Homeland Security: Department of Lies.

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly speaks at news conference as cars enter the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on February 10. CREDIT: AP Photo/Denis Poroy.

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly speaks at news conference as cars enter the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on February 10. CREDIT: AP Photo/Denis Poroy.

Homeland Security, also known as the department of official lies and bullshit, is now spewing out lies about all those awful aliens. The manipulation is so blatant as to be pointless, outside of the Cult of Trump. Look at that photo, the choice of location! That’s a location I know very well, having been across it and back more times than I could ever count. One thing is sure – most all those cars lining up to head back into SoCal contain U.S. citizens. Mexico is a very popular place. I get the idea behind having the press conference there was to scare idiots though, “oooh, looky, an unsecured border! Hordes of aliens could come pouring in!” The bullshit is deep enough to choke on.

A Department of Homeland Security memo authored by Secretary John Kelly asserts that “criminal aliens routinely victimize Americans and other legal residents.”

The memo, entitled “Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest,” creates a new federal office meant to work with those victims.

“Accordingly, I am establishing the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office within the Office of the Director of ICE, which will create a programmatic liaison between ICE and the known victims of crimes committed by removable aliens,” Kelly writes. “To that end, I direct the Director of ICE to immediately reallocate any and all resources that are currently used to advocate on behalf of illegal aliens to the new VOICE Office, and to immediately terminate the provision of such outreach or advocacy services to illegal aliens.”

Sigh. Bullshit is not strong enough. Lies is not strong enough. This is not based on any factual information whatsoever. Immigrants, legal or illegal are less likely to commit crimes, particularly so in the case of people who are illegal. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. Way back when, I worked with a whole lot of people who were illegal, and they were law abiding to the core. One thing they did not want was the attention of cops. What this new “office” will do is give hateful bigots the equivalent of a wet dream, allowing for a brand new level of harassment.

Data indicates undocumented immigrants are no more likely to commit crimes than American citizens, and are actually less likely to be criminals in some cases.

The literature is summarized in a 2015 Cato Institute report entitled, “Immigration and Crime — What the Research Says.” Here are some key findings from studies cited in the report.

— One study found that “roughly 1.6 percent of immigrant males 18–39 are incarcerated, compared to 3.3 percent of the native-born.” The study found the disparity in census data spanning three decades — from 1980 to 2010.

— Another found that the phased rollout of the Secure Communities (S-COMM) immigration enforcement program didn’t reduce crime in affected communities. S-COMM “led to no meaningful reduction in the FBI index crime rate,” researchers found. If undocumented immigrants were more likely to commit criminal acts, you’d expect to see crime rates decrease as undocumented immigrants were removed from communities. That wasn’t the case.

— Another study “looked at 159 cities at three dates between 1980 and 2000 and found that crime rates and levels of immigration are not correlated,” the CATO report says, summarizing the findings.

— Another “looked at a sample of 150 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and found that levels of recent immigration had a statistically significant negative effect on homicide rates but no effect on property crime rates.” Yet another study found that an influx of immigrants is actually correlated with decreases in homicide and robbery rates.

— A study that looked looked at 103 different MSAs from 1994–2004 found that “the weight of the evidence suggests that immigration is not associated with increased levels of crime. To the extent that a relationship does exist, research often finds a negative effect of immigration on levels of crime, in general, and on homicide in particular.”

Last month, Richard Pérez-Peña of the New York Times alluded to some of the aforementioned research, writing, “several studies, over many years, have concluded that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States. And experts say the available evidence does not support the idea that undocumented immigrants commit a disproportionate share of crime.” Pérez-Peña’s report is entitled, “Contrary to Trump’s Claims, Immigrants Are Less Likely to Commit Crimes.”

While citizens don’t have reason to fear undocumented immigrants more than they would any other person, the two memos distributed by Homeland Security on Tuesday makes gives undocumented immigrants good reason to by fearful of anyone with a badge.

Oh yes. There will be much more reason to fear. As if non-white people didn’t already need to be scared to death of cops.

As ThinkProgress covered in another post, Kelly’s memos detail “an implementation plan to hire thousands more immigration officials, make more criminal offenses punishable by deportation, allow local law enforcement officials to carry out federal immigration duties, and make it easier to prevent entry to asylum-seeking children who show up at the southern U.S. border.”

Oh good, even more reason to fear cops! Neatly buried under all the fear-mongering is the ginormous waste of money this will be.

Full story at Think Progress.

Everyday Folks, Regular Americans.

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Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, Circa 1500.

The Trump Circus spokespeople have a new, stupid spin on all the money being wasted by the Tiny Tyrant’s need to be hangin’ with his cronies constantly, rather than staying in the white house, like he fucking promised he would, and working. The new excuse? Oh, why being in Florida allows everyday folks, y’know, regular Americans to have access to the prez. Trouble is, that access costs $200,000, taxes, and $14,000 per year in dues. That’s around four times the median income for all those regular Americans. A person could get the feeling that the spokespeople aren’t even phoning it in at this point.

The three consecutive weekends the Tiny Tyrant has already spent in Florida have cost taxpayers about $10 million, which is slightly less than what President Obama spent on travel for a whole year.

The president — whose first budget proposal would eliminate a program that helps provide poor Americans with lawyers, among other cuts — doesn’t seem worried about the burden his unnecessary trips to Mar-a-Lago may place on taxpayers. CNN reports that, with the exception of next weekend, businesses in the Palm Beach area “say they have been told to expect the President every weekend until May.”

Every weekend until May. That’s a lot of picked pockets – Everyday Folks, Regular Americans are going to be picked clean, bone dry, by the Tiny Tyrant’s need to feel validated. None of this seems to bother Trump supporters much, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out why. If it were Clinton doing this, the howls of outrage would be deafening – “how dare she go on vacation every weekend at our expense!?” and so on. Same applies if it had been President Obama doing this – repubs would never shut the fuck up about how awful, evil, and immoral such an action would be, but Tiny Tyrant? “Oh, that’s okay, we don’t mind that he’s stripping us of all our rights and protections, picking our pockets and destroying our future, it’s greeeeaaaaat!” I just don’t grok it. At all.

Along with removing a very important program which helps people with legal problems (linked above ^) they generally have no recourse to deal with, the rethugs have finally gotten an idiot in office who will go along with killing off the NEA (federal arts funding), public broadcasting, AmeriCorps, and educational television for children. None of these programs cost much at all, and cutting them cannot be justified under “budget!”, but the right wing ideologists have hated them for ages.

While Trump spent millions in taxpayer dollars on travel during his first month in office, his team put together a budget proposal that would cut cultural institutions and important services for poor people.

The proposal would eliminate “longstanding conservative targets like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities,” the New York Times reports. “Most of the programs cost under $500 million annually, a pittance for a government that is projected to spend about $4 trillion this year.”

Important Reading:

Trump’s first month of travel expenses cost taxpayers just less than what Obama spent in a year.

Trump spox says Mar-a-Lago makes him accessible to ‘regular Americans.’ Memberships cost $200,000.

Trump’s first budget would end program to help low-income Americans get lawyers.

The Rich Are Different: Buying Access to the President.

Donald Trump speaks to supporters at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. CREDIT: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File.

Donald Trump speaks to supporters at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. CREDIT: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File.

It’s a very old saying, the rich are different. It’s true, they are, by virtue of money, and the power money purchases. If they are different as people, it’s because money allows them to be arrogant, compassion free, unethical assholes without consequence. No, not every rich person on the planet is a truly shitty person, but they are rare birds in the flock of the rich. Rich people are accustomed to getting their way, using the time-honored method of greasing palms and opening doors with wedges of cash and promises. Now that we have someone in the white house who wouldn’t know an ethical behaviour if it bit him on the balls, the slime trail of the rich is visible from space.

According to a New York Times piece published on Saturday, Trump’s son Eric told the newspaper that Mar-a-Lago admits about 20 to 40 new members each year. Considering that Mar-a-Lago raised its initiation fees to $200,0000 after Trump’s presidential inauguration, that’s up to $8 million dollars coming in from new members per year. And that doesn’t include taxes or the $14,000 charge for each member’s annual dues.

Trump and his closest advisers have repeatedly denied there’s anything improper about Trump’s members-only club in Palm Beach. They say it doesn’t amount to paying for access to President Trump because the club is social, not political. And they argue the powerful people who pay for membership have other avenues of communicating with the president.

That’s an argument? I fail to see it.

“He has not and will not be discussing policy with club members,” White House spokesperson Holly Hicks said in a statement provided to the New York Times.

But reporting from the Times and from Politico suggests otherwise.

Real estate executive Bruce Toll told the New York Times that he does occasionally discuss national policy issues — specifically, Trump’s plans to increase spending on infrastructure projects — when he sees Trump at Mar-a-Lago. According to Toll, Trump sometimes receives advice from other club members about what he should do policy-wise.

Developer Richard LeFrak, a close friend of Trump’s, recounted a discussion at Mar-a-Lago last weekend during which Trump asked him for help with the proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico. Trump was unhappy with the projected cost of the wall, wanted to come up with a way to build it more cheaply, and suggested that the head of the Department of Homeland Security would give LeFrak a call to talk about it.

And according to an audio tape obtained by Politico from one of Trump’s New Jersey clubs that was also published on Saturday, Trump has asked his club members for their guidance selecting his cabinet appointees.

“We were just talking about who we [are] going to pick for the FCC, who [are] we going to pick for this, who we gonna accept — boy, can you give me some recommendations?” Trump said to a member, according to the tape.

[…]

This weekend, Trump is planning to use Mar-a-Lago to meet with potential candidates he’s considering to fill the National Security Adviser position recently vacated by Michael Flynn.

Of course, it’s not unusual for world leaders to surround themselves with rich and powerful people. But it is unique to be able to pay $200,000 for entry into a private club where multiple sources close to the president have confirmed he’s at his most relaxed and ready to mingle.

Applications to Mar-a-Lago have surged since Trump won the presidency.

Democratic lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have demanded more information about who holds a membership at Mar-a-Lago and how closely they have been vetted. The urgency increased after last weekend, when Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed a potential North Korea crisis in full view of the diners and waiters at his club.

Trump has spent the past three weekends at Mar-a-Lago even though he promised during the campaign that he would “rarely leave the White House.”

The system of government in the States has always been susceptible to corruption, it’s not the most well thought out system. I would say that no sitting president has ever been as open to corruption, and so willing to embrace it in full view of the public at large as the Tiny Tyrant. Donny isn’t capable of governing, he isn’t even capable of running a proper business, and hates being in the white house, acting as president. No, he only feels capable when he’s immersed in the foul cronyism of the monied, who he can slither over to for ‘advice’ on how to president, as he is utterly bankrupt when it comes to the little things, like intelligence, planning, and knowledge.

Via Think Progress.

*Spits*

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© C. Ford.

North Dakota legislators have been pushing a raft of draconian bills through to make any protesting impossible to do, if you’re actually outside your abode. The worst of them is one which would allow drivers to ‘accidentally’ hit a protester without penalty. Thankfully, it didn’t pass, but the shit-filled asshole who authored it still wants it to be enacted, because:

Republican state Representative Keith Kempenich told local media that he sponsored the bill after his mother-in-law was caught in a protest while driving.

Kempenich defended the bill Monday before a vote, saying current laws had failed to protect citizens, and that the much publicized bill was mischaracterized by the media.

“I’d like to see this bill passed forward. I think that it shows that we are willing to stand up for the citizens of this state,” he said.

How about you say what you mean, you piece of shit? You want that bill to pass because you think us nasty Indians ought to be killed. We sure as hell obviously aren’t citizens of this state in your colonial, genocidal eyes. Fuck you, Kempenich.

Via Raw Story.

Why not a comic book…

Lord Commander Trump Decapitates the Establishment Republicans.

Lord Commander Trump Decapitates the Establishment Republicans. © DonkeyHotey.

The NY Times has an article up about the current state of the white house, and it’s not good. Most worrying to me is the Tiny Tyrant’s demand when it comes to policy option papers, but there’s plenty to be anxious about.

But what is happening under the Trump White House is different, officials say, and not just because of Mr. Trump’s Twitter foreign policy. (Two officials said that at one recent meeting, there was talk of feeding suggested Twitter posts to the president so the council’s staff would have greater influence.)

A number of staff members who did not want to work for Mr. Trump have returned to their regular agencies, leaving a larger-than-usual hole in the experienced bureaucracy. Many of those who remain, who see themselves as apolitical civil servants, have been disturbed by displays of overt partisanship. At an all-hands meeting about two weeks into the new administration, Ms. McFarland told the group it needed to “make America great again,” numerous staff members who were there said.

New Trump appointees are carrying coffee mugs with that Trump campaign slogan into meetings with foreign counterparts, one staff member said.

Nervous staff members recently met late at night at a bar a few blocks from the White House and talked about purging their social media accounts of any suggestion of anti-Trump sentiments.

Golly, that doesn’t smell like that vaunted American freedom to me.

Ms. McFarland often draws on her television experience to make clear to officials that they need to make their points in council meetings quickly, and she signals when to wrap up, several participants said.

And while Mr. Obama liked policy option papers that were three to six single-spaced pages, council staff members are now being told to keep papers to a single page, with lots of graphics and maps.

“The president likes maps,” one official said.

Why not a daily comic book? That worked for Bush Jr. Oh, too many pages I guess. The Tiny Tyrant doesn’t like to read. I guess having someone read to him is out, that wouldn’t look presidential enough or something. Perhaps stick figures and word balloons?

For his part, Mr. Bannon sees the United States as headed toward an inevitable confrontation with two adversaries — China and Iran.

I don’t think we need a drawing for that one. These people are determined to embroil us all in a war none of us may survive.

The full article is at The Times.

It’s An Effing Circus.

President Donald Trump sits down to dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago on Friday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh.

President Donald Trump sits down to dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago on Friday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh.

This is an overload of facepalm. And near fatal eyerolling. And head desking. Underneath the idiocy of it all, is the scary.

According to a remarkable CNN report, President Trump was eating dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his private Mar-a-Lago club on Saturday evening when he received a call on his mobile phone informing him that North Korea had tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

[…]

Trump and Abe were seated in the middle of the club’s dining room, allowing members of the club to gawk as the two heads of state grappled with matters of war and peace.

“As Mar-a-Lago’s wealthy members looked on from their tables, and with a keyboard player crooning in the background, Trump and Abe’s evening meal quickly morphed into a strategy session, the decision-making on full view to fellow diners, who described it in detail to CNN,” Kevin Liptak of CNN wrote.

But White House strategist Steve Bannon and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn were sitting elsewhere in the dimly-lit dining area, so they had to huddle closer to Trump while he tried to deal with an international crisis.

“The patio was lit only with candles and moonlight, so aides used the camera lights on their phones to help the stone-faced Trump and Abe read through the documents,” CNN reports.

“Even as a flurry of advisers and translators descended upon the table carrying papers and phones for their bosses to consult, dinner itself proceeded apace. Waiters cleared the wedge salads and brought along the main course as Trump and Abe continued consulting with aides.”

In other words, Trump — who made Hillary Clinton’s email security the centerpiece of his presidential campaign  — discussed sensitive national security matters in front of waiters and diners who were later able to describe the scene “in detail” to reporters.

Some onlookers posted photos and accounts of what they saw on social media. (FB post at the main link.)

At Abe’s urging, the two heads of state decided to offer a joint statement before the assembled press. The New York Times praised the “uncharacteristic restraint” Trump demonstrated while reading his brief statement, but when he left the briefing room, the president couldn’t restrain himself from dropping in a wedding reception.

According to CNN, Trump grabbed a microphone at the reception and paid tribute to the newlywed couple, saying, “I saw them out on the lawn today… I said to the Prime Minister of Japan, I said, ‘C’mon Shinzo, let’s go over and say hello.’ “

“They’ve been members of this club for a long time,” Trump added. “They’ve paid me a fortune.”

Jesus Fucking Christ Onna Stick.

To capitalize on the the premium people are willing to pay for access to the president, the Trump Organization recently doubled the Mar-a-Lago initiation fee to $200,000. Trump has spent two of his three full weekends as president there.

Jesus Fucking Christ Onna Stick. I can’t even. Full story at Think Progress.

The Power Must Not Be Questioned!

Stephen Miller, policy adviser to President-elect Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower in New York, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

Stephen Miller, policy adviser to President-elect Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower in New York, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

As most everyone is aware, Stephen Miller did the media dance all of Sunday, spreading bullshit far and wide. It’s no secret that the Tiny Dictator is displeased with Spicer, and tweeted happily about Miller’s performances. Those performances should disturb the hell out of everyone with a brain and the ability to use it.

Senior White House Policy Advisor Stephen Miller raised plenty of eyebrows on Sunday as the perused the talk-show circuit talking about cases of voter fraud (that don’t exist) and Steve Bannon’s lack of involvement in drafting executive orders (which, according to most reports, is the exact opposite of the truth).

But perhaps his most alarming statement was in reference to the federal judges in Washington rejecting President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.

“I think that it’s been an important reminder to all Americans that we have a judiciary that has taken far too much power and become in many cases a supreme branch of government,” Miller told John Dickerson of CBS News, as first noted by Will Saletan of Slate. “The end result of this, though, is that our opponents, the media, and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.

Emphasis mine. This is the boot stomp of authoritarianism, the herald of a regime which wants no dissent whatsoever, from anyone. What’s even more frightening is the amount of people willing to go along with it. Elsewhere I wrote: I think there’s a place for the very worst truth of all: it does not take much to normalise the most monstrous of behaviours, and it takes very little indeed to make people willingly join in said behaviours. The time and place is now.

Think Progress has the full story.

Oh, that fucking wall.

An agent of the border patrol, observes near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, on January 25. CREDIT: AP Photo/Christian Torres.

An agent of the border patrol, observes near the Mexico-US border fence, on the Mexican side, separating the towns of Anapra, Mexico and Sunland Park, New Mexico, on January 25. CREDIT: AP Photo/Christian Torres.

The projected cost for President Donald Trump’s border wall continues to rise, and Trump has no good plan to contain it.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that the border wall will be much more expensive than the $10 billion figure Trump repeatedly cited during his campaign or the $12–$15 billion cited by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) last month.

“Trump’s ‘wall’ along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take more than three years to construct,” Reuters reported, citing a U.S. Department of Homeland Security document the outlet obtained.

And it could end up costing even more than that.

“Bernstein Research, an investment research group that tracks material costs, has said that uncertainties around the project could drive its cost up to as much as $25 billion,” Reuters reports.

On Saturday morning, Trump responded to that news by assuring Americans that costs of constructing the wall will come “WAY DOWN” as soon as he gets involved in the negotiations.

<Tweets snipped.>

But Trump’s citation of the reduced cost of F-35s should give no one confidence he’ll be able to bring down the exorbitant cost of his border wall.

That’s because on January 30, Trump took credit for cost cuts to the fighter jets that were already put in place before he got involved. A Washington Post fact-check gave Trump’s claim that he was responsible for cutting $600 million from the F-35 program “Four Pinocchios.”

[…]

Trump has repeatedly taken credit for deals that were in the works long before he won the election or became president. For instance, he’s overstated his role in deals with Intel, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and Sprint to take credit for saving American jobs.

[…]

Last year, Reuters reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents don’t think the type of border wall Trump has long supported is necessary for national security. Instead, they seek better equipment and technology.

Not only is this wall idea the epitome of idiocy, people tend to forget a different cost of such idiocy – the high cost imposed on animals, the environment, and various ecologies. This sort of arrogant assholery is little more than a chest-pounding display of cruelty, a game for bully boys. Unfortunately, such people don’t much give a shit about the planet which gives them life, or the diversity of life on our earth, which has no use for the concrete idiocy of naked apes intent on warring with their neighbours. You can read a bit about this high cost here.

Full story at Think Progress.

Jesus Wept.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

Oh, we are so very fucked. People in Iran are extremely upset with the Tiny Dictator, and there’s excellent reason for them to be. If Donny really wanted to do something about potential terrorists, he’d shut up, resign, and go back to watching teevee in Florida, at Mar a whatever it is. Unfortunately, he’s super busy, watching teevee in the white house. Seems to be where he gets all his information from, seeing as he doesn’t read, and his supposed intelligence briefings last around 20 minutes, while he’s preoccupied with super important shit, like how to be rude to a department store on twitter. Then there’s more teevee watching, and tweeting. Tweeting on his personal account, because apparently the POTUS account is beneath him. Or maybe it just reminds him of how fucking incompetent he is, and that he has no business in government of any kind.

On Friday morning, President Trump cited a Lawfare article in an attempt to build a case that the three judges U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit made a bad decision Thursday evening when they declined to reinstate his Muslim ban.

LAWFARE: “Remarkably, in the entire opinion, the panel did not bother even to cite this (the) statute.” A disgraceful decision!

Indeed, the Lawfare article in question — entitled “How to Read (and How Not to Read) Today’s 9th Circuit Opinion” — does mention that the Ninth Circuit’s opinion didn’t cite a statute pertaining to “Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President,” a statute that “forms the principal statutory basis for the executive order.”

But had Trump read the article, he would’ve seen that the author — Benjamin Wittes, editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution — concluded that the court actually made the right decision.

[…]

Wittes concludes his piece by blasting the Trump administration’s “incompetent malevolence.”

“Eventually, the court has to confront the clash between a broad delegation of power to the President — a delegation which gives him a lot of authority to do a lot of not-nice stuff to refugees and visa holders — in a context in which judges normally defer to the president, and the incompetent malevolence with which this order was promulgated.”

Instead of coming across the passage he tweeted out from reading the article, it appears Trump was alerted to the Lawfare piece by watching Morning Joe.

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“For a sense of what is happening outside, he watches cable, both at night and during the day — too much in the eyes of some aides — often offering a bitter play-by-play of critics like CNN’s Don Lemon,” the Times reported.

Lifting material from TV news for a tweet is far from unprecedented for Trump. As Fortune reported on February 2, “At least five times since he took office… Trump has tweeted about policy ideas and thoughts that seem directly related to news that was being shown on channels such as Fox News.”

Among the instances are a tweet Trump posted threatening to pull federal funding from public colleges that came minutes after a discussion of the same topic on Fox & Friends, another where the president threatened to send “the Feds!” into Chicago that came on the heels of a discussion of violence in Chicago on The O’Reilly Factor, and a tweet blasting Chelsea Manning as “ungrateful traitor” that came just minutes after she was called the same thing on Fox News.

Really, it’s bad enough he is such an ignorant idiot, he could at least try to pretend he’s somewhat informed. The full story is at Think Progress. As if all this wasn’t quite bad enough, “contempt of cop” is going to get a whole lot worse. Trump wants stormtrooper protections, bigly yuuuge ones.

In a vague executive order signed at the official swearing-in ceremony for new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump instructed Sessions to work with Congress to establish “new Federal crimes, and increase penalties for existing Federal crimes” to protect law enforcement officers.

More signalling than substance, the order gives executive agencies a broad directive for change without naming specific policy preferences. But you don’t need a divining rod to see where Trump is pointing his team.

Republicans have already embraced the idea of extending hate crimes protections to police officers. Trump’s rhetoric both before and after his election win made clear he will default to the side of police in any dispute with the public they serve. And three recent high-profile, ambush-style killings of police officers — one committed by a Trump fan and Confederate flag enthusiast in Iowa — have generated a sense of political urgency around officer safety.

Yet rather than deterring such rare and devastating assassinations, Thursday’s order lays down fertilizer for a frightfully dank new crop of routine police abuses.

Oh yes. Anyone who has ever had experience with cops knows how much they love tacking on any fucking charge they can think of, even given no reason whatsoever. This is not going to go well, and of course, it’s going to impact people of colour the most. Full story at Think Progress.

Nazis, Nothing but Nazis.

Facebook.

Facebook.

Traditionalist Worker Party. In a shorter word, Nazis.

A white nationalist group plans to instruct participants on proper marching, how to create propaganda and on being “a voice for our people” at a conference in April at Jenny Wiley State Park in Floyd County.

The Traditionalist Worker Party, which claims to “take a stand for white working families,” will gather in the “98.35 percent European” community on April 28 and 29, according to its Facebook post, which has been shared more than 500 times. The post said the event would be held in Pike County but announced that the seminars, speeches and a dinner will be at nearby Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, which is in Floyd County.

Floyd County Judge-Executive Ben Hale said the group has a Constitutional right to meet, but the vast majority of county residents would not condone its views.

[Read more…]

Shoot A Black Man, Get Hired By Trump.

Dontrell Stephens via Miami Hearld video.

Dontrell Stephens via Miami Hearld video.

A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s sergeant who shot and paralyzed an unarmed black man in 2013 has been assigned to oversee security for President Donald Trump when he visits his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

According to the Miami Herald, Sgt. Adams Lin has been assigned to work with the Secret Service overseeing security at Palm Beach International Airport including watching Air Force One.

[…]

A spokesperson for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office confirmed that Lin, who has been promoted since the shooting, is assigned to the Trump detail, calling it a “local issue.”

In 2013 Lin shot Stephens who had been riding a bike when the then deputy attempted to cite him for a traffic infraction. According to Lin, he “feared for his life” when he saw something in Stephens’s hand which turned out to be a cell phone.

Lin shot Stephens four times in the back paralyzing him from the waist down.

While the PBSO ruled the shooting justified a federal grand jury disagreed in 2016, finding Lin had violated Stephens’ civil rights by using excessive force and awarding him more than $24 million.

Really couldn’t be much more black and white, could it? Trump obviously doesn’t have a problem with murderous cops, as long as they are trying to murder people of colour. The Tiny Dictator might manage to object if someone white was shot. I can’t imagine Mr. Stephens being unaffected by this, or all his loved ones. It’s outrageous to hire a coward of a cop, who did his best to commit murder.

Via Raw Story.

No One Expects the Inquisition…

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It seems it’s not enough for Bannon to be busy Nazifying everything, he’s a Catholic Nazi, and he’s not a happy camper about the almighty church’s descent in ugly, ruthless power, having been at least somewhat defanged in recent centuries. Not enough, to be sure, as the church is constantly seeking ways to impose its particular brand of brutality, such as now buying hospitals everywhere, in order to impose a compleat lack of autonomy on women, and the “outreaches” in places where the church can handily refuse medical or other help unless someone agrees to convert, and making sure they lie their unholy asses off about life-saving contraceptives, like condoms. Even largely defanged, the Catholic church continues to do as much damage and harm as possible. That’s not even getting into all the child molesting the church handwaves, nor their ongoing protection via shuffling about of rapists. Even though I don’t think Pope Francis is all that different from his predecessors, to many Catholics, it’s seems he’s viewed as close to heretical – globalism! And making noises about caring for the poor. That sort of thing just isn’t on for those who are more than attached to all the wealth the church is sitting on.

At the root of things is the fact that the pope gave the boot to Raymond Cardinal Burke, a theological reactionary and a guy who was born 500 years too late to be the high cleric of his dreams. This touched off a major squabble with the Knights of Malta. They’re serious power brokers within HMC even though they dress like Albanian ushers and despite the fact that just talking about them makes me start hearing “Hail, Hail Freedonia” in my mind. Burke was their chaplain.

There’s a genuine rebellion brewing in HMC, holy obedience be damned, you should pardon the expression. And today, The New York Times adds a bizarre—but completely predictable—bit of information to the story of that rebellion.

In one of the cardinal’s antechambers, amid religious statues and book-lined walls, Cardinal Burke and Mr. Bannon — who is now President Trump’s anti-establishment eminence — bonded over their shared worldview. They saw Islam as threatening to overrun a prostrate West weakened by the erosion of traditional Christian values, and viewed themselves as unjustly ostracized by out-of-touch political elites. “When you recognize someone who has sacrificed in order to remain true to his principles and who is fighting the same kind of battles in the cultural arena, in a different section of the battlefield, I’m not surprised there is a meeting of hearts,” said Benjamin Harnwell, a confidant of Cardinal Burke who arranged the 2014 meeting.

Just as Mr. Bannon has connected with far-right parties threatening to topple governments throughout Western Europe, he has also made common cause with elements in the Roman Catholic Church who oppose the direction Francis is taking them. Many share Mr. Bannon’s suspicion of Pope Francis as a dangerously misguided, and probably socialist, pontiff… For many of the pope’s ideological opponents in and around the Vatican, who are fearful of a pontiff they consider outwardly avuncular but internally a ruthless wielder of absolute political power, this angry moment in history is an opportunity to derail what they see as a disastrous papal agenda. And in Mr. Trump, and more directly in Mr. Bannon, some self-described “Rad Trads” — or radical traditionalists — see an alternate leader who will stand up for traditional Christian values and against Muslim interlopers.

If it wasn’t clear already, it should be now. Stephen Bannon, the last descendant of House Harkonnen, is not someone who wants to “disrupt the elites,” or whatever techie garbage he likes to toss around. He wants to establish himself at the head of a new, worldwide authoritarian elite that will reach into every institution and that will demolish any of those institutions that stand in the way of what he wants. The man is a political thug, and Burke is a theological thug. Marriage made somewhat lower than heaven.

Given the rise of nazism and fascism across the globe, and the fascist grip firmly on uStates, it will pay to watch just where this unholy as fuck union is going to lead. Nowhere good, that’s certain, but when you combine this with the ongoing efforts to quash dissent, we are facing very dark days, and we need to gather our courage and commit to giving voice to every single wrong, every single outrage. Given the Catholic Church’s willingness to be corrupt as all hells, combining that corruption with what now taints many governments, along with the church’s unquenchable thirst for power…regardless of what people think, there are plenty of evil assholes in the church who will happily collaborate with nazis and fascists.

Full story at Esquire.