Getting Exactly What They Demanded (Not Enjoying the Results)


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Because it’s an article of Republican faith that there’s nothing the government can do right — or, if pressed, that there’s nothing Tha States can’t do better than Big Gubmint — this happened:

… “This was a decision made by career officials at ICE without any input from the White House, as a result of fiscal uncertainty over the continuing resolution, as well as possible sequestration,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.

Personnel at Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington were also unaware of the decision until the announcement was made, a department official told POLITICO

Yes, this is going to be as popular as the kid who showed up at daycare with both headlice and a backpack full of bedbugs. The NYTimes reports on the actual processes and persons involved:

Federal immigration officials have released hundreds of detainees from detention centers around the country in recent days in a highly unusual effort to save money as automatic budget cuts loom in Washington, officials said Tuesday.

The government has not dropped the deportation cases against the immigrants, however. The detainees have been freed on supervised release while their cases continue in court, officials said.

But the decision angered many Republicans, including Representative Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, who said the releases were a political gambit by the Obama administration that undermined the continuing negotiations over comprehensive immigration reform and jeopardized public safety…

A spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, said the detainees selected for release were “noncriminals and other low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal histories.”…

“As fiscal uncertainty remains over the continuing resolution and possible sequestration, ICE has reviewed its detained population to ensure detention levels stay within ICE’s current budget,” the agency’s spokeswoman, Gillian M. Christensen, said in a statement. The agency’s budget for custody operations in the current fiscal year is $2.05 billion, officials said, and as of Saturday, ICE was holding 30,773 people in its detention system.

Immigration officials said Tuesday that they had no plans to release substantially more detainees this week, though they warned that more releases were still possible depending on the outcome of budget negotiations…

I’m with the argument that ‘non-custodial supervision’ of most of these people is both cost-effective and far more humane for the people involved, but every detainee involved in a fender-bender or a shoplifting accusation is going to be trumpeted on the local news as UNDOCUMENTED CRIMINALS ATTACKING OUR COMMUNITIES. And while Fox News will explain that this is all PResident Obama’s fault, it’s the state reps and the governors and the Congress-critters in high-detention-population states like Florida and Georgia that are going to get the screaming constituents on their doorsteps. Put hand on hot stove, get burned, fellas. Every time.

Another Politico video clip from last week, with Janet Napolitano warnng the assembled stenographers that actions have consequences, some of which (“you were warned”)we will not like:

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71 replies
  1. 1
    Mike in NC says:

    Goodlatte? Seriously? Must hang out at Starbucks a lot, right?

  2. 2
    👽 Martin says:

    Suck on your Balanced Budget Amendment, assholes.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    Someone should inform wingnut voters, especially in places like Arizona, that their representatives in Congress have unleashed a 10 million strong army of zombie Mexicans. Resistance is futile.

  4. 4
    mai naem says:

    I heard the airport in Janesville,Wisc. home of Paul Ryan, is one of the airports slated to close when sequestration closes. Can we hope that the same happens to Boehner. I’m assuming Cantor commutes from home but I hope every fuckhead rural redneck teabagger’s hometown airport is closed down.

  5. 5
    Violet says:

    Janet Napolitano warnng the assembled stenographers that actions have consequences, some of which (“you were warned”)we will not like:

    So the Republicans must have been spoiled as children because they never learned that actions have consequences and that some consequences aren’t fun. Is the lesson that Republicans are crappy parents?

  6. 6
    Waynski says:

    Gee. The political geniuses in the Congress couldn’t see this coming? If you tell the exec branch you have to make across the board cuts in a 3 trillion dollar government and doesn’t occur to you that the executive may have an ability to jack up your issues and your district… well, welcome to the NFL.

  7. 7
    clayton says:

    Agreed. Every little podunk place that saps the U.S. government should get shut down.

    Spare the National Parks, of course, but all that fed money going to red states? Shut it down.

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    @Violet: I don’t know if they are crappy parents (they probably are), but it is more than likely that they themselves had crappy parents.

  9. 9
    Narcissus says:

    I’m excited for full on sequestration. People need to see what the consequences of conservative philosophy are. You want a functioning society and government, you don’t vote for republicans and tea partiers.

  10. 10
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mai naem: There are no commercial flights in and out of that airport. Janesvillers either use the Madison or Rockford, IL, airports.

    @Narcissus: I would prefer not to see innocent people get hurt.

  11. 11
    Yutsano says:

    @Narcissus: We just talked about that today in my weekly meeting. Our department manager said that the IRS is already so cut to the bone as it is that we might not be affected very much by the sequester. I thought that was rather optimistic, but I’m open to being pleasantly surprised. I think we’ll be expected to cut even more and the union has no clue what to do here. No matter what this is gonna suck for me.

  12. 12
    TS says:

    But the Obama White House is responsible for everything – no career official can sneeze without personal permission from the President.

  13. 13
    👽 Martin says:

    @mai naem: See, this is why I would never be elected president. If I were Obama, I’d ask for the list of every airport that members of Congress uses and shut them all down.

    “Oh, you fly into Dallas/Fort Worth? See if you can get home now, asshole.”

  14. 14
    Cacti says:

    Cuts in services should start in the reddest of districts.

    Enjoy your austerity, assholes.

  15. 15
    JWL says:

    The republican party is the party of rule or ruin; it is the party of American fascism (corporate rule of government). Republicans are domestic enemies, as surely as once were Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee.

    Those who accord them the title of an honorable opposition are fools.

  16. 16
    Ash Can says:

    Awesome.

  17. 17
    Waynski says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: No one in Paul Ryan’s district is innocent until they get rid of the scumbag.

  18. 18
    El Cid says:

    Many Republicans here in Georgia were genuinely surprised that a law (after passage stopped by courts) going after employers for hiring undocumented workers resulted in many crops not being picked.

    Really. It wasn’t all cynical gamesmanship. They really didn’t even listen to farmers who — being Republicans themselves — politely urged them to please be more careful with this bill.

    Even when they themselves demand that A must lead to B, they fail to consider that A might lead to B.

  19. 19
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Waynski:

    If you tell the exec branch you have to make across the board cuts in a 3 trillion dollar government and doesn’t occur to you that the executive may have an ability to jack up your issues and your district…

    Even better — if I understand correctly, the ICE has long wanted to release these detainees under supervision (see: cheaper, more humane) but every time the idea was raised the Congresscritters came down with an attack of “EE-LEGALS GON’ RAPE OUR LIVESTOCK AND STEAL OUR WIMMEN” and the proposal would be shut down. But, hey: Pay or play, nobody rides for free…

  20. 20
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @JWL:

    Republicans are domestic enemies, as surely as once were Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee.

    Yet somehow, the only real Americans are the folks who live where once their writ ran, or live, pray, eat, drive, etc. etc, as if they did live in those parts. With Jim DeMint, Sam Walton, and A J McCarron on a new Mount Rushmore.

  21. 21
    Anne Laurie says:

    @El Cid:

    Even when they themselves demand that A must lead to B, they fail to consider that A might lead to B.

    The best grifters are the ones who believe their own cons… and that’s exactly how most of them get caught, in the end.

    I’m really hoping this is the beginning of the end of the Republ Long Con.

  22. 22
    Anya says:

    According to the Hill, Woodward is claiming that “very senior person” at the White House threatened him in an email:

    Bob Woodward said Wednesday that a “very senior person” at the White House told the veteran journalist and author “you will regret” faulting the Obama administration for the present fight over sequestration.

    “It was said very clearly: ‘you will regret doing this,’” Woodward said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” “I’m not going to say [who], a very senior person. It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters you’re going to regret doing something you believe in.”

    This man is either lying, in which case he should be humiliated and exposed by the White House, or the very senior person at the Whitehouse is a moron and should be fired immediately.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Waynski: Ryan lost in the City of Janesville; the fucker’s district includes a big chunk of rural and suburban territory though.

  24. 24
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Anya: After what’s-his-name’s pictures of his underwear, I’m not going to discount anything, but after 4 years of dealing with this type of crap, I find it hard to believe that someone from the Obama administration would do something like that now.

  25. 25
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @El Cid: Speaking of Georgia. and maybe other states with large military presence. It will be interesting, to watch them squirm when that “oppressive” government gravy train stops coming. I agree with Cacti, I would shut down or severely downgrade the military bases in the Red States, and the howls would be just as great, as if General Sherman came back and ravished the South again.

  26. 26
    Hill Dweller says:

    Let’s all light a candle for Bob Woodward. He’s had a rough go of it in the last week. After all the bizarre behavior, his latest bombshell accusation(being threatened by the WH/Gene Sperling) is turning out to be laughable.

    But not all is lost for Bob; he’ll be on Hannity tomorrow night.

  27. 27
    beltane says:

    @Anya: Where is the threat? Any sane and/or decent person would eventually regret carrying the teabaggers’ water.

    I guess the pompous old whine-ass wants to elicit pity among the Beltway weenie crowd.

  28. 28
    General Stuck says:

    @Anya:

    It was Gene Sperling and the part about ‘him being sorry’ directed toward Woodward was out of context and not a physical threat. Though that is all the wingnuts needed to go viral and circle the wagons around their new great white hope hero. Which cannot be a comfortable place for an ego like Woodwards, as his own casting being the consumate reporter with jus the facts mam.

    Of course, many of us already knew what a partisan hack Woodward was, in his self appointed truth teller guy. Seeing him unhinged and glued to the right wing, is one of the better aspects of this 3 ring circus called the sequester.

  29. 29
    Anya says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): That’s why the White House should come hard on his ass and challenge him to produce the evidence. I guess we will know by tomorrow. This story will not disappear.

  30. 30
    beltane says:

    @Hill Dweller: Let’s all throw a pity party for Bob Woodward’s wounded ego. I’ll bring the little violins.

  31. 31
    johnny aquitard says:

    These dumbfucks are always so pleased with themselves when they shit in their own hat and then they get so pissed off when they realize they have to wear it.

  32. 32
    Hill Dweller says:

    Woodward is getting pummeled on the twitter machine. Even some beltway journalists are joining in on the fun.

  33. 33
    General Stuck says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Woodward royally fucked up with his claim that Obama moved the goalposts on demanding new revenues, which everyone knows is bullshit. I can’t believe he even made that claim, not to mention today basically calling Obama a traitor for not defending the country..

  34. 34
    👽 Martin says:

    @Hill Dweller: I hate to praise Jeffrey Goldberg, but “”You’ll regret it” often means “Your smart reporter friends will be embarrassed for you when you’re proven wrong.””

    Seems spot-on to me.

  35. 35
    Anya says:

    @beltane: He’s making it sound so menacing. The WH is threatening a journalist for speaking truth to power. It’s positively Nixonian or is that Chicago Politics?

    @General Stuck: What’s the context of the email? Link?

  36. 36
    amk says:

    @Anya:

    you’re going to regret doing something you believe in.”

    Yup, if you believe in spreading lies, you will regret it, asshole.

  37. 37
    Hill Dweller says:

    @General Stuck: Republicans weren’t even make that claim about no revenues. Hell, Woodward’s own book refutes his bullshit.

    Woodward looks really petty, but it is fascinating to watch his meltdown.

  38. 38
    General Stuck says:

    @Anya:

    According to Josh at TPM, that is the case. I don’t think the email itself has been made public.

    The White House denies it. A White House official tells us: “Of course no threat was intended. As Mr. Woodward noted, the email from the aide was sent to apologize for voices being raised in their previous conversation. The note suggested that Mr. Woodward would regret the observation he made regarding the sequester because that observation was inaccurate, nothing more. And Mr. Woodward responded to this aide’s email in a friendly manner.”

  39. 39
    beltane says:

    @👽 Martin: That’s exactly how I interpreted the comment. “You’ll regret it” is something you say to a friend who is on the verge of humiliating him/herself, usually while under the influence of alcohol.

  40. 40
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Anya: The email is essentially Sperling apologizing for raising his voice in a previous conversation. There is nothing nefarious about it.

    Woodward is flailing.

  41. 41
  42. 42
    beltane says:

    @Anya: I can’t remember. Was Bob Woodward all bent out of shape when Ari Fleischer warned the press corps that any criticism of George Bush constituted aiding the terrorists?

  43. 43
    YellowJournalism says:

    Shorter Woodward: Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!

  44. 44

    Let’s see if Woodward wakes up tomorrow morning with Ikea meatballs in his bed.

  45. 45
    SatanicPanic says:

    @beltane: Maybe they should have gone with “please,proceed”

  46. 46
    Narcissus says:

    Woodward continues his decades long campaign to make sure everyone knows Bernstein was the brains of the operation

  47. 47
    Hill Dweller says:

    Luke Russert tried coming to Woodward’s defense on twitter, but it didn’t end well.

  48. 48
    Hill Dweller says:

    David Plouffe on twitter: Watching Woodward last 2 days is like imagining my idol Mike Schmidt facing live pitching again. Perfection gained once is rarely repeated.

  49. 49
    Anya says:

    @General Stuck: Thanks!

    Josh Marshall is killing it. I love this part.

    So was Sperling threatening to sic the black helicopters on Woodward and like fully take him out? The blog and twitter-hordes of the right think so. And they’re circling round Woodward tonight in a glorious defense.

    @Hill Dweller: I don’t understand what his motivation is. Is this really the hill he wants to die on?

    @ beltane — I think he slept through GWB’s presidency, then he woke up in a changed America. So, now he wants to do something about restoring it to its former glory.

  50. 50
    jurassicpork says:

    There are two things and two things only this administration can do well: Deport illegals and murder innocents. To wit:

    Obama’s Impersonal War, a post about drone strikes that was big, I had to put it on Scribd.

  51. 51
    clayton says:

    @Hill Dweller: ya know when you do that, could you give a little link

  52. 52
    Waynski says:

    Bob Woodward is the Willy Loman of American journalism…such as it is.

  53. 53
    General Stuck says:

    @jurassicpork:

    Still grifting the liberal blogs? Drones have already been done dude. I’ve read where some are scoring with online SOS blegging with fake cancer. There are just too many outrage bloggers to wiggle any more cash out of that cow.

  54. 54
    Carolinus says:

    @Anya:

    What’s the context of the email? Link?

    We only have the abridged part Woodward quoted during his whiny Politico interview:

    “You’re focusing on a few specific trees that give a very wrong impression of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here. … I think you will regret staking out that claim.”

  55. 55
    fleeting expletive says:

    amen, general stuck. He’s been around for years.

  56. 56
    TS says:

    @Anya:

    “It was said very clearly: ‘you will regret doing this,’” Woodward said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” “I’m not going to say [who], a very senior person. It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters you’re going to regret doing something you believe in.”

    There is always the option that a very serious wingnut sent the email. I can set up my email to say it comes from “a very senior person at the white house” – takes one minor change to my mail program

  57. 57
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @jurassicpork: Actually, he seems to be pretty good at getting Republicans to show their racist flag in public. And advancing gay rights.

  58. 58
    amk says:

    @jurassicpork:

    Deport illegals

    Yeah, that must be the reason why the Hispanics voted by 3 to 1 for that “murderer of innocents” just a coupla months back.

    Idjit firebagger.

  59. 59
    danielx says:

    Federal immigration officials have released hundreds of detainees from detention centers around the country in recent days in a highly unusual effort to save money as automatic budget cuts loom in Washington, officials said Tuesday.

    Nothing all that unusual, just carried to an unusual extreme – ye olde Washington Monument strategy, in which the National Park Service (ICE) cuts off access to the Washington Monument (releases hundreds of prisoners) in response to a budget cut (sequestration). In the corporate world, the smart money says that one of the first moves after budget cuts will be cutting back the AC in the CEO’s office with exactly the same logic – “you told us to cut back with no specifics, we’re just doing right”…

    @Anne Laurie:

    Item: true, all true – but it amounts to the same thing. If an agency is told to make cuts (which no agency likes) without being directed as to where said cuts are to be made, the agency will cut in the way perceived to result in the cuts being rescinded. (Repeat that three times quickly…thank you). Seriously, it would be a natural reaction, kind of like disease antibodies reacting. Hell, depending on the agency, it may even be the right reaction, as it may be in this case.

    However…

    I really and truly hope that nobody but noooooo…body seriously believes that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement took the step of releasing hundreds of federal prisoners* without telling or consulting with anybody higher up – like say the Secretary of Homeland Security. If that is indeed what happened, heads will roll, bureaucratically speaking.

    *even if they were all twelve years old, pure as the (Aryan) driven snow and Ivy League scholarship candidates, a mass release of prisoners held for anything from Federal custody without so much as a judge’s say-so is unheard of – period.

  60. 60
    e.a.f. says:

    there is really no reason to hold people in jail if they are not violent or criminal. It might make money for those operating the jails but that is about it. The government will save money and the republicans obviously never thought their decisions through all that much. It maybe that some federal jails will start releasing people also. Should be entertaining. of course there will be financial difficulties for those who work for the federal government if they are required to take time off without pay. I am sure those people, their families, or friends will be voting republican any time soon.

    The republicans are dumber than a sack of whatever or did they think themselves so superior that they could force the President to do what they wanted. Either way the republicans loose.

  61. 61
    Gex says:

    @Hill Dweller: They hate this whole “here comes everyone” thing. They can only fool most of us into thinking they are so very clever if no clever people are allowed to expose their nonsense to the world.

  62. 62
    Democrat Partisan Asshole says:

    Idjit firebagger.

    @amk: Not a firebagger. Grifter. Spends his time churning outrage, not working, and begging for blog hits or, when things get really tight and too many people at whatever site he’s currently working figure out his scam, begging directly for rent money.

    Like a hooker, but without any money shot.

  63. 63
    dww44 says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: Down I-75 from Atlanta is the largest civilian employer, public or private, in the state. An Air Force Base. Via a local non-profit board, I have frequent contact with several who work there. They’ve been told to prepare for a 20% paycut via furlough.

    At least one of them believes what Boehner says on my TV (she watches Fox) and that the President proposes only tax increases with no spending cuts. Or has no plan at all. That’s what amazes me. The GOP continues to lie blatantly and their constituents continually actually to believe them, or maybe so want to believe them they have convinced themselves they aren’t lying. Just plain strange.

  64. 64
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Goodlatte? Seriously? Must hang out at Starbucks a lot, right?

    No, I think that would be Mediocrelatte.

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:

    @danielx:

    Technically, though, they weren’t actually prisoners — they had not been convicted of anything and had not yet seen a judge about their case. They were being detained in case they tried to flee before their case went to court. If someone is, for example, charged with drunk driving but hasn’t actually seen a judge, are they considered a “prisoner” of the jail the same way that someone serving a 30-day sentence is?

  66. 66
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @amk: you’d think that after 10 years of being scraped off the collective shoe of the blogosphere, he would get the fucking hint and stop.

  67. 67
    Ruckus says:

    @Democrat Partisan Asshole:
    More like a hooker with razor sharp teeth and raging syphilis. Not a good proposition.

  68. 68
    NorthLeft12 says:

    the Department of Homeland Security, said the detainees selected for release were “noncriminals and other low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal histories.”…

    In plain english…..they should not have been incarcerated in the first place.

  69. 69
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    @mai naem: “I heard the airport in Janesville,Wisc. home of Paul Ryan, is one of the airports slated to close when sequestration closes.”

    Hopefully it closes down while Ryan is in the air, on final approach, in bad weather.

  70. 70

    Every time the State of Arizona enacts austerity measures, the citizens get angry because they have to wait a long time at state offices, state offices are open fewer hours, etc. Yet they are the first ones to clamor for those austerity measures. I’ve come to believe that this disconnect is due to Americans being spoiled. If all government services stopped and stopped for long enough that people really suffered, then and only then would they understand that funding government is crucial to our day to day quality of life.

  71. 71
    Rasputin's Evil Twin says:

    Wait, is this the same Bob Woodward who faced down NIXON and his goon squad?

    Oh, sorry. He must be some wimpy shadow of that man.

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