Friday Reads

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

Well, another week has gone and I’m not going to say it was a good one for those of us that care about our country and the rule of law. Trump’s visit to Normandy Beach just seemed at odds with reality.  He read a speech basically praising the results of the ultimate sacrifice of Allied forces while actively trying to end everything that resulted from that sacrifice.  I am unable to process why some one so unconcerned with the past or the future of humanity is given a platform.  I can’t even think about what his competitive Independence Day spectacle will bring to the Lincoln Monument.

Here’s a few WTF headlines that I just can’t stomach.

From the AP: “US opens new mass facility in Texas for migrant children” written b

The federal government is opening a new mass facility to hold migrant children in Texas and considering detaining hundreds more youths on three military bases around the country, adding up to 3,000 new beds to the already overtaxed system.

The new emergency facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, will hold as many as 1,600 teens in a complex that once housed oil field workers on government-leased land near the border, said Mark Weber, a spokesman for Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The agency is also weighing using Army and Air Force bases in Georgia, Montana and Oklahoma to house an additional 1,400 kids in the coming weeks, amid the influx of children traveling to the U.S. alone. Most of the children crossed the border without their parents, escaping violence and corruption in Central America, and are held in government custody while authorities determine if they can be released to relatives or family friends.

And, of course, these camps are basically for profit prisons. 

Prison abolition movements and the movement to Abolish ICE are intimately linked not only through activist ideology, but also through their communities’ shared history. Mass incarceration and the broken immigration system are both connected to U.S. policies of drug criminalization and border enforcement beginning with the War on Drugs in the 1980s and ramped up with the subsequent War on Terror. The term “immigration industrial complex,” which sociologist Tanya Golash-Boza coined in 2009, draws parallels between mass deportation and mass incarceration, specifically the confluence in both of private and powerful interests, fear mongering, and “other-ization” of targeted communities.

The leading corporations running the private immigrant detention system, CoreCivic and GEO group, are the same corporations that have profited for decades off the mass incarceration of Black and Brown communities. As these corporations rake in exorbitant profits from the detention of undocumented migrants with massiveICE contracts, detention itself serves as a central mechanism of the ICE’s state-sanctioned repression and abuse. In FY 2018, CoreCivic’s contracts alone amounted to $7.4 billion. This profit motive is a central component of activists’ calls for ICE’s abolition. Human rights groups repeatedly have exposed inhumane conditions in ICE detention, as well as brutal treatment, sexual abuse, and extreme medical neglect. Rates of miscarriage in ICE detention have doubled in recent years, and 164 migrants died in ICE custody between 2003 and 2017, according to ICE data. Leading causes of death in the report include asphyxia, heart failure, and suicide. Twenty-two migrants have died in ICE custody since the body published its report on detainee deaths in 2017.

Meanwhile, the Trump family crime syndicate used taxpayer dollars to send its members and minions on holiday.  From WAPO:  “‘These boys were on a holiday’: Trump family members promote themselves, and businesses, on European trip.”

The question of who is paying for the family members’ participation — and whether American taxpayers will be on the hook — has emerged as an unresolved subplot, with newspapers in Scotland and London scouring State Department databases and reporting on the fancy hotels and expensive limousines contracted by the U.S. government.

During the trip, the Trump children have documented their exploits in Instagram posts — touring Buckingham Palace! observing the aerial flyover in Normandy! pouring pints behind the bar in Doonbeg! — in a modern-day slide show of “wish-you-were-here!” family vacation moments for the public back home. At times, the images appeared discordant with the aims of a U.S. government delegation representing the nation’s geostrategic interests.

“Questions surrounding the family on this trip come from Trump’s decision not to divest from his business and hiring Ivanka and Jared,” said John Wonderlich, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, an open-government advocacy group that has sought to document potential conflicts of interest for the Trump family.

“It’s not utterly inappropriate for family members to be involved in a state dinner, but are they trying to show they are united and that the business and family interests are the same?” Wonderlich said. “We’re always left in doubt about what their intentions are. You can’t say it’s just a family.”

Trump aides scoffed at such questions and privately pointed out that past presidents have traveled with family members, including children. Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush brought their children on some foreign trips, and former aides said there was nothing inherently untoward about such arrangements.

Susan Glasser-writing for the New Yorker–reminds us how incensed Republicans would be if any Democrat had done any of this in her piece “Republicans Have Become the Except-When-Trump-Does-It Party”.

Even while he was in Europe this week, gushing about the “fantastic” Royal Family and the “tremendous crowds of well-wishers,” Trump was pushing his fellow-Republicans to agree to a course that virtually none of them supports as a matter of policy or principle. Trump is threatening to impose a series of punitive tariffs on Mexico unless it does the impossible and somehow halts the escalating flow of drugs and migrants across the border. Trump announced his tariff threat in a tweet a few days before heading to Europe, leaving Vice-President Mike Pence and various advisers behind in Washington to deal with the fallout. High-level Mexican officials rushed to the U.S. capital to try to negotiate a way out before Trump’s self-imposed Monday deadline, while a larger-than-usual group of Republican senators tried, sounding almost desperate at times, to signal their opposition to the tariffs without enraging the President. Words like “revolt” and “rebellion” were thrown around in the coverage.

But Trump, thousands of miles away, didn’t mind. In fact, he seemed delighted by the fuss his tariff plan had kicked up. “Tariffs are a beautiful thing,” he told Ingraham in that same Fox News interview, at the American cemetery in Normandy. “It’s a beautiful word if you know how to use them properly.” And no, he said, he wasn’t really worried about his party either. “Republicans should love what I’m doing,” he told her, while admitting that even he wasn’t sure where this is all going to lead.

Once again, we see this headline: “Trump plans to declare new national emergency to impose tariffs”.

President Trump is planning to declare a new national emergency in order to implement sweeping tariffs on Mexico over the flow of Central American migrants to the U.S., according to a draft document of the declaration reviewed by The Hill.

According to the document, the new emergency is necessary due to “the failure of the Government of Mexico to take effective action to reduce the mass migration of aliens illegally crossing into the United States through Mexico.”

The new emergency declaration would follow a February emergency declaration, which Trump used to justify sending National Guard troops to support Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the southern border.

The draft document signals that the White House believes that imposing the tariffs under the February emergency declaration might not pass legal muster. But it remains unclear if a final decision has been made to invoke another emergency. The White House did not answer questions about the document.

Officials from the White House counsel’s office and the Justice Department floated the idea of a new declaration this week during a closed-door meeting with Republican senators.

The White House has said it plans to impose the tariffs under the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which allows the president to take unilateral action to counter an “unusual and extraordinary threat” in times of national emergency.

The Equity Markets and the economy are showing signs of just how bad these Tariffs have hit US businesses and consumers.  Meanwhile, the survivors of real emergency continue to wait for help from the Federal Government.  My daughter just got back from Puerto Rico where she spent the week while her husband was working with one of the manufacturing plants there. She said there were basically more wild horses running around the countryside than people living there.  We continue to hear stories of flooding and the Florida hurricane survivors not to mention those impacted by Wild Fires.  Our priorities these days are as twisted as Trump’s mind and amorality.  From CNBC: “Jobs creation slows dramatically with payrolls up just 75,000 in May, much worse than expected”.

Job creation decelerated strongly in May, with nonfarm payrolls up by just 75,000 even as the unemployment rate remained at a 50-year low, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The decline was the second in four months that payrolls increased by less than 100,000 as the labor market continues to show signs of weakening. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a gain of 180,000.

In addition to the weak total for May, the previous two months’ reports saw substantial downward revisions. March’s count fell from 189,000 to 153,000 and the April total was taken down to 224,000 from 263,000, for a total reduction of 75,000 jobs.

Stock futures fell and bond yields dropped in reaction to the report. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures turned negative before reversing course and turning positive. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to its lowest level since September 2017.

I’m personally still have a problem with all this.  It’s especially true because here’s the other side:

Joe Biden reverses course on Hyde abortion amendment  —  ATLANTA (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is reversing course and declaring that he no longer supports a long-standing congressional ban on using federal health care money to pay for abortions.
House Backs Off Holding Barr in Contempt in New Resolution  —  WASHINGTON — After weeks of pledging to hold Attorney General William P. Barr and the former White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II in contempt for defying subpoenas, House Democrats appear poised to pursue an alternative path to try to force them into sharing information.

The 59 House Democrats (and one Republican) who support impeachment

Debates are being held on the best approach to get rid of Trump.  I’d like to offer up that replacing him with Joe Biden is a very bad idea and that I would like to see him rot in jail.  But, doesn’t our constitution demand an impeachment inquiry at the very least?

(CNN)At a frank meeting this week, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler again lobbied to win Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s support for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Nadler, who appealed to the speaker that the House’s court cases against the Trump administration would be bolstered by launching an impeachment inquiry, also offered two new arguments in the hopes of convincing Pelosi from moving off her steadfast opposition, according to a source with knowledge of the meeting.

First, Nadler argued opening an impeachment probe would centralize the House’s sprawling investigations now spread across various panels into just one: The House Judiciary Committee. He argued that the other committees looking into various Trump controversies and scandals could instead focus on moving the party’s legislative agenda, while his panel — with its unique expertise — would investigate the alleged crimes of Trump before deciding whether to formally vote on articles of impeachment. 

Secondly, Nadler made a technical argument that it would be easier for lawmakers to discuss the President’s alleged offenses on the House floor and in committees during a formal impeachment inquiry because House rules forbid members from disparaging individuals.

But Nadler met powerful resistance. 

First was from Pelosi, who said she would rather see Trump “in prison” than impeached, according to Politico. He was also rebuffed by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, who himself is also playing a major role investigating Trump and his conduct while in office, according to another source familiar with the matter.

The previously unreported details on Nadler’s pitch to Pelosi offer new insight into the under-the-radar effort by the House Judiciary chairman to try to sway the speaker to reconsider her opposition to launching an impeachment probe. It comes amid a fierce debate among congressional Democrats and presidential hopefuls about whether to impeach the President heading into the 2020 campaign.

All I know is something needs to be done.  There is not enough dye in the world to stop the amount of gray hair that’s popping up all over me and I’m long pass trying.  This is not only not normal.  It’s not consititutional.  Please, some one!  Stop this Crazy Madman!  Make a D-Day  plan to storm Trump Towers!

CBS Reports (1964): “D-Day Plus 20 Years – Eisenhower Returns to Normandy” shows another President returning to the Beaches.

The Allied invasion of Nazi-controlled France on June 6, 1944 was the largest military invasion in history, involving nearly 160,000 service members arriving by ship and air at Normandy. Its success turned the tide of World War II. Two decades after D-Day, former Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was Supreme Commander in charge of the operation, returned to Normandy. Eisenhower talked with CBS News’ Walter Cronkite about his experiences in June 1944, the tactical decisions behind Operation Overlord, and how British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was talked out of joining the invading forces. Eisenhower and Cronkite visited the Allies’ war room on England’s southern coast; the coast of France, including Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach; and the American military cemetery at St. Laurent-on-the-Sea. This special broadcast of “CBS Reports,” featuring newsreel footage of the invasion, originally aired in 19 countries around the world on June 5, 1964.

14 Comments on “Friday Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Trump is nuts. Clearly insane.

    But he always has been. Look back at his pretense of being a Trump publicist when he was trying to get publicity for himself. Or his “talks” with Howard Stern that bordered on the obscene. And this is who we have in office – a raving lunatic.

    I have read Michael Wolff’s latest book “Siege” which takes up where the last one left off. He just gets worse over time. Lazy, indifferent to the office, deliberately uninformed, jaw dropping ignorant. Yet convinced of his own magnificence.

    He does not like people. He has few “friends”. He spends most of his time in the family quarters watching t.v. and making calls to the likes of Hannity and Lou Dobbs who “direct” his actions. He has zero philosophy nor a moral center. He despises everyone around him with the exception of Ivanka. (Make of that what you will.) He dislikes his sons and says so.

    Melania spends much of her time keeping Barron away from him. He has zero interest in this child. She spends little time in the WH, instead stays in a house in Maryland where her parents live in. Their marriage is a sham according to this book and told to Wolff by Steve Bannon, his “reporter” of all things Trump.

    The staff that surrounds him, even those who have left, consider him to be crazy. How is that for this man considered the “leader of the free world”? Most of the GOP hate his guts. They dread having to meet with him and if they cannot hold his attention he walks out of the room without explanation.

    He needs to be impeached. The Mueller Report clearly contains the obstruction he has brought forth to cover his crimes.

    The Dems must act to prevent this from ever happening again. The qiuestion remains: will they do it?

    • dakinikat says:

      Every one in the entire District seems at a complete loss about what to do to get rid of him … what are they afraid of?

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m about half way through the new Wolff book. It’s quite interesting. And yes, Trump is insane and now his insanity is even worse with dementia.

  2. Fannie says:

    Great post, thank you. After reading the article on Immigration Industrial Complex and the DHS budget when the report was written, they received 40.6 billion…………2018, 47.5 billion.. now they want 63.8 billion. Trump can’t figure how to get his border money out of the DHS budget. This really spells trouble for our country, for human rights. Just horrible.

  3. Enheduanna says:

    Thanks for the Eisenhower interview clip – I was wanting to see that. I’ve got it on my watch list. Watched another special last night that said the average age of those troops landing on the beaches was 22. Heartbreaking.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend. It’s finally raining here in ATL thank goodness.