Things That Matter

A Democratic Illinois State Senator Is Facing Backlash From Both Sides Over A Simulated Trump Assassination At A Fundraiser

@MarkMaxwellTV / Twitter

Politics have become increasingly divisive since the election of President Trump. People are angered by what they see and hear on TV and the anger, some say fueled by the president, is leading to violence targeting minority groups. The latest low point in American politics comes from Illinois State Senator Martin Sandoval and shocking photos from a recent fundraiser depicting a simulated assassination.

Photos from Illinois State Senator Martin Sandoval is the middle of a firestorm following a recent fundraiser.

Credit: @MarkMaxwellTV / Twitter

The fundraiser, hosted over the weekend, included a moment when someone staged a simulated assassination of President Trump using a fake assault weapon. The fake president was wearing a mariachi outfit and was acting as if he had been shot in the chest.

“The incident that took place is unacceptable,” Sen. Sandoval said, according to WCIA. “I don’t condone violence toward the President or anyone else. I apologize that something like this happened at my event.”

The photos, just weeks after shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, are sparking outrage from both sides of the political spectrum.

Credit: @MarkMaxwellTV / Twitter

“As our nation grapples with the epidemic of gun violence, purposely pointing a fake gun at anyone is insensitive and wrong,” Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “I condemn actions like the ones displayed in the pictures because they lack the civility our politics demands.”

“The apology from Sen. Sandoval for the detestable pictures from his event depicting an assassination of President Trump is too little, too late,” said Illinois Republican Party chairman Tim Schneider, according to the New York Post. “Dangerous imagery like this will be condemned and seen as inappropriate by people of sound mind; however, a mentally unstable individual who wants to harm President Trump might find them as an inspiration. It’s inexcusable for an elected official to allow the promotion of violence in any way. If the individual pictured is a staffer or volunteer, they should be terminated immediately.”

People took to Twitter to share their own disapproval of the senator’s actions.

Credit: @thebwethington / Twitter

The images are stirring controversy because of their distasteful nature. It has caused a storm on Twitter with Trump’s top aide Kellyanne Conway weighing in tweeting that “Every Democrat should be asked if they support or disavow this.”

People are getting tired of the hateful and dangerous rhetoric from the president and don’t want to see other elected officials following his lead.

Credit: @nola3229 / Twitter

Trump’s rhetoric has been tied to an increase in hate crimes against minorities. Most recently, the same rhetoric used by the White House was included in the manifesto by the El Paso shooter. The shooter went to El Paso with the mission to kill as many Mexicans as he could.

Some are calling out the senator but also the hypocrisy with the right-wing and their treatment of President Obama.

Credit: @axiomatic13 / Twitter

The years after President Obama was first elected were filled with Conservative and Republican voters and politicians spewing racist and hateful words. The most racist moment was the birther movement questioning Obama’s citizenship, which was led by Trump.

Some think people on the right have forgotten how the right hanged and burned effigies of President Obama.

Credit: @4everNeverTrump / Twitter

No one is condoning the actions of Sen. Sandoval. However, this behavior is like a page out of the Tea Party and the Republican Party playbook. Obama’s election showed the ugly underbelly of the American political system and it seems to be continuing under President Trump.

A couple of Twitter users are asking for their politicians to do better and be better.

Credit: @whitneydevlin / Twitter

There’s a common saying that says, “Never wrestle with a pig in mud. You’ll both get dirty but the pig will love it.”

READ: After The El Paso Shooting, Julián Castro Releases Ad Tying Trump’s Rhetoric To The Deadly Massacre Targeting Latinos

Trump Visits California And Border Wall, His Infamous Sharpie Makes Another Appearance

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Trump Visits California And Border Wall, His Infamous Sharpie Makes Another Appearance

President Donald Trump Tours the Progress on the Border Wall in San Diego, CA / Youtube

Just like his democratic counterparts, Trump is making his way across the country trying to raise money for his 2020 reelection campaign. 

After leaving New Mexico (where he made an extremely awkward appeal to Hispanic voters), Trump headed for California to raise money at extremely secretive fundraisers. Now, deep blue California isn’t typically on Trump’s radar (unless it’s targeting state policies meant to aid migrants or clean up the environment) but he had no problem visiting the state to collect some coins and tour his vanity project — the border wall. So after visiting Silicone Valley and LA, Trump headed to San Diego. 

Trump was in San Diego to raise money and to visit the border wall for a photo op.

A presidential visit to San Diego would not be complete without a stop along the US-Mexico border and Trump did not disappoint as he traveled to Otay Mesa to view border fencing between the two countries.

Trump toured the border area of Otay Mesa after a fundraiser in San Diego and met with officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Defense. He referred to the barrier, which replaced much shorter panels originally installed in the 1990s, as nearly impenetrable.

“This wall can’t be climbed,” he said. “It’s designed to absorb heat…. You can fry an egg on that wall. It’s very, very hot. If you want to climb it, you’re going to have to bring hoses and water.”

Trump visited Otay Mesa last year to tour prototypes of his proposed border wall, and supporters and protesters turned out to greet him.

“This is top of the line,” Trump said of a fence being constructed to replace an older barrier along the border. 

According to Trump, San Diego was begging for the wall. “San Diego was, they were just thanking me for the wall we built in San Diego. It’s like, they said it’s a difference of day and night. They actually said it’s 100 percent. The only thing is, we have to now expand it out,” he said.

And if Trump’s visit to the border couldn’t get more ridiculous, he actually signed the wall. 

People, this is not a drill. The President of the United States is literally taking sharpies to government property. Once a classless reality TV show host…always a classless reality TV show host. 

But let’s not forget, Trump’s claim that the border wall is new is a complete lie. 

Trump is using this San Diego border wall visit purely as a photo op. He knows that the border wall is one of his signature campaign issues and one that his core supporters want to see completed. 

So even though, according to his own government, zero miles of new border wall has actually been built, Trump is trying to hard to spin the truth. In fact, an NBC News report fact-checked Trump’s claim, reporting that while “the U.S. has replaced or reinforced 66 miles of fencing, including 9 miles of new secondary fencing,” the Trump administration “has yet to extend the border wall,” as suggested by Fox.

Additional reporting from The Washington Post on September 6 also fact-checked a September 4 claim by Trump that “the wall is being built. It’s going up rapidly. … We’re building very large sections of wall.” According to the Post, “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed just about 60 miles of ‘replacement’ barrier during the first 2½ years of Trump’s presidency, all of it in areas that previously had border infrastructure.” 

Of course where Trump goes, protesters follow. 

And it was no different in San Diego. From the moment he arrives, protesters were ready to go with the now ubiquitous Trump Baby balloon. 

Protesters with the Backbone campaign gathered at Horton Plaza Park ahead of the president’s expected appearance at a campaign fundraiser at the US Grant hotel, located a short distance away from the park.

San Diegans weren’t having any of Trump’s visit.

Can’t say I disagree. I felt the same when he was in LA.

While some on Twitter called him out for the continued lie about San Diego’s border wall. 

Much like the NBC and Post reports, this San Diegan seems to confirm that Trump is indeed lying about progress on the border wall. 

His visit to the wall comes a day after he was in LA and San Francisco to raise money for his 2020 re-election campaign. 

Trump headlined a Beverly Hills fundraiser Tuesday night that was also shrouded in secrecy. The dinner was the second stop of a two-day swing through California that is expected to raise more than $15 million for the president’s reelection campaign.

He also used his trip to criticize the homelessness problem in Los Angeles and San Francisco, two strongly Democratic cities. But has offered up little in policy ideas or suggestions on how to address the situation.

“We can’t let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what’s happening,” he told reporters on Air Force One on Tuesday, suggesting that the issue had dented those cities’ reputations. 

Someone Created America’s Scariest Teddy Bear: The Trumpy Bear

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Someone Created America’s Scariest Teddy Bear: The Trumpy Bear

OfficialAsSeenOnTV1 / YouTube

There is a Trump Bear because Republicans are weird and some seem to straight up hate children (they put them in cages, remember). Staring into the abyss of Trump Bear, all I can hear are the haunting lyrics of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” You know the ones: “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake.” 

While I am sure this bear is fitted with a listening device from the NSA, I am even more certain that instead of a lump of coal, Santa Claus gives you one of these for being a naughty kid. 

My first sentence ever, according to my mother was, “Mommy, the dolly killed the lady.” My mother, who loves horror movies, didn’t think it was a big deal to show me a Chucky film when I was 2 years old, but that’s another story. Here I am, on the cusp of turning 30 and all I can say when I look at Trump bear is, “Mommy, the dolly killed this ladySee you in hell. Don’t forget to water my plants while I’m gone!”  

Meet Trumpy Bear

The brown bear made in Donald Trump’s image sadly is still the most attractive version of Donald Trump. Although, as an Afro-Latinx I can only help but snicker because you know Trumpito has always wanted to be black. It’s apparent in his decade-long fixation with President Obama. If it’s not jealously, then why is this racist so obsessed with one-upping and undoing Obama’s successes

Trumpy Bear has a hideous blond combover (accurate), hideous bushy blond eyebrows (accurate), an inappropriately large tie to conceal his misshapen body (accurate), eyes as blue as Adolf Hitler’s dream Nazi (accurate), and a face made for the ninth circle of hell (accurate). The only thing inaccurate is that the hands are proportional to the body, and we all know Trumpito has teeny tiny hands only slightly larger than his brain. I’ll leave descriptions of the size of his other body parts up to my girl, Stormy Daniels. 

But we haven’t gotten to the creepiest part of all. When you unzip his back, you can pull out an American flag blanket. As Vogue writer Michelle Ruiz put it, the flag is “perfect for watching the president mock sexual assault survivors on national television or, according to the official Trumpy commercial, serving as a hood ornament on your golf cart.” Enjoy!

Is Trump Bear real? 

Upon its launch, many wondered if Trumpy Bear was real? Snopes did some investigating and discovered that for two payments of $19.95 + shipping and handling, you can actually purchase this bear to burn in your local bonfire. According to Snopes, the product trademark is owned by Exceptional Products (“Exceptional,” OK. SureJan.gif) which Snopes uncovered by searching U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. 

Several social media posts revealed that some people unironically and willingly received Trumpy Bears as gifts. Imagine if your workplace secret Santa gave you this? I would go to HR. 

But we haven’t even gotten to the craziest part yet. There is a commercial. The gift that keeps on giving… me ominous flashes of the looming apocalypse. 

Trumpy Bear Official Commercial

If you’re still alive after watching that commercial, I assume anyone who watches it will die within seven days, you might find many things odd about it. For starters, this teddy bear is clearly being marketed to adults over 50? In an advertisement for a stuffed animal, there is not a child in sight. The commercial says Trumpy Bear is great for the front of your motorcycle, the back of your golf cart, and to honor fallen soldiers who probably died because of his policies. 

A try-hard male voiceover says, “Even the toughest guys will love Trumpy Bear,” because you know, asserting “masculinity” is so important for Trump supporters who are categorically a part of the demographic where the Venn diagram for “Rape Apologist” and “Viagra User” is just one circle. 

Trumpy Bear for true patriots

The bear also suggests that it will help you “show your patriotism.” This is coming from the same people who convinced themselves the previous President was the secret leader of ISIS just because he was half black — true patriots of American values.

But I would argue the commercial is right, there is nothing more patriotic in America than spending money on a product you don’t need, manufactured by poor people of color overseas, to remind the poor people of color where you live that you hate them so much you would waste money, destroy the environment, and hurt people. Perhaps, the only bigger patriot is the person selling the symbol of hate.