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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Daily Combover - February 23, 2017

Because Trump appears to be back from his fifty-sixth vacation since he entered office, I'm subbing for Ari on a day that for the first time in a week or so feels more dangerous than mockable, but I'll try to both mock and forbode at the same time... or at least in succession!

Let me be a MockingJay first (I have no idea what a mockingjay is outside of a book title, but references to the Hunger Games always seem appropriate lately). Per Digby, Donald is losing so much in the polls our heads will spin:

But that's OK, he's busy watching TV, and Politico talks about how Trump's staff work with Breitbart and the other conservative media to both control him and to coordinate damage control, particularly when he does see something that might produce some cognitive dissonance:

Trump is also, however, a near-nonstop consumer of cable news, and his staff’s efforts were not always enough to keep Trump from tweeting on topics that were far fro his campaign’s core message. Throughout the campaign, whatever messaging the candidate’s staff had planned was continually accompanied — and often overshadowed — by a string of feuds that played out both on and off Twitter.
But his team believed that its strategies would keep Trump from taking to his preferred social media outlet to escalate his personal or political conflicts.
For example, when Trump engaged in a Twitter war with Khizr Khan, the father of a slain Muslim U.S. soldier in Iraq, the team set up a meeting with Gold Star Mothers of Florida and made sure to plant the story in conservative media. Breitbart also wrote stories about Khan's relationships with the Democratic Party. "We made sure that conservative media was aware of it, they connected the echo chamber," the former official said.

Jeff Immelt also appears to feel the need to blow smoke up Trump's mouth-or-whatever.

I've been going off on this on Twitter for the last week or so. We haven't seen the Fontange Fuhrer's tax returns... we also have never actually seen him golf or even one of his scorecards.

A little humor (thanks, TenGrain) before we get darker:

I think endangering the lives of millions of children qualifies as pretty dark:

Trump has found supporters among some of the most dangerous and disreputable members of society. We know that white supremacists, Russian presidents, xenophobes, and homophobes all consider him an ally. And among the latest group to see him as a champion are the members of the anti-vaccine movement.
President Trump’s embrace of discredited theories linking vaccines to autism has energized the anti-vaccine movement. Once fringe, the movement is becoming more popular, raising doubts about basic childhood health care among politically and geographically diverse groups.
Public health experts warn that this growing movement is threatening one of the most successful medical innovations of modern times. Globally, vaccines prevent the deaths of about 2.5 million children every year, but deadly diseases such as measles and whooping cough still circulate in populations where enough people are unvaccinated. 

So of course Trump would be on board with that. Whatever his "demonic" supporters want. This is from a pastor in Melbourne, FL, who decided to take his daughter to Trump's latest Moronberg Rally (per Crooks & Liars):

The First Lady approached the platform and in her rich accent, began to recite the Lord's prayer.
I can't explain it, but I felt sick. This wasn't a prayer beseeching the presence of Almighty God, it felt theatrical and manipulative.
People across the room were reciting it as if it were a pep squad cheer. At the close of the prayer, the room erupted in cheering. It was so uncomfortable. I observed that Mr. Trump did not recite the prayer until the very last line, "be the glory forever and ever, amen!" As he raised his hands in the air, evoking a cheer from the crowd, "USA! USA! USA!"
The very first words out of the President's mouth were the words of a bully. That is not simply one person's perspective, it is factual. He immediately began badgering and criticizing the media; like a bully inciting a crowd.
Call it what you will, but I was completely dumbfounded as the most powerful leader in the world began his speech by badgering the media. The crowd began screaming angrily at the entire press corps that was present.
He could have said something inspiring and worthy of a Tweet or Facebook post, instead he emerged as an overly powerful bully. Literally, everything that he began speaking about evoked this angry response from the crowd. Immediately following the words of prayer that Jesus taught his followers…
It was then that I heard two ladies off to my left chanting, not yelling or screaming but chanting, "T-R....U-M-P; that's how you spell - bigotry!" They repeated the rhyme over and over.
Two ladies in front of them began seething and screaming in their face while shaking their Trump signs at them. Another couple standing behind them started screaming at them as well. One of the chanting ladies had her eight-year-old daughter on her back; the other had a severely disabled child in a wheelchair in front of her. As they continued chanting, the people around them became violently enraged. One angry man grabbed the lady's arm - that's when I went into action. I barged through the crowd and yelled at them to back off. My heart wasn't racing; I just instinctively became a protector.
I didn't actually want a Trump sign, but one of the volunteers had shoved it into my hands as I walked through the door earlier; "Make America Great Again!" That sign probably saved someone from getting hurt. I held the sign close to my chest as I positioned myself between the chanting protesters and the angry mob. My 11-year-old daughter was clinging to my arm, sobbing in fear.
The two angry, screaming ladies looked at me, both of them raised their middle finger at me in my face and repeatedly yelled, "F*#% YOU!" Repeatedly.
I calmly responded, "No thank you, I'm happily married." Their faces and their voices were filled with demonic anger.
I have been in places and experiences before where demonic activity was palpable. The power of the Holy Spirit of God was protecting me in those moments and was once again protecting me and my daughter in this moment

By "demonic," he must mean "alt-friendly."

Onto some larger-scale "alt-friendliness;" our new immigration policies:

President Donald Trump said on Thursday that his administration's enforcement of its deportation policy is "a military operation."
"All of a sudden for the first time we're getting gang members out, we're getting drug lords out, we're getting really bad dudes out of this country," Trump said during a listening session with manufacturing CEOs. "And it's a military operation because what has been allowed to come into our country."
He said that deportations are taking place "at a rate that nobody's ever seen before, and they're the bad ones."

I'm pretty sure that a "military operation" like that is against the Constitution. This is starting to feel a bit Hitler-y. And "the bad ones?" Like ones in the hospital getting ready to have surgery on a brain tumor?

An undocumented immigrant diagnosed with a brain tumor while in Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody was returned to a detention center from a Texas hospital, her lawyers said. 
The woman, a Salvadoran national identified only as Sara, was released from Huguley Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, and taken to Prairieland Detention Center against her will, according to her lawyers.
"She told us they tied her hands and ankles in her condition," Melissa Zuniga, a member of Sara's legal team, told The Hill. "She's complaining of a lot of pain."
Zuniga said Sara, 26, was cut off from communication with her family and lawyers, even after the hospital and ICE had cleared Sara's mother for unrestricted phone access.
"Requests by family members to visit detainees who have been hospitalized are permitted but must be approved in advance with ICE and the appropriate consulate. ICE reached out to the family to explain the process," said Gillian Christensen, an ICE spokeswoman.

Anyone affiliated with ICE at this point has no soul. I've never seen Gillian Christiansen, but I'm picturing Stephen Miller in a wig.

This is scary, and it's getting close to home:

This is all about racism, xenophobia, fear, and bullying. And Josh Marshall translates that to Trump and the wall (which may be started, but, I'm pretty sure will never be completed):

It is of a piece, intrinsic to the President's entire worldview and instincts. The strong abuse the weak and society is structured around the hierarchies such abuse creates. As I described at various points over the course of the 2016 election, in the Trumpian world view there are only the dominating and the dominated. There is no middle ground, let alone broad relations of equality and consensual freedom, where most of us experience much of the world. All relationships are zero sum. For me to win, you have to lose. This is the root of Trump's endless references to humiliation, to being laughed at. This worldview is the essence of Trumpism and its politics is the promise to put "us" back on the dominating side of the equation.
In this sense, the wall drama and who pays for it, isn't really a budgetary issue at all. It's something far more basic, far more essential to who we are, how we act as a nation. It's wrong. It should be viewed in that light.

I vastly prefer the mockable parts over the crap-your-pants stuff. More of those, please.

Ari will catch you on the flip side!

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