Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Last Call For Amash-ed Potato

I said before that Donald Trump's reaction to GOP Rep. Justin Amash's call for his impeachment would tell the tale, and that if Trump ignored Amash, it was all for show.  Turns out Trump is not only refusing to ignore Amash, but he's made the Michigan congressman's primary defeat the centerpiece of his Michigan 2020 campaign.

Donald Trump and his top allies are moving to make Justin Amash pay for becoming the sole Republican congressman to call for the president’s impeachment.

Trump and his top advisers have discussed the prospect of backing a primary challenge to the Michigan lawmaker — a highly unusual move for a president against a member of his own party that would effectively amount to a warning shot to other Republicans thinking of crossing him
. The conversations come as the billionaire DeVos family, which has deep ties to the administration and remains one of Michigan’s most powerful families, has announced it will cut off the congressman. That move could send a signal to other conservative donors deciding whether to invest in Amash.

Trump has raised the primary challenge idea with Vice President Mike Pence and North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, a close Trump ally who co-founded the conservative House Freedom Caucus with Amash. Trump has also addressed the subject with Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, a former Michigan GOP leader who remains influential in the state.

Those who’ve spoken with the president say he’s made no firm decision about taking on Amash, who’s accused the president of engaging in “impeachable conduct” and left the door open to a third-party campaign for president. Trump, they point out, is mostly focused on his own reelection and often cools down after he has time to process a slight. There are also potential risks: Trying to unseat Amash could elevate him or turn him into a martyr.

Others in the president’s inner circle are skeptical that Amash, whose office did not respond to a request for comment, will even seek reelection.

Yet in some of the conversations, the president has been adamant that the White House take a forceful stand against the congressman. The deliberations underscore Trump’s penchant for exacting political retribution against those who’ve wronged him — something he executed with devastating precision against former Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and former South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford.

White House spokespersons declined to comment, as did spokespersons for Pence and Meadows. McDaniel, who under party rules is prohibited from supporting primary candidates, declined to address her conversations with Trump but said in a statement that it’s “sad to see Congressman Amash parroting the Democrats’ talking points on Russia.”

“The only people still fixated on the Russia collusion hoax are political foes of President Trump hoping to defeat him in 2020 by any desperate means possible,” she said. “Voters in Amash’s district strongly support this president and would rather their congressman work to support the president's policies that have brought jobs, increased wages and made life better for Americans."

Trump has no choice but to crucify Amash, potential martyrdom or otherwise.  And I doubt Amash will be a martyr, he'll just have his political career utterly exterminated.  Like it or not, without fundraising support, he'll be buried.  The larger point is without being utterly obliterated, Trump will face more Republicans turning on him.  Amash has to be staked out for the vultures or the next Republican to decide to bail on the Trump train will take a lot more with them.

No, it has to end here.  Expect to see more Republicans close ranks around Dear Leader this month.

Amash's Democratic opponent is who we need to be cheering on.

Reaching A Con Census

Caught red-handed last month as the GOP lied to federal courts about plans using citizenship status on the US Census to harm Democratic strongholds, the Trump regime is now taking its ball and running for the hills.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday moved to block Congress’ access to documents about how a citizenship question was added to the 2020 census.

Trump claimed executive privilege over subpoenaed documents at the urging of the Justice Department, as the House Oversight and Reform Committee was beginning proceedings Wednesday morning to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with the panel’s subpoenas, which the committee issued in April.

“These documents are protected from disclosure by the deliberative process, attorney-client communications, or attorney work product components of executive privilege,” Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote in a letter to House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).

“Regrettably, you have made these assertions necessary by your insistence upon scheduling a premature contempt vote,” Boyd added.

Boyd’s letter came just minutes before the committee convened to vote on civil and criminal contempt citations for Barr and Ross. Talks between the Justice Department and the committee broke down late Tuesday night after both sides exchanged last-minute offers that would have staved off the contempt votes.

“This begs the question: what is being hidden?” Cummings said. “This does not appear to be an effort to engage in good faith negotiations or accommodations. Instead, it appears to be another example of the administration’s blanket defiance of Congress’s constitutionally mandated responsibilities.”

Cummings offered to postpone Wednesday’s votes if the Justice and Commerce departments agreed to turn over a small batch of specific documents. But a spokeswoman for Cummings said the Trump administration did not accept that offer, adding: “Despite more than two months since we issued the subpoenas and more than a week since we told the agencies we were moving to contempt, the agencies have made no commitment or counter-offer regarding any of the critical documents in our subpoenas

Add this to the piles of evidence of obstruction of justice, but again, Trump wins this if he's able to tie up all these subpoenas from House Democrats in court until after the election, and all indications are that's the plan.

Whether or not Democrats can force this in the court of public opinion remains to be seen, but it's increasingly looking like it may be their only hope.

Deportation Nation, Con't

Let's call what the Trump regime is doing to migrant children by its proper name: internment camps.

The Trump Administration has opted to use an Army base in Oklahoma to hold growing numbers of immigrant children in its custody after running out of room at government shelters.

Fort Sill, an 150-year-old installation once used as an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II, has been selected to detain 1,400 children until they can be given to an adult relative, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The agency said Fort Sill will be used “as a temporary emergency influx shelter” to help ease the burden on the government as it prepares to house a record number of minors even though it already operates about 168 facilities and programs in 23 states.

Health and Human Services said in a statement that it has taken about 40,900 children into custody through April 30. That’s a 57% increase from last year, which is a rate on-pace to surpass the record figures in 2016, when 59,171 minors were taken into custody. The agency had assessed two other military bases before selecting Fort Sill.

The children would be held inside facilities that are separate from the general on-base population. HHS personnel, not American troops, will oversee them.

Using military bases in this way is not new. In 2014, the Obama Administration placed around 7,700 migrant children on bases in Texas, California and Oklahoma, including Fort Sill. The temporary shelters were shuttered after four months. Last year, the government evaluated several military bases to shelter migrants, but ultimately decided not to use the facilities.

However, it appears unavoidable this year. Apprehensions of children at the border are already nearing record numbers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection released data last week that showed the figures had skyrocketed to 56,278 at the end of May, a 74% increase over last year. The influx of migrants, mainly from Central America, is straining an already exhausted system, U.S. officials say. Several children have died while in U.S. custody since last year.

The difference from 2014 being that the Obama administration actually returned and resettled these kids with relatives and family, and yes it was temporary.  The Trump regime doesn't plan to give these kids back at all and in fact is creating a humanitarian crisis in order to generate enough outrage to authorize mass deportations.

It was bad when Obama did it, yes.  It's infinitely worse when Trump is doing it now.


Related Posts with Thumbnails