President Creates Law Protecting Racist Hunks of Concrete From Human Constituents

Illustration for article titled President Creates Law Protecting Racist Hunks of Concrete From Human Constituents
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Barf BagWelcome to Barf Bag, a daily politics roundup to help you sort through the chaotic Trumpian news cycle.

When I was a child and thought childish thoughts, I believed that the main priority of the President of the United States of America was the welfare of the American people. Now that I am an adult with a fully formed prefrontal cortex, I understand that the POTUS’s main interests are: protecting rich people’s money, shielding rich people from the consequences of their actions, making sure we have enough bombs to last at least an eon, and now, apparently ensuring the American people don’t do anything that would harm statues of dead racists.

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Prompted by news that protesters in Washington D.C. were attempting to remove Layfayette Park’s monument to Andrew Jackson—the president responsible for the murders of countless indigenous people—President Donald Trump, perhaps fearful for his own legacy, announced that it will now be punishable by jail to even try and harm concrete likenesses of dead pieces of shit. According to a predictably ineloquent press conference, Trump has “enacted an act” called the “Statue and Monument Act” that comes with a ten-year jail sentence for trying to deface statues.

“We have numerous people in prison right now,” he said, because of their attempts to take down an ugly statue of a bad man and that “others are going there” because the administration will “look at that from a standpoint of retroactivity,” ostensibly a threat to punish protesters around the country for graffiting and pulling down the monuments to racism that pepper courthouse lawns and college campuses around the country.

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Trump says the act is necessary as local governments have been ineffective at keeping their glorification of genocide and slavery safe from those who would rather not look at effigies to murderers on their way into courthouses– in much the same way that one would rather not look at celebratory murals of cancerous cells on the way into a doctor’s office. “The states have been very weak at protecting their heritage,” the president said. He then clarified that the move actually only applied to federal statues and monuments, but that the administration is “here to help” states that would like to send residents to prison for a decade for the crime of having a can of spraypaint within 100 feet of the bronzed horses’s ass depicted in the artistic rendering of a KKK founder dead for nearly a century and a half. [Twitter]


The president also allegedly performed the main function of his job—making sure rich people stay rich and out of prison—admirably in the Roger Stone case, according to a former prosecutor in the Roger Stone case Aaron Zelinsky.

In a testimony submitted to a congressional panel prior to a testimony scheduled for Wednesday, Zelinsky wrote that during Stone’s trial for lying to Congress, “I was also told that the acting US Attorney was giving Stone such unprecedentedly favorable treatment because he was ‘afraid of the President.’” Zelinsky resigned after the acting US Attorney, Timothy Shea, was allegedly so frightened that he ultimately asked for a lighter sentence in the case than prosecutors originally sought. Shea has since gotten a new job as the acting head of the DEA.

The purpose of the panel is to determine whether or not the Justice Department became unduly politicized under Attorney General William Barr. While some suggest the Barr has been influenced by the Trump administration, other knowledgeable pundits argue that Barr just meddles in these cases for the love of seeing rich white men get away with crime. But in this matter, I must remain a bit of a centrist and maintain that those motivations are not mutually exclusive, and shitty old men who protect their own generally love the friendship of similar shitbags. If we want people like Roger Stone to serve in real jail time, we’ll probably have to catch them doing a crime that carries a heavy penalty, like pissing on a statue of Robert E. Lee. [Twitter]

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  • Public health officials are resigned after being harassed, doxxed, and threatened for recommending that people avoid being infected with a deadly virus, which is a pretty big part of their jobs. [Washington Post]
  • President Trump says President Obama would have been guilty of “treason” if he’d spied on Trump’s—then a game show host—presidential campaign. But then again, Donald Trump has never had much of a palate for discerning crime from not-crime, nor does his knowledge of even rudimentary definitions extend to more than a dozen or so words, so this is hardly surprising. [Twitter]
  • NYC mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that he will form a task force to discover the source of the city’s illegal fireworks. While he’s got them, he should get the fireworks police to investigate the sources of that Shake Shake poisoning rumor. My hunch is that the culprits are somehow connected. [Twitter]
  • The Trump administration has decided to take a second swing at deporting children who currently legally reside in the United States. [Twitter]
  • Could someone tell me if the man who is not Jim Acosta in this photograph is Drew Carey? [Twitter]

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DISCUSSION

apocalypse-cow
Apocalypse Cow

Trump has “enacted an act” called the “Statue and Monument Act” that comes with a ten-year jail sentence for trying to deface statues.

So is that a piece of legislation he signed? Presidents don’t get to autonomously “enact acts,” so this is either something from Congress he signed or an Executive Order of some sort — in which case, I don’t *think* he can autonomously create a crime or dictate the penalty using one of those ...

Gonna have to do some research here, ‘cause this sounds ... not right (surprise surprise).

[edit]

Ah, okay. There’s already a law, the Veterans Memorial Preservation Act that provides for a fine or imprisonment up to 10 years (or both) for anyone vandalizing a statue or memorial that commemorates a person’s or persons’ service in the U.S. armed forces. Apparently Trump is issuing an Executive Order that simply enforces this — he’s not “enacting” anything, nor is it his punishment ...

Interestingly, since it specifies U.S. Armed Forces, this presumably wouldn’t cover statues and memorials commemorating our Confederate friends since they most definitely were NOT part of U.S. armed forces) ...

So anyways, more bluster than anything it seems, per usual