Open Thread: The “Wedge Issue” of Torturing Children

The poll first informed respondents of this: “There have been news reports of unsafe and unsanitary conditions for children held in detention at the border. Children have been reported to be without toothbrushes, soap, and blankets, and older children are reportedly caring for babies they don’t know.”

Then the poll asked for respondents’ views. And it found that 68 percent support this statement: “These are unacceptable conditions that need to be fixed immediately so children have a safe environment. Our government should not treat children this way.”

By contrast, only 32 percent supported this statement: “These are not our children, and they should not have come or been brought here. The government is doing all that it needs to be doing.”…

The question is framed starkly. The lead-in paints an arresting — though accurate — picture, and the second view negatively describes the children as not ours, and adopts a deliberately callous expression of how our government should be treating them.

But Alissa Stollwerk, the director of YouGov Blue, tells me that this is precisely the point — to test how voters view the more callous framing, in contrast with the more sympathetic one, in part because the former is the kind of rhetoric you hear on Fox News…

By the way, more neutrally worded polling by CNN found a similar divide: Large majorities of Americans, including of independents, favor allowing Central American refugees to apply for asylum, while large majorities of Republicans oppose it…

The government’s intention, it would seem, is to force more immigrants into substandard conditions, ‘temporary’ hotels at best and prison camps at worst. The agents tasked with this should feel bad about it; the ones that don’t are the ones we all need to worry about.

[Disturbing images below the fold]
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Election 2020 Open Thread: Rapinoe for President!

But seriously, folks:

In addition to having a slight edge over Trump already, Rapinoe has a lot more room for growth. The voters who are undecided in the Rapinoe/Trump head to head voted for Hillary Clinton by 58 points and just 8% of them approve of the job Trump is doing to 82% who disapprove. They’re likely undecided either because they’re not familiar with Rapinoe or aren’t sure about her as a Presidential candidate, but given their past voting history and feelings about Trump, it seems unlikely they’ll end up in his camp.

Rapinoe may be an unlikely Presidential candidate but her numbers still speak to a broader truth about Trump’s standing- the fact that he polls in the low 40s against any Democrat he gets tested against shows that electability concerns are overrated and Democrats should feel comfortable voting for the candidates they like the best, not just the ones they think have the best chance of beating Trump.

That being said…

Too, also:

Grant us Democrats this: We strive to be fair (and to learn from our mistakes). There’s worse faults!

Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Good Take / Really, Really Bad Take

Surely not even the most hardcore Talibangelicals could defend a serial child trafficker, you would would think.

Not so!, says Erick ‘Studying to Be A Pastor’ Erickson…

Hey, when you look at it right, *anything* can be an opportunity…

The ACA is in court again today

This afternoon, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing oral arguments as to whether or not the ACA is unconstitutional.  The case is Texas vs. Azar.  The plaintiff states have argued and won in district court that the ACA is unconstitutional because the individual mandate penalty has been lowered to zero and therefore it is not a tax.

Yeah, this is a bananapants theory even if everyone assumes standing. The plaintiff states can’t show injury and the individual plaintiffs are only alleging psychic injury that they don’t want to be admonished to buy insurance even if there is no fiscal implications of either a buy or no buy decision. Assuming standing is not contested, this is a simple severability case. Congress knows how to repeal a law. The Congress that moved the mandate penalty from 2.5% of income to 0% and $0 of income spent several months trying to repeal the law and failing. No one who voted to repeal the individual mandate thought they were repealing the ACA. The courts assume that when Congress wants to do something, they will make it abundantly clear both within the text of the law and usually in supporting documentation. Congress wanted to get rid of the mandate costs and they had the votes to do so and that was it. The rest of the law was left intact.

Under the district court judge’s ruling and under the argument advanced by both the plaintiff states and the Trump Justice Department, the entire ACA has to go which means the exchanges would have to go, it means Medicaid expansion would have to go, it means Medicare Part D gets more expensive, it means all of the delivery system reform efforts would have to go, it means calorie labeling on fast food menus would have to go. It means the taxes on upper income Americans would go.

This is banana-pants, but this is the argument that will be made this afternoon.

Election 2020 Open Thread: Spoilt for Choice

Williamson’s a novelty, not a candidate — ditto Andrew Yang, who doesn’t have anywhere near Marianne’s fan club to boost him — but it’s time and past time for the bottom tier of See-I’m-A-White-Dude would-bes to sack up and step back. O’Rourke in particular, IMO, has a great opportunity to improve his sagging national status by filming a big public ‘Despite my personal feelings, I have come to the realization that I can best serve our suffering nation by running for the Senate this time’ performance. I’d donate as much as I could afford to him, under those circumstances, and I’m sure I’m not the only non-Texan Democratic voter who feels that way. Swallwell and Bullock and Bennett, ditto, in a minor key — c’mon, dudes, you’ve got your ‘nationally ranked Presidential candidate’ tagline, drop out now before we get too irritated by your pointless quest.

Seth Moulton should also follow his true calling and run in the Republican primaries, with or without Bill Weld on his ticket. As with O’Rourke, I’d actually donate to his/their campaign. Everything retro is extremely “in” right now, so it’s probably time to revive the Sensible Centrist New England Republican, while there are still some political veterans around who remember how that works. Justin Amash is pretty obviously gonna take over the Libertarian slot — libertarians are all about novelty, and Amash has that new-renegade smell — and I have the feeling Moulton and Amash would actually enjoy a dual competition against the Squatter-in-Chief and each other. And so say we all! Let the best dude win!

That would leave Booker, Castro, Gillibrand, and Klobuchar as very solid second-tier / VP candidates… plenty enough for a rousing national dialogue, and not so many as to wear out everyones’ patience / bank account.

You don’t agree? Fight me.