"For nothing can seem foul to those that win"
July 9, 2019 6:19 PM   Subscribe

While there is no indication that Mueller does not wish to appear before Congress on July 17, Attorney General Barr says the DOJ will support Mueller if he “doesn’t want to subject himself” to congressional testimony, and the DOJ will seek to block any attempt by Congress to subpoena members of the special counsel’s team. In the meantime, the House Judiciary Committee votes this week to authorize a bevy of new subpoenas, including for Jeff Sessions, the former attorney general; Michael T. Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser; John F. Kelly, the former White House chief of staff; Rod J. Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general who appointed Mr. Mueller; Corey R. Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager; David J. Pecker, who as the head of American Media took part in a hush money scheme; and Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and adviser.

• Congressional Investigations Round-up:
White House blocks ex-McGahn aide from answering more than 200 questions (Politico) "The White House has blocked a third witness who provided crucial testimony to former special counsel Robert Mueller from describing the chaos she witnessed in the West Wing as President Donald Trump sought to assert control over the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. “The White House has directed that I not respond to this question because of the constitutionally-based executive branch confidentiality interests that are implicated,” former top White House aide Annie Donaldson repeated more than 200 times in written responses to the House Judiciary Committee, according to a transcript released Monday."

Felix Sater slammed by House panel for 'obstruction' in interview (Politico) "in a rare statement following the interview, a committee spokesman accused Sater of being uncooperative and obstructing the panel’s investigation by withholding documents and testimony in defiance of a subpoena. “While we do not typically comment on closed interviews, given Mr. Sater’s public comments that he has fully cooperated with the Committee and answered every question asked of him, we must correct the record,” said the spokesman, Patrick Boland. “Mr. Sater has not fully cooperated with the Committee, and he will remain under subpoena until he does so.”"

DOJ files to halt Trump suit demanding financial documents (AP) "The District of Columbia case is one of three that argues the president is violating the emoluments clause, but this case is notable because the plaintiffs in this suit — members of Congress — are mentioned in the clause itself. The Democrats’ attorneys have argued that Congress not only has a right but is required, as part of their jobs, to weigh in on potential emoluments to Trump such as a $6.5 million condo purchase by the Qatari government or a Chinese-government owned company’s investment in a project that will include a Trump-branded hotel and golf course in Indonesia."

Congressional Democrats subpoena Trump organization (CNN) "The other court cases are separate. Democrat-led House committees have subpoenaed Trump's financial records from multiple entities that keep them. The House Ways and Means Committee sued last week to force the Treasury Department and IRS to turn over Trump's tax returns from 2013 to 2018, citing the committee's responsibility in examining the tax code and audit processes. The agency has refused to hand over the documents, leaning on a Justice Department opinion. The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Trump's accounting firm Mazars USA for eight years of financial papers this spring, saying it needed them for its ethics investigation. And the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees requested Trump financial records from Capital One bank and Deutsche Bank as the committee examines foreign influence in politics and banking policy. The accounting firm and bank subpoenas are held up in court, after Trump sued as a private citizen to stop them. Appeals courts are expected to weigh his arguments later this summer."

Dems to pursue criminal contempt for William Barr, Wilbur Ross over census (Politico) "Being held in contempt by Congress will be an embarrassment for the Trump administration officials but it won’t lead to many tangible consequences. The Justice Department is almost certainly not going to charge the attorney general or another cabinet secretary with a crime. In fact, DOJ has urged officials not to comply with the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s subpoenas, which seek information related to the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census."
• Migrant Crisis Round-up:
Migrant children held in Texas facility need access to doctors, says attorney (Guardian) "In the past, [Elora Mukherjee, the director of Columbia Law School’s immigrant rights clinic,] said she would raise concerns about conditions with the lead counsel in the case, who would then pursue a remedy. This time, however, the conditions were so shocking the attorneys were compelled to approach the media.

Immigration agency secretly searches millions of Americans' ID photos (Guardian) "“Undocumented folks are coming out of the shadows in these states to get driver’s licenses and come into compliance with the law,” said Harrison Rudolph, an associate at Georgetown’s Center on Privacy and Technology, which shared the records with the Guardian. “They are never told when they go into the DMV [department of motor vehicles] to get a license that they also may be submitting their face to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That is a huge bait and switch and it’s deeply unfair.”"

Immigration Officials Use Secretive Gang Databases to Deny Migrant Asylum Claims (ProPublica) "Clay, the State Department spokesperson, said if a person is falsely accused of membership in a gang as a result of information from the center, it would be up to each country’s law enforcement agency to correct the problem. [...] Efrén Olivares, an attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project who has worked on hundreds of family separation and asylum cases, said that what the State Department is asking is impossible. “The whole reason people seek asylum is because their own government can’t protect them or is complicit in the violence,” he said. “Returning home is not an option.”"

Why the migrant crisis is happening now (Axios) "They're running from horrors and poverty at home toward a broken immigration system in the U.S. There's no single reason, but droughts, political instability, a booming U.S. economy, technological advancements and asylum backlogs all play a role." • Climate change is devastating Central America, driving migrants to the U.S. border (NBC News) "The reasons are complex, including poverty, unemployment and violence. But the increase in migration also coincides with the drought, which began in 2014, and those living in Central America’s so-called dry corridor, which is adjacent to El Rosario, say lack of food is the primary reason people leave, according to a United Nations report."
• Environmental Crisis Round-up:
Trump makes environment pitch to Florida voters without saying ‘climate change’ (McClatchyDC) • Trump touts environment record, green groups scoff (Reuters) "U.S. President Donald Trump boasted about his administration’s environmental record on Monday, saying America can lead the world in fighting pollution at the same time it is promoting fossil fuels, in a speech green groups derided as “utter fantasy.”"

Trump’s Misleading Claims About His Environmental Record (NYT) • Fact Check: Trump's environmental rhetoric versus his record (Politico) • Donald Trump's five most dangerous attacks on the environment (Guardian)

U.S. Democratic lawmakers declare climate emergency (Reuters) "Democratic lawmakers, including six presidential candidates, on Tuesday unveiled a Congressional resolution declaring a climate change emergency to spur “sweeping reforms” to stem a dangerous rise in global temperatures."
IN OTHER HEADLINES:

Justice Dept. Watchdog Is Preparing to Deliver Verdict on the Russia Investigation (NYT) "Mr. Horowitz, who is expected to release a much-anticipated report of his findings in the coming weeks, is believed to be weighing whether to recommend that the Justice Department tighten rules for any future counterintelligence investigations of a presidential campaign, which was a novel dilemma in 2016, according to people familiar with aspects of his investigation." • Trump dossier author Steele gets 16-hour DOJ grilling (Politico) "The interview was contentious at first, according to two people familiar with the matter, but investigators ultimately found his testimony credible and even surprising."

Trump's blocking of Twitter critics unconstitutional: U.S. appeals court (Reuters) "“The First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,” wrote Circuit Judge Barrington Parker, citing several Supreme Court decisions."

Trump's "Social Media Summit" is a Far-Right Troll Convention (Vanity Fair) "The president will likely use the event to wage war against social media companies' supposed “censorship” of conservative voices." • Facebook and Twitter have not been invited to White House social media summit, sources say (CNN)

U.S. appeals court signals sympathy to bid to strike down Obamacare (Reuters) "Whichever way it rules, the decision could prompt an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, potentially setting up a major legal battle over healthcare for tens of millions of Americans in the midst of the 2020 U.S. presidential election." • The Affordable Care Act Is Back In Court: 5 Facts You Need To Know (NPR)

Judge rejects Trump administration’s request to swap lawyers in census case (CNBC) "“The DOJ’s motion to withdraw specific attorneys is ‘patently insufficient,‘” Judge Jesse Furman wrote. “Defendants provide no reason, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons’ for the substitution of counsel.”" • Federal Judge Blocks Justice Department’s Effort to Withdraw Lawyers on Census Citizenship Case (NYT) "On its face, Judge Furman’s order only enforces a court rule governing changes of legal counsel. Practically, however, it presents the department with a difficult choice: Either reverse course and leave its old legal team in place, or produce sworn explanations that could prove both embarrassing and damaging to the administration’s case."

Today is the 901st day of the Trump administration. There are 484 days until the 2020 elections.

Need some comic relief? The Hyucking Hyuck Thread is your place for jokes and one-liners

Need to vent? The Fucking Fuck Thread is there for you, both for catharsis and sympathizing

Elsewhere on MetaFilter: Marie Claire long reads on Women and MigrationA Reckoning Long Overdue (Epstein indictment) • Defining "Concentration Camp"“Student debt is essentially illegitimate.”Double-whammy in Miami: The first 2020 Democratic presidential debatesSome Suburb of Hell (US Concentration Camps) • The Last Hideous Man (E. Jean Carroll / Donald Trump) • Diamond Joe: Centrist or Conservative (Joe Biden) • The Frontrunners (Warren and Sanders) • OnceUponATime's Active Measures site

Previously in U.S. Politics Megathreads: “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle”

MeFi Chat for live-blogging breaking news & eventsUnofficial PoliticsFilter SlackHelp fund the siteNext FPP draft • Thanks to Doktor Zed and box for helping to create this thread.


posted by Little Dawn (566 comments total) 110 users marked this as a favorite
 
Migrants held in ICE’s only transgender unit plea for help, investigation in letter
In a handwritten letter signed by 29 detainees, the group said there’s inadequate medical attention and allege that detention guards abuse them verbally and psychologically on a daily basis. “Our feelings, our worries, our indignation, the violation of our rights, our vulnerability before ICE and the officials that work here: it is for all these reasons we are expressing ourselves through this letter not just as trans women but also as human beings,” the letter states in Spanish. [...] “There is no adequate medical attention to treat people with disabilities, HIV-positive people, those with skin infections (some of which were acquired here), and several of our peers lack medications. We fear retaliations, but more so we are afraid of being in this situation,” the letter read. [...]

The letter from the women detained at Cibola was penned several days after ICE gave a media tour of the unit for transgender detainees. Reporters were neither allowed to speak to the women detained there nor bring cameras and recording devices. The next day ICE posted pictures on social media of smiling detainees reading, gardening, playing basketball and volleyball, and gathered around in a room. In the letter, the women said the pictures show staged activities. “In recent days, the employees of this unit staged activities that are solely an opposite image of reality,” they said. “They deceived us, coercing us to sign papers that weren’t explained to us and we didn’t know what their true purpose was.”
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:30 PM on July 9 [19 favorites]


Politico: Mulvaney Presses Trump To Dump Acosta Amid Mounting Outrage—The acting White House chief of staff has clashed with the Labor secretary, who is under fire for cutting a deal with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in 2008.
Mulvaney told Trump on Monday that the continuing drip of damaging information surrounding the 2008 agreement Acosta struck to keep billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein from a heavy jail sentence would hurt the administration, according to two people familiar with the conversation.

Mulvaney also may be seizing on an opportunity to try to depose a frequent antagonist who has frustrated some conservatives in the White House and business leaders on the outside.

Acosta critics, including Mulvaney, have argued that he has not been aggressive enough in stamping out Obama-era workplace regulations and employment discrimination lawsuits, and they are using the Epstein lawsuit to push him out the door.
If Mulvaney manages to convince Trump to fire Acosta, that will mean one fewer Senate-confirmed Cabinet heads in a crowd of acting appointments.

Earlier today, Trump defended Acosta to the WH press corps, Daniel Dale reports:
—Trump says Acosta has been "just an excellent Secretary of Labor." He adds, "What happened 12 or 15 years ago...you know, if you go back and look at everybody else's decisions...I would think you'd probably find...they'd wish they did it a different way."
—Trump says "a lot of people" were involved in the Epstein deal, not just Acosta.
—Trump says he feels "very badly" for Acosta.
—Trump says he had a "falling out" with Epstein 15 years ago: "I wasn't a fan of his, that I can tell you."
17 years ago, Trump called him a "terrific guy" and said, "It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:41 PM on July 9 [13 favorites]


While there is no indication that Mueller does not wish to appear before Congress on July 17, Attorney General Barr says the DOJ will support Mueller if he “doesn’t want to subject himself” to congressional testimony

....So, the drive from my Connecticut hometown to New York City, where I was going to college, took four hours. And throughout that entire four hours, my father kept telling me that I "didn't have to" go to college in New York "if I didn't want to." I didn't have to "save face", my parents wouldn't be disappointed if we turned around right then, there would be no shame, I just had to say the word and they'd pull me out and I could stay at home and go to college in Hartford or something, all I had to do was let them know...but I know full well that this was effectively my father begging me to change my mind and I had no intention of doing so.

I suspect that the set in Mueller's jaw matches the set in mine during that car ride.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:44 PM on July 9 [53 favorites]


"What happened 12 or 15 years ago...you know, if you go back and look at everybody else's decisions...I would think you'd probably find...they'd wish they did it a different way."
—Trump says "a lot of people" were involved in the Epstein deal, not just Acosta.
—Trump says he feels "very badly" for Acosta.
—Trump says he had a "falling out" with Epstein 15 years ago: "I wasn't a fan of his, that I can tell you."
17 years ago, Trump called him a "terrific guy" and said, "It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."


Translation: Jeff showed Trump the tapes labeled "+Donald"about 15 years ago.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:55 PM on July 9 [31 favorites]


CNN's legal analyst Renato Mariotti says Flynn's recent legal strategy only makes sense if he expects to receive a pardon.

Background from Politico:
Michael Flynn's relationship with federal prosecutors appears to sour
Government lawyers have dropped plans for Flynn to be the star witness at his former business partner's upcoming trial.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:59 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Reporters were neither allowed to speak to the women detained there nor bring cameras and recording devices. The next day ICE posted pictures on social media of smiling detainees reading, gardening, playing basketball and volleyball, and gathered around in a room.

stage-managed tours for the press is not an innovation in concentration camps. I don't want to say "Terezin", but, you know...
posted by BungaDunga at 7:11 PM on July 9 [36 favorites]


While there is no indication that Mueller does not wish to appear before Congress on July 17, Attorney General Barr says the DOJ will support Mueller if he “doesn’t want to subject himself” to congressional testimony, and the DOJ will seek to block any attempt by Congress to subpoena members of the special counsel’s team.

Well don't be shocked next week when Muller decides that he's not really ready to talk to Congress because reasons.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:23 PM on July 9 [10 favorites]


I bet there is a lot of shredding going on all over the place
Jeffrey Epstein Shipped Himself a 53-Pound Shredder and a Carpet and Tile Extractor, Maritime Records Show
posted by robbyrobs at 7:25 PM on July 9 [15 favorites]


Buzzfeed's Zoe Tillman reported earlier today on the census question case at SDNY:
The judge in the SDNY census citizenship Q case has denied DOJ's request to withdraw lawyers who had been handling it previously — the motion is "patently deficient" under the court's rules, the judge says
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6186320/7-9-19-Order-on-Motion-to-Withdraw-SDNY-Census.pdf

Furman's order is "without prejudice," which means DOJ can try again — the judge says that if they do, the lawyers will have to provide "satisfactory reasons" for withdrawing and confirm they'll still submit to the jurisidiction of the court re: any upcoming motions for sanctions

This doesn't appear to affect the entry of the new team of lawyers in the litigation — those lawyers don't have to ask the judge's permission to join the case, but lawyers have to get a judge's okay to withdraw while litigation is still pending

To recap: The judge in SDNY said DOJ must comply with local court rules in moving to withdraw lawyers from the case, which means providing "satisfactory reasons" for doing so and confirming they'll stay under the court's jurisdiction if needed
Now Trump's attacking yet another Federal judge: "So now the Obama appointed judge on the Census case (Are you a Citizen of the United States?) won’t let the Justice Department use the lawyers that it wants to use. Could this be a first?"

@Popehat: "TIL that the DoJ lawyers coming into the census case are "Trump's lawyers" and the lawyers leaving are not."
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:42 PM on July 9 [9 favorites]


So now the Obama appointed judge on the Census case (Are you a Citizen of the United States?) won’t let the Justice Department use the lawyers that it wants to use. Could this be a first?"

My emphasis. It's a threat, although I suppose there may be ways to spin it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:56 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]


[For Epstein stuff in general, please aim for this dedicated thread.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:59 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


WaPo: Megan Rapinoe: ‘I held up my end of the bargain’ after back-and-forth with Trump

“Obviously, I think [Trump’s] tweets were negative in tone, as he usually does, but I think that we just . . . realized in that moment we’re so much more than what we are on the field. I think this team really understands, and is so prideful, that we do carry with us other people when we step out on the pitch. It’s the game, of course, and we want to win, but knowing the impact that we have already had, and knowing the impact that we were gonna have when we came home, the motivation of just that alone is incredible."
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:10 PM on July 9 [28 favorites]


So, do congressional subpoenas carry any weight of law? That is, are there any actual consequences in ignoring or refusing a congressional subpoena? Other than the chattering class clutching their pearls and tsk-tsking, of course.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:20 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


That is, are there any actual consequences in ignoring or refusing a congressional subpoena?

If they so choose, Congress can hold you in contempt, and issue a warrant for your arrest. Which is to say, there are no consequences to refusing a subpoena in 2019.
posted by explosion at 8:47 PM on July 9 [46 favorites]


The Senate confirmed Trump's 7th appointment to the Ninth Circuit today, the 42nd circuit court nominee appointed by Trump. That leaves the court with 16 judges appointed by Democrats, 12 by Republicans, and one vancancy, plus two other conservative judges expected to retire this year, increasing the likelihood of majority conservative 3 and 11-judge panels for decisions.

WaPo, Democrats question absence of black or Hispanic nominees among Trump’s 41 circuit court judges: "Not one of the 41 judges is black or Hispanic. Five of the judges are Asian American...Among the lower-level district courts, 2 percent of Trump’s appointees are black, 2 percent are Hispanic, and 4 percent are Asian American."
posted by zachlipton at 8:56 PM on July 9 [19 favorites]


Congress has three options to enforce subpoenas:
Each of these methods invokes the authority of a separate branch of government. First, the long dormant inherent contempt power permits Congress to rely on its own constitutional authority to detain and imprison a contemnor until the individual complies with congressional demands. Second, the criminal contempt statute permits Congress to certify a contempt citation to the executive branch for the criminal prosecution of the contemnor. Finally, Congress may rely on the judicial branch to enforce a congressional subpoena. Under this procedure, Congress may seek a civil judgment from a federal court declaring that the individual in question is legally obligated to comply with the congressional subpoena.
"Contempt of Congress" is punishable by up to $100,000 fine and a year in prison, but of course, those require the DOJ to enforce.

The only method that looks likely to get any results is "the House authorizes an arrest warrant and sends a sergeant-at-arms to fetch someone, and imprisons them until they cooperate." This hasn't been used in almost a hundred years, and legal experts think it's unlikely.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:28 PM on July 9 [9 favorites]


Attorney General William Barr reportedly made light of his escalating dispute with Congress during an encounter with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?” he cracked as the two crossed paths at an event honoring law enforcement on Wednesday, according to multiple reports, including one in the New York Times.

The Times said Pelosi smiled and Barr chuckled during the encounter.
posted by xammerboy at 9:40 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


I smile at people I want to eviscerate too. Doesn't mean I'm pals with them.

I was looking at that information about the powers of the Speaker and the House today as well, assembling information for my next Pelosi stan comment. But since it's been covered, I'll spare us all.
posted by monopas at 10:05 PM on July 9 [7 favorites]


I smile at people I want to eviscerate too. Doesn't mean I'm pals with them.

Pelosi has the power and the responsibility to be smiling at him as she has him jailed. When you smile at people you hate in your day-to-day, I think they're usually not people you have a constitutional duty to stop in order to prevent or forestall the collapse of the country. When you don't do your duty and smile instead when he more or less says "bust me or you are declaring yourself powerless" then, well.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:14 PM on July 9 [25 favorites]




No she does not! It is not her job. She can't jail him. She literally can't. SHE IS POWERLESS IN THIS SITUATION AND SHE KNOWS IT. She can't save us or solve all of our problems. She is not to blame for them either. She is not the enemy.

It is the SENATE'S job to convict and dismiss. They can't jail anyone either. That is the job of the Judicial and DOJ.

The House is not going to save us or avenge us. They can't. It isn't that they don't want to, and they are doing their best to protect us even if we can't see it. The House's only real power or leverage is that they are the place that can initiate bills to raise revenue, and traditionally but not constitutionally, also appropriations bills.

Go read the wikipedia pages about the House and the Speaker. They are the weakest half branch of government, and not even a quarter of them will support impeachment of Trump. No one is going to touch Barr. Not a single Republican would, and without any Republican support, impeachment is a partisan witch hunt that screws the Democratic party in the eyes of the public. Without any support from the Senate, or enforcement from the DOJ, they are powerless. They're supposed to make laws for the people, not act as judge or enforcement.

This may not be the government we want, but it is the one we have. The Speaker of the House doesn't have much power, because the point is to distribute it around. What people are asking and demanding of her is unconstitutional. She is powerless, because there is no power for her to wield without support from other parts of the government. Because all she can realistically do is speak, and that very carefully. Anything else could create a Constitutional crisis that could end in that fascist state we're all so looking forward to.

So, would her arrest and imprisonment satisfy that powerless feeling you have? Because that's what could happen if she oversteps. With this administration, anything is possible as long as it is the worst thing.
posted by monopas at 10:56 PM on July 9 [26 favorites]


This may not be the government we want, but it is the one we have.

It's also not a government that will save our lives. When we went to war in Iraq "with the army we had," at least our generals weren't intending to lose.

Because all she can realistically do is speak, and that very carefully. Anything else could create a Constitutional crisis that could end in that fascist state we're all so looking forward to. So, would her arrest and imprisonment satisfy that powerless feeling you have? Because that's what could happen if she oversteps. With this administration, anything is possible as long as it is the worst thing.

"The opposition must not use its constitutional power and must carefully tailor its speech in terror of imprisonment" is an admission that the constitutional crisis has already come and that we are already in that fascist state.
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:09 PM on July 9 [94 favorites]


> Congressional Subpoena Power and Executive Privilege: The Coming Showdown Between the Branches (Lawfare)
Congress can also file a lawsuit asking a judge to order the witness to provide the information, raising the additional possibility of imprisonment for contempt of court.
posted by Little Dawn at 11:16 PM on July 9 [9 favorites]


Mother Jones has learned that ICE has started using three new for-profit immigration detention centers in the Deep South in recent weeks. One of them has seen the death of three inmates following poor medical treatment and a violent riot in 2012 that left a guard dead. Interviews with lawyers and prison officials and ICE records reveal that the agency has begun detaining migrants at the Adams County Correctional Center, a Mississippi prison operated by CoreCivic; the Catahoula Correctional Center, a Louisiana jail run by LaSalle Corrections; and the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center, run by GEO Group in Basile, Louisiana.

ICE has not previously disclosed its use of the Adams County and Catahoula centers, though GEO Group did announce in April that ICE would soon begin using the Basile facility. On Tuesday, ICE spokesman Bryan Cox confirmed that all three facilities started housing ICE detainees late last month. Together, the three detention centers can hold about 4,000 people, potentially expanding ICE’s presence in Louisiana and Mississippi by 50 percent.

... ICE had the capacity to detain only about 2,000 people in Louisiana and Mississippi at the start of Donald Trump’s presidency. But contracts signed with private prison companies in the past year have pushed ICE’s capacity in those states above 10,000 people. The horrifying conditions uncovered by Mother Jones at the Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana and by The Nation at Adams County helped push Barack Obama’s Justice Department to move to end its use of private prisons. Since June, ICE has started sending asylum seekers to both of those prisons.

Concentrating asylum seekers in Southern states makes it particularly likely that they will lose their cases because of the region’s harsh judges and shortage of immigration lawyers. There are not enough judges in Louisiana to hear the new cases, and there are no immigration courts in Mississippi. ... Homero López, the executive director of the Louisiana legal aid organization ISLA, says that even some Louisiana detainees who can afford a lawyer aren’t able to get one because of how quickly ICE is expanding in the state.

... An assistant warden told Mother Jones that ICE began sending people there last week, shortly after Congress voted to provide $4.6 billion to address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border without giving ICE the extra detention money it had requested. Asked how detaining immigrants compared to holding criminals, the warden said, “It’s a breeze.”


Well worth clicking to read reporter Noah Lanard's entire article.
posted by Bella Donna at 11:55 PM on July 9 [23 favorites]


Justice Dept. Tells Mueller Deputies Not to Testify, Scrambling an Agreement
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is seeking to discourage Robert S. Mueller III’s deputies from testifying before Congress, potentially jeopardizing an agreement for two of the former prosecutors to answer lawmakers’ questions in private next week, according to two government officials familiar with the matter.
The department told the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees last week that it was opposed to the testimony and had communicated its view to the two former members of Mr. Mueller’s team, Aaron Zebley and James L. Quarles III, according to a senior congressional official familiar with the discussions. A Justice Department official confirmed that account and said that the department had instructed both men not to appear.
It is unclear what effect the Justice Department’s intervention will have on the men’s eventual appearances, but it raises the prospect that a deal lawmakers thought they had struck last month for testimony from Mr. Mueller, the former special counsel, and the two prosecutors could still unravel.
Both Mr. Zebley and Mr. Quarles have left the Justice Department and are now private citizens, meaning that the department most likely cannot actually block their testimony. But the department’s view — depending on how strongly it is expressed — could have a chilling effect on two longtime employees and give them cover to avoid testifying.
posted by scalefree at 3:43 AM on July 10 [11 favorites]


BBC: Sir Kim Darroch resigns as UK ambassador to US

WaPo’s Josh Dawsey: ‘I barely know the guy’: To minimize critics, Trump employs selective amnesia
President Trump sat across from British Ambassador Kim Darroch during the annual St. Patrick’s Day lunch on Capitol Hill in March, inquiring about Brexit and bragging of his strong political standing, according to people familiar with their exchange.

It wasn’t the first time they met. Trump interacted with Darroch on a number of occasions in London and Washington, and most of the president’s senior aides have attended parties at the luxurious, chandelier-draped embassy in Northwest Washington and met with the ambassador at the White House.

But after leaked cables showed Darroch criticizing Trump’s administration as “inept” and the president as “insecure,” the president seemed to have a memory lapse.

“I don’t know the Ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool,” Trump wrote Tuesday on Twitter.[…]

Among those who have gotten the “I barely know the guy” treatment: Former acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker, conservative commentator Ann Coulter, former lawyer Michael Cohen, fired FBI director James B. Comey, former senior White House aide Stephen K. Bannon, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former State Department official Brett McGurk, longtime adviser Roger Stone, former White House aide Cliff Sims, former campaign aide George Papadopoulos and even the rapper Lil Jon, who starred on Trump’s reality TV show “Celebrity Apprentice.”

The people change, but the comments are eerily similar — and are something of a joke among some Trump advisers.
Or instead of using cutesy euphemisms like “selective amnsesia”, just say Trump’s lying.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:06 AM on July 10 [45 favorites]


The leaks brought a fierce backlash from Trump, who branded Darroch "wacky," "incompetent" and a "very stupid guy." In recent days, the Trump administration made it clear that Darroch was an unwelcome presence in Washington and would effectively be boycotting his participation in meetings. British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is herself standing down on July 23, had suggested that Darroch should stay in the role. UST


this is odd, because in the old thread, when I was looking up articles on this topic, there was no mentions of Trump having even noticed the leaks. This must have happened between the old thread and the new thread.
posted by Mrs Potato at 5:03 AM on July 10


Remember how Trump was all crowing about how the US is pulling out of Syria because ISIS is dead?

@HetavRojan
US has asked Denmark to deploy special forces to Northeast Syria, media reports. Germany declined a similar request this week.
Britain, France Agree to Send Additional Troops to Syria
The two U.S. allies have agreed to a marginal increase to help backfill the U.S. withdrawal.
In a major victory for U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security team, the United Kingdom and France have agreed to send additional forces to Syria to pick up the slack as U.S. troops withdraw, sources familiar with the discussions told Foreign Policy.
Britain and France, the only other U.S. partners that still have ground forces in Syria, will commit to a marginal 10 to 15 percent troop increase, a U.S. administration official confirmed. Other countries may send small numbers of troops as well, but in exchange the United States would have to pay, the official said.
[...]
Some experts have recently warned that the Islamic State could return stronger than ever, particularly if the U.S. withdraws from Syria without a commitment by allies to fill in the gap.
Without U.S. or allied support to sustain the security and stabilization gains the coalition has made, it’s likely that the Islamic State will “over time be able to prey upon local grievances,” as it did in the lead-up its 2014 takeover of major cities, and eventually “reconstitute and be able to take territory,” said Melissa Dalton, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“The U.S. is repeating a critical mistake by deprioritizing this effort at a pivotal moment when our gains are at their most fragile,” warned a new report by the Institute for the Study of War. “The U.S. must take immediate steps to dampen ISIS’s resurgence in Iraq and Syria, including halting and reversing America’s ongoing withdrawal from Syria.”
posted by scalefree at 5:06 AM on July 10 [11 favorites]


Sir Kim Darroch resigns as UK ambassador to US

More on this breaking news:
The ambassador said […] the leak had made it "impossible" to do his job. In a letter to the Foreign Office, Sir Kim said: "Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador. I want to put an end to that speculation."

In response to the letter Sir Simon McDonald, permanent under secretary and head of the diplomatic service, said Sir Kim had served a "long and distinguished career, with dignity, professionalism and class". Describing the leak as "malicious" Sir Simon added: "You are the best of us."

Theresa May said it was a "matter of great regret" that Sir Kim felt the need to resign, saying officials needed to be able to give "full and frank advice".[…]

Europe Minister Sir Alan Duncan has accused [Boris] Johnson of throwing Sir Kim "under a bus".

"I think for someone who wants to lead let alone unite this country, that was contemptible negligence on his part and he's basically thrown this fantastic diplomat under a bus to serve his own personal interests," he told the BBC.
Trump has managed to fire another country's ambassador by tweet.

this is odd, because in the old thread, when I was looking up articles on this topic, there was no mentions of Trump having even noticed the leaks. This must have happened between the old thread and the new thread.

Trump's Twitter attack on Monday was discussed here and here previously. The megathreads come at you fast, but a lot of information gets drowned out when there are circular debates about Pelosi, "Democrat" Party, "Clinton v. Sanders round 5 billion", etc.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:33 AM on July 10 [32 favorites]


U.S. Democratic lawmakers declare climate emergency (Reuters) "Democratic lawmakers, including six presidential candidates, on Tuesday unveiled a Congressional resolution declaring a climate change emergency to spur “sweeping reforms” to stem a dangerous rise in global temperatures."

That's a good start! I hope this leads to actual probing during the debates; there was not a single question about climate change in the 2016 General Election debates.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:07 AM on July 10 [15 favorites]


NBC: McGrath raises a record $2.5 million on first day of Senate campaign
McGrath campaign manager Mark Nickolas said it’s the most ever raised in the first 24 hours of a Senate campaign. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says the next closest was former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, who raised $1 million in his first day of his campaign in Arizona.

The haul is a sign of just how deep Democratic antipathy toward McConnell, the Senate majority leader, runs in the Trump era.

All of the $2.5 million came in online donations with an average donation of $36.15, her campaign manager said. The $2.5 million total doesn’t include any additional traditional fundraising money that may have been raised in the form of checks or promised campaign contributions.
To put that in perspective, though, Politico reports: Tom Steyer unleashes TV ad blitz
Billionaire activist Tom Steyer’s campaign rolled out a seven-figure television ad campaign promoting his nascent campaign, the largest single television ad buy in the Democratic presidential primary.

The pair of ads are backed up by $1.4 million dollars in spending, according to details of the ad campaign shared first with POLITICO. They will run nationally on CNN and MSNBC and locally in the four early states — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — for two weeks, from July 10 to July 23.[…]

The $1.4 million buy represents a small chunk of what Steyer has committed to spending on his presidential bid. A Steyer spokesperson told The New York Times on Tuesday that the billionaire former hedge fund manager will spend “at least $100 million” on the race.
If these billionaire vanity candidates were truly interested in democratic reform, they'd spend their money on voter registration and get-out-the-vote initiatives.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:20 AM on July 10 [48 favorites]


Trump has managed to fire another country's ambassador by tweet.


More to the point, he was manipulated into firing another country's ambassador by tweet.

Who by? We don't know. Why? We don't know.

We do know that Boris appears to be complicit in this, being the sole senior Tory not supporting the ambassador; that Farage and pals seemed to be very quick off the mark in supporting 45; and that the channel for the 'leak' was Arron Banks' woman at the Telegraph, Isabel Oakeshott. And that as Carol Cadwalladr has repeatedly and correctly pointed out - Brexit, 45, Boris, Farage, et al, are not separate things, they are different aspects of the same thing.

The UK politics thread is on its summer break at the moment. One had hoped that a restorative lull might be in order. Mistake.
posted by Devonian at 6:29 AM on July 10 [35 favorites]


Pennsylvania’s governor just stopped the latest Republican voter suppression scheme
The veto by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf came at the cost of $90 million for needed upgrades to the state's voting machines.
Pennsylvania’s Gov. Tom Wolf stopped Republicans from sneaking a long desired voter suppression measure into a bill that would have funded needed upgrades to the state’s vulnerable voting machines.
Wolf vetoed Senate Bill 48, which would have eliminated straight-party ticket voting, which allows people to cast a vote for all Democratic or Republican candidates listed on the ballot at the same time, rather than having to check off each individual candidate. That measure was part of a package that would have also provided $90 million in funds for counties to replace electronic voting machines that are susceptible to hacking with voter-marked paper ballots.
The second term Democratic governor on Friday vetoed the bill that passed along party lines by the Republican-controlled legislature, which is in power thanks in part to political gerrymandering.
Democrats say that rolling back straight-party ticket voting would create longer wait lines and confusion at the polls, affecting under-resourced polling locations in minority populated areas.
posted by scalefree at 6:40 AM on July 10 [19 favorites]


If these billionaire vanity candidates were truly interested in democratic reform, they'd spend their money on voter registration and get-out-the-vote initiatives.


Heck, with $100 million, you could probably tip control of the US Senate, and a couple of state legislatures, to boot.
posted by darkstar at 6:41 AM on July 10 [16 favorites]


The House is not going to save us or avenge us. They can't. It isn't that they don't want to, and they are doing their best to protect us even if we can't see it.

Assumes facts not in evidence. Or more succinctly, bullshit.

There are lots of things they could be doing, things they could be doing more aggressively, things they could be doing faster, etc., etc. But are not. The only thing they appear to be doing their best at is delaying and minimizing so as to avoid impeachment.

And if they really had no power, they shouldn’t have spent all of 2018 saying elect us so we can hold these fuckers accountable.

Do your fucking jobs or get out of the way.
posted by chris24 at 6:55 AM on July 10 [65 favorites]


Guardian: Trump Labor Secretary Who Cut Epstein Deal Plans To Slash Funds For Sex Trafficking Victims—Democrats condemn as ‘amoral’ Alex Acosta’s proposed 80% funding cut for US agency that combats child sex trafficking
Acosta’s plan to slash funding of a critical federal agency in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children is contained in his financial plans for the Department of Labor for fiscal year 2020. In it, he proposes decimating the resources of a section of his own department known as the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB).

The bureau’s budget would fall from $68m last year to just $18.5m. The proposed reduction is so drastic that experts say it would effectively kill off many federal efforts to curb sex trafficking and put the lives of large numbers of children at risk.[…]

Katherine Clark, a congresswoman from Massachusetts, said Acosta’s proposed cut was “reckless” and “amoral”. When seen alongside the sweetheart plea deal he granted Epstein in 2008, when Acosta was the US attorney in Miami, she said, it indicated that the labor secretary did not see protecting vulnerable children as a priority.[…]

Clark grilled Acosta about the proposed cuts in April, when he presented his departmental budget to the House appropriations subcommittee. On that occasion, she said, she found him “rude, dismissive, challenging”.
Hey, remember way back when how Trump's Oklahoma campaign chair to pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking? It's like there's some kind of pattern with Trump and the people around him.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:56 AM on July 10 [45 favorites]


The ambassador said […] the leak had made it "impossible" to do his job. In a letter to the Foreign Office, Sir Kim said: "Since the leak of official documents from this Embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador. I want to put an end to that speculation."


Only one thing left to do: put him in the Order of the Garter.
posted by ocschwar at 7:05 AM on July 10


Your occasional reminder that 80-year-old Steny Hoyer, who has led efforts to continue funding America's system of for-profit concentration camps, is in an increasingly liberal district and has a progressive challenger (McKayla Wilkes) who's unlikely to attract much seasoned campaign help due to the DCCC's campaign racketeering. She could use every dollar you're inclined to give.
posted by duffell at 7:07 AM on July 10 [37 favorites]


impeachment is a partisan witch hunt

I'm going to treat any further comments with the same amount of seriousness that I give to the most famous user of that phrase.
posted by diogenes at 7:09 AM on July 10 [19 favorites]


There are lots of things they could be doing, things they could be doing more aggressively, things they could be doing faster, etc., etc. But are not. The only thing they appear to be doing their best at is delaying and minimizing so as to avoid impeachment.

Did we not see about a half dozen subpoena and similar actions just this week?
posted by M-x shell at 7:10 AM on July 10 [8 favorites]


The judge in the SDNY census citizenship Q case has denied DOJ's request to withdraw lawyers who had been handling it previously

Reading DOJ lawyers just get REAMED by the judge in the SDNY case gives me the vicious schadenfreude, because it's a wisp of a shadow of a dream of accountability for the Trump administration, and the morally bankrupt lawyers who enable its goals.

Like, the lawyers originally promised the court that they were dropping the case, then the Trump administration cut them off at the knees, so they tried to leave the case politely with some bland, polite fictions and standard recitations, which are sufficient and taken at face value 99.999% of the time, especially when you're representing the government or a big corporation, because they can get plenty of lawyers to step into your place.

But now, the judge is basically looking these lawyers in the eye and saying, "I'm gonna need you to be louder about how you lied to me when you said the government was dropping the question, and now you don't have the stomach to keep lying, or any authority to actually bind your client. No, louder. Louder than that. With more details about your lying and lack of authority that mean, together, I can't rely on anything you or your successors say."

This is the sort of thing career litigators have nightmares about. Like, sit up in bed at night sweaty terrors. It doesn't change children in concentration camps, but the frosty judge RAGE in that denial does distract me from my anger. For a little.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:19 AM on July 10 [66 favorites]


Did we not see about a half dozen subpoena and similar actions just this week?

We are 6 months into this term and what we have seen is jack shit, or weak and delayed measures. The couple legal actions filed this week will most likely not be resolved before the 2020 election. Republicans had Comey before Congress in 2 days.

@armandodkos
It’s July 8. The Trump Administration has produced not a single witness or document about the Trump Administration in response to House Dems request and subpoenas.

The House has filed zero cases to enforce subpoenas against the Trump Administration.
posted by chris24 at 7:19 AM on July 10 [37 favorites]


The House has filed zero cases to enforce subpoenas against the Trump Administration.

Every month I am reminded of the Washington Generals getting dunked on by the Globetrotters. Like Geese is spinning the ball right in front of your face, why would you not steal it? They've got a ladder on the court, why is the ref not calling this?

At some point you start to think maybe the Generals aren't putting up an honest game.
posted by FakeFreyja at 7:27 AM on July 10 [67 favorites]


The judge in the SDNY census citizenship Q case has denied DOJ's request to withdraw lawyers who had been handling it previously

Meanwhile, in the MD census case, Buzzfeed's Zoe Tillman reports that Barr is claiming maximum discretion in replacing the DoJ legal team:
In the Maryland census case, DOJ defends its handling of withdrawing the previous team of lawyers – they argue the AG has broad power to assign attorneys, and there won't be any prejudice, and say the new lawyers are already working on it
https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6186842/7-10-19-US-Reply-MD-Census.pdf

The judge in Maryland hasn't weighed in yet on the legal team swap. Recall that the judge in SDNY rejected the withdrawal, saying DOJ failed to follow the court's rules (but giving them a chance to try again)
Politico's Ted Hasson: "Something to watch: Plaintiffs in the Maryland census cases plan to use discovery to dig into communications between the White House and Commerce and DOJ officials"
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:29 AM on July 10 [9 favorites]


One of those actions was House Ways and Means finally getting around to filing their lawsuit for Trump's tax returns, after several months of playing a stupid "maybe asking nicely followed up with completely hollow threats will work this time" game.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:29 AM on July 10 [8 favorites]


a progressive challenger (McKayla Wilkes) who's unlikely to attract much seasoned campaign help due to the DCCC's campaign racketeering.

Racketeering? This kind of talk is not helpful. That's what Trump and the Bernie Bros used to attack Hillary Clinton. It's part of the reason Trump is president today.

Once again, the DCCC is not the DNC. The DCCC is a committee composed of incumbents who raise money to re-elect themselves. They are not spending their efforts to raise money to elect their opponents.

Are Warren and Harris racketeers because they are not using their own election campaign funds to elect Biden?
posted by JackFlash at 7:38 AM on July 10 [27 favorites]


To consolidate replies to

I suspect that the set in Mueller's jaw matches the set in mine during that car ride.

and

Well don't be shocked next week when Muller decides that he's not really ready to talk to Congress because reasons.

Mueller has already made it clear that he doesn't want to testify. However, he is likely a law abiding citizen that recognizes that what he wants doesn't matter in the face of a subpoena.

...

NBC: McGrath raises a record $2.5 million on first day of Senate campaign

There is a significant chance that this is money thrown down the toilet. KY will only be in play with a very favorable national environment (at which point, who cares about McConnell?). What Democrats should be shooting for is a Dem majority, which would make McConnell dramatically less powerful, rather than trying to unseat him. To get a Dem majority, they should aim their dollars at AZ, NC, ME, CO, IA, and GA (if Roy Moore gets the AL Senate nomination, then put AL before IA).
posted by Jpfed at 7:38 AM on July 10 [16 favorites]


The 4th Circuit just dismissed the emoluments suit filed by state attorneys general, citing a lack of standing. This does not affect the case brought by members of the House.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:51 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]


Buzzfeed's Zoe Tillman: "BREAKING: The 4th Circuit has ordered the dismissal of DC and Maryland's emoluments clause case against Trump, finding they lack standing"

From the ruling:
The District and Maryland’s interest in enforcing the Emoluments Clauses is so attenuated and abstract that their prosecution of this case readily provokes the question of whether this action against the President is an appropriate use of the courts, which were created to resolve real cases and controversies between the parties. In any event, for the reasons given, we grant the President’s petition for a writ of mandamus and, taking jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b), hold that the District and Maryland do not have Article III standing to pursue their claims against the President. Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s orders denying the President’s motion to dismiss filed in his official capacity, and, in light of our related decision in No. 18-2488, we remand with instructions that the court dismiss the District and Maryland’s complaint with prejudice.
LAT's Matt Pearce: "So in other words, under this theory the emoluments clause is effectively an annex to the impeachment article, since it sounds like that’s the only mechanism where it could be enforced."

WaPo's Ann Marimow: "The D.C. Circuit is considering a separate "emoluments' lawsuit from Congressional Democrats, who say the anti-corruption clauses require Trump to seek approval from lawmakers before accepting payments or other benefits."
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:53 AM on July 10 [15 favorites]




There is a significant chance that this is money thrown down the toilet.

Dave Wasserman
Reality check: Amy McGrath ran for House in 2018 (a terrific Dem year) and lost by 3% in #KY06, which went for Trump by 15% in 2016.

Now she’s running w/ basically the same message in a state that went for Trump by *30%.* Folks...
posted by chris24 at 7:58 AM on July 10 [9 favorites]


I just want to repost a couple of links from the last thread...

House Dems set to subpoena Kushner, Sessions and 10 other Mueller witnesses
"House Judiciary Committee will vote on Thursday to authorize subpoenas for 12 of former special counsel Robert Mueller's witnesses — including President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his former deputy Rod Rosenstein, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former chief of staff John Kelly and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski."
“He Said Not to Tell Anyone”: How Trump Kept Tabs on Jeffrey Epstein
Democrats may soon have an opportunity to question Pecker about his relationship with Trump. Later this week, the House Judiciary Committee will vote to authorize a subpoena for Pecker, among people involved in the Mueller report, as they investigate possible obstruction of justice.
Felix Sater to Testify After Missing Previously Scheduled Appearance
Sater failed to appear for a voluntary appearance before the committee last month because he was sick and slept through his alarm, he told POLITICO at the time. Sater previously said his attorney, Robert Wolf, was already in Washington for the planned interview but the committee issued a subpoena anyway.
Democrats to pursue criminal contempt charges against William Barr and Wilbur Ross for defying congressional subpoenas related to the census

First Judicial Subpoenas Served in Foreign #EmolumentsClause Lawsuit Brought by @SenBlumenthal, @RepJerryNadler & 213 Other Members of Congress


Trump is a huge headache for Deutsche, but the bank has plenty more
[Deutschebank] is currently caught [in] a legal battle over a subpoena from House Democrats years of the president's financial records. A Manhattan federal judge has rejected a request by Trump and his family to block Deutsche and Capital One from complying with the congressional subpoenas. The case is currently on hold while Trump appeals the decision and the banks have agreed not to turn over any information until the case is resolved.

Seven Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee have also [asked] the Federal Reserve to probe whistleblower allegations, first reported by the New York Times last month, that Deutsche Bank buried suspicious activity from accounts associated with Trump and his son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner.
House Oversight chairman demands private emails from Trump officials
A top House Democrat demanded Monday that the White House turn over all communications sent by senior officials using private email and messaging services — including encrypted apps — by next week, citing a blanket refusal by the Trump administration to comply with earlier requests.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said his request, with a July 10 deadline, marks the start of a new review of the private email practices of Trump administration officials that appear to violate federal record-keeping laws. The Maryland Democrat noted that he had made narrower requests for information months ago, such as details about Jared Kushner's contacts with foreign officials via text and "apparent violations" by "Ivanka Trump, Steve Bannon and K.T. McFarland." [...]
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.
It's just not true that the Democrats in the House are doing nothing. It IS true that the Trump administration is ignoring a lot of congressional subpoenas. The options that the House has for dealing with that noncompliance are limited, when the head of the DOJ is personally enabling much of it. If your take is "That means our democracy is ALREADY badly damaged and the crisis we were worried about is HERE"... I don't disagree.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:07 AM on July 10 [51 favorites]


"BREAKING: The 4th Circuit has ordered the dismissal of DC and Maryland's emoluments clause case against Trump, finding they lack standing"

Not to be political, but deciding that 4th circuit ruling:
Argued March 19, 2019 Decided July 10, 2019
Before NIEMEYER [appointed by G H W Bush, 1990] and QUATTLEBAUM [appointed by D J Trump, 2018], Circuit Judges and SHEDD Senior Circuit Judge [appointed by G W Bush, 2002].
posted by pjenks at 8:12 AM on July 10 [13 favorites]


Steny Hoyer does the DCCC's dirty work against primary challengers and progressives

How is this "dirty work"? There was a decision by the local Democratic party leaders in Colorado to back who they considered to be the strongest candidate to take back a Republican seat. The DCCC decided to respect the decision of the local leaders and back their preferred candidate.
posted by JackFlash at 8:13 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]


As a citizen of a democracy, I love when local leaders helpfully keep me from voting for the wrong person
posted by Greg Nog at 8:24 AM on July 10 [15 favorites]


In positive news: California Is 1st State To Offer Health Benefits To Adult Undocumented Immigrants (Bobby Allyn for NPR, July 10, 2019)
California has become the first state in the country to offer government-subsidized health benefits to young adults living in the U.S. illegally.

The measure signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday extends coverage to low-income, undocumented adults age 25 and younger for the state's Medicaid program.

Since 2016, California has allowed (Public Policy Institute of California) children under 18 to receive taxpayer-backed health care despite immigration status. And state officials expect that the plan will cover roughly 90,000 people.

The idea of giving health benefits to undocumented immigrants is supported (Pacific Standard Magazine) by most of the Democratic candidates running for president, and California's move comes as the Trump administration continues to ramp up its hard-line crackdown on illegal immigration. On Tuesday, Newsom said the state law draws a sharp contrast with Trump's immigration policies.

"If you believe in universal health care, you believe in universal health care," Newsom said (Facebook video). "We are the most un-Trump state in America when it comes to health policy."
California: what the rest of the country could do if it had (mildly) progressive Democratic leadership. Thanks for breaking the ice, and moving the dialog forward from "what if" to "starting now."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:29 AM on July 10 [31 favorites]


So in other words, under this theory the emoluments clause is effectively an annex to the impeachment article, since it sounds like that’s the only mechanism where it could be enforced.

Interesting. Mueller also said that the only remedy for crimes committed by the president was impeachment. I'm noticing a pattern.
posted by diogenes at 8:30 AM on July 10 [19 favorites]


The closed-door interview will cap a protracted back-and-forth between Sater and the panel, which has rescheduled his appearance several times since he was first slated to appear in March.

Sater failed to appear for a voluntary appearance before the committee last month because he was sick and slept through his alarm

You can really feel the urgency.
posted by diogenes at 8:35 AM on July 10 [9 favorites]


As a citizen of a democracy, I love when local leaders helpfully keep me from voting for the wrong person

This is bullshit and you know it. How many times have folks here complained that their local party isn't helping to find strong candidates to run against Republicans. That is what local party leaders do. They actively go around and try to find a candidate that they think can win. They talk them into running and then they provide resources to help them win.

That's what people here demanded and that's what they are doing. If you don't like their preferred candidate then there are two things you can do. Get involved in local politics to make you views known and try to influence their selections. Or help your preferred candidate run as an independent, but keep in mind that this might end up putting the Republican in office.

But sitting around whining as a keyboard commando isn't doing anything. Pro-tip: accusing your local party officials of being racketeers is unlikely to earn you much credibility or influence.
posted by JackFlash at 8:39 AM on July 10 [29 favorites]


It IS true that the Trump administration is ignoring a lot of congressional subpoenas.

All of these investigations could be fast tracked if they were a part of an impeachment inquiry. There would no longer be a question of whether Trump must comply with subpoenas. There would no longer be appeals. There would no be a question of pressing government interest. Courts would no longer slow roll these cases.

The genesis of the Pelosi story is that the House passed the Senate's emergency spending bill for ICE without adding basic progressive amendments that would ensure things like food, clothing, soap, clean water, toothbrushes, and adequate heat for the children staying in the detention centers.

At bottom, the Pelosi story is about whether or not Democratic leadership is interested at all in holding Trump accountable or fighting against his policies. It increasingly looks like the strategy is to sit back, let Trump dig his own grave through his increasingly illegal actions, and hope voters notice.
posted by xammerboy at 8:40 AM on July 10 [15 favorites]


Get involved in local politics to make you views known and try to influence their selections.

It's neat how when people do this, they get "local leaders" working in concert with members of the national party to get them to drop out. That's a functioning system, baby!
posted by Greg Nog at 8:43 AM on July 10 [12 favorites]


and hope voters notice

And hope you can win an election against an opponent who is unconstrained by any laws. That's not hyperbole.
posted by diogenes at 8:46 AM on July 10 [25 favorites]


monopas: What people are asking and demanding of her is unconstitutional. She is powerless, because there is no power for her to wield without support from other parts of the government. Because all she can realistically do is speak, and that very carefully. Anything else could create a Constitutional crisis that could end in that fascist state we're all so looking forward to.

So, would her arrest and imprisonment satisfy that powerless feeling you have?


I think there's a lot of merit to the larger point -- the House does indeed have a terrible hand, and the question is how they play it. What I'm not certain about is how this specific bit jibes with the sargeant-at-arms power. Are you saying that the House personally using its own enforcement mechanism would be truly not constituional, or rather that it's not "practically" constitutional because the White House would retaliate by arresting her?

xammerboy: All of these investigations could be fast tracked if they were a part of an impeachment inquiry. There would no longer be a question of whether Trump must comply with subpoenas. There would no longer be appeals. There would no be a question of pressing government interest. Courts would no longer slow roll these cases.

I think this is absolutely 100% wrong. Simply by entertaining "questions" about the "legitimacy" and "murkiness" of the impeachment, courts would slow-roll it for sure. I truly fail to see why they wouldn't. In the current climate, a court/judge taking the stance that the impeachment is legitimate (rather than splitting the difference oh-so-moderately between that and "witch hunt"), and indeed so legitimate that it's time to fast-track things, is taking a strong partisan stance. The hesitations and reluctance of Mueller is perfect illustration of this: people in general dislike headaches or rocking the boat. We should still impeach because it's better than the alternative, but every option is a long slog, regardless.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:47 AM on July 10 [5 favorites]


Addendum to not abuse editing: Right now, everyone from Mueller himself to various judges to Trump's own lawyers are saying "The only remedy to XYZ is impeachment." From one angle, that looks a lot like evidence that impeachment is, indeed, a powerful remedy. From another, however, it looks like a thing whose absence makes a perfect excuse, like the procrastinator who says "I just need a smart watch, if I only had a smart watch I would be everywhere on time."
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:51 AM on July 10 [14 favorites]


All of these investigations could be fast tracked if they were a part of an impeachment inquiry. There would no longer be a question of whether Trump must comply with subpoenas. There would no longer be appeals. There would no be a question of pressing government interest. Courts would no longer slow roll these cases.

This strikes me as optimistic. An "impeachment inquiry" is not actually a thing, Constitutionally speaking, and would not be a magic word to override court procedures. The White House would just shift the goalposts further and dicker over whether the claims are legitimate. The only thing that is impeachment is impeachment -- articles filed in the House and approved by a majority, setting off a trial in the Senate. The run-up to that step is just more uncodified norms.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:52 AM on July 10 [6 favorites]


The options that the House has for dealing with that noncompliance are limited...
or
What people are asking and demanding of her is unconstitutional. She is powerless, because there is no power for her to wield without support from other parts of the government.

Congress, either branch, has only had one real power - that of the purse. The House should make it known that not only will a budget not be passed, the debt ceiling will be breached and we will default on our debts unless the Executive starts playing ball; we literally only have our chains to lose.
posted by pseudophile at 8:54 AM on July 10 [5 favorites]


I'm not generally one to defend Steny fucking Hoyer, but the idea that party officials choosing who they spend money on somehow denies you the opportunity to vote for your preferred candidate is absurd.

Ocasio-Cortez understood that you don't destroy the establishment's house with its own tools. She went to war with the DCCC and she fucking won. It may not be easy, but the two-party system isn't going away any time soon, so you either work with the party or you go it alone knowing you're at a disadvantage. Crying about it to the press so they can run the shocking headline "Political Party Does Political Party Things" is pathetic.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:55 AM on July 10 [14 favorites]


[Maybe enough on round n of all this? impeachment y/n DCCC feckless dems pelosi; we must/we can't. Let's aim for updates on things actually happening?]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:59 AM on July 10 [31 favorites]


This is the first time I've read through and engaged in a politics thread in several months, so apologies in advance for the insufferable naïveté that follows -

a tl;dr of this thread and others like it seems to be, "Our system is not equipped to deal with corruption and/or fascism at the top." So how can the answer lie in local political office? Nancy Pelosi is powerless and so is everyone downstream, including local politicians, judges, whoever we work our assess off to elect.

The only moment in the past few months when I have felt a glimmer of hope is when I heard about Jewish activists physically surrounding ICE offices in Boston last week. Their actions stopped these particular ICE officers from working for a few hours. That is more than literally any elected official has accomplished.
posted by MiraK at 9:02 AM on July 10 [49 favorites]


everyone from Mueller himself to various judges to Trump's own lawyers are saying "The only remedy to XYZ is impeachment." From one angle, that looks a lot like evidence that impeachment is, indeed, a powerful remedy. From another, however, it looks like a thing whose absence makes a perfect excuse

Aren't both of those angles arguments for starting the process?

(This may be the n'th round of comments on this subject, but it's in response to breaking news about a court ruling that happened like 10 minutes ago.)
posted by diogenes at 9:03 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Politico: Mulvaney Presses Trump To Dump Acosta Amid Mounting Outrage—The acting White House chief of staff has clashed with the Labor secretary, who is under fire for cutting a deal with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in 2008.

Axios's Jonathan "Trump Whisperer" Swan: "A source close to President Trump tells me there is “zero” chance he fires Labor Secretary Alex Acosta over his handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case. “Zero,” they repeated."

Bloomberg: U.S. Labor Secretary Won’t Resign Over Epstein, Official Says

NBC: Labor Sec. Acosta to hold news conference Wednesday afternoon following renewed scrutiny over his role in cutting a plea deal more than a decade ago for Jeffrey Epstein.

Politico's Ian Kullgren: "“Acosta’s usual strategy with terrible press is to just stay quiet,” a former admin official told me. “This shows just how desperate he is becoming to save his job.”"

Former Obama DoJ official Eric Columbus: "Anyone prepping for Alex Acosta’s presser should read his only detailed statement on the Epstein case, a three-page letter he gave @thedailybeast in 2011. In that letter Acosta goes on and on and on about how great Epstein’s lawyers were. Very odd."
https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeffrey-epstein-how-the-hedge-fund-mogul-pedophile-got-off-easy
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:12 AM on July 10 [10 favorites]


a tl;dr of this thread and others like it seems to be, "Our system is not equipped to deal with corruption and/or fascism at the top." So how can the answer lie in local political office? Nancy Pelosi is powerless and so is everyone downstream, including local politicians, judges, whoever we work our assess off to elect.

Why are the hard right so infuriated by the concept of sanctuary cities? Or local gun ordinances? Or uncooperative lower court rulings, if they own the SCOTUS now?

Because they are symbolic. They _are_ local and county and state officials doing their best to at least impede the fascist agenda. Where they don't succeed outright, they can often buy time and organize resistance around themselves.

When you don't get good people into those local offices, you end up with legions of Kim Davises who have no qualms about taking things the other way, disregarding laws and court rulings in favor of how they feel the world should be.

Why is the Republican Party so brain-damaged as-is? Because of decades of efforts to push and shove it further to the right. Because of efforts to paint compromise as treason and acknowledgement of the opposition as legitimate as the cardinal sin. And because these hard-right people have primaried out moderates, seized control of state legislatures and school boards and local offices and party functionary positions, and blanketed the airwaves with endless mantras yanking the Overton Window rightwards.

It is easier to gain functional control of a burning, skidding trash truck of a party from the bottom up than to assume that replacing two or three people at the top can result in major reform. The right has gained considerable power via that approach, and it is worth repeating.
posted by delfin at 9:18 AM on July 10 [18 favorites]


Congress, either branch, has only had one real power - that of the purse. The House should make it known that not only will a budget not be passed, the debt ceiling will be breached and we will default on our debts unless the Executive starts playing ball; we literally only have our chains to lose.

This is a really bad idea. The public really, really, really hates government shutdowns. And they particularly hate it when it isn't about the actual budget but some unrelated item like political bickering over subpoenas.

Democrats should play hardball in the negotiations about the budget, but threatening a shutdown should not be a strategy.
posted by JackFlash at 9:26 AM on July 10 [14 favorites]


"A source close to President Trump tells me there is “zero” chance he fires Labor Secretary Alex Acosta over his handling of the Jeffrey Epstein case. “Zero,” they repeated."

This is Trump's standard tactic when confronted with sexual improprieties -- deny, deny, deny and deny some more, even when the evidence is staring the public in the face.

Trump's stubbornness on defending Acosta suggests he feels some personal vulnerability by admitting any impropriety.
posted by JackFlash at 9:31 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Nicholas Bagley, Silver bullets, blue pencils, and the future of the ACA
So set that aside. Turning to standing, neither Judge Elrod and Judge Engelhardt appeared troubled about whether the red states could bring the lawsuit. And they were downright hostile to the argument that the ACA should be understood to leave people a choice about whether to buy insurance. Doesn’t the law say that people “shall” buy coverage? And doesn’t Congress know how to repeal or amend a law when it wishes to?

The judges listened respectfully when the lawyer for the House of Representatives patiently explained that the Supreme Court has authoritatively interpreted that language to give people a choice about whether to buy insurance or not. And Marty Lederman is right that the argument is embarrassing on its own terms. But they appeared unmoved.
...
It does seem to me, however, that yesterday’s argument went about as badly as it could’ve gone. Instead of scoffing at the frivolousness of the red states’ legal arguments, two judges on the panel appear open to holding that the ACA is wholly or partly invalid. We could be in for a long, bumpy ride.
NYT, Margot Sanger-Katz, So You Want to Overturn Obamacare. Here Are Some Things That Would Be Headaches, on the wide range of things that would happen if the ACA was repealed, starting with 21 million people probably losing their health insurance and 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions losing protection, but also everything from the end of restaurant calorie counts to the employer lactation room mandate.

And yet the administration keeps rolling out new proposals, like today's new announcement on kidney disease, that rely on legal authority created under the ACA, which they want to disappear.

To put it simply, "Republicans have done next to no contingency planning about handling the aftermath of success in the Obamacare lawsuit." And the guy saying that writes for National Review and is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; that's how bad this is.
posted by zachlipton at 9:41 AM on July 10 [29 favorites]


WaPo: Trump’s July Fourth Event and Weekend Protests Bankrupted D.C. Security Fund, Mayor Says
President Trump’s overhauled July Fourth celebration cost the D.C. government $1.7 million, an amount that — combined with police expenses for demonstrations through the weekend — has bankrupted a special fund used to protect the nation’s capital from terrorist threats and provide security at events such as rallies and state funerals.

In a letter to the president Tuesday, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) warned that the fund has now been depleted and is estimated to be running a $6 million deficit by Sept. 30. The mayor also noted that the account was never reimbursed for $7.3 million in expenses from Trump’s 2017 inauguration.[…]

White House officials have said that the District agreed to use unspent money in the emergency fund to pay for inaugural costs, an assertion denied by the Bowser administration.
NPR: Pentagon: July 4 Flyovers, Tank Displays And Performances Cost $1.2 Million
Defense Department officials said on Tuesday spending for personnel involvement and demonstrations largely came from their training budgets.

"The Department of Defense supported the 'Salute to America' with demonstrations by aircraft, static displays of equipment and ceremonial unit participation," the Pentagon said in its statement. "Funding for the demonstrations came from the military services' training budgets that facilitate flying hours, which are imperative to military readiness. Additional funding was used for the transportation of static displays and equipment."[…]

Trump said on Monday he planned to repeat the salute to the military next year. The comments came on the same day a trio of Senate Democrats called for a federal watchdog to probe the event.
And why will the American public have to foot the bill for Trump's vanity act again? Trump's 'Salute To America' set a 4th of July ratings record for Fox News (Forbes).
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:44 AM on July 10 [20 favorites]


How Congress Should Think About Mueller’s Testimony (Quinta Jurecic, Lawfare)
Whether or not Mueller approached his own responsibilities as special counsel appropriately, Congress has its own responsibilities to consider as an independent branch of government. Take it from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: “Members of Congress must honor our oath and our patriotic duty to follow the facts, so we can protect our democracy."

So what does it mean to “follow the facts”? On one level, Congress will be performing a valuable service if it can simply highlight the report’s findings to a public that has not had the opportunity to fully grapple with the contents of a 448-page document—whether by walking Mueller through a careful line of questioning, or by simply asking him to read through sections of the report out loud. The more challenging task for Congress, though, is to use the hearings to begin the process of forming opinions and judgments about what to do with the material Mueller has provided. One way to tackle this would be to use Mueller’s testimony as a means of identifying other issues and witnesses for future hearings—like Trump confidante Corey Lewandowski, who was witness to significant acts of potential obstruction by the president and over whose testimony the White House has no plausible claim of executive privilege.

Congress has spent much of its time since the release of the Mueller report in a reactive position, waiting for others to take the lead. First, House Democrats announced they wanted to wait until the release of the report before evaluating how to shape their oversight efforts against the president and whether to begin an impeachment inquiry. Then, once the Justice Department provided the report, House leadership dithered over what to do with the material Mueller provided, while the president’s allies in both the House and the Senate moved toward calls to investigate the investigators. Many prominent Democrats, most notably Pelosi herself, have argued that the House should not begin impeachment proceedings until polling shows majority support for such an effort—which is just another way of hoping that some other body, in this case the public, will tell Congress what to do next.

Throughout the Trump administration, a common refrain of onlookers has been, in the language of the internet, “lol nothing matters.” Mueller’s testimony might matter—but only if members of Congress are thoughtful about what they want to get out of the hearings and realistic about what they can reasonably accomplish. No one else is going to do the work for them.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:13 AM on July 10 [10 favorites]


When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met Greta Thunberg: 'Hope is contagious'
In the course of their conversation, Ocasio-Cortez and Thunberg discuss what it is like to be dismissed for their age, how depressed we should be about the future, and what tactics, as an activist, really work. Ocasio-Cortez speaks with her customary snap and brilliance that, held up against the general waffle of political discourse, seems startlingly direct. Thunberg, meanwhile, is phenomenally articulate, well-informed and self-assured, holding her own in conversation with an elected official nearly twice her age and speaking in deliberate, thoughtful English [Thunberg is Swedish].
posted by kirkaracha at 10:21 AM on July 10 [20 favorites]


I wanted to correct and add to a comment I made in the last thread.

I was pondering the murder of Kim Jong-un's brother, Kim Jong-nam by North Korean agents.

Kim Jong-Nam had been in exile for 14 years. It was recently (June 2019) revealed to the public, that he had been a CIA asset.

Kim Jong-nam was murdered February 10, 2017, three weeks after Trump took office. The 14 years in which Kim was allowed to survive and then his sudden murder after Trump took office suggest to me a leak from the U.S. or from Trump himself. Could Trump have revealed the CIA status either through idiocy or in a desire to confer favor from Kim Jong-un?

Beyond Trump there was the uber-traitor Mattis in place at that time.


I would like to point out that Kim-Jong-nam went to meet with his CIA handler at the time of his murder. So he was a current, supposedly not previously exposed, asset.

Also to say I meant uber-traitor Flynn.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:23 AM on July 10 [7 favorites]


Methinks Minnesota's junior senator is in the mood for turtle soup come 2020: Tina Smith: McConnell's leadership "a big, fat waste:"
I came to Washington understanding what the Senate is capable of accomplishing and knowing that I'd have myriad opportunities as a senator to get things done. And let's be clear that the problem isn't that senators on both sides of the aisle can't agree on anything. Truth is, there's plenty of work we could be doing -- if only Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would let us.

But McConnell has transformed the Senate into little more than the Trump administration's personnel office, the place where good ideas go to die. As of July 3, the Senate has taken 127 votes since the rules change on April 3, which drastically reduced the amount of time some nominees could be debated on the Senate floor. Just 21 of those 127 votes were related to legislation -- that's 16.5% of floor time devoted to legislative debate -- while the vast majority were devoted to pushing through the Trump administration's nominations.
Preach, Tina. (Those who thought she'd be weaksauce can eat a double helping of humble pie.) But as long as the Democrats remain the minority party in the Senate, this is what is going to keep happening. This is why it is vital to flip the Senate - because even if McConnell drops dead tomorrow, I doubt his replacement will be an improvement.

MiraK is 1000% right that our system is not equipped to deal with the corruption that is now rotting it from within. And the Democrats are still in the minority in the Senate, and only last year regained a House majority. So, their options are more limited than we might like to think. We need a blue wave in 2020, not a reversion to Democratic voters being too lazy, apathetic, and/or entitled to vote. (I'm not talking about the disenfranchised, just the ones that could vote but don't.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:24 AM on July 10 [26 favorites]


I don't think the SC will allow the ACA to be struck down through this suit. Would a lot of them like the ACA to go away? Yes. Do they realize that if the ACA is struck down, the 2020 election is about healthcare and that is likely to go very poorly for the GOP? They probably do.
posted by azpenguin at 10:24 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]


So yesterday I did volunteer observation at immigration court here in Minnesota, something I'd been unable to do since last January. It was very different from my previous experiences.

The last time I was there, I overheard the judge say something about a heavier caseload coming up. This time, court ran a full hour over scheduled time, which had never happened on any of my previous shifts; in fact, court usually finished a little early.

There were a cluster of people who had applied for asylum in Texas and had been brought here to Minnesota. They didn't have family here; there was no reason to bring them here that I could tell except either moving people for fun or an overwhelmed system.

These people had applied for asylum on or about May 2. They were just now getting their first hearings. These were all people who had passed a credible fear interview, so they were at least able to continue in the asylum process. Only one of them had, however, been given the forms for the next step.

Fear of gang violence is apparently a known weak and hard-to-win argument for asylum - the judge remarked on this.

If you are seeking asylum, you can't get a bond through the immigration court system - you have to get parole from DHS. Any of these people could have had a bond hearing and been bonded out yesterday, but at the very minimum they will sit around for weeks more waiting on parole. (Even if you get bond, you have to pay all of it, not just a percentage as US citizens do.) To get parole from DHS, you have to fill out a form at the detention center and request that your detention officer meet with you. Only then can you start the process, and it does not seem to go fast. (There was one other detainee who'd been able to start.) The judge very directly implied that they did not approve of this state of affairs, as it is evidently recent.

Refugees can get deported for serious crimes after they're released from prison, which seems dumb to me. If someone is a refugee, that seems like a separate matter even if they're not a great person.

Many people don't have lawyers and obviously don't have any understanding of the court system. The judge, who is harried and not always someone who uses a great tone of voice, none the less goes out of their way to try to strongly imply that people should absolutely get a lawyer - they can't tell people this overtly but they very frequently signal it. (The court does provide a list of pro bono lawyers.)

But anyway, things seem to be changing such that more people are ending up here, so very far from the border.

It's very grim because a lot of immigrants in this court clearly have a naive and optimistic view of the immigration process and are not at all familiar with court conventions.

They are all brought out manacled hand and foot, by the way, which is utterly unnecessary. If they're getting on-site translation (the court has a Spanish interpreter who provides simultaneous translation) the guard has to put the headphones on for them because they can't get their hands wide enough apart.

It's not even that the visible court staff are terrible or cruel; it's that they are politely enforcing this godawful system.

Also, this is absolutely a class issue, among other things. These are the poor people who are fleeing, the poorest of them who don't have the knowledge or the money to get a lawyer and/or who can't pay the bail. There is not a shred of justice in our immigration system, even operating normally instead of with camps.
posted by Frowner at 10:36 AM on July 10 [83 favorites]


Outbreaks of scabies, shingles and chickenpox were spreading among the hundreds of children and adults who were being held in cramped cells, agents said. The stench of the children’s dirty clothing was so strong it spread to the agents’ own clothing — people in town would scrunch their noses when they left work. The children cried constantly. One girl seemed likely enough to try to kill herself that the agents made her sleep on a cot in front of them, so they could watch her as they were processing new arrivals.

“It gets to a point where you start to become a robot,” said a veteran Border Patrol agent who has worked at the Clint station since it was built. He described following orders to take beds away from children to make more space in holding cells, part of a daily routine that he said had become “heartbreaking.”
This is a crime against humanity and allowing it to be funded is complicity in that crime.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:40 AM on July 10 [65 favorites]


Once again, the DCCC is not the DNC. The DCCC is a committee composed of incumbents who raise money to re-elect themselves. They are not spending their efforts to raise money to elect their opponents.

Are Warren and Harris racketeers because they are not using their own election campaign funds to elect Biden?


Just to correct what seems to be a common misunderstanding: the new issue with the DCCC is not that it supports incumbents only, which it has always done. The issue is that the DCCC recently instituted a new policy where it refuses to direct pro-incumbent funds to any consultant or organization working for that incumbent who, in addition to working for the incumbent in question, also does work for any primary challenger in any other race throughout the country. It's more like if Biden declared that any individual or group working for him who also ever did any work for Warren or Harris would never have a position in his administration. Which, admittedly, is to some degree what happens, just as to some degree the DCCC previously tended to avoid working with groups that did a lot of primary-challenger work. But there's a still a big and new jump here to codifying that vague tendency, and enforcing it with surprising assiduousness.
posted by chortly at 11:00 AM on July 10 [11 favorites]


[A few deleted; it's fine to link tweets and criticize them for what you think is implied, but please don't make it sound like the person said something they didn't. It's just a tweet, you can just copy the text verbatim.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:01 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]


Politico: McConnell Downplays Need For More Election Security Legislation Ahead of Briefing
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell questioned whether further election security legislation is needed ahead of Senate and House briefings on the topic Wednesday.[…]

In a floor speech, McConnell said that while Congress will continue to “assess whether future legislative steps might be needed,” he accused Democrats of making election security a political issue.

“We need to make sure this conversation is clear-eyed and sober and serious,” he said. “It’s interesting that some of our colleagues across the aisle seem to have already made up their minds before we hear from the experts later today. Their brand-new sweeping Washington intervention is just what the doctor ordered.”

McConnell also blamed Obama officials for emboldening Russian President Vladimir Putin to meddle in the 2016 election.[…]

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed McConnell for blaming the Obama administration Wednesday and accused the majority leader of simply taking up Trump's talking points.

"The Russians interfered," he said. "They certainly had conversations with the Trump administration. President Trump encouraged them to interfere publicly. And now, Leader McConnell has the temerity to blame President Obama? What a remarkable feat of revisionist history."

The briefings are expected to include Trump administration officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. Schumer said they "should be a springboard for action."
It's a bizarre state of affairs when the leader of the opposition in the Senate constantly talks up bipartisanship while the Senate leader is using every dirty parliamentary trick he can muster to block legislation and reframe debate. The role reversal is like something out of a Disney body-swap movie.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:05 AM on July 10 [11 favorites]


Fear of gang violence is apparently a known weak and hard-to-win argument for asylum

And yet it's a guaranteed winner for Republicans. Someone explain to me why politicians are allowed to freak out about MS-13, but people who have actually lost family members to gang violence in their native countries don't get the same benefit of the doubt.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:11 AM on July 10 [47 favorites]


Just to correct what seems to be a common misunderstanding: the new issue with the DCCC is not that it supports incumbents only, which it has always done.

I assume the DSCC has the same mandate, yet it is also backing a candidate in the the Maine senate race where there is no Democratic incumbent. So apparently, if you are are an insider that's close enough to incumbent for them.
posted by M-x shell at 11:12 AM on July 10


[Hello friends. People who have Pelosi feelings have them strongly, and both pro-Pelosi and con-Pelosi people feel they're not allowed to make their point often enough. Whereas to many people it also seems like, there has been a whole lot of the same points being made, pro- and con- Pelosi, for a long time. This is why we keep asking, after a longish stretch of the same Pelosi back-and-forth, to lay off Pelosi stuff for a while. I deleted a comment that quoted some new Pelosi thing that was already kicking off another stretch of the same points being made. That's where things stand; please lay off it for a while.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:20 AM on July 10 [53 favorites]




The House Oversight hearing on the treatment of children at the border is starting any minute now, and can be streamed at that link. Tweets from the hearing can be found here.

On another channel, Acosta's press conference is happening now. He's not resigning, and is instead defending his handling of the Epstein case.
posted by zachlipton at 11:38 AM on July 10 [7 favorites]




[Several comments deleted and two one-day bans given. No "fuck you" on the site -- go cool off. This is not okay.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:53 AM on July 10 [42 favorites]



You wouldn't know it from the media, but
@BernieSanders
has raised more money from TWICE as many donors as any other candidate in the Democratic primary.

No corporations.
No special interests.
No lobbyists.
No high dollar big-wig events.

Average donation is just $18.
from Shaun King's Twitter @shaunking
8:27 AM · Jul 10, 2019

posted by Ahmad Khani at 11:57 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]


And yet Sanders felt it appropriate to commemorate the passing of billionaire H. Ross Perot. Given that Perot's last political act was to donate to Trump, and given Sanders' anti-plutocrat position, that seems rather unusual.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:05 PM on July 10 [15 favorites]


On another channel, Acosta's press conference is happening now. He's not resigning, and is instead defending his handling of the Epstein case.

PSA from historian Kevin Kruse with a guide to Trump administration/campaign officials:
Remember, the Secretary of Labor who's currently under fire for cutting a deal with an alleged pedophile and serial rapist is only the Secretary of Labor because Trump's *original* nominee for Secretary of Labor had to withdraw over allegations that he had abused his ex-wife.

Also, remember that the 2016 RNC Finance Chairman who's been accused of multiple counts of rape is different from the 2016 RNC Deputy Finance Chairman who paid for a Playmate's abortion and different from the *other* 2016 RNC Deputy Finance Chairman who is now in prison.

Also, the state chairman of Trump's 2016 campaign in Kentucky who later pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking* is different from the state chairman of Trump's 2016 campaign in Oklahoma who also later pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking.
* I can't tell if I forgot about this one or if it just blurred together with the other one (I can't find him mentioned in the megathreads). It doesn't help when the headlines are so generic: Ex-Trump campaign official charged with human trafficking (Reuters) His name is Timothy Nolan, and he's a retired district court judge. He's now serving a 20-year sentence in jail and had to pay $110,000 in restitutions. The party of Law 'n' Order, everybody!

And because this is the dumbest, darkest timeline, Mark Foley says he's ready to run for Congress again (Florida Politics).
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:08 PM on July 10 [30 favorites]


Ahmad Khani: "You wouldn't know it from the media, but
@BernieSanders has raised more money from TWICE as many donors as any other candidate in the Democratic primary.
"

I've seen coverage by "the media" of every candidate's quarterly fundraising totals, when announced, including number of donors.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:11 PM on July 10 [28 favorites]


Insider: We hired the author of 'Black Hawk Down' and an illustrator from 'Archer' to adapt the Mueller report so you'll actually read it

posted by monospace at 11:35 AM on July 10 [12 favorites +] [!]


OMG. From that link
They sat about 4 feet apart. Trump held up a card listing each course for the meal.

"They write these things out one at a time, by hand," he said.

"A calligrapher," Comey said.

Trump seemed unfamiliar with the word.

"They write them by hand," he repeated.

As they ate, Trump began questioning Comey about his future. "What do you want to do?" he said.
Trump might as well have been repeating, "This one goes to 11."
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:15 PM on July 10 [13 favorites]


I would encourage people to click on the link to Bernie’s tweet about Perot. On the one hand, eccentric independent old guys, etc. On the other hand, Perot had given Bernie a commemorative sword for his support of veterans health after Desert Storm.

So it’s weirder than the easy joke would be.

(The comments, of course, are encouraging Bernie to bring the sword on the campaign trail.)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:16 PM on July 10 [6 favorites]


I'm not particularly a Bernie fan or a Perot fan, but if Ross Perot gave you a sword to commemorate your work bringing people healthcare, bring that sword on the campaign trail.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:23 PM on July 10 [29 favorites]


What a weird world we live in. Imagine someone in '92 telling you that one day you would have nothing but starry-eyed longing for a Ross Perot presidency.
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:28 PM on July 10 [10 favorites]


We hired the author of 'Black Hawk Down' ...to adapt the Mueller report so you'll actually read it
Volume 1
...
There is no evidence to suggest Trump committed any crimes of conspiracy or "collusion."
swing and a miss.
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:28 PM on July 10 [11 favorites]


The issue is that the DCCC recently instituted a new policy where it refuses to direct pro-incumbent funds to any consultant or organization working for that incumbent who, in addition to working for the incumbent in question, also does work for any primary challenger in any other race throughout the country.

Wait, you think it's unfair if candidates refuse to give money to campaign consultants who work for their opponents? That's crazy. This is just whining from a bunch of political consultant hacks that just can't get enough of that sweet campaign money.

It's more like if Biden declared that any individual or group working for him who also ever did any work for Warren or Harris would never have a position in his administration.

I don't follow this analogy at all. If someone is running attack ads against Biden, I wouldn't begrudge him not hiring that person. Politics ain't beanbag.
posted by JackFlash at 12:39 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


Given that, like any billionaire, Perot is clearly suffering from some sort of pathological dollar hoarding disorder I'd hope no one is having starry-eyed longing for a Perot Presidency.

It's also worth noting that Perot was at least as nuts as Trump, if perhaps in a different way. He was a major force behind the conspiracy theory that thousands of US soldiers were abandoned in Vietnam in order to cover up a US government drug smuggling operation, a lie behind the entire right wing POW/MIA bumper sticker movement that continues to this day to be a way for right wing conspiracy believers to identify themselves in a socially acceptable way.

He had some good points, but as with "Doctor" Ron Paul, they were mixed in with a bunch of right wing conspiracy theories, general wackadoodle weirdness, and of course a billionaire's love of screwing poor people out of every cent he could and cutting every tax that exists. Oh, and he was convinced that the Republicans were sabotaging his daughter's wedding to drive him out of the race.
posted by sotonohito at 12:45 PM on July 10 [18 favorites]


Socialist Forum: An alliance with Social Democrats is inevitable, so let’s work how best to reach our goals and grow the movement for worker power

Immigrants’ Rights sit in at Biden’s Philly Office

CbO reports broad benefits from a higher minimum wage

Kansas raised taxes ..and got a booming economy

Sanders campaign adds an “Anti-Endorsements” list
posted by The Whelk at 1:03 PM on July 10 [12 favorites]


JackFlash: I don't follow this analogy at all. If someone is running attack ads against Biden, I wouldn't begrudge him not hiring that person. Politics ain't beanbag.

I think you’re missing the implications on down-ballot races. Obviously it’s a conflict of interest for a consultant to work on both sides of a campaign, but that’s not what this is about. This is about kneecapping challengers to incumbents by threatening to blacklist anyone who works for them from participating in any other unrelated incumbent campaigns. It’s a shitty protectionist move that serves to protect shitty incumbents simply because they’re Democrats. A prime example is Marie Newman’s challenge of incumbent Dan Lipinski in Chicago.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 1:15 PM on July 10 [9 favorites]


I don't follow this analogy at all. If someone is running attack ads against Biden, I wouldn't begrudge him not hiring that person. Politics ain't beanbag.

It also isn't a game. Hire the best damn people for the job. Go ahead and blacklist assholes, pedophiles, criminals, perverts and traitors but nobody should have to slobber over your ring.

The prize isn't getting elected. That is just a step. The prize is a better society and world. The DCCC loses sight of that. A lot.
posted by srboisvert at 1:20 PM on July 10 [30 favorites]


Re DCCC: Can we agree that it's a problem when a putatively "democratic" organization acts in ways that would violate antitrust law if done by a private company?

I mean, there's a reason that e.g. Amazon doesn't tell its suppliers, "we'll only buy your stuff if you don't sell anything to Walmart," and it's not out of the goodness of their greedy little hearts.

Also, many of us, especially those of us in "safe blue" areas, have local Democratic leadership who are literal racketeers for whom doing federal time is practically a rite of passage and who keep all forms of local political power under extremely tight control. (As a resident of Lake County, Indiana, I could fill screenfuls of text with local examples from the past decade alone, but that is probably a bit out of scope for the megathread.)

So this kind of talk:

Pro-tip: accusing your local party officials of being racketeers is unlikely to earn you much credibility or influence.

.... is, to put it as kindly as possible, pretty obnoxious.

When Democratic officeholders are behaving like racketeers, the D behind their name is no reason not to call them out. Indeed, it's all the more reason to call them out.
posted by shenderson at 1:27 PM on July 10 [18 favorites]


I have to weigh in on the DNCC racketeering. If you word it like it actually is in practice, "Campaigns will only contract with vendors under the stipulation that they can do no work for any of the competitors," then it is technically a freeze out, not racketeering. In a freeze out the dominant party uses their market weight to deny entry to competitors in the marketplace through abusive exclusivity contracts. That is what this is. And it is despicable. It targets not just political consultants, but an entire swath of multimedia, advertising, and services. Imagine trying to go through an ad broker to buy TV ads only to find that they won't do business with you. How many such entities do you think are in many small states? Want to buy a billboard through the major vendor in the state? Nope. Need catering for an event? Sorry, you can't have Bobby's famous ribs, the only well known restaurant within 30 miles, they catered a similar event last month. In effect, this limits primary challengers to 2nd and 3rd tier vendors in the district, likely increases their costs, and certainly hampers their ability to compete. Is it legal? Eh, probably. But it isn't the sort of open forum for ideas and commerce that we should be striving for.
posted by Manic Pixie Hollow at 1:27 PM on July 10 [24 favorites]


>> The issue is that the DCCC recently instituted a new policy where it refuses to direct pro-incumbent funds to any consultant or organization working for that incumbent who, in addition to working for the incumbent in question, also does work for any primary challenger in any other race throughout the country.

> Wait, you think it's unfair if candidates refuse to give money to campaign consultants who work for their opponents? That's crazy. This is just whining from a bunch of political consultant hacks that just can't get enough of that sweet campaign money.


your comment does not meaningfully respond to the thing that you appear to be responding to. the question isn't about candidates refusing to give money to campaign consultants who work for their opponents. the matter under discussion is instead about what consultants the dccc hires. under this rule, the dccc will not direct funds toward any consultant working for democratic party incumbents if that consultant also works for any primary challenger in any race in the country.

let's game this out: this means that any consultant — "political consultant hack," to use your language — who wants to work for democratic party incumbents now knows that all primary challengers to all democrats anywhere in america are now totally radioactive to them unless they can find a way to replace the income they'd get from working with democratic party incumbents. this is a tough proposition, since the nice thing about working for incumbents is that it's steady, reliable work.

this nicely ties up most of the people on the democratic party side who know how to run a campaign. regardless of which candidates they'd prefer to work for, they know that they have to exclusively work for dccc-endorsed candidates or else lose all their other paychecks. political consultants are actually useful, despite your characterization of them as being universally hacks — any campaign for any office is boned if they don't have people with campaign knowhow working for them — and as such this dictate results in the dccc getting to de facto select which candidates stand for office. instead of being a representative organization where the supporters get to select the candidates, the democratic party becomes in practice a bureaucratic organization, with the central party bureaucracy deciding who the candidates are.

most democratic party political consultants who need money to pay for food, shelter, and health insurance will follow the leadership of the dccc and exclusively work to defend incumbents. meanwhile, anyone who either runs a primary campaign against a right-wing democrat, or (and this is important) aligns with people who run primary campaigns against right-wing democrats will find themselves working in and with organizations outside the party (for example, the dsa). this turns the ideological split present within the democratic party into a real material split — people running for office on the left will ignore the dccc and the rest of the democratic party apparatus and instead rely on guidance and support from outside-the-party organizations like the dsa, because the democratic party apparatus has made clear that it wants left campaigns turned into radioactive holes in the ground.

i guess the point i'm trying to make here is that the discussion here isn't about whether or not candidates should pay money to support their opponents — which is a silly question — but is instead something like "should the dccc fracture the party apparatus in the interests of making primary challengers radioactive? does the party need to have its civil war now, or should it be delayed until later?"

for my part i think it is a good thing that groups like means of production are professionally and effectively backing challengers to right-wing democrats, i think it will ultimately be a really good thing if the base of power in the democratic party shifts from the actual party apparatus to the dsa... but boy howdy do i wish the d-trip wasn't trying to make this shift happen faster than it needs to happen.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:48 PM on July 10 [16 favorites]


sidebar: i'm only tangentially connected to federal level politics, but even so as far back as 2013 i started hearing rumors about the clinton campaign threatening to have the democratic party freeze out any consultants who worked for any non-clinton presidential candidate. the practical outcome of this threat was that all potential mainstream candidates refused to enter the race, leaving clinton debating unserious nonentities like lincoln chaffee and martin o'malley... and, oh yeah, also an old cranky socialist weirdo whose name i don't recall at the moment.

if it had been possible in 2014-2015 for mainstream non-clinton candidates to enter the race, only commies and vermontophiles would know the name bernie sanders. he would have been the sixth or seventh most popular candidate on the democratic party side, rather than the second, and he likely would have been out after the first couple of debates.

if you don't like bernie sanders and you don't like the dsa, you should hate the d-trip right now.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:04 PM on July 10 [16 favorites]


Legal Times's MikeScarcella: Now: Maryland judge *denies* US Justice Department effort to withdraw attorneys in census case

Here's the smackdown:
The Court wholeheartedly agrees that it is the Attorney General who has the authority to determine which officers of the Department of Justice shall “attend to the interest of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 517. But Defendants must realize that a change in counsel does not create a clean slate for a party to proceed as if prior representations made to the Court were not in fact made. A new DOJ team will need to be prepared to address these, and other, previous representations made by the withdrawing attorneys at the appropriate juncture.

For the reasons stated above, it is ordered by the United States District Court for the District of Maryland that: Defendants’ amended motion for leave to withdraw the appearance of James Burnham, Garrett Coyle, Stephen Ehrlich, Courtney Enlow, Carol Federighi, Joshua Gardner, John Griffiths, Martin Tomlinson, and Brett Shumate as counsel, ECF No. 192, is DENIED without prejudice.
Also, Buzzfeed's Zoe Tillman reports on the census question case in CA and Barr's new DoJ legal team:
UPDATE: The judge handling census citizenship Q cases in California just had a brief telephonic status conference. Per a lawyer on the call, the judge ordered DOJ to re-do its motions to withdraw the previous legal team, saying DOJ needed to comply with local court rules

There was some discussion of the status of the injunction the judge entered blocking the citizenship Q, and whether it's still in place post-SCOTUS — the lawyer (for the plaintiffs) told us they're working with DOJ on replacement injunction language in the meantime

The lawyer also said they advised the judge that the govt agreed plaintiffs in the CA litigation could join discovery that's going forward in the MD case re: equal protection/civil rights claims — individ. plaintiffs in CA are considering adding an equal protection claim

No deadline set for DOJ to refile its motion in the CA cases to withdraw the previous legal team, and no other deadlines set at the moment. The whole thing lasted ~20 minutes.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:14 PM on July 10 [8 favorites]


Impeachment isn't a magic word. Impeachment inquiry doesn't appear in the constitution.
“I think this contempt citation vote is good, [but] many of us have come out for an impeachment inquiry because it gives us significantly more tools to get the information that we’re trying to get,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). “And it prevents the administration from blocking us. I do think we need to utilize more tools in our toolbox.”

“There’s no doubt that congressional oversight and investigative power is at its zenith in the context of an impeachment investigation,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD). “The reason for that is impeachment is an enumerated power of Congress. ... It appears four different times in the Constitution.”
posted by xammerboy at 2:15 PM on July 10 [13 favorites]


@BernieSanders has raised more money from TWICE as many donors as any other candidate in the Democratic primary

I may be missing something (I might not even be parsing the claim accurately), I would urge someone who knows more about this stuff than I do to chime in, but does this claim require that the FEC counts money Bernie raised when he was running in 2016?

Because while the 2020-election-only numbers show Bernie as the #1 Democratic fundraiser, they show him with 55k individual donations, compared to 34k for Kamala Harris--it's a lot more, but it's not double.
posted by box at 2:41 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


From the Oversight hearing:
Michael Breen is up first. There is no need for these human rights abuses at the border, he says. But this is the predictable result of the policy of the admin and "gross incompetency," he says. He recalls: an 18 y/o girl who stood up in immigration court. He watched as she begged a judge to get back to her daughter, a product of rape from when she was 13. Instead she was sent to detention for 50 days. Then taken to Juarez and told to fend for herself. Breen recalls how she told him she asked an agent for help for her dying baby and the agent's response was "Are they dead yet?" She was told to come back only if that was the case. Breen has worn the American flag on his own lapel, like many who are working these facilities, he says. But what has happened on the border "is not the America I wanted to serve."

Clara Long of Human Rights Watch now up. She has visited facilities in Calif, Texas, Arizona, Florida.. In El Paso, TX, what she found was "outrageous." No contact with family members in some cases, many were sick, cold, malnourished. She spoke to an 11 y/o boy accompanied by his 3 y/o brother. The younger had a hacking cough, he fell asleep mid-interview. The 11 y/o said "No one here will take care of him. Cells were mucus-mud stained. No reg. access to soap, toothbrushes, showers just once or twice in a period of weeks if at all. "No one was taking care of the kids with the flu. We were not allowed to leave the flu cell ever," a 14 y/o girl told Long. When the children ask how long they'll be there, sometimes they are told it will be for months, Long says. By law they should be released within 72 hours. A 12 y/o girl told Long how she missed her grandmother. She was alone, but for her sisters who are 8 and 4 years old. "Issuing a blank check" to the admin to continue this will only lead to more suffering, Long says.
Don't avert your eyes.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:41 PM on July 10 [49 favorites]


Insider: We hired the author of 'Black Hawk Down' and an illustrator from 'Archer' to adapt the Mueller report so you'll actually read it

I've only skimmed this, but it looks like a decent "retelling" of Volume II of the Mueller report (obstruction of justice.)

It claims to cover the whole report, but skips over the many, many contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian individuals detailed in Volume 1 (the names Dmitri Simes, Carter Page, Joseph Mifsud, George Papadopoulos, Petr Aven, George Nader, Kirill Dmitriev, Erik Prince and Peter Smith do not appear, among others.)

It also skips over all the details of how Russia hacked the DNC and John Podesta (and discussed that hacking with Roger Stone),hacked into state voter registration databases, and spread propaganda through internet trolls and bots, as well as sending agents to report on the American political scenes, and setting up pro-Trump rallies.

But if you want to know about obstruction, this has got you covered, and it's got some good illustrations.
posted by OnceUponATime at 2:56 PM on July 10 [16 favorites]


Your periodic reminder that we have important state-level elections this year in several states. Here's an ActBlue fund targeting some key races.

$25 here is going to go much further to achieving our goals than to a presidential campaign.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:06 PM on July 10 [36 favorites]


WaPo, Fahrenthold, Nonprofit drops out of strip-club-sponsored golf tournament at Trump resort, in which the Miami Allstars Foundation is now all "wait, what is this?" and would like to exclude itself from this narrative (they also need to deal with their registration as a legal charity, but that's another problem). The strip club does not seem to have cancelled the event, however, as it's still being advertised.

----

NYT, ‘It Could Have Been Any of Us’: Disdain for Trump Runs Among Ambassadors
“It could have been any of us,” one ambassador, who is still serving and therefore spoke on the condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday.
...
With a few exceptions — including the ambassadors from Israel and the United Arab Emirates, who have supported Mr. Trump’s every move — foreign diplomats in Washington these days describe living in something of a black hole.

Decisions that directly affect their nations’ trade relationships or troops are delivered with no notice. Their contacts inside the State Department, the Treasury and Congress freely tell them they have little idea what decisions Mr. Trump may make, or what he may reverse.
...
“For me, as a foreigner, it was fascinating,’’ said Mr. Araud, who now looks back at his tenure as French ambassador as a grand political science experiment. “It’s what happens when a populist leader takes command in a liberal democracy. These people don’t recognize or accept the idea that an ambassador or a bureaucrat could be of any use. They only want to deal with other leaders.”

Mr. Araud recalled a moment in 2017 when France’s foreign minister was planning a trip to Washington. The ambassador gave the State Department two months’ notice to try to get on Mr. Tillerson’s schedule. They never heard back until a day before the event, Mr. Araud recalled, only to be told the meeting would last only 20 minutes. “So the minister didn’t come,’’ he said.
----

Mother Jones has learned that ICE has started using three new for-profit immigration detention centers in the Deep South in recent weeks.

There's another important part to this story, which is that ICE is detaining 54,000 people, when it was 34,000 in 2016 and Congress has only authorized ICE to detain an average of 40,520 people now. ICE continues to have no regard for the limits Congress has set, and there needs to be an effort to hold them accountable for that.
posted by zachlipton at 3:29 PM on July 10 [28 favorites]


A bit more on how an impeachment inquiry may help fast track investigations from LawFare:

1. The White House argues it will not provide information “into the alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration,” because Congress has no “legitimate legislative purpose” for requesting the materials. This argument would not be relevant in impeachment proceedings, because the power to impeach is in a separate section of the Constitution.

2. Second, the White House argues that even if a legitimate legislative purpose can be articulated, committees have limited authority to explore in detail any particular case of alleged wrongdoing, because Congress does not need such details in order to craft legislative fixes. Again, this would likewise not be relevant in impeachment proceedings.

3. Impeachment proceedings may also give the judiciary committee a stronger case for obtaining certain materials protected from disclosure by statute, like the grand jury materials from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, one “must not disclose a matter occurring before the grand jury.” There are certain exceptions in the statute that would allow a judge to authorize disclosure “preliminarily to or in connection with a judicial proceeding.”

4. It is likely that judges would recognize the primacy of impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States and expedite consideration of such cases. The case of U.S. v. Nixon—in which the Supreme Court ruled that the president had to turn over the infamous Oval Office recordings to the special prosecutor—was decided just over three months after the relevant grand jury subpoena had been issued. That was a criminal investigation, so the analogy is not entirely apt, but we think it reasonable to assume courts would take a similarly expeditious view in the context of a subpoena issued pursuant to impeachment proceedings.
posted by xammerboy at 3:29 PM on July 10 [14 favorites]


A Dramatic Drop in Migrant Arrivals on the Border: What’s Happening? (NYT)
“We have been startled by the stark decline that happened virtually overnight,” said Kate Clark, senior director of immigration services at the shelter. “U.S. immigration authorities are not bringing families who have been processed to the shelter because they are returning them to Mexico.”

The Mexican city of Tijuana across the border, meanwhile, is still full of migrants — many of them turned back at the border under the Trump administration’s “remain in Mexico” program. The Instituto Madre Asunta, a family shelter for migrant families just south of the border, has for several weeks been packing in more than three times the number of people it is designed to accommodate. Mothers and children from Central America and Haiti have been sleeping in a classroom converted into a dorm, many atop mattresses laid out on the ground. [...]

More than 18,000 migrants, including asylum seekers, have been returned to Tijuana and other Mexican cities since the policy was implemented, according to Mexico’s National Migration Institute. [...] The policy initially targeted Central Americans, who have formed the largest share of migrants seeking refuge in the United States since 2014. It has grown to include migrants from other countries, such as Cuba and Venezuela. Typically, the migrants have received court dates several months after arriving at the border, stranding them in Mexico for many months. Some of those who have recently arrived are being given court dates in October.

[...] Critics have said that the remain-in-Mexico policy endangers migrants who fled violence in their home countries in search of safe haven, because Mexican border cities are also often unsafe. In addition, the program makes it difficult for migrants to secure an American lawyer to represent them before an immigration judge, undermining their ability to successfully petition for asylum in the United States.

At the shelter in San Diego, arrivals have been down all week — only five migrant families arrived each day on Monday and on Tuesday. “Homeland Security keeps enrolling those seeking asylum in Migration Protection Protocols despite the ability and willingness of nonprofits in the United States to continue to serve the migrants,” said Ms. Clark, the official with Jewish Family Service.

Only nationals from countries such as India, China and Russia, countries whose citizens are not subjected to the policy, continue to trickle in, she said. The only exceptions among Latin Americans are those who have a child or another family member with a serious medical issue.
posted by Little Dawn at 3:42 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


Which courts can actually be counted on to treat impeachment with requisite seriousness? What actually stops Trump-appointed judges from dismissing or impeding the case on the grounds that the impeachment is illegitimate or whatever? Or is there still a good avenue of non-Trump judges available?
posted by InTheYear2017 at 3:43 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


What actually stops Trump-appointed judges from dismissing or impeding the case on the grounds that the impeachment is illegitimate or whatever? Or is there still a good avenue of non-Trump judges available?

Nothing. We still don't know the limits of what TrumpJudges and the Gorsuch* Court are willing to countenance, actually initiating an impeachment inquiry and having those subpoenas ignored, then appealed to the SCOTUS is the only way to answer that question. Which would take months to play out, clearly another argument in favor of starting an impeachment process yesterday. Every day delayed decreases the probability impeachment is even possible before the 2020 election, even if Democratic leadership would allow it to happen.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:48 PM on July 10 [6 favorites]


PBS, Members of new Pompeo task force have previously praised human-rights abusers, in which the members of the new "Commission on Unalienable Rights" praise human rights abusers and think that we should defer to other countries to define human rights for themselves, which rather reduces the concept down to meaninglessness.

FT, Trump softened stance on Hong Kong protests to revive trade talks: "Donald Trump told Chinese president Xi Jinping last month that the US would tone down criticism of Beijing’s approach to Hong Kong following massive protests in the territory in order to revive trade talks with China."

WaPo, Intelligence aide, blocked from submitting written testimony on climate change, resigns from State Dept.

E&E News, Officials removed climate references from press releases
An earlier draft of the news release, written by researchers, was sanitized by Trump administration officials, who removed references to the dire effects of climate change after delaying its release for several months, according to three federal officials who saw it. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that California, the world's fifth-largest economy, would face more than $100 billion in damages related to climate change and sea-level rise by the end of the century. It found that three to seven times more people and businesses than previously believed would be exposed to severe flooding.

"We show that for California, USA, the world's 5th largest economy, over $150 billion of property equating to more than 6% of the state's GDP and 600,000 people could be impacted by dynamic flooding by 2100," the researchers wrote in the study.
...
In the Obama administration, press releases related to climate change were typically approved within days, researchers said. Now, they can take more than six months and go through the offices of political appointees, where they are often altered, several researchers told E&E News
posted by zachlipton at 3:54 PM on July 10 [8 favorites]


Officials removed climate references from press releases

On that note, the WSJ reports today: State Department Analyst Resigns After White House Blocked Climate Change Testimony—Rod Schoonover was prohibited from including evidence and data supporting his assessments in testimony to House committee
A State Department intelligence analyst has resigned in protest after the White House blocked portions of his written testimony to a congressional panel to exclude data and evidence on climate change and its threat to national security, State Department officials said.

White House officials allowed him to speak to the panel in June, but prohibited him from including evidence and data supporting his assessments in written testimony to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence last month, according to one of the officials familiar with the matter. That cut his written testimony by half, the official said. Ultimately, he didn’t submit a written statement to the panel, unlike two other government witnesses at the hearing.[…]

According to one of the officials, Mr. Schoonover’s decision to leave came after a series of conflicts with Trump administration political appointees over department scientific reports.[…]

Mr. Schoonover’s department, the Intelligence and Research Bureau, is among the smallest of U.S. intelligence agencies. In the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, it was nearly alone among spy agencies in questioning whether Iraq had active weapons of mass destruction programs.

The Washington Post and the New York Times* first reported that written testimony that Mr. Schoonover planned to give to the House Intelligence Committee was heavily edited by officials at the National Security Council and White House legal adviser’s office, and ultimately withdrawn.
* NYT, a month ago: White House Tried to Stop Climate Science Testimony
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:17 PM on July 10 [11 favorites]


What actually stops Trump-appointed judges from dismissing or impeding the case on the grounds that the impeachment is illegitimate or whatever? Or is there still a good avenue of non-Trump judges available?

My understanding is that the White House lawyers are arguing that Congress' job is to make new laws. Therefore, any Congressional committee investigation should be limited to getting the information it needs to create new laws.

However, Congress does have another job besides making new law. The Constitution says it is also Congress' job to impeach the president. No court would deny this. A court denies this and we're no longer living in the United States.

As it is, the White House's current argument is a stretch. After all, Congress needs wide latitude to investigate if and how laws are being subverted to better create new law, but an argument apparently is being made that their investigative powers should be limited.

Arguing that Congress cannot investigate the president or subpoena witnesses for the purposes of impeaching the president? I don't see how that's possible. It doesn't mean that there wouldn't be other arguments to make that could possibly slow roll these cases, but my understanding is they would be exponentially more difficult to make.
posted by xammerboy at 4:29 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


WaPo, Fahrenthold, Nonprofit drops out of strip-club-sponsored golf tournament at Trump resort

Update: event cancelled. The Trump organization was good with the strip-club-sponsored golf tournament for charity, but now that the charity has dropped out, they're a no.

Also, the head of the charity says: "You can’t mix kids with sex,” Alamilla told TPM. “It just doesn’t jibe."
posted by zachlipton at 4:33 PM on July 10 [15 favorites]


WaPo: Trump’s July Fourth Event and Weekend Protests Bankrupted D.C. Security Fund, Mayor Says

NPR: Pentagon: July 4 Flyovers, Tank Displays And Performances Cost $1.2 Million


ABC has the total tally: Trump's Salute to America Cost DC, Feds More Than $5 million
President Donald Trump's Fourth of July celebration last week cost the federal government and Washington, D.C., $5.35 million, according to an Interior Department letter released exclusively to ABC News.

The Interior Department and National Park Service spent $2.45 million on staffing, medical services, barricades, and other logistics for the event, called Salute to America, which does not include the cost of other Fourth of July events like the Capitol Fourth concert.

The city of Washington, D.C., and Department of Defense said the Salute to America event and security cost $1.7 million and $1.2 million respectively, bringing the total cost of the event to $5.35 million.[…]

The total cost of Salute to America does not include the $750,000 value of donated fireworks or the cost of military flyovers, which the Pentagon said came out of the individual military service's training budgets.
Molly Jong-Fast covered the event for the Bulwark: Scenes from America’s Nervous Breakdown
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:51 PM on July 10 [6 favorites]


Tucker Carlson is an arsehole and should be relieved of his position at Fox.
Omar hits back at 'racist fool' Tucker Carlson after Fox News host's on-air rant.
Fox News host railed against Democratic congresswoman in monologue full of anti-immigrant rhetoric and personal insults.
posted by adamvasco at 5:03 PM on July 10 [8 favorites]


You say that like Carlson being an asshole and a racist fool is considered a detriment instead of his major job qualifications. Fox knows who their audience is, and it's not anyone who wants diversity or even tolerance in US politics. He'll have a show as long as advertisers fail to cancel their accounts.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:26 PM on July 10 [10 favorites]


Tucker's trying to get her killed, his fans know it, Fox knows it.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:48 PM on July 10 [33 favorites]




Report: Russian intel started the Seth Rich rumor to cover for DNC hack
the SVR played a particularly underhanded role in activities leading up to the 2016 US presidential election in order to create a counter-narrative to the exposure of other Russian intelligence agencies' hacking operations at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The SVR wanted to spin a conspiracy theory about the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich—a conspiracy theory that promoted Rich as the source of DNC and Clinton campaign emails published by Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks.

This fabricated narrative had Rich being killed not in a botched robbery, as Washington DC police had found, but by a hit squad hired by Hillary Clinton as retribution for leaking campaign emails to WikiLeaks. This conspiracy theory was planted through various websites and later promoted by InfoWars' Alex Jones and other "alt-right" media outlets. Ultimately, it was even promoted within the Trump administration as investigations by the Justice Department into the DNC and Clinton email hacks went forward.
And yet somehow people still insist Russian interference isn't the primary reason Trump eked out a win. It's almost as if ideological blindness isn't limited to the fascists and their sympathizers.
posted by wierdo at 8:45 PM on July 10 [23 favorites]


An earlier draft of the news release, written by researchers, was sanitized by Trump administration officials, who removed references to the dire effects of climate change after delaying its release for several months, according to three federal officials who saw it. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that California, the world's fifth-largest economy, would face more than $100 billion in damages related to climate change and sea-level rise by the end of the century. It found that three to seven times more people and businesses than previously believed would be exposed to severe flooding.

"We show that for California, USA, the world's 5th largest economy, over $150 billion of property equating to more than 6% of the state's GDP and 600,000 people could be impacted by dynamic flooding by 2100," the researchers wrote in the study.


Right now there's a detente between scientists and goons in the US government. "Okay, nerds, we can't fire you yet, so here's the deal: you can keep doing what you do, and publishing what you publish, but DO NOT TALK TO NORMAL PEOPLE. "

This means there was literally a case where an engineering report from the DoEnergy said one thing and the executive summary said the exact opposite. And now there's still lots of good work coming out of the DoE, NOAA, et cetera, but if you're a reporter or a politician and it's pertinent to your work, you have to read the actual PDFs coming out and not bother with the press releases.
posted by ocschwar at 8:46 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


NYT: Obamacare’s Precarious Fate
After Mr. Trump signed in late 2017 the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — which gutted Obamacare’s individual mandate by eliminating the tax penalty that the health care law imposed on Americans who choose to not buy health insurance — some Republicans devised a legal theory under which an individual mandate without a tax penalty could be rendered unconstitutional, dooming the rest of Obamacare. This includes Obamacare’s marquee (and popular) protections for pre-existing conditions and rules that allow people to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26. After all, the thinking goes, in the Supreme Court’s landmark 2012 ruling upholding the law, the court declared the tax penalty a crucial component holding the statute together.

That’s exactly what the governors and attorneys general challenging the law — all of who hail from red-leaning states — are arguing. For these Obamacare foes, it isn’t enough to just excise the individual mandate from the law. The whole thing must go.
Got that? We removed the penalty people pay if they don't sign up for healthcare, so that makes all of Obamacare unconstitutional. This is really happening.
posted by xammerboy at 8:57 PM on July 10 [7 favorites]


After Mr. Trump signed in late 2017 the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act...some Republicans devised a legal theory

i believe this reporting has the causality or timeline backward. strategists did not notice the zeroed-out tax penalty and then think of a clever legal strategy; the clever legal strategy was drafting & passing that provision of the tax law -- a direct assault on roberts' rationale for upholding the ACA in the first place -- & thus seriously undermining its constitutionality under the prevailing scotus precedent.
posted by 20 year lurk at 9:24 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]




It's hard to know whether they're competent enough to pull that off. Is there evidence that they engineered the tax bill with this argument in mind?

The whole thing was passed under reconciliation, the mandate wasn't removed entirely because it couldn't be and still fit the "just a tax bill" template that reconciliation has to limbo under. They didn't really have the option to actually remove the mandate and get it past the Senate Parliamentarian. So they just zeroed out the penalty.

The insane thing is that if they'd actually cut out the mandate properly, there'd be no question that it was severable and besides, there'd be no orphan clause to declare unconstitutional. But since they did it under reconciliation, there's still a clause that just says "there will be a mandate" and one that says "the penalty is $0.00". By zeroing out the penalty, the mandate clause is no longer an exercise of the taxing power, so it's struck down, and something something inseverability the whole thing goes.

It's bonkers. It's not only insane applied here but insane going forward. Courts striking down entire laws when they clearly could cure the harm just by severing the offending clause. Laws are beyond huge. Giant laws like the ACA are basically normal. Can many of them survive if courts go for this batshit application of nonseverability?
posted by BungaDunga at 9:38 PM on July 10 [13 favorites]


Yeah, just like the rest of us, they’re making it up as they go along.
posted by notyou at 9:59 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


NYT, U.S. Prepares to Arrest Thousands of Immigrant Family Members
Nationwide raids to arrest thousands of members of undocumented families have been scheduled to begin Sunday, according to two current and one former homeland security officials, moving forward with a rapidly changing operation, the final details of which remain in flux. The operation, backed by President Trump, had been postponed, partly because of resistance among officials at his own immigration agency.

The raids, which will be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement over multiple days, will include “collateral” deportations, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the preliminary stage of the operation. In those deportations, the authorities might detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even though they were not targets of the raids.

When possible, family members who are arrested together will be held in family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. But because of space limitations, some might end up staying in hotel rooms until their travel documents can be prepared. ICE’s goal is to deport the families as quickly as possible.

The officials said ICE agents were targeting at least 2,000 immigrants who have been ordered deported — some as a result of their failure to appear in court — but who remain in the country illegally. The operation is expected to take place in at least 10 major cities. The families being targeted crossed the border recently: The Trump administration expedited their immigration proceedings last fall. In February, many of those immigrants were given notice to report to an ICE office and leave the United States, the homeland security officials said.
posted by zachlipton at 10:01 PM on July 10 [9 favorites]


i got no pix/citations but think they might could be found.
i suspect that, among "them", are some who may be so competent.

further, i imagine that, just as for conservative causes there is the american legislative exchange council, and think tank upon think tank coming up with new attacks, feints, sapping actions contra roe v wade, there must be equivalent "councils" of persons dedicated to undoing ACA, who have been brainstorming attacks on roberts' ruling since day one and circulating their frothy ideas. i bet it is floated in op-eds in the months following that ruling (but haven't looked). so the tax provision is floating around, more or less ready, a super-sneak-double-backflip-hail-mary, in case some day should come when no one is looking or everyone is too busy looking somewhere else. (i also haven't looked at the legislative history, to see who brought that provision to the floor or just when, though it may by instructive).
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:05 PM on July 10


The SVR wanted to spin a conspiracy theory about the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich—a conspiracy theory that promoted Rich as the source of DNC and Clinton campaign emails published by Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks. This fabricated narrative had Rich being killed not in a botched robbery, as Washington DC police had found, but by a hit squad hired by Hillary Clinton as retribution for leaking campaign emails to WikiLeaks.

So am I finally losing my marbles to think that it's therefore moderately plausible that SVR also killed him? SVR obviously has no qualms about assassination and continues to engage in it abroad, so there's means and motivation and the usual sensible arguments against conspiracy to assassinate are certainly weaker here than is usually the case. And the timeline Isikoff lays out -- the first bogus story put out by SVR three days after Rich dies, with the DNC emails sent to wikileaks the day after that -- seems odd too; were they waiting for a convenient death to blame before releasing the emails? Anyway, no worries -- I don't actually believe it, in part due to the accounts (also in the Isikoff piece) about similar robberies in the area over the previous weeks. But these certainly are times to try one's sanity.
posted by chortly at 10:46 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]




Amy McGrath flip-flops on Kavanaugh vote — in 1 day
McGrath, who announced a challenge to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this week, tweeted that she would have opposed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination several hours after she told a local newspaper she probably would have supported him.

"I was asked earlier today about Judge Brett Kavanaugh and I answered based upon his qualifications to be on the Supreme Court. But upon further reflection and further understanding of his record, I would have voted no," McGrath tweeted Wednesday evening. Later she added: “I know I disappointed many today with my initial answer on how I would have voted on Brett Kavanaugh. I will make mistakes and always own up to them. The priority is defeating Mitch McConnell.”

Those tweets came several hours after The Courier-Journal of Louisville published an interview with McGrath in which she said she had concerns about Kavanaugh but likely would have ultimately supported him. She said in the interview she was "very concerned about Judge Kavanaugh, what I felt like were the far-right stances that he had" but that "there was nothing in his record that I think would disqualify him in any way."[...] McGrath said she found Ford's testimony "credible" but that "given the amount of time that lapsed in between and from a judicial standpoint, I don't think it would really disqualify him. [...] You know, I think that with Judge Kavanaugh, yeah, I probably would have voted for him."
Recall that Bredesen's endorsement of Kavanaugh wrecked his volunteer enthusiasm and likely contributed significantly to his larger-than-expected loss in 2018.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:41 PM on July 10 [13 favorites]


Why do I get the impression that any of literally dozens of megathread contributors could have answered that Kavanaugh question with more situational awareness?

Honestly, it’s like some people decide to run for office with zero familiarity with some of the most critical current events. How could anyone with political aspirations — not living in a cave for the past year — be unaware of the issues around Kavanaugh?
posted by darkstar at 12:06 AM on July 11 [26 favorites]


Most people don't have the time, energy, or mental space to keep up with the constant parade of shit going on these days, especially if you define "keeping up" as having a full understanding of each separate issue. And even more so if they have kids, a demanding job, or anything else that is taking up a substantial amount of mental bandwidth.

This is why Republicans do everything in their power to increase the precarity of most people's lives in as many ways as they can think of and ensure that there is a constant flood of non-factual bullshit that must be waded through to gain a reasonably complete understanding of current events.
posted by wierdo at 1:07 AM on July 11 [37 favorites]


The Atlantic: ICE and the Ever-Widening Surveillance Dragnet
Over the weekend, the U.S. took another step in the slow march toward normalizing hidden database searches as a fact of urban life. A new report from Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology revealed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials requested access to DMV databases in Utah, Washington State, and Vermont, with the intention of using facial-recognition technology to scan drivers’ photos and match them against criminal and residency databases without their knowledge.

Three years ago, the center revealed that nearly half of all U.S. adults are already in the FBI’s facial-recognition database, which is largely sourced from DMV photos. The documents uncovered this week are the first confirmation that states have granted ICE specifically, not just the FBI, access to those databases.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:19 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


chortly: And the timeline Isikoff lays out -- the first bogus story put out by SVR three days after Rich dies, with the DNC emails sent to wikileaks the day after that -- seems odd too; were they waiting for a convenient death to blame before releasing the emails?

I don't see what's weird about it if Seth Rich is, in fact, not important to them until they notice him in the news and decide to run with it. Having a plan whereby you wait for a suspicious death before releasing something makes little sense; the story these conspiracy theorists hoped to plant is that he does the hacking and release and is then killed in retaliation, not that the DNC somehow catches him beforehand, does him in, and then some unknown accomplice makes the data go through. So in short the ghoulishness looks a lot more like simple opportunism to me than some kind of master plan.

darkstar: Why do I get the impression that any of literally dozens of megathread contributors could have answered that Kavanaugh question with more situational awareness?

It's not about awareness of Kavanaugh -- I don't think she's being honest there. It's about awareness of Kentuckians. She's absolutely right that the foremost priority is beating McConnell and I don't know what the right answer would be to help ensure that. Probably to mumble a non-answer about how she can't address a counterfactual like that, she wants to look to the future and not the past, etc.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 4:21 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials requested access to DMV databases in Utah, Washington State, and Vermont

I wouldn't have thought searches like these would be constitutional. I can only think that ICE uses these databases to search for brown faces and add them to their lists of suspect illegals to arrest en masse. One result will be creating an increasingly unsafe environment for everyone where immigrants become afraid to get licenses, car insurance, have real addresses, etc. This is also about political and economic systemic disenfranchisement.
posted by xammerboy at 6:41 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]


...and I didn't speak out strike because I wasn't a...

(Updated for the social media era, in which speaking out is wholly insufficient.)
posted by perspicio at 7:29 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


If anyone thinks that a strike will remedy this situation (in a nation of over 300 million people), I’d love to hear the details of how that would work.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 7:51 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


If anyone thinks that a strike will remedy this situation (in a nation of over 300 million people), I’d love to hear the details of how that would work.

A Harvard study identified the precise reason protests are an effective way to cause political change (Dan Kopf, Quartz)
Their research shows that protest does not work because big crowds send a signal to policy-makers—rather, it’s because protests get people politically activated.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:00 AM on July 11 [35 favorites]


Earlier this week, there was an article painting McGrath as running as "Pro-trump" that I urged some caution over, as her cited "pro-trump" views were holding him accountable to empty promises on jobs, healthcare, etc. I was wary, but thought it could just be some good old-fashioned media assassination combined with unconventional strategy. We'll call it cautiously optimistic, with emphasis on cautious.

But now, with the changing statements on Kavanaugh? We are definitely back in the same strategy that has failed KY Democratic candidates time and time again. It's not so much the positions themselves that they hold, it's that they don't seem to be consistent on anything other than trying to run far, far away from any Democratic majority viewpoints, and then changing their views immediately when they are called on it, probably only to change them again. Seriously, there's a huge history here - especially during the Obama era, when KY candidates were openly distancing themselves from him and everything he supported. This accomplishes a few things, mostly convincing all of the voters that they are transparently full of shit, thus depressing voter turnout, and alienating the Democratic base. This is coming awfully close to screaming into the void, but this is literally the same thing that has played out over and over again. If you really think defeating McConnell is the most important thing, then why would you adopt the exact same strategies that have failed in the past, and then double down on them?

There's plenty of historical precedent for how this can go in KY. I normally don't predict elections, but this one isn't difficult at all - She's going to go down hard. Not for the Kavanaugh thing itself, but for being utterly inconsistent. Yes, yes, I know, McConnell isn't exactly consistent either, but he knows he's full of shit, his voters know the same, and he bullshits in a way that engages the Republican base.

I want to see Matt Jones out there ASAP. I'm normally loathe to say "hey, let's get a white male guy in there!" over anyone who is neither of those things, but he has been consistent, his views are much much more Democratic, and he has strong appeal already baked in with several voters with a strong presence and history in the state. Of course, this is where a lot of what we've been talking about with regards to Democratic organizations shunning anyone who works for their non-preferred candidate comes into play - so between that and the way the KY Democratic party operates, it's more like scaling a sheer cliff than an uphill battle.
posted by MysticMCJ at 8:01 AM on July 11 [15 favorites]


And to be clear - I'm not talking about nuanced views that change over long periods of time that the Republicans love to paint as "flip-flopping." I'm talking about moment-to-moment inconsistency that leaves people with absolutely no idea what the candidate actually supports at any given moment.
posted by MysticMCJ at 8:05 AM on July 11 [7 favorites]


Trump invokes social media platforms, 2020 Dems and Deutsche Bank in Twitter tear (Politico)
“The White House will be hosting a very big and very important Social Media Summit today. Would I have become President without Social Media? Yes (probably)!” Trump wrote online, announcing a previously unscheduled news conference to come after the meeting of conservative online personalities. The president went on to criticize “the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain” social media companies and warned that “we will not let them get away with it much longer.”

“The Fake News is not as important, or as powerful, as Social Media. They have lost tremendous credibility since that day in November, 2016, that I came down the escalator with the person who was to become your future First Lady,” Trump continued, appearing to confuse the date of his election 2½ years ago with the June 2015 announcement of his first presidential campaign, at which he famously descended a Trump Tower escalator.

“When I ultimately leave office in six … years, or maybe 10 or 14 (just kidding), they will quickly go out of business for lack of credibility, or approval, from the public,” Trump tweeted. “That’s why they will all be Endorsing me at some point, one way or the other.”
And in an inspiring take on how Trump's tweets and other public statements can be used in court: Court Denies Motion to Dismiss in Travel Ban Case (Lawfare)
On July 10, Judge Victoria A. Roberts of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan denied the government’s motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ third amended complaint in Arab American Civil Rights League et al. v. Donald Trump et al., in which the petitioners challenge the Trump administration’s travel ban on constitutional grounds. The order is available here and below.

[...] Preceding EO-1, EO-2, and the Proclamation, President Trump, as a presidential candidate, president-elect, and President, repeatedly made public statements exhibiting prejudice against Muslims and describing his desire and intention to prevent Muslims from entering the United States. [...] President Trump has never disguised his true goal or the purpose of the ban [...]

Accepting Plaintiffs’ allegations as true and drawing all inferences in their favor – as is required at this stage – it is reasonable to infer that the “morphed” executive orders and “companion” Proclamation “rest on an irrational prejudice against [Muslims],” Cleburne, 473 U.S. at 450, and are “inexplicable by anything but animus toward [Muslims],” Romer, 517 U.S. at 632, especially considering that President Trump admitted that the “Muslim ban” only morphed into “extreme vetting” because “people were so upset” when he vociferously discriminated against Muslims. Plaintiffs plausibly allege sufficient facts to demonstrate that the Proclamation is not rationally related to national security goals of preventing inadequately vetted individuals and inducing other nations to improve information sharing. See IRAP, 373 F. Supp. 3d at 676. Indeed, Plaintiffs present sufficient evidence that the Proclamation is unable to be explained by anything but animus towards Muslims. Plaintiffs survive dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6).
posted by Little Dawn at 8:09 AM on July 11 [11 favorites]


If anyone thinks that a strike will remedy this situation (in a nation of over 300 million people), I’d love to hear the details of how that would work.

The '3.5% rule': How a small minority can change the world (David Robson, BBC)
Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts – and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change. [...]

There are, of course, many ethical reasons to use nonviolent strategies. But compelling research by Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard University, confirms that civil disobedience is not only the moral choice; it is also the most powerful way of shaping world politics – by a long way.

Looking at hundreds of campaigns over the last century, Chenoweth found that nonviolent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns. And although the exact dynamics will depend on many factors, she has shown it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.
Emphasis mine. Was thinking of this specific story earlier.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:10 AM on July 11 [48 favorites]


Trump is a huge headache for Deutsche, but the bank has plenty more

Amid @realDonaldTrump's extra-frothy, super-trolly Twitter rant this morning—featuring his Social Media Summit, Fake News, the pledge of Allegiance under siege in Minnesota, black unemployment numbers, "Kids in Cages", how he's "so great looking and smart, a true Stable Genius" and "When I ultimately leave office in six years, or maybe 10 or 14 (just kidding)"—there was this telling bit about Deutsche Bank:
The Fake News Media loves the narrative that I didn’t use many banks because the banks didn’t like me. No, I didn’t use many banks because I didn’t (don’t) need their money (old fashioned, isn’t it?). If I did, it would have been very easy for me to get.

....And remember, a bank that I did use years ago, the now badly written about and maligned Deutsche Bank, was then one of the largest and most prestigious banks in the world! They wanted my business, and so did many others!
Evidently Trump is very anxious about Deutsche Bank's prominence in the headlines lately. Here are some recent examples:

Trump’s Favorite Bank Is Melting Down (Vanity Fair)

Jeffrey Epstein Borrowed ‘Tainted Money’ From Deutsche Bank, Says Former Mentor (NY Observer) "In a phone interview with Observer, Steven Hoffenberg alleged Epstein participated in a Ponzi scheme the two ran together in the 1980s, before using the ill-gotten gains to launch his investment company with the help of financial loans from Deutsche Bank."

Jeffrey Epstein’s Fortune May Be More Illusion Than Fact (NYT)
He appears to have been doing business and trading currencies through Deutsche Bank until just a few months ago, according to two people familiar with his business activities. But as the possibility of federal charges loomed, the bank ended its client relationship with Mr. Epstein. It is not clear what the value of those accounts was at the time they were closed.[…]

In recent years, Mr. Epstein was a client of Deutsche Bank’s private-banking division, which caters to ultrawealthy individuals and families. The bank provided Mr. Epstein with loans and wealth-management accounts, as well as trading services through its investment banking arm, according to two people familiar with the relationship. At one point, compliance officers at Deutsche Bank raised concerns about transactions by Mr. Epstein’s company, because he posed reputational risk to the bank, the people said.

Deutsche Bank managers overruled their concerns, the people said. They noted that there was nothing illegal about the transactions and that Mr. Epstein was a lucrative client.

Earlier this year, the bank ended its relationship with Mr. Epstein.
WSJ: U.S. Investigating Deutsche Bank’s Dealings With Malaysian Fund 1MDB—Justice Department looking into whether German bank violated foreign corruption or anti-money-laundering laws "The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether the German lender violated foreign corruption or anti-money-laundering laws in its work for the 1Malaysia Development Bhd. fund, which included helping the fund raise $1.2 billion in 2014 as concerns about the fund’s management and financials."—c.f. Donald Trump Might Have Received $100,000 Campaign Donation from 1MDB Fugitive: DOJ (CNN) (1MDB previously)

And last month, Trump was fighting in the courts to block subpoenas of his financial records, including with DB (Bloomberg), while the bank itself was facing criminal investigation for potential money-laundering lapses (NYT).

We'll see how composed Trump is at the Rose Garden press conference following his Social Media Summit this afternoon.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:12 AM on July 11 [15 favorites]


US Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to begin the previously postponed raids across the country Sunday to arrest thousands of family members of undocumented immigrants

Trump: I'm going to send in the Gestapo to round up families in 2 weeks unless you fund border security
Democrats: yes sir right away sir [throws money at child concentration camps, punches left]
Trump: LOL the raids begin Sunday

There is no in-power opposition.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:29 AM on July 11 [43 favorites]




Good grief, @realDonaldTrump is still tweeting like a loon, and there's nothing on his schedule until quarter to twelve. A lot of it is his usual blather about China, Mexico, the Dow, Iran, etc., but he's returned to attacking Mueller, which he's been doing constantly in the past week:
Now the Democrats have asked to see 12 more people who have already spent hours with Robert Mueller, and spent a fortune on lawyers in so doing. How many bites at the apple do they get before working on Border Loopholes and Asylum. They also want to interview the highly conflicted and compromised Mueller again. He said he was “done” after his last 9 minute speech, and that he had nothing more to say outside of the No Collusion, No Obstruction, Report. Enough already, go back to work! I won, unanimously, the big Emoluments case yesterday!
The Trump or Not Bot calculates a rare 100/99% probability of authentic Trump authorship of those tweets.

It's possible that this tweet was set off by this announcement from Capitol Hill, Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports:
🚨 House Judiciary formally notices Mueller hearing next week, Weds. 7/17. 9:00am EST.

https://judiciary.house.gov/legislation/hearings/oversight-report-investigation-russian-interference-2016-presidential-election

And House Intel at 12:00pm EST.

https://docs.house.gov/Committee/Calendar/ByEvent.aspx?EventID=109808
Also from Politico: Here Are 11 Questions We’d Ask Robert Mueller
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:31 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]


I assume there's nothing in Il Duce Arancia's passive aggressive notes about the safety of New Orleans, or rescuing children in cages.
posted by Harry Caul at 8:36 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


And to be clear - I'm not talking about nuanced views that change over long periods of time that the Republicans love to paint as "flip-flopping." I'm talking about moment-to-moment inconsistency that leaves people with absolutely no idea what the candidate actually supports at any given moment.

I'll go further than that. Running away from anything that smacks faintly of a Democratic position not only signals cowardice, but also validates Republican framing and concedes the point without contesting it.

Example: Absolutely everyone -- Democrats, Republicans, and the media -- presumes that Senate Republicans will vote to acquit Trump in any impeachment scenario, and hey, they probably will. But Democrats are taking the situation as a given and never criticizing Republicans for it; it's a given the so-called "liberal media" won't, at least without Democrats at least raising the issue by saying something like "My Republican colleagues are prepared to give Trump a free pass for his documented crimes. Shame on them."

Some Democrats think, with good reason, that further evidence of Trump's crimes will help sway Republicans, but there's plenty of evidence of Trump's unfitness for office already -- Exhibits A thru YYZ, these politics megathreads -- and they give Republicans cover if they don't put pressure on them for their being willing accessories after the fact. "What do they have to hide?" should be the watchword and the concluding sentence of absolutely every Democratic media appearance. The fact that Trump refuses to honor subpoenas should be treated as evidence of a crime itself; part of the cover-up, because it obviously is.

Obamacare suffered in popularity in part because the Democrats and the so-called "liberal media" alike immediately adopted Republican framing -- never offered in good faith -- and the Democrats ran away from their own bill instead of saying the Republicans were lying and it did good things for the American people. Which American people, by the way, figured out that Obamacare was a good thing pretty much all on their own, to the point that Republicans at least have to pretend they have a replacement for it (Ron Howard Narrator Voice: They don't.)

Maybe McGrath will lose by saying Kavanaugh doesn't deserve to be on the Court, too, to by pointing out that no one but the rich like Trump's tax cuts, but so what? As noted, her Republican-lite strategy is a sure loser as well.
posted by Gelatin at 8:39 AM on July 11 [24 favorites]


US Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to begin the previously postponed raids across the country Sunday to arrest thousands of family members of undocumented immigrants

Utterly fucking hideous. What we need that is somewhat possible is for organizations working on this to organize repeated mass civil disobedience at politicians' offices and ICE offices. We need people locked down to whatever is lockable down every day, over and over.

I don't think going to the camps and physically breaking into them is likely to work, for a variety of reasons - mainly based on the Woomera detention camp break-out in 2002. That was a powerful and inspiring thing, but virtually all of the only fifty people who were freed were recaptured and as far as I can tell, this was part of what inspired the Australian government to move more detention to island camps. The Australians are less gun-happy, too, and I think that something similar here would literally result in deaths.

But we can lock down and shut things down and get arrested. If they start shutting people out of, eg, a plaza in front of an office, we can lock down on the road leading to the plaza. If they shut us out of that road, we can lock down the exit leading to that road.

I'm ready to do this. I am ready to commit to staying put for hours or days, I am ready to commit to arrest. I do some activism here on this issue and I am ready to step it up as soon as there's mass arrest actions declared here.

This is actual murderous Nazi shit. There are going to be epidemics at these camps and people are going to die of typhus or respiratory complaints in large numbers. People are already being sent back to die.

~~
There is more of a push to dump people in dangerous border areas of Mexico now, so I think that there may be a move to try to make the problem invisible, but that's in tension with the political purpose of the camps and the power of the prison industry/graft. It's possible that this issue will submerge eventually, but people have to keep paying attention no matter what happens.
posted by Frowner at 8:41 AM on July 11 [22 favorites]


I don't think going to the camps and physically breaking into them is likely to work, for a variety of reasons - mainly based on the Woomera detention camp break-out in 2002. That was a powerful and inspiring thing, but virtually all of the only fifty people who were freed were recaptured and as far as I can tell, this was part of what inspired the Australian government to move more detention to island camps.

I mean most of the Sobibor escapees were recaptured and killed too but I'd still say the uprising was worth it. Breakout attempts might or might not be productive today but there's a lot of increasingly genocidal tomorrows coming.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:51 AM on July 11


I mean most of the Sobibor escapees were recaptured and killed too but I'd still say the uprising was worth it. Breakout attempts might or might not be productive today but there's a lot of increasingly genocidal tomorrows coming.

Well, I'm certainly not going to stand in the way or try to argue down people who want to take this step. I could easily be wrong in my feelings about what's likely to work.

In any case, it's clear that nothing is going to change without some significant escalation of anti-camp actions that really gets in the way of operations. It seems worthwhile to try to get bigger protests, etc to create a supportive environment for other actions, I'm not saying that people shouldn't take other steps. But it's obvious that other steps are necessary but not sufficient.
posted by Frowner at 8:57 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


the highly conflicted and compromised Mueller... the No Collusion, No Obstruction, Report

You'd think even Trump supporters would recognize the paradox in this single tweet. Why would you call a guy who declared you innocent in every way "conflicted and compromised"?
posted by diogenes at 9:00 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


There are, of course, many ethical reasons to use nonviolent strategies. But compelling research by Erica Chenoweth, a political scientist at Harvard University, confirms that civil disobedience is not only the moral choice; it is also the most powerful way of shaping world politics – by a long way.

Extreme income inequality started really taking off under Ronald Reagan, but the so-called "liberal media" basically didn't talk about it until Occupy Wall Street. Much of Elizabeth Warren's campaign relies on tropes that Occupy (along with the housing crisis) helped established; she can presume her audience understands that the wealthy get the lion's share of the benefits from the economy we all work to create, without having to establish it over and over again.
posted by Gelatin at 9:02 AM on July 11 [15 favorites]


if only there were some kind of railroad . . . maybe even underground, in which to ferry escaped asylum seekers to safety.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:12 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Kos says cheetoh will defy scotus, issuing an executive order to add the census question.

Ugh. Stupid fascist dictators bring me down.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:15 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Pelosi tells Dems to spread 'know your rights' campaign ahead of ICE raids
The ACLU, working with Brooklyn Defender Services, has created a “Know Your Rights” page for encounters with ICE that includes videos in Spanish, Urdu, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Russian, and Mandarin to help understand your rights: When ICE is Outside our Doors, Inside Our Homes, In Our Communities, In Our Streets, If ICE Arrest Us.

According to the Associated Press on June 22, 2019, activists have stepped up trainings amid Trump deportation threats, with a focus on rights that apply to anyone, regardless of citizenship status: the right to remain silent; refusing officers entry into a home; not signing anything without legal representation; and asking for paperwork from agents.

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has created a series of Red Cards in multiple languages to help people assert their rights and defend themselves in many situations, such as when ICE agents go to a home. Information about how to use Red Cards when confronted by immigration agents is available here.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA) offers a variety of educational resources, including a Know Your Rights and Prepare a Family Plan flier in English and Spanish, and a List of Important Documents and Information in English and Spanish. Este video fue producido por CHIRLA con el propósito de ofrecer educación referente a redadas de inmigración o preguntas que haga la policía acerca de nuestro estado migratorio. CHIRLA has also produced an English-language know-your-rights video.
Additional resources, including free and low-cost legal services directories, immigration bond fund directories, and crisis hotlines are listed at http://mefiwiki.com/wiki/Get_a_lawyer#Immigration
posted by Little Dawn at 9:21 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Trump abandons drug pricing proposal that would have ended certain drug rebates (STATnews).

CNN on the policy paralysis:
Trump made controlling health care costs a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign, but has yet to succeed in reshaping the American health care system, which is still dominated by the Affordable Care Act. The administration has joined a lawsuit by Republican states aimed at overturning Obamacare, after congressional Republicans stopped short of Trump's promised repeal in 2017. But the President has not yet introduced his own alternative, though he's promised to do later this summer.

Trump did, however, unveil a 44-page blueprint of its vision for lowering pharmaceutical prices in the spring of 2018, though the administration has so far only implemented one rule from it.

That measure — to require drug makers to include their list prices in television ads — was nixed by a district court judge in the District of Columbia on Monday, who said the administration had overstepped its authority.
If you want to read tea leaves, this plan was not universally supported in the White House; its champion was Sec. Azar who is currently in the news for his connection to the Epstein case.
posted by peeedro at 9:21 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


It's important to note that the census is an Article I function, meaning it's explicitly the domain of Congress (Article I sets out Congress' powers, Article II is for the president and executive branch, and Article III is the courts). Any discretion the White House has in the process comes from legislation -- there's no inherent presidential power to add a question, change the timing, or anything else. For Trump to do this through executive fiat is straight-up lawless.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:26 AM on July 11 [50 favorites]




There is more of a push to dump people in dangerous border areas of Mexico now, so I think that there may be a move to try to make the problem invisible

Well, completely invisible wouldn't do. The visible, double-edged threat is a key part of brandishing this style of power.
posted by perspicio at 9:32 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Me, earlier: "What do they have to hide?" should be the watchword and the concluding sentence of absolutely every Democratic media appearance. The fact that Trump refuses to honor subpoenas should be treated as evidence of a crime itself; part of the cover-up, because it obviously is.

It's absolutely bonkers that the White House's public explanation for stonewalling the Democratic House oversight is "they're just using those subpoenas to look for information that will damage Trump," and our so-called elite political press presents that statement as if it's some kind of justification as opposed to a frank admission of guilt.
posted by Gelatin at 9:41 AM on July 11 [33 favorites]


MoJo: House Democrats Hold Trump Officials in Contempt for Withholding Census Documents Every Democrat and Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) voted to pass the resolution, 24-15.

The vote will go to the full House next Tuesday, Zoe Tillman reports. (i.e. a day before Mueller's testimony). (House statement screenshot)

Meanwhile, CBS's Paula Reid reports: "Attorney General William Barr will participate in President Trump’s 5pm press conference on executive action to add citizenship question on census."

Trump was supposed to be alone at the podium, so Barr's last-minute addition signals that either he's making a major push on the census citizenship question—the Trump-friendly Hill reported yesterday that conservatives asked Barr to lay out Trump's rationale for it—or, as with the Tuesday's environment presser, Trump needs to be publicly buttressed by administration officials who can answer the press's questions in coherent sentences.

This could be a little of column A, a little of column B, given this morning's Twitter rampage. Vox: Trump’s latest morning of tweets was off the rails, even by his standards e.g. "In the same tweet in which he joked about illegally extending his term in office, Trump, while trying to demean South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg for purportedly resembling cartoon character Alfred E. Neuman, mistakenly tagged an account belonging to a retired teacher who, based on his recent retweets, is clearly is not a fan of the president." No doubt, Dan Scavino was trying extra-hard to troll the libs in preparation for the Social Media Summit, but Trumpian incompetence keeps tripping up the comms team.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:44 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren has put out an immigration plan. It brought tears to my eyes. And accountability is there for those who are abusing immigrants and refugees in carrying out Trump's agenda.
posted by prefpara at 9:58 AM on July 11 [56 favorites]


Hey, McConnell, if a President can just defy a SCOTUS ruling with an executive order, what was the point of getting all those judges installed?
posted by pseudophile at 10:04 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Hey, McConnell, if a President can just defy a SCOTUS ruling with an executive order, what was the point of getting all those judges installed?

You forgot the most critical part: A Republican President can just defy a SCOTUS ruling with an executive order. The judges are for when a Democratic President tries to do it.
posted by Etrigan at 10:12 AM on July 11 [37 favorites]


It's important to note that the census is an Article I function, meaning it's explicitly the domain of Congress

Well, the same is true of tariffs, and look where that's got us.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:23 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


The SCOTUS packing isn't to rein in the president; it's to allow states to overturn Roe v Wade and union protections. The Senate will decide whether the president can get away things.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:33 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Not to get too Republicans are like this, Democrats are like this, but Trump's tweet about his "very big and very important" social media meeting really crystallized something in my mind. I'm pretty sure it's s at least one aspect of why he turns off anyone on the left or liberal side, and tends to engage and enthuse those on the right or conservative side.

I'm sure that pretty much everyone here on Metafilter sort of cringed in embarrassment at that phrasing. Pretty much anything a US President does is very big and very important, like Obama said the easy stuff is handled before it gets to the President's desk. So to us, on the left/liberal side we see that sort of braggadocio as a sign of weakness, a sign that Trump is flailing around, unsure of himself, unsure of the power of his office, and making a fool of himself in a pathetic display of neediness.

But to many on the right/conservative side of things it reads as a refreshing display of strength in comparison to the weakness of Democratic Presidents. They don't see the understated air of a President like Obama as being a man confident in his own power and the authority of his office, but rather being the sign of a wimp who isn't macho enough to revel in his power. Trump's "very big and very important" is, to many Republicans a necessary assertion of power. After all, if you don't tell people how big and important you are they won't know, right?

Way back in 2011 a right wing friend of mine was outraged at how Obama handled the death of Osama bin Laden. He was genuinely incensed and fumed to me that Obama had proven to the world that we were weak and wimpy and easy targets for aggression. Why? Because Obama hadn't held a celebratory parade and, this is a direct quote "put his head on a pike outside the White House". I'm fairly sure he wasn't engaging in hyperbole about the head on a pike business and that he really and truly did think that it would have been the appropriate and strong action to take.

The left and the right seem to see strength in radically different ways. To us a calm assurance and understated air is a sign of confidence and power, to them it's a sign of a man [1] too wimpy to rub people's faces in his power. To us a person constantly reminding us that they're great and amazing and powerful is a sign of a person who is deeply insecure and not at all confident in any of those things. To them it's a sign of a strong man who isn't afraid to show his strength.

[1] "Man" because I'm pretty sure that for people who feel this way the idea of a woman with power is an oxymoron and they simply can't envision it except in mockery.
posted by sotonohito at 11:32 AM on July 11 [59 favorites]


Change Research poll of IA/NH/SC Democrats for Crooked Media:

Support following first debate: 19% Sanders, 19% Warren, 18% Biden, 17% Harris
65% say they want a climate debate
58% support abolishing private insurance
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:39 AM on July 11 [22 favorites]


And now, our latest entry in "What Even Is Reality Anymore":
ABC News: Trump expected to end his fight to add citizenship question to census, sources say

President Donald Trump is expected to announce later Thursday he is backing down from his effort to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and will instead take executive action that instructs the Commerce Department to obtain an estimate of U.S. citizenship through other means, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:42 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Speaking of how things look to the other side, CNN's Oliver Darcy highlights "Trump's takeover of the Republican Party in 4 screen grabs (via @jdawsey1's review of @TimAlberta's new book)"

WaPo: New book details how Republican leaders learned to stop worrying and love Trump
—Few people have more power in President Trump’s White House than Madeleine Westerhout, his executive assistant who controls access to the Oval Office, delivers the president’s marker-scribbled messages, sends orders to top military officials, prints emails and articles to show Trump, and seeks to keep a tight grip on his schedule.

But she was not always a staunch supporter of the president. On election night, Westerhout, then a Republican National Committee aide, broke down crying, “inconsolable” over Trump winning the election.

—“We’re not going to let Donald Trump dismantle the Bill of Rights,” Mulvaney said to Alberta in 2016 when he was still a congressman from South Carolina. “For five and half years, every time we got to the floor and try to push back against an overreaching president, we get accused of being partisan at best and racist at worst. When we do it against a Republican president, maybe people will see it was a principled objection in the first place.”

Now, as the president’s acting chief of staff, Mulvaney says to others that he “lets Trump be Trump.”

—Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who basked in Trump’s glory during a large rally that helped him win a tight Texas race down the stretch of the 2018 midterms, once felt differently about the president.

“[Cruz] told confidantes there was ‘no way in hell’ he was prepared to subjugate himself to Trump in front of tens of millions of viewers,” Alberta writes. “ ‘History isn't kind to the man who holds Mussolini's jacket,’ Cruz told friends in 2016.” Even later, he bemoaned Trump for seeking to end birthright citizenship, saying he was trying to cost the party seats.

—Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Alberta in June 2016 that he wishes the Republican-controlled Congress could have done things differently to “avoid creating this environment that was conducive to someone like Donald Trump becoming the nominee.” Jordan is now on Fox News defending Trump more than almost any other of the president’s allies.
Paul Ryan, now exiled from Capitol Hill's sphere of influence, tepidly offers warnings: “Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time. We helped him make much better decisions, which were contrary to kind of what his knee-jerk reaction was. Now I think he’s making some of these knee-jerk reactions.” Expect that to be the party line from Trump's GOP enablers when Trump's gone (however long that takes).
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:44 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


and will instead take executive action that instructs the Commerce Department to obtain an estimate of U.S. citizenship through other means

What does that step even mean? The Census is the official tally of the US population according to the Constitution and the sole authority for apportionment. What are they, going to come up with a lowball estimate of "citizens" so Trump can claim, as he obviously planned to in 2016, that his defeat was a result of a "rigged" election?

Or is it simply a pathetic attempt to save face?
posted by Gelatin at 11:46 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Mulvaney: “For five and half years, every time we got to the floor and try to push back against an overreaching president, we get accused of being partisan at best and racist at worst. When we do it against a Republican president, maybe people will see it was a principled objection in the first place.”

That logic cuts both ways.
posted by Gelatin at 11:48 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Let's check in on the so-called "social media summit."

They've printed out definitions of terms (with Trump-friendly definitions) like "doxing," "demonetization," "shadow banning," and "deplatforming."

Except there are a few problems. They spelled "publicly" wrong, think "demonetization" is a verb, and put the stress on the wrong syllables (shad•oh ban•ing).

And Tim Pool couldn't be bothered to wear a suit.
posted by zachlipton at 11:54 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


And Tim Pool couldn't be bothered to wear a suit.

Did he at least take off his fucking beanie?
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:56 AM on July 11


For those who didn't follow the census case: the census department specifically came back to the initial question-add request with this exact data, at statistical levels, that they already have. They already produce the data that Commerce pretended it needed, they just gather it through other means to make statistically useful estimates at various geographic levels. There is no person-level data tied directly to an individual, which would be private data anyway if it ever was collected. But it would be at risk of disclosure illegally for very bad purposes if it were collected.
posted by odinsdream at 12:02 PM on July 11 [11 favorites]


Twitter is currently down across much of the world, in case you didn't notice the slight lessening of the ambient stench of death
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:15 PM on July 11 [43 favorites]


If you want to be better informed than Trump, you can go to the actual census.gov website. You can go to the American Fact Finder website and make it generate tables for you. You can drill down through the options (People > Origins > Citizenship) and make it generate a table of estimated citizen populations.

Trump personally has no idea what the census bureau does, and he's repeating whatever lines/lies he's being told, is a safe assumption here.

the census bureau is forbidden from using regular data science methods on the decennial census - this is a question that went to SCOTUS in the '90s - for the purposes of apportioning representatives, ONLY a strict count is allowed. So e.g. even if we know, for certain, that only 80% of black families filled out the census, we're not allowed to USE that knowledge to adjust the numbers. That is the whole reason to try to make the census hostile, to change response rates. i think there's also an open question about using citizenship data to inform gerrymandering, and the decennial census might give more valid/accurate/useful information because it's more geographically specific, but that's a secondary goal

(That is also WHY the census bureau does in-between surveys: so they can keep the decennial census short and easy to respond to; to ask questions that aren't appropriate for the decennial census at all; to test questions for the upcoming census; to get data that's less constrained (that they can muck with); to get data that's less politically fraught; etc. In addition to just getting information that's more recent and up to date.)

posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 12:28 PM on July 11 [25 favorites]


“[Cruz] told confidantes there was ‘no way in hell’ he was prepared to subjugate himself to Trump in front of tens of millions of viewers,” Alberta writes. “ ‘History isn't kind to the man who holds Mussolini's jacket,’ Cruz told friends in 2016.”

This is the Cruziest shit ever. He knows what Trump is and he knows how bad it is and clearly articulates the danger and dishonor of backing an authoritarian and he has a mutual personal enmity with Trump on top of it, but y'know, don't let that get in the way of opportunism and the party line.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:36 PM on July 11 [24 favorites]


Twitter is currently down across much of the world, in case you didn't notice the slight lessening of the ambient stench of death

It seems to be back up, may god have mercy on us. The coincidence of Twitter going down right in the middle Trump's Social Media Summit will doubtless fuel conspiracy theories among the rabid right for weeks to come.

Meanwhile, Daniel Dale's been catching up with his running fact-check of it:
—Trump begins his speech to his social media event: "If you look, you're at a very famous place. We all work very hard, and I don't know if you call it influence, I don't know if you call it power, but whatever it is, we're in the White House."
—Trump tells a story about a hypothetical spouse who congratulates his or her partner for having a 401K that is "up 77% this year," which is way more than the markets are up.
—Trump applauds people who communicate through social media "without having to go through the fake news filter."
—Trump on the past of his social media chief, Dan Scavino: "Long before we were even doing this, he was at a club, running a club...He was OK at doing it, not the greatest. I wouldn't say the greatest. You know what he was great at? He was always looking at his computer screen."
—Trump says "some" of the people at the social media event are "extraordinary," telling them, "The crap you think of is unbelievable."
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:17 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


"The crap you think of is unbelievable."

I hate it when he says something I inadvertently agree with.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:20 PM on July 11 [36 favorites]






"We will not be intimidated into making stupid decisions" seems like a perfectly normal thing for the nominee to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to say about the president.

Also normal for this administration, the nominee for vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is now facing an accusation of sexual assault.
posted by peeedro at 1:56 PM on July 11 [12 favorites]


Meanwhile, Daniel Dale's been catching up with his running fact-check of it:

The amount of time the government of one of the largest, most powerful nations on earth spends on WHY AREN'T MORE PEOPLE LIKING MY POSTS is more proof that we’re all just trapped in his dying brain.

Everything is just a Forum war now.
posted by The Whelk at 2:03 PM on July 11 [31 favorites]


Just watched the Dictator issue a face-saving Executive Order ordering gov't departments to do what they already do.
posted by Harry Caul at 2:51 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Josh Marshall has an apt summary of the sad day:
This is turning out to be a quintessentially Trumpian day. The social media bias summit the White House is hosting today is made up of attendees best known as online pro-Trump hype men, pushing images, memes and videos portraying Trump as a sort of alternative reality he-man constantly stomping, vanquishing and owning his foes. And while all this has been going on the White House has been telling everyone Trump has some secret way to end-run the Supreme Court and get his census citizenship question on the census after all. And now, a couple hours before the announcement, we learn that this epic SCOTUS smackdown is actually a lot of don’t-look-behind-the-curtain razzmatazz to fuzz up what is actually Trump announcing he’s giving up, doing pretty much what his Justice Department announced a week ago but Trump apparently needed a week of hand holding and yessing to accept.
posted by peeedro at 2:59 PM on July 11 [15 favorites]


Daniel Dale's live-blog of Trump's census question presser paints a picture of a humiliating climb-down:
—Trump begins: "Are you a citizen of the United States of America? Oh gee, I'm sorry, I just can't answer that question. And that's after spending billions and billions of dollars."
—Trump says he is pursuing a "new option" over the citizenship question because litigation would take too long: he's ordering federal departments to "provide the Department of Commerce with all requested records regarding the number of citizens and non-citizens in our country."
—Trump is now touting this option: "The Census Bureau projected that using previously available records, it could determine citizenship for 90% of our population or more." He says his order allows an "even more complete count of citizens than of asking the single question alone."
—Trump did not take questions at the event he'd billed on Twitter as a "News Conference." He sometimes uses "news conference" to mean "event where he speaks to the media."
NBC's Pete Williams (via Kyle Griffin): "Basically, what [Trump's] saying to the federal government is do what you've already done, just do a better job of it and try harder. By the way, this is basically what some of Wilbur Ross's advisers proposed that he do and he rejected that."

Vox's Aaron Rupar (w/video): "Sign of the times -- Attorney General William Barr goes out of his way to reassure people that the Trump administration never planned to defy a Supreme Court ruling" (Of course Barr blames it on "rank speculation"—"some in the media have been suggesting [this] in the hysterical mode of the day".)
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:03 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Michael Harriot, The Root: White People Want Trump:
Yet, he is probably going to win the white vote.

And it’s not because he’s white. Pete Buttigieg is white and trails Trump by seven p0ints with the white vote. According to 23andMe, Elizabeth Warren is 99 percent white (and one percent from the Dolezal tribe) but Trump outpaces her with white voters by 10 points. Bernie Sanders trails Trump by six percentage points in the Quinnipiac poll. The only thing one can logically conclude is that white people’s lone reason for voting for Donald Trump is that he is a racist.

Aside from racism, what else is Donald Trump good at?

That was a rhetorical question because I’m sure there is an answer. Maybe he makes a mean pot pie. Perhaps he is a championship-level Connect Four player. I’ve heard that he can eat a family-size bucket of KFC in record time, which is kind of impressive. But despite his infinite number of faults, his numerous lies, and his plentiful deficiencies, white people will still want Donald J. Trump as their president.

Not all white people, just a statistically significant amount.

posted by TwoStride at 5:05 PM on July 11 [27 favorites]


New NBC/WSJ Poll: Biden 26% Warren 19% Harris 13% Sanders 13% Buttigieg 7% Yang 2% O'Rourke 2% Klobuchar 1% Castro 1% Booker 1% Inslee 1% Williamson 1% Delaney 1% Hickenlooper 1% Bennet 1%
Everyone else is at 0%. Biden losing some support after the debate is the most important trend, but Beto polling even with Andrew Yang is the most devastating. Julian Castro may have landed a fatal blow, and Beto has utterly cratered since his entrance when he flirted with double digits. He's been exposed badly as having no business with aspirations outside of Texas.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:07 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


I'd like Inslee to stay in as long as possible to be a tool to keep the climate crisis persistent on the minds of voters.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:58 PM on July 11 [20 favorites]


From Daniel Dale's blow-by-blow of the blowhard:
Trump on important policy he has announced on Twitter: "I'll go, 'Watch.' Like, I did Golan Heights. I gave Israel the real credit over - and, you know, Golan Heights and Israel, very important. But I gave representation and the strongest form of the Golan Heights, Israel."
Well, this certainly sounds like a sane and well-informed person with a good grasp of foreign policy and not, e.g., someone who would fail to recognise the Golan Heights on a map of the Golan Heights with the words GOLAN HEIGHTS written in caps and circled with a highlighter.

Hey, Trump, you know what your next step should be? The 25th Amendment. Other presidents had 16, 17, maybe 18 Amendments. Lyndon Johnson had 24, but some say he cheated. No president has ever had 25. You should go and demand the implementation of the 25th Amendment. Say "I, Donald Trump, pledged to drain the swamp and I demand that you implement the 25th Amendment, henceforth and forever to be known as the Donald Trump Amendment."
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:59 PM on July 11 [16 favorites]


This won't apply to the vast majority of immigrants, but the US Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit in Boston today ordered a stay for a Dominican man's deportation to let him argue in court that he deserves asylum because he and his family were threatened, he was beaten up and his business was trashed because of his political views.

His case dates back to 2012, when he walked across the border into Texas, but the Barr Justice Department argued this year he should be booted because the threats and violence stopped when he stopped publicly stating his political views in the several months before he entered the US, so he no longer faced any problems. A three-judge panel said that was an absurd reason to deport him:
A principal goal of persecuting the expression of political opinion is to silence those who cleave to it in the hope that their political views will not gain traction. ...

So here: the purpose of the PLD's threats and violence was to coerce the petitioner to stop hosting PRD meetings. That the threats and violence sent a convincing enough message to frighten the petitioner into complying is evidence in support of his claim, not evidence against it. The agency's contrary reasoning would lead to the bizarre result that persons who experienced threats that were sufficiently credible to cause them to cease expressing their political opinion would not be eligible for immigration relief.
posted by adamg at 6:00 PM on July 11 [17 favorites]


I think all dems below Pete Buttigieg should strategically pick a pet issue and exploit it for media attention until you absolutely have to drop out.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:01 PM on July 11 [13 favorites]


The only thing one can logically conclude is that white people’s lone reason for voting for Donald Trump is that he is a racist.


It isn't JUST that he's a racist. It's also this: as president he's overseen an administration that's running mass internment camps and deportation sweeps with the aim of stemming the tide of migration from Latin America that's seen Wilson, Moore and Taylor lose their places in the list of 10 most common American surnames to Garcia, Rodriguez and Martinez. I would posit that probably *most* Trump voters are not overt racists; however, the scale of demographic change in the US in the past 40 years is something that's essentially unprecedented in a modern liberal democracy, and awareness of it is probably bringing out a lot of latent racism. There was a study around 2015 or so (?) that basically consisted of giving a questionnaire to users of public transit in a liberalish bedroom community near a major city regarding their views on immigration generally and their voting intentions, specifically; it was found that after exposure to two people (hired by the researchers) on the same train who were speaking Spanish to each other every morning for a week there was a statistically significant shift in voting intention from D to R. Along with the broader "red state/blue state" divide this is one of the fault lines in American society that makes me most pessimistic about what the next few decades are going to look like.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 6:44 PM on July 11 [12 favorites]


I've seen a few reports that some members of congress are exercising some oversight on administration's abuse of migrant children, in addition to legislation (which is slower and harder to pass):

Senator Tammy Baldwin calls for a Senate Health Committee hearing on the health and safety of migrant children

Senator Jeff Merkley calls for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to investigate the deaths of migrant children

Senator Bob Casey and 8 others call for an investigation into federal contractors in charge of migrant children (the others: Senators Brian Schatz, Sherrod Brown, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, Michael Bennet and Kamala Harris)

Senator Jeff Merkley calls for the DHS Inspector General to investigate whether DHS officials or staff broke the law in mistreatment and neglect of children in their care

Rep. Elijah Cummings announces two more hearings on child separation

A lot of members of Congress are sponsoring legislation, but oversight is part of their job, too.

If you have time to make phone calls, you can try calling your congresspersons (or sending faxes or emails) and asking them to use every tool at their disposal - particularly oversight functions - to stop the abuse and hold those responsible accountable.

(I also posted this in the Concentration Camps, How Best to Help? thread; I hope that's okay.)
posted by kristi at 7:04 PM on July 11 [22 favorites]


At a roundtable event in Youngstown, OH today, Sen. Gillibrand was asked by a white woman holding a baby (via Amanda Golden, NBC):
QUESTION: I hear you saying there is a lot of divisive language coming from Republicans, coming from Trump and that we are looking for ways to blame each other. But the Democratic Party loves to throw around terms like "white privilege." Now this is an area that across all demographics has been depressed because of the loss of its industry and the opioid crisis. So what do you have to say to people in this area about so-called white privilege?
She responded (NBC video):
GILLIBRAND: So, I understand that families in this community are suffering deeply. ... [details events described at the roundtable] ... So no one in that circumstance is privileged on any level, but that's not what that conversation is about.

QUESTION: What is is about?

GILLIBRAND: I'm going to explain.

What that conversation is about is when a community has been left behind for generations because of the color of their skin. ... The fact that ... if you are a black woman you are four times more likely to die in childbirth because the healthcare provider doesn't believe you when you say "I don't feel right." Because he doesn't value you. Or she doesn't value you.

...

So, if your son is 15 years old and smokes pot. He smokes pot just as much as the black boy in his neighborhoold and the Latino boy in his neighborhood. But that black and brown boy is four times more likely to get arrested. ... Your son will likely not have to deal with that because he is white. So when someone says white privilege, that is all they are talking about. That his whiteness will mean that a police officer might give him a second chance. It might mean that he doesn't get incarcerated because he had just smoked a joint with his girlfriend. It might mean that he won't have to post bail. It means he might be able to show up to work the next day and lose his job and not be in the cycle of poverty that never ends. That's all it is.

applause from the room

But it doesn't mean that you don't deserve my voice, lifting up your challenge. It also doesn't mean that black and brown people are left to fight these challenges on their own. A white woman like me who is a Senator and running for President of the United States has to lift up their voice just as much as I would lift up yours. That's all it means. It doesn't take away from you at all. It just means we have to recognize suffering in all its forms and solve it in each place intentionally and with knowledge about what we are up against.
Partially edited, see full transcript at top link.
posted by pjenks at 7:09 PM on July 11 [127 favorites]


I think all dems below Pete Buttigieg should strategically pick a pet issue and exploit it for media attention until you absolutely have to drop out.

Can they all pick global warming?
posted by xammerboy at 7:22 PM on July 11 [23 favorites]


still hope someone in the printing office will look over those galley proofs before running the job. because these fuckers.

and that someone better aware of issues relating to the existing impediments to information sharing among federal agencies, if any, for purposes of determining citizenship gives the new plan, if new, proper attention. (iirc, removing bottlenecks and barriers in the sharing of information among federal agencies is what got us homeland security).

now remains a fine time to impeach secretary ross. for the many falsehoods. to congress. to courts.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:38 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


he's self-impeaching, bro
posted by entropicamericana at 8:11 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]






The scale of demographic change in the US in the past 40 years is something that's essentially unprecedented in a modern liberal democracy.

There's an excellent podcast on this subject by Vox's Ezra Klein named "Behind the Panic in White, Christian America." It starts with the startling statistic that in 2008 when Obama became president the U.S. was 54% white christian, and in 2016 when Trump became president that number dropped to 43%. That's a big drop.

The podcast also talks about Evangelicalism and how many of its beliefs are intertwined with racism. For instance, I did not know that Evangelical Christians believed not that long ago that white people were preordained by God to manage work, while black were preordained to labor. That's pretty racist, but it also suggests that many Evangelical Christians experienced civil rights as a deeply disturbing disruption of divine order.

All of this helped me understand a little better why for so many Christians racism seems to suddenly be the most important thing. It was also pointed out that Trump instinctively played to these notions, telling his supporters that while he wasn't a nice guy, a nice guy wasn't going to do what they needed, and that he was their "last chance".
posted by xammerboy at 9:10 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


> Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the 2020 Presidential Race and Trump’s Crisis at the Border, The New Yorker

I was going to post about this interview - I listened to it all the way through on my walk to and from work today, and it is really good. I said early on that I didn't know enough about AOC but judging by her enemies, she must be doing something right. I think this interview made me a fan - just a bunch of thoughtful, considered responses that came across as completely genuine.

It's worth your time, even if it'll probably make you alternately sad and angry.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:10 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


the Democratic Party loves to throw around terms like "white privilege."

Gillibrand's answer actually was pretty good, but gave any of the presidential candidates, or even any elected Democrats, actually done this ("throw around" the term "white privilege')?

Not being sarcastic here - of course, I've seen the term used by many journalists, analysts and commentators, but I have not seen or heard many politicians talking about it, at least not at any length. Maybe a couple of the House freshman class?

Point being, I suspect Gillibrand's questioner is internalizing wingnut talking points and based her question on those, and not on anything actually said by any Democratic politicians.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 9:59 PM on July 11 [36 favorites]


There's an excellent podcast on this subject by Vox's Ezra Klein named "Behind the Panic in White, Christian America." It starts with the startling statistic that in 2008 when Obama became president the U.S. was 54% white christian, and in 2016 when Trump became president that number dropped to 43%. That's a big drop.

In 1980 the US population was 80% "non-Hispanic white"; most recent estimates put that at around 61%, and the non-white birthrate is higher than the white birthrate, which is more salient, probably (and also ties into anti-abortion crusading; fun fact, some of the original anti-abortionists of the 19th century used overt arguments about "immigrants outbreeding the sturdy Anglo-Saxon colonial stock" as reasons to outlaw abortion).

The podcast also talks about Evangelicalism and how many of its beliefs are intertwined with racism. For instance, I did not know that Evangelical Christians believed not that long ago that white people were preordained by God to manage work, while black were preordained to labor. That's pretty racist, but it also suggests that many Evangelical Christians experienced civil rights as a deeply disturbing disruption of divine order.


That was especially a Thing in the Southern Baptist church (which split off from the National Baptists over slavery in the 1850's); they were still teaching the whole thing about "children of Ham, destined to be hewers of wood and drawers of water" until fairly recently (the '50's or '60's at least and probably more like the '80's or '90's in some places).
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 10:21 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


I'm kind of surprised I haven't heard the phrase “taxation without representation” yet in the census question discussion... That's one of the things the Trump and McConnell &co. circus is angling at with their sudden need for a “complete and timely count of the non-citizen population”: to find some way for the apportionment of representation in the House to leave out as many immigrant taxpayers as possible, since in the 21st century that's now so exceptionally harmonious with white supremacy.

(It's another great clue btw, in addition to the rules of early naturalization laws, to the Founders' actual positive attitudes towards immigrants: there wasn't any citizenship-related carve-out to “no taxation without representation.”)

Along with Trump continuing to yuk it up about “maybe we'll try President-for-Life here sometime!”—ha ha maybe we'll have a king and aristocracy again ha ha—it's emblematic of how opposed Trumpism is to the very idea of the United States, even the idea of what the country was from hundreds of years ago. I wish it was a stronger theme in the rhetoric of our candidates and elected officials, pointing out and denouncing this fundamental betrayal and maybe a bit of shameless flag-waving at the same time, when it's such low-hanging fruit. I mean, they were all able to whine on and on about the White Working Class.
posted by XMLicious at 11:26 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Esquire (Charles Pierce): Nancy Pelosi's Leadership Now Constitutes a Constant Dereliction of Duty
Right now, at this very moment, the United States government is committing crimes against humanity on its southern border at the command of a certifiable vulgar talking yam. The opposition party controls exactly one center of power in the tripartite government and two seats—occasionally, three—on the Supreme Court. And under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives has chosen to do precisely squat about the situation, choosing instead to pick a fight with its youngest and most charismatic members who, by the way, are pretty much the only members of the House who have gone to see the atrocities first hand...
New Yorker (Sean Wilentz): Nancy Pelosi, Impeachment, and Places in History
Crises make and break historical reputations. In our current constitutional emergency, a few unlikely figures, above all the former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have upheld the rule of law, possibly redeeming their places in history. Many others, above all the current Attorney General, William Barr, seem determined to irretrievably sink theirs. Now the reputation at risk is that of the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

With regard to the debate over the proper response to Donald Trump’s brazen deeds, Pelosi has not taken impeachment off the table, saying, “I don’t think you should impeach for political reasons, and I don’t think you should not impeach for political reasons.” Yet political reasons seem to be preventing her from pursuing constitutional concerns. Her reasoning is clear: if the House were to launch an impeachment without “overwhelming” evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors and strong bipartisan public support, Trump’s inevitable acquittal in the Republican-controlled Senate would only strengthen him, and he could cruise to reëlection. But, in this instance, Pelosi’s normally acute political judgment is failing her, and the historical precedent she is evidently relying on—the impeachment of President Bill Clinton—is not analogous. In fact, based on the past half century of political history, suppressing an impeachment inquiry seems more likely to help insure Trump’s reëlection. If this happens, Pelosi’s formidable reputation, based on a lifetime of public service and her role as the first female Speaker of the House, will suffer...

@TeamPelosi: As a prosecutor Acosta was supposed to vindicate young trafficking victims; instead he violated their trust and brushed their evidence aside to protect their abuser. Acosta’s Epstein coverup is unconscionable and indefensible. He MUST resign. #AcostaResign https://www.pelosiforcongress.org/landing/w190709tw/

Kevin Kruse:
You're the Speaker of the House of Representatives. If you think a Cabinet officer has disgraced himself and needs to be removed from office, then use the House's powers of impeachment, not a worthless internet petition.

Alexander Chee:
She’s really taking this moment to pass around a petition with an Act Blue fundraiser ask at the end of it.

Leah McElrath:
I cannot get my mind around this. @SpeakerPelosi is refusing to consider impeaching Alex Acosta despite his preferential treatment of serial child rapist and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. But she is using the issue to build her campaign's fundraising email list. Disgusting.

Adam Serwer:
Incredible that Pelosi’s reaction to what is unfolding here was “let’s leave it alone.”

Bradley Whitford:
We mobilized to take back the House to put a check on this dangerous president NOW. Not so we can wait until the next election. Where are the hearings? Where are the tax returns? Our democracy is dying. What are you doing @SpeakerPelosi? Attacking @AOC??? I’m sorry, @SpeakerPelosi, but it feels like you’re focused on consolidating your own power rather than risking the power you have to help us in our direst moment. I’m the most sympathetic audience you have. If you’re losing me, you’re in trouble.
posted by chris24 at 3:09 AM on July 12 [79 favorites]


Trump says "some" of the people at the social media event are "extraordinary," telling them, "The crap you think of is unbelievable."

Trump's praise for the assembled throng of misfits and charlatans set off would put his seal of approval on this despicable sub-reality TV scene, MSNBC's Nick Ramsey reports:
... in the rose garden of the @whitehouse, @sebgorka just screamed at journalist @briankarem calling him a "punk." then someone remarked that gorka could "kick your punk ass."

again, this happened... in the rose garden.
vid from @katierogers
Karem writes in a new opinion piece for Playboy (SFW):
Trump is a sad, strange little man who is the envy of some, the pity of others and to me is merely another rube selling snake oil. I ask questions of this man, and watch as he consolidates his power in the White House, not because I’m enamored of him or because I do not like him, but because it is my job. That is, ultimately, what every reporter does at the White House. We show up and put up with a lot to ask questions.

The president makes our jobs more excruciating, more difficult and more painful. He does this to every reporter at the White House, whether they are employed by Fox, CNN, NBC or the unlikely blog that has an audience of less than a 100. While newspapers continue to collapse, as in Youngstown, the president continues to hammer his message home. With fewer and fewer independent voices, it becomes easier for anyone, particularly a demagogue like Trump, to drive their points home and convince a great God-fearing nation of the righteousness of his twisted and demented cause.[…]

Trump will always be Trump. At this point, we know what he is. […] He doesn’t care about the free press, an independent judiciary, legislative branch or anything remotely resembling our democratic principles or values. He is a demagogue consolidating his powers and incoherently babbling profusely to confuse us as he does so.
There's a lot of self-congratulatory sententiousness about the press, and more than a touch of journalistic ennui, in Karem's article, but nobody deserves to be threatened by that fascist twerp.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:14 AM on July 12 [14 favorites]


Unfortunately, to his followers, these are features, not bugs. You'll never convince them these are actually Bad Things.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:35 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


ABC has breaking news: ICE raids: Immigration law firm worker says silent raids in SoCal have already begun
Karla Sanchez is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient. The policy temporarily protects her from deportation and provides her a work permit. She works at an immigration law firm and says they've been getting calls about silent raids since Tuesday.

Security cameras captured at least 15 ICE agents Monday going to the home of a local family.

"It's just exhausting. And I think they're trying to do that, they're trying to exhaust us - kind of scare us or tire us into just self-deporting," Sanchez said.
HuffPo: Chicago Mayor Permanently Bans ICE From Accessing Police Databases Ahead of Raids
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday that her city has permanently banned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from accessing the Chicago Police Department’s databases ahead of looming ICE raids to detain undocumented immigrants.

Chicago police “will not team up with ICE to detain any resident,” the mayor said after meeting with business leaders and immigration rights advocates at Lurie Children’s Hospital. “They’re not going to be facilitating or otherwise providing any assistance in any raids ― whether it’s traffic stops [or] additional support. … We have also cut off ICE from any access from any CPD databases and that will remain permanent.”
Los Angeles KTLA: Immigrants in U.S. Illegally Are Hiding Out, Staying Home From Work Amid Looming ICE Raids
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:47 AM on July 12 [23 favorites]


Not a good enough Nazi rather than 'holy shit he's a Nazi' is all you need to know about Republicans.

Adam Serwer (Atlantic)
The two worst things about Trump, his racism and his authoritarianism, are the things about Trump the Republican establishment likes the most. It’s the incompetence they have a problem with.
posted by chris24 at 5:24 AM on July 12 [17 favorites]


I get that they lie to us every second of every day but the audacity of starting a huge new round of ICE raids while they're telling us the situation at the border is totally not their fault, just a huge influx of people, they're really doing their best to house them humanely ..... it is exceptional even for 2019.
posted by gerstle at 5:44 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


I apologize if this is considered catastrophizing to the point that it shouldn't be mentioned here, but: What, if anything, are the present legal barriers to detaining any newly arrested people in the worst border facilities, aka the concentration camps? Are there clearly marked categories such that those places are officially "just" for recent border-crossers?
posted by InTheYear2017 at 5:55 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]




@SpeakerPelosi is refusing to consider impeaching Alex Acosta despite his preferential treatment of serial child rapist and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. But she is using the issue to build her campaign's fundraising email list.

Just to drive home how egregious this is:

Pelosi speaking in person: "It's up to the president, it's his cabinet."
Pelosi on Twitter with a link to her campaign web site and an email harvesting internet petition: "Acosta’s Epstein coverup is unconscionable and indefensible. He MUST resign."
posted by diogenes at 6:28 AM on July 12 [26 favorites]


Ryan Devereaux: Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost Was a Member of Secret Facebook Group
When news broke that thousands of current and former Border Patrol agents were members of a secret Facebook group filled with racist, vulgar, and sexist content, Carla Provost, chief of the agency, was quick to respond. “These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out,” Provost said in a statement. “Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”

For Provost, a veteran of the Border Patrol who was named head of the agency in August 2018, the group’s existence and content should have come as no surprise. Three months after her appointment to chief of the patrol, Provost herself had posted in the group, then known as “I’m 10-15,” now archived as “America First X 2.” Provost’s comment was innocuous — a friendly clapback against a group member who questioned her rise to the top of the Border Patrol — but her participation in the group, which she has since left, raises serious questions.
[...]
The names of three current chief patrol agents appeared in The Intercept’s search of the Border Patrol Facebook group, including Matthew Hudak, of the Big Bend sector, whose last post was in August 10, 2016; Rodney S. Scott, of the San Diego sector, whose last post was November 17, 2018 and remains in the group; and Jason D. Owens, former deputy chief patrol agent for the Laredo, Texas sector, who now oversees operations the Border Patrol’s Houlton sector in Maine. The Intercept additionally identified nine current or former group members whose names match current “Patrol Agents In Charge” — or PAICs — of individual Border Patrol stations.

The names of Border Patrol union figures also appear in the group, including Hector Garza, who was among the first active duty members of the agency to establish a relationship to then-candidate Donald Trump in 2015, and Tucson chapter union head Art del Cueto, the host of the Breitbart-sponsored Border Patrol union podcast the Green Line and frequent Fox News guest.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:31 AM on July 12 [27 favorites]


Politico published a first-serial excerpt from Tim Alberta's American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump: ‘Mother Is Not Going to Like This’: The 48 Hours That Almost Brought Down Trump—The exclusive story of how Trump survived the Access Hollywood tape.

WaPo's Greg Sargent explains how the Access Hollywood scandal reflects on all of the Trump administration's: New Disclosures About Lewd Trump Video Reveal His Mastery of the GOP
In [the] context [of Sec. Acosta's role in the Epstein scandal], it’s fitting that a new account has emerged of Trump’s own biggest brush with political death over his own sexual misconduct: the controversy over the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump boasted of repeatedly committing sexual assault with impunity.

The new account of that affair — which shows that to a greater degree than previously known, leading Republicans privately thought Trump had disqualified himself, only to abruptly fall in line behind him — is deeply revealing as to Trump’s grasp of today’s GOP, and more broadly is depressingly symbolic of today’s culture of elite impunity.[…]

In all kinds of ways, of course, Trump himself demonstrates how deeply the culture of impunity has penetrated the GOP. We’ve seen bottomless self-dealing and a refusal to show minimal transparency on his business holdings; extensive and potentially criminal efforts to derail the Russia investigation; the refusal to hold the Saudis accountable for the dismembering of Jamal Khashoggi; maximal resistance to any and all congressional oversight; the turning loose of Attorney General William P. Barr on his political critics; Acosta’s potential survival; and so much more — much of it with nary a peep from Republicans.

What Trump seems to have developed here is a kind of full-saturation, totally unabashed flaunting of impunity as something to be worn as a badge of honor. In retrospect, that remarkable closing of ranks behind Trump despite the lewd video foreshadowed much of what we’re seeing now.
Slate: How Alex Acosta Got Away With It—The only way the labor secretary could give Jeffrey Epstein that 2008 plea deal is by ignoring victims.
Back in 2008, when now–Labor Secretary Alex Acosta was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, his office secretly cut a sweetheart deal for child rapist and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Now, from his Cabinet perch, Acosta is watching as increasingly damning evidence piles up, revealing that he was responsible for letting Epstein off the hook the first time around, and filters into the public consciousness. So he took a page from Donald Trump’s sexual assault impunity playbook at a press conference on Wednesday and denied any responsibility for any of his actions, refused to apologize to hundreds of victims who were children at the time, and instead blamed everyone from state prosecutors to the victims themselves. Will his tantrum work? Why shouldn’t it?
PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor reports: "NOW: President Trump has walked out to the South Lawn with Labor Secretary Acosta. Trump says he did a great job at his presser this week."
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:39 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]




Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs has more from Trump's presser with Acosta:
BREAKING: Alex Acosta is stepping down.

“I do not think it is right or fair” to have me as the focus, Labor secretary Alex Acosta says, in wake of controversy over how he handled case of sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein over a decade ago when Acosta was a FL prosecutor. “I thought the right thing was to step aside.”

“You can always second guess,” Trump says of Alex Acosta’s actions in Jeffrey Epstein case.

“I said you don’t have to do this,” Trump says of Acosta’s resignation.

Trump Pat Pizzella will be the new acting labor secretary, (as @SalehaMohsin and I reported earlier this week).
The Trump Cabinet now has five, that's right five acting heads.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:49 AM on July 12 [30 favorites]


Along with Trump continuing to yuk it up about “maybe we'll try President-for-Life here sometime!”—ha ha maybe we'll have a king and aristocracy again ha ha—it's emblematic of how opposed Trumpism is to the very idea of the United States, even the idea of what the country was from hundreds of years ago.

And even this is intertwined with racism. Why are Republicans suddenly interested in autocracy and monarchy? Because white people no longer hold the majority. Also, one of the aspects of slavery that most riled Americans in the lead up to the civil war was how strongly a slave owner resembled a king, making decisions for and money off of other's labor. Lincoln called this eating the bread others have earned.
posted by xammerboy at 7:04 AM on July 12 [30 favorites]


And even this is intertwined with racism. Why are Republicans suddenly interested in autocracy and monarchy? Because white people no longer hold the majority.

I wonder here if media coverage of changing demographics served to heighten paranoia in the ruling classes.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:18 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Back in March, Mike Pence made a surprise announcement, without any technical or fiscal details, that the timeline to return humans to the moon has been accelerated by four years with an implied threat of "or else". Since then looming technical questions about a lunar lander and funding struggles between NASA, OMB, and congress have remained unresolved.

Wednesday, William Gerstenmaier and Bill Hill, the associate administrator and deputy associate administrator of human exploration have been abruptly reassigned into "special advisor" positions which are typically considered a demotion for those who cannot be terminated outright. Gerstenmaier has been at the agency since 1977 has been in charge of some of NASA's most high-profile programs. Acting administrators have been named; permanent successors have not been identified, as usual with this administration.

According to the WaPo, space industry officials say that Pence and others in the White House have become livid about the agency's lack of progress, as the Trump administration is laser-focused on the 2024 target, which would come during a second term of the Trump presidency, should he be reelected.
posted by peeedro at 7:34 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Speaking from my own area of informal expertise, NASA is not getting anyone to the moon by 2024 with the current budget. The current budget will not change under this Congress, as the House is hostile and the Senate too beholden to industry interests that want to slow walk SLS and milk it for all it's worth. The personnel changes are re-arranging deck chairs.
posted by Quindar Beep at 7:40 AM on July 12 [16 favorites]


No sitting Cabinet Secretary has ever been impeached. Only one Cabinet member has ever been impeached, and he resigned before the House could impeach him, but they did and tried him in the Senate anyway. He was acquitted, not because anyone believed he wasn’t guilty, but because he wasn’t in office anymore.

Unlike judges and presidents, Cabinet members usually aren’t there for very long, and so they usually resign once scandal breaks. And you can try them later and put them in jail anyway.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:42 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


WATCH: Lawmakers Hold Hearing On Migrant Detention Conditions, Pence Visits Border

Apparently AOC has just asked to be sworn in when offering her testimony, and we'll also be hearing from most of the other Reps that visited the facilities, as well as the DHS OIG:
At the Capitol, the House Oversight Committee is hearing from four Democratic lawmakers who have recently traveled to the border — Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas; Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.; Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. The lawmakers have been outspoken in condemning the conditions they witnessed at a detention facility there.

The panel will also hear testimony from the Department of Homeland Security's acting inspector general, Jennifer Costello, whose office found "serious overcrowding and prolonged detention in Border Patrol facilities requiring immediate attention" during a trip to visit Border Patrol facilities in Texas last month.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:01 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]




Why are Republicans suddenly interested in autocracy and monarchy? Because white people no longer hold the majority.

In light of this, Putin's comments about the supposed demise of liberalism in the recent Financial Times interview (famously misunderstood by Trump) are interesting for the synergy.

The whole theme starts around 1hr10m, reaching its zenith about ten minutes later when he says, “Have we forgotten that all of us live in a world based on biblical values?” and subsequently names Peter the Great as the politician he most admires. Though when asked whether he and Steve Bannon have much in common, he demurs a bit and concedes that there's a limited place for liberalism in the world.
posted by XMLicious at 8:03 AM on July 12


Mueller offers to delay testimony one week to give lawmakers more time for questions
Mueller’s offer to delay comes as House Democrats on the Judiciary panel pressed their leaders for more time to question Mueller. Under the current agreement, Mueller would appear for two hours each before the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. But due to five-minute questioning rules, only the most senior dozen or so Democrats and Republicans on Judiciary would get to ask questions, upsetting more junior members.

Those members pressed the committee this week to try to get Mueller to commit to more time.
God forbid testifying about literally the most important thing to happen in the United States in like a decade get in the way of Mueller's weekly cribbage night.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:04 AM on July 12 [11 favorites]


Paul Ryan, now exiled from Capitol Hill's sphere of influence, tepidly offers warnings: “Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time. We helped him make much better decisions, which were contrary to kind of what his knee-jerk reaction was. Now I think he’s making some of these knee-jerk reactions.” Expect that to be the party line from Trump's GOP enablers when Trump's gone (however long that takes).

In New Book, Paul Ryan Admits He Was a Fraud All Along (Vanity Fair)
Ryan, who tells [Tim Alberta in American Carnage] that he viewed his retirement as an “escape hatch” to get away from Trump, plays up the “adults in the room” myth, suggesting his deference allowed him to steer Trump on a better course. “I told myself I gotta have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right,” Ryan recalls. “Because, I’m telling you, he didn’t know anything about government…I wanted to scold him all the time. Those of us around him really helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time,” Ryan continues. “We helped him make much better decisions, which were contrary to kind of what his knee-jerk reaction was. Now I think he’s making some of these knee-jerk reactions.”[…]

Ryan makes clear in Alberta’s book that he knew Trump to be an unqualified jackass. In one anecdote, the House Speaker receives an early-morning phone call from then-chief of staff Reince Priebus asking him to read a tweet the president had just fired off.

“Terrible!” Trump wrote. “Just found out that [Barack Obama] had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

The tweet, offered without proof or basis in reality, sent Ryan into “maniacal, punch-drunk laughter,” according to Alberta. This behind-the-scenes Ryan hardly squares with the public Ryan, who repeatedly came to the president’s defense and downplayed his maddening Twitter addiction. “I actually don't pay that much attention to it,” Ryan once said of the president’s incessant shitposting.
Predictably, Trump launched an extended, multi-tweet attack on Ryan late last night:
Paul Ryan, the failed V.P. candidate & former Speaker of the House, whose record of achievement was atrocious (except during my first two years as President), ultimately became a long running lame duck failure, leaving his Party in the lurch both as a fundraiser & leader

When Mitt chose Paul I told people that’s the end of that Presidential run. He quit Congress because he didn’t know how to Win. They gave me standing O’s in the Great State of Wisconsin, & booed him off the stage. He promised me the Wall, & failed (happening anyway!)

He had the Majority & blew it away with his poor leadership and bad timing. Never knew how to go after the Dems like they go after us. Couldn’t get him out of Congress fast enough!
Then this morning, Trump added some fresh abuse during his lengthy, rambling, and very sweaty South Lawn presser (via The Hill): "For Paul Ryan to be complaining is pretty amazing. I remember a day in Wisconsin, a state that I won, where I stood up and made a speech and then I introduced, and then they booed him off the stage, 10,000 people."

MMA's Matthew Gertz has a running Twitter comment on examples of this (including several of Ryan), "If you try to work with Trump, he will humiliate you." Ryan's toadying to Trump wins him first place in those ranks, ahead of even Mitch "Gravedigger of Democracy" McConnell.

Also, in the Trump-criticizes-Trump department, @realDonaldTrump wrote in April of last year about Ryan's retirement: "Speaker Paul Ryan is a truly good man, and while he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question. We are with you Paul!" It's a tough call whose hypocrisy is worse.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:10 AM on July 12 [11 favorites]


But due to five-minute questioning rules, only the most senior dozen or so Democrats and Republicans on Judiciary would get to ask questions, upsetting more junior members.

Those members pressed the committee this week to try to get Mueller to commit to more time.


If Democrats cared about actually investigating a stolen election, they could subpoena Mueller's Republican ass and cede questioning to actual lawyers. But they don't. Because then they might have to do something about it. Can't have that when white guys in Ohio might get sad.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:17 AM on July 12 [27 favorites]


This thread is once again filling up with attacks on Democrats. I am biting my tongue (well, my nails? On my typing fingers?) to keep from litigating each of the accusations here, because I think the moderators have been clear that we do not need to go round 1000 fighting about Pelosi, impeachment, etc. But it can't be just one side of the debate following those moderator guidelines. Please, stop.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:27 AM on July 12 [27 favorites]


Trump: Ocasio-Cortez being 'very disrespectful' to Pelosi

"I deal with Nancy Pelosi a lot and we go back and forth and it’s fine, but I think that a group of people is being very disrespectful to her," he continued. "And you know what, I don’t think that Nancy can let that go on." Ocasio-Cortez “should treat Nancy Pelosi with respect,” he added.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:28 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Yes, Trump loves it when Democrats fight each other, and he and his buddies (including the Russian ones) will do everything in their power to egg us on.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:29 AM on July 12 [14 favorites]


Yes, Trump loves it when Democrats fight each other

When did Trump go to bat for AOC?
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:32 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


When did Trump go to bat for AOC?
When she beat Joe Crowley.
posted by neroli at 8:36 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


This is kinda Trump going to bat for AOC. In any case it's part of the pattern of Trump encouraging infighting among his opponents. Like when he said the DNC was unfair to Sanders. It's what he does. He loves chaos.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:38 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


It's what he does. He loves chaos.
I think what he loves is attention, adoration. He has a default of using chaos to diffuse any attention to things other than him. Being distracted by concerns about how he might react is just playing in his world, not the real world.
posted by Harry Caul at 8:45 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


This is now the 10th cabinet secretary to resign, or be fired/forced out.

Pruitt, Acosta, Zinke, Sessions, Tillerson, Price, Shulkin, Shanahan, Nielsen, Mattis.

Plus a couple NSAs, a couple Chiefs of Staff, a few....
posted by chris24 at 8:48 AM on July 12 [16 favorites]


You can;t frame anything he does without the underlying assumption

His brain is melting

He's a reality TV figure and all the malignant narcissism that implies.

Everything works according to TV rules, there is nothing else to it, no plan or design or cunning plot. It's all just TV except when he has to deliver a speech some ghoul wrote for him where his heart isn't in it. That's why he only goes alive during rallies.
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 AM on July 12 [24 favorites]


Trump's South Lawn presser this morning was almost as nuts as his Rose Garden one yesterday, Daniel Dale reports. His sweaty meltdown is so chock full of nuttiness that I have to break it down by category.

First former Sec. Acosta:
—"He's done a fantastic job. He's a friend of everybody in the administration," Trump began their appearance. He said Acosta "did a fantastic job yesterday" in the press conference, which happened two days ago.
—Trump on Acosta: "He's a tremendous talent. He's a Hispanic man. He went to Harvard."
—Trump on Acosta: "He was a great student at Harvard. He's Hispanic. Which I so admire. Because maybe it was a little tougher for him. And maybe not."
—Trump said there was "no need" for the resignation, emphasizing that Acosta did a fantastic job yesterday, meaning Wednesday. "I said, you don't have to do this. He doesn't have to do this."
—Trump, discussing a possible Acosta distraction to the administration, says, "I'm willing to live through anything...I've lived through things that you wouldn't believe."
Paul Ryan:
—Trump bashed Paul Ryan, noting the time Ryan was booed at a Trump rally in Wisconsin and saying Ryan only succeeded when Trump was there. Of Ryan's comments to @TimAlberta, Trump said, "Maybe he gets paid for that, who knows. Maybe he gets paid for that." (He didn't get paid.)
—Trump says Paul Ryan was a "terrible speaker," explaining: "Frankly, he was a baby."
Pelosi vs. AOC:
—Trump twice refers to Ocasio-Cortez as "Cortez." He calls her "very disrespectful to somebody that's been there a long time" in Pelosi. "I don't think that Nancy can let that go on."
Trump: "I'll tell you something about Nancy Pelosi that you know better than I do: she is not a racist. She is not a racist. For them to call her a racist is a disgrace."
—Trump twice refers to Ocasio-Cortez as "Cortez." He calls her "very disrespectful to somebody that's been there a long time" in Pelosi. "I don't think that Nancy can let that go on."
—Trump has called Ocasio-Cortez "Cortez" three times and "Ocasio" once, never both together.
The census citizenship question:
—After arguing for the necessity of a citizenship question on the Census, and going to the Supreme Court to fight for it, Trump now says "only the fake news" would say getting the info from non-Census data isn't superior.
—Trump says getting citizenship information through government data will be "actually more accurate than a Census." Asked if he backed down, he said not only did he not back down, "I backed UP."
—After arguing for the necessity of a citizenship question on the Census, and going to the Supreme Court to fight for it, Trump now says "only the fake news" would say getting the info from non-Census data isn't superior.
There's so much more, too: A Tears Alert, "enemy of the people", praise for Kim Jong Un, an attack on Biden, and more lying about tariffs, the Veterans Choice health bill, and being tougher on Russia than "any president in the last 50 years." He was off the rails, even by his own standards.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:51 AM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Often Trump says nice things about people who are nice to him and do what he wants.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:51 AM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Exactly. When Trump is defending you, it's time to re-evaluate your actions.
posted by chris24 at 8:55 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


He was off the rails, even by his own standards.

Nah, he's been bugfuck since the 2015 primaries and we've been saying that same "crazy even by trump's standards" every time he talks to the press for more than a few seconds ever since. And he's not defending Pelosi, he's just stirring shit up among the opposition. Let's try to disambiguate his shitty bully tactics from whatever valid criticisms you might have of Pelosi.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:57 AM on July 12 [32 favorites]


chris24: Border Patrol chief Carla Provost was a member of secret Facebook group

Oh sure, now they'll smear a whole Border Patrol over just another bad apple who happened to be in charge of all the other bad apples.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 9:05 AM on July 12 [19 favorites]


This thread on the twitter by darth shows a wonderful progression in twitter-time of ousted and/or resigned WH staff and associates waiting for an Uber outside the White House.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:18 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


The Trump Cabinet now has five, that's right five acting heads.

NPR: Trump's 'Acting' Cabinet Grows With Acosta Departure

Whoops, I forgot Jonathan Cohen, the Acting US Ambassador to the UN, so that totals six acting Cabinet heads. And then there are nine acting heads of notable agencies: the CBP, the CPSC, the EEOC, the FAA, the FDA, FEMA, ICE, OSHA, and USCIS (three of whom have been on the job since 2017).

Nah, he's been bugfuck since the 2015 primaries and we've been saying that same "crazy even by trump's standards" every time he talks to the press for more than a few seconds.

Excerpting quotes doesn't do justice to his panicked demeanor today. Dale's overview is far from the complete record of every bugfuck thing he said. Video clips of his remarks convey a fuller effect as he noticeably deteriorated during the stream of questions (the presser lasted only a half hour). He aggressively defended his authoritarian streak: "It's a thing called Article 2. Nobody ever mentions Article 2. It gives me all of these rights at a level that nobody has ever seen before." He angrily claimed he was losing "billions of dollars" by being president. His closing threat to Iran—"Iran better be careful. They are treading on very dangerous territory. Iran, if you're listening, you better be careful."—was cracked. It's like we're seeing the Nixon tapes in front of live cameras.

While this presser was about as batshit in terms of content as his first official one in official in January 2017 (those were the days), his psychological state has clearly deteriorated since then, and today he looked like he was trying, not quite successfully, to conceal real fear and alarm. His handlers have been reining in his public appearances in the past few weeks (the UK visit, the G20, the 4th of July), but now the shit is hitting the fan, they can't control him. He can feel the walls closing in.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:23 AM on July 12 [16 favorites]


[A] group of people is being very disrespectful to [a leader of the Democratic Party]

Opines the leader of the Republican Party widely noted as being the exemplar of respect, probity, and fairness to the Democratic Party.

As he defends and advocates for a political opponent who's "been there a long time" while supposedly draining the swamp.

As this is who they fall in line behind, there is nothing that comes out of a Republican's mouth that can be taken seriously. Sad, and true.
posted by riverlife at 9:30 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


The Trump Cabinet now has five, that's right five acting heads.

And Congress has never specifically addressed whether Acting Secretaries are in the presidential line of succession, especially non-Senate-confirmed ones. There is a massive hole in the succession right now.
posted by Etrigan at 9:33 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


Oh sure, now they'll smear a whole Border Patrol over just another bad apple who happened to be in charge of all the other bad apples.

I can't tell you how many times in the recent past the rest of that phrase has been standing out to me - that the bad apple ruins the bunch. There's tons of bad apples out there, and people so often use that phrase to exclude the bunch. All I am saying (and not directed at your comment good ITY2017) is that there are a lot of bad bunches.
posted by Golem XIV at 9:36 AM on July 12 [28 favorites]


This is now the 10th cabinet secretary to resign, or be fired/forced out.

Acosta is the 12th cabinet member to resign or be forced out/fired:
-Tom Price
-Reince Priebus
-John Kelly
-Rex Tillerson
-David Shulkin
-Scott Pruitt
-Nikki Haley
-Jeff Sessions
-Ryan Zinke
-Jim Mattis
-Patrick Shanahan
-Kirstjen Nielsen

13th, if we're counting Linda McMahon's departure from the Small Business Administration, and what the heck, let's.

And that could soon be fourteen, Axios Trump Whisperer Jonathan Swan reports: Trump Tells Confidants He's Eager to Remove Dan Coats
President Trump has told confidants he's eager to remove Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, according to five sources who have discussed the matter directly with the president.[…]

Trump hasn't told our sources when he plans to make a move, but they say his discussions on the topic have been occurring for months — often unprompted — and the president has mentioned potential replacements since at least February. A source who spoke to Trump about Coats a week ago said the president gave them the impression that the move would happen "sooner rather than later."[…]

A source with direct knowledge told me that Trump has privately said he thinks the Office of the Director of National Intelligence represents an unnecessary bureaucratic layer and that he would like to get rid of it. He has been told that eliminating the ODNI is not politically possible, but still would like to "downsize" the office, the source said.

A government source who has discussed the matter with Trump characterized the president's thinking this way: "It's time for a change. Dan's a great guy but the president doesn’t listen to him anymore."[…]

One potential replacement Trump has mentioned to multiple sources is Fred Fleitz, who formerly served as chief of staff to national security adviser John Bolton.
I wouldn't have thought Bolton (who, I suspect, is behind some of these leaks) had enough political capital left with Trump to position an ally to head ODNI. It's possible Fleitz is in the running only because nobody else wants the job.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:41 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


On the moon issue. If the government gave NASA a blank check it's possible, though unlikely, they could safely get a one shot Apollo style worthless photo op of a man on the moon by 2024. They'd have to cut fairly serious safety corners and the result would be another Apollo style mission with no real purpose beyond simply getting there by an arbitrary date and would, like Apollo, leave us with nothing at all in terms of infrastructure or ability to move forward.

If anyone in Washington gave half a fuck about space exploration they'd fund the development of a serious Shuttle replacement, or put a lot of money into a space plane, either way. Maybe even start work on a surface to orbit magnetic catapult for stuff that doesn't mind high acceleration.

Talk of putting a person on the moon by 2024 is just more 1960's style space race nonsense without even the BS justification of beating the Commies to the moon.

There's no point in just sending someone up to drive around in a little golf cart, pick up a few rocks, and head back to Earth in a tiny little capsule. The only reason to go to the moon would be to build a settlement there. There's practical reasons, as well as philosophic/paranoid, reasons why having a lunar colony is a good idea. Mostly because it's so expensive to ship stuff into orbit from Earth, so if you can get water, oxygen, aluminum, and maybe even iron, from the moon instead then it'll be cheaper in the long run.

But that presupposes that you're attempting to put a major human presence into cislunar space and maybe even building out from there to Mars, Venus, and the Belt.

If that's not the objective, then putting people on the moon is a waste of money and time that could be better spent on uncrewed science missions.
posted by sotonohito at 9:49 AM on July 12 [17 favorites]


Tropical Storm Barry means New Orleans won't be part of planned weekend ICE raids

When your climate apocalypse gets in the way of your fascist dystopia
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:59 AM on July 12 [103 favorites]


Arizona city fights to spread compassion for migrants amid border crisis (Guardian)
Tucson’s rich history of immigration activism far predates the current administration – notably as an outgrowth of its many social-justice oriented religious institutions. In 1982, for example, the leaders of Southside Presbyterian Church, in one of the city’s oldest Latinx and Native American barrios, announced in a news conference that they would provide sanctuary to Central American migrants in open violation of US immigration law.

At the time Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua were ravaged by civil wars and violent revolutions that the US military and American corporations played clandestine roles in, yet most refugees – including political dissidents – were being denied asylum. [...]

Its legacy remains today: thousands of migrants have died crossing into Arizona through dangerously hot, arid terrain, to avoid border patrol checkpoints on highways; deaths which religious groups mourn once a month at a collective vigil with guitar playing, flowers and candles.

Some of the groups that formed out of this original movement are still active. At the bustling office of the Florence Project, dozens of lawyers and legal assistants work to provide free legal services to people in immigration custody in Arizona. [...] Newer organizations are also cropping up, maintaining many of the same traditions. In one high-profile case that has been a source of significant local political action, federal prosecutors charged Scott Warren, a volunteer with the faith-based humanitarian organization No More Deaths, which stashes water, food and other supplies in parts of the Sonoran desert, with “harboring illegal aliens”. Warren allowed two undocumented men to recuperate in the small house the organization uses as a staging area. By allowing the men to rest, prosecutors argue, Warren shielded them from the border patrol. A trial last month that could have seen Warren sentenced to 20 years in prison ended in a mistrial. He is scheduled to be retried in November. [...]

By providing food, free legal aid or policy proposals, activists in the borderland city are responding to the administration’s hostility toward immigrants by emphasizing a sense of community and shared humanity. “The message we want to send is exactly the opposite of the message that SB 1070 sent to all of us who were undocumented and migrants,” said Livier. “It’s that we’re here for you, we care for you, we value you, and we want you to be safe, and to belong, and to live your life like everyone else lives their lives in Tucson.”
posted by Little Dawn at 10:08 AM on July 12 [16 favorites]


When your climate apocalypse gets in the way of your fascist dystopia

Or, more worrisome, that they believe the storm will do a better job than they do. See also: Puerto Rico.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:10 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]




See also: Katrina. If you thought the W administration was hostile to recovery there, you ain't seen nothing yet.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:20 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Trump’s ‘WinRed’ Donation Platform Could Funnel Millions To Ex-White House Staffer (HuffPo)
President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee have chosen a fundraising system that profits a former White House staffer and a company invested in by Jared Kushner’s brother ― passing over a cheaper platform that already has contracts with thousands of GOP candidates and committees.
Prediction: WinRed will be the subject of a data security scandal.
posted by box at 10:25 AM on July 12 [21 favorites]


Adam Weinstein in New Republic: Most Veterans Say America’s Wars Are a Waste. No One’s Listening to Them.

"The only meaningful variation pollsters found among vets was by party identification: Republican-identifying veterans were likelier to approve of the wars. But even a majority of those GOP vets now say the wars were not worth waging."
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:28 AM on July 12 [18 favorites]




When Trump is defending you, it's time to re-evaluate your actions.

That’s a terrible knee-jerk reaction. Trump sometimes lands on the right side of an issue, but inevitably for all the wrong reasons. That doesn’t mean we have to change course. But, at the same time, the enemy of our enemy is not our friend.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 10:51 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


I think the idea is that we should think carefully about any friendship we have with the friend of our enemy.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:54 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Politico's Natasha Bertrand: ‘This Wasn’t Just A Briefing’: Pompeo Grilled Cia Analysts On Russia Findings—The DOJ is now reviewing those same findings after Mike Pompeo found no wrongdoing in how the agency concluded Russia wanted to help Trump in 2016.
Attorney General Bill Barr has ordered an investigation into whether the CIA was correct to determine that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to boost Donald Trump during the 2016 election.

But that question has already been asked and answered at the CIA’s highest levels — by Mike Pompeo, a Trump loyalist, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Just after Pompeo took over as CIA director in 2017, he conducted a personal review of the CIA’s findings, grilling analysts on their conclusions in a challenging and at times combative interview, these people said. He ultimately found no evidence of any wrongdoing, or that the analysts had been under political pressure to produce their findings.

“This wasn’t just a briefing,” said one person familiar with the episode. “This was a challenging back and forth, in which Pompeo asked the officers tough questions about their work and how they determined Putin’s specific objectives.” Pompeo also asked about CIA’s work with the FBI on the Russia probe in 2016. Two U.S. officials further confirmed to POLITICO that the interview occurred and was robust.[…]

[T]he wide latitude [Barr's] given Durham to also examine analytic conclusions drawn by CIA officers has alarmed some in the national security community who worry about its effect on the apolitical nature of intelligence gathering. And given Pompeo’s prior review — not to mention that of Mueller and Congress — the move has sparked cries of hypocrisy from those who say Trump is seeking his own “do-over,” something the president frequently accuses Democrats of attempting with their ongoing congressional hearings on the subject and mounting subpoenas of Mueller’s witnesses.
One potential replacement Trump has mentioned to multiple sources is Fred Fleitz, who formerly served as chief of staff to national security adviser John Bolton.

Bertrand: "Fleitz team tells me this is accurate, says there've been talks with the White House about it. Fleitz was Bolton's chief of staff on the NSC." But: "PENCE still has confidence in Coats, though, I'm told by a person close to the VP."
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:21 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


If Trump is defending you to stir up shit between Ds, maybe you shouldn't be attacking other Ds to Maureen Dowd to give him the opportunity? Maybe Trump should be the focus of your ire not AOC.
posted by chris24 at 11:21 AM on July 12 [14 favorites]




Heading for another shutdown showdown?

Reuters: U.S. House passes $733 billion defense policy bill after Trump threatens veto

The threatened veto is because of two particular amendments that were added. One prohibits use of funds to build the border wall, and the other prohibits the President from waging war specifically on Iran without a new AUMF (authorization for use of military force) from Congress.

Republicans in the Senate don’t like these provisions either, and time is short for the House and Senate to agree upon and pass a bill that Trump would sign. Sec. Mnuchin has informed Pelosi that the debt ceiling likely will be hit in September. The House is scheduled to recess in two weeks. So this looks to be setting up another debt ceiling shutdown.
posted by darkstar at 11:39 AM on July 12 [11 favorites]


If that's not the objective, then putting people on the moon is a waste of money and time that could be better spent on uncrewed science missions.

As much as it pains me to say, given that it could be construed as praise for something Trump's administration is doing, there is actually a plan for a permanent human presence on/around the Moon. Bridenstine, as shitty as he has been in his past jobs, has been a pretty decent NASA administrator in some respects, of which the lunar plan is one.

The 2024 thing is literally Bridenstine's best effort to keep Trump happy so that the plan can be made to work. As many have pointed out, Congress remains an obstacle to any of the plans reaching fruition, but there is a plan, it's reasonably realistic, and isn't unlikely to succeed given funding.

That said, i have yet to digest the news about the recent.. personnel changes, so my thoughts may change as I get fully up to date on the topic.
posted by wierdo at 11:54 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


The smoking guns for why Team Trump wants Fred Fleitz for DNI are showing up.

Daily Beast: John Bolton’s New Top Aide Is a Russia Truther—The national security adviser’s new chief of staff said intelligence was ‘rigged’ by Obama and that Trump should ‘pardon everyone’ under investigation.

Last February, in response to a now-deleted tweet from Sean Hannity ("No collusion"), he tweeted, "No collusion. Russia didnt affect election outcome. Real scandal is Democratic collusion with Russia and wraponizing [sic] intelligence and law enforcement to win a presidential election."

During the Trump transition, Fleitz argued in the National Review against the ODNI: "Eliminating the ODNI and rolling its duplicative organizations into the CIA would save at least $1 billion and could make U.S. intelligence more efficient and nimble. Such a move should include eliminating the huge number of redundant ODNI managers and officials such as those mentioned above."

The Moscow Project's Max Bergmann: "Fred Fleitz, who @jonathanvswan says maybe nominated to oversee US intelligence, has a picture of him with conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi as his BANNER photo on twitter. This is panic stations."

MMA's Matthew Gertz: "Per @axios, President Trump is reportedly considering firing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and replacing him with Fred Fleitz, who has criticized Coats for being disloyal and called for his firing on Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight."

Fleitz appears regularly on Fox News and Newsmax as a commentator, which is the equivalent of sitting for an interview with Trump.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:56 AM on July 12 [16 favorites]


Migrant detention center inspector says children are unwashed, sobbing and critically ill
Elora Mukherjee, the director of Columbia Law School's Immigrants' Rights Clinic, recently interviewed 70 detained migrant children in Clint, Texas. They were so dirty they had a stench, she says, and was unable to be near them without feeling ill.

"Never before have we learned of 700 children being detained in a facility built for 104 or 106 adults," Mukherjee said in her testimony. "Never before have we met with children detained in [Customs and Border Patrol] custody for a week, much less weeks and nearly a month. Never before have we had to directly intervene to get critically ill babies admitted to the hospital." She said there were several occasions where her team had to intervene to get children fed because they were too scared to ask guards for food. Many children feared that their parents were dead or never returning. Some children, she said, were too traumatized to even speak. One six-year-old girl couldn't even recite her name, she only repeated "I'm scared" over and over again. Another young boy sobbed for an hour straight. [...]

"The extraordinary trauma inflicted on separated children is not an incidental byproduct of the administration's family separation policy — it is the very point," she said in her testimony. "The federal government seeks to inflict so much distress on children seeking asylum that other families would be deterred from trying to seek refuge in this country."
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:43 PM on July 12 [35 favorites]


Because nepotism is a obviously a thing with our new authoritarian rulers, Brazil's far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro wants one of his sons to become the country's new ambassador to the United States.

"He is friends with Trump's children, he speaks English, Spanish and has great world experience."
posted by Slothrup at 1:17 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


CNN is now receiving duelling leaks about Fleitz: Trump Again Considering Replacing Intelligence Chief Dan Coats
President Donald Trump has discussed with advisers over the past few days the possibility of replacing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, sources familiar with the discussion said. A senior White House official confirmed there is some discussion about Coats leaving his position, as he has been on the job for more than two years and is eyeing retirement again. However, it remains unclear when or if Trump will make a move. Trump has expressed frustration in the past with Coats and has periodically considered replacing him, as CNN has reported. His conversations about possibly removing Coats appears to have been revived in recent days, but Trump has long disapproved of some of Coats' conduct.

Another senior White House official said Trump has never really warmed up to his intelligence director, and this official noted discussions between the President and his aides about removing Coats happened well after he contradicted Trump during a hearing on Capitol Hill earlier this year -- an episode that drew the President's ire.[…]

Fred Fleitz, former chief of staff to national security adviser John Bolton, is one name being floated for the post. He has had discussions with the White House about possibly replacing Coats, two sources told CNN. But there could be several others, as Trump is no stranger to creating a vacancy with no clear permanent replacement waiting in the wings. A source familiar with Bolton's thinking told CNN that he is pushing for Fleitz to get the job, but Trump's relationship with Bolton has been tested due to the national security adviser's push for more aggressive moves on Iran and it is unclear if Bolton has the clout to get one of his top allies into such a prestigious post.
Incidentally, it's infuriating that CNN is being so vague about how Trump has "expressed frustration" about Coats when the chief source of Trump's ire is Coats's support of intelligence findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election—and his warnings about future interference.

And in case it isn't clear that Fleitz is a Bolton clone, Washington editor Curt Mills of the right-wing Spectator writes: Fred Fleitz Is the Most Confrontational Person I’ve Met In Journalism—A reported candidate for director of national intelligence is already roiling Washington
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:57 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


David McLaughlin and Daniel Stoller for Bloomberg: Facebook $5 Billion U.S. Privacy Settlement Approved by FTC:
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved a record privacy settlement against Facebook Inc. requiring the social-media company to pay about $5 billion to resolve an investigation stemming from the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

The FTC’s settlement was approved by a vote of 3-2, according to two people familiar with the matter. It caps a probe that opened in March 2018 after news that Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm hired by President Donald Trump’s campaign, obtained user data from a researcher who created a personality quiz app on the social network.
The two Democratic commissioners voted against the settlement, likely because it wasn't tough enough.
posted by jedicus at 2:09 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


The two Democratic commissioners voted against the settlement, likely because it wasn't tough enough.

I imagine that's the case. As noted by the Ars Technica coverage, With Facebook having reported $15 billion in revenue last quarter, the $5 billion fine would amount to one month's worth of revenue.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:36 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


What happens to the $5b? They just go in the Treasury’s coffers, or is there something in the order that specifies how it can be spent?
posted by AwkwardPause at 4:16 PM on July 12


Globo, Brazils largest circulation and often garbage newspaper says that in exchange for Eduardo Bolsonazi becoming Brazilian ambassador to USA that Eric Trump will be nomenated as US ambassador to Brazil.
So the US get a Brazilian militia representative and Brazil gets a New York gangster representative. Sounds about right.
posted by adamvasco at 4:23 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Roll Call: House approves NDAA with No Republican Votes—Progressive amendments helped Dems earn votes from the party’s more dovish members in the face of Republican opposition
The House on Friday approved its defense authorization bill after adopting a slew of progressive amendments that helped Democrats earn votes from the party’s more dovish members in the face of Republican opposition. The final vote on the fiscal 2020 bill was 220-197. No Republicans supported the typically bipartisan measure that traditionally has earned more than 300 of the 435 available House votes. Just before passing the bill, the House defeated, 204-212, a Republican motion to recommit that would have increased the military pay raise and poured additional funds into military maintenance accounts.[…]

The House on Friday adopted a handful of progressive-sponsored amendments. One, from Armed Services Committee member and vice chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Ro Khanna of California, would block President Donald Trump from launching an unauthorized war with Iran. That amendment passed 251-170 shortly after Trump warned Iran over breaching uranium enrichment levels outlined in a pact with world powers.[…]

“Iran better be careful,” Trump said on the White House’s South Lawn. “They're treading on very dangerous territory. Iran if you’re listening, you better be careful.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:36 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


That amendment passed 251-170 shortly after Trump warned Iran over breaching uranium enrichment levels outlined in a pact with world powers.
Other MeFites have pointed this out before but apparently it bears repeating: there is no such pact any more. There was a pact, but Trump decided that the US would withdraw from it unilaterally. When one party abrogates that kind of agreement it's kind of ridiculous for the press to keep describing the other party as though they are violating an agreement that still exists.
posted by Nerd of the North at 4:48 PM on July 12 [28 favorites]


(Roll Call did get into how the US withdrew from the Iran deal, but I cut that for space.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:12 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


The two Democratic commissioners voted against the settlement, likely because it wasn't tough enough.

Facebook's stock price rose on the news, so yeah.
posted by rhizome at 5:42 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


I saw it pointed out that while the fine was $5bn there was no mention of data privacy or its monetization
posted by Mrs Potato at 5:47 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]




CNN: Prosecutors unlikely to charge Trump Org executives, sources say
A federal investigation into whether Trump Organization executives violated campaign-finance laws appears to be wrapping up without charges being filed, according to people familiar with the matter.

For months, federal prosecutors in New York have examined whether company officials broke the law, including in their effort to reimburse Michael Cohen for hush-money payments he made to women alleging affairs with his former boss, President Donald Trump.

In recent weeks, however, their investigation has quieted, the people familiar with the inquiry said, and prosecutors now don't appear poised to charge any Trump Organization executives in the probe that stemmed from the case against Cohen.[…]

In January, one month after Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, prosecutors requested interviews with executives at the company, CNN reported. But prosecutors never followed up on their initial request, people familiar with the matter said, and the interviews never took place.

Meanwhile, there has been no contact between the Manhattan US Attorney's office and officials at the Trump Organization in more than five months, one person familiar with the matter said.
The best case for this apparent negligence is that it’s in limbo pending ongoing investigations associated with still-redacted portions of the Cohen search warrant (possibly the inauguration case). As always, the questions of who’s leaking this and why hang over the story.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:57 PM on July 12 [8 favorites]


Speaker Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff has retweeted this tweet.

Pelosi, 48 hours ago: “So, again, you got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it, but do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK.” The vice president took a victory lap around a concentration camp today and Democratic leadership would rather play "own the libs" on twitter.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:19 PM on July 12 [15 favorites]


The official House Democrats account is using @AOC’s words about Pelosi and targeting her chief of staff? I’ve never seen anything like this.

Paul Blest (Splinter):
The Democratic leadership is 1000% more focused on getting Chakrabarti fired—just so they can say they broke Ocasio-Cortez—than they were about investigating Alex Acosta or E. Jean Carroll’s rape allegation against Trump. This shit is incredibly fucking embarrassing.

Jeet Heer (The Nation):
This is 100% true. For Pelosi, AOC & her staff are the true enemies, Trump merely a foil they can use to raise money.

---

Literally two months ago I was Pelosi's biggest defender. Now she has become a threat to democracy in this country. She must go.
posted by chris24 at 9:52 PM on July 12 [42 favorites]




While McGrath didn't think through the Kavanaugh thing, I spent my evening sleuthing and dug up an astroturfing campaign for Steven Cox that presents McGrath as a corporate establishment pro-Trump Republican-Lite Democrat and Cox as a Progressive Hero. I have a folder of screenshots where Cox describes himself as a pro-life Christian who believes in a "reasonable" separation of church and state, a fiscal conservative, and only running as a Democrat because running as an independent isn't economically feasible. He says he didn't vote for Trump, but then brings up Benghazi. And my personal favorite, from the start of his campaign in June 2017, "I'm always rooting for the president regardless of who they are, but I can't root for McConnell anymore, and he has blatantly worked against Trump in the last two weeks anyway. Trump does not like how McConnell has been handling his business in the Senate."

This guy is a wolf in sheep's clothing and I am going to fight the good fight to make sure progressives know who he is. What McGrath said on MSNBC was reported in a way that made it look like she was pro-Trump instead of speaking to the fact that Kentucky is a red state. But she does have real progressive values. She supports 2A, which makes sense as a retired Marine and a Kentuckian, but she very pointedly resigned her membership in the NRA. That is a powerful message and moral stand.
posted by Ruki at 10:17 PM on July 12 [18 favorites]


Trump Seeking to Effectively Outsource Asylum Seekers to Guatemala
by Marcia Brown & David Dayen (The American Prospect)

The Trump administration is on the verge of signing a “safe third country” agreement with Guatemala, sources have confirmed to the Prospect. Asylum seekers attempting to enter the United States would be forced to file in Guatemala instead, on the grounds that it would be the first “safe” country they arrived in. Because most asylum seekers are coming from the south, this would allow the U.S. to send thousands of asylum seekers at the southern border back to Guatemala, and render them ineligible to apply for refugee status in the U.S.

Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales is scheduled to be in Washington on Monday, and an announcement of the agreement could be made then. Spokespeople for Morales have denied that the agreement is the purpose of the visit, but said that there is hope that there can be a signing ceremony.


---
The article also discusses the quid pro quo involved (TLDR (Trump overlooks corruption and the corrupt person in turn supports Trump)), the voices of opposition and how the agreement would violate many laws. It also describes DHS agents working in Guatemala which stuck me as ... some sort of overreach that might need some oversight.
---

The agreement signals the U.S. government’s increasing hands-on involvement in policing borders in Latin America. The Northern Triangle countries have an agreement where their citizens can freely cross borders between the countries. Now there are Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents at their borders. In Guatemala, they are engaged in extensive anti-smuggling operations.

“Previously, these efforts went through the State Department. Here you see DHS inserting itself into foreign policy,” says Burgi-Palomino. “It’s an effort to directly place DHS and enforcement agents at another border. We’re very concerned about what agents might mean for migrants in Guatemala and those who are crossing through Guatemala.”


While nothing is signed yet, there is similar reporting that this is a deal Trump wants;

Is Trump Planning to Use Guatemala as a Wall?
Trump will meet with Guatemala's president next week, and a "safe third country" agreement is reportedly on the table.
by Jack Herrera (Pacific Standard)

On Monday, President Donald Trump will host Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales in the White House. The meeting between Trump and Morales, a former blackface television comedian, comes after months of United States officials trying to negotiate a "safe third country" agreement with Guatemala.

A safe third country agreement with Guatemala would make any asylum seeker who first passed through that country ineligible for asylum in the U.S.—instead, they would be returned to Guatemala and advised to seek asylum there. The plan would, in a way, turn Guatemala into a wall between the U.S. and Honduras and El Salvador, where violence, impunity, entrenched poverty, and political corruption have sent thousands fleeing northward. Most of the migrants and refugees leaving Honduras and El Salvador (as well as many people fleeing from Nicaragua or leaving South America) pass over land routes through Guatemala.


And with a bit more detail and a look at the pressure to get Mexico to sign a similar agreement and ... fine tuned machine;

Trump Is Poised to Sign a Radical Agreement to Send Future Asylum Seekers to Guatemala
By Jonathan Blitzer (The New Yorker)

At this point, there are still more questions than answers about what the agreement with Guatemala will mean in practice. A lot will still have to happen before it goes into force, and the terms aren’t final. The draft of the agreement doesn’t provide much clarity on how it will be implemented—another person with knowledge of the agreement said, “this reads like it was drafted by someone’s intern”
posted by phoque at 10:23 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


DISARRAY: Congressional Black Caucus v. Justice Dems.

@AsteadWesley (NYT):
I'm old enough to remember when the CBC backed a white incumbent (Capuano) over a black challenger (Pressley).

Kirsten West Savali (Essence):
So, Rep. William Lacy Clay, who *just* accused @AOC of “using the race card,” is publicly accusing @justicedems of targeting Black incumbents (like himself) by...wait for it...running Black challengers like Cori Bush. Make it make sense.
posted by chris24 at 10:24 PM on July 12 [10 favorites]




The Hill article referenced above is pretty remarkable and worth excerpting. I apologize for adding gasoline to the intra-Dem fire, but it really is news when things like this appear fully on the record. This goes well beyond the tweet by senior leadership earlier, though the pattern of conflict is similar to the one in that tweet war.
“It just seems strange that the social Democrats seem to be targeting members of the Congressional Black Caucus, individuals who have stood and fought to make sure that African Americans are included and part of this process,” Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), a senior CBC member, told The Hill....

[Bill Clay] likened Justice Democrats to “Russian trolls of 2016” trying to sow divisions in the Democratic Party.

“It does make you wonder what’s going on,” added another CBC member, Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.). “Some names that have been mentioned all seem to be people of color, and more so CBC members.”...

A senior House Democratic aide called it “ironic and funny” that Ocasio-Cortez is accusing Pelosi of attacking women of color, when Justice Democrats is targeting minority lawmakers.

“She’s only a woman of color when it’s convenient. None of the things she’s fought for aligned with communities of color and her group is funded only by elitist white liberals; she’s a puppet,” the top Democratic aide told The Hill in a phone call.

The aide then texted an image of a Goomba puppet from the Super Mario Bros. video game...

“We will have to, at some point, sit down and see: Is this something that is directed at members of the Congressional Black Caucus?” Meeks asked. “We’re going to sit down with whoever the social Dems are. We have to find out who they are. Who is really running this show. We have to figure that out.”
posted by chortly at 10:39 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Sometimes the Dems really are that stupid, but this kind of Twitter shitstorm smells suspiciously like an IRA troll factory effort.
posted by benzenedream at 10:51 PM on July 12 [11 favorites]


Fantastic to see establishment Dems more concerned about preserving their power than beating Trump. I guess the SPD and KPD fighting each other instead of the Nazis is easier to understand now.
posted by chris24 at 10:52 PM on July 12 [12 favorites]


I guess the SPD and KPD fighting each other instead of the Nazis is easier to understand now.

It being the second time, I wish the farce was funnier.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:59 PM on July 12 [19 favorites]


Sometimes the Dems really are that stupid, but this kind of Twitter shitstorm smells suspiciously like an IRA troll factory effort.

It was tweeted out by the official taxpayer funded account controlled by the #3 elected representative in the House and confirmed authentic by his spokesperson, and retweeted by the verified account of the Speaker's head of communications.


Fantastic to see establishment Dems more concerned about preserving their power than beating Trump. I guess the SPD and KPD fighting each other instead of the Nazis is easier to understand now.
Osita Nwanevu (New Yorker): Again: An entire block of moderate House Dems ran explicitly on replacing Pelosi last year. But Public Enemy #1 is the chief of staff for a progressive that defended and voted for her. Anyway, I agree fully that those who challenge well-regarded incumbent House members should be shut out of Democratic politics. The Democratic Party is less a political party in pursuit of particular policy goals than a professional association organized to defend and advance the careers of its most valued members. Say what you will about the Republican Party, but we all know exactly what they're driving at and what they'd like to see this country become. Just about all of them share that vision and it animates everything they do. The Democratic Party, by contrast, wants majorities not because they deeply want to accomplish anything in particular with them, but because everyone gets to keep their jobs that way. There are structual factors shaping strategy and thinking in both parties that shouldn't be downplayed. The system is genuinely tilted against the Democrats in ways that incentivize timidity. In any case, in the past couple of years we've seen Republicans take on a number of wildly unpopular policy efforts -- the tax cuts, Obamacare repeal, etc -- simply because they believed they should be done. It is very hard to imagine Democrats doing the same. What grates leadership about AOC and the others is that they've had the temerity to suggest that certain issues - climate change, immigration policy under Trump, and so on -- are too important for Democrats to address from a place of defensive complacency. None of this is fundamentally about primary challenges. Justice Democrats didn't invent them. People primary people. Always have, always will. It's not about caucus and party unity. No one's looking to excommunicate Tim Ryan or Seth Moulton or Kathleen Rice. We're witnessing this deeply embarrassing public spectacle from House Dems because a handful of people have come in with the temerity to ask that the Democratic Party be more than what it is. I've said this before, but I think the Conyers & Franken situations are instructive. There was no moral or strategic reason for hesitance on the part of leadership in either case. The foot-dragging only makes sense if we understand the party as a club.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:14 PM on July 12 [36 favorites]


Some folks seem to be looking for a change in what the Democratic Party represents...
posted by Windopaene at 11:35 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Fundamentally, this is what it looks like when a political party is going through disruptive innovation.

This had to happen in the 1960s, too, to turn the Dixiecrat party into the party of MLK Jr., Bobby Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. And it was so disruptive that it led to a great upheaval in party affiliation across the country. Racists flocked to the Republican Party and social liberals shifted to the Democrats.

The Democratic Party establishment has become so complacent in the corridors of power, so entrenched in their corporatist associations, that they have become in large part passive enablers of the Republicans. The bullshit about “not looking back” to hold Bush-era war criminals and Wall Street banksters accountable for their crimes, was both enormously damning and incredibly frustrating. Along with the dozens of other issues the Democratic leadership have rolled over on in recent years, these are not trivial issues.

So yes, now we are going through another upheaval. Will it be as massive as the realignment of the 60s? Who knows. But one thing seems pretty clear: the career politicians that make up the old guard of the party — including many that may have considered themselves heirs to the mantle of wokeness — is going to continue to be challenged by the activist wing to do more, to do better, to shake off the complacency.

The next twenty years of progress are going to be pretty awesome to witness...
posted by darkstar at 12:04 AM on July 13 [34 favorites]


You know, I really dug that moment in the New Yorker interview with AOC and she says that her last time she spoke one-on-one with Pelosi was when Pelosi had asked her to be on the climate committee and AOC had said no. And when Remmick asked why, AOC so fucking clearly explained why without once insulting Pelosi (AOC's requirements had to do with the time period the committee's report was published, independence from fossil fuel interests, and I forget the other thing).

And in merely conveying that she had instituted these what she at least persuaded me were reasonable requests especially given it's sort of the whole store, and Pelosi hadn't been able to deliver on these requests, AOC was able to indict Pelosi at the policy level in a very compelling way. Whatever Pelosi's gifts as a legislator, if she get her party can't on the right side of history when it comes to carbon emissions, she's failing as a leader.
posted by angrycat at 12:31 AM on July 13 [27 favorites]


Trump says getting citizenship information through government data will be "actually more accurate than a Census." Asked if he backed down, he said not only did he not back down, "I backed UP."

Axios's Jonathan Swan: Trump's Cave On Census Stuns Allies
Top figures in the conservative legal community are stunned and depressed by President Trump's cave in his fight for a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

The state of play: Sources say Leonard Leo and other Federalist Society stalwarts were shocked and floored by how weak the decision was. "What was the dance ... all about if this was going to be the end result?" a conservative leader asked. "A total waste of everyone’s time. ... It’s certainly going to give people pause the next time one has to decide how far to stick one’s neck out."

One GOP strategist called it a "punch in the gut."
Natasha Bertrand: "Bill Barr, 7/11: “Some in the media have been suggesting—in the hysterical mode of the day—that the administration has been planning to add the citizenship question by executive fiat w/o regard for contrary court orders...This has been based on rank speculation and nothing more.”" (w/video)

Aaron Rupar (w/video):
On Fox News, WH spox @hogangidley45 said the quiet part loud about Trump's citizenship question executive order: "The president said, 'listen, I'm not going to be beholden to the courts anymore.'"

(Instead of asking any sort of follow-up Q @BillHemmer immediately changed topic)
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:16 AM on July 13 [16 favorites]


It's almost like, behind the curtain, there's no secret plan on the part of congressional democratic leadership to win in 2010.
posted by Slackermagee at 7:23 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


It was tweeted out by the official taxpayer funded account controlled by the #3 elected representative in the House and confirmed authentic by his spokesperson

Maybe so, but that whole "Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color?" attempted burn sounds like a non-person-of-color's skeevy, cynical take on playing the so-called race card. I mean Chakrabarti is himself a POC, so if you think that qualification renders people immune to race-based criticism, what are you even doing? Clearly the goal is to cancel him through whatever means necessary, even if it effectively costs Davids, who is supposedly being defended here.

(Besides which, following the (deleted) thread shows that Chakrabarti didn't single her out, "Julian Brave NoiseCat" did, and Chakrabarti was responding to that, in the context of a larger criticism about the Southern Democrats and their anti-progressive voting record.)
posted by xigxag at 8:03 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


I hope that members who are sick of the Pelosi discussion realize that those of us who are continuing to talk about her are only doing so because she is in the news, talking with the press, in new and freshly relevant ways.

We will all be asked for years, if not decades to come, by our children or grandchildren or whomever, why Trump was able to get away with what he was doing. This discussion, like the discussion about the decisions that drew us into the Iraq war, may never end.

What the Democratic party does, or does not do, in relation to Trump as well as issues like global warming and healthcare will define them for years and years to come.
posted by xammerboy at 8:23 AM on July 13 [44 favorites]


CNN: Judges skeptical of Trump argument to block House subpoena for accounting firm docs
President Donald Trump appeared to be heading toward a loss in his courtroom attempt to stave off the release of his personal financial records to congressional investigators as two of three judges on an appeals panel hearing the case Friday resisted arguments that a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee to the President's longtime accounting firm was unlawful.

Over more than two hours of debate in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Judges David Tatel and Patricia Millett expressed skepticism of claims by a personal lawyer for the President that the subpoena, which seeks a vast amount of communications and documents related to work done by Mazars, the accounting firm, for Trump and his businesses, did not have a proper legislative purpose.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the committee chairman who issued the subpoena earlier this year, has said that the financial records are necessary to assess Trump's compliance with ethics regulations and to inform lawmakers on proposed legislation, and in the hearing Friday, Tatel referenced a number of relevant bills that Congress has already considered this term.[…]

Neomi Rao, the third judge on the panel, who was appointed by Trump earlier this year, also appeared doubting of that theory, invoking case law that showed "motive" could not be considered when challenging the House's move.
Trump’s lawyers lately have been notably unconvincing in court, to such an extent that even GOP judges can’t swallow their legal pretexts.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:59 AM on July 13 [12 favorites]


‘Every day, it is a risk’: immigrant communities paralyzed by fear of impending Ice raids (Guardian)
Campaigns across the US have spread through major cities as news of raids spread through immigrant communities, said Adelina Nicholls, the executive director for [the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights].

“We’ve reached more than 4,600 people since we started our campaign after Trump was elected,” Nicholls recounts. In addition to the campaign, they plan to document the raids in real time on Facebook Live.

“We can’t stop them but we can make noise,” she says.

If the aim of the raids is to create widespread fear among immigrant communities, then many activists see them as already working. Charles Kuck, a veteran immigration lawyer, said he has received calls from dozens of clients with work visas and green cards whom he says have nothing to fear.

“The number [Ice] will be getting is very small but the impact will be broad,” said Kuck. “We will see a real impact when people don’t go to work [and] don’t go to church this weekend.”
PSA: http://mefiwiki.com/wiki/Get_a_lawyer#Immigration has been updated to include additional Know Your Rights and legal services resources.
posted by Little Dawn at 9:37 AM on July 13 [10 favorites]


Maybe so, but that whole "Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color?" attempted burn sounds like a non-person-of-color's skeevy, cynical take on playing the so-called race card. I mean Chakrabarti is himself a POC, so if you think that qualification renders people immune to race-based criticism, what are you even doing?

The level cynical insincerity required for moderates and the CBC to attack Justice Democrats for endorsing primary challengers...who are also black...as somehow racially motivated is right off page one of the Tucker Carlson playbook. It's breathtakingly dishonest.

And that's before we get to leadership surrogates calling AOC only a "woman of color when it’s convenient". How is this a Democratic leadership staffer and not lifted directly from 4chan?
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:44 AM on July 13 [15 favorites]


Elias Isquith (Salon): Sort of interesting that D leadership decided that instead of focusing on the one thing that unites a fractious party—opposition to the president—they would try to keep the convo centered on policy, where there is a lot of disagreement (as well as no chance of passage)

Will Stancil
One way you know that herrenvolkish myths about the heartland loom larger in Democratic politics than actual data: the party's leadership believes its potential voters are torn on Trump and united on health care, and not the other way around


Brian Beutler (Crooked)
Seriously, though, the squabbling within the Democratic caucus right now is referred pain from the fact that Trump is president and the party is responding with message bills. Democrats are united in their righteous hatred of Trump but a faction is too scared to act on it by confronting him the way he deserves to be confronted, and it’s tearing the party apart.
posted by chris24 at 10:21 AM on July 13 [25 favorites]


Trump’s corruption is getting worse. He has a hidden enabler. WaPo Opinion By Greg Sargent
I don't exactly know what he means by "hidden" -- William Barr is right there in front of us plain to see. But I guess things are slowly, too slowly seeping out to a broader public.
posted by mumimor at 10:52 AM on July 13 [9 favorites]


If the Congressional Black Caucus wields significant power in the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party is currently acting in the ways that it has been acting, then the CBC is part of the problem and individual members enabling that behavior deserve pushback.

If the CBC does not wield significant power in the Democratic Party, it is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the current members of the CBC and their effectiveness in their positions.

Either way, being a member of Congress should be a constant struggle to bring the best ideas and the best actions to the forefront, not a sinecure or a birthright.
posted by delfin at 11:01 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


This is Our Emergency
We are operating concentration camps and treating humans (including children) who aren't even accused of any crimes (not that this would make it OK but I am not naive about our current prisons) in conditions which would cause a dog kennel to be shut down and the House leadership is currently mad at people who are pointing out that the Dems gave Trump $4 billion to open more concentration camps without any conditions.

Vote them all out.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:05 AM on July 13 [45 favorites]


Politico’s Natasha Bertrand has scoop: Senate Intelligence Committee summons mysterious British security consultant
On April 5, just 2 weeks after Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted his final report on Russia’s election interference, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a letter to a British security consultant named Walter Soriano asking for a voluntary, closed-door interview and documents with various Russia probe figures dating back to June 2015.

The letter, obtained by Politico, offers yet another window into the panel’s secretive — but largely bipartisan — two-year-old investigation, and reveals the investigators’ interest in what, if any, role Israel may have played in attempts to manipulate the 2016 election.

The panel’s interest in Soriano is not a mere fishing expedition, according to a source familiar with the investigators’ internal deliberations who requested anonymity to discuss them freely.

“They’re surprised by how connected he seems to several people of interest,” this person said, including the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska — a former business associate of Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who offered Deripaska private briefings about the campaign in 2016. Deripaska is believed to have worked with Soriano on corporate intelligence matters, this person said.[…]

The committee also requested Soriano’s communications with three Israeli private intelligence firms: Psy Group, Wikistrat, and Black Cube, as well as any communications he may have had with Orbis Business Intelligence, a firm co-founded by the former British spy Christopher Steele.
Psy Group’s connections to the Trump campaign is one of those shoes yet to drop since the redacted Mueller report’s release (we don’t know if it appears in the unredacted version or if it’s part of the ongoing counter-intelligence investigation from Mueller’s referrals).
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:28 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]


How to support immigrants right now:
4. Help immigrants pay bail bonds.


Some immigrants are offered bonds so they can wait for their court dates outside of detention, but the exorbitantly high amounts—they typically range from $1,500 to $10,000+, depending on the judge—are a major hurdle to freedom and family reunification.

“Bail increases [immigrant parents’] chances of winning their case,” Paola Fernandez, an organizer with the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee, told Colorlines. Since February, the Texas-based group has been fundraising for bail bonds through the Fianza Fund.

Other bail bond funds across the country that you can support (all active links):
Bay Area Immigration Bond Fund
Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project
Immigrant Bail Fund
Immigrant Family Defense Fund
LGBTQ Freedom Fund
New Sanctuary Coalition
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:18 PM on July 13 [16 favorites]


The level cynical insincerity required for moderates and the CBC to attack Justice Democrats for endorsing primary challengers...who are also black...as somehow racially motivated is right off page one of the Tucker Carlson playbook. It's breathtakingly dishonest.

This is not meant as a counter-argument and is far from a defense of anyone, but as best I can reconstruct it, the main sequence of events leading into yesterday's squabble was:

1. The Senate immigration bill is brought to the House floor instead of the House one after the conservative D faction threatens to vote against the House bill.
2. The left including AOC, "the squad," AOC's chief of staff, etc, attack the vote, and particularly the conservative D faction.
3. Many of those complaints are on twitter, including AOC's CoS, who gets into a side-argument when another progressive (who I believe is Native American) asks whether all the conservative dems are truly acting to "enable a racist system" including a specific rep (who is Native American).
4. A week later, Pelosi holds a "private" meeting where she chides members who attack other members on twitter.
5. AOC responds in various interviews, including in the Post where she partially characterizes Pelosi's various criticisms as "the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color."
6. This seems to be what triggers the next round, where several members of the CBC go on the record in The Hill piece and Jeffries (the highest-ranking member of the CBC, I believe) digs up AOC CoS's tweet from out of the middle of a partially-deleted conversation from two weeks ago. This is framed fairly explicitly as payback. (Incidentally, in line with the Tucker Carlson comment, the Native American guy on twitter has himself pointed out that the only clear record of his squabble with AOC's CoS is this trolling article on Brietbart. I certainly don't know enough about Twitterworld to judge that though.)

So anyway, in my interpretation at least, while the primary challenges may be the substance of the recent criticisms, the precipitating event and the reason the senior CBC has gotten involved was AOC suggesting that the leadership (Pelosi) was singling out women of color. The counter-attack is not something Pelosi herself can make, and she's certainly not putting the CBC up to it -- their criticisms are genuine -- but she does plays a role in saying who should and shouldn't go on the record among the center-left majority who follow her lead.
posted by chortly at 1:21 PM on July 13 [7 favorites]


The Senate immigration bill is brought to the House floor instead of the House one after the conservative D faction threatens to vote against the House bill.


Which raises the question: why is it once again the House’s responsibility to capitulate and cede power to the center-right faction in the Senate?

Unless the House leadership is actually more interested in getting center-right legislation passed, in which case it makes perfect sense. And it’s this kind of concern that leads to the progressive wing’s frustrations.

There is a technical term — perhaps it’s a legal or philosophical term — that I have forgotten, but it basically means that “the intent of a thing is its function”. That, ultimately, regardless of what the stated intent was of a device or a system or a strategem, its functional intent is whatever it is actually doing.

So, regardless of stated principles, what is the functional intent of the leadership of the two main political parties? It’s not the lofty language they use to tell themselves and others what they stand for...it’s what they are actually doing.

And it’s this that gives progressive Dems serious concerns about their own party’s commitment to social justice, even though they readily acknowledge that the Republicans are much worse and blatantly evil.
posted by darkstar at 2:35 PM on July 13 [7 favorites]


Seriously, though, the squabbling within the Democratic caucus right now is referred pain from the fact that Trump is president and the party is responding with message bills. Democrats are united in their righteous hatred of Trump but a faction is too scared to act on it by confronting him the way he deserves to be confronted, and it’s tearing the party apart.

I realize that Americans don't like to look abroad for lessons but the current spectacular implosion in British politics of both the labour and conservative parties shows exactly why you shouldn't let this kind of stuff get out of hand.
posted by srboisvert at 2:42 PM on July 13 [12 favorites]


Warren at Netroots...

Tara Golshan (Vox)
On her first day in office @ewarren pledges to start a commission to investigate "crimes committed by the United States against immigrants"

Astead Herndon (NYT)
“Donald Trump might look the other way but President Elizabeth Warren will not,” she said.
posted by chris24 at 2:46 PM on July 13 [39 favorites]


Lets look at the issues: The New Plot Against Obamacare/ Krugman
The Affordable Care Act was an imperfect and incomplete reform. The political compromises needed to get it through Congress created a complex system in which too many people fall through the holes. It was also underfunded, which is why deductibles are often uncomfortably high. And the law has faced sabotage both from G.O.P.-controlled state governments and, since 2017, the Trump administration.

Despite all that, however, the act has vastly improved many Americans’ lives — and in many cases, saved lives that would otherwise have been lost due to inadequate care. The progress has been most dramatic in states that have tried to make the law work. Before the A.C.A. went into effect, 24 percent of California adults too young for Medicare were uninsured. Today that number is down to 10 percent. In West Virginia, uninsurance fell from 21 percent to 9. In Kentucky, it fell from 21 to 7.

Over all, around 20 million Americans who wouldn’t have had health insurance without the A.C.A. now do.

At the same time, none of the dire predictions conservatives made about the law have come true. It didn’t bust the budget — in fact, deficits came down steadily even as the A.C.A. went into effect. It didn’t discourage workers from taking jobs: Employment of Americans in their prime working years is back to what it was before the financial crisis. And despite Donald Trump’s best efforts to undermine it, the system isn’t in a “death spiral”: Insurers are making money and premiums have stabilized.
For once, I found it interesting to read the comments, though I haven't been through all of them. As far as I can tell, there has been a true shift in opinion -- reading the debate on healthcare 10 years ago, very few Americans could imagine a better system. Even among liberal NYTimes readers. Now there are so many voices praising ACA, but also wanting to go further from here. It gives me hope.
posted by mumimor at 2:48 PM on July 13 [16 favorites]


Defense News: Turkey Has the S-400. The Trump Administration Is Silent.
After months of threatening quick, severe action against Turkey should Ankara accept the Russian-made S-400 air defense system, the Trump administration has yet to react to the delivery of the weapon system.

A Turkish Defense Ministry statement early Friday said “the first group of equipment” of the S-400 air defense systems reached the Murted Air Base near Ankara on Thursday evening. The delivery of parts of the system will continue in the coming days and authorities will decide “how it will be used” once the system is made operational, Turkey’s defense industry authority said in a statement.

The Pentagon initially called an 11:15 AM press briefing on Friday to discuss the S-400 retaliation. It was then switched to 1:45, then postponed indefinitely. A defense official told reporters that Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper spoke with his Turkish counterpart for half an hour during the afternoon, but said there will be no readout from the call.

As of 1 PM Saturday, there has still been no statement issued from the White House or State Department.
Turkey's S-400 negotiations previously in the megathreads. This is a hell of a time to be without a Secretary of Defense.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:05 PM on July 13 [11 favorites]


In re bail bond funds: You can also donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
posted by Frowner at 3:23 PM on July 13 [5 favorites]


In re bail bond funds: The National Bail Fund Network maintains a directory of community bail funds that includes a Directory of Immigration Bond Funds, including national and state funds. via
posted by Little Dawn at 3:29 PM on July 13 [9 favorites]


British journalist Carole Cadwalldr is now being sued by Arron Banks, mostly over her TED Talk that exposes the links between Brexit, Trumpism, and the Russian troll factories.

I understand that British libel law is rather different from ours in the U.S. I hope she kicks some fascist arse in the courts. Her efforts on behalf of democracy have been nothing short of heroic.
posted by Surely This at 3:33 PM on July 13 [28 favorites]


Lead story in the Irish Times right now is an undocumented Irishman picked up by ICE.
His wife of 10 years, US citizen Keran Byrne, 34, said he was “picked up off the street without warning” leaving her and their three children — aged 13, six and four — “devastated”.
The optics, in this media landscape, are important.
posted by stonepharisee at 4:29 PM on July 13 [19 favorites]


9/8/18

@TeamPelosi:
Your Saturday Reminder: Republicans in Washington *will not* hold Donald Trump accountable. He's their guy.

We will.


Jeet Heer (Nation):
Pelosi owes her position to a wave election where the Democrats won 53.4% of the vote, a full 8.6% more than Republicans (44.8%). What fuelled that victory was widespread antipathy towards Donald Trump. Yet Pelosi has retreated from this promise.
posted by chris24 at 5:26 PM on July 13 [25 favorites]


Happily, I still have about 40 days before I have to do any hat eating. Sadly, and quite understandably, patience is not something many people have at the moment, even among those who really should know better, not just people commenting on various Internet fora.
posted by wierdo at 5:52 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


WSJ: Immigration-Enforcement Raids Begin in New York—ICE agents attempt raids in at least two city neighborhoods; President Trump says roundups will focus on criminals
Federal immigration authorities attempted raids in at least two neighborhoods in New York City on Saturday, according to a person familiar with the matter, a day prior to when President Trump had said Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents would begin national roundups of people illegally in the U.S.

In New York City, ICE agents went to residences in the Harlem section of Manhattan and Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood, the person said. The agents were rejected by people at the residences because they didn’t have warrants, but plan to return at least to Sunset Park tomorrow, according to the person.[…]

The raids are set to begin in 10 cities—many which have designated themselves as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants—Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco, said officials of the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, a Texas-based nonprofit. Protests were held in many of the cities Friday and Saturday.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:24 PM on July 13 [4 favorites]


So they directly targeted sanctuary cities, didn't they.
posted by odinsdream at 6:49 PM on July 13 [5 favorites]


n.b. The Irish immigrant ICE arrested earlier this week was living in the Philadelphia region, so yes, a sanctuary city was targeted.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:53 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


So they directly targeted sanctuary cities, didn't they.

The fact that we were basically given a weeks' warning about the raids should be evidence enough that these were never intended to be proper raids - the whole point of a raid is that it is a surprise operation, because you don't want the person you're targeting to know you're coming.

On the contrary - this was always about theater and fear.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:54 PM on July 13 [38 favorites]


Despite all that, however, the act has vastly improved many Americans’ lives — and in many cases, saved lives that would otherwise have been lost due to inadequate care.

I called a lot of people during the last election to ask them to vote, many of who asked me why they should bother. One of my best tricks was to ask if they knew someone that had been helped by Obamacare. Often, they would say no, pause, and then say actually yes. Then I would ask them to tell me about it. By the end of that conversation they had usually convinced themselves to do the right thing.

This can be an enlightening conversation in many social settings. It's very easy to forget that wait - so and so had that baby that was covered by Obamacare, or wait Aunt so and so was able to go the hospital that time. If you give someone a minute or two, they almost always come back with a story.
posted by xammerboy at 7:01 PM on July 13 [30 favorites]


This was always about theater and fear.

I just went to the DMV a week ago to renew my license and they suggested I return with more information to get the newer license needed to take flights. I guess later this year, if you want an ID to take airline flights, you need more proof of citizenship than your social security car and passport. I went ahead and got my license anyway. At the end of the process, I was told the new license must be mailed to me. Kind of strange, considering they used to just hand it to you at the end of the process.

It's all just to scare off or make it more difficult for more people to get valid I.D.s
posted by xammerboy at 7:08 PM on July 13 [9 favorites]




It's all just to scare off or make it more difficult for more people to get valid I.D.s

RealID has been a thing since 2002.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:23 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]


xammerboy, that would be the "Real ID" or the "Enhanced ID" programs. As of October 2020, one of them will be required for domestic flights inside the U.S. (Or you have to bring your passport.) The "enhanced ID" also acts as a passport for land crossings between the U.S. and Mexico and Canada. (Good luck with this part if the border agent is a dick.)

You are absolutely correct however, that the new ID requirements were put in place to make it more difficult for people to get valid IDs, and to travel, both domestically and internationally. They serve no other purpose.
posted by mrgoat at 7:23 PM on July 13 [12 favorites]


papieren bitte
posted by entropicamericana at 7:58 PM on July 13 [18 favorites]


Actually, I'm going to add one more thing on the subject of real/enhanced ID: these programs also have the effect of making it markedly harder for women to deal with IDs, in the event that they have been or are dealing with marriage / divorce, and may not have been absolutely meticulous on the paperwork around changing their names.

Worth knowing. And I highly doubt it's by mistake.
posted by mrgoat at 8:17 PM on July 13 [20 favorites]


Jesus, I should stop. But also trans people. The ID requirements can be a real issue for trans people, for all the obvious reasons. I apologize for not including that before.
posted by mrgoat at 8:23 PM on July 13 [14 favorites]


"Actually, I'm going to add one more thing on the subject of real/enhanced ID: these programs also have the effect of making it markedly harder for women to deal with IDs, in the event that they have been or are dealing with marriage / divorce, and may not have been absolutely meticulous on the paperwork around changing their names."

I was unable to get a RealID when I last renewed my license earlier this year because I was unable to prove my current address because our bank sends the joint account statements to the first name on the account if both live at the same address (so they all said Mr. Manface McLastname) and the school sends its letters to "Mr. and Mrs. McLastname" (and don't include first names, and my last name is McGee, not McLastname, as I did not change it), our health insurance is through his work so addressed to him, and the utilities are all in his name because he moved first to set up the utilities and get the house ready while I stayed behind with the kids to close up the old house and get all the furniture moved. And the maddening thing is, a lot of the utilities etc. that can serve as proof of address for RealID won't add me to the account unless I have a RealID!

So I'm suddenly an unperson and it's extremely uncomfortable! How do I prove I am a real person who lives here? I was born in this state and have lived here for 34 of my 41 years, I have never changed my name, I have voted in (nearly*) EVERY election since I turned 18, including locals, I have a birth certificate, I have a passport, I speak All The English, I have a law degree, but I cannot prove where I live! My husband, who's lived in this state 13 years total, is automatically a person! But I apparently got erased.

(*one time I missed a municipal primary, I confess, but in my defense I had the stomach flu)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:47 PM on July 13 [74 favorites]


RealID has been a thing since 2002.
It has been, but my state didn't comply until really recently. In 2017, I got a new license, which was good for ten years. At that point, I didn't have the option of getting a RealID compliant license. But as of October 2020, I won't be able to use my license to get on a plane unless it's Real ID compliant, and I'm not willing to lug my passport around with me for seven years. I found out about this last week, so I decided to go ahead and get the damn thing this week, since I won't remember to do it if I wait. It was actually super easy for me, because I have a valid passport and a W2 with my current address on it. But the guy at the DMV told me that he had dealt with a woman who had been married five times in five different states, and she had to get documentation from each state to show the train of her name changes. He also dealt with a guy who brought in his birth certificate, which had a typo in his name. He had to pay $150 to get his birth certificate fixed before he could get a RealID. This is one of those things that's going to be pretty easy for most people and a total pain in the ass for a significant minority of people who supposedly aren't supposed to be targeted by the change.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:13 PM on July 13 [17 favorites]


Pennsylvania’s governor just stopped the latest Republican voter suppression scheme
The veto by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf came at the cost of $90 million for needed upgrades to the state's voting machines.


AP Exclusive: New Election Systems Use Vulnerable Software
Pennsylvania’s message was clear: The state was taking a big step to keep its elections from being hacked in 2020. Last April, its top election official told counties they had to update their systems. So far, nearly 60% have taken action, with $14.15 million of mostly federal funds helping counties buy brand-new electoral systems.

But there’s a problem: Many of these new systems still run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers.

An Associated Press analysis has found that like many counties in Pennsylvania, the vast majority of 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide use Windows 7 or an older operating system to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts.

That’s significant because Windows 7 reaches its “end of life” on Jan. 14, meaning Microsoft stops providing technical support and producing “patches” to fix software vulnerabilities, which hackers can exploit. In a statement to the AP, Microsoft said Friday it would offer continued Windows 7 security updates for a fee through 2023.
Here’s where the major players in electronic voting systems stand:
The election technology industry is dominated by three titans : Omaha, Nebraska-based Election Systems and Software LLC; Denver, Colorado-based Dominion Voting Systems Inc.; and Austin, Texas-based Hart InterCivic Inc. They make up about 92% of election systems used nationwide, according to a 2017 study . All three have worked to win over states newly infused with federal funds and eager for an update.[…]

Of the three companies, only Dominion’s newer systems aren’t touched by upcoming Windows software issues — though it has election systems acquired from no-longer-existing companies that may run on even older operating systems.

Hart’s system runs on a Windows version that reaches its end of life on Oct. 13, 2020, weeks before the election.

ES&S said it expects by the fall to be able to offer customers an election system running on Microsoft’s current operating system, Windows 10. It’s now being tested by a federally accredited lab.

For jurisdictions that have already purchased systems running on Windows 7, ES&S said it will be working with Microsoft to provide support until jurisdictions can update. Windows 10 came out in 2015.

Hart and Dominion didn’t respond to requests for comment.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:33 AM on July 14 [5 favorites]


ES&S said it expects by the fall to be able to offer customers an election system running on Microsoft’s current operating system, Windows 10. It’s now being tested by a federally accredited lab.

Ok, full disclosure. I'm an IT geek with deep infosec background, and experience in the financial and audit sectors.

I'm also an Albany County, NY "Inspector of Elections" ( AKA Poll Worker )

The machines we get at our polling sites are ES&S machine, but they boot linux and run a java app.

So, whatever risk this poses, IN OUR JURISDICTION, it's at some level that doesn't affect the actual collection of votes, so, YES, BE CONCERNED, but temper that concern with knowledge.

And knowing is half the battle.
posted by mikelieman at 4:41 AM on July 14 [8 favorites]


mikelieman: So, whatever risk this poses, IN OUR JURISDICTION, it's at some level that doesn't affect the actual collection of votes, so, YES, BE CONCERNED, but temper that concern with knowledge.

I read your comment several times, and I'm not following how the concerns might be tempered. Pennsylvania is upgrading its systems from Windows 7 to 10, while your New York systems use Linux... ?

Of course, my larger concern is the apparent lack of a paper trail anyway. The operating system should be 100% irrelevant and could be riddled with virusus for all I care so long as the result is a printed, voter-approved, hand-countable ballot. I'm lucky enough to be a Pennsylvanian whose jurisdictions have only voted by paper (bubbled in by pen and inserted to the optical scan machine) every election since 2006.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 5:02 AM on July 14 [8 favorites]


The machines we get at our polling sites are ES&S machine, but they boot linux and run a java app.

And this is a good reason to not use a commercial software platform with a built-in EOL product cycle for critical systems where security is a paramount concern and the replacement schedule is more like 20-25 years than the typical 10 years or so it takes a Windows version to become obsolete.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 5:03 AM on July 14 [8 favorites]


Sadly, the security of the machines themselves doesn't mean lot if the tabulation systems or the system hosting the registration database aren't equally secure. TBH, I'm less concerned about an insecure machine, so long as it has reasonable physical security to prevent tampering (some do, some don't), since they aren't typically networked.

If you tamper with the system in such a way as to force certain voters to cast provisional ballots it's much less obvious that you've done anything at all and you are just as surely altering the outcome of the election as if you fiddled with the totals directly since so few people actually cure the issue and get their vote counted. The number of votes thrown away in my county alone in 2016 was comparable to Trump's margin of victory in my state. Hmm...
posted by wierdo at 5:33 AM on July 14 [7 favorites]


OpenSecrets.org: Acting Labor Secretary Pizzella Lobbied For Russian-Connected Front Group, Worked With Jack Abramoff
[…] Pizzella’s record as a lobbyist is likely to come under scrutiny. In the late 1990s, his clients included a Russian front group, the government of the Marshall Islands and a trade association fighting against the minimum wage in a U.S. commonwealth.

For these and other clients, he worked with Jack Abramoff, who was at the forefront of a corruption scandal in the 2000s that ultimately resulted in 21 convictions and major reforms to lobbying laws. Pizzella was never accused of any wrongdoing.[…]

Prior to [his] appointment [as assistant secretary of labor for administration and management under G. W. Bush], Pizzella was as a lobbyist at Preston, Gates & Ellis, which would later combine with another lobbying firm to form K&L Gates. Abramoff also worked at the firm, whose dozens of clients included several foreign entities. Documents obtained by OpenSecrets show that Pizzella was one of the lobbyists who worked on behalf of a shell corporation connected to the Russian government in the late 1990s. He was listed in a 1997 lobbying disclosure form as the “director of coalitions” for Chelsea Commercial Enterprises Ltd., a Bahamas-based organization working closely with the Russian oil company Naftasib, which was itself a close affiliate of the Russian government.

Working alongside Abramoff and others, Pizzella helped Chelsea Commercial advocate for “various commercial business enterprises, including investments in Russian businesses.”
It's remarkable how consistently the Trump administration attracts the worst people and how their corruption always seems to be tied to Russia.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:09 AM on July 14 [25 favorites]


Trump tells four Democratic congresswomen to go back to where they came from. Three were born in the US.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:10 AM on July 14 [28 favorites]


I mean, there are a total of seven incumbent female Democratic representatives born in other countries, and he doesn't narrow it down any further than that except by calling them "progressive" and saying they "originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe", both of which are subjective. He could be talking about Susan Wild, born in Germany, which I doubt he would object to calling a "catastrophe" of a government.

But yeah, we all know who he has in mind.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:35 AM on July 14 [4 favorites]


[Rust Moranis, we have asked people quite a few times to lay off the Pelosi griping in the megathread. If you didn't hear that, I'm saying it to you, specifically, right now. If folks feel like there's enough meat for a separate thread about her, then by all means go for it.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:49 AM on July 14 [10 favorites]


I don't care what the Trump Or Not Bot says, from the look of that tweet Miller's got his hands on the presidential Twittertron again, and you won't convince me otherwise.
posted by Buck Alec at 8:14 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Mark Murray (NBC)
Our new NBC/WSJ poll results are our first hypothetical general-election matchups for the 2020 race:

Biden 51%, Trump 42%
Sanders 50%, Trump 43%
Warren 48%, Trump 43%
Harris 45%, Trump 44%

(July 7-9, MOE: +/- 3.5%)
posted by chris24 at 8:21 AM on July 14 [14 favorites]


"The entire framework rests on a bedrock assumption, that some people matter, others don't, and it's perfectly fine to say or do anything you want to defeat those that don't matter, for whatever value of "defeat" you can get away with being seen making yourself comfortable with." Twitter thread from A.R. Moxon (Julius Goat), on the malignant power of not caring. Here's the unrolled version.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:48 AM on July 14 [16 favorites]


I don't care what the Trump Or Not Bot says, from the look of that tweet Miller's got his hands on the presidential Twittertron again, and you won't convince me otherwise.

The Trump or Not Bot rates those tweets about "“Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen" as having a 56%/96%/34% probability of authentic Trump authorship (the especially nasty middle one talks about "the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came"). They're also threaded, a recent trend that breaks with years and years of Trump's habits.

While I put only so much stock in the Trump or Not Bot's opaque natural-language processor, I prefer to link to that bot as a reminder that @realDonaldTrump is a group effort and only occasionally His Master's Voice, as well as a way of denying Trump's twitter links and clicks. (I also like Real Press Sec. Bot, which has the bonus of archiving any tweets Trump later deletes.)

As for @realDonaldTrump's activity this morning, it's been frenetic. Mostly, it's been busily retweeting a ton of follower accounts, particularly in response to a video by #WalkAway Campaign Founder Brandon Straka (Dan Scavino, simultaneously making good on the promises of Trump's Social Media Summit and sucking up to his narcissistic boss). It did devote a couple of tweets, however, to praising Mike Pence's propaganda photo op visit to the "children's detention centers" (98%/61%), so yes, Stephen Miller is absolutely helping out with that twitter account.

By the way, Media Matters's Matthew Gertz finds, as usual, that Trump's noxious tweets were inspired in part by whatever he's watching on Fox News: "About 20 minutes before this morning's grotesque Trump rant, Fox & Friends ran a segment about "the Squad" and aired comments Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley (both born in the U.S.) made at Netroots Nation."

And CNN's Daniel Dale shreds Trump's perennial lies about his approval ratings from last night: "3 false claims in 18 words! 1) Trump doesn’t have 94% approval among Republicans; it’s consistently high-80s. 2) Reagan’s high was 94%. 3) The record was Bush’s 99% post-9/11. Trump’s high ranks behind Bush/Bush/Reagan/Nixon/Eisenhower, WaPo found in June. For months, Trump used an invented 93% approval among Republicans. He has recently increased it to 94%. There is often a steady inflation in his fictional figures."
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:58 AM on July 14 [13 favorites]


Yesterday morning also saw a much-increased level of retweets, so maybe that's a thing now (and retweeting someone who on another occasion tweeted something awful is probably bound to follow)--speaking of following, @UnfollowTrump is another good denying-clicks-and-links option.
posted by box at 9:50 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Mostly, it's been busily retweeting a ton of follower accounts, particularly in response to a video by #WalkAway Campaign Founder Brandon Straka

Since the propaganda #WalkAway campaign has been a favorite of Russian bots', Trump's, and Fox News's, since at least last year, here's online disinfo specialist Caroline Orr's exposé of them at the time: Pro-Trump & Russian-Linked Twitter Accounts Are Posing As Ex-Democrats In New Astroturfed Movement
Most of the tweets were strikingly similar, and the vast majority pushed a very familiar narrative. Using the hashtag #WalkAway and claiming to be former Democrats, social media users shared their stories of leaving the Democratic party after being turned off by the “hate” and “division” of “the left.” Many of them cited the incidents involving Sanders and Waters as examples of the “intolerance” and “bullying” that supposedly drove them to support Trump after years—in some cases, decades—of voting for Democrats.[…]

The high volume of tweets associated with this campaign is also indicative of an effort to drown out real, reasoned debate between humans and replace it with content that pushes fringe or extreme viewpoints into the mainstream, ultimately hijacking and derailing public discourse. This particular psychological operation also aimed to use issues like race and sexual orientation to widen existing divides and promote infighting within the progressive movement.

Finally, astroturfed social media campaigns like the “WalkAway Movement” aim to create manufactured consensus, or the illusion of popularity, so that an idea or position without much public support appears more popular and mainstream than it actually is.
The “WalkAway Movement” began in May of last year with, naturally, a Facebook page. After being promoted by Sputnik, Russia Today, Fox, and @realDonaldTrump and boosted by bots, trolls, and Russian-linked accounts, it now boasts over 200,000 supporters.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:04 AM on July 14 [17 favorites]


Eagerly awaiting the #DontLetTheDoorHitYouInTheAssOnTheWayOut counter-movement.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:10 AM on July 14 [5 favorites]


Trump’s immigration sweeps in major cities expected to begin (AP)
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a pre-emptive lawsuit Thursday that aims to protect asylum seekers.
Crackdown on immigrant families to start Sunday, Trump says (AP)
Since Trump first spoke of the plan, a number of city mayors, nearly all Democrats, have repeated their long-standing policies of not cooperating with ICE officials on deportations and have advertised helplines people can call to understand their rights.

Democratic lawmakers, among others, have also sought to inform immigrants of their rights, telling them not to open their door for ICE unless agents present a court-issued warrant, and not to say or sign anything before speaking with a lawyer. [...]

The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups sued this week to stop the arrests going ahead, asking a court to prevent the deportation of asylum-seeking families who missed their court dates until they at least get a hearing.

Mexico’s government said on Friday that it would step up consular assistance for its citizens living in the United States “who may be affected by the possible migratory operations,” but did not give more details.
Impending immigration raids across US spark anxiety and protests (Guardian)
Because Ice detention facilities are operating with limited capacity, immigration officials had publicly floated the idea of using hotels to hold those seized following the raids. That prompted one chain, Marriott, to say it would not allow its buildings to be used as detention centers for the federal government. Ice officials responded that they would be forced to separate families if they lack capacity. [...]

In Chicago on Saturday, around 5,000 protesters marched against Trump’s immigration policies, belting chants critical of the president and Ice. Police said the protest was peaceful and there were no arrests. Chicago is a target city. Demonstrations were held in other cities including Phoenix, which is not expected to be among the cities raided. On Friday night, dozens of protesters blocked a downtown street and disrupted light rail traffic. Police arrested 16. [...] Condemnation has come from a broad slate of progressive organizations, including groups typically focused on issues outside the immigration debate.

Lights for Liberty vigils protesting against the raids were attended by the American Teachers Federation and sponsored by the Women’s March. Youth climate activists with the Sunrise Movement Boston attended a vigil protesting against “inhumane conditions” in detention centers they called “concentration camps”.
With ICE Raids Looming, Immigrants Worry: ‘Every Time Someone Knocks, You Get Scared’ (NYT)
They are helped by the fact that ICE agents cannot forcibly enter the homes of their targets under the law. But if past tactics are any measure, agents are likely to come to the operation armed with ruses to coax people outside. They will likely have new strategies that might help to counteract the preparations that undocumented immigrants have been making with the help of their lawyers.

Anticipating that they will not manage to block all of the arrests through preventive strategies, immigration lawyers and advocates across the country have been working swiftly to distribute contingency plans for those who are captured.

Shannon Camacho, a coordinator of the Los Angeles Raids Rapid Response Network for immigrants, said the organization is urging undocumented parents with children who are United States citizens or legal permanent residents to sign caregiver affidavits, so that if the parents are deported, the children will not be left without legal guardians. [...] Mony Ruiz-Velasco, the director of PASO-West Suburban Action Project, a community group in Melrose Park, Ill., said her staff and volunteers were advising families to memorize at least one phone number so that they can call for help if they are detained. [...]

Meanwhile, immigrants’ rights lawyers were preparing to file court motions to reopen the immigration cases of people who are arrested in the operation before they can be deported. Doing so will require that the lawyers get access to the detention centers where the migrants will be held, and it is unclear whether federal officials will make such access available, lawyers said. [...]

Democratic lawmakers also rallied around immigrants, promising to protect their rights to due process and prevent as many arrests as possible. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Friday that the city would increase funding for legal protections for immigrant families, and reiterated that she had banned ICE from accessing Chicago Police Department databases related to federal immigration enforcement activities.

Harry Osterman, a city alderman whose far-north-side district includes many Latinos, emailed constituents on Friday evening with hotline numbers and information on what to do if they see ICE activity. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California posted a video on Facebook informing immigrants of their rights. And Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young of Baltimore released a statement encouraging anyone who was arrested to avail themselves of the city’s public immigration defense fund.
posted by Little Dawn at 11:05 AM on July 14 [9 favorites]


CNN: House report: At Least 18 Migrant Children Under the Age of 2 Were Separated From Parents For 20 Days to 6 Months
At least 18 migrant infants and toddlers under the age of two were separated from their parents at the border "including nine infants under the age of one," according to a report released Friday by the House Oversight Committee.[…]

The Democratic-led House Oversight Committee report comes ahead of a hearing on child separations that will include testimony from Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, who toured border facilities last week, as well as testimony from the inspectors general from the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Homeland Security.

Friday's report, based on data obtained by the committee under subpoena from the Trump administration, provides new information about at least 2,648 children who were separated from their parents.
Small wonder Trump is pushing hard to drown out this story in the media.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:36 AM on July 14 [10 favorites]


Long-threatened ICE raids set to begin amid questions and protests (Tribune News Service)
Long-threatened Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids were set to begin Sunday amid anxiety in immigrant communities across the country and questions about how extensive the much-hyped action would actually be. [...] In Florida, ICE agents were seen knocking on doors near Miami International Airport on Sunday and in the migrant farming community of Immokalee on Friday, but there had been no reports of arrests, said Melissa Taveras of Miami-based Florida Immigrant Coalition.

[...] “The overall environment is very much like a hurricane: When is it going to come, is it going to hit us, is it going to move north?” she said. “We have people in Homestead, Little Havana, Little Haiti -- where we know there are concentrations of immigrants -- distributing ‘know your rights’ pamphlets. That seems to be effective because we’re already hearing reports of people not opening their doors.” [...]

In Houston, there was no sign of ICE raids early Sunday. [...] On Saturday night, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said his office was “receiving reports of attempted but reportedly unsuccessful ICE enforcement actions in Sunset Park and Harlem.” [...]

“Announcements such as these, including the latest one of upcoming raids, unfortunately makes people scramble to find any sort of assistance,” said Jose Luis Garcia, the managing attorney at the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, based in Los Angeles.

Advocates worry the raids could leave immigrants here illegally susceptible to scams. Unlicensed immigration consultants, commonly known as notarios in Latin American communities, can cause serious harm to an immigrant’s legal case, experts say. This could be anyone who provides immigration-related services for a fee but who is not authorized to provide any sort of legal aid.

“Fear, need and anxiety are driving people to try to find some legal help,” said Rigo Reyes, the executive director of Los Angeles County’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Immigrants are pushed to “find someone who’s going to give them the answer they want to hear, even if it’s not real,” he said. Immigrants in the U.S. illegally are especially susceptible to scams as the threat of deportation looms. Immigration consultant offices are widely available and easily accessible, prompting many immigrants to choose unauthorized legal help over proper legal aid.
posted by Little Dawn at 11:52 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Axios: Poll: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Defining Democrats Among Crucial 2020 Swing Voters
Top Democrats are circulating a poll showing that one of the House's most progressive members — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — has become a definitional face for the party with a crucial group of swing voters.

Why it matters: These Democrats are sounding the alarm that swing voters know and dislike socialism, warning it could cost them the House and the presidency.[…]

The poll — taken in May, before Speaker Pelosi's latest run-in with AOC and the three other liberal House freshmen known as "The Squad" — included 1,003 likely general-election voters who are white and have two years or less of college education.
• These are the "white, non-college voters" who embraced Donald Trump in 2016 but are needed by Democrats in swing House districts.
• The group that took the poll shared the results with Axios on the condition that it not be named, because the group has to work with all parts of the party.

The findings:
• Ocasio-Cortez was recognized by 74% of voters in the poll; 22% had a favorable view.
• Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — another member of The Squad — was recognized by 53% of the voters; 9% (not a typo) had a favorable view.

Socialism was viewed favorably by 18% of the voters and unfavorably by 69%.
• Capitalism was 56% favorable; 32% unfavorable.
• "Socialism is toxic to these voters," said the top Democrat.

Between the lines: Dems are performing better with these voters than in 2016 (although still not as well as in 2018). So party leaders will continue to try to define themselves around more mainstream members.
The implications of this polling data notwithstanding, it's pretty obvious why "top Democrats" decided to leak this to Axios now. Still, it's advantageous to be reminded what views outside of Metafilter differ. And this brings Trump's attacks on AOC and Omar into sharper focus.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:05 PM on July 14 [13 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Tennessee, the governor has proclaimed today to be Nathan Bedford Forrest Day, and issued a statement praising the war criminal and founder of a terrorist organization.

Apparently Tennessee also calls "Memorial Day", "Confederate Decoration Day" and additionally celebrates "Robert E. Lee Day". Because of course they do.

Welcome to America in 2019, when white supremacy is more open than ever before and state governments endorse terrorist leaders and war criminals who massacred surrendered American soldiers.
posted by sotonohito at 1:22 PM on July 14 [21 favorites]


The poll — taken in May, before Speaker Pelosi's latest run-in with AOC and the three other liberal House freshmen known as "The Squad" — included 1,003 likely general-election voters who are white and have two years or less of college education.

Seems a little predetermined.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:23 PM on July 14 [19 favorites]


"If all voters hear about is AOC, it could put the [House] majority at risk," said a top Democrat who is involved in 2020 congressional races. "[S]he's getting all the news and defining everyone else’s races."

"Said a top Democrat," innocently baffled by why AOC's been in the news and blithely unaware of whom they were speaking to.
posted by chortly at 1:27 PM on July 14 [16 favorites]


included 1,003 likely general-election voters who are white and have two years or less of college education.

These are the "white, non-college voters" who embraced Donald Trump in 2016 but are needed by Democrats in swing House districts.

Nobody who voted for Trump in 2016 is needed by Democrats in any House districts. Not one. It's like the enormous number of non-voting, electorally demoralized non-college white people don't exist, much less every non-voting or vote-suppressed/disenfranchised nonwhite person.

The line is and will continue to be "punch the entire base for 80,000 racists in MAGA hats who we will surely win over"
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:29 PM on July 14 [38 favorites]


Nobody who voted for Trump in 2016 is needed by Democrats in any House districts. Not one.

This is true on a purely theoretical level but it's not true on a practical one. That isn't to say we should cater in any way to the racists but we'd lose a bunch of House districts without at least some of those Trump voters.
posted by Justinian at 1:37 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


The group that took the poll shared the results with Axios on the condition that it not be named, because the group has to work with all parts of the party.

Joe Crowley's polling company?

Did anyone poll these voters on Medicare for All instead of "socialism"? Asking voters if they like socialism or capitalism is nonsense -- we've never had a pure form of either.
posted by benzenedream at 1:45 PM on July 14 [8 favorites]


This is true on a purely theoretical level but it's not true on a practical one.

We're seeing the result of decades of this sort of practicality. It's theoretical electoral victory or certain electoral defeat from now on.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:48 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Am I the only one bothered by "The Squad" nomenclature? It really feels immature and belittling and pulling these women down to the petty rivalry of music videos. I just can't see a similar reference being adopted for men in the same position.
posted by sardonyx at 1:58 PM on July 14 [17 favorites]


I was sort of gobsmacked by that Omar number until I thought of Fox News. Yeah. I really don't know how to take down Fox News, but it's got to go. People who are exposed to that shit on the reg are going to have these opinions. I don't know how you get around it.

It makes me retroactively furious at Bernie for his doing his Fox town hall.
posted by angrycat at 2:04 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Did anyone poll these voters on Medicare for All instead of "socialism"?

Of course not. Americans love socialist policies, e.g. Medicare for All, but they recoil at the political label of socialism. Trump and the GOP are putting pressure on that cognitive dissonance as hard as they can.

That said, this internal Dem poll appears to reflect GOP thinking, the National's Josh Kraushaar reports, "In line w R polling showing three swing-district D freshmen trailing named challengers."

Am I the only one bothered by "The Squad" nomenclature?

Ocasio-Cortez and Omar adopted this term for their group right after the mid-term election. Maybe it's a Millennial thing.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:05 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


They should have gone with Democrats Growing American Freedom.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:13 PM on July 14 [20 favorites]


Squad is also a military term. It isn't solely reserved for cheerleaders. I'd prefer to think of them as a nice military squad, all on the same team and working together to win.
posted by Bovine Love at 2:26 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


the propaganda #WalkAway campaign has been a favorite of Russian bots', Trump's, and Fox News's, since at least last year

I was at an anti-Trump rally a few weeks ago, and the one counter protester was holding a Democrats for Trump sign and yelling "walk away!" at us. I was wondering where that came from. The funny part was that the guy's tattoos kind of gave away that he wasn't actually a former Democrat. And not to paint all Democrats, but I've found it fairly rare that they like to blow whistles in old ladies' faces.
posted by diogenes at 2:26 PM on July 14 [7 favorites]


@Taniel (Daniel Nichanian):
This is weird. Trump led Biden 56-37 among "white, non-college" voters in today's NBC poll (Biden up 51-42 overall); other Ds did worse. Strange to act like AOC being unpopular in a poll of just "white, non-college" voters is peculiar to her. Yet no one but AOC & Omar mentioned.

2 options here:
(1) some Dem group is oppo-polling no one but AOC/Omar
(2) some Dem group tested many public figures, but only leaked AOC/Omar results, which makes it likely other Dems' #s aren't much better otherwise those wld be included in the leak to make AOC/Omar look worse

If the group that managed to get this partial leak of an internal poll published wants to disprove those two options by showing me the full memo, my DMs are open!
posted by zombieflanders at 2:31 PM on July 14 [16 favorites]


Oh well, as long as it's their choice I guess I've got no right to complain.

I realize the word has military implications, but it seems to be the Taylor Swift type of zeitgeist that carries the most resonance currently, and that's what wasn't sitting right with me. Not to to belittle the singer or her accomplishments in the least, but it just had that girls against girls, mean girls against good girls vibe that I don't think does female politicians any favours.
posted by sardonyx at 2:31 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


These are the "white, non-college voters" who embraced Donald Trump in 2016

Trump voters who are fine with racist tweets and leaders are not going to vote against him in 2020, no matter what policies the Democratic party adopts or who leads them. If kids in cages is not a disqualifier for future support of a politician, there is no reasonable line we could cross to keep them happy, especially not without undercutting the issues that do energize the actual Democratic voters.

But you know who does like AOC? The younger generation, the one that does need to be actively encouraged to get out and vote more.
posted by Candleman at 2:40 PM on July 14 [17 favorites]


If tacking to the right to win over swing voters were a successful electoral strategy for the Democrats, Donald Trump wouldn't be president right now. It's amazing to me that people still buy into that tactic. Do people really think that what we need right now is a party of John Kerry's?
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 2:44 PM on July 14 [37 favorites]


Trump tells four Democratic congresswomen to go back to where they came from.

AOC responds:
Mr. President, the country I “come from,” & the country we all swear to, is the United States.

But given how you’ve destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you & the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet.

You are angry because you don’t believe in an America where I represent New York 14, where the good people of Minnesota elected @IlhanMN, where @RashidaTlaib fights for Michigan families, where @AyannaPressley champions little girls in Boston.

You are angry because you can’t conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.

You won’t accept a nation that sees healthcare as a right or education as a #1 priority, especially where we’re the ones fighting for it.

Yet here we are.

But you know what’s the rub of it all, Mr. President?

On top of not accepting an America that elected us, you cannot accept that we don’t fear you,either.

You can’t accept that we will call your bluff & offer a positive vision for this country. And that’s what makes you seethe.
Emphasis added.

I was at an anti-Trump rally a few weeks ago, and the one counter protester was holding a Democrats for Trump sign and yelling "walk away!" at us.

I can't help but feel that the echo of Lord Humungous is deliberate.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:03 PM on July 14 [48 favorites]


That poll has some other strange tidbits:

• Ocasio-Cortez was recognized by 74% of voters in the poll; 22% had a favorable view.
...
Socialism was viewed favorably by 18% of the voters and unfavorably by 69%.
• Capitalism was 56% favorable; 32% unfavorable.



Taken at face value, 32% of these voters don’t like capitalism, but only 18% like socialism. Which leaves at least 14% that do not like capitalism OR socialism. Are they anarchists? Communists? Or do they just not know what they’re talking about?

Also, 22% liked Ocasio-Cortez but only 18% like socialism. So at least 4% (one-fifth of those who support her) are not connecting her with her DSA background/policies.

I sometimes feel like the most useful take-home conclusion from some of these polls is that a nontrivial percentage of our fellow citizens are just plain ignorant.
posted by darkstar at 3:06 PM on July 14 [21 favorites]


As abused as the term is, the extent to which we're increasingly unable to rely on language's fundamental advantage of allowing concise reference to complex ideas due to the dictionary-rending propaganda of a relatively select, if not totally arbitrary few, is positively Orwellian. A poll that contrasts capitalism with socialism in direct terms is basically meaningless today. Might as well ask how people feel about Tom Brady at that point.
posted by feloniousmonk at 3:18 PM on July 14 [9 favorites]


A poll that contrasts capitalism with socialism in direct terms is basically meaningless today.
I feel as though if a polling firm contacted me and asked if I support "socialism" or "capitalism" I'd need at least a 10 minute dialogue with them (which I obviously would not get) to iron out what definitions we were using. In the absence of such an understanding any answer to the question is pretty worthless.

Upon thinking about it, though, I'm pretty concerned to think that it's possible that this is the kind of question Democrats are spending their money to research. As I understand it the name of the polling company and the identity of those commissioning the poll are not revealed so I don't know whose poll it was or who came up with the questions. But if it's one that Democratic leadership commissioned then as far as I'm concerned it's yet more evidence that they're committed to a direction to which I have significant disagreement.
posted by Nerd of the North at 4:02 PM on July 14 [7 favorites]


Nobody who voted for Trump in 2016 is needed by Democrats in any House districts. Not one. It's like the enormous number of non-voting, electorally demoralized non-college white people don't exist, much less every non-voting or vote-suppressed/disenfranchised nonwhite person.

This is the basic math I keep coming back to:
The problem is the math for Democrats is much tougher. They must rely on moderates more than Republicans, because of the way the districts are drawn, thanks to gerrymandering and natural population sorting. The median House district in the 2016 election favored Trump by more than three points, even though he lost the popular vote by two. The situation is similar in the Senate, where 60 senators represent states Trump won, even though he lost the popular vote. Republicans can win majorities without touching a district or state won by Hillary Clinton; Democrats don’t have anything approaching such a luxury.
Trump won 230 congressional districts to Clinton's 205.

We can talk about all the reasons this is the case, from population sorting to gerrymandering to disenfranchisement to turnout, and the reforms that, if we had the power to enact them, could help counteract that in some cases. But for the moment, this is the system we have: we have to win districts that Trump won. And the only ways to do that are to convince at least some people who voted for Trump to vote for a Democrat, to convince at least some people who voted for Trump to stay home, or to turn out more Democratic voters who didn't vote in 2016, a historically high turnout year.

And I get that's depressing as hell. Trump ran an explicitly racist campaign, so fighting over the voters who said "yeah, sign me up for some of that" is horrible. But I don't think it's quite as gloomy as that. Democratic candidates won Trump districts 2018 without embracing racism, without compromising on acknowledging the humanity and dignity of their fellow Americans. Sherrod Brown won Ohio by 9 points and is happy to call Trump a racist, but even he ran away from his lifelong support of Medicare for All in favor of more incremental improvements. Every Trump voter looked at Trump's racism and hate and signed their name to enact and endorse it, but I don't think every Trump voter was solely animated entirely by racism and not every Trump voter demands racism from their candidate. Some seem to merely accept it without requiring it. We know this because we flipped Trump districts in 2018 without appealing to racists.

It seems that people have taken it as an article of faith that if only we ran Alexandras Ocasio-Cortez in every district (and that poll can go fuck itself, that's not my point here), there'd be an uprising of the newly inspired proletariat who would race to the polls in numbers never seen before, rendering every Trump voter irrelevant under a mountain of new formerly-disaffected voters. So where are the test cases? Who pulled off that strategy in 2018?
posted by zachlipton at 4:07 PM on July 14 [20 favorites]


I sometimes feel like the most useful take-home conclusion from some of these polls is that a nontrivial percentage of our fellow citizens are just plain ignorant.
I mean, it is definitely true that the average American voter lacks a sophisticated understanding of political theory. I think the average voter would probably struggle to offer a definition of socialism or capitalism. If that's surprising to you, I have to sort of wonder how much contact you have with voters.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:13 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


there'd be an uprising of the newly inspired proletariat who would race to the polls in numbers never seen before, rendering every Trump voter irrelevant under a mountain of new formerly-disaffected voters. So where are the test cases? Who pulled off that strategy in 2018?

Right, this is the underpants gnome strategy of electoral politics. "And then a wave of non-voters will swarm the polls!" is "and then a miracle occurs!". When have we seen this happen? Not someone bringing out new voters in additional to the more traditional sort (Obama, to pick one example, did that) but a wave of new voters swamping the more traditional sort all voting for the other guy.

Betting on that to happen is a losing proposition.
posted by Justinian at 4:17 PM on July 14 [10 favorites]


WaPo on the big winner on Team Trump from Acosta’s resignation: ‘His own fiefdom’: Mulvaney builds ‘an empire for the right wing’ as Trump’s chief of staff
Mulvaney — who is technically on leave from his first administration job as budget director — spends considerably less time with Trump than the two previous chiefs of staff, Reince Priebus and John F. Kelly. And the president has sometimes kept him out of the loop when making contentious foreign policy decisions, advisers say. At a recent donor retreat in Chicago, Mulvaney told attendees that he does not seek to control the president’s tweeting, time or family, one attendee said. Priebus and Kelly had clashed with the president over his Twitter statements and the influence of his eldest daughter and her husband, who are senior advisers.

Instead, Mulvaney has focused much of his energy on creating a new White House power center revolving around the long-dormant Domestic Policy Council and encompassing broad swaths of the administration. One White House official described Mulvaney as “building an empire for the right wing.”

He has helped install more than a dozen ideologically aligned advisers in the West Wing since his December hiring. Cabinet members are pressed weekly on what regulations they can strip from the books and have been told their performance will be judged on how many they remove. Policy and spending decisions are now made by the White House and dictated to Cabinet agencies, instead of vice versa. When Mulvaney cannot be in the Oval Office for a policy meeting, one of his allies is usually there.[…]

Aside from the domestic policy shop, Mulvaney has also tapped allies to fill roles in the White House’s legislative affairs operation, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and his old haunts at OMB. He regularly suggests ideas to all of them.[…]

In the past two months, he has forced out the chiefs of staff at Health and Human Services and the Labor Department amid policy disputes with them and their respective secretaries. Mulvaney and Grogan have repeatedly clashed with HHS Secretary Alex Azar, overruling him, for example, on ending the funding of medical research by government scientists using fetal tissue.[…]

“Everything is controlled. The only people not under his thumb are Kudlow and Bolton,” said one senior administration official, referring to economic adviser Larry Kudlow and national security adviser John Bolton.
Mulvaney may be widely disliked on Capitol Hill by both Dems and GOPers, but by staying out of Trump’s way and concentrating on his own power base, he’s proving a more successful CoS than either of his predecessors, at least as far as Trump’s concerned.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:20 PM on July 14 [8 favorites]


Trump voters who are fine with racist tweets and leaders are not going to vote against him in 2020, no matter what policies the Democratic party adopts or who leads them.

You drastically underestimate the power of denial. A significant fraction of those who identify as Republican simply refuse to believe the evidence in front of their face that Trump really is putting kids in cages and really is saying racist shit all on his own. They are convinced that any news reports or personal testimony indicating otherwise is made up propaganda.

What's happening is so far outside of what they believed possible that it must be all made up as far as they are concerned. There can't be an ongoing attack by the Russian government because obviously our government would have stopped something that was so effective. That it wasn't stopped is proof in their mind that the interference was minimal at most.
posted by wierdo at 4:35 PM on July 14 [10 favorites]


It seems that people have taken it as an article of faith that if only we ran Alexandras Ocasio-Cortez in every district (and that poll can go fuck itself, that's not my point here), there'd be an uprising of the newly inspired proletariat who would race to the polls in numbers never seen before, rendering every Trump voter irrelevant under a mountain of new formerly-disaffected voters. So where are the test cases? Who pulled off that strategy in 2018?

This is wildly overstating the progressive argument. We don't need AOC's in every district, we need 100 more Sherrod Browns and the party to not support any more Dan Lipinski's or Henry Cuellars, and not to endorse those "Democrats" with voting records antithetical to the party's supposed goals when there's a viable primary challenger. Or at the very least, not to actively impede democracy with bullshit blacklists and threats. Let's start there before we kick progressives for making unrealistic demands no one is actually making.

And on the state level, Lee Carter is an example of someone who won like that in 2017. Progressives have only had one cycle of being a rising political power, let's also not predict that no one can ever as a progressive win based on one cycle.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:57 PM on July 14 [28 favorites]


If people don't understand the terms fully when expressing a preference for capitalism over socialism, why are polled preferences for policy ideas like the GND and universal health care taken at face value without consideration for how well the general public understands what they entail?
posted by Selena777 at 5:20 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


If that's surprising to you, I have to sort of wonder how much contact you have with voters.


To clarify, I didn’t say voter ignorance was surprising. I mean, you learn fast when canvassing just how clueless some of your neighbors are. It’s depressing to think their completely uninformed vote will carry just as much weight as one that’s the result of significant investigation and research into the issues, the candidates, etc.

(Mad props to those of you who canvass. It’s crucial work, but I just finally got burned out on it.)

Rather, I just meant that sometimes the only real conclusion that can be drawn (once again) from the results of a poll is that a significant number of respondents just don’t have a very good understanding about what the poll is asking about.

Maybe it’s ignorance of what the terms mean. Or maybe it’s ignorance of the candidates and their policies/background. Or perhaps it’s ignorance of the issues, or the history, or the math, or the consequences, or context, or whatever. But even setting aside the crazification factor, some respondents (and maybe many of them) just lack some key understanding, that makes their poll response meaningless.

Which is totally unsurprising, particularly given all of the articles that report some percentage of USians think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court, or that 11% of those between 18-24 years old can’t find the USA — their own country — on a map.
posted by darkstar at 5:38 PM on July 14 [4 favorites]


If people don't understand the terms fully when expressing a preference for capitalism over socialism, why are polled preferences for policy ideas like the GND and universal health care taken at face value without consideration for how well the general public understands what they entail?

Socialism and capitalism are loaded terms with a variety of potential meanings to them. Like, there are Bernie Sanders supporters who have stated they do not want to support Elizabeth Warren because she has said she considers herself a capitalist, but Sanders and Warren support materially the same policies. Socialism can be Denmark or it can be the USSR depending on your belief system and it's not really wrong.

However, when you talk about specific policies, you talk about... well, specific policies, and even when you're talking more in generalities people understand the basic intent at work. Other than the people who have decided that the GND means taking away your hamburgers and universal health care means death panels and greedy welfare bums going to the doctor on your dime - and those people were going to oppose such policies regardless of the potential benefit to them - most people understand that the GND means "we will spend money to decarbonize the economy and fight climate change and hopefully create jobs" and universal health care means "the government at least acts as the insurer of last resort for everybody."
posted by mightygodking at 5:54 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Churches jump into action with threat of immigration sweeps (AP)
“We’re living in a time where the law may permit the government to do certain things but that doesn’t necessarily make it right,” said the Rev. John Celichowski of St. Clare de Montefalco Parish in Chicago, where the nearly 1,000-member congregation is 90 percent Hispanic and mostly immigrant.

[...] Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, wrote a letter to Archdiocese priests this month saying, “Threats of broad enforcement actions by ICE are meant to terrorize communities.” He urged priests in the Archdiocese — which serves over 2 million Catholics — not to let any immigration officials into churches without identification or a warrant.

The Rev. Robert Stearns, of Living Water in Houston, organized 25 churches in the city to make space available to any families who wanted to seek sanctuary while they sorted out their legal status. A dozen churches in the Los Angeles areas also declared themselves sanctuaries.
Previously: Long-threatened ICE raids set to begin amid questions and protests (News Tribune)
“During the civil rights movement, people sought refuge in the church. This is the civil rights movement of our time,” said Cesar Espinosa, executive director of the migrant advocacy group Fiel Houston who joined pastors and vowed to assist their effort.

Venus Rodriguez came to hear the announcement and relayed news to neighbors in the community group Northside Strong, including migrants in the country illegally. Those she knows are staying at home, afraid to go out and seek refuge, but they might reach out to churches for help. “They’re aware and they’re on alert,” she said.
posted by Little Dawn at 6:12 PM on July 14 [7 favorites]


> Trump Seeking to Effectively Outsource Asylum Seekers to Guatemala / Is Trump Planning to Use Guatemala as a Wall? / Trump Is Poised to Sign a Radical Agreement to Send Future Asylum Seekers to Guatemala

Guatemala cancels meeting between Morales and Trump (AP)
A meeting in Washington between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Guatemalan counterpart Jimmy Morales purportedly over a potential “safe third country” agreement for asylum seekers has been canceled, Guatemala’s office of the presidency said Sunday.

The presidency said that the meeting would be rescheduled because the Constitutional Court has not yet ruled on legal appeals aimed at preventing Morales from acceding to Trump’s requests. The meeting had been set to take place Monday.

“Due to speculation and legal proceedings admitted for processing to the Constitutional Court, a decision was made to reschedule the bilateral meeting until we know what was resolved by said court,” a statement said. “The government of the republic reiterates that at no moment has it contemplated signing an agreement to convert Guatemala into a safe third country.”

[...] A “safe third country” agreement would mean that Salvadorans, Hondurans and people from elsewhere who cross into Guatemala would have to apply for asylum there instead of doing so at the U.S. border — potentially easing the immigration crush that the United States is dealing with and handing Trump a concession he could tout as a win. [...] U.S. officials said that “safe third country” is on the table though not finalized, but the Guatemalan government said it was not intending to make such a deal.
posted by Little Dawn at 6:20 PM on July 14 [8 favorites]


Mightygodking has it right, there are so many different kinds of socialism that the question is meaningless, even to a committed socialist! Are they asking about social democracy, democratic socialism, libertarian socialism, communism, communalism, or workplace democracy? The poll seems like it wasn't drafted in good faith at all, but it still makes me want to send the creators Richard Wolff's video Three Basic Kinds of Socialism.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 6:21 PM on July 14 [10 favorites]


I think what the debate over capitalism vs socialism misses is that one of the major universal threats is consolidation of power. Regardless of whether that power is consolidated in the state, a monarch, a single political party, or a company, it’s bad for everyone. Checks and balances is what our system is supposed to be all about. And that needs to be a unifying focus.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 7:07 PM on July 14 [10 favorites]


I mean, that’s why the most important part of the DSA is the D part.
posted by The Whelk at 7:21 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


Mightygodking has it right, there are so many different kinds of socialism that the question is meaningless [...]

You're making the fundamental mistake of thinking the poll is meant to reveal something about policy preference rather than politics. They're not trying to find out if voters think workers should own the means of production, they're trying to find out if "THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS OK WITH SOOOOCIIIAAAALIIISSSM" would be an effective or ineffective attack.

Policy doesn't win elections.
posted by Justinian at 7:41 PM on July 14 [28 favorites]


the most important part of the DSA is the D part.

Sure, but my point is that unwinnable debates whether Capitalism or Socialism is the one true answer or how DSA is different from other forms of Socialism is a wedge Republicans and lazy journalists amplify to divide us and convince people that it’s not worth voting.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 7:49 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Republicans and lazy journalists

It's almost like the Republicans learned that controlling the means of news production was important.
posted by benzenedream at 7:58 PM on July 14 [10 favorites]


Regardless of whether that power is consolidated in the state, a monarch, a single political party, or a company, it’s bad for everyone. Checks and balances is what our system is supposed to be all about. And that needs to be a unifying focus.

This is only possible when it isn't only two parties with one party being an insane death cult and the other party defining itself as "at least we're not the insane death cult." Our system of checks and balances has been entirely and irrevocably converted into a system of making sure as much fascism as possible happens (not that far off from the original intent of checks and balances TBH) and a balance between socialism and barbarism is not something to strive for.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:06 PM on July 14 [6 favorites]


Squad is also a military term. It isn't solely reserved for cheerleaders. I'd prefer to think of them as a nice military squad, all on the same team and working together to win.
posted by Bovine Love at 2:26 PM on July 14 [+] [!]


At my high school, we had a precision drill team that we referred to as "the Squad," although it was formally called the Crack Squad. It's been around since the 19th century and its members were revered and everyone wished they were good enough to make it onto the Squad. (Previously)
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:27 PM on July 14


Well, CNN's web headline right now is "Frightened GOP won't make Trump pay a price for his racist tweet", and there are four more uses of "Trump" and "racist" in other headlines right now.

I feel like CNN is moving further and further away from the "Both Sides have their Issues" approach to journalism of the last few years, and I applaud them for it.
posted by mmoncur at 10:33 PM on July 14 [25 favorites]


i'm not sure it's clear how bonkers the Guatemala thing is. Mexico actually is a semi-safe country that a lot of refugees settle in, and they still won't sign a safe third country agreement. The idea of Guatemala signing that kind of agreement is fucking wild. The news pieces linked describe an agreement that is even more fucking wild apparently, like,
“We’re talking about something much bigger than what the term ‘safe third country’ implies,” someone with knowledge of the deal told me. “We’re talking about a kind of transfer agreement where the U.S. can send any asylum seekers, not just Central Americans, to Guatemala.” ........
This is a whole new level,” the person with knowledge of the agreement told me. “In my read, it looks like even those who have never set foot in Guatemala can potentially be sent there.”
Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in the region. i think 3rd poorest. and being hit hard by climate change. This kind of plan would mean dumping people there to starve to death. And even setting aside safety, and setting aside food, Guatemala has only ever processed less than 200 asylum seekers per year. They can't even do the fucking paperwork on the scale we're talking about. and finally there is absolutely no reason they should do jack shit to help us unless it helps them.

the absolute best case scenario for this plan is that the USA spends a large amount of money to build refugee capacity (camps) in Guatemala instead of here. That's it. (That might even be what President Morales has in mind?) There is no reason to think that will happen.

More likely I'd guess that this is just not a real thing in any way. like it's probably just some nonsense posturing to change the negotiations with Mexico. that seems likely also because the headlines said "Trump poised to sign agreement" when that was never at any point true (it was a shitty draft agreement that was already being appealed/challenged in Guatemala before Morales got on the plane).
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 11:55 PM on July 14 [15 favorites]


“Squad”: Ocasio-Cortez and Omar adopted this term for their group right after the mid-term election. Maybe it's a Millennial thing.

Yeah, it’s a Millennial thing, with kind of a complicated history since its mainstreaming via #squadgoals and Taylor Swift’s squad was seen as appropriative of black culture and black twitter. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a MetaFilter FPP on the term from a few years ago when it really took off.
posted by stopgap at 12:22 AM on July 15 [5 favorites]


ABC: CA lawmakers pass bill requiring Trump, presidential candidates to release tax returns
California legislation that would require presidential and state gubernatorial candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the state's ballot cleared a significant hurdle, passing the State Assembly with an overwhelming majority vote.

SB 27, co-authored by Senators Mike McGuire and Scott Wiener, was approved by the State Assembly Monday with a 57-17 vote, according to McGuire's office. It will be heard again in the State Senate this week, and if approved, will head to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his signature.[…]

The Presidential Tax Transparency & Accountability Act will require basic tax information to be shared with California residents, and require that all presidential and gubernatorial candidates release the last five years of their tax returns in order to appear on the state ballot. The returns will be made available to the public on the Secretary of State's website, according to McGuire's office.

The measure also includes an urgency clause, which would allow the legislation to take effect immediately, prior to the filing deadline for 2020 presidential candidates.
Axios reports that, as of last month, “Lawmakers in at least 25 states have introduced bills that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the 2020 ballot in that state”.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:23 AM on July 15 [19 favorites]


Hi, this is an Australian with a message from your future refugee policy.

Nauru is a small Pacific Island with 11,000 residents no more than 21 square kilometres in size.

Australia pays it about $25 million USD annually to be an island prison for people who tried to seek asylum in Australia.

I'm not sure what the going rate will be for Guatemala.
posted by chiquitita at 4:01 AM on July 15 [37 favorites]


That's a chilling thought. This 2003 episode of This American Life about Nauru seemed dystopian to me when I first heard it.

It's weird when you realize the dystopia is already here, it's just not evenly distributed...
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:27 AM on July 15 [13 favorites]


If you remember, Obama had agreed to take in some 1,200 refugees to get them off Nauru, a deal Trump tried to renege upon as soon as he took office.
posted by OnceUponATime at 4:31 AM on July 15 [14 favorites]


Yes, you don't want to go down Australia's path with refugees.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:42 AM on July 15 [9 favorites]


Defense News: Turkey Has the S-400. The Trump Administration Is Silent.

Bloomberg has a leak from the Trump administration about considering options in lieu of an official statement about taking action: Trump Aides Pick Sanctions to Punish Turkey for Russian Missiles
President Donald Trump’s team has settled on a sanctions package to punish Turkey for receiving parts of a Russian missile defense system and plans to announce it in the coming days, said people familiar with the matter.

The administration chose one of three sets of actions devised to inflict varying degrees of pain under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, the people said, without identifying which set had been chosen. The plan needs Trump’s approval.

One of the people said the intention is to announce the sanctions late next week. The administration wants to wait until after Monday’s anniversary of a 2016 coup attempt against Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to avoid fueling further speculation that the U.S. was responsible for the uprising, as Erdogan’s loyalists have claimed.

The plan was developed after days of discussions between officials at the State and Defense departments and the National Security Council. It awaits a sign-off by Trump and his top advisers, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. A State Department spokeswoman declined to comment.
FT: Turkey Urges Trump To Avoid Sanctions Over Missile System—Ankara risks retaliation after receiving shipment of Russian weapons despite US warnings
Turkey expects Donald Trump to “find a compromise” over its purchase of a Russian air defence system, president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday as Ankara accepted fresh shipments of components.[…]

Speaking after a report that American officials had prepared a sanctions package to present to Mr Trump and his senior advisers, Mr Erdoğan expressed hope that the US president would exempt his country from punitive measures.

“President Trump can waive or delay . . . sanctions,” he told a group of Turkish journalists, according to the news channel Haberturk. “Since this is the case, the person who needs to find a compromise is Mr Trump.”
Erdoğan clearly has figured out that he can adopt Kim Jong Un's tactic of directly appealing to Trump (and his ego) while flouting sanctions.

While this was going on, Turkey was ramping up in Syria, the Daily Sabah reports: Turkey's Huge Deployment Signals Extensive Offensive East of Euphrates—The large military deployment and tactical mobility on the ground point to Turkey preparing for an offensive east of the Euphrates against YPG terrorists

"Last December, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Ankara temporarily halted operations to wait a little longer until U.S. troops had completely withdrawn from the region, as announced by U.S. President Donald Trump. However, after eight months, Washington has not taken any steps in this regard. Also, the two NATO allies reached the Manbij deal last June to accelerate the withdrawal of the YPG from Manbij and prevent the terrorist organization from disrupting peace efforts. The agreement became yet another promise that the U.S. has been dragging its feet on to implement."

For further reading on the US-Turkey relationship, which has only deteriorated despite Trump's sucking up to the autocratic Erdogan, Foreign Affairs has an overview: Why Turkey Turned Its Back on the United States and Embraced Russia—A Rift That Began in Iraq and Syria Now Threatens to Divide NATO
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:52 AM on July 15 [4 favorites]


Morning tweets, and, well, there's the angle:
When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!

If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.
posted by box at 5:17 AM on July 15


Again with the word "disgusting." Trump's also a well-known germaphobe.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:48 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


↑↑MonkeyToes: Twitter thread from A.R. Moxon (Julius Goat), on the malignant power of not caring.

Lindsey Graham: ‘I Don’t Care’ If Migrants Stay in Overcrowded Detention Centers for ‘400 Days’
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:49 AM on July 15 [8 favorites]


Ryan Grim:
I asked top Democratic pollster Celinda Lake of Lake Research what she made of the results of the poll of white, non-college voters that Axios published. Here are her points:

1. "It shouldn't have been reported on. It violated all the standards for publication...The AAPOR, AP, CNN guidelines etc require -- rightly so -- release of all findings, release of who did the poll and who paid for it, release of question wording."

2: "The questions were unbelievably biased and the cherrypicking of results even more so...We know from other polling: Half of Americans don't know what socialism is. What would results have been if you asked a question which is standard wording -- do you have a favorable rating, an unfavorable rating of socialism or don't you know."

3: "22 percent isn't bad among white, noncollege people. We are only going to get 25-35 percent max. What were numbers among millennials and POC whom we need to turnout?"

4: "Noticeably there is no releasing of college without debt, green new deal, or medicare for all. That's because 56-65 percent of the public support those policies."
FWIW, Lake certainly isn't a firebrand with a red rose in her lapel (she just wrote a book with Kellyanne Conway), and she has a long and friendly relationship with the Democratic establishment.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:07 AM on July 15 [34 favorites]


The New Sanctuary Coalition is seeking more congregations in NYC to commit to sort-term shelter for Friends (non-citizens, their terminology) because Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) has a policy of not coming into religious spaces to pick up immigrants for deportation.

There's lots of good information on their website for Buddies and Friends, as well as for congregations who might commit to protecting Friends.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:13 AM on July 15 [4 favorites]


Morning tweets, and, well, there's the angle

This morning's tweets are a continuation of last night's, in which @realDonaldTrump similarly complaining, in coded fashion, about how Democrats "Democrats sticking up for people who speak so badly of our Country and who, in addition, hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion" in, of course, "disgusting language". He's gone on this morning to tweet further about "foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen", "they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S", and, in true autocrat mode, "When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!"

These follow-ups to his racist tweets yesterday morning are a clear sign that Trump feels emboldened to double down, thanks to positive feedback from his rabid supporters and a lack of pushback from GOP leadership. This is a only prelude to what his campaigning in 2020 will be like, of course. He probably feels relieved to be on the offensive again instead of having to defend himself about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

While Trump's racism is no secret, the media is still catching up to calling it out, e.g. the NYT leaves it to an interviewee to actually call Trump "racist": Trump Fans the Flames of a Racial Fire
Jack O’Donnell, the former president of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, later wrote that Mr. Trump openly disparaged others based on race, complaining, for example, that he did not want black men managing his money.

“Trump has not only always been a racist, but anyone around him who denies it, is lying,” Mr. O’Donnell said on Sunday. “Donald Trump makes racist comments all the time. Once you know him, he speaks his mind about race very openly.”

Mr. Trump, he said, regularly trafficked in racial stereotypes — Jews were good with money, blacks were lazy, Puerto Ricans dressed badly. “White people are Americans to Trump; everyone else is from somewhere else,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “He simply denies the reality of how we all immigrated to the United States.”
Or the Grey Lady lets their op-ed writers do the heavy lifting, like Charles Blow's new column: Trump’s Tweets Prove That He Is a Raging Racist.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:16 AM on July 15 [16 favorites]


Theresa May is the lamest of all lame ducks in history, and this may well be a desperate move to remain relevant, but: May condemns Trump's remarks about four congresswomen
Remember, Theresa May's real legacy is her racist run at the Home Office and her racist focus on immigration as PM dealing with the EU.
posted by mumimor at 6:29 AM on July 15 [11 favorites]


NBC reports on more leaks of palace intrigue at the Trump White House: Trump Weighs Ousting Commerce Chief Wilbur Ross After Census Defeat—Some White House officials expect the Cabinet secretary, who has known the president for years, to depart as soon as this summer.
President Donald Trump has told aides and allies that he is considering removing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross after a stinging Supreme Court defeat on adding a citizenship question to the census, according to multiple people familiar with the conversations.

While Trump has previously expressed frustration with the 81-year-old Ross, in particular over failed trade negotiations, Ross's long personal relationship with the president has allowed him to keep his job. And after the departure of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, the Cabinet’s only Hispanic who resigned on Friday amid questions about his role in a controversial 2008 plea agreement with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Ross may yet receive another reprieve.

But some White House officials expect Ross to be the next Cabinet secretary to depart, possibly as soon as this summer, according to advisers and officials.

Frustrated by Ross' leadership of the Census Bureau, which is within the Commerce Department, Trump has been making calls to allies outside the White House musing about replacing Ross.[…]

The president has suggested to allies he wants a more hard-charging leader as Commerce Secretary, despite having once talked up Ross as a "killer." However, there's no indication the president has reached out directly to potential replacements for Ross.
Trump loves to talk and complain on the phone to his cronies, of course, but Ross’s bungling of the citizenship question may result in legal exposure to the administration, which is a bright line for Trump.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:46 AM on July 15 [4 favorites]


Trump Demands Apology From Democratic Congresswomen He Attacked in Racist Diatribe (Inae Oh, Mother Jones)

Same tweets, different take. Notes that his recent tweets should have some staying power in news headlines.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:02 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]


mumimor: Theresa May is the lamest of all lame ducks in history, and this may well be a desperate move to remain relevant, but: May condemns Trump's remarks about four congresswomen

I suspect that telling anyone to "go back to your home country" falls right in the Venn diagram overlap between "form of racism that is low-hanging fruit for easy condemnation by white elites" and "form of racism that nearly every member of certain demographics has experienced, probably multiple times in their life, and hence perpetuated by a flabbergasting percentage of whites".

Like: racist rhetoric can be placed on a spectrum measuring the extent to which even white people call it racist, with "microaggressions and cultural appropriation" at one end and "KKK hoods" at the other, and this trope is right in the middle. That makes it a near-ideal wedge for "PC culture has gone too far" demagougery than a less-polarized phrase would be.

It doesn't help that "So where are you really from?" lies more on the narrow-agreement side (as in, the median white person thinks "Well, what's wrong with being curious?"). It just takes a bit of extrapolation from the inner logic of that query (plus some basic xenophobic resentment) to get the follow-up remark "How about you go back there?", which just happens to be the bridge too far (at least, I hope) even for the subset of white folks who desire respectability.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:09 AM on July 15 [6 favorites]


Trump moves to end asylum protections for Central Americans
"According to a new rule published in the Federal Register , asylum seekers who pass through another country first will be ineligible for asylum at the U.S. southern border. The rule, expected to go into effect Tuesday, also applies to children who have crossed the border alone."

Stephen Miller is on the march now, I guess.
posted by Harry Caul at 7:11 AM on July 15 [6 favorites]


From that link:
The policy is almost certain to face a legal challenge. U.S. law allows refugees to request asylum when they arrive at the U.S. regardless of how they did so, but there is an exception for those who have come through a country considered to be "safe." But the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs asylum law, is vague on how a country is determined "safe"; it says "pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement."
This is a "rule" that violates the law.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:15 AM on July 15 [15 favorites]


Carter’s Quiet Revolution (Mark Joseph Stern, Slate)
President Jimmy Carter’s diversification of the judiciary is one of the most important and least acknowledged achievements in presidential history. And it’s in danger.
Thanks, TheDonald, for all the not-diverse judicial nominees.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:19 AM on July 15 [9 favorites]


This is a "rule" that violates the law.

Thanks for this. The headlines was too much for my heart to bear.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 7:24 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]


Mulvaney may be widely disliked on Capitol Hill by both Dems and GOPers, but by staying out of Trump’s way and concentrating on his own power base, he’s proving a more successful CoS than either of his predecessors, at least as far as Trump’s concerned.

From upthread, based on a WaPo article. I think this needs to be talked up more. Mulvaney thinks he's being clever by not restraining Trump's baser proclivities but Trump will definitely not take kindly to someone building their own power base even if at the moment it's not competing with Trump's agenda. Please let this become a talking point on the nightly talk shows.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:14 AM on July 15


Lindsey Graham: ‘I Don’t Care’ If Migrants Stay in Overcrowded Detention Centers for ‘400 Days’

Graham lost all shame in his capitulation to Trump. Here he is, parroting Trump on Fox this morning (w/video via Aaron Rupar): "We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country. They're calling the guards along our border concentration camp guards. They accuse people who support Israel of doing it for {air quotes} the Benjamins. They're socialists. They're ant-Semitic. They're anti-America." So naturally @realDonaldTrump retweeted him.

Roll Call, back in March: Lindsey Graham’s Embrace of Trump Working With Home State Gop Voters, New Poll Finds

"The South Carolina Republican’s approval rating among Republicans and those who lean Republican in his state stands at 74 percent, according to a new Winthrop University survey released Thursday. […] Graham’s approval rating among Republican and likely Republicans has risen by 24 percent in less than two years in Winthrop polls. In one released in April 2017, less than 50 percent of such people surveyed said they approved of Graham."

And the Charleston Post and Courier noted late last month: "GOP support for President Donald Trump remains strong in South Carolina. Nine in 10 S.C. Republicans give the president favorable ratings and good marks on his job performance. A bulk of GOP voters, 70 percent, said Trump reflects the Republican Party’s views."
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:15 AM on July 15 [4 favorites]


A bulk of GOP voters, 70 percent, said Trump reflects the Republican Party’s views.

I wish they'd stop asking such mealy mouthed questions and get the people to actually define what they think "Republican Party views" are, 'cause they seem to shift to fit whatever Trump does, as if there's nothing really there except the usual hate and more wealth and control to those in power.

It'd be nice to either have that confirmed by the voters or have those "views" shown to be as empty as the minds of those who think the party actually stands for anything. I'd like to actually hear those voters express their liking of the rich getting richer at their expense, if that is what they believe in.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:24 AM on July 15 [5 favorites]


get the people to actually define what they think "Republican Party views" are, 'cause they seem to shift to fit whatever Trump does

What Donald Trump got right, and Justin Amash got wrong, about conservatives
Barber and Pope asked voters if they agreed or disagreed with different policies. Because of the, erm, flexibility of Trump’s rhetoric, they were able to pick policies where Trump had, at some point, taken both a liberal policy position and a conservative policy position. And so some voters were asked about the policy without a cue telling them what Trump thought, but other were asked about the policy and given either Trump’s liberal position on the policy or his conservative one.

The idea here was to see how much of a difference Trump’s positioning made, and to whom. Among the most interesting findings is in the chart below. The people who identified as most strongly conservative were the likeliest to move in response to Trump. And the effect was about the same size whether Trump was taking the conservative or liberal position. It was the direction of Trump, not the direction of the policy, that mattered.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:28 AM on July 15 [31 favorites]


NYT: E.P.A. Plans to Curtail the Ability of Communities to Oppose Pollution Permits

I'm out of free NYT articles and can't quote directly, but the gist of it is that EPA has something called the Environmental Appeals Board, which hears administrative challenges to permits before they go to court. It's basically the first step in litigation -- there's a three-person panel of administrative "judges," they weigh evidence and hear oral argument, etc. The Trump administration is proposing to cut that board off at the knees: They could only hear challenges from permittees trying to get their limits loosened rather than environmentalists/neighbors who might argue that the permit is letting too much pollution into the environment, and would have drastically reduced authority to actually overturn an agency action. It's not going over well.

Except, maybe I'm dumb, but....if you're going to cut off the board's authority to the point where it's a rubber stamp, why are you then making it so only industry permittees have to go through this joke of a process, while environmentalists, etc., would be able to go straight to federal court (under federal law you can't sue until you've exhausted all possible administrative remedies)? And in cases where environmentalists are suing you, wouldn't you rather have a robust administrative record to show how you considered all their concerns and explained why they're wrong? "Cutting off your nose to spite your face" comes to mind.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:04 AM on July 15 [3 favorites]


As usual, GOPers are leaking anonymously to Axios about Trump's racist tweets instead of speaking out: A Tough Time to Be a Trump Supporter
"Republicans with a conscience are cringing," a Trump ally said. "He believes the more he puts 'The Squad' front and center, the better his re-election chances get."

A former White House official tried to explain Trump for a couple of texts and then just said: "It's insane."

One influential Democrat told me Trump had achieved a tactical win — stoking both his own base and Dems' internal tensions: "His view is that he simply cannot go too far. The line doesn’t exist. ... I'm very worried."[…]

With Republican officials staying silent yesterday, the Trump ally told me, "If anything, history has said that this stuff does go away and that it’s not worth the potentially catastrophic political cost of weighing in against him (as a Republican)."
What Donald Trump got right, and Justin Amash got wrong, about conservatives

For whatever it's worth, Justin Amash was unequivocal in his criticism of Trump's racist tweet: "To tell these American citizens (most of whom were born here) to “go back” to the “crime infested places from which they came” is racist and disgusting."
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:10 AM on July 15 [12 favorites]




“Racist, Xenophobic” - Congressman from border country attacks Trump after racist tweets (Guardian)
Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) Texas Republican Will Hurd to CNN's Christiane Amanpour: "Those tweets are racist, and xenophobic... It’s also behavior that’s unbecoming of the leader of the free world. He should be talking about things that unite, not divide us."July 15, 2019

“President Trump was wrong” - GOP Senator slams tweets about the Squad as fallout, rows continue
(Guardian)
Here’s Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey’s statement, proving that even if congressional Republicans are in lock-step with the White House, some are prepared to break rank not just in the gossip parlors but in public, too. #MeToomey
posted by Little Dawn at 9:22 AM on July 15 [13 favorites]


Toomey’s statement is pretty much yeah they’re evil socialists but Trump was wrong in that they were born here which is pretty much having cake and eating it territory
posted by angrycat at 9:36 AM on July 15 [6 favorites]


Toomey is such an astoundingly craven shithead of a senator that I'm honestly shocked he mustered up even that sliver of minimal cake-eating decency.

I've already left him my daily "yelling at him to do something about the damn concentration camps" email but perhaps with tomorrow's I'll encourage him to try hard to muster up a second shred of decency one day.
posted by Stacey at 9:48 AM on July 15 [9 favorites]




Most Migrants at Border With Mexico Would Be Denied Asylum Protections Under New Trump Rule (NYT)
Most migrants who travel by land to enter the United States from the Mexican border will be denied asylum protections according to plans the Trump administration announced Monday. The new rule was expected to be immediately challenged in court.

The rule goes into effect on Tuesday. It is one of the broadest attempts by the Trump administration to restrict asylum, and was announced after the president of Guatemala backed out of a meeting at the White House that had been set for Monday to discuss a similar policy. [...]

Hours after the rule was released, the American Civil Liberties Union said it “could not be more inconsistent with our domestic laws or international laws.” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the A.C.L.U.’s immigrants’ rights project, said the rule undercut Congress’s commitment to asylum protections.

“The Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country’s legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing danger,” Mr. Gelernt said in a statement. “This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly.”
posted by Little Dawn at 10:12 AM on July 15 [4 favorites]


John Katko (R-NY24) tweeted that "the President's tweets were wrong" but he couldn't bring himself to actually say what was wrong about them.
posted by maurice at 10:12 AM on July 15 [5 favorites]


Understanding the AOC vs. Pelosi feud: It's not a "catfight" but a long-term power struggle
Their feud with AOC, the Squad and the Justice Democrats is about an existential threat, not about one longtime colleague or one seat. If New York’s districts start to fall to left-wing insurgents, one by one, the nation will notice and the pattern will spread. If the pattern spreads, what is endangered is not just the power of certain individuals, but the entire theory of power that has driven the Democratic Party for generations. Those are literally the stakes.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 10:17 AM on July 15 [18 favorites]


Trump’s America Is a ‘White Man’s Country’ (Jamelle Bouie, NYTimes)
If Donald Trump has a theory of anything, it is a theory of American citizenship. It’s simple. If you are white, then regardless of origin, you have a legitimate claim to American citizenship and everything that comes with it. If you are not, then you don’t.
posted by pjenks at 10:25 AM on July 15 [8 favorites]


"Republicans with a conscience are cringing," a Trump ally said.

But not resigning from their racist trainwork of a party. So, not actually disagreeing.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:32 AM on July 15 [19 favorites]


A Republican governor today called Trump's tweets shameful. OK, it was Charlie Baker, the Massachusetts Republican who would probably be a Democrat outside the Northeast, but still.
posted by adamg at 10:33 AM on July 15 [4 favorites]


Also from that Bouie piece:
Indeed, it is instructive — and frankly disturbing — that top Democrats leaked a poll to Axios showing broad dissatisfaction with Representatives Ocasio-Cortez and Omar. Not from the entire public or Democratic voters, but from “1,003 likely general-election voters who are white and have two years or less of college education.”
posted by box at 10:44 AM on July 15 [15 favorites]


CNN's Manu Raju notes this exchange following Trump's Made in America Product Showcase (w/video): “Trump, asked if he has concerns that he's using the language of white supremacists and many view his tweets as racist, says: "It doesn't concern me because many people agree with me."”

CNN's Daniel Dale: “Told that three of the members of Congress he's talking about were born in America, and asked where they should go back to, Trump said, "Well, they're very unhappy. I'm watching them, all they do is complain. So all I'm saying is, if they want to leave, they can leave."” (Trump repeatedly ignored the follow-up question, "And go where?")

Politico: House Democrats are drafting a resolution to condemn President Donald Trump’s racist tweets against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other high-profile freshman congresswomen.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:50 AM on July 15 [12 favorites]


Oh boy, a Resolution!
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:58 AM on July 15 [44 favorites]


Rep. Al Green to force impeachment vote against Trump (Politico)
A Democratic lawmaker says he will force a vote on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump by next week, a dramatic step that could force the Democrat-led House to consider the measure for the first time, even over the objection of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“The President of the United States is a racist, a bigot, a misogynist, as well as an invidious prevaricator. To say that Donald John Trump is unfit for the Office of the President of the United States is an understatement," said Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), who cited Trump's racist tweets over the weekend about Democratic congresswomen as the impetus for his third effort to push through an impeachment vote.
posted by Little Dawn at 11:11 AM on July 15 [36 favorites]


More nonsense from Trump's presser, via Aaron Rupar (w/video): “TRUMP: "The stock market started going up the day after I won [this is false -- the market has been steadily going up since about 2010] ... if I would have lost, the stock market could crash ... I'm really good at this stuff. I know what I'm talking about."”

Fortune notes that none of the stock indexes have done as well during Trump's presidency as Obama's: S&P 500 Has Performed Far Worse Under Trump Than Under Obama
The short answer is that Trump has quite a way to go. Under Obama, the S&P 500 grew by 56.4%. The Dow Jones Industrials Average was up 50.6% and the Nasdaq, 92.9%.

The numbers under Trump were 21.4% for the S&P 500, 25.2% for the Dow, and 34.2% for Nasdaq.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:12 AM on July 15 [12 favorites]


Even if non-binding, a resolution would be on the historical record, and it is a start (however incremental) towards impeachment.

The question is follow-through — a promise of a draft does not mean an actual vote will result. If that vote is purposefully withheld by the usual parties, then we have been left with nothing (again).
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:12 AM on July 15 [3 favorites]


I kinda hope the mods delete both my comment and the one I'm replying to, but doesn't an impeachment vote without a removal from office also leave us with nothing (again)? I mean, it's just symbolic either way, right?
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:25 AM on July 15


I called both my Republican US Senators' DC offices to ask whether the Senator(s) had issued a statement (some statements) about whether Representative Omar should go back to Africa. I was informed they had not. I expressed concern that the President was a racist, and that the Senator(’)s(’) silence in the face of such institutional racism indicated that they also were a racist (some racists), and I was wondering whether the staffer(s) agreed that the President's tweet was racist? I was told that the staffer(s) could not offer their personal opinion, but that they would be happy to take any message(s) I wished to pass on to the Senator(s). I said that my concern was that, in working directly for an aforementioned racist Senator, the staffer(s) themselves was a racist (were some racists). I was answered "No". I asked why the staffer(s) were working for the racist(s). I was informed that the staffer(s) could not offer their personal opinion, but that they would be happy to take any message(s) I wished to pass on to the Senator(s). I noted that the staffer(s) had in fact offered their personal opinion(s) that they were not racist merely because they worked for a racist Senator, and I wished them to continue to provide information as to why they would work for a racist Senator. I was thanked and informed that my message(s) would be passed along
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:26 AM on July 15 [34 favorites]


I did CTRL-F on this thread for "Chao", but I have only found "He loves chaos". So true. He loves Chaos. This is relevant because the official White House defense of the overtly racist tweets is that the President employs Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, so therefore, he cannot hate women of color. The fact that Elaine Chao is the wife of Senate Majority Leader McConnell is presumably a chaotic coincidence
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:28 AM on July 15 [10 favorites]


it's just symbolic either way

Beyond the utility of getting incumbent politicians on record before the 2020 elections, impeachment inquiry processes open up many avenues for legal discovery, particularly of information relevant to the conduct of the president and its relation to his business and other interests. Whatever steps get us there (and beyond) are important. Censure is potentially one of those steps.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:35 AM on July 15 [8 favorites]


I kinda hope the mods delete both my comment and the one I'm replying to, but doesn't an impeachment vote without a removal from office also leave us with nothing (again)?

There has never been a removal, but I don't think anybody is going to say that the process of impeachment has never had an effect.
posted by rhizome at 11:43 AM on July 15 [14 favorites]


Regardless of what material effect it has on who gets to be in the White House, impeachment is a scarlet letter for future history. Only two presidents have ever been impeached, and it’s the thing they are most remembered for and always will be. It may not help us now, but it’s definitely not a meaningless gesture.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:44 AM on July 15 [22 favorites]


Beyond the utility of getting incumbent politicians on record before the 2020 elections

This may have negative utility, especially in some purple districts. There is a reason politicians don't like going on the record about things, and it's because it makes it harder for them to be elected. I mean going on the record about anything, not just impeachment. Whatever position they take, there are going to be some people who disagree with that position, who may have supported the politician if they had said nothing. Plus every position they take reduces their room to negotiate (since they can't trade votes or make threats about voting for stuff they have already pre-committed on.)

open up many avenues for legal discovery, particularly of information relevant to the conduct of the president and its relation to his business and other interests

An impeachment inquiry may make it easier to justify to the courts why they are entitled to this or that piece of information, but an impeachment vote puts an end to all impeachment inquiries.
posted by OnceUponATime at 11:45 AM on July 15 [6 favorites]


. . doesn't an impeachment vote without a removal from office also leave us with nothing
It helps the House honor and fulfill their duty to impeach, helps them do that a great deal actually. One of the core purposes of the United States Constitution is to prevent tyranny. That’s why the authors of the Constitution distributed power among the president, Congress and the judiciary.

Impeachment inquiry and/or proceedings is the constitutional duty of House Democrats, even if not politically 'advantageous' for them.
posted by Harry Caul at 11:57 AM on July 15 [15 favorites]


Republicans start whacking Trump for attacks on congresswomen (Politico)
The pushback on Monday marked some of the strongest condemnations Trump's received from his party, which began with a trickle and then threatened to widen as Trump escalated his attacks in remarks to reporters. Several Republicans called Trump's comments "racist," a description rarely used against the president by members of the GOP. [...]

"Instead of sharing how the Democratic Party’s far-left, pro-socialist policies... are wrong for the future of our nation, the President interjected with unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language," said Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the only black Republican senator. "No matter our political disagreements, aiming for the lowest common denominator will only divide our nation further.”

Trumps "tweets from this weekend were racist and he should apologize. We must work as a country to rise above hate, not enable it," said Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio). [...] Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said Trump “was wrong to say any American citizen, whether in Congress or not, has any ‘home’ besides the U.S.,” advocating for the defeat of Democrats in next year’s election. [...]

Trump defended himself before reporters Monday, saying his statements were "not at all" racist and that the congresswomen "hate our country." On Twitter, Trump also endorsed Graham's attack on the progressive congresswomen while not addressing the criticism. Trump also reiterated that the four women should leave the country if they don't like it here. [...]

"There is no excuse for the president’s spiteful comments – they were absolutely unacceptable and this needs to stop," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska.). "Instead of digging deeper into the mud with personal, vindictive insults – we must demand a higher standard of decorum and decency."
posted by Little Dawn at 12:03 PM on July 15 [12 favorites]


Graham lost all shame in his capitulation to Trump. Here he is, parroting Trump on Fox this morning (w/video via Aaron Rupar): "We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country. They're calling the guards along our border concentration camp guards. They accuse people who support Israel of doing it for {air quotes} the Benjamins. They're socialists. They're ant-Semitic. They're anti-America." So naturally @realDonaldTrump retweeted him.

The Republican Jewish Coalition also retweeted Graham, with the caption "He isn't wrong", although to be fair this is really just them reiterating their support for concentration camps, ethnic cleansing, and state-sponsored bigotry rather than a new announcement.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:12 PM on July 15 [4 favorites]


Toomey’s statement is pretty much yeah they’re evil socialists but Trump was wrong in that they were born here which is pretty much having cake and eating it territory

It's providing a template for some other Republican politicians to criticize Trump while still attacking Democrats:

From Sen. Tim Scott's (R-SC) statement: "Instead of sharing how the Democratic Party's far-left, pro-socialist policies—not to mention the hateful language some of their members have used towards law enforcement and Jews—are wrong for the future of our nation, the President interjected with unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language. No matter our political disagreements, aiming for the lowest common denominator will only divide our nation further." (Well, at least this admits that racism is a common denominator in today's GOP.)

See also Axios: Republican Backlash Trickles In On Trump's Racist Tweets

The Treasury's event on cryptocurrencies today was derailed by the topic of Trump's racist tweets, Aaron Rupar reports (w/video): "Steve Mnuchin on if he finds Trump's racist tweets to be racist: "I don't find them racist. The president just went on and clarified his comments. I think he speaks for himself on that, and he was very clear. But again, we're focused on cryptocurrency.""
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:14 PM on July 15 [9 favorites]


Future students of history should note that the most prominent Republican criticism of Trump’s tweets thus far consisted of Senator Graham saying that the President should “aim higher” and eschew personal attacks against political opponents... who, by the way, “hate our country”.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:16 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


‘Many people agree with me’: Trump digs in on racist tweets (AP)
Among the few GOP lawmakers commenting, Rep. Pete Olson of Texas said Trump’s Sunday tweet was “not reflective of the values of the 1,000,000+ people” in his district. “We are proud to be the most diverse Congressional district in America. I urge our President immediately disavow his comments,” he wrote.
Maine GOP Senator Susan Collins chimes in to criticize Trump's tweets (Guardian)
Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) GOP ME Sen Susan Collins: I disagree strongly with many of the views and comments of some of the far-left members of the House Democratic Caucus..but the President’s tweet that some Members of Congress should go back to the ‘places from which they came’ was way over the line July 15, 2019
posted by Little Dawn at 12:22 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


Future students of history should note that the most prominent Republican criticism of Trump’s tweets thus far consisted of Senator Graham saying that the President should “aim higher” and eschew personal attacks against political opponents... who, by the way, “hate our country”.

And which Trump apparently read as meaning he should be criticizing higher-profile Democrats, since his comments included "These are congresswomen. What am I supposed to do, just wait for senators?"

Sundown comes earlier and earlier every day....
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:31 PM on July 15 [6 favorites]


Axios: Republican Backlash Trickles In On Trump's Racist Tweets

But not this profile in pusillanimity, NYMag's Yashi Ali reports (w/video): "When asked by @AlisonNBCBoston if Trump’s tweets are racist, @MittRomney says “that’s all I’ve got, thanks.”"

Or Larry Kudlow "Look, I’m not going to go there. That’s way out of my lane. He’s tweeted what he’s tweeted, you’ll have to talk to him about that."

WBAL's Bryan Nehman: “Maryland Congressman @RepAndyHarrisMD tells me President Trump's tweets this weekend were "clearly not racist" and that "he could have meant go back to the district they came from--to the neighborhood they came from."”

Meanwhile, the AP reports on the sentencing of Heather Heyer's murderer: Fields Gets Life Plus 419 Years On State Charges

"James Alex Fields Jr. was sentenced Monday to life plus 419 years for killing one person and injuring dozens during the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017. Judge Richard Moore formally imposed the sentence recommended by a Virginia jury that convicted Fields in December. Fields, of Maumee, Ohio, was sentenced last month to life in prison on 29 federal hate crime charges."
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:33 PM on July 15 [18 favorites]


CNN Exclusive: Security reports reveal how Assange turned an embassy into a command post for election meddling
Days later, on July 18, while the Republican National Convention kicked off in Cleveland, an embassy security guard broke protocol by abandoning his post to receive a package outside the embassy from a man in disguise. The man covered his face with a mask and sunglasses and was wearing a backpack, according to surveillance images obtained by CNN.

The security company saw this unfold on surveillance footage and recommended that the guard be replaced. But the Ecuadorian government kept him on the job.

On that same day, according to the Mueller report, WikiLeaks informed the Russian hackers that it had received the files and was preparing to release them soon.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:42 PM on July 15 [32 favorites]


I still want to know if Putin-Assange was responsible for the Brexit referendum result
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:48 PM on July 15 [11 favorites]


The real quesiton they should be asking Republicans is if, given that the tweets are racist, Trump is ever going to sincerely apologize or change in any way. And if they don't expetct he will, why this an acceptable state of affairs. Could he ever go too far, in their minds? What's the limit for acceptable racism?

They sucked his brains out!: Beyond the utility of getting incumbent politicians on record before the 2020 elections, impeachment inquiry processes open up many avenues for legal discovery, particularly of information relevant to the conduct of the president and its relation to his business and other interests.

I could be wrong, but: this is only with respect to the House's own rules regarding impeachment, and it can modify those rules how it likes. There is no written judicial or legal principle that says impeachment means business whereas non-impeachment is weaksauce.

One reason I harp on this is that both Republicans and certain Democrats are all too happy to spread a notion of present powerlessness, forcing a false dichomoty between bringing out the big guns (though the weight of those guns is itself an unclear fact) and doing nothing (e.g just plain not showing up to subpoenas).

wierdo: One of the core purposes of the United States Constitution is to prevent tyranny. That’s why the authors of the Constitution distributed power among the president, Congress and the judiciary.

Impeachment inquiry and/or proceedings is the constitutional duty of House Democrats, even if not politically 'advantageous' for them.


This is not much of a good reason at all. The founders also intended something like a democracy where every voice (well, white male voice, but setting that aside) has a real say in who runs the government. Therefore, when you go to the ballot box, your duty is to vote for your favorite candidate period, even if they're a fringe fourth-partier. Right? No, of course not. You have to sacrifice that for the sake of cold pragmatism, unfortunately. It's an imperfect system, just like one that allows for the partisan capture of justice that we see today.

Pelosi thinks the calculus is such that staying the course keeps Democratic chances healthily above the waterline, whereas impeachment rocks the boat hard enough that we could all tumble overboard, e.g because low-infor voters will go from "Huh, this guy seems corrupt and racist" to "I guess he was innocent after all!" just as soon as the Senate (in total dereliction of its duty) finds not-guilty. She's absolutely wrong on that calculus. But she's not wrong about priorities. If impeachment really does guarantee a Trump re-election, that's game over for the Constitution. Following a supposed constitutional duty to that end is contradictory. The obligation instead is to do whatever it takes to win, whether that's impeachment, or "bread and butter issues", or a Green New Deal, or wearing Juggalo outfits. (I think it's impeachment. The impeachable issues are never going to go away and we need to play offense.)
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:51 PM on July 15 [5 favorites]


The Squad (tm) are holding a press conference on the recent racist attacks from the president, today at 5:00pm.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:54 PM on July 15 [9 favorites]


"Instead of sharing how the Democratic Party’s far-left, pro-socialist policies... are wrong for the future of our nation, the President interjected with unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language," said Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) (emphasis added)

Note that while Trump's overt, unmistakable racism might be a bridge too far for some Republicans, they're still happy to run with Newt Gingrich's dishonest, divisive, hyper-partisan playbook even when criticizing Trump.
posted by Gelatin at 12:55 PM on July 15 [9 favorites]


Going solely by the trickle of Republican Senators to have spoken out so far, attacking overt racism while still endorsing cryptofascism entails an act of extraordinary courage
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:00 PM on July 15 [12 favorites]


WaPo staff photographer Jabin Botsford zooms in on Trump’s notes at the podium today: “@realDonaldTrump notes today on @AOC and @IlhanMN flipped and rotated #for your viewing pleasure.” (Featuring big fonts, short sentences, and lots of underlining in magic marker.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:33 PM on July 15 [8 favorites]


Trump's notes from today's presser.

He has no idea how to spell.
posted by waitingtoderail at 1:33 PM on July 15 [5 favorites]


Connecticut has lots of working-class Italian-Americans (you people not from here might be surprised how many there are). I know quite a few, and a large majority of them are Tr*mp supporters. So I posted this to my Facebook page; we'll see what kind of responses I get ...

Italian-American Trump supporters: Here's a fun fact for you ... There was once a time recently, within Donald Trump's lifetime, that Italians weren't considered "white." Don't take my word for it; look it up for yourself.

How would you feel if some racist douchebag told your American-born grandmother, mother, sister or daughter to "go back to the totally broken and crime infested place from which you came?”

Now do you get it?

posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:37 PM on July 15 [29 favorites]


Therefore, when you go to the ballot box, your duty is to vote for your favorite candidate period, even if they're a fringe fourth-partier. Right? No, of course not. You have to sacrifice that for the sake of cold pragmatism, unfortunately.

Following a supposed constitutional duty to that end is contradictory. The obligation instead is to do whatever it takes to win...

Applying cold pragmatism to following the Constitution seems obviously problematic, but maybe that's just me.
posted by diogenes at 1:41 PM on July 15


It appears CBS News plans to stream the Ocasio-Cortez/Omar/Pressley/Tlaib press conference.
posted by box at 1:51 PM on July 15 [7 favorites]


The Squad sure has a lot of people freaked out. My Trumpie cousins post anti-AOC stuff on Facebook, and I wonder what's so terrifying about the 430th most powerful person in the House of Representatives.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:17 PM on July 15 [13 favorites]


California Republicans face backlash for silence over Trump tweets (Politico)
Even as California Democrats universally condemned the president, the head of the California Republican Party did not respond, nor did Republican leadership in the state Legislature. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also has remained silent.

Other California Republicans have taken note of their leadership’s reluctance to speak.

Republican Assemblyman Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) was the sole GOP legislator to speak out on Twitter following the president’s Sunday tweetstorm. “This is beyond unacceptable, it is wrong and abhorrent,’’ he wrote. “Dear Fellow Republicans, we must speak out and return ourselves to decency. This cannot be who we are!”

Republican strategists and former GOP officials also lambasted Trump. That included never-Trumpers like former Arnold Schwarzenegger aide Rob Stutzman, who called Trump “a disgrace to the office” and “evil” on Twitter, and more conservative voices like Jon Fleischman, a former California Republican official and commentator who said he was “embarrassed” and urged Trump to “delete this and apologize.”

“Donald Trump is speaking to his base and has no interest in talking to the rest of America,’’ said Luis Alvarado, founder of the California-based GOP firm Latino Strategy, who noted that “you can count on one hand” the number in his party speaking out.

“It’s not an issue of partisanship,” Alvarado said. “It’s an issue of being a true believer in what American values are — and that’s why I am in disbelief that our elected officials are not standing up to Donald Trump once again.”

“Time to lead,” former California Republican Party political director Mike Madrid said in a tweet directed at California Republican Party chair Jessica Millan Patterson. “Do the right thing and denounce the racism that has consumed the party. It’s not hard to do the right thing.”
posted by Little Dawn at 2:19 PM on July 15 [5 favorites]


Trump tweets from ten minutes ago:
We will never be a Socialist or Communist Country. IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE! It is your choice, and your choice alone. This is about love for America. Certain people HATE our Country....

....They are anti-Israel, pro Al-Qaeda, and comment on the 9/11 attack, “some people did something.” Radical Left Democrats want Open Borders, which means drugs, crime, human trafficking, and much more....

....Detention facilities are not Concentration Camps! America has never been stronger than it is now – rebuilt Military, highest Stock Market EVER, lowest unemployment and more people working than ever before. Keep America Great!
posted by box at 2:20 PM on July 15 [5 favorites]


It appears CBS News plans to stream the Ocasio-Cortez/Omar/Pressley/Tlaib press conference.

@jamescdownie: Veteran Washington move by the four congresswomen to be at least 15 minutes late to their press conference.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:22 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


It's pretty disingenuous how one of the excuses for the president's racist rhetoric is that The Squad members are allegedly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. And isn't Omar the only one who's been accused of being anti-Semitic?

Trump’s latest tweets are about silencing women of color in Congress
posted by kirkaracha at 2:28 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


Rep. Ilhan Omar unloaded. I recommend you find the video and watch her wise words.
posted by mikelieman at 2:29 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


This press conference is pretty good, .

Rep. Pressley: Re Trump: "Don't take the bait." "If we improve the conditions of children in a cage, they are still in a cage." "This is a disruption and a distraction from the callous, chaotic, and corrupt culture of this administration." "Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable and just world."

Rep. Omar: "We have to take action when a president is openly violating the oath he took to the Constitution of the United States." "Right now, the president is carrying out mass deportation raids across the country." "The president is committing human rights abuses at the border." "Credibly accused of committing multiple crimes, including colluding with foreign governments to influence our election..." "This is a president who has said 'grab women by the pussy'.' 'This is a president who has called people from black and brown countries 'shitholes.' 'He's launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly-elected members of the US House of Representatives, all of whom are women of color. This is the agenda of white nationalists." "This is his plan to pit us against one another." "We can hold him accountable to his crimes." "It is time for us to stop allowing this president to make a mockery out of our constitution. It's time for us to impeach this president."
posted by box at 2:29 PM on July 15 [71 favorites]


Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: "No matter what the president says, this country belongs to you, and it belongs to everyone." "He has authorized raids without warrants on thousands of families." "He has turned our public education system into a cash cow to enrich himself and his friends." "I am not surprised at what he's doing." "We are focused on making it better, because we don't leave the things we love." "We'll stay focused on our agenda, and we won't get caught slippin', because all of this is a distraction from what's most important."

Rep. Tlaib, who spoke faster than I can reliably live-transcribe: "We cannot allow these hateful actions by the president to distract us from the critical work of holding this administration accountable." "He and his administration are continually engaging in acts that harm people in this country. "His utter disregard and disrespect of the US Constitution." "We remain focused on holding him accountable to the laws of the land."

A reporter asks Rep. Omar about the president's remarks that she is a communist and pro-Al-Qaeda:

"Every single person that's brown and black, at some point in this country, heard [Go back where you came from]. So I will not dignify that with an answer. I don't expect that every time there's a white man that kills in a school or movie theater or mosque or synagogue--I don't expect why white community members to respond on whether they love that person or not. It is beyond time to ask Muslims to condemn terrorists. We will no longer allow the dignification of such a ridiculous statement."

A reporter asks whether statements the four have made have given Trump ammunition:

Rep. Omar: "Every single statement that we make is from a position of extreme love for every single person in this country." "We are fighting every single day to create a more perfect union, and fighting on their behalf." "When this president ran, he talked about everything that is wrong in this country." "For him to condemn us... complete hypocrisy."

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: "I don't think it would've changed anything, because he was making statements that were completely untrue." "Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy. This president does not know how to make the argument that Americans do not deserve health care... And so he attacks us personally."

As things are wrapping up, a reporter asks if Omar denounces al-Qaeda. She does not reply.

(Transcripts probably aren't perfect, so, if that's a priority, it's probably best to wait for someone else's.)
posted by box at 2:41 PM on July 15 [41 favorites]


I'm very impressed by the skillful way these congresswomen threaded the needle between dismissing Trump's rhetoric ("this is a disruption and a distraction") and driving home the grave danger of his policies. His hateful tweets gave them a much larger platform than they would have otherwise gotten, but instead of making it about him and his own bigotry, which would have just fed his narcissism, they used that platform to make it about how he's codifying bigotry into law and using the apparatus of the state to maintain white supremacy.

I saw four great candidates for Speaker of the House at that podium today.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:45 PM on July 15 [58 favorites]




"Every single person that's brown and black, at some point in this country, heard [Go back where you came from]. So I will not dignify that with an answer. I don't expect that every time there's a white man that kills in a school or movie theater or mosque or synagogue--I don't expect why white community members to respond on whether they love that person or not. It is beyond time to ask Muslims to condemn terrorists. We will no longer allow the dignification of such a ridiculous statement."

YES, YES, YES!

Pretty much from the DAY of 9/11, I have been sick and tired of this idea that individual Muslims have some kind of responsibility to loudly proclaim that they condemn the terrorists. FUCK THAT NOISE. The very suggestion that you can assume Muslims support terrorism unless they specifically state otherwise is moronic, racist, and insulting to everyone's intelligence.

It's so refreshing to hear a Muslim politician push back against this horseshit. Especially since I know how difficult it is to do, and especially for someone as under the spotlight as Omar. BRAVA.
posted by CommonSense at 2:49 PM on July 15 [61 favorites]


AOC: "Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy. This president does not know how to make the argument that Americans do not deserve health care... And so he attacks us personally."


Or, as I've long stated in Internet pissing-matches, "First person to ad-hom. loses".
posted by mikelieman at 3:03 PM on July 15 [12 favorites]


"I saw four great candidates for Speaker of the House at that podium today."

Whoa there. All four are capable, inspirational pols who have done much to advance their issues into the national dialog, but it doesn't seem like those skills are necessarily the same ones required for the Speakership, which is about counting money and votes.

If Pelosi has been especially disappointing lately (and I think she has been), I think it can be traced back to her defeat on the DHS funding bill. She thought she had the votes to get and keep the "tougher" House version of the bill and force the Senate to compromise, instead. She didn't learn she had lost centrist D votes until midday, hours after her office had issued a triumphant tweet. It was a humiliating defeat, and also one that struck at her Special Move ("Pelosi always knows the vote count."). Ever since she's been tacking back to the right so those moderate D votes aren't pushed to/given the opportunity to defect again. Would any of the Squad be willing -- or able -- to make that kind of pragmatic shift if required to maintain the majority?
posted by notyou at 3:16 PM on July 15 [14 favorites]


Elect a few more than 4 members and they'll be in a position to make demands like the moderates do. Only instead of "let us go home for 4th of July to call our billionaire donors" they can demand "let the fucking kids out of the fucking cages".
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:23 PM on July 15 [22 favorites]


“White House counselor Kellyanne Conway will ignore a congressional subpoena at the request of President Donald Trump, refusing to testify about a government watchdog's findings that she broke the law dozens of times, the White House said.”

So, you can just ...ignore those things then? Cool.
posted by The Whelk at 3:35 PM on July 15 [19 favorites]


She didn't learn she had lost centrist D votes until midday, hours after her office had issued a triumphant tweet. It was a humiliating defeat, and also one that struck at her Special Move ("Pelosi always knows the vote count."). Ever since she's been tacking back to the right so those moderate D votes aren't pushed to/given the opportunity to defect again.

re: "moderate D votes"
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
posted by mikelieman at 3:39 PM on July 15 [28 favorites]


AP: Trump Nominates Esper To Be Defense Chief, Succeeding Mattis
President Donald Trump on Monday asked the Senate to confirm Mark Esper as the successor to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, whose resignation last December opened an unprecedented period of senior-level instability at the Pentagon.

The moment the nomination was received by the Senate on Monday afternoon, Esper was required to step out of his role as acting defense secretary — a job he has held since June — until he is confirmed as the permanent secretary. He reverted to his previous position of Army secretary.

Filling in for Esper pending his confirmation is Richard Spencer, who has been the civilian leader of the Navy since August 2017.
This makes Spencer the third acting Secretary of Defense this year. (And no, not that Richard Spencer.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:03 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


This makes Spencer the third acting Secretary of Defense this year.

For perspective, since the position was created in 1947 until the Trump administration there have been a total of two acting Secretaries of Defense who served for a combined 99 days (under Nixon and GHWB). It's another superlative for Trump, more acting Secretaries of Defense serving for longer (194 days and counting) than all previous administrations combined.
posted by peeedro at 4:10 PM on July 15 [5 favorites]


Rust Moranis: This is only possible when it isn't only two parties with one party being an insane death cult and the other party defining itself as "at least we're not the insane death cult." Our system of checks and balances has been entirely and irrevocably converted into a system of making sure as much fascism as possible happens (not that far off from the original intent of checks and balances TBH) and a balance between socialism and barbarism is not something to strive for.

For those of us not terribly well read on this, could you elaborate on the bold point? I'd appreciate it
posted by JoeXIII007 at 4:12 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


Carve those four faces on the side of Mt Impeachmore.
posted by adept256 at 4:43 PM on July 15 [19 favorites]


So, you can just ...ignore those things then? Cool.

Until Congress figures out an enforcement mechanism, yep. Barr's comment to Pelosi about how she doesn't have any handcuffs for him was not a joke. These people are above the law, and they are flaunting it.
posted by The World Famous at 4:49 PM on July 15 [29 favorites]


Whoa there. All four are capable, inspirational pols who have done much to advance their issues into the national dialog, but it doesn't seem like those skills are necessarily the same ones required for the Speakership, which is about counting money and votes.

This is debatable, though. It would be worth seeing how we can be a party of actual leadership, like, you know, having a backbone and being willing to stand up for your values, instead of capitulate to Republicans to usher in a glorious age of *checks notes* Republican-lite centrism.
posted by odinsdream at 5:52 PM on July 15 [12 favorites]


George Will doesn’t have the same amount of influence as a conservative pundit that he did 25 years ago, but he’s at least making the right mouth noises about Trump:
"I believe that what this president has done to our culture, to our civic discourse ... you cannot unring these bells and you cannot unsay what he has said, and you cannot change that he has now in a very short time made it seem normal for schoolboy taunts and obvious lies to be spun out in a constant stream. I think this will do more lasting damage than Richard Nixon's surreptitious burglaries did."
posted by darkstar at 5:54 PM on July 15 [21 favorites]


It's another superlative for Trump, more acting Secretaries of Defense serving for longer (194 days and counting) than all previous administrations combined.

To be fair, he's our first Acting! President. Seriously, does anyone think he would ever have won if he hadn't pretended to be a competent, decisive business leader on TV?
posted by kirkaracha at 6:24 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


“White House counselor Kellyanne Conway will ignore a congressional subpoena at the request of President Donald Trump, refusing to testify about a government watchdog's findings that she broke the law dozens of times, the White House said.”

Meanwhile, her husband George has written a new op-ed for the WaPo: Trump Is a Racist President
To this day, I can remember almost the precise spot where it happened: a supermarket parking lot in eastern Massachusetts. It was the mid-1970s; I was not yet a teenager, or barely one. I don’t remember exactly what precipitated the woman’s ire. But I will never forget what she said to my mother, who had come to this country from the Philippines decades before. In these words or something close, the woman said, “Go back to your country.”
He then switches from his experiences growing up in America and hopeful of its ideals to his naiveté about who Trump really is and what that means for the nation:
[…]I thought, President Trump was boorish, dim-witted, inarticulate, incoherent, narcissistic and insensitive. He’s a pathetic bully but an equal-opportunity bully — in his uniquely crass and crude manner, he’ll attack anyone he thinks is critical of him. No matter how much I found him ultimately unfit, I still gave him the benefit of the doubt about being a racist. No matter how much I came to dislike him, I didn’t want to think that the president of the United States is a racial bigot.

But Sunday left no doubt. Naivete, resentment and outright racism, roiled in a toxic mix, have given us a racist president. Trump could have used vile slurs, including the vilest of them all, and the intent and effect would have been no less clear. Telling four non-white members of Congress — American citizens all, three natural-born — to “go back” to the “countries” they “originally came from”? That’s racist to the core. It doesn’t matter what these representatives are for or against — and there’s plenty to criticize them for — it’s beyond the bounds of human decency. For anyone, not least a president.
I can't imagine tonight's conversation at the Conway home as anything but awful, one way or another.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:30 PM on July 15 [17 favorites]


Trump talks up success of raids, despite little evidence of widespread deportations (Politico)
President Donald Trump on Monday asserted that the mass-deportation raids he confirmed and publicized last week took place, despite few signs of removals being carried out at the scale he promised. [...] despite reports of more routine, smaller removal operations over the weekend, according to multiple media reports and immigration advocacy groups, there was no sign of the wide-scale blitz Trump warned of.

[...] “I spoke to the head of ICE, I spoke to a couple of people,” he told reporters. “We had many people, it was a very successful day.” He began to explain why “you didn’t see a lot of it,” but trailed off and predicted that reporters would hear more about the operation later. “I’m not sure they should be telling you, but it was a lot.”
Nobody Opened the Door’: Neighbors Rally During an ICE Raid in Houston (NYT)
With widespread publicity about the raids, many undocumented migrants have been counseled to avoid opening their doors.

Neighbors, immigration lawyers and migrant rights advocates are issuing warnings when any ICE agents are spotted. Following any report of a raid — real or rumored — the news media descends within minutes [...]

President Trump said on Monday that the raids that began over the weekend were “very successful,” though it wasn’t clear what operations he was referring to. Immigrant lawyers and advocacy groups reported only scattered raids that seemed to result in relatively few arrests.
posted by Little Dawn at 6:43 PM on July 15 [6 favorites]


Also from the Washington Post, Max Boot on I may not agree with AOC’s squad, but they are better Americans than Trump:
All Republicans who stand mute in the face of Trump’s latest racism are telling you who they really are. It’s an ugly picture of a morally bankrupt party that has now embraced racial prejudice as a platform.

I am ashamed to have spent most of my life as a Republican.
posted by Slothrup at 6:52 PM on July 15 [27 favorites]


The highbrow, conservative National Review is not a fan ...

Donald Trump’s Tweets Were Malicious, and Republican Silence is Deafening
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:03 PM on July 15 [19 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Good News ™️ “Congratulations to @CandiCdeBaca, the first democratic socialist ever elected to Denver city council. We are thrilled to fight alongside her for a Denver that works for all of us.”
posted by The Whelk at 7:04 PM on July 15 [18 favorites]


Man who spends most of his time complaining about America says that people who spend most of their time complaining about America should leave.
posted by clawsoon at 7:23 PM on July 15 [34 favorites]


All Republicans who stand mute in the face of Trump’s latest racism are telling you who they really are.

Some Republicans are standing anything but mute about Trump's racism, and not in a good way.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT): "Montanans are sick and tired of listening to anti-American, anti-Semite, radical Democrats trash our country and our ideals. This is America. We’re the greatest country in the world. I stand with @realdonaldtrump. 🇺🇸"

Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA) "There’s no question that the members of Congress that @realDonaldTrump called out have absolutely said anti-American and anti-Semitic things. I’ll pay for their tickets out of this country if they just tell me where they’d rather be."

With those in mind, here's what Rep. Omar said on to Rachel Maddow's show this evening: "[Trump]'s called on us to go back and fight corruption and fight these countries that have ... inept leaders. Well, we are living in one. He is that president. He is corrupt. He is the worst president we've had. He is inept. And we're going to call him out."
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:28 PM on July 15 [36 favorites]


Any idea what the word "HOLLYWOOD" written about halfway down Trump's notes means? The next word is obscured. Please tell me it isn't the beginning of the word "PEOPLE".
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:35 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


I don't know, but did you see the top of his notes refer to Omar's comments with the words "ALCAIDA" and "SOME PEOPEL"?.... This man is president.
posted by xammerboy at 7:41 PM on July 15 [18 favorites]


Are there any concrete benefits to impeachment?

Impeachment inquiries allow Democrats to ask for information, request materials, subpoena witnesses, get tax info, see the full Mueller report, and expedite court cases in ways they can't now.

Short of impeachment, congress can also censure the president for his actions. Declaring his actions unconstitutional formally would be precedent setting (i.e. make it harder to do in the future). Doing nothing has legal ramifications as well. Some will argue Democrats' silence equals assent.

Finally, in the same way that Trump used Clinton's vote for the Iraq war against her, you can bank on future politicians using Democrat's failure to hold Trump accountable against them. This strategy will not come without a cost.
posted by xammerboy at 8:13 PM on July 15 [16 favorites]


Nancy Pelosi Says House Dems Are Drafting Resolution Condemning Trump’s Racist Tweets, which would require Republicans to go on record either supporting or denouncing him.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 8:26 PM on July 15 [5 favorites]


From MIRAC - Minnesota Immigrants Rights Action Committee:

At 7:20 a.m. Monday morning, July 15, 2019, MIRAC members got notice that ICE was outside a home around 42nd and Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis. Three of us arrived there within minutes to witness two unmarked all-black SUVs and 1 pickup stopped in the far left lane blocking traffic surrounding a car.

We were too late. This person was most likely following the ‘know your rights’ advice that has been given to the community and did not open his car door. The ICE officers then proceeded to bust out the back window of his car to reach in, unlock the doors and drag this man to the ground.

An observer was across the street, yelling over two lanes of traffic, telling ICE that she wanted to see the warrant. The ICE officer moved his hand over his holster and told her not to dare to cross the street or move any closer to them. At one point the man told the ICE officers to please give his car keys to the observer and ICE told her that if she wanted to see any paperwork to meet them at their “office”...

...Minneapolis was not on the list of cities that were supposed to be targeted. But this is an important reminder that ICE takes people away every day in our communities, not just when the president publicly announces it...


Jack-booted thugs.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:46 PM on July 15 [38 favorites]


That Squad Press Conference was a rare moment of beauty. When was the last time we saw four men graciously and effectively share a political stage anywhere, for any reason? From a place of love, these women spoke truth to power, repeatedly, while clearly delineating their (I'd say utterly sane and necessary) policy goals of universal health insurance and good healthcare, working to aggressively reverse climate change, making certain each American has a good education through college sans debt, and, of course, impeaching the current executive. In ~22 minutes they provided more leadership, vision, and policy than I've seen from the actual Democratic leadership over the past 2+ years (with apologies to Ms. Waters, Mr. Schiff, and your favorite member of The House).

I appreciate The Squad's not allowing itself to be boxed in by the distractions of the right nor by the calculations of its own Democratic leadership, and instead assertively advocating for what they've been elected to do, and also for inviting us to join them in the work. This was, and they are, deeply heartening.
posted by riverlife at 9:06 PM on July 15 [52 favorites]


ADL Condemns President Trump's Racist Tweets and His Use of Israel and Jews as a Shield
The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) today condemned President Trump’s racist tweets about four U.S. congresswomen, in which he said they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” and his defense of these remarks by saying the congresswomen hate Israel and are anti-Semitic.

“As Jews, we are all too familiar with this kind of divisive prejudice,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director. “While ADL has publicly disagreed with these congresswomen on some issues, the president is echoing the racist talking points of white nationalists and cynically using the Jewish people and the state of Israel as a shield to double down on his remarks. Politicizing the widespread, bipartisan support for Israel and throwing around accusations of anti-Semitism is damaging to the security of Israel and the Jewish community. He should lead by example, stop politicizing these issues and stop smearing members of Congress.”
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:41 PM on July 15 [33 favorites]


Are there any concrete benefits to impeachment?

Were there any benefits to Republicans holding 10000 Benghazi hearings? Did repeating Clinton's supposed "crimes" every day for 5 years have any effect on her public perception and the media narrative coloring her 2016 campaign? Beyond even the whole "it's your constitutional duty" thing, we're being told, without one shred of evidence, that there are not any benefits whatsoever, and holding impeachment hearings can only hurt Democrat's chances to win in 2020. When that's not at all what polls show.

Except if your only definition of a valid sample population is "1,003 likely general-election voters who are white and have two years or less of college education".

Even if they did, leadership is not even trying to influence the public narrative, they're letting Trump define every single news cycle. You know what is a big damn stick that the media couldn't ignore like they ignore all your precious message bills (that Democrats aren't even passing any of)? Impeachment. It's the one thing they have to change the tone. That they're too craven to use.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:54 PM on July 15 [27 favorites]


Twitter's new anti-hate policies bar attacks on people on the basis of their race, ethnicity or national origin, but Twitter says Trump's racist tweets don't break its rules.
posted by peeedro at 9:59 PM on July 15 [7 favorites]


Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT): "Montanans are sick and tired of listening to anti-American, anti-Semite, radical Democrats trash our country and our ideals. This is America. We’re the greatest country in the world. I stand with @realdonaldtrump. 🇺🇸"
Oh, those proud Montanan ideals and values and those upstanding Montana Republicans.

Today I saw a poster on the front door of a house that was just an enlarged photo of a pile of dead Jews with "Shouldn't Have Given Up Your Guns" beneath it.

Yesterday on a local facebook political discussion page I excerpted some text about the mistreatment of migrant children and someone replied to me with this charming meme. The guy's name was familiar so I looked him up to find that he's the mayor of the closest town to me with a stoplight and a supermarket. The mayor. The mayor. The mayor.

Today a federal judge found that Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin owes a local Jewish family $14 million for orchestrating an online harassment campaign against them. Between Anglin and the family, I know for a goddamned fact who loves Trump and who hates him. I also know that I haven't heard a single fucking peep against Anglin from a single Montanan conservative for the 2 or 3 years that this case has been going through. And I know what kind of judges the GOP is currently putting in place to outweigh this one for the rest of our lives.

You're right Steve: this is in fact America. 🇺🇸
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:30 PM on July 15 [23 favorites]


@thedailyshow: "Hey media, need to write a headline about Trump being racist, but don't want to call him a racist? Try our Trump Racist Euphemism Headline Generator!"

Where you will find such gems as:

TRUMP DIPS TOE IN POOL OF ETHNICALLY INSENSITIVE KERFLUFLLE

TRUMP TIPTOES AROUND EDGE OF RACIALLY IMBUED BROUHAHA

TRUMP STROLLS ALONG BANKS OF RACE-ADJACENT OOPSIE-DAISY
posted by Rhaomi at 10:51 PM on July 15 [20 favorites]


It's the racism. But it's not just the racism. It's sex crimes. But it's not just the sex crimes. It's the concentration camps. But it's not just the concentration camps. It's the corruption. But it's not just the corruption.

It's being a traitor. But it's not just being a traitor. It's the obstruction of justice but its not just the obstruction of justice. It's the attacks on rule of law. But it's not just the attacks on the rule of law. It's the assault on freedom of the press.

But it's not just the assault on freedom of the press. It's the pathological lying. But it's not just the pathological lying. It's the unfitness for office. But it's not just the unfitness for office. It's the incompetence. But it's not just the incompetence.

It's the attacks on our most important allies and alliances. But it's not just the attacks on most important allies and alliances. It's the systematic destruction of our environment. But it's not just the systematic destruction of our environment.

It's the violation of international treaties and agreements. But it is not just the violation of international treaties and agreements. It's the embrace of our enemies. But it is not just the embrace of our enemies.

It's the defense of murdering dictators but it is not just the defense of murdering dictators. It is the serial undermining of our national security. But it is not just the serial undermining of our national security. It is the nepotism. But it's not just the nepotism.

It's the attacks on our federal law enforcement and intelligence communities. But it is not just the attacks on our federal law enforcement and intelligence communities. It's the fiscal recklessness. But it's not just the fiscal recklessness.

It's the degradation of the office and of public discourse in America. But it's not just the degradation of the office and of public discourse in America. It's the support of Nazis and white supremacists. But it's not just the support of Nazis and white supremacists.

It's the dead in Puerto Rico and the at the border. But it's not just the dead in Puerto Rico and at the border. It's turning the US government into a criminal conspiracy to empower and enrich the president and his supporters.

But it's not just the turning the US government into a criminal conspiracy to empower and enrich the president and his supporters. It's weaponization of politics in America to attack the weak. But it's not just the weaponization of American politics to attack the weak.

It's all these things together and the threat of worse to come. It is the damage that can not be undone. It is pathology that has overtaken our politics and our society, the revelation that 40 percent of the population and an entire political party are profoundly immoral.

It is a disease that has infected our system and is killing it. At the moment, we still have the wherewithal to fight back. But even those who recognize the dangers of this litany of crimes are proving too complacent, too inert in the face of this threat.

MORE HERE
posted by growabrain at 12:57 AM on July 16 [43 favorites]


There’s a pretty good graphic linked in that Twitter thread that lays out all the high crimes and misdemeanors, too.

You know, in case anyone needed, say, an outline for drafting an important congressional document...
posted by darkstar at 1:39 AM on July 16 [10 favorites]


Naive red herring question & possible derail, but I'm posting this question because I'd like to learn more about the history of this type of rhetoric, and it seems timely:

Not criticizing the Squad, who were awesome and said a lot that needs to be repeated a lot.

But one thing I see nativists/racists/fascists doing is claiming the mantle of "real Americans" and the people they accuse of not being "real Americans"...not accusing the nativists of being false Americans. Rhetorically it seems like the most obvious thing to say to me (very fraught hypothetical response to Trump's racist tweets follows) - "No, America is an inclusive, tolerant nation of immigrants with a long history of fighting bigots and winning. The Civil War, the struggle for women's rights, the fight against trusts, World War II, the struggle against Jim Crow; these were battles against racist, bigoted, power-hungry tyrants, battles that define what it is to be American. When you go against the values of our history, the values of freedom, liberty, and justice for all, you are the most un-American thing possible, and your values have no place in this great country."

The patriotism angle. It feels like it should be used more often by the Democrats, but isn't, and it feels like the Squad had a perfect stage to use it here. Again, I think the response today was awesome, but it's not how my instincts would lead me to phrase a response were I in their shoes. I would have tossed the accusation of being un-American right back. 'Cause Trump isn't, in any sense that I can recognize, American. He is the rot of the monopolist, the church bomber, the lynch mob, the eugenicist. Things that go distinctly against American values.

Are there explainers/pieces out there I can read about why that is, or are there some examples in the news about why my perceived lack of "progressive patriotism" among Trump's most frequent verbal opponents is wrong?

FWIW, I'm from Minnesota, love Omar, donate, and spend hours a day glowering over my laptop reading news. Warren for president etc. I try to stay informed, but this is puzzling to me, and I would very much like to know what current reading about the question has to say.
posted by saysthis at 2:47 AM on July 16 [4 favorites]


(very fraught hypothetical response to Trump's racist tweets follows) - "No, America is an inclusive, tolerant nation of immigrants with a long history of fighting bigots and winning. The Civil War, the struggle for women's rights, the fight against trusts, World War II, the struggle against Jim Crow; these were battles against racist, bigoted, power-hungry tyrants, battles that define what it is to be American. When you go against the values of our history, the values of freedom, liberty, and justice for all, you are the most un-American thing possible, and your values have no place in this great country."

To clarify - I know, historically speaking, this is way off and it's a lot more complicated, but this was the narrative I learned growing up, and I imagine it's still pretty close to what they teach in social studies today. What I specifically lack in my understanding is an organized academic/political/theoretical/????? framework for why the left doesn't hammer on this narrative harder while the GOP gets to flag-wave seemingly unchecked over all the wrong things.

It also could just be that I'm ignorant and not seeing left-leaning flag waving?
posted by saysthis at 2:59 AM on July 16 [2 favorites]


I just read Conway's piece. He marvels at his naiveté about race while growing up, and in giving Trump the benefit of the doubt. And then he ends with this:

"That’s racist to the core. It doesn’t matter what these representatives are for or against — and there’s plenty to criticize them for — it’s beyond the bounds of human decency. For anyone, not least a president.

What’s just as bad, though, is the virtual silence from Republican leaders and officeholders. They’re silent not because they agree with Trump. Surely they know better. They’re silent because, knowing that he’s incorrigible, they have inured themselves to his wild statements; because, knowing that he’s a fool, they don’t really take his words seriously and pretend that others shouldn’t, either; because, knowing how damaging Trump’s words are, the Republicans don’t want to give succor to their political enemies; because, knowing how vindictive, stubborn and obtusely self-destructive Trump is, they fear his wrath."

George, lose the very last of your naiveté and face it: the reason that Republican leaders have not admonished Trump is because THEY ARE RACISTS TOO. They are the racist representatives of racist constituencies.
posted by Sublimity at 3:27 AM on July 16 [21 favorites]


NYT: Tariffs on China Don’t Cover the Costs of Trump’s Trade War
[G]overnment figures show that the revenue the United States has collected from tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods is not enough to cover the cost of the president’s bailout for farmers, let alone compensate the many other industries hurt by trade tensions. The longer Mr. Trump’s dispute with China drags on, the more difficult it could be for him to ignore that gap.

Mr. Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports raised $20.8 billion through Wednesday, according to data from United States Customs and Border Protection. Mr. Trump has already committed to paying American farmers hurt by the trade war $28 billion.

The president has rolled out two rounds of financial support for farmers: a $12 billion package that was announced last July, of which nearly $10 billion has been spent, and an additional $16 billion announced in May.

The government has provided no such benefit to the myriad other businesses, including plane makers, technology companies and medical device manufacturers, that have lost contracts and revenue as a result of Mr. Trump’s tariffs and China’s retaliation against American goods.
Reuters: China Says Trump 'Misleading' People Linking Trade Deal, Slowing Economy

CNN: US Government Is Running Out of Money Faster Than Expected, Mnuchin Warns
In a letter to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mnuchin wrote that the US might default on its obligations as soon as early September, before Congress returns from its summer recess.

"Based on updated projections, there is a scenario in which we run of out cash in early September, before Congress reconvenes," Mnuchin wrote in a letter.

The federal government has not been able to borrow money since March, when congressionally-mandated borrowing limits went back into force. The US Treasury, which is facing a growing deficit thanks in part to President Donald Trump's 2017 tax cuts, had said it had enough cash to last until the fall.
WaPo: US Budget Deficit Jumps 23% Through June
The U.S. budget deficit increased by $140 billion during the first nine months of this budget year to $747.1 billion as government revenues and spending both hit records.

The Treasury Department reported Thursday that the deficit for the current fiscal year through June is up 23.1% over the same period a year ago with receipts rising by 2.7% while spending increased 6.6%.

The Trump administration is forecasting that the deficit for the full budget year, which ends on Sept. 30, will top $1 trillion, up from a deficit of $779 billion last year.

The Congressional Budget Office is not quite so pessimistic for this year, forecasting a deficit of $896 billion this year. But the CBO projects that deficits will top $1 trillion beginning in 2022 and will remain above $1 trillion annually through 2029.
Politico: Threat of Budget Disaster Rises Amid Discord In Both Parties (and that's a headline from last week)
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:39 AM on July 16 [6 favorites]


Just reflecting on Lindsey Graham’s support of Trump after his racist comments attacking the congresswomen this week...

...and contrasting that with how Graham described Trump when they were both running as Republican candidates for President in 2015:
“He is a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. He doesn’t represent my party. He doesn’t represent the values that the men and women are fighting for. ...He is putting our soldiers and diplomats at risk. He’s empowering the enemy...You know how to make America great again? You tell Donald Trump to go to hell.”

—U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham
posted by darkstar at 4:13 AM on July 16 [14 favorites]


Fuck Lindsey Graham! When the dust settles over this disgusting chapter, we will discover what caused him to go Nazi sympathizer
posted by growabrain at 5:30 AM on July 16 [15 favorites]


Daily Beast: E. Jean Carroll Is ‘Exploring’ Legal Action Against Trump After Alleged Rape in Bergdorf Goodman—The advice columnist and writer, who accused Trump of sexual assault last month, wants to “hire a really smart attorney” to find a way to “get around” the statute of limitations.
The alleged assault occurred long before New York lifted its statute of limitations against rape, but Carroll said she is “thinking about hiring a really smart attorney” to pursue legal action against Trump.

“I hadn’t thought about pressing charges, but now people are convincing me that it's smart,” she told The Daily Beast. “If I get a really smart attorney, we might be able to get around [the statute]. I’ll be exploring it.”
The Atlantic: E. Jean Carroll and the ‘Hideosity Bar’—We have become comfortable with the hideous, and are now content to live alongside horrible things.
Nearly two years into the collective cultural reckoning of the #MeToo movement, [Carroll's] story holds a particular weight for us, a quality of social seriousness that goes beyond the already ample evidence of Trump’s selfishness, corruption, and greed. But perhaps we have endured so much, witnessed so much that is grotesque and dishonest from this president, from these times, that our bar for what we consider hideous has been raised high, and our standards for what we expect from those in power have sunk low.
AOC: "Weak minds and leaders challenge loyalty to our country in order to avoid challenging and debating the policy. This president does not know how to make the argument that Americans do not deserve health care... And so he attacks us personally."

I keep coming back to Trump's Law of Misogyny: When Trump feels angry and insecure, he attacks women personally.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:38 AM on July 16 [11 favorites]


When it comes to the apparent hypocrisy of people like Lindsey Graham, I have a framework I tend to think in that I honestly wish the media would adopt.

Sumarized: the media wants to believe that Republicans are on a single spectrum, with "Open White Nationalism" on one end and ... I guess "Small Government Idealists" on the other. It frames so much media coverage, where the writers/presenters are falling over themselves to try to differentiate the two ends.

In reality, though, there are a bunch of parallel spectrums, and they are prioritized between one another. Republicans can disagree quite a lot in some of the lower priority ones, but they have a really phenomenal level of alignment in the higher priority ones.

What are those spectrums?

Well, being charitable there actually is "Small Government ... Big Government", but it's one of the lower priority ones. Way higher priority is the "Less Racist ... More Racist" spectrum, and I'm not gonna be coy here, there's a broad alignment towards the "More Racist" side.

In the middle though, there is one that is important but not top-tier: "Covert Racism ... Overt Racism". There's definitely variation across Republicans on this one, particularly office holders. Lindsay Graham is clearly more towards the covert side, while Trump is rushing to the define the overt side. Crucially, though, this is lower priority than "Less Racism ... More Racism". Graham (and others like him) are willing to take what seems to be an inconsistent position on this spectrum if it means supporting their completely consistent position on the much more important one.

The tl;dr is, Republicans aren't per se a monolith and they do actually disagree on some things, but certain high priority points of alignment override lower priority points of disagreement. If Graham could get his racist policies in a way that was more covert, he'd be all for it, but if he has to choose between being more covert or more racist, he's going to choose the latter.
posted by tocts at 5:58 AM on July 16 [5 favorites]


Sofi's choice.
posted by prefpara at 6:02 AM on July 16 [3 favorites]


Need a politics break? CBS news is live streaming the Apollo 11 launch (live+50y). Launch is in 20 minutes.
posted by pjenks at 6:13 AM on July 16 [17 favorites]


Graham has always been a craven sycophant. It’s just that for years he was sucking up to McCain which hid much of his vileness. But with McCain gone, Trump is his new alpha and Graham’s true nature is revealed.
posted by chris24 at 6:25 AM on July 16 [13 favorites]


Why doesn't the left doesn't hammer on the inclusiveness narrative harder while the GOP gets to flag-wave seemingly unchecked over all the wrong things?

My best guess is they have polling data that suggests that right now many swing voters are anti-inclusiveness. I even sort of get it. Hillary ran a campaign that highlighted inclusiveness and diversity and it didn't end well.

But the problem with running your strategy off polling data is that it doesn't tell the whole story. I'll be most Americans have mixed feelings on these issues. The politicians job is to reframe, show they understand those different sides, and then make an argument.

Obama was a master at this. He explained he didn't like abortion, but that it was necessary for it to be legal. Obama also knew when to stand firm. Universal healthcare would be a big and scary change, but once explained, the public will stand behind it.

What I don't understand about today's Democratic establishment is the lack of engagement. Someone above said that impeachment isn't being explored as an option, because low information voters won't understand that failure to impeach is not exoneration. I believe Obama would have tried to explain this isn't the case.

Everywhere I see a failure to engage, except for yesterday's press briefing with the squad, explaining that Trump attacks them because he can't justify putting kids in cages. He attacks them personally, because he can't justify denying people healthcare. We need politicians that will engage instead of hiding their heads in the sand.
posted by xammerboy at 7:11 AM on July 16 [21 favorites]


Are there explainers/pieces out there I can read about why that is, or are there some examples in the news about why my perceived lack of "progressive patriotism" among Trump's most frequent verbal opponents is wrong?

Crooked is running a podcast series I'm enjoying called Reclaiming Patriotism. If you can't abide Lovett don't worry he's not involved in this one.
posted by adept256 at 7:19 AM on July 16 [2 favorites]


A lot of people have defended the patriotism of the Squad (including at least one Republican, Mike Turner), while others definitely have attacked Trump, on various fronts, for being unpatriotic (though ususally in connection to his deference to foreign autocrats, or his smearing of various troops).

But specifically calling his racism unpatriotic is a little trickier at this point, because the right wing has more or less managed to take ownership of the idea of "America" in a broad sense (thus allowing only the aspects of Trump that were mostly peculiar to him until 2016, such as loving Putin and hating McCain, to be successfully labeled, by both liberals and the never-trump set, as un-American).

Plus, tough it's true that immigration and diversity can't possibly be disentangled from the country's history, the same goes for racism of all varieties. If, for example, ending slavery is part of what makes the USA great, what does that say about half the country's founders? For younger progressive Americans, "They were flawed products of their time" doesn't feel adequate any more. Instead, it's increasingly sensed that "patriotism" and antiracism are somewhat oppositional values, and that where necessary, the former ought to give way to the latter.

All that said, there is something incredibly rich about the argument from Trump and conservatives that "If you don't like it, you can leave" after his whole campaign was explicitly about the USA being such a worn-down hellhole of a country that it need to be, well, made great again (hence the Hillary campaign running with "America is already great", which got some leftward pushback for the aforementioned reasons). Tweet after tweet from Trump explicitly attributes all manner of bad qualities to "our country", including during his own presidency. Probably the most blatent moment is telling Bill O'Reilly "You think we're so innocent?" So, gee golly, what might conservatives actually mean by "America"? What are the unstated rules of play?

In so many ways, Trump has been the perfect control subject for an experiment to test the hypothesis that every stated conservative value was always a cover for white nationalism. They dislike liberals for being out-of-touch big-government nigh-Stalinist coastal celebrities who lazily complain about how terrible this country while hating the troops, sneering at sacrifice, mocking the sanctity of marriage, and flauting almost every other supposed holy commandment. Bingo, this precise caricature is manifested, including literally having been a Democrat until recently... but also super racist. Which cup will our taste-testers prefer? The suspense is too much.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:50 AM on July 16 [11 favorites]


Axios: Poll: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Defining Democrats Among Crucial 2020 Swing Voters

@realDonaldTrump picked up on this poll in his morning Twitter rants. He accuses the Squad of “spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate[…] Horrible anti-Israel, anti-USA, pro-terrorist & public shouting of the F...word […] filthy and hate laced things they have said”. He also tries fanning the flames of the feud between them and Pelosi at every opportunity, and for good measure, while thanking Jason Chafferz for coming to his defense on a Fox, he plugs his new book, which is probably a violation of the Hatch Act. He then claims, incredibly, “Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game.”

If that defense seems unbelievable, it’s what Team Trump is going with. Media Matters’s Matthew Gertz highlights this exchange on Fox (w/video): “Howie Kurtz's response to The Washington Post deciding to call the racist comments racist is "since the president denies any racist intent... I don't think the media have to go so far as to say, 'We don't believe the president, we think it's racist.'"”
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:06 AM on July 16 [5 favorites]




Follow up on post from MIRAC - Minnesota Immigrants Rights Action Committee about ICE detention in Minneapolis.

ICE said the man was an "immigration fugitive" and had a previous misdemeanor conviction in Hennepin County in 2007. They said he was previously deported from the U.S. in 2009. ... The ACLU says that ICE can indeed pull over a car if agents have reasonable suspicion that someone inside the car is violating immigration laws. KARE 11 can verify that ICE had a warrant for the man.

Even if ICE was following the law, this kind of arrest of someone with a misdemeanor conviction likely reflects the administration's change in what it considers a "priority" - to the point that the term is now so broad as to be effectively meaningless.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:37 AM on July 16 [3 favorites]


> Everywhere I see a failure to engage, except for yesterday's press briefing with the squad, explaining that Trump attacks them because he can't justify putting kids in cages. He attacks them personally, because he can't justify denying people healthcare. We need politicians that will engage instead of hiding their heads in the sand.

the way i think of it, the legacy democrats — the ones who consider the squad a thorn in their sides — understand politics as a contest to see who can be the best thermometer. each side gets polling data, each side attempts to adapt their platform to best embody whatever is currently polling well, and the side that best matches the temperature of the country wins.1

the radical democrats, on the other hand, think of politics as a venue for changing peoples' minds rather than for measuring the statistical average of their preferences. instead of measuring the temperature of the body politic, they try to change it. as i see it there are two reasons to prefer this epistemological frame. first, and most importantly, is that the thermometer model doesn't work — people tend to see thermometer-model politicians as inauthentic, and are more turned off by them the more they try to adjust their views to match the polling data. second, though, the squad model for how politics works has a historical pedigree — whereas the thermometer model is relatively new and depends on relatively new techniques of polling and statistical analysis, the change model reflects the well-developed understanding of what it means to practice politics in a democracy that we had from the 6th century bce all the way to the 1950s.

under the change model, thermometer-model politicians are essentially refusing to do politics. to change-model politicians, thermometer-model politicians try to keep politics carefully contained — to keep political debate and political change to the minimum level possible, and to ensure that the politics of the future remain, insofar as possible, identical to the politics of the present. it is a methodologically conservative practice that fails to respond to the fraught nature of our times and the disturbing instability of our present-day politics. just like thermometer-model politicians see change-model politicians as impractical and unrealistic,2 change-model politicians see thermometer-model politicians as impractical and unrealistic — as people playing weekend-at-bernies with an already dead political system and slipping ever-deeper into denial about the actual state of the world.

the genius of barack obama was in successfully bridging the gulf between the change model and the thermometer model. the tragedy of barack obama — from the perspective of someone who supports change model politics — is that this was an awkward compromise between something that works and something that doesn't.

1: there are of course exceptions to this rule; legacy democrats oppose a number of ideas that poll extremely well — medicare for all, student loan jubilee, etc. this is because they genuinely believe that these popular ideas are practically infeasible, because they're not popular among the donor class rich people who they're obligated to speak to on the telephone for several hours a day, or some mixture of the two.

our political beliefs tend to adjust themselves toward the political beliefs of the people we're around, and the people democratic party politicians must be around rich donors pretty much all the time — and rich donors are on the whole well to the right of most people on anything that approaches material redistribution.
2: "the green dream, or whatever they call it."

posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:40 AM on July 16 [25 favorites]


Buzzfeed’s Zoe Tillman is reporting live today from Roger Stone’s court hearing with Judge Amy Berman Jackson:
—Hello from the DC courthouse, where Roger Stone has a motions hearing at 10am. What will the judge have to say about his compliance, or potential lack thereof, with her gag order? Stay tuned.
Also, a Stone summer sartorial update: Seersucker is in play.
—Jackson asks [Stone attorney Bruce] Rogow if her [gag] order was unclear. Rogow chuckles at first (the judge is not laughing) and says no, it was not unclear. He confirms Stone is 100% responsible for his Instagram account.
—The judge asks if Stone sent a text message to BuzzFeed News (full disclosure: it was to me) saying Michael Cohen's testimony to Congress was not true. The judge hands Stone's lawyer this article: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetillman/roger-stone-michael-cohen-trump-wikileaks-emails Rogow says Stone tells him he got his lawyer's permission
—Rogow says he doesn't recall communicating with Stone about Stone's text to BuzzFeed News about Michael Cohen's testimony, which the judge notes came after she entered her order
—The judge is asking Rogow about various Stone posts on Instagram, such as one suggesting Stone was framed (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/03/roger-stone-suggests-robert-mueller-framed-him-despite-gag-order.html) and one about Adam Schiff (https://www.newsweek.com/roger-stone-instagram-adam-schiff-bullschiff-gag-order-1380741) — the judge read that one aloud: "If it's Schiff Flush it"
—A bit surreal to hear the judge read these posts aloud. From 5/8: "The Judge has ruled but @Politico gets most of the story wrong because they are biased elitist snot-nosed fake news shitheads who’s specialty is distortion by omitting key facts to create a false narrative."
—Jackson asks what she should do in light of everything she's presented that Stone has posted. Rogow says to let the hearing "speak for itself," and going forward Stone will have to vet what he wants to send out with counsel
—AUSA Jonathan Kravis is up. Jackson asks what he thinks she should do. Kravis says at least clarify the original order to be very specific, and he asks the judge to consider prohibiting Stone from using social media at all. He says they are *not* seeking a contempt finding
Politico’s Darren Samuelson is also live-tweeting the court proceedings. It’s shaping up to be quite a day in court.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:42 AM on July 16 [6 favorites]




@realDonaldTrump picked up on this poll in his morning Twitter rants.

Good to see Dem leadership doing Trump's legwork these days.
posted by chris24 at 9:08 AM on July 16 [3 favorites]


Listening to JFK's "We choose to go to the Moon" speech.

Closes browser, goes outside.
posted by Devonian at 9:11 AM on July 16 [7 favorites]


the radical democrats

I liked your post, but I'm not sure this is the correct label. AOC and company aren't proposing a complete political change. And while they probably do represent an extreme of elected Democrats, I'm not sure they represent an extreme of Democratic voters.
posted by diogenes at 9:14 AM on July 16 [12 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump is still at tweeting during executive time: “Kevin McCarthy @GOPLeader, “The President’s Tweets were not Racist. The controversy over the tweets is ALL POLITICS. I will vote against this resolution.” Thank you Kevin!”

Bloomberg’s Tim O’Brien has posted a lengthy thread with assorted examples of Trump’s racist, starting here: “1) Trump and his father ran a housing business that was sanctioned by the Justice Department in the 1970s for discriminating against prospective tenants of color. He hired Roy Cohn to defend the family.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:15 AM on July 16 [7 favorites]


Good to see Dem leadership doing Trump's legwork these days.

Inaction in the face of racism can carry worse consequences than action. We're seeing the fuller extent of those consequences play out now with Trump's raids on families, opening of concentration camps, and his tweets that effectively call for stochastic terror attacks on elected government officials.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:19 AM on July 16 [8 favorites]


D leadership is being active against its own caucus and inactive against Trump. Wonderful combo.
posted by chris24 at 9:30 AM on July 16 [15 favorites]


> I liked your post, but I'm not sure this is the correct label. AOC and company aren't proposing a complete political change. And while they probably do represent an extreme of elected Democrats, I'm not sure they represent an extreme of Democratic voters.

yeah i went back and forth on what label to use there. at first i put "dsa-aligned," but that isn't totally accurate and also overemphasizes the role played by one (admittedly large and influential) organization in the broader ecology of leftist organizations. ended up going with "radical," since despite them not being as radical as parts of the democratic party electorate — i mean, shoot, i vote for democrats and also i'm on the record as supporting the dismantlement of bourgeois electoral democracy by militant workers' soviets — they are nevertheless a bit to the left of social democrats like bernie sanders.

anyway.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:50 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Hello from the DC courthouse, where Roger Stone has a motions hearing at 10am. What will the judge have to say about his compliance, or potential lack thereof, with her gag order? Stay tuned.

Zoe Tillman is back live-tweeting now that Judge Jackson has reconvened Roger Stone’s hearing:
—Jackson says the clarity of her Feb. 21 order is "undisputed," but "it didn’t take a week before the defendant was emailing BuzzFeed calling a witness in this investigation a liar” (NB: It was a text message)
—The judge then notes that Stone and his lawyers were arguing against a gag order in February at a time when they knew Stone was preparing to release an updated version of his book that addressed Mueller's investigation, and nobody told the judge about it
—Jackson says the book flap didn't "augur well" for Stone's future compliace. She said the "Who framed Roger Stone post" nudged the line, and then made a series of statements/other Instagram posts that were clearly about his case and people in, incl. Michael Cohen and Adam Schiff
—Jackson says the book flap didn't "augur well" for Stone's future compliace. She said the "Who framed Roger Stone post" nudged the line, and then made a series of statements/other Instagram posts that were clearly about his case and people in, incl. Michael Cohen and Adam Schiff
—NOW: The judge has found that Roger Stone is in violation of his release conditions and her media contacts order
—Jackson says Stone "plainly" is seeking attention, and potentially trying to prompt a reaction from the judge: "It seems he is determined to make himself the subject of the story."She will not hold contempt proceedings and will not revoke his bond, however
—NOW: Finding a violation of her previous order, the judge has ordered that Roger Stone may no longer post on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter — at all.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:55 AM on July 16 [13 favorites]




—NOW: Finding a violation of her previous order, the judge has ordered that Roger Stone may no longer post on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter — at all.

So for a guy who has called for feds to be killed and committed treason, his punishment for violating court orders is the same as I would give a 13 year old. Time out Roger! Stone and Epstein are pretty much the epitome of white privilege.
posted by benzenedream at 10:10 AM on July 16 [32 favorites]


I keep coming back to Trump's Law of Misogyny: When Trump feels angry and insecure, he attacks women personally.

If nothing else he's a master of diversion. Note how his turning the racism and misogyny up to 11 has pretty much killed the discussion about his and members of his administration's longstanding connection to a notorious child sex trafficker. It's like the mainstream media can only handle one insane scandal at a time with this person.
posted by fuse theorem at 10:12 AM on July 16 [9 favorites]


I'm not sure how much the label matters, but I'm fine with calling The Squad "radical". Many of their ideas have broad support in the electorate, and to some extent, they can use their platform to gradually nudge voters in their direction, but the war they're fighting is mostly played out within their own caucus, against the more centrist members of the caucus. On that scale, they're certainly the radicals. In a time of patient, loss-averse pragmatism, they want to move fast and fix stuff. That's pretty radical.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:14 AM on July 16 [2 favorites]


The judge has found that Roger Stone is in violation of his release conditions

Does this mean he's going back inside? I'm in doubt and I really shouldn't be. This should be an obvious if-then matter.
posted by adept256 at 10:20 AM on July 16 [3 favorites]


@stevennelson10:
Kellyanne Conway on the White House driveway says Trump is not a racist, continues criticism of 'the squad that hasn't done squat'

'A very dark element in this country' that is anti American, Conway says'


What's your ethnicity?' Kellyanne Conway asks @AndrewFeinberg on the White House driveway, trying to redirect question about Trump's 'go back' tweet on congresswomen
From the US Holocaust Museum's page THE PRESS IN THE THIRD REICH:
The Propaganda Ministry and the Reich Press Chamber

The Propaganda Ministry, through its Reich Press Chamber, assumed control over the Reich Association of the German Press, the guild which regulated entry into the profession. Under the new Editors Law of October 4, 1933, the association kept registries of “racially pure” editors and journalists, and excluded Jews and those married to Jews from the profession. Propaganda Ministry officials expected editors and journalists, who had to register with the Reich Press Chamber to work in the field, to follow the mandates and instructions handed down by the ministry. In paragraph 14 of the law, the regime required editors to omit anything “calculated to weaken the strength of the Reich abroad or at home.”
posted by zombieflanders at 10:27 AM on July 16 [16 favorites]


During today’s presser, Trump blustered and fumbled when asked about his racist tweets again: (via WH Pool Reports)
Q: "Mr. Trump, will you not use the phrase 'go back to your countries' to citizens and women and color who are citizens or been born in this country?"

POTUS: "I think it's terrible when people speak so badly about our country, when people speak so horribly. I have a list of things here - I'm not going to bore you with it because you would be bored..."

"But I have a list of things here said by the congresswomen that is so bad, so horrible that I almost don't want to read it, it's so bad. I think what you should do is: You have the same list that I do. You should repeat some of that. When the Democrats didn't want to mention the name of the congresswoman, not so long ago, and what they did and the way they're treating Israel is a disgrace.

"But not only Israel, what they say about our country. It's my opinion they hate our country. And that's not good. It's not acceptable."
Oh, and the Trump administration now won’t sell F-35s to Turkey (which, as part of the NATO consortium funding it, is the sole supplier of several parts for it): “It's a very tough situation that they're in. And it's a very tough situation that we've been placed in the United States. With all of that being said, we're working through it. We'll see what happens, but it's not really fair. And we are now telling Turkey ... we're not going to sell you the F-35 fighter jets.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:47 AM on July 16 [2 favorites]


'A very dark element in this country' that is anti American, Conway says'

"Dark element"? That's about as subtle as the Time magazine OJ Simpson cover.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:52 AM on July 16 [16 favorites]


Have we seen this list of horrible anti-American things they've said?
posted by diogenes at 11:20 AM on July 16 [2 favorites]


She will not hold contempt proceedings and will not revoke his bond, however

Damn, being a rich old white dude is the life
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:24 AM on July 16 [6 favorites]


You know who else had a list...
posted by neroli at 11:25 AM on July 16


So for a guy who has called for feds to be killed and committed treason, his punishment for violating court orders is the same as I would give a 13 year old.

Republican operatives have seen how far they can go — how far they can keep going — when the judges and legislators vested with the power of oversight abdicate that responsibility more or less completely.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:30 AM on July 16 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, in a tiny little bright spot today, this happened:
  1. The Onion posts an article titled "82-Year-Old New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell Quietly Asks Ilhan Omar If He Can Be Part Of The Squad"
  2. Pascrell (or a very good social media rep) chimed in: "Well. How bout it @AyannaPressley @AOC @RepRashida @IlhanMN?"
  3. AOC responded with "You’re in, @BillPascrell! ☺️💖👯‍♀️👯‍♂️"
posted by zombieflanders at 11:54 AM on July 16


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