{Eye Roll} Open Thread: Sanders’ Team Preps for His Fox News Town Hall

… by threatening (actual) Democrats, of course — with the assistance of the NYTimes:

One of the “digs” on Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the 2016 presidential campaign was that he was all about himself — insufficiently attuned to concerns about unity, quick to lash out at critics and exceptionally thin-skinned. Those concerns surfaced again in Democratic ranks when he hired a rabid social media hit man, David Sirota (who hadn’t initially disclosed his affiliation with the Sanders camp).

Now he has gone into full attack-and-destroy mode, targeting in a vitriolic letter the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank that has advanced, for example, a health-care plan that expands Medicare but is distinct from the Sanders Medicare-for-all plan, and CAP Action Fund, CAP’s political arm…
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The War on Blue America

The story about Trump’s proposed immigrant-dumping in so-called “sanctuary cities” broke last night. Unless a rogue drone snatches the clump of hair off Trump’s noggin, or Javanka are exposed as masterminds of a global kitten-pelt purveying ring, or “acting” WH Chief of Staff Mulvaney discards his skin suit to reveal himself as a razor-toothed alien life form (not scenarios that can be discounted in this administration), that story deserves wall-to-wall media play. From The Post:

White House proposed releasing immigrant detainees in sanctuary cities, targeting political foes

White House officials have tried to pressure U.S. immigration authorities to release detainees onto the streets of “sanctuary cities” to retaliate against President Trump’s political adversaries, according to Department of Homeland Security officials and email messages reviewed by The Washington Post.

Trump administration officials have proposed transporting detained immigrants to sanctuary cities at least twice in the past six months — once in November, as a migrant caravan approached the U.S. southern border, and again in February, amid a standoff with Democrats over funding for Trump’s border wall.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district in San Francisco was among those the White House wanted to target, according to DHS officials. The administration also considered releasing detainees in other Democratic strongholds.

It’s outrageous on so many levels. First, there’s the basic indecency of a proposal to transport frightened, desperate people to distant cities and dump them like so many stray dogs. We rightly revile and criminally charge people who treat unwanted pets this way, and here’s the White House pressuring federal agencies to do this to human beings.

It’s particularly scandalous considering that Trump demonizes immigrants constantly, routinely portraying asylum-seekers and immigrant detainees as murderous gang members bent on marauding through our streets in search of young blond women to rape and kill.

So, if we take Trump at his word about the character of the people in our custody, Trump tried to loose violent criminals on unsuspecting populations for the crime of electing Democrats. By his own lights, that’s a direct violation of Trump’s duty to protect U.S. citizens — all of us, not just MAGA chuds.

It’s also important to remember that this is consistent with Trump’s other actions to wage war on non-supporters. There’s the Trump administration’s absolutely catastrophic failure to assist fellow Americans who live in Puerto Rico, contrasted with Trump’s March 4th tweet about Alabama:

FEMA has been told directly by me to give the A Plus treatment to the Great State of Alabama and the wonderful people who have been so devastated by the Tornadoes.

That tweet barely caused a blip in the media, despite the clear implication that the POTUS personally directs which grade of “treatment” devastated communities receive in the wake of natural disasters from the taxpayer-funded organization charged with assisting ALL Americans.

Then there are the provisions in that plutocratic grab-bag of a tax bill that specifically target people in blue states by imposing property tax caps, which will eventually have the effect of tanking local education budgets.

There’s also the citizenship question ruse in the proposed U.S. Census questionnaire, which was designed to reduce the headcount and political power of states like California and New York. There’s the lowering of auto emission standards to depress green job growth. The list goes on.

The Republican presidents I personally have clear memories of include Reagan, Bush I and Bush II. They were all terrible. But all at least gave lip service to the notion that they had a duty to serve all Americans.

Their awful policies harmed huge groups of voters, including minorities, women, the disabled, young people, etc. But I can’t recall them obsessing over maps and drawing up plans to surgically strike back at entire regions of the country that gave electoral votes to an opponent.

It’s outrageous, and it’s a danger to the country. But this is the Trump administration, so I guess it’s just Friday.

Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Assange Open Thread: Communicable, Like Measles

If you click on the linked story, it’s being updated regularly…

All About Assange

After the initial schadenfreude, I think it’s wrong what is going on with Assange. I’m sure there are a host of things for which he probably should face some sort of criminal justice, but aiding Chelsea Manning in exposing American war crimes isn’t one of them.

He’s like the Nazis marching in Skokie, Illinois, tbh. I hate the fuckers but I believe in free speech. Same with Assange- he’s a malignant asshole with a ridiculous ego and delusions of grandeur, he’s allowed Wikileaks to meddle in our elections while pretending to support radical transparency, and let his personal pique dictate their mission in 2016, and well, all that and more. He also is much like Bernie Sanders in that his most ardent supporters are people who are so fucking annoying that were they on fire you wouldn’t piss on ’em.

But there was legitimate news value to what he was doing for what he was charged in the indictment, and he shouldn’t be extradited here for a show trial.

Nothing to see here…

Hillary Clinton responds to a very good question from Citizens for Ethics researcher Robert Maguire:

To its credit, The New York Times uncovered the Trump family tax scam that led to Trump’s sister “retiring” to end an inquiry into her role in the tax cheating scheme. It would have been nice if they’d busted out that scoop on, say, November 1, 2016, which was the day they instead published a front-page story entitled, “Investigating Donald Trump, FBI sees no clear link to Russia.” But hey, nobody’s perfect.

Still, isn’t it weird that they published the story about Trump’s sister resigning in disgrace over a scam in which her brother — the sitting president! — was involved on page A23? I mean, it was their scoop that kicked off the inquiry — wouldn’t journalistic bragging rights alone warrant more prominent placement?

I know “Trump and his entire family are unbelievably corrupt crooks” is kinda “dog-bites-man” at this point. But really, this kind of thing makes me think the folks who accuse The Times of being part of a Republican-plutocrat alliance to prevent us from having nice things are onto something.

Open thread.