Posted: April 12, 2019 Filed under: ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement, immigration, Injustice system, morning reads, NSA, National Security Agency | Tags: Trump's Enemies list
Good Morning Sky Dancers!
I’m busy trying to finish up grades here and get break started so I’m going to put up a series of things that clearly demonstrate that we have a lawless administration that must be stopped. Congress and the Courts must do their jobs more urgently than any time in our history. I know BB did a great job of covering this yesterday but there is more information and some astounding reporting at WAPO on Trump’s plans to disrupt the hometowns of his political rivals using Asylum Seekers and other folks seeking to cross the US Border. He has also installed an eager crony at the helm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
There is continuing evidence that the Trump administration will clearly ignore law and the Constitution’s protections to ethnically cleanse our southern border. Trump massacred the professionals at the DHS to bring this disgrace of a human being to the top.
Most of the renditions today of Lady Liberty can be found at Web Urbanist: “Artistic Liberties: 15 Faces of the Statue of Lady Liberty”.
From Buzzfeed: “An ICE Official Who Said Detention Was “More Like Summer Camp” Will Now Lead The Agency. “It’s hard to imagine what’s tougher than what Nielsen and Vitiello were doing, but assuming there is such a thing, Matt is certainly up to the task,” said a former senior ICE official.”
Trump told reporters last week that he pulled acting director Ron Vitiello’s nomination to lead ICE because he wanted to go in a “tougher” direction. Vitiello informed ICE employees that he will leave the role and resign Friday.
“Beginning tomorrow I will be out of the office, during which time Acting Deputy Director Matt Albence will be leading the agency,” he wrote to ICE employees Thursday.
A former senior ICE official said of Albence: “He’s definitely enforcement minded and has long been working on making [deportation officers] more efficient and more effective at enforcing the immigration laws in the interior. It’s hard to imagine what’s tougher than what Nielsen and Vitiello were doing, but assuming there is such a thing, Matt is certainly up to the task.”
The former official said that Albence “will be very willing to follow through on implementation.”
The new acting leader first began his career at the former Immigration and Naturalization Service in the mid-’90s before moving to the Transportation Security Administration and then returning to ICE in a position overseeing operations and field training among other things. Albence has moved up the ranks at ICE since 2012, when he became a deputy assistant director.
White House officials have tried to pressure U.S. immigration authorities to release detainees onto the streets of “sanctuary cities” to retaliate against President Trump’s political adversaries, according to Department of Homeland Security officials and email messages reviewed by The Washington Post.
Trump administration officials have proposed transporting detained immigrants to sanctuary cities at least twice in the past six months — once in November, as a migrant caravan approached the U.S. southern border, and again in February, amid a standoff with Democrats over funding for Trump’s border wall.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco was among those the White House wanted to target, according to DHS officials. The administration also considered releasing detainees in other Democratic strongholds.
(Image via Neatorama)
he actual illustration found on the U.S. patent that was filed by Frenchman Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, on January 2, 1870.
Besides using the DOJ to stall bringing his crime syndicate to justice, Trump has told Mnunchin to ignore the law that requires the IRS to turn Trump’s Taxes over to Congress. This is from the Daily Beast and David Cay Johnston.
The reason will no doubt surprise those who think Trump can thumb his nose at the law governing congressional access to anyone’s tax returns, including his. It will for sure shock Trump, who claims that “the law is 100 percent on my side.”
The exact opposite is true.
Under Section 6103 of our tax code, Treasury officials “shall” turn over the tax returns “upon written request” of the chair of either congressional tax committee or the federal employee who runs Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation. No request has ever been refused, a host of former congressional tax aides tell me.
There is, however, a law requiring every federal “employee” who touches the tax system to do their duty or be removed from office.
The crystal-clear language of this law applies to Trump, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Mnuchin and Rettig, federal employees all.
President Donald Trump has spent the last few weeks trying to bend to his will what are arguably three of the federal government’s least political institutions – the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Reserve and Department of Justice.
Frustrated by the organizations’ deliberate pace and the substance of their decision-making, Trump has tried to remake them in his own image. He’s purging staffers who disagreed with him, or whom he felt were insufficiently loyal at DHS, and he hopes to stock the Fed with vocal political allies who can do his bidding on monetary policy.
Trump cares little about how such moves will be perceived, former administration officials and Republicans close to the White House say. They argue he always prefers to push the boundaries of what is possible, legally and otherwise. And in year three of his presidency, he’s pushing harder than ever before.
On immigration, Trump has never grasped why the U.S. government could not simply hold undocumented immigrants indefinitely as they awaited immigration court proceedings, according to one person close to DHS. This so-called “catch and release” policy frustrated him, as if the government’s due process should not extend to everyone on U.S. soil. The president reportedly clashed with now-ousted DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as he sought to bar all asylum seekers from entering the country, in violation of existing law.
Every president chafes at being stymied by Congress or the law, noted Timothy Naftali, a historian and former head of the Nixon Presidential Library. What makes Trump’s actions so unprecedented, he said, is the president’s reaction: Trump appears willing to steamroll through the constraints that American presidents have traditionally respected.
“Instead of learning to become presidential and accepting the structure of the American presidency, he is trying to reshape it,” Naftali said. “He has removed anyone, it appears, who stood up to him and said he cannot do this. This is a huge test of our institutions.”
I’m going to leave all of this here to return to grading but with the fear that the people remaining in the institutions may not have a fighting chance against all this chaos and blatant disrespect for rule of law. We can not afford complacency. This process has been put on overdrive and we must stop it. Congress has remedies. They should start using them.
Posted: November 4, 2018 Filed under: 2018 elections, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Democratic Politics, Donald Trump, Feminists, GLBT Rights, Human Rights, immigration, indefinite detention, Journalism, Media, morning reads, open thread, Psychopaths in charge, racism, Republican politics, right wing hate grouups, SCOTUS, the GOP, tRump crimes against humanity, U.S. Politics, Voting Rights, white nationalists | Tags: #WontBeErased, Atlanta Roller Girls, Boston Derby, Boston Roller Derby, North Georgia Roller Girls, WFTDA
Actor Max Schreck, of Nosferatu fame….
Today’s post is complemented with images of famous people when they were young…some may surprise you…others will not. I hope you enjoy the show.
Earlier this week, Pence came to Georgia. One of my fellow Roller Girls showed up to protest:
I am so proud of Pixie! It takes guts to stand there, by yourself…and she did get harassed by tRump supporters. Video clip of her interview with the local news station at this link.
Channel 9 Lone Protestor Outside Rally
One thing about the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association), they are proactive when it comes to issues and politics that strike out at causes and the culture Roller Derby stands up for…for instance:
The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Condemns Discriminatory Policy in the US – WFTDA
In recent days, the United States executive branch has suggested federal policy changes may be coming that would significantly harm transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, intersex, and other gender nonconforming members of our communities. As the governing body for the sport of roller derby, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) denounces these proposed changes, which would be in direct opposition to the inclusive spirit of our roller derby community. We ask other sports governing bodies, amateur and professional, as well as organizations and individuals who recognize the value of inclusivity in sport to join us in pushing back on these discriminatory policies.
As a nonprofit proudly based in Austin, Texas, the WFTDA is saddened to hear of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ interest in defining gender as a biological condition. In the eyes of the WFTDA, this is an attack on our core values as an organization.
In 1972, Title IX was introduced as part of the U.S. Education Amendments, to end “discrimination on the basis of sex.” Title IX specifically offered protections and space for women in amateur sports, addressing the collegiate system directly. In recent years, the NCAA has taken steps to begin extending these protections to transgender athletes wishing to compete at the highest level in their chosen sports, pushing Title IX to end discrimination not just on the basis of assigned sex, but also on the basis of gender expression and transgender status.
The WFTDA has also worked throughout its existence to re-evaluate its own gender policies and create its current gender statement, at the encouragement of the WFTDA community as well as our colleagues in the Junior Roller Derby Association, the Men’s Roller Derby Association, and other organizations that have contributed significantly to gender-expansive competition. Together, we recognize that a commitment to inclusivity makes our sport brighter and more competitive. Diversity adds complexity and nuance that would not otherwise exist on eight wheels. It’s our collective obligation to advocate for the human rights of our membership — especially those who have historically faced disproportionately larger barriers to inclusion.
Please, go to the link to read the rest of the statement. There is a lot more there to chew on.
As you can also see, they encourage their teams to participate in the political discussion:
Arizona Roller Derby Announces the New Names of its International Travel Teams – Arizona Roller Derby
In 2004, AZRD agreed to play the Texas Rollergirls (TXRG) in the first interstate-bout of the modern era. As part of creating its first All-Star team, AZRD members selected the name Tent City Terrors, a satirical political statement in reference to Arizona’s notorious outdoor jail. Many of the skaters on the original team selected a second identity separate from that of their home team, such as “Sheriff Shutyerpaio”. When it was formed, it was unclear when or how many more games the team would play; at the time, there was no flat track organization nor rule set. Still, the name and uniform stuck through the first national tournament held in 2006, and has been used by the team since.
Yeah, a team name…plus derby player’s names to make a political statement. Check out a few other examples below:
Here are a few more links on politics and WFTDA and Roller Derby this:
A few articles on gender issues and concentrating on Derby as an LGBTQ inclusive sport.
WFTDA Gender Statement – WFTDA
Making Inclusivity Happen in Roller Derby – The Apex
The WFTDA Challenges ESPN to Improve Their Relationship with Non – NBC2 News
Roller derby is mashing up gender norms in sport – here’s how
Roller Derby and promoting the Indigenous Community:
Celebrating Indigenous Culture and Community in Roller Derby – WFTDA
Team Indigenous Talks Politics – WiSP Sports | conversations from the world of women’s sports-‘MICK SWAGGER’ AND ‘JUMPY MCGEE’ DISCUSS HOT TOPICS AND THE POLITICS OF TEAM INDIGENOUS AND THE WFTDA
Here is a statement back when tRump issued the fucking Muslim travel ban:
WFTDA Issues Statement Against US Travel Ban – WFTDA
It really makes me proud to be a part of the North Georgia Roller Girls ….which is a WFTDA team associated with Peach State Roller Derby; with the WFTDA backing us, we should stand up for the causes that are a part of the movement that is Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby…it is wonderful to see women like Abby/Pixie embracing the Culture of WFTDA. I applaud her efforts. Brava!
As for the NGRG…we start playing our official first games in March of 2019, so I will definitely keep you all up to date with that nugget of derby news from time to time.
Oh, yeah…more young celebrity pictures:
So back to the shit storm that is tRump.
This little Nazi Youth is none other than tRump himself.
Trump’s attack on birthright citizenship betrays his ignorance – and his weakness | Corey Brettschneider | Opinion | The Guardian
The 14th amendment to the constitution confirms that all Americans are born equal. One immigrant-hating lover of dictators cannot change that with a simple stroke of his pen
In an interview that will air in full on Sunday, Donald Trump reveals that he wants to end birthright citizenship through executive order. But he doesn’t have that power. An executive order cannot reverse the guarantee of citizenship to anyone born in the United States that is enshrined in the constitution.
After the civil war, Congress sought to grant full citizenship to African Americans, who had been denied it under the Dred Scottsupreme court decision. Yet when it passed the 14th amendment in 1868, Congress went further. It wrote a rule making it clear that any person, regardless of ethnicity or national origin, had a right to citizenship upon being born in the US.
The relevant portion of the 14th amendment reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The phrase about jurisdiction was meant to exclude the children of ambassadors and tribal Native Americans, who until 1924 were regarded as citizens of separate sovereign nations.
These words about birthright citizenship reflect the wider values of the 14th amendment, which also guarantees “equal protection of the laws” for all persons. Together with the constitution’s ban on royal titles in Article I, Section 9, the document stands for the idea that the US does not condone hereditary hierarchy – or any legal distinction based on birth or parentage, ideas associated with aristocratic societies. In the US, everyone starts on the same plane.
I also think this is yet another form of tRumpian white nationalist intimidation. Considering the past 2013 Scalia Supreme Court decision which removed the Voting Rights portion of Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Remember the Civil Rights Act will again be revisited soon enough.)
This way of sending these outright threats goes far to back the claims of fascism that Boston Boomer discuss in her post from yesterday.
But back to the the op/ed up top. It goes on to discuss the first case that came before the SCOTUS, in 1898… United States v Wong Kim Ark. Please read the rest to learn more…
I’m going to stick with the Guardian for the next few links, I think it will give us a good look from a different perspective.
‘This is Georgia’: hate, hope and history in election that shows the clash of two Americas | US news | The Guardian
Hey, what a fucking surprise. Georgia’s election shit is making news over in the UK!
“The consequences of any of us staying home really are profound because America’s at a crossroads,” he warned. “The healthcare of millions of people is on the ballot. Making sure working families get a fair shake is on the ballot. But maybe most of all, the character of our country is on the ballot.”
It was not meant to be like this. America’s first black president hoped to steer the nation on an upward trajectory. Then came Donald Trump, a man endorsed by white supremacists and the breathing embodiment of everything Obama is not. On Tuesday, these two radically opposing visions of “the character of our country” will collide at the ballot box. Georgia is ground zero.
I live in ground zero. I know the crap first hand. Ugh.
From Seinfeld to bagels, it was always easy to be a Jew in America. What changed? | Hadley Freeman | News | The Guardian by Hadley Freeman.
Recently a clutch of American relatives came to visit me in London. I don’t get to see my extended family so much these days, but thanks to the internet they see me all the time, reading my articles and sending messages so supportive they occasionally reject English as insufficiently adoring and opt for Yiddish (“I’m kvelling!”). They ask me about the different things I’ve been writing about: celebrities, feminism, and so on. But when they made the transatlantic trip this time there was a rare consensus: they all wanted to talk about the rise of antisemitism in Europe.
“What is going on? It’s just crazy!” one uncle said to me after I wrote about protesting against antisemitism in British politics. We discussed the rise in verbal and physical attacks on Jews in the UK, the election of Viktor Orbán in Hungary, the Law and Justice party in Poland. He was especially horrified by the murder of 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris. “It is just unimaginable,” my cousin said.
Dietrich was one of many German born actors/entertainers who spoke out and actively campaigned against Hitler during WWII.
‘Vaya con Dios:’ the impossible life of an immigration judge at the US border | US news | The Guardian
Robert Brack, who at one point had the heaviest caseload of any federal judge in the US, pleads for justice for the immigrants he sees every day
One more link for today’s post…
Jon Stewart is right: How long will the media continue to play Trump’s game?
A fleeting moment within the teaser for Axios’s interview with Donald Trump, the centerpiece of Sunday’s “Axios on HBO,” tells all you need to know about how the president truly feels about his relationship to the media.
Moments after Jim VandeHei admits to Trump that his “enemy of the people” rhetoric scares the hell out of him, the reporter (and co-founder of the media site) tells the president, “You are, like, the most powerful man in the world.”
Reflexively Trump looks off-camera and grins, briefly, his face flush with what appears to be self-satisfaction. There was concentrated smugness in that expression, tinged with a pugilist’s cruelty.
In that scene, VandeHei points out the extreme irresponsibility of any leader of the free world using his position and platform to vilify an entire class of people, and using that rhetoric to stoke the emotions of the people who constitute his base.
Ever the attention-hungry reality show star, Trump softly replies, “They like me more because of it,” calling his dangerous hyperbolic term the only way he can fight back. That satisfied grin says he knows he’s winning.
Axios on HBO,” premiering Sunday at 6:30 p.m., is one of many specials the news site will run on the premium cable channel as part of a partnership. HBO has been steadily expanding its news and information footprint. And that in itself indicates how malleable our concept of news has become under Trump’s administration.
This is the interview where tRump announces he is going to snap his fingers…click his heels and poof, no more “14th Amendment.”
So what are you finding today as we count down to Tuesday’s election?
This is an open thread.
Posted: July 29, 2018 Filed under: 2016 elections, 2018 elections, 2020 Elections, abortion rights, Bailout Blues, Congress, corruption, Discrimination against women, Donald Trump, double-speak, Elections, Human Rights, ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement, immigration, morning reads, open thread, racism, Rape Culture, Refugees, refugees from Central and South America, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Rights, Russia, Russian Trump Investigation, the GOP, tRump crimes against humanity, U.S. Politics, Violence against women, War on Women, Women's Healthcare
A lot of shit went down this week, the reason I chose to highlight the quote up top is simply because of the key word: Regime.
Many news outlets made quite a point about Mike Pompeo’s Freudian slip, referring to the tRump Administration as “this regime.”
THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER Senate Grills Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Aired 4:30-5p ET CNN.com – Transcripts
“Sanctions that didn’t exist before this regime took office.” – Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State.
Now, I read the transcript…link above, and honestly…I don’t know what the fuck “regime” Pompeo is talking about; so much bullshit is spewing from his mouth. But if he is indeed referring to tRump…he spoke the words we all know to be true.
I think the following sentiment has been mentioned before:
Take a look at this thread, it deals with Stein and Sanders and Tad Devine…and only strengthens my belief in #FuckBernieSanders :
Here is another long thread to check out, about my state…Georgia and the asshole named Kemp currently running for Governor:
A few tweets that continue to question the 2016 elections.
Here are some associations with tRump and his “friends” ….including the folks that perhaps Putin may have wanted to be excluded from sanctions?
Treasury May Drop Sanctions on a Company Owned by One of Putin’s Allies – Mother Jones
The Trump Administration may lift sanctions on a major Russian company founded by one of Vladimir Putin’s top allies.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin told reporters during G-20 meeting of Finance Ministers last week, that the department may remove sanctions on Rusal, an international aluminum company that controls an estimated 6 percent of the global market that has long been controlled by Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska is a Putin confidant who has been implicated in suspected coordination between Moscow and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, but he has repeatedly denied involvement. As Reuters reported, the department is mulling the move in the wake of a sharp increase in aluminum prices that followed Trump‘s imposition of a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports.
“The objective was to impact the oligarchs, not to impact the hardworking people of Rusal as a result of the sanctions,” Mnunchin told CNN, which reported the comments on Friday.
In April, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on Deripaska and Rusal, along with 24 other Russians, in a delayed action aimedat punishing Russia for interfering the 2016 election. Under the sanctions, the US assets of the individuals and firms listed are frozen, and American citizens are barred from doing business with them. Deripaska was specifically singled out for “having acted or purported to act for, or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, a senior official of the Government of the Russian Federation.”
Updates on tRump’s crimes against humanity:
The latest on that 6 year old who was assaulted at a detention center…she has been reunited with her family.
A 6-Year-Old Detainee Was Reportedly Made to Sign a Responsibility Form After She Was Allegedly Sexually Abused at a Facility | Teen Vogue
A 6-year-old girl was allegedly sexually abused while at an Arizona-based detention center, The Nation reports. The child, who The Nation refers to as D.L., reportedly left Guatemala with her mother because of gang violence; they were separated at the U.S. border on May 24, as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. The 6-year-old was then placed in Casa Glendale, a detention center run by Southwest Key Programs.
According to The Nation, D.L.’s father (who lives in California) received a phone call from Southwest Key on June 11, telling him that another child in the detention center had allegedly “fondled” his daughter and other children. Mark Lane, a spokesperson representing D.L.’s family, told The Nation that the 6-year-old’s father was instructed “not to worry” because “Southwest Key was changing some of its protocols and such abuse would not happen again.” (The report notes that several weeks later, D.L.’s father received another phone call, alerting him to a second instance of alleged abuse by the same suspect.)
The Nation also reports that D.L. was asked to sign a form that was part of the detention center’s “intervention protocol.” The form, a copy of which was obtained by The Nation, noted that D.L. was instructed to maintain her “distance from other youth involved,” and that she was made aware it was her “responsibility to maintain appropriate boundaries with peers/workers.” The document also noted that it was D.L.’s “responsibility to report sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and/or inappropriate sexual behavior.”
Boston Boomer mentioned this yesterday in the comments:
But this is really the disgusting part:
How Catholic Bishops Are Shaping Health Care In Rural America | FiveThirtyEight
Almost as soon as President Trump took office, he began rolling back health care rules that had angered religious groups for much of the last decade. First, Trump signed an executive order declaring that his administration would protect religious freedom. Then, his administration ruled that health insurance plans offered by large employers don’t have to cover contraception for employees, an about-face from a contentious Obama policy. The Department of Health and Human Services created a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, signaling a new focus for the agency. A proposed rule could require all 5,500 hospitals in the U.S. to post notices informing individuals and entities that they are protected from religious discrimination.
The changes are all designed to ensure that employers, health care institutions and providers don’t have to participate in health care practices they object to for ethical or moral reasons. But even decades before the Trump administration moved to roll back Obamacare policies, some religious hospitals — in particular, Catholic hospitals — already had the green light from the government to deny certain treatment options to their patients. These hospitals’ right to refuse care is generally unquestioned, creating a dilemma for the people who walk in the door: What happens when you need or want a standard medical service, but the hospital won’t provide it?
In a growing number of communities around the country, especially in rural areas, patients and physicians have access to just one hospital. And in more and more places, that hospital is Catholic. That sounds innocuous — a hospital is a hospital, after all. But Catholic hospitals are bound by a range of restrictions on care that are determined by religious authorities, with very little input from medical staff. Increasingly, where a patient lives can determine whether Catholic doctrine, and how the local bishop interprets that doctrine, will decide what kind of care she can get.
This is worrying news:
I lit candles for Lewis this morning…I hope he gets better…
Posted: June 24, 2018 Filed under: children, corruption, History, Human Rights, ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement, immigration, indefinite detention, Mental Health, Mid Day Reads, morning reads, open thread, Refugees, refugees from Central and South America, Republican politics, the GOP, Trade, Trump, tRump crimes against humanity, U.S. Politics, US & Canada
Have you heard the latest?
Oh, there is always a latest these days…every few hours, someone from tRumpWorld says or does something outrageous, that had the same “thing” been said or done a couple of years ago…would have been cause for resignations, being fired, impeachment, imprisonment…etc.
Think about it…
I watched Tanner 88 last night, a series I had not seen since it came out in 1988. It made me think about the years, 1988, 1998, and 2018.
1988- Gary Hart…Below is an article from 1987…it reads like a pulp fiction piece when you compare it to the scandals from tRump:
The Destruction of Politician Gary Hart | Vanity Fair
After the crash of his presidential campaign, the smoking pieces of Gary Hart’s life were blown across the front page of every newspaper in America. Gail Sheehy discovered the black box in the wreckage, and has put all the pieces back together. What she found is startling: the world of Donna Rice is much darker than it seemed, and Hart was on a collision course with it all along.
Here is a particular bit to relish:
I examined Donna’s live-in love affair with a big-time cocaine dealer, who is currently serving ten years in a federal penitentiary. Four of Donna’s friends illuminated the rest of the smoke and mirrors in this high-rolling netherworld. It might be seen as the forbidden picture show to which Hart’s hidden, sybaritic side had always longed for admission. Indeed, it might be one in a dizzying series of mirrors on which, according to a senior political consultant who has known and watched him for over a decade, “Gary Hart has been writing in lipstick for years, ‘Stop me before I fuck again.’ ”
Geez, ‘Stop me before I fuck again.’ Could be the title of tRump’s biography…only perhaps a slight change to, fuck it up again?
1998- Bill Clinton…Another look from an article in 1998, yes this one is also from Vanity Fair…keeping with the same magazine for context.
Bill Clinton and Women | Vanity Fair
When the dust of Clinton’s presidency settles, the laws against sexual harassment will still be on the books. But the social sanctions against the behavior will be irretrievably damaged.If you doubt this, look around. In the weeks that followed the Lewinsky scandal, those who had been most affronted by the awkward new social arrangements lately demanded of them shambled out of their caves to beat their chests. Conservative columnist John Leo, for example, crowed in U.S. News & World Report that the scandal was “probably the decade’s high-water mark of euphoria around the water cooler … a chance to break free from the office sex police.”
It’s all very well to protest that we shouldn’t look to our politicians as role models: the saga of Clinton’s sex life is being played out on too large a screen to ignore. You can say until you’re blue in the face that public men are entitled to a realm of privacy; that certain kinds of bad private behavior do not necessarily conflict with political competence, or even genius; and that adultery is not in itself of feminist concern. These are all irrelevancies. This mess is on our hands, and we do not have the luxury of arguing with its existence; the best we can do is call it what it is.
2018- Donald tRump…Again, from Vanity Fair:
Trump’s Prayer-Day Benediction: Paying Off Porn Stars Totally Normal for “People of Wealth” | Vanity Fair
Why is everyone making such a fuss about something all rich people do?
Last night on Fox News, in an unintentionally hilarious attempt to clear his client‘s name, our man Rudolph W. L. Giuliani informed host Sean Hannity that not only did Donald Trump know about the hush money lawyer Michael Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels, but the president repaid the $130,000. In what appeared to be an (unsuccessful) effort to get Trump off for potential campaign finance violations, Giuliani told Hannity that the whole thing was “perfectly legal” because “they funneled it through a law firm, and the president repaid it.” As my colleague Abigail Tracy points out, it doesn’t actually matter where the money came from—Trump’s own pocket, campaign contributions, or elsewhere—or if it was repaid; if, per the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, the money in question was used “for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office,” it’s still a crime! Which made Giuliani’s Thursday morning appearance on Fox & Friends slightly problematic, considering he told the group it was a good thing Cohen made the Daniels story “go away,” as it would have been really bad if “that came out on October 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton.”
But hey, we’re not here to debate what is or isn’t a federal crime—we’re here to discuss the social mores of the 1 percent. After Giuliani finished his media blitz, Trump logged onto Twitter to inform his followers that despite how things might look, paying porn stars six figures for their silence is standard operating procedure for the rich.
Gee, the good old days, when news about tRump was just things like paying off porn stars with campaign funds, conspiring with Russia, money laundering etc.
Anyway, that trip down memory lane was brought to you by the little mini-series Tanner 88, made possible from director producer Robert Altman and writer producer Gary Trudeau. Check it out if you can…it is streaming on Filmstruck and Amazon.
Now here are the links for today:
Fox News segment blows up after Trump advisor tells black Democrat he’s ‘out of his cotton-picking mind’
ox News host Ed Henry had to shut down a discussion on President Donald Trump’s immigration policies on Sunday morning when White House adviser David Bossie told a black Democratic consultant that he was out of his “cotton-picking mind.”
During the segment, Democratic communications expert Joel Payne railed at the Trump administration racist policies. The criticism angered Bossie, who also complained about ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden comparing the child detention centers to a Nazi concentration camp.
“Michael Hayden posted a picture of Auschwitz,” Bossie complained.
““Yeah, that liberal Michael Hayden,” Payne shot back, sarcastically referring to the fact that Hayden is a conservative.
“You are out of your cotton-picking mind!” Bossie blurted, causing Payne to blow up.
“Cotton-picking mind?” Payne exclaimed. “Brother, let me tell you something. Let me tell you something, I got some relatives who picked cotton, okay?”
Host Henry tried to take control as the two guests began yelling at each other, with Henry insisting Bossie intended to say “out of your mind,” before he called an end to the panel.
Video of “confrontation” can be found here:
Fox’s David Bossie Tells Democrat Joel Payne ‘You’re Out of Your Cotton-Picking Mind’ About Dog Whistles | Mediaite
Ed Henry Apologizes for David Bossie’s ‘Cotton-Picking’ Fox & Friends Remarks: ‘We ‘Don’t Agree With That’ | Mediaite
There was another kerfuffle this time between tRump representative, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and an outraged public, Juan Cole takes a look at it here:
Sarah Sanders complains about not being served in Restaurant after Urging same Treatment of Gays, Immigrants
Sara Sanders complained on Twitter about not being served at the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. WaPo reports that the owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, insisted that patrons uphold standards of honesty and compassion, and that Sanders flacks for an “inhumane and unethical” administration, defending Trump’s “cruelest policies.”
Wilkinson’s grounds for not serving the White House spokesperson amounted to personal indecency. It is important to underline that this is what social scientists call an “achieved” status. The grounds had to do with Sanders’ own record of behavior and character, not with anything arbitrary about her.
In contrast, to achieved status, you have ascribed status. The latter is determined by things people think about your inherited characteristics. Being Black or Latino is an ascribed status. Or your family religion as a Catholic or Jew would be in this category of ascribed. It has to do not with your personal standards of character but with what prejudices people might have toward a whole group, of which you are part by virtue typically of inheritance. Even if you converted to Catholicism, e.g., you are not responsible for what all Catholics might have done or for what fanatic Protestants think about Catholicism.
It is wrong to shun people because of their ascribed status. It isn’t wrong to refuse to associate people because of their achieved status.
Sanders achieved her status as pariah in many quarters by lying assiduously on television for a living– by saying things she knew were wrong and/or untrue.
In contrast, Sanders is an advocate for allowing restaurateurs to discriminate on truly objectionable grounds, of ascribed status.
Read the rest at the link.
In connection with this: Expert: Sarah Sanders broke ethics rules with tweet about restaurant | US news | The Guardian
On Saturday, using her official White House account, Sanders posted: “Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington [Virginia] to leave because I work for POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me.
“I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.”
Walter Shaub, federal ethics chief under Barack Obama and briefly Trumpand now a fierce critic of the administration, responded: “Sanders used her official govt account to condemn a private business for personal reasons … she can lob attacks on her own time but not using her official position.”
Since when do these people have any shred of ethics?
Case in point, Jeff Flake went on one of the Sunday shows:
Flake: Trump has ‘unfortunately’ redefined Republican Party | TheHill
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that President Trump has “unfortunately” redefined the Republican Party, and reiterated his calls for the president to face a primary challenge in 2020.
These assholes could do something, but they consistently vote with tRump anyways…fuck them all.
Here is a few other news items:
BNSF: Estimated 230,000 Gallons Of Oil Spilled In Derailment – Talking Points Memo That is a train derailment in Iowa…
Can America’s allies target Trump’s businesses in response to tariffs? – Business Insider
Op-eds in The Houston Chronicle and the Canadian news magazine Maclean’s suggested the only way to quell the rising trade tensions is to strike at Trump’s businesses. While some countries, such as China, have appeared to try and sway the president through treating his family’s businesses more favorably, countries have not made moves to curtail the businesses’ activity within their borders.
Debbie Shon, an international trade lawyer at Quinn Emanuel and a former official in the US Trade Representative’s office under President Bill Clinton, said that effectively hitting Trump’s businesses using trade actions — while legal — would be difficult.
“Looking at Trump’s businesses, I’m not sure what goods he sells that could be subject to tariffs or how you could use trade actions to hit his businesses unless you really tailored some sort of measure targeting key industries like real estate,” Shon told Business Insider.
That would force any country trying to go after Trump to get creative with their response. Scott Gilmore, a social entrepreneur and former Canadian diplomat, suggested in Maclean’s that Canada should use anti-corruption laws to pressure Trump on trade.
Trump-branded skyscrapers in Toronto and Vancouver represent the president’s most prominent business ventures in the country.
Well, I will leave that one to Dak…
At Midnight, Riyadh Erupts in Cheers for Women Drivers–but Women Activists still in Jail –Another one from Juan Cole, give it a read.
Now some updates on the shit happening at both borders:
Strict immigration enforcement extends beyond the border to Maine, Ohio – Axios
The chaos isn’t just in the Southwest. Increased highway checkpoints and workplace raids away from borders are alarming advocates for immigrants.
The big picture: “For 11 hours on Wednesday, drivers who wanted to travel through a remote stretch of northern Maine were asked a simple question: Where were you born?,” the N.Y. Times reports.
More details of other raids at the link.
Boston Boomer linked to this yesterday in the comments: Babies separated from immigrant parents in Miami shelters, lawmaker says | Miami Herald
At least 10 babies and toddlers taken away from their parents after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border are being housed in “tender-age shelters” in Miami-Dade, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the Miami Herald on Saturday.
The Florida lawmaker said the children — who range in age from newborns to 5 year olds — are being sheltered at His House Children’s Home in Miami Gardens and Catholic Charities’ Msgr. Bryan Walsh Children’s Village in Cutler Bay, formerly known as Boys Town.
These facilities are also housing about 88 children ages 6 to 12 who have been separated from their parents, she said.
When the Democratic congresswoman, who represents parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, provided the Miami Herald with these figures, she cited a document given to her by federal officials.
It is very disturbing…especially when you consider the other tweet BB linked to, that the children will be adopted out.
More lawsuits are being filed against tRump: ‘Not knowing anything about my daughter is torture’: Immigrants separated from children at border file lawsuit in federal court – ABC News
As DHS released a statement: Fact Sheet: Zero-Tolerance Prosecution and Family Reunification | Homeland Security
It says over 500 children have been reunited with their families.
- CBP has reunited 522 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) in their custody who were separated from adults as part of the Zero Tolerance initiative. The reunions of an additional 16 UAC who were scheduled to be reunited on June 22, 2018 were delayed due to weather affecting travel and we expect they will all be reunited with their parents within the next 24 hours. There will be a small number of children who were separated for reasons other than zero tolerance that will remain separated: generally only if the familial relationship cannot be confirmed, we believe the adult is a threat to the safety of the child, or the adult is a criminal alien.
All this as one op/ed calls for asylum: The U.S. Should Grant Asylum To All The Families We Separated | HuffPost
In many countries, when thugs take power, they inflict harm on others. Every person then has a choice to make: join the thugs or refuse to harm others. The morally correct choice is the harder one. The brave ones who refuse to be complicit ― such as my clients from El Salvador, Nepal, Haiti and Cameroon who were asked to make this very choice ― were met with the most dire consequences. If they escape, they forsake all they know in hopes that they will be safer in places unknown.
Clinging to the audacious hope that their children’s lives will be better, families flee to the U.S., the nation whose symbol is a Statue of Liberty and whose laws have welcomed millions seeking refuge. In the most cruel bait and switch, President Donald Trump ― aided by his attorney general and secretary of homeland security ― took those children away, stripping from their parents the very reason they risked so much.
They say the most unrelenting grief a person can experience is burying their child. Our country has inflicted this kind of pain on desperate parents. The very least we can do is grant them the right to stay here.
So, have a good afternoon and evening. This is an open thread.
Posted: June 22, 2018 Filed under: ICE Immigration and Customs Enforcement, immigration, indefinite detention, morning reads | Tags: asylum, borders, End family seperation, refuge, Walls
Good Morning Sky Dancers!
I am a Buddhist and took refuge vows over 20 years ago. You become a Buddhist by taking refuge vows. You speak them daily when you wake up and before you sleep and when ever you take a breath. Giving and taking refuge is the most sacred and precious gift. This explanation is from the great Vajryana teacher and master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
In the Buddhist tradition, the purpose of taking refuge is to awaken from confusion and associate oneself with wakefulness. Taking refuge is a matter of commitment and acceptance and, at the same time, of openness and freedom. By taking the refuge vow we commit ourselves to freedom.
Two year Old Yanela Hernandez, a Honduran girl, arrived at the US Border with her Asylum-seeking mother. We have signed treaties, enacted laws, and implemented procedures for seeking Asylum. Yanela Hernandez is now the face of what happens when you hand the sacred duty of giving refuge to soulless rage monsters.
We’ve seen this before in our history. We enslaved Africans and separated families. We snatched indigenous children and institutionalized them in church schools. We put Japanese immigrants in internment centers during World War 2. We send money to Israel where Palestinians are walled into an outdoor concentration camp and shot at with snipers for doing almost anything then we leave Human Rights Councils when our complicity in Crimes Against Humanity becomes something for which do not want to be held to account.
Yanela is the face of our ability to create suffering where none should exist. She joins our terrible history of systemic racism and oppression. Our bleakest history is why we continually move forward to enfranchise more of us in “We the People … in order to form a more perfect union”. This should be our daily task and affirmation.
Sandra’s current immigration proceedings are ‘ongoing’ and she is being housed at a family detention center in Texas.
Denis said that his wife had previously mentioned her wish to go to the United States for a ‘better future’ but did not tell him nor any of their family members that she was planning to make the trek.
‘I didn’t support it. I asked her, why? Why would she want to put our little girl through that? But it was her decision at the end of the day.’
He said that Sandra had always wanted to experience ‘the American dream’ and hoped to find a good job in the States.
Denis, who works as a captain at a port on the coast of Puerto Cortes, explained that things back home were fine but not great, and that his wife was seeking political asylum.
He said that Sandra set out on the 1,800-mile journey with the baby girl on June 3, at 6am, and he has not heard from her since.
‘I never got the chance to say goodbye to my daughter and now all I can do is wait’, he said, adding that he hopes they are either granted political asylum or are sent back home.
Sandra and Yanela “were never separated by border control agents and remain together.” Small kindness can still exist in a policy meant to dehumanize and terrorize potential asylum seekers. My sacred rite of refuge is a tool of oppression in the hands of KKKremlin Caligula and his MAGATs
Eventually, Americans wake up. “There’s nearly a Nixon ’74 level of public support for impeaching Trump.”
There is a truly remarkable number in the most recent CNN poll, conducted by SSRS and out this morning.
In it, 42% of Americans say President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office.
What makes it remarkable is that he’s on par with President Richard Nixon, who 43% of Americans said should be impeached and removed from office in a March 1974 Harris poll. That was after the scale of Watergate came to light, but months before the House started to move against Nixon, who would go on to resign in August 1974 rather than be impeached.
Impeachment requires “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” according to the Constitution, which also lists it as the the only thing for which a President can’t issue a pardon.
Trump has bragged that he certainly has the power to pardon himself but won’t need to use it. Nixon got a pardon from Gerald Ford, the man to whom he gave the keys to the White House.
The 43% supporting Nixon’s impeachment in that Harris poll, by the way, is much higher than the 29% who supported impeachment for President Bill Clinton in 1998. Or, for that matter, the similar number who wanted Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush impeached. As CNN’s Grace Sparks writes, there’s basically “a baseline of pro-impeachment sentiment for a modern president” and Trump far eclipses it.
This isn’t stopping KKKremlin Caligula from his efforts to define humanity into wipipo and those from shithole countries and building a monumental wall to stomp out the symbol of the Statue of Liberty as American’s Beacon. We don’t have beacons with have SS styled ICE agents, militarized police, and bigger barricades to freedom. The Hair Furor wants his wall and we will all suffer unless he gets it. We will also inflict massive suffering on others.
As a national debate raged about family separations at the border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection told a group of South Texas officials earlier this week that the federal government plans to move forward with private land seizures in the Rio Grande Valley to build sections of President Donald Trump’s border wall.
“They said that they got the money, they got the authority and they’re going to move on trying to acquire the land,” said U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat who attended the briefing in McAllen of a few dozen officials from cities, counties and foreign trade zones along the Texas-Mexico border.
Cuellar, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee, said land will be seized to build a section of wallthat’s already been promised funding; on Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill that includes $1.6 billion for about 65 miles of fencing in the Valley.
“In the next week or so we’re going to find out how much more they’ll be asking for the fencing to be built,” Cuellar added.
Everything Trump Touches Dies.
Everything Trump says is wrong and filled with lies.
The DOD has reported widespread contamination at its bases and posts, as well as their surrounding areas. In a March report to the House Armed Services Committee, the department provided a list of 126 military facilities where nearby water supplies contained PFAS levels above the EPA’s standard, and 36 bases with drinking water contamination on site. “In all, 25 Army bases; 50 Air Force bases, 49 Navy or Marine Corps bases and two Defense Logistics Agency sites have tested at higher than acceptable levels for the compounds in either their drinking water or groundwater sources,” the Military Times reported.
The EPA had been assuring people who lived o these bases that they were safe from the potentially harmful effects of PFAS—which range in severity from weight gain to liver disease to cancer—at levels of 70 parts per trillion. But the new ATSDR study says safe levels were actually much lower, from 7 to 11 parts per trillion.
“It’s pretty pervasive problem,” Melanie Benesch, a legislative attorney at the Environmental Working Group, told me. “It’s getting into the groundwater and tap water on bases, so people living on base are of course affected.” Military personnel often live on bases with their families, so those drinking contaminated water can include pregnant women and children—two populations especially vulnerable to PFAS. And these compounds can remain in the body for six to ten years. “Veterans who have since moved off likely continue to have it in their bodies,” Benesch said.
In 2016, the Grand Rapids Press spoke to several veterans who blamed various health problems—spinal defects, thyroid problems, and hypertension—on PFAS-contaminated water at Wurtsmith Air Force Base. They began connecting the dots whlen, that February, Michigan officials warned against consuming well water near the facility due to the presence of the compounds. “We thought that if anything was wrong, of course someone would tell us,” one veteran said. “It feels like we’ve been betrayed.”
And where are families seeking political asylum going to be sent?
And what about our economy? What about the jobs numbers when this continues to roll over American workers in THESE industries? We’ve got a huge big Tent Circus going on here with so many rings you can’t watch them all . We do know they all are run by evil clowns.
It’s just hard to keep up with all the bad news.
But still, we must do it.
And, we must do what we can to stop it.
And stop it now!
The EU tariffs on $3.4 billion worth of U.S. products are in retaliation for duties the Trump administration has imposed on European steel and aluminum.
The EU trade commissioner has acknowledged that the EU targeted some iconic American items to put political pressure on U.S. President Donald Trump and senior U.S. politicians. European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein said the EU’s response is proportionate and reasonable.
Daniel Gros, director for Economy and Finance at the Center for European Policy Studies, said that in a trade war everyone stands to lose, but the U.S. has put itself in a worse position.
“I think the United States is losing more because it has put tariffs on a very important input which very often it doesn’t produce itself,” he said. “The EU perhaps will find a few disgruntled consumers who have to pay more for their Harley Davidsons, but that is not a big loss for us.”
Trump imposed tariffs of 25 percent on EU steel and 10 percent on aluminum on June 1. Europeans claim that breaks global trade rules.
Melania Antoinette Trump has become the face of brutal indifference with her choice of jacket messages yesterday. Our nation sends out weary laughs while we shake our heads. I’ve shared some of it with you today.
These memes might be a sweet moment of hilarity, but don’t let it distract you from the real problem facing us at the moment: the threat of separation facing immigrant families on a daily basis. That one isn’t funny at all.
Oh, and the Pentagon said “fuck you” to the Space Force.
But, the biggest deal right now is how to get these children and parents back together. It’s something we must do now. The MAGATs must know this because the propaganda channel is trying to make us all as heartless and soulless as they are.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): The other thing that I think is the biggest joke that we’re not addressing, it wasn’t President Trump’s idea to have everyone leave from Central and South America in June and well up at the border. Somebody has to deal with this issue. It doesn’t matter who the president is. If you don’t like his policy, he’s also open to your policy rather than just criticizing his. He’s trying to send a message to the other countries. This is not the way you do it because this is a country that has rules and laws. The port of entry will be one thing. We can bolster those laws, but we just can’t let everybody in that wants to be here.
And these are not — like it or not, these aren’t our kids. Show them compassion, but it’s not like he is doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas. These are people from another country and now people are saying that they’re more important than people in our country who are paying taxes and who have needs as well.
AINELY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Yeah, well he just wants to make sure we vet who’s coming across the border, in case it’s MS-13 or drugs.
And the MAGATs are outfront and proud about it:
An Army National Guardsman is being disciplined for posting “they’re lucky we aren’t executing them” on a viral Facebook fundraiser
for immigrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Reuniting these families is currently as chaotic as you might assume. Trump’s executive branch is a combination of empty heads and positions.
Each of the mothers had a different memory of the moment she was separated from her child.
For some, it was outside a Border Patrol station just north of the Rio Grande, shortly after being apprehended. For others, it was after an interrogation by federal authorities in a bitterly cold air-conditioned office.
Jodi Goodwin, an attorney in Harlingen, Tex., has heard more than two dozen variations of those stories from Central American mothers who have been detained for days or weeks without their children. So far, she has not been able to locate a single one of their offspring.
“It’s just a total labyrinth,” she said.
Even though the Trump administration has halted its policy of separating illegal border crossers from their children, many of the over 2,300 youths removed from migrant parents since May 5 remain in shelters and foster homes across the country. The U.S. government has done little to help with the reunifications, attorneys say, prompting them to launch a frantic, improvised effort to find the children — some of them toddlers.
One legal aid organization, the Texas Civil Rights Project, is representing more than 300 parents and has been able to track down only two children.
What’s going on is something none of us should sit out. Do what you can.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?