Turkey, compare and contrast

Donald Trump is very upset with Turkey:

U.S. President Donald Trump intensified his spat with Turkey on Friday by imposing higher tariffs on metal imports, putting unprecedented economic pressure on a NATO ally and deepening turmoil in Turkish financial markets.

Why is he so upset?

Brunson, an evangelical Presbyterian pastor from North Carolina, was jailed for allegedly supporting a group that Ankara blames for an attempted coup in 2016. Brunson denies the

charge. His cause resonates with Christian conservative supporters of Trump, who could also be influential as Republicans seek to retain control of Congress in midterm elections in November.

This was a change:

At the U.N. General Assembly last year, Trump called Erdogan a “friend” who got “very high marks” for how he runs the country.

Just weeks ago, Trump was reported to have fist-bumped Erdogan during a NATO meeting in Brussels.

Now compare this to an incident last May:

Supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, including his government security forces and several armed individuals, violently charged a group of protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence here on Tuesday night in what the police characterized as “a brutal attack.”

The episode was not the first time that Turkish security forces have ignited violence in the American capital. The police and members of Mr. Erdogan’s security team clashed with demonstrators last year outside the Brookings Institution, where Mr. Erdogan was giving a speech. Brookings wrote on its website that his bodyguards had “behaved unacceptably — they roughed up protesters outside the building and tried to drag away ‘undesired’ journalists, an approach typical of the Russians or Chinese.”

After that incident, President Trump … still called Erdogan a good friend. So, roughing up US protestors in the US is fine but jailing an evangelical pastor crosses the line? This is life in the time of Trump.

Donald Trump is anti-immigrant and racist

The United States has long been known as a refuge, something Donald Trump is against:

Last year, after a fierce internal battle that pitted Miller, who advocated a limit as low as 15,000, against officials at the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Pentagon, Trump set the cap at 45,000, a historic low. Under one plan currently being discussed, no more than 25,000 refugees could be resettled in the United States next year, a cut of more than 40 percent from this year’s limit. It would be the lowest number of refugees admitted to the country since the creation of the program in 1980.

The goal is to bring in more whites:

Another steep reduction in refugees would be the latest piece of a multipronged effort by the president — devised and driven in large part by Miller — not just to crack down on illegal immigration, but also to fundamentally change the face of legal immigration in America.

The approach would move away from a system that prioritizes diversity, family ties and providing protection for persecuted people and toward one singularly focused on merit and skills. The president’s periodic efforts to pressure Congress to enact such policies have gone nowhere, but he has used his executive power to make changes where he can.

This doesn’t explicitly show the policy is racist but some of his previous comments make it clear:

President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they discussed protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to several people briefed on the meeting.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to countries mentioned by the lawmakers.

Trump then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries such as Norway, whose prime minister he met with Wednesday. The president, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt that they help the United States economically.

In addition, the president singled out Haiti, telling lawmakers that immigrants from that country must be left out of any deal, these people said.

Just another way that Donald Trump is making the US a worse place.

How the pro-life treat immigrants

Well, this is typical of the Trump administration (in other words, horrific):

Two weeks after arriving in the US seeking asylum, E, 23, found herself in a detention cell in San Luis, Arizona, bleeding profusely and begging for help from staff at the facility. She was four months pregnant and felt like she was losing her baby. She had come to the US from El Salvador after finding out she was pregnant, in the hopes of raising her son in a safer home.

“An official arrived and they said it was not a hospital and they weren’t doctors. They wouldn’t look after me,” she told BuzzFeed News, speaking by phone from another detention center, Otay Mesa in San Diego. “I realized I was losing my son. It was his life that I was bleeding out. I was staining everything. I spent about eight days just lying down. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t do anything. I started crying and crying and crying.”

While the national focus has been on family separations, another Department of Homeland Security policy quietly introduced by the Trump administration five months earlier has devastated women fleeing violence in their home countries: the detention of pregnant women not yet in their third trimester.

Before that directive, which the Trump administration implemented in December before announcing it in March, ICE was under an Obama administration–era directive not to detain pregnant women except in extreme circumstances or in relatively rare cases of expedited deportation.

The new ICE directive states that women are not to be held into their third trimester and that ICE is responsible for “ensuring pregnant detainees receive appropriate medical care including effectuating transfers to facilities that are able to provide appropriate medical treatment.”

But BuzzFeed News has found evidence that that directive is not being carried out. Instead, women in immigration detention are often denied adequate medical care, even when in dire need of it, are shackled around the stomach while being transported between facilities, and have been physically and psychologically mistreated.

This from the most pro-life President in American history. Of course, I’m not sure this administration considers immigrants real people.

There’s a bill in the Senate to stop this and there is also action in the House. Both of my Senators are co-sponsors and my Rep (Katherine Clark) introduced an amendment for similar restrictions. Yay Massachusetts.

Civility

Most people have heard this quote from William Lloyd Garrison about civility:

I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; — but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.

But he has an even more relevant quote:

With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost.

People who take children away from their parents are not reasonable or humane and being civil with them gains little.

Wonkette brings up another relevant case here:

Anti-abortion activists recently blanketed two Indianapolis neighborhoods with flyers to tell people living there that one of their neighbors is a doctor who performs abortions.

The flyers were produced in conjunction with a national conference held this week in Indianapolis by an organization that seeks to abolish legal abortion.  About 200 to 300 members of Dallas-based Operation Save America will attend the conference, said James Farrar, pastor of the Aletheia Church on the southside, a local church that is helping host the event.

Operation Save America does not advocate violence, Farrar said. Every person who attends the conference signs a pledge of non-violence.

“We are pro-life. We believe that people have a right to live. … In the entire history of OSA, there’s never been a case where OSA has ever been prosecuted or been violent towards anyone,” he said.

Hey, here’s a story about OSA:

The group’s protest efforts have been focused on site of the future Planned Parenthood clinic on South Claiborne Avenue, but on Sunday, they took a different turn when members showed up inside the First Unitarian Universalist Church at Claiborne and Jefferson. The disturbance took place as the congregation was holding a moment of silence for a member of the church who had died the week before, said the Rev. Deanna Vandiver.

“Into that sacred silence, a voice began to speak, and it began to speak about ‘abominations,’ ” Vandiver said. The protesters were shouting that the church was not a true faith, she said. “Literally in our most tender and vulnerable space, religious terrorism began.”

And let’s look at some history of the organization:

In 1994, Flip Benham became the director of the organization, then called Operation Rescue National. Benham replaced Keith Tucci, who had replaced Randall Terry.[3] Terry, Tucci and Benham have all been convicted of crimes related to their protest activities.[4] Rusty Thomas is the current national director, having taken over when Flip Benham stepped down.

And some more history:

On May 31, 2009, Tiller was assassinated in his church. Scott Roeder of Merriam, KS was convicted of first degree murder in the shooting. Operation Rescue denounced Tiller’s murder in numerous statements, describing it as “cowardly”[27][28] and “antithetical to what we believe”.[29] The group also said that Roeder had “never been a member, contributor, or volunteer with Operation Rescue.”[30] Roeder responded to Newman’s disavowal by declaring, “Well, my gosh. I’ve got probably a thousand dollars worth of receipts, at least, from the money I’ve donated to him.”[31]

The phone number for Operation Rescue’s senior policy advisor, Cheryl Sullenger, was found on the dashboard of Scott Roeder’s car.[32] At first Sullenger, who was convicted for conspiring to blow up a California abortion clinic in 1988, denied any contact with him, saying that her phone number is freely available online. Then, she revised her statements, indicating that she informed Scott Roeder of where Dr Tiller would be at specific times:

“He would call and say, ‘When does court start? When’s the next hearing?'” Sullenger said. “I was polite enough to give him the information. I had no reason not to. Who knew? Who knew, you know what I mean?”

And Wonkette looks at a list of violence against abortion providers:

Since the 1994 murder of Dr. David Gunn, there have been 10 more murders and 26 attempted murders related to anti-abortion terrorism. Between 1977 and 2009, according to the National Abortion Federation, there were 179 incidents of assault and battery, 41 bombings, 175 arsons, 96 attempted bombings or arsons, 390 invasions, 1400 incidents of vandalism, 1993 incidents of trespassing, 100 butyric acid attacks, 659 anthrax threats, 4 kidnappings, 506 death threats, 151 burglaries and 525 incidents of stalking committed by anti-abortion terrorists. Obviously those numbers have gone up in the last 9 years.

These people have shown they don’t deserve civility. And it’s a waste of time to try to engage with them. Fuck them.

Really, what does Putin have on Trump?

The intelligence community strikes back:

Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.


According to nearly a dozen people who either attended the meeting with the president-elect or were later briefed on it, the four primary intelligence officials described the streams of intelligence that convinced them of Mr. Putin’s role in the election interference.

They included stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee that had been seen in Russian military intelligence networks by the British, Dutch and American intelligence services. Officers of the Russian intelligence agency formerly known as the G.R.U. had plotted with groups like WikiLeaks on how to release the email stash.

And ultimately, several human sources had confirmed Mr. Putin’s own role.

That included one particularly valuable source, who was considered so sensitive that Mr. Brennan had declined to refer to it in any way in the Presidential Daily Brief during the final months of the Obama administration, as the Russia investigation intensified.

So, Trump was shown almost incontrovertible evidence before his inauguration and yet he still continuously questions it. It really makes one wonder what Putin has on him.

And this makes one think about it even more:

At this week’s summit in Helsinki, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed what President Trump described as an “incredible offer” — the Kremlin would give special counsel Robert S. Mueller III access to interviews with Russians who were indicted after they allegedly hacked Democrats in 2016. In return, Russia would be allowed to question certain U.S. officials it suspects of interfering in Russian affairs.

One of those U.S. officials is a former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul, a nemesis of the Kremlin because of his criticisms of Russia’s human rights record.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to rule out the Kremlin’s request to question McFaul and other Americans. Asked during the daily press briefing whether Trump is open to the idea of having McFaul questioned by Russia, Sanders said President Trump is “going to meet with his team” to discuss the offer.

There are a bunch of comebacks here, including this one from John Kerry:

The administration needs to make it unequivocally clear that in a million years this wouldn’t be under consideration, period. Full stop,” adding that the proposal is “not something that should require a half second of consultation. Dangerous.

This is what happens when you don’t prepare for a summit–you say stupid things because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Or, at least, you can claim that so people are a bit less likely to wonder what Putin has on him.

Trump administration: we care about laws for others

The Trump administration was required by court to reunite all children under 5 taken from their parents by last Tuesday. How did they do?

The Trump administration says it has reunited 57 of 103 young migrant children with their parents after separations of weeks or months, but won’t return another 46 children for reasons that range from concerns about their safety to their parents having been deported.

That is illegal:

The ACLU said the government is in violation of Sabraw’s order because it failed to meet Tuesday’s deadline. Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said the organization would decide Thursday ‘‘what remedies to recommend to the court for the noncompliance.’’ A hearing is scheduled Friday morning.

So what is the Trump administration response?

‘‘Our message has been clear all along: Do not risk your own life or the life of your child by attempting to enter the United States illegally,’’ the statement said. ‘‘Apply lawfully and wait your turn.’’

Yup, when caught disobeying a court directive, they admonish others to not break the law.

Trump doesn’t care about the law

I posted a week ago that ICE and CBP don’t care too much about following the law. Donald Trump shows where this attitude comes from in a series of tweets:

We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents..

So he’s saying the US should stop following the law to uphold Law and Order? Interesting. A later tweet:

Hiring manythousands of judges, and going through a long and complicated legal process, is not the way to go – will always be disfunctional. People must simply be stopped at the Border and told they cannot come into the U.S. illegally.

He again suggests the US should do something illegal and throws in a lie–if people come to the border to ask for asylum they’re not illegal. This is part of his political correctness, anything he does is fine while anything he doesn’t like is illegal.

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