Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

2020 American Political Scene

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • John Michael Goulart Jr., an officer in Pineville, Louisiana, is accused of having "altered the facts" after shooting himself, the police department said.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

    Comment


    • Lindsey Graham Begs For Campaign Donations on Fox News: ‘I’m Being KILLED Financially’

      Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) repeatedly begged for campaign donations during an appearance on Fox & Friends, claiming he’s “being killed financially” and needs “some help.”

      While discussing the Supreme Court on Thursday, Graham said, “They are going to try to destroy the nominee. The liberal media with the Democratic radical left tried to destroy Kavanaugh. This is going to be the Super Bowl of politics.”

      “Act Blue raised $150 million right after the death of Justice Ginsburg within 3 days. My opponent raised $6 million. I’m being outspent four-to-one. Outraised five-to-one,” he continued, adding, “LindseyGraham.com if you want to help me close the gap. I need some help.”

      Upon being asked further by Ainsley Earhardtabout his opponent raising more money, Graham explained, “It’s ActBlue money. Forty-eight percent of the people who gave money to ActBlue were unemployed in 2019.”

      “This is a vehicle to get low-dollar donations. My opponent will raise almost $100 million, Ainsley, in the state of South Carolina. The most money ever spent in the history of the state on a Senate race was by me in 2014 when I spent 13 million,” he declared. “He raised $6 million from the time Justice Ginsburg passed away, within 72 hours.”

      “And God bless Justice Ginsburg, we are celebrating her life — I appreciate waiting Saturday to announce the replacement — but I’m being killed financially. This money is ’cause they hate my guts,” Graham went on, claiming, “I stood up for Kavanaugh at a time when they wanted to destroy his life, and I dared to help President Trump, the unpardonable sin of a Republican, so the wrath of the left is coming down on me, but it’s all of us. All of us are getting outraised.”

      The senator concluded by saying, “To those who are listening who want to help Republicans fight back, get on our website, it’s LindseyGraham.com. Five or ten bucks goes a long way if enough people do it.”
      ____________

      So, Graham is getting "killed" financially by people who didn't have a job in 2019? Not sure how he knows that, or how it's even relevant except to show just how much people do indeed hate his guts.

      Who woulda thought that a South Carolina Republican would be crying and begging like a little bitch just a month before the election

      I mean, c'mon, South Carolina has gone red every election except one since 1972 and Graham is still favored to win this year, even after proving (again) what a spineless whore he is.

      Quit your whining and be a man for once.
      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

      Comment


      • Ex-Trump administration officials all seem to agree on one thing: Their former boss is a walking disaster.

        A common theme has emerged from comments made by ex-Trump administration officials. Whether they were four star generals, energy company CEOs, or career civil servants, they all say their former boss is dangerously ignorant, inexcusably incompetent, and frighteningly unstable.

        In the face of this consistent and specific criticism from a slew of highly qualified people he hired, Trump's response has been to call them liars, cowards, bitter or "dumb as a rock."

        The president would have the American people believe that all of these former subordinates — most of them loyal, lifelong Republicans — have got it all wrong. Only he has it right.

        The question that Trump supporters or Trump-sympathetic voters need to ask themselves is: Who are you going to believe?
        A brief list of ex-Trump administration officials' testimonials for the president

        There's far too many to recount, so let's recall just a few of the more high-profile veterans of the Trump White House:
        • Trump's former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, a former president and chief operating officer for Goldman Sachs, reportedly called Trump a "professional liar."
        • Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who prior to joining the Trump administration was the CEO of ExxonMobil, in a meeting at the Pentagon reportedly called Trump a "f**king moron."
        • Former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who previously served as an ambassador to the UN and has worked in three Republican presidential administrations, in his memoir called Trump "erratic" and "stunningly uninformed."
        • Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a four star US Marine Corps general who commanded troops in three wars, in a statement in June said Trump "tries to divide us," that he makes "a mockery of the Constitution" and that "we are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership." He also told veteran journalist Bob Woodward: "The president has no moral compass."
        • Former White House Chief of Staff and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, also a four star US Marine Corps general, has been the tightest-lipped about his time working for Trump. But he did say he agrees with Mattis' assessment of Trump, and he publicly disputed Trump's claim that he fired Mattis. That means Kelly effectively called Trump a liar.
        Every ex-Trump administration official can't be a secret Democrat

        Nobody circles the wagons, moves the goalposts or changes the subject quite like hardcore Trump supporters.

        When audio recordings of Trump bragging that he grabs women he just by their genitals, Trumpists whatabouted their way into Bill Clinton's sordid past.

        When White House advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump — the president's son-in-law and daughter — were revealed to have used private email accounts to conduct government business, the same people screaming at Trump rallies to lock Hillary Clinton up simply yawned.

        When reports emerged of Trump disparaging fallen members of the military as "suckers," they dismissed the anonymous sourcing out of hand. Never mind the fact that disparaging military personnel is nothing new for Trump, who has himself been an anonymous source in the media for decades.

        It will never matter to Trump's base that the people who have worked intimately with the president at the highest levels of the administration think he's a dangerous, dishonest buffoon.

        Theirs is a cult of personality.

        As long as Trump continues to "trigger the libs," they'll abide every easily disprovable lie, every deranged conspiracy theory, and every just plain stupid thing that dribbles out of his mouth.

        But the reluctant 2016 Trump voters and Never Democrat voters ought to consider the words of the Trump former administration officials. They're not secret Democratic activists. They're staunch conservatives, or in the case of the generals, devout patriots who felt it their national duty to accept the president's offers.

        They've all seen Trump's leadership in action. And they've told us it is a horrifying thing to behold. Trump says they're all liars.

        Who are you going to believe?
        _______________


        Click image for larger version

Name:	1zVdynK.jpg
Views:	85
Size:	156.4 KB
ID:	1566244
        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

        Comment




        • Originally posted by Washington_Post

          George W. Bush's ardent speech on democracy, in 3 minutes

          Published on Oct 19, 2017
          Former president George W. Bush spoke about the perils facing U.S. democracy on Oct. 19, and appeared to weigh in on President Trump's tenure.
          .
          .
          .

          Comment


          • Court allows House Democrats to challenge Trump’s use of military funding to build the border wall

            (Reuters) - A federal appeals court handed a win to the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, saying the Democratic-led chamber could proceed with a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's diversion of funds to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

            Reversing a lower court judge, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said in a 3-0 decision that the House had legal standing to sue Trump for using money to build the wall that was appropriated by Congress for other purposes.

            The case now returns to a lower court, where House Democrats will argue that diverting the funds violated the separation of powers doctrine laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

            A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, which argued for the administration in the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

            The wall was Trump's signature 2016 campaign promise, and at the time he insisted that Mexico would pay for it. Mexico never agreed to that and has not done so.

            The three-judge panel cited an Aug. 7 ruling by the same court that a House panel could sue to enforce a subpoena issued to former White House Counsel Don McGahn. That case was later dismissed on other grounds.

            In February 2019, after a protracted political battle and a government shutdown, Congress approved $1.38 billion for construction of “primary pedestrian fencing” along the border in southeastern Texas, well short of Trump’s demands.

            To obtain additional funds for the wall, Trump declared a national emergency and his administration said it planned to divert $601 million from a Treasury Department forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion earmarked for Department of Defense counterparties programs and $3.6 billion from military construction projects.
            ____________

            "Trump's a businessman and he'll run this country like a business!"

            Um, yeah, he's going to run it like one of HIS businesses.
            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

            Comment


            • Op-Ed: Reality Ends The Reality Show

              In the reality show that has been the Trump presidency, we probably should have expected something like this. As a plot twist, the show-runners would have kept this moment for the very end of the penultimate episode, just before the season finale. Anything could still happen, of course. Trump could be dead by election day. Or he could somehow stage a swift recovery in a mild case, and run a back-from-the-near-dead campaign that surges improbably to victory on a wave of sympathy. Between those two scenarios, your guess is as good as mine.

              It’s a terrible thing for an elderly person to get this disease, and Trump’s obesity puts him in an even more vulnerable category. No one deserves this, even those, like Trump, who openly defied prudent measures to reduce risk, and thereby helped infect and kill countless others. The president, like any human being, deserves sympathy and support.

              But there is something salutary in the Trump era about reality reasserting itself in this last twist of the viral knife. The man has spent years at war with reality: living in delusions, perpetuating fantasies, imagining hoaxes, constructing conspiracies, accruing debt, rewriting history constantly as self-serving myth. At some point, reality was going to get personal in return.

              And it has. Like all tyrants, Trump lives in an alternate universe where his will, tempered only by his whim, determines everything. And like all tyrants, Trump will eventually be defeated by the distance between his universe and the real one. The question has always been how long that would take, and how much damage would be done in the process. But the toll has been piling up of late. 205,000 dead, a stalled economy, a broken constitution, a bankrupt treasury, a ravaged environment, and the most toxic political culture in memory have not, exactly, made America great “again”. And, with his tax returns now public, the reality that Trump is a failed businessman and tax dodger is as inescapable as the truth that he is a serial sexual abuser.

              Just as inescapable is the reality of the epidemic. The winter looms, as cases surge in Europe once again. The pandemic economy has been absolutely brutal for the working poor, compared with the middle and upper classes, intensifying dangerous, destabilizing levels of inequality. It has torn the social fabric apart, sequestering the elderly in heartbreaking solitude, compounding the opioid crisis, deepening depression and anxiety, increasing suicides among soldiers, keeping loved ones away even from a deathbed. It cannot be willed away.

              Neither can the fast-deteriorating environment, which will condemn this country and the world to unknowable ordeals from wind and rain and fire and ice in the coming years and decades. Neither can the intensifying polarization and tribalism of our culture of online algorithms — a world of techno-politics we are only beginning to understand how to control. Trump denied these realities, obscuring them with salesmanship and shock, or exploiting them for his own purposes. He preferred a reality show — which he has been a genius at concocting at the expense of everything else — and so, unforgivably, did many of us.

              The one simple thing I learned from being diagnosed as positive with a lethal virus decades ago is that I am not in control, and that maturity subsists in acceptance of this. A life well lived is not in denial of reality, but in difficult, unsatisfying, daily, hourly engagement with it, alongside a spiritual attempt at occasional transcendence. Similarly, it seems to me, politics is best conducted as a tackling of the world as it is, free from delusion and ideology, wary of our own bias and wants, humble in our goals, prudent in our methods. It is not a show, let alone a psychotic melodrama about a deranged narcissist.

              This latest news, hard to absorb, is therefore nonetheless a tonic. It points in a simple direction: toward a man whose encounters with reality have been many and brutal, and who has endured them with grace and grit and realism. Joe Biden — blindsided by the untimely, soul-testing deaths of his nearest and dearest through the decades — knows how unsparing the world as-it-is can be. He has taken this epidemic seriously from the start, taken the proper precautions, and urged a serious, sustained response. He is not in denial of the fragility of life, because he has been taught the hard way how not to be.

              At some point, the reality show must end; and our engagement with reality needs to begin again. We can start November 3.
              _____________

              Trump followers constantly demand to know "What, you think Biden will be any better than Trump??" Well, yeah, I do. For the exact reasons in the bolded sections above outline.

              But mostly it comes down to this:

              Joe Biden has taken this epidemic seriously from the start, taken the proper precautions, and urged a serious, sustained response. He is not in denial of the fragility of life, because he has been taught the hard way how not to be.

              None of which is true of Donald Trump.
              Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

              Comment


              • Op-Ed: What Did You Expect?

                Trump should never have been allowed anywhere near any public office.

                There is a great deal you have every right to expect at this moment of crisis, and no reason at all to believe that Donald Trump or his White House will provide it.

                You cannot expect this White House to tell the truth about Trump’s health. His doctors have lied about the president’s weight and height. They have never offered an adequate explanation of his sudden, unscheduled visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center a year ago. Even the fact that a close aide to the president had tested positive for the coronavirus was kept from the public until Bloomberg broke the news.

                You cannot expect the White House to produce any orderly plan for the execution of Trump’s public duties, even to the very limited extent that Trump executed public duties in the first place. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 6 of this year. Johnson formally deputed Foreign Minister Dominic Raab to preside over the government during his own incapacity. But the pattern in the Trump administration has been that the president will not and cannot do the job himself, and that he vengefully strikes down anyone who tries to do the job for him.

                Trump fired his most successful chief of staff, John Kelly, for trying to force him to work. Kelly’s successor, Mick Mulvaney, survived by enabling Trump “to act as he chooses—a recognition that trying to control Trump is a futile approach,” as Politico’s Nancy Cook put it. Likewise, Vice President Mike Pence had better be awfully circumspect about filling the role that the Constitution and its Twenty-Fifth Amendment assign him. Trump will be watching. So long as Trump is conscious, he will not allow it; should he lose consciousness, he will retaliate when and if he recovers.

                You cannot expect the White House to exhibit any regard for the health of others. The president knowingly exposed his wife, his adult children, his staff, his donors, and his supporters in the Cleveland debate hall. He refused and forbade the most basic safety precautions in the close quarters of the West Wing and on Air Force One, except for testing, which was intended to protect him personally. On Tuesday, Trump was on the debate stage mocking former Vice President Joe Biden for wearing face masks; as the positive tests came in, he did not bother to inform Biden or his team that Trump had exposed him to the coronavirus. Until we know the date of Trump’s last negative COVID-19 test, we can only guess at the number of people he exposed. By sticking to an aggressive travel schedule with in-person gatherings while eschewing even minimal safeguards, Trump has carried the risk of disease across the country.

                You cannot expect Trump to gain any wisdom, empathy, or compassion for others. Throughout the pandemic, Trump has disdained the hardships suffered by sick and dying Americans, by their families and neighbors, by those who have lost jobs and homes. When NBC’s Peter Alexander asked Trump on March 20 what the president would say to Americans feeling fear because of the disease, he upbraided Alexander: “I’d say you are a terrible reporter.” When Republican Senator Mitt Romney self-isolated because he had been exposed to COVID-19 by the negligent selfishness of Senator Rand Paul, Trump sarcastically said to reporters, “Oh, that’s too bad.” It’s a consistent pattern for Trump; on October 2, 2016, four years ago to the day of Trump’s COVID-positive acknowledgment, Trump cruelly pantomimed onstage Hillary Clinton’s campaign-season bout of pneumonia.

                What you can expect is a lot of victimhood and self-pity. Trump and those around him have always demanded for themselves the decencies that they refuse others. They will get them, too. Trump’s opponents will express concern and good wishes—and if they do not, Trump’s allies will complain that those opponents are allowing politics to overwhelm human feeling. It was only three days ago that Trump on a debate stage dismissed Biden’s dead son, Beau, and falsely claimed that Biden’s surviving son, Hunter, had been dishonorably discharged from the military.* The next day, Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., appeared on Glenn Beck’s show to describe Hunter as a “crackhead.” Now, though, we will hear a lot about how people are not being respectful enough to a president in his time of illness.
                Trump has all his life posed a moral puzzle: What is due in the way of kindness and sympathy to people who have no kindness and sympathy for anyone else? Should we repay horrifying cruelty in equal measure? Then we reduce ourselves to their level. But if we return indecency with the decency due any other person in need, don’t we encourage appalling behavior? Don’t we prove to them that they belong to some unique bracket of humanity, entitled to kick others when they are writhing on the floor, and then to claim mercy when their own crimes and cruelties cast them upon the floor themselves?

                Americans are dead who might have been alive if Trump had met the challenge of COVID-19 with care and responsibility—or if somebody else, literally almost anybody else, had been president instead. Millions are out of work, in danger of losing their homes, living in fear. Tens of millions of young people have suffered disruption to their education, which will follow them through life. The pandemic was not Trump’s fault, but at every turn, he made things worse than they had to be—because at every turn, he cared only for himself, never for the country. And now he will care only for himself again.

                Trump should never have been allowed anywhere near any public office. Wish him well, but recognize that his deformed spirit will never be well—and that nothing can be well for the country under his leadership.
                __________
                Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                Comment


                • Why Trump Does Well with Working-Class Democrats

                  Many white urban and suburban professionals have a really hard time understanding how traditionally Democratic working-class voters could support Donald Trump. After all, they see him as a racist, misogynist, nepotistic, incompetent neo-fascist who has no respect for tradition or the law. Why doesn't everyone see that? A lot has been written about the "why," much of it assigning bigotry and stupidity to his supporters. But Stephanie Muravchik, a historian at the University of Virginia, and Jon Shields, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College, tried something different. Instead of zipping into some Trump stronghold, interviewing ten people in a day, and then zipping out, they lived in three such places over a period of 3 years. They got to know the locals in bars, diners, churches, and town council meetings. Then they wrote a book, Trump's Democrats, about what they learned. The Bulwark published an article today by the two researchers summarizing their findings.

                  You might think the Republicans invented the idea of a populist authoritarian leader who cared little about the law, but you'd be wrong. The Democrats' Boss William Magear Tweed, who ran the corrupt Tammany Hall (that de facto ruled New York City with an iron fist from the early 1800s to the early 1930s) perfected the concept 160 years ago. A more recent example is Chicago's former Democratic Mayor Richard J. Daley.

                  The researchers studied Elliott County, KY, a small town with a history of coal mining and tobacco farming; Johnston, RI, a suburb of Providence; and Ottumwa, IA, a small industrial city with a meatpacking plant. What they found in these three Trump strongholds was a culture with crass, thin-skinned, nepotistic, corrupt, authoritarian Democratic leaders who delivered. Think: Boss Tweed, but on a smaller scale and in rural areas.

                  In all the places, the boss and his supporters are held together by a paternalistic social contract in which the people support the boss and he delivers for them. Sometimes literally. David Blair ran Elliott County for decades until the feds got him for using public money to buy gravel and then giving it to local farms to use on their private roads. But it was precisely that kind of favor that made him popular and kept him in office so long. He got farm boys union cards and sent them to Cincinnati to work at good-paying jobs. He hired them to work in his coal mines in return for support. He also hired his oldest son as his deputy—something every county executive had done for 50 years. Do you think it odd that no one there blinked at the idea of Donald Trump hiring his son-in-law to run those parts of the government he wasn't interested in? It was expected. Family ties are the basis for everything in Elliott County and the other places studied.

                  In Johnston, Mayor Joe Polisena and a few other families run the town. Polisena's son was just elected to the town council to groom him to be mayor when Joe retires. Is there corruption there? You betcha, but that's just how things work. If you support Polisena and need a favor, his door is always open; otherwise, not so much.

                  When Ottumwa's mayor, Jerry Parker, was arrested for running a gambling den in his home, he refused to step down. Then he was reelected by a larger margin than before due to all his previous work for the working-class neighborhoods, especially work to control flooding in some of them.

                  All of the local Democratic leaders believe in the "honor culture." When their opponents attack them, they don't go high, as Michelle Obama suggested, they tear them apart. Being tough is what counts. Locals told the researchers that Obama was a pushover but Trump is no pushover. They respect that. A lot. They see him as a strong leader. As Bob Woodward wrote in his book Fear, real power is fear. Never show weakness. That's the honor culture the researchers found in the communities they studied. It's completely foreign to urban professionals living in leafy college towns, which is why they cannot understand why Democrats would support Trump.

                  Trump fits the model of the local Democratic leader much better than people like John McCain, Mitt Romney, or the Bushes. He's tough, he promises to get things done without too much regard whether it is legal, and promises to deliver stuff to his supporters—and only to his supporters—whether it is economic (jobs) or cultural (conservative judges). Joe Biden doesn't fit this model at all, which is why he will do badly in places like these.

                  ___________

                  I'm not exactly an urban professional living in a leafy college town, but this momentarily blew my mind....until I realized how utterly common this has to be and thus how so many people could so casually overlook what a moral cesspool Donald Trump is.

                  Of course, I'm still baffled at what it is that Donald Trump has actually "delivered"
                  Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                  Comment


                  • Of course, I'm still baffled at what it is that Donald Trump has actually "delivered"
                    for those people, the most important thing of all: owning the libs.

                    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by astralis View Post

                      for those people, the most important thing of all: owning the libs.
                      Apparently they like neither their own noses, nor their own faces.
                      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                      Comment


                      • Probably my tax cut, destroying ISIS without getting us involved in another stupid MidEast land war, slapping the sanctions back on Iran, getting North Korea to stop its missile tests, continuing the normalization of relations with Israel without surrendering to Palestinian terrorists, getting a whole crap ton of good judges, allowing Keystone and DAPL, nixing Clean Power Plan, are all nice things. An ACA revision would have been nice, but alas

                        There's also the added benefit of keeping the loons on the left out of power. Now instead they are going to hold the #2 office in the executive branch, along with all the appointments Biden is going to make to staff the agencies. The Never Trumpers voting Biden think they're going to be able to skirt this, but lol.
                        "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
                          Probably my tax cut, destroying ISIS without getting us involved in another stupid MidEast land war, slapping the sanctions back on Iran, getting North Korea to stop its missile tests, continuing the normalization of relations with Israel without surrendering to Palestinian terrorists, getting a whole crap ton of good judges, allowing Keystone and DAPL, nixing Clean Power Plan, are all nice things. An ACA revision would have been nice, but alas

                          There's also the added benefit of keeping the loons on the left out of power. Now instead they are going to hold the #2 office in the executive branch, along with all the appointments Biden is going to make to staff the agencies. The Never Trumpers voting Biden think they're going to be able to skirt this, but lol.
                          Your tax cut? The one that threw a few pennies at your feet, for a few years?

                          Destroying (?) ISIS while throwing America's allies into the furnace?

                          Slapping sanctions on Iran...that are effectively meaningless?

                          North Korea stopped their missile tests? In what reality? And Trump did this without bringing the US to the brink of war with North Korea?

                          Trump normalized relations with Israel...or was it (like most things Trump) not as great as it sounds?

                          Crap ton of good judges....yeah, as long as you're a right-winger that believes the president is above all law, or that policing a woman's body is just fine and dandy or that gays shouldn't be allowed to get married.

                          Allowing Keystone? DAPL? Clean Power Plan? Yeah if you're into poisoning the soil and water that people depend on, yeah Trump's great for that, for sure.

                          An ACA revision? Never mind a "revision", how about the complete new healthcare plan that Trump said we would be signing "within two weeks"....back in JULY?

                          Yeah, Trump's done so much for Americans.
                          Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                          Comment


                          • ‘We Need to Take Away Children,’ No Matter How Young, Justice Dept. Officials Said

                            WASHINGTON — The five U.S. attorneys along the border with Mexico, including three appointed by President Trump, recoiled in May 2018 against an order to prosecute all undocumented immigrants even if it meant separating children from their parents. They told top Justice Department officials they were “deeply concerned” about the children’s welfare.

                            But the attorney general at the time, Jeff Sessions, made it clear what Mr. Trump wanted on a conference call later that afternoon, according to a two-year inquiry by the Justice Department’s inspector general into Mr. Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy.

                            “We need to take away children,” Mr. Sessions told the prosecutors, according to participants’ notes. One added in shorthand: “If care about kids, don’t bring them in. Won’t give amnesty to people with kids.”

                            Rod J. Rosenstein, then the deputy attorney general, went even further in a second call about a week later, telling the five prosecutors that it did not matter how young the children were. He said that government lawyers should not have refused to prosecute two cases simply because the children were barely more than infants.


                            “Those two cases should not have been declined,” John Bash, the departing U.S. attorney in western Texas, wrote to his staff immediately after the call. Mr. Rosenstein “instructed that, per the A.G.’s policy, we should NOT be categorically declining immigration prosecutions of adults in family units because of the age of a child.”

                            The Justice Department’s top officials were “a driving force” behind the policy that spurred the separation of thousands of families, many of them fleeing violence in Central America and seeking asylum in the United States, before Mr. Trump abandoned it amid global outrage, according to a draft report of the results of the investigation by Michael E. Horowitz, the department’s inspector general.

                            The separation of migrant children from their parents, sometimes for months, was at the heart of the Trump administration’s assault on immigration. But the fierce backlash when the administration struggled to reunite the children turned it into one of the biggest policy debacles of the president’s term.

                            Though Mr. Sessions sought to distance himself from the policy, allowing Mr. Trump and Homeland Security Department officials to largely be blamed, he and other top law enforcement officials understood that “zero tolerance” meant that migrant families would be separated and wanted that to happen because they believed it would deter future illegal immigration, Mr. Horowitz wrote.

                            “The department’s single-minded focus on increasing prosecutions came at the expense of careful and effective implementation of the policy, especially with regard to prosecution of family-unit adults and the resulting child separations,” the draft report said.

                            ImageMigrant families were dropped off by immigration officials at a bus station in McAllen, Texas, in 2018.Credit...Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times
                            The draft report, citing more than 45 interviews with key officials, emails and other documents, provides the most complete look at the discussions inside the Justice Department as the family separation policy was developed, pushed and ultimately carried out with little concern for children.

                            This article is based on a review of the 86-page draft report and interviews with three government officials who read it in recent months and described its conclusions and many of the details in it. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they had not been authorized to discuss it publicly, cautioned that the final report could change.

                            Before publishing the findings of its investigations, the inspector general’s office typically provides draft copies to Justice Department leaders and others mentioned in the reports to ensure that they are accurate.

                            Mr. Horowitz had been preparing to release his report since late summer, according to a person familiar with the investigation, though the process allowing for responses from current and former department officials whose conduct is under scrutiny is likely to delay its release until after the presidential election.

                            Mr. Sessions refused to be interviewed, the report noted. Mr. Rosenstein, who is now a lawyer in private practice, defended himself in his interview with investigators in response to questioning about his role, according to two of the officials. Mr. Rosenstein’s former office submitted a 64-page response to the report.

                            “If any United States attorney ever charged a defendant they did not personally believe warranted prosecution, they violated their oath of office,” Mr. Rosenstein said in a statement. “I never ordered anyone to prosecute a case.”

                            Gene Hamilton, a top lawyer and ally of Stephen Miller, the architect of the president’s assault on immigration, argued in a 32-page response that Justice Department officials merely took direction from the president. Mr. Hamilton cited an April 3, 2018, meeting with Mr. Sessions; the homeland security secretary at the time, Kirstjen Nielsen; and others in which the president “ranted” and was on “a tirade,” demanding as many prosecutions as possible.

                            Mr. Hamilton declined to comment for this article, as did Mr. Horowitz’s office. Mr. Sessions did not respond to requests for comment. Alexa Vance, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, disputed the draft report and said the Homeland Security Department referred cases for prosecution.

                            “The draft report relied on for this article contains numerous factual errors and inaccuracies,” she said. “While D.O.J. is responsible for the prosecutions of defendants, it had no role in tracking or providing custodial care to the children of defendants. Finally, both the timing and misleading content of this leak raise troubling questions about the motivations of those responsible for it.”

                            The draft report also documented other revelations that had not previously been known:
                            • Government prosecutors reacted with alarm at the separation of children from their parents during a secret 2017 pilot program along the Mexican border in Texas. “We have now heard of us taking breastfeeding defendant moms away from their infants,” one government prosecutor wrote to his superiors. “I did not believe this until I looked at the duty log.”
                            • Border Patrol officers missed serious felony cases because they were stretched too thin by the zero-tolerance policy requiring them to detain and prosecute all of the misdemeanor illegal entry cases. One Texas prosecutor warned top Justice Department officials in 2018 that “sex offenders were released” as a result.
                            • Senior Justice Department officials viewed the welfare of the children as the responsibility of other agencies and their duty as tracking the parents. “I just don’t see that as a D.O.J. equity,” Mr. Rosenstein told the inspector general.
                            • The failure to inform the U.S. Marshals Service before announcing the zero-tolerance policy led to serious overcrowding and budget overruns. The marshals were forced to cut back on serving warrants in other cases, saying that “when you take away manpower, you can’t make a safe arrest.”
                            For two years, Ms. Nielsen has taken the brunt of the public criticism for separating migrant families because of her decision to refer adults crossing the border illegally with children for prosecution. A day after the president’s retreat, Mr. Sessions distanced his department from the decision, telling CBN News that “we never really intended” to separate children.

                            That was false, according to the draft report. It made clear that from the policy’s earliest days in a five-month test along the border in Texas, Justice Department officials understood — and encouraged — the separation of children as an expected part of the desire to prosecute all undocumented border crossers.


                            “It is the hope that this separation will act as a deterrent to parents bringing their children into the harsh circumstances that are present when trying to enter the United States illegally,” a Border Patrol official wrote on Oct. 28, 2017, to the U.S. attorney in New Mexico, according to the draft report.

                            After the pilot program in Texas ended, the report asserted, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Rosenstein pushed aggressively to expand the practice across the entire southwestern border, with help from prosecutors.

                            In a briefing two days after Christmas in 2017, top Justice Department officials asked Mr. Bash for statistics from the pilot program, conducted by his predecessor, that could be used to develop “nationwide prosecution guidelines.” Mr. Bash, a former White House adviser, did not receive a follow-up request for the information. Thinking that the idea had been abandoned, he did not provide it.

                            By April 2018, Mr. Sessions nevertheless moved to enact the zero-tolerance policy across the entire border with Mexico. Mr. Rosenstein told the inspector general that Mr. Sessions “understood what the consequences were.”

                            “The A.G.’s goal,” he said, “was to create a more effective deterrent so that everybody would believe that they had a risk of being prosecuted.”

                            But the Justice Department still needed to persuade Ms. Nielsen to refer all families for prosecution, which she had been resisting. The draft report says a pressure campaign culminated in a May 3 meeting in which Mr. Sessions insisted that Customs and Border Protection begin referring all of those cases to prosecutors.

                            A note from Mr. Hamilton to Mr. Sessions before the meeting indicated: “You should lead this discussion.”

                            “We must vigorously enforce our criminal immigration laws to ensure that there are consequences for illegal actions and to deter future illegal immigration,” Mr. Sessions planned to say, according to the draft report. “That means that an illegal alien should not get a free pass just because he or she crosses the border illegally with a child.”

                            When the group voted by a show of hands to proceed, Ms. Nielsen was the only one who kept her hand down, according to two people familiar with the vote, which was reported earlier by NBC News. The next day, Ms. Nielsen backed down, signing a memo referring all adults for prosecution and clearing the way for the children to be separated.

                            The decision roiled the prosecutors along the border. In Arizona, Elizabeth Strange, the acting U.S. attorney, led a minor rebellion, temporarily declining six cases, citing concern about the children. That prompted a rebuke from top Justice Department officials, who demanded to know “why would they be declining these cases?”

                            Justice Department officials have repeatedly claimed that they thought the adults would be prosecuted and reunited with their children within hours of being separated. But the inspector general found a memo informing top officials that sentences for adults ranged from three to 14 days, making it all but certain that children would be sent to the custody of officials at the Health and Human Services Department for long periods of time.

                            “We found no evidence, before or after receipt of the memorandum, that D.O.J. leaders sought to expedite the process for completing sentencing in order to facilitate reunification of separated families,” the inspector general wrote.

                            Over all, Mr. Horowitz concluded in the draft, Mr. Sessions and other senior department officials “were aware that full implementation of the zero-tolerance policy would result in criminal referrals by D.H.S. of adults who enter the country illegally with children and that the prosecution of these family-unit adults would result in children being separated from families.”
                            _____________

                            Children.

                            You soulless fucking bastards I hope you rot in hell.


                            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                              ‘We Need to Take Away Children,’ No Matter How Young, Justice Dept. Officials Said

                              WASHINGTON — The five U.S. attorneys along the border with Mexico, including three appointed by President Trump, recoiled in May 2018 against an order to prosecute all undocumented immigrants even if it meant separating children from their parents. They told top Justice Department officials they were “deeply concerned” about the children’s welfare.

                              But the attorney general at the time, Jeff Sessions, made it clear what Mr. Trump wanted on a conference call later that afternoon, according to a two-year inquiry by the Justice Department’s inspector general into Mr. Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy.

                              “We need to take away children,” Mr. Sessions told the prosecutors, according to participants’ notes. One added in shorthand: “If care about kids, don’t bring them in. Won’t give amnesty to people with kids.”

                              Rod J. Rosenstein, then the deputy attorney general, went even further in a second call about a week later, telling the five prosecutors that it did not matter how young the children were. He said that government lawyers should not have refused to prosecute two cases simply because the children were barely more than infants.


                              “Those two cases should not have been declined,” John Bash, the departing U.S. attorney in western Texas, wrote to his staff immediately after the call. Mr. Rosenstein “instructed that, per the A.G.’s policy, we should NOT be categorically declining immigration prosecutions of adults in family units because of the age of a child.”

                              The Justice Department’s top officials were “a driving force” behind the policy that spurred the separation of thousands of families, many of them fleeing violence in Central America and seeking asylum in the United States, before Mr. Trump abandoned it amid global outrage, according to a draft report of the results of the investigation by Michael E. Horowitz, the department’s inspector general.

                              The separation of migrant children from their parents, sometimes for months, was at the heart of the Trump administration’s assault on immigration. But the fierce backlash when the administration struggled to reunite the children turned it into one of the biggest policy debacles of the president’s term.

                              Though Mr. Sessions sought to distance himself from the policy, allowing Mr. Trump and Homeland Security Department officials to largely be blamed, he and other top law enforcement officials understood that “zero tolerance” meant that migrant families would be separated and wanted that to happen because they believed it would deter future illegal immigration, Mr. Horowitz wrote.

                              “The department’s single-minded focus on increasing prosecutions came at the expense of careful and effective implementation of the policy, especially with regard to prosecution of family-unit adults and the resulting child separations,” the draft report said.

                              ImageMigrant families were dropped off by immigration officials at a bus station in McAllen, Texas, in 2018.Credit...Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times
                              The draft report, citing more than 45 interviews with key officials, emails and other documents, provides the most complete look at the discussions inside the Justice Department as the family separation policy was developed, pushed and ultimately carried out with little concern for children.

                              This article is based on a review of the 86-page draft report and interviews with three government officials who read it in recent months and described its conclusions and many of the details in it. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they had not been authorized to discuss it publicly, cautioned that the final report could change.

                              Before publishing the findings of its investigations, the inspector general’s office typically provides draft copies to Justice Department leaders and others mentioned in the reports to ensure that they are accurate.

                              Mr. Horowitz had been preparing to release his report since late summer, according to a person familiar with the investigation, though the process allowing for responses from current and former department officials whose conduct is under scrutiny is likely to delay its release until after the presidential election.

                              Mr. Sessions refused to be interviewed, the report noted. Mr. Rosenstein, who is now a lawyer in private practice, defended himself in his interview with investigators in response to questioning about his role, according to two of the officials. Mr. Rosenstein’s former office submitted a 64-page response to the report.

                              “If any United States attorney ever charged a defendant they did not personally believe warranted prosecution, they violated their oath of office,” Mr. Rosenstein said in a statement. “I never ordered anyone to prosecute a case.”

                              Gene Hamilton, a top lawyer and ally of Stephen Miller, the architect of the president’s assault on immigration, argued in a 32-page response that Justice Department officials merely took direction from the president. Mr. Hamilton cited an April 3, 2018, meeting with Mr. Sessions; the homeland security secretary at the time, Kirstjen Nielsen; and others in which the president “ranted” and was on “a tirade,” demanding as many prosecutions as possible.

                              Mr. Hamilton declined to comment for this article, as did Mr. Horowitz’s office. Mr. Sessions did not respond to requests for comment. Alexa Vance, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, disputed the draft report and said the Homeland Security Department referred cases for prosecution.

                              “The draft report relied on for this article contains numerous factual errors and inaccuracies,” she said. “While D.O.J. is responsible for the prosecutions of defendants, it had no role in tracking or providing custodial care to the children of defendants. Finally, both the timing and misleading content of this leak raise troubling questions about the motivations of those responsible for it.”

                              The draft report also documented other revelations that had not previously been known:
                              • Government prosecutors reacted with alarm at the separation of children from their parents during a secret 2017 pilot program along the Mexican border in Texas. “We have now heard of us taking breastfeeding defendant moms away from their infants,” one government prosecutor wrote to his superiors. “I did not believe this until I looked at the duty log.”
                              • Border Patrol officers missed serious felony cases because they were stretched too thin by the zero-tolerance policy requiring them to detain and prosecute all of the misdemeanor illegal entry cases. One Texas prosecutor warned top Justice Department officials in 2018 that “sex offenders were released” as a result.
                              • Senior Justice Department officials viewed the welfare of the children as the responsibility of other agencies and their duty as tracking the parents. “I just don’t see that as a D.O.J. equity,” Mr. Rosenstein told the inspector general.
                              • The failure to inform the U.S. Marshals Service before announcing the zero-tolerance policy led to serious overcrowding and budget overruns. The marshals were forced to cut back on serving warrants in other cases, saying that “when you take away manpower, you can’t make a safe arrest.”
                              For two years, Ms. Nielsen has taken the brunt of the public criticism for separating migrant families because of her decision to refer adults crossing the border illegally with children for prosecution. A day after the president’s retreat, Mr. Sessions distanced his department from the decision, telling CBN News that “we never really intended” to separate children.

                              That was false, according to the draft report. It made clear that from the policy’s earliest days in a five-month test along the border in Texas, Justice Department officials understood — and encouraged — the separation of children as an expected part of the desire to prosecute all undocumented border crossers.


                              “It is the hope that this separation will act as a deterrent to parents bringing their children into the harsh circumstances that are present when trying to enter the United States illegally,” a Border Patrol official wrote on Oct. 28, 2017, to the U.S. attorney in New Mexico, according to the draft report.

                              After the pilot program in Texas ended, the report asserted, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Rosenstein pushed aggressively to expand the practice across the entire southwestern border, with help from prosecutors.

                              In a briefing two days after Christmas in 2017, top Justice Department officials asked Mr. Bash for statistics from the pilot program, conducted by his predecessor, that could be used to develop “nationwide prosecution guidelines.” Mr. Bash, a former White House adviser, did not receive a follow-up request for the information. Thinking that the idea had been abandoned, he did not provide it.

                              By April 2018, Mr. Sessions nevertheless moved to enact the zero-tolerance policy across the entire border with Mexico. Mr. Rosenstein told the inspector general that Mr. Sessions “understood what the consequences were.”

                              “The A.G.’s goal,” he said, “was to create a more effective deterrent so that everybody would believe that they had a risk of being prosecuted.”

                              But the Justice Department still needed to persuade Ms. Nielsen to refer all families for prosecution, which she had been resisting. The draft report says a pressure campaign culminated in a May 3 meeting in which Mr. Sessions insisted that Customs and Border Protection begin referring all of those cases to prosecutors.

                              A note from Mr. Hamilton to Mr. Sessions before the meeting indicated: “You should lead this discussion.”

                              “We must vigorously enforce our criminal immigration laws to ensure that there are consequences for illegal actions and to deter future illegal immigration,” Mr. Sessions planned to say, according to the draft report. “That means that an illegal alien should not get a free pass just because he or she crosses the border illegally with a child.”

                              When the group voted by a show of hands to proceed, Ms. Nielsen was the only one who kept her hand down, according to two people familiar with the vote, which was reported earlier by NBC News. The next day, Ms. Nielsen backed down, signing a memo referring all adults for prosecution and clearing the way for the children to be separated.

                              The decision roiled the prosecutors along the border. In Arizona, Elizabeth Strange, the acting U.S. attorney, led a minor rebellion, temporarily declining six cases, citing concern about the children. That prompted a rebuke from top Justice Department officials, who demanded to know “why would they be declining these cases?”

                              Justice Department officials have repeatedly claimed that they thought the adults would be prosecuted and reunited with their children within hours of being separated. But the inspector general found a memo informing top officials that sentences for adults ranged from three to 14 days, making it all but certain that children would be sent to the custody of officials at the Health and Human Services Department for long periods of time.

                              “We found no evidence, before or after receipt of the memorandum, that D.O.J. leaders sought to expedite the process for completing sentencing in order to facilitate reunification of separated families,” the inspector general wrote.

                              Over all, Mr. Horowitz concluded in the draft, Mr. Sessions and other senior department officials “were aware that full implementation of the zero-tolerance policy would result in criminal referrals by D.H.S. of adults who enter the country illegally with children and that the prosecution of these family-unit adults would result in children being separated from families.”
                              _____________

                              Children.

                              You soulless fucking bastards I hope you rot in hell.

                              “Family values.”
                              Trust me?
                              I'm an economist!

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by GVChamp View Post
                                Probably my tax cut, destroying ISIS without getting us involved in another stupid MidEast land war, slapping the sanctions back on Iran, getting North Korea to stop its missile tests, continuing the normalization of relations with Israel without surrendering to Palestinian terrorists, getting a whole crap ton of good judges, allowing Keystone and DAPL, nixing Clean Power Plan, are all nice things. An ACA revision would have been nice, but alas

                                There's also the added benefit of keeping the loons on the left out of power. Now instead they are going to hold the #2 office in the executive branch, along with all the appointments Biden is going to make to staff the agencies. The Never Trumpers voting Biden think they're going to be able to skirt this, but lol.
                                Like I thought farther right than you portray yourself.

                                To add to what TH said about judges we can also add judges who don't hold the absolute right to vote as sacrosanct and will instead condone restrictions and obstacles to limit.

                                By the way how do you feel about children?
                                Last edited by tbm3fan; 07 Oct 20,, 05:10.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X