Here’s Your Plan of Action in Response to the President’s Policy Separating the Children of Asylum Seekers from Their Parents: Protests are Scheduled in DC and Around the Country for 30 June 2018

Walter Shaub has the details:

Here’s our tips for a safe protest experience.

For those looking to donate, there’s RAICES Family Reunification:

Here’s their donation link.

If you’ve got other groups you recommend donating to that are helping with this emergency solely created by the President, his Senior Advisor Stephen Miller, and Attorney General Sessions, please put them in the comments.

Take heart that what everyone is already doing is working. If it wasn’t, Senator Cruz – a Latino Canadian who moved to the US so he could become a white supremacist – wouldn’t be submitting even bad legislation in an attempt to change the subject ahead of the midterm elections.

Does anyone really think that Senator Cruz would be trying to do anything, even something bad that he could spin, if his internal polling for his campaign for reelection wasn’t showing that Congressman Beto O’Rourke wasn’t a serious threat? I expect that Cruz’s campaign polling is showing Beto as a very strong and credible threat. The campaigns’ internal polling in their states and districts, which they never release, is almost always much, much better than any other polling as they know what to ask, how to ask it, and who to sample and survey.

Stay angry, get organized, and get ready to mobilize!

Open thread.



This is the Sound of President Trump’s America

For those unable to listen or unwilling to subject themselves to it, here’s how ProPublica describes the recording (from The Texas Tribune because ProPublica’s server is overwhelmed):

The desperate sobbing of 10 Central American children, separated from their parents one day last week by immigration authorities at the border, makes for excruciating listening. Many of them sound like they’re crying so hard they can barely breathe. They scream “Mami” and “Papá” over and over again, as if those are the only words they know.

The baritone voice of a Border Patrol agent booms above the crying. “Well, we have an orchestra here,” he jokes. “What’s missing is a conductor.”

Then a distraught but determined 6-year-old Salvadoran girl pleads repeatedly for someone to call her aunt. Just one call, she begs anyone who will listen. She says she’s memorized the phone number, and at one point, rattles it off to a consular representative. “My mommy says that I’ll go with my aunt,” she whimpers, “and that she’ll come to pick me up there as quickly as possible.”

An audio recording obtained by ProPublica adds real-life sounds of suffering to a contentious policy debate that has so far been short on input from those with the most at stake: immigrant children. More than 2,300 of them have been separated from their parents since April, when the Trump administration launched its “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which calls for prosecuting all people who attempt to illegally enter the country and taking away the children they brought with them. More than 100 of those children are under the age of 4. The children are initially held in warehouses, tents or big box stores that have been converted into Border Patrol detention facilities.

Much more at the link.

Given the audio above, Secretary Nielsen is obviously a liar:

Stay angry!

Open thread.



Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing to Review the DOJ Inspector General’s Report Live Stream

Sorry I got to this a little late, but I was working on something offline. Anyhow, here is the live stream of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing to review the DOJ IG’s report. Testifying before the committee are DOJ IG Horowitz and FBI Director Wray. Things to watch for:

  1. The Republican members of the committee to hammer both Director Wray and IG Horowitz on who should be punished and why they haven’t/aren’t being punished. As well as the Republican members of the committee hammering IG Horowitz about why people connected to the Clinton’s weren’t/aren’t being prosecuted.
  2. The Democratic members of the committee inquiring about why the report doesn’t deal with the reported in the IG report significant anti-Clinton bias and leaks out of the NY Field Office of the FBI during the campaign. Senators Feinstein has already been all over this and Senator Leahy is now asking Director Wray about it.

Open thread!



Late Night Open Thread: Missouri (Travelling) Man

I’m a bad person. I envisioned an officeful of white supremacists, every one holding a coffee mug imprinted YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE CRAZY TO WORK HERE – BUT IT HELPS!!!…

[Taylor] Wilson, a Missouri man who lives with his parents, boarded a cross-country Amtrak train in October with a backpack full of weapons and a plan to run the train off the tracks. While passing through rural Nebraska, Wilson allegedly pulled the train’s emergency brake, leaving it stranded on the tracks at 2 a.m.

While Amtrak staff swept the train, Wilson allegedly burst into the control room and took a place in the engineer’s seat, where a staffer found him “playing with the controls.”

“What are you going to do, shoot me?” Wilson allegedly asked the Amtrak staff who confronted him. “I’m the conductor, bitch.”

Amtrak staff pinned Wilson to the floor, while Wilson reached for the waistband of his pants, according to the criminal complaint. Police took more than an hour to respond to the rural scene. When deputies searched Wilson, he attempted to claim a bulge in his pocket was “my dick,” according to a criminal complaint. The bulge was actually one of two fully loaded guns Wilson was carrying on him, one of which was in the waistband he’d allegedly attempted to reach during the struggle…

One of Wilson’s associates told investigators that Wilson had been acting strangely since at least June, after joining an “’alt right’ Neo-Nazi group that he had found researching white supremacy forums online,” according to the criminal complaint. The associate told police that Wilson had expressed an interest in “killing black people” and had claimed to have been part of a group that pasted “Whites Only” signs in local businesses.

In August 2017, Wilson had marched at Unite the Right, a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Wilson was also involved in a road rage incident in May 2016, during which he allegedly pulled a gun on a black woman, according to the criminal complaint…

Yes, this guy obvs needs therapeutic assistance, but he also needs to be in a situation with more supervision than his parents seem capable of.



Breaking: Paul Manafort’s Bail is Revoked and He is Sent to Jail Pre Trial

Ali Velshi has the details:

From The New York Times:

A federal judge revoked Paul Manafort’s bail and sent him to jail on Friday to await trial, citing new charges that Mr. Manafort had tried to influence the testimony of two of the government’s witnesses after he had been granted bail.

Gonna be a long Friday as we wait to see if a Cohenoscopy has been scheduled for today.

Open thread!



America is Not a Theocracy and Attorney General Sessions and The White House Press Secretary Don’t Know Anything About the Bible

As BettyC mentioned earlier, both Attorney General Sessions and Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, decided to take their religion out and wave it around in everyone’s faces today. This was done to justify the change in policy that the President, via Attorney General Sessions, made in 2017 that children will be separated from their parents if they either present themselves for asylum or enter the US without documentation. The White House Press Secretary defaulted to the more generic argument that throughout the Bible it is asserted that laws should be followed.  The Attorney General decided to (mis)apply Romans 13 to justify the unjustifiable.

Pat Robertson’s pet Trump spirituality translator for evangelical Christians, David Brody, was dispatched to provide support.

Given that Jeff Sessions is a small minded, racist, bigoted, homophobic, xenophobic, unreconstructed Confederate, and anyone who is trying t0 profit off of conning evangelical Christians into believing that the President is both a man of devout faith and a tool of the Lord, probably isn’t much better, it should be no surprise that they went with the favorite biblical exhortation of those who were pro-slavery prior to the Civil War.

Fortunately the Bible provides believers with very, very specific instructions about how to treat strangers.

Mentioned no fewer than 36 times throughout Scripture, the Torah’s exhortations on the treatment of the stranger often appear with a companion explanation: Heed the stranger’s treatment because “you know the feelings of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 23:9).

And the over thirty-six commandments (yep, there are more than 10…) about how to treat strangers bears directly on the immigration debates in the US in 2018. Especially for those like the Attorney General, David Brody, and the White House Press Secretary who cite scripture to cover their wickedness. (emphasis mine below)

In his just published book, Justice for All: How the Jewish Bible Revolutionized Ethics, biblical scholar Jeremiah Unterman writes that “…it is startling that the legal portions of the Torah contain more than fifty references to the resident stranger….”

Unterman examines the multitude of general admonitions not to harm the stranger, along with the positive exhortations to provide the stranger with basic food and clothing, with prompt payment of wages, and with legal justice. He points out that quite a few of these verses about the treatment of the stranger are juxtaposed with statements about God. The Torah understands the care of the stranger as imitatio dei, the imitation of God through the observance of the commandments. Unterman sees this as part of the ethical revolution of the Bible and notes that “nowhere in the ancient world is such a divine concern for the alien evinced.” He concludes with a most timely reminder that these laws should serve “to eliminate any shred of xenophobia.”

A striking phrase courses through the laws of the stranger that provides another powerful motivation for fulfilling these commandments ⏤ that appeals to believers and unbelievers alike:

“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt”(Ex.22:20).

“You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the soul of the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Ex.23:9).

“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Lev.19:34).

“You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deut.10:19)

“You shall not hate an Egyptian, for you were stranger in his land” (Deut.23:8).

“Always remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore do I enjoin you to observe this commandment” (Deut. 24:22)

So what does this all really mean. What exactly is a stranger? There are two types and they’re both protected by over fifty biblical commandments (emphasis mine below):

Ancient Israel was acquainted with two classes of strangers, resident aliens and foreigners who considered their sojourn in the land more or less temporary. The latter were referred to as zarim (זָרִים) or nokhrim (נָכְרִים), terms generally applied to anyone outside the circle the writer had in view (e.g., Ex. 21:8; 29:33). They retained their ties to their original home and sought to maintain their former political or social status. On occasion they came as invaders (II Sam. 22:45–46; Obad. 11). More often they entered the land in the pursuit of trade and other commercial ventures. The usual laws were not applicable to them, and they were protected by folk traditions concerning the proper treatment of strangers (cf. Job 31:32) and by special conventions resulting from contractual arrangements between the Israelites and their neighbors (cf. I Kings 20:34). In the legislation of Deuteronomy, an Israelite may charge a foreigner usury though he may not do so to a fellow Israelite (Deut. 23:21), and the septennial remission of debts does not apply to the debts of foreigners (Deut. 15:3). On the other hand, barred from the cult (Ex. 12:43), the foreigner was also not bound by the ritual laws, and it was permissible to sell him animals that had died a natural death (Deut. 14:21). The fact that Deuteronomy includes a special prohibition against foreigners’ ascending the throne (Deut. 17:15) and that Solomon specifically requested that God listen to their prayers (I Kings 8:41) may indicate the important position some foreigners occupied during the age of the monarchy.

In contrast with the foreigner, the ger (גֵּר), the resident alien, lived more or less permanently in his adopted community. Like the Arabic jār, he was “the protected stranger,” who was totally dependent on his patrons for his well-being. As W.R. Smith noted, his status was an extension of that of the guest, whose person was inviolable, though he could not enjoy all the privileges of the native. He, in turn, was expected to be loyal to his protectors (Gen. 21:23) and to be bound by their laws (Num. 15:15–16).

Since all of the landed property belonged to Israelites (cf. Lev. 25:23–24), the gerim were largely day laborers and artisans (Deut. 24: 14–15; cf. 29:10). Both the Book of the Covenant which classed them among those who were dependent (Ex. 23:12) and the Decaloguewhich referred to them as “your stranger” (gerkha; Ex. 20:10; cf. Deut. 5:14) attest their inferior position in Israelite society. While a few acquired wealth (cf. Lev. 25:47), most of them were poor and were treated as the impoverished natives. Thus, they were permitted to share in the fallen fruit in the vineyard (Lev. 19:10), the edges of the field, and the gleanings of the harvest (Lev. 23:22; see also Poor, Provisions *for). Like the other poor folk they were also granted a share in the tithe of the third year (Deut. 14:29) and the produce of the Sabbatical Year (Lev. 25:6).

Since the foreigners’ defenselessness made them vulnerable, the Israelites were frequently reminded of God’s special concern for the weak (Ex. 22:21–22; cf. Deut. 10:17–19) and were enjoined not to molest them (Ex. 22:20; cf. Jer. 7:6). They were not to be abused (Deut. 24:14) and were to receive equal treatment before the law (Deut. 1:16; cf. 24:17; 27:19). In case of accidental homicide, the cities of refuge were open to them as well (Num. 35:15), for there was to be “one standard for stranger and citizen alike” (Lev. 24:22). Moreover, the Israelites were enjoined to be especially solicitous of the welfare of the ger and to befriend him as one of their own, since they could recall the sufferings of their own people in the land of Egypt (Lev. 19:34; cf. Deut. 10:19).

It is a sad statement on the character of the Attorney General, David Brody, and the White House Press Secretary that the Bronze Age, tribal religion that forms the foundation for their own spiritual belief were far more evolved and far more humane than these three degenerate examples of the American conservative movement, conservative Christianity, and the Republican Party in 2018.

Stay angry!

Open thread!



America’s Internment Camps for Undocumented Minors

(Figure 1: One of the murals at the Brownsville Detention Center for Undocumented Minors)

MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff was given access to the Brownsville, Texas center for detained undocumented children. Here’s what he found:

Remember, undocumented entry into the US is a misdemeanor that carries a civil penalty of a fine and/or no more than six months incarceration for a first offense.

History will not remember us kindly.

Updated at 10:25 PM EDT:

The Families Belong Together group has organized rallies tomorrow. For more information click here.

Also, call your senators!

Open thread!