A Peek Through the Window…

Via Twitter.

Via Twitter.

The NY Times has a look into the state of things in the white house. If anything, I’d say the article tries much too hard to be kind to the Tiny Dictator, and to paint him in a good light. You need to look past all the sweet icing smeared about, and pay attention to the substance. The Times describes Trump as an “outsider” president, which is utter bullshit. Trump is a sociopathic con man with absolutely no political experience. Tell the fucking truth! The substance is not at all good. As it turns out, the executive order Trump signed, placing Bannon on the NSC? Trump didn’t have the slightest idea that’s what he was signing, and he’s busy sulking about it now. Apparently, we not only have an unpresident who won’t look in the rearview mirror at all, but one who won’t read “his own” orders prior to signing. Outside of the whirlwind clusterfuck, Trump seems to spend most of his time rattling about the white house, watching television and tweeting.

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No Moral Equivalency, No.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky.

Everybody’s talking about Trump’s latest remarks regarding Putin and Russia. Eh, so Putin murders people. We do that too, ain’t that great! It’s simply too much idiocy for me this fine Sunday, so just snippets here. After Trump spilled his latest load of bullshit, Pence ran to the defense, and it was not a good one. A difficult task, I’ll grant, but they know what they are dealing with, they should be able to come up with a finer grade of manure.

The Putin regime has been connected to the assassination of both opposition leaders and Russian journalists.

Vice President Mike Pence did his best damage control on Meet the Press, explaining away Trump’s comments by saying, “What you have in President Trump is someone who is not going to look in the rearview mirror.”

Pence also said that he doesn’t view Trump’s comments about Putin and the U.S. both being nations that kill people as a moral equivalency.

So. We have an unpresident who will not look in the rearview mirror.  A completely reckless idiot then. Anyone comforted by that thought? As for a moral equivalency, let me guess: anything ‘merica does is moral!

Then again, Mike Pence doesn’t view cigarettes as a danger to one’s health; the man once wrote that “despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.” He also doesn’t view evolution as a totally valid theory; he’s advocated the teaching of creationism in schools.


At the time, [2015] Trump was basking in the glow of Putin’s compliments; Putin had recently called Trump “brilliant” — and you know what they say about looking a gift horse, or a shirtless gift-horse rider, in the mouth.

In the same interview, Trump said that Putin is “running his country, and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”

“I’ve always felt fine about Putin,” Trump pointed out. So, points for consistency? “He’s a strong leader. He’s a powerful leader.”

Oh look, the Tiny Dictator wants points for consistency. No. No fucking points for you. The full story is at Think Progress.

Ubiquitous Nazis.

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images.

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images.

Nazis, nazis everywhere. Under every rock, and we are all on extremely rocky ground right now. I skimmed an article about this the other day, but I wasn’t in a state to pay much attention. I’m not feeling much better now that I have paid attention. I don’t think it’s been any sort of secret that policing often attracts less than ideal personalities for the job; nor that many cops are bigoted as all hells. Given all the murders committed by cops every year, most of them against people of colour, handily demonstrate the bigotry and reliance on stereotypes which afflict way too many cops. This is an old, old story, as old as policing itself, and it’s a rare cop shop which truly tries to combat vicious and dangerous bigotry, and where cops with a conscience will stand up and speak out. Unfortunately, the news is worse. Nazis. Nazis who do need a stinking badge, and rely on that badge to recruit.

White supremacists and other domestic extremists maintain an active presence in U.S. police departments and other law enforcement agencies. A striking reference to that conclusion, notable for its confidence and the policy prescriptions that accompany it, appears in a classified FBI Counterterrorism Policy Guide from April 2015, obtained by The Intercept. The guide, which details the process by which the FBI enters individuals on a terrorism watchlist, the Known or Suspected Terrorist File, notes that “domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers,” and explains in some detail how bureau policies have been crafted to take this infiltration into account.

Although these right-wing extremists have posed a growing threat for years, federal investigators have been reluctant to publicly address that threat or to point out the movement’s longstanding strategy of infiltrating the law enforcement community.

No centralized recruitment process or set of national standards exists for the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, many of which have deep historical connections to racist ideologies. As a result, state and local police as well as sheriff’s departments present ample opportunities for white supremacists and other right-wing extremists looking to expand their power base.

That last is such a massive problem, and always has been – the one way to clean up policing is for there to be strict standards, recruitment and otherwise, across the board. None of the individual states doing their own thing anymore. Yeah, I know, ‘merica, land of the stubborn asshole of “independence”. That’s gotten us nowhere except in the bottom of hole, with out of control authoritarian fantasists playing with military gear.

In a heavily redacted version of an October 2006 FBI internal intelligence assessment, the agency raised the alarm over white supremacist groups’ “historical” interest in “infiltrating law enforcement communities or recruiting law enforcement personnel.” The effort, the memo noted, “can lead to investigative breaches and can jeopardize the safety of law enforcement sources or personnel.” The memo also states that law enforcement had recently become aware of the term “ghost skins,” used among white supremacists to describe “those who avoid overt displays of their beliefs to blend into society and covertly advance white supremacist causes.” In at least one case, the FBI learned of a skinhead group encouraging ghost skins to seek employment with law enforcement agencies in order to warn crews of any investigations.

Ghost skins. Regardless of the silly name, I expect most of us have known at least one person who avoids overt displays in public and around people they don’t know, but in private settings allows their bigotry to rage. I grew up with one, and I’ve known too many more.

Reforming police, as it turns out, is a lot harder than reforming the military, because of the decentralized way in which the thousands of police departments across the country operate, the historical affinity of certain police departments with the same racial ideologies espoused by extremists, and an even broader reluctance to do much about it.

“If you look at the history of law enforcement in the United States, it is a history of white supremacy, to put it bluntly,” said Simi, citing the origin of U.S. policing in the slave patrols of the 18th and 19th centuries. “More recently, just going back 50 years, law enforcement, particularly in the South, was filled with Klan members.”

Norm Stamper, a former chief of the Seattle Police Department and vocal advocate for police reform, told The Intercept that white supremacy was not simply a matter of history. “There are police agencies throughout the South and beyond that come from that tradition,” he said. “To think that that kind of thinking has dissolved somehow is myopic at best.”

Stamper said he had fired officers who expressed racist views, but added, “It’s not likely to happen in most police departments, because many of those departments come from a tradition of saying the officer is entitled to his or her opinions.”

When you stop and look, and start paying attention, the sheer magnitude of instances protecting white supremacists is overwhelming. In the States, the nazis still have “good guy” status, putting white, male, christian, and hetero on a pedestal, shot through with the poisonous ideology of superiority.

“This is a fundamental problem in this country: We simply do not take this flexible, and forgiving, and exceptionally understanding approach for combating any other form of terrorism,” said Jones. “Anybody who’s on social media advocating support for ISIS can be criminally charged with very little effort.”

“For some reason, we have stepped away from the threat of domestic terrorism and right-wing extremism,” Jones continued. “The only way we can reconcile this kind of behavior is if we accept the possibility that the ideology that permeates white nationalists and white supremacists is something that many in our federal and law enforcement communities understand and may be in sympathy with.”

That sympathy might just be reflected by the election of a president who was endorsed and celebrated by the KKK, and who has been reluctant to disassociate himself from individuals espousing white supremacist views.

We are years beyond stepping away from the threat of domestic and right-wing terrorism. Too many Americans are intent on erasing the very idea of home grown terrorists. Unlike other countries, America has dealt with one major outside terrorist event, and yes, it was awful. It was also 15 years ago. In that 15 years, pretty much everything has been done in the worst possible way, and the refusal to deal with our rising nazi problem, and the problem of out of control cops continues to not only plague us, but to make every single one of us very unsafe, every day. We need to stop being afraid to face the truth.

The full, in-depth article is at The Intercept.

The Stream Protection Rule. Pffft.

The Stream Protection Rule is an update to existing mining regulations. It compels companies to restore the “physical form, hydrologic function, and ecological function” of streams after mining operations are complete. And, it calls for monitoring pollution levels in streams near surfaces mines.

In Appalachia, mining companies regularly blow the tops off mountains to access stores of coal beneath, a practice known as “mountaintop removal.” They dump the debris into valleys below, filling rivulets and contaminating downstream water supplies. Mining firms have decapitated more than 500 mountains in Appalachia and buried some 2,000 miles of streams, according to Appalachian Voices, an environmental advocacy group.

This poses a threat to wildlife and people who live nearby. Numerous studies link mountaintop removal to higher rates of cancer and heart disease among residents of neighboring communities.


“The rule spells out best practices for reclaiming land and reforesting with native species. It strengthens protections for ephemeral streams that are necessary for good water quality and quantity downstream,” said Davie Ransdell, a retired surface mine inspector for the state of Kentucky. “In my view, it’s also a job generator, since it prevents mining companies from just pushing material over the hill and into streams below.”


Lawmakers will likely vote Wednesday to overturn the rule, using the Congressional Review Act, which gives Congress the power to scrap executive actions issued in the last 60 working days.

“I would encourage the House to act quickly so that we can send this resolution to the president’s desk as soon as possible,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement. Throughout his career, McConnell has opposed coal mining regulations. He also blamed what he called “Obama’s War on Coal” for the decline of the mining industry, although energy experts say it is largely the low cost of natural gas that is responsible for coal’s demise.

According to the Center for American Progress, the 27 representatives that sponsored or co-sponsored the Congressional Review Act bill received nearly $500 million from mining interests last year.

And there you have the bottom line of rethugs everywhere. Their only line – how well will their pockets be lined? They don’t give a fuck about the planet, they don’t give a fuck about clean water, they don’t give a fuck about wildlife, and they don’t give a fuck about people other than themselves. The full story is at Think Progress. In the same vein, the rethugs are looking to help big oil by making bribery and a lack of transparency okay again:

The House will vote as early as Wednesday to nullify a rule that makes it harder for U.S. oil companies to engage in bribery and corruption in developing countries.

In June 2016 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finalized the “Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers” rule, requiring oil, natural gas, and mining companies to publicly disclose the billions of dollars they pay to foreign governments for drilling rights around the world. This rule — meant to promote transparency and fight corruption — now faces the prospect of repeal as Republicans look to rollback a myriad of Obama administration rules.

“On the same day as the Senate is considering the nomination of former Exxon CEO as next Secretary of State, the House of Representatives is deciding whether or not to vote to license the bribery and corruption that the oil industry has lived off for decades,” Corinna Gilfillan, head of the U.S. office at Global Witness, said in a statement. “We cannot stand by while the interests of a few powerful oil companies trump the safety and values of our country. We need this law to protect investors, developing countries, and our own national security interests.”

That story is here.

Silencing Dissent.

Demonstrators holds banners and signs as they protest during a march in downtown Washington in opposition of President-elect Donald Trump, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana.

Demonstrators holds banners and signs as they protest during a march in downtown Washington in opposition of President-elect Donald Trump, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana.

As people critical of President Trump’s Muslim ban flocked to airports this weekend to show their support for immigrants and refugees, one major airport decided to crack down on protesters.

Denver International Airport (DIA) began enforcing a rule on Sunday that requires anyone interested in demonstrating to submit an application seven days in advance. The regulation was challenged by protesters, including one who recorded a video criticizing Denver Police Commander Tony Lopez for violating his First Amendment rights.

There’s more about the Denver situation at the link.

But the movement toward limiting protesters’ free speech rights is not confined to the terminals of DIA. In anticipation of an active protest movement during Trump’s administration, multiple Republican-controlled states are currently pushing for legislation that would discourage and even criminalize nonviolent, public demonstrations.

In Minnesota, a billpassed a Republican-controlled committee last week that would allow cities to sue protesters in order to collect money to pay police forces required at the demonstration. Lawmakers drafted the legislation in response to massive Black Lives Matter protests that erupted in the state after a police officer shot and killed Philando Castile.

This sounds very much like what happened here in nDakota and the water protectors. People will get bilked for money, and I’d put odds on that money being used the way it was here, to purchase military toys for cop shops. All the better to threaten you with, my dear. Being able to sue anyone who protests will have the very chilling effect of shutting down effective protests, because too many people will not be willing to face such a consequence; most people can’t afford to face such a consequence. Allowing a lawsuit against people for exercising their constitutional rights, does that sound like a democracy to you? Speaking of picking pockets…

And in Michigan, Republican lawmakers are attacking both unions and protesters by pushing legislation that would increase fines against picketers to $1,000 per person per day of a picket and $10,000 per day for an organization or union involved in the picket. The bill passed the state House of Representatives in December, but was set aside by the Senate.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that will be an end to such legislation though, it won’t be.

Taking a different tactic, four other states are considering anti-protest laws that would target demonstrators who protest on the streets, according to The Intercept. The bills have all been introduced in the last few months as responses to high-profile protests by Black Lives Matter activists and opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline that shut down highways.

The Intercept summarized the bills that Republican lawmakers have proposed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Washington, and Iowa:

In North Dakota, for instance, Republicans introduced a bill last week that would allow motorists to run over and kill any protester obstructing a highway as long as a driver does so accidentally. In Minnesota, a bill introduced by Republicans last week seeks to dramatically stiffen fines for freeway protests and would allow prosecutors to seek a full year of jail time for protesters blocking a highway. Republicans in Washington state have proposed a plan to reclassify as a felony civil disobedience protests that are deemed “economic terrorism” … And in Iowa a Republican lawmaker has pledged to introduce legislation to crack down on highway protests.

“This is a marked uptick in bills that would criminalize or penalize protected speech and protest, and every person should be alarmed at that trend,” she said, calling the bills unconstitutional. “We should also be alarmed by the attitude they betray, which is that when Americans get out into the streets and make their voices heard — recently, in record numbers — their elected representatives’ response is not to listen to those concerns but to attempt to silence and criminalize them.”

“That goes against the very fabric of our constitutional democracy, and legislators introducing these bills should be ashamed,” she added. “To try to silence those who are speaking up right now is a betrayal of American values.”

Yes, they should be ashamed, but they aren’t. That’s because there is no democracy anymore. Gone, vanished, set on fire and up in smoke. Silence people, quash dissent, order compliance. If you can’t see where we are headed, it’s because you refuse to see.

Full article at Think Progress. Mano Singham has a post up about the revival of an old quash favourite: COINTELPRO. Oh, such bad news.

“A Very, Very Strict Ban.”

A crowd welcomes passengers as they exit customs at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. CREDIT: Jack Jenkins/ThinkProgress.

A crowd welcomes passengers as they exit customs at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. CREDIT: Jack Jenkins/ThinkProgress.

Our dictator ordered a ban, called it a ban. The ban was on Muslims, every country except those the dictator does business in, which was terribly convenient. People have been upset, and rightly so, there were many protests, still are, over the chaos and cruelty being inflicted on people. The thin-skinned tyrant now has his little cadre of hench people trying to spin it, in an attempt to expunge the word ban in favour of “extreme vetting”. Someone should point out that the switch doesn’t make the ban sound any less of a ban, or in any way, better. Use of the word extreme isn’t going to help. We already know that Trump is extremely unstable, and this latest round of idiocy and alternative facts is accomplishing nothing outside of emphasising the lies, bullshit and instability.

During his Tuesday press availability, Trump administration Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted that the travel ban implemented by President Trump via executive order last Friday isn’t actually a ban at all.

“It can’t be a ban if you’re letting a million people in,” Spicer said, referring to the fact that Muslims who don’t hail from the seven Muslim-majority countries included in the ban can still travel to the U.S. “If 325,000 people from another country can come in, that is by nature not a ban… that is extreme vetting.”

Emphasis mine. This is open pandering to willful idiots, bigots, and nazis everywhere. And all the willful idiots, bigots, and nazis are swallowing this massive lie whole.

Spicer’s explanation prompted reporters to refer back a tweet posted by Trump on Monday morning in which he referred to his travel ban as a “ban.” Trump also referred to it as “a very, very strict ban” on Saturday.

In fact, in a White House press release distributed Sunday, Spicer himself referred to the ban as “a 90-day ban.”

But during Tuesday’s press availability, Spicer insisted that any confusion over whether or not Trump’s executive order constitutes a ban is the media’s fault.

“He’s using the words the media is using,” Spicer said of Trump’s tweet. “I think the words that are being used to describe it derive from what the media is calling this. [Trump] has been very clear that it is extreme vetting.”

Ah yes, it’s the media’s fault, natch. Thing is, no one in media could have reported on this at all until the Dictator and his gleeful goons implemented the ban, taking everyone, including half of those in government, by surprise. It was the implementation of a ban. It was called a ban. In action, it’s a ban. The executive order: ban. Ban, ban, ban, ban, ban. This is not the fault of media, it’s the result of a faulty brain and ginormous ego.

Likewise, because non-Muslims from the seven countries included in Trump’s travel ban are banned from entering the U.S. and because Muslims from other countries can still enter the country, Spicer and Trump supporters argue that Trump’s action doesn’t represent a “ban.”

The actual facts are as plain as the nose on your face, but those supporting Trump have not only swallowed this, they believe it, and are pushing this fancy all over the place. “It’s temporary, not a ban!” “It’s just vetting, to keep us safe!” and so on. These people are proud to be xenophobic assholes.

But Trump has been clear about his intentions all along. His December 2015 statement “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on” is still on his website. And during a Fox News appearance on Saturday, Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani said that Trump’s executive order stemmed from a desire to ban Muslims, but to do so with the veneer of legality.

“So when [Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally,’” Giuliani said. “And what we did was, we focused on, instead of religion, danger — the areas of the world that create danger for us. Which is a factual basis, not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible. And that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion. It’s based on places where there are substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.”

But Giuliani’s comment about “areas of the world that create danger” being the basis for the ban is belied by the facts. As the Wall Street Journal reports, of the 161 people charged with jihadist terrorism-related crimes or who died before being charged since 2001, only 11 were identified as being from the seven countries included in Trump’s executive order — Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, and Somalia.

The veneer of legality. Yeah. A spray on veneer, like a choking cloud of Aquanet. All this to catch nothing. There are terrorists here, but they aren’t at any airport. We have plenty of homegrown terrorists, and there’s a sadistic terrorist sitting in the highest office of the land.

Via Think Progress. This morning, I watched the advert Budweiser is going to air over the Superbowl (American Football), and if you think you need some insight into how Trumpoids think, along with their terrifying inability to think, head over and skim the comments.


And The Lie, the Big, Huge LIE.

In every major publication, you can read articles about the horrific chaos happening everywhere, of people in absolute fear and desperation, but of course, to our fucking LIAR in chief, everything is going just great, you betcha! Oh, and it’s not a muslim ban, it’s just a muslim ban.

Nonetheless, when reporters asked the new president how the new policies are being received, he said, “It’s not a Muslim ban, but we’re totally prepared. It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over. It’s working out very nicely and we’re gonna have a very, very strict ban and we’re going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years.”

Via Raw Story.

*Walks away in tears and disgust.*

Sunday Facepalm.


Trump’s little nazi, Bannon, is everywhere. I’m surprised Trump isn’t trying to clone him. Now it’s Nazi NSA.

Meanwhile, Trump signed a presidential memo directing the Pentagon to submit a plan within 30 days to defeat the Islamic State, an effort to make good on his campaign promise to more aggressively confront Islamist terrorism than his predecessor did. … As he signed his directive at his desk in the Oval Office, Trump said, “I think it’s going to be very successful. That’s big stuff.”

Jesus Fuck. I still can’t believe we have a president who talks like a toddler.

Counseling Trump in the effort will be Stephen K. Bannon, the White House chief strategist whose influence inside the administration is expanding far beyond politics. In a separate presidential memo, Trump reorganized the National Security Council to, along with other changes, give Bannon a regular seat on the principals committee — the meetings of the most senior national security officials, including the secretaries of defense and state.

That memo also states that the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will sit on the principals committee only when the issues to be discussed pertain to their “responsibilities and expertise.” In the previous two administrations, both were included as regular attendees.

The White House thinks the changes will make the NSC more adaptive to modern threats. Trump said the changes would bring “a lot of efficiency and, I think, a lot of additional safety.”

The changes affirm the ascent of Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart, a conservative website that is popular with white nationalists, who has emerged as Trump’s political consigliere and the keeper of the president’s populist flame.

I think it’s fairly clear who the new president actually is, and it’s not Trump. Trump is an easily manipulable puppet. The Nazis are here and in charge.

Full story at Washington Post.

Think Progress is also covering this unprecedented  move, noting that even that asshole Bush jr never went so far, and in fact, went to considerable trouble to keep Rove away from any and all NSA meetings. Let that one sink in a little.

And don’t forget about Bannon:

Bannon has a history of anti-Semitic, misogynistic, and bigoted comments, and has openly disparaged Jews and minorities and has called women “dykes.” Both the Klu Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party cheered his appointment to the White House. Bannon also reportedly had a major role in crafting key parts of Trump’s Muslim ban, including the fact that the ban also applies to people with lawful permanent residence.

Costly, Wasteful, Harmful. Yeah, Trump.

Suspected undocumented immigrants are transferred out of the holding area after being processed at the Tucson Sector of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters CREDIT: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File.

Suspected undocumented immigrants are transferred out of the holding area after being processed at the Tucson Sector of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters CREDIT: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File.

Trump’s scarily close to insane fixation on immigration is going to be incredibly costly, and it should go without saying, highly harmful to all manner of peoples.

As part of a series of executive orders aimed at attacking immigrants and immigrant communities, President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that going forward, his administration will order the mandatory detention of all those apprehended or arrested by immigration enforcement officials.

The U.S. already spends more on all immigration enforcement — nearly $20 billion a year — than on all other federal law enforcement combined, and currently detains more immigrants each day — more than 42,000 — than ever before. Summary removals and mandatory detention are at an all-time high. And the focus on removals has come at the cost of due process, placing vulnerable populations like asylum seekers at risk. The number of asylum seekers held in detention increased threefold from 2010 to 2014.

Making detention mandatory will only exacerbate these issues.

It will also be expensive. The mandatory detention of all immigrants apprehended or arrested will cost the U.S. an additional $902 million each year, for a total of $9 billion in new federal spending over the next decade.


And these estimates are by their nature conservative. They don’t take into account potentially lengthened stays in detention under this executive order, nor any costs to DHS for rapidly building or acquiring more detention facilities and bed space to meet new needs.

Let’s put that in perspective. For $9 billion, the U.S. could instead:

Ah, those would be good things though, and the rethuglicans are in charge of the asylum, so we definitely rule that out. No point at all in helping all people, and building a safe and stable society, with some thought to a social safety net. No, in our new fascist order, that sort of thing is bad. Spending all that money to simply no point outside of causing harm, that must be more of those really good business moves we keep hearing about. *eyeroll*

Full story here.

Let It Burn!

Firefighters (Shutterstock www.shutterstock.com).

Firefighters (Shutterstock).

A decision by newly elected President Trump to freeze all federal government hiring has Forest Service employees wondering if they will be able to bring in emergency help during fire-fighting season, reports the Missoulian.

On Monday, Trump issued an order stating, “no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances.”

“The Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may grant exemptions from this freeze where those exemptions are otherwise necessary,” the order continued.

According to National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) Council President Melissa Baumann, Trump’s decision may make the Forest Service’s job tough with hiring for permanent firefighting positions beginning next week at job fairs.

“We all had a hard time just trying to get hold of the executive order itself yesterday,” Baumann explained. “We’re waiting to see where the chips fall.”

Baumann added that the Forest Service hired about 11,000 seasonal workers in 2015, with at least 6,200 of those being firefighters or having firefighting-related duties. Additionally, many were hired as trail maintenance workers and forest rangers.


“By the time you get your undersecretary and all those people in place, you’re 60 to 90 days behind the scene and off schedule,” Duran explained. “I’m pretty sure they’ll give a (public safety) exemption, but you still won’t be able to staff up in a timely manner. In California, firefighting is already year-round. And in most other places, it’s getting year-round, too.”

According to Wildfire Today, “from the mid-1980s through 2015 the average number of acres burned has grown from about 2  million acres a year to around 8 million.”

This bit of governmental idiocy will not only put the populace, land, and wildlife at risk, it will put firefighters at risk as well. I have no doubt this will have a very negative and potentially dangerous effect on other important public sector jobs. Places all over are being ravaged by weather, and the additional disasters they bring, and that fucking idiot Donny can’t deal with those, either, as Mississippi is still waiting for emergency relief and assistance from the Twaddler-in-Chief, having been hit by severe storms, tornadoes, and floods. Naturally, Donny promised to “expedite the recovery process”, but so far, hasn’t done shit. You’re on your own, people.

Via Raw Story, one, two.

Voter Fraud? No. Updated.

President Donald Trump talks with reporters n the Oval Office of the White House on Tuesday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

President Donald Trump talks with reporters n the Oval Office of the White House on Tuesday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

There was no voter fraud. This is simply more smoke out of Donny’s arse, in an attempt to ameliorate his wounded ego over having lost the popular vote. This obsession is unfortunately not slowing down the ongoing shredding of the government, but Donny is prepared to waste a considerable amount of money nursing his fixation.

Two days after he told congressional leaders that he would have won the popular vote if it were not for three to five million illegal votes, President Trump announced on Wednesday morning that he’ll push for a “major investigation into VOTER FRAUD.” [Tweets at the link.]

Trump’s tweets conflate registration lists with fraud. There are innocuous reasons why a state’s voter rolls might be less than totally accurate. People move to another state without informing their former secretary of state’s office, and hence might be registered in more than one place. Others people die but don’t get removed from the rolls. Neither of those occurrences constitute fraud, however. Fraud is casting a ballot illegally either by voting more than once or impersonating another voter.

The notion that voter fraud exists on a significant scale is one of the Trump administration’s “alternative facts.” According to a Washington Post analysis, out of the more than 135 million voters cast in the 2016 presidential election, just four cases of voter fraud were found — and three of the culprits voted Republican.

Trump’s tweets conflate registration lists with fraud. There are innocuous reasons why a state’s voter rolls might be less than totally accurate. People move to another state without informing their former secretary of state’s office, and hence might be registered in more than one place. Others people die but don’t get removed from the rolls. Neither of those occurrences constitute fraud, however. Fraud is casting a ballot illegally either by voting more than once or impersonating another voter.

The notion that voter fraud exists on a significant scale is one of the Trump administration’s “alternative facts.” According to a Washington Post analysis, out of the more than 135 million voters cast in the 2016 presidential election, just four cases of voter fraud were found — and three of the culprits voted Republican.


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said:

“I would urge the President to knock this off; this is the greatest democracy on Earth, we’re the leader of the free world, and people are going to start doubting you as a person if you keep making accusations against our electoral system without justification,” Graham said, according to CNN. “This is going to erode his ability to govern this country if he does not stop it.”

Erode his ability to govern? He doesn’t have any ability to govern in the first place. He has no knowledge, is not interested in acquiring any, no attention span, and is mostly concerned with watching television and twitter. His only concern has been, and remains his ego. At the very least, people should be concerned about the mass amounts of money this idiot is going to spend chasing phantoms so he can make himself feel better.

Full story at Think Progress.

In what can only be described as a Trumpian twist, Donny was angrily tweeting about the so-called voter fraud, in which, he specifically called out being registered in more than one location:

As it turns out, The Angry Tweeter’s chief nazi, Bannon, is registered to vote in two different places. I guess that will be declared okay now.

Anti-Corruption. That’s Bad, Right?



Lawmakers in South Dakota are invoking emergency powers to overturn an anti-corruption law that was passed by a ballot measure during the 2016 election.

The South Dakota Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act makes it illegal for lawmakers to receive more than a total of $100 annually from lobbyists in the form of “any compensation, reward, employment, gift, honorarium, beverage, meal, food, or other thing of value made or given directly or indirectly.”

The law, which was passed by a majority of voters in November, immediately incited panic among state officials and lawmakers. Some resigned from their posts while others cancelled meetings with any groups represented by lobbyists.


“In an unprecedented maneuver, state lawmakers are planning to declare a state of emergency so their repeal of the Anti-Corruption Act would take effect immediately, and deny voters their right to another vote on the measure through a veto referendum,” the statement explained. “The bill guts all of the Act’s provisions, including creation of an independent ethics commission, limits on lobbyists gifts to politicians, tougher penalties for bribery, stronger transparency, and a two-year ban on politicians becoming lobbyists when they leave office.”

Represent South Dakota warned that the repeal measure (HB 1069) was so poorly worded that it “may actually legalize bribery.”

Now it’s fake emergencies. Fake, fake, fake, fuck this planet. I want off. Via Raw Story.

Oh FFS Roundup.

President-elect Donald Trump speaking to reporters at Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday. CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

 CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

Trump’s team is worried. Seems they finally figured out they won’t be able to focus Donny at all. Instead of even pretending to do anything presidential, the Angry Tweeter in Chief spent most of his first weekend in office angrily tweeting, and siccing Spicer on the press, to present those alternative facts.

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