Sunday, April 7, 2019

Last Call For Deportation Nation, Con't

As I said last time, the person in the Trump regime to watch out for when it comes to the coming mass ICE roundups, concentration camp-style mass incarcerations, and mass deportations is avowed white supremacist Trump adviser Stephen Miller.

If you thought concentration camps for undocumented was fun, wait until we have beggar's prison camps for the families who are US citizens who can't afford to pay Miller's fines for their undocumented fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.

I'm telling you guys that this is coming. Trump's big re-election campaign is going to be "Deport them all" and should America grant him a second term, the round-ups are going to come. Hell, they'll start before that.

The next step is getting rid of everyone at DHS and ICE who isn't on board with Miller's final solution to America's "immigration problem", and that's too much for current DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to take, as she's resigning.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is resigning, President Trump announced in a tweet Sunday. CBS News first reported Nielsen's impending departure, which Mr. Trump announced after a 5 p.m. meeting with Nielsen at the White House.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will serve as acting DHS secretary, the president announced.

"Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service," Mr. Trump tweeted Sunday. "...I am pleased to announce that Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary for @DHSgov. I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!"

One U.S. official told CBS News is it unlikely McAleenan would be nominated as Nielsen's permanent replacement.

Nielsen's imminent departure is a part of a massive DHS overhaul engineered and directed by top Trump adviser Stephen Miller, according to a senior U.S. official. It's unclear whether Nielsen is deciding to leave voluntarily, or whether she has been pressured to resign. But Nielsen's tenure since she was confirmed in December 2017 has at times been rocky, with the president taking some of his frustrations over illegal immigration out on her. Questions about whether she might leave have swirled for months. But she was by the president's side on Friday in Calexico, California, as Mr. Trump pushed for a crackdown on illegal immigration and the need for a border wall.

Nielsen's announced exit comes two days after Mr. Trump announced he wants to go in a "tougher" direction in his nomination for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director, after originally announcing Ron Vitiello would head ICE. Nielsen's departure also means acting heads will soon be running DHS, the Pentagon, and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Nielsen has also been one of only three women serving in Mr. Trump's Cabinet, the others being Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and CIA Director Gina Haspel.

Whatever Trump and Stephen Miller have planned for DHS and ICE, it's too awful for the *woman who engineered the separation of thousands of migrant kids from their parents and put them in cages to continue working for Trump.

Let's think about this.

I'm more convinced than ever that we're going to start putting millions of undocumented in camps, and very, very soon. And who will Trump tap to lead DHS who'll be worse than Nielsen?  Several people come to mind: Kris Kobach, Ken Cuccinelli, and Rick Perry sliding over from Energy seems like a good short list to me.

And all of them will back brutal, deadly police action against undocumented in this country.  But make no mistake: immigration is all Stephen Miller's field now.  That field is about to be awash in blood.

Nielsen deserves to be at The Hague facing crimes against humanity charges, for sure.  But things are about to get a lot worse.

The US Goes Rogue Nation

Back in September, John Bolton's Mustache made it clear that the US was never going to tolerate the International Criminal Court investigating American war crimes in Afghanistan.

In his first speech as national security adviser, Bolton made the case that the ICC's authority is invalid, subverts American sovereignty, and concentrates power in the hands of an unchecked authority in a way that is "antithetical to our nation's ideals." In November, the ICC prosecutor asked to investigate crimes allegedly committed by members of the U.S. military who served in Afghanistan. Bolton called those claims unfounded. The national security adviser said it was no coincidence he made his speech on the ICC one day before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

"Today, on the eve of September 11th, I want to deliver a clear and unambiguous message on behalf of the President of the United States," Bolton said. "The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.We will not cooperate with the ICC," Bolton said. "We will provide no assistance to the ICC. And we certainly will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."

Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed these threats would become US policy.

The United States will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court personnel who attempt to investigate or prosecute alleged abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere and may do the same with those who try to take action against Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday. 
Pompeo, making good on a threat delivered last September by national security adviser John Bolton, said the U.S. had already moved against some employees of The Hague-based court, but declined to say how many or what cases they may have been investigating. 
“We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation,” Pompeo said.

This week, the Trump regime made good on its threats to expel ICC investigators from the US.

The Trump administration revoked the visa of International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda following her inquiry into possible war crimes committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. 
Bensouda’s office confirmed the revocation in a statement on Friday, in which the office also emphasized that the chief prosecutor "has an independent and impartial mandate under the Rome statute,” ICC’s founding treaty, The Associated Press reports
"The Prosecutor and her office will continue to undertake that statutory duty with utmost commitment and professionalism, without fear or favor," the statement added.

The U.S. State Department also confirmed the revocation in a statement to the news agency on Friday, which also said that "the United States will take the necessary steps to protect its sovereignty and to protect our people from unjust investigation and prosecution by the International Criminal Court.”

We're officially a rogue nuclear nation, folks.  When the rest of the world decides we're too much of a threat to the planet, what then?

A Taxing Move By Trump, Con't

Steve M. notes White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is vowing that Democrats will never get Donald Trump's tax returns, and I agree with Steve that Mulvaney is right.

Trump has Mulvaney on TV acting chesty and defiant, while gaslighting us on the legal appropriateness of the request and playing I'm-rubber-you're-glue on the question of which party is defying the law. (It's Republicans who know that the text of the law isn't on their side.) Prior to that, Trump sent out one of his personal lawyers, William Consovoy, to argue that the request was an attempt to "harass" Trump because Democrats "dislike his politics and speech." (Yes, Trump is the president of the United States -- but he's being deplatformed! Like Ben Shapiro and Milo!) 
This is America, of course, where the federal bench is stocked with extremists placed there by the last two Republican presidents, men who reached the White House through skulduggery and without benefit of a popular-vote mandate. Those judges won't care what the law says.

And if the courts do somehow rule against Trump, all the way up to the Supreme Court, I believe he'll still defy them. I've been saying since 2017 that Trump doesn't have the instincts of a true totalitarian dictator, which we knew when courts ruled against his first Muslim ban and he didn't say, "Screw the courts, we're doing it anyway, exactly the way we planned." Trump still wants to (more or less) color inside the lines, as the other branches of government define those lines. He'll bend the rules massively -- an emergency declaration to get his wall, for instance -- but he'll try to make it seem as if the law is on his side. 
I assume that even if he's exhausted all legal channels and all possible strained interpretations of the law, and he's finally compelled to release his taxes to the House, he'll refuse, because while he doesn't have a true totalitarian will to power, he'll do anything to save his own ass, which is what he cares about more than anything else.

As I've said before, if the contents of either the Mueller report or Trump's tax returns are made public, then that's not only the end of the Trump regime, it's the end of the Trump brand.   Donald Trump will do anything to prevent that.

And should SCOTUS rule that the Mueller report be released (highly unlikely, we'll never see it) or Trump's taxes (highly likely and almost a certainty to be leaked to the press) then as Steve says, Trump will refuse.

Then what?

Who will compel Trump to obey the Supreme Court?

Nancy Pelosi and the House Dems?  They won't impeach.  They'll never impeach.

Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans?  Trump will take every single one of them down with him and all parties know it.  They'll never convict him during an impeachment trial.

The American people?  They elected him in the first place.

Steve's right.

We'll never see Trump's returns.

Sunday Long Read: Superfungus Among Us

Drug-resistant bacteria are becoming more and more of a threat to those with weakened and/or underdeveloped immune systems, but drug-resistant fungal infections are also starting to wreak havoc, and within 25 to 30 years, bacterial and fungal infections are slated to kill more people worldwide than cancer.

Last May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery. A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious. Doctors swiftly isolated him in the intensive care unit. 
The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe. Over the last five years, it has hit a neonatal unit in Venezuela, swept through a hospital in Spain, forced a prestigious British medical center to shut down its intensive care unit, and taken root in India, Pakistan and South Africa
Recently C. auris reached New York, New Jersey and Illinois, leading the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add it to a list of germs deemed “urgent threats.”

The man at Mount Sinai died after 90 days in the hospital, but C. auris did not. Tests showed it was everywhere in his room, so invasive that the hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to rip out some of the ceiling and floor tiles to eradicate it.

“Everything was positive — the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump,” said Dr. Scott Lorin, the hospital’s president. “The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive.” 
C. auris is so tenacious, in part, because it is impervious to major antifungal medications, making it a new example of one of the world’s most intractable health threats: the rise of drug-resistant infections.

For decades, public health experts have warned that the overuse of antibiotics was reducing the effectiveness of drugs that have lengthened life spans by curing bacterial infections once commonly fatal. But lately, there has been an explosion of resistant fungi as well, adding a new and frightening dimension to a phenomenon that is undermining a pillar of modern medicine. 
“It’s an enormous problem,” said Matthew Fisher, a professor of fungal epidemiology at Imperial College London, who was a co-author of a recent scientific review on the rise of resistant fungi. “We depend on being able to treat those patients with antifungals.”

Simply put, fungi, just like bacteria, are evolving defenses to survive modern medicines.
Yet even as world health leaders have pleaded for more restraint in prescribing antimicrobial drugs to combat bacteria and fungi — convening the United Nations General Assembly in 2016 to manage an emerging crisis — gluttonous overuse of them in hospitals, clinics and farming has continued. 
Resistant germs are often called “superbugs,” but this is simplistic because they don’t typically kill everyone. Instead, they are most lethal to people with immature or compromised immune systems, including newborns and the elderly, smokers, diabetics and people with autoimmune disorders who take steroids that suppress the body’s defenses. 
Scientists say that unless more effective new medicines are developed and unnecessary use of antimicrobial drugs is sharply curbed, risk will spread to healthier populations. A study the British government funded projects that if policies are not put in place to slow the rise of drug resistance, 10 million people could die worldwide of all such infections in 2050, eclipsing the eight million expected to die that year from cancer.

And if you think the Trump FDA or CDC will lift a finger to help stave off superbugs, well, this is literally a regime that refuses to believe in actual science, so good luck with that.
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