Zero Tolerance For Noncompliance With Federal Court Orders–Looking At You, ICE And Jeff Sessions

It would be sad and low energy for the bureaucrats at ICE and the Justice Department to fail to comply with federal court orders regarding their abusive, inhumane, and illegal treatment of asylum seekers.  Maybe the judges should issue contempt citations and lock up a few of the recalcitrant bureaucrats to focus their minds.  I am not saying that any particular asylum seeker is entitled in any way to refuge in the United States.  I am not saying that everyone seeking entry into the US has a valid claim.  I am not in favor of open borders. I am in favor of zero tolerance for felonies.  For example, securities fraud and insider trading. If, and only if, Wilbur Ross has committed crimes, he should be locked up.  If, and only if, Jeff Sessions has committed perjury, he should be locked up.  Same goes for Donald Trump Jr.  Money laundering, zero tolerance. Perjury, zero tolerance. Tax evasion, zero tolerance.

P.S. I think “abolish ICE” is a dopey approach from a political standpoint for many if not most Democratic politicians, who should join together to push for better health care for all Americans and better educational opportunities–starting with early education.  And do attack Republican corruption and child abuse, the more vividly the better.  Do not assume that any potential voter has time to pay attention to the NYT or the Washington Post or even CNN, because many are too busy getting by. Re the Supreme Court, yes Roe is important, but so is the way the Supreme Court has made life more and more difficult for working people, in or out of unions.

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I Favor Zero Tolerance For Idiots Who Throw Starburst Candy At The Leader Of The Free World, Angela Merkel

Among the many “no, really, not-the-Onion” and not-funny-either stories these past few days, Donald Trump throwing Starburst candy at German Chancellor Angela Merkel and spewing out “don’t say I never gave you anything” at her–that is about the stupidest and most disgraceful, despite all the competition for “worst.”  Though the Melania Trump jacket that said “I don’t really care, do u” is bad too.  The euphemisms and denials are horrible, too: a person who says “tender age shelters” out loud should have their mouths washed out with soap.  Yes, I am sure that some celebrities and some so-called “leftists” have been vulgar and rude and profane.  I disapprove of their immature behavior.  But it is pretty hard to be disrespectful of the office of the presidency these days.  I favor a new policy: zero tolerance for criminal behavior by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  Did you know lying to Congress is a crime, including lying about your contacts with agents of foreign adversaries such as Russia?  I favor zero tolerance for insider trading, which is a felony crime.  Hello there Wilbur Ross–have you no shame?  I favor zero tolerance for money laundering, even if it means a former campaign manager for a president, a man who, as the president pointed out, has served other presidents (and very possibly other criminals, I might add) over several decades–even so, money laundering is a felony, and there should be zero tolerance for money laundering, otherwise we become infested with money launderers.  If a money launderer makes it all the way to the presidency, that person should still face justice, in this life, and with zero tolerance for criminal behavior.  Mercy is important too–all in good biblical time, my pretty little Trump.

It’s Very Biblical To Heed Biblical Warnings About People Like Trump

If we are going to talk about zero tolerance policies, let’s talk about zero tolerance for unbiblical cruelty toward our neighbor.

It may be very Biblical to enforce the law (though Sarah Huckabee Sanders deceitfully implied that the president is simply enforcing a law passed by Democrats requiring separation of families applying for asylum, while in fact he is using his discretion over border policy–Democrats passed no law requiring what Trump is doing; moreover those families are not illegal immigrants, they are doing something perfectly lawful–applying for refuge–though they may or may not win their cases).  And Jeff Sessions may believe that quoting Romans 13:1 settles everything (“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God”).

But it is very biblical, even more biblical, to heed the warnings of scriptural witnesses.  In the book of First Samuel, the people clamor for a king to rule over them.  Samuel the aged judge goes to the Lord, who instructs Samuel to give the people what they want, but to solemnly warn them first about “the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”  Samuel does exactly that (chapter 8): “he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen…he will appoint for himself commanders… and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots.  He will take your daughters to be performers and cooks and bakers.  He will take the best of your fields and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers….he will take…the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work…you shall be his slaves.  And in that day you will cry out because of your king, who you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer in that day.  But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, ‘No! but we are determined to have a king over us, so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.”  Battles against the disrespectful elites, no doubt.  So that we also may be like Russia and China and North Korea.  With courtiers like Scott Pruitt and Tom Price and Betsy DeVos.

Scripture also warns us (Proverbs 24): “do not envy the wicked, nor desire to be with them; for their minds devise violence, and their lips talk of mischief.”  Authority is a tricky thing, Mr. Attorney General.  Have you noticed in your study of the scriptures that some rulers are evil, not godly, in the end not legitimate, and come to bad ends?

And Sarah Sanders, have you read Isaiah 10 lately: “Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, who write oppressive statutes, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of their right…what will you do on the day of punishment…to whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth?”

And Vice President Pence, have you considered the opening chapter of the book of the prophet Isaiah: “Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves.  Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts.  They do not defend the orphan and the widow’s cause does not come before them….Therefore says the Lord of hosts…I will turn my hand against you…those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed…you shall be like an oak whose leaf withers, and like a garden without water.  The strong shall become like tinder, and their work like a spark; they and their work shall burn together with no one to quench them.”

 

It’s Time For Sumptuary Laws To Regulate Facebook And Make Us Truly Happy And Free

I am old enough to remember the utopian hopes for the internet.  Sadly, the era of friendly little chat rooms (I exaggerate a bit) has given way to the era of dystopian fears: of Big Social Media, of the Deep State, and of our semi-voluntary servitude to the cookies and trackers.

I have a fine solution to all of our problems!  Bring back the sumptuary laws that served for many centuries and on multiple continents to enforce norms and hierarchies and proper social behavior.  If we had held onto rigorous sumptuary laws, Facebook’s motto, “move fast and break things,” would have put Zuckerberg in the stocks years ago.  Would that have been a bad thing?

Do not be fooled by whatever damage control statements Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg put out today and in the coming days.  They can raise the trifling objection that what happened with Cambridge Analytica was not technically a data breach.  They can promise to work closely with regulatory agencies.  They can abase themselves all they like.  Actually, their self-abasement is a sort of voluntary admission that some kind of sumptuary law to control their behavior is needed.

The hard part of this is that we need to regulate not only the destructively transgressive behaviors of Silicon Valley elites.  It’s not just that the people who are indulging themselves by consuming “cartons of multi-colored eggs pooped out of rare, expensive chickens who have been raised on diets of organic watermelon and steak” (according to Willamette Week and Washington Post) need to be shamed and then imprisoned.  The really hard part is that we, the people–we the relatively privileged people–need to accept that we cannot control ourselves.  We must impose binding regulations on ourselves.  This may be particularly difficult with a President who desperately needs and even more desperately resists sumptuary restrictions on his very own self.  Not to mention a Congress in thrall to the fantasy that deregulation always and everywhere means true freedom.  The way forward is clear.  As distasteful as it may be to many, we need a new leader right away.  A leader who understands the true value of sumptuary regulations.  A man who feels deeply the evils of bad habits and the danger of ruffles and silks and extravagance and deviance.  I refer of course to our next president, Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions.  Or Mike Pence, if you like.

Is Secretary Mattis About To Get His Shot To Protect The Constitution And Our Way Of Life?

Secretary of Defense James Mattis (I don’t say “General” because he has retired from active duty and is a civilian employee of the U.S. government) has done a better job of maintaining his dignity than most other Cabinet officers this past year.  Mattis has said more than once that his job is to “protect the Constitution and our way of life.”  Well, he is likely to get a chance to prove himself soon, if reports that the president is about to get rid of Attorney General Sessions are true.  Trump is apparently starting to realize that he actually can ignore the so-called adults in the room and do all kinds of not-normal and very likely illegal and unconstitutional things that he has been itching to do.  The Constitution, as Trump may be realizing, is a dead letter if it isn’t enforced by Congress or the courts.  And if pushback from free assembly and free speech aren’t enough to convince those other branches to restrain the president, the Constitution won’t save us.

If the president removes Sessions, installs (for example) Scott Pruitt, and Pruitt removes Mueller, then we are on the edge of constitutional crisis (I say “edge” advisedly because I don’t believe a president can succeed in trashing our freedoms unless we acquiesce).  Congress could intervene by passing, with veto-proof majorities, a new independent counsel statute; alternatively, Congressional committees could actually get serious about enforcing subpoenas against Trump and his minions; or, of course, the House could impeach.  What does Mattis have to do with any of this?  If Trump does move to shut down Mueller’s investigation, Mattis’s only honorable move, in my opinion, will be to resign and furthermore tell us why he will not be a party to subversion of our Constitution and our traditions of freedom.  If Mattis can’t move the needle of public opinion among Trump supporters and on-the-fence Americans, we are in trouble.  But he will have done what he can to preserve what he says he cares about most.

Sessions Praises “Anglo-American Heritage” Of Policing, Trump Fires Back

President Trump immediately fired back today at Attorney General Sessions, who praised sheriffs this morning for upholding the “Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement.”  The president, walking toward his Official Presidential Limousine en route to give a lecture at the failing Newseum on “Macht, Herrschaft, and the Greatness of The Rule of Trump,”  demanded that General Sessions apologize for his comments and acknowledge the greatness of his favorite traditions of sheriffing and policing, namely the Germanic and Prussian.  At first blush the president’s rebuke of Sessions seemed to contradict his tweet over the weekend in support of “due process.”  Trump derided that objection as picayune and also treasonous, saying “I don’t need no stinking Magna Carta.”  At last check CNN, the AP, and the failing NY Times and fake-Amazon-Washington Post were all seeking writs of habeas corpus for their imprisoned reporters.

Here’s Hoping Upcoming Protests Are Pro-things-worth-supporting: Freedom And Constitution, For Starters

A president, even a very unpopular one like #45, always possesses a great deal of power to initiate events.  He is already trying hard to distract us from the indictments coming his way.  Trump is not cool, calm, and collected; nor does he have any respect for our constitutional republic, or for liberty, or for limited government, or for checks and balances.  He may have the complicity of Republican politicians and big-money donors, and I am not counting on Trump to show any restraint this week as he reacts to Mueller.  But his power of initiative should not and won’t go unanswered.  I do expect protests in the streets of Washington if he starts firing people in the Justice Department to get at Mueller.  Protests need to remain pro-, not just anti-, and that can happen if we all remember what is worth defending: the freedoms promised by the Bill of Rights.  They need defending again.  That’s pro-liberty.  Liberty has been a big talking point of the political and religious right wing, but it needs to be the focus of those who cannot abide what this government is doing now.  Facts and science matter; freedom is the precondition that matters even more.  The fight against what many now see as Trump’s thuggish agitprop is a fight for liberty and freedom.  There are many non-liberal, non-progressive people who are offended by Trump and who may be willing to protest for freedom and liberty.  This is not the time for progressive, liberal-minded people to pick fights with them unless there is a compelling reason.  I am not expecting to see Jeff Sessions or Mitt Romney or Chris Christie marching against the president, but let’s keep the door open for people like them, take a positive approach, and persuade people with positive arguments.

Sad Snowflake Sessions Stifles Student Free Speech At Georgetown Law–Why Is He Disrespecting Our Flag?

Really, Mr. Attorney General?  You give a speech about free speech, in Georgetown, D.C., and you shut out students who signed up to see you speak?  That is disrespectful of the republic, and very disrespectful of the principles for which the flag stands.

 

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/georgetown-law-students-blocked-sessions-event?utm_content=bufferacdf5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Trump Deploys New Justice Department Forfeiture Policy To Seize Jeff Sessions’ Dignity

Could not have happened to a more deserving, or innocent, victim, depending on your POV.  Just as soon as Attorney General Sessions announced his plan to reinstate civil asset forfeitures on the grand scale he has been dreaming of since he was an Eagle Scout, President Trump turned the tables on Jefferson Beauregard Sessions by seizing his dignity.

It’s nice that Sen. Lindsay Graham has tweeted a persuasive defense of Attorney General Sessions.  But if Sen. McConnell allows the Senate to go into recess, enabling Trump to make a recess appointment who will fire Mueller, McConnell will be remembered for that cowardly act as much or more than anything else in his long Senate career.  And it’s nice that Rush Limbaugh finds the way Trump is treating Sessions to be “discomforting” and “unseemly.”  But Rush, is that all you got?  Are you really “sending your best” against Trump’s attack on our constitutional republic?  Rush, why not man up and call out Trump for the unpresidential and un-American tyrant he is?  Trump is no friend of principled, limited-government conservatism.  Wake up and smell the tyranny, Rush, before it’s too late.  When Trump comes for you, will you have any legs to stand on?  By the way, if this were just about warfare between Democrats and Republicans, enabling Trump would be less odious and cowardly.  But Trump could care less about loyalty to a political party or a governing philosophy or an ideology.  It’s all about him and his money and his glory and his vengeful self.  Enabling a person like that has little upside, to say the least.

Why Invoke Executive Privilege When You Can Just Flip Off The Constitution And The People Too

Of course Attorney General Sessions, while obfuscating, didn’t invoke executive privilege while testifying today before the Senate Intelligence Committee, because of course President Trump (whose name  it is an honor and blessing simply to be allowed to mention, as we all learned yesterday) did not and will not invoke executive privilege.  That is because Trump is no mere ordinary U.S. President.  His grandiloquent eminence precludes any stooping to invocation of privilege. More to the point, Trump already knows all the details, all the Russian connections.  No need to inquire or investigate as far as he cares.  David Simon’s June 8 Twitter thread lays out the case for Trump’s guilt as well as anything I have read or heard.  When an innocent person would look toward the door in expectation, Trump looks only at his nails, never at the door…

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions Surprised That Judicial Review Still A Thing

You would think that a little dude from Baja Alabama who became Attorney General of the whole dang United States would have just a little bit of inkling that in our beautiful constitutional republic we have judicial review of executive and legislative actions.  You are maybe not ready for the new world of 2017 in which some states and some federal circuit courts are more equal than others.  Would federal judicial review be less surprising if it came from a big ol’ judge in Texas?  Or Alaska?  Would that be big enough?

 

Update: Not gonna give you a break, Mr. Pepe Beauregard Dingleberry Sessions.  Lost my sense of humor a while back.  How about you?  Sativa got you all riled up, little dude?  Try some mellow indica next time.