The ACLU, Chuck E. Cheese and The Trump Administration

I cried reading the New York Times last Sunday.

It was an article titled “Can the ACLU become the NRA of the left?”

I spent six years as Executive Director of Indiana’s ACLU affiliate, and took a great deal of pride in the organization’s nonpolitical bona fides. (As the only Republican Executive Director at the time, I was particularly supportive of that nonpartisanship.) The Times article focused upon the organization’s determined, effective–and very political– opposition to Trump.

If Trump didn’t pose an obvious and existential threat to civil liberties, democracy and the rule of law, I would be distressed.

It was the description of a family separation case that made me cry.

Nearly a year ago, fearing for their lives, Ms. L. and her daughter, S., who was 6 at the time, fled their small village in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A group of nuns gave them money and food and helped them flee the country. For the next several months, they slept outside most nights or sometimes on the floors of empty buildings they had been pointed to along their route north toward the United States. They cleaned themselves as much as possible in public restrooms. They scavenged for discarded food from restaurants. When they finally presented themselves at the crossing in San Diego, Ms. L. saw the American flag and told her daughter they were going to be O.K.: “We have arrived.”

This was on Nov. 1, 2017 — months before the government denied it was separating children from their families, then said it was only families who were caught crossing the border illegally, then announced it was all part of a zero-tolerance policy. Ms. L. entered legally at the port of entry at San Diego. In broken Spanish she had picked up along the way, she told the border agents she was seeking asylum in the United States. The Border Patrol referred her to ICE, and after four days in temporary housing, ICE agents met with her and S. and asked the girl to go with a guard into another room. Once she was gone, they handcuffed Ms. L., who hadn’t committed a crime. She listened to her daughter beyond the door, screaming and pleading with the guards not to take her away. S. was transported immediately to a facility for unaccompanied minors in Chicago. Ms. L. was detained in California with roughly 1,500 other detainees.

Two weeks later, on Nov. 17, an asylum officer conducted what ICE calls a “credible-fear screening” and determined that Ms. L.’s story met the “credibility threshold,” which would normally mean she could enter the country legally and live with her daughter in a shelter while she awaited a full asylum hearing. Instead, months went by, mother and daughter 2,000 miles apart, each in a place where no one else spoke their native Lingala. Ms. L. and S. spoke five or six times by phone, but the conversations were torturous for Ms. L., with S. sobbing on the phone and telling her mother how scared she was and her mother having no idea if she would ever see her again. “Chicago meant nothing to her,” Gelernt told me. “It might as well have been on the moon.”

In late January, Ms. L. appeared before an immigration judge without an attorney present. She hadn’t seen S. for nearly three months and was consumed with worry and despair. After questioning her, the judge ordered Ms. L. to be removed from the United States. Confused by what was being asked of her, she waived her right to contest her removal. When she returned to the detention center and recounted what happened, another detainee asked, “What have you done?” and explained that she was going to be sent to Congo. Ms. L. begged her fellow detainee to write a letter to the judge on her behalf. “Please don’t send me back,” she said. “I will be killed there.”

The Times article has much more detail–and I hope everyone will read all of it. The  ACLU represented the mother.

Here’s the paragraph that made me cry:

The next night, after I left, they were reunited in the shelter. I’ve spoken with Gelernt several times about the moment of their reunion, what he called the most emotional thing he’d experienced in 25 years of doing immigration work. Ms. L. stood near him waiting for her daughter on a worn marble staircase just inside the shelter’s front door. When the door swung open, she crouched and stretched her arms wide. S. stepped through the doorway and saw her, and the most beautiful smile spread over the girl’s face, Gelernt said. She toppled forward, and Ms. L. gathered her in her arms and fell back onto the marble stairs. The look on her face as she held her daughter was almost too emotional to witness. For the next minute they lay there, clinging to each other and rocking from side to side. The only sound in the hall was a low, rhythmic moan, punctuated by S.’s higher-pitched cry.

A federal court gave the administration thirty days to reunite parents with the 2000+ children it holds. The administration wants more time–because they can’t figure out who belongs with whom.

Which brings me to Chuck E. Cheese.

Chuck E. Cheese was after my parenting time, but my son and daughter-in-law assure me that the chain–which evidently makes its money from children’s parties–has a simple security protocol (“Kid check“) that ensures parents will leave with the children they brought.

Chuck E. Cheese can do what the incompetent Trump administration can’t.

It’s a meme for our time.

48 thoughts on “The ACLU, Chuck E. Cheese and The Trump Administration

  1. When you appoint feckless leaders to dismantle the government, it makes it difficult to use the same for its intended purpose. DHS and ICE weren’t formed to handle complex situations so maybe they should bring Chuck E Cheese to run the show along the border. Although, I don’t know why anyone would want to bail out that mess. Judges had one-year-olds answering questions in a courtroom. #Embarrassing

    Speaking of ignorance, Trump is hammering Germany for making an oil pipeline deal with Russia while the USA citizens pay to keep Germany safe from Russia under NATO.

    He’s wanting to break apart NATO which is fine with me because it’s always been a front for USA’s expansion into Europe and the Middle East. We’ve broken one promise after another to Russia and the global community.

    Maybe we can hire Chuck E Cheese to run the Pentagon as well. It would be appropo! 🙂

  2. Sheila, is it incompetence or part of a deliberate scheme to punish and degrade migrant families, just as the children of slaves were torn from their families and sold off separately? When Trump was asked about the government’s inability to reunite migrant families separated by ICE agents at the border, he responded that the solution is for these migrants to stop entering our country illegally. Knowing the mentality and inhumanity of the architects of this new policy, I believe the family separation policy and the claimed inability to reunite families is deliberate and a means of punishing these poor mothers and fathers by taking away their children, which is a human rights violation of the highest magnitude and a permanent stain on our once great nation.

  3. There was a “Silent Vigil” outside of the ICE Center here in Indy on Monday. They are planning another vigil next Monday from 9 AM to 11 Am. Address is 5652 West 73rd Street (73rd and Zionsville Rd.)

    Meanwhile, down here in the city good people are reaching out to our Hispanics neighbors (most out of work for fear of being rounded up) and helping with groceries. Does anyone know if any churches are acting as sanctuaries for these hunted people?

  4. This country, for the past approximately 50 years, has done next-to-nothing to resolve our immigration problems. The confusing and changing rules and requirements, the unbelievable cost in legal fees, overburdening courts due to countless continuances, ignoring individual situations of immigrants which have now reached numbers in the MILLIONS and culminating in Donald Trump’s ICE roundups, separation of children from infancy to late teens from their parents and family members has brought us to a total STANDSTILL legally. The moral issues are not even being considered. During the 1970s, under the Mayor William H. Hudnut, III, Republican administration in Indianapolis; one group of dedicated people had the job of dealing with all immigrants from around the world. The Hispano-American Multi-Service Center downtown provided Immigration and Naturalization services, English as a Second Language classes (ESL), housing, food, clothing, medical, job assistance, family counseling and all other needs to the known approximately 55,000 immigrants in this city at that time. Then Ronald Reagan was elected and the entire multi-service, senior and health care facilities throughout the state were thrown into a panic; the Annual Community Service Convention began the day after that election. I was there; all involved were interested in only how to save their valuable services to the public, immigrants and citizens alike, there were immigrants in other parts of this state, there always have been. We watched as our immigrant first lady exited the plane to visit one Texas site where the children are being held wearing a jacket with white letters on the back, “I really don’t care, do u?” This is where we now stand.

    I woke up around 3:30 this morning and flipped on my TV set to MSNBC, where it left off a few hours earlier, to see the “Infamous Breakfast in Brussels” with Trump’s mouth running non-stop. Sitting alone in bed at 3:30 in the morning I was totally overcome with embarrassment due to the ignorant United States representation belittling our allies of many years with no facts in anything he spouted. As one newscaster commented, “They haven’t even had their scrambled eggs yet.” No one needs to write this era of our history; simply piece together into an hours-long collage of Trump’s speeches and Tweets.

    Face it, fellow commenters and all who read this blog, and those across America….WE CURRENTLY HAVE NO WAY OUT OF OUR OWN COUNTRY’S SHITHOLE POLITICAL QUANDARY! And the world is focused today on Brussels and Trump…did these world leaders ever get their scrambled eggs? They will need sustenance to get through the actual meetings with him and there is no way and no one willing to stop him.

  5. One thing that is not being mentioned in this: The people on the front lines :: why are they aiding and abetting in this? Yes, I know it’s their ‘job’, but has anybody at all actually started raising hell about what they’re made to do? Not that I’ve heard.
    Let’s see, I seem to have read about other situations like this in Germany, of course, and also Russia and China.
    Is there going to be an accountability issue when these children are all dead?

  6. Steve,

    My experience living in the United States for the past thirty years is that there is NEVER any accountability for any of the crimes committed by those in power. The only justice any of us will ever see is what we bring about ourselves.

  7. Steve; any negative outcome in this immigration situation, Trump, McConnell and Ryan will blame it on President Obama and his administration.

    The military is now discharging all immigrants; joining the military was a step toward citizenship for them, a positive step just as DACA was. Theresa Bowers asked a great question about local help here, such as churches. Indianapolis NOT being a sanctuary city probably makes any service they offer to be done quietly and out of the public eye to protect those being helped…IF indeed there are any here.

  8. The New York Times article was very revealing as to what the political reality is at this moment in time:

    “I’d begun thinking about this story a year and a half ago, when I met Cole just before the inauguration. He exuded empathy and fierce intelligence in equal parts. During our first conversation, I asked him about what he expected out of the next four years, and I thought he would say that even a court this conservative would provide a bulwark against assaults on the Constitution and civil rights, that it would fully exert the power of its branch. Instead, he said, “The courts won’t save us.”

    If the above is the case, then the A.C.L.U. can’t be the NRA of the left. It never could. When will we ever wake-up?…..It looks like NEVER. We’re too SCARED to deal with the political reality in the U.S. The POTENTIAL RETALIATION is too severe. The physical danger is increasing exponentially.

    Thus, it appears, our only remedy will be the continuation of “burying our heads in the sand.”

  9. One of the lessons espoused at Nuremburg was that we should NOT obey orders that were illegal or inhumane. I guess lessons don’t last past the first generation.

  10. While reading this account of an innocent woman and her child I simultaneously was thinking that there are millions of heartless people in this country who would have the opinion that this mother and her child deserved this treatment and that “outsiders” don’t deserve to come here. I really do wonder how Fox Noise would have spinned this story in order to make their followers hate the woman.

  11. Peggy,

    “I guess lessons don’t last past the first generation.”

    You’re absolutely right. We have learned nothing from the experiences of Nazi Germany. That was the first order of business for the masterminds of the COUP, we’re now facing. They have accomplished their goal. We now have a FASCIST PRESIDENT.

    The above strategy is all spelled out in “Coup d’ Etat: A Practical Handbook–A Brilliant Guide to Taking Over a Nation” by Edward Luttwak.

  12. The other day, both Todd and mentioned the problem of DENIAL. Very few, if any, of the commentators on this blog are in denial or INDIFFERENT to our political problems. So that couldn’t be what is holding us back. I believe the following article, which I ran across a few days ago, is more germane to our problem in dealing with our FASCIST PRESIDENT:

    “When bystanders become witnesses of a social norm violation, they will confront the culprit — all the more if the violation is severe. Although this appears to make sense, in fact the opposite is true. The more severe the norm violation, the more reluctant people will be to reprimand the person who committed it. Their FEAR OF RETALIATION is too great.”

    “Imagine a group of travelers who witness two cases of littering at a train station. One person throws a coffee cup on the platform. Another person throws away not only a coffee cup, but an entire bag of trash. Who is more likely to be confronted and reprimanded by bystanders? Although throwing away a bag of trash is considered the bigger norm violation, this behavior does not elicit a stronger reaction in witnesses. That is the result of a study conducted by Bettina Rockenbach, Professor of Experimental and Behavioral Economics at the University of Cologne, Loukas Balafoutas (University of Innsbruck) and Nikos Nikiforakis (New York University Abu Dhabi). The research team investigated how people respond to large and small violations of social norms in public spaces. The results of the study, “Altruistic punishment does not increase with the severity of norm violations in the field,” are published in Nature Communications.

    The study refutes the assumption that larger violations tend to be punished more severely than smaller offences. Rockenbach and her colleagues staged small violations (littering a coffee cup) and large violations (littering a coffee cup and bag of trash) at train stations in Germany and recorded how travelers responded in more than 800 trials. The implicit assumption was that bystanders would react more strongly if more garbage was littered, hence the norm violation was greater. This is a principle that has been widespread from the biblical “eye for an eye” to modern legal philosophy, which demands just punishment. It has also been substantiated in laboratory experiments. However, the size of the violation did not affect the likelihood that the litterer would be reprimanded — nor did it affect the intensity of the reprimand.”

    Travelers have more negative emotions toward the larger violation and felt that it should be reprimanded more severely. Despite these emotional responses, however, the surveyed individuals admitted that they would be reluctant to confront or punish such violations in real-life settings.

    The scientists explain this reluctance with the perceived risk of retaliation by the norm violator. The greater the norm violation, the greater the retaliation might be. Bystanders feared that in cases of a more severe social norm violation, the person’s reaction would be stronger when confronted or reprimanded. The study shows that social self-regulation has its limits. Up to a certain point, we reprimand each other for bad behavior. But in cases of more extreme norm violations, social self-regulation no longer works and we need authorities, police and security personnel.”

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by University of Cologne – Universität zu Köln. Note: Content may be edited for style.

    More important than DENIAL and INDIFFERENCE is our FEAR OF RETALIATION. It is very real.

  13. This post made me cry too. I can’t imagine being separated from my child like that and I’m not even a Mother. I can’t imagine having a child ripped out of my arms and not seeing that child for hours, days and months. What if some of these children are never back with their parents? These traumas have life long consequences in their brain development. I’m so angry about this situation.

    The Indivisible group in Tucson has been very active. There is a holding site of children about 4 miles from my old house there and had I been around, I would have gone and protested in the 100 degree heat. They posted this week that there is a site in Phoenix that is housing children in an unmarked and blacked out window office building that they have discovered. Neighbors saw the children and they are ready to make news sites aware of that site.

    I do have a “friend” that thinks that these parents are to blame for their detention and separation from their children and I can barely stand it. She has been my friend for over 25 yrs but her racism runs deep and as much as I’ve tried, I can’t convince her otherwise. And she doesn’t even watch Fox spews because she can’t afford cable. She lives in Phoenix and when she starts in about “Mexicans” I remind her that they were there (in AZ) first before she moved from Chicago in ’78. Shame on her but that is a trump supporters’ view. I can’t hate her but I can hate the rest of those neanderthals that do support this obscene administration.

    And IQ45 will embarrass Americans this week and has already. JoAnn, I watched a clip of him spouting off about Russia and Germany already this morning and I can do is shake my head. What’s next? Only time will tell.

  14. o.k.0ff the cattle cars,split em up, two lines here,two lines there,crack the whip,yell at them,hurry up, doctor,pick the lot,,,,,,now the rest,follow me to the showers,you will be cleaned,,,seriously,whats the diffrence at that immediate shock value?(those private holding tanks get $600 a day per head,and now they gotta pay big bucks to transport them.)i guess all that money is part of the scheme to reduce the money to run this country,and have the mob tell is we cant support the people,unless wall street has a hand in it..but then again,we elected this mess..

  15. Ahh, there is always a profit angle to consider these days in policy decisions.:
    Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) reportedly profited from a for-profit health-care provider that has government contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers.

    Politico reported on Monday that Rauner disclosed his earnings from a private equity fund that owns Correct Care Solutions in his most recent statement of economic interests. The report notes that the health-care group has millions of dollars in contracts with jails, prisons and immigration detention centers, including ones that hold migrant families.

    Rauner maintained that he has no direct ties to Correct Care Solutions and that he also gave up his investment decisions to a third party. But the disclosure indicates he’s receiving profits from the health-care provider, which has $1 billion in revenue annually, according to Politico.
    http://thehill.com/homenews/396084-illinois-governor-turned-a-profit-from-contract-with-ice-detention-center

    JoAnn, @ 7:24 am ” This country, for the past approximately 50 years, has done next-to-nothing to resolve our immigration problems.”

    The purpose for all the confusion has one goal – Their Labor can be and is exploited. I noticed back in the 1990’s the landscaping firms and construction firms, especially roofing, janitorial work and flipping burgers became Hispanic dominated. I can safely say Hispanics have no genetic pre-disposition for toiling as laborers in landscaping, roofing, or flipping burgers, etc.

    These people were exploited. Several steps were necessary for corporate America to accomplish this exploitation: Right to Work Laws, very low minimum wage, Union busting, and the ever present threat of deportation.

    This exploited labor had for Corporate America the important side effect of driving down wages for all of us.

  16. AgingLGrl,

    You’re very fortunate. Being outside the U.S., you no longer have to worry about RETALIATION like the rest of us.

    The same goes for the GUARDIAN.

  17. Are any of you Indiana citizens concerned that Donnelly will vote with the Rs to confirm Kavanaugh?

    I just called both his Indy legislative office and his campaign office. The reason I had to call his campaign office was that his legislative office said they could not pass along messages regarding his campaign for re-election. I wanted his campaign ofc to know that he will lose Dem support if he votes with the Rs to confirm Kavanaugh and that if he votes against confirmation, he will gain the support of Ds.

    If anyone else is interested in contacting Donnelly, here are the phone numbers. Forget trying to call his DC ofc – you will not be able to speak to a human being.

    Donnelly Indy Legislative ofc: 1-317-226-5555

    Donnelly campaign ofc: 1-317-231-7108

  18. Ohh, this is too good not to post. It also is something out of the Political Twilight Zone. It is something you would not think of as a possibility – We live in the Age of Political Chaos, thanks to President Agent Orange, and the improbable is now the norm. Perhaps a quote from a novel is our best guide today, with Agent Orange:

    The original quote, from the Holmes story The Sign of the Four, published in 1890, reads, “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” See below for the Truth:

    Russian mining firm puts Trump’s face on its asbestos products. As US officials decide against banning product, producer Uralasbest puts Trump ‘seal of approval’ on pallets.

    Uralasbest, one of the world’s largest producers and sellers of asbestos, has taken to adorning pallets of its product with a seal of Trump’s face, along with the words “Approved by Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States”.

    The move follows the US Environmental Protection Agency’s recent decision not to ban new asbestos products outright.

    Last year, Brazil, which was responsible for the bulk of asbestos exports to the US, joined about 60 other countries in banning the product, leaving Russia as the major source of asbestos sent to America. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/11/asbestos-trump-face-seal-uralasbest-russia

  19. Angela Merkel has pushed back against Donald Trump’s extraordinary tirade against Germany on the first day of the Nato summit in Brussels, denying her country was “totally controlled” by Russia and saying it made its own independent decisions and policies.

    According to reports in the US media, Trump is keen to see Merkel replaced as chancellor. His outburst could be part of a strategy to try to undermine her at a time when she is domestically vulnerable.

    Trump’s antagonism towards Merkel is partly personal, a reaction to a senior European politician standing up to him and her very evident dislike of him, which she makes little attempt to hide.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/11/nato-summit-donald-trump-says-germany-is-captive-of-russians
    ===========================================================
    President Agent Orange sees sowing the seeds of chaos as a strength. Let us never forget that when President Agent Orange had a chance to be in our military, he took numerous deferments to avoid the draft.

    I keep reading the British people are planning on giving President Agent Orange a very unwelcome reception. I can hardly wait.

  20. How is it that more than half the population in the U.S. has become politically powerless? There must be something we’re not seeing at the CORE of this catastrophe. Don’t you think?

  21. The Trump administration is now being used to support an agency of death, cancer and discord:
    Russian mining firm puts Trump’s face on its asbestos products. As US officials decide against banning product, producer Uralasbest puts Trump ‘seal of approval’ on pallets.

    “Uralasbest, one of the world’s largest producers and sellers of asbestos, has taken to adorning pallets of its product with a seal of Trump’s face, along with the words “Approved by Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States”.

    The move follows the US Environmental Protection Agency’s recent decision not to ban new asbestos products outright.

    Last year, Brazil, which was responsible for the bulk of asbestos exports to the US, joined about 60 other countries in banning the product, leaving Russia as the major source of asbestos sent to America. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/11/asbestos-trump-face-seal-uralasbest-russia

  22. Monotonous (9:15 a.m.); after the severe hail storm spring of 2006, all roofs, siding, gutters, screens and some windows needed replacement in my neighborhood. Only 2 homes had American roofers working; I know the state of Indiana and this city had qualified workers at that time. More than the 2 companies I saw.

  23. Vernon,

    “The Trump administration is now being used to support an agency of death, cancer and discord”

    What’s new? Trump has been supporting Pence and his Christian Right Movement from the beginning.

  24. During the 2016 campaign of lies there was some debate here as to how to classify Thug One’s emotional illness. Some thought psychopathic but as I recall the majority thought sociopathic. I think there has been much detail observed since to confirm that diagnosis.

    It’s interesting reading on the Internet about sociopaths and there’s no question that that’s what we the people somehow could not distinguish from a President.

    Also, we the people are hoping to mitigate school shootings by determining who is sociopathic and preventing them from obtaining deadly force but on the other hand a 3 million voter majority of us couldn’t prevent one from becoming President.

    None of this bodes well for self government.

    Can we correct the egregious error? The short answer is no, the stains from it will last forever, but we do have a path to at least limit the staining by isolating the Executive Branch behind a solid wall of Legislative Branch this November 6th. If we can do then what we couldn’t in 2016 we will at least be on the path to recovery. If not I fear all is lost.

  25. Pete,

    “Some thought psychopathic but as I recall the majority thought sociopathic. I think there has been much detail observed since to confirm that diagnosis.”

    He could also be SUICIDAL. And take us all with him.

  26. One of my favorite jokes is the line “I hope when my time comes I can die peacefully in my sleep rather than like the people screaming in terror in the back seat of grandpa’s car when he had his accident”.

    But it seems everyday we wake up screaming in terror at the monstrosity of our own making in DC (sometimes) destroying our only world.

  27. Adaptation of a remark made by Mark Twain:

    “Suppose you were the President of the United States. And suppose you were an idiot. But I repeat myself.”

  28. JoAnn — and did you notice Pompeo and the General?
    They seem to be without pride like two-bit……
    The Monster-in-Chief needs being taken out behind the barn along with Pence. Such an inflated porker!

  29. What Theresa said:

    Theresa Bowers

    July 11, 2018 at 8:13 am

    “The lessons of Nuremburg are not taught today because morality is not taught… only religion which is a poor, poor substitute.”

    And the religionists are spouting the same old same old.

  30. Dear Sheila,

    My condolences to you on reading the article that you saw in The New York Times. I cannot think of a more shocking idea that the ACLU should pattern itself after the current version of the NRA. However, somehow, some way, that this waltz that this country, or at least some of it, is taking to the far right and abandoning traditional American virtues in the process has to be stopped. I must admit that I was derailed in getting to the point this morning of trying to compose something short and sweet in response to your blog post by what I’m seeing in regard to what our idiotic President did this morning at the NATO summit in Brussels. He not only embarrassed the NATO Secretary General but also, by berating him and the assembled dignitaries regarding their country’s individual financial contributions to NATO, embarrassed America at the same time.

    The deep dark stain that he and those that think like him, provided that they think it all, have made on this country just keeps getting darker. What this all ultimately boils down to is whose country is this, is it ours or does it already belong to Donald Trump? Between what you so eloquently wrote in regard to the travail of all these children and that we have to look to “Chucky Cheese” of all things to see an example, a good example of, of how this country should treat children and what happened this morning in Brussels, is thoroughly amazing. We ultimately have to ask ourselves who does this country belong to and since it obviously belongs to us why are we tolerating what we are tolerating?

    When do we say enough is enough regardless of what the Congress does and does not do but for the protection of all that we hold dear in regard to this country when on earth are we going stand up and saying no to this? What is it ultimately going to take since he is let us down the wrong road, the very wrong road, for nearly two years and we throw up our arms in pontificating but that’s all that happens? We watch a Congress dominated by Trump sycophants more concerned about their re-election prospects and the fate of the country and its people yet we do nothing and more than likely of good number of these same people will be elected to their seats this fall in spite of all the talk about the “Blue Wave” and everything else.

    While some things are working well in this country we continue to be derailed by the utter incompetence of this current government, its very warped views on American foreign policy, its economic policy that is supposedly meant to hurt our trading partners through tariffs yet will ultimately hurt us just as much, particularly those that have voted for this idiot. What will it take? What benchmark or eventual breaking point will we need to reach to wake up to the fact that this guy is ruining this country and wrecking virtually everything that keeps it safe and flipping our foreign policy inside out where we scorn our Allies and embrace our adversaries. What will it take for us to do something and stop this? After watching the televised frightful spectacle of Donald Trump dressing down the NATO Secretary General in front of all the assembled dignitaries in their meeting this morning it had better happen soon.

    People are fleeing Central America with their children in the hope of having a better life here in this country while it the same time we are sitting back and just observing, so far, the complete unraveling of that country that they see as a beacon of hope in their lives. We have to realize ourselves that this country is not some sort of perpetual motion machine where it can just go on and on and on as it has when the current leadership of this country very likely represents the greatest threat to its very existence since the American Civil War and that threat extends beyond our borders where millions and millions of people, who depend on us for leadership and support, may end up having to look elsewhere or do that job by themselves. That beacon of hope that this country is represented for so long to so many will, at that point, be extinguished.

  31. Monotonous at 9:15am

    Why is it that many people with views like yours are shocked to be called “Socialists” while petrified by rumors of overturning Social Security, Medicare and more of our Social Safety Net?
    Could this aberration instead be called the Indiana Syndrome? The Pence Disease?, The GOP Crud? Is this “Conservative”?
    Is it because Socialism is often conflated with Communism, and, if so, why is it okay for our Jackass-in-Chief to be bromancing with the Commie-in-Chief?

  32. Nancy at 9:31am

    Alas, Nancy, with Donnelly and Kavanaugh you’re talking about two descendants of Irish Catholics who, if true to their religion, would vote to overturn Roe v Wade along with American Christian politicians who disapprove of other women’s abortions.
    I’m in your camp, the one in which women make their own healthcare decisions undeterred by the religion persuasion of politicians.
    Lest we forget, November 6, 2018 is the date when we can continue to straighten out this nettlesome problem along with muzzling and deflating the Mastiff-in-Chief and his Mob.

  33. OMG @ 1:09 pm, Oh, I am a proud to be a Socialist. I was called a Communist by some guy when he found out I was a Bernie Bot back in 2016. This guy was beyond reason, he followed the formula see below.

    Socialism has been a prime enemy of the Capitalist State, since the days of Eugene Debs. Socialism is a unifying force across racial, ethnic and religion. Socialism unifies us because at it’s core we are all in the same boat. The last thing the Capitalist State wants is a force that correctly sees their attempts to divide us and triangulate us.

    The Rabid Reactionary Right Wing follows a simple formula for the simple minds, who want to believe in steroid individualism and silos among the people.

    The Formula is Liberal=Socialist=Communism=Castro=Stalin=Mao. The McMega-Media has also been an enemy of Socialism, let’s face it their profits come from advertising, some new drug, or beer, etc. The Evangelicals fight Socialism since it circumvents their silo. The Evangelicals view Socialism as Atheist.

    The Communist Party is dead for all intents and purposes in Russia, the Communist Party is alive and well in China. However, it is a Communist Party in name only as select people can be billionaires in China.

  34. It was reported this morning that detained adults are being told they can have their children back if they agree to leave the U.S.. Who’s going to bring Trump and his thugs to justice, anyway? Did you see what he did this morning? He got in the face of our NATO allies and accused them of not paying their fair share for defense spending. There are 2 issues, which he doesn’t understand, but then, today’s performance was for the racist rubes that make up his constituency. NATO countries are supposed to spend 2% of the GDP on their OWN military. The deadline is 2024, per a deal brokered by the Obama Administration, so those who aren’t meeting this threshold aren’t cheating the US or anyone else. The second issue is their member assessment to operate NATO. They are all current on this obligation. Trump doesn’t understand these facts. He also accused Germany of being beholden to Russia because it purchases a percentage of its natural gas from Russia. The percentage is something like 30-40%.

    As to Chucky Cheese’s, they put a stamp on adults and kids’ hands as they enter that is invisible to the naked eye. If someone tries to leave with a kid, there is a special light they must put their hand under, and if the stamps don’t match, they don’t leave. I don’t see how this would work with immigration, other than tattooing identifications, raising visions of the Holocaust. Maybe dog tags or ID bracelets, but they could be faked or lost.

  35. Before our very eyes? Like, is ICE a harbinger of things to come or have “things to come” already arrived and we, like the “Good Germans,” have been too preoccupied with daily atrocities to take note.

  36. OMG; did Pompeo keep looking around for help or to be assured the cameras were still filming only them?

    Did they ever get their scrambled eggs; or to even finish their orange juice?

    We are in Limbo and that once popular song, “How Low Can You Go?” keeps playing over and over.

  37. “Before our very eyes? Like, is ICE a harbinger of things to come or have “things to come” already arrived and we, like the “Good Germans,” have been too preoccupied with daily atrocities to take note.”

    It hasn’t all been before your very eyes, at least 50% has been masked. But, it has arrived and is growing stronger every day, since there is absolutely no real opposition. Real opposition creates reaction, and it appears we don’t have the civic courage to handle it.

  38. “More important than DENIAL and INDIFFERENCE is our FEAR OF RETALIATION. It is very real.”

    And who can blame us? Think of Travon Martin being gunned down for “looking suspicious” with his bag of Skittles and cup of ice tea; and pictures of “open carry” nuts in Texas Walmart; and vigilantes being “pardoned” by His Orangeness; and on and on. The revolution that becomes ever more a definite possibility is VERY scary! These “base people” are armed to the teeth and think they are justified in “defending their freedom” and “taking their America back.” I have thought about writing on my rear windshield “Impeach Trump” but here in South Carolina I know I would get my tires slashed or worse. I have marched at local rallies and in DC, but the thought of confronting ICE or anyone else holding a weapon is really scary. Trump supporters are known to short on empathy & compassion. I am SCARED!!!

  39. Natacha @ 1:55pm:

    You write that there are issues concerning NATO that Trump doesn’t “understand.” That not only may well be true; it is beyond a shadow of a doubt true.

    But whether he “understands” the issues or not, Trump doesn’t care. Actual facts have nothing to do with what Trump is doing.

    Because, as has been the case since his election, Trump is doing Putin’s bidding. This time their goal is to attempt to weaken, split, or outright destroy NATO; freeing up Putin to further expand and exert Russia’s power and influence. Further enriching Putin and his oligarchs. Or is it just a coincidence that whatever Trump does seems to align with Putin’s and Russia’s interests, instead of the U.S.’s and our allies’ best interests. Not a big believer in coincidences!

    What exactly is in it for Trump isn’t entirely clear? Not that it really matters. Why Trump continues to do everything he can to enhance Putin’s and Russia’s power and influence is nothing more than a curiosity. Unless we can somehow find a why to convince the what-were- once-“Republicans” in Congress to impeach him. Fat chance that!

    That leaves only the slim possibility that Mueller can indict him for treason or the many other crimes he has probably committed. But Trump has more than likely “check-mated” Mueller by buying-off former Justice Kennedy and his son to get a Supreme Court appointment, and having appointing the one stooge, who has already announced he will protect Trump’s back from even being subpoenaed or investigated, let alone be indicted while in office.

    We’re in deep trouble, and by that I mean the U.S. that most of us here have lived in most of our lives. And I’m not even sure anymore that a “Blue Wave” and taking over at least one or both Houses of Congress in November can save us. Remember, Trump and his fellow travelers will have from November 8th until January 1st to continue to do whatever they can to keep him in power. But I’m more and more afraid, it may be our only last hope. Hate my own pessimism.

  40. Watching those who were unfed at the NATO breakfast this morning while Trump expounded more of his personal idiocy and ignorance brought an oft repeated question I have asked myself and my TV…why do those world leader sit there mute? Why do they not confront Trump and point out the truth of the matters he puts forth as facts which are often beyond even the wildest imagination? Why do they not respond to his blatant insults? Good manners and being politically correct has reached the point of appearing to be stupidity in this country; but they are actual world leaders who do not have to answer to Trump or live with his lies. They are not Chuck-E-Cheese pizza servers but are beginning to appear no more qualified than that to lead their countries than Trump is. He was somehow elected President of the United States of America; not Emperor of the World.

    I no longer trust any of them any more than I trust members of Trump’s administration and Congress.

  41. Is it true that ICE now wants the parents of the disappeared children to pay for their return?

  42. Vernon,

    That is what Congressman Beto O’Rourke reported on MSNBC last night. He is running against Ted Cruz. I know him personally. Great candidate.

  43. David,

    “And I’m not even sure anymore that a “Blue Wave” and taking over at least one or both Houses of Congress in November can save us. Remember, Trump and his fellow travelers will have from November 8th until January 1st to continue to do whatever they can to keep him in power. But I’m more and more afraid, it may be our only last hope. Hate my own pessimism.”

    It’s not pessimism, it’s realism. Hope is fine, but it has to be realistic.

    We’re dealing with a “Two-headed Trojan Horse” in a situation much like the German army’s break through, during the Battle of the Bulge, near the end of W.W. II. In the present situation that we’re now facing, it’s the Christian Right, lead by Mike Pence, causing a massive bulge in the “Pluralism Line” with no opposition, at present, to stop the BLITZKRIEG.

    Our only and probably last chance is to close the GAP. That’s impossible if we don’t have an IMMEDIATE INQUIRY into who, what, when, where and how this DISASTER occurred.

    The BEST MODEL would be the inquiry, immediately, convened after the sneak attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

  44. Todd:
    Apropos of your concern for our fidelity to Russia (“We’ve broken one promise after another to Russia…”), I have a foreboding that we are about to overcompensate for whatever you feel our past sins might have been. In fact, it will be shocking if President Pinocchio is not downright punctilious in his concern for the feelings and the wishes of our comrades in the Kremlin. The fact that Russia’s foremost international goal is to bring down Western democracy is Putin’s bond with our treasonous president. The Vlad-on-Don time they will soon spend together has no legitimate purpose; thus, they will have ample opportunity to cement their plans for the undermining of the Western alliance. Our institutions have proven weak enough, and the Republican Party compliant enough, and the Democrats feckless enough, that the two of them have reason to be sanguine about the outcome of their collusion. If Trump is the consummate sycophant I believe him to be, he may even receive some historic video tapes of hotel frolicking in return for his obsequiousness.

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