8/16/2018

Vatican Likely Won't Punish Those Who Covered Up Child Sexual Abuse

According to the just-released grand jury report, in 1990, Bishop James Timlin of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was first made aware that a priest who had recently been transferred to his Diocese, Father Arthur Long, had admitted to having sex with underage girls in his parish in Harrisburg. Timlin was the bishop in the Scranton Diocese, which encompasses the entire northeast section of Pennsylvania, from 1984 to 2003.

Prior to being the bishop, Monsignor Timlin had been told as early as 1968 that one of the priests in his parish, Robert Caparelli, had been "contributing to the delinquency" of at least two altar boys, ages 11 and 12. Another priest, Mark Mecca, described working with Caparelli as being "under an incubus" because of Caparelli's sexual abuse of children. Caparelli was transferred to different parishes in Pennsylvania, and, even when required by the state in 1985 to report any incidents of such abuse, Timlin did not and allowed Caparelli to continue his ministry.

In 1991, Caparelli was charged with sexual abuse of a child. By this point, Timlin had personally heard complaints about Caparelli's rape of young boys. A civil lawsuit by the victim said that the priest had sexually abused him from September 1985 to June 1986, including forcible sodomy at the church. Despite saying that the Diocese would cooperate with authorities, "Timlin specifically took actions to protect the secret archives of the Diocese from legal discovery during the course of the litigation." The Diocese's records had multiple letters alleging more incidents of rape and abuse by Caparelli, including at least one incident where the priest admitted he had done it.

The number of incidents involving Caparelli was staggering, going back to 1967, involving boys between 10 and 12. In prison, it was revealed that Caparelli knew he was HIV-positive for years, so while he was sodomizing children. He died there in 1994. Bishop Timlin still stood by Caparelli, refusing to take responsibility for covering up the crimes. Indeed, in 1993, "Timlin requested that Caparelli be released from prison to a Catholic treatment facility - like those that had so often authorized the return of Pennsylvania's predatory priests to active ministry."

Another priest in the Scranton Diocese, Father Thomas Skotek, carried on a sexual relationship with an underage girl from 1980 to 1985. When she got pregnant, Skotek helped her get an abortion. Bishop Timlin was aware of this, and he accepted Skotek's resignation by responding, "This is a very difficult time in your life, and I realize how upset you are. I too share your grief. … With the help of God, who never abandons us and who is always near when we need him, this too will pass away, and all will be able to pick up and go on living." After Skotek went to a Catholic treatment center, he was reassigned in 1987 to a Wilkes-Barre parish.

Another priest in the Scranton Diocese, Father Robert J. Brague, had ongoing sexual relationships with several teenage girls, and, in 1988, one of them became pregnant. While Timlin removed Brague from his office, Timlin did offer support for Brague receiving new appointments at churches in New York and Florida.

Another priest in the Scranton Diocese, Father Ralph Ferraldo, was accused by a mother of "immorally" touching her young son and other boys in 1974. Then-Chancellor Timlin asked Ferraldo, who "did admit that he had older boys visit his room in the rectory, but nothing wrong had occurred. He was asked not to do that anymore." Timlin told the mother that her son was mistaken. In 1985 and 1986, Ferraldo was accused of "inappropriate behavior" with hospital patients he was ministering to. Then, in 2002, a male reported that Ferraldo had sexually abused him when he was 16 back in the early 1980s.

Another priest in the Scranton...but you get the idea. Timlin was also constantly commenting on how the stories needed to be kept quiet, lest it upset the parishioners (and cost the church even more).

This is a small part of a heartbreaking, sickening 1000-page grand jury report on sexual abuse in nearly every diocese in Pennsylvania. And the focus here is Bishop James Timlin, who is retired now but still has an active role in the church. According to an expert on the way such cases are handled, Timlin "likely will not face any sanctions from the Vatican for concealing reports of sexual abuse committed by priests."

Yeah, the Vatican is more likely to slap bishops on the wrist than kick them the hell out of the church. "The Vatican has removed some offenders from office, but it rarely takes action to permanently remove a priest from the priesthood — an action known as laicization, more commonly referred to as defrocking." The first statement from the Vatican has emphasized that the crimes took place before 2002, when the U.S. Catholic Church finally took a stronger stand on how it handles such crimes.

In other words, the ones who shifted the rapist priests around, the ones who swept things under a very lumpy rug, like James Timlin, will have gotten away with it.

8/15/2018

One Little Thing: The Defense Bill Is Almost as Long as the Affordable Care Act

Here's something that shouldn't matter at all but, because of prior Republican fuckery, it sure as shit does.

Check this out. Here is a screenshot from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare," in case you're a fuckin' moron). It's the first page from the version that was passed by the House and Senate in January 2010.


What's important here is the number at the top there. See it? It's 906 pages in a PDF downloaded from the Government Publishing Office. If you'll remember, Republicans freaked the fuck out over the length of the law and how no one had read it before it was passed. It was variously described as having 2300 or 2700 or 16,000 or 20,000 pages, depending on how desperate whichever conservative spoogebucket was spouting off and whether they were counting corrections and regulations issued in its wake. But the bill itself, which affected every single person living in this country directly with its provisions about what health insurance had to cover and who had to be covered, was 906 pages.

Even our current dink president was outraged over how long the bill was because Republicans could do it in fewer pages. Maybe 46, maybe 123, maybe 67. It was all a big fuckin' mystery, but, goddamnit, it was shorter than that fucker Obama could come up with.

This week, Congress passed the John McCain Totally Too Fucking Huge Defense Budget That Is a Giant Giveaway to Weapons Makers and a Continuation of Endless War and Endless Detention Without Trial and Holy Shit, This Is Just For a Single Year. And in remarks to soldiers, President Trump couldn't have been more pleased with himself (who else would he ever be pleased with?). He really said, "The National Defense Authorization Act is the most significant investment in our military and our warfighters in modern history, and I am very proud to be a big, big part of it."

Here's the first page of it, also downloaded as a PDF from the GPO:


You see that fuckin' number up top? It's 788. That's right. The defense budget is just 120 pages shorter than the law that remade a fifth of the entire American economy. And you fuckin' well know that not a single goddamn Republican representation or senator read the whole thing. You fuckin' well know that not one is gonna complain about the length. Complicated shit gets a complicated bill. It's that simple.

But we spend years arguing about how many pages Obamacare was. So the layers of hypocrisy in the Republican Party are so fuckin' deep that there are dinosaurs buried in that bullshit.

(Note: One other thing Trump said in his weirder than usual speech at Fort Drum is that the soldiers would only be real patriots if they gave up their raises to help with the national debt. No, really: "We are proudly giving our troops the biggest pay increase in a decade. And I know you don’t want it because you’re very patriotic. You’ll say, just save the money. We’re going to pay down debt. Does anybody not want it? Please raise your hand. What’s going on here? (Laughter.) Are these real patriots?" It's like the zombie corpse of Henny Youngman trying to articulate a joke through a rotting jaw.)

(Note 2: There are a fuck-ton of more important things going on, but I'm still trying to get my head around the horror of that Pennsylvania Catholic Church child rape report. Might have more on that tomorrow.)

8/13/2018

Omarosa Confirms the Obvious (But Trump Can't Shut Up) - Updated

Omarosa Manilow or whatever the fuck was hired for one reason and one reason only: to be black near Donald Trump. That's it. She was hired as an accessory, a bauble that Trump could flaunt whenever anyone declared him a racist, like that gold-framed fake Renoir he insisted was real, projecting something about the man that simply wasn't true. She wasn't just a token; she was a shield. And she willingly allowed herself to play that role, which she has copped to. But, basically, fuck her. She was content to suckle at the teat of whatever fame Trump had and line her purse. Now that she was kicked out of the Big Brother: DC house, she's gonna get paid. It doesn't mean she's lying. It just means, you know, fuck her.

With that said, much of what Omarosa has revealed is the sadly standard "The President is a dumb fucking racist" shit that we've heard before. I'm pretty sure there is no one in the nation who doesn't think that Trump says, "Nigger" on a regular basis. And, frankly, some of it sounds crazy, like making a recording in the situation room of the White House.

I don't necessarily believe her when she says she walked in on Trump eating paper in order to destroy whatever was written on it. It's more believable that Trump sits at his desk in the Oval Office, staring ahead blankly, tearing off bits of intelligence reports, and devouring them mindlessly, washing them down with Diet Coke. In fact, I'd bet that Trump has to constantly be told to stop eating the paper.

Also, there's the stuff that ought to be shocking but isn't, like that Gene Simmons of KISS openly talked about fucking Ivanka in front of dear ol' dad, but Trump just laughed and egged him on. I mean, unless you've got a video of Trump boning his daughter while Jared weeps and jacks off in the corner, you've really got nothing. And even then, most of us would think, "Yeah, I totally expected to one day see Trump boning his daughter while Jared weeps and jacks off in the corner." What would be surprising? Add a goat? A shit fetish? Crucifixion? Who knows anymore? We have lost the capacity for shock.

However, what's more interesting than the Omarosa revelations (because, as mentioned above, fuck Omarosa) has been Trump's reaction to those revelations. In a few tweets, he ended up saying that Omarosa was terrible at her "job" but he kept her on "because she only said GREAT things about me," as if that makes him look good instead like the incompetent, pathetic, narcissistic goon that he is, and he confirmed that he uses non-disclosure agreements, which has gotta be a violation of every kind of open records law there is, but, you know, that would require someone checking and balancing the Executive Branch.

In a recording of a phone call, Trump acts completely fake surprised that Omarosa was fired by John Kelly. And his defense is that he's just so fucking stupid: "You know, they run a big operation, but I didn’t know it. I didn’t know that. Goddamn it! I don’t love you leaving at all." First off, "I don't love you leaving" is what a goddamned child says when a parent is going on a business trip. Second, if Trump legit didn't know about her firing, that means everyone in the White House knows he doesn't give a shit about what goes on there.

He just wants to eat his paper and drink his Diet Coke and watch Fox "news" and wait until he can get in front of some audience so he can pretend he's in charge.

Update: A couple of further notes here. First, if Omarosa was just begging for a job, Trump had (and, fer fuck's sake, still has) a corporation where he could have hired her. But that wouldn't have achieved the primary objective of being "my African American" while he's in the White House.

Also, Trump is obviously freaking the fuck out because he went further in attacking her, calling her a "lowlife" and a "dog," which you know was "bitch" before someone told him to change it.  Either way, it's still occasionally, in the abstract, weird to think, "Um, that's the president of the United States saying that shit."

Always remember that should we ever hear a recording where Trump spouts racial slurs (I mean, we already heard him be sexist in the Access Hollywood pussy tape), his idiot hordes will love him for it. It's why they voted for him in the first place.

8/09/2018

Laura Ingraham Fears White Genocide

There are few things that are more of a bitch-ass argument than the whole "white genocide" thing that racists have been screeching about. The idea isn't that there will be concentration camps of white people being exterminated by legions of blacks and Hispanics and Asians and other scary non-white groups. Oh, no. See, white genocide is a gradual process by which a combination of demographic changes, migration, and white people not having babies will eradicate whiteness, causing white culture and beliefs and whatnot to disappear. See, it's like a genocide except no one is watching their family get mutilated by machetes or sent into gas showers. So it's not like a genocide at all save for in the delusional minds of white supremacists who don't fucking get that their whiteness is a construction of so many non-white forces that they wouldn't have a culture without it.

Grow the fuck up, you pussies. This is what happens. Populations move. People fuck people of other races. That shit just happens. Look at Mexico. Not because of undocumented migrants, but because of how it dealt with an influx of another race. You know that there are over a million people of Arab descent in Mexico? No, you didn't fucking know that, you stupid assholes. A whole bunch of them are Lebanese. Did you know that? No, you didn't fucking know that because you're a dumb fuck racist fuckball. And you know why you don't hear about it? Because the people from Lebanon and Yemen and Syria and elsewhere who moved to Mexico in the 1930s and 1940s married Mexicans and they have Arab Mexican kids and that's the way shit goes, man, and no one gives a single goddamn about it anymore. The best kibbeh I ever had was in Merida, Yucatan, and it was made by the Mexican wife of a Lebanese friend. How fucking great is that? The world's a goddamn miracle when you're not a total dick about shit like this.

Which gets us to Fox "news" host and noted Nazi saluter Laura Ingraham, who, you may have heard, went off about shifting racial populations in the United States last night on her show, The Ingrown Toenail. You've likely seen this quote, which sounds like something you hear before a cross is set on fire: "[I]n some parts of the country it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn't exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they are changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don't like." Does anyone vote for demographic change? How would that work? I guess she supports keeping black people out of her neighborhood. Anyways, Ingraham had been mocking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the self-professed socialist who won the Democratic nomination for Congress in a district in New York City.

But you may not have heard the other shit Ingraham said during her xenophobic rant last night. She continued, "From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now, much of this is related to both illegal and in some cases legal immigration that of course progressives love." Then, after getting in the usual shots at undocumented migrants and bringing up the scary ones who committed crimes and scary sanctuary cities (also known as "cities"), Ingraham got to her real fear, which is not crime at all: "[T]his is a sure way over time to remake and reshape America. This is exactly what socialists like Ocasio-Cortez want. Eventually diluting and overwhelming your vote with the votes of others who aren't, let's face it, too big on Adam Smith and the Federalist Papers."

Oh, Laura, c'mon. You really think your viewers know jack shit about Adam Smith and the Federalist Papers (which, by the way, great name for a terrible band)? Most of them wouldn't know The Wealth of Nations if Smith himself was whispering it in their ears as he made sweet, sweaty love to them, fucking them in the ass while watching your show.

More important than the stupidity and pliable sphincter of the average Ingraham viewer is that Ingraham is using the threat of non-white immigrants voting in order to demonize those immigrants even more than crime and job-taking might. She's saying, "Understand this, my fellow racist shitheels. They will elect people with scary names like Ocasio-Cortez and then they will pass laws that will strip your whiteness of its privilege."

Isn't that what this all really is about? The gut-wrenching fear that whiteness won't be powerful in and of itself? Or maybe it's just that there are a bunch of white people who are scared shitless that they might get treated like they've treated non-white people for centuries.

Demographic changes are gonna happen. The pure white Aryan blood will become "diluted" (which is an interesting dog-whistle of a word). Wait until climate refugees start pouring into the country, along with the economic migrants and asylum seekers from increasingly violent places. The most hilarious, fucked up part of all this is that the way that the cowardly white conservatives could have kept the nation whiter would have been to help the rest of the world with economic incentives, climate action, and more. But it's too late now, you pasty motherfuckers. You shouldn't have been listening to people like Laura Ingraham all this time.

That said, this is the country we have. We're not going back. No matter how many immigrants the Trump administration gets rid of, the demographic shift is here, man. This is the America we have. I love it. I love this crazy richness of identities. It's fucking fascinating and fucking fun. Bring on the white genocide. It sounds like a party.

You don't like it? Well, there's always Russia.

8/07/2018

The Trump Administration Wants to See How Racist It Can Be

You've heard it over and over from Republicans: they are just concerned about undocumented immigrants (or "illegal aliens," as the Justice Department has been ordered to say). If you ignore the fact that Customs and Border Protection treated asylum seekers who presented themselves as such at the proper border crossings - doing everything legally -  like they were undocumented migrants, and if you ignore the mostly-Muslim ban, well, you could maybe sort of believe Republicans if you squinted and stuck your fingers in your ears.

Of course, mistreating the undocumented was never the full plan. Because, see, White House adviser and Man Most Likely to Be Caught Eating Hamsters Whole, Stephen Miller, is a fucking ghoul, and he's getting the Trump administration to change how legal immigrants are treated. And if you're thinking, "Oh, they must be getting extra nice to documented immigrants because they've been such pricks to undocumented ones," then you're a fucking idiot who doesn't understand the level of cruelty for cruelty's sake these shitheels exist on.

What they want to do now is get rid of legal immigrants and they're gonna contort the fuckin' law to do it so they don't need congressional approval. The plan: "immigrants living legally in the U.S. who have ever used or whose household members have ever used Obamacare, children's health insurance, food stamps and other benefits could be hindered from obtaining legal status in the U.S." You got that? You have a kid who's a U.S. citizen and is on CHIP? No green card for you. You have a green card and get an Obamacare subsidy? No citizenship and, hey, we'll take that green card away. Back to the unstable visa system for you or, the real goal, deportation.

How fucked do you have to be to believe that this is in any way good for the country? You gotta be some bullshit white genocide-believing, Nazi-loving motherfucker to go along with this. Or, you know, an average Republican in this worthless age of Trump.

So you can live in this country legally for years, have kids here, and pay your taxes. But if you avail yourself of something that your taxes are helping to fund, you can go fuck off back to Mexico or whatever shithole you came from. You're a "public charge" now, even if you're just getting the barest of help from the government.

Trumpistas also say that they are targeting people who did something else wrong at some point in their lives, like lie on a visa application. But, as is the way with Donald Trump, who never met a contract he wouldn't violate, even people who had an agreement with the government are finding that the deal has been broken by this administration.

In one example, a Haitian man who has a green card "had used a fake passport given to him by smugglers when he entered the U.S. from Haiti in 1989, but confessed to border officers and received a waiver from USCIS absolving him of his wrongdoing and allowing him to obtain a green card in 2011." Now, though? Fuck the waiver we gave you. "When he went for his citizenship interview in August 2017, the USCIS officers told him they were going to revisit the decision to waive the fake passport incident, meaning he could potentially lose his green card as well." And then he found out he was denied citizenship. The man works 80 hours a week and takes care of a disabled daughter. He's further fucked because he has used public assistance to help with his American kid. How does this make America great again? If "great" means "whiter," then, sure, goal met.

Here you go, Republicans. Another shot to stand up and say to Trump, "No. Fuck this. This is too far. Fire that Miller cockhole and act like you're a goddamned human being." Except you won't. Because it is you. It has been you for decades. You're just finally getting to be your worst selves.

8/06/2018

Hey, New York Times, Republicans Don't Have a "Dilemma" Over Supporting White Supremacists Since They Are White Supremacists

An article in the New York Times today is about the supposed queasiness that the Republican establishment is feeling because of Corey Stewart, the GOP candidate for Senate in Virginia. Stewart, you see, is "a popular figure" with white nationalists, white supremacists, Nazis, KKK, whatever the fuck you wanna call 'em, let's just say, "Filthy fucking racists."

That's because, among other odious positions, Stewart is an ardent defender of the Confederacy, the defeated pseudo-nation of goddamn traitors that fought a war in order to continue to keep slaves. Yeah, Stewart rants about how his opponent, Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, is cool with taking down the statues of the aforementioned goddamn traitors. In one video, this racist fuck declares that "We will never ever allow anyone" to go to Charlottesville to take down a statue of Robert E. Lee. That was posted a year ago, just before the white nationalist rally where anti-racist protester Heather Heyer was killed by a racist fuck.

Stewart has been endorsed by President Donald Trump, a man who never met a black athlete or politician he couldn't degrade, so, as the Times puts it, "For mainstream Republicans in Virginia and nationwide, a profound political dilemma of the Trump era is whether to support the growing number of candidates like Mr. Stewart who make racially divisive remarks — particularly about immigrants — and back causes that are championed by white nationalists."

Now, the rest of this post could be about how ludicrous a figure Stewart is. How he posts videos ranting about Sarah Jeong, the recent hire at the Times who tweeted some (pretty funny) things attacking white people. How he says, "I challenge anybody to find a single racist statement that I’ve ever made" right after he talks about how great the Confederacy was. How he says his racism is "edgy," as if it's cool and not just another verse of the same shit song over and over.

Instead, though, let's think about those Republicans who are facing a supposed "dilemma" over whether or not to support all the racists that racists love. What fucking "dilemma" is it? It's not like any of them are thinking, "Gee, maybe I should say that I don't like the Confederacy-humper." No, they're debating whether to avidly support Stewart or just stay silent. Either way, they are complicit in the racism that is simply the reason for the Republican Party to exist at all at this point (well, racism and making rich people richer).

Cut out this bullshit act, this pretense that Republicans have had anything that approaches honor on racial issues since at least the 1980s on a national level and well before that on the local level. The GOP has been fanning the flames of racial hatred and disenfranchisement for decades. (Note: Sorry, idiots who believe the dingleberries of fake wisdom that are sharted out of Dinesh D'Souza's mouth, but the majority of Democrats have been on the anti-racist side for a long-ass time.)

The second the words "welfare queen" dribbled from Ronald Reagan's mouth and Republicans cheered him for it, that was it. Any fucking chance for the GOP to deny its racism was completely fucking gone. And the war Reagan waged against black Americans, both by action and inaction, was starkly white supremacist. Reagan turned the entirety of government programs meant to help all Americans into something those poor darkies took because they were lazy and shiftless and trying to put one over on the man, the white man, that is. Just a bunch of Mammies having babies and Slip Coons stealing shit, that's how Reagan portrayed people who needed things like food stamps and other social programs to stay alive. So Reagan gutted those programs, hurting poor black families especially hard (and all poor people, but poor whites were on the Reagan train, so they loved it). Black poverty increased faster than white poverty under Reagan. He couldn't have given a shit. And neither could the Republican Party. Fuck, after getting the nomination in 1980, the son of a bitch went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil right workers were murdered just 16 years earlier, to give his first speech as the sole representative of his party.

Tell me that shit ain't the same fuckin' coin as Corey Stewart. Hell, I didn't even get into the Southern Strategy and Lee Atwater's comments on how the GOP was racist as hell but better at masking it.

There is no "dilemma" for Republicans. There's just a slight worry that the mask is off. But the same ugly white racist face is there that's been there for decades.

(Note: Yeah, you can tell me about some non-racist Republicans or black Republicans. Who the fuck cares? It's like saying, "Oh, hey, I found the one orange in the basket that doesn't have worms." The rest needs to be tossed in the trash.)

8/03/2018

Donald Trump: The Boy Who Always Needs a Trophy

It's an article of faith among grumpy dicks of all political stripes: Kids today, man, those little fuckers don't understand how the real world works with their participation medals and constant praise and "everyone's a winner" bullshit. But the neediest little shit of them all is the goddamned President of the United States, Donald Trump. He hosts his Nuremberg rallies for rubes and yahoos where the ostensible purpose is to campaign for some pathetic ass-kisser running for Congress or governor, but the true purpose is to allow our bloated baby leader a chance to glorify in cheers and chants for him and boos and curses for his enemies (which would be anyone who isn't cheering and chanting for him).

Trump is peak narcissist, a man so self-involved and insecure that he must constantly be told how wonderful and beneficent he is and how blessed is a nation that has him as a leader.

The rallies aren't even the worst examples of his unrelenting need for praise. At least once a week, he gathers a group of people for some kind of roundtable on some fucking worthless subject and then he commands a circle jerk with him at the center. Whenever he says something like "Let's go around and hear from everyone," that's the cue for the men to pull out their dicks and start jacking it and the women to lift their skirts so they can start the fingering, and it goes until they all ejaculate, covering Trump in spunk and pussy juices as he shouts for more, more, more.

This week, it was a meeting of (as the White House put it) "inner-city pastors." And those pastors know that if they hitch their wagons to the conservative machine, they will be rolling in speaker fees and book deals. So around the circle jerk it went, from pastor to faith leader to pastor. A little sample of the praise porn after Trump said, "Maybe we can go around the room":

Dr. Alveda King: "You’ve done so many things that were great" like "opening up the steel mills."

Reverend Wilfredo De Jesus: "First of all, let me just say thank you for your boldness. Thank you for taking a stand for those that are disenfranchised."

Dr. Van Moody: "Thank you for being compassionate and caring about all people."

Pastor Darrell Scott: "People ask me why do I defend him so vociferously. And I say it’s easy for me to do it because I know him, and he’s shown me his heart, and I know he has a heart for all Americans...this is probably going to be the — and I’m going to say this at this table — the most pro-black President that we’ve had in our lifetime."

Did you throw up a little? A lot? I didn't even get into the slavering, drooling obsequiousness of Ja'Ron Smith, a White House staffer who really said, "Today is a watershed moment — this opportunity to learn about a community that has felt left behind for years," as if no one had ever heard of the inner city church before.

Every goddamn week this happens. Sometimes it's a cabinet meeting, where Trump sits with his arms crossed while one official after another abases him- or herself before his stern, orange jowls and turkey neck. Last week, there was a "Workforce Development Roundtable" in Iowa where various politicians and business leaders masturbated furiously to please their master.

One of the reasons Trump rails against the media is because, except for Fox "news," his fantasy accomplishments aren't met with grateful kowtowing to him. For instance, Trump will say that the news media "won't tell you" something like that U.S. Steel is opening six (or seven or eight, depending on the day) new steel mills. That's because U.S. Steel is not opening up any new steel mills. It's not enough that CNN won't report real shit that Trump thinks it's good; it's that CNN won't report his lies as facts.

Every single person that showed up this week in Tampa or Wilkes-Barre to cheer on Trump and scream at the media is just an overbearing parent at his son's soccer game, demanding that their child is always the best, even when, quite plainly, he can't even kick a ball.

8/01/2018

Summer Camp and Other Lies (and a Truth) About Our Sanctioned Child Abuse

There it was, as clearly spoken as it could be, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday about the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the border and sending them to be held in various places. Democrat Richard Blumenthal asked the witnesses, "Did any member of this panel say to anyone, maybe this isn’t such a good idea?"

He was answered by the former deputy director for children's programs of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Jonathan White, who said he told the administration, "Separation of children from their parents entails significant risk of harm to children...we raised concerns about the effect on children as well as the effect on the program."

So the Justice Department and Homeland Security were warned they were going to deeply harm kids if they followed through with an unconscionable step in their delusional border enforcement attempts. They were going to do what every thug, every mobster, every warlord has always known: if you hurt their children, parents will fall in line. According to White, he had been told that such actions would not be taken, and he didn't learn about it until he saw it on TV. That's significant because if White and others had been given a heads up, they might have come up with a plan for how to make sure the kids were reunited with their families.

But the Trump administration didn't care. They just didn't care. They wanted to hurt migrants, no matter if they were refugees from violence or people looking for better jobs. They wanted to hurt them badly, and whether or not they ever saw their mothers again didn't figure into their equation.

And, still, Matthew Albence, one of the leaders at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, could say with a straight face that the detention centers for kids are "more like a summer camp." Ah, yes, we all fondly remember our summer camps where we had to sleep under foil blankets, get awakened at 3 a.m., have only cold, rotting food, and clean toilets as we were being kicked by guards who verbally insulted us and then gave us drugs to keep us docile, all while telling us our parents didn't love us anymore and had given us away. Actually, it sounds about like what would happen if Donald Trump opened a summer camp and promised the greatest experience of a child's life. Probably with even more sexual abuse.

It's no wonder that the kids who have been reunited with their families are suffering in the wake of what they've been through. Story after story has been coming out about how traumatized the children are, with panic attacks, nightmares, and separation anxiety wrecking their young lives. They now play games that involve immigration officials handcuffing runaways or people being injected with hypodermics, as was allegedly done to calm some kids down.

Whenever you bring this up with Trump supporters, they will tell you that this was a policy started under Obama or Clinton. Except it wasn't and there is no law that forces this to happen. This was a change in enforcement ordered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, approved by President Trump. Even the officials at the hearing said that.

Or the Trump lovers will tell you that if they didn't want their kids separated, the migrants shouldn't have broken the law by crossing the border illegally. Except, again, taking kids is a choice that other presidents haven't made. Crossing the border without proper documents is a misdemeanor, like speeding. A city or county could declare "zero tolerance" for traffic laws and choose to arrest everyone who speeds. Then, like the migrant parents, any kids with them would be considered "unaccompanied" and sent to child services until family could be contacted (unless, you know, they lose track of them). But cities and counties don't do that because it's unnecessarily cruel and a waste of resources.

Even more to the point, some of the kids who got taken were brought here completely legally, by parents seeking asylum from awful situations in their home countries. That's allowed by international treaty and U.S. law. But they aren't treated differently, which means the Trump administration is just trying to stop anyone from coming in through the southern border.

And this cruelty will grow, as the White House is proposing even more limits on the number of refugees who can enter the United States. Yeah, they're talking about cutting it by another 40%, to no more than 25,000, which is the lowest number since the refugee resettlement program started in 1980.

In the quixotic, misguided, and willful attempt to make America white again, Donald Trump and his minions will do whatever they can to punish people who seek solace in the land of the conditionally free and the not-even-a-little brave, even breaking up families and torturing kids.