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Donald Trump isn't just sending more troops to the border than are currently deployed in Afghanistan, all for the sake of "protecting" America from a bunch of migrants fleeing violence (who are still weeks away, in an ever-dwindling caravan). Oh gosh no. After the "distracting" murders at a synagogue by a fellow white supremacist and the mail bombs sent by Trump's biggest fan, Trump needed some heavy-duty pandering to make sure his base got right back into Immigration Panic mode, so he went on the teevee and announced Operation Constant Erection, and during a half-hour waste of time on national cable news, promised to shoot some of those awful caravaners if they were to get of line.


During his rambling presentation, and in questions with reporters, Trump made many factually incorrect claims about immigrants, immigration policy and crime — including claims that asylum seekers never show up in court (two-thirds do), that Barack Obama had a harsher family separation policy than him (Trump's was much harsher) and that he's getting billions for his wall (he's gotten none).

Along the way, he offered some harsh Crackdown on the Invading Foreign Hordes bullshit:

"Anybody throwing stones, rocks, like they did to Mexico and the Mexican military, Mexican police, where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico, we will consider that a firearm," Trump said. "We're not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. I told them to consider it a rifle."

Sure, yes, as we all know, the caravan is crawling with War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death. The announcement was supposed to include an outline of a new policy on how the US would treat asylum claims, but Trump was too busy scooting little toy tanks around on a map and shouting "Pew! Pew! Take that, José!" to actually announce anything. We can certainly expect new policy fuckery to arrive, and for it to be terrible, but it's not ready for public consideration yet. Stephen Miller still hasn't decided whether children should be sent to the gas with their parents, or separately. Err, tent cities. We meant tent cities of course.

As it happens, yesterday also brought word that the Pentagon had already briefed Trump on the "threat" posed to the USA by the migrants, explaining, just like Shep Smith, that the migrants aren't going to eat him. Which of course has never been the point of the troop deployment anyway. Newsweek reports four "sources with direct knowledge" of the planning process for Operation Scary Scary Brown People Coming! had leaked the (non-classified) planning documents because most members of the top brass consider this whole thing bullshit, like military parade in DC bullshit:

[The] four U.S. military sources said senior leaders within the Pentagon had derided the deployment not only as a significant waste of taxpayer dollars but as running counter to military readiness, but that a minority lauded the Trump administration's hardline crackdown on immigration [...]

Many service members within the higher echelon seemed to agree that the decision to deploy thousands of troops to the border was a politically motivated tactic, with the Trump administration ordering the deployment less than a week before the November 6 midterm elections, the sources suggested.

"There is no practical or tactical reason for this to happen," one source told Newsweek.

The planning documents make clear that for all Trump's panic stoking, the Defense department doesn't anticipate having to deal with terrorists, bad hombres, desperadoes, mugs, pugs, thugs, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers, or even Methodists.

The U.S. intelligence community assessed that the "most likely course of action" was a dwindling of migrants as it reached the U.S. southern border, with limited transcontinental criminal organizations exploiting the group and "no terrorist infiltration," an assessment that runs counter to past statements made by the president.

The documents also predict, based on the outcome of previous migrant "caravans," that

only about 20 percent of the 7,000 migrants, or what equates to 1,500 traveling with the caravan, would make it to the border.

To put this in perspective, this means there would be about 3.5 members of the military deployed for each migrant.

One of Newsweek's sources said the projected cost of the deployment to the border would run around $50 million. Since it's mostly a stunt to boost GOP turnout in the midterms, shouldn't the NRCC, or Sheldon Adelson or the Kochs, be billed for that?

Still, the completely unjustified military deployment was already playing well with the Constituency of Idiots. Gateway Pundit was over the moon at the imagery of tanks being rushed to Texas!

Hey, remember when wingnuts were freaking out about a much smaller military training exercise three years ago, surely a preface to Obama declaring martial law? We remember that, and a similar photo even. Wingnuts were terrified by those tanks, because it proved Obama was up to something.

Over on Fox Business, host Stuart Varney and guest Herman Cain (that's a name we've not heard in a long time!) practically burbled in excitement over how Donald Trump is strong like bull, and Our Troops just may bring us the bloodletting we need to stay strong:

VARNEY: Well I'd call that pretty tough stuff. Herman Cain's here, chairman of the pro-Trump America Fighting Back PAC. Immigration is now front and center, arguably the other big issue in the election along with the economy. Front and center, tough line Trump. What do you make of it?

HERMAN CAIN: I think the tough talk and the tough line is appropriate. We can't allow, as the president has said many times, we can't allow people to just come into this country. It's more like an invasion. They know, meaning the people behind these caravans, they know that if we get permissive and they're able to come into this country illegally, they want to overrun our system, they want to overrun our laws. I think that the president's stand is the correct stand to make and they ought to heed his warning. He keeps warning them do not come. I fear Stuart, somebody is going to get hurt. And it's not going to be because the American patrol or the Border Patrol or the American -- they are not going to start it, but they very well might end it.

Ah well, it's honestly just an election year stunt, and by the time the remaining migrants in the caravan reach the border, Trump will have moved on to other obsessions, so no harm done, probably. You know, unless other governments take a cue from Trump and OH SHIT:

President Donald Trump said in a speech on Thursday that rocks thrown by migrants on the US-Mexico border should be considered as firearms. By Friday, the Nigerian army had already used a video of the speech to justify shooting protesters that a human rights group said were unarmed [...]

Earlier this week, Nigerian soldiers and police fired live bullets at Shia Muslim protesters in the capital, Abuja.

Amnesty International said at least 45 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) organization were killed while holding what the human rights group described as peaceful demonstrations.

And to argue the shootings were perfectly cromulent, the Nigerian army's official Twitter account warned troublemakers, using Trump's comments as justification. The Tweet has since been deleted, for some reason, but here's a screenshot, no don't click "play," it is a screenshot:

If the leader of the world's greatest democracy says shooting bad people is OK, well then,why should anyone doubt his wisdom? America is truly as a city upon a hill, watched by all, and what a fine role model we are, amen. Just think how proud Trump must be -- for once, military dictators are taking their cues from him.

[Newsweek / Vox / Newsweek / Media Matters / Buzzfeed News]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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There was a time, a few months ago, when everyone had written off Elizabeth Warren. Well, not me, because I am a fabulous genius, but lots of other people. The "very reasonable" talking heads on all the various news channels, the kind of people who used to say things like "Oh, we'd like universal health care too, but 'the people' will never go for it!" but who definitely did not actually want universal health care for any reason, and even the Trump campaign. Though, to be fair, the Trump campaign didn't think Trump had much of a chance of winning in 2016 either.

But now, as more and more people hear her speak, hear her plans, hear what she wants to do and how she wants to do it... Elizabeth Warren is rising up in the polls. She's a contender. In the most recent Quinnipiac poll, she was closing in on Sanders for second place nationally, and in California and Nevada polls, she's in second place.

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