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April 08, 2019

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Cruelty and sadism all the way down in every aspect of this monstrosity.

It will be avenged.

The shttiest part is the accompanying stupidity. Can't we have competent totalitarians? This is the United States of America, after all!!!

U.S. Secret Service Director out too.

The entire American domestic security apparatus is being purged and retooled, not to protect Americans or the country, but to protect one corrupt, tax-evading, traitorous, fingerfucking lout and his criminal family and inner circle, and to persecute and hunt down his enemies.

The Republican Party must be destroyed and made illegal on American soil.

All else is blithering inaction.


The shttiest part is the accompanying stupidity.

No, I'm pretty sure the cruelty is the worst part.

It will be avenged.

Not soon or thoroughly enough.

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2019/04/trumps-dhs-get-even-authoritarian-racist

What are the few remaining sane republicans going to do about this. Move soon and decisively or it will taken out of your hands, which are good for little else but counting your fucking tax cuts, and the ruthlessness that is required to purge this country of its fascist element will be turned on you as well.

These filth can't wait for the coming Civil War:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2019/04/anti-anti-trump-vote

Good heavens, I've just read this prophetic quotation from Walt Whitman in the New York Review of Books, in a piece about Walt Whitman and his faithful chronicler:

America must welcome all—Chinese, Irish, German, pauper or not, criminal or not—all, all, without exceptions: become an asylum for all who choose to come. We may have drifted away from this principle temporarily but time will bring us back. The tide may rise and rise again and still again and again after that, but at last there is an ebb—the low water comes at last. Think of it—think of it: how little of the land of the United States is cultivated—how much of it is still utterly untilled. When you go West you sometimes travel whole days at lightning speed across vast spaces where not an acre is plowed, not a tree is touched, not a sign of a house is anywhere detected. America is not for special types, for the caste, but for the great mass of people—the vast, surging, hopeful, army of workers. Dare we deny them a home—close the doors in their face—take possession of all and fence it in and then sit down satisfied with our system—convinced that we have solved our problem? I for my part refuse to connect America with such a failure—such a tragedy, for tragedy it would be.

America has its purpose: it must serve that purpose to the end: I look upon the future as certain: our people will in the end read all these lessons right: America will stand opposed to everything which means restriction—stand against all policies of exclusion: accept Irish, Chinese—knowing it must not question the logic of its hospitality.

I look ahead seeing for America a bad day—a dark if not stormy day—in which this policy, this restriction, this attempt to draw a line against free speech, free printing, free assembly, will become a weapon of menace to our future.

I anticipate the day when some wise man will start out to argue that two and two are not four but five or something else: history proving that two and two couldn’t be four: and probability, too: yes, more than that, the wise man will prove it out of his own consciousness—prove it for somebody—for a few: they will believe in him—a body of disciples will believe: then, presto! you have a new religion!

This is the link, but I am suddenly overcome by very strange deja vu, I wonder whether someone here quoted this recently?

Anyway, admittedly more of America is tilled and cultivated than it was in Whitman's day, but still, this seems eerily prescient...

John Thullen's Campos piece from LGM is interesting, depressing, and probably a pretty accurate (at least partial) explanation from the "semi-sane" right for why Trump's approval ratings stubbornly refuse to drop below 40%. Goddamn.

If this descent into madness keeps up, that whole 'Russhier' thing will be nothing but a distant memory.

We ain't seen nothin' yet.

Yes Trump is a bad guy. He’s personally corrupt. He sexually assaults women, or at least boasts of doing so. He says racist inflammatory stuff. All that is bad. But all this has been established, over and over again. Harping on it serves no purpose except to make people who hold their noses and support Trump anyway feel as if they’re being told they’re bad persons for doing so. And that makes people dig in and support him all the more.

Is that a suggestion that if we all stopped telling the ugly truth about Trump, 'people' would stop supporting him? If so, I don't believe it.

"Is that a suggestion that if we all stopped telling the ugly truth about Trump, 'people' would stop supporting him?"

I wouldnt think so, but it is a valid question as to how much time should be spent on it vs. more positive messages that put the alternatives in stark relief.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/04/donald-trump-is-tired-of-following-the-law/

When we see his tax returns and the Mueller report in full, we'll
learn that he has never followed the law, except where it says feel free to be a predator unto your fellow man and woman.

This is precisely the crux of what garnered his stolen election, the conservative corrupt life ethic of getting rid of laws inconvenient to them and breaking the laws that are left for the rest of us.

This will not stand.

this seems eerily prescient...

Funny, that.

Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.

Lincoln, from his Cooper Union address, on the topic of Mitch McConnell.

In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, "Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!"

Ibid, on the topic of Trump supporters.

SSDD. This is not a new conversation we're having.

it is a valid question as to how much time should be spent on it vs. more positive messages that put the alternatives in stark relief.

Should we wrap it up in ribbons, too, and deliver it with a long-stemmed rose and a box of chocolates?

Trump is a crook and a scoundrel, and he is destroying the basic norms and traditions that make it possible for people with widely divergent points of view to live together peaceably in the same polity.

The single most consistent motivation cited by people who voted for Trump was their desire to send somebody to DC who would break shit.

Mission accomplished.

There is a tactical, pragmatic motivation for not calling people out for their irresponsibility and general callous disregard for anything other than their sense of resentment and anger.

But this isn't just about Trump and what a dick he is. It's about the policies that he champions, and the animosity and malice that motivates them, and the deep resonance that that animosity and malice finds in his supporters.

There isn't a way to talk about any of this stuff without addressing that. That is the sticking point.

People don't want to feel like they are bad people for embracing hateful and malicious attitudes and policies. And somehow it is the responsibility of people like me to somehow thread the needle and address all of the bile without hurting their feelings or offending them.

I don't know how to do that. I'm not a therapist, I'm not a saint, I'm not a freaking buddha. It is well beyond me.

So I just don't talk to them.

Ask somebody else to do it, I got too much else on my plate.

it is a valid question as to how much time should be spent on it vs. more positive messages that put the alternatives in stark relief.

Tell us Marty, what if anything might persuade you to vote D in the next presidential election? A positive message about the wonders of the D candidate (pick anyone from the field)? Or the horrors of another term of Trump?

As an aside, stuff like this makes me nuts.

The headline:

Authoritarianism has reemerged as the greatest threat to the liberal democratic world — a profound ideological, as well as strategic, challenge. And we have no idea how to confront it.

We actually do know how to confront it. Go to war, kill the bastards until they give up, and then hang their leaders.

So let's not go there.

All you jerks with 20 AR-15's and 10 years supply of Spam down in the basement, dreaming of the day that you can kill some libs, take note.

We actually do know how to confront it. Go to war, kill the bastards until they give up, and then hang their leaders.

So let's not go there.

Despite Kagan's history, I found that essay to be very good, except where Kagan misrepresents the role of some of our foreign policy villains (that were his allies).

No, "we" don't know how to confront authoritarianism. Our parents did. "We" haven't yet unseated the authoritarians who occupy the seat of power in our own country. This time, "we" don't have a government to organize our war. "We" aren't going to do it without a government.

So let's not go there? Should we go there if we could? I was talking to someone a year or so ago, who suggested that losing all of those lives fighting WWII may not have actually been worth it, because things may have worked themselves out after awhile anyway. I have an aversion to considering that possibility, much less believing it. But that's actually close to where we find ourselves.

I hate the people who are occupying our government, and deny their legitimacy. I hope that we can organize their departure peacefully. I wish I didn't have such strong doubts that we can. And if we can't, we have no idea what to do, or how far these ongoing atrocities will go.

Two years ago I thought noting the United States might put up a sort of reverse Berlin Wall on the border where machine gun nests were set to shoot anyone crossing the border on sight was (kind of) an absurd illustration of Trump's approach to the border. Not so sure anymore.

Did you catch the detail that Kirstjen Nielsen apparently bought herself some additional time in office (whether consciously or just dumb luck I hesitate to guess) because of the border patrol guys teargassing asylum speakers? Apparently Trump loved it.

It's not so much the cruelty, despicable as that is. It's the petty cruelty that Trump, Miller, et al. seem to revel in.

But this isn't just about Trump and what a dick he is. It's about the policies that he champions, and the animosity and malice that motivates them, and the deep resonance that that animosity and malice finds in his supporters.

There isn't a way to talk about any of this stuff without addressing that. That is the sticking point.

It seems possible to talk about Trump's policies, their effects (especially on the folks who voted for him), and what different policies should be. Without wasting any bandwidth on the animosity and malice that motivates them. Let alone what that says about his supporters. Don't tell them the policies are cruel; point out that they are ineffective, counterproductive even.

If his supporters manage to work thru what supporting him says about them, fine. But no need to shove their noses in it. At least not until he's out.

If I were the target of either the oft repeated, to the point of blah blah blah, Trump is a crook, then nothing is worth discussing.

I know hes an asshole and a racist, hes a crook just like Hillarys a crook. The only reason to say that over and over is because you have nothing else to offer. But, just like Trumps supporters who filled my social media decrying those lying liberals who made up the whole Russia thing and sold it to the rubes because they couldn't stand to lose to Trump, let a negative quote come from somewhere in the 400 pages and my social media will be filled with hes a crook, I told you so, see he fooled the rubes. I hope you feel better when you get to say it.

At this point I just hate everybody.

There is a second half to that first paragraph, but who really cares?

Obama suffered, with grace and class, the indignity of unyielding GOP full out obstructionist opposition for over 7 years. He just never got it. Institutionally, the Republican Party is a radical take-no-prisoners force that can brook no compromise.

He should have appointed Merrick Garland as an "interim justice" and told McConnell to go fuck himself.

We are nearing a boiling point similar to 1859. It's time to take sides.


But no need to shove their noses in it.

This statement betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of how politics works.

We are nearing a boiling point similar to 1859. It's time to take sides.

I think this is true.

I'm not cheering on a civil war by any means, because I don't think we're in a particularly strong position to do anything but ending up looking like Syria. But I don't know how much longer we can sit around and smile while these people become more and more blatant.

The only reason to say that over and over is because you have nothing else to offer.

Bollocks.

I've been hanging out here for, what, over a decade now. In all that time, I have made no constructive comment or suggestion.

All I have ever said is Trump sucks.

WTF. Seriously, screw it.

What are you bringing besides "Yeah, but Hilary..."? That, and tax cuts. You love freaking tax cuts.

It seems possible to talk about Trump's policies, their effects (especially on the folks who voted for him), and what different policies should be.

Fine, let's do it.

Immigration: people are coming here because they are freaking desperate and the odds of traveling 1000 miles with no guarantees about anything look better than staying home. A wall isn't gonna make a difference. There are already physical barriers in most of the places that aren't forbiddingly difficult for reasons of natural geography.

There is a near-term "emergency" in the sense of a big surge in people coming to apply for asylum. The right to request asylum is profoundly valuable, so we don't want to throw that out the window. Instead, we need to gear up with temporary housing for the folks who are coming, and staff up to deal with the legal review. It's possible that a lot of those people have a legitimate claim, so we need to prepare for that. Mostly we should see what we can do to mitigate whatever is making it worth their while to run away from wherever they are coming from.

Foreign policy: our nearest natural allies are the liberal democracies of Europe. Let's not treat them like shit. Let's be frank about what our interest are, and who most naturally aligns with our national interests. Let's quit picking fights we don't actually want to, and can't afford to, get involved in.

Economy: we're not going to build a healthy nation on a gig economy. We need to invest in infrastructure, education, and strategic investments in critical technology and forward-looking industries. Start with treating broadband like a common carrier, so that rural communities can have a shot at the future. I'm not talking about "make the farmers write code", I'm talking about let rural communities have access.

I could go on for days. I have gone on for days, and weeks, and years.

It's not just Trump, (R) policies are harmful, and have been so for the last 40 years. Productivity has skyrocketed, wages and compensation have not. That is the American story of the last 40 years.

Productivity has skyrocketed, wages and compensation have not. Productivity has skyrocketed, wages and compensation have not. Productivity has skyrocketed, wages and compensation have not. Productivity has skyrocketed, wages and compensation have not. Productivity has skyrocketed, wages and compensation have not.

Got it? Is my point clear?

Capital investors have taken the difference and put it in their own pockets. It's breaking the freaking nation.

This is usually when McK, or Marty, or somebody weighs in to say I'm picking on the rich. By some measure, I am, personally, wealthy. By household wealth and income, I am modestly wealthy. What that means, in practical terms, is that my wife and I will not have to eat cat food to outlive our 401ks.

Lucky lucky us.

I don't hate the rich. I'm not picking on the rich. I don't give a crap if people have a lot of money. To pull a name out of a hat, I think Warren Buffet is kind of a national treasure.

Because he does his homework, engages in honest research, directs people's capital to value-creating businesses, and in the process makes a thousand flowers grow.

That's how it is supposed to work.

That's not the norm anymore. And it's f'd up.

You show me one Trumpie who is interested in discussing any of this stuff on the merits.

Find me one.

I don't know how much longer we can sit around and smile while these people become more and more blatant.

My only real suggestion is this:

Get in their fucking way. Make it as difficult for them to act out their malicious agenda as you can.

Get in their way, in whatever way shape or form is available to you.

Your vote, your money, your time, your body. Whatever you can afford.

Get in their way.

But no need to shove their noses in it.

This statement betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of how politics works.

I can think of no significant progress that has been made in this country, in any useful area or direction, that has not involved the shoving of noses in something or other.

Not one.

Can anybody else?

And in most cases, "shoving their noses in it" has usually involved inconvenience TO THE PARTY DOING THE SHOVING ranging from opprobrium to assassination.

To be honest, all of that makes "harping on it" seem like kinda small beer.

Upthread I talked about war, and hanging their leaders. sapient noted that our parents did that, we did not.

Our parents did not do that to the fascists in their own country, only in other countries. Prior to our entry into WWII, Nazism, literally, was quite popular in this country. Likewise the Klan, likewise the Birchers, likewise any number of paranoid racist knothead fever dreams. No small number of our moms and dads were among them.

I know some of the generation or two before me in my own family were.

What changed all of that, to the degree that it was changed at all, was not going to war. It was people taking the brunt of that on themselves, until the freaking insanity of that kind of hatred became, at least, socially unacceptable.

Embarrassment for the haters on the one hand, on the other hand bombs, assassinations, systematic violence at the hands of the police and vigilantes.

That is what I, personally, see in our future. People I know, possibly including myself, are going to have to take fucking beatings before these Trumpie clowns figure this shit out.

That pisses me the hell off. I wish they'd just get over their stupid resentment and decide to join the human race.

But if that's what it takes, so be it.

Gee, why can't we all just talk nicely to the Trumpies? Because that isn't gonna get it done. They are committed to this bullshit.

People are probably gonna get shot before this crap ends. And people I love are going to be the ones getting shot.

Because they will actually put themselves in the damned way.

Show me the Trumpie who'll do that.

russell at 10:45: you're right.

The only actual people I know committed to violence are on this blog, and that includes all the Trumpies on my social media. Not one of them talks about a civil war, not one talks about hurting the people who disagree with them, not one talks about who's going to get shot.

The gig economy is a liberal creation, everyone just does what they want while the government provides the necessities. Everyone gets a job they love, doesnt matter how much money it pays. Do something you love and you never have to work a day in your life.

3.8% unemployment, wages rising, everything you complain about improving, so yeah, I'll take tax cuts to extend that.

Obamacare failing, as planned by the Dems not the GOP. No Democrat is talking about how great it is, they are all running on repeal and replace.

The head of NATO is glad they are finally getting the money they are supposed to while Jamie Dimon, Clinton devotee and Obama friend says the trade skirmish is necessary and dont back down.

This is how shit works. Some stupid stuff some ok stuff.

The actual border issue is caused by Democrats making it clear to a whole industry of smugglers that now the border is open. As long as you have a child you get in so now they come by the tens of thousands, everyone with a child. Not even counting the unaccompanied children. Never have so many parents placed their children in so much danger.

An economic boon for smugglers and a humanitarian crisis stoked by Democrats.

Two months ago there was no crisis, Trump was just making it up to get his wall. Now everyone agrees there is a crisis, its all bullshit.

As I suspected there hasnt been a nuclear war, but Canada, France and Britain have pretty unpopular leaders, who should we be naturally aligning with this week?

Whst are you actually going to get in the way of? Mitch McConnell eating dinner?

Do you want something to worry about, really? Worry about the whole management structure of DHS plus the head of the secret service being replaced overnight. That is Trump creating his own personal defense force. Then sort out whether that's a purely defensive action based on the kind of threats in this blog, or if there is a next show. In the meantime it would be worthwhile not being distracted by those tax cuts.


Hilary was not a crook. She was an R-lite pol with inept campaign instincts but not in any sense a crook.

I waiver between thinking that Trump supporters are as hopelessly corrupt as he is and remembering that some are not. The Republicans in Congress are of course every bit as bad as Trump.

But there are voters who voted for Trump but who are not irredeemably awful people. Xochitl Torres Small won a plus ten Trump red district and she did it running on Dem positions on the issues. (tho she is not Dem on gun control). She did it by talking about bread and butter issues but presenting as a familiar and relatable figure and by being nice to everyone.

Trump voters and Republican voters in general exhibit a pattern of failing basic citizenship one oh one, but and also have shown that they are when it comes to politics both selfish and snobbish but some maybe only three or four percent are reachable on practical application of policy to their lives.

They suck tho when it comes to things like rule of law or principles of the Constitution or giving a shit about anyone but themselves.

BTW the threats of violence from the right are commonplace. Even my neighbor down the street, a Christian and retired businessman has posted several time son FB the rightwing line about needing a civil war to protect America from, well from other Americans. It is an natural consequence of Repubican rhetoric, the claim the Republican party has been making as their primary appeal: that they are the only real true Americans and are defending the real true American values etc etc etc. R base voters actually believe that shit. That's why I think it is wrong to call them racists. They are not that narrowly focused. They despise and disrespect and dislike every one, all of us, all the rest of America.

But there are voters who voted for Trump but who are not irredeemably awful people.

Could that be the ten percent of the voters who voted for Obama in his last general election? Or the twelve percent of Bernie Bros who voted for him in the primary? :)

we need to gear up with temporary housing for the folks who are coming, and staff up to deal with the legal review.

That, and reinstate aid to the countries they are fleeing. Better yet, ramp up the programs there which have been making a difference.

As with a lot of the problems Trump is on about, there are often quite obvious solutions. Just not the ones he is pushing. As a first approximation, do the opposite of Trump's prescription, plus a few other obvious bits. (How hard is it to figure out that the way to address backlogged asylum courts is to add more immigration judges? Well, easy to see if one is not a politician.)

The actual border issue is caused by Democrats making it clear to a whole industry of smugglers that now the border is open.

The thinking behind that, with a Republican administration in power, is so effed up that there is no engaging with it.

"The better strategy would be to hand the asylum seekers work permits right away—not 180 days later—and release them with the proviso that if they don't return for their hearing, they'd lose their visas. But if they do return, their visas would be renewed until the next hearing, and so on, until their cases are settled. It takes two years for the asylum process to play out right now, but so long as migrants keep showing up, even if takes longer to thoroughly investigate their situations, it wouldn't matter. At the end of it, if their petition is denied, they'll be deported, just as they are right now. But at least in the interim their upkeep wouldn't be taxpayers' headache."
A Costless and Humane Fix to the Border Crisis: Give the asylum seekers work visas, but attach a condition.

The gig economy is a liberal creation, everyone just does what they want while the government provides the necessities.

The actual border issue is caused by Democrats making it clear to a whole industry of smugglers that now the border is open.

I have been telling you people for years now: water runs uphill on Marty's planet.

Marty doesn't hear anybody calling for violence in his FB feed, he says. Yeah, right. Killed any Supremes recently, Marty?

Enough with this crap about "threading needles" or "talking positively" to Trumpies and Trumpettes. Like Marty, they'll be goddamned if they'll vote for any Democrat for president. Not even if fucking Putin was the GOP nominee. They're a lost cause.

"Ah, but think of the swing voters", I hear you cry? Well, I do think of them. And I wonder how the hell Democrats at any level can promise them any sort of "results" without first getting He, Trump booted out of the White House. If "swing voters" fall for the notion that Democratic policies can be enacted while He, Trump wields His veto Sharpie and Mitch McConnell wields the filibuster if not the Majority, then those "swing voters" are not just fickle; they're also stupid. But of course "swing voters" are basically people who generally vote Republican given the slightest pretext -- such as anybody saying nasty things about Dear Leader.

If there's hope, it lies with the Yutes. ("Did you say 'Yutes'?" "Sorry, your honor. Youththths.) Plenty of them are gun-totin' bible-thumpin' racists who think they're capitalists despite working part-time gigs to pay the rent or living with their parents, but more of them are NOT. The Yutes will inherit the world anyway; might as well try to mobilize them by explaining that they can't have nice things if they let the Trumpies outvote them.

Oh, BTW: if you have to work for a living, you are part of the "working class". Democrats don't emphasize that enough, possibly because they're afraid "swing-voting" lawyers and doctors and such would be offended.

Also, tax cuts: I've been saying for years that Democrats ought to have been proposing huge (YUGE!!) tax cuts for the "working class" and dared McConnell to filibuster them or Dubya (once upon a time) and He, Trump (nowadays) to veto them. People who can do arithmetic know that it's the deficit spending, not the particular form of taxation that caused the deficit, which "stimulates The Economy". But "swing voters" always loves them some tax cuts, so show them who actually stands in the way of tax cuts for them. When you don't have the power to deliver, at least put on a good show.

--TP

Also, tax cuts: I've been saying for years that Democrats ought to have been proposing huge (YUGE!!) tax cuts for the "working class" and dared McConnell to filibuster them or Dubya (once upon a time) and He, Trump (nowadays) to veto them.

A couple of the candidates for the nomination appear to have figured this one out.

This is out of control stuff...

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/08/politics/trump-family-separation-el-paso-kirstjen-nielsen/

According to multiple sources, the President wanted families separated even if they came in at a legal port of entry and were legal asylum seekers. The President wanted families separated even if they were apprehended within the US. He thinks the separations work to deter migrants from coming.
Sources told CNN that Nielsen tried to explain they could not bring the policy back because of court challenges, and White House staffers tried to explain it would be an unmitigated PR disaster.
"He just wants to separate families," said a senior administration official.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's ouster exposes Trump's immigration crisis
Last night, on the second floor of the East Wing of the White House residence -- in a room called the yellow oval -- Nielsen, Mulvaney and the President met. Nielsen tried to present a path forward that was legal and in compliance with US laws but the President said to her, "This isn't working." And Nielsen did not disagree.

"At the end of the day," a senior administration official said, "the President refuses to understand that the Department of Homeland Security is constrained by the laws."

Do you want something to worry about, really? Worry about the whole management structure of DHS plus the head of the secret service being replaced overnight. That is Trump creating his own personal defense force. Then sort out whether that's a purely defensive action based on the kind of threats in this blog

Yes, he is an authoritarian thug who is laying plans to hold power by force.

But it's all because people like me made him do it.

He was driven to it by our "coexist" bumper stickers and our rainbow flags.

Seriously, I don't know if you get how crazy that is. Nobody made him do any of that. It's what he ran on and what he wants.

If and when he does put his "purely defensive" in place, your social media pals are probably not gonna do bugger all about it. If anyone does actually put their asses in the way of it, it will most likely be people I know and love.

Mitch McConnell's dinner plans, however, are safe.

Sorry to make what Basil Fawlty would call a statement of the bleedin' obvious, (hereinafter referred to as SOBO), but once again we find ourselves at an impasse, and one that simulates in miniature what is happening to America. Leaving aside extremists on either end of the spectrum – for whom, loosely speaking, people don’t matter only ideology does, whether it is the ideology of white supremacy or the ideology of destroy the rich – (and one of the many things we disagree about is what proportion of the population falls within each of those categories!) we are at the place where decent people, who (as Marty often says) want many of the same general outcomes, are unable to speak to each other. When Marty (who is self-evidently, from observation of him on this site for years, a decent guy) really, literally thinks that Hillary is as much a crook as Trump, or indeed a crook at all, and that the border issue is caused by the Democrats, and that Obama was a dictator, we are dealing with a reality distortion field that seems impossible to navigate. And obviously, he would say the same back. Since there is no longer any basis of agreed factual information, it’s hard to know how to tackle this (SOBO). As usual, I don’t disagree with a word russell says, and his choosing to mostly step back from these kinds of standoffs makes sense given realistic estimates of how much personal energy one can expend in what seems ongoing fruitless argument, but I can’t help feeling that our microcosm here is a sinister representation of the macro situation out there, and I am unwilling to believe that civil war is the only way to solve this. Surely it is not beyond the wit of humankind to come up with a solution, even on a micro-level?

Surely it is not beyond the wit of humankind to come up with a solution, even on a micro-level?

I think we plan to try voting them out in 2020. I just worry that given structural realities and election interference our odds aren't great.

As I said, a civil war would likely not result in a glorious outcome. This part of the conversation began with russell's link to Robert Kagan's article on authoritarianism, and whether we know what to do about it. I think we don't. Unless our institutions somehow carry us through (as they are themselves being destroyed), we are clueless as to what action is actually effective.

Although I'm not going to discuss commenters here, I'm no longer giving a pass to people who aren't fighting (in the political sense of that word) against what Trump is doing.

The quote: "The actual border issue is caused by Democrats making it clear to a whole industry of smugglers that now the border is open. As long as you have a child you get in so now they come by the tens of thousands, everyone with a child. Not even counting the unaccompanied children. Never have so many parents placed their children in so much danger."

People who are so blind and willfully ignorant that they aren't looking at the conditions that are causing these parents and unaccompanied minors to come to the United States are not worth any benefit of the doubt about their decency. This is how atrocities happen, not because people concerned about those atrocities are musing about how to make it stop.

Beyond some kind of hand-wavy "we all want to live in peace, we all love our children and want them to do well" airy-fairyness, we don't want the same things.

What Marty thinks is good is not what I think is good. That doesn't make Marty a bad guy, and it doesn't make me a bad guy. It just puts our goals at odds.

The solution, at both the micro and macro levels, is that nobody gets everything they want. But trying to find some "middle ground" that we can "all agree on" is a non-starter. It's not there.

My opinion.

russell, I only disagree in this sense: Marty has said he wants certain kinds of safety net, healthcare solutions etc that a) separate him from many Rs, and b) you have sometimes not completely disagreed with, it's how you get there that's the source of disagreement. It's true that you (we) think the ways he and the Rs want to get there are the reasons for many of the existing (and increasing) problems, and there's zero agreement about the way to put it right, but the actual aims seem slightly more detailed than the airy-fairyness you describe.

This is how atrocities happen, not because people concerned about those atrocities are musing about how to make it stop.

I would never want my musing about how to overcome entrenched mutually exclusive attitudes/opinions to substitute for action, whether political or otherwise. When fighting is necessary, as it sometimes is, I accept it. But I don't see how continuing to think about ways it can be avoided is a bad thing.

He's from Barcelona.

OK, let's take the vileness of Trump's character as a given. That's a pretty good reason already to vote for Not Trump, but there's much much more.

1) He's indifferent to reality. He's not interested in finding out facts, and he doesn't care about the difference between truth and falsehood. No one can make good decisions in the real world without knowing what's real.

2) He appoints bad people to work for him (it should be 'for the USA', but isn't). The one qualification is to agree with Trump and tell him how great he is. Competence is irrelevant. Awareness of reality is a negative.

3) He, with the Republican Party behind him, is against democracy.

4) His foreign policy is based on which leaders he takes a liking to. And the leaders he likes are authoritarians who butter him up.

5) Trade policy. Trade wars are stupid and damaging.

6) The border, and immigration. Trump's policy is cruel. And not fact based.

7) The climate. AGW is real. Trump wants to ignore it, and burn more coal. Because ameliorating AGW has a cost, whereas pretending AGW doesn't exist is free if you're immune to facts.

8) The economy. Contrary to popular belief, the president can usually have little effect on the economy in the short term. (He can do a lot of damage by being asleep at the wheel when something important is going wrong, like GW Bush: I can't say who would have done better, but certainly not Trump.) He can create a short-term boost with deficit spending, which is a good idea only in a crisis (Obama, not Trump), because at other times the long-term cost of the increased debt outweighs the short-term gains.

The president ought to concentrate on improving economic conditions in the medium to long term - education and infrastructure are the things to look at. Trump cares only about the short term.

9) Would you hire Trump to run your whelk stall? No, neither would anyone. So why hire him to run the country?

Pro Bono: So why hire him to run the country?

That phrasing makes a realization dawn in my head. From what I've seen of them, supporters of He, Trump really want their Dear Leader to "run the country".

Pro Bono and other sane people are perfectly aware that US presidents only run the administration, which is not even the whole of The Government.

--TP

I only disagree in this sense: Marty has said he wants certain kinds of safety net, healthcare solutions etc

I think you misunderstand what I'm after. I want the safety net to become trivial, something used by maybe 1 percent, or a half percent, of the population. In a perfect world, I'd like to see it become obsolete.

Look, Marty says this:

3.8% unemployment, wages rising, everything you complain about improving, so yeah, I'll take tax cuts to extend that

I say this. And I say this, which needs to be considered in light of
this. Also, this.

Some folks will make the point that wages don't tell the whole tale, you have to consider total comp. Unfortunately, what drives increases in total comp is largely the cost of health insurance. Both workers *and* employers are paying more and more and more, for a basic level of services. Services that are available in most of the first world as a matter of course. And it costs those socialist hell-holes less per person than we pay.

I want people who get their asses out of bed every day and go to work to be able to live on what they make, without worrying about where they're gonna get the money if they have to buy a set of tires. Let alone if they get a cancer diagnosis. That's what I want.

Marty appears to want all of the folks working in the gig economy to go get a real job. Which is, frankly, insulting to thousands if not millions of people who work their asses off every day and nonetheless live with daily financial insecurity.

So no, we don't all want the same things.

Those unemployment numbers used to be fake (according to Rump) when they were dropping under Obama. They suddenly became real when the trend continued under Rump. Funny, that.

Now Rump wants lower interest rates and, he said recently, quantitative easing (though I don't think he knows what that is - perhaps he thinks just lower interest rates?) - on top of big deficits and foolish deregulation. An economy on steroids is not sustainable, anymore than Lyle Alzado was.

Your right russell, get a f'ing job. There's 3.8% unemployment. Get a job that pays the Bill's or dont ask me to pay them.

Isn't there something paradoxical about complaining, particularly because unemployment is low, that people aren't working?

I don't know if this has occurred to you or not, but most of the people who are working in the gig economy are doing so because that's the work they can get.

That 3.8% unemployment *includes people who are working the gig economy*. Working a gig job *is working*.

Nothing says "I'm living the dream!" like driving for Uber.

SM fncking H.

The gig economy is a liberal creation, everyone just does what they want while the government provides the necessities. Everyone gets a job they love, doesnt matter how much money it pays. Do something you love and you never have to work a day in your life.

Does this include Walmart employees on food stamps? Or are they okay with you because they might be miserable, and gig-ish enough?

not gig-ish enough, that is.

Walmart employees arent the gig economy. Neither is Uber driving. And. I don't think people working three part time jobs should be counted as employed.

Right, at least on Walmart. If Uber isn't gig, I'm sure what is. But the same outcome, if you're working but not making enough to live, whether you like the work or not, and whether it's a gig or not.

What I'm getting at here is, whose creation is the Walmart-style economy? Is that the liberals' fault, too?

Why do I keep forgetting my nots? not sure!

Walmart economy is the consumers fault. Big box, low cost, low wages but it's hard to pin it on a party except the forever tension between paying fewer people a living minimum wage. GOP has come down on the no side of raising minimum wage. I personally think pros outweigh cons. But I am expected to return my car at the Walmart or any grocery because they dont have real baggers that take the groceries to your car anymore.

Neither is Uber driving.

That is an.. idiosyncratic position.

And. I don't think people working three part time jobs should be counted as employed.

There goes yer 3.8%.

The only actual people I know committed to violence are on this blog, and that includes all the Trumpies on my social media. Not one of them talks about a civil war, not one talks about hurting the people who disagree with them, not one talks about who's going to get shot.

You aren't paying attention. Go to some conservative blog. Try Volokh. I spend some time there. You'll find plenty of Trumpists suggesting violence. Then there is Robert Bowers, Cesar Sayoc, Dylann Roof, James Alex Shields and all the other "fine people" on the right who were in that march. The militia types nd those calling for "Second Amendment solutions." That you deny all this suggests that, as Tony says, you see water running uphill.

The gig economy is a liberal creation, everyone just does what they want while the government provides the necessities. Everyone gets a job they love, doesnt matter how much money it pays. Do something you love and you never have to work a day in your life.

I have no idea what this means.

Obamacare failing, as planned by the Dems not the GOP. No Democrat is talking about how great it is, they are all running on repeal and replace.

This is crazy. The Republicans have tried every way they can to sabotage Obamacare. What was the Democrats devious plan for failure? There wasn't one. And what does the GOP offer in its place? Nothing. Zip. The Republicans are simply opposed to helping people get health insurance. It's that simple. They can't admit it, so they spend years and years promising some wondrous non-existent plan, and the suckers buy it.

The head of NATO is glad they are finally getting the money they are supposed to while Jamie Dimon, Clinton devotee and Obama friend says the trade skirmish is necessary and dont back down.

Well, if Jamie Dimon says so it must be true. Is that all you got? Here is just a tiny fraction of what I've got.

The actual border issue is caused by Democrats making it clear to a whole industry of smugglers that now the border is open. As long as you have a child you get in so now they come by the tens of thousands, everyone with a child. Not even counting the unaccompanied children. Never have so many parents placed their children in so much danger.

Others have dealt with this. It's too depressing for me to even try to comment on it.

As I suspected there hasnt been a nuclear war, but Canada, France and Britain have pretty unpopular leaders, who should we be naturally aligning with this week?

Those countries, and similar ones, regardless of the popularity of their leaders. Not Russia, even though I hear Putin got a pretty big majority in the last election.

I think you misunderstand what I'm after. I want the safety net to become trivial, something used by maybe 1 percent, or a half percent, of the population. In a perfect world, I'd like to see it become obsolete.

No, I can see why you think that, but I don't. I understand what you want, and I want it too. But the thing is, I think Marty wants it too, he is just locked into an adversarial headset which means he has to blame Dem policies for why things are the way they are, and the rest of the time be in denial about what is actually happening, because conveniently enough it has suited certain factions to encourage a hatred and distrust of science and facts. And I think he and a substantial portion of the US have been lulled into believing this by Gingrich/Rove/Fox/big Oil etc etc pick a card. Now, it would be fair for you to say a) I am mind-reading Marty b) I am being condescending, and it would be understandable if Marty felt not only a) and b) but also that we liberals/lefties are locked into an adversarial headset which means we have to blame R policies (or neo-Liberal ones) for why things are the way they are, and so on ad infinitum. I think the understandable fury, frustration, worry and fear among people who think like most of us on ObWi do is leading us deeper and deeper into a dangerous swamp of monstering the other side, many of whom are far from monsters. I'm not saying you do this, russell, in fact it is a remarkable quality of yours that you mainly resist it, but this is a tendency that is being stoked, and is becoming more and more prevalent, even among fair-minded people, and I feel that no good will come of it.

Big box, low cost, low wages but it's hard to pin it on a party except the forever tension between paying fewer people a living minimum wage.

It's not hard to pin it on a party. The folks who set employment policy at WalMart decide to pay a less-than-living wage.

The "forever tension" is between earned and unearned income.

I have no idea what this means.

Likewise.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-walmart-workers/half-of-walmarts-workforce-are-part-time-workers-labor-group-idUSKCN1IQ295

https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/12/17231060/uber-drivers-freelancers-employees-judge-ruling

Marty, the one thing I don't believe I remember when you were unemployed for years because you were aged out of the management workforce (IF we are dealing with a reliable narrator) and regaling us with the depredations of Obamacare which you were forced (not) to sign up for, is anyone at OBWI, because most of the fuck you conservatives had already left the premises by the time you became a regular, is anyone saying: Stop whining and get a fucking job!

I can't be sure because that does sound like something I WOULD say to a conservative crying in his subsidized beer.

I would entertain you with the stories of my many acquaintances who live on the edge working several part-time jobs gigged or not who work their butts off with no prospect of getting ahead of the grind, but you tell us to stop citing personal anecdotes as evidence, even though you generalize your anecdotal personal experience with subsidized healthcare in Massachusetts to baseless claims that Everyone hated the arrangement.

Seriously, WHAT are you up to?


https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/30/accidents-at-amazon-workers-left-to-suffer-after-warehouse-injuries

I think the understandable fury, frustration, worry and fear among people who think like most of us on ObWi do is leading us deeper and deeper into a dangerous swamp of monstering the other side, many of whom are far from monsters.

I guess I should have made it clear that I believe this swamp was actually lovingly created and tended by the aforementioned bad actors, my point being that it takes two to tango and we are allowing ourselves to be led into the dance.

sapient: I think we plan to try voting them out in 2020. I just worry that given structural realities and election interference our odds aren't great.

I think you are underestimating Trump here. Specifically, his ability, born of a disconnect from reality, to do things which are not only ineffective when it comes to his stated goals, but which actively hurt a lot of people who voted for him. Not the true-believers, of course, but they are only part of that 40% who nominally approve of what he's been doing.

See, for example, his joining the suit against the ACA. If it succeeds, there are going to be a bunch of seriously unhappy Trump voters in deep red states. Trump might persuade them it was the Democrats' fault . . . but only if the Republicans have an actual alternative health care plan ready to bring to a vote. (Which they don't. And show no signs of getting together.)

Or consider his threat to choose the border. Senator Cornyn, and most other elected Republican officials in border states are real clear that it will cost them the election if it happens. But it will be unsurprising if Trump decides to try it anyway. Especially if he needs a distraction from his legal troubles.

And no doubt there are more bits of insanity that none of us here can imagine. Until the first tweet comes out and blindsided everyone.

I'm not saying 2020 is a foregone conclusion. Just that I think the prospects, even for taking control of the Senate, are pretty good.

it takes two to tango and we are allowing ourselves to be led into the dance.

This isn't a tango. I'm not calling Marty a bad guy, and I'm not monstering anybody. Anybody getting monstered is doing the monstering to their own selves, I have nothing to do with it. I kinda wish they'd cut it out.

Trump ran a toxic, malicious campaign that stoked and fed on the resentment of a hell of a lot of people. That's still his go-to M.O., and it still works. People voted for him for all kinds of reasons, and most of those reasons suck from my point of view. There is no path to a dialog, at least with me, that doesn't require addressing those reasons and all of my reasons for thinking that they suck.

Most Trump supporters aren't interested in that, so the dialog doesn't happen. Most people in general, see also Marty, aren't interested in that conversation, so the dialog doesn't happen.

So, the dialog doesn't happen.

I guess the "dialog" could consist of me, and people like me, making nice about all of this crap, but that's a pretty damned big ask.

So, the dialog doesn't happen.

The amount of sheer uphill labor it takes to even get to a basic agreement on simple terms - gee, are part time workers in the labor force? How about if they work 50 or 60 hours a week, just in multiple part time jobs? Is driving for Uber a gig job? - is exhausting. All of that is before you even get into questions of what's good or bad.

There are probably some sensible moderate folks out there who can engage with all of this in a constructive way. I'm happy to hand the torch over to them.

"Walmart economy is the consumers' fault"

So was the electric light.

What you describe was Sam Walton's business plan which I believe he said in just as many words and added the delightful touch of calling his underpaid employees ....... some of whom he put out their self made businesses down the street, but who remain consumers to the last ..... "associates", which sounded better than "consumers by any other name" or the more directly accurate "fuckees", but without the fellowship.

I pump my own gas. And quite frankly, I don't get why I need all of these other overpaid interlopers on up the line to explore and frack the oil out of the ground, send it thru pipelines to be refined by human overhead and then advertised by overpaid liars who tout the additives in each brand which all came out of the same tap anyway, like shampoo, wine, and skin lotion.

I can do all of that for myself too as Thomas Jefferson aspired for us, including the friends with benefits among my non-paid labor. And I will not pay myself even a minimum wage and I'll damped well like it and be thankful to have the work.

Americans are so confused about their relative but simultaneous roles as employees/workers, owners, consumers/shoppers, taxpayers, voters, not to mention self-styled noble human beings that we no longer know which way is up in this huge pile of horseshit we tunnel in around like dung beetles and call the American way.

If you want to get an earful of neo-Marxist critique about late modern capitalism and its depredations, haul on over to the The American Conservative.

It's quite something.

I've been called a commie for years for holding the same views. Now I've been downgraded to Stalinist SJW for getting there first.

Not relevant but just as insane, one of their contributors wrote this load of crap the other day: "If we want fewer racists and incels, we need to build a society in which men can again flourish", and a commenter on the thread added "when men give way to women, we will end up with the exact opposite", to which I wrote, and was summarily refused publishing, first , explain the 236 years of manly racist, anti-woman, anti-gay history in this country in which all manly men were racists and incels, with some notable exceptions, and second if you want fewer of those ilk, be real men and physically kick their faces in every time they raise their pathetic, wanker voices.


We wanted an adversary economy and society, red in tooth and claw, creatively destroying and we've achieved it.

Time to stop, assholes.

It's the fault of the poor people who shop at Walmart that the people who work at Walmart are poor. And that the local mom-and-pop shops got put out of business. And that Walmart got tax abatements.

I guess the "dialog" could consist of me, and people like me, making nice about all of this crap, but that's a pretty damned big ask

Certainly not what I'm asking. Seeing through the way we are manipulated into internecine warfare, and how that perpetuates our problems, is not the same as making nice. And if we have reached a point when you, russell, think I am accusing you of monstering anyone, then I had better STFU (I can see I spoke loosely when I said you "mainly" resisted it). Nothing could be further from my intention.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/turbotax-congress-ban-irs-free-tax-filing-service

I'm sitting here on my iPad while not 15 feet away my entire extended family, including my brother's stepsons have been arguing for two days about, first, paying their fucking taxes, but second, whether or not to use TurboTax to do it, but no, by God, we have to pay as consumers to use Turbotax so we aren't going to do THAT, that costs money, so we'll just wing it and blame the gummint when we fuck up our tax returns and may I add some of these people have been on various forms of federal welfare and healthcare safety nets from time to time because they've lost their jobs, only to be accosted in the parking lot by the guy who fired them that they should "get a fucking job"' ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

So, may I say regarding this bill, in the most bipartisan tone I can muster, fuck America and burn it to the ground.

We deserve it. All houses have a pox upon them.

Seeing through the way we are manipulated into internecine warfare, and how that perpetuates our problems, is not the same as making nice.

I don't see us as being manipulated into internecine warfare. Reasonable people are responding to an authoritarian playbook. You've resisted 20th century terms for what's going on, and I am trying to be a better ObWi citizen, and trying to respect that, but things like:

1) public lying so that people can't even expect the truth from our government officials

2) chronic disrespect of public institutions and public servants

3) dehumanizing people based on ethnicity and religion

4) blatant financial corruption and self-dealing

5) nepotism

6) making common cause with authoritarians in other countries and demeaning our own allies

I mean, the list goes on. We're not being "manipulated" when we respond to the shredding of our democracy, and we're not "monsterizing" when we blame those who are supporting these things for doing so to the detriment of our society.

wj talks about poltiical mistakes that Trump is making that will do him in, and I hope he's right. But if we'd been playing on a level field, Trump wouldn't be in power in the first place. What about foreign interference, and don't think that it's only about Trump. I believe Mitch McConnell and a lot of other Republicans have been compromised, and I think it's likely that some Democrats have been tempted as well - which is why Bernie's tax returns represent a real problem. The Executive branch of government is headed by an asset for hostile foreign powers. And we have to discuss nicely whether that's even worth caring about.

We're not being manipulated. We're being occupied. We need to fight back.

if we have reached a point when you, russell, think I am accusing you of monstering anyone, then I had better STFU

no worries, I don't think that.

I believe Mitch McConnell and a lot of other Republicans have been compromised, and I think it's likely that some Democrats have been tempted as well

I don't really think McConnell has been compromised. I think he's just drunk on power.

I console myself with the datum I saw recently (can't find the cite right off, sorry) that his net (un)favorability ratings in his state are the worst in the Senate. My dream for 2020 is that he flat loses his seat -- even if the Republicans keep the Senate, that would be a big step forward.

russell: I'm glad.

sapient: I don't disagree with a lot of what you say, particularly your numbered list of concerns, but just because your democracy is being shredded (and I agree it is going that way, and ours isn't so bloody healthy at the moment either) doesn't mean there isn't significant manipulation going on, and that certain factions/actors don't benefit from the kind of stoking of internecine warfare that's taking place. Rupert Murdoch, the Daily Mail, Koch-type billionaire backers of the GOP, Putin and the rest of the list of players who benefit from the rise of nativism and authoritarianism, destruction of the EU, damage to NATO etc etc: these are the people who need to be countered - many of the Trumpies are merely their unwitting pawns. Finding a way (I don't have one) of making common cause so that people who are being encouraged to hate and monster each other see that this is benefitting somebody else to the detriment of everybody in the country, would be highly desirable. Trying to find such a way seems to me a worthwhile pursuit, no matter how difficult.

I think, for me, this could be a nice debate over a Diamante on the rocks with a twist. I think the gig economy definition has gone from a bunch of millennials really not wanting to work for someone else to part time crappy jobs that are cobbled together so a person can eat. Those are different things.

Walmart in little towns in the deep south is different than Walmart in Boston. In tons of ways. Walmart is a career choice in those deep south stores.

"There is no path to a dialog, at least with me, that doesn't require addressing those reasons and all of my reasons for thinking that they suck"

I'm just curious what you think the second sentence in that dialog could be.

You:I think you voted for him because you're racist,

ME: No that's not why.

Tony: Yes you are

Me:...........

many of the Trumpies are merely their unwitting pawns

They need to gather their wits then, because their active collaboration is why those more powerful forces are succeeding. And, no, it's not "both sides are to blame."

Trying to find such a way seems to me a worthwhile pursuit, no matter how difficult.

That would be great. Again, I think we're trying to make something happen with the elections in 2020. We also need to start working on Plan B.

See, in our society there isnt supposed to be a Plan B. Win the election or dont.

I think the gig economy definition has gone from a bunch of millennials really not wanting to work for someone else to part time crappy jobs that are cobbled together so a person can eat. Those are different things.

Do you mean during this thread? I'm not sure anyone was trying to change the definition of the gig economy, not that I agree that it was ever just something involving a bunch of those awful millennials. I think it was more a matter of whether the gig economy was the only area, or even the primary area, where people worked but didn't make enough to live on. That and a disagreement about Uber "employees," which, to my mind, are pretty much the definition of gig workers. Were you thinking just about musicians (who were also millennials)?

But he IS a racist.

And there he is.

What you personally Are or are not is irrelevant.

But there he is.

1939 Germany.

Me: I think you voted for him because you despise the Jews.

Hans: No, no. That's not why. I voted for order and Germany's honor, and because manhood must be restored to Germany and the stock market has gone straight up since 1932. True, I think he went too far when he invaded Czechoslovakia and the market did too because it plateaued for a time.

But then it resumed its climb, so I don't understand what you are complaining about. The Jews, they are made to work too, those who are able.

Tony: But there he is. And the despised are despised and punished.


Win the election or dont.

I think you mean "win" the election.

But he IS a racist.

And there he is.

What you personally Are or are not is irrelevant.

But there he is.

1937 Germany.

Me: I think you voted for him because you despise the Jews.

Hans: No, no. I voted for order, and because manhood must be restored to Germany and the stock market has gone straight up since 1932. True, I think he went too far

This iPad, it drives me a clrazy!

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-administration-lets-miracle-hill-foster-agency-turn-away-catholics-and-jews?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

Fuck them.

Steal elections or don't.

A former FBI was quoted on a cable channel several months back, I can't find a link, saying approvingly that the mission of the FBI for a years was to keep liberals and the Left out of government and being elected.

I want recounts and do overs of every election in the country since 1952 and I want reparations.

They just want to practice their religion freely, not impose it on ... orphans.

I think that, in many ways, what scares me the most about the 2020 election is that the Democrats will again (as they did in 2010) lose sight of just how critical it is in the medium (not to mention long) term to focus on state legislatures. If you do that (again), the negative effects will last far longer than even a second Trump term.

One might think that Wisconsin and North Carolina would provide sufficiently dramatic cases to keep attention focused. But is it actually happening?

dialog (n.) A hearty inedible with an unfathomable gestation period and the shelf life of a ripe avocado, rarely observed in pairs, they always self-destruct when subjected to heated and/or strenuous criticism; a political non-entity begging to be taken seriously.

dialog (v.) to ceaselessly talk past one another.

"There is no path to a dialog, at least with me, that doesn't require addressing those reasons and all of my reasons for thinking that they suck"

I'm just curious what you think the second sentence in that dialog could be.

You:I think you voted for him because you're racist,

ME: No that's not why.

Tony: Yes you are

Me:...........

So, that was me, not Tony, and I'm happy to fill in the next sentence, on whatever topic you like.

I'll pick one.

Me: I think "you" (where "you" is a Trump voter) voted for Trump because you agreed with his view and intended policies on immigration.

You: Yes, that's right.

Me: Those policies damage families. Does that concern you?

You: .... place your answer here ...

So, what I'm getting at here is that I'm not sure how to talk about this stuff without addressing the "those policies damage families" part.

I can fill in the blank on behalf of, for example, former DHS head Nielsen. Her response was:

Nielsen: We break up families every day. You get arrested, you go to jail, you don't get to see your kids.

Which is plainly and obviously true on its face, but it fails to recognize the many distinctions we make when we talk about "break the law". There are an extremely broad range of violations for which we do not incarcerate people, many of which are actually worse crimes under the US Code than entering the country without proper permission is.

We know all that, of course, so tedious to bring it all up again.

We also, in general, don't take your kids and fucking lose them when we lock you up for crimes that call for incarceration.

So to me her response was callous, brutally so to be honest, and not actually on point. Robbing a bank is not overstaying a visa, or entering without documents, or requesting asylum. Even if your asylum request is bogus. If it's bogus, you go home, nobody is really disputing that.

So, in my opinion, all of that needs to be on table if we're going to talk about this stuff. Not just "Mexicans took my job". You can bring up the "Mexicans took my job" thing, too, if you like, especially if a Mexican actually did take your job.

But you also have to also address the "they lost my kid" part. Because we did actually lose a lot of people's kids. We lost their freaking kids, and nobody knows where they went. That needs to be part of the discussion, or we don't actually have a dialog, we just have "you" bitching about Mexicans.

That's where I'm coming from.

Pick any other topic you like, I'm happy to actually have the conversation if "you", or even you, Marty, wants to have it.

But you have to want to actually have it, not just blow it off. If you want to get into the whole "why would somebody do that to their kids" thing, that's also a topic worth exploring.

But only if you actually want to explore it, not just assume that Central Americans are a bunch of irresponsible idiots who put their kids' lives in danger for no good reason.

Right?

Dialog is speaking and listening. Can't forget the listening part.

Win the election or dont.

And if you can't win honestly, make it as fucking hard as possible for people who generally don't vote for you to vote at all.

You have to tell the whole story, dude. Otherwise it's just you b*tching about the libs.

Because we did actually lose a lot of people's kids. We lost their freaking kids, and nobody knows where they went.

Losing kids. Should be impeachable.

Besides all else, this is either willful cruelty or almost unfathomable stupidity or an absolute do-not-give-a-shit attitude.

I mean, how hard is it to keep track? Take some photos. Assign some ID numbers, write down some names, etc. How long would it take, using some decent database software, to set this up?

Boggling.

That's a good doscussion russell.

Me: It does concern me, but it's way more complex than that. Many of the kids that have been separated can't be found because the family and friends they were placed with are hiding them. The government knows who they placed them with.

Plus, I think the laws on the books make it hard to have an effective immigration policy, and yes I believe they are criminals. Worse crimes, sure, but you go to jail for those too.

Our disagreement is also on the ultimate outcome, I think they should just be sent back to Mexico. Even if that's not where they are from, it's where they came from to try to enter illegally here. Mexico has done little to restrain the triangle countries refugees, but they have offered them asylum.

So by the time they get to our border the risk they are running from has been addressed.

If a family is caught illegally crossing our border the parents should bear the brunt of blameCNNif the family is damaged.

Thank you for the reply.

Briefly:

No, "the government" doesn't always know who they placed them with. One agency might. And that agency doesn't always have any way to associate the kid with the parents he or she belongs to, because the parents are the responsibility of some other agency.

So - "where's my kid?" "Sorry, we don't really know".

And, I'm sure some of the caretakers hide them, and I'm sure they have good reasons for doing so.

As a point of fact, you will probably not go to jail for most crimes that are of equal severity to entering the US illegally. Certainly not for overstaying a visa, absolutely not for requesting asylum, which is not only not a crime, it is protected by international law.

But even plain old sneaking in is basically a misdemeanor.

If Mexico is offering asylum to Central American refugees and they don't have a basis for asylum here, I have no problem with sending them to MX. I have a problem with talking about people as if, and treating them as if, they are stray animals.

We absolutely disagree as regards your last sentence. For people who are claiming asylum, in particular, they are people who have surrendered themselves to US authority. It is our responsibility to treat them in a humane and respectful manner.

But even people who are just simply trying to sneak in, same/same. Once they are in our custody, we are responsible for them, and we are obliged to treat them decently and with basic human respect.

Seeking asylum is not a crime.

And The Donald made it quite clear that the 'losing the kids' stuff is not due to incompetence but a means of deterrence. Nielsen had to go because she refused to restart it and to go beyond that.
When the whole thing became public for the first time I almost expected that the next thing we would learn would be that crackPOTUS went full Franco and ran a lucrative adoption business with the stolen kids. What Orange-utan now sounds like (according to leaks) sounds more like he this time intended to go full Reichsführer and got apoplectic when his Eichwoman got cold feet.

"Seeking asylum is not a crime."

Crossing the border illegally and throwing your hands up and asking for asylum is still a crime.

And no, people should not be treated like stray animals. (Im not sure stray animals should be treated the way we treat stray animals). But the laws in place work at cross purposes with the disposition requirements of criminals and children to make a coherent policy tough to define.

Letting families into the country to disappear is not a policy solution.

Letting families into the country to disappear is not a policy solution.

Why not?

Crossing the border illegally and throwing your hands up and asking for asylum is still a crime.

No. It's not. And we don't want to make it one.

Evaluate the asylum claim and act accordingly.

I have no problem with re-visiting immigration law to help deal with changing circumstances. But we don't want to make it illegal to request asylum, and in general we don't want to be in the business of trying to read people's minds to see if their claim is legitimate or not.

"A gang threatened to kill my kid and his entire family if he didn't join" is actually not a bad basis for asylum.

I'm sure that some folks are trying to game the asylum law. They should be handled the way we treat anyone who tries to game the law.

Respect and observe the law, and if they don't have a legitimate claim, they have to leave. That is sufficient.

https://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2018/jan/26/ronald-brownstein/did-senators-pass-immigration-reform-bills-2006-2013/

Also in the 1990s. P also had a republican majority in both Houses for two years and no comprehensive immigration reform was proposed by any of them.

Why?

To let it fester into an open wound as conservative business filth had their way by offshoring jobs and the to lie about, demagogue and hold up the hordes of the Other "invading" the country like a bloody rag for the hateful Buchananite endemic 49 % of the conservative population in this dumb country, for ruthless racist nationalist electoral advantage.

This will be avenged, along with so much more, by violence.

Not a wish, a prediction. A deserved fate for the malign scum in the Republican Party.

"blameCNNif"

Is that some sort of Incel Qnon code?

The parents of children on the Mayflower should be tried in absentia for the suffering they brought down on the heads of their children.

Same with all parents escaping brutality, poverty, and murder.

Off with their heads.

My God, what rot.

Why not?

Indeed. Let them come. If you really really desire a whole bunch of brown people here to pick your lettuce, clean your toilets, and slaughter your chickens for abysmally low wages, then citizenship does not strike me as a very high price to pay in return.

Why not?

Good question.

We have gone back and forth with this stuff. At various times, we've actively solicited immigration - including from "less desirable" sources - for one reason or another.

When my Italian great-grands came, the bar was:
* you either have to have family here, or a job lined up
* no obvious illness
* no apparent criminal record
* not an anarchist, as far as the guy at Ellis could tell

And that was that. And then, a generation or so later, we shut the door again. Until we decided to open it, again.

In my mind, (R)'s are the stupidest party ever. Hispanics, and Latins generally, are by and large socially conservative, family oriented, hard-working people. Everything (R)'s say they value, Latins are.

If they had any sense, they'd blow out the visa limit to 2M a year and allocate half of that, at a minimum, exclusively for Latins. They'd have a solid, unassailable majority, in both houses and probably the presidency, for the next two generations.

C'est la vie.

Further - everything I just said about Latins, same for Muslims.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them think.

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