REPUBLICANS NO GOOD VERY BAD DAY. House Republicans were going to vote on two bills yesterday. One was the Conservative Dream Immigration bill sponsored by radical reich Republican Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). His hardline bill would have fully funded Trump’s fucking wall, to the tune of over $25 billion, ended the diversity visa lottery program, ended family-based visas, created an agriculture “guest worker” program (i.e. indentured servitude without citizenship or legal status), require employers to use the E-Verify program, a provision to cut all federal funding of “sanctuary cities.” It was defeated 193-231. Every Democrat and 41 Republicans voted against Goodlatte’s bill.
The defeat was a massive embarrassment for the President, who was up on the hill on Tuesday lobbying for the bill. It is also a fatal rebuke to all conservative immigration hardliners, like the Stephen Millers of the world. If they can’t pass their dream in this Congress under this President, it will never happen.
The second bill, a supposed compromise bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for up to 1.8 millions “Dreamers,” provide $25 billion for Trump’s border wall and other security measures, and prevent families from being separated at the border, was pulled from the floor after the Goodlatte defeat. The Washington Post reports that “[i]n the face of defeat, Republicans decided prior to an emergency closed-door meeting with rank and file members to postpone the vote [on the Compromise bill] until Friday.”
New York Times: “The compromise bill is facing trouble with conservatives, who would be taking a political risk by supporting a bill that has been derided as offering ‘amnesty’ to young undocumented immigrants. With its chances appearing dim, Speaker Paul Ryan declined to speculate on the House’s next move. Republicans in the Senate are backing narrow legislation to ensure that children are not taken from their parents at the border.”
Politico: “[T]he only question going into the big vote is how badly it fails.”
The Washington Post reports that “[s]everal Republican aides and lawmakers said Trump undermined prospects for success in the House on Thursday with a morning tweet that cast doubt on whether any Republican immigration legislation could pass the Senate.”
Playbook: “[Mark] Meadows and his group control the House of Representatives on most days, and no matter what the leadership or Trump do, that’s the reality. If these bills fail, GOP leadership will take solace in the fact that they killed the bipartisan effort to vote on the Dream Act — a bad vote for many Republicans, they say — and gave the vulnerable members an immigration vote they needed.”
Reminder: Republicans cannot govern.
FLOTUS spox confirms Mrs. Trump wore a jacket to visit border kids that reads: "I really don't care. Do you?" Spox says: "It's a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today's important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn't going to choose to focus on her wardrobe." pic.twitter.com/Bp4Z8n455G
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 21, 2018
SENDING A MESSAGE? Daily Mail: “Melania Trump made quite the sartorial statement on Thursday when she donned a jacket with the words, ‘I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?’ written across the back while boarding a plane to visit immigrant children being held at the border in Texas.”
“The 48-year-old first lady was pictured arriving at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland wearing the $39 khaki design from Zara, before boarding her plane to fly to Texas.”
DRACONIAN FARM BILL PASSES HOUSE. “A deeply polarizing farm bill passed the House on party lines Thursday, a month after the legislation went down to stunning defeat after getting ensnared in the toxic politics of immigration,” the Washington Post reports.
“The legislation, which passed 213-211, includes controversial new work rules for most adult food-stamp recipients — provisions that are dead on arrival in the Senate.”
Flight attendant recounts flights with separated migrant children: "The images of those helpless children have burned into my psyche. The little children whose faces were full of fear, confusion, sadness and exhaustion left me somewhat traumatized." https://t.co/roiEIzH2FX
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 21, 2018
THE NEXT TURN IN THIS CRISIS: MIGRANT CHILDREN ARE ALLEGING ABUSE. “Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells,” the AP reports.
“The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia, are detailed in federal court filings that include a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino teens jailed there for months or years. Multiple detainees say the guards stripped them of their clothes and strapped them to chairs with bags placed over their heads.”
SUPREME COURT OKS INTERNET SALES TAXES. The Supreme Court ruled that Internet retailers can be required to collect sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence, the New York Times reports.
“Brick-and-mortar businesses have long complained that they are disadvantaged by having to charge sales taxes while many of their online competitors do not. States have said that they are missing out on tens of billions of dollars in annual revenue under a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that helped spur the rise of internet shopping.”
Don't be fooled: The Trump administration's immigration policy is still incredibly cruel. https://t.co/9xC1w25HCW
— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) June 21, 2018
THE CRISIS IS NOT OVER. Molly Ball: “In a presidency marked by serial outrages, the scandal over family separations at the southern border has been unlike any other. The President didn’t just say something offensive, he intentionally turned the machinery of the state on some of the world’s most vulnerable humans. He applied his signature approach–brutal toughness–to his trademark issue, immigration. He greeted criticism of his policy with mockery, falsehoods and blame-casting. He handcuffed the Republican Party and hamstrung understaffed federal agencies. All the themes of Trump’s character and Administration were embodied in this wrenching calamity.”
Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israel’s prime minister, was just indicted for fraud https://t.co/qIJdgKuztD
— Vox (@voxdotcom) June 21, 2018
CORRUPTION IN ISRAEL. Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was indicted “for alleged systematic fraud involving hundreds of thousands of shekels in connection with meal expenses incurred at the Prime Minister’s Residence,” Haaretz reports.
The Trump administration isn’t sure whether it’s still prosecuting migrant parents or not https://t.co/p7FpbLTAyN
— Vox (@voxdotcom) June 21, 2018
MIXED MESSAGES. The U.S. government will no longer file criminal charges against parents who cross the border illegally, a senior U.S. Customs official told the Washington Post.
“The dramatic about-face comes just one day after President Trump signed an executive order ending his administration’s widely denounced practice of separating families apprehended at the Mexico border.”
“Trump’s order said the government would maintain a ‘zero tolerance’ policy toward those who break the law, but a senior U.S. official, when asked to explain how the federal government would change enforcement practices, told The Washington Post that Border Patrol agents have been instructed to stop sending parents with children to federal courthouses for prosecution.”
A crabby President Trump tossed two Starburst candies to Angela Merkel at the G7 summit, saying, "Don’t say I never gave you anything" https://t.co/eQmLwMOakQ
— Daily Intelligencer (@intelligencer) June 21, 2018
PLEASE PROCEED GOVERNOR. President Trump “is ramping up his political travel ahead of the midterm elections, eying November as the most potent referendum on his presidency even as he faces widespread condemnation over his administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy,” CNN reports.
“Trump’s focus on the midterms, which Republicans believe will come with an invigoration of the President’s loyal base, is welcome news for some Republicans focused on keeping their majority in the House. But those same operatives admit it also comes with significant political risk: Trump’s presence fires up Democrats, puts every race in a national context that can be detrimental to Republican candidates and risks knocking campaigns off message by forcing them to take on sticky issues like immigration.”
The tough Senate map for Democrats is looking a little less tough https://t.co/EpoNlmO6a5
— Vox (@voxdotcom) June 21, 2018
WAVE HEIGHT CLIMBING. Cook Political Report: “A coal country district that voted 73 percent to 23 percent for President Trump might sound like mission impossible for Democrats. Yet this race could turn out be one of the wildest of the cycle. A new Monmouth University poll shows Trump-voting Democratic state Sen. Richard Ojeda leading state Del. Carol Miller 43 percent to 41 percent for the seat Rep. Evan Jenkins vacated to run unsuccessfully for Senate.”
“GOP operatives admit the poll isn’t a fluke, and in this case a slight lead for a Democratic candidate makes some sense.”
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) June 21, 2018
STEPHEN MILLER’S IMMIGRANT ANCESTOR WAS TOO DUMB TO PASS CITIZENSHIP TEST. Yahoo News: “A photo of Nison (aka Max) Miller stares out from the screen, sullen and stern, in faded black and white. ‘Order of Court Denying Petition’ is the title of the government form dated ’14th November 1932,’ to which it is attached, the one in which Miller is applying for naturalization as an American citizen.”
“And beneath the photo, the reason given for his denial: Ignorance.”
“Nison Miller is the great-grandfather of White House adviser Stephen Miller, who has taken credit for being one of the chief architects of the administration’s family separation policy.”
IMMIGRATION IS NOW TOP ISSUE, BECAUSE OF DEMOCRATS. A new Gallup poll finds that a record-high 75% of Americans, including majorities of all party groups, think immigration is a good thing for the U.S. — up slightly from 71% last year. Just 19% of the public considers immigration a bad thing.
Meanwhile, a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll finds there’s been a big jump over the last week in the percentage of Americans who say immigration is the most important issue facing the country, as they’ve been bombarded by the images and sounds of families being separated after trying to cross the border illegally.”
“It’s mostly Democrats who have shifted, and to a lesser extent independents — a sign that they’re getting energized over the coverage.”
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) June 21, 2018
RACISM IS TRUMP’S ONLY PATH. Washington Post: “Throughout his public life, Trump has pitted one group of Americans against another and inserted himself in racial controversies… As he leads his party into the potentially perilous midterm election five months from now, Trump is trying to make cultural identity a central theme of the Republican pitch to voters. His messages have been amplified by his surrogates as well as by friendly broadcasters on Fox News Channel and elsewhere in the conservative media.”
“Trump is calculating that by playing to people’s fears and anxieties he can maximize turnout among hard-core supporters to counterbalance evident enthusiasm on the Democratic side. Fueling Trump’s approach, advisers say, is an unremitting fear of his own: that his base could abandon him if he is deemed too weak on immigration, which was a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign.”
WORKFORCE: “The White House is set to propose merging the Labor and Education departments as part of a broader reorganization of the federal government,” the Wall Street Journal reports. The name of the new department? The Department of Education and the Workforce. The term workforce rubs me the wrong way. Like the workforce is just automatons. Hey, soon, they might be.
Washington Post: “The long-awaited proposal to reorganize federal agencies would shrink some and augment the missions of others. It is the result of a directive that Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, issued to federal leaders 14 months ago. He urged them to find ways to merge overlapping, duplicative offices and programs and eliminate those the administration views as unnecessary.”
“The plan also is expected to include major changes to the way the government provides benefits for low-income Americans, an area that conservatives have long targeted as excessive, by consolidating safety-net programs that are administered through multiple agencies.”