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How They Defend the Indefensible

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You can call it a “policy” (Jeff Sessions) or you can call it a not-policy (Kirstjen Nielsen) or you can call it a “law” (Sarah Huckabee Sanders). You can say that yes it’s a policy but nobody likes it (Kellyanne Conway) or you can say it’s a “zero-tolerance” enforcement of a Democratic law (Donald Trump) or a zero-tolerance enforcement of an amalgam of various congressional laws (Nielsen) or a zero-tolerance enforcement of the Department of Justice’s own preferences with respect to enforcing prior laws (Sessions).

You can say the purpose of the Justice Department’s family separation policy is deterrence (Stephen Miller, John Kelly) or you can claim that asking if the purpose of the policy is deterrence is “offensive” (Nielsen). You can claim in your legal pleadings that the family separation policy is wholly “discretionary” and thus unreviewable by any court, meaning that only the president can change it (Justice Department in Ms. L v. ICE). Or you can claim that only Congress can “fix loopholes” (Nielsen) or you can say that Congress as a whole can’t fix anything because congressional Democrats are entirely to blame (Trump, Mike Huckabee).

You can blame all this newfound “loophole” action on a consent decree from 1997 in a case called Flores (Sessions, Paul Ryan, Chuck Grassley) or on a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that interpreted Flores (Nielsen) or on a 2008 law called the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (Nielsen). Better yet, you can fault some magical mashup of “the law” that forces you to defend every statute to its most absurd extreme (Sanders). By this logic, you can also claim that Korematsu—the case authorizing the removal and detention of Japanese Americans during World War II—is still on the books and thus needs to be enforced because it’s also “the law,” but that would be insane. Oh, but wait. Trump proxies made that very claim during the campaign (Carl Higbie).

You can pretend that by turning every adult who crosses the border into a presumptive criminal your hands are tied, so you need to jail children to avoid jailing children (Nielsen). You can insist that the vast majority of children who cross the border are being smuggled in by gang members (Nielsen) or that all asylum-seekers are per se criminals (which they are not) or that lawful asylum-seekers should just come back at a better time (Nielsen). You can claim you never intended your policy (if it is in fact a policy) to have any impact on asylum-seekers at all (Nielsen) but of course it would turn out you were lying and this has been the plan all along (John Lafferty, Department of Homeland Security asylum division chief).

You can say the Bible wants you to separate children from parents (Sessions). You can say again, incredibly, that the Bible wants you to separate children from parents (Sanders). But that would be pathetic (Stephen Colbert).

You can blame the press for the photographs they take (Nielsen) and for the photographs they don’t take (Nielsen). You can suggest that the children in cages are not real children (not linking to Ann Coulter) or that the cages are not in fact cages (Steve Doocy) even though government officials admit that they are cages. You can claim that the detention facilities are “summer camps” or “boarding schools” (Laura Ingraham). You can take umbrage that the good people of DHS and CBP and ICE are being maligned (Nielsen).

You can say that separating children from their parents is a strategic move to force an agreement on Trump’s wall, which would make the children purely instrumental (Trump). Or you could say that this is a way to protect children by deterring their parents, which would also make the children purely instrumental (Kelly). Or you can instead say you are protecting the children from all the harm that happens to children transported over borders by doing untold permanent damage to them as they scream in trauma (Nielsen). Because the best way to deter child abuse is through child abuse.

You can fight to the death about comparisons to Nazis or you can celebrate a candidate (Corey Stewart) who is a hero to Nazis or you can merely show a staggering lack of comprehension about what Nazis actually did (Sessions).

You can fact check and fact check and fact check these claims and it won’t matter that they are false. And the fact that nobody in this administration even bothers to coordinate their cover stories at this point reflects just how pointless it is to fact check them anyhow. It’s an interactive game of choose your own logic, law, facts, and victims, but every single version of this story ends with screaming children in cages, sleeping under foil blankets as strangers change their diapers. The trick is twisting and dodging and weaving until you get to that final page.

It is very sad (Melania Trump). Something should be done (Ted Cruz). If only there were some mechanism to stop torturing children. If only there were some way to stop litigating why we’re doing it and who is doing it and just stop doing it.



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dougsmith
1 day ago
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popular
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skorgu
1 day ago
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GOP. Delenda. Est.
wmorrell
2 days ago
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If only.

By darkstar in "The Constitutional Crisis is here. It's been here." on MeFi

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"I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is repeated throughout the Bible."


Again, my years as a Biblical scholar are preventing me from ignoring that Joseph and Mary violated the King's royal decree seeking to separate children from their parents, and fled to another country to seek asylum from the King's deadly violence.

I'm not sure how much more on the nose you can get, except to point out how the Parable of the Good Samaritan demands that we take care of travelers in distress, even to the point of feeding, clothing, housing and providing health care.

Or, indeed, that Jesus himself was eventually murdered by the lawful government of the day.

I swear, the gross, willful obtuseness about some of the most fundamental teachings and themes of Scripture makes me so angry at the Evangelical Christian movement and their eagerness to embrace authoritarianism and hatred when it suits them. It's why I eventually had to give up the ministry — I just couldn't remain a part of such hypocrisy and wickedness.
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American PR Professionals Helped Sell the Nazi Regime to the United States

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Rome wasn’t built in a day. And the Nazis didn’t exterminate 10 million people overnight. When we look for historical parallels to the current rise of fascism around the world, it’s important to remember how things became normalized in the past. And an old book about propaganda is a helpful tool in understanding how…

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This Futuristic Color TV Set Concept From 1922 Was Way Ahead of Its Time

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This TV set was the futuristic vision of illustrator Frank R. Paul in 1922. And I absolutely love it.

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Meta-Cognition: Understanding How Much I Know or Do Not Know

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Source: Both Sides     I love this Simon Wardley chart above, found via Mark Suster. It is richly filled with insights from psychology, with Dunning Kruger’s concept of meta-cognition as a skill, and just for fun, the Socratic paradox of “The only thing I know is that I know nothing.” This is worthy of a longer…

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The post Meta-Cognition: Understanding How Much I Know or Do Not Know appeared first on The Big Picture.

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Local News Anchors Now Have to Read Pro-Trump Propaganda

jwz
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Every news station under Sinclair's umbrella is required to syndicate commentary that comports with its owners' ideological views.

When Trump took office, Sinclair was on the cusp of purchasing Tribune media, a merger that would give the firm ownership of enough local stations to reach 70 percent of U.S. homes. But there were two obstacles to such a deal: Federal rules put a cap on the number of local news stations any single entity could own, and also prohibited any company from owning a newspaper and television station in the same media market. Taking on Tribune's assets would put Sinclair in violation of both those laws.

But by the end of Trump's first year in office, his appointees to the Federal Communications Commission had abolished both of those regulations. [...]

Now, Sinclair is taking its "covert state media" game to new, Orwellian heights: By the end of this month, Sinclair will require all of its local news anchors to condemn "national media outlets" for publishing "fake stories" and "using their platforms to push their own personal bias," according to internal documents obtained by CNN. Those documents instruct local news directors to air these criticisms of "biased and false news" -- criticisms that, of course, echo the president's own -- over and over again, so as "to create maximum reach and frequency."

Sinclair's new media-bashing promos rankle local anchors:

The instructions to local stations say that the promos "should play using news time, not commercial time." Like the Epshteyn commentaries, this takes away from local news time.

"Please produce the attached scripts exactly as they are written," the instructions say. "This copy has been thoroughly tested and speaks to our Journalistic Responsibility as advocates to seek the truth on behalf of the audience."

The promos begin with one or two anchors introducing themselves and saying "I'm [we are] extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that [proper news brand name of local station] produces. But I'm [we are] concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country."

Then the media bashing begins.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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dougsmith
102 days ago
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102 days ago
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dukeofwulf
102 days ago
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The John Oliver story on Sinclair is a great briefing on this not-great company, if you missed it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvtNyOzGogc
JimB
102 days ago
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Scary power misuse.
jhamill
104 days ago
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Wow, this is horrible.
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