Opportunistic Jingoism Open Thread: The “Diversary” Lottery

Charles P. Pierce, at Esquire. “The Fatal Flaw of America’s ‘Forever’ War on Terror”:

Acts of violence are acts of violence, whether they come from DIY jihadists, or from people driven mad by their gambling debts, or from trigger-happy police. (This would be a good time to note that Saipov got out of his truck after having killed eight people and attempted martyrdom by cop by waving a pellet gun around. He failed even at that. He’s alive. Three years ago this month, Tamir Rice, a 12-year old, was waving a pellet gun around at nobody in particular and was shot dead where he stood by a cop named Timothy Loehmann. The eight people killed in New York on Tuesday are regularly referred to as “innocent victims,” which they undoubtedly are. But so was Tamir Rice.)

Partly because of its unseemly devotion to its firearms, this is still a very violent country, and it really doesn’t have the right to distinguish one act of violence from the others. But it does, because the Forever War has been manipulated into a machine that manufactures a new kind of American innocence—a replica of something that, frankly, never was very authentic in the first place. The Forever War has become a medieval morality play for the 21st century, something akin to the Paternoster Cycle from York, with the United States in the role of the petitions from the Lord’s Prayer. It’s a kind of national Halloween parade in which the country puts on a costume in an attempt to fool its enemies.

That the dramatic cycle is being led this time by President* Trump is proof that history has a dark and weird sense of humor. The president* leapt onto the electric Twitter machine on Wednesday morning to try and pin the blame of Senator Chuck Schumer with his customary disrespect for truth and common sense. The president* has yet to blame anyone for the radicalization of Stephen Paddock…

And it is here where we should point out that Dzokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bomber, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in a conventional civilian trial in a federal court in Boston, and the sky did not fall, and jihadis with their magic Muslim powers did not cause the Moakley Courthouse to fall into the sea.

That may not matter because absurdity is an essential part of The Forever War, and never more so than it is under the present administration. I mean, Jesus H. Christ on the D train, the guy was live-tweeting Wednesday morning’s episode of Three Dolts On A Divan as his response to a terror attack. The absurdity is forever because The Forever War is forever…


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Tuesday Evening Open Thread: Somebody’s Gotta Keep the Lights On…

While the NYTimes dutifully attempts to weave a dark romance around “powerful survivor” and nativist bigot Steven Miller, Nancy Pelosi is out there fighting to defend the DREAMers (not to mention the rest of us). From the original Washington Post article quoted in the top tweet:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) dismissed President Trump’s new hard-line immigration proposals as “a complete non-starter” Monday, adding that her caucus may withhold support for must-pass spending bills later this year if Congress can’t reach agreement on how to protect “dreamers” from deportation.

“I fully intend to use every possibility” to strike a deal on the status of young immigrants protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Pelosi said. But, she added: “We’re not at that place yet. Right now, we’re trying to get Republicans to vote on what we believe.”…

On Monday, Pelosi dismissed the fresh immigration policy ideas unveiled by the White House. Based on documents released Sunday night, the Trump administration is demanding full construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, restrictions on legal immigration and a plan to curb young migrants from leaving Central American nations to cross illegally into the United States. The new proposals came after Trump last month decided to end DACA and gave Congress six months to pass a solution he could sign into law…

Pelosi said that the administration’s new plan is “un-American” and that “there’s nothing in it to negotiate because it does not have shared values of who we are as Americans. As long as we understand that, let’s go on with what we can agree on.”…

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Apart from cheering NANCY SMASH!, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



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!
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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.