Friday, November 18, 2016

Last Call For Profiles In Courage, Con't

If you thought for a second that "moderate" Republican and "moderate" Democratic senators would ever come together to stop one of their bretheren in the august body like avowed racist Sen. Jeff Sessions from becoming Trump's Attorney General, then you're a bigger fool than I can ever help you with.

Sen. Jeff Sessions is looking like a safe bet for Senate confirmation as attorney general — despite the Alabama lawmaker’s controversial past.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a potential swing vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee, will support Sessions, a spokesman said Friday. That's a key pickup, given Flake's moderate views on immigration and social issues, and his opposition to Donald Trump during the campaign. Then moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) said he would support Sessions as did moderate Republican Susan Collins of Maine, all but clinching his elevation.

If Sessions can clear committee, he’ll likely win a floor vote to become the nation’s top law enforcement official, GOP Senate insiders said. Republicans will likely have 52 votes in the next Congress, and Trump's Cabinet picks can't be filibustered because Democrats unilaterally changed Senate rules three years ago to eliminate the 60-vote threshold for most nominations.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Sessions’ long history as a senior member of his committee bodes well for his confirmation prospects.

“He knows the Justice Department as a former U.S. attorney, which would serve him very well in this position. With this background, I'm confident he would be reported favorably out of the committee,” Grassley said in a statement.

The new top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, declined to take a hard line against Sessions despite their divergent views. She said the GOP senator will go through a “full and fair process.”

There will be no more than token resistance to Sessions being confirmed, and then the Department of Justice will become an extremely powerful weapon the Trump administration will use against people of color, Muslims, and LGBTQ-Americans at every opportunity.

An avowed racist like Sessions in charge of the DoJ's voting rights and civil rights division will set the country back decades.

Which, of course, was Trump's campaign promise from the beginning.

You have to admire Trump's strategy: making sure his first major cabinet choice is a twenty-year Senate veteran who has all sorts of favors to be called in, and will easily win confirmation from a sea of colleagues who have known him for years.  That of course will make resistance to the rest of Trump's cabinet selections that much harder.

And make no mistake, nobody is more eager to make a truncheon out of the DoJ to be used against people like me than this vile chancre of an asshole.

After nearly a quarter-century away, Mr. Sessions — now known simply as Jeff — is poised to return to the department to clean house as President-elect Donald J. Trump’s nominee for attorney general, with a mandate to carry out the “law and order” agenda Mr. Trump promised on the campaign trail.

If he is confirmed, Mr. Sessions, who is considered one of the most conservative members of the Senate, will most likely push for wholesale changes and hard-line stances on immigration, terrorism, crime, drugs and guns. Democrats fear he could wipe away progress in civil rights, changes in sentencing and police accountability.

“The Justice Department is likely to be one of the most transformed departments in the cabinet in a Trump administration, and with an Attorney General Sessions, you’d obviously see a very strong law-and-order figure at the top,” said Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor.

“Much of his self-identity is as a prosecutor — a real, in-the-trenches prosecutor,” said Mr. Turley, who testified before Mr. Sessions at a Senate hearing last year about the Obama administration’s use of executive authority.

Mr. Sessions, 69, was the first senator to endorse Mr. Trump in February, when many Republicans were still shunning the businessman. He has since become a close adviser.

Expect his first target to be Obama-era criminal justice and sentencing guideline recommendations, followed by getting rid of those nasty restrictions on police using military equipment against citizens.  In fact, I expect the first batch of citizens to find out the hard way will be Black Lives Matter protesters in 2017.

Don't expect Democrats to save us in 2017 from Trump.  We'll have to save ourselves.

Terms Of Internment

I know that the Trump camp along ago approached cartoon/comic-book levels of open, nihilistic villainy, but now these assholes control the entire federal government and nearly two-thirds of the states, and it's telling that they boldly cite WW II-era Japanese internment camps as a positive precedent for the policies they want to implement.

A Donald Trump supporter cited the United States’ use of internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II as precedent for Trump’s rumored registry of Muslim immigrants. 
“It is legal, they say it will hold constitutional muster. I know the the ACLU is going to challenge it, but I think it will pass,” former Navy Seal and Trump supporter Carl Higbie said in an interview on Fox News with Megyn Kelly.

“And we’ve done it with Iran back— back a while ago, we did it during World War II with Japanese, which, call it what you will it may be wrong—” he said as Kelly jumped in.

“Come on, you’re not proposing we go back to the days of internment camps,” she said. “You know better than to suggest that, that’s the kind of thing that gets people scared, Carl.”

“No, no, no, I’m not proposing that at all, Megyn, but what I am saying is we need to protect America first,” he said. “I’m just saying there’s precedent for it, I’m not saying I agree with it, but in this case I absolutely believe—“ 
You can’t be citing Japanese internment camps as precedent for anything the president-elect is going to do,” Kelly responded. 
Look, the president needs to protect America first, and if that means having people that are not protected under our Constitution have some sort tor registry so we can understand- until we can identify the true threat and where it’s coming from, I support it,” Higbie said.

But that's exactly what they're doing, Megyn Kelly.  And it won't stop with Muslims entering from outside the US, either.  History has shown us that.

And yes, people like Carl Higbie should scare the ever-loving crap out of you.  These people run our government, our Congress, and pretty soon our courts.  They will get to decide what's constitutional or not.

These guys aren't even pretending anymore, they're outright fascists.

The Gaslight Express, Con't

Nikole Hannah-Jones writes about her home state of Iowa and why white voters that made Barack Obama a household name by winning him the Iowa primary in 2008 turned their backs on the Democrats for Donald Trump.

Gretchen Douglas is a corrections officer from Marshalltown. The 53-year-old had been a Democrat her entire adult life and describes herself as a social liberal and fiscal conservative. She’s a supporter of unions and gay rights and abortion rights and said she doesn’t want to breathe dirty air. She proudly talked of her daughter’s success as a chemist, mentioning that not long ago the only options for women were teaching and nursing. She holds a degree in accounting and can tell you exactly the share of the national debt she and her husband carry. 
Even as the recession caused Iowa to shed hundreds of state jobs, Douglas managed to hold onto hers. But in 2012, for the first time in her life, she registered as a Republican, and last week she voted for Trump. Douglas told me she had switched parties because she felt Obama had been irresponsible with spending, causing the national debt to soar. She said Democrats were spending too much on social programs for people who did not need them
“I don’t want to throw Granny out in the snow, and I think the least of our brothers should be taken care of,” she said. “But I think that those who can work should.” Douglas said there was a time in her life where she was struggling, and so she applied for welfare for herself and her young children but was denied. She didn’t think that was fair, but she worked hard and turned her life around. But these days, she said, “I kind of think for some social programs there is no stigma.” 
Douglas never mentioned race, but polls including a recent one of Trump supporters have shown that white Americans’ support for entitlement programs declines if they think black people are benefiting. And the longer Douglas talked, the more she revealed other reasons she had voted for Trump
When Obama was elected, she hoped he would “bridge race relations, to help people in the middle of Iowa” see that black people “are decent hardworking people who want the same things that we want.” She said people in rural Iowa often don’t know many black people and unfairly stereotype them. But Obama really turned her off when after a vigilante killed a black teenager named Trayvon Martin, he said the boy could have been his son. She felt as if Obama was choosing a side in the racial divide, stirring up tensions. And then came the death of Michael Brown, shot by a policeman in Ferguson, Mo
“I’m not saying that the struggles of black Americans aren’t real,” Douglas told me, “but I feel like the Michael Brown incident was violence against the police officer.”
The Black Lives Matter movement bothered her. Even as an Ivy League-educated, glamorous black couple lived in the White House, masses of black people were blocking highways and staging die-ins in malls, claiming that black people had it so hard. When she voiced her discomfort with that movement, she said, or pointed out that she disagreed with Obama’s policies, some of her more liberal friends on Facebook would call her racist. So, she shut her mouth — and simmered.
Trump clearly sensed the fragility of the coalition that Obama put together — that the president's support in heavily white areas was built not on racial egalitarianism but on a feeling of self-interest. Many white Americans were no longer feeling that belonging to this coalition benefited them. A recent study by sociologists from Harvard and Tufts found that white Americans believed that they experienced more discrimination than black Americans. Trump spoke openly to those Americans, articulating what many Iowans felt but could never say. It was liberating
“Trump was crass, and he was abrupt,” Douglas said. “But I felt like he was going to take care of the things that mattered for me, and honestly I was very worried about our country.”

And she voted for Donald Trump.

As I said before, what I'm afraid of is that the next two years will be Democrats scrambling to try to win back Gretchen Douglas. When push came to shove, Gretchen Douglas decided that the racist who would "take care of her" was better than the black guy or the woman or the party who supported them.  She was never a Democrat, only a potential Republican who finally showed the country who she really was.

And trying to win her will absolutely come at the expense of people of color.  That I can guarantee you.


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