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It's other people's money


Good news, America! That story we wrote about over Thanksgiving week estimating the cost of providing security for Donald Trump and his transition team in New York was a million dollars a day turns out to be inaccurate! Turns out, thanks to some bean-counting by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, it's actually a bargain for the city of New York, only about $35 million for the period between the election and the inauguration, which works out to only half a million bucks daily. A bargain, but de Blasio is asking the federal government to reimburse the city for the costs anyway, because New York never asked for a second White House in Trump Tower. And that's not even getting into the possible costs of Trump walking out onto 5th Avenue to test his thesis that he could shoot someone and not lose support.

At a news conference Monday that was mainly about police statistics, de Blasio also mentioned his request to the feds to reimburse the city for security related to keeping the area around Trump Tower secure, since the president-elect has decided to run his transition from home instead of, say, Washington DC, which already has a lot of Secret Service types and government offices (and where normal presidents-elect tend to do their transitions). The Trump Tower area, already in the middle of a busy district full of landmarks and shopping and transit hubs, now requires the sort of security needed to keep a president safe, a job complicated by all the tourists and protesters who'd love to see and/or shout at Trump and all the Fox News stars important dignitaries seeking jobs with the Team of Evils.

“It is a high-density neighborhood and street traffic easily obstructs pathways to and from the building, making it profoundly challenging for the NYPD to establish a secure perimeter,” Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, wrote, noting that the challenges affected not only Mr. Trump, but other residents of Trump Tower as well as the crowds that pass nearby.

The mayor said the number of officers involved in the round-the-clock security operation — from traffic agents to uniformed officers — was “classified,” but that most were working on overtime, at an extra cost to the city.

De Blasio is sending letters to President Obama and to Congress to ask for extra funding to be allocated for Trump's security, noting that the federal government reimburses the city for the extra security costs of events like the 2004 Republican National Convention or for visiting foreign dignitaries. And a lot of those people aren't even as hostile to America's interests as Donald Trump.

The Washington Post explains many previous incoming administrations, which are obviously not as classy as Trump's, have run their transitions from Washington DC,

opting for government-offered offices and telephones in downtown Washington. But Trump has used his own high-profile real estate, helping embolden an effort already aided by a private transition fund and the most public transition money ever offered to a president-elect.

And while it's costing the Secret Service and the City of New York a metric coitus-ton of money to secure Trump Tower, Trump spokesidiot Jason Miller proudly told WaPo the Trump Organization is doing its part to lighten the load, boasting that “no Congress-appropriated transition funding will be going to any Trump businesses.” So at least taxpayers aren't also on the hook for office space at Trump Tower, as far as anyone can tell. Just to be on the safe side, though, Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent a letter November to the Government Accountability Office, requesting a review of what the Trump transition is billing the public for:

“There is no transparency with regard to transition expenditures, raising additional questions about how taxpayer funds may be flowing into Mr. Trump’s pockets,” Warren wrote. “… To what extent have Mr. Trump’s conflicts of interest affected his presidential transition?”

You almost get the impression she doesn't take the Trumpers' word for it.

[NYT / WaPo]

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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Photo by Wonkette operative 'Zippy W. Spincycle'

Last week, Yr Dok Zoom talked a little bit about his damn dissertation, which looked at "Wabbit Literacy," the weird thing where we sometimes learn about the world from parodies and jokes long before we ever encounter the original stuff -- like learning about opera from cartoons. More than one person in the comments (which Wonkette does not allow and yet, like life, you find a way) mentioned they were disappointed, as kids, to learn that while roadrunners are real birds, the actual critter looks nothing like this:

Which is not to say that real roadrunners are the least bit disappointing, as animals go, because they're freaking incredible. Yes, even if they don't actually leave lines of flame down the center line of desert highways and go "Meep! Meep!" But they can sprint up to 20 miles per hour, which is faster than you, albeit slower than a real coyote's top speed. Also, yes, real coyotes are among the predators what eat roadrunners, which is why the wily birds adopted the evolutionary strategy of running right through fake tunnels coyotes paint on the sides of mountains.

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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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