Raid Delay (Open Thread)

As you’ve no doubt heard, Trump postponed the planned raids on undocumented immigrants, claiming that Democrats requested a delay. Here are the relevant tweets:

At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start! (1:56 PM ET 6/22)

I want to give the Democrats every last chance to quickly negotiate simple changes to Asylum and Loopholes. This will fix the Southern Border, together with the help that Mexico is now giving us. Probably won’t happen, but worth a try. Two weeks and big Deportation begins! (7:13 AM ET 6/23)

It’s true that Speaker Pelosi and other Dems spoke out against the raids. CNN says Pelosi called Trump Friday night to ask him to call off the raids. But why did Trump delay them?

We can make two evergreen assumptions: 1) the reason Trump cited is a lie, and 2) it wasn’t Ivanka’s moderating influence.

So what was it? Polling data? Concern that raids would tank a recently negotiated spending bill? Lack of resources and readiness on the part of ICE? A bid to heighten the sick drama? A random reversal barfed up by a disintegrating brain?

It’s a mystery to me. Open thread.

173 replies
  1. 1

    They don’t have enough people to do it at the scale that T wants.

  2. 2
    germy says:

    I’m going to go with “A bid to heighten the sick drama” but it could be anything, really.

    Every morning I wake up and I can’t believe this character is president. Biff Tannen. It’s like if you told me Leona Helmsley or Herman Cain had won. What sort of timeline is this?

  3. 3
    germy says:

    They’re all horrible.

    I was invited to debate Reagan economic guru Arthur Laffer.

    Before we begin, he asks me if "the Indians" still brush their teeth with twigs.

    Then we have this debate about inequality, capitalism and whether the ideas of the 1980s should stay in the '80s.

    — Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) May 10, 2019

  4. 4

    I saw a tweet that ICE wasn’t ready. It’s also possible they felt the raids would be less effective because of Trump’s advance warning.

    We’re also seeing a pattern that might be called “the good Tsar.” As in “The good Tsar is merciful,” what Russians wanted to believe of their Tsars.

    Trump gins up a crisis, threatens people, and then doesn’t see a way out. So he backs off, but in a way that he can tout his mercy. So he says he called off the Iran strikes because 150 people (Iranians!) might be killed. He called off the ICE raids because the Democrats asked him to, so they can negotiate.

    The value, for Trump, of these crises is that they frighten people, and frightened people are easier to manipulate. They keep people on pins and needles, wondering what is the next craziness Trump will inflict and then back off from, or not.

  5. 5
    zattarra says:

    They are literally launching “Latinos for Trump” in Miami this weekend. Miami was a targeted city. Pence is doing the kickoff. I think someone saw the optics.

  6. 6
    Wapiti says:

    The funds for the raids had already been diverted to pay for Trump’s abomination on the national mall, Fourth of July weekend.

  7. 7
  8. 8

    trump has tried this before: using the immigrants and detainees as bargaining chips to get Democrats to surrender on his goddamn Wall (and other harsh policy arguments).

    I’d prefer Democrats filing impeachment proceedings against trump for violating the rights of those families and children. Make his human rights abuses something he’ll have to defend during proceedings in the House.

  9. 9

    Amazon is once again doing that thing where they discount the paperbacks of my books without telling me. I just noticed this morning. It’s possible the prices will drop more. Who knows? Anyway if you’re interested, The Wind Reader is $14.01 instead of $14.99, and Deep as a Tomb is $12.56 instead of $17.99.

  10. 10
    plato says:

    The thug’s standard MO is to create a fake ‘crisis’ every other week, offer some horrible and stupid ‘solutions’ and then back off when they backfire. And the 3rd rate media will lap all of that crap up.

  11. 11
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    We’re also seeing a pattern that might be called “the good Tsar.”

    This might have legs. Very very good analogy since it’s a suggestion of Russian influence.

  12. 12
    smintheus says:

    Two related things connected to the Fourth of July. Two weeks isn’t enough time to work out anything, so the goal is to blame Democrats. And it’s not really two weeks anyway because of the July 4th recess. Trump’s advisers may think he can use the slight delay to create a more dramatic set of raids on or around the Fourth of July, which his base will devour, while selling them to any part of the public/media that might be critical by blaming them on Democrats.

  13. 13
    TS (the original) says:

    When he does it anyway he will blame the democrats – he reached out to them but they created this crisis.

  14. 14
    patrick II says:

    1. The Democrats are at fault for the border situation because they won’t agree to a simple fix after I gave them every last chance.
    2. The Democrats are on the side of the illegal criminal rapist illegal immigrants.
    It’s their fault (not mine) and they are in league with the brown people.

  15. 15
    TS (the original) says:

    Didn’t realise how much Boris & trump had in common.

    Boris Johnson lives with his girlfriend while he is divorcing his second wife

    Family values were so important until President Obama represented them so very well.

  16. 16

    @Cheryl Rofer: Also there’s a video circulating of an administration lawyer arguing to an appeals panel that they don’t have to supply caged children with soap, toothbrushes, or beds. The judges are incredulous. Put that together with film of screaming kids being dragged out of church, and it might not look good.

  17. 17
    Tazj says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yes, I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes but I agree that it’s an attempt by him and his administration to appear reasonable and merciful.

  18. 18
    Pablo says:

    He just claimed the media’s attention for the next two weeks. (new season premiere coming in two weeks)

  19. 19
    Another Scott says:

    Yeah, there aren’t enough agents to round them up, and no places to put them if they do. And he gets to appear “reasonable” and too many in the press accept it unquestioningly.

    Posted downstairs:

    Popehat at the Atlantic on the legalities of the “safe and sanitary” concentration camps.

    tl;dr – Unsurprisingly, it’s the ICE and CBP system along with Donnie’s monsters.


  20. 20
    debbie says:

    Polling, polling, polling. I say this because he insists he doesn’t care/believe polling. Don’t forget everything with Trump occurs on Opposite Day.

    Dems should come up with a plan that not only includes development, but provides for an electronic fence, something un-medieval. Make him stand for outdated, ineffective processes (like himself).

  21. 21
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: This. It’s what Trump does–basic abuser dynamics. Whenever he figures people aren’t paying enough attention to him, he stirs up a crisis to create drama, then backs down before it can get really apocalyptic, gets sighs of relief all around and even a few liberals praising him on Facebook (“to be fair”, getting some likes from Republican Uncle Bob). Meanwhile the background level of administration activity just gets worse and worse.

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: That’s what I thought.

  23. 23
    H.E.Wolf says:

    Possibly, also, the numbers of people who expressed their opposition made an impact.

    Everyone in our household called our 2 Senators and US Rep.

    I went the extra mile and called the comment line at USCIS (“Homeland Security” is an abomination of a name), and the comment line at the White House.

    Judging by the manner of the dudebro who answered the W.H. comment-line call, I was one of many who spoke their minds on the issue.

    Kay is correct: the current president wants to be popular (as a 10-year-old would think of popularity).

    Concentration camps for babies and families are very unpopular with a very large number of people.

  24. 24
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Liz Mair Retweeted Donald J. Trump
    Oh look, someone got a fresh round of polling and it looked like dog shit. Also, there’s always been a solution: Codify DACA, stop the cutting of legal immigration shit, get some wall money. Done.

    Liz Mair is a far-right never-trumper, I imagine she knows people in trump’s operation. trump needs “suburban” women who are willing (eager) to overlook what he is in return for tax cuts and fatter portfolios. This makes that harder for them.

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    Tomorrow will be something else to fret about, because trump can’t help but create chaos. We live in a world where Joe Biden’s touching shoulders gets more airtime than the current president of the United States being accused of rape. I’m not sure we fix this.

  26. 26
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @debbie: olling, polling, polling. I say this because he insists he doesn’t care/believe polling. Don’t forget everything with Trump occurs on Opposite Day.

    Kellyanne Conway started out as a polling specialist, and underneath her flamboyantly malignant TV persona, she’s said to be very good at it. I don’t know how she gets through to trump– puppet shows? a quickly made cartoon? Ivanka dresses up as Marilyn and sings him the numbers in a breathy voice?– but I suspect that’s the answer.

  27. 27
    Miss Bianca says:

    I am so fucking sick of this vampire’s apparent need to threaten and then back off to appear “merciful”. This is the contemptible, shabby trick of domestic abusers. My rage at my fellow Americans who saw this trick on display in the Bloat King on TV and not only didn’t recoil in disgust but said, “fuck yeah!” and elected him as President has only increased with time. To say nothing of the fact that he is a rapist, a racist and a misogynist. My soul feels sick.

  28. 28
    patrick II says:

    From captive of Somali pirates Michael Scott Moore:

    Michael Scott Moore
    ‏Verified account @MichaelSctMoore

    Somali pirates gave me toothpaste & soap.

  29. 29
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The One We’ve Been Waiting For

    Dave Weigel @ daveweigel
    Joe Sestak, a former congressman from Pennsylvania who lost Senate bids in 2010 and 2016, is now running for president.
    I am serious. He’s in Iowa today.

    What the fuck is going on?

  30. 30
    plato says:

    @JPL: Yup, the media will shill for the worst rethugs and the dem base will fall for it.

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    It was horseshit bluster from the gitgo. He never asks anybody anything, he just blurts out whatever word salad is in his head at the moment then waits for people to tell him it can’t be done. After which he “suspends” that which was never ordered to begin with.

  32. 32
  33. 33

    I think it’s so he can blame democrats for the deportations, because they won’t act quickly enough or boldly enough. They still play by the old rules. Trump has no rules – progressives can meet him on the same playing field. Elizabeth Warren – Bernie – if they keep their cool and stick to the script we may have a future.

  34. 34
    germy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I always get her mixed up with Liz Phair.

  35. 35
    leeleeFL says:

    @JPL: I feel the same! I have said many times that I don’t see how we recover from this. Frankly, I am scared a lot of the time.

  36. 36
    bbleh says:

    Always best to return to first principles. He’s primarily a showman (if a pathologically needy one), he doesn’t understand anything about anything else, and he’s never had to shoulder responsibility in his life. So, just as we’ve seen with a dozen other issues, he decided to make a scene without any thought or preparation, his staff couldn’t scramble fast enough to make it even appear to happen, he had to back off, and excuses were invented after the fact. (See also under Iran, Aborted Attack On.)

    As to why it couldn’t happen, it’s no mystery: they’ve been talking about it for weeks. They can’t even house the people they have, much less thousands more, and they don’t have enough people to do the jobs they’re doing, much less conduct a nationwide roundup.

    And as to polls and optics: that may have been how they finally talked him out of it, but I don’t think that really matters much to him, and I really don’t think it enters into his “planning.” He’s running with his base, because building his brand with the boobs is all it’s ever been about. Outreach to Latinos, etc., is fluff for the media and nervous Republicans; he doesn’t care about it.

  37. 37
    oldgold says:

    The Short-Fingered Vulgarian’s Presidency is one big game of Blind Man’s Bluff.

  38. 38
    tokyokie says:


    They don’t have enough people to do it at the scale that T wants.

    That’s my guess as well. Get publicity for an operation that was never going to be carried out because of lack of personnel and holding facilities, then look magnanimous by backing off. And by linking it to Democratic cooperation on immigration legislation, he can blame the other side when nothing takes place.

    The sad part is that his hateful base will believe him.

  39. 39
    Up Yours Donald 🖕 says:

    Trump lives to see his name bandied about our media, unless it’s something bad (by his base’s standards). If bad, then he does or says something outrageous to distract.

    No policy he announces is real, until proven. The media should all ignore policy pronouncements and report only what actually happens. But they won’t. Instead they read tea leaves and frog intestines, arguing over what exactly Trump meant.

    It’s all bullshit.

  40. 40
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Miss Bianca: The SATSQ version is that we live in a garbage country ruled by garbage people. It’s their world. We just exist in it.

    I know I sure as hell am not doing any public celebration this 4th of July. One more rendition of “Proud to be an American” and I’m going to stand up and start screaming. The 4th is just so much pro-Trump agitprop now.

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @oldgold: Maybe if we’re lucky he will fall off the bluff and take all his sycophantic lemmings with him.

  42. 42
    patrick II says:


    Department of Justice attorney Sarah Fabian was trending on Twitter Saturday, but not in a good way.

    Fabian was the lawyer who tried to persuade clearly taken-aback Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal judges that the federal government should not be required to provide detained immigrant children with soap,

    It has been suggested that federal employees like Miss Fabian follow the lead of Sally Yates and she should refuse to make such an obviously absurd argument and quit or get fired.

    The dilemma is that Trump has so many people doing so many illegal, unscientific, or immoral things that if everyone who in good conscience disagrees left the government, what would left is a bunch of conscienceless Trump supporters even well into the next administration.

    Fabian should have never made that argument, but she would be gone and someone else would. I hate that reason to go along and it sounds like soldiers taking orders under Hitler, but as much as I hate to say it, when given a little power there is a lot of fascist in many people. I don’t want them to be the only ones left.

  43. 43
    zhena gogolia says:


    Me too! It’s very confusing. In fact, up to this moment I still thought they were the same person.

  44. 44

    @germy: I don’t really care do you? Why is Anand even debating that idiot Laffer.

  45. 45
    Betty Cracker says:

    George Conway in The Post: Republicans believed Juanita Broaddrick. The new rape allegation against Trump is more credible.

    As a Republican himself and spouse of arguably the biggest liar and hypocrite who ever drew a taxpayer salary, George surely knows his party’s endless capacity for hypocrisy. Still, good that he’s pointing it out, I suppose, not that it’ll do any good.

    I must’ve blocked out the bizarre pre-debate event Trump held with four women who claimed Bill Clinton sexually assaulted/harassed them. All Hillary’s fault, of course. Jesus, things are fucked up and bullshit.

  46. 46

    How many concentration camps are they currently operating?

  47. 47
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I don’t know how she gets through to trump– puppet shows? a quickly made cartoon?

    She gets her husband to tweet something that will tick Trump off, he calls her into his office, and she starts rattling away before he can get a word in.

  48. 48
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I didn’t watch, because it’s trump and Chuck Todd, and this isn’t really surprising, but…

    rian Beutler @ brianbeutler
    Is this true though? I believe it is completely false.

    Meet the Press @ MeetThePress
    When asked about child separation, Trump tells @ChuckTodd that he “inherited separation from President Obama.” #MTP #IfItsSunday

    at this late date, EvenTheLiberalMSNBC’s corporate sibling is tweeting out lies as if their opinions, if not facts

  49. 49
    The Dangerman says:

    But why did Trump delay them?


    Is/was it cruel? Yes. Check that box.

    Did it get him some attention with his basest base? Yes. Check that box.

    He’s just an cruel POS. He probably played Ding Dong Ditch with in his youth just to dick with people.

  50. 50
    debbie says:


    Also, the shipment of brown shirts was running late.

  51. 51
    Betty Cracker says:

    @patrick II: The only moral choice Fabian had was to resign and hold a press conference saying she couldn’t make that absurd argument because the treatment of those children is monstrous. Instead, she took the side of the monsters. Fuck her.

  52. 52
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Trump told the same lie on Telemundo earlier this week. His story is he’s the hero who ended the separation policy. If Todd let that lie pass unchallenged, he’s even more worthless than I thought.

  53. 53

    @Betty Cracker: I thought it was more than 4 women. They were in the audience for the 3rd debate. It was the same debate where T was skulking and stalking HRC. HRC should have decked him. I couldn’t believe it, in 21st century America a woman was being held accountable for husband’s infidelities against her. I remember that debate well. I was texting with my friend whose family goes back to the Puritans. And asked him if he would hide us in his basement if T became President. He has always been clear about what he wanted, since the day he announced his Presidential bid.

  54. 54
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I am so fucking sick of no one pushing back on this TO HIS FACE? Those “children’ came unaccompanied, riding on the tops of freight trains. Not at all the same. Where are Chris Wallace’s principled balls on this one.

  55. 55
    debbie says:


    I would have liked her to turn around, look at him, and say, “What’s your problem?”

  56. 56
    debbie says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Except Laura Ingraham et al. are basically calling him a pussy. No, he’s worried about polling.

  57. 57

    @debbie: Back the fuck off, you are in my fucking space, you pervert.

  58. 58
    debbie says:


    Heh. I didn’t want to offend the Christianists in the audience, but yeah, that kind of undertone.

  59. 59

    @debbie: I know they try to practice for every situation. I wonder if they anticipated that one so she could prep. I would guess not.

  60. 60
    Kathleen says:

    @Another Scott: Excellent article. Thank you for sharing that.

  61. 61

    @debbie: And kneed him in the groin. She would have won.

  62. 62
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: If you guys are going to go there, then go there —
    “What, going to rape me too?”

  63. 63
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I remember it too — just hadn’t thought about it in ages, probably as a mental health defense mechanism. According to Conway’s column, there were four Bill Clinton accusers who appeared with Trump prior to the debate, including Broaddrick. Maybe there were more in the audience. It’s still all so surreal.

  64. 64

    @Betty Cracker: Apparently one of the judges hearing her had been in an internment camp. Karma? It is a bitch.

  65. 65
    Kathleen says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Side note, I pity the poor NBC intern who was assigned the task of emptying Toady’s slobber jar during the interview. I read Toady’s facial expressions as, “My Republican Bully Daddy Loves Me! He really loves me!”

  66. 66

    Never Again? Its happening again and it is happening here.
    Infants and toddlers are being separated from their parents
    For what purpose? Did the Nazis separate infants and toddlers from their parents?

  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: According to Conway’s column, there were four Bill Clinton accusers who appeared with Trump prior to the debate

    He would know, his wife set up the stunt, and probably got Paula Jones’ phone number from George

  68. 68
    Spanky says:

    @Betty Cracker: News flash: He’s more worthless than you thought.

  69. 69
    Kathleen says:

    @Betty Cracker: Chuckles the Toady would say, “It’s not my job to push back, unless it’s Obama, Hillary Clinton or another Democrat”.

  70. 70
    Immanentize says:

    I would like to see Nancy Pelosi get a lot more credit for stopping these raids. If even what the President says is true, she once again went eye to eye on this issue and backed him down.

  71. 71
    J R in WV says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    I read Popehat’s piece in The Atlantic about the Flores decision, which is what Trump’s lawyers are appealing in the 9th Circuit. Here’s how it all started:

    It arose in 1985, during the Reagan administration, when a 15-year-old El Salvadoran child named Jenny Lisette Flores was detained after entering the United States illegally, hoping to escape her country’s vicious civil war. Flores spent two months at a facility in California, confined with adult strangers in poor conditions and strip-searched regularly.

    Think of it, It arose in 1985, during the Reagan administration, when a 15-year-old El Salvadoran child named Jenny Lisette Flores [was] confined with adult strangers and strip-searched regularly. Anyone else suspect there were always pedophiles conducting and watching those strip searches? Still masturbating to the memories? Still Republicans?

    Every day these monsters make me sicker of them than I was.

    eta, supply a verb…

  72. 72
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    no pushback at all

    You’re right. And this has been happening long before I got there. What we’ve done is we’ve created, we’ve, we’ve ended separation. You know, under President Obama you had separation. I was the one that ended it. Now I said one thing, when I ended it I said, “Here’s what’s going to happen. More families are going to come up.” And that’s what’s happened. But they’re really coming up for the economics. But once you ended the separation. But I ended separation. I inherited separation from President Obama. President Obama built, they call them jail cells. They were built —

    Let’s talk about what’s happening now.

  73. 73
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @debbie: Looking back, the decision to have them walking around during that one debate was just plain weird.

  74. 74
    Percysowner says:

    I have never, ever understood Broaddrick’s anger at Hillary Clinton. I’m going to take it as given that Bill Clinton did, in fact, rape her. I have never understood how that translated to Hillary KNOWING he raped her. Her total evidence against Hillary is that Hillary thanked her for EVERYTHING Broaddrick did for for them. To think that Hillary knew means thinking that Bill came home and in response to “how was your day, dear” answered “Fine. I did X,Y and Z and I raped a Juanita Broaddrick”. That scenario just isn’t how people behave! It just doesn’t make sense and I have no idea why Broaddrick is so committed to the idea that this rape (if it happened) is Hillary’s fault or that she was complicit in some way.

  75. 75
    zhena gogolia says:


    Yes, of course they did. Usually to be killed immediately.

  76. 76
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: What a completely useless piece of shit.

  77. 77

    @zhena gogolia: Okay then, that is the aspiration of our homegrown Nazis.

  78. 78
    debbie says:


    “Cage Match of the Century!”

  79. 79
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: I think all major news outfits need some kind of public editor, somebody who’s job it is to hold their own people up to some standard of accuracy and basic competence.

  80. 80
    randy khan says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Trump gins up a crisis, threatens people, and then doesn’t see a way out. So he backs off, but in a way that he can tout his mercy. So he says he called off the Iran strikes because 150 people (Iranians!) might be killed. He called off the ICE raids because the Democrats asked him to, so they can negotiate.

    It is one of his few negotiating tactics – do or threaten something he thinks will cause the other side pain, and expect them to fold. It’s been reported that walking away was pretty much his only move in real estate negotiations, and this is a variation on the same theme. The problem is that if the other side doesn’t give in, it doesn’t work.

    As a result, he’s now trying to make believe his tactics work – the negotiations he’s saying are connected aren’t connected and were going on fine before the threatened raids. Some people will be dazzled by it, but it seems a lot more people are figuring him out.

  81. 81
    debbie says:


    No way. He’d come back with some demeaning crack, like, “You don’t meet my standards. I only like women who are 10s.”

  82. 82
    JPL says:

    @Percysowner: Starr didn’t find her credible because of her changing stories. Under oath she said he didn’t. Clinton is/was slimy and his behavior shouldn’t be excused. Carroll doesn’t have a reason to lie.

  83. 83

    @debbie: Exactly! One doesn’t give an opening to a creepy potential molester by starting a conversation with them.

  84. 84
    Kathleen says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That’s assuming said news agency provides news and not just propaganda.

  85. 85
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Maggie Haberman @ maggieNYT
    POTUS told @GStephanopoulos he read the Mueller report. He told @chucktodd he read the “conclusion.”

  86. 86

    Veterans plan to give out USS John McCain shirts at July 4 celebration led by Trump— VoteVets (@votevets) June 22, 2019

  87. 87
    zhena gogolia says:


    For a “fictional” version of what happened when the trains arrived at Auschwitz, read Tadeusz Borowski, “This Way to the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen.” (Borowski was a Polish survivor of Auschwitz, so I think the story is pretty close to reality.)

  88. 88

    @zhena gogolia: Thanks, I will take a look . I knew that Nazis murdered children but was not certain about all the details.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He has only read what the Jabba Barr put out.

  89. 89
    James E Powell says:


    The thug’s standard MO is to create a fake ‘crisis’ every other week, offer some horrible and stupid ‘solutions’ and then back off when they backfire. And the 3rd rate media will lap all of that crap up.

    I agree with you and I despise the press/media, but we have to consider that the Democrats do not offer alternate programming. The Democrats in the House could be driving three to five story lines with drama every week. The could be on TV calling him & his hirelings liars, cowards, traitors, and thieves. There is plenty of material.

    I do not understand why they don’t do more and better.

  90. 90
    Mike in NC says:

    This is the way Fat Bastard operates. Make some grand announcement to get the attention of the media (attack on Iran in ten minutes! millions to be deported next week!) and then stage a retreat but still stay the center of attention. It’s a win-win for him.

  91. 91
    Emerald says:

    I don’t think he has tactics or strategy. I don’t think that argument or advice impacts him at all. I think he’s panicking under all the increasing pressure on him—the Mueller report didn’t go away, his polls are tanking–his dementia is progressing, and he’s just acting on whim.

    Part of constantly creating chaos, which is how people with this level of character disorder live their lives, includes abruptly changing their minds.

    We can expect much more of this. I just hope one of his whims isn’t to nuke something.

  92. 92
    patrick II says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I agree. She should resign. And so should half of ICE. And many lawyers and scientists who are being asked to do and say or not say pretty horrible things. The guys left at the top of the FBI are all people who will go along with Trump. So, our choice is having many very decent people resign or put theirselves in a position to get fired, or have them try to ride it out.
    The rot is everywhere. We had two justice department lawyers with Hope Hicks contending she had absolute immunity which in the course of things may be even bigger harm to democracy than Fabian’s faithless court assertions. And who knows what Attorney General Barr is telling the people leading the various investigations spun off from the Mueller investigation — but I bet if they do their actual job they won’t have it for long.
    This is how fascism takes hold, it encourages people already inclined in that direction and it corrupts or removes people of good conscience.

  93. 93
    Uncle Cosmo says:


    I know I sure as hell am not doing any public celebration this 4th of July.

    I’m going to wear my American flag pin, in the same manner that every decent USAn ought to: Upside down.

    (Per the U.S. Flag Code Section 8(a) “Respect for the Flag,” courtesy of the American Legion: “The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”)

    I’ve been suggesting this on&off since Agolf Twitler took orifice, but so have Chauncey deVega & Vincent G. Barnes, no doubt among others.

    Then there are the knuckle-dragging mouth breathers who want the gummint to make it illegal to fly the flag – ‘scuse me, The Flag – upside-down. Probably the same ones who want athletes who take a knee during the Star-Spangled Banner to be shot in the back of the head in front of the crowd. We know they’re out there…

  94. 94
    Suzanne says:

    I found this piece by Samuel Moyn in the WaPo to be worth reading.

    The fact that Americans just hate one another so much has been one of my core concerns for years. I don’t know how to fix that.

  95. 95
    Betty Cracker says:

    @James E Powell: Someone will be along to scold you for saying that shortly, but FWIW, I agree.

  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    It has crossed 1 million views😠

  97. 97
  98. 98
    Quinerly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ozark, if our St Louis meet up starts at 5 Thurs at McGurks, can you make it for an hr or so?

  99. 99
    Chip Daniels says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    That’s how I see it, that the mere exercise of arbitrary power is the point, to demonstrate that Trump alone decides the fate of thousands of people.

  100. 100
    James E Powell says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    That’s okay, I’ve been scolded. Duncan Black put it this way this morning:

    I know political activism doesn’t start and end at elections, but “we” did put the Democrats in power in the House and I don’t think it was so that they could do 2 years of messaging bills while letting people blow off or essentially dodge subpoenas.

    It disturbs me that episodes like the recent AOC concentration camp thing plays out as one young regularly vilified female Democratic congressperson says something, every living Republican and the whole Beltway Courtier class condemns her, and the leading voices among the Democrats do nothing or say that AOC should probably be more careful with her words.

    How about having 60 or 70 Democrats, including every single person in leadership repeat the charge, defend the congressperson, and demand an end to these camps. How about if they all call them concentration camps, show pictures, have women and children victims appear on TV with them, demand access, scream, yell, pound on things, do @#$! something other than the next to nothing.

  101. 101
    Immanentize says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    Sophie’s Choice kinda gets to the issue as well.

    Trump/Pence — Vote now for Sophie’s Choice!

  102. 102
    Barbara says:

    @Suzanne: You’re still here😊!

    I know many of us don’t read NYT, but there was an article about the “privatization” of the interior west (Idaho, Montana) today that brings out all the irony and self-defeating impulses of people living in those places, now that they are experiencing economic growth and billionaires buying large swathes of land and keeping hunters and snowmobiles out. It’s not that I don’t care anymore, it’s that there just isn’t a lot to be gained by trying to reason with people whose ignorance stems from not wanting to know.

  103. 103
    Barbara says:

    @James E Powell: I don’t read Atrios anymore. It is hard to acknowledge the limits of power and the practical necessity of compromise, and Duncan seems to be at the far end of the learning curve. A different kind of willful ignorance.

  104. 104
    Immanentize says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:
    Hey, Saw your comment a few days back about Prague…. We will only be there for three days, but would love to hear more. You can email me: jjpokorak at that Gmail thingy?

    (Korak po korak — step by step!)

  105. 105
    trollhattan says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    Well played, vets.

  106. 106
    Another Scott says:

    Erdogan’s party again lost the do-over election for Mayor of Istanbul.

    Good, good.

    I’m actually surprised that they accepted the result this time. At least the candidate did, no word yet on whether Erdogan will this time…


  107. 107
    Plato says:

    The turkish thug’s party’s plan to rig/steal the Istanbul election backfires with even a bigger loss. Voting matters.

  108. 108
    Immanentize says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: But the same people who want to sanctify the flag wear flag print shirts and pants and hats and bathing suits and hump the flag and want to fly in flag painted airplanes.

  109. 109
    wenchacha says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: oh my jesus. I cannot understand or identify with the uber-confidence of the white American male.

  110. 110
    Immanentize says:

    @Another Scott:
    That is truly excellent news. I bet a lot of Erdogan supporters voted for “Fuck You!”. Never underestimate the FY vote!

    ETA Not to mention the bloody attempted coup and follow on reprisals going on right now in our biggest military BFF in Africa — Ethiopia.

  111. 111
    Another Scott says:

    @James E Powell: Read Nancy’s and Chuck’s twitter feeds. The Democrats have a compelling alternative story, but it can’t get any traction in the MSM.


  112. 112
    Hob says:

    @patrick II: The dilemma is that Trump has so many people doing so many illegal, unscientific, or immoral things that if everyone who in good conscience disagrees left the government, what would be left is a bunch of conscienceless Trump supporters even well into the next administration

    I get what you’re saying on an emotional level: that would be unjust, they’d be winning. But I don’t think it’s logical.

    Within this administration, if the good ones do as you say and act exactly like the bad ones, they’d be… acting exactly like the bad ones. They’d still be in the government, but they’d be making no difference; they’re just doing some of the bad ones’ work for them, thereby freeing up those people to devote their full attention to other bad things. What’s the point?

    The point can only be the last thing you said, “well into the next administration.” If the next administration is like this one, again, no difference. But if it’s a good one – there would now be a lot of open positions from the good people who quit, so they fill those positions with good people. Possibly even the same people.

  113. 113
    trollhattan says:

    That’s great. Any guesses how he “invalidates” this one?

  114. 114
    mrmoshpotato says:


    and hump the flag

    That’s sexually assaulting the flag. Every. Time.

    The flag can’t consent to what the Soviet shitpile mobster conman does to it.

  115. 115
    Raven says:

    There’s a coup goin on in France and Cameroon is the target!

  116. 116
    Alien Radio says:

    I haven’t read the thread but isn’t the answer going to be the stupidest explanation that fits the available facts?

  117. 117
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @wenchacha: It’ll get to where it’ll be easier to count who’s not running for President. 🙄

  118. 118
    Immanentize says:

    @Raven: My guess is Cameroon lost that attempt….

  119. 119
    trollhattan says:

    Am a little behind real time but in the first 20 England seems to be having their way. Cameroon not helping themselves much, particularly the keeper’s brain fart.

  120. 120
    Immanentize says:

    I’m no photo shop expert, but can’t someone substitute a viddy of a big mangy mutt humping a leg for Trump against the flag?

  121. 121
    plato says:

    @trollhattan: Highly doubtful if he can do it this time since the opposition has won nearly 54%, unlike the last time with only 15K votes difference

  122. 122
    Raven says:

    @Immanentize: I hit your FB

  123. 123
  124. 124
    Raven says:

    @trollhattan: It seemed like thee offsides took the wind out of Cameroon’s sails.

  125. 125
  126. 126
    Bitter Scribe says:

    The Cameroon women’s team has steam coming out of its ears, and I don’t blame them. An offside call on an England goal was reversed on video review, then a Cameroon goal was erased for offside on video review. Shit like that makes me doubt the whole video review thing.

  127. 127
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Immanentize: What a terrible thing to say about dogs humping legs. 😁

  128. 128
    plato says:

    I don’t know another country where the people do their vatandaşlık görevini more often than Turkey. Tens of thousands of people have apparently cancelled their vacations or returned early to vote in this election. We may have a record turnout. You guys rock.— Jared Wall (@JaredWall01) June 23, 2019

  129. 129
    plato says:

    The lead is close to 750,000. That will make it very, very difficult to get rid of Mayor İmamoğlu through a new election, kayyum or spurious court case. Turkey has woken up to a new dawn. It is only the beginning and the road ahead is rocky but this is a beautiful moment.— Can Okar (@canokar) June 23, 2019

  130. 130
    Immanentize says:

    @mrmoshpotato: I thought I’d get that response — how about a Chupacabra?

  131. 131
    Immanentize says:

    @Raven: Thanks for the heads up — I almost never visit, but I’m glad I just did — one of my old friend’s b-days!

  132. 132
    NYCMT says:

    The threatened nationwide mass arrests were supposedly 2000 in number, which would make them slightly greater in magnitude than the arrests in New York City during the 2004 Republican National Convention, and one fifteenth of a Kristallnacht.

  133. 133
    debbie says:


    Wouldn’t you think someone would have called him out on this desecration?

  134. 134
    plato says:

    @mrmoshpotato: The traitorous thug’s humping the flag must rank as the ugliest political spectacle.

  135. 135
    Bitter Scribe says:

    This business of waiting until a play is over to call offside — when did that become a thing? I don’t remember seeing that before (I’m kind of a casual soccer fan). Seems sadistic.

  136. 136
    James E Powell says:

    @Another Scott:

    Read Nancy’s and Chuck’s twitter feeds. The Democrats have a compelling alternative story, but it can’t get any traction in the MSM.

    No disrespect – to you or to Nancy & Chuck – but maybe they need some new stories. It seems obvious to me that if the story isn’t getting traction, you go to re-write. And maybe try something a little louder than twitter feeds.

    Do you recall Josh Marshall’s “B-slap theory of politics”? [NB – He says he is no longer comfortable with the phrase and I never was. I don’t think the B word is appropriate] It’s a real thing with the people we politely call “low information voters” and the Democrats are losing this every single day.

    Moreover, all the stories are played out as “Democrats don’t like Trump” or “Democrats and Republicans disagree.” That’s not going to win an election. It didn’t work in 2004 and it’s not going to work now. We need the strongest possible language and the strongest possible images.

    People talk about the limits of power? What limits were on the Republicans in the spring of 2009? They didn’t turn to their racist voters and say, hey, what can we do? Let’s just wait till the next election and see how it all works out. Meanwhile, we’ll propose things that are not going to pass.

    If you want to win any contest, look at the people who win them regularly and do what they do. Democrats have yet to learn this.

  137. 137
    debbie says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Fiction? Really, when there are bazillions of witness accounts? S_C, google the Shoah Foundation and pick from thousands of audio and video testimonials.

  138. 138
    plato says:

    @James E Powell: You left out one crucial fact, the fickle and the feckless dem base.

  139. 139
    Another Scott says:

    @James E Powell: None taken. :-)

    Nancy’s team flipped 40 House seats. They know what they’re doing.


  140. 140
    plato says:

    On Trump's decision to call off striking Iran, Kamala Harris says she doesn't believe "anyone should receive credit for a crisis of their own making."Via CBS— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 23, 2019


  141. 141
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Immanentize: Hmm. My Czech-4-English-speakers textbook Česky krok za krokem translates its title as “Czech step by step.”

    –Aha! Google to the rescue! Vi ste hrvat ili srb?

    Anyway, be back atcha later tonight. Remind me when you’ll be in Praha, i.e., how much time we got to work this? Before or after a river cruise perhaps? (I met up with a HS friend & his fambly who were in town for the first time prior to a Viking Line Danube cruise last May & if you’re doing something similar maybe the best service I can render is to put U2 in touch.)

  142. 142
    Hilfy says:

    Disintegrating brain, without a doubt. Also, there’s nowhere to jail all those people while some incompetent tries to arrange transportation to countries which may not want to accept them.

  143. 143
    Immanentize says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: It’s serbian — korak po korak….

  144. 144
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Another Scott: Serves the asshole right. A generation ago the Turkish Army would long since have marched into Erdogan’s office & strung him up from the window. Unfortunately the bastard was smart enough to purge the ordu of all the officers who took seriously their oaths to defend Ataturk’s secular revolution & leave a rabble of Islamist suckups in charge. The Turkish people deserve better than that motherfucker.

  145. 145
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Immanentize: Had a fine few days in Beograd in 2013. Срећан пут! Also, later.

  146. 146
    Mohagan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I read a column which pointed out that this number of candidates indicates Democratic politicians think Trump is very vulnerable and also look at him and think, why not me?

  147. 147
    zhena gogolia says:


    It’s a witness account, just presented as a “story,” in vivid form with dialogue. It’s only a few pages long. I thought it was a quick way for her to get a vivid impression of how parents were separated from their children. So sue me.

  148. 148

    I see the Toronto Raptors will visit the Canadian Houses of Parliament but not the WH. Lucky them.

  149. 149
    debbie says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    No need for suing.

  150. 150
    ruemara says:

    @Betty Cracker: Allow me. You’re not on tv because tv won’t put you on. People book folks to be on tv. You can hold all the press conferences you want, but it’s up to the producers to air it. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, the media does not put Democratic messengers out there and bashing Dems is a path to power & relevancy for left & right alike.

  151. 151
    zhena gogolia says:


    Absolutely right.

  152. 152
    WhatsMyNym says:

    @ruemara: That’s why when my local Rep wants some press coverage he finds a GOP critter or 2 to drag around with him, and they come – because Military bases. They always look like hostages in the pictures though.

  153. 153
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Betty Cracker: I am sorry, but when you have media outlets that choose to show an empty lectern while waiting for Trump to speak rather than give airtime to Democrats, it is a little tough to get a message out. I don’t think we can expect Democrats to literally self-immolate like Buddhist monks in order to attract media attention. YMMV.

  154. 154
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: IMO, there are options besides begging for TV time and self-immolation. YMMV.

  155. 155
    Ruckus says:

    Biff was a better human. Few people could write a story with as big an asshole as drumpf. They’d figure that no one would believe that anyone could be as big an asshole. But that is what has got him this far. He’s either among other major assholes who think they can work the angle – everyone else walks away amazed that anyone could be that big of an asshole. Because he is. That. Big. An. Asshole.
    And by the way it’s MR. Asshole. Some respect please for one of the worlds biggest assholes. It’s hard work and no one should do it.

  156. 156
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Betty Cracker: Okay, what options do they have that you believe will be effective at getting out a message?

  157. 157
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Trump and his followers never lose sight of who their enemy is. The are paranoid and focused. To the extent that twitter/on-line represents the left, a third are convinced that the “DNC” is trying to rob Bernie again, and a third are convinced that Rose Twitter is part of a plot to sabotage the only electable candidate. In between twitter left and the Fox News right is a big lump of people who say, “Oh, it’s all just politics” and go back to discussion which act they’re going to vote for in whatever bizarre talent show is going on*. It’s that last group that Dems need to reach and… how? They think their lazy, willful ignorance is actually a savvy disappointment with a broken system, and they’re encouraged in that belief by every aspiring junior Broderist down to every small-market would-be Howard Stern spewing some version of “Those clowns in congress! What a bunch of clowns!”, to St Stewart blaming “Congress” for something Mitch McConnell is doing.

    (*My dentist and his hygienist seem to always be talking about those shows, for a few years now. I decided before that that he is a very good dentist. If I had heard that kind of conversation at my first appointment, I probably would have found somebody else.)

  158. 158
    dww44 says:

    @Another Scott: Credit where credit is deserved. It wasn’t just Nancy’s team that flipped 40 seats. It’s that there was a critical mass of voters who recognized the necessity of providing a check on Trump, not necessarily that the DCCC or other actually did something to bring that about. Heck, there was not even a Democratic candidate running against my GOP Congressman in this red state;we haven’t fielded a viable candidate since the Blue Dog Democrat got ousted in 2010. This was an anti Trump vote.

  159. 159
    Hob says:

    @Betty Cracker: James’s suggestion that you agreed with was that the Democrats could “be on TV” doing such-and-such. Several people replied that you can’t just “be on TV” if no one is willing to show you on TV. I don’t get how “there are options besides begging for TV time and self-immolation” is a meaningful response to that.

  160. 160
    JAFD says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I was one of Sestak’s constituents and volunteers, met him a couple of times. Was very impressed by him. IMAO, had he won the ’10 Senate race (it was darn close) – or even if he’d stayed in the House – he would have been one of the leading contenders for president in 2020. What might have been… Still wish him well.

    Is still trivia answer for “highest-ranking military officer ever elected to Congress” – that will surprise some GOPers.

  161. 161
    Citizen Scientist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Not a surprise from Joe. Been expecting this.

  162. 162
    Ruckus says:

    He does create chaos, I don’t think it’s intentional on his part. That would infer tactics and forethought, two things, among many, many others that he lacks any ability for. He creates chaos because he sees that his first line of attack doesn’t work, so he changes direction. Now that he’s under a very bright spotlight, that chaos becomes very obvious. But his real problem is that he only knows two directions, bluster and retreat. He’s used to bluster you when you don’t get paid for something, then retreat to the lawyers. At some point you just give up and write it off because it’s just not worth the effort and cost. And he wins. He keeps doing the same thing because it’s the only way he wins. I’ve dealt with people that operated the same way. Actually collected upon a debt from someone who acted the same way. Found out later that the company did this to everyone. But this company made the mistake of asking me to change something so I got possession of the product I’d made, that they owed me money on. I made the change and took the product to them, told the supervisor that it was not being unloaded until I got a check. The owner came out and tried to argue with me. Calmly said no money, no unloading. Stood between him and the project with my arms folded. Took him about a minute of staring at me to decide that a check was a better option. The company screwed everyone, it was their trademark, just like drumpf.
    The reason it’s worked for him before was because it was always about money. And at some point most people figure out that he has more than they do and is willing to throw more of it away not giving in than you are trying to collect. Now he’s dealing with countries and people’s lives and they aren’t nearly as willing to throw those away because one can almost always earn more money, but you have one life or one country and can’t get more. People are willing to walk a thousand miles to have a meager life rather than lose it completely, he’s not willing to allow them to cross the street. Because he thinks it’s HIS street. It’s not his street, it’s all of ours. And actually it’s their’s too. That’s the promise of this country, that it has promise, that it is supposed to have that equality.

  163. 163
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Dave Weigel throws a punch

    Dave Weigel @ daveweigel
    Not many people know this, but it’s actually “political debate” and not the executive branch that sets asylum policy.

    Meet the Press @ MeetThePress
    WATCH: Trump says administration doing a “fantastic job’ on the border.

    Chuck Todd: “Why let the political debate hurt these children?”

    President Trump: “If the Democrats would change the asylum laws … everything would be solved immediately. But they refuse”

    Todd is getting raked over the coals for this. I don’t doubt he’s internalized Russert’s “I get criticized by both sides, so I must be brilliant” attitude, but some part of him must know he’s despised

  164. 164
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Again for those in the cheap seats – “Fuck Chuck Todd and his bothsiderist bullshit!”

  165. 165
    Ruckus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    He knows. He doesn’t care. He gets paid to be despised by the people that want him to be despised because the people that pay him are racists and absolutely sure that being a racist and a conservative are the best values that anyone can have. They don’t pay him for his sparkling personality, they pay him to be despised about the same people that they despise.

  166. 166
    Ruckus says:

    Joe served not long after I did on a sister ship to the one I spent 2 yrs on. His record is pretty impressive.
    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    It’s the shoot out at the OK Coral. Every direction, every corner has a possible star. It’s like a video game, everyone has a chance, everyone can play, there are no real controls about who can sign in, it’s the wild west, but with votes instead of bullets.

  167. 167
    debbie says:

    This must be why Trump’s not talking about Pence being on the ticket in 2020.

    CNN’s Jake Tapper grills Vice President Pence on conditions at migrant detention centers, asking if children there should have toothbrushes, blankets and medicines. “Of course,” says Pence.— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) June 23, 2019

  168. 168
    jonas says:

    @zattarra: Dems in Florida need to step up their game with Hispanic voters. From what I’ve read, Dem outreach was dismal to non-existent in 2018 while Scott in particular made a full court press for the Puerto Rican voters.

  169. 169
    Peale says:

    @jonas: yep. Kind of true across the country. At some point someone’s going to wonder why most Hispanic citizens stay home and try to do something about it. I think the GOP is better at finding its voters no matter what race, class, or creed than the Democrats are. I’m going to bet that every former felon in Florida who has GOP voting tendencies will be signed up to vote before the 2020 election while the Dems are still working out the details of a ten year plan to find theirs.

  170. 170
    James E Powell says:


    I don’t think it’s accurate to say that no one will show Democrats on TV. I agree that the Republicans own the Sunday shows, but they don’t own the cables. I am suggesting that one reason the Democrats are not on TV is that stern letters and elected officials saying they are against whatever is not the kind of programming that they’re going to run and it’s not the kind of activity that draws the attention of anyone not already paying attention.

    I don’t think it’s necessary for anyone to be set on fire, but surely there are public acts that can draw eyes and ears. Children living in inhuman conditions would certainly qualify. And if they don’t get immediate response, push harder. rally the base around specific acts. The example of I mentioned, AOC getting slammed for calling concentration camps concentration camps. Why the F is she left to defend herself as “radical dangerous scary leftist woman of color offends decency”? Why not every effing Democrat agreeing and asking a hole Chuck Todd what the F his problem is and when did he become a mouthpiece for those who mistreat children?

  171. 171
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @James E Powell:

    but surely there are public acts that can draw eyes and ears.

    Such as? My Representative, Mark Pocan, has been to the camps several times, but it doesn’t make on TV. Beto O’Rourke has also been there and it gets not coverage. What do they need to do to get coverage?

  172. 172
    James E Powell says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    For starters, defend your own in the strongest possible language. Maybe send more people? Cause some traffic jams? Have a rally? Jesus, I hate that we’re here arguing about this when we don’t disagree on goals. Can we at least agree that what they’re doing now is not working? Are you honestly satisfied with where we are now and how things are going?

    And I want it understood I am not putting this on Pelosi. She’s the head of the coalition and I do not believe she gives orders and others follow. I believe she effectively gives voice to their leadership, and I put it on them. Maybe we need to lean on them more.

  173. 173
    Betty Cracker says:

    @James E Powell:

    For starters, defend your own in the strongest possible language.

    You mean when AOC called Trump’s concentration camps “concentration camps,” her fellow Democrats should have said “hell yes, they’re concentration camps” and then held hearings on the horrible conditions in the concentration camps instead of telling AOC to watch her language? I agree.

    Also, impeachment hearings would be televised, and there’s an endless supply of fucking crimes and scandals about which to hold public hearings. Just saying.

    The thing is, the networks don’t cover Trump and ignore Democrats because they love Trump and hate Democrats (well, except Fox News, of course). They cover Trump because he’s a drama llama who will say something provocative.

    AOC gets covered because she says provocative things too, only they happen to be true.

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