Open Thread

The Open Thread for June 21, 2018

“Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is working with White House lawyers to draft an executive action that will end the Trump administration’s practice of separating migrant families at the border,” Politico reports.  “The action will direct the Department of Homeland Security to keep families together and will instruct the Department of Defense to help house the families because many of the detention centers are at capacity, the source said.”  President Trump signed the Executive Order Wednesday afternoon.

It was unnecessary.  All Trump had to do was tell Sessions to rescind the separation policy announced in April.

And the Executive Order does not really end the crisis.  First off, there are 6,000+ children separated from their parents.  God knows how they reunite, given the incompetence of the Trump Administration.   Second, the Order still criminalizes asylum seekers.  Third, it still detains children indefinitely.  They are just kept with their parents now.  The indefinite nature of the detention is contrary to court rulings, so this Order will be challenged in court.  Which is probably want Trump wants anyway.

The coverage of President Trump’s sudden reversal on his policy to separate migrant children from their parents at the border is universally brutal.

The Fix: “It’s at once an admission that the politics of the issue had gotten out of hand and that the administration’s arguments were completely dishonest. Virtually everything it said about the policy is tossed aside with this executive action. It’s the political equivalent of waving the white flag and the legal equivalent of confessing to making false statements. Rather than letting Congress rebuke it, the White House is rebuking itself and trying to save some face.”

Politico: “It was a remarkable shift from a president who is typically reluctant to bow to outside pressure. He often doubles down on his existing stance when confronted with criticism.”

Former President Barack Obama:  “That’s the reality for so many of the families whose plights we see and heart-rending cries we hear. And to watch those families broken apart in real time puts to us a very simple question: are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together? Do we look away, or do we choose to see something of ourselves and our children?”

Pope Francis “has criticized the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the Mexican border, saying populism is not the answer to the world’s immigration problems,” Reuters reports.

Steve Schmidt, who was campaign manager for John McCain’s presidential bid in 2008, announced he was quitting the Republican party.  Said Schmidt: “29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of the Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump.”

Politico: “Senior House Republicans learned late Tuesday night that they were far from the 218 votes needed to pass a compromise immigration package after doing a whip check on the bill, according to multiple GOP lawmakers and aides. Some conservatives warned that Trump was not specific enough in his support of the leadership’s bill. Others simply continued to worry about blowback from the far right for supporting anything that could be labeled ‘amnesty.’”

Said one top GOP lawmaker: “It did not move the needle at all. He made comments like ‘I’m behind it 1,000 percent,’ but what is ‘it’?”


“President Trump’s top allies in the media have struggled this week to formulate a coherent defense of his administration’s immigration crackdown, oscillating between talking points to provide the president cover for the widely-condemned zero-tolerance policy that has resulted in children being separated from their parents at the southern border,” CNN reports.

“Members of the pro-Trump media seemed to share the same goal: Fending off an onslaught of criticism directed at the White House by members of both political parties. But the ways in which each defender has gone about doing this differed, ranging from falling back on tropes and arguments often employed by white nationalists, to portraying immigrants as threats, to outright dismissing the controversy as part of a fictitious plot.”

Janelle Wong: “My research indicates white evangelical conservatism correlates strongly with their perceptions anti-white discrimination, even after taking into account economic status, party, age and region. Fully 50 percent of white evangelical respondents to our 2016 survey reported feeling they face discrimination that’s comparable to, or even higher than, the discrimination they believe Muslim Americans face. Those who hold this perception are more likely to hold conservative attitudes on issues as wide-ranging as climate change, tax policy and health-care reform.”

“Here’s what is not behind these beliefs: economic anxiety. Like PRRI and political scientist Diana Mutz, I find economic anxiety isn’t a primary reason for supporting Trump. Rather, white evangelicals fear losing racial status. White evangelicals’ perceptions they’re the targets of discrimination – more so than other groups — influence far more than simply their votes for Trump.”

“Yes, 80 percent of white evangelicals supported Donald Trump in 2016. And the racial fears and anxieties that underlie their support for the president will probably remain the driver in their political views long after he leaves office.”

North Dakota U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Cramer (R-ND) “pushed back hard on the idea that keeping border-crossing children in chain-link cages was inhumane, defending the practice in two local radio shows on Wednesday,” TPM reports.

Said Cramer: “By the way, chain link fences are around playgrounds all over America, all over North Dakota. And chain link fences allow line-of-sight visual connectivity with children and families. You know, there’s nothing inhumane about a chain link fence. If it is, then every ballpark in America is inhumane.”

“Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, has decided to throw his political clout and personal fortune behind the Democratic campaign to take control of the House of Representatives this year, directing aides to spend tens of millions of dollars in an effort to expel Republicans from power,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Bloomberg — a political independent who has championed left-of-center policies on gun control, immigration and the environment — has approved a plan to pour at least $80 million into the 2018 election, with the bulk of that money going to support Democratic congressional candidates, advisers to Mr. Bloomberg said.”

Rudy Giuliani told the Washington Post that President Trump’s decision on whether to sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller “could be delayed until mid- to late July as his legal team assesses the impact of a new report by the Justice Department’s inspector general,” the Washington Post reports.

Said Giuliani: “I’m advising him to stay put, to hold our horses a little.”

But last night on Fox News, Giuliani sounded doubtful it would ever happen: “Do I look crazy? So far, you know, I still have all my senses, and I’m a heck of a lawyer. And I get drummed out of the profession if I did. I mean, the reality is, you don’t put your client in a kangaroo court.”

A new CNN poll shows Democrats leading the generic House ballot by a solid margin, 50% to 42%.

“It’s way to early to predict which voters will turn out on election day, but the poll does suggest Democrats are still benefiting from an ‘enthusiasm gap.’ Fifty percent of Democratic voters saying they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting compared to only 43% of Republicans who feel that way.”

A new Pew Research survey finds “voter engagement is high when compared with comparable points in previous midterm cycles” and “a record share of registered voters (68%) say the issue of which party controls Congress will be a factor in their vote in November.”

“A 60% majority say they consider their midterm vote as essentially a vote either for Donald Trump (26%) or against him (34%). These are among the highest shares saying their view of the president would be a factor in their vote in any midterm in more than three decades.”

“In early voting intentions, 48% of registered voters say they would favor the Democratic candidate in their district, or lean toward the Democrat, while 43% favor the Republican or lean Republican.”

A new USC/Los Angeles Times poll in California finds Gavin Newsom (D) leading John Cox (R) in the race for governor by a wide margin, 45% to 28%.

A new Monmouth poll in West Virginia finds Sen. Joe Manchin (D) holds a solid lead over challenger Patrick Morrisey (R), 48% to 39% among all voters.

“Another 4% support Don Blankenship, who is seeking to run as the Constitution Party candidate after losing his bid for the GOP nomination. West Virginia has a “sore loser” law that may prevent him from appearing on the general election ballot. When Blankenship’s supporters are reallocated to their second choice, Manchin maintains a 49% to 42% lead.”

“The race looks very similar using two different likely voter models. A historical midterm model gives Manchin a 49% to 40% lead over Morrisey with Blankenship in the race, and a 50% to 43% lead without. Using a model that includes a turnout surge in areas where Democrats tend to perform more strongly gives a Manchin a 50% to 39% lead when including Blankenship and 51% to 42% lead without the Constitution Party candidate.”

“The Trump administration announced its departure from the United Nations’ main human rights body Tuesday, its latest withdrawal from an international institution,” CNBC reports.

Said United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley: “For too long, the human rights council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.”

The announcement “comes just a day after the U.N. human rights chief denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents.”

First Read explains why Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale’s call for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be fired is a big deal.

“Parscale is one of the key players in the 2016 Trump campaign who has not been interviewed by Mueller’s team. So he’s part of a club that includes Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. and Michael Cohen. All of them met with Congress, but not Mueller — hinting that they could all be targets.”

McClatchy: “Buyers connected to Russia or former Soviet republics made 86 all-cash sales — totaling nearly $109 million — at 10 Trump-branded properties in South Florida and New York City, according to a new analysis shared with McClatchy. Many of them made purchases using shell companies designed to obscure their identities.“

”There’s nothing illegal about accepting cash for real estate. But transactions that do not involve mortgages — which account for one in four residential purchases in the country — raise red flags for law enforcement officials as it could be a way to commit fraud or launder money.”

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

34 comments on “The Open Thread for June 21, 2018

  1. My heart is breaking. There is no plan to reunite these children with their parents. Some of these children may never see their parents again. We are monsters.

  2. They started taking these children to New York, how stupid is that!!

  3. Details and images keep coming out on the caged kids, none of it good for Trump or the Republicans. As noted the creeps have no plans to reunite the kids and their families, another tragedy but one that will keep the story going for months. There will no making this go away quickly, it’s a tremendous black eye for the Republicans as a whole and a reminder that there is a limit, even for Trump.

    • And the Democrats are presenting what plan???? It’s both sides Wiky, both sides hold responsibility for this!! What plan did they present in 2014 or before that? They are all elected officials, THEY ALL must step up, not just talk. A FRIGG’IN PLAN!!

      • you really dont know?

      • No, Democrats aren’t responsible for this. Learn what you’re talking about for a change. And no, Democrats, who hold no power, are not responsible for fixing a problem Republicans created.

        Why they put up with you is a mystery I’ll never solve.

        • Al, get it through your head. They need to come together and work on a plan FOR ALL!! That they all agee on!!

      • Anono still hasn’t read the policy.

        • @Pandora, You never provide anything. Show it right here………..

          • cassandram

            When you start providing ANYTHING of some use or interest, Anono, you will get to criticize other people. So stop it.

            • Cassy, she always says that; “Hasn’t read the policy.” All I’m asking for is the policy that Pandora is referring to. And that is too much to ask? At least I’m trying to be on the same page. There are many policies out there, I’m just looking for the one SHE is referring to.

              • cassandram

                Annony, the only policy being discussed are this Administration’s towards these kids and their parents. The new Executive Order was signed yesterday. If you have no freakin’ clue of what is being discussed, you need to SHUT UP. Go learn something then jump in the conversation. It is not enough to be here with your ill-informed outrage. Go learn something. Follow the news. DD posts links to all kids of stuff here EVERY DAMN DAY. Are you unsure of what is being discussed? The ASK for that info. Drop the belligerent attitude — because we all GET how clueless you are. The belligerence just makes you look stupider.

              • There is only one new policy. Sessions announced it.

                • President Trump’s “zero tolerance” practice of 100 percent prosecution was modeled after an earlier get-tough policy on the Southwest border called Operation Streamline.

                  Under Presidents Bush and Obama, the program was expanded to other areas of the border in Texas and Arizona.

                  So, we need another plan. Democrats and Republicans, need to come up with a better plan. The “Zero policy” is not deterring, people from using children to cross the border!!

                  So, why isn’t ANYONE coming up with a plan?? Either Democrats or Republicans or Bernie……

                  • cassandram

                    NO. You do not get to avoid this conversation. There were no operations that specifically and routinely separated children from their parents. There were no operations who specifically tried to criminalize those asking for asylum. NONE. And you have to ask the GOP why they don’t have a plan. They control all three sections of government. PERIOD.

                    • Cassy, and that is where you do not see the forest through the trees. The Democrats, consistently lay blame and “They control all three sections of government” Waaa-waaa-waaa……

                      The Democrats are missing a prime opportunity to come up with THE perfect plan, but they would rather give up and roll over or blame!!!

                      Carpe Deiem!!!

                    • There is no “perfect plan,” genius. Reading one article doesn’t make you an expert.

                      Back when some in Congress tried to work together, they had a bipartisan plan. Republicans hardliners shut it down.

                      Also, even if Democrats came up with a “perfect plan,” Republicans would reject it. Republicans once came up with a plan for universal health coverage by insurance companies, and a Republican governor put it in practice in his state. But even though the plan was concocted by a conservative think tank whose alumni litter this administration, Republicans rejected it so forcefully that the Republican was forced to disavow his own successful state program when he ran for president.

                      You are very poorly informed. Just go away and grace someone else with your wisdom.

                    • cassandram

                      And Alby has it, Annony. Even if there was a plan from the Dems it would go nowhere. The responsibility for this is absolutely at the White House door. They changed this policy, they can change it back.

                  • Operation Streamlined started in 2005 under Bush. And as a matter of policy, under that operation the Border Patrol did not refer for prosecution juveniles, parents traveling with minor children, certain persons with health conditions, and others who require prompt return to their country of origin for humanitarian reasons.

                    The 100% referral, include those with minor children is owned entirely by the current Administration.

                    Here is a good overview of the original policy.

    • cassandram

      People are finding out that this kids are scattered all over the country — Michigan, New York and everywhere else. What seems likely is that neither DHS or DHSS can track these kids much less get them returned to their mothers. AND there is still question on where girls separated from their parents might be. In a just world, every GOPer who thinks that this is reasonable behavior should be facing the business end of a deportation proceeding themselves.

  4. delacrat

    “Former President Barack Obama: “That’s the reality for so many of the families whose plights we see and heart-rending cries we hear.”

    Did he ever the hear the heart-rending cries of the refugees he generated from Libya, Syria, Yemen…..etc. ?

    • If you knew what you were talking about, you’d know that Libya was producing a stream of refugees under Quadaffi. But you’re not actually interested in refugees, you’re interested in slagging people. It’s all you do.

      • It’s Muammar Gaddafi. Big journalist professional.

        • There are at least a half-dozen spelling of his name, and different journalistic outlets use different Western spellings, for the obvious reason that his actual name isn’t written in our alphabet.

          Why don’t you take your buffoon act on the road? Nobody here likes it.

          • Remember when Fox News changed Bin Laden’s name to “Usama” after President Obama … had him neutralized?

  5. Don’t worry Anono, it is only like the 73rd thing that will surely finish Drumpf. We saw how all of those went. There will be hundreds more over the next six years. Every few weeks some clown from the WaPo, the NYT, CNN or MSNBC will have the story that is the end of the Trump presidency, and all the mouthbreathers here will nod their heads in unison. And then it will be forgotten, and a few weeks later the next one will come out.

    Anyone heard from Stormy Daniels lately?

    • cassandram

      More deflection. From the people who are so embarrassed by their President’s actions that they simply cannot discuss a single one honestly. They work overtime to excuse and rationalize every single day actions that they would have been livid if Obama had done them. They parade their sorry excuses for policy support as entertainment — watching brown people get hurt just to own the libs. Apparently, All Lives, DON’t Matter. Still, your people are gathering soon. Which is fine, so that we know you when we see you.

      • Please, name one Trump policy I am embarrassed by.

        • I would hope the policy of separating children from their parents would embarrass and upset you.

          • Not that worried about it. Break the law, bad things tend to happen.

    • cassandram

      And Stormy Daniels is touring, BTW. Selling out strip clubs everywhere and asking her supporters if she should run for President. I’d rather have a President whose claim to fame is dancing rather than one who is working at white supremacy every day.

    • The nice thing about predicting the future is that nobody gets it right, and nobody apologizes for getting it wrong. You either.

    • Well, her lawyer, MichaelAvenatti, says that he’s working with ICE whistleblowers and contractors, and he’s about to “blow this [child separation policy] wide open and take the info to the American people so they can decide what happens next.”

      Stormy hasn’t gone away either, but I get that you guys are titillated by a porn star story – which isn’t the story at all.

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