The Kingpin always gets a taste.
What a wild month this weekend was, huh? On Friday night, Politico's Natasha Bertrand broke the news that the US Air Force has suddenly discovered the tiny, money-losing Prestwick Airport outside Trump's giant, money-losing golf course in Glasgow, Scotland, and decided to start using taxpayer money at both of them. Sure it would be cheaper to buy fuel at one of our own bases in Germany or Spain, as usual, or heck, even at the 100th Air Refueling Wing 350 miles southeast in England at the American base in Mildenhall. But for some reason, the Air Force decided to drastically ramp up visits to Prestwick since Donald Trump took office, rising from 95 stops with 40 overnight stays in 2015 to 259 stops with 220 overnights in the first eight months of 2019 alone. That's a heckuva coincidence!
It's Your Sunday Show Rundown!
Hello, Wonkers! After a week of being away thanks to Hurricane Dorian (yay for living in southeast United States!), we return this week with
acting Secretary of State and "heat-seeking missile for Trump's ass" Mike Pompeo. Appearing on EVERY Sunday show, Pompeo was there to explain this sudden tweet from the president:
That's right, it seems President "Pussy Ass Bitch" (that's not Wonkette calling him that, you need to click that link if you don't know the context yet) decided to announce 24 hours ago that apparently he was gonna secretly host Taliban leaders on Camp David just four days away from the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Trump went on to say the cancellation of his invitation on Saturday night was due to the
car bombing in Kabul on Thursday that killed 10 civilians, one Romanian soldier and US Army Sergeant 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz from Puerto Rico. In an otherwise honest (or at least more trusted) administration, this reasoning for cancelling a meeting with Taliban leaders would make sense. Or at least, it would seem so, if not for some key things:
He has a very good brain!
Donald Trump is so good at ELECTION. He has an intuitive understanding of ELECTORAL COLLEGE. How it works is, you piss all over your voters and steal from them, but you do it while shouting insane, racist nonsense and drawing dicks on weather maps. And then you win!
Trump is already putting his Very Stable Genius Plan into action with cuts to defense spending. After reaching a deal with Congress in February for $1.4 billion in border wall funding, Trump turned around and announced that he was going to grab an additional $3.6 billion from previously allocated defense funds by shouting "National Emergency!" If he gets Congress to "backfill" the allocations, he can just go ahead and steal it again. And if Congress refuses to reallocate the funds, then he'll blame Nancy Pelosi for hating the troops.
Win, win, win!
ARE YOU NOT REASSURED?
The Trump administration unleashed a shitstorm of fear and confusion Wednesday when US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a tweak to how it processes citizenship for some children born overseas to US military personnel and other government workers. The change would end automatic citizenship for children born overseas to two small groups: military parents who are not yet citizens, and to citizens who may have left the USA as kids and then grown up elsewhere. Their kids can still become citizens, but only after a long application process. But because the policy change wasn't framed very clearly, many military folks and those worried about the administration's ongoing war on immigrants thought the policy would apply to all military families who have kids while deployed overseas, and can you blame them? In this essay we shall argue that the whole wretched mess is yet another example of what we've called the Trump administration's weaponized incompetence. Why just do a policy when you can also maximize fear, uncertainty, and doubt among people you want to scare? There's a lot of confusion out there about what exactly this new policy is supposed to do, and we're fairly sure that uncertainty is part of the plan.
Trump has now sent in the troops to stand guard over very dangerous immigrants being held at an immigration concentration camp in Donna, Texas. The military isn't supposed to be used as domestic law enforcement, because we're [technically] not a police state.
But that's fine, because Trump has "an Article II" that allows him to do "whatever [he] want[s]."
The Posse Comitatus Act (prounounced "päsē ˌkämiˈtādəs," not whatever dirty way you were thinking) is an 1878 law that limits how the federal government can use troops stationed in the US. Under the Posse Comitatus Act, troops can't be used for law enforcement purposes or be in direct contact with civilians, including immigrants.
So what, exactly are the troops doing?
Oh, they're just acting as prison guards for some very dangerous immigrant families.
But isn't that using the troops as law enforcement?
Yes, yes it is.
So, how are they getting away with this?
They're pretending the troops are really just there to help the imprisoned migrants get medical help. [insert largest of eye rolls here].
Here's the official party line:
John Cornelio, spokesperson for the U.S. military's Northern Command, said that interaction between the troops and migrants "is limited as much as possible."
"At the Donna facility specifically," Cornelio said, "unarmed military personnel monitor the migrants for signs of medical distress, possibility for unrest, unusual behavior and unresponsiveness. In the event of a medical emergency or other reportable event, our military personnel immediately notify CBP personnel on-site who respond to the incident or event in question."
"Monitoring the wellness of migrants is not a law enforcement function, and this activity has been reviewed by our legal staff to ensure compliance with the Posse Comitatus Act and applicable law. CBP personnel are always present to provide force protection, physical security and perform their law enforcement duties."
Right. Military troops are standing constant guard over immigrants just to make sure they're safe and healthy. Because this administration just cares so much about the health and welfare of the people it's sending to concentration camps.
Can you say "pretext"?
As reported by NBC News, one "U.S. defense official denies that the troops are guarding the migrants, saying they are monitoring them."
That's what we call a distinction without a difference.
In reality, the troops are being told to "stand watch" over the migrants in the Donna facility.
Despite past assurances from federal officials that the active-duty U.S. troops deployed to the border would not be in direct contact with migrants or be used for law enforcement, the service members stand watch over the migrants. The troops are perched on raised platforms throughout a large room where the migrants are held[.]
The troops were assigned to the facility to provide welfare checks on the migrants, but the officials say that has evolved into a continual presence watching over them.
Uniformed military personnel standing guard throughout a facility where we're locking people up because of their immigration status certainly sounds like the military being used as domestic law enforcement.
But hey, we aren't experts in military law. This former three-star Admiral is, though:
And let's not forget that 16 Marines were arrested this week on human trafficking and drug smuggling charges.
Trump just really loves our troops, okay?
Trump loves to grandstand about how much he just loves our troops and surround himself with tanks whenever he can.
He loves the troops so much, in fact, that he just can't seem to stop doing terrible things to them. Since 2016, Trump has:
- Sent troops to the border for his pre-election "the vary scary caravan of impoverished families is coming for us!" charade.
- Used troops, tanks, and military fly-overs for his creepy and potentially illegal Fourth of July Nazi parade that cost taxpayers $5.4 million.
- Tried to take SNAP benefits and healthcare away from millions of military families.
- Created a new tax for the families of fallen service members, costing them thousands of dollars.
- Banned transgender troops from serving in the military.
- Skipped out on a ceremony honoring World War I veterans.
- Said he prefers war heroes who don't get captured.
- Lied about donating $1 million to nonprofits for veterans.
- Repeatedly personally attacked gold star families.
- Deported the families of active duty soldiers.
- Deported veterans without even considering their service.
We could go on and on. (And if you'd like to read more about some of the different ways Trump has screwed over the troops, check out this 2018 piece from GQ.)
No wonder Trump's approval ratings with service members have been falling since he took office.
To cap things off, on Friday night the totally-legitimate-and-not-just-an-arm-of-the-Republican-party United States Supreme Court decided Trump could steal $2.5 billion (yes, "billion" with a b) from the Pentagon's budget while the litigation proceeds, giving a pretty good indication that they have no plan on stopping it in the future. This could pull the plug on any number of military projects, including construction of things like hospitals and housing units for military families.
Naturally, Trump celebrated.
Because he just loves the troops so much, you guys.
Gonna fix Iran good, you bet!
SHHHHH! Donald Trump just appointed Rand Paul as his double-super-secret backchannel to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Kentucky's second worst senator is going to go convince those Iranians to give up their nukes and start playing nice. Hosanna, our long, national nightmare is over! But keep it under your hats because it's totally hush-hush, okay?
Politico reports that Sens. Paul and David Perdue went golfing with Trump this weekend at his New Jersey course -- paid for by you, the American taxpayer -- and the president gave his blessing to Paul's request to meet with Zarif to try to bring down the temperature a bit and keep us out of another pointless Middle Eastern war. Paul refused to confirm or deny that his plan involves praising Zarif's big, beautiful hands and promising half price taco bowls for life at the future Trump Tower Isfahan.
(Let him play all the golf he wants, they said. When he's out there on the links, he's not breaking shit, they said.)
You know how Rachel Maddow loves yr Wonkette? Well apparently Samantha Bee does too, or else a new comms employee does and will MAYBE get SHITCANNED for it! (Don't get shitcanned, do keep sending us exclusive Samantha Bee segments before they air!)
In tonight's television episode, which we bring you here now (or at least the relevant portion thereof), Sam interviews kickass Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois; it's framed as part of a show-within-a-show, because why just do "an interview" when you can also make fun of the conventions of dopey late-night interview shows, not that they're naming any particular targets. Sam's hunky husband, Jason Jones, could not possibly be mocking any sidekick figures from the history of talk shows, that's for sure, hey-oooooh.
Guess they hate the troops!
If there is anything the Right loves to talk about, it is how much they love fetuses and also the troops. They just can't get enough of them, they say, which perhaps explains why they keep dragging us all into unnecessary wars and opposing sex education in schools.
Thus, it may surprise you to learn that congressional Democrats are having a hell of a time trying to make permanent a federal program meant to cover the costs of in vitro fertilization for veterans whose injuries in combat have rendered them infertile. And yet they are! Why? Because many forced birth enthusiasts oppose IVF treatment, on account of the fact that (unless someone wants to go full Octomom) it requires the destruction of fertilized embryos.
I will give you a moment to try and process the mental gymnastics one would need to do in order to be more concerned about the destruction of embryos than they are about war, which so often results in the destruction of non-embryonic people.
Everything About President Dickless's TANKS GO VRRROOOM! Fourth Of July Party Is Pathetic, Illegal, Or Both
Make America Pyongyang Again!
In the olden days, before 2016, the United States America didn't feel the need to throw small-dicked chickenshit displays of military fortitude in order to find its self worth. We didn't need it. For better or for worse, we all knew our military could kick anybody else's military's ass, and that we didn't need to SAY THAT OUT LOUD ALL THE TIME. That's called "speaking softly and having a big dick, we mean stick." But that was before Donald Trump was "elected." Now we have a commander-in-chief in name only who is projecting all his masculine insecurities into throwing a BOOM BOOM TANKS GO BOOM AIR-P'ANE! fireworks party for himself in the nation's capital on America's birthday. No one whose life adds anything of value to humanity will attend.
On that note, here is a video ABC News posted last night, of tanks rolling through Washington so President Dick-So-Small can get a thrill up his scaly inner thigh:
How fucking embarrassing. Here's another, from somebody on Twitter:
Make America Pyongyang Again!
If you are interested in more pictures of TANKS GO BOOM getting sponge baths for their big day, Talking Points Memo has collected some. Do they know where all the tanks are actually going to go in DC? No. Do they know how they're going to get to that unknown place? No. Is it going to damage the DC roads, pretty much no matter what? Ayup! Does Trump care? Of course not! Was this event planned in any kind of thoughtful way by thoughtful people? LOL, planning is for liberals.
Anyway, none of that is illegal. But it is pathetic and stupid and wasteful. Let's look at some other things we know about this shitshow:
Would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those kids with their 'human rights' and 'rules of engagement'!
The trial of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher wrapped up and went to the jury Monday. Prosecutors argued Gallagher's own actions and testimony from those under his command proved his guilt on charges of murder and attempted murder, but defense attorneys claimed the whole prosecution was a mutinous conspiracy by cowardly "millennial" SEALs who hated Gallagher for being too much of a hardass for their wimpy unworthy asses, snowflake safe space trigger warning, you know the drill.
Yup, when we think of Navy SEALs, we worry about the ones in their 20s and 30s, because what are young people even doing in the military, huh? As anyone who's read John Scalzi's Old Man's War knows, that's just a recipe for trouble.
Why yes, this DOES have Stephen Miller stank all over it.
The Trump administration is quietly eliminating a Pentagon program that protected undocumented families of active duty military members from deportation, NPR reports today. Immigration attorneys have been rushing to complete applications for the program, called "parole in place," because family members of deployed servicemembers have been informed it's about to be "terminated."
The lawyers have been told that in the future, the "parole in place" requests will only be allowed under rare circumstances, which we can only assume translates to never, because we've been paying attention.
This thing where vets get two votes seems iffy, too.
Damn, we knew Beto O'Rourke is trying to enhance his policy chops in an attempt to keep up with Elizabeth Warren's Plans For Everything, but his just-released proposal for a "War Tax" to fund care for veterans of any new wars is just plain bad, and he should feel bad.
O'Rourke has some fairly conventional -- and even good -- ideas for improving the Department of Veterans Affairs and making it easier for veterans to get services, but they're also not all that exciting, tending toward "innovation" and "[focusing] on veterans holistically" to build a "state of the art" VA medical system. Nice, wonky, and not gonna grab any headlines. And as Adam Weinstein points out at New Republic, Beto deserves credit for one huge achievement as a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee:
particularly in securing emergency mental health services for vets with "bad paper," i.e. those with less-than-honorable discharges often stemming from health issues that were undiagnosed or stigmatized in the service. It's a good start, in terms of returning what's due to those who have served in an unprecedented stretch of overseas wars and transitioned to civilian life in a deeply iniquitous, divided society.
Along similar lines, O'Rourke calls for making VA care more inclusive by also extending services to veterans who had less-than-honorable discharges, while presumably still excluding actual war crimers.
But oh, lordy, this "War Tax" thing. Oh fucking lordy indeed.
It's the Sunday Show Rundown!
After another week of cruelty towards immigrant children and barely sidestepping John Bolton and Mike Pompeo's Iran War erotic dreams, the Trump administration sent out one of its most shameless liars: X-Men villain and current Vice President Michael Richard Pence. (Trump also made a full episode appearance on NBC's "Meet The Press" ably covered by Five Dollar Feminist here.)
Mike Dick Pence practicing for his current treatment of immigrants.Marvel Comics
Pence made dual appearances on CNN's "State of the Union" and CBS's "Face The Nation." While most of the lies were identical, it was Jake Tapper who fact-checked Pence on the spot. Here are some of the highlights.
Knew this story was coming since January, did jackshit about it. Huh!
Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan is out at the Department of Defense. The former Boeing executive will have to go back to plying his multi-million dollar ass-kissing skills in the private sector again since Donald Trump has withdrawn his nomination to the Senate "so that he can devote more time to his family." Safe bet that Shanahan's nomination as Father of the Year is on ice as well amid allegations of spousal abuse and his disgraceful behavior after his teenage son cracked his mother's skull with a baseball bat in 2011 after which Shanahan successfully argued that the 17-year-old should get a deferred adjudication and disappeared the kid's phone, which may or may not have contained evidence of an illegal sexual relationship with a much older woman.
YES, THAT'S JUST THE START.
It's the Sunday Show Rundown!
Arkansas Republican Senator and evil Pinocchio turned into a real live boy Tom Cotton appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" to discuss the attacks on oil tankers on the Gulf of Oman. And while the world is still trying to confirm IF Iran perpetrated the attacks due to conflicting accounts (the US says it was Iran with mines; the Japanese shipping operator says it was a “flying object"), that hasn't stopped GOP politicians like Cotton from trying to turn this into the justification they've been looking for, for great good glorious WAR.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You have long been defined as a hawk on Iran. You see these recent attacks, these are commercial vessels not military installations. What kind of response is warranted?
COTTON: Well Iran for 40 years has engaged in this kind of attacks going back to the 1980s. In fact Ronald Reagan had to reflag a lot of vessels going through the Persian Gulf and ultimately take military action against Iran in 1988. These unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike.
BRENNAN: Are you- you're comparing the tanker war in the '80s to now and saying that that's the kind of military response you want to see?
COTTON: We can make a military wreck- response in a time and in a manner of our choosing. But yes, unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The goddamn “Tanker Wars"?! Oh ... you mean when, during the Iraq-Iran War, we waited until Kuwait formally asked for our assistance to escort Saddam Hussein's oil? When Reagan, without approval from Congress, reflagged Kuwaiti vessels? When Reagan got us involved in the Iraq-Iran War leading to a daylong naval battle between Iran and the US, known as Operation Praying Mantis? The conflict we jumped into that led to our mistaking an Iran Air commercial jetliner for an Iranian F-14, shooting it down and killing all 290 people onboard, including 66 children? That's what you want to repeat, Tom Cotton?! Also, whatever happened to our ally, Saddam Hussein?
They say that those who don't learn from history repeat it. Tom Cotton is here to prove Republicans never learn. Watch the video below for yourself:
Cotton says "unprovoked attacks
to oil profits" from Iran "warrant a retaliatory military strike"
While Tom Cotton was justifying a war with Iran on CBS, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was having a surprisingly harder time on “Fox News Sunday" than he did on CBS when he transparently insinuated what the Trump administration really cares about with Iran ( "Texas Tea").
Pompeo: Trump doesn't war with Iran but will "defend American
Seems Pompeo was upset that his “beating the drums of war" shtick was being interrupted to have to answer about Trump admitting (more like bragging) it was okay to take foreign assistance (and then walking it back when all the killjoys said it was illegal). After playing the ABC News clip, Chris Wallace asked a very pointed yet direct question. Pompeo's answer, however, was far from both:
WALLACE: Is accepting oppo research from a foreign government right or wrong?
POMPEO: Chris, you know you asked me not to call any of your questions today ridiculous ... You came really close right there. (awkward giggle) President Trump has been very clear. He ... he clarified his remarks later. He ... he made it very clear. Even in his first comment. He said "I'd do both." He said he'd call the FBI ...
WALLACE: He said "Maybe I'd do both."
POMPEO: President Trump has been very clear. That he will always make sure that he gets it right for the American people and I'm confident he'll do that here as well.
It was at this moment Pompeo thought he was golden because he's on Fox News and they never follow up! But clearly he forgot Chris Wallace doesn't play like that.
WALLACE: At the risk of getting your ire, the President told "Fox and Friends" on Friday, and I agree, he kind of walked it back...
POMPEO: He didn't walk it back.
WALLACE: Yes, he did. Because he said "maybe" on Thursday. And then on Friday, on "Fox and Friends," he said "he'd listen first AND then if the information was bad that he would take it to the FBI or the Attorney General." But he also made it clear to George Stephanopolous that he did not see this as "foreign interference." And I want to play a clip of the President's own words ...
Then Wallace played ANOTHER clip of Trump's idiotic words back to Pompeo. Then he asks Pompeo one more time:
WALLACE: He says "it's not interference, it's information." The country, sir, and I don't need to tell you, has a long history dating back to George Washington in saying that foreign interference in our elections is unacceptable. POMPEO: Chris, President Trump believes that too. I have nothing further to add. I came on to talk about foreign policy and I think that's the third time you've asked me about a Washington ... piece of ... silliness. That's just, that's just a story that's inconsistent with what I've seen from President Trump do every single day.
After an awkward pause and visible anger in Pompeo's face (really, do watch), Chris Wallace calls it a day ... but remembers to remind Pompeo he's a thin-skinned baby:
WALLACE: I will leave it there. I think I only asked you twice but that's alright Mr. Secretary. Thank you. Thanks for your time and Happy Father's Day, sir.
Watch the video below for yourself.
And that's all for this week in Trump's collusion and "wag the dog"/Saudi oil interest war chants. So let's end with a couple of pictures of my new puppy, Harley Quinn!
Might as well have one last nice thing before our next war or stolen election. Have a week!
OH LOOK AT THE PUPPY. Also give us money to pay the freelancers, if you are able, thank you we love you.
Could be a quarter.
Never bet on the courage of the Republican caucus. Ben Sasse will make sure we all know that he is deeply conflicted, as a moral man, a Christian, and a father. Susan Collins will furrow her brow and express her serious concerns. John Kennedy will gibber some folksy palaver about his patience being thinner than a bee's behind on the Fourth of July and wonder where all the common sense went. Then Lindsey Graham will have a tantrum, and they'll all fall in line and follow Trump's latest idiotic directive. Third verse, same as the first.
And yet! Republican senators just killed Fed nominations for Herman Cain and Stephen Moore, and they're warming up their wingtips to kick US Customs and Immigration nominee Ken "No Buttsechs" Cuccinelli squarely in the dick for being such a traitorous little snake. As John Cornyn told Politico, "He's spent a fair amount of his career attacking Republicans in the Senate, so it strikes me as an odd position for him to put himself in to seek Senate confirmation." And they're passing a resolution condemning arms sales to Saudi Arabia -- a meaningless resolution, but still, a sign that there is restlessness among the ranks.
We assume that Senate Republicans are full of shit when they threaten to block Trump's idiotic new tariffs on Mexico. But there's always a chance that they might actually grow a pair and finally put a stop to something that will clearly harm both the economy -- and their electoral prospects -- in November 2020.
Yesterday, White House Deputy Counsel Pat Philbin and Assistant Attorney General Steve Engel had lunch with Senate Gippers to sell Trump's "plan" to solve immigration by forcing Americans to pay more for Mexican imports. All closed door congressional meetings leak, but half a dozen Republicans immediately walked out to talk smack on the record, so it must have been brutal. As Oklahoma Senator James Lankford put it, Trump's "trying to use tariffs to solve every problem but HIV and climate change."
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