The Open Thread for February 14, 2017

Embattled White House national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned Monday night, two sources tell CNN.  “The move comes less than a month into the job, making him one of the shortest-serving senior presidential advisers in modern history.”

“The sudden exit marks the most public display yet of disarray at the highest levels of the new administration, which has faced repeated questions over a slew of controversies and reports of infighting among senior aides during its first three weeks.”

It comes on the heels of an explosive Washington Post story:

“Leading Russian lawmakers rushed to defend President Trump’s former national security adviser on Tuesday after he resigned for misleading senior White House officials, including Vice President Pence, about his contacts with Russia,” the Washington Post reports.

“The heads of the foreign affairs committees in both Russia’s upper and lower houses of parliament chalked up Michael Flynn’s resignation to a dark campaign of Russophobia in Washington, and said it would undermine relations between the White House and the Kremlin.”

One more piece of evidence.   When the Russians are defending you…..

Omarosa Manigault, who is now a communications official in the Trump administration, “got into a heated argument with a White House reporter just steps from the Oval Office last week, according to witnesses. The reporter, April Ryan, said Manigault ‘physically intimidated’ her in a manner that could have warranted intervention by the Secret Service,” the Washington Post reports.

“Ryan also said Manigault made verbal threats, including the assertion that Ryan was among several journalists on whom Trump officials had collected ‘dossiers’ of negative information.”

Mere hours before Flynn’s resignation, Kellyanne Conway was saying he had the full faith and confidence of Trump.  So either she was lying or is now out of the loop.   I believe the former, since she has no credibility anyway.

Four Republican senators have told their leadership they are withholding support for Andrew Puzder, President Trump’s choice for labor secretary, “setting off an intense effort by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and business groups to bring at least two back into the fold so that the nomination does not fail,” CNN reports. The four, sources say, are Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA).

Univision spoke to high school classmates of Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller and found he “had few friends, none of them non-white. They said he used to make fun of the children of Latino and Asian immigrants who did not speak English well.”

“Early on, Miller began to write opinion columns in conservative blogs, the local press and the high school’s own newspaper, The Samohi. He also contributed at times to the national radio show of Larry Elder, a conservative African American, and once invited him to speak at the school. Displaying his hostility toward minorities, Miller complained to school administrators about announcements in Spanish and festivals that celebrated diversity.”

Martin Longman at the Washington Monthly has more on Miller’s history of bigotry.

Alexander Bisley at Vox has a conversation with Russian chess champion Garry Kasparov, who says the key to opposing Trump is to make him look like a loser.

Garry Kasparov knows what it is to oppose an authoritarian ruler. The longtime world chess champion was arrested twice in his native Russia for opposing Vladimir Putin. Since 2013, he has lived with family in self-imposed exile in New York City, and is now the chair of the Human Rights Foundation. Winter Is Coming, Kasparov’s prescient book detailing Putinism’s rise and transnational menace, came out in paperback recently. Deep Thinking, his new book on chess and artificial intelligence, comes out May 2. A Ronald Reagan and John McCain supporter, Kasparov is a critic of Trumpism. In this interview, Kasparov and I discussed Putin, Trump, the Steele dossier, and what chess can teach you about politics.

Matthew A. Miller at Politico on Donald the Weak.

Trump may aspire to be a strongman, but he’s proving to be an exceptionally ineffectual president

Meanwhile, Trump’s chaotic management has led the courts to dramatically curb his power only three weeks into his administration. The decision by a Ninth Circuit panel to uphold the temporary restraining order blocking his immigration ban was notable for its criticism of the administration’s shifting execution of the order, including an after-the-fact attempt by White House Counsel Donald McGahn to change its meaning.

But it was the panel’s language about the courts’ ability to review President Trump’s immigration actions that may have the most lasting effect. Responding to Justice Department claims that the courts could not even review the president’s immigration order, the judges wrote, “there is no precedent to support this claimed unreview ability, which runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.”

The Trump Deportation Force has started rounding up all the brown people for internment and/or deportation.   From the Los Angeles area:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained scores of immigrants across the Los Angeles area in a massive deportation operation on Thursday, following President Donald Trump’s harsh executive order stepping up the crackdown of immigrants with criminal offenses living in the country illegally.

Advocates and lawyers said that ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations agents detained 134 immigrants at their workplaces and homes in a series of raids. They said that some people were picked up as “collateral arrest” after they opened their doors to agents who were not there to specifically arrest them. ICE agents allegedly requested to see identification from everyone and took in family members who were undocumented.

The immigration sweeps are believed to have taken place across Southern California in Santa Paula, Oxnard, Van Nuys, San Bernardino, and Downey.

More from the Washington Post:

U.S. immigration authorities launched a series of raids, traffic stops and checkpoints in at least half a dozen states across the country on Thursday and Friday, sweeping up an unknown number of undocumented immigrants, immigration lawyers and advocates said.

The raids, which appeared to target scores of undocumented immigrants, including those without criminal records, mark the first largescale episode of immigration enforcement inside the United States since President Trump’s Jan. 26 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally.

It also appeared to signal a departure from the Obama administration’s prioritized immigration enforcement against criminals. Trump has pledged to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

1 comment on “The Open Thread for February 14, 2017

  1. Remember the Nixon Era? I sure do, it went a lot smoother than this and took years to bring down good ol’ Tricky Dick. Trump now cuts to the chase and circles the wagons, suspect a brisk round of departures is coming. Lies all around like usual but some, especially from Conway, will come under extreme scrutiny. However suspect we’ll see the same sad story in the senate where assorted Republicans dither and then wither and vote for the Puzdar anyway. None of these nominees will simply disappear into office, all will be followed, watched and hopefully torn apart as they try and implement their evil designs.

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