Saturday, June 16, 2018

Arrest Those Two And Grab The Kid


Early yesterday on his way to Fox and Friends, the fake president was delighted to be surrounded by reporters throwing questions at him. He revels in lying to the media. "That’s a Democrat bill," he lied. "That’s the law, and that’s what the Democrats gave us," he spouted, perpetuating his own baseless bullshit that the law is forcing his regime to incarcerate children at the border to be separated from their parents.

Not knowing anything about the Bible, Trump left it for Sessions and Huckabee's daughter to make up the biblical justification for the Trumpist policy. I can't wait to see how Kate McKinnon handles this on Saturday Night Live: "Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order... Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who says she went to an Evangelical University, has been making the same case, saying it is "very biblical to endorse the law... That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible."

James Hohmann went on and on about this in yesterday's Washington Post: Trump is losing the debate over splitting up immigrant families. Thursday was "a tipping point" for the Trumpist regime's war against refugee children, as even Republican congressmember and loyal Trumpist religionists "distanced themselves" from the vile and illegitimate boob of a so-called "president."
Republicans might be able to win political fights over “sanctuary cities,” the border wall and the president referring to Hispanic gang members as “animals.” But party strategists privately acknowledge they will not be able to prevail in a messaging war over whether it’s a good idea to take kids away from their folks, especially against the backdrop of dramatic visuals and a stream of relatable stories about traumatized young people being housed in shelters. This policy is widely believed by operatives to play especially poorly with suburban women who are key to Democratic hopes of retaking the House.

This explains why more and more elected Republicans-- especially those facing tough reelection fights-- are going on the record to say they oppose splitting up families. Even Paul Ryan declared that he is uncomfortable with the policy. “We don’t want kids to be separated from their parents,” the speaker told reporters during his weekly news conference, though he blamed the courts and not Trump.

...Historically, whenever a politician has cited Romans 13 to justify public policy, they have lost the debate. It’s never been a winning argument, but that’s what Jeff Sessions did Thursday. Defending the “zero tolerance” policy he unveiled last month, the attorney general said during a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Ind.: “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.”

This passage was previously used to justify the divine right of kings, oppose the American Revolution and defend slavery. Consider these two quotes from a new story by Julie Zauzmer and Keith McMillan:
“There are two dominant places in American history when Romans 13 is invoked,” said John Fea, a professor of American history at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. “One is during the American Revolution [when] it was invoked by loyalists [to the crown]… The second spike you see is in the 1840s and 1850s, when Romans 13 is invoked by defenders of the South or defenders of slavery to ward off abolitionists who believed that slavery is wrong… This is the same argument that Southern slaveholders and the advocates of a Southern way of life made… Whenever Romans 13 was used in the 18th and the 19th century-- and Sessions seems to be doing the same thing, so in this sense there is some continuity-- it’s a way of manipulating the scriptures to justify your own political agenda.”

“Romans 13 says that the purpose of government is to pursue what is good, and it says that the government should not be a terror for those who are doing good,” said Matthew Soerens, U.S. director of church mobilization for World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals. “The fact that the Apostle Paul, who wrote Romans, wrote several epistles from jail suggests that he was occasionally on the wrong side of an unjust law… You cannot read Romans 13 without reading Romans 12.”

In Romans 12, Paul wrote: “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. ... Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.”
Sessions’s defense led to one of the testiest briefings of Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s tenure as White House press secretary. When CNN’s Jim Acosta asked her about the attorney general’s biblical reference, she eventually told him: “I know it's hard for you to understand even short sentences.”

“Where in the Bible does it say that it's moral to take children away from their mothers?” Acosta asked.

“I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law,” Sanders replied.

“There is no law that requires families to be separated at the border,” said Paula Reid of CBS. “This was the administration's choice!”

“Come on, Sarah, you're a parent,” added Brian Karem, executive editor of the Sentinel newspapers in Maryland. “Don't you have any empathy for what these people are going through?”

“Brian, guys, settle down,” said Sanders. “I'm trying to be serious, but I'm not going to have you yell out of turn.”

“These people have nothing,” replied Karem.

“Hey, Brian, I know you want to get some more TV time, but that's not what this is about,” said Sanders.

“Answer the question,” he replied. “It's a serious question. These people have nothing. They come to the border with nothing, and you throw children in cages. You're a parent. You're a parent of young children. Don't you have any empathy for what they go through?!”

Sanders ignored him and called on another reporter.

“The Trump administration seems to be caught inside a Twilight Zone episode, insisting without evidence that its own policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents is somehow a long-standing law and that any blame should go to Democrats,” writes Salvador Rizzo of The Post’s Fact Checker unit. “These claims are violently divorced from reality, as we’ve explained previously. Alas, [Sanders] seems to have missed or disregarded our fact-check.”

...Religious leaders, including on the right, are not buying the Romans 13 argument that Sessions is making.

“I think it’s disgraceful, it’s terrible to see families ripped apart and I don’t support that one bit,” the evangelist Franklin Graham, Billy’s son and a staunch Trump supporter, told the Christian Broadcasting Network. “And I blame the politicians for the last 20, 30 years that have allowed this to escalate to the point where it is today.”

The annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, which Vice President Pence addressed Wednesday in Dallas, passed a resolution nearly unanimously afterwards that said immigration policy should make “family unity” a “priority.” “We declare that any form of nativism, mistreatment, or exploitation is inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said the resolution, from the country’s biggest Protestant church.

The official Twitter account of the Migrants and Refugees Section at the Vatican tweeted out a verse from Deuteronomy yesterday:

One prominent bishop said during a Wednesday meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Florida that Catholics who carry out Trump’s separation policy are violating the tenets of their faith and perhaps should be denied communion.

The head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston released his own statement blasting the policy. “This strategy is morally unacceptable and denies the clear danger weighing upon those seeking our assistance,” wrote Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley. “In the year 2018, the moral challenge of immigration is mounting for the United States. On too many occasions our government has taken a posture and established policy which is in principle and in practice hostile to children and families who are fleeing violence, gangs, and poverty.”

Sessions today will travel to Scranton, Pa., to speak on immigration at Lackawanna College. Ahead of his visit, the Catholic bishop for that area sent a separate statement to the local newspaper, the Times-Tribune, that described the administration policy as an “affront to the right to life.”

“These individuals are fleeing violence and chaos in their homelands, only to face policies that are destroying their families and unduly burdening their children,” said Bishop Joseph C. Bambera.

The leaders of 26 separate Jewish groups-- from the conservative, reform and reconstructionist movements -- have signed a new open letter to Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that calls the policy of separating children from their parents “unconscionable.” It was organized by the Anti-Defamation League.

Furthermore, the policy is breaking through into popular culture.

Stephen Colbert, a devout Catholic, lambasted the separation of families on his show last night:

“What's going on at our southern border is outrageous," singer Willie Nelson said in a statement picked up yesterday by Rolling Stone. “Christians everywhere should be up in arms. What happened to 'Bring us your tired and weak and we will make them strong?' This is still the promise land.” (That’s a reference to lyrics from his song "Living in the Promiseland.”) ...Activists protested around the country yesterday. Hundreds showed up in places like Cincinnati and Akron, Ohio. Thirty people gathered outside Mar-a-Lago, per the Palm Beach Post.

...The press clips continue to be brutal, even in ruby red states like Mississippi. Here’s a taste:

The Clarion Ledger: “Crisis on the border: Immigration attorney describes families being separated, torn apart.”
The Detroit Free Press: “‘Where's my mom?' cries girl as immigrant kids separated from parents arrive in Michigan.”
WHYY (Philadelphia’s NPR affiliate): “Philly mental health experts call for end to separating kids, parents at Mexican border.”
The American Medical Association Wire: “Doctors oppose policy that splits kids from caregivers at border.”
The History News Network: “Would the Trump Administration Separate Jesus from Mary and Joseph?”


The Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that it now has 11,432 migrant children in its custody, up from 9,000 at the beginning of May.

To cope with the surge, HHS announced it will open a temporary tent city in the Texas desert. “The shelter site, at the Tornillo-Marcelino Serna port of entry, is about 20 miles east of El Paso along the Mexico border,” Nick Miroff reports. "It was last used in 2016 to house migrant children and families in large, dormitory-style canvas tents. Children will begin arriving in the next few days... The site will have 360 beds, according to HHS officials, with the potential to add more. The Tornillo site will be the only location, to date, where HHS plans to put children in tents, or what the agency calls ‘semi-permanent structures."

“This is not a place that was built to house children, nor is it a location that has adequate numbers of counselors or therapists to assist these children,” said Texas state Rep. Mary González (D), whose district includes the site.

Intelligence and defense contractors are benefitting financially from the family separations, posting jobs focused on building up the infrastructure to house migrant children. The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff and Spencer Ackerman report: “One of them, from Virginia-based MVM Inc., seeks a compliance coordinator to help in San Antonio with the ‘rapid deployment of an Emergency Influx Shelter for unaccompanied children.’... MVM appears to believe its business is growing. A job posting on from 20 days ago advertises for youth care workers ‘in anticipation of a contract award.’ Matthew Kolken, an immigration attorney who frequently represents undocumented children, [said] he’s deeply concerned about these contractors’ child care work. ‘I’m guessing that in their mission statement, one of the central components isn’t the care of refugee children,’ he said.”

“The moral outrages from the Trump administration come so fast that they blur together, but this one stands out,” columnist Eugene Robinson writes on today’s opinion page. “[A] Honduran woman at a Texas detention center was breast-feeding her daughter recently when the child was snatched away. Other migrant families have said their children were purportedly led away for showers and clean clothes — but never returned. This is the kind of behavior we expect from monstrous totalitarian regimes such as the one led by President Trump’s ‘talented’ new friend, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. It is certainly not the policy of any nation that strives to be a ‘shining city on a hill.’”

And CNN has just unearthed a bevy of anti-Trump tweets from 2016 by Mercedes Schlapp, who is now the White House's director of strategic communications. Oliver Darcy reports: “Some of the most pointed criticism Schlapp, who is of Cuban descent, directed at Trump was about the uncompromising anti-immigration platform on which he campaigned during the 2016 election. In August 2015 … Schlapp tweeted that she was ‘not sure’ how Trump ‘will lead with Latinos’ in the 2016 election. Days later, Schlapp wrote, ‘One way to lose the Latino support is by saying that U.S. needs to deport all undocumented immigrants #DonaldTrump.’”
I just heard someone say that Trump's concentration camps aren't really concentration camps because there are no gas chambers. Why does the media keep calling them "shelters?" What's become of us?

Labels: , , ,


At 6:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What's become of us?"

Asked and answered.

Why is it that we continue to devolve to the lowest common denominator (stupid white southern racist greed/hate-filled motherfucking misanthropes)? Why can we never EVER evolve upward to a better people?

And why does ANYONE lend credence to a book that is both schizophrenic about what is right and wrong... and is provably far more wrong than right??

GAWDDAMN we're fucking douchenozzles!!

At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was once said that politics was the last refuge of scoundrels. I disagree. I insist that religion is.


Post a Comment

<< Home