the beautiful colors and the exquisite pattern. To the Emperor he said, “It held me spellbound.”

All the town was talking of this splendid cloth, and the Emperor wanted to see it for himself while it was still in the looms. Attended by a band of chosen men, among whom were his two old trusted officials-the ones who had been to the weavers-he set out to see the two swindlers. He found them weaving with might and main, but without a thread in their looms.

“Magnificent,” said the two officials already duped. “Just look, Your Majesty, what colors! What a design!” They pointed to the empty looms, each supposing that the others could see the stuff.

“What’s this?” thought the Emperor. “I can’t see anything. This is terrible!

Am I a fool? Am I unfit to be the Emperor? What a thing to happen to me of all people! – Oh! It’s very pretty,” he said. “It has my highest approval.” And he nodded approbation at the empty loom. Nothing could make him say that he couldn’t see anything.

His whole retinue stared and stared. One saw no more than another, but they all joined the Emperor in exclaiming, “Oh! It’s very pretty,” and they advised him to wear clothes made of this wonderful cloth especially for the great procession he was soon to lead. “Magnificent! Excellent! Unsurpassed!” were bandied from mouth to mouth, and everyone did his best to seem well pleased. The Emperor gave each of the swindlers a cross to wear in his buttonhole, and the title of “Sir Weaver.”

Before the procession the swindlers sat up all night and burned more than six candles, to show how busy they were finishing the Emperor’s new clothes. They pretended to take the cloth off the loom. They made cuts in the air with huge scissors. And at last they said, “Now the Emperor’s new clothes are ready for him.”

Then the Emperor himself came with his noblest noblemen, and the swindlers each raised an arm as if they were holding something. They said, “These are the trousers, here’s the coat, and this is the mantle,” naming each garment. “All of them are as light as a spider web. One would almost think he had nothing on, but that’s what makes them so fine.”

“Exactly,” all the noblemen agreed, though they could see nothing, for there was nothing to see.

“If Your Imperial Majesty will condescend to take your clothes off,” said the swindlers, “we will help you on with your new ones here in front of the long mirror.”

The Emperor undressed, and the swindlers pretended to put his new clothes on him, one garment after another. They took him around the waist and seemed to be fastening something – that was his train-as the Emperor turned round and round before the looking glass.

“How well Your Majesty’s new clothes look. Aren’t they becoming!” He heard on all sides, “That pattern, so perfect! Those colors, so suitable! It is a magnificent outfit.”

Then the minister of public processions announced: “Your Majesty’s canopy is waiting outside.”

“Well, I’m supposed to be ready,” the Emperor said, and turned again for one last look in the mirror. “It is a remarkable fit, isn’t it?” He seemed to regard his costume with the greatest interest.

The noblemen who were to carry his train stooped low and reached for the floor as if they were picking up his mantle. Then they pretended to lift and hold it high. They didn’t dare admit they had nothing to hold.

So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, “Oh, how fine are the Emperor’s new clothes! Don’t they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!” Nobody would confess that he couldn’t see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.

“But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.

“Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, “He hasn’t anything on. A child says he hasn’t anything on.”

“But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.

The Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, “This procession has got to go on.” So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn’t there at all.

The last line, of course, doesn’t exactly compare to our Trumperor, who would NEVER suspect and certainly could never admit that any actual, tangible, verifiable fact “would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool.” Our Trumperor has been strutting around naked for a very long time. So, how many ‘little children’ will it take to convince ‘the whole nation’ that the Trumperor “hasn’t got anything on!”

This is our Open Thread–what’s on your mind?

The Weekend Watering Hole, December 10th/11th, 2016: Good-ish? News

To start this weekend off, here’s a few stories that I found a bit heartening. Or perhaps I should say ‘less disheartening than most news.’

First, a story by Jen Hayden from Thursday’s Daily Kos says that General Barry McCaffrey no longer supports Trump’s choice for national security advisor. Quite the opposite, in fact. An excerpt:

General Barry McCaffrey tells NBC News that he was initially supportive of Donald Trump’s decision to name Lt. General Michael Flynn as his national security advisor. But, a closer look at Flynn’s social media use shows that he sent out at least 16 different fake (propaganda) news stories via social media and General McCaffrey pulled no punches, bluntly calling the tweets and stories “demented.”

The Trump transition team is also rightly getting criticism for allowing Lt. General Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, to not only take part in the transition team, but to seek out security clearance for him when his own social media has shown him to be prolifically disseminating utterly false and outrageous politically motivated news. (You can watch a smarmy Mike Pence evade Jake Tapper’s pointed questions about Flynn, Jr.’s security clearance six different times by clicking here.) One of those fake stories prompted a man to walk into a pizza place and fire his high-powered gun to personally “investigate” the child sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton that Flynn was tweeting about to his followers. Which, of course, wasn’t happening.

General Barry McCaffrey went on to say that “we need to aggressively examine what was going on” with Lt. General Michael Flynn and his son.

Next, Trump’s “Ego Trip Tour” brings him to Maryland, and he’s attending today’s iconic Army-Navy football game in Annapolis,  He will also be visiting Baltimore, and the Baltimore City Council made it clear that they are not exactly laying out the “Welcome” mat for him.  According to the Baltimore Sun:

In its first official act Thursday, the new Baltimore City Council voted unanimously to condemn statements made by Donald J. Trump, days before the president-elect is expected to visit the city.

The resolution formally opposed Trump’s “divisive and scapegoating rhetoric, rooted in hate and prejudice,” a measure political scientists say flies in the face of new Mayor Catherine E. Pugh‘s goal of persuading the next president to funnel federal investment to the cash-strapped city.

Some Baltimore officials think that the City Council’s resolution will work against efforts by Mayor Pugh to wheedle funds out of Trump, and believe it was a stupid – one said “boneheaded” – thing to do. I strongly disagree: I want to see more cities like this stand up for character values like ethics, integrity, civil rights, and compassion. (According to the article, San Francisco is the only other city to put out a message like this against ‘Trumpland.’) I agree with this last part of the Sun article:

Veteran Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, of North Baltimore, said the action sets a tone for the new council and sends a signal to residents.
“I am very proud that we are one of the very first city councils in the United States of America to push back and say, ‘Time for respect, again, in America,'” Clarke said. The resolution is “a great way to start off this new term of office in that manner by pushing back, ‘Ain’t gonna do it that way. We’ll do it our way: respect, justice, fairness, balance.'”

And finally: FINALLY, President Obama is ordering an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Of course, while the Washington Post “Breaking News Alert” that I received said “Obama Orders Review of Russian Hacking During Presidential Campaign”, obviously various investigations and studies had been going on for several months.  Just one brief excerpt (but you really should read the entire article, there’s lots more):

“The CIA shared its latest assessment with key senators in a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill last week, in which agency officials cited a growing body of intelligence from multiple sources. Agency briefers told the senators it was now “quite clear” that electing Trump was Russia’s goal, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.”

Although the Obama Administration and several Senators and Congressmen from both parties had some of these reports by “mid-September”, according to the Washington Post article, they had trepidations about announcing it publicly and/or officially ordering an investigation so close to the Election. IMHO, their concerns over the likelihood of being accused of using an investigation as a political ploy on behalf of the Clinton campaign should have been swept aside by the undeniable fact that ANY foreign country, and especially one with whom we have historically had a tenuous and cautious relationship, actively worked to influence the United States Presidential Election. In addition, if they thought that the Trumplanders would have been really pissed off if they brought this out BEFORE the election, didn’t any of them realize how much worse the “deplorables” would react AFTER their Fuhrer won the election? But at least now the Russian elephant in the room is getting official attention, and that’s a good thing, regardless of the timing. This Washington Post article discusses some of the GOP reaction, as well as reaction (more idiotic conspiracy-theory BS) from Trump and his ilk.  Trump can deny it all he wants, but all of the research so far shows that Russia put a ‘YUGE’ thumb on the election scale for Trump

I realize that these little “good news” tidbits are set in the context of the new, horror/sci-fi reality of an upcoming Trump presidency, at least they’re more positive than negative. And right now, that’s all that I find I can hope for.

This is our Open Thread – what’s on your minds?

The Weekend Watering Hole, December 3rd-4th, 2016

As George W. Bush so eloquently stated all those years ago, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

There are countless numbers of people who should have taken to heart even Dubya’s garbled version (perhaps he had been listening to The Who on his way to that day’s event) of the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”, during this past Presidential campaign and election. The vast majority of those people belong in that huge conglomeration known as “The Media”. Subgroups include, but are not limited to: cable and other news channels, their corporate owners and news division heads, “journalists”, “reporters”, newspundits aka talking heads, political strategists, and official spokeswhores for political candidates. I’m not even going to bother going into the internet “media”, that would be like peeling away every layer of the world’s largest onion (and would bring tears to your eyes, too.) Better to focus on the main offenders.

On Thursday, a “postmortem session” was held at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, attended by representatives of several of the above subgroups. Apparently this is a traditional event that’s held following Presidential elections. As described in general in this article in The Washington Post, this year’s event quickly devolved into a “shouting match.”

A lot of lies were told, and false narratives put forward; too many for me to address all at once, so I’ll limit myself for now and add further commentary as the weekend progresses and time allows.

Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri condemned [Steve] Bannon, who previously ran Breitbart, a news site popular with the alt-right, a small movement known for espousing racist views.

“If providing a platform for white supremacists makes me a brilliant tactician, I am proud to have lost,” she said. “I would rather lose than win the way you guys did.”

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, fumed: “Do you think I ran a campaign where white supremacists had a platform?”

“You did, Kellyanne. You did,” interjected Palmieri…”

Yes, you did, Kellyanne. Trump’s rants freed the voices and actions of a legion of bigots, including and especially white supremacists. But you and other Trump campaign spokeszombies denied, deflected and disowned reports of rising anti-Muslim anti-immigrant, anti-minorities threats and violence, along with Nazi-related graffiti, etc., often in Trump’s name; you did everything but denounce it in the strongest of terms. Forfuckssake, your candidate actually gained ground when he refused to tone down his violence-condoning rhetoric.

“Do you think you could have just had a decent message for white, working-class voters?” Conway asked. “How about, it’s Hillary Clinton, she doesn’t connect with people? How about, they have nothing in common with her? How about, she doesn’t have an economic message?”

Well, Kellyanne, Secretary Clinton DID have a “decent message for white, working-class voters” – the problem was that Trump’s unsubtle dog-whistle message stripped away the veneer of decency from certain segments of “white, working-class voters.” Maybe if Clinton had couched her economic message and policies in lurid hyperbole instead of measured, factual terms, the “media” would have given her more coverage, and more “white, working-class voters” might have paid attention. Or not. I think that once Trump opened his campaign with his lying anti-Mexican slurs, the inner xenophobe in too many Americans sat up and proclaimed “now, that guy speaks MY language.” (Yes, when your language is ‘limited vocabulary/poor grammar’ Americanese.) Trump’s angry shouting drowned out any more mundane, pragmatic offerings from Hillary Clinton. And “the media” simply ran with the loudest “monster-shouter” (H/T Stephen King’s “The Stand.”)

Trump officials said Clinton’s problems went beyond tactics to her weaknesses as a candidate and the deficits of a message that consisted largely of trying to make Trump unacceptable.

[Clinton campaign manager Robby] Mook posited that the media did not scrutinize Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns as intensively as the issue of Clinton’s private email server.

Conway retorted: “Oh, my God, that question was vomited to me every day on TV.”

First the only weaknesses candidate Clinton had were that she’s center-right (which means dangerously left to the impaired judgment of the right-wing), her name is Hillary Clinton, and she’s a woman. She was not “the most crooked politician ever to run for President”, or anything even close to it. She did not murder anyone, despite all of the “body count” conspiracies. And, despite millions of dollars and thousands of hours of fruitless investigations, she did not cause the deaths in Benghazi. Hillary stayed on message the majority of the time, but how could she NOT point out all of the myriad reasons why Trump made HIMSELF unacceptable? Especially since “the media” wasn’t doing a damn thing to inform voters of those reasons?

Second, yes, Kellyanne, you were asked about Trump’s tax returns every day, because neither you nor Trump ever answered the fucking question. As with so many other important questions, you were the one who was projectile-vomiting nonsensical talking points, redirecting the interview right back to Hillary and her emails, or Benghazi, or whatever the current Clinton faux-scandal was on your agenda.

“Conway accused Clinton’s team of being sore losers. “Guys, I can tell you are angry, but wow,” she said. “Hashtag he’s your president. How’s that? Will you ever accept the election results? Will you tell your protesters that he’s their president, too?”

Well, ‘hashtag’ FUCK YOU, Kellyanne, would Trump have accepted the election results if he had lost? You know the answer to that one, you slimy harpy twat. And fuck every goddamned Republican who dares to demand that we kowtow to Donald Trump and his minions, after every word and deed from the right wing for the last eight years were meant solely to stop duly-elected President Obama from actually acting as the American President. Donald Trump is incapable of giving any dignity or credence to the Office of the President of the United States; IMO, he doesn’t even aspire to do so. “Sad.”

Kellyanne, you’re a paid professional liar, and you sold your shriveled, empty soul to an amoral selfish greedy disgusting excuse for a human being. If there really is a Hell, I’m sure that you’ll eventually end up being the spokeswhore for Satan.

There was so much more that I hope to address eventually. Plus, there’s a more detailed account of the discussions at the Harvard event here.

“The media” seemed to feel that its job was to sit back and let Trump be his deplorable self, almost idly marveling in wonder as to how Trump got away with telling the out-and-out lies that he did. It took until the last month or so before the election for “the media” to, to a small degree, come out of its collective catatonic state and finally challenge some of the lies, but there were too many and it was too late. “The media” owns a yuge chunk of the blame for this election’s horrific outcome. But that’s a topic that also needs more time than I have at this moment. But an important part of that discussion involves both Jeff Zucker and CNN’s endless and usually uncritical coverage of all things Trump, along with the insidious, duplicitious role of Trump campaign advisor/CNN political “pundit” Corey Lewandowski and his current role in the Trump transition.

This is our Weekend Open Thread – discuss whatever you’d like.

The Watering Hole, Tuesday, November 29th, 2016: God vs Country

ICYMI, yesterday the Huffington Post had a story about a Republican member of the Electoral College from Texas, Art Sisneros, and his agonizing over how to cast his vote on December 19th. Apparently, Mr. Sisneros refuses to cast his vote for Trump, but also refuses to do what’s best for the country because, well, GOD.

Torn between voting his conscience and dutifully casting his ballot for President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican member of the Electoral College said over the weekend that he would resign his post.

“I believe to resign is to honor the intent of the pledge as it relates to the people of my district,” Texas elector Art Sisneros wrote in a blog post. “Since I can’t in good conscience vote for Donald Trump, and yet have sinfully made a pledge that I would, the best option I see at this time is to resign my position as an Elector.”

Sisneros’ decision to step aside comes as some members of the Electoral College face mounting pressure from voters and advocacy groups to flip their votes against Trump, even if he won the popular vote in their states.

In his post, Sisneros argued that casting his vote for Trump would “bring dishonor to God,” and said that political parties and “winner-take-all” states destroyed the original intention of the Electoral College. Sisneros said in August that he was considering voting against Trump if the real estate mogul were to win the popular vote in Texas. But he told Politico Monday that he would instead resign.

The rest of the country’s 538 electors will choose Sisneros’ replacement when they convene on Dec. 19 to officially elect Trump as the next president. All of Texas’ 38 electoral votes are expected to go to Trump, who beat Hillary Clinton in the state by more than 800,000 votes.

“The people will get their vote,” Sisneros wrote. “I will sleep well at night knowing I neither gave in to their demands nor caved to my convictions. I will also mourn the loss of our republic.”

[emphasis mine]

I have no idea how ANYONE could “sleep well at night” and at the same time “mourn the loss of our republic.” The idea that someone could view this horrendously important Electoral vote as a choice of “conscience” between serving his god or serving his country is totally beyond me. But obviously Mr. Sisneros strongly believes that, because he took what he now calls a “sinful” pledge to the GOP that he now regrets, he can only make himself right with his god by abdicating all civic responsibility.

From Sisneros’ blog post:

“The heart of this issue now is, does honoring the pledge cause me to sin?…
“…Aren’t Electors elected to represent the people? Yes, they absolutely are. That only begs the question, what does it mean to represent the people? This is where our understanding or lack thereof of a representative form of government comes into play. As an elected representative head, I am to speak on behalf of and in the interest of the CD36. It is my conviction that the greatest danger to my district is not a Hillary or Trump Presidency, but it is the judgement of God. If we continue to disobey His clear commands, we can expect to receive His judgement. If being a “Faithless Elector” means standing alone on principle in the hopes that God would continue to grant patience on our district, then it is worth any political future, threats to my safety, and whatever else may come my way.”

This isn’t just about YOU, Mr. Sisneros–what comes your way is nothing compared to what will happen to our nation. Get it through your head: God doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your district, Mr. Sisneros, any more than he gives a rat’s ass about our country – which should be obvious based on the fact that Donald J. Trump is now the President-Elect. And your resignation, Mr. Sisneros, is just one more step in greasing the wheels on that handbasket we’re all going to hell in. I hope that you never “sleep well” again, you chickenshit.

This is our Open Thread–have at it!

The Watering Hole, Monday, November, 21st, 2016: Pseudo-Religious Jackassery

A few odds and ends from the Christian Post to start the week.

Here we go again: Since Republicans cannot accept all of the other investigations that proved Planned Parenthood innocent of whatever wrongdoing du jour they’ve been charged with, now they’re trying again.

As noted Wednesday by USA Today**, the U.S. House Committee on House Administration voted to approve $800,000 in additional funds for the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives[sic*] for their investigation of Planned Parenthood. The 14-member panel, headed by Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, was formed last summer after the Center for Medical Progress released a series of gut-wrenching videos*** showing senior Planned Parenthood officials negotiating over the prices of fetal body parts from aborted babies.

*”Infant Lives” is, obviously, a complete and deliberately misleading misnomer.

**Excerpt from the USA Today article:

“Over the objection of Democrats, the House Committee on Administration voted Wednesday to approve an additional $800,000 for the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives. The money is in addition to the panel’s previously approved $790,000 budget and puts it on track to spend more than $1.5 million by the end of the year.”

***Investigations which arose out of the videos, which purportedly showed PP to be illegally selling fetal tissue, consistently ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood. The investigation in Texas not only cleared PP, but charged the filmmakers with criminal activity, including a felony, although one misdemeanor charge was later dropped. Annoyingly, the felony charge was also later dismissed, more-or-less due to a court technicality. Despite that:

“Officials in Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Georgia and nine other states investigated the claims made in the videos that Planned Parenthood had profited illegally from sales of fetal tissue, and cleared the group of any wrongdoing. Officials in eight other states, including California and Colorado, declined to investigate, according to Planned Parenthood.”

So, just another example of Republicans wasting money and time on yet another investigation of something that has been investigated, in this instance by at least thirteen States, including several conservative southern ones.

In a lighter, nay, more ridiculous vein, enjoy – or be nauseated by – “What Was the Role of Prophecy in 2016 Election?”:

“…Franklin Graham said the media in particular missed the “God-factor” regarding the outcome of the election.

“Hundreds of thousands of Christians from across the United States have been praying. This year they came out to every state capitol to pray for this election and for the future of America. Prayer groups were started. Families prayed. Churches prayed. Then Christians went to the polls, and God showed up,” Graham said.”

Pastor Paula White also reveled that she fasted and prayed, and had concluded that Trump would win, CP reported last week.

Last year, a man named Jeremiah Johnson of Behold the Man Ministries in Lakeland, Florida, said that God had shown him during prayer that Trump was raised up like a Cyrus and would be “[God’s] trumpet to the American people.”

Last, in the “laughable if it weren’t real” category, we’ve got…wait for it…alt-right racist Steve Bannon’s first interview with that bastion of political reporting, the Hollywood Reporter. How’s that for a serious, dignified start for one who is (gulp) going to be whispering evil nothings like Wormtongue into Trump’s ear? Just one brief excerpt:

“Bannon praised Trump. “You have probably the greatest orator since William Jennings Bryan, coupled with an economic populist message…”

BWAHAHAHAHA!

This is our Open Thread – feel free to discuss what you wish.

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 7th, 2016: “Trouble sleeping?”

With the most consequential election of my lifetime now just one day away, a scene from Star Trek: Next Generation’s “Best of Both Worlds” Part 1″ keeps returning to my mind. It takes place before the battle with the Borg, as Captain Picard paces through the Enterprise, and finds Guinan alone in Ten-Forward:

Guinan: “Trouble sleeping?”

Capt. Picard: “It’s something of a tradition, Guinan – Captain touring the ship before a battle.”

Guinan: “Hmm. Before a *hopeless* battle, if I remember the tradition correctly.”

Capt. Picard: “Not necessarily. Nelson toured the HMS Victory before Trafalgar.”

Guinan: “Yes, but Nelson never returned from Trafalgar, did he?”

Capt. Picard: “No, but the battle was won.”

Guinan: “Do you expect this battle to be won?”

Capt. Picard: “We may yet prevail. That’s a… a conceit. But… it’s a healthy one. I wonder if the Emperor Honorius watching the Visigoths coming over the seventh hill truly realized that the Roman Empire was about to fall. This is just another page in history, isn’t it? Will this be the end of *our* civilization? Turn the page.”

I wish that I had the calmness, almost equanimity, with which Captain Picard views the possibility of approaching doom and the likely takeover of the United Federation of Planets by a heartless, merciless “race.” I cannot view a similar fate for our country without a feeling of utter dread.

“We may yet prevail” as Picard says, if by “prevail” one means that Hillary Rodham Clinton wins the Presidency. If that happens, in my humble opinion, we the sane will have only one night, possibly, to feel the relief of dodging a bullet. As long-time students of politics and human nature, particularly ‘American’ human nature, we Critters and Zoosters and other reality-based folks are all too well aware that a final election result which denies Donald Trump the Presidency is just the beginning. There inevitably will be a barrage of ‘bullets’, figuratively at best, to continue to dodge. And it may well “be the end of *our* ‘civilization’.”

Guinan offers hope of a sort:

Guinan: “This isn’t the end.”

Capt. Picard: You say that with remarkable assuredness.”

Guinan: “With experience. When the Borg destroyed my world, my people were scattered throughout the universe. We survived – as will humanity survive. As long as there’s a handful of you to keep the spirit alive, you will prevail – even if it takes a millennium.”

And while Guinan could be right, that “[t]his isn’t the end”, I wish that *our* people were able to scatter throughout the universe. “Humanity” may survive, but will it still be recognizable as “human”?

This is our daily Open Thread–talk me down?

The Watering Hole, Saturday, October 29th, 2016: Lighten Up!

Let’s start the weekend with a few lighter political stories that shouldn’t raise anyone’s blood pressure.

President Obama is enjoying himself at the expense of several Republicans in “Barack Obama’s Sweet Revenge Tour” by Tim Murphy of Mother Jones. Here’s an example, regarding the Darrell Issa campaign mailer shown below:

issa_obama-mailerAccording to the Mother Jones article:

“At a fundraiser in La Jolla on Sunday, Obama trashed the California Republican for his mailer. “Issa’s primary contribution to the United States Congress has been to obstruct and to waste taxpayer dollars on trumped-up investigations that have led nowhere,” he said. “This is now a guy who, because poll numbers are bad, has sent out brochures with my picture on them touting his cooperation on issues with me. Now that is the definition of chutzpah.”

Next, The Yale Record has the best non-endorsement-endorsement ever. An excerpt:

“…Because of unambiguous tax law, we do not encourage you to support the most qualified presidential candidate in modern American history…”

The brief piece ends with:

The Yale Record has no opinion whatsoever on Dr. Jill Stein.
—The Editorial Board of The Yale Record

Last, today’s Washington Post has some encouraging news about Trump’s chances in Pennsylvania. Even better, though, the article is accompanied by a photo of Trump talking with Rudy “n.v.9/11” Ghouliani Guiliani – I know, you’re thinking, “why is a photo of two of the most despicable men that NYC ever spawned BETTER than Trump slipping in PA?” – well, you’ll have to see it (it could be worse, at least Rudy’s facing away from the camera, more-or-less.) I commented to Wayne that, knowing Trump, he’d probably try to sue the photographer for taking an unflattering picture when Trump’s combover wasn’t ready for its close-up. Then, of course, Trump would likely accuse Secretary Clinton of hiring the photographer as part of a worldwide conspiracy to expose what lies underneath Trump’s “hair” – and what lies beneath is a large expanse of bare-naked Trump-scalp. “Sad.” Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This is our daily Open Thread – relax, enjoy the weekend!

The Watering Hole: Friday October 14 2016; “There Was A Fever Over The Land . . .”

trumps-gop-elephant

A comprehensive guide to accepting Donald Trump’s sexual assault denials

******

I have to admit it’s more than a little bit fascinating to watch as the REAL Donald Trump emerges from within the orange skinned and squirrel pelt hair version — not that the REAL one is any sort of an improvement, of course. What’s even more fascinating is to watch the intellectual devolution of various chunks of the Republican Party’s Trump supporters, to see how far down into the muck they’re willing to drop and still vibrantly support the ‘thing’ underneath the orange and the pelt. Big question: Just how far down the Trumpian path are his Trumpisstas willing to go? All the way to the end?

Here are a bunch of links to current articles that suggest there just may well be no limits, that all the way to the very bottom is, indeed, their principle option perfectly stated.

Michele Bachmann: Electing Hillary Clinton ‘Will Lead To Even More Sexual Assaults Against Women’

Michele Bachmann: God May Curse America If We Elect Hillary Clinton

Rodney Howard-Browne: America Will ‘Head Towards Civil War’ If Hillary Clinton Wins

James Dobson Continues To Support Trump Because His Comments ‘Don’t Threaten The Future Of This Nation’

Evangelicals slammed Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct. So why does Trump get a pass?

Dave Daubenmire: ‘We Cannot Vote For Hillary Clinton Because Women Are Not To Have Authority Over Men’

Trump: ISIS Will ‘Take Over This Country’ If Hillary Clinton Wins

Janet Porter: Trump’s Statements Don’t Matter Because Only He Can Save America From Becoming A Police State

On November 9th, Trump’s Followers Will Probably Be More Dangerous Than Trump

Those links seem to more-or-less summarize, overall, the collective attitude(s) of the portion of the political right that can be defined as totally intolerant. It includes the fundamentalist Christian segment, the white supremacist segment, along with the implicit attitudes embedded therein that Donald Trump, the current Republican candidate for POTUS, fully supports and urges forward

For some very very ‘mysterious’ reason, the focus of this, the current political situation underway in the United States, has reminded me of a scene from the 1961 movie, Judgment At Nuremberg — the scene in which German Judge and Tribunal Defendant Ernst Janning (Burt Lancaster) speaks to the Tribunal of the conditions in Germany that led to such horrible and bitter consequences. Here is Janning’s monologue (from the Academy Award winning script by Abby Mann; emphasis mine):

There was a fever over the land. A fever of disgrace, of indignity, of hunger. We had a democracy, yes, but it was torn by elements within. There was, above all, fear. Fear of today, fear of tomorrow, fear of our neighbors, fear of ourselves. Only when you understand that can you understand what Hitler meant to us. Because he said to us: ‘Lift up your heads! Be proud to be German! There are devils among us. Communists, Liberals, Jews, Gypsies! Once the devils will be destroyed, your miseries will be destroyed.’ It was the old, old story of the sacrificial lamb.

What about us, who knew better? We who knew the words were lies and worse than lies? Why did we sit silent? Why did we participate? Because we loved our country! What difference does it make if a few political extremists lose their rights? What difference does it make if a few racial minorities lose their rights? It is only a passing phase. It is only a stage we are going through. It will be discarded sooner or later. ‘The country is in danger.’ We will ‘march out of the shadows.’ ‘We will go forward.’

And history tells you how well we succeeded! We succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. The very elements of hate and power about Hitler that mesmerized Germany, mesmerized the world! We found ourselves with sudden powerful allies. Things that had been denied us as a democracy were open to us now. The world said go ahead, take it! Take Sudetenland, take the Rhineland – remilitarize it – take all of Austria, TAKE IT!

We marched forward, the danger passed. And then one day, we looked around and found we were in even more terrible danger. The rites begun in this courtroom swept over our land like a raging, roaring disease! What was going to be a passing phase became a way of life.

I haven’t made an exact count of the words one would have to change in order to bring Janning’s statement up to date sufficiently to describe the current and emergent politic in this country, but I’m guessing it would be no more than a dozen or so. Some of the substitutions are almost automatic: e.g. Trump for Hitler, America for Germany, Muslims for Gypsies, etc. But the saddest aspect of all, really, is that in Trump’s proposed America, There [will be], above all, fear. Fear of today, fear of tomorrow, fear of our neighbors, fear of ourselves. Only when you understand that can you understand what [Trump] meant to us. Are we as a people — Americans — willing to fall for that nonsensical ruse, the one that devoured both Italy and Germany in the last century? Is Fascism our goal, our ultimate destiny? FEAR? Are we on our way down that path?

Secret Nazi group uncovered after Colorado teen kills himself to prove his commitment to killing Jews

I know it’s not politically correct to use the words Hitler, Nazi, Fascism, Republicans and Trump in the same document, but sometimes the urge becomes overpowering — esp. when piles of evidentiary foundations seem to be lurking ‘out there’ behind every bush. In any case, I’ve said my piece and will leave it to others to decide for themselves the direction the American right wing has taken, along with the possible (and likely) consequences the future will place on full display.

gop-swas

Yeehaw? Achtung?

******

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole; Thursday September 29 2016; “Why Within so Thick a Wall . . .”

“Lord, to account who dares thee call,
Or e’er dispute thy pleasure?
Else why, within so thick a wall,
Enclose so poor a treasure?”
Robert Burns (1793)

I confess. I watched, against my better judgment, the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last Monday evening. Not sure why I did  that, but I did, and I’ve been suffering ever since. Because: Donald J. Trump. What a total disaster he is. What a phony. Loser. Disgusting slob. Narcissist. Megalomaniac. Xenophobe. Misogynist. Plus, he has really bad hair. And small hands. What has happened to the Republican Party? Why Trump? HOW Trump?

Made me reflect back on those better days of yore. Back when the GOP was led by strong-minded and really decent folks. People whose sole interest was the betterment of the entire world; whose efforts were invariably designed solely to elevate people no matter who or where they were, to elevate them to the level of even the ‘average’ American, to that level of educated intellect which we believe should define us all, including even our President!

And therein lies the current rub: Trump clearly does NOT have the decency, the kindness, the understanding, the tolerance, the INTELLECT! to which we as a people aspire and which we hope will —  someday soon — define us ALL!

So I decided to take a look back to a calmer time, to a more intellectual time, a time when the last truly “intellectual” Republican (“President”) was in charge and speaking in favor of an elevated nation, an elevated world. Way back in those glory days I personally collected a large pile of our then-President’s quotes, and I saved them in the hope that one day in the future, I might have the opportunity to use them to make a valid point.

And finally that day has arrived! Now is clearly the time to demonstrate to all functioning minds both at home and around the world that America need NOT sink into the realm of challenged intellect [currently defined by Republican candidate for POTUS, Donald J. Trump], and that it’s never too late to both look back at — AND — to look ahead toward better (post-Trump, obviously) ‘Republican’days! So here they are, a pile of Republican POTUS quotes from back in the days when the GOP was driven by intellect(?) and humanity (? ? really?) rather than by stupidity and greed. The quotes are in no particular order — some are dated, some not — but they do, at least and nevertheless, point to the drastic and dramatic differences twixt then and now.

Enjoy!! Continue reading

The Watering Hole, Saturday, August 20th, 2016: Promises, Promises

ICYMI –

From yesterday’s Washington Post: David A. Fahrenthold and Alice Crites present an in-depth, detailed look at Donald Trump’s claimed generosity on The Apprentice, focusing on promises of donations to many of the ‘fired’ contestants’ favorite charity. Despite the video recordings and transcripts of the show verifying Trump’s own words (the particular phrases varied, but the meaning was unambiguous), not one single penny came out of his own personal “wallet”, “pocket” or “account.” In fact, several of the named charities never received the stated donation at all.

Obviously, this provides more evidence that Trump has always been a lying, cheap, manipulative fraud whose word – as in, “his word is his bond” – means absolutely nothing. Of course, anyone with half a brain should know that anyway. But many details about the Trump Foundation and its funding that the WaPo investigation dug up also make it clear that The Donald’s tax returns contain more than one reason why he refuses to release them.

Trump’s pattern of public displays of ‘generosity’ without the actual donation has already been seen over the course of his campaign. WaPo’s report reinforces the fact that this is a real pattern, and one that, in view of Trump’s monstrously overblown ego, we should expect to continue simply because Trump cannot help himself. And it won’t just be about money. While Trump’s mouth is not as big as his ego, it is certainly bigger than his wallet, his brain, and whatever dark, malignant growth passes for his ‘soul.’ His big mouth will continue to make empty promises that he cannot and will not keep. Trump’s entire campaign is simply snake oil, but he and his rube supporters are really the snakes.

One could almost feel sorry for the Republican party – almost, but since they created this monster, the GOP doesn’t deserve pity. What they really deserve is worldwide humiliation, followed by extinction. However, I find it ironic that in 2012 they chose an extremely wealthy and experienced candidate who at least knew the ropes; this time around, all they could afford was a fake billionaire with fake hair and a fake persona who knows nothing, absolutely nothing, about how government works. Well, they got what they paid for, and now they are paying much more dearly than they apparently could have imagined.  Let’s hope that the rest of the country doesn’t have to pay so dearly for the GOP’s biggest mistake.

This is our daily Open Thread, so go ahead and talk about anything you want.

The Watering Hole, Monday, August 8th, 2016: Looney-Toons

Okay, just because the American Psychiatric Association doesn’t want their members to publicize ‘armchair’ diagnoses of the Presidential candidates – meaning Donald Trump, of course – doesn’t mean that we non-psychiatrists can’t do it. And, although “Looney-Toons” isn’t the most clinically accurate ‘armchair’ diagnosis, it at least allows for a little humor to start the week.

Bugs Bunny in Hair, er, Herr Meets Hare
Herr Trump seems to have been given a lot more unearned medals than just that poor guy’s Purple Heart.

Can't even rule his own herr, er, hair
Herr Trump can’t even rule his own hair.

"Victory Thru Herr, er, Hair Power"
“Hmm..”Victory Thru Herr Hair Hare Power”!?”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Greensboro, North Carolina on June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX2GABT “Look at this – my hair’s a mess!  Can’t anyone help me?”

you're so next “Can’t you see you’re next?”
DonaldTrumpShrug1 “Okay, why not?”

daffy holding signrabbitofseville33“I’m not sure what’s in this, but if it dissolved that thing on his head, that’s a step in the right direction.”

rabbitofseville64“Flowers?! Are you kidding? I can’t even comb them over!”

Although it could have been worse, i.e.:
duckamuck40...The blow to his vanity was just too much, pushing him over the edge.  His self-image as “Donald J. Trump, Billionaire” was destroyed. 

donald-trump mansionHe began to dress in a bunny suit, repeating over and over, “My name is Elmer J. Fudd, Millionaire.  I own a mansion and a yacht.”

elmer2elmerbunny

bugs_elmer-rabbit
Longtime friend and co-worker Daffy Duck describes a recent visit:
daffy not crazy

He “may be crazy, but” he’s not going to the White House!

This is our daily Open Thread. Please feel free to discuss anything you like – or dislike.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 23, 2016: Ego

The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of ego:

Noun:

1.      A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance

1.1    Psychoanalysis The part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity

1.2    Philosophy (In metaphysics) a conscious thinking subject.

Synonyms: self-esteem, self-importance, self-worth, self-respect, self-conceit, self-image, self-confidence;

Now, let’s take a brief look at Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s ego:

1. Trump’s self-esteem? Off the charts–his self-descriptions include being “the greatest” this, the “best” that, the “most” whatever. Anyone who claims otherwise is just “wrong” or “stupid”, or has some imaginary personal beef against Trump, because in no way will Donald Trump admit to any ignorance, mistake, lie, or out-and-out wrongdoing. Which leads to…

1.1 Trump’s ego cannot “mediate” between the conscious and unconscious. Reality testing?! Trump’s conscious and unconscious create their own reality, and it’s a reality that he seems to feel no need to test. His “reality” is part-and-parcel of his personal identity, and it is impenetrable by truth, facts, and even Trump’s own previous words or deeds.

1.2 While Trump may be “conscious” in the literal sense of the word, he is not a “thinking” subject.

With his penchant for superlatives, Trump might possibly think that he has a “superego“, but the OED’s definition of superego leads me to believe that Trump’s ego vanquished his superego a long time ago:

Noun:
Psychoanalysis The part of a person’s mind that acts as a self-critical conscience, reflecting social standards learned from parents and teachers

“Self-critical”?  Rarely and barely.  Hell, Trump told evangelicals that he didn’t feel the need to go to confession, since he doesn’t think that anything he does is wrong.  And I learned things like manners, respect and intellectual curiosity from my parents and teachers, apparently unlike Trump.

Trump has a dysfunctional relationship with the truth. According to Politifact, only 8.4% of Trump’s statements have been factual.  Their review of Trump’s statements shows that a whopping 70% of Trump’s statements are rated “Mostly False”, “False”, or “Pants on Fire.” Here’s one of the “Pants on Fire” stories:

“The day after the 2016 Republican National Convention, Trump said his vanquished Republican rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, had never denied that his father was in a 1963 photo with Lee Harvey Oswald, who went on to assassinate President John F. Kennedy that November.

Trump said: “All I did is point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast. Now, Ted never denied that it was his father. Instead he said, ‘Donald Trump.’ I had nothing to do with it. This was a magazine that frankly, in many respects, should be very respected.”

[The idea that ‘the National Enquirer should be very respected’ should rate a “Pants on Fire” of its own.]

Politifact gave Trump the “2015 Lie of The Year” award to The Donald.  An excerpt:

“…a little hyperbole never hurts,” Trump wrote in his 1987 best-seller The Art of the Deal. “People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion.”

[Ah, and that explains “Trump University.”]

Next, here’s a glib, almost superficial, and often sickeningly fawning article from the Washington Post, by AP “reporter” Nancy Benar, titled “For Trump, it’s about America’s ego — and his own.” Some key excerpts:

“Almost every deal I have ever done has been at least partly for my ego,” the billionaire declared in a 1995 New York Times piece titled, “What My Ego Wants, My Ego Gets.”

“The same assets that excite me in the chase often, once they are acquired, leave me bored,” he told an interviewer in 1990, as his boom years were sliding toward bust. “For me, you see, the important thing is the getting, not the having.”

Trump,[sic] stresses his Ivy League education and revels in juvenile jabs, labeling his adversaries “stupid,” ‘’dumb” and “bad.”

“I know words,” he declared at a December campaign rally where he criticized the Obama administration. “I have the best words. But there’s no better word than stupid, right?”

Wrong, Mr. Trump. As a Presidential candidate, now nominee, some of the “best words” that you should memorize the meanings for are:  honesty, integrity, class, civility, respect, humility and responsibility. I know that these terms and ideas are foreign to you, but you should familiarize yourself with them – there might be a quiz between now and November.

This is our daily Open Thread–feel free to talk about this or any other topic.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, July 16th, 2016: ICYMI – The Only Good News This Week

Not only will Bill Maher be covering the Republican National Convention, but we’ll also have the king of political comedy, Jon Stewart, joining Stephen Colbert to cover both the RNC and the DNC. IMHO, this is the best news in a long time, and I’m looking forward to (hopefully) having some good laughs before weeping at the terrible decline of this nation on ugly, garish display.

In the meantime, I collected some happy gifs that commenters at Raw Story posted. Enjoy!

colbert and jon stewart drink tea

colbert popcorn

jon stewart popcorn

colbert yes nice you like

jon stewart happy moves

calvin and hobbes happy dancing

the doctor oh yes

This is our daily Open Thread, so go ahead and talk about stuff.

The Watering Hole, Monday, June 27th, 2016: “You Keep Using That Word…”

To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, with the word in question being “Liberal” instead of “Inconceivable!” (you have to read “Inconceivable!” in Wallace Shawn’s voice, of course): “You [conservatives] keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

The premise of the following three Christian Post articles is a discussion of recent books about the various authors’ [mistaken] ideas regarding liberals. I started out trying to keep this somewhat brief, but in the interests of keeping the salient points in context, it took on a life of its own. I’ll just share a excerpt of each.

In the earliest of the three articles, “Is Free Speech Just for Liberals?” CP guest contributor Susan Stamper Brown sez:

In the biography, “Churchill: A Life,” author Martin Gilbert writes how Winston Churchill loudly voiced his grave concerns about the apathy shared by those seemingly impervious to the malevolent National Socialist Movement’s intention to steam through Europe like volcanic lava, destroying everything in its way, including free speech.
In direct response, Hitler began warning Germans about the “dangers of free speech” and said, “If Mr. Churchill had less to do with traitors … he would see how mad his talk is …”

History revealed whose talk was really mad.

Truth is, Churchill’s words touched a nerve the annoying way truth always does. Hitler was incapable of engaging in intelligent debate, so he changed the subject, lied, and attacked Churchill’s character. Hitler knew his movement couldn’t stand on its own for what it really was, so the only alternative was to silence opposing views.

Throughout Germany books were banned and ceremoniously cast into blazing bonfires intended to squash divergence of thought and stifle man’s God-instilled unquenchable thirst for truth.

Historical accountings provide a glimpse into the warped psyche of those behind a movement that wrongheadedly believed they could build something worthwhile by shutting down debate, then dividing a nation by race and ethnicity.

They coldly chose their target, the Jewish race, and purged some of the greatest minds in history from all levels of teaching. Schools and universities suffered.

Before the movement decided to burn bodies as well as books, Historyplace.com cites that “Jewish instructors and anyone deemed politically suspect regardless of their proven teaching abilities or achievements including 20 past (and future) Nobel Prize winners” were removed from their professions, among them Albert Einstein.

I would’ve been one of those “purged professionals,” based on what I’ve heard lately from some disgruntled left-leaning readers. Because of my personal opinion about the president, one reader called me “a racist,” a “religious bigot,” and “a political terrorist.” While calling me a “political terrorist” is noteworthy at least, most telling is this poor man’s statement that my column, as offensive as it was to him, “was permitted” in his newspaper.

Apparently, free speech is just for leftists.

After that, the author continued to talk more about herself, so I tuned her out. I probably should have done so when she first mentioned Hitler, but her description of Hitler’s reaction, which I highlighted above, sounded so much like Trump that I had to share it with you.

In the next article, “If Intolerant Liberals Succeed, ‘Conservatives Should Be Very Afraid,’ Expert Says”, by CP’s Napp Nazworth, the breaking point came after this bullshit:

Conservatives would have much to fear if intolerant liberals succeed in their goal of transforming America, says Kim R. Holmes, author of “The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left.”
The illiberal, or intolerant, Left has come to define liberalism in the United States today, Holmes told The Christian Post, and if these liberals gain control of the Supreme Court and other levers of government, conservatives will be punished for their views.

Then these portions of the interview with the author:

CP: Why did you want to write this book?
Holmes: Like a lot of people I saw how closed-minded and intolerant progressivism had become. Whether it was speech codes or “safe spaces” on campuses, or attorneys general issuing subpoenas against so-called climate change “deniers,” abuses in the name of progressivism were getting worse.

I wanted to understand why. I wanted to tell the story of how a liberalism that had once accepted freedom of speech and dissent had become its opposite — a close-minded ideology intent on denying people their freedoms and their constitutionally protected rights.

CP: Liberalism was once defined by tolerance and open-mindedness, but liberals have become increasingly intolerant and closed-minded. We are beginning to see this phrase “illiberal liberal” more often, which gets confusing. How are we to make sense of what liberal means today?

Holmes: A classic liberal is someone who believes in open inquiry, freedom of expression and a competition of ideas. Its founders were people like John Locke, Thomas Jefferson and Alexis de Tocqueville. Among its most important ideas are freedom of conscience and speech; individual (as opposed to group) rights; and checks and balances in government.

Although progressives are sometimes referred to as “liberals,” they are not classic liberals in this sense. They are philosophically more akin to socialists or social democrats. Classic liberalism as defined here is actually closer to the views of American conservatives and libertarians than to progressives and leftists.

The term “illiberalism” is the opposite of this classic style of liberalism; it represents a political mindset that is closed-minded, intolerant and authoritarian. Although illiberalism can be historically found on the right (fascism) and the left (communism), it is today not commonly associated with American progressives. Nevertheless, it should be.

Progressives are becoming increasingly illiberal not only in their mindset but in the authoritarian methods they use to impose their views on others.

~~ and ~~

CP: Last week, President Barack Obama sent a letter to all public schools threatening to withhold federal funds if they don’t change their bathroom and locker room policies to allow use based upon gender identity rather than biological sex. Does the Left’s new intolerance help us understand Obama’s actions?

Holmes: Yes. Obama comes out of this illiberal strain of the left.

Last, this misleadingly-named piece of utter drivel written by CP’s Brandon Showalter, “Liberals Use Gov’t Power, Intimidation, to Silence Christians, Author Says.” It doesn’t take long to realize that by “Christians”, both the author of the article and the author of the book actually mean “conservatives”, and the complaint is about the fight against “Citizens United”:

WASHINGTON – Conservatives and Christians are being intimidated by the Left and an increasingly abusive government, says Kimberly Strassel, author of The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Waging War of Free Speech.
In a Thursday presentation at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Strassel told The Christian Post that overt hostility and harassment of people of faith “is clearly a big issue.”

In light of the 2013 IRS scandal where it was discovered that conservative and Christian groups were unfairly targeted, CP asked Strassel how many people she interviewed had experienced an overt assault on their faith.

While “the people that I talked to generally felt as though all their views were under attack,” Strassel said, “they certainly felt as though one aspect of them, was in fact their faith.”

“We are seeing this a lot, obviously, in the war on faith out there that we have had with the battles over Obamacare and contraception,” she added.

In her book Strassel examines the Left’s penchant, particularly in the Obama years, for bullying their opponents and their use of government agencies to silence citizens from participating in the political process.

Although she touched on several facets of the Left’s intimidation game in her presentation, the core issue she covered was the right of Americans to form associations and participate in representative government. This the Left cannot abide when conservatives do it successfully, she argued.

“The reality is that money is a proxy for speech,” Strassel contended, and Americans have always formed groups to get their message out. To the incredulity of the Left, she argued we we need more money, not less, in politics. More money means more speech. More free speech yields a more vigorous debate and a healthier democracy.

Let me repeat those last two lines: More money means more speech. More free speech yields a more vigorous debate and a healthier democracy.”  What happened to the “FREE” part of “FREE SPEECH”?

Money CANNOT equal speech – the poorest man can still speak and vote – well, vote ONCE; on the other hand, the richest man can buy as many votes as he wants.  The whole argument of Citizens United was and is specious, and the Supremes fucked us over real good when they decided on that piece of shit.

Here’s a pretty picture to give your mind a break.
GLORY10

This is our daily Open Thread – have at it!

The Watering Hole, Saturday, June 11th, 2016: Front Pages

While “news”papers in New York run the gamut of “journalism” from the gutter (New York Post) to the “elite” (New York Times), we’ve always had The New York Daily News somewhere in between. As a lifelong New Yorker, I grew up with the Daily News and the NYT in my house, as my dad would read both: the DN mainly for the sports, and the NYT for ‘real’ news. Back then, the Daily News didn’t usually use the kinds of front covers that the New York Post has been famous for, but the times they are a-changing, and “New York’s Hometown Paper” has lately been going all out on the 2016 Presidential election.

Last night I was reading a very interesting Daily News political opinion piece, written by conservative Tom Nichols, regarding Hillary Clinton’s recent “foreign policy” speech in which she focused on how dangerous Donald Trump’s so-called “foreign policy” could be. At one point in the article, a shot of one of the pertinent Daily News covers was included, which led to the Daily News 2016 campaign covers photo gallery that I’m offering for your entertainment today.

Some of them are priceless, including several referencing Ted Cruz’s idiotic “New York values” line, such as “Take the F-U Train, Ted!”, which includes a small inset that starts with “WE GOT your NY values right here, Ted!”, so very typical of New Yorkers.
Some are just plain groaners, such as the recent “Weak End at Bernie’s”, or (regarding Bernie Sanders’ ‘meeting’ with the Pope) “He Said, See Said”.

But the best ones are about NY’s own (to our eternal shame) Donald Trump. The Daily News and New Yorkers have known The Donald for a very long time, and, as the saying goes, “familiarity breeds contempt.” I won’t spoil it for you. Just enjoy the covers (and skip through the obnoxiously ubiquitous ads, sorry about those.)

This is our daily Open Thread–what’s on YOUR minds?

The Watering Hole, Saturday, May 21st, 2016: Contents Under Pressure

Yesterday at work, after glancing at my calendar, I did a mental double-take, thinking, ‘holy jeez, it’s May 20th already, 2016 is going by too quickly!’ Later, after some Trump BS refocused my attention on the upcoming election, my thoughts changed to, ‘holy jeez, there’s still nearly six months until the election, I wish we could just jump ahead to November and get it done and over with!’

I doubt if any of us, during the campaign season that led up to King George being anointed by the SCOTUS, and even during the eight years that we (and the rest of the world) suffered through under the BushCo maladministration, ever thought that any candidate for the Presidency could come along who was even more unqualified than Dubya, and just as amoral as Darth Cheney. The stress of those years pales in comparison to what we, and everyone else in the reality-based world, are experiencing during this unbelievably mind-numbing Trump campaign.

A continual state of stress is unhealthy for an individual both physically and mentally, as we all can attest to. Is it any wonder that the heightened stress of these last several months is having an even worse impact on so many Americans than that of the Bush years, even with the never-ending war(s), the “you’re either with us or against us” mantra, and the economic crash that affected every American except those who caused it?

And after BushCo, the undercurrent of American racism, which slowly became ‘acceptable’ when President Obama won in 2008, turned into the norm in an ever-growing and ever-more-violent tide that has eroded the foundations of the Republic nearly to the point of collapse. Even if Donald Trump doesn’t win the Presidency, will the added pressure and stress of the national and international turmoil brought about by Trump’s – and his followers’ – jingoism, ignorance and hatred be too overwhelming to keep this Union intact?

Personally, I think something’s got to blow under all of this pressure, because it’s not going to ease anytime soon. It only leads one to question: when, how big, and how toxic will the fallout be?

This is our daily Open Thread – what’s on YOUR mind?

The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 2nd, 2016: A Little Humor

I’ll start with the first of two jokes which one of my co-workers sent me; the second of the two will be at the end. That way we can begin and end with a smile. (Okay, there’ll be humor in the middle, too.)

“A Lexus mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a LS460 when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop. The cardiologist was there waiting for the service manager to come and take a look at his car when the mechanic shouted across the garage, “Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?” The cardiologist, a bit surprised walked over to where the mechanic was working.

The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, “So Doc, look at this engine. I opened its heart, took the valves out, repaired or replaced anything damaged, and then put everything back in, and when I finished, it worked just like new. So how is it that I make $48,000 a year and you make $1.7M when you and I are doing basically the same work? The cardiologist paused, leaned over, and then whispered to the mechanic. “Try doing it with the engine running.””

Next, a whole bunch of political stuff from a recent Washington Post newsletter called “The Daily Trail”, including but not limited to:

-poll numbers indicating how ‘yugely’ unpopular Donald Trump is among women and other demographics;
-Trump + Reince Priebus = GOP Party Loyalty?
-Ted Cruz pulls out RNC rule book in anti-Kasich move;
-Superpac for Kasich responds with weird Pinocchio-themed anti-Cruz ad (created by the same guy who made what was called the “Demon Sheep” ad.)
-initial Electoral College projections from the University of Virginia show some good news for Democrats;
-will candidates never learn how to eat a slice of New York pizza in a New York pizzeria in the traditional New York manner? (Jon Stewart, I hope you’re not following ANY of this, please, it’s not good for your blood pressure!)
-and more!

Also from the Washington Post, an ‘April Fools’ story (okay, I’m a day behind) about two college professors who “gave up the fight to convince Americans that Africa is not, in fact, a country.”

And now the second of the two jokes:

“While the IRS agent was checking the books he turned to the CFO of the hospital and said, “I notice you buy a lot of bandages. What do you do with the end of the roll when there’s too little left to be of any use? “Good question,” noted the CFO. “We save them up and send them back to the bandage company and every now and then they send us a free box of bandages. “Oh,” replied the auditor, somewhat disappointed that his unusual question had a practical answer.

But on he went, in his obnoxious way. “What about all these plaster purchases? What do you do with what’s left over after setting a cast on a patient? “Ah, yes,” replied the CFO, realizing that the inspector was trying to trap him with an unanswerable question. “We save it and send it back to the manufacturer, and every now and then they send us a free package of plaster.

“I see,” replied the auditor, thinking hard about how he could fluster the know-it-all CFO. “Well,” he went on, “What do you do with all the leftover foreskins from the circumcisions you perform?” Here, too, we do not waste,” answered the CFO. “What we do is save all the little foreskins and send them to the IRS Office, and about once a year they send us a complete dick.” [rim shot]

This is our daily Open Thread – enjoy yourselves!