Get Mad And Stay Mad About Stephen Miller’s Nazi Border Policy #KeepFamiliesTogether

by Shelton Bumgarner

I am not going to be so sanguine as to suggest the Stephen Miller policy on the border in regard to immigrants will, in real terms, do anything to slice the festering boil that is the Trump Administration. The country is too divided and negative polarization on the Right is way, way, way too potent a force for that to happen. I will note, however, that Trump and his fellow would-be Nazis have kind of painted themselves into a corner.

This is because the more you know the fact of what’s going on, the more difficult it is to wave your hand and tell people like me to “enjoy the humming economy” and “get laid.” There’s a real humanitarian and ethical crisis taking place on the border and the question is, are we willing to do something about it in real terms, or is this just another frightening example of how the United States is lurching towards a not-so-quasi authoritarian state.

There is, at least, as small possibility that we’re headed for an enormous confrontation about the future of our nation on a historic scale. Now Trump is extremely fickle and given how easy it is for him to relieve any pressure on his administration by simply revoking the policy this could be a non-issue. And Trump is so completely devoid of shame that he could very easily wake up one morning, watch Morning Joe, and tweet out some bizarre rationale for ending the policy that blames the Democrats with maximum pandering to his base.

And, yet, there is also a chance that this policy plays so well to the base and Trump is so completely devoid of empathy that he’ll dig in for the long haul. He’ll pick this, of all things, as his hill to die on. If that happens, one of two things will happen. Either his typical, “Look! A squirrel!” approach to governance will succeed, or it won’t. If it does work, then the pot is officially boiling and we’re fucked. If it doesn’t, however, Trump is playing with fire. The fact that some religious leaders have begun to speak out about this policy — despite how Trump, personally, is ensuring the Rapture happens sooner rather than later — indicates there is a least a small possibility the Trump Administration, may, for once, get burned.

Unfortunately, it will take time for the burning to happen. We may be in a political siege of sorts as the two sides wage a slow-motion war as we simply hunker down and wait for the 2018 mid-term elections to roll around. I am very doubtful at this point that there will be a “Blue Wave.” I think while the Republicans may take surprising losses, they will maintain both houses of Congress and Trump will not only survive, but prosper. The economy is doing too well and The Resistance, at least right now, too nebulous and lacking leadership for anything of any substance to happen. And, yet, if we get mad and stay mad about this most basic of issues — the right of parents to stay with their children, regardless of the reason, we might have a small chance.

Too many MAGA people have too much invested in its continued success to even give a little ground on humanitarian grounds to the libtards they are so determined to “own.” In my own dealings with MAGA people on this subject, they either deflect or rhetorically bob and weave to such an extent that conversation with them is pointless. There are also some MAGA sympathizers who take a macro approach and say the United States needs better control over its borders and let the chips fall where they may. That neither one of these groups can’t show some compassion on the face of it once you describe to them what’s going on with this policy is pretty frightening.

What’s so disturbing to me is how MAGA people conflate the issue. They talk about how we need to enforce laws and how this happened under Obama and then they walk off and enjoy the humming economy, go to church and raise their kids. But as I mentioned, this isn’t a law, this is a policy enacted at the behest of White House adviser Stephen Miller’s demented mind. It’s a matter of policy, not law that this is happening and if we hone in on this point and use it as a rhetorical bludgeon on anyone who will listen, then maybe, just maybe something of note will happen.

The Big Lie only works so much. If every time a Trump supporter regurgitates a Big Lie talking point you flatly and politely tell them the facts of the matter and point out how devoid of compassion they are on a personal level, there’s a chance eventually they’ll feel the heat enough that Trump may feel obliged to do the right thing for a change and revoke the policy.

But Trump wants his “big beautiful wall” so bad and the base loves this concept as a form of deterrence so much that we’re in for a historic game of political chicken. It all will come down to the mid-terms. That’s it. The fate of the Republic could hinge on flipping Congress and finally putting a check on Trumplandia. I’m very doubtful this will happen, however. I just think there’s too much dark money being throw at the problem by the Right, not to mention the very real possibility of new, improved interference on the part of the Russians.

So, if you love America, if you love that idea of it being a “city on the hill,” our best hope is that you get angry and stay angry about what’s going on at the border. Take a stand. Be willing to lose Facebook friends over it. Hell, be willing to lose REAL friends over it. If Trump wants to play chicken, let’s play chicken. Just be prepared to hit their car if they don’t blink and swerve away.

Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. he may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.

Talk To Me Internet: Trump As Russian Asset

by Shelton Bumgarner

Just some idle rambling.

This Is America

by Shelton Bumgarner

It was inevitable, given the ebb and flow of American political history that someone like Trump would become president. Trump just has put his own idiosyncratic spin on things. It’s not like if Hillary Clinton had won that we’d be in much better shape, given that the entire Right is based on a hysterical belief that it’s being oppressed.

I have said for two years that Trump is an existential threat to America and it definitely seems as though he’s getting worse. He’s starting to figure out what being president means and he’s kind of a surreal, malevolent version of Bill Clinton at this point. Clinton, too, had a lot of chaos at first in his administration and then he figured out what he was doing.

The issue now is there anything that can stop him. What’s the end game. Does Trump signal the final lurch of the United States into it’s late imperial stage or he a blip. In other words, is Trump founding a new Trumplandia or is he a Caligula. All signs are he’s growing stronger by the day and we risk losing sight of what really make America great to begin with.

Things are growing more and more dark. I’m the product of a precocious child watching too much Cold War liberal TV news. That’s my frame of reference. Mid-80s TV news liberalism. That’s the America I know and love and I don’t know what happens next. It seems as though the volk has an almost endless ability to process Trump’s dumpster fire of an administration.

When the final history of the United States is written, Trump could be the moment when we finally succumbed to our worst instincts. I like to think the individual rises to the occasion and given the opportunity he or she will show their true colors. They say history is but the biography of great men (or women) for a reason.

What would Lincoln have been without the opportunity and crisis of the Civil War. I mean, hell, Grant was a listless drunk for about a decade before fate happened to tap him for greatness. So there’s still an opportunity for individual greatness in America. Trump hasn’t sapped that out of us quite yet.

But it’s going to get worse before it’s get better — much, much worse.

It’ll get worse because Trump has no shame and will never quit and the Vichy Republican Congress will never impeach him, no matter what he does. So, we’re stuck with Trump for the time being.

Only time will tell if we can save ourselves from ourselves.

Idle Rambling About What To Call This Imbroglio

by Shelton Bumgarner

Just for fun, let’s think up names for this scandal-that-might-not-be-a-scandal. It only really matters if Trump’s the babydaddy.

The POTUS Babydaddy Scandal
La Affair Bechard
POTUS Fetus affair
Bi-costal affair
Proxy Fall Guy Affair
Wait, what?

Meh. Nothing really is all that catchy other than POTUS Fetus Affair

Waiting For Peter K. Stris Comment & Playboy’s Community As Source Material

by Shelton Bumgarner

The point of me continuing to talk about this is I just want to know one way or another what happened. I want closure. If Elliot Broidy is Bechard’s babydaddy, then I can go back to working on my novel. I just hate this not knowing. I hate the cognitive dissidence of it obviously being Trump on the face of it, and yet there being, like, zero datapoints for it being either Trump or Broidy.

It’s really frustrating.

I would be, at this point, content with a blanket denial from Bechard’s lawyer Peter K. Stris. Just tell me she didn’t bang Trump, doesn’t even know him and I’ll be content. Then we’d have the official statement.

Meanwhile, if I had the resources, I will fly to LA and try to ingratiate myself into the Playboy Bunny community. If I worked for The New York Times I will, like, call Cooper Hefner up directly say, “Bruh, what do you know?” I think if there’s any there there — which there may not be — we could guilt Playboy into fessing up. They have a huge vested interest in being the good guy in this imbroglio. Think of the sudden relevance and positive buzz they would get if they helped bring down Trump — or at least gave him a nasty political bruise? I would be shocked if their corporate self-interests would trump them helping The Resistance. If they did help in any cover up that would be seriously uncool, Playboy.

I guess what I’m saying is if you want to know the truth of this imbroglio, figure out a way to crack the Playboy Bunny community nut. Think of who we’re dealing with. Gorgeous, catty, gossipy young women who share everything and see themselves in a sorority. I would be completely flabbergasted if Bechard had not confided in one of them about who she was seeing, be it Broidy or Trump.

Anyway. I guess I hope we could shame Playboy into confessing whatever they know.

But simply don’t know. It could go either way at this point. It really could.

Logic & Datapoints: The Nitty Gritty Of Bechard / Broidy / Trump

by Shelton Bumgarner

I keep trying to put this imbroglio in the back of my mind and actually, like, be productive, but every time I try to do that, the enormous logic of Trump being Bechard’s babydaddy brings it back to the forefront of my mind again.

Let’s get down to the cold hard facts and logic of what’s going on.

What We Know
We know Bechard had an affair with someone between late 2015 and late 2017.
We know that Trump’s schedule and Bechard’s Instagram placed him in proximity (NYC) to Bechard in the mid-to-late September 2017 timeframe.
We know a child was conceived around mid-to-late September of 2017 and later aborted.
We know Trump has, at least once, “raw dogged” with a woman he was having and affair with (Stormy Daniels.)
We have photographic evidence on Instagram that Bechard was at least outward ok with being pregnant at some point.
We know Bechard at one point had a dog named Ellie.
We know Bechard at some point was referred to Keith Davidson.
— Davidson was the lawyer who represented two other women who signed NDAs with Trump.
We know Broidy used Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer to represent him.
We know Bechard got $1.6 million (hardly Stormy Daniels’ ‘nuisance” money.)
We know Broidy was actively seeking access to the Trump Adminstration about this time in the guise of various Arab states.
We know that the day after the first installment of the $1.6 million to Bechard, Broidy gained access to Trump directly.
We know Bechard is interested in the #MeToo movement.

What We Don’t Know.
Anything to do with Trump directly being connected to Bechard other than Cohen and Davidson.
Anything to do with Broidy being directly connected to Bechard other than the NDA, Davidson and Cohen.
Anything in cold hard fact terms about Bechard’s exact state of mind at the time of the abortion.
— Was there a direct quid pro quo?
Anything about how many Playboy Bunnies (Playboy itself?) knew anything about an affair with either Broidy or Trump.

In fact, we have no evidence that Broidy even knows Bechard other than the things directly connected to the NDA.

Outstanding questions:
How come $1.6 million from Broidy of all people? He’s a rando. Why would he give a shit. Or why would he give $1.6 million worth of shit.
How could Donald J. Trump bang Bechard while also running for president and being in the Oval Office.
How could all of this be kept secret if Trump was the babydaddy? Is that proof that it didn’t happen?
How did the WSJ learn of the affair? Why did Bechard’s name only come out later in the day once the story broke?

Existential Questions
Why no comment from Peter K. Stris, Bechard’s lawyer?
Why no comment from Cooper Hefner?
Will it even matter if we prove it was Trump? Is there nothing that will ever hurt him politically, especially on the character side. He would not have done anything illegal and he can just keep babbling about the “Criminal Deep State” and “Spygate” while liberals burst into flames over the hypocrisy of a otherwise “pro-life” president.

V-Log: Idle Rambling About The Bechard / Trump / Broidy Imbroglio

by Shelton Bumgarner

I have to not get so wrapped up in all of this. Even if Trump is the baby daddy, it won’t even leave a mark with his cult members.

Trump, Giuliani & Their Constitutional Spaghetti Incident #Resist

by Shelton Bumgarner

What’s going on right now, I’m afraid, is what you might call the “spaghetti strategy” of defense on the part of Trump and Giuliani. They are no longer basing anything they do or say on the facts, but rather using their own form of “truthiness” whereby they throw different idea against the wall until something sticks.

Therefore, they honestly don’t care what we think. If you are bound by the rules of logic and evidence and happen not to support their basic concept that nothing Trump did was wrong and Mueller’s investigation is a “witch hunt,” they honestly don’t care what you think. Their entire goal is to divide the country and muddle the issues to such an extent that Trump can’t be pinned down.

In a sense, they’re trying to wait out the clock. They are waiting until the base is prepped to accept Trump firing Mueller or whatever, knowing that in real terms as long as Trump has a Republican majority in Congress he is, in fact, above the law. I don’t even think this strategy is all that risky. Unless something dramatically unexpected happens, I suspect they’re going to pull it off.

What they want, and what I think they’ll get, is an extreme version of the Iran-contra endgame whereby everyone knew Reagan engaged in extra-Constitutional shenanigans, but nothing happen to Reagan for various reasons. So, too, I think Trump will get what he wants — which is stay in power for 8 years — and much like the lack of WMDs in Iraq, this whole thing will be one of those issues where Trump supporters just blink silently whenever you bring it up, never addressing the facts.

That’s our fate, I’m afraid. Our fate is about half the population will know the facts — that Trump not only colluded with a hostile foreign power, but obstructed justice as well, while the other half the population will shrug and enjoy the “humming” economy while the Trump Administration guts the social safety net, tears immigrant families apart and generally ushers in an extremely dark period in our nations history.

Trump’s too smooth to do what Nixon did with the Saturday Night Massacre. Trump will probably do a gradual one whereby he pushes people out or something equally nefarious. A lot of people compare Trump to Reagan and, in some respects, the comparison is apt. Reagan ushered in a new era of political thought that never was reversed once he left office. I mean, the only way Bill Clinton even got elected was by professing his belief in a “Third Way.” So, too, I suspect Trump’s successors of both the Right and the Left will have to work within a new world of Trump’s creation.

Interestingly, this was pretty much inevitable. Baby Boomers are an enormous segment of the electorate and as they grow old and conservative, they force the country towards the Right with them. But, thankfully, they aren’t going to live forever and at some point enough of them will mosey on to the big Grateful Dead concert in the sky that younger, more liberal and diverse voters will finally get a chance for their views to be heard.

Too bad I’ll be an extremely old man by the point. But it’s my only hope at this point. We’re in for a bumpy ride the next few years and I’ll take anything I can that gives me some reason to keep hope alive.

Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.

The Hill & Its Trollish Clickbait, ‘Stopping Robert Mueller’

by Shelton Bumgarner

The Hill, what Capitol staffers read on the john when they are done reading Politico, should be ashamed of itself for publishing the complete and total bullshit article “Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all.” This article, written weirdly by former Clintonite Mark Penn, is obviously a stalking horse for the current political strategy of Trump and his demon spawn Rudy Giuliani. It is embarrassing to read something that is so comical in its effort to make us believe that the evil “Deep State” is “desperate” to bring down Trump. Penn writes:

With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.

A quick Google search belies this dumb accusation. If anything, Mueller has been quite successful in the last year and he has plenty of reason to keep going in the days, weeks and, if need be, years ahead.

Here’s some more.

But it is backfiring. They started by telling the story of Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat, as having remembered a bar conversation with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. But how did the FBI know they should talk to him? That’s left out of their narrative. Downer’s signature appears on a $25 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. You don’t need much imagination to figure that he was close with Clinton Foundation operatives who relayed information to the State Department, which then called the FBI to complete the loop. This wasn’t intelligence. It was likely opposition research from the start.

To quote Hillary Clinton during the Bengazhi hearings, “What difference does it make?”

So what if it was oppo. That doesn’t change the fact that Trump may have colluded with a hostile foreign power to rig a presidential election. It makes me apoplectic that this trash that was spewed out of the FOX News Bullshit Mountain even got written. This is all part of a concerted effort on the part of the Trump – Giuliani nexus to prepare us all for God-only-knows-what.

Even more bullshit:

Time and time again, investigators came up empty. Even several sting operations with an FBI spy we just learned about failed to produce a Delorean-like video with cash on the table. But rather than close the probe, the deep state just expanded it. All they had were a few isolated contacts with Russians and absolutely nothing related to Trump himself, yet they pressed forward. Egged on by Steele, they simply believed Trump and his team must be dirty. They just needed to dig deep enough.

If the fate of the Republic wasn’t at stake, I would laugh. But the time for us to laugh about Trump’s corruption and obstruction is very much over. What’s weird to me is people are willing to engulf themselves in the flames of the Trump pier for, what? Access to power? I mean, really, it’s not like VP Mike Pence is going to really change anything. In fact, if you’re all that concerned about “owning libs,” Pence has an actual ideology that Trump lacks. As Jim Comey confidant Benjamin Wittes famously quipped Trump is “malevolence mitigated only by his incompetence.” Pence is competent and would have an ideology beyond whatever he happened to spew in a tweet that morning.

Here more from the piece that leaves me astonished at its tone-deafness.

This process must now be stopped, preferably long before a vote in the Senate. Rather than a fair, limited and impartial investigation, the Mueller investigation became a partisan, open-ended inquisition that, by its precedent, is a threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again.

I am not the type of person to protest. But I can tell you for a fact that if “this….process…stopped” in the guise of Trump firing Robert Mueller without cause I will hit the streets. I would like to think other like-minded people would join me. I am not so naive as to think it would really matter in the end — even well-heeled people are apologists for Trump and the system is so broken that the book The Plot Against America is starting to look more like a documentary as opposed to a counter-factual novel. But this bullshit by Penn doesn’t exactly help the situation.

This part is spews so directly from the dark recesses of the surreal bullshit factory that runs the country right now that I feel astonished it was published.

The president’s lawyers need to extend their new aggressiveness from words to action, filing complaints with Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility on the failure of Mueller and Rosenstein to recuse themselves, and going into court to question the tactics of the special counsel, from selective prosecutions on unrelated matters, illegally seizing Government Services Administration emails, covering up the phone texts of FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and operating without a scope approved by the attorney general. (The regulations call for the attorney general to recuse himself from the investigation but appear to still leave him responsible for the scope.)

The emails between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are widely seen as a non-issue by anyone who hasn’t drunk the Trump Koolaide and it’s embarrassing that The Hill would allow a writer to even mention it. Maybe the “secret society” was off the day they decided to publish it.

Mueller has done more than enough in the last year to prove he has earned the right to be left alone for the foreseeable future. Let’s just see where this leads. If we are still a Republic and not a “managed democracy” like they have in Russia, we have to do that. Trump may want to be an American Caligula, but I’d like to think we haven’t reached that point yet. I still have hope that America’s over two centuries of experimenting in self-rule hasn’t failed yet.

If we follow Penn’s advice, we are little more than a banana republic where rules and laws change at the whim of the Dear Leader. So, if anything, we have to protect Robert Mueller to protect ourselves, not the opposite.

Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He can be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.

V-Log: The Left Doesn’t Take The Insanity Of The Right Serious Enough

by Shelton Bumgarner

I go into a lot of detail about my thoughts on this matter in this video.