Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Spy Exclusive: The Executive Order on Climate Change

By Nellie Bly
Spy Washington Bureau

The Spy has learned exclusively that President Donald J. Trump will issue another pathbreaking Executive Order regarding climate change as part of his 100 days to chaos initiative, launched last week with the destruction of U.S. immigration and trade policies.

According to the Spy's source, the new climate change Executive Order was drafted by a small group headed by White House Counselor Jules Streicher [Surely, Stephen Bannon? – Ed.] and including Bannon's trusted associates Jack Daniels and Jim Beam.  As was the case with previous orders, no effort was made to coordinate its drafting with the agencies and departments who will have to implement it and actually know something about the subject.

Bannon is said to be proud of his masterwork, which attempts to address the problem of climate change without imposing burdens on companies, consumers, or taxpayers.  Attached below we have printed the final version of the EO, so our readers can judge for themselves how well they have succeeded.


I Donald J. Trump, being the duly elected by a landslide (including the popular vote which I won because I am so popular) President of the United States do hereby state as follows:

1. WHEREAS the problem of climate change is real folks, it really is and it's really important to me as the President whose Inauguration was attended by more people than anyone's else's ever; and

2.  WHEREAS American business has been turned into a broken-down dumpster fire thanks to these incredible regulations that absolutely destroy business like the one that says I have to pay the Bohunks I import at Mar-a-Lago a minimum wage, which is just outrageous; and

3.  WHEREAS my ratings as President are just incredible, as Sean Hannity will tell me whenever I ask;


4.  One six-piece extra crispy basket, all white meat. None of that original recipe shit.


a.  To combat the effect of rising ocean levels on fabulous fantastic oceanfront properties like Mar-a-Lago, I hereby order all oceans not to rise so as to lessen in any way the value of my properties

b.  In the event the oceans do not obey my order not to rise I will have no choice but to put to work those caught sneaking across our incredibly weak, flaccid southern border digging a canal to drain all that water into Mexico.  And I mean it folks.

c.  Every six months the Department of Oceans and General Wetness will provide a report as to whether the oceans are fully complying with this order.  If not Nikki Haley is going to kick ass and take names, I can assure you.

6.  INCREASING TEMPERATURE.  I actually like it a little warmer so I won't order any cooling of the world's temperature, although it does get a little humid at Mar-a-Lago in the summer but don't worry we're going to install the best coal-powered outdoor air conditioners you've ever seen anywhere.


The Trump Administration did careful research on its
latest environmental initiative
(a) Folks, these are totally natural and normal.  Speaking of normal emissions people you should see how the Miss Universe contestants reacted when I walked into their dressing room.  It was just fantastic.

(b)  The Department of Air will provide a report detailing how we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by preventing illegal aliens from exhaling until we dunk their asses back in the Rio Grande.

8.  Next year I will hold a fantastic conference at the TrumpWhiteHouse™ to discuss the progress we have made in fighting climate change.  All the A-list celebrities who love this climate shit will be there including Angie Dickinson, Don Rickles, and some of those skanks that Howard used to dig up for me.

9.  This order does not contradict any other provision of applicable law yada yada yada except the part about not letting guys sneak into women's dressing rooms which is so worth it you wouldn't believe.

10. Who do I have to deport around here to get a fucking piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Sean?

Signed, the best President of the United States ever, ever


Sources close to Bannon's West Wing wet bar have said that although the Trump Administration didn't bother to consult their allies in Congress before issuing the order, they expect Congressional Republicans to support the initiatives in the order “because they are biggest bunch of pussies you never wanted to grab.”

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Is the Grifter-in-Chief's Sanctuary City order constitutional? Our surprise guest columnist says: "Whoa Dude!"

Editors Note: When we heard today that the Grifter-in-Chief had signed a cocktail napkin [Surely, executive order? – Copy Ed.] purporting to punish states and cities who don't participate in his immigrant rodeo by taking away federal funds for unrelated law enforcement purposes, we had two questions: first, what was Susan Sarandon thinking? and second, how could this possibly be constitutional under Our Federalism?  We're still looking for an expert to help us with the first question, but as to the second, our old classmate John Roberts couldn't wait to weigh in.  Boy did he ever.  We had to edit his submission a tad and take out the footnotes, but otherwise we kept his brilliant legal reasoning intact.  Just as we could always rely on the Bongman for the mellowest weed south of Mt. Auburn St., we can rely on him today for his powerfully reasoned analysis concluding that once again the Grifter-in-Chief has crossed a clear constitutional line.  Thanks, John!  PS We're down to sticks and seeds again!

By John “Bongman” Roberts '76
Guest Columnist

The States contend that the Executive Order denying funding to “Sanctuary Cities”  exceeds Congress’s authority under the Spending Clause. They claim that Congress is coercing the States to adopt the changes it wants by threatening to withhold all of a State’s law enforcement or even highway construction grants, unless the State complies with the conditions on helping the U.S. Government apprehend, incarcerate, and deport undocumented aliens.  This, they argue, violates the basic principle that the “Federal Government may not compel the States to enact or administer a federal regulatory program.” New York, 505 U. S., at 188. There is no doubt that the Act dramatically increases state obligations under immigration law.

The Spending Clause grants Congress the power “to pay the Debts and provide for the . . . general Welfare of the United States.” U. S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 1. We have long recognized that Congress may use this power to grant federal funds to the States, and may condition such a grant upon the States’ “taking certain actions that Congress could not require them to take.” College Savings Bank, 527 U. S., at 686. Such measures “encourage a State to regulate in a particular way, [and] influenc[e] a State’s policy choices.” New York, supra, at 166. The conditions imposed by Congress ensure that the funds are used by the States to “provide for the . . . general Welfare” in the manner Congress intended.

At the same time, our cases have recognized limits on Congress’s power under the Spending Clause to secure state compliance with federal objectives. “We have repeatedly characterized . . . Spending Clause legislation as ‘much in the nature of a contract.’ ” Barnes v. Gorman, 536 U. S. 181, 186 (2002) (quoting Pennhurst State School and Hospital v. Halderman, 451 U. S. 1,17(1981) ). The legitimacy of Congress’s exercise of the spending power “thus rests on whether the State voluntarily and knowingly accepts the terms of the ‘contract.’ ” Pennhurst, supra,at 17. Respecting this limitation is critical to ensuring that Spending Clause legislation does not undermine the status of the States as independent sovereigns in our federal system. That system “rests on what might at first seem a counterintuitive insight, that ‘freedom is enhanced by the creation of two governments, not one.’ ” . . . For this reason, “the Constitution has never been understood to confer upon Congress the ability to require the States to govern according to Congress’ instructions.” New York, supra, at 162. Otherwise the two-government system established by the Framers would give way to a system that vests power in one central government, and individual liberty would suffer.

Our guest columnist shown during his undergraduate days now
dispenses justice the way he once dispensed . . . what were we saying?
That insight has led this Court to strike down federal legislation that commandeers a State’s legislative or administrative apparatus for federal purposes. See, e.g., Printz, 521 U. S., at 933 (striking down federal legislation compelling state law enforcement officers to perform federally mandated background checks on handgun purchasers); New York, supra, at 174–175 (invalidating provisions of an Act that would compel a State to either take title to nuclear waste or enact particular state waste regulations). It has also led us to scrutinize Spending Clause legislation to ensure that Congress is not using financial inducements to exert a “power akin to undue influence.” Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, 301 U. S. 548, 590 (1937) . Congress may use its spending power to create incentives for States to act in accordance with federal policies. But when “pressure turns into compulsion,” ibid., the legislation runs contrary to our system of federalism. “[T]he Constitution simply does not give Congress the authority to require the States to regulate.” New York, 505 U. S., at 178. That is true whether Congress directly commands a State to regulate or indirectly coerces a State to adopt a federal regulatory system as its own.

Permitting the Federal Government to force the States to implement a federal program would threaten the political accountability key to our federal system. “[W]here the Federal Government directs the States to regulate, it may be state officials who will bear the brunt of public disapproval, while the federal officials who devised the regulatory program may remain insulated from the electoral ramifications of their decision.” Id., at 169. Spending Clause programs do not pose this danger when a State has a legitimate choice whether to accept the federal conditions in exchange for federal funds. In such a situation, state officials can fairly be held politically accountable for choosing to accept or refuse the federal offer. But when the State has no choice, the Federal Government can achieve its objectives without accountability, just as in New York and Printz. Indeed, this danger is heightened when Congress acts under the Spending Clause, because Congress can use that power to implement federal policy it could not impose directly under its enumerated powers.

As our decision in Steward Machine confirms, Congress may attach appropriate conditions to federal taxing and spending programs to preserve its control over the use of federal funds. In the typical case we look to the States to defend their prerogatives by adopting “the simple expedient of not yielding” to federal blandishments when they do not want to embrace the federal policies as their own. Massachusetts v. Mellon, 262 U. S. 447, 482 (1923) . The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Sometimes they have to act like it.

. . . . We have upheld Congress’s authority to condition the receipt of funds on the States’ complying with restrictions on the use of those funds, because that is the means by which Congress ensures that the funds are spent according to its view of the “general Welfare.” Conditions that do not here govern the use of the funds, however, cannot be justified on that basis. When, for example, such conditions take the form of threats to terminate other significant independent grants, the conditions are properly viewed as a means of pressuring the States to accept policy changes. . . .

In this case, the financial “inducement” Congress has chosen is much more than “relatively mild encouragement”—it is a gun to the head. . . . 

As we have explained, “[t]hough Congress’ power to legislate under the spending power is broad, it does not include surprising participating States with postacceptance or ‘retroactive’ conditions.” Pennhurst, supra, at 25. A State could hardly anticipate that Congress’s reservation of the right to “alter” or “amend” law enforcement assistance programs included the power to transform it so dramatically.

The Court in Steward Machine did not attempt to “fix the outermost line” where persuasion gives way to coercion. 301 U. S., at 591. The Court found it “[e]nough for present purposes that wherever the line may be, this statute is within it.” Ibid. We have no need to fix a line either. It is enough for today that wherever that line may be, this statute is surely beyond it. Congress may not simply “conscript state [agencies] into the national bureaucratic army. ”

[OK, John, we get the drift.  Time to get mellow – Ed.]

Friday, January 20, 2017

Editors' Note: It may be the last peaceful transition of power we will ever see, but that didn't seem to be much of a cause for celebration in Washington City today.  We found in our Archives a report of another equally glum Inauguration Day, a mere 12 years ago.

Millions stay away
from Bush inaugural

Nat'l Mall not jammed with cheering Americans

By David Bloviator
Political Editor

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President George W. Bush was inaugurated for a second term before an unecstatic crowd of 100,000 Republicans and lobbyists imported by NetJet to Washington for the occasion.

Adoring crowds did not throng the National Mall
in Washington in joyous celebration of the second
Inauguration of President George W. Bush
Although the cost of the Inaugural festivities were expected to reach $160 million, including tens of millions devoted to security, from all corners of the country, Americans chose to stay home. The Mall was devoid of enthusiastic cheering crowds as Bush took the oath of office from a nearly moribund Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Later, the traditional Inaugural parade marched up Pennsylvania Avenue, enjoyed by scores of spectators and winos who lined the parade route. The crowd's lack of enthusiasm was reciprocated in equal measure by the President, who waved lamely a few times before telling his limo driver to get the hell out of there.

The Inaugural proceeded with no sense that history was being made. In his eloquence-free Inaugural Address, the re-elected President called upon all Americans to spend money on useless crap and promised more of the same for the next four years: endless war in Iraq, denial of the reality of global warming, tax cuts for the rich, and untrammeled expansion of executive power including torture and arbitrary detention of American citizens.

President Bush did outline one initiative: repeal of guaranteed social Security benefits, which drew no cheers or shouts of “Bush” from the quiet undemonstrative spectators gathered at the foot of the Capitol's reflecting pool. Metro officials reported no crowds at subway stations and bus stops, noting “Republicans don't take public transportation.”

For weeks, ordinary Americans from all 50 states vowed not to travel to the non-historic event, whether by air, car, train, or bus. The expense, discomfort, cold weather, and insignificance of the day itself were cited as the principal reasons for non-attendance, although many did mention they wanted to see the new season of “American Idol” instead.

The swearing in and parade were the culmination of a week of sparsely attended and uninspiring events. A-list Hollywood celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt and his squeeze Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, and Will Smith all decided not to show up, leaving Inaugural planners with no choice but to entertain the bored spectators with Hootie-less Blowfish and aged ex-country star Conway Twitty.

Despite the public's determination not to be anywhere near an event representing the continued domination of politics by dull entitled rich white men, some managed to enjoy themselves at one of the 11 non-glittering Inaugural balls.

Outside the Washington Hilton, after being introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R – Ooh-La-La) to his niece Amber, this reporter and a few party-goers were treated to the spectacle of Daddy's Girl Jenna Bush barfing into a trash barrel.

Inside at the balls, all agreed that the highlight was not any of the brief, sullen appearances of the President. Rather, it was the bevy of attractive young blonde Bush supporters making the most of this precedented occasion.  OMB Director Josh Bolten, surveying the non-diverse crowd, was heard to observe: “If you can't get laid this week, you might as well forget it.”

The next day, it was back to business as usual with no sense that a new era had dawned.

One new face, African-American Senator Barack Obama (D – Hyde Park), facing the obscurity and unimportance that is the fate of junior Senators, was heard to observe to no one in particular: “I could do better than these guys with my eyes closed.”

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cabinet nominees ease Senate concerns by vowing to ignore their boss

By Isaiah Thomas
Washington Bureau Chief

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the specter of the United States falling into the hands of the Tangerine-Faced Grifter-Elect and his BFF V. Putin less than a week away, an anxious Senate wanted reassurance from Cabinet nominees that they do not intend to comply with anything their ignorant reality-show President could tell them.

In response to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee, Retired General James Mattis assured the Senators that he didn't agree with any of the Grifter-Elect's idiotic and dangerous ideas.  “Of course, Putin's Russia is a dangerous adversary and we have to support and strengthen NATO and our own defenses in response,” he said.

“If you don't know how to keep idiot
Presidents out of your hair, you shouldn't be
Secretary of Defense,” Mattis said.
He further reassured the Senators that he had no intention of abrogating the Iran nuclear deal, thereby sparing the world from arming the extremist backers of wars in at least four countries with nuclear bombs.  Notwithstanding the bloviation of the blackmailed choice of at least 25% of the U.S. voting public, he also told the Senators that he respected the intelligence community and would place great weight on their carefully analyzed products.

Asked how he would deal with the Grifter-Elect's choice for national security adviser, the batsh*t-crazy Gen. Jack D. Ripper, Mattis replied, “In the words of Monica Crowley, he's not in my chain of command.”

While Gen. Mattis's rational adult answers, based as they were on real information and hard-won experience, reassured the Senators, they nonetheless wanted to know how he would keep his boss from doing something stupid, like blowing up the world.

“Anytime he calls, I'll set up a rally for him on some base or aircraft carrier.  Don't worry; he'll fall for that crap every time,” he said.  He went on to tell the Committee that he had a closet full of gimme ball caps with different insignias on them and he'd bring one to every Oval Office meeting.  “They could say No. #1 Power Ranger on them and he won't know the difference,” Mattis promised.

Homeland Security nominee Gen. John Kelly made similar statements at his confirmation hearing.  Asked if he agreed with the Grifter-Elect's oft-repeated campaign pledge to build a $25 billion wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, Gen. Kelly said, “That's the stupidest idea I ever heard of.  It's not worth a brass farthing in terms of U.S. security.”

Gen. Kelly said he would keep the Tangerine-Faced Grifter
happy by bringing Steve King's model border wall to
White House meetings, together with Border Patrol action
In response to the question of how he would spend an additional $25,000,000,000 in Homeland Security funding instead of building a wall, Gen. Kelly said “Anything would be better than a wall.  I could flush $25 billion down the toilet and it would have a similar effect on homeland security.  I could sure use more money for cybersecurity and intelligence, though.”

As to other “hot-button” issues pimped by the Tangerine-Faced Grifter, Gen. Kelly said banning Muslim immigrants or registering Muslim U.S. residents would be “nothing more than painting a recruiting poster for ISIS.”

He also said that anyone who thinks that torture is a valuable method of protecting the United States “has been getting their information from crappy Fox TV series.”

Given the divergence of his views from those held or at least professed by the Grifter-Elect, Senators asked Gen. Kelly how he could keep his boss in line.  “I'll just bring Steve King's model wall to the Oval Office and let the President play with it.  Worst-case scenario, I'll call Michaela – I mean, Ivanka.”

For more on how the Grifter-Elect's cabinet nominees plan to ignore the idiot they'll nominally be working for, check this out.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Another Spy exclusive: Meet Trump's new ethics overseer

By Ida Tarbell
Spy Washington Investigative Team

While the rest of Washington was caught in the golden shower, the Spy's new Washington investigative team was getting an exclusive on an even bigger story: the identity of the ethics savant who will serve as the professional independent overseer to erase any doubts that some may have as to the possible conflicts, farfetched though they may be, between the most powerful government official in the world, next to Vladimir Putin, and the over-leveraged unprofitable dog's breakfast of shell companies doing business as the Trump Organization.

Only the Spy has obtained a letter from the new overseer in which he explains exactly how his rigorous oversight will work in practice.  As you can see for yourself, there's absolutely nothing to worry about, tovarich.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

News from Zontar: Privileged white man admits error

Editors' Note: From time to time the Spy receives dispatches from the planet Zontar in the Remulac galaxy.  Although the ways of this alien race are unfathomable to us humans, we occasionally print one of their transmissions to demonstrate the strangeness of other worlds.


By Nellie Bly
New Zork Correspondent

NEW ZORK CITY – The news that the number of shootings in New Zork City reached a new low last year has led to what some are describing as one of the most surprising events in living memory: the admission by former Mayor and fun-sized billionaire plutocrat Michael Zoomberg that he was wrong.

According to the usually authoritative New Zork Times, the city's crime rate fell to a recent low in 2016, despite changes in police tactics ordered by current Mayor Bill diBlazio:
Crime has gradually declined since then, and in 2016, for the first time in more than two decades, the city counted fewer than 1,100 shootings in a calendar year, a milestone that officials said on Wednesday was a result of the Police Department’s efforts to focus on serious crimes and mend relationships with the communities it serves.
At a news conference at the museum, the police announced that shootings had fallen to 998 in 2016 from 1,138 the year before. The 2016 total was the lowest since at least 1993, the year before the Police Department adopted a computerized system to track and combat crime. Murders also fell, to 335 last year from 352, after rising slightly in 2015.
The record low, 333, was in 2014. Over all, crime fell about 4.1 percent in the major categories tracked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to 101,606 in 2016 from 105,921 the year before. There were fewer murders, rapes, robberies, burglaries and grand larcenies in 2016, but felony assaults rose to 20,807, from 20,375 in 2015.

Despite an overall decline in the crime rate, experts
wonder if more aggressive police tactics could
have prevented the theft of Mariah Carey's vocal
track in Times Square
The Times could not resist noting that the drop in shootings and other violent crimes coincided with the end of the City's notorious “stop-and-frisk” program instituted by the former Mayor.  Under stop-and-frisk, the City's police had essentially carte blanche to stop, question, and roust anyone they deemed suspicious, like any male person of color between the ages of 12 and 92.

The discovery that manhandling young black and Hispanic men did not in fact fight crime came as news to many, including one of said manhandling's staunchest defenders: ex-Mayor Zoomberg.  In 2013, the former Mayor and eternal zillionaire wrote, or hired some poor zhlub to write, a column for the The Zontarian Post stating bluntly that “Stop-and-frisk keeps New Zork safe.”

The column was a classic bit of white privileged male sanctimony, although as it was aimed at one of such privilege's clubhouses, the Post editorial page, it was more like the glass of white wine thrown by one Botoxed cougar at another.  Citing no authority other than himself and his billions, the ex-Mayor stated that despite what some federal court had found after a full and fair trial on the merits, he knew that stop-and-frisk was just fine, because, one, he said so, and, two, none of his friends had complained.  So far nothing to see here.

Yet in a stunning and as far as we can determine unprecedented event, the former Mayor admitted he was wrong.  In a statement released today, he said “The evidence is in, and it's clear we can have a safer city without alienating the majority of New Zorkers.  I was wrong.”

The shock waves caused by the Mayor's admission reverberated coast to coast from one end of white male privilege (Northeast Harbor, Maine) to the other (La Jolla, California). 

The editors of Zontar's leading publication of news and ideas, Teen Vogue, were gobsmacked by the news.  “It's not the admission about stop-and-frisk, which everyone knew; it's the spectacle of a rich entitled white man admitting error,” said Social Theory Editor Sadie Ginsberg-McIlhenney.

“We're wondering here if one white man can admit he was wrong about something, will other white men follow suit?” she said.

Experts are dubious.  They note that another former New Zork mayor and proponent of killing and beating black men, Rudy Zombieani, has so far not retreated one whit in his support of the discredited and unconstitutional stop-and-frisk program.  Nor has the sorely put-upon spokesman for white privilege, Schlox News host Bill Z. Reilly, yet admitted that calling young female subordinates and offering to soap up their genitals was less than a good idea.

Emma Dubinsky-Lancellotti, Teen Vogue's politics editor, doubts that the precedent set by former Mayor Zoomberg will reach Zontar's capital: “It's one thing for a billionaire to admit he was wrong when it doesn't cost him any money. But any Senator or Congressman who admits that global warming is a reality or or that millions will suffer if the Affordable Care Act is repealed would be cut off by his paymasters without so much as a lump of Koch brothers coal.”

In a terse comment that appeared to confirm Ms. Dubinsky-Lancellotti's doubts, Republican puppeteer Sheldon Adelson said only: “F***in-A they'll say what I pay them to say.”