An Important Point About the Terrorist Watchlist in Regards to the Administration’s Anti-Immigration Talking Points

I want to make a couple of follow on points we should all keep in mind as the administration continues to tie itself into semantic knots with their talking points about the need for a wall along the southern border with Mexico. As I wrote about yesterday, NBC’s Julia Ainsley reported that the information that administration had been pumping out regarding what is happening at the southern border was bullshit. I want to highlight and emphasize these two items from her reporting:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered only six immigrants at ports of entry on the U.S-Mexico border in the first half of fiscal year 2018 whose names were on a federal government list of known or suspected terrorists, according to CBP data provided to Congress in May 2018 and obtained by NBC News.

Overall, 41 people on the Terrorist Screening Database were encountered at the southern border from Oct. 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, but 35 of them were U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Six were classified as non-U.S. persons.

The U.S. keeps databases of people it believes may have ties to terrorist networks based on their spending activities, travel patterns, family ties or other activities. It is not a list of people who could be criminally charged under terrorism statutes, and it is possible that someone could be stopped because they have the same name as a person on the list.

It is important to remember that Republicans and conservatives think that the Terrorist Screening Database has rampant inaccuracies, is unreliable, and is a threat to civil rights and liberties, especially the civil right to keep and bear arms! From the BBC in June of 2016: (emphasis mine)

The US Senate has rejected plans to tighten gun controls, including the restriction of weapons sales to people on terrorism watch lists.

Four proposals were brought before the Senate after 49 people died in an attack on a gay nightclub in Florida.

But Democratic and Republican senators voted along party lines, blocking each other’s bills.

Senators strongly disagreed about how to prevent more attacks happening in future.

Republicans accused Democrats of giving the government the power to arbitrarily prevent Americans from exercising their constitutional right to own a firearm based on a secretive “terrorist watch list” with no judicial oversight. Democrats charged Republicans with being more concerned with the support of the National Rifle Association than preventing the next gun-related massacre.

Republicans and members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) complained that the bills put forward by the Democrats violated the constitutional right to bear arms. They are concerned that without enough “due process”, law-abiding Americans wrongly named on watch lists would be prevented from buying weapons.

If being listed on the Terrorist Screening Database isn’t sufficient to prevent someone from buying and/or owning a firearm, and is a violation of due process regarding an enumerated constitutional right, then it certainly isn’t sufficient to prevent someone from entering the US absent other, confirming and verifying data indicating that an individual is an actual terrorist threat to the US, its citizens, its residents, and those visiting it.

The six individuals on the southern border that came up as a match on the Terrorist Screening Database were, as Ainsley reported, classified as non-US persons. Presumably the other 35 who were identified as US persons were ultimately permitted to reenter the US. Given how poorly the facts support the administration’s arguments, as in they don’t support the administration’s arguments at all, the administration is now trying to further confuse the discussion by conflating a positive return from querying the Terrorist Screening Database with an even more nebulous classification: Special Interest Alien. Here’s Julia Ainsley reporting on this again:

Special Interest Aliens are: (emphasis mine)

But special interest aliens are not necessarily terrorist themselves, they just come from countries that are regarded as potential sources of terrorism.

“In recent days, the terms ‘Special Interest Aliens’ (SIAs) and ‘Known and Suspected Terrorists’ (KSTs) have become more frequently used as part of discussions about the federal budget and border security,” the Department of Homeland Security wrote in a press release on Monday.

“These terms are not synonymous nor interchangeable, but are two separate terms that are commonly used in the national security community to describe different types of potential threats,” the agency clarified.

A special interest alien is a person whose travel patterns to the United States are known to have a possible connection to terrorism. According to Homeland Security, the term “does not indicate any specific derogatory information about the individual.”

Homeland Security data indicates that 3,755 known or suspected terrorists were prevented from entering the U.S. in 2017. That same year, the agency also encountered more than 3,000 special interest aliens at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In the press release, the agency said that these “figures are not the same and should not be conflated.”

According to the libertarian CATO Institute, since 1975 just seven special interest aliens who entered the U.S. illegally have been convicted of planning a terrorist attack, though none of them ever successfully carried out the attacks and none of them crossed the border from Mexico.

It is important to keep in mind, when you hear or see or read an administration official or one of their external surrogates, make claims about immigrants, documented or undocumented, the Terrorist Screening Database and/or Special Interest Aliens that none of these things actually mean anything substantive. The Terrorist Screening Database often produces false positives because it is matching names, which is why we have something we refer to as flying while David Nelson. And all it takes to be a Special Interest Alien is either being from or transiting through, for any reason, a nation-state that is considered a possible source for terrorism. Which just happens to be almost every nation-state on the planet including the US.

There is no actual national security crisis at the southern border, the northern border, or any other border and/or port of entry that the US has. Even if we didn’t have all the other evidence we had that indicates that there is not a national security crisis at the southern border, the semantic gymnastics that the administration and its surrogates and supporters are engaging in is a good indicator that this is all bullshit. We do have a humanitarian crisis at the southern border that is getting worse, but that is largely because the administration, its surrogates, and its supporters are trying very hard to manufacture a national security crisis at the southern border that doesn’t exist.

We are, once again, off the looking glass and through the map!

Open thread.

 

159 replies
  1. 1
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    Should we also stay frosty?

    Also, apparently the Supreme Court just kicked Virginia’s Republican gerrymandering in the nads, but I don’t know how important that actually is. It sounds big.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    Patricia Kayden says:

    If there was an actual crisis at the southern border, the MSM (especially Fox News) would be all over it. This crisis is manufactured by Trump to justify using billions of tax payer funds for his wall grift. By the way, that wall isn’t going to cost just $5 billion to build. We’re talking about a wall that will go along the border of at least four states.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I haven’t seen anything on it yet. Including on Rick Hasen’s twitter feed.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    smintheus says:

    doublet

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    smintheus says:

    Major story at WaPo saying that Manafort shared presidential polling data with an ex-employee who was a Russian agent, Konstantin Kilimnik. Kaboom.

    “In his rebuttal to the special counsel’s claims of dishonesty, Manafort exposed details of the dispute, much of which centers on his relationship with Kilimnik. The Russian citizen, who began working for Manafort’s consulting firm starting in 2005, has been charged with helping his former boss to obstruct Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 election. He is believed to be in Moscow.

    The special counsel alleged Manafort “lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign,” according to the unredacted filing, and discussed Ukrainian politics with Kilimnik during that time.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/paul-manafort-shared-2016-polling-data-with-russian-employee-according-to-court-filing/2019/01/08/3f562ad8-12b0-11e9-803c-4ef28312c8b9_story.html

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    WaterGirl says:

    @smintheus: If it’s like the story I read, it’s that Mueller says Manafort shared the data, but not that Manafort admits that he shared it.

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    Millard Filmore says:

    Here is my question:
    How many of the individuals that were prevented from entering the USA because of the Watch List, were trying to sneak across? The wall is only supported by this fantastical “X many gazillions tried to enter this country” if they were trying to sneak across. The wall does nothing for fantastical gazillions that came up to a normal point of entry.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Millard Filmore: That is not clarified in any of the reporting.

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    Martin says:

    @Patricia Kayden: If there was an actual crisis on the southern border, California wouldn’t be telling DC to fuck right off. Nobody actually on the southern border feels there is any significant issue to deal with. All of this hand wringing is coming out of Indiana and other places that know fuck-all about immigration.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    cynthia ackerman says:

    Seems relevant to point out that, not only is there no crisis at the southern border, but all in all “immigration security”, as opposed to border security as buzz word/dog whistle, is pretty good.

    iDJT is going to paint himself further into the corner tonight.

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    smintheus says:

    @WaterGirl: It’s not clear from the report whether Manafort still denies sharing the polling info. The main thing he disputes is whether he intentionally lied about what he discussed with Kilimnik. Manafort claims that he forgot what the two of them had discussed until he was ‘reminded’ of the facts by Mueller’s investigators.

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    MattF says:

    So, the actual number of dangerous persons crossing the southern border is approximately zero.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    WhatsMyNym says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request from Virginia Republicans to block a federal court from approving new legislative district boundaries.

    The order was issued Tuesday, two days ahead of a scheduled lower court hearing in Richmond on proposed new state legislative maps.

    via AP

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    piratedan says:

    @Patricia Kayden: last night I scrolled through local network affiliates news web pages for many of our border communities (or close to it). None of them, from San Diego to Brownsville and points in-between make any mention of there being a border crisis, many of them mention Trump’s travel plans but nothing regarding incidents at the border or with the people seeking asylum creating a crisis. In fact, San Diego’s local lead story was a proposal by the city council to do more to help the immigrants that are presenting themselves in regards to planning to do more to assist because the feds weren’t doing enough.

    you know its bullshit, I know its bullshit, the problem is getting the networks to say unequivocally that its bullshit.

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    catclub says:

    @Martin:

    If there was an actual crisis on the southern border,


    then when did it start? 10 years ago? 20? Why no action 2017-2018 when the GOP held the House, Senate and Whitehouse?

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    smintheus says:

    @cynthia ackerman: Security theater seems more like it. It would be like claiming that thousands of people were caught trying to sneak bombs onto airplanes just because they were told by TSA they had to throw away their shampoo bottles.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Millard Filmore:

    Just picture the real life reaction of the mythical Carlos the Coyote to the mythical Ahmed Mohammed bin Muhammed, terrorist evil-doer.

    Carlos the Coyote is unlikely to want to wreck his long term business model by running terrorists, as all he want is to profit for running immigrants for work and to mule some dope. I’d say that 100% of the time, Ahmed’s body ultimately feeds buzzards in the desert.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    Bill Arnold says:

    Looks like the US/Mexican border is about 124 years old, http://oxfordre.com/americanhi.....9175-e-384. Surprising that it is only now an emergency, especially since the border has been increasingly secure the last decade or so.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Supremes just reinstated fines against mystery company, per CNN.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    sukabi says:

    We are, once again, off the looking glass and through the map!

    May I suggest “We are through the fevered swamps and out the anus.” as your tag for this administration’s adventures in lying…

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @smintheus:

    It would be like claiming that thousands of people were caught trying to sneak bombs onto airplanes just because they were told by TSA they had to throw away their shampoo bottles

    I really like this comparison. “Thanks to the vigilance of border agents, thousands of travelers were made to destroy potentially dangerous materials and other forms of contraband.”

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    trollhattan says:

    @Bill Arnold:
    It will be immediately dangerous to life and health to have a Trumpism drinking game tonight, just make sure “unprecedented” and “historic” and “criminal” are on your bingo cards.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    sukabi says:

    They’re grifting again, it’s a way to funnel $$ into their own pockets. Fundraising for Wall

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MattF: Yep.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    catclub says:

    @sukabi:

    “We are through the fevered swamps and out the anus.”

    sounds like a Betty Cracker reader.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @trollhattan:
    Much safer with bowl hits. Playing bingo with alcohol and The Orange Adder-all could be lethal.

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    jl says:

    @Bill Arnold: Even after the US=Mexico border was mapped, policing it for people crossing the border was not high priority. Even after the US established entry restrictions, employers were always lobbying to leave Mexico off. So, Mexico was on and off the list of countries for which there were entry requirements or restrictions. And when in force, often ignored. Things changed starting during the Great Depression and WWII, when labor supply and demand, and security became big issues. Sorry no links right now, since was a few months ago I read up on it. Mexican immigration was permanently controlled I think starting in 1950s, with controversies and labor unrest among and between native and foreign workers, concerning Bracero program and agricultural workers.

    But bottom line is that the US managed to remain a sovereign nation, and to keep its ‘cultural integrity’ for over 100 years with effectively open borders with Mexico.

    As far as the GOP is concerned, immigration from Mexico has been an existential national emergency ever since their schemes to capture a sizable chunk of Hispanic voters went to shit because most Hispanic voters detected a problem with loyalty to a political party that contained so many hard core racists and offered crummy policies.

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    geg6 says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Oh, good. I don’t know what country or company it is, but good.

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Those pesky kids and their dog!

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @sukabi:
    George Conway sure has been fun to watch. Am I wrong to think of Punch and Judy?

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi:

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @geg6: The Roberts Court is not acting like they are in Mr. Creosote’s pocket.

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    jl says:

    Important to remember that when you watch clips of Reagan and GHW Bush debating reasonable and humane policies towards Hispanic immigrants, the GOP thought that group was still in play as a major GOP constituency. Good to wave those debates around to highlight GOP hypocrisy, but a mistake to think it reveals all that much about changes in the true attitudes of the GOP. As many commenters on this blog well know, dog-whistled race baiting was a cheap political gimmick that Reagan used whenever politically convenient. Since then, which groups should be targeted as officially sketchy minorities who had to be watched has changed, and not much else.

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @A Ghost To Most: He probably doesn’t like being referred to as Judy, but sure, go right ahead.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    rikyrah says:

    Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) Tweeted:
    New: The chairs of 7 House committees have written a letter to Steve Mnuchin demanding more info about why sanctions on Oleg Deripaska’s businesses were lifted, and requesting a delay in the sanctions termination until members are fully briefed

    . https://t.co/B1IA2R7gLD https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1082739892281589760?s=17

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: The GOP thought this as recently as the mid 00s. Even the RNC autopsy report on the 2008 2012 presidential election thought this and advocated broadening the base and becoming more inclusive and less doctrinaire. That autopsy was quickly rejected and, instead, the Republican Party went all in on the Tea Party, white Christian herrenvolk revanchism.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    rikyrah says:

    Monjula Ray (STOP SNITCH TAGGING) (@queerBengali) Tweeted:
    Remember when Hillary told us that the Russians seemed to know the knitty gritty of poll data?

    And then remember when the entire fucking Bernie left derided her for blaming her losses on Russians?

    https://twitter.com/queerBengali/status/1082738081000767488?s=17

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    MattF says:

    As usual, Alexandra Petri gets to the heart of the matter:

    I am declaring a state of emergency because nobody believes in me, evidenced by the fact that nobody is clapping enough. This was how Tinker Bell died.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @catclub:

    If there was an actual crisis on the southern border,


    then when did it start? 10 years ago? 20? Why no action 2017-2018 when the GOP held the House, Senate and Whitehouse?

    Exactly. Or put another way, did this crisis arise precisely on January 3rd, 2019? If so, where are reports of the event?

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MattF: All Fey Lives Matter!

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Maybe if a miserable commie liberal like GW Bush hadn’t headed the GOP faction pushing for immigration reform, things would have been different? It’s a tangled story, but another case where Dub was behind the times. The cause was lost by the time the 00’s came around (though I like to call those years the ‘O-Zone Years’, another one of my failed memes).

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    smintheus says:

    @MattF: Tinker Bell is not on Fox. Trump couldn’t care less about her.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Mary G says:

    I was wandering through Twitter the other day when somebody retweeted the vice president making one of these bullshit claims and replied that I have lived 77 miles from Tijuana for the better part of 60 years and never had nor heard of anyone else having a single problem with an undocumented person; everyone who’s tried to hurt me has been a white American. Usually there’s never much of a response, but I didn’t notice Pence’s tweet was brand new, and I had two days worth of poorly spelled abuse to ignore.

    Oddly enough, only one person said they had personally been harmed by an “illegal” who burglarized his shop. All the rest were people saying the president knows better than me, or bringing up Kate Steinle.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
  45. 45
    jl says:

    @Chief Oshkosh: The Hispanic immigration national emergency and existential threat started when GOP realized the cause of enlisting a helpful chunk of Hispanic voters to their party was irreversibly lost.

    Now, taco trucks on every corner(!) are a threat.

    Even in the 20s with considerable unrest in Mexico, Mexican immigrants were considered no big problem. Maybe because at that time, conservative forces were losing in violent struggles for control of Mexico, so the refugees were viewed sympathetically by US leadership. I don’t think anyone knew or cared about difference between Mexcian and Central American immigrants. They were considered docile obedient and good workers. Probably better than all the Italians, Jews and Eastern Europeans and Slavs that were coming in. Seriously, that was the theme of the debates back then. Hispanics were fine, let them in.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: You’re welcome!

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    sukabi says:

    @A Ghost To Most: can’t wait for Eric to once again weigh in on the state of the Conway’s marriage. lol the twitter dragging he got was outstanding. 😂😂😂

    ReplyReply
  48. 48

    @MattF:

    This was how Tinker Bell died.

    That is not how Tinker Bell died. The book doesn’t say how Tinker Bell dies, because Wendy wasn’t there and once she was gone, that psychopathic little shit Peter Pan didn’t care.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) Tweeted:
    Today’s news so far…

    1) Don Jr, Kushner and Manafort met with Kremlin-linked lawyer indicted for obstruction of justice
    2) Manafort gave internal polling data to Russian Intelligence
    3) Manafort communicated with Russians about Ukraine peace plan
    4) #SCOTUS rules for Mueller https://twitter.com/TeaPainUSA/status/1082737495975096321?s=17

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    BobS says:

    @Martin: Speaking as a resident of Michigan, I could imagine some benefits from a wall on the border with Indiana- of course, there’s plenty of unreconstructed neo-Confederates in my own state (that lost 15,000 soldiers in the War of Southern Treason in Defense of Slavery).

    Regarding Trump’s pacifier, how about Pelosi proposing a dollar-for-dollar match of whatever Mexico provides?

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    BC in Illinois says:

    @MattF:

    I am declaring a state of emergency because someone on the Internet said something mean about me, and I think it will be bad for the crops. Do not ask me exactly how I came to this conclusion; I cannot tell you.

    Alexandra Petri

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    --bd says:

    @BobS: You spelled “Ohio” wrong.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    jl says:

    @BobS: I’ve commented that if that nice Mr. Trump would only make Wall movable, so it could be trundled between Mexico and Canadian border, and between states that are pissed off at each other, the thing would be a winner.

    I guess besides movable, should be able to divide it up into sections. At the next land rush of Californians into Oregon, or a petition of Michiganders to get Indiana out their faces, you don’t want a fight over which states get the wall when its not needed for Mexico or Canadia. A little bit for Oregon and a little big for Michigan.

    Trump could show off his vast and superior knowledge of construction too. He’ll like it. A win win win!

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    trollhattan says:

    What do they call it when somebody accuses another of being what they, themselves are? Oh yes, projection. Ladies and germs, Kelly-Kelly-Kelly:

    “Let me get back in your face, because you’re such a smart-ass most of the time, and I know you want this to go viral. A lot of these people don’t like you,” Conway said, gesturing to the assembled journalists. “But let me just be respectful to the media writ large, as I always am. I explained that that was alternative information and additional facts. And I explained it many times. And don’t you put it back in my face for all the corrections that your network needs to issue.”

    Please approach the dais and collect your Bell & Howell.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    BC in Illinois says:

    Flaws in walls, in history:

    When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed.

    Joshua 6:20

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    BobS says:

    @–bd: After all this time, I just noticed ‘Ohio’ is a four-letter word.
    How appropriate.

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    The U.S. keeps databases of people it believes may have ties to terrorist networks based on their spending activities, travel patterns, family ties or other activities. It is not a list of people who could be criminally charged under terrorism statutes, and it is possible that someone could be stopped because they have the same name as a person on the list.

    This happened with a former boss.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Oh for fuck sakes, they’ve got Bernie Sanders giving the Democratic response!

    Edited for Correction: Oh for fuck sakes, Bernie Sanders is going to give his own, Independent response live streamed on social media after Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer give the official Democratic response that the broadcast and cable networks will televise immediately after the President’s remarks this evening.

    Sorry for the confusion, Ali Velshi reported it wrong.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59

    @A Ghost To Most:
    I admit that’s a relief, because as soon as Kavanaugh got seated, the Trump administration assumed they could hand all their unconstitutional plans straight to the Supreme Court and get them approved without even going through the courts.

    It’s just a guess, but I get the impression Roberts does not like being the swing vote and having to actually think about the effects of his decisions. He preferred letting that be on Kennedy’s head.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Bernie’s now a Democrat? Wowzers!

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    jl says:

    @BC in Illinois: The Mexican army is full of papists. It wouldn’t work. The LORD would ignore them.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The GOP thought this as recently as the mid 00s. Even the RNC autopsy report on the 2008 presidential election thought this and advocated broadening the base and becoming more inclusive and less doctrinaire. That autopsy was quickly rejected and, instead, the Republican Party went all in on the Tea Party, white Christian herrenvolk revanchism.

    Gosh I wonder whose election led to which SCOTUS decision led to whose dark money that all paved the way for said revanchism?

    Preaching to the choir here, I know, but this is how a party finds itself way, way out on a popularly unsupported limb. This is why money does NOT equal free speech.

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    Gravenstone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Who better to rebut a senile old fuck but another senile old fuck?

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: ??? They’d better not.

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Pelosi and Schumer sending BS out? I thought they always knew best.
    Figures they’d want a person with high fav and recognition polling. Maybe they offered it to Biden first and he declined? Or he’s not currently in office, so that was perceived as a problem for a response?

    Edit: this is something BS can do well. Even an eccentric old crank has uses. I don’t see the problem. It’s not like BS will suddenly go away if they don’t wheel him out for the response.

    ReplyReply
  66. 66

    Oh, for the love of Celestia. No, Sanders is doing HIS OWN extra response. I hate that man.

    EDIT – Yeah, wow. I actually just lost respect for him, and I already considered him a self-aggrandizing deliberate ratfucker.

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    BobS says:

    @Gravenstone: If they needed an old white guy, it seems like they might have been able to find one from a state that bordered Mexico rather than Canada- although maybe Sanders will make the point that, according to Homeland Security, our northern border is the one more porous to terrorist infiltration, and no ones clamoring for a wall there (not that I wouldn’t be sympathetic if the Canadians did).

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    jl says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Thanks for info. That also makes sense. No one will pay much attention, unless he actually says something important that others have not.

    The actual Democrats running House and running minority in Senate have an opportunity to say what they will actually do in response in Congress, and will get the coverage.

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    sukabi says:

    @trollhattan: next indictment that drops needs to be on KellyAnne Conway and the Mercers.

    She’s a nasty piece of work. Ugh.

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    piratedan says:

    @Adam L Silverman: my understanding is Sanders is providing his own rebuttal, above and beyond Pelosi and Schumer, granted, I will gladly accept help in pushing back one narcissist from another if it supports the overall goal, but I will assume that it will contain the same myopic tropes that BS has been trotting out for the last 3 years…

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    dmsilev says:

    @Adam L Silverman: No, Sanders is doing his own thing after Pelosi and Schumer. Because Sanders, of course. He’s doing it on YouTube and so forth, not on TV, so at least it will be easy to avoid.

    ReplyReply
  72. 72
    JPL says:

    You can bet on how many times trump lies tonight. Is it over or under 3.5.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @jl:

    Edit: this is something BS can do well.

    3-martini lunch having its effect?

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    trollhattan says:

    @sukabi:
    She takes joy in what she does there, which makes it not cynical so much as indication of deep sociopathy. Jumpsuit Kelly? Yes, please!

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: @Gravenstone: @Jeffro: @jl: @Frankensteinbeck: @BobS: @jl: @piratedan: @dmsilev: My bad, I just corrected my comment with:

    Edited for Correction: Oh for fuck sakes, Bernie Sanders is going to give his own, Independent response live streamed on social media after Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer give the official Democratic response that the broadcast and cable networks will televise immediately after the President’s remarks this evening.

    Sorry for the confusion, Ali Velshi reported it wrong.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    sukabi says:

    @Adam L Silverman: that was my reaction as well…I don’t think it’s the Dems official response, I think it’s one the Networks want to go with to “up the drama”. And Bernie needs the spotlight back from those bothersome women.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77
    jl says:

    @dmsilev: Millions of people can do responses on youtube. Bernie fanatics will watch, and few others.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    trollhattan says:

    @JPL:
    You take that decimal point right out of there, good sir/madam!

    ReplyReply
  79. 79

    @jl:
    Yes, that makes it less damaging, but still just as big an asshole move on his part.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Ah. Well, sock drawer needs a double-arranging then.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81

    @Adam L Silverman: I thought it was Schumer and Pelosi together? At first, I wished they’d picked someone who does better on TV, but then I thought having the Speaker and Minority Leader showed how serious they were trying to be. Is there really some indication that Sanders will get a crack at it?

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    eclare says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Thankfully it will just be on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, but what you said, times 1000.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    sukabi says:

    @JPL: is that 3.5 to the 1st, 5th or 10th power? There will be 3.5 lies will be in the opening paragraph.

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    jl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: At the time I thought it was under auspices of Democrat leadership, and there would be some preparation. OK?
    Yeesh. I will go damn Bernie a hundred times under my breath as penance, and pray that will satisfy the good commenters here.

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    Luthe says:

    @Brachiator: There are times I am thankful my legal last name is a hyphenate of my mother’s Russian maiden name and my father’s Ecuadorian last name. I may share a shortened version of my name with others, but there isn’t anybody else on the planet with the full combo.

    Of course, the TSA could decide to hate me on their own merits, but at least I won’t be suffering because of the fuck-ups of others.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86

    @Adam L Silverman: Oh. That puts him in the category with Crazy-Eyes Backmann.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @JPL: I’ll take the over, and that’s assuming you misplaced the decimal point.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’m just leaving this here as a sort of PSA:

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    BobS says:

    @JPL:
    Be great if the channels covering his rant delayed it just enough to provide fact-checkers time to have a crawler correcting his lies as he appeared to be speaking them.
    Better yet if the person writing the crawler wrote for Colbert or Stewart.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    catclub says:

    @Jeffro:

    Even the RNC autopsy report on the 2008

    I could have sworn the autopsy was on the 2012 election. The 2008 election was lost because the GOP had just tanked the economy, and McCain looked like a deer in the headlights during an economics summit.

    When they lost 2012, which, given the state of the economy, was eminently winnable, the autopsy about expanding the GOP was more relevant.

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    The Moar You Know says:

    If there was an actual crisis on the southern border, California wouldn’t be telling DC to fuck right off.

    @Martin: Think I live closer to the southern border than any other Juicer (I know Mary G is just a few miles north of me). 1986 was a crisis – we had thousands of Hispanics lining the streets looking for work, food, anything. That was more than thirty years ago.

    We have never experienced anything like that since. The last time my wife, a teacher, had an ESL kid in her classes from Latin America was 20 years ago. The kids coming in who can’t speak English nowadays are from Eastern Europe.

    I have a weight problem from eating loads of delicious Mexican food, that’s the only “border crisis” I am aware of.

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    trollhattan says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    Maybe Wilmer can appear via Bobby Jindal’s staircase. That really helped launch the young fella’s national profile.

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: You’re actually Stormy Daniels?

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: It is, Ali Velshi misreported it. I then looked it up and corrected my comment.

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    catclub says:

    GOP autopsy report goes bold
    By Jennifer Rubin
    March 18, 2013

    The Republican National Committee’s 100-page Growth and Opportunity Project report was released this morning. To the surprise of many, the report is controversial and bold, not the usual political pabulum designed to avoid ruffling feathers. It directly calls on candidates to embrace a more voter-friendly, practical appeal to problem-solving, with an emphasis on upward mobility. Most striking is its blunt endorsement of comprehensive immigration reform and its encouragement for a variety of views on social issues.

    On immigration the report states unequivocally:

    We are not a policy committee, but among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. We also believe that comprehensive immigration reform is consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.

    WAPO.

    I thought so.

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sukabi: He’s only scheduled to speak for 8 to 10 minutes. And he clearly doesn’t have a lot of lung capacity.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    lamh36 says:

    @SpeakerPelosi
    56s56 seconds ago
    More
    It is truly blessing to have former Rep. @GabbyGiffords join us to introduce #HR8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, eight years after the Tucson shooting.

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Dang, now I have to skip my kid’s soccer game. But wait, I have a portable media device–woo-hoo!

    ETA: maybe I am, to which I must apologize to America. Sorry, folks!

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    catclub says:

    @sukabi: I thought it was lies per sentence.

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    BC in Illinois says:

    So . . .
    1. Trump–malice, misinformation
    2. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer–corrections, a way to go
    3. lots of analysis/reactions
    4. Bernie Sanders says something
    5. more analysis/reactions
    6. [possible street protests]

    I’m in for __, #2, #3, __, #5, [#6]

    #6 is for if Trump goes full “emergency powers”/Reichstag Fire.
    I’m not looking for that, but I dread the possibility. The walls are closing in on him.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @catclub: You’re right, 2012, I’ll correct it. Good catch.

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    Yutsano says:

    @trollhattan: What happened to ol’ Piyush anyway? Wasn’t he trying to get a job in the administration?

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    artem1s says:

    meanwhile, Dolt’s government shutdown of Homeland Security functions probably poses more of a national security threat than not having the Maginot Line right in the middle of the Rio Grande. These assholes are assholes. I expect tonight’s ‘address’ to go completely off the rails. The Narcissist-in-Chief needs F2F feedback to feed his ego. When the TV camera remains silent, and continues to remain silent, the more his internal pressure will build to make extemporaneous remarks and comments and stray off the teleprompter. He will get no satisfaction out of this at all, no matter what the topic or outcome is. Not one is cheering Donnie on tonight and that will make his tiny little ego panic.

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: Glad I could be of assistance.

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    rikyrah says:

    Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) Tweeted:
    Owensboro Democrat Jim Glenn won his election to the state House of Representatives this November by just one vote. Kentucky Republicans are trying to keep him out of office.

    https://t.co/qe8kJsyb8N https://t.co/u59v4GK2cb https://twitter.com/AdamParkhomenko/status/1082750939059109896?s=17

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
  107. 107
    trollhattan says:

    @Yutsano:
    Good question. He’s too young and ambitious to be out of our lives permanently (damnit) but seems too mousey for Donny. That said, how choosy can Donny possibly now?

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    lamh36 says:

    Of course BS is giving a response to Chump…smh…ugh

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    sukabi says:

    @catclub: all these RNC autopsy reports and no dead body? Feel like I’ve been robbed!

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    catclub says:

    Theresa May has become the first British Prime Minister for 41 years to lose a vote on a finance bill after 20 Conservative MPs rebelled against the party whip and backed Yvette Cooper’s amendment, which sharply limits the government’s tax-raising powers in the event of a no deal Brexit. What does it mean for the resolution of the Brexit crisis?

    Although Cooper’s amendment was billed as “preventing no deal”, as she herself freely conceded in the House, the amendment itself does no such thing. In fact, by limiting the government’s powers to raise revenue, it sharpens the rocks at the bottom of the ravine rather than pulls the country away from the cliff edge.

    fun with Brexit. and you thought only the US government is infested with idiots.

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    chopper says:

    @trollhattan:

    “alternative information”, this bullshit again.

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    catclub says:

    @sukabi: World’s greatest Autopsy: “Mistah Kurtz, he dead.”

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    lamh36 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: while I won’t be watching Stormy, I’m sure not watching Chump.

    I guess it’ll be Netflix night for me

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    Nicole says:

    @Adam L Silverman: No, he’s doing it himself. As Ragnarok Lobster just tweeted, “Bernie Sanders upstaging a woman is so Bernie Sanders.”

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    lamh36 says:

    @NatashaBertrand
    New: The chairs of 7 House committees have written a letter to Steve Mnuchin demanding more info about why sanctions on Oleg Deripaska’s businesses were lifted, and requesting a delay in the sanctions termination until members are fully briefed. https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/_cache/files/e/f/efe0e8cb-9b88-42a8-80aa-36ec1a88b242/4D95C4C7A401C9CE46FEE0553A0D013E.2019-01-08-treasury-letter-deripaska-businesses-signed.pdf

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    Bill Arnold says:

    BC in Illinois #100: Something like Reichstag Fire Smoke and Mirrors Edition (“Where there’s smoke, there are mirrors”) I’m rooting for all-out announcment of an Alien Invasion. Reasons involve amusement.

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    sukabi says:

    @chopper: “alternative information” only means “you go with the truth, I can spread bullshit faster.”

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    Yutsano says:

    @trollhattan: Well Dolt45 does need an attorney general. Those hearings will be lit.

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    JPL says:

    OMG What is the over/under that trump is surrounded by family members who lost a loved one because of a crime committed by an illegal immigrant.
    At the very least he’ll be surrounded by photos of victims.

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    J R in WV says:

    Adam:

    We are, once again, off the looking glass and through the map!

    Isn’t that “through the looking glass and off the map!” really? Or am I just cornfused? Or are you making a joke, by reversing the text?

    ReplyReply
  121. 121

    We do not have a National Security Crisis at our borders.

    We DO have a National Security Crisis in our White House. Some idiot in there is destroying the United States.

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    Yutsano says:

    @lamh36: Well here’s some better news for you Louisiana lady. Looks like your state just pulled a smaller scale felon voting rights bill that covers more people than they originally intended. Amused, I am.

    EDIT: should have tagged you on Twitter about it. South of I10 and I are giggling over it.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    lamh36 says:

    @sukabi: that’s Kellyanne’s husband right? what is the deal with folks fascination with him

    ReplyReply
  124. 124
    catclub says:

    Alexandra Petri, WAPO

    I am declaring a state of emergency because I went back to my favorite restaurant and I ordered the same thing I always order but it was different somehow, wrong, and I don’t know what this means yet, but it has got to mean something, and we cannot rest until we have tasted everything that was good in the past to make certain nothing horrible is happening.

    She needs to get Marcel Proust on this, double quick.

    ReplyReply
  125. 125
    Aleta says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Ali Velshi reported it wrong.

    1:15 PM – 8 Jan 2019
    Ali Velshi @AliVelshi
    Schumer and Pelosi are BOTH doing the response to Trump’s address; Bernie Sanders is doing a SEPARATE response.

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    lamh36 says:

    @MichaelCBender
    Follow Follow @MichaelCBender
    More
    NEWS: Late draft of Trump speech this afternoon doesn’t include declaration of national emergency over border dispute; Trump instead planning to call for bipartisanship in the name of national security.

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    trollhattan says:

    @lamh36:

    what is the deal with folks fascination with him

    90% the fact that he’s alive and hasn’t been skinned and turned into a shower curtain.

    ReplyReply
  128. 128
    oatler. says:

    Trumpism =Stalinism.

    ReplyReply
  129. 129
    dmsilev says:

    @lamh36: A bipartisan majority of Americans agree on No Wall, so that works for me.

    (I’m guessing that’s not what he’s going to say though….)

    ReplyReply
  130. 130
    sukabi says:

    @lamh36: Well, George Conway keeps undermining his wife’s boss…that’s the facination. 😜

    ReplyReply
  131. 131
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Roberts cares about his LEGACY above all else. He is acting accordingly.

    ReplyReply
  132. 132
    joel hanes says:

    @catclub:

    His methods were … unsound.

    ReplyReply
  133. 133
    Yarrow says:

    Everything happens on the days I can’t keep up. I’ve got two family members in the hospital and am managing a major issue at home. Yay me.

    @lamh36: They’re both Republicans. She’s playing the Trump wing and he’s playing the “establishment” wing (whatever that is these days). I don’t get why people can’t see that they’re playing both ends of the party so one of them will be in good standing when the Trump era is over. It’s not like either of them has ethics or moral standards or anything.

    ReplyReply
  134. 134
    lamh36 says:

    @JPL: in the Oval Office? Do Presidents usually do that in national addresses?

    ReplyReply
  135. 135
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @BC in Illinois:

    🎶 Joshua fit the battle of Juarezcho, Juarezcho, Juarezcho,
    And the wall come-a tumblin’ down 🎶

    ReplyReply
  136. 136
    WaterGirl says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Last night there was speculation on Preet’s Insider podcast that the unnamed country was likely to be Russia or Turkey. Inquiring minds want to know!

    Or is this a different issue? It’s so hard to keep them all straight.

    ReplyReply
  137. 137
    jl says:

    @lamh36: ” Late draft of Trump speech this afternoon doesn’t include declaration of national emergency over border dispute; Trump instead planning to call for bipartisanship in the name of national security.”

    Thanks for info. I hope it stays that way, and then if it does, that Trump does not ad lib one or tweet one out if he gets flustered during the address. Lord, what times we live in.

    ReplyReply
  138. 138
    FlipYrWhig says:

    What does Bernie Sanders know about borders and migration issues?

    Maybe he’ll say something like “the Wawl we should be caring about is Wawl Shtreet.”

    ReplyReply
  139. 139
  140. 140
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @lamh36: That’s so… limp. Seems like a Kushner special rather than the expected Stephen Miller gorefest.

    ReplyReply
  141. 141
    chopper says:

    @lamh36:

    trump is gonna call for…bipartisanship?

    ReplyReply
  142. 142
    lamh36 says:

    @Yarrow: Right! It’s exactly why I don’t get why folks are so tickled by him. He’s like any Never Trumper…until Chump is gone..

    Once Chump is done…they’ll be back at their regular ole disgusting Republican selfs

    ReplyReply
  143. 143
    lamh36 says:

    @kylegriffin1
    Several dozen House Republicans might cross the aisle to vote for Democratic bills to reopen shuttered parts of the government.

    W.H. officials and Republican leaders privately worry that GOP support for the shutdown is eroding, Politico reports.https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/07/gop-support-trump-government-shutdown-1085348

    ReplyReply
  144. 144
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @jl:

    I guess besides movable, should be able to divide it up into sections. At the next land rush of Californians into Oregon, or a petition of Michiganders to get Indiana out their faces, you don’t want a fight over which states get the wall when its not needed for Mexico or Canadia. A little bit for Oregon and a little big for Michigan.

    A modular Wall! MACA! (Make America Cubicled Again!)

    ReplyReply
  145. 145
    Jeffro says:

    @lamh36: @jl: he’s just going to call for “bipartisanship” in the service of his agenda. The media will no doubt spend days wondering if he’s becoming ‘presidential’.

    ReplyReply
  146. 146
    Jeffro says:

    @Aleta: Good of Bernie to helpfully point out to everyone that he’s not a part of the Democratic Party. Seriously.

    ReplyReply
  147. 147
    JPL says:

    @lamh36: No. Does that matter?

    ReplyReply
  148. 148
    jl says:

    @Jeffro: I hope for no declaration of emergency. We can defeat his awful and ridiculous policies and fantastical non-policies without him lighting powder kegs like a recession or going full on ‘Impeach me, coppers!’ bogus national emergency.

    If the address stays weak sauce, I guess it will get attention in proportion to the number of lies and misdirections that can be packed into 8 minutes.

    ReplyReply
  149. 149
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Do we think that’s for real, or snark? Either way, I love it.

    ReplyReply
  150. 150
    WaterGirl says:

    @The Moar You Know: You bastard! So you got all the taco trucks?

    ReplyReply
  151. 151
    The Lodger says:

    @trollhattan: Historically, the Kellyannes of the world created lampshades.

    Not sure there’s enough skin on George for a shower curtain.

    ReplyReply
  152. 152
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Who the fuck cares what that alte kocher thinks about anything? >:<

    ReplyReply
  153. 153
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    …all-out announcment of an Alien Invasion,,,

    I guess kindasorta like Mars Attacks! except they’re moving the source of invasion to Uranus…?

    ReplyReply
  154. 154
    lamh36 says:

    reposting in evening thread.

    ReplyReply
  155. 155
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @lamh36:
    Watching a nazi kick another Nazi is fine entertainment. It’s like watching a Patriots-Cowboys game. You root for injuries.

    ReplyReply
  156. 156
    sukabi says:

    @lamh36: always fun to root for injuries.

    ReplyReply
  157. 157
    Bill Arnold says:

    except they’re moving the source of invasion to Uranus…?

    No, Mars, well sorta. The US has historically had a special relationship with them; it’s why our probes mostly worked. But they are increasingly irritated. etc, etc. :-)

    ReplyReply
  158. 158
    Matt says:

    “Special Interest Aliens” sounds like a great nickname for all the Russkies tangled up with the NRA :)

    ReplyReply
  159. 159
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Aleta: I watched him report live on air just before 4:00 PM as “Senator Bernie Sanders will give the response to the President’s speech”. That’s what I wasn’t responding to.

    ReplyReply

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