Lazy Saturday Reads: Families Belong Together

Good Morning!!

Today, while Trump plays golf and plots his takeover of the Supreme Court, tens of thousands of Americans will be marching against his evil fascist policy of separating children from their parents and locking them in cages. If you’re going to a march, I’ll be there with you in spirit.

They are even having a rally in Antler, North Dakota, population 28.

The largest one is expected to be in Washington D.C.

The Washington Post: Tens of thousands expected to protest Trump’s immigration policy during Washington rally.

It took 13 days to organize Saturday’s demonstration against the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy and the detention of children and families. It was the fastest that organizers could patch something together.

They guessed about 5,000 people would attend.

The National Park Service is now prepared for 10 times that — 50,000 people — to rally outside the White House and march on the Department of Justice, according to a permit issued this week. Demonstrators will demand an end to family detentions and the reunification for at least 2,500 children separated from their parents at the country’s southern border.

Several speakers, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of “Hamilton,” and actors America Ferrera and Diane Guerrero, will take the stage at Lafayette Square to kick off the protest, which begins at 11 a.m. People who have lived through the Holocaust, Japanese internment camps and Trump’s family separation policy are expected to speak.

About 750 similar protests have been planned throughout the country in every state, from big cities such as New York and Los Angeles to tiny ones such as Antler, N.D., population 28.

“This moment is an inspiring reminder that the majority of this country is appalled at what’s being done in our name,” said Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org, which is co-sponsoring the event. “This is absolutely bigger than politics. This is about right and wrong.”

The Trump administration is now claiming they can hold families in detention centers for as long as they want to. NBC News: Trump administration says it will detain migrant families for as long as it takes to prosecute them.

The Justice Department urged a federal judge Thursday to let the government detain migrant families for long periods, a critical part of President Donald Trump’s plan for ending the practice of separating children from their parents at the border.

“The emergency currently existing on the Southwest border requires immediate action,” said the government’s filing, asking the court “to help address this urgent problem.”

Since 1997, an order from a federal district judge in California has set limits on how long children can be detained by immigration authorities. Originally intended to protect only unaccompanied minors, it was amended in 2015 to cover children held with their parents. Under the order, children must generally be moved to an approved facility for minors within 20 days.

As long as that limit remains in force, Justice Department lawyers said, the government must either separate the child from the parents or release the family members while they wait for their immigration hearing. But release is not a desirable option, the government said, because many families fail to show up for their hearings and simply remain in the country illegally.

I don’t think that’s going to go over too well with the judge or the attorneys defending Flores decision. I’m surprised more Justice Department lawyers haven’t resigned rather than defend Trump’s evil policy.

Meanwhile, women are facing a fight to save our rights to control our own bodies. Rebecca Traister at The Cut: Summer of Rage. White men are the minority in the United States — no wonder they get uncomfortable when their power is challenged.

It shouldn’t have been such a shock. After all, many of those most painfully poleaxed by the news of Anthony Kennedy’s retirement on Wednesday were the same ones who’d always understood the stakes; we knew that this was the risk, we’ve been scared for a long time. We knew that if it hadn’t been Kennedy it would have been Ginsburg or Thomas, and that it may still be. Yet there we were. Panicking. Nauseated. Heads and hearts pounding. Reminded, once again, that this country, our purported representative democracy, is ruled by a powerful minority population.

This too has been clear for a long time: that protecting the influence of that ruling minority — white men — has been the national priority from the country’s very founding. But these days, it’s easy to feel it in a way that underlines why we say that power is in someone’s grip: because the sensation on Wednesday was of just that, a grip so tight and unyielding that all the breath was being squeezed out.

Democrats have won the popular vote in four of five of the elections held since 2000, yet have only occupied the White House for two terms. Meanwhile, Republicans, as Jonathan Chait wrote Wednesday, are “increasingly comfortable with, and reliant on, countermajoritarian power.” Of course, as Chait outlines in his column, the Electoral College was intentionally designed to empower a minority: those in less populous areas of the country who wanted to protect the institution of slavery. The documents that encoded the participatory democracy of which Americans tend to be so proud expressly barred the electoral, civic, and economic participation of the nonwhite and the non-male.

White men are at the center, our normative citizen, despite being only around a third of the nation’s population. Their outsize power is measurable by the fact that they still — nearly 140 years after the passage of the 15th Amendment, not quite 100 years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, and more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts — hold roughly two-thirds of elected offices in federal, state, and local legislatures. We have had 92 presidents and vice-presidents. One-hundred percent of them have been men, and more than 99 percent white men.

But it’s not just in the numbers; it’s also in the quotidian realities of living in this country. The suffocating power of our minority rule is evidenced by the fact that we’re always busy worrying about the humanity — the comfort and the dignity — of white men, at the same time discouraging disruptive challenge to their authority.

Read the rest at the link above. It’s powerful–especially her defense of Maxine Waters and her condemnation of Chuck Shumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Bernie Sanders for trying to silence her.

This piece at Slate expresses what many of us are feeling right now: The America We Thought We Knew Is Gone, by Lili Loofbourow

Because countries are not people, it’s tricky to translate whatever “loving one’s country” means—it’s quite abstract—into the language of heartbreak. It sounds melodramatic. What can heartbreak mean as a civic matter? And yet it is what I feel.

A corrupt but weak president—this has been my comfort, his weakness—has been given a gift that will make him strong. After upholding the travel ban, weakening labor unions, and allowing crisis pregnancy centers to misrepresent themselves to women seeking help, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he was retiring before the midterm elections. That decision empowers a reality-television star who lost the popular vote by millions to reform the Supreme Court for at least a generation—a court that rather than rebut his claim to power has affirmed it. In his own branch, he asked James Comey for a loyalty oath and lamented not getting one from Jeff Sessions, whom he has repeatedly condemned for recusing himself in the Russia investigation, saying he never would have hired him as attorney general had he known. There is every reason to think he will do the same for a Supreme Court nominee. When Neil Gorsuch—who took the seat Mitch McConnell withheld from Merrick Garland—seemed to distance himself from the man who offered him the robes, Donald Trump reportedly considered pulling the nomination. Trump has said he will pardon himself if he needs to, a controversial stance that would likely need approval from the high court. Now he has been given a way to assure it. He holds the power over the person who can rubber-stamp him into invulnerability.

The capitulation of two branches of government to a terrifying third, elected by a minority, is not how our government was envisioned. That is frightening. It is also, depending on the America you want to live in, painful.

The problem isn’t simply that Trump—who styles himself a “law and order” president—values neither: He objected to the Central Park Five’s going free, despite the DNA evidence proving their innocence. He wanted their false imprisonment. It isn’t just that he advocates against due process, tars asylum applicants as criminals, and characterizes even their children as an “infestation.” It isn’t simply that he sees black men as intrinsically guilty, the same as brown refugees. It’s that he shouts about law and order while upholding the immunity of the rich and the cruel: He pardoned Joe Arpaio, who tortured undocumented immigrants in unlivable tent cities he openly called concentration camps, and, in pardoning Dinesh D’Souza, has signaled he will pardon his cronies if they are convicted for illegally helping him.

This is open corruption, and it has been openly embraced.

That fills me with grief, but my grief can’t make it untrue. And if this benthic sadness has any value, it’s that clarity. There is no more equivocating to do. You don’t have to equivocate about Trump’s corruption—or Wilbur Ross’, or Scott Pruitt’s. You don’t have to parse whether a “falsehood” is really a “lie.” It is simply true that the president is corrupt and that his supporters celebrate his corruption. That twisted power has enfeebled the institutions that depend on the very things the president would call weak—honesty and honor and service. As those institutions collapse, so does a polity capable of reasoning without them.

Head over to Slate to read the rest.

That’s all I have. Whatever you do today, may the Goddess be with you. Take care of yourselves.

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12 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: Families Belong Together”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Have a nice weekend, Sky Dancers!

    • Delphyne49 says:

      You, too, BB!

      Great post – Rebecca’s column is spectacular! I’m heading over to Slate to read the other link.

      • NW Luna says:

        Me too.

      • NW Luna says:

        The capitulation of two branches of government to a terrifying third, elected by a minority…

        The photo with Loofbourow’s article — the faces of the people in Javits Center on election night showing shock and horror and grief.

  2. NW Luna says:

  3. NW Luna says:

    I hope the timing won’t change.

  4. NW Luna says:

    So glad to see my state as one which protects women’s rights to bodily autonomy. I was still quite young when our state passed this law. My mother voted for it. My father did also “because she voted for it.”

    • bostonboomer says:

      Oh boy. I just found out Massachusetts’ pre-Roe abortion ban is still on the books. They are trying to pass a new law right now to protect abortion rights. Anyone from MA should call their state reps. The new law repealing the old laws has passed the state senate and is in the house right now.

      • bostonboomer says:

        From the Globe:

        Even if a more conservative Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade in the wake of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, abortion will likely remain legal in Massachusetts, despite the fact that the deep-blue state is one of 10 with pre-Roe abortion bans still on the books.

        The state Senate in January unanimously passed a bill dubbed the NASTY Women Act that would scrap a 19th-century Massachusetts ban on abortions, which lawmakers never formally repealed after the 1973 Roe decision made the ban unenforceable.

  5. dakinikat says:

    I went. I changed. I marched.

    I wonder what the numbers will show?

  6. NW Luna says: