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Sic Transit

From a column in The Houston Chronicle from a flight attendant refusing to fly more flights in which migrant children separated from their families are being transported …

I have told my story to many of my flight attendant colleagues and they have pledged to do the same.

Since sharing my story, I learned from a fellow flight attendant that he was lied to by an ICE agent who said the children on the flight were part of a soccer team. When pressed, the agent finally admitted that they were, indeed children who were being relocated to assigned camps.

This inhumane separation of migrant children from their families is against the morals and principles instilled in me, as well as my religious and spiritual teachings.

Trump's Ploy

The President says he’s signing an executive order to end family separations. The actual aim seems to be to pick a fight with the courts and allow separations to continue while blaming judges. According to The New York Times, the President will sign an executive order allowing children to be detained indefinitely with their parents. The problem is that that violates a 1997 consent decree saying that you can’t detain/imprison children for more than 20 days (technically what’s currently happening isn’t detention). It straight up violates that order. So what will almost inevitably happen is that a court will step in, say you can’t do that and then Trump will announce that the judge is forcing him to keep separating families.

Trump's Foundational Immigration Lie

Every discussion of immigration from the President and most Republicans begins with a lie intended to frame the question. Government statistics show clearly that immigrants, whether legal or not, do not increase crime rates. Full stop. Immigrants do not create crime. Undisputed data shows that immigrants actually commit crimes at a slightly lower rate than native-born American citizens. The entire security and safety argument is simply false. If we were truly concerned about public safety and wanted to address the issue through immigration policy we’d do better by inviting in more immigrants and booting citizens who are already here. It’s all a straight-up lie, the purported balancing of security and humane treatment. There are many legitimate immigration related policy questions. But controlling crime or safety or security is simply not one of them. It’s the foundational lie of the entire immigration debate.

Creeping Kimism

Donald Trump reportedly gave an angry fighting talk to House Republicans last night. We’re also led to believe they’re angry about the President’s family separation policy. But at least according to these photos released through the President’s Twitter feed, these folks were loving their dear leader. Bigly.

Click the image for full screen view.

Most Bracing, Ugliest Moments of ICE Chief Interview on CNN

Here are some key video excerpts of an interview this afternoon with Thomas Homan, acting Director of ICE. Homans is a career ICE officer, back to its predecessor organizations. Despite being a career employee he’s turned out to be an ardent Trumper. Blitzer does an excellent job, continually coming back to press the key points, repeatedly with government statistics on hand to refute claims by Homans which are either deceptive or outright lies.

Read More →

Sic Transit

Michael Cohen has hired a new criminal lawyer, a former high-ranking SDNY prosecutor named Guy Petrillo. Peter Strzok was reportedly escorted out of the FBI building Friday afternoon. For the moment, he appears still to be employed by the FBI. We now have James Comey fired. Andrew McCabe fired and apparently in line to be prosecuted. Peter Strzok appears to be on the cusp of being fired and the President’s lawyer has demanded that he be imprisoned. Big picture, folks, big picture.

What?

Curious what on earth this means. From deep in a Politico article on family separation and Secretary Nielsen …

But Kelly’s status in the White House has changed in recent months, and he and the president are now seen as barely tolerating one another. According to four people close to Kelly, the former Marine general has largely yielded his role as the enforcer in the West Wing as his relationship with Trump has soured. While Kelly himself once believed he stood between Trump and chaos, he has told at least one person close to him that he may as well let the president do what he wants, even if it leads to impeachment — at least this chapter of American history would come to a close.

What on earth does that mean? My best guess is that standard pattern of continuing to enable Trump and prepackaging a later explanation for why you didn’t really support any of it.

Racist Demagogue

This requires an explicit mention.

The use of the word “infest” to talk about people is literally out of the Nazi/anti-Semites’ playbook for talking about the Jewish threat. It was also a standard for talking about Chinese in the western United States and it remains part of the vocabulary for talking about Romani (Gypsies) in parts of Europe. This is the most hard-boiled kind of racist demagogic language, the kind that in other parts of the world has often preceded and signaled the onset of exterminationist violence. The verb “to infest” is one generally used to describe insects or vermin (rats), creatures which are literally exterminated when they become present in a house or building or neighborhood.

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