Saturday, July 13, 2019

Border Line Psychos, Con't

Last week I noted that the Border Patrol had a "secret" Facebook group where employees, agents, and managers freely traded awful racist photos and posts, and that the group's membership easily reached into the thousands.  Now we find out that the head of the Border Patrol, Carla Provost, belonged to that group and posted to it.

In early July, Propublica reported on the existence of “I’m 10-15,” a private Facebook group of nearly 10,000 members named for the Border Patrol code for “aliens in custody.” According to the publication, agents in the group posted a widely circulated photo of a migrant father and daughter face-down in a river along the southern border, suggesting it could have been “edited” by the “dems and liberal parties.” In another post, a photo illustration of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is captioned “Lucky Illegal Immigrant Glory Hole Special Starring AOC.” 
At the time, Vicki Gaubeca, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, suggested the images reflected the palpable misogyny within the agency and Border Patrol’s lack of women agents. Shortly after the ProPublica story published, Provost called the posts “completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see—and expect—from our agents day in and day out.” 
But as The Intercept reported on Friday morning, Provost posted to “I’m 10-15" three months into her tenure as the chief of the agency, though she left the group at an unspecified time before news of the group’s existence broke. In a comparatively benign addition to the group, Provost replied to a post from a commenter noting she’d been promoted as a supervisor after only two years in the field. 
“It was actually 3 years......hard to turn down when they offer it to you......just saying,” she wrote. Carla Provost: a true feminist pioneer.

On top of that, the Border Patrol has now been caught in more bad behavior under Provost's tenure.

An unofficial commemorative coin has been circulating among Border Patrol agents at the U.S./Mexico border, mocking the task of caring for migrant children and other duties that have fallen to agents as families cross into the U.S. 
On the front, the coin declares “KEEP THE CARAVANS COMING” under an image of a massive parade of people carrying a Honduran flag — a caricature of the “caravan” from last fall, which started in Honduras and attracted thousands of people as it moved north. (While the caravan included many women and children, the only visible figures on the coin appear to be adult men.) 
The coin’s reverse side features the Border Patrol logo and three illustrations: a Border Patrol agent bottle-feeding an infant; an agent fingerprinting a teen boy wearing a backwards baseball cap; and a U.S. Border Patrol van. The text along the edge reads “FEEDING ** PROCESSING ** HOSPITAL ** TRANSPORT.” 
The coin appears to poke fun at the fact that many border agents are no longer out patrolling and instead are now caring for and processing migrants — including families and children.


What's not so funny is that ProPublica's reporting this week on the Border Patrol has touched a nerve, and that the agency now openly considers the investigative journalists there to be a threat.

A senior Border Patrol official, who directs a key intelligence-gathering center, on Thursday circulated an inflammatory opinion article that blasted ProPublica’s reporting on a secret Facebook group for current and former agents and described the news organization as a threat to the agency and its members. 
A link to the article, which specifically castigates ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson for his articles about the degrading posts in the group, was sent in an email to top intelligence officials at the agency’s headquarters in Washington and to field offices across the country. Sources said other supervisors then shared it widely with agents under their command. 
The article was widely distributed by Michael E. Powell, director of the Customs and Border Protection’s Northern Border Coordination Center, and comes as the heads of the Department of Homeland Security, the CPB, which it oversees, and the Border Patrol have publicly condemned the Facebook posts and launched investigations into the group.

I mean when the guy in the White House constantly and consistently calls the press enemies of the people, why shouldn't the agencies under the executive branch behave any differently?  It was just a year ago that a Maryland newsroom was shot up killing five reporters. Why wouldn't the violence of the Trump regime itself not be directed against those who dare reveal the truth?

The article was published on a website called Law Enforcement Today, and was written by a woman named Dawn Perlmutter, who describes herself as an expert on “symbols, symbolic methodologies, atypical homicide and ritualistic crimes.” 
It alleges that ProPublica’s reporting about the secret Facebook group, which was known as “I’m 10-15,” was part of an “anti-police information operation” that was “calculated to incite hatred against CBP, ICE and DHS officers, provide party-line propaganda for the media and ignite protests to further political agendas.” And it claimed that Thompson, who broke the story about the Facebook group, “essentially doxed CBP officers,” when he published the posts. 
“Thompson’s byline says he covers hate crimes and racial extremism, when in fact, he perpetuates it,” the piece reads. “His irresponsible reporting incites police hatred and endangers officers’ lives under the guise of social justice.”

Really aren't too far away now from ICE or Border Patrol or some other Trump agency hurting or even killing a journalist.  They're already putting kids in cages, and yes, those kids are dying.

We're the bad guys in this story.  This is being done in our name, by the people this country elected, and we continue to tolerate them doing this in our name.

The GOP's Race To The Bottom, Con't

When I say Republicans are the party of white supremacy, when I say that white supremacy is in no way a dealbreaker for Republican voters, when I say the stated goal of the Republican party is to end the civil rights era and return the country to white supremacy, a Republican governor literally proclaiming a statewide day to celebrate the founder of the Ku Klux Klan is the evidence that I cite.

Gov. Bill Lee has proclaimed Saturday as Nathan Bedford Forrest Day in Tennessee, a day of observation to honor the former Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader whose bust is on display in the state Capitol.

Per state law, the Tennessee governor is tasked with issuing proclamations for six separate days of special observation, three of which, including the July 13 Forrest Day, pertain to the Confederacy.

Lee — and governors who have come before him — are also required by state law to proclaim Jan. 19 as Robert E. Lee Day, honoring the commander of the Confederate Army, as well as June 3 Confederate Decoration Day, otherwise known as Confederate Memorial Day and the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

"I signed the bill because the law requires that I do that and I haven’t looked at changing that law," Lee said Thursday.

He declined to say whether he believed state law should be changed to no longer require the governor to issue such proclamations or whether he had reservations about doing so.

A previous effort by Democrats to do so was unsuccessful.

"I haven’t even looked at that law, other than knowing I needed to comply with it, so that’s what I did," Lee said. "When we look at the law, then we’ll see."

Lee signed the proclamation Wednesday.

Hasn't even occurred to the Governor of Tennessee in 2019 that a law mandating the declaration of a statewide celebration of a Confederate traitor and, I can't stress this enough, basically the founder of the Klan, that he might want to, you know, not do this.

And yes, Democratic Gov. Bill Haslam also declared this day in 2015, because he had to by law.  He also said that he didn't agree with the law and wanted to change it.

Go to hell, Bill Lee.  Join Forrest down there and burn for a few millennia.

The Daughter Of The Nameless One

Something funny happened on the way to Liz Cheney's coronation and her dad's old seat in the Senate: former Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis has decided to jump into the race before Cheney.

Former Rep. Cynthia Lummis announced a bid for Senate in Wyoming Thursday, becoming the first Republican to jump into the race and setting up a potential clash with her successor in the House, Rep. Liz Cheney.

Lummis, also a former two-term state treasurer, was first elected to the House in 2008 and retired after the 2016 election. She was the only woman to serve in the conservative House Freedom Caucus when the group first formed in 2015.

Cheney, meanwhile, quickly rose through the GOP ranks to become the third-ranking member of leadership in just her second term, and also retains deep relationships in the party as the daughter of the former vice president.

Lummis told reporters Thursday she spoke with Cheney before announcing her bid, and said the race to replace retiring Sen. Mike Enzi will be a “real barn-burner” if the two women face off in a primary.

“She needs to make her decision. I have made mine,” Lummis said. “This is Wyoming's Senate seat. Nobody has dibs on it.”

Lummis is clearly throwing down the gauntlet to her former and potential future rival Cheney, whom she once derided as the “shiny new pony” of Wyoming politics for mounting a short-lived primary against Enzi six years ago — a move Lummis called “poor form.”

But Cheney isn’t sweating Lummis’ entrance into the race, telling POLITICO recently she wouldn’t base her decision on anyone else’s moves.

In a private poll, conducted for an outside group by the GOP firm The Tarrance Group in late June, Cheney led Lummis, 56 percent to 34 percent, among GOP primary voters in a hypothetical matchup, according to a polling memo obtained by POLITICO.

It'll be a fight for sure.

One I hope both of them lose...

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