Tuesday Open Thread

“An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded.”

–Pope John Paul II


27 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ParkHill says:

    Eleven Trump allies who met with Russians in order to get "dirt" on Clinton:

    George Papadopoulos, April 2016

    Michael Caputo, May 2016

    Roger Stone, May 2016

    Donald Trump Jr,  June 2016

    Jared Kushner, June 2016

    Paul Manafort, June 2016

    Here's my question:

    When approached by agents from Russia, is your first response to say "Cool, what do ya got?, or do you call up the FBI and say: "Hey, I just got approached by agents from Russia. I think maybe you should check in to this".

  2. ParkHill says:


    When Eichman was sending all the Jews to concentration camps, the Jewish mother offered: "Take me, but spare my child."

    Eichman's response was pure bureaucratic bullshit. "Oh, I can't make an exception for you. If I did that for you, I'd have to do it for everybody.

    When Jeff Sessions is claiming that he is not a Nazi, he is losing the argument.

  3. DavieDavie says:

    Trump will be meeting with the GOP Congress today to twist arms into passing the GOP-written immigration bills (both of which feature full funding for The Wall and major restrictions on DACA status, asylum, legal and illegal immigration).

    The New York Times Editorial Board has some choice words for anyone tempted to fall in line with Trump:

    In reality, by making the immigration topic even more radioactive, Mr. Trump has made a rational legislative debate much less likely. House Democrats would be nuts, politically and on policy grounds, to swallow either of the unpalatably conservative plans they are being offered. And even if a bill passes the lower chamber, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is unlikely to let his troops take a politically noxious vote during a high-stakes election cycle. No matter how much Mr. Trump beats his chest, it’s hard to see any proposal becoming law any time soon.

    Lawmakers should not negotiate with the president until he puts a stop to this “zero tolerance” insanity. Even if Republican members can’t be swayed by the immorality of the practice, they should look at this situation in terms of preserving their own power: If they let Mr. Trump roll them by using innocent children as hostages, he will learn the lesson that brutality is the key to getting what he wants.

    Maintaining checks and balances can be tricky with any president, but that’s especially true when a commander in chief has authoritarian impulses. As made evident by his slavering over such brutal autocrats as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un, Mr. Trump believes that effective leadership is all about crushing anyone who stands in your way, collateral damage be damned. If lawmakers aren’t willing to stand up to him in a case where justice and public sentiment are so clearly on their side, they might as well hand him the keys to the Capitol right now.

  4. DavieDavie says:

    This hits pretty close to home for Trump:

    First lady Melania Trump’s immigration attorney criticized the “inhumanity” of the administration’s zero-tolerance border policy during an appearance on Fox & Friends on Tuesday. “The inhumanity of what we see is reminiscent of detentions center of Nazi Germany, of the slave trade,” Michael Wildes said. “We can do better when we try to figure out this problem.” The New York lawyer, who represented the first lady, her parents, and her sister during their immigration proceedings, also said the deterrence policy “goes against the very ethos of our founding documents and fathers.” He added, “Let’s not forget this problem needs to be fixed because the greatest risk takers and the greatest entrepreneurs historically have been immigrants in this country.” On Sunday, the first lady said she “hates to see children separated from their families,” speaking out against a policy her husband’s administration officially announced last month.

  5. DavieDavie says:

    Not steel, not aluminum, and certainly not imported automobiles. The greatest national security threat facing our nation is Donald J. Trump:

    But what does American goodness — all too often honored in the breach, but still real — have to do with American power, let alone world trade? The answer is that for 70 years, American goodness and American greatness went hand in hand. Our ideals, and the fact that other countries knew we held those ideals, made us a different kind of great power, one that inspired trust.

    So all the things happening now are of a piece. Committing atrocities at the border, attacking the domestic rule of law, insulting democratic leaders while praising thugs, and breaking up trade agreements are all about ending American exceptionalism, turning our back on the ideals that made us different from other powerful nations.

    And rejecting our ideals won’t make us stronger; it will make us weaker. We were the leader of the free world, a moral as well as financial and military force. But we’re throwing all that away.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Trump is simply doing Putin's bidding, with some influence also from Xi in China. Disruption of the Western alliance is a long term goal for Putin. Another example is Trump's withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership, thus ceding economic hegemony in the western Pacific to China.

  6. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Interesting interview last night on Fox/Ingraham with Jeff Sessions. The expected stuff about the border situation was there.

    Then he pulled a genuine surprise, at least for me. Ingraham tried to pressure him on the Russian investigation and his recusal. Sessions more or less said he wasn't getting into that and stated that Rosenstein is the attorney general for the Mueller investigation. 

  7. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Democrats: "Trump is a madman, bent on destruction, who will obliterate the world if we let him."

    (Senate passes $716B defense bill 85-10)

    Democrats: #resist?


    • ZappateroZappatero says:

      Bennet? I won’t even bother to look cuz he’s too much of a coward to vote against it. But he’s a D, so it’s all good. 

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        Well, Bennet plus 50 other Dems and/or DINOs makes Dianne Feinstein the chairwoman of the judiciary committee and Chuck Schumer majority leader. 

        You're right for once. Bennet's a D, so it's all good.

  8. ZappateroZappatero says:

    America’s latent racism, stoked for 8 years by Republicans, with hardly any pushback by Democrats (who could be so stupid, right Pols?), is in full bloom, becoming entrenched, and probably just getting started.

    We may be the 4th Reich before Democrats get their weak shit together. They better be fast, they better be loud, they better get ugly. 

  9. DavieDavie says:

    Things are not going too well for Chief of Staff Kelly either. Tucked into the middle of an article explaining the treacherous ground Kristjen Neilsen is standing on was this tidbit:

    Kelly’s status in the White House has changed in recent months, and he and the president are now seen as barely tolerating one another. According to four people close to Kelly, the former Marine general has largely yielded his role as the enforcer in the West Wing as his relationship with Trump has soured. While Kelly himself once believed he stood between Trump and chaos, he has told at least one person close to him that he may as well let the president do what he wants, even if it leads to impeachment — at least this chapter of American history would come to a close.

    In recent months, his Secret Service detail has often been spotted standing outside the gym in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in the middle of the day — and White House officials who pass it on the way to meetings view his late morning workouts as an indication of him having thrown in the towel on trying to have any control inside the West Wing.

  10. DavieDavie says:

    Pity poor Paul Ryan — trying to herd one large rabid cat!

    Speaker Paul Ryan and his top lieutenants are well aware that only the president can give conservatives cover to vote for a bill that includes a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers — a huge leap for those who once dismissed that idea as “amnesty.” It’s why leadership invited Trump for a rare meeting with the entire Republican conference, just days after he indicated he might veto the legislation.

    While White House officials have assured leaders that Trump will give the bill a full-throated endorsement, Trump already appears to be upending that plan. Speaking to a group of business leaders before his Hill visit Tuesday, the president suggested he‘s not satisfied with the current proposal.

    Republicans haven’t forgotten when Trump changed his tune other times to their detriment. White House officials told GOP lawmakers this spring that Trump wanted them to vote for a $1 trillion-plus spending bill. Then, after he had signed the bill and the base balked, he turned on Hill Republicans, criticizing them for foisting the bill on him and inviting blowback from their constituents.

    I wonder if Trump will be wearing his party's mascot pin on his lapel – the Yellow-bellied Hypocrite?


    • RepealAndReplace says:

      And that rabid cat keeps pissing and crapping on the carpet.

      • DavieDavie says:

        Yep, McConnell is scrambling to write a new bill to end the Trump policy of separating children from their parents.  Trump, naturally, is having none of it.

        Republican senators moved on Tuesday to defuse a political crisis by seeking passage of legislation that would swiftly bring an end to President Trump’s practice of separating children from their parents when families cross into the United States illegally.

        Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said that “all of the members of the Republican conference support a plan that keeps families together,” endorsing an approach that would provide legal authority to detain parents and children together while their legal status in the country is assessed by the courts.

        In an afternoon speech, Mr. Trump continued to falsely blame Democrats for causing the family separations and dismissed as “crazy” several of the Republican proposals to address the issue by hiring hundreds of new immigration judges.

        Because, you know, judges are corrupt, and lawyers are "bad people"

        Rejecting a proposal by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas to increase personnel in immigration courts with the hiring of up to 375 new judges, Mr. Trump suggested that many of the immigration judges could be corrupt, and he said some lawyers who appear in their courtrooms are “bad people.”

        Of course, the bill is still bad policy (Hey kids, you can be jailed along side your asylum-seeking parents too!), and as Senator Schumer notes:

        But Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, immediately shot down the Republican approach, saying that Mr. Trump could — and should — use his executive authority, not legislation, to quickly end the family separations.

      • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

        That ain't no cat. That's a big ol' slobberin' hound dog. You don't have to house-train cats. Put them in a box with sand in it. They know what it's for.

  11. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    I have to admit, I didn’t see this one coming. 


  12. DavieDavie says:

    A little ray of sunshine (topped with a bit of Schadenfreude!) in of all places, Kansas.  Proof of citizenship will not be required to vote in the state as a result of the inept and deceptive case presented by Kris Kobach :

    In a week when down has seemed up and up appears to be down, a federal-court decision in Kansas protecting the right to vote has arrived as a cool and bracing tonic.

    Judge Julie A. Robinson, an appointee of President George H. W. Bush, didn’t do anything fancy in the 188-page opinion she issued on Monday. She just methodically analyzed the evidence that the Kansas secretary of state, Kris Kobach, submitted in a March trial to show that a substantial number of noncitizens have tried to vote or voted in Kansas. Judge Robinson presided over the trial in a case brought by the A.C.L.U.

    At this trial, the people in the country who are the most committed to showing that meaningful numbers of noncitizens vote, who have built their careers on that assertion, could not do it. Mr. von Spakovsky, after years of claims to the contrary, admitted on the stand that he knows of no election in which the outcome was determined by noncitizen votes. And Mr. Kobach, a lawyer as well as his state’s top election official, did such a poor job of the basic task of following the rules of evidence that the judge imposed sanctions, ordering him to complete six hours of legal education pertaining to the state or federal rules of procedure or evidence.


    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      I hope they can salvage whatever is left of the state after #GuvBrokeback scurried off to be Drumpfs Ambassador of something-something. If not, we’re going to need to consider a Great Wall on our eastern border. 

  13. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    4 "tender age" (babies and toddlers) facilities in Texas now. Lawrence O Donnell is reporting on it. Rachel Maddow broke down in tears while reporting it.  Red meat for the Sonnenbergs and Bucks of the world. Because "liberal tears" are great.

    Right, Moderatus? You have young kids. What do you feel about this?

    Why is this happening? Here's what I think:

    It's not primarily to secure the border. The border won't be secure while the cartels control Central American countries, and the cartels will control Central American countries while North Americans demand meth, heroin, and other drugs. The legalization of marijuana has put more pressure on cartels to sell harder stuff.

    It's not primarily to pacify Trump's base. His base is uncomfortable with it, too. The racists like it; they like the talk of “vermin”. But that’s just gravy.

    It’s not mainly to make liberals cry. That is a feature, not a bug.

    Mostly, this heartless policy is to make money for private prison contractors: GEO group, CoreCivic, MTC, and other private prison contractors. The "tender age centers' will be a new venture. "Expanding the client base" in corporate speak. Because legalization of cannabis and reduction in incarceration for simple drug offenses has really cut into the private prison corporation's profits.  So they're looking to make that up with immigrant detention – including jails for babies. 

    Warehoused, wailing babies. Inadequate staff. Records of sexual abuse and deaths to be covered up per ICE request. Legal representation for minors cut.

    Last November, NPR reported that ICE spent $2 billion on private prison detention of immigrants. $32 million of that went to the GEO group. ICE has over 100 immigrant detention facilities around the country.

    This was planned last year; ICE made a budget request for 51,000 new beds. (see page 14 of the ICE budget. )

    Trump owes these private prison contractors, bigly. The Justice Department under Sessions cleared the way for private prisons to expand immigrant detention.

    The two largest private corrections corporations, GEO Group and CoreCivic,* each gave $250,000 to Trump's inaugural festivities.

    *Corecivic was formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America. CCA has a reputation for inmate deaths and abuse. Not the people you want watching over the baby jails. CCA has plans to build immigrant detention facilities all over the country, per ICE request.

    I guess we all have ways to deal with outrage and horror we can't do much about; some drink heavily. Me, I write long link-filled posts to put the picture together, and eventually a diary.

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.