“What’s most significant is this: The Trump administration immigration officials have become exactly the kind of monsters that conservatism has always warned against. This illustrates something crucial about this administration. It is not populated by conservatives. It is populated by anti-liberal trolls. There’s a difference.”
— David Brooks writing for New York Times (6/19/18)
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (6/21/18)
Dear Fellow Readers,
The party of Trump – ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’. What single word would you choose – cruelty?
As we are pulling this together the breaking news is about Trump’s willingness to sign an executive order ending family separations on the border. Note the headline is, “Trump reverses course…”.
It was only Tuesday when Trump was riding high on the backs of children separated from their families and placed in “summer camps” per Fox pundit Laura Ingraham. A summer camp where they take the toys from the kids. Another empathy-empty message by Trump was housing babies in “Tender Age” shelters. MSNBC news anchor Rachel Maddow was in tears as she tried to report on the late breaking statement on Tuesday night.
Only Tuesday Trump was ready to win midterm elections by creating a fight over immigration as his signature issue. That’s right, “President Donald Trump sees his hard-line immigration stance as a winning issue heading into a midterm election he views as a referendum on his protectionist policies”. Trump adviser Stephen Miller is proud of the signature work resulting in the policy of kidnapping children and wanted Trump to make this his “defining issue”. Let’s hope Miller gets his wish and this injustice is exactly that, Trump’s defining issue.
Cruelty to children is just not enough
Yep, as if calculating, wrongly, that political gain on the backs of deliberate human suffering wasn’t enough, Trump also threatened, again, a government shutdown: Report: Trump Threatens Government Shutdown over Border-Wall Funding.
As reported in the National Review: “President Trump threatened to shut down the government over Congress’s failure to allocate funding for his border-wall proposal during a private meeting Monday”.
But with Trump and Russpublicans, cruelty is not enough, there’s a competition to see who can present it in the most ugly way: Jesus, These People Are Ghouls.
As the Esquire subhead noted: On Fox News, Corey Lewandowski tries to prove he is the cruelest Trump disciple of all.
As we noted above, Ingraham took her shot early, but it was mild by comparison. You can watch the video while the former Trump campaign manager — the one not in jail at the moment — strove for humor at the expense of a 10-year-old girl with Down Syndrome separated from her mother at the border. Lewandowski’s brand of empathy came in the form of a mocking “womp, womp” representative of a ‘sad sound’.
Steel booted corrupt psychosis
The Financial Times (behind a paywall) reported that Pope Francis offered the best denouncement of Trump and other populists competing with atrocities. The Pope’s conclusion: “Psychosis.”
Over at the New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks described the whole abusive mess as, “…a rigid steel boot on the neck of the immigration debate. It’s the sign of a party slowly losing its humanity.”
“…today, discretion and humanity are being stamped out. The Trump administration has embraced a “zero tolerance” policy. In practice that means that all complexity has to be reduced to uniformity. Compassion is replaced by a blind obedience to regulations. Context is irrelevant. Arrests are indiscriminate. All that matters is that the arrest numbers go up, so human beings in the system are reduced to numbers.
“What’s most significant is this: The Trump administration immigration officials have become exactly the kind of monsters that conservatism has always warned against.”
As Brooks sees it, the party of Trump – no longer conservative – is fueled by hate, resentment, biases of many forms and cruelty.
“This illustrates something crucial about this administration. It is not populated by conservatives. It is populated by anti-liberal trolls. There’s a difference.
““Amnesty” has become a club the trolls use in their attempt to stamp a rigid steel boot on the neck of the immigration debate. It’s the sign of a party slowly losing its humanity.”
This from a Commoner Call reader: GOP Strategist Quits ‘Corrupt’ Party Of ‘Feckless Cowards,’ Will Vote For Democrats.
“In a series of scathing tweets, Schmidt blasted the GOP as “corrupt, indecent and immoral” and “fully the party of Trump.”
““It is filled with feckless cowards who disgrace and dishonor the legacies of the party’s greatest leaders,” tweeted Schmidt, an MSNBC political analyst who has been an outspoken critic of President . “Today the GOP has become a danger to our democracy and our values.””
Um, can you make those tacos to go, right away!
We’re used to Trump’s non-stop lies, even the non-stop lies of the Trump apologists or those competing to win Trump’s attention and favor. The candidate for the week, so far, is child kidnapping spokesperson and Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who has brazenly defended the practice. Her cruelty has a price as she was booed out of a DC restaurant (a Mexican restaurant no less!) while activists shouted “do you hear the babies crying?” while diners clapped in support.
Meanwhile, Trump cronies and Russpublicans are happy to have our eyes off the subject of Trump-Russia corruption. But there is more bad news for the White House: Trump’s Personal Attorney Is ‘willing to give info’ About The President.
Yep, Trump lawyer and long-time associate, Michael Cohen, is signaling he may be ready to cooperate with federal prosecutors.
“Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen has signaled to friends that he is “willing to give” investigators information on the President if that’s what they are looking for, and is planning on hiring a new lawyer to handle a possible indictment from federal prosecutors.
“”He knows a lot of things about the President and he’s not averse to talking in the right situation,” one of Cohen’s New York friends who is in touch with him told CNN. “If they want information on Trump, he’s willing to give it.””
Cohen feels “increasingly isolated” from Trump. No one benefits from demonstrating loyalty to Trump, it makes one wonder who will have to suffer for Trump’s immigrant child kidnapping policy that couldn’t stand up to the light of day. Nielsen takes the early lead in betting. Lewandowski gave it a shot, but short of his success as a grifter on the heels of Trump, he’s insignificant – cruel, but that’s hardly a unique qualification in this personality cult.
Trump corruption is a daily staple, just no longer on the front page: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Shorted Shares oOf A Kremlin-Linked Company Days Before A Bombshell Story Dropped.
If you’re Trump-Russia, you gotta have a guy with a Cyprus bank with bona fides for laundering lots of Russian money. This guy, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, is just a middlin’ Trump crony crook, but if he sees a chance to make a buck, even off his own transgressions… well it’s a criminal code of honor, you just can’t turn your back on it:
“In October, the Times emailed Ross questions about his investments in Navigator Holdings, a mover of liquefied gases whose major clients included a Russian energy company. Three days later, Ross made the so-called short sale, and closed out his position nearly three weeks after the Times and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published details of Ross’ investment and the company’s link to the Kremlin.”
Yep, he gets a heads-up from the reporter and he figures the stock will go drop in price once the news breaks, so he bets on it. Yep, he tries to make money off being caught out for an investment with sanctioned Russians. Ross previously forgot about the investment.
And then there is poor ol’ Roger Stone, another Trumpster with a defective memory: Dissecting Roger Stone’s Bizarre New Statement On His Meeting With A Russian National.
The Vice subhead notes: He says it doesn’t matter why he didn’t disclose it for two years, and that he was set up.
Yet ANOTHER Trumpster-Russian meeting, this time a new disclosure by long time Trump associate Roger Stone. That’s right, it’s none of our business why Stone never disclosed the meeting even though he denied there were other meetings, but he did remember after special counsel Mueller “got texts proving it happened”. No one can spin like Trump’s friend Stone, who rambled through, “$2 million Clinton dirt”, “illegal FISA”, “FBI informant”, “John Papadopoulos (it’s George)”, “set up”, “Comey’s FBI” – quite the stew of tried and true — but poorly presented — deflections.
An important announcement…
So many Russians that Russian state-run media declares the obvious: RUSSIA STATE MEDIA DECLARES: ‘TRUMP IS OURS!’
Responding to reports that Trump told world leaders at the G-7 meeting in Canada last week that Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula is Russian because everyone there speaks Russian, the hosts of the Russian version of 60 Minutes victoriously declared that “Crimea is ours, Trump is ours.”
Think about that for a moment. The Russia official media declares: “Crimea is ours, Trump is ours”.
No word yet on whether or not Trump will be the star of a new Russian reality show.
OMG, that again?!
Even with all the havoc and cruelty imposed by Trump and his Russpublican minions, they are still on the job – that’s right, back on the hunt to find wrong-doing by Hillary: Yes, Family Separation Is Bad. But What About Hillary Clinton’s Emails?
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank reports:
“Babies are seized from their mothers’ arms. Photographs show their anguish. News reports describe their cages. A recording their wailing and a U.S. border official’s cold mockery. A defiant President Trump falsely blames others for the misery he created.
“And Republican lawmakers respond as they often have: They hold another hearing about Hillary Clinton’s emails.”
Irreverent Democrats like Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) raised the issue of “…children who have been forcibly removed from their parents in our name”, but was shut down with GOP cries of “order”. Through the disorder Russpublicans refused to accept the FBI Inspector General findings of proper handling of Clinton email investigations but in spite of this, or because of this:
“Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asked: “How is it you can say you found no evidence of bias?”
“Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), suggesting the FBI had acted in a “nefarious” manner and had hidden information from Horowitz , said the misconduct was “more than just casting a cloud on the overall investigation,” as Horowitz had concluded.
“Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) alleged that the FBI had given “false information” to Horowitz, and he attempted to unmask people whose identity the FBI protects because they work in counterterrorism.”
Oh the injustice of yet another opportunity to ‘Lock Her Up’ gone awry through impartial investigation.
Except there may well be legal exposure around Clinton emails – for Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani: Giuliani Promised A Surprise Before The Election. Comey Delivered One.
Somehow purported leaks from the New York FBI office to Rudy Giuliani did not make the FBI IG’s report. But it’s far from a dead issue. FBI Director Christopher Wray was asked about this during Senate hearings this week:
““Can you assure the American people there are no ongoing leaks from any office of the F.B.I. to Rudolph Giuliani?” Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut asked.
““Senator, I’m certainly not aware of any,” Mr. Wray replied.”
No “ongoing” according to Wray. But what about Giuliani’s promised October surprise in 2016?: Rudy Giuliani Says FBI Questioned Him On Leaks That Hurt Clinton Campaign
Oh, the sweet irony if Giuliani is in hot water over Clinton emails:
“ says FBI agents interviewed him in his room at the Trump International Hotel earlier this year regarding his 2016 remarks predicting a “surprise” in the closing days of the presidential race that would benefit then-Republican nominee .”
Trump overplayed his hand by cruelly placing a high-stakes bet that ripping immigrant children away from their parents and crying Democrats made him do it he could swing the midterm elections in his favor. He once again threatened to shut down the federal government if all wouldn’t bend to his will and give him everything he demanded.
Trump is no longer the leader of the free world, meaning the U.S. is no longer the leader of the free world. But Russia claims him and thanks him for his support of the illegal annexation of Crimea.
There’s always so much more, in just a few days. Nielsen is booed out of a D.C. Mexican restaurant. Lewandowski offers “womp, womp” as his lack of empathy over a 10-year-old immigrant with Down Syndrome separated from her mother.
Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III said that comparisons to Nazi Germany were inaccurate because Nazis “were keeping the Jews from leaving the country.” `Doesn’t Sessions validate a comparison of Nazi Germany and Trump’s kidnapping more than discount such a comparison?
In spite of Trump’s fraying lies about ‘Democrats made me do it’ – he signals he intends to sign an executive order to keep families together. Are we to now forget the cruelty and the lying because Trump waves a white flag? And will the executive order really do what he says? Can anyone believe anything emanating form the Orange One?
Trump lied, Sessions lied, Nielsen lied, Huckabee Sanders lied, Miller loved it, Lewandowski mocked it. Thousands of children, thousands of families were cruelly used and abused in Trump’s warped political calculus.
And don’t for a moment believe that anything has been fixed. There are many more layers of Trump’s ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ cruelty to come as there is no plan for how to reunite families:
“Trump administration officials say they have no clear plan yet on how to reunite the thousands of children separated from their families at the border since the implementation of a zero-tolerance policy in which anyone caught entering the U.S. illegally is criminally prosecuted.”
Cruelty. Psychosis. Trump’s defining moment? 1000’s of kidnapped children or 4,645 hurricane Maria-related deaths in Puerto Rico?
Sadly, it’s been a safe bet when suggesting things will get worse. What next?
(Commoner Call cartoons by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )