Saturday, August 10, 2019

Last Call For The Cruelty Is The Point, Con't

The driving force behind everything Donald Trump does is cruelty towards people who he believes has wronged him.  There's no depths of petty vengeance that Trump won't sink to in order to humiliate and destroy his political enemies, even when those actions threaten to endanger those he hates.  

No wonder then that Trump's latest victims are House Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the only two black Muslim women in Congress, and Trump is now enlisting embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in order to inflict punishment.

President Trump has told advisers he thinks Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should use Israel's anti-boycott law to bar Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) from entering Israel, according to three sources familiar with the situation.

What he's saying: Trump's private views have reached the top level of the Israeli government. But Trump denies, through White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, ever giving any kind of directive to the Israelis. "The Israeli government can do what they want. It's fake news," Grisham said on Saturday.

Driving the news: Trump has told U.S. advisers, including senior Trump administration officials, that Israel should bar Omar and Tlaib's entry because the two congresswomen favor a boycott of Israel, according to sources familiar with Trump's private comments. In 2017, Israel's parliament passed a law requiring the interior minister to block foreign nationals from entering Israel if they have supported boycotting the Jewish state. 
Trump's reaction came days after the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a resolution to condemn the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS movement, which Omar and Tlaib support. The resolution states that the global movement to boycott the state of Israel over its policies toward Palestinians "promotes principles of collective guilt, mass punishment and group isolation, which are destructive of prospects for progress towards peace." 
Omar and Tlaib voted against the resolution.

Between the lines: Trump told confidants he disagreed with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer's rationale for Israel to overlook the law to let Omar and Tlaib visit Israel. Dermer said last month: "Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel." 
Trump said that if Omar and Tlaib wanted to boycott Israel, "then Israel should boycott them," according to a source with direct knowledge. 
Israeli officials say congressional Democratic leadership pushed Dermer to allow the congresswomen into the country. Their advocacy, per those officials, is a major reason why Netanyahu will allow the two women in.  
The Democrats had argued that if the Israeli government blocked Omar and Tlaib's entry, then other Democratic members would cancel a planned, AIPAC-sponsored Israel trip in solidarity, these officials said.

Both Omar and Tlaib were expected to arrive in Israel next weekend for a planned trip to the Holy Land, but now there's little chance that Netanyahu will allow that to happen. What will really seal the deal though is when Democrats go through with their AIPAC retreat in Israel anyway.

Neither party will risk pissing off Israel over two black Muslim women.  Not by a long shot.

Deportation Nation, Con't

The Trump regime continues to move quickly to remove obstacles in the path of mass arrests and deportations, and the next step on the list is to strip power from immigration judges, starting with decertifying the judges' union by reclassifying them as management, not employees.

The Justice Department moved Friday to potentially decertify the union that represents federal immigration judges, a spokesman said, a maneuver that could silence an organization that has been critical of some aspects of the Trump administration’s overhaul of immigration enforcement.

The department filed a petition asking the U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority to examine whether it should revoke the certification of the National Association of Immigration Judges because, a Justice Department spokesman said, its members are “management officials” under the law.

Judge Ashley Tabaddor, the association’s president, said she thinks the petition’s intent is to “disband and destroy the union,” which has publicly pushed for judges to have more independence and sparred with the Justice Department over a quota system it imposed.

“It’s designed to take full control of judges without having a balancing force or a balancing voice,” Tabaddor said. 

Meanwhile the Trump regime will be directing ICE to conduct more massive workplace raids nationwide, leading to thousands, if not tens of thousands of more arrests.

The White House has told ICE officials to conduct dozens more workplace enforcement operations this year, a senior immigration official with knowledge of the conversations told CNN. 
The news comes on the same day that President Donald Trump said raids like those in Mississippi this week are a "very good deterrent" for undocumented immigrants.
Shortly after the raids in Mississippi that led to the detention of at least 680 undocumented immigrants, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement field offices across the country were instructed to identify at least two locations in their regions as potential targets for workplace enforcement operations, the source said. 
Those operations can include criminal investigations, business audits and raids. 
This week's raids led to a series of heart wrenching images and videos of family members -- including young children whose parents were detained -- reeling from the arrest of their relatives. 
Trump on Friday defended ICE's workforce enforcement strategy as well as the agency's strategy for dealing with the children whose parents were detained. 
Asked Friday why there wasn't a better plan in place to deal with the children after their parents' arrests, Trump told reporters outside the White House south lawn, "You have to go in, you can't let anybody know." 
"Otherwise when you get there, nobody will be there," Trump said. "The big factor is to let people outside of the country that want to come in legally," he continued. 
"I want people to know that if they come into the United States illegally, they're getting out," he said. "They're going to be brought out. And this serves as a very good deterrent." 
"When people see what they saw (earlier this week), like they will be for a long time, they know that they're not staying," he added.

The campaign of terror is the point.  Trump wants the undocumented in America to be terrorized and terrified.  He wants the safety precautions in the government removed.  He wants mass arrests and mass deportations playing out on TVs and monitors week after week, if not day after day.

But the biggest obstacle to mass deportations isn't in America at all, and it's not under Trump's control one bit. Guatemala, the Trump regime's potential dumping ground for millions of undocumented, is having elections on Sunday, with President Jimmy Morales not running for re-election.  That's a huge problem for Trump.

Morales is the one who signed a safe harbor agreement with Trump, but neither Guatamala's courts nor either of the candidates who could succeed Morales, Sandra Torres and Alejandro Giammatei, are expected to honor the agreement.

On July 26, the Morales administration signed a deal with the White House to establish Guatemala as a “safe third country” and require asylum seekers who pass through Guatemalan territory on their journey north to seek refuge there. However, the costly and time-consuming work of carrying out such an agreement would fall to the winner of Sunday’s electoral contest.

There’s good reason to believe Guatemala’s next government will not put the accord into effect. Giammattei has called Morales’s acquiescence to the Trump administration “irresponsible.” Torres also rejected any safe third country agreement, though she did meet privately with acting homeland security secretary Kevin McAleenan during his bid to sell the agreement within Guatemala. Though Guatemala’s top business associations have supported the agreement under the threat of devastating tariffs, the deal remains widely unpopular among the rest of society, even triggering protests outside the Presidential Palace.

Guatemala’s constitutional court, moreover, has ruled that the agreement requires congressional approval. Guatemalan human rights ombudsman Jord├ín Rodas has lodged an additional legal challenge on the grounds that, per international law, “agreements signed under threats cannot take legal effect.”

But even if the next president agreed to implement the agreement, it’s unlikely he or she would be able to do so. The Trump administration wants Guatemala — a country that ranks among the most corrupt and ineffective in the world — to harbor refugees and to stop its citizens from leaving. That’s not going to happen, regardless of Sunday’s outcome.

Expect Trump to slap crushing tariffs on Guatemala if either Torres or Giammattei won't play ball.  The resistance to the Trump regime in Guatemala City will most likely evaporate by the end of the year, if not before then.

BREAKING: Jeffrey Epstein Dead By Suicide

The convicted felon facing new sexual assault charges and jail time was found unresponsive in cardiac arrest after hanging himself in his cell this morning in Manhattan.

Jailed multimillionaire financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein has died by suicide, two law enforcement sources said Saturday, a day after a court unsealed new details of the claims against him.
Epstein, 66, was taken from New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center on Saturday morning in cardiac arrest and died at an area hospital, the sources told CNN.

An ambulance was called at about 6:40 a.m. Epstein was being treated by members of the detention center's medical unit and was administered CPR, and he died a short time later at an area hospital, one of the sources said.

Epstein had been jailed since early July, when he pleaded not guilty to charges by New York federal prosecutors after an indictment accused him of sex trafficking dozens of underage girls, some as young as 14 years old.

News of Epstein's death comes a day after hundreds of pages of court documents were unsealed in New York federal court, alleging new details of sexual abuse claims against Epstein and several associates.

A spokeswoman for the US Attorney's office in Manhattan, which was prosecuting Epstein, declined to comment on Saturday.

An attorney for Epstein, Reid Weingarten, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The cops are treating this as a suicide, and I would think given the fact that Epstein injured himself a few weeks ago trying to hang himself before and that he was on suicide watch, there was a critical failure in that process.

We'll see where the case goes.  Certainly the criminal trial is over, but the civil one will probably continue, and documents and testimony in that case could still be revelatory.

Big Orange Takes Over, Con't

And just like that, the war between Twitter and Mitch McConnell's social media team is over with a resounding and total victory for the Senate GOP leader.

After a Twitter blackout that lasted nearly two full days, Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign account is back on the web.

The account, @Team_Mitch, reintroduced itself to the world just after 12:30 p.m. Friday with a GIF of the Senate majority leader's face fittingly imposed over Tim Robbins' face after his character breaks out of prison (spoiler alert) at the end of "The Shawshank Redemption."

Representatives from several Republican campaigns, including President Donald Trump and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, had said they would suspend spending on Twitter advertising until McConnell's campaign account was back up.

McConnell's campaign account was locked Wednesday after it shared a video from Monday of an obscenity-laced protest outside the senator's home in Louisville. That video made a reference to a hypothetical McConnell voodoo doll, which the person behind the camera suggested should be stabbed in the heart.

So Twitter's rules simply don't apply to Republicans anymore, and they will never cross Trump or his brood again, lest they lose millions in GOP ad revenue.  All congressional Republicans know they have free reign on Twitter now to post whatever they want, a status no longer reserved just for Donald Trump.

So no, Twitter will never stand up to Trump, and it will never stand up to white supremacist Republicans, and now Trump has his excuse for his new executive order regulating social media.  New information indicates Trump will be classifying social media as digital communications under the FCC.

The White House is contemplating issuing an executive order that would widen its attack on the operations of social media companies.

The White House has prepared an executive order called “Protecting Americans From Online Censorship” that would give the Federal Communications Commission oversight of how Facebook, Twitter and other tech companies monitor and manage their social networks, according to a CNN report.

Under the order, which has not yet been announced and could be revised, the FCC would be tasked with developing new regulations that would determine when and how social media companies filter posts, videos, or articles on their platforms.

The draft order also calls for the Federal Trade Commission to take those new policies into account when investigating or filing lawsuits against technology companies, according to the CNN report.

Social media censorship has been a perennial talking point for President Donald Trump and his administration. In May, the White House set up a tip linefor people to provide evidence of social media censorship and a systemic bias against conservative media.

In the executive order, the White House says it received more than 15,000 complaints about censorship from the technology platforms. The order also includes an offer to share the complaints with the Federal Trade Commission.

As part of the order, the Federal Trade Commission would be required to open a public complaint docket and coordinate with the Federal Communications Commission on investigations of how technology companies curate their platforms — and whether that curation is politically agnostic.

Under the proposed rule, any company whose monthly user base includes more than one-eighth of the U.S. population would be subject to oversight by the regulatory agencies. A roster of companies subject to the new scrutiny would include, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, Snap and Pinterest .

At issue is how broadly or narrowly companies are protected under the Communications Decency Act, which was part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Social media companies use the Act to shield against liability for the posts, videos, or articles that are uploaded from individual users or third parties.

Putting social media under the Trump FCC and Commissioner Ajit Pai will assure that it will be 100% weaponized against Democrats, and that social media will become the online arm of the GOP.

But what about the Roberts Court?

Well, who knows?  After Hobby Lobby, anything goes.  And after complaining for years about social media censorship, Republicans are about to turn the FCC into the internet speech police so that they can suppress dissent.

Dissent will not be tolerated online, citizen.

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