What we have learned since the Florida school shooting

A little over a month ago, a 19-year-old with an AR-15 murdered 17 students at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

Within days, students at the school started a nationwide movement to enact stricter gun laws, mental health screening, and the like.

The reaction to these students and their movement by the NRA, Republicans, and the rightwing in general has been nothing short of breathtaking.  The demented hatred the rightwing has for the MSDHS students is breathtaking — but expected.

The students have been called Nazis, lesbians, puppets.  Ted Nugent is urging people to attack them physically.  Sylvester Stallone’s brother Frank has threatened to punch one of the students.  Trump has ignored them just as he ignored the deaths at the school.  Halfwit Fox talk show host Laura Ingraham mocked one student because he said some of his college applications had been rejected.

This whole ordeal since the MSDHS  kids started speaking up has confirmed my belief that the split in our nation really isn’t left-right or liberal-conservative – it’s “reasonable people” versus “raving lunatic reactionary assholes.”

There is no left-right debate between the two political parties.  The only reasoned debate today occurs within the Democratic Party, and the political fight isn’t liberalism v. conservatism, it’s reasoned discussion, facts and logic versus hatred, ignorance, and violence.

The Republican Party and “conservatives” in general are deranged,  vicious, bigoted, spiteful, conspiratorial assholes who can brook no criticism.

The rest of us are Democrats.

News you won’t see on Fox

Four women charged with voter fraud.  One goes to jail.  Wonder why.

Crystal Mason was just sentenced five years in prison for unknowingly committing voter fraud by voting in the 2016 election. The 43-year-old mother of two had just been released from a 3-year sentence for tax fraud and was on parole. At no point did her parole officer or anyone at the state or local level tell her she couldn’t vote. She didn’t know and now she’s going to prison for it.

Yet, in three other cases of voter fraud, no one went to jail.

 In North Carolina, a voter for President Donald Trump cast a ballot on behalf of her mother, who had just died. She claimed that she was grieving the death and didn’t know she couldn’t vote on behalf of a dead person. In that case, no charges were filed.

In Colorado, the former Republican Party chair filled out his wife’s ballot for her and mailed it in. When she went to the polls, she was told she’d already voted, with no knowledge of it. He claimed he was having a “major diabetic episode” and had no memory of filling out the ballot.

In that case, he was given three years of probation and 300 hours of community service.

Another incident occurred in Iowa, Terri Lynn Rote tried to vote twice for Trump. Her excuse was that she believed Trump when he said the “election is rigged.” She feared her first vote would probably be changed to support Hillary Clinton, so she wanted to vote again.

In that case, she confessed to her guilt and was given probation with a $750 fine.

Crystal Mason was the only of the group who received prison. There are two major differences in Mason’s case and the other convicted voter fraudsters. First, the case was in Texas. Second, she’s black.

Trump associate from Great Britain arrested at Boston airport

Ted Malloch, a London-based American academic and close ally of UK Independence Party co-founder Nigel Farage, was detained on Wednesday by the FBI at a Boston, MA airport and issued a subpoena to testify as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

As the Guardian reports, Malloch—a contributor for the conspiracy website InfoWars and self-described “defender of Trump”—said he was detained at Boston’s Logan airport upon arrival from London. Notably, Malloch told the Gateway Pundit he was detained in Cleveland, OH.

In a statement, Malloch said he was asked about his relationship to longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone, as well as any possible ties to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He told the Guardian the federal agent who detained him “seemed to know everything about me.”

Nevada Republican tells supporters to “go after” Parkland high school student

Gianna Miceli, a Republican candidate for Nevada Assembly, encouraged her followers to “go after” Parkland teen David Hogg on Twitter this week before she peddled a debunked smear to damage his credibility.

Responding to a tweet from Trump supporter Jack Posobiec that asked followers about what Fox News host Laura Ingraham should do in the face of an advertiser boycott of her show after she mocked Hogg for being rejected by some colleges, Miceli recommended being even more aggressive with the young school shooting survivor.

“Go after his every tween (sic) harder,” she wrote. “He is not our peer, nor is he a child.”

Autopsy shows Seattle cops shot black man in back.  Eight times.

In case you haven’t yet heard the sickening news that came out this afternoon, the results of the independent autopsy of 22-year-old Stephon Clark have been released. The unarmed Clark died March 18 in what amounted to a summary execution when two trigger-happy Sacramento, California, police officers blasted him with 20 rounds in his grandmother’s back yard after a brief foot chase. The autopsy shows that eight of those bullets struck Clark. Here’s the Sacramento Bee on the story:

The autopsy found no bullet entries in the front. Instead, the review concluded that Clark was facing a house with his left side to officers when they opened fire and hit him first in the left side under the arm. The force of that round spun him around with his back to officers, and six rounds penetrated his back moving in a forward trajectory, the Clark family legal team said. […]

The review was conducted by prominent pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, the former chief medical examiner in San Joaquin County best known for his research on football-related concussions. […]

“He was facing the house, with his left to the officers,” Omalu said. “He wasn’t facing the officers. His left back was facing the officers.”

Omalu said it took 3 to 10 minutes for Clark to die: “It was not an instant death.” Activists and family members have criticized the two officers for waiting to render medical aid.

Police responded to a 911 call saying a 6’ 1” man in a hoodie was breaking car windows and tried to break into a house. On police body camera videos released three days after the shooting, the two officers see Clark at the side of his grandparents’ house and chase him. One tells him to raise his hands followed instantly by “Gun! Gun! Gun!” Less than a second later, they begin shooting. Time elapsed from when they first see him until the first shot is fired: 11 seconds.

No gun was found at the scene, just Clark’s white cell phone

White House personnel office:  DUI; drinking on the job; vaping

With yet another totally unprepared, unvetted, ill-equipped Trump nominee on the stage, a new and exhaustive report from The Washington Post provides a timely look at how this administration’s appointments are made. Sometimes, as with the case of presidential doctor Ronny Jackson to head up the VA, it’s by the seat of Trump’s pants. But when the Presidential Personnel Office (PPO) is involved, the whole thing doesn’t look much better. It turns out that’s because the place is kind of a understaffed cesspool, with a frat house atmosphere and built mostly upon nepotism.

[T]wo office leaders have spotty records themselves: a college dropout with arrests for drunken driving and bad checks and a lance corporal in the Marine Corps reserves with arrests for assault, disorderly conduct, fleeing an officer and underage drinking. […]Under President Trump, the office was launched with far fewer people than in prior administrations. It has served as a refuge for young campaign workers, a stopover for senior officials on their way to other posts and a source of jobs for friends and family, a Washington Post investigation found. One senior staffer has had four relatives receive appointments through the office.

PPO leaders hosted happy hours last year in their offices that included beer, wine and snacks for dozens of PPO employees and White House liaisons who work in federal agencies, White House officials confirmed. In January, they played a drinking game in the office called “Icing” to celebrate the deputy director’s 30th birthday. Icing involves hiding a bottle of Smirnoff Ice, a flavored malt liquor, and demanding that the person who discovers it, in this case the deputy director, guzzle it.

The White House confirmed that PPO officials played the Icing game but said it and the happy hours are not unique to the PPO and are a way to network and let off steam.

The Post reports that the offices for the PPO are a “social hub” where “young staffers from throughout the administration stopped by to hang out on couches and smoke electronic cigarettes, known as vaping.”

Trump’s latest advisors

So guess who is now more or less advising Donald Trump.
“Diamond and Silk” — or better yet, “Zirconia and Rayon.”

Courtesy of the Daily Beast:  

At a time when President Donald Trump is eager to surround himself with supportive television personalities, he’s taken a particular liking to a pair of YouTube stars known for, among other things, a pro-Trump, anti-Eminem rap song titled “Trump’s Yo President.” 

Diamond & Silk are not your prototypical Trump boosters. They are African-American women who have relied on the internet for their rise to fame (or infamy, depending on your political posture). They are known, predominantly, for their direct-to-camera, impassioned defenses of the president—and acid-tongued takedowns of his critics. But in recent weeks, the two have had a growing presence on Fox News, which has, in turn, put their commentary squarely on Trump’s radar. And, according to White House officials, he’s impressed. 

Within the halls of the White House, Trump has repeatedly commented to aides over the past several months about how much he enjoys catching Diamond & Silk on TV, referencing specific clips and interviews they’ve done on shows such as Fox & Friends or Hannity, two West Wing officials and an outside Trump ally tell The Daily Beast. 

According to those close to the president, Trump finds their unabashedly loyalty, as well as their style and flair, “fantastic.”

These are the same two halfwits who were photographed a couple of weeks ago at Mar-A-Largon with two other dumbasses.

I wonder how much longer it will be before Trump appoints these two to run his newly created “Dark Skinned People Outreach Program?”
“Diamond and Silk” are appearing more and more on Fox, which, no doubt, is where Trump encountered them and why he is such a fan.  Meanwhile, because the black TV preacher scam is filled with con artists, these two decided to try a politically-oriented scam.  Looks as though it’s working.

No, you brain-dead dimwits . . . Trump has NOT started construction on his “border wall”

On Wednesday, Donald Trump published a triumphant tweet supposedly showing “The Wall” under construction.

But as Buzzfeed quickly pointed out, this wasn’t Trump’s wall. In fact, the images Trump was waving around had nothing to do with any of his promises, or threats. What Trump was claiming as his, was actually just repair of a section of existing fence in Calexico, California. The funding, scheduling, and planning for these repairs was done in 2009. The fence is meant to replace an unsightly wall composed mostly from scrap metal that was built in the 1990s.

Better still, the photos that Trump used for his “start of the wall” tweet were actually from work that was done more than a month before he even signed the omnibus funding bill.

Best of all, Esquire points out that Trump is lying to cover up the fact that he still doesn’t have dollar one for building his wall.

President Trump secured just $1.6 billion in border security funding in the last spending bill, well short of the $25 billion-plus needed to realize his signature campaign promise. It will primarily go towards a fence—which Trump specifically promised would not be a substitute for his Big, Beautiful Wall—and just $38 million is available for “border barrier planning and design.”

So Trump was lying about it being the start of his wall. He was lying about it being the wall. And he was lying about being able to start on his wall. Not only has the wall not started, Trump is out of options.

The wall is the most visible part of Trump’s set of promises, and even his supporters are unlikely to be put off long by a picket fence authorized under President Obama.

Trump is feeling the heat. Failure to build The Wall may be the one thing that causes The Base to desert him. (President Business Deals echoed this himself when he begged the President of Mexico not to say in public they won’t pay.)

That heat has Trump trying to steal money from the military.

After floating the notion to several advisers last week, he told House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that the military should pay for the wall, according to three people familiar with the meeting last Wednesday in the White House residence. Ryan offered little reaction to the notion, these people said, but senior Capitol Hill officials later said it was an unlikely prospect.

Again on Wednesday, Trump talked about how the wall “has started” how “beautiful” it is and reminded people to look at the pictures he posted on Wednesday. Pictures of a fence. Paid for, designed, planned, and scheduled before Trump appeared on the scene.

The truth is that Trump’s whole “Build that wall!” theme is just another of the quips floated, tested, and refined by Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica that Trump wandered on stage to say.

Where did the ideas that animated the candidate’s packed rallies — and juiced voter turnout in Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio — come from? “Build the wall!”? “Drain the swamp!”? “Crooked Hillary!”? “Deep state!”? Defining immigrants as violent gangs or murderous thugs? Painting American’s urban neighborhoods as crime-infested ratholes.

In a stunning week of revelations, we now know the answer. The core messages of the president’s underlying xenophobia and racism that animated his base didn’t emerge from the mind of “very stable genius” Trump (despite a long life of troubling racial attitudes). Instead, the nonstop undercurrent of hate toward The Other in American life was focus-grouped, computer-coded, deliberately amplified by a new ultra-right-wing media echo chamber and then targeted with cruise-missile precision at the handful of states that Trump won by roughly 100,000 votes to grab the Electoral Vote.

Now Trump has to face the fact that the wall he promised in every rally, debate, and commercial … has not a dime to start funding. So instead he’s just telling his supporters that the Big Beautiful Wall is underway and showing them pictures of a short length of fence that divides a road on Calexico.  Because he has no respect for his supporters, and has every faith they’ll believe anything he tells them.

Nazi ???

At the end of hs speech at the March For Life on March 24 in DC, Parkland high school student David Hogg raised a clenched fist.  Now, the rightwing propaganda machine is calling him a “Nazi” — Fox, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham . . . all the usual assholes.

So — if this makes David Hogg a Nazi . . .

. . . what does this do?