Category Archives: Immigration

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “The Art Of The Squeal” edition

Good morning, all! After three flips and a flop, thus quoth The Darnold :

Donald Trump: Let DACA Recipients Stay; Not Amnesty
Breitbart.com ^ | 14 Sep 2017 | Charlie Spiering

Posted on 9/14/2017, 3:32:48 PM by Rockitz

President Donald Trump argued that allowing DACA recipients to stay in the United States would not be amnesty. “We’re looking at allowing people to stay here,” Trump said to reporters in Florida on Thursday.

He insisted that his deal with Democrats on DACA recipients would not be amnesty.

“We’re not looking at citizenship, we’re not looking at amnesty,” Trump said.

On Air Force One however, a White House spokesperson confirmed that “legal citizenship over a period of time” for DACA recipients would likely be part of a deal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted that the plan would offer them a “path to citizenship.”

***********


Legal status with a pathway to citizenship is NOT amnesty. So I guess that’s scratch number 7 here?

 

How has Trump screwed me?  Let me count the ways :

1. Secure the border in a transparently verifiable way;

2. End the anchor-baby interpretation of the 14th Amendment

3. Enforce e-verify without exception and with severe penalties;

4. End chain migration. Entry per individual qualifications; not family ties.

5. Deportation upon contact with any law enforcement agency- federal, state or local;

6. No government benefits beyond critical emergency care(and that ought to be billed back to the home government);

7. NO “Path to citizenship” EVER for anyone who has entered the us illegally.

1 posted on 9/14/2017, 3:32:48 PM by Rockitz

“Otherwise OK?”
“Spock! Analysis?”
To: Rockitz

 

The bastard has morphed into John McCain

2 posted on 9/14/2017, 3:36:46 PM by pissant ((Deport ’em all))

Not true!
McCain’s brain actually still works.
To: Rockitz

 

What happened to Trump?

One day swinging like Tyson, tweeting, defending America. The next acting like Jeff Sessions.

6 posted on 9/14/2017, 3:41:04 PM by FreedomStar3028 (Somebody has to step forward and do what is right because it is right, otherwise no one will follow.)

To: xzins

 

Call it what you want, worker permit, student grievance, non citizen status it’s illegal illegal illegal. Let’s not parse words…are they still here? Yes…are they here illegally? Yes….are they illegal aliens? Yes….

Why are they not gone?

8 posted on 9/14/2017, 3:41:27 PM by Jarhead9297

Because Baron Poostain Harkonnen can’t snap his fingers and make it happen?
To: Rockitz

 

Art of the deal
Wow, so much for his campaign promises..hope I’m wrong

10 posted on 9/14/2017, 3:42:46 PM by rainee (Her)

A Freeper even uses the T word, but fortunately, used a strikethrough.
To: Rockitz
” a White House spokesperson confirmed that ‘legal citizenship over a period of time’ “ 

None dare call it treasonamnesty.

14 posted on 9/14/2017, 3:44:00 PM by Governor Dinwiddie
That was a close one.
Click the lovely “read more” for more stunned realizations that they’ve been had…

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Today on Tommy T’s obsession with the Freeperati – back in the saddle edition

And very gingerly back in the saddle – as in sitting for 45 minutes or so at a stretch.

So – a short one today, featuring The Darnold.

He’s a DACA DACA DACA DACA DACA chameleon!

TrumpBoyGeorge

Donald Trump on DACA: ‘Chuck and Nancy Want to See Something Happen — and so Do I’
Breitbart ^ | 7 Sep 2017 | Charlie Spiering

Posted on 9/7/2017, 9:47:50 AM by sickoflibs

President Donald Trump signaled support for signing a permanent deal to assist DACA recipients, giving amnesty to illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children.

“Chuck and Nancy would like to see something happen, and so do I,” Trump said, referring to Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

(excerpt required clip).

The president suggested that ideal legislation would include border security funds and a permanent fix for DACA .

“I’d like to see a permanent deal, and I think it’s going to happen,” he said. “I think we’re going to have great support from both sides of Congress.”

******************

Breitbart is having a field day with Trump’s quotes.

Are they, now?  You know, it’s almost as if someone who works there was mad at The Marmalade Shartcannon.

Look at the deal that Trump made with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on the three month budget.

1 posted on 9/7/2017, 9:47:50 AM by sickoflibs

To: sickoflibs

 

Pardon me while my breakfast turns into emesis.

2 posted on 9/7/2017, 9:48:57 AM by alstewartfan (We have no money but we stay afloat. The Jellyfishes don’t scare us. Al Stewart from Red Toupee)

Feel free to re-ingest it as many times as you need to. We’ve got the time.
To: sickoflibs

 

He wants to see what will happen? You’ll lose your base pal and be a one term failed POTUS. You’re dealing with two traitors to the United States

6 posted on 9/7/2017, 9:53:08 AM by GrandJediMasterYoda (Trump: Greatest POTUS of all time solely for preventing Satan taking office.)

To: sickoflibs

 

I have to admit it’s been a bit of a letdown watching Trump deal/capitulate with the DEMs. My wife, who is usually much more of a “glass is full” person than I am when it comes to politics has been starting to question why she even voted for Trump.

10 posted on 9/7/2017, 9:57:25 AM by CatOwner
Pretty soon now, she’s also going to start to question why she even married you.

Shades of Bush Sr, and his bipartisan agreement that killed his read my lips pledge.

20 posted on 9/7/2017, 10:02:11 AM by proust (Since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word.)

To: sickoflibs 

I want to see boxcars stuffed full headed south.

NaziBoxcars

And I want my wall.

28 posted on 9/7/2017, 10:08:24 AM by gaijin

Berlin_Wall
They seem upset.
Follow below for the impassioned defenders of Shart Garfunkel, and their attempt to imagine this as 13th-dimensional chess…

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The Buck Passer In Chief’s DACA Debacle

We all knew it was coming. We all knew that Donald Trump would rescind DACA. I actually believe that he has qualms about ending the program, not because he “loves the dreamers,” but because even he understands the optics of rounding up some 800K young people and deporting them. The title of Josh Marshall’s blog post after the announcement says it all:

Trump Wishes Dreamers Luck as He Tosses Them Out of the Plane

As does this passage in Josh’s post:

What the President is doing is the executive action equivalent of flying the plane up to 10,000 feet, tossing the Dreamers out the door and yelling after them, “I hope you have a parachute or if you don’t that Paul Ryan can get you one really fast!’ Actually, one small difference. He had Jeff Sessions toss them out of the plane.

Yowza.

Trump the phony tough guy  once again proved his cowardice by having true believer white supremacist Jeff Beau make the announcement.  As always, Jeff Beau prevaricated and demonized his way through the statement. I’m surprised he didn’t gleefully rub his hands together in celebration like a cartoon villain. Bigots like Jeff Beau have much to celebrate: mass deportations of service people, first responders, teachers, and on and on and on. DACA has a rigorous vetting process so its beneficiaries are the best of the best. I doubt many people at the Trump White House could pass muster. Slumlord Jared would have to amend his form because he’s such a forgetful boy.

What Trump has done is to punt this clusterfuck to the Congress. The six month deadline is an arbitrary one and major legislation rarely passes both houses in six months or less. The president’s* sole aim is to accept as little responsibility as possible for this heinous and callous action. Feral Trumpers will howl in approval but this is yet another incredibly unpopular move done solely to placate the MAGA Maggots.

There *may* be majorities in both Houses of Congress to pass a new Dream Act. I’m uncertain if there’s a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and dubious that it can get past the so-called Hastert Rule in the House. The rule named for Coach Pervert applies to the Republican caucus: only legislation with majority support in the caucus reaches the floor. There are enough nutbars and white nationalists to keep it off the floor UNLESS the GOP leadership gets around a rule named for a convicted felon. It’s a caucus rule, not a law, after all. Stay tuned but I am not optimistic. Speaker Ryan is as cowardly as the Insult Comedian.

The administration* is sending mixed messages about its DACA debacle. Trump is holding out hope of a change in plans but nobody believes anything he says about anything. If LBJ had a so-called “credibility gap” on Vietnam, Trump has a credibility canyon on everything. I put more stock in a White House memo telling dreamers to prepare for deportation.

A detestation of buck passing was instilled in me as a child. I always got in more trouble with my parents if I deflected responsibility for my words and deeds. They went easier on me if I fessed up and took the blame. Donald Trump is incapable of taking responsibility for his actions. It’s never his fault, the finger of blame always points elsewhere.

Trump’s perennial buck passing made me think of Harry Truman who famously had “the buck stops here” sign on his White House desk. This is Trump’s second pairing with a man whose ass he is not fit to wipe. Trump’s stunning 2016 electoral college victory surpassed Truman’s 1948 shocker as the biggest upset in American political history. Thanks to the DACA debacle, Trump is now fated to be the anti-Truman. Just call him the Buck Passer in Chief.

A new nickname has been born. And a new benign earworm has hatched. Let’s hope it doesn’t come true.

I’ll give the last-ish word to the late Ted Kennedy. It’s the closing passage of his 1980 speech to the Democratic convention. It is *not* about the dreamers but it could be:

For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

It’s time for people to both hit the streets and call their GOP Congresscritters. Make the fuckers squirm like the worms they are.

Just To Be Mean

There’s no reason for any of this.

DACA recipients aren’t taking jobs, they aren’t criminals, they aren’t hurting anyone. They’re working or going to school, they’re paying taxes, serving in the military, doing what we tell everybody a Good American and a Good Immigrant should do, and we’re gonna deport them just ’cause.

This is the fuck-you administration. TTo kick the weaker kid, to laugh along with the bully so the bully won’t bully you. Undo everything Obama did because it’s fun to pick on the black president these people hate, smack immigrant kids around because they can’t fight back.

Part of the frustration in dealing with this administration’s supporters comes from the attraction they have to this kind of bullying. I made the drug addict comparison a few months ago, with regard to the steady diet of meanness and hate people consume through their TVs and radios, and how that hate means more to them than their children and their friends.

It’s hard to argue with someone’s weakness, because their weakness is their fear, and you can’t argue someone out of a fear. They have to decide to take the leap to not be afraid of the bullies anymore, to not go along with whatever the meanest, loudest guy in the room is saying. Until they do, we’re going to keep looking for reasons they’re doing what they’re doing, when there isn’t a reason.

It’s just to be mean.

A.

The Fog Of Cosmopolitan History

I wish I were writing about the drink they were obsessed with on Sex and the City or the magazine of that name. Not that I’d drink a cosmopolitan since they contain the demon vodka. I’m referring to comments by made by alt-right nutbar Stephen Miller in response to a question posed by CNN’s Jim Acosta. Acosta is on the verge of becoming the Dan Rather of the current White House press corps. You may recall that Dan the Man was the teevee reporter who really got under Tricky’s skin when the Watergate shit was hitting the fan. Splat. Tom Brokaw was a mere fly to be swatted away. I’m surprised Nixon didn’t make Ron Ziegler his designated fly killer. He was vaguely Priebusian, after all.

Back to the “pride” of Duke University who makes up for his lack of people skills with his use of buzz words:

The conversation went off the rails. At one point, Acosta implied the policy would favor immigrants from English-speaking countries — a logical assumption, if English speaking skills are prioritized in green card applicants.

“Are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?” he asked.

“No! This is an amazing moment,” Miller said triumphantly. “This is an amazing moment. That you think only people from Great Britain or Australia would speak English is so insulting to millions of hardworking immigrants who do speak English from all over the world.”

“Of course the are people who come — ” Acosta began.

“But that’s not what you said, and it shows your cosmopolitan bias,” Miller said.

“It sounds like you’re trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country as policy,” Acosta said.

“Jim, that is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you’ve ever said,” Miller said. “The notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong and so insulting”

That part of the exchange was too juicy to cut. I’ve bold-faced the buzz words: cosmopolitan bias. There has been much back and forth as to whether this makes a white dude with a boring name a Nazi neo or otherwise. It think it shows his inclination toward Putinesque neo-Fascism since Putinism is derived from Soviet Communism when it metastasized into kleptocracy.

“Rootless cosmopolitanism” was a Stalinist buzz word deployed during a post-war anti-Semitic campaign waged by the Soviet dictator and his lackeys. Many of the enemies purged by Stalin during the Thirties were Jewish but the post-war campaign had more to do with the Red Tsar’s paranoia and dipsomania. Stalin was a vodka drinker. What more evidence do you need that vodka is Satan’s beverage?

It really doesn’t matter what one calls the likes of Miller be it Nazi or Facisct. He’s a white nationalist aka white supremacist aka racist aka bigot. He’s also known as a malaka, which ends in aka. We have a theme here, which has nothing to do with the Mardi Gras Indian song Aka Aka. Yeah, I know, it’s Iko Iko. Cut a brother some slack, y’all. I have a pun community to tend to.

Miller is also historically illiterate and an obnoxious know-it-all. That makes him the perfect Trumper. I am filled with glee whenever the White House trots him out to alienate everyone who isn’t a fan of Jeff Bo and Bannon. Thanks, Donald.

This is as good a time as any to point y’all at the Vanity Fair profile of Miller that discussed in a Saturday post in a segment called Annals of a Duke Puke. The segment title is as true now as it was two months ago.

I don’t feel like writing a treastise on my views about immigration. I’ve already done that so I’ll point you in the direction of a 2014 post, Pulling Up The Drawbridge. It says it all.

Finally, I feel bad for rock and roll hall of famer Steve Miller for having the same name as the Duke Puke. The Real Steve Miller gets the last word with a song that, despite the title, has nothing to do with MAGA maggots.

“Somebody get me a cheeseburger.”

What’s more American than that?

This is What You Voted For, Assholes

Great job. Really great, all of you: 

Mr. Jeanty, 29, came to the United States from Port-au-Prince in September 2006 with his eldest brother and stayed after his tourist visa expired. He has what is known as temporary protected status, or T.P.S., which was granted to Haitians who were visiting the United States or living here illegally when a devastating earthquake struck their homeland in 2010. T.P.S. allows him and other Haitians to live and work legally in this country, until conditions in Haiti have improved enough to return home safely.

Now, the Trump administration is monitoring earthquake recovery efforts to determine whether temporary protected status for Haitians should be terminated in January when its recent six-month extension ends.

Great job, all you comfortable suburban assholes who voted for Trump because he was gonna “get rid of all the illegals.” This is what that looks like. You think after this guy gets deported, you’ll get a better job, your kids will get a better school, your potholes will finally get fixed? You think that’s how this works?

You do, don’t you. You think your healthcare is too expensive because too many Mexicans are crossing the border to come to your emergency rooms. You think if you send all the immigrants home, your bill will automatically come down. You think it’s really like that, a tradeoff, a tit for tat, that you pay more because someone else doesn’t pay.

Jesus H. Christ, I don’t know who raised you but whoever they are, they owe you an apology because this is not how America works. It’s not how anything works.

Your kid’s school sucks because your local municipality gave away the farm to every passing corporation, promising them their taxes would stay low when your kid’s school needed those taxes. Right-wing politicians then promised your taxes would stay low, too, and instituted tax caps so schools couldn’t get money from you, either. Then they told you to blame the teachers and the unions. That’s how this works.

Your potholes don’t get filled for the same reason. Your job sucks because your company doesn’t care about adequate staffing, reasonable hours or regular wages because your company doesn’t answer to anyone anymore. Republicans told everyone regulation and minimum wages were mean, and any meaningful worker protections were too expensive, and you voted them into every statewide and national office you have.

Your healthcare is too expensive because your GOP governor rejected Obamacare and refused to expand Medicaid to cover the likes of you and yours. Your healthcare is too much of a giant pain in the ass because every time some liberal politician wanted to regulate the insurance industry the Republican moneymen paid people to scream about freedom and entrepreneurship on Fox. Plus you hated it was named after the black president, there was that, but it’s not as big a factor as the Fox money and the lack of rules.

In short, your life sucks because of Republican governance, full goddamn stop. It sucks because they did everything they told you they were gonna do. Including getting rid of all the illegals.

This guy gets deported, you look around the next day and you see. Is your life any better? Are you rich? Are you happy? Forget the morality of your position that somebody who’s here working and contributing doesn’t deserve to be here. You’re taking a hateful position and trying to justify it with practicalities and those practicalities aren’t even true.

You’re selling your soul for nothing. You’re hating people for nothing. There’s no reason good enough and your bad one isn’t real.

A.

Your Fondest Wish Comes True. THEN WHAT?

So let’s say that tomorrow Trump is indicted, impeached, frog-marched out of the White House, and his entire team including Pence and Ryan are in prison and Orrin Hatch is president.

Let’s say this happens (not a quarter of it is going to happen) and we all watch it on TV.

Then what? I mean it, then what? Like the next day what happens? We pop the champagne and assume it’s all over?

I think a lot of my fellow pale-faced liberal types are underthinking the amount of violence people of color, young people, and women are already facing because of Trump, and that’s after a VICTORY. Their whole angry worldview was validated in a national election and it’s just made them MORE angry. I didn’t think they could get more angry but they are.

These are the people arming and prepping themselves for the apocalypse, who bought an extra AR-15 just to piss those libtards off and have been stockpiling ammo since the days of that draft-dodger Bill Clinton. We all had a good time clowning on Meal Team Six back when they seized a frickin’ bird sanctuary, but put one of those assholes in a crowded room and he could mow down a movement.

Ninety percent of Trump supporters? If he’s thrown out of office they’ll be fine as long as whatever comes after him immediately gives them jobs. They’ll go to work and they’ll have less time to be pissed off. I don’t have an answer for that other 10 percent but I think we’re downplaying the threat they represent to people already feeling marginalized and targeted.

So if I seem less openly enthusiastic about the idea of impeachment or criminal proceedings against the Trump Syndicate, it isn’t because I think they’re innocent of anything. It’s because even if they’re found guilty, they won’t suffer a fraction as much as those with so much more to lose already.

A.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “Ann up” edition

Morning, good people – I’m not even going to touch on The Darnold’s Very Bad Week, since everyone else in blogtopia has that pretty well covered.

Instead – let’s look at a Freeper favourite  – well, EX-favourite – who has dared to mention that The Darnold is long on promising and short on delivering.

Remember these pics?  Ah – how they loved her.  Jimbo’s about to bust a nut in this photograph of record :

JimRobAnneCoulter

      “Etchings? Etchings?? I said, come up and see me ITCHING!”

Now?

She goes there.

And the Freeperati are livid!

Ann Coulter Unleashes on Trump for ‘Zero’ Progress on Border Wall
Fox News Insider ^ | June 16, 2017

Posted on 6/16/2017, 3:25:46 PM by 2ndDivisionVet

Ann Coulter was a big supporter of then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, but so far she’s been underwhelmed by the Trump presidency.

On Friday, Coulter unleashed a series of tweets, ripping Trump for his lack of progress on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, addressing illegal immigration and halting the flow of Middle Eastern refugees into our country….

1 posted on 6/16/2017, 3:25:46 PM by 2ndDivisionVet
Oh no you didnt
To: 2ndDivisionVet 

Ann has trouble seeing the big picture or she’s just bi-polar.

InigoKeepUsingThatWord

There will be no wall built if Trump is removed from office.

5 posted on 6/16/2017, 3:29:15 PM by Electric Graffiti (Obama voters killed America. Treat them accordingly.)

“Oh, we’re going to build a wall, don’t worry about it. We’re building the wall. We’re building the wall,” he said in an apparent aside from his prepared remarks. “In fact, it’s going to start soon. Way ahead of schedule. Way ahead of schedule. Way, way, way ahead of schedule. It’s going to start very soon.”
Uh huh.
Any day now.
To: 2ndDivisionVet

 

What is Ann’s problem? Did she think this was going to be easy? Did she think the swamp would be quick and easy to drain. Does she not realize this is “war” and the opening shots have just been fired?

I’m starting to think she may be just a silly girl…

9 posted on 6/16/2017, 3:29:52 PM by MichaelRDanger

Just now you’re figuring that out?
To: 2ndDivisionVet

 

Well, I do agree that he should be ignoring the courts and doing what the law clearly says he is allowed to do. We elected him BECAUSE he was going to break the china! Right now, he seems to be a very careful bull.

11 posted on 6/16/2017, 3:30:09 PM by An.American.Expatriate (Here’s my strategy on the War against Terrorism: We win, they lose. – with apologies to R.R.)

And we all know the end product of bulls…
BullshitDetector2
To: 2ndDivisionVet

 

Lincoln and TR sure started their projects their first year in office or at least laid concrete plans to do so. She is right on target. This promise will rank up there with read my lips….. if he doesnt get it done. And the Dreamer amnesty and taking Australia’s refugee problem do not look good for the future at all.

12 posted on 6/16/2017, 3:30:40 PM by Uncle Sam 911

Git her done?
To: TangledUpInBlue
Ann Coulter was pushing Mitt Romney to run again in 2016 as recently as 2014. How you go from Mitt Romney to Donald Trump in the same election cycle is beyond me.It’s probably beyond her, too.

20 posted on 6/16/2017, 3:34:10 PM by Alberta’s Child (“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” — President Trump, 6/1/2017)
More Dudley Ann-love below the fold.

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‘This is someone’s child’

It’s important to know that somebody fought back: 

“I was saying, ‘Creator – provide comfort to his family who don’t know you’re here,” she recalled.

An officer called out to her: “You did what you could, it’s time to come off the train.”

[snip]

The next night, Macy met Namkai-Meche’s mother and father at a vigil held by the train stop. She handed his father a purple-painted, heart-shaped rock, her prayer rock.  She said the victim’s parents thanked her for being with their son, telling her that she was “a mamma to our boy in that moment.”

Macy, a single mother of five children who rides the MAX to and from her community college courses at least three times a week, said she just did “what had to be done.”

“I just kept thinking this is someone’s child,” she said.

I read this right after Trump’s election, the idea that if you’re one of those people who loudly fantasizes about killing baby Hitler or whatever, you don’t need to go back in time to figure out who you would have been in the war. You’re in the war. Whatever you’re doing right now is what you would have done then.

(‘Twas ever thus, of course. The world has always been burning. I felt like this after 9/11, all those people talking about how a crisis made them realize what they wanted to be, like the fuck is wrong with you you don’t know what you want to be already? Sometimes my inner pissed-off 19-year-old gets the talking stick.)

So if you’re writing letters, calling reps, volunteering, working, creating spaces for people to think and breathe and be free, if you’re using your power to help others with less, if you’re trying every single day to be kind, to overcome paralysis and exhaustion and worry and reach out to someone else, if you’re doing even a little more than you think you can, that’s who you are in the war. You’re someone’s child too.

A.

Quotes Of The Day: Muslim Ban Edition

Things are not going well for the revised Trump Muslim travel ban. Two federal judges have ruled against it thus far. The opinion by Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii was particularly scathing:

The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed. … It is undisputed, using the primary source upon which the Government itself relies, that these six countries have overwhelmingly Muslim populations that range from 90.7% to 99.8%. It would therefore be no paradigmatic leap to conclude that targeting these countries likewise targets Islam. Certainly, it would be inappropriate to conclude, as the Government does, that it does not.

It’s no surprise that Trumper bragging is one reason that the ban has lost in court. Ignoring Kellyanne Conway’s admonitions,  Judge Watson took the president’s* words literally in his ruling. Here are a few more choice excerpts:

The Government appropriately cautions that, in determining purpose, courts should not look into the ‘veiled psyche’ and ‘secret motives’ of government decision-makers and may not undertake a ‘judicial psychoanalysis of a drafter’s heart of hearts’.

The Government need not fear. The remarkable facts at issue here require no such impermissible inquiry.

For instance, there is nothing ‘veiled’ about this press release: ‘Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.’

Nor is there anything ‘secret’ about the Executive’s motive specific to the issuance of the Executive Order:

Rudolph Giuliani explained on television how the Executive Order came to be. He said: “When [Mr. Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’”

<SNIP>

In an interview on January 25, 2017, Mr. Trump discussed his plans to implement ‘extreme vetting’ of people seeking entry into the United States. He remarked: ‘[N]o, it’s not the Muslim ban. But it’s countries that have tremendous terror. . . . [I]t’s countries that people are going to come in and cause us tremendous problems.’ …

When signing the first Executive Order [No. 13,769], President Trump read the title, looked up, and said: ‘We all know what that means.’ President Trump said he was ‘establishing a new vetting measure to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America’, and that: ‘We don’t want them here.’

Words matter to thinking people like Judge Watson. In Philip Roth’s memorable phrase, the Insult Comedian may speak “jerkish” but his gibberish translated into English has gotten him into trouble. The Muslim ban word salad was overdressed and too vinegary even if the Brown House describes it as “watered down.”

I begin to wonder if they even care if the ban goes into effect: they’ve made their propaganda points and placated their feral, unneutered base. If they want it to happen, the Trump-Bannon regime would be well-advised to heed this message from our country’s past:

This is a preliminary victory but I, for one, am thrilled that Trumpian braggadocio sank this particular ship. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Trumper incompetence may yet save the Republic. Keep up the bad work, y’all.

UPDATE: Trump continues to shoot off his mouth:

“Remember this, I wasn’t thrilled that the lawyers all said, ‘Oh, let’s tailor it.’ This is a watered-down version of the first one,” he told the crowd. “This is a watered down version, and let me tell you something. I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do in the first place.”

Trump vowed to defend his order.

“This ruling makes us look weak. Which by the way, we no longer are, believe me. Just look at our borders. We are going to fight this terrible rule,” he said at the rally.

Thanks, Donald.

King Of The Bigots

Our old “friend” Congressman Steve King of Iowa used to claim that he wasn’t a racist. Now that white ethno nationalism is fashionable among the deplorables, those days are gone, gone, gone:

Guess who applauded King:

The Wilders mentioned by King is far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders whose ironically named Party for Freedom is running first in the polls in that nation’s upcoming election. A headline in the “failing” NYT captures the horror of what’s happening in the Netherlands: How The Dutch Stopped Being Decent and Dull. I’d like to throw another D word in the mix: depressing.

The good news is that, thanks to Holland’s multi-party system, Wilders is unlikely to be the next Prime Minister BUT his party has gone from being cranks to contenders. That’s bad news for those of us who have admired the Dutch for their political common sense and cultural tolerance. The French presidential election is next up and Marine LePen may lead in the first round. The conventional wisdom is that her opponents will unite against her as they did against her father in 2002 but the CW has taken a beating in the last few years. Stay tuned: if France leaves the EU, it’s as dead as the Weimar Republic.

Back to Steve King. The Iowa cornholer is standing by his statements. It’s now safe in certain circles for an elected official to sound like David Duke, Richard Spencer, and Geert Wilders. King was on CNN this morning and went into a rhapsody about his horrendous views:

“I’ve been to Europe and I’ve spoken on this issue and I’ve said the same thing as far as ten years ago to the German people and to any population of people that is a declining population that isn’t willing to have enough babies to reproduce themselves. And I’ve said to them, you can’t rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies,” King said on CNN. “You’ve got to keep your birth rate up and that you need to teach your children your values.”

There you have it, we’re not “making” enough babies. It’s what happens when women get uppity and think they can do other things and not just be baby factories as in The Handmaid’s Tale. There’s a new teevee version of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian classic and it couldn’t be timelier. Make sure you read Ms. Atwood’s essay about The Handmaid’s Tale continuing relevance in the “failing” NYT.

In addition to supporting the King of Bigots, the erstwhile Gret Stet Fuhrer is bragging about his own fertility. Duke only has two kids whereas his role model Joseph Goebbels had six. Of course, he murdered his children in 1945. Some hero. Some role model.

Remember when mainstream conservatives ran away from David Dukkke? Now they sound just like him: Steve King is merely a canary in the coal mine. That’s life in the 21st Century, which is starting to feel like the 1930’s with memes. The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland recently had a great deal to say about that, so I’ll give him the last word:

If there’s a common thread linking 21st-century European nationalists to each other and to Trump, it is a similar, shared contempt for the structures that have bound together, and restrained, the principal world powers since the last war. Naturally, Le Pen and Wilders want to follow the Brexit lead and leave, or else break up, the EU. And, no less naturally, Trump supports them – as well as regarding Nato as “obsolete” and the UN as an encumbrance to US power (even if his subordinates rush to foreign capitals to say the opposite).

For historians of the period, the 1930s are always worthy of study because the decade proves that systems – including democratic republics – which had seemed solid and robust can collapse. That fate is possible, even in advanced, sophisticated societies. The warning never gets old.

But when we contemplate our forebears from eight decades ago, we should recall one crucial advantage we have over them. We have what they lacked. We have the memory of the 1930s. We can learn the period’s lessons and avoid its mistakes. Of course, cheap comparisons coarsen our collective conversation. But having a keen ear tuned to the echoes of a past that brought such horror? That is not just our right. It is surely our duty.

You Can’t Argue with the Need to Perform

A story in a bunch of tweets from last week:

I keep seeing all these bewildered reactions whenever some massive Trump scandal or screwup or conspiracy is exposed. Why doesn’t this “stick?” Why doesn’t this change anyone’s mind? He’s going to let Paul Ryan gut their Medicare. Why doesn’t that matter? He’s hiring the entirety of the financial crisis and letting it run the economy. Why aren’t Trump voters feeling betrayed? Why isn’t THIS or THIS or THIS the breaking point for anyone who voted for him? Because none of that interferes with the central reason they voted for him. They keep telling you. They voted for him to give a big middle finger to women, black people, libtards, intellectuals, bureaucrats, feminazis, protesters, immigrants legal and otherwise, politicians generally and anything else that bugged them.

And he may be betraying every campaign promise but he’s not breaking the only one they cared about: The one to make them feel like they mattered again.

It’s performative. It’s the entire Republican thing, from before George W. Bush probably, and we keep wanting to make it make sense. Performances don’t make sense. You can’t argue me out of putting green and gold on and tromping up the stairs to Lambeau in 13 degree weather to watch my quarterback throw four interceptions while his receivers treat every oncoming football like it’s made out of bees. You can’t do it. I want to be a Packer fan. These people want to be FOR TRUMP.

And FOR TRUMP means they get to feel powerful. FOR TRUMP means they get to bully right back. FOR TRUMP means they get to tell their liberal sister-in-law that she’s a stupid bitch. FOR TRUMP means instead of respecting a black or brown person, they get to call that person names. FOR TRUMP means they get to turn off that nagging instinct, nurtured by the churches they say mean so much to them, that maybe they should help the big scary world that’s burning down outside their windows. FOR TRUMP means they get to feel like being mad is enough.

(Do some of them have genuine economic problems that could have been addressed by Democratic policies had Democrats not been sucking off every investment banker they saw? OF COURSE. That doesn’t address the reflexive FUCK YOU that is the response to anything Trump does now.)

It’s part and parcel of the performative aspect of politics generally. Try telling a movement pro-lifer that the best way to raise abortion rates is to outlaw abortion. They’re not going to argue the facts with you. They’re going to BE AGAINST abortion. They’re going to wear the T-shirt and they’re going to vote because they want to keep that part of the character they invented and put on like a suit. You can’t talk them out of their clothes, God’s sakes.

We used to say, all us internet grandparents who were around during the early days post-9/11, that this had given a lot of the population the excuse to be the assholes they’d always wanted to be. A lot of the bewilderment from well-meaning white progressives right now is the inability to accept that the simmering anti-lib dad anger, quiet nice-lady racism and selfishness of their parents and their parents’ friends wasn’t all that different from the white supremacists screaming in the street. When you get right down to it, they both always voted the same way. The former might be more dangerous, in the long run.

So what do you DO, a couple of people asked on Twitter. If facts don’t matter and arguments don’t matter and scandals don’t matter, do you just give up on these people? And my immediate reaction was yes, and with a couple of days to think about it I still think, kind of?

Kind of means you start treating them like the addicts they are. They’re high as kites on talk-radio distortions and you don’t sit down with a cokehead and calmly debate the merits of smoking up some pure clean LIFE instead. You get that cokehead into rehab if you can, but for God’s sake you stop giving him money. You stop feeding the beast with empathetic articles and moving to the right on social issues and other useless mollifications that I’m sure many highly paid consultants in DC are advising right now.

You find ways to save the people being hurt by the person all this performance put in power. You rally for the immigrants and you call your congressmen and you write to your senators and you volunteer at the shelter and you do what you can to save as many as you can. That’s where you put your energy. You take care of the person the rage-addicts hurt.

Maybe some of them will come around. When they do, when they get woke, you treat them gently, like newborns to the world of sense, and you give them work to do too. You don’t give them a medal for showing up but you give them a job. The more people have to do, the less time they’ll have to stew on the ways in which the world has wronged them.

And when comes the time to vote again? When that comes around? You make sure you and yours are THERE. Because there are more good people than bad, even if there are more quiet people than loud. You vote this shit down and out, you watch it die, and you move on.

A.

Save One

We are arguing about how much of the house is on fire, with the refugee/immigrant ban. We are arguing closet versus attic versus living room, instead of picking up a damn bucket and putting the fire out:

President Trump and his aides love to cite a small number and a big number in order to minimize the impact of the president’s executive order suspending the visas of citizens of seven countries.

But these figures are incredibly misleading, so let’s go through the math.

Let’s not, because it doesn’t fucking matter. I don’t care if this executive order affected one person.  I don’t care if this hadn’t affected ANYONE yet. In no possible world are any of our laws tested constitutionally based on how many people they affect. That’s not the measurement. That’s not the qualifier. You don’t get to say well, we only screwed over a dozen immigrant kids, so until we get to triple digits we’re cool. That’s not how any of this works.

Our laws were not designed to save as many as possible. Our laws were designed to save us all, and that means saving one. One person. One child. One family. One mother or father or brother or sister. Our laws were designed to weigh us all, one against the other, and say no one of us is worth more than any of the others.

It’s why our presidents, our congressmen, are subject to our laws. It’s why you can bring suit against those holding the highest offices in the land. It’s why you and I can — or should be able to — avail ourselves of the same legal system as someone who got here last week.

And that includes potential terrorists, for all the wingnuts in the cheap seats. I know you all think life is a nonstop episode of 24 and if President Trump doesn’t personally electrode a Syrian dude’s balls in the Roosevelt Room then we’ll all die in a nuclear attack, but a) that is not how anything is going to happen and b) at no point would such a scenario be endangered by said Syrian dude invoking a right to counsel. If Trump is hooking jumper cables to his nethers he’s already figured out that nobody can hear him scream.

Meanwhile, the non-terrorist families that just want to come here, get jobs, spend money at the local Wal-Mart and watch American TV are going to get handcuffed and deported back to the places we explicitly encouraged them to flee, and you’ll pardon me if I don’t want to wait until they’re a certain percentage of travelers or if they’re especially promising at geometry or any of the other bullshit narratives that have sprung up in the past 72 (holy shit, only 72) hours.

They’re human beings, and we are America. Let’s not go through the math.

A.

Bannon’s B3 Brownshirts & The Chaos Principle

It’s official: Donald Trump had the worst first week of any President* in American history. It was so bad that I debated with a friend as to whether he was already the worst ever. I still think it’s too early to tell since Buchanan and W are responsible for wars and economic calamity. Trump hasn’t passed Andrew Johnson either BUT he’s building a strong case for worst ever and he’s only been at it for 10 days. I don’t think our cause benefits from hyperbole and overstatement. You can only fight lies with the truth and delusion with reality.

I admitted the other day to knowing very little about higher maths. I have, however, heard of the Chaos Principle:

Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on.

It looks like Steve Bannon and his B3 Brownshirts are inspired by the Chaos Principle, at least by analogy. Team Trump is trying to inject so much chaos and confusion into our polity that repression will be required to maintain order. I seriously doubt if the Insult Comedian himself has such a plan: all he ever does is wing it without thought to the implications. Bannon, however, has emerged as first among equals in the West Wing. He’s capable of complex, devious, and downright evil thought. Bannon has Trump’s ear and the Dear Leader Wannabe seems to agree with the last person he spoke to.

In short, Bannon and his fellow white nationalists want to create the circumstances in which a right-wing revolution is possible. Those circumstances do not currently exist. Bitching about the government is as American as apple pie, it doesn’t amount to instant homegrown fascism. That is definitely a long-term threat but we have the mechanisms to stop it: people power and lawyers, lawyers, lawyers. Political courage on the part of elected officials seems to be in short supply but the longer this constitutional crisis lasts the bolder they will become. Talk of collaboration with the Trumpers has become much less common since they came to power.

The good news is that Team Trump’s Muslim ban was issued without co-ordination with the agencies obliged to enforce it and they didn’t even run it by their own lawyers. That makes it eminently susceptible to legal challenge. It was, apparently, pulled out of Rudy Noun Verb 9/11’s ass:

I’ll tell you the whole history of it. So when he first announced it he said, “Muslim ban.” He called me up and said, “Put a commission together, show me the right way to do it legally.” I put a commission together with Judge Mukasey, with Congressman McCaul, Pete King, a whole group of other very expert lawyers on this. And what we did was we focused on, instead of religion, danger. The areas of the world that create danger for us. Which is a factual basis. Not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible, and that’s what the ban is based on. It’s not based on religion. It’s based on places where there are substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.

That is, of course, nonsense. The order discriminates against people because of their religion, and all the lies in the world won’t change that. The fact that an exception was made for Christians from the affected countries is proof of discriminatory intent as is Giuliani’s need to brag about his role in the ban. He’s really turning into his master. Giuliani’s success in masterminding the Comey coup has gone to his head, and he was already a raging egomaniac. This is terrific evidence for the legal eagles to pounce on. Thanks, Rudy. I can imagine Justice Anthony Kennedy’s head spinning as I write this. I am as likely to vote Republican as he is to uphold this executive order if it reaches SCOTUS.

This policy is based on Islamophobic fantasies, not reality. That’s a recurring theme for Team Trump’s Bannon wing. In addition to the Chaos Principle, they believe in what one might call the Goebbels corollary: the bigger the lie, the more believable it is. This is propaganda, not spin. The MSM is finally showing signs of coming to grips with that. It’s a pity that they didn’t do so during the late campaign. The MSM and the “Clinton is just as bad as Trump” crowd bear a lot of responsibility for the mess we find ourselves in. I hope the Steiners and Busters enjoyed the events of this weekend. They have a share of the blame. I may “Nazi punch” the next purity troll who tells me their vote didn’t matter because they were in a red state or some other lame excuse. Every vote in every election matters.

The Trumpers have clearly overreached. The order placing Steve Bannon on the National Security Council is the best example I can think of. That body has been moribund for many years BUT excluding the Director of National Intelligence and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sends a dangerous signal that Steve Bannon is running the show. It doesn’t get much worse than that but the order’s impact is symbolic for now. For now. That’s always the rub with this crowd.

One thing I’ve noticed about Bannon and his B3 Brownshirts is that they admire Soviet-style tactics. They’ve done some things that Stalin would have applauded such as placing what amounts to “political commissars” at cabinet departments and agencies. This sort of convergence of the far left and extreme right doesn’t surprise me at all.  This creeping Sovietism/Putinism is also reflected by their Holocaust remembrance day proclamation. It’s the first time an American administration has referred to the Holocaust without mentioning Jews. They’re pandering to the Holocaust denialists and minimizers. What’s next? An invitation for Davids Irving and Duke to visit the White House? Nothing would surprise me in the Chaos Principle era.

The one piece of advice I have for the nascent anti-Trump movement is to pace yourselves. The world is a complicated place and it cannot be changed in a day. This is going to be a long, hard slog and burn-out is a risk. Make sure to do whatever it is you do for fun It’s a lesson that New Orleanians learned during the post-Katrina/Federal Flood era. We were widely criticized for having Carnival in 2006. We knew better. It was necessary for our collective mental health. We continued rebuilding and pressuring the local, state, federal government for assistance but we took time out to enjoy life. It’s something that we can teach the rest of the country. There *is* a constitutional crisis now but stopping it won’t be helped by freaking out. Instead of freaking out: become better informed about American political history, and organize, organize, organize.

Vive les Maquis.

The Korematsu Case Revisited

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I remember very few papers I wrote as a college student. One exception is a paper about the horrific, anti-constitutional internment of the Japanese, including citizens, during World War II. It was an action initiated in panic by a racist Army General but ratified by some distinguished American liberals: President Roosevelt, Attorney General Francis Biddle, Justice Hugo Black, and then California Attorney General Earl Warren. It is a stain on all their memories and on American history. So much so that Congress and President Reagan formally apologized for internment in 1988. That right, Ronald Reagan knew it was wrong. There are ominous signs that the Trumpers do not.

TPM is usually the first political site I look at every morning. One headline was a real eye-opener, the textual equivalent of 2 cups of coffee, Trump Surrogate: Japanese Internment Camps A Precedent For Muslim Registry:

One of Donald Trump surrogate’s claimed Wednesday that the forced internment of Japanese Americans during World War II provided a “precedent” for the next administration creating a registry of Muslims living in the United States.

Carl Higbie, a former Navy SEAL and booster of the President-elect, told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that such a registry was necessary until “we can identify the true threat” posed by Islamic extremists.

“We have in the past,” Higbie said. “We have done it based on race, we have done it based on religion, we have done it based on region.”

<SNIP>

“It is legal. They say it’ll hold constitutional muster,” Higbie said of the registry. “I know the ACLU is going to challenge us, but I think it’ll pass. And we’ve done it with Iran back a while ago. We did it in World War II with Japanese, which, call it what you will—”

I call it bigotry. That’s what I call it. Targeting a religious minority is also an egregious violation of the First Amendment. I am, however, glad that barking mad Naval Seal mentioned the Bush years. They were not big on the constitution either. It *can* happen here. In fact, it already has.

I have a a few questions. Will the “Muslim registry” apply to citizens? Is this partial payback for Khizr Khan? Trump is capable of such petty vindictiveness, after all. Who’s going to restrain him? Rudy? Kris Kobach? Jared Kushner? Not bloody likely.

Back to the post title. The Supreme Court upheld the Japanese exclusion order in Korematsu v. United States in 1944. Fred Korematsu, an American citizen, was convicted of “violating the civilian exclusion order.” SCOTUS upheld his conviction in an opinion by Justice Hugo Black with three Justices in dissent: Stanley Roberts, Frank Murphy, and Robert Jackson. It was not one of Justice Black’s finest hours but Justice Jackson’s dissent rings true in the wake of the comments by that barking mad Navy Seal:

Korematsu was born on our soil, of parents born in Japan. The Constitution makes him a citizen of the United States by nativity, and a citizen of California by residence. No claim is made that he is not loyal to this country. There is no suggestion that, apart from the matter involved here, he is not law-abiding and well disposed. Korematsu, however, has been convicted of an act not commonly a crime. It consists merely of being present in the state whereof he is a citizen, near the place where he was born, and where all his life he has lived.
<SNIP>
Much is said of the danger to liberty from the Army program for deporting and detaining these citizens of Japanese extraction. But a judicial construction of the due process clause that will sustain this order is a far more subtle blow to liberty than the promulgation of the order itself. A military order, however unconstitutional, is not apt to last longer than the military emergency. Even during that period, a succeeding commander may revoke it all. But once a judicial opinion rationalizes such an order to show that it conforms to the Constitution, or rather rationalizes the Constitution to show that the Constitution sanctions such an order, the Court for all time has validated the principle of racial discrimination in criminal procedure and of transplanting American citizens. The principle then lies about like a loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need.

I added the bold face for obvious reasons. Korematsu has been discredited but never overruled. It still “lies about like a loaded weapon.” If the Islamophobes have their way, the chamber will be reloaded with their so-called registry. If that happens, all good people should try their damnedest to sign the thing in solidarity with those being oppressed. What’s next? A Yellow Crescent?

Don’t Talk to Me About Bubbles

I’m going to tell you a story and I swear every single word is true.

I work downtown in Chicago at least two days a week and on at least one of those days I eat lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant right near my office.

This place is owned by a Vietnamese family.

On the menu, which is on the wall, they advertise that some of the food is halal.

They serve Chilean wine.

Yesterday, when I was there, the older and younger cooks were yelling at each other in Spanish over what kind of music they were going to play in the dining room.

The younger cook won. Biggie. Big Poppa.

I’ve read a lot in the past week about how I live in a “liberal bubble.” How I don’t understand the world outside, the concerns of others, different from myself. How I need to do everything from “get out more” to “just move to a red state” to “talk to more people.”

Do you know how often I would LOVE to live in a bubble? When my upstairs neighbors are yelling about the Cubs game or a guy is trying to sell me video games on the street corner or the entire train car is engaged in ignoring-down someone who should really be getting mental health services or even another drink somewhere. (Nobody wants to call the cops, because we don’t want to hurt this guy further.) Do you know how often I think to myself, I’m tired of working this hard to live here?

There is no isolation here. No shield from difference. No ignoring the “other.” I can throw a rock from my house and hit four drug dealers and so can everyone else in my neighborhood.

It’s all in your face, all the time, everything that has led us where we are: Poverty. Inequality. A lack of help. An education system that is broken by racism and meanness about money. Gloriousness. Music. Food. History. Something new to learn every single second. Art in museums and on street corners, books stuffed to the rafters in the libraries.

And people. People people people.

I was at a wedding once in a small town in Kansas and the mother of the bride cornered me in the bathroom and talked about how lucky she was to live where she lived. There was, she said, no real community in the big city.

My next-door neighbor had called the week previous, in hysterics. She was hyperventilating and for a moment I thought something had happened to her son.

There was a dead mouse in her kitchen. She wanted my husband to come get it.

Same neighbor, the week Kick was born, left homemade chili and a supportive note at my front door. The woman who used to live upstairs pet-sat the ferrets and I walked her dog. Mr. A travels for work for weeks at a time and I’m never worried; there are half a dozen people in my building who’d come if I called. There are half a dozen people on the street at any given time: safety in numbers.

Kick was baptized at the church down the block. I’m an inconsistent attendee, but they welcomed us as if I parked in those pews full time. They extended their hands to our new, fragile little family and they blessed us, and I felt it in a way I’ve never felt faith before.

They have a food drive the first weekend of every month. People pile bags of food and envelopes of cash on the altar to feed the hungry.

I understand my way of life isn’t for everybody. Like I said, sometimes I’m not sure it’s for me and mine, not always. But the values that make it worth living are those in every community, large and small, across this country, values the “white working class,” the “small town America,” the “heartland,” instilled in me: Generosity, connection, joy. A profound sense of place, of knowing. A love of God, and of difference. A constant reaching out, over and over and over, in the face of every rebuff, knowing that we are more together than we are apart. Values that were so cruelly betrayed last week.

Don’t tell me I live in a bubble. Don’t tell me I don’t experience difference. It’s at the next desk in my office, talking about teaching kids to read. It’s my Iranian downstairs neighbors playing country music; you really haven’t lived until you’ve heard an elderly Persian woman yelling enthusiastically along with Kenny Chesney.

(And not for nothing, but some of us live in “bubbles” because we couldn’t get work in our red states of origin. I’ve read a lot of commentary in the past week about shallow liberals who just want to eat ethnic food to show off. For some people it’s about eating, period.)

This “bubble” is the wide world, the same one everyone lives in. We are all as isolated as we want to be. If you have three neighbors and you know them, good. If you have three thousand and you know as many of them as you can, good.

Nobody lives in a bubble, not unless they want to.

A.

Malaka Of The Week: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions

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Sessions and Trump do Alabama.

It’s time to play some inside baseball. A friend recently asked me why there have been fewer malaka of the week posts of late. He pointed out that there’s an abundance, even a surfeit, of malakatude. Here’s why: quite a few posts start off as malaka of the weekers but if I come up with a punchy-n-clever title I use that. Play ball.

I was astonished when I did an internal search a few weeks ago, and learned that Jeff Sessions had never been malaka of the week. I assumed he had been: he’s one of the worst Senators and the first member (literally in his case) of that body to endorse Donald Trump for President. (Sounds like a sentence Trump might want to grope.) Sessions been one of the Insult Comedian’s most outspoken and aggressive surrogates who is always willing to defend the indefensible. And that is why Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama is malaka of the week.

Sessions has been in the Senate for 20 years. In that time, he’s been one of its few openly racist members: his idea of enlightenment is calling black folks nigras instead of you know what. His fanatical opposition to all that is good and espousal of all that is bad has had him on my radar screen for years. His pet cause is immigration, which is why he endorsed his fellow bigot way back on February 28th at a rally in Mobile. It’s leap year, which may be why he jumped the gun and endorsed his fellow Putin fan so early. That’s given this benighted peckerwood real clout with the candidate. No wonder Trump is losing.

In addition to his general malakatude, Sessions has been in the news after two of Trump’s recent controversies. At first, he was adamant that the grab them by the Billy Bush tape wasn’t about sexual assault:

Interviewed in the spin room after the presidential debate in St. Louis, in which Trump brushed off the comments as “locker room talk,” the Alabama senator noted that the real estate mogul already apologized for his “very improper language.”

“But beyond the language, would you characterize the behavior described in that as sexual assault if that behavior actually took place?” the Weekly Standard asked.

“I don’t characterize that as sexual assault,” Sessions replied. ”I think that’s a stretch. I don’t know what he meant—“

“So if you grab a woman by the genitals, that’s not sexual assault?” the Weekly Standard pressed.

“I don’t know. It’s not clear that he—how that would occur.”

He has subsequently crawfished but that quote shows his inclination to slavishly support everything Trump does or says. Sessions long ago succumbed to Trump’s domination politics. Notice the featured image at the top of the post: Trump quite literally lays his hand on his little buddy with the very Southern name, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. They look like a demented version of Gomer Pyle and Sgt. Carter. Of course, Carter had a crew cut and Gomer wasn’t a racist pinhead just a Southern fried sillybilly,  but it still works.

Sessions has also echoed his master’s “rigged election” talking point. I suspect he actually believes this bullshit: it’s what they did in the zip-a-dee-doo-dah days of the Old South, after all. The GOP has been peddling this line for years but are now shocked that Trump and his lackeys have taken this specious argument to its logical extreme. We all know that THEM PEOPLE steal elections and even return from the grave to vote for the demonic Democrats. How do we know this? Rudy Noun Verb 9/11 Giuliani told us and Good Ole Jeff Sessions agrees with him. Would Rudolph and Jefferson lie? In a heartbeat.

While researching this post, I stumbled on to a classic 2010 Wonkette post: Vile Racist Jeff Sessions: It’s His Day To Shine. Here’s a sample of its beautiful viciousness:

Who is this vile, lisping piglet known as the “top ranking Republican” on the Senate Judiciary Committee calling everybody and everything (mostly Elena Kagan) Communist and Anti-American? Why it’s Alabama heartthrob Jeff Sessions, the Reagan-era U.S. attorney in Mobile who, when nominated by the Gipper to be U.S. District Court judge in southern Alabama, was revealed to be a complete racist and Bircher-style paranoid — the kind of trash who would tell black colleagues that he thought the Ku Klux Klan were “okay” until he discovered some of them were “pot smokers.”

Through the course of his confirmation hearings, black and white colleagues described Sessions’ constant, blatant racism: calling the NAACP “anti-American,” aggressively prosecuting fake “voter fraud” in black neighborhoods while ignoring actual fraud in white polling stations, calling a black U.S. attorney “boy,” and describing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a “piece of intrusive legislation” — a quote he stood behind during his hearing.

How little things have changed. And that is why Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama is malaka of the week. Believe it.

Since I mentioned dead voters, I’ll give a  certain rock combo the last word:

Trump’s Mexican Bait & Switch

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The political press knows who and what Donald Trump is: a flim-flam man. But they fall for his act time and time again. The New York Times is particularly susceptible to this carny barker’s blandishments. They had to do some radical rewriting of their Trump Wednesday article as you can see in this tweet:

There’s a disconnect at the Gray Lady between its political writers and news reporters. The latter have done some outstanding work about Trump’s slumlord father Fred and the Insult Comedian’s massive business debt. The tone of their political coverage, however, resides in MoDo-land, which is a realm that nobody should even want to visit let alone live. It’s a place where Anthony Weiner’s penis is of vital importance and where bad weather clichés dominate coverage of the Clintons. It’s also a place where the paper of record gets conned by the Insult Comedian over and over again.

Trump pantsed the MSM yesterday with a classic bait and switch. His impromptu visit to Mexico City baited the MSM into believing that he was somehow “moderating” his views. They fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Pardon the cliché but it fits. The switch came with his ranty, red-faced, angry harangue in Phoenix. Again the MSM fell for it. The press is supposed to be probing and skeptical but the political press corps was a gullible mark for Trump’s con game. Repeat after me: Every flim-flam man needs a sucker.

Press coverage of Trump’s meeting with wildly unpopular Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was analyzed through a lens of low expectations. Trump didn’t kick EPN in the balls and behaved like a facsimile of a human being so he was described as “looking Presidential.” The aftermath of the meeting has been murkier: EPN’s people and Team Trump have traded accusations of mendacity. Team EPN say the “wall” was discussed and that EPN told the Insult Comedian that Mexico would not pay. Team Trump maintains that it was not discussed because that would be inappropriate and rude. I am not making this up. The rudest man in America was too polite to mention his phantasmagorical wall? Neither side has any credibility with me so it’s tempting to say a pox on both their walls. There are more witnesses on EPN’s side so I’m giving him a slight edge. For more on the Mexican side of the equation get thee to Al Giordano’s Twitter feed. Al knows his shit about Mexican politics, y’all.

It was a surreal Wednesday watching the MSM fall for a huckster’s con and witnessing a Mexican President meet with the only guy more unpopular in his country than he is. I had to pinch myself at times to verify that it wasn’t sinsemilia flashbacks or some such shit. It’s proof positive that the one thing Trump is good at is working the media. They think it’s in poor taste to call him a liar so they don’t. They also do not recognize Trump’s Mexican sojourn for what it is: a stunt. Stunts are ephemeral and soon forgotten. Stunts are the physical comedy of the PR world, Trump was immediately back at work as an Insult Comedian at his Phoenix gig. To paraphrase Grace Slick, stunts don’t mean shit to a tree.

Having laid the bait for the gullible political press, Trump switched gears with a truly hateful speech reminiscent of his Trumpvention acceptance harangue. Once again, the MSM expected a “pivot” and got vintage “they’re all coming to rape and murder us” red meat for the xenophobia crowd. A certain Gret Stet hater loved it:

I think the word pivot should be banished from the political lexicon. Besides, when a Democrat moves to the center they’re making flippy floppy but it’s a pivot when a GOPer does it. Enough already. Basta ya. Das ist genug. I don’t know about you but it doesn’t sound better in the original German…

I’m glad that I suspended Godwin’s Law for the duration of campaign 2016. Everything about Trump’s speech reminded me of Triumph of the Will from the staging to the wild hand gestures to the almost hysterical tone of the speaker. The next time someone tells Hillary to stop shouting, I will kick them in the slats.

I’m not the only one who needed to discard Godwin’s Law. The MSM does too. Their coverage of Trump is clueless: they keep expecting him to be a normal human being instead of what he is,  a monster. Above all else, they need to stop falling for his con artistry and apply more skepticism to his words and deeds. Yesterday’s Mexican bait and switch should have been covered for what it was: a sham and a farce. It’s time for them to call a hater a hater and, more importantly, a liar a liar.

Hillary Clinton’s Alt-Right Speech

It’s no secret that I’m an ardent Democrat and staunch Hillary Clinton supporter. She’s a helluva tough woman who has endured 25 years of vicious attacks and has always, to paraphrase the old Kern-Fields song, picked herself up, dusted herself off, and started all over again. I have never been prouder of her than I am today. It took guts for Hillary to call out Donald Trump over his ties to white nationalists/supremacists.The speech was timely and well-delivered. It was also effective. Trump is  squealing like a stuck pig on his Twitter feed. And some people claimed Good Cop Kellyanne Conway took his phone away. They were wrong.

The more squeamish quarters of the punditocracy have been squirming ever since HRC’s speech. It’s impolite to say such things; just as one should never call one’s opponent a liar. Donald Trump doesn’t abide by the Marquess of Queensbury Rules and neither should his opponent. He *is*a liar. He *is* a racist. He *is* a misogynist. He *is* a con man. He *is* everything horrible that has been said about him. He *is* a menace.

Trump gave racialists/racists a seat at the table by hiring Breitbart Dude as his campaign CEO. David Dukkke has been one of his most ardent defenders. It may be impolite to tell Republicans that they’ve allowed the lunatic fringe to take over their party but it’s the truth. While it’s true that this has been coming on for years, the short-fingered vulgarian has accelerated the process. Reagan and Bush the elder denounced David Duke in the late 1980’s. Trump pretended not to know who he is in 2016. Reagan and Bush maintained a facade of plausible deniability when it came to the racists in their party as opposed to Trump’s implausible claim that Hillary Clinton is the bigot, not him. It’s just more projection by a sociopath. It’s what they do.

In addition to burying Trump, I want to praise Ms. Clinton for discarding euphemisms by calling a racialist a racist. After the break is  the transcript of her very important speech via TPM. I have omitted her introductory remarks since it’s the longest quote I’ve ever posted at First Draft. It’s also the most important.

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Tweets Of The Day: Jeet Heer Say Edition

Jeet Heer is a talented New Republic writer and an amusing tweeter. He also has one of the greatest names ever. It’s so punworthy that even I should not abuse it, not that you’d know that from the punny post title. Take my word for it. It’s not heersay…

The topic du jour is the Insult Comedian’s immigration “policy.” If any of you knows what it is, please tell me. It seems to change hourly. What Trump really has is a series of attitudes on immigration: the latest one is Mr. Kinda Sorta Nice Guy. I still haven’t the foggiest idea of what his policy is but it has pissed off Ann Coultergeist and that’s not a bad thing at all.

Jeet Heer was following last night’s Trumpian chaos and had a bit of fun at Coultegeist’s expense:

I am officially glad that I gave up Godwin’s Law for the duration of this campaign. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to post that tweet or this video:

That’s right, it’s already happened, even if the dread Coultegeist isn’t in it. You can’t have everything, Jeet.

All Trump has done with his latest position is confuse people. Will it last? It seems to depend on who he spoke to last. His campaign gets more farcical by the day. It’s also turning into a cop show cliché: they have Bad Cop (Breitbart Dude) and Good Cop (Kellyanne Conway.) The MSM will hype this change as-you guessed it-a pivot that will change everything. It changes nothing: his supporters have drunk the orange Kool-Aid and most everyone else thinks he’s unstable and perhaps even batshit crazy.

Trump’s “positions” are so chaotic and changeable that they gave me an earworm. I’ll give Neil Finn and Crowded House the last word: