‘When You’re Evil,’ Voltaire

And it’s so easy when you’re evil / This is the life, you see / The Devil tips his hat to me / I do it all because I’m evil / And I do it all for free / Your tears are all the pay I’ll ever need

And it's so easy when you're evil
This is the life, you see
The Devil tips his hat to me
I do it all because I'm evil
And I do it all for free
Your tears are all the pay I'll ever need

On ending Birthright Citizenship & other such BS

So. Birthright citizenship. Trump wants to end it by executive order.

My morning routine goes like this: My alarm goes off at 6:30am and, angrily, I thrust one arm out from underneath the covers to slap around on my bedside table until I find my damn phone. I fumble it up to my face, poking and swiping blearily and randomly at the screen until the noise stops.

I sit up, annoyed, and swirl an extra blanket around my shoulders to stay warm. I blink, glaring at the darkness in the bedroom and through it at the world beyond in dull irritation at its audacity in starting up at so ungodly an hour.

I open my phone, squinting into its brightness until my eyes decide to start focusing. I check my email. I check Facebook. Then, bracing myself, I check Twitter.

Email and Facebook rarely have anything of portent. It’s usually just spam and family updates.

Twitter is where I find out what’s on fire today. This particular morning Twitter was burning down over Trump’s announcement of his intention to end birthright citizenship, the principal that if you’re born in America, you’re an American citizen.

This is the downside of living on the west coast. By the time I wake up, the day’s already gone to hell.


So. Birthright citizenship. Trump wants to end it by executive order.

Birthright citizenship is the idea that if you are born on American soil, you’re an American citizen. This idea is enshrined in the 14th Amendment, and upheld by the Supreme Court in 1894 when Wong Kim Ark, who was born in San Francisco, was barred from re-entering the US after a trip to China. He took his case to the Supreme Court, which ruled 6-2 in his favor that he was a citizen by birth. You can read the history on Vox.

Despite the 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court decision, and the way we’ve generally applied both over the decades, there’s some contention over who exactly gets birthright citizenship in America.

Actually, let me clarify that. The only people arguing against birthright citizenship are racists and people who hate immigrants (illegal or otherwise, as the legality of someone’s immigration is often just the corner a racist sets their chisel against when they start trying to pry non-white folks out of the country). Birthright citizenship came about because of the Dred Scott case, and the arguments against it have always been racist at their core.

In the more racist, Nazi-ish corners of the US there’s been a push to end birthright citizenship and/or repeal the 14th Amendment for some time now, because racists think non-white people shouldn’t be citizens automatically.

Let me state that again, and plainly: The push to end birthright citizenship is racist on its face and a move to make it so only white people can be citizens.


Trump announced his intention this morning to sign an executive order that would take birthright citizenship from babies born in the US to illegal immigrants. Lots of journalists and pundits are arguing this morning that he can’t do that, but here’s how this would shake out.

Trump signs the executive order. Someone – probably the ACLU at the least – sues to stop the order, like with the Muslim ban executive order. Legalities ensue, and eventually the executive order ends up in the Supreme Court.

You remember that Trump and Mitch McConnell packed the Supreme Court, right? Kavanaugh, Gorsuch. It happened about 487 Trump years ago.

The lawsuit goes to the SCotUS, where, thanks to Trump’s judges, the executive order gets upheld.

There you go. That’s how it happens. Now you’re not necessarily a citizen just because you were born here anymore. It’s that easy.


That’s just step one. The chisel has been set. Don’t think for one single second that the Trump administration won’t be hammering away at that chisel night and day. The end goal of the Trump administration is an all-white United States.

And if you’re thinking, “Hey, well, I’m white, so…” let me just ask you: Are you sure you’re the right kind of white person?

Because that’s the next step.

Are you conservative? Straight? Male? Christian? Because if your answer to any of those questions is “No.” then you should be nervous.

Those of you who are straight, white, male, conservative Christians… have you checked your ancestry lately? Are you sure you’re white enough? You’re sure you don’t have any Jewish or Catholic ancestors someone might dig up? Maybe a Native American or black ancestor a few generations back that someone might find?

Can you prove that? Conclusively? If you can’t, can you be absolutely sure you’re not going to piss anyone off who might find that information or lie about it to get you in trouble?

Because that’s where this journey leads, eventually. And it might be a faster trip than you thought.


Maybe you think this sounds alarmist. You might. It kind of does. Because I’m alarmed. I’ve read enough history to know the lay of this land.

The midterm elections are 7 days away. Vote. Vote for Democrats. I don’t care if you hate Democrats, or think they aren’t liberal or progressive enough, if you’re mad because Bernie didn’t get elected or think “Oh, they’re all the same.”

They are not. Vote. For. Democrats. Vote Democrat straight across the board, for every race, without hesitation.

Our only hope right now is to bring the government to a screeching halt for two years, until 2020, when, for the love of little puppies with heart-shaped spots, please, we can vote Trump out.

Seven days. Vote Democrat. Vote like your life depends on it. It does.

5 Things to Read Today

Topics include young people voting, Fox News, amnesty for immigrants, Gab, and solutions to gun violence.

Busy day ahead, folks. Here’s a few things to read today. Topics include young people voting, Fox News, amnesty for immigrants, Gab, and solutions to gun violence.

🗳️ Young people say they plan to vote at near-historic highs: “A high number of young voters could turn out in the 2018 midterms, according to a new poll from the Harvard University Institute of Politics.”

🦊 A Country Awash in Fox’s Dark Toxins: “It seems clear that had I not happened to see it and share it to my relatively large following on Twitter and TPM with a bit of explanation of the rhetoric, it would have gone entirely unnoticed and be just another example of the torrent of anti-Semitic and racist conspiracy theories that routinely flow over the Fox networks.”

💡 The case for amnesty: “Of course an amnesty would accomplish what squishy liberals want to accomplish in terms of offering a humane solution for well-meaning people in their families. But it would also move the ball forward on almost everything restrictionists say they want, turning up the heat on both genuine dangerous criminals and scofflaw employers. What’s more, granting legal status to long-settled workers will increase tax revenue and give them more opportunities to save and invest, thus boosting the economy.”

👉 Gab, Site Where Synagogue Shooting Suspect Posted, Is Suspended: “Gab.com is a social network that touts itself as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook to give conservatives a platform for free speech. But it also has been criticized for providing a platform for anti-Semitism and white nationalism. The site has come in for increased scrutiny since the shooting.”

📌 I’ve covered gun violence for years. The solutions aren’t a big mystery: “In my coverage of these shootings, I’ve always focused on solutions through studies and policy ideas that would tamp down on the number of shootings. The good news is there are real solutions out there.”

5TtRT: the ‘MAGAbomber,’ Trump’s iPhone, the refugee caravan, Super Typhoon Yutu, & E.T.

We’re almost finished with the second season of “The Good Place,” and this show is delightful. We’re apparently the last people to know that. But in case we’re not, and you haven’t watched it either, you should. It’s on Netflix.

We’re almost finished with the second season of “The Good Place,” and this show is delightful. We’re apparently the last people to know that. But in case we’re not, and you haven’t watched it either, you should. It’s on Netflix.

5 Things to Read Today

💣 NBC News: Two packages sent to Joe Biden, one to Robert De Niro match other mailed pipe bombs

More mailed pipe bombs, this time to former VP Joe Biden and Robert De Niro, Bombs have also been sent to the Clintons, the Obamas, George Soros, John Brennan/CNN, former AG Eric Holder, and Rep. Maxine Waters. You can read more about this in the New York Times, Vox and NBC News. JJ McNab, extremist expert, has some thoughts in this Twitter thread, too.

📱 New York Times: When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn

Trump’s using an unsecured iPhone to make calls to whatever passes for his friends, and the Chinese, Russians, and let’s be honest here, probably others, are listening in. Not a guess, this is apparently a thing our intelligence people know. The good news is that since Trump doesn’t read anything and can’t be bothered to learn anything, he’s probably not giving away that much. (That’s a joke. You know he’s bragging up any classified information he’s managed to retain, constantly, to everyone.)

🇲🇽 CNN: Mattis expected to send 800 more troops to southern border

You must be aware by now that there’s an extremely large caravan of refugees, mostly from Honduras, headed our way. There are several thousand of them, and they plan to seek refugee status when they get here. They’re weeks away. Also, unarmed, and likely exhausted. Probably sick and hungry, too. Mattis is sending troops to the border to “stop them.” It’s a political stunt. You can read more about the caravan itself at Vox.

🌀 Vox: Super Typhoon Yutu, one of the strongest storms ever, just pulverized a US territory

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but there’s a frickin’ massive typhoon tearing ass through the Pacific Ocean right now, and it just wiped out a couple of islands that are US territories.

👽 Nerd Processor: E.T. Is Secretly the Scariest Movie of All Time

And finally, to wrap things up on a lighter (?) note, Rob Bricken explains in his new column, Nerd Processor, that E.T. is actually a monster, and I really can’t argue with it.