Thoughts 'n' prayers.
Pour one out for the Trump boys, whose hotels are even tackier and sadder with no one in them. The Washington Post reports that "seven of the Trump Organization's 10 top-grossing properties were closed" as of today, and the remaining three in Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC, were barely hanging on, with their bars and restaurants shuttered. Sadly, that band of misfits trying to dig up Ukraine dirt on Joe Biden has to meet on Zoom now that BLT Prime is closed. Because you know they're still fucking that chicken, somewhere.
The Post says that Trump's Emoluments Inn in DC, leased from your federal government, is at five percent occupancy, and "managers of the hotel have been peppering social media with promises of a comeback and thank you messages to the few guests staying there." The hotel, which has been the subject of many lawsuits because HOLY SHIT, HOW IS IT NOT AN EMOLUMENT FOR THE PRESIDENT TO POCKET MONEY OFF OF LAND LEASED FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT???, functioned as the Republican center of gravity in DC until this month. GOP insiders mingled nightly at the bar with lobbyists, Sprint executives looking for a favor from the administration conspicuously wandered the lobby in branded polos, the Secret Service was parked upstairs paying top dollar, and everyone from the RNC to Attorney General Bill Barr booked events there, so as to shower Dear Leader with ever more cash.
Matt Gaetz Demands Senator Richard Burr's Ouster For Stock Dumping. Must Be That Time Of The Month Again.
Don't tell that asshole we agree with him again. He'll get a big head ... oh never mind.
Matt Gaetz is really stepping up his game. Congressman Florida Man previously stuck to being Right About A Thing?!?!? once a quarter. But this pandemic seems to have shaken something loose, and now he's leveled up to once a month. So, uh, good job, Matt Gaetz!
Gaetz is currently shit tweeting at Mitch McConnell for letting North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr stay on as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee after he got caught redhanded dumping stocks before coronavirus infected the stock market. As ProPublica was first to report, Intel was receiving daily updates on the danger of COVID-19 back in February, at the same time Burr was publicly chirping to Fox that "the United States today is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats, like the coronavirus, in large part due to the work of the Senate Health Committee, Congress, and the Trump Administration." Which is ... not how that turned out.
On February 13, Burr dumped a metric shit ton of stock — somewhere between $628,000 and $1.72 million — including at least $250,000 of shares in the hospitality industry, which got pummeled when coronavirus shuttered hotels. Burr insists that he was simply prescient, just dumping stock based on what he saw on MSNBC, and that the part of his brain that attended those secret coronavirus briefings is firewalled off from the part that executes trades. You bet! But ProPublica got a recording of him on February 27 warning a roomful of fancy donors that shit was about to hit the fan and decimate the travel industry.
None of which is a good look. And because North Carolina law would force the state's Democratic Governor Roy Cooper to replace Burr with a Republican, there's no reason other than loyalty for the GOP to stick with him. Which, let's cut the shit here, is not really a thing with these people.
Trump Admin VERY BUSY With IMPORTANT WORK Of DISESTABLISHING RESERVATION Of Native Americans Who Met The Pilgrims!
On Friday, in the midst of a deadly pandemic, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt decided it was time to take action and ... take land away from the descendants of the Native Americans who participated in the first Thanksgiving. You know. For reasons.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is located in Cape Cod, with its headquarters in Mashpee. Back in the 17th century, the Wampanoag people were a loose confederation of several Massachusetts tribes. Now, the Wampanoag people consist of two tribes recognized by the federal government and three more recognized by the state of Massachusetts.
For the last few years, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has been battling with rich white locals, Republican casino owners in Rhode Island, Trump BFFs, and Trump himself over its plan to put a casino on its land.
Now, Trump's Interior Department has decided to disestablish the Mashpee Wampanoag reservation and take its land out of trust.
Fox doesn’t remember ever telling its viewers the coronavirus was a big hoax.
Donald Trump is almost, sorta taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously. He's no longer planning a grand opening of the economy for Easter, followed by a grand closing of most people's lives. That means Fox News, which exists to serve the president, has started recognizing reality from a distance of at least six feet.
Trump phoned in to his "Fox & Friends" this morning, and he sang the praises of social distances. He once feared the “cure" was worse than the “disease" — a line of gibberish fed to him by Fox host Steve Hilton, who now wants to see just how full our hospitals really are. Maybe all the sick and dying in New York are a big David Copperfield illusion.
Hilton's still an idiot, but Trump's a changed man. He even has children's letters to Santa Claus that reveal how families are coming together while under house arrest.
TRUMP: I'm getting letters from people that, “I found my family again.’"They were doing all sorts of things & now they're with their family in the home and not going out ... we're getting a lot of letters. "We found our family again. We found what life should be."
Yes, hiding away in our homes from a deadly plague is what life should be if our lives were Edgar Allan Poe stories. Thank you, Mr. President, for your criminally negligent response to the coronavirus! My son and I have never been closer than during our current hair-growing contest.
Yeah, that's gonna be a no from them dawg.
In the midst of an epidemic of opioid addiction that has already taken hundreds of thousands of American lives, at least we have the Trump administration looking out for the poor Fortune 500 companies like Walmart that actively encouraged dependence on opiods because they were profiting from addiction.
Don't forget — as Ron Johnson helpfully points out, coronavirus isn't the only thing killing Americans every day.
And in an absolutely wild story broken by ProPublica last week, we learned that despite a years-long investigation that showed horrific complicity from Walmart in the opioid epidemic, Trump appointees blocked federal prosecutors from attempting to hold them accountable.
And why is that, you ask?
Because "We're all capitalists here."
Sure, sounds cool.
Pacific Gas & Electric announced on Monday that it would plead guilty to 84 counts of manslaughter and one count of unlawfully starting the Camp Fire for its role in starting the deadliest fire in California history.
So for a brief moment it looked like, perhaps, the utility giant was trying to do the right thing.
But, obviously, that was not the case. And so we learned Wednesday that, over the objections of prosecutors, PG&E was trying to pay $4 million to the state of California out of a compensation fund for fire victims.
California's 2018 Camp Fire was the deadliest fire in state history. By the end of the 17 days that it burned in November of 2018, 85 people were dead, 153,000 acres of land were decimated, and the town of Paradise was destroyed.
Oh we are droll!
Habeas corpus allows people who have been detained to appear before a judge and request release. Due process requires the government to respect all manner of legal rights that are owed to a person. And Bill Barr wants to get rid of them.
In a move that surprised absolutely no one, Reichsminister Barr has decided to use the deadly COVID-19 pandemic to try to suspend the Constitution and give himself extrajudicial powers.
As reported by Politico, last week the Department of Justice quietly asked Congress to declare that the Constitution doesn't really exist during the coronavirus pandemic. Because why not detain people indefinitely, deny trials, and suspend due process and habeas corpus?! We don't need no stinking Constitution!
Pour one out for the Chairman of the Bros Caucus, bruh! Former California congressman Duncan Hunter was just sentenced to 11 months in the hoosegow for scamming allllll the money from his campaign account. Guess Judge Thomas J. Whelan wasn't convinced by Hunter's argument that the whole thing was an anti-Trump WITCH HUNT launched by Hillary Clinton and her minions in the DEEP STATE. Figures for a Clinton-appointee — he's probably in on the whole thing!
Why, you can see the BIASSSS right there in the original 60-count indictment. Who but a Deep Stater could fail to see the inherent logic in charging Uber rides to and from the homes of Hunter's many ladyfriends to the campaign credit card? Don't know how you do it, your Honor, but in San Diego they call that extramarital bonezoning a "legislative act," if you know what I mean.
Ditto for the $1,008 weekend in Tahoe he charged to the campaign. Because, after all, his girlfriend at the time was a lobbyist! In fact, as the San Diego Union Tribune noted, "three of the women were noted to be lobbyists and two others were reported to be congressional staffers." So that's all official congressional horndogging bidniss, protected by the speech or debate clause of the Constitution of the US!
But no one was totally sure about that until this morning.
If you're an Ohio voter, don't try to show up to the polls today.
Basically, Ohio is a shitshow.
Last week, Republican Governor Mike DeWine set a national precedent by working fast to ban large events, close Ohio public schools, and stop in-person classes at Ohio's public universities. Over the weekend, he ordered the state's bars and restaurants closed. But DeWine stalled on making a decision about whether or not today's primary should happen as planned.
Late Monday, DeWine and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose had still taken no public action to delay the vote. But at their daily press conference with updates on COVID-19, the pair announced their plan to go to court to seek a delay of the election. Assuming the court would rule in favor of the state, county boards of election around Ohio told poll workers not to come to work on Tuesday.
"There are too many factors to balance in this uncharted territory to say we ought to take away from the legislature and elected statewide officials and throw it to a common pleas judge in Columbus with 12 hours to go until the election[.]"
So it seemed the primary would go on as scheduled.
And that's when the real fun started.
States and counties have to take action now.
Around the country and the world, people are buying supplies and hunkering down in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has now been declared a global pandemic. By now, most of us are familiar with the fact that older people and people who are already immunocompromised or otherwise sick are at greater risk of complications than others.
But there's one highly vulnerable population that is being widely overlooked: the incarcerated.
More than 10 million people are admitted to American jails every year. Another 731,000 people are held in local jails every day. In the last 30 years, the number of incarcerated people in our country has increased by 500 percent. And a lot of these people aren't guilty of any crimes.
On any given day in America, nearly half a million people who haven't been convicted of a crime are sitting in jail simply because they can't afford to post bail. These people are legally considered innocent of the crimes they're accused of. Sixty percent of incarcerated people in America fall into this category.
It's likely the coronavirus has already infiltrated many jails and prisons in the US. This weekend, a prisoner at Nassau County Correctional Center in East Meadow, New York, tested positive for COVID-19. He entered the jail on March 6 and became symptomatic on March 12. It's currently unknown how many others at the facility may be infected.
The good news is that he appears to know Trump and the GOP are going to lose in November.
Relax, America, your governor may have closed your favorite bar, but Mitch McConnell is still a fucking dick, so please take solace in the fact that not everything about American life has changed in the last five minutes. Also take solace in the fact that our latest Mitch McConnell Is A Dick news reveals what Mitch McConnell's Turtle Dick really thinks about this November's elections.
Basically he is telling all the wingnut federal judges who are #Olds to please go ahead and retire or die or something, to make sure Donald Trump can appoint their successor. OK, he is not saying the "die" part, at least not out loud, but he's just saying they need to go the fuck away this year please, or at least take "senior status," which allows a successor to be appointed. Why? No reason. He probably just thinks they are very stinky and wants them to buzz off.
Of course, the New York Times piece on this starts out by noting that Republicans are "running out federal court vacancies to fill," because literally the only thing the Senate has accomplished lately is just confirming a bunch of 24-year-old right-wing dipshits to lifetime appointments, thus assuring that long after Trump's literal stains have been wiped off all the surfaces of the White House, the stains of his legacy will be fucking up your life and your children's and grandchildren's lives for decades hence.
But McConnell needs MOAR JUDGES, PLEEZ RETIRE MOAR JUDGES! So he's "personally reaching out" to all the wingnut judges he can think of, to kindly request they GTFO.
Supreme Court Not Too Concerned About Coronavirus, Says Asylum-Seekers Can Just Stay In Cages In Mexico
To be clear, Trump's Supreme Court did not mention coronavirus. We're talking about brown foreign people, after all!
It's a day that ends in "y," so we're screwing over immigrants again.
Thanks to an order from the US Supreme Court, The US government gets to keep throwing asylum seekers into dangerous and inhumane camps and shelters in Mexico, so that's just lovely.
Last Friday, the government asked the
judicial branch of the Trump administration Supreme Court to let them keep locking up legal immigrants in cages in Mexico. Yesterday, the Court did its thing and bent over backwards in order to accommodate yet another horrific and discriminatory policy from the Trump regime.
Because why worry about things like "the law" or "basic human rights" when there's a racist fascist to placate?
Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. And all the women say AMEN.
It's not enough.
Yesterday morning, serial sexual predator Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in jail for raping actress Jessica Mann in 2013 and assaulting production assistant Miriam Haley in 2003. The jury acquitted Weinstein of other charges, including raping actress Annabella Sciorra in the early '90s, but New York Supreme Court Justice James Burke admitted testimony from those accusers as evidence establishing a pattern of behavior.
"Although this is a first conviction, it is not a first offense," Judge Burke said when he announced the sentence. "There is evidence before me of other incidents of sexual assault involving other women." Indeed. And there will be more evidence to come, as law enforcement officers in Los Angeles move to extradite Weinstein to face charges in California.
Weinstein's many victims breathed a sigh of relief that they finally, FINALLY got some justice.
LIAR LIAR FUCKING LIAR PANTS ON FIRE LIAR LIAR LIAR LIAR LIAR LIAR TRUCK STOP DILDO DISPENSARY BROKEN CONDOM MACHINE ROY COHN EATIN' HAM AT THE CRACKER BARREL LIAR.
Is it OK with Chief Justice John Roberts if we call US District Judge Reggie Walton a hero, or does that violate his sense of decorum? We are just curious.
Because Reggie Walton, a George W. Bush appointee, is a fucking hero, for calling Attorney General Bill Barr out for what he is, which is a low-rent truck stop Cracker Barrel dildo dispensary approximation of Roy Cohn, doing cover-ups for Donald Trump. (We should be clear that Walton did not use the words "dildo dispensary." He's not that cool.)
BuzzFeed and a transparency group called the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) have been suing for the unredacted Mueller Report, which, as you'll all remember, Barr hid inside his bottom for weeks on end while lying to the public about what it said, which gave rise to such common lies as "NO COLLUSION!" and "TOTALLY EXONERATED!" In an order in the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) case for the unredacted report, in response to BuzzFeed and EPIC's request for an in camera review of the unredacted report, Walton wrote nice English words about what he thinks about Barr's handling of the report.
Wait, did we say nice English words?
The Court has grave concerns about the objectivity of the process that preceded the public release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and its impacts on the Department's subsequent justifications that its redactions of the Mueller Report are authorized by the FOIA. For the reasons set forth below, the Court shares the plaintiffs' concern that the Department "dubious[ly] handl[ed] [ ] the public release of the Mueller Report."
That's right, Judge Walton called Bill Barr a common DUBIOUS HANDLER. And he said that because Barr is a such a DUBIOUS HANDLER, he must absolutely do that in camera review of the unredacted Mueller Report, ergo ipso facto FUCKINGGIVEIT.
You know, as long as we're doing those important investigations.
Oh, it's going to be like that, is it? The Senate is going to investigate Joe Biden's kid as a favor to "Democrat primary voters"? Well, two can play at that game. Particularly when Donald Trump's hellspawn are so blatantly milking their father's presidency for every last nickel.
But let's leave aside Vanky, Deej, and the dumbass for a moment. Forget about the millions of dollars Trump is personally pocketing from the American taxpayer and foreign governments. We'll come back around in another post to the Trump administration's inexplicable affection for leaders of countries where he happens to have business interests, like the Philippines, Indonesia, and India.
Let's talk today about Jared Kushner, the White House's jack of all trades, and Vanky's husband. Our Jared has a net worth of approximately $800 million, which is probably why he had so much trouble filling out his security clearance and financial disclosures. He's just so rich, and so forgetful!
Irony is DEAD.
It's the sheer brazenness! After the Griftpocalypse of Scott Pruitt's tenure as head of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler, the coal lobbyist who replaced him, has the absolute nerve to go before Congress and insist that ACTUALLY, it's the EPA's Inspector General who is confused.
"There are a number of errors in that report," EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler insisted under questioning by House Appropriations Member Mike Quigley (D-IL) about an IG Report that found Pruitt committed numerous possible ethical lapses and charged $123,942 in inappropriate travel expenses.
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