Open thread October 22, 2019 Dan Crawford | October 22, 2019 9:26 am Tags: open thread Comments (17) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Should America take in a million Kurdish refugees?
After the Vietnam war, over a million refugees fled communist retribution — not just rule. The new regime shot 130,000 and put over 300,000 in re-education camps, mostly for three to ten years.
A book by the last western journalist to spend years in Syria, Sam Dagher, Assad Or We Burn the Country, makes out Saddam look like a Catholic saint. He is systematically carpet bombing his own country from one end to to the other for five years now, putting out rebellion one combatant/not-combatant at a time — sending in death squads after surrender to kill any medical personnel who treated the injured or males young and old at random and any other category that occurs, even looting and burning their homes — year in, year out.
God help the captured ISIS fighters if the Syrian army gets them first — we wont have to worry about what they are going to do to us.
Ditto for the Kurds who enter government controlled territory? The more you understand Assad, the less you’d be surprised at the darkest mayhem. Don’t be afraid to pass around the refugee settlement thing.
Be a handy thing to shove up the Donald’s “nose.”
“This is certainly the way things should work in an advanced democracy. From The New York Times:
The baby’s lips were turning blue from lack of oxygen in the blood when his mother, Kristin Johnson, rushed him to an emergency room here last month. Only after he was admitted to intensive care with a respiratory virus did Ms. Johnson learn that he had been dropped from Medicaid coverage. The 9-month-old, Elijah, had joined a growing number of children around the country with no health insurance, a trend that new Census Bureau data suggests is most pronounced in Texas and a handful of other states. Two of Elijah’s older siblings lost Medicaid coverage two years ago for reasons Ms. Johnson never understood, and she got so stymied trying to prove their eligibility that she gave up.
You know what’s one of the big problems facing the poor in America?
‘Some state and federal officials have portrayed the drop — 3 percent of enrolled children — as a success story, arguing that more Americans are getting coverage from employers in an improving economy. But there is growing evidence that administrative changes aimed at fighting fraud and waste — and rising fears of deportation in immigrant communities — are pushing large numbers of children out of the programs, and that many of them are now going without coverage. The declines are concentrated in a minority of states; in other places, public coverage has actually increased.’
This is the same trick that the Clinton Administration—to its everlasting shame—pulled with the SSI program during its welfare-reform heyday. Make the bureaucracy so daunting, inject just enough Kafka into the proceedings, that already overburdened and exhausted people just forget to dot an ‘I’ or cross a ‘T’, and then they fall off the lists and you can claim a victory for the taxpayers. It’s been a general strategy toward the social safety net among Republicans for decades.
‘Some of the states that saw the largest increases in uninsured children — like Tennessee and Texas — were those that created rules to check the eligibility of families more frequently or that reset their lists with new computer systems. In some states with large immigrant populations like Florida, doctors and patient advocates report growing concern among parents that signing up their children (who are citizens) may hurt their own chances of getting a green card or increase their risk of deportation.’
You just know that, in these states, there was a meeting of a roomful of sleek young politicians on the make who congratulated themselves on the cleverness of their strategy.
‘Other states have also begun checking family incomes more often, or removing families who may have moved if mail is returned to the state. “The way they are doing this seems clearly designed to throw people off this program,” said Eliot Fishman, a senior director at the consumer group Families USA, who was a top Medicaid official in the Obama administration. When Tennessee updated its enrollment computer system in 2016, it generated thousands of errors. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment in the state has declined by more than 55,000 children since January 2018, according to the Georgetown Center for Children and Families.’
Advanced democracy, my elbow.”
They are just evil. There is no better word.
The next year will be crucial for American democracy for decades to come. We are incredibly close to losing our democracy to authoritarianism backed by some of the richest people in the country and fueled by the basic racism that has fueled the GOP for more than 4 decades, and which faced with the actual demographic situation in the US, they are taking illegal actions to a new height at both the state and federal levels.
I cannot even imagine Bush II doing this:
“President Trump Debuted Two New Assaults on the Constitution in Two Days
Traditionally, in a republic, the chief executive cannot erase clauses from the nation’s foundational legal text because he does not like them.
It seems like a pretty elemental problem that the President of the United States is trying to simply erase clauses of the Constitution. This isn’t a particularly new development in the tenure of Donald Trump, American president. I’m old enough to remember when El Jefe sought funding from Congress for his Big, Beautiful Wall—and then, when the ask was rejected, declared a phony “national emergency” so he could seize the money. This was a subversion of the power of the purse granted to the legislature under Article I of the United States Constitution, the most essential duty of that branch of our government and a core part of the separation of powers. If the president can take money for whatever he wants, he can do whatever he wants. Forget checks and balances.
But this week, we’ve seen yet another anti-Constitutional escalation. It all kicked off Monday with another absurdist gathering of the president’s Cabinet. This meeting was purportedly supposed to focus on the supposed benefits of the president’s manic deregulatory program, but of course devolved into a 90-minute fiasco where he ranted about his many grievances and his apparatchiks praised his divine grace.
There was then the mandatory Obama reference (both his book and Netflix deals came after he left office), but it was all a prelude to this:
“I don’t think you people, with this phony emoluments clause—and by the way, I would say that it’s cost me anywhere from $2 billion to $5 billion to be president—and that’s okay—between what I lose and what I could have made.”
It doesn’t matter how much money the president has or hasn’t made, though there is no way he has anywhere close to $5 billion to lose. But the real heart of the matter is when he simply sweeps away a clause of the Constitution. Anything that is inconvenient—negative press coverage, parts of our nation’s foundational legal text—is dismissed as Fake. Anything that helps him is Real. That’s all there is to it.
Not content with that piece of constitutional erasure, however, the president debuted a new one this Tuesday morning.
So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!
4:52 AM – Oct 22, 2019
Imagine the almighty persecution complex you would need to have constructed around yourself to, as the world’s most powerful man, suggest you are going to be “lynched.” This is a disgraceful assault on the memory of people who actually have been extrajudicially executed by (white) mobs through the dark moments in our national past, but it’s also functionally absurd.
Impeachment is a process laid out in the Constitution—again, our nation’s foundational legal text—to remove an executive who has committed high crimes and misdemeanors or otherwise violated their oath of office. We are currently engaged in the grand jury-equivalent stage of this process, where the House of Representatives gathers evidence surrounding the president’s malfeasance. If and when they vote to impeach, the trial will be held in the Senate, at which point the president will get the due process he claims to want. But based on the fact he is trying to strip the process of its legitimacy, it doesn’t look like he wants due process. He wants to end the process before it can proceed as laid out in the Constitution.
In that sense, it is once again the president who has introduced lawlessness to our politics, weaponizing resentment and paranoia to try to disrupt the mechanisms of our democracy. He will continue to do so, by destructive and escalating means, as long as he continues to hold the power of the presidency. Any aspect of objective reality can be dismissed, and anything can be made real through force of repetition. And all the while, the foundations of our republic will continue to erode.”
In case you missed it, Matt Taibi has taken notice of the growing intolerance for the views of others in the United States. (And the lack of circumspection.)
Rather than confront the devastating absurdity of defeat before an ad-libbing game show host who was seemingly trying to lose – a black comedy that is 100% in America’s rich stupidity tradition – Democrats have gone all-in on this theory of foreign infiltration.
“House speaker Nancy Pelosi even said as much in a White House meeting, pointing at Trump and proclaiming: “All roads lead to Putin.”
All? Seriously? Is this ever going to end!”
US citizens younger than age 30 and all the current members of the US House of Representatives should study the career of US Senator Joseph McCarthy, a Republican from Wisconsin from 1947 to 1957.
Taibi also recently wrote this one:
I’m not sure he knows what is in the “intellectual mainstream” and what isn’t.
He even knows what he sounds like. His podcast is called “Useful idiots.” I guess he’s at least got self-awareness going for him.
“This is what McCarthy and his Jew behind him, Roy Cohn looked to ferment.”
Can someone please block the “Bert Schtliz” toll and clean up its droppings?
Of course, I meant “troll.”
Amazes me how the GOP has destroyed Michigan. Seems like a wave of problems keep hitting them.
“Could Betsy DeVos Cost Trump the Election?
The president needs to win Michigan again, but many of his supporters there hate the education secretary.
By Jennifer C. Berkshire
October 22, 2019
In 2016, Darrin Camilleri was 24 and teaching at a Detroit charter school 20 miles from where he grew up, when Michigan lawmakers took up a measure to implement more rigorous oversight of the city’s charter schools. Seemingly anyone could open a charter in Detroit, and the schools closed just as suddenly as they opened. From his classroom on the city’s southwest side, Camilleri watched the reform effort fail. “Watching that play out really showed me the downside of deregulation,” he told me. “No one is holding anyone accountable.” That year, he decided to run for state representative in southern Wayne County, a largely blue-collar area that shades rural at its edges. Rather than hewing to standard Democratic talking points—health care, for instance, or Donald Trump’s erratic comments—Camilleri made charter school oversight and school funding his central issues, and in 2016, he became the only Democrat to flip a Republican state house seat in Michigan.
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Picturing the Future
Trump would win the state by the slimmest of margins—just 10,704 votes. Today, his political advisers are determined to court the same coalition of suburban, rural, and blue-collar voters that sent him to the White House three years ago, but the president will have a serious liability during this cycle: Betsy DeVos. When Camilleri ran for reelection in 2018, he lost count of the number of people he met who still supported Trump but had come to loathe DeVos. “She is the most polarizing figure in Michigan,” Camilleri told me. “People can’t stomach the fact that Trump picked her. They care about good schools.”
In the three years since Trump turned Michigan red, education has emerged as a potent political issue in the state, thanks to a steady stream of grim studies and embarrassing news stories. Between 2003 and 2015, the state ranked last out of all 50 for improvement in math and reading. According to a recent study, Michigan now spends less on its schools than it did in 1994. Republicans have slashed funding to give tax cuts to big businesses. And the number of people who choose to become teachers has fallen dramatically.
Voters might not have blamed Michigan’s education woes on the GOP four years ago, but they do now. This summer, I spoke to business leaders and lawmakers who told me that a gulf is opening up between the state GOP and a handful of key constituencies—suburbanites, rural voters, and business leaders. It’s a shift that could endanger not just the state GOP, which has long controlled Michigan’s legislature, but Trump himself. ….
In July, when CNBC released its annual list of the “best states for doing business,” Michigan had dropped 13 places. The state’s schools are now so underfunded that they are no longer churning out the qualified graduates that investors look for when starting a new business. “We’re like the frog in the water that’s getting warmer and warmer,” said Rob Fowler, the CEO of the trade group representing 27,000 of Michigan’s small businesses. Last year, he and Business Leaders for Michigan convened an ambitious effort called Launch Michigan to bring together key stakeholders, in its parlance—businesses, philanthropic organizations, and teachers’ unions—and fix what ails the state’s schools. But beneath its buzzwords and hopeful calls for unity is sharper stuff. The business community has been a reliable cheerleader for the GOP and its legislative priorities; now, that alliance is fraying. In the coming months, Launch Michigan will present specific recommendations to the state legislature, urging policymakers to change course on such controversial topics as school funding and charter school oversight, keeping the GOP’s dismal track record on education in the news as the 2020 balloting nears. ”
And then there is the Chinese Hoax hitting them.
” The First Election at the End of the World
The new normal is here, in Traverse City, Michigan, as it is in thousands of other places, large and small, while the climate crisis poses the chilling existential question: Are the political system and institutions of the United States strong enough to confront it?
There is no beach where there once was a beach. There is a strip of sand that can hardly be called a beach, and on a cool afternoon at the beginning of September, seven kids were splashing through the waters at the edge of Grand Traverse Bay in that part of Lake Michigan that cuts into the lower half of the state of Michigan, providing a pinkie finger to the state’s mitten configuration. Not far from where there once was a beach, you can see a dock submerged just below the surface. The water is so clear you can count the boards. This is where Lake Michigan had come to rest at the end of the summer of 2019.
According to the Army Corps of Engineers, water levels in the Great Lakes hit record highs in 2019, and the combined levels of Lakes Michigan and Huron was thirty inches higher than its customary average in August. This is a consequence of heavier than usual rainfall, and then a heavier than usual snowfall, resulting in a heavier than usual snowmelt that combined with another unusually rainy spring. The lakes rose because of a combination of exacerbated weather events….
The cherry farmers in Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties are being hit from all sides. Trade agreements have allowed Turkish cherries to flood the market. Fruit flies have become an overwhelming problem. (This year, the peak population for the flies occurred just as harvest season began.) In August, a fourth-generation farmer from Old Mission Peninsula named Raymond Fouch and his son posted a photo on Facebook that showed nine tons of tart cherries that had to be dumped on the ground because local processing plants had told him they didn’t need any more. And then there’s the weather. Or, more precisely, the climate.
Once ideal for the cultivation of cherries, the climate in the area has become completely unpredictable over the past decade. In 2012, a warm spell in March caused the trees to bud five weeks early, only to have the buds die when a bizarre cold snap lasted almost the entire month of April. One farm that produced ten million to fifteen million pounds of cherries annually saw its production drop to 100,000. This had happened before, in 2002. The farmers saw two once-in-a-lifetime weather events in a little more than a decade.
And these were not outliers, either. In 2012, Michigan state climatologist Jeff Andresen told PBS, “We know from our climate records that our seasonal warm-up is beginning an average of a week and a half earlier than it did just thirty years ago. We also have very, very strong evidence that the number of freeze events following the beginning of development for these tree-fruit crops has increased. So there’s a longer time frame where that crop is vulnerable to those spring freezes than used to be the case thirty, forty, fifty years ago.”
You and I are up on the front page: “Michigan.”
“US citizens younger than age 30 and all the current members of the US House of Representatives should study the career of US Senator Joseph McCarthy, a Republican from Wisconsin from 1947 to 1957.”
I know enough of the Joe McCarthy to know that comparisons between McCarthy’s lies, red baiting and blacklisting and current attacks on Tulsi Gabbard are specious.
Not just obviously specious, but a product of a really deficient brain.
Like these people.
“As various news outlets have reported, over a dozen House Republicans this Wednesday tried to force their way into the closed door hearings where deputy assistant secretary of defense Laura Cooper is set to testify in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s Ukraine fiasco. According to Republicans, the closed-door hearings are a sign that Democrats are shutting them out of the impeachment process, creating a lack of transparency — even though there are three Republicans who are present at the hearings and are able to ask questions…”
This act of trespassing on a closed hearing is desperation. This is what flop sweat smells like, folks. These men know that the walls are closing in on Trump.
Joe McCarthy did some harm along the way, but the struggle against communism was one that could not be lost without horrendous consequences for humanity. The struggle is not entirely over, either.
Of course, McCarthy did nothing to thwart the progress of communism in the US. He ruined people’s lives and wasted taxpayer money for his own self-aggrandizement.
Communism is dead. Even nations that style themselves communist (China, North Korea) aren’t really communist. China is a one-party capitalist dictatorship and NK is just a totalitarian state. Nobody actually believes in communism.
And it just goes on and on…
A baseball umpire for Christ’s sake.
“Major League Baseball is looking into a since-deleted tweet by longtime umpire Rob Drake, commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday.
Drake tweeted late Tuesday that he planned to buy an AR-15 rifle “because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL WAR!!! #MAGA2020,” according to a copy of the tweet obtained by ESPN.
The tweet, which was deleted soon after it was posted, followed one earlier in the night regarding the House of Representatives’ impeachment proceedings with President Donald Trump.
The other tweet read: “You can’t do an impeachment inquiry from the basement of Capital Hill without even a vote! What is going on in this country?”
Drake deactivated his account Wednesday. He did not return phone and text messages.
In a statement Wednesday night, the Major League Baseball Umpires Association said Drake chose the “wrong way” to express himself while showing support for all umpires.
“Rob is a passionate individual and an outstanding umpire. He chose the wrong way to convey his opinion about our great country,” the umpires’ association said. “His posting does not represent the view of the MLBUA or reflect those of the umpires we represent.”