Politics of Hate category archive
Will Bunch has more. A snippet:
But Jeff Sessions is in a league of his own, because he is developing brutal policies for an America that doesn’t exist — where crime in big cities, or committed by undocumented immigrants is skyrocketing, to out-of-control levels and where the “Reefer Madness” of marijuana is a crisis that’s destroying the nation from within. He bases these “law-and-order” jihads largely on what we now call “alternative facts.” But if Sessions isn’t stopped, he may actually succeed in making the country less safe — a situation that he would certainly exploit to plunge America into the kind of authoritarianism that both he and Trump would applaud.
The San Francisco Chronical takes a look at what vanity plates are being denied in California and spots a trend.
Although the DMV was reluctant to discuss trends in the past year, an examination of the agency’s records shows references to sex, vulgar language and violence topped the roll of rejects. But potential references to white supremacy were not far behind. And they outnumbered other political statements, including “IH8TRMP,” which was also rejected.
Keegan and others who study extremism say President Trump’s rise made many people with racist views more comfortable expressing themselves.
“They feel a little more emboldened now,” he said. “They start feeling like they’re not as fringe as they actually are.”
Dick Polman points out that “alternative facts” are not uniquely American.
He travels to France to find them also roaming in the wild there.
Elie Mystal comments on Attorney-General Sessions’s decision to abolish the the National Commission on Forensic Science, created by President Obama just a few years ago to raise standards for forensic science. In the light of the work of the Innocence Project and similar groups, those standards seem sorely in need of raising, or maybe of being created in the first place(PDF from Virginia Law Review). Here’s an excerpt from Mystal’s post:
Of course, a higher standard for forensic science really only helps people who committed no crime. Sessions isn’t about that. If you look like a criminal, Sessions wants you in jail, somewhat regardless of your actual culpability. The Commission, for instance, wanted the F.B.I. to stop overstating the scientific reliability of crime scene hair tracking. Turns out that’s not as good as it looks on CSI. But you know how prosecutors think: they already know who did it, the burden is on the criminal to not get caught if he’s really innocent.
Dick Polman thinks Trump’s border wall is a non-starter for many reasons. Here’s one of them; follow the link for the rest.
But the biggest problem is that most Americans don’t even want the wall. Turns out – and I know this comes as a shock – that the enthusiasm for walling us off from Mexico was largely confined to the subset of citizens who flocked to Trump’s rallies. Turns out that when it comes to wall spending, most of us are actually fiscal conservatives.
Trump’s proposed budget calls for a $1.5-billion down payment on the wall. According to a new national poll released today, only 28 percent of Americans like the idea. And 58 percent do not.
If you are going to be a Biblical literalist, you can’t pick and choose. Literalism is an all or nothing proposition. Farron Cousins explains.
In The Seattle Times, Philip Cushman suggests that most analyses of Republicans’ inability to get anything of substance done in spite of a holding a Congressional majority and the Presidency are missing the primary reason. Among the suggested reasons he’s read are that they have lost the ability to govern, are ideologically fragmented, and hampered by Donald Trump’s political inexperience.
He suggests that there is a much more important reason: Republican strategy has shot the party in both feet (emphasis added):
• One, it has exaggerated and twisted basic conservative concepts until they are out of touch with current political challenges. For instance, 19th-century ideas about the wisdom of the unregulated marketplace cannot begin to address the enormous and complex labor, health-care, tax-code, environmental and infrastructure needs of the 21st.
• Two, they have had to mortgage their integrity to the very richest of Americans, who demand tax cuts and devious welfare-for-the-rich and deregulation deals that make any sort of rational and creative legislative response to difficult 21st century challenges impossible to craft.
• Three, they have had to quietly and under cover of code words and stereotypes make common cause with the worst of American culture: racism and xenophobia.
I disagree with his use of the phrase, “has been forced” in the first sentence in the excerpt.
The Republican Party chose this course; the tactics were not forced on it.
The party walked willingly and purposefully into the pit in pursuit of power.
Follow the link for the rest of his article.
Remember, the “compromise’ has a footnote. It puts “a moratorium on local ordinances regulating public accommodations or private employment practices until Dec. 1, 2020.” In other words, it strips localities from enacting their own anti-discrimination laws, because–oh, hell, I’ll be blunt–discrimination is a Republican Family Value.