But Her Emails, Part ∞ – I vaguely recall something about Hillary using private emails being a central argument to vote for TV host Donald Trump as president. This week, The New York Times reported that at least six of Trump’s advisers used private email accounts for government work: Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Gary Cohn, and Reince Priebus. This summer, Kushner kept his streak of never telling the whole truth going strong by failing to disclose his personal email account to the Senate Intelligence Committee in his interview with them.
Shall We Play a Game? – The President of the United States tweeted this week, “Iran just test-fired a Ballastic Missle capable of reaching Israel.” Trump tweeted after seeing a video of a missile launch put out by Iran, making that claim. Turns out the video was actually from this past January and the missile in the video had exploded after take-off. The man who has complete authority to launch nuclear weapons was fooled by a fake old video. I am completely against government censorship, but I will throw all my support into Congress banning the airing of Independence Day, Red Dawn, or Spies Like Us until after the Trump presidency.
Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, but Can We Do Huddled Pairs or Trios Rather Than Masses?– Trump will allow no more than 45,000 refugees into the United States next year. This is the lowest amount since the resettlement program was established in 1980. There are currently 22 million refugees in the world.
Hypocrisy Is a First Amendment Right – While Trump railed loudly against athletes silently protesting, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III spoke at Georgetown about the First Amendment. Sessions declared, “In this great land, the government does not tell you what to think or what to say.” Also occurring at the same time as the AG’s speech: federal prosecutors working busily to prepare for the retrial of the woman who laughed during Sessions’s confirmation.
Lox and Rocks – Cartoon villain and EPA chief Scott Pruitt directed the EPA to withdraw a 2014 Obama administration proposal to protect Bristol Bay, Alaska from mining activity. Bristol Bay is one of the most valuable salmon fisheries in the world and under non-evil leadership the EPA had previously found that a mine would result in a complete loss of fish habitat. The Obama administration used peer reviewed studies to come to its conclusion. Pruitt, on the other hand, met with the mining company CEO hours before making his announcement.
More Evidence That We’re in a Simulation – A clip from the 1950’s series Trackdown appeared online that shows a snake oil salesman named Trump who comes to town and promises to build a wall to save the town from the end of the world. If we were doomed to live in a 50’s television show, why couldn’t our reality look more like Leave it to Beaver?
Even Access to All of the Drugs in the World Can’t Numb the Pain of Trump – The acting head of the DEA, Chuck Rosenberg, resigned this week. The New York Times reported that “he had become convinced that President Trump had little respect for the law.”
Most Peculiar, Mama – Despite being endorsed by Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senator Luther Strange lost the Alabama Republican Senate primary to Roy Moore. Trump reacted to the loss as only he could by going back and deleting his tweets supporting Strange. A quick refresher on the Ayatollah from Tuscaloosa, Roy Moore: kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court (twice!) for ignoring federal court orders, wrote an OpEd declaring that a congressman should not be seated because he is Muslim, called 9/11 and Sandy Hook basically divine punishment, and said “Homosexual conduct should be illegal.” In a perfect distillation of our current political hellscape, insane theocrat Moore is leading in polls against democrat opponent Doug Jones, the lead prosecutor in the successful 2002 case against the KKK members responsible for the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham in which four African American girls were murdered.
The Badger You State – A University of Wisconsin study estimated that between 9,000 and 23,000 voters in two heavily Democratic counties and as many as 45,000 voters across Wisconsin chose not to vote due to Wisconsin’s new voter ID law. Trump won Wisconsin by 22,000 votes. In case you think this is a coincidence, before the election, Wisconsin Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman said he liked Republican chances in his state because “Now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is going to make a little bit of a difference.”
In Russia, Social Network Friends You – We are in the early stages into realizing just how much Russian operatives tried to influence American opinions. On Facebook, a Kremlin-backed organizationpurchased 3,000 ads touting Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein. Also it appears the Kremlin ran a popular Facebook page called Blacktivist, which tried to stir up racial tensions and plan marches in Baltimore and Ferguson after the high profile death of African Americans at the hands of police officers. On Twitter, hundreds of accounts appear to be Russian operators posing as Americans. During the election, these accounts spread false stories and promoted articles about hacked Democrat emails. Most recently, they’ve been busy whipping up hysteria over the NFL and national anthem.
Russia does not seem to be the only government looking to control Americans through social media. The U.S. Justice Department served a warrant to Facebook, demanding the names of the thousands of people who “liked” an anti-Trump page. Facebook successfully fought the warrants.
The Department of Homeland security announced that beginning on October 18, it will track the social media activity for all immigrants, including naturalized citizens. Naturalized citizens are just like any other U.S. citizen. So another way of phrasing the new policy is the federal government will track the social media activity of American citizens.
Meet the New Ban, Same as the Old Ban – The Trump administration announced a new travel ban to replace its old one. Rather than being a temporary ban like before, the new one is indefinite. The administration made one change to the list of banned Muslim majority countries by removing Sudan and replacing it with Chad. No one, except the person who watched Trump throw darts at a map of Africa, understood why Chad was added since the U.S. and Chad have a close counter-terrorism partnership. To give the ban some non-Muslim window dressing, Trump also added North Korea (which already bans travel from its own country) and Venezuela (which is limited to only on a small number of government officials – don’t worry Houston Astros, second baseman Jose Altuve will still be able to play in the playoffs.).
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Told the Truth! – It is so unprecedented for White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders to say something 100% true, that it’s a newsworthy event. Commenting on the ongoing battle between Trump and NFL players, Sanders said, “There’s nothing to clarify here. I think it’s pretty black and white.” I’m proud of you, Sarah. You have displayed honor, the stuff from which heroes are made.