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DACA

The Miami Herald on the latest legal blow to Trump’s attempts to deport dreamers.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, of Washington state, ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — DACA — not only must remain in place, but that the administration must also resume accepting new applications. He stayed his decision for 90 days.

It’s the third judicial smackdown to President Trump’s efforts to rescind the program — which President Obama created by executive order in 2012 — and deport those it shields, called DREAMers. One would hope the Trump administration would have gotten the message by now that his efforts are misguided. But don’t bet on it.

What’s happening in decision after decision, isn’t just throwing Trump’s.attempt to end DACA back in his face, it’s undermining the stated reason for the original overturning of DACA — which was Trump’s contention that it was illegal and wouldn’t stand up in court.

Spineless Republicans

Leonard Pitts delivers a slap to a Marco Rubio whose sense of honor is truly small.

Dear Sen. Marco Rubio:

So I see where you came after me on Twitter. I’m flattered. Never knew you cared.

“This well known national writer,” you tweeted about my last column, “states very clearly that the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump are haters who should not be heard from or engaged in dialogue. It’s a view widely held by many elites on left, but very few of them so openly admit to it.”

Marco Rubio engaging Leonard Pitts in writing … is like a tub toy taking on a battleship.

And here’s the thing: You know this. You’re not an idiot, so you absolutely know what a dangerous outlier Trump is. Yet because it is politically expedient, you, who once called him “dangerous” and a “con man” unqualified to have access to the nuclear codes, now ask us to believe that you believe he has somehow magically become fit for the job. All while he scales new heights of incompetence every day.

It leaves me wondering: Who are you, really? What, if anything, do you stand for or believe? Because you exhibit a spinal flexibility only Plastic Man could love.

Read the rest if you want to see the carnage  then come inside,

MacRon

Natalie Nougayrède says Macron’s visit to the US wasn’t about France’s relationship with the US, but about its place in the EU.

Whether in Europe or in the US, the limelight surrounding Emmanuel Macron has produced hopes and anxieties in almost equal measure. Liberals love him as a poster boy for radical centrism in an age of democratic retrenchment and rampaging populism, while extremes on both left and right detect the threat he represents to their worldviews, and attack him for it. Like Donald Trump, Macron is well aware that he emerged from an era of polarisation. But the power these two men wield is, to say the least, very different.

The speech Macron delivered on his final day in Washington was a step-by-step repudiation of everything Trump stands for … though it’s not clear that Trump even noticed.


The Washington Post feels that visiting European leaders have giving Trump a route to reasonable foreign policy … if he’ll only take it.

Mr. Trump is due to decide by Tuesday whether to allow steep tariffs on steel and aluminum to be applied to the European Union, a misguided measure, driven by his incomprehension of basic economics, that could trigger a trade war with America’s closest allies. Eleven days later he is due to announce whether the United States will continue to comply with the Iranian nuclear accord. A repudiation would open another major rift with Europe while inviting a crisis if Iran resumes the production of nuclear materials. The president has meanwhile declared his intention to withdraw American troops from Syria in the coming months, which would open another opportunity for Iran and endanger close U.S. allies, including Israel.

Everyone has told Trump that the sanctions are a bad idea, but Trump has made the call. If he’s going to stop now, sometime is going to have to convince Trump that he’s already won.


Suzanne Moore on the Washington experience of the other Macron.

 In contrast to Melania’s reticence, the male presidents seemed unable to keep their hands off each other. It has been mortifying to watch primate grooming rituals up close. They involve Trump brushing away Macron’s dandruff. There have been the hugs, the pats, the back-rubbing, the hand-holding, the kissing. The awkward embraces of these alpha males has been quite a thing. Trump seems to have a public intimacy with the French president that he just can’t achieve with his wife. …

And must Brigitte Macron be part of the deal? For she very much has been. While these men have been fumbling with each other, they have needed, it seems, to be accompanied by women in white who act as decoration. The big males bond. The women simply illuminate. …

Brigitte is a grandmother of seven with an interesting life but in this tableau she must be doll-like and mute. Macron has always wanted her to be recognised as first lady. Tellingly, the French did not want to give her this official title. There was a petition against it.

10:1 that on any given subject, Melania and Brigitte Macron could have come up with better policy than their husbands. Of course, that’s not exactly fair, since one team has Donald Trump.

North Korea

Wendy Sherman encourages everyone to not be too encouraged.

We should all be glad that Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, and Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea, had a positive summit — and that Kim literally took a historic step into the South, as did Moon, briefly, into the North. Dialogue is certainly better than a march to war. That said, we all need to keep our expectations in check. …

Similarly, we should all welcome the Trump-Kim summit expected in May or June. But no summit declaration on that occasion will be meaningful regarding North Korea’s nuclear arsenal if the definition of the term “denuclearization” is left blurry and no robust verification regime is put in place. We need to see concrete steps. That would include, in the first instance, allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency back into North Korea to begin an assessment of Pyongyang’s nuclear program and ensure, if possible, that North Korea is not advancing the program while talks continue.

The biggest problem with how North Korea is being treated in the news is the impression that the United States is driving the situation, when the truth is we’re little more than observers. We can start a new war on the Korean peninsula, but ending one is beyond our power.


Max Boot has deja vu.

The meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea was acclaimed as “historic.” The two leaders hugged, “smiled broadly, shook each other’s hand vigorously and toasted each other with glasses of champagne.” Reporters noted that the “opening formalities seemed surprisingly relaxed, exceeding the expectations of many people, including perhaps those of the principals themselves. The South Korean leader said we must “proceed together on a path of reconciliation and cooperation.” The North Korean leader replied that “you will not be disappointed.”

Sound familiar? It should, because the news coverage of the 2000 meeting between South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang parallels the euphoria over Friday’s meeting in Panmunjom between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong Il’s son. If anything, the 2000 meeting produced more tangible results: Not only declarations about ending the Korean War and uniting the two countries, but also concrete steps toward creating a joint South Korean-North Korean industrial park in Kaesong , allow South Korean tourists to visit the North, and to reunify families long divided by the demilitarized zone. Between 1998 and 2008, South Korea provided some $8 billion in economic assistance to North Korea in the hope that all of this aid would create a kinder, gentler regime. Kim Dae-jung won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for his efforts.

Everyone would like to see the war officially ended. More than that, everyone would like to see the North Korean people reconnected to the rest of the world, with access to food, medicine, and opportunities. But the hope for good things shouldn’t get ahead of dealing with real things.

It is worth keeping that sobering history in mind before we get too carried away over the latest inter-Korean summit. Yes, it’s a good thing the two Korean leaders are meeting and talking. It is certainly better than the saber-rattling we saw last year, with North Korea testing nuclear weapons and missiles, and President Trump responding with threats to rain down “fire and fury.”

The Madness of Donald Trump

David Von Drehle on Trump’s frantic Fox appearance.

It was a Trumpian tour de force. The stammering anchors could scarcely get a word in edgewise as the president bounced from boast to boast, gripe to gripe, non sequitur to non sequitur in a stream of consciousness worthy of James Joyce. But they didn’t need to interrupt him, because he was constantly interrupting himself. When Trump says “by the way” (and he said it seemingly every few seconds with the Fox News team), it means he is about to change topics mid-sentence.

The best thing about Trump’s rambling jaw-dropper, is that, as always, Trump thought he put on a star turn. So much so that he’s talking about coming back to do it again, at least once a month.

Whether by strategy or intuition, Trump has cultivated a way of talking that puts logical, linear listeners at a great disadvantage. If you pause to analyze anything he’s saying, you may find yourself missing the actual mischief.

Like this: “They’re phony memos,” Trump said of fired FBI director James B. Comey’s memorandums of their meetings.

What does he mean by phony? Don’t ask, you’ll fall behind and miss something.

“He didn’t write those memos accurately,” Trump continued. “He put a lot of phony stuff. For instance, I went to Russia for a day or so — a day or two because I own the Miss Universe pageant.”

How is this germane? You’re falling behind.

I want a supercut of the interview, with nothing but close-ups on the faces of Trump’s Fox friends as Trump is speaking.


Joe Scarborough is wondering what J.C. would do. Where J.C. is Julius Caeser.

Friends, Republicans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to praise President Trump, not to place him in an elder-care home. Any concerns regarding my old friend’s mental health are as distant a memory as the Mooch’s reign as communications director. That’s because earlier this year, Americans received blessed assurance — from no less an authority than the White House physician — that their president is of sound mind and herculean body.

Skipping forward past several paragraphs of faux Shakespeare.

Trump’s nationally televised rant no doubt left presidential fixer Michael Cohen crestfallen, but it had the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress whom Cohen paid to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, salivating. Cohen must have been asking himself why anyone would go on television and damage his legal standing in both California and the Southern District of New York. The president’s unmoored performance also prompted prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office to amend their pleadings to insert Trump’s statements. Cohen, we learned from the president, was actually nothing more than a bit player in the Trump Organization’s legal schemes. So how much of his communications with Trump could even be privileged?

I would imagine that being one of Donald Trump’s attorney’s would be among the most dispiriting jobs in the country. But I like the approach take by Ty Cobb. Everything’s fine. Everything’s fine. And that’s another full day billed.

Trump–Russia

The Washington Post on the House Intelligence Committee’s final gift to Donald Trump.

Of the three major investigations into Russia’s 2016 election interference, the House Intelligence Committee’s has been the briefest, sloppiest and most partisan. The result is a report released Friday that contains some useful information and recommendations — which will be drowned out by its slanted attacks on the intelligence community and its other attempts to give President Trump cover.

Since at least one member of the committee has already admitted they weren’t looking at either collusion or obstruction, it simplifies things immensely. In fact it makes the whole report something of a success story.

In a report on a hostile Russian campaign against the United States, the committee also spends a substantial amount of ink attacking leakers whose disclosures helped raise the issue in the news media. The report insists that leaks on Russian operations “increased dramatically” after the 2016 election. Though probably intended to help Mr. Trump, this finding undermines one of his primary defenses; if there had been a “deep state” plot to stop Mr. Trump, wouldn’t the leaks have begun in earnest before Americans voted?

That’s what the Republicans found — that the real crime isn’t collusion. It’s that someone snitched.

House Chaplain

Dana Milbank and how the House Chaplain broke the Republican First Commandment.

Praying for the poor is now apparently a firing offense in the corridors of power.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) did not give a reason when his chief of staff this month told the Rev. Patrick Conroy, a Jesuit priest and House chaplain, to resign or face dismissal.

In Republican America, poor people are just lazy people. Otherwise, they would be enjoying the greatly reduced taxes on their capital gains.

He prayed to God that lawmakers would help “the least among us.”

He prayed for them to follow the example of St. Nicholas, “who fed the hungry, brought hope to the imprisoned, gave comfort to the lost.”

But Republicans have made it clear they won’t have language of that sort. Not in their America.

Immigrants and real Americans

Timothy Snyder argues that the immigrants need to repay the damage they’ve done to real Americans.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has altered its mission statement, removing the characterization of America as a “nation of immigrants” in order to emphasize the new goal of “securing the homeland”. Some critics made the point that most citizens are immigrants or their descendants, while others noted that most Americans believed that immigration should remain stable or increase.

Yet the problem with the change in language lies deeper. According to our own legal tradition, Americans claim sovereignty over the territory of the US as immigrants, precisely because the territories in question were someone else’s homeland: the Native Americans’.

Snyder makes the argument that that US should return land to native nations. And the legal argument is definitely worth reading.

In American law, to have a homeland established no sovereignty over territory; only immigration created such authority. According to Marshall, English charters and claims had established an “absolute and complete” title to the land of North America, which then “passed to the United States” in 1776. The judicial magic of creating sovereignty and property is performed on behalf of immigrants and only on behalf of immigrants.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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