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Last night in the Rose Garden, Donald Trump folded like a cheap suit paired with a longass, Chinese tie stuck down with scotch tape. Flanked by Bill Barr, President Dementia congratulated himself on his flawless victory at the Supreme Court where Chief Justice John Roberts said that Wilbur Ross was full of crap and stopped him from adding the citizenship question to the Census.

"Thank you, Mr. President," said the sycophantic attorney general. "And congratulations on today's executive order, which will ensure that we finally have an accurate understanding of how many citizens and non-citizens live in our country."

PLEASE CLAP.

Having caved so hard that Mick Mulvaney found himself spelunking in his many chins, Trump no longer felt the need to pretend that the question had been added for any other reason than to rig the upcoming congressional redistricting process. No doubt Commerce Secretary Ross appreciates a formal announcement that he was lying to Congress about needing to know the immigration status of Census respondents to protect minority voters under the Voting Rights Act. It'll give House Democrats something to add to the criminal contempt citation they're voting on next week.

But back at the White House, Trump was happily barfing out nonsense.


Are you a citizen of the United States of America? "Oh, gee, I'm sorry, I just can't answer that question." And that's after spending billions and billions of dollars. There used to be a time when you could answer questions like that very easily. There used to be a time when you could proudly declare, "I am a citizen of the United States."

Now they're trying to erase the very existence of a very important word and a very important thing: citizenship. They're even coming after the Pledge of Allegiance in Minnesota. I'm proud to be a citizen. You're proud to be a citizen. The only people who are not proud to be citizens are the ones who are fighting us all the way about the word, "citizen."

OH, GEE.

Here's the part where he gave up the game.

This will greatly inform a wide array of public policy decisions. This information is also relevant to administering our elections. Some states may want to draw state and local legislative districts based upon the voter-eligible population.

Indeed, the same day the Supreme Court handed down the Census decision, it also said it would not review certain types of districting decisions, which could encourage states to make such decisions based on voter eligibility.

With today's order, we will collect all of the information we need to conduct an accurate Census and to make responsible decisions about public policy, voting rights, and representation in Congress.

You don't need the ghost of that mapfucker Thomas Hofeller to tell you that this was always about providing a database to allow Republican legislators to entrench themselves in power by redrawing districts based on eligible voters, not actual population. The Old Fool just came out and admitted it!

Trump then went on to announce an Executive Order mandating that Wilbur Ross get all the info on who is and who is not a citizen from existing federal databases maintained by Social Security, DHS and other agencies. Then they can, as Bill Barr put it, "use this information, along with information collected through the questionnaire, to create the official Census." They may not be able to identify every immigrant household, but they can "determine citizenship for 90 percent of our population or more" using data already in their files, and just extrapolate out the rest.

Hey, are there some previous court decisions that might bear on this maybe?

Hey, remember that time in 1999 when the GOP sued to stop Bill Clinton from using statistical sampling in the 2000 Census, which would have given a more accurate count for cities by adjusting the rolls to account for hard-to-count populations, such as immigrants and the homeless? Justice O'Connor ruled that, when the Constitution says there shall be an "Enumeration," it means you have to do an actual head count, i.e. 90 percent accuracy ain't gonna cut it. Karma's a bitch, ain't she!

And Barr's sidelong reference to "a current dispute over whether illegal aliens can be included for apportionment purposes" is what is technically known as a "nice fucking try." He's talking about Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks's suit to stop the Census from counting all those swarthy immigrants -- are they even people, legally speaking? -- causing poor Alabama to lose a Rep just because no one wants to move there. And that suit's about to run right into the buzzsaw of the unanimous 2016 Supreme Court decision in Evenwell v. Abbott that legislative districts must be allocated based on total population, not just "voters." It's entirely likely that SCOTUS will let Republicans ratfuck the state-level redistricting process by allowing them to draw districts based on eligible voters, but it's not going to let them apportion congressional representation between the states based on any criteria other than actual number of residents.

So, let's call this a preview for 2021. Because if Trump gets a second term, his goons are going to cook the books to say that every major metropolitan area in the country is packed with non-citizens. Then he'll back-formulate the Census data and hand it over to red-state legislatures, who've just been given the green-light by SCOTUS to gerrymander the shit out of the country, and tell them to district out every Democratic congressman they can. It's the mapfucker's wetdream, and our fucking nightmare.

But that's a fight for another day. Today we can celebrate the fact that we narrowly avoided a constitutional crisis because Donald Trump decided not to defy the Supreme Court. Which is what counts for Nicetimes these days, we guess.

But is Bill Barr a lying dickweasel?

Also, Bill Barr is a lying dickweasel. Get a load of this guy pretending that reporters were just making shit up when they said that Trump was going to try to add the citizenship question by Executive Order.

Some in the media have been suggesting, in the hysterical mode of the day, that the administration has been planning to add the citizenship question to the Census by executive fiat without regard to contrary court orders or what the Supreme Court might say. This has been based on rank speculation and nothing more.

As should be obvious, there has never been under cons- — this has never been under consideration. We have always accepted that any new decision to add a citizenship question to the Census would be subject to judicial review.

First of all, White House sources were saying that the president was going to add the question all morning yesterday. Second of all, Donald Trump confirmed it on the record last week, saying, "[W]e could start the printing now and maybe do an addendum after we get a positive decision. So we're working on a lot of things including an executive order." Third of all, Barr himself said he'd figured out a "pathway" to add the question to the Census on Monday. And fourth of all, FUCK YOU ASSHOLE, WE CAN READ.

Stay pissed off, Wonkers. You know we will.

[Rose Garden Transcript / Mother Jones / BuzzFeed]

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Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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