Thursday, September 29, 2016

Black Houston, Cease And Desist With The Transphobia

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One of the things I'm getting sick and tired of is elements of the Houston Black community being willfully transphobic.  I'm beyond tired of it along with my Houston Black trans fam and our families, friends, and allies.

What's driving me to write this is Dee Dee telling me about a event that happened on Tuesday at the Ensemble Theater that I almost went to but because I was catching up on my backlogged writing didn't attend.

Wish I had, and I'm about to tell you why.

It was supposed to be an open mic event in which people were encouraged to step to the mic and talk for one minute about whatever issues that were bothering them.
Dee Dee spoke, and was followed up three speakers later by a man named Vince Duncan who not only misgendered her, but bragged about in the card he handed out at the event of being one of the sellout fools who worked for the defeat of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance last year.

Dee Dee was already upset about an incident that happened at a Black Lives Matter Houston event at City Hall that we both attended two months ago when a woman at that event misgendered her.  So you know she was not a happy camper when she returned home and told me she was done with attending cis Black events.

Their loss, and it's sad they have made her and many of us feel unwelcome in a community that should be our refuge from all the transphobic Hateraid we get from the rest of the world..

I love my people and my hometown, but damn folks, y'all have to show us Black trans Houstonians not only some love but respect for our humanity.  Neither I, Dee Dee or any Black trans Houstonian gave up our Black cards when we transitioned, and y'all need to recognize that fact.

Black trans women are women.  Black trans men are men.   How many times do I and countless other people inside and outside Trans World have to repeat that easy to grasp concept until you get it?  

Something else y'all need to recognize is that Black trans Houstonians aren't going back into the closet just because you wish to be willfully ignorant of the fact we exist   Neither are our trans lives and our humanity up for theological or political discussion.

Miss me with that crap.   And some of you repeating those anti-trans talking points are in the Black SGL community, and y'all need to chill with that as well.  The anti-trans comments and right wing bathroom predator lies are not only Grade A bull feces, but are hurtful and wrong,

The anti-trans rhetoric you are repeating makes Steven Hotze, the Texas GOP, Dave Wilson, Max Miller, FN Williams and other assorted Houston area transphobes smile.  It leads to anti-trans discrimination, harassment and violence.

It is getting Black trans kids thrown out of their homes.  Black trans teens make up 30% of the homeless trans teen population, and that needs to end ASAP.   
It also led to many of you in Black Houston stupidly voting to repeal a HERO ordinance that I, Dee and other Houstonians fought to pass that protected your human rights in the city of Houston.

Image result for Black LGBT HoustonIt was disgusting to me as a native Houstonian to see you fall for the 'men in dresses' okey doke lie parroted to you by suburban white Republicans, white fundie pastors egged on by sellout kneegrow pastors, and them gleefully laughing at your behinds for allowing them to hoodwink and bamboozle you into voting against your own human rights on Election Night 2015.

It's past time for the verbal abuse of trans people in our Black Houston ranks needs to cease and desist.  Black Trans Houstonians are part of the diverse mosaic of humanity in our beloved hometown, and all we want in addition to having our humanity and human rights respected and protected by law is to simply be able to live our lives to the best of our ability and contribute our talents to building our community and our city.

But the minimum requirement for that to happen is for you Black Houston, to cease and desist with the transphobia because our Black Lives Matter, too.   

You Don't Need A Photo ID To Vote In Texas!

Types of accepted ID
Hallelujah, the Texas GOP Voter Suppression (ID) law is dead!  If you don't have a photo ID, you do not need to produce one to vote when early voting in Texas starts on October 24.

You will need to fill out a short form explaining the reason you don't have one, swear you are who you say you are, then sign it.

Early voting dates for this 2016 election are October 24-November 4.   Election Day is November 8.

All you'll need is either your blue Texas voter registration card or these government documents with your name and address.  Voters with a disability may apply for a permanent exemption to showing ID at the polls.
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*Your certified original birth certificate
*A government check  (copy or original)
*A current utility bill (copy or original)
*A bank statement (copy or original)
*A paycheck (copy or original) 

As a reminder, the accepted photo ID are a Texas drivers license, a Texas ID card issued by the DPS, Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by the DPS, a handgun license, US military ID with photo, US passport, and US citizenship certificate with photo.  

Election poll workers are prohibited by law from challenging your reason for being unable to obtain a photo ID.   If they give you any drama, you can call the Voter Protection Hotline at 1-844-TXVOTES 

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If you wish to participate in the upcoming election in Texas, you must be registered to vote by October 11.

So handle your election business, people!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Moni's At The Equality Brunch 2016

I know I wrote about it on Sunday, but wanted to post more pics from the 8th annual Equality Brunch.  And yes, I was still shaking off the jet lag when I walked into the venue.

In addition to this being a fundraising event for the Houston LGBT Caucus, I was one of several people being honored with awards.  It gave me an opportunity to break bread with and spend some quality time hanging out with my Houston liberal-progressive community family.

We had a few of our Houston political peeps there like CM Robert Gallegos and CM Mike Laster, TX state Senator Sylvia Garcia, Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen, Judge Maria T. Jackson, former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and candidates for various offices in the room like Harris County DA candidate Kim Ogg, Harris County Sheriff candidate and former CM Ed Gonzales, judicial candidate Ramona Franklin and Harris County Commissioner's Court candidate Jenifer Rene Pool.

This year I became the second out trans person to receive the John Paul Barnich Award, and I thank the Caucus for honoring me with this award named for a trailblazing member of our Houston LGBT community.

The other awards presented on Sunday and the deserving folks who received them were:

Eleanor Tinsley Award
Erika Richie

Don Hrachovy Award
Maria Gonzalez

President's Award
Melanie Espinosa Pang

Tim Brookover Award
Greg Jeu

The Tony and Bruce Award
Bruce Smith

The 2016 class of Equality Brunch honorees were also surprised by a presentation from Audrey Natividad with Congressional Recognition Certificates signed by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee  (D-TX).

It was a wonderful event across the board.  Capacity crowd, amazing venue, delicious food, and most importantly, the fundraising target of $10,000 was hit.   That money will help get those Caucus endorsement cards out in time for early voting that's starting on October 24.

This year's edition of the Equality Brunch set the bar high for future ones, and enjoyed being there for it.

Why I Don't Want Trump's Hands On The Nuke Launch Codes

As a baby boomer, one of the anxiety ridden things I grew up with and pondered almost every day until the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union collapsed was wondering if today was going to be the last day on this planet for me and everyone I cared about because somebody in either superpower did something stupid and triggered World War III.

Image result for the day after scenes

And living in Houston, which I suspected had a few Soviet warheads targeted on it because of the ship channel, being a railroad hub, the 200+ refineries in the area, Ellington AFB, several oil company headquarters located here and being at the junctions of I-10 and I-45 didn't lessen that nuclear holocaust anxiety that the Cold War era literature, films like WarGames and the 1983 ABC movie The Day After expressed..

I was five months old when the Cuban Missile Crisis happened, and that was considered at the time the closest point the USA and USSR came to launching on each each other.  Hearing about false nuke attack alarms on our side in 1979-80  and the Soviet side in October 1983, followed by the Able Archer 83 NATO exercise nearly turning into World War III because of the combination of Reagan's anti-Soviet rhetoric and Soviet leaders believing he would launch a first strike despite the USA's declared 'No First Use ' policy only added to my concerns about nuclear annihilation of our planet.

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So when I hear that Donald Trump is willing to use nuclear weapons in Europe or the Middle East, or he wants to be unpredictable with nuclear weapons, that scares the crap out of me and everyone across the planet.   It also brings back all those feelings I and other boomers had prior to the end of the Cold War.

This man is not only unfit to be president and commander in chief of our armed forces, his non-intellectually curious self doesn't need to be anywhere near our nuclear launch codes.

Image result for Donald trump cartoon nuking putin for unfriending him on Facebook

Donald Trump's already demonstrated thin skin, willful ignorance and alarming to me, our allies and our military establishment's expressed willingness to use nukes and spread them around the globe in hotspots like East Asia definitely disqualifies him to be the person who has to make the decision on whether to use or not use our nuclear arsenal.

And in situations like what happened in 1979-80 in terms of the NORAD false attack alarms, in which you would have had six minutes to determine whether this was a genuine attack or a false alarm, do you think Trump would have the temperament necessary to handle that situation?    

I don't, and it's why I don't want Trump becoming president and getting his hands anywhere near the nuclear football.  It only ratchets up my determination to do what I can to ensure that Hillary Clinton takes the oath of office on January 20, 2017.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Must See Trans TV Alert- 'Modern Family' Trans Episode To Feature Trans Child Actor

ABC's "Modern Family" - Season Eight
You may wish to set your DVR's for this upcoming ABC Modern Family episode Wednesday at 8 PM CDT.   It's going to feature a historic first in an open trans child actor playing a trans role.

In this episode entitled 'A Stereotypical Day', same sex parents Cam and Mitchell allow their cis daughter Lily to invite her trans masculine classmate Tom over for a play date.  Their pride at raising a daughter in Lily who is open minded and accepting quickly turns when they overhear Lily unwittingly insult her trans friend.

How do Cam and Mitchell handle the situation?  You'll have to tune in and watch Modern Family tomorrow on your local ABC station.

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Tom is played by 8 year old Jackson Millarker who is from Atlanta,  While we have had a few shows in the last few years that have featured adult trans actors playing trans roles, this is the first time we have had an out trans child actor playing a trans child.

This is a BFD for trans kind and all the trans kids out there who finally get to see someone like themselves on a television show, and I couldn't be happier to see it.

Now if Hollywood would just stop casting cis male actors in trans feminine roles.  

Texas v. USA Case Hearing In Wichita Falls Friday

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For those of you in the Wichita Falls area, the unjust federal transphobic lawsuit that Ken Paxton filed is going to get another hearing on Friday

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS WICHITA FALLS DIVISION STATE OF TEXAS et al.,Plaintiffs,v.UNITED STATES et al., Defendants.§§§§§§§§§§Civil Action No. 7:16-cv-00054-O ORDER Before the Court is Defendants’ Motion for Clarification of the Court’s Preliminary Injunction Order and Unopposed Request for Expedited Consideration (ECF No. 65), filed September 12, 2016.

This motion is set for hearing at 9:30 AM on September 30, 2016. The hearing will take place in the District Judge’s Courtroom, 2nd floor, 1000 Lamar Street,Wichita Falls, Texas.

SO ORDERED on this 26th day of September, 2016.

This motion is set for hearing at 9:30 AM on September 30, 2016. The hearing will take place in the District Judge’s Courtroom, 2nd floor, 1000 Lamar Street,Wichita Falls, Texas.

SO ORDERED on this 26th day of September, 2016.

The Texas v USA case will be heard starting at 9 AM CDT in the 2nd floor District Judge's Courtroom.  If you are a friend, ally to the trans community,or parents of a trans child and can make it to Wichita Falls for that hearing, Equality Texas wants to chat with you

You can also get in contact with Erika Richie of PFLAG Houston and she'll pass on your availability to Equality Texas.

I hope the courtroom is packed with our family and supporters Friday morning, and this time justice prevails.

Texas Association of Business Formally Opposes HB2 Style Bills

About 100 LGBT Texans, supporters and allies marched outside Rockwall City Hall Monday night to protest the mayor's proposal to criminalize some trans people for using public restrooms. Bathroom ordinance
If you;re wondering why I and other TBLGQ Texans and our allies stay and fight the right wing powers that be to make our state better, this is just another example why having angelic troublemakers in the Lone Star State matters.

On Friday the influential Texas Association of Business (TAB) Board of Governors overwhelmingly approved a resolution that states according to TAB president Chris Wallace the TAB opposes 'legislation that is seen as discriminatory and would impact workforce recruitment and/or cause a negative economic impact on the state'.

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The 4,300 member Texas Association of Business is our statewide chamber of commerce, and has the ear of conservative politicians in the Lone Star State.

They are nervous in the wake of our transphobic Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) statements back in May of wanting to repeat the mistake of the North Carolina GOP to legislatively hate on Texas trans people.  

The TAB is nervous that when the 85th session of the Texas legislature opens in January, Patrick and his GOP colleagues will try to pass an HB2 style bill that will cause the same economic damage to Texas that its blitzkrieged passage in North Carolina has done to their state's economy.

Texas CompetesThey are trying to prevent that self inflicted Texas GOP legislative idiocy from happening along with Texas Competes, a coalition of 1,100 + Texas businesses and business friendly organizations that are making the case that TBLGQ equality is good for Texas, Texas based businesses and the Texas economy.

North Carolina since the passage of HB2 has suffered an estimated $395 million dollars (and counting) in lost business, conventions, and sporting events, and the NC GOP refuses to take responsibility for their lack of human rights vision.

"We don't want economic fallout here because of legislative action that could be prevented, said Wallace. "We know it's going to be a top issue, and because of that, business has to speak up."

Texas has in 2017 the NCAA women's Final Four scheduled to come to Dallas, the NCAA FBS Championship Game in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, and the 2018 NCAA men's championship game in San Antonio.

All are in jeopardy along with scheduled conventions and other business if Patrick and the Texas GOP persists with their delusional thinking that Texas will not suffer the same fiscal fallout that North Carolina has if they pass anti-trans hate bills or HB2 style legislation.  

The Texas GOP has made hatred of Texas trans people part of their reprehensible 2016 platform, and just as their attempts to legislate bigotry against LGB Texans failed, they will fail against transgender Texans.

And thanks to the Texas Association of Business, Texas Competes and other Texas business leaders who are stepping us to say in a loud and collective voice we don't want the self inflicted economic disaster that is happening in North Carolina to happen in Texas

Hillary Clinton Slays Trump In First Presidential Debate

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The first debate is now over, and it was a no doubt about it win for Hillary Clinton tonight.

It was non stop slayage by her of the rude bombastic know nothing who over 95 minutes exposed himself as woefully unfit and unqualified to be president of the United States.

And it was also clear when this debate was over who is best prepared to be president of the United States the day she is sworn in on January 20, 2017

Yeah, we definitely still have work to do, two more presidential debates and an election to win before we can get to that point, but Secretary Clinton took a huge step forward toward becoming the next president of the United States with her stellar debate performance tonight.

Trump rudely interrupted Clinton 28 times in the first 25 minutes of the debate, and with the exception of hammering her on the TPP deal, it wasn't a good night for The Donald.                

Clinton hammered him on his taxes and a wide range of subjects as Trump descended into rambling incoherence.

Screenshot of CNN/ORC poll showing Hillary Clinton won first debate 62-27 over Donald Trump (Sept. 26, 2016).

Even FOX Noise couldn't spin this into a win for Trump and conceded he's lost this debate.  They're pinning their hopes on the upcoming October 4 vice presidential candidate debate on the Longwood University campus in Farmville, VA.

Next presidential debate will be on October 9 in St. Louis on the Washington University campus, and it will be a town hall format moderated by CNN's Anderson Cooper and ABC's Martha Raddatz ,

Monday, September 26, 2016

The First Clinton-Trump Presidential Debate Is Tonight

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At 8 PM CDT the first of three presidential debates between Democratic presidential nominee Sec. Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential bigot nominee will take place on the Hofstra University campus in Hempstead, NY.

After Sec. Clinton gets the first question from moderator Lester Holt, it'll be 90 minutes of action with no commercials and no breaks.  That's what we know about what will happen at the start of this critical debate.   What we also know is a lot of people will be tuned in to watch it, with pre debate estimates of up to 100 million people for this.

What we don't know is what will happen during and after it.

And FYI, when y'all play the debate drinking games, don't make one of the conditions for taking a sip Donald trump lying.  He does that an estimated every three minutes, and you'll need a designated driver or an Uber to get you home post debate

And yes, I'll be watching the debate tonight and commenting on my TransGriot Twitter feed

So let's get ready to rumblllllllleeeeee, er debate.  I want Clinton to kick his behind and end this pretense that Trump is even qualified to be POTUS because he's not.

Should be fun to watch.

Trinity's ESSENCE Article

I met Trinity and her mom DeShanna back during this year's Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, and have much love for the Delaware based trans teen who began her transition at age 4.

As she has said to me, she is going to make trans history, and she wasn't kidding.  She recently visited Delaware Governor Jack Markell's (D) office with her family,

An ESSENCE magazine article came out today featuring her story, and I found it amazing since it wasn't that long ago Tracey Norman was shooting her sixth cover for ESSENCE and it was shut down after someone shadily outed her to Susan L Taylor.   Now they have had Laverne Cox on the cover twice, but still have yet to give her a solo one.

I'm talking about that past history in needed to point our just how far ESSENCE has moved on covering trans people in our community since the early 80's. An article about a trans teen in an iconic Black magazine is a big deal.

Twelve year old Trinity tells her story to ESSENCE readers, and said in it she wants to make the world more friendly for trans people.

"I want to tell kids to be themselves and release who they are," said Trinity.  "They don't need to hide all the time.  I had to tell my parents, and they could do the same thing.  I want to change the world by making it much more friendly to trans people."

Here's the link to the ESSENCE article, and thanks Trinity for telling your story in one of our iconic magazines.  I have a feeling it won't be the last interview you do.

Joel Silberman Calls Out Media's Low Expectations For Trump

Democratic strategist and media consultant Joel Silberman on MSNBC (Screen capture)
I first met Joel Silberman when I went to New York in 2012 to take part in the GLAAD POC Media training sessions that weekend.

I learned a lot during that weekend, and they are lessons I've used in the few subsequent televised media opportunities I have done since completing that training.  I also used them to capture the 2016 Netroots Nation Pundit Cup title in St. Louis with him looking on during my final match like a proud teacher watching his star pupil excel.

I was surprised to discover that this was the first time MSNBC has invited him on any one of their shows, and he made his first appearance a memorable one.

Silberman, who works with Democracy Partners, in addition to doing the trainings I attended, has been a media coach for politicians and media personnel for debates and public appearances.

And I can tell you from experience he's good at it.

Here's yesterday's MSNBC appearance, and he has been invited back on the network for a subsequent appearance.   Looking forward to seeing it.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

8th Annual Houston LGBT Caucus Equality Brunch

The reason I left Louisville yesterday a little sooner than i would have liked is because I had this event on my calendar for today in the 8th Annual Houston LGBT Caucus Equality Brunch.

In addition to having it at the fabulous La Colombe d'Or Hotel in the Montrose gayborhood, this brunch that started at 11 AM is a fundraiser for the Caucus.   It's also an event in which several Houstonians including a certain activist blogger y'all know were honored with awards for our efforts to make Houston a better place to live.

Was great after shaking off my jet lag and being in the house for it, hearing the remarks of Rev. Lura Groen, Caucus President Fran Watson, Caucus Vice President Mike Webb and my fellow honorees.

And yes, I'm now the second trans Houstonian to win the John Paul Barnich Award.  Thanks for this honor Houston LGBT Caucus.

We were also given certificates presented by Audrey Natividad denoting congressional recognition for our work in various fields to make Houston better thanks to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)

It was an amazing event, and congrats to everyone who attended, gave money to the Caucus to help facilitate their work, and helped put it together.

It was also wonderful to get to see all the elected officials in the room and hopefully soon to be after November 8 elected officials in Houston and Harris County.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

National Museum of African American History and Culture Opens Today

It was an event 100 years in the making, but how apropos that when the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) was opened, the first African American president of the United States was there.

The effort dates back to 1915, when Black Civil War veterans pushed for a memorial to recognize he role they played in fighting for and winning their own emancipation.   Of course, their pleas were ignored and funding never came for that memorial.

After the success of the African American civil rights movement several decades later,  there was renewed interest in our history and recognizing it with a museum.

Image result for NMAAHCCivil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) introduced 13 different bills to make that happen, which drew opposition from everyone from Sen Jesse Helms (R-NC) to federal land use watchdog groups that objected to the site of the museum on the National Mall.

The museum bill finally passed in 2003 and was signed into law by President GW Bush.

The work then began to raise the $270 million dollars in private donations and get the thousands of artifacts needed to fill the cavernous museum building's exhibit space.

Construction finally started on the NMAAHC in 2012 and was completed in November 2015,  The Smithsonian's newest museum that tells the story of African Americans is now open for all of us to enjoy.  

Here's President Obama's speech at today's NMAAHC museum grand opening ceremony.



Musing About The DNC 2020 Trans Contingent

Transgender Delegates at the DNC
The 2016 DNC Convention in Philadelphia is over and it was a historic and record breaking one. We had a trans contingent of 27 people from across the country that included two superdelegates.

We had Sarah McBride making a historic address Thursday as the first out trans person to speak at any major party convention

Marisa Richmond was not only attending her third consecutive DNC convention, she also made history when she became the first out trans person to hold the position as the DNC convention official timekeeper.

This 2016 Democratic Convention is fading into the history books as we concentrate on the important business of getting our Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton elected to the Oval Office as our first female POTUS, and have as many Democratic senators and congress members join her in DC as possible.   We also are focused on the mission of getting Democrats elected at all levels of government.

However, it's not too early for us in Trans World to start musing about how we are going to exceed the  27 trans folks that came to Philadelphia when the gavel comes down for the start of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Image result for sharron cooks delegate

One thiis we definitely need is more diversity in our trans DNC contingent.   That should always be one of the Prime Directive level missions for us.   Another Prime Directive mission for us should be is to have trans federal, state, and local elected officials in our DNC 2020 trans contingent.

As the GOP led attacks on our human rights has made abundantly clear to us, we must have trans people in the committee rooms to write the good laws that affect us and poised to kill the bad ones.

We also need more trans people involved in the DNC and the state and local parties.   I'm proud of Babs Siperstein and Laura Calvo, our two trans superdelegates.  But I want to see more trans people engaged in the Democratic Party apparatus.  

And finally, I not only want more than 27 people in it,  I want geographic diversity at the same time.

Will it happen for us in 2020?  We'll see when they gavel in that 2020 DNC in a host city to be determined.

And FYI DNC, how about holding the 2020 one in Houston?  Tired of the last national party convention that was held here being the odious 1992 one in which Pat Buchanan gave his infamous 'culture war' speech.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Shut Up Fool Awards- Moni's In Da Ville Again Edition

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Since Sunday I've been visiting my homies and homettes in my adopted hometown of  Louisville, KY for the first time since my Labor Day weekend 2014 visit.

It's been since I stepped off the plane on Sunday a non stop series of visits and chats with my former neighbors and friends in the Kentuckiana area.  

I probably picked up a few pounds after chowing down on my only in Louisville faves like Comfy Cow ice cream (salted caramel), Lee's and Indi's chicken, and the dinners at Jack Fry's, Impellizzeri's and on the Indiana side of the Ohio Buckhead Mountain Grill and New Albany's Gospel Bird later tonight.

The best part of my multi day vacation is getting to hang out with my chosen family up here and seeing the changes like the new Lincoln Bridge downtown, the new pedestrian bridge across the Ohio, the hotels going up, the electric powered downtown circulator bus, the renovations of the airport and convention center and New Lou east of downtown.

I have to leave tomorrow to head back to Houston and the Equality Brunch where I'm receiving another honor., but hopefully it won't take me two years to come back.

Now on to our usual Friday business in which we call out fools besides Donald Trump, who is running away with the 2016 Shut Up Fool of the Year crown.

Let's get to it.  This week''s Shut Up Fool winner is none other than Trump spokessellout Omarosa Manigault, who must have had the wash, set and cranial rinse at the GOP Stepford Salon that Karina Pierson and Stacey Dash had.

She opened he mouth to say that all of Trump's critics would have to 'bow down' to a President Trump.

Not no but hell no will I ever bow down to an POTUS of the United States, and I'm going to do my part ensure he is humiliated once again at the polls on November 8 and we hear the words 'President-elect Hillary Clinton'.

Oh yeah, Omarosa Manigault, Shut Up Fool!