Tell that fucking bullshit to the tourists

I often tell people that national American politics primarily about race, that no one cares about smaller government or individual rights or any of that crap, and that the proof of this is that white southerners voted overwhelmingly for Democrats before the Civil Rights era and now vote overwhelmingly for Republicans. This George Wallace quote tells you all you need to know:

“You know, I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been part of my career, and nobody listened. And then I began talking about niggers, and they stomped the floor.”

There’s other stuff around the edges, people like a good economy and dislike disastrous wars, but when it comes to basic party allegiances in the main, everything boils down to race and attitudes about it. The end.

The southern strategy was the smart move (Nixon was always smarter). But it was a strategy and let’s not pretend it’s a coincidence that the Republican party became dominated by white identity politics.

When I say this out loud in real life, anyone who has even a little bit of totebagger in them looks at me like I was Ward Churchill. I don’t mean just the “David Brooks has a good point” dead-enders, I mean even the moderate totebaggers (the ones we should arm).

So fuck all that “oh no, Donald Trump is such a sad turn for the party of Lincoln”. Atrios says it well:

You know, they haven’t actually been hiding it. Even that nice Mr. Brooks isn’t, you know, nice. Respectable demeanor is not the same thing as nice. They’ve been all about kicking the poors and the blahs and the gays and the whoever they can get the press to see as a “sides disagree” issue (are black people stupid? the two sides disagree) that week as long as I can remember. Trump just isn’t as well-trained and he does not give a fuck. There are plenty of reasons to dislike Trump, but most of those are reasons to dislike most Republicans. With Trump, the people who think they should and do run the country worry they’ll lose control. That’s the main difference.



Got to kill em to civilize em

Or asshole of the week award nomination:

Hmm, isn’t he supposed to be a conservative with a respect for institutions that work even if they don’t work well and a healthy suscipian of outsider experts smashing a system and imposing externally solutions that don’t have internal stakeholder buy-in.

Nope, just Col. Blimp at work.



Thursday Evening Open Thread: Still At It

Dude must be aware that his predictions have become a standing joke, right? When even the VDare white supremacists start rolling their eyes, surely Bill ‘Always Rong’ Kristol must realize he’s worn out his patter, right?

You’d think he’d step aside, if only for the sake of the rising generation of Repub japesters…

And I want to win the lottery, if only I could remember to buy the tickets. My chances, still better!

Apart from mocking the Repubs, what’s on the agenda for the evening?



The Politicization of Policy

Earlier today the Supreme Court, in a 4-4 deadlocked ruling pertaining to President Obama’s Executive Order pertaining to the status of the parents of American citizens or legal residents who are in the country illegally, issued the following ruling: “The judgement is affirmed by an equally divided Court.” In the short term this means that the original District Court ruling, affirmed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, stands. It is unclear whether this means that the President will seek to enforce his executive order to not deport the parents of American citizens or legal residents outside of the 5th Circuit or not. The ruling is partially the result of Texas and 25 other states shopping for a sympathetic District Court Judge, which is why they filed it in Brownsville, not Austin the state capitol. It demonstrates both the challenges of a divided Supreme Court and the politicization of policy.

While Speaker Ryan has issued a statement lauding the decision and claiming it as a victory for the Constitution and Congress, specifically under Article 1, this is simply part of the politicization of this particular policy. And that comes at a price. Both in lives affected and in dollars spent. The reality that no one wants to mention when discussing the President’s DAPA and expanded DACA order to defer deportations for specific, low risk classes of undocumented people in the US, and which demonstrates why Speaker Ryan’s claiming victory for Article 1 and the Congress’s power to write the Law, not the Executive Branch, misses the point is that Congress did write the Law. Congress made it a misdemeanor to improperly enter the US; specifically entering in an undocumented capacity without papers while avoiding immigration control. Unlawful presence, overstaying one’s visa or not leaving the US and returning to one’s home country when one is supposed to is not actually a crime at all. The Executive Branch, however, has to administer (execute) this law. But here’s where the rubber of making Law hits the road of enforcing it: Congress also has to provide the ways and means.

Currently Congress only appropriates enough money for the Department of Homeland Security to deport approximately 450,000 undocumented immigrants that have illegally entered or overstayed their visas. This is not something new. Congress never appropriates enough money to deport everyone who has entered illegally or overstayed their visas. The cost for trying to identify, round up, and deport all of the estimated 11 million undocumented people – both improper entry and unlawful presence – in the US right now is estimated at no less than a $100 billion and up to $600 billion. As a result every Presidential Administration has had to prioritize who to focus on. The focus is always on those who have been arrested and/or previously convicted of engaging in violent crimes or who are tied to human or drug trafficking or terrorist/extremist organizations. And this makes sense from a domestic, public policy standpoint: focus on those who present the greatest potential threat to the US, American citizens, legal residents, and those visiting the US. What Speaker Ryan, Governor Abbot of Texas and his 25 colleagues from when he was the Texas Attorney General, Federal District Court Judge Hanen, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the four Supreme Court Justices that voted to uphold the lower court rulings against the Administration’s Executive Orders have chosen to ignore is that tomorrow the Obama Administration still only has enough Congressionally appropriated funding to deport 450,000 people in the US illegally. And tomorrow the Department of Homeland Security is still going to have to prioritize who they focus on – the parents of an American citizen who other than the Federal misdemeanor of improper entry or the not an actual crime at all of unlawful presence are otherwise law abiding or the guy trafficking women for the sex trade.

We’ve reached this moment of policy and juridicial stupidity because both the President and those opposing his policy of prioritization politicized the issue. The President publicly announced the policy of placing the parents of US citizens and legal residents on the low priority list for deportation, which provided them with an effective exemption. President Obama did this as part of a strategic communication strategy to signal to an important constituency that he, and the Democratic Party, were not going to forget them even if Congress was unable or unwilling to act. The House GOP majority, as well as twenty-six Republican controlled states, responded by also strategically communicating to their constituencies that they would sue the President to overturn his Executive Order to ensure that the Law was administered and that only Congress, as Article 1 states, can write Law. The issue, which was already politicized, was dialed up to 11.

There is no way of knowing if, had the President not publicly announced what he was doing, the GOP House Majority or one or more of these 26 Republican governed states would have still objected as vehemently or opposed the President’s actions through a lawsuit. Moreover, there isn’t equal guilt for politicization on both sides. Until or unless Congress appropriates more funds for deportations, which they do not seem to be inclined to do, the Obama Administration, and any subsequent administrations, will only have the funding – the means – to identify, arrest, detain, and deport 450,000 undocumented people per year. No matter what Judge Hanen, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, or the Supreme Court rules, tomorrow the Department of Homeland Security, part of the Obama Administration’s Executive Branch, will still have to prioritize who to deport. I fully expect that they will continue to prioritize their efforts on those accused of and/or convicted of violent crimes, as well as those suspected to be trafficking drugs and people or of being affiliated with extremist or terrorist organizations. Focusing on less dangerous cohorts among the undocumented would create an actual threat to the safety and security of the US, its citizenry, its legal residents, and those visiting for work, school, or enjoyment.



No Longer Breaking News that was Poorly Reported and Lost in the Shuffle: CNN & Hillary Clinton’s Email Edition

Last Friday CNN reported that:

The FBI has not yet interviewed Clinton as part of its investigation. As CNN first reported, investigators have not found evidence to support criminal charges against Clinton and none are expected, but no final determination will be made until that interview has taken place.

This was the fifth paragraph of a longer report dealing with emails about the US drone program. The context was of State Department officials emailing Secretary Clinton about the drone program, which is classified, during the Winter holidays (Christmas to New Years) in 2011 while on leave, away from the office, and unable to access the classified email systems, but still having to conduct their work. It is also spillage – the information was sent to her, she did not go and take classified information and purposefully place it into an unclassified email. This CNN report got lost in the shuffle over the weekend, for obvious reasons, but its important to highlight it nonetheless.



Dispatches from the Left Coast

Make sure you cover your dog’s ears if you read this out loud:

A Trump supporter who protesters told me had shoved a young girl was surrounded by the mob, pushed, punched, and he was rearing for a fight before police finally allowed him behind their skirmish line.

Throughout the night, I saw a woman egged, a couple trailed and pummeled while heading to their car, a man chased and tackled, and more blood than I expected.

Trump likes to make the case that the protesters who attend his rallies aren’t genuine, merely organized efforts by his political opponents. Thursday didn’t have that feel. These were kids who seemed to be out for the thrill of the brawl. Gang hand signs were thrown in abundance.

We’re going to have full fledged race riots this summer. Trump is encouraging it and antagonizing, our airmchair revolutionaries are giddy, the media wants it, and there’s not much we can do about it, I’m afraid.



The Wizard of Haws

wizardoftrump

In a country with a working press and sane electorate, this would simply be the end of the Trump candidacy:

In blunt testimony revealed on Tuesday, former managers of Trump University, the for-profit school started by Donald J. Trump, portray it as an unscrupulous business that relied on high-pressure sales tactics, employed unqualified instructors, made deceptive claims and exploited vulnerable students willing to pay tens of thousands for Mr. Trump’s insights.

One sales manager for Trump University, Ronald Schnackenberg, recounted how he was reprimanded for not pushing a financially struggling couple hard enough to sign up for a $35,000 real estate class, despite his conclusion that it would endanger their economic future. He watched with disgust, he said, as a fellow Trump University salesman persuaded the couple to purchase the class anyway.

“I believe that Trump University was a fraudulent scheme,” Mr. Schnackenberg wrote in his testimony, “and that it preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money.”

Combined with the fact that he refuses to release his tax returns (nice troll-fu, DNC), this theory that Trump is basically broke by Josh Marshall makes a lot of sense:

This was interesting, too:

The idea that Trump is wealthy to the tune of his oft-claimed $10 billion dollars, combined with his utter lack of transparency regarding his fantasy financial statements left little to go on. For political professionals, due diligence required we assume he could bring serious cash to the game.

By August of last year, I was working to convince major donors that Trump would be a destructive force and likely throw the race to Hillary Clinton. One moment from that period sticks with me as a turning point in my thinking about Trump’s money; a major Wall Street donor laughed when I told him we’d need to mount a serious and fully-funded effort to take on Trump if he chose to self fund.

My friend scoffed at the very idea that Trump was worth even a quarter of the mythical $10 billion, much less that he was liquid to the tune of more than $200 million. “He’s not a billionaire. I’m a billionaire. He’s a clown living on credit.”

***

The evidence is mounting, and quickly, that his promises to fund his campaign are just one more Trump con; a shell, a hollow edifice of fake-it-til-you-make-it. Trump, is by the standards of 99.9% of Americans, a wealthy man, but he’s not liquid enough to fund an actual modern campaign. It’s not simply that he doesn’t have the money; it’s that his mythos requires that no one ever figure out that he doesn’t have the money.

The press seriously should stop asking him any questions except for those related to his release of his taxes.