If you don’t like the electoral college now, wait ’til you see this

Updates

  1. Originally published, July 14, 4:58 pm.
  2. July 15, 1:37 am:
    • Theresa May has warned that Brexit might not happen if Tory rebels don’t get on board with her plan.[1]
    • I beefed up the commentary under Democratic deficit (link and title updated, see July 15, 6:40 pm). I might develop this into a blog post.
    • Susan Glasser points out that Robert Mueller has forced an agenda onto Donald Trump for his one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin that he did not want.[2] (Golden Showers)
  3. July 15, 2:23 pm:
    • I have to admit I was so deeply skeptical of this Politico article purporting to explain Donald Trump’s refusal to cancel his upcoming meeting with Vladimir Putin[3] that I almost didn’t read it. After all, I figured, there is something deeply sick about Trump’s attitude toward Putin, in which he is venomous to nearly anyone else, but utterly obsequious to Putin. I was dreading an attempt to rationalize the irrational. But actually, the article is pretty good. If you feel as I did, sit yourself down and read it anyway. (Golden Showers)
  4. July 15, 6:40 pm:
    • As I was contemplating converting the commentary under what is now titled Democratic deficit, I searched my archive for similar articles. I found some. I have combined the resulting citations here.
  5. July 15, 11:29 pm:
  6. July 16, 5:12 am:
    • The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake analyzes an interview Donald Trump gave CBS News and detects a remarkably defensive tone: “About the most innocent explanation you can offer for Trump’s muted attitude toward Russia’s and Vladimir Putin’s 2016 actions is that he doesn’t like to talk about it — that he feels the whole thing undermines his legitimacy as president.”[4] It might be helpful to recall that Trump exhibits what looks very much like narcissistic rage,[5] which is part of why I call him the delusional raging narcissist-in-chief, but more to the point, offers a lens through which to understand his defensive reaction. (Golden Showers)
  7. July 16, 1:07 pm:
    • There were a few reasons I didn’t rely on Political psychology research in my dissertation. One thing I noticed was that it was all quantitative research[6] which, of course, all falls under the positivist paradigm and its alleged ‘objectivity.’ So guess what? It turns out all that supposed objectivity might not actually be objective.[7] Here’s a clue: It never is. But yes, conservatism is authoritarian, as I found in my preliminary work;[8] it also always substitutes some ideology, be it religion, “tradition,” a “theory” (like capitalism), for empirical research, as I discovered in my dissertation itself;[9] and, in fact, the latter supports the former. Here’s another surprise, except that it was covered in my Ph.D. coursework: Positivism does all this as well and, indeed, this is how it supports colonialism.
    • Paul Ryan is less than impressed by Donald Trump’s and Vladimir Putin’s denial of Russian interference in the 2016 election at their lovefest today. Oh, and, um, he’s not alone.[10] What remains to be seen is whether any of these extraordinarily harsh words will be followed by action. (Golden Showers)
  8. July 16, 6:50 pm:
    • Added a tweet from Dan Rather under Golden Showers. Rather doesn’t go this far, but other folks, including the New York Daily News (figure 1), are now openly accusing Donald Trump of treason following his performance with Vladimir Putin today (also see update for July 16, 8:15 pm).
    • The judge who previously ordered unauthorized migrant families reunited has ordered a temporary halt to family deportations.[11] (Unauthorized migration)
  9. July 16, 8:15 pm:
    • The Guardian has more reaction to the press conference Donald Trump held with Vladimir Putin, including accusations of treason.[12] (Golden Showers)
  10. July 17, 10:14 am:
    • More coverage of the meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin and ensuing criticism of the former from the Wall Street Journal,[13] Washington Post,[14] Politico,[15] and the New York Times.[16] It is still early for substantive consequences—an article in the Guardian seems skeptical that such will materialize[17]—but Trump clearly set fire to his own credibility and the smoke is spectacular. (Golden Showers)
    • I now have the original tweet from John Brennan and a few more under Golden Showers.
  11. July 17, 5:08 pm:
    • If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you. Not that dingy bridge in Brooklyn either, but a big, beautiful bridge: Donald Trump “told reporters that he said he meant he doesn’t see why Russia ‘wouldn’t’ be responsible.”[18] (Golden Showers)
    • Greg Sargent wants us to remember two things he thinks Republicans would like us to overlook: 1) At the time, Donald Trump encouraged the Russians to interfere in the election and knew or should have known that that interference was in fact occurring; and 2) Donald Trump was the beneficiary of this interference.[19] I’m still waiting for the pee tape. And so, it would seem, are other folks.[20] (Golden Showers)
  12. July 18, 1:44 pm:
    • This issue is getting rather long. But the Golden Showers story hasn’t yet reached a breaking point.
    • If you thought—okay, I’ll admit I entertained the idea—that Donald Trump might emerge from the Helsinki summit fiasco somehow chastened, that he might be a bit more circumspect in the future, that he might finally realize that there are limits to what the support from his base might let him get away with, well, I guess it was a nice thought.[21] (Golden Showers)
    • Robert Hansen opened a discussion on what folks working in the U.S. intelligence community should do now that Donald Trump is disrespecting their efforts and taking Vladimir Putin’s side. I have participated to some degree, including a rather long response on the ethics of the situation. It’s worth at least a skim. (Golden Showers)
    • I am not caught up. I am seeking someplace near the ocean where I can continue to work.
  13. July 18, 6:40 pm:
    • I am in a place where there is fog and mobile data, but not, alas, a place to plug in. We’ll see how my batteries hold up.
    • There is a new blog post up, entitled, “The binary empire strikes back.” (Golden Showers)
    • Republicans, especially in the Senate, are unhappy with Donald Trump’s Helsinki performance, but not—it appears—to a breaking point.[22] (Golden Showers)
    • Add David Remnick of the New Yorker to the chorus of criticism of Donald Trump’s performance in Helsinki.[23] (Golden Showers)
    • California’s Supreme Court has ruled that Tim Draper’s plan to break California up into three states cannot be put on the ballot, at least temporarily.[24]
    • The battery is looking low. I am not yet caught up.

Democratic deficit

The odd thing about Philip Bump’s article is that he doesn’t mention the electoral college.[25] With conservative nominees already occasionally winning the presidency on the electoral college vote, but while losing the popular vote, and Democratic partisans wailing accordingly, it will be imperative to make fundamental changes.

[The text previously here has been incorporated into a new blog entry, “Mitigating the democratic deficit in the United States.”]

Philip Bump, “In about 20 years, half the population will live in eight states,” Washington Post, July 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/07/12/in-about-20-years-half-the-population-will-live-in-eight-states/


Donald Trump

Very much in line with my last blog post,[26] it turns out there’s a study confirming that many folks in Donald Trump’s base feel displaced.[27] I do find some fault with this author’s analysis; see the updated post for details.

Diana C. Mutz, “Status threat, not economic hardship, explains the 2016 presidential vote,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 23, 2018, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1718155115


Golden Showers

New York Daily News cover, July 17, 2018, via Judd Legum on Twitter, fair use.

Fig. 1. New York Daily News cover, July 17, 2018, via Judd Legum on Twitter, fair use.

Paul Waldman, “The Peter Strzok fiasco wrecks the GOP’s bogus conspiracy theory,” Washington Post, July 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/07/12/the-peter-strzok-fiasco-wrecks-the-gops-bogus-conspiracy-theory/

Susan B. Glasser, “Thanks to Robert Mueller, Trump and Putin Now Have a Summit Agenda,” New Yorker, July 13, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/thanks-to-robert-mueller-trump-and-putin-now-have-a-summit-agenda

Michael Crowley and Annie Karni, “Why Trump won’t cancel the Putin summit,” Politico, July 15, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/15/trump-putin-russia-summit-helsinki-722255

Rebecca Ballhaus, “Trump Questions Finding of Russia’s 2016 Meddling as He Appears With Putin,” Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-blames-u-s-for-poor-relations-with-moscow-1531732220

Dan Balz, “The moment called for Trump to stand up for America. He chose to bow,” Washington Post, July 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/after-a-jaw-dropping-news-conference-what-does-america-first-really-mean/2018/07/16/2b728b12-892e-11e8-a345-a1bf7847b375_story.html

Aaron Blake, “Trump’s extremely defensive interview about Russia and Putin,” Washington Post, July 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/07/16/trumps-extremely-defensive-interview-about-russia-and-putin/

Rod Dreher, “Trump Capitulates To Putin,” American Conservative, July 16, 2018, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/trump-capitulates-to-putin/

Mark Landler, “Trump Sheds All Notions of How a President Should Conduct Himself Abroad,” New York Times, July 16, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/us/politics/trump-putin-summit.html

Michael Scherer, “Trump’s defense of Putin finds few supporters in Congress,” Washington Post, July 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-defense-of-putin-finds-few-supporters-in-congress/2018/07/16/2610b3a2-8914-11e8-8aea-86e88ae760d8_story.html

David Smith, “Trump ‘treasonous’ after siding with Putin on election meddling,” Guardian, July 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/16/trump-finds-putin-denial-of-election-meddling-powerful

Felicia Sonmez, “Trump’s defense of Russia prompts outrage from some Republicans,” Washington Post, July 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-defense-of-russia-prompts-outrage-from-some-republicans/2018/07/16/adc9c52c-8914-11e8-a345-a1bf7847b375_story.html

Associated Press, “Trump says he misspoke on Russia meddling,” Los Angeles Times, July 17, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-essential-washington-updates-trump-says-he-misspoke-on-russia-1531853292-htmlstory.html

Aaron Blake, “The growing Trump-Putin kompromat question,” Washington Post, July 17, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/07/17/does-putin-have-kompromat-on-trump-suddenly-its-no-longer-such-a-taboo-question-thanks-to-trump/

Jordan Fabian, “Trump says he accepts US intel on Russia — then adds it ‘could be other people also,’” Hill, July 17, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/397481-trump-says-he-accepts-us-intel-on-russia-then-adds-it-could-be-other

Lauren Gambino, “Will Republicans punish Trump for his performance with Putin?” Guardian, July 17, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/17/donald-trump-putin-russia-summit-how-will-republicans-react

David M. Herszenhorn, “Putin preens while Trump settles old scores,” Politico, July 17, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/17/putin-trump-agenda-summit-725964

David Remnick, “The Unwinding of Donald Trump,” New Yorker, July 17, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-unwinding-of-donald-trump

Vivian Salama, “Trump Reverses Course, Says Russia Meddled in 2016 Election,” Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-stands-by-his-positive-read-of-putin-summit-amid-criticism-1531847452

Greg Sargent, “The truth about Trump and Russia that Republicans cannot say out loud,” Washington Post, July 17, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/07/17/the-truth-about-trump-and-russia-that-republicans-cannot-say-out-loud/

John Wagner and Felicia Sonmez, “Trump says he accepts U.S. intelligence on Russian interference in 2016 election but denies collusion,” Washington Post, July 17, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/growing-number-in-gop-call-for-trump-to-fix-the-damage-from-helsinki-news-conference/2018/07/17/7ea15178-8902-11e8-8aea-86e88ae760d8_story.html

Alexander Bolton, “Helsinki summit becomes new flashpoint for GOP anger,” Hill, July 18, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/397562-helsinki-summit-becomes-new-flashpoint-for-gop-anger

Louis Nelson and Andrew Restuccia, “Trump again defiant after rare mea culpa on Russia,” Politico, July 18, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/18/trump-putin-tweets-729068


James Comey

Rachel Weiner, “Paul Manafort to be moved from jail where prosecutors say he has ‘VIP’ treatment,” Washington Post, July 11, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/paul-manafort-has-phone-email-vip-treatment-in-jail-prosecutors-say/2018/07/11/2b7201b6-851d-11e8-8f6c-46cb43e3f306_story.html

Autumn Brewington et al., “The Russia Connection,” Lawfare, July 13, 2018, https://www.lawfareblog.com/russia-indictment-20-what-make-muellers-hacking-indictment


Hillary Clinton

The Lawfare article archived under James Comey offers a detailed legal and technical analysis[28] of Robert Mueller’s indictment of Russians for breaking into Democratic National Committee computers.[29]

Philip Ewing and Carrie Johnson, “Justice Department Charges Russian Cyberspies With Attack On 2016 Election,” National Public Radio, July 13, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/07/13/628773789/deputy-attorney-general-rod-rosenstein-unveils-new-hacking-charges-in-dnc-case


Nancy Pelosi

Katherine Timpf, “It Is Actually Not Sexist to Want Pelosi to Step Down,” National Review, July 12, 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/07/nancy-pelosi-resignation-calls-not-sexist/


Unauthorized migration

It is rather eye-catching—and, to me, suspect—that so many children were found ineligible for reunion.[30]

Brittny Mejia, “Trump administration reunites just over half of migrant children under 5 with parents, says others are ‘ineligible,’” Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-eligible-children-reunited-20180712-story.html


Brexit

John Cassidy’s article[31] did not make it into my last newsletter. Not mentioned here is the difficulty of the Irish border.[32]

John Cassidy, “Boris Johnson’s Resignation Can’t Disguise the Harsh Reality of Brexit,” New Yorker, July 9, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/boris-johnsons-resignation-cant-disguise-the-harsh-reality-of-brexit

Gavin Cordon, “Brexit: Theresa May warns EU exit may not happen ‘at all’ if rebel Tories don’t play ball,” Independent, July 15, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-brexit-tory-rebels-trade-chequers-donald-trump-a8447776.html


Political psychology

Jesse Singal, “How Social Science Might Be Misunderstanding Conservatives,” New York, July 15, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/how-social-science-might-be-misunderstanding-conservatives.html


California

Taryn Luna, “Remove three Californias plan from the ballot, Supreme Court says,” Sacramento Bee, July 18, 2018, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article214600215.html


  1. [1]Gavin Cordon, “Brexit: Theresa May warns EU exit may not happen ‘at all’ if rebel Tories don’t play ball,” Independent, July 15, 2018, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-brexit-tory-rebels-trade-chequers-donald-trump-a8447776.html
  2. [2]Susan B. Glasser, “Thanks to Robert Mueller, Trump and Putin Now Have a Summit Agenda,” New Yorker, July 13, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/thanks-to-robert-mueller-trump-and-putin-now-have-a-summit-agenda
  3. [3]Michael Crowley and Annie Karni, “Why Trump won’t cancel the Putin summit,” Politico, July 15, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/15/trump-putin-russia-summit-helsinki-722255
  4. [4]Aaron Blake, “Trump’s extremely defensive interview about Russia and Putin,” Washington Post, July 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/07/16/trumps-extremely-defensive-interview-about-russia-and-putin/
  5. [5]George Simon, “Understanding and Dealing with Narcissistic Rage,” Counseling Resource, July 24, 2017, http://counsellingresource.com/features/2017/07/24/understanding-narcissistic-rage/
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  7. [7]Jesse Singal, “How Social Science Might Be Misunderstanding Conservatives,” New York, July 15, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/how-social-science-might-be-misunderstanding-conservatives.html
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Defining conservatism,” April 12, 2013, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2013/04/12/defining-conservatism
  9. [9]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  10. [10]Rod Dreher, “Trump Capitulates To Putin,” American Conservative, July 16, 2018, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/trump-capitulates-to-putin/; Felicia Sonmez, “Trump’s defense of Russia prompts outrage from some Republicans,” Washington Post, July 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-defense-of-russia-prompts-outrage-from-some-republicans/2018/07/16/adc9c52c-8914-11e8-a345-a1bf7847b375_story.html
  11. [11]Joel Rose, “Judge Halts Family Deportations For Now,” National Public Radio, July 16, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/07/16/629568352/judge-halts-family-deportations-for-now
  12. [12]David Smith, “Trump ‘treasonous’ after siding with Putin on election meddling,” Guardian, July 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/16/trump-finds-putin-denial-of-election-meddling-powerful
  13. [13]Rebecca Ballhaus, “Trump Questions Finding of Russia’s 2016 Meddling as He Appears With Putin,” Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-blames-u-s-for-poor-relations-with-moscow-1531732220
  14. [14]Dan Balz, “The moment called for Trump to stand up for America. He chose to bow,” Washington Post, July 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/after-a-jaw-dropping-news-conference-what-does-america-first-really-mean/2018/07/16/2b728b12-892e-11e8-a345-a1bf7847b375_story.html; Michael Scherer, “Trump’s defense of Putin finds few supporters in Congress,” Washington Post, July 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-defense-of-putin-finds-few-supporters-in-congress/2018/07/16/2610b3a2-8914-11e8-8aea-86e88ae760d8_story.html
  15. [15]David M. Herszenhorn, “Putin preens while Trump settles old scores,” Politico, July 17, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/17/putin-trump-agenda-summit-725964
  16. [16]Mark Landler, “Trump Sheds All Notions of How a President Should Conduct Himself Abroad,” New York Times, July 16, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/us/politics/trump-putin-summit.html
  17. [17]Lauren Gambino, “Will Republicans punish Trump for his performance with Putin?” Guardian, July 17, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/17/donald-trump-putin-russia-summit-how-will-republicans-react
  18. [18]Associated Press, “Trump says he misspoke on Russia meddling,” Los Angeles Times, July 17, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-essential-washington-updates-trump-says-he-misspoke-on-russia-1531853292-htmlstory.html; see also Jordan Fabian, “Trump says he accepts US intel on Russia — then adds it ‘could be other people also,’” Hill, July 17, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/397481-trump-says-he-accepts-us-intel-on-russia-then-adds-it-could-be-other; Vivian Salama, “Trump Reverses Course, Says Russia Meddled in 2016 Election,” Wall Street Journal, July 17, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-stands-by-his-positive-read-of-putin-summit-amid-criticism-1531847452; John Wagner and Felicia Sonmez, “Trump says he accepts U.S. intelligence on Russian interference in 2016 election but denies collusion,” Washington Post, July 17, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/growing-number-in-gop-call-for-trump-to-fix-the-damage-from-helsinki-news-conference/2018/07/17/7ea15178-8902-11e8-8aea-86e88ae760d8_story.html
  19. [19]Greg Sargent, “The truth about Trump and Russia that Republicans cannot say out loud,” Washington Post, July 17, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/07/17/the-truth-about-trump-and-russia-that-republicans-cannot-say-out-loud/
  20. [20]Aaron Blake, “The growing Trump-Putin kompromat question,” Washington Post, July 17, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/07/17/does-putin-have-kompromat-on-trump-suddenly-its-no-longer-such-a-taboo-question-thanks-to-trump/
  21. [21]Louis Nelson and Andrew Restuccia, “Trump again defiant after rare mea culpa on Russia,” Politico, July 18, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/18/trump-putin-tweets-729068
  22. [22]Alexander Bolton, “Helsinki summit becomes new flashpoint for GOP anger,” Hill, July 18, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/397562-helsinki-summit-becomes-new-flashpoint-for-gop-anger
  23. [23]David Remnick, “The Unwinding of Donald Trump,” New Yorker, July 17, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-unwinding-of-donald-trump
  24. [24]Taryn Luna, “Remove three Californias plan from the ballot, Supreme Court says,” Sacramento Bee, July 18, 2018, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article214600215.html
  25. [25]Philip Bump, “In about 20 years, half the population will live in eight states,” Washington Post, July 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/07/12/in-about-20-years-half-the-population-will-live-in-eight-states/
  26. [26]David Benfell, “How Donald Trump captured the Republican Party,” Not Housebroken, July 12, 2018, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/07/01/how-donald-trump-captured-the-republican-party/
  27. [27]Diana C. Mutz, “Status threat, not economic hardship, explains the 2016 presidential vote,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 23, 2018, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1718155115
  28. [28]Autumn Brewington et al., “The Russia Connection,” Lawfare, July 13, 2018, https://www.lawfareblog.com/russia-indictment-20-what-make-muellers-hacking-indictment
  29. [29]Philip Ewing and Carrie Johnson, “Justice Department Charges Russian Cyberspies With Attack On 2016 Election,” National Public Radio, July 13, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/07/13/628773789/deputy-attorney-general-rod-rosenstein-unveils-new-hacking-charges-in-dnc-case
  30. [30]Brittny Mejia, “Trump administration reunites just over half of migrant children under 5 with parents, says others are ‘ineligible,’” Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-eligible-children-reunited-20180712-story.html
  31. [31]John Cassidy, “Boris Johnson’s Resignation Can’t Disguise the Harsh Reality of Brexit,” New Yorker, July 9, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/boris-johnsons-resignation-cant-disguise-the-harsh-reality-of-brexit
  32. [32]Conor Humphries and Amanda Ferguson, “How Brexit has suddenly made the prospect of a united Ireland thinkable,” Independent, July 3, 2016, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-what-it-means-forthern-ireland-united-eu-referendum-result-irish-passport-a7117166.html; Philip Jenkins, “How Brexit is Turning into a Disaster for Ireland,” American Conservative, December 13, 2017, http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-brexit-is-turning-into-a-disaster-for-ireland/

Judges just don’t like Donald Trump’s policies on unauthorized migration

Unauthorized migration

Avery Anapol, “Judge does not give Trump admin more time to reunite all separated families,” Hill, July 7, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/395916-judge-will-not-give-trump-admin-more-time-to-reunite-all-separated

Victoria Kim, “Judge rejects Trump administration’s effort to change rules for detaining immigrant children,” Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-flores-ruling-20180709-story.html

Taryn Luna, “Federal judge rejects Trump lawsuit against California’s sanctuary state law,” Sacramento Bee, July 9, 2018, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article214595375.html


Brexit

William Booth and Karla Adam, “Boris Johnson and ‘Brexit minister’ resign, leaving Theresa May’s government in disarray,” Washington Post, July 9, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/theresa-mays-government-in-disarray-after-shock-resignation-by-brexit-minister/2018/07/09/b86533da-8357-11e8-8f6c-46cb43e3f306_story.html

Heather Stewart, “Brexit secretary David Davis resigns plunging government into crisis,” Guardian, July 9, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/08/david-davis-resigns-as-brexit-secretary-reports-say


Donald Trump

What makes this all so galling, and perhaps not only to Michigan graduates like me, is that Trump has presided over a comprehensive assault on intellectual standards in public life. Trump is a stupid man surrounded by other stupid people, who appeals to the dumbest instincts in the polity with a vocabulary of relentless idiocy. His administration systematically disregards science and expertise; its officials statements frequently contain misspellings; his entire persona is based on insulting the intelligence of the American public in the belief that even the crudest lies will go undetected by his infinitely credulous tribal fan base.[1]

Jonathan Chait, “‘Populist’ Trump Turns Up Nose at Public University Graduates,” New York, July 9, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/amp/2018/07/trumps-supreme-court-pick-cant-be-public-school-graduate.html


North Korea

Jessica Donati and Andrew Jeong, “North Korean Nuclear Talks Are Thrown Off Balance as Accounts by U.S. and Pyongyang Clash,” Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/pompeo-cites-progress-inth-korea-nuclear-talks-1530967772

John Hudson and Carol Morello, “North Korea calls U.S. attitude toward talks ‘gangster-like’ and ‘cancerous,’ rejecting Pompeo’s assessment,” Washington Post, July 7, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korean-negotiator-teases-and-flatters-as-pompeo-enters-second-day-of-talks/2018/07/07/d2a06324-8175-4589-bf08-def6e56aa962_story.html

John Hudson and Adam Taylor, “Pompeo pushes back against North Korea’s ‘gangster-like’ criticism,” Washington Post, July 8, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/pompeo-pushes-back-againstth-koreas-gangster-like-criticism/2018/07/08/a6261b3e-825e-11e8-9200-b4dee4fb4e28_story.html


Andy Lopez

The civil suit for the shooting of Andy Lopez has gotten much further than I ever would have thought.[2]

David G. Savage, “Supreme Court clears the way for Sonoma County deputy to be tried in shooting of boy holding a pellet gun,” Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-court-police-pelletgun-20180625-story.html


  1. [1]Jonathan Chait, “‘Populist’ Trump Turns Up Nose at Public University Graduates,” New York, July 9, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/amp/2018/07/trumps-supreme-court-pick-cant-be-public-school-graduate.html
  2. [2]David G. Savage, “Supreme Court clears the way for Sonoma County deputy to be tried in shooting of boy holding a pellet gun,” Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-court-police-pelletgun-20180625-story.html

Scott Pruitt finally resigns

James Comey

Chris Strohm, “Mueller Taps More Prosecutors to Help With Growing Trump Probe,” Bloomberg, July 5, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-05/mueller-said-to-tap-more-career-prosecutors-as-trump-probe-grows


Nonviolence

I will grant David Greenburg one point. Neoconservatism arose in response to the tumult of the 1960s and early 1970s, as a rejection of every liberation movement, and as an embrace of so-called “law and order” (whose law? whose order?). The success of a backlash to these movements doomed what may have been our last chance as a species to save ourselves.

However, there is much, much more to be said about the fetishization of nonviolence, including in a passage imprecisely cited by Martin Luther King, Jr., “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”[1] Remember to consider that latter quotation as we hear ever more about family separations:

These are little kids we are talking about. Some younger than 5. As the father of two kids under age 10, I can’t even imagine the terror these kids — and their parents — must be feeling. One time when my older son was 4, I couldn’t find him in an outdoor mall for 10 minutes. I was absolutely panicked. So was he. That was 10 minutes. We are talking about days and week in some cases here.[2]

Incrementalism, which Greenburg thinks we should settle for,[3] simply may not be fast enough in a situation that the powers that be (functionalist conservatives), being wed to the status quo as a means of protecting their own positions, refuse to treat as an emergency, even when, as with climate change or nuclear weapons, the threat is existential for all of humanity. It certainly isn’t fast enough when people are right now being killed or seriously injured.[4]

David Greenburg, “Here’s What Happened the Last Time the Left Got Nasty,” Politico, July 5, 2018, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/05/democrats-civility-1960s-violence-218948


Polarization

E. J. Dionne, Jr., relies heavily on survey data,[5] which I have substantial reason to distrust,[6] but also, when he emphasizes that “Republicans have moved significantly further to the right than Democrats have moved to the left,”[7] I’m not sure what he means, at least by ‘right.’ He seems to assume that left-right polarization is on a single axis, where I see seven different tendencies of conservatism.[8] So I’m left guessing which of those tendencies he refers to.

E. J. Dionne, Jr., “The centrist heavenly chorus is off-key,” Washington Post, July 4, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-centrist-heavenly-chorus-is-way-off-key/2018/07/04/a656f13a-7ed7-11e8-b660-4d0f9f0351f1_story.html


Unauthorized migration

Chris Cillizza, “Donald Trump has no answers for the border crisis. And things are about to get worse,” CNN, July 5, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/05/politics/immigration-separation-border-trump/index.html

Taryn Luna, “California beats Trump in sanctuary state battle’s first round,” Sacramento Bee, July 5, 2018, https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article214374659.html


Scott Pruitt

Timothy Cama and Miranda Green, “Embattled EPA head Pruitt resigns,” Hill, July 5, 2018, http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/395667-embattled-epa-head-pruitt-resigns


  1. [1]Martin Luther King, Jr., attributes this passage only to “one of our distinguished jurists” in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” University of Pennsylvania, April 16, 1963, http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html. Under the circumstances—the man was in jail—it’s hard to fault the lack of a precise citation.
  2. [2]Chris Cillizza, “Donald Trump has no answers for the border crisis. And things are about to get worse,” CNN, July 5, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/05/politics/immigration-separation-border-trump/index.html
  3. [3]David Greenburg, “Here’s What Happened the Last Time the Left Got Nasty,” Politico, July 5, 2018, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/05/democrats-civility-1960s-violence-218948
  4. [4]Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Nonviolence as Compliance,” Atlantic, April 27, 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/nonviolence-as-compliance/391640/; David Edwards, “Activist smacks down Wolf Blitzer: ‘You are suggesting broken windows are worse than broken spines’,” Raw Story, April 28, 2015, http://www.rawstory.com/2015/04/activist-smacks-down-wolf-blitzer-you-are-suggesting-broken-windows-are-worse-than-broken-spines/; Benji Hart, “Baltimore’s violent protesters are right: Smashing police cars is a legitimate political strategy,” Salon, April 28, 2015, http://www.salon.com/2015/04/28/baltimores_violent_protesters_are_right_smashing_police_cars_is_a_legitimate_political_strategy/;
  5. [5]E. J. Dionne, Jr., “The centrist heavenly chorus is off-key,” Washington Post, July 4, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-centrist-heavenly-chorus-is-way-off-key/2018/07/04/a656f13a-7ed7-11e8-b660-4d0f9f0351f1_story.html
  6. [6]David Benfell, “On a nine percent response rate,” May 28, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2017/05/28/nine-percent-response-rate
  7. [7]E. J. Dionne, Jr., “The centrist heavenly chorus is off-key,” Washington Post, July 4, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-centrist-heavenly-chorus-is-way-off-key/2018/07/04/a656f13a-7ed7-11e8-b660-4d0f9f0351f1_story.html
  8. [8]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).

Donald Trump is an idiot, North Korea edition

There is a new blog post, “How Donald Trump captured the Republican Party.” See also in particular an update below published on July 3 at 9:04 am.


About fireworks in Graton

I expect to be home on July 4th. Graton residents should know that while I have never liked the noise and object to the celebration of war that they entail, in the wake of the Sonoma County wildfires, I will no longer be tolerating the fireworks that are routinely set off to commemorate the holiday. This is not a negotiation. I will call 911. All fireworks—including allegedly “safe and sane” fireworks—are illegal in unincorporated Sonoma County and the risk is unacceptable. Period.


Updates

  1. Originally published, July 1, 9:00 am.
  2. July 2, 5:35 pm:
    • North Korea is also expanding a missile plant.[1]
    • Michael Cohen sounds like he’s ‘flipping’ and will cooperate with state, as well as federal, prosecutors, meaning Donald Trump can’t pardon his way out of this one.[2]
    • Republicans may be ducking, but they can’t hide from the Unauthorized migration issue.[3]
    • Philip Zimbardo has defended his Stanford Prison Experiment findings in an interview. The interviewer is unconvinced, but, this being Vox, places excessive faith in scientific method and, through aggressive—even hostile—questioning, doesn’t allow Zimbardo to express himself well. It might be better to do what I have not done, which is to read Zimbardo’s full written response.[4] (Replication)
  3. July 3, 9:04 am:
    • A federal judge has ordered an end to detention for asylum seekers who have passed a “credible fear” test.[5] (Unauthorized migration)
    • It is, apparently by design, all but impossible to reunify separated families.[6] (Unauthorized migration)
    • Somewhat related to the new blog post mentioned above, when presented with the opportunity to offer soothing words to unify the country, Donald Trump instead praised his base.[7] Which is to say that when he looks at the country, he sees only his base and that he is president not for the entire country as it actually is but only that base. This should not be a surprise.
    • Added the notice about fireworks in Graton above.
  4. July 3, 4:49 pm:
    • In a bipartisan report, the Senate Intelligence Committee accepts the deep state’s conclusions that Russia meddled in the U.S. 2016 election and did so at Vladimir Putin’s direction.[8] (Golden showers)
  5. July 3, 8:40 pm:
    • A judge suspects the Trump administration of bad faith in adding a citizenship question to the U.S. census questionnaire and has ordered the administration to explain itself.[9] (Alleged voter fraud)
    • Added a tweet from Laurence Tribe under Golden showers. Tribe seems convinced there was collusion.[10] I don’t have the impression the Senate report goes that far.[11]
  6. July 4, 1:05 am:
    • Functionalist conservatives—specifically, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and so-called ‘free’ traders in Congress are trying to limit Donald Trump’s ability to wage a trade war.[12] (So-called ‘free’ trade)
  7. July 4, 11:51 am:
    • I think Jonathan Chait maybe goes a little too far here, but he thinks that the reason Scott Pruitt hasn’t been fired is that Donald Trump is keeping him on tap to replace Jeff Sessions in a plan to fire Robert Mueller.[13] I guess I’m more interested in why, when he so readily castigates nearly anyone else on Twitter, Trump is relatively silent about or even obsequious toward 1) Russia and Vladimir Putin, 2) Stormy Daniels, and 3) Pruitt. Chait seems close to a common thread here as Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’ attorney, did seek to intervene in the case involving Mueller’s raid on Michael Cohen, Trump’s “fixer.” But, for me, the pieces aren’t quite in place.
  8. July 4, 1:45 pm:
    • Added tweet from Michael Avenatti floating the possibility of a run for president against Donald Trump in 2020.

North Korea

So much for Donald Trump’s summit.

Ellen Mitchell, “Satellite images raise alarms about North Korean nukes,” Hill, June 30, 2018, http://thehill.com/policy/defense/394896-satellite-images-raise-alarms-aboutth-korean-nukes

Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick, “North Korea working to conceal key aspects of its nuclear program, U.S. officials say,” Washington Post, June 30, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korea-working-to-conceal-key-aspects-of-its-nuclear-program-us-officials-say/2018/06/30/deba64fa-7c82-11e8-93cc-6d3beccdd7a3_story.html


So-called ‘free’ trade

David J. Lynch and Philip Rucker, “To Trump, Harley’s tariff decision is a personal — and unexpected — betrayal,” Washington Post, June 26, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/to-trump-harleys-tariff-decision-is-a-personal–and-unexpected–betrayal/2018/06/26/a662c718-796d-11e8-aeee-4d04c8ac6158_story.html

Patti Waldmeir, “Harley-Davidson workers back Trump despite jobs shift,” CNBC, June 27, 2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/27/harley-davidson-workers-back-trump-despite-jobs-shift.html

Jordain Carney, “Appeals court nominees languish in Senate as Flake demands tariff vote,” Hill, June 30, 2018, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/394921-appeals-courtinees-languish-in-senate-as-flake-demands-tariff-vote


Unauthorized migration

Reuters, “Migrant children and families now face indefinite detention by US,” Guardian, June 29, 2018, https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/30/migrant-children-and-families-now-face-indefinite-detention-by-us

Rachael Bade, “Immigration storm bears down on Republicans,” Politico, July 2, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/02/immigration-republicans-border-fallout-687895

Isaac Chotiner, “‘This Entire System Is Designed to Make Things Impossible for Immigrants,'” Slate, July 2, 2018, https://amp.slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/07/child-separation-now-why-its-still-so-difficult-for-immigrant-families-to-be-reunited.html

Richard Gonzales, “Federal Judge Orders Administration To End Arbitrary Detention Of Asylum-Seekers,” National Public Radio, July 2, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/07/02/625504723/federal-judge-orders-administration-to-end-arbitrary-detention-of-asylum-seekers


Donald Trump

Jonathan Chait, “Interviewer Asks Trump to Bring Country Together. He Praises His Base,” New York, July 2, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/asked-to-bring-country-together-trump-praises-my-base.html

Jonathan Chait, “Michael Cohen Apparently Flipping Is Extremely Bad News for Trump,” New York, July 2, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/michael-cohen-apparent-flip-is-extremely-bad-news-for-trump.html


Replication

Brian Resnick, “Philip Zimbardo defends the Stanford Prison Experiment, his most famous work,” Vox, June 28, 2018, https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/6/28/17509470/stanford-prison-experiment-zimbardo-interview


Golden showers

Chris Megerian, “Senate panel backs up intelligence agencies, says Russia aimed to help Trump in election,” Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-senate-russia-intel-20180703-story.html


Alleged voter fraud

Avery Anapol, “Judge orders Trump admin to explain how it decided to add citizenship question to census,” Hill, July 3, 2018, http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/395400-federal-judge-says-trump-admin-acted-in-bad-faith-with-citizenship


So-called ‘free’ trade

Zeeshan Aleem, “Big business and the GOP are declaring war on Trump’s trade agenda,” Vox, July 3, 2018, https://www.vox.com/world/2018/7/3/17530516/chamber-commerce-trump-tariffs-trade-war-china


Scott Pruitt

Jonathan Chait, “Why Hasn’t Trump Fired Scott Pruitt? Because Pruitt Can Fire Robert Mueller,” New York, July 3, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/trump-scott-pruitt-scandals-attorney-general-can-fire-mueller.html


  1. [1]Jonathan Cheng, “North Korea Expands Key Missile-Manufacturing Plant,” Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/north-korea-expands-key-missile-manufacturing-plant-1530486907
  2. [2]Jonathan Chait, “Michael Cohen Apparently Flipping Is Extremely Bad News for Trump,” New York, July 2, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/michael-cohen-apparent-flip-is-extremely-bad-news-for-trump.html
  3. [3]Rachael Bade, “Immigration storm bears down on Republicans,” Politico, July 2, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/02/immigration-republicans-border-fallout-687895
  4. [4]Brian Resnick, “Philip Zimbardo defends the Stanford Prison Experiment, his most famous work,” Vox, June 28, 2018, https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/6/28/17509470/stanford-prison-experiment-zimbardo-interview
  5. [5]Richard Gonzales, “Federal Judge Orders Administration To End Arbitrary Detention Of Asylum-Seekers,” National Public Radio, July 2, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/07/02/625504723/federal-judge-orders-administration-to-end-arbitrary-detention-of-asylum-seekers
  6. [6]Isaac Chotiner, “‘This Entire System Is Designed to Make Things Impossible for Immigrants,'” Slate, July 2, 2018, https://amp.slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/07/child-separation-now-why-its-still-so-difficult-for-immigrant-families-to-be-reunited.html
  7. [7]Jonathan Chait, “Interviewer Asks Trump to Bring Country Together. He Praises His Base,” New York, July 2, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/asked-to-bring-country-together-trump-praises-my-base.html
  8. [8]Chris Megerian, “Senate panel backs up intelligence agencies, says Russia aimed to help Trump in election,” Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-senate-russia-intel-20180703-story.html
  9. [9]Avery Anapol, “Judge orders Trump admin to explain how it decided to add citizenship question to census,” Hill, July 3, 2018, http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/395400-federal-judge-says-trump-admin-acted-in-bad-faith-with-citizenship
  10. [10]Laurence Tribe, [microblog post], Twitter, July 3, 2018, https://twitter.com/tribelaw/status/1014296363453026305?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  11. [11]Chris Megerian, “Senate panel backs up intelligence agencies, says Russia aimed to help Trump in election,” Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-senate-russia-intel-20180703-story.html
  12. [12]Zeeshan Aleem, “Big business and the GOP are declaring war on Trump’s trade agenda,” Vox, July 3, 2018, https://www.vox.com/world/2018/7/3/17530516/chamber-commerce-trump-tariffs-trade-war-china
  13. [13]Jonathan Chait, “Why Hasn’t Trump Fired Scott Pruitt? Because Pruitt Can Fire Robert Mueller,” New York, July 3, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/trump-scott-pruitt-scandals-attorney-general-can-fire-mueller.html

‘Free’ trade wars

‘Free’ trade

My comments on this are in a new blog post, “The fallacy of ‘free’ trade is more than a fallacy of ‘free’ trade.”

Bob Tita, “Harley-Davidson to Shift Production Overseas to Offset EU Tariffs,” Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/harley-davidson-to-shift-production-overseas-to-offset-eu-tariffs-1529927301

Megan McArdle, “How free-traders blew it,” Washington Post, June 27, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/06/27/how-free-traders-blew-it/


The language of authoritarian populism

Updates

  1. Originally published, June 24, 10:02 pm.
  2. June 25, 5:06 am:
    • Donald Trump’s tweets demonizing unauthorized migrants are far from alone on social networks.[1] What’s remarkable is how very much alike all these comments sound. (Unauthorized migration)
  3. June 25, 4:10 pm:
    • Wow. I’ve been getting a picture that Evangelical Protestants support Donald Trump despite his transgressions out of fear of progressive social change.[2] John Fea explains how that fear has, in fact, displaced faith, leading to support for authoritarianism, and that this is a mistake that Evangelicals in the U.S. have made throughout history.[3]
    • Readers of my dissertation will not be surprised. Genuine fear for their lives is one factor pushing unauthorized migrants to the U.S.[4] Trump administration threats only change the calculation, not the desperation.[5] (Unauthorized migration)
    • MS-13, the very violent gang that Donald Trump and his supporters use to rationalize anti-immigration policy, was actually founded in Southern California. It poses a real threat, but not the one Trump claims.[6] (Unauthorized migration)
    • It appears that at at least two facilities, family reunifications are only occurring with deportations and some accordingly agree to ‘voluntary’ deportations under duress. It’s not clear that the U.S. government reliably even honors its reunification promises.[7] (Unauthorized migration)
    • Jennifer Rubin expresses what very much appears to me to be a functionalist conservative take on the current Republican line on unauthorized migration.[8] I do not know if she is a Republican. One might assume so, but I certainly don’t see how, under present circumstances, she could remain one. (Unauthorized migration)
    • Jeff Sessions’ claim that prosecutions would continue notwithstanding, prosecutions of adults crossing the border with children appear to be being suspended. At least until Congress passes a fix for the court settlement that has been interpreted to require separations when adults are prosecuted, this enables families to remain together while their cases are processed.[9] Note: This story is published by the National Review, which seems to be dominated by neoconservatives. It can therefore be expected to bias in favor of so-called “Law and Order,” about which, see my comment under Unauthorized migration.
  4. June 25, 6:33 pm:
    • So there’s this article that normally I wouldn’t archive, much less put in an issue here. But it has a quotation about Donald Trump[10] that I think is really right on. Somebody at Vox apparently agrees: They put that very passage in their newsletter.[11]
  5. June 26, 8:45 pm:
    • The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban.[12]
    • The Secretary of Health and Human Services confirmed suspicions that family reunifications were only occurring in cases where the adults abandoned their asylum claims and submitted to voluntary deportation. He cited the Flores settlement.[13] However, in a preliminary injunction, a federal judge has adopted a different view, saying the separations cannot meet the requirement for due process.[14] (Unauthorized migration)
  6. June 26, 9:05 pm:
    • There is personal news.

Personal News

Some of you know that Patches, the sweetest, dearest cat ever, returned to me last Friday, the 22nd. At first, all seemed well. On the morning of the 26th, however, she began peeing on my bed again. I have surrendered her to the Marin Humane Society in Novato.

I am heartbroken. I’ll never meet as loving a cat as this ever again. I promised her a “forever home” and I meant it. I wasn’t able to keep that promise. And it certainly isn’t her fault she had a urinary tract infection.

As one who has suffered some of the injustice in our society, the last thing I would ever want to do is mete out injustice to such a creature. I wish her well.


Unauthorized migration

Something I wrote almost five years ago, while I was still working toward my Ph.D.:

Borders surround countries—nation-states—and enclose human beings, labeled “citizens,” within those countries, who are accorded certain rights and privileges. Borders correspondingly exclude nationals from other countries, who are apparently unworthy of those same rights and privileges. It is unclear to me that there is any way this cannot be interpreted in terms of superiority and inferiority: People allowed to be within a country are considered superior and those who are not are considered inferior.[15]

Fast forward to today:

They’re lucky we aren’t executing them.[16]

I personally think they should shoot them all at the border and call it good. It’ll save us hard working AMERICAN’S billions of dollars on our taxes! 😉[17]

This is the language of authoritarian populism in reference to unauthorized migrants.[18] And always, when you see the words, “Law and Order,” ask whose “law?” Whose “order?” It usually means the “Law and Order” of overwhelmingly wealthy, mostly white, mostly men, who, as Jeffrey Reiman has pointed out, are not generally subject to that “Law,” that “Order.”[19] Rather,

Tara Isabella Burton, “Jeff Sessions could be expelled from the Methodist Church over migrant policies,” Vox, June 19, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/6/19/17479232/united-methodist-church-charges-expel-jeff-sessions-migrant

Jay Root and Shannon Najmabadi, “Kids in exchange for deportation: Detained migrants say they were told they could get kids back on way out of U.S.,” Texas Tribune, June 24, 2018, https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/24/kids-exchange-deportation-migrants-claim-they-were-promised-they-could/

Philip Rucker and David Weigel, “Trump advocates depriving undocumented immigrants of due-process rights,” Washington Post, June 24, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/trump-advocates-depriving-undocumented-immigrants-of-due-process-rights/2018/06/24/dfa45d36-77bd-11e8-93cc-6d3beccdd7a3_story.html

Maria Sacchetti, Michael E. Miller, and Robert Moore, “Sen. Warren visits detention center, says no children being returned to parents there,” Washington Post, June 24, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/immigration/desperate-to-get-children-back-migrants-are-willing-to-give-up-asylum-claims-lawyers-say/2018/06/24/c7fab87c-77e2-11e8-80be-6d32e182a3bc_story.html

Maria Sacchetti, Kevin Sieff and Marc Fisher, “Separated immigrant children are all over the U.S. now, far from parents who don’t know where they are,” Washington Post, June 24, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/separated-immigrant-children-are-all-over-the-us-now-far-from-parents-who-dont-know-where-they-are/2018/06/24/c9bc5ba6-7568-11e8-805c-4b67019fcfe4_story.html

Evan Sernoffsky and Joe Garofoli, “MS-13 is scary, but Trump may be exaggerating the threat,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 24, 2018, https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/MS-13-is-scary-but-Trump-may-be-exaggerating-the-13020572.php

Jon Swaine, “Trump stokes immigration chaos with call for summary deportations,” Guardian, June 24, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/24/trump-family-separations-children-immigration-dhs-texas

Cindy Carcamo, “At the border, mothers prepare to make an agonizing choice,” Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-asylum-seekers-prepare-to-cross-20180625-story.html

Jack Crowe, “Border Patrol Commissioner Suspends Prosecution of Adults Who Cross Border with Children,” National Review, June 25, 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/news/illegal-immigrant-families-prosecution-suspended-border/

Jennifer Rubin, “What is wrong with Republicans?” Washington Post, June 25, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/06/25/what-is-wrong-with-republicans/

Kyle Swenson, “‘They’re lucky we aren’t executing them’: National Guardsman faces punishment for Facebook post on migrants,” Washington Post, June 25, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/06/25/theyre-lucky-we-arent-executing-them-national-guardsman-face-punishment-for-facebook-post-on-migrants/

Josh Gerstein, “Judge orders Trump administration to reunite migrant families,” Politico, June 26, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/26/judge-orders-trump-reunite-migrant-families-678809

Sarah D. Wire and Jazmine Ulloa, “Trump administration won’t return children to immigrant parents in custody, top official says,” Los Angeles Times, June 26, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-immigration-house-vote-20180626-story.html


Donald Trump

There’s this idea that if only people asked Trump X, Y, and Z, we’d get to the bottom of something. But if we’ve learned anything, it’s that he’s the constant; he’s resolute in his belief that he’s right, that he’s a victim, and that the last thing he heard is the truth, provided it’s something positive about him. No variable is going to change what he is.[20]

Julia Ioffe, “Seth Meyers Has ‘Very Fond’ Memories of Roasting Trump,” Atlantic, June, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/seth-meyers-trump-oprah/559118/

John Fea, “Evangelical Fear Elected Trump,” Atlantic, June 24, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/a-history-of-evangelical-fear/563558/


Muslim Ban

Lydia Wheeler, “Supreme Court upholds travel ban, handing Trump major victory,” Hill, June 26, 2018, http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/394143-supreme-court-upholds-trump-travel-ban


  1. [1]Kyle Swenson, “‘They’re lucky we aren’t executing them’: National Guardsman faces punishment for Facebook post on migrants,” Washington Post, June 25, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/06/25/theyre-lucky-we-arent-executing-them-national-guardsman-face-punishment-for-facebook-post-on-migrants/
  2. [2]Bill Berkowitz, “Are Right-Wing Evangelicals True Christians or Just Another White Identity Cult?” Truthout, March 4, 2016, http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/are-evangelicals-true-christians-or-just-another-white-identity-cult; David Goldstein, “Evangelicals have qualms with Trump, but see nowhere else to turn,” McClatchy, June 10, 2016, http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article82901192.html?rh=1; Bethania Palma Markus, “Christian leader: Trump reveals that progressives were right about evangelicals all along,” Raw Story, March 1, 2016, http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/christian-leader-trump-reveals-that-progressives-were-right-about-evangelicals-all-along/; Russell Moore, “Why this election makes me hate the word ‘evangelical,’” Washington Post, February 29, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/02/29/russell-moore-why-this-election-makes-me-hate-the-word-evangelical/; Napp Nazworth, “Conservative Evangelical Author Matt Lewis on Trump, Evangelicals and Stupid Republicans (Interview),” Christian Post, January 26, 2016, http://www.christianpost.com/news/conservative-evangelical-author-matt-lewis-donald-trump-evangelicals-stupid-republicans-155688/; Ray Nothstine, “Who Are the Evangelicals Supporting Donald Trump?” Christian Post, August 30, 2015, http://www.christianpost.com/news/who-are-the-evangelicals-supporting-donald-trump-143997/
  3. [3]John Fea, “Evangelical Fear Elected Trump,” Atlantic, June 24, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/a-history-of-evangelical-fear/563558/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  5. [5]Cindy Carcamo, “At the border, mothers prepare to make an agonizing choice,” Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-asylum-seekers-prepare-to-cross-20180625-story.html
  6. [6]Evan Sernoffsky and Joe Garofoli, “MS-13 is scary, but Trump may be exaggerating the threat,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 24, 2018, https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/MS-13-is-scary-but-Trump-may-be-exaggerating-the-13020572.php
  7. [7]Jay Root and Shannon Najmabadi, “Kids in exchange for deportation: Detained migrants say they were told they could get kids back on way out of U.S.,” Texas Tribune, June 24, 2018, https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/24/kids-exchange-deportation-migrants-claim-they-were-promised-they-could/; Maria Sacchetti, Michael E. Miller, and Robert Moore, “Sen. Warren visits detention center, says no children being returned to parents there,” Washington Post, June 24, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/immigration/desperate-to-get-children-back-migrants-are-willing-to-give-up-asylum-claims-lawyers-say/2018/06/24/c7fab87c-77e2-11e8-80be-6d32e182a3bc_story.html
  8. [8]Jennifer Rubin, “What is wrong with Republicans?” Washington Post, June 25, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/06/25/what-is-wrong-with-republicans/
  9. [9]Jack Crowe, “Border Patrol Commissioner Suspends Prosecution of Adults Who Cross Border with Children,” National Review, June 25, 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/news/illegal-immigrant-families-prosecution-suspended-border/
  10. [10]Julia Ioffe, “Seth Meyers Has ‘Very Fond’ Memories of Roasting Trump,” Atlantic, June, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/seth-meyers-trump-oprah/559118/
  11. [11]Jennie Neufeld to Vox Sentences list, “Trump’s trade war comes for Harley-Davidson,” June 24, 2018, https://www.vox.com/
  12. [12]Lydia Wheeler, “Supreme Court upholds travel ban, handing Trump major victory,” Hill, June 26, 2018, http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/394143-supreme-court-upholds-trump-travel-ban
  13. [13]Jay Root and Shannon Najmabadi, “Kids in exchange for deportation: Detained migrants say they were told they could get kids back on way out of U.S.,” Texas Tribune, June 24, 2018, https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/24/kids-exchange-deportation-migrants-claim-they-were-promised-they-could/; Maria Sacchetti, Michael E. Miller, and Robert Moore, “Sen. Warren visits detention center, says no children being returned to parents there,” Washington Post, June 24, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/immigration/desperate-to-get-children-back-migrants-are-willing-to-give-up-asylum-claims-lawyers-say/2018/06/24/c7fab87c-77e2-11e8-80be-6d32e182a3bc_story.html; Sarah D. Wire and Jazmine Ulloa, “Trump administration won’t return children to immigrant parents in custody, top official says,” Los Angeles Times, June 26, 2018, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-immigration-house-vote-20180626-story.html
  14. [14]Josh Gerstein, “Judge orders Trump administration to reunite migrant families,” Politico, June 26, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/26/judge-orders-trump-reunite-migrant-families-678809
  15. [15]David Benfell, “Humans Without Borders: A Paradox,” October 15, 2013, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2013/10/15/humans-without-borders-paradox
  16. [16]Gerod Martin, quoted in Kyle Swenson, “‘They’re lucky we aren’t executing them’: National Guardsman faces punishment for Facebook post on migrants,” Washington Post, June 25, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/06/25/theyre-lucky-we-arent-executing-them-national-guardsman-face-punishment-for-facebook-post-on-migrants/
  17. [17]Lori McAllen, quoted in Kyle Swenson, “‘They’re lucky we aren’t executing them’: National Guardsman faces punishment for Facebook post on migrants,” Washington Post, June 25, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/06/25/theyre-lucky-we-arent-executing-them-national-guardsman-face-punishment-for-facebook-post-on-migrants/
  18. [18]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  19. [19]Jeffrey Reiman, The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, 7th ed. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2004).
  20. [20]Seth Meyers, quoted in Julia Ioffe, “Seth Meyers Has ‘Very Fond’ Memories of Roasting Trump,” Atlantic, June, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/seth-meyers-trump-oprah/559118/

Fascism

Updates

  1. Originally published, June 20, 2:46 am.
  2. June 20, 2:05 pm:
    • Donald Trump capitulated on the family separation issue, signing an executive order halting the practice.[1] (Unauthorized migration)
    • There is personal news.
    • I need to nap now. I am no way, no how caught up.
  3. June 20, 4:27 pm:
    • Aaron Blake on Donald Trump’s executive order halting family separations: “Virtually everything [the Trump administration] said about the policy is tossed aside with this executive action. It’s the political equivalent of waving the white flag and the legal equivalent of confessing to making false statements. Rather than letting Congress rebuke it, the White House is rebuking itself and trying to save some face.”[2] (Unauthorized migration)
    • I’m still going through social media, but I’m sort of caught up now.
  4. June 21, 10:56 pm:
    • Prosecutions involving unauthorized migrant families are being suspended. Not much else is clear.[3] (Unauthorized migration)
    • There is an update on the personal news.

Original caption: Immigrant children, many of whom have been separated from their parents under a new “zero tolerance” policy by the Trump administration, are being housed in tents next to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, June 18, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake. (Fair use.)

It happens to be World Refugee Day.

I thought it important to revisit a research journal post I wrote in February, last year, seeking to synthesize a definition of fascism:

Fascism is an ideology that seeks to institutionalize structural and physical violence against some or many subaltern groups on the grounds of bigotry and to increase its own public support through the exploitation of such violence and bigotry. This bigotry may take several forms including nationalism, scapegoating, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. To the extent that it succeeds, it acts as a self-reinforcing feedback as public support enables further and more extreme violence.[4]

U.S. history is replete with examples of this behavior. The separation of unauthorized migrant parents and children[5] is yet another.


Personal news

On a personal note, some of you may know I was in a traffic collision—entirely my fault—last Wednesday (the 13th). I suffered (and am suffering) minor injuries and my precious Prius was almost certainly totaled.

A crack to my sternum was compounded by bronchitis, stemming from my cat’s urinary tract infection (now treated) and her subsequent refusal to pee in her litter box (think ammonia, lots and lots of ammonia in her urine, that I was breathing in). In health respects, this has been something of a perfect storm with a lot of crap all coming to a head. But I’m recovering (and my cat is back at the shelter for reeducation on litter box usage).

The new (to me) car.

Thursday (June 21), I forked over a bunch of money for a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid. It’s a bit more spacious, has a bit more oomph, and has a different collection of features from the old Prius (the Prius had a back-up camera but the Camry has automatic headlights, the Prius could play music via Bluetooth but the Camry has heated seats and a moonroof, and so on).

But it’s also very clear to me that I’ve been driving way too many miles. Reflecting on this as I was driving (my mother’s car) back from the dealer, I began remembering all the little slip-ups I’d been making recently while driving, before the big one that ended so catastrophically last week. These were warning signs that I’ve felt unable to heed.

I’ve been driving over 200 miles per day, trying to make any money at all. It’s not paying off, it was hard on—even as good, solid, and reliable a car as it was—the Prius, and I clearly can’t keep it up. I don’t know what I’m going to do here, because the reason I’ve been doing this is that I have had so little success finding work—it’s been over seventeen years now since I was last gainfully employed. This needs to change, rather urgently, and with much more seriousness than anyone in my social network (which surely in all those years should have been able to hook me up with something, even as years and many multitudes of job applications were going nowhere) has been willing to take it.

That I’m hopelessly stuck in this situation means I’m almost certainly setting myself up for another catastrophe.


Unauthorized migration

Aaron Blake, “Trump and Kirstjen Nielsen’s embarrassing surrender on separating families at the border,” Washington Post, June 20, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/06/20/trump-and-kirstjen-nielsens-embarrassing-surrender-on-separating-families/

Andrew Restuccia and Lorraine Woellert, “Trump signs executive order halting family separations,” Politico, June 20, 2018, https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2018/06/20/im-ashamed-of-what-theyre-doing-backlash-grows-for-trump-and-his-aides-655498

Nick Miroff, Dan Lamothe, and Seung Min Kim, “Reversal on migrant families deepens confusion over Trump’s immigration order,” Washington Post, June 21, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-will-stop-prosecuting-parents-who-cross-the-border-illegally-with-children-official-says/2018/06/21/4902b194-7564-11e8-805c-4b67019fcfe4_story.html


  1. [1]Andrew Restuccia and Lorraine Woellert, “Trump signs executive order halting family separations,” Politico, June 20, 2018, https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2018/06/20/im-ashamed-of-what-theyre-doing-backlash-grows-for-trump-and-his-aides-655498
  2. [2]Aaron Blake, “Trump and Kirstjen Nielsen’s embarrassing surrender on separating families at the border,” Washington Post, June 20, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/06/20/trump-and-kirstjen-nielsens-embarrassing-surrender-on-separating-families/
  3. [3]Nick Miroff, Dan Lamothe, and Seung Min Kim, “Reversal on migrant families deepens confusion over Trump’s immigration order,” Washington Post, June 21, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-will-stop-prosecuting-parents-who-cross-the-border-illegally-with-children-official-says/2018/06/21/4902b194-7564-11e8-805c-4b67019fcfe4_story.html
  4. [4]David Benfell, “A simple definition of fascism,” February 14, 2017, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2017/02/14/simple-definition-fascism
  5. [5]Nancy Cook, “Trump aides plan fresh immigration crackdowns before midterms,” Politico, June 18, 2018, https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2018/06/18/trump-aides-plan-fresh-immigration-crackdowns-before-midterms-652246; Jake Johnson, “Trump Finally Admits He’s Responsible: ‘You Have to Take the Children Away,’” Common Dreams, June 19, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/19/trump-finally-admits-hes-responsible-you-have-take-children-away; Jennifer Hansler, “Cardinal Dolan: There is no Bible passage to justify family separation,” CNN, June 16, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/16/politics/cardinal-dolan-family-separation-cnntv/index.html; James Hohmann, “Trump is losing the debate over splitting up immigrant families,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://s2.washingtonpost.com/camp-rw/?e=YmVuZmVsbEBwYXJ0cy11bmtub3duLm9yZw%3D%3D&s=5b23c997fe1ff66463922db0; Tal Kopan, “New DHS policy could separate families caught crossing the border illegally,” CNN, May 7, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/07/politics/illegal-immigration-border-prosecutions-families-separated/index.html; Tal Kopan, “DHS secretary defends separating families at the border,” CNN, May 15, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/15/politics/dhs-separating-families-secretary-nielsen-hearing/index.html; Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins, Jeff Zeleny, and Sarah Westwood, “White House scrambles to contain immigration fallout,” CNN, June 18, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/18/politics/immigration-white-house-pressure/index.html; Nesrine Malik, “Trump is creating his American caliphate, and democracy has no defence,” Guardian, June 18, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/18/trump-american-caliphate-democracy-arab-world; Nomaan Merchant, “Hundreds of children wait in Border Patrol facility in Texas,” Associated Press, June 17, 2018, https://www.apnews.com/9794de32d39d4c6f89fbefaea3780769; Reuters, “Tent city for immigrant children in Texas,” June 19, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/pictures-report-idUSRTX69U2; Brianna Rennix, “Understanding The Administration’s Monstrous Immigration Policies,” Current Affairs, June 17, 2018, https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/06/understanding-the-administrations-monstrous-immigration-policies; Jennifer Rubin, “Leave the Bible out of it, child separation is not ‘Christian,’” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/06/15/leave-the-bible-out-of-it-child-separation-is-not-christian/; Kelsey Snell and Susan Davis, “President Trump Injects Fresh Chaos Into Immigration Debate,” National Public Radio, June 15, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/06/15/620356425/president-trump-injects-fresh-chaos-into-immigration-debate; Julie Zauzmer and Keith McMillan, “Sessions cites Bible passage used to defend slavery in defense of separating immigrant families,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/06/14/jeff-sessions-points-to-the-bible-in-defense-of-separating-immigrant-families/;

Strange times: The further descent of the raging, delusional narcisist-in-chief

Updates

  1. Originally published, June 18, 11:20 pm.
  2. June 19, 7:46 am:
    • Nesrine Malik argues that the family separation of Unauthorized migrants is a step to an authoritarian regime.[1] I am unwilling to credit the Trump administration with the intelligence to intend this but fear she may in some way be correct.
    • Reuters has pictures of a tent city for separated children here.[2] You should definitely take a look. (Unauthorized migrants)
  3. June 19, 7:10 pm:
    • The family separation policy is fascism, pure and simple: “Unlike the Nazis, say, the Trump administration doesn’t want to do its torture and killing in-house.”[3] Donald Trump acknowledged that the separations follow from his administration’s decision to prosecute Unauthorized migrants and that journalists “are helping these smugglers and these traffickers like nobody would believe,”[4] before hugging the U.S. flag.[5]

Unauthorized migrants


The Trump administration has been planning a crackdown on migration for a year. They are doubling down,[6] even as their attempts to contain the public relations damage sputter.[7]

Unlike the Nazis, say, the Trump administration doesn’t want to do its torture and killing in-house. From the detention facilities here, the undesirables will be sent beyond our borders to meet their fates, unseen by us. We need dispose of no bodies. The fact that this looks different from the systematic state atrocities that are most familiar to us does not alter the reality of what is occurring here. Our government is a government that murders women and children.[8]

Brianna Rennix, “Understanding The Administration’s Monstrous Immigration Policies,” Current Affairs, June 17, 2018, https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/06/understanding-the-administrations-monstrous-immigration-policies

Nancy Cook, “Trump aides plan fresh immigration crackdowns before midterms,” Politico, June 18, 2018, https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2018/06/18/trump-aides-plan-fresh-immigration-crackdowns-before-midterms-652246

Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins, Jeff Zeleny, and Sarah Westwood, “White House scrambles to contain immigration fallout,” CNN, June 18, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/18/politics/immigration-white-house-pressure/index.html

Nesrine Malik, “Trump is creating his American caliphate, and democracy has no defence,” Guardian, June 18, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/18/trump-american-caliphate-democracy-arab-world

Reuters, “Tent city for immigrant children in Texas,” June 19, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/pictures-report-idUSRTX69U2N


Donald Trump

Perhaps it is time for a Adolf Hitler analogy. Not because of his fascism toward unauthorized migrants or his racist appeals, as tempting as that may be, but rather to the syphilis-induced insanity the Führer suffered, because with Donald Trump, a raging, delusional narcissist appears to be descending even further into insanity.[9] I want to say he’ll crack up—but we’ve been here before.[10] Even if my logic is correct, who can say that this will be it? That this will be the time he finally melts down in a way that forces his removal? Or, perhaps even more worrisome, what more will he do before that point is reached? What, indeed, will be Trump’s Eastern Front?

Chris Cillizza, “Donald Trump’s Twitter feed is getting more and more bizarre,” CNN, June 18, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/18/politics/trump-tweets/index.html


  1. [1]Nesrine Malik, “Trump is creating his American caliphate, and democracy has no defence,” Guardian, June 18, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/18/trump-american-caliphate-democracy-arab-world
  2. [2]Reuters, “Tent city for immigrant children in Texas,” June 19, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/pictures-report-idUSRTX69U2N
  3. [3]Brianna Rennix, “Understanding The Administration’s Monstrous Immigration Policies,” Current Affairs, June 17, 2018, https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/06/understanding-the-administrations-monstrous-immigration-policies
  4. [4]Donald Trump, quoted in Jake Johnson, “Trump Finally Admits He’s Responsible: ‘You Have to Take the Children Away,’” Common Dreams, June 19, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/19/trump-finally-admits-hes-responsible-you-have-take-children-away
  5. [5]Jake Johnson, “Trump Finally Admits He’s Responsible: ‘You Have to Take the Children Away,’” Common Dreams, June 19, 2018, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/19/trump-finally-admits-hes-responsible-you-have-take-children-away
  6. [6]Nancy Cook, “Trump aides plan fresh immigration crackdowns before midterms,” Politico, June 18, 2018, https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2018/06/18/trump-aides-plan-fresh-immigration-crackdowns-before-midterms-652246
  7. [7]Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins, Jeff Zeleny, and Sarah Westwood, “White House scrambles to contain immigration fallout,” CNN, June 18, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/18/politics/immigration-white-house-pressure/index.html
  8. [8]Brianna Rennix, “Understanding The Administration’s Monstrous Immigration Policies,” Current Affairs, June 17, 2018, https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/06/understanding-the-administrations-monstrous-immigration-policies
  9. [9]Chris Cillizza, “Donald Trump’s Twitter feed is getting more and more bizarre,” CNN, June 18, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/18/politics/trump-tweets/index.html
  10. [10]David Benfell, “I, Donald,” Not Housebroken, June 6, 2018, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/06/06/i-donald/

Who will watch the watcher? It can’t be the executive branch. But the obvious alternative is scarier.

I forgot to mention a new blog post, entitled, “The callousness of the moment” in the last issue.


Updates

  1. Originally published June 14, 10:11 am.
  2. June 14, 9:42 pm:
    • CNN has a useful summary of the the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on James Comey’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server.[1] This is somewhat more helpful than the Bloomberg report[2] I posted here earlier.
    • Increasingly impatient with a political failure to act, bankruptcy judges are increasingly working to provide relief to student loan borrowers.[3] For inquiring minds, no, I don’t expect this to benefit me personally as I already have all my loans consolidated on a REPAYE plan and am currently recertifying for whichever plan (probably REPAYE) offers the lowest monthly payments (so far, these have been zero). (Student Loans)
    • In my last issue, on the topic of breaking up California, I pointed out that “if you don’t like the conservative bias of the electoral college or if you don’t like the conservatism of the U.S. Senate, breaking up high-population states is the thing to do.”[4] I told you so. An analysis in the Sacramento Bee confirms that where there are now two Democratic U.S. senators representing California, the plan would likely result in six Democratic senators representing the three new states.[5] That Democratic Party politicians aren’t interested[6] tells you they’re interested in something other than representing their constituents or advancing even marginally less conservative policy. Which was my point.
  3. June 15, 3:50 am:
  4. June 15, 2:20 pm:
    • Defending the Trump Administration policy of separating children from their parents, Jeff Sessions cited Romans 13, which needs to be read in context with Romans 12.[7] (Unauthorized migration)
    • Donald Trump said he would not sign the more moderate of two compromise bills that were being set for a House vote to fund the border wall and secure legal status for folks previously protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.[8] (Unauthorized migration)
    • Massachussetts is starting a program to help older workers get hired.[9] (Ageism)
  5. June 15, 5:40 pm:
    • A federal judge revoked Paul Manafort’s bail due to allegations of witness-tampering. “It was not immediately clear where Manafort would be jailed.” Rudy Giuliani said “that the Mueller investigation ‘might get cleaned up with some presidential pardons’” but backtracked. Donald Trump thought it was so unfair that Manafort was going to jail[10] and not “[James] Comey and Crooked Hillary [Clinton] and all of the others.”[11] (James Comey)
  6. June 15, 6:30 pm:
  7. June 15, 10:56 pm:
    • So Paul Manafort is going to jail[13] and—I don’t know if there’s really a connection—suddenly, Mitch McConnell is blowing his top at Robert Mueller. Donald Trump’s and Rudy Giuliani’s idiocy was to be expected. But, as Jonathan Chait puts it, “McConnell so far has held back from joining Trump’s effort to make the Justice Department into a palace guard at his personal disposal. At times he has flashed the yellow light to Trump’s most aggressively lunatic threats.”[14] Could it be that somebody’s getting much too close for comfort? (James Comey)
  8. June 16, 1:50 pm:
    • For me, this is something of a non sequitur, but Natasha Bertrand takes Paul Manafort’s jailing as Robert Mueller’s warning to Donald Trump about lying in an interview[15] that, to my eyes, doesn’t even look like it’s going to happen. It’s an interesting read anyway. (James Comey)
    • If you’ve read Colin Woodard’s American Nations or even looked at the associated map, you might realize that Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is on the frontier between what he labels Greater Appalachia and what he labels the Midlands. I see his description of the folks of Greater Appalachia[16] as looking very much like—enough so that I’m inclined to think that they’re at least the ideological ancestors of—authoritarian populists, the larger part of Donald Trump’s base.[17] I’m guessing the publisher of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is an authoritarian populist. He fired a cartoonist for proposing and drawing too many cartoons critical of Trump. The cartoonist had worked there for 25 years.[18]
    • I remain deeply skeptical of polling methodology in the current environment due to its low response rates,[19] but some Brookings scholars have concluded 1) that Donald Trump has now for all intents and purposes captured the Republican Party, and 2) that—here’s where the polling data comes in—the Republican Party increasingly represents only old folks who are dying off.[20] This is an interesting read and I recommend it—some of what they say is surely pertinent—but we’ve been hearing the demographic argument for a while. As I’ve previously noted, it flatly hasn’t worked out so far,[21] and I’m deeply suspicious that in any population of human beings, some will be more conservative than others. The analysis here assumes that all the young will remain progressive or ‘liberal’ or at least less conservative as they age while a saying that dates back at least to 1785 suggests a quite different experience that seems to have been echoed over the centuries since.[22]
    • Add a lawsuit filed by the New York state attorney general to the list of thorny legal messes that Donald Trump now faces.[23]
  9. June 17, 12:51 am:
    • I guess I’ll never actually know and I have to confess I’m wondering: I’m watching for signs of favorable treatment for John Manafort—you know, the conservative meme of a ‘country club’ prison. Given the coverage I’ve seen so far, it doesn’t look like it.[24] But CNN’s story seems like it might be bending over just a little too far to make that point. There is the “VIP” designation and, translated into terms of incarceration, I don’t know what, if anything, that actually means. One thing that’s odd is it sounds like he’s able to keep his cell phone,[25] which would 1) undermine the point of the detention,[26] and 2) be very unusual for any prisoner anywhere, because cell phones are usually treated as contraband; California’s prisons, for example, go to great (and failing) lengths to try to keep cell phones out. (James Comey)
  10. June 17, 3:44 am:
    • The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s publisher defended firing a cartoonist, saying the latter had become “too angry.”[27] (Donald Trump)
    • A story in Politico suggests that Donald Trump’s capture of the Republican Party is complete.[28]
    • The Washington Post’s story on Paul Manafort’s jailing indicates that the jail in question has a “VIP section” but otherwise talks about conditions ordinary prisoners face.[29] (CNN’s story discussed those conditions as well.[30]) It’s still not clear, though it seems awfully probable, that Manafort had to give up his cell phone. (James Comey)
  11. June 17, 2:57 pm:
    • I’m late getting to this but a couple days ago, James Hohmann had a very useful “Daily 202” newsletter that begins with the controversy on separating families.[31] (Unauthorized migration)
    • Pro-Tip: If you’re going to cite a Bible passage in support of some policy, as Jeff Sessions did regarding separating families, that passage should actually support the policy.[32] (Unauthorized migration)
    • Roger Stone has revealed a meeting with a Russian, whom he now thinks might have been an FBI plant, offering ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton.[33] (James Comey)
    • Tristan Snell explains the New York state attorney general’s suit against the Trump Foundation as exposing Donald Trump as a con man.[34]
  12. June 17, 6:33 pm:
    • The Associated Press has reported on the conditions at a prison where some families are being allowed to remain together, where there are some unaccompanied children, and where some children have been separated from their parents.[35] (Unauthorized migration)

James Comey

Jeremy Herb and Marshall Cohen, “6 takeaways from the Justice watchdog report on the Clinton email investigation,” CNN, June 14, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/14/politics/takeaways-ig-report-comey-fbi/index.html

Chris Strohm, “Comey Broke From FBI Procedures in Clinton Probe, Watchdog Finds,” Bloomberg, June 14, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-14/comey-broke-from-fbi-procedures-in-clinton-probe-watchdog-finds

Natasha Bertrand, “Mueller’s Warning to Trump: The Cover-Up Is Also a Crime,” Atlantic, June 15, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/muellers-targets-keep-digging-deeper-holes/562985/

Jonathan Chait, “Mitch McConnell Turns Against Robert Mueller,” New York, June 15, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/06/senate-republican-leader-mitch-mcconnell-turns-on-mueller.html

Spencer S. Hsu, Ellen Nakashima, and Devlin Barrett, “Paul Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/manafort-ordered-to-jail-after-witness-tampering-charges/2018/06/15/ccc526cc-6e68-11e8-afd5-778aca903bbe_story.html

Tom Jackman, “Manafort checks into VIP section at Virginia jail where Chris Brown, Michael Vick also did time,” Washington Post, June 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/manafort-checks-into-vip-section-at-virginia-jail-where-chris-brown-michael-vick-also-did-time/2018/06/16/8ad19196-71a2-11e8-afd5-778aca903bbe_story.html

Katelyn Polantz, “What life is like for Paul Manafort in jail,” CNN, June 16, 2018, https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/06/16/politics/paul-manafort-virginia-jail-life/index.html

Manuel Roig-Franzia and Rosalind S. Helderman, “Trump associate Roger Stone reveals new contact with Russian national during 2016 campaign,” Washington Post, June 17, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-associate-roger-stone-reveals-new-contact-with-russian-national-during-2016-campaign/2018/06/17/4a8123c8-6fd0-11e8-bd50-b80389a4e569_story.html


Donald Trump

Edward-Isaac Dovere, “‘This is the new Republican Party,’” Politico, June 13, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/13/trump-republicans-sanford-resistance-644721

Elaine Kamarck, Alexander R. Podkul, and Nicholas W. Zeppos, “Trump owns a shrinking Republican party,” Brookings Institute, June 14, 2018, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/06/14/trump-owns-a-shrinking-republican-party/

Jacqueline Thomsen, “Five things to know about the lawsuit against the Trump Foundation,” Hill, June 14, 2018, http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/392392-five-things-to-know-about-the-lawsuit-against-the-trump-foundation

Ann Telnaes, “An American editorial cartoonist has been fired for skewering Trump. He likely won’t be the last,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/06/15/an-american-editorial-cartoonist-has-been-fired-for-skewering-trump-he-likely-wont-be-the-last/

Daniel Lippman, “‘He’s just become too angry’: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette publisher defends firing cartoonist,” Politico, June 16, 2018, https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2018/06/16/pittsburgh-cartoonist-firing-publisher-gazette-650389

Tristan Snell, “The proper way to view the Trump Foundation scandal,” CNN, June 16, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/16/opinions/trump-foundation-scandal-opinion-snell/index.html


Replication

Philip Zimbardo has some explaining to do.[36] This is a very sad thing for me to say: I was deeply impressed by his book, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, in which he advances a theory of the power of the situation, which resonates with me, even if I am considerably less optimistic than he is about individuals’ ability to overcome it. That theory is based on his ethically problematic work in the Stanford Prison Experiments and he tells a very touching tale of how it was his girl friend (whom he later married) who persuaded him he’d gone too far.[37] Yes, this is a book I cited in my dissertation.[38]

Brian Resnick, “The Stanford Prison Experiment was massively influential. We just learned it was a fraud,” Vox, June 13, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/6/13/17449118/stanford-prison-experiment-fraud-psychology-replication


Student Loans

Katy Stech Ferek, “Judges Wouldn’t Consider Forgiving Crippling Student Loans—Until Now,” Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/judges-wouldnt-consider-forgiving-crippling-student-loans-until-now-1528974001


California

Phillip Reese, “‘Three Californias’ would likely mean four more Democrats in U.S. Senate,” Sacramento Bee, June 14, 2018, http://www.sacbee.com/site-services/databases/article213195344.html


Unauthorized migration

James Hohmann, “Trump is losing the debate over splitting up immigrant families,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://s2.washingtonpost.com/camp-rw/?e=YmVuZmVsbEBwYXJ0cy11bmtub3duLm9yZw%3D%3D&s=5b23c997fe1ff66463922db0

Jennifer Rubin, “Leave the Bible out of it, child separation is not ‘Christian,’” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/06/15/leave-the-bible-out-of-it-child-separation-is-not-christian/

Kelsey Snell and Susan Davis, “President Trump Injects Fresh Chaos Into Immigration Debate,” National Public Radio, June 15, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/06/15/620356425/president-trump-injects-fresh-chaos-into-immigration-debate

Julie Zauzmer and Keith McMillan, “Sessions cites Bible passage used to defend slavery in defense of separating immigrant families,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/06/14/jeff-sessions-points-to-the-bible-in-defense-of-separating-immigrant-families/

Nomaan Merchant, “Hundreds of children wait in Border Patrol facility in Texas,” Associated Press, June 17, 2018, https://www.apnews.com/9794de32d39d4c6f89fbefaea3780769


Ageism

Robert Weisman, “Help wanted, but not from older workers: Many struggle to find jobs as employers post openings,” Boston Globe, June 14, 2018, http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/06/14/help-wanted-but-not-from-older-workers-many-struggle-find-jobs-employers-post-openings/CIQgOC1AYXqlGIFtZWkcHN/story.html?camp=breakingnews:newsletter


  1. [1]Jeremy Herb and Marshall Cohen, “6 takeaways from the Justice watchdog report on the Clinton email investigation,” CNN, June 14, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/14/politics/takeaways-ig-report-comey-fbi/index.html
  2. [2]Chris Strohm, “Comey Broke From FBI Procedures in Clinton Probe, Watchdog Finds,” Bloomberg, June 14, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-14/comey-broke-from-fbi-procedures-in-clinton-probe-watchdog-finds
  3. [3]Katy Stech Ferek, “Judges Wouldn’t Consider Forgiving Crippling Student Loans—Until Now,” Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/judges-wouldnt-consider-forgiving-crippling-student-loans-until-now-1528974001
  4. [4]David Benfell, “You want proof that most U.S. politicians abhor their constituents? Here it is,” Irregular Bullshit, June 13, 2018, https://parts-unknown.org/reading/2018/06/13/you-want-proof-that-most-u-s-politicians-abhor-their-constituents-here-it-is/
  5. [5]Phillip Reese, “‘Three Californias’ would likely mean four more Democrats in U.S. Senate,” Sacramento Bee, June 14, 2018, http://www.sacbee.com/site-services/databases/article213195344.html
  6. [6]Andrea Diaz, “3 Californias? The initiative to break up the state may be on the ballot in November,” CNN, April 13, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/13/us/california-closer-to-split-into-three-states-trnd/index.html
  7. [7]Julie Zauzmer and Keith McMillan, “Sessions cites Bible passage used to defend slavery in defense of separating immigrant families,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/06/14/jeff-sessions-points-to-the-bible-in-defense-of-separating-immigrant-families/
  8. [8]Kelsey Snell and Susan Davis, “President Trump Injects Fresh Chaos Into Immigration Debate,” National Public Radio, June 15, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/06/15/620356425/president-trump-injects-fresh-chaos-into-immigration-debate
  9. [9]Robert Weisman, “Help wanted, but not from older workers: Many struggle to find jobs as employers post openings,” Boston Globe, June 14, 2018, http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/06/14/help-wanted-but-not-from-older-workers-many-struggle-find-jobs-employers-post-openings/CIQgOC1AYXqlGIFtZWkcHN/story.html?camp=breakingnews:newsletter
  10. [10]Spencer S. Hsu, Ellen Nakashima, and Devlin Barrett, “Paul Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/manafort-ordered-to-jail-after-witness-tampering-charges/2018/06/15/ccc526cc-6e68-11e8-afd5-778aca903bbe_story.html
  11. [11]Donald Trump, quoted in Spencer S. Hsu, Ellen Nakashima, and Devlin Barrett, “Paul Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/manafort-ordered-to-jail-after-witness-tampering-charges/2018/06/15/ccc526cc-6e68-11e8-afd5-778aca903bbe_story.html
  12. [12]Jennifer Rubin, “Leave the Bible out of it, child separation is not ‘Christian,’” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/06/15/leave-the-bible-out-of-it-child-separation-is-not-christian/
  13. [13]Spencer S. Hsu, Ellen Nakashima, and Devlin Barrett, “Paul Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/manafort-ordered-to-jail-after-witness-tampering-charges/2018/06/15/ccc526cc-6e68-11e8-afd5-778aca903bbe_story.html
  14. [14]Jonathan Chait, “Mitch McConnell Turns Against Robert Mueller,” New York, June 15, 2018, http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/06/senate-republican-leader-mitch-mcconnell-turns-on-mueller.html
  15. [15]Natasha Bertrand, “Mueller’s Warning to Trump: The Cover-Up Is Also a Crime,” Atlantic, June 15, 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/muellers-targets-keep-digging-deeper-holes/562985/
  16. [16]Colin Woodard, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (New York: Penguin, 2011).
  17. [17]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  18. [18]Ann Telnaes, “An American editorial cartoonist has been fired for skewering Trump. He likely won’t be the last,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/06/15/an-american-editorial-cartoonist-has-been-fired-for-skewering-trump-he-likely-wont-be-the-last/
  19. [19]David Benfell, “On a nine percent response rate,” May 28, 2018, https://parts-unknown.org/drupal7/journal/2017/05/28/nine-percent-response-rate
  20. [20]Elaine Kamarck, Alexander R. Podkul, and Nicholas W. Zeppos, “Trump owns a shrinking Republican party,” Brookings Institute, June 14, 2018, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2018/06/14/trump-owns-a-shrinking-republican-party/
  21. [21]David Benfell, “A national divorce,” Not Housebroken, September 8, 2015, https://disunitedstates.org/2015/09/08/a-national-divorce/
  22. [22]Garson O’Toole, “If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain,” Quote Investigator, February 24, 2014, https://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/02/24/heart-head/
  23. [23]Jacqueline Thomsen, “Five things to know about the lawsuit against the Trump Foundation,” Hill, June 14, 2018, http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/392392-five-things-to-know-about-the-lawsuit-against-the-trump-foundation
  24. [24]Spencer S. Hsu, Ellen Nakashima, and Devlin Barrett, “Paul Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/manafort-ordered-to-jail-after-witness-tampering-charges/2018/06/15/ccc526cc-6e68-11e8-afd5-778aca903bbe_story.html
  25. [25]Katelyn Polantz, “What life is like for Paul Manafort in jail,” CNN, June 16, 2018, https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/06/16/politics/paul-manafort-virginia-jail-life/index.html
  26. [26]Spencer S. Hsu, Ellen Nakashima, and Devlin Barrett, “Paul Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/manafort-ordered-to-jail-after-witness-tampering-charges/2018/06/15/ccc526cc-6e68-11e8-afd5-778aca903bbe_story.html
  27. [27]Daniel Lippman, “‘He’s just become too angry’: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette publisher defends firing cartoonist,” Politico, June 16, 2018, https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2018/06/16/pittsburgh-cartoonist-firing-publisher-gazette-650389
  28. [28]Edward-Isaac Dovere, “‘This is the new Republican Party,’” Politico, June 13, 2018, https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/13/trump-republicans-sanford-resistance-644721
  29. [29]Tom Jackman, “Manafort checks into VIP section at Virginia jail where Chris Brown, Michael Vick also did time,” Washington Post, June 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/manafort-checks-into-vip-section-at-virginia-jail-where-chris-brown-michael-vick-also-did-time/2018/06/16/8ad19196-71a2-11e8-afd5-778aca903bbe_story.html
  30. [30]Katelyn Polantz, “What life is like for Paul Manafort in jail,” CNN, June 16, 2018, https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/06/16/politics/paul-manafort-virginia-jail-life/index.html
  31. [31]James Hohmann, “Trump is losing the debate over splitting up immigrant families,” Washington Post, June 15, 2018, https://s2.washingtonpost.com/camp-rw/?e=YmVuZmVsbEBwYXJ0cy11bmtub3duLm9yZw%3D%3D&s=5b23c997fe1ff66463922db0
  32. [32]Jennifer Hansler, “Cardinal Dolan: There is no Bible passage to justify family separation,” CNN, June 16, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/16/politics/cardinal-dolan-family-separation-cnntv/index.html
  33. [33]Manuel Roig-Franzia and Rosalind S. Helderman, “Trump associate Roger Stone reveals new contact with Russian national during 2016 campaign,” Washington Post, June 17, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-associate-roger-stone-reveals-new-contact-with-russian-national-during-2016-campaign/2018/06/17/4a8123c8-6fd0-11e8-bd50-b80389a4e569_story.html
  34. [34]Tristan Snell, “The proper way to view the Trump Foundation scandal,” CNN, June 16, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/16/opinions/trump-foundation-scandal-opinion-snell/index.html
  35. [35]Nomaan Merchant, “Hundreds of children wait in Border Patrol facility in Texas,” Associated Press, June 17, 2018, https://www.apnews.com/9794de32d39d4c6f89fbefaea3780769
  36. [36]Brian Resnick, “The Stanford Prison Experiment was massively influential. We just learned it was a fraud,” Vox, June 13, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/6/13/17449118/stanford-prison-experiment-fraud-psychology-replication
  37. [37]Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (New York: Random House, 2008).
  38. [38]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).

You want proof that most U.S. politicians abhor their constituents? Here it is.

North Korea

I have not found a satisfactory answer to Ryan Lizza’s question. It is, by the way, the same question I was asking, and it just doesn’t seem to matter where you turn: Every analyst is saying pretty much the same thing about this agreement.

Jonathan Freedland, “Trump really has achieved a historic breakthrough – for the Kim dynasty,” Guardian, June 12, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/12/trump-nuclearth-korea-kim-jong-un

Jennifer Rubin, “How Trump lost the summit before the photographers even left the room,” Washington Post, June 12, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/06/12/how-trump-lost-the-summit-before-the-photographers-even-left-the-room/

John Wagner, “Trump says North Korea ‘no longer’ a nuclear threat as he returns to Washington,” Washington Post, June 13, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-says-korth-korea-no-longer-a-nuclear-threat-as-he-returns-to-washington/2018/06/13/b1d69566-6ef0-11e8-bf86-a2351b5ece99_story.html


NAFTA

George Monbiot argues that the way free trade agreements are negotiated is anti-democratic,[1] probably precisely because the people know they’re getting a raw deal.

Always, always, when encountering an emotion-laden word like “free,” to which we are expected to patriotically stand up and salute, ask, “Free for whom? To do what? To whom?” With so-called “free trade” agreements, the answer isn’t any prettier than it is for so-called “free markets.”

George Monbiot, “Donald Trump was right. The rest of the G7 were wrong,” Guardian, June 13, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/13/trump-nafta-g7-sunset-clause-trade-agreement


James Comey

Erwin Chemerinsky, “Trump’s lawyers say Mueller can’t touch him. Is the president really above the law?” Sacramento Bee, June 12, 2018, http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article212989114.html


California

I’m still not fond of how Tim Draper would break up the state. A specific plan that would draw my support would recognize, for example, that California’s Bible Belt, that is, the Central Valley, should not be lumped in with the likes of San Francisco, Marin, and Sonoma Counties. But if you don’t like the conservative bias of the electoral college or if you don’t like the conservatism of the U.S. Senate, breaking up high-population states is the thing to do. What strikes me as interesting here is how consistently mainstream politicians reject such a solution claiming it doesn’t solve any problems—actually it helps to mitigate a huge problem of representation—which is to suggest that they don’t want people to be better represented.

Taryn Luna, “Californians to vote on splitting state three ways,” Sacramento Bee, June 12, 2018, http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article213068964.html


  1. [1]George Monbiot, “Donald Trump was right. The rest of the G7 were wrong,” Guardian, June 13, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/13/trump-nafta-g7-sunset-clause-trade-agreement