Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore

Trump takes a surprise visit to the hospital with WH doctor in tow for perfectly routine & normal reasons.

This past Saturday, about two in the afternoon, Trump abruptly went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center with the White House doctor riding along. He was there about two hours before heading back to the White House. His public events for Sunday were suddenly canceled early in the morning, and nothing public was planned for him today.

The Trump administration story is that this was an unscheduled trip to Walter Reed to visit some random military person getting out of surgery, and while he was there for that, Trump just went ahead and got started on “phase one” of his annual physical, including have some lab tests run.

Because that’s a thing people do, sure. Definitely people who are 70+ years old, overweight, mostly sedentary, with a terrible diet, and working one of the most stressful jobs in the world, while being investigated for basically all of the crimes.

It’s worth noting that the White House is pretty well equipped to handle medical stuff. They don’t have a whole hospital, but they can handle a lot, including basic blood work, in-house.

I’ll also go ahead and remind you that you can’t believe a single frickin’ word Trump or his administration says about anything. These folks lie like they breathe. So they have exactly zero credibility. Actually, scratch that. They’ve lied so much, they have negative credibility.

And I get that all this veers pretty quickly into conspiracy theorizing, but obviously something medical happened to Trump.

There are a few theories floating around the Internet today. Some of the nuttier ones involve Trump setting up reasons to resign via the 25th amendment so Pence can pardon him and whatnot, but, for the umpteenth time: Trump and his businesses, organizations, flunkies and kids, are all facing serious state investigations that a hypothetical President Pence cannot pardon him out of. Even if Trump resigns and gets a pardon, he’s still facing charges.

The most plausible-seeming theories involve some kind of heart incident or possibly a panic attack. Mild heart attack? Heart palpitations? I mean, the White House is equipped for a lot. If he had a mild heart attack, I guess maybe Trump could convalesce at the White House? I’m not sure.

Panic attacks mimic heart attacks, like, a lot. I say this as someone who has had panic attacks and been completely convinced I was having a heart attack. I have been to the doctor for that exact reason. And to be sure that’s not what’s happening, you’d need to do like at least an EKG and maybe some blood work. And if the person you’re checking out is a 70+ year old man who probably already has heart problems (because it’s kind of ridiculous to think he doesn’t – Bernie was healthy as hell as far as anyone knows, and he still managed to have a heart attack the other month), that probably complicates the situation.

So, here’s two things to think about in regards to this story:

  1. The President of the United States had a serious enough medical issue to require a hasty trip to the hospital and a few days of rest, and his administration is blatantly lying about it.
  2. Or, alternatively, this actually was a spur-of-the-moment trip (I guess it could happen; Trump is super weird) and the Trump administration has so wildly damaged its own credibility that anything they say beggars belief, which is a different, but equally serious, issue.

Either way, this is nothing good.

(Image credit: Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore.)

Tweet, NBC Article, Plenty of substance but little drama on first day of impeachment hearings

Pizzazz?

Really? Really, NBC?

“It was substantive, but it wasn’t dramatic,” says the article.

“… the first round felt more like the dress rehearsal for a serious one-act play than the opening night of a hit Broadway musical,” says the article.

“And yet Taylor and Kent failed […] by dropping no bombshells and largely repeating the testimony they gave congressional investigators at depositions previously held behind closed doors,” says the article.

“There’s time for Democrats to tell a more compelling version of the story — keeping in mind that the attention span of most Americans doesn’t match that of most C-SPAN viewers,” says the article.

Calling Wednesday’s impeachment hearing “boring” or “dull” is the GOP marketing message. Various GOP lawmakers and Trump flunkies trotted it out yesterday and this morning and Fox News landed on it with both feet, their pundits frothing to spit the words out on live TV.

They need you to think of this as boring and inconsequential. They need you to not pay attention. Because Trump has admitted live on TV that he and his administration attempted to extort a claim of corruption investigations into Joe Biden’s son out of Ukraine.

Ukraine is, as I type, being slowly invaded by Russia. Ukraine desperately needs aid and support from the United States to rebuff that invasion. Congress mandated aid and support to Ukraine to help them withstand Russia’s aggression. Trump and his administration deliberately withheld that aid in an attempt to give themselves an advantage in the 2020 election. Trump and his administration didn’t release that aid until they found out about the whistleblower and that the whole scandal was about to blow up in their faces.

We know this. We have corroborated evidence of this. Trump has admitted this on TV.

House committees have been investigating this for several weeks. We have quality witnesses coming forward with what they know, and providing a mountain of reliable evidence showing that Trump and his administration attempted to extort a foreign country to influence our elections so Trump could win.

There are firsthand witnesses who were on the call and involved with the conspiracy who could testify, and they are refusing to do so and/or being prevented from doing so solely by Trump and his administration, who does not want these people under oath and in front of a House committee. Because if they told the truth, Trump would be 100% done.

So the GOP desperately needs you to not pay attention to what is happening. They must convince you that this is baseless, partisan, and illegitimate. Because they are guilty, and they have no other way to weasel out of this.

This article from NBC is wildly irresponsible.

These impeachment hearings might be dry. No one sings, nothing explodes. Captain America won’t be showing up to throw Mjolnir around.

But this is not dull. This is history. For only the third time in the entirety of America as a country, we’re impeaching a president. And it’s a president who is arguably the most corrupt person to ever hold the office.

What happens in these hearings has nothing to do with how exciting they may be to watch. It has to do with the heart of America, and what kind of nation we are. It has to do with what kind of nation we will be going forward. This may be the single most important moment in our lives. This is the moment where we decide if we’re a corrupt rogue nation run by a tinpot dictator, or if we’ll attempt to live up to the mythology of America.

And articles like this only further the will of the GOP, who are very much on the side of America as a corrupt rogue nation.

Stephen Miller, by Gage Skidmore

Turns out Stephen Miller’s a nazi. Quelle surprise.

Former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh gave a crap ton of emails to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch. These emails were from Trump flunky Stephen Miller, the dude who is nearly entirely responsible for Trump’s white supremacist immigration policies. The emails span 2015-2016, showcase how he directed Breitbart’s anti-immigration, racist coverage, and reveal that he hates non-white people to a pathological degree.

Here, read for yourself: Stephen Miller’s Affinity for White Nationalism Revealed in Leaked Emails.

A few highlights:

  • “McHugh told Hatewatch that Breitbart editors introduced her to Miller in 2015 with an understanding he would influence the direction of her reporting.”
  • “‘What Stephen Miller sent to me in those emails has become policy at the Trump administration,’ McHugh told Hatewatch.”
  • Miller wanted coverage of how Hurricane Patricia would cause Bahamian refugees to “invade” America and backed up his point by sharing a link to VDARE article. VDARE is a racist trash website. The ideas set forth in the article later became Trump policy.
  • Miller recommended the racist trash book Camp of the Saints, by Jean Raspail, and basically popularized it. The book fictionalizes the nazi/white supremacist idea of “white genocide,” and I cannot emphasize enough how hateful it is.
  • Miller had McHugh aggregating articles for Breitbart from American Renaissance, an explicitly white supremacist website.
  • Miller got super mad when retailers stopped selling Confederate flags after Dylann Roof murdered people in a South Carolina church and got Breitbart to write a retaliatory article about it.
  • After the Umpqua Community College shooting in Roseburg, OR, Miller got Breitbart to focus on the fact that the shooter was “mixed race” instead of on the fact that the shooter was a white supremacist who hated religion.
  • Miller is buddy-buddy with Pamela Geller, another alt-right fav who hates Muslims.
  • Miller uses Infowars, the website run by con artist grifter and hatemonger Alex Jones, as a source.
  • Miller’s a Hitler fan, as well as a fan of Calvin Coolidge’s Immigration Act of 1924, an act based in racist eugenics.
  • Miller’s a conspiracy theorist who buys into all that “white genocide” nonsense.
  • Miller’s friends with a whole bunch of other nazis, white supremacists, and other racist trash.

And this is just the beginning. There’s 900 emails, and Hatewatch will be doing a series on them.

The sad part of this is that absolutely no one is surprised. It’s not like we needed leaked emails to prove that Stephen Miller is a fucking nazi. The dude proves it all by himself, every time he opens his mouth or sticks his nose into foreign policy.

Featured Image: Stephen Miller, by Gage Skidmore.

Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore

Trump spends his whole day blind because he’s too vain to wear glasses.

I’ve got a busy day ahead, so we’ll make this fast.

I want to make two quick points about this New York Times article: How Trump Reshaped the Presidency in Over 11,000 Tweets.

1. Back when I was in journalism classes, everyone was very excited about the advances in the internet that would allow interesting, dynamic layouts and graphics for articles. We could make text fade in, fade out, slide around. We could add all kinds of nifty charts and graphics that would pop up, slide out of the way, blahblahblah.

Now, these many years later, I vehemently loath all that shit. Just put the text on the page and get out of my way. Like, yes, include a chart or a photo if it’s germane to the article, but if it floats, slides, fades, wraps, blinks, colors itself, or whatever, just make it go away for the love of little dogs with heart-shaped spots, please stop making me play visual dodge ball with your article.

I would pay extremely good money to get my hands of the stats for these “dynamic” articles, because I bet all that garbage isn’t keeping readers on the page.

2. Donald Trump is probably legally blind most of the time. From the article:

Once Mr. Trump arrives in the West Wing — usually after 10 a.m. — Dan Scavino, the White House social media director, takes control of the Twitter account, tweeting as @realDonaldTrump from his own phone or computer. Mr. Trump rarely tweets in front of others, those close to him say, because he does not like to wear the reading glasses he needs to see the screen.

Instead, the president dictates tweets to Mr. Scavino, who sits in a closet-size room just off the Oval Office until Mr. Trump calls out “Scavino!” Often, he prints out suggested tweets in extra-large fonts for the president to sign off on. (A single-page article that Mr. Scavino recently printed out for him ran to six pages after the fonts were enlarged, according to one person who saw it.)

I know how this works. I have extremely bad vision. Without glasses or contacts, my world is a pastel-colored blur. I couldn’t get through my day without glasses or contacts. I wouldn’t be able to read a single thing, I wouldn’t be able to see where I was going, I wouldn’t be able to recognize most people until they spoke – and even then, it might be dicey if I didn’t know them well.

This is how the president spends his day.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with being blind. Lots of people are and they do just fine. There’s nothing wrong with having terrible vision. That’s why we invented contacts and glasses. But the president of the United States is stumbling through his entire day blind as a goddamn bat because he’s too vain to wear his glasses. How many mistakes does he make in a day because of this?

This is like the least important problem with Trump as president, probably, but I’m pointing it out because it’s just so very Trump. He’s stumbling around blind and incompetent and it’s no one’s fault but his own, and he’s just bullshitting his way through it, and that is this con artist’s whole frickin’ life.

Image credit: Donald Trump, by Gage Skidmore.

Money

Measles, Trump, Warren, & Batman

Happy Friday, y’all.

🩺 Vox: A new study on measles reveals a scary side effect: “immune-system amnesia” – New studies show that measles wipes out your immune system’s memory, meaning that if you get the measles, one of the effects is that your immune system will forget how to fight off other diseases you’ve already recovered from, like colds, flus, other things you’ve been vaccinated against, even things like skin infections. Get your vaccinations, and maybe ask your doctor to do a titer count and check if you’re immune to the measles. It’s bad, folks.

💵 NPR: READ: Elizabeth Warren’s Plan To Pay For ‘Medicare For All’ – Elizabeth Warren put out a plan to pay for Medicare for All without raising taxes on the middle class. Her plan raises money by taxing the extremely rich and higher taxes for employers. Folks also won’t be paying premiums or co-payments under Warren’s plan, but they will be paying taxes on “whatever extra take-home pay they would receive in this new system.” Whatever that means.

💰 Politico: Trump lures GOP senators on impeachment with cold cash – Trump is using his fundraising power to keep GOP senators on his side, which is basically bribery, but apparently not in the legal sense. So, there’s that.

🏴‍☠️ GQ: How Trump Corrupted the American Presidency in Every Imaginable Way – We’ll be cleaning up the mess this president made for a decade. It’ll take us generations to correct the clusterfuck Trump just caused with the Kurds in Syria, if that’s even possible to correct.

🦇 ComicBook.com: Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles Reveals Impressive Batman CostumeSupernatural‘s coming to an end, and the CW has Batwoman, as well as a new Superman show in development, for which they may need Batman appearances. Not to mention that since they got a Superman show, they may have a better than average chance of getting a Batman show off the ground. I suspect somebody’s campaigning for a new job.

Trump - Prisoner

It’s official: We’re impeaching Trump.

Don’t get too excited. The Senate still has to have a trial and vote to convict, which seems as likely to happen as my dog sprouting wings and soaring away into the sky while I dangle behind her by the leash. Anyway: House Passes Resolution Formalizing Impeachment Inquiry.

The House voted this morning 232 to 196 to begin “official” impeachment proceedings. (The impeachment proceedings were already official; a vote is not required. But okay, whatever.) Two Democrats in dicey districts voted no on the resolution, which was expected. Apparently Nancy Pelosi also voted on the resolution, which is unusual? I would assume that was a solidarity vote, since she’s got Democrats in tough re-election campaigns that she’s forcing to go on the record.

Also of note is this: “The resolution authorizes the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to conduct open hearings and allows the president and his attorneys to cross-examine witnesses.”

Is that common? I would have assumed that would happen in the Senate, not the House. The House investigates, the Senate does the trial, and I’d expect to see cross examination and whatnot in the trial, not the House hearings. I don’t remember Clinton’s impeachment proceedings well enough to recall if his lawyers questioned witnesses in the House. (I’ll update here when I learn more about this bit.)

This impeachment proceeding is moving unusually fast. I’ve heard/seen multiple people wondering what’s taking so long to get this done, so this is just a quick FYI. We’re blowing through this at a pretty fast clip. It might slow down some now that we’ve got public hearings, though.

The Senate is almost certainly not going to vote to convict Trump. We’re not getting rid of him via impeachment. If you want to get rid of Trump, vote in 2020. Register to vote, tell your friends and family to register to vote, make sure you and yours stay registered to vote all the way up to the election, and vote for whichever Democrat gets the nod, even if you don’t like ’em that much. That’s how you get rid of Trump.

No one, not Robert Mueller, not Adam Schiff, not Nancy Pelosi, not Congress, is going to save us. We have to save ourselves. VOTE.

Nate Silver Tweet

Donald Trump doesn’t get to have a good day.

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight tweeted this dumbass thing this morning:

Donald Trump is a monster who crimed, conned, lied and grifted his way into a presidency.

Donald Trump tried to kill millions of Americans by stealing their healthcare. He continues to try to do that even now.

Donald Trump stopped women, children and families who were legally seeking asylum at our border, separated them, deported the parents, and adopted out the kids, with no way to trace where those kids went. He stole children from parents. He put kids and families in concentration camps – camps that are still in operation right now. Children died. Children are dying. Parents died. Parents are dying.

Donald Trump abandoned our allies, the Kurds, and in so doing very nearly screwed up the operation that ended with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death, the thing he supposedly “deserves” a good day for doing.

Donald Trump routinely disrespects our other allies and cozies up to dictators and murderers.

Donald Trump has been accused of rape multiple times by credible victims. He’s also been accused of child rape. He was also buddy-buddy with child trafficker and rapist Jeffrey Epstein. I’m just saying.

He doesn’t get good days. Not now, not ever again.