Deplorable DeVos is in

Betsy DeVos is unfit and incompetent; worse, the policies she champions destroy children’s opportunities. She’s a political hack who basically bought her position by donating $200 million to the Republicans.

She was just confirmed by a 50-50 vote in the Senate, with Pence as the tie-breaker. She is the new Secretary of Education.

Remember this: it was a straight party split, with only two Republicans voting against her nomination. Trump’s other nominees for other positions are just as, if not more, odious than DeVos, and aren’t getting as much protest — they’ll sail through, too. The Republicans will bear full responsibility for the nightmare scenario we’re locked into. We must resist even more, and tear them down.

They’re going to fight back, too, and we can already see what they’re up to. Someone infiltrated a pro-Trump meeting, and got a snapshot of their plans.

They have a team that monitors the public blogs and event postings of the Liberal groups (specifically mentioned Indivisible and MoveOn.) They laughed at the Indivisible Guide when one leader said “the Liberals will never get organized and carry any of this out, the snowflakes give up too easily, “a little heat and they melt.” They talked about the “visit your representatives office event” that was planned for earlier in the day which was posted on MoveOn and all over FB. They also were at their reps offices, and a handful admitted to going to the Democratic representatives office in their own district to have their voice counted.

They have a team who spies on FB posts. When the man who was with us asked how to do it, he was told that if he was a member of Pantsuit Nation it’s almost an automatic in into most closed groups, and then once you are in one, you can get invited to others. Someone on their team joins all the public and open groups. Their report included reading a few actual posts, in a mimic whining voice, where the members were posting their concerns and frustrations and why bother. They actually cheered this. One leader applauded the report and said, “we don’t care if they like what we have to say, we don’t need them to agree with us. We just need them to give up, shut up and stay out of our way.”

They’re organized and fanatical, and willing to engage in dirty tricks. We can’t just sit back and let it happen.

The Morris Indivisible group is meeting at the public library at 7pm tonight. If you’re local and you care, I expect you to be there.

Life on the internet

I do rather feel like I’m yelling out my window, but I’d like to think that I have better coordination than to allow the purple sludge I’m drinking to dribble all over my chin.

Actually, where do I get a bottle of purple sludge? Does it help? Does it numb the pain? Maybe it’s more effective when it leaks onto your chin for some cutaneous absorption.

Dear Trump* administration: please stop enabling these comics

SNL started the same year I began college. It’s practically medieval. It’s had some substantial ups, and lots of ghastly downs. Isn’t it about time it died? (no, please, don’t say the same of me yet). But then a collection of clowns take over the government and suddenly it’s inspired into absolute brilliance.

That’s just amazing. Sean Spicer is just a walking, talking target — he’s never going to recover what little reputation he had. And Betsy DeVos is such an airheaded jebusite, if I wasn’t hoping more that her nomination craters, I’d be looking forward to Kate McKinnon’s future roles playing her.

But please, don’t. As much as I like them and think they are wonderfully talented, I’d like to see McCarthy and McKinnon unemployed.

This must have been the “triumph” the papers are talking about

I remember Jimmy Carter’s failed attempt to rescue hostages in Iran. It was a disaster from start to finish.

With the Iran Hostage Crisis stretching into its sixth month and all diplomatic appeals to the Iranian government ending in failure, President Jimmy Carter ordered the military mission as a last ditch attempt to save the hostages. During the operation, three of eight helicopters failed, crippling the crucial airborne plans. The mission was then canceled at the staging area in Iran, but during the withdrawal one of the retreating helicopters collided with one of six C-130 transport planes, killing eight soldiers and injuring five. The next day, a somber Jimmy Carter gave a press conference in which he took full responsibility for the tragedy. The hostages were not released for another 270 days.

Note that Carter took responsibility for the failure, because that was the kind of guy he is. The screw-up in the rescue mission is one of multiple factors that contributed to his defeat by Ronald Reagan.

Compare and contrast with Trump’s recent gung-ho attack on terrorists (maybe) in Yemen.

As it turned out, almost everything that could go wrong did. And on Wednesday, Mr. Trump flew to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to be present as the body of the American commando killed in the raid was returned home, the first military death on the new commander in chief’s watch.

The death of Chief Petty Officer William Owens came after a chain of mishaps and misjudgments that plunged the elite commandos into a ferocious 50-minute firefight that also left three others wounded and a $75 million aircraft deliberately destroyed. There are allegations — which the Pentagon acknowledged on Wednesday night are most likely correct — that the mission also killed several civilians, including some children. The dead include, by the account of Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Qaeda leader who was killed in a targeted drone strike in 2011.

Did Trump take responsibility for the failure? Of course not. That’s not the kind of guy he is.

Mr. Trump on Sunday hailed his first counterterrorism operation as a success, claiming the commandos captured important intelligence that will assist the U.S. in preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world. A statement by the military’s Central Command on Wednesday night that acknowledged the likelihood of civilian casualties also said that the recovered materials had provided some initial information helpful to counterterrorism analysts. The statement did not provide details.

Carter paid a political price for his blunder. Trump won’t — he’s already spinning it into a victory.

At least Carter’s mistake didn’t murder any little girls.

The cranky old man is also yelling at Australia

I don’t get it. Now Trump is antagonizing Australia.

It should have been one of the most congenial calls for the new commander in chief — a conversation with the leader of Australia, one of America’s staunchest allies, at the end of a triumphant week.

Instead, President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refu­gee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it.

At one point Trump informed Turnbull that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day — including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin — and that “This was the worst call by far.”

Another thing I don’t get: “triumphant week”. Who is having a triumphant week? Trump? Because all I see is a floundering asshole lashing out everywhere he can in the face of his unpopularity.

This lunatic and his administration are destabilizing our relationships with the rest of the world, and picking fights with our friends, acting like a belligerent drunk.

“Triumphant”. Fuck.

That isn’t diplomacy

It’s madness. Trump blustered at president Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico.

The phone call between the leaders was intended to patch things up between the new president and his ally. The two have had a series of public spats over Trump’s determination to have Mexico pay for the planned border wall, something Mexico steadfastly refuses to agree to.

You have a bunch of bad hombres down there, Trump told Pena Nieto, according to the excerpt seen by the AP. You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.

No, Mexico isn’t going to pay for your stupid, ineffective, idiotic wall. They’re not as dumb as Trump voters. Trump is basically asking Mexico to pay for his ridiculous campaign promises that demonized their entire country.

Trump is threatening to use our military in an invasion of Mexico to extort billions of dollars out of them. How is this not criminal? Why aren’t officials of both parties sending representatives to drag this guy out of the oval office and begin impeachment proceedings right now?

He’s also threatening to begin a trade war with Mexico, imposing a 20% tax on imports. This action would be catastrophic for the economy of both countries; even if it did us no harm, does he think devastating the economy of Mexico would reduce illegal immigration? Does he seriously believe that wrecking Mexico, as we did to Iraq, would be advantageous to us? Is he so delusional that he could possibly believe invading Mexico would improve support for Republicans by Hispanic Americans?

I’ve always felt that Mexico was our friend, our trading partner, a valued part of our North American community. I cannot believe that we would rough them up with our military just because an incompetent tyrant here wants a symbolic victory for his dumbass supporters, but apparently that’s what the Republicans want to allow.

That was unsurprisingly quick

Sally Yates, the acting US attorney general, announced that she would not defend Trump’s criminal executive order banning travelers from some Muslim countries.

You will not be at all surprised to learn that she has been speedily fired and replaced.

You might, however, be very surprised at how petty and unprofessional the announcement from the White House was.

yates

That sounds like it came straight from the raging, petulant sphincter of Mr Trump himself, doesn’t it? I’d sure like to see a recording of the tantrum he threw when Sally Yates demonstrated that she was a person of principle and integrity.

I hope she lands a better job soon.

Flood the phone lines

The situation is outrageous — we have so many conflicts with our government right now, all thanks to the mob of ghastly Republicans that have abandoned all moral authority and are supporting our capitol’s resident incompetent thug. What can we do?

Here’s one easy solution: use the 5 calls service right now. Go to that site, enter your zip code, and it lists a collection of progressive liberal causes that are under assault right now, lists the phone numbers of your representatives, and prompts you through a quick phone call to register your position. It’s simple. My wife and I just sat down and fired off a bunch of phone messages to Klobuchar and Franken (and tried to get through to our representative, Collin Peterson, but his voice mail is clogged with calls).

You can do it. Do it. Do it NOOOOOW.

You don’t like phoning strangers? I don’t blame you. I have phone anxiety, too. Another thing you can do is donate to good causes — the ACLU is a great choice right now. Minnesotans: here’s a directory of racial equality resources. Donate to CAIR, or the ADL, or the Hmong Resource Center, the Native Vote Alliance of Minnesota. Or if you’d rather, here are some LGBTQ and allied organizations. Help ’em out if you can.

And don’t forget to stand up and march in protest when the opportunities come around.

How has your weekend been so far?

Mine hasn’t been so great. I’ve mainly been watching my country collapse around me.

This is all going to end in a bloody revolution, isn’t it?