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Another Un-American, Unpresidential Act by Trump
Donald Trump issues a statement saying neither the #Eagles, nor team representatives, are welcome at the White House tomorrow for their Super Bowl visit. Unreal. pic.twitter.com/PXEoZ43XY0
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 4, 2018
Can you imagine Obama, Bush 43, Clinton, Bush 41, Reagan, Carter doing doing something like this? I can’t.
I agree with Philadelphia’s Mayor:
Philly mayor Jim Kenney's statement is pointed.
After President Trump disinvited the #Eagles to the White House, Kenney calls him "a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend." pic.twitter.com/90pHhIR4SU
— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) June 5, 2018
White House releases new story about Eagles. "The vast majority of the Eagles team decided to abandon their fans." pic.twitter.com/iWOEwCt1EL
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) June 5, 2018
Petty. I can’t help but also think this is just another demogogic attempt to rile up his base.
Fox News assisting with the demagoguery:
Fox News uses pictures of Eagles players praying to pretend they were kneeling for the national anthem (no Eagles player actually did) pic.twitter.com/BbgzmyGdpn
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) June 5, 2018
They later apologized for this.
Fox News used the faith of Christian men dishonestly to push an agenda. That wasn’t an “error,” but intentional and strategic. They’ve deleted the segment + apologized on twitter, but many viewers don’t have twitter. An on air apology to all Christians would be the classy move. pic.twitter.com/qb8z8PwM1N
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) June 5, 2018
I haven’t listened to the clip, but that quote is spot on, with regard to the above actions. The POTUS’s job is to unite the nation, especially when there are many divisions. What he’s doing above is exacerbating divisions to maintain power.
Steve Kerr on Trump: "It's not surprising. The President has made it pretty clear he's gonna try to divide all of us in this country for political gain." pic.twitter.com/WFCM9lpFiH
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 5, 2018
I didn’t listen to watch the press conference, and my first instinct is to assume some breakdown in communication has occurred. Then again, I trust Haberman, too, and here she’s saying that what is said reflects some larger trend or pattern. If so it’s outrageous and un-American, particularly for a POTUS to think this.
The White House press secretary today said the president doesn't consider the protected free speech of NFL players against police brutality to be free speech. Which is a totally accurate reflection of how he sees it and a pretty remarkable statement.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) June 5, 2018
78 thoughts on “Journal During the Trump Regime (2)”
Mishandling of the IG Report
If there’s so many horrible things to tell, my understanding is that Trump could declassified any relevant information and release it to the public. If he couldn’t because of national security issues–or even if national security wasn’t an issue–as president, he should work behind the scenes to correct the issue. These public statements undermine faith in the report. Indeed, if the report is favorable to Trump, questions will arise about whether the IG altered the report to please Trump. If the report is unfavorable, Trump’s tweet seems to lay the groundwork to cast doubts upon it. Either way, his tweet seem very irresponsible.
Also, I have hard time believing Trump cares about transparency. He should have released his taxes if that was the case.
Child Separation Policy
Children “ripped” or “torn” away from parents, and then put in “cages?” Can that be? Is that really an accurate description? I’m wary of accepting that at face value, but if that’s accurate, I have a hard time seeing any justification for this. I would like to know if anything like this occurred in previous administrations? I’d like to hear a response from an ICE official or the officials responsible for these detention spaces.
I haven’t read the article, but I hope the picture is somehow misleading.
I finally read the above. My impression is that building more tent facilities to house unaccompanied children isn’t objectionable. This would be a place to keep the children safe until a family member (in the U.S.) or caregiver could be found to care for the child. (Obama administration started the practice in 2014.)
The bad part is that the Trump administration is separating children from parents that arrive here:
An opponent of the policy claims that Trump is doing this to score political points (with his base). I can’t help but feel this is a cruel way to deter immigrants.
(It should be noted that the Trump administration mentions many immigrants who leave the facilities fail to show up for future trial dates to process their case, and so ostensibly end up staying in the country illegally. Trying to keep them in the tent facilities may be justification to reduce that. Still, the solution seems excessive–like another cruel way to deter people from coming here. How long will the children have to stay in these facilities–facilities that, to me, have the feel of concentration camps? Finally, a surge of immigrants since 2014 have been fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.)
As far as I know, Hawai’i didn’t have a march. I wish it did.
The list of Christian leaders that have spoken out against this policy (Franklin Graham!) is good to see. Oh, it’s also good to see the Jewish and Muslim organizations that have spoken out.
I recommend reading this:
This was pretty good as well:
The most charitable reading of the above is that Kelly is thinks the route to the U.S. that people are using is really bad, and he is trying to deter people from using this route. But this charitable reading still involves the separating of children and parents as a form of deterrence.
Also, with regard to Trump administration not having a choice–that they’re just following the law:
“I’m shocked! Shocked that gambling is going on in this establishment!”
Secretary Nielsen, is offended by the suggestion that separating parents from their children is done as a deterrent.
In my lifetime, this has to be one of the most horrific things done by our government.
Draft of DOJ’s IG report on immigrant child separation from the NYT.
Confirmation that separation families was intentional, as they wanted to use this to deter immigrants from coming to the U.S. If some of the actions in this article are not illegal, they certainly seem immoral and monstrous. Just awful.
I’m hoping there is some key contextual information that would make this not as monstrous as it sounds.
Trump continues to use language to demonize immigrants–in this case “infest”–and it is worrisome in the context of his policy that leads to separating parents from their children.
More dehumanization of immigrants
This is the one of the aspects of this situation that really bothers and worries me. Here’s another example, with an explanation from Greg Sargent (WaPo editorialist) that I really agree with:
Maybe Huckabee’s tweet wouldn’t be as bad (It would be Willie Horton bad, though.) if Trump administration didn’t actively stoke up fear towards immigrants and Muslims.
By the way, Trump administration officials have been going to Mexican restaurants recently, which has lead to protestors going to their restaurants and my understanding is that in some cases at least the restaurants asked those officials to leave. This just seems intentional provocation by the Trump administration to whip up the base. And this is exactly the kind of divisiveness that benefits Russian objectives.
Anne Applebaum touches on history behind the type of language Trump’s, targeting a specific group of people. Recommended.
Unimaginably horrific if true. Trump administration exercising prosecutorial discretion to arrest all illegal immigrants, which leads to separating them from their children. All to discourage immigrants from coming here. This is a choice. It’s wrong.
This detail–not being able to reunite some of the children with their parents–is one of the most horrific consequences of this administration. My sense is that even in optimal circumstances reunification would be very difficult, but now…
Trump did not have to take a maximalist approach to the illegal immigrants.
It was his choice, and a consequence of that choice, which was probably not well-thought out, is that some parents may never see their children again. Utterly horrific.
“Not reversible.” My heart sank hearing that. Awful. More awful if the thread below is accurate (and Kayem worked for DHS):
This is a total mess, and it seems due to a chosen policy with little planning involved. This is so messed up.
One thing I feared about the most, with regard to the consequences of Trump’s immigration policy. it’s hard to find the words to adequately express how horrible this is.
Thread explaining differences between immigration policies between Obama administration and the Trump administration:
I should put clips of Miles Taylor here, too, where he testifies that Kristen Nielsen warned that there weren’t enough lawyers and judges to process the high volume of cases that will result in a zero tolerance policy. My understanding is that the consequence would be not only more parents and children separated, while in these cages, but that they would be separated for a longer period of time. According to Taylor, the concerns about the lack of lawyers/judges was essentially dismissed–i.e., they believed they would be able to process the cases in a reasonable time.
I also recall that some former government officials mentioned that reuniting parents and children would be difficult, and that some families would never be reunited, which is insane. I also believe Juliette Kayyem had a thread about how the Trump administration was not doing things necessary to properly track the children and parents, which was crucial for being able to reunite the parents and children.
Reminder: The zero tolerance policy–and the eventual separation of parents and children–was meant as a deterrent. It’s like separating parents from their children to deter speeding.
This is really close to “We’re only following orders” argument:
Is there really a way to defend what he’s saying, here?
Another example of Congressional politicians being denied into the a detention site.
From New York Times “Daily Podcast”–How Separating Migrant Families Became U.S. Policy
“Tender Age” Shelters
I feel queasy. What’s creating such a scary impression is Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants. The use of the word “infest” comes to mind; also “shithole countries,” “animals,” and “rapists.” I
This is going to come to a head very quickly. I’m nervous about it.
When you say, “come to a head,” what are you thinking of?
There’s a lot of repugnant things Trump has said and done, but this feels different–a different level of horrifying and scary.
Your comment is helpful. Thanks.
I don’t know.
OK. By the way, do you think concerns about the way the detention centers and Trump’s rhetoric sounds like 1934 Germany are overblown, exaggerated? I don’t know think we’re there, but I think there are echos and those echos worry me. I rather be mistaken for overreacting at this point, then just being too complacent. At the same time, I’m always wary that I might be becoming unreasonable, which is why I’m asking for your opinion.
I think the conversation is reasonable but I’m not interested in having it. The facts as they exist are appalling and alarming enough without comparison. I think comparison only muddies the waters and doesn’t do much toward changing an atrocious situation. Sorry.
I believe General Hayden is explaining his tweet below:
Man, if the allegations in this story are true, this is another Abu Gharib
There are other examples in the article. Congress needs to investigate this.
I haven’t read this yet, but I wanted to put the article here for future reference.
Note: In this post, I had a Time magazine cover of Trump looking down at a crying, immigrant toddler. I’m removing it because of the following error made by the magazine:
I would tend to dismiss details, like the one above, as media sensationalism–if there weren’t so many disturbing facts and information about the zero tolerance policy towards illegal immigrants. I think one should look at each specific incident within the context of everything we know–and what we know has happened historically. If you do that, it’s hard to be deeply disturbed and concerned by what’s going on. Congress needs to investigate, and the public should speak out and ensure this doesn’t go any further.
This Missouri farmer expresses so much of what I feel now. Recommended.
10 Stages of Genocide
No, I don’t think we’re there yet, but if you think this is a nutty idea, take a look at the list.
At the very least, one should be aware of these things so that you can recognize the signs if they happen.
And then read something like this:
and the stories and information in this:
This is our government doing this. I do not want our government to do this.
I didn’t read the article, but if this headline is accurate, this is insane.
This is awful. It happened more than once to this girl.
It should be noted that the article says that reports of sexual abuse also occurred between 2009-2014, which would be during the Obama administration. But Trump’s zero tolerance policy was a choice that resulted in separating any adult with a child.
This is awful:
I don’t like drawing a conclusion based on a headline or remark without a lot of contextual information, but if this response is as bad as it seems, this is disturbing.
Children dying in government custody is a tragedy. What’s critical to remember here is that the Trump administration chose a policy that would lead to separating many parents and children, and they did this as a way to deter immigration. Finally, either through incompetence or intentional, and unspeakable, cruelty they did a shoddy job of tracking the children and parents.
Frick! I was wondering how many children in custody died in the past. 0 in the last 10 years. Frick! This is so sickening!
First public comment from Trump on the death of two children (who I believe were in the custody of Homeland Security)
I don’t know how accurate this is, but it’s something to keep in mind:
I will say this: The fact that this happened under the Obama administration doesn’t make this OK now, or then.
Important information. This suggests that any administration would likely be facing a lot of similar problems. At the same time, there are questions about whether the problems are exacerbated because of incompetence and/or the Trump administration isn’t in a rush to improve things because this is a deterrent to immigrants.
Worth reading, if you haven’t read anything recently about Japanese-American internment during WWII.
Can’t be trolling, can it?
A Secret History of the Family Separation Policy</a) from Caitlyn Dickerson in theAtlantic
I didn’t read this yet, but will later. Here’s some comments from a twitter thread:
The article is based on 18 months of investigations.
At press time, the parents of 185 separated children still had not been found.
“When I asked government officials how this could have happened, many told me they had no idea how badly awry separations would go. But government records show the opposite-everything that went wrong was documented in advance warnings. Still, the administration forged ahead.”
Tapper is great and spot on here on Eagles and Trump:
What impression do you get of the journalist when you read that? Do start wondering if the author is fair, unbiased or reasonable? Honestly, that’s my knee-jerk reaction, and I suspect many others react the same way. The thing is, what if what he’s saying is accurate? What if, Trump really has a strong authoritarian streak, doesn’t care about the rule of law or understand our Constitution?
I think this is actually real
As in, this tweet is from the real Dennis Rodman, and that he’s actually going to play some diplomatic role between Trump and Kim Jong Un. Bizarre and not reassuring.
This is predictable.
Mueller Alleges that Paul Manafort Tampered with Witnesses
I just wanted to comment on this. Some are baffled as to why he would do this, while being wearing ankle–being under house arrest, wearing ankle-monitoring bracelets. Others aren’t confused. The latter believe that Manafort is far more worried about Putin assassinating he and his family more than serving a life sentence in prison. Count me in that latter category. Would you rather serve life in prison or have you and your family die of poisoning or some other gruesome method?
If I’m right, why not break laws–such as, witness tampering–to avoid jail time. Additionally, when witness tampering because public, that signals to Putin that you’re not turning against him. In other words, it signals that he shouldn’t kill you.
I have hard time seeing how someone like Manafort or Rick Gates would cooperate with Mueller. They would have to have significant assurances that the federal government would invest a lot of resource to protect them and their families.
Seems relevant for the journalists covering Trump and his administration
AP should have read the above.
Trump’s understanding and approach to governing are more similar to an dictator than a U.S. president. Republicans would have their hair on fire if a Democratic president said this, and they would be justified.
Trump claimed he was kidding:
It didn’t seem that way to me. Trump doesn’t seem to joke around much. Plus, his comments are in line with other authoritarian behaviors and attitudes that he has displayed or have been part of his administration.
Brendan Nyhan, a Dartmouth political scientist, weighed in chiding people for misrepresenting the clip. I share his desire for Trump critics to be accurate, but I think he’s parsing the language a little too much, and not recognizing that presidents are responsible for accuracy. He should acknowledge that, in my view. Some of the comments bring this up. If you guys read it, let me know what you think:
That was his strongest evidence.
The article is remarkable for both the substance-less claim by Kobach and the incredible, almost comical incompetence by him and his lawyers. Here’s one example(Roe and Becker are lawyers arguing the case with Kobach):
On a more serious note,
I haven’t read this yet, but this seems like a grift by Kobach.
Kobach’s running for governor in Kansas. The primary race is too close to call. Kobach is the Secretary of State.
Kobach’s rationale is that the recount is done at the county level, so he doesn’t need to recuse himself. Still, experts are saying he should recuse himself for appearances. Kobach can also set the price for recounts, if a candidate requests it. That is, he can possibly make it so high that it would deter a recount.
Thread that contains other articles about Kobach:
Republicans Not Moving on Protecting Our Elections
As far as I know Trump administration is doing little or nothing about this. Can anyone point to examples of Trump publicly saying this is a problem, warning the Russians stop their interference? I can think of many examples of rhetoric that divides us more than brings us together.
Trump is failing to protect the elections, and he’s helping divide our nation and weaken out alliances. Even if you put aside suspicious ties with Russia, Trump’s failure to release tax forms and divest his business, he’s betraying the nation.
(McConnell is such a disgrace.)
What’s a non-racist reason we may no longer be proud of our country?
I worry about the number of Americans who either a) believe this or b) aren’t sure if this is a credible claim.
I tend to think the size of group a isn’t that large, but I’m uncertain and nervous about the size of group b.
Trump is successfully eroding trust in the press
These tweets are kind of discouraging to hear.
Someone asked, “Do you honestly believe that a current trump supporter *could be* convinced through any means?”
Here’s the response from a smart person:
and here’s another:
If I were into snark, I’d say something like, “Hope you like four more years of Trump,” but I’m not snarky, and I honest feel sincerely deflated and sad when I see these remarks. Sometimes I will respond, but then I feel like I’m lecturing in a superior sort of way. I don’t like feeling that. Anyway, I feel sad because I really think this misunderstands the situation–specifically, about how to beat Trump. I could be wrong, too, and hopefully I am.
I can’t tell if you’re on the let’s be civil side or the the time for civility has passed side.
Given those two choices, I’m on the “let’s be civil” side. But I’m more downcast because those tweets create the impression that liberals and Never Trumpers feel a license to put down or attack Trump supporters; they don’t think getting Trump supporters angry is a big deal; whereas I think that’s almost the whole ball game.
Ironically, Nichols just wrote an op-ed today that expresses my position:
I’m a little puzzled how he can write that op-ed and also advocate for shaming and shunning at the same time.
How to Culture Jam a Populist in Four Steps, by a Venezuelan who opposed Chavez, also expresses my position. I think the writer is totally correct. My sense is that a lot of liberals are making the mistakes he and his friends made, and they’re failing to heed his advice.
Trial runs for Fascism in Full Flow
That’s the name of this article from the Irish Times. I recommend the article, and I’m interested in hearing if you guys think it’s hyperbolic. The points seem valid to me. Here’s his overall theory:
Finally, the author mentions one last phase, one that he believes has started:
On a slightly related FYI,..
Do You Guys Think This Insinuation Goes Too Far?
I do. I’m not ready to go there, yet.
Here’s the section from the article:
The article is discusses Kennedy’s departure, how it benefits Trump and the Republicans, how other older justices were encouraged to leave during other administrations. If you didn’t see these tweets, the article wouldn’t seem as suggestive. Still, I understand the reason people point to that one fact.
But to insinuate that Kennedy did this as a favor for his son,…I’m not comfortable doing that. There’s more I’d like to know before I even insinuate that. It’s something to be concerned about, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go.
From Talking Points Memo
This is somewhat good to hear, as it makes me feel like I’m not the only one who is dubious about the insinuation.
and this thread
The idea that the White House successfully buttered up Kennedy, appealing to his vanity, is plausible, but I would only go that far. (I’ve seen some people write as if there certain that’s what happened. That goes too far to me.)
Have You Guys Read #SecondCivilWarLetters on Twitter?
There are some good ones. Here’s an OK one from Patton Oswalt:
I like this one better:
This is Going to be a Hard Fight
I’m not a Bernie fan, but I actually agree with him, here:
Here’s the type of response I’m concerned about:
Also, this incident:
I do not blame the people for reacting this way. How would I react if someone did this to me:
I don’t blame anyone who reacts to this sort of behavior with anger and disgust. And using the word “racist” to describe behavior like this seems wholly appropriate.
Where it starts getting complex is that some of this hostility could very well be fear and resentment at social and cultural changes. Is that racist? I don’t think that’s necessarily the case, and I worry that labeling it as such creates a barrier to dealing with this emotion, channeling them in ways to avoid destructive actions, and eventually finding ways to dissipate these emotions. I think this dissipation is really, really important, and if we can do that, we can get out of this mess. If we can’t–if we those feelings grow even more–then I do think that poses an existential threat to our nation. Trump poses a serious threat, if not an existential one, and I think these feelings are the primary reason for getting Trump.
(GOP and conservative media could have played a key, heroic role in helping quell and dissipate these emotions, but they’ve either done little or actually helped fan the flames–all in their party’s power and profit, respectively. They are despicable.)
Why Are Republican Congressmen in Russia on July 4?
If you think Russia is currently waging information warfare on the U.S. (and West), and you think this poses a serious threat, this doesn’t look good.
What this suggests is that most Americans either don’t think Russia is attacking us or their efforts don’t pose much of a threat. Let’s hope I’m wrong about the level of threat from Russia.
Maybe I’m wrong, but my sense is that the information operations are ongoing.
Along with the zero tolerance immigration policy, which has separated parents and children (possibly permanently), and “building the wall,” I understand the policies below as a way to appease the fear and resentment many Trump supporters have toward the social and cultural changes in the U.S. To be blunt, they’re afraid and angry about losing their majority status. These feelings are strong enough that they will tolerate excessive policies that are unfair, unreasonable, and sometimes cruel.
I believe we have to find ways to help these citizens deal with these feelings in a more constructive way–hopefully moving them to a point where they don’t feel afraid and angry. Trump doesn’t want that to happen, and he’s doing what he can to keep those feelings burning hot. This the opposite of good, responsible leadership.
There Should be More White House Staff Resigning and Warning the Public
That’s what I thought about when reading this, specifically comments made by former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, to members of House committee on Foreign Relations. (I can’t remember if White House aides comment, either.) Mentioning all the salient comments would be too difficult, but here are a few:
This should be the easiest thing for Tillerson to answer–unless the answer is damning.
The article reminded me about comments Tillerson made previously:
In the lede, Tillerson says Putin out prepared Trump for their meetings. This reinforces other stories about Trump not reading intelligence briefings and his staff struggling to find ways to pique his interest in them. One of many red flags that people in the administration should be waving after they’ve resigned.