Things That Matter

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

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. 

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

Things That Matter

Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

BILL PUGLIANO / GETTY

After four long years, we finally know why Trump didn’t want to release his tax returns: abominably, he thought his terrible haircuts and adult age children were worthy of write-offs. Oh yeah… and the year he was elected he only paid $750.00.

Long before his 2016 presidential election bid, Trump dodged calls to reveal his tax returns. At the time of his bid, however, he refused to take part in a 40-year tradition carried out by presidential nominees to release tax returns to the public. During his initial run, Trump falsely claimed that he was unable to release his returns publicly while they were under audit, and throughout his presidency, he has avoided sharing them despite grand jury subpoenas. Fortunately, thanks to a piece published by The New York Times, they’re finally getting a chance to see the light of day.

The New York Times published the first of several reports examining Trump’s tax information.

In 2016, Trump became the first president since 1976 to not release his tax records. The decision promptly roused dismay and questions about whether the records carried “undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions.”

According to NYT’s latest exposé, Trump (a man who has long boasted about his wealth and has also claimed a net worth of billions of which he has also declared to be self-acquired) paid a mere total of $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

While the Times report did not cover 2018 and 2019 tax filings, the newspaper looked into 18 years of Trump’s tax returns. They also looked into his business dealings as far back as 2000 and found that in 10 of those years, the president of the United States failed to pay any income taxes “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

The Times also revealed that Trump “racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes” despite millions in income and property. In a statement for the piece, Alan Garten an attorney for the Trump Organization claimed to the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts, appear to be inaccurate.” NoteL the Times underlined that Garten appeared to be “conflating income taxes with other federal taxes.”

According to the article, beginning in 2010, Trump had been given a $72.9 million tax refund from the IRS.

The Times article explains in detail how Trump has managed to handle his business and categorize his wealth. The paper found that most often, Trump claimed his expenses as deductions from his tax bill chalking them up to business expenses. These include nearly $70,000 in hairstyling costs for his time on NBC’s “The Apprentice” over $300,000 for landscaping of the Mar-a-Lago Club and $95,000 written off for hair and makeup done for his daughter Ivanka. That’s right, the president wrote off his own adult children.

Addressing the report, the Times noted that they would not include the actual tax documents in its coverage to avoid outing its sources.

“We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances,” Times editor Dean Baquet wrote in an editor’s note. “Every president since the mid-1970s has made his tax information public. The tradition ensures that an official with the power to shake markets and change policy does not seek to benefit financially from his actions.”

In response to the reports, Trump called the story “fake news” during a White House press conference on Sunday.

Speaking about the piece, Trump bemoaned that the IRS “does not treat me well.” “It’s totally fake news. Made-up, fake,” he continued. “We went through the same stories, people you could’ve asked me the same questions four years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news… Actually, I paid tax, and you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns — it’s under audit,” Trump went onto explain. “They’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well. … They don’t treat me well; they treat me very badly. You have people in the IRS, they treat me very, very badly…But they’re under audit. And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you, but that’s just fake news.”

It’s important to note that even an audit could not prevent Trump from releasing his tax records to the public.

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Nearly 9,000 Unaccompanied Child Migrants Have Been Expelled From the U.S. Under Trump’s COVID-19 Restrictions

Things That Matter

Nearly 9,000 Unaccompanied Child Migrants Have Been Expelled From the U.S. Under Trump’s COVID-19 Restrictions

On Friday, previously undisclosed court documents revealed that almost 9,000 unaccompanied migrant children seeking refuge were denied access to the U.S. and subsequently expelled from U.S. soil. None of these children were given a chance in court.

According to reporting done by CBS News, U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials have “suspended humanitarian protections” for most migrants crossing the border, on the grounds that “public health law overrides asylum, immigration and anti-trafficking safeguards” in the era of COVID-19.

CBS news made the shocking discovery when investigating the problematic and increased practice of holding and detaining minors in unregulated, privately contracted hotel rooms.

The government is arguing that the practice is keeping the American public safe from possibly COVID-19 exposure from unauthorized migrants.

“What we’re trying to do…is remove all individuals, regardless of whether they’re children — minors — or they’re adults,” Customs and Border Patrol official Mark Morgan said in an August media briefing.

He continued: “We’re trying to remove [the migrants] as fast as we can, to not put them in our congregate settings, to not put them into our system, to not have them remain in the United States for a long period of time, therefore increasing the exposure risk of everybody they come in contact with.”

via Getty Images

But critics are claiming that the Trump Administration is using COVID-19 as an excuse to unlawfully expel as many migrants as possible–regardless of their age.

On Friday, federal Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered the administration to put an end to the practice of detaining children in hotel rooms, saying that hotels do not “adequately account for the vulnerability of unaccompanied minors in detention”. She asked the government to put an end to the practice by September 15th.

It is in the court documents regarding the above case that 8,800 expelled migrant children number was revealed.

“The numbers are stunning,” said executive director of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, Lindsay Toczylowski, to CBS News. “…To find out that our government has literally taken children who are seeking protection and sent them back to the very places they fled in such high numbers really took my breath away.”

via Getty Images

US Border Patrol Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz has defended the unsafe hotel detainment and speedy expulsion of migrant children, saying that stopping the practice would increase risk of exposure to health and customs officials alike.

But even if the practice comes to an end, the staggering number of unaccompanied migrant and refugee children left to their own devices is sitting heavy on the soul of advocates and activists.

“It’s just completely contrary, not only to all child protection norms and standards, but also just completely contrary to our values as a nation around protecting the most vulnerable,” said vice president for international programs at Kids in Need of Defense Lisa Frydman to CNN. “Because we are just wholesale shipping them out without making sure that it’s safe for them to go.”

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