The Facts: There Is No Crisis and No Emergency, Just Trump’s Campaign

[NB: Check the byline. /~Rayne]

After mixing it up with a old conservative over spring break — someone who doesn’t watch Fox News but spends too much time with people who do — it’s clear Trump’s and Fox’s lies have deeply infected right-wing minds.

They believe Trump’s falsehoods about a crisis at the border, that there was reason for Trump to declare an emergency.

They’re also incapable of fact checking. They’re authoritarians and believe whatever current authority figure tells them; the motivation to validate authority doesn’t exist.

They appear unable to analyze what they do see to make an independent assessment of their own. It doesn’t occur to them to ask, What would be so bad a family with toddlers and infants would flee their home, walking over a thousand miles for more than a month and through a desert to escape?

They’re sheep — our country is regressing under the leadership of fascist sheep.

I wanted to cram a bunch of facts in this conservative’s head but I honestly don’t know if they’d bother to read anything I gave them because I’m not a Fox talking head.

~ ~ ~
Fact: Trend data from DHS’ Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) about so-called illegal immigrants border crossings indicates it has trended lower over the last 15 years:

(source: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Nationwide Illegal Alien Apprehensions Fiscal Years 1925-2018 pdf)

From another perspective there is no migrant crisis, shows Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) in this graph using CBP’s own data:

Fact: Trend data graphed by Pew Research drawn from DHS’ Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) about the so-called wave of asylum seekers Trump has called animals in his eliminationist rants reveals a wave of family units migrating from Central America, not Mexico:

Fact: Instead of performing a root cause analysis to determine why families and unaccompanied minors are so desperate to enter the U.S. to seek asylum, Trump wants to cut funding to Central American countries, which will exacerbate the underlying problems internal to the affected countries.

Fact: The largest number of families and children reaching the border came from Guatemala, fleeing crime and drought.

Fact: Guatemala’s volatility may have been exacerbated by multiple volcanic eruptions in 2018, affecting at least two million Guatemalans. The plume from a June eruption was visible from space:

Fact: Many Hondurans fleeing to the U.S. are also fleeing crime and violence; women in particular are fleeing because femicide has been a growing epidemic during the last six years, 95% of which has gone unpunished.

Fact: The U.S. ratified the U.N. protocol to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees in 1968. This expressed the country’s intent to acknowledge and recognize the rights of asylum seekers. The U.S. has not retracted its ratification.

Fact: Asylum seekers can request asylum under Title 8 U.S. Code § 1158, on either side of the border:

(a) Authority to apply for asylum
(1) In general
Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United States after having been interdicted in international or United States waters), irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum in accordance with this section or, where applicable, section 1225(b) of this title.

Fact: Trump said “the system is full, can’t take you any more,” which is in opposition to U.S. law on asylum.

Fact: Until it became legal problem for the Trump organization, Trump’s golf courses hired undocumented workers from Central America, some of them for years. This illegal hiring practice, out of compliance with decades-long rules about screening hirees, didn’t become an issue until Trump wanted to use DACA and Temporary Protected Status as a bargaining chit to obtain funding for his “fucken wall” during the government shutdown.

Fact: El Paso, Texas, isn’t in a state of crisis; its mayor attests to this, and asked Trump to stop lying about it. But Trump wanted to shut down the border at El Paso altogether because of his lie that the border is in crisis.

Fact: When told that closing the border as he requested would cause serious damage to the U.S. economy by throttling free trade, Trump said, “I don’t care.

Fact: Trump has insisted that families be separated at the border because he believes it will discourage them from seeking asylum in the U.S.

Fact: Trump, “ranting and raving” at White House and DHS staff, stressed the “border is my issue” while issuing unlawful orders to separate families at the border. He isn’t following through on carefully considered policy but on a campaign issue — one from 2016, and now one for the 2020 race.

~ ~ ~
The bottom line: Trump both as president and as a business owner has violated federal law.

He has done so, deliberately employing cruelty and at cost of human lives, in order to fulfill a campaign promise in 2016, as a campaign theme in 2018 to assist the GOP in mid-terms, and as a campaign stunt for re-election in 2020. As he said, the “border is my issue.”

He has issued unlawful orders as part of his ongoing campaigning under influence of former adviser anarchist Steve Bannon and white nationalist Stephen Miller, a current White House adviser.

The Republican Party aids and abets this — endorses this — as political practice as long as it fails to check the de facto leader of their party. Cruelty and indifference to non-white, non-English-speaking people including infants and families is now their brand along with disregard for treaties and laws.

In doing so, the Republican Party destroys any pretensions to legitimacy if it supports systematic unlawful behavior.

We need to ask if it is now fact that there is no Republican Party.

138 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    I’m publishing this now while I continue to fix it. There’s at least one embedded link for each fact which I must reattach. Gah. Thanks for your patience.

    • 40water says:

      You rock!

      The El Paso/Juarez checkpoint and border is very safe and feels very secure. The border bullshit is amplified like crazy. There’s a mixture of fencing, concrete bridges and buildings, armed personnel, technology, and lack of roads.

      Juarez, with its warts, is a growing manufacturing city. There are many good and great jobs in Juarez, as well as El Paso.

      Anyone can drive from the US into Mexico, there’s no checkpoint, caveat being if you have to get a business visa. Upon crossing the border, the sidewalks along the main road are lined with people for a few blocks; some panhandling, some refugees waiting on status, some visiting various stores. Then its suburbs of different manufacturing factories, and a bit of housing.

      Driving back into the US has a huge general line of cars. On one side, a fast lane for approved cars and commercial trucks (Global Entry and FAST, TSA-PreCheck like programs).

      Alternatively, for ~10 pesos or 50 cents, you can walk 15 minutes past all the cars, some armored guards, school children and workers walking home, and go through a immigration security checkpoint similar to customs from international travel. It’s serious, but it’s chill. Scan your bag, passport, some questions, metal detector.

      A detention center is near the airport. Not sure where asylum is claimed.

      USA Today has a good interactive of helicopter footage of most of the US/Mexico border. Also lists where we have different types of walls and such. Driving the point across that barriers can be bodies of water, national parks, ports of entry,

      To counter the “there’s no walls” propaganda, there’s the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which covers necessary points with border security elements, including walls, vehicle barriers, technology, with the desire as time went along, to upgrade the technology. I wish a high-up CBP had the spine to ask for better scanning technology or often more, instead of the slats.

      Also, that fucking lil plaque that he put up of his “first section” when it was a renovation planned under Obama in 2009, funded in 2017 by Trump. what a putz

  2. Eureka says:

    Along these lines, Jason Campbell of Media Matters has yet another fascism-fueling clip from Fox, of Glenn Beck, at this tweet:

    “Glenn Beck says that “American Communists” and George Soros are orchestrating an “assault on the republic” using Central American migrants”

    Jeet Heer quote-tweets the clip:

    “This is a straight up articulation of the theory of Judeo–Bolshevism, the ideological pillar of Nazi anti-Semitism & the warrant for the Holocaust. On the most popular cable network which is de facto state media.. Many people will ignore this or refuse to call it by its name.”

        • Eureka says:

          Thanks- I didn’t mean to make another job for you. I fear a change of OS for precisely those reasons (your other comment)!

          • Rayne says:

            No biggie, only took a second.

            I think I am just going to make a huge footnote and add it in the morning when I am less frustrated with this device.

            As for a different OS – try a Chromebook when you get a chance. I would’t go with Linux distributions at this point. If bmaz were around he’d do his usual Buy Apple schpiel; I don’t do Apple products except in my portfolio. LOL

            • Eureka says:

              Thanks for the advice, I value your opinion. Many I know are touting Macs… I’m lightly thinking out options, as I’ll have to do something soonish, it seems. I’m just trying to make it through a long series of bleeding emergencies. Next up, doggie dental surgery. Little guy cracked at least two molars, at least one to the roots. (He’s a mini doxie so-called ‘power chewer’ type.) Sigh.

              • PieIsDamnGood says:

                Chromebooks are awesome, especially if budget is a concern. I’ve had a refurbished one I got for ~$150 years ago and my wife has a new $300 one. It feels a little weird to buy a device with limited functionality, but if you’re realistic about how you use a laptop, they’re absolutely perfect!

                • Rayne says:

                  For folks who use their device almost exclusively on internet browsing and web-based services, the Chromebook is a very good solution. For folks who need something more powerful for offline use, I don’t have a good answer. My father (who is in his 80s) swears by his MacBook running Windows 10 but I really want to avoid Windows ever again and I have never been an Apple user. Linux has just not been ready for the non-professional user who doesn’t have at least a minimal background in computer science though some distros flirt with readiness.

                  I had hoped Steam’s Debian-based OS would take off but it seems too focused on the gaming audience.

    • jhand says:

      To underscore the Glenn Beck fantasy: the guy working on my South Texas home, a high-school-trade-school-educated Hispanic-American male, in describing his own concern of being overwhelmed with refugees, told me that “they” (whoever “they” are) are working to get “them” (the asylum-seekers) the right to vote. The source–who the hell knows? Glenn Beck’s backside, maybe?. I hadn’t heard that one until yesterday.

      • salient green says:

        Thats the big trick here in Texas… to turn hispanics against latinos. Its everywhere now…Hispanics thinking of Hondurans and Guatamalan refugees seeking asylum as those with whom they do not wish to be identified even when they admit under conversational scrutiny that one or both parents or some family members were from central or southern America. Its getting worse. I have to say that when i walk into some businesses here in my small city that fox news is always on. I insisted they change it at the att store but i am sure they readjusted it as soon as i left. I also ask whenever dealing with att that they remove RT from my cable but it seems it will always be there.

        • Rayne says:

          I think it’s really important we use the appropriate labels for groups. You’ve used Hispanic in comparison to citizens of Honduras and Guatemala. Would you please be more specific here, keeping in mind most of the community here is not from the US Southwest and may have no familiarity with the issues you are referring to save for the issue of refugees and asylum seeking.

          • Anne says:

            Who’s Hispanic? I ask as one with a degree in statistics. California and vast parts of the Southwest were Spanish territory, until about 1820 or so when they became Mexico, and then in the 1840s the US Army started kicking the Mexican Army out. Natives acquired Spanish surnames one way or another. So we have folks descendants (or 1/16 or 1/64 or 1/128…) of the Conquistadores and/or natives with Spanish surnames whose ancestors haven’t spoken Spanish since their land became US territory. Understandable if they resent newcomers, because racism won’t distinguish between Garcias and Rodriguez’ here since the 16th century (or 20k years) and the ones who arrived last week. Are they all being counted as Hispanic?

            • Eureka says:

              Go look at the wikis with definitions and maps of ‘Hispanic,’ ‘Hispanic America’ (and contrast with ‘Latin America’) and you’ll have your answer.

            • Rayne says:

              The numbers from CBP count country of origin and not race/ethnicity. Using Hispanic versus Latinx labels is inappropriate and potentially aggravating since so many people across Central America are indigenous/mixed ethnic/multi-racial — mestizo, Afro-Caribbean, Creole, Amerindian from more than eight tribes across the region.

              EDIT — for other readers: my earlier question asking for clarification was meant to determine if there was some agenda intended by the framing of Hispanic versis Latinx. For folks who don’t know, Hispanic refers to people of Spanish-speaking or Spanish origin, where Latinx is a gender-neutral term referring to people of Latin America who include not only Spanish-speakers but Brazilians who speak Portuguese. (Both Spanish and Portuguese are Latin-based languages.)

              Latinx has become more commonly used because the number of people who fit that label is so much larger — Brazil is 2/3 the size of the U.S. in population.

              • Eureka says:

                Agree, for reasons you cite. Aside from focused journalism on/ discussion of individuals or small groups of refugees, there’d _generally_ be no way for diverse emic ethnic labels to be known and therefore used appropriately.

                Country of origin (or if of many, and still accurate, ‘Central American’) labels are better here.

                Edit: my comment overlapped your edit, and mainly applies to the top half of what you said (tho I don’t disagree with your edit, I’m just trying to clarify that I was speaking to CA diversity).

                • Rayne says:

                  Outside of the U.S. people are identified by country of origin. Makes Hispanic versus Latinx look all the more xenophobic. ~sigh~

    • Rayne says:

      That’s the third or fourth piece of shit work from NYT in the last 24 hours and I haven’t read but a fraction of the paper. The problem isn’t the border — it’s decades of shitty foreign policy made worse by an inability to stay focused long enough to clean up our messes. It’s holding people at the border instead of checking them in. It’s an inability to live our American values which are those in asylum law and the Convention on Refugees. It’s crap journalism at places like NYT which should know better than what they published in that lede.

      • jhand says:

        Even worse than the article is the paranoia and hysteria displayed in the Comments section. Reading the Comments took me back to the days of Judith Miller’s WMD articles and their effect on the Iraq war debate I. suspect that this piece will be flogged by the Villagers, right and left, all over the Sunday talk shows this weekend.

      • BobCon says:

        It’s astonishing to take this piece apart and see how poorly it’s assembled. Inflammatory headline and lede, buried analysis, failure to assert the thesis…. This is a piece that wants to subtly subvert conventional wisdom, except it’s not a subject that deserves the subtle stroking that the Times gives it.

        And then we get idiotic statements like this “For years, both political parties have tried — and failed — to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws” and it’s obvious this is a paper unmoored from reality.

        One irony is that the Times will grant anonymous status willy-nilly to Trump backers so they can say nice things about Trump, and yet they can’t bothered to come up with any source in Trumpland, even with a grant of anonymity, to say the obvious thing — Trump, Miller et al desperately want a crisis. But then these worthless Times reporters and editors won’t say it either. The bottom line is that for all of their talk about a humanitarian crisis, they don’t care.

        And to get back to a point I made elsewhere, the Times editorial staff has memory holed its Murdoch reporting. There is no way to talk about the breakdown in immigration policy without talking about Fox News. But lead reporter Michael Shear of the Times’s DC bureau is completely a part of the refusal by the politics beat to acknowledge the work of reporters on other beats. The management at the Times is determined to eat its own.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The globetrotting Rupert, whose entree anywhere he greases with his billions, would be hard-pressed to identify an immigration cruelty he does not admire. Australia has among the cruelest policies in the West. He is the force behind the Tory and misnamed New Labour Home Office policies of intentional cruelty.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Excellent article and superb point.

        Trump is manufacturing this crisis by how he intentionally handles the people that do come in. He jams them, in effect, through a few turnstiles so that the line backs up a mile. It’s all for show.

        There’s plenty of room at the border and elsewhere, just not in the few square feet Trump allots for their processing. In his bottomless cruelty, families, mothers, and children become pawns for cynical political maneuvering.

        This eliminationist rhetoric is also wonderful at getting the plebes to fight each other for the jobs that large corporations have not yet sent offshore, replaced through automation, or eliminated by forcing one worker to do the work of two or three. It is an old trick of empire: divide and conquer. As Alfred McCoy has long argued, the tools for policing the empire always come home.

  3. Badger Robert says:

    The US had 327M people. Even if immigration was 3M per year, it would be a problem, not a crisis. At 400K per year it represents about 0.125% of the population. The pretended crisis is that population growth and racial mixing is ending the ethnic dominance of whites.
    The much dreaded miscogynation is occurring.
    Together with the fact that no religion is the fastest growing religion, the white, protestant minority is seeing its dominance in culture and politics fading. Immigration is only a dog whistle for an attempt to come up with some way to use poverty, disease and the criminal law to check the minority population somehow. All the populations that were supposed to die out, instead are growing.
    There is no crisis. Texas and the Great Plains can easily absorb the potential immigrants.

    • Tom says:

      Hispanics are just retaking the territory in the Old Southwest that was more or less stolen from them in the Mexican War of 1846-’48. See the 2012 work by Amy S. Greenberg, “The Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico”. Professor Greenberg describes the depredations against Mexican civilians committed by American volunteer troops–as opposed to army regulars–in greater detail than I have read in other books about the Mexican War. She also gives the reader pause to consider whether President Trump, as bad as his record has been to date, still does not measure up to the harm caused by President Polk in provoking a war with Mexico to gain more territory to ensure the future of slavery. Some Americans of the 1860s believed that the Civil War was God’s punishment on the U.S. for the Mexican War, which from a historical point of view is not really that distant in the past.

    • cat herder says:

      There’s an abandoned house next door to me, there are two empty lots on the other side (houses chopped in half by trees during Katrina, then abandoned, then bulldozed), and a rather nice house on the market across the street. Inside city limits we have a plague of vacant housing and empty lots, since there hasn’t been a new-construction residential build inside city limits – not a single solitary one – in more than 20 years. Everything new gets built just outside city limits in the county where there are no property taxes. For a time the city was annexing the new developments as they popped up just across the line, but as the city was drained of resources over time those fights have nearly stopped and the scofflaws have been left to live in peace. Meanwhile the city owns a list of abandoned lots so long it’d make your eyes bleed and they can’t even give them away for basically free, nobody wants them because nothing can be built on them because nobody wants to live there because then they’d have to pay taxes. (Thanks a lot, white people!)

      So in just this one example of a small Mississippi city (~35,000 people, declining) there’s plenty of room.

    • P J Evans says:

      “Texas and the Great Plains can easily absorb the potential immigrants.”
      First you need jobs for the people – and those are mostly in the cities. (BTW, the Great Plains are mostly open land because there’s a limited amount of water – and the Oglala Aquifer under it is being drained for cities and irrigated farming. When that’s gone, it’s gone for centuries to come.)

      • alaura says:

        The City I lived in for a decade was grappling with what to do with 5k, approximately, of vacant lots. The case for in-fill includes better safety, less blight, etc.
        It would be great to build low-income housing for an immigrant population, and they would not need cars to get to work. The lots are laid out for small, single-family, row houses.

  4. Badger Robert says:

    Trump is becoming increasingly dependent on the sadistic Miller and the apprehensive Kushner. Fewer people with opportunities in other walks of life are willing to jeopardize their future with an administration item on their resume.

  5. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    “We need to ask if it is now fact that there is no Republican Party.”

    I can answer that…

    No… there is not…

    There does seem to be a budding 4th Reich forming up, like bad weather in the distance, coming closer by the week…

    But the GOP?

    DOA… hope I’m not being too flip… I’m having a hard time finding words to express the loathing, disgust, and rage I’m feeling…

  6. Eureka says:

    On a different topic, I didn’t want this to slide from the news cycle– DOJ abandoning defense of criminal statute against female genital mutilation, via Neal Katyal approx. 6 hours ago:

    Neal Katyal: “Just learned Trump DOJ has now abandoned its defense of the statute criminalizing, of all things, female genital mutilation. This is what happens when you torch your institutional responsibilities to defend statutes, and gut the traditional standard DOJ has applied in past admin (quotes his own tweet from earlier April 10th re Barr ACA testimony)”

    Eric Columbus: “What do you mean by DOJ abandoning its defense of the FGM statute? Do you mean they’re not appealing this decision, or something else? (links to WaPo re Michigan case)”

    Neal Katyal: “That is correct. The solicitor general has informed Rep. Nadler in a letter today that it will not appeal and will not defend the statute banning female genital mutilation. My god. What statute is next?”

    Another commenter in replies says: “Actually, that’s most likely @AlanDersh (links to detroitnews article titled “Dershowitz joins genital mutilation case defense team ”

    • Democritus says:

      Jesus, thank you for highlighting, excuse me while I go throw up.

      I am legit afraid of what these monsters may try to do over the next few weeks.

      Also thanks in general for all the good links, and taking the time to consolidate and share the info😊

      All the bad news the past few days, and Barr’s baring his autocratic tendencies, with secret service who would be involved in arresting any protectees also has me worried. Though I hope that’s me over worrying, not a legit fear. Who can tell nowadays?

      • Eureka says:

        ;) thanks- and yw.

        There’s so much going on… All we can do is keep our wits about us and keep democracy-ing.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The new stance would appear to fit with the hard right’s argument for expanded so-called religious freedom (for fundamentalists). They regard it is as sacrosanct as the 2nd Amendment: neither can be reasonably restricted, in their view, to promote a conflicting governmental purpose.

      It is an analogue to their demands that extreme rightwing speech be given free rein on college campuses. Any restriction they consider an illegal restraint on speech. It also fits well with their misogyny. I see it as a way to insert fundamentalist religious priorities and behavior into the mainstream and government.

  7. Eureka says:

    Also in Your DOJ Today, via The Guardian (apologies if this was already noted):

    Trump hotels exempted from ban on foreign payments under new stance
    A narrow justice department interpretation of the emoluments clause gives countries leeway to curry favor with the president via commercial deals

    The Department of Justice has adopted a narrow interpretation of a law meant to bar foreign interests from corrupting federal officials, giving Saudi Arabia, China and other countries leeway to curry favor with Donald Trump via deals with his hotels, condos, trademarks and golf courses, legal and national security experts say.

    …in a forthcoming article in the Indiana Law Journal, the Washington University Law professor Kathleen Clark reveals justice department filings have recently changed tack. …

    The justice department stance now closely parallels arguments made in a January 2017 position paper by Trump Organization lawyer Sheri Dillon and several of her law partners. On 11 January 2017, just days before he was sworn in, Dillon said Trump isn’t accepting any payments in his “official capacity” as president, as the income is only related to his private business. “Paying for a hotel room is not a gift or a present, and it has nothing to do with an office,” Dillon said.

    That goes against what many experts believe.

    • InfiniteLoop says:

      Right, and the $7M (2019$) in gifts to Albert Fall from the oil companies were made to him strictly in his capacity as a private citizen. #teapotdome

      • cat herder says:

        “The rules are the rules, except when we decide they’re not” always leads to very bad things.

  8. greengiant says:

    In a WaPo opinion piece Eric Wemple slays Stephen Miller for planting biased or fake news stories, giving them to Trump, and then pulling on Trump’s strings.
    Some bunkered down sheep that should have known better fell for the “but the terrorists are crossing the border” scam. Wemple talks about the made up story about
    finding a prayer rug in the desert.
    Either you understand these people lie every time they speak or write or you are a sheep. As for source based reporting if the source is GOP again you know it is total fabrication.

  9. Bill Smith says:

    Jeh Johnson, who served as President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security Secretary said “we are truly in a crisis” at the Mexican border Thursday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

    Is this because of Trump?

  10. Rick Ryan says:

    Apologies for OT, but I think the night owls and insomniacs amongst us might want to hear immediately: Julian Assange has been arrested in London. He’s actually being charged in the UK system right now; it’s unclear when (or if?) he would be extradited to Sweden (or the U.S.).

    • bmaz says:

      Good. There are currently no warrants from Sweden outstanding, so, unless they refile on the one count left possible, he will not be extradited to there. The US is a different matter, but likely not until his UK matter is resolved.

      • BobCon says:

        I am fighting my worst instincts to want to see him hung out to dry.

        As horrible as he is, I have to remind myself that he really needs to have a proper defense that respects the rights of the press to publish leaks.

        Which is not to say there may not be legitimate charges to bring against him, and I definitely hope he is brought in to testify where appropriate. But it definitely takes restraint to hold back from casting a blind eye on anything he says in his defense and just hope he has the book thrown at him. Even Assange has his rights. Sigh.

        • Rayne says:

          It will come down to intent — did Assange publish news? Or has he been cherry-picking material and using it for political and other ends, including for compensation from interested parties whether bribes/incentives/kickbacks/extorted payoffs.

          Which reminds me we still haven’t seen the RNC’s hacked emails which would be of public interest as much as the DNC’s though just as illegal to leak. Where’s Assange on that matter? Have to wonder if that’s what’s kept him from being extradited up to now.

          • BobCon says:

            They’re going after him on hacking related charges, which at least in theory is non-journalism, so that’s good.

            Of course, the facts are still a long way from coming out, and all of the usual caveats are in play. I want to just yell guiltyguiltyguilty, but my better side says we have to be adults and wait. Which is no fun at all.

          • harpie says:

            I wonder if the hacked RNC emails were part of the “insurance files” WL threatened to release.

                • Rayne says:

                  Here you go (I suppose I should put this in a post someday soon):

                  2 TBSP butter
                  2 TBSP olive oil
                  1 TBSP sriracha

                  cayenne or hot paprika or smoked paprika
                  fine salt

                  Heat butter, olive oil, and sriracha together until butter has melted; stir until evenly blended.

                  Pour over freshly popped popcorn to taste. Sprinkle with pepper to increase heat as desired along with fine salt.

                  To amp up the heat even further, substitute part of the oil with chili hot oil. (Not at all recommended for n00bies to heat.)

                  Enjoy with an icy cold beer.

                  • Tom says:

                    I use my little electric coffee/spice grinder to reduce a few tablespoons of coarse kosher salt to a powdery consistency. Sticks to the popcorn instead of settling to the bottom of the bowl.

                    • Rayne says:

                      Same, though in a pinch canning salt is finer than table salt, also has no metallic iodine flavor (having no iodine in it).

                      We’ve also been fortunate to find popcorn salt at the local hardware store of all places. LOL

            • cat herder says:

              Which is interesting, since technically he’s being prosecuted by a Republican DOJ.

              But I doubt the GRU would have handed Assange the really juicy (valuable) RNC stuff. They would have kept that for future use. They gave away the gossipy nothingburger DNC stuff right away.

              • Jockobadger says:

                I recall reading that Assange may have had a dead-man switch in-place? Something set to drop upon his arrest/extradition? I don’t recall where I read that – might not have been a particularly reliable source. Even if the Russians did keep the really juicy (valuable) RNC stuff, there might still be some of the State Dept. cables and DOD material set aside just in case. Who knows what else he might have found (swiped.)

                He might not have done it though if it would only serve to provide even more evidence of criminal activity on his part?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        According to Scotland Yard, Assange was arrested on behalf of the USG under an extradition warrant, to be processed and sent to the US. The current rightwing government of Ecuador permitted British police free entry into the embassy for that purpose.

        • Rayne says:

          Been wondering if this is a reflection of UK government going into a slump now that Brexit isn’t on the immediate horizon — as if May has tossed in the towel and is simply wrapping up shop.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Bmaz argues Assange’s breaching of bail provisions justified his arrest. Facially, that’s not as strong an alleged crime as the one the UK used to explain the arrest: the USG’s extradition request relating to alleged computer crimes. Provides cover for the UK; it can tell domestic critics that their problem is with the big bad Satan instead of a crumbling May government.

          Obviously, both the UK and the Ecuadoreans wanted him out, enough so that the Ecuadoreans invited Scotland Yard into their embassy to arrest him.

          It will be interesting to see if Assange serves time in the UK first for the bail violation before he is sent to the US to stand trial.

          • bmaz says:

            Yes, and I stand by that. Assange would still be in custody even without the US extradition request. The bail offense may not be as serious to Assange, but it is still primary to the UK.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              But it probably would not have provided enough political cover to persuade the Ecuadoreans to open up the embassy. In which case, the itch would remain unscratched.

              • bmaz says:

                Naw, they were beyond tired of that asshole already. He was going to be gone irrespective of the US request.

              • harpie says:

                Here’s a tweet that links to the Ecuador Interior Minister:
                5:18 AM – 11 Apr 2019

                Ecuador Interior Minister: ‘In the next few hours the government will reveal details that will justify, in excess, the decision to withdraw asylum. Details like that, during his stay at the Embassy he put fecal feces on the walls.’
                ‘We have evidence that Assange is behind the destabilizing attempts against the government. Among those involved would be the former foreign minister Ricardo Patiño and two Russian hackers living in Ecuador.’

    • Vicks says:

      I wonder how much of this is underneath some of the redactions we have been seeing in indictments and reports? Even though this is regarding hacking and the Manning case wouldn’t it put any wiki leaks questions in the “ongoing investigation” category?
      Wonder what Jerome Corsi is doing today?

      • viget says:

        Well, EDVA’s indictment is out, and it was sealed over a year ago.

        He was indicted on a single charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion with Chelsea Manning.

        Apparently, Manning sent him a hash of login credentials of another user on the SIPRNnet (the US gov’t IP network for classified info), and Assange agreed to try to crack the password. Not sure if he was successful, but as EW (and bmaz, and Avattoir,et al.) have taught me about conspiracy law, it doesn’t matter if the underlying crime was successful or not.

        So a few things about that:

        1. This is not a journalism issue. It is a computer hacking charge, so Assange’s status as a “journalist” plays no part in the crime and there are no First amendment issues here.

        2. This is clearly an attempt to get Assange to flip and probably testify or provide evidence regarding the 2016 elections. I am guessing that more could have been charged (and that’s probably why they were trying to get Manning in front of a GJ again), but the gov’t is holding info back.

        3. This is also a speaking indictment. There is a bunch of verbiage about Manning and Assange discussing extracting further classified info as “furtherance of the conspiracy” that I think (bmaz or someone please correct if wrong) did not need to be in the indictment. My total wild arsed guess is that this is sending a signal to Assange (and possibly others) that the gov’t has tons of other conversations in reserve that might support additional charges, should he decide to not play ball.

        It will be most interesting to see how this all plays out.

        • bmaz says:

          Ahem, just because it is not an espionage charge, does NOT mean that the factual scenario doesn’t touch on the press/source relationship. Of course it is “a journalism issue”, and it is silly to say it is not.

          • viget says:

            You are correct, bmaz, as usual. Jumped the gun a little bit. I’d also note that the indictment cites the espionage act as well (18 USC 793) as one of the underlying crimes that the conspiracy was attempting to commit (along with theft of government property) by trying to obtain unauthorized access to the secret network.

            It’s dicey I guess…. you can’t totally remove the Espionage violations out of the conspiracy. However, will that be enough to have the indictment dismissed?

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The thought that the USG might want payback for his embarrassing it for so long could never have crossed anyone’s mind in government. Nope. Utterly disinterested and apolitical, the lot.

          That’s not to say the government does not have a legitimate case here. But as bmaz says, the issues are complicated and the background is full of conflicting political animus.

        • harpie says:

          With regard to possible additional charges:

          8:38 AM – 11 Apr 2019
          [quote] “US Justice Department officials expect to bring additional charges” against Assange, @evanperez reports, citing a US official briefed on the matter.
          “It is unclear when officials would bring such charges.” [CNN] [end quote]
          Laura Rozen responds [quote from CNN article]:

          8:42 AM – 11 Apr 2019

          investigation transformed in recent yrs w/recovery of communications that show Assange had bn more active participant in conspiracy to hack computers and violate US law, US officials said.

  11. Willis Warren says:

    If someone can convert the border data to a mean regression line, we’d probably have a pretty good argument that this “surge” is well within normal variations

  12. ken melvin says:

    The problem with addressing the symptoms and not the cause is … This is about tropical climates not having enough rainfall to sustain crops which is about global warming which is just a figment of our imaginations and overpopulation which cannot be mentioned.

    • Rayne says:

      I did mention drought, yes? As for the volcanic eruptions: I have a theory that a shift and loss in polar ice mass as well as gravity may change volcanic activity levels in some locations. While Central America is on the Ring of Fire, will we see more of this kind of volcanic volatility as polar ice mass melts and sea levels rise? We are already seeing the poles shifting after all.

      Didn’t mention in my piece that the volatility in Venezuela is partly due to climate change as well. There had been a nasty drought I think a couple years ago that shut down hydroelectric generation and caused food shortages. That only exacerbated other political problems which continued to cascade. They’ll threaten the stability of neighboring countries like Colombia and cause more migration north. But it’s all on Maduro, right? ~smh~

  13. Pete says:

    I have this sick feeling that if things continue as they are that Trump has a better than 50% chance of being re-elected.

    While I support a diverse and robust contest for D nominee – at 15 and maybe more – I think it risks D chances. I hope that I am wrong.

    Trump is trying to – and could – run out the clock on his taxes and Mueller Report (via Barr). I dunno that SDNY or New York impact might be if any.

    “The bottom line: Trump both as president and as a business owner has violated federal law.” – Rayne

    I think the Dems need to impeach and extend that out well into 2019. Might accelerate getting Trump’s taxes and full Mueller report via the courts. It’s risky for 2020 and could throw the country into more turmoil, but otherwise I am at a loss.

  14. Vicks says:

    Again we are allowing team trump to define a situation.
    We do have a “crisis” at the border, it is a influx of people seeking asylum that is too large for us to handle with anything that resembles efficiently.
    Team Trump, in its relentless pursuit to paint a picture of rapists and criminals salivating over the opportunities to ravage our country is deliberately making the situation worse by inaction and the wrong actions.
    At some point democrats have to quit whining about Trump spreading mis- information and start taking responsibility for allowing it to happen. I know that fear and negativity are powerful motivators but what about the power of knowing how predictable Trump’s strategy is? Trump is a master but it not like is a breakthrough strategy for republicans.
    Obamacare is the example that sticks in my craw. How much easier would it have been for the Dems if they recognized that the vast majority of the population did not (and still don’t) realize Obamacare did not affect them?
    I look at those Parkland kids as game changers. after total domination by the NRA for generations, those kids did what seems so obvious now, they reframed the message.
    The second amendment is the right to bear arms, but our first freedom is life.
    Game on.

    • Rayne says:

      Let me point out you did the opposite of what the Parkland kids did — you repeated the right-wing frame in your second sentence.

      The crisis is in the White House. The emergency is our democracy which does not represent the majority’s wishes.

      • Vicks says:

        Sorry if I wasn’t clear my writing skills lag behind my thinking.
        That was the point I was trying to make. Trumpsters lay the trap and defined their version of the this particular situation by calling it calling it a “crisis” at the border and then double dog dare democrats to tell the public that there is not a “crisis at the border.”
        Dems sputter and stammer because suddenly “crisis” is a magic word that if uttered out loud takes power from them and hands it over to the other guys. Like any good trap if they try to get themselves out explaining, or by using another word they will will still be injured and thier position no matter how valid weakened.

  15. RWood says:

    You’ll never reach them Rayne, mostly for the simple reason that they don’t wish to be reached. I’m convinced that it will take pain to do so, either in the form of financial (loss of their SS check), or physical, (loss of their Obamacare) anything else they will just blame on whoever he tells them to.

    This article is the best one I’ve found that explains the mind-set of a Trump follower in language that even they can understand (if they read something other than their 24/7 Fox News TV screen).

    This border BS he is spouting covers many of the reasons listed. It’s a multi-purpose tool you could say. Efficient gaslighting. Plus, it has legs. This is BS that he can stretch out for months or even years to help him campaign.

    • P J Evans says:

      If they’re getting SS, then loss of Medicare (which, though it needs changes, is a helluva lot better than no insurance at all).

      I suspect that the GOP-T would be happy if they could legislate that everyone over 65 who isn’t a millionaire (or married to one) would get sent to a camp with high walls, out of sight and out of mind. As long as it doesn’t apparently apply to them, they’re happy with any law mandating different-and-lesser treatment for “those people” (everyone not like them).

    • Sarah W says:

      Long-time lurker here, appreciate this blog. My family is still mostly all Republican (except for me, Democrat going on 20 years) after Trump was voted in — only 1 or 2 became independent after that. Most still watch Fox News religiously and will get incredibly hostel and defensive if you try to encourage expanding media sources, let alone not watching it. My family can’t bear to leave the party due to mostly abortion, LGBTQ, and “socialist” issues because they have been brainwashed to feel that the Democratic Party would be like joining Satan on these major points and other smaller ones. None of this is about being informed or relying on facts, because there are multiple generations now of people who have been trained to think otherwise. So they are willing to sell their souls on immigration and climate action, etc. due to the false narratives they are continually fed that help them to rationalize it all and stay with the Republican Party.

      I have had to result to changing how I talk with and visit my family. In the early days of Trump’s administration, they would stop any listening about the problems the administration had caused. Now, if I approach them about a problem, without focusing on the administration and just the problem, they will somewhat listen — I think they want solutions and are trying to understand, in some cases, but since they cannot extract themselves from the constant Republican brainwashing, they often turn apathetic or try to focus their discomfort or frustration on someone like AOC by saying “Yes, we need a solution but it can’t be like some socialist so and so.” And then the Republican Party has won again because my family eventually does very little to help and fall back in step with the brainwashing narrative that usually has few real facts. And I think the administration and the Republican Party with its Fox News state media understand all this psychology and strategically plan their messaging to bring their members back into the fold by supporting the paths back to the brainwashing.

      I’ve pointed out to my mother issues that would directly harm her, like her Republican congresspeople supporting things that destroy the environment, don’t protect her food, protection of health issues, and so on. A lot of deregulation stuff too that is harmful to the country, her life, and our democracy. It’s a victory in that sometimes she’s so incensed about an issue that she writes her representative. But then she will text me the letter she gets back from the Republican rep’s office (this has happened multiple times) which is written so poorly and only acknowledges her letter but downplays the issue and states a Republican-type phrase or two that tows the party line. My mother is then frustrated, thinking that none of it mattered, but then votes for that same person again because of the hot-button issues noted above. It’s maddening.

      Years ago, I found out that my grandfather was once a Democrat but changed to Republican in the late 60s or so. I asked him why, and he wouldn’t tell me. So, since I don’t know for sure, I can only assume it was because of the civil rights era, seeing what I see now with the embedded racism in so much of my extended family’s culture.

      Why did I change to Democrat? At the time, we were living in Arizona. I had married my husband who is Latino/Hispanic (? – we use these terms interchangeably) from Mexico. And Sheriff Joe Arpaio was rounding up immigrants and putting them in detention camps in the hot 110+ degree summer heat outdoors. He would make them wear striped jumpsuits and pink underwear in a tent city. It was horrible. Amnesty International spoke out. And there were other immigrant and racial abuses throughout the Phoenix area that were corrupt and inhumane. And this issue bothered me so much — why would my party (Republican then) support this? I had married a Mexican, knew Mexicans, loved Mexicans — saw them as equals and beautiful human beings. How could they be treated like this? I changed party as a rebel move back then. I changed party back then over one main issue at the time. I still couldn’t fully figure out how to agree on everything in the Democratic Party, sometimes even now, but I could agree on caring about others and not being racist. And that (among other things) was more important to me, still is.

      Later I wrote a book on taking care of our planet and going green, published by a major publisher. My family learned about it. I was initially demonized. But since then (it’s been about 9 years), several of my family and extended family have come around — not to changing political party, but to at least to supporting important green-type issues (kind of). I mean they will see the value in organic and want to buy organic, but still vote for people who will support the chemical giants that kill our soils and create more GMOs — it’s really weird. I don’t get it. There is a disconnect between wanting something and understanding what must be done to make it happen. Call it uninformed or willful ignorance — sometimes I don’t know which it is. I’ve always thought that helping people understand a plan of how to help agriculture, climate change, immigration, be more humane, helping the poor and why — all these issues — is key. Education, even in small bits, unlocks some doors and allows more info to get in. Details and facts must rise up enough so they can be heard. And appealing to what is right and moral — many seem to understand that angle.

  16. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    We have known that the Republican Party is a fascist party at least since we heard the tape of Paul Ryan telling McCarthy to shut the fuck up about the Russians funding their election efforts. I guess I have known it since my father explained Joe McCarthy to me in 1953. We are fucked if the Dems don’t move to formal impeachment hearings right now in order to break loose all the evidence and force our institutional security apparatus to take sides. I have been saying this for some time now but it is all comin’ down to the question of where the military is in all of this.

    • P J Evans says:

      Norskie, I love ya, but FIRST the hearings to demonstrate the need for impeachment and bring out all that evidence that should break things loose.

      • harpie says:

        YES! I want to “HEAR” it all!
        [or at least, as much as is legally possible]
        And I want Congress and the Intelligence Committees and gang of eight to “HEAR” everything.

      • NorskieFlamethrower says:

        The point is to start the kabuki dance to the rhythm of falling subpoenas that will be tossed right back from the WH. The subpoenas must come from the house intelligence, judiciary and ways and means. Get on with it!! The actions of rejecting the subpoenas become direct evidence of obstruction. The house committees will never break loose the information that is already out there until they subpoena Mueller and everyone else whose got direct information. This is not a drill, this is the real thing folks and the plan has been in place since Barr first rescued Reagan and GHW Bush from justice.

        • P J Evans says:

          The House committees are doing that. All those requests that have been refused, those become subpoenas, and then it goes to the (hopefully not stacked) courts.

  17. Old Antarctic Explorer says:

    Looks like Assange was trying to run down the three statute of limitations clocks. The British clock would have been up in June, the Swedish one in 2020 and the US clock in ? (Don’t know when he was charged). Was pressure brought to bear on Ecuador? Or Incentives?

    • Bri2k says:

      The rumor is Ecuador wants U.S. loans to develop natural gas extraction and the new president there is further to the right than the previous one who was an Assange supporter, at least initially.

      I thought Sweden dismissed the case against Assange a while back.

  18. orionATL says:

    the White House staff and the Republican party need to get Stephen “dead fish face” Miller out of the white house asap if they want to save trump from himself. i suspect that Miller is the evil nibelungen driving the politically ignorant and impressionable Donald Trump (see Sean hannity) to greater and greater heights of immigration folly. month-by-month Miller has trump engaging in more overtly cruel and probably illegal behavior. when tyrants get onto this cruelty treadmill they often cannot bring themselves to get off; they keep tightening the screws and inflicting more cruelty to force compliance; this incites resistance. most definitely trump is not pursuing a politically strategic course of action, though some media observers give him credit for pursuing a strategy that will win him the White House again in 2020.

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks for that. I’m still looking for the right cultural peg on which to hang the related content Eureka pulled together the other evening.

        I need something like Colonel Jessep as a parallel to Trump — the bit of memetic material which communicates the problem to the reptile brain before the rest of the brain puts the brakes on.

        • Eureka says:

          My first reaction awhile back was “ultimate incel?” Makes me think of Beavis and Butt-head and all of their disgusting imagery (tho that might be more Beavis, nose-picking etc.). Not sure if that’d work for your purposes/ could have unintended consequences (but then again the Venn of B&B fans and SM fans might be the tightly overlapping unreachable anyway).

        • orionATL says:

          as for visceral images, I was first thinking of a snarling, slavering, teeth-barred doberman (which nicholson/jessup’s face emulates perfectly), but then I thought why not a chimera – a trump body with that snarling doberman face?

          • orionATL says:

            after all, which American public figure has a perpetually angry face in public? that angry face is quite remarkable and is a visual trademark of our marshmallow of a prez.

  19. bloopie2 says:

    For years now I have been reading articles asserting that climate change will result in mass migration as people lose their homes and/or their livelihoods. Perhaps this Central American migration to the US, and the ongoing migration from Africa to Europe, are the beginning. If so, then Trump will certainly not be able to stop today’s migrant flow. (Of course, nor will any Democratic or Republican successor.) I don’t have an answer other than to say that for now the United States is not full. And I do wonder how many of these Republicans who are Christians can honestly say that they believe they fall in the apostle Matthew’s “right” camp: “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in.’” Something to aspire to, no?

    • P J Evans says:

      The RW churches interpret that passage to mean helping only people who are members of their sects. No, really: they argue that whatever Jesus said, it only applies to “Christians” – they refuse to see that he didn’t put qualifiers on those lessons Or that he wasn’t a Christian, because those didn’t exist before Paul took over.

        • P J Evans says:

          In the US – and also in Central America – there are a lot of latin@s that are Pentecostals. In the US, also JWs. Pentecostal churches tend to be conservative and authoritarian.

  20. harpie says:

    Chair and Vice-Chair of SSCI:
    9:27 AM – 11 Apr 2019

    Under the guise of transparency, Julian Assange and Wikileaks have effectively acted as an arm of the Russian intelligence services for years. 1/2 Mr. Assange engaged in a conspiracy to steal classified information, putting millions of lives at risk all over the world. Hopefully, he will now face justice. 2/2
    7:47 AM – 11 Apr 2019

    Whatever Julian Assange’s intentions were for WikiLeaks, what he’s become is a direct participant in Russian efforts to weaken the West and undermine American security. I hope British courts will quickly transfer him to U.S. custody so he can finally get the justice he deserves.

  21. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne. The fear-monger picture of Trump speaks volumes.
    He is CRUEL. Instead of helping people, he hurts people.

  22. harpie says:

    A tweet in verse:
    7:30 AM – 11 Apr 2019

    Mazie Hirono on CNN:

    When Barr opens his mouth,
    Trump’s words come popping out.
    So I’m sure that made Trump very happy …

    I found it astounding that the Att’y General
    would use a highly charged word like ‘spying’

    —astounding, but, you know,
    he sounded like the president to me.

    • Eureka says:

      The other thing that pissed me off about Barr doing this– and I do not doubt with intention– was that he used “spying” to be clear to the rightwingosphere, but then shifted suddenly to _proper jargon_ when pseudo-refuting it (re not knowing that it wasn’t properly “predicated,” however he exactly put it). He did that another time, too– it might be in your transcript on another page.

      Also love Mazie Hirono.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        One day I turned over a large rock in my yard and there were a bunch of grubby things that looked like giant snails without shells. For some reason, every time I see Barr, I think of them. I can’t even stand to look at Barr. He needs to crawl back under the rock where he belongs. Yuck.

        • P J Evans says:

          Those are slugs. And the stuff that kills snails will work on them, too. (Beer…or caffeine.)

          • Savage Librarian says:

            Thanks, PJ. Maybe the same “cures” will work on Barr. He’s been looking a little gray lately, not healthy looking at all.

  23. Seouljer says:

    It’s so weird you posted this today. Normally when I find a Trump supporter I think “that makes sense”. But last week I ran into an old friend/coworker. This is someone who I believe is educated, empathetic and good willed. It hurt my brain listening to him tell me why the immigrants are bad and how we “the left” are all brainwashed and that QANON rules the deep state. We had a long discussion with lots of sources being pulled. At least he was willing to communicate.

    Anyway, glad to be reminded others are fighting the good fight as well. And remember the Senate is the most diverse EVER, thanks to Trump!

    • Tom says:

      Everyone should look under their bed before they go to sleep at night to make sure there isn’t a great, big pod underneath it.

  24. harpie says:

    A tweet in verse:
    5:38 AM – 11 Apr 2019

    They made a picture of a black hole

    By upgrading a global co-op
    of radio telescopes into a superscope
    and waiting for good weather.

    Then four teams worked with petabytes of data,
    applying an algorithm a lady made,
    until they saw a vast orange donut from 55 million years ago.

    Humans have their ups and downs but
    we can definitely turn a whole planet into a telescope.

    • Badger Robert says:

      It is not a picture of a black hole. It is a picture of light distorted in a whirl by the intense warping of space caused by a super dense mass. Its light that was not quite trapped by the black hole. Way cool.

  25. harpie says:

    A tweet in verse:
    10:00 AM – 11 Apr 2019
    6:46 AM – 12 Oct 2016

    TRUMP: “I know nothing about WikiLeaks

    — it’s not my thing…
    I know nothing really about [Assange]
    — it’s not my deal in life.”
    TRUMP in 2016: “I love WikiLeaks!
    … This WikiLeaks stuff is unbelievable!
    … We love WikiLeaks!
    … We’ve learned so much from WikiLeaks.”
    Very little pick-up by the dishonest media
    of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks.
    So dishonest!
    Rigged system!

  26. harpie says:

    White House proposed releasing immigrant detainees in sanctuary cities, targeting political foes
    April 11 at 8:14 PM

    White House officials have tried to pressure U.S. immigration authorities to release detainees onto the streets of “sanctuary cities” to retaliate against President Trump’s political adversaries, according to Department of Homeland Security officials and email messages reviewed by The Washington Post.
    Trump administration officials have proposed transporting detained immigrants to sanctuary cities at least twice in the past six months — once in November, as a migrant caravan approached the U.S. southern border, and again in February, amid a standoff with Democrats over funding for Trump’s border wall. […]

    • P J Evans says:

      When the strategy involves demonizing them and claiming they’re all criminals and drug users, this plan might make sense. But with most of them being people looking for safer places to live and work, it’s probably not going to have the results this maladministration wants.

    • harpie says:

      From the article:

      “It was basically an idea that Miller wanted that nobody else wanted to carry out,” said one congressional investigator who has spoken to one of the whistleblowers. “What happened here is that Stephen Miller called people at ICE, said if they’re going to cut funding you’ve got to make sure you’re releasing people in Pelosi’s district and other congressional districts.” The investigator spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect the whistleblower.

      • Eureka says:

        Well then I wonder the role Miller plays in overall Fox-framing, because to your initial summary I was going to note that this plays exactly into what Fox viewers “believe” about sanctuary cities: that “they take them” (sic) (from a Fox viewer months ago). Though that’s not at all what sanctuary cities “do,” per se. Fox/RWNJ have massaged that into a whole new meaning over recent years.

  27. Mo says:

    Who can beat Trump next year?!

    Bernie Sander [Nope]
    Corey Booker [Nope]
    Kamala Harris [Nope]
    Elizabeth Warren [Nope]
    Julian Castro [Nope]
    Beto O’Rourke [Nope]
    Jay Inslee [Maybe]
    John Hickenlooper [Nope]
    Eric Swalwell [Maybe]
    Joe Biden [Maybe]
    Tim Ryan [Maybe]
    Tulsi Gabbard [Nope]

    If young Americans and Americans in general don’t vote like they did for Obama in 2008 Trump is going win again.

    • P J Evans says:

      LOL! (That looks more like the RNC wish list, actually.)
      Swalwell and Ryan are unlikely to make it through the primaries.

      • Rayne says:

        LOL accurate on RNC wish list.

        Ryan and Gabbard probably won’t make it to the first debate, unless Gabbard gets help from non-Dems (ahem).

        Swalwell could do a decent job but I think he doesn’t yet have enough name recognition. Probably a better VP candidate this time. Inslee and Hickenlooper also suffer for name recognition east of the Mississippi, and yet age won’t help them.

        I know far too many older women — +40-years-old crowd — who absolutely won’t vote for Biden or Sanders and are extremely vocal about it. “Oh hell no” is the typical reaction. Yep.

        • P J Evans says:

          I’d probably vote for Biden or Sanders, if they were the nominee. But Sanders seems to have hit peak support already, and Biden has lots of time left for more foot-in-mouth problems. (They both seem like they’re stuck in the 70s and 80s.)

          • Tom says:

            Certainly Joe and Bernie are stuck in their own later 70s. I think the Democrats would be forfeiting a major potential advantage if they decide the best candidate to go up against Old White Man Trump is an even older Not-Dead-Yet White Man. Both Joe & Bernie seem in reasonably good health but I can imagine how Trump would jump at the chance to pillory them for their lack of “stamina” if they faltered physically even the least on the campaign trail. Look what happened to Hillary in 2016.

            Amy Klobuchar announced her run for the Presidency in the middle of a snowstorm while all it took was a misty autumn rain for President Trump to decide he wasn’t going to visit an American military cemetery to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War. That’s the sort of contrast the Dems should be highlighting. With their increasingly youthful and diverse caucus they should be presenting themselves as the Party of the New America. A musical such as “Hamilton” demonstrates how the story of the Founding Fathers can be presented to a younger generation. With the 250th anniversary of American independence fast approaching, the Dems should be promoting themselves as the party that can revitalize the vision that guided Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and their fellow revolutionaries. But you can’t do that if the Presidential campaign looks like bridge night at the Seniors Centre. And I say that as an old white guy who goes to his own local seniors centre about once a month, but not to play bridge.

    • Ed Smart says:

      They can also vote like that for Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Julian Castro, thank you very much. Also, give some thought to the Roy Moore defeat in Alabama, the activism that was in play there, and the black women who generated it.

      (Maybe a smart candidate will consider them in the process, not just at the finish line, but at the onset,while platforms are being formed?)

  28. Ed Smart says:

    One More Fact: The racist president malodorously screams “No More Room” while over double the amount of immigrants enter and remain in the country via airplane transport as do those who come through the SW. Yet our airports aren’t covered with high thicks walls of concertina wire and tourists aren’t threatened by ICE agents in riot gear.

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