Cold as Ice

In the first three weeks of the Trump administration, we have learned not to trust anything its representatives say.

This comes as no surprise.

To add an additional degree of civic epistemology, we have also learned not to trust anything they say about anything they said. For anyone speaking with Trump’s authority, truth is an undiscovered country.

Which is why, when we are told that this week’s raids on undocumented immigrants are merely a continuation of Obama’s policy, we have no reason not to conclude that such explanations are total bullshit.

Make no mistake, Obama was no stranger to deportations — 2.5 million people over his first six years in office, more than his predecessors. In 2013, two-thirds of those deported had minor criminal convictions at best. Even after deportations were “prioritized” to focus on dangerous offenders, 44 percent still lacked a criminal record, while less than 7 percent had committed violent crimes.

So it’s entirely possible, as proclaimed, that this week’s raids are merely a continuation of existing practice, and we’re only noticing them because of who now sits in the Oval Office. But the last time we were fed that line, Trump toadies tried to blame the failed Yemen raid on an Obama decision that didn’t happen. Thanks, but we’ll wait for the leaks.

What we know — or think we know — is that Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been conducting a “surge operation” in the Southeast and California this week, that at least 160 people have been detained in California alone, and that such a number is not unusual for this kind of event.

We also know that at least two of the cities involved — Los Angeles and Austin — are “sanctuary cities” where local authorities do not actively assist federal officials with immigration matters, and which Trump has threatened for their recalcitrance.

We know that the Los Angeles ICE field director is strongly denying that the surge involves anything extraordinary: “Reports about purported ICE checkpoints and random sweeps are false, dangerous, and irresponsible,” he insists.

Yet we also know that the Obama “priorities” have been expanded by a Trump executive order to include not just felons, but what is being reported as “immigrants charged with crimes that haven’t yet been adjudicated; who improperly received a government benefit; used a fake ID to secure work and were caught driving without a license.”

And we know that a Los Angeles acquaintance of ours — “seeing all these ICE raids outside of schools” in Austin and Phoenix — is offering to walk her neighbors’ kids home from school, so their parents don’t fall into a trap.

What we don’t know are the backgrounds of people being picked up, beyond the quite harmless cases that have made the news, and the hardened criminals whom ICE has paraded.

And honestly, we don’t know at this point whether we would trust any “proof” offered by the government anyway, without independent verification. These people make up massacres, for chrissake.

This is what happens when people lose faith in the legitimacy of their government: They treat their government as an occupying force.

Of the 11 million undocumented people in the United States, some 820,000 may have a criminal conviction — 200,000 of those perhaps felonies, although not all felonies are for violent crimes. That leaves more than 10 million people who live peacefully among us, raise families here, enrich our communities with their presence.

These people are Americans. They just lack the paperwork.

Trump Administration Begins Deportation Raids Across the U.S. [WSJ]

Federal raids in California raise fears for immigrant communities across US [Guardian]

What might Trump’s deportations look like? ‘A system that defies imagination’ [Guardian, 11/17/2016]

43 comments:

11:55 am • Saturday • February 11, 2017

Labor market demand for OxyContin-chewing, grandma-fucking, uneducated white men, i.e. Trump voters, has soared.

4:34 pm • Saturday • February 11, 2017

@Dodgerblue:
The uneducated ones don’t bother me that much. We can never escape them… It’s the educated ones that piss me off.

1:35 am • Sunday • February 12, 2017

@Dodgerblue: Please, those inbred overweight Cheeto-eaters wouldn’t last more than 10 minutes in a strawberry field. Just ask the farmers who voted for Twitler and now realize there won’t be any hardworking brown folks to pick the veggies.

6:19 am • Sunday • February 12, 2017

@SanFranLefty:
Like the idiots who suddenly realized that Obamacare WAS the ACA and are really upset that the GOPzis are trying to take it away.

2:58 pm • Sunday • February 12, 2017

Hey Nojo, I’m going up to your Ancestral Homeland in a couple of weeks for the hippie love-fest lefty whack-job environmental law conference at U of Nike in Eugene. On a panel about dealing with the Trump agenda.

3:34 pm • Sunday • February 12, 2017

Good lord, it’s moist there. Or maybe that’s something you only notice flying in from Denver.

6:06 pm • Sunday • February 12, 2017

Canadian PM and my back-up huzband JTru is meeting with Twitler. Do ya think he’ll have the ballz to bring up democracy and human rights?

6:50 pm • Sunday • February 12, 2017

Our house rep won’t meet with us, annnnd he’s giving instructions on how reps can escape angry town hall peeps. Run out the back door.

I love this from The Stranger:

My staff took over 700 phone calls yesterday—a staff of four people—and our voicemail box is full. And I understand that the mission here is to disrupt our constituent services. Then letters to the editor are written to say that Congressman Reichert isn’t responsive to his constituents. My concern is they can say whatever they want about me—we’re not able to help the people who need help. Those people that aren’t getting their social security check. Those veterans that aren’t getting their VA care—their disability or their retirement money—those are people we need to help. Our seniors and our veterans. Other people who aren’t getting the correct Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements. That’s our job, and we’re not able to do it because a certain segment of our society believes that their voice is more important than the voices of those people who are crying out for those to help them.

Yeah. I’ll be in Issaquah on the sidewalk on the 21st asking why he won’t meet with this disruptive veteran. My sign is AWESOME.

7:25 pm • Sunday • February 12, 2017

@JNOV: We had one of those next door in Aurora.

Denver proper is pretty deep blue, and one of our Senators might be Jeff Merkley’s twin, but the other Senator was literally a participant in the Young Guns program, and he’s spewing all the bullshit about paid protesters and out-of-state area codes — this in a state that’s growing by leaps and bounds by people moving here and keeping their cell numbers.

Alas, he’s not up until 2020, so he has stacks of time to lie to his constituents without consequence.

8:31 pm • Sunday • February 12, 2017

@¡Andrew!: Are you kidding? If my boyfriend J.Tru. (mine! not yours!) doesn’t get hauled out of the “Winter White House” in cuffs after meeting with SCROTUS**, I’ll be disappointed.

**My second favorite nickname after Prez Twitler, courtesy of Inter-tubez God George Takei – to wit, SCROTUS is our So-Called Ruler Of The United States.

10:00 pm • Sunday • February 12, 2017

@nojo: The best part is that we weren’t pissed until we got wind that he’s talking smack.

10:49 pm • Sunday • February 12, 2017

@JNOV: Yeah, I’m wondering who the audience is for that shit. Are they trying to make sure the contagion doesn’t spread to their base? Or are they stupid enough to believe it for themselves?

After Colorado Young Gun pulled that line, a Denver TV put out a report asking constituents to respond. So I added myself to the hashtag response, saying a 619 can live happily in 80209.

So maybe that’s the next step: Everyone get KOMO on the horn, complain that Rep. Chickenshit is avoiding constituents. “The only person getting paid around here is him — by us. And he’s not doing his job.”

12:41 am • Monday • February 13, 2017

@nojo:

Everyone get KOMO on the horn, complain that Rep. Chickenshit is avoiding constituents. “The only person getting paid around here is him — by us. And he’s not doing his job.”

Tomorrow’s action item.

11:40 am • Monday • February 13, 2017

@JNOV & @nojo: Yeah, the Indivisible guide spelled out clearly that our CONgresspeople have one thought: Reelection, reelection, reelection.

Also, Reichert is notoriously dumb–a Congressman Hairspray if ever there were one–so any bad press that calls attention to that fact will help the cause.

1:24 pm • Monday • February 13, 2017

@SanFranLefty: Didn’t take long to get to the first facepalm moment:

“Everything’s coming so quickly,” Mr. Marchini said. “We’re not loading people into buses or deporting them, that’s not happening yet.” As he looked out over a crew of workers bent over as they rifled through muddy leaves to find purple heads of radicchio, he said that as a businessman, Mr. Trump would know that farmers had invested millions of dollars into produce that is growing right now, and that not being able to pick and sell those crops would represent huge losses for the state economy. “I’m confident that he can grasp the magnitude and the anxiety of what’s happening now.”

Like, are we talking about the same “Mr. Trump” here?

4:17 pm • Monday • February 13, 2017

Now there’s some rando Twitler supporting asswipe posting Facebook photos of himself at Mar-a-Lago with the guy who carries the nuclear codes.

This is totally normal!

4:35 pm • Monday • February 13, 2017

OK, a commenter on Brand W won the day with this:

The Intelligence Community is freaking out because they now report to the kind of mentally unstable fascist dictator that they used to install in other countries.

9:15 pm • Monday • February 13, 2017

@¡Andrew!: I cant even.

I AM HAMSTRUNG BY THE HATCH ACT!

I knew that son-of-a-bitch immediately filed for reelection, but now we have to be very fucking careful about what we say around whom for fear some asshole will turn us in for even seeming to be trying to influence people’s votes through discussion or even an inanimate object that supports or hates Trump. We are right fucked.

Man, it’s not just the EPA who’s afraid. The administration is talking about throwing our Master Agreement out of the fucking window, and as a former union steward, I’m like OMG. Oh my god. They are trying to block union reps from attending fact-finding and disciplinary actions. THE. FUCK.

I’m on a tightrope because so many of my aliases are now linked, and if I appear to be doing something political during my workday, shit.

I need this fucking job, plus I like it.

11:08 pm • Monday • February 13, 2017

General Ripper — er, Flynn — shown the door. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists might consider adding back ten seconds.

11:11 pm • Monday • February 13, 2017

@nojo: maybe 5

11:20 pm • Monday • February 13, 2017

@JNOV: My chief worry about Trump’s ability to end life as we know it was Flynn. If a grownup lands in that chair — even, god help us, Petraeus — I’ll rest a bit easier.

11:26 pm • Monday • February 13, 2017

@nojo: Meh. Bannon is already on the NSC, and the position does not require confirmation, so BOOM! Bannon.

I like Petraeus fine, minus the pillow talk, but that’s one helluva leaky ship they’re in.

11:39 pm • Monday • February 13, 2017

@JNOV: There was some pushback about Bannon on the NSC, but I don’t recall if that’s ongoing. We live in cluttered times.

Regardless, of all the harm Bannon can cause, I don’t see him overruling The Generals. Replace Flynn with someone who’s not a paranoid lunatic, our chances of survival increase.

12:02 am • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

@nojo: Agreed. These are strange times, yet I doubt Bannon will be head of the NSA, but he is staying on the NSC for now. When will they pull out their knives, noje?

12:16 am • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

@JNOV: If you come at the King, you best not miss.

Bannon has Trump’s ear, and will continue to do so as long as he’s not a liability. And the only thing I can imagine that would make him a liability is advice that makes Trump look bad. That might take awhile, but Bannon heing Bannon, shouldn’t take too long. If Trump survives the year, I’m not sure Bannon will.

12:29 am • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

@nojo: Alright – because you talked me down when I was ready to flee.

So, Flynn never considered that the Russian Ambassador’s phone might be tapped? Jesus

12:33 am • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

@JNOV: Hard to distinguish between incompetence and hubris here. This crew is like the Bushies who thought they could create facts on the ground and steamroll the opposition. But reality, like nature, votes last.

1:08 am • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

@JNOV: Speaking of the leaky ship, we haven’t heard the last of Mar-a-Lago. The weekend show may blow over, but those are fucking serious security holes, and Trump’s need to show off his power to his friends will bite him. Hard.

Not this week or next. But whether or not he resigns, we’ll be seeing some serious shit hit the fan this fall.

1:58 am • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

Shouty Flynn at RNC: “If I did a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail today!”

Not with AG Sessions, alas, but I appreciate the sentiment.

10:56 am • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

Putin’s gonna reduce Flynn’s bonus for blowing his cover so early, but you can bet your bottom ruble that hiz payoff is gonna be yuuuge for conspiring with the Ru$$ian$ to install the Twitler regime.

Plus, the GOPKKK will proclaim him a hero for conservatives, and he’ll spend the next few decades making bank on hate radio. Win-win for Flynn.

Treason: IOKIYAR

9:37 pm • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

So, we were going to make a ruckus at our douchebag’s office on the day he’s on tv doing blah blah

Instead, I said why not go to the station?

Right now it’s very much on the downlow – we don’t want him to know, and we can’t have more than 50 ppl without a permit.

SURPRISE, Motherfucker.

And he voted against demanding trump’s tax returns.

@¡Andrew!: Hey – taking your advice and my sign is about right and wrong and not, DIE MOTHERFUCKER! DIE-EEEEEEEEE!!

9:41 pm • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

Flynn was carrying trump’s water. trust.

10:02 pm • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

Whoa whoa whoa

A shitton of those fools were talking to the Russians and are now like, “How was I to know I was talking to a spy?”

Am I the only one who watches, The Americans? Jesus.

Trump needs to keep his damn mouth shut about Bergdahl unless he’s trying to get him acquitted (I’m not convinced Bergdahl is a traitor), and man, dude, man – Trump is going to get impeached for treason at this rate.

10:31 pm • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

@JNOV: Impeached by whom? The GOP House? Or charged by whom? The Sessions Justice department?

That’s not to say shit’s not going down. But it won’t play out like Watergate.

10:38 pm • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

@nojo: Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, House of Representatives and U. S. Select Committee on Intelligence, Senate.

Don’t kill my hope.

10:40 pm • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

There are a TON of effin committees. Damn. I guess everyone needs to brag to the folks back home. “I’m on the Committee on Counting Cowpies.”

10:48 pm • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

@JNOV: It’s all about power with Republicans. If they fear he’s becoming a liability, they’ll pounce. But not a moment before then.

Meanwhile, if NYT and WaPo keep spitting out stories, we’ll be fine. Keeps them on their heels.

11:56 pm • Tuesday • February 14, 2017

@JNOV: You do know who is running those committees, right? And with DiFi as one of the ranking Dems on the Senate committee, I’m not holding my breath. I swear to God she is so getting on my last fucking nerve that I’m about to declare and run for her Senate seat, even though I’m a complete misanthrope introvert who hates asking anyone for help, let alone asking them for money or a vote.

12:10 am • Wednesday • February 15, 2017

@SanFranLefty: More sanitizer for the candidate! DO YOU HEAR ME PEOPLE, THE CANDIDATE NEEDS MORE SANITIZER!!!

11:36 am • Wednesday • February 15, 2017

@nojo:
GOP = Power Whores.

11:39 am • Wednesday • February 15, 2017

I want to make a billion dollars
I want to live out by the sea
Have a power bottom and some children (to abuse)
Yeah, I guess I want a family
All the rich come in these places
And the rich are all the same
You don’t look at their faces
And you don’t ask their names

I’m your GOP House Rep, a House Rep for power
I’ll do what you want me to do
I’m your GOP House Rep, a House Rep for power
And any old crazy will do

12:20 pm • Wednesday • February 15, 2017

@SanFranLefty: Yah, but I’m still working on our folks. If it’s going to be a war of attrition, they better have good coffee.

12:36 pm • Wednesday • February 15, 2017

Bibi and the Donald 69.

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