Journal During the Trump Regime (2)

The first thread was getting too cumbersome to load. Here’s the first post:

Another Un-American, Unpresidential Act by Trump

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:

Edit

Just out:

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:

They later apologized for this.

Edit

Edit

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.

Edit

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.

68 thoughts on “Journal During the Trump Regime (2)

  1. 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.

    Also,

  2. 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.

      1. 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:

        Now those who arrive with their parents are being separated from them and also sent to HHS shelters or sponsor families.

        Leon Fresco, a deputy assistant attorney general under President Barack Obama, who defended that administration’s use of family detention, said the Trump administration is also likely going to need to return to Congress soon for more money if it wants to keep up this aggressive detention approach. He said it’s much more expensive to separate the parent and children and hold them in two different facilities than keeping them together using a monitoring system.

        “The point is separating families is not only controversial, it’s also inordinately more expensive,” Fresco said.

        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.)

      2. 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.

    1. I recommend reading this:

      This was pretty good as well:

      Edit

    2. One example:

      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:

      9/25/2018

      Welp

      9/25/2018

      Thread

      1. “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.

        6//19/2018

        7/31/2018

        In my lifetime, this has to be one of the most horrific things done by our government.

    3. 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.

      Also,

      6/19/2018

      6/21/2018

      1. 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.

    4. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. “Not reversible.” My heart sank hearing that. Awful. More awful if the thread below is accurate (and Kayem worked for DHS):

        6/21/2018

        This is a total mess, and it seems due to a chosen policy with little planning involved. This is so messed up.

    5. Another example of Congressional politicians being denied into the a detention site.

    6. “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

      During a press briefing Tuesday, reporters repeatedly asked for an age breakdown of the children who have been taken. Officials from both law enforcement and Health and Human Services said they didn’t how many children were under 5, under 2, or even so little they’re non-verbal.

      “The facilities that they have for the most part are not licensed for tender age children,” said Michelle Brane, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission, who met with a 4-year-old girl in diapers in a McAllen warehouse where Border Patrol temporarily holds migrant families. “There is no model for how you house tons of little children in cots institutionally in our country. We don’t do orphanages, our child welfare has recognized that is an inappropriate setting for little children.”

        1. 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.

          1. 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.

            Your comment is helpful. Thanks.

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

    7. Man, if the allegations in this story are true, this is another Abu Gharib

      The lawsuit said Latino children were frequently punished by being restrained for hours in chairs, with handcuffs and cloth shackles on their legs. Often, the lawsuit alleged, the children were beaten by staff while bound.

      As a result of such “malicious and sadistic applications of force,” the immigrant youths have “sustained significant injuries, both physical and psychological,” the lawsuit said.

      After an altercation during which the lawsuit alleged the Mexican teenager bit a staff member during a beating, he was restrained in handcuffs and shackles for 10 days, resulting in bruises and cuts. Other teens interviewed as part of the court case also reported being punished for minor infractions with stints in solitary confinement, during which some of the children said they were left nude and shivering in cold concrete cells.

      There are other examples in the article. Congress needs to investigate this.

      7/31/2018

      I haven’t read this yet, but I wanted to put the article here for future reference.

      9/12/2018

    8. 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:

    9. 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.

    10. This Missouri farmer expresses so much of what I feel now. Recommended.

    11. 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.

    12. And then read something like this:

      and the stories and information in this:

    13. This is our government doing this. I do not want our government to do this.

    14. I didn’t read the article, but if this headline is accurate, this is insane.

      7/27/2018

      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:

      According to D.L.’s mother, when the family came together again, the young girl was confused. “I hugged her, I was crying. She didn’t recognize me,” the mother said. “She told me that she thought I was never going to be with her again and that she was going to have to live with another lady. She behaved like she was still in detention. She wouldn’t touch me, hug me or kiss me.”

      “It lasted for a couple of days,” said D.L’s mother. “She didn’t know I was her mom. She thought I was another social worker.”

      D.L.’s mother reports that her girl is getting better everyday, but the trauma of the ordeal lingers. “She is still behaving following the rules of the detention center,” said the mother. “She doesn’t let them touch her, she doesn’t touch them. She wakes up at 6, and bathes and eats. She behaves like she is programmed.”

      “She says, ‘Please don’t return me to Guatemala, I don’t want to go back to that place where I have to sleep alone with the other kids,’” added the mother.

    15. Worth reading, if you haven’t read anything recently about Japanese-American internment during WWII.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. This is predictable.

  6. 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.

    1. AP should have read the above.

  7. 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:

  8. …according to (Judge) Robinson, an appointee of George W. Bush, the proof that voter fraud is widespread was utterly lacking. As the judge put it, “the court finds no credible evidence that a substantial number of noncitizens registered to vote” even under the previous law, which Kobach had claimed was weak.

    and

    He’s (Kobach) got a gilded resume, with degrees from Harvard University, Yale Law School and the University of Oxford, and is seen as both the intellect behind the cause and its prime advocate. Kobach has written voter laws in other jurisdictions and defended them in court. If anybody ever had time to marshal facts and arguments before a trial, it was Kobach.

    But things didn’t go well for him in the Kansas City courtroom, as Robinson’s opinion made clear. Kobach’s strongest evidence of non-citizen registration was anemic at best: Over a 20-year period, fewer than 40 non-citizens had attempted to register in one Kansas county that had 130,000 voters. Most of those 40 improper registrations were the result of mistakes or confusion rather than intentional attempts to mislead, and only five of the 40 managed to cast a vote.

    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):

    Roe was gentler — deferential, even. He often admitted he didn’t know what step came next, asking the judge for help. “I don’t — I don’t know if this one is objectionable. I hope it’s not,” he offered at one point, as he prepared to ask a question following a torrent of sustained objections. “I’ll let you know,” an attorney for the plaintiffs responded, to a wave of giggles in the courtroom. On the final day of trial, as Becker engaged in yet another dispute with the judge, Roe slapped a binder to his forehead and audibly whispered, “Stop talking. Stop talking.”

    On a more serious note,

    Indeed, the nine convictions Kobach has obtained in Kansas are almost entirely made up of individuals who didn’t realize they were doing something wrong. For example, there were older voters who didn’t understand the restrictions and voted in multiple places they owned property. There was also a college student who’d forgotten she’d filled out an absentee ballot in her home state before voting months later in Kansas. (She voted for Trump both times.)

    Late in the trial, the ACLU presented Lorraine Minnite, a professor at Rutgers who has written extensively about voter fraud, as a rebuttal witness. Her book, “The Myth of Voter Fraud,” concluded that almost all instances of illegal votes can be chalked up to misunderstandings and administrative error.

    8/1/2018

    I haven’t read this yet, but this seems like a grift by Kobach.

    8/8/2018

    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:

  9. 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.

  10. What’s a non-racist reason we may no longer be proud of our country?

  11. 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.

    1. Trump is successfully eroding trust in the press

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

  13. 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:

    Fascism doesn’t arise suddenly in an existing democracy. It is not easy to get people to give up their ideas of freedom and civility. You have to do trial runs that, if they are done well, serve two purposes. They get people used to something they may initially recoil from; and they allow you to refine and calibrate. This is what is happening now and we would be fools not to see it.

    More

    Fascism does not need a majority – it typically comes to power with about 40 per cent support and then uses control and intimidation to consolidate that power. So it doesn’t matter if most people hate you, as long as your 40 per cent is fanatically committed. That’s been tested out too. And fascism of course needs a propaganda machine so effective that it creates for its followers a universe of “alternative facts” impervious to unwanted realities. Again, the testing for this is very far advanced.

    Finally, the author mentions one last phase, one that he believes has started:

    You have to undermine moral boundaries, inure people to the acceptance of acts of extreme cruelty. Like hounds, people have to be blooded. They have to be given the taste for savagery. Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group. This allows the members of that group to be dehumanised. Once that has been achieved, you can gradually up the ante, working through the stages from breaking windows to extermination.

    Edit

    On a slightly related FYI,..

  14. 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.

    Edit

    From Talking Points Memo

    When I first read the Times story I wasn’t sure whether the younger Kennedy, whose title was Managing Director and Global Head of Real Estate Capital Markets, would have been someone to actually make loans to someone like Trump as opposed to overseeing more complex or synthetic efforts like mortgage backed securities and such. But it turns out he definitely was. The FT says Kennedy was “one of Mr Trump’s most trusted associates over a 12-year spell at Deutsche.” A review of Kennedy’s bio suggests those twelve years were 1997 through 2009 – key years for Trump.

    6/29/2018

    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.)

  15. Have You Guys Read #SecondCivilWarLetters on Twitter?

    There are some good ones. Here’s an OK one from Patton Oswalt:

    Edit

    I like this one better:

  16. 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.)

  17. 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.

    Edit

    Maybe I’m wrong, but my sense is that the information operations are ongoing.

  18. 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.

    Edit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *