Puerto Rico: Hard Blows / Blowhards

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Thursday Morning Open Thread: Blindsided!

Once again, Nancy and Chuck privately stroke “President” Manbaby’s tender ego, and come away with a public promise he’ll do something which will anger all the noisiest members of his in-every-sense Base. And the dumb fekkers are blaming Paul Ryan! Could not happen to a more deserving Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver, per the Washington Post:

Democratic leaders announced late Wednesday that they agreed with President Trump to pursue a legislative deal that would protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation and enact border security measures that don’t include building a physical wall.

The president discussed options during a dinner at the White House with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that also included talks on tax reform, infrastructure and trade. Trump has showed signs of shifting strategy to cross the aisle and work with Democrats in the wake of the high-profile failures by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act…

In a sign of the potential trouble for the president, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an immigration hard-liner and early Trump supporter, wrote that if reports of a potential immigration deal are accurate, the president’s “base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.”…

Congressional aides familiar with the exchange said that Trump and the party leaders agreed to move quickly on legislation to protect dreamers, though aides did not disclose whether they agreed that the goal should be for dreamers to eventually be offered a path to citizenship.

In a statement, Schumer and Pelosi said they had “a very productive meeting at the White House with the President. The discussion focused on DACA. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”

In a letter to her Democratic colleagues in the House, Pelosi said she hoped the deal could be done “in a matter of weeks.”…

Pelosi and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) met earlier Wednesday to begin discussing the broad parameters of the forthcoming immigration debate. Ryan’s team signaled that despite the administration’s eagerness to quickly seal the deal, it will take awhile…

Ryan is already facing growing pressure from House conservatives who have begun to question his leadership and have even floated names of possible replacement as speaker. An agreement between Trump and Democrats on a bill to protect dreamers could potentially put Ryan in the position of having to decide whether to bring it for a vote with the prospects that it might pass with more Democratic support than among the GOP…

Of course the sumbitch doesn’t intend to carry through on his promise — he never does — but now the Democrats have a ‘permission slip’ to wave at all the Repub bigots who just wanna make ‘Murkca white again, like they remember it from 1950s sitcoms. And the more the GOP leaders shriek at him, the more Trump will dig in and insist that he did so intend to hang them up by their tiny thumbs, because they are not the boss of him.

And nothing that makes Paul Ryan squirm in public is a total waste of effort!

Late Night Schadenfreude Open Thread: Albino Manatee Slapfight!

Anybody the least bit shocked that “good Catholic” Bannon would attack “Prince of the Church” Dolan did not grow up in the Catholic dioceses of my and their childhoods. The cold war between the Real Americans (those a generation or two away from Ellis Island) and Those Shuffling Newcomers has been going on since at least the 1860s, when the staid Germans deplored the semi-civilized Irish incomers. By the 1960s, in my neighborhood, it was the Irish against the Italians — with occasional joint forays against the Puerto Ricans who were just beginning to make inroads across the river in Manhattan. (I’m told that these days, back in the neighborhood, it’s the Dominicans versus the Vietnamese worshippers, using much the same insults.) And the priests are always assumed to be clerkly mercenaries who’ll throw their weight behind whichever clan offers them the most tribute.

Since I walked away from ‘the Church’ on the day of my high school graduation, in this particular battle I have no trouble whatsoever rooting for injuries!

Open Thread: Defending the DREAMers

This meets my criteria for the epitome of ‘mixed feelings’. Anything involving the Kochs, of course, needs to be critically examined for hidden pitfalls. On the other hand, if even these amoral monsters are standing up in defense of young people whose only crime was being born to the wrong parents… well, it is to be hoped that this indicates Steve Bannon, Steve Miller, and Rep. Steve King represent an extinction burst and not a successful revival of racism as a winning political tactic…

Spokespeople for the Koch network confirmed to The Daily Beast that it will press Congress for a legislative fix to the recently rescinded Obama-era program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that shielded undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children.

The Kochs’ backing could provide a crucial boost to efforts to preserve DACA, which Trump announced this week he will phase out over the course of six months. Congress has scrambled to find a replacement for those legal protections that are set to be removed. And Trump himself signaled early support for the DREAM Act, which would, essentially, codify the DACA protections that Obama had imposed via executive action…

With its formidable political and policy operation, the Koch network could provide more political cover to Republican members of Congress as they consider a replacement to the DACA program. Koch network alumni are sprinkled throughout Trump’s inner circle, and include White House director of legislative affairs Marc Short and Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager who now advises a prominent independent political group supporting the president…

A President Speaks

Barack Obama said that one thing might make him speak out after his presidency ended, and that was if Trump messed with DACA. He does not disappoint. This is his full statement.

Immigration can be a controversial topic. We all want safe, secure borders and a dynamic economy, and people of goodwill can have legitimate disagreements about how to fix our immigration system so that everybody plays by the rules.

But that’s not what the action that the White House took today is about. This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants. They may not know a country besides ours. They may not even know a language besides English. They often have no idea they’re undocumented until they apply for a job, or college, or a driver’s license.

Over the years, politicians of both parties have worked together to write legislation that would have told these young people – our young people – that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here a certain number of years, and if you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, then you’ll get a chance to stay and earn your citizenship. And for years while I was President, I asked Congress to send me such a bill.

That bill never came. And because it made no sense to expel talented, driven, patriotic young people from the only country they know solely because of the actions of their parents, my administration acted to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people, so that they could continue to contribute to our communities and our country. We did so based on the well-established legal principle of prosecutorial discretion, deployed by Democratic and Republican presidents alike, because our immigration enforcement agencies have limited resources, and it makes sense to focus those resources on those who come illegally to this country to do us harm. Deportations of criminals went up. Some 800,000 young people stepped forward, met rigorous requirements, and went through background checks. And America grew stronger as a result.

But today, that shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again. To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. What if our kid’s science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country she doesn’t know or remember, with a language she may not even speak?

Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us. They are that pitcher on our kid’s softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance. Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages.

It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leaders, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not to do what it did today. And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it’s up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future. I’m heartened by those who’ve suggested that they should. And I join my voice with the majority of Americans who hope they step up and do it with a sense of moral urgency that matches the urgency these young people feel.

Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be.

What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray. What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals – that all of us are created equal; that all of us deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will; that all of us share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation. That’s how America has traveled this far. That’s how, if we keep at it, we will ultimately reach that more perfect union.



A Handful Of Quick DACA-Related Thoughts


Others here have said what needs to be said about the Coward Trump and his DACA debacle.  I sign on to all of it.  Here’s my PGO addition:

1: To reinforce a point Charles Pierce made today: DACA folks are Americans. Full stop. They may not be citizens, but they are us; members of our society, our community.  They are not strangers.

Any attempt to frame them as aliens, or criminals — or as developmentally delayed moral agents who need (as John’s former elementary school teacher put it) being taught right from wrong — is both wrong and vile.

2: Task one is whatever we can do to “help” our Republican friends in Congress to fix the steaming pile of rodent droppings the leader of their party just dumped in their punchbowl

Task two, of course, is to teach every national Republican, no matter what goodness may reside in their hearts, bless their hearts, the lessons California GOPsters learned post Prop. 187.

To me that means that the first priority for any political action centers on voting.  I’m going to call my local town Democratic committee first, and see what I can do there to register folks.  Given that my town votes 2-1 D every election, with good turnout, I’m hoping they’re making the same connections they do every election with Ds who need help in New Hampshire.  If I get no joy there, I’ll contact folks directly in neighboring states.

After registration, it’s voter education and then turnout.  That’s it.  The unintended consequence of Trump’s reign of misrule is that a lot more people have become aware that politics does in fact matter where each of us live.  It’s incumbent on all of us to make sure that realization doesn’t go to waste.

Last: again, this isn’t an issue in my home town of Brookline, MA — but this is why we need Democrats running in every office, down to assistant dog catcher.  Neighbors seeking votes mobilize voters as no one else can; if we have people doing so for every office, that’s a big part of the battle right there.  So I’ll be doing what I can to tell those up the food chain in the party that we gotta do what the Republicans, to their tactical credit, have long understood to be vital.

That’s it.  My motto going forward: Get (Stay) Mad. Get (More Than) Even.

Over to y’all.

Caravaggio, Supper at Emmaus 1601.

Trump’s Outsourced DACA Announcement (Updated)

The “beleaguered” KKKeebler Elf is being trotted out to announce the DACA decision in just a few minutes. Makes sense — Trump outsourced the job to him:

What a cowardly, inept piece of shit. You can watch it on CSPAN here. [Announcement over, and the KKKeebler Elf scurried back to the tree without taking questions.]

Trump has a cult comprising about 27% of the electorate, but few outside of the constellation of True Believers have any respect for him. The Russians certainly don’t — looks like Putin no longer thinks Trump is a genius (not that he ever did):

Putin also criticised the United States, saying it was preposterous for Washington to ask for Moscow’s help with Pyongyang after sanctioning Russian companies whom US officials accused of violating North Korea sanctions.

“It’s ridiculous to put us on the same [sanctions] list as North Korea and then ask for our help in imposing sanctions on North Korea,” said Putin.

“This is being done by people who mix up Australia with Austria.”

Just drop the pee hookers tape already, Vlad.

While Congressional Republicans are sticking with Twitler for an oligarch relief package, they’re working around him because they know he’s a fucking idiot too:

On two important policies — sanctions on Russia and health care — a working majority of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate has already thwarted Trump. Another bipartisan majority appears to have formed against Trump’s threat to shut down the government unless he gets significant funding for a wall along the Southern border. In fact, on any number of issues, there are enough anti-Trump Republicans in the Senate not only to block the president but also to push their own policies contrary to the president’s — as was the case with Russia sanctions.

My guess is this workaround will become more common as Trump becomes increasingly unhinged. The Republicans deserve zero credit; they’re keeping the nuclear codes in that lunatic’s chubby little hands. But they may decide to degrade his ability to completely destroy our democracy out of self interest. Yay.

The Daily Caller, a wingnut site, is trying to spin Trump’s ceding of civilian control to the the military as a positive:

Morons. Also, Chief of Staff John Kelly allegedly doesn’t like Trump:

There’s a shocker. I hope Trump sees that story and makes Kelly jump through hoops. Trump can’t read people for shit since he’s a malignant narcissist. Remember when he weirdly proclaimed that President Obama liked him, when it was obvious to anyone with eyes that PBO was handling Trump like an irradiated turd that he (Obama) nevertheless had an obligation to install in the Oval Office?

Then Trump decided PBO was his mortal enemy and made up outrageous lies about wiretapping, probably because he (Trump) didn’t receive a blubbering endorsement from his predecessor. Yeah, Kelly better watch his back.

ETA: Per Newsweek, President Obama might choose to get involved in this issue as follows:

Former President Barack Obama is said to be considering speaking out against Donald Trump’s alleged plan to scrap the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

The president will reportedly announce on Tuesday a plan to end the Obama-era program within the next six months, a move those close to Obama say the former president will rally against.

A source close to the former president told Politico that Obama will write a Facebook post and share it on Twitter as well, speaking out against the president’s decision if he does choose not to protect Dreamers.

Good. This is a stupid, short-sighted, financially dumb and morally obtuse decision driven entirely by bigotry. Please feel free to share news of protests, action plans, etc., in comments.