Gage Skidmore / Flickr Donald Trump...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

We warned you about Stephen Miller (and Steve Bannon) from the get go. We told you their boss, Donald Trump, was a racist and that they were white supremacists. We were right on each point.

And the deplorables at the Duluth rally who loved the idea of tearing babies from their mother’s breast and ‘losing’ them somewhere? We were night about them, too.

So was Hillary, regardless of what else you think of her. But America wasn’t ready to hear it.

And now? This is a humanitarian and a political disaster that will not go away anytime soon, not until the children are located and returned. This is a narrative the WH can’t contain or control.

I don’t think political commentators have wrapped their heads around this, but even though they haven’t, they know this is something big.

The press needs access. Stop being stenographers, don’t show propaganda.

There is a legitimate debate over immigration (see Pascal-Emmanel Gobry and David Rothkopf, below) but baby jails aren’t subject to debate.

New Yorker:

A Physician in South Texas on an Unnerving Encounter with an Eight-Year-Old Boy in Immigration Detention

“This boy seemed devastated—quiet and withdrawn. He barely spoke. I asked if he needed a hug. I kneeled down in front of the recliner, and this kid just threw himself into my arms and didn’t let go. He cried and I cried. And to think he’s been in a facility for a month without a hug, away from his parents, and scared, and not knowing when he’ll see them again or if he’ll see them again. While I held him, I heard the men standing behind me muttering that I was ‘rewarding his bad behavior.’ Thankfully, it was in English, so I don’t think the boy understood what they were saying, but it just revealed their attitudes toward these kids.

George Will/WaPo:

Vote against the GOP this November

The principle: 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.

Charles P. Pierce/Esquire:

This Nation Is Beginning to Realize the Full Extent of What It Did to Itself in November 2016

The country’s head is clearing. The spell of the reality show presidency* is wearing off.

The week just passed has changed the calculations. The images from the border, and the White House’s fatheaded trolling of the situation, seems to have shaken up everyone in Washington to the point at which alliances are more fluid than they have been since January of 2017. There seems little doubt that the Republicans in the House of Representatives are riven with ideological chaos, struck numb by the basic conundrum of modern conservatism: When your whole political identity is defined by the proposition that government is not the solution, but, rather, the problem, you don’t know how to operate it when fortune and gerrymandering hand you the wheel.

You can fake it pretty convincingly, doing the bidding of your donor class and knuckling the powerless and making a nice living for yourself, as long as events pursue a fairly predictable course for which there are familiar precedents in your experience. You can even see the setbacks coming from around the corner. Even your defeats are predictable and, thus, explainable—or, at least, spinnable. Can’t repeal Obamacare? RINOs like John McCain!

The problem arises when something unpredictable happens, and the government you control has to be fast on its feet, and you don’t know how that really works. A hurricane and a flood drowns New Orleans, and the luxury horse-show official you put in charge of the country’s emergency management system—because who cares, right?—finds that he’s really not up to the job. Or, suddenly, you find that, no matter how hot the emotions run at your rallies or how brightly your favorite TV network polishes your apple, or how hard you pitch the snake oil that got you elected, the country will not stand for being complicit in the kidnapping and caging of children. The pictures begin to pile up. The mirror in which the country prefers to see itself cracks into a million sharp shards that begin to cut your political life away

This is the key to understanding what’s going on:

Ron Brownstein/Atlantic:

The GOP’s ‘Utterly Dysfunctional’ Strategy of Babying Its Base

As long as Republican lawmakers support Trump’s hardline policies, they risk alienating their college-educated, and especially younger, voters.

With his policy of systematically separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, Donald Trump finally extended his racially infused economic nationalism to a point that a critical mass of elected Republicans could not follow.

But the fact that many Republicans drew the line only at a policy that experts have likened to child abuse is a powerful measure of how far Trump has already bent the party toward his “America First” vision, particularly on immigration. Even after Trump tried to alleviate the backlash over the policy on Wednesday, the larger question is whether the opposition he provoked represents just a solitary speed bump in his reconfiguration of the GOP around nationalist themes, or the beginning of a broader pushback….

GOP pollster Whit Ayres is one of many party professionals who say that while that strategy can help Republicans challenging Democratic senators in some culturally conservative red states, it’s a formula for disaster in a House battlefield centered on white-collar suburbs.

“It is an utterly dysfunctional strategy if you look at the districts that will determine control of the House, which are largely upscale suburban districts or very diverse districts with large numbers of Hispanic voters,” Ayres said.

David Rothkopf: (or twitter)

The backlash to globalization it turns out is not just protectionism–though there is certainly that. As it has manifested itself with Trump, UKIP, Orban, Salvini, the Russian-supported Euro-right, the “opposite” of globalization is ethnic cleansing, racist nationalism.
I have been an active advocate of globalization all my life. I am not only because I believe it ultimately benefits all people, but because it is not just a historical trend of the moment, it IS history. Global opening and integration is the story of the human race.
That said, there is no doubt, that we who support globalization underestimated both the dislocations associated with it and their human cost but also the nature of the reaction to it and how dark it could or would become. That was a profound mistake.
We should have expected and done more to deal with the human costs of the inevitable transitions these largely (and ultimately hugely) beneficial trends will bring. We still should. But our inattentiveness went further and was combined with arrogance.

Chris Hayes (twitter):

Now what *has* happened during the last 13 years is that unauthorized immigration has fallen significantly, net migration from Mexico has reached zero, and funding and manpower at the border has doubled. There have never been more border patrol and more ICE agents.

Deportations in the first term of Obama hit record highs. In short, The border has never been more patrolled and militarized.

And yet somehow the anti-immigration forces during this time have only gotten stronger and more extreme.

That’s because the politics of opposition aren’t driven by concerns about border security or lawfulness. There *are* lots of persuadable *voters* who do have those concerns. But they’re not the obstacle.

No, the hardcore oppositon is driven by demographic and racial panic.

Miller is a Nazi. Godwin’s law is suspended.

Susan Glasser/New Yorker:

Trump’s Cynical Immigration Strategy Might Work for Him—Again

On Wednesday, soon after Trump signed his executive order, I spoke with a veteran Democratic pollster. “I don’t want to be quoted saying Democrats have a problem,” the pollster said, “but there is a real problem here.” The pollster agreed that it appeared to be a smart move on Trump’s part to keep talking about illegal immigration as much as the economy, even in the midst of the backlash over his tough policies. “On most issues, whether health care or taxes or the general mood, the Republicans are in a bad place,” the pollster said. “This is their one wedge issue that actually works for them.”

Trump certainly seems to think so. At a May 29th Nashville campaign event for Representative Marsha Blackburn, who is running to succeed the retiring Senator Bob Corker, Trump said of immigration, “The Democrats want to use it as a campaign issue, and I keep saying I hope they do.” He added, “That’s a good issue for us, not for them.”

This hasn’t played out yet and won’t stop playing out, so premature to decide, especially if you think it helps him. But recognize that the deplorables are out there.


The chaotic effort to reunite immigrant parents with their separated kids

Each of the mothers had a different memory of the moment she was separated from her child.

For some, it was outside a Border Patrol station just north of the Rio Grande, shortly after being apprehended. For others, it was after an interrogation by federal authorities in a bitterly cold air-conditioned office.

Jodi Goodwin, an attorney in Harlingen, Tex., has heard more than two dozen variations of those stories from Central American mothers who have been detained for days or weeks without their children. So far, she has not been able to locate a single one of their offspring.

“It’s just a total labyrinth,” she said.

Even though the Trump administration has halted its policy of separating illegal border crossers from their children, many of the over 2,300 youths removed from migrant parents since May 5 remain in shelters and foster homes across the country. The U.S. government has done little to help with the reunifications, attorneys say, prompting them to launch a frantic, improvised effort to find the children — some of them toddlers.


CNN Poll: Americans think Russia investigation is serious and should continue

Negative views of Mueller don’t mean that the public is taking Trump’s side. Just 29% approve of how Trump is handling the Russia investigation. Only 35% say it is an attempt to discredit Trump’s presidency. Nearly 7-in-10 think Trump should testify under oath if Mueller requests it. Another 70% would disapprove if Trump issues himself a presidential pardon, with no majority in any demographic group. Trump has said he absolutely has the power to pardon himself but doesn’t need to.

Soybeans may lose Trump the midterms.

Dan Merica/CNN:

How soybeans — yes, soybeans — could impact the midterm elections

“This isn’t just numbers on a sheet or percentage of trade or dollar value,” said Michael Petefish, a 33-year old Trump supporter and fifth generation farmer in southern Minnesota.
Standing on the farm he will likely run for the next 40 years, he added, “This is multi-generational American families, your base, that you are now squarely putting into financial peril.”
Petefish is one of the thousands of farmers who have seen the price of their crops tank in the face of escalating trade rhetoric between the United States and China. Growers in the area talk of their farms losing over $200,000 in value as commodity prices slump, all while the back and forth between the two countries has played out like a game of chicken, with each side trying to one up each other by raising the size of tariffs they plan to implement on each other.

Star Tribune:

Minnesota’s soybean sales could take big hit if China tariffs proceed

This scenario strikes farmer Kristin Duncanson as ironic, given Trump’s insistence that protective tariffs help American businesses. A 29 percent export loss would be very hard for any soybean farmer to absorb, and it could be devastating to those who lack working capital, she said.

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry/Atlantic:

The Lesson Democrats Have Yet to Learn on Immigration

Trump’s opponents could learn something from Emmanuel Macron, who works to convince skeptics of immigration he will enforce borders even as he advocates for immigration.

As Business Insider’s Josh Barro has argued, Americans think immigration is fine, but they also want their immigration system to be controlled by people who believe they have the interests of American citizens at heart when designing and implementing immigration policy—not those of foreign citizens.

And this may be why Stephen Miller’s gambit—this debate was purposefully provoked by Miller, President Trump’s notoriously anti-immigration policy adviser, with the intent of causing a big ruckus ahead of the midterm elections—might yet pay off. The majority of Americans might dislike Trump’s actions, but they might dislike even more the alternative of open borders, if that’s what they see Democrats offering.

So should Democrats just “moderate” and “triangulate”? Well, yes and no.

France’s Macron may offer them the best blueprint to follow. Macron, the former investment banker, the centrist’s centrist, clearly believes that immigration is awesome. He has also clearly read the polls that say French people hate it.

His approach hasn’t been to try to thread the needle so much as try to gain credibility for future expansions of immigration. During his presidential campaign, the biggest drag on Macron’s candidacy was his full-throated support for immigration. And yet, in office, he has swung around, promoting a bill that expedites the process of evaluating asylum seekers’ claims, to a degree that has advocates in conniptions.

This was, in fact, the Obama approach and the approach that passed the Senate. So Democrats get it.

Those tweets are about the above article… and the tweets are excellent. And then there’s this one:

Speaking of falsehoods and lies:


Kinda long, but there is a lot going on. Meanwhile:

Jonathan Chait/New Yorker:

British magnate Arron Banks supported the Brexit campaign with the largest political donation in British history. Leaked documents obtained by British reporter Carole Cadwalladr suggest Banks had more than mere philanthropic motives for this donation. Banks met several times with representatives of the Russian government, contradicting his previous claim to have met with Russians just one time.

More significantly, the documents suggest the Russians dangled a lucrative business deal. He would have the chance to buy in to a gold-mining consolidation, “potentially netting a profit of several billion dollars.” Banks denies that the gold deal ever happened, or that any of the meetings included any surreptitious collusion. “It’s a convenient political witch-hunt, both over Brexit and Trump,” he insists, using the same term favored by Trump.

To say that Bank’s defenses appear suspicious is a substantial understatement. If his meetings were innocent, why did he lie? If he never consummated the Russian gold-mining deal, why did he tweet at the time that he was investing in a big gold-mining deal?

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


  1. Trump is a pig and the resemblance is getting stronger. His squealing piggy voice the oversized piggy jowls. And he should be caged like the children. Vote him OUT!!!


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