Authoritarianism: February 26 — March 4

  1. It’s scary how fast the rails came off the CBP.

2. That’s got to be a lovely work environment. Not to mention the leak leaking this leak crackdown.

3. So much banana republican here.

The top Democrat on the Senate committee investigating President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia says he has “grave concerns” about the independence of the probe following a report that the panel’s Republican chairman helped the White House knock down negative news stories.

4. What I genuinely don’t understand is why the Republicans want to kill the American people. No seriously, I don’t get it. I really, really do not get it. At all. They can’t all be soulless psychopaths no matter how much I rail that they are. They’re people, aren’t they? Why would they want to make others suffer?

Well, except we know Ryan IS a psychopath

And John Oliver to the rescue:

5. I have never seen so many nominees fall by the wayside. And it ain’t all because of us calling in. It’s because they flat out can’t meet the ethics requirements. To recap, Trump has lost his Labor, Army, Navy nominees; he fired his NSA amid emerging scandal; ten committee members have resigned; and six staffers were escorted out by FBI.

President Donald Trump’s nominee for Navy secretary, Philip Bilden, withdrew from consideration Sunday, becoming the second Pentagon pick unable to untangle his financial investments in the vetting process.

6. Gerrymandering needs to be phased out. Problem is the courts don’t like to tackle it because how do you define a nonpartisan alternative. But this one is a good one:

There is a perfectly good scientific standard for determining whether there is partisan gerrymandering. This is the “partisan symmetry” measure developed by Andrew Gelman and Gary King. Essentially, symmetry requires that a specific share of the popular vote (say, 60 percent) would translate into the same number of congressional seats, regardless of which party won that share of the vote. For instance, if winning 60 percent of the popular vote in a state gives the Republican Party 65 percent of the congressional seats, then the Democratic Party should also win 65 percent of the seats if it wins 60 percent of the vote.

And it’s become a more acute problem. In the past, gerrymandering could blow up in your face. But with computers, it’s now applied with near surgical precision, as the Republicans did with the 2010 census.

In the past, gerrymandering was a problem, but it was a modest one. Computers have changed all that. Anyone can now produce a map gerrymandered beyond anyone’s imagination as recently as 30 years ago. That makes it a much bigger problem and a much bigger source of electoral unfairness. The Supreme Court will have a chance to revisit the issue later this year, and they should think very hard about how technology has affected the ancient art of gerrymandering.

7. I want to know who whispers in his ears.

By using the phrase and placing himself in such infamous company, at least in his choice of vocabulary to attack his critics, Mr. Trump has demonstrated, Ms. Khrushcheva [the great-granddaughter of Nikita Khrushchev] said, that the language of “autocracy, of state nationalism is always the same regardless of the country, and no nation is exempt.” She added that, in all likelihood, Mr. Trump had not read Lenin, Stalin or Mao Zedong, but the “formulas of insult, humiliation, domination, branding, enemy-forming and name calling are always the same.”

8. The Republicans are going to have to face political realities here. Unless they are prepared to go the whole enchilada in less than two years and sacrifice all gains in 2018, it doesn’t seem to me possible. OTOH, the GOP political calculus has been opaque to me for a while now.

The new survey finds that when those who disapprove of the law are asked about what should happen to it now, more want GOP congressional leaders to focus their efforts on modifying the law than on getting rid of it. One-in-four adults want Republican leaders to modify the law, while 17% want them to get rid of it entirely.

8. GOP traitors. Remember their names. These are the current majority members of the House Judiciary Committee.

CHAIRMAN BOB GOODLATTE
REP. JIM SENSENBRENNER
REP. LAMAR SMITH
REP. STEVE CHABOT
REP. DARRELL ISSA
REP. STEVE KING
REP. TRENT FRANKS
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT
REP. JIM JORDAN
REP. TED POE
REP. JASON CHAFFET
REP. TOM MARINO
REP. TREY GOWDY
REP. RAÚL LABRADOR
REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD
REP. DOUG COLLINS
REP. RON DESANTIS
REP. KEN BUCK
REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE
REP. MARTHA ROBY
REP. MATT GAETZ
REP. MIKE JOHNSON
REP. ANDY BIGGS

The “resolution of inquiry” was introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) earlier this month, and calls on the Justice Department to hand over to the House all information relevant to an investigation into Trump’s and his associates’ ties to Russia, conflicts of interest and ethical violations.
The resolution could be brought to a full vote by the House if the [Republican controlled House Judiciary] committee doesn’t act on it, one Judiciary Committee aide told Politico. The aide said that the committee will address it in the coming week.
A roll call vote on Nadler’s resolution would likely be embarrassing for GOP lawmakers, many of whom are under pressure from constituents and politicians on the left to take tougher positions on Trump’s conflicts of interest and potential relationship with Moscow.

9. I have been hearing off and on about the Mercer family for about six months. Scary folks.

10. The ACLU blue ribbon present throughout the Oscars. *blink*

11. This is not who we are. I really hate 45 and what he’s done and what the CBP and ICE “officers” (to use the word loosely) are doing. This is a shameful period in our history.

12. This scenario wouldn’t surprise me and I’ve already considered it. But it doesn’t fix the shitshow with the prime turd-nugget at the helm that we are in now.

13. When 45 makes Dubya look good. Honest to god, I’d take this motherfucker back in a new york second.

14. No wonder the WH hates the press.

15. But this one is just plain weird.

16. This bugs me more the more I learn about it.

17. “Russia? What’s that?”

18. Why don’t we get a crew of actual 12 year olds to run the White House? They would do a better job of it.

19. Geeze

20. JFC.

21. Sessions is a morally bankrupt racist unamerican asshole.

The reversal, on the eve of a key hearing in the case, is a clear sign of the DOJ’s direction under Attorney General Jeff Sessions — a longtime advocate of voter ID laws and other voting restrictions. The department signaled its intentions last week when it joined with the state of Texas to ask the court to hold off on judging the constitutionality of the law until Republican lawmakers can modify it. The court rejected this request.

22. …

23. The difference a few months makes. He’s almost unrecognizable here, unstressed and confident.

24. They really are dropping like flies. I’m not sure what will happen from here…?

25. And of course the GOP said, “LOL, no.” But examine the list of names and remember.

House Democratic lawmaker attempted Monday to force a House floor vote on a resolution to request President Trump’s tax returns, but the effort failed on a party line vote, 229–185, with two Republicans voting “present.”
The move was the latest in a series of Democratic efforts to push Congress to request Trump’s tax returns, and Democrats demanded a roll call vote to force Republicans to go on the record.
The two Republicans who voted present were Reps. Walter Jones (N.C.) and Mark Sanford (S.C.). Sanford is one of the Republican lawmakers who has in the past called for Trump to release his returns.
After the vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) fired at the GOP.
“Tonight, House Republicans made themselves accomplices to hiding President Trump’s tax returns from the American people,” she said.

26. Science is not supposed to be like this. But welcome to the year of 45.

Most scientists are uncomfortable talking politics because their work needs to be perceived as objective rather than partisan. But ever since America elected a president who’s made scientifically inaccurate statements on everything from vaccinesto climate change, more and more scientists are stepping into the spotlight to stand up for their profession. That includes Holt, who announced Wednesday that AAAS would partner with the March for Science, an Earth Day rally with the primary goal of preserving and promoting evidence-based policymaking.

27. That didn’t take the fuckwad long. Let’s lean on him a little.

28. Oh for fucks sake. What a waste of oxygen.

29. Not even pro forma comments. Ugly.

30. Yes!

31. LOL! There are far more NSFW photos here, but I love this one:

32. This is digusting. What a petty, scheming, cheap little grifter.

33. Well that’s fucked up. I have no idea what’s in store for us tonight after shit-gibbon addresses congress.

34. This, I think, sums things up pretty well.

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/28/14742184/trump-dealmaker

35. Of course he does, the odious little toad.

36. Ugh. Sad little man, destroying the country in a dementia-induced fog.

37. Doesn’t care about quality of water.

38. Maybe cheeto-head will listen to 100 generals?

39. This is flat out impossible and a huge, huge, HUGE security issue for this country.

40. More from the leaky bucket that is 45’s shitstain show.

41. Oh no, he didn’t. Dear gods, I should have seen this one coming.

42. The absolute fuck?

43. No real surprise.

44. This is worth the watch

45. This is all that’s needed to process the address to congress from shit-gibbon:

46. No surprise. It’s oddly appropriate that ACA might be saved through one of the corrupt conflict-of-interest things this misbegotten WH has.

47. It's fitting that we become a banana republic what with all these banana republicans floating around like turds in a toilet bowl.

The State Department staffer told me that where she once used to get two hundred emails a day, it’s down to two dozen now. “Not since I began at the department a decade ago has it been so quiet,” she said. “Colleagues tell me it’s the same for them.”
A lot of this, the employee said, is because there is now a “much smaller decision circle.” And many State staffers are surprised to find themselves on the outside. “They really want to blow this place up,” said the mid-level State Department officer. “I don’t think this administration thinks the State Department needs to exist. They think Jared [Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law] can do everything. It’s reminiscent of the developing countries where I’ve served. The family rules everything, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs knows nothing.”

Bolds mine.

48. Oh man it’s getting hard to keep up. But seriously, what the fuck kind of governing is this?

49. No, nothing abnormal about this at all…

50. When I leave my computer for a few hours o.O
Holy fucking crap…

Of course there’s always this media witter

Heh.

51. Political history, y’all.

52. Meanwhile this asshole has EVEN MORE Russia connections and just got confirmed 72–27.

53. Trundling along. Well if they were trying to distract us away from Russia, that certainly didn’t happen. I love how this comes out right after shit-gibbon’s address to gutless congress.

54. Sure. Because all that pesky ethics will make it harder for them to drain the country’s coffers.

President Trump’s transition team called off a plan for an ethics, leadership and management course for his senior White House staff and appointees, including Cabinet members, according to a new report.
According to documents obtained by Politico, the Trump team opted not to have staffers go through the program, which would have covered confirmation hearings, complying with existing laws and orders, dealing with scrutiny from the media and collaborating with lawmakers and agencies.

55. Gorka really doesn’t understand the U.S., does he?

56. Thump, thump, thump… dominoes falling…slowly but inevitably…

57. Well looky here…Kushner too. The Russian ambassador actually went to Trump Tower to meet them.

I’m thinking it’s going to be easier to track who has NOT been in contact with Russia.

♪ ♫ If you have no excuse, you must recuse 
If you kissed Russia’s behind, you must resign

58. And here’s the (expensive) effect of that federal hiring freeze. Of course.

59. Fucks sake. Liddle snowflakes, I swear.

60. Just grows and grows.

61. This just gets weirder and weirder. Keep in mind, though, that Rand Paul is concerned that GOPers will be trying to pass an ACA-Lite instead of doing the Manly Thing and Fucking Getting Rid Of It, but even so:

62. The universe is trolling us now, amirite?

63. Jesus.

64. Yes, please… o.O

65. JD Gordon, Carter Page… Gordon admits to pushing for Ukraine after meeting. The timeline indicates that it was shortly after this that the Republican platform made the sole change that the Trump campaign asked for which was that bizarre bit about Ukraine. A huge fucking flag, so many thought it was so weird at the time (but at the time no one thought that the loofah-faced shit-gibbon had the remotest chance, so…)

66. Liars liars liars pants on fires

67. I have no words. NONE of these people should be ANYWHERE NEAR the fucking WH. NONE OF THEM. There is no expertise here at all, not 45, not Prez Bannon, and not Tillerson nor Ivanka. These people are just gibbons dancing around a table, but THEIR after-dinner idle argument yanks the U.S. around by a prong collar.

Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s senior adviser, is pressing the president to officially pull the United States from the landmark accord, according to energy and government officials with knowledge of the debate. But, they say, he is clashing with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who fear the move could have broad and damaging diplomatic ramifications.

68. The number keeps jumping in this article. It was 102, now 135 at the time of adding it here. (24 hrs later Fri night, it’s 146.)

69. While ignoring actual cases of domestic terrorism, sheesh.

70. Yup.

71. I’m afraid I’m part of that ToldjaSo chorus.

Wilson said that he and other black college heads were excited when they heard Trump’s usual hyperbole promising to “do more for HBCUs than any other president has done before.” After all, President Barack Obama set aside $3 billion for African-American colleges and made them a priority within the Department of Education, so Trump — Wilson reasoned — would at least give them $500 million more for this year alone, right? Maybe he’d even boost Pell Grants and create an innovation fund! At least he’d do something Republican, like offer tax breaks to companies that donate to HBCUs! Those are reasonable expectations, right?

I’m a little gobsmacked at how hopeful the guy was. 45 has made his shittiness and racism crystal clear from the get go, and used black people as props throughout his campaign.

72. <raises eyebrows>. These people are utter scum.

73. And now they’re turning on each other. JD Gordan says Trump specifically wanted the Ukraine policy added to the R platform.

74. Just fuck this entire shit show. There’s not a shred of good business sense or even common sense with this shit that streams steadily out of the Executive branch. Poison the animals, poison the water, and for what, precisely? Money? Good luck chewing on that for your next meal.

75. o.O

76. Heartless, on a number of levels.

77. If yall shitheads would stop electing this dick-weasel back into office…

78. Kaboom. Looks like the fly-haired dumpster fire found his android.

79. Unfortunately, nepotism-boy doesn’t have a formal role, so he probably can’t be directly sacked but he has NO PLACE anywhere near the government.

80. I’m guessing they’re pissy about the language regarding Russia. (Not complimentary, to be sure.)

81. Peeling off slowly…one by one…

82. Dear lords, wut??

Up in New York at the United Nations, new Ambassador Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, had asked a bunch of the career officials to stay on, and they had started giving her briefings on how to talk tough to the Russians about their takeover of Ukrainian territory and other matters, I was told. Then the minders from the Trump “beachhead team” at Foggy Bottom found out about it; no way, they said, overruling Haley: They’re out.

83. Good.

84. Bored now.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/opinion/home-alone-in-the-trump-administration.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

85. My twitter this morning. Where’s the antacid? Firstly this

Much presidenting from the unpresidented president. Then followed, literally followed by accusation of “illegal wiretapping.” Much whiplash.

Imma just let my twitter feed speak for itself. I can’t even. I’m going to go paint my living room.

(worth reading, visible in above link:

and now off to my living room. Seriously. Paint. Now.