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    [–] Separations of children, parents at U.S. border could be permanent: Former immigration director The-Autarkh 1 points ago * (lasted edited 3 hours ago) in politics

    All I'm saying is that fleeing oppression, war, poverty and other insecurity, and trying to give a better opportunity to your kids, is a basic human impulse. By undertaking the dangerous journey and choosing to become immigrants to a foreign country where many are openly hostile to them, these people reveal their own expectation that their lives would be better here.

    Don't know what you inferred the rest from.

    [–] Separations of children, parents at U.S. border could be permanent: Former immigration director The-Autarkh 1 points ago in politics

    If you are a parent and don't flee oppression with your kids in the desperate hope for something better, there's something wrong with you. We shouldn't punish kids to deter their parents from doing what we ourselves would do in their shoes.

    [–] Youngest migrants held in 'tender age' shelters The-Autarkh 1 points ago in politics

    This cult of cruelty for its own sake is fucking fascism.

    [–] Separations of children, parents at U.S. border could be permanent: Former immigration director The-Autarkh 1 points ago in politics

    As a dad, I can't tolerate this anymore. I'm almost at the point of dropping everything, driving down to the border, and offering pro bono legal representation.

    [–] Separations of children, parents at U.S. border could be permanent: Former immigration director The-Autarkh 1 points ago in politics

    The real takeaway is don't elect permit the installation of an authoritarian demagogue intent on subverting the lawful asylum application process to stoke the nativist resentments of his base.

    [–] Texas billboard telling 'liberals' to get out goes viral The-Autarkh 1 points ago in politics

    So what you're saying is that conservatives want a safe space?

    [–] As midterms approach, conservatives and GOP again attempt to destroy Obamacare The-Autarkh 1 points ago in politics

    Not satisfied with a raft of legislative and administrative steps likely to drive up health premiums just as voters turn their attention to the November elections, a coalition of conservatives on Tuesday unveiled another attempt to kill the Affordable Care Act.

    This one also has Republican fingerprints on it. The “Health Care Choices Proposal” advanced by the Health Policy Consensus Group closely tracks the so-called Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) that enjoyed a brief moment in the sun last fall before fading away. The sponsoring group comprises the Heritage Foundation, the free-market Galen Institute, the right-wing Goldwater Institute, and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), among others.

    Like Graham-Cassidy, the latest proposal would effectively do away with protections for people with preexisting medical conditions, and would remove the ACA’s requirements that all health plans offer minimum essential benefits, such as hospitalization, maternity care and mental health services.

    Graham-Cassidy would have eliminated the Medicaid expansion and funneled money away from states that covered their poorest residents via Medicaid, such as California, and toward those that didn’t bother, such as Texas, via a block-grant system providing each state with a capped amount of federal funding.

    [–] The Limits Of Trump's Cruelty Are Only Just Being Tested The-Autarkh 1 points ago in politics

    Donald Trump doesn’t defy political gravity, as many pundits like to say he does, but he has benefited, repeatedly, from the mismatch between election cycles, which are long, and news cycles, which are brief and shrinking.

    This good fortune has convinced Trump that he can triumph over almost every outrage, no matter how intense, or how damaging, through sheer force of will. Most people have moral perimeters that inhibit them from inflicting endless harm, even when they fear no consequences; most people lack the ethical defect that inhibits egotists from admitting error. But Trump is not most people. If common sense points toward retreat, he will press ahead, no matter how many lies he has to tell, or how much collateral damage he has to inflict.

    The concern today, as the U.S. government kidnaps and imprisons children at the southern border on his orders, is that Trump will bring this conscienceless persistence to bear against the forces opposing his family separation policy, and that, in at least the short term, he will win.

    By win, I don’t mean that the public will embrace child separation, but that the rest of our political system will move on from it, and that the limit of depravity his supporters tolerate will plummet to mortifying depths.

    This may sound like defiance of political gravity, but it is more like a deferred reckoning. He became president as a popular vote loser, because the country happened to learn he was a serial sexual abuser weeks before learning that the FBI had reopened the Hillary Clinton email investigation—because news cycles are much shorter than election cycles, and he chose to wait them out, rather then relinquish the GOP nomination.


    ...[T]he political opposition, unfortunately, remains captive to both Trump’s strategic patience, and the broader system’s tendency to give up and move on. Through every past outrage, the effect has been to acclimate about 40 percent of the country to accepting bottomless moral turpitude. Taking children hostage to deter asylum seekers and seek leverage in legislative negotiations is not popular. It will take a political toll somewhere, at some point. Trump knows this, but he also has good reason to believe that scrutiny will fade, and his political standing, weak as it is, will recover before he has to bear that cost. If he weathers a policy of torturing children without being forced, finally, to back down, just imagine the world of possible horrors that will open up to him.

    [–] Trump’s Tariffs Are Hurting U.S. Competitiveness The-Autarkh 1 points ago in politics

    Exhibit 394: Dumbass, flat-Earth protectionism doesn't work

    President Trump says that America running a trade deficit means that “jobs and wealth are being given to other countries.” As we explained in Business Insider earlier this month, this statement is logically and historically false. The left-hand figure above shows that the relationship between trade deficits and growth in the United States, going back nearly 30 years, is the opposite. Rising growth tends to increase imports through higher consumption. The imports have not meant that “jobs and wealth are being given to other countries”: they have been a sign of a strong U.S. economy.

    Still, President Trump is determined to reduce America’s trade deficit through massive new tariffs on steel, aluminum, automobiles, washing machines, and other products. The idea is that if America stops importing such goods, it will start making them here. But with the U.S. unemployment rate at 3.8 percent, an eighteen-year low, there is little if any spare capacity to accomplish this. The capacity would have to be transferred from other sectors. The overall effect of tariffs is therefore to reduce U.S. consumer purchasing power through higher prices—not more jobs, not more growth, not higher net exports.

    But even this picture is way too rosy. That is because American companies depend on imports to stay globally competitive. Upon losing access to foreign parts, they will lose market share to companies operating abroad that can access them and therefore sustain lower prices and higher quality.

    Critically, as the right-hand figure above shows, most imports into the United States are not final goods but intermediate goods—that is, inputs used to make American products, which can then be sold around the world. In fact, nearly all the Chinese exports that Trump singled out for tariffs in April qualify as capital equipment or other inputs. The loss of such inputs is a direct harm to U.S. companies.

    [–] Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' The-Autarkh 17 points ago * (lasted edited a day ago) in politics

    Putting aside the factual inaccuracies, Sessions seems to think that the Nazis' ethnic cleansing campaign was just fine. It was just that whole nasty genocide business that went a bit too far.

    [–] A Choice Between Cruelty and Mercy The-Autarkh 3 points ago in politics

    Good article dismantling a disingenuous Trump Regime argument:

    The New York Times reports that the administration began systematically separating parents from children at the border last month, reasoning that a policy this cruel would deter other would-be migrants from making the trip north. Almost 2,000 children were removed from their parents between April 18 and May 31. In the eight months prior, 700 children were separated.

    “It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal entry, period,” said White House aide Stephen Miller, who engineered the policy. “The message is that no one is exempt from immigration law.” “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions argued. “It’s a moral policy to follow and enforce the law,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon went a step further: “The morality is the law,” he said when confronted with a photograph of a crying child.

    This is Creon’s position: The law is the law and must be followed, and it is good to follow it because it is the law. But Creon ends the play a husk, destroyed by the cruelty of his own arguments. And reading the 2,500-year-old text today is a reminder both of the visceral wrongness of what is happening at the border and of the emptiness of the administration’s arguments about law enforcement.

    Antigone is a simple story. Polynices, the brother of the play’s heroine, is killed while leading an attack on the city of Thebes during a civil war. Creon, who has taken power, orders his corpse left outside the city walls as a warning. Antigone nevertheless insists on her religious obligation to bury her brother. Creon himself is convinced of his own error only after he orders Antigone killed and his own son—Antigone’s fiancé—kills himself in protest.

    The play is about law, authority, and defiance. It is also about borders. In banishing Polynices’s body, Creon is reaffirming the distinction between who he wants in his city and who he doesn’t, defining the boundaries of his community. He refuses to allow Polynices back into Thebes, even in death, and refuses Antigone passage out of Thebes to bury her brother. When she sneaks out in the night and does so anyway, Creon is furious. He demands her execution. The choice is either order or disorder, he reasons, and the danger of disorder is so great that the cruelty of order is justified.

    Like Creon, the White House uses the specter of chaos to justify its “zero tolerance” policy. “There is nothing worse than disobedience to authority,” Creon says, explaining why Antigone’s transgression must be punished with death. “It destroys cities, it demolishes homes.” Similarly, Miller told the Times, “No nation can have the policy that whole classes of people are immune from immigration law or enforcement.”

    The anxiety of the border as the focal point of lawlessness has been a theme throughout Trump’s presidency: In October 2017, for example, Sessions linked what he described as an absence of immigration enforcement with a wider breakdown in “respect for the rule of law.” And on Monday, the president declared: “A county without borders is not a country at all. People coming into the country are bringing death and destruction.”

    One way to read Antigone is as a total repudiation of Creon’s vision of authority. The other—adopted by, among others, the philosopher Hegel—is that Antigone and Creon are both partly right. Law is not the single, rigid thing both Creon and Antigone imagine it to be. Law, instead, is a network of sometimes-conflicting obligations, tempered by choice and mercy. It can require both the maintenance of order and the burial of the dead.

    But family separation is the result of immigration enforcement only if you take the harshest view of the law possible. There is no legal requirement as such that migrant families be separated. Rather, the Trump administration is pushing to refer 100 percent of adults apprehended crossing the border illegally for criminal prosecution—a change from previous administrations. The children are then removed as a result of their parents’ detention before trial.

    In the universe of criminal law, crossing the border illegally is a relatively minor infraction, punishable with only a short time in jail. And as the law professor Ilya Somin writes, the federal statute criminalizing such crossings does not mandate criminal penalties: It also allows for civil penalties, which don’t require jailing parents and therefore allow families to remain together. This is not the binary described by Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, who suggested at Monday’s press briefing that the administration’s options are either separating families or not enforcing the law at all. What’s more, no crimes committed in the United States are prosecuted 100 percent of the time. To quote Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson: “No local police force can strictly enforce the traffic laws, or it would arrest half the driving population on any given morning.”

    The government instead relies on what’s known as prosecutorial discretion, choosing to pursue only the cases in which, as Jackson put it, “the offense is the most flagrant, the public harm the greatest, and the proof the most certain.” For this reason, previous administrations chose not to prosecute every single illegal border crossing—as a matter both of limited resources and of basic humanity. And so the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” is not a choice between order and disorder but a decision between mercy and cruelty.

    [–] Murkowski Statement On Family Separation The-Autarkh 14 points ago in politics

    Sign on to the Feinstein bill. Words are wind.

    [–] Listen to Children Who’ve Just Been Separated From Their Parents at the Border The-Autarkh 67 points ago in politics

    Fuck Trump.

    The desperate sobbing of 10 Central American children, separated from their parents one day last week by immigration authorities at the border, makes for excruciating listening. Many of them sound like they’re crying so hard, they can barely breathe. They scream “Mami” and “Papá” over and over again, as if those are the only words they know.

    The baritone voice of a Border Patrol agent booms above the crying. “Well, we have an orchestra here,” he jokes. “What’s missing is a conductor.”

    [–] Listen to Children Who’ve Just Been Separated From Their Parents at the Border The-Autarkh 1 points ago in politics

    The desperate sobbing of 10 Central American children, separated from their parents one day last week by immigration authorities at the border, makes for excruciating listening. Many of them sound like they’re crying so hard, they can barely breathe. They scream “Mami” and “Papá” over and over again, as if those are the only words they know.

    The baritone voice of a Border Patrol agent booms above the crying. “Well, we have an orchestra here,” he jokes. “What’s missing is a conductor.”

    [–] Trump promised ‘very honest’ comments on immigration and then offered the opposite The-Autarkh 4 points ago in politics

    The remarks were, well, remarkable in part because of how they started: A pledge from Trump to speak “very honestly” and “straight.” What followed, wasn’t.

    Here’s what he said, followed by some important context that Trump skipped over.

    “I’ll say it very honestly and I’ll say it straight: Immigration is the fault — and all of the problems that we’re having, because we cannot get them to sign legislation, we cannot get them even to the negotiating table — and I say it’s very strongly the Democrats’ fault. They’re really obstructionist and they are obstructing.”

    Notice that Trump here says “immigration” is the problem, not the family separation policy. That distinction makes his accusations against the political opposition a little more palatable, since the recent increase in family separations is entirely a function of his administration’s decision to take a harder line on immigration.

    Trump has long argued that immigration laws in the United States are too weak and are a function of Democratic legislation. He’s similarly long blamed Democrats on Capitol Hill for obstructing his agenda … skipping over the part about how Republicans have a majority of both the House and the Senate. Democrats can’t “sign legislation” right now because the president — Trump — is a Republican. Neither can they pass legislation. Republicans can, and are advancing legislation that aims to revise the immigration system.

    But Trump isn’t saying that immigration is the fault of Democrats because he’s decided to sidestep the issue of the moment — family separations — in order to take a bigger picture approach. He’s saying that immigration is the fault of the Democrats because he wants Americans to blame Democrats for the unpopular family separation policy. The blame, though, lies with Trump.

    [–] Why Trump Is Using Hostage Tactics on Family Separation The-Autarkh 2 points ago * (lasted edited a day ago) in politics

    The hostage strategy arises from a profound internal division within not only the Republican Party but the Trump administration itself. The administration originally enacted a policy of separating child migrants from their parents in order to deter those families from entering the country. Chief of Staff John Kelly defended family separation last month as “a tough deterrent.” Also last month, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen laid out the tough policy: “If you are single adult, if you are part of a family, if you are pregnant, if you have any other condition, you’re an adult and you break the law, we will refer you. Operationally what that means is we will have to separate your family.” To justify this powerful new deterrent, the White House “interpreted a 1997 legal agreement and a 2008 bipartisan human trafficking bill as requiring the separation of families,” an interpretation neither of the previous two administrations supported.

    Unsurprisingly, the policy of separating children from their parents has proven unbearably cruel in practice. Not everybody within the Republican Party or even the administration itself is still willing to defend its own handiwork. And so the administration’s public explanation of this policy toggles between three mutually exclusive positions.

    One, the policy exists and is good (“It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry. Period,” says Stephen Miller.) Two, the policy does not exist. (“We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period,” insists Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.) And third, the policy does exist, and is bad, and the Democrats are to blame (“I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law — that’s their law,” declared President Trump.)

    A recent poll finds the public opposed to child separation by a 56/37 percent margin, but Republicans somewhat in favor (46/32 percent). Another finds even more stark differences — the public opposes family separation by a 66/27 percent margin, but Republicans favor it, 55/35 percent.


    Hostage-taking — the figurative kind, not the literal version — is different than normal political negotiation. In a standard bargain, the two sides trade a thing one side wants for a thing the other side wants. Say, Republicans want a capital-gains tax cut, and Democrats want to give medical care to children whose parents can’t afford it, and the two sides combine them into the 1998 Balanced Budget Act. Hostage-taking doesn’t work that way. Rather than trade something you want for something I want, the hostage-taker demands that you offer concessions to prevent an outcome neither side wants.


    Of course, Obama ... eventually figure[d] out how to defeat this tactic, and the method was pretty simple. You refuse to negotiate with the hostage-taker. Trump wants to paper over his internal divisions by getting Democrats to give him something in return for ending a policy he can’t defend. The negotiations themselves obscure the entire source of responsibility. If Trump wants to end family separation, he can and will. If Democrats pay him off for taking children literally hostage, Trump will keep taking more hostages.

    [–] England missed opportunity vs Tunisia The-Autarkh 1 points ago in soccer

    And another bear hug penalty not given, this time by Sasse on Kane.