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    • 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"
      My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
        Considering that Trump is a man without a shred of honor, morality, decency or love of country, no. I highly doubt there will be any meaningful pressure not to prosecute Trump to the fullest extent of the law.

        He has spent the last 4 years flagrantly disregarding, violating and publicly denigrating any and every law that he's found inconvenient to him, up to and including sections of the United States Constitution, the very document that he swore an oath to protect and defending.

        In the simplest of terms, the moment he leaves office, he is completely and utterly fucked. As is his family and business associates.

        He's been asking for this his entire life, and now he's going to get it.


        No, not here in the United States. Here, corrupt politicians are gleefully slung into the pokey, left and right. Governors, Congressmen, you name it.

        Trump going to prison would certainly be unique, but not impossible. Even if Trump manages to avoid prison, there's plenty of his crime family that won't be so lucky.
        We never sent a former president to jail, and I don't think we're about to start now.
        Trust me?
        I'm an economist!

        Comment


        • Originally posted by DOR View Post
          We never sent a former president to jail, and I don't think we're about to start now.
          Agreed, it's unlikely in the extreme.

          But I'll be shocked if his family is as lucky, to say nothing of the Trump Organization.

          One thing is for damn certain, none of them are going to slither off scot free.
          My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

            Agreed, it's unlikely in the extreme.

            But I'll be shocked if his family is as lucky, to say nothing of the Trump Organization.

            One thing is for damn certain, none of them are going to slither off scot free.
            I'd love to see Uday & Qusay spend some time behind bars. Part of me suspects that daddy would cut them loose to save his own hide, but I don't think he will be in that position. It would still be fun to watch.
            sigpic

            Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Bigfella View Post

              I'd love to see Uday & Qusay spend some time behind bars. Part of me suspects that daddy would cut them loose to save his own hide, but I don't think he will be in that position. It would still be fun to watch.
              Ditto. I think the only one that daddy won't throw under a literal bus in a heartbeat is Ivanka, for obvious reasons

              Oh hey, speaking of Qusay the Wonder Idiot:

              Eric Trump Finally Interviewed in N.Y. Fraud Inquiry

              After months of delays, President Trump’s son Eric was questioned under oath on Monday as part of a civil investigation by New York’s attorney general into whether the Trump family’s real estate company committed fraud.

              The deposition came less than a month before the presidential election. And while the interview was not made public, the mere fact that it happened before Election Day was a victory for the attorney general, Letitia James, whose inquiry is one of several legal actions the president and his company, the Trump Organization, are facing.

              Ms. James’s office declined to comment about what was discussed in the deposition, which was conducted remotely and ended around 5 p.m. It was unclear when the questioning began.

              Marc L. Mukasey, who represents Eric Trump along with Alan S. Futerfas, also declined to comment, as did Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s general counsel.

              The attorney general’s investigation is focused on whether the Trump Organization inflated its assets to get bank loans and tax benefits.

              In August, Ms. James, saying the company had tried to stall the inquiry, asked a judge to order Eric Trump, an executive vice president at the Trump Organization who runs its day-to-day operations, to answer questions under oath and to order the company to turn over documents.

              Ms. James, a Democrat, sought the order after Mr. Trump pulled out of an interview with her office in July, and after the company said that it and its lawyers would not comply with seven subpoenas.

              Eric Trump’s lawyers responded to Ms. James’s move by arguing that he was willing to be interviewed by lawyers from the attorney general’s office, but only after the election.

              The delay was necessary, Mr. Trump’s lawyers said, because their client was busy campaigning for his father and because he did not want his deposition to be used “for political purposes.”

              But Justice Arthur F. Engoron of State Supreme Court in Manhattan rejected those arguments and ordered Eric Trump to sit for a deposition no later than Oct. 7.

              “This court finds that application unpersuasive,” the judge said from the bench after a two-hour hearing on Sept. 23. “Mr. Trump cites no authority in support of his request, and in any event, neither petitioner, nor this court, is bound by timelines of the national election.”

              Justice Engoron also ordered the Trump Organization and several related entities and lawyers to turn over records connected to four of the properties that Ms. James is scrutinizing.

              Eric Trump reacted to the ruling by assailing the attorney general’s investigation as “a continued political vendetta.” Nonetheless, he added, “since I previously agreed to appear for an interview, I will do so as scheduled.”

              Ms. James began her inquiry last year after the president’s former personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, told Congress that Mr. Trump had overstated the value of his assets in financial statements when seeking bank loans and had understated them to reduce real estate taxes.

              The investigation is focused on a number of Trump properties, including several that came up during Mr. Cohen’s congressional testimony. Those that were the subject of the subpoenas were the Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, N.Y., the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, 40 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan and the Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles.

              Court documents released in August suggested that there were concerns within the Trump Organization that the attorney general’s civil inquiry could develop into a criminal investigation.

              Last year, Ms. James reached a settlement with the president under which he admitted misusing money from a personal foundation to promote his campaign and pay off business debt.

              The other legal matters facing President Trump include an inquiry by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which has suggested in court filings that it is investigating whether he and the Trump Organization possibly committed financial crimes and insurance fraud, and is fighting in federal court to obtain his tax returns.

              Mr. Trump’s finances came under added scrutiny when The New York Times published a detailed investigation that, among other things, found he paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years.

              The president is also being sued for defamation by the writer E. Jean Carroll in a case that the Justice Department, in an unusual step, recently moved to take over from his private lawyers.
              ___________

              My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

              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.
                  My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                  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.
                      My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                      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.


                        My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

                        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


                            • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

                              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.
                              If you don't like any of those things, you're not center-right, or just generally misinformed, or just generally contrarian against whoever happens to be in the office at the time. I suspect the last, but it doesn't really matter. If you don't want your crummy pennies, you can feel free to send them to me.

                              From the actual center-right perspective, portions of Trump's tax cuts have a good chance of becoming permanent (same way the Bush tax cuts did). Those oil pipelines are substantially safer than many existing oil pipelines and will bring in some extra dollars. If you think gays should be married, whatever, that's the law of the land now, but that was an extreme liberal position until relatively recently, so you really shouldn't be surprised that fantastic jurists like Clarence Thomas are not persuaded by your online temper tantrums and will hold to their original views, since there was no Constitutional amendment passed in the last decade. Not to mention a huge warping of the actual position, which is that states (including blue states like California) should not have their marriage laws tossed out by the Supreme Court based on stuff that's not actually written in the law and the writers of said law did not think was in there. If Massachusetts wants to allow gay marriage, go for it.

                              Lessee...president above the law...okay, that's a mischaracterization, too. First, those were 7-2 decisions, which means even LIBERAL justices disagree with you. Which means, again, not a lot of center-right in your posts, please go ask Bernie and Warren how the fall leaves are in New England while you're up there. On the merits, the decision seems pretty reasonable, Congress shouldn't be able to just launch fishing expeditions against people it doesn't like, particularly the President. That's not saying the President is above the law, it's saying Congress doesn't have unlimited power.

                              Whatever health plan gets passed ultimately cannot be just Trump's plan, it has to get the votes necessary to pass the Senate. As ACA demonstrated when it was passed, massive schemes floated by the executive aren't going to get anywhere, they need to go through the sausage-making process to arrive at a final bill, and fringe senators like Lieberman, Manchin, McCain, Murkowsi, etc get a lot of say over the final bill.

                              TBM,
                              I am absolutely center-right, especially against the broad spectrum of the country. I am hard-right amongst Millennials, since so many of THEM are basically commies, but that's a generatonal measurement. People are my ideological tempermanent tend to vote for Hillary and Biden, if my Twitter and Facebook are any indication.

                              I am, however, hyper-partisan. I may be center-right, but I am NOT voting for Democrats. I think the people of my ideological stripe who ARE voting for Biden are ultimately short-sighted fools, and it is highly amusing to see them rail against what they see as excesses: all of those will get worse under Biden, just like they got worse under Obama, despite Obama portraying himself as a technocratic moderate.
                              "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


                              • If you don't like any of those things, you're not center-right, or just generally misinformed, or just generally contrarian against whoever happens to be in the office at the time. I suspect the last, but it doesn't really matter. If you don't want your crummy pennies, you can feel free to send them to me.

                                From the actual center-right perspective, portions of Trump's tax cuts have a good chance of becoming permanent (same way the Bush tax cuts did). Those oil pipelines are substantially safer than many existing oil pipelines and will bring in some extra dollars. If you think gays should be married, whatever, that's the law of the land now, but that was an extreme liberal position until relatively recently, so you really shouldn't be surprised that fantastic jurists like Clarence Thomas are not persuaded by your online temper tantrums and will hold to their original views, since there was no Constitutional amendment passed in the last decade. Not to mention a huge warping of the actual position, which is that states (including blue states like California) should not have their marriage laws tossed out by the Supreme Court based on stuff that's not actually written in the law and the writers of said law did not think was in there. If Massachusetts wants to allow gay marriage, go for it.

                                Lessee...president above the law...okay, that's a mischaracterization, too. First, those were 7-2 decisions, which means even LIBERAL justices disagree with you. Which means, again, not a lot of center-right in your posts, please go ask Bernie and Warren how the fall leaves are in New England while you're up there. On the merits, the decision seems pretty reasonable, Congress shouldn't be able to just launch fishing expeditions against people it doesn't like, particularly the President. That's not saying the President is above the law, it's saying Congress doesn't have unlimited power.

                                Whatever health plan gets passed ultimately cannot be just Trump's plan, it has to get the votes necessary to pass the Senate. As ACA demonstrated when it was passed, massive schemes floated by the executive aren't going to get anywhere, they need to go through the sausage-making process to arrive at a final bill, and fringe senators like Lieberman, Manchin, McCain, Murkowsi, etc get a lot of say over the final bill.

                                TBM,
                                I am absolutely center-right, especially against the broad spectrum of the country. I am hard-right amongst Millennials, since so many of THEM are basically commies, but that's a generatonal measurement. People are my ideological tempermanent tend to vote for Hillary and Biden, if my Twitter and Facebook are any indication.

                                I am, however, hyper-partisan. I may be center-right, but I am NOT voting for Democrats. I think the people of my ideological stripe who ARE voting for Biden are ultimately short-sighted fools, and it is highly amusing to see them rail against what they see as excesses: all of those will get worse under Biden, just like they got worse under Obama, despite Obama portraying himself as a technocratic moderate.
                                see, I think this is simply short-term thinking, even if you're taking a center-right perspective.

                                IE, if we look back to 2016, a Clinton Presidency would have almost certainly led to continued bleeding of Congressional Dems, not to mention state governors; the highest probability chance would have been absolute legislative gridlock, with the GOP holding the House and Senate for the entire Presidency.

                                on the state level, same thing.

                                with vacancies on the Supreme Court, Clinton by inclination and by political reality would have been forced to choose moderates like Garland.

                                there would certainly be no talk of blowing up the legislative filibuster, or packing the Supreme Court, etc.

                                Clinton would likely have been either a one-term President, or win a second term by the skin of her teeth, which would mean continued bleeding at the legislative levels...just in time for the 2020 census, which would have slaughtered Dems for another 10 years-- probably worse, because the GOP would control the levers of apportionment even more than previously. that would have probably offset Dem demographic gains. my God, the Dems would probably be at 160-170 House seats right now, and 40 Senate seats in this scenario.

                                instead, with Trump, -South Carolina- is in play at the Senate level; there's a Dem Senator from -Alabama-.

                                the way things are going, we're likely going to end up with Dems have 240-250 seats in the House, maybe even 260 if we get lucky; LIKELY 51 or 52 seats in the Senate, and 53-54 if we get lucky. at the Presidential level, Trump will likely be defeated as bad as Dole was in '96; with a bit of luck, as bad as Mike Dukakis in '88.

                                and, by God, I hope shortly thereafter we'll see the destruction of the legislative filibuster and at a minimum, DC and Puerto Rico as states.

                                plus, with the Trump family still kicking around, Dems will certainly not go back to sleep.

                                I don't think tax cuts and the judges are a good trade off.
                                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

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