As California struggles to contain its worse fire season ever, President Trump ignited a new conflagration by wondering if the state is even part of the United States because, while the documents granting statehood in 1850 are presumed to be authentic, does anyone really know for sure that they are?
In comments to Good Morning America this morning, Trump said he’s “skeptical” that California’s original application for admission to the United States is authentic. “You know, people aren’t so sure California is even a state and they shouldn’t be dismissed as idiots,” he said. “In the early days, did very many people really know California was a state? You’d ask people, and, it’s funny, but there weren’t that many people who knew, if you read the history. No one really talks about that.”
Trump brought the issue up again a few hours later on The View. “I’m just saying, it would answer questions people have if the state and its governor, Jerry Brown, would just show us a record of the 1849 vote they had at that constitutional convention in Monterey,” he said. “People just assume, ‘Hey it’s California. Of course they’re a part of the United States, the precious United States. But have we actually seen a copy of that vote? I just think there’s something in the record that Gov. Brown doesn’t like or we would have seen that.” He also questioned the record on the 1850 vote in Congress on California statehood.
Since he became president, Trump has been at odds with California on many issues, most recently auto emission standards and whether the state hurt its ability to fight its wildfires by diverting water to the Pacific Ocean. The two have also been at odds on immigration, trade, and climate change. The state is also heavily Democratic and voted overwhelmingly for his opponent in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton.
White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller said on CNN today it’s absurd for Democrats and “people with Trump Derangement Syndrome” to read into the President’s remarks the idea he’s trying to rile up his base by questioning the eligibility of California to be a part of the United States and to receive federal fire aid should it seek it. “The President’s motives will not be questioned,” he said.
Trump escalated the issue later today with call-in remarks to NBC TV that he won’t let go of the issue because he’s not satisfied the state has proven it’s actually part of the country. “Many people are saying, ‘We just want the state to release official records of their vote,” he said. He added that he would be willing to “donate $5 million of my own money to anyone who can provide proof the state’s application to Congress in 1850 is real. I’ll donate it to the charity of the person’s choice.”
He also questioned whether Congress would have voted in California as a free state, since it already had a history of employing Mexicans to do much of its labor. “Do we really know it would have applied as a free state?” he said. “That was a big question back then, slave or free? People assume we know the answer to that, but a lot of very smart people are asking to see the application.”
The state, with just under 40 million people, is the largest in the United States by population. Its GDP, at almost $3 trillion, is the largest in the country and would make it the fifth largest economy in the world.
This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: pd, and cc. Creative Commons and public domain. Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a desperate plea to Prsident Donald Trump to recognize the scale of emergency the state is facing from devastating fires that are destroying thousands of homes and leaving large swaths of land burnt to a crisp. “Our brave fire fighters and first responders are doing heroic work but they’re struggling to get these fires contained,” Brown said at a hastily called news conference outside of Mendocino. Although federal assistance is flowing in, the pace isn’t what’s needed given the scale of emergency the state faces. “Californians are expecting to see their president here,” Brown said. “They want to see their president here.” Brown said he’d like to see President Trump stand before people in the state who’ve lost everything and throw something at them, whether it’s rolls of paper towels or something else. “All Americans are important, whether they’re Americans in Texas or Florida or in Puerto Rico or California,” Brown said. More.
U.S. Attorney General Pete Sessions, a long-time opponent of pot legalization, says it’s “fake news” that he secretly cheers on the wildfires in California that are quickly obliterating the country’s most fertile area for growing marijuana. “I can tell you that such an accusation is not only false but unconscionable if someone has actually made that accusation,” he said in a closed-door hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Although the meeting was private, the conversation was later recounted to reporters by people who were there. Sessions said he doesn’t know the cause of the fires but it shouldn’t be ruled out that God caused them. “Were they acts of God?” he reportedly said in his testimony. “Most fires are.” Although he didn’t make this connection at the hearing, he has said on occasion that God acts in mysterious ways. More.
Recent sightings in the foothills of Spring Creek, Calif., of a mysterious beauty object have caused a stir in this former mining town 175 miles north of San Francisco. “I haven’t seen the town buzzing like this since we had the frog jumping contest here one year because the track was too muddy in Calaveras County,” says Sam Baker, a retired rancher who serves as the town’s unofficial historian. The cause of all the excitement are recent sightings of an unidentified beauty object that many locals believe is Melania Trump, the rarely seen wife of President Donald Trump. “We thought she only existed in New York City,” says Helen Carter, owner of Carter’s Diner on Route 43. “The idea that she would be sighted way out here—about as far from New York City as you can get—makes me think it’s not really her but a local girl who probably got pregnant and doesn’t want to tell her parents.” More.
White nationalist leader Richard Spencer says he believes blacks, Jews, and other Americans of impure bloodlines will leave the United States on their own accord once he and his followers march in front of enough confederate statutes. “What we think is, after a certain point, the approximately 15 million Jews and about 50 million blacks in our country will choose to leave and everyone will be happy,” says Spencer, whose organization is based in Alexandria, Va. Spencer’s organization was involved in the rally by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan in Charlottesville, Va., in late August that led to the death of a counter protester. More.
The U.S. Congress came together in a bipartisan fashion today to condemn the acts of gun violence that will plague the country in the months and years ahead. “We condemn the senseless taking of innocent life that we will experience in the future,” the resolution reads. “We call on all Americans to come together during these times of national trauma that will inflict us, probably twice a year if not more frequently.” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), one of the sponsors of the resolution, says it’s a step in the right direction for lawmakers to get all of their future condemnations of acts of gun violence out of the way at once, because that will free up time for other legislative priorities. More.
Stung by derisive comments that followed their use of tiki torches at their Charlottesville rally this summer, supremacist groups around the country say they’re now using the new SmartTorch app for their events. “Our goal has always been to stoke fear in the hearts of liberals and progressives and other snowflakes that the white supremacist movement is for real and it’s large,” says Richard Spencer, leader of a white supremacist think tank based in Alexandria, Va. “Obviously we can’t do that if people are laughing at or mocking our torches. That’s why we’ve found the new Smart Torch app indispensible for our rallies.” More.
A mjority of Americans say they have enough time to look at their phones and stuff for five or six hours a day but not for the seven or eight hours a day that they’d like, and driverless cars could solve that problem for them, a poll shows. “I have friends who make comments and stuff on Twitter that I don’t like to miss when I’m making a left turn or a right turn,” says April Barnett, a manicurist in Tucson, Ariz. She says she’d like to have her car do more driving so she can keep up with her friends when she’s behind the wheel. “Like last week, my friend Ashleigh posted a video of her eating cake with her boyfriend at a restaurant and it came to me, like, when I was parking or something. I could have liked it right away but I couldn’t because, you know, the car’s not going to park itself.” Mor
SACRAMENTO, Calif.–Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton today named California Gov. Jerry Brown her vice presidential running mate, saying the four-term governor has the experience and stature to take over as the presidential nominee after the FBI indicts her for using a personal email account to send and receive classified information while she was the U.S. secretary of state. “No one in the Democratic party today has the breadth and depth of experience that Jerry Brown has,” said Clinton, who spoke in a joint news conference with Brown after the two met for several hours in the state house here. “That will be important, because I’m expected to be indicted in about four weeks. More.
The images of fake destruction wrought by Hurricane Irma throughout the Caribbean are impresssive for their detailed made-upness and carefully crafted untruthfulness, conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh said today. He added that the misleadingness that the fake news media has employed to further their agenda of duping the public ought to win them a medal for best fabrications of reality. “Someone went the extra mile to pretend Barbudos no longer exists as a functioning island of 1,600 people,” Limbaugh said on his show, which attracts millions of listeners each week. “How much did leftists propagandists spend to make us believe St. Martins was crushed under hurricane winds of 185 miles per hour? And they get the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, to pretend to stay in a stairwell with 500 other people to escape the storm. That was a brilliant act of fiction. I wonder how many Hollywood special effects artists were able to buy a new BMW for their work making us believe Miami is going to be the next target of this exaggerated storm. More.
Vice President Mike Pence blames “fake news” on the rumor circulating in the media that he suggested to President Donald Trump that his TV ratings would go up if he rode out Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm with 185 miles-per-hour winds, at Trump’s estate in South Florida, Mar-a-Lago. “I never recommended Mar-A-Lago to the President nor did I suggest or even hint at Mar-a-Lago as a safe and appropriate place from which to monitor and provide leadership during the storm known as Hurricane Irma,” Pence said in a statement released this morning. Good vantage point[/caption]The Pence statement went on to accuse news organizations with “shoddy fact-checking” and “outright lies” in attributing the Mar-a-Lago suggestion to him. “If the news media wants to be a source of information worthy of the American people’s trust, it should improve its news gathering and fact checking operations so that the information it provides to the citizens of this country is factual and accurate.” More.
Retailers across the United States and even in Europe and Asia say they can’t keep their new line of Melania “First Responder” Stiletto Boots in stock as women strive to be the first among their friends and coworkers to sport the rugged-yet-sexy boots from hot designer Peter Cremlin. “Right now we’re just trying to fill orders on an emergency basis as fast as we can and we just ask our customers to be patient as we ride out this storm of demand,” says Stephen Caine, Saks Fifth Avenue’s general manager for merchandise. “We are in contact with our suppliers around the world to get these orders filled as quickly and as efficiently as possible.” The boots, which retail for between $999 and $1,499 in stores throughout the United States, have generated some controversy as critics say they exploit the devastation in the Texas Gulf Coast due to Hurricane Harvey. More.
In a man-bites-dog announcement, President Donald Trump heaped praise on news outlets for sending camera crews and reporters to cover his photo op in Corpus Christi even as devastating floods in Houston continued to tax their resources. “Here’s one for the fake news media,” said Trump in his first remarks since he returned to Washington. “They’re still terrible people, dishonest and disgusting. But I appreciate the effort they made to record my photo op in Texas. I waved the Texas flag and they got that. That was good. Strong ratings. Super ratings. The best, actually. I heard that.” Trump said he was told by aides that many news organizations, including NBC and ABC, were stretched thin, since they had camera crews on the ground in Houston and other parts of the Gulf Coast. But they managed to have crews available when Trump and the First Lady landed to show their support for federal officials and others who were coordinating disaster response efforts. More.
Houston mega church pastor Joel Osteen, after taking criticism for his slow response to displaced Hurricane Harvey victims, announced he’s opening up his 18,000-seat church to all who need it if they leave their wet boots outside and try to find something dry to wear. “God asked us to put more than $20 million in TV broadcasting equipment in His church and we really can’t get that wet,” said Osteen, who has made millions proselytizing what’s known as the prosperity gospel—the belief that God will reward you with monetary success if you seed His churches with donations. The more you seed the church, the richer you stand to become. Osteen said that criticism leveled at him for not opening the doors of his church right away are unfair because he needed the extra time to put mats down to protect the floor, which cost $3 million. More.
Houston mega-church pastor Joel Osteen says he would have been happy to open his 18,000-seat church to victims of Hurricane Harvey but city officials never said they needed his space and God didn’t speak to him about it. “When God told me to pray for the souls of people who seed my church with money, of course I obeyed His Word and did so,” says Osteen, who has been criticized for not inviting flood-stranded people into his arena-sized church. “So I was expecting God to share His Word about providing comfort to the people of Houston, many of whom have been living in wet clothes for three days.” Osteen says he “thought regularly” about the human tragedy he saw unfolding around him as flood waters reached five feet in some areas and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced. “Their plight touched my heart,” he said. “It didn’t matter what I was doing— putting gel in my hair or deep-cleaning my face. I hurt for the people of this city. I knew there was despair in our midst.” More.
HOUSTON, Sept. 30, 2017—Mayor Sylvester Turner says officials have done everything they can to prevent the president of the United States and his wife from arriving in this flood-ravaged city but in the end they were not successful. “Let me just say that this catastrophe is not a reflection on the hard work and dedication of the people of this city,” said Turner, a former state legislator who took office in January. “We made phone calls to the White House pleading for the president not to come. We said we had no place for him and his wife to stay. The roads are not passable. Food is scarce. People are traumatzed. Nothing we said made a difference.” Turner said it’s too soon to know how many people remain trapped in homes and cars, but he fears the number is in the thousands, which makes it imperative that the president not stay long. “We can’t be diverting resoures so the president can wave a Texas flag,” he said. “We need to get him back on his plane and back to Washington as soon as possible.” More.
President Donald Trump in a series of early-morning tweets blamed lax immigration laws for opening the door to Hurricane Harvey, possibly the most destructive natural disaster to hit the United States in a generation. “A country that can’t secure its borders invites menaces like Harvey,” the president said in his first tweet, sent at 4:59 a.m., Monday. “We need walls, high walls, not just on Mexican border but around ALL country’s vulnerable borders.” Trump also took a stab at Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination last year, saying Cruz’s Cuban background means he “cares more about protecting Castro’s island than his own state. #KennedyAssassination!” Experts appeared on news shows to dispute the president’s assertions. “Walls don’t keep out hurricanes and neither do immigration laws, no matter how strong,” Peter Austin, an immigration law specialist at Harvard University, said on ABC News. More.