Daily Bread for 7.6.18

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of seventy-seven.  Sunrise is 5:23 AM and sunset 8:35 PM, for 15h 11m 54s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 48.5% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the six hundredth day.Days since Trump’s election, with 11.9.16 as the first day.

On this day in 1934, seven are injured in a riot at the Horlick plant:

On this day three policemen and five office employees of the Horlick Malted Milk Corp. were injured when a crowd of strike sympathizers stormed a motorcade of employees entering the plant’s main gate. Emerging from a crowd of 500 striking employees, the rioters overpowered police escorts, shattered windshields and windows, and pelted officers with rocks. Police blamed Communist influence for the incident, and former Communist congressional candidate John Sekat was arrested in the incident. Employees of the plant were demanding wage increases and recognition of the Racine County Workers Committee as their collective bargaining agent.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Victoria Ochoa writes I’m from the border. The news is getting it wrong:

I am from la frontera, meaning “frontier” in Spanish but translated in English as “border.” The news over the past few weeks might make you think that places such as my hometown — McAllen, Tex., in the Rio Grande Valley — are under siege from waves of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers, a crisis of lawlessness so extreme that drastic measures are needed. Tearing children from their parents, or, when that proves too unpopular, corralling families in tent cities. Then there’s the $25 billion wall that’s needed to safeguard the United States from the threat of being overrun.

The view from down here is different. In a 2018 rating of the 100 most dangerous cities in the United States based on FBI data, no border cities — not San Diego, not Texas cities such as Brownsville, Laredo or El Paso — appeared even in the top 60. McAllen’s crime rate was lower than Houston’s or Dallas’s, according to Texas Monthly in 2015. The Cato Institute’s research consistently shows that immigrants, both legal and undocumented, are markedly less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.

In the U.S. borderlands with Mexico, our inherent duality is what helps our communities thrive. We work hard, attend school and worship just as Americans do all across the nation. Yet we are overwhelmingly Latino, and a quarter of us are foreign-born. We are here and there. Some of us were born here, and some of us were not. But it doesn’t matter — pero ni modo — all are welcome.

  Jeremy Raff reports Kids Describe the Fear of Separation at the Border (“Children who experienced the “icebox” say they didn’t know if they would see their parents again”):

Paulina, a 9-year-old girl, described her experience spending days in a detention center at the border. JEREMY RAFF / THE ATLANTIC

Paulina is one of the lucky ones. The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy separated roughly 2,500 children from their parents in recent weeks, but not all families were split up. In the absence of an official explanation, advocates speculated that border agents left some families intact for lack of detention space, instead releasing them with GPS ankle trackers and a court date. After release, Border Patrol sends some of them via bus to the Catholic Charities Respite Center, where they can get a hot meal, new clothes, diapers, and even new shoelaces, which authorities confiscate during incarceration as a precaution against suicide. Then, the immigrants board Greyhound buses for points north while they wait to see an immigration judge. Most will plead for asylum protection to stay in the country, a process Trump has derided as a “loophole” that his administration has sought to curtail even before migrants reach the U.S.

Before arriving at the respite center, Paulina and the other children spent days in a detention center like the one where an activist captured audio of children crying—a recording that quickly crystallized outrage against the separations. “They caught us,” a 5-year-old Honduran girl named Ashley told me. “They took us to a hielera,” an icebox, which is how migrants widely refer to chilly government processing centers. Ashley said agents held her in a different room from her mom. “I missed her and I cried for her,” she said, “I love her.”

  Will Wilkinson asks How Did We Get to the Savagery of ‘Tender Age’ Shelters?:

Perhaps you’ve come to wonder how tearing babies away from their mothers over a victimless misdemeanor came be the official policy of the United States government. It’s a question on a lot of our minds. Most of us are outraged and livid with shame that the savagery of “tender age” shelters was undertaken by our government, on our behalf.

If we’re ready to say “never again,” we need to be willing to expose the roots of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. We need to be willing to cut them out.

Blame Donald Trump’s ruthless bigotry, sure. But when the president walked into the Oval Office, he walked into a ready-made, bipartisan immigration policy framework poised for brutality. Militarized borders, deportation squads, an archipelago of internment facilities, hypertrophied executive power, a lurid body of national security and anti-trafficking law sprung from the rich manure of panic — none of this is Mr. Trump’s handiwork. It was an inheritance.

And now Mr. Trump has deployed this machinery of repression, bristling with Bush- and Obama-era upgrades, to take terrified innocents hostage. The administration sees the moral horror and basic decency of the American people as weakness it can exploit to extort concessions to its unpopular, hard-right agenda of ethnocultural population control. The president’s fresh executive order, falsely advertised as a reversal on family separation, is nothing but a ransom note. It amounts to a promise to continue ripping families apart unless settled legal protections for Mr. Trump’s child hostages are removed. Stephen Miller, the president’s trusted adviser, is enthusiastic about the possibility that scarring toddlers for life might rally the embattled president’s base and drive favorable midterm turnout.

  Victoria Clark writes Where the Heck Did the Term “Collusion” Come From?:

The term caught on, I think, because it captured the general suspicion that the campaign was somehow in on the hack or knowingly benefiting from it while carefully eliding the fact that no tangible evidence had yet emerged tying the Trump campaign to the Kremlin. (Remember that news of the Trump Tower meeting and other contacts between the campaign and Russian actors had not yet become public.)


The popularity of the term continued to wax and wane throughout the final months of 2016. When a big story would break about Trump, the campaign, or Clinton’s emails, the word “collusion” would appear in headlines. Not every story described the relationship as collusion. Some referred to it as “ties” with Russia. Others questioned whether Trump was “coordinating” with Putin. Collusion had not yet become the de facto term to describe the Russia connection. But it was very much in the mix.

On Dec. 9, 2016, the Washington Post reported that the CIA had concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in order to aid the Trump campaign. Although the Post did not mention the word “collusion” in its article, other media outlets such as the Economist, the Guardian, and CNN included the term when they picked up the story. After that day, the use of the word “collusion” spiked dramatically. It became the universally accepted term to describe any potential relationship between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. Even the individuals under investigation bought into the use of the word. In July of 2017, for example, Jared Kushner told reporters “Let me be very clear: I did not collude with Russia.” And in September of 2017, Donald Trump Jr. testified before Senate investigators “I did not collude with any foreign government.”

How ’bout some rabbit acrobatics:

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4 years ago

You opined in a prescient comment a while ago on the need for a third American reconstruction. You are right. We are going to have to do it again, and it won’t be easy. It’s never easy. There are large parts of “The Land of the Free” that are fundamentally racist and not at all interested in universal freedom. It is getting ugly and will get uglier before we sort it out.

It took 750,000 (by modern estimates) dead in the civil war, out of a population of about 31 million, to get to the first reconstruction. That was roughly one out of every 20 men in America, and about 10% of the men of fighting age. 51,000 died at Gettysburg, alone. The first reconstruction, in the form of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the constitution, was designed to make sure we never had to do it again.

It didn’t work, and 100 years later, in the 1960’s, we had to do it again. Not as many people were killed, by a long shot, during the civil rights movement, but there was a cataclysmic upheaval in American politics, with the old Democratic racist south converting to the newly racist post-Lincoln Republican party. They considered LBJ to be the devil incarnate for sponsoring equality legislation and have spent the last 50 years trying to erase any legacy of the civil rights movement and put blacks back in their “proper” place.

It didn’t take long after LBJ for the crypto-racists, in the person of Dick Nixon, to stage a comeback in the form of the “Southern Strategy”, and the R-Team has never looked back. Ronald Reagan, tooting a racist vuvuzela the size of a Bernese Alpenhorn, announced his presidential bid virtually on the graves of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner, the civil rights workers that were murdered in Philadelphia, MS. It worked. He won. He is now revered as a saint by Republicans, despite his treasonous activities in Central America, and the towering corruption that occurred on his “watch”. His henchmen, such as North, Poindexter, and Buchanan (who also ran for president as a neo-confederate) have been elevated to hero status among white supremacists and still curse us by their presence on earth.

GHW Bush, with Willie Horton, continued the tradition. Lee Atwater repented on his death-bed, but we have yet to hear anything from HW on the subject. Perhaps, as his time is short, he may do so soon. I’m not betting on it. Dubya was slightly less obvious than his dad and the rest of the post-LBJ R-teamers, but it is hard to ignore how he ignored NOLA during Katrina. Black folks lives don’t matter. Just make sure they don’t die in Texas. There are resounding echoes of Katrina in how Trump has treated Puerto Rico. I’m not surprised. Same party, same attitude toward non-whites.

So…We get to where we are now. Trump has explicitly, proudly, and effectively, demonized anyone non-white. The R-Team has been quite effective at curtailing non-white voting rights. They are aided and abetted by the Opus Dei cultists on the Supreme Court, which now is firmly in racist republican hands. There is no way Trump is going to elevate anyone not totally in bed with the R-Team neo-segregationists. Thanks Mitch, you dick! The stealing of the Garland seat will go down as a time when we might have had a chance to get out of this morass, but were stymied by a guy with a Taiwanese wife. You would think that Yertle would have a bit more racial sensitivity, but he doesn’t. His sole goal is power. How he gets it is not important to him.

We now have a highly militarized police force (thanks Clenis!) that is dedicated to enforcing racial purity. They shoot and beat blacks and Hispanics with impunity. Trump has generalized the racial hatred generally reserved for blacks to Arabs, Mexicans, Central Americans and anyone not pasty-assed white. He is now running concentration camps for refugee children. Word came out yesterday that he really wants to invade Venezuela.

Trump is leading a foreign takeover of the American political system. There is no longer any doubt that the Russians got Trump elected, with the help of Comey. Trump is announcing weeks ahead of time that he is going to sit down privately and work out the details with Putin on how to finish the coup. The R-Team is just fine with that. Seven of them, patriots all (just ask them), spent Independence day in Moscow, tweeting back happy thoughts about how we should just all get along. Our own RoJo, aka the dimmest bulb in the Senate, was prominent among them. The Republican Party, who rails about flag-burners, commie hippies and gawdam libruls, is now officially, and comfortably, cohabitating with our commie arch-enemy. Why do you suppose that is? Could it be that Russia is a white country and we need to lock arms with them to fight off the “colored” hoards? Russia brings a lot of hands-on experience with gulags, police-state citizen-suppression, and the fine art of snuffing dissidents with Polonium and nerve agents to the table. It could be useful…

If Trump’s master plan doesn’t work, it will be largely because of Trump deciding that women are as deserving of his oppression and scorn as black people. That is not going down well, and could lead to his undoing. When Mueller’s report drops, expect that the R-Team will not take it seriously, but will take it violently. We are in for some tough times soon.

The third reconstruction is long overdue. So is the death of the Republican party.