Sunday, April 14, 2019

A Cruel Month for a Cruel Administration (w/Update)

April is the cruelest month. - T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land"

(Update 12/29/19: Thanks to Batocchio for accepting this as my Jon Swift submission for 2019!)

There's so much to go over and it's all coming in too fast I can't keep up with the blogging outrage. But here's where we are at halfway through April 2019:

trump is continuing to treat the shutdown of the Mueller Investigation as "vindication" even as evidence piles up his new Attorney General Barr gave the order to shut it down. Adding onto that is Barr's refusal to give Congress an unredacted copy of the Mueller Report - which never seemed to happen to previous Special Counsel reports, definitely not Starr's Report on Bill Clinton - meaning trump is covering up whatever Mueller found out that hadn't made it to the courts for trial.

trump is dropping more public statements about going after his critics and political opponents, accusing them of "treason" over unfounded beliefs that he was being wrongly investigated. He's been pushing Barr - and his new AG seems willing - to open investigations into the investigators.

The Democratic House finally had a committee - the Ways and Means - request trump's hidden tax returns and did so in a way the IRS and Treasury Department could not block without facing the threat of jail time. trump's buddy Secretary Mnuchin refused to turn over the tax returns. It's now a question of what the committee's response will be (right now they've extended the deadline but at some point someone's going to have to flinch in this Game of Chicken).

The problems at the southern border are getting worse, where the immigration system we had that was working is at the point of collapse. trump's obsession with ending illegal immigration has intermixed with the legal system of asylum seekers. As a result the asylum courts are backlogged to forever with no relief in sight.

trump wants to physically shut down the border with Mexico altogether, mostly out of spite. The fact this move would immediately destroy a multi-billion import/export economy means nothing to him.

trump has been asking about intentionally transporting the millions of incarcerated immigrant families to Blue State "Sanctuary Cities" with the intent of punishing those cities for defying him. While the Sanctuary Cities are mostly saying "Let them come, we will shelter them" the reality of such a sudden influx of people would overwhelm their social services ranging from housing to food to basic medical care. The likelihood of the humanitarian crisis turning into a deadly disaster goes high, with trump and his Republican Hate League certain to blame it on the cities' inability to cope.

We still don't know what happened to thousands of stolen children.

On top of that, verifiable reports are coming out that trump is telling law enforcement underlings - especially the Border Patrol people - that he wants them to lie to judges and he wants them to break the laws constraining trump's desire to shut the entire asylum system down. And that when they get arrested for breaking those laws, trump is promising to pardon them in a blatant abuse of pardoning power. trump is basically telling people to break laws for him, period.

And just to show trump isn't all focused on hating Mexicans and Central Americans, he's spent this weekend bashing Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar to the extent that her personal safety is in danger. Going on a selectively edited quote from a false extremist, a fellow Congressman Dan Crenshaw accused Omar of attacking 9/11 victims and trump followed through on that crap.

At this point, you need to follow this link to Adam L Silverman's article at Balloon Juice and read the whole thing. As a foreign intelligence guy and terrorism expert, Silverman can see exactly what's happening here:

There is much more exposing the fraud that is Mohamed Tawhidi at the link. Unfortunately, all Congressman Crenshaw saw was someone claiming to be a Muslim cleric bashing Congresswoman Omar for saying something she didn’t say, which gave him both an excuse and a rhetorical weapon to go after Congresswoman Omar to score political points. This was, unfortunately, all Congressman Crenshaw was actually interested in.
So what did Congresswoman Omar actually say? Not the barbered clip taken out of context, but the actual remarks? I’m glad you asked. Here are the full set of the remarks before the barbered clip put out by Tawhidi and then amplified by Congressman Crenshaw. This portion of her remarks begin around the 12 minute mark of her speech and immediately follow Congresswoman Omar discussing how Muslims, in regard to fully claiming their civil liberties, can liberate themselves...
Unfortunately Congressman Crenshaw’s political and rhetorical attack was picked up and transmitted by Brian Kilmeade, the left boob of Fox News’ morning show A Blonde with Two Boobs on a Sofa, which is also doing business as the President’s Daily Briefing. And that’s how it got to the President who then decided to take the gasoline pump, turn it on, pump gasoline all over, light a match, and throw it in. Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post decided that wasn’t a visible enough conflagration, so they threw a crate of fire crackers onto the pyre.
All of this, from the fake imam who conservatives and extremists on the right love to quote to Congressman Crenshaw doing exactly what you’d expect him to do in amplifying and weaponizing Tawhidi’s rhetorical hit job to the President finding a way of making it all about him because he cannot stand it if anyone else is getting any coverage to Rupert Murdoch’s minions making it worse, the die has been cast. Right now, somewhere in the United States, at least one white man who most likely describes himself as both a “patriot” and a “good Christian”, but possibly a “good Jew”, is planning to assassinate Congresswoman Omar in order to save the Republic from her. And at least one of these white men will be smart about what they are doing. They will hold their planning close. They will not make a threatening phone call and leave their real names with a staffer. They won’t tweet that they’re going to shoot her or cut her throat or whatever other snuff fantasy gets them off. They will, instead, quietly plan all while stewing in their own juices until their own internal pressure has built to the point where they decide to take action. And that day, which will, unfortunately, eventually come, will be a very, very, very bad day for America...

If you think angry rhetoric is just venting, that it's just the price for Free Speech... Just remember what happened to George Tiller. It's the same goddamn thing happening with the media over-inflating the danger, riling up the easily riled wingnuts, and just waiting for a fuse to get lit. And then when (not if) Omar is attacked - even if she gets out of it wounded - those same demagogues will step back and say "oh we didn't MEAN for it to happen, First Amendment bitches" and move on to the next target of their hate speech.

I've been primed for a while now for this darkest timeline to get worse, and the last six months IMHO there's been an escalation in hostility among the Far Right. The shit has been getting real, but damn I know that this is just DEFCON 3 level of madness. All it's gonna take is one more crazy plan by trump to become "law" and we're DEFCON 1 and the mess turns bloody.

And I haven't even touched on the goddamn wingnuts going after abortion on a scale that could lead to women getting the death penalty for anything the wingnuts deem as baby-killing (just let the hypocrisy of that world-view horrify you for about, oh, the rest of your life).

We are so very extremely royally fucked right now.

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

I've been saying that if that's the way he wants to do it, we'll take our share of Central American asylum seekers. Our already large and thriving communities of Central American immigrants might just make this a better destination for them than wherever they were going anyway.
What I want to know, though, is if that were to happen, and they ended up being just regular contributing members of our community like the ones we already have, how would the media report it?
Because the answer to that question is the reason he gets away with demonizing them in the first place: the media wouldn't find anything to report, just like they don't now.
They only report when somebody gets killed or something, because people just living their lives isn't news.

-Doug in Oakland