Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Zombie Obamacare Repeal Walks Again

The repealing of Obamacare has risen again from the grave, in the guise of the "Graham-Cassidy Bill" in the Senate. By many metrics, it's the worst one yet.

“This bill keeps 90 percent of the spending of Obamacare and reshuffles it,’’ Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said on Monday. “Really, when you look at how it reshuffles it, it does it just to take money from the Democrat states and give it to Republican states.’’

Block grants. Republicans love block grants. "Here's some money. Now get outta my face!" And they don't even try to hide the urge to punish, based on ideology.

Virtually everyone else says Graham-Cassidy will throw millions off health insurance, while "Medicaid would face cuts comparable to those in earlier repeal bills, and insurers in some states could charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions." 

If you're sick, you'll be punished. If you vote Democratic, you'll be buried.

Trump Wants To Copy the Military Prowess of ... the French?

Trump sat with French President Emmanuel Macron and watched a big showy military parade when he was in Paris last Bastille Day in July.

It was the greatest military parade Trump had ever seen. The glitz, the gleam, the precision, the costuming, the showmanship of it all!

I want me a parade like that, Trump said. In fact, yesterday in New York when Trump saw President Macron again, Trump said in front of reporters, “I was your guest at Bastille Day, and it was one of the greatest parades I've ever seen. It was two hours on the button, and it was military might and, I think, a tremendous thing for France and the spirit of France. To a large extent because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July Fourth in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Trump wants to stage a spectacle of "military strength" on the Fourth of July. He thinks it'll make him bigger, and indispensable.

So let's review: France, the nation whose strutting has attracted the admiration of Trump, has gotten chewed all to hell and gone in war after war. The Bastille Day parade that Trump saw recalled the glories of Napoleon, not any military adventure in the 20th Century -- really not any military adventure since the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. So the French military braggadocio is mythology. Harmless, since France doesn't threaten its neighbors or the world with military bullying.

That won't be isn't the case with Trump.

Why Didn't You People Warn Me?

How come I'm always the last one to find out the world's about to end?

According to David Meade and "Unsealed" magazine, the end is coming this Saturday, September 23.

Except  (footnote from Mr. Meade), “The world is not ending this Saturday, but the world as we know it is ending this Saturday." Hmmm. The world as I know it. So it's ending?

Mr. Meade hedges, sez the prophesies in the Book of Revelation will "manifest" that day in an escalating series of catastrophic events. So it's not the Rapture, though it might mimic the Rapture in some ways.

I had planned to go to the Farmer's Market Saturday.

"Unsealed" magazine has produced and posted on-line a 4-minute movie about Meade's theories. You gotta see it! Seriously. Go and watch. It's got special effects, animation, ethereal music, actors and models, and a real doozy of a plot. It's got dragons (and a dab of War of the Worlds). It's got a blond lady "clothed in the sun." It's Game of Thrones for Sunday School teachers.

Barak Obama did not make the cut, amazing as that is to report. They're not blaming him.

I'm a little concerned, though, about the baby born of The Tribulation who will rule with "an iron scepter." The movie explains that baby as Jesus Christ and -- AND -- "his church." I've known plenty of church people -- and I bet you have too -- who've lusted for the iron scepter and who meant nobody any good.

Friday, September 15, 2017

$9.99, Up in Smoke

Real Men Don't Eat Pelosi

But they do, apparently, eat Chinese with Pelosi.

That now-famous dinner at the White House two nights ago has caused a lot of indigestion among those not actually at the dinner. What did Trump agree to with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi? What did he give away? What did he promise? (Not that anything he ever says or promises means squat.)

Republicans have spent many years equating the name Pelosi with political evil, and here comes Trump who breaks out the chopsticks with her. And then deals on granting amnesty to the DACA kids. Not only deals, but according to principals in the meeting, strikes a deal. With Nancy Pelosi (and, oh yes, Chuck Schumer).

It's an amnesty deal, make no mistake. Enough so that Ann Coulter tweeted, "At this point, who DOESN'T want Trump impeached?"

I think we may have finally reached a crux in testing the Trump brag: "I could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue, and I wouldn't lose any supporters." He just shot the heart out of "BUILD THE WALL" chanters, didn't he?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Some of My Best Friends Are

NC House member Mike Clampitt (Bryson City) held a sparsely attended town hall meeting at Haywood Community College on the day after Labor Day, and someone produced a picture of him gleaming with pleasure amid a display of men with Confederate flags (which Confederate flag detailed below), and then someone else accused him of being "racist."

The news write-up of the confrontation drew this eye-witness comment in the Smokey Mountain News:

I was not the person who called Clampitt a racist at the meeting, but I was the one who brought up his allegiance to the flag that is NOT the official flag of the Confederacy and his being photographed willingly with the men who joined the CAnton Labor Day parade by driving their trucks sporting huge flags -- the flag of the Army of Northern Virigina, which was rejected by the leaders of the Confederacy in favor or another flag.

I asked Mr. Clampitt if he would then and there denounce racism and those who adhere to it. At first he told the long story of his ancestors on both sides and his participation in re-enactments with men
Clampitt town hall, Sept. 5
[playing] Union as well as Confederate soldiers. When he seemed to equate the importance and integrity of Confederate leaders with those of the USA -- the Union. Another audience member pointed out that the Confederates did commit treason in going to war against the US, and doing so to continue to make slaves of other human beings. No real reply addressing that incontrovertible fact.

To give context to my question, I told him about growing up in Selma, Alabama, in the 1960s and watching Bloody Sunday. As a white teenager I was traumatized, but my feelings are nothing compared to what people of color in Selma must have experienced and to what they must still feel whenever they see that execrable flag, which has in every rally where KKK and other white supremacists appeared.

I told him I have no doubt at all that the flag flown by these groups IS a symbol of racism because as a white I had the misfortune to overhear what white racists in the South [say], where I've lived most of my life.

If Mr. Clampitt and his fellow family history buffs want to commemorate their heritage, why not do it accurately by using the real flag the Confederacy adopted instead of the one that sickens those of us who have seen or experienced racism?

Waiving Goodbye To Ethics in Trumpland

Trump got rid of Walter Shaub two months ago, and look what happened! New livestock at the trough.

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE), which Shaub used to head -- and honorably -- has "quietly decided" to allow Washington lobbyists to donate anonymously to legal slush defense funds for Trump aides who are caught up in the Russian investigation.

Hmmm. Ethics rules, "changed quietly." As in, Maybe we can get away with it?

They didn't get away with it. The guys over at Politico.com noticed. Just hours ago.

The Walter-Shaub-less Ethics Office has decided to let lobbyists make essential business investments by "giving to the needy," that is, slipping the White House staff a little baksheesh donation, and doing it anonymously [wink wink]. The quiet change in the rules "raises the potential for hidden conflicts of interest or other ethics trouble" (Darren Samuelsohn).

No kidding.

“You can picture a whole army of people with business before the government willing to step in here and make [the legal debt] go away,” said Marilyn Glynn, a former George W. Bush-era acting Ethics Office director with 17 years experience.

Who Was Walter Shaub? And Why We Should Mourn Him

Walter Shaub
Claire Harbage, NPR
The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) exists as a weak watch-dog with no enforcement power. It's supposed to needle and head-off members of the Executive Branch to keep them from profiting from their government positions. (I know. In TrumpWorld, who isn't profiting? Sometimes in truly mendacious ways: Steven Mnuchin can get a government plane for his honeymoon and another one to rubberneck the full eclipse in Kentucky. It goes on. Jared Kushner has been fumbling around for a super-rich foreigner to bail him out of 666 Madison Avenue, and his family's real estate business cashed in on his prominence with rich Chinese. (Please try to convince me that Donald J. Trump isn't actively on the phone with Don Junior and Eric about the family business.)

So Walter Shaub, who's a complicated public servant, was appointed director of the Ethics Office in 2013. It would have been a five-year term. Shaub, who certainly knows the largely unenforceable rules, told the White House back in January that it shouldn't continue to conceal the details of certain conflict of interest "waivers" granted Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, and others, giving them the right to earn political consulting money on the side while also working for Trump. "Waivers are considered public documents, but the Trump White House had been holding them back, saying OGE lacked the legal authority to require disclosure."

Even before that, Shaub had been a pain in the ass and probably should have stayed off Twitter -- that sweet marshmallow into which many have sunk. After Trump made it clear in January that he would not be divesting his businesses, Shaub went in for a little political sarcasm. He mimicked Trump's Twitterstyle: "Brilliant! Divestiture is good for you, good for America!" Probably shouldn't have done that.

About 10 days before Trump's inauguration, Shaub spoke publicly about Trump's proposed plan for supposedly avoiding conflicts of interest (Trump said he'd move his business interests into a trust -- not at all a "blind" one -- run by his two oldest sons and a longtime business associate). But with Trump Himself the sole beneficiary of that trust, Shaub said it was a very bad idea. And a shocking departure from the policies of previous White Houses.

The White House was running over him, around him, under him. So Shaub resigned.

Fine by us, the White House said. And immediately set about making life easier.

Flippin' Awesome!

If a Democrat can flip an Oklahoma state House district that went to Trump last fall by 10 points, then just about anything can happen. Okla-frickin'-homa.

On Tuesday, in a special Oklahoma House race to replace a Republican who resigned to take a better job, school teacher Jacob Rosecrants beat some Republican businessman by more than double the margin that Trump won over Hillary in the same district last fall. Rosecrants buried his Republican opponent by 21 points.

Holy crap. Oklahoma. Where the wind comes whistling down the plain.

Also on Tuesday, another formerly Republican safe seat in New Hampshire flipped Democrat in another special election, in a district that went to Trump last fall by 16 points.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A New Political Party? Where Will the Refugees Go?

When one of the two major political parties gets in trouble, there's always talk of "third party." It's happening now to the Republicans. Jeremy Peters is out this morning with a piece in the NYTimes, wondering if Trump's about to brand a new property political party. (What shall we call it? "The Trump Party"? Or just "Trump"? "Trumpists"? "Trumpeters"? (In fairness, probably should be named for Bannon, its brain. How about The Bannonarians? Or how about White Nation?)

Bannon intends to make it happen. He's got his "weapons" back, he's leveled on his targets, and he's blasting away at the Republican establishment. McConnell, bam! Ryan, boom! He intends to take them and others down. Trump is the party now. You cannot oppose Trump. There are consequences.

Sen. Bob Corker
Like for Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. There's a rumor Bannon's prepared to support a primary opponent against Corker. Trump has attacked him on Twitter. Why? Corker publicly and on camera said that Trump had not demonstrated the “stability” or “competence” necessary to effectively lead the nation.

Now Corker is very publicly wondering if he'll even run for his Senate seat. It would only be his third term. He seems smart, level-headed, fair (though I don't prefer his votes). But he stood up to The Leader, and that makes Corker an untouchable.

Didn't Bannon just say on some Sunday interview show that Gov. Chris Christie got pushed out of Trump's inner circle because Christie didn't react well to the "Access Hollywood" tape? You remember, you do -- Trump struttin' in the locker room for the much younger Billy Bush. For the record -- and because I think we're mature enough now -- here is the unedited, unexpurgated transcription of part of what Trump bragged to Billy Bush:
“I moved on her and I failed – I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her, she was married. And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said: ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’ I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phoney tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
Christie had faced a camera back when that tape came out and said he couldn't support Trump unless he apologized. Trump didn't apologize, and Christie "didn't make the plane."

You know who else is gone who just coincidentally also denounced Trump over the "pussy-grabbing"? Jason Chaffetz of Utah. He said at the time, "I'm out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president." Strangely, "I'm out" proved prophetic in another way. Chaffetz left Congress suddenly, earlier this year. One of the most active and ambitious of House Republican conservatives ... retires mid-term. That's strange. There's been no hint that Trump/Bannon bullied him, but makes you wonder.
And look at the other battlefield casualties -- representatives of what may eventually be called "The Republican Party" again, refugees from Trumpland who finally got fed up with the wrongheadedness, the ignorance, and the bullying. I count four House Republicans, three in the last five days, who've backed out of running for reelection, four members who would have had a decided edge for reelection, but who are fed up: 
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida. When she announced her retirement back in April, she made a point of insisting, in front of cameras, that she’s not leaving Congress "because of her differences" with President Trump or with the direction of the Trump administration. But note: Ros-Lehtinen has been "one of the most vocal moderate Republican critics of the White House and the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Ros-Lehtinen, who said she didn’t vote for Trump last year, has disagreed with the president on deportations, transgender rights and budget cuts, and with House Republicans on healthcare" (Miami Herald).
Rep. Dave Trott (R-Mich.). Trott just announced yesterday. He's always been a so-called moderate. He's rich, from a suburban district that leans Republican, but he's had a "rocky relationship" with Trump. After Trump's equivocation about the "many fine people" who had associated themselves with neo-Fascism in Charlottesville, Trott said Trump should perhaps "stick to golf." Trott ... gone, after only two terms. He would have had the incumbent's advantage next year, unless he got primaried. (Dum-dum-DUMB)

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.). Dent, who's been a favorite on-camera interview target for MS-NBC, has been an outspoken Trump critic. His retirement statement (in part): “I’ve worked to instill
stability, certainty and predictability in Washington. I’ve fought to fulfill the basic functions of government, like keeping the lights on and preventing default. Regrettably, that has not been easy given the disruptive outside influences that profit from increased polarization and ideological rigidity that leads to dysfunction, disorder and chaos” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).

Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) Reichert is no Republican spring chicken. He's 67. He's represented his Washington State district for seven terms -- 14 years. But he decided it was time to exit. He had faced raucous town hall crowds in August, and Democrats were already lining up to battle each other in a primary for the privilege of knocking Reichert's lights out in 2018.

As the Republican Party splinters, there'll be more sudden retirements. Watch for it.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Mugstomp-on-the-Potomac Whipped by Hurricane Winds

The US Congress passed the debt ceiling and Hurricane Harvey relief bill yesterday, and Trump quickly signed it. In the US House, some 90 Republicans voted against it, including Madam Virginia Foxx, who's rarely (ever?) voted to help anybody caught in a catastrophe.

Those 90 Republicans, and a good number of other Republicans who ended up voting for the "deal" hatched between Trump and the Democratic leadership but who actually and actively hated it because it was a deal hatched between Trump and the Democratic leadership, made their displeasure known earlier in the day when Trump's top lieutenants came to Capitol Hill to woo them.

Mick Mulvaney, Trump's budget director, got booed. Steven Mnuchin, his treasury secretary, got hissed at. “[Mnuchin's] last words, and I quote, was, ‘Vote for the debt ceiling for me,’ ” said Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), who leads a group of conservative members. “That did not go over well in the room at all …. His performance was in­cred­ibly poor.”

Said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi after the vote with its 90 Republican defections, “If I ever as leader or as speaker had 90 members vote against one of the easiest bills to vote for, which is disaster assistance, you know they have a philosophical problem with governance.”


Friday, September 08, 2017

BOGged Down

How do you destroy a great educational institution?

One 28-member Board of Governors at a time, when it's packed with political hardliners and hacks who care more about ideological posturing than they do about education.

UNC BOG meeting yesterday.
Spellings is 2nd from right.
Photo Julia Wall, News&Observer
The University of North Carolina Board of Governors met yesterday, and a radical majority of right-wing Republican members -- almost all the members are Republican -- pushed through surprise resolutions that had not been shared in advance. The thrust of those resolutions was clearly aimed at undermining the authority of UNC System President Margaret Spellings, who was just appointed in 2015 (amid plenty of controversy).

Jane Stancill captured the action yesterday for the News&Observer.

Among the most destructive decisions was the vote to prohibit the UNC School of Law's Center for Civil Rights from pursuing legal remedies for low-income and minority groups or for individual citizens. As a result, the Center will close and pursue its activities elsewhere. The Center was funded entirely by outside contributions anyway. The BOG isn't saving money by smashing the Civil Rights Center; it's merely signaling its political hostility to equal rights.

It's the old Confederacy reasserting itself, and that plantation mentality appears to be at heart the animus toward President Margaret Spellings. When the statue of Confederate symbol "Silent Sam" was becoming a flashpoint on campus, Spellings reached out to Governor Roy Cooper for advice and help in keeping order. The Republican hardliners, who intend to keep the sacred flame of the slaveholding South burning bright, were deeply offended. These 15 members of the BOG, which includes several hard-right former members of the General Assembly, signed a sharp letter of warning to Spellings:
Harry Smith
Jim Holmes
Marty Kotis
David Powers
Alex Mitchell
Philip Byers
Mike Williford
Thom Goolsby
Pearl Burris-Floyd
Wendy Murphy
Bob Rucho
Randy Ramsey
Kellie Blue
Tom Fetzer
Bill Webb
The cabbage worms are eating the cabbage from the inside out.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Trump: Full Frontal with the Democrats

Photo by Al Drago for the NYTimes
House Speaker Paul Ryan had earlier in the day yesterday called "the deal" that Trump struck with Congressional Democrats "ridiculous" and "disgraceful." Yet Trump jumped at the offer from Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to tie Hurricane Harvey relief to a three-month extension of government funding and increase in the debt ceiling.

In other words -- and the short version -- Schumer and Pelosi ate Republican lunch.

Besides Schumer and Pelosi, representing the Democrats, who else was there? Trump, yes, but also House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. All those Republicans opposed the Schumer-Pelosi plan -- one might say, opposed it bitterly -- but Trump ignored them. In fact, later on Air Force One, on his way to North Dakota, Trump deliberately praised Schumer and Pelosi for striking a deal with him while not even mentioning the Republicans who were also in the meeting.

Schumer and Pelosi now have more than just leverage. Their three-month deal on the debt ceiling will force another painful vote for Republicans around Christmas time, with every chance of political disaster. Paul Ryan had wanted a debt ceiling extension of 18 months, which would have put another vote beyond the 2018 mid-term elections. Trump in effect shat in Ryan's hat.

Trump also later talked up the mutual willingness among the Trump-Schumer-Pelosi triumvirate to make the "Dream Act" (DACA) into solid law. Trump now wants the Democrats in Congress to save him from the blowback over his tromping on DACA on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Ryan and McConnell fumed in the corner like jilted spouses in a nasty divorce.

The deal struck between the Democrats and Trump still has to go for votes in both House and Senate, and many Republicans are steaming mad about it. “The Pelosi-Schumer-Trump deal is bad,” Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska tweeted. Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina, chair of the Republican Study Committee, said, “I’m still processing this, but my first instinct is I’m not very happy about it." But can Republicans afford to vote against it?

Score one for Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Trump Lays a New Turd in the GOP Punchbowl

Republican leaders in the US Congress were perhaps looking forward to a September when they could get a couple of positive things done, like beginning to relieve Houston, and maybe raise the debt ceiling -- votes likely to be bi-partisan and popular -- but no, Trump has to go and drop DACA on them, saying, "Now, you've got six months to pull my bacon out of the fire."

Majority reaction -- wide and deep offense. Business leaders have risen up against Trump's move, risen up like a king cobra about to strike. Political leaders in both parties hate it, warned Trump against it, now scuff at the dirt. Qualified Hispanic voters who used to regularly vote Republican -- there are some -- are reconsidering their values. Congress will groan under the load while multiple "polls show that DACA enjoys overwhelming support among the public."

(Republicans stand to lose a substantial bloc of voters. Up to 38% percent of Hispanic voters have voted Republican, depending on the place and the candidate. Mitt Romney got 31% of the Hispanic vote. Trump, not.)

It's clear Trump didn't know what he was doing yesterday. By evening he was tweeting -- “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit the issue!”

I will revisit the issue. I bet you will.

If certain facts and human realities weren't clear to Trump, Sessions knew exactly what he was saying and what it all meant, and he gleamed like a greased pig in those television lights. Was he exulting in his heart? "Fewer brown people will be coming here, or staying. Praise Jesus!"

Why did Trump have to go and do that now? Of all the things that terrify him -- being touched by strange people, being laughed at, being put on the spot publicly and dared to tell the truth -- looking weak is strong juju for Trump men, and some eleven conservative Republican attorneys general had threatened to sue Trump by today if he didn't start to end DACA. (Plus he was on his way to a big public rally of his DACA-hating peeps in North Dakota today.)

The attorney-general-posse is led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is under indictment by a Texas grand jury for securities fraud. Paxton was joined by the attorneys general of Arkansas, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia, as well as Idaho Gov. C. L. Otter, in a June 29 letter to Jeff Sessions urging the White House to start phasing out DACA by Sept. 5, or face a lawsuit.

Jeff Sessions ... the willing stooge Trump sent out yesterday to face the cameras, the man who loves what's happening -- he had reportedly told Trump that he wouldn't defend DACA in court. The Constitution is his shield, he believes says. With Sessions, the law follows the heart, and the white Anglo-Saxon race is very important to Sessions. He's on record praising the 1924 eugenics-based immigration law that enforced racial and ethnic animosity. In a Breitbart radio interview with Steve Bannon in 2015 Sessions made perfectly clear his preference for people who "assimilate" completely, and you can figger all day what that means.

And then comes Irma.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Lord, Have Mercy!

Lee at the VMA Awards.
Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File

A descendant of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the Rev. Robert W. Lee IV, has stepped down as pastor of Bethany United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem over remarks he made during the August 27 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) in which he praised the Black Lives Matter movement. He was introducing the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed during demonstrations over a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Va.

"We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate," he said. "As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America's original sin."

Some members of his church were outraged by his politics, while clearing remaining quite comfortable with their own: "A faction of church members were concerned about my speech and that I lifted up Black Lives Matter movement, the Women' s March, and Heather Heyer as examples of racial justice work," he said in the statement explaining his resignation.

Lee also issued an apology to church members for causing them pain with his remarks on MTV. But he said he continues to "strongly support" removal of monuments to his ancestor and other Confederates. Lee, a recent graduate of the Duke Divinity School, was only just appointed pastor of the church in April.

A Notorious Camera Hog Goes All Shy and Stuff

Donald Trump has never been one to avoid the camera ... until today. He won't personally announce his decision to sort-of, kinda end President Obama's "dreamers" program, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Trump himself won't face the cameras to announce his non-decision decision. He's sending out immigration hard-liner Jeff Sessions to make the announcement (and Sessions has already signaled that he'll take no questions -- how's that for standing proud behind your administration's decision to quash the dreams of some 800,000 otherwise productive members of this society?).

Non-decision decision? Trump will say he's ending the DACA program but has really decided to punt the whole question over to Congress for the next six months. Congress? Is he serious? Congress has never demonstrated any aptitude nor willingness to solve the problem of children brought to this country illegally who have subsequently made productive lives for themselves and rich contributions to the communities in which they live. The stories are now multiplying about "dreamers" who've been helping to pull people out of the Houston flood waters.

Dreamers like the undocumented daughter of some of Virginia Foxx's long-time servants, a young woman who reportedly graduated with honors from Watauga High School years ago and then had trouble finding a place in college because of her undocumented status. Did Virginia Foxx help her? No, at least according to people who know that situation.

Trump is purely playing to his alt-white base, and he should hide his face.

“It’s not clear what delaying this for six months means,” said Mark Krikorian, another immigration hard-liner who runs the Center for Immigration Studies.

“He’s being pulled in a bunch of different directions, and because he doesn’t have any strong ideological anchor, or deep knowledge of the issue, he ends up sort of not knowing what to do,” Mr. Krikorian said. “I think the fact that they did nothing to [DACA] suggests that they had no idea what to do,” he added.

The cruelest part of this: The federal government has the cellphone and home address of every DACA recipient, information they volunteered to the government with the promise it would never be used against them or their families. That was part of President Obama's original executive order.

“They grew up here, they work at nearly every major company in America, serve in the military and many are working on recovery efforts in Texas,” said Todd Schulte, president of FWD.us, a progressive immigration reform group that has urged the president to retain the program. “If DACA is repealed and no permanent legislation passed, they will all be fired and our government will begin the large-scale deportation of people raised in the United States.”

Does Trump want that as his legacy? Does the Republican Congress?

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Goodbye, Rep. Millis

NC House member, Republican Chris Millis of Hampstead, the idiot who tried to start a movement in the General Assembly to impeach and remove Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, has himself fallen in the weeds. He suddenly announced his retirement because -- you guessed it -- he wanted to spend more time with his family. (Totally not making that up.)

His lust for impeaching Secretary Marshall, based on bad and misunderstood information, had earned him nothing but jeers and face-palms from both sides of the aisle in the GA.

General Kelly, in a Different Foxhole

The reporting team of Thrush and Haberman serve up another piping hot popover of inside poop on the Trump White House today: "Forceful Chief of Staff Grates on Trump, and the Feeling Is Mutual."

People on the inside are making bets on how long Gen. John Kelly will last as Trump's gate-keeper ... one month or a whole year? (Smart money's on the first option.) Trump has sprayed Kelly with his "volcanic resentment" at being managed -- cussing out the man he hired to manage him.

The Marine general is dealing with the worst, sloppiest, most ill-prepared recruit in his long military career, and he's forced to do it like no Marine is accustomed to, treading "gingerly through the minefield of Mr. Trump’s psyche."

That's real estate no sane military man would want to invade. And we believe that Kelly is nothing if not sane.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Competence, Like Truth, Beauty, and Contact Lenses, Is in the Eye of the Beholder

We usually avert our gaze from polls, because -- you know -- they have a troubled history and can lead you to believe things that just aren't going to happen, but our blood sugar is low this morning and we're jonesing for sweets.

Like this: YouGov has been regularly sampling American voters since January. Cumulatively, they find that Republicans' have lost faith in Trump’s ability to handle the job, from a high of 81% approval in January to 65% in August. Republicans, who have been seen to stick with Trump like cockleburs to mohair. But repeal and replace tanked. Tanked-- somebody didn't do it right! -- like the famous Wall's about to, due to a thug immigrant named Harvey.

YouGov uses Internet polling, which I've always thought was mighty skewed, but FiveThirtyEight gives YouGov an overall B grade for getting it right. And they have a 93% correct rate for calling individual horse races.

"Opinion has changed on the most visible issues of Trump’s presidency, which suggests that the public is reacting to the administration’s handling of specific policies." Short take: the new resident administration doesn't look competent, and even Republicans are beginning to think it has a lot to do with the man at the top.

The money shot:
Falling assessments of a party or president’s competence have important electoral consequences. For one thing, it limits the range of issues that a party can campaign on, since voters are unlikely to find persuasive promises from a party that has proven it can’t deliver. Voters punish governments for poor performance on a range of issues — not just on the economy, as some claim.
Explains the current signs of panic at 1600 Penn Ave., don't it?