There’s No Crisis at the Border — There’s a Crisis in the White House

[NB: Whoops — forgot to remind readers to check the byline. This is the other pottymouth broad./ ~R]

Reports say that Vice President Pence and DHS Secretary Nielsen have been laying the groundwork for Trump’s speech tonight in which he is expected to complain about House Speaker Pelosi, Democrats, and the lack of funding for the goddamn wall he claimed Mexico would pay for while he campaigned in 2016. The word “crisis” was used 36 times.

Yet there’s no crisis at the border.

The State Department hasn’t published any documents or statements over the last two years indicating there was a crisis.

While talking about Trump’s speech today, Secretary of State Pompeo laughed — not exactly an indicator of crisis.

Bad numbers have been thrown around over the last couple of weeks, claiming that 4000 terrorists have been stopped at the border. Untrue: the number is somewhere between six and 12, and the designation “terrorist” is as specific as the No-Fly List. This means persons whose names match individuals who are under suspicion for political reasons — like musician Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens — may be the entirety of the 6-12 individuals stopped at the border. Hardly a crisis.

Secretary Nielsen can’t answer questions put to her by Congress about refugees at the southern border without prevarication; she can’t even say how many people, adults or children, have died in U.S. custody. Seems like a cabinet member would have accurate numbers at their finger tips in a genuine crisis.

That a handful of questionable individuals were halted at the border suggests the current system works. Not a crisis.

If funding has been the problem and the theater of angrily shutting down the government was intended to force funding approval, why didn’t the GOP fund it while they had a majority in the House? Why didn’t they fund it when they were in lame duck? Why didn’t they make a point of knocking down the massive tax cut by enough to fund the “fucken wall“?

If aliens breaching the border is a crisis, why were government services including border security shuttered at all instead of finding an alternative method for funding the wall?

And if aliens crossing into the U.S. was such an emergency, why did Trump’s campaign fund a broadcast TV ad placed during CBS’ 60 Minutes this past Sunday night, bashing Pelosi and the Democrats about wall funding?

Because the border hasn’t been and still isn’t a crisis; it’s a distraction from other issues Trump doesn’t want his base to notice. Because it’s a campaign issue that worked in 2016 with the same base eager to lap up his brand of white nationalist hate.

But you know what is a crisis?

Tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year from opioids and Trump has done dick-doodley-squat to work with Congress to shut down opioids. Oh, he’s talked about it? Great — a lot of useless hot air and fapping gestures made as Americans’ bodies pile up.

[Graphic: StatNews – note deaths from opioid variants]

At least 42,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2016. But no speech tonight about this real crisis.

Another crisis: the cost of insulin. People who can’t afford the outrageous prices are risking permanent disability and death by rationing their use below prescribed levels. Worse yet, some government employees, contractors, and their families may be going without insulin right now because they can’t afford it while they are going unpaid. Trump is courting Americans’ deaths for the manufactured wall crisis.

Another crisis being swept under the rug: the government’s gross negligence in responding to Hurricane Maria, resulting in thousands of Americans deaths, and the continued abdication of leadership on climate change, contributing to deadly conditions like California’s wildfires resulting in at least 100 deaths. Who is being held accountable for these fatalities as they mount? How many will die during the next climate change-caused catastrophe?

Who is being held accountable for all the other real crises, like multiple corrupt cabinet members, the collapse of ethics in the White House, the mounting risks to national security posed by officials handling sensitive matters without adequate clearance, or the loss of trust in the U.S. among allies whose relationships have been devalued?

There’s no crisis at the border, but there is a crisis. This country is lead by a lying malignant narcissist who can’t see anyone or anything except for himself; he refuses to accept responsibility and accountability. He is incapable of admitting failure, particularly his failure to uphold his oath of office. He swore to faithfully execute the laws but his manufactured border crisis ignores this very simple and straightforward one:

8 U.S. Code § 1158 – Asylum
(a) Authority to apply for asylum
(1) In general
Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United States after having been interdicted in international or United States waters), irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum in accordance with this section or, where applicable, section 1225(b) of this title.

His trash talk bashing the press also violates the First Amendment of the Constitution, which he swore to uphold and defend.

There’s a crisis when broadcast media corporations — after refusing twice to allow the first black president to address the nation on immigration — have allowed themselves to be bullied in to airing pure propaganda.

The networks have in these decisions breached the contract they have as licensed broadcasters, obligated to serve the public interest; they do so with great bias for a man who is a noted racist, having shut out the only president of color on the same issue of immigration. They do so after Trump has encouraged violence against media and elected officials by calling them enemies of state, ultimately resulting in mass bomb and shooting threats.

These media outlets also ignore history — very specific history Trump knows quite well, having read Hitler’s speeches and understanding the aims of Germany’s 1933 emergency Reichstag Fire Decree and Enabling Act — by giving Trump a platform for untruths, defamatory content, and near incitement, none of which serves the public interests.

Lastly, the press also gives preference to an extortive demand for funding labeled by Trump as a crisis — neatly fulfilling Trump’s claim of fake news media — when the only genuine emergency at the border is two-fold: the ongoing violations of U.N. treaties on refugees and human rights, resulting in the deaths of children and adults alike, and the suspension of government services which include border security.

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126 replies
  1. Jockobadger says:

    The last thing he wants is to separate the ‘wall’ and the Lockout.

    This chaos extends his criminal admin. Jesus H Christ

    • Rayne says:

      If it’s interfering with active investigations in which he may be a subject or target or have a vested interest in the outcome, this shutdown may be obstruction of justice and tampering at scale.

  2. Ollie says:

    I came here to talk about that Pompeo laughed while discussing the upcoming Trump speech and how sickened I was watching him.

    Today I spoke w/a government agency that helps me w/my mortgage.  They have emergency funds for us in Feb. but nothing after that.  I called USDA, my mortgage holder, and their message gives their times and then abruptly says: We are currently closed.

    ‘Motherfucker’ has been floating around in a glorious way here because whatever the spelling it’s a glorious insult towards that immature, greedy, stupid and a bankrupt spiritual soul (not sure he has one).  I know this is mostly about me.  Yeah.  Well I sit in my  home that can be gone w/in a month, my two little feline boys: Ollie and Mr. Baby  and at 70 years old, I am just feeling weak.

    That asshole couldn’t even get his monopoly of GOP in the first two years get his fucking wall.  So now he dumps this shit on us?  And his puppets laugh about all of this?  I’m also scared at just how many people support that man.  The story Marcy wrote today on Manafort made me just swoon over the disregard for law and order.

    Thanks Rayne.

    • Rayne says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your mortgage hassles. At least your mortgage holder is shut down; I pity the folks who have a commercial mortgagor, pay childcare, and have higher than average prescription medication expenses. Those folks are the ones calling in sick and likely scrambling for alternative income.

      • Ollie says:

        Well I know how I’m feeling and I am filled w/empathy for my fellow neighbors.  We each have our story but the fear is the same and the anger and frustration.  We all have our stories and it’s important to remember we’re not alone.  I have a whole lot of sorrow Rayne for all affected.

        • MissyL says:

          Ollie, I’m so sorry to hear of your troubles and wish you the best. No one deserves this shit thrown at us by a MF.

          • Jenny says:

            Ollie, you are correct, you are not alone.  I am sending you good vibrations in your time of discomfort.  Also taking action everyday calling Republican senators stating “value federal employees, stop using them as pawns.”  Makes me  feel better to speak my truth.  Tomorrow I will be calling for you.

    • Lee says:

      So, so sorry for your struggles and fears, Ollie.  It’s not fair.  I can only hope that the fact that so many people are suffering will raise this nation’s anger to the point Trump and his spawn begin to fear and tremble.  The man is a coward.  More and more I believe he will go out with a whimper rather than a bang.  Only time will tell I guess.

    • Mike says:

      Try to keep your chin up, Ollie!  You’re not in this alone.  Hopefully someday we can look back on “this” and laugh about it.

  3. Anon says:

    I just watched all three speeches (Trump, Nancy+Chuck, & Bernie). I would actually rank them Bernie > Trump > Nancy+Chuck. Trump’s was, as expected, full of lies but unlike most of his interactions he stayed clear, focused, and on-message as he attempted to explain that what he is asking for is humanitarian aid and “expert designed” border security part of which is a wall. At the Democrats’ request apparently it will be made of steel. If you trust him and do not fact check it is scary. If you actually listened it was pure sophistry, and if you check, yeppers lies.

    Nancy and Chuck made the mistake of trying to take the high ground and actually talked relatively little about security. They just put the blame on Trump. And Nancy could barely contain herself when she reminded people that Trump said Mexico would pay for it. But as a speech it was basically bland.

    Bernie Sanders though actually called lies lies and went to exactly the kinds of crises you mentioned, the cost of drugs, lack of insurance, inequality, and yes global warming. It was damn good and if you listened rather compelling both because he did acknowledge border security but rightly pointed out that most drugs come in elsewhere. I think he was just much more prepped than Nancy and Chuck and much more ready to hit back rather than look neutral.

    • Rayne says:

      Let’s keep in mind one of these speakers has +13 years of reality TV under their belt and are quite used to delivering scripted material before the camera. Two of the other speakers are responsible for governance and coordinating efforts of larger groups of elected officials — they’re not TV personalities.

      And one of these folks is already working on investigations into Trump; they may not want to come off as a showboat trying to campaign for likability (argh!) and effectiveness in front of the camera.

      • Anon says:

        Those are fair points.  Though I think that Trump’s reality TV experience shows in his ability to create crises more than speaking.  Of the speeches I have listened to this was his most focused and most carefully crafted.  Clearly they brought in the best writers for this one and clearly he knew he needed to stay on message.

        As for Pelosi and Schumer yes I agree they were in fact focusing very much on running things and she was clearly trying to keep herself under control.  But in this instance I think they could have hammered it a bit more.  Or at least I wish they had.

        • Rayne says:

          It’s a pity ‘reality TV’ isn’t reality — it’s highly-produced fluff mistaken for competence. Look what it’s done for a guy known as a bottom feeder in real estate with a track record of multiple bankruptcies, multiple failed marriages, racism in discriminatory housing practices, a pattern of abuse toward women, and a slew of failed products.

          Really, fuck Mark Burnett. And Jeff Zucker, too. Fuck them for the high gloss they put on this orange turd.

      • Alan says:

        Schumer and Pelosi were very disappointing.  We do have a southern border problem, and with climate change and lack of US interest in the region, it is only going to get worse.  There are so many good ideas.  The Dems need to pick some and engage the public in a “go high” discussion.  Not even AOC has a decent angle on this.

        • Rayne says:

          1 – We do not have a southern border problem. We have a problem cleaning up our fascist foreign policy failures combined with a gross inability to wield soft power and model future outcomes to reduce blowback. Oh, and an insufficiency of political will among the right-wing in this country to deal with climate change. We wouldn’t even be having this discussion if it wasn’t for the pervasiveness of racism in the U.S. and the disenfranchisement of voters.

          2 – I suspect you have multiple userids at this site. Stick to one so community members get to know you.

            • Rayne says:

              There are several Alans. But a user often known as AlanK has used the same IP address as other Alans, and one of those Alans has also used several different email addresses. In other words, there’s evidence to suggest either the specific Alan in question forgets to use the same login information each time he’s commented here or he’s sockpuppeting.

              • Alan-possibly says:

                Yeah – sorry.  I forget which I used.  If there is no AlanK out there, I’ll remember to use that.  I do have two email addresses (work and gmail) so I’ll try to remember to use the gmail one consistently.  Sorry for the stress.

                As for the fascist policies of the USA on the other side of the border, I’m not sure “fascist” is the right word.  Mercenary is probably more accurate, since all this illegal and deadly behavior was done on behalf of private businesses.

                • Rayne says:

                  Fascism is government of, by, and for business. Pretty sure undermining Central American governments on behalf of business interests is fascist and not merely mercenary.

    • Strawberry Fields says:

      Im glad they didn’t talk about insurance, and global warming… that would have been a distraction. Simple is better, stay on topic, refute the lies. Any tangent/whataboutism would have given trump an opening. They checkmate him, it wasn’t fancy and exciting, but it left him absolutely cornered.

  4. Anon says:

    @Ollie, I am very sorry to hear that. I apologize if this sounds naive but have you considered calling your elected officials, or if yours are as useless as mine, someone else? Not that I am claiming they are messiahs but it would seem that this is the kind of thing constituent services should be all about. And since those people are getting paid they should earn their keep.

    • Ollie says:

      Evening Anon….it’s going to be alright.  I really don’t think this will go on thru the most February.  I’m just feeling overwhelmed by all sorts of political events.  No…. If I find I’m w/o a home I’ll make it.  I’ve lived in a car before.  Just knowing hundreds of thousands of others are in worse shape than me (like w/kids!)……..well I hope all of our voices create a tsunami of protest heard throughout this country.  Also Oregon here and we’ve good representation.  We’re one of the lucky states

  5. Cathy says:

    This post title (image + text) gives me the same warm fuzzy I’ve also come to expect from punaise comments. Many thanks…

    • punaise says:

      You’re so kind! :~) I’m generally satisfied with grudging tolerance from the esteemed commenting community here.

      Wish I could come up with something pithy for ya…

      • Trip says:

        Not true punaise, I’ve enjoyed your comments and told you. You’re pretty clever.

        Then again, I’m probably not in the esteemed category, haha!

  6. CloudNine says:

    I’m not sure if Trump’s facts are any worse than the fact-checkers facts.

    The Times argues that Trump’s claim is false that Mexico will pay indirectly, arguing that “Any economic benefits from [Nafta 2] , if it passes, will likely come in the form of …higher wages for American workers.” 

    But, wouldn’t we workers then pay federal taxes on our increased earnings?  Sounds like indirect payment for the wall to me. My point isn’t to project the actual fiscal outcome of the trade deal. I just hope we can agree that the Times “factual” stance does not in fact contradict Trump’s claim.

    I also heard some dope on CNN implicitly, but unconsciously, arguing for undocumented workers because companies need workers! I’m sorry, but why can’t any fact-checker argue for higher wages given decades of stagnant wages? The fact-checker took a stance of contradicting Trump, but was saying just what Trump predicted people like him would say.

    I’m here to enjoy this sweet echo chamber, but I think you lawyers and fact-checkers are oblivious to the fact Trump just scored a point with us motherfucking working stiffs.

    • Rayne says:

      Except that Trump has undocumented workers in his employ, and this entire bullshit crisis has other benefits to Trump like keeping you talking about imaginary points you’ve won instead of focusing on real crises.

      You know how you get higher wages? Kill off bunches of working age citizens with opioids and too-expensive insulin. That’ll tighten the job market.

      Except this also kills demand. A real pity, that.

    • Anon says:

      Well I would say it does not exactly contradict his current claim.  The fact is he previously promised a more literal payment.  Now he is saying the net gains will pay for it but not specifying how and current economic analyses of the proposal suggest that the gains may not be sufficient.  I will grant you that is a lot more squishy than “lie” but it still doesn’t make his claim true either.

      As to the second point take that up with CNN.

      Ultimately Trump was trying to tie the wall to “enhanced border security” and claim that the Democrats want none of that they said otherwise and indeed have previously offered big boosts for border security, so in that respect he was lying. They on the other hand argued that they want security too and have put in funding for that.  but that the shutdown is hurting workers not helping them.  In this respect I think that they are right.

    • Trip says:

      You said you want to people to argue for higher wages while saying said higher wages will pay for a wall, so how is that making it any better for workers (if I am even to buy into these schematics)? It’s still gonna come out of your paycheck. And instead of perhaps those taxes being used toward something that might actually make people’s lives better, they would fund a vanity project. That is IF workers would get raises.

      When someone says they’re paying for dinner, they pull out their wallets. Mexico ain’t pulling out a big wallet and paying for any goddamn wall, no matter what contortionist excuse Trump is giving.

      Trump avoided the fact that most immigrants come legally via air travel but overstay their visas. How does a wall remedy that exactly?

      • Trip says:

        Remember when Trump’s tax cuts for the filthy rich would mean a $4000 raise for everyone else? And Companies would solely invest, instead of doing stock buybacks? And they promised how they would never ever leave if Trump gave them breaks?

        • Eureka says:

          Also, all of this talk of tax time is a reminder that wages aside, many families are going to get surprise higher tax bills instead of that relied-upon refund, per all of the press analyses at the time the tax bill came out.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        If a partial wall/barrier/slats/white picket fence ever was built, you can be sure Trump and his outsourced contractors would pay pick-up gang wages or the prevailing wage for Ag work in the valley, not union construction worker wages.  But the contractor would bill the government as if it were.

        And this theatrical insistence on $5 billion odd would be a rounding error in the actual cost of constructing any real, Israeli settlement type wall. Not even the GOP wants to go near that kind of expense after having giving the haves their whopping tax relief. That it would preclude, in the hive mind of the GOP and conservative Dems, spending on Rayne’s list of much more pressing projects goes without saying.

    • Robert says:

      ” Sounds like indirect payment for the wall to me. ”

      Seriously?  You’d accept an IOU from this person?  USMCA has NOT been passed.  It may never be passed.  Any nonsense about the “billions and billions” of dollars in windfall to pay for the wall is just another empty promise from a snake oil salesman. It’s magic thinking.

    • SomeGuyInMaine says:

      I’m not sure if Trump’s facts are any worse than the fact-checkers facts.

      Really?! I’m sure.

      He’s the President of the United States. He has all the resources to check and double check anything. He doesn’t. He doesn’t care. He lies and lies all the time. His own team is laughs at it and unable to explain his repeated lies.  It’s a strategy and it’s repugnant.

      Mexico isn’t paying for the wall. He wants US taxpayers to do it.  Any trade deal effects don’t go to the Treasury.  Some one handed him this fig leaf explanation a while back and he’s adopted it as his own. That’s not what he campaigned on. It’s a crock.

      “I’m sorry, but why can’t a fact-checker argue for higher wages . . .”

      Here’s your problem. Um fact-checkers dont argue — they check facts.

      Please take your “but everybody does it” relativism elsewhere,” because everybody doesn’t. Even if they did, that wouldn’t excuse the president lying, misleading, or whatever you wish to call it. I want my president to have higher standard with respect to facts he presents to the public in a nationwide address.

      And many here are arguing for higher wages, just not with unrelated facts.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        It’s not a wall, it’s a talking point.  To coin a phrase, you can’t fund a punch line.  As Rayne says so eloquently, it’s a classic distraction from Trump and the GOP’s failures to address the problems America really faces – plus those Trump has caused himself.

    • bmaz says:

      Man, I was otherwise occupied last night and missed the CloudNine fun. Jeebus. Thanks for dropping by, “Cloud”.

      • bmaz says:

        Dear “Cloud” I saw your attempted followup. It went into our trash bin because you were lying about where you are and what you are doing. Don’t bother here again.

  7. Eureka says:

    I actually clicked thru to NYT for this:

    Yet privately, Mr. Trump dismissed his own new strategy as pointless. In an off-the-record lunch with television anchors hours before the address, he made clear in blunt terms that he was not inclined to give the speech or go to Texas, but was talked into it by advisers, according to two people briefed on the discussion who asked not to be identified sharing details.
    “It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it,” Mr. Trump said of the trip to the border, according to one of the people, who was in the room. The border trip was just a photo opportunity, he said. “But,” he added, gesturing at his communications aides, Bill Shine, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, “these people behind you say it’s worth it.”
    (emphasis added)

    ———

    And viva the sorely missed voice of Rayne!

    • Eureka says:

      Sigh, I tire of having to fix my comments around here.  I mean appreciation for (visible) presence and not anything negative about everybody else present (as ‘sorely’ might have accidentally construed).

    • Rayne says:

      Nice to see you, Eureka! Been insanely busy here, too many family things going on. But I’m now back, at least until spring break!

      • Eureka says:

        Um, I think “the base” has an infinite amount of ‘patience’ (read:  storyline tolerance).  He’ll be gone, though, because -barring other routes-  We’re gonna impeach the motherfucker (yes, yes, I know, all in due time, proper investigatory hearings, don’t excitedly utter such things, etc.  Then (whisper) We’re gonna impeach the motherfucker!).

        Then he can (? continue to) pull a Stein and use the cash for his legals.

        • Trip says:

          Yeah, I thought about cash for lawyers too. Although with Trump, he might spend it on a portrait of himself instead.

        • Eureka says:

          ‘legals’ as in legal bills.  The context may have made it clear, but because we have president epithet at the helm and some use this term for actual humans, it’s worth clarifying.

          • Trip says:

            Trump doesn’t really like paying legals or illegals. In that way, he’s an equal opportunity stiffer. :)

  8. oldoilfieldhand says:

    Cloud Nine
    “But, wouldn’t we workers then pay federal taxes on our increased earnings? Sounds like indirect payment for the wall to me.”

    There is the matter of the two trillion dollars shortfall in federal taxes that corporations and the wealthy will no longer be paying. The federal taxes on any increased earnings are already spent, indirectly covering the salary increases of cabinet members and staff, as well as military support expenditures in every congressional district in every state. Unfortunately, the shortfall will easily exceed increased earnings taxes and further cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, rural hospitals and federal infrastructure projects will be required to reduce the federal deficit. However, the government would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your anticipated increased contribution! Have a nice day.

  9. punaise says:

    We don’t need no edification
    We don’t need “no-thought” control
    No dark star plasm in the crass room
    GOPers: leave those kids alone
    Hey GOPers, leave those kids alone
    All in all he’s just another dick with a wall
    All in all he’s just another dick with a wall

  10. Trip says:

    Imagine if the unpaid secret service members walked off the job? Trump would have second thoughts about the importance of the wall and not giving a shit about all of the other federal workers. He’d have a come to Jesus moment pretty damn fast.

  11. Jenny says:

    This was a nationally televised reelection speech.  A prime time speech to fund raise for 2020.  He is asking citizens to send money for a project not approved by congress.  Greed, greed and more greed.  Is this legal?

    The man is vile, vindictive and vain.  He is a national crisis.  UGH!

  12. Trip says:

    Wasn’t Rush Limbaugh one of the people egging Trump on for a wall? Drugs and whatnot?

    2006:
    Rush Limbaugh Arrested on Prescription Drug Charges

    The subject of a three-year investigation by prosecutors, Mr. Limbaugh turned himself in to authorities on a warrant charging him with fraud to conceal information to obtain prescriptions, said Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Jail.
    The 55-year-old conservative radio commentator came into the jail about 4 p.m. with his lawyer, Roy Black, and left an hour later after he was photographed and fingerprinted and he posted $3,000 bail, Ms. Barbera said…Prosecutors seized Mr. Limbaugh’s records after learning that he had received about 2,000 painkillers, prescribed by four doctors in six months, at a pharmacy near his house in Palm Beach.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/28/us/28ap-rush.html

  13. Jenny says:

    So heartfelt to read some compassionate responses.  We as a society and global family need more compassion and love.  One 4 year old yoga student said, “Ms. Jenny, I am thankful for love.”  Out of the mouths of babes.  Wise little teachers.

  14. Anon says:

    @Ollie (replying below because update isn’t working for some reason.)

    That’s good that you have good representation but still, noone of any age should have to consider living in their car, especially not at your age. The fact that we are here at all is mind-blindingly maddening. Good luck.

  15. Strawberry Fields says:

    @CloudNine
    Trump is requesting the funds before NAFTA 2 is law, so it cannot be funding the wall. But if your willing to believe that NAFTA 2 “will” pay for the wall, which I think is a fallacy, then a logical conclusion would be that NAFTA 1 actually paid for the wall… because it’s not theoretical tax money… its where the tax money came from…

    I think nytimes is right on this one, it becomes such a weird rabbit hole if you believe the NAFTA argument imo.

  16. Arj says:

    @Eureka: you mentioned Gary Larson – it’s the baleful-goldfish stare of McConnell that always reminds me of The Far Side…
    (Reply button not working, so putting this in a bottle.)

    • Eureka says:

      @ Arj & @ punaise above- I went looking for an apropos strip to link and he doesn’t have them on the web.  But he *does* have a website with no ads or trackers—  How Gary Larson of him!

  17. e.a.f. says:

    If the networks who aired the “speech” weren’t being played by dtrump, they were playing along with him.  If they truly believed it was in the public’s interest to air the speech, they ought to have known better.  dtrump doesn’t tell the truth.  He lies like a rug.

    One could say this was the first launch of a re election bid by a sitting President from the oval office, which was carried free of charge by all national networks.   Not a bad deal if you can get it.  His campaign sent out emails after the “speech” to fund raise.  OMG. how stupid are these people, the networks.

    there will be a crisis if people continue to not be paid for the work they do.  they won’t be coming to work.   It will be a crisis for the people who won’t have money to pay their bills.   When people have to decide whether they use their dwindling resources for gas to go to an unpaid job or feeding their kids, feeding the kids comes first every time.   Then the idiots on CNN left viewers with the impression it was some how up to the Democrats to end this all.   :Right, they do frequently sound like Fox and this time they were just like fox.

    All of this is a way to deflect from the Mueller, Russia investigation.  While the media was focused on “the speech” we had other important news regarding the players in the soap opera called the Russia investigation/  While the media was providing dtrump with all his free air time to peddle his hate, not one of those stations was doing any work on the opoid crisis.  No just let the drug manufacturers make more money and kill more citizens.  Border crisis, yes some Moms and kids running for their lives from gang violence in their home countries.  The real border crisis is the fent coming in from China.  it comes in by the container via the ports on freighters from China.  So have the news media been doing any reporting on that?  Doing any documentaries?   Not so much but those of us in British Columbia know all about it as do the Australians,. how the drugs come in, sold, the money laundered, which countries the money goes to, how the money is then brought back and laundered through real estate and other businesses.  When you read about rising real estate values in places like Australia and Toronto and Vancouver, B.C. you’re reading about the same problem the American media isn’t reporting on, fent. which is killing Americans faster than any “terrorist”.    The rest of the terrorists in the U.S.A. are the Americans themselves going all the way back to the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma.

    Trump continued to vilify Latinos.  He lied, he lied, he lied.  He has separated them out from the main stream and this is not an unusual thing for politicians to do while they are getting ready to start a genocide.  have a look around at some of the genocides of the 20th century.  They already have the camps, the deaths are starting.  Now that is a crisis, the deaths in the camps of children and adults.  The rate of suicide in the camps are huge.  So can some one tell me what is so different from what is going on in the U.S.A. regarding Latinos and genocides which happened in other countries during the 20th century.  remember Bosnia, Serbia, Cambodia, Europe, the Rhyohinda.  by the time the U.N. can deal with it, its over and my worry is the genocide of Latinos in the U.S.A will be over before any one can deal with it.  The UN publishes a report regarding the first phase of a genocide, that’s where the U.S.A. is now.  But they don’t get any further.   That is the crisis in the U.S.A.   dtrump’s speech was separating the Latinos from the main stream and then suggesting they were making life difficult for African Americans.  Typical language for those setting up a genocide.  The people making life difficult for African Americans are ass holes like dtrump and his base.

    dtrump is a lying piece of shit who really needs to go.  I don’t believe in political killings to deal with a problem.  However, should he have a heart attack and die I would certainly be a much happier person because what is going on in the U.S.A. right now is very scary and not just for some Americans.  those sitting just north of the border, in Canada, aren’t feeling too well either.  On the up side Canada is used to taking refugees.  We took 100K after the end of the Vietnam war and a lot of others in between.  we took 30-40K Syrians and you know what.  We’re doing just fine.

    My Mother told us about Europe during the Holocaust and she always warned us, it could happen again.

  18. Mulder says:

    Well done, Rayne. I think you have a future as a speechwriter! Nancy and Chuck could have used you to polish their bit.

    And thank you for referencing the opioids crisis in particular. That’s all I’ve been ranting about since this BS started. A real crisis leading to deaths and harm that continues to be addressed with nickels and dimes and weak public health declarations.

  19. Trip says:

    Anyone else think he really wanted to declare an emergency last night, but there was too much preemptive blow back, that they decided to do robo-Trump instead?

    • Jenny says:

      Very difficult to read the mind of a pathological liar.  This is whip lash from minute to minute.  He wanted to make money off of the speech.

      Greed, groping and golfing, his interests.

      • Trip says:

        Jenny, I think last night’s speech was Shine’s way of disrupting Pelosi/Schumer’s footing on a tough argument/retort against calling a national emergency. All involved looked like Zombies (including Trump).

        Trump may not have had the full support of the GOP to permit this level of fuckery, either. (Remember they don’t care about the wall). Maybe the campaign money was a consolation prize for Trump to read their simplistic words on a teleprompter.

        And of course, the enablers who aired this propagandist shit now have an opportunity to blather bothsides-isms for hours and hours, and to cheer Trump’s presidential-ness because…well, they suck hard.

  20. BroD says:

    “Secretary of State Pompeo laughed”
    All of a sudden I realized that this is all just Gilbert & Sullivan–but with real blood.

  21. Trip says:

    Bolton Counters Syria Withdrawal, Hires Iran Hawk

    Back in February, Goldberg wrote, in a piece titled “It’s time for Trump to attack Iran’s Revolutionary Guard,” that Trump should “re-establish a robust military deterrent toward Iranian expansionism in close collaboration with regional allies.” He downplayed any potential military response from Iran or its proxies, however, saying that “the benefits far outweigh the costs.”
    In May, Goldberg partnered with Dubowitz to call for sanctioning any European country that facilitates payments allowed under the nuclear deal to the Central Bank of Iran. In other words, they were essentially arguing for upending the entire global financial system just to stick it to Iran.
    Goldberg’s obsession with confronting Iran has no moral limits. After Saudis linked to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman murdered Washington Post columnist and American resident Jamal Khashoggi, he defended the Trump administration for going easy on the Saudi regime in response. “US sanctions on Iran return Nov 5,” he tweeted in October (his twitter feed is now locked), adding that Saudi Arabia “is a critical part of Iran strategy: using its market leverage for sanctions compliance AND oil production to offset lost Iranian crude.”
    https://lobelog.com/bolton-counters-syria-withdrawal-hires-iran-hawk/

    Does this coincide with the downgrading of the EU Diplomatic Status with the US? (Of course it does)

  22. Trip says:

    This is for CloudNine (keep on dreaming, baby):

    AT&T Preps for New Layoffs Despite Billions in Tax Breaks and Regulatory Favors
    Internal documents obtained by Motherboard show that the company is preparing for layoffs—megamergers, deregulation, and tax breaks aren’t providing the public benefits AT&T promised.

    The staff reductions come despite billions in tax breaks and regulatory favors AT&T promised would dramatically boost both investment and job creation.

    A source at AT&T who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak publicly told Motherboard that company leadership is planning what it’s calling a “geographic rationalization” and employment “surplus” reduction that will consolidate some aspects of AT&T operations in 10 major operational hubs in New York, California, Texas, New Jersey, Washington State, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, and Washington, DC. A spokesperson for AT&T confirmed to Motherboard that it is planning to “adjust” its workforce.
    This news comes in the wake of AT&T receiving a $20 billion windfall last quarter courtesy of the Trump administration tax breaks. That’s in addition to the friendlier environment AT&T finds itself in as a result of the Trump administration’s assault on consumer protections ranging from net neutrality to broadband privacy guidelines.

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/nepxeg/atandt-preps-for-new-layoffs-despite-billions-in-tax-breaks-and-regulatory-favors

  23. Trip says:

    Sorry I am monopolizing this space, this AM Rayne…but if true, FUCKING BOMBSHELL

    Stanley Cohen‏ @StanleyCohenLaw

    Russia Plans Dirty Ops Campaign on Behalf of Netanyahu, Pressured Lieberman to Resign Tikun Olam תיקון עולם

    linked article:

    A confidential Israeli security source tells me that the recent resignation of Avigdor Lieberman from the governing coalition was not motivated by his dissatisfaction with Israeli policy toward Gaza, as the former defense minister stated at the time.  Rather, he was told to resign by Russian officials.  The latter want to aid Bibi Netanyahu in his effort to retain power in upcoming elections.  The sooner elections happen, the harder it may be for Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to pursue the four sets of corruption charges facing Netanyahu.  Within weeks of Lieberman’s resignation, the prime minister did dissolve his government and call for new elections to be held in April.  Now he is pressuring the AG not to announce any indictments until after the election.  Doing so would guarantee he would remain in office, making it much harder to force his resignation…Israeli media today reported (Hebrew and Haaretz in English) a related story about a speech delivered yesterday by Shin Bet chief, Nadav Argaman.  In it, he released a veritable bombshell:  he expected a “foreign country” would attempt to sabotage the upcoming Israeli election.  Military censorship prohibits Israeli media from reporting the identity of that nation, but my source confirmed that it is Russia.  Putin’s goal is to help Netanyahu remain in power (more on this to follow below).  Argaman said that the methods used would be cyber-hacking and other sorts of online attacks.

    The question most Israelis will ask is how did Russia engineer this interference in the Israeli political process?  What did Bibi know and when did he know it?  Certainly, the Israeli leader is smart enough not to have left his fingerprints on any of this.  If there was collusion, an intermediary likely negotiated on his behalf.  You might have thought Bibi would’ve exhausted all available intermediaries.  Some are in prison, on their way to prison, or serving a state’s witnesses against him in his corruption cases.  But there appear to be some he holds in reserve, who are still willing to do his bidding. https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2019/01/08/breaking-russia-plans-dirty-ops-campaign-on-behalf-of-netanyahu-pressured-lieberman-to-resign-and-topple-government/

    • Rayne says:

      First, this is the second time inside 24 hours you’ve used a rather long piece of material which may be subject to copyright. This excerpt is 337 — not within Fair Use. This isn’t the first time I’ve told you to watch Fair Use.

      Second, this excerpt isn’t taken from and linked to a news outlet; it opens with vague sourcing. Don’t do this here.

      Work on summarizing news like this in your own words. Watch your sourcing. You’re perfectly capable of doing better so do it.

  24. di says:

    yup, more deaths come from prescription drugs than illegal drugs. they’re going after the wrong drug traffickers.

    yup, recent gov’t statistics show texas border cities have some the lowest crime rates.

    yup, undocumented people have a lower crime rate than citizens.

    yup, most undocumented are expired visas with people mostly from canada and europe.

    yup, border patrol is the largest law enforcement group with little transparency and accountability, committing crimes.

    we are being conned bigly.

  25. Michael says:

    @Eureka January 9, 2019 at 12:08 am
    “…movie scene out there with a someone trudging down a dusty road,
    worldly possessions in hand, portrait tucked under arm.”

    ” The Jerk ” (Steve Martin) is close. No portrait, but he trudged with pants down around his ankles. :-)

    • Eureka says:

      Oh, that’s a good one- close enough, and perhaps better.

      Oh two/too- I just recalled now that photo of Trey Gowdy descending the steps in crumpled suit (mentally assembling a clips reel…).

  26. Vern says:

    Coming late to this thread, but felt it important to point out that (assuming the pancreas isn’t completely destroyed) virtually no one needs insulin (including most Type 1 Diabetics) if they’re willing to get by on less than 20 net grams of carbohydrates a day (less than what’s in a typical slice of bread).

    The root of metabolic syndrome (Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) is consumption of carbs.  Eliminate carbs and you’ll need none of the drugs used to treat these diseases.

    I speak from personal experience, study and several years now of normal biomarkers and therefore no drugs after eliminating carbs from my diet.  A side benefit is you lose a lot of weight (55# in my case) in the process.

    I would be happy to share further info (things to read and/or watch) with folks as they desire.

    • Rayne says:

      Let’s not do any doctoring in this thread. The people who are on insulin are there because it’s been prescribed. They’ve also likely received counseling from dietitians. Leave this coaching to the professionals and worry more for the health care system which is extorting money from patients who are dying without affordable insulin.

      • Vern says:

        Sure, OK.  No doctoring intended.

        Drugs are bad, mkay?  Especially the ones Pharma sells (reputedly) to counteract the subsidized poison from Big Ag and Big Food.  Doctors prescribe based on guidelines that are owned by these players.  Same with Dieticians.

        It’s possible to live (normally) without these drugs.  There is another way.

        May your medicine be your food and your food be your medicine.

        • P J Evans says:

          Please take those lies elsewhere.

          signed, BC survivor and person who has maintenance drugs that work fine for various problems

          • Vern says:

            What lies?

            Glad you survived!  And I have no doubt the drugs you take are necessary.

            My point was that diet can prevent the need for drugs like insulin and statins.

            Who would willingly poke themselves with a needle if there was an alternative (give up sugar in all its forms)?  The alternatives are not commonly shared with patients because of perverse systemic incentives.  That’s all I’m saying.

            • bmaz says:

              What other drugs do you blithely think people can go without, and where the hell do you get off telling anybody that?

            • P J Evans says:

              I’m sure you’ve convinced yourself that that’s Truth, but I’ll trust my primary-care guy over your source of information any day. (My primary-care has both an MD and a DPharm.)

        • e.a.f. says:

          going without insulin may work for some people.  however, it is something people ought never to do without medical supervision.   it can kill you.   the issue here isn’t the medical system, its the fact people are working without pay or have been laid off due to no pay and can’t afford any number of things, which includes medication.   The issue is lack of pay.  The issue is what dtrump is doing is going to have huge ramifications on people who work for the American federal government.    dtrump said people will make adjustments or some such stupid thing.  if you’re making as little as these people are, the adjustment you make is moving out of your home once you’re evicted for non payment of rent. the adjustment you make is turning the keys to your vehicles over to the repo person.  the accommodation you make is sending your children to live with friends or family so they can be housed or fed.  See how it works for some cities if several thousand parents turn their kids over to foster care so they can have a roof over their heads and be fed.  dtrump has no idea of real life.  every time he was down a few tens of millions of dollars he phoned daddy.  some one ought to take him out of the W.H., put him in a studio suite and tell him to get by on $3 a day.    The Secret Service ought not to have to protect a big over fed asshole like him, while they are not being paid by that big over fed asshole.

    • koolmoe says:

      As someone with a Dependent who is T1 diabetic, I strongly disagree.

      Your body needs carbs. Your body may not need a LOT of carbs, but ‘how much’ depends on your age, metabolism, activity, and other immunodeficiency possibilities. Giving a broad ‘most don’t need insulin if can commit to xx carbs per day’ is not only inaccurate but dangerous. Great it works for you. I urge you, like others, to not make such blithe recommendations to others though.

  27. P J Evans says:

    @Rayne
    I don’t know about the multiple-ID Alan, but my browser can save my usernames and e-mails. (I have a different e-mail address on another blog, where I’ve been since before getting the one I use here and most other places; also, there, I have a username for reporting spam.)

  28. punaise says:

    @ Vern, et al above:

    no doctor here either, so maybe this adds nothing:

    “The root of metabolic syndrome (Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) is consumption of carbs.”

    This seems broadly plausible, at least in part, and at least for diabetes, since carbs are basically sugar.

    “Eliminate carbs and you’ll need none of the drugs used to treat these diseases.”

    This seems like a tremendous and unfounded leap of faith.

    Still, it would be hard to disagree that healthy eating and avoiding processed foods (along with exercise) contribute greatly to overall health. But that just a truism.

    • P J Evans says:

      The CT/PET scans they did year before last show that I have a cyst-like something in my pancreas, which is probably why I have type-2 despite (relative) lack of other risk factors. The low-carb-diet route lowers the load on my system, and it lowers the triglycerides that drive the high cholesterol (familial) – but the other drugs help a lot.

  29. punaise says:

    @ PJ Good luck with your health issues!

    I certainly wouldn’t eschew medication for a serious condition.

    • P J Evans says:

      They’re all under control. And the whole thing started when I went in for a routine eye exam and they found my blood pressure was Way Too High. [The cholesterol treatment is just the doc being very cautious, as far as I’m concerned. It hasn’t blocked any arteries that I know of, and I hadn’t yet gotten to gallstones (which is what my mother got from hers).] It’s been an adventure in medical science, though: all this stuff I never met before!

  30. P J Evans says:

    And that POS McCarthy is backing Himself’s idjit statements on the forest fires and cutting FEMA funding for relief. He damned well should know better. (It would be fun to watch him begging for money if it were his district that got hit. But I won’t wish that on the people who actually live there, even if they’re gullible enough to vote for him.)

  31. Eureka says:

    I will add to the below that Ms. Griffin also has a Grammy, a Guinness World Record for most televised comedy specials, and maybe in some faraway universe a civil case for the Sessions-era DOJ and SSUS investigations* to quash her 1A rights, combined with state tv and troll ops against her and her livelihood, etc.– and there is lots of ‘etc.’ (It’s not clear that, say, all of the ‘extrajudicial’ reaction to her ‘speech event’ was independent of Trumpian influence.)  But I digress:

    Kathy Griffin: “I know this Orange Fool personally. Trust me, this is the deepest cut of all…and I LOVE IT. Kathy (I have two Emmys) Griffin…”
    re:
    Hollywood Reporter: “TV ratings: Democrats’ response to Trump speech outdraws president… ”
    ———–

    *She says she was investigated for conspiracy to assassinate the POTUS for her Trump-mask-with-ketchup photo, put on the no-fly and Interpol lists, etc.

  32. Greenhouse says:

    People, overweight, obesity triggers T2DM, metabolic syndrome (i.e. excess calories) simple. Don’t beat up on carbs just because it’s fashionable. The brain uses at least 40% of the glucose metabolized by carbs. Sure you can go on a ketogenic diet, but who wants ketoacidosis. It’s a basic math equation: more energy in than expended leads to overweight/obesity and all the other ugly comorbidities it triggers. Don’t listen to Vern, especially those with T1DM. Listen to your doctor and/or registered dietitian. Sugar does not cause diabetes. However, excessive amounts will cause hyperglycemia (uncontrolled diabetes) in those who don’t take their oral anti-hyperglycemics, insulin, and/or don’t count their carbs (i.e. limit amount of carbs per meal). In other words, you have to be diabetic for excessive sugar to be harmful (neuropathies, loss of limbs, retinopathy, nephropathy, you name it). On the other hand excessive anything (sugar, fat, and even protein) is not good for anybody. Moderation is key.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks.

      Dear readers: Let the issue of diabetes go, people, and focus on the fact people have died because our health care system has failed them, and the current government shutdown means it will fail even harder.

      FOCUS.

  33. P J Evans says:

    Rayne, I’m glad I have Medicare, even if it means paying 20% of the bills myself.
    But it’s still in need of fixing – it feels like it’s set up for 1960s medicine, with most if not all the assumptions that involves.

  34. Eureka says:

    OT FYI- A Face in the Crowd is on TCM Turner Classic Movies channel right now (11p Eastern- they are still introducing it)–Avattoir, bmaz, P J Evans were all talking about this the other day.

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