Monday, July 22, 2019

Premature Polls For 2020 Election Are A Waste of Time

A new study has shown that the best time to brew a pot of coffee is right freaking now! 

                                            Good Day World!

Okay folks...let's start off agreeing the 2020 elections don't start until 2020. A simplistic observation for the current state of affairs in the nation... but necessary.

All of the current political polls pitting theoretical Democratic opponents against Trump for the presidency are a waste of time. 

Crumbs for political birds-of-a feather who are addicted to never-ending battles that suspend time-and-place in a Twilight Zone most Americans don't want to be caught up in.

Most Americans are more interested in health care, or how they're going to make ends meet every month. Not the parade of democratic candidates seeking to challenge Trump or something else to do with NEXT YEAR's election.

I'm sure there will be an uptick of interest when the democrats finally select a candidate next year. Meanwhile, the political poll pollution is a daily irritant this year.

Make no mistake...most of the polls are political pablum for each party with a validity ratio... of whatever they say it is. Having taken a class in Empirical Research in college has always made me skeptical of polls.

There's a lot of factors involved, and good pollsters know how to pull out the results they want by the way questions are asked, who they ask, when they asked the question, and so on.

Polls are bad enough, but when they ask premature -often theoretical-questions, you might as well take the results straight to the outhouse.

Polls are indicators. Nothing more, nothing less. They're fun for some people who pretend their always accurate, or for the people creating them as a yardstick to predict the future.

Perhaps the best way to look at polls is how accurate they were in the 2016 election. It wasn't Hillary who was winning like all the polls predicted, it was a con man from New York.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Stream of Conciousness: If Republicans Are Not Lemmings Then What Are They?

"Listen, before I had my coffee, I didn't know how awesome I was going to be today, either."

                                           Good Day World!

I just finished reading a fascinating article on lemmings which has forced me to reconsider my application of the word for Republicans who follow Trump - hell, or high water.

Lemmings DO NOT follow each other off of cliffs. That's right.

It's time for another term for those members of the GOP who drink Trump's Kool Aid without asking what's in it.

Terms already heavily bandied around in social media run from Trumplicans to minions. There's always the old standbys like cohorts, devotees, fanatics, zealots, boosters, and disciples, to consider.

But none of the above terms seem quit right for the new breed of Republicans who follow Trump like Zombies on Prozac. 

I managed to find a Republican who could speak in complete sentences the other day, and I asked him what Trump's followers should be called?

Have you ever been talking with someone who suddenly rolled their eyes until they were pale white orbs? There was a pause, I don't think he was aware of how he looked before he confidently replied, "What was that question again?"

I gave him a cookie and moved on.

Defining Trump's followers is like trying to catch chickens on meth. In many ways they're indescribable. Some, like the one I interviewed, can speak in complete sentences. 

It goes down hill from there. 

The sycophants that show up at his rallies grunt in short sentences and have a nasty habit of chanting racial slurs spontaneously (although I strongly suspect there's inside Trumpies who initiate the famous chants like "Send her back!" and "Lock her up!").

How do you compare those rowdy rally attendees to old men and women sitting in their homes counting on Trump to turn back the clock to the 50s after listening to his subtle/subliminal promises?

Coming up with the right term is really a challenge.

I continue to search for an all inclusive term for the types of followers he has, but it's like trying to catch Trump actually telling the truth about something... it's nearly impossible.

So, I turn to you dear reader, and ask for your assistance in solving this grave matter. 

Comments urged below this post, or use my email address on the side of the page to share your choice for a proper term for Trumpies. 

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The New America: Normalizing Lies and Racist Policies

"Coffee: a warm delicious alternative to hating everybody every morning. Forever." Unknown 

                                          Good Day World!

You've probably noticed that nothing is out-of-bounds in the era of Trump. 

The truth is trampled on so often no one knows anything for sure anymore. We have a president hurling racist tropes in an effort to further divide us.

Trump's enablers/minions, in and out of government, think nothing of lying and breaking laws with impunity.

Example: FBI documents in the New York "Hush money" case (Stormy Daniels) clearly laid out the numerous contacts that Hope Hicks had with Trump, exposing the lies she told Congress during a closed-door hearing last month.

Hicks has been given a deadline of August 15th to appear before Congress and explain the difference in her testimony and what the FBI revealed.

Related: Trump Campaign and RNC Spend More Than $600,000 On Law Firm Representing Hope Hicks  

Protecting his former trusted adviser is important to Trump. The less things she says about him, and their relationship, the better. Don't be surprised if she gets in trouble, but Trump comes to the rescue and tries to pardon her.

This is the new America.

We're in the thrall of the most corrupt president America has every seen. Pulitzer prize-winning author, Jon Meachum, recently compared Trump's administration to Andrew Jackson's.

He said they were both tied for the worst president in American history. I disagree. Trump now holds that infamous title by himself.

Interesting fact: Andrew Jackson is Trump's favorite president. The next time you see Trump's fat ass in the Oval Office take a look at the wall behind him... there's a large portrait of Andrew Jackson.

While Trump continues to embrace a strategy to divide America, tell outright lies (even with video evidence contrary to his claims), we are faced with the biggest threat to everything we stand for in our lifetime.

Those that come after us (our children and grandchildren), will be left with the results from whatever actions we take to refute Trump's attempt to make America a facist state.

From now, until election day 2020, Americans need to push back against the rising tide of racism, law-breaking, and hatred that Trump and his minions are sowing every single day.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Friday, July 19, 2019

Rumors of War: A Look at What Triggered Tensions in the Middle East

There is NO life before coffee. There is life AFTER coffee!! - Anonymous
                                           Good Day World!

Just so we're all on the same page let's start off with the irrefutable fact that the moment Trump slung into office and tore up America's partnership in a world-brokered nuclear treaty with Iran... things have been getting scarier by the week.

Yesterday, a U.S. Ship shot down an Iranian drone that was threatening the ship's saferty. The USS Boxer waited - and warned the Iranians of immediate action if the drone didn't abort it's mission. 

When it got within a thousand yards they destroyed it. The only problem is Iran said they didn't lose a drone and the Americans probably shot down their own drone! Story here.

This was just the latest event in what has become an escalating problem with the Iranian government. 

Thus far, no military action has been taken by the US, other than to warn the Iranians to knock the shit off after shooting their drone down.

Also problematic: It's the USA (Trump) against the world, as he's backed out of every major treaty we had with our longtime allies. 

We're witnessing the effect of that stupid move now, as the whole region is getting armed and military confrontations are becoming more likely by the day.

One month ago the Pentagon announced it was sending 1,000 additional troops to the area. 

Yesterday, the Pentagon announced they are sending 500 more to Prince Sultan Air Base, situated in the desert east of Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia.  

Fact: The Trump Administration is continuing its military buildup in the region, which has so far included fighter jets, B-52 bombers, an aircraft carrier strike force, Navy destroyers and - of course - more troops.

Perhaps the biggest irony in this whole mess is that it didn't have to happen. Trump backed out of the nuclear treaty with Iran to spite Obama, and now he's getting the inevitable real world backlash.

Even more ironic, Trump really doesn't want to go to war. Things have gotten out of hand and are escalating, and he's too vain (and outright stupid) to try a re-set.

It would require a compromise of some sort, something the very undiplomatic orange ape doesn't understand, or respect.

Time for me to walk on down the road...  

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Trump Under Fire: Reverts to Jingoistic Tropes to Rally Base

"The only thing I'm sure about today is coffee. Everything else is just speculation." - Nancy Hoffman

Good Day World!

It hasn't been a good week for Trump, and he's becoming increasingly desperate to change that.

So he held a campaign rally last night to stroke his ego. He even came up with a new chant... "Send her back!" (Referring to Rep. Iland Omar)

After having a tweet he made against four congresswomen formerly condemned for "being racist" by Congress, Trump pivoted to jingoistic jargon to defend himself by questioning the congresswomen's patriotism and suggesting "...they all go back home."

It's been more than 100 years since Congress issued a formal rebuke of a sitting president. Unfortunately, it was non-binding and there's really no penalty to pay. I doubt if Trump is even embarrassed by the fact.

However, even if it was just symbolic it doesn't mean it was meaningless. Symbols do matter. After the smoke clears this will be a moment in history - one that will merit a line or two, when all the books on Trump have been written.

It sure didn't help Trump's temper when the Supreme Court kicked his, and Ross's corrupt attempt at adding a question to the census, out with the admonition that it was a "contrived."

Yesterday, Congress voted to hold AG Barr and Secretary Ross in Criminal Contempt over the census dispute.

Again, very little will come from this hand slap, even though it is a criminal complaint. The DOJ isn't going to do shit to their boss, or his buddy. Another abnormality in the Trump regime, where justice is perverted at every turn.

History will remember Trump's minions in crime. Enablers from AG Barr, to Mitch McConnell, will be harshly judged with Trump for their attempt to destroy our Democratic Republic and replace it with a dictatorship.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Quit Acting Surprised That Trump's a Racist: His Followers Knew All Along

"A yawn is a silent scream for coffee." -Unknown

Good Day World!

It was an interesting piece of theatre watching the House hearing yesterday where Trump was called out for his racist attack against four congresswomen.

The vote condemning Trump's racist language "Go back to where you came from" directed at four House Democrats, was 240-187.

There were four Republicans, and one Independent, that agreed with the Democrats. Trump is a racist. 

Meanwhile, Trump squatted somewhere in the White House, and watched the whole hearing, even canceling a planned meeting with GOP leadership at the last minute to see who turned against him.

It was a good day for Democrats, because they exposed Trump's racism for all to see. It was a bad day for House Republicans who drank the Kool aid with Trump, backing his racist statements. A vote that may well come back to haunt each of them some day.

The moment Trump came down that elevator white nationalists celebrated. They knew who he was. They also knew they could count on him following a racist agenda after he failed to criticize their hate parade in Charlottesville, Va.

There's been no lack of dog whistles along the way, as Trump constantly stirs his hardcore neo Nazi, and KKK, base up by playing on their fear of dark-skinned and Asian people.

His so-called Immigration policies, and they way he speaks about Hispanics seeking asylum in this country, are exhibit A.

At this point, let me just say that all of the people who voted for Trump in 2016 were not racist right-wing nuts. 

A lot of the votes Trump got were by default; voters who hated Hillary Clinton just a little bit more than the brash con man Trump. There were also lifelong Republicans who honestly thought Trump was a great businessman and it was what the country needed.

That's okay. I understand.

But, when it comes to racists who vote, that's another story. They're un-American xenophobes who wished the South didn't lose the Civil War. 

They saw a kindred spirit in Trump and crawled out of their chat rooms, and basements to support him. Thus far, they believe he will further their hateful agendas. 

For good reason.

As always, go by what Trump does, for evidence of his racism, and his demonstrated love for the wealthy and world dictators.

Those GOP lawmakers who are enabling him by trying to spin everything he says into another story, can't tell us what we see with our own eyes, and what we hear with our own ears.

The emperor has no clothes.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Memo To Speaker Pelosi: Time to Hop Off The Fence and Take a Stand

"Coffee is a language in itself." - Jackie Chan

                                       Good Day World!

"Dear Speaker Pelosi,

I've never been a big fan of yours, but I have to admit you are a canny politician who knows the ropes, and the knots in Congress. I respect that.

Thus far, I have agreed with your tactic of staying on the fence when it comes to impeaching that orange ape in the Oval Office.

Your arguments were sound... up until now.

Now, it's time to hop off that fence, take a stand, and call for an impeachment inquiry.

I know, it's a big step and there will be some political backlash from the Trumpie GOP minions who may use it to stir up the alt-right swamp.

So what? No matter how you look at it, they ARE NOT a majority in this country and it's time to acknowledge that. It's also time to fight back against Trump's all-out assault on democracy and American values.

After witnessing the president of the United States racist attack against minority members of Congress, who are duly elected officials representing Americans in their districts, that proverbial line has been crossed.

I know you stood up for them and are even planning on a resolution to slap Trump on the hand, but he needs a real kick in the ass. Impeachment.

It's up to you Madam Speaker, to lead the Democratic Congress in the right direction. Our country can't endure more attacks on our whole system of government for the next year-and-a-half.

An Impeachment inquiry will wipe away Trump's ability to tie up the courts that are pending with numerous investigations against him, until the next election.

Let me ask you, do you want to risk more - perhaps even worse - attacks against the laws of the land while you patiently await the courts to listen to Trump's appeals against the vast array of charges against him?

Timing is everything. Waiting until next year after all the court battles have been fought, is a dumb political move. I think you know that. 

If you're serious about protecting America - and not just being someone who talks a good talk, but doesn't walk the walk, then rally your caucus and open an impeachment inquiry.

Time is running out. It's time to say we've had enough of this wannabe dictator."

Related: Rep. Al Green To Force Impeachment Vote Against Trump

Related: Why Trump's Racist Dog Whistle Won't Work This Time

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, July 15, 2019

Warning: Eating The Young Isn't Going To Solve Anything

"May your coffee be strong and your Monday be short." -Anonymous

Good Day World!

Sad but true, some animals eat their young. It's called filial cannibalism.

That's what's happening with the Democratic Party right now.
The new young progressives in the House are suffering a form of filial cannibalism.

The majority of the Democrats in the House are moderate, as Speak Pelosi points out when criticizing the "squad of four," newcomers; Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Presley.

This sharp division in ideologies is threatening to tear apart a strong democratic front against Trump. I'm not sure Ocasio-Cortez and the others realize how important it is to restore order to this country.

Only a team effort will send Trump into the dark pages of American history. Timing is everything. The last thing Democrats want to do is give Trump and his minions ammunition to use against them.

That's called cutting your nose off to spite your face.

It's not that I think the so-called squad of four are wrong for pursuing agendas their constitutes deemed important enough to elect them. But, there's a time and place for everything.

Politics, when practiced right, is the art of compromise to achieve a greater goal. Getting Trump's ignorant ass out of the White House is job #1. 

When that goal is achieved and a democratic president is installed, the progressives in Congress (if they're still in the majority) can address the group's concerns in a pro-active way.

The important thing to remember is only a unified Democratic Party will prevail against Trump. It's still possible to heal open wounds and to move on. 

Especially if Pelosi backs off a little against the rebellious freshman in the House. She knows the carrot and stick approach works in many situations. 

Time to employ that strategy ASAP!

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Indicted Politician Pushes Islamophobic Rhetoric Hoping Voters Will Forget He's a Crook!

"Planning to take over the world today. I just need a cup of coffee first." -Unknown

Good Day World!

The game of politics continues to get stranger every day.

Try as I might, I can't remember the last time someone ran for a congressional seat after being indicted for campaign fraud.

California Rep. Duncan Hunter, whose corruption trial is set for September 12th, is ignoring the charges leveled against him (even though his wife pleaded guilty and agreed to turn state witness on his sorry ass), and is busy attacking his Democratic opponent with racist lies.

No doubt Hunter has gall. I didn't say balls because that would require him to man up, and admit his crimes instead of letting his wife take all the heat. 

Tuning-out reality, Hunter is busy with his Islamophobic mailers trying to assassinate his opponents character. His ability to ignore facts, and laws, is very much like Trump; whom he worships.

Meanwhile, the GOP party in California is going to be in complete chaos when (I didn't say if - the evidence is overwhelming) Hunter is sent to prison. 

A rational person might even conclude those Republicans are casting around for a replacement (behind closed doors of course).

I wouldn't bet on it, however. The key word was "rational."

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Lick This! Social Media Morons Latest Trend

"I never laugh until I've had my coffee." -Clark Cable

Good Day World!

After checking out the latest fad today on social media a funny movie came to mind; A Christmas Story.

There's a particular scene in the movie where one of the characters, Flick, accepts a "triple dog dare" from another character, Schwartz, to stick his tongue onto the school flagpole.

His tongue freezes onto the pole, requiring assistance from the police and fire department to free him. 

Fast forward.

Demonstrating that stupidity is alive and well in the 21st century is the latest viral fad #IceCreamChallenge

One of the most popular responses to this idiotic challenge was when a young women walked into a grocery story, opened up a half gallon of ice cream...and licked it! Then she put it back.


So, if these licking idiots really want a challenge they should skip the ice cream licking and move on to licking other surfaces like metal flagpoles or signs.

Blocks of dry ice could be the ultimate licking challenge. A GoFundMe account could be established for the winner (the first one to rip his/hers tongue off the dry ice) to pay for the medical bills and future mental bills.

Since the licking challenge came out, there have been numerous "random lickings" ranging from tongue suppressors in a dentist's office, to other food items.

Who can forget the great "Cinnamon Challenge" where morons attempted to swallow cinnamon without puking? 

Perhaps one of the stupidest challenge I've heard of yet was the "Fire Challenge" where kids set themselves on fire after dousing their body with rubbing alcohol.

As long as there is social media platforms to showcase clowns without any sense, we can expect new challenges to come and go... with each trying to out-stupid the next one.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

A Shameless AG Enables Trump's Assaults Against America

"Coffee the favorite drink of the civilized world."-Thomas Jefferson

                                       Good Day World!

After shamelessly pursuing the job of Attorney General, and lying to the lawmakers who were vetting him, William Barr became Trump's chief enabler.

His slavish loyalty thus far has turned the office of the Attorney General into a petting zoo for Trump. 

Watching him lie about the contents of the Mueller report, and colluding with Trump to blur it's results, was just one example of how far Barr will go to please his master.

After Trump had to concede that his damning question for the census failed, Barr twisted the defeat into a fake victory by putting together a plan to use the resources already available to the government to pursue his ultimate goal of disenfranchising millions of Hispanics.

Watching Barr congratulate Trump in the Rose Garden for his Executive Order to keep pursuing his nefarious goal, was flat-out embarrassing.

Barr congratulated him twice in a short sappy speech meant to ease Donny's legislative loss. It was like watching a parent soothe a rambunctious child who just got kicked out of school.

In relatively short order Barr has destroyed the credibility of his office and the Department of Justice who are both seen as subservient to Trump.

As chief enabler, Barr is propping up Trump's crooked regime by challenging anyone seeking to restore credibility and honesty to the office.

The sad thing about the demise of credibility in the top law enforcement position is we all could see it coming when he was being vetted.

But thanks to Trump's GOP enablers in the Senate he was confirmed anyway. 

We're seeing the results of their handiwork every day now, as Barr goes out of way to please Trump and challenge the rules of law in order to benefit the most corrupt regime Washington DC has ever seen.

Time for me to walk on down the road... 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Looming Budget Battle: Where Have All The Republicans Gone?

"On the bright side my coffee will never get cold in hell. -Anonymous

Good Day World!

Looking ahead to 2020s elections there's going to be a new dynamic - Democrats will be running against Trumplicans.

The day that the Donald was sworn in was the Republican Party's last stand. His populist/fascist appeal, with lots of help from Putin and voter suppression (gerrymandering), was the day the Republicans prostrated themselves before his orangeness.

Related: GOP: Is Locked in a "Cage of Fear" When It Comes To President Trump

The surrender was swift, utterly disgraceful, and complete, as Republicans who stood up to Trump during the primaries (think Cruz) dropped down and began polishing Trump's shoes after he won.

Whatever values the GOP once stood for were crushed beneath a reality star and a world-class con man. The pathetic peeps of protest coming from the lockstep GOP senators in the last two-and-half years have been embarrassing.

The fiscal responsibilities the GOP once touted have melted into a morass of financial fails under the Trumplicans. The country is about to experience another big fail from the Party of Trump; a budget has to be passed before Oct. 1, 2019 or...guess what?

Another shut down this year.

They need to raise the federal debt limit to avoid ending the year in utter chaos. The problem is the Trumplicans in the senate can't seem to come up with a plan that satisfies the orange anus, let alone the Democrats.

Because the Trumplicans are an extension of Trump's tiny dick they're prepared to back whatever crazy shit he proposes. We've seen the end result from his idiocy earlier this year.

I never imagined that some day I would actually miss the Republican Party! The thing was, in the end they were more likely to compromise than the sociopaths in the Trumplican Party.

There was a time when the two parties did pass laws. That's sad, because Republicans evolved into the obstructionist party (under Obama), and even sadder that they prostrated themselves before a wannabe dictator and took up his racist world view.

The Party of Lincoln has lapsed into a cult that defies Congress and the Constitution. Ethics are laughed at, and defied daily by Trump, and his administration minions.

What will happen after Trump is gone? What will the scattered remnants of the cowardly members of the GOP do? 

Without a leader, they'll be wandering around on Capitol Hill like lost sheep.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Blogger Names Five 'Cra Cra' Finalists For Crazy Contest

I don't know what I'd do without coffee. I'm guessing 25 years to life!" Anonymous

Good Day World!

America has spoken.

After polling thousands (okay, more like my neighbors and some friends), five finalists have been selected for my new "National Cra Cra Crown.

Contestants all had to have one thing in common - they needed to be batshit crazy. As you can imagine, it was no easy task picking the craziest person in America today with so many qualified candidates.

Here's the five finalists:

1) Hailing from the wealthy side of New York, there's Donald Trump! 

He was selected on the merit of his two and a half years in office. Because he did so many crazy things, and his deteriorating mental state, he's considered the front-runner in this contest.

2) From the racist state of Alabama, we have Mitch McConnell!

Beside being a world-class hypocrite he's crazy about Trump and his ruinous regime. Sometimes when it looks like he's shooting himself in the foot... he doubles down on crazy.

3) Also from neo confederate Alabama, there's Roy Moore! 

It took more than being a pedophile and a GOP senatorial candidate for 2020, to prove how crazy he is.

With the help of numerous interviews with the press, his supporters were impressed with his illogical arguments that always bordered on the crazy.

4) Slinking out of the Mississippi bayous is none other than Paula White.  

She's best known for being a Trumpie televangelist who siphons money from the pockets of the middle class and poor, into her bank account.

Her Prosperity theology is nothing more than a cover for the wealthy. She was selected because she thinks Trump was sent here from God.

5) Rounding out the crazy pack from New York is William Barr, better known as brown-nosed AG Barr. 

He was crazy enough to court Trump and get a job licking his ass and going after his enemies. 

Now he's prepared to go down with the ship under Trump's crazed rule.

If you'd like to select one of these crazy candidates please reply to this post before 5:00 Friday with your choice. I will be announcing the winner on Sunday. (Or, not!)

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Gathering of the Trolls: Trump Invites Online Extremists to White House

"Nothing makes sense before coffee." -Unknown

Good Day World!

Tomorrow is a big day for online provocateurs, trolls, Republican lawmakers, alt-right political strategists, and right-wing media stars.

Trump is holding a Social Media Summit in the White House and they're all invited! 

The reason for this dubious gathering is to ensure Trump wins the 2020 election... by whatever means are necessary.

The seeds for the summit were scattered by Trump and minions recently when he went on the offensive against tech giants Facebook, Google, and Twitter. 

The planned narrative Trump and the trolls are taking is simple (it has to be to work with that group); the tech world is liberal, and they hate us by censoring everything we say. Now we're going to do something about it.

That storyline will be coordinated by the master con man Trump himself. Interestingly, none of the tech companies were invited to attend this "media summit."

One of the so-called stars attending will be James O'Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, a conservative hit team repeatedly exposed for fraudulent stories, but still slinking around in dark conservative corners.

Ben Garrison, cartoonist for haters, will be another alt-right star at the summitt. Trump has personally complimented his work. 

In an interesting twist this week, a federal judge ruled that Trump is prohibited by the First Amendment from blocking critics on his Twitter feed. 

Twitter is now going to "label' Trump's tweets that violate it's policies, but will allow him to keep tweeting because he's a national figure.

The White House did not release a full list of attendees to the event. 

The whole idea for this alt-right fest/summit is part of a broader offensive by Trump and his handlers to encourage pro-Trump online influences. They're not going to depend on just Russia's help again in 2020.

Critics are uneasy over this gathering of the trolls at a moment when disinformation remains high three years after the Russian agents spread disinformation using those same tech giants.

We got a taste of things to come from Trump's legions when a GOP operative recently edited a video of House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi; making her words sound slurred by slowing the speed down so that she sounded drunk.

That was just the tip of a very large iceberg bearing Trump's mark.

This whole joke of a summit has raised the ire of lawmakers, free speech advocates, and open government experts, who see the gathering as a misuse of federal funds.

That's just par for the course in the Trump era where lies and fear rule, and laws are broken with impunity. 

Time for me to walk on down the road...