Sunday, September 3, 2017

Waking Up From The DREAM

As expected, Donald Trump will announce the end of DACA on Tuesday, but delay ending the program for six months in order to call Paul Ryan's bluff on a legislative fix.

President Donald Trump has decided to end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children, according to two sources familiar with his thinking. Senior White House aides huddled Sunday afternoon to discuss the rollout of a decision likely to ignite a political firestorm — and fulfill one of the president’s core campaign promises. 
Trump has wrestled for months with whether to do away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA. He has faced strong warnings from members of his own party not to scrap the program and struggled with his own misgivings about targeting minors for deportation.

Conversations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued that Congress — rather than the executive branch — is responsible for writing immigration law, helped persuade the president to terminate the program, the two sources said, though White House aides caution that — as with everything in the Trump White House — nothing is set in stone until an official announcement has been made. 
In a nod to reservations held by many lawmakers, the White House plans to delay the enforcement of the president’s decision for six months, giving Congress a window to act, according to one White House official. But a senior White House aide said that chief of staff John Kelly, who has been running the West Wing policy process on the issue, “thinks Congress should’ve gotten its act together a lot longer ago.” 
Trump is expected to announce his decision on Tuesday, and the White House informed House Speaker Paul Ryan of the president’s decision on Sunday morning, according to a source close to the administration. Ryan had said during a radio interview on Friday that he didn’t think the president should terminate DACA, and that Congress should act on the issue.

Trump will call Ryan out on Tuesday it seems and leave the problem on his doorstep with a six-month time bomb attached.  Trump can blame Republicans in Congress for failing to fix DACA and he'll get away with it too as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are right now just about the only folks in Washington that everyone hates more than Trump.

If the Dems are smart they'll have a DACA fix bill ready.

But Trump is crafty here, he's not going to take the fall for DACA alone.  Should Ryan and McConnell get a bill through Trump won't sign it anyway, but there's no way one gets to his desk anyhow, the racists in the House GOP may not even let a fix out of committee.

Privately kicking DACA to March must be a relief for a lot of Republicans. A lot can happen in six months politically.

We'll see.

Sunday Long Read: Our First Drug Crisis

American minority communities ravaged by drugs and indifference is nothing new, folks.  While it only seems to reach "crisis" mode when the victims are suburban and white these days, those silent epidemics have been going on for centuries, all the way back to Native Americans and the oldest drug of all, alcohol.

Before they began to encounter European explorers and fishermen in the sixteenth century, very few indigenous people of the eastern coast of North America had ever tasted alcohol, and none had experienced anything more than the mild inebriation of fermented drinks used ceremonially. Nothing prepared them for the effects of distilled spirits. In 1609, explorer Henry Hudson offered alcohol to a group of Munsee Indians he encountered on Manhattan Island. His purpose in giving them drink was to determine “whether they had any treaherie in them,” but he was surprised when one of the Munsee became intoxicated. “[T]hat was strange to them, for they could not tell how to take it.” It must have been memorable for the Indians as well. (One theory of the origin of the word “Manhattan” is that the Indians named the island manahactanienk—the “place of general inebriation.”) 
The experience of getting drunk for the first time could be terrifying for anyone. Not long after Hudson’s encounter with the Munsee, Captain John Smith, the military leader of the colony at Jamestown, gave liquor to a native man who he was trying to revive. “[I]t pleased God to restore him againe to life, but so drunke and affrighted, that he seemed Lunaticke,” Smith said. The man’s brother was “tormented and grieved” by his wild behavior. 
Once the Indians lost their fear of alcohol, they fell in love with it. The euphoria of intoxication brought temporary relief from the pain of dispossession and death. A Jesuit attempting to convert the Cayuga Indians in the seventeenth century reported that they would announce their intention to get drunk before a drinking episode. “I am going to lose my head,” a man would shout. “I am going to drink the water that takes away one’s wits.” Another missionary noted that the native people appeared to relish the disorientation that occurred as the alcohol took effect. “They rejoice, shouting, ‘Good, good. My head is reeling!’ ” Once a man was drunk on alcohol, he found new powers in himself. When an Ottawa Indian was asked what brandy was made of, he said, “Of hearts and tongues. . . . [A]fter I have drank of it, I fear nothing and I talk like an angel.” The drinker experienced a surge of self-confidence. “[I]n their drunkenness, . . . they become persons of importance, taking pleasure in seeing themselves dreaded by those who do not taste the poison,” a third missionary said. Of course, inebriation also made Indians more vulnerable to manipulation by white men. 
The Europeans expressed shock over the self-destructive way the Indians drank. Alcohol abuse was certainly not unknown among whites, particularly those living on the frontier where many fur traders were killed in drunken brawls. But coming from cultures that had encountered alcohol centuries earlier, some of them had clear rules against abusing alcohol. Prohibitions against drunkenness were spelled out in Christian scripture, Western social etiquette, and even law, but the natives had no prohibitions against getting drunk. Wasn’t that the point? One Indian observed: “The Great Spirit who made all things made everything for some use, and whatever use he design’d anything for, that use it should always be put to; Now, when he made rum, he said, Let this be for Indians to get drunk with. And it must be so.” 
From the beginning, Indians drank to get drunk, to escape. “[G]ive two Savages two or three bottles of brandy. They will sit down and, without eating, will drink one after another until they have emptied them,” a missionary said. At first, there were limited supplies of alcohol in America. But if the Indians didn’t have enough brandy or rum to get everyone drunk, they gave it all to a chosen few. “And if any one chance to be drunk before he hath finisht his proportion (which is ordinarily a quart of Brandy, Rum or Strong-waters), the rest will pour the rest of his part down his throat,” a colonist wrote. The Europeans agreed that the Indians had a drinking problem. “They will pawne their wits to purchase the acquaintance of it,” Thomas Morton said in 1637. “Their paradise is drinking,” Louis Antoine de Bougainville observed a century later.

On the rez today, things aren't much different.  President Obama at least realized this and made crucial inroads to helping, but under Trump, well, under Trump we're basically all screwed, aren't we.
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