Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's Border Bullshit Depends on Federal Funding

Many things gall the fuck out of me about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who always looks like he's smiling in satisfaction because a migrant child is drowning in front of him, and his completely dickish border politics to ramp up anger at President Biden and the Democrats. It's not just his abuse of power in forcing the Texas National Guard to confront Customs and Border Control Agents at the southern border with Mexico. It's not just the absolute assholishness and hysteria in the communications he and his Attorney General, the odious, sleazy scumfucker Ken Paxton (who looks like someone who masturbates to those kids Abbott's smiling at), have had with Biden and his administration. And it's not just that Abbott is defying the U.S. Supreme Court in his bizarre desire to slice up migrants who try to cross the Rio Grande. Or to drown them at Eagle Pass.

It's that the Texas National Guard exists because of funding from the federal government. While Texas is funding the actual operation at the border, all the training and equipment and other expenses are budgeted from the Defense Department. The two bases where Texas Guard soldiers train, Camp Swift (named after  a general who spent years killing Native Americans) and Camp Bowie (named after slave trader Jim Bowie), were built by the federal government. The TNG gets over $100 million a year from Washington. The Texas Department of Public Safety (also involved in the border conflict) gets anywhere from $200-700 million a year. Indeed, in the entire state's budget, federal money is the second biggest source of cash, making up about a third of the annual budget. In 2021, Texas got $47.3 billion in funding from the Defense Department. Whole cities in Texas exist because of federal spending on huge military bases. 

So when Abbott launched "Operation Lone Star" in March 2021, despite border crossings still being lower than they were pre-pandemic under noted rapist President Donald Trump, Texas was able to afford it because the fuckton of money from the federal government kept rolling in. But that wasn't enough.

Abbott recently bragged that he secured $4 billion for border security. It's cost nearly $5 billion, actually, and it's also forced Abbott to divert funds from other places. He took $360 million from the state's  overcrowded and dangerously understaffed prison system. Texas has not accepted the expanded Medicaid in the Affordable Care Act, yet Abbott was cool with diverting nearly $1 billion in Covid relief funds from medical care to savagely policing the border. 21 rural hospitals have closed in the last decade in Texas,  26% of the rest are at risk of closure, and 40% of them don't have labor and delivery units. But it was more important to spend that billion on murder buoys in the Rio Grande. Nearly 90 House Democrats have signed a letter demanding that Abbott and Texas be investigated for this bullshit operation whose only goal is to provoke a fight with the Biden administration. Those Democrats also called for an amendment saying no federal funds can go to Abbott's boondoggle.

Meanwhile, on the Operation Lone Star website, you can contribute your own money to one of three areas, you lucky asshole: Border "transportation," which means putting migrants on buses and sending them to them lib'rul places up north and show 'em what for; border "security," which I think means paying for the Texas National Guard, which, fuck, what the hell are your taxes for; and the border wall because of course the fucking wall is there. The only one of the three that's attracted real money is, no shit, the wall. $55.4 million has been donated for a wall that I was told repeatedly would be paid for by Mexico. But, shit, I guess if I was dumb and racist, I'd open my wallet and give my hard-earned oil field money to keep out the terrorists or whatever the fuck I was stupid enough to believe.

This whole goddamn thing stinks. Sure, the border is always an issue at elections, especially when a Democrat is president. And there's a lot to say about the larger implications of all this. How the fuck do you allow these motherfuckers to get away with defying the Supreme Court on the removal of the razor wire and buoys? Why the fuck haven't they arrested the Texas Guard members and others who wouldn't allow CBP to rescue a woman and two kids from drowning? Or whoever ordered to guardsmen in the Del Rio sector to block them? Or Abbott? Handcuff the shitheels for at least manslaughter.

And maybe it's worth always contextualizing this with two things: Border crossings and encounters (which can mean anything from an arrest to someone asking for asylum) have risen some overall in the last few months (until recently). And Republicans in Congress refuse to do jack shit to actually solve the crisis other than bitch about how they can't mass murder migrants. It's because, they admit, they don't want to give Biden a "win" that might help him defeat the GOP candidate, rapist Donald Trump. 

Abbott simply doesn't give a shit about anything other than the border show. He doesn't care that he's chomping on the federal hand that feeds the state. Fuck you, send more money, and fuck you.

When Eagle Pass Mayor Rolando Salinas, Jr. initially gave the Texas DPS permission to take over the border town's largest public area, Shelby Park, so it could give the Supreme Court the middle finger, put the buoys in, and arrest anyone they thought was a border crosser, there was an outcry by community members, many of whom go back and forth across a pedestrian bridge to shop and party in Piedras Negras, Mexico. The city council voted unanimously to rescind the mayor's order. That was in August. A couple of weeks ago, the DPS and Texas National Guard just fuckin' took over the park "indefinitely" without notifying the mayor. Salinas had not requested any assistance, and, indeed, border crossings at the park and elsewhere had already dropped in recent weeks, thanks in part to things the Biden administration had done. This past week, AG Paxton, cockknob that he is, refused to allow federal agents to take the park back, setting up another confrontation. 

Of course, that didn't matter. Abbott's border show has to continue, at least until the 2024 election. By the way, Eagle Pass was going to have a ceremony in Shelby Park to commemorate the people whose lives were lost crossing the border. 700 crosses had been erected for the event, one for each death. It was canceled. And you can assume that the state trampled on the crosses or just made them disappear.


No One Hates America More Than Trump and the MAGA Cretins

Believe it or not, the election of 2020, up to and through Election Day, was pretty much a triumph of the American electoral system at all levels. At the height of a global pandemic, with hospitals overwhelmed, with corpses being kept in trailers, with supply chains fucked, we held a presidential election and that motherfucker was run amazingly well. Yes, there were the usual, preventable, bullshit problems of long lines at polling stations, especially in poor and non-white majority areas in Republican states. That's a huge bastard of a problem that needs fixing. But the combination of early voting and mail-in ballots, along with Election Day voting, worked. It should have been one of the great civic celebrations in US history, as in "Holy shit, we really did that. We really made it work. And it was the most secure election in this country possibly ever." We should have been cheering for election workers and officials at the local, state, and federal level like we cheered for essential workers. We should have been patting ourselves on the back for coming through and voting at the highest rate since 1900. We should have been beaming with pride at how awesome this country can be when it wants to be. 

But we were not allowed that pride. We were not allowed that celebration. Instead, we were treated to an entire movement, led by the goddamn President of the United States, beating that triumph to death. They went after everyone with their lies about the "stolen" election. They fucked up the lives of those election workers and officials who had busted their asses to make sure they got the job done. And that's across the political board. They fucked up Republicans and Democrats in positions to run elections or count votes. They took this great moment and shit all over it. And then they took it further to shit all over the entire system, outlawing the things that made the election work, disenfranchising voters, shifting responsibility for elections to politicians who would undermine them. 

You know, I watched as an election was actually stolen. That was in 2000. I know what that looks like. 2020 was a goddamn paragon of competency and effort. Yet Democrats didn't wage war on the entire election process (or even do as many reforms as should have been done once they were in power again, which, again, fuckin' Democrats). 

When your country has done something undeniably, well, great and you disparage and destroy that, you hate your country. When it comes to elections, you can hate the voting results. Fuck, I've done that on any number of elections. You can hate the people who voted against your candidate. I will freely talk shit about Republican voters. You can hate anti-democratic things like the Senate and the Electoral College. I mean, fucking hell, those need to be amended out of existence. And, yeah, when your country does something shitty, you call it out and demand better. When your country's history is shitty, you say so and demand better. But when it's done something incredible? You can allow yourself to have a bit of patriotism. At the very least, it's okay to do a Jeremiah Johnson nod. Loving your country isn't the same as being blind about your country. So fucking nod and take a moment to say, "Nicely done." Then get back to solving the shit that's wrong. Relationships take work, goddamnit.

It's long been taken as an article of faith on the right that Democrats and the "left" (which has become such a nebulous term, along with "liberal" and "progressive" that it can describe anyone who leans even a little away from "fucking crazy") hate the United States. Trump says it all the fucking time. A regular line at his rallies of the damned is "We will throw off the sick political class that hates our country and they do hate our country." They think we hate in so many ways. Schools that accurately teach American history, with its good, its bad, and its very, very ugly, are seen as making children hate the country. If you believe diversity is a strength, you hate this country. And, in the eyes of Trump's devoted idiot hordes, if a grand jury and a court think he's committed crimes, then the judicial system hates America because, as you should fucking know, Trump is America and America is Trump. Or he's Jesus. Maybe both. It's hard to keep track anymore. 

(Side note: When that fucking awful "God Gave Us Trump" video came out, all I could think was, "Well, let's hope this goes the same way as the last time God supposedly gave us someone." Although you'd need some pretty strong nails.)

They're running the same playbook that they've run since I can remember: they're the "real Americans" and we're the assholes who hate America. What's different this time is that they are using it to undermine our institutions. They love the country, but our election system is corrupt and must be destroyed because they didn't win in 2020. They love the country, but they they want to dismantle the federal government because something something Deep State. They love the country, but the justice system won't let Trump get away with rampant criminality and so it must be filled with cronies and hacks who will do his bidding. They love the country, but they want to throw out people who came here because they love this country. 

The MAGA cretins don't love the United States. They love themselves and they love Trump. And that's it. Fuck everything else. Fuck your rights. Fuck your compassion. Fuck your laws. Fuck you if you don't love them and Trump, too. They hate us. They hate the country we want. They hate the present. They hate the future.

Trump had two great things that he had a hand in doing and any politician not Trump would have been proud to run on them: the successful 2020 election and the speed with which the Covid vaccination was developed. He should be running on hoping the 2024 election is even close to as successful as the 2020 one and on all the lives saved because of the vaccine. But he can't claim either of them because of the hate he's propagated for them both. So instead he runs on the hate and distrust. 

Why bring this up? Isn't this shit obvious

There's something else that's a regular line in Trump's stump speeches. He ends by saying all the things that "will" happen if he's elected again, and right there is this line: "We will love our country." It's just so clear. The love of country is conditional. It's transactional, like everything else in Trump's life. In other words, he's saying he doesn't love his country now and neither should his followers. That's why they're good with his tilt into dictatorship. It's the vile thrill of killing what others love. 

(I know I've talked about the success of the 2020 election before, but it just sticks in my craw like a pubic hair I swallowed and I can't cough up.)


Martin Luther King Would Still Fuck the Right's Shit Up (Still Getting It Wrong Edition)

It's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and that means it's time for the racist dickscabs of the right to trot out that one quote from "I Have a Dream" they use to attempt to colonize King's power and message. And while they are still talking about judging people by "the content of their character" as a way of avoiding how King was actually saying that can happen after you deal with all the bigoted shit woven into the filthy fabric of America, there's actually another quote conservatives have glommed onto this year. Check out this Truth Toilet post from Trump's taint dabber, Rep. Elise Stefanik from New York:

Yup. They've moved on to other speeches. This one can be traced to a commencement address at Oberlin College in June 1965, and you won't be surprised to know that, in context, King is saying that the time is always right to, non-violently, fuck some right-wing racist shit up. 

Here's what he said:
"[W]e are challenged to work passionately and unrelentingly to get rid of racial injustice in all its dimensions. Anyone who feels that our nation can survive half segregated and half integrated is sleeping through a revolution. The challenge before us today is to develop a coalition of conscience and get rid of this problem that has been one of the nagging and agonizing ills of our nation over the years. Racial injustice is still the Negro's burden and America's shame. We've made strides, to be sure. We have come a long, long way since the Negro was first brought to this nation as a slave in 1619. In the last decade we have seen significant developments - the Supreme Court's decision outlawing segregation in the public schools, a comprehensive Civil Rights Bill in 1964, and, in a few weeks, a new voting bill to guarantee the right to vote. All of these are significant developments, but I would be dishonest with you this morning if I gave you the impression that we have come to the point where the problem is almost solved.

"We must face the honest fact that we still have a long, long way to go before the problem of racial injustice is solved. For while we are quite successful in breaking down the legal barriers to segregation, the Negro is now confronting social and economic barriers which are very real. The Negro is still at the bottom of the economic ladder. He finds himself perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. Millions of Negroes are still housed in unendurable slums; millions of Negroes are still forced to attend totally inadequate and substandard schools. And we still see, in certain sections of our country, violence and man's inhumanity to man in the most tragic way. All of these things remind us that we have a long, long way to go. For in Alabama and Mississippi, violence and murder where civil rights workers are concerned, are popular and favorite pastimes.

"Let nobody give you the impression that the problem of racial injustice will work itself out. Let nobody give you the impression that only time will solve the problem. That is a myth, and it is a myth because time is neutral. It can be used either constructively or destructively. And I'm absolutely convinced that the people of ill will in our nation - the extreme rightists - the forces committed to negative ends - have used time much more effectively than the people of good will. It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the vitriolic works and violent actions of the bad people who bomb a church in Birmingham, Alabama, or shoot down a civil rights worker in Selma, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, 'Wait on time.' Somewhere we must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals. Without this hard work, time becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. So we must help time and realize that the time is always right to do right."

Man, that's gotta fuck with the heads of any dumbass MAGA redcap who takes two minutes to look shit up (which, yeah, I know). King cites 1619. He says that the laws that were passed and the court cases that were won are great but don't solve "the problem of racial injustice" (which is some total CRT shit right there).  

And, as far as the concept of "time," he's imploring people to act and not wait for shit to get done. "To do right" is to oppose being dragged back to the allegedly great America that Republicans want to drag us back to. 


Trump's Silence on Death Threats Is Evidence Against Him

I remember, as I'm sure you do, in the years after the 9/11 attacks, that every time some violence was committed by someone who was Muslim, the entire Muslim community in the United States was expected, if not forced, by the right and by the media to make a statement condemning the violence. It's always been an absolutely ludicrous thing since it presumes that a Muslim who committed a shooting represented all Muslims if the denouncement didn't happen. It also takes away focus from the very real Islamophobia and violence against Muslims in this country. But even though the local imam had nothing to do with a shooter, that imam always had to say on camera that Islam is a religion of peace and the shooter was really degrading his faith.

I also remember, as I'm sure you do, the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin. Sometimes, some people connected to the protests (very few people in the context of how huge the marches and rallies were) rioted and committed violence, looting and starting fires (allowing that some this might also have been caused by infiltrators). Any leaders who supported Black Lives Matter, any politician, especially Black politicians, had to get in front of reporters to condemn the violence and call on supporters to stop. This actually made sense. When some in your nonviolent movement get violent, you say something to try to end it or distance yourself from it, even if it's being blown out of proportion. A burning police station is never a good look. 

So it's fascinating and horrific and entirely expected that former president/charity thief and current indicted felon/rapist/GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has not said a word to denounce the death threats, swatting incidents, and actual violence, including murder, done in his name. And that goes across the board. The regularity with which anyone who opposes Trump gets death threats against them and their families means that it's a feature, not a bug, in the polluted MAGA ecosystem. We know that Republicans stay in line at least partly because they don't want to deal with the flood of violent crazies calling, messaging, and posting about the harm that will come to those heretical to the MAGA mob. And it's not just members of Congress or other elected officials who are the targets. We know that regular election workers and regular federal government workers get called out by name by President Trump or one of his cabal of lickspittles, goons, and lackeys, and then their lives are made intolerable by the threats against them. Trump knows exactly what's going to happen, and he gleefully participates in it. It's why Judge Engoron in his fraud trial placed a gag order on Trump because he was making a clerk's life a nightmare.

In recent weeks, hoax calls to law enforcement have led to swatting against judges in Trump's cases (yet oddly not against Trump appointee Judge Aileen Cannon), as well as against Special Counsel Jack Smith. Swatting is especially insidious because of the potential for such incidents to lead to unintended death and destruction. And, sorry, but I can't help but think of some MAGA cop using the opportunity to "accidentally" gun down someone who might put Trump behind bars. 

This doesn't even get into the actual violence committed by Trump supporters and MAGA redhats, from mass shootings to racist and homophobic attacks

And before you even say it, yes, there are incidents where someone on the left is to blame, like the recent swatting of Marjorie Taylor Greene. But, if asked, any leader on the left will call it out and condemn anyone who does it. 

Trump revels in the bullying of anyone who breathes a negative thing about him. Over on his worthless Truth Toilet, he regularly, savagely degrades the judges and prosecutors and opposing attorneys and rape victim E. Jean Carroll. He recently posted a clip of an interview with convicted Mafia member and murderer Sammy "the Bull" Gravano where the mobster said he couldn't "get" Trump, implying Trump was too honest. Trump implored, "Thank you to Sammy the Bull. I hope Judges Engoron & Kaplan see this. We need fairness, strength and honesty in our New York Courts. We don’t have it now!" That's right. A guy who had a hit list is a character witness. How is that not an implied threat? Trump advocates for violent people and threatens that violence will occur if he's not acquitted and re-elected. And he is perfectly content to let others suffer from the violence and the threats from his cult members. He can't be bothered to tell them to knock it off because it's part of a strategy of sowing chaos into the legal system.

Frankly, this silence on those committing or promising violence in his name, as well as his own threats, implied or otherwise, are of a piece with his inaction for most of January 6, 2021. Trump watched the insurrectionists riot and attack the Capitol. He could have immediately called for it to end and denounced everyone involved. But, as we know, he didn't. He stayed quiet for hours and watched to see if it would pay off in his favor, only grudgingly telling them to go home but assuring them that "we love you," thus giving them license to continue violently agitating. That's what he wants: others to do his bidding while he does nothing to stop them. His continuing silence should be used as evidence in his January 6 trial. It's a pattern of behavior to allow people to be hurt in his name.

It works both ways: if you have to condemn violence in your movement to prove you're nonviolent, then if you're not condemning violence in your movement, it means your movement is violent. And your followers. And you. And the justice system should deal with you as such.


When You Say Trump Should Be Allowed to Run for Office, You Sound Like a Fucking Idiot

Jesus fuck, stop being such pedantic idiots about whether or not Donald Trump should be prohibited from holding public office. The fucking 14th Amendment is absolutely fucking clear that he shouldn't be allowed near an election. And yet we keep having these pearl-clutching debates about what it means, how it's the end of democracy, and other assorted shit. No, it's the way the country avoids our stupid electoral system and our stupid voters putting a madman into office...again.

Look at these insane arguments.

1. "We should let the people decide." You sound like an absolutely pathetic little bitch if you say this and more than a little brain-damaged. The fucking people fucking decided in 2020 and the reason we're even having this discussion is because Donald Trump and a whole bunch of other elected officials decided that they were going to overturn that result because of shit they made up, shit that no court anywhere with every kind of judge agreed was real, and shit that no one has every been able to prove other than to keep asserting the shit is actual shit when it's just shit shit. If Trump is on the ballot again in 2024 and the people decide again that he should be shoved into the history books as another "holy fuck, that really happened" chapter, do you honestly think that this time he'll go quietly? He never goes quietly. Between the bellowing and the flatulence and the heavy breathing, he will always make a racket. It's madness to insist that any election with Trump involved will end up as a regular election unless he outright wins (even when he does, he's a total cockknob about it), and he shouldn't even have a chance to do that. I don't wanna keep going through this shit again and again like some moronic time loop we can't escape from. It's not supporting democracy to allow the person who says he's going to pretty much murder democracy run for the office that will let him do it. Fucking madness.

2. "He needs to be convicted of insurrection first." Read the third section of the 14th. You see anything in there about a conviction being necessary? That's also part of Trump's argument that he shouldn't be tried for anything because the Senate already absolved him of all crimes (actually only one and that one isn't even part of the indictments against him). Being prevented from holding office isn't even really a punishment. Barring his conviction on any of the roughly 8000 other crimes he's committed, Trump is free to speak his normal bullshit. He can wander the mildew-scented halls of Mar-a-Lago, waiting for the omelet bar to open up again. He can pretend he's a businessman and launder more cash for Russian oligarchs. Fuck, he can do anything he likes. But he violated his oath of office pretty fucking clearly, so fuck off on running for president. It's like if you write a bad check at a business and they put your fuckin' photo up and say, "Don't sell cigarettes to this asshole." You can go to any other store you like, just not the one you fucked with. Oh, and everyone forgets the final part of Section 3: "But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability." Yeah, Congress can, if it wants, say, "Oh, it's cool that you wanted to dick over the entirety of democracy. All is forgiven." Wait. On the other hand, keep that part quiet. I could see Democrats actually going along with that for the sake of going high when they go low or some other lie that conveniently lets you off the hook of actually doing something.

3. "The 14th Amendment doesn't include the presidency." Oh, fuck off. The Constitution doesn't specifically bar dead people from running for office. Look at it. Someone should try running the corpse of JFK or something. Except everyone fucking knows that dead people can't run. In the debate over the 14th Amendment in 1866, one senator asked why it didn't say the president or vice president. Senator Lot Morrill from Maine responded, "Let me call the Senator's attention to the words 'or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States.'" In other words, are you fucking blind? Stupid? Both? Of course it includes the presidency. And if you are also saying that it was only meant for the Confederacy, well, they also debated whether or not to put a sunset date on it and decided against it. C'mon, motherfucking textualist judges, you know what to do.

4. "Trump didn't commit insurrection." Shut the fuck up, you nattering Nazi. Read the January 6 Committee report. That prick was planning to steal the election before the first vote was even cast. And the only reason we're still talking about the Big Lie is because an entire economic ecosystem is based on this fraud, from mind-numbing podcasts to entire careers built on promoting that lie and, in the most insidious of ways, slowly degrading the faith in our elections (the last of which was the most secure presidential election in history), like rising seas eroding a coastline. Trump never stopped committing insurrection. And he never stopped profiting off his insurrection. 

5. "His followers will cause violence if he's off the ballot." I'm not a fucking hostage and neither should the election or the country be. You could make the same argument as to why Trump needs to be president. I could go into why his idiot hordes of MAGA drones mostly won't do shit, but instead lemme turn it around and say, "Oh, so you would rather have the leader of those violent morons running the joint? Fuck outta here."

It's so blatantly obvious, and yet the apologists and pollyannas dance around like they believe their feet will touch lava if they come down on the side of the plain language of the Insurrection Clause. But such cowardice is the way that totalitarians take over. We have the ability to stop this Trump bullshit. It's right there. Hell, it was put there by Republicans, you know, the ones the GOP is always bragging about ending slavery. And they knew that if you let traitors in the door, then the traitors become the government. 

By the way, it's not just wild and woolly internet liberals who believe the Insurrection Clause says what it plainly says. Lots of conservatives are on board, too, because the most conservative thing you can do is follow the words of the Constitution (except the first part of the 2nd Amendment, of course). 

Fucking hell, the Constitution has the stake already sharpened to put in the heart of the fuckery we've been dealing with for the last 8 and a half years. Can the Supreme Court break out the mallet and get the job done? 


Haiku Review of 2023: The End

Big, rude thanks to everyone who submitted their haiku about the just-murdered year of 2023. When we look back, let's hope we remember it as the beginning of the end of the control Donald Trump has over our consciousness, like some kind of thought Hitler, and not the beginning of the beginning of the control Donald Trump has over our actual existence, like some kind of real Hitler.

Let's punch 2023 in the stones with these gems:

From Shannon M.:
It's easy to say
"Fuck Hamas and Fuck Likud"
Why is this so hard.

From BB in LA:
Saying "Beetlejuice"
Three times makes Lauren Boebert
Leave her home district

From Chris in Hong Kong:
Trump, Putin and Xi
triumvirate of pure cunts
the death of freedom

From Christine Arendt (no relation to Hannah):
Church & State 
nine judges supreme
fucking taking us backwards
democracy hangs

From Math Guy in Minnesota:
We love climate change!
No more freezing winter days
In coastal Nashville.

From war gerbil:
Crypto wonder-kid:
Sloppy hair and dress and fraud
Who woulda thunk it?

From RG in Illinois:
Daily Thought
I heard what you said.
And you strongly believe it.
You're just fuckin' wrong.

From Don the Canadian:
Yeats was right – he said
The center would never hold.
America’s fucked. 

From Curmudgeon in Chevy Chase:
Though a hurricane 
Of horror, we keep up hope.
But it ain’t easy.

And one more from me:
Laborers March
Striking workers all
Over America kicked
Ass. Let's hope for more.