The Border Between Tough And Cruel

White House, Facing Backlash For Ripping Immigrant Children From Parents At The Border, Lashes Out At Reporters And Democrats


In our very first column this year, we quoted a Trump supporter we’d overheard in a hair salon saying: “I thought he’d be tough and get things done, but he’s just plain cruel.” We wondered today how that same person is reacting to children being separated from their parents at the border. The White House realizes it’s become a political crisis, and one it either did not adequately prepare for, or didn’t care. Here’s White House Spokesperson Sarah Sanders (Click on the photo to watch):


And as furious as people got at Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he hid behind a Bible quotation as justification for tearing families apart (a quotation, as the Washington Post points out, that was also often used to justify slavery), at least Sessions–unlike Trump–is owning it. Sessions defends the policy on the grounds that “we’ve got to get this message out”. Thing is, those things aren’t exclusive. Border control is achievable without abject cruelty. (And what about the Bible quotation we remember, that “ye were strangers in the land of Egypt” Lev. 19:34)?

Then again, you haven’t heard Trump complain about Sessions now for a while

Watch what Sessions had to say most recently by clicking on the Tweet below:

And we should remind you as we wrote several weeks ago, there is no “horrible” piece of legislation passed by Democrats that requires minors be held separately at the border. The law Trump’s people keep referring to was meant to address minors showing up at the border unaccompanied, and was designed to protect them against trafficking. (It was signed by President George W. Bush). But the children showing up now are not unaccompanied; they’re with their families. The only reason this law is being applied, is that once they are removed from their parents, the Trump Administration is choosing to then reclassify them as “unaccompanied minors”.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, a group of legislators came 2 just two signatures short of forcing a vote on a bipartisan immigration bill that almost certainly would’ve passed (whether Trump would’ve signed it or not is another question).

Instead, the House is gearing up now to vote on a Republican-only immigration bill, probably next week. That bill is designed to give Trump almost precisely what he’s previously demanded: meaning it’ll be the most draconian immigration bill yet, with big tightening of both legal and illegal immigration, and full funding of Trump’s wall. It will fix the most immediate problem by mandating families be detained together. Happy times!

Since most Democrats probably won’t support this bill (and some Republicans might not either), it’s really just a stunt to back up Trump’s narrative that Democrats are to blame, and pressure a “compromise” by pushing for concessions to solve problems Trump is fully responsible for creating.

Still, Trump may win this one yet.



Inspector General’s Report Is A Feast For Trump


The long-awaited report on the inner-workings of the F.B.I. leading up to the 2016 Election is so full of ripe fruit almost anyone can take anything they want to from it. Even former FBI Director James Comey, who is thoroughly scorched by it, spun it as a good thing. (Click here to link to the entire 500-page report, should you have a lot of free time today.)

But for Trump it’s a real bounty:

  • The report really makes it seem like it wasn’t such a bad idea for him–for whatever reason–to fire Comey. Calling Comey “insubordinate” and depicting him as imperious.
  • While concluding: “We found no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations“, the report finds some at the F.B.I. showed “willingness to take official action” to harm Trump (although there’s no evidence they actually did).
  • And it contains the following exchange between FBI agent Peter Strzok, (long gone from Mueller’s investigative team–now working in Human Resources), and Lisa Page, a former F.B.I. lawyer he was having an affair with:  Page: “[Trump is] “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” That at least lends some credence Trump’s claim that the investigators themselves need to be investigated. (Also, how could they have been so stupid?! Texting on official F.B.I. devices so their affair would not be discovered?)

You can be sure Trump’s going to rev up all these things and get as much mileage out of them as he can.

Strangely, the 2nd biggest beneficiary of the report might be Hillary Clinton:

  • Because the report concludes there was nothing particularly fishy in the decision not to prosecute her: “[the decision not to prosecute] was consistent with the department’s historical approach in prior cases under different leadership, including in the 2008 decision not to prosecute former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for mishandling classified documents.
  • And that anything Comey did wrong was to the disadvantage of Clinton, including the infamous “letter to Congress” less than 2 weeks before the election.

And–how’s this for a kicker?–it also found that Comey himself used personal email accounts at times to conduct official F.B.I. business.

The New York Times has a really good wrap up of many pertinent findings.



Trump Slapped Hard In New York Courts, Twice


First, a judge ruled former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos could proceed with a defamation lawsuit against the President, related to a sexual harassment allegation, even while he is still in office. That one may be headed for the Supreme Court.

And the New York Attorney General, Barbara Underwood, filed suit against Trump and his best-known children, accusing the President misused funds from his charitable foundation to pay off creditors and other “persistently illegal conduct”.

Trump did his best to characterize the suit as something that’s been rattling around for years and has very little merit. And Tweeted that the only reason the NY AG filed it is that he refused to settle, insisting “I won’t settle this case!” (Of course Trump also swore he would never settle the Trump University lawsuit, and then did.)

Most of these charges stem from the Pulitzer-prize winning reporting by David Fahrenthold. In this day and age of the media being portrayed as “Our Country’s biggest enemy” (Trump) rife with reporters who “should immediately have…press credentials suspended” (Trump’s campaign chief Brad Parscale), this is a good reminder that the most important role of journalists is to light fires under people’s asses.




Democrats Crush Republicans!


At baseball, that is. The annual Democrat vs. Republican baseball game was last night and Democrats won by a wildly lopsided 21-5. Last year you’ll remember, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot at a practice leading up to the game. He started for Republicans this year at 2nd base. Democratic Representative Cedric Richmond, from Louisiana, came away with a complete game win and a 3 run homer.