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Assuming he didn't stroke out yesterday with votes, Donald Trump has been president for 13 11 weeks, and we are deep into some weird shit. Our government is not equipped to deal with a leader who spends all his time watching Fox TeeVee and tweeting gibberish.

There's no time to sort the outright lies --

from crazy shit that he actually believes is true --

There has never been a president who generated this level of chaos, and our federal government is not set up to handle it.

Last month when courts put the kibosh on Trump's second Muslim ban, Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare theorized that the judiciary was in the awkward position of having to presume that every single thing the President says is bullshit. Only he is fancy, so he said that Trump is destroying "the normal rules of deference and presumption of regularity in presidential conduct."

But also there is a third possibility, and we should be candid about it: Perhaps everything Blackman and Margulies and Bybee are saying [regarding the courts' immigration rulings] is right as a matter of law in the regular order, but there’s an unexpressed legal principle functionally at work here: That President Trump is a crazy person whose oath of office large numbers of judges simply don’t trust and to whom, therefore, a whole lot of normal rules of judicial conduct do not apply.

Prior presidents could come to the courts and say, "We need to exclude immigrants from Country X for national security reasons," and courts would take it on faith. Today, they want the receipts.

The court-martial of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is yet another example of the Bullshitter-in-Chief derailing a judicial case. Sergeant Bergdahl is a soldier who went AWOL in Afghanistan in 2009, spent five years being tortured by the Taliban, and was ultimately freed in a trade for five Taliban members held at Guantanamo. Almost immediately, rightwing media began screaming that Bergdahl was a deserter who should have been left to his fate, and Republicans claimed Obama had illegally authorized the release of the Guantanamo detainees without Congressional approval. This is why we can't have nice things.

During his presidential campaign, Trump regularly whipped crowds into a frenzy of anger at the soldier. Here are some highlights from a motion filed by Bergdahl's lawyer.

27 August 2015. In Greenville, SC, President Trump incorrectly stated that six soldiers died searching for SGT Bergdahl and that he “went to the other side.”

8 October 2015. In Las Vegas, NV, President Trump called SGT Bergdahl a no-good traitor and stated that “in the good old days he would have been executed.”

16 October 2015. In Tyngsboro, MA, President Trump called SGT Bergdahl a traitor and a dirty, rotten traitor. “If I win I might just have him floating in the middle of that place and drop him, boom. Let ‘em have him. Let ‘em have him. I mean that’s cheaper than a bullet.”

20 January 2016. In Tulsa, OK, President Trump called SGT Bergdahl a dirty, rotten traitor who should be dropped into the heart of ISIS territory “before we bomb the hell out of it.” He also incorrectly claimed that five or six people died going after him.

14 June 2016. In Greensboro, NC, President Trump incorrectly stated that “probably five and maybe six people, wonderful, young military people were killed looking for” SGT Bergdahl. He also stated that “in the old days, you know what would have happened to him, right? Quickly.” At that point he pantomimed firing a rifle.

After Trump's inauguration, Bergdahl's lawyer moved to dismiss the charges, arguing that the president's statements amounted to Unlawful Command Influence. Within the strict hierarchy of the military, officers have tremendous power over their subordinates. The court-martial system, which is staffed by members of the military, is highly sensitive to comments from superior officers which might exert sway on its adjudicators. (Just Security has a longer explanation for all you Supernerds.)

In 2013, President Obama spoke out against sexual assaults in the military.

So I don’t just want more speeches or awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. If we find out somebody’s engaging in this, they’ve got to be held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.

These general comments were construed by a court-martial as the Commander-in-Chief dictating a specific penalty to be imposed, and so the defendant escaped dishonorable discharge for sexual assault.

The strain on the system created by asking a convening authority to disregard [Obama’s] statement in this environment would be too much to sustain public confidence.

In other words, they are not kidding around.

Under normal circumstances, one might expect the court-martial to accept the prosecution's argument that the president's grotesque fantasies of shooting Bergdahl in the head occurred when Trump was a private citizen. But nothing is normal in the Trump administration.

Donald Trump has a long history of attacking judges who rule against him. During the Trump University trial, he repeatedly lashed out at Judge Gonzalo Curiel. With CNN's Jake Tapper, Trump said

Trump: But we are building a wall. He's a Mexican. We're building a wall between here and Mexico. The answer is, he is giving us very unfair rulings, rulings that people can't even believe. This case should have ended years ago on summary judgment. The best lawyers -- I have spoken to so many lawyers -- they said, `This is not a case. This is a case that should have ended.' This judge is giving us unfair rulings. Now, I say. `Why?' Well, I'm building a wall, OK? And it's a wall between Mexico. Not another country.

Tapper: But he's not from Mexico. He's from Indiana.

Trump: He's of Mexican heritage and he's very proud of it.

After the election, it was no different. Trump spent days Tweeting insults at Judge Robart when he issued the nationwide stay of the first Muslim Ban.

And here's a video of Trump casually joking about ruining the career of a Texas state senator who wanted police to actually get a conviction before seizing a suspect's assets. The nerve!

The next hearing in the Bergdahl case is scheduled for April 17. Does anyone think Trump will keep his Twitter thumbs silent if the court-martial doesn't hang Bowe Bergdahl? The Commander-in-Chief has repeatedly claimed that he is a traitor. There is a strong chance that military judges will be committing career suicide if they don't find him guilty. Whatever your opinion of Bowe Bergdahl, he's entitled to a trial untainted by this lunatic's ranting.

Again, NOTHING HERE IS NORMAL! How did we wind up with a president whose judgement is so bad that his tweets interfere in legal cases that precede his presidency? The Clusterfuck administration leaves chaos in its wake, and it ripples out in all directions. Let's all just try to keep our heads above water.

[Lawfare / Just SecurityStripes / Bergdahl v. Nance docket]

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Five Dollar Feminist

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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You guys, hi, hello, it is almost the holiday weekend, so we are going to share you a real video posted last night by "Doctor" Sebastian "Don't Call Me A Nazi" Gorka, that hilarious old knucklecuck. We guess now that he had to give up (or gave up voluntarily!) his Fox News contract, he just makes videos for the Twitter. Hoo ... ray?

Anyway, Gorka is super-excited that Donald Trump issued that order last night, giving Bill Barr all kinds of new powers to expose the Deep State for what it is and PROVE once and for all that the gremlins who live inside Trump's diarrhea are correct when they say Hillary ordered the Deep State to do an illegal witch hunt to Trump, yadda yadda yadda, you've seen these people huff paint before, we don't have to type it all.

Here is the video, after which Wonkette will either transcribe it OR we will provide our own dramatic interpretation. Which one will it be? We don't know! Would you be able to tell the difference between the two? We don't know!

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We want to say right here at the outset that we hate Julian Assange. Aside from the sexual assault allegations against him, and aside from the fact that he's just a generally stinky and loathsome person who reportedly smeared poop on the walls at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, while reportedly not taking care of his cat, an innocent creature, he acted as Russia's handmaiden during the 2016 election, in order to further Russia's campaign to steal it for Donald Trump. All signs point to his campaign being a success!

So we are justifiably happy when bad things happen to Julian Assange. We are happy his name is shit the world over, and that any reputation WikiLeaks used to have for being on the side of freedom and transparency has been stuffed down the toilet where it belongs. We are happy he looked like such a sad-ass loser when the Ecuadorian embassy finally kicked him out and he was arrested.

And quite frankly, we were OK with the initial charge against him recently unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia. If you'll remember, he was charged with trying to help Chelsea Manning hack a password into the Defense Department, which is not what journalists do. Journalists do not drive the get-away car for sources. Journalists do not hold their sources' hair back while they're stealing classified intel. Assange is essentially accused of doing all that.

Now, put all that aside. Because -- and this is key -- journalists do publish secrets they are provided by sources. That's First Amendment, chapter and verse, American as fucking apple pie and fast-food-induced diabetes. And that is what much of the superseding indictment of Assange unsealed yesterday was about. (And nope, it wasn't about anything regarding Assange's ratfucking the 2016 election or Hillary's emails. Why would the Trump Justice Department prosecute anything about that? It's all about the older Chelsea Manning stuff, the stuff the Obama Justice Department considered charging Assange with, but ultimately declined, because of that little thing called the First Amendment.)

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