Putin Warns Americans To Stop Disrespecting Trump

In case there were any doubts about Trump’s close relationship with Russia’s president, Putin’s recent directive to Americans to stop disrespecting Trump should clear up any misconceptions. It is not entirely clear if there is a concerted effort among Trump’s supporters and the Russians to stop criticism of the moron in the White House, but by joining the chorus of evangelicals and conservative pundits condemning criticism of Trump, it appears to be the case. It also is a sign that this administration is serious about crushing dissent. That a hostile foreign leader is joining Trump’s tyrannical effort should put to rest any doubt that Putin is still supporting the man he put in the White House.

As reported by the Russian news agency Tass, Trump’s love interest Vladimir Putin told American citizens to “stop disrespectingPresident Donald Trump. Then the dirty Rusky insulted Americans by claiming the only reason the people are exercising their constitutional right of free speech and criticizing Trump is because of the United States has a “poor political system.” Putin, like Trump, doesn’t like democracy or America’s constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

Putin was speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi, and took some time to deny that Russia interfered in last year’s presidential elections. While he was at it, Putin defended his “political ally” from what he claimed was “unfair criticism.” Putin lied and said Trump “won honestly” and that Trump and his devotees are “behaving legitimately” in response to the current climate in America.

Putin said:

Inside the country, disrespect is shown for him. This is a regrettable negative component of the U.S. political system. One can’t show disrespect, even not for him personally but for those people who voted for him.”

Maybe in Putin’s dictatorial Russia no-one is allowed to criticize the ruler, or his supporters, but America is not yet under a dictatorship; although Trump is making a serious effort to make it one.

Putin also spent time defending Trump’s “controversial approach” to running the country. According to Putin, Trump’s “unpredictable decisions” are the only “reasonable response” to “great domestic resistance,” especially from the media. Putin argues that “resistance” is preventing Trump from doing what he wants without resistance. In America, and around the world, that “resistance” is part and parcel of what it means to live in a free democratic society and the primary reason Putin is calling for Americans to shut up and conform. He, like Trump, cannot countenance a free democratic society and they damn sure can’t comport a free press.

Putin’s assertions are precisely the same arguments Trump proffers in his never-ending attacks on the press. Trump claims the media is busy promoting an “overtly negative portrayal of his administration” instead of praising his every dictatorial move. No, the media reports the truth about his “overtly negative administration” and that is exactly why Trump and Putin claim America is governed under a “poor political system.” Remember, Trump made no secret he is not a fan or devotee of the United States Constitution he claimed is bad for Americans because it prohibits him from ruling like Putin; at least for the time being.

According to Putin, there is nothing negative about the way Trump is attempting to rule and not only does he not deserve criticism, he is too smart to need any advice; except from Putin of course. Putin said:

The president of the United States does not need any advice because one has to possess certain talent and go through this trial to be elected, even without having the experience of such big administrative work.”

No doubt Putin supports Trump’s effort to dismantle America’s government and sever long-standing relationships around the world; that was, after all, the motive behind installing Trump in the White House. It was no coincidence that Putin “authorized” Russia’s official news agency to report the pro-Trump “segment” of his speech; he was sending Americans a message to end any dissent and send an “I got your back” message to his BFF Trump..

The implications of Putin’s remark is that a free democratic society is bad, and that constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of expression, speech and the press represent a “poor political system.” It is precisely what Trump has been preaching and implies that despite what Putin or Trump claim, transforming America into a Russian-like dictatorship was part and parcel of Putin’s interference in the last election.

There is no doubt Putin’s remarks will be hailed by Trump and his dirty supporters. Trump’s latest love interest, Alabama bigot Roy Moore is so enamored with Putin that he recently told the Guardian that “Maybe Putin is right. Maybe he is more akin to me than I thought.”  

 Trump’s friend, ally and advisor Rudy Giuliani gushes about Putin and it explains why he loves Trump. Giuliani said:

 “Putin decides what he wants to do, and he does it half a day.”

 As Jeremy W. Peters opined a couple of months ago, the reason conservatives love and respect Putin as much as they do Trump is because, “ he personifies the qualities and attitudes that conservatives have desired in a president: respect for traditional Christian values, a swelling nationalist pride, and an aggressive posture toward foreign adversaries.”

 Now one of America’s foreign adversaries is issuing directives to Americans to stop disrespecting a man fully intent on ruling America like Putin rules Russia; especially after Putin went to great lengths to install Trump in the White House. Americans should be acutely offended that after installing a Russian sympathizer in the White House, Putin is now telling Americans to sit down and shut up. If they aren’t infuriated it is either because they are a Trump acolyte or a Russian sympathizer like a growing number of conservatives.

Image: Slate

California Bill Bans Employers From Firing Women Who Use Birth Control

Trump’s election was wildly celebrated by evangelical fanatics across the nation, and that cheering was certainly related to their potent new weapon in the Republican war on women. Having an anti-women’s rights and misogynist in the Oval Office is a serious threat to women at the federal level, but possibly more so at the state level. Women who are unfortunate enough to live in GOP controlled states are in serious trouble because with an anti-women’s rights administration appointing an anti-women’s rights religious attorney general, it is  certain the DOJ will always support anti-women legislation. Women who live in solidly red states are in the deepest  trouble, but only if they object to religious Republicans aiding evangelicals’ efforts to control their reproductive health choices.

Women in California are a governor’s signature away from receiving a lifeline in the form of legislation that forbids religious employers from forcing women to sign religious “statements of faith” or “codes of conduct” in order to keep their employment. The legislation also prohibits employers from retaliating against a [female] worker for making reproductive health decisions contrary to religious employers’ objects to. The truth is that the religious fanatics generally object to women making any reproductive health decisions that prevent them from becoming perpetual birth machines.

The legislation, AB 569 (Discrimination: Reproductive Health), was introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) who said religious employers have been regularly discriminating against female workers’ based on their reproductive health-care decisions in California. The legislation was sponsored by NARAL, Pro-Choice California, and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, and sixteen faith-based groups signed a letter supporting the anti-discrimination legislation.

The legislation simply “protects workers from discrimination or retaliation for using any medications, medical service, or device related to reproductive health.” The legislation is particularly necessary now because a few months ago Trump signed an executive order  greatly “expanding religious imposition” authority while surrounded by that misogynistic group of Catholic nuns still furious that the Affordable Care Act contained contraception coverage; coverage they still assert is a violation of their religious freedom to control women’s reproductive health.

The bill’s sponsor said the legislation was necessary to stop religious employers from “infringing on a woman’s right to make personal decisions about birth control and pregnancy.” Religious employers, and not just “church-affiliated” organizations, are not shy about their intent to control women’s reproductive choices.

It is important to remember that the private company Hobby Lobby is not a “religious organization” or “church-affiliated.” And yet they convinced the conservative wing of the Supreme Court that contraceptives, including birth control pills, are “abortifacients” and tantamount to having an abortion. The Court’s “religious imposition” ruling was founded on Hobby Lobby’s owners’ “religious belief” that contraceptives are abortions, and since that was “their heartfelt religious belief,” they won the legal right to deny women’s access to contraceptives.

Ms. Gonzalez Fletcher wasn’t stretching the truth when she said religious employers discriminate against women’s healthcare decision. For example, a San Diego Christian College required a financial aid specialist to sign a document pledging to not to have premarital sex, and then fired her for “becoming pregnant” and using her “pledge” as proof she violated the employer’s religious code. In liberal San Francisco the Archbishop attempted to force teachers to sign a “code of conduct” pledging they would refrain from using birth control or attempting to conceive by artificial insemination; fortunately for female teachers in San Francisco the attempt failed, but the attempt should have incited a massive outrage. Instead, California Democrats had to pass legislation making those attempts illegal.

The bill’s sponsor said in a statement:

Women in this country have been fired for getting pregnant while unmarried, for using in-vitro fertilization and for other personal reasons related to their own reproductive health. No woman should ever lose a job for exercising her right to decide when, how, or whether to have a family.”

Sadly, the minority religious fanatics running the United States vehemently disagree with the legislation and one of the bill’s primary opponents is a revolting religious outfit, the California Family Council; It is the policy arm of the Family Research Council and its president was livid that pro-life employers may be prohibited from literally forcing their religious beliefs down their employees throats. Seriously, the California Family Council president, Jonathan Keller said:

“Every organization that promotes a pro-life message must be able to require its employees to practice what they [the employers] preach. It is unconscionable for any politician to attempt to abridge this sacrosanct religious liberty by inserting themselves into the employee-employer relationship.”

Keller, like his dirty theocratic ilk, firmly believes that evangelicals’ “sacrosanct religious liberty” includes controlling women by way of controlling their reproductive health. That bizarro-world version of “religious liberty” is fervently embraced by Catholic organizations and they present a monumental threat to women’s ‘personal liberty” to decide when, how, and if they give birth.

Over the last few years Catholic organizations have been buying up hospitals, clinics, medical networks, and physicians groups  and demanding absolute fealty to the Catholic Hospitals Association rules and regulations regarding women’s reproductive health choices. After coming under Catholic ownership, those physicians, hospitals, clinics etc. are required to abide by the United. States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs). The Vatican-inspired ERDs strictly forbid abortions, even in the case of rape or incest,  and forbid access to contraceptives, sterilization procedures, in vitro fertilization or the use of sperm or egg donors.

If California Governor Jerry Brown signs AB-569, women will have a measure of protection from religious employers who believe infringing on a woman’s right to make personal reproductive decisions is just part of their “sacrosanct religious liberty.”

This dirty religious imposition situation is not going to get any better for women  and California women may want to put any wild celebrations on hold. No doubt if Governor Brown signs AB-569 there will be a flurry of church-funded lawsuits to protect employers’ right to impose their religion on their employees to control their reproductive lives. What should give every American pause is that in 21st Century America a state legislature has to pass legislation banning employers from attempting to control a woman’s reproductive life. It should also leave Americans asking what kind of leaders advocate allowing a fanatical religious sect to control women under the aegis of the federal government that is not the Taliban.

h/t Rewire

Did Trump Betray His Base By Signing Resolution Condemning Hate?

 

It was lightly reported in the media that most Republicans in Congress joined Democrats on Monday past to “deliver a notable rebuke to President Trump” over his warm embrace of fascists and white supremacists. Both houses of the  legislature fairly dared Trump to condemn his fascist acolytes for “the violence and domestic terrorist attack” that occurred last month around a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Trump finally signed the “joint resolution” yesterday condemning his most reliable supporters as domestic terrorists, but if any American believes for a nano-second that Trump will follow through on any of the “recommendations” Congress strongly urged of him, they are foolish lunatics. Trump loves his fascist supporters because they are white supremacists and they are safe under his administration.

For over a year Trump has put Republicans in the unenviable position of having to suffer his untoward remarks while carefully weighing how much damage they will do to their own careers if they rebuke their  Party’s standard bearer. Even though it’s safe to say many Republicans agree with every word Trump utters, at least most of them have enough self-restraint to keep their true bigoted opinions and racism close to the vest.

After Trump sided with white supremacists and Nazis after they killed a woman and injured dozens for opposing Nazi fascists in Charlottesville Virginia, Republicans refused to sanction  or censure Trump; he is a fellow Republican after all.  All they could bring themselves to do publicly was offer tepid disgust over Trump’s affinity with racists and fascists and his accusation that Americans protesting against hate and fascism are “really bad.”

The resolution Trump signed late Thursday passed with a unanimous vote in the House and a solid majority of the Senate. It had to have stung Trump that Congress actually passed a “joint resolution calling the Charlottesville protest a domestic terror attack” he had to sign to make it official.  This particular joint resolution was rare because Democrats and Republicans structured it specifically to require Trump’s signature to pass. In fact, one of the measure’s sponsors, Senator Tim Kaine explained why he was pleased the bipartisan measure passed so easily. He said:

I think it’s great for [Democrats and Republicans] to be able to make a moral call that white supremacy’s not acceptable, and I want the president to have to sign it. We wouldn’t have had to add in that point had he not demonstrated this moral equivocation at the time, but I think it would be a really good thing.

Here’s the thing, even though Trump signed the resolution, he still demonstrates “moral equivocation” by repeating his claim that inspired the bipartisan joint resolution in the first place.  Trump signed the measure just a few hours after comparing his most ardent supporters that Congress labeled “hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and White supremacy” as “domestic terrorists” to the counter-protestors in Charlottesville.

If Trump was sincere, he would never have repeated the comments that counter-protestors were “just as bad” as the fascists they were protesting against. It is very telling that Trump doubled down on his vile comments that inspired Congress to pass the joint resolution in the first place; he is still solidly behind his fascist base.

The resolution called on Trump to not only speak out against his devotees and condemn them as domestic terrorists and hate groups, it “urged” the administration to “use all resources available to the President Trump and the President’s Trump’s Cabinet to address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States.”

Congress also brought pressure to bear on Trump’s racist attorney general calling on Sessions to “investigate acts of violence or domestic terrorism perpetrated by white supremacists.” In fact, it called on Sessions to direct the Department of Justice to work closely with the Department of Homeland Security to:

Investigate thoroughly all acts of violence,  intimidation, and domestic terrorism by White supremacists, White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and associated groups in order to determine if any criminal laws have been violated and to prevent those groups from fomenting and facilitating additional violence.”

Prior to signing the resolution, Trump told reporters:

“I think especially in light of the advent of antifa, if you look at what’s going on there, you know, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also. A lot of people are saying — in fact a lot of people have actually written —  ‘Gee, Trump might have a point.’  I said, you got some very bad people on the other side also, which is true.”

No, Trump doesn’t have a point no matter how many times he attempts to equate Americans opposing fascism as “very bad people.” Trump is a punk-ass fascist for attempting to demonize the counter protestors opposed to fascists the bipartisan “joint resolution” never mentioned; except to honor the memory of slain anti-fascist protestor Heather Heyer and the first responders who perished while monitoring the Nazi fascists.

As an aside, and a little historical reminder for dumb Donnie, the advent of the anti-fascist movement goes back to at least World War II when the entirety of the American people banded together and went to war to defeat the same fascists Trump’s supporters are emulating. It is likely why the congressional resolution included no criticism whatsoever of the counter-protestors; even Republicans comprehend that people who oppose fascism, including Trump’s fascism, are not “very bad  people.”

In normal times, standing in opposition to an historical American enemy, the fascists, would be rewarded. Instead, Trump uses a pejorative made up by his Nazi fascist supporters, “antifa” when referring to patriots who oppose him and his fascist sycophants. No doubt most Americans identify as ‘anti-fascists” and if they don’t they are likely Nazi racists.

Even though he signed the joint resolution, no-one should hold their breath waiting for him to “use all resources available to address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States.” And it is likely that few people expect Jeff Sessions to work with Homeland Security to “investigate acts of violence or domestic terrorism perpetrated by white supremacists.

Remember, one of Trump’s first acts was instructing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to stop investigating domestic terrorism associated with “white supremacist and militia” groups. It is one thing to sign a meaningless joint resolution, but it is contrary to Trump’s worldview to take action against his most valued supporters; particularly after they made a big deal expressing their undying gratitude for his action neutering the FBI and Homeland Security’s investigative power that gave the alt-right (Nazi) fascists what they desired most; “space to destroy.

Trump’s attempt to equate violent fascists and hate groups with patriots opposed to fascists and hate groups was no mistake, and the timing of his comments hours before signing the resolution was no coincidence. He sent a signal to his fascist supporters that he will use his White House platform and authority to portray “his” opposition as the real bad guys; it is a tried-and-true Nazi propaganda technique.

After his remarks defining Americans protesting fascism as “some pretty bad dudes” just hours before signing Congress’ joint resolution, it is possible that there is some kind of White House announcement in the works. Likely to sate his fascist zealots,  Trump will issue an executive order instructing the FBI, Department of Justice, and Homeland Security to target the people who oppose fascism mirroring the language in the Congress’ joint resolution; it is precisely what Americans should expect from the petty fascist in the White House.

 

Under Obama Middle Class Income Reached Highest Level Ever In 2016

It should be no great revelation to any American that the racist Donald Trump has a fixation with attempting to undo everything President Obama accomplished during his 8-year tenure in the White House. Instead, all he has accomplished is shining a spotlight on everything good and right Barack Obama did for all Americans. Whether it was providing access to healthcare for tens-of-millions of Americans, protecting the environment, defending the people from corporate and economic malfeasance, or extending civil and equal rights to all the people, President Obama’s record of serving the people cannot be “erased;” not by congressional repeal efforts or executive orders.

Now there is another major accomplishment that Trump has to grieve over and since it is now part of  a federal government agency’s permanent record, there is no way the Oval Office con man can take credit for something his superior predecessor accomplished or “executive order” it out of existence.

According to the constitutionally-mandated U.S. Census Bureau,  a report details that in 2016 middle class income rose to its “highest level ever.” It is a statistic and accomplishment that dirty Don Trump can never take credit for or erase by virtue of an executive order. That wasn’t the only good news in the Census, but it is a remarkable achievement considering that President Obama inherited a Republican-created economic disaster and subsequent recession that resulted in nearly 8 million jobs lost due to Republican economic incompetence.

Today, the national unemployment rate is hovering around 4.4 percent (in August) which is approximately what it was prior to the Bush-Republican-created financial crisis and Great Recession. In July, enough jobs were generated to officially restore “national employment to where it stood in 2007” before the Republican recession started. Trump gets no credit for that employment achievement because in the same manner President Obama inherited an economic disaster put in place by the Bush administration the previous year, Trump inherited President Obama’s economic growth that is still ongoing.

According to the Census Bureau’s report on “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, 2016,” median household income rose to $59,039 in 2016. That is a 3.2 percent increase from the previous year (2015) and the “second consecutive year of healthy income gains” for working people. What that means is it took 8 long years to correct the previous 8 years of the Bush-Republican economic mess and it was despite a wall of Republican opposition against any and every thing President Obama attempted.

President Obama’s income and employment gains back to pre-recession levels are not the only good news. The national poverty rate also fell to about the same level it was in 2007 prior to the Republican financial crisis and Great Recession that continued to hurt the workforce for several years after the recession’s damage was done.

The 2016 data accompanied another census report revealing that “the rate of Americans lacking health insurance was at its lowest ever in 2016.” Of course that is due in great part to President Obama’s healthcare reform law, but it also strongly implies that the American people overall “were actually in a position of increasing financial strength;” higher incomes and all.  And all of these Obama-era income gains and economic growth were occurring at the same time the main stream media and conservative punditry were errantly reporting that Trump “tapped into the population’s anger about the economy” giving him a victory in November.

That narrative is blatantly false and only imbeciles ever believed it was the case. The only thing Trump tapped into was roiling racism and religious bigotry by white people; what the experts call “social anxiety.” The Census report proves that people were working more and earning more, including Trump supporters. The people who voted for Trump did so because he promised get rid of Mexicans and Muslims and empower the religious right’s theocratic crusade; it’s what they considered necessary to “make America great.”

The good news in the Census report was that the 3.2 percent income increase extended to almost every demographic group; a major factor in making the median household income the highest on record.  The previous high mark was in 1999 at the end of the last Democratic President’s administration and similarly to President Obama, Bill Clinton spent 8 years reversing his Republican predecessor’s dismal economic record with sound economic policies Bush Republicans immediately reversed; not unlike Trump Republicans are doing now.

Despite that good economic news in the Census report, there is some seriously sobering news to neutralize it. Besides reversing, or attempting to reverse the Obama-era policies that increased Americans’ income, put more people to work, reduced poverty, and provided access to healthcare coverage for more Americans, Trump intends to double down on the typical economy-ravaging policies that caused the 2007-2008 financial crisis and Great Recession. In the upcoming tax-cutting and deregulation crusade Republicans and Trump promise, they will not be erasing President Barack Obama’s legacy or accomplishments, Trump will do like his Republican predecessors and erase the economic growth and leave a gigantic economic mess for another Democratic president to repair; it is the American way.

Rand Paul Beds Down With Organization Advocating Prison for Abortion

Republicans are being lured to do an anti-women’s choice organization’s bidding that includes advocating jail sentences for women who have an abortion. While the nation is mesmerized by a con man’s social media use and incompetence, the religious right is making unprecedented progress in the war on women while no-one is watching. Of course it is tempting to only monitor the criminal in the White House, but it is a distraction giving cover to religious anti-choice advocates and Republicans to pass legislation ending women’s reproductive rights and compelling them to become either birth machines or celibate.

It was reported that Rand Paul (R-KY) is pandering for donations for a personhood organization, the National Pro-Life Alliance, to give them more funding leverage to buy Republican support for Paul’s latest “fetal personhood” offering. The nasty religion-driven “non-profit” is making a major push to control women now because Trump signed a solemn pledge to support Paul’s “personhood legislation.” Trump also told the religious group that he supports a “federal” personhood bill, and they expect him to repay them for their ardent electoral support.

National Pro-Life Alliance recently sent out a letter supporting Paul’s “fetal personhood” bill bemoaning the fact that women who exercise their legal right to a medical procedure are not arrested, charged, prosecuted and sent to jail.

Rand Paul’s latestpersonhood” bill, “Life at Conception Act 2017” is short and says much more than it seems.

This bill declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual comes into being.”

What the bill doesn’t say is that anything the religious right deems an “unnatural interference” with that “moment of fertilization” will be considered a crime. Paul did add a “provision” to make his bill palatable to more senators, but it means nothing if the bill is passed and signed into law. The provision states:

Nothing in this bill shall be construed to require the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child, a prohibition on in vitro fertilization, or a prohibition on use of birth control or another means of preventing fertilization.”

If anyone believes the measures Paul inserted to make his anti-choice measure palatable are legitimate, they are stupider than dirt. Remember, once theses religious fanatics get their foot in the door, women’s right to choose their own reproductive health is finished. In the Hobby Lobby ruling, although the conservative Justices acknowledged that according to all known medical and biological science, birth control is not abortion, still ruled for Hobby Lobby. They claimed that because according to Hobby Lobby’s owners’ religious belief that birth control is abortion, then it must be abortion to them. It was that “religious belief” aspect that gave Hobby Lobby and the religious right another means of banning birth control because it is unnatural and interferes with “the moment of conception.”

Now, it is getting old having to remind these “Christ centered” personhood malcontents that according to their god in their Christian bible, there is no “living being” until the moment the fetus leaves the womb and draws breath. The result of “the moment of fertilization” is a single-celled organism called a “zygote.” It is not a living human being and deserves no more constitutional rights than an embryo or a fetus. It is noteworthy that Republicans, particularly the evangelical Republicans, are immensely concerned about protecting the rights of a non-living human being, but the second that fetus exits the womb and draws breath they have no use or regard for its well-being whatsoever.

These “Christ centered” personhood advocates could not care less what their holy book says, and despite that a zygote, embryo, or fetus is not a human being, they hew closely to a document created by a Catholic they believe should be enshrined as the law of the land in America. And it is terrifying that there are religious Republicans who share their conviction and now have the means to make it law.

Most Americans who have heard about the Catholic “Personhood Movement” are either completely clueless to its purpose or laugh it off as just another bizarro-world religious right worldview. Although they didn’t start the personhood crusade, the religious right embraced it whole-heartedly to keep the “faithful” electing Republicans who do the movement’s bidding. Prior to being convinced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that birth control and abortion were brilliant emotional appeals to sway evangelical voters for Republicans, the religious right was not anti-women’s choice.

The ultimate goal of the personhood movement is to force legislation that conforms to the 1968 papal encyclical on human life known as Humanae Vitae. The movement adheres to the “encyclical” thesis that all “unnatural” forms of birth control are sinful and that sexual relations are for the express purpose of producing offspring; but only in marriage.

That is a loose summary of Pope Paul VI’s instructions to the Catholic faithful that the personhood movement has adopted as its raison d’être. Now that the personhood movement has a White House occupant’s signature on a document supporting any personhood bill,  they see an opportunity to finally succeed.  With Trump, and Pence who supports jail for abortion, on board, and two Republican versions of “personhood” bills in the works in Congress, it looks very bad for women and their constitutional right to control their reproductive health.

There has been a methodical effort by the personhood movement, with valuable aid from religious Republicans, to create a strategy to eliminate any and all legal protections for abortions, and eventually any and all “unnatural” forms of birth control. Central to that effort is building a body of laws that define zygotes and fetuses as full U.S. citizens with the same legal and constitutional rights Republicans want reserved for white evangelicals.

Women have never been in as much peril of being controlled by the religious right regarding their reproductive rights as they are today. Since Republicans control all three branches of government, there is no firewall against something as absurd as personhood legislation or the real risk of women being imprisoned for choosing a legal medical procedure. It is true a personhood bill on its own will not technically overturn Roe v Wade, but the result will be exactly the same.

If women, or the men who love them, think the religious maniacs will stop at jailing women for having an abortion, it is worth reminding them that there are pro-life personhood zealots who support charging women for murder for choosing a legal medical procedure. No one should be shocked if Republicans “compromise” and settle for just jailing women who have an abortion.

This is Bad – Now Trump’s DOJ Wants Arpaio Conviction Erased

Although disgraced Arizona former sheriff Joe Arpaio was gifted a with a questionable and completely unwarranted pardon from the crook in the White House, it still isn’t enough to satisfy any of the racists in Trump’s administration. The sad truth is that Trump pardoning Arpaio prematurely signaled that the rule of law took another blow from dirty Don. Now Trump’s racist attorney general is wading in to completely erase Arpaio’s conviction in a blow to a federal Judge, the rule of law and the judicial system.

It was announced yesterday (Monday) that since Trump’s good friend Joe Arpaio demands his conviction on criminal contempt of court be dismissed, Trump’s Justice Department duly filed an amicus brief telling a federal Judge to “give Sheriff Joe” what he wants. Obviously the DOJ didn’t put it in quite those words, but they did, however, reiterate Arpaio’s claim that a pardon from Trump means he was never found guilty and never convicted; Arpaio wants his name cleared of any wrongdoing and Trump’s DOJ agrees. This is a really bad sign going forward.

Shortly after Trump pardoned Arpaio, the former sheriff told the federal Judge he wants the conviction “tossed” as if nothing ever happened and he wasn’t in contempt of court for over five years. Trump’s DOJ filed an amicus brief with the federal court agreeing with Arpaio that he should be declared innocent.

The disgraced Arpaio’s lawyers have argued that even though he will never face justice or be sentenced, the poor former sheriff  has no legal path to be declared innocent. According to Arpaio, that questionable pardon renders his case “resolved” in the eyes of the law, so his conviction must be thrown out and his “good name” cleared of any wrongdoing. He says that presidential pardon “nullifies the guilty verdict in the case.

Federal District Court Judge Susan Bolton canceled an October 5th sentencing date after the ill-advised pardon and set an October 4th date for both prosecutors and defense lawyers to file briefs on why she should, or should not, do what Arpaio demands and pretend he never broke the law.

Although the DOJ has no business wading into the case, they are acutely interested in seeing that Arpaio gets his criminal record wiped clean; it is a slap in the face to a Federal Judge from Trump’s Department of Justice. The DOJ brief states:

A pardon issued before entry of final judgment moots a criminal case because the defendant will face no consequences that result from the guilty verdict. Accordingly, the [Trump] government agrees [with Arpaio] that the Court should vacate all orders and dismiss the case as moot.”

It is as if nothing ever happened. And as if Arpaio’s flagrant flouting the law, and disregarding the constitutionality of a federal court’s authority, is now legal in Trump’s America; but only if the convicted criminal is an anti-immigrant racist and close Trump ally and supporter.

That pardon has elicited legal challenges and there should be a robust stand against Trump’s actions; if for no other reason than Trump failed to follow his own Department of Justice’s protocol and rules for granting a “presidential pardon.” Of course those rules and procedures are not the grounds an activist group, Protect Democracy, is claiming to “thwart Trump’s violations of legal norms,” but it is a path they may want to investigate.

The group of lawyers sent a letter to Raymond N. Hulser and John Dixon Keller of the Public Integrity Section, Criminal Division of the Justice Department, arguing that the pardon goes beyond constitutional limits. In their letter to the DOJ, the Protect Democracy lawyers claim Trump cannot “obviate the court’s powers to enforce its orders when the constitutional rights of others are at stake.” They added:

The president [Trump] can’t use the pardon power to immunize lawless officials from consequences for violating people’s constitutional rights. After repeatedly belittling and undermining judges verbally and on Twitter, now President Trump is escalating his attack on the courts into concrete actions. His pardon and celebration of Joe Arpaio for ignoring a [federal] judicial order is a threat to our democracy and every citizen’s rights, and should not be allowed to stand.”

There is another little matter that should be addressed and it is Trump’s blatant disregard for the long-established process of gaining a presidential pardon; Trump violated each and every one of them.

Just a sampling of the procedures Trump ignored was the requirement that the convicted party files a petition with the Office of the Pardon Attorney at the Department of Justice. According to the DOJ website, Arpaio is required to complete a pardon petition that “must be completed fully and accurately and notarized in order to be considered.” That process, like the U.S. Constitution means nothing to Trump.

The DOJ instructs all petitioners that a presidential pardon:

Is ordinarily a sign of forgiveness and is granted in recognition of the applicant’s acceptance of responsibility for the crime and established good conduct for a significant period of time after conviction or release from confinement. A pardon is not a sign of vindication and does not connote or establish innocence. For that reason, when considering the merits of a pardon petition, pardon officials take into account the petitioner’s acceptance of responsibility, remorse, and atonement for the offense. (Author bold)

Obviously, Arpaio continues claiming, like his racist hero Trump, that he did nothing wrong because he is “above the law” and was “just doing his job” in violating a federal court order for over five years. And he just said yesterday it was a “job” he would never stop doing or apologize for. In fact, he made the same claim in 2011 when the Court ordered him to cease and desist and he has reiterated that claim without pause as he continued violating the federal court’s order.  In fact, in the court’s guilty finding in July the Judge noted that:

The Defendant broadcast to the world and to his subordinates that he would and they should continue ‘what he had always been doing.’”

Arpaio, like Trump, believes he is exempt from following court orders like every other American citizen has to on pain of a conviction for “criminal contempt of court;” which is what Arpaio was found guilty of.

It is also noteworthy that Arpaio never “accepted responsibility for the crime” he certainly committed or established good conduct for a significant period of time “after conviction.” Because in violating the DOJ’s own rules, Trump just pardoned Arpaio barely three weeks after he was found guilty and convicted of a federal crime. Trump was so eager to sate his alt-right Nazis lust for “justice” for a fellow racist, that he didn’t wait for Arpaio to be sentenced and now he wants the conviction and guilty finding erased; to clear “former” sheriff Joe’s good name.

There are rumors that Arpaio is going to challenge one of Trump’s Republican “enemies,” Jeff Flake, for his Arizona Senate seat and he needs his criminal record wiped clean. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Trump is using the federal government agency to aid his racist ally’s electoral chances; Trump’s DOJ stepping in to pressure a federal court fits with any number of dirty tricks Trump will use to game the system.

It was bad enough that Trump pardoned Arpaio without going through the proper pardon process, but the DOJ butting in to pressure a federal Judge portends the “official” end of the rule of law in America.

It is not a stretch to imagine that Trump will issue a blanket pardon for all of his co-conspirators even before they face charges, particularly after he announced publicly that he “has complete pardon power;” a signal to his corrupt players that no matter what crimes they committed, they will never face justice. This should concern every American because there is every indication that no-one in Trump’s corrupt administration will ever face justice; including the dirty crook in the Oval Office.

As Environmental Disasters Mount Pruitt Cuts Hundreds of EPA Jobs

No-one in their right mind will dispute that natural disasters are horrific while they are occurring and in their immediate aftermath. The flooding resulting from Hurricane Katrina and most recently, Hurricane Harvey bear witness to the post-event damage unfolding in and around the Houston metropolitan area. However, when any natural disaster occurs, the threats of multiple environmental disasters pose a significant threat that demands a robust response from environment protection experts.

It is no great revelation to anyone that one of Trump’s missions as White House occupant is doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry. Chief among that “bidding” is neutering, and eventually eliminating, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is why, after all, he appointed a sworn enemy of the federal agency, Scott Pruitt, to slash the agency half-to-death and deconstruct environmental regulations he regards as unfriendly to his funders in the fossil fuel industry.

This week, while Texas, and now Florida and possibly Louisiana face environmental disasters as a result of historically monstrous hurricanes predicted by climate scientists, Pruitt proudly announced he is cutting close to 500 EPA jobs. It’s glaringly apparent that it is more important to Pruitt to advance Trump’s deregulatory crusade than adopt an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach to the several environmental disasters still emerging.

In announcing that close to 500 hundred EPA employees are being “pushed out” in a “smaller government” effort, Pruitt boasted about hard-working and long-serving staffers leaving the agency. Pruitt has been pushing for “voluntary buyouts, early retirement and good old fashioned agency budget cuts” as preparation for Trump slashing EPA funding by 31 percent.  Pruitt said in a statement:

We’re proud to report that we’re reducing the size of government, protecting taxpayer dollars and staying true to our core mission of protecting the environment and American jobs.”

Pruitt is probably too much of an imbecile to comprehend how stupid he sounds to sane people when he congratulates himself for “protecting American jobs” at the same time he  announces he’s eliminating nearly 500 American jobs whose core mission is protecting the environment. It is particularly insane sounding that he’s cutting environmental protection jobs even as multiple environmental disasters threaten hundreds of thousands of American citizens in Texas alone. It is far too early in the hurricane season to estimate how many millions of Americans will face environmental disasters after the 150-plus mile-per-hour winds, driving rains, and subsequent flooding will cause. But it will be epic and the environmental disasters in the Houston area are prime examples.

Houston is the undisputed American petro-chemical capital, and the flooding has “triggered a dizzying list of environmental problems.” According to Gizmodo, “at least five toxic Superfund sites were breached by Harvey’s floodwaters,” and that is in addition to several reported oil spills. Of course the floodwaters “distribute” that spilled oil to better damage the surrounding areas.

There was also a chemical plant that housed “large stockpiles” of dangerous organic peroxide that exploded due to massive flooding. And if that isn’t enough environmental damage, health experts have warned that “still-lingering floodwaters” are likely polluted with “anything from weed repellant to animal feces to disease-causing bacteria.” When that polluted floodwater dries up, those pollutants will still remain and it is why having an excess of environmental experts on the scene to assess and coordinate cleanup efforts is crucial to protect the people in the affected area.

But this is Trump’s EPA and despite the damage to the environment, “the EPA’s most noteworthy response” to Hurricane Harvey was attacking an Associated Press journalist because he was covering “the ongoing environmental disaster.”

If these were remotely normal times there would be plenty of advocacy for, and debate about, why having fully-staffed and fully funded federal agencies such as FEMA and the EPA is crucial. But these are far from normal times with increasingly severe weather events wreaking havoc on the country and an administration slashing agencies to death. Now more than ever America needs a robust and fully-staffed EPA and FEMA because they are the only federal agencies created specifically to respond in times of distress.

This is particularly true because, regardless what any fact-averse member of Trump’s administration claims, there will be increasingly devastating natural and environmental disasters due to climate change. Still, Trump’s EPA is staffed at just below Reagan-era levels long before climate change-borne weather events posed the extraordinarily damaging hurricanes ravaging America recently.

Americans affected by the latest natural disasters, and those about to experience climate change’s fury, deserve all the assistance and protection the federal government can muster, and that includes protection from the environmental disasters that will linger long after the winds subside and floodwaters recede.

Image: Rick Bowmer/AP

Misogynist Betsy DeVos To Use Title IX For Republicans’ War On Women

The religious Republican war on women was, although relentless, somewhat diminished during President Barack Obama’s 8-year tenure in the White House, but that firewall came to a screeching halt on January 21, 2017. It is an understatement to say Donald Trump is a misogynist of the first order, but no more so than the evangelicals he installed in his Cabinet.

Two of Trump’s evangelical department heads are mounting an attack on women in the form of assisting perpetrators of sexual assault to rape with impunity. In fact, it was announced recently that Trump’s unqualified evangelical Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is poised to do as she promised and roll back Title IX protections to better conform to what evangelical men believe is right and proper; free reign over women.

At issue for DeVos is “repealing and replacing” Title IX protections to make it more difficult for victims of rape get a semblance of justice on college campuses. Even before DeVos took aim at Title IX, a “leaked” Department of Justice (DOJ) memo issued exactly six days after evangelical misogynist Jeff Sessions was sworn in as attorney general sought to change policy to favor male sexual abusers.

The DOJ memo’s authors “expressed concern” over the inequities faced by male students accused of sexual assault; one particular “policy shift” should please every misogynist alive and women should be absolutely terrified. The disconcerting recommended changes is that going forward during rape and sexual assault cases:

Every complainant’s sexual history may be introduced at the hearing. Currently, questions about the complainant’s (victim’s) sexual history with anyone other than the accused perpetrator are not permitted.”

That memo by Sessions is old-school misogyny when no matter the circumstances, it was always a woman’s fault that she was raped and men were always victims. The DOJ memo to the Education Department states its purpose is to rectify Title IX’s “disparate and unfair treatment and impact on male students accused of sexual assault.” That so-called “disparate and unfair treatment of male students is an oft-cited complaint of men’s groups renowned for harassing rape victims; the same groups DeVos appealed to for guidance and direction in her effort to “repeal and replace” Title IX’s protection for women.

It is noteworthy, but typical of this administration, that the DOJ’s policy shift violates every state’s rape shield law going back to the 1970s. Those laws were enacted specifically to prevent a male defendant’s attorney from airing a rape victim’s entire sexual history to portray her as a “slut” that deserved what she got. The DOJ’s recommendation also violates the federal version of a rape shield law known as the Violence Against Women Act (1994). The DOJ memo’s purpose is clear: shame rape survivors or shut them up to protect male assailants.

The concept of protecting men accused of sexual assault is most likely high on DeVos’s to-do list in unilaterally “repealing and replacing” Title IX to conform to an evangelical misogynist’s worldview. She has complained, often bitterly, that Obama-era directives gave the Civil Rights office at the education department intrusive and overreaching authority; likely because it enforces civil rights and women’s protections on college campuses.

DeVos gave an indication of how she will “replace” Title IX civil right protections early in her tenure when she met first with anti-LGBTQ activists for advice and recommendations. A month later she reached out and met with several “men’s rights groups” that harass rape survivors for advice on how best to change Title IX to stop them from being treated unfairly when they were accused of sexual violence. That “advice” is likely why DeVos says she wants to “rescind Title IX protections for women survivors of sexual assault.

During a speech Thursday at George Mason University’s Law School, DeVos proudly announced that “the era of rule by letter is over.” The “letter” reference is to a “Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) that was an Obama-era directive focusing on “how sexual harassment creates a hostile educational environment” that was officially part of “the 2011 Title IX Guidance.” According to the directive, for the purpose of a Department of Education (DOE) investigation, “one single instance of sexual violence is sufficient to qualify as creating a hostile sexual environment” that warranted an investigation.

DeVos laid out three reasons she is “repealing and replacing” sections of Title IX and they obviously came directly from the “counsel and advice” the men’s rights groups offered when DeVos “reached out” for their direction and guidance. She said that going forward “The accused must know that guilt is not predetermined;” school administrators can no longer be judge, jury and executioner when determining “whether or not” sexual abuse “really happened.” And she intends on putting the brakes on the “Office for Civil Rights” division practice of what she claimed was “terrifying schools and overreaching.”

Although DeVos has not yet issued her “repeal and replacement” of Title IX, it is almost certain to be as great a gift to misogynists as it will be a vile curse against women; particularly those who are victims of sexual harassment and rape. Coupled with the Sessions’ DOJ memo reversing course on “rape shield laws” and the Violence Against Women Act, and DeVos’ stated reasons for abolishing sexual abuse protections for women, her “replacement” will be devastating for women.

It is probably true that some Americans feared a Trump administration would wage a ferocious war on women, and not solely because there is no longer a woman’s rights advocate in the Oval Office. For dog’s sake, Trump is a serial misogynist and an admitted “pussy-grabbing” sexual predator, and his appointment of evangelicals with a misogynist bent to run the Education and Justice Departments almost ensured that misogyny would be rewarded and women would be in serious trouble.

DeVos’ announcement and the leaked Sessions’ memo nearly guarantee that the religious Republican war on women is escalating into a full-scale assault on women. Sadly, President Obama isn’t around to stop the dirty misogynists. This is not going to turn out well for whatever progress women have made over decades of struggle and as usual it is all down to religious Republicans’ who revel in waging war on women.

Greedy Texas Churches Sue FEMA Over Hurricane Harvey

According to the Christian bible, Christ’s followers are supposed to be humble, obey the laws of the land, not be greedy, and pay taxes. No doubt there are plenty of Christians who do adhere closely to those commands, but it is not always the case with “houses of worship and clergy;” especially the “pay taxes” command. Churches have become moneymaking enterprises and a significant reason is because they are greedy, do not obey the laws of the land, and they definitely don’t pay taxes.

In an audacious display of greed and disrespect for the law of the land, three Texas churches are suing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) demanding taxpayer funds to rebuild their churches after flood damage from Hurricane Harvey. The reason they are suing the federal agency is because FEMA disaster relief “explicitly excludes facilities primarily used for religious activities.” Churches are not entitled to any taxpayer funded disaster relief money; it is a longstanding rule based on the Separation Clause of the First Amendment and FEMA policy.

According to a Reuters report:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been sued by three Texas [evangelical] churches severely damaged in Hurricane Harvey, over what they called its policy of refusing to provide disaster relief to houses of worship because of their religious status.

In a complaint filed on Monday in federal court in Houston, the churches said they would like to apply for aid but it would be “futile” because FEMA’s public assistance program “categorically” excludes their claims, violating their constitutional right to freely exercise their religion.

Now, this is nothing short of abominable. Not forcing taxpayers to fork over their hard-earned dollars to pay for a church project is not “violating the churches’ constitutional right to freely exercise their religion.” They can still pray, support Republicans, read their bibles, sing Psalms, and proselytize to their collective hearts’ content.

Taxpayers, however, are already having their “constitutional rights” violated by being forced to hand churches well over $82.5 billion annually (In 2013) and that doesn’t include the tens-of-billions of dollars annually in taxpayer funded faith based initiative “money.”

The legal outfit suing FEMA on behalf of the three evangelical fundamentalist churches, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, issued a statement about how unfair the law is and claimed the government is being unreasonable. A counsel at Becket, Diana Verm, argued that it is only fair that the evangelical churches should receive even more taxpayer money to rebuild their churches. Verm stated:

After the costliest and most devastating natural disaster in U.S. history, the government should come to the aid of all, not leave important parts of the community underwater.”

Whether those churches are important parts of the community is debatable, but what isn’t debatable is that those three churches don’t care about the Constitution or FEMA policy, or that they already receive tax-free status at taxpayer expense; but it is not enough.

They want taxpayers to fund their rebuilding efforts after taxpayers fund everything else the churches use without ever contributing a penny. This move is more than just greedy Christian churches; it is an ongoing attempt by Christian Dominionists to overturn myriad legal precedents and abolish the First Amendments’ Separation of Church and State.

It is noteworthy to mention that if attorney general Jeff Sessions has any input, FEMA will be forced to violate its own longstanding rule and the Constitution. Sessions has stated categorically that the Constitution’s Separation Clause is “unconstitutional and unhistorical;” he claims the ACLU made it up in the mid-twentieth century.

The churches are hoping to use the recent Supreme Court ruling, Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia Inc v. Comer, which forced Missouri to fund a church’s private school playground as precedent to force taxpayers to rebuild their churches.

However, the Trinity decision was narrow and about a playground the court ruled “could have” a secular purpose. In that case the church “could have used its tax-free money” to pay for playground upgrades itself, but the conservative majority didn’t see it that way. However, in an “important and powerful dissent,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor expressed the sentiments of many Americans and Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Ms. Sotomayor wrote:

If this separation means anything, it means that the government cannot tax its citizens and turn that money over to houses of worship.” (author bold)

Justice Sotomayor is right, of course, and her statement parrots that of Thomas Jefferson who saidno man shall be compelled to support any place of worship.” However, Sotomayor stopped short of adding that the government is already taxing its citizens and turning over extremely significant amounts of “that tax money” to houses of worship, and they are doing it every stinking year. Not just with taxpayer-funded “faith-based initiatives,” but with literally tens-of-billions of dollars every year via tax-exemptions. Churches pay no taxes and clergy receive extraordinary tax breaks simply because they are clergy; but it isn’t enough.

There are several biblical violations in this latest church atrocity, but that isn’t really news to any American. The churches are greedy, refuse to “obey government authorities” and don’t pay taxes as directed by their Christian bible. And now they are suing FEMA to support their churches and biblical violations.

This is another case of evangelical churches filing a lawsuit that should be summarily dismissed on grounds the churches are asking the courts to violate the Constitution and decimate the Separation of church and State. It is also a violation of the churches’ own biblical commands to not be greedy and obey the government authorities that have made clear that FEMA is not robbing taxpayer-funded disaster relief money to fund a “house of worship.”

There is a very simple solution that will allow churches access to disaster relief funds and give evangelical clergy free rein to campaign from the pulpit to their greedy hearts’ content; cut off the free church welfare and start taxing the churches. No doubt the tens-of-billions in “free money” could be put to better use actually helping American communities.

Image: Patheos

Trump Lied – He Does Not Want Congress to Replace DACA

When Trump tasked his attorney general, racist Jeff Sessions, to announce to Dreamers that if Congress does not develop a replacement for the DACA program within six months they would be deported, he was treading a fine line. Of course he was sending a message to Trump’s white nativist supporters that he was taking another step to “make America white,” but he also pretended Trump was heeding advice from prominent Republican leaders. It was less than a week ago that several Republicans joined the business sector in appealing to Trump to either leave DACA in place or allow congressional Republicans to come up with a “humanitarian” solution to allow the Dreamers to remain in “their home country.”

However, if one listened to Jeff Sessions, Trump’s intent is clear;  there is no solution that doesn’t include deporting about 800,000 undocumented immigrants who ended up in America through no fault of their own. Trump has to conform to his angry base’s insistence that nothing less than mass deportations will please them.

That point was made crystal clear by a self-confessed “anti-Latino” Republican, Steve King (R-IA). King was livid at the thought of Trump delaying an end to DACA and he “tweeted” an opinion embraced by Trump and his nativist devotees. King tweeted:

Ending DACA now gives chance [to] restore Rule of Law. Delaying so [Republican] Leadership can push Amnesty is Republican suicide.”

First, it is unlikely the Republican leadership will find support to “fix DACA” because the extremist House Freedom Caucus (teabaggers) that Steve King is a member of are vehemently opposed to immigrants, documented or not. They are the alt-right.

Second, and more importantly, Sessions comments confirm that the administration is not concerned about a “humanitarian fix” based on a couple of lies typical of Trump and far-right xenophobes about the danger of Hispanic immigrants.

Sessions lied and said:

The effect of this unilateral executive amnesty, among other things, contributed to a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern (sic) border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences. It also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.”

A pathological liar like his boss Trump, Sessions’ claim that DACA “contributed to a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern border” is patently false According to the Koch brothers’ Cato Institute. Sessions was parroting a tired and overused assertion touted by far-right xenophobes that immigrants pose a “terrible humanitarian consequences” to white people. However, according to a study published in a peer-reviewed academic journal, International Migration, any surge in unaccompanied minors actually began in 2008: President Obama’s executive action creating DACA was four-and-a-half years later, in June 2012.

There are quite a few reasons for the influx in unaccompanied minors from Latin American nations, but they had nothing to do with Barack Obama’s DACA program; a fact even a memory challenged idiot like Sessions knows to be a natural fact.

In the waning days of the 2008, one of the final pieces of legislation that passed both Houses of Congress without controversy and signed into law by President George W. Bush, was the “Willian Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. It was named after a 19th Century British abolitionist and touted by George W. Bush as “very effecting in stopping human trafficking.” And it is noteworthy that not only was the legislation not controversial, White House spokesman Tony Fratto saidThis is a piece of legislation we’re very proud to sign.

As further proof that DACA had nothing to do with a “surge in unaccompanied minors,” any undocumented children who arrived in America after DACA’s implementation did not qualify for the program. According to President Obama’s executive order:

Only those individuals who have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 and were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 are eligible to receive DACA status.”

Sessions was also lying when he repeated a favorite nativistfalse narrative” that DACA has “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans” by allowing those same jobs to go to undocumented immigrant children. The line is a favorite of anti-immigration crusaders who claim that besides bringing drugs, diseases, and death to white Americans, immigrant children have been sneaking across the Southern border specifically to participate in the DACA program with the express purpose of  “stealing Americans’ jobs.”

Like nearly everything Republicans, and particularly Trump Republicans claim; there is no real evidence that DACA recipients have taken any jobs from any Americans, much less “hundreds of thousands” of them.

However, there is overwhelming evidence that “killing DACA will do significant damage to America’s economy.” It is why the business sector warned Trump against rescinding DACA; a fact that Sessions knows to be true but he “conveniently omitted” that fact from his announcement.

According to research conducted by the Center for American Progress, when the DACA program is abolished, its former participants will lose their work permits and their jobs prior to being thrown out of the only country they know as home.  That works out to roughly 30,000 people losing their jobs every month that will reduce national GDP by $208 billion to $433 billion over the next decade. And, according to the libertarian belief tank the Cato Institute, the death of DACA will cost employers a little over $2 billion and cost the federal government about $60 billion.   Despite what the lying Trump administration claims, the racist decision to end DACA is not “a job-saver;” it is a job-killer.

The economic damage of killing off DACA is exactly why the business sector opposes putting an end to the program. But Trump’s feint of allowing Congress six months to replace DACA (he has no intention of preserving it) has nothing to do with the economy or humanitarianism; he wants it ended to sate his and his racist, nativist supporters’ lust for a “whiter” America.

It doesn’t matter one iota if Trump gave Congress six hours, six days, six months or six years to “replace DACA;” any effort will be stopped in its tracks by Republican extremists in the House Freedom Caucus and their teabagger cohorts in the Senate. Trump knows DACA, for all intents and purposes, is on its deathbed. If he thought anyone with a brain believed he was acquiescing to the appeals of a few Republicans and the business sector by giving Congress a six month window to fix DACA, he is stupider than his racist supporters.

Trump probably understands at this juncture in his failed presidency that the only support he maintains is from evangelical fanatics and racist nativists that comprise the Nazi “alt-right.” It is true he gave Congress six months to fix DACA before it “officially” expires, but he really ended the program because nothing will please him and his asshole devotees more than deporting 800,000 Hispanic immigrants.

Image: GoldenStateTimes