Thank God Brazil's president has a conspiracy theory to explain it.
We would hate to sound like alarmists, but it's probably a very bad thing that massive wildfires are destroying huge swaths of the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon has seen enormous rates of deforestation since rightwing president Jair Bolsonaro took office January 1, and Bolsonaro's response so far has been 1) to accuse the government agency that measures the deforestation of lying and being the tool of evil international NGOs trying to make him look bad; 2) to fire the head of that agency when he pushed back, and 3) to blame the fires on his political enemies. As of yet, Bolsonaro hasn't yet argued that someone needs to be raking the forests more carefully, but we imagine he'll get there. Perhaps he could blame fish, or maybe abortion, too.
You are never going to believe this, but it turns out that, according to a new poll from Supermajority/PerryUndem, people who are against abortion actually don't seem all that concerned about unborned babies. If you are shocked, you have not been paying attention. We and many others have been saying for years that if these people actually gave a shit about fetuses, they'd support policies that actually reduce the need for abortion, as opposed to trying to criminalize the women who need them and the doctors who provide them. But no, it's about control, and it's about punishment.
The entire poll, which is called "Gender Equality, the Status of Women and the 2020 Elections," is worth a look-see, but we are most interested in the part about the correlation between people's views on abortion and how they feel about other gender equality issues. SURPRISE, but so-called "pro-lifers" mostly just hate women.
'Oh, so now liberals don't want families kept together? Hypocrites.'
The Trump administration will publish new rules Friday aimed at gutting the Flores settlement agreement, the 1997 consent decree that set up rules for how the government can treat migrant children in detention. Stephen Miller will finally realize his dream of getting rid of the Flores provision that prevents the government from imprisoning children for more than 20 days, and a glorious new day will dawn when asylum-seeking families can be imprisoned indefinitely. Eliminating Flores has been one of Miller's top priorities, because he believes that not treating immigrants cruelly enough is the main reason people seek asylum in the first place. Now if Miller and Trump could simply eliminate the courts where the new rules will be challenged, we'd finally have an America to be proud of.
BAD TOM COTTON, BAD.
NOW WE KNOW WHO THE ASSHOLE IS.
When it was first reported that Donald Trump was waddling around the White House begging to write letters to Santa so he could say he's been a very good boy this year, therefore can he pretty please have Greenland, Rachel Maddow exhorted the people who surround Donald Trump not to play such cruel pranks on the president, filling his tiny little brain with ideas like this. Everybody knows by this point that if you tell Trump some hilarious bullshit, especially hilarious bullshit that could inflate his false sense of importance, he will take to it like a puppy with a bone or a full-grown dog showing lipstick, and he will not. let. it. go. Thus, Greenland.
Hell, the news came out, and it turned out Trump was so addicted to the idea, and soooooooo very not in on the joke, that he actually had a temper tantrum and canceled his upcoming trip state visit to Denmark when he found out he would not be allowed to close escrow on Greenland.
And now we know how he got that idea. The trouble is that the person who gave him the idea is at least as stupid as he is, so it feels a little bit cruel to tell Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton not to play jokes like this on the president, since he's probably not in on the joke either.
When it's Nazis versus journalists, you can guess who Trump is going to side with.
It's a day that ends in "y," and the Trump regime is flouting its disdain for the press, the US Constitution, and the American people. So Playboy White House Correspondent, CNN analyst, and general badass Brian Karem is suing.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in DC federal court, Karem alleges that Our Dear Leader, along with Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, unconstitutionally took away Karem's White House press pass. And let me tell you, Karem's complaint and accompanying documents are a thing of beauty, with lines like this one:
As part of his sustained and unprecedented attack on freedom of press, President Donald J. Trump and his administration have yet again violated the fundamental due process and First Amendment rights of a White House Correspondent by arbitrarily and without fair notice or compelling reason punished him by depriving him of the liberty and property interests that inhere in his "hard pass" press credential that is essential to covering the presidency.
Also available to be Climate Czar.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced last night he's ending his presidential campaign after not reaching the polling threshold to be included in the September Democratic debates. On MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Inslee said he was glad his campaign had "advanced the dialogue" on climate change in the 2020 race, and that he believes America is finally ready to take the action needed to prevent the worst possible effects of global warming.
I've been fighting climate change for 25 years, and I've never been so confident of the ability of America now to reach critical mass to move the ball.
Inslee also said that his detailed plan to address climate change, which he said has been recognized as the "gold standard," is now "open source" and should should be adopted by other candidates. Quip points to Maddow, who said Inslee's multi-part program "isn't just a road map, it's an atlas." Whoever gets the nomination and replaces the guy Inslee called "the climate denier in the White House" now has available to them a thorough plan to meet the goal of getting the US to net zero carbon emissions by 2030 and resume the role of world leadership on the greatest threat to humanity. Here's hoping they take it.
Unleash the 'Life's Been Good to Me So Far' Jokes!
Joe Walsh, the one-term tea party congressdick from Illinois turned passionate Never-Trumper on Twitter, is hoping to run against Donald Trump from the right. The Washington Post reports Walsh is "leaning toward announcing a campaign next month," despite Trump's near total takeover of the GOP, and last week Walsh wrote an op-ed in the New York Times making the case for a real conservative challenge to Trump, saying that as a guy who won a single term in Congress during the teabagger rebellion of 2010, he knows "a thing or two about insurgencies" and their potential to shake up the establishment. Which sort of ignores the tiny detail that Donald Trump remains an unstable insurgent even when he is the establishment.
Still, Walsh, who was booted out of Congress by Tammy Duckworth and her robot feet in 2012, has made a real effort on Twitter to present himself as a voice of "principled" conservative anti-Trumpism. In his Times op-ed, Walsh even sorta-kinda apologized for his very worst rightwing crap, because maybe he has some shame or something? Just look at the repentance!
All of these things happened in the last 24 hours.
Scenes from the last 24 hours in the life of the anti-semitic human pubic thatch with the messiah complex, Donald John Trump!
Surprise, we're not doing gun control!
It was true when he said it. He really did mean to do something about the epidemic of gun deaths after the latest mass shootings in Ohio and Texas when he said, "I think background checks are important. I don't want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate, sick people. I don't want to — I'm all in favor of it." Just like it was totally true last year after the Parkland shooting in Florida when he promised, "We're going to be very strong on background checks. We're going to be doing very strong background checks."
But then Donald Trump realized it would cost him political support with the NRA. And because he lives in rightwing bubble where he's not hemorrhaging support among suburban woman who are freaking out about their kids getting shot at school, he couldn't risk it. Therefore, it wasn't true anymore. More people will have to die so Donald Trump can avoid pissing off the gun nuts. Sorry, kids!
Wag the Musk Ox.
Donald Trump, with his characteristic sense of tact and diplomacy, abruptly announced on Twitter last night that he would cancel a planned trip to Denmark because the Danish prime minister said Greenland isn't for sale. Yes, that would be just days after Trump also said that while it might be fun to buy an autonomous Nordic territory, such a purchase wasn't the main reason for the planned September 2-3 visit to Denmark. And now it's only a matter of time until other nations' leaders announce parts of their countries aren't for sale either, in hopes of keeping Trump away.
Thanks a lot, ICE!
Just in case you thought there's something awfully hinky about the Trump administration's war on immigrants, here's one more suggestive anecdote: In New York, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents scooped up an undocumented Chinese worker while he was in the process of testifying in a deposition against his former employer, who he says owes him $200,000 in back wages. Isn't that, as Dana Carvey in drag used to say, convenient?
Add this one to the distinct lack of any charges -- at least not yet -- against the seven chicken processing plants in Mississippi that ICE raided earlier this month, resulting in arrests of nearly 700 undocumented workers. Why, it's almost enough to make a cynic think the goal is to help rotten employers get away with sleazy business practices, it is. Somebody on Fox ought to complain about what a poor moral example Donald Trump is setting for the nation's impressionable capitalists.
How many of today's news articles make Facebook look like a goddamned idiot that's destroying America? ALL OF THEM, KATIE.
How about some tech news from the very good company called Facebook? OK!
It is like she is sorry, but that can't be right.
Elizabeth Warren apologized yesterday for her past claims of Native American heritage, including her ill-considered decision last year to take a DNA test after Donald Trump goaded her to with a promise that he'd pay a million dollars if she did. Instead of settling the matter, that DNA test offended quite a few Native leaders, who pointed out that tribal membership has nothing to do with genes and everything to do with enrollment. And Trump refused to pay anyway, because he insisted he'd never said any such thing, just like a common Stupidest Man on the Internet. (Here he is saying it, on video, at a rally. Probably the Deep State.) Not that his opinion matters, but Native folks' do.
So yesterday, at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa, Warren apologized, without qualification, because that's what grownups do when they realize that a bit of family lore has larger implications. She sounded like someone who has learned a lot about what Native people think -- and like someone who's put forward the most serious agenda we've seen for addressing the US government's history of neglect and hostility toward indigenous Americans.
Elizabeth Warren To Native American Leaders: 'I Am Sorry For Harm I Have Caused' | NBC News www.youtube.com
That, kids, is what a real apology looks like. No caveats or attempts to justify, just an acknowledgement of harm and an acceptance of responsibility, with an I'm sorry and I will do better.
Is he sincere? We hope so! Do we care that much if he isn't? Meh.
As we write this, the president has sent 21 tweets or retweets in the last hour. That number is certain to change, as this morning's manic episode approaches its climax. One thing he hasn't tweeted so far is the news that he's a grandfather again, as Eric and Lara Trump welcomed another spawn into the world last night. That might change, of course. It's just that Grandpa Baby Shits has bigger and better priorities, as he is a very important man -- like starfucking Fox News personalities and whining about his crowd sizes and retweeting his own batshit conspiracy theories about Google stealing votes from him and retweeting Geraldo saying "Ha ha" in response to his tweet from last night, when he promised not to build a gaudy tasteless gold trash palace in the middle of Greenland, which, because he is an absolute fucking idiot, is a thing he still thinks he might be allowed to buy (and then default on the loan most likely).
Oh yeah, and Vanky is on vacay. That got a retweet, but not "Eric and Lara bumblefucked a baby into existence."
Spoiler: Trump will not knock off the 'voter fraud' bullshit.
With Donald Trump on yet another tear about how he only lost the 2016 popular vote because they're all out to get him, the chair of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asked him to please stop undermining Americans' faith in the fairness of our elections. Haha, like that's going to happen! In the past week, Trump has lied about nonexistent election fraud in New Hampshire, griped that California and other states sabotaged his fraudulent voter commission to cover up "proof" of voter fraud, and has floated a bizarre conspiracy theory about Google unfairly manipulating election results with its search algorithms somehow. The guy who insisted in 2016 the election would be "rigged" because he thought he'd lose is certainly not going to start becoming a fan of reality now.
OR IS IT THE OTHER WAY AROUND?
It's been apparent ever since Mike Pompeo became the head of the CIA that he was way up Donald Trump's ass. He lived there. He constantly downplayed Russia's interference in Trump's "election," he shared classified intel with then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn after the Trump administration was alerted to Flynn's little kompromat problems, and he did both while also trying to insert his own "Handmaid's Tale" version of Christianity into the CIA's operations.
And then he moved to State, where, of course, he is still up Trump's ass, and still doing the same "God Hates Fags" Jesus thing. (His church in Wichita, Eastminster Presbyterian, is affiliated with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which is one of the Taliban-like hardliner insurgent groups that broke off from the regular Presbyterian church because it was too nice to gays.) Of course, at State, he has quite a habit of veering way outside his lane, he seems to have more authority than the secretary of Defense (who is some lobbyist right now, but we're sure that'll change), and, as James Risen argues at The Intercept, he's still acting as Trump's "de facto intelligence czar."
But Susan Glasser at the New Yorker is out with a piece today that reminds us that Pompeo didn't used to be this way with Trump. He was always a wingnut batshit insane moron conspiracy theorist jackass, as anybody who watched the Benghazi hearings witnessed. (When Trey Gowdy closed up the Benghazi shop and issued his report, which AHEM cleared Hillary Clinton of all wrongdoing, Pompeo got so memorably mad that he and Jim Jordan issued their own addendum to the report, which said NUH UH!) But he used to have clearer eyes about who Donald Trump was.
Here's a clip of Pompeo, who was a Marco Rubio supporter, saying accurately in 2016 that Trump would be an "authoritarian president." And yes, he was saying that like it was a bad thing:
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