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…
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
There was another kerfuffle this time between tRump representative, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and an outraged public, Juan Cole takes a look at it here:
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:
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…
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:
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.Show less
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.
If anyone saw the Rep. Pramila Jayapal interview last night on Chris Hayes…you know the absolute terror and disgust that can make an actual pain in your chest.
If you have not seen this interview, stop what you are doing right now, and watch it.
It will be very difficult, and the word difficult is not used lightly…but work your way through it. Feel the bitter pain, that chokes up and taste foul in the back of your throat. For that is the essence of a hateful authoritarian dictatorship rule, and when Hannah Arendt spoke of the Banality of Evil….let me tell you, it starts here….
More from Rep. Jayapal:
The situation is only getting worse….
I don’t know what the fuck the United States is anymore, it sure as hell isn’t a democracy…it has moved on past the point of the “breakdown” period. I truly think we are now at the beginning of the Totalitarian Regime of Trump.
… Arendt notes that loneliness can become both the seedbed and the perilous consequence of the isolation effected by tyrannical regimes:
In isolation, man remains in contact with the world as the human artifice; only when the most elementary form of human creativity, which is the capacity to add something of one’s own to the common world, is destroyed, isolation becomes altogether unbearable… Isolation then becomes loneliness.
While isolation concerns only the political realm of life, loneliness concerns human life as a whole. Totalitarian government, like all tyrannies, certainly could not exist without destroying the public realm of life, that is, without destroying, by isolating men, their political capacities. But totalitarian domination as a form of government is new in that it is not content with this isolation and destroys private life as well. It bases itself on loneliness, on the experience of not belonging to the world at all, which is among the most radical and desperate experiences of man.
This is why our insistence on belonging, community, and human connection is one of the greatest acts of courage and resistance in the face of oppression…
And let’s not forget the fiasco with Canada and our other allies….the isolation that has been the cornerstone of tRump’s rule in office:
What perpetuates such tyrannical regimes, Arendt argues, is manipulation by isolation — something most effectively accomplished by the divisiveness of “us vs. them” narratives. She writes:
Terror can rule absolutely only over men who are isolated against each other… Therefore, one of the primary concerns of all tyrannical government is to bring this isolation about. Isolation may be the beginning of terror; it certainly is its most fertile ground; it always is its result. This isolation is, as it were, pretotalitarian; its hallmark is impotence insofar as power always comes from men acting together…; isolated men are powerless by definition.
tRump has aligned the US with ruthless dictators and powerful authoritarian governments…because that is what the US as become.
Some updates on the North Korea Summit:
North Korean state media said on Wednesday U.S. President Donald Trump had agreed to lift sanctions against the North in addition to providing security guarantees in the summit with the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un, the previous day.
Both leaders signed an agreement committing the United States to unspecified “security guarantees” in exchange for denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula.
Trump reportedly offered to lift sanctions on the cash-strapped country in addition to those security guarantees, according to Reuters.
North Korea’s KCNA news agency cites Trump making the pledge to lift the economic barriers after saying the U.S. would end joint military exercises with South Korea.
Following the summit, Trump had indicated that sanctions would remainuntil North Korea began the denuclearization process saying of easing sanctions, “I hope it’s going to be soon. At a certain point, I actually look forward to taking them off.”
Reuters did not receive immediate comment from U.S. officials.
The Hill has also reached out to the White House for comment.
In other news, Steve King retweeted a Nazi: GOP lawmaker retweets prominent British neo-Nazi | TheHill
There seems to be a new Fox News/ tRump family connection in the “house” ….STASI: Fox should fire reporter Kimberly Guilfoyle, who can’t possibly stay neutral while dating a Trump kid – NY Daily News
And, tRump is keen on building a tRump Tower in North Korea:
“They have great beaches,” Trump said at a news conference following the talks between the two leaders. “You see that whenever they’re exploding the canons into the ocean. I said look at that view. Wouldn’t that make a great condo beyond that?”
“You could have the best hotels in the world right there. Think of it from a real estate perspective,” Trump continued. “You have South Korea, you have China, and they own the land in the middle. How bad is that? Right? It’s great.”
Despite Trump’s grandiose suggestions, the U.S. State Department recommends against travel to North Korea. Federal authorities advise travelers to draft a will and “funeral wishes” before going.
I think that part about drafting a will and making funeral wishes is a dramatically different message to what the tRump admin is pushing.
Going back to the #Wherearethechildren and #FamiliesBelongTogether issue…
After the Chris Hayes interview, Rep. Jayapal posted this on her Twitter account:
Now the funnies…starting with this shit…no it ain’t no joke. This is fucking real:
President Trump’s wooing of Kim Jong-un at the Singapore summit included the iPad showing (in English and Korean) of a “Destiny Pictures” movie trailer, made by the White House’s National Security Council, starring themselves saving the world.Show less
Jonathan Swan’s sources help illuminate Trump’s thinking:
- Trump thinks of his presidency in cinematic terms — with himself as star, producer, director, writer and critic. Now, backed by the resources of the United States government, he’s a studio, too.
- The president is very aware of his celebrity and how people view him.
- Kim is a young tyrant obsessed with pop culture.
- So by literally casting the two of them in a movie, Trump’s was celebritizing the summit, and aiming at Kim’s sweet spot.
The White House is very proud of the video: Vice President Pence showed it at yesterday’s weekly Senate Republican luncheon.
- Garrett Marquis, National Security Council spokesman: “The video was created by the NSC to help the President demonstrate the benefits of complete denuclearization, and a vision of a peaceful and prosperous Korean Peninsula.”
And if you want to see the video…just go to the White House facebook page..yeah, can you believe this shit?
Exactly….yes to this one Nick Anderson!
Uh, that one from Signe is spot on.
I think the kid should be younger in that cartoon…but that is only my opinion.
And that will about do it for me…
One more thing before we go:
It is from a water bottle I bought at Walmart…see what it says…”Designed in the USA.” What a fucking joke…
You know what else is funny…Walmart bicycles say they are assembled in the USA…you what to know what that means?
It means that some store employee puts the bike together in the back room, cute? Yeah, all the parts come from somewhere overseas…innit funny?
“Assembled in the USA.”
“Designed in the USA.”
The mutthafukkin joke is on us.
This is an open thread.
I think this part of Boston Boomer’s post title from yesterday was spot on: “These Days I Often Cry While Reading News” …yup, I do that too! Only I would take it a step further, and say that lately, I often start to hyperventilate and have anxiety attacks while scrolling through the Twitter feed. (I am not being hyperbolic with that statement either. I do start to hyperventilate.) I can feel my breathing becoming more intense and faster…forward towards out of control. My heart rate increases dramatically. My palms sweat and feel distinctly cold at the same time. I can actually feel my eyebrows becoming one, from the pained expression my face has contorted into…
Yeah, I think we all know that feeling I am describing above…am I right?
That is why this little asteroid of a nugget that passed my way this morning made me cringe:
And as you will see, no one corrected the “misstatement?” If that is what the fucking thing was…
During an interview with former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, [Abby] Huntsman interrupted to noted that Trump had arrived for the summit in Singapore.
“There is the president of the United States, Donald Trump, about to walk down those [Air Force Once] stairs, stepping foot in Singapore as we wait this historic summit with the North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un.”
“Anthony, talk to us about this moment,” she said, turning to Scaramucci. “This is history. We are living — regardless of what happens in that meeting between the two dictators — what we are seeing right now, this is historic.”
Scaramucci then agreed… adding that Trump is a “disruptive risk taker”…not even missing a beat while continuing to fawn over the tangerine ass mouth, lavishing more praise on his dear leader as the segment went on. Video at the link.
The links I bring you today are pretty much things you may already be aware of, I don’t know anymore…War with Canada? I guess things are going as Putin planned?
President Trump feuded with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and threatened to impose penalties on foreign automobile imports Saturday, capping an acrimonious meeting of the Group of Seven industrial nations that further frayed ties between the United States and its closest allies.
Trump said Saturday evening that he had instructed U.S. officials to withdraw support for a joint statement with other member nations he had backed just hours earlier, saying the United States would not join after Trudeau publicly criticized Trump’s trade policy.
European officials described things much differently. Their leaders confronted Trump about how his protectionist policies had given them no choice but to retaliate with tariffs of their own, a person familiar with the encounter said. These tariffs, they told Trump, would hurt everyone. Trump had tried to essentially splinter the European leaders by negotiating some changes with Germany and different ones with France, but those leaders appeared locked together.
They had been careful not to reveal their approach before meeting with Trump, although it appeared very calculated.
“If you have a strategy, do not explain your strategy before the meeting — because if you are explaining your strategy before the meeting, you are losing your strategy,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters.
(I thought that was funny…don’t know why.)
“What worries me most . . . is the fact that the rules-based international order is being challenged,” European Council President Donald Tusk said as the G-7 summit got underway. What is surprising, Tusk said, is that the challenge is driven not by the “usual suspects, but by its main architect and guarantor, the U.S.”
By the way:
Kudlow was on the Sunday shows, fucking things up even more:
Speculation on the Twitter is that Kudlow is drunk.
I don’t know, that sounds like crazy shit to me….Dak, your thoughts?
This is something>>>>
And I think we should revisit this thread:
And if all that shit doesn’t scare the shit out of you:
Over the many years since Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) of 2001, the ACLU has dedicated itself to defending the civil liberties and human rights that have been threatened as a result of this resolution and its successors. The harms have included the drone killings of American citizens, broad surveillance of American citizens, the kidnapping and torture of suspects, and indefinite detention without charge or trial, even of an American citizen apprehended in the United States.
Now, Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) are working on a new AUMF that is even more damaging to our freedoms.
It would be hard to overstate the depth and breadth of the dangers to the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights that the Corker-Kaine AUMF would cause. The Corker-Kaine AUMF would give the current president and all future presidents authority from Congress to engage in worldwide war, sending American troops to countries where we are not now at war and against groups that the president alone decides are enemies.
Uh, yeah…you read that, Kaine.
The Corker-Kaine AUMF would authorize force, without operational limitations, against eight groups in six countries. The president could then add to both lists, as long as the president reports the expansion to Congress. To be clear — the president would have unilateral authority to add additional countries — including the United States itself — to the list of countries where Congress is authorizing war. And the president would have unilateral authority to add additional enemies, including groups in the United States itself and even individual Americans, under its new authority for the president to designate “persons” as enemies.
Their proposal also contains a sleeper provision with the innocuous title, “Sec. 10 Conforming Amendment,” that would create a new legal basis for the military to capture and imprison individuals in indefinite detention without charge or trial. This greatly expands the scope of the infamous indefinite detention provision in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Like the NDAA, the Corker-Kaine AUMF has no statutory prohibition against locking up American citizens or anyone picked up in the United States itself. While we continue to believe it would still be unlawful for a president to try indefinite detention of an American citizen in the United States (again), there is no reason for Congress to risk it.
About that photo released by Merkel:
Let’s look at a few other photos from the G7 Summit:
Macron had a couple good ones…he released his own tRump smackdown picture…you can see he is looking exasperated as he jesters toward the tRump asshole below:
What do you think he was saying to him? What’s a matter with you?
Oh wait, that is more of an Italian thing right?
(tRump has that covered as well, you see, he is already love crazy over Italy’s newly elected right-wing prime minister.)
Wow, the hard on tRump gets for these far right assholes is disgusting.
Back to Macron: Did you see the lasting impression he left on tRumps little hand?
Just a few other links for y’all:
Can you describe to me what you saw there?
I’ll tell you what was very difficult to see. One room had smaller cyclone fences—they look like the way you construct a dog kennel. They’re larger, but that’s the thought that comes to mind when you see them. Then they have these space blankets [light foil blankets], which is a very strange sight, to see kids using a space blanket as a cushion—but they don’t provide any cushion—or as a cover for privacy. There’re no mattresses in that section.
After they go through interviews, they go into a big warehouse. I called them cages, and the White House said that’s unfair, they aren’t cages. Well, call it a cell, then. It’s a cyclone-fence-constructed area. There were all these boys in this big enclosure, maybe three to four dozen boys, and they lined up, from smallest to largest, to get ready to go eat. The tiniest kid at the front of the line, he was knee-high to a grasshopper; he was 4, maybe 5 years old. They go up to age 16 or 17.
I understand that the McAllen facility operated under the Obama administration, to accommodate the surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America we saw in 2014. Do you know whether the children you saw last weekend are mainly unaccompanied minors, who came here alone, or whether they’re mainly kids who’ve been separated from their parents under this new DOJ policy?
Well, some may have come as unaccompanied minors, but many have not. The 4-year-old, it’s extremely unlikely he did, I suppose an older brother might have brought him across, but he was just so, so tiny. Many of them are kids who were taken away from their parents, in that facility. I asked: “Where are the kids who’ve been separated from their parents?” And they said “Here.”
But here’s the thing—as soon as they take the kids away from their parents, they call them “unaccompanied minors” too! I asked, which are the kids who came alone, and which came with their families, but no one could tell me. We do know that during a 12-day period in May 658 kids were separated from their families. We know that the number of immigrant children detained without parents went up 21 percent from May to June.
Another question is: Where do the kids end up, and can the parents reach them? They told me, “Oh yes, they get an A code,” and I asked, “Well, what’s an A code,” and it turns out it’s an “alien code,” a number where they can be tracked through the system. So it’s really not a difficulty for parents to find their children, they said. But the children are actually in one agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the parents are in another agency, the Department of Homeland Security. And according to immigration advocates I spoke with, they’re saying it’s actually not easy to track down the kids. The younger kids may be in a foster family, where the foster family doesn’t speak Spanish.
Ugh…I can’t take anymore!
This is an open thread.
I just want to share one more thing with you.
It is personal, but it is too sweet not to post…
Here is the wedding video from my daughter’s wedding. It is done by Izra Lopez, to the song
L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole.
It’s lovely and hopeful. And not just because it is my kid…the video is awesome.
Y’all have a better day today, here’s to love and hoping that tRump doesn’t fuck things up beyond repair this week.
I’m moving slow today. I was in a recording studio on the North Shore yesterday and it just wore me out. So, I’m catching up on life right now. A meteor could’ve hit the planet yesterday and I probably wouldn’t have noticed at all.
So, the House just tanked Obama’s demands for enhanced negotiating ability on the Pacific region trading deal. The President actually showed up on the Hill to lobby for the bill. (Wonk Trigger Alert!)
House Democrats rebuffed a dramatic personal appeal from President Obama on Friday, torpedoing his ambitious push to expand his trade negotiating power — and, quite likely, his chance to secure a legacy-defining trade accord spanning the Pacific Ocean.
In a remarkable rejection of a president they have resolutely backed, House Democrats voted to kill assistance to workers displaced by global trade, a program their party created and has stood by for four decades. By doing so, they brought down legislation granting the president trade promotion authority — the power to negotiate trade deals that cannot be amended or filibustered by Congress — before it could even come to a final vote.
“We want a better deal for America’s workers,” said Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House minority leader who has guided the president’s agenda for two terms and was personally lobbied by Mr. Obama until the last minute.
Republican leaders tried to muster support from their own party for trade adjustment assistance, a program they have long derided as an ineffective waste of money and sop to organized labor. But not enough Republicans were willing to save the program.
Obama seems to be staking the end game of his Presidential legacy on this deal which begs the question “Why Does Obama Want This Trade Deal So Badly?”. William Finnegan writes this bit for The New Yorker.
The Senate passed fast-track last month, sixty-two to thirty-seven, with only fourteen Democrats voting yes. Boehner and Ryan expect to be able to produce two hundred Republican votes. That means eighteen Democratic votes are needed. Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader, is reported to be working closely with Boehner and Ryan to come up with the number they need—although she still hasn’t said which way she’ll vote herself. That’s how strange the legislative politics of the T.P.P. have become. Nearly every constituency in the Democratic Party opposes it; and the more they learn about it, the more they oppose it. And yet their leader, Obama, wants it badly.
But why? Maybe it’s a better agreement—better for the American middle class, for American workers—than it seems in the leaked drafts, where it appears bent to the will of multinational corporations. John Kerry, the Secretary of State, and Ashton Carter, the Secretary of Defense, co-authored a column on Mondayin USA Today arguing, in evangelical tones, that the T.P.P. will usher in a glorious new era of American-led prosperity, a “global race to the top” for all parties. Meanwhile, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. sees only a race to the bottom. Organized labor, by all accounts, plans to punish any elected Democrat who supports the T.P.P., or even supports fast-track for Obama, in the next campaign. It’s difficult, again, to evaluate the agreement when we can’t see it. And it will be difficult for Congress to do its job if its members can’t study each part of the many-tentacled T.P.P. on its merits, but must simply vote yes or no on the whole shebang. What’s the rush? Is it simply Obama’s wish to make his mark on history and to complete his pivot toward Asia before his time is up? Politicians are often accused of supporting pro-corporate policies to please wealthy backers, looking toward the next campaign. That can’t be Obama’s motive now.
I’m going to use my own analysis here and will begin by letting you know that my doctoral dissertation and my research area is the existing trade and development deals in the region of ASEAN+3. ASEAN is a group of small countries that are quite diverse that first banded together under the CIA to oppose the spread of communism in the region. Now, the group actually has some of those very communist countries it feared in its numbers.
It includes some of the most politically and economically diverse countries in the world. Seriously. It’s members include the Sultanate of Brunei, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Malaysia and Indonesia. Indonesia is an Islamic Democracy. Brunei is a monarchy. Myanmar is for all intents and purposes run by a military junta. You’ll notice there are also several single party communist states. Brunei has oil. Singapore is an offshore banking haven and international financial center. Many of the other countries are mostly agricultural and traditional economies with production facilities of other countries basically paying labor badly while ignoring any environmental impact of the manufacturing process. But the deal is that this small group of countries along with their plus three neighbors (Japan, South Korea, and China) are the economic dynamos of the global economy for the next century.
It’s the region and area where the most potential for economic growth and development will occur. So, the US needs to be there for many reasons that include economic and political. Most of these countries are emergent democracies and most of these countries are liberalizing their markets which means less state ownership of things. New Zealand and Australia are huge players in the region already. For many reasons, we need to get into their trade deals to remain relevant in THE KEY region of the next century.
The biggest deal with this region is that it doesn’t have the political instability and outright strife that’s impacting Southern Africa and MENA. It’s also not stagnant like Europe. It has political issues but they haven’t blown up into perpetual terrorism and even the near dictatorships are reforming peacefully. Contrast this to what’s going on in the Middle East, then look South to Africa. Those regions appear to be clusterfucks into eternity.
So, it’s a safer place for Western Foreign Direct Investment and it’s economies are developing at phenomenal rates. There are plans to turn the region into a European style Union in the works with a single currency and banking system. All of this decreases the tricky parts of international trade in a region. The region has already successfully negotiated huge trade and currency deals with its neighbors. They all are serious about development. The US cannot maintain its leader of the world nation status and not be a major player in this region. It clearly hands the role over to the PR of China if we can’t get in there. And believe it or not, it makes Australia more of a player than Europe in the near future. The TPP also includes Latin America Countries that border the pacific so it’s a diverse group of nations.
The deal is, however, at what cost do we join in? Why do we seem to be negotiating so much independent power for multinational corporations (MNCs)?
While every other president from Ford onward has been granted similar powers, today’s vote has turned out to be anything but routine. Critics who oppose the TPP and other pending agreements are working to stop the bill—and thwart the anticipated trade deals.
The fast-track process was set out in 1974’s Trade Act, which empowered Congress to pass Trade Promotion Authority bills—like the one slated to be voted on today—that allow presidents to negotiate and sign trade deals with less involvement from the legislative branch. Congress still gets to vote yes or no on any final agreement, but amendments are generally prohibited. In exchange, TPA bills let legislators lay out trade priorities and negotiating objectives for the president, and set requirements on how and how often the administration must check in while negotiations are underway.
This TPA, if passed, will guide presidential trade negotiations through 2021. It builds upon a bill that expired in 2007, and is likely more complex than any other in history, expanding congressional oversight and consultation while including new provisions on intellectual property, cross-border data protection, and the environment and human rights. It also increases transparency, requiring presidential administrations to make agreements public 60 days before signing them.
So, the bill does include increased transparency despite many charges that it does not. It’s just not now and and it’s a fairly small window for reaction.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a meandering but dramatic floor speech on Friday announced her vote against a measure providing assistance to workers displaced by trade.
“If TAA slows down the fast-track, I’m prepared to vote against TAA,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi announced her opposition to the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program just before it went down in the House, with 302 lawmakers voting against it.
The failure of TAA could sink a broader trade package that includes President Obama’s request for fast-track trade authority.
Pelosi’s move is a rare split with Obama, who visited Capitol Hill on Friday morning and pleaded with Democrats to back the measure.
The California Democrat had been under pressure from liberal groups to oppose the trade package. While many had expected Pelosi to vote against fast-track, also known as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), her opposition to TAA took many by surprise.
Pelosi argued that opposing TAA now would give Democrats leverage for a trade package they view as more favorable.
“We want a better deal for American workers,” Pelosi said.
A group of liberal House Democrats opposed to the trade package, including Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.) and Brad Sherman (Calif.), applauded when Pelosi announced her opposition to TAA.
Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO who has been aggressively lobbying Democrats to vote against the fast-track deal, praised Pelosi in a statement just minutes after the TAA bill failed on the House floor.
Obama is rightly focused on the region and the need to get in there before the US is inched out of the deal. The majority of fears are based in the NAFTA deal that caused some economic chaos–especially with traditional labor union jobs–that went south. I’m going to do something that will probably shock and say that it’s likely that these concerns are unfounded.
Sending jobs to Mexico is relatively easy. It’s close, stuff ships over land routes, and even though Mexico still has the feel of a narco-state, many of its regions are developed and there’s not anything in the way of civil unrest. Locating production facilities in Mexico for shipment of final goods and services to the US is a low cost no brainer.
You’re not exactly going to see that happen with Myanmar or Brunei. Also, there’s so much going on already in places like Vietnam that it’s hard to imagine it’s going to get much worse. My data and scooby sense tells me that any business located there will be shipping regionally there so I doubt it will have the same impact that the Mexican deal did. All of these countries have blossoming middle classes that are going to be shopping happy during the next decades. They’ll be able to sell stuff there much more easily than shipping it way over here to a steady state economy. (That means we’re just about as developed as we’re going to get).
Obama had rushed to Capitol Hill on Friday morning to make a last-ditch plea to an emergency meeting of the Democratic caucus. The president urged members to vote with their conscience and “play it straight,” urging them to support the financial package for displaced workers, which Democrats have long supported.
“I don’t think you ever nail anything down around here,” Obama told reporters on his way out of the Capitol. “It’s always moving.”
But anti-trade Democrats pushed hard to block the financial aid plan, knowing that its defeat would also torpedo a companion measure to grant Obama fast-track authority to complete the TPP. That bill was later approved with overwhelming Republican support in what amounted to a symbolic vote because it could not move forward into law without the related worker assistance package.
The package for displaced workers should be put in place. I’m sorry to see it used as a political tool because Republicans hate it to begin with and it’s a necessary component of any trade deal. The only issue here–which is the main issue for organized labor–is that many of the displaced workers would likely come from union jobs and go to jobs that are less likely to be union like health care workers. That’s what happened with NAFTA passage. Clinton insisted on the displaced worker clause, got it, and then many Ladies Garment Workers in the South became Nurses as a result. So, in many ways, this could really change the face of organized labor. However, labor unions need to get better footholds in the services industries since trade and technology has already eroded its member base. This deal just exacerbates an already existing issue, if anything.
I’m frankly more worried about the legal implications of making MNCs out of reach of a country’s laws. I expressed that concerned in an April, 2015 post. Here’s a link to my earlier post on the TPP listing some of the most germane concerns.
But, you can see, Obama’s backers on this deal were definitely Republican in general. Politics continues to make strange bedfellows.
On the GOP side, Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) cast a vote in favor of TAA. Speakers cast floor votes on relatively rare occasions.
Only 40 Democrats backed TAA, while 144 voted against it. On the GOP side, 158 Republicans voted “no,” while 86 Republicans voted “yes.”
The vote against TAA is a humiliating defeat for Obama, who had spent weeks lobbying House Democrats to support his trade agenda in the face of overwhelming opposition from liberal groups and organized labor.
Under the procedure established for considering the trade package, TAA had been packaged with fast-track authority, and a vote against either doomed the total package.
In a slight surprise, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced after the TAA vote that the House would still vote on the fast-track measure, as well as a separate customs bill.
In the vote on fast-track, the measure was approved in a 219-211 vote. Twenty-eight Democrats backed fast-track, while 54 Republicans voted “no.”
House Republicans said they would bring the TAA bill up for another vote by Tuesday.House GOP lawmakers maintained that voting on TAA again next week would give the Obama administration time to lobby more Democrats to support it.“The president has some work yet to do with his party to complete this process. This isn’t over yet. And we hope that they can get together and make sure that we finish this so that America is back leading,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a hastily scheduled press conference with members of the GOP leadership after the vote.
But it is difficult to see why the Democrats who objected to it on Friday to prevent movement on fast-track would shift their strategy, particularly after Pelosi’s words.Despite the rebuke from House Democrats, the White House still expressed optimism about passing its trade package.Press secretary Josh Earnest described the defeat as “another procedural snafu,” comparing it to a failed test vote last month in the Senate on the trade package, which eventually passed the bill.
So, my political scooby senses still say that this move was to basically appease organized labor and environmental concerns. I’m not sure they’ll win much but a few good enough concessions in the long run.
So, again, sorry for the late posts but my life is bipolar at the moment and it’s wearing on me. At least I make the bills. Now, if I could only get a schedule that doesn’t exhaust me.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?