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Healthcare

Trump Fails To Gag Planned Parenthood

Guess some people and women's health organizations can't be bribed!

This past February, the Trump administration instituted a gag rule banning any organization that receives Title X funds from having anything to do with performing abortions or counseling patients about abortion. This means that if you are one of the four million low-income people who receive reproductive health care through Title X funds, you cannot discuss the option of abortion with your own doctor. That is pretty messed up!

Planned Parenthood agrees. Now that a judge has allowed the rule to go into effect while it is being challenged by Planned Parenthood, the American Medical Association, and several other groups, Planned Parenthood says it will stop taking federal funding. Time to get our our checkbooks, America!

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Journamalism

NPR And Trump's 'Racist' Tweets, By Me, A Doktor Of Rhetoric!

Still unclear whether NPR will say it screwed the pooch. But wow, did it ever.

National Public Radio did something a bit unusual Monday morning: It got ahead of a lot of news outlets and used the word racist to describe Donald Trump's tweets telling four Democratic congresswomen of color to go back where they came from. NPR and the Associated Press were among the first major news organizations to say it straight, without any of that "racially tinged" or "what many Democrats call racist" framing. Good for you, NPR!

Then, on Wednesday, the network took its high ground and squashed that sucker flat, running an opinion piece taking issue with the newsroom's decision, but also framing it so badly that it gave the impression NPR is actually chasing after some bogus dream of objectivity and neutrality. Kind of hard to believe a radio network could be so bad at communication, but we are talking about NPR here.

The opinion piece, by NPR VP for newsroom training and diversity Keith Woods, is all over the place, insisting that keeping a "dispassionate distance" between facts and value judgments is the "fragile line that separates the profession from the rancid, institution-debasing cesspool that is today's politics."

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Media/Entertainment

Karen Tumulty Wants Obama To Stop Goofing Off, Save Us From Trump RIGHT NOW

People keep forgetting Obama's not the president anymore.

When an op-ed begins with "an open letter to Barack Obama," you know you're getting screwed. Karen Tumulty at the Washington Post believes these dark times demand a leader who can "lift us up again." Instead of visiting the website for one of the two dozen Democrats running for president, Tumulty wants to draft Obama, who we feel it necessary to remind you is no longer president of anything.

TUMULTY: Mr. President, it is time. You must speak. Your country needs you.

Seriously, Obama is not the president anymore. He prepared for this eventuality by straight-up begging you fools to vote for Hillary Clinton. He made no secret about how awful he thought Donald Trump would be as president. Why should he leave a comfortable, well-earned retirement because a majority of white people refused to listen? George W. Bush tanked the economy and got to spend his post-presidency finger painting while the poor saps whose retirement savings went up in smoke had to start working at Wal-Mart. [Why Stephen is using this as a point is beyond me: EVEN REPUBLICANS DIDN'T WANT W BACK, FOR THE REASON HE JUST SAID. Fucking Stephen! -- Ed.]

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Post-Racial America

What This Dems In Disarray Story Needs Is Some Garbage Polling. Take It Away, Axios!

Very journalism! Much great!

Hey, Democrats, knock that shit off! There is a place for members of Congress to hash out their differences, and it's called a closed-door caucus meeting. Donald Trump is locking babies in cages, and we have an election to win in fifteen months. So if we could stop hacking big chunks out of each other in public, that would be GREAAAAAAT!

We do not need Speaker Pelosi running to Maureen Dowd to air her thoughts on "The Squad" of headline-grabbing freshman congresswomen who have become the face of our party's progressive wing. We do not need to open Twitter and see that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff thinks other members of the caucus are racist. We do not need Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley wrapping up the latest "Dems in Disarray!!!!" story in a bow for the national press by giving a quote that's going to be yanked out of context to make it sound like she thinks her fellow African American representatives aren't black enough. And we sure as hell don't need to see blind items on Axios by "top Democrats" attacking AOC and Rep. Ilhan Omar by selectively leaking data points from a longer poll to somehow "prove" they're a drag on the party nationwide.

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News

​Kamala Harris Says Trump Can't 'Perform.' SHE DIDN'T MEAN HIS OLD GROSS DICK, YOU STOP IT RIGHT NOW!

Draw your own conclusions. We certainly have!

Let's talk about Kamala Harris's badass interview on the Rachel Maddow funtimes teevee show last night! But let's do it briefly!

Harris was great, as she so often is, but there were two moments, as she spoke forcefully about issues from Trump's concentration camps to healthcare and the fact that we have a foreign agent in the White House and everything in between, that struck us as moments that Donald Trump and his whole entire crime family would HATE.

First, here is a video of Maddow and Harris talking about Donald Trump's evil nasty immigration raids planned for this weekend (KNOW YOUR RIGHTS), and why Harris thinks he pulls this shit, besides the fact that he's a shithole white supremacist. The short answer? Because he can't "perform" in any other way. That's right, he can't "PERFORM."

Now, do we think Kamala Harris was talking about the little Mario Kart thingie that lives in Trump's thatch of Yeti Pubes and its failure to come out to play? Nope. But dammit if Trump won't hear it that way, and holy shitballs, that is beautiful.

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Immigrants

Tucker Carlson Manages To Out-Racist Tucker Carlson In Rant Against Ilhan Omar

Wow. Just... wow.

Last night, Tucker Carlson answered the question "Is it possible for Tucker Carlson to say something so appallingly racist that anyone would be surprised that even Tucker Carlson would say it?" with an appallingly racist rant against Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. If you think you are so jaded that you cannot, at this point, be surprised by any words coming out of Tucker Carlson's mouth ... well, prepare to feel like a wee innocent babe in the woods again, because this shit is nauseating.

Said rant was in response to a recent Washington Post article in which Omar discussed the "racism, cruelty and injustice" she'd witnessed since coming to the States from Somalia as a 10-year-old refugee, and how her desire for America to be the America that stood for "justice for all" inspired her to push for positive change. That seems nice and normal and heartwarming, but according to Carlson, this is VERBOTEN.

Take a deep breath, because we're going in.

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Cops Behaving Badly

Trump Idiots Know Who To Blame For Trump's Baby Jails: DEMOCRATS!

We watch the Sunday shows so you don't have to!

After Mother Nature pissed all over Trump's wannabe-dictator attempted hijacking of the Fourth of July, the Sunday shows got back to discussing the Trump-created humanitarian crisis at the southern border. Not the influx of asylum seekers fleeing from horrible conditions in Central America (made worse by Trump cutting off aid to them), but the way our country has decided to cage them in concentration camps internment camps ... um ..."happy fun time summer camps"? After a visit by a congressional delegation and the Trump Administration's own DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) report provided video/photographic/written evidence of the deplorable conditions occurring in our name, it was time for Trump officials to deal with the real culprits: Democrats!

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Media/Entertainment

Pelosi & Dowd: Two White Chicks Gabbing About Concentration Camps Over Brunch

Don't give the New York Times clicks. This is all you need to know.

Nancy Pelosi sat down last week for an interview with Maureen Dowd, writer of dumb stuff for the New York Times. This is how it began.

Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump have a lot in common. Neither one drinks, yet they have family vineyards. They both love big bowls of ice cream.

Our father doesn't drink and is usually up for a trip to Baskin-Robbins. We don't have a vineyard, though. Maybe that's why he's not BFFs with the president and the speaker of the House. We get it: Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi are rich and white. Maybe Dowd should've focused on their major relevant difference: Trump runs concentration camps, and Nancy Pelosi doesn't.

The piece only gets worse. This is how Dowd described the June passage of an emergency spending bill last month for Donald Trump's baby jails.

"The Mighty Moderates," as The Times christened them, wanted to show that they weren't going to be pushed around by the liberals, who have so far gotten all the attention.

Eighteen "moderate" Democrats threatened to tank a House bill that had stronger protections for migrant children (e.g. "feed them"). Pelosi was forced to pass the Senate version (e.g. "bathe them if you have time"). The "attention-getting" liberals didn't want to rely on pinky swears from Mitch McConnell and Mike Pence that Trump will just ignore. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley voted against the bill. According to Dowd, Pelosi feels this made them "irrelevant" to the process.

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Media/Entertainment

Meghan McCain May Leave 'The View' To Spend More Time Screaming And Crying At Her Family

This is excellent news for ... well for all of us!

The Daily Beast threw a pity party for Meghan McCain and everyone was invited! Lloyd Grove details the tough time Megs McCabe is having as the series villain on "The View," which we used to enjoy before she showed up. The article is a negro spiritual for a terrible person with no soul.

McCain's contribution to "The View" is a smorgasbord of whiny conceit, unwarranted arrogance, and relentless condescension. Her co-workers don't like her that much because they've all met her. But the Daily Beast would have us believe that the unjustly persecuted McCain is considering leaving the show -- because she feels like "a caged animal." (No, not like the actually caged children who have nothing to complain about in comparison to her father, did you know he is John McCain?) Thus McCain might plumb refuse ABC's offer to return for the show's 23rd season. We're supposed to actually miss her crap?

If McCain left "The View," nothing of value would be lost. So, let's get on with it! Sources "close to McCain" claim Megs is "emotionally drained, angry, and isolated." She compares her poor self to "a caged animal," which is unfair because people like animals. She feels burdened with negative publicity just because she is a jerk professionally and not only on "The View." She even sucks on late night TV. She has a diverse portfolio of suckage.

McCain's two seasons on "The View" have reportedly left her "exhausted and defeated." Imagine what it's done to us. It's not like she's sticking around for the "dough-re-mi." She's said to make "something under a million dollars a year," which isn't as impressive as it sounds. Everyone at Wonkette earns something under a million dollars a year. Whoopi however brings home serious bank, and the sister deserves it because she keeps Behar from breaking her foot off in McCain's ass at least once a week.

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Journamalism

WaPo Fact Checker's New Bernie Sanders Category: TRUE BUT I DON'T LIKE IT

Pinocchios on fire.

The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" column turned its reptilian eye to statements made during last week's second half of the first Democratic debate, and found some fibs (Joe Biden did oppose busing), some truths (Michael Bennet did introduce a very generous path to citizenship bill), and some judgment calls (was it really the "most progressive" immigration bill ever?). The column also suggested a statement by Bernie Sanders was true, but also somehow false, which is a truly impressive achievement, like Schrodinger's Socialist. Let's wonksplore!

The column takes issue with Bernie Sanders's statement, "Three people in this country own more wealth than the bottom half of America," even after noting that it's true. But you see, it's a misleading kind of true (it's not), per the factchecker:

This snappy talking point is based on numbers that add up, but it's also a question of comparing apples to oranges. Sanders is drawing on a 2017 report from the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies, which said that three billionaires — Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos (who owns The Washington Post) and Warren Buffett — had total wealth of $248.5 billion, compared to $245 billion for the bottom 160 million of the United States. The wealth of the three men has gone up even more since then.

So that's true. The combined wealth of the Three Cool Pluto-Cats was even more a couple years later and they're all richer than the bottom 160 million Americans. So why's that wrong, huh?

But people in the bottom half have essentially no wealth, as debts cancel out whatever assets they might have. So the comparison is not especially meaningful.

We have read that sentence a whole bunch of times, and it is indeed composed of words in an order and ended with a punctuation mark.

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White Nonsense

Bret Stephens Did A Racism, Which Means Soledad O'Brien Is The Real Racism

Stephens even has doctor's note confirming lack of racist bones.

We're trying not to give attention and lucrative clicks to people who are what Jay Smooth called "wrong on purpose." Bret Stephens wrote a racist column for the New York Times this weekend that made racist points in all seven of the lively racist arts. Here's a lowlight:

[The Democratic Party] makes too many Americans feel like strangers in their own country. [The Democratic Party] puts more of its faith, and invests most of its efforts, in them instead of us.

They speak Spanish. We don't. They are not U.S. citizens or legal residents. We are. They broke the rules to get into this country. We didn't. They pay few or no taxes. We already pay most of those taxes. They willingly got themselves into debt. We're asked to write it off. They don't pay the premiums for private health insurance. We're supposed to give up ours in exchange for some V.A.-type nightmare. They didn't start enterprises that create employment and drive innovation. We're expected to join the candidates in demonizing the job-creators, breaking up their businesses and taxing them to the hilt.

We have better things to do than repudiate Stephens's "Notes From the Racist Underground." There are only a few facts present in the entire column, and a concerned white person called the cops on them. Soledad O'Brien provided our favorite response.

The best thing ever written by anyone everTwitter

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Trump

David Brooks Wants To Know Why Dems Can't Just Nominate A Nice Republican

He'd vote for THAT guy!

If there is anything David Brooks likes, it is someone telling him how pretty he is.

In his column today at the New York Times, Brooks begs Democrats to do the "sensible" thing and not "lose" him by going too far left, as if we (or anyone else, for that matter) wanted him to begin with. He's been doing this for a while. He appears to be under the impression that his vote is the most important of all possible votes and that any candidate who does not pander to him, David Brooks, a man who lives in New York City and whose vote probably isn't going to count much regardless of who he votes for, is bound to lose. His own party is messed up as hell and instead of trying to help clean it up, or godforbid tell them what to do, he'd much prefer that the Democrats just become the Party of Whatever David Brooks Wants so that he might graciously consider thinking about deigning to vote for one. A nice, completely ineffective Democrat who would not actually try to, you know, actually do anything.

His advice, it appears, is for Democrats to stop pushing for healthcare, stop talking about income inequality in a way that makes it seem like they think capitalism is bad, stop making it sound to David Brooks like they are for "open borders" despite the fact that exactly no one has actually argued for "open borders," stop being all populisty and start criticizing Donald Trump's manners.

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polls

Congratulations To Tulsi Gabbard And Andrew Yang, Winners Of The Troll Polls

Meet VP nominee Pepe the Frog.

Trolls on 4chan successfully organized an effort to vote repeatedly in online polls following both of this week's Democratic primary debates, which isn't the least bit surprising. But a couple of legitimate-ish news sources went on to report on the results of the polls as if the completely meaningless results meant anything at all, and that is ... erm, also not very surprising. Ben Collins, the fringe politics expert at NBC News, has some of the details:

Users on 4chan's anonymous far-right /pol/message board repeatedly posted links to polls across the web, encouraging one another to "blow the polls out" for Gabbard, the congresswoman from Hawaii who has developed a substantial support base among many of its users.

The posts pointed users toward polls on national news websites like the Drudge Report, The Washington Examiner, and Heavy.com, but also polls from local news providers like NJ.com, which posts from several newspapers in the state.

"GIVE HER YOUR POWER," read one 4chan post from 1 a.m. Thursday, pointing to a screenshot of the still-active Drudge poll showing Gabbard leading.

Not surprisingly, after Wednesday's first debate, Gabbard led the Drudge Report poll, with 40 percent "support," even though she seldom breaks more than two percent in national polls that use reliable sampling and won't let you vote again and again. Rightwing sources reported that result uncritically, as they are contractually required to do. But then some semi-respectable outlets ran with the story as if the polls reflected some sort of reality. The Daily Mail (yes, we KNOW) headline trumpeted "First poll has Tulsi Gabbard as the shock winner of the first Democratic debate," and the text of the article was no better:

Surprisingly, nearly 40 per cent of those who took the survey chose the 38-year-old congresswoman from Hawaii as the runaway winner.

Not a single word about the surprising fact that users could vote again or again, making the results meaningless. Not much surprise that the Daily Mail didn't even try to do journalism, but just in case anyone thought The Hill is a useful source, that blog went with the Drudge poop too, with a headline saying Gabbard won "in a landslide" and a few paragraphs about her debate performance. At least that piece noted it was an "unscientific online poll," but it wasn't a story at all. Not surprisingly, more high-truth-value serious news blogs like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wonkette didn't even touch it, and others only mentioned it as an example of how useless such "polling" is.

Last night, the game continued, with trolls flooding the Drudge poll to boost Andrew Yang as the OBVIOUS winner, with a strong gag-gift second place for Marianne Williamson, whom the /pol/ trolls also wanted to boost. (We also cannot discount the possibility that Williamson did so well after simply visualizing the results.) And again, the Wingnuttosphere dutifully reported Yang's "win," with no suggestion that the numbers were unscientific. Science is mostly fake anyway. Breitbart made a point of playing up what a huge shock the two results were, even.

Yang's surprising poll finish comes after Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) shocked the beltway with a first place finish in Drudge's Wednesday evening debate poll with roughly 35%.

Obviously, this is completely stupid and nobody in the Beltway was shocked, unless maybe their Tesla caught fire (this is a joke, not libel). But as Collins points out, this shit has worked before, or at least the trolls think so:

Poll brigading was an effective tactic for fans of then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016.

In the hours after general election debates, top posts on 4chan and Reddit's largest pro-Trump community implored users to swarm online polls from national websites and local news affiliates asking who won the debate. Those poll results were touted by Trump on Twitter in the hours after the end of the debates.

Also, Collins offers this really useful reminder from Nina Jankowicz, a thinky-tanky person with the Wilson Center, who said that while the Russian trolling is a real thing, we also shouldn't discount homegrown efforts at online infofuckery:

"It's absolutely important to report on the way domestic actors are influencing discourse," Jankowicz said. "We are spending too much time worrying about foreign actors while acting completely ignorant of the threats in our own backyard."

We'd love to offer some kind of answer to the plague of garbage information in elections, but the best we can think of is to yell and wave our hands and shout "THIS IS BULLSHIT!" while pointing at the bullshit and a diagram of how it came out of the cow. Will that accomplish anything? Probably not as much as getting non-trolls to the real polls. But to borrow a line from serial murderer and Space Alien endorsee Bill Clinton, we still believe in a place called Reality.

[NBC News / Vox / Mother Jones]

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popular

Jay Sekulow Vomits Lies Into Sean Hannity's Hungry Mouth

Mmmmm, tasty LIE VOMIT.

Yesterday, Fox and Friends started the day whining about coordination between Democrats and "the mainstream media," and ended it by inviting the president's personal lawyer on air to hock rancid globs of phlegm at Sean Hannity and see if any of them would stick. The jury's still out on that one, although Hannity and his audience are well primed to believe just about any crazy shit, so ... odds are good they're going to slurp this right up.

Yeah, that's gross, but get a load of this shit! Here's part of a blogpost Sekulow wrote on his own site which Fox was kind enough to republish before his Hannity appearance! (They were also kind enough to edit out the part about the "Obama FBI using the faulty, unverified Steele Dossier it new [sic] was salacious," so Sekulow would look like less of A IDIOT.)

Stunning new information just released by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) shows that the Obama administration stepped up efforts – just days before President Trump took office – to undermine Trump and his administration.

The ACLJ, where I serve as chief counsel, has obtained records that show the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, under Director James Clapper, eagerly pushed to get new procedures as part of an anti-Trump effort. The procedures increased access to raw signals intelligence before the conclusion of the Obama administration, just days before President Trump was inaugurated.

Sekulow is no stranger to grift, but even by his debased standards, this one's a whopper.

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Congress

Don't Faint! Turns Out President Best People's HR Process Was Epic Clusterf*ck!

Liberace gay!!!

How did the White House wind up with such an HR clusterfuck? Practice, practice, practice! Last night Axios dropped a whole mountain of leaked transition documents purporting to "vet" candidates for positions in the Trump administration. And by "vet" they mean let some twenty-something at the RNC run a cursory Google search and type up all the mean things candidates had said about Trump during the campaign.

Well, except for Rudy Giuliani, who was gobbling up so much cash from foreign interests that the panicked vetters whipped up a 25-page "Rudy Giuliani Business Ties Research Dossier" to map out exactly how conflicted the Secretary of State candidate would be when dealing with his former clients. Spoiler Alert: "Giuliani Has Ties To A Firm With Deep Russian And Putin Ties." To which Giuliani responded, "I conduct my self honorably and ethically... and I find that this kind of gossip is extremely unfair to people's reputation because much of it is unfounded and exaggerated and not explained properly." Live by the access journalist, die by the access journalist, asshole!

This is really not how this shit goes. Axios points out that the Bush administration began vetting efforts 17 months before the election, and Obama was similarly prepared when he was sworn in. Chris Christie led similar efforts in the waning days of the 2016 campaign, but then Jared the Boy Genius got him shitcanned and tossed all his work, which meant that Mike Pence had to start from scratch. And by "start from scratch," we mean fob it off on the RNC and let a handful of inexperienced researchers tell Donald Trump that whatever grifting hack he came up with to run a major federal agency might have one or two little ethical problems.

"To be honest, the process was such a disaster and such a shit-show and there were so many unqualified people coming through that the issues with [future HUD Secretary Ben] Carson don't really stick out to me," said one RNC vetter. "You know, I'm like, 'Oh gentle Ben is unqualified and thinks that pyramids store grain or whatever. Great. At least he's not beating his wife and his wife's not appearing on Oprah.'"

"We'd be sitting around and Trump would be like, 'Oh, hey, I'm bringing like Joe Shmoe up to Bedminster for Department of Interior,' and then we were like, 'F---, we need to run a vet on this guy to make sure he's not a kid-toucher,'" said one source involved in the vetting. "It was just a clown show."

ALL THE BEST PEOPLE. Which is how they wound up with a ragtag band of incompetent grifters running the entire executive branch.

It's going to take several days to unpack the hundreds of pages of documents, but here are a few standouts on first glance:

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Elections

Peggy Noonan Watched Chuck Todd's Trump Interview, Thinks That Trump Kid's Got MOXIE!

It's Mad Libs from HELL.

Yes, yes, we really will get to the 912 craziest things President Brokebrain said to Chuck Todd in just a second. But the old codger was demented yesterday, he's demented today, and tomorrow's forecast calls for ... oh, hey, demented with a chance of senility! Anyway, we got distracted because Todd aired the interview in studio for a distinguished panel, and Dame Peggy had #Thoughts.

PEGGY NOONAN: Do you remember, on The Ed Sullivan Show, when we were little children, there was a guy who came and balanced plates? There'd be a stick. He'd put a plate up. He'd get it going.

TODD: Sure.

In point of fact, the last episode of The Ed Sullivan show aired before Chuck Todd or any of the other panelists were born. But, please, Madame, go on with this extremely apt analogy.

NOONAN: He'd get another, get another. And then he'd run back and forth, just trying to keep them all up. Balancing plates is part of the tone of this administration and of this president. Look, it's nonstop harum-scarum. Even something that, in the past, might've been as cleanly, logically handled as the Iran thing became nonstop harum-scarum. "It has this meaning. No, it has this meaning. I did it for this reason." He is exhausting. I think a threat for the president is that he tends to exhaust, not into submission, but into ultimate aversion. Many people in the middle, who'd like to, you know, be sympathetic towards him but just think, "Oh, my goodness. This is too much."

There you have it. Donald Trump is like a novelty act from the late '60s, all spinning plates and chaos. And you look for rhyme or reason, but there is none, because it's just a pointless distraction that grabs your attention briefly before it all comes clattering down and you're left standing there in a pile of broken crockery.

Sadly, Peggy Noonan got closest of all to acknowledging, in her own particular argot, the plain truth that Donald Trump is a mountebank, a card sharper, a flimflam man. He's an illiterate bullshitter who has flown by the seat of his pants his entire miserable life and can't string together a single coherent sentence. Forget NO CLOTHES -- the emperor is naked in a puddle of his own filth, eating belly button lint and babbling incoherently about people who left office years ago.

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