This is going to be a bad week for progressives. Like a cornered rat, Trump and his minions are lashing out in all directions. While the chattering class discusses Senator Bob Corker’s tactical differences with the administration, its strategies remain the same, no longer burdened with any pretense of bipartisanship.
The President has issued–via email–a list of preconditions guaranteed to end discussions with the Democratic congressional leadership regarding a deal extending DACA. An executive order to be issued this week will significantly undermine what remains of the Affordable Care Act, as insurers are signaling they’ll no longer wait for stability in the marketplace.
Unbridled racism wrapped in the flag continues to play a significant role in the administration’s agenda, as evidenced in the Vice President’s pre-planned stunt at an NFL game costing taxpayers upwards of a quarter million dollars in transportation costs.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi thought they had the basis for a negotiating an extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last month following a closed-door meeting with the President.
They found out otherwise on Sunday, via a letter to Congress:
From the Guardian:
The Trump administration has issued a list of hardline immigration demands that includes funding for a wall along the southern border and a crackdown on Central American minors as part of a deal to allow young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers to stay in the country legally.
Democrats immediately rejected the administration’s priorities as “far beyond what is reasonable”, setting up a likely showdown in the Congress as lawmakers are set to begin negotiations about Dreamers, the hundreds of thousands of young people brought to the country illegally as children.
The list of principles, which were sent to Congressional leaders on Sunday night, called for withholding federal grants for “sanctuary cities” and limiting legal immigration by issuing fewer family-based green cards to spouses and the minor children of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. It also demanded the creation of a points-based system for migrants to gain entry to the US.
The status of over 700,000 young immigrants is endangered by the administration’s latest proposal, one critics are saying was created at the behest of hardliners like advisor Stephan Miller and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Regional border advocates were quick to condemn the scheme, calling it “immoral and outrageous” and “an affront to the nation’s most basic values of equality and justice.”
Christian Ramirez, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, released the following statement:
“The Trump Administration’s misguided attempt to use Dreamers, and specifically Border Dreamers, as bargaining chips to further militarize the southern border region is shameful. There is broad, bipartisan support for a clean Dream Act for a reason: it is the right thing to do. The President has an obligation to act in the interest of the people of the United States and not in continuing to promote divisive policies that undermine our safety and fail to ignore the contributions of immigrants to our nation.”
On Saturday night white supremacists led by Richard Spencer returned to Charlottesville, Virginia for another tiki-torch march.
From BBC News:
Between 40 and 50 people are thought to have attended the rally in Emancipation Park by the statue of Gen Lee, which has been covered up while a legal challenge to its removal takes place.
In the video live-streamed by Mr Spencer, he said Charlottesville had become a symbol of the suppression of free speech and destruction of historical monuments.
The group, all dressed similarly and holding lit torches, could be heard chanting “the south will rise again” and “Russia is our friend”.
On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence flew from Las Vegas to Indianapolis as part of political stunt involving him leaving the game shortly after members of the San Francisco 49ers kneeled during the national anthem.
From the Washington Post:
…Pence’s appearance at the game and his well-coordinated exit from it was staged. It was a Colts-Niners game — pitting his home-state team against the team from the liberal hotbed where the players’ protests over racial violence began. Pence’s press pool was informed that, in essence, there probably wasn’t any reason for them to join him inside the stadium. Why get out of your press van when Pence would go in, take a quick patriotic picture, and leave?
As President Trump said on Twitter on Monday morning, Pence’s trip to Indianapolis for this game was long-planned. An event that necessitated some modicum of effort and expense, for one reason: to reinforce the divide at the center of the protests, a divide that overlaps almost completely with racial politics.
— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) October 8, 2017
Pence returned to California to be the guest of honor at a luncheon is meant to raise money for California Victory 2018, a joint fundraising committee for seven Republicans running in districts carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Benefitting from this appearance will be Darrell Issa of Vista, Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach, Mimi Walters of Irvine, Ed Royce of Brea, Steve Knight of Palmdale, David Valadao of Hanford and Jeff Denham of Turlock.
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick just happens to be from Turlock, California. There has been much misinformation about the man–including a story saying he was giving up his protests(later retracted by CBS)– circulated over the past two years.
Rembert Browne at Bleacher Report has an exhaustive profile on Kaepernick the human being, how he got to where he is, and the impact(s) of his decision to take a knee. It’s totally worth the read, whether you agree with him or not.
Russian active measures in the 2016 presidential campaign and its aftermath included more than Facebook and Twitter.
Via the Washington Post:
Google for the first time has uncovered evidence that Russian operatives exploited the company’s platforms in an attempt to interfere in the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the company’s investigation.
The Silicon Valley giant has found that tens of thousands of dollars were spent on ads by Russian agents who aimed to spread disinformation across Google’s many products, which include YouTube, as well as advertising associated with Google search, Gmail, and the company’s DoubleClick ad network, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters that have not been made public. Google runs the world’s largest online advertising business, and YouTube is the world’s largest online video site.
Some insight into what kinds of things were going on at YouTube comes via the Daily Beast:
According to the YouTube page for “Williams and Kalvin,” the Clintons are “serial killers who are going to rape the whole nation.” Donald Trump can’t be racist because he’s a “businessman.” Hillary Clinton’s campaign was “fund[ed] by the Muslim.”
These are a sample of the videos put together by two black video bloggers calling themselves Williams and Kalvin Johnson, whose social media pages investigators say are part of the broad Russian campaign to influence American politics. Across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, they purported to offer “a word of truth” to African-American audiences.
“We, the black people, we stand in one unity. We stand in one to say that Hillary Clinton is not our candidate,” one of the men says in a November video that warned Clinton “is going to stand for the Muslim. We don’t stand for her.”
Both Twitter and Facebook have suspended accounts tied to Williams and Johnson as part of the inquiring into Russian activities. Before the account was shuttered their Facebook page had 48,000 fans.
And the men have apparently disappeared:
Efforts to reach out to Facebook friends of Williams and Kalvin, who also joined their sole Facebook group, “#BlackLivesMatter against #PoliceBrutality,” also did not receive a response. None of Williams or Kalvin’s Facebook friends are from Atlanta, where the two claim they live on Facebook and in videos. On Facebook, both Williams and Kalvin claim their hometown is Owerri in Nigeria.
For those of you who might not remember, Colin Kaepernick first took the knee in San Diego in 2016. On Friday, more than one hundred San Diegans met up outside the Market Street Center to take a knee for racial justice.
— Point Loma Pam (@PointLomaPam) October 7, 2017
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