Tag Archives: morality

Trump administration fails to meet deadline to reunite immigrant families

Under the order issued by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego, TODAY is supposed to be the deadline for reuniting the more than 2,500 children who were taken from parents apprehended while crossing the border. Yeah, that didn’t happen. As deadline for family reunification arrives, reports of chaos, confusion as to immigrants’ next steps:

Government lawyers have conceded they will fail to reunite all the families by that deadline — hundreds of parents already have been deported without their children, and the government has been unable to locate many others. Officials said in court Tuesday they expect to have reunited just over 1,600 families by the deadline.

Despite the administration’s hardline stance, hundreds of those families have been released on immigration parole, pending hearings on their asylum claims, typically with the adults wearing ankle monitors. Scores of other families, however, have been sent to immigration detention centers, including two in Texas where at least 80 families are being held in custody.

Why some families have been released and others detained remains unclear, as is how long those detentions may last, according to lawyers for the families. Government officials have refused to provide answers.

Axios.com has a breakdown based upon the latest court filings from the Justice Department:

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America faces a moral crisis of its fundamental values

The Washington Post editorial states it concisely, The Trump administration created this awful border policy. It doesn’t need Congress to fix it. As Senator Lindsey Graham said, pick up the damn phone and make the call.

But as the New York Times interview with White House crypto-fascist white nationalist adviser Stephen Miller makes abundantly clear about what is happening, “they want this” (h/t graphic: Rachel Maddow Show). How Anti-Immigration Passion Was Inflamed From the Fringe:

It was Jeff Sessions who ordered prosecutors to take a new “zero tolerance” attitude toward families crossing into the United States, part of his plans to reshape the country’s law enforcement priorities to limit immigration. It is Stephen Miller who has championed the idea inside the White House, selling President Trump on the benefits of a policy that his adversaries have called “evil,” “inhumane” and equivalent to child abuse or the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

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Asked if the images of children being taken from their parents would eventually make the president back down, Mr. Miller was adamant.

“There is no straying from that mission,” he said.

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In the recent interview, Mr. Miller dismissed as ignorant the hand-wringing of Republicans about the family separation controversy.

“You have one party that’s in favor of open borders, and you have one party that wants to secure the border,” Mr. Miller said. “And all day long the American people are going to side with the party that wants to secure the border. And not by a little bit. Not 55-45. 60-40. 70-30. 80-20. I’m talking 90-10 on that.”

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‘Economically forgotten’ have much in common with America’s poor

Axios.com has an Exclusive: 40% in U.S. can’t afford middle-class basics:

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Data: United Way; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

At a time of rock-bottom joblessness, high corporate profits and a booming stock market, more than 40% of U.S. households cannot pay the basics of a middle-class lifestyle — rent, transportation, child care and a cellphone, according to a new study.

Quick take: The study, conducted by United Way, found a wide band of working U.S. households that live above the official poverty line, but below the cost of paying ordinary expenses. Based on 2016 data, there were 34.7 million households in that group — double the 16.1 million that are in actual poverty, project director Stephanie Hoopes tells Axios.

Why it matters: For two years, U.S. politics has been dominated by the anger and resentment of a self-identified “forgotten” class, some left behind economically and others threatened by changes to their way of life.

  • The United Way study, to be released publicly Thursday, suggests that the economically forgotten are a far bigger group than many studies assume — and, according to Hoopes, appear to be growing larger despite the improving economy.
  • The study dubs that middle group between poverty and the middle class “ALICE” families, for Asset-limited, Income-constrained, Employed. (The map above, by Axios’ Chris Canipe, depicts that state-by-state population in dark brown.)
  • These are households with adults who are working but earning too little — 66% of Americans earn less than $20 an hour, or about $40,000 a year if they are working full time.

When you add them together with the people living in poverty, you get 51 million households. “It’s a magnitude of financial hardship that we haven’t been able to capture until now,” Hoopes said.

By the numbers: Using 2016 data collected from the states, the study found that North Dakota has the smallest population between poverty and middle class, at 32% of its households. The largest is 49%, in California, Hawaii and New Mexico. “49% is shocking. 32% is also shocking,” Hoopes said.

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Support Sen. John McCain’s opposition to Gina Haspel at CIA

For the past several days the media has been consumed by the story that White House communications special aide Kelly Sadler joked in a staff meeting about Sen. John McCain’s opposition to President Trump’s nominee for the CIA, Gina Haspel: “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.White House official mocked ‘dying’ McCain at internal meeting.

While Kelly Sadler has called the McCain family to apologize privately, she has not been terminated nor has she or the White House publicly apologized for her comment. The Trump White House crossed a new threshold for political debasement this week:

U. S. Senator John McCain

The White House probably thinks it cannot punish Kelly Sadler for her awful comment about John McCain because President Trump has also said nasty things about McCain. It may worry that showing her the door would set a troubling precedent for a president who may one day cross a very similar line.

Welcome to the ongoing degradation of our political discourse. Destination: No end in sight.

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What happened this week is worse than most anything we have seen — worse even, I would argue, than Trump questioning McCain’s war hero status. What’s more, the White House is trying to ignore it, which means the bulldozer is pressing forward.

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Either because the White House is afraid of setting a standard Trump cannot meet or because Trump is demanding it hold the line against the media’s outrage cycle, it is serving notice there are more important things than Sadler’s public accountability: things like confidentiality and politics.

Case in point, Trump blasts the White House leakers as ‘traitors and cowards’:

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Poor People’s Campaign kickoff on Monday

Here is something you can persuade your local church congregation into supporting and participating in. After all, WWJD?

On Monday, thousands of low-wage workers, clergy and activists will gather at the U.S. Capitol and more than 30 statehouses across the country to kick off the Poor People’s Campaign (organization website), a civil disobedience movement that aims to push the issue of poverty to the top of the national political agenda. Here’s how the Poor People’s Campaign aims to finish what MLK started:

Inspired by a 1968 initiative planned by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the multiracial coalition will involve 40 days of protests and direct actions to highlight the issues of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism. Organizers are pitching it as one of the largest waves of nonviolent direct action in U.S. history.

About 41 million Americans live below the official poverty line, the majority of them white. Organizers with the Poor People’s Campaign say official measures of poverty are too narrow, and the number of poor and low-income Americans expands to 140 million if food, clothing, housing and utility costs, as well as government assistance programs, are taken into account.

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Trumpism, moral relativism, and GOP tribalism (Updated)

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post had an interesting piece about the moral decay of the GOP the other day, Republicans redefine morality as whatever Trump does:

New evidence suggests that the damage [Trump] is doing to the culture is bigger than the man. A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found that two-thirds of Americans say Trump is not a good role model for children. Every component of society feels that way — men and women, old and young, black and white, highly educated or not — except for one: Republicans. By 72 to 22 percent, they say Trump is a good role model.

In marked contrast to the rest of the country, Republicans also say that Trump shares their values (82 percent) and that — get this — he “provides the United States with moral leadership” (80 percent).

And what moral leadership this role model has been providing!

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[L]et’s see what might have led 72 percent of Republicans to conclude Trump is a good role model:

His lawyer arranged to make payment to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, a month before the election for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, according to the Wall Street Journal.

He used a vulgar word to describe African countries during a racist rant to lawmakers at the White House.

He was mounting a campaign to discredit the “corrupt” FBI, the Justice Department and the special prosecutor, just as he previously sought to disqualify courts and judges.

He backed a credibly accused child molester for the Senate from Alabama.

And so on.

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