Weekly Newsletter

Vol. 13 – Day 95 P.E.

 

Trump, We Didn’t Choo Choo Choose You

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and the President has little love for the judicial system, the media, immigrants, and most importantly, Nordstrom.

What must it like to lead the loveless life of Donald Trump this time of year? Thankfully, Super Deluxe created just such a song to convey the deep emotions of Emo Trump.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours from The TrumpShaker. Thank you for reading and resisting!

The TrumpShaker Top Three
February 12, 2017 – National Plum Pudding Day – Day 95 P.E. (Post Election)

Opening the Nesting Doll

The Washington Post reported this week that Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn met with, take a wild guess . . . yep, the Russians, before Trump took office. He allegedly discussed those pesky sanctions that the United States was placing on Russia for helping Trump win. Undermining the United States with a foreign country is generally frowned upon and may even be a violation of The Logan Act, a 1799 law that has never been enforced because seriously, who would do that?

The bigger problem for Flynn, since we’ve somehow decided that colluding with Russia is now just another one of those “boys will be boys” indiscretions like getting frosted tips in your hair or discussing assaulting women with Billy Bush, is that he lied about the meetings with the Russian ambassador. He didn’t just lie about it to us rubes, but he also apparently told VP Mike Pence that there were no discussions with Russia about sanctions. This led Pence to tell every reporter who would listen that Flynn didn’t do anything. Pence now looks like a liar or a fool . . . which makes him officially part of Team Trump! Congrats, Mike!

That Flynn would meet with the Russians to undermine Obama, offer to reduce/eliminate sanctions in lieu of sending flowers to thank Russia for hacking, and then lie about it is completely believable. What shocked the intelligence community is that he thought he wouldn’t get caught. Flynn met with the Russian ambassador. The United States is definitely listening to the Russian ambassador’s calls. You’d think the National Security Adviser and former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency would know that.  Then again, President Obama fired him for incompetence as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Reactions from key players:

  • When asked by reporters, the day after The Washington Post article came out, Trump said, “I don’t know about that. I haven’t seen it. What report is that? I haven’t seen that. I’ll look into that.” Seriously, he said that. We’re in a lot of trouble.
  • Russia said, “Hey, that’s nothing, look over here at this shiny (and very much used) Edward Snowden.” Reports are that Russia is considering sending Snowden to the U.S. as a gift for Emperor Trump.
  • Flynn just shrugged his shoulders.

Democrats are calling for Flynn’s dismissal and Washington insiders are skeptical that Flynn will survive the scandal. Although if correct, it would be the first thing Washington insiders were right on in the past 12 months.

Papers Please
Just like the Greatest Generation gathering around the radio to listen to FDR, last week the nation pretended to work while listening intently to a livestream of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing on Trump’s Muslim ban. I’m not a legal scholar, but the arguments boiled down to the U.S Government: “Trump is your Lord and Savior and his word is infallible” vs Washington and Minnesota: “Seriously? C’mon. This is ridiculous. Amiright?”The three judges ruled against Trump; they were especially bothered by the Administration’s claim that Trump’s order is “unreviewable.” Immediately after the decision, Hillary Clinton threw a bit of shade at Trump, tweeting simply, “3-0”. Trump tweeted, “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” This was an odd threat from someone who had just lost in court twice.
 
Despite the intensity of the all-caps tweet, The Trump Administration is weighing whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court or, more likely, come out with a revised Muslim ban immigration policy. In case you were wondering how Trump supporters feel about all this, 51% agreed that Trump should be able to overturn court decisions he doesn’t agree with. Go constitutional democracy!
 
While the forces of good were celebrating the victory, the federal government put another aspect of Trump’s Executive Order on immigration into action – an expanded list of deportation priorities. To bring back manufacturing jobs in the Rust Belt and coal jobs in Appalachia, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched immigration raids in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, and a handful of other cities. This raids are alleged to have included ICE stopping and asking people for their papers.
 
Trump’s Executive Order moved any noncitizen charged with a criminal offense of any kind or accused of even being dishonest with immigration officials up the deportation priority list. Oh, it’s just criminals, right? No big deal. In practice, this means someone like Guadalupe García de Rayos, who is a criminal because she used a fake social security card to work at a water park in 2008, was deported to Nogales, Mexico this week. She moved to the United States in 1997, when she was 14. She’s now 35, lives in Phoenix, and has two children. Since 2008, she has reported dutifully to ICE to review her case and then go about her business. This year, ICE arrested her at her meeting. Oh and even with that fake social security card, she still likely paid more federal taxes in the past decade than our President.The party of family values is now encouraging the ripping apart of families across the country.Guadalupe’s 14 year-old daughter, Jackie, discusses her mother’s deportation. Meanwhile in Washington D.C., multiple members of Trump’s cabinet broke the law and hired undocumented workers, but that’s okay.
Professor Warren, If You’re Nasty
Trump’s Cabinet of Doom continued to take shape this week. Reflective of the fundamental disagreement on how our country should be run as well as the extreme positions of the cabinet nominees, all votes on nominees were extraordinarily close.
 
Tom Price (most recently, Senator R-GA) was approved, but could only get 52 of his Senate colleagues to agree that he should run Health and Human Services. This may be due to his passionate desire to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and privatize Medicare as well as his membership in a fringe organization that doesn’t believe in evidence based medicine, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. He also has a history of buying health care company stock and then passing laws to help out the company, so not exactly a model of ethics.
 
Betsy DeVos is so “fundamentally incompetent”, as Senator Al Franken (D-MN) called her, that two Republicans even voted against her for Secretary of Education. This led to a 50/50 tie and Vice President Pence made history by casting the first tie-breaking vote for a Cabinet nominee. One of the lowlights of her hearings was her lack of knowledge of the federal government’s role in protecting access for students with disabilities. Since taking office, she has corrected this by bringing us all down to her level and eliminating the Department of Education’s webpage on students with disabilities.
 
The biggest controversy rose out of the vote for Jefferson Beauregard Sessions (most recently, Senator R-AL) for Attorney General. The controversy wasn’t his opposition to the Voting Rights Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and same-sex marriage, but that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called him out for it on the Senate floor. Senator Warren criticized Sessions for all of his transgressions and then had the audacity to read a letter from Coretta Scott King, written in 1986 in opposition to confirming Sessions as a federal judge. King’s testimony, among others, kept Sessions from being confirmed as a judge.Well, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) could not bear to listen to the dignity of his fellow southern gentlemen Senator besmirched by Warren and King, so he instituted super special and rarely used Rule 19, not to be confused with super special and rarely eaten breakfast cereal, Product 19. Rule 19 prohibits senators from insulting each other. So offended by Warren speaking the truth about Sessions, the Republicans voted to silence her and bar her from speaking on Sessions further. McConnell’s explanation was, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
 
Warren finished reading King’s letter on Facebook live outside of the Senate chamber and also turned misogyny into misogynaid by creating a t-shirt with McConnell’s words that can be yours for a $25 donation.Later, Sessions was approved in a 52-47 vote. Voting in the Attorney General after silencing opposition is an ominous beginning to say the least.
Jeff Sessions was denied a judgeship in the 80s for being too racist. To put that in perspective, here are . . .
Things in the 80s Thought to Be Less Racist Than Jeff Sessions
   
Quick TrumpShakes
More Voting Fraud Lies; More Real Life Consequences – Trump again lied about voter fraud, claiming in a meeting with Senators that people were bused into New Hampshire from Massachusetts to vote. Trump’s unfounded belief in voter fraud coupled with the new Attorney General’s distaste for the Voting Rights Act may lead to a very real federal assault on voting. Republicans in state legislatures from Wisconsin to North Carolina to Texas have been working overtime to make it harder to vote. Besides being anti-democratic, this political gamesmanship have real life consequences.If you follow no other link in this issue, please follow this one. It’s about a mother of four in Texas, a permanent U.S. resident, who was brought here as an infant. She mistakenly thought she had the right to vote and exercised that right – something most American citizens don’t do. For this transgression, she’s been sentenced to 8 years in prison and will then be deported. For those of you scoring at home, that’s 16 times longer than Brock Turner, the Stanford swimmer, got for rape. Her family will be torn apart and she will be sent to a country she’s never known, all to further the voter fraud myth. Oh, in case you’re wondering, she voted Republican.
 
Reminder GOP: Only 46% Voted For Trump – Anger with Trump and dismay over repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a home Doc McStuffins kit for every American, has boiled over into local town hall meetings for GOP representatives. For example, all around terrible person and Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) wasmet with chants to do his job by his constituents. Chaffetz dismissed the rowdy crowd as paid protestors.
 
开玩笑 – Action hero and super negotiator Donald Trump, who had been talking tough about taking on China and recognizing Taiwan, put his tail between his legs and said “just kidding” on a call this week with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
 
White House Shopping Network – During a time when his official schedule said he was to receive his daily security briefing, Donald Trump lashed out at Nordstrom on Twitter for discontinuing Ivanka’s failing clothing line. Since Nordstrom is our highest priority at the moment, Press Secretary Sean Spicer weighed in as well and called dropping Ivanka as “a direct attack on his policies and her name.” Kellyanne Conway then decided that the best use of her time on her public salary was to go on TV and tell people to go buy Ivanka’s clothing (that’s an ethics rules violation by the way). The good news is that despite marshaling all the resources of the federal government, Ivanka is being marked down now at TJ Maxx and Marshalls and Nordstrom stock went up. The battle continues . . .
Dispatch From The Front Lines

My Dearest Clara,
The Half-Yearly Sale Truce has ended and Nordstrom’s War against Ivanka rages on. We storm Men’s Shoes at dawn. Pray that I shall survive and embrace you once more at the Anniversary Sale.
Featured Article of the Week

Hitler expert Ron Rosenbaum had been asked many times to look at the rise of Trump and the rise of Hitler. Things have gotten so bad, he finally agreed to do it. I learned quite a bit about the failed push-back on Hitler by the media in “Against Normalization: The Lesson of the Munich Post

Featured Article Runner-Ups
Allyn Burrows discusses whether Trump rises to Shakespearean tragedy levels in A Tale Told by an Idiot: Shakespeare and Trump. Thank you to a reader from the Pacific Northwest for submitting that article!

Andrew Sullivan weighs in on our times and steals the name of one my usual features in The Madness of King Donald.

Action Center

Organization Worthy of Your Attention

Immigrant Legal Resource Center

With immigrants, both documented and undocumented, on the front lines consider supporting an organization fighting for them. “The mission of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is to work with and educate immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector to continue to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people.”

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