Monday, March 11, 2019

Illustrated Gnus, GOPlins, and other Dickensian creatures

Trump

Here are the Mournday Mourning themes, schemes, memes, and falemes inspired by the AZ Blue Meanie at Blog for Arizona.

  • At CPAC, Trump wrapped himself around the U. S. flag. That led your Scriber to propose an alternative to the pledge of allegiance. Instead of a mass recitation, each attendee as they enter the meeting room gives the flag a hug.
  • Discovering the GOPlins who enable Trump: a “Mitch hunt”.
  • After receiving security clearances ordered by King Donald, Ivanka and Jared pride their acquisition of a new word: Nepotism.
  • Trump orders top secret security clearance for Sean Hannity. Oops. Scriber’s Usual Unreliable Sources report that he already has one.
  • Those same sources report that Trump is the de facto CEO of Fox News.
  • DHS Secretary Nielsen practices Trump-speak: wire cottages, not cages.
  • What Trump said: Denuclearization. What Kim said: Renuclearization.
  • Under Trump, we have a record high deficits and trade imbalances. If Trump could shoot the messengers, he would not lose any votes.
  • “We ask for the same justice given Paul Manafort.” In reviewing the request, the Presiding judge was heard to giggle uncontrollably.
  • Will a strong injection of facts protect against anti-vaxxer theories? Judging from the 18-year old who could not persuade his mother, Scriber guesses “probably not.”

Finally, here are two more-or-less serious items of note.

Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker deserve medals for their reporting of The 10 personas of Donald Trump in a single speech. That speech was the 2 hour and 5 minute spectacle Trump delivered at the CPAC gathering. Doing that report, I think, required at least a dozen viewings of the speech. Oh, Man. I couldn’t get through one! Here are two samples of their reporting:

A commentary in the libertarian publication Reason described Trump’s turn on the CPAC stage as “Prince-at-the-Super-Bowl great,” declaring that, if he can consistently re-create the dynamic, “his reelection is a foregone conclusion.” The left-leaning Salon website, meanwhile, described his remarks as “more like the delusional ramblings of someone hopped up on drugs or suffering a mental breakdown than anything resembling a normal political speech.”

Little of what Trump said was factual — he made 102 false or misleading claims in the speech, according to an analysis by The Washington Post’s Fact Checker — yet to this crowd and millions of supporters around the country, his broader points rang true and carried the imprimatur of authority because he delivered them.

We, as a country, it seems, have moved beyond even Truthiness to Trumpiness.

Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally has numerous scrapes with the FEC over campaign finance violations, notably with excess contributions. After being called out on her transgressions, Scriber’s Usually Unreliable Sources report her reaction: “What’s the big deal? This is the Trump administration. I was just trying to fit in.” About those FEC reports, those sources say she said “I just tell my staff let’s get this fucking thing done”.

Read more about McSally’s buggy finances below the break. But before you do, on this Mournday Mourning, let’s all mourn the loss of independent newspapers and what that will do to our democracy.

Darkness

Naw. She didn’t say any of that. But it’s credible, right?

There is one exception. Back in 2017 she did tell her colleagues in a GOP conference meeting “let’s get this fucking thing done” (AP report cited in the Tucson Weekly).

Funny how this Republican senator just can’t seem to stop raising more money than the law allows reports David Nir of the Daily Kos Staff.

Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who has a history of campaign finance irregularities, reported refunding $120,000 in donations this week after the FEC flagged more than 50 contributors who gave more to McSally than federal law allows. This sort of thing is, well, a thing with McSally, a Republican who was appointed to the Senate in 2018 following two terms in the House (and a losing Senate last year):

  • In an FEC report she filed early in 2015 as a member of the House, McSally reported raising $5 million over the previous six months—a flat-out impossible sum that, several days after the mistake was pointed out, she amended down to $1.7 million.
  • In 2016, she refiled an astounding 26 fundraising reports to correct years’ worth of errors—including $42,600 in excess contributions.
  • And last year, in a rare audit, the FEC determined McSally’s 2014 campaign was riddled with problems, including failures to disclose required information like donor employer names—and, guess what? $319,000 in excess contributions.

When McSally had to refile all those reports in 2016, the editorial board of the conservative Arizona Republic—which had endorsed her successful bid to enter Congress in 2014—opined, “It is reaching the point that it is difficult to ascribe the word ‘error’ to her reports; this many failures begins to look intentional.” Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of “errors” later, it sure does seem like a feature rather than a bug.

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