Friday, June 22, 2018

partial credit where credit is due

When I ranted about Jeff Flake the other day, I wasn't aware that he is holding up one appellate court nomination and has threatened to do more unless the administration changes its stance on Cuba  That's a step towards what I said he should do if he really cares about something in my prior post, although if he wants credit as a real Trump resister he should do more than just one (why not use all the powers of your office if you really think this is important?) But hey, it's something more than just a speech. 0.2 cheers for Flake!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The set up

What Josh Marshall says:
The President says he’s signing an executive order to end family separations. The actual aim seems to be to pick a fight with the courts and allow separations to continue while blaming judges. According to The New York Times, the President will sign an executive order allowing children to be detained indefinitely with their parents. The problem is that that violates a 1997 consent decree saying that you can’t detain/imprison children for more than 20 days (technically what’s currently happening isn’t detention). It straight up violates that order. So what will almost inevitably happen is that a court will step in, say you can’t do that and then Trump will announce that the judge is forcing him to keep separating families.
Don't let the ploy work. Point out what he is doing again and again.


Stop cheering Jeff Flake

To echo what Atrios says:
2 Republican senators could flip control of the Senate. They won't, of course, but that's all it takes.
That's why Jeff Flake is so infuriating. He gives speech after speech condemning Trump, he "warns" Trump against doing things he does not like, but he never actually uses the powers of his office as leverage against the Administration he claims is a threat to American values he holds dear.

If Flake really means this stuff he could, for example, announce he will no longer vote for any of Trump's judicial nominees until Trump changes his behavior. That would mean for many nominees there would likely be a 50-50 tie, which would force the Vice President and every one of his Republican colleagues to stay in Washington every time one of those nominees came up for a vote. If Flake got one more Senate Republican to join him, The Trump/McConnell plan to pack the courts with conservative judges would come to a complete halt.

I understand that Flake himself probably wants the judiciary to have more conservative judges. But if he really thinks that Trump is a threat to American democracy and the rule of law, wouldn't saving American democracy be more important than getting another conservative judge on the bench? Besides, this is something he could use for leverage. Trump and McConnell (not to mention the rest of the GOP) really want to fill the federal judiciary with reactionaries and with the threat of a democratic takeover of the Senate looming, they are running out of time. Flake and his fellow rebels could probably get whatever they want in exchange for their confirmation vote. Flake +1 could get a Dream Act, he could stop family separation at the border, etc. But Flake never uses the power of his office to match the degree of concern he expresses in his rhetoric. The same goes for Senators Collins, McCain, Murkowski, and all the other GOP Senators who talk about being "troubled" by the President's extremism but don't do shit about it.

Senators are not op-ed columnist. Just writing essays and giving powerful speeches is their way to avoid using the powers of their office to make real change happen. Powerful talk is great when someone is otherwise powerless. But Senators are not powerless. If they are not using their powers, they must not be serious when they express alarm at the Administration.


Reuniting families should be as high a priority as stopping the separations

Maybe one of those genetic testing companies will take advantage of the enormous PR boost they would get if they immediately announced they will provide free genetic tests to reunite families separated by our monstrous government.

Yeah I know this should be the government's responsibility to clean up its own mess. But that would have to come from the top, and no one at the top is going to do anything about this until at least 2021.


So Fucking Angry

I have not been this upset and angry at stuff I am reading in the news since the early weeks of the Trump Administration.

You do get numb after a while, but it only takes one unbelievable atrocity to have the outrage all rush back.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The U.S. is likely orphaning children who have living parents who want them

This is another nightmare scenario that many of the separated families are facing. How hard is the Trump Administration working to keep track of which child goes with which detained parent? Given what we know about their competence and commitment to immigrants' rights, how hard do you think they are trying?


Bankrupting the Wingnut Welfare State

When the Trump Administration is finally over, and its various cabinet members and other appointees are best remembered as the public face of the worst excessess of the Trump era, will the wingnut welfare system be able to take care of them all? I mean, they can't all be Fox News contributors. There is only so much air time to fill! Also, while Fox and other right-wing media sources might have money, do they have enough money to continue to compensate the entire upper-echelon of the Trump administration at the rate to which they are accustomed?

I just can't see it working. In a few years some of these people are going to take a steep fall.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Bérubé takes me down memory lane

If you were into political blogs in the oughts when they were still a thing, this is a really entertaining read.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Predicted the predictions

I was going to make a bunch of predictions for what would come out of the Trump-Kim summit, but then I remembered that I already did back in April. So I'll stick with these.

It will be those four things or else it will fall apart, Trump will leave in a huff, and will try to blame the whole thing on Justin Trudeau.


Friday, June 08, 2018

Questions

Will anyone tell #PresidentFuckingMoron before he signs the pardon papers that Muhammad Ali's sole conviction was overturned so there is nothing to pardon?

And if they do tell him, will the President even listen?

And if he isn't told or he doesn't listen will the headlines say "Trump pardons Ali" or "Idiot President Pardons Man with No Criminal Record."