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Saturday, June 23, 2018

George Will: The family-shredding policy along the southern border, the most telegenic recent example of misrule, clarified something. The congressional Republican caucuses must be substantially reduced. So substantially that their remnants, reduced to minorities, will be stripped of the Constitution's Article I powers that they have been too invertebrate to use against the current wielder of Article II powers. They will then have leisure time to wonder why they worked so hard to achieve membership in a legislature whose unexercised muscles have atrophied because of people like them. House Speaker Paul Ryan and many other Republicans have become the president's poodles ... (and) have no higher ambition than to placate this president. By leaving dormant the powers inherent in their institution, they vitiate the Constitution's vital principle: the separation of powers.


MSNBC's Joe Scarborough didn't mince words Friday morning: He called Donald Trump "openly racist" and said that, by extension, so are his supporters. "You've got Charlottesville, where Donald Trump of course defended white supremacists with moral equivalency," Scarborough said. "Even this year, Donald Trump calling Hispanics 'breeders.' Just last week, saying that immigrants coming across the border were, quote, 'infesting America,' and no, he wasn't talking about gang members." Scarborough then told Trump supporters they are just as bad as the president regarding racial issues. "[Trump supporters] cannot say, 'Oh, I'm just supporting him because he's giving them hell in Washington, D.C.," Scarborough said. "No, he's been openly racist, just like we said back in December of 2015, openly racist. If you support him, then you're supporting that, and you are that. It's that simple. That's what we've come to now."


Friday, June 22, 2018

President Donald Trump's attacks on Twitter against German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week provided the clearest evidence yet of a sprawling American campaign to undermine her. While Trump's disdain for Merkel has been evident since the early days of his presidential run, he and his ideological allies have ramped up their efforts dramatically just as the German leader faces what experts call one of her most serious challenges yet: developing a Europe-wide policy on asylum seekers by July 1 to appease a crucial right-wing partner in her coalition government. Merkel now has to contend with not only local opponents but also a network of influential anti-immigrant Americans and other international activists inspired by Trump and similar illiberal leaders, like Hungary's Viktor Orban and Russia's Vladimir Putin. read more


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Trump administration officials say they have no clear plan yet on how to reunite the thousands of children separated from their families at the border since the implementation of a zero-tolerance policy in which anyone caught entering the U.S. illegally is criminally prosecuted. "This policy is relatively new," said Steven Wagner, an acting assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services "We're still working through the experience of reunifying kids with their parents after adjudication." Lawyer Efren Olivares and his team with the Texas Civil Rights Project frantically scribble down children's names, birthdates and other details from handcuffed men and women waiting for court to begin. There are sometimes 80 of them in the same hearing. "If we don't get that information, then there's no way of knowing that child was separated," Olivares said. "No one else but the government will know that the separation happened if we don't document it there."


It is important to keep in mind that many of these families are fleeing violence in Central America and are attempting to claim asylum in the United States. The case is being made that detention is necessary to ensure that asylum seekers show up for interviews and court hearings. But according to research, to detain the entire family while those claims are adjudicated is abusive, expensive, and ineffective. There are alternatives. Asylum seekers fleeing persecution arrive predominately predisposed to comply with legal processes and trust the system to provide them a fair hearing, even if they might lose. If the U.S. government treats asylum seekers fairly and humanely -- i.e., releases them following their apprehension and provides legal assistance before their hearing -- evidence suggests that they will be likely to appear for proceedings.


Comments

Update: One more question I've got -- how DOJ IG decided to stop the analysis at October, and not at the election. After all, the most damaging fake news story of the election, IMO, was the false leak to Bret Baier, attributed to "two sources inside the FBI," that Hillary was going to be indicted.

Today the DOJ Inspector General himself, Michael Horowitz was directly asked about whether he looked into the FBI's leaks to Rudy Giuliani. According to CNN's Manu Raju, the IG responded to the question by simply stating that the investigative work "remains ongoing."
I believe this is the reason why more wasn't dealt with in the Comey IG report and it certainly would be inclusive of any and all Trump-friendly leaks attributed to the FBI.

At least I hope so.

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