Friday, June 22, 2018

Last Call For A Hard Six, Heading For Seven

It's an uncomfortable subject to say the least, but human rights group Genocide Watch has identified ten stages of any government-created genocide over the years, and I'll be damned if the Trump regime isn't more than halfway into the process.

Media preview

So let's get this out of the way up front: the United States has done this before, with Native Americans it was flat out genocide all the way down, with black slave massacres and lynchings reaching genocidal levels in several instances and eight of ten nationally, we came very close on this list during internment of Japanese-Americans in WW II through seven steps, we got more than halfway down this list after 9/11 and you can make the argument that we never really went back up this list when it comes to black people or Muslims in this country.

If you look where the Trump regime is now on immigrants, particularly Latinx immigrants, we're marching our way down this chart yet again.

Trump was in the middle of number six there today with his awful White House rally where he exploited the families of victims of gang killings.  Numbers 1-4 have been in operation since Day One of the regime, Trump engages in those regularly along with members of his party, as well as the transformation of ICE into the fifth point. At the very least we are at a hard, hard six as evidenced by Trump's regular campaign rallies and events like this, broadcast freely.  Trump gets plenty of assistance from state media at FOX too.

The problem now is at least at the border, we're moving into step seven.  Kids in cages, detainment facilities are being set up, military bases being converted, private prison industries springing up to profit.  Seven is well under way and will continue as the Trump regime devotes more resources into logistics and infrastructure for mass detainment.

And again, the assist here is from state media, like Sinclair Broadcast Group.

I understand that it's a big jump to go from seven to eight, and of course an exponential leap from eight to nine, but again we're already into seven as of this spring, and completing that step is a current stated goal of this administration.  Again, there's no disputing we're at a hard, hard six, well into seven, which means eight really isn't that far behind, guys, especially the theft of property once these efforts are fully turned inward against people already in the US.  Once that infrastructure is in place, it's going to be used.

The actual killing part?  History says that's going to come, especially to those who resist this government detainment.  We're already seeing ICE raids by the new Brownshirts, the transition from detainment to violence will be necessary to maintain Trump's control.  There will be a key incident, something that goes horribly wrong, something that will become deadly violence during one of these future ICE raids or Border Patrol operations and once that line is crossed we're not going back.

Once that jump is made, nine is on the horizon.  It is absolutely happening here, now, in America.  There doesn't seem to be any effort at slowing it down or stopping it.  We have a chance to change that in November, but that's a long way away.

Trump knows he can use this to help the GOP in November, he's already doing it.  The only question is if he'll decide to go this far to make that jump, because that's definitely the plan.

I don't know if we can stop it, but this is as sobering as it comes, folks.  This is real.

Be careful out there.

Wrecking The Net

While America was focused on Trump's awful immigration detention policy, the White House quietly announced plans this week to make massive austerity cuts to social programs by eliminating the Department of Education by combining it with the Department of Labor, and then wrecking the budget of both.

President Trump, spurred on by conservatives who want him to slash safety net programs, unveiled on Thursday a plan to overhaul the federal government that could have a profound effect on millions of poor and working-class Americans.

Produced over the last year by Mr. Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, it would reshuffle social welfare programs in a way that would make them easier to cut, scale back or restructure, according to several administration officials involved in the planning.

Among the most consequential ideas is a proposal to shift the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a subsistence benefit that provides aid to 42 million poor and working Americans, from the Agriculture Department to a new mega-agency that would have “welfare” in its title — a term Mr. Trump uses as a pejorative catchall for most government benefit programs.

That proposal, which includes an equally ambitious plan to merge the Education and Labor Departments to consolidate work force programs, is not likely to gain the congressional approval needed to make the changes, Mr. Mulvaney’s aides conceded in a phone call with reporters on Thursday.

If it doesn't have the votes, why bother?  Same reason the GOP had 50+ votes on destroying Obamacare: red meat for the base in order rally the troops ahead of midterms.

But the rollout has a bigger long-term purpose, said Margaret Weichert, one of Mr. Mulvaney’s deputies who drafted the proposal. She cast the proposal as a rallying cry for “small government” and said the audacity of the plan proved “why many Americans voted for this president.”

Mr. Trump, for his part, joked on Thursday that the plan was “extraordinarily boring” before TV cameras in the Cabinet Room.

But being boring in an all-too-exciting White House has provided cover for a small army of conservatives and think tank veterans who have been quietly churning out dozens of initiatives like the proposal to reshuffle the cabinet, with the ultimate goal of dismantling the American social welfare system from the inside out.

“Our guys have been in there since the start, grinding it out, and basically no one is noticing it except the smart liberals like Rachel Maddow,” said Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s former adviser, who believes the attack on social programs will be one of Mr. Trump’s most enduring policy achievements.

“It is one of the reasons Trump is at like 97 percent with the base. This is what the base wants,” he said. Referring to the right-wing conspiracy theorist who hosts a popular radio show and the progressive consumer activists allied with Ralph Nader, who became a force in Democratic politics in the 1970s, he added: “Trust me, it’s not Alex Jones that’s driving things. It’s these guys — they are our version of ‘Nader’s Raiders.’”

Philip G. Alston, a New York University professor and the United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, agreed with Mr. Bannon’s assessment. “My sense is they are making very considerable progress, even though no one is paying much attention,” he said.

But Mr. Alston, author of a recent study on endemic poverty in American cities and the rural South, has a different view of what Mr. Trump’s aides are trying to do. “There is a contempt for the poor that seems to permeate the president’s inner circle that seems very worrying,” he said. “It’s done under the banner of providing opportunity and seeking long-term solutions but it all seems designed to increase misery.”

I've told you time and again that the chief goal of Trump's administration is to punish Obama voters by reversing every Obama policy he can find that ever helped people, helped people including Trump votersThe biggest percentage of recipients of benefits like SNAP and cash assistance and school lunches are white, but the vast majority of white Americans and especially Trump voters believe the exact opposite.

So yeah, Trump and the GOP are coming to destroy these programs, and the people who benefit from them the most will cheer their demise, for the simple reason that they believe only those people will be hurt by the cuts, and that Trump will protect his white voters.

Unless we get rid of these guys in November, that will be the goal in 2019.

The Farm Team Strikes Again

House Republicans managed to accidentally pass a farm bill that has no chance in the Senate, which I guess makes GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan only 99.4% incompetent at his job.

A deeply polarizing farm bill passed the House on party lines Thursday, a month after the legislation went down to stunning defeat after getting ensnared in the toxic politics of immigration. 
The legislation, which passed 213-211, includes controversial new work rules for most adult food-stamp recipients — provisions that are dead on arrival in the Senate. The massive legislative package overseeing more than $430 billion of food and agriculture programs contains a host of measures aimed at strengthening farm subsidies, expanding foreign trade and bolstering rural development. 
The bill was championed by a dwindling number of farm-district Republicans who feel duty-bound to deliver farm supports to their rural constituents. On the first go-round last month, this group lost out to an increasingly powerful cohort of conservatives who are more interested in winning political points on welfare reform and immigration. 
The tense divide between the two camps has huge implications for the future of food and farm policy in the United States, as well as the Republican Party itself. Even as the bill advances from the House, political analysts said, the tensions revealed in its lurching, divisive journey are likely to persist. 

It's going to advance directly into a buzzsaw as it'll never get past a filbuster in the Senate, but sure.

“People think, ‘who cares about the Farm Bill? It’s so boring,’” said Adam Sheingate, a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University. “But it’s a window into contemporary politics right now, particularly among Republicans — the struggles they face balancing the responsibility of governing against their ideological commitments.” 
The most divisive element of the legislation passed Thursday are new, stricter work rules for most able-bodied adults in the food stamp program, the federal safety net that provides an average of $125 per month in grocery money to 42.3 million Americans. Under the proposal, adults will have to spend 20 hours per week either working or participating in a state-run training program to receive benefits
Democrats and anti-hunger advocates say most states do not have the capacity to scale up case management or training programs to this extent. As a result, they argue, hundreds of thousands of low-income adults could end up losing benefits. 

"Hundreds of thousands of adults losing benefits" is the entire point, guys.

The legislation also directs the Department of Agriculture to reevaluate school lunch nutrition standards adopted under the Obama administration. It proposes to expand who counts as a “farmer” for purposes of subsidies, the compensation USDA distributes when crop prices fall below predetermined references.

It eliminates much of the Conservation Stewardship Program — aimed at encouraging farmers to address soil, air and water quality on their land — and folds it into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which is oriented toward compensating farmers for one-off conservation projects. And despite efforts by some lawmakers to end them, it extends federal supports for the U.S. sugar industry through programs that control the amount of foreign and domestic sugar on the U.S. market and guarantee a minimum price for producers if sugar prices drop.

So massive sugar subsidies will continue while we stop paying farmers for actually being environmentally good farmers.  You know, the people that grow crops in soil might actually need clean water, air, and land free of toxic sludge but that's all a liberal trick anyway.

Cartoonishly evil and it's a waste of time to boot, that's your GOP.


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