“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle”
June 19, 2019 7:29 PM   Subscribe

"In total, Trump faces at least 15 criminal or civil inquiries by nine federal, state and local agencies into his business, his charity, his campaign, his inaugural committee and his personal finances. […] Trump plans to characterize the investigations in these blue states — just like those by special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigations — as attacks by the same people: Democrats, the media and his critics. To his backers, it’s already been a winning strategy." "In a sign of that fervour, Trump’s campaign raised a staggering $24.8m in the less-than 24 hours after kicking off his re-election bid, according to Republican party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel," overshadowing the amount raised by the top Democratic 2020 contenders during the first three months of 2019.

• Danger to the Electoral Process Round-up:
In exclusive interview, Trump says he would listen if foreigners offered dirt on opponents (ABC News) "It's not an interference, they have information -- I think I'd take it," Trump said. "If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI -- if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research, 'oh let's call the FBI.' The FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that's the way it is. It's called oppo research."

Trump’s Mother of All Truth Bombs (Jack Shafer, Politico Magazine) “‘Unfit to be President’ is a gross understatement,” tweeted former CIA Director John Brennan [...]. The leading Democratic candidates for president—Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and even the undercard candidates—torched him as a danger to the electoral process. [...] Had Trump answered the hypothetical about taking campaign information from the Russians in 2020 in any other way than he did, it would have been read as a confession that he and his son did something wrong in 2016..." • Following Trump Comments, Federal Election Commission Chair Clarifies Law On Foreign Contributions to Election Campaigns (Newsweek) "Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept. Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation."

Trump goes on Fox to clean up his foreign interference comments (Politico) Remarkably, Trump also asserted on Friday that he didn’t foresee that issue arising. “I don't think anybody would present me with anything because they know how much I love the country,” he said, despite well-documented attempts by Russian nationals to do just that during the 2016 election. “Nobody’s gonna present me with anything bad, and No. 2, if I was — and of course, you have to look at it, because if you don't look at it, you won't know it's bad, but, of course, you give it to the FBI or report it to attorney general or somebody like that,” he argued. • Mike Pompeo: Trump will ‘do the right thing’ if offered foreign election help (Politico) "Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Pompeo assured host Margaret Brennan that Trump would act appropriately, but he would not explicitly say that Trump would call the FBI."
• Immigration Round-up:
Trump says millions in U.S. illegally to be deported starting next week (CBS News) "Immigration was a central theme of Mr. Trump's 2016 campaign and he is expected to hammer it as he tries to fire up his base heading into the 2020 campaign."

ICE Signals Mass Immigration Arrests, but Not the ‘Millions’ Trump Promised (NYT) "Senior ICE officials, many of whom were blindsided by Mr. Trump’s tweet, have signaled for weeks that the agency would conduct raids targeting thousands of migrant families in homes and communities, something one of the homeland security officials confirmed on Tuesday was expected in the coming weeks."

Trump says immigration roundup will start next week (Reuters) "Former officials and immigration experts said it would be unlikely for immigration authorities to move quickly to deport “millions” of people, but Trump’s tweet on Monday saying as much put cities around the country on high alert. [...] As of June 8, ICE had almost 53,141 people in adult detention centers, much higher than the levels for which it is funded by Congress, which would put logistical brakes on the possible scale of any operation."

An Expert on Concentration Camps Says That's Exactly What the U.S. Is Running at the Border (Esquire) "Not every concentration camp is a death camp—in fact, their primary purpose is rarely extermination, and never in the beginning. Often, much of the death and suffering is a result of insufficient resources, overcrowding, and deteriorating conditions. So far, 24 people have died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the Trump administration, while six children have died in the care of other agencies since September."

The Youngest Child Separated From His Family at the Border Was 4 Months Old (NYT) "Constantin was ultimately the youngest of thousands of children taken from their parents under a policy that was meant to deter families hoping to immigrate to the United States. It began nearly a year before the administration would acknowledge it publicly in May 2018, and the total number of those affected is still unknown."
• Tax and Wage Round-up:
Bosses pocket Trump tax windfall as workers see job promises vanish (Guardian) [Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness] noted only 4% of the US workforce saw any sort of pay increase or bonus from the tax cuts. Meanwhile, data collected by ATF shows corporations have cut thousands of jobs since the tax cuts were passed, while using tax windfalls to buy back $1tn of their own stock, which primarily benefits corporate executives and wealthy investors since half of all Americans own no stock."

American Taxpayers Paid Over $90 Billion More Under Trump Tax Law (Yahoo Finance) "[A]fter refunds, the IRS collected about $93 billion more from individual American taxpayers than it did in 2017. [...] Last year, big businesses paid $91 billion less in taxes than they had in 2017, prior to the new law’s passage." • Big Businesses Paying Even Less Than Expected Under GOP Tax Law (Politico)

Federal minimum wage sets record with no increase since 2009 (Guardian) "The US federal minimum wage has gone a record length of time without an increase, with the $7.25-an-hour base, remaining unchanged for nearly a decade as of Sunday. [...] The number stands in sharp contrast to what some researchers believe is an average living wage. Two working parents in a family of four would need to earn $67,146 to cover expenses. That equates to $16.14 an hour for each parent, CNN reported."
• Iran Round-up:
US seeks to 'build international consensus' blaming Iran for tanker attacks (Guardian) Defense chief says attack was not just ‘US situation’, as UK joins Washington in accusing Iran, and Saudi Arabia calls for ‘rapid’ response • Saudi seeks oil supply protection as U.S and Iran face off (Reuters) "Germany said the video was not enough to prove Iran’s role, while U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an independent investigation to determine responsibility. China and the European Union called for restraint."

As Trump Accuses Iran, He Has One Problem: His Own Credibility (NYT) "A Quinnipiac University poll last month found that only 35 percent of Americans trust Mr. Trump to tell the truth about important issues versus 52 percent who trusted the news media more." • Iran Has Ties to Al Qaeda, Trump Officials Tell Skeptical Congress (NYT) "“They are looking to bootstrap an argument to allow the president to do what he likes without coming to Congress, and they feel the 2001 authorization will allow them to go to war with Iran,” said Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia."
IN OTHER HEADLINES:

Doublethink Is Stronger Than Orwell Imagined (George Packer, Atlantic) "We are living with a new kind of regime that didn’t exist in Orwell’s time. It combines hard nationalism—the diversion of frustration and cynicism into xenophobia and hatred—with soft distraction and confusion: a blend of Orwell and Huxley, cruelty and entertainment." • In Front of Your Nose (George Orwell)

A Date With the President in Pennsylvania's Coal Country (Playboy {SFW article}) This freewheeling account of Trump's Montoursville, PA rally last month captures the carnival atmosphere but concludes: "Despite the fun, after the sixth enthusiastic supporter passed out and had to be attended to by paramedics, hundreds of the faithful began leaving the venue. As the speech continued for 30 more minutes, people fled like my family used to flee church after communion."

'Pat's a Pit Bull’: Trump Has a New Favorite Lawyer (Politico): Pat Cipollone "has nevertheless been at the heart of the controversies that have gripped the White House since last winter, from clearing a legal path for the president to declare a national emergency on the southern border to shaping the White House’s defiant approach to congressional inquiries. Most recently, Cipollone was among the prominent voices who told Trump he could use his emergency powers to slap tariffs on Mexico — and then, alongside Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he helped shape a last-minute deal to end the showdown."

Trump Delayed Pence's Tiananmen Square Speech in Hopes of Landing Xi Meeting (Bloomberg): "The president delayed the speech to avoid upsetting Beijing ahead of a potential meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 meeting in Japan at the end of this month, according to several people familiar with the matter. Trump also put off U.S. sanctions on Chinese surveillance companies that Pence planned to preview in his remarks."

‘Credible evidence’ Saudi crown prince liable for Khashoggi killing – UN report (Guardian) "In an excoriating 100-page analysis published on Wednesday of what happened to Khashoggi last October, Agnes Callamard, the UN’s special rapporteur, says the death of the journalist was “an international crime”."

Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates gives Mitch McConnell a thorough history lesson on reparations (Vox) "Victims of that plunder are very much alive today. I am sure they’d love a word with the majority leader."

Today is the 881st day of the Trump administration. There are 504 days until the 2020 elections.

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posted by Little Dawn (1867 comments total) 113 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm increasingly impressed with Warren's campaign. She had a very rocky start but since then she has kept her head down, put out competent and meaningful policy proposals, and slowly but steadily brought people over to her side.

So far it looks like she is mostly cannibalizing Sanders support as he loses almost as many points as she gains in the polls. If she can start making inroads into more moderate Democrats (which hasn't happened yet, that weird Politico piece to the contrary) she's got a real shot.

You'd think Biden would be toast given how his campaign has gone but if there's one thing the last couple years have taught me it's that basically nothing matters.
posted by Justinian at 7:34 PM on June 19 [85 favorites]


Bonus round-up—War:

Federation of American Scientists, DoD Doctrine on Nuclear Operations Published, Taken Offline
he Joint Chiefs of Staff briefly published and then removed from public access a new edition of their official doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons. But a public copy was preserved. See Joint Publication 3-72, Nuclear Operations, June 11, 2019.

The document presents an unclassified, mostly familiar overview of nuclear strategy, force structure, planning, targeting, command and control, and operations.

Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive results and the restoration of strategic stability,” according to one Strangelovian passage in the publication. “Specifically, the use of a nuclear weapon will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that affect how commanders will prevail in conflict.”
HuffPost, 18 Years Later, The House Finally Repeals The President’s 9/11 War Authority
And now, with President Donald Trump and his administration strongly signaling they would use the 2001 AUMF to justify a new war with Iran, the newish Democratic majority controlling the House is taking its most serious steps to repeal the war authority.

Included in the base text of the appropriations bill is a provision that would repeal the 2001 AUMF eight months after the legislation is enacted. It is a significant development in Congress trying to restrain Trump and many of his most hawkish advisers’ thirst for war. And it’s the first time the House has passed a repeal of the 2001 AUMF.
The article has a detailed look at where things go from here, given McConnell's refusal to budge.
posted by zachlipton at 7:41 PM on June 19 [24 favorites]


the IRS collected about $93 billion more from individual American taxpayers than it did in 2017. [...] Last year, big businesses paid $91 billion less in taxes than they had in 2017

So effectively, in the context of these two groups under the new plan, the government mostly broke even, but the taxpayers just gave $90 billion of their money to big businesses? Great. Just checking.
posted by p3t3 at 7:45 PM on June 19 [75 favorites]


Meanwhile, Trump has a happy message for his faithful: (h/t filthy light thief from the last thread)

"[Democrats] wanted to deny you the future you demanded and the future America deserves and that now America is getting," Trump continued. "Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage. They want to destroy you, and they want to destroy our country as we know it."

You know, it's a good thing that nobody's taking such a call to action as justification for, say, mailing bombs to prominent Democrats and Robert De Niro. Or picking up a gun, since we have a pretty good handle on keeping guns out of the hands of wackadoos here in America. Or taking the guy who regularly incited violence at his 2015-16 rallies at his word that he's got their back if they target the enemy. (The Enemy of the People, specifically, who just happen to be standing in the back of said rallies, being specifically called out by the orange one on a regular basis.)

Weird times are ahead. So do everything possible to resist... but don't forget to duck.
posted by delfin at 7:50 PM on June 19 [18 favorites]


Rachel Maddow just broke down the latest Russia twist about Maria Butina & Mike Pence’s national security adviser
posted by growabrain at 7:53 PM on June 19 [11 favorites]


Trump’s campaign raised a staggering $24.8m in the less-than 24 hours after kicking off his re-election bid, according to Republican party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

Surprisingly, that's apparently without any money from the Mercers, Vanity Fair reports. Why the Mercers, Trump’s Biggest 2016 Backers, Have Bailed on Him
[A] large part of the problem is that Trump has lost the financial support of one of his biggest backers in 2016: the Mercers. With their ties to Steve Bannon, Breitbart, and Cambridge Analytica, Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah were superstars last cycle. According to half a dozen sources familiar with the reclusive family’s political activities, the Mercers have drastically curtailed their political donations in recent months and will likely not play a significant role in 2020. “They think that the administration could do so much more. They’ve been very vocal about that to the president,” a person familiar with the Mercers’ thinking told me. “It’s like they’ve disappeared,” the former West Wing official added. “Crickets. They’re gone,” a prominent Republican strategist said.[…]

Another factor driving the Mercers off the national stage is that Trump was never their ideal candidate, despite the millions they spent helping him, sources told me. “They never really liked Trump,” the person close to the Mercers said.
So once again, Trump has burned his early investors yet somehow managed to con even more funding from new ones. This strategy of playing with "other people's money" worked for him in his private business, so naturally he's adopting it for his political operation.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:16 PM on June 19 [8 favorites]


Courthouse News, Feds Tell 9th Circuit: Detained Kids ‘Safe and Sanitary’ Without Soap
The Trump administration argued in front of a Ninth Circuit panel Tuesday that the government is not required to give soap or toothbrushes to children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border and can have them sleep on concrete floors in frigid, overcrowded cells, despite a settlement agreement that requires detainees be kept in “safe and sanitary” facilities.

All three judges appeared incredulous during the hearing in San Francisco, in which the Trump administration challenged previous legal findings that it is violating a landmark class action settlement by mistreating undocumented immigrant children at U.S. detention facilities.

“You’re really going to stand up and tell us that being able to sleep isn’t a question of safe and sanitary conditions?'” U.S. Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon asked the Justice Department’s Sarah Fabian Tuesday.
...
The settlement landed back in court in 2015, when class members moved to enforce it following the Obama administration’s announcement that it would scrap bond hearings because they conflicted with newer immigration laws. In legal filings, the class contended the elimination of bond hearings and dirty and dangerous conditions at short-term holding facilities operated by the Border Patrol violated the agreement.
posted by zachlipton at 8:31 PM on June 19 [48 favorites]


Courthouse News, Feds Tell 9th Circuit: Detained Kids ‘Safe and Sanitary’ Without Soap

Reverend Wright said nothing wrong
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:40 PM on June 19 [38 favorites]


If a facsimile of a card-carrying progressive gets the Dem nom, the Mercers will be back. Reclusive money-bin-swimmers deathly afraid of socialists not backing Trump over, say, Sanders or Warren? Nonsense. They'll pump in political funding in exchange for more tax cuts and deregulation, at a minimum.
posted by delfin at 8:46 PM on June 19 [13 favorites]


.
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:11 PM on June 19


Good news dept: Maine has enacted automatic voter registration.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:18 PM on June 19 [66 favorites]


I wonder what happens to the Trump campaign funds if he's ultimately unable to run. Like "shoots someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, discovers the senate actually doesn't have his back on impeachment" unable to run. Hiding out in a safehouse somewhere in St. Petersburg unable to run. Serious medical conditions, etc.

There have been plenty of aborted presidential campaigns but probably never with that level of donations coming in.
posted by allegedly at 9:27 PM on June 19 [4 favorites]




Trump’s campaign raised a staggering $24.8m in the less-than 24 hours after kicking off his re-election bid, according to Republican party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

Let's think about who we're dealing with here... how much of that is a loan from Deusche Bank via TrumpCo?
posted by chiquitita at 9:37 PM on June 19 [4 favorites]


how much of that is a loan from Deusche Bank via TrumpCo?

Deutsche Bank nothin', is any of it from US citizens?
posted by rhizome at 10:43 PM on June 19 [6 favorites]


Where is Obama in relationship to the 24 candidates?
posted by growabrain at 10:59 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


He won't endorse in the primary and then he'll come out with a full-throated endorsement of the candidate. Backing a primary candidate before that person has the nomination locked up, barring an insane Trumpian candidate who must be opposed at all costs, has absolutely no upsides for Obama or the party or most importantly the country.
posted by Justinian at 11:04 PM on June 19 [28 favorites]


Also, the conversation from now on has to center on the fact that they are building and operating right now a series of concentration camps in the USA
posted by growabrain at 11:06 PM on June 19 [16 favorites]


For anyone who's been looking for a mass protest against the concentration camps: Lights for Liberty is organizing events on Friday, July 12th. I haven't heard of them before this but they're being hyped by at least a couple of folks with big voices and hopefully other orgs will jump in.

Mass protest might not fix everything but it's sure as fuck better than what's been happening for the last few months.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:11 PM on June 19 [18 favorites]


NYT, The Evangelical, the ‘Pool Boy,’ the Comedian and Michael Cohen. This one largely catches up with what BuzzFeed and Reuters have already done on the story, but it will get you up to speed.
Over the last two years, Mr. Arnold has fashioned himself an anti-Trump sleuth and crusader, working to dig up evidence of past malfeasance on television and in social media. In that role, Mr. Arnold befriended Mr. Cohen — who had lately become a vivid, if not entirely reliable, narrator of the Trump phenomenon — and then surreptitiously recorded him describing his effort to buy and bury embarrassing photographs involving the Falwells.
...
“These are photos between husband and wife,” Mr. Cohen added, joking that “the evangelicals are kinkier than Tom Arnold.” He explained, “I was going to pay him, and I was going to get the negatives and do an agreement where they turn over all the technology that has the photographs or anything like that, any copies.”

But the payoff “never happened,” he said, “and the guy just either deleted them on his own or what have you.”
...
Rick Tyler, a senior Cruz adviser, called Mr. Falwell to say that if there was ever a good time to make his support official, this was it. That was when Mr. Falwell told him he had learned that he could not make any endorsement in the primaries. “He said his board wouldn’t allow him to endorse,” Mr. Tyler said in an interview.

Around that time, Mr. Falwell was coming under heavy pressure to get behind Mr. Trump, according to someone who spoke to Mr. Falwell then. A few days later, Mr. Falwell announced his endorsement of Mr. Trump, calling him “a successful executive and entrepreneur, a wonderful father and a man who I believe can lead our country to greatness again.”
Miami Herald, How cut-rate SoBe hostel launched Jerry Falwell Jr. ‘pool boy’ saga, naked picture hunt
Three photographs have been seen by the Herald, however. They are images not of Falwell, but of his wife in various stages of undress. It is not known who took the photographs or when they were taken, and the Herald was not given the photographs and therefore has not been able to authenticate them independently. Two of the photographs appear to have been taken at the Falwells’ farm in Virginia, and a third at the Cheeca Lodge.

The timing of Cohen’s alleged photo-recovery mission roughly preceded Falwell’s pivotal evangelical endorsement of Trump in the 2016 Republican primary, which Cohen says he helped engineer. Ted Cruz, who became the last candidate standing in the fight to deprive Trump of the Republican nomination, wanted to land that endorsement for himself. That he didn’t get it remains a sore point with some of his backers and a source of curiosity, including speculation that the “pool boy” saga and the presidential endorsement could be somehow related.

“You have the chancellor of the largest Christian university in the world in South Beach, which is not exactly a hot spot for evangelicals to take a vacation, [who buys] a piece of property for someone with no business experience. There is something odd there,’’ said Rick Tyler, former spokesman for Cruz.
There's a long, long list of Trump-related mysteries that we're nowhere near the end of (virtually everything involving Michael Flynn, for instance), and this story certainly is one of the stranger ones. But the Miami Herald seeing naked photographs of Falwell's wife, if they are authentic, takes this in a whole different direction. Who still has them and why?
posted by zachlipton at 11:44 PM on June 19 [15 favorites]


This week's New Yorker has a profile of Elizabeth Warren. I thought it was pretty good.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:18 AM on June 20 [15 favorites]


Another factor driving the Mercers off the national stage is that Trump was never their ideal candidate, despite the millions they spent helping him, sources told me. “They never really liked Trump,” the person close to the Mercers said.

Doesn't matter, they'll back GOP down ballot candidates and any voters they bring out for those candidates will most likely pull the lever for Trump as well. Same happened with the Kochs as well in 2016, they held off donating directly to Trump, but poured truckloads of money into other GOP races.
posted by PenDevil at 12:27 AM on June 20 [9 favorites]




Welp...Iran admitted to downing a US Navy drone today. I have a hard time imagining I-1 won't do a tit-for-tat operation. He's normally all about reprisals on just about everything.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:03 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


It would solve so many problems for him. It would distract everyone from the impeachment question, he could use it as an excuse to put the country under all kinds of restrictions, and then next year, gee whiz, we’re in a state of emergency so we can’t have elections, what a shame.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:08 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


(Although these clowns can’t even keep an intact Cabinet, or execute on anything that doesn’t own-goal the US harder than it ever affects any of the supposed targets. God only knows what kind of Benny Hill sketch they would make out of trying to go to war.)
posted by Autumnheart at 5:12 AM on June 20 [2 favorites]


This situation(s) in Iran is looking more and more to me like Pompeo and possibly Bolton have been given their marching orders from Saudi Arabia, UAE. All parties involved probably just have decided they'll handle the WH after they get things started.
posted by Harry Caul at 6:08 AM on June 20 [6 favorites]




If Warren gets the nomination it will be 24/7 war whoops and Pocohontas and “she’s a liar, I just don’t trust her.” It will be so repetitively stupid we’ll feel like our brains are being split with a chisel, but it won’t modulate or let up. Exit polls will show “she lied about her background” will be the main reason for her losing.

Does anyone see a realistic way out of this?
posted by argybarg at 6:32 AM on June 20 [9 favorites]


"There you go again" with a woeful head shake or a patronizing chuckle.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:39 AM on June 20 [8 favorites]


You'd think Biden would be toast given how his campaign has gone but if there's one thing the last couple years have taught me it's that basically nothing matters

Almost no one aside from weirdos like us are paying attention to the primary race yet. He's doing well because people recognize his name. That's literally the reason.
posted by Automocar at 6:51 AM on June 20 [7 favorites]


Does anyone see a realistic way out of this?

Been asking that for years and so far, no.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:52 AM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Does anyone see a realistic way out of this?
Impeachment inquiries, House arrests of subpoenaed witnesses refusing to comply, full press exposure and coverage of the concentration camps with representatives forcing entry, defunding Homeland Security, exposure of Trump's tax returns, coverage of the 12+ investigations into Trump entities still ongoing, following through on emoluments violations. Basically just a Democratic controlled House doing its job.
posted by Harry Caul at 6:54 AM on June 20 [56 favorites]


If Warren gets the nomination it will be 24/7 war whoops and Pocohontas

I don't see this as a strong argument against supporting Warren. It will be a similar dynamic regardless of the Democratic candidate. We just happen to have a good idea of the specific attack for Warren. I assure you they will come up with a corresponding attack for anybody else.

For example, if it's Sanders instead of Warren, do you really we're going to have a civil debate about the tenants of Democratic Socialism?
posted by diogenes at 6:59 AM on June 20 [37 favorites]


I bet Trump's never even heard of of the movie, "Wag The Dog".
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:59 AM on June 20 [3 favorites]


I don’t really mean “what do we do about Trump in general.” I mean that the “Pocahontas” thing, which is at an almost unprecedented level of stupidity in American politics, is also almost certainly fatal for Warren.

I foresee us spending a year or more saying “surely this is going to stop, it can’t keep being an issue.” And it never will stop.
posted by argybarg at 7:00 AM on June 20 [4 favorites]


Diogenes, I agree, but I also don’t see a way out.
posted by argybarg at 7:01 AM on June 20


Can we please please stop with the Debbie Downer “she’s doomed we’re gonna LOOOSE” stuff, or at least take it to the Fucking Fuck thread? I Don’t think it’s helping our cause to doomsay this far out about a candidate who has great potential to win. Besides, find me a candidate who has no opposition. Go ahead. I’ll wait. I’m sick of giving Republicans hecklers veto.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:03 AM on June 20 [108 favorites]


Trump administration threatens furloughs, layoffs if Congress doesn’t let it kill personnel agency (Lisa Rein, WaPo)
The Trump administration is threatening to furlough — and possibly lay off — 150 employees [out of 5565 total] at the federal personnel agency if Congress blocks its plan to eliminate the department.

The Office of Personnel Management is preparing to send the career employees home without pay starting on Oct. 1, according to an internal briefing document obtained by The Washington Post. The employees could formally be laid off after 30 days, administration officials confirmed.

The warning of staff cuts is the administration’s most dramatic move yet in an escalating jujitsu between Trump officials and Congress over the fate of the agency that manages the civilian federal workforce of 2.1 million.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:04 AM on June 20 [11 favorites]


I don’t really mean “what do we do about Trump in general.” I mean that the “Pocahontas” thing, which is at an almost unprecedented level of stupidity in American politics, is also almost certainly fatal for Warren.

Why is this fatal for Warren? It seems to me like it will only really appeal to the GOP (and I admit, I'm disappointed in how Warren handled this, but nowhere near disappointed enough not to vote for her if she gets the nom - I mean what, she's better than Biden and light fucking years better than Trump).

Honestly - and this is a bad reason, but I think it's true - I don't think the mainstream non-Native Democratic electorate is sophisticated enough on Native issues that this is going to resonate with them. I think it will fizzle utterly, and if it's the worst thing that the GOP can throw at Warren, we'll all be lucky.

And honestly, yes, I am disappointed that she said such a fool thing in the first place and in her response. It doesn't make me think better of her. But I have voted for worse candidates, and I've definitely voted for candidates I felt would be much harder to push to the left. Because we are ruled by rich white people in this country, we have always have a mostly-disappointing slate of candidates, but Warren is actually a lot less disappointing than most.

In any case, why would "Pocahontas" (itself an embarrassingly racist, transparently instrumentalist way to phrase this criticism that I think will repel by its very nature) resonate with a Democratic electorate who seems largely indifferent to Uncle Joe's various problems? I just don't see it getting traction.
posted by Frowner at 7:15 AM on June 20 [23 favorites]


~If Warren gets the nomination it will be 24/7 war whoops and Pocohontas

~I don't see this as a strong argument against supporting Warren. It will be a similar dynamic regardless of the Democratic candidate. We just happen to have a good idea of the specific attack for Warren. I assure you they will come up with a corresponding attack for anybody else.


You're misconstruing this as a reason for not voting for Warren. I'm pretty sure it's an entreaty for workable ideas to counteract those types of attacks when they come.

Pointing out probable avenues of attack ≠ omg she can't winz i give up!!!
posted by Thorzdad at 7:15 AM on June 20 [5 favorites]


[Folks, the Pocahontas thing is not new and the doomsaying about it doesn't go here. Let's give it a rest. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:23 AM on June 20 [26 favorites]


I mean that the “Pocahontas” thing, which is at an almost unprecedented level of stupidity in American politics, is also almost certainly fatal for Warren.

It's been tried twice before. It failed both times. That's why she's now Senator Warren and not Professor Warren. Granted, this was in Massachusetts, but don't underestimate the right wing here - that's how we (briefly) wound up with Senator Brown (OK, that, and a Democratic candidate who ran an uninspired campaign).
posted by adamg at 7:25 AM on June 20 [14 favorites]


Noah Kulwin, Jewish Currents: Whose Concentration Camps?
A key charge in the [Jewish Community Relations Council of NY]’s letter, that the Holocaust (and concentration camps) can be discussed only in direct reference to the Nazi plot of Jewish extermination, was expanded on by the Twitter account of Yad Vashem: “Concentration camps assured a slave labor supply to help in the Nazi war effort, even as the brutality of life inside the camps helped assure the ultimate goal of ‘extermination through labor.’ Learn about concentration camps.” In other words, say Yad Vashem and the JCRC, both the purpose of concentration camps and the nature of the Holocaust were so unique that they are past the point of any possible comparison.

But if we’re to go by the definition Andrea Pitzer has used, which has the support of other historians, concentration camps are used for “mass detention of civilians without trial.” Although other camps rushed Jews to the gas chamber, consider what the New York Times wrote about Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp, when it opened in 1933: “Dachau, the site of the concentration camp for those who have incurred the displeasure of the present rulers of Germany but have committed no offense for which they could be tried.”

What, then, is the meaning of a phrase like “never again” when the institutions that proselytize it also argue that Holocaust memory cannot be sullied by the present tense? “Never again” is the common refrain that young Jews are taught, particularly by leaders at groups like the JCRC and tour guides at Yad Vashem. But by the time many of these young Jews become adolescent or twenty-something Jews, the mantra becomes a question: “never again, for whom?” Rather than broaden the scope of the lesson to include injustices not committed by Nazis against Jews, Jewish institutions would rather instead police the boundaries of Holocaust memory. Jewish leaders like the JCRC, like Foxman, like Wolpe, and like many others, in giving the Republicans cover for such a putrid policy, have given their answer: just us.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:29 AM on June 20 [43 favorites]


Texas gained almost nine Hispanic residents for every additional white resident last year The Texas Tribune.

"With Hispanics expected to become the largest population group in Texas as soon as 2022, new population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau showed the Hispanic population climbed to nearly 11.4 million — an annual gain of 214,736 through July 2018 and an increase of 1.9 million since 2010.

The white population, meanwhile, grew by just 24,075 last year. Texas still has a bigger white population — up to 11.9 million last year — but it has only grown by roughly 484,000 since 2010. The white population’s growth has been so sluggish this decade that it barely surpassed total growth among Asian Texans, who make up a tiny share of the total population, in the same time period."
posted by Harry Caul at 7:33 AM on June 20 [20 favorites]


The Trump administration is threatening to furlough — and possibly lay off — 150 employees [out of 5565 total] at the federal personnel agency if Congress blocks its plan to eliminate the department.

What kind of dumbass plan is this? We're going to fire some of the employees unless you let us fire all of them? Seriously? Am I missing something that makes this seem sensible?
posted by odinsdream at 7:37 AM on June 20 [9 favorites]


Adam Serwer: The Illiberal Right Throws a Tantrum: A faction of the religious right has concluded that if liberal democracy does not guarantee victory, then it must be abandoned.
The tide of illiberalism sweeping over Western countries and the election of Donald Trump have since renewed hope among some on the religious right that it might revive its cultural control through the power of the state. Inspired by Viktor Orbán in Hungary and Vladimir Putin in Russia, a faction of the religious right now looks to sectarian ethno-nationalism to restore its beliefs to their rightful primacy, and to rescue a degraded and degenerate culture. All that stands in their way is democracy, and the fact that most Americans reject what they have to offer.

...

Indeed, the illiberal faction in this debate retains Trump as its champion precisely because the president is willing to use the power of the state for sectarian ends, despite being an exemplar of the libertinism to which it is supposedly implacably opposed, a man whose major legislative accomplishment is slashing taxes on the wealthy, and whose most significant contribution to the institution of the family is destroying thousands of them on purpose. It is power that is the motivator here, and the best that could be said for these American Orbánists is that they believe that asserting an iron grip on American politics and culture would offer the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Every authoritarian movement has felt the same way.

...

Trump is the symptom of the Republican Party’s turn toward illiberalism, not its cause; even before Trump ran for president, some Republican elites were plotting to diminish the political power of minorities and enhance those of white voters. Whatever their disagreements, the leaders of both the populist and establishment wings of the Republican Party have concluded that they cannot be allowed to lose power simply because a majority of American voters do not wish them to wield it. The president speaks of imprisoning his political rivals, and his voters cheer. He valorizes political violence, and his followers take note. His attorneys argue both that Congress cannot investigate criminality in the executive branch and that the president has the authority to end criminal investigations into himself or his allies, while ordering them against his opponents. Trump’s supporters exult in the head of state attacking private citizens who demand equal rights, then wave the banner of free speech exclusively in defense of expressions of bigotry. In the end, Trump will dictate the course of his party on these matters, and his base will do whatever he gives it license to do. Writers such as French and Ahmari cannot shape this course; they can only argue about it after the fact.

What is notable is that crisis of faith in liberalism for this faction of the religious right comes only now. It is true, as The New York Times’ Ross Douthat writes, that “liberalism has never done as well as it thinks at resolving its own crises.” Yet this faction did not abandon its faith in liberalism’s capacity to solve problems during the decades of Jim Crow. It did not cry, “To hell with the liberal order!” over mass incarceration. It did not erupt in fury over the shattering of Latino families at the border, or the Trump-made aftermath of the catastrophe in Puerto Rico. It did not question whether liberalism had failed after the first, third, fourth or 15th mass shooting at a school, or because it is typical for Americans to beg strangers on the internet for money to cover their health-care costs or after an untimely death. The state of emergency occurred when, and only when, liberal democracy ceased to guarantee victory in the culture war. The indignity of fighting for one’s rights within a democratic framework is fine for others, but it is beneath them.

...

Black Americans did not abandon liberal democracy because of slavery, Jim Crow, and the systematic destruction of whatever wealth they managed to accumulate; instead they took up arms in two world wars to defend it. Japanese Americans did not reject liberal democracy because of internment or the racist humiliation of Asian exclusion; they risked life and limb to preserve it. Latinos did not abandon liberal democracy because of “Operation Wetback,” or Proposition 187, or because of a man who won a presidential election on the strength of his hostility toward Latino immigrants. Gay, lesbian, and trans Americans did not abandon liberal democracy over decades of discrimination and abandonment in the face of an epidemic. This is, in part, because doing so would be tantamount to giving the state permission to destroy them, a thought so foreign to these defenders of the supposedly endangered religious right that the possibility has not even occurred to them. But it is also because of a peculiar irony of American history: The American creed has no more devoted adherents than those who have been historically denied its promises, and no more fair-weather friends than those who have taken them for granted.
posted by homunculus at 7:39 AM on June 20 [65 favorites]


Noah Kulwin, Jewish Currents: Whose Concentration Camps?

What the right wing excels at, as demonstrated by this link, is turning the conversation away from the actual evil they are doing to a discussion of whether the critics are properly framing the evil in acceptable language. And they depend on our good faith to do so.

It's amazing how good they are at this. We argue about relative trivialities while the world burns and the oligarchs loot the rubble.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:53 AM on June 20 [53 favorites]


What the right wing excels at, as demonstrated by this link, is turning the conversation away from the actual evil they are doing to a discussion of whether the critics are properly framing the evil in acceptable language. And they depend on our good faith to do so.

Note that they already succeeded in turning the discussion away from the fact that the George W. Bush administration was torturing people to whether it was proper for The New York Times and NPR to refer to it as torture.

The tactic served at least until the Republicans managed to make rejection of torture, which used to be more or less bipartisan, into a partisan issue.
posted by Gelatin at 7:59 AM on June 20 [20 favorites]


Good news dept: Maine has enacted automatic voter registration.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:18 PM on June 19 [36 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Now do the other 34...
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:16 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


You'd think Biden would be toast given how his campaign has gone but if there's one thing the last couple years have taught me it's that basically nothing matters.

I grew up in Delaware. Our Amtrak station got very, very fancy during the Obama presidency, right before it was renamed for Biden. When we were driving on I-95 down to Baltimore last weekend, I noticed that the big rest stop in Delaware had gotten very, very fancy, and saw the shiny new plaque saying that it had been renamed for Biden.

If we promise to rename the big highway to the Delaware beaches after him, which is the third big infrastructure thing in our teensy state, do you think he will shut the fuck up and go home to Hockessin? He was way less embarrassing for the state when everybody's mom was just, like, running into his wife at the local Acme.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:24 AM on June 20 [6 favorites]


[Folks, the concentration camp argument is clearly taking up enough space that it needs its own thread. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:31 AM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Good news dept: Maine has enacted automatic voter registration.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:18 PM on June 19 [36 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]

Now do the other 34...


Ok, ill bite: The new york senate passed an AVR bill yesterday but needs an Assembly vote on the same today if its going to happen this session. If you are a NYS voter call your assembly members office.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:34 AM on June 20 [7 favorites]


I see Steve King's on a little "what, me racist?" PR kick lately, I just got a press release about him honoring recently-deceased Native American activist Frank LeMere on the House floor. The words are good and the policy he talks about working on with LeMere is good, but it's transparently an image thing and he basically shits the bed at the end of it with the self-martyring bit "One of the things that he was quoted as saying, and this was at the services for him, ‘If you haven’t been marginalized at least once a week, then you probably haven’t done very much’-Frank LaMere. I can identify with that, Madame Speaker, and I can identify with a life of selfless work of Frank LaMere." Oof. Get down off the burning cross, buddy.

King really obviously got rattled by the much belated pushback against his awful behavior and his run against Scholten getting closer than expected, because he's been sending out a lot of "look, I can tolerate minorities! And do the bare minimum of my job representing a district!" PR lately and trying to replicate Scholten's county-by-county outreach in the district. Funny how a rebuke from fellow congressional Republicans actually works to some extent, like if they could actually police their own party when they're morally out of line and not just when there's press attention things could actually change.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:44 AM on June 20 [9 favorites]


Politico: Republicans Fear Campaign Arm Is Stumbling In Fight For the House—The NRCC chief tried to do damage control at a closed-door caucus meeting.
Republicans still don’t have an answer to Democrats’ online fundraising behemoth ActBlue. GOP leaders are bickering behind closed doors. The head of recruitment has decided to retire. And some rank-and-file lawmakers are starting to express alarm about the party’s strategy as the campaign ramps up.

So National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer tried to do damage control at a private caucus meeting Wednesday, arguing to GOP lawmakers that the campaign arm was on firm ground and any suggestions of turmoil were being fabricated by Democrats and the press.[…]

“It’s a disaster what is going on across the street at NRCC,” said one GOP lawmaker, who was granted anonymity to speak more freely. “Their communication is bad. Some of the stuff is bizarrely overly aggressive. They’re not raising the money. They don’t have buy-in from members. And it’s getting worse.”[…]

At a private meeting earlier this month, Emmer questioned whether some leaders were pulling their weight in party dues and fundraising numbers, according to multiple sources. At one point, Emmer asked Cheney (R-Wyo.) if he could count on her to keep contributing cash to the campaign arm as she contemplates a Senate bid.

Cheney fired back that she has been meeting her fundraising benchmarks and paying her dues. Cheney also told Emmer that she's heard from members who are concerned with the general direction of the NRCC, while some lawmakers are worried Emmer is artificially inflating his own fundraising numbers, according to multiple sources.
Doesn't matter, they'll back GOP down ballot candidates and any voters they bring out for those candidates will most likely pull the lever for Trump as well.

The Vanity Fair article makes it clear that the Mercers aren't planning on this ("the Mercers have drastically curtailed their political donations in recent months and will likely not play a significant role in 2020."):
Their total political spending dropped to $2.9 million last year. Sources said the Mercers cut back their spending because they felt scarred by the press scrutiny that followed their association with Trump. Two sources said Rebekah’s divorce from her husband is also motivating her to keep a low profile. “This whole thing did not end up well for them,” former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg told me. “They’ve been destroyed,” a former West Wing official said. A former Renaissance executive said: “Bob views all his political spending as a bad investment.”
The article goes into detail about how they felt let down by Trump and burned by Steve Bannon, how they disliked their new attention from the press and, thanks to Cambridge Analytica, from the FBI and the courts, and how they want to return to their private existence. Of course this could change in the next year and a half, but for the time being, they're yet another cautionary tale for people involving themselves with Trump. At the moment, they seem to be content with their old interests in funding psuedo-science at the climate change-denying Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:52 AM on June 20 [11 favorites]


I don’t really mean “what do we do about Trump in general.” I mean that the “Pocahontas” thing, which is at an almost unprecedented level of stupidity in American politics, is also almost certainly fatal for Warren.

Honestly, it’s almost a reason for voting for her. She’s maybe the first candidate who’s taken a major attack from Trump and survived. He bragged about killing her candidacy months ago and she persevered and now is rising and probably in second place. His campaign is leaking how they’re worried again about her. She took his best shot and lived to talk about it. Or more accurately talk about her plans.
posted by chris24 at 8:57 AM on June 20 [64 favorites]


Alex Pareene, New Republic: Give War a Chance: In search of the Democratic Party's fighting spirit
It is not remarkable to hear a Democratic candidate go into populist mode while on the campaign trail, to rail against corporate fat cats and blame their greed for the problems facing blue-collar workers. It, however, is a bit unexpected—much more so than it should be—to hear one of them say the fat cat’s name. 


Indeed, Democrats discussing society’s ills are almost pathologically averse to putting a name to the face. I remember hearing once about a young Democratic congressional staffer who was carefully admonished by a veteran aide never to call out drug companies by name when talking drug prices. The Democratic Party will acknowledge problems, but not villains.
 [...]
The piece goes on to weave together a lot of different examples of how Democratic aversion to conflict and obsession with consensus is playing into the hands of the enemies they dare not name.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:00 AM on June 20 [19 favorites]


Time magazine has an interview with Trump. No full transcript, but there are some details about campaign operations that are interesting:
Parscale has hired about 60 staff and worked with the RNC to create an online fundraising platform, known as WinRed, to compete with ActBlue, the Democratic digital juggernaut. Drawing on his tech-startup background, Parscale is also developing a smartphone app that attempts to “gamify” Trump supporters’ engagement with the campaign by offering prizes. In exchange for getting friends to share their contacts, hosting Trump events in their home or knocking on doors, voters get perks like better rally seats, photos with the President, signed hats and other incentives.
(Another WinRed story (HuffPo), in which WinRed hasn't gone live yet partially because Republican consulting firms are afraid of the Trump campaign stealing their data.) Time also talks about how the campaign monetizes shit said at campaign rallies:
A rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., in late March offers a case in point. Trump issued an off-the-cuff threat to “close the damn border” if Mexico didn’t stop two large caravans heading toward the southwest border. The crowd erupted in cheers. Electrified by the response, Trump told aides he wanted to move ahead with a plan to close ports of entry. A series of three tweets were drafted to be released on Trump’s Twitter feed the next morning, announcing that large sections of the border would be closed the following week.

As news stories and web searches spiked, the campaign bought digital ads about immigration. Though the President later backed off the threat, his campaign kept the momentum going by spending $250,000 over the next nine weeks pushing out ads on Facebook and paying for clicks on Google Search. “The content we produce, the advertising we platform, there’s never been anything like it in politics,” Parscale says. “We have our own television show in a way.”
posted by box at 9:24 AM on June 20 [7 favorites]


Nancy Pelosi responds to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex's 'concentration camps' remark, warns Democrats about 'politically charged' atmosphere
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Democrats to watch what they say in today's "politically charged" climate after freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came under fire for classifying immigrant detention centers as concentration camps. "They come to represent their districts and their point of view," Pelosi said of freshman Democrats during a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Wednesday morning. "They take responsibility for the statements they make." Pelosi went on to warn the Democratic caucus as a whole about "how politically charged the atmosphere is" and that their rivals may exploit the comments they make. She told reporters that she had not talked to Ocasio-Cortez about her recent comments slamming immigrant detention centers.
Nancy Pelosi Defended Joe Biden’s Comments About Working With Segregationists, Calling The Former Vice President “Authentic”
“Authenticity is the most important characteristic that candidates have to convey,” Pelosi said in response to a question from a reporter about the remarks and the calls from several other 2020 candidates for an apology. “Joe Biden is authentic… He considers certain things a resource, that he has worked across the aisle. That's what he was saying. That's not what this election is about.” [...] “This election is about how we connect with the American people, addressing their kitchen-table needs. For us to spend time on an issue like this — which is important, but it's not central," she said, adding, “Biden seems to have tremendous support in the African-American community, but it’s for them to decide. That’s what elections are about.”

When a reporter then asked the Pelosi about Iran, she responded, “Thank you for talking about an issue, God forbid.”
primary primary primary primary primary
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:35 AM on June 20 [32 favorites]


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex

This may just be the most MetaFilter thing I've ever seen :)
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:46 AM on June 20 [96 favorites]


“Authenticity is the most important characteristic that candidates have to convey,” Pelosi said

Just as a reminder, Pelosi was hand-picked for her House seat by the previous Representative (herself the widow of the previous holder of the seat, who has been credited with creating the modern lobbyist industry), and has never faced a viable challenger (primary or general) since. Taking lessons from her on winning elections is like taking basketball lessons from Wilt Chamberlain: there's some insights to be gleaned, but you're starting from "Be 7'1", preferably with a 7'8" wingspan."
posted by Etrigan at 9:46 AM on June 20 [22 favorites]


Nancy Pelosi's political success isn't about winning her own safe seat, it's about helping take back the House for the Democrats and keeping her caucus organized and moving (somewhat) in sync.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:53 AM on June 20 [16 favorites]


Joe Biden is authentic… He considers certain things a resource, that he has worked across the aisle. That's what he was saying. That's not what this election is about.

That's word salad. We point it out when Trump does it. We should point it out when Democrats do it.
posted by diogenes at 9:57 AM on June 20 [19 favorites]


> Nancy Pelosi's political success isn't about winning her own safe seat, it's about helping take back the House for the Democrats and keeping her caucus organized and moving (somewhat) in sync.

Right, but the latter doesn't happen without the former. Etrigan's comment acknowledges that she's accomplished a lot, but when she's leaning on platitudes like "authenticity" in defense of Biden palling around with segregationists, it's not out of bounds to acknowledge that she hasn't really had to fight that much to win elections of her own, and therefore might not be as in touch with what voters really want from a Presidential candidate as she is with, say, the strategy of getting the Affordable Care Act passed.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:18 AM on June 20 [9 favorites]


I just am not seeing Pelosi as a sell-out, nor do I read her comments as squelching other voices. The interpretation that she's "warning" Democrats, as if to silence them, seems more like a manufactured Dems in disarray narrative than an actual policy of hers.

Things I have heard from Nancy Pelosi in the past two months (via her email newsletter):
  • "... the Mueller Report ... does not exonerate the President. Instead, it concludes that the Trump team was aware of and openly supportive of Russian attempts to interfere in the election ... Further, it lays out ten instances of the President trying to obstruct the investigation — and explicitly states that the decision not to charge the President was guided by a Trump Administration DOJ policy, not a lack of evidence. ... The Congress will continue to uphold our constitutional duty to hold the President accountable for his deceit, lies and improper behavior. No one is above the law." (April 19)
  • "Attorney General Barr has sold out the rule of law, violated the public trust and compromised the integrity of the Department of Justice – all to protect this increasingly lawless President. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to release the full, unredacted Mueller report and underlying evidence. Now, the President has taken the extreme step to assert executive privilege over the entire document. The Constitution enshrines Congress’s authority to conduct oversight of the Executive branch to ensure that government works for the people – yet this Administration continues to trample over the Constitution and conceal the truth from the public. Congressional Democrats are prepared to conduct our constitutional oversight responsibility and find the truth that the American people deserve to know." (May 10)
  • "No Exoneration - ... Mueller set the record straight and reiterated the contents of his findings: Russia meddled in our elections, the President’s team welcomed Russian interference and the President tried to obstruct the investigation in eleven different instances. ... Despite Department of Justice policy to the contrary, no one is above the law – not even the President. The Congress holds sacred its constitutional responsibility to investigate and hold the President accountable for his abuse of power. We will continue to investigate and legislate to protect our elections and secure our democracy." (May 31)
  • "The Special Counsel’s report:
    • Revealed that the President’s campaign welcomed Russian interference in the election, with more than 175 contacts between campaign officials and the Russians;
    • Exposed at least ten instances when Trump asked his staff to lie or create false documents to mislead the Mueller investigation and cover up the truth of his actions, and;
    • Outlined at least eleven instances when Trump tried to obstruct justice by improperly interfering with the investigation himself, in addition to instances of witness tampering.
    Democrats will continue to legislate, investigate and litigate to uncover the truth for the American people." (June 14)

I don't hear any of that as backing down. I hear the experience of a woman who's been in Congress for over 30 years and has some sense of what's possible - and who knows that Trump and foreign interference are potentially fatal threats to the nation, but recognizes that many Americans care more about health care than Russia, and wants to make sure those people know she's paying attention to them.

I don't think Pelosi is perfect, but I think she's doing an impossible job as well as anyone possibly could. The fact of the matter is that she is not all-powerful. If she could single-handedly write an executive order removing Trump from office for obstruction, I honestly believe she would. When I look at her words and actions, I conclude she's doing everything she can to push the recalcitrant behemoth of a government in the right direction.

I think villifying her does more harm than good.
posted by kristi at 10:19 AM on June 20 [36 favorites]


Convenient that there happened to be another drone within visible range of the drone that was shot down to get video of the incident
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:26 AM on June 20 [17 favorites]


Drawing on his tech-startup background, Parscale is also developing a smartphone app that attempts to “gamify” Trump supporters’ engagement with the campaign by offering prizes. In exchange for getting friends to share their contacts, hosting Trump events in their home or knocking on doors, voters get perks like better rally seats, photos with the President, signed hats and other incentives.

Trendy gamification aside, Parscale's plan to harvest telephone numbers for Trump's re-election campaign is the smartest move he's made so far. WSJ: Never Mind Those Tweets, Trump’s 2020 Re-Election Team Wants Order and Discipline—Four years after the president flouted electioneering tradition, his re-election team is taking a more conventional approach
The way his top campaign advisers see it, the key for his re-election is to push supporters to the polls, not to boost his approval rating or persuade skeptics. […]

The campaign aims to build a political infrastructure that can operate regardless of what Mr. Trump says on stage or on social media. Mr. Trump’s Twitter feed is spoken of as his own brand, separate from the campaign.[…]

Now, Mr. Parscale is overseeing spending of roughly $2 million a month for what he calls “prospecting.” In the business world, that refers to identifying prospective customers, the first step in the sales process. Mr. Parscale uses the word to refer to accumulating the phones numbers of Trump supporters.

To drive voters to the polls, the campaign has been focusing to a greater degree than in 2016 on expanding its list of voter contacts, collecting that information in part through the president’s campaign rallies.

At the end of the 2016 campaign, the campaign had about 10 million voters on its list. Today it has more than 33 million, or about half of the number of Americans who voted for Mr. Trump in 2016. Mr. Parscale expects to have 50 million, or possibly more, by Election Day. Those phone numbers enable the campaign to reach supporters immediately, without having to buy TV ads or rely on the news media.
Incidentally, at the moment,Trump appears to be fixated on winning Minnesota, which he lost by 1.5% in 2016, but his campaign advisers want to focus more on the states where he had the narrowest margin of victory in 2016: Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:26 AM on June 20 [4 favorites]


Trump is giving up on regime change in Venezuela because it's complicated and he got bored, report says.

Looks like he's also getting bored about Iran owning our drone:

Trump says he believes strike by Iran was not intentional
"Iran made a very big mistake!" President Trump tweeted on Thursday morning, likely referring to Iran's downing of the U.S. drone. Senior officials also met at the White House Wednesday night after reports of a missile strike in Saudi Arabia.

When asked by reporters what his response to Iran will be, Mr. Trump said: "You'll find out."

However, Mr. Trump told reporters later that he believed the strike on the American drone was likely unintentional.

"I find it hard to believe it was intentional," Mr. Trump said, adding that it was perhaps a general or someone "under command" of the Iranian government who mistakenly authorized the strike. "It could've been somebody who was loose and stupid," he continued.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:27 AM on June 20 [5 favorites]


> I think villifying her does more harm than good.

Agreed, but I also think casting any disagreement with her words and actions as "vilifying" also does more harm than good.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:32 AM on June 20 [21 favorites]


Nancy Pelosi's political success isn't about winning her own safe seat, it's about helping take back the House for the Democrats and keeping her caucus organized and moving (somewhat) in sync.

To which the response is that's she's batting more like .500, not 1.000. If you're going to laud her for electoral success (such as 2008) then you have to hold her responsible for failures (i.e 2014).
posted by zombieflanders at 10:37 AM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Batting .500 would make you the greatest hitter in the history of baseball.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:47 AM on June 20 [8 favorites]


Pelosi and Biden (especially) absolutely need AOC out there being her own self, even if they dislike it. Sanders they, the Dem Establishment, can paint into a corner and isolate for a bunch of reasons, AOC they cannot ignore. She makes them, the whole party be better.
posted by bonehead at 10:48 AM on June 20 [40 favorites]


Batting .500 would make you the greatest hitter in the history of baseball.

Which doesn't help you one goddamn bit when the Commissioner decides to take all the power for themselves. It's not meant to be a perfect metaphor, it's meant to point out that talking about her electoral success doesn't mean that she's actually doing her job as well as she can.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:58 AM on June 20 [3 favorites]


As one of his constituents, I am absolutely delighted to hear that Tom Emmer is misfiring on all thrusters as chairman of the NRCC. This is the man who ran for and won Michele Bachmann's seat as the Republican successor. His political record shows him pandering to the worst impulses of the Republican Party, which makes him an outlier even among Minnesota Republicans, at least historically.
posted by Autumnheart at 10:59 AM on June 20 [4 favorites]


She's batting .500 in the House, at which point the Senate Dems come to the plate and are formally prohibited from swinging the bat.

For some reason, the Dems lead the league in Left On Base.
posted by delfin at 11:03 AM on June 20 [3 favorites]


The interpretation that she's "warning" Democrats

She literally warned them. No need to interpret or put it in quotes.

Things I have heard from Nancy Pelosi in the past two months

None of that is on the subject in question which is the use of the the term "concentration camp."
posted by diogenes at 11:07 AM on June 20 [8 favorites]


The last cycle had so many complaints about Bernie and his supporters not coalescing around Hillary fast enough, or about how he hurt Hillary by attacking her supposed corporate connections and weakening her for the general elections. Am not looking forward to what this cycle is going to bring. Hopefully there won't be any needs for finger pointing or soul searching.
posted by asra at 11:10 AM on June 20 [3 favorites]


I would assume that once a candidate wistfully pines for segregation or specifically assures wealthy donors at a Wall Street fundraiser that "nothing will change" for them under their leadership, people would understand a lack of enthusiasm.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:19 AM on June 20 [21 favorites]


As news stories and web searches spiked, the campaign bought digital ads about immigration. Though the President later backed off the threat, his campaign kept the momentum going by spending $250,000 over the next nine weeks pushing out ads on Facebook and paying for clicks on Google Search. “The content we produce, the advertising we platform, there’s never been anything like it in politics,” Parscale says. “We have our own television show in a way.”

Any way to have some bots click all those ads repeatedly and deplete Parscale's budget?
posted by M-x shell at 11:22 AM on June 20 [8 favorites]


Health care round-up:

There's been a surprisingly effective push on a bipartisan deal to end surprise billing for out of network charges. That's not, you know, a major nationalization of the health care system, but it is a meaningful effort to do something, and also one that shows how hard and slow it is to change even just one small part of the system.

BuzzFeed, A New Bill To End Surprise Hospital Billing Could Be Congress's Only Shot At Fixing Something In The Health Care System, in which leverage works:
But many senators aren't having it. Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun told BuzzFeed News Wednesday the system is so broken that if improvements aren't made the industry will be facing a switch to single payer.

“I’ve warned industry that time is running out," said Braun. "They know what the other option is — Bernie Sanders and Medicare For All, if they don’t get their act together.”
You can get all the wonky details in this brief: An examination of surprise medical bills and proposals to protect consumers from them. Note the stats on the extent of the problem: 18% of ER visits by people with plans from large employers result in at least one out-of-network bill, and it's 38% in Texas. Two thirds of poll respondents are very or somewhat worried about not being able to afford an unexpected medical bill, though it's 37% for food, which rather suggests the broader problem with wealth and inequality in this country that goes well beyond medical bills.

----

New England Journal of Medicine, Medicaid Work Requirements — Results from the First Year in Arkansas [direct unpaywalled PDF link]. The quick version:
In its first 6 months, work requirements in Arkansas were associated with a significant loss of #Medicaid coverage and rise in the percentage of uninsured persons.

We found no significant changes in employment associated with the policy, and more than 95% of persons who were targeted by the policy already met the requirement or should have been exempt.

the implementation of this policy was plagued by confusion among many enrollees... One third of persons who were subject to the policy had not heard anything about it, and 44% of the target population was unsure whether the requirements applied to them."
Drew Altman makes a good point about this: Why Medicaid work requirements aren't the same as welfare reform. As bad as the 1996 welfare reform bill was, it at least came with new federal funding for job training and child care. A lot of that didn't really happen, but the premise at least was a deal that the government would redirect welfare money into non-cash services that could help people work. With the Medicaid work requirements, we're not even pretending anymore; it's just punishing poor people.

The administration is so desperate to take health care away from the "undeserving" that it wants even more states to do this despite it having no actual effect on employment. As always, the cruelty is the point.

----

WSJ, Trump to Issue Executive Order on Health-Care Price Transparency
President Trump plans to issue an executive order on Monday to compel the disclosure of prices in health care, according to people familiar with the matter. The order will direct federal agencies to initiate regulations and guidance that could require insurers, doctors, hospitals and others in the industry to provide information about the negotiated and often discounted cost of care, sources said.

Consumers and employers will benefit because pulling back the secrecy around the prices will allow them to shop for lower cost care and benefits, advocates say. But industry groups including hospitals and insurers have balked at the idea, saying it could cause costs to climb if some businesses learn competitors are getting bigger discounts. They also say consumers really want to know their own out-of-pocket costs and won’t benefit from full disclosure of negotiated prices.
I read this as part of Trump's strategy to undermine the Democratic primary debates next week (Trump’s plan for the Dem debates: Make it about him). We all know Trump has no health care plan, but he doesn't have to have one. He just needs to have enough stuff that looks like it's vaguely useful while spreading FUD about what Democrats want.

----

But the biggest impediment to that strategy: the administration's usual nonsense. Politico, ‘They’re all fighting him’: Trump aides spar with health secretary
Azar has spent months battling White House domestic policy chief Joe Grogan, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and other officials over proposals targeting high drug prices, Medicaid and Obamacare, individuals inside and outside the administration said. But Azar has been repeatedly overruled, including on Trump’s decision to reverse a Justice Department stance in a high-profile Texas lawsuit and urge courts to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act.

Azar “hasn’t exactly been in line here recently,” said one administration official.

A former drug company executive-turned-Cabinet secretary, Azar also resisted letting Florida import drugs from Canada, a plan sought by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump ally. The simmering clash has pitted the ideological bent of officials like Grogan and Mulvaney — who see themselves as upholding Trump’s hard-line agenda — against Azar, a conservative but pragmatic former George W. Bush administration official.

Trump also overruled Azar on a recent decision to limit researchers’ access to fetal tissue obtained from abortion. Azar objected to the administration’s plan to ban government scientists at the NIH from doing such research. Pence strongly disagreed, as stopping fetal tissue projects is a top priority for him.
posted by zachlipton at 11:26 AM on June 20 [13 favorites]


> Any way to have some bots click all those ads repeatedly and deplete Parscale's budget?

Doubtful. For all of the tech industry's complaints that developing algorithms to stop the spread of fake news and online hate speech is so difficult, they're really good at detecting ad fraud.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:30 AM on June 20 [15 favorites]


“I’ve warned industry that time is running out," said Braun. "They know what the other option is — Bernie Sanders and Medicare For All, if they don’t get their act together.”

This is the most useful, accurate, and compelling thing anyone has said on the internet in a very long time.
posted by Melismata at 12:01 PM on June 20 [14 favorites]


I want to believe in Pelosi's expertise, I really do, and I'm sure there are aspects of her job that are difficult for me to imagine let alone fully grasp and many things she is doing right that I couldn't, but then there are things that make absolutely no sense to me like:

"They take responsibility for the statements they make." Pelosi went on to warn the Democratic caucus as a whole about "how politically charged the atmosphere is" and that their rivals may exploit the comments they make.

I don't understand this at all. Has she not noticed that you can be a centrist technocrat and Republicans will make you out to be 2nd coming of Stalin? Didn't she notice this last week when a Biden bi-partisan call (more or less "if you can't work with the other side, the alternative is a revolution") was turned into an accusation of *calling* for a revolution by Cornyn? Has she seen the AOC memes that are based off of things Republicans like to imagine she said rather than things she's actually said?

The atmosphere *is* politically charged. It is charged because the Republican party has totalized politics. You can say something, you can say nothing (literally, I say a video recently that was a supercut of Pelosi inhaling), you can give the godammed Gettysburg address, it doesn't matter, they will find a way to demonize you.

So can somebody help me understand why Pelosi cares about this?

Is it performing control/restraint for the benefit of a centrist audience? Even that I'm not sure I get, but maybe that's because I'm a centrist whose centrism has been obliterated by the last two years.
posted by wildblueyonder at 12:07 PM on June 20 [26 favorites]


Vox, The recent Republican blowback to Trump judicial nominees, explained
The Senate’s agenda is basically judges, judges, and more judges

As evidence of just how scant the upper chamber’s legislative agenda is, both Democratic congressional leaders and Senate leader McConnell have been keen to describe the Senate as a “legislative graveyard.”

For Democrats, the term is intended as an insult, a jab at how little legislation lawmakers are passing with the upper chamber’s Republican majority. For Republicans, the term is a point of pride, and something McConnell has used to brag about when he puts the kibosh on what he deems “socialist” policies.

Rather than passing legislation, the Senate has been laser-focused on confirming judges — efforts that McConnell sees as having an impact that could last for decades. Thus far in Trump’s presidency, lawmakers have approved circuit court judges at a rate that far surpasses those of recent predecessors. McConnell has said he’s advocated this approach because judges have lifetime appointments, which can’t really be reversed like legislation can.
But don't get too excited about the handful of blocked nominations.

HuffPost, Senate Confirms Judge Who Attacked Roe v. Wade, Called Being Transgender ‘A Delusion’: Susan Collins was the only Republican who voted against making Matthew Kacsmaryk a lifetime federal judge.

I assume there's some sort of crap exchange rate where Trump gets to give lifetime appointments to a certain number of homophobes in exchange for a tweet acknowledging pride month.
posted by zachlipton at 12:14 PM on June 20 [10 favorites]


African Migrants Are Becoming A New Face Of The U.S. Border Crisis (Robbie Feinberg and Bonnie Petrie for NPR, June 20, 2019)
The crisis on the southern border has been driven by a surge of migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Now there's a new face of the crisis: Hundreds of African migrants have crossed the border in recent weeks, many to seek asylum.
...
Border Patrol agents in the Del Rio sector of South Texas recently took into custody more than 500 migrants in just one week, mostly families from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Angola.
...
"That journey through Central America and Mexico has been facilitated by these large migrant caravans, by more sophisticated and faster smuggling routes, and it's an easier journey from Guatemala onward than it has been in the past," [says Randy Capps, director of research for U.S. programs at the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank].

Capps says the U.S. can expect more migrants from all over the world to seek asylum in the United States unless Mexico does more to stop them. After threatening to impose tariffs, President Trump recently gave Mexico 45 days to act. Mexico pledged to beef up security on its southern border.
Apparently, the broad publicity of the "crisis at the border" makes the US seem more welcoming than EU countries.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:19 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


A witness for the prosecution of Navy SEAL accused of war crime, after being granted immunity, claimed on the stand that he murdered the POW and not Gallagher.
“You never said that you covered the tube, did you?” asked Lt. Brian John, the prosecutor.

“You said he maintained vital signs until he stopped breathing,” he continued, reading off an interview transcript, accusing Scott of changing his story “only now, after you’ve been granted testimonial immunity.”

“You can lie about the fact that you killed the ISIS prisoner because you don’t want Chief Gallagher to go to jail,” Lt. John continued.

“I don’t want him to go to jail,” Scott shot back.
What a farce. The miserable failure stretches from the murderous and self-protecting rank-and-file culture to the prosecutorial incompetence to the gleeful cruelty and promise of impunity at the top.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:38 PM on June 20 [16 favorites]


I'm no attorney, let alone a military one, but wouldnt most immunity-for-testimony deals also require the testimony be consistent with prior statements?
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:48 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


So that drone Iran shot down is not just any old run-of-the-mill drone. It's a fancy new $200 million prototype & we only have 4, now 3, of them.

The U.S. Drone Shot Down by Iran Is a $200 Million Prototype Spy Plane
The Navy now possesses as few as three of the high-flying, 737-size BAMS-D drones, which can theoretically watch over the Persian Gulf around the clock.
The U.S. military drone Iran shot down over the Persian Gulf on Thursday was a high-flying prototype model belonging to the Navy.
The Navy for years has deployed the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator, or BAMS-D, drones on an emergency basis, stationing the 737-size unmanned aerial vehicles to watch over Syria and Iran.
The unarmed BAMS-D drone “was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz,” Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a U.S. Central Command spokesperson, told The Daily Beast via email.
posted by scalefree at 12:49 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Update from the Not Putting Up With Republican Nonsense Department: Oregon governor sends police to find missing Republicans, bring them to Capitol

Minority Republicans are in literal hiding from the Oregon state senate to prevent a quorum - notably, to prevent a vote on a cap and trade carbon bill. (I'm so old I remember when cap and trade was a Republican idea...)
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 1:10 PM on June 20 [60 favorites]


Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth.
The president appears committed to destroying the very idea of facts.
posted by adamvasco at 1:15 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


wildblueyonder: The atmosphere *is* politically charged. It is charged because the Republican party has totalized politics. You can say something, you can say nothing (literally, I say a video recently that was a supercut of Pelosi inhaling), you can give the godammed Gettysburg address, it doesn't matter, they will find a way to demonize you.

So can somebody help me understand why Pelosi cares about this?

Is it performing control/restraint for the benefit of a centrist audience? Even that I'm not sure I get, but maybe that's because I'm a centrist whose centrism has been obliterated by the last two years.


The not-acknowledging-villains thing described in the New Republic article linked by tonycpsu above captures a lot in our discourse, I think. Democrats, the media, and individual voters all feel a sense of freedom to acknowledge the problems but not to explicitly connect them to individuals. Even as we humans have a deep capacity for scapegoating, we also have lots of wiring for blame-avoidance, perhaps as a simple consequence of seeing the people we might blame as members of the in-group, or at least as friends-of-friends. (And also maybe as a kind of counterbalance to our scapegoating tendencies.)

So the result is generalized complaints about "Washington gridlock" and concerns over racism and intolerance and corruption, with no mention of particular intolerant corrupt racists. "One party over here is the bad party and the other is the good party" just feels icky to say, think, or hear, unless you're either paying pretty serious attention to the parties, or (namely in the case of Trumpists) have an authoritarian mindset that's primed for such a narrative.

I don't know whether and how a critical mass might be reached that flips this switch, morphing the 15% to 40% of Americans who just want the comfort of going "back to normal" into the only actually-sensible-and-effective kind of anti-Trumpist, namely a progressive or leftist or similar. I don't even know if there's a good historical non-violent precedent for it in world history. It's one reason social conservatives (in their "against David French" convo) and Joe Biden (in his "We'll just have to work together, there's no other choice") are hinting at the same larger threats against liberal democracy, albeit from opposite sides of that coin.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:16 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


A federal judge in Boston today issued a preliminary injunction that bars ICE from going into Massachusetts courthouses and detaining people not already in custody - such as witnesses in criminal cases, people seeking restraining orders against abusive domestic partners and people who just have some reason to be in court.

US District Court Judge Indira Talwani said two county DAs (Middlesex's Marian Ryan and Suffolk's Rachael Rollins) and the state public-defender program "have demonstrated a likelihood of success" in their suit seeking a permanent ban on the practice. Their motion for a preliminary injunction cited 200 years of precedent barring the use of courthouses as a place to go detain people.
posted by adamg at 1:20 PM on June 20 [28 favorites]


"I fought for our country in Vietnam. I fought for our country and its laws as Chief Justice. I fought for morality and to preserve our moral institutions, and I'm ready to do it again. And yes I will run for the United States Senate in 2020."

Roy Moore is baaaack, y'all.
posted by delfin at 1:22 PM on June 20 [10 favorites]


Addendum to my point: One key exception to the social consensus of "We who are decent, broad-minded people must never collectively blame or target individuals as The Bad Guys" is found in much of the discussion about Donald Trump himself, precisely because of how much he violates the rule, thus creating a carve-out for tit-for-tat. By contrast, Mitch McConnell doesn't spend all day devising moronic nicknames for Nancy Pelosi, so if (unlike with Trump) she takes a hard line against him and calls him the problem with this country, she looks (to anyone underinformed) like the bully.

AOC violated the rule because even if she doesn't name villains, calling these places "concentration camps" carries an incredibly obvious implication about villainy. The conversation we're having now wasn't quite the same as with child separation, because that was so blatantly indefensible that most conservatives were shifting to "Obama did it too!", and as a result anyone could freely label the practice as horrific without being partisan.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:25 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


AP: Lawyers claim dangerous situation at border detention site
A legal team that recently interviewed over 60 children at a Border Patrol station in Texas says a traumatic and dangerous situation is unfolding for some 250 infants, children and teens locked up for up to 27 days without adequate food, water and sanitation.

A team of attorneys who recently visited the facility near El Paso told The Associated Press that three girls, ages 10 to 15, said they had been taking turns keeping watch over a sick 2-year-old boy because there was no one else to look after him.

When the lawyers saw the 2-year-old boy, he wasn’t wearing a diaper and had wet his pants, and his shirt was smeared in mucus. They said at least 15 children at the facility had the flu, and some were kept in medical quarantine. Children told lawyers that they were fed uncooked frozen food or rice and had gone weeks without bathing or a clean change of clothes at the facility in Clint, in the desert scrubland some 25 miles southeast of El Paso.

“In my 22 years of doing visits with children in detention I have never heard of this level of inhumanity,” said Holly Cooper, an attorney who represents detained youth.
You can ask God to forgive us, but the future won't.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:31 PM on June 20 [82 favorites]


The unarmed BAMS-D drone “was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz,”

You have to know exactly where these things are to fly them, right? The Pentagon as released "a map, with no GPS coordinates, that showed the drone was shot down in the Strait of Hormuz."
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif posted on Twitter Thursday what he said were the coordinates for where the American drone was targeted. “(25°59’43”N 57°02’25”E)” he tweeted, near Kouh-e Mobarak.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:38 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


The religious right is getting played by the Supreme Court (Ian Millheiser, Think Progress)
If you want to win big in the Supreme Court, it helps to be rich.
Though the current lineup of the Supreme Court favors religious conservatives, they're moving incrementally on cases involving religion in order to keep out of the spotlight and avoid becoming an issue in the 2020 elections.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:40 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah rehash Trump's Orlando rally: Exact same lines and crowd-size lies
"Usually, a re-election campaign offers new ideas, new policies to move the country forward," Trevor Noah said on Wednesday's Daily Show, but President Trump's Tuesday night speech "felt like an exact replica of him running in 2016 — and when I say an exact replica, I mean exact." Here's what he means.
...
"In the runup to this thing, Trump and his folks kept saying that this thing was oversold, something like 100,000 tickets — or 120,000, something like that — for only 25,000 seats in the arena," Colbert said. "That's why they said they had to have that '45 Fest' out in the parking lot, for the overflow crowd of 75,000 people who couldn't get in. That is impressive! That is also a lie."

Colbert showed Late Show footage of the "overflow crowd" outside the arena. And "it's no one — just garbage and abandoned yard furniture," he said. "But maybe that crowd went home, without any of their chairs, because they couldn't get into that sold-out arena? Again, no, because our team got their press credentials denied at the last minute — and this is true — so they just went online and got tickets and walked in ... to take any one of the many, many empty seats in the arena."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:43 PM on June 20 [29 favorites]


So we're formulating a theory that the US deliberately sent a drone into Iranian airspace in order to provoke a response (i.e., shooting it down) which can then be used as justification for war, because the US is falsely claiming that the drone was in international airspace? Is that where we're at?

I mean, I don't find this the least bit implausible. I just want to make sure I understand what's going on here.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:43 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Nadler: Hope Hicks broke with Trump on accepting foreign dirt (Politico)
Hope Hicks broke with President Donald Trump during her interview with the House Judiciary Committee this week, telling lawmakers that offers of foreign assistance in U.S. elections should be “rejected and reported to the FBI,” Chairman Jerry Nadler said on Thursday. [...]

Nadler indicated during a Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday that Hicks was also asked about Trump’s recent comments to ABC News in which he suggested that he would accept a foreign adversary’s offer of damaging information about a political opponent. According to Nadler, Hicks “knew that the president’s statement was troubling” and “understood the president to be serious.”

“She also made clear that even she knew that such foreign assistance should be rejected and reported to the FBI,” added Nadler. Nadler did not quote Hicks directly, but the transcript of her testimony is set to be released later this week.
Emphasis added to what is front of our noses.
posted by Little Dawn at 1:48 PM on June 20 [12 favorites]


There's precedent for territorial 'incursion'.
posted by j_curiouser at 1:52 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Roy Moore is baaaack, y'all.

YMMV, but I find it hard to be outraged at the return of a serial child abuser when the Republican party baseline is to support and defend putting children in concentration camps. All the evil Roy Moore has personally done is a drop in the bucket compared to what literally any Republican member of Congress has done and will do in the future if they have power.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:00 PM on June 20 [15 favorites]


Is it possible that the claims of both Iran and the US regarding the drone are true? Like, was the drone in Iran's airspace when it was targeted but had returned to international waters by the time the missile hit?
posted by SpaceBass at 2:07 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


From Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth, linked above:
Trump is not simply a serial liar; he is attempting to murder the very idea of truth, which is even worse. “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda,” according to the Russian dissident and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. “It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”
His narcissism, eugenics, positive thinking Gospel from Norman Vincent Peale & probable solipsism combine in Trump's brain to create a situation where things are true only as long as he wants them to be. In effect he wills them to be true; they become true because that's what he needs in the moment. Because of his unique position of power that puts enormous pressure on the rest of the world to conform to his truth. And when his will changes as it so frequently does, so must the truth. Things that are true today may not be true tomorrow.
posted by scalefree at 2:07 PM on June 20 [22 favorites]


CNN: Roger Stone violated gag order with social media posts, prosecutors say
"In the past several days, Stone posted statements on social media about this case and the special counsel's investigation and appears to have specifically targeted those posts at major media outlets," prosecutors said in a court filing Thursday.

"On or about June 18 and 19, 2019, the defendant posted to Instagram and Facebook, commenting about this case and inviting news organizations to cover the issue," prosecutors wrote. "This is a violation of the current conditions of release."
Politico: Prosecutors rebut Roger Stone: U.S. caught Russian election hackers on its own—Trump ally has alleged the government relied solely on ‘an inconclusive and unsubstantiated report’ written by a cyber research firm.
Government investigators independently verified that Russian operatives hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016 and did not rely on a private cyber firm’s findings, federal prosecutors in the Roger Stone case in a court filing on Thursday.[…]

“Stone’s statement that the government has no other evidence is not only irrelevant to this proceeding but is also mistaken,” they wrote. “The government accordingly wishes to correct any misimpression.”

Thursday’s filing is the second time in less than a month that prosecutors have directly refuted Stone’s out-of-the-mainstream argument that Russia may not have been responsible for the DNC hack, a theory that Trump has floated publicly in the past.
Sounds like the old rat-fucker didn’t have a good day in court.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:07 PM on June 20 [18 favorites]


I just sent this comment verbatim to Sen. Mike Bennett (D-CO). Asked him to get down there and put a stop to it. (My congress-thing is a giant fascist douche, so I saved my energy🤮.)
posted by j_curiouser at 2:17 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Roy Moore is baaaack, y'all.

Asked what he'd like to do differently this time around, Moore told reporters on Thursday: "I would like to make more personal contact with people." (CBSNews, not The Onion)
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:43 PM on June 20 [24 favorites]


Thursday’s filing is the second time in less than a month that prosecutors have directly refuted Stone’s out-of-the-mainstream argument that Russia may not have been responsible for the DNC hack, a theory that Trump has floated publicly in the past.

Either Stone is so used to getting away with things that he really can't imagine he won't this time too, or.... he's knows that whatever sticks in court, he knows he can appeal (and try the court itself) in the friendly field of the propaganda media environment that's a reflection of his soul, which is why he / his defense might float theories that conservatives and Trump himself deploy, out of which will come the near automatic pardon. And bonus: propaganda arm gets the advantage of being able to erode the credibility of the courts. Both of which gets them a little further down the road towards the world there's no such thing as accountability for their they and their team.

I hope it's just the former.
posted by wildblueyonder at 2:46 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


The Supreme Court’s Conservatives Are Ready to Take a Wrecking Ball to the Entire Federal Bureaucracy
Justice Samuel Alito provided the fifth vote to uphold the law, but did so begrudgingly. “If a majority of this Court were willing to reconsider the approach we have taken for the past 84 years,” Alito explained, “I would support that effort. But because a majority is not willing to do that, it would be freakish to single out the provision at issue here for special treatment.” In other words, Alito isn’t going to break 84 years of precedent to the benefit of a half-million sex offenders.

Why wasn’t a majority willing to revisit the nondelegation doctrine? Simple: Justice Brett Kavanaugh wasn’t yet seated when SCOTUS heard Gundy in early October and thus didn’t participate in the opinion. The conservative bloc wasn’t at full capacity. That left Justice Neil Gorsuch to pen a righteous dissent scorning “a plurality of an eight-member Court” for ignoring “the Constitution’s demands.”
...
Gorsuch’s fuzzy new rule would work a revolution in federal law. Hundreds of statutes task the executive branch with some broad goal, then let agencies fill in the details. The Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, has wide latitude to identify and restrict pollutants, because Congress doesn’t want to legislate every new regulation. Instead, it gives the EPA certain guidelines, then leaves it to the agency’s scientists to determine what rules would best serve the public. The same goes for the Department of Labor, whose experts are empowered to identify and remedy workplace abuses. Americans may complain about bureaucracy, but with Congress perpetually deadlocked, these agencies keep the government running—and, crucially, adapting to new challenges, exactly as lawmakers intended.

Now Gorsuch wants to stop all that. His vague standard would allow judges to strike down statutes that don’t give agencies sufficient direction. What laws does he have in mind? On Thursday, he limited his critique to SORNA. But soon Kavanaugh, a critic of the administrative state, will likely join his crusade, shoring up a conservative majority. At that point, it won’t just be sex offender laws that fall, but any statute that delegates too much power to agencies in the court’s subjective view. The result could permanently hobble the executive agencies that do the everyday work of carrying out the law.
They're going to destroy the administrative state, which is the only halfway functioning part of the federal government. Imagine if this irreparably broken Congress has to pass legislation for every action currently delegated to every agency. That's how they will finally kill federal oversight of everything from the markets to the environment to food safety. This is why they stole the Court. To let corporations and the religious right do as they please and completely defang the executive's ability to set or enforce any standards.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:24 PM on June 20 [51 favorites]


Another concentration camp.
A facility to house over 1,000 undocumented children is set to open Monday in Carrizo Springs, Texas—just days after almost 250 groups called on Congress to decriminalize migration and chart a new course for the
posted by adamvasco at 3:36 PM on June 20 [10 favorites]


The Hope Hicks transcript is out. Some highlights from Nadler's office: "Lawyers for the Trump Administration blocked Ms. Hicks from answering questions 155 times."

Which leads to the obvious question of why they didn't do this in public so we can have a mashup of all 155 times they stopped her from answering.

@KlasfeldReports:
Two White House counsel and reps from @TheJusticeDept's OLC were there. Acknowledging this is unusual, Nadler said in the transcript: "I note that the committee does not typically permit agency counsel to be present in a transcribed interview involving nonagency employees."

They weren't just passive observers either. Michael Purpora, a deputy counsel to the president, objected after Nadler simply asked whether Lewandowski became an executive branch official. "It's a matter of public record," Nadler noted. "Why would you object?" Hicks refused to answer *that* question.
Though this might be one reason not to do this in public. @abbydphillip: Nadler repeatedly calls Hope Hicks "Ms. Lewandowski" until she finally corrects him. "My name is Ms. Hicks":
posted by zachlipton at 3:38 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


Meanwhile, sitting N.Y. state Senator Julia Salazar says “I’m not bothered by the accusation that I am a socialist or a communist. It’s accurate in the sense that I don’t believe that housing should be for-profit, because of the harm that I’ve seen as a result of it... I’m a Marxist, and I’m not ashamed of that."

Winds, changing, etc.
posted by The Whelk at 3:58 PM on June 20 [27 favorites]


WaPo, When Trump visits his clubs, government agencies and Republicans pay to be where he is
Trump has bigger designs for the Doral club: He has suggested holding next year’s Group of Seven meeting — a gathering of world leaders — at Doral or another of his luxury resorts, current and former White House staffers said.

Since taking office, Trump has faced pushback about his official visits to his properties from some of his aides, including inside the White House Counsel’s Office. They worried about the appearance that he was using the power of the presidency to direct taxpayer money into his own pockets, according to current and former White House officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Trump has rebuffed such warnings, overruling a recommendation that he not visit his Turnberry golf club in Scotland last summer, according to aides. And in recent months, he has scheduled even more detours from official trips to visit his businesses — golf courses in Ireland, Los Angeles and Doral.
...
In all, his scores of trips have brought his private businesses at least $1.6 million in revenue, from federal officials and GOP campaigns who pay to go where Trump goes, according to a Washington Post analysis.
...
About one-third of all the political fundraisers or donor meetings that Trump has attended — 23 out of 63 — have taken place at his own properties, according to the Post analysis of federal campaign finance records and the president’s public schedule. Campaign finance records show several Republican groups paying to hold events where Trump spoke. GOP fundraisers say they do that, in part, to increase the chances Trump will attend.
...
The actual amount of money Trump has received as a result of his visits and campaign events is probably much higher than the $1.6 million The Post identified. That’s because most of the records available about government spending date to the first half of 2017 — covering just the first few months of Trump’s presidency so far. And the records of campaign spending don’t account for other revenue that Trump may have made off campaign events, including overnight stays by donors attending the event.
posted by zachlipton at 4:23 PM on June 20 [7 favorites]


The Hope Hicks transcript is out.

I hope that interview dotted lots of i's for theoretical future actions, because it was a complete waste of time in every other respect.
posted by diogenes at 4:25 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]




Nadler repeatedly calls Hope Hicks "Ms. Lewandowski" until she finally corrects him. "My name is Ms. Hicks":

What the fuuuuuuuuuuck?
I mean, I don't like the chick, but that's just wrong.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:34 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


It's kind of amazing how powerless Congress is in the face of legal gibberish.

Nadler: Ms. Hicks, have you been inside the White House?

White House Counsel: Objection. Ms. Hicks can't answer that because farble garble.

Nadler: Curses! Foiled again! See you in court at some point in the future maybe!
posted by diogenes at 4:35 PM on June 20 [28 favorites]


I mean, I don't like the chick, but that's just wrong.

Yeah, the speculation is that he was doing it on purpose because of her rumored relationship with the married Lewandowski. That might actually reflect on him even worse than if he just couldn't remember who he was interviewing.
posted by diogenes at 4:37 PM on June 20 [10 favorites]


There is intense debate on Twitter about the disagreement between the three reported sources for the drone (from Pentagon and two Iranian sources). It'd be nice if the Pentagon had more credibility, for example if they had held a real press conference in the past year, or if there was a functional SecDef.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:05 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


I don't expect Trump will nomination another Secretary of Defense, whether he's in office 2 more years, 6 or longer. He may not nominate another cabinet official period. They're deliberately operating with "acting" heads to weaken the authority of the security services and allow unconfirmed apparatchiks like Bolton or Mulvaney with his ever expanding portfolio of jobs to run vast swaths of the government. It's a deliberate strategy to consolidate power outside of congressional oversight and under Trump's direct influence.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:14 PM on June 20 [41 favorites]


WaPo, ‘I will answer every question’: Onetime Trump business partner Felix Sater is set to tell a House panel new details about Moscow project
“I will answer every question without exception,” said Sater, who worked on two separate efforts to develop a Trump tower in Russia. “I always have and always will cooperate with anything the U.S. government asks of me.”
...
Among his close associates is a retired Soviet army general named Evgeny Shmykov who Sater said aided his anti-terrorism inquiries in the 1990s and later helped him with the Trump Tower Moscow project. Shmykov, reached by telephone in Moscow, confirmed Sater’s account.

Among FBI agents, Sater’s ability to leverage information and operational plans earned him the nickname “Quarterback.”

Sater jokingly embraces a different moniker, a nod to his Jewish heritage: “Moishe Bond.”
I am so, so tired of all of these people.
posted by zachlipton at 6:52 PM on June 20 [17 favorites]


NYT, Trump Approves Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back
President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.

As late as 7 p.m. Thursday, military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.

Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.

But the action was then abruptly called off for the evening, putting a halt to what would have been the president’s third military action against targets in the Middle East. Mr. Trump had struck twice at targets in Syria, in 2017 and 2018.
At this point, I think he’s just making decisions based on whatever is the least personally inconvenient for him.
posted by zachlipton at 8:08 PM on June 20 [32 favorites]


That's a full yikes from me.
And the thing is: it really is impossible to guess why he called it off, or what might motivate him tomorrow. Like maybe he realizes this won't poll well? Maybe on some level he can sense that Bolton really is stupid? Or... I hate to say this because attacking Iran is stupid as fuck and I don't see leaving them alone as weakness or cowardice--but maybe he got cold feet?

All along I have had the sense that Trump really, desperately wants to look tough, but beneath that he's actually afraid of all the military stuff because he knows he'll probably fuck it up. Trump is the guy who makes like he's going to lunge at someone while he shouts "Hold me back!" to his friends... only now he doesn't have friends who will hold him back.

And I can type all that and we could still wake up to reports of air strikes tomorrow because someone else pissed in his ear, or because someone said this makes him look weak.

We're all stuck with this.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:16 PM on June 20 [21 favorites]


Good thing grampa's sundowning got in the way of starting WW3 today
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:21 PM on June 20 [47 favorites]


I'm flying in to Dubai a week from tomorrow so I would consider it a personal favor if Trump would not start a major war in the immediate vicinity for another month or so.
posted by Justinian at 8:25 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


They are reporting on MSNBC right now that planes were already in the air and ships were already in position, but no missiles had yet been fired, when the stand down was ordered by Trump tonight.

I have no words.
posted by gudrun at 8:33 PM on June 20 [17 favorites]


so trump did something … good?

i’m sure we’ll learn tomorrow it was for the wrong reason and on accident and he regrets it
posted by murphy slaw at 8:45 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


so trump did something … good?
It was not clear whether Mr. Trump simply changed his mind on the strikes or whether the administration altered course because of logistics or strategy. It was also not clear whether the attacks might still go forward.
He doesn't do good things. Stay tuned.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:48 PM on June 20 [6 favorites]


Trump may be an idiot but he knows ratings. He wants to get both the credit for being anti middle East war and the boost from the war hungry media. Easiest way to do that is to do very flamboyant denunciations of the war hawks before some final "provocation" is nicely timed 6 months before the election. He'll get the war bump but not have electoral consequences for the fuckup afterwards.
posted by benzenedream at 8:51 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


So, we were minutes away from an illegal first strike on Iran over 2 non-US ships being set on fire and an unmanned drone, with no lives lost. And the only thing that stopped it was Trump's insecurities and fundamental unfitness for command.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:57 PM on June 20 [30 favorites]


I know it’s tempting, but this dumbass does NOT get credit for deciding not to carry through on a war he’s done his best to initiate. Not when it’s a nuclear exchange with North Korea, not when it’s a trade war with Mexico, and not when it’s a land war in the Middle East.

I’ve heard of lowering the bar, but come on. The guy is an existential threat and a menace to global stability.
posted by darkstar at 8:58 PM on June 20 [36 favorites]


Who leaked all this? Cripes whoever it is is now taunting the President and betting that will get it done.

Fucking intolerable all of it.
posted by notyou at 8:59 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


so trump did something … good?

Well, he sure as hell didn't change his mind out of mercy or decency, so no. For the best, but not "good."

They are reporting on MSNBC right now that planes were already in the air and ships were already in position, but no missiles had yet been fired, when the stand down was ordered by Trump tonight.

If that's true, Republicans at the top are going to know it's true, and that's a big fucking deal. And for once I wonder if something might actually matter to them.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:00 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Iran’s ability to target and destroy the high-altitude American drone, which was developed to evade the very surface-to-air missiles used to bring it down, surprised some Defense Department officials, who interpreted it as a show of how difficult Tehran can make things for the United States as it deploys more troops and steps up surveillance in the region
Strongly indicative that the "whoops jeez looks like they sank our entire fleet in three hours" Millennium Challenge 2002 scenario would still hold true.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:03 PM on June 20 [14 favorites]


FAA just issued a no fly order for all US flights over the Persian Gulf. But if this attack was in progress earlier tonight, they were moving forward with US civilians in the air over Iran and the entire Middle East.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:04 PM on June 20 [22 favorites]


It's possible Trump is being given too much credit and the attack-but-then-not thing (and the sieve-like leaks to the press) is intentional and part of strategy. The Iranians aren't the only ones who can do the toeing-the-line-and-backing-off game. And Trump is no chessmaster but there are people in the Pentagon who do get paid to do that sort of thinking.

It has a bit of a Dread Pirate Roberts thing going for it. "Good night, Iranian SAM crews. Sleep well. We'll most likely kill you in the morning." Or maybe not. Or maybe tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or maybe never. But they have to sit there, waiting for the TLAMs to come over the horizon at 500kts, and that's an effect in its own right

Or maybe someone just noticed there were still a bunch of commercial airliners within range of Iranian SAMs, and in the last two minutes of their time on Earth there's not much reason for someone not to pick any random target and see if they can get a shot off in time.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:19 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Iran’s ability to target and destroy the high-altitude American drone, which was developed to evade the very surface-to-air missiles used to bring it down, surprised some Defense Department officials

That's a pretty weird statement and I'd take it with a grain of salt. The RQ-4 Global Hawk (on which the MQ-4C Triton is based) isn't stealthy. It's not especially fast. The only way in which it was "developed to evade surface-to-air missiles" is that it can fly at reasonably high altitudes. But that hasn't been exactly a barrier to strategic SAMs since, uh, May 1960.

In fact, I'd bet (just going on probabilities) that the missile used to shoot down the Triton was probably a derivative of the same missile used to shoot down the U-2 in 1960. Iran allegedly still has 300+ launchers sitting around somewhere.

The Global Hawk / Triton is meant to be hard for someone to shoot down with a MANPADS or other tactical SAM, which makes sense when you recall that it was designed in the early 2000s for the GWOT, and that's the sort of thing the Taliban might have fielded.

But nothing about it gives the appearance of something designed to survive in contested airspace. Maybe the surprise was being expressed over the decision to shoot one down, rather than the ability?
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:39 PM on June 20 [21 favorites]


Trump has probably decided retroactively that this was a great brain genius move to put pressure on Iran, but apparently everyone in the room also thought these strikes were going forward and weren't a feint. I do not believe Trump personally is capable of executing such a feint at all, much less without bragging about it 8 hours later.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:41 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


We must go to war to avenge our... er, drone.
posted by um at 11:01 PM on June 20 [14 favorites]


Rust Moranis: "Strongly indicative that the "whoops jeez looks like they sank our entire fleet in three hours" Millennium Challenge 2002 scenario would still hold true."

I've no love lost for the military-industrial complex under Bush or its arrogant delusions of infallibility, but FWIW I've seen compelling arguments that this incident was less damning than it sounds. This 2011 Reddit comment sums up some of the stronger bullet points against overinterpreting it.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:21 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


I have a completely unsubstantiated hunch that some large moving piece of this planned strike decided to stand down of their own accord in defiance of whatever their orders were at the last second. It wasn't worth it and they knew it. The White House is trying to save face.
posted by Krazor at 11:30 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


I have a completely unsubstantiated hunch that some large moving piece of this planned strike decided to stand down of their own accord in defiance of whatever their orders were at the last second. It wasn't worth it and they knew it. The White House is trying to save face.

Or they figured out that the drone was actually in Iranian airspace after all, and there's proof.
posted by carmicha at 11:53 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Bolton and the MEK.

Bolton seems to be behind this, right? I mean the guy‘s been vocally stumping for war with Iran for at last ... 20 years? And finally he’s got a puppet President whose even less in control the W - Cheney, in fact there’s no one at the rudder - so Bolton works his magic and pushes the pieces around... that’s gotta be a crazy notion, right? Pure loco? But - Occam’s razor and all...
posted by From Bklyn at 12:15 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


I think Trump just decided he didn't want to spend the evening in the situation room, but wanted to go back to the residency for Fox and Big Macs, so that's what he did. Raid canceled.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:39 AM on June 21 [41 favorites]


TEAM BRAIN WORMS
posted by angrycat at 4:02 AM on June 21 [16 favorites]


Daily Beast: Trump Super PAC Illegally Hid Donor’s Identity, Watchdog Says—Records released this week indicate the contribution came from an entirely different company, which may have knowingly violated federal campaign-finance laws. (Paywalled)
“Taken together,” CLC writes in its complaint, “the available evidence suggests an elaborate series of deliberate transfers whose precise starting point is still unknown: An unidentified client established an attorney trust account with Mr. Jacobs, who then made a $1.26 million transfer from that account to the apparently asset-poor Aaron Investments I LLC, which two days later contributed $325,000 to America First Action, which in turn ultimately—and falsely—attributed that contribution to ‘Global Energy Producers LLC.”
Lachlan Markay, the article's author, writes on Twitter, "Wire transfer records show a $325k corporate contrib to Trump's official super PAC came from a totally different, unnamed company. Two days earlier, that company got a $1.2M cash infusion from a real estate lawyer specializing in money laundering laws[.] All of this info is coming out now because an exec for these two companies failed to pay a $500k debt years ago and is still being sued for it. Which makes you think about all the similar examples of these sorts of shady financial transfers that might never see the light of day."
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:14 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


the only thing that stopped it was Trump's insecurities and fundamental unfitness for command.

That and the fact that Putin warned us against attacking Iran. Can’t piss off the boss.
posted by chris24 at 4:58 AM on June 21 [24 favorites]


Ding ding ding. Russia doesn't like it, Trump didn't realize, he got a message, called it off.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:22 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


The line over here is that the allies got on the blower and talked 45 down. Which is what friends are for, of course, and given the spectacular lack of secrecy around this lot I'd expect to see full trnscripts on Buzzfeed in about three... two... one...
posted by Devonian at 5:23 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


That's a pretty weird statement and I'd take it with a grain of salt. The RQ-4 Global Hawk (on which the MQ-4C Triton is based) isn't stealthy. It's not especially fast. The only way in which it was "developed to evade surface-to-air missiles" is that it can fly at reasonably high altitudes.

The MQ-4C Triton is also capable of dropping down low to the ground and operating at a much closer range than the Global Hawk it's based on, it carries an electronic sensor package based on the one carried by much smaller close support Reaper drones. It can drop down and look at a target from up close. We don't know what altitude this one was flying at when hit, it could've been operating pretty damn close to Iranian targets. And this is a brand new platform, this is the first time we've ever deployed it, so from the Iranian vantage, they see a Global Hawk they're used to flying around many miles away suddenly drop in and get real close, that's a pretty scary/tempting target.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:18 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Psychiatrist John Gartner: "Two years ago I compared Trump to Hitler. People didn't believe me" (Chauncey DeVega, Salon)
'Trump's presidency is a "coup in process," says Gartner. There may not be "another free and fair election"'

What will happen next if Donald Trump continues with his behavior and the United States stays this course?

I think what the American people and the world need to understand is that Donald Trump's coup is almost complete. Congress is the last line of defense. Instead of fighting back the Democrats are going to let him proceed. The Democrats are saying, "We're not going to fight Donald Trump. We're going to wait until the next game. The next election is almost here. We'll win that one."

The reality is that the United States may be getting to a point where there will not be another free and fair election because of Russian hacking and Donald Trump and the Republican Party's unwillingness to protect the country. Not only did Donald Trump collude with Russia and its agents for the first attack on the American electoral system in 2016, he is now using his power as president to open the door even wider for the next attack in 2020.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:25 AM on June 21 [45 favorites]


The line over here is that the allies got on the blower and talked 45 down.

That tracks with CBS News: "Two sources told "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan on Friday that concerns expressed to the Trump administration by allies were at least one factor in the decision to call off the strike."

Team Trump now has to spin the abortive missile strike, especially since it makes him appear weak and indecisive. Just now @realDonaldTrump went on an extended rant about Iran, Obama, the nuclear deal, etc., claiming that he called off the strike out of mercy: "We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General." Of course, an unnamed source calling "sir", as Daniel Dale has pointed out, is a telltale sign Trump is making everything up.

MoJo: Trump Confronts Iran—Without Allies, a Defense Secretary, or a Coherent Policy
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:39 AM on June 21 [17 favorites]


I think he really doesn't want to do it (not because it's wrong, obviously, but because of how it would affect him), but if he feels cornered, he will. Apparently, Fox & Friends this morning were basically complaining that he wasn't taking action. That might do it, too. And he's got Bolton and Pompeo whispering in his ear, and no SecDef.
posted by holborne at 6:46 AM on June 21 [9 favorites]


I think he really doesn't want to do it (not because it's wrong, obviously, but because of how it would affect him), but if he feels cornered, he will.

This. Trump is a simple man (to say the least) and he really didn't like the way the Iraq war worked out. He likes the idea of bombing someone completely helpless, preferably with an A-bomb, very much. He does not like the idea of a prolonged war with thousands of US casualties. And even as most of his so-called advisors tell him it will be easy, some of those generals must have had a chance to tell him it won't before they gave up/were kicked out.

And maybe there is someone cynical in that staff who can tell him that if he starts a war with Iran, there is no way he will win reelection. An unprovoked war, no allies, no end in sight? I don't even think that'll work out if he starts it 6 months before Election Day.
posted by mumimor at 7:06 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


Wisconsin's Supreme Court just upheld the restrictions on the powers of the (currently Democratic) Governor and Atty. General, passed at the last minute, in a lame-duck session, by the Republican legislature.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:17 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Politico’s Natasha Bertrand: “BREAKING: Felix Sater didn't show up to his hearing today, per House Intel. "The Committee had scheduled a voluntary staff-level interview with Mr. Sater, but he did not show up this morning as agreed. As a result, the Committee is issuing a subpoena to compel his testimony."”

CNN’s Christina Alesci: “Felix Sater's lawyer Robert Wolf just told me Sater unable to testify because of health reasons.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:23 AM on June 21 [7 favorites]


Trump’s advisors won’t promote an actual war. They will promote a no-fly zone over the Gulf and standoff attacks on IRCG units, with the IRCG recently deemed a “terrorist” organization.

The more likely danger comes from Iran responding by engaging in proxy conflicts in a more open and militarized way, such that the whole region is destabilized by a patchwork of border conflicts that bleeds its way into a theater war.

A lot of the middle-east and Persian Gulf-centric reporting forgets to remind readers that Iran also shares a long land border with Afghanistan.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:34 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


T.D. Strange: The Supreme Court’s Conservatives Are Ready to Take a Wrecking Ball to the Entire Federal Bureaucracy

I feel that this is something that could also come back to hurt conservatives, as it harms the nation.

If I'm reading this right, this could potentially require Congress to be really clear and explicit in all it's law-making. Seems obvious, but in practice, Congressional acts often fail to cover many day-to-day decisions necessary to operate federal agencies, and in turn, support state and local agencies.

Congress makes the laws. Those go in the The United States Code (USC).

Regulatory bodies (like the IRS or EPA) fill in the details with regulations. Those go in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Public agencies generally look to the CFRs for direction, because they're more explicit. If agencies have to rely solely on USC, that means a lot more ambiguity, uneven application of laws, and in general, bureaucratic gridlock (and potentially a lot more lawsuits).

I don't think the Republicans in Congress and the Senate really want to have to write all the rules, or want the U.S. to be a libertarian experiment with limited laws.

Elected representatives are asked to be Jacks and Jills of of all trades, but because that's a lot of ground to cover, they're masters of one or two areas, at best. Which is where the "deep state" administrators come in -- they're masters of their own domain, more or less, and they work with state, regional and local partners, and (hopefully) understand the range of on-the-ground realities when it comes to writing and implementing the CFRs. In fact, there are lengthy discussion periods when new CFRs are proposed, allowing everyone to comment. State and local agencies (and public interest groups, and lobbyists) take this seriously.

But of course, the current administration is pretty fond of ignoring public comments (Forbes review of FCC's decision to overturn net neutrality in Dec. 2017), though that's mostly a new thing, and hopefully will not continue into the post-Trump administration.

This current SCOTUS is fucking frightening. It's the GOP's wet dream, and everyone else's nightmares come true.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:38 AM on June 21 [9 favorites]


And maybe there is someone cynical in that staff who can tell him that if he starts a war with Iran, there is no way he will win reelection. An unprovoked war, no allies, no end in sight? I don't even think that'll work out if he starts it 6 months before Election Day.

Counterpoint: Iraq.

See also:

@realDonaldTrump
In order to get elected, @BarackObama will start a war with Iran.
11:48 AM - 29 Nov 2011
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:38 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


I feel that this is something that could also come back to hurt conservatives, as it harms the nation.

It probably will. My question is in what time frame. Months? Decades?
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:39 AM on June 21


I don't know why one would think that those kinds of laws would be struck down in a fair and logically consistent manner. The ones they like will stay the ones they don't like will go
posted by Green With You at 7:47 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


2020 Democrats Offer Up Affordable Housing Plans Amid Surging Prices (Pam Fessler for NPR, June 21, 2019)
Several of the candidates have offered extensive plans that they say would address the housing shortage that is affecting millions of low and middle income voters. They've proposed everything from refundable tax credits for overburdened renters, to spending billions of dollars on new affordable housing. They've also raised the issue as a prime example of racial and income inequality, another focus of the Democratic campaigns.
Emphasis mine, because NPR is underselling the scope of this issue. In the prior MegaThread, The Whelk linked to an article that noted that "in Los Angeles, it takes 43 years to save up a 20% down payment by setting aside 5% a year on the city’s median income. In San Francisco, it takes 40 years. In New York City, 36 years. In 1975, it took just 9 years." (The Atlantic)

If that's the time it takes for people at the median income, that means you have to go pretty far up the pay scale to be able to afford the down payment sooner.

Which is to say, this is an issue that impacts more than half of the U.S. population, and is particularly pressing for young people, and more so young families.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:47 AM on June 21 [14 favorites]


Rust Moranis: See also: @realDonaldTrump ... tweet from 2011

And there are more on this topic. Daily Dot has a good recap. I particularly like "Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate."

Trump's mirror is magical, it reflects into the future. If we had only known ....
posted by filthy light thief at 7:51 AM on June 21 [17 favorites]


Counterpoint: Iraq.

Iraq was the very highly regarded Colin Powell lying in front of the UN
It was a Coalition of the willing
It had support of the congress, across the aisle.
It was after 9/11 and people all over the world were scared and vulnerable.

There has never been a good reason to invade Iran, except maybe during the hostage crisis in 1979. 40 years ago.

Obviously, American hawks have wanted to invade Iran ever since, but they have never had international backing for it. Actually, I'm surprised the Saudis want it, because they will be obvious and easy targets if there is a war. No one likes the Saudis. But I guess that goes to show that the KSA is now also ruled by an idiot, elevated to power by his family rather than by competence.
posted by mumimor at 7:58 AM on June 21 [16 favorites]


In Guantánamo case, US government says it can indefinitely detain anyone - even US citizens
In a filing with the Supreme Court this April, lawyers for the Justice Department argued that the United States can continue to hold al-Alwi without charging him, an argument that they haven’t made since the era of President George W. Bush. The lawyers also went out of their way to stress that even if he were a U.S. citizen, they would have the power to detain him indefinitely.

“There is no bar to this Nation’s holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant,” the filing read. Were al-Alwi a citizen, they argued, he “would pose the same threat of returning to the front during the ongoing conflict.” There were no “constitutional questions” raised by this hypothetical, they maintained.
This will be applied to US citizens involved in left political movements and human rights activism within the next few years.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:22 AM on June 21 [57 favorites]


I don't think the Republicans in Congress and the Senate really … want the U.S. to be a libertarian experiment with limited laws.


Really? Seems to fit right in with their plans. Why fight "creeping regulation" piecemeal when you can undermine the entire idea of regulation? Republicans know that in a country with weak government oversight, whoever has the most money effectively writes the laws. And their donors are the people with the most money.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:33 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


So, remember that Time magazine interview I posted yesterday? Time posted a transcript. The whole thing's worth reading, but here's how it ends.

Just to set the scene, earlier in the interview, while talking about potential Democratic presidential candidates, Trump shows the reporters a letter he'd received from Kim Jong-un, and Time's photographer attempts to take a picture of it:
TIME: But why would you try to limit the [Russia] investigation only —

TRUMP: I didn’t limit the investigation.

TIME: You dictated a letter —

TRUMP: Excuse me —

TIME: — to Corey Lewandowski telling him to tell [former Attorney General Jeff] Sessions to limit the investigation [to future Russia meddling] —

TRUMP: I could have told Sessions myself if I wanted to. Under Section II —

TIME: He testified under oath —

TRUMP: Excuse me —

TIME: — under threat of prison time, that that was the case Mr. President.

TRUMP: Excuse me — Under Section II — Well, you can go to prison instead, because, if you use, if you use the photograph you took of the letter that I gave you —

TIME: Do you believe that people should be —

TRUMP: confidentially, I didn’t give it to you to take photographs of it — So don’t play that game with me. Let me just tell you something. You take a look —

TIME: I’m sorry, Mr. President. Were you threatening me with prison time?

TRUMP: Well, I told you the following. I told you you can look at this off-the-record. That doesn’t mean you take out your camera and start taking pictures of it. O.K.? So I hope you don’t have a picture of it. I know you were very quick to pull it out — even you were surprised to see that. You can’t do that stuff. So go have fun with your story. Because I’m sure it will be the 28th horrible story I have in TIME Magazine because I never — I mean — ha. It’s incredible. With all I’ve done and the success I’ve had, the way that TIME Magazine writes is absolutely incredible.

Tell them five seconds.
posted by box at 8:51 AM on June 21 [41 favorites]


WSJ: Prosecutors Intensify Scrutiny of Trump Fundraiser [and Former RNC Chair] Elliott Broidy—Federal probe examines foreigners who attended inauguration at invitation of top Trump fundraiser
Investigators are examining whether Mr. Broidy, a top fundraiser for Mr. Trump in 2016 who was later tapped as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, was paid by his intelligence-contracting firm’s foreign and prospective clients to give them special access to attend the 2017 inauguration, some of the people said. Such activity could violate campaign-finance, lobbying or money-laundering laws.

In early April, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn asked President Trump’s inaugural committee for documents related to Mr. Broidy and his company’s actual or prospective clients, including foreign politicians who attended inaugural events at Mr. Broidy’s invitation, according to people familiar with the requests. The company, called Circinus LLC, provides intelligence research and analysis for foreign governments and other clients.[…]

Prosecutors have asked witnesses over the past few months to provide information about Mr. Broidy’s business dealings and activities involving inaugural events, said the people familiar with the requests. One of Mr. Broidy’s associates, former Trump campaign official Richard Gates, has been cooperating in multiple investigations since he pleaded guilty last year as part of the Mueller investigation.

In recent weeks, Justice Department prosecutors in Washington who focus on fraud and public corruption have asked to speak to another associate of Mr. Broidy’s, Lisa Korbatov, who helped broker the deal between Mr. Broidy’s firm, another businessman and the Angolan government, according to some of the people familiar with the matter. The Daily Beast earlier reported investigators’ interest in speaking to Ms. Korbatov.
Megathread regulars will recall the Feds raided Broidy's office back in March as part of a money laundering probe.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:02 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


Iranian officials told Reuters on Friday that Tehran had received a message from U.S. President Donald Trump through Oman overnight warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent.
They spoke shortly after the New York Times reported that Trump had approved military strikes against Iran on Friday in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but called off the attacks at the last minute.

“In his message, Trump said he was against any war with Iran and wanted to talk to Tehran about various issues...He gave a short period of time to get our response but Iran’s immediate response was that it is up to Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei to decide about this issue,” one of the officials told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. A second Iranian official said: “We made it clear that the leader is against any talks, but the message will be conveyed to him to make a decision...However, we told the Omani official that any attack against Iran will have regional and international consequences.”
Trump: "I'm gonna blow you up if you don't do what I want right now"
Iran: "Nah."
Trump: "I am not going to blow you up"

The next Republican president will not be this bad at world empire.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:10 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


The next Republican president will not be this bad at world empire.

That's actually the part I worry least about. It seems the Republican Party is getting dumber by the minute, and their electorate is even dumber. There are good reasons for why this is, and we can discuss them, but maybe it needs a separate thread...
posted by mumimor at 9:14 AM on June 21 [7 favorites]


Far-right militias are protecting Oregon state senators from extradition

However close you think we are to incipient civil war, we're closer than that.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:20 AM on June 21 [62 favorites]


I can't speak to strategy or the long term. I loathe trump and the repub party - they are the instantiation of everything wrong with the world. I will say this:

Calling off an airstrike requested by the military - in response to a successful hostile missile destruction of a military asset - citing civilian casualties and disproportionate response is a reasonable act. We should encourage this kind of response by any leader.
posted by lalochezia at 9:26 AM on June 21 [8 favorites]


Right wing Polish MP invites AOC to visit "real concentration camps"

I assume he's also offering her free transportation by train.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:42 AM on June 21 [11 favorites]


The whole thing with MEK is giving me flashbacks to Junior's brilliant plan for post-war Iraq which boiled down to: hand everything over to Ahmad Chalabi and the "Iraqi National Congress".

Looks like Bolton/Trump is planning on basically the same lack of plan only with MEK taking place of the INC.
posted by sotonohito at 9:46 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


The Pentagon Revealed Its Nuclear War Strategy and It's Terrifying (Vice)
“There is plenty of goofy shit in there, but I should note that it’s the same goofy shit that has underpinned nuclear strategy for decades, just without the good sense to gloss over certain things,” Jeffrey Lewis, Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Project at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said in an email. “This Administration insists on saying the quiet part out loud.”
posted by box at 9:46 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


Calling off an airstrike requested by the military - in response to a successful hostile missile destruction of a military asset - citing civilian casualties and disproportionate response is a reasonable act. We should encourage this kind of response by any leader.

That's the story we've been given by the White House—Trump called it off because of potential casualties and the idea that it would be a disproportionate response. The fuller picture is that Trump didn't come to this epiphany on his own, but after 11th-hour calls from however many allies. Yes, we should encourage our leaders to listen to reason, but AFAIK the White House has not acknowledged that Trump listened to reason. The official line is that Trump approved the strike(s) and then called it off at the last minute. By his own tweets, he's an indecisive leader, not someone who listens to advice.
posted by emelenjr at 9:48 AM on June 21 [15 favorites]


I cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to be backing MEK, quite possibly the only group who could get every Iranian united behind defeating, which has long ceased to be a political organization and is now much closer to a cult.

I mean, it’s so bad that the idea that like Cheney was a secret Iranian asset starts to make sense.

They’re either dangerously lying or dangerously stupid or, more likely, both.
posted by The Whelk at 9:52 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


NY Magazine, E. Jean Carroll: “Trump attacked me in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman.” (cw: rape) and the full book excerpt in Hideous Men: Donald Trump assaulted me in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room 23 years ago. But he’s not alone on the list of awful men in my life. (cw: rape)
Carroll is now at least the 16th woman to accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct
posted by zachlipton at 9:54 AM on June 21 [42 favorites]


NYT, Trump to Officially Nominate Esper as Next Defense Secretary. Let's see if this one actually happens.

Fun fact: @steve_vladeck: Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, once Esper is formally nominated to the post, he is no longer legally eligible to serve as Acting Secretary of Defense (which means we'll need _another_ Acting Secretary pending Esper's confirmation). And just to drive the point home, today is Day 172 without a Senate-confirmed Secretary of Defense, almost three times as long as the previous record vacancy for that office (60 days at the beginning of the Bush 41 administration in 1989, and only because of a failed nomination).
posted by zachlipton at 9:58 AM on June 21 [9 favorites]


Calling off an airstrike requested by the military - in response to a successful hostile missile destruction of a military asset - citing civilian casualties and disproportionate response is a reasonable act. We should encourage this kind of response by any leader.

I will warmly encourage any clock stopped at noon during the minute that it is in fact noon.
posted by chortly at 10:03 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


So part of me is wondering if he called the airstrike off because he didn't authorize it beforehand. Given Bolton's tendency to bypass Shanahahahan, it seems possible.

Yeah idle conspiracy thinking, but I'm curious about the whole thing.
posted by Lord_Pall at 10:07 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


@MeetThePress [video]: In an exclusive interview with Chuck Todd, President Donald Trump says he hadn’t given final approval to Iran strikes, no planes were in the air.

He repeats the story he told on Twitter this morning, where he claims he asked at the last minute how many people would be killed in a strike and decides that killing 150 people over an unmanned drone wouldn't be "proportionate." This contradicts the reporting that planes were already in the air and raises the obvious questions of why he waited until the last minute to ask this questions or why he's now claiming that a general had to get back to him on the casualty count.
posted by zachlipton at 10:07 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


This would be the very first and only time I'm aware of Trump demonstrating empathy in his whole life. I don't buy it.
posted by odinsdream at 10:29 AM on June 21 [31 favorites]


Oregon Republican state senator threatens state troopers, warns them to ‘come heavily armed’
The governor’s hint that she would consider sending troopers in the event of a second walkout triggered an aggressive response from Boquist, which was captured by a KGW news team at the Capitol.

“This is what I told the superintendent,” Boquist said, referring to OSP Superintendent Travis Hampton. “Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”
Seems fine
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:30 AM on June 21 [24 favorites]


AOC’s Generation Doesn’t Presume America’s Innocence (Peter Beinart, The Atlantic)
Ocasio-Cortez’s “concentration camps” comment questions an old orthodoxy: that only other countries—and not the U.S.—are capable of evil.[...]

Ocasio-Cortez and others on the Millennial-led left are challenging [the separation of America's misdeeds from those of their foes]. They are challenging not only the physical and legal barriers that Trump is erecting against immigrants entering the United States, but also the conceptual barriers that American exceptionalism erects against seeing the United States as a nation capable of evil. And for Ocasio-Cortez’s critics, removing those ideological barriers is every bit as frightening as allowing migrant caravans to pass unimpeded across the Rio Grande.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:35 AM on June 21 [45 favorites]


re: America's Innocence;

O'REILLY: He is a killer though. Putin is a killer.
TRUMP: There are a lot of killers. Do you think our country is so innocent? Do you think our country is so innocent?
O'REILLY: I don't know of any government leaders that are killers in America.

-From the 2/6/2017 Fox Interview
posted by pseudophile at 10:40 AM on June 21 [19 favorites]


WaPo, ICE raids targeting migrant families slated to start Sunday in major U.S. cities
President Trump has directed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to conduct a mass roundup of migrant families that have received deportation orders, an operation that is likely to begin with predawn raids in major U.S. cities on Sunday, according to three U.S. officials with knowledge of the plans.


The “family op,” as it is referred to at ICE and the Department of Homeland Security, is slated to target up to 2,000 families facing deportation orders in as many as 10 U.S. cities, including Houston, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and other major immigration destinations, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the law enforcement operation.
Acting DHS Secretary Kevin

McAleenan has been urging ICE to conduct a narrower, more-targeted operation that would seek to detain a group of about 150 families that were provided with attorneys but dropped out of the legal process and absconded.
McAleenan has warned that an indiscriminate operation to arrest migrants in their homes and at work sites risks separating children from their parents in cases where the children are at day care, summer camp or friend’s houses and not present for the raids. He also has maintained that ICE should not devote major resources to carrying out a mass interior sweep while telling lawmakers it needs emergency funding to address the crisis at the U.S. border.
The “family op?” What the ever loving fuck is wrong with us?

If ICE is outside your door, don’t panic, and remember: YOU HAVE RIGHTS. [video, though I’m not sure how that don’t panic bit works]
posted by zachlipton at 11:03 AM on June 21 [25 favorites]


The ACLU also has a page with information about what to do if you're stopped by ICE.

(I know this because I'm on Rep. Ilhan Omar's email list.)
posted by box at 11:09 AM on June 21 [13 favorites]


DJT somehow speedrunning the Mytilenian Debate, but entirely inside his extremely normal brain.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:18 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


What do you do if ICE is outside other people's doors? I live in an neighborhood where I'd be surprised if everyone were documented. I mean, I guess you film it and put the call out for help on social media, but what else?

This is just so shitty and horrible. I feel like we should all be down at the border protesting the camps. The only way to stop them is to stop them by any means that are at hand.
posted by Frowner at 11:19 AM on June 21 [30 favorites]


... an old orthodoxy: that only other countries—and not the U.S.—are capable of evil.[...]

Isn't it funny (and by funny I mean sad) that it's usually the "I don't trust the gub'mint" people who most strongly identify with this orthodoxy?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:22 AM on June 21 [11 favorites]


Of course the Sunday Raids were announced on World Refugee Day.
posted by hijinx at 11:48 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


... an old orthodoxy: that only other countries—and not the U.S.—are capable of evil.[...]

I don't pretend to speak for all Gen-Xers, but my generation grew up with the Vietnam War and the revelations that the government was lying about our progress in order to save face while thousands died, not to mention Watergate, not to mention the Cold War and the knowledge that the US is the only nation to have used nuclear weapons. We saw the rise of Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich and knew of McCarthyism and the House Un-American Affairs Committee.

My generation embraced punk rock, which was intensely critical of US society. We have been acutely aware that the Baby Boomers are hogging national resources and leaving the rest of us scraps at best.

Knowledge that the US is capable of evil is not a new thing, and it's intensely weird that the media is treating it like a new phenomenon, not something 40-odd years old.
posted by Gelatin at 11:50 AM on June 21 [57 favorites]


"150" is almost certainly Trump exaggerating numbers like he always does, so he can be the magnaminous person who "spared" 150 lives. In fact, my understanding was that the strike would have been against unmanned vessels -- while any retaliation would be excessive, the Pentagon didn't want to retaliate too excessively.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:54 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


Oregon Republican state senator threatens state troopers... “Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”

Cool cool, there is a super easy way that your presence in the Oregon Senate would not be required, Mr. Boquist.

Or... I guess you can go with your plan to break out the guns the minute someone suggests that *responsibility* comes with privileges like holding a state office. Because that's pretty much the most Republican thing there is these days.
posted by wildblueyonder at 11:55 AM on June 21 [16 favorites]


Pretty low bar when you're asking for praise for all the people you decided not to murder.
posted by odinsdream at 11:58 AM on June 21 [16 favorites]


Knowledge that the US is capable of evil is not a new thing, and it's intensely weird that the media is treating it like a new phenomenon, not something 40-odd years old.

No, no, I disagree. The difference that now it's, like, Teen Vogue and New York Magazine publishing things that would hitherto have appeared in Z Magazine (remember Z?).

There really has been a change in the accessibility of ideas, and I think that's part of why we have AOC. When I was young and in my prime, you had to work to encounter left-wing ideas unless you lived in one of a handful of cities - you had to seek out small press books and magazines and newsletters, fanzines, comics, etc, and it was taken for granted that anything widely available would have actively terrible, repressive politics, just like any form of mass culture would be incredibly stupid and retrograde.

There's a world of cultural difference between "there are ten punks in my town and we hate the government" and "Teen Vogue ran an article approving of communists".
posted by Frowner at 11:58 AM on June 21 [57 favorites]


Reuters's Jeff Mason:
Senior Trump administration official says the Pentagon was indeed on board with military strikes against Iran: “There was complete unanimity amongst the president’s advisors and DOD leadership on an appropriate response to Iran’s activities. The president made the final decision.”"
darth™:
always important to remember who exactly is a senior trump administration official i mean isn’t it people like jared and ivanka

is there one fuckin 'senior trump administration official' u would believe at this point

his official press secretary admitted to the FBI that she was a fuckin liar is all i am saying
On the subject of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the HuffPo reports: Some White House Reporters Are Throwing Sarah Huckabee Sanders A Goodbye Party—White House correspondents and some Trump staffers plan to send Sanders off with “farewell drinks” next week.
On Wednesday, two White House correspondents, Politico’s Anita Kumar and DailyMail.com’s Francesca Chambers, invited fellow reporters and some Trump staffers to “farewell drinks” for Sanders at an upscale D.C. restaurant on June 24, according to a copy of the email invitation obtained by HuffPost.[…]

Kumar is a member of the WHCA’s board, and Chambers is the organization’s treasurer. But Knox told HuffPost the WHCA had “nothing to do” with the upcoming event.

Kumar, who sent the email, described the drinks to HuffPost as a “casual gathering for reporters who have engaged with Sarah, many of whom have done so for years.” She noted that such events are “quite common, regardless of administration ― as many Huffington Post reporters know and have frequented.” (It’s not clear which events Kumar was referring to, but HuffPost has never thrown a party for an administration official.)
This "casual gathering of reporters" obviously wants to cultivate SHS as a source of leaks from her tenure in the Trump administration, and maybe charge a night's drinking to their expense accounts, but the idea that they'd want to spend personal time in the company of someone who held them and their professions in such open contempt does not bear scrutiny.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:57 PM on June 21 [11 favorites]


But I guess that goes to show that the KSA is now also ruled by an idiot, elevated to power by his family rather than by competence.

posted by mumimor at 7:58 AM on June 21 [11 favorites +] [!]


Don't know if MBS is an idiot or not, but he definitely has no respect for the lives of other people.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:00 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


Oregon Republican state senator threatens state troopers... “Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”

Maybe he's forming a government-in-exile in Idaho.

Anti-government militias say they will protect Republican lawmaker who threatened police
Several GOP senators have fled the capital over legislative disagreements and are refusing to return.
Boquist’s comments grabbed the attention of a number of militia groups in the Pacific Northwest. A member of the Oregon 3 Percenters — a militia group whose members have vowed to combat what they perceive as constitutional infringement — said they would act as the senators’ de-facto bodyguards against the state police.
“We have vowed to provide security, transportation and refuge for those Senators in need,” they wrote in a Facebook post. “We will stand together with unwavering resolve, doing whatever it takes to keep these Senators safe.”
In Idaho, where some of the lawmakers have supposedly fled, the state’s 3 Percenters group was similarly willing to defend the Republicans as well, posting threatening memes on its Facebook page. “This is what the start of a civil war looks like,” the group wrote in one post. “Elected officials seeking asylum in a friendly jurisdiction.”
Speaking to ThinkProgress, Eric Parker, president of the Idaho 3 Percenters, said the group was currently networking to figure out if Brown had asked for any “out of state resources” — such as help from the FBI or Idaho State Patrol — and were willing to assist the the Republican senators in any way necessary.
“We are willing to help them with whatever they need, if they need an escort or a place to say we will do that,” Parker said. “The narrative coming out is [the senators] are abandoning their constituents. We don’t believe that’s true. These people are representing their constituents well.”
posted by scalefree at 1:14 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Does Saudi Arabia imagine that Iran's retaliation would end at the Persian Gulf? I'd tend to think more than a few missiles would sail right over the water and land on the south side of the gulf.
posted by M-x shell at 1:15 PM on June 21


@byamberphillips: IMPEACHMENT Update: Within the past day, we went from low 70s House Dems supporting impeachment to nearly 80. It seems lawmakers are out of Washington and talking more freely about how they feel.

The Washington Post has a full list, complete with a chart sorted by district lean.

That includes Rep. Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) today, the fourth swing state Democrat to come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry and a member of the Judiciary Committee.

But what about the public? Ariel Edwards-Levy explains Here’s Why Impeachment Polling Is All Over The Place. She's got her own giant chart, breaking down all the polls with the specific wording of the question asked. The way you ask makes a huge difference, and the public seems generally unclear on what impeachment means and what the process entails.
But a few clear findings do emerge: First, public opposition to impeachment generally outweighs support, to at least a modest degree. Second, support for impeachment shows no signs of ebbing. And third, it has the backing of most Democrats ― although many would still rather that presidential hopefuls spend their time talking about issues like health care.
Looking through the polls, it seems like there's a bit of an odd split where more respondants think Trump deserves to be impeached than those who think Congress should start the process of impeachment.
posted by zachlipton at 1:18 PM on June 21 [12 favorites]


> Trump is not simply a serial liar; he is attempting to murder the very idea of truth,

It's a serial murder.
posted by CheapB at 1:20 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


From the AP article posted upthread by Rust Moranis and written by Cedar Attanasio, Garance Burke, and Martha Medoza:
She said an 8-year-old taking care of a very small 4-year-old with matted hair couldn’t convince the little one to take a shower.

...

A teenage mother with a premature baby was found last week in a Texas Border Patrol processing center after being held for nine days by the government.

...

A migrant father, speaking on condition of anonymity because of his immigration status, told AP Thursday that authorities separated his daughter from her aunt when they entered the country. The girl would be a second grader in a U.S. school.

He had no idea where she was until Monday, when one of the attorney team members visiting Clint found his phone number written in permanent marker on a bracelet she was wearing. It said “U.S. parent.”
I was going to make a completely frivolous purchase this afternoon, but I just donated that money to RAICES instead. If you're reading this comment and have the ability to do something similar, I encourage you to do that.

Fuck this fucking administration.
posted by joyceanmachine at 1:39 PM on June 21 [45 favorites]


Need some light reading on a Friday afternoon? How about 56 pages of Paul Manafort's text messages with Sean Hannity?

@emptywheel: Sean Hannity, October 25, 2017: Republicans suck.

@emptywheel: Days before his arrest Manafort says Mueller is having a hard time building a case against him.

These just dropped, so too early for many highlights, but they include Manafort feeding Hannity stories about Fusion GPS.
posted by zachlipton at 1:51 PM on June 21 [26 favorites]


Senior Trump administration official says the Pentagon was indeed on board with military strikes against Iran: “There was complete unanimity amongst the president’s advisors and DOD leadership on an appropriate response to Iran’s activities. The president made the final decision.”"

Not so according to WaPo's sources, Trump’s account of Iran attack plan facing scrutiny:
The decision has divided his top advisers with senior Pentagon officials opposing the decision to strike and national security adviser John Bolton strongly supporting it.
The story goes on to point out all the inconsistencies between various statements Trump has made to the press and on twitter in the past 24 hours.
posted by peeedro at 1:59 PM on June 21 [9 favorites]


In Idaho, where some of the lawmakers have supposedly fled, the state’s 3 Percenters group was similarly willing to defend the Republicans as well, posting threatening memes on its Facebook page. “This is what the start of a civil war looks like,” the group wrote in one post. “Elected officials seeking asylum in a friendly jurisdiction.”

The Obama adminstration's complete failure to hold the Bundy ranchers to any kind of accountability has emboldened all of these militia freaks. We're seeing a homegrown insurgency right out in the open, and they're going to be a real problem for any hypothetical future Democratic administration.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:02 PM on June 21 [52 favorites]


If you care about what Trump is doing at the border you need to read this thread.
#DontLookAway.
The administration is violating every basic human right, and is moving toward military "solutions."
posted by adamvasco at 2:02 PM on June 21 [32 favorites]


NYT, ‘There is a Stench’: Migrant Children Are Being Held in Filthy Conditions
A chaotic scene of sickness and filth is unfolding in an overcrowded border station in Clint, Tex., where hundreds of young people who have recently crossed the border are being held, according to lawyers who visited the facility this week. Some of the children have been there for nearly a month.

Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met, the lawyers said. Toddlers without diapers are relieving themselves in their pants. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk.

Most of the young detainees have not been able to shower or wash their clothes since they arrived at the facility, those who visited said. They have no access to toothbrushes, toothpaste or soap.

“There is a stench,” said Elora Mukherjee, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School, one of the lawyers who visited the facility. “The overwhelming majority of children have not bathed since they crossed the border.”
...
Ms. Mukerherjee said children were being overseen by guards for Customs and Border Protection, which declined to comment for this story. She and her colleagues observed the guards wearing full uniforms — including weapons — as well as face masks to protect themselves from the unsanitary conditions.
...
When the lawyers arrived, federal officials said that more than 350 children were detained at the facility. The officials did not disclose the facility’s capacity but said the population had exceeded it. By the time the lawyers left on Wednesday night, border officials told them that about 200 of the children had been transferred elsewhere but did not say where they had been sent.

“That’s what’s keeping me up at night,” Ms. Mukerherjee said
I'll ask the same question I've asked my reps: why are Members of Congress not in Clint right now demanding access to this facility?
posted by zachlipton at 2:28 PM on June 21 [51 favorites]


I'll ask the same question I've asked my reps: why are Members of Congress not in Clint right now demanding access to this facility?

Don't you think the atmosphere is a little too politically charged to be investigating the child concentration camps?
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:38 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


@AOC
This President needs to be impeached.


Louder for the leadership in the back.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:45 PM on June 21 [51 favorites]


NY Magazine, E. Jean Carroll: “Trump attacked me in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman.”

Like a very bad liar, Trump has issued a statement categorically denying Carroll's account, claiming that she has "zero evidence" and "No pictures" and that "She is trying to sell a new book". He then invites "anyone with information that the Democratic Party is working with Ms. Carroll or New York Magazine" to contact Team Trump, which is probably envying Sarah Huckabee Sanders's exit timing.

Daniel Dale: "Trump says in his statement on Carroll's allegations, "I've never met this person in my life." Her article features a photo of them beside each other." (pic)
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:03 PM on June 21 [29 favorites]


NY Magazine, E. Jean Carroll: “Trump attacked me in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman.”

FPP: My Last Hideous Man
E. Jean Carroll, advice columnist extraordinaire and former Miss Cheerleader USA, reckons with a life full of hideous men, from being attacked by her Girl Scout camp counselor to being raped at Bergdorf’s by the current President of the United States. (tw: rape and sexual assault)

posted by Little Dawn at 3:09 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


[Non-US-politics-related events should have their own threads!]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:19 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Post title


Detroit police chief faces backlash over neo-Nazi protest at Pride event
James Craig was criticized after officers escorted National Socialist Movement members who carried weapons at Motor City Pride

posted by hugbucket at 3:20 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


The WaPo is leading the mainstream news pack in how it covers Trump's BS: White House Did Not Impose New Iran Sanctions Thursday, Despite Trump’s Claim
The White House did not impose new sanctions against Iran on Thursday in response to its downing of a U.S. military drone, contrary to President Trump’s assertion in a Twitter post Friday morning.[…]

“Sanctions are biting & more added last night,” he wrote. “Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!”

But no such sanctions were imposed.

Instead, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a speech in Orlando that new counter-measures against Iran would be considered if the country didn’t do more to deal with money laundering and terrorist-financing. Those issues are completely unrelated to the escalating tensions between both countries, particularly the dispute about the downed drone.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:40 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


“This is what the start of a civil war looks like,” the group wrote in one post. “Elected officials seeking asylum in a friendly jurisdiction.”

Seriously.

This mouthbreather just used the word "asylum" not to describe someone who is fleeing an unrelenting environment of threats to their life or property, or even to their political participation.

It's used to describe someone who has the privilege of participating in representative office, and who is using refusal to do so as a technical means of denying the legislature its capacity to represent. A state senator will happily wield the law as a tool to shut down legislative action, but in the same breath will defy the law's reach to bring him to account.

And "this is what the start of a civil war looks like" is apparently said with relish rather than rue.

This is it, guys. The cards are on the table. The rights being fought for here aren't democratic or liberty. They are having their perspective privileged, privileged above democracy and rule of law itself.

But of course, they think of themselves as patriots. Which tells you something about what their true country is.

And if they aren't dealt with effectively by the institutions we have, our only choice will be either to live in their country, or to organize as they have as an answer.
posted by wildblueyonder at 3:42 PM on June 21 [42 favorites]


Not so according to WaPo's sources, Trump’s account of Iran attack plan facing scrutiny:
The Reuters news agency reported Friday that Iranian officials said they received a message from Trump through Oman overnight warning that a U.S. attack was imminent.

When asked about the report, a senior U.S. administration official said the United States never sent a message to Iran via the Omanis. The country at the eastern corner of the Arabian peninsula has long been an interlocutor between the West and Iran, but not on this occasion, the official said.

“It is a complete lie and propaganda from Iran,” the official said.
So did Iran make that up, or is someone at the White House freelancing?
posted by zachlipton at 3:51 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


a senior U.S. administration official said

And why can’t we know the name of this sr. official? Are they speaking without authorization? Is it a sensitive national security issue? Or is Trump’s comms team stretched too thin?

Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs: “Today is the longest day of the year and @JuddPDeere45 is the lead press secretary on duty today while Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Hogan Gidley are away. He's getting some Oval time.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:58 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


Yahoo News, Pentagon secretly struck back against Iranian cyber spies targeting U.S. ships
On Thursday evening, U.S. Cyber Command launched a retaliatory digital strike against an Iranian spy group that supported last week’s limpet mine attacks on commercial ships, according to two former intelligence officials.

The group, which has ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, has over the last several years digitally tracked and targeted military and civilian ships passing through the economically important Strait of Hormuz, through which pass 17.4 million barrels of oil per day. Those capabilities, which have advanced over time, enabled attacks on vessels in the region for several years.

Though sources declined to provide any further details of the retaliatory cyber operation, the response highlights how the Gulf has become a staging ground for escalating digital--as well as conventional--conflict, with both the United States and Iran trying to get the upper hand with cyber capabilities.
...
The Iranians would pretend to be attractive young women looking to connect with a “lonely seaman” to gather intelligence about ship movements, according to three former U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the operations. The attempts weren’t limited to Facebook; some of the efforts extended to Pinterest and other niche social networking sites.

There were “many” successful examples of these Iranian cyber-honeypot operations, said one former intelligence official. “They were doing it at scale.” Naval personnel would divulge information of various levels of sensitivity—such as when and where they were traveling—while ignorant of the true identity of their interlocutors, said the former official. In addition to helping the Iranians track the movement of U.S. ships and personnel, these operations also helped them build out organizational charts of U.S. military units, the former official said.
Oh good; a cyberwar. What could go wrong?
posted by zachlipton at 5:05 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


CNN, Inside Trump's Iran decision: 'I really watched him agonize over this'
Trump's explanation did not explain why he had only learned how many casualties would result from the strikes minutes before they were to take place.

Casualty estimates are typically provided by military officials when presenting options to the President, and a White House official said Trump was given an estimated death toll long before he asked military officials for the count with just a half-hour to spare before the strikes. It's not clear whether Trump did not hear, internalize or understand the death toll when it was first relayed to him earlier in the day.

Another administration official said that while Trump had received the casualty assessment earlier in the day, "he made the call when he internalized the severity of casualties."
In other words, an administration official, apparently seeking to make Trump look good, explains that the president lied when he claimed he only learned the projected death toll shortly before the strikes were to take place, and that the president was ok with the number until he realized what it meant at the last minute.

On the bright side, positive reinforcement works.

@kaitlancollins: POTUS has been pleased with the coverage of his decision not to strike Iran, multiple people say. He’s been paying close attention to the reaction — and noticing that his usual critics have praised the move.
posted by zachlipton at 5:27 PM on June 21 [9 favorites]


Shit somebody tell him how many of his usual critics would praise him if he went back to the Iran nuclear agreement, tackled climate change and universal healthcare, pushed for election security and voter enfranchisement, took a humane approach to immigration... or a humane approach to anything...
posted by jason_steakums at 5:35 PM on June 21 [38 favorites]


If you wanted to use the carrot rather then the stick tell him Greydon Carter would get so mad, really mad, if he padded universal healthcare
posted by The Whelk at 5:38 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


State legislators making a run for the border to deny quorum is hardly new, of course; I, among others, cheered on the Killer Ds and the Texas Eleven back in the day for quorum-busting a rather foul redistricting plan.

Of course, the difference is that THOSE legislators didn't threaten to murder law enforcement officials or gladly seek shelter with assault-rifle-toting thugs.
posted by delfin at 5:43 PM on June 21 [17 favorites]


All the Iran crap is designed to distract from the rape allegations, IMO.

The magazine undoubtedly asked for comments before publishing, it would be highly interesting to know exactly when.
posted by jamjam at 5:47 PM on June 21 [9 favorites]


Of course, the difference is that THOSE legislators didn't threaten to murder law enforcement officials or gladly seek shelter with assault-rifle-toting thugs.

The party of tacky Blue Lives Matter sloganeering and merchandise threatening to murder cops is so on-brand for the GOP that there are probably rules about it in their style guide.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:57 PM on June 21 [18 favorites]


NYT, Urged to Launch an Attack, Trump Listened to the Skeptics Who Said It Would Be a Costly Mistake
He heard from his generals and his diplomats. Lawmakers weighed in and so did his advisers. But among the voices ringing in President Trump’s head was that of one of his favorite Fox News hosts: Tucker Carlson.

While the president’s national security advisers were urging him to order a military strike against Iran in retaliation for shooting down an unmanned drone, Mr. Carlson in recent days had told Mr. Trump that responding to Tehran’s provocations with force was crazy. The hawks did not have Mr. Trump’s best interests at heart, he said. And if he got into a war with Iran, he could kiss goodbye to getting re-elected.
Did we really just avoid a catastrophic war because of Tucker Carlson? Or is that what Tucker wants us to think?
posted by zachlipton at 6:32 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


Reminder that Fox News is in constant contact with the cans and reddit boards and then Chans have been boiling over in the last few months with the idea that Tucker might get into politics directly
posted by The Whelk at 6:45 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


This was in the Daily Beast two days ago, Tucker Carlson Tells Trump in Private: No War With Iran.
posted by peeedro at 6:53 PM on June 21


wtf Pete
wtf O’Rouke
posted by The Whelk at 7:09 PM on June 21 [17 favorites]


@kaitlancollins: POTUS has been pleased with the coverage of his decision not to strike Iran, multiple people say. He’s been paying close attention to the reaction — and noticing that his usual critics have praised the move.

So that's where we are at now: Giving the President credit for not crazily murdering a bunch of people for no good reason.

Sure, if that keeps us from going to war. But come on. I don't ask for people to praise me for not doing a terrible thing.
posted by Justinian at 7:35 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


If anyone is in one of the targeted cities and would like some ideas for what to do, this evening I have:

(If you think your national politicos and state politicos might be of use, contact them here, I'm in NOLA so it's mostly Republicans)
Contacted the mayor and city council and asked them to protect our people
Contacted the local press to ask them to cover the story and ask the politicos what they're doing about it
Also hit up the local news stations/sites that hadn't picked up the story yet and asked them to cover it
Hit up the local leftist/DSA/antifa/immigrant support groups on FB/Email/etc. and made sure they knew (word is obviously out now more than it was this afternoon when I started so this may not take as long).
Provided links to resources on local stories and comment sections. I'm using this resource pack. Obviously you're going to be throwing virtual elbows into MAGA Chuds but that's fun anyway.
Find what local Twitter(s) and such to follow. RAICES is the best I've found for my area.
I also dropped news links to local orgs that work with refugees in case they haven't heard yet.

To me, ICE raids on a weekend, I'm thinking they're going to wait til Sunday and then snag people trying to go to church. I mean, it's an easy mark and lots of people go there. So I contacted places of worship that seemed likely. I avoided megachurches, obviously, but hit up the local synagogues and mosques (since even if they are not themselves migrants, many Jews and Muslims fight for social justice), any church I could find that does LGBTQIA work (figuring if they do outreach to those populations they're probably into social justice and/or working with migrants), anything with a service in an immigrant tongue (I mean, the people going to a Catholic Church with a Spanish-language mass seem like a good target audience), the other major religions in my area, and any of the "SuchandSuch church of Countryname." Like we have a Catholic Church focused on Vietnamese and other Asian immigrants so, again, seemed like a good bet.

I'm running off a bunch of the "know your rights" fliers with an added warning that ICE Raids are this weekend and will be posting them near places I know local migrants would go. A good way to reach women is to drop some in the changing table in the ladies' room IF they're private so they don't have to be seen taking them. (I mean it's also good to do it in men's rooms but they may or may not have them).

I'm not looking for plaudits, just the stuff I could think of that may be of use to y'all if you need to or want to do something.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:37 PM on June 21 [35 favorites]


I get really wary (or maybe just weary) of "this is all a distraction" arguments. Trump is a narcissistic coward who doesn't actually seem to want to get into a war, true. He's also overly impressed by military and surrounded by people who are agitating for war with Iran, including some (like the Saudis) who are showering his crappy hotels with business. We're allowed to be nervous about this.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:38 PM on June 21 [13 favorites]


Still convinced he just hates Bolton’s mustache so much he just doesn’t to a thing he says

Like the bush years where about distraction and media narrative and deployment of counterattacks. This is a toddler playing with a busy box that happens to have nuclear launch codes on it.
posted by The Whelk at 7:43 PM on June 21 [9 favorites]


If you're in California, there's a system of rapid response networks. You can find the hotline for your area and notify them if you see an ICE raid so they can work to dispatch lawyers and collect information.
posted by zachlipton at 7:49 PM on June 21 [9 favorites]


wtf O’Rouke

Sigh. Let me preface this by saying that Beto is not my first choice. But does anyone honestly think, knowing the first goddamned thing about Beto, that he meant that the current situation on the border is what makes America great? The hat takes for granted that you have some idea of what Beto stands for, which makes it an error-prone vehicle for communication (both in terms of honest misunderstandings and motivated misinterpretations). So it was clumsy and, again, poor communication (which is relevant for the job of President). But let's be clear that this isn't some hidden signal that actually he's super happy with kiddie concentration camps.
posted by Jpfed at 8:05 PM on June 21 [14 favorites]


I didn’t think it was a secret symbol I thought it was tone deaf and dumb as hell.
posted by The Whelk at 8:13 PM on June 21 [23 favorites]


So was Hannity having his near nightly phone chats with Trump at the same time he was texting nightly with Manafort? What's the timeline here?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:13 PM on June 21 [11 favorites]


zachlipton: Looking through the polls, it seems like there's a bit of an odd split where more respondants think Trump deserves to be impeached than those who think Congress should start the process of impeachment.

That's not too odd, because (whether or not it's true and I don't intend to open this can here) it's rational to suppose that impeachment would be bad politically while being good on the merits. The other possible findings would have been: exactly everyone who thinks it's deserved also supports it happening and vice versa (which is unlikely on raw odds) or that, somehow, more people support impeachment than think he deserves it, which would be extremely weird (Democrats aren't a population rich with Machiavellian types, despite cries of "witch hunt").

Jfped: But does anyone honestly think, knowing the first goddamned thing about Beto, that he meant that the current situation on the border is what makes America great? The hat takes for granted that you have some idea of what Beto stands for, which makes it an error-prone vehicle for communication (both in terms of honest misunderstandings and motivated misinterpretations).

The problem with "The Border Makes America Great" (those being the words on his hat) is distinct from (but connected to) the particular atrocities happening there, and it's more the simple fact that "Border = Good" is now and has long been a wholly associated with right-wing identitarians, with obvious implications of "Borders are so great that it is necessary to commit violence for their sake". His point, I assume, was something about the people and culture around that border, but that was almost the worst possible way to phrase that point. Framing nationalism as a "fear of borders" instead of a fear of the other side of borders is a mistake I would expect of someone completely unfamiliar with the culture or something.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:48 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


Oh, undoubtably. I used to catch some of Hannity on my way home for work sometimes, partly as my own personal Two Minutes Hate, partly because his Grand Unification Conspiracy Theories about all things Trump and Hillary were way too funny not to laugh at.

(Short version of such: All evidence against Trump is faked, unsourced, unreliable and/or invalid on face value. Hillary's got at least six different felonies with which she should be charged. Mueller, Strzok, Page, the Ohrs, Comey, McCabe, and pretty much everyone else that's ever been unfavorably drawn in a Ben Garrison cartoon are guilty of election fraud, obstruction of justice, perjury, collusion with Russia via Christopher Steele's bought-and-paid-for-by-Hillary 100%-salacious-lies-and-slander fake dossier. There was never any reason to get a FISA on Carter Page and everyone involved in the process is jailable, including Rosenstein. The sky is green. The year is one.)

But, in short, Hannity's show broadcast out the latest from Trump Conspiracy Central _every single day_, with a tiny new spin or factoid added (like any good soap opera) to provide New Evidence that will Shock the Conscience of the Nation right after the 5 o'clock break. Everything Hannity got that tied into that alternate hellscape America theory went on the air, and if that came from Manafort, that absolutely lined up with Hannity being Trump's personal Lord Haw-Haw.
posted by delfin at 8:53 PM on June 21 [10 favorites]


Frowner asked: What do you do if ICE is outside other people's doors? I live in an neighborhood where I'd be surprised if everyone were documented. I mean, I guess you film it and put the call out for help on social media, but what else?

Print out a bunch of THESE and put them in places where your neighbors will see and be able to take them. Before Sunday.
posted by threeturtles at 9:41 PM on June 21 [7 favorites]


I'm convinced he cancelled the strike as another petty jibe against John "Bomb Bomb Iran" McCain.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:54 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


put them in places where your neighbors will see and be able to take them

Laundromats are good for this.
posted by contraption at 10:29 PM on June 21 [12 favorites]


I didn’t think it was a secret symbol I thought it was tone deaf and dumb as hell.

I understand what he was trying to say with it, being from a border town, El Paso, that's gotten a lot of grief from Trump & wanting to show some hometown pride in its diversity. But it's a very clumsy way of saying it & definitely not the right time for a lighthearted slogan.
posted by scalefree at 12:29 AM on June 22 [1 favorite]




Have you ever gotten into a conversation with a stranger only to realize they are a little off, and you need to get away from them as quickly as possible without escalating their crazy? That's my takeaway from Trump's Iran story.
posted by xammerboy at 3:03 AM on June 22 [10 favorites]


Media Matters: Here's what Trump’s Fox News cabinet wants him to do about Iran—Most of Trump's Fox advisers support some sort of military strike
With one key exception [i.e. Tucker Carlson], pro-Trump commentators at the network have mostly been recklessly arguing that the president should strike Iran and can do so without risking an escalation. […] While these Fox hosts and sometime Trump advisers were divided over how the president responded, they largely downplayed the possibility that a military strike could lead to a dangerous escalation. […] [B]y its nature, the Fox-Trump feedback loop creates instability as the president is famously impulsive and can quickly change his mind based on input from the television. It’s unclear what the next few days will bring.
As for Trump’s official government briefings, we find out from the NYT’s article Urged to Launch an Attack, Trump Listened to the Skeptics Who Said It Would Be a Costly Mistake that Trump was definitely lying about the source of the “150” casualty figure. It didn’t originate with a general but with Pentagon lawyers, and it didn’t arise during an Oval Office briefing but from their uncleared draft of a worst-case scenario. It’s just such a goddam waste of time, effort, and resources trying to determine how Trump is lying to us in each and every situation.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:03 AM on June 22 [16 favorites]






WH reporters confronted Trump this morning about Carroll's accusations against him and his lie that he'd never met her, even though NY Mag published a photo of them together (video via Vox's Aaron Rupar). Unfortunately, they let him get away with two solid minutes of obfuscation and blathering.

Trump blustered, "I have no idea who this woman is. This is a woman who has also accused other men of things, as you know." A reporter pressed the issue of the photo, and Trump brushed it off, "Standing with my coat on in a line, gimme a break, with my back to the camera. I have no idea who she is. What she did, it's is terrible, what's going on. So it's a total false accusation. I don't know anything about her. And she's made this charge against others. And you know, people have to be careful because they're playing with very dangerous territory, and when they do that, it is happening more and more. Look at what happened to Justice Kavanaugh, and you look at what's happening to others, you can't do that for the sake of publicity." (He then digressed into how NYMag is "a failing magazine", in his usual projecting tactic of blaming business failure as the source of his enemies' attacks against him.) Then he picked up the same refrain, "It's a totally false accusation, I have no idea who she is." He concluded by bringing up Fox News supposedly broadcasting stories about women who were paid to malign him, though without providing any details that could be fact-checked.

The chief problem with mainstream news's coverage of Trump is that they only provide a soundbite or two when they quote him instead of transcribing his word salad (which, frankly, is a repugnant task). His blanket denial wouldn't convince anyone but his MAGA base, of course, although that's obviously sufficient for his purposes. Repeating "I have no idea who she is" isn't a counter-explanation to Carroll's charges, but it's (barely) enough for a he-said-she-said version of story for the reporters to file before moving on to Trump's next scandal or fiasco. As it is, I scanned the front pages of the newspapers in various major cities without finding a single one carrying Carroll's story (hat-tip, the Newseum)
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:35 AM on June 22 [11 favorites]




Mitch McConnell is the second worst human being on the planet / Salon:

What is it about these racist southern goofs in the Senate, huh? McConnell is just like his racist twin from Alabama, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, and the Prince of Race-Baiting, Jesse Helms of North Carolina, and the King of Inadvertent Racist Idiocy Trent Lott of Mississippi, and the High Priest of Racist Hypocrisy Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. All of them somehow managed to get themselves elected to the powerful position of senator, and yet not one of them found it within himself to climb out the gutter of racism that put them there.
posted by growabrain at 9:53 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


That paragraph makes no sense to me. Why would you climb out of a gutter that made you a U.S. Senator? In my experience, people don’t improve their moral outlook in the absence of a strong pragmatic incentive or a major epiphany that causes them to question their assumptions - and once you’ve become an incumbent senator by indulging your worst self, you have zero incentive and are systematically protected from any experiences that might cause an epiphany.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:49 AM on June 22 [8 favorites]


Guardian: Ivanka Trump’s 2020 Tweet Violated Hatch Act, Watchdog Says—Washington-based Crew says tweet about her father’s re-election bid breaks rule that limits political activity by federal workers
The influential Washington-based watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew) has filed a complaint against Donald Trump’s daughter, a senior presidential aide who works in the White House as an adviser, albeit unsalaried.

In a letter to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), part of the Department of Justice, Crew said her tweet, posted on Father’s Day last weekend, just a few days before Trump’s re-election campaign launch in Florida, included his 2016 campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” and claimed “the best is yet to come”.[…]

Crew also claimed she had used her government Twitter account, which has more than 6.5 million followers and on which she describes herself as “adviser to Potus” to share “multiple partisan political posts” since March last year.
I scanned the front pages of the newspapers in various major cities without finding a single one carrying Carroll's story
It turns out I missed the Washington Post, which put it below the fold. That's more than can be said for the entire New York City market, though.

posted by Doktor Zed at 11:07 AM on June 22 [8 favorites]







u.S journalist detained, journals and electronic devices searched, for having the gall to return home from a trip to Mexico
posted by The Whelk at 11:15 AM on June 22 [4 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


I'm just a few lines into this and it is already wrong on so many levels. Sometimes I think you Americans are hyperbolizing about the Trump presidency, but this is not how a democracy works.

The concentration camps should already have the UN and everyone else on red alert, but I guess other countries are scared of what Trump will do if they speak out.
posted by mumimor at 11:43 AM on June 22 [17 favorites]


The chief problem with mainstream news's coverage of Trump is that they only provide a soundbite or two when they quote him instead of transcribing his word salad.

The media needs to report that the president simply doesn't answer questions with plausibly true answers. Trump may or may not be crazy, but he's not alright. The congressional subpoena needs to include the results from the test where Trump was asked to identify the giraffe from animal pictures.

I'd like to see Democratic candidates offer him sincere concern for his mental well being. I would like to see challenges to play a game of checkers all the way through. I want to know if he can identify Melania in a picture. I want every interview to end with the reporter asking if the president knows where the White House is and if he has an escort home.

We are living in a version of the story of the Emperor with No Clothes, but instead of clothing everyone is pretending like Trump's playing with a full deck. The world is trapped on a subway ride with someone that is unwell and just wants to get home safely.
posted by xammerboy at 11:47 AM on June 22 [20 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump, just now: “At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!”

Like the Iran strike, Trump knows he’s bungled this move, but he still wants praise for backing off. And he still keeps his threat to do it again.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:07 PM on June 22 [16 favorites]


The next fascist won't have such a problem with his follow-through.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:15 PM on June 22 [9 favorites]


Another day, another closed door hearing, this time for Mueller witness Annie Donaldson, Don McGahn's chief of staff. This is what Democrats "holding Trump accountable" looks like in practice. No live TV, no public testimony, no subpoenas, polite questions behind closed doors and a transcript not one voter will ever read.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:25 PM on June 22 [27 favorites]


Like the Iran strike, Trump knows he’s bungled this move, but he still wants praise for backing off. And he still keeps his threat to do it again.

I don't think he thinks he's bungled anything, and to his base he hasn't. He'll take what he can get from the deal and then do the raids anyway. These people mean nothing to him except as a bargaining chip to get money for his wall, then praise from Hannity when he shows footage of agents busting down doors, then cheers at his rallies.
posted by bluecore at 12:32 PM on June 22 [5 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump, just now: “At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!”

Like the Iran strike, Trump knows he’s bungled this move, but he still wants praise for backing off. And he still keeps his threat to do it again.


PSA: Additional resources are being added to the Immigration section of the MeFi Wiki Get a Lawyer page. If you are aware of more legal resources, please add them or MeMail them to me so I can add them. Thank you!
posted by Little Dawn at 12:45 PM on June 22 [12 favorites]


Yeah this isn't bungling, it's terror. He's learned a pattern: create a problem; make people afraid of it; "solve" it; take credit.

Remember the reporting after Trump called off the Iran strikes? "He’s been paying close attention to the reaction — and noticing that his usual critics have praised the move." He's learned that the TV says nice things about him when he averts a crisis he started, so he does it more and more. Trump has learned that he gets two scoops of ice cream as a reward for stopping a tantrum, so now he throws tantrums all the time now.

Because the only purpose of announcing ICE raids in advance is terror, terror he can now prolong for the next two weeks and beyond. It certainly doesn't serve a law enforcement purpose to tell families with final orders of removal to find someplace to hide this weekend. It certainly doesn't serve a foreign policy purpose to tell Iran that we were minutes away from attacking them but decided not to.

Anyway, it goes on:

@Haleaziz: ICE has been conducting ongoing operations netting more than a 100 arrests at once -- not specifically targeting families -- for several weeks now.
posted by zachlipton at 1:01 PM on June 22 [16 favorites]


New Yorker, Isaac Chotiner, Inside a Texas Building Where the Government Is Holding Immigrant Children, an interview with law Professor Warren Binford:
There was one child-mother who took her baby in there, because the baby got the flu. And then the mother, because she was in there caring for the child, got the flu as well. And so then she was there for a week, and they took the baby out and gave the baby to an unrelated child to try to take care of the child-mother’s baby. Sorry, I was trying to remember where I was going with that.

It’s fine.

Oh, I know what I wanted to tell you. This is important. So, on Wednesday, we received reports from children of a lice outbreak in one of the cells where there were about twenty-five children, and what they told us is that six of the children were found to have lice. And so they were given a lice shampoo, and the other children were given two combs and told to share those two combs, two lice combs, and brush their hair with the same combs, which is something you never do with a lice outbreak. And then what happened was one of the combs was lost, and Border Patrol agents got so mad that they took away the children’s blankets and mats. They weren’t allowed to sleep on the beds, and they had to sleep on the floor on Wednesday night as punishment for losing the comb. So you had a whole cell full of kids who had beds and mats at one point, not for everybody but for most of them, who were forced to sleep on the cement.
Where are Democratic members of Congress?
posted by zachlipton at 1:04 PM on June 22 [62 favorites]


Melissa Byrne:
So Donnie’s new strategy is to amp folks up on fear and then act like a benelovent dictator by making a “humane” decision. This is gonna be a long 18 months.
posted by chris24 at 1:06 PM on June 22 [16 favorites]


Senator John Cornyn on twitter: Texas has too many hispanic people and not enough white people

I had assumed this was going to be a quiet dogwhistle that just alluded to this idea from an angle. But if you didn't click on it: nope. He just flat out says that there are now 9 new Hispanic residents of Texas for every new white resident. He doesn't editorialize it but... that's about as close as you get. Why else tweet it?

So, yeah.
posted by Justinian at 1:13 PM on June 22 [17 favorites]


the other children were given two combs and told to share those two combs, two lice combs, and brush their hair with the same combs, which is something you never do with a lice outbreak. And then what happened was one of the combs was lost, and Border Patrol agents got so mad that they took away the children’s blankets and mats. They weren’t allowed to sleep on the beds, and they had to sleep on the floor on Wednesday night as punishment for losing the comb.

On the one hand, if this were about another country we might be seeing it as part of a convincing humanitarian-grounds case for diplomatic isolation, severe sanctions, coup/revolution support, or for military invasion and the destruction of its government. On the other hand, the atmosphere is very politically charged right now
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:26 PM on June 22 [13 favorites]


PBS: A firsthand report of ‘inhumane conditions’ at a migrant children’s detention facility
Basically, what we saw are dirty children who are malnourished, who are being severely neglected. They are being kept in inhumane conditions. They are essentially being warehoused, as many as 300 children in a cell, with almost no adult supervision. We have children caring for other young children. For example, we saw a little boy in diapers — or he had no diapers on. He should have had a diaper on. He was 2 years old. And when I was asked why he didn't have diapers on, I was told he didn't need it. He immediately urinated. And he was in the care of another child. Children cannot take care of children, and yet that's how they are trying to run this facility. The children are hardly being fed anything nutritious, and they are being medically neglected.

We're seeing a flu outbreak, and we're also seeing a lice infestation. It is — we have children sleeping on the floor. It's the worst conditions I have ever witnessed in several years of doing these inspections.

What you're describing is really hard to sort of put our heads around, that this is inside a U.S. government facility. I wonder, what do we know about, where are these children's parents? Were they coming across the border alone? Did they come with their families and separated? How did they get there?

Almost none of the children that we interviewed had come across the border themselves alone. Essentially, they came across the border with family. And they are trying to be reunited with family who are living in the United States. Almost every child that I interviewed had family, parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, siblings here in the United States who are waiting for them and are ready to care for them.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:46 PM on June 22 [21 favorites]


The media and all of us really need to think about all of this as just another Trump reality show. He has no fixed beliefs other than his desperate need for attention. How many times do we have to hear him explicitly use phrases like "we'll see" and "stay tuned" to assess everything he does through this lens? He makes ridiculous threats, says outrageous things, and creates other crises - and then "solves" them - explicitly to keep us hooked on watching him. Sadly this is "The Truman Show" made real, but with a truly deeply damaged man-child as its subject, who is perfectly happy to continue inhabiting it.
posted by PhineasGage at 1:49 PM on June 22 [16 favorites]


I'd like to see Democratic candidates offer him sincere concern for his mental well being. I would like to see challenges to play a game of checkers all the way through. I want to know if he can identify Melania in a picture. I want every interview to end with the reporter asking if the president knows where the White House is and if he has an escort home.

God yes. Just one time, I'd like an interviewer to give him a simple math problem, like "add these 2 digit numbers together." And just keep after him about it through excuse after excuse until its obvious to everyone that he's working at Charlie Kelly levels of mental functioning. That would be Pulitzer level journalism right there.
posted by Balna Watya at 1:51 PM on June 22 [14 favorites]


Yeah this isn't bungling, it's terror.

Trump bungled the initial rollout by prematurely announcing the immigration raids on Twitter, which blind-sided ICE. (I'm following Occam's Razor that this was Trump's tweets getting ahead of his administration's planning once again rather than him, or Stephen Miller, playing n-dimensional chess.) Having caused chaos internally, Trump appears to be following his natural instincts to spread it around ("I like conflict."). In this case, while terror was always part of the plan, he also gets to throw the opposition off balance, having sent them scrambling to organize for tomorrow's abortive raids and now forcing everyone to stand down.

He's learned that the TV says nice things about him when he averts a crisis he started, so he does it more and more.

He learned this lesson from the government shutdown, in which he received (faint) praise from some quarters for finally bringing it to an end by making concessions with the Dems. He's now given the Dems an arbitrary length of time to find a compromise solution to an intractable problem in order to claim justification for when the negotiations go nowhere.

It's infuriating that his script is so obvious yet somehow impenetrable to the Dems and the media. I try to resist the urge to reflexively bag on Pelosi, but her anodyne response on Twitter to this situation makes her seem a step behind him.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:05 PM on June 22 [8 favorites]


WaPo’s Seung Min Kim: “Pelosi had phoned Trump last night to ask him to call off the planned raids, per person familiar with the convo”

So maybe I hit “post” too soon on the above comment’s conclusion. Maybe.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:10 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]


The media and all of us really need to think about all of this as just another Trump reality show. He has no fixed beliefs other than his desperate need for attention. How many times do we have to hear him explicitly use phrases like "we'll see" and "stay tuned" to assess everything he does through this lens?

“The media” are not your friend and or allies. Their incentives are not aligned with Democrats, activists, or everyday citizens. They haven’t and won’t learn any lessons from 2016 or ever change how they cover Trump. Pretending they can, or will, or want to change is futile. They win when he wins. He’s the best thing that ever happened to them. He’s made them all rich. They will help him win again, they’re already airing his empty podium again, and repeating the false claims for war with Iran.

The media helped Trump get elected, and will do everything they can to help him get re-elected, no matter how much they protest that’s not what they’re doing or how many times Trump attacks them. They need him as much as he needs them, and much more than they need or give one fuck about any of us.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:38 PM on June 22 [23 favorites]


Part of the reason Donald Trump is President is because Rupert Murdoch wanted him to be president and the executives at CNN saw their ratings go up
posted by The Whelk at 2:45 PM on June 22 [12 favorites]




Where is the Democratic Leadership on the babies in cages indeed. Beto's fucking hat?

Back when I was a grad student grubbing after grant money with a pool of people who had other ideas for projects, I remember one kind of asshole but right person assessing the proposals and saying, "The one about babies with AIDS will win. No question." And she was right. Why? Because we're supposed to fucking care about sick babies, god fucking damn it.

Taking away beds because of a lost comb? One of two combs shared during a lice outbreak?

Get the faces of these babies out there. I want the cutest biggest eyed baby with tears in her eyes, photographed in clearly unsanitary conditions, and I want that baby's face everywhere. Jesus fucking christ people.

I mean, it makes sense that in an evil chaotic maelstrom, the most vulnerable would suffer the most. But I swear to God, I was more emotionally prepared for Trump starting a shooting war with Iran than to hear about the abuse of young children.

I've been a leftist and critical of my country all of my almost fifty years, have been horrified by this country's actions on numerous occasions, but somehow nothing has left me as ashamed to be an American as this goddamned motherfucking comb lice abuse of babies story.
posted by IwishIwasFordMaddoxFord at 2:58 PM on June 22 [66 favorites]


The Whelk: u.S journalist detained, journals and electronic devices searched, for having the gall to return home from a trip to Mexico

Any journalists reading this, please protect yourself. Arm yourself with information. Here's a free e-book that will teach you how: https://www.freetechbooks.com/information-security-for-journalists-t1205.html
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:04 PM on June 22 [12 favorites]


Oregon Statehouse Shut Down After Lawmakers Team Up With Right-Wing Militias

"Eleven of Oregon’s Senate Republicans fled the state this week to avoid a vote on a bill that would cap greenhouse emissions. The group, believed to be hiding in Idaho, left the state senate with too few lawmakers to hold a vote. But the move is more than a legislative maneuver. The missing senators have partnered with right-wing paramilitary groups to threaten violence, should they be brought back to Oregon.

The state senate had scheduled sessions on Saturday, but cancelled them after reports of several militias’ two-day “Rally to Take the Capitol” this weekend.

“Oregon State Police has recommended that the Capitol be closed tomorrow due to a possible militia threat,” a spokesperson for the senate president told the Associated Press on Friday night.
posted by Harry Caul at 3:27 PM on June 22 [15 favorites]


Houston Chronicle, Lomi Kriel (who, I'll just pause to say here, is an excellent immigration reporter) and Dug Begley , Trump administration still separating hundreds of migrant children at the border through often questionable claims of danger
It wasn’t until weeks later that Castillo discovered his daughter was with foster parents in Michigan — a state he had never heard of — and could arrange to speak to her by phone. By then, the young father had been imprisoned for about 25 days in a Border Patrol facility without any formal charges, according to testimony in federal court. The facts of the case enraged the McAllen district judge overseeing Castillo’s punishment for crossing illegally into Texas after having been deported five years ago, when he was 18.

“Have we forgotten something about parents’ rights?” Judge Ricardo Hinojosa asked the court. “If this was an American in some other country, we would be quite shocked.”
...
A year has passed since President Donald Trump signed an executive order ostensibly ending his controversial policy of broadly separating immigrant families at the southern border and a federal judge ordered the government to reunify more than 2,800 children it had removed from their parents. The judge allowed the government to continue separating families if the parent posed a danger to the child or had a serious criminal record or gang affiliation. But no guidelines were imposed.

As a result, hundreds continue to be removed from their parents — often, advocates say, for unclear reasons or with little apparent justification.

More than 700 children were taken from their parents or, in a few cases, from other relatives between June 2018 and May 2019, according to the most recent data the government provided to the American Civil Liberties Union in the ongoing federal court case overseeing family separations. They are placed in federal shelters or with foster parents until they can be reunified or resettled with relatives or sponsors. Sometimes they languish for months in federal care.
...
Attorneys and advocates handling such cases said the government often uses claims that would not be permitted to remove American children from their parents — relying on minor crimes, questionable accusations of gang membership, and unverified safety concerns. They say the process needs far more oversight, and that there is no systematic way to inform advocates and attorneys that a separation has taken place.
posted by zachlipton at 3:27 PM on June 22 [17 favorites]


“Oregon State Police has recommended that the Capitol be closed tomorrow due to a possible militia threat,” a spokesperson for the senate president told the Associated Press on Friday night.

But not a single militia member will see a day behind bars.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 3:30 PM on June 22 [22 favorites]




How you know the media has learned zero lessons: they're still vehemently defending their coverage of BUTTEREMAILS on a daily basis.

Brian Buetler: Not singling out any one top political desk reporter, but the people who have completely ignored a credible and haunting rape accusation against the president, have remained, long after the election, proud and defensive of their fixation on Hillary Clinton's email practices.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:43 PM on June 22 [39 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump, just now: “At the request of Democrats[...]

No. This is not a thing Trump has ever done, taking the wishes of Democrats into account when deciding whether to do something. Unless it's to do the opposite; if he said he was delaying the attack because Dems asked him not to, I just might believe him.
posted by scalefree at 4:01 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


From what I gather on twitter, folks at events for the 2020 Dems are beginning to get restless and impatient with the vanity candidates. Nobody wants to sit through 20 variations on the same speech, more than half of which are from folks running to get their faces on the TV.
posted by Justinian at 4:28 PM on June 22 [9 favorites]


From what I gather on twitter, folks at events for the 2020 Dems are beginning to get restless and impatient with the vanity candidates.

Good. There's absolutely no rationale for at least 15 of the 24 candidates being in the race. They should be mocked and shunned with extreme prejudice until they drop out. And failing to qualify for the second round of debates should be a hard disqualifier for ever being taking seriously again this cycle, at minimum. Do something useful. Run for Senate.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:49 PM on June 22 [30 favorites]


This guy needs to go to jail:

Republican Sen. Brian Boquist implied that police officers who pursued them should be ready to die. “Send bachelors and come heavily armed,” Boquist warned police in a televised interview shortly before his walkout. “I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”

All of this is to stop a bill on capping carbon emissions for the state. If you're wondering why this militia is threatening civil war, my ongoing theory is that many right wingers believe global warming is a hoax Democrats are using to force the United States to become socialist. Only big government can solve global warming, and they'd rather die. This is what we're up against if we are to save the planet. Just think about this: a republican Senator is threatening to kill the state's policemen for enforcing the law, and suggesting he'll die rather than do his job of simply being present for a vote on a bill.
posted by xammerboy at 5:15 PM on June 22 [63 favorites]


CNN confirms the WaPo*: Nancy Pelosi called Trump Friday night asking him to call off ICE raids
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called President Donald Trump Friday night and asked him to call off the Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation raids scheduled for Sunday, a source familiar with the call told CNN.[…]

Trump and Pelosi spoke at 7:20 p.m. ET Friday night for about 12 minutes, according to the source. White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere confirmed a phone call took place Friday night between Trump and Pelosi.

A senior Democratic aide said Trump is "trying to create leverage in a situation where he has none," adding that "it won't work."

"Democrats aren't going to compromise their values," the aide said. "He's walked away from several deals on immigration. We have no illusions here."
* Or at least spoke with the same source.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:43 PM on June 22 [7 favorites]


I haven't seen this linked here or elsewhere on the site, but it shouldn't pass without a mention:

From The Economist: The Supreme Court refuses to hear a Guantánamo detainee’s appeal
Moath al-Alwi has been held without trial for 17 years
[...]
Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, suspects Justice Breyer voted against hearing al-Alwi v Trump because Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s recusal could have foretold a 4-4 tie, leaving the DC Circuit court’s ruling in place. But while the court awaits “an appropriate case” to take up, uncertainty reigns. It is “remarkable”, Mr Vladeck says, “just how little has been settled” since 2002. “Nearly 18 years in, we still don't know if the Guantánamo detainees even have due process rights”.
Still. Don't know. Whether these people. Even have due process rights.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:02 PM on June 22 [28 favorites]


Sean Hannity, on Twitter: **BERNIE'S ADMISSION: "When I talk about health care being a human right, the last time I heard, undocumented people are human beings."**

Now, I don't post every time Sean Hannity says or does or tweets something stupid, because the thread would be nothing _but_ that until I got banned an hour later. But this one is... special.

In conservative world, this is the quiet part not just spoken out loud, but shouted at full volume because Sean thinks this is the gotcha to DESTROY Bernie. This isn't just a statement, this is an _admission_ by Bernie that he believes that undocumented people are human beings, just like conservatives are. That he would like to spend your tax dollars on healthcare for... well... those things.

And in conservative world, that's ridiculous enough to push his version of John Oliver's WE GOT HIM! button, which releases a small fart noise and a puff of coal smoke.

I would like to stop living in conservative world.
posted by delfin at 6:03 PM on June 22 [50 favorites]


So I'm doing my usual stress-reliever after reading that fucked up tweet from Sen John Cornyn: reading up on his opponents and trying to figure out which one to donate $20 to.
First name that comes up is MJ Hegar. "Great! Let's go to her website and see what her positions are!" Nothing. Not a word about anything that she believes in is on that web site.
Okay, let's do some googling to see what she's said in interviews about her positions.... not much it turns out. Vague noises about gun control, some firmer statements about "taking care of veterans" (which I'd expect from a decorated vet that was a Major in the Air Force, and any decent human really), nothing about healthcare, nothing about immigration/asylum.
Texas MeFites: got any pointers for me? I'm ready to hate-donate (donhate?) to *any* plausible opponent to John Cornyn.
posted by ButteryMales at 6:06 PM on June 22 [4 favorites]


Will A Trump Trade Move Create An Election Mess For Overseas U.S. Voters? (Tierney Sneed, Talking Points Memo)
The Trump administration has supported plenty of moves to make it harder to vote. But an under-the-radar action President Trump took last year, as part of his trade war with China, may be a case of him just stumbling into that outcome, election experts fear.

Trump is threatening to withdraw from the international body that oversees global mail delivery, putting at risk the stability and reliability of the current system of sending and receiving mail internationally.

Any disruption to the international postal service, voter advocates say, could make an already difficult process of casting ballots for Americans abroad even more complicated. Among those who stand to be affected are members of the military overseas, whose ability to vote while serving their country has always been a politically sensitive issue.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:28 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]


It's simply not true that only big government can mitigate climate change. There were many market-based plans that right wingers of various stripes were pushing before it was decided that the party line was to be that climate change is a hoax.

Now that they have chosen to flip the table like a rage emoji brought to life, however, there is nobody left to advance solutions they would find ideologically acceptable. Except the Democrats, anyway, who seem to still believe they work for everyone and not just those that voted for them and constantly talk about carbon pricing schemes of various sorts, which are as far from socialism as something can possibly be.

Let's not buy in to the fantasy that Republicans have decided they prefer to live within, please. Denial of factual reality is actively unhelpful to our current predicament.
posted by wierdo at 6:52 PM on June 22 [12 favorites]


trying to figure out which one to donate $20 to.

The ActBlue 2020 Texas Senate Nominee Fund will go to whichever Democrat wins the primary. If your goal is unseating Cornyn, I think that's your best bet. Right now all my donations are going to "nominee funds" - for various Senate seats and for whatever Democrat is nominated to run against Trump.

It kinda kills me to see Democrats spending so much money running against each other, TBH. I don't care who wins as long as they vote against concentration camps and against selling out to Russia and Saudi Arabia. So far that's pretty much every aspiring Democrat.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:19 PM on June 22 [16 favorites]


Activists step up trainings amid Trump deportation threats (AP)
From Los Angeles to Atlanta, advocates and attorneys have brought “know-your-rights” workshops to schools, churches, storefronts and consulates, tailoring their efforts on what to do if Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows up at home or on the road. They’ve role-played interactions, handed out pocket guides, provided hotlines, hosted webinars and offered scripts. The result, advocates argue, is more savvy immigrants who are increasingly refusing to open their doors or provide information, something they hope will blunt any impact of any operation.

“It’s more about making sure that people feel like they have some power over what is happening in their lives,” said Katarina Ramos, a National Immigrant Justice Center staff attorney. “And that they have some control over what is inherently a very scary situation.”

Whether it’s the American Civil Liberties Union or a neighborhood nonprofit, the trainings focus on the same ideas: the right to remain silent; refusing officers entry into a home; not signing anything without legal representation; and asking for paperwork from agents. They are rights attorneys say apply to everyone regardless of citizenship status.

Opening the door to an agent is an invitation that could lead to collateral arrests, so activists suggest talking through a door or a window, something the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles depicts in an animated know-your-rights video. A booklet by political organization Mijente advises immigrants not to carry identification with country of origin to avoid having evidence that could end up in immigration court. The Chicago-based Resurrection Project tells immigrants to film interactions. If the agent asks to drop the phone, activists tell trainees to comply but not turn off the recorder.

“We don’t want things to escalate,” said immigration organizer Laura Mendoza. “That’s why we constantly, constantly talk about know your rights.”

[...] Julieta Bolivar, 50, wished she had the training when she was taken into ICE custody in 2002 during a traffic stop and signed papers agreeing to voluntary departure. [...] She uses her story while conducting trainings in Chicago for The Resurrection Project. Among her top lessons: Talk to children and make sure they know the plan.

“Don’t open the door,” she said. “And don’t let the kids open the door.”
posted by Little Dawn at 7:58 PM on June 22 [10 favorites]


ButteryMales: "Texas MeFites: got any pointers for me? I'm ready to hate-donate (donhate?) to *any* plausible opponent to John Cornyn."

The only other current candidate is Sema Hernandez, who also ran in 2018, and came in a distant second to Beto. Everyone assumed that Joaquin Castro would run, but he ended up passing.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:07 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


I was gonna yell about Joaquin running for President instead of Senate but that's his brother. In my defense; they are identical.

I'm confused as to why the DNC didn't ratchet the requirements for the third debate a bit more. Even going to 3% instead of 2% would maybe kick out a couple of bottom feeders without looking like they are putting their thumb on the scales.

The really sad and yet completely unsurprising thing is that this is happening because the DNC was absolutely desperate to avoid looking like they were putting their thumb on the scales this time around, so they were like "everybody can run and the voters can figure it out"... and now some folks are accusing them of deliberately orchestrating a clown car primary to split the anti-corporatist-neoliberal-third-way-centrist-moderate yadda yadda vote. It's clear they can't win no matter what they do so they should just figure out how to run a decent primary which is inclusive but without allowing the Bill de Blasio's of the world to hitch their tricycles to the wagon.
posted by Justinian at 8:25 PM on June 22 [12 favorites]


NBC News, Trump administration unveils $50 billion Palestinian economic plan in approach Abbas calls 'unacceptable'
The Trump administration today released the economic portion of its long-delayed Mideast peace plan, calling for an investment of about $50 billion to lift up Palestinians economically.

About $28 billion would go to the West Bank and Gaza and billions more to Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, which have absorbed Palestinian refugees and dealt with other ramifications of the conflict for decades.

But the rollout Saturday does not include the political portion of the plan, and so doesn’t address the most critical questions in the conflict, such as whether the Palestinians will get an independent state and the status of Palestinian refugees, the city of Jerusalem, and Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday reaffirmed his opposition to an economic peace workshop that the U.S. is organizing next week in Bahrain. Focusing on economic issues between Israel and the Palestinians "is unacceptable before the political situation is discussed," Abbas told top officials of his Fatah party.
So a big fat nothing, with neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians showing up at this even in Bahrain. Some have noted that the glossy website the White House setup for the plan features USAID photos and videos created to promote the exact development programs the administration has cancelled, which is pretty damn insulting. Joel Braunold has a more detailed critique. For example:
Second CONTEXT: The Admin has been telling everyone that they are going for a fresh approach on others failures. What this plan is, is what the Kerry Economic Initiative was on steroids. Kerry failed at a $4 billion investment pitch despite everyone turning up. This Admin can’t even get the business leadership to turn up and to assume when Kerry failed at $4 billion because of the politics that somehow we are going to go up to $50 billion is madness. This does not represent a new approach but a gathering together of all the ideas generated over the past decade or so that have not moved forward because of political reasons.
But it's clear that the White House is super proud of this plan. After all, this is how you roll out something you're really proud of and want maximum attention and praise for, right?

@JoshNBCNews: An unusual choice for the White House, after working for more than 2 years to build up anticipation for its plan, to release the first part on a Saturday, a weekend in US and Sabbath in Israel
posted by zachlipton at 10:43 PM on June 22 [10 favorites]


The $50 billion will come not from the U.S. but from unspecified donor nations and from "investors."

Always be grifting.
posted by JackFlash at 11:24 PM on June 22 [22 favorites]


This point may have already been made here, but a key observation from S.I. Rosenbaum on Twitter:
I keep seeing comments on threads about the children in camps. "Let's airdrop them soap and blankets." "Is there a charity for these children?" "Can I bring them toothbrushes?"
Do people not realize that this isn't a matter of a LACK of RESOURCES. It's a PUNITIVE POLICY.


Most of these kids arrived with toothbrushes. That were taken away. They arrived with medications. That was taken away. They arrived with clothes. Those were taken away. If we airdropped supplies they would be confiscated.
It occurs to me that this country also has thousands of (depressing) counterexamples to refute the "Any deprivation is the fault of Congress for not funding them" notion: Public schools. They are very often underfunded, but because teachers actually care about the children, they will often make up some of the difference and buy supplies (andeven things not within the school's mandate like breakfast) out of their own not-great pay, or organize the common-enough-to-be-cliche events like bake sales.

By contrast, the system makes sure that any outsiders providing aid to migrants are literally charged with crimes. And if any border agents chipped in together to get resources from Costco outside the budget, you know it would be broadcast, at least on the right, as a kind of feel-good take-that-liberals story (well, among the parts of the right who haven't fully succumbed to cruelty-is-the-point thinking about migrants, who would instead regard it as a source of more anger: "Don't these leopards know what faces are for?").

If they had any serious intention to help the kids they would make itemized requests to Congress rather than just asking for money and pinky-promising they won't simply build more camps to house more humans.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 5:55 AM on June 23 [47 favorites]


Can whoever set up that escrow account to oppose Susan Collins if she voted for Kavanaugh do the same thing with Beto on the condition that he drop out of the primaries and run for Senate instead?

At this point he and probably a number of others are probably just angling for a VP slot.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:18 AM on June 23 [8 favorites]


Trump is threatening to withdraw from the international body that oversees global mail delivery, putting at risk the stability and reliability of the current system of sending and receiving mail internationally.


Wow. He really is jealous of North Korea's political and cultural isolation!
posted by srboisvert at 6:31 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]


This probably belongs in the fucking-fuck thread but I'm putting it here anyhow: can there be any doubt - any whatsoever - that these camps will be exposed as sinks of sexual abuse? I know stories are already out there, but eventually it will go from "these few bad apples did terrible things" to "it was systemic and known to leadership and they looked the other way."
posted by Caxton1476 at 6:44 AM on June 23 [8 favorites]


I know stories are already out there, but eventually it will go from "these few bad apples did terrible things" to "it was systemic and known to leadership and they looked the other way."

That's already happening in FEMA, so yea, probably in other parts of DHS currently as well.

WaPo: "The personnel chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency — who resigned just weeks ago — is under investigation after being accused of creating an atmosphere of widespread sexual harassment over years in which women were hired as possible sexual partners for male employees, the agency’s leader said Monday.

The alleged harassment and other misconduct, revealed through a preliminary seven-month internal investigation, was a “systemic problem going on for years,” said FEMA Administrator William “Brock” Long. Some of the behavior could rise to the level of criminal activity, he said."
posted by Harry Caul at 6:52 AM on June 23 [11 favorites]




Trump is threatening to withdraw from the international body that oversees global mail delivery, putting at risk the stability and reliability of the current system of sending and receiving mail internationally.

This is absolutely brilliant news for cross border trade and electronic commerce - the talks of which are underway right now. It will open up the whole world market for smaller players from around the world. thank you!
posted by hugbucket at 7:14 AM on June 23


Donald Trump has dismissed a United Nations request for the FBI to investigate the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, suggesting it would jeopardise American weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.
posted by adamvasco at 7:34 AM on June 23 [31 favorites]


I think the International Postal Union thing is because the IPU has set rates that are highly favorable to Chinese businesses, and punitive for US businesses. The IPU rates are why you can buy junk from AliExpress and have it shipped via "ChinaPost" for free. The shipping cost to the Chinese company is negligible, because the actual delivery within the USA is handled by the USPS—at a significant loss. (Just try sending a package back to China and see how much it costs...) The USPS has no choice but to grin and eat shit, because of the IPU treaties. It's a pretty crazy system, one that probably made sense in the early air-mail days when there was mostly bi-directional mail flows. Like Internet peering, the system falls apart when you have too much traffic flowing in one direction for too long.

As someone who likes the USPS and wants to see it stick around and be financially sustainable (and is not really interested in having the US govt subsidize cheap Chinese imports at the expense of US businesses), this system needs to change, and if the IPU won't work to make things more fair, they deserve to be dumped.

However, Team Trump will, I'm sure, approach this real and legitimate need for negotiation with their usual tact and subtlety.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:18 AM on June 23 [42 favorites]


@mattyglesias: It’s interesting that in the United States you can get your armed terrorist group politely termed a “militia” by both law enforcement and the media if you adopt a right-wing ideology.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:48 AM on June 23 [54 favorites]




I have been working on a project that involves very slowly sharing all of the "Mueller Memes" (sharable image macros featuring damning quotes from the Mueller report) created by Tami Burages on various social media platforms, a handful at a time. Since she's recently finished with Volume II, the whole report is now summarized in meme form. They are easily digestible little nuggets of carefully sourced information.

Anyway, links to her threads, plus a couple of other helpful resources, plus a few images I created in imitation of her style, can now be found on my page.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:58 AM on June 23 [42 favorites]


Thanks for all your work on that. Your page is invaluable.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:29 AM on June 23 [6 favorites]


Oregon Statehouse Shut Down After Lawmakers Team Up With Right-Wing Militias

Don’t worry, I’m sure elections in 2020 will be fair and all will go back to normal once Trump’s gone.

@Oregon_GOP
Heavily armed militia lays siege to Oregon's Capitol as Senate Democrats cower in fear. #orpol #orleg #capkillsjobs #hb2020 #Oregon11 #orcot



But of course they can’t even get their fascism right.

Jennifer Bendery (HuffPo)
Omg the Oregon GOP is using a fake image -- these are actually *timber industry workers* protesting logging restrictions at the Capitol, not militia protesting a climate bill.

Here's video footage from the event.
posted by chris24 at 10:44 AM on June 23 [16 favorites]


That tweet is pretty obviously an attempt at satire, and the way it’s being retweeted by and to people that don’t understand the context of this particular piece of local politics really isn’t helpful. Honestly, the progressive reactions (mostly from out of state) are just as disingenuous as the original tweet. We need to deal with what’s actually happening, not what’s most convenient to rage against.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:59 AM on June 23 [5 favorites]


Yeah, then pretty much every non-Trumpette in politics Twitter read it the wrong way. When your party is literally encouraging armed rebellion against the state and attacking the opposing party, maybe don’t “joke” about armed rebellion that most people will read as a threat and/or celebration of it.

So not so obvious.
posted by chris24 at 11:02 AM on June 23 [18 favorites]


Another heartbreaking story from the New Yorker article linked to above: There are some other stories that we’ve heard from the children, such as that one of the guards has an older child, who’s seventeen, serve as the unofficial guard inside the room. So he tells the kids what to do, and he tries to keep the room neat and straighten up the mattresses and everything. Now, the guards reward him with extra food, and when a seven-year-old saw that this older boy was getting extra food by being helpful, he asked if he could help clean up the room and keep it neat so that he, too, could get extra food. And the seventeen-year-old chastised him for this, and then when an older sibling tried to stand up for his little brother, the guard intervened and reprimanded both the little boy and his older brother.

In related news, some anonymous folks are organising a week of action between July 8th and 12th to protest or shut down branch locations of Bank of America, SunTrust and PNC Bank.

We are all too aware of the cruelties of the American border regime: locking children in cages or ruining families by kidnapping and deporting parents. While this is a nightmare scenario for millions, it is big business for deportation and migrant-detention profiteers.

Like other mechanisms of oppression, the border system utilizes infrastructures that can be disrupted. This infrastructure is composed of state agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). But it is also thoroughly integrated with the private sector. Contracts with construction, technology and security corporations are integral to the function of a militarized border. The majority of immigrant detainees are imprisoned in detention centers operated by private prison companies contracting with ICE. The largest of these are Geo Group and CoreCivic.

Further, the private sector actors fundamental to ICE and CBP operations rely on debt-financing from large financial institutions. Geo Group and CoreCivic which are structured as Real Estate Investment Trusts, are particularly vulnerable to credit loss. This has enabled recent campaigns to yield key victories. In March 2019, JPMorgan Chase committed to halt further financing to the private prison industry following long-term organizing efforts. In the immediate aftermath, Geo Group and CoreCivic stocks plummeted and Geo Group warned its investors that mounting pressure “could have a material adverse effect on our business.” After Chase’s announcement Wells Fargo began partially divesting, while U.S. Bank reduced credit to an “immaterial amount.” Bank of America, SunTrust and PNC Bank continue to bankroll the migrant detention industry and are some of its largest funders. Divestment from these remaining large banks could jeopardize the economic viability of corporations like Geo Group or CoreCivic.


See the link for more background on the targets. @studentactivism is also compiling a list of individual protests/actions/resources regarding the concentration camps.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:08 AM on June 23 [14 favorites]


Sure, it was obviously a stupid tweet by some terrible people, but all you need to do is look at the photo. It’s a bunch of people with no weapons in sight holding signs about how they don’t want their jobs to disappear. No one in the photo is laying siege to anything. Part of basic media literacy is looking at context and identifying what we’re dealing with, rather than what we hope/fear we’re dealing with. None of this is a defense of the morons with the OR GOP, I just don’t see the value of taking the tweet at face-value, much less retweeting it as such.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 11:12 AM on June 23 [3 favorites]



Do people not realize that this isn't a matter of a LACK of RESOURCES. It's a PUNITIVE POLICY.

Most of these kids arrived with toothbrushes. That were taken away. They arrived with medications. That was taken away. They arrived with clothes. Those were taken away. If we airdropped supplies they would be confiscated.


Do it anyway (says I from MA). Bring soap, toothbrushes, blankets, clothes to the gate of the facility near El Paso. Bring pediatricians.

Record the guard turning them all away. Do your best to get names and badge numbers of the BP guards as they do it on camera. Then call out Pence for the lying sack of shit that he is when he claims it's a lack of resources.
posted by ocschwar at 11:44 AM on June 23 [14 favorites]


And you thought that there wasn't an old white guy left who wasn't already running for president:
JUST IN: Former Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak declares run for president in surprise announcement
posted by octothorpe at 11:53 AM on June 23 [4 favorites]


JUST IN: Former Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak declares run for president in surprise announcement

the girl's face says it all
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:01 PM on June 23 [22 favorites]


Best outcome: these boutique candidates end up at least registering more people to vote in primary season, and when their sub-1% candidate drops out after the Primary election, most of the newly engaged voters will then vote in the General, too.

Sure, they’re doing it out of “selfish ambition or vain conceit”, but perhaps they end up providing society a service, after all.
posted by darkstar at 12:12 PM on June 23 [4 favorites]


If anyone has a breakdown of nationalities being held in the concentration camps please hit me up on Memail especially if those held are Brazilian. Local non english speaking journalists are asking.
posted by adamvasco at 12:16 PM on June 23 [4 favorites]


From Ravelry: New Policy: Do Not Post In Support of Trump or his Administration
I'm feeling a little guilty about how much fun I'm having watching dingbat MAGA-dudes lose their shit about this on Twitter. All of these dudes going "I have never heard of Ravelry, but I will never, ever post or buy anything there!" Because before this, these MAGA-dudes were clearly going to buy a lot of knitting patterns.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:30 PM on June 23 [42 favorites]


Politico: White House to Assert ‘Immunity’ Claims Over Ex-McGahn Aide
The White House is expected to move to block former top aide Annie Donaldson from answering the House Judiciary Committee’s written questions about her tenure as White House deputy counsel, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Donaldson, who was a central witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, struck a deal with the committee that would allow her to submit written responses instead of showing up for her scheduled public testimony on Monday. Donaldson is pregnant and lives in Alabama, her attorney Sandra Moser said, adding that it’s difficult for her to travel to Washington at this time.

Donaldson negotiated a deal with the committee that would require her to submit written answers within a week of receiving the questions. The committee is able to schedule in-person testimony after Nov. 1. CNN first reported the terms of the agreement.

But the White House, which has been involved in the negotiations, is expected to assert its claims that former aides have “absolute immunity” from testifying to Congress about their service in the White House, sources said. Democrats have said that claim is legally baseless and are vowing to defeat it in federal court.
Former DoD Special Counsel Ryan Goodman: "Reporters, Hill staffers, public should understand: White House will cross a whole new line [if] it is asserts "absolute immunity" for Donaldson. Even Justice Dept's own self-serving precedents don't clearly apply to someone in Donaldson's position. Including OLC opinion on McGahn."
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:41 PM on June 23 [13 favorites]




Amy Siskind on Twitter:
Week 1: 9 not normal items
Week 2: 18 items
.
.
Week 52: 120 items
.
.
Week 136: 202 items
(no, you are not imagining it)


(Link is to her tweet, which includes a graph of “Not normal items” on her (excellent) Weekly List.
posted by young_simba at 3:33 PM on June 23 [11 favorites]


The Trump administration has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change, defying a longstanding practice of touting such findings by the Agriculture Department’s acclaimed in-house scientists.
posted by adamvasco at 3:40 PM on June 23 [11 favorites]


Axios: Exclusive: Leaked Trump vetting docs
Nearly 100 internal Trump transition vetting documents leaked to "Axios on HBO" identify a host of "red flags" about officials who went on to get some of the most powerful jobs in the U.S. government.[…]

Some highlights:
—Scott Pruitt, who ultimately lost his job as EPA Administrator because of serial ethical abuses and clubbiness with lobbyists, had a section in his vetting form titled "allegations of coziness with big energy companies."
—Tom Price, who ultimately resigned as Health and Human Services Secretary after Trump lost confidence in him in part for stories about his use of chartered flights, had sections in his dossier flagging "criticisms of management ability" and "Dysfunction And Division Has Haunted Price's Leadership Of The House Budget Committee."
—Mick Mulvaney, who became Trump's Budget Director and is now his acting chief of staff, has a striking assortment of "red flags," including his assessment that Trump "is not a very good person."
—The Trump transition team was so worried about Rudy Giuliani, in line for Secretary of State, that they created a separate 25-page document titled "Rudy Giuliani Business Ties Research Dossier" with copious accounting of his "foreign entanglements."[…]
—Seema Verma, who Trump appointed as the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, had this paragraph near the top of her vetting form: "Verma was simultaneously advising Indiana ($3.5 million in contracts) on issues impacting how it would spend Medicaid funds while she was also being paid by a client that received Medicaid funds. Ethics experts have called the arrangement a conflict of interest that potentially put Indiana taxpayers at risk."
—Sonny Perdue, Trump's pick for Agriculture Secretary, had a vetting form with sections labeled "Business conflicts of interest" and "Family conflicts of interest." It noted that "Perdue is the owner of Houston Fertilizer and Grain, a company that has received contracts from the Department of Agriculture."
Nothing about this is surprising, the skeletons in Trump administration’s closets having been revealed in the past two and a half years. The point is that we now have on record that Trump—who “reviewed many of these documents at Trump Tower and Bedminster before his interviews, according to a source who saw him eyeball them“—and the RNC knew about it all from the start.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:44 PM on June 23 [31 favorites]


Amy Siskind on Twitter:

What is this, the number of times she included the words "not normal" in her own newsletter? The tweet itself adds little context.
posted by rhizome at 4:16 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


Axios: Exclusive: Leaked Trump vetting docs
One heading in the document about Kris Kobach, in the running for Homeland Security Secretary, listed "white supremacy" as a vulnerability. It cited accusations from past political opponents that he had ties to white supremacist groups.
Knowing this, they made the choice to put him in charge of a "voter fraud" commission, presumably because they considered this aspect of his background to be a feature for that assignment and not a bug.
posted by zachlipton at 4:25 PM on June 23 [37 favorites]


@hansilowang: NEW: @uscensusbureau research finds adding a #CitizenshipQuestion will likely reduce #2020Census responses at a rate higher than previously estimated for U.S. households with noncitizens. "Best estimate" by researchers is now at least 8% -- up from 5.8%

Here's the working paper from the census researchers. This comes as we're still waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on the case, one that was rushed there before the facts were in.
posted by zachlipton at 4:38 PM on June 23 [13 favorites]






Amy Siskind on Twitter:
Week 1: 9 not normal items

Week 136: 202 items
(no, you are not imagining it)


I was stupidly confused by that graph at first. I was like, okay, if this is a cumulative list of 202 not normal things in the Trump era, why does it look like the number is going down some weeks? And what's the scale depicted? 202 into 136, that's only one or two things a week, not actually especially egregious it would seem. Then I clicked on the link to her list and realized that 202 wasn't the cumulative total, but just the total for last week alone. What the hell, 202 fucked up things in one week? I mean, it certainly feels like we're drowning in a tsunami of toxicity, but seeing a week's worth of essentially catch-all thread items individually numbered just reinforces to me how numb many of us, including me, have become in the face of the sheer overwhelming horror of the times we live in. I mean, the U.S.A. is in 2019 running concentration camps riddled with filth and disease. And by and large people don't give a shit. Of course, we've had 50+ years of being programmed by the media's attitude toward our prison system, by which we've been trained to find rape, violence and abuse laughable and well-deserved. But anyway yeah in 2019 our nation is proudly a beacon to the world...of despair and terror.
posted by xigxag at 5:49 PM on June 23 [12 favorites]


the U.S.A. is in 2019 running concentration camps riddled with filth and disease. And by and large people don't give a shit. Of course, we've had 50+ years of being programmed

Yes, 50+ years, and in more recent decades a pretty direct continuation of the Guantanamo ambivalence. Obama vowed to close Guantanamo his first week in office, but when it got difficult, people mostly just stopped caring. Now Guantanamo-style indefinite "detention" has moved within our borders, and expanded to refugees. I guess the next logical step will be mass detention for US citizens.
posted by p3t3 at 6:10 PM on June 23 [18 favorites]


the next logical step will be mass detention for US citizens.

Fairly certain we already do that and it's totally legal. In fact it's the legal system that does it.

The bright line is when it starts happening to white people, of course. Which, to be honest, it probably won't, because the political leadership knows how to work the crowd. You can detain lots of people but only if you can figure out a way to 'other' them sufficiently for the rest of the population to be secure in the belief that it'll never actually be them getting locked up. Which is, broadly speaking, true. A white person is never going to be brown or black, so they don't have to worry about brown or black people being detained. (Or, in a past generation, Japanese.)

The FNC crowd would absolutely lose its shit if a white kid ended up in a detention camp, though. And the agencies responsible know that.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:16 PM on June 23 [15 favorites]


Shouldn’t there be more of an international response to the human rights violations going on in the concentration camps? Like, if we didn’t live in upside-down universe and some other country was doing this shit, at the very least we’d be slapping sanctions on them and there’d be UN observers, right? Where is that response?
posted by Weeping_angel at 6:37 PM on June 23 [8 favorites]


Shouldn’t there be more of an international response to the human rights violations going on in the concentration camps? Like, if we didn’t live in upside-down universe and some other country was doing this shit, at the very least we’d be slapping sanctions on them and there’d be UN observers, right? Where is that response?

We have a little under half of the world's nukes.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:39 PM on June 23 [7 favorites]


I'm hoping the UN at least steps in to oversee our 2020 election.
posted by bink at 7:12 PM on June 23 [5 favorites]


Word. Can we get a paper-ballot/inked-thumb system like a legit democracy, please.
posted by j_curiouser at 7:31 PM on June 23 [11 favorites]


Kadin2048: The FNC crowd would absolutely lose its shit if a white kid ended up in a detention camp, though.

"White" is fuzzy enough (and moreover officially can overlap with Hispanic) that it's definitely already happened that at least some of these kids "are" white. Indeed, it's being detained itself helps mark them as something other than the in-group, regardless of official or self-understood racial category.

I don't know what would happen if internment happened to some unauthorized resident from one of the "good" white countries like the president's beloved Norway, though. Plenty would lose their shit, true, but more than a few would just play it into a"See, liberals! No racism here!" talking point.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:40 PM on June 23 [4 favorites]


The FNC crowd would absolutely lose its shit if a white kid ended up in a detention camp, though. And the agencies responsible know that.

It's important to recognize the potentially targeted white people are not a monolith. Their age, sexuality, gender, "radical politics", and religion (or atheism) would be enough to paint certain groups of them as "other" to the FNC crowd. That, plus the "they broke the laws. they must be punished" line always works to mollify the conservatives. They have no problem seeing fellow white people being chewed up by the system, so long as they perceive the system as "just".
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 7:42 PM on June 23 [4 favorites]


The Unites States does not, as a matter of principle, slap sanctions on countries for human rights violations in concentration camps or refugee detention centers.
posted by perspicio at 8:17 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


The FNC crowd would absolutely lose its shit if a white kid ended up in a detention camp, though. And the agencies responsible know that.

This is why I'm starting to promote the idea of storming the camps. DHS/CBP use of force policies require a threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or another person, so I think if a bunch of white people went down and cut their way through the fences and brought a bunch of pizzas and Clif bars and and tents and just took up residence with all of the prisoners.

I think it could be done.
posted by rhizome at 8:19 PM on June 23 [15 favorites]


WaPo, Sanders to propose canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle
Sanders is proposing the federal government pay to wipe clean the student debt held by 45 million Americans — including all private and graduate school debt — as part of a package that also would make public universities, community colleges and trade schools tuition-free.

Sanders is proposing to pay for these plans with a tax on Wall Street his campaign says will raise more than $2 trillion over 10 years, though some tax experts give lower revenue estimates.

Sanders will be joined Monday by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who will introduce legislation in the House to eliminate all student debt in the United States, as well as Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who has championed legislation to make public universities tuition-free.

Sanders helped popularize demands for tuition-free college during his 2016 presidential campaign run but did less to emphasize solutions for those who had already left school saddled with debt. Since then, liberal Democratic lawmakers have called for increasingly aggressive government solutions for erasing existing student debt, with 2020 candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) proposing $640 billion in student debt forgiveness and former housing secretary Julián Castro introducing a more modest debt forgiveness plan.

These proposals have faced fierce objections, including from some moderate Democrats, for giving taxpayer subsidies to educated Americans who, on average, have higher earnings than those with only a high school degree.
I'm reminded of Tom Scocca's argument from April: Forgiving Student Debt Means Admitting Student Debt Was Wrong
posted by zachlipton at 8:38 PM on June 23 [25 favorites]


From the Ravelry site: "We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy."

I'm kind of floored by this statement. It's so simple.
posted by xammerboy at 8:51 PM on June 23 [81 favorites]


ooo Debt Collective will be at the announcement tomorrow. They've been on the ground organizing around debt for a while now.
posted by The Whelk at 9:43 PM on June 23 [7 favorites]


Some useful history on the treatment of immigrants at detention facilities:
Before Sarah Fabian defended concrete floors and bright lights for President Donald Trump, she defended putting kids in solitary confinement for President Barack Obama. The fault lies not with any one administration or politician, but with the culture: the ICE and CBP culture that encourages the abuse, the culture of the legal apologists who defend it, and our culture—a largely indifferent America that hasn’t done a damn thing about it.
These places have always been a kind of hell, but Trump has made the situation worse. If nothing else, Democrats should note that the public outrage over this abuse came out of a televised court hearing. This is why the impeachment inquiries need to be televised.
posted by xammerboy at 11:45 PM on June 23 [49 favorites]


JOE BIDEN SAYS HE CAN WORK WITH THE SENATE. THE LAST TIME HE TRIED, MITCH MCCONNELL PICKED HIS POCKETS BADLY.
It was now Sunday, December 30, and Democrats only had to hold out until Tuesday to find themselves in a dramatically improved political position, as the dawning of the new year would mean the tax cuts expired and automatically reverted to pre-Bush levels. At that point, it would be Republicans left pleading for rate cuts.

In desperation, McConnell reached out directly to Biden, calling him on the phone and explaining that Reid was refusing to be reasonable. Over the course of the day, McConnell and Biden struck a deal. “Biden gave Republicans everything they wanted in exchange for fixing the fiscal cliff problem,” the GOP operative recalled.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:28 AM on June 24 [31 favorites]


@realpresssecbot creator Russel Neiss discovered that the Trump administration is playing the same budget games with child concentration camps that it did with border wall funding:
So I've been trying to build a new twitterbot that tweets out contracts between gov't entities responsible for family separation & the camps on border and the companies who are facilitating it, and in the process discovered something that seems weird to me...

Is it normal for the @nih to spend $8.6 Million from its construction fund to buy/lease modular buildings for housing undocumented children?

https://fpds.gov/ezsearch/jsp/viewLinkController.jsp?agencyID=7529&PIID=75N99019L00008&modNumber=P00001&transactionNumber=0&idvAgencyID=&idvPIID=&actionSource=searchScreen&actionCode=&documentVersion=1.5&contractType=AWARD&docType=D

Found the solicitation for the bid: "The U.S. Government is seeking a Sources Sought for a Lessor to provide Housing/Buildings for 1,600 persons including dining facility for 400 persons." "Carrizo Springs, Texas"

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cbf623381875f5d483ea94a2fd92e81f&tab=core&_cview=1

"NIH support of ORR to support UAC" ORR = Office of Refugee Resettlement UAC = Unaccompanied Children
If any MeFites have Reps on the House Committee on Appropriations - Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, they need to be alerted immediately to this potentially illegal diversion of funds (tel. 202-225-3508).
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:41 AM on June 24 [42 favorites]


Sarah Gideon, a Democrat from the Portland area and currently Speaker of the House in Maine, today announced that she's challenging Susan Collins for the Senate seat. More about Gideon on her website and via Project Vote Smart. She won her last election with 74 percent of the vote over a Republican opponent and I know some Maine friends have been waiting for this one to drop.
posted by martin q blank at 7:35 AM on June 24 [80 favorites]


Finally, Susan Collins has concerns that I'm happy about :)
posted by diogenes at 8:15 AM on June 24 [37 favorites]




NYMag: Democratic Presidential Candidates Respond to New Rape Allegation Against Trump

Biden, Booker, Castro, de Blasio, Harris, O'Rourke, Swalwell, and Warren all condemn it and are all ready to hold Trump accountable one way or another, of course. Delaney and Ryan fumble initially, confessing they either haven't read the article or read it entirely, but they nonetheless favor congressional investigations. Sanders is missing from the list (I can't find anything online either).

Andrew Yang's response, however, doesn't pass muster as something from a serious candidate: “Wow, that’s a very interesting question. I hadn’t thought about that. You know, I’d have to investigate what the precedent is for like a sitting president to get accused of a crime. In this case, it’s years and years after the fact. Yeah, no, I’d have to investigate that. I’d have to investigate what the legal guidelines are for a congressional inquiry. Yeah, sorry, I’d just have to think about it a little bit more.” (Yang was asked if he would think about it and get back to New York. He said he would, but didn’t respond to follow-ups.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:20 AM on June 24 [13 favorites]




Doktor Zed, many thanks for the info above about Russel Neiss and his discovery that the National Institutes of Health are using 8.6 million clams on behalf of another concentration camp. Like, WTF. When I called the number you listed for the House committee, I asked if I could talk to someone about NIH construction funds going to a new concentration camp. The person who answered the phone had not heard about this and gave me an email address for a staffer who works on NIH stuff.

Now I am going to call Representative Barbara Lee's office, because she is on the subcommittee in question. I am wondering how we can make sure, in general, that the right staffers know about developments of this nature. I understand that with elected officials we need to nearly drown them in calls, emails, faxes, etc. to convey the importance of a variety of outrages to voters. We should not do that to staffers but I have to believe that they are super busy people who do want to know about these things but cannot know everything. It all seems so random to me. In any case, Russel Neiss is doing good work, it appears, because somebody has to help keep track of all the dirty work afoot. Lord knows that's a challenge when there is so damn much.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:34 AM on June 24 [18 favorites]


Trump Says “Probably Not” Prepared to Lose in 2020, Doesn’t Believe He Lost Popular Vote [in 2016] (Daniel Politi, Slate)

It's from his Meet the Press interview on 6/23. Hard to be both a poor winner and a gracious loser.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:44 AM on June 24 [12 favorites]


Discover: Study Shows That Trump’s New “Affordable Clean Energy” Rule Will Lead To More Co2 Emissions, Not Fewer
The Trump administration has rolled back Obama-era climate change rules in an effort to save coal-fired electric power plants in the United States. The action comes in the form of the “Affordable Clean Energy rule,” which Environmental Protection Administration head Andrew Wheeler signed today. Unfortunately, research shows that “clean energy” is the opposite of what this rule will produce.[…]

The Trump Administration claims the plan is intended to cut emissions 35 percent below 2005 levels by the end of the next decade. But research published last April in the journal Environmental Research Letters shows that over the long run, it is likely to lead to increased emissions.

According to the study’s authors, that’s the result of a “rebound phenomenon”: Thanks to the efficiency improvements anticipated by the ACE plan, coal plants will operate more frequently, and for longer periods of time. That, in turn, will lead to increased CO2 emissions by 2050 compared to what would happen if there were no rule in place at all.

Moreover, the researchers found that, compared to no policy, by 2030 the new rule will increase sulfur dioxide pollution from coal-fired power in 19 states, and nitrogen oxide pollution in 20 states plus the District of Columbia. This will have negative impacts on human health.
WaPo: White House Tells Agencies They No Longer Have To Weigh A Project’s Long-Term Climate Impacts—The reversal may not be enough to satisfy the courts, which have repeatedly faulted agencies for not calculating their actions’ carbon footprint.
The draft guidance, issued by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, would change the way the U.S. government evaluates activities ranging from coal mining to gas pipelines and oil drilling by limiting the extent to which agencies can calculate their greenhouse gas emissions. In April 2016, CEQ finalized a directive that agencies quantify to what extent they will contribute to climate change, a move that threw approval of those projects into doubt.[…]

The question of to what extent federal decisions are fueling climate change has emerged as a major legal and political issue under the Trump administration. Federal judges have halted oil and gas leasing on multiple occasions on the grounds that the federal government failed to properly calculate a project’s carbon output, including in March when a judge blocked leasing on 300,000 acres in Wyoming.
Meanwhile, Pence is staying on message by parroting Trump's latest lies about climate change, CNN's Chris Cillizza (?!) writes: Mike Pence's unbelievable answer on whether climate change is a threat
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:07 AM on June 24 [14 favorites]


From Ravelry: New Policy: Do Not Post In Support of Trump or his Administration

posted by jenfullmoon at 9:55 AM on June 23 [32 favorites +] [!]


When you've lost the knitters, you've lost the American people.

At least I wish that were true.

posted by Mental Wimp at 9:07 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]


I guess Trump is signing new sanctions on Iran, and for whatever reason CBS saw fit to cut into daytime tv programming to show the signing ceremony live.

Key takeaway: he's willing to talk to "anyone" but in the meantime "who knows what will happen". Said not in a threatening tone as much as a tone that he doesn't really understand what's going on or what he may or may not do in the future.

Strong leadership, etc.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:13 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


Here's an unedited transcript of that Meet the Press interview (the edited-for-tv version is a lot less rambling and more coherent, omits people calling him 'sir,' etc.). Chuck Todd asked him if he talks to any former presidents, which produces this exchange:
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

I speak to Jimmy Carter.

CHUCK TODD:

You do? What about President Obama?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

I have not spoken to him --

CHUCK TODD:

But George W. Bush, you do?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

-- pretty much from the beginning.

CHUCK TODD:

And Jimmy Carter?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

I have spoken to Bush, I have spoken to Jimmy Carter, yes.

CHUCK TODD:

Do you get --

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

I like Jimmy Carter. You know, Jimmy Carter's oftentimes come to my defense. I don't necessarily agree with the way he ran things and that's okay. And he understands that and so do I. But he came to my defense on numerous occasions. And he thinks that I was treated the worst of anybody he's ever seen by the press.
posted by box at 9:13 AM on June 24 [9 favorites]


Vox has a somewhat detailed discussion of Jay Inslee's climate proposals. To quote the article "Someone's going to be mad."
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 9:32 AM on June 24 [7 favorites]




Non-military households would pay a "war tax" to help cover the health care of veterans of newly-authorized wars under a plan Beto O'Rourke's campaign unveiled on Monday

This makes no sense. Less than 1% of households have members in the military so you are just talking about raising taxes on 99% of people. Why not just have Congress properly fund the VA from the general fund instead of issuing tax cuts to the rich? This is just a stupid gimmick.

Now if you talk about deducting $2 million from, say, Jeff Bezos checking account every time Trump lobs a Tomahawk in the Middle East, I might get behind that.
posted by JackFlash at 9:58 AM on June 24 [34 favorites]


I don't know. An automatic tax hike on the upper tax brackets the moment a US service member fires his weapon in anger has a certain elegance to it.
posted by ocschwar at 10:06 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]


If he had said "War Profits Tax," there might have been something there besides a sinking candidate flailing to get in the news cycle.
posted by absalom at 10:07 AM on June 24 [15 favorites]


there might have been something there besides a sinking candidate flailing to get in the news cycle.
yep, the next 48 hours are going to be some epic headline flailing by Democratic candidates.
posted by Harry Caul at 10:15 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


Be sure to follow and retweet @SaraGideonME. She's gone from 205 followers this morning to 30.7k as of now.

Edit: Actually she started at zero this morning because it's a new account.
posted by diogenes at 10:37 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


> An automatic tax hike on the upper tax brackets the moment a US service member fires his weapon in anger has a certain elegance to it.

We all agree that this is going nowhere, but I bet it was conceived as a "centrist" flat tax (i.e., a hideously regressive tax).
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:50 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


AP: Government moves migrant kids after poor conditions exposed
The U.S. government has removed most of the children from a remote Border Patrol station in Texas following reports that more than 300 kids were detained there and caring for each other with inadequate food, water and sanitation. Rep. Veronica Escobar said 30 children were at the facility near El Paso as of Monday. Her office was briefed on the situation by an official with Customs and Border Protection.

Attorneys who visited the station in Clint, Texas last week said older children were trying to take care of infants and toddlers, The Associated Press first reported Thursday. Some had been detained for three weeks, and 15 children were sick with the flu. It's unclear where all the children have been moved. But Escobar said some were sent to another facility in El Paso.
Until all the moved children can be located, identified and cared for, this is another forced disappearance of the already-disappeared. It's a coverup of continuing abuses that will be presented by mainstream media as a humane decision from a concerned administration that listened to its critics.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:04 AM on June 24 [60 favorites]


We all agree that this is going nowhere, but I bet it was conceived as a "centrist" flat tax (i.e., a hideously regressive tax).

Specifically, the brackets are as follows:
Households making less than $30,000 per year would pay $25; those making less than $40,000 would pay $57; those making less than $50,000 would pay $98; those making less than $75,000 would pay $164; those making less than $100,000 would pay $270; those making less than $200,000 would pay $485; and those making more than $200,000 would pay $1,000.
The proportionality simply isn't there. If you make more than $200K as a household, you don't perceive $1K as "half a percent of my income!", you barely perceive it at all. It's as much of a bump in the road as a thickly painted crosswalk that you drive over in your $999/mo leased Jaguar XJL.

On the other hand, $25 for a couple who are each making minimum wage potentially means you don't eat several meals; if you're lucky, it means your kids don't miss those meals too.

This is what a dumb person thinks a smart person would propose, and I say that as someone who wouldn't be paying the tax because it sets me up as a member of the new Junker class.
posted by Etrigan at 11:11 AM on June 24 [36 favorites]


those making more than $200,000 would pay $1,000

those making more than $250,000 would pay $1,000
those making more than $500,000 would pay $1,000
those making more than $750,000 would pay $1,000
those making more than $1,000,000 would pay $1,000
those making more than $10,000,000 would pay $1,000
those making more than $100,000,000 would pay $1,000

...and so on
posted by kirkaracha at 11:38 AM on June 24 [52 favorites]




Be sure to follow and retweet @SaraGideonME. She's gone from 205 followers this morning to 30.7k as of now.

So..... I want to mention something about this. Sara Gideon is the THIRD Dem woman to enter the race, and the fifth woman overall to declare (sixth if you include Collins herself). Portland-area attorney Bre Kidman is running as a Dem. Long time Maine activist and co-founder of Equality Maine, Betsy Sweet, is running as a Dem. Progressive Independent Tiffany Bond is running. There are at least one other Dem and one other Independent candidate running.

Not all of these candidates are viable, but they're all candidates and Sweet, Kidman, and Bond are all fairly well known. The difference with Gideon, of course, is that she currently holds elected office, which the others do not. But please don't fall into the trap of thinking that it will be Gideon v. Collins with no other challengers.
posted by anastasiav at 11:51 AM on June 24 [13 favorites]


Sara Gideon is the THIRD Dem woman to enter the race

Fair enough, but despite Twitter not meaning much in the real world, 33K followers in 8 hours versus less than 2K in months for the other two candidates would seem to indicate that she's a new level of threat to Collins.

Why is a Democratic progressive running as an Independent?
posted by diogenes at 1:05 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]


One of the baffling things to me about the EPA rollback mentioned above is when or if there will be pushback from our allies. It’s not as though the effects of increased pollution will be magically limited to the United States. I am talking about political fallout; I would like to see some (on the concentration camps as well of course, but that doesn’t affect the entire world as directly).
posted by Bella Donna at 1:11 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Democrats mimic 2018 House takeover strategy in bid to capture Senate (James Arkin & Burgess Everett, Politico)
After being spurned by more prominent names, Democrats are counting on lesser-known figures to topple GOP senators.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:15 PM on June 24 [7 favorites]


Jeez, just did some research on Tiffany Bond. She ran as an Independent for the House and got 5% of the vote in 2018. And you want me to talk about her for Senate?
posted by diogenes at 1:17 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


One of the baffling things to me about the EPA rollback mentioned above is when or if there will be pushback from our allies. It’s not as though the effects of increased pollution will be magically limited to the United States. I am talking about political fallout; I would like to see some (on the concentration camps as well of course, but that doesn’t affect the entire world as directly).

Right now, the EU is on a hiatus, after the election. I'd think that if Merkel because the new president of the commission, things will get rolling. (Right now it looks like she will).
posted by mumimor at 1:18 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


diogenes: "Why is a Democratic progressive running as an Independent?"

Because people didn't learn from the Paul LePage fiasco.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:22 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]


Because people didn't learn from the Paul LePage fiasco.

The entire state learned from the Paul LePage fiasco and introduced ranked-choice voting.
posted by Etrigan at 1:26 PM on June 24 [11 favorites]


The entire state learned from the Paul LePage fiasco and introduced ranked-choice voting.

Show me a person-on-the-street video with typical voters explaining how IRV works and ill feel completely confident that the issue is fixed.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 1:28 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Betsy Sweet ran for governor of Maine in 2018--one of seven Democratic primary candidates, she polled at 5%, but got 16% of the votes in the first round of ranked-choice voting (and made it all the way up to 24% out of three candidates before being mathematically eliminated).

Something may have changed in the last year or so, and someone closer to Maine may have a more insightful analysis of the election results (and I imagine there are a lot of fascinating stories around that primary), but I don't know if Betsy Sweet looks like she can win a Maine Senate primary election.
posted by box at 1:38 PM on June 24


Box, as those election results show, Sweet is very well known in Maine politics and has been around for a very long time. She outperformed her polling and was wonderful in the debates.

I'm not saying that she (or Bond) will win, I'm saying that Gideon isn't The Anointed One, and maybe she shouldn't be treated like the only candidate in the field. She has some problems on a statewide level. She's done a nice job as speaker, but candidates from the Greater Portland area are automatically suspect in more rural parts of the state, and that will be an uphill battle for her. To find another Senator from Greater Portland, I had to go all the way back to Anti Klan Republican Frederick Hale (served 1916-1932). (King is From Away, but began his Maine residency in Skowhegan.)

Show me a person-on-the-street video with typical voters explaining how IRV works and ill feel completely confident that the issue is fixed.

Weirdly enough, when Poloquin lost the CD2 seat, he made exactly this argument in Court - that nobody understood how the voting system worked. The (Trump appointed, LePage approved) Justice disagreed, and that's how the R's lost CD2.

This will be the third time through for ranked choice. Really, at this point, the only confusing part is getting people to understand why we use it for some elections (including Senate) but not others (Maine Constitution changes pending). We've been educating people about RCV for ten years. It isn't a hard way to vote, and it won't be a surprise to anyone.
posted by anastasiav at 2:04 PM on June 24 [16 favorites]


One of the baffling things to me about the EPA rollback mentioned above is when or if there will be pushback from our allies. It’s not as though the effects of increased pollution will be magically limited to the United States. I am talking about political fallout; I would like to see some (on the concentration camps as well of course, but that doesn’t affect the entire world as directly).

This is completely not baffling to me as a Canadian. You have an impulsive, mean and capricious republican president who loves trade wars and posturing. Owning the libs is a top republican priority and there is nothing more "lib" than all those foreigners. Every American ally is just trying to avoid painting bullseyes on themselves and inflicting needless damage on their own economies and stock markets. They are hoping the American people can deliver a less crazy president in just over a year.

Other countries simply cannot damage the United States in the same way the US can, has and probably would damage them in return (or even just randomly as the whim strikes the toddler in chief).
posted by srboisvert at 2:06 PM on June 24 [22 favorites]


Non-military households would pay a "war tax" to help cover the health care of veterans of newly-authorized wars under a plan Beto O'Rourke's campaign unveiled on Monday


This wouldn't be an issue if universal public health care existed in the United States.

(It'd also be a tremendous help to state finances if their pension plans were not getting crushed by medical costs. It'd also free up entrepreneurs to entrepren, workers to have job mobility increasing efficiency of talent allocation, employers to reduce administrative costs....and on and fucking on).

But do go on with this Starship Troopers veterans as true citizens level shit....
posted by srboisvert at 2:16 PM on June 24 [26 favorites]


That's fair, RCV does at least minimize the issue of splitting the electorate.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:40 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


Non-military households would pay a "war tax" to help cover the health care of veterans of newly-authorized wars under a plan Beto O'Rourke's campaign unveiled on Monday

What in the ever-loving fuck??? I mean, I kind of get the reverse-psychology Beto’s trying here. At least, I hope it’s reverse psychology, thinking people hate taxes enough that they’d (hopefully) agitate their representatives against going to war. If that’s his thinking, he’s drastically underestimating Americans’ willingness to thank-you-for-your-service themselves to death over the military.

OTOH, if Beto’s staight-up serious about this idea, he’s definitley out of contention for me.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:08 PM on June 24 [12 favorites]


How did Beto go from getting more votes than Hillary in Texas to... this. I didn't think he would flop so bad as a presidential candidate.
posted by BeginAgain at 3:15 PM on June 24 [7 favorites]


CNN, Murdoch lieutenant ordered removal of New York Post story on Trump sexual assault allegation, sources say
The New York Post's former top editor, a supporter of President Trump and an old lieutenant of Rupert Murdoch who returned to the conservative tabloid as an adviser in early 2019, ordered the removal of a story about writer Jean Carroll's sexual assault allegations against President Trump, two people familiar with the matter told CNN Business.

The Post's story about Carroll's sexual assault allegations was mysteriously scrubbed from the tabloid's website on Friday afternoon. The link to the story, which had been written by reporter Joe Tacopino, directed readers to a dead or 404 page.
...
Asked why Allan would order the removal of the Post story about Carroll's accusation, one of the people told CNN Business, "Nobody needs to explain why. We already know."
Meanwhile, NYT executive editor Dean Baquet now says the paper was "overly cautious" in downplaying Carroll's allegations (weird how that caution didn't apply to Clinton's emails or the deal they struck with Peter Schweizer for "Clinton Cash") and, at the end, displays a bunch of sour grapes that boil down to whining that it wasn't their exclusive story. Again, bring back the public editor already.
posted by zachlipton at 3:20 PM on June 24 [20 favorites]


How did Beto go from getting more votes than Hillary in Texas to... this. I didn't think he would flop so bad as a presidential candidate.

Turns out you really need more than "I'm not Ted Cruz" to run any other race than one against Ted Cruz.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:48 PM on June 24 [42 favorites]


Yeah, honestly Cruz seems like an even "easier" opponent than Trump. Lots of people hate them both, but some people really love Trump. Does anyone really love Cruz?
posted by thefoxgod at 4:07 PM on June 24


This wouldn't be an issue if universal public health care existed in the United States.

And, boy howdy, the anti-single-payer commercials are running hot and heavy on local tv here. Sad-looking people holding signs announcing how long they supposedly would have to wait for operations, etc. Lots of dire warnings about government deciding your healthcare, veering very close to death-panel kind of stuff. I’m guessing we’re getting them because we have a local guy running for president (mayor Pete.)
posted by Thorzdad at 4:12 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]


How did Beto go from getting more votes than Hillary in Texas to... this. I didn't think he would flop so bad as a presidential candidate.

Good-looking, white, wealthy = can fail upwards for a loooong time. Just look at the caliber of (most of) the white male Presidential candidates, contrast them with the women (not Gabbard or Williamson - but good god, Warren, Harris, and Gillibrand are stellar) or even the not-white guys. Booker, for instance, may not be catching fire in the primaries, but one can't deny that he's accomplished.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:18 PM on June 24 [16 favorites]


This administration makes my head spin. When the Park Service designated Stonewall National Monument, the local office installed a Pride flag on the flagpole across from Stonewall Inn. Turns out the political appointees in Washington didn't like this, and thus began a crack-brained effort to ditch the flag without looking too much like bigots.

They ended up figuring out that the flagpole in question wasn't actually on federal property and thus NPS had no right to put any flags on it at all. They gave the Pride flag in question to the city of New York, who put it back on the flagpole...
posted by suelac at 4:45 PM on June 24 [37 favorites]


The Hill: EXCLUSIVE: Trump vehemently denies E. Jean Carroll allegation, says 'she's not my type'
President Trump said Monday that writer E. Jean Carroll was “totally lying” when she recently accused him of raping her during an encounter in a New York department store in the mid-1990s.

In an exclusive interview with The Hill, the president vehemently denied the allegations just hours after Carroll detailed the alleged incident during a cable news interview.

“I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?” the president said while seated behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
Earlier this morning, Carroll told CNN: "He denies it, he turns it around, he attacks, and he threatens and everybody forgets it and the next woman comes along and I am sick of it. Alisyn, I am sick of it. Think how many women have come forward, nothing happens."
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:18 PM on June 24 [23 favorites]


Jay Inslee has a radical plan to phase out fossil fuel production in the US

I am enormously thankful Jay Inslee is doing this work, but I really wish journalists would stop calling it radical. It's a big plan, but it's also all commonsense. It includes stopping the government from giving oil companies billions in free money subsidies, outlawing fracking, instituting a pollution fee, and making business practices more transparent. Radical maybe in the sense that we're talking about changing up a large part of the current economy, but this plan is also extremely practical. I just don't get leaning into the label radical to describe a plan that proposes we stop propping up a dying industry that's killing us.
posted by xammerboy at 5:19 PM on June 24 [31 favorites]


Number one, she’s not my type.

... so, if she was his type, he'd have done it? I don't think this is as sound a defense as he thinks.
posted by suelac at 5:38 PM on June 24 [37 favorites]


CNN interview with Warren’s Campaign Manager, via dKos:

Why Elizabeth Warren refuses to do rope lines at campaign events
According to Lau, Warren asked him why they had to do rope lines and Lau explained that having photos taken and meeting people at rallies was good organizing and publicity for any campaign, and the press liked having the line to separate them. Warren replied, “Okay, Roger, so if those are your three goals let me ask you this: when I look to the left [of the rope] I see big donors, elected officials, people I saw backstage. I look to the right and I see wheelchairs, and people with walkers, and I can’t get to them because of the bike rack. I look in the middle and it’s all the most aggressive people who got to the front. I don’t see little girls, I’m not able to shake hands with older people. What if, we invited every single person who wanted to to come to stage to take a photo, you know, on stage?”

Lau tells CNN he shook his head and said no way were they going to do that. He explained that that would take forever, and it would be exhausting for her. The two went back and forth over the next few weeks leading up to Warren’s first event. The night before the event Warren told Lau that she trusted him implicitly and would agree with whatever his decision on the matter would be but warned him that “If there is even a single person in that room who wants to say hello, or wants to take a photo, who didn’t get a photo, I’ll consider this event a failure.”

Long story short, Warren has taken those photos after every event and just watching her do it is exhausting, but as Lau says “She was right.”
You know, I am finding myself in that phase of the primary season where my initially somewhat cerebral analysis and ranking of candidates is beginning to metamorphose into a rather more emotionally resonant preference for one of them.
posted by darkstar at 5:46 PM on June 24 [104 favorites]


I'm not saying that she (or Bond) will win, I'm saying that Gideon isn't The Anointed One, and maybe she shouldn't be treated like the only candidate in the field.

I don't think it's unreasonable to look at past experience and election results to come to the conclusion that Gideon is the only viable candidate to enter the race so far. Getting 5% in a House race or 16% in a Governor race doesn't qualify as viable to beat Susan Collins.
posted by diogenes at 5:51 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]






AP, Blurred lines: Trump’s UN choice and her coal magnate spouse. In which EPA officials email the U.S. ambassador to Canada (and Trump's choice for UN ambassador), but her coal magnate husband writes back.
The blurring of roles — and email accounts — by the Crafts this time and others since she began representing the U.S. is raising questions as senators consider her nomination by President Donald Trump to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. That post would give her a prime seat at international talks to fight climate change, in part by encouraging limits on the burning of coal, with its heat-trapping emissions.

“Thanks!!” the coal baron replied to the December 2017 email from EPA officials, which had been addressed to “Ambassador Craft.” The agency was following up on a briefing she had gotten from then-EPA head Scott Pruitt on federal funding for cleaning up the Great Lakes, an issue of great interest to Canada.

Joseph Craft sent the acknowledgment on his work email for his Tulsa, Oklahoma-based coal company, Alliance Resource Partners LP.

His response ended with the breezy auto-tag from his cellphone: “Sent from my iPhone powered by coal!”
posted by zachlipton at 6:13 PM on June 24 [14 favorites]


New Yorker, Jonathan Blitzer, ICE Agents Are Losing Patience with Trump’s Chaotic Immigration Policy
Over the weekend, the President agreed to halt the operation. But it’s far from certain whether McAleenan actually got the upper hand. Officials in the White House authorized ICE to issue a press release insinuating that someone had leaked important details about the operation and therefore compromised it. “Any leak telegraphing sensitive law-enforcement operations is egregious and puts our officers’ safety in danger,” an ICE spokesperson said late Saturday afternoon. This was a puzzling statement given that it was Trump who first publicized the information about the operation. But the White House’s line followed a different script: some members of the Administration, as well as the former head of ICE, Thomas Homan, were publicly accusing McAleenan of sharing information with reporters in an attempt to undermine the operation.
...
President Obama was never popular among ICE’s rank and file, but the detailed list of enforcement priorities he instituted, in 2014, which many in the agency initially resented as micromanagement, now seemed more sensible—and even preferable to the current state of affairs. The ICE officer said, “One person told me, ‘I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the Obama rules. We removed more people with the rules we had in place than with all this. It was much easier when we had the priorities. It was cleaner.’ ” Since the creation of ICE, in 2003, enforcement was premised on the idea that officers would primarily go after criminals for deportation; Trump, who views ICE as a political tool to showcase his toughness, has abandoned that framework entirely. “I don’t even know what we’re doing now,” the officer said. “A lot of us see the photos of the kids at the border, and we’re wondering, ‘What the hell is going on?’ ” The influx of Central American migrants, the officer noted, has been an issue for more than a decade now, spanning three Presidential administrations. “No one built up the infrastructure to handle this, and now people are suffering at the border for it. They keep saying they were caught flat footed. That’s a bald-faced fucking lie.”
posted by zachlipton at 6:22 PM on June 24 [46 favorites]


CNN: Judge releases court details that show speed, scope of Mueller investigation following CNN request
At the request of CNN, a federal judge in Washington on Monday released about 230 pages of data from the court showing new details about the scope and speed of Robert Mueller's investigation.[…]

Other cases revealed in the lists on Monday raise new questions about the investigation.

For instance, at one point in August 2017, Mueller obtained a warrant to look at emails maintained by the FBI, according to the documents.

Some of Mueller's searches from early 2017 pertain to a case or cases that weren't closed April 1, 2019 -- after Mueller finished his report.
Politico: These 3 lawmakers know the secrets in Mueller's report—They've got special access because they sit on both the Intelligence and Judiciary committees. “Democratic Reps. Val Demings of Florida, Eric Swalwell of California and John Ratcliffe of Texas are the only members of the 435-member House that sit on both the Intelligence and Judiciary committees, and so they have access to evidence that underpins both volumes of Mueller’s report — the one on contacts between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign that the Intelligence panel is reviewing, and the one on Trump’s efforts to interfere with the investigation that Judiciary panel is exploring.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:14 PM on June 24 [9 favorites]


If even Trump's _supporters_ believe Trump is incapable of thinking "I don't really want or need to do this, but I'm going to do it anyway just to show them that I can do it and they can't stop me" about ANY action, they are bald-faced fucking liars. That is his M.O., full stop.

Sexual assault is not primarily about "types" or lust in most cases, but about power and its exercise thereof. It is about a need to feel dominant. It is a pattern that should sound awfully familiar.

And, Donnie? You're not anybody's type. The number of digits you claim are in your bank accounts are your only potential point of attraction.
posted by delfin at 7:29 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]


Bloomberg: JUST IN: President Trump has recently mused to confidants about withdrawing from a postwar defense treaty with Japan, sources say
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:40 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


Remember when touching a woman on her shoulder without her consent was a big deal?

Brian Klaas (WaPo):
Sunday shows: 3/31/19: ABC asked 3 guests about the Biden allegations; NBC asked 6 guests about it; CBS asked 2 guests. All three hosts suggested the allegations might be "disqualifying."

This Sunday: the new Trump rape allegations weren't mentioned on any of the 3 Sunday shows.
posted by chris24 at 7:43 PM on June 24 [56 favorites]


American presidentialism is bad, part [n]: the treatment of the sitting president as the fount of truth, whose statements take primacy over the statements of others. This is borne out in the grammar of headlines: "I-1 denies X" rather than "Y accuses I-1 of X".

The WH press corps literally cannot cope with a president who is a pathological liar (and a cheat and a rapist) because they are delegates to the royal court of an 18th-century monarchy and the word of the king is not to be questioned.

("I wouldn't even rape you" is an especially grotesque kind of toxic, though it's more Junior's domain. See: Sargon of Dickhead towards Jess Phillips.)
posted by holgate at 8:05 PM on June 24 [14 favorites]


WaPo, Sanders to propose canceling entire $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, escalating Democratic policy battle

Matt Yglesias has a decent twitter tl;dr on why reasonable people, including progressives, might be rather dubious about this approach.

If even clicking on twitter is too much for you it's basically that it's not universal and it targets relatively well-off already people. You can't go back in time, as he says, and enroll in order to get that benefit. Better to give money to everyone and let people who wish to use it on college debt do so... others maybe need it for food and housing and, like, not dying.
posted by Justinian at 8:34 PM on June 24 [17 favorites]


Bloomberg: JUST IN: President Trump has recently mused to confidants about withdrawing from a postwar defense treaty with Japan, sources say

Hmm, why would he do that?
Abe reached a deal in 2013 with Obama to move the base out of Okinawa as early as 2022 if a replacement could be constructed. But Trump believes the land underneath the base is valuable for development, and has told confidants the real estate could be worth about $10 billion, the people said.

He considers the situation another example of a wealthy country taking advantage of the U.S., the people said.
Ah, always be grifting.
posted by zachlipton at 8:46 PM on June 24 [18 favorites]


Trump transition team 'red flagged' senior US general because he was opposed to torture

Set aside the fact that they ignored security clearance recommendations for their own family. Patraeus is famous for other transgressions that would disqualify him, but the real deal-breaker is that he was opposed to torture?
posted by adept256 at 8:47 PM on June 24 [20 favorites]


We went to a border detention center for children. What we saw was awful
We spoke with an 11-year-old caring for his toddler brother. Both were fending for themselves in a cell with dozens of other children. The little one was quiet with matted hair, a hacking cough, muddy pants and eyes that fluttered closed with fatigue. As we interviewed the two brothers, he fell asleep on two office chairs drawn together, probably the most comfortable bed he had used in weeks. They had been separated from an 18-year-old uncle and sent to the Clint Border Patrol Station. When we met them, they had been there three weeks and counting. [...]

A second-grader we interviewed entered the room silently but burst into tears when we asked who she traveled with to the US. "My aunt," she said, with a keening cry. A bracelet on her wrist had the words "US parent" and a phone number written in permanent marker. We called the number on the spot and found out that no one had informed her desperate parents where she was being held.
Where is our party leadership?
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:51 PM on June 24 [62 favorites]


You can't go back in time, as he says, and enroll in order to get that benefit.

The perfect is the enemy of the good. If you see student debt forgiveness as a reset to the Boomer norm where tuition was $500 and you could work it off with 20 hrs in a bookstore, then why the fuck not? The university system is as bloated and shite as the healthcare system, and frankly, the federal government should settle student debt for 10¢ on the dollar and tell educational institutions to grow the fuck up and stop acting like feudal lordships.

Jubilee the fuck out of everything. Jubilee the fuck out of redlining, jubilee the fuck out of medical debt, jubilee the fuck out of educational debt, just fucking do it.
posted by holgate at 8:56 PM on June 24 [45 favorites]


I mean, seriously, forgive all debt, cover it at the actual market rate for delinquent or defaulted debt below, I dunno, a million dollars, so as not to include the brokeass deadbeat president, and sing hallelujah. Why the fuck not? If people complain, slap them on the face with the parable of the prodigal son.
posted by holgate at 8:59 PM on June 24 [16 favorites]


If you see student debt forgiveness as a reset to the Boomer norm where tuition was $500 and you could work it off with 20 hrs in a bookstore, then why the fuck not?

If you read the critique you see that he is drawing a big distinction between retroactive debt forgiveness and "free college" going forward (however you want to define/pay for it). Nearly-free college going forward would be universal and a reset to the Boomer norm and would benefit everyone. Forgiving student debt, and only student debt, retroactively isn't that. It's a subsidy of people who went college and took on a lot of debt by people who didn't do that. Some of those folks will be wealthy and thus didn't need student loans but many of them will be poor and working class and didn't go to college.

Jubilee the fuck out of everything. [...] forgive all debt

Ok but that's a different plan entirely. Forgive all debt isn't what Sanders is proposing. You can't necessarily say "if we did X it would be good, therefore if we only do a subset of X it is also good." Sometimes doing only part of a good thing is worse than doing nothing.
posted by Justinian at 9:00 PM on June 24 [11 favorites]


I think we’re well into the realm where the problems are so stupid that apparently stupid solutions become reasonable. I’m not an economist, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find a lot of qualified experts agreeing that a plan to give everyone $100,000 makes basic macroeconomic sense. I think you’d find a lot that would think it’s smarter than any kind of targeted loan forgiveness, like student loans or whatever. Which is on the one hand an indication of how far down the rabbit hole we are, and on the other, how radical the range of policy options is.

On preview:
1) jubilee isn’t much help to someone who just heroically completed their indenture.
2) none of this matters because kids in cages.
posted by dirge at 9:03 PM on June 24 [10 favorites]


I’m not an economist, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find a lot of qualified experts agreeing that a plan to give everyone $100,000 makes basic macroeconomic sense.

Those economists definitely do exist! Across the political spectrum. This is basically what a guaranteed universal basic income is (see also: Andrew Yang.) Well, it would be a per annum obviously not one lump.
posted by Justinian at 9:05 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


This dovetails with the reparations question. We can't retroactively give black families a Levittown house in 1949 and 70 years of compounded real estate gains. (Fuck you, Bill O'Reilly, you shit-encrusted shamrock shake.) I am okay with giving people a fuckload of money and saying "do what you want with it" because that's the American Way, but I am more fine with taking that money and giving everyone the kind of collective health / employment / later life coverage that Scando systems provide, other than I don't think Americans can be convinced that it's not okay for Those Other People to suffer.
posted by holgate at 9:07 PM on June 24 [8 favorites]


Yep. And i’d Advocate UBI too. Just pointing out that if we’re going to talk “jubilee” it makes more sense to economically level by saying “just give everybody a ton of money” than it does to forgive debts. Maybe a decent way to approach reparations too, though I’m not well positioned to expound on that issue.
posted by dirge at 9:15 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


A friend of mine who is not rich (first person in his family to go to college) and was told if he got the big expensive law degree he’d be able to pay it off with high powered business lawyer money found that no one was hiring high powered lawyers and it was a competition to see who could work for the most amoral assholes so he ended up a public defender which also does not pay the high powered lawyer money - he ran the numbers and figured if the debt jubilee goes forward he would actually save money putting in as many volunteer hours campaigning as he could. Like 3k an hour from now til the primary.
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 PM on June 24 [11 favorites]


"One of the best benefits of debt cancellation and tuition free public college is obliterating the ROTC military recruitment pipeline that exploits poverty and ambitions to conscript poor –often black and brown– folks to fight in our endless wars just to afford an education." @wideofthepost
posted by The Whelk at 9:23 PM on June 24 [31 favorites]


A friend of mine who is not rich (first person in his family to go to college) and was told if he got the big expensive law degree he’d be able to pay it off with high powered business lawyer money found that no one was hiring high powered lawyers and it was a competition to see who could work for the most amoral assholes so he ended up a public defender which also does not pay the high powered lawyer money - he ran the numbers and figured if the debt jubilee goes forward he would actually save money putting in as many volunteer hours campaigning as he could. Like 3k an hour from now til the primary.

Hi. This is me and all of my friends.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:23 PM on June 24 [19 favorites]


Intuitively, it seems like the great legal education bait & switch (well documented by L,G&M over the years), resulting in an army of angry underemployed attorneys, ought to turn out to be a huge error on the part of the establishment. It remains a little unclear how to get that skill and anger organized and pointed in the right direction, but I remain hopeful.
posted by dirge at 9:26 PM on June 24 [8 favorites]


This dovetails with the reparations question.

We have a welfare program in Australia called ABSTUDY. It's designed to cover the basic necessities of student life, plus the additional cost of travel and living away from home for indigenous Australians. It's more than the standard student welfare payment, acknowledging the financial challenges that some Aboriginal people face in higher education.

In short, if you're a government supported student at a university, you get a little bit more money if you're an Aboriginal. After everything that's happened here, I think that's fair.

Having said all that, America is a billion years from our system and heading in the wrong direction.
posted by adept256 at 9:33 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]


It remains a little unclear how to get that skill and anger organized and pointed in the right direction, but I remain hopeful.

http://mefiwiki.com/wiki/Get_a_lawyer#Immigration

::coughs::
posted by Little Dawn at 9:35 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]


I can't recommend highly enough checking out The Investigation, currently streaming for free here. Kevin Kline as Mueller, John Lithgow as Trump, Kyra Sedgwick as Sarah Sanders, Jason Alexander as Chris Christie, and Joel Grey as Jeff Sessions--they're reading Volume 2 of the Mueller report. Kind of amazing.
posted by suelac at 9:50 PM on June 24 [15 favorites]


This Video of Kamala Harris Dancing Down an Escalator to a Drum Line Will Revive You
You must watch the videos of Harris's grand entrance to the S.C. Democratic Convention for your health, your wellness, you spirit, your t-zone, your cholesterol level, and as a required question on the citizenship exam.
...
Harris, a proud Howard graduate, certainly knows about the power of drum lines to lift your soul, set a mood, and start you living right. The glee on her face is contagious. In this shot from the escalator itself she looks like she's riding a roller coaster. Like, the good kind. Not like the experience of logging online every day to read the news.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:52 PM on June 24 [28 favorites]


With Sanders and Warren now out with student debt plans, BuzzFeed takes a moment to look at How Student Debt Forgiveness Reveals The Difference Between Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren
Sanders’ vision, announced Monday, is relatively straightforward: wipe out every dollar of student loan debt owned by every American. All $1.6 trillion of it, gone.

The $640 billion Warren plan, by contrast, would cap student loan forgiveness at $50,000 for those making less than $100,000 annually, and at smaller amounts for those making less than $250,000. Unlike Sanders’ plan, those making more than $250,000 a year wouldn’t see a penny of forgiveness. Both plans would be paid for by asking more of the wealthiest Americans — Warren’s with a tax on individual wealth, and Sanders’ with a tax on Wall Street transactions.

Sanders and Warren have often been seen as ideologically linked, standing far to the left of many other Democrats in favor of policies that target the wealthy and corporations and dramatically increase the social safety net. But as they vie for the Democratic nomination, they have distinguished themselves from one another.
With this, I think back a lot to some of the early conversations the Obama Administration had over the ACA, where they were planning on mainly addressing middle class problems with health insurance until they fully comprehended how many millions of people were struggling who were never going to be able to afford more than a small fraction of a health insurance premium. That's what led to the Medicaid expansion and the subsidies cutting off at 400% FPL; there were a lot of people who were really desperate for health care, and, within the bounds of what the program could cost, it was unethical to put them behind the upper middle class families who were also struggling with high premiums. And the ramifications of that are something we're still dealing with today, both in the health care system and politically.

And I feel like we're stuck in the same trap here. It is pretty self-evidently wrong that some presidential candidates right now want to do more for an indebted doctor or lawyer making $150,000/year than they want to do for the homeless man lying on the street on my block. That's not to say that there can't and shouldn't be separate plans to help both, or that there aren't sound political reasons why candidates are talking about student debt more than homeless people, just that the priorities say something about who we are and who we want to be.

But to be totally cynical for a moment, politically, Democratic policies can't ignore the upper middle class forever, especially as differences in cost of living increasingly means that national income comparisons are more and more meaningless. There's a group of people, comparatively well off but far from truly wealthy, especially in high cost areas, who are right to be aggrieved that the ACA hasn't particularly helped them. And to be fair, that's something Democrats have had proposals to fix for years—they're always blocked by Republicans who want the whole thing to fail and especially don't want the ACA to help Republican voters. But there is a corrosive effect from Democrats spending decades tailoring programs to specific income levels: other voters come to the conclusion that you don't have anything to offer them. And since we're stuck with the American Dream myth that everyone is just a temporally embarrassed millionaire, even people who could be helped refuse to acknowledge it. As people keep pointing out, if someone proposed public libraries today, they'd be laughed out of the room. So there's a strong argument in favor of Sanders-style universality: enough with the means testing.

But with some of these, I can't help but shake the feeling that universal programs without further action to achieve equality serves to reinforce existing power structures. One thing I appreciate about some of Warren's plans is that they have a "yes and" component to them. For example, her higher education plan is committed to free public college and broad debt cancellation, but recognizing who that privileges, it says "yes, we need to do that, and" we need to specifically add additional elements to the plan that address racial and socioeconomic disparities to ensure it's successful for more people. Similarly, Warren's child care plan doesn't have an income cliff; it just says we'll cap your costs at no more than 7% of family income, and naturally that rolls off at the high end of the income scale. These strike me as good ways to provide near-universality in a more conscious way.

It is possible, a moral imperative even, to house the homeless and pay for higher education at the same time in this country. But these plans still don't sit quite so easily with me, because there's a man sleeping on cold hard bricks outside tonight, and everyone is a lot less interested in him than deciding exactly how much student loan debt should be wiped out.

Anyway, @david_j_roth: Materially Improving Things For People Is Unfair To People Who Already Have It Pretty Good is the perfect shitty 2019 argument. It sits perfectly in that middle ground of Liberal Who Cannot Argue For Universal Things and Conservative Who Doesn't Want To Say They Like Bad Things.
posted by zachlipton at 10:01 PM on June 24 [36 favorites]


I mean I want total jubilee for both the optics and cause it;s just easier and even if someone making a lot of money I want to stop giving money to those sucking black voids that are lenders and have them spend that money in the community - there's your liberal argument - also then maybe people could start saving since basically no one has savings.

So smash em together, No more student debt AND the creation of free college system via various taxes and enforcement.

I mean I want to absorb Harvard and such into state systems but you know, baby steps.
posted by The Whelk at 10:17 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]


“It’s a universal program” is a reasonable answer to the question “why is a second-year associate at a fancy law firm who doesn’t really need help getting some money?” But an actual universal program wouldn’t leave out the person who cleans that guy’s apartment. Free college on a forward looking basis is universal because anyone *can* enroll. But people who didn’t go to college can’t go back in time to get debt relief. “Give everyone money” would be universal and the money could be used for debt relief or whatever else people need.
There are definitely important debates to have about what degree to apply means testing to polices. But Yglesias's notion of "universal" seems profoundly misguided and to set the conversation off on a very wrong foot. First of all, by this logic, almost no actual policy in existence or under consideration would seem to count as truly "universal." Second, the only policy that might count under this definition is "give people money," but even then, what kind of money? Is a flat amount actually universal if the lowest rungs would actually need more to benefit equally to the middle rungs? Third, the notion of "universal" inherent in the claim that "anyone can enroll" if college is free is, if anything, even more misguided than the idea that universal debt relief is universal; it is very much not the case that "anyone can enroll" if only college is made free, and believing so betrays the same sort of libertarian/conservative bias as is inherent in the idea the flat cash is the only "universal" solution and anything that benefits any better-off group should be eliminated in the name of (some ill-defined) perfect fairness.

The solution to these problems is not "universality," especially not universality that devolves to UBI and nothing else. The solution to policies that are just and needed but may on average favor the better-off is adding more policies that favor the less-well-off. Down one path lies the libertarian fantasy of UBI and an endless war of attacking the benefits to some in the supposed name of fairness to others. Down the other path is ... well, standard liberalism, really. You put out policies to help folks who need it, including things that benefit the upper portions (college, mortgage protection, air safety regulations, etc), along with even more things that benefit the neediest. That's how you build cooperative coalitions in the real world. Whatever their disagreements about the roll-off at the top, both Warren and Sanders are basically proposing standard policies, albeit on a larger scale than usual. Both offer a mix of policies that target different groups, hopefully allowing us to piece together a society that is overall more fair and better-off. We may argue about the specifics, but in any case, Yglesias's logic of attacking any policy that offers benefits for the upper groups without consideration for the larger context of other policies, all in the name of some ill-defined libertarianish "universalism," seems distinctly unhelpful. Much more direct, if these are proxy attacks on behalf of Warren's mean-tested program, is to just admit that yeah, all college debt-forgiveness and tuition subsidies tend to favor groups other than the worst-off, and then make the argument directly that Sanders's policy of forgiving debt even for the rich is nevertheless a bridge too far.
posted by chortly at 10:19 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


I sort of don't get Sanders debt reimbursement plan like I don't get why Yang insists on giving UBI money to millionaires. Okay, it might get them to buy in, but... really?
posted by xammerboy at 10:23 PM on June 24


Universal programs have the advantage that they actually get used, tons of people qualify for loan forgiveness from bad privately run schools but they never use them cause the process is just paperwork and documents and a whole-ass prying into your personal life burden. Univeralism has the benefit of streamlining that and getting to the point, making people more free by not being beholden to the stupid debt we allowed to happen.

If you took out a loan you needed that loan. It's not our place to figure out if you REALLY needed it. The number of people who didn't is vanishing small compared to the people who did, and you don;t need to build this crazy bureaucracy of figuring out who REALLY needs it which will be the backdoor Austerity uses to creep in. You cant allow two-tiered systems to exist, either by letting the rich opt-out or testing the poor and middling classes more. Everyone gets everything is the simple solution to a very dumb problem, otherwise you go down rabbit holes like checking to see if you don't make enough money to enjoy a public park. Or you need to prove you don't make enough money so you can use a public school and not a private one. This is seriously 19th century thinking.

Plus, Universal programs are much more stable cause everyone is bought into them The right wing in the UK has been trying everything they can think of to Privatize the NHS and it;s still the most popular government agency cause everyone has a stake in it and uses it. Universal systems are also harder to game cause there's no point, everyone gets the same treatment and they're less likely to create resentment. You undo the idea of Deserving Poor and Undeserving Poor, and if it happens to help a few rich people who would already be FINE their ENTIRE lives otherwise while helping the many, many, many more under them who won;t be without it, who cares?

Rich people don;t have student debt anyway, but a lot of first time in their family going to college so. I view this as a first step in eliminating all debt, medical, housing, personal, to create, if not a utopia, then a word where don;t people are making negative money.

If the rich get giddy about the idea of having free PH.Ds we can just tax them more. Or like, at all.
posted by The Whelk at 10:35 PM on June 24 [48 favorites]


I sort of don't get Sanders debt reimbursement plan like I don't get why Yang insists on giving UBI money to millionaires. Okay, it might get them to buy in, but... really?

The "really?" logic kind of goes both directions though: the rich are such a tiny percentage of society that giving them social security, UBI, or debt relief doesn't materially affect the total cost of most policy packages. So the fight seems to be mainly on the idea of fairness: some are fiercely bothered by the idea of giving anything to the rich, while others consider the issue largely symbolic and prefer simpler policies that might also enlist the powerful on their side. Of course, the real fight over means-testing benefits is not at the top 1%, but for folks in the middle percentiles. One side tends to prefer aggressively means-tested programs to make sure no well-off groups get an unfair share (or "welfare queens," in the extreme case), while the other often argues that even in those cases where such groups do unfairly benefit, the costs of means-testing (fracturing coalitions and erroneously barring many people in genuine need) outweigh the largely immaterial costs of occasionally giving benefits to the relatively better off. This is the real battle between the free-college/free-healthcare/free-childcare/free-debt folks, and the centrists who want to make sure these programs are assiduously means-tested to prevent unfair benefits. Warren often tries to bridge this divide, with fairly broad policies that will surely benefit many well-off folks, yet still some means-testing caps at the top. But for my money, it's all a fight over a largely symbolic and small portion of the costs, and thus best ignored either way, at least when it's between candidates who largely agree on the vast bulk of their policies.
posted by chortly at 10:42 PM on June 24 [9 favorites]


I'm not going to get into a fist fight over it but I think you should always lead with your biggest demand cause your not dealing with :reasonable" actors.

SO when I say "Cancel All Debt: there should be an assumed "And Great A Free College System" next to it

and as part of a larger system, to enact pot legalization that that strike people;s records' for related crimes and ...maybe give a five year head start an opening marijuana based companies? Nationalize the insurance industry via Medicare FOr ALl so people never see another medical bill? Remove housing from the speculation market with more ppublic buy outs and COmmunity Land Trusts?

there are some of the major issues keeping people in poverty traps and these solutions are all very nice normal liberalism. I haven't even gotten into seizing the means of production, creating co-ops, and preparing the public square for a guillotine. Not even once. After the pivot of Reagan/Thatcher politicians basically stopped knowing ho to make liberal cases for good programs like these and that;s pretty sad and I say this as someone for whom Liberal can be a mild pejorative in certain situations.
posted by The Whelk at 10:55 PM on June 24 [11 favorites]


Right, but with student debt, it's inherently means tested at the bottom, to a reasonable extent, by virtue of who has student debt. It's not about whether the program is means tested at the top; it's what happens at the bottom. Wiping out existing student debt only applies to people with student debt; the biglaw associate's cleaner has none to wipe out That's different from public schools and libraries and UBI and other actual universal programs, where sure, the rich can benefit too, but they pay for more of it too.

We spend a lot of time, rightly, asking who benefits from the mortgage interest deduction and who doesn't. We spend a lot of time, rightly, asking why Warren Buffet's secretary pays a higher percentage of her income in taxes than Buffet does. I'm not sure why it's wrong to ask why the associate should pay, say, negative $150,000 in taxes when their cleaner is paying a few thousand bucks a year. That is the question that's more than symbolic.

The simple answer is because it was wrong that we had a system that can result in people two hundred thousand dollars of student debt in the first place, and that's not an unpersuasive answer, but is "there will be free college the cleaner might be able to use" enough of a response to make it fair?
posted by zachlipton at 11:04 PM on June 24 [10 favorites]


but is "there will be free college the cleaner might be able to use" enough of a response to make it fair?

It;s a good start and this should not be seen as the end of the demands "well we got rid of student debt!, everything is fine!" We get rid of the debt to give some people a little security and breathing room so we can work on the next thing (and the next). Universalism allows us to get though this step quicker.
posted by The Whelk at 11:10 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


comparatively well off but far from truly wealthy, especially in high cost areas, who are right to be aggrieved that the ACA hasn't particularly helped them

I am not sure whether I am the type of person you're talking about (though I probably am) and for one data point; I live in Los Angeles (high cost area) and right now my health insurance premiums are something like 13% of my gross income. Premiums, not total cost. And gross, not net.

But I'm still strongly in favor of the ACA because I'm not a selfish person or a Republican.
posted by Justinian at 11:37 PM on June 24 [17 favorites]


Kevin Drum, AOC Is Right: Democrats Can’t Cave In on the Border Bill
On this one, I’m with AOC. Her politics aren’t entirely mine, but her instinctive understanding of how to deal with people like Trump is unrivaled. “I will not fund another dime to allow ICE to continue its manipulative tactics,” she said earlier this evening, and I agree. Democrats should put reasonable restrictions into the legislative language and then dare Trump to veto it. The hostage-taking approach to politics won’t stop until it’s crystal clear that it will never, ever work.

The appalling part of this, of course, is that it requires us to grit our teeth and allow Republicans to continue their usual callous treatment of the weak unless they agree to spend the money the way it’s supposed to be spent. But there’s no choice. McConnell and Trump are counting on bleeding-heart liberals to be patsies. They have to learn that we won’t be.
posted by zachlipton at 12:31 AM on June 25 [44 favorites]


Here's your grotesque ICE discovery of the day. Well, the first anyway. Let's hope it's the last.

ICE Orders Dozens of Straitjacket-Like Restraints
Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Air Operations has ordered 60 “Wrap” restraint devices — full-body restraints that resemble straitjackets — for the purpose of restraining detainees during removal operations, according to federal procurement documents reviewed by TYT.
The Wrap is intended for detainees “who may be non-compliant, overly aggressive, combative or in a highly agitated state,” the documents say. The manufacturer says the device can be “downsized to fit very small children.”
[...]
The Wrap reportedly has been implicated in multiple fatalities, but no liability has been established in court and its maker, Safe Restraints, Inc., of California, maintains that no deaths or injuries have resulted from its use. An Arkansas juvenile facility reportedly was told to stop using The Wrap after officials found it was deployed as punishment rather than solely for safety purposes.
Safe Restraints
posted by scalefree at 4:30 AM on June 25 [37 favorites]


2) none of this matters because kids in cages.

Speaking of which ... Is anyone organizing a march/rally on the National Mall to protest this? I would expect turnout to be massive.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:44 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]



People want to donate diapers and toys to children at Border Patrol facilities in Texas. They're being turned away.


We have photo and video proof that the mistreatment of children is a purely punitive matter. Congress doesn't have to allocate a single additional cent for the kids to demand this stop.
posted by ocschwar at 5:30 AM on June 25 [32 favorites]


We have photo and video proof that the mistreatment of children is a purely punitive matter

Cut the fences.
posted by rhizome at 5:58 AM on June 25 [24 favorites]


But I'm still strongly in favor of the ACA because I'm not a selfish person or a Republican.

You can both be in favor of the ACA and be aggravated that it doesn't do much to benefit you. I'm also somewhat well off but far from wealthy. I also support the ACA. I think it was a good first step, I'm hopeful that a future 2nd step will benefit me more directly and I'm pissed off that that step hasn't been taken. Assuming we can get the GOP out of the way I would really like Democrats to stop screwing around with small targeted solutions that their strategy experts tell them will thread the needle to gain the most support on both sides of the isle and just do big shit that actually works like Medicare for all (still a good 2nd step but there will need to be at least one more).
posted by VTX at 6:03 AM on June 25 [10 favorites]


Universal programs have the advantage that they actually get used, tons of people qualify for loan forgiveness from bad privately run schools but they never use them cause the process is just paperwork and documents and a whole-ass prying into your personal life burden.

Minnesota struggled with "universal" early childhood education, because everyone wanted it, but the "fiscal conservatives" (who always mean by their self-label "don't give money to people unless they prove they need it, even if it decreases the value of the program") wanted people with the need to apply for it, while everyone else pays. Truly universal, free preschool education was seen as a give-away to people who could otherwise afford it, but my argument was exactly yours: then those most in need (i.e., those whose parents were disconnected or distracted by overwhelming poverty or out and out neglectful) wouldn't get the education. Of course, "fiscal conservatives'" main argument is to blame the parents for this failure, which, painfully obviously, punishes the child and the rest of society rather. "Personal responsibility," like so much of "fiscal conservative" rhetoric, is really just another way to punish people who are not approved of and to keep them out of the mainstream. And we wonder why antipoverty programs don't have a better track record.
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:31 AM on June 25 [12 favorites]


Both plans would be paid for by asking more of the wealthiest Americans — Warren’s with a tax on individual wealth, and Sanders’ with a tax on Wall Street transactions.

I'd appreciate the econometricizationalizing Mefites expounding briefly on the potential impact of these two strategies on financial market activities, especially the efficient allocation of resources. In my totally amateur understanding of how markets work, it seems like the transaction tax could more severely distort investment decisions than a universal wealth tax would. Short term trades would be discouraged under the former, whereas under the latter everyone would still be trying to maximize their utilities in the same way.

But, as usual when I step outside my wheelhouse, I'm probably oversimplifying and missing some aspects altogether. Little help?
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:40 AM on June 25


He really does have the reverse Midas.

Tim Aeppel (Reuters):
76% of Americans say immigration is a good thing--the highest number since Gallup started asking the question. CHART
posted by chris24 at 6:47 AM on June 25 [30 favorites]


The best argument for “just give it to everyone” is that administering needs tests is a hassle for everyone. People in need often have a lot of cognitive load, may be under-informed about what is available, may be insufficiently educated to do a bunch of bullshit paperwork, etc. People who don’t need it will just pay slightly more in tax money to fund the whole program so I guess if you’re an efficiency pendant you don’t like them paying out just to get services back rather than paying directly, though we do that for building roads so why not with education? And when a program has gatekeepers it’s a certainty there will be people inappropriately kept out. What’s the right number of poor kids to keep out of pre-K to insure it doesn’t go unnecessarily to a rich person’s kid?

The second best reason is to short-circuit this fucking nonsense from conservative racists who will deprive themselves to make sure the “wrong” people don’t get something. It’s for everyone, including you, so shut up.

The third best reason is that it sends a message about what’s important to our society. Education matters so we’re going to educate everyone, period. We’re not going to fuck around with boundaries and what-ifs, we’re just gonna do it. You need medical care you get medical care. Don’t show me your tax return first. Don’t show me your driver’s license to make sure you’re over 65 or under 18. Just get the care. Because everyone needs it and everyone should have it.

If you’re worried that it means top earners are using these services and not paying enough for them I have a radical solution for fixing that issue. They’re called taxes.
posted by phearlez at 6:51 AM on June 25 [58 favorites]


If we could create an education system that is fully funded by taxes, costs absolutely nothing at point-of-service, and is so good that rich people want to send their children there instead of paying for private schools, I'd call that a win, wouldn't you?
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:01 AM on June 25 [28 favorites]


The author of the article linked in this thread, or at least very indirectly by way of being in Matt Yglesias's twitter thread) put it well: the student debt discussion is undertheorized, which is leading to confusion and muddling. I don't think it's obvious, in this specific context, what should even be meant by universal "as opposed to" means-tested or whatever.

There's also, I think, a nontrivial difference between the sense of entitlement in "I paid off my student loans decades ago! Where's my refund?" and "I paid them off last month", because a main impetus for these proposals is the recent huge inflation in costs and corresponding debt. (Like, if you worked your way completely through college, well, congratulations on your 1970 degree, that probably got you an actual job, which in turn could actually buy you a house.) The "paid off in 2018" situation is of course trickier to tackle in terms of paperwork and such. Simpler may be better.

One really striking thing whose cause I don't yet totally understand: when you divide up debt-holders by wealth, you get a vastly different picture than when you divide them up by income. One of them makes the idea of total forgiveness look extremely progressive, while the other looks like a handout to the "rich" with poorer people benefiting as a side effect -- not that such a system should be dispensed out of hand either!

Another distinction from notions like universal healthcare is that I'm not aware of a good parallel for student loan forgiveness in any other country. That's partly to the further shame of this country, because this is in part due to other countries having already covered so much, or even all, of their citizens' educational costs over the past decades. But regardless, that adds more ambiguity to a conversation in which we're already talking past one another.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:07 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


The House Oversight Committee released some documents last night: their contempt report and recommendation for a full House vote on contempt against Barr and Ross over the census question, as well as a transcript and summary of interviews with James Uthmeier, who served as senior adviser and counsel to Secretary Wilbur Ross (all PDFs).

Coverage: Commerce Dept. ordered ex-official not to answer House panel questions (Politico), Former top Commerce aide says he was directed by Ross to add Census citizenship question (WaPo).
posted by peeedro at 7:12 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


If my luck holds, I am going to have my student loans paid off in a few years, just before I turn 50. I one of the people that the student loan industry counts on. I spent a decade or so just making interest-only payments, but keeping my loan out of default. Then I spent another decade making minimal payments, which shrank my loan a little bit but wasn't going to end it any time soon. Now I am diverting a significant portion of my income to finally get out from under it.

Even if forgiveness gets passes first thing in a new administration, it will be too late for my loan. However, I can definitely see how it helps me indirectly. If I hadn't had to pay all of those extra interest payments, if I had the money now that I am spending on student loans, where would it go?

It wouldn't be to some useless financial institution like Navient, that's for sure. It would be for goods and services, things like getting some annoying plumbing problems fixed or a car that I am not worried is going to break down. It would be money that gets put back into the economy, not sucked out into whatever Navient is going to do with it, probably invested in some financial instrument that only benefits people who would never have had to take out a student loan.

So even though I won't personally see the benefits on my student loan, it is hard for me not to see the pluses to having all of that money put back into the economy rather than siphoned off for the benefit of the rich.
posted by Quonab at 7:16 AM on June 25 [30 favorites]


There's also, I think, a nontrivial difference between the sense of entitlement in "I paid off my student loans decades ago! Where's my refund?"

The under-the-radar resentment is being ignored as well. Those parents who sacrificed mightily to pay for their kids' college may be saying, pfft, "Why did I do that? No way I'm letting those other parents off the hook." I'm somewhere in between. My ex-wife and I paid for four years between us for each of the kids , but one took a little longer (*cough*eight years*cough*) and piled up some debt. I'm perfectly delighted if the debt were erased and don't regret at all the money I borrowed, long since paid back, to put them through. But I think a viable argument is that we can't go back and relive our lives as each new development that would have changed its outcome occurs.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:28 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Another good point in Universal forgiveness’ favor is that high earners with high debt won’t have to go into the best paying fields in order to cover their high debt load - Brianna Joy Grey said she specifically went into corporate law and defended some of the worst companies on earth because that’s who had the big salaries to cover her debt, scientists who don’t have to go into big Pharma patent rolling or work for huge oil companies trying to figure out new ways to suck the planet dry - without a debt burden many people wouldn’t have to compete for a job at Facebook so they can figure out how to more efficiently monetize spying on you.

It’s a gigantic freedom dividend that directly gives people more power over their personal lives and screws over some of the most powerful, malevolent industries by making them not the only game in town.
posted by The Whelk at 7:39 AM on June 25 [36 favorites]


Cut the fences.

The Border Patrol facility here, tents and all, is on a military base. Cutting fences would not go well for anyone. (They’re expanding their footprint on the base as well to go beyond the BP area.)
posted by azpenguin at 7:39 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


RE: the whole nobody should be able to get something better than I got argument...

@pommylee
Strange how it never works the other way

Like

Boomers got to buy their first house at approx 2.5 times median income so it should be illegal for them to sell them at 8 times median income to millennials
posted by chris24 at 7:40 AM on June 25 [63 favorites]


To the resentful olds: If you don’t approve of cancelling all student debt and Medicare For All then you won’t be able to sell that house to us as part of your retirement plan ..
posted by The Whelk at 7:50 AM on June 25 [32 favorites]


Cutting fences would not go well for anyone.

Consider the same argument applied to similar circumstances in other times and places.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:56 AM on June 25 [13 favorites]


So, what is the plan for loans moving forward?

Does the US Govt just pay for college now? Because I'm gonna guess some institutions would .... maximize prices even more than they do now, and minimize scholarships in that case, bleed it all dry. Will the govt regulate education cost? That seems ... tricky. Or do you get loans, and then the govt pays Navient? That seems like just another way to transfer taxpayer money straight to the rich. This doesn't stop until govt takes over higher ed.

What's the plan here?

Or is this just another Sanders pie-in-the-sky, make it rain money?
posted by Dashy at 8:10 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]


Here is more from the NYT on the complex implications of the Sanders and Warren student debt forgiveness plans.
posted by PhineasGage at 8:14 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


The TruthOut article linked above goes into detail about the Omar plan but it’s essentially the same as when the banks had thier debt erased in 08
posted by The Whelk at 8:17 AM on June 25 [9 favorites]


Maryland judge rules sufficient evidence to reopen 2020 census case citing racial motives (CBS/AP)
Last week, U.S. District Judge George Hazel of Maryland ruled there's enough evidence to warrant reopening a case focused on whether a proposed 2020 census question violates minorities' rights. In his court filing Monday, Hazel reasoned that new evidence "potentially connects the dots between a discriminatory purpose" and a decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to add the citizenship question.

"It is becoming difficult to avoid seeing that which is increasingly clear. As more puzzle pieces are placed on the mat, a disturbing picture of the decisionmakers' motives takes shape," Hazel wrote.

The U.S. Supreme Court could soon render Hazel's decision moot. The country's highest court is expected to decide this week whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

But the federal judge's opinion appears to strongly buttress arguments from voting rights activists who assert that newly discovered emails from a deceased Republican architect of political maps show the proposed citizenship question was intended to discriminate in an effort to restrict the political power of Democrats and Latino communities.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:23 AM on June 25 [25 favorites]


[Heya, at this point, please make a separate thread if folks want to dig deeper on the college funding plans comparison/discussion.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:24 AM on June 25 [10 favorites]


Politico reports on the Trump White House tensions behind “Coughgate”: Trump Is Tiring Of Mulvaney—But the president is unlikely to replace his acting chief of staff for the foreseeable future, because finding a fourth chief of staff would be a heavy lift.
In recent weeks, Trump has been snapping at his acting chief of staff with some frequency, and expressing greater frustration with him than usual, according to four current and former senior administration officials.

Trump has long said that he prefers the flexibility offered by temporary titles, but Mulvaney’s ongoing “acting” status underscores the uphill battle he faces as Trump’s third chief of staff in less than two-and-a-half years. While Mulvaney is not in danger of losing his job any time soon, officials stressed, Trump’s treatment of him still signals to aides the slow deterioration of their relationship has begun.

One White House official called it “inevitable since any chief of staff has to deliver both the good and bad news,” and this president does not like hearing the latter. Other senior administration officials said Trump gets annoyed with almost everyone apart from family members, so measuring someone’s internal standing by how often Trump speaks sharply to him or her is futile.[…]

“The president doesn’t have any good reason to dislike Mulvaney in terms of him being disloyal,” said one Republican close to the White House. Still, the Republican added that the president has asked people in recent months what kind of leadership they think Mulvaney is offering in the West Wing and the value he is adding, often a sign the president is souring on a staffer.
Another sign that the knives are coming out for Mulvaney is his overstepping his authority: Mulvaney Pushed Judicial Nominee Over Objections of White House Lawyers (Politico)
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:32 AM on June 25 [11 favorites]


ocschwar: call out Pence for the lying sack of shit that he is when he claims it's a lack of resources [for humane treatment of children being detained].

Tapper presses Pence on children's border facilities (CNN video), where Pence says it's Congress, particularly Dems, are at fault for lack of beds for kids. And watch for him avoid saying HE PERSONALLY doesn't approve of the horrific detention conditions of these kids.

Tapper, after reading the NYT report on living conditions: "I know you, you're a father, a man of faith, you can't approve of that."
Pence, not answering the question: "N-no American, no American should approve of this mass influx of people coming across our border. It is overwhelming our system."

Then Pence says he was at the detention center in Nogales a few months ago, and it was a "heart-breaking scene," where "these people are being exploited by human traffickers," not abused by prison guards, not being treated as less than human for seeking asylum.

Trump could donate soap and toothbrushes, blankets and pillows from his hotels. Write a fucking executive order that says people, especially children, in U.S. custody will be treated with care and compassion.

Nope, Pence gets to close that clip by stressing "Congress has to act." Fucking ghoul.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:39 AM on June 25 [35 favorites]




Anyone know how to watch the debates in Canada? (no cable)
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 8:49 AM on June 25


CBS: John Kelly Joins Board of Company Operating Largest Shelter For Unaccompanied Migrant Children
Friday, Caliburn International confirmed to CBS News that Kelly had joined its board of directors. Caliburn is the parent company of Comprehensive Health Services, which operates Homestead and three other shelters for unaccompanied migrant children in Texas.[…]

While Comprehensive and DC Capital appear to have reaped financial benefits through government contracts during and after Kelly's tenure as White House chief of staff, Richard Briffault, a Columbia Law School professor, said Kelly may not have broken any rules.[…]

Delaney Marsco, ethics counsel at the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center, said her first question would be to ask whether Kelly ever consulted ethics officials about any involvement in formulating any policies surrounding unaccompanied minors.

"The fact is that when he was in the White House, the government took action that swelled the population of people that were in these facilities, and that benefited his former employer. That's the exact kind of situation that is why we have the ethics clause," Marsco said.
Here's what the conditions are like at a "temporary shelter for unaccompanied children" (i.e. child concentration camp) that Caliburn runs: Children at the Homestead Migrant Shelter Share Stories of Grief, Trauma, and Fear (Miami New Times).
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:54 AM on June 25 [24 favorites]


Recall that John Kelly is the one who stated on the record, on national TV, that the purpose of separating children from parents was specifically as a deterrence to migration. That is, threatening people with losing their children forever was the stated White House policy.

Kelly belongs in the Hague as a international criminal. Instead he will be receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars for implementing his torture policies by for-profit companies.
posted by JackFlash at 9:06 AM on June 25 [64 favorites]


The CBS segment notes he was on the board of the venture fund DC Capital Partners before he was Secretary of Homeland Security and Chief of Staff, and that DCCP financially backs Caliburn International.

Except DCCP didn't start out in the Child Detention business when Kelly was on the board. It started acquisitions last year, and has ramped up to the point that they're detaining one in four kids in this system, depending on the ebb and flow of child detention.

So Kelly said the purpose of child separation is deterrence, and supports the effort. The effort ramps up, DCCP buys up unaccompanied child detention centers, making money from this U.S. government policy, and then Kelly lands on the new company's board. On paper, you can make it bypass ethics, just like on paper, saying that people who work at the largest unaccompanied child detention center in Florida are appropriately vetted because they have FBI clearances. Except there's a foster care employee screening system in Florida that is more extensive, which this facility did not use, in part in an effort to ramp up staffing faster. And Kelly supported policies which facilitated this company's expansion, so his departure into their board is beyond suspicious.

Also. CBS's video clips are of kids playing soccer outside, which doesn't quite tell the same story as if they had any images of what it's like to be inside these facilities.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:23 AM on June 25 [13 favorites]


I don't think it's unreasonable to look at past experience and election results to come to the conclusion that Gideon is the only viable candidate to enter the race so far. Getting 5% in a House race or 16% in a Governor race doesn't qualify as viable to beat Susan Collins.

So, here's the point I'm trying to make - Yesterday, just after Gideon's announcement, Adam Parkhomenko, who lives in VA and is a Dem strategist and consultant, tweeted out Gideon's announcement, along with a request to get her Twitter followers.

He didn't do this for any of the other Dems running, just for her. I assume she paid him to do this, because of what he does. And that's fine, that's how running for office works. I'd have preferred she hired a Maine-based strategist, because Buy Local, but whatever.

But here's the thing: Here in Maine, we eviscerate Collins for her reliance on out-of-state supporters for money. Its a huge thing. And I feel like if the overall perception of Gideon becomes "this is the candidate being pushed by folks from out of state" - particularly if there is an intense fundraising and promotion effort from people from out of state - that's going to be a problem in the primary, because a savvy operator like Betsy Sweet can point to her and say "Here's the candidate that the Dem establishment is pushing on us, is that who we really want?"

I want a strong Dem candidate to win. Gideon is certainly the strongest right now, in terms of name recognition, and she's clearly put a lot of thought into strategy. But 20K Twitter followers aren't going to help her get elected in Maine, if only 1% of them are from Maine, and honestly it might hurt her to be seen as "the downstate candidate with out of state support."
posted by anastasiav at 9:26 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Acting Border Chief Expected to Resign as Migrant Children Are Returned to Texas Facility (NYT)
The news of the resignation came shortly after agency officials disclosed that more than 100 children have been returned to a troubled Border Patrol station in Clint, Tex., a location where a group of lawyers who visited recently said hundreds of minor detainees had been housed for weeks without access to showers, clean clothing, or sufficient food. [...]

The spokesman said that no additional resources had been provided to the children who were returned to Clint.
posted by Little Dawn at 9:52 AM on June 25 [29 favorites]


filthy light thief: Trump could donate soap and toothbrushes, blankets and pillows from his hotels.

It would not surprise me at all to see him do literally this in the next few weeks, in a very reduced photo-op form, a la throwing the paper towels at hurricane victims. "He's doing exactly what the Dems refuse to! Hail the beneficient leader, who gives these non-Americans so much more than is deserved." As a result, "they lack blankets" becomes "fake news" because "I saw Trump give blankets with my own eyes".
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:57 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]




The effort ramps up, DCCP buys up unaccompanied child detention centers, making money from this U.S. government policy, and then Kelly lands on the new company's board.

When a country's government exists in order to get people on the boards on companies that we pay $750 per child per day to keep them in cages, malnourished, covered in lice and filth, sleeping on concrete, does that country deserve to exist?
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:24 AM on June 25 [20 favorites]


lol AOC is awesome - I've met people who would identify with third way, and it's such a small segment of any voting bloc that we should do nothing but laugh at them.
posted by windbox at 10:25 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]




I've met people who would identify with third way, and it's such a small segment of any voting bloc that we should do nothing but laugh at them.

Unfortunately, that small segment is very rich and very vocal, and includes many of the TV, NYT and WaPo pundits, otherwise known as Very Serious People. They aren't a laughing matter.
posted by JackFlash at 10:36 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


I'd appreciate the econometricizationalizing Mefites expounding briefly on the potential impact of these two strategies on financial market activities

I would think a transaction tax on Wall Street might discourage all the flash trading and arbitrage going on, which is something that contributes to volatility and crashes. I like it. It would reward value investors and be a disincentive to speculation, while not eliminating it entirely. (You need to allow speculation, just not let it dominate the market.)
posted by M-x shell at 10:37 AM on June 25 [11 favorites]


There was some figure about how a proposed .01% transaction tax could pay for all the wages for the NYC public transit system a few times over.
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


WaPo: Democrats’ Emoluments Lawsuit Against President Trump Can Proceed, Federal Judge Rules
Rejecting a request from President Trump, a federal judge in Washington on Tuesday cleared the way for nearly 200 Democrats in Congress to continue their lawsuit against him alleging that his private business violates an anti-corruption provision of the Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan declined to put the case on hold and said lawmakers could begin this week seeking financial information, interviews and other records from the Trump Organization.[…]

Justice Department lawyers had asked Sullivan to take the unusual step of signing off on an immediate appeal of his earlier rulings because of the “exceptional circumstances” of the case. “Plaintiffs are now poised to seek civil discovery against the President, including into his personal finances and official actions, which will distract the President from his official duties.”

Sullivan ordered the two parties to begin the process of requesting records and other information as part of a three-month discovery period from Friday to Sept. 27.
Previously, the Justice Department had asked judge to pause emoluments case, arguing Trump was too busy to deal with the Dems' requests for his business records (CNN).
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:17 AM on June 25 [36 favorites]


Man, this Duncan Hunter case is heating the f up.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:25 AM on June 25 [22 favorites]


I have an existential question for each of the dem candidates

What makes you so certain that, if you win the presidency, you can make a difference?

Where do you find inspiration? What gives you confidence? What examples do you see of your strategy succeeding that you plan to scale to the whole country?

All these plans and proposals sound nice, but I still don't see anything that makes me believe they can actually make it happen. I want to.
posted by rebent at 11:31 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Is anyone organizing a march/rally on the National Mall to protest this? I would expect turnout to be massive.

Friday, July 12th. Nationwide protests planned, including in DC.

Spread the word.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 11:37 AM on June 25 [20 favorites]


CNN: "Trump taps new White House press secretary"

Really, CNN? Seriously, could that possibly be an accident?.
posted by Bovine Love at 11:52 AM on June 25 [9 favorites]


ZeusHumms: "The U.S. Supreme Court could soon render Hazel's decision moot. The country's highest court is expected to decide this week whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the 2020 census."

It's not moot, because this involves equal protection claims not argued before the SC. This could very well end up back before the SC on an emergency basis.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:54 AM on June 25 [8 favorites]


Man, this Duncan Hunter case is heating the f up.

Well, we now know why his wife turned state's evidence on him.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:59 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


Speaking of which ... Is anyone organizing a march/rally on the National Mall to protest this? I would expect turnout to be massive.

The NYT has an editorial There’s No Excuse for Mistreating Children at the Border. Here’s What To Do About It. which is about as direct actiony as I think I've ever seen the NYT get (I'm not sure I've ever seen the Times editorial board just straight-up say to go to a protest).

It encourages everyone to call their federal and local elected officials, report and document raids and arrests, donate to humanitarian and legal groups (links are provided), read and share Know Your Rights information, vote accordingly, and to attend protests: they specifically identify Lights for Liberty, a nationwide vigil scheduled for July 12.
posted by zachlipton at 12:05 PM on June 25 [19 favorites]




@justinbaragona [video]: When asked if he would have an exit strategy if he were to get into a war with Iran, Trump says: "You're not going to need an exit strategy. I don't need exit strategies."

He doesn't seem to know what an exit strategy is, so that's alarming.
posted by zachlipton at 12:08 PM on June 25 [32 favorites]


Man, this Duncan Hunter case is heating the f up.

If only bragging about murdering hundreds of women and children would get one in as much trouble as misspending campaign funds.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:11 PM on June 25 [14 favorites]


Grisham isn't just the new press secretary, she'll also be White House director of communications (Bill Shine's old job, unfilled since he departed in March). She was deputy press secretary when Sean Spicer was giving the daily briefings. And Grisham will remain Melania Trump's spokeswoman.

Stephanie Grisham = living, breathing, communications throttling device.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:27 PM on June 25 [7 favorites]


Meghan McCain doesn’t want detention centers compared to "torture facilities"—because of her father: "My father couldn’t lift me above his head as a child because of his torture wounds so I do think that hyperbole is important"

The kindest, most moderate, most humane of Republicans believe that as long as the children's wounds aren't too severe to raise their malnourished arms over their matted, lice-covered heads then they can't possibly be tortured. I for one am ready for some bipartisanship.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:34 PM on June 25 [54 favorites]


And Grisham will remain Melania Trump's spokeswoman.

And Grisham also has previous experience flacking for Melania during earlier Trump administration migrant family separation scandals and Melania’s “I really don’t care do u?” fashion statement: “Today’s visit w the children in Texas impacted @flotus greatly. If media would spend their time & energy on her actions & efforts to help kids - rather than speculate & focus on her wardrobe - we could get so much accomplished on behalf of children. #SheCares #ItsJustAJacket”
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:44 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


What makes you so certain that, if you win the presidency, you can make a difference?

Where do you find inspiration? What gives you confidence? What examples do you see of your strategy succeeding that you plan to scale to the whole country?



The main thing that gives me hope is that the last hundred and fifty years has shown a net direction of improvement in human rights and social justice in many areas of US society.

Slavery was abolished.
Women got the vote.
Monopolies were outlawed.
The integration of the US military.
Social Security.
Medicare/Medicaid.
The ADA.
The VRA.
Brown v. Board of Education.
Miranda v. Arizona.
Loving v. Virginia.
Roe v. Wade.
Title IX.
DADT, followed by LGBT openly serving.
Same-sex marriage legalized.
The ACA.
Marijuana decriminalization.

These are only some of the major advances we’ve made. Yes, each of these advances is taking hits today from those who want to undo them and drag us back to the days before the Feminist movement, the Civil Rights movement, the LGBT movement had any power. And when we look at these outrages of today, and how much effort has to go into fighting to maintain forward momentum, we tend to lose sight of how far we have come in 150 years, only about five or six generations.

We’ve made amazing progress during that time. It may not be all-at-once social democracy, but every decade takes another step closer.

I often dream about what might be the next incremental step we’ll take. Will it gun control reforms? Financial reforms? Justice system reforms? Immigration reforms? I don’t know what it’ll be, but whatever it is, I’m convinced that when we have the reins of power again, we’ll keep moving forward, because that’s what we’ve done over the last century and a half.

It’s that sentiment espoused by MLK Jr., about the moral arc of the universe bending toward justice. Despite the setbacks, we can see it’s true, as long as people of good faith work hard towards that goal. That’s what gives me hope.
posted by darkstar at 12:44 PM on June 25 [32 favorites]


People want to donate diapers and toys to children at Border Patrol facilities in Texas. They're being turned away.

I'm old enough to remember Venezuela's turning away of humanitarian aid being used to defend its military invasion and the destruction of its government.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:47 PM on June 25 [26 favorites]


CTRL-F "Caban" Phrase Not Found

Any Queens people out there? If you're registered as a Dem, go vote for Tiffany Cabán today if you haven't already!

She won't be able to abolish ICE but #ProsecuteICE sounds pretty good too.

Protect Immigrants from Fraud and Abuse. Immigration is not a crime; it is the foundation of our country. Too many abuse our immigrant communities and use fear of deportation against them. ICE is an abusive, renegade agency. Families have a right to be together, and District Attorney Cabán will fight for that right.

Prosecute ICE. DA Cabán will prosecute ICE agents who exceed their authority and endanger our communities under all of New York's relevant statutes and ordinances. Abusive conduct by ICE illegal under New York law will be prosecuted.

posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 12:58 PM on June 25 [14 favorites]


HuffPost, Elizabeth Warren: Repeal The Law That Criminalizes Migrants (Castro started this, so I'm not sure why the headline is giving Warren credit, but here we are)
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren called Tuesday for repealing the decades-old law criminalizing unauthorized border crossing ― the same law the Trump administration used to systematically split up families at the border last year.

Warren joins fellow 2020 contender Julián Castro and several other prominent Democrats in backing a reform that, if enacted, would give civil immigration courts exclusive legal control over immigration enforcement at the border. Under the current system, tens of thousands of migrants who cross without authorization, including some asylum-seekers, face federal prosecution in criminal courts and jail time before they get in front of an administrative judge, who decides their immigration cases.
posted by zachlipton at 1:02 PM on June 25 [24 favorites]


rebent I have an existential question for each of the dem candidates

I think the reason you likely won't see that asked is because it's demoralizing to the Democratic voters.

Because, ultimately, if the Republicans keep the Senate none of the Democratic candidates for President will be able to accomplish very much. With the Senate in Republican hands a Democratic House and President will be hard pressed just to hold the status quo. The R's will block every bill, use every must pass bill as an opportunity to extort any advantage they possibly can, and prevent the Democratic President from even appointing Cabinet members who'd have a chance of rebuilding the bureaucracy that Trump has been smashing.

I think what we saw happen to Obama post 2010 is going to look polite, civilized, and cooperative compared to how a Republican held Senate will treat any future Democratic Presidents. McConnell has shown them that they will pay no electoral price for extreme obstruction, so they'll obstruct more. I'd be surprised if a 2020 Democratic President dealing with a Republican Senate will even be allowed to appoint a single Federal judge much less a Supreme Court Justice. I'd bet on Mitch even blocking Cabinet appointments and department appointments.

The truthful, depressing, answer to the question of how they can get stuff done will be that they can't without provoking a Constitutional crisis that, conveniently, will be resolved by a Republican majority on the Supreme Court.

Which is why taking the Senate is so important, even if it is unlikely. If we can get the trifecta just once, and if the Democrats have the spine to end the filibuster and push things through, we can make DC and Puerto Rico states and then have a fighting chance moving forward. Because that seems to be the only possible ray of hope here.
posted by sotonohito at 1:06 PM on June 25 [26 favorites]


[Folks understandable to want to go there but, as usual, let's lay off the very general future "is there hope?"/"there's no hope" stuff and instead stick to concrete updates on actual things happening now.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:09 PM on June 25 [10 favorites]


In case anybody else is curious about a transaction tax, I found this article from the CBO really informative:

Impose a Tax on Financial Transactions

I'm not an economist and there's a lot in it I don't quite understand but my takeaways were:
  • They expect a 0.1% tax on stock trades to raise $777 billion over the next 10 years (Sanders' plan is 0.5%).
  • However, there are several potential side effects that could reduce the potential revenue from this tax. There would be a corresponding drop in income and capital gains tax revenue since you are making less money when you sell a stock. The presence of a tax itself could lower the rate of trading below what they expect.
  • Because it's dependent on how frequent trades occur, the tax rate is not necessarily correlated with the revenue it could capture. They think that after a certain point, raising it too high could cause trading to slow down so much that the tax is on a larger piece of a smaller pie.
  • It's unclear whether the tax would increase or decrease the volatility in the market.
Basically... there are a lot of unknowns about how it would go. It seems kinda risky to me, though I think in general trying to squeeze more tax money out of high frequency traders is a Good Idea.
posted by BeginAgain at 1:10 PM on June 25 [7 favorites]


Basically... there are a lot of unknowns about how it would go. It seems kinda risky to me, though I think in general trying to squeeze more tax money out of high frequency traders is a Good Idea.

This idea came up as a response to the 2008 meltdown, which if I may remind you all, had nothing to do with high frequency trading and everything to do with derivatives that were traded over the counter, i.e. the slowest frequency short of actual real estate transactions.

HFT is already taxed by the capital gains tax, that is to say, people making a profit have to pay. Add a transactions tax, and you also collect money from traders who are losing. This is a bad thing. If you want HFT to also become a playground for the financial oligopoly, this is how you go about it.
posted by ocschwar at 1:16 PM on June 25 [6 favorites]


Oregon's democratic supermajority is caving to the militia. We will all continue to be held hostage as long as our representatives remain cowards.

Oregon’s top Senate Democrat suggests climate bill is dead

“This has been a dark week for the integrity of the Legislature,” Kotek wrote. “Senate Rs have been threatening our democratic institution and subverting the will of Oregon voters who know we need to act now. Their walkout has come at immense cost to our institution and potentially the planet.”
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:24 PM on June 25 [19 favorites]


The Texas Tribune has updated its list of organizations working to help immigrants during this crisis. It includes RAICES (way toward the bottom; the list is ostensibly alphabetic) but also a bunch of groups that may be new to you.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:37 PM on June 25 [15 favorites]


TPM: Appeals Court Shakes Up Census Citizenship Case Days Before SCOTUS Decision
An appeals court agreed Tuesday to let a federal judge in Maryland reconsider his previous ruling on whether there was a discriminatory intent behind the Trump administration’s move to add the citizenship question.

The development throws another wrench into what was already going to be dramatic and high-stakes decision from the Supreme Court in the days to come about whether the citizenship question can stay on the census. The high court is currently considering a separate case that raised different legal issues about Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ decision to add the question and it is not clear what will happen procedurally if a federal judge were decide it was discriminatory after the justices hand down their ruling.

The judge in Maryland U.S. District Judge George Hazel initially did not find that the question had violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection clause in a ruling that struck it down for other reasons.

After the challengers put forward new evidence from the files of a deceased GOP consultant apparently involved in the administration’s move, Hazel sought to have the case sent back to him from the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals, where the case had been appealed.

The appeals court granted that request in an order Tuesday.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:40 PM on June 25 [13 favorites]


Father-daughter border drowning highlights migrants’ perils (AP) (cw: images of corpses)
From the scorching Sonora desert to the fast-moving Rio Grande, the U.S.-Mexico border has long been an at times deadly journey for those who cross it illegally between ports of entry. In recent weeks alone, two babies, a toddler and a woman were found dead on Sunday, overcome by the sweltering heat. Elsewhere three children and an adult from Honduras died in April after their raft capsized on the Rio Grande, and a 6-year-old from India was found dead earlier this month in Arizona, where temperatures routinely soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Very regrettable that this would happen,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday in response to a question about the photograph. “We have always denounced that as there is more rejection in the United States, there are people who lose their lives in the desert or crossing” the river.

According to Le Duc’s reporting for La Jornada, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, frustrated because the family from El Salvador were unable to present themselves to U.S. authorities and request asylum, swam across the river with his daughter, Valeria. He set her on the U.S. bank of the river and started back for his wife, Tania Vanessa Ávalos, but seeing him move away the girl threw herself into the waters. Martínez returned and was able to grab Valeria, but the current swept them both away. The account was based on remarks by Ávalos to police at the scene. Their bodies were discovered Monday morning on the bank of the river near Matamoros, Mexico, across from Brownsville, Texas, and several hundred yards (meters) from where they had tried to cross, just a half-mile (1 kilometer) from an international bridge.

The photo recalls the 2015 image of a 3-year-old Syrian boy who drowned in the Mediterranean near Turkey, though it remains to be seen whether it may have the same impact in focusing international attention on migration to the U.S. [...]

“With greater crackdowns and restrictions,” said Cris Ramón, senior immigration policy analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank in Washington, “we could see more desperate measures by people trying to enter Mexico or the U.S.”
#DontLookAway
posted by Little Dawn at 1:47 PM on June 25 [23 favorites]


NYT, Toasting Sarah Huckabee Sanders. By the Press. Really.
There’s an old maxim about the press, sometimes attributed to H.L. Mencken: “Journalism is to politician as dog is to lamp post.” That’s why eyebrows were raised last night when the dogs hosted a party for a lamp post, with some of journalism’s loudest barkers gathering for Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the outgoing White House press secretary.
...
“You’d better not say I was here,” one reporter said. “Me either,” said another. When asked why it was appropriate for journalists to attend a party for Ms. Sanders, John Roberts, the chief White House correspondent for Fox News, said, “I need to clear any comments with my media relations team.”
WaPo, Sarah Sanders: Farewell happy hour not the ‘appropriate venue’ to discuss honesty

And here's a new federal lawsuit, United States v. Omarosa Manigault Newman, in which you're suppose to file a financial disclosure report after leaving your job—it was due in January 2018, and she, uh, just never did that.
posted by zachlipton at 1:58 PM on June 25 [7 favorites]


If you want HFT to also become a playground for the financial oligopoly

HFT almost by definition is a financial oligopoly and exists for the rich to skim money out of the market while providing no value. Promoting a more stable market that's geared towards making companies that are stable in the long term rather than pushing it briefly upwards so an algorithm can sell stocks after holding them for a second is in our best interest.
posted by Candleman at 2:06 PM on June 25 [28 favorites]


Oregon's democratic supermajority is caving to the militia. We will all continue to be held hostage as long as our representatives remain cowards.

I’d like to remind people all this heat and noise and gun posturing and threats was over a gas tax to be implemented over 10-15 years raising the costs ...about a dollar.

That’s what they’re willing to do.
posted by The Whelk at 2:07 PM on June 25 [55 favorites]


Here's your reminder that Anne Frank died of typhus. Typhus is spread by lice.
posted by angrycat at 2:31 PM on June 25 [32 favorites]


From Vox: ABC News obtained testimony from a doctor who visited another facility for children in Texas — the Ursula facility — and witnessed “extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food.” She said the conditions were so bad that they were “tantamount to intentionally causing the spread of disease.”

The children are now being sent from Clint to a facility that is just as bad, according to Clara Long of Human Rights Watch, who was the only member of last week’s investigative team who visited it. Long told Vox that when she was there, the facility in El Paso known as “Border Patrol Station 1” was mostly being used as a transit center where migrants were staying only a few hours before going elsewhere. But she spoke to one family who had been held in a cell there for six days, and who voiced the same concerns that children in the Clint facility did.

The mother of the family, Long said, was so ashamed of not having clean teeth — the El Paso facility, like Clint, wasn’t providing enough toothbrushes — that “when she was talking to you she would put her hand up in front of her mouth and wouldn’t take it down.” The teenage son said he was afraid of the guards because when he’d gotten up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, a guard had shoved him back into his cell and slammed the door on him. For two nights, the family had had to sleep on the cold floor without blankets.

posted by Bella Donna at 2:40 PM on June 25 [14 favorites]


I’d like to remind people all this heat and noise and gun posturing and threats was over a gas tax to be implemented over 10-15 years raising the costs ...about a dollar.
That’s what they’re willing to do.


Meanwhile, The Speaker, in DC is whipping the House Dems with a list and only allowing them to add some 'stricter language' to a bill that will eventually fund whatever the WH wants it to over the next 8 months.
posted by Harry Caul at 2:52 PM on June 25 [4 favorites]


Trump lawyers: “Plaintiffs are now poised to seek civil discovery against the President, including into his personal finances and official actions, which will distract the President from his official duties.”

Wait, Trump said that his business would be put into a trust and managed by his son Donny, Jr. as trustee. Why would Trump have to be involved in handling inquiries about a business that he says he isn't handling? The trustee should be handling all inquiries.

Who knew that that Trump would lie about separating himself from his business activities?
posted by JackFlash at 2:53 PM on June 25 [11 favorites]


When asked if he would have an exit strategy if he were to get into a war with Iran, Trump says: "You're not going to need an exit strategy. I don't need exit strategies."

Bush didn't need an exit strategy for Afghanistan either and the US is still there 18 years later.
posted by JackFlash at 2:59 PM on June 25 [7 favorites]


I don't know if the megathread is the place to put this, but my husband just came home and said he has a server who works for him whose husband is in detention and has been for 5 days. He's been in the US since 1980, legally, is married to a US citizen with a child, has legal permanent residency and all his paperwork. He travels to Mexico regularly to see family and never has a problem. This time he's been detained despite all his documentation of his legal immigrant status.

I just...even knowing how bad the situation is, this is still shocking. He's been moved all over Texas in the last 5 days, from facility to facility and gets 3 min a day to make phone calls. Right now she thinks he's in Austin. I've copied the information from the Mefi Get a Lawyer doc to share with her. She's working as a waitress and running his landscaping business herself at the same time, plus caring for their child, so she's a bit overwhelmed. (If people have specific help or recs, you can memail me rather than clutter the thread. But I felt like...y'all should know how bad things are.)
posted by threeturtles at 3:02 PM on June 25 [91 favorites]


The lesson the right will continue to learn is that threats of violence are incredibly effective.

Listen to Ezra Kein's interview with Joanne Freeman on her book, Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to the Civil War; it's is essentially this, on the floor of congress, during the political cycles leading up to the Civil War. Here's a bit: "Between 1830 and 1860, there are more than 70 incidents of violent conflict in the house and senate chambers, or on nearby streets and dueling grounds." Contributing factors were the rise of organized party politics from Jackson on, and the simultaneous rise of national party-aligned press.

Spoiler: it really doesn't end well.
posted by eclectist at 3:04 PM on June 25 [9 favorites]




[Reminder that there's a whole Joe Biden thread; let's aim to keep random Biden updates in there.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:36 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


NBC, Trump's chief of protocol pulled off the job ahead of G-20
The Trump administration’s chief of protocol in the State Department has been pulled off the job just ahead of the G-20 summit amid an investigation into allegations of discrimination and harassment, U.S. officials said. He is not expected to return to his job.
...
The U.S. officials who told NBC News about Lawler’s situation declined to elaborate on the specifics of the allegations, other than to say that numerous employees in his office had resigned in protest of his management and behavior.
Just the best people.
posted by zachlipton at 3:59 PM on June 25 [14 favorites]


Ah sorry, Bloomberg updated with an additional detail there: "is departing amid a possible inspector general’s probe into accusations of intimidating staff and carrying a whip in the office, according to one of the people."
posted by zachlipton at 4:09 PM on June 25 [11 favorites]


Imma let you finish, and as a metaphor for this administration, “the Chief of Protocol was carrying a whip” is pretty good, but it’s still no match for “refugee children in cages”, or even for the image of that captive eagle that tried to rip Trump’s eyes out at his desk, but just couldn’t get at him.
posted by darkstar at 4:16 PM on June 25 [7 favorites]


“You’d better not say I was here,” one reporter said. “Me either,” said another. When asked why it was appropriate for journalists to attend a party for Ms. Sanders, John Roberts, the chief White House correspondent for Fox News, said, “I need to clear any comments with my media relations team.”

John Roberts, White House correspondent for Fox News and IMMIGRANT (who went to my high school and was one of the first ever video DJs in the eighties on the New Music, Toronto Rocks and Much Music).

He seems to have sold his soul.
posted by srboisvert at 4:17 PM on June 25 [9 favorites]


If my company's any indication, pretty much everyone's 'random' slack channel is discussing the situation in Wayfair.

On the one hand, Wayfair is a Dotcom, and it's hard to form a picket line around a Dotcom when it's so easy to VPN through it.

On the other hand, anything that makes hiring more difficult for a dotcom is bound to have an effect on upper management. When software engineers threaten to quit, it can and does get results. Since we're the only workers left who might still be able to flex muscle, we're all watching.
posted by ocschwar at 4:31 PM on June 25 [11 favorites]


Christie’s Scathing Indictment of Trump (The Atlantic)
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wants to be clear: He supports Donald J. Trump. But don’t you dare presume that he supports what Trump says or does.

Sure, he voted for Trump in 2016, but only reluctantly. And okay, he plans to vote for Trump again in 2020. But he’s adamantly opposed to many of the most consequential actions Trump has taken as president. He’ll even say so in public. Doesn’t that make him a good guy?

Christie did his damnedest Monday to convince a crowd at the Aspen Ideas Festival and his interviewer, the Atlantic editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, that his support for the president of the United States is morally and logically defensible.

It was tough in part because of his scathing, multi-count indictment of Trump.
"Trump surrounded himself with awful people" is his scorching take.

I've bought stuff from Wayfair so I sent them an email, for all the good that'll do.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:46 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


TPM, DOJ Asks SCOTUS To Make A Drastic Move In Census Citizenship Case
The Department of Justice boldly and explicitly asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to resolve an issue the court hasn’t formally reviewed in the census citizenship case when the justices hand down their decision in the case expected this week.

The request, which the Justice Department has made in a more subtle fashion in previous court filings, is extraordinary and reflects the highly unusual legal battle the Trump administration has engaged in to change the 2020 census. The Justice Department request came in the form of a letter to the court submitted just a few hours after an appeals court said new evidence warranted the reexamination of a case challenging the citizenship question brought in Maryland.
...
On Tuesday afternoon, the Justice Department told the Supreme Court that the recent developments in the Maryland litigation underscore “the need for this Court to address the equal protection claim and the immateriality of the Hofeller files in its disposition of the above-captioned case so that the lawfulness of the Secretary’s decision can be fully and finally resolved.”
This is just nuts. @steve_vladeck: On Tuesday afternoon, the Justice Department told the Supreme Court that the recent developments in the Maryland litigation underscore “the need for this Court to address the equal protection claim and the immateriality of the Hofeller files in its disposition of the above-captioned case so that the lawfulness of the Secretary’s decision can be fully and finally resolved.”
posted by zachlipton at 4:47 PM on June 25 [12 favorites]


@atrupar:
.@SenatorDurbin: "I wouldn’t dismiss it, but let’s be honest, he's going to deny it & little is going to come of it"

@SenFeinstein: “It’s not particular new news, so I don’t know...I don’t think we need to take action”
@AJentleson: What the hell, guys. This is what happens when you lose sight of right and wrong and starting conducting yourselves like the pundits and consultants you take your cues from. You are United States senators, for crying out loud.
posted by zachlipton at 4:48 PM on June 25 [35 favorites]


Previously, the Justice Department had asked judge to pause emoluments case, arguing Trump was too busy to deal with the Dems' requests for his business records (CNN).

Two words: Executive time. Trump spends a good amount of his time live-tweeting Fox News. Busy doing the people's business, he ain't. (Busy gifting, maybe).
posted by Gelatin at 5:06 PM on June 25


If they ram through this 2020 citizenship question successfully even after all the things the existing cases have revealed and the new stuff found in Hofeller's personal files, well. I just don't know, that'll be really really fucking depressing.
posted by odinsdream at 5:37 PM on June 25 [5 favorites]


Philadelphia Inquirer: Pa. GOP chairman Val DiGiorgio resigns after report about interactions with Philly Council candidate
Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Val DiGiorgio resigned Tuesday after The Inquirer reported that he had traded sexually explicit messages with a onetime GOP candidate for Philadelphia City Council.

In a statement, DiGiorgio, 51, said his communications with candidate Irina Goldstein were “entirely consensual,” and that any accusations that he engaged in harassment or abuse of power are “fundamentally untrue.”[…]

Pennsylvania stands to be a critical swing state in the 2020 presidential election. The head of the state party, chosen by fellow Republicans, is the face of the GOP, which counts roughly 3.2 million registered voters, and plays a key role in fundraising and mapping political strategy.

With DiGiorgio’s departure, vice chair Bernadette Comfort becomes the acting head of the state GOP. Under party rules, she has 10 days to schedule a party meeting to select a new chair — a gathering that then must occur within 45 days.
The contest for the party chair will likely be intense and, hopefully, punishing.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:00 PM on June 25 [8 favorites]


Wayfair workers to walk off job over partnership with detention centers (Guardian)
Employees organizing the walkout at the firm’s Boston headquarters say they demanded the company stop its partnership with a government contractor to provide beds for detained immigrants. [...] Through a contract with BCFS Health and Human Services, a Texas not-for-profit organization, Wayfair sold $200,000 worth of bedroom furniture to furnish a camp in Carrizo Springs, Texas, where up to 3,000 migrant children will be detained, employees said. [...]

Under the hashtag #WayfairWalkout, customers have planned a boycott of the company in solidarity with workers walking out of the job. “I won’t buy another thing from your site if you are going to support these concentration camps,” one user wrote.

The action received support on Tuesday from Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as prominent progressive lawmakers including the House representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
posted by Little Dawn at 6:07 PM on June 25 [25 favorites]


Illinois becomes 11th state to legalize recreational pot.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:11 PM on June 25 [20 favorites]


Politico’s Natasha Bertrand: MUELLER will testify on July 17 in open session (announcement from Nadler and Schiff)

As expected, the House committees had to subpoena Mueller.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:14 PM on June 25 [47 favorites]


‘Kids are really suffering’ as migrant surge overwhelms health department (Politico)
Hundreds of migrant children being transferred from squalid, overcrowded Border Patrol detention centers are heading into the custody of a federal refugee agency that’s already struggling to feed and care for tens of thousands of minors. [...] The result: Already-traumatized children are being thrust from one agency in crisis to another, while Congress has been wrangling over a $4.5 billion emergency border funding measure. Two-thirds of that money would go to the refugee office, which has warned that it will run out of funds as soon as this month.

The refugee office’s shelters have taken in more than 52,000 children since October — a 60 percent jump from the previous year, driven by a record influx of migrants and complicated by the Trump administration’s aggressive border policies. Its parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, is pursuing strategies to cope with the surge, which include freezing money for anti-trafficking efforts and services for survivors of torture, and possibly furloughing employees.

The crunch is also slowing HHS's oversight of shelters, efforts to expand the number of beds and attempts to unite migrant children with sponsors in the United States. And it is adding to a growing crisis surrounding the federal government’s detention of migrant children. The Border Patrol is under fire following disclosures that some of its detention centers lack soap, toothbrushes, clean bedding or other necessities for the children, some of them infants, in conditions that doctors, lawyers and public health experts call a potential breeding ground for disease.

At least seven children have died in U.S. custody since September.
#DontLookAway
posted by Little Dawn at 6:18 PM on June 25 [14 favorites]


.@SenatorDurbin: "I wouldn’t dismiss it, but let’s be honest, he's going to deny it & little is going to come of it"

@SenFeinstein: “It’s not particular new news, so I don’t know...I don’t think we need to take action”


We shouldn't ever forget that one of the reasons Trump has been so successful is because the people who were supposed to protect us from him decided they were too comfortable to bother.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:38 PM on June 25 [51 favorites]


CNBC: Robert Mueller agrees to publicly testify before House committees on Trump Russia probe on July 17
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., announced the July 17 testimony on Tuesday night. They said they issued subpoenas to bring Mueller, the special counsel who oversaw the Justice Department’s investigation, before the House.

“Americans have demanded to hear directly from the Special Counsel so they can understand what he and his team examined, uncovered, and determined about Russia’s attack on our democracy, the Trump campaign’s acceptance and use of that help, and President Trump and his associates’ obstruction of the investigation into that attack,” the two lawmakers said in a joint statement. “We look forward to hearing his testimony, as do all Americans.”
CNN's Jeremy Herb: "Schiff says that the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees will question Mueller separately that day, and his panel will also question Mueller's staff behind closed doors afterward "

Axios: "Mueller will testify separately to the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, but "back to back," according to Chairman Adam Schiff."
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:45 PM on June 25 [19 favorites]


GalaxieFiveHundred: "Any Queens people out there? If you're registered as a Dem, go vote for Tiffany Cabán today if you haven't already! "

This one is insanely close. Cabán is currently up by less than 700 votes with 87% reporting.

Cabán is a very exciting reform candidate, and Queens has more people than 15 US states. This would be a big deal.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:57 PM on June 25 [27 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren steps up, the WaPo’s David Weigel reports:
A surprise at this town hall: An audience member asks Warren to bring attention to immigrant detention centers.

"I'm going to Homestead tomorrow," Warren says. "Come with me."

(Was not previously on her public sked.)

Homestead facility is about 45 minutes from the debate site. Campaign says Warren had wanted to see it, and talked to immigrant advocates before her town hall tonight -- made her mind up to go.

"We have to shut down that facility and shut it down now," Warren says. Cheers of "shut it down!" break out.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:10 PM on June 25 [65 favorites]


NYT: N.R.A. Shuts Down Production of NRATV
posted by Chrysostom at 7:32 PM on June 25 [37 favorites]


WaPo, House passes $4.5 billion emergency border aid bill with provisions for the treatment of migrant children in U.S. custody
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) unveiled changes to the bill Tuesday morning that would require CBP to establish new health and safety standards for migrants in its custody, as well as protocols for dealing with migrant surges, within 30 days. The changes would also limit children’s stays at “influx shelters” used by the Department of Health and Human Services to no more than 90 days and require the department to report to Congress on their use.

Additional changes Lowey unveiled Tuesday afternoon would bar HHS shelter contractors who do not provide adequate accommodations, food and personal items, such as toothbrushes, as well as routine medical care, schooling, leisure activities, and other basic services.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who pushed for the final revisions as a co-chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus, said she had “tremendous apprehensions” about voting to fund the Trump administration’s border response but said she was prepared do so to improve conditions for migrant children. “I don’t even know how to describe the idea that we have to tell them: You’ve got to provide food and water to these kids,” she said. “But that’s what we’re doing.”
The White House has already threatened to veto the bill, even as they're also not so crazy about the Senate's version, which lacks the new protections for children. HHS and ORR run out of funds at the end of the month. The final House vote was 230-195, with four Democrats (Tlaib, Pressley, Ocasio-Cortez, and Omar) voting against, and three Republicans (Fitzpatrick, Hurd, and Christopher Smith) voting in favor. Many more Democrats had reservations until the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus secured the amendments today.

----

San Diego Union Tribune, Thousands more [Mexican] National Guard troops to arrive in Tijuana

@DLind: Something extremely important is going on in Mexico right now. The northern border is being militarized, and people — including families — are being physically prevented from leaving the country to try to enter the US.
posted by zachlipton at 7:32 PM on June 25 [21 favorites]


Man, this Duncan Hunter case is heating the f up.

The thing I don't understand is that he was expensing his trysts with lobbyists. My understanding is that lobbyists are supposed to be the ones expensing that stuff. So not only was he corrupt, he wasn't even very good at it! Also who were the lobbyists and who were they repping?
posted by srboisvert at 7:37 PM on June 25 [16 favorites]


Jonathan Ryan, President and CEO of RAICES, spoke to Isaac Chotiner on the bill I just posted about and what's going on:
O.K., but step away from specific parties or specific bills. There is a debate about whether Congress should give more aid to facilities at the border, with some people saying it is really needed, and other people saying that the Administration will use it to carry out its agenda and won’t follow any conditions placed on this aid. I am curious how you think about that dilemma. It seems like a complicated one.

It is only complicated if you accept the premise that the only choice should be abdicating our responsibility to provide essential life-saving services, and creating a penal system that punishes vulnerable refugees for asking for asylum. We are being presented with a false choice.

What is the choice?

It is either you withhold funds from children who desperately need them, or you provide funds that will be used to create more cages, more concentration camps, more deaths of children at the border. The fact that you have to accept both in order to get the care to the people who need it is simply a false choice.

You are the person who just said that we have the President we have and the Senate we have. It is a false choice, but that doesn’t make it any easier if you are a representative in Congress who cares about kids and is faced with the President we have.

Well, this is where the responsibility falls back on we the people. We have seen the American people up in arms and demonstrating and filling parks and streets and sidewalks demonstrating against family separation. What we have now are children dying in these cages. We need to have that mobilization of people against this that pushes lawmakers of both parties to provide the funding to the children without creating more systems of oppression and torture and death. It absolutely needs to be demanded full-throatedly and clearly by the people.
posted by zachlipton at 7:41 PM on June 25 [18 favorites]


So expect “Iran to attack US interests in the gulf” around July 16...
posted by growabrain at 7:45 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


So expect “Iran to attack US interests in the gulf” around July 16...

Yeah, the GOP has 3 weeks to discredit Mueller to the best of their ability, and I'm guessing they'll pull out all the stops.
posted by Dr. Send at 7:54 PM on June 25


The changes would also limit children’s stays at “influx shelters” used by the Department of Health and Human Services to no more than 90 days and require the department to report to Congress on their use.
I appreciate that House Democrats' leverage is extremely limited and there is enormous pressure to be seen to be doing something but not much that they actually can do.. but this is not an acceptable compromise and the family separation policy should not be allowed to be normalized by sanding off a few of the more monstrous edges. 90 days of separation (which is not even the limit under the proposed "reforms", it's just the limit for the stay at an intake facility) from their parents is more than enough to cause permanent psychological damage to an unacceptable number of already traumatized children.

Many of these kids are going to be fucked up for life for no better reason than (pick one or more):
  • Stephen Miller is a racist piece of shit
  • Trump wants to rally his base or distract from failures elsewhere
  • Private prison companies have earnings target to hit
Everything about this situation is appalling.
posted by Nerd of the North at 7:54 PM on June 25 [43 favorites]


“Among the many takeaways here: A pathetic result for new Queens Dem chair Greg Meeks, who attacked Warren and Sanders for endorsing Cabán over Katz“ @daveweigel

Tiffany is good to win on less then a thousand votes.
posted by The Whelk at 8:02 PM on June 25 [8 favorites]


“CABAN. FOR. QUEENS.

The way to save our country is to overhaul the Democratic Party one election at a time.

Bring in bold, unapologetic progressives who are willing to take the fight to GOP extremists.”

Literally Peter Actually Daou

What a fucking world we live in eh?
posted by The Whelk at 8:04 PM on June 25 [18 favorites]


This sudden wave of wins by reformist DAs is one of the few bright spots in bleak landscape.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:13 PM on June 25 [21 favorites]


Chants of DSA DSA DSA before Caban’s speech



This is very far from meeting in a guild office new member orientation two years ago,
posted by The Whelk at 8:14 PM on June 25 [26 favorites]


Dumb question - can extra auditing / enforcement / criminal penalties be loaded into a funding bill?
posted by benzenedream at 8:15 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Short answer: yes, with some futzing and work

Longer answer: there are rules that say appropriations bills should just appropriate and not legislate. But the line between specifying what you're appropriating for and legislating can be legitimately blurry and made blurrier by design. And in any case it's reasonably common for the House to waive those points of order against the bill in the special rule for its consideration. Like any rule that's not specified by constitution or statute, it can be laid aside when inconvenient, and there are meta-rules and norms about how and when that happens.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:30 PM on June 25 [6 favorites]


The Socialist Origins of Public Defense Since Caban did win
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]


One-third of the United States population would support a preemptive attack on North Korea, even in a nuclear scenario, knowing it would kill one million innocent people, according to a recent survey.
Little changed when the U.S. first-strike was switched from conventional to nuclear as "33 percent preferred." In fact, "there is no significant change in the percentage who would prefer or approve of a U.S. nuclear strike when the number of estimated North Korean fatalities increases from 15,000 to 1.1 million, including 1 million civilians."

The researchers said these results actually demonstrated a previously-established pattern among the U.S. public, which "exhibits only limited aversion to nuclear weapons use and a shocking willingness to support the killing of enemy civilians."
When the estimated North Korean fatalities were increased from 15,000 to 1.1 million, support for using nuclear weapons among respondents who favor the death penalty increased from 38 percent to 49 percent. The primal enemy isn't Trump, or Russia, or even the GOP, it's us.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:27 PM on June 25 [27 favorites]




Video, via Twitter: Japanese-Americans interned during WW II demonstrate at Fort Sill are confronted by angry Army officer. Video is one minute and twenty seconds. Come for the meaningful demonstration, stay for the raging white man in a uniform and toxic power trip, and watch the demonstrators shut him down because everyone needs this in their lives today.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:40 PM on June 25 [41 favorites]


Just so people reading are aware, Cabán hasn't officially won yet as there are still outstanding absentee ballots. Technically it's too close to call.
posted by reductiondesign at 9:44 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I heard this quote on the BBC, in the context of an over-reliance on the judiciary to decide on contentious political issues.
“... This much I think I do know--that a society so riven that the spirit of moderation is gone, no court can save; that a society where that spirit flourishes, no court need save; that in a society which evades its responsibility by thrusting upon the courts the nature of that spirit, that spirit in the end will perish.

What is the spirit of moderation? It is the temper which does not press a partisan advantage to its bitter end, which can understand and will respect the other side, which feels a unity between all citizens --real and not the factitious product of propaganda --which recognizes their common fate and their common aspirations --in a word, which has faith in the sacredness of the individual.

If you ask me how such a temper and such a faith are bred and fostered, I cannot answer. They are the last flowers of civilization, delicate and easily overrun by the weeds of our sinful human nature ... But I am satisfied that they must have vigor within themselves to withstand the winds and weather of an indifferent and ruthless world; and that it is idle to seek shelter for them in a courtroom.

Men must take that temper and that faith with them into the field, into the marketplace, into the factory, into the council-room, into their homes; they cannot be imposed; they must be lived.”

-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand, 1944
posted by adept256 at 10:06 PM on June 25 [21 favorites]


An employee of the Aviary, a bar in Chicago, spit on Eric Trump tonight. The Aviary does not serve milkshakes, so I suppose they had to improvise.

Per Mary Ann Ahern

Per Steve Herman
posted by great_radio at 10:13 PM on June 25 [17 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren's website has an invitation for people in Miami to join her at the Homestead concentration camp tomorrow. Buses will be provided, or you can meet her there.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:14 PM on June 25 [39 favorites]


Below the Surface of ICE: The Corporations Profiting From Immigrant Detention
Activists are targeting the companies that make ICE run.

It's a long article & there's no easy pull quotes but it traces & identifies the companies making money from selling goods & services to make the concentration camps run, the financial institutions behind them that keep the evil machine running & the groups working to bring sunlight & pressure to bear on them.
posted by scalefree at 10:21 PM on June 25 [25 favorites]


This is how you lose your soul, by making fun of crying children.

@ABC
Audio recording emerges of so-called 'orchestra' of crying children inside a migrant detention center.
"What's missing is a conductor," says a male voice on the recording, someone believed to be a U.S. Border Patrol agent. https://abcn.ws/2M358Qj
posted by scalefree at 10:23 PM on June 25 [10 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren's website has an invitation for people in Miami to join her at the Homestead concentration camp tomorrow. Buses will be provided, or you can meet her there.
p


Cool! the Sanders campaign has been using the mailing lists to direct people to strikes or protests and most recently ICE raids so it;s nice to see this become a standard things for campaigns.
posted by The Whelk at 10:25 PM on June 25 [11 favorites]


This is how you lose your soul, by making fun of crying children. @ABC
The current situation is not any less horrible but it should be noted that that article is from a year ago (not that you could tell based on the treatment of the refugee children but Kirstjen Nielsen is no longer Secretary of Homeland Security and Jeff Sessions is no longer US Attorney General.)
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:46 PM on June 25 [6 favorites]


Here in 45's favourite country (no, I mean Norway) the concentration camps are making the news now. I've translated the headings, but you could probably get Google Translate to do a decent job of translating the articles for you if you're so inclined: posted by Harald74 at 11:37 PM on June 25 [20 favorites]


TIL that Australia had a concentration camp full of Jews during WW2. That's what we called it, that's what the sign at the front said. Here's a coupon for the concentration camp canteen.

It would be surprising to learn, though it happens to be a year to the day I heard the history of concentration camps in the podcast Behind the Bastards - Concentration Camps Are Back, So Let's Talk About Their History. I recommend it.

While I respect the community of victims taking ownership of the term, it's ahistorical to conflate the nazi death camps with concentrations camps. Yet since one is the precondition for the other, I'd suggest calling them what they are.
posted by adept256 at 11:45 PM on June 25 [7 favorites]


AP, TSA plans to send more airport screeners to Mexico border
The Transportation Security Administration plans to send more than 650 airport screeners and federal air marshals to help handle an increase in migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said Tuesday that TSA told his committee it has dispatched nearly 200 screeners and supervisors and 172 air marshals to the border already and plans to send another 294.
posted by zachlipton at 1:13 AM on June 26 [5 favorites]


TIL that Australia had a concentration camp full of Jews during WW2.

Yes, the Dunera boys. I had one as a teacher in high school. The past is not dead, etc.

While I respect the community of victims taking ownership of the term [...] I'd suggest calling them what they are.

Jews have good reason to be concerned about the abuse of Holocaust terminology. Look at the way the word "ghetto" has come to mean almost anything other than "a walled-off part of a city in which Jews are confined". In fact, I find that the people who most often make Holocaust analogies are antisemites, using it as a way to hurt Jews. IMO that's not what's happening here, but Republican voices are exploiting this concern to blunt Jews' reaction to the ... you know, Trump's concentration camps. It's particularly astute, because according to political commentator and author Elad Nehorai,
There is one political issue that Jews are most united on: the treatment of migrants on the border. According to a recent poll, 78% of American Jews disapprove of family separations. No other current political policy has united so many Jews.
His article is worth reading; he makes a good case that Republicans are seizing on the use of Holocaust-related terminology to distract from the substantive issue. As Carly Pildis says,
Stop Wasting Time Arguing About Concentration Camps (and focus on ending our humanitarian disaster at the border).
And as Deborah Lipstadt says,
Talk about the horrific conditions & not historical analogies. Don’t give those who are behind this policy a chance to piously claim they are being wrongly accused. Use of Holocaust analogies to condemn US immigration policy is a distraction
I confess that I don't think there's a better term to describe the "facilities" the US regime is erecting, but there's no reason to make things easier for the Republicans by using content-free slogans like "Never Again!" Things are bad, and students of the Holocaust have every reason to be specially concerned, but Holocaust analogies are likely counterproductive. If the resistance has to use analogies, maybe reach into American history for some? Goodness knows there are enough.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:17 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Once upon a time, the U.S. government called it "reception and care of refugees" when they used military bases as places where newly arrived people could live temporarily. From 1981 (and an old FPP from me): The Role of the U.S. Army Forces Command in Project New Arrivals. Reception and Care of Refugees from Vietnam (.pdf). I"d ask you to read the table of contents for items like "Infant feeding," "Chaplain support," "Laundry support," fixing winterization problems, addressing cold weather clothing needs, and an illustration on page 77, "A Vietnamese boy examines his newly acquired playthings. Toys for refugee youngsters were distributed by volunteer agencies"...This document reminds me that there are plans on the shelf for handling an influx of people from other nations, and that those plans have traditionally included humanitarian concerns. O brave new world, that has such cruel policy in it...
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:29 AM on June 26 [48 favorites]


On the student debt forgiveness programs being proposed: spouse and I have 6 degrees and $400k in debt between us. It wasn't always that high. I just turned 50 and we spend 2x our mortgage on student loans. The 10 year public service loan forgiveness program screwed us (and many, many others) and spouse with a PhD was only ever able to find non-tenure and adjunct positions, so her career was effectively stillborn. I keep trying to level up in the tech field, but I made more in 1999 than I do now, adjusting for inflation, even after picking up another degree. We have a child going to college in 2 years to pay for and 3 parents that we are helping because their retirement is broken (G.M. bankruptcy, laid off 2 years before retirement, etc.). Anything... anything anyone can do to get the country of this mess, or even just stop it from happening to another generation, would be a blessing. The real, actual plan for us is to relocate to a different country and stop paying so we can start saving for retirement, because that hasn't happened either.
posted by Manic Pixie Hollow at 5:35 AM on June 26 [40 favorites]


When the estimated North Korean fatalities were increased from 15,000 to 1.1 million, support for using nuclear weapons among respondents who favor the death penalty increased from 38 percent to 49 percent. The primal enemy isn't Trump, or Russia, or even the GOP, it's us.

Yet that 11% increase was somehow not statistically significant suggesting there was something massively wrong with that study. I don't doubt the overall conclusion (because 27% of the population is consistently crazy) but that sounds like some really crappy polling work.
posted by srboisvert at 5:46 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


The paper itself has a really shoddy description of the methdology, I don't think reporting qualitative data is their day job?
posted by chiquitita at 6:02 AM on June 26


I confess that I don't think there's a better term to describe the "facilities" the US regime is erecting, but there's no reason to make things easier for the Republicans by using content-free slogans like "Never Again!" Things are bad, and students of the Holocaust have every reason to be specially concerned, but Holocaust analogies are likely counterproductive. If the resistance has to use analogies, maybe reach into American history for some? Goodness knows there are enough.

Americans are horrifically ignorant and uneducated about of the historical atrocities of their own country and/or have been conditioned to believe that we never did any atrocities. Pretty much all conservatives already think that we never really did anything wrong to Native Americans, that slavery and segregation were the fault of the Democratic party, that the Japanese deserved internment and nukes, etc etc etc.

Besides the conservatives, the apolitical/politically-unconscious/politically-disengaged majority of the country has been woefully and intentionally undereducated and miseducated about US history for their entire lives. We know nothing about our own past besides tricorn-hatted white men and Saving Private Ryan. The only thing that all but the alt-right will agree on is that Nazis were bad because they did the Holocaust. We're working with an impoverished history and we don't have time to try to convince most of the country that America has actually done some pretty bad stuff that this is sorta like and here's why. Genocide is coming and we have no choice but to appeal to the only genocide that we mostly recognize as such. We're past beanplating about whether the fact that we currently resemble the early stages of the Holocaust and not (yet, for another couple years maybe) the later stages of the Holocaust should make us cool it on the rhetoric. We don't have that luxury.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:51 AM on June 26 [43 favorites]


Yet that 11% increase was somehow not statistically significant suggesting there was something massively wrong with that study.

I don’t follow this at all—statistical power is a function of the number of independent observations and the model used. Failing to find statistical significance in no way invalidates a study.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:56 AM on June 26 [5 favorites]


My attitude about the term "concentration camps" is that the meaning has pretty much fully grafted onto Naziism and eliminationism in the public mind. As such, people saying "AOC never said Nazis, that was you making the leap!" reminds me a little too much of right-wing word games ("I never said black, I said urban"). The Boer War camps may have been called "concentration camps" at the time, but I wouldn't refer to a modern equivalent to them in that way now, same as I wouldn't use "gay" for "happy".

However, today's camps at our border clearly are concentration camps because I see no ideological guardrails to prevent them from becoming outright death camps. We can still stop them! But that doesn't change my definition any more than the definition of cancer requires it to be inoperable.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:16 AM on June 26 [4 favorites]


...becoming outright death camps.

I've lost count at how many have already died in these camps as a direct result of abuse. We're already there, just not at full scale.
posted by odinsdream at 7:18 AM on June 26 [14 favorites]


Genocide is coming and we have no choice but to appeal to the only genocide that we mostly recognize as such.

Genocide is HERE. Check out the legal definition of genocide according to the United Nations, and scroll down to item 6, "Genocidal Acts". Included in that section:

Less obvious methods of destruction, such as the deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the group’s physical survival and which are available to the rest of the population, such as clean water, food and medical services;

Creation of circumstances that could lead to a slow death, such as lack of proper housing, clothing and hygiene or excessive work or physical exertion;

and

Forcible transfer of children, imposed by direct force or through fear of violence, duress, detention, psychological oppression or other methods of coercion
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:24 AM on June 26 [43 favorites]


[Let's take the concentration camp discussion over to the open concentration camp/internment camp thread. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:24 AM on June 26 [6 favorites]


Trump’s war on refugees is tearing down US's life-changing resettlement program (Guardian)
Donald Trump has for two consecutive years overseen the lowest refugee admission rates since the modern resettlement system was created in 1980
Trump’s war on refugees is no secret. He paused the refugee resettlement program a week after taking office and repeatedly tells lies that refugees have been tied to terrorist attacks, even though none of the more than 3 million refugees resettled since 1980 have committed a lethal terrorist attack.

The White House adviser Stephen Miller reportedly said he wanted to end all refugee resettlement in the US and has suppressed government studies that show the economic benefits of refugee resettlement. [...]

In a presidential debate, Trump said Syrian refugees were actually a “great Trojan horse”, echoing language used by President Franklin Roosevelt and other politicians in the 1930s to justify keeping Jewish admissions low during the Holocaust.

For all this hysteria, however, refugees and advocates said the political messaging contradicted their own experiences of American public attitudes to refugees. After the travel ban, the International Rescue Committee said it saw a 100% increase in volunteers in Democratic-leaning states and a 90% increase in volunteers in Republican-leaning states. Those numbers have remained steady ever since.
posted by Little Dawn at 7:26 AM on June 26 [15 favorites]


Politico runs through what various Special Counsel attorneys have been up to since Mueller closed his investigation and how their testimony could help House Dems looking to pick up where Mueller left off: Mueller’s Team May Think It Is Done. Democrats Have Other Ideas.—Democrats struggling to find witnesses to guide their Trump probes say they’ve noticed the recent uptick in activity from ex-Mueller staffers — and they want in.
[T]he special counsel’s attorneys who spent nearly two years working on one of the most scrutinized investigations in American history […] now are resurfacing at major law firms touting their work on the Russia probe. Some are even giving interviews to journalists, a big change from the “no comment” mantra they practiced to almost comical extremes, while another has a reported book deal.[…]

These are, after all, the same attorneys who personally interviewed the president’s aides and a wide cast of characters connected to Moscow’s election interference campaign. They worked closest with the special counsel in deciding who merited prosecution or even a mention in his final report. As a result, they could offer new investigative leads, suggest ways to stymie the foreign assistance Trump seems open to accepting and further the congressional probes fueling impeachment calls.[…]

Under the joint House Judiciary and Intelligence Committee plan unveiled Tuesday night, an unspecified number of the special counsel’s senior deputies are expected to accompany their former boss and testify in closed session when Mueller appears next month. Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff declined Tuesday night to identify the deputies, and it was also unclear if they would be appearing under subpoena.

Democrats also haven’t precluded bringing the former Mueller lawyers back for additional rounds.
See also Just Security: What Congress Should Ask Robert Mueller When He Testifies
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:35 AM on June 26 [9 favorites]


The Whelk: Warren introduces new election security plan

CNN article summary of her Medium post on her plan to strengthen our democracy, and CNN chose this quote, among others: "Our elections should be as secure as Fort Knox," ... "But instead, they're less secure than your Amazon account."

Is it petty of me to enjoy subtle digs at Trump's hatred of (actual) billionaire Jeff Bezos by saying that Amazon is more secure than U.S. election systems? Probably, but I'll take my amusement where I can find it.


The Debates Will Be About Climate—Disguised as Other Issues (Adam Rogers for Wired, June 26, 2019)

Anyone working on a debate or post-debate thread? If so, good luck, and thank you! (And could/ should there be a FanFare special event, for more real-time type comments? Or should those go in MetaChat?)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:49 AM on June 26 [10 favorites]




Washington Post has a big spread on Howard Schulz: Is Centrism Doomed?
But there was another, arguably more serious, problem with Schultz’s version of centrism: It does the opposite of what it claims to do. A politics intended to appeal to a wide middle of the country has, in the hands of someone like Schultz, come to mean an incredibly narrow thing: fiscally conservative, socially liberal, open borders on trade and immigration, restrictive on gun rights, hawkish on foreign policy, and not crazy about raising taxes. “Centrism,” in other words, has become a byword for the politics of the business elite. Defined left to right, on an x-axis, it may approximate the center of the political spectrum. But on a y-axis that represents socioeconomic status, it sits at the very top.
Paul Krugman calls these the Empty Quarters Of US Politics
One is the absence of socially liberal, economically conservative voters. These were the people Schultz thought he could appeal to; but basically they don’t exist, accounting for only around, yes, 4 percent of the electorate.

The other is the absence of economically liberal, socially conservative politicians — let’s be blunt and just say “racist populists.” There are plenty of voters who would like that mix, and Trump pretended to be their man; but he wasn’t, and neither is anyone else.

Understanding these empty quarters is, I’d argue, the key to understanding U.S. politics.
Krugman had previously referred to The Empty Box, and he references Corey Robin: "Well, the best story I have is Corey Robin’s: It’s fundamentally about challenging or sustaining traditional hierarchy. The actual lineup of positions on social and economic issues doesn’t make sense if you assume that conservatives are, as they claim, defenders of personal liberty on all fronts. But it makes perfect sense if you suppose that conservatism is instead about preserving traditional forms of authority: employers over workers, patriarchs over families."

Nate Silver: Socially Liberal, Fiscally Conservative Voters Preferred Trump In 2016

my own thinking on this issue is similar but not the same
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:58 AM on June 26 [24 favorites]


One is the absence of socially liberal, economically conservative voters. These were the people Schultz thought he could appeal to; but basically they don’t exist, accounting for only around, yes, 4 percent of the electorate.

I would add that maybe the SL/EC bloc looks larger than it is because they comprise a large part of the pundit and donor class. Their numbers are tiny but their voices are loud. Which means that the Threat Of Howard Schultz is largely hot air - he won't syphon off a bunch of people who would otherwise vote Democratic if Warren is nominated. (The threat to Democrats is more about stay-homes, I think.)

The SC/EL, or racist populists, were a splinter bloc in the days of George Wallace and, later, Ross Perot, but they're solidly in Trump's camp for now. If they can give up their social conservatism, well, welcome to the Democrats.

But it seems that social and economic liberalism (or conservatism) largely go in lockstep. People who are socially liberal are also economically liberal. Four loud percent is still only four percent.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:09 AM on June 26 [8 favorites]


I would add that maybe the SL/EC bloc looks larger than it is because they comprise a large part of the pundit and donor class. Their numbers are tiny but their voices are loud.

The whole point of presenting it like one corner of a grid is "Look, we're 25 percent of the population! We're valid! Listen to us! And ignore the fact that our philosophy breaks down when you poke it at even the slightest bit, and we're really just greedy fucks (EC) who don't actually care about anyone else (SL)."
posted by Etrigan at 8:33 AM on June 26 [8 favorites]


Social liberal/economic conservative is an oxymoron. How do you call yourself socially liberal when your economic policy is fuck poor people?

Typically among that crowd all that "socially liberal" means is okay with smoking dope.
posted by JackFlash at 8:49 AM on June 26 [33 favorites]


Yesterday, Eight by Eight magazine interviewed Reign FC women's soccer co-captain Megan Rapinoe about her team's championship prospects, and she told them, bluntly, “I’m not going to the fucking White House. […] We're not gonna be invited. ” (w/video)

Subsequently, @realDonaldTrump threw a multi-tweet fit this morning about this. Claiming to be a "big fan" of the team, he belatedly issued an invitation, while simultaneously calling into question Rapinoe's patriotism (and somehow disrespecting the flag) and suggesting she was jumping the gun. While Trump is of course always on the watch for a new target as a foil in the media and among his supporters, her casual, open disdain for him really hit a nerve.

And naturally, Trump is reacting to the coverage of Rapinoe on Fox, Media Matters's Matthew Gertz points out. (And Fox Business of course conducted a Two Minutes Hate for her, calling her "opportunistic" without the slightest shred of self-awareness.)

Trump's also still smarting from Toronto Raptors’ Danny Green says the NBA champs won’t pay Trump a visit—"To put it politely, I think it’s a hard no." (He's also bothered that NBA teams are shifting from the term "owners" to "governors"‚ something he probably saw on Breitbart). The bottom line is that Trump is being starved for attention with each team boycott as long as he's in the White House.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:51 AM on June 26 [25 favorites]


Trump Lashes Out After Mueller Agrees to Testify to Congress (NYT)
“It never ends,” Mr. Trump said about Democratic efforts to investigate his conduct. He repeated that Mr. Mueller’s report, released in April, found no collusion with the Russians, and he again offered a false assertion that he was cleared of obstruction of justice.

Mr. Mueller emphasized that Mr. Trump has not been cleared of obstruction crimes. “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mr. Mueller said in May in his only public remarks on the investigation.
posted by Little Dawn at 8:55 AM on June 26 [8 favorites]


Social liberal/economic conservative is an oxymoron.

I know plenty of people like this. They honestly do not give a shit what people do in their lives (gay, abortion), but are inclined to be cheap when it comes to money. I know plenty of socially liberal/economically liberal people who say, "whaddya mean, people can't afford to shop at Whole Foods??" It's better when people take the time to look at the nuances of certain issues, rather than just declare that all people are one way or another.
posted by Melismata at 8:57 AM on June 26 [7 favorites]


Hello I am a season ticket holder for the Reign and I can tell you this is exactly who Megan Rapinoe is. She was the first white pro athlete to kneel in support of Colin Kaepernick's protests. She has always been outspoken. She also sees at least seven seconds in the future (perhaps farther, I don't know). Did she foresee this reaction? Probably. Almost certainly.

She said it anyway, because it was the right thing to say. She knows that because she is Megan Rapinoe and she gives no fucks.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:59 AM on June 26 [68 favorites]


I know plenty of people like this.

Oh, I don't doubt it. But their existence doesn't negate the fact that their personal philosophy is one giant contradiction, whether they are self-aware or not.
posted by JackFlash at 9:03 AM on June 26 [3 favorites]




He repeated that Mr. Mueller’s report, released in April, found no collusion with the Russians, and he again offered a false assertion that he was cleared of obstruction of justice.

A lot hinges on how clearly Mueller is willing to speak. His answer to "Is Trump correct when he says that you cleared him of obstruction" should be something like "No, the opposite is true. I explicitly didn't clear him of obstruction, and because I couldn't charge him with a crime, I presented the evidence and referred the decision to Congress." I'm worried that he'll intentionally say something much muddier and harder to parse.
posted by diogenes at 9:29 AM on June 26 [10 favorites]


Luke Darby has pointed out that $675 a day will get you a luxurious suite with a king-size bed at the Trump Hotel in DC. The Department of Health and Human Services is paying private companies $775 a day for a child without a bed or even a bar of soap. HHS could save money by moving the kids to the Trump Hotel.
posted by JackFlash at 9:33 AM on June 26 [49 favorites]


First poll of AL Senate GOP primary:
Tuberville 29%
Byrne 21%
Moore 13%
Merrill 12%
A split field probably plays to Moore's chances of at least advancing to the runoff.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:36 AM on June 26


Another interesting facet of the Mueller hearing is that leadership can't control the narrative. I suspect they aren't dying for Mueller to make it clear the extent to which his report was an impeachment referral. But they won't be able to prevent individual members from pressing Mueller on that subject.
posted by diogenes at 9:39 AM on June 26


I'll predict here that things will be even murkier and more frustrating after Mueller testifies. He is and will remain temperamentally unable to make a declarative statement that Trump did something wrong, and he will present agonizingly slow, thoughtful, carefully crafted responses that won't be clear and direct enough to change anyone's mind.
posted by PhineasGage at 9:50 AM on June 26 [28 favorites]


Eyup. Mueller is a man who delights in convoluted octuple negative sentences that you need a transcript and a whiteboard to chart out the meaning of. I don't know if he's just deliberately obfuscating because he's a Republican and can't bring himself to directly say Trump is a criminal, or if he's just so immersed in lawyer BS that he can no longer speak in anything but circumlocutions, but either way he's never, ever, going to give a straight yes or no answer to any question the Democrats ask.
posted by sotonohito at 9:53 AM on June 26 [13 favorites]


I think that it's a theoretical possibility that the Dems foresee this and formulate precise questions that avoid giving Mueller room to give lawyerly responses. But it won't happen without consciously recognizing that obfuscation (however unintentional) is the likeliest outcome and carefully considering the kinds of questions that will work.
posted by Jpfed at 9:59 AM on June 26 [7 favorites]




Not sure how to read the tea leaves wine corks on this one for its broader implications on future court cases: Supreme Court Hands Total Wine, Other Out-Of-State Liquor Retailers A Big Win (Nina Totenberg and Domenico Montanaro for NPR, June 26, 2019)

It went 7-2 to strike down Tennessee's two year residency requirement for liquor sales as erecting barriers to interstate commerce, with Neil Gorsuch writing the dissent in favor of state's rights, citing that Tennessee's requirement has been in place for 80 years.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:14 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


If I see one more "Trump lashes out at X" headline, I swear to god...
posted by gwint at 10:15 AM on June 26 [5 favorites]


I've been looking around on the 'net for any pundit or journalist willing to predict what Mueller will say at his testimony, and nobody is willing to place any bets. The best that can be said is what Mueller himself stated: "Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before congress." I suspect, though, that he's likely to be more forthcoming in his opening statement than he was at his press conference or in his report, if only because he seems to react (slowly) when the media and politicians misrepresent or misconstrue his findings.

What's more fruitful is looking at how Dems can strategize their questioning, even if Mueller won't go outside the lines of the report, e.g. Did Trump and His Team Successfully Obstruct Mueller’s Investigation? (Just Security)
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:17 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


It's probably just a defense mechanism kicking in, but I'm oddly optimistic that the Mueller hearing is going to be a turning point. He doesn't need to say anything beyond what he said in the report. What he said in the report just needs to enter the public consciousness and become part of the media narrative.
posted by diogenes at 10:21 AM on June 26 [19 favorites]


He is and will remain temperamentally unable to make a declarative statement that Trump did something wrong, and he will present agonizingly slow, thoughtful, carefully crafted responses that won't be clear and direct enough to change anyone's mind.

If I were to question him, I would fashion my inquiry to allow him to characterize the evidence he found to support the accusation that Trump did this or that egregious thing that Trump denies doing. The point isn't to get rock solid evidence of violations of specific language in a section of federal laws. It is to illuminate the absolutely criminal and bad faith behavior of a greedy, racist pawn of a foreign government who welcomed their help and is destroying our governmental institutions. The evidence is in the report. The value is in having someone trustworthy say on the teevee that he did those things, so the vast numbers of folks who only believe what they see on the teevee will come to know who currently occupies the White House.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:22 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


A Father And Daughter, Drowned At The Border, Put Attention On Immigration (Bill Chappell for NPR, June 26, 2019)

Editor's Note: This story contains images that some readers may find disturbing.
Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez died as he tried to bring his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, to safety and a new life in the U.S. Ramírez's wife, Tania Vanessa Ávalos, says she watched from the shore as her husband and daughter were pulled away by a strong river current near the border crossing between Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas.

The small family was fleeing poverty in El Salvador and had secured a humanitarian visa in Mexico — but after spending two months in a migrant camp waiting to apply for asylum in the U.S., Martínez decided that they should try to cross the border on Sunday. Those details all come from the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, whose journalist, Julia Le Duc, was at the riverbank as Ávalos spoke to police and emergency workers.
...
On the same day Óscar Alberto and Valeria died, U.S. Border Patrol agents found four bodies along the Rio Grande in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, about 55 miles west of Brownsville. In that case (NPR), three children — one toddler and two infants — died along with a 20-year-old woman.
...
"We are united to pain by this irreparable loss," the Salvadoran president's office said of the tragedy, after Ramírez's cousin asked for the government's help in bringing the bodies back home.

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele granted the request, telling Foreign Affairs Minister Alexandra Hill to make arrangements and give the family financial support. Both the president and Hill also urged Salvadorans not to try to cross the U.S. border without going through legal channels.

"Someday we will finish building a country where these things do not happen," Bukele said. "Someday we will finish building a country where migration is an option and not an obligation. In the meantime, we will do as much as we can. God help us."
No comment included in that article from any US conterparts, representatives or agencies. To fill that void, I'll play back Mike Pence's reply (CNN) to the statement begging an answer: "I know you, you're a father, a man of faith, you can't approve of that."

Pence, not answering the question: "N-no American, no American should approve of this mass influx of people coming across our border. It is overwhelming our system."

For Pence, it's the fault of Congress for not giving Border Patrol more funding for humane conditions, and the Dems for blocking reasonable discussions. And the fault of the asylum seekers themselves for trying to get into the United States of America.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Someone really should get Lady Liberty on the same page as Pence, because there's some serious dissonance in the messaging.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:22 AM on June 26 [10 favorites]


It's probably just a defense mechanism kicking in, but I'm oddly optimistic that the Mueller hearing is going to be a turning point. He doesn't need to say anything beyond what he said in the report. What he said in the report just needs to enter the public consciousness and become part of the media narrative.

I wish I was more confident that the media wouldn't give more credulous coverage to William Barr holding a press conference declaring that Mueller's testimony exonerated Trump.
posted by Gelatin at 10:28 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Hey, NeverTrumpers: Please quit lecturing actual Democrats about how to win (Heather Digby Parton, Salon)
Of all the annoying advice inundating us in recent days, the most irritating has to be that coming from the NeverTrumpers, meaning those conservatives and Republicans who never supported the president and are eager to drive him from office.
And who did such a great job preventing him from winning the nomination in the first place.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:32 AM on June 26 [26 favorites]


An Oral History of Trump's Bigotry. From The Atlantic.
posted by Paul Slade at 10:32 AM on June 26 [7 favorites]


What's more fruitful is looking at how Dems can strategize their questioning, even if Mueller won't go outside the lines of the report, e.g. Did Trump and His Team Successfully Obstruct Mueller’s Investigation? (Just Security)

"Was evidence destroyed deliberately that you were seeking?"
"If this was a regular criminal investigation, would that have resulted in charges?"
"Did William Barr interfere in your investigation or conclude it prematurely?"
posted by benzenedream at 10:41 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


And who did such a great job preventing him from winning the nomination in the first place.

Shit, we all made some kind of judgment error in '16, but none of these never trump armchair QB's has gone as far as to file paperwork in Iowa yet. Y'all can save us from this three months sooner or at least make him run through some campaign funds so there's less to line his own pockets.
posted by cmfletcher at 10:53 AM on June 26 [3 favorites]


Well, Bill Weld *is* running for the GOP nomination.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:57 AM on June 26 [5 favorites]


Benzenedream, those questions all call for speculation (would it have? What do you think was in that file you could not access?) or personal judgment (was it premature?)

Mueller will not speculate and he will not express his own personal judgment.

The only things Democrats can effectively question him on are matters of fact.

If it were me, I would use Mueller's testimony to illuminate Trump's lies.

"During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump said he had no deals in Russia. Did he have deals in Russia? Was he negotiatiating to build a Trump Tower Moscow when he said that?"

"During the 2016 campaign, Hope Hicks said no one involved in the campaign had any contact with Russia. Did anyone in the campaign have contact with Russia? How many people? How many times? What did they discuss?"

"Donald Trump said he never ordered McGahn to fire you. Did he?"

And so on. Just throw some of these Trump quotes at Mueller and ask him "true or false."

Mueller will testify to the facts and Trump will look like the lying liar he is.
posted by OnceUponATime at 10:58 AM on June 26 [50 favorites]


i'd like to see some questions about bannon & prince's inexplicable lack of copies of communications around the seychelles meetings notwithstanding their FBI interviews/GJ testimony that they did not destroy any coms, that they do not have document destruction policies, and the special counsel's acquisition of records demonstrating that communications occurred. See "iii. Eric Prince's Meeting with Steve Bannon after the Seychelles Trip," at Mueller Report p. 155-6. did they lie or the FBI or destroy evidence?

...but i think it is unlikely mueller will chose to speak more clearly than in his report or later statement, or be tricked into revealing that which he has determined is not his to say.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:58 AM on June 26 [5 favorites]




Daily Beast, Reddit ‘Quarantines’ Pro-Trump Subreddit Over Anti-Police Threats
Reddit quarantined the “The_Donald” subreddit on Wednesday, citing threats made on the popular forum for Trump supporters against law enforcement officers.

“Recent behaviors including threats against the police and public figures is content that is prohibited by our violence policy,” a Reddit spokesperson said in a statement. “As a result, we have actioned individual users and quarantined the subreddit."

The new quarantine was brought on by anti-police threats posted on The_Donald. Some users had apparently encouraged violence against law enforcement, angry that officials in Oregon were trying to bring back GOP state senators who fled the state to avoid voting on a climate-change bill. In a note to The_Donald moderators, Reddit administrators said they had “observed this behavior in the form of encouragement of violence towards police officers and public officials in Oregon.”
This tweet is entirely unrelated and was posted well before the "quarantine" happened, but I think it sums up where we are.

@AJentleson: From the Oregon Senate to the House of Representatives, Democrats fundamentally misunderstand the threat we’re facing.
posted by zachlipton at 11:16 AM on June 26 [33 favorites]




Reddit ‘Quarantines’ Pro-Trump Subreddit Over Anti-Police Threats

After years of direct involvement with multiple murders and acts of domestic terrorism, they made the one fatal error: scaring cops.

The_Donald's still there, by the way. 750,000 are still subscribed and 40,000 are posting there right this minute. Quarantine isn't anywhere near banning, it's a cosmetic public-relations bandaid.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:26 AM on June 26 [20 favorites]


Some photos from this afternoon's walkout by Wayfair workers in Boston to protest the company's contract with a detention-camp contractor. A couple hundred workers walked from the company headquarters in the Copley Place complex over to the plaza in front of Trinity Church in Copley Square, where they were met by applause from supporters.
posted by adamg at 11:28 AM on June 26 [32 favorites]


Let’s check in on that insane district court ruling overturning the entire Affordable Care Act:
Nicholas Bagley (Michigan Law):The panel in the Fifth Circuit that's about to hear Texas v. United States has just asked for further briefing on standing -- and in particular on whether the intervenor states and the House of Representatives can properly appeal the case. This is an ominous sign. If neither the blue states nor the House has standing, it would mean that no one has standing to appeal the decision. That would effectively leave the lower court decision unappealable. What happens then is a bit uncertain to me -- but I don't think it's good. I doubt this is a case in which you'd get a Munsingwear vacatur: normally, if the parties don't appeal, the lower court decision stands. And that's what we'd effectively have. See Bancorp. If so, O'Connor's declaration that the ACA is invalid -- lock, stock, and barrel -- would remain on the books and would bind the Trump administration. That's not necessarily a death-knell for the ACA, because the declaration might or might not extend nationwide. And O'Connor hasn't entered injunctive relief anyhow, so I don't think the Trump administration would immediately throw its hands up and decline to enforce the ACA. More to the point, the House and the blue states would immediately seek a stay pending appeal while they pursued their standing arguments in front of the Supreme Court. But arguing about whether they have standing is not the footing on which they want to go to the Court. More generally, this order suggests that the Fifth Circuit panel may be hostile to the ACA and inclined to support the red states. The odds that the Fifth Circuit does something nasty to the health-reform law have gone up. I'm still thinking this through, and lord knows the panel may ultimately decide that someone does have standing to take the appeal. The Supreme Court too will have the final say. But my word, this seems bad to me. /fin
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:43 AM on June 26 [4 favorites]


Imagine how evil you have to be to radicalize Highlights magazine:
we denounce the practice of separating immigrant children from their families and urge our government to cease this activity, which is unconscionable and causes irreparable damage to young lives.
posted by Etrigan at 11:47 AM on June 26 [92 favorites]


The war for the soul of our nation will be fought in the streets, in the schools, and in the dentist's offices.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:54 AM on June 26 [37 favorites]


Trump accused Robert Mueller of committing a crime by "terminating" emails.
posted by diogenes at 11:56 AM on June 26


Imagine how evil you have to be to radicalize Highlights magazine:

I know you're half-joking, but I'll take this seriously and say it's a dark fucking day when it's "radical" to speak against concentration camps and child separation and treating asylum seekers as sub-human.

The GOP have done wonders for the White Power movement without having to call it White Power.


How much (and how little) images change the discussion: Photo of drowned migrant child recalls an image that shocked the world in 2015 (Washington Post)

WARNING: the article including both tragic photos of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez died as he tried to bring his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, and Alan Kurdi, a 3 year old Syrian boy who lay lifeless on a beach in a doomed attempt to reach Europe in 2015.

The Washington Post article goes on to state:
As the photo of Martínez and his daughter circulated Wednesday, it was too early to tell what impact it could have on U.S. policies or the rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate.

But researchers and volunteers working with migrants and refugees in Europe said the photo of Alan marked a significant turning point in the international debate over what to do with an influx of migrants and refugees seeking safe haven in Europe. The photo also had an impact in Canada. Alan’s aunt lived in British Columbia and had hoped to bring the family there. Some of his relatives reached Canada months later (Reuters).
That's not exactly the impact I would hope for. Good for the family of that dead child, but did it change immigration policies in Europe? I don't know enough to say, but the article doesn't address anything at that scale.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:57 AM on June 26 [12 favorites]


Another Impeachment Rant - Brian Beutler, Crooked Media.

The future of the country—whether we enjoy a semblance of democracy, whether we strive to be an ethical society—depends almost entirely on whether Democratic leaders can be bothered to flip the switch that will make the whole Congress vote, while the whole world watches, on whether an unapologetic rapist thief should get to lead the U.S. government. For now, they can’t be, and unless that changes, we’ll be stuck with their decision forever, no matter what Mueller says under oath.
posted by diogenes at 12:04 PM on June 26 [7 favorites]


> "If this was a regular criminal investigation, would that have resulted in charges?"

Benzenedream, those questions all call for speculation (would it have? What do you think was in that file you could not access?) or personal judgment (was it premature?)

Mueller will not speculate and he will not express his own personal judgment.


This refusal to answer anything in the conditional ("would") always seems philosophical untenable to me. Basically all of causation and most kinds of "why" questions are only really answerable in the "would" form. "Why didn't you indict for obstruction?" "Because DOJ policy said we can't." "If that policy didn't exist, would you have indicted?" "I can't answer 'would's." "Did the DOJ policy cause you to not indict?" "Yes." "So that means that you would have indicted in the absence of that policy." "I can't speak to 'would'." "But the very notion of causation, from Aristotle to Judea Pearl, presumes an implicit counterfactual of what would have happened had the causal event not occurred." "That's all just philosophizin', I'm just a straight-shooting FBI agent." "Why did you open the door before going through it?" "To enter the room?" "But why open it? What would have happened if you hadn't opened it before going through it?" "I can't answer 'would' questions." ...
posted by chortly at 12:09 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


Something that surprised me in the article above:

House Democrats "have entered zero appearances in court in pursuit of testimony and documents from current and former administration officials."

I knew they were going slow, but I didn't realize it was that bad.
posted by diogenes at 12:10 PM on June 26 [5 favorites]


depends almost entirely on whether Democratic leaders...

I mean, doesn't it also kind of depend on Republican leaders? And on you, and me, and our fellow citizens?
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:10 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


I mean, doesn't it also kind of depend on Republican leaders? And on you, and me, and our fellow citizens?

Sure, and if the multiple universe theories are correct, it also depends on quantum mechanics and which of infinite possible futures we end up in. I'm gonna focus on Democratic Leadership though.
posted by diogenes at 12:19 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


I'm gonna focus on my fellow citizens and my own senators and congressional representative.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:20 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]




The GOP have done wonders for the White Power movement without having to call it White Power.

I'll go further than that. The Republicans have done a remarkable job of appealing to white resentment while tacitly recognizing that doing so overtly was becoming more and more of a political loser, as Lee Atwater, author of the odious Southern Strategy, admitted back in the '80s. Hence the constant complaining about "political correctness" and the reliance on ever-more-subtly-coded dog whistles.

Republicans have spent a tremendous amount of time, resources, and effort pretending that they are not the party of white supremacy while trying to be just that, and among the many things Trump has ruined in his fail parade of a political career is that pretense. Republicans are all in on racism; it remains to be seen how far their entrenchment of minority rule will take them.
posted by Gelatin at 12:23 PM on June 26 [7 favorites]


As the photo of Martínez and his daughter circulated Wednesday, it was too early to tell what impact it could have on U.S. policies or the rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate.

Anecdata from my Facebook feed is that the level of vitriol and contempt spewed by the Trump apologists toward those two poor people indicates that they know, or sense, how damaging that image is for their hardline anti-immigrant preferences.
posted by Gelatin at 12:25 PM on June 26 [8 favorites]


It went 7-2 to strike down Tennessee's two year residency requirement for liquor sales as erecting barriers to interstate commerce, with Neil Gorsuch writing the dissent in favor of state's rights, citing that Tennessee's requirement has been in place for 80 years.

Funny the way these so-called "originalists" pick and choose their sides on legal precedent. Liquor monopolists: 80-year precedence must hold. Union representation: 41-year precedence goes up in smoke.
posted by JackFlash at 12:30 PM on June 26 [12 favorites]


It doesn't exactly surprise me that Highlights made a statement. Little Purr gets the "Early Childhood" version of the magazine, and the characters and people represented are a diverse mix of ethnicities and family situations. It shows dads taking care of children, interracial parents, now some same-sex couples , and always has a bilingual spanish/english story.

Plus, when you're entire ethos is helping the WELLBEING OF CHILDREN, being against child separation is a no brainer.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 12:32 PM on June 26 [39 favorites]


Goofus separates kids from their parents and puts them in prison camps.
Gallant welcomes immigrant families and treats them humanely.
posted by Daily Alice at 12:41 PM on June 26 [62 favorites]


Let’s check in on that insane district court ruling overturning the entire Affordable Care Act:

Conservatives on the Fifth Circuit have had a bee in their collective bonnet about standing for some time, particularly Judge Edith Jones. She loves bringing up objectively nonsensical standing issues as a reason to rule against liberal plaintiffs, and based on this development I’d bet a small but nonzero amount of money that she’s on this panel.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:43 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


In re Highlights, Wayfair, etc: It seems like what's happening now is a coalescing of a broader "civil society" which opposes major chunks of the present administration's policy - a sort of society against the state. This isn't the same as "oh, radical social change is around the corner"; it's just that people who did not have political things in common now do, and people are becoming aware of themselves as a polity. It's not a radical polity or one where we're like, "ok, cut to the national strike", but I think it's an ocean in which more radical fish can swim. It's weird. You start to wonder if this is where truly mass, mass movements like in South Korea recently or the nation-wide Tiananmen-related protests come from.

Again, I'm not trying to oversell in some kind of a radical-left way; it's just, I think, a kind of big change.
posted by Frowner at 12:49 PM on June 26 [54 favorites]


Here’s a list of organizations that are mobilizing to help the influx of immigrants crossing the Texas-Mexico border

This was SO helpful for my husband's employee's situation. Thank you, The Whelk! Can we add a link to this article to the immigrant help section of the Mefi Get a Lawyer Wiki?
posted by threeturtles at 12:52 PM on June 26 [14 favorites]


Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez died as he tried to bring his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria...
no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.


you only run for the border
when you see the whole city
running as well.

your neighbours running faster
than you, the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind
the old tin factory is
holding a gun bigger than his body,
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

...
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 1:19 PM on June 26 [45 favorites]


So, okay, Elizabeth Warren was protesting in front of a detention center. But she's a US Senator. Can't she just DEMAND they let her in and take some news cameras in with her? Because I feel like that's what we NEED to happen.
posted by threeturtles at 1:22 PM on June 26 [10 favorites]


SCOTUS Move Raises More Questions About Where Census Case Is Headed

Good news, right?
The court, on its docket for the census citizenship question case, indicated that it would consider Thursday a request by those who challenged the citizenship question in New York that the Supreme Court’s decision be delayed so that the case be sent back to the trial judge there.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:43 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Can we add a link to this article to the immigrant help section of the Mefi Get a Lawyer Wiki?

I reviewed the article when it was previously posted on the megathread, as well as most of the organizations - my plan is to check the comprehensive legal services directory links (i.e. ImmigrationLawHelp.org and the National Immigration Legal Services Directory) that are already on the MeFi Wiki to ensure that the resources listed in the Texas Tribune article are in the comprehensive directories before adding them to the wiki. I would like to make sure that the wiki doesn't become overwhelming to navigate, and I was thinking that directing people to the already-organized resources makes the most sense.

Each individual seeking legal services has specific circumstances that the directories have search tools for - placing a list of legal providers on the wiki without search tools available puts the burden back on the potential client to make calls and search around for help and that could get overwhelming and potentially risk not finding opportunities for legal help. I am very glad to hear that the article was helpful, though.

What I've been doing is collecting resources listed in articles and posted on the megathread, reviewing them and then usually directly posting the legal services and information parts, and trying to ensure completeness while avoiding redundancy.
posted by Little Dawn at 1:52 PM on June 26 [5 favorites]


In re Highlights, Wayfair, etc: It seems like what's happening now is a coalescing of a broader "civil society" which opposes major chunks of the present administration's policy - a sort of society against the state. This isn't the same as "oh, radical social change is around the corner"; it's just that people who did not have political things in common now do, and people are becoming aware of themselves as a polity. It's not a radical polity or one where we're like, "ok, cut to the national strike", but I think it's an ocean in which more radical fish can swim. It's weird. You start to wonder if this is where truly mass, mass movements like in South Korea recently or the nation-wide Tiananmen-related protests come from.

Delfin's First Law of Politics is a simple one: the average American only cares about politics when they are affected directly. This could be themselves, or their families, or their close friends, or people they know and like, in decreasing order of motivation; this could be their jobs, or their taxes, or their civil rights, or their health. Or, if you are particularly religious or conservative, it could be the ability to force others to act according to your own beliefs/compass. Or it could be something of such overwhelming import that they feel compelled to notice it.

But people are only moved to act when (a) they cannot ignore what they see and (b) they understand that a price will be paid / a gain will be lost if they do not so act. If they are capable of ignoring it, or they feel that nothing can or will be done, they might as well paint it pink and erect a Somebody Else's Problem field around it.

Trump and his Trumpoids' driving force is also their saving grace of sorts; they are genetically incapable of saying the quiet part quietly. They do not feel that they need to treat their opposition as functional any more, let alone valid, let alone even remotely equal; and in many cases and places, they are right about that. But politics-by-bulldozer and the incline of heinousness never flattening out means that, ever so slowly, more and more people are forced to notice. It's a very slow drip... but it is dripping.
posted by delfin at 1:53 PM on June 26 [17 favorites]


Conservatives on the Fifth Circuit have had a bee in their collective bonnet about standing for some time

It seems like the states/congress made a tactical error by not finding an individual to join the suit. If Congress and the blue states suit gets tossed can they still dig up an individual to sue?
posted by Justinian at 2:17 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Problem is, it’s not their suit; this started with red states suing the federal government to overturn the ACA, and the House/blue states intervened to defend the law – essentially, telling the court “even though we’re not the ones being sued, if the plaintiffs win it’ll hurt us too, so we should be allowed to defend ourselves in court.” The 5th Circuit could be gearing up to question whether the pro-ACA states/legislators actually have standing to intervene, or whether they have standing to be a co-defendant with the federal government but not to appeal the case on their own.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:38 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


CNN: House Panel Votes to Subpoena Kellyanne Conway Over Hatch Act Violations
The House Oversight Committee voted on Wednesday to subpoena testimony from White House counselor Kellyanne Conway after a federal agency recommended that she should be fired for repeatedly violating a law that limits the political activities of federal employees.

Chairman Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, has warned that his panel would vote to hold Conway in contempt if she ignores the subpoena. Conway did not appear on Wednesday on the advice of White House counsel for the committee's scheduled hearing.

The vote -- 25 to 16, with Democrats and Rep. Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, voting in favor -- could set up another challenge in court between Congress and the Trump administration, which has consistently stymied Democrats' oversight efforts since they took control of the House earlier this year.
Newsweek: Republicans Appear to Not Understand the Hatch Act in Defending Kellyanne Conway It's not quite gold-fringe-on-the-flag, but their arguments are pretty bizarre about how, when, and where the law applies.

Former Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub: "Special Counsel Henry Kerner just testified before the Oversight committee that Kellyanne Conway never once responded to his office. Not once. Not only does she seem to hold herself above the law, she also seems to think it's illegitimate to even *ask* if she violated the law."

Breakfast Media's Andrew Feinberg: "I asked @realDonaldTrump why @KellyannePolls still has a job and whether ethics laws apply to members of his administration. He declined to answer either question."
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:54 PM on June 26 [21 favorites]


I don’t follow this at all—statistical power is a function of the number of independent observations and the model used. Failing to find statistical significance in no way invalidates a study.

Yes and if an 11% difference is not significant that would mean your polling sample is either incredibly small or it is spread across too many conditions because an 11% swing in properly powered social science studies is usually an amazing finding. Most of the things you see reported that are statistically significant are based on much smaller differences than that. So this study was so small as to be pretty much worthless. They both designed an underpowered study and failed to find statistical significant differences and then they compounded that by reporting the differences as if they were significant and pushed them out into the press.
posted by srboisvert at 2:59 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


"Let me know when the jail sentence starts," Conway mocked of the 2018 report last month when speaking with reporters.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:02 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Conway is smart enough to know the whole Point of this administration is to be lawless, and she's going to damn well prove it.
posted by odinsdream at 3:19 PM on June 26 [11 favorites]


Problem is, it’s not their suit; this started with red states suing the federal government to overturn the ACA, and the House/blue states intervened to defend the law

Worth noting that the Blue states were forced to intervene after the Trump DOJ refused to defend the case or any part of the ACA, a 180 reversal from its position under Obama and even under the early part of the Sessions regime. If the 5th Cir blesses this manipulation by the DOJ, it's giving a complete pass to the Trump administration to essentially on its own find laws it doesnt like unconstitutional, forum shop for a Trumpublican hack judge like O'Connor, from which they can have their pick of hundreds now to bless their decision, and render that completely unable to be appealed.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:37 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


My totally biased feeling is that Trump's "tough guy" deterrent strategy to keep away refugees and immigrants is not only reprehensible, but also having the opposite of intended effect.

The numbers are going up, not down. I know correlation/causation, but looks like Trump is creating a constant buzz around US immigration when he could be helping Central America strategize and stabilize at home.

Border crossing is on the minds of many more people all the time now, and even if people hear it's much harder to get in, they may naively inflate their own chances. Trump is like a child taunting neighbor kids with US passports saying, "Look what I got, you can't have it," just making them want something they'd have been more ambivalent about otherwise.

I know it's hard to test the real numbers against a hypothetical, but wondering if anyone is attempting to test the efficacy of the current approach so there's at least data for those who don't give a shit about the cruelty. Not that they'd be willing to accept the data, but every bit helps in winning over the broader public debate.
posted by p3t3 at 4:15 PM on June 26


Breakfast Media's Andrew Feinberg: "I asked @realDonaldTrump why @KellyannePolls still has a job and whether ethics laws apply to members of his administration. He declined to answer either question."

Isn't the answer to the second question that no, certain ethics laws, including the one Conway violated, literally do not apply to White House officials? And that's the answer to the first question, too, I think.
posted by The World Famous at 4:17 PM on June 26


It cannot be the case that the federal government can refuse to defend a properly enacted law and no-one else can have standing to do so. Either Congress/the states must have standing or they must be allowed to step in a present a case in the federal government's name. Why should be obvious, but to expand: If that were to hold any administration could overturn legislation passed by the opposing party by forum shopping to get the ruling they want and then declaring they won't appeal/defend.

Republicans would likely get the slightly better tend of that stick since their judges tend to be so shameless but a Democratic administration could absolutely do something similar with relatively progressive judges. Imagine the howling from Republicans if the 9th circuit declared one of their pet laws null and, say, the Warren administration said "well I guess that's that we're not gonna appeal lol".

That can't be right?
posted by Justinian at 4:41 PM on June 26 [12 favorites]


I don't know the legal argument but surely "this would render our entire system of government non-functional" can be turned into such? With more law words?
posted by Justinian at 4:45 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


So was anybody working on a new thread for the debates (NOT IT), or is this thread short enough to handle both nights (assuming riffing is restricted to chat)?
posted by Rhaomi at 4:47 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Given that there hasn't been any major legislation passed since the ARRA and ACA happened ten years ago* there arguably is already a state of non-functional government. We're just running on fumes and have been for the last decade. (And the decade previous to that was fairly non-functional as well.)

*half-credit for the Trump tax credits, since while deplorable they are indeed an actual major policy passed by Congress and signed into law
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:51 PM on June 26 [8 favorites]


That can't be right?

We're in the between place where people still remember what the actual rule of law looked like, and where Republicans and their appointed judges are taking us, which is "all laws Republicans don't like are invalid because Republicans don't like them and their judges say so". They're testing out how fast they can take us to rule by judicial fiat instead of democratically elected representatives, and where the Gorsuch* Court will stop them. They haven't been stopped yet. They fully intend to rule the next 50+ years by controlling SCOTUS and the federal bench, and implement every hateful terrible policy they never could've passed through Congress through the courts. This was always the end goal of the conservative project since Earl Warren died, they wanted their own Warren Court to fundamentally remake America in their likeness, and now they have it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:53 PM on June 26 [20 favorites]


So was anybody working on a new thread for the debates (NOT IT), or is this thread short enough to handle both nights (assuming riffing is restricted to chat)?

There's a draft of a (mod-approved, I've been told) debate thread on the wiki that can serve for both nights. I'm not sure who will be posting it, but I will trust the process. Riffing can happen in chat and slack and the Hyucking Hyuck thread and the boundless voids we retreat to in order to scream.
posted by zachlipton at 5:00 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Texas Tribune, “It’s like they’re frightened to talk to me”: Texas campaign workers of color face harassment, discrimination in the field: Many campaign workers of color in the state can recount harrowing experiences of block walking in predominantly white neighborhoods — a situation that could become increasingly common as some of those communities draw more competition in 2020.
The 33-year-old — who has been working on political campaigns in Texas for more than half a dozen years — told the couple he came in peace. But the situation took a turn for the worse after the man brandished a firearm, an incident Farasat briefly caught on his cellphone before deciding to call the police. Farasat said that wasn’t the first time he’s faced a firearm while going door to door. He has also had the police called on him several times in the past year while working to get out the vote.

Sometimes when Farasat approaches people while canvassing, “it’s like they’re frightened to talk to me or they look at me in a real skeptical way,” he said. “It doesn’t feel good. I’m a peaceful guy, and it doesn’t feel good to have people be afraid of me.

“And I wonder, maybe if I was white, they wouldn’t be,” Farasat said.
posted by zachlipton at 5:01 PM on June 26 [17 favorites]


[Yup, mods are on board with separate dedicated thread for the actual debate stuff.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:04 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


Imagine the howling from Republicans if the 9th circuit declared one of their pet laws null and, say, the Warren administration said "well I guess that's that we're not gonna appeal lol".

Also, this is what they accuse the Obama administration of doing with the Defense against Marriage Act leading to the Windsor and Obergenfell decisions. As far as Republicans are concerned, their refusal to defend the ACA is exactly like the Obama DOJ dropping defense of anti gay marriage laws, so that norm is already dead, this stuff doesn’t go back in the bottle, and DOJ going forward WILL selectively defend duly passed laws based entirely on political directives.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:04 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


It cannot be the case that the federal government can refuse to defend a properly enacted law and no-one else can have standing to do so.

This is right up there with the apparent reality that Congress can't actually enforce subpoenas. Turns out there are some pretty big loopholes in our system. We were just lucky that nobody decided to go full lawless until now.
posted by diogenes at 5:15 PM on June 26 [7 favorites]


WaPo, U.S. asylum officers say Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy is threatening migrants’ lives, ask federal court to end it
The officers, who have been directed to implement the program, say it is “fundamentally contrary to the moral fabric of our Nation and our international and domestic legal obligations.”
I also just want to highlight this recent report from TRAC (some of the only people who actually compile statistics on US immigration): ICE Focus Shifts Away from Detaining Serious Criminals
As of December 31, 2018, ICE had 47,486 individuals in its custody. The number of ICE detainees was up 22 percent from the 38,810 persons ICE held at the end of September 2016. A free web app accompanying this report allows readers a detailed look at ICE detention practices.

The most striking change over this 27-month period was a dramatic drop in the number of individuals who had committed serious crimes. See Figure 1 and Table 1. Despite the increasing number of individuals ICE detained, fewer and fewer immigrants who had committed serious crimes were arrested and held in custody by the agency. Their numbers had dropped by over twelve hundred (-1,253), while total ICE detainees ballooned by over eighty-six hundred (8,676) during the same period. Immigrants who had never been convicted of even a minor violation shot up 39 percent.
The article has helpful graphs to visualize this, but the short version is iCE is detaining more people, yet the number detained who have committed what ICE themselves considers to be serious crimes has gone down, while the number who have no history of criminal violations has gone up.
posted by zachlipton at 5:21 PM on June 26 [21 favorites]


NOT IT notwithstanding, I didn't see anybody else going for it with seconds to go, so...NEW DEBATE THREAD
posted by Rhaomi at 6:03 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


Good Economist on the Collins Senate race and Sara Gideon.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:35 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


Ms Gideon will be supported by the national Democratic machine: the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has already endorsed her.

Previously in Megathread we learned that DCCC and DSCC exist to reelect incumbents, even that guy in Chicago, and primary challengers and their consultants are persona non grata. Now in Maine, they're endorsing a non-incumbent in a primary. So they can't just exist for incumbents, there must be something else?
posted by M-x shell at 8:18 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Well the incumbent is Susan Collins (R) so re-electing her would not be in their remit.
posted by Justinian at 8:37 PM on June 26 [13 favorites]


Wow, pro-Trump ad on MSNBC just now. Does Fox news allow Democratic ads? Just...very jarring.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 8:48 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


Immigration round-up:

BuzzFeed, Hamed Aleaziz, Investigators Found Immigrant Kids And Families Locked In Disgusting Conditions In Border Camps
When Department of Homeland Security inspectors visited several border facilities in the Rio Grande Valley earlier this month, they found adults and minors with no access to showers, many adults only fed bologna sandwiches, and detainees banging on cell windows — desperately pressing notes to the windows of their cells that detailed their time in custody.

The inspectors compiled a draft report, obtained by BuzzFeed News, that described the conditions as dangerous and prolonged. Some adults were held in standing room–only conditions for a week. There was little access to hot showers or hot food for families and children in some facilities. Some kids were being held in closed cells. There was severe overcrowding.
...
The inspectors reviewed Border Patrol data that revealed children were being held for long periods of time. The data showed that 826 of the 2,669 children held at the border facilities were in custody longer than the 72 hours mandated by court orders.
More on the filing from US asylum officers on the Remain in Mexico policy:
Under the new process, asylum applicants entering the United States through the Southern Border,with certain exceptions, are forced to return to Mexico where they are required to remain pending adjudication of their asylum applications. In the course of waitingfor a determination of their asylum applications, many will face persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. By forcing a vulnerable population to return to a hostile territory where they are likely to face persecution, the MPP abandons our tradition of providing a safe haven to the persecuted and violates our international and domestic legal obligations.
Speaking of which: Texas Tribune, Migrants' deaths on the Rio Grande bring attention back to government asylum policy
Known as “metering,” the policy is meant to address a record surge of migrants, mainly families from Central America, making the trek through Mexico to the U.S.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been stopping migrants at international bridges and other ports of entry before they enter U.S. territory and telling them they must wait in Mexico for their turn to make an asylum claim. The practice has led to long wait times and overcrowded conditions on the Mexican side of the border, and critics say the policy pushes many asylum seekers to illegally cross the border between ports of entry.

The long wait led to Ramírez’s decision to attempt to swim across the river with his daughter Angie Valeria on Sunday, according to photographer Julia Le Duc, who first reported the story in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada. Their bodies were later found at the riverbank near Matamoros, Mexico, across from Brownsville, several hundred yards from where they had tried to cross. Ramirez's wife, Tania Vanessa Avalos, said the family had spent two months in a migrant camp waiting to apply for asylum. NPR reported that she watched from the shore as her husband and daughter were swept away by the strong river currents.
Daily Beast, Border Patrol Gives Sanitized Tour of Notorious Detention Center Where Migrant Kids Held
One officer told reporters "we have to defend ourselves" from the reports of unsanitary conditions and unwashed children. "It's about transparency," he said before laughing off a question he wasn't sure he should answer by saying he wouldn't get ahead of the briefing because, as he said, "I like my job!"
Vox, Dara Lind, Why Julian Castro started a Democratic debate fight over repealing “section 1325”, which is not really about the debate so much as what the deal is with repealing the crime of "illegal entry"
Proposing that illegal entry no longer be a federal crime is the policy equivalent of the “no human is illegal” slogan — a way to combat hawkish attitudes toward the “rule of law” by challenging the idea that migration ought to be a matter of crime and punishment to begin with. But it’s also a key justification for reversing the past few decades of border crackdown, by unpinning immigration enforcement — at least when it comes to unauthorized immigrants themselves — from crime.

Both of those draw strong contrasts not only with Trump, but with the trends in enforcement that preceded Trump (many of which peaked under Obama).
HuffPost, For 3 Years, This Husband Has Fought For His Wife. Trump’s Muslim Ban Keeps Them Apart.
Researchers found over 140 cases of children who were separated from their parents due to the current ban. An additional 37% of those cases were partners like Alghazzouli and Al Arbaiin who were divided. And 14% of cases were students who were split up from their families.
The Georgetown researchers have put together a site detailing 549 publicly known cases of families harmed by the ban since it took effect.
posted by zachlipton at 9:24 PM on June 26 [29 favorites]


At one facility, officials ended their visit early because they were agitating the situation.

“Specifically, when detainees observed us, they banged on the cell windows, shouted, pressed notes to the window with their time in custody, and gestured to evidence of their time in custody (e.g. beards),” the report read. [...]

“Senior managers at several facilities raised security concerns for their agents and the detainees,” the inspectors wrote. “For example, one called the situation a ‘ticking time bomb,’ and another said there was ‘fear of a revolt.’
I wish I didn't have more faith in the inmates staging a successful uprising than in Democratic leadership showing any conviction in their opposition.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:47 PM on June 26 [26 favorites]


Sanders Claims 2016 Primary Was Rigged, Won’t Commit to Supporting Winner
NBC’s Kasie Hunt asked Bernie Sanders if he would commit to supporting the Democratic nominee before the convention if it’s clear it won’t be him. Sanders would not make any such commitment. Instead, he said, “some people say that maybe if the system was not rigged against me, I would have won the nomination.”
So glad this is still going on.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:06 PM on June 26 [27 favorites]


"some people say..." this is exactly Trump's phrasing, this sort of vague "many people are saying" or "many people believe" annoys the hell out of me. It covers a multitude of deceits in Trump's case, I have come to not trust it in anyone else's mouth either.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 10:31 PM on June 26 [60 favorites]


AP FACT CHECK: Trump falsely accuses Mueller of a crime (AP)
President Donald Trump on Wednesday falsely accused special counsel Robert Mueller of deleting messages that would support the president’s contention that the Russia investigation was out to get him.

The provocative allegation of a “crime” by Mueller was one in a series of distorted claims made by the president in an interview on Fox Business Network and on Twitter on Wednesday.

TRUMP, on communications between two FBI employees: “Mueller terminated them illegally. He terminated the emails, he terminated all of the stuff between Strzok and Page, you know they sung like you’ve never seen. Robert Mueller terminated their text messages together. He would - he terminated them. They’re gone. And that’s illegal, he — that’s a crime.”

THE FACTS: Not true. Mueller had no role in deleting anti-Trump text messages traded by former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and there’s no basis for saying he was involved in anything illegal.

In fact, once Mueller learned of the existence of the texts, which were sent before his appointment as special counsel, he removed Strzok from his team investigating potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Trump appears to be referring to the fact that the FBI, for technical reasons, was initially unable to retrieve months of text messages between the two officials. But the FBI was ultimately able to recover them and there’s never been any allegation that Mueller had anything to do with that process.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:52 PM on June 26 [19 favorites]


Maybe Trump needs to ask Russia to recover those hacked texts? This could be the next BUTTER TEXTS.
posted by benzenedream at 11:13 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


Instead, he said, “some people say that maybe if the system was not rigged against me, I would have won the nomination.”

Shocking twist: Bernie Bros not a mysterious phenomenon, turns out they're just following their idol's lead.

Bernie is the kind of guy who would (will? has?) work to undermine people who fundamentally agree with him because his ego won't allow him to believe someone else could also implement his ideas just as well. He's toxic as fuck and needs to be shown the door ASAP.
posted by tocts at 4:54 AM on June 27 [46 favorites]


Bernie is the kind of guy who would (will? has?) work to undermine people who fundamentally agree with him because his ego won't allow him to believe someone else could also implement his ideas just as well.

Bernie has a plan and there will never be a fallback plan. If his plan fails, he will say it is because America did not embrace socialism enough and the capitalists undermined him. Bernie cannot fail you, you can only fail Bernie.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 5:09 AM on June 27 [14 favorites]


He's toxic as fuck and needs to be shown the door ASAP.

And this is why a unity ticket of Warren and Sanders won't work. Bernie would never allow it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:14 AM on June 27 [17 favorites]


Well the incumbent is Susan Collins (R) so re-electing her would not be in their remit.

I don't know what kind of point you think you're making, but it's rather beside the point. This is a case of DSCC picking favorites among Democrats in a primary where none of them is an incumbent. So what is their excuse here?
posted by M-x shell at 6:04 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Elaborating, it looks to me like DSCC is conflating incumbent with insider, which seems more than a little bit insidious. Are Gideon's opponents' consultants going to be blackballed now?

I, for one, am tired of the liberal Democrats being treated, by the conservative Democrats within the Democratic Party, the same way that Republicans treat Democrats, in the nation as a whole.

Elizabeth Warren is the only major candidate consistently and unashamedly expressing my values. I'm committed to whoever is not Trump through 2020, but if the Democrats run Biden or his ilk, and they lose again, I will be done with the Democratic Party. And if Trump walks away without consequences, I will lose my faith in democracy altogether.
posted by M-x shell at 6:28 AM on June 27 [17 favorites]


How a Forgotten White House Team Gained Power in the Trump Era (Elaina Plott & Peter Nicholas, The Atlantic)

The Domestic Policy Council was established in the mid-80s to "[oversee] development and implementation of the President’s domestic policy agenda and ensures coordination and communication among the heads of relevant Federal offices and agencies." In the Trump administration, the current director is Joe Grogan, a Mick Mulvaney loyalist. He figured out that Trumps tweets and domination of news coverage provided a smoke screen for enacting conservative policies.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:52 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Sanders Claims 2016 Primary Was Rigged, Won’t Commit to Supporting Winner

Y'know...fuck Bernie. The more I hear the guy, the more I'm of the opinion that he's pretty much the progressive/socialist Trump. In it for his ego's sake, and willing to torpedo everyone else if he doesn't get his way.

I like many of his ideas, but I have zero faith that he would prove to be any more stable than the current resident of the Oval Office. Hell, he often sounds about as crazy-uncle-at-thanksgiving as Trump does. And, given that it's pretty doubtful that Bernie could ever have the kind of chokehold on the Dems that Trump seems to have on the Reps, I think he'd end up being a pretty ineffectual president.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:56 AM on June 27 [31 favorites]


Both Warren and Brazile walked back those comments.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in a new interview appeared to walk back her claim that last year's Democratic primary was rigged, suggesting instead that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) showed "some bias" but that the selection process had been "fair."

"I agree with what Donna Brazile has said over the last few days; that while there was some bias at the DNC, the overall 2016 primary process was fair and Hillary made history," Warren said in a Wednesday interview with MassLive.
...
Following the publication of the excerpt, Brazile dismissed suggestions that the nominating process was "rigged."

“I found no evidence, none, whatsoever,” Brazile told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, adding that she did not believe Warren "meant the the word 'rigged.'"

“The only thing I found — which I said, I found the cancer, but I’m not killing the patient — was this memorandum that prevented the DNC from running its own operation," she continued.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:19 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


In case you want to see the Joint Fundraising Agreement that prompted Brazile's original comment and the question to Warren, Kevin Drum linked to it. Drum's description:
So the bottom line is this: The DNC was broke, and Clinton agreed to raise enough money to fund its data, technology, analytics, research, and communications functions. In return, the Clinton campaign got a veto power over hires in these areas, as well as the power of review over “strategic” and “general election related” decisions and communications in these areas. Both sides agreed that “all activities” performed under the agreement would be focused solely on the general election, not the primaries. I’m still dithering over whether this was appropriate. Partly it depends on whether the DNC offered Bernie Sanders a similar deal, but apparently things never progressed enough for us to find out. ABC News has the Sanders JFA here, but it’s obviously just boilerplate. Sanders didn’t guarantee any funding to the DNC and the DNC therefore didn’t offer him any particular say in its hiring and decisionmaking. There’s no telling what kind of JFA they would have had if Sanders had decided to take it seriously.
I think "rigged" is a pretty darn hyperbolic description for that, since it implies that the outcome of the primaries was fixed from the beginning, which is not at ALL the same thing as the Clinton campaign getting maybe a little too much influence on personnel decisions for the DNC general election analytics and communications teams in return for fundraising. Warren and Brazile seem to have eventually realized they went a little far.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:25 AM on June 27 [11 favorites]


Ari Berman:
Breaking: SCOTUS just ruled that extreme partisan gerrymandering is beyond reach of federal courts. 5-4 decision by Roberts. This is very bad for democracy.

This is an absolutely insane opinion by Roberts, saying that no matter how extreme partisan gerrymandering is, courts can't strike them down. Will give a green light to even more extreme gerrymandering in next round of redistricting after 2020
posted by zombieflanders at 7:25 AM on June 27 [44 favorites]


Trump's fans think he's a macho he-man — he's really a moral weakling who preys on women and kids (Amanda Marcotte, Salon)
Trump and his supporters want you to think of him as strong and manly, but he won't pick on someone his own size
Classic definition of a bully?
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:33 AM on June 27 [12 favorites]


Supreme Court Rules Partisan Gerrymandering Is Beyond The Reach Of Federal Courts (Nina Totenberg and Domenico Montanaro for NPR, June 27, 2019)
In a 5-4 decision along traditional conservative-liberal ideological lines, the Supreme Court rules that partisan redistricting is a political question, not reviewable by federal courts and can't judge if extreme gerrymandering violates the constitution.
How much damage can the GOP do with this decision? And does this negate any cases currently in other courts? There's not much more in the NPR story at this time.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:34 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


If Democrats don’t gerrymander California and New York to eliminate every possible Republican seat it’s political malpractice.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:35 AM on June 27 [35 favorites]


How much damage can the GOP do with this decision?

As much as they want.
posted by waitingtoderail at 7:36 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


The court's opinion on this new gerryamndering case is here in PDF form (I think that's what it is).

Reading just the first paragraphs, I'm amazed by the brazenness of both Republicans and Democrats in describing their own activities (though it's obvious on a national scale who'se worse). Steny Hoyer helped with the Maryland map which just about everyone agress is skewed Democratic, and in that context he called himself a "serial gerryamnderer". Meanwhile in North Carolina:
one of the two Republicans chairing the redistricting committee stated, “I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats. So I drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country.” Id., at 809. He further explained that the map was drawn with the aim of electing ten Republicans and three Democrats because he did “not believe it [would be] possible to draw a map with 11 Republicans and 2 Democrats.”
Roberts explicitly affirms that these maps are both partisan gerrymanders. It's entirely an assertion that the case isn't justiciable.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:38 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Your service will not keep your family safe in the US: Trump Wants To Withdraw Deportation Protections For Families Of Active Troops (Franco Ordoñez for NPR, June 27, 2019)
The Trump administration wants to scale back a program that protects undocumented family members of active-duty troops from being deported, according to attorneys familiar with those plans.

The attorneys are racing to submit applications for what is known as parole in place after hearing from the wives and loved ones of deployed soldiers who have been told that option is "being terminated."

The protections will only be available under rare circumstances, the lawyers said they've been told.

"It's going to create chaos in the military," said Margaret Stock, an immigration attorney who represents recruits and veterans in deportation proceedings. "The troops can't concentrate on their military jobs when they're worried about their family members being deported."
In a very grim way, it'll be interesting to see how the various branches of the military, and people in active duty, respond to this.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:39 AM on June 27 [31 favorites]


I remember Last Week Tonight addressing gerrymandering and noting that sometimes it's used to redress long standing issues of representation in favor of underrepresented minorities.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:39 AM on June 27


In a very grim way, it'll be interesting to see how the various branches of the military, and people in active duty, respond to this.

Chaos for chaos sake?
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:40 AM on June 27


They also allowed the citizenship question. Democracy over.

No, they struck it.
posted by waitingtoderail at 7:44 AM on June 27 [17 favorites]


Today’s decisions brought to you by:

• 4 Justices appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote, one with help from a partisan SC decision, the other with welcomed help from Russia.

• 2 Justices who were credibly accused of sexual harassment/assault and lied during their confirmations.

• 1 Justice from a stolen seat.

After Bush v Gore, Holder, and now these, this is an illegitimate partisan court working to enshrine a racist fascist minority in power. Every Dem should be saying so and taking about expanding the court.
posted by chris24 at 7:44 AM on June 27 [46 favorites]


So, does the SCOTUS gerrymandering decision essentially punt adjudicating districting to the state courts? Or, are they saying no courts can adjudicate districting?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:44 AM on June 27 [11 favorites]


36 Hours With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Bridget Read, Vogue)
America's freshman class president. […]

She understands why her methods are frowned upon by certain establishment members. “In the historic rules of Congress, no one ever cares about freshmen. It’s like high school. . .The prevailing wisdom has always been, ‘Keep your head low, make inroads in leadership. Wait your turn. There are 230-odd members in this caucus. You’re last in line,’” she says. “But the world doesn’t have two decades to wait for climate change to be a palatable, first-priority, urgent issue.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:44 AM on June 27 [33 favorites]


So, does the SCOTUS gerrymandering decision essentially punt adjudicating districting to the state courts? Or, are they saying no courts can adjudicate districting?

State suits to the effect of "This gerrymandered map violates the state constitution or state law" are still kosher.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:47 AM on June 27 [16 favorites]


I remember Last Week Tonight addressing gerrymandering and noting that sometimes it's used to redress long standing issues of representation in favor of underrepresented minorities.

Sometimes controlled burns are used for forestry management. We don't lump them in with arson.
posted by Etrigan at 7:52 AM on June 27 [13 favorites]


Dave Weigel (WaPo)
The SCOTUS ruling on the Census question teaches us a valuable lesson: If you are trying to skew future elections toward your party, do not explain it in a file named EVILPLAN.xls
posted by chris24 at 7:56 AM on June 27 [15 favorites]


Questions for Mueller (emptywheel):
I generally loathe the questions that people are drafting for Robert Mueller’s July 17 testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, largely because those questions are designed for a circus and not to learn information that’s useful for understanding the Mueller investigation. Here are the questions I’d ask instead (I’ll update these before Mueller testifies).
posted by kingless at 7:56 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


They also allowed the citizenship question. Democracy over.

No, they struck it.


No, they struck it for now. They just didn't give cover to the current Keystone Kops effort. It can be added to any future Census, and there's apparently worries that it can be reworked in time for this one.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:59 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


Roberts basically said ”C’mon guys, lie better next time.”
posted by chris24 at 8:01 AM on June 27 [18 favorites]


It can be added to any future Census

Only if there is an adequate, non-obviously evil justification. And in ten years hopefully we won't be having this discussion again.

and there's apparently worries that it can be reworked in time for this one.

Really unlikely, given the timing. They would have to come up with the new, non-evil justification, and then get it through whatever new suits would be filed.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:05 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


@delrayser
CJ Roberts: you see, the solution to partisan gerrymandering is to elect people who will fix partisan gerrymandering

voters: how are we supposed to do that if we've been gerrymandered out of our vote

CJR: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯



In Wisconsin in 2018, Ds got 205,000 more votes than Rs. Rs won 27 more seats than Ds.
posted by chris24 at 8:07 AM on June 27 [68 favorites]


"some people say..." this is exactly Trump's phrasing, this sort of vague "many people are saying" or "many people believe" annoys the hell out of me. It covers a multitude of deceits in Trump's case, I have come to not trust it in anyone else's mouth either.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 10:31 PM on June 26 [40 favorites +] [!]


"Some people say" was in the question posted to Sanders and he was echoing it in his reply. That isn't included in the NY Intelligencer article.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 8:15 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


AP FACT CHECK: Trump falsely accuses Mueller of a crime (AP)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday falsely accused special counsel Robert Mueller of deleting messages that would support the president’s contention that the Russia investigation was out to get him.


This is just a way for Trump to manufacture "evidence" for his base. The beauty is that it has a circular explanation for him not being able to produce it. And I guarantee that he will be asking Russia, if they're listening, to "find them."

And his base? They are enthralled enough to believe it, because of course.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:21 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


The Supreme Court Backs White Minority Rule for Generations to Come (Rafi Schwartz, Splinter)

Tweeted reactions to todays ruling on gerrymandering.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:29 AM on June 27 [15 favorites]


The gerrymandering decision is HUGE and beyond just the issue of partisan gerrymandering. This is the Court willingly ceding part of its power to other branches, which is something we almost never see (although Congress’ weakness on its war powers is another modern example, and another one seemingly driven by political partisanship). And sure, Roberts is right that political gerrymandering has been with us since the beginning, and he (and Warren last night!) are right that we should be working the state legislatures to fix the problems we see them create rather than waiting for courts to save us. But this decision willingly gives away review power and strengthens the political question doctrine. Never thought I would see it.
posted by sallybrown at 8:30 AM on June 27 [24 favorites]


To add to that—there are lots of ways that the Supreme Court could have reached the result of not striking down the gerrymandered districts without making a sweeping pronouncement about partisan gerrymandering and the political question doctrine. Those ways would have been somewhat dishonest and reverse-engineered but lots of court decisions are like that (Bush v. Gore, anyone?). Those ways would have left us pissed also and been much less consequential. I disagree with both the outcome of the case and the reasoning Roberts used to get there—but you can’t say he didn’t put the Court’s skin in the game. He gave away significant power for the Court on this issue when he could have not done that and still reached his desired result. It is really something.
posted by sallybrown at 8:38 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


and he (and Warren last night!) are right that we should be working the state legislatures to fix the problems we see them create rather than waiting for courts to save us

How's that work exactly?

"Dear GOP dominated Texas legislature: you no longer have a popular vote majority in Texas. Please change the districts to yield your undemocratic hold on power."
posted by ocschwar at 8:39 AM on June 27 [10 favorites]


It would not be easy, but the way to do it would be to take state-level positions, which are more resistant to gerrymandering, then use those seats to undo what Republicans have done. The state Attorney General and Secretary of State in particular have a huge influence on voting law.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:43 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


It would not be easy, but the way to do it would be to take state-level positions, which are more resistant to gerrymandering, then use those seats to undo what Republicans have done.

Perhaps you didn't notice but that is exactly what Democrats did in Wisconsin and North Carolina by electing Democratic governors. And what did the gerrymandered Republican legislature do? The used their gerrymandered monopoly to strip the Democratic governors of their powers. You can't win that way.
posted by JackFlash at 8:50 AM on June 27 [45 favorites]


I am mildly amused that prominent Twitter conservatives are responding to today's SCOTUS rulings by... calling John Roberts an activist judge and a filthy liberal traitor.

Apparently "brown people ARE human beings, because you have to give me something more than 'no, they aren't' as a pretext for declaring them otherwise, but you are now explicitly allowed to surgically remove their ability to cast any kind of meaningful votes" isn't quite good enough.
posted by delfin at 8:53 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


But this decision willingly gives away review power and strengthens the political question doctrine. Never thought I would see it.

Roberts has always been more of a Republican than a conservative. He's a party hack rather than a partisan hack.
posted by Etrigan at 8:53 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


ocschwar: ""Dear GOP dominated Texas legislature: you no longer have a popular vote majority in Texas. Please change the districts to yield your undemocratic hold on power.""

FWIW, Dems are considered to have a decent shot at flipping the TX House next year. Beto won a majority of seats, including 9 GOP-held and lost 8 more GOP-held narrowly.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:56 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


WSJ: Lawsuit Alleges Government Mistreatment of Migrant Children—Complaint accuses Trump administration of holding minors without clean water or adequate medical care, violating legal settlement
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Wednesday, asked for an emergency injunction allowing immediate inspections by a public health expert of all Customs and Border Protection facilities in Texas’ El Paso and Rio Grande Valley sectors. The suit also sought access for medical professionals to these facilities.

A team of attorneys who conducted interviews with unaccompanied children at a Border Patrol facility in El Paso went public with their findings last week. According to the lawsuit, attorneys and physicians who recently visited that facility and another in South Texas found that children have been held for weeks without access to clean water, soap or toothbrushes and that children, including infants, and expectant mothers were hungry and sleep-deprived.

Moreover, the suit alleged, the flu is spreading among detainees who are not receiving prompt medical treatment, and young children are responsible for watching toddlers with no adult supervision.[…]

The complaint also asked that the government deploy an “intensive case management team” to clear a backlog of migrants in custody. The suit was brought under a 1997 settlement known as the Flores agreement, which dictates the terms of how unaccompanied migrant children can be detained. The suit alleges the Trump administration is in violation of the settlement.

“The declarations of class members we have gathered over the past two weeks also disclose that they are detained in what they call ‘hieleras,’ or ‘iceboxes,’ or in cages, under appalling, overcrowded, and unsanitary conditions,” Peter A. Schey, president of the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, said in a declaration accompanying the suit that his group filed.

The suit, which asks the court to hold the government in contempt, was based on what the plaintiffs said were 65 declarations from physicians, attorneys, detained children and their parents.
Incidentally, elsewhere in the courts today, Paul Manafort will be arraigned in NYC at 2:15 (CNN). He’s facing 16 state charges, including counts of mortgage fraud and falsifying business records. For a bit of schadenfreude, here's a photo of what he looks like these days with no suit and no hair dye.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:57 AM on June 27 [23 favorites]




What is the process by which the UN can get involved in something like the American concentration camps? As in, who has standing to ask them to investigate, and what are the treaties that govern how that works in superpower states like the US? I don’t even know where to start researching the topic, it’s so far out of my lane. But seriously, we need international intervention to stop this slow rolling genocide.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:18 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]




This New York State case is important because Trump can't pardon Manafort from state crimes.
posted by JackFlash at 9:37 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


What is the process by which the UN can get involved in something like the American concentration camps?

US has veto power on the UN Security Council, so it never will happen.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:51 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


New Air Force One Jets To Have 1,200 Nautical Miles Less Range Than Originally Required (Joseph Trevithick, The War Zone/The Drive)
Details about this reduced requirement, among others, have emerged along with news that the White House wants the planes delivered sooner.
'Sooner' meaning 'in time for Trump to ride the new shiny'.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:03 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Developing (Politico): Democratic moderates threaten to oppose amended border package
A group of House Democratic centrists is threatening to vote against their caucus’ latest border aid package on the floor, a tactic aimed at pressuring Speaker Nancy Pelosi to swiftly take up a clean version of the Senate’s bipartisan bill.

The House plans to vote Thursday on its amended version of the border package, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that his chamber won't consider the measure, teeing up a game of chicken just before the holiday break.

At least 12 House Democrats have said they’re willing to oppose the bill on the floor, according to multiple sources familiar with the whip count, and that number is growing by the hour.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:02 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


tofu_crouton: It would not be easy, but the way to do it would be to take state-level positions, which are more resistant to gerrymandering, then use those seats to undo what Republicans have done.

To be honest, Dems are doing this, too. There was similar evidence of partisanship in the drawing of Maryland's lines, where former Governor Martin O'Malley testified that the district in question was drawn to "create a district where the people would be more likely to elect a Democrat than a Republican, yes, this was clearly my intent." (NPR's expanded coverage of the topic).

And a glimmer of hope (my optimism): when a gerrymandered district breaks, it's really hard to take back. In other words, if a district was drawn to break GOP by a narrow margin, but the GOP becomes unfavorable, they'll lose that district. Expand that to a full state, where the GOP is losing its popular support, this indicates that there's potential to shift representation.

Then those in power should make it so the districts represent actual neighborhoods and communities, so your representatives actually represent their constituents. A guy can dream, can't he? Because I'm tired of living in this nightmare.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:08 AM on June 27 [9 favorites]


@SCOTUSblog: #SCOTUS rules that state law assuming driver’s consent to blood test for drugs/alcohol, even when driver is unconscious, provides exception to 4th Amendment’s warrant requirement, allowing law enforcement to draw blood from unconscious drivers w/o warrant
posted by ragtag at 11:12 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


From Facebook (it's public but I don't wanna link directly to someone's page in a megathread):
So I decided to do a little research into the $750/day figure I’d heard a private company was charging the US government per each detained migrant child. I wanted to, with my own eyes and brain, 1. verify this figure was accurate; 2. verify it was indeed a private company instead of a non-profit charging this, if true, as both have managed these detention centers (not that it really matters, ultimately, but stay with me); 3. try to figure out where this per diem sum — more than my monthly mortgage — was going, if not to even buy these tortured children toothbrushes and soap, which are about the cheapest basic necessities on the market, and which no individual has to replace every day.

$750/person A DAY should cover a lot of necessities, right? Right. So where the hell is all this money going? This can’t be true...

Well here’s what I found:

1. Yes, it’s a private company called Comprehensive Healthcare (a subsidiary of Caliburn International). CHS operates the largest child migrant detention center, which is in FL and was already getting horrible press — especially from local FL papers — last year. But that didn’t matter, because CHS recently opened up a few more child prisons in TX, as it snagged a new government contract, despite many documented concerns about conditions there.

2. $750/day per child is an accurate sum of CHS’s CLAIMED operating costs, and what our federal tax dollars are paying for. A sum that was agreed to upon award of the contract. In fact, it was actually on the record as $775 last summer.

3. So where is this money going, you wonder, if not to soap and toothbrushes? Yeah, I did too, and it was quite easy to dig up. CHS, via Caliburn, is controlled by the private equity firm DC Capital Partners. For those of you who don’t know how private equity firms work, look it up, or ask me in the comments.

4. While I would not be able to find out vested shareholders in the DCCP portfolio, we do not have to assume they’re making some nice returns on these CHS operations and government contracts that line their pockets instead of covering even basic human needs for children. That’s clear, because why would a private company keep their costs down so low that they completely disregard humanity, even though they say they’re experts in “healthcare?”

PROFIT. FOR THEIR PRIVATE INVESTORS.

5. While I can’t name for you the private investors getting rich off of this humanitarian crisis, I can name for you members of the advisory board of DCCP, which approves everything in the portfolio.

First up: Trump’s former Chief of Staff, John Kelly, who was named to the board LAST MONTH, and photographed riding a golf cart into a CHS child prison. So with his own eyes, he saw the conditions there. And he was cool with it all, because hey, there’s money to be made for his rich investor friends, and maybe even himself! Who knows! Can’t say for sure, so feel free to reasonably assume what you wish. I’m just stating facts here.

Coincidentally, prior to joining Trump in the WH, he was also a paid lobbyist for DCCP. Hmmmm...

6. So next up on the DCCP board: Richard L. Armitage, former U.S. deputy secretary of state; Michael Corbin; former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates; Michael V. Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and of the National Security Agency; Donald M. Kerr Jr., former deputy director of science and technology at the CIA; Anthony C. Zinni, former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Central Command and former U.S. Envoy to the Middle East; and Stephen F. Loftus, former director of the Office of the Budget for the United States Navy.

Are y’all seeing any patterns here?

7. Michael Hayden, last June, said on the record he sees “commonality” between Nazi Germany’s separation of children at concentration camps and the Trump administration policy that is forcing children to be separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I know we’re not Nazi Germany, alright. But there is a commonality there, and a fear on my part ... We have standards we have to live up to,” Hayden told CNN’s “New Day.”

It appears he left those standards at the boardroom door, along with many other individuals that dance with greed and corruption on the line of the private and public sectors COMPLETELY UNCHECKED.

8. Last month, the same month Kelly got his new gig, the government awarded CHS a brand new, hush-hush contract worth $341 million, even though there had been tons of pressure to close it due to its conditions.

THERE WAS NO COMPETITIVE BIDDING FOR THE CONTRACT, and it happened under the radar.

9. Just two months before this, in March, CHS/Caliburn cancelled its IPO after registering with the SEC to sell $100m public shares. The CEO cited “market forces,” yet made it clear the company was thriving and growing.

——————

I’ll leave you to come to your own conclusions about all of this, or do more research. And I’ll post a ton of sources in the comments for those who actually think this administration is “draining the swamp,” or who want to debate the semantics of whether these ”centers” can reasonably be called child concentration camps or not without offending some non-brown people.

And for those of you who think children don’t deserve the most basic human rights because they’re not American: There’s a special place in hell for you, and I imagine hell to be a whole lot like this situation.

For those of you who are cool lining the pockets of private citizens in DC with YOUR tax dollars while dirty, hungry, sick children live imprisoned and stacked in cages without even a dime of your money going to pay for soap and toothbrushes for these kids like it was supposed to: I’m ashamed to share this country with you as legal citizens, and I think you’re disgustingly dumb. We failed you, too, but at least you got to go to school when you were a kid, and didn’t spend childhood dying in a cage.

America, NONE OF THIS IS OK. WAKE UP.
posted by odinsdream at 11:51 AM on June 27 [119 favorites]


"Democrats" who kill a bill because it contains provisions mandating a minimum standard of care for children in concentration camps are not worthy of being called Democrats.

Nancy Pelosi is vaunted for her ability to get votes but when it comes time to actually do that and get something critical passed she somehow, like magic, just suddenly can't do it anymore and we're being dictated to by Trump and McConnell with the aid of a few DINO traitors who want children to suffer.

If she can't bring the caucus together over kids in concentration camps then she's clearly worthless and needs to be replaced with someone competent ASAP.
posted by sotonohito at 12:07 PM on June 27 [24 favorites]


$750/person A DAY

Is this the money that the Trump Administration is 'finding' in other agency budgets?
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:39 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


Fudge.

(update) Politico: Pelosi bows to McConnell on border aid bill
The speaker faced a revolt by a group of more than 18 Democratic centrists, who vowed to tank the bill on the floor. […]

In a stunning reversal, Pelosi halted a planned vote on the House Democrats' version of the border aid bill as she and her deputies faced a revolt by a group of more than 18 Democratic centrists, who vowed to tank the bill on the floor.

In a high-profile surrender in a faceoff with McConnell, Pelosi sent a letter to her caucus explaining her rationale.

"The children come first. At the end of the day, we have to make sure that the resources needed to protect the children are available,” she wrote. “Therefore, we will not engage in the same disrespectful behavior that the Senate did in ignoring our priorities. In order to get resources to the children fastest, we will reluctantly pass the Senate bill."
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:48 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


They are all complicit.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 12:52 PM on June 27 [18 favorites]


What is the centrist position between neglect and care? What is the centrist number of toothbrushes per child?

Who exactly are these 18 "centrists"? I called my congressman's office and they couldn't tell me if he is one of them. Why don't these articles name names?
posted by M-x shell at 12:55 PM on June 27 [31 favorites]


@repmarkpocan: Since when did the Problem Solvers Caucus become the Child Abuse Caucus? Wouldn't they want to at least fight against contractors who run deplorable facilities? Kids are the only ones who could lose today.

Now's a good time to call your reps. You could also call the offices of so-called moderate Democrats like Rep. Stephanie Murphy—(202) 225-4035 and Rep. Josh Gottheimer—(202) 225-4465 to ask why torturing children is a "moderate" position.
posted by zachlipton at 12:57 PM on June 27 [20 favorites]


This vote today is a preview of a Democratic President with a Democratic house and Mitch McConnell’s Senate. The Problem Solvers/Third Way caucus will dictate outcomes, and use their power to take hostages exactly like the Tea Party.

This is why electing more “Democrats” is not sufficient. Elect better Democrats.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:59 PM on June 27 [40 favorites]


Has Stephanie Murphy or anyone in the Blue Dog Coalition she leads actually explained their opposition to the bill? The differences between bills seem to come down to "standard of care".

I'm having difficulty imagining, like, the Republican attack ads against those particular Dems on that subject. I mean it's not like "higher taxes!!" or "open borders!!" in that Republican opposition to the humanity of these children is (for now) obfuscated through layers of rhetoric. This legislation seems to cut through those layers: Here's money, here are the rules for how well to take care of kids, none of this could be interpreted as excessive in helping them. What, from the perspective of a supposed Middle American, is the issue?
posted by InTheYear2017 at 1:01 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


What is the centrist position between neglect and care? What is the centrist number of toothbrushes per child?

This is what I mean when I say there is no compromising for bipartisanship with the right.how do you establish half of a white ethnostate? Centrism should mean what is supported by the majority of people.
posted by The Whelk at 1:02 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


They are all complicit.

The Senate bill passed 84 to 8. Warren, Sanders, Harris, Booker, Klobuchar and Gillibrand took the courageous stand of -
oh, not voting.
posted by JackFlash at 1:02 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]






@FoxReports: House progressives livid at Senate Democrats, saying they were thrown under the bus on border bill. When asked how they stop that from happening in future negotiations, Rep. Jayapal replied “I am looking for a new pharmaceutical drug that builds spine”[s]

@ryangrim: I'm told that @RepDebDingell is resigning from the Problem Solvers Caucus in the wake of its co-chair @RepJoshG organizing opposition to the House border bill that would have mandated improved conditions for children in detention

@jparkABC: 2 sources familiar w/ Pence-Pelosi convo tell me & @JordynPhelps VP agreed Congress would be notified within 24 hours after death of a child in custody + to a 90-day time limit on children spending time in an influx facility, where migrants await transfer to HHS facilities.

Ok, so let's make these absolutely minimal requirements law so they're at least potentially maybe enforceable instead of mere promises from Mike Pence.
posted by zachlipton at 1:14 PM on June 27 [16 favorites]


Trump says he asked lawyers if census could be delayed after Supreme Court decision on citizenship question

The answer is obviously going to be "Technically no, but in practical terms yes because no one will stop you."
posted by mikepop at 1:15 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


The answer is obviously going to be "Technically no, but in practical terms yes because no one will stop you."

Coming to a tweet near you: "John MarshallRoberts has made his decision; now let him enforce it!"
posted by stopgap at 1:21 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Gerrymandering is deeply undemocratic. I live in Illinois. We are gerrymandered Democrat. Our state government is also synonymous with corruption. It's not a coincidence. Everywhere you look at gerrymandering it breeds corruption. The representatives no longer listen to their constituents and become enthralled to powerful interest groups. This generation the world is at stake and our democracy is at stake.
posted by xammerboy at 1:23 PM on June 27 [26 favorites]


4. While I would not be able to find out vested shareholders in the DCCP portfolio, we do not have to assume they’re making some nice returns on these CHS operations and government contracts that line their pockets instead of covering even basic human needs for children. That’s clear, because why would a private company keep their costs down so low that they completely disregard humanity, even though they say they’re experts in “healthcare?” PROFIT. FOR THEIR PRIVATE INVESTORS. [...]

7. Michael Hayden, last June, said on the record he sees “commonality” between Nazi Germany’s separation of children at concentration camps and the Trump administration policy that is forcing children to be separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. "I know we’re not Nazi Germany, alright. But there is a commonality there, and a fear on my part ... We have standards we have to live up to,” Hayden told CNN’s “New Day.”
One of the fundamental definition of fascism is the merging of the corporation and the state. Another definition is the re-application of colonial methods of control on those within the imperial center.
2 sources familiar w/ Pence-Pelosi convo tell me & @JordynPhelps VP agreed Congress would be notified within 24 hours after death of a child in custody + to a 90-day time limit on children spending time in an influx facility
When Sanders refuses to pre-emptively swear unconditional support for whoever gets the Democratic nomination, I get why that pisses a lot of people off. But if "centrist" Democrat candidates shuffle a micrometer to the right they will be objectively, from a world politics perspective, far-right. If the Democratic party establishment position is that concentration camps are tolerable points of compromise and we're told to consider "they say they'll eventually tell us when children die in the camps" a victory, then, well. If the only two choices we're given in 2020 end up being NSDAP or Zentrum then, well.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:30 PM on June 27 [10 favorites]


I'm breathing a very simple sigh of relief that we don't currently have to fight the Supreme Court over the 2020 Census question. That's obviously not the only news to be concerned about, but it's a good thing all the same.
posted by odinsdream at 1:31 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


> "... VP agreed Congress would be notified within 24 hours after death of a child in custody + to a 90-day time limit on children spending time in an influx facility, where migrants await transfer to HHS facilities."

Ok, so let's make these absolutely minimal requirements law so they're at least potentially maybe enforceable instead of mere promises from Mike Pence.


Yes, oral promises from Mike Pence are not even worth the weight of the paper they aren't written down on.

Meanwhile, I'm still gobsmacked that the conservatives on the Supreme court are openly willing to sign on to permanent radical minority rule in the states (once you're gerrymandered, how are you going to vote in new people to fix it?) and that they were one John Roberts hiccup away from endorsing rigging the census with the flimsiest excuse. “For the first time ever,” [Clarence Thomas] wrote, “the court invalidates an agency action solely because it questions the sincerity of the agency’s otherwise adequate rationale.” Which - what? WHAT?

“To put the point bluntly,” [Alito] wrote, “the federal judiciary has no authority to stick its nose into the question whether it is good policy to include a citizenship question on the census or whether the reasons given by Secretary Ross for that decision were his only reasons or his real reasons.”

No authority.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:40 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


Inhale that sigh of relief. Richard Hasen, Donald Trump Is Promising to Fight the Census Case. That Might Actually Work.
posted by zachlipton at 1:41 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Percent of people who believe businesses should be able to refuse to serve the following groups if doing so violates their religious beliefs:

gay or lesbian people: 30
transgender people: 29
atheists: 24
Muslims: 22
Jews: 19
African Americans: 15

This represents a huge increase from 2014 when, for example, only (only!) 16 percent of people thought it OK to discriminate against gay or lesbian people.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 1:44 PM on June 27 [21 favorites]


As in, who has standing to ask them to investigate

The UN is never going to go after any of the 5 Permanent Members of the Security Council. So no one has standing.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 1:45 PM on June 27


NYT, late to the story, Why E. Jean Carroll, ‘the Anti-Victim,’ Spoke Up About Trump: The writer’s friends and confidantes talk publicly for the first time about her sexual assault allegation against the president
She also thought of the women she had advised over the years to buck up, to speak up, to go to the police or “move everything out when he’s at work.” “I felt like a fraud,” she said, because she had taken no such action herself. By the time she submitted her book proposal, in May 2018, she’d rethought it as part memoir, with the Trump allegation included. St. Martin’s Press paid a modest sum.
Carroll's friends are on today's episode of The Daily corroborating her account.
posted by zachlipton at 1:50 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


Currently entertaining myself with the brochure for Maptitude, the industry-standard redistricting software. Here's a cool feature from page 5:
- Identify communities of interest, geographically cohesive areas such as cities, neighborhoods, or racial or ethnic enclaves that tend to have similar interests and vote as a bloc. Keep them intact within the same district, and lock them so that you cannot accidentally reassign them to different districts. Alternatively, for communities that you do split into multiple districts, run the Communities of Interest reports to calculate the total and percent population of the community in each district.
posted by theodolite at 2:02 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


Inhale that sigh of relief. Richard Hasen, Donald Trump Is Promising to Fight the Census Case. That Might Actually Work.

Hasen doesn't address the issue that the census forms must be printed by July and so September/October rulings would indeed require delaying the Census, and there is no Constitutional authority to do that. Which, yeah, Trump. But it's certainly an issue that must addressed.
posted by Justinian at 2:11 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Given the tendency of gerrymandered districts to be vulnerable to flipping in wave elections, it seems like the eventual result of this would be a group of states that seem like they are sewn up for the GOP but in reality might flip with little warning based on GOTV outcomes. Does this decision make room for some sort of super gerrymander that somehow isn't vulnerable to this?
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:12 PM on June 27


Voter suppression is, I assume, the plan for that. The court's prior gutting of the VRA makes that much easier in the states that used to have preclearance enforced on them.

The other plan is the attempt at census-rigging, which would have the way for a redistricting based on citizenship.
posted by BungaDunga at 2:21 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


There’s also the equal-protection argument that the Supreme Court didn’t address, the prospect of future district and circuit-court proceedings adding still more details from EVIL_PLAN.DOC to the case record, and the fact that the history Roberts couldn’t quite stomach in this decision isn’t going to go away by September. It’s not a done deal by any means but I have a hard time seeing why, if Roberts is prepared to give the Trump administration a win under even worse circumstances three months down the line, he wouldn’t just pull the trigger now.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:24 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Politico: Senate's Russia Reports to Start Publishing in July
Final versions of the Senate's five-part report on Russian interference in the 2016 election will be released in stages starting in July, the panel chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, told POLITICO on Thursday.

“It will start right after we come back from the Fourth,” the North Carolina Republican said.

Burr and his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Mark Warner, have been at work for more than two years on a probe examining the Moscow-led interference campaign in the last presidential election. The committee has reviewed more than 300,000 pages of documents and conducted interviews with more than 200 witnesses, including a recent closed door sit-down with Donald Trump Jr.

“It’s over,” Burr said of the witness interviews, adding that the committee’s work will come out in five installments.

The first report, Burr said, will cover election security. That will be followed by additional reports reviewing the Obama administration’s handling of the Russian interference effort; social media's role in the disruption campaign; the Senate panel’s assessment of the Obama-era intelligence committee’s conclusions about Russian interference; and a final assessment of the main questions surrounding the Trump campaign and whether it was engaged in a conspiracy with Russia.

“I’m guessing right now that it will be mid- to end of September,” Burr said of the fifth installment’s timing for public release. “I just don’t know how long it will take to declassify.”
Burr also said that he had no plans to invite Mueller to testify before the Senate SCI.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:26 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Roll Call, House passes election security measure requiring cybersecurity safeguards, paper ballots
The House passed an election security measure Thursday that would require voting systems to use backup paper ballots in federal contests, while also mandating improvements to the higher-tech side of the polls.

The full chamber voted 225-184 to send the bill to the Senate where it faces stiff opposition from Republicans. House Democrats fast-tracked the bill to the floor after it cleared the Administration Committee by a party-line vote. One Republican — Florida Rep. Brian Mast — voted for the measure Thursday. No Democrats voted against it.
...
The California Democrat announced Wednesday that Congress will receive an election security briefing from administration officials on July 10, and she put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take up election security measures in his chamber.

So far, McConnell has refused to allow votes on any election security proposals, citing concerns that the measures erode state authority over elections.
posted by zachlipton at 2:34 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


There is no one and nothing that stands above nuclear-armed nation states. There was, for a time, a pleasant fiction that international organizations had somehow evolved into something that could regulate and curtail them, but like much that happened in the second half of the 20th century, it was largely wishful thinking.

The only things that constrain state power are internal limitations based on their claims to legitimacy—democracies can't run roughshod over their own citizens' wishes for too long without undermining their own legitimacy; authoritarian governments, admittedly, tend not to have this problem, although they have others—and external limitations based on the actions of other states.

International organizations e.g. the UN should be viewed as vehicles by which state power is concentrated and expressed, and not as some separate level that exists above states. Nothing exists above nation states, unless you want to get into the realm of religion.

I used to believe otherwise, but I believed a lot of naive things in my youth.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:46 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]




Given the tendency of gerrymandered districts to be vulnerable to flipping in wave elections, it seems like the eventual result of this would be a group of states that seem like they are sewn up for the GOP but in reality might flip with little warning based on GOTV outcomes.

This assumption hasn’t really been born out since 2010 and gerrymandering software has and will only get better. Wisconsin and Virginia’s GOP gerrymanders each survived Democratic +9 popular vote margins without going down, and it’s not realistic in this era to expect a much bigger margin than that. If Democrats have to win by 10% or more just to take a bare majority, you’re taking a gerrymander that can survive anything but a once in a century kind of wave. Sure, maybe it could happen, but Republicans win under all other circumstances.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:49 PM on June 27 [13 favorites]


Has anyone seen an analysis of the differences between the initial house bill and the senate bill that eventually got passed? I'm astounded at the sheer number of democrats, many of whom I consider progressive allies, that voted for it.
posted by galaxy rise at 3:10 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Does this decision make room for some sort of super gerrymander that somehow isn't vulnerable to this?

Its not that the decision isnt vulnerable, its that their sewing up these "vulnerabilities" [read, functions of democracy, if you will] other ways, like the recent efforts to criminalize voter registration orgs in both Tennessee and Texas.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 3:12 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


Identify communities of interest, geographically cohesive areas such as cities, neighborhoods, or racial or ethnic enclaves that tend to have similar interests and vote as a bloc. Keep them intact within the same district, and lock them so that you cannot accidentally reassign them to different districts.

Ah, I wondered how they came up with gerrymandered districts with borders that may literally diverge from a straight line to incorporate a single apartment complex, or extend in a narrow, unoccupied channel for great distances between other districts until it reaches another gerrymandered district. In Australia a party arguing with the (independent) Electoral Commission would start with the existing, rational boundaries, and try to have them altered in its favour; but that's clearly not what is happening here.

In case you're wondering too, this is how they do it: the software they use lets them mark areas that are majority-minority or vote Democratic or whatever. They start with those areas, which is why the software manufacturers advertise the ability to "lock" them. Then they attempt to join the locked areas together in some plausible way, but not at the expense of creating a competitive district.

The software manufacturers are clearly working to the racist expectations of their users. The techniques already produce farcical boundaries, but there's no reason that they can't get more absurd. If you're thinking of some ridiculous boundary, say one that goes up the center of a street and picks out individual houses, rest assured that politicians are too.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:29 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


I'm astounded at the sheer number of democrats, many of whom I consider progressive allies, that voted for it.

The Republicans were literally saying that these kids only get heat, and water, and medicine, if the Republican bill gets supported. I don't know if I'd have held out either.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:32 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


The Republicans were literally saying that these kids only get heat, and water, and medicine, if the Republican bill gets supported.

Then they're an evil terrorist empire that must be destroyed instead of worked with. "We will immediately and intentionally torture to death thousands of children if you don't do what we say" is the kind of behavior that would morally justify Democratic leadership calling for the entire rest of the world to invade us militarily.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:38 PM on June 27 [23 favorites]


speaker pelosi buckles like a belt on differing house, senate border funding bills

Blame the Democrats in the Senate who passed a bad bill and put Pelosi in an impossible position. They could have filibustered the Republican Senate bill but did not. This includes Warren, Sanders, Harris, Booker, Klobuchar and Gillibrand who didn't even vote. Republicans were able to say they passed a bill in the Senate overwhelmingly, 84 to 8, but House Democrats are against children.

You may want to play chicken with a bus load of children headed for a cliff, but Republicans don't give a fuck. Caged children and shocking pictures is the deterrent they want.
posted by JackFlash at 3:39 PM on June 27 [16 favorites]


Blame the Democrats in the Senate who passed a bad bill and put Pelosi in an impossible position. They could have filibustered the Republican Senate bill but did not.

So, why couldn't the House go ahead and vote on the House bill and send it to Senate to have McConnell refuse to vote for it and THEN vote on the Senate bill? Wouldn't that at least allow them to say, "We voted for a true humanitarian bill and not one that will shuffle your taxpayer money to corporations. That is why McConnell wouldn't even bring it to a vote."?
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 3:52 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]


Because the House is leaving town for a recess right now and Office of Refugee Resettlement runs out of funding in a few days (the administration made it clear they'll stop paying employees and stop reimbursing facilities housing children, many of which are nonprofits). I'm all for forcing members of Congress to cancel their 4th of July plans to do something about children being held in cages, but asking them to stick around so McConnell can defeat them a second time seems like a tough sell.
posted by zachlipton at 4:03 PM on June 27 [17 favorites]


WaPo, Rex Tillerson airs concern about Jared Kushner’s secret dealings with foreign leaders
In newly disclosed testimony, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson said President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, operated independently with powerful leaders around the world without coordination with the State Department, leaving Tillerson out of the loop and in the dark on emerging U.S. policies and simmering geopolitical crises.

In a transcript of his testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Tillerson also described the challenge of briefing a president who does not read briefing papers and often got distracted by peripheral topics, noting he had to keep his message short and focus on a single topic.
...
In one instance, Tillerson said he learned that Kushner was meeting with Mexico’s foreign secretary, Luis Videgaray, because he happened to be in the same Washington restaurant while the two men hashed out a “fairly comprehensive plan of action” that Tillerson didn’t know about.

“The owner of the restaurant . . . came around and said, “Oh, Mr. Secretary, you might be interested to know the foreign secretary of Mexico is seated at a table near the back in case you want to go by and say hello to him,” Tillerson said. “And so I did.” Tillerson said he saw the “color go out of the face” of the foreign secretary as he walked into the room. “I said: Welcome to Washington. . . . Give me a call next time you’re coming to town.”
...
He also said he was not aware of meetings that had been occurring between Arab leaders and Kushner, including a private huddle May 20, 2017, between Kushner, Trump’s former adviser Stephen K. Bannon and the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. During the meeting, Arab leaders discussed their intention to impose a blockade on Qatar, though the White House later denied prior knowledge of the June 5 closure.
The full transcript (145 page PDF) is not available.
posted by zachlipton at 4:17 PM on June 27 [17 favorites]


Her retreat came after Vice President Pence gave Ms. Pelosi private assurances that the administration would voluntarily abide by some of the restrictions she had sought, including notifying lawmakers within 24 hours after the death of a migrant child in government custody, and placing a 90-day time limit on on children spending time in temporary intake facilities, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
Confirmation from NYT. Presenting to us as a consolation prize the private assurance that they'll be told when the children die is something beyond weakness in the face of fascism, or fecklessness or incompetence. This cannot continue.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:18 PM on June 27 [16 favorites]




Sanders won't support the Dem nominee ... that sounds odd. Clicks on link and reads.

The linked article question and answer was;

MSNBC: If it's clear you aren't going to be the nominee, will you concede before the convention?

SANDERS: I intend to be the Dem nominee


A completely useless horserace question before a single vote has been cast with an answer every candidate would give at this point.

But the article author, Jonathan Chait, said the question and answer was;

NBC’s Kasie Hunt asked Bernie Sanders if he would commit to supporting the Democratic nominee before the convention if it’s clear it won’t be him. Sanders would not make any such commitment.

I find the discrepancy between the actual question and answer and the characterization of the question and answer, to be rather glaring ... as if done not to inform but to clickbait and infuriate.

I also suggest that Chait's presentation of the exchange is a clear demonstration that he is not acting as an honest broker or reliable narrator.

I'm calling the entire article, a cooked up crock of political horserace bullshit.
posted by phoque at 4:40 PM on June 27 [21 favorites]


@mollyhf [LA Times, ongoing thread]:
Today I visited @CBPRGV central processing center, one of the places Flores monitors visited earlier this month and saw kids caring for smaller kids, some so sick they had to be hospitalized. Thread’s what I saw.
...
Children are still separated from adult family members if they’re not parents. I talked to a Guatemalan mother in San Francisco whose children ages 10 and 2 were separated from their grandmother. Consulate said they were held at CPC. @CBP would not comment.

Carmen Qualia, acting executive officer with @CBP responsible for CPC, said 1,000 unaccompanied kids held there last week, hundreds for more than 72 hours, due to HHS delay in placement.

Qualia said @CBP has medical staff at a half dozen sites where migrants are held, including Ursula, and all children are medically screened when they arrive and leave. Lawyers who visited the facility earlier this month dispute that.
posted by zachlipton at 4:55 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


I'm calling the entire article, a cooked up crock of political horserace bullshit.

Maybe watch the actual video itself instead of relying on people to summarize it, since it's only about a minute long?
posted by zachlipton at 4:57 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


A completely useless horserace question before a single vote has been cast with an answer every candidate would give at this point.

It's not a horserace question. It's asking if Sanders will support the nominee if it's not him. Given how he prolonged 2016 past the point of possible victory, it's not a crazy question.

It would have been the easiest thing in the world to say, "I intend to be the nominee. But if I am not, the nominee will have my full support. Any disagreements we might have would pale in comparison to the importance of defeating Trump."

But for some reason, Bernie can't say that.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:58 PM on June 27 [69 favorites]


Does anyone have the names handy for which Senate Dems voted for/against the border bill today? Gotta know what to say in my daily call to my pal Tina Smith.
posted by Emmy Rae at 5:07 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


It's asking if Sanders will support the nominee if it's not him. Given how he prolonged 2016 past the point of possible victory, it's not a crazy question.

I think it is, because of what use is his answer? There's gotta be a newsperson's corollary to the Politician's Syllogism, "We must ask questions; this is a question; therefore, it must be asked.'
posted by rhizome at 5:11 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Senate vote detail from yesterday afternoon. The presidential candidates didn’t vote because they were in Miami for the debates.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:20 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


@JoshNBCNews: Trump walked in to family photo at G20 chatting with Putin, patted him on the back as leaders found their assigned places
posted by zachlipton at 8:17 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Bloomberg, White House Considers Capital Gains Tax Break That Would Benefit Wealthy
The White House is developing a plan to cut taxes by indexing capital gains to inflation, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would largely benefit the wealthy and may be done in a way that bypasses Congress.

Consensus is growing among White House officials to advance the proposal soon, the people said, to ensure the benefit takes effect before President Donald Trump faces re-election in 2020.
...
Most of the benefits would go to high-income households, with the top 1% receiving 86% of the benefit, according to estimates in 2018 by the Penn Wharton Budget Model. The policy could reduce tax revenue by $102 billion over a decade, the model found.
...
The work is largely taking place at the White House because the Treasury Department has been slow-walking the process, over concerns that the change could be challenged on legal grounds and that it might require Congress to rewrite the law, the people said.
posted by zachlipton at 8:28 PM on June 27 [13 favorites]


In case you're wondering too, this is how they do it: the software they use lets them mark areas that are majority-minority or vote Democratic or whatever. They start with those areas, which is why the software manufacturers advertise the ability to "lock" them. Then they attempt to join the locked areas together in some plausible way, but not at the expense of creating a competitive district.

The software manufacturers are clearly working to the racist expectations of their users.


The Voting Rights Act *requires* that communities of interest are kept cohesive in districting, partially as a way of guaranteeing that minorities get a representative. Maybe the ad copy is meant to catch the eye of mustache-twirlers but on its face, it's talking about making it easier to comply with the law.
posted by Jpfed at 8:37 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


White House Considers Capital Gains Tax Break That Would Benefit Wealthy

You missed the punchline. Trump wants to do it by executive order, simply ordering the IRS to calculate taxes in a way contrary to federal law passed by congress.
posted by JackFlash at 8:45 PM on June 27 [25 favorites]


zachlipton Maybe watch the actual video itself instead of relying on people to summarize it, since it's only about a minute long?

Watched it. Zero questions about supporting other Dems and zero answers of refusal to support. So the controversy as brought here was an invention about a question that was never asked so could not be answered.

It isn't some great secret or controversy on which side Sanders will land if he isn't the nominee. He will side with the Democrats. This isn't a marginal or close call. It is blatantly obvious. Yet Chait's trolling take got traction. It was clearly farfetched and the difference between the transcript (or video if you prefer) and the characterization that lead to a proclamation that Sanders would not support the Dem nominee ... utter drivel.

Chrysostom It's not a horserace question. It's asking if Sanders will support the nominee if it's not him. Given how he prolonged 2016 past the point of possible victory, it's not a crazy question.

MSNBC: If it's clear you aren't going to be the nominee, will you concede before the convention?

The question makes no mention of support. And the idea Sanders wouldn't support the Dem nominee if not him has roughly 0% chance of occurring based on his history (sides with Dems and worked within their ranks (ie: sitting on and chairing committees) for decades, supported and campaigned for Clinton) and the reality of current choices (Trump) toward whom Bernie hasn't displayed any positivity.

So to get to Chaits's declarative take that Bernie won't support the Dem nominee based on what was really asked you need to discount reality. It is a dishonest fabrication.
posted by phoque at 9:54 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


It was clearly farfetched ...

Not as farfetched as you think given his history. Sanders was pretty lukewarm in his support for Clinton, but worst of all, he, his campaign manager and his Bernie Bros actively pushed the resentful idea that Clinton stole the nomination from him. It wasn't just Trump that was pushing the "Crooked Hillary" narrative right up through election night. Sanders did nothing to quell that narrative.
posted by JackFlash at 10:03 PM on June 27 [24 favorites]


@bpolitics [video, and that b is for Boomberg]: Prompted by a reporter's question, Trump tells Putin: "Don’t meddle in the election, please." Putin laughed after hearing the translation. And the U.S. president shook his head and smiled.
posted by zachlipton at 11:08 PM on June 27 [16 favorites]


The question asked in the interview appears to be whether or not Sanders will concede before the convention, where the delegates nominate the Democratic presidential candidate, regardless of his chances. Bernie simply repeats that he will win and be the nominee.

I'm getting the strong feeling from this interview and tonight's debate that Bernie's implying that he's the only candidate that can bring about change. In other words, vote for me, or don't bother voting, because it won't matter.

What Bernie is selling is revolution, and that's not happening with an establishment candidate from either party. Implicit in his message is a rejection of government or policy or planning in lieu of a groundswell of people power that make climate change or healthcare happen in some non-specific way.

My problem with this vision is that if it doesn't look like the revolution is going to happen, voters that bought into it will naturally be disaffected from voting in general, because they're convinced change from within the system is not possible.
posted by xammerboy at 11:14 PM on June 27 [10 favorites]


The question asked in the interview appears to be whether or not Sanders will concede before the convention, where the delegates nominate the Democratic presidential candidate, regardless of his chances. Bernie simply repeats that he will win and be the nominee.

That's the problem, he didn't answer the question. And considering who he is, and when he conceded last time, and how gracefully he did it, this is a question he should be answering with a massive amount of reassurance.
posted by mmoncur at 11:20 PM on June 27 [13 favorites]


Perhaps this derail about will he or won't he has run its course?
posted by euphorb at 12:52 AM on June 28 [18 favorites]


In contrast to donny yukking it up with Vlad:


'Despicable act': May berates Putin over Salisbury poisoning


" Putin gave an explosive interview to the Financial Times in which he attacked liberalism and made light of the poisoning of the Russian former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury last year.

He said: “Listen, all this fuss about spies and counterspies, it is not worth serious interstate relations. This [Skripal] spy story, as we say, it is not worth five kopeks. Or even £5, for that matter.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Putin said “the so-called liberal idea” had “outlived its purpose”, and criticised open borders and multiculturalism.

He said Russia was taking action against unfettered migration, “whereas the liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. The migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants must be protected. What rights are these? Every crime must have its punishment.”'"
posted by lalochezia at 4:02 AM on June 28 [19 favorites]


Trump Tells Putin (With a Grin) Not to Meddle in Elections (NYT)
For more than two years, friends and foes alike have pushed President Trump to tell President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia not to interfere in American democracy. As the two leaders sat side by side on Friday for their first formal meeting in a year, Mr. Trump obliged — but in his own distinctive way.

The topic did not come up in either man’s opening remarks, which in Mr. Trump’s case were filled with flowery talk about their relationship. Only when a reporter shouted out a question, asking Mr. Trump if he would tell Russia not to meddle in American elections, did the president respond, and then by making light of the matter.

“Yes, of course I will,” Mr. Trump said.

Turning to Mr. Putin, he said, with a slight grin on his face and an almost joking tone in his voice, “Don’t meddle in the election, President.”

As Mr. Putin also smiled, Mr. Trump pointed at another Russian official in a playful way and repeated, “Don’t meddle in the election.”

Once again, Mr. Trump made clear that he did not take the issue as seriously as Democrats and many Republicans back home do. And once again, he refused to publicly cross Mr. Putin with so much as a word of disagreement, much less reproach. [...]

While Mr. Putin did not address the election issue with reporters on Friday, he scoffed at the idea of Russian involvement in an interview before flying to Osaka. He advanced the same line of argument that Mr. Trump does: that he won in 2016 because he was the candidate more in touch with Americans.

“Russia has been accused, and, strange as it may seem, it is still being accused, despite the Mueller report, of mythical interference in the U.S. election,” Mr. Putin told The Financial Times. “What happened in reality? Mr. Trump looked into his opponents’ attitude to him and saw changes in American society, and he took advantage of this.”

He complimented Mr. Trump’s political skill. “I do not accept many of his methods when it comes to addressing problems,” Mr. Putin said. “But do you know what I think? I think that he is a talented person. He knows very well what his voters expect from him.”
posted by Little Dawn at 5:03 AM on June 28 [18 favorites]


I will say this for Bernie: He is the only candidate openly stating the painfully obvious truth: We will only defeat the illiberal and anti-democratic forces arrayed against us if tens of millions of people stand up and demand changes. He's not just talking about voting, he's talking about persistent civil engagement.

Whatever his other strengths and flaws, he is right about this, and it is of paramount importance to be right about this. Power cedes nothing without a demand, and that demand has to have teeth.
posted by perspicio at 5:09 AM on June 28 [34 favorites]


If there's one country that needs unfettered migration, it's Russia. Their population growth was negative for most of 1990 - 2010 and is now barely scraping 0.1%.
posted by PenDevil at 5:10 AM on June 28 [10 favorites]


My problem with this vision is that if it doesn't look like the revolution is going to happen, voters that bought into it will naturally be disaffected from voting in general, because they're convinced change from within the system is not possible.

There are many, many reasons that citizens might be disaffected from voting because of a conviction that change within the system isn't possible; this graph of voter turnout by income level is from 2008's general election.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:01 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


A belief that voting changes nothing very much depresses turnout, change is a powerful narrative cause dear god, something has got to change, fast.
posted by The Whelk at 6:13 AM on June 28 [7 favorites]


From the NYT, quoted by little dawn: “Russia has been accused, and, strange as it may seem, it is still being accused, despite the Mueller report, of mythical interference in the U.S. election,” Mr. Putin told The Financial Times.

He's picked up on the American right's mental leaps from "Mueller cleared Trump of conspiracy/collusion (and also 'cleared' him of obstruction)" to "No interference happened at all", when of course the interference is strongly detailed in the entire first half of the report. It's like, I dunno, someone in 1965 declaring that the Warren Report renders "all that JFK stuff" moot, and thus, JFK was never assassinated at all, and is alive and well today.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 6:19 AM on June 28 [17 favorites]


Smirking with Putin, pushing the Census people to just defy the supreme court decision, telling all of his admin officials to defy congressional subpoenas -- these are the things that his followers love him for, because he is The Guy Who Always Gets Away With It. No matter what he says or does. Being the guy who always gets away with it is very close to the heart of his appeal to a lot of his supporters.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 6:25 AM on June 28 [18 favorites]


I think we need to acknowledge what a great day Tulsi Gabbard had yesterday. She received endorsements from Infowars, Pizzagaters, 4chan, and the Republican Freedom Caucus. That's a real who's who of the worst elements of American society.
posted by diogenes at 6:36 AM on June 28 [31 favorites]


these are the things that his followers love him for, because he is The Guy Who Always Gets Away With It

This very much aligns with people who will never benefit from, say, repealing the Estate Tax, supporting doing so because they believe they will so be The Guy Who Has So Much Money someday.

They want to believe in the Guy Who Always Gets Away With It, because they believe then they will also become one who Gets Away With It, whether "It" is sexually harassing people at work, using racial slurs freely without repercussion, discriminating against someone at their business or whatever it is they resent not being able to do.
posted by mikepop at 6:38 AM on June 28 [30 favorites]


When the Guy Who Always Gets Away With It … doesn't get away with it.

John Roberts is trying to wreck democracy — but Trump's incompetence keeps getting in the way (Sophia Tesfaye, Salon)
Chief Justice Roberts wrote both of Thursday's opinions, which suggest the depth of his assault on democracy
The Trump Administration's goof-ups are breathtakingly dumb.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:14 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


From the above Salon article:
Nse Ufot, the executive director of New Georgia Project, the nonprofit voter engagement group founded by Stacey Abrams, notes: “Justice Roberts is hiding behind the concept of federalism. They’re using the separation of powers and branches of government as a pretext for attacking civil rights. They have a sacred duty to uphold the Constitution. [The 2013 decision to overturn parts of the Voting Rights Act] told us everything we needed to know about the Roberts Court and their hostility toward civil rights and voting rights.”

Roberts wrote both of Thursday’s majority opinions. This is his project, and it's not over.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:15 AM on June 28 [14 favorites]


diogenes: I think we need to acknowledge what a great day Tulsi Gabbard had yesterday. She received endorsements from Infowars, Pizzagaters, 4chan, and the Republican Freedom Caucus. That's a real who's who of the worst elements of American society.

Gabbard occupies this weird position among segments of the left. Too many people have this impression that she's the Ultimate Anti-War Candidate, even though her actual record and positions only jibe with this insofar as she has expressed opposition to interventionism (especially against Assad) and a war with Iran (which, obviously, would be a horrendous thing). It's pretty much the Donald the Dove argument all over again: US military adventures are typically sold to the public as humanitarian intervention, ergo, an avaowed non-interventionist who doesn't want American troops to suffer pointlessly is the same thing as a pacifist. Yet she has supported torture, called on Obama to say the magic words "radical Islam", and pushed for attacks on Al-Queda and/or ISIL in Syria, particularly admiring Russia's bombings there which were, of course, more focused on enemies of the Assad regime than on ISIL.

When it comes to Sanders, his acolytes tend to see everyone aside from him (or, in many cases, aisde from him and Gabbard) as the dreaded establishment to his radicalism. I think it's silly to see a major gulf from Warren -- if anything, she's often to his left, but the substancial differences are in degree of policy detail vs personality and self-labeling as socialist. But at least he does have genuine anti-capitalist chops. Gabbard, by contrast, is a much stranger choice of condensation nucleuous to build a lefty cult around.

Elevating someone in one's mind as the One True Candidate can, of course, happen to anyone. We see it with Biden -- he's the Only Person Who Can Beat Trump and therefore it's your job to hold your tongue about any of his flaws including vulnerabilities to Trump. Gabbard is The Only Anti-War Candidate, so you're a DNC shill if you bring up the umpteen hawkish things about her. There's a nontrivial concern out there that manufactured bitterness is going to emerge after Gabbard inevitably fails to win a single primary contest.

By any candidate I mean any -- my own favorite remains Warren but I hope to not dismiss criticism, e.g the problems of her past proclaimed hertiage, as solely ratfuckery to disable the One True Savior (though ratfuckery is also afoot, of course). There is no savior! There is just us.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:33 AM on June 28 [15 favorites]




from The Whelk's link:

A debate hosted by famous people from various disciplines: Have a debate co-hosted by Gloria Steinem, LeBron James, science fiction author NK Jemisin, and Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness. Or have a debate hosted by, say, sports journalist Bill Simmons, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, Ralph Nader, and The Toast co-founder Nicole Cliffe.

Oh fuck yes [emphasis mine].
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:05 AM on June 28 [11 favorites]




Smirking with Putin

The Guardian has video: Smirking Trump jokes to Putin: don't meddle in US election
Donald Trump has sardonically asked Vladimir Putin not to meddle in the 2020 US election, smirking and pointing his finger as he did so and appearing to make light of a scandal that led to an investigation of his campaign’s contact with the Kremlin during the 2016 election.
posted by Little Dawn at 8:41 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


I've never seen the need for debates. They can help a certain kind of stunt-friendly candidate (starting with Lincoln, who followed his opponent around, heckling him from the crowds until Douglas agreed to the unprecedented debate stage.) But otherwise my impression is that they simply encourage an illiterate attitude toward candidates. Part of the deliberate dumbing down of the populace by corporations (the owners of the media). And that dumbing down only ever favors populists and dictators.
posted by Harry Caul at 8:46 AM on June 28 [7 favorites]


The nationwide battle over gerrymandering is far from over (Politico)
While the justices closed off filing legal challenges to [partisan] gerrymandering in federal courts, they explicitly said those lawsuits are still fair game in state courts. It was there that Democratic-aligned plaintiffs successfully demolished Pennsylvania’s GOP-drawn congressional map before the 2018 elections. [...] Because the U.S. Supreme Court has a limited role in overseeing how state supreme courts interpret state laws, those state judges could become the final authority determining which maps stand or fall after the next round of nationwide redistricting. [...]

The new importance of state courts will be on full display next month in North Carolina, where Democratic-linked plaintiffs allege GOP state legislators violated state law in drawing the congressional map. While the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday preserved North Carolina's GOP-drawn congressional map, Democrats can now take a similar case to the state Supreme Court. Six of the seven justices on that court ran as Democrats.

“We believe that this is a fruitful avenue,” said Kathay Feng, the national redistricting director at Common Cause, the good-government group that brought the North Carolina litigation to overturn the map. [...]

While the Supreme Court says federal judges can’t police partisan gerrymandering, it doesn’t mean that all gerrymandering is constitutional. Roberts stressed that Thursday’s ruling does not make racial gerrymandering — using race or ethnicity to pack voters into districts — permissible, and federal courts will still police that issue.
posted by Little Dawn at 8:55 AM on June 28 [13 favorites]


"I would say yes."

Jimmy Carter came right out and agreed that Trump is an illegitimate president. Pretty remarkable I think.
posted by 6thsense at 9:39 AM on June 28 [69 favorites]


I've never seen the need for debates.

They don't make much sense from a "What are your preferred policies?" point of view. They could almost make sense from a "Do I trust you to make decisions on my behalf? Are you my kind of person?" point of view if everything hadn't been gamed and planned and tested out nine ways from Sunday such that almost all of it looks like stilted amateur actors reading Lucas dialogue.

posted by Harry Caul

Not all of us have access to the information you do.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:49 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


they're an evil terrorist empire that must be destroyed instead of worked with. "We will immediately and intentionally torture to death thousands of children if you don't do what we say" pretty much
posted by theora55 at 9:58 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Jimmy Carter came right out and agreed that Trump is an illegitimate president. Pretty remarkable I think.

This is what everyone is continuing to dance around. Trump *did* win the election illegitimately. We have not had a legitimate Executive for years, and people seriously just cannot cope with that at all.
posted by odinsdream at 10:11 AM on June 28 [28 favorites]


A debate hosted by famous people from various disciplines: Have a debate co-hosted by Gloria Steinem, LeBron James, science fiction author NK Jemisin, and Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness.

Surely turning our elections into more of a celebrity madhouse is what's needed to restore sanity and dignity to the election process.
posted by Candleman at 10:16 AM on June 28 [21 favorites]


Jimmy Carter came right out and agreed that Trump is an illegitimate president. Pretty remarkable I think.

This is what everyone is continuing to dance around. Trump *did* win the election illegitimately. We have not had a legitimate Executive for years, and people seriously just cannot cope with that at all.


Exactly. And if you look at Trump's conduct from his ridiculous lies about the size of his inaugural crowd onward, it seems obvious that the fear of being exposed as an illegitimate president haunts him.

Of course Trump is not legitimate. And the Overton window seems to be moving from it being a verboten subject to a legitimate topic. One hopes that when Mueller testifies, and details the Russians' efforts to hack the 2016 election, the perception that Trump is not legitimate will further take root.

Trump's illegitimacy also raises a host of interesting questions about which the Constitution is silent -- for just one example, the presence on SCOTUS of two justices appointed by an illegitimate president.
posted by Gelatin at 10:18 AM on June 28 [39 favorites]


Jimmy Carter came right out and agreed that Trump is an illegitimate president. Pretty remarkable I think.

Also a stern rebuke to Trump's recent claim that Carter "oftentimes come to [Trump's] defense".
posted by jedicus at 10:26 AM on June 28 [29 favorites]


Chuck Todd kept asking Shoot Yourself in the Foot questions. He's kind of a dick, and by kind of I mean completely and utterly. I would have cheered if a candidate said I recognize that being President requires a lot more than hot takes and tweets, unlike the current occupant of the White House.
posted by theora55 at 10:59 AM on June 28 [7 favorites]


Trump jokes to Putin they should 'get rid' of journalists (Guardian)
As they sat for photographs at the start of their first formal meeting in nearly a year, the US president lightheartedly sought common ground with Putin at the expense of the journalists around them in Osaka.

“Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia but we do,” Trump said.

To which Putin responded, in English: “We also have. It’s the same.”

Twenty-six journalists have been murdered in Russia since Putin first became president, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), many of them investigative reporters scrutinising governmental abuses.

Trump has frequently referred to the press as the “enemy of the people” and in February the CPJ expressed concern about the safety of journalists covering Trump rallies, where they have been the target of derision and abuse from the president and his supporters. It is a year to the day since five Capital Gazette employees were killed in their newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland. The shooting led to the organisation Reporters Without Borders adding the US to its list of the five deadliest countries for journalism.
.
posted by Little Dawn at 11:00 AM on June 28 [37 favorites]


WaPo, Ken Cuccinelli, head of citizenship service, blames migrant father for drowning deaths captured in photo

Counterpoint: Trump’s latest migrant horrors demand a real Democratic response. Here’s one., in which Democrats have a bill that would, among other things, provide new ways to apply from refugee status, sets humanitarian standards by law, and funds programs that aim to address the root causes of migration from Central America.
posted by zachlipton at 11:07 AM on June 28 [14 favorites]


Trump *did* win the election illegitimately.

Must we do this dance again? There is nothing in the constitution that makes people voting for someone because of foreign propaganda illegitimate. There has been no evidence shown of successful interference and Jimmy Carter has no special knowledge on the matter. Trump should be impeached for his activities related to Russia but that doesn't negate the will of the people and make it an illegitimate election and thinking that anything the administration has done can be unwound using that as a reason is wishful thinking.
posted by Candleman at 11:11 AM on June 28 [7 favorites]


Megan Rapinoe Is On to Him, and Trump Can’t Stand It (Jemele Hill, The Atlantic)
President Donald Trump doesn’t understand a basic principle that I learned from my mother in elementary school: If you treat people with respect, they’ll likely respect you in return. […]

Nobody wants to be around a president who thinks not everyone is deserving of basic humanity. Trump’s calling Rapinoe unpatriotic shows he doesn’t understand what patriotism really is. True patriots love a country even when that country doesn’t always love them back.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:16 AM on June 28 [11 favorites]


There is nothing in the constitution that makes people voting for someone because of foreign propaganda illegitimate.

Or voter suppression. Or violations of campaign finance law. Or violations of other federal laws that specifically apply to campaigns and elections. I mean, there's legitimate and there's legitimate.
posted by Etrigan at 11:19 AM on June 28 [48 favorites]


There has been no evidence shown of successful interference

Maybe not direct evidence, but Paul Manafort sharing campaign data with the Russians is damning circumstantial evidence at the very least.

And we have campaign laws against accepting foreign contributions of any kind, including "dirt" on one's opponent, for a reason. Foreign interference in an election deligitimizes the result, as we well know, the US having done it to other countries in the past.
posted by Gelatin at 11:44 AM on June 28 [21 favorites]


Trump jokes to Putin they should 'get rid' of journalists (Guardian)

Trump and Kushner have likely already OKed the murder of an American journalist - WaPo's Khashoggi. Their lack of concern about Khashoggi's murder by Saudi agents implies much. I would not be surprised in ten years that Khashoggi was some sort of a fucked up quid for a hotel loan.
posted by benzenedream at 11:59 AM on June 28 [18 favorites]


Or voter suppression. Or violations of campaign finance law. Or violations of other federal laws that specifically apply to campaigns and elections.

Again, the constitutionally defined way of dealing with that is impeachment. There is no provision for an undo function, no matter how nice it would be. And going on about illegitimacy is going to turn off low information voters, at least some of whom will be needed to get Trump out. Per a different thread, Metafilter is a left wing echo chamber and what's said here doesn't always play so well with the general public.
posted by Candleman at 11:59 AM on June 28 [7 favorites]


@JoshNBCNews: Trump walked in to family photo at G20 chatting with Putin, patted him on the back as leaders found their assigned places

Prompted by a reporter's question, Trump tells Putin: "Don’t meddle in the election, please." Putin laughed after hearing the translation. And the U.S. president shook his head and smiled.

Trump jokes to Putin they should 'get rid' of journalists


Contrast this with how irate and anxious Trump was when he was asked by reporters on his way to the G20 about what he'd discuss with Putin (w/video via Aaron Rupar): "I'll have a very good conversation with him. What I say to him his none of your business!"
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:59 AM on June 28 [9 favorites]


AP has an update on the "Unite the Right" killer: Avowed White Supremacist Gets Life Sentence In Car Attack
An avowed white supremacist who drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters during a white nationalist rally in Virginia was sentenced to life in prison Friday on hate crime charges.

James Alex Fields Jr. of Maumee, Ohio, had pleaded guilty in March to the 2017 attack that killed one person and injured more than two dozen others. In exchange, prosecutors dropped their request for the death penalty. His attorneys asked for a sentence less than life. He will be sentenced next month on separate state charges.
We'll see if Trump expresses any kind of sympathy toward Fields or even dares mention Heather Heyer's name.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:04 PM on June 28 [30 favorites]


From a political-science standpoint Trump is hella illegitimate, but that doesn't translate to "everything he did is going to evaporate on its own."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:08 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Military Times, New Trump policies could end in deportations for some active duty troops
The federal government is rolling back protections that have held off deportations for non-citizen service members, their families and veterans, according to a top immigration lawyer.

Memos are circulating among Homeland Security and Defense Department personnel, as well as lawyers who handle service member immigration issues, announcing the end of a handful of policies that have allowed thousands of people to stay in the U.S. while they sort out their resident status.
...
DoD has also since stopped expedited citizenship approvals for service members, she added, because “the solution was we used to have was to just naturalize the troops and we wouldn’t have to worry about them getting deported.”
..
If the policy changes result in deportations, it will likely be years before their are carried out, Stock said. “Deportations don’t happen immediately in America. They’re a lengthy process,” she said, involving multiple hearings in backlogged courts. “I don’t expect there will be very many instantaneous removals.”
sUpPoRt tHe tRoOpS!

Defense One, Top Diplomat Slams ‘Endless War’ Cries of Campaign Trail as ‘the Echo of the 1930s’
Pounding the table quite literally, the United States’ top envoy to the Middle East rejected Democratic candidates’ calls to withdraw from “endless wars.”

“I get terribly worried. Because this shows total ignorance of what’s going on in the world today,” said Ambassador Jim Jeffrey, in an exclusive interview with Defense One.
...
“I could go on literally for 20 minutes with literally scores and scores of American military operations that have undergird this global security regime and thus undergird the American and Western and UN values system. You start pulling the threads on that by claiming that every single time we threaten to fire a Tomahawk missile we are getting another Vietnam or another Iraq — please indicate that I’m stamping my fist on the table as I’m doing this — we are asking to go back to the 1930s. That’s the echo of what I hear in these comments, the 1930s.”
I, uh, actually am concerned that threatening to fire missiles at other countries will lead to a worse version of Iraq, yes, and pounding your fist isn't really reassuring me at all.
posted by zachlipton at 12:13 PM on June 28 [18 favorites]


There has been no evidence shown of successful interference

I think there are mountains of evidence that have been shown indicating that the Russian government's covert disinformation and media manipulation ca