trump pouting

We Need to Talk About the Defense Bill Veto

As promised, Donald Trump has vetoed the Defense Spending Bill

For those who don’t spend their days happily digging through policy and nomming on the legalese, the Defense Spending Bill is, basically, the bill that pays for the Military and all of its related…stuff. It pays for everything from paying the wages of the people who are currently actively serving in our armed forces to making sure that the lights stay on at Base Whateverthefrick. 

It is yet another tiny-fisted punch in the face of every single person who has or is currently serving in the military and to the people who love them and depend on them for their safety and livelihoods. 

If it’s so important, then, why did he veto it?

The short answer? Because he can. 

The longer answer? Because he’s mad at Twitter, mad at Congress, mad at voters, and doesn’t actually understand how laws, like, work and stuff.

The official answer? If you want to read the whole thing, the White House has released Trump’s Official Veto Message for anybody who wants to read it. 

If you don’t want to read the whole thing (and who can blame you), there are four main reasons he gives for vetoing, among other things, a 3% raise in pay to active service members. 

1. Because, like, China sucks, yo.

Note: He does not go into any sort of detail of *how* funding the military creates “a gift” to the Chinese, he just insists that it does. 

2. Because racism is awesome!

The bill contains funding earmarked for changing the names of some military bases that are currently named for Confederates—you know, the guys who insisted that white humans should totes be able to own non-white humans and treat them in whatever way made their tingly bits feel the tingliest? The dudes who were so in love with having slaves that they STARTED A WAR WITH THE GOAL OF DESTROYING THE COUNTRY to maintain their racist status quo? The side that LOST? Those guys. Several military bases are still named after some of those losers. Trump says that renaming those bases dishonors their legacy and that preserving the legacy of THE PEOPLE WHO TRIED TO DESTROY THE COUNTRY is more important than paying the people who are currently trying to defend it and keep it safe. 

Sorry. I got all capsy there for a minute, but that stuff really molds my cheese.

3. Because the bill limits the powers of the President re: Military Spending.

It took a while, but it seems that Congress is *finally* getting hip to some of Trump’s BS. Remember when he yanked a bunch of funding away from the military to pay for his wall? The bill says he can’t do that anymore without getting Congress’s permission first. So no, Donno—you can’t declare your billion dollars of outstanding debt “a national emergency” and use the military ‘s money to pay it back. 

While Trump’s whole “I should be able to spend your tax dollars on whatever I want” thing is concerning, it isn’t surprising. It probably matters more to him than a “gift” to China or the renaming of military bases, but the fourth reason he gives for his veto is the one that I think we can all agree matters to him the most:

4. Because the bill doesn’t repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

According to Trump, Sec230 needs to be repealed because it poses a huge national security risk.

This? Is a lie. 

Here’s a handy link to the actual text (including a Trump EO that tries to undo it) of Section 230.

If you don’t want to nerd out on all of the policy minutia, here’s a quick overview:

Section 230 says that internet sites—particularly those with a lot of user interaction—are distributors of content, not publishers and, therefore, cannot be held liable for content shared by the site’s users. It also gives the site owners discretion as “Good Samaritans” to label/restrict/block content (and the users who post it) that the site owners believe is harmful to other users and/or the public good. 

In Other Words

A) You can’t make Facebook give you a bag of money because you had a conniption fit when you saw what someone else posted. 

B) Facebook can flag or take down posts it deems harmful or that it decides violate its terms of service. It can also shut down your account and block you from setting up a new account if the powers that be in Facebook-land decide that you are a threat to the well-being of the majority of the other Facebook users.

Basically, Trump is vetoing the Defense Spending Bill because he’s mad that he can’t sue Twitter for adding comments to his tweets. 

Trump has repeatedly insisted that Twitter’s labels, etc. constitute some form of First Amendment violation and that, under the Constitution, Twitter, Facebook, etc., aren’t allowed to police his (or, theoretically, anybody else’s) speech. 

Section 230 isn’t about that. 

Even Trump’s EO, which tries to make the case that if a site’s owner wants to police users’ content then that owner forfeits their categorization as “distributor” and becomes a “publisher”, isn’t valid here because publishers are not constitutionally required to give every voice a platform. They get to pick and choose who they elevate. Remember: the first amendment guarantees your right to free speech. It does not guarantee your right to an audience. 

Nobody is stopping Trump from spewing whatever he wants online. If he wants to build a website on which he rants about every conspiracy theory and perceived slight, he’s free to do that. If he wants to use a private company like Twitter’s bandwidth to amplify his message then they get to set the rules for how his messages are broadcast. 

I’m pretty sure the only reason Trump is so focused on Section 230 (which, again, has nothing to do with national security, defense spending, or even the petty stuff he’s mad about) is because it contains language about “filing suit,” and we all know that Trump’s most favorite thing to do in the universe is to sue people. He probably heard it was about suing websites and decided it fit his needs. Because the devil isn’t in the details anymore. It’s in an ill-fitting suit wearing an ugly red tie. 

TL;DR: Trump is refusing to fund the military and his reasons for doing so are, like always, complete Bull Smoothie.

Sometimes It Gets Overwhelming

The original idea was to cover the Democratic and the Republican National Conventions. And all of Trump’s “events.” And all of the Biden and Harris events. Because I am tough, goddammit. I can totally handle all of the political shenaniganry. No sweat! Like water off a tarp, or however the saying goes. I mean, I managed to do that in 2016, right? Why should now be any different?

On Monday, I live tweeted both of Trump’s “events” (he called them “friendly protests.” Ew) and those two events kicked my soul’s ass. I do not remember the last time I felt that world-weary and tired and defeated. Even my bone marrow felt like it was giving up. It felt like I was filling up with The Ooze from Fern Gully. 

It was dark enough in here that I couldn’t bring myself to watch the first night of the Democratic National Convention, and on Tuesday I took most of the day off from the internet. And people. I took a lot of naps, I watched a lot of NCIS (shut up, it’s soothing). I played silly games on my phone and wrestled with Poppy. I felt better in the evening, but not enough to watch the second night of the convention.

Yesterday, I was scrolling through social media, checking out the reviews of the first two nights of conventioning. Everybody loved Michelle Obama’s speech. Some people were put off by what they thought was an overly schmaltzy approach in the new format. Others loved the new format and said they hoped we never go back to the old way. Pretty predictable stuff, right?

What I didn’t predict was just how dang annoyed I’d feel as I scrolled. Over and over again I saw tweets whose message was something along the lines of “THE DNC LET SOMEONE I DON’T LIKE SAY WORDS. THEY SUCK. THEY ARE THE ENEMY OF EVERYTHING AND MUST BE DESTROYED. I’M NEVER VOTING AGAIN UNLESS THEY CATER ONLY TO MY EXACT WISHES.”

Obviously, I haven’t seen anything that literally said that exact message. I want to be clear about that. But the sentiment was there, in tweet after tweet after tweet after Facebook post after Facebook post after Facebook post. 

Y’all, I am so flippin’ sick of this kind of BS. THIS BS is one of the reasons our country is in this mess in the first place. And I’m reaching the point where I do not trust myself not to go full SNARKE SMASH on every person I see posting it…at least not right now. 

Let me be clear: All of us have the right to post whatever we want (mostly). I would never tell someone what they are “allowed” to post about. 

But right now? I do not have the patience or the filter to not excoriate every person in my feed (some of whom I love dearly!) who writes posts like that. 

SO. I’m stepping back. I didn’t watch the convention last night and I probably won’t watch tonight. I’m not going to watch the Republican Convention next week and will be taking a huge step back from social media until it is over. I am angry and exhausted and just…cannot with all of this right now.

I’m hoping that the time away will help me rest and reboot so that I’ll be ready to take on the next two months with the energy it will require. I’m hoping to figure out what kind of approach to take to, well, everything that will let me keep posting without filling me up with The Ooze(tm).

Of course, I’m not PLANNING anything. We all know how that turns out in 2020. 

Stay tuned! 

Plans are for Other People

I had a plan. I was going to go to bed at a reasonable time, get a good night’s sleep, get up at a normal hour, eat a real food for breakfast and then get some paying work done before my day turned into Politicalpalooza. 

It was a good plan and I liked it a lot.

I know, I know: human plans, deities laugh. 

Well in this case, the deities decided to wage their revenge via my bladder, which didn’t let me get more than about thirty minutes of sleep at a time before deciding it had to be relieved RIGHT NOW IMMEDIATELY OR YOU WILL BE DOING EMBARASSING LAUNDRY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. It finally decided to let me get some real sleep sometime around 4 AM. 

My alarm went off at 9. 

That was when I was supposed to get up and go for a walk before making a real food for breakfast.

Instead I accidentally (shut up) turned off my alarm instead of hitting snooze and fell back to sleep until 11. Then I got up, drank some soda, chatted with one of my housemates for a bit and sat down at my computer in my pajamas to cover the first Trump rally of the day.

In all honesty, I missed the first little bit of Trump’s first rally…er…”event at which he delivered remarks.” He started before his scheduled starting time and then railed for a while about how much he rocks and how much Joe Biden sucks with some racist garnish thrown in there for funsies. 

About an hour after that first “event” was done, Trump began another and y’all. There aren’t enough evens to can’t. I honestly couldn’t tell you what was going on during that event. Trump seemed cracked out of his mind—he was sweaty, rambling, jumping from topic to topic sometimes in mid-sentence and kept trying to joke with “Scott.” He shouted about how the Governor of Virginia wants to kill newborn babies and praised Putin and Erdogan for being very smart and talented chess players. 

I have seen plenty of Trump speeches where he veers off his teleprompted course, but this was something else. Whatever they gave him on Air Force One between events to keep his energy levels up? They gave him way WAY too much.

Now that those events are over for the day, I should be covering the first night of the Democratic National Convention. I want to watch speeches composed of complete sentences and coherent thoughts and hope instead of fear and truth instead of lies. I want serious people who actually know how the law works to tell me how we’re going to fix this mess we’re in and be able to trust that they believe what they are saying. 

But y’all. I am so tired. I am so so tired. 

And I’m not just tired because of a day filled with Trump buffoonery and too little sleep and not a lot of real food. I’m tired in my bones. I am existentially and spiritually tired. My soul feels weary and even though I know I will keep fighting the fight tomorrow, tonight I just…can’t. 

I’ll catch up on the speeches later. I especially want to see Michelle Obama speak. But right now, there is a cat and a couch and snacks that are calling my name. And even though I feel really guilty about missing tonight’s festivities, I’m just going to take some time to chill the eff out. 

Here’s a link to my tweet thread for the first Trump “event.”

Here’s a link to my tweet thread for the second Trump “event.”

Joe has made his decision!

What it is is anybody’s guess.

So. Trump is scheduled to do a press briefing at 5:30 (EST) today. Joe Biden has reportedly made his decision about his VP and that announcement could drop at literally any second. 

If Biden really wants to troll Trump, he should wait until the moment Trump begins the briefing. Any network that is still airing that thing live will cut away (okay, maybe not FOX). The WH Press Corps will get the announcement notification on their phones, guaranteeing that it will be the first thing they ask about. Trump will have had no time to prep.

We all know that the worst thing for Trump is for the public to witness him trying to process information in real time. This would force that out and into the open…though I would feel really bad for whichever reporter asks the question. They are going to be on the receiving end of a Trump Meltdown(tm) and those are never fun. 

Anyway, this is going to be a long LONG afternoon and evening. May the force be with you all.

It’s 2016 All over Again but It Doesn’t Have to Be

Photo description: Trump on a lot of television screens
Image source: Reuters/Jim Urquhart

“It’s 2016 all over again,” a friend tweeted this morning. He was talking about how CNN made a point of carrying Trump’s Big Racist Bullshit-stravaganza Campaign Rally on Saturday, but hasn’t bothered to mention more than a passing acknowledgement of the events Biden has been holding. Even the virtual event he did with former President Obama got very little play.

My friend is right, of course. The same thing happened four years ago—all the major networks and news outlets were falling all over themselves to cover every single word that sputtered out of ToxicOrange’s McNugget hole. Meanwhile, even the best attended events held by Hillary Clinton were mentioned mostly in passing. Maybe, if she was lucky and it was an otherwise slow news day, the anchors would tune into the rallies for a few minutes before going back to “but her emails-ing.” 

Honestly, I wasn’t that much better. I spent FAR more time covering Trump’s events than I did talking or blogging about Clinton’s. I own that. I was incredibly naive to think that simply pointing Trump’s nonsense—even as I was doing my best to explain why it was nonsense—was enough. In retrospect I should have spent just as much time talking about Clinton’s ideas and policies, how they would work and why they were better. 

What makes me angriest about that is that I knew better. It isn’t enough to talk about what you’re against, you need to talk about what you’re for. Punk Rock is Bullshit, and all that. 

This time, I want to do better. I’m not sure what that will really look like just yet, but I want to start by calling your attention to this Washington Post article about the event the Biden campaign held today. It’s a short read and it definitely gave me some stuff to think about. 

Like Peas in a Pod

He pays the best attention.

In pretty much any other timeline, a foreign dignitary visiting the White House and meeting with the President would feel like business as usual. This is, after all, part of the job of being President, right? 

If only we lived in one of those timelines. 

In this timeline, we get Trump. 

It shouldn’t have surprised me, then, given how familiar I am with the Trump administration’s bullshittery, that the very first foreign dignitary to be hosted by the White House post-lockdown would be the President of Poland.

Oh wait, yes it was surprising. But only because that honor wasn’t given to Putin or, if Vlad was too busy, Kim Jong Un. 

If you’re not familiar with President Andrzej Duda, here’s the TL;DR: he’s a bad guy. 

Among other constitutional crises and other disgusting stuff, Duda has attacked the LGBTQ+ community in Poland, saying that, if re-elected he will not allow LGBTQ couples to adopt, will ban teaching about LGBT issues in schools and has said that the LGBTQ movement is a “foreign ideology worse than communism.” 

Hatred of the LGBTQ community, constitutional crises, criminalizing speech against the state…and he’s up for re-election! Sound familiar?

It is not a coincidence that this guy is the guy awarded the first post-lockdown WH visit. Of course, as usual all Trump wanted to talk about was how high his ratings are, to brag about strong-arming other members of NATO…something that Duda was all too happy to echo, usually choosing to fluff Trump’s ego instead of actually answering questions he was asked. 

The only real surprise during today’s joint presser in the Rose Garden is that Trump didn’t verbally attack any reporters. 

Anyway, here’s a link to my tweet thread of the event, if you’d like to check that out! Enjoy?

Fundraiser: How the Frak is it May Already Edition

My bad

Last fall I was going through some stuff. Some big hairy monster brain weasel professional setback drowning in my own neuroses can’t get anything done stuff. I needed help and you all came through. I? Didn’t. I haven’t kept up my end of the fundraiser bargain and I need to own that and I need to make it right.

When I ran my fundraiser I made some promises:

Tweeting all the political things! (I actually did okay with this part, I think?)

Lots of blog posts!

Real mail!




I still need to deliver on most of these things. 

This is the part of the post where I’m supposed to be cheerful and gung-ho and tell you exactly how I plan to do that! Except….I’m not entirely sure how to do that. I think the first steps have to be: publishing this here post and contacting supporters re: fulfillment. 

So! If you sent in support, look for an email/DM/PM from me sometime later in the week! If you didn’t send in support, don’t worry about it! You still get this stunning post. Neat, huh? 

Real Quick Fundraiser Update

I just posted this over on GoFundMe and thought it would be a good idea to post it here too:

HAPPY THANKSGIVING (a couple of days early)! I hope that all of you are having a grand time with people you love and doing things you like! It’s been a minute or a few since my last update. The last couple of weeks have been hectic with a half dozen Congressional Hearings, a few rallies, and a pretty severe depressive episode when I failed to time my meds properly. Don’t worry, I am okay. 🙂 I’ll be writing about all of it, of course. Right now I have about a dozen blog posts in varying stages of completion in the queue and hope to have them all published by the end of the holiday weekend. THIS update (way to bury the lede, self) is to let you know that I *finally* have a Google Form ready for you to fill out so you can get some fun rewards! I did make a slight change to one of the rewards. Originally, I had planned to do monthly snail mail letters in November, December and January. Since I’m just getting this up now and November is almost over (oops), I’ve pushed out the delivery of the monthly snail mail letters to be December, January, and February. This way there can be Valentines! Anyway, here’s a link to the form for you to fill out if that is a thing you’d like to do: Thanks for reading and supporting! I love you all to pieces!

What to Expect Since You’re Probably Expecting Some Updates

Me, when November started: IMMA WRITE YOU SOOOOOO MUCH STUFF!

Me, now: What day is it? Are we still in 2019? Are there more hearings today? Do I have to listen to Jim Jordan’s face-holes make noise? Who ate all my chips? Why is it dark out? I need to catch up on my blog! I need a nap! What day is it? 

So….yeah. Last week was a doozy, wasn’t it? There were five (FIVE) Congressional Impeachment Inquiry Hearings over three days. For those of you who don’t regularly watch those things, five? In three days? Is a LOT. 

To be completely honest, I only managed to watch four (well, okay 3.9 because I tapped out of the second one an hour early). Taking in all of that information and testimony still has my brain a little soupy. But fear not! I’ve got a bunch of posts in the works, both for politics and not-politics and this week? There’s going to be a flood, folks. I hope your waders are cute and make you happy.

Here’s what’s in the post-pipeline for this week (and yes, I know Thanksgiving is on Thursday):

An update on my fundraiser and a post welcoming the new followers I picked up over the course of the last couple of weeks.

3 mental health posts on depression, self-care, etc.

A hootenanny’s worth of political posts. We’ll talk about why the impeachment hearings are important and I’ll fill you in on the important stuff from each of the hearings I was able to watch (all six of them)

Maybe some fun other stuff! MAYBE. 

This is a lot and I have a history of really really underestimating how much time I need to get things done, but hopefully if I buckle down, I’ll be able to get everything done by the weekend. 

Here’s to hoping! 


House Impeachment Inquiry Day Two: Marie Yovanovitch

Photo Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

QUICK NOTE: Hello from the future! It has taken me a while to actually get around to writing these posts (for reasons we’ll talk about in a mental health post soon). When I finally sat down to start writing about these hearings, trying to write about them in the past tense just felt weird. So, I’m going to write what I would have written had I been able to write up each hearing on the day it happened and then backdate them here on the blog. I realize that I probably could have just done that anyway without telling you but that felt like a shady thing to do. Just thought you should know! Onward!

Today the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (House Intel Committee) listened to testimony from Former Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Why is Fmr Ambassador Yovanovitch important? 

The short version? Trump fired her because he wanted to do some illegal sh*t and she pushed back. Then Trump and his henchman Rudy Giuliani did everything they could to trash the Ambassador’s reputation and ruin the rest of her life. (Spoiler Alert: it didn’t work)

Marie Yovanovitch spent 33 years as a member of the US Foreign Service. That’s more than half her life. She has served all over the world and for two years was the Deputy Director of the Russian Desk at the State Department. She was given her first Ambassadorship by George W Bush when he appointed her the US Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan in 2005. In 2008 she was appointed the US Ambassador to Armenia. In 2016 President Obama appointed her the US Ambassador to Ukraine. She has a degree in Russian Studies from Princeton, studied at Moscow’s Pushkin Institute and has a Master of Science from the National Defense University’s National War College. 

That means? She knows what the frak she’s talking about. And, like Taylor and Kent before her, she’s neither a Trump sycophant nor a Never-Trumper (all affirmed this under oath). 

Why does Fmr Ambassador Yovanovitch’s testimony matter? Because Trump is massively afraid of her.

As she stated multiple times during her testimony, Trump was allowed to fire her at any time and for any reason he wanted. And while she certainly didn’t deserve to be fired (she was doing an amazing job), his recalling her was totally legal. 

What’s not cool is the way that Trump, Giuliani, and their marauding band of buffoons went to town on her reputation and livelihood. These jerks did everything they could to trash her reputation, to vilify her and, essentially to ruin her life. They sicced their frothing base on her and, this is not hyperbole, she is lucky to be alive.  

Why? Why not just fire her and move on? Why do everything possible to make sure her life was borked? Because she is a strong woman who had the audacity to stand up to a man in power. And we all know how much Trump hates it when the ladies try to think for themselves. And because he’s intimidated by smart, funny, accomplished women who are, by leaps and bounds, better people than he could ever dream of being.

One of the things that struck me during this hearing was how often the GOP members of the committee tried to brush off Trump’s threats and disparagements—even as he tweeted them during the damn hearing—because after all, she landed a fellowship at a prestigious University, right? She’s not going to be hurting financially or anything. It’s not like she’s homeless now, after all. 

This? Is like saying: Sure, I burned down your house but look at the check the insurance company gave you! That’ll pay for a sweet-ass minivan, for sure! We’re good, right? 

No, bros. You most definitely are not good.

Here’s the tweet thread: