Monday Morning Open Thread: Working Together

She and her husband, Joe Daley, closed on Lisbon’s 480-acre Packard-Littlefield farm on June 29, within days of learning that the White House would not continue to pursue her nomination. Thornton announced her resignation from the State Department on June 30. The youngest of her three children had just graduated from high school, severing the last obligation they had to stay in Washington. They’ve now moved into their new home, and are “just sorting out internet and lawnmowers,” she said.

The Thornton-Daley family is also sorting out their relationship with the former owners’ tenant, Cultivating Community, a nonprofit that has turned 30 acres on the Packard-Littlefield farm into a powerful incubator for immigrant and refugee farmers, many of them Somali-Bantu. According to Cultivating Community’s website, the farm is hosting 18 farmers growing for markets and over 30 community gardeners at the site. Fresh Start Farms, a packing and distribution service for the new-American farmers, is also based at the farm. Cultivating Community’s lease is due to run out soon.

“We’re planning on continuing the relationship,” Thornton said. “We have had discussions about renewing the lease. They are trying to figure out their plans for the next five years, and we’re talking about how we can both work side by side there.”…

“It helps us to feel like we’ve got a partner there that already knows how to do this,” she said of Cultivating Community. “Because we are obviously kind of neophytes.”…

She said she and Daley had always wanted to own a farm here but had added incentive once their son, Ben, a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, decided he wanted to be a farmer. (More incentive: Their daughter Kate is a freshman at Bowdoin.) He’s worked on vegetable farms in North Carolina and in Maine, has experience with livestock and has worked on horsepower farms. “I think he is thinking of horsepower,” Thornton said. “He likes the slow pace.”

The Packard-Littlefield farm went on the market in the spring of 2017 with an asking price of $2.7 million. (It sold for $760,000, according to the listing agent’s office). The longtime owners, Ella Mae Littlefield Packard and Robert Packard, had farmed the land but were in their 70s and ready to retire.

The Packards, part of only the second family to own the 18th-century farm, had taken steps to preserve the land for agricultural use. It has been designated a “Forever Farm,” meaning most of it is covered by an agricultural conservation easement. In 2004, Androscoggin Land Trust and the Packard family, working with the Maine Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, used funding from the Land for Maine’s Future and Farmland Ranch Protection Program to put 195 acres into protected status. Then the Packard family donated conservation easements on two additional parcels in 2007 and 2010, bringing the total conserved acreage to about 400 acres…

The Beltway’s loss, hopefully Maine’s gain.



Late Night Open Thread: Why Diversity Matters



“Why do all these Nazis keep helping my president?”

On another platform, valued commenter Le Comte (etc.) drew my attention to this article from The Post. Holy fucking shit:

Ian M. Smith, a Department of Homeland Security analyst who resigned this week after he was confronted about his ties to white nationalist groups, attended multiple immigration policy meetings at the White House, according to government officials familiar with his work.

Smith quit his job Tuesday after being questioned about personal emails he sent and received between 2014 and 2016, before he joined the Trump administration. The messages, obtained by the Atlantic and detailed in a report published Tuesday, depict Smith engaging in friendly, casual conversations with prominent white supremacists and racists.

In one email from 2015, Smith responded to a group dinner invitation whose host said his home would be “judenfrei,” a German word used by the Nazis during World War II to describe territory that had been “cleansed” of Jews during the Holocaust.

According to The Post, colleagues in the understaffed policy shop where this Nazi worked said this guy wasn’t a supervisor but also “wasn’t just some low-level schlub.” He helped develop policy on refu­gee issues, temporary worker visas, and penalties for legal immigrants who use tax credits or government benefits.

The Nazi also attended White House meetings held by Stephen Miller. Shocked, gambling, etc.

Smith is the second “blood-and-soil” shit-stain booted from the White House this month:

A White House speechwriter for President Trump was terminated last week after revelations that he had spoken at a conference attended by well-known white nationalists, according to three people familiar with the decision who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Darren Beattie, who was a visiting instructor at Duke University before he joined the White House speechwriting team, was fired Friday after a media inquiry about his appearance at the 2016 H.L. Mencken Club conference, where Beattie spoke on a panel alongside Peter Brimelow.

Brimelow, founder of the anti-immigrant website Vdare.com, is a “white nationalist” and “regularly publishes works by white supremacists, anti-Semites, and others on the radical right,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that tracks extremists.

I’m sure Ivanka privately opposes the employment of Nazis in the West Wing, but they just keep tumbling out of the woodwork.

In more local news, something equally baffling happened in the gubernatorial race between racist Trump toady Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum:

‘Tis a mystery.

[Post title is an homage to a justly famous opinion column from The Onion, circa 1998. But you knew that.]



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: All We Have Is What Grace We Can Muster

From the original Des Moines Register article:

Rob Tibbetts was among four people to deliver emotional eulogies Sunday afternoon to a crowd of more than 1,200 people inside the gymnasium at Brooklyn-Guernsey-Malcom High School. The school, in Brooklyn, a town of about 1,500, is just a short walk from where Mollie Tibbetts lived with her mother and two brothers.

“Today, we need to turn the page. We’re at the end of a long ordeal,” he said. “But we need to turn toward life — Mollie’s life — because Mollie’s nobody’s victim. Mollie’s my hero.”

Rob Tibbetts called upon the devastated community and family to come together in honoring his daughter.

“The person best equipped to help us through this is Mollie,” he said. “So let’s try to do what Mollie would do. Let’s say what Mollie would say.”…

Rob Tibbetts has not publicly commented on the issue. But in his eulogy, he highlighted how the local Hispanic community had embraced him as he searched for his daughter in recent weeks.

While in Iowa for nearly six weeks, Hotel Grinnell put him up for free. During that time, he said he ate at a number of Mexican restaurants, where employees were sensitive and kind. They knew when he needed space or when he needed to joke, he said…



Stolen Children Update

Here’s the current status of the children still held by Trump administration kidnappers:

The administration keeps trying to squirm out of its responsibility for this atrocity, at one point suggesting that it’s on the ACLU to go find the parents our government dumped in their countries of origin without their children. The judge wasn’t having that nonsense, but the fact remains, the court is dealing with a group of recalcitrant shit-goblins who aren’t interested in reuniting these families.

If it were up to me, the court would commandeer the White House as headquarters for the family reunification effort and designate Air Force One as the transport plane. Maybe that would get the lead out of their asses.

But it’s good that the court has ordered ongoing updates of the government’s progress. Everyone should know how many children are effectively orphaned by the Trump administration. It was done in our name and will be a stain on our country long after the current set of criminals is driven from power.



The NEW New Colossus

According to NBC News, human whitening strip Stephen Miller will shortly roll out phase two of the plan to extend white hegemony in America in perpetuity:

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is expected to issue a proposal in coming weeks that would make it harder for legal immigrants to become citizens or get green cards if they have ever used a range of popular public welfare programs, including Obamacare, four sources with knowledge of the plan told NBC News.

The move, which would not need Congressional approval, is part of White House senior adviser Stephen Miller’s plan to limit the number of migrants who obtain legal status in the U.S. each year.

Details of the rulemaking proposal are still being finalized, but based on a recent draft seen last week and described to NBC News, immigrants living legally in the U.S. who have ever used or whose household members have ever used Obamacare, children’s health insurance, food stamps and other benefits could be hindered from obtaining legal status in the U.S.

There’s no financial crisis linked to legal (or undocumented) immigrants overrunning the paltry public assistance available in this country. The opposite, in fact, is true; the looming financial crisis was caused by shoveling a trillion borrowed dollars to people like Betsy DeVos, the Mercers, the Kochs, the Walton family, etc., in the form of an unneeded massive tax cut.

Sponsors for legal immigrants who want to obtain a green card and move toward citizenship have to commit to being on the hook for any public benefits for which their legal immigrant might qualify for a decade. The Miller plan is transparently about blocking legal immigrants from gaining voting rights.

“Keep, ancient lands, your poor huddled masses!” cries he
With sneering lips. “Give me your whites, your revanchist boor,
Your B-list underwear models yearning to go clothing-free,
The oligarchs and bigots of your scheming shore.
Send these, the fascists, the Nazi-curious to me,
I lift my lamp beside the gold-veneer Trump Tower door!”



Saturday Morning Open Thread: Keep Striving