Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Last Call For Deportation Nation, Con't

We've now reached the "heads will roll" part of the latest "kids in concentration camps" news cycle, where somebody gets fired for the only real offense in the Trump regime: making Donald Trump look like a bad guy on TV news. I predicted it would be Acting DHS Kevin McAleenan a few days ago, and that still might happen over ICE raids, but apparently Trump has found somebody to fall on their sword for him, and that's Acting Border Patrol head John Sanders, who is now "retiring".

President Donald Trump sought to put distance between himself and the retiring acting Border Patrol chief John Sanders, saying that he doesn’t think he ever met him, though he’s heard good things.

“I didn’t speak to him. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to him actually,” Trump said when asked if he had a hand in the ouster. “We have some very good people running it. And, you know, I don’t know anything about it. I hear he’s a very good man, a good person. I don’t know him. I don’t think I ever spoke to him.”

Sanders’ impending resignation comes as the outcry grows over the conditions immigrants, especially underage ones, have been living in at the border. Children at the station in Clint, Texas were reported to lack clean clothes, access to showers and sufficient nutrition. Though most of the children were removed from the dire situation after reports were published, 100 of them were recently shunted back.

Sanders has held the post in an acting capacity since Trump tapped former Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan to replace ex-DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

So for now, Trump has his head to mount on the wall and plausible deniability.  He can point at Sanders, say that it was all his failure, that he's leaving, and people might even believe him.

Of course things will get much worse, but as along as Trump has an endless supply of Acting executive agency heads to spit and roast in public, nothing will actually change.  Sanders will be replaced by former Border Patrol head Mark Morgan, who was forced out 30 months ago just after Trump took office.

Now Morgan is leading Trump's camps for kids.  Fun.

America's Race To The Bottom, Con't

Jennifer Rubin is still an awful human being who has enabled Republicans into the Trump era and bears more than a little responsibility for the people she now rails against as a "Never Trump" Republican.  She's of course shocked to discover that nearly half of Republicans are now in favor of open discrimination against black folk, LGBTQ, Jews, and Muslims.

In a disturbing new poll, the Public Religion Research Institute finds that “while at least two thirds of Americans oppose allowing small business owners to refuse products or services to minority groups based on their religious beliefs, a small but increasing proportion of Americans think it should be permissible to turn away customers based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or race.”

As one might expect, the big uptick in those willing to refuse service comes among Republicans, but Democrats aren’t immune from the trend to declare that one’s religion permits discrimination against others. “From 2014 to 2019, the partisan gap on this issue has dramatically increased. Nearly half (47%) of Republicans favor such a policy, which is more than double the 21% who favored the policy in 2014. By contrast, today only 18% of Democrats and 24% of independents support these kind of religiously based service refusals. These numbers are also an increase from 2014, when only 11% of Democrats and 16% of independents agreed.” 
The difference between the parties is stark:

More than one in five (22%) Americans say small businesses should be able to refuse to serve Muslims on religious grounds. Men are more likely than women to agree (25% vs. 20%). Around three in ten white evangelical Protestants (32%) and white mainline Protestants (28%) say small businesses should be allowed to refuse to serve Muslims for religious reasons, compared to around one in five nonwhite Protestants (21%), Catholics (19%), and the religiously unaffiliated (17%) who say the same.

Republicans are more than twice as likely as Democrats to support religiously based refusals to serve gay or lesbian people (47% vs. 18%), transgender people (44% vs. 19%), atheists (37% vs. 17%), and Muslims (32% vs. 14%).

And now 19 percent (up from 12 percent) say it is fine to deny service to Jews, and 15 percent (up from 10 percent) say it is acceptable to deny service to African Americans.

Donald Trump made it okay to be a racist, a homophobe, a transphobe, anti-Semitic, and Islamophobic.  Not only did he make it okay, he made it American legal policy.

We are at the point where the majority of the GOP openly favors discrimination, and the end of the Civil Rights era.  A second Trump term will seal America's fate on this.

The Road To 2020

Boston Globe columnist John Ellis reminds us that for all intents and purposes, the Democratic nominee will be decided by Super Tuesday in March, months before the convention and it's the media, not the voters, who will choose a winner.

Major media coverage of a presidential campaign breaks down into four parts: the preprimary season, the primary season, the summer conventions, and the general election season (including the debates and the expensive election night broadcast). 
What happens every four years, without fail, is that major media organizations blow through their preprimary budgets. In the run-up to the Iowa caucuses, they have already begun eating into the budget for primary coverage. 
By the time the Iowa caucus results are reported and the campaign caravan decamps to New Hampshire, the CFOs of the various news organizations (and their parent companies) are apoplectic, muttering darkly about “wild overspending.” Word quickly comes down from on high: It has to stop.

And stop it does. After New Hampshire, the coverage of many candidates becomes the coverage of two (maybe three, but probably not). Costs are cut by relying on affiliates and local news outlets to provide video and text from “the campaign trail,” which is then stitched together by producers and editors in New York. 
The real campaign plays out in Manhattan and Washington television studios. Cable news outlets (especially) make every effort to push the “campaign” into television studios and away from “the campaign trail.” 
Because of budget concerns, the pressure to anoint a winner increases as the early March Super Tuesday primaries near. We saw this in 2016. Hillary Clinton was declared the winner long before she actually won the nomination. This time, California will be deemed decisive. Whoever wins there, it will be said, wins the nomination. 
The rationale for this projection will be financial fact: Every losing candidate will have spent his or her last dollars on advertising in frightfully expensive Super Tuesday media markets. Reality will say they cannot carry on (without money). Reports of the winner’s post-Super Tuesday fund-raising windfall will reinforce this analysis. 
In the meantime, coverage of the Democratic presidential nomination campaign will be framed by a “brackets” narrative. The semi-finals bracket narrative has already commenced. 
Joe Biden, for the moment, leads in the “most-likely-to beat-Trump bracket.” (Pete Buttigieg is moving up.) Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are running neck and neck in the “street fight” bracket, although it appears that Warren has gained the upper hand. 
The finalists will be chosen by Iowa and New Hampshire. The finals will play out against the backdrop of electability. If surveys show that Warren is just as likely to beat Trump as, say, Biden, she’ll win Super Tuesday and, in all likelihood, be the nominee. 
Which brings us to one last point about the Democratic primary and caucus electorate. They want the nomination process over quickly. Preferably, they’d like a nominee by mid-March. Whether it’s Biden or Warren or Buttigieg or Sanders, at some level, doesn’t matter. They just want to drop the gloves and start the brawl, with or without an agenda.

I think Buttigieg is going to crash, possibly replaced by Harris.  But we're already effectively down to five while for some insane reason more Democrats are entering the field.

I am going to be very glad when primary season ends.  We need a candidate and to solidify behind them and go take Trump and the GOP down ASAP.


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