The One Thing He Believes In

Trump is the consummate bullshitter.  Verbally, he’s all over the map when discussing most issues, catering to what he thinks his audience wants to hear, and listening to the last person who leaves the room.  Healthcare is a good example.  He would have signed any bill–tiny, incremental piece of shit, or major sweeping reform–as long as it was perceived as a “winning” Obamacare repeal.

One (maybe the only) thing he won’t bullshit about is race. He could jettison these fucking nazis in a second without any ill effect.  Yet he stubbornly and persistently refuses to make any significant, long-term criticism of white nationalists.

The only reasonable conclusion is that he really believes in white nationalism. Today, again, we’ve seen the core belief of a man who is otherwise has the moral clarity of a carnival barker.


Late Night Open Thread: Godwin’s Other Law

Thursday Morning Open Thread: The ‘Comfort’ of Long Practice

Not, it would seem, a hoax.

While we’re all wondering when the unthinkable became so damned mundane, here’s an amazing story from the Washington Post:

Like any good student with a sensitive question, Harold Hering approached his teacher after class, out of earshot from his classmates.

“How can I know,” he asked, “that an order I receive to launch my missiles came from a sane president?”

It was 1973. President Richard M. Nixon was seriously depressed about Watergate. Hering, an Air Force major who rescued downed pilots in Vietnam, was training to be a missileer — the guy who turns the keys to commence nuclear Armageddon.

“I assumed there had to be some sort of checks and balances so that one man couldn’t just on a whim order the launch of nuclear weapons,” Hering, now 81, told Radiolab in a remarkable interview earlier this year.

Hering was wrong. And decades later, so is anyone who thinks President Trump, having recently threatened “fire and fury” for North Korea, can’t order a nuclear attack anytime he darn well pleases, even from a fairway bunker on the golf course.

Just ask Hering.

Back in 1973, the drama that followed Hering’s question did not, as he hoped, fundamentally alter the fate of the world, but it certainly reshaped his life. Forced to retire, Hering took up a career with a less dangerous set of keys: long-haul trucking…

All these years later, Hering does not regret asking the forbidden question. After driving trucks, he became an addiction counselor to homeless people at the Salvation Army. He lives in Indiana. He still worries.

“It bothers me immensely that the only area there is not a check and balance is the one that could literally result in the end of the world,” he told Radiolab. “That seems strange to me.”…

And yet!… We are still here, somehow; and Mr. Hering seems to have had a good life, helping other people. Sometimes the minion enables the monster; sometimes the minion makes the better choice.

Apart from meditating upon the unthinkable, what’s on the agenda for the day?

So Many Ways To Harm Immigrants

New Mexico has always had immigrants from Mexico and Central America. The numbers fluctuate with the political circumstances in all countries involved. Today’s Santa Fe New Mexican had an article about a young woman, Anai Hernandez, born in the United States and her immigrant parents, along with an op-ed by her. She is, of course, an American citizen.

For many young Americans, turning 21 is a rite of passage, a chance to finally go to bars and drink legally. But for Anai Hernandez, it will be a joyous moment for another reason. She will be able to ask the federal government to allow her parents to legally stay in the United States after living as undocumented immigrants for nearly two decades.

“I’m really close to my family. I care more about not getting in trouble, knowing my mom and dad are illegal. So I don’t go to parties or drink,” said Hernandez, 20. “For me, turning 21 is more about having a dream come true, being able to help my parents with their papers, a gift for them and thanking them for everything they’ve done.”

Hernandez, whose parents are from the Mexican border town of Nogales, Sonora, was born just minutes away in the American town of Nogales, Ariz., making her a U.S. citizen. When her parents decided to make a permanent move to Taos, there was no recourse for them to become green card holders — at least, not until their daughter turned 21, when she would be old enough to petition immigration officials to allow her parents to become legal permanent residents.

Under the current immigration system, generally, U.S. citizens age 21 or older can sponsor their parents to become green card holders, even if they have been living in the country illegally.

But under legislation President Donald Trump unveiled last week, that avenue would be cut off, creating a sense of urgency for Hernandez, who will turn 21 in December. Even if she turns in her application before Congress votes on the legislation, if the proposal passes and becomes law, her case could still be denied if it is pending when the new rules take effect.

Quite a few New Mexico communities are sanctuary communities.

As the direct attacks from the Trump administration continue to escalate nationwide, San Miguel County has taken a huge step in opposing and sending a clear message that, in New Mexico, we value our immigrant families and we will fight together to protect them.

Recently, the San Miguel County Commission passed a resolution declaring the county a “sanctuary county.” Amid the threats by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to crack down on “sanctuary cities and counties,” Nuevo Mexicanos up north still went ahead and called for the protection of undocumented families and moved to prevent collaboration between local law enforcement and immigration agencies.

Valued commenters earlier today said that there have been no front-page posts on immigration. That is a serious omission; I haven’t checked to make sure it is the case, but I don’t recall any. Immigration really isn’t something I can offer knowledgeable commentary on, and there are plenty of issues on which I can. Maybe one of our lawyers would offer a guest post?

Open thread, also too.

Friday Evening Open Thread: Interspatial Impeachment Insurance


Apart from [all the facepalms], what’s on the agenda as we start the weekend?

Read more

Degrading the public sphere (data edition)

Hannah Recht is one hell of a data visualizer and story teller on healthcare. She is assembling the bare county maps for Bloomberg and then she tweeted the following on Wednesday:

She goes on to explain how and why the government map is fundamentally wrong. It is a combination of people not being familiar with the data and an intent to deceive through malice or laziness.

American public data resources are an incredible asset. They are being degraded as we speak. This is why everyone who could yank a file from November 9-January 20, 2017 yanked files. We feared that there would be massive data degradation. And the solution of archiving public resource files on non-government servers is a reasonable solution to the feared problem of forgetting the past. It does nothing for the ongoing fear that current files will not be collected, corrupted or hideously and deliberately mis-interpreted.

This is just one small example in a domain where I have knowledge and passion. We know it is happening elsewhere such as the EPA and voting rights too. I think the safe assumption is that it is happening everywhere.

Philando Castile’s Killer Walks

To the surprise of exactly no one paying attention in 21st century America, another extrajudicial killing by a cop ends with the killer walking free:

The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop was acquitted on all charges by a jury Friday, a decision that came nearly a year after the encounter was partially streamed online before a rapt nation in the midst of a painful reckoning over shootings by law enforcement.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled Castile’s car over in Falcon Heights, a suburb near Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the officer later said he thought Castile matched the description of a suspect in a robbery. The stop quickly escalated.

Yanez fired into the car, saying later he thought Castile was going for his gun, a claim Castile’s girlfriend, sitting in the seat next to him, disputed. She began filming the aftermath of the shooting with her phone.

I’m going to outsource anything I might say entirely to NPR Code Switch/Post Bourgie’s Gene Denby:


Again: I’d bet good money there is no one conscious in America today didn’t expect this outcome at all un.  Which is the most enraging fact of all within this wretched story.

Over to you.  I’ve nothing left but blank depression and incoherent rage.


Via AP:

A Minnesota city says it will dismiss a police officer even though he was cleared of all charges in the fatal shooting of a black motorist.

The city of St. Anthony says it concluded the public “will be best served” if Officer Jeronimo (yeh-RON’-ih-moh) Yanez no longer works for the city. The statement says the city plans to offer Yanez a “voluntary separation” so he can find another job.

The city says Yanez will not return to active duty.