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Donald Trump treated the press to another full-on delusional rant Friday. It was allegedly about the government shutdown (he said he doesn't call it a shutdown, then repeatedly called it a shutdown) and how it will only end when Congress gives him WALL. Along the way, he made up even more shit than usual, because maybe it's time to ask him to identify a camel again (No really, because that test is srs bns).


For any masochists out there, here's the whole weird catastrophe. We can't really recommend watching the whole thing, because we love you.

A few highlights! Trump has now gone full postmodern about WALL, which maybe is a wall, maybe is steel bollards, might could be a metaphor, and ultimately is pure steel bollocks. Maybe it'll be a steel wall, because after all, now we have steel companies again, which we didn't have ANY of, but we suppose they came back when Trump let Americans say "Merry Christmas" again.

Trump again lied about the mayor of San Diego begging him to build WALL (not true) and said he had then built WALL near San Diego (also not true, though repair work on existing fences has been done). Then he spun out an extended weirdass fantasia about human smugglers driving cars through open desert to avoid border crossings. And no, it didn't make a goddamn bit of sense. At least he knows which way they turn after crossing the border in cars out in the desert, a true thing that happens every day:

Honestly, we have no idea what the hell he's talking about. Previous administrations have already put up fencing along most parts of the border vehicles can reach. But he's very enamored of the story, so expect to hear it again and again. Maybe Trump's decided he's secretly John Lennon?

Trump returned to his new precious notion that evil Messicans are just driving across the borders in cars when he tried to scare people about the murderous illegals just waiting to kill us all. And of course, he was lying, as if mere facts matter. Trump referred to the December 26 murder of Newman, California, police officer Ronil Singh, who was shot to death by an undocumented immigrant after pulling the man over for a suspected DUI. It was a horrible crime, and another chance for the usual suspects to wave the bloody shirt on immigration, because if only there was no illegal immigration ever Officer Singh would be alive, and let's just not talk about the fact that undocumented immigrants commit less crime than native-born USAicans. After all, in this case, the killer was here without papers, so all illegals are murderers.

Anyhoo, Trump had a slightly different version of how Singh was murdered. In mere reality, his killer had been in the US for years, and was arrested at his girlfriend's house. (She, two of the accused killer's brothers, and a friend were also arrested for allegedly helping him plan to escape to Mexico). Trump, still enchanted by his own vision of unchecked vehicular traffic way out in the desert, decided to make Singh's killer one of those nasty automotive illegals. Trump knows about it because he has access to "certain technology."

If you take a look and you see, like we do, through certain technology, including cameras in aeroplanes not just drones, you'll see vast numbers of vehicles driving through the desert and entering where you don't have a very powerful fence or a wall. That happened this week where a wonderful young police officer, I spoke to his wife yesterday, where he was shot, viciously shot, for simply stopping a person who came over the border illegally. Got SHOT. Killed! And took the most beautiful picture just hours before, Christmas picture. We don't want that happening.

Fortunately, once we build WALL, this can never happen at the border again -- just like it didn't happen last week, because the murder of officer Sing occurred 425 miles north of the border anyway.

The lies just kept coming, with Trump insisting, weirdly, that former presidents have also told him that they wish they'd been as brave as him and built WALL when they were in office:

No, he didn't say which presidents. That would be telling. Maybe Medvedev or Gorbachev, or even Putin while he was pretending to just be prime minister.

At one point, Trump even said that when it comes right down to it, Trump doesn't even need to get Congressional authorization or appropriations for WALL, because he can totally just declare a national emergency for WALL:

We can call a national emergency because of the security of the country. We can do it. I haven't done it. I may do it. I may do it! [...] We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly and it's another way of doing it, but if we can do it through a negotiated process, we're giving that a shot.

He'd never threaten Democrats, he said, but sure, he's allowed to do that. But can he, actually? What the hell, maybe he can. ABC News reported that before the presser, administration sources said the White House is looking at options for repurposing money from the Department of Defense, and working out a legal framework for declaring such an emergency. You know, just in case. As ABC notes, The Defense Department has already noticed this little gem tucked away in Title 10 of the US Code:

In the event of a declaration of war or the declaration by the President of a national emergency in accordance with the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) that requires use of the armed forces, the Secretary of Defense...may undertake military construction projects, and may authorize the Secretaries of the military departments to undertake military construction projects, not otherwise authorized by law that are necessary to support such use of the armed forces.

Of course, as the article also notes, Trump would also get his ass sued, because for chrissakes defense appropriations are supposed to go to what Congress says they're for, and you can't just yell "Emergency!" and get anything you want. Not that the fine points of basic legality seem much of a priority for Trump.

As the Atlantic points out, presidents do have a hell of a lot of emergency powers pile up for them by Congress, although presidents so far have tended not to use them except during real disasters, and then only sparingly. But Donald Trump is not a normal president, and as we've noted before, his immigration Obersturmbannführer, Stephen Miller, has made something of an art out of finding novel interpretations of US law to use against immigrants -- all immigrants. So yes, Trump's "call an emergency" mumbles certainly sounded crazy. But we won't be the least bit surprised if in the next month or so, regardless of when the government shutdown ends (oh, yes, Trump confirmed he told Dems it could last months or even years), we might start hearing Sean Hannity urging Trump to declare that national emergency, because after all, it's an INVASION.

Now, because it's Saturday and we only want to partly ruin your weekend, here is Donald Trump not even knowing who the Republican leader in the House is:

But because he is a stable genius, he caught himself and then nodded at "Steve" -- Steve Scalise, who hadn't spoken, but apparently deserved the credit for McCarthy's remarks.

[Aaron Rupar on Twitter / Daniel Dale on Twitter / Modesto Bee / Vox / ABC News / Atlantic]

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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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Uh oh, looks like George Conway, husband of Kellyanne, is going to be sleeping on the couch for another week, because they are having That Fight They Always Have, the one where he says her boss (the president) is certifiably mentally unstable, and she's like "nuh uh," and we guess she reminds him that if that so-called certifiably mentally unstable person wasn't president, then she wouldn't be making a government salary for going on Fox News and lying to the American people.

It started this weekend with Donald Trump's latest Twitter rampage, which is still going on, and which avid watchers of Trump's Twitter habits agree seems to suggest that he is real upset about something. Like, more than usual. The sort of upset he gets when Robert Mueller is about to arrest his son, maybe. You know, ALLEGEDLY.

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Still no solution for shapeshifting trespassers

Hey, while every media outlet is doing exactly the same stupid horse-race political coverage they said nobody should be doing, the actual candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination are busily putting forward policy proposals -- the things pundits and voters keep saying they want to know about, at least in between discussions of "likeability" and whether Chuck Todd thinks candidates are bipartisan enough. So hey, here is a cool housing policy idea from Elizabeth Warren, who's trying to out-nerd everyone else with a proposal to make housing more affordable and even redress some of the nation's terrible legacy of housing discrimination. What a weirdo!

Warren outlines her housing proposals here, and we like 'em. There are even linkies to studies supporting her proposals, yay for info geeks! She notes that, for grownup adults, where you live (more precisely, where you can afford to live) has enormous consequences.

Housing is not just the biggest expense for most American families — or the biggest purchase most Americans will make in their lifetimes. It also affects the jobs you can get, the schools your children can go to, and the kinds of communities you can live in. That's why it's so important that government gets housing policy right.

Problem is, the federal government has spent decades getting housing policy very very wrong, from building racial discrimination into housing policy for much of the 20th century, to letting the big banks screw over homeowners and taxpayers as well. And of course, not doing much of anything to address the crunch in affordable housing for low and middle-income people. How's this for some real class warfare, via the supposedly invisible hand of the market:

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