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Original photo by Justin Hamel; photoshoop by Wonkette

US Customs and Border Protection is rolling out some brand new tent cities in the Trump administration's war on asylum seekers, according to the Daily Beast. OK, maybe not tent "cities," exactly, since at the moment the tents appear to be restricted to five big, run-down Army surplus hospital tents in the parking lot of a Border Patrol station in El Paso, Texas. There, newly arrived asylum seekers are held for days at a time in seriously crappy conditions.

Reporters Justin Glawe and Justin Hamel note that CBP isn't letting reporters anywhere near the crappy old tents in the parking lot, so they had to "observe the operation through a telephoto lens from nearly a quarter-mile away." They saw that two of the tents had been erected in just the last week, and that the tents "are tightly surrounded by fences topped with barbed wire, leaving virtually no space for people to roam outside."


But Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (D-California) has been inside, earlier this month, and she told the reporters the conditions are terrible.

"One woman had a baby, a five-month-old baby and said she'd been there for five days. The baby had filthy clothes," Barragán said. "The situation is unhealthy. People are in a confined space, they're not getting showers, their clothes are dirty, babies are not getting Pampers like they should be. These ladies were crying and telling us their stories and it was just heartbreaking."

Barragán was banned from taking photos of migrants, but she described a desperate scene inside. The tents contained no cots and migrants slept on a temporary floor that covered the asphalt parking lot beneath, with babies sometimes sleeping on their parents' legs to avoid the hard floor.

Barragán added the tents were so crowded that she had to step over people just to move around inside, and that the food was the cheapest crap possible: "We're talking ramen and Cup of Noodles, Capri Suns and juice boxes, maybe a frozen burrito if you're lucky." Yes, now cue some wingnut ranting that lawbreakers have it entirely too good, so we need to stop letting them whoop it up like that.

She added that having to live in those tents just can't be pleasant at all, which of course is probably the point:

I was really taken aback by the smell. I was in there for five minutes and I just became nauseous, I hate to say it. It's just too many people for that size area and people hadn't had a shower for many days. Border Patrol told us it was their goal to get people a shower every three days, but the mother I spoke to there hadn't had one and she'd been there for five.

According to an Army press flack in 2016, the tents were designed to hold 148 people in cots, but there's no telling how many more you could cram in without cots! Glawe and Hamel note the tents have seen better days: "Some are tattered, with sections of fabric flapping in the wind."

The article suggests the tents in the parking lot may be part of the Trump administration's plan to deal with a large increase in people seeking asylum -- the numbers of families crossing to request asylum is up sharply from last year, even after the horrors of the family separation policy. And hey, why not follow up Trump's "invasion" rhetoric by dragging in the actual military?

Last Tuesday, officials from the Defense Department and Homeland Security met at the White House to discuss using military resources to construct and staff new tent cities in El Paso and Donna, Texas, NBC News reported. It's a favorite idea of White House senior adviser Stephen Miller.

Of course, it's a weird sort of "invasion" when the people storming the beaches walk right up to the Border Patrol and ask for asylum. The tents are supposedly needed to deal with all the new arrivals, although of course Team Trump has been claiming the border was simply PACKED with migrants long before the current actual factual high numbers.

Rep. Barragán pointed out that other nearby border stations aren't packed with people:

Following her visit to El Paso, Barragán drove an hour and a half north to Alamogordo, New Mexico to visit an empty Border Patrol station there. "Why can't the migrants go there?" she said.

There's also well-founded suspicion that, as with earlier administration efforts to drive asylum seekers away, a good part of the "crisis" is the result of deliberate policy. Immigrant advocates point out there doesn't seem to be any particular reason for large numbers of asylum applicants to be stuffed into tents before being given a court date and then either released or sent on to an ICE detention center.

"One of my concerns is they're slowing down the process almost intentionally and they're helping create the appearance of this backlog," Barragán said. "I don't know this for sure, and I have nothing to point to other than our history of not getting truthful information from this administration and these agencies."

Gee, those Democrats sure are mean with their suspicions that Trump The Merciful might be acting in bad faith. The article notes that virtually everything else the administration has done on immigration -- family separation, the "metering" of asylum seekers at ports of entry, and multiple attempts to clamp down on the right of people to claim asylum in the first place -- have all been taken with the aim of "deterring" Central Americans from seeking asylum in the first place. So it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that holding people in cramped, stinky tents is just one more attempt to make America unattractive. Then again, all those other efforts to be more cruel than the conditions people are fleeing haven't stopped them, either.

Erika Andiola of immigrant advocacy group RAICES says if cruelty isn't working, maybe we should try treating people like human beings?

"The fact is that none of this has worked." said Andiola. "Conditions in Central America are terrible and people are willing to make the sacrifice to give their families a better future. It is up to us whether we welcome them in a humane way, or we torture them for no good reason."

Silly humanitarian! When has America ever needed a reason to torture people? Besides, now that Trump is moving on to his new stance, just ordering DHS to break the law, we'll have all the cruelty we can manage. It's a real growth industry!

[Daily Beast]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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