Maine Writer

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My blogs are dedicated to the issues I care about. Thank you to all who take the time to read something I've written.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Donald Trump is an old man and also a convicted felon. Trump lies about everything!

Echo opinion published in the Boston Globe by Renée Graham:  

Republicans are trying to ‘cheap fake’ their way back to the White House. The GOP fixation with President Biden’s age seems a way for the 78-year-old Donald Trump to deflect concerns about his own advanced years and failing mental acuity.

Donald Trump doesn’t have campaign rallies. Instead, he hosts liar-paloozas where he spends hours yelling the same falsehoods about the legitimacy of the 2020, presidential election and what he calls the “weaponization” of this nation’s justice system only because he’s finally being held accountable for some of his actions.

But in the way that a dog banging on a piano can accidentally hit a pure chord, Trump occasionally stumbles onto the truth. At a rally in Las Vegas before Trump’s 78th birthday on June 14, his followers sang “Happy Birthday” to the former president, but Trump wasn’t fully appreciative of the gesture. (In my opinion, it was a "nursing home" 🎂😯moment.)

“There’s a certain point at which you don’t want to hear ‘Happy Birthday,’ ” Trump told the crowd. “You just want to pretend the day doesn’t exist.”

Dump Trump💩❗

Trump avoids talking about his age. But he and his Republican cronies can’t stop talking about President Biden’s age, especially when manipulating false images of the president.

Given Biden and Trump’s birth years — 1942 and 1946, respectively — age was always going to be a factor in the upcoming presidential election. But Republicans, as usual, aren’t letting facts block efforts to prove that only Biden’s age is a political liability. In recent days, conservative media has been churning out what are called “cheap fakes,” doctored videos from public events that attempt to show Biden as doddering, confused, or, in one video, “frozen.”

Every lie, including those amplified by Trump’s handpicked Republican National Committee, was debunked by reporters who covered these events and by the Biden campaign. On X, Andrew Bates, the president’s senior deputy press secretary, wrote, “Fresh off being fact-checked by at least six mainstream outlets for lying about POTUS with cheap fakes, Rupert Murdoch’s sad little super PAC, the New York Post, is back to disrespecting its readers and itself once again. Their ethical standards could deal with a little unfreezing.”

Of course, once this nonsense is spewed out by the GOP’s right-wing hate machine, getting all the viral lies exposed and rounded up is like herding cats. And being revealed as mendacious lemmings has never stopped Republicans from continuing to spread mistruths.

Trump is a convicted felon❗ He allegedly conspired to overturn a fair election simply because he lost. He makes fascistic threats of revenge against his perceived enemies. No wonder he wants voters to instead focus on Biden’s age. That’s why House Republicans recently held US Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress after he refused to turn over Justice Department audio from special counsel Robert Hur’s interview with Biden that was part of an investigation into the president’s handling of classified documents.

In his report released in February, Hur concluded that Biden should not face criminal charges. That’s not what Trump, who had already been indicted for mishandling classified documents, wanted to hear. But Hur, a Trump appointee, still gave his former boss something nearly as damaging to Biden — his gratuitous opinion on the president’s mental acuity. He branded Biden as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

Except for the parts about being sympathetic and well-meaning, one could make the same argument about Trump, who has experienced his own share of memory lapses, which are probably normal at this point in his life. And that’s why his relentless attacks on Biden’s age smack of desperation.

It’s always worth remembering how much Trump’s insults against his political opponents reveal his own self-projection. As a Republican candidate and his party’s nominee in 2016, Trump often talked about how a potential Hillary Clinton presidency would be riddled with criminal investigations. He encouraged “lock her up” chants at rallies to bolster false perceptions of her alleged criminality, and used that phrase himself, though he now claims he did no such thing. (Trump lies about everything😠💥❗)

Instead, there’s been an array of former Trump administration officials and allies who’ve spent time behind bars for various crimes — including Steve Bannon who’s been ordered to turn himself in on July 1 to start his prison sentence for contempt of Congress. 

Oh, and Trump is still facing dozens of felony charges in three jurisdictions.

Trump also recently mocked the physical appearances of Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and onetime stalwart Trump supporter, even though, like those men, Trump could also be described as full-figured.

At 81, is Biden moving slower these days? Does he misspeak? Absolutely. But do Republicans portray his lifelong stutter as a sign of mental incompetence? Also, yes. As he did during his generally well-received State of the Union address in March, Biden must continue to prove that he remains sharp and capable of serving another term as this nation’s chief executive.

But at some point, and soon, there needs to be a serious discussion about age limits for presidential candidates. If there’s a minimum age to be president — 35 — there should also be a maximum age. 

Until then, Republicans doing Trump’s bidding can pretend there’s only one senior citizen presidential candidate jousting with the ravages of time as they ignore the lapses of their favored candidate, a man who no longer finds anything happy about yet another birthday.

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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Republicans unable to admit the truth about what we all saw on January 6th: An Insurretion!

Echo opinion letter to The Mining Journal in Michigan: Lies and More Lies
...I was born and came into this world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” — John (18:37).

Our salvation is founded on truth. We need to be honest about when we sin. If we want to live in a truthful community, then we must be honest in our dealings with each other. Why then are three lies attempting to shape the political future and character of our country?

Why does former guy Trump and many of his supporters continue to lie that the 2020, presidential election was stolen? It has been 3 ½ years since and their claims were rejected by every clerk and canvassing board in the nation.

There were over 60 court cases (including the Supreme Court) where judges said there is not widespread fraud. Every state and federal fegislature certified the election.

The one-sidedness of these facts is overwhelming. It is obvious that those that perpetuate this lie are doing so out of either malice or ignorance.

One lie spawns a second. The first lie inspired Trump supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Donald Trump told his supporters to come to the Capital “Be there, will be wild.” His promoters all similarly encouraged what broke out.

January 6 rioting
The five hours of rioting resulted in the assault of 140 police officers, left five dead, resulted in $2.7 million in property damage, threatened the life of prominent governmental leaders, obstructed Congress’s Certification of the Electoral Vote counts, and tarnished our image as a thriving democracy.

The attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol may be the most documented crime in U.S. history. Cameras captured 15,000 hours of footage. Law enforcement collected 1,600 electronic devices teeming with communications. Citizens provided 270,000 tips including videos, photos and social media posts. The rioters extensively captured their exploits on camera, posting hours of digital evidence of the rampage.
January 6 insurrectionits

There are 1,221 cases associated with the breach of the capitol. Over 749 cases adjudicated and sentenced. 730 have pleaded guilty.

For an incident that was on live TV, one that is so rich with evidence, how could anyone claim that what happened on January 6 was a peaceful protest? Or that it was ANTIFA?

Two lies spawn a third. If those who still embrace the prior lies feel concerned that the scrutiny of their truthfulness and character may contribute to the downfall of their political objectives, then they may lie again. They may claim: “Attempts to hold those accountable for illegal actions is evidence of a weaponized justice system.”

How long will lies, partisanship, and fealty to one man blind the visions of Republicans?

“How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever.

“How long? Not long, because you reap what you sow.”

Please help to defend truth, democracy and justice. Please get involved today.

From: Eric Cadeau in L'Anse Michigan 

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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

We the jury find the defendent Donald Trump guilty but Republicans cannot accept the rule of law

The Columbus Dispatch:  "After seven weeks and a heap of evidence, the verdict in the Donald Trump trial came down to fewer than 12 hours of deliberation and a single word uttered 34 times.
"Guilty❗", Amelia Robinson.

Echo opinion letter published in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle newspaper, in Bozeman Montana.

Republican reaction to Trump conviction is dangerous and sad.

Sadly.😙😢 surprise that all Republicans currently running for state-wide offices in Montana have declared the conviction of Donald Trump in New York STATE court a “sham” orchestrated by the Biden administration. Hilarious — since they have no knowledge of, and cite no evidence of (1) any errors by the judge in conducting the trial; (2) any irregularities by the jury in deliberating or reaching its verdict; (3) any control or influence of President Biden or any other US official over a proceeding in NY STATE court brought by NY STATE prosecutors.

The only basis for their wrongminded, false and totally unsupported statements is their desire to show their loyalty to Trump and his “base” (voters who will support him to the end, no matter what misdeeds, misstatements, and outright lies he has been proven to have done or stated). Ignore the fact that the justice system grants everyone the right to a fair trial, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (which the judge would have told the jury before they began their deliberations), and the right to an appeal to the STATE Supreme Court (and SCOTUS). However, since such appeals will not be filed and decided until long after the 2024, elections, the political calculus is to show blind allegiance to The Boss in the meantime, in order to guarantee election by those demonstrating allegiance.

When are Trump’s voting supporters going to wake up and realize that the only “FACTS” supporting Donald Trump are his continuous lies and misstatements, which are blindly re-stated by his supporters and political minions only out of their own self interest? Wake up and do your own research using unbiased sources of information. Rely on real FACTS to make up your minds — not biased statements of blind loyalty. 😠

From Mickey Smotherman, in Bozeman Montana

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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Jackson Who? Donald Trump cannot have access to America's nuclear codes when he forgets his doctor's name

TrumptiDumpti-  So, the former guy Trump forgets the name of his White House doctor – just seconds after challenging President Biden to a cognitive test. Of course, the Biden campaign 😀circulated the faux pas (aka "embarrassing") clip of #JacksonWhatsHisName? Trump-slips up on social media. Echo report published in the Independent by Katie Hawkinson:
Donald Trump forgot the name of his White House (Ronny Jackson the 🦆🦆🦆  #Quack) doctor, just moments after saying Joe Biden should take a cognitive test. #candymanJackson or "What's His Name❓"

“I took a cognitive test, and I aced it. Doc Ronny — Doc Ronny Johnson,” Trump said, attempting to refer to Ronny Jackson, former White House physician turned US Rep.

“Does everyone know Ronny ❓Johnson, 😧😧 the Congressman from Texas❓ (Texas district 13).  He was the White House Doctor,” (now a demoted Navy officer); but, Trump continued his wrong name tribute,  without revealing the "Jackson" (Trump says "Johnson") was demoted by the Navy, caused because he distributed drugs without authorizing prescriptions.

Biden’s campaign circulated the Johnson "What's his name❓😂" clip on social media, pointing out the Trumpzi error and his confusion about the Johnson-Jackson names. James Singer, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign, told NBC News the former president is “unhinged, unable to focus, and diminishing before our very eyes.”

“Trump's only (dangerously) coherent thoughts this week were his affinity for more corporate tax cuts for billionaires, tax increases for the middle class, and his disdain for the people of Milwaukee*,” Singer told NBC News.

*Donald Trump 'Horrible' Quote To Appear on Billboards Across Milwaukee: "Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said: 'If Donald Trump wants to talk about things that he thinks are horrible—all of us lived through his presidency, so right back at you, buddy'."

Jackson, the former White House #QuackQuack🦆🦆 physician often shares far-right content on social media. 

Vote Blue

#VoteTexas13Blue #VoteDemocrat #VoteBidenHarris2024

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Donald Trump chicanery- Republicans fall victim to former guy's fake news and false accusations

 Echo opinion published in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper:

You cannot fool all of the people all of the time by David McGrath: 

Trump trickery!

Reading one of the many postings written by the former guy Donald Trump on his Truth Social network, he had (fakenews❗) seized upon the phrase “lethal force,” commonly used in FBI (agent safety❗) paperwork, authorizing searches, to falsely accuse Joe Biden of sending agents to “assassinate” him at Mar-a-Lago. 

That, of course, is classic Trump chicanery: to dangle an outrageous accusation in a Truth Social post, in order to distract voters from focusing on the alleged possession of classified documents in his Florida home (found hidden in a bathroom).

Likewise, a couple of weeks earlier, he claimed that he was not allowed to testify in his own defense during the Manhattan jury trial, because of the gag order imposed by the judge. 

This, too, is a falsehood, obvious to any fan of the TV show “Law and Order,” but intended by Trump to obscure the fact that he was avoiding the witness stand, and he didn’t want to be perceived as “chickening out” by his supporters. (Stormy Daniels alert: In a tweet perceived to be aimed at former guy Donald Trump, which has since garnered significant attention, Ms. Daniels wrote, 'Real men respond to testimony by being sworn in and taking the stand in court. Oh...wait. Nevermind'."

Stormy Daniels-American pornographic film actress, director and former stripper. She has won many industry awards and is a member of the NightMoves Hall of Fame

Predictably, for the previous six weeks, whenever a court session in his hush money trial was adjourned for the day, Trump walked up to the media microphones to introduce conspiracy theories. He said the judge was a “devil,” his indictment a “sham,” and the trial a “persecution” by President Biden. He wanted to flood the airwaves with baseless accusations, in hopes that voters would forget the signed checks, witness testimony, and audio tapes that manifested his felonious falsification of business transactions.

And while there certainly may have been people in the jury who liked or even voted for the former president, they were intelligent adults, not 11-year-old children. So it did not take long for them to issue 34 guilty verdicts after careful deliberation, while withstanding efforts by Trump’s attorneys to cast doubt on the facts by vilifying and seeming to put Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels on trial, in order to occlude their client’s crimes.

And though the verdict is in, and the sentencing is July 11, the distraction and decoying persists, as Republican leaders, either loyal to Trump or fearful of him, criticize his conviction as “persecution” and a “kangaroo court,” while excusing the crime Trump committed to fool voters into electing him president. Such a level of hypocrisy is astonishing, even for politicians.

In fact, the 12 adult jurors in New York who were not bamboozled have set an example going forward for the rest of the country on how to stand up for truth and the American justice system.

David McGrath is a former English professor at Florida Southwestern State College.

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Monday, June 17, 2024

Another Donald Trump bad idea to create a dangerous myth about eliminating income taxes

Echo opinion published by the Editorial Board in the Los Angeles Daily News:  Eliminating the income tax will do damage to the middle class because it will increase prices at a rate higher than inflation and cut policies to support the economic safety net.
Former guy Donald Trump just can’t let a bad idea go. During a  meeting with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Trump reportedly raised the idea of swapping higher taxes on imports for lower income taxes. It’s a tax scheme that makes little sense from virtually any perspective it is considered.

“Trump says ‘this is an idea, but I’d love to raise tariffs’ and then he said, ‘and maybe even no income taxes on Americans.’ Everyone was clapping in the room,” explained GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, according to Bloomberg. “I think that’s a fantastic idea.”

It is anything but❗

For one, tariff revenues currently account for just 2% of federal revenues. Attempting to replace any significant revenue from income taxes by raising taxes on imports will result in massive and regressive increases on the costs of goods in America.

According to Bryan Riley at the National Taxpayers Union, “it would take a tariff rate of 71%” on all imported goods ❗to match the level of revenue generated by income taxes.

That is, if one assumes that the federal government could just slap such a massive tax increase without unintended negative consequences.

Explains Riley, “a tariff rate of 71 percent would dramatically reduce the volume of imports. As a result, the revenue generated would be nowhere close to $2.2 trillion. Additionally, the revenue hit would be worsened by the massive economic disruption a 71 percent tariff would inflict on the economy, the resulting lost exports and global trade war, and the indirect impact of transitioning from a progressive individual income tax system to a regressive import tax system.”

In other words, what Trump pitched and what Rep. Greene considers “a fantastic (stupid❗😕😧) idea” is not only impossible to achieve, but would upend the global economy, to the detriment of American workers, taxpayers and consumers.

While it’s possible Trump was just thinking out loud (❓ 😳😦), his latest idea is merely an extension of his proposal last August to impose a 10% across-the-board tax on imports.

According to an analysis by the Tax Foundation, “Trump’s proposal of a 10 percent trade tax matched with in-kind retaliation would shrink the U.S. economy by 1.1 percent and threaten more than 825,000 U.S. jobs.”
A Six-Metre, novelty-sized Donald Trump

So, that doesn’t make sense either. And there’s a good reason for that: tariffs are bad policy because they are based on bad economic thinking. The belief that a nation can tax imports and net out ahead has been disproven time and time again.

Yet it’s an idea embraced by not only Trump, but by President Joe Biden, who has announced a 50% tariff on Chinese semiconductors and electric car batteries, as well as a 100% tariff on electric cars from China.

That the leaders of the two dominant parties in the United States are proud protectionists is a blow 
to economic freedom and prosperity here at home and around the world.

We cannot tax our way to a more prosperous future. It is a problem when the new face of the party of Ronald Reagan can’t think past the first step of an economic intervention.

It is imperative that members of both parties stand up for free trade and speak out against the senseless tide of protectionism.

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Sunday, June 16, 2024

January 6th seditious Donald Trump stopped following election rules. James David Vance is enabling Trump's immoral effort to overturn the 2020 election

"America is a constitutional republic with fair elections and robust liberal protections. This governmental system has worked fairly well. So I propose we keep it going," Jonathan Chait

Republican Ohio Senator J.D. Vance has been mocked as a "Bad Santa" and is compared to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Will "Hillbilly-Dance" the Trump VP candidate?

Echo essay published in The Intelligencer, in New York Magazine, by Jonathan Chait: 

James David Vance is the junior United States senator from Ohio. 

Vance carried off a cynical but highly successful mid-career switch from venture capitalist to professional pseudo-populist that requires catering to the beliefs of his constituency; he has fallen in with far-right authoritarian intellectuals who long for the destruction of the republic; and he is angling for a spot on Trump’s ticket.

Each of these individually provides Vance with more than enough reason to bless Trump’s attempt to secure an unelected second term. Collectively, they make the decision a no-brainer.

But Vance, surprisingly, still possesses a brain, or at least enough pretensions to wish to justify his stance to those who do. And so, in his interview with Ross Douthat, Vance could have simply justified Trump’s attack on democracy by pledging fealty to Trump. Instead, he constructed an elaborate rationale for a man he once described as “America’s Hitler” attempting his own Beer Hall Putsch.

Like many Republicans, Vance feels embarrassed by the claims made by Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani that the election was rigged by Dominion Voting Systems and Hugo Chavez.

Instead, he argues that it was rigged by emergency pandemic measures to expand mail-in voting and media coverage of the Hunter Biden laptop:

The argument is basically that there were a host of institutional actors, technology companies, various forms of censorship, that mobilized in 2020, in a way that they hadn’t in 2016. There was tech censorship. People were primed to push back against any October surprises.

And look, October surprises are part of American democracy, and whether you think Hunter Biden is as major issue, or not, in the American democracy, you let the voters decide.

That was a way in which the basic democratic will of America was obstructed. I don’t see any reason to think that Dominion voting machines switched ballots, but there was a breakdown in democratic will.

Point No. 2 is that the rules of the game were changed in the middle. When does a ballot have to be mailed in Pennsylvania to count under the election rules? That was changed. That was changed for Covid reasons, in a way that partially is the fault of the Republican National Committee — we weren’t prepared for it, Democrats were, and they took advantage of it.

None of these complaints comes anywhere close to justifying Trump’s attempt to overturn the election. 

As a matter of fact, if voting procedures hadn’t been changed to accommodate a once-in-a-century pandemic, that would have distorted the result even more. And if biased media coverage makes elections illegitimate, then every Republican victory since the founding of Fox News deserves an asterisk.

Vance goes on to argue that Trump’s attempt to nullify the election result was fine because it followed constitutional ❓procedures:

He was using the constitutional procedures. Now, your argument is that he was using them ineffectively, or maybe even illegitimately, but he was trying to take a constitutional process to its natural conclusion.

Suppose it’s true that all this was constitutional. The Constitution, according to Vance, allows a candidate who has clearly and provably lost an election to overturn the result by getting his allies in Congress to accept a series of absurd claims, and then prevail on his own vice-president to join them.

If that is true, then the Constitution contains a wormhole that nullifies elections and functionally creates a dictatorship, as long as the president has reliable allies in Congress and the vice-presidency. If the Constitution actually did hand this gun to the president, and the only thing standing between the country and dictatorship was his willingness not to pick it up, then that would make it all the more important to denounce Trump’s efforts to fire it.

Instead, Vance just shrugs off Trump’s immoral effort to overturn the election because it followed the rules up until January 6th.

But this ridiculous argument is all academic anyway, because on January 6th, Trump stopped following the rules. 


Mass deportations planned by the Trumpzi loyalists like the ghoul Sephen Miller- Humanitarian horror happening in real time

Echo article published in the The New York Times, by  Charles Savage, Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Swan

Sweeping Raids, Giant Camps and Mass Deportations: Inside Trump’s 2025, Immigration Plans.
If he regains power, Donald Trump wants not only to revive some of the immigration policies criticized as draconian during his presidency, but expand and toughen them.

Former guy Donald J. Trump is planning an extreme expansion of his first-term crackdown on immigration if he returns to power in 2025 — including preparing to round up undocumented people already in the United States on a vast scale and detain them in sprawling camps while they wait to be expelled.

The plans would sharply restrict both legal and illegal immigration in a multitude of ways.
Trump advisers’ wrongminded vision of abrupt mass deportations would be a recipe for social and economic turmoil, disrupting the housing market and major industries including agriculture and the service sector.

Trump wants to revive his first-term border policies, including banning entry by people from certain Muslim-majority nations and reimposing a Covid 19-era policy of refusing asylum claims — though this time he would base that refusal on assertions that migrants carry other infectious diseases like tuberculosis.

He plans to scour the country for unauthorized immigrants and deport people by the millions per year.

To help speed mass deportations, Trump is preparing an enormous expansion of a form of removal that does not require due process hearings. To help Immigration and Customs Enforcement carry out sweeping raids, he plans to reassign other federal agents and deputize local police officers and National Guard soldiers voluntarily contributed by Republican-run states.

To ease the strain on ICE detention facilities, Trump (like the Nazis) wants to build huge camps to detain people while their cases are processed and they await deportation flights. 

And to get around any refusal by Congress to appropriate the necessary funds, Trump would redirect money in the military budget, as he did in his first term to spend more on a border wall than Congress had authorized.

In a public reference to his plans, Trump told a crowd in Iowa in September: “Following the (failed❗) Eisenhower model, we will carry out the largest domestic deportation operation in American history.” The reference was to a 1954, (failed ❗) campaign to round up and expel Mexican immigrants that was named for an ethnic slur — “Operation Wetback.”

The constellation of Trump’s 2025, plans amounts to an assault on immigration on a scale unseen in modern American history. 

Millions of undocumented immigrants would be barred from the country or uprooted from it years or even decades after settling here.

Such a scale of planned removals would raise logistical, financial and diplomatic challenges and would be vigorously challenged in court. But there is no mistaking the breadth and ambition of the shift  Trump is eyeing.

In a second Trump presidency, the visas of foreign students who participated in anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian protests would be canceled. U.S. consular officials abroad will be directed to expand ideological screening of visa applicants to block people the Trump administration considers to have undesirable attitudes. People who were granted temporary protected status because they are from certain countries deemed unsafe, allowing them to lawfully live and work in the United States, would have that status revoked.

Similarly, numerous people who have been allowed to live in the country temporarily for humanitarian reasons would also lose that status and be kicked out, including tens of thousands of the Afghans who were evacuated amid the 2021, Taliban takeover and allowed to enter the United States

Afghans holding special visas granted to people who helped U.S. forces would be revetted ❓😕😒 to see if they really did.
And Trump would try to end birthright citizenship for babies born in the United States to undocumented parents — by proclaiming that policy to be the new position of the government and by ordering agencies to cease issuing citizenship-affirming documents like Social Security cards and passports to them. That policy’s legal legitimacy, like nearly all of Mr. Trump’s plans, would be virtually certain to end up before the Supreme Court.

In interviews with The New York Times, several Trump advisers gave the most expansive and detailed description yet of Trump’s immigration agenda in a potential second term. In particular, Mr. Trump’s campaign referred questions for this article to Stephen Miller 💀👿👽, an architect of Trump’s first-term immigration policies who remains close to him and is expected to serve in a senior role in a second administration.

All of the steps Trump advisers are preparing, Mr. Miller contended in a wide-ranging interview, rely on existing statutes; while the Trump team would likely seek a revamp of immigration laws, the plan was crafted to need no new substantive legislation. And while acknowledging that lawsuits would arise to challenge nearly every one of them, he portrayed the Trump team’s daunting array of tactics as a “blitz” designed to overwhelm immigrant-rights lawyers.

“Any activists who doubt Trump’s (fascist ❗) resolve in the slightest are making a drastic error: Trump will unleash the vast arsenal of federal powers to implement the most spectacular migration crackdown,” Mr. Miller said, adding, “The immigration legal activists won’t know what’s happening.”
Todd Schulte, the president of*, an immigration and criminal justice advocacy group that repeatedly fought the Trump administration, said the Trump team’s plans relied on “xenophobic demagoguery” that appeals to his hardest-core political base.

“Americans should understand these policy proposals are an authoritarian, often illegal, agenda that would rip apart nearly every aspect of American life — tanking the economy, violating the basic civil rights of millions of immigrants and native-born Americans alike,” Mr. Schulte said.

Poisoning the Blood’
Since Mr. Trump left office, the political environment on immigration has moved in his direction. He is also more capable now of exploiting that environment if he is re-elected than he was when he first won election as an outsider.

The ebbing of the Covid-19 pandemic and resumption of travel flows have helped stir a global migrant crisis, with millions of Venezuelans and Central Americans fleeing turmoil and Africans arriving in Latin American countries before continuing their journey north. Amid the record numbers of migrants at the southern border and beyond it in cities like New York and Chicago, voters are frustrated and even some Democrats are calling for tougher action against immigrants and pressuring the White House to better manage the crisis.

Trump and his advisers see the opening, and now know better how to seize it. The aides Mr. Trump relied upon in the chaotic early days of his first term were sometimes at odds and lacked experience in how to manipulate the levers of federal power. By the end of his first term, cabinet officials and lawyers who sought to restrain some of his actions — like his Homeland Security secretary and chief of staff, John F. Kelly — had been fired, and those who stuck with him had learned much.

In a second term, Trump plans to install a team that will not restrain him. 

Since much of Trump’s first-term immigration crackdown was tied up in the courts, the legal environment has tilted in his favor: His four years of judicial appointments left behind federal appellate courts and a Supreme Court that are far more conservative than the courts that heard challenges to his first-term policies.

The fight over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals provides an illustration. DACA is an Obama-era program that shields from deportation and grants work permits to people who were brought unlawfully to the United States as children. Trump tried to end it, but the Supreme Court blocked him on procedural grounds in June 2020.
Stephen Miller is the Nazi minded architect of the Trumpzi massive immigrant deportation plan.

Stephen Miller said Trump would try again to end DACA. And the 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court that blocked the last attempt no longer exists: A few months after the DACA ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died and Trump replaced her with a sixth conservative, Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Trump’s rhetoric has more than kept up with his increasingly extreme agenda on immigration.

His stoking of fear and anger toward immigrants — pushing for a border wall and calling Mexicans rapists — fueled his 2016 takeover of the Republican Party. As president, he privately mused about developing a militarized border like Israel’s, asked whether migrants crossing the border could be shot in the legs and wanted a proposed border wall topped with flesh-piercing spikes and painted black to burn migrants’ skin.

As Trumpzi campaigned for the party’s third straight presidential nomination, his anti-immigrant tone has only grown harsher. 

In a recent interview with a right-wing website, Trump claimed without evidence that foreign leaders were deliberately emptying their “insane asylums” to send the patients across America’s southern border as migrants. He said migrants were “poisoning the blood of our country.” And at a rally on Wednesday in Florida, he compared them to the fictional serial killer and cannibal Hannibal Lecter, saying, “That’s what’s coming into our country right now.”

Trump had similarly vowed to carry out mass deportations when running for office in 2016, but the government only managed several hundred thousand removals per year under his presidency, on par with other recent administrations. If they get another opportunity, Trump and his team are determined to achieve annual numbers in the millions.
Keeping People Out

Trump’s immigration plan is to pick up where he left off and then go much farther. He would not only revive some of the policies that were criticized as draconian during his presidency, many of which the Biden White House ended, but also expand and toughen them.

One example centers on expanding first-term policies aimed at keeping people out of the country. Trump plans to suspend the nation’s refugee program and once again categorically bar visitors from troubled countries, reinstating a version of his ban on travel from several mostly Muslim-majority countries, which President Biden called discriminatory and ended on his first day in office.

Trump would also use coercive diplomacy to induce other nations to help, including by making cooperation a condition of any other bilateral engagement, Miller said. For example, a second Trump administration would seek to re-establish an agreement with Mexico that asylum seekers remain there while their claims are processed. (It is not clear that Mexico would agree; a Mexican court has said that deal violated human rights.)

Trump would also push to revive “safe third country” agreements with several nations in Central America, and try to expand them to Africa, Asia and South America. Under such deals, countries agree to take would-be asylum seekers from specific other nations and let them apply for asylum there instead.

While such arrangements have traditionally only covered migrants who had previously passed through a third country, federal law does not require that limit and a second Trump administration would seek to make those deals without it, in part as a deterrent to migrants making what the Trump team views as illegitimate asylum claims.

At the same time, (ghoul❗) Miller said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CMS) would invoke the public health emergency powers law known as Title 42 to again refuse to hear any asylum claims by people arriving at the southern border. The Trump administration had internally discussed that idea early in Trump’s term, but some cabinet secretaries pushed back, arguing that there was no public health emergency that would legally justify it. The administration ultimately implemented it during the coronavirus pandemic.

Saying the idea has since gained acceptance in practice — President Biden initially kept the policy — Miller-Trump racist policy would invoke Title 42, citing “severe strains of the flu, tuberculosis, scabies, other respiratory illnesses like R.S.V. and so on, or just a general issue of mass migration being a public health threat and conveying a variety of communicable diseases.”

Trump and his aides have not yet said whether they would re-enact one of the most contentious deterrents to unauthorized immigration that he pursued as president: separating children from their parents, which led to trauma among migrants and difficulties in reuniting families. When pressed, Trump has repeatedly declined to rule out reviving the policy. After an outcry over the practice, Trump ended it in 2018 and a judge later blocked the government from putting it back into effect.
Mass Deportations

Soon after Trump announced his 2024, campaign for president last November, he met with Tom Homan, who ran ICE for the first year and a half of the Trump administration and was an early proponent of separating families to deter migrants.

In an interview, Homan recalled that in that meeting, he “agreed to come back” in a second term and would “help to organize and run the largest deportation operation this country’s ever seen.”

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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Immigration: Evangelical Christians join Catholics to support immigrants and oppose "largest deportation"

Deuteronomy 10:18
“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”

Echo opinion by Reid Ribble, published in the Green Bay Press Gazette:

When the former guy Trump visited Wisconsin (early April 2024), his primary campaign message focused on immigrants, whom he described as “the worst of every country” invading and threatening the well-being of the United States. Earlier, he insisted that some immigrants are “not humans, they’re animals.”
La Sagrada Familia” – shows the Flight into Egypt with the Holy Family depicted as Latin American migrants. Painted the day after the 2016 presidential election, the icon went viral on social media and ended up serving as the cover art for a collection of Pope Francis’ writings on welcoming migrants and refugees.

Trump also insisted in Green Bay that Christian voters will turn out on Election Day “in numbers no one has ever seen before,”👀😕😞 presumably inspired by his rhetoric on immigration.

But as both a former Republican member of Congress who represented Green Bay and — more central to my identity, an evangelical Christian — my plea to the former president would be to speak of and pursue policies that impact immigrants in ways guided by the Bible. Immigrants, like all human beings, are people “fearfully and wonderfully made” in the image of God, with inherent dignity and value, regardless of their country of origin, ethnicity, religion or any other qualifier.
“Refugees: The Holy Family” by Kelly Latimore. 

Christians also believe that all human beings, including immigrants, are sinners in need of God’s grace. A few have committed heinous criminal offenses, and when they do, they absolutely should face both the criminal justice system and then deportation. 

But it’s wrong to judge millions of people by the actions of a few, especially when there is abundant evidence that immigrants, whether lawfully present or not, actually commit crimes at significantly lower rates per capita than native-born U.S. citizens. For example, a study using data from the state of Texas found that citizens had a per capita crime rate more than double that of immigrants in the country unlawfully, whether looking at property, drug or violent crimes.

A singular focus on the relatively few immigrants who may be a threat to public safety also obscures the many ways that immigrants economically, socially and spiritually contribute to our community. As evangelical leader Ed Stetzer has observed, “The Mexican immigrant in your community is more likely to be a pastor than he is to be a criminal.” As the United States rapidly secularizes, the large majority of immigrants are either Catholic or evangelical Christians who tend to hold to traditional family values.

Evangelical voters believe in the dignity of immigrants’ lives: Lifeway Research finds that 91% of all evangelicals want immigration policy solutions that “respect the God-given dignity” of each person.

Almost all evangelicals, like most Americans, want secure borders and respect for the rule of law, but they also want compassion. Fully 78% of evangelicals, including 71% of those who supported Trump in the 2020, election, say they would support legislation that would pair border security improvements with a restitution-based legalization process and path to citizenship for immigrants in the country unlawfully.

Ninety-one percent of evangelicals want policies that keep families together — which is inconsistent with the “largest deportation in American history” promised by Trump, which would separate U.S. citizens from their foreign-born spouse or parents. And 71% of evangelicals believe the U.S. has a moral responsibility to welcome refugees.

Many churches in northeastern Wisconsin have partnered with ministries, like World Relief Wisconsin, to welcome newly arriving refugees, and as we’ve done so, these immigration issues have become personal. 

By maligning immigrant families who have become dear friends, Trump risks alienating evangelical Wisconsinite voters whom he says he wants to show up in record numbers on Election Day. And last week’s primary election results, where one in five Republican voters cast a protest vote for a non-Trump candidate no longer in the race, suggest he has a serious problem.

If Trump, or Biden, wants to appeal to Christian voters, they would do well to use language and pursue policies that reflect the dignity of each person as made in the Image of God.

Reid Ribble represented Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District from 2011 to 2017.

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