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My two cents: It is unfortunate the diehard Trump supporters do not understand that what happens to some of us has an effect on all of us. This immigration issue is an attack on vulnerable people and by extension all of us.MA
June 20, 20186:50 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered
David Folkenflik
This essay isn’t about spin, or splitting hairs, or differing opinions.
This involves a reality check about our expectations of the people who act in our name. About credibility at the highest levels of our government. About people whose words are heard abroad as speaking for our nation. About the public and the media that try, however imperfectly, to serve it.
On Monday, reporters relentlessly confronted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a news conference held at the White House. They grilled her on the government’s policy of separating young children from parents seeking asylum after crossing the U.S. border with Mexico.
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny asked why that did not constitute child abuse. A second reporter questioned where girls were, noting that photos released by the government largely featured boys. A third reporter challenged President Trump’s compassion, noting his tweets indicated concern for almost anyone other than the families.
Nielsen did not back down, though her defense involved claims lacking much factual support.
“Those who criticize the enforcement of our laws have offered only one countermeasure: open borders, the quick release of all illegal alien families and the decision not to enforce our laws,” Nielsen said from the White House lectern. “This policy would be disastrous.”
To be clear: The claim there’s only the Trump way or anarchy doesn’t have much currency outside the administration and its allies in conservative media. Nor does the idea Trump couldn’t have acted until Congress changed the law.
For days, Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress have said he could erase the practice — one put in place under his presidency — with a wave of the hand. Many of them publicly called upon him to do so.
After signing an executive order Wednesday, the president says he has done just that, inspiring kudos from such outfits as Breitbart News. (Breitbart’s initial headline: “Donald Trump Voices Compassion As He Signs Executive Order to Stop Separating Families.” Later it was changed to: “Donald Trump Signs Executive Order to Stop Separating Families.”)
Back on Monday, Trump’s homeland security secretary embarked on a series of insupportable assertions, none more fundamental than this: “It’s not a policy.”

Analysis
Family Separation Is Trump’s Immigration Policy. Here’s Why He Won’t Own It
But it was. Nielsen herself had said there needed to be a break in how Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush processed people coming across the border. If an intentional shift in the way the government handles people seeking asylum does not constitute a policy, what meaning does the word “policy” have?
Then there was the affront Nielsen said she took to a reporter’s asking whether she intended for parents to be separated from their children, and whether there was an underlying message:
Nielsen: I find that offensive. No. Because why would I ever create a policy that purposely does that?
Reporter: Perhaps as a deterrence?
Nielsen: No.
You could call what she said a deception, an evasion or a technical nicety. NPR will not call what Nielsen said a lie because it cannot gauge her intent.
I report about the media for NPR and in so doing, I periodically cover NPR and its policies. I don’t speak for the network. I would say the word “lie” fits here.
Regardless, NPR and other news organizations say Nielsen was dead wrong: There was a policy with a clear underlying rationale.

Politics
Bit by Bit, Trump Is Shredding Credibility of White House Officials
Back in May, White House chief of staff John Kelly spoke with NPR’s John Burnett in an interview that made headlines around the world. Kelly told Burnett that the laws against people entering the country without legal status had to be enforced.
Kelly: The laws are the laws. But a big name of the game is deterrence.
Burnett: So family separation stands as a pretty tough deterrent.
Kelly: It could be a tough deterrent — would be a tough deterrent. A much faster turnaround on asylum-seekers.
Kelly, who is Nielsen’s predecessor at Homeland Security and her mentor, said much the same to CNN when considering the policy back in early 2017. So did U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Fox News Monday night.
So why would Nielsen seek to deceive the public? Cast your mind back to the first week of Trump’s presidency, with spurious claims from the president and his press secretary about record crowds at the inauguration. Trump has issued more than 3,250 false or misleading claims in his first 497 days in office, according to an account by The Washington Post’s Fact Checker column in late May. The paper quoted a psychology researcher from the University of California, Santa Barbara who said Trump’s repetition of falsehoods gave them greater credence among his core supporters.
That impulse emerged again on Friday. Trump spoke to a clutch of reporters surrounding him on the White House lawn as he strolled to pop on his favorite morning TV news show, Fox & Friends, which was helpfully camped out on the grounds. Trump deflected questions about the false claims his lawyers made last year on his behalf. The attorneys had denied — untruthfully — that Trump had anything to do with his son Don Jr.’s statements about the purpose of his meeting with Russians during the 2016 campaign.
“It’s irrelevant,” President Trump said. “It’s a statement to The New York Times, the phony, failing New York Times.”
Don Jr.’s statements turned out to be untrue. So were the denials of the president’s involvement, who, it turned out, dictated his son’s response to the Times.

The New Clash Between Free Speech And Privacy
Analysis: In Trump’s Twitter Feed, A Tale Of Sound And Fury
The president made clear he didn’t care about the deception.
“Wait a minute, wait a minute,” he said. “That’s not a statement to a high tribunal of judges. That’s a statement to the phony New York Times.”
It’s OK, apparently, to deceive the public as long as it’s through the nation’s leading newspaper.
That’s what you might well call a double deception — a lie about a lie.
I sure would call it that.
But what you call it almost doesn’t matter.
More important is that the media and the public register a fundamental fact: Top people speaking for the United States aren’t telling us the truth — starting with the President.

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As it has been clearly illustrated, the current White House Resident has no compunction in pushing anyone in front a moving train, including his current wife. Who thought it was good idea to send FLOTUS to an immigration detention center with a jacket bearing a message that states: I really don’t care, do you? There appears to be no limit to what this administration(?) will do to get press. Aside from poor administration overall, awful choices for cabinet secretaries and worse selections in the Justice department, this administration is a train wreck on a train wreck. Meanwhile the malevolent minions are spoon-feeding TOTUS free style talking points that fire up his base while shoving the rest of us into a deeper national and international hole. As an example of his use of anyone the cartoon below by Jim Carrey illustrates TOTUS’s callousness.

Nothing comforts a federally-abducted refugee child like a photo op with a Slovenian model wearing a coat that says she doesn’t give two craps about your misery.


There was a time when I thought Nikki Haley was an intelligent, thinking person, It appears that I was mistaken. She is merely another Trump hack who cannot look back to understand that current events would have had bad results for her immigrant parents.MA

By Sarah Ruiz-Grossman
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said it was “patently ridiculous” for the international organization to examine the realities of extreme poverty in America.
On Thursday, Haley commented on a recent report by a U.N. expert calling out the alarming rates of poverty and inequality in the U.S., despite the country’s status as one of the richest in the world ― and she dismissed the findings out of hand.
“It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America,” Haley wrote of the report, the day before special rapporteur Philip Alston presented his findings to the U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday. Haley suggested the U.N. instead spend its resources looking into other countries “whose governments knowingly abuse human rights,” naming Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The U.S. pulled out of the U.N. Human Rights Council earlier this week.
Haley’s letter came in response to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and other lawmakers, who wrote to her earlier this month of their “deep concern” on the report’s final findings (initial findings had come out in December).
In presenting the report Friday, the poverty expert denounced the Trump administration’s “massive new tax cuts overwhelmingly benefiting the wealthy.”
“The way in which those in the bottom 20 percent exist is in dramatic contrast to the wealth in the country ― and is being further exacerbated by current trends,” Alston said at a press conference in December, following his two-week trip through poor regions of the United States.
“If you want to talk about the American dream, a child born into poverty has almost no chance of getting out of poverty in today’s United States, statistically,” he added.
In her response Thursday, Hayley contended that while “poverty is an issue the Trump administration takes very seriously,” the U.S. currently had a low rate of unemployment and “the best way to help people get out of poverty is to help them get a job.”
It’s worth noting that ― even with low unemployment ― more than 40 million Americans are living in poverty, and more than 40 percent of U.S. adults don’t have $400 in savings to cover an unexpected emergency.
What’s more, as advocates for a $15 minimum wage often note, employment alone does not eliminate poverty, if workers are not making a “living wage.” Nearly half of people on food stamps (44 percent) in 2015 in the U.S. had at least one family member who was employed.
“The U.S. economy is currently booming,” the U.N. expert said Friday. “But the question is who is benefiting.”


The D.C. two step is alive and well.MA

JUNE 22, 2018
Kuttner on TAP
Trump’s Full-Blown Trade War. It’s one thing for Trump to demonize Mexicans. Disgracefully, that’s popular with his base, and it also confuses some of the progressive community, because NAFTA really does need to be renegotiated.
It’s quite something else to invite retaliation from China with a tit-for-tat tariff war that could be devastating for American farm exports (in mostly Republican states). The EU, likewise, has now decided to strike back with retaliatory tariffs, which will harm American exporters and of course workers, as well as splitting the Republican coalition.
The strong rate of GDP growth and low unemployment rate have done nothing for workers’ wages, which have actually declined slightly in the past 12 months. But at least the robust economy has given Trump some bragging rights. This success will be at serious risk in a full-blown trade war.
To be sure, the current trading system does not serve American workers. But neither do Trump’s bizarre, tweet-driven policy thunderbolts, raising tariffs and insulting allies helter-skelter.
In that respect, Trump has done a triple public service, however inadvertently. He has demonstrated that we need a different trade strategy for America—and that he is utterly incompetent to bring one about. And he has managed to divide his hard-core base from the Republican corporate and agricultural interests.
Well done! ~ ROBERT KUTTNER

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Ashley Parker 6 hrs ago

No clear plan yet on how to reunite parents with children
He’s done it on Twitter. He’s done it in the White House driveway. And he’s done it in a speech to a business group.
President Trump — a man already known for trafficking in mistruths and even outright lies — has been outdoing even himself with falsehoods in recent days, repeating and amplifying bogus claims on several of the most pressing controversies facing his presidency. Since Saturday, Trump has tweeted false or misleading information at least seven times on the topic of immigration and at least six times on a Justice Department inspector general report into the FBI’s handling of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. That’s more than a dozen obfuscations on just two central topics — a figure that does not include falsehoods on other issues, whether in tweets or public remarks.
The false claims come as the president — emboldened by fewer disciplinarians inside the West Wing — indulges in frequent Twitter screeds. A Washington Post analysis found that in June, Trump has been tweeting at the fastest rate of his presidency so far, an average of 11.3 messages per day.
Inside the White House, aides and advisers say they believe the media is unwilling to give Trump a fair shot and is knee-jerk ready to accuse him of lying, even in cases where the facts support his point.
The president often seeks to paint a self-serving and self-affirming alternate reality for himself and his supporters. Disparaging the “fake news” media, Trump offers his own filter through which to view the world — offering a competing reality on issues including relationships forged (or broken) at the Group of Seven summit in Canada, the success of the Singapore summit with the North Koreans, and his administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration.
“It’s extraordinary how he is completely indifferent to truth. There’s just no relationship between his statements — anything he utters — and the actual truth of the matter,” said Thomas Murray, president emeritus of the Hastings Center, the founding institution in the field of bioethics. “As far as I can tell, the best way to understand anything he says is what will best serve his interests in the moment. It’s irrespective to any version of the truth.”
According to an analysis by The Post’s Fact Checker through the end of May, Trump had made 3,251 false or misleading claims in 497 days — an average of 6.5 such claims per day of his presidency.
And within the past week, Trump seems to have ramped up both the volume and the intensity of his false statements on two of the most prominent topics currently facing his administration: the hard-line immigration policy that has led to the separation of thousands of children from their parents — which Trump erroneously blames on others — and the 500-page inspector general report that he claims, incorrectly, exonerates him in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Bella DePaulo, a psychology researcher at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said Trump’s use of repetition is a particularly effective technique for convincing his supporters of the veracity of his false claims, in part because most people have a “truth bias,” or an initial inclination to accept what others say as true.
“When liars repeat the same lie over and over again, they can get even more of an advantage, at least among those who want to believe them or are not all that motivated either way,” DePaulo said in an email. “So when people hear the same lies over and over again — especially when they want to believe those lies — a kind of new reality can be created. What they’ve heard starts to seem like it’s just obvious, and not something that needs to be questioned.”
On immigration, Trump and many top administration officials have said that existing U.S. laws and court rulings have given them no choice but to separate families trying to cross illegally into the United States. But it is the administration’s decision, announced in April, to prosecute all southern border crossings that has led to the separation of families.
That hasn’t stopped the president from blaming Democrats for his administration’s decisions. “Democrats are the problem,” Trump wrote in one tweet. In another, he was even more blunt: “The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda,” he wrote.
While Congress could pass a legislative fix, Republicans control both the House and the Senate — making it disingenuous at best to finger the opposing party, as the president has repeatedly done.
Speaking to the National Federation of Independent Business on Tuesday, Trump again falsely painted the humanitarian crisis as a binary choice. “We can either release all illegal immigrant families and minors who show up at the border from Central America, or we can arrest the adults for the federal crime of illegal entry,” he said. “Those are the only two options.”
On Twitter, the president twice in the past four days has singled out Germany as facing an increase in crime. “Crime in Germany is up 10% plus (officials do not want to report these crimes) since migrants were accepted,” Trump wrote. “Others countries are even worse. Be smart America!”
In fact, the opposite is true. Reported crime in Germany was actually down by 10 percent last year and, according to German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, the country’s reported crime rate last year was actually at its lowest point in three decades.
The president has also falsely claimed that the inspector general report “exonerated” him from Mueller’s probe, when the report did not delve into the Russia investigation. When he made this argument Friday during an impromptu press gaggle in the White House driveway, a reporter pressed him on the falsehood.
“Sir, that has nothing to do with collusion,” the reporter said. “Why are you lying about it, sir?”
Trump’s messaging on the family separation issue has faced pushback even from members of his own party, who have publicly and privately urged him to fix the problem. And the discordant noise from members of his administration, who are contradicting him and one another, has further eroded his credibility on the issue.
On a conference call Tuesday morning, for instance, a senior Health and Human Services official said the new policy was focused on deterrence and was working — contradicting the public comments of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who has publicly said that family separation is not a policy, is not new and is not about deterrence.
Brian Fallon, a press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid, said he thinks the past week may mark an “inflection point” in how both the media and the public treat Trump’s mistruths.
“The lies have been so bald and discernibly false, I think people have felt license to challenge him and use the word ‘lie’ more freely than they have in the past,” Fallon said.
The topic of family separation, Fallon added, is especially stark.
“I think the sort of visceral nature of this particular issue, in terms of the sympathy that these young kids have evoked, has caused a splintering within his own party,” Fallon said. “Once you have a critical mass of defections among your own side, at that point, it becomes unsustainable even for somebody who has patented this approach to lying like Trump has.”
ashley.parker@washpost.com

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The current Resident of the Oval Office is pushing the blame for his policy of separating families (like the Nazis did in the concentration camps) on the Democrats. This is a push to garner votes for the Republican candidates. This is a guy who ran on immigration reform and by extension Religious bias. The in charge Republican party save a few has just stood by and let it happen. The TIC has had meetings with Republicans only (no invites to Democrats) to set policy and the Republican leadership has allowed it. This brings up the subject of the responsibility of being in power. Apparently the Republicans after 8 years of denying and denigrating President Obama they have done nothing good or of consequence while having the power to accomplish much more than they have for the public good. The suspect tax reform and gutting of the healthcare system were two main drivers of their administration with the supposed “good” results still to surface for the citizenry of the United States. The labels many have assumed are often no more than ways to garner votes for people who if we (voters) were smart would never elect. WE the people need to gain control over government by pushing for some new rules for serving along with definite time limits on that service. I consider myself a Conservative (most of us are)  who is left of center (not extreme left).  The point is that as voters we need to stop the election of poor representatives and do not accept the rallying cries of either majority party as a banner to follow blindly. In my opinion we currently have the worst (save a few) group of Congressional representatives in many years. We (voters) have the power of change in our hands if we ignore the hype and chase the truth.

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It is said somewhere that “With experience comes wisdom” or something like that. Apparently some of us haven’t paid much attention to that. The hackers have upped their game and if we are not upping ours then these “pros” will keep playing the “gottcha” game. First the onslaught on line appears in many ways, the first and possibly the most prevalent is inserting a “look alike” website that looks real but if you look at the address line you will see that it is fake because after the “well known” name there is fictitious information which could allow an incursion into your device and possibly lock it up while holding it for ransom. Most well known browsers warn about this and try to prevent it but we as people sometimes see a pop up or an insert that appeals to our interests and click on it allowing this incursion. This “pop up” is advertising eye candy at its best and is as effective as anything we see on television. The key to avoid being hacked is: add a pop up blocker on your device (there are free ones), do not click on anything you are unsure of. If you device locks up, immediately turn it completely off and restart after at least 5  minutes. Most times this will eliminate the threat. Things you should do or have to protect your devices:

1.install a good pop up blocker

2. Install a good Malware Program

3.Be aware of a slowing of your Device when loading or surfing.(could be a sign of a hack or attempt to hack)

4. Call your Email company, Browser supplier (MSN, GOOGLE,Yahoo,etc) if you suspect an incursion or attempt.

5.Get a backup external hard drive and make a back up at least once a week.

6. Above all, remember, None of the Internet providers will call or email you out of the blue. You may from time to time receive emails about updates but be sure determine the origin by looking at the address line for accuracy. If in doubt go to the site independent of the email or popup for information.

Hackers are smart and are the same as any scammers, smooth and resourceful. Be aware of anything different when you power up your device.

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There appears to be a difference of opinion about what is correct and what is not. Picture this: Barack Obama pardoning Rod Blagojevich or Hillary Clinton would have been reason to call for an investigation. Resident Trump has pardoned: Sheriff Arpaio, Scooter Libby and Dinesh D’Souza all people legally convicted by a jury. He is also considering pardoning Martha Stewart who has served her time and commuting the sentence of Ex Governor Rod Blagojevich. TOTUS blasted the previous administration over what is termed “catch and release”. Briefly this is  “catch and Release”

“1.Aliens who “pose a threat to national security, border security, or public safety”
2.Aliens who are “misdemeanants and new immigration violators”
3.All other immigration violators
The instructions to CBP noted that those in category 3 would not be detained and deported, and therefore CBP agents were advised to not waste resources arresting them but rather focus on priority one and priority two offenders. The Associated Press reported on a similar set of guidelines.”

What is being done and has been done by this Resident is more of an ego boosting action than a carefully thought out action. This White house occupant is driven by gaining accolades and his name” in lights” rather than commonsense actions that benefit the Nation. Adoration is his main pursuit and bullying is one of his main weapons. Whatever demeans former President Obama and the Democrats regardless of the long term damage to the country is his goal. In his attempt to complete campaign promises he has ignored the rule of law, Constitutional law and moral authority. The correction lies in the hands of the voters as we apparently have no Congress to check “TOTUS”.

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Let him who is without sin cast the first stone:

According to the Gospel of John, the Pharisees, in an attempt to discredit Jesus, brought a woman charged with adultery before him. Then they reminded Jesus that adultery was punishable by stoning under Mosaic law and challenged him to judge the woman so that they might then accuse him of disobeying the law. Jesus thought for a moment and then replied, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” The people crowded around him were so touched by their own consciences that they departed. When Jesus found himself alone with the woman, he asked her who were her accusers. She replied, “No man, lord.” Jesus then said, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.”

It appears that the essence of politics is to blame (stone) someone else. While the denigration and name calling has been the stock in trade of political campaigns, in these days of mass media and national  despair, we have come to be a nation of “entertainment voters”. Elections are or rather should not be about who makes the most entertaining statements . It should be about the character of the campaigner. Currently this trait does not seem to factor into why we should vote for them. Looking at who we have in power Obviously “TOTUS”, Jeff Sessions, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Scott Pruitt, Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson and Ryan Zinke to name a few. No matter what you think of this administration, the bottom line is how far the damage currently being done will go. We have our trusted allies seeking to make progress without us and our enemies enjoying the show. It is well to remember that voting is privilege and should be considered an honor. Who you vote for should not be equivalent to voting for entertainment favorites.

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Kuttner on TAP
Inscrutable China Policy. Trump’s decision to move ahead with tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports prompted an immediate retaliation by Beijing. It’s a classic case of Trump using the wrong strategy to pursue a long-overdue revision of U.S. coddling of Beijing’s predatory state capitalism.
As an unnamed senior administration official, almost surely chief trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer or White House trade strategist Peter Navarro, told The New York Times:
China has a history of using state subsidies to build up excess capacity in a variety of industries that then pushes down prices and drives free-market competitors in the United States out of business. The United States cannot afford to allow China to carry out the same practices in emerging industries, including robotics, new energy vehicles and information technology.
Exactly right. But the right way to compel China to alter its model or to face economic sanctions is to work with the world’s other major trading bloc, the European Union, in a common China strategy. Trump, however, keeps going out of his way to insult and alienate the EU. Hello?
The hardening of the U.S. line makes Trump’s decision to allow the Chinese tech company ZTE back into U.S. markets all the more bizarre, and makes it even more likely that Trump’s real motive in this one-off favor to Chinese dictator Xi Jinping was to thank Xi for investing in a Trump enterprise in Indonesia and granting lucrative favors to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.
Trump, with his tiny attention span and his penchant for lashing out, can’t manage to maintain a consistent policy from one day to the next. We do need a revisionist China strategy, but Trump’s version is a perfect marriage of the inept and the corrupt. ~ ROBERT KUTTNER

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