Politics is Stupid

The parts that particularly concern me are a) the flat-out lying to migrants to induce them to voluntarily leave TX and b) the reports of immigration officers giving them falsified addresses and false instructions such that it will be impossible for them to actually comply with the requirements and ensuring they face eventual deportation.

Some people have pointed out sending them to MV turned out pretty well for them, but you don’t get bonus points for accidentally doing someone a kindness when you were trying to harm them. The way in which it was done, making elaborate arrangements to have them arrive unannounced for maximum (documented on camera) shock value, makes it quite clear what the intent was.

Everyone agrees our immigration policy is horribly broken, but most have no idea what it actually looks like–they don’t care to find out and no mass media is going to tell them–and there can be no agreement on what it should be because it’s part of the culture war.

We absolutely should be responding to this at a nationally coordinated level; border states shouldn’t face the burden alone. To the extent that this sadistic political stunt brings that conversation to the forefront, it has some value. But again, you don’t get credit for accidentally doing good while trying to be an asshole.

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The standard is elaborate arrangements for no one to notice them at all. And who knows what they were told. Getting on a plane on the border with some DHS agents and getting off in Nashville in the middle of the night is designed so people don’t ask questions at all. Including what the people who got off the plane were told.

There is more coming out about this particular batch that sounds pretty damn shady, which is really unfortunate. No worse way to make a point, however asinine, than to cheat to get there.

It looks like Trump’s request for a special master might be backfiring a bit - because Dearie is actually being impartial.

He has effectively told the Trump lawyers to put up or shut up in regards to the declassification nonsense.

But he also acceded to one of their reasonable requests for a bit more time for something.

Even though the whole special master stuff was likely just a last-gasp play for time on Trump’s behalf, I think it may have been a good choice for the DoJ to accept Dearie in that position while they ran their various appeals.

So, when it comes to declassifying documents, apparently there’s a process, but U.S. presidents don’t have to follow it. They can if they want, but they don’t have to. All they have to do is just say they’re declassified, or, better yet, just think about it and the documents are declassified.

Did you know presidents could do that? I didn’t. But Trump says they can and he says he only tells the truth, so I guess that means it’s true. Maybe he could spare a few bucks and hire Oprah to help him out. “You get a declassification, and you get a declassification, and you get a declassification!”

Still to come: The Non-rise and Fail of Truth Social. Here’s some of the most recent news.

Of the $1 billion of promised funding, $139 million was just pulled because the Sept. 20th deadline to complete the merger passed and DWAC wants to take another year to get it done. DWAC is having trouble getting people to vote to approve it, or in a few cases, even being able to find the investors to tell them there’s a vote.

Other investors aren’t hiding because they’re currently trying to renegotiate what they’ll pay from $10 a share to $2. Trump don’t like that. The price of the stock was $16 when it was first available on Sept 27, 2021, jumped to $120.31 a month later, sank to $66.33 a week later, wobbled in the $43 to $96 range for a few months, then started a fairly consistent decline in May to reach a price of $16.48 this morning.

Oh, but like any good victim of a con, the people who bought the stock are convincing themselves that if they just stick with it a little longer, it will all turn around.

"I’ve lost $154,00 this year (after saying maybe I should take the year off because I thought the market might crash), and I’m down 85% on my remaining life savings. I’m still not giving up though, but it hurts really, really badly. I just want y’all to know this to encourage you to never, never ever give up!!!

“We are all right there with you. I try not to think about the amount of money I am down. I could have paid of[f] my house and remodeled. But it isn’t lost unless you sell. I am holding no matter what!!!”

Interestingly, more and more people are starting to twig to the fact that a SPAC is supposed to find companies that already exist and have revenue. Trump Media & Technology Group didn’t exist until after the purchase announcement was made and therefore didn’t have any revenue. It still doesn’t a year later and has no means in place to generate any. Others are starting to twig to the fact that there were an awful lot of people that knew this stock was going to be available before it was announced. “Pump and dump” is being bandied about.

And Trump didn’t get “Truth Social” trademarked because there are established companies with similar names. And the TS logo looks almost exactly like another company’s logo. And he hasn’t paid his web host since March, owing them about $1.8 million by now. And Google won’t approve the TS app because they don’t have moderation policies that meet Google’s standards, so Trump is locked out of 44% of the mobile phone audience.

But he’s got a sure-fire way of attracting investors: hiding the data behind messages on the site. If you have the app on an Apple device, you can still see everything. It just takes a lot of time to scroll through all of it. But if you view a message through the website, it’s capped at showing 40 followers and 15 retweets. Oh, excuse me. 40 “Follow the Truths” and 15 “reTruths”. No matter how many people actually follow a message and share it, you’ll never know what the real number is. Wouldn’t be too hard to inflate the worth of a message by saying it has 8000 “Follow the Truths” when it actually has half that, would it?

He’s also trying his standard delaying tactic of suing the SEC for investigating Truth Social. But last week he got something new to worry about. The New York Attorney General announced they were suing Trump and his children for at least $250 million for over a decade of real estate fraud. The final amount may be closer to a billion when it’s all done. Trump is asset rich but cash poor, and the assets are what he’s being sued for because of his pattern of inflating their worth for loans and deflating their worth for taxes, plus the times when he would say things like, “I wanna be higher on the Forbes list of richest people. I got $4 billion. Tell them it’s six. No, eight. Better make it ten.” The example given in the press conference was a 11,000 ft² apartment being listed at over 30,000 ft² at a total price that is way higher than anything similar has ever sold for in all of the rest of New York City.

I will have to find my notes on the TMTG investors’ pitch from last year. It projected growth in the hundreds or thousands of percent each year for their first five years. This was for both number of members and revenue. It was based on every single person that followed Trump on Twitter flocking to the new site, plus a few million more. A year later, they haven’t met the first milestone of a million members and $1 million in revenue.

It shouldn’t be a surprise they fell short. The promise to investors of a “Big Tent” site that was open and welcoming included in the terms of service that they would ban anyone that “disparaged” the site, company or employees, and they reserved the right to sue anyone they banned. When the launch in February sputtered, Trump gave up on it until he was forced to start using it by DWAC reminding him it was in the contract. When the January 6 hearings started, just mentioning them was enough to get you kicked off. And for as much as Trump railed against Twitter censoring content and shadow banning users, it didn’t take long for Truth Social to copy those parts of Twitter, too.

To cap this all off, the Truth Social office in Sarasota, Florida is empty. Not empty because they’re working remotely, but empty as in everything in the office has been removed, the security keypad on the door has been removed, and every instance of the company name has been removed from the building.

Going back to the NY AG lawsuit to wrap this up, this is a civil lawsuit. Trump and Eric used up their Fifth Amendment right of not incriminating themselves in the criminal lawsuit earlier this year. They can’t use that any more. When reminded he repeatedly said in 2016 “The mob takes the Fifth. If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment” and it was disgraceful when people did that, he said he now understands why people do it and it’s because he and his family are the victim of yet another witch hunt so he had no choice but to plead the Fifth over 440 times. In January, Eric pleaded the Fifth about 500 times.Junior and Ivanka haven’t done it yet. Maybe they were saving it for a future lawsuit, which has come to pass.

And just today, Christopher Kise, the lawyer Trump hired on August 30 to represent him in the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation and had to pay a $3 million retainer fee up front (using money from one of his political action committees, so the people that donated to it paid it for him instead) is not a part of that investigation defense any more. Why this suddenly changed and what Kise is going to do now on Trump’s legal team isn’t known.

Maybe it was because Judge Raymond Dearie, the Special Master approved by Trump and the DOJ to oversee the documents, has told Trump to submit affidavits under penalty of perjury to support the claims he’s been making about the documents and Kise wants nothing to do with that. After all, two of Trump’s other lawyers are now needing lawyers themselves after one wrote up a statement saying everything had been returned and the other signed it, and then the FBI found more on the premises. There’s also calls to check the Bedminster club because Trump took a flight to there not long after the National Archives started asking about the documents in 2021 and he was recorded getting onto the plane with people carrying boxes to the plane that look an awful lot like the same kind of boxes that were used in Mar-a-Lago. Naturally, there’s a few people saying, “Better check Ivana’s grave on the golf course.”

Or maybe Kise is sidelined because he is listed on a Foreign Agents Registration Act form to work on behalf of Venezuelan Attorney General Reinaldo Muñoz Pedroza and the US no longer recognizes the Venezuelan government as legitimate. Or maybe it’s because the day Kise left the Foley & Lardner law firm to work for Trump, it removed his bio and all articles that profiled him from their website.

For having to pay up front an extremely high and unusual retainer fee to get this guy on his team, The Donald isn’t exactly getting his donor’s money’s worth, is he?