1. Apparently the GOP does not like it when its own tricks are used against it. Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) is on public record complaining that he has had no time to review the Democratic bill to overturn der Sturmtrumper’s fake emergency, and that no committee has held a hearing on it or marked it up. You know, I remember well when Wisconsin’s own Governor Teabagger (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries) and his minions, cronies, henchmen, and lackeys in the legislature pioneered the “shove it down their throats before they can gag” approach to legislation, and I don’t recall hearing any GOP objections then.
2. In the Democrats’ defense, this isn’t exactly one of the multi-hundred-page bills that the GOP was shoving through back then. The entire bill is shorter than the Pledge of Allegiance and could fit in a tweet. I suspect that committee hearings would have been overkill.
3. For those who doubt, here is the complete text of the bill:
“Pursuant to section 202 of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622), the national emergency declared by the finding of the President on February 15, 2019, in Proclamation 9844 (84 Fed. Reg. 4949) is hereby terminated.”
That’s it! 36 words, including all of the citations. I’ve read cartoon captions longer than that. Surely this does not represent an undue burden on Rep. Cole. If it does, may I suggest that he retire and find more suitable work that does not require reading? Might do him and us some good, really.
4. The House has in fact voted to overturn der Sturmtrumper’s fake emergency, and by a veto-proof majority that included over a dozen GOP votes – a fairly significant loss for our would-be tyrant. Now the Senate must vote on this – by law it cannot be avoided, so as much as Mitch McConnell cares about the law I guess we’ll see. It will be interesting how it turns out.
5. But even Mitch McConnell – the Most Corrupt Man In Washington (tm) – isn’t sure whether der Sturmtrumper’s fake emergency is legal. He admitted it to reporters this month. Not that this will prevent him from kowtowing to der Sturmtrumper’s blatant assault on the Separation of Powers and the sole authority of Congress to authorize federal spending, because what’s a little thing like the Constitution when it comes to absolute power for your party, right?
6. I wonder why they haven’t thought of this in Congress?
Maybe because it’s a stupid idea that doesn’t work? I suppose. You’d think they’d draw the obvious lesson, but you’d be wrong.
7. Did you watch the Oscars? I saw some of it, even though I had seen only one of the films nominated for best picture and only heard of a couple of the others at all. I did see Spike Lee – who appears to borrowed his fashion sense from Urkel, in his maturity, and good for him if that’s his thing – give his talk criticizing genocide and asking people to be on the “right side of history.” This seems frankly uncontroversial to me. Of course der Sturmtrumper – the guy who spectacularly failed the Nazi Test and called said Nazis “fine people” in the process – took it as a personal attack. Of course he did. Maybe it just hit too close to home.
8. Sweet dancing monkeys on a stick, they’re not even trying to hide it, are they? The whole GOP sliding ever further into Fascism thing? Now Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is openly quoting Mussolini.
I suppose it’s a relief that they’re not pretending anymore, but still. Individual liberty must be restricted, is that the Republican view now? Seriously? Also, Cornyn does know what happened to Mussolini, right? Is that really his goal? It can’t be, can it?
9. Best response to this so far:
10. In case you think that comparing the current administration to its ideological ancestors is unfair, consider this:
You know, that defense didn’t work out very well at Nuremburg. In fact, it worked out so poorly that one of the bedrock principles of American military law now is that US forces are required to disobey any unlawful order. A paramilitary group like ICE should keep that in mind.
11. After screeching about fraudulent elections for who knows how long, the GOP finally found one. It’s in North Carolina, and guess what? All of the fraud was perpetrated by Republicans! I know! Say it with me, people: if you want to know what the right wing is doing, look at what they accuse their opponents of doing. They simply don’t know any other way to operate, so they assume everyone’s doing it.
12. Of course The Most Corrupt Man In Washington (tm) is blaming the Democrats for this, because the Party of Personal Responsibility doesn’t actually accept responsibility for their own actions. He’s decided that a clear cut case of electoral fraud perpetrated by the people who handle and count the votes – a case so virulently blatant that it was actually prosecuted in North Carolina, the GOP’s private autocracy – was actually due to the Democratic opposition to GOP voter suppression laws. There is no way such laws would have had any impact on this fraud one way or another, but hey – “it has to be someone else’s fault” is practically the GOP motto these days.
13. Apparently Michael Cohen is about to flip entirely on der Sturmtrumper. And this has got the minions, lackeys, cronies, and enablers all aflutter, yes it does. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) – a genuine waste of space and oxygen – has decided that he needed to spring to his master’s defense with a bit of witness tampering by threatening Cohen.
So here you have a sitting Congressman (granted, a buffoon, but still – duly elected and everything) trying to intimidate a federal witness in an ongoing criminal case, a violation of 18 USC Section 1512 Subsection (b). Look it up if you don’t believe me. This is a felony, and – as Rep. Gaetz is a licensed attorney in Florida – grounds for disbarment. Perhaps the FBI needs to take him aside and explain to him just how many years he will be sitting in prison for this. Or perhaps he should just find out himself. I also wonder if he’s forgotten that the GOP doesn’t control the House anymore and that said House does in fact have an Ethics Committee empowered to launch investigations, and that the full House has the legal authority to remove Representatives from the House. So many options!
14. Not surprisingly, Gaetz is the same guy who tried to eject the father of one of the victims of the Parkland massacre from a House Judiciary Committee meeting, because god forbid we actually have someone not in thrall to the NRA get involved in American life.
15. Is it any wonder that the people who actually have a clue as to what national security really is – some 58 of them, from both parties, ranging from Madeline Albright (Secretary of State under Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001) to Chuck Hagel (Republican Senator from Nebraska and a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees) to John Kerry (Democratic Senator from Massachusetts and Secretary of State under Barack Obama) to John McLaughlin (Deputy Director of the CIA under George W. Bush) to Alan Charles Raul (Associate Counsel to the President under Ronald Reagan) – have published an open letter declaring that der Sturmtrumper’s fake emergency is a sham.
“Under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today that entitles the President to tap funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border” the letter says. The evidence is overwhelming, and much of it comes from der Sturmtrumper’s own administration. It’s a fascinating read, for those who value reality.
16. Hell, 24 former GOP legislators (5 who served in the Senate and 19 from the House) have written their own letter denouncing der Sturmtrumper’s naked power grab, which does give me hope although I do note that they are all “former” and not “current” legislators. They point out the obvious – that the Constitution reserves the power of the purse solely to Congress, not to a president too incompetent to get Congress to pass his pet project – and then ask their GOP colleagues the direct question: “How much are you willing to undermine both the Constitution and the Congress in order to advance a policy outcome that by all other legitimate means is not achievable?”
If the current slack-jawed lackeys that make up the GOP Congressional delegation are predictable from their past actions, my guess is pretty far, actually. They’ve amply demonstrated their contempt for their own power and for their Constitutional responsibilities, and this should be no exception. But the question needed to be asked.
17. We are rapidly approaching Grant Administration levels of corruption and criminality here.
With the indictment of Roger Stone we are now at about 90 criminal indictments from this administration, a dark stain on the x-ray of the body politic, with – possibly – two more years to go. Remember all the indictments of the Obama years, though? How many were there, exactly? Oh, right. ZERO.
18. If you ever really want to make yourself doubt the future of the American republic and destroy your faith in humanity entirely in the process, try engaging with a committed supporter of der Sturmtrumper online and see how they respond. Mostly I end up looking at their responses and thinking:
You would think that at some point, somewhere, you’d get a coherent response, but so far none. For crying out loud, I’ve had a lot of debates with right-wingers who at least had some facts on their side and could present them without denying reality, moving the goalposts every time they are challenged, and flouncing off in a huff whenever you introduce facts only to come back to try to have the last word.
You know, I miss those people. I miss having people I could disagree with and still respect. I miss having people who understood reality and just wanted their interpretation of it to triumph rather than blowing an impermeable ideological bubble around any fact that bothered them. They’re still out there, but their voices do tend to get drowned out.
19. Is anyone else wondering just how badly der Sturmtrumper is going to get pantsed in his meeting with Kim Jung Un this week? Seriously, this is the guy who went bankrupt trying to sell red meat, booze, and gambling to the American people, and he’s negotiating here? We’re doomed.
20. At least Cadet Bone Spurs has finally made it to Vietnam. I wonder if he’ll ever visit the grave of the guy who went in his place.
21. You know, I really didn’t want to write about this stuff anymore. It gets old. But sometimes you just gotta holler, and I suspect we are rapidly approaching a dividing line where it will end one way or another. Those times are not for remaining silent, as much as silence would be comfortable. I will not be silent while my country is dragged into right-wing authoritarianism and away from what it can be if only we make it so.
I will speak, and I will be heard.