Battle Plans

The insertion of Matt Whitaker as acting Attorney General has thus far not furthered Trump’s desire to stifle the Mueller investigation.  Since this administration prefers to operate on its “gut” rather than on background checks, vetting, and common sense, Trump has once again shot himself in the foot.  It is clear that this knucklehead grifter Whitaker realizes his desire for wealth and power at all costs, has placed himself in an untenable position.  Any interest Whitaker may have had himself in sabotaging the Mueller investigation is superseded by a desire for self-preservation.

It is also clear that it was not the insertion of Whitaker that moved the Mueller investigation into enacting their penultimate legal strategy and set-up for the final, albeit slowly unwinding chess moves, for what is as of yet an unclear check-mate.  No.  It was simply the long awaited and doubtlessly useless response from Trump’s lawyers to Mueller’s questions regarding Trump’s involvement in Russian interference in the 2016 election that cemented Trump’s standing and allowed for all of the forthcoming motions, unsealings, indictments and partial daylight on where this whole damn thing is going.

I am still of the belief that I have held all along that the Mueller investigation will not be a direct indictment of Trump either literally or figuratively.  I am still of the belief that the end result will be an actual, real life constitutional crisis that Congress, and truthfully the electorate, will need to find the will to sort through one way or the other.  I believe we will have further proof that Trump and his administration are the self-serving turds we always knew they were and continue to be.

With that in mind, the House of Representatives would do well to concentrate on fact finding the ways in which this administration continues to operate the government in their own interests.  Follow the money.

It is against this backdrop that we need to keep our focus in the present and near future.  Battle plans are drawn up and being enacted.

The government is once again facing the prospect of a partial and possibly full shutdown. 

This is a uniquely unqualified, dumpster-fire of an administration/Congress to be responsible for stewardship of the nation’s finances.  Its a mishmash of competing idiot ideologies, incompetence, and willful ignorance.  There are seven bipartisan bills to fund the government available, all of which are being ignored.  With a partial shutdown on the horizon on Dec. 7, Trump could easily accept the existing $1.7 billion available for his idiot wall, but he is holding out for $5 billion.  It seems it is even possible Democrats would cave for the $5 billion if Congress and Trump would sign off on protecting the Mueller investigation…a non-starter.

It is possible that this will once again result in a continuing resolution to fund the government at existing levels.  In other words, another one of the “kicking the can down the road” approach that is all this fucking government is capable of.

Mike Pence is setting the groundwork for, ‘I didn’t know anything,” and we all know why.

Mark Meadows Secret Plan to Undermine a Democrat Controlled House.


Over in the House, GOP Rep. Mark Meadows has come up with a plan for how Republicans should operate as the minority.  It is being referred to as a secret plan with nefarious intent.  I think the nefarious intent is true but it’s really not a secret, because we all know what the plan is.  But to see it’s bullet points delineated, really makes me wonder why so called “conservatives” desire to govern, when they literally have no fucking desire to actually govern, but only to be in power.

There are no plans to further any policies conservative or otherwise.  Nothing about healthcare or wealth distribution inequity or money in politics or infrastructure, border security, budgeting, education, welfare reform…or any fucking topic that government should be concerned about.  No.

What there is in this plan, is guidelines for how the Republicans could most efficiently obstruct and negatively propagandize Democratic attempts at governance and oversight.

In the opening page, Meadows writes he is “confident that with the right team and member engagement, our conference will be able to tactically play the Democrats’ politicized activities to our advantage.” He adds, “I believe I can position the committee as an effective platform to win back the House.”

The singular concern for House Republicans is how to win back the majority for 2020.  That’s it.


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Chief Justice Roberts Proclaims the Judiciary is Independent, and we are uneasy

It is not entirely unheard of for Supreme Court Justices to wade into politics, it is merely very rare.  Chief Justice John Roberts had proclaimed in 2014, in a more generalized fashion, that political divide and partisanship is making it difficult for the legislative branch to effectively do its job.  That’s a direct punch and also entirely accurate.

Also, we should be recall Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s judgement of Donald Trump when he was the nominee for the GOP in 2016:

“He is a faker,” she said of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, going point by point, as if presenting a legal brief. “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”

Ouchie.

Yesterday Chief Justice Roberts released a statement via the Supreme Courts relations in regards to an inquiry by the Associated Press as to whether the court has an opinion of Donny’s assertion that the 9th Circuit was a liberal activist circuit in halting Donny’s idiot, Executive Order regarding Asylum.


I’m pointing out several things here. 1. This was not a spur-of-the-moment statement from Roberts that he just blurted out when someone shoved a microphone in his face.  It was considered and allowed to be released.  There was an inquiry from the AP that generated the response.  2. This is the entire statement.  Most anywhere you see this quote broken into two parts, with the segue, “He went on to say…”, as if there must have been more to it.  There wasn’t.

-Short and to the point without any further embellishment.  We must realize, it surely was considered whether or not to even respond at all and then reasoned how little could be said and still make the courts beliefs known.

This is now an official statement from the Supreme Court to the Executive Branch.  It wasn’t intended to be such, but it is.  The necessity for this to be stated should make us uneasy.  We absolutely do not want the Supreme Court wading into politics.  We do not want this to be necessary.  We certainly do not want to look to the Supreme Court for guidance of our legislative and executive branches via press statements. 

Where our Supreme Court is supposed to offer guidance, is in its constitutionally focused decisions and its supporting opinions therein.  Both the majority and minority opinions, where offered.  That is where the court is free to wax poetic in support and defense of it’s wisdom in plurality and dissent.

Personally, I am happy Roberts issued such a statement.  It kinda draws a line in the sand, doesn’t it?  It was not intended to be a declaration of war but it is the opening salvo just the same, is it not?  Trump has repeatedly demonized the courts for any decision that does not align with his stupidity.  He is successfully diminishing the legislative branch, the judiciary and the fourth estate as “enemies of the people,” and the cult fucking loves it.  They eat that shit up.

Do individuals within the Supreme Court have bias one way or the other in their political beliefs?  Of course they do.  Are they selected for their likelihood to lean towards more conservative or more liberal opinions? Of course they are.  Our wish is their predilections are set aside in the name of what is reasonable, what is just, and what is necessary within the framework of the constitution and judicial provenance.

It is unfortunate that this official Supreme Court statement is necessary.  It is necessary.  Let us hope when normalcy returns, that each branch of the government can also find it’s way back to normalcy.

White House Reportedly in Bat-Shit Crazy Mode

TRUMP WHITE HOUSE REACHING NEW, FEVERED PITCH OF INSTABILITY, ANARCHY, AND WHACKADOO, CLUSTER-SHIT-FUCKERY!!!

A friendly reminder, the White House is perpetually on the verge of a meltdown.  randomly selected stories this year:

January https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/michael-wolff-my-insane-year-inside-trumps-white-house-1071504

February https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-trump-white-house-is-a-place-where-turmoil-never-ends/2018/02/28/ade7f878-1cd9-11e8-b2d9-08e748f892c0_story.html?utm_term=.a5f9ac500c51

March https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-trump-white-house-dark-mood-20180303-story.html

April https://variety.com/2018/politics/news/trump-white-house-political-coverage-cnn-washington-post-1202782162/

May http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/05/new-trump-white-house-drama-is-still-like-game-of-thrones.html

June https://nypost.com/2018/06/10/trump-routinely-rips-up-papers-that-need-to-be-preserved/

July

August https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/400226-white-house-feuds-with-cabinet-nothing-new-but-trumps-feuds-are-unusual

September https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-bob-woodward-new-book-fear-white-house-inside-look-a8524806.html

October https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/why-the-trump-white-house-is-having-a-meltdown-over-the-migrant-caravan

and Now https://newrepublic.com/minutes/140560/donald-trumps-white-house-verge-nervous-breakdown

I’m reminding us of this perpetual coverage of what, no doubt, surely is a shitstorm of ineptitude, not because I’m making light of it or trying to lessen its import.  I’m reminding us of this continual state because of our reflexive, never-ending desire for justice and sanity and perhaps how maybe we’re a little more jaded each month and potentially resigned to the fact that the cavalry isn’t on its way.  Sanity is not prevailing.  The cult isn’t suddenly “coming around” to obvious facts.

Almost everything we’ve heard about the inner workings of this administration is hearsay, or uncorroborated, or from someone too far down the chain to be given any weight, or reported from, “Sources inside the White House”.  It never seems to come directly from an unquestionable source with proof-positive facts and documentation.

We never quite get the “smoking gun,” do we.

So let’s not get all wound up when we hear the latest round of insanity and expect that, “This time, we’ll all see, everyone’s gonna see it and believe,” because the overwhelming odds are that’s not going to happen my friend.  The people that we want to hear from,  that leave the White House in shame and with their lives permanently tarnished, are all unfailingly reticent or stubbornly loyal so as to not allow their own decisions to be in question.

More people are about to be fired/helped to resign for sure and the media is going to speculate what it all means.  Trump is going to say more stupid shit and we’re all going to be offended.

What is truthfully much more important than the Russian interference investigation and the palace intrigue is the damage done by the incompetence and the overt corruption.  These topics are outside of the Mueller investigation, but the House Of Representatives have the keys to unlock that box.  Be prepared for 2 years of that.  it’s going to be long, painful, and slow to unravel.

2 years of that.

Ignore the palace intrigue.  Hope whatever forthcoming damage this administration will do is minimized and that the House may corral both Trump’s worst impulses and this administration’s inadequacies.

 

Asylum Executive Order, a Prelude to Violence

Perhaps you heard, during the initial “caravan” of marauders approaching the US border with evil intent, an unknown amount of the travelers were stopped at the points of entry and told there simply wasn’t any more space.  I mean, border patrol dudes literally standing at the apex of a bridge between Mexico and the US, and saying, “Nah man.  We’re all filled up.  You can’t apply for asylum at this point of entry today.”

Initially the DHS denied any such “metering,” or slowing down and regulating the flow of people to the border existed.  After strenuous argument by immigration attorneys and journalists, DHS and border Patrol admitted they were doing it.  Do you think Kirstjen Neilson, or any border patrol agent in the field, wouldn’t be able to tell you what would happen next?  Of course people tried to enter illegally after they were pushed away from what they were supposed to be doing all along.  And at the time, that was exactly what the Trump administration wanted.  They wanted to make these people potentially guilty of a chargeable offense.  Honestly, that was in many circumstances totally okie-dokie with asylum seekers, because that offense did not preclude one from applying for asylum…

Until Donny wrote his proclamation that illegally entering the US made it impossible to apply for asylum.

So, when I read  this passage in Donny’s new executive order, I scratch my head and wonder why now all of a sudden, the DHS and Border Patrol is going to take the exact opposite approach, when surely they would love to be able to charge everyone with illegally entering the US:

I am tailoring the suspension to channel these aliens to ports of entry, so that, if they enter the United States, they do so in an orderly and controlled manner instead of unlawfully. Under this suspension, aliens entering through the southern border, even those without proper documentation, may, consistent with this proclamation, avail themselves of our asylum system, provided that they properly present themselves for inspection at a port of entry. In anticipation of a large group of aliens arriving in the coming weeks…”

“In anticipation of”…so that’s the new super scary caravan Donny is talking about.  “Channel these aliens…”  Do you think there’s friendly Mexican forest gnomes scattered hither and yon throughout Mexico, dancing around in conical caps, and joyfully pointing weary travelers in the correct direction with a merry twinkle in their eye?

Fuck no.

What there will be is Border Patrol agents on the US side, no longer taking people into custody and hearing out their asylum claims, they’ll be pushing people back into the water and saying, “Nah man, you gotta go around.  Go down the river about 100 miles and apply at a point of entry.”

What this administration would like is the largest amount of asylum seekers possible, backed up on a bridge being harassed from both the Mexican and US border patrols. Penned in like criminals and exposed to the elements.  Neither here nor there, just stuck in limbo waiting.

IMG_1851_n2qpmu.jpg

Like these people on the bridge at Paso Del Norte.  They’re just stuck in front of an invisible line five feet away, where they cannot apply for asylum, because, “We’re all filled up.”  Now put several thousand people in this position on key points of entry.  Each day, the Mexican side can come up and kick these people off the bridge for loitering, and they do.  Now get back in the imaginary line.

What do you think is going to happen under these circumstances?  Do you think these people aren’t going to realize that they are being fucked with?

Multiply these pictures by 1000.   What do you think is going to happen?

3a6d0813-4af2-4e62-960a-3fea17da79e0-4_Bridge_Migrants.jpg

02ff633b-0aba-4bfc-9291-e7270f59101b-5_Bridge_Migrants.jpg

As  I said in my original post without completely explaining how I came to this conclusion- the important part of Donny’s Executive Order isn’t that it could withstand legal challenge (because it won’t), it only needs to stand long enough for someone to get shot.  The important part is to prove these are all violent criminals.

By forcibly amassing large groups of asylum seekers and thousands of law enforcement on both sides of the border, into a weeks long standoff in very tight quarters, this is a carefully orchestrated crisis in the making.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/02/us/officials-dismiss-shooting-rock-throwing-migrants-trump-invs/index.html

Update 11/22.  The Order has already been halted by a federal judge, however, the stage is being set nonetheless.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/11/21/white-house-approves-use-of-force-some-law-enforcement-roles-for-border-troops/

Trump’s Attacks on Immigration via the Executive Order

Trump’s recent Executive Order seeking to limit rights of declaration of asylum, encouraged me to re-examine all of the Executive Orders issued by the Trump administration regarding immigration and refugee resettlement.  I have avoided the topic of DACA, as that is a novel unto itself.

November 9, 2018. Presidential Proclamation Addressing Mass Migration Through the Southern Border of the United States

In short, this document says, “If you enter the country illegally, you may not seek or be granted asylum.”

It’s idiotic to say the least.  It will garner vigorous legal challenges from many sources as it is in discord with our own and international laws.  In honesty, I tell you, what Trump is attempting to do is force-funnel all asylum seekers into now congested, and over-taxed ports of entry in order to create a crowded, hostile atmosphere from which he may direct the National Guard,or Border Patrol, or any damn official with a gun, to open fire on all of the angry, drug-dealing, rapist, gang member, goddamn Mexicans.  So, you can join the mob at entry points, or be an illegal that may never-ever seek asylum.

It’s a manufactured crisis. (explained here)

That’s the whole plan here folks.  Trump’s people know this Executive Order won’t last.  Manufactured violence is the goddamn money shot Trump longs for.  The order doesn’t need to last forever, only long enough for someone to get shot.

“See??!!! I told you they were all animals.”

Previous orders:

January 25, 2017. Executive Order “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”

An Executive order to punish “Sanctuary Cities” by withholding Federal funding.

Overturned multiple times in multiple jurisdictions for very good reason as plainly noted below.  Most recently, August 2, 2018 US Circuit Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

“Under the principle of Separation of Powers and in consideration of the Spending Clause, which vests exclusive power to Congress to impose conditions on federal grants, the Executive Branch may not refuse to disperse the federal grants in question without congressional authorization. Because Congress has not acted, we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the City and County of San Francisco and the County of Santa Clara.”

January 25, 2018. Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements

An Executive Order to build the wall along the southern border with Mexico.

Meaningless.  This is merely an empty proclamation as it has no Congressional funding.  Without funding, it is only words on paper.

January 27, 2018. Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States

The “Muslim” travel ban #1.  Poorly written, poorly executed, and legally hampered by the idiot words that came out of Donny’s mouth repeatedly.

Overturned in multiply jurisdictions.

March 6, 2017 Memorandum for the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security

A rewrite and second attempt at the “Muslim” travel ban.  90 day limit.  This also had the effect of stalling any refugee resettlement.

Partially upheld by the Supreme Court.  Allowed to go into it’s partial effect on June 2017 for 6 blacklisted nations.  Included a 120 day freeze of refugee resettlement.  Expired.

 

September 29, 2017 Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State

A memorandum outlining the amount of refugees to be admitted into the US for 2018.  Total number= 45,000.  Down from 110,000 as set the previous year by the Obama administration.  Particularly insidious considering the worldwide refugee crisis.  There is every reason to believe this administration would like to get that number down as low as possible (with zero being the ideal number), as the vast majority of these people are non-white.

Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19,000
East Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5,000
Europe and Central Asia . . . . . . . . 2,000
Latin America/Caribbean . . . . . . . . 1,500
Near East/South Asia . . . . . . . . . 17,500

How many refugees did the US actually end up admitting under the Trump administration for fiscal year 2018? (Oct 1-Sept 30 is a fiscal year)  22,491 out of the 45,000 allotted.   Fiscal year 2017, under mostly the Trump administration’s guidance- 53,701 out of the 110,000 allotted by the Obama administration.

October 24, 2017.  Presidential Executive Order on Resuming the United States Refugee Admissions Program with Enhanced Vetting Capabilities

A resumption of application for refugee resettlement but with “Enhanced Vetting.”  A statement Trump absolutely fucking loved to say, but it was never clear what the fuck it meant, and this document did little to clarify that except it would take at least 90 extra days.  It is applied to 11 haphazardly selected and unnamed nations.  It was clearly a way to slow down refugees from entering the US.

“The lack of these arrivals, at a time they were legally ordered to resume, is just one window into how the Trump administration has slowed the resettlement process through administrative obstacles, lack of proper staffing and “enhanced security measures,” say advocates and former staffers. Many of them are starting to wonder if the dysfunction is intentional. “The program isn’t being managed—or, it’s being managed to fail,” said Bob Carey, former director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement during the Obama Administration. “What couldn’t be achieved through executive orders is being achieved through administrative roadblocks or lack of will.”

“These workers’ impression of engineered chaos comes as the State Department is already using low numbers of refugees to justify the closure of dozens of offices of resettlement agencies, which are private nonprofits that contract with the federal government. The resettlement agencies and employees still standing are left with the question of how to do their jobs under an administration that at best is making resettlement a very low priority.”

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/26/refugee-resettlement-confusion-executive-orders-217038

April 4, 2018.  Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security

The first installment of: Donny sees a scary video on Fox News about a migrant “caravan” rapidly approaching the US border.  These people will assuredly shoot us all full of drugs and butt-rape practically everyone.  In response to this very, very real boogeyman, Trump requests the States to call up their National Guard.

At the time, many State’s Governors refused to send National Guard. Later, many removed their National Guard as they wanted nothing to do with the Trump Administration’s subsequent “Family Separation” policies.  The best estimate is 450 people actually approached the border from this caravan, of those- 110 entered illegally, but it is uncertain how many of those 110 were forcibly turned away from ports of entry as some clearly were.  Of the 110 the estimate is 11 were actually charged with illegal entry into the US.

April 6, 2018. Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of Homeland Security

Trump declares, with the stroke of a pen, “Catch and Release is OVER.”  Directs US agencies to go about constructing detention facilities.  All of these types of orders under the pretense of the threat of drugs, smuggling, and gang members just pouring in through the border.  This order ultimately lead to the realization that the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance policy” was in fact, a “family separation policy.”

Overturned.

Initial reporting– “The Trump administration was left with few options after a series of court orders. A federal judge last month ordered the reunification of children under five by 10 July. That deadline was not met, officials acknowledged, while noting plans were under way on Tuesday to reunite up to 54 migrant children under five with their parents.”

June 20, 2018. Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation

The Trump Administration dumps their “zero-tolerance” fuck-up on Congress…and blames Congress for it.

“This Administration will initiate proceedings to enforce this and other criminal provisions of the INA until and unless Congress directs otherwise. It is also the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources. It is unfortunate that Congress’s failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law.”

***********************************************************

The Administration’s proposal for refugee resettlement for 2019?

Proposed FY 2019 Regional Ceilings

Africa 11,000

East Asia 4,000

Europe and Central Asia 3,000

Latin America and the Caribbean 3,000

Near East and South Asia 9,000

TOTAL PROPOSED CEILING 30,000

For real.  30,000.

https://www.state.gov/j/prm/releases/docsforcongress/286157.htm