Category Archives: GOP War On…

The Trump administration’s defense of the indefensible goes off the rails (updated)

President Donald Trump on Monday, with his sycophant Vice President looking on adoringly with puppy dog eyes, announced that the plaque bearing the text of the poem by Emma Lazarus,”The New Colossus,” mounted inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, with its famous inscription of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” is no longer operative in America.

Someone please check to see whether Stephen Miller has had this plaque removed from the Statute of Liberty.

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Also on Monday, a recording of immigrant children calling out desperately for their parents after being separated from them by United States immigration authorities was released by the investigative news site Pro Publica. The audio went viral in the media.

Also on Monday, These photos were the Trump administration’s attempt to quiet criticism. They’re only increasing critics’ horror.

As attention to the issue of child separation reaches a new high on Monday, the Trump administration [sought] to defend what critics call a “cruel” and “immoral” policy. It’s even releasing photos and video of the facilities where children separated from their parents are being held — but far from tamping down criticism, it’s only increasing critics’ horror.

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Children in cages, like dogs in a kennel. Yeah, this is not making your case.

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Federal court strikes down Kansas proof of citizenship law for voter registration

Kansas and Arizona both use a “dual” election system based upon the form of voter registration one uses.

NoVoteBoth states refused to allow those who use the federal voter registration form, which requires only an attestation of U.S. citizenship, to vote in state and local races after losing a legal challenge earlier to require the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to add the state-specific requirement of proof of citizenship to the federal voter registration form for Kansas and Arizona. Voters using the federal voter registration form can only vote in federal races.

This “dual” election system is being litigated in Kansas, and on Monday, the U.S. District Court for the state of Kansas, once again, struck down that state’s proof of citizenship requirement for voter registration, finding that Secretary of State Kobach had failed during trial to show evidence of widespread voter fraud. Judge Rejects Kansas Law Requiring Voters to Show Proof of Citizenship:

The ruling was a blow to Mr. Kobach, a Republican who has emerged as a national figure on [voter suppression], a candidate for governor of Kansas and an ally of President Trump in part by claiming that large numbers of noncitizens have cast ballots in American elections. Experts on election law say that there is no evidence that voter fraud is a pervasive problem.

For Kansas voters, the decision means that in elections this fall, people will not be required to provide proof of their citizenship in order to register to vote, as required under a Kansas law passed in 2011.

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Senate Republicans are complicit in Trump’s evil

The New York Times headline reads, Leading Republicans Join Democrats in Pushing Trump to Halt Family Separations.

The online Washington Post headline reads, Growing number of Republicans urge Trump to change policy on separating families.

Talk is cheap.  “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke.

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They look so innocent. They’re not innocent.” – Donald Trump

Steve Benen reports, So far, no Republicans endorse the Dems’ ‘Keep Families Together Act’:

The official line from the Trump White House is that critics of the administration’s practice of separating children from their parents at the border should simply change the law. The argument is indefensibly wrong: Donald Trump chose to implement a policy that separates these families, and he can change course at any time.

But Democrats have more or less accepted the challenge anyway, and have proposed specific legislation to prevent the Republican president from keeping his current policy in place. Vox.com highlighted the Senate Dems’ effort to pass the “Keep Families Together Act,” which was introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

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Trump flip-flops on immigration bill, using separated children as hostages for his border wall

Yesterday morning, “President Trump said he would not sign a carefully crafted GOP bill addressing the predicament of Dreamers, news that caught House Republicans by surprise and left the legislation on life support.” Trump crushes hopes for compromise DACA plan. “I’m looking at both of them,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” aka “Trump TV” in an interview Friday morning from the White House lawn. “I certainly wouldn’t sign the more moderate one.”

By Friday evening, Trump had flip-flopped. White House says Trump backs GOP immigration bills, despite comments opposing them. One official says Trump misunderstood Fox News’ question.

The White House said Friday that President Trump supports House legislation that closely tracks his priorities on border security and limiting legal immigration, walking back comments he made on national television rejecting the GOP bill.

The reversal came after hours of confusion on Capitol Hill, where Trump’s words roiled an already fragile internal debate between conservative and moderate House Republicans who have been trying to find an immigration compromise after months of false starts.

The president fully supports both the Goodlatte bill and the House leadership bill,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said, referring to legislation drafted by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and a separate compromise measure.

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Message to Trump: Paul Manafort sent to jail for witness tampering

Permanent musical accompaniment: I Fought The Law (And The Law Won), by the Bobby Fuller Four (1966).

The Special Counsel and U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sent President Trump a clear message today: tamper with witnesses, and you will be going to jail; you can share a cell with your former campaign manager. Paul Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges:

A federal judge ordered Paul Manafort to jail Friday over charges he tampered with witnesses while out on bail — a major blow for President Trump’s former campaign chairman as he awaits trial on federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges next month.

“You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Manafort. “The government motion will be granted, and the defendant will be detained.”

The judge said sending Manafort to a cell was “an extraordinarily difficult decision” but said his conduct — allegedly contacting witnesses in the case in an effort to get them to lie to investigators — left her little choice.

“This is not middle school. I can’t take away his cellphone,” she said. “If I tell him not to call 56 witnesses, will he call the 57th?” She said she should not have to draft a court order spelling out the entire criminal code for him to avoid violations.

“This hearing is not about politics. It is not about the conduct of the office of special counsel. It is about the defendant’s conduct,” Jackson said. “I’m concerned you seem to treat these proceedings as another marketing exercise.”

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GOP train wreck on immigration coming next week

The other day I told you that the House schedules vote on two DACA bills destined to fail:

So now we have the hardline Goodlatte-MsSally bill from the GOP House Freedom Caucus, which does not have the votes to pass Congress, and a so-called GOP moderate bill still being drafted that will fall far short of the Dream Act and the bipartisan measure that couples a path to citizenship for Dreamers with beefed-up border security.

House Republicans have released a first draft of their new “compromise” immigration bill, the “Border Security and Immigration Reform Act.”

The nearly 300-page bill is one of two that the entire House will vote on next week. It is considered a GOP “moderate” alternative to the GOP conservative bill proposed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).

Riiight.

The New York Times reports, House Immigration Bill, Pitched as Compromise, Tilts to a Harder Line:

The draft bill, circulating among lawmakers on Thursday afternoon and up for a vote next week, closely adheres to President Trump’s vision for an immigration overhaul. In addition to protecting the young immigrants, it provides billions of dollars for a wall on the southwest border while imposing new limits on legal immigration.

The bill would also toughen rules for asylum seekers. And it would address the separation of children from parents under the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal border crossings by mandating that families be kept together while in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, according to a summary of the measure.

In effect, the measure would offer Democrats and immigration moderates in the Republican Party a difficult choice: accept hard-line changes to much of the immigration system in exchange for protections for young undocumented immigrants and what appears to be a modification of the wrenching policy of splitting up families at the border.

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