The Open Thread for February 22, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security “released a set of documents translating President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and border security into policy, bringing a major shift in the way the agency enforces the nation’s immigration laws,” the New York Times reports.

“Under the Obama administration, undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes were the priority for removal. Now, immigration agents, customs officers and border patrol agents have been directed to remove anyone convicted of any criminal offense. That includes people convicted of fraud in any official matter before a governmental agency and people who ‘have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits.’”

“The policy also calls for an expansion of expedited removals, allowing Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent to deport more people immediately.”

Tucker Carlson’s interview with a filmmaker (Ami Horowitz) that prompted Trump to fear-monger about an immigrant crime wave in Sweden featured a clip of two police officers in that country. They have since spoken out about what happened.

Two Swedish police officers were interviewed in the film. Anders Göranzon and Jacob Ekström answered questions about how weapons are becoming more accessible. Horowitz also asked the officers about how crime has spread through cities. But the police officers now say that their answers were taken out of context, and are very critical of how their comments were portrayed on Fox News ”Tucker Carlson Tonight”. ”I don’t understand why we are a part of the segment. The interview was about something completely different to what Fox News and Horowitz were talking about”, says Anders Göranzon…

The excerpt they showed doesn’t say anything, we answered a different question. We don’t stand behind what he says. He [Horowitz] is a madman.”

David Brooks: “Most of us came of age in the last half of the 20th century and had our perceptions of “normal” formed in that era. It was, all things considered, an unusually happy period. No world wars, no Great Depressions, fewer civil wars, fewer plagues.”

“It’s looking like we’re not going to get to enjoy one of those times again. The 21st century is looking much nastier and bumpier: rising ethnic nationalism, falling faith in democracy, a dissolving world order.”

“At the bottom of all this, perhaps, is declining economic growth.”

NBC News: “The Democratic National Committee will pick a new chairman in Atlanta on Saturday — the last possible weekend allowed by the party’s charter, which states the election must be held ‘prior to March 1’ following an election. The timing was intended to give party members ample time to consider their future after an unexpected loss. But the length of the race has also allowed tensions to fester between the establishment and progressive wings. And it has hobbled the national party’s ability to both respond to Trump and capitalize on the unprecedented grassroots opposition to him. For Democrats on both sides of the chairmanship fight, the election cannot end soon enough.”

FiveThirtyEight: “Election junkies need not wait until November 2018 to get their next fix. They don’t even need to wait for the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia later this year. Five special elections for the House of Representatives are expected to take place over the next few months: California 34, Georgia 6, Kansas 4, Montana At-large and South Carolina 5.”

“These elections are ‘special’ in the sense that they occur outside the normal two-year November House election cycle — to fill a vacant seat. But other than that, there’s nothing all that special about special elections, making them a decent thermometer reading on the country’s political mood and how voters are responding to President Trump.”

Daily Kos has compiled a spreadsheet of all the important elections in 2017.

Politico: “Candidates for top jobs in President Trump’s administration are getting spooked after Andrew Puzder’s nomination was scuttled and they fear the White House isn’t doing enough to protect them from grueling confirmations… The concerns are affecting not only some of the highest profile nominations, including agriculture secretary pick Sonny Perdue, but also candidates for ambassadorships, judicial positions and a range of other nominees.”

“The chill that’s settled in even has some people considering bowing out of contention, meaning that Trump’s attempt to quickly fill out his government could drag out even further.”

“Donald Trump has been president for all or part of 33 days. He has averaged four falsehoods or misleading statements a day(!) in that time. There hasn’t been a single day of Trump’s presidency in which he has said nothing false or misleading,” the Washington Post reports.

“That data, which comes from a terrific new project from The Post‘s Fact Checker that seeks to document Trump’s statements in the first 100 days of his presidency, is stunning.”

David Nather: “The more you look, the more the Obamacare repeal effort is starting to resemble a mirror image of the turmoil when the law was passed. Remember that in 2009, it started out with fairly broad public support — when it was still at the level of generalities — and it was definitely a top priority for Democratic voters. Then it got less popular, and Democrats had to decide whether to plow through the angry resistance.”

New York Times: “They have faced shouts and jeers, and no shortage of sharp, and at times angry, questions. Protest signs have been hoisted. Cellphones have been held up to record it all.”

“Republicans home for the congressional recess have been greeted with an earful at town hall-style meetings. Many lawmakers have no such meetings scheduled — sparing them the possibility of a “YouTube moment,” but opening them up to criticism that they are ducking their constituents.”

“In the wake of 11 new threats today against Jewish centers, from New York to New Mexico, the FBI said it is investigating, along with the Department of Justice, bomb threats to the centers across the country,” ABC News reports.

“Federal authorities are looking into threats communicated to at least 60 Jewish centers around the country this year. The threats started in January and the FBI began investigating later that same month. The threats have come in ‘different waves,’ with more threats phoned in to centers today, according to one source familiar with the matter.”

Charles P Pierce of Esquire:

Steve Bannon’s lips didn’t even move. I think he was drinking a glass of water.

How many more of these whackadoo performance pieces does he have to present before somebody throws sand in the gears? If four Republican senators—say, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, and Susan Collins—would agree to caucus with the Democrats under Chuck Schumer, the whole thing would grind to a halt until we could catch our breath and see if we really want to live in the madhouse of this president*’s mind for the next four years. Bold speeches in Munich and chest-thumping on Twitter won’t cut it. It’s put up or shut up time.

And, please, for the love of god, ye editors and news directors throughout the land, enough with the expeditions into the heartland to talk to people who helped bring this down upon themselves and on us. These folks have nothing new to say. They voted their id and their spleen and they’re still on a high from that. Some guy in a café in Dubuque wants to say that he voted for this president* because he “tells it like it is,” or because he thinks the steel mills are coming back? Can you watch that rally in Florida and believe that these opinions have any real merit?

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

14 comments on “The Open Thread for February 22, 2017

  1. Saved the best for last: Stop interviewing the fools who voted for Trump and actually think factories are coming back and coal will be king again, they live in a dream world and will not leave it anytime soon. As for the famed repeal of the ACA it has become an irremovable albatross around the Republicans collective necks, fun to watch but I suspect it will have an ugly ending that results in far more anger than the Republicans thought would be coming their way. Good, they well deserve it and are exposed as the fools and liars that they truly are. As for Operation Immigration expect Trump to be pilloried by most and praised by the same racist garbage that fueled his campaign. Even better all the companies and industries that rely on illegals to get the job done are now on the phone and screaming bloody murder. Interesting times indeed.

    • DD did save the best for last! These people are definitely in a dream world. They did vote with their id – and their id loved Trump.

      As far as the ACA… they have really boxed themselves in. I have no idea how they come out of this mess. The campaign rhetoric doesn’t translate into governing. They are being torn in two – the constituents who demand full repeal of the ACA and those showing up at town halls with pitchforks telling them to not take away their health insurance. What’s a Republican to do? That’s a pretty big split in the party, and whatever decision they go with will result in half of their voters being unhappy. They own this mess.

      • It is looking like what they are planning to do will be pretty ugly. Mainly shifting responsibility for cost control and containment to the users and away from sellers and practitioners. There will probably be catastrophic insurance, but you will be paying way more out of pocket and getting 3 bids to fix your kid’s broken leg.

        • Like we’re not paying more now? There are some very good benefits that are in the ACA, but it needs to be fine tuned for all!

          • Good benefits? Like covering people with preexisting conditions? Can you explain how you’d fine tune it and keep the good benefits?

          • @Pandora, I believe in keeping your children on till their 26, preexisting conditions and some of the other plans. If I knew the answer, to how we could save money, I would. But, it is outrageous, what we are currently spending. We need to stop sending monies over seas and worry about our own!

    • We were recently visiting the in-laws out “in the dream world”, some being “fools who voted for Trump”. One was a Sanders voter whose car sported a “We are the 99%” bumper sticker. When asked why such 180 turn, he said he never believed Mrs. NAFTAman’s belated reversal on the TPP.

      “Racist garbage” had nothing to do with it.

      • “If you vote for a racist, misogynistic, narcissistic lunatic because you didn’t believe the truthfulness of his opponent’s policy reversal…”

        • Your factories and steel mills aren’t coming back and furthermore, you’re a “racist, misogynistic, narcissistic lunatic”. Vote for me.

          Clinton 2016

          • Fact: The factories and steel mills aren’t coming back.

            Reread Prop Joe’s comment. There’s no “you’re a racist, misogynistic, narcissistic lunatic”. There is a description of Trump, however.

            And if a “Bernie supporter” voted for Trump they were never a Bernie supporter. They weren’t voting on any issues Bernie supported.

  2. Anono said: “@Pandora, I believe in keeping your children on till their 26, preexisting conditions and some of the other plans. If I knew the answer, to how we could save money, I would. But, it is outrageous, what we are currently spending. We need to stop sending monies over seas and worry about our own!”

    So… you are advocating for decreasing military spending, because you can’t think the money we spend on foreign aid will solve our health care problem. Can you?

    And don’t feel bad about not knowing how to solve the problem. Republicans have no idea either. 🙂

    • They aren’t going to use any savings from decreased defense or foreign aid spending on heath care. The sole impetus to repeal the ACA is that the GOP wants to undo the tax on upper wage earners that helps to pay for it. That’s all this is. They do not give a damn about the health care.

      What they at working on is a combo of tax credits and HSAs plus catastrophic insurance that will leave you spending a great deal more of your income on medical expenses. And getting 3 bids to fix your kid’s broken leg.

      It will certainly be several steps backwards and won’t look like the kind of insurance that you might expect. It will be sold as giving you more control over your health care, but it is about making sure that you pay way more of your health care, that you have to do the work to get cost control and that the 1% no longer has to pay the tax they do to help fund this thing. And forget about expanded Medicaid.

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