Friday, January 15, 2021

Deportation Nation, Con't

I have a pretty good idea now why Trump's Acting ICE Director only lasted two weeks before quitting on Wednesday, and it has everything to do with Stephen Miller putting kids in cages.

After a scathing new report from the Justice Department's watchdog blamed top department officials for being the "driving force" behind the Trump administration's 2018 migrant family separation policy, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a statement of regret Thursday and current DOJ official Gene Hamilton blamed the president for the policy.

In interviews with the DOJ Office of Inspector General in the lead-up to the report, Gene Hamilton, known as a close ally of White House adviser Stephen Miller, said the decision to separate families, a policy known as "zero tolerance" that lasted two months in 2018 before it was terminated by executive order, ultimately rested with President Donald Trump and then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

"If Secretary Nielsen and DHS did not want to refer people with minors, with children, then we wouldn't have prosecuted them because they wouldn't have referred them. And ultimately that decision would be between Secretary Nielsen and the president," Hamilton told the Office of Inspector General, according to the report.

"The Attorney General was aware of White House desires for further action related to combatting illegal immigration, imminent and ongoing actions by the Department of Homeland Security, and he perceived a need to take quick action," Hamilton told the Inspector General.

In response to the report, Rosenstein, who left the department in May 2019, said in a statement to NBC News: "Since leaving the department, I have often asked myself what we should have done differently, and no issue has dominated my thinking more than the zero tolerance immigration policy. It was a failed policy that never should have been proposed or implemented. I wish we all had done better."

During an April 20, 2018, meeting at the Justice Department, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Rosenstein, Hamilton and others met with Nielsen, says the report. There, according to notes from Hamilton, "the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General both expressed a willingness to prosecute adults in family units if DHS made the decision to start referring such individuals for prosecution."

Sessions refused to be interviewed by the Inspector General and could not be reached for comment. The White House referred NBC News to the Justice Department for comment.

NBC News previously reported on a draft version of the report in October.

The report, published Thursday by the Justice Department's Inspector General more than two years after the policy ended, pieces together decisions made by high-ranking Trump administration officials that led to the separation of more than 3,000 migrant families.

"We concluded that the Department’s single-minded focus on increasing immigration prosecutions came at the expense of careful and appropriate consideration of the impact of family unit prosecutions and child separations," the Inspector General's report said.


Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

As Greg Sargent reminds us, the vast majority of Republicans are still siding with Donald Trump's coup attempt, and that the chance of more ongoing terrorist violence in the US is near absolute rather than the acceptance of a Biden presidency.

In the wake of President Trump’s incitement of a violent insurrectionist assault on our seat of government, a new Post-ABC News poll offers perhaps the most detailed look yet at public attitudes about the attack and the underlying questions it raises about the stability of our democratic future.

The poll contains good news and bad news. The good news is that large majorities are standing up for democracy and the legitimacy of our election, and believe Trump should be held accountable for inciting violent warfare on our political system and, indeed, on our country.

The bad news is that large majorities of Republicans are very much on board with much of what Trump has done.

First, let’s note that truly overwhelming majorities, including among Republicans, condemn the attack itself. That’s great, but deeper in the crosstabs are some pretty dispiriting findings.

On questions that probe underlying attitudes about Trump’s efforts to undermine democracy, the contrast between the broader public and Republican respondents is stark. Here’s a rundown:

  • By 66 percent to 30 percent, overall Americans say Trump acted irresponsibly in his statements and actions since the election. But Republicans say Trump acted responsibly by 66 percent to 29 percent. 
  • By 62 percent to 31 percent, Americans say there’s no solid evidence of the claims of voter fraud that Trump cited to refuse to accept Joe Biden’s victory. But Republicans say there is solid evidence of fraud by 65 percent to 25 percent. 
  • 57 percent of Americans say Trump bears a great deal or good amount of responsibility for the assault on the Capitol. But 56 percent of Republicans say Trump bears no responsibility at all, and another 22 percent say he bears just some, totaling 78 percent who largely exonerate him.  
  • 52 percent of Americans say Republican leaders went too far in supporting Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. But 51 percent of Republicans say GOP leaders didn’t go far enough, while 27 percent say they got it right, a total of 78 percent who are fully on board or wanted more. Only 16 percent of Republicans say they went too far.

On these questions, independents are far more in sync with the broader public: In this poll, support for what Trump did is largely a Republican phenomenon.

Meanwhile, solid majorities of Americans believe Trump should be charged with a crime for inciting the riot (54 percent) and removed from office (56 percent). But among Republicans, opposition to both is running in the mid-80s, demonstrating extraordinary GOP unity against any form of accountability.

To sum up: Large majorities of Republicans support the effort by GOP leaders to overturn the election (which included lawsuits designed to summarily invalidate millions of votes and an extraordinary effort to scuttle Biden’s electors in Congress) and believe (or say they believe) that those GOP leaders were joining Trump’s efforts to correct a confirmed injustice done to him.
The issue is how many of Trump's cultists will choose to turn to violence in order to "correct" the "stolen election" situation that two-thirds of them believe happened.

Even a small percentage would be tens of thousands of terrorists and dozens of attacks, and frankly I expect we'll be lucky to get away with "just an other Nashville-style bombing" per month.

We're in for years of salt and blood.

The Coup-Coup Birds Come Home To Roost, Con't

The Trumpist terrorists are more than happy to remind us that even over the river in Cincy, more violence is coming and that all Democrats can do is prepare for the inevitable attacks from their Trumpist cult neighbors.

A few hours after President Trump was impeached for inciting an insurrection Wednesday, a group of Republicans gathered at a suburban Cincinnati movie theater.

The program? To hear firsthand from six Trump loyalists who attended the Jan. 6 rally in Washington D. C. – the very rally that ended with a riot at the U.S. Capitol and the second impeachment for the president.

Federal agents are arresting those who stormed the Capitol, and virtually every Republican has denounced the violence.

Chris Hicks, a Clermont County Republican and leader of Clermont for Trump organization, wanted the public to hear from local people who went.

The 40 people who showed up to the R.J. Cinema and Distillery in Union Township Wednesday didn't blame Trump for the riot that ensued.

"I support him more than I ever did," Doug Gerrard, of Owensville, told The Enquirer outside the theater. "He still speaks for me. He's being attacked by the news media. He's being attacked by the Democrats, I don't think it's for any reason."

Recent polls show such views aren't unusual among Republicans. A Quinnipiac University poll out Monday shows majorities of Republicans believe there was widespread election fraud, do not hold Trump responsible for the storming of the Capitol, and see Trump as protecting, rather than undermining, democracy.

Hicks opened the night by asking the audience a few questions. Is their support for Trump increasing, decreasing or staying the same?

The mostly maskless audience used clickers to record their vote. On the big screen, a bar graph flashed showing 77% of the 40 people there liked the president more in the past week; 23% had the same opinion. Not one had a lower opinion of the president.

There's no possibility of unity with people who continue to deny reality, and continue to deny that a terrorist attack on the US Capitol was wrong, that voting to overturn the election was wrong, and that any of it is an actual problem in the first place.

These folks are ghouls and they will absolutely resort to violence again. If it's happening in Cincinnati, publicly and openly, where they are plotting more violence, more insurrectism, more attacks on local, state, and national government, and daring anyone to stop them before they execute, then I guarantee you it's happening where you are. They aren't going anywhere.

They will be with us for a long time, and there will be violence every step of the way


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