Multiple notifications popped onto my screen yesterday announcing that the Loser-In-Chief had fired his defense secretary Mark Esper. I was working on something else (and also trying and failing miserably to observe a news blackout for personal reasons*) so I didn’t dig any deeper than the headlines.
But my mind kept on poking at me with a big stick and asking “Why?” “Why?” “Why?” For sure, the reason would be sad, funny, fascist, illegal, counterproductive, enraging, ridiculous or some combination of those. However, this morning as I looked over a few of these notifications before deleting them, our Liberal Media™ informed and enlightened me further only with something about Commander Cheetohead bashing Esper on Twitter. Which, okay, ticked A LOT of those boxes if not all of them but did nothing to shut up my shouty, stabby stick. And It’s not like I was going to click on actual links to read actual stories! I got shit to do, people.
Enter The New York Times to save the day! (Not really.) From this morning’s Times email briefing:
Trump fired his defense secretary, Mark Esper. Trump has been unhappy with Esper since this summer, when he said he would refuse to use active-duty troops to control protests.
It’s true this blurb provides little more information than the Twitter crap. It is also true that I almost never click Times links, unless (a) it’s clear the Paper of Record needs another smackdown on why they suck or (b) I accidentally click on it while writing a post (*cough* this one *cough*). It’s also also true that I don’t need to click the Times link to understand that the President of the United States of Assholes is absolutely about to deploy the active duty troops to quash protests in cities and towns across the nation.
For a refresher, here is what that looks like…
…except instead of the Feds riding horses and unleashing tear gas and flash bangs on peaceful protestors, it’ll be the U.S. Army riding tanks and unleashing live ammo and other weapons of war against peaceful protestors. NEAT!
Minutes after that scene, Cheetohead clearly says he will do exactly that (@1:06).
Apropos of nothing, protests are about to swell in size, number, location and frequency because Donald J. Trump is not leaving the White House any time soon.
UPDATE: After an excellent and productive video visit with a real, live, actual Angel of Mercy™ (an M.D. specializing in pain management who is very, very good at her job) I accidentally read that Times article I accidentally clicked on earlier.
Before you assume Rudy Giuliani stole my laptop this morning and took over my blog, let me personally assure readers that (a) unlike Mayor Nosferatu (and notwithstanding all that very, very good pain management) I am not presently drunk and (b) although I wish it were not so, I accidentally do shit just like this and worse every goddamn day pretty much all day long.
Having bravely and selflessly read 1,659 words of The New York Times, I can now report that it contains little of consequence, omitting as it does the crucial facts that Trump is absolutely about to deploy active duty troops to quash protests in cities and towns across the nation and is not leaving the White House any time soon.
But that is not to say what little value the article provides is completely bereft of infotainment value. The quotes – i.e. what people other than the Times writer have to say – are worth the heroic and thankless effort of pasting into this post.
Two senior administration officials noted on Monday that Mr. Trump enjoyed firing people and had only two more months to do so.
Who “enjoys firing people?” If you guessed sociopaths and U.S. presidents, you win aaaaall the internetz!
Two White House officials said later on Monday that Mr. Trump was not finished, and that Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, could be next in line to be fired.
Defense Department officials have privately expressed worries that the president might initiate operations, whether overt or secret, against Iran or other adversaries during his last days in office.
Adversaries like, oh I don’t know, maybe protestors?
“In my experience, there would only be a few reasons to fire a secretary of defense with 72 days left in an administration,” Representative Elissa Slotkin, Democrat of Michigan and a former Pentagon official in the Obama administration, said in a statement.
“One would be incompetence or wrongdoing, which do not seem to be the issue with Secretary Esper,” she said. “A second would be vindictiveness, which would be an irresponsible way to treat our national security. A third would be because the president wants to take actions that he believes his secretary of defense would refuse to take, which would be alarming. Whatever the reason, casting aside a secretary of defense during the volatile days of transition seems to neglect the president’s most important duty: to protect our national security.”
I was totally with Rep. Slotkin there, especially the parts about vindictiveness and alarming. But then she mentions a “transition” when there are zero signs of any such thing happening. Headscratcher.
[Esper] took the rare step of disagreeing publicly with Mr. Trump in June and saying that active-duty military troops should not be sent to control the wave of protests in American cities.
No wonder he got fired! What’s an army good for if you can’t even use it against your own citizens?!
“A move like this probably sends a chill through the senior ranks of the military,” Nicholas J. Rasmussen, a former top counterterrorism official in the Bush and Obama administrations, said in an email. “Not because of anything about [Esper’s replacement] Chris Miller personally, though it’s a highly unconventional choice, to be sure. But simply because a move like this contributes to a sense of instability and unstable decision-making at exactly the time when you want to avoid sending that kind of message around the world.”
Sounds like he believes in this fictional transition too. What are they drinking in D.C. now that Rudy is always raiding all the bars and liquor stores?
Upon his arrival at the Pentagon on Monday afternoon, Mr. Miller tripped on the stairs and said, “That would have been great, broke my ankle on the way in.”
It’s still pretty great.
Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, called Mr. Esper five minutes before the president’s Twitter post to tell him he had been fired. Mr. Esper was still at the Pentagon cleaning out his desk on Monday afternoon when Mr. Miller arrived, administration officials said.
Now that’s a transition.
THIS JUST IN: While writing this update I received the following notifications:
White House tells federal agencies to proceed with plans for Trump’s February budget in latest sign of defiance
President Trump lost the November election to Joe Biden and will not be in office when the budget is set to be released, but he has refused to concede. The new directive for agencies to prepare their budget plans is the latest sign that aides are acting as if Trump plans to try to remain in office even after his term expires.
Pompeo claims there will be ‘a second Trump administration’ despite Biden’s election victory
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged Tuesday that there will be “a second Trump administration,” sending a bewildering message to U.S. allies who have already congratulated Joe Biden on winning the election.
U.S. allies would not be bewildered in the least if only they would read my blog. It’s not like The New York Times will come right out and say it.
Here, I’ll say it louder. Maybe that will help:
TRUMP IS ABSOLUTELY ABOUT TO DEPLOY ACTIVE DUTY TROOPS TO QUASH PROTESTS IN CITIES AND TOWNS ACROSS THE NATION AND IS NOT LEAVING THE WHITE HOUSE ANY TIME SOON.
Have a nice day.
*My poor BFF helpfully suggested I step away from the news for a few days after a barrage of rants I sent her over the preceding 24 hours. I learned two things from this. One, BFF is waaaay too empathetic, patient and kind to just flat out tell me to shut the fuck up already.❤️ And two, if I am actually serious about a news blackout? I will have to shut off my goddamn notifications and, you know, not read the news. WHO KNEW.