Tragedy on the Border- Immigrant Kids Torn From Parents by ICE.

ICE Rips Children Out Of Hands Of Parents.

The United States government, under the leadership of the Republican Party, has been systematically taking immigrant children away from their parents at the Mexican border.

The New York Times reported last month that more than 700 children have been separated from adults who claim to be their parents since October. More than 100 of those children were under the age of four.

This is unprecedented. In modern times, in America, this has not been done before. Children as young as 53-week old infants have literally been ripped out of the hands of their parents by uniformed American law enforcement.

Illegal immigrants are being detained by authorities on misdemeanor charges. While these parents do time, their kids are sent thousands of miles away. Another travesty is that this often happens people are not even trying to cross the border illegally. They’ve just come to alert the officials that they have arrived. Seeking asylum is not illegal. 

And yet, hundreds of families have been subjected to this newest brutal tactic on the part of the ICE. This is not a bad dream! They really, truly are attempting to deter asylum-seeking immigrants by forcibly separating immigrant parents and children.

Chief of Staff John Kelly spoke on the matter, saying “The children will be taken good care of. They’ll be put into foster care, or whatever.”

“Or Whatever”? What sort of a human being are you, sir? What sort of an American? This is not what our country is about.

North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp recently said it best.

“What you’re doing to children when you take them away from their parents is the most trauma impactful thing you can do to a child. So let’s be good people and good Americans as it relates to how we treat children.”

The American Civil Liberties Union’s Border Litigation Project says it has obtained 30,000 pages of records documenting abuse and neglect of unaccompanied immigrant children by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

It has brought a national class-action lawsuit in their defense, and thank God someone has. But what is going on in this country, when we’ve got to beg the government, not to let our law enforcement officers steal babies from their parents??

Not a day goes by anymore when Americans don’t find ourselves assailed from some new direction. Shame and indignation have become part of our daily routine. But not like this. This is new.

The cruelty and stupidity of our 45th president have already become legend, especially as regards our Southern neighbors. During Hurricane Harvey last summer, he ordered Border Patrol checkpoints to stay open, even as the storm approached. He pardoned Joe Arpaio the same day.

By now, everyone knows. He really is the kind of person who would split up families as a deterrent, same as the Nazis did. And this current Congress, controlled as it is by other corrupt and complicit Republicans, will never stop him. So we have to help raise awareness. People have to know what they are doing before we can make them stop.

It is the recommendation of every single Millennial Democrat that people call their representatives. Tell the people in power how revolted you are. Tell them that this is not the country you were raised in and that you don’t intend to let it go any longer.

If we all ask the question at once, they will have to answer to us.

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The GOP’s Middle Income Tax Increase.

Trump Robs The Middle Class

The new tax bill that the House of Representatives passed Thursday can be safely described as unpleasant.

Tax plans are confusing. They tend to be full of numbers and technical jargon. They give the gift of throbbing temples to most of us. But one thing, at least, is easy to grasp. It’s going to hurt the middle class terribly. This plan is legislative savagery at its worst.

As American citizens, we have a duty to stand up and oppose this criminal concept with all the force we can muster. If we do not, the same GOP Congress that attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in favor of total nonsense is all but certain to approve it. This new scheme is pitiless even for Trump. Its implications are brutal. It was hard to believe the budget plan the Senate just signed off on could be approved of by any human being with a heart.

Trump’s tax plan is much like his other policies. Ill-conceived, worse planned, and terrible for very nearly everyone. The CBO report speaks for itself. It’s really more of a tax plot.

The Trumps will save more than $1 billion overall under the GOP tax proposal with most of that amount coming from a repeal of the estate tax, according to an analysis NBC News commissioned of Trump’s one known 2005 tax return and his estimated net worth

As expected, the plan would help the wealthy at the direct expense of the middle class. It will actively hurt the poor. It is also known that foreign oligarch investors, including many from Russia, will be the beneficiaries.

The tax break improves for each income level, meaning that the people who need the most help get the least of it. The top 1 percent would get an 8.5 percent break.

Many Americans will indeed receive a tiny, immediate tax cut, but in the long term they will end up paying significantly higher numbers overall. Better than a third of American taxpayers are living on levels of income that fall below their standard deduction and personal exemptions. According to New York University law professor Lily Batchelder, that group will derive no benefit whatsoever.

This favoritism to the wealthy will increase both their holdings and the nation’s debt tremendously. The richest Americans are the biggest source of tax revenues. Trump has no answers as to where we might find a suitable substitute for them.

The plan will do great damage to parents of school-age children.  The head of household filing status will be eliminated. They will lose the personal exemption middle-class families used to receive for each child. That means almost 10 million parents will see their taxes increase.

The Republican Senate passed a budget bill on Thursday that would cut federal funding by $5 trillion over the next decade. The people to suffer the most from these cuts would be senior citizens, the poor and the disabled. By the time it’s all been said and done, the only ones who won’t be suffering are Donald Trump and his hideous cronies. Good thing the religious right’s got indulgences for sale.
A 10 year proposal that would gut Medicare to the tune of $473 billion in cuts is on the table. That would devastate the finances of more than 55 million Americans.
One might expect such a large tax cut to produce a large surplus in the federal reserve, but such an expectation would meet with disappointment. The Tax Policy Center said that the Framework of Trump’s 2016 plan will actually increase the national debt by $7 trillion over the next 10 years.

A large debt increase of this type tends to stunt economic growth in the long run. When a country’s debt-to-GDP-ratio is more than 100 percent, investors get concerned. They demand higher yields on the nation’s debt,  increasing interest rates. Those higher rates slow growth. It’s the old question of risk vs. reward.

Trump’s plan will also reduce the U.S. gross domestic product after 2024. The interest payments on the debt will end up consuming a large portion of the federal budget.

That money will be unavailable for the public use. It will not be there for the building of infrastructure or other job-creation uses. It will also not be there in case of an emergency, like the California wildfires or Hurricane Harvey.

The administration’s plan is relying on archaic and outmoded ideas of supply-side economics. Under the guidance of this principle, large-scale tax cuts are granted to big corporations. In an ideal world, these corporations would wisely invest this added capital into projects that create more jobs.

In the real world, however, the one in which Millennial Democrats is slogging through this article, this never worked out as it was supposed to. During Ronald Reagan’s administration, underperformance in this area led to the crisis we know as inflation. This was held up and exemplified, and given the name of Reaganomics. And that was still at a time when the highest tax rate was 70 percent.

These days tax rates are half what they were in the 1980’s. The results of pursuing a trickle-down economic strategy now would be far worse.

That is why those of us with sense enough to stand against these cuts must speak out. Loudly, and now. If not, then Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net programs will be gutted and burned. All so that the GOP can pay out a tax cut to the ones who need it least.
“This nasty and backwards budget green lights cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in order to give a tax break to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. It shifts the burden from the wealthy and puts it squarely on the back of the middle class, and blows a hole in the deficit to boot,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“I think it will go down in history as one of the worst budgets Congress has ever passed.

Koch Industries has been working toward getting a bill like this past Congress for forty years.  The Senate has stamped their will with a seal of approval, bypassing Democratic votes and therefore bypassing democracy. “America First” is taking on a whole new twist.

Modern Indulgences- Trump and the Religious Right.

At the Family Research Council’s recent Values Voter Summit, the religious right declared itself for Trump, with great enthusiasm and thunderous applause. Trump went on one of his rants about saying Merry Christmas, and the crowd went wild.

This is a travesty, and a hard to understand one. This president is the antithesis of every religion’s value systems, all of which emphasize right living and a connection with a higher power. Trump is a sack of walking debauchery. Christmas will not be merry at all, until he’s been shown the White House door. Neither will Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other holiday.

The Values Voter Summit is an annual political conference, held in Washington, D.C. for ultra- conservative operatives and elected officials from across the United States.The president was received there as a conquering hero, especially after declaring that there’s been a War on Christmas going on all this time, and that it has just been won.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that if the president wanted to win an imaginary war, he might have invested some of his billions into an X-Box.

Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, who both were fired from the White House due to their virulent extremism, were both present, and both out for blood. “There is a time and season for everything,” said Bannon. “And right now, it’s a season for war against a GOP establishment.” The whole event was a fraud. That’s a room full of people at war with itself.

This is the bill being presented to the likes of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. The alt-right is a golem, called forth to do the bidding of a small and shrinking group of men. And like any golem worth its salt, it has risen to consume its masters.

These are the fruits of the policies that the Conservative Coalition started. This term refers to an unofficial, Tea-Party like outfit in the U.S. Congress that existed between the 1960’s and 1990’s. Its goal was to bring together the Northern Republicans and the minority of Southern Democrats who were incapable of changing with the times.

The term became obsolete once there weren’t any Democrats left; we showed the door to the reactionary and bigoted elements of the Democratic Party long ago. The philosophy and approach lived on, however, and seems to be making an unfortunate comeback.

Many people think this way of doing business came largely to an end with Jerry Falwell’s declaration to end the Moral Majority in 1989, declaring under George H.W. Bush that their goals had been achieved. It didn’t. It just shifted gears and chose a new name.

Since then, America has continued watching the process of one of its political parties drained utterly of mercy and benevolence. This has never been so clear as since Trump took office.

Over this last year, the Republicans have proposed legislation to destroy unions, the healthcare system, and the education system. The Environmental Protection Agency was placed in the charge of Oklahoma’s former attorney general, Scott Pruitt, a man who has spent his entire life opposing it.

They want to defund Planned Parenthood, they want to restrict abortion. Legislature has been proposed in sixteen states to stifle public protest. Increased risk of violence against transgender persons and other at-risk groups are the inevitable result of a roll back of anti-discrimination laws, but they do not seem to hold this important.

What they do hold important is to funnel wealth from the poorest to the richest. Their desire seems to be to roll back the clock arbitrarily, to a time that most of us are very glad is past. All of this is being done with the full support and sanction of the religious right, who are making big bank too.

This is why they were so happy to see the election of Donald Trump. They knew he would be good for their finances. Franklin Graham at the time said that he was convinced it was the “hand of God that got Donald Trump elected. Not Wiki-leaky, or anything else. The hand of God”.

The finances of the people who make up their congregations were not considered. Even the ability of those people to receive basic health care and keep breathing was ignored, as none of them were heard protesting Trump’s decision to gore Obamacare. The disgraceful examples set by Trump, i.e. greed, profligacy, nepotism, corruption, etc. were shown a blind eye also. Even the infamous “Grab em” tape in which he blatantly proves himself a sex offender didn’t do the trick. All of it was ignored.

One thing only was taken into account- their plan to lay waste the First Amendment, with its insistence on enforcing the separation of church and state.

Leaders of the religious right recently started demanding federal benefits for churches hit by Hurricane Harvey, even as the cleanup started. It seems innocuous, but actually it represents a highly significant milestone in their plan to lay waste the First Amendment. They have preparing groundwork to lay claim to public funds for a long time.

If they can gain a toehold by getting legal recognition collecting federal money, they can slowly worm their way into positions of influence in a government they are legally forbidden to enter.

This is why they’ll forgive Trump anything. It’s why Franklin Graham attributed his victory to the Hand of God, and not “Wiki-leaky, or anything else”.

The way the whole thing works out is markedly similar to the historical sale of indulgences, where corrupt priests caused an entire Reformation, selling God’s permission to live licentiously to the rich. Wow. In the meantime, we’re to start saying Merry Christmas again, but one wonders what Christ might think.

It’s all being made possible by Donald Trump, which is why they’ll forgive him anything. Martin Luther must be turning over in his grave, to see Protestants selling indulgences. The whole operation drags the spirit of the church through the mud like nothing since the Spanish Inquisition.

“I pledged that, in a Trump administration, our nation’s religious heritage would be cherished, protected, and defended like you have never seen before,” President Donald Trump said on Friday. “That’s what’s happening. We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.”

It is the very definition of irony, that the people who’ve been screaming about the End of Times and the Antichrist all these years, would end up lining up with the guy who best fits the description. For Democrats, this all provides a pleasant reminder of the reasons we can look at ourselves in the mirror and sleep at night.

 

Failure and Frustration- The Republican Party In Meltdown

The Republican Party is in a state of total, primal, nuclear meltdown.

Veteran Republicans are deciding they’ve had enough, and fleeing the Congress in growing numbers. They’re just not running again, period, and who could blame them? Hated by their constituents, unable to do any good with their monopoly on government, pushed around and abused by the president himself, these are the most miserable people in the world. It is only human to want out from under that.

Donald Trump has repeatedly proven his willingness to work against fellow Republicans. He will even directly attack them for not doing what he says. As a result, a number of lawmakers no longer wish to be involved.

The latest to say goodbye was two-term Rep. Dave Trott of Michigan. His statement on Monday notes that he’s decided to spend more time with his family. Perhaps more revealing, however, was Trott’s most recent tweet, sent in mid-August: “I think America needs more unity and less divisiveness…meaning @realDonaldTrump should focus more on golf & have less press conferences.” That certainly is when the country seems to do best.

GOP control of Washington has failed to produce a single tangible result. Obamacare stayed(although one final last-ditch effort to repeal it was announced by Republican leadership on Tuesday), the treasured idea of a border wall with Mexico remains a dream, and Trump himself spends most of his time playing golf. Any kind of tax reform or tax cut is unlikely, and outright impossible without making use of the people that Trump reviled as swamp things on the campaign trail.

Trump’s one big success in cutting a deal since taking office, came when he avoided a government shutdown in early September by adopting the sensible plan drawn up by Democrats. Bypassing Republicans to do this was an unexpected move, and an unwelcome one from the perspective of the GOP. It forced elected Republicans to choose sides between Trump, and GOP leaders McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Florida has just finished taking a horrific pounding from Hurricane Irma. Coming so soon after Hurricane Harvey’s flooding farther west, it’s now plain that President Trump was right to take that deal. Had the government actually shut down last week, it would have cost us secure hurricane disaster relief. The scale of the damage thus prevented is incalculable.

Nevertheless, GOP leaders were against it. The budget plan that was passed last week, which also spared us from a Treasury default for the next three months, was a Democrat plan. Regardless of its contents, they would have opposed it, because it would be a win for us. To the Republicans, preventing Democrats from scoring a win is more important than the best interests of the country.

Even Donald Trump had more sense than that. And when you get outscored by that guy on the sensibility scale, the message it sends as to your state of mental health is far from wholesome.

“There are some stability concerns in the party,” said Josh Holmes, a GOP consultant and former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Our U.S. system has checks and balances in place to deter gigantic catastrophe. One of them is that change is not designed to come quickly. The wheels of justice turn slow, even for those who hold its keys. Even parties in control of the whole government have to learn how to navigate it, if they want to make any real changes by making some laws.

This will not be possible for the Republicans.

There are several things that a majority party needs in order to turn political victories into legislative ones, and the GOP doesn’t have them. Things like a prioritized agenda, internal unity, and public support simply do not exist for the Republicans at this time.

Far from producing this necessary unity within the Republican Party, the Trump era has worsened old divisions and created new ones. The familiar divide between pragmatic and ideologically driven Republicans has become a gaping chasm. The Charlottesville tragedy had a particularly polarizing effect. Mitch McConnell is said to have been livid upon hearing the President say there were many good people, waving Nazi flags that day.

The GOP has control of the government. They have controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency since January. But they don’t have control of themselves. This is evidenced clearly by the fact of their not having one single solitary major legislative accomplishment to show for their tenure in power. And the first midterm is nearly half up.

History has shown us that a single party doesn’t dominate the government like this for very long. The Democrats are nearly certain to recapture the House of Representatives and quite possibly the Senate too. Once that happens, all hope they had of advancing their agenda is gone. We will quickly attend to the business of impeaching the unfit and insane Donald Trump, and start setting our country to rights.

The only success the Republicans have had is in teaching us how not to govern. They have demonstrated aptly that occupying the halls of government doesn’t in itself make you fit to perform this onerous task. That fitness only comes from an earnest desire to both live and rule by the principles of benevolence. Until Republicans discover that, they will never meet with anything but failure and frustration.

Spared from the Shutdown- Democrats Save The Day!

Democrats won a gigantic victory Wednesday.  By convincing the president to adopt our government funding plans, we spared the government from a long-threatened shutdown to take place over lack of support for Trump’s border wall funding.  At a time when Hurricane Harvey just ended, Hurricane Irma is smashing the Caribbeans on its way to Florida, and Hurricanes Katia and Jose are forming right behind her out on the ocean, putting partisan politics aside was necessary to save the country. It’s in the nature of Democrats, to plan for the sake of the nation.

For Republicans on Capitol Hill, however, Trump’s decision has had a very different effect. It has badly upended negotiations in a variety of policy areas they consider crucial in the fall.

And the GOP is said to be livid, that master negotiator Donald Trump, took the first offer Democrats put on the table.

Trump even overruled his own Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, to concur with “Chuck and Nancy,” as he later called them on Air Force One. For once, it seems that everyone agrees on at least this much- that the president’s willingness to toady up to anyone willing to pat him on the head, is pathetic.

Even if it happened to work out for us all this time, it’s just another sign of the tendencies that have done him in all along, helping him to make decisions such as hiring Steve Bannon or withdrawing from the DACA program. ”

The key thing for now, though, is that provisions extending government funding and the debt limit through mid-December were passed by the House on Wednesday to provide $7.85 billion in Hurricane Harvey relief.

This is a good sign. Trump has been distancing himself from the party he conquered anyway. He views McConnell and Ryan as disloyal and weak, and has realized they’re not going to get anything done together. While Trump is a limited and small minded man, he is not without a certain animal cunning. It would seem he is in the process of coming to a realization. Insane or not, he must break with the useless Republicans.

For Donald Trump to receive anything but sheer disgust from everyone, if he wants even the merest semblance of the popularity he has always so desperately craved, there is only one way forward. He must accept and adopt the only plans for the country that make sense- the ones outlined by the 2016 Democratic Party Platform.

In the meantime, things are moving right along with the Mueller investigation. Trump Jr., Donald’s oldest son, will be testifying privately to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, as to exactly what he knows about Russian interference in our election last year. In July, he blurted out an admission that he’d gone to a June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer, at which he was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

In addition, Facebook handed over data to Mueller on Wednesday also, regarding a Russian operation last year that paid to put out thousands of U.S. ads promoting divisive social and political messages in a two-year-period through May 2016, just before the primary ended.

A representative for Facebook said Wednesday that there were connections between the ads creating rifts between Democrats last year and a Russian “troll factory” in St. Petersburg, a sort of paid-per-comment deal where employees went trolling on Facebook.

Any social activist who was fighting for Hillary Clinton during the primary and after last year, can guarantee you categorically that those bots were very real.

Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called the Facebook report “deeply disturbing and yet fully consistent with the unclassified assessment of the intelligence community. We are keenly interested in Russia’s use of social media platforms, both the use of bots and trolls to spread disinformation and propaganda,” he said in a statement.

Small wonder, seeing what a catastrophic effect it all had on last year’s election. The public is now acutely aware of the proliferation of overseas members from such places as Albania and Macedonia, that overwhelmed the Bernie Sanders social media world, with false and incendiary “news” designed to make Hillary Clinton an unacceptable option in the 2016 general election. This is confirmed by multiple sources.

Whatever its cause, the election of Donald Trump is the greatest political disaster our country has ever faced. We have lived through just under nine months now of total pandemonium. The very fact of a government shutdown even being mentioned, during a week in which four hurricanes have wreaked havoc, is unsettling in the extreme.

Tempting as it might have been to politicize Harvey and leave Trump to a well-deserved fate, we didn’t do that. We stepped up with magnanimity, and did what was best for America. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that our Democratic senators are heroes. We are very proud of them, and we are very lucky to have them.

This incident provides the public with further proof that Democrats are the only ones with viable plans for the future. We are grounded in reality and decency both. While Mueller finishes the process of finishing Trump’s crooked presidency off, and the Republicans enjoy their final meltdown, we Democrats have been busy. We have now proven that we can succeed in passing plans through that will maintain this country during the interim, even under the worst possible conditions. We’ve got a sane and reasonable alternative to offer the people of America, and they are starting to see it. Starting now, we are taking back our country.

 

Hate Crimes and Hurricanes- Labor Day and The Trump Effect

On Sunday, Donald Trump gave America its Labor Day present early, by way of reassuring us as to what a sane and balanced man we have running our country.

Hurricane Harvey was wonderful, Trump said, in the following statement regarding the survivors of the storm he’d met at the disaster relief center he visited.

They were just happy,” Trump said, referencing the disaster in a speech that included a bizarre list of phrases. “We saw a lot of happiness. It’s been really nice. It’s been a wonderful thing. It’s been beautiful.”

What does one say in response? People have lost everything. Harvey wasn’t beautiful at all. It was a particularly vicious hurricane, one that killed many people and ruined all they had. This was not supposed to be fun. It was not intended as an opportunity for Donald, captain of Gondor, to show his quality. It’s a life changing cataclysm. There are decades of recovery ahead for the city. What Trump mistook for happiness, is people’s relief at still being alive.

There is a large question as to whether Trump knows what is real and what isn’t. He’s been on a roll since he began, but since the Charlottesville mayhem things have really grown extreme. He downsized the Historically Black Colleges and Universities conference, he pardoned Joe Arpaio, and he even ordered that ICE checkpoints be kept open during the evacuation process of Houston.

All of this is starting to take a very serious toll. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that Trump’s tendency to condescend toward and abuse people of color is one of the things prompting the extreme and careless manner of the nuclear testing being done by North Korea. And domestically, the harm can hardly be calculated.

At a time like this, when racial relations in America are already abysmal, and violence has been breaking out like a smallpox outbreak, it seems reasonable to expect of a good President, that they be doing what they can to calm things down. But the occupant of our highest office seems bent on doing just the opposite.

Trump’s decision to end DACA, an Obama-era program allowing undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to stay here, is the latest in a succession of blows to this country’s social cohesion. Several states have already threatened to sue. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was established in 2012 to protect young immigrants who came to America as children without legal status.

About 800,000 people have signed up for the program, and remain free from the fear of deportation only by its leave.

Supporters and critics of the program alike say that leaving such people in uncertainty is an inhuman thing to do.

“It’s a cruel hand that extends the American dream and then steals it away. #DACA #DREAMers,” wrote Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., in the first of three tweets on the topic. Democrats have been universal in their condemnation of the president’s conduct. We remain the party of freedom and decency.

The problems with Trump’s attacks on people of color seems to grow bigger every day. Since Donald Trump won the election, news outlets and social media accounts have been overflowing with reports of swastikas at schools, racist taunts, and various other hate-fueled attacks. Slate.com catalogued 1064 such incidents of his kind to take place since last January.

More recently, an investigation by BuzzFeed found examples from dozens of school districts nationwide of students using Trump’s own words to bully their classmates.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has repeatedly criticized the president for “the Trump effect“, which it has called a virus in our country. It has catalogued 1064 such incidents since Trump took office last November. Most Americans have heard of Heather Heyer by now. Sadly, she is far from being the only casualty.

Members of the Ku Klux Klan were arrested for stabbing three people in Anaheim, California.

Student Richard Collins III was killed by a white supremacist days before his graduation from the venerable HBCU Bowie State University. A man named Sean Urbanski walked up to him as he waited for an Uber with friends, and allegedly yelled, “Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you!” As this directive was not complied with, Urbanski stabbed Collins in the chest.

Larger scale assaults have been planned as well. The Crusaders are a terrorist group formed by residents of a town called Liberal, Kansas, three men named Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright, and Patrick Stein. These men thought of themselves as patriots resisting a Muslim takeover of the United States. And they knew where there were some Muslims down the road, who could use a good stiff resisting.

So they laid out a plan to load up two cargo vans full of ammonium nitrate, and blow to high heaven an apartment complex inhabited primarily by Somalian refugees in their town, people who came to work at the local meatpacking plant. This plot was only foiled, because Allen got busted for beating his wife and the police found guns and the plans when they came to arrest him for that.

Edward Gibbon famously wrote that history is little more than the register of crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind, and in some ways he was right. There’s a lot of crap like this on every page. Still, it remains the only light we have to guide the future by. We have been down these roads before, and we know it isn’t where we want to be.

Labor Day is representative of a dream of a unified world, people working side by side with people, to make the world a better place for all those who live in it. Starting with the hundred people killed in the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, many have died, fighting to secure the rights that Americans now enjoy. We pay homage to their sacrifice on Labor Day. Let us honor the fallen ones by treating each other with kindness. It’s a small thing to ask, and a big thing to give.

 

Acknowledge Black College! Trump Downsizes HCBU Conference

In particularly disgusting and cavalier fashion, the White House released a statement hinting that the administration will be looking to downsize Trump’s meeting with the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs). It gets harder for Americans to stomach by the day. People are starving for normal and strong.

Donald Trump and historically black colleges are not a match made in heaven. Many higher education experts have long found Trump’s interest in them troubling. “I would rather have Trump do nothing with HBCUs -not even know they exist,” University of Pennsylvania professor Marybeth Gasman told The Washington Post in May.“ He will see them as a handout. He doesn’t understand that he was given a leg up by his rich father. He doesn’t see that other people need help from programs because of past discrimination and inequity.”

A bit over a month into his presidency, Trump signed an executive order, signed to boost federal funds for HCBUs. However, the placatory legislature these schools were promised never materialized. And it left many worried.

This threatened attack on their funding has strained an already uneasy relationship between Trump and black communities in general. His slimy equivocation following last month’s bloodthirsty attack in Charlottesville, and his reputation for getting involved in blatantly racist crap like “birtherism”, These fears are widely believed to be justified. A recent poll concluded that most of us realize the obvious, e.g. Donald Trump doesn’t care about black people.

The black community are not the only ones with Trump troubles. The Hispanic community is still reeling from the slap in the face Trump gave them with the Arpaio pardon. In spite of this, our neighbor to the South, Mexico, has offered to help us in these desperate times of post Hurricane Harvey recovery. They came to our aid when Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast 12 years ago, and they were a big help. Although they likely won’t, the Trump administration should accept their help again.

Instead of treating our allies and neighbors like they haven’t any worth or value, let us work with them, and offer them thanks and gratitude! Maybe that can be some sort of a starting point, later on down the road when Trump is gone. One can only hope.

All of us need to heal. Racial discord has broken more hearts this year then it has since the 70’s.

Think of all these regular people, our countrymen and our neighbors! Ordinary folks, like us, trying to get by and get along with all this crap raining down on them. They have every reason to be bitter. Instead, they offered help to the guy handing out all this insult and abuse.  It’s a heartbreaking scenario by any standard, to a thinking person with a conscience. That leaves Trump out on both counts.

Even Trump’s own staff has had enough of him. John Kelly keeps him locked in the Oval Office, like a madman in the attic. The family shame. Keith Schiller, the retired NYC detective who has been his closest hatchetman for decades, made it known yesterday he’ll be returning to private life soon. He’s been reduced to sneaking phone calls out to the ousted Steve Bannon– when Kelly’s not around, that is.

While the Pentagon is managing the disaster that is our 45th President, Democrats have been busy. We have got many a plan in the works. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that anyone wanting to help the cause, can start by simply Googling the hashtag, #RiseAndOrganize. We are loaded up for bear in 2018. And an amazing amount of money has been raised for the struggles to come. The new Democratic senator Kamala Harris raised more than $100,000 on Monday night this week.

.Harris’s political action committee is paying the consulting firm that built and managed Bernie Sanders’s small-dollar juggernaut, Now that we’re putting real effort into promoting our ideas to raise funds in this way, we will handily defeat him. Our platform is practical and realizable. Bernie’s platform would have bankrupted the country 10 times over. As his wife’s did to Burlington College in Vermont.

Across the nation, we are now fielding candidates in districts we were previously not contesting, and with every cause. We have all the momentum in the world. We have steadfastly provided a sane and decent alternative to the pandemonium created by this White House. We could not be more proud, of the heroes of the Democratic Party currently serving in our Senate.

We have certainly received assistance from the boasting and foolishness of Trump. But ultimately, we have done this for ourselves. The contrast between our quiet competence and their circus appears in the starkest possible relief. Every one of our guys has done their duty with the utmost professionalism. They saved Obamacare. They have stymied Trump’s worst efforts at every turn.

While the walls close in around Donald Trump, and the handwriting on them begins darkly scrawling of treason, we are getting ready. Everything that is humanly possible is being done to see to it that we clean this thing up. Before 2020, and after.

 

 

Keeps Him In Dark, Feeds Him Sh*t- Kelly Treats Trump Like Mushroom

Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone said earlier this week that the new Chief of Staff, John Kelly is “Treating Donald Trump like a mushroom. Keeping him in the dark, and feeding him sh*t.” This is true. Although the president does not seem to much like his new diet, the Pentagon has been making sure he sticks to it.

Not many people are happy with Donald Trump. Earlier this week, when North Korea fired a missile over Japan, he burst into his tough talk rhetoric, taking to Twitter with the message that “talking is not the answer” to the nuclear missile development of North Korea and the stress-filled standoff that comes with it.

However, Trump’s defense chief James Mattis was quick to contradict him. This has been happening to Trump a lot lately. He’s been increasingly isolated in a White House once filled with friends. People used to stop by the Oval Office, just to hang out. Now, they’ve got to have an official appointment, approved by Kelly.

Meanwhile, Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have partnered and pooled resources to investigate Paul Manafort and examine his financial ongoings, several people familiar with the matter told Politico.

 Since the US president is unable to pardon state crimes, this collaboration is probably an effort to pressure Manafort to cooperate in the broader Russia investigation under Mueller. Schneiderman can charge Manafort with a variety of state crimes, even if Trump did try and pardon him to spare him from questioning. He can hem him up directly. Many have felt that Manafort was the most direct key to all this. His house was raided last month, by the FBI.

Trump’s unusual pardon of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, issued before his federal case was even finished, has sparked a debate over whether the president could end Mueller’s Russia probe with a clean slate of preemptive pardons. The answer is probably yes- but only on the federal level. State prosecutors would then have the option to try the cases in their own courtrooms.

Given the circumstances, this is much more likely than usual. State prosecutors usually defer to federal ones, but given the likelihood of Trump attempting a ,mass-pardon of everyone involved, there’s a very good chance that in this case they will do just the opposite.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that America needs to see justice done, before we’ll see closure on this. Closure here is big, because until we get it, we won’t have our faith in our government restored. Mueller is fighting to remind everybody that America’s been great all along. We never needed the help of Donald Trump.

We never needed Donald Trump’s brand name all over stuff we already had. We accepted him, and made room for him, even though it was widely known that he was New York’s most obnoxious celebrity– which ranked him high among the populace of Earth in general. But we never needed him. We never asked him to come along and start making us great. Trump can hardly spell great; in fact, even the very typing of his slogan has become too oppressive a burden for him. He sent out a self-pitying tweet this morning, informing us all that all he wants to do, is MAGA! As in Israeli martial arts?

Trump is mired so deeply in his own person, that he isn’t stopping at all to consider how much harm he is doing the country. We have been divided right to the bone by his election. Particularly since the Charlottesville incident, there has been unrest and violence nationwide. It has been a blow to our stability that we haven’t felt the like of since Vietnam. And regardless of who they blame it on, everyone is feeling the pinch. Even his own supporters, usually loyal as a pack of dogs, used words like “Outrageous”, “Let Down,”, and “Disappointed’, when speaking to a focus group in Pittsburgh Tuesday night. According to a recent Fox News poll, 56% of voters in general feel that he’s tearing the country apart.

 

Like the recent disaster that was Hurricane Harvey, the real challenge- that of cleanup and recovery- has not even had a chance to begin yet. We’re still not quite through with even the first semester of this infant presidency. The way things are going now, it’s not looking good for him. Even Mitch McConnell privately speculated recently as to whether or not Trump could save his job.

He’s still in power for now, though, and until Mueller finishes, he has the capacity to do a lot of damage with it. The best hope we have for maintaining order in the meantime is John Kelly, but Trump is already unhappy with him. Although the circus our executive branch has resembled since January has at least now been restricted to rings, Trump feels that he is being managed, by an old fuddy-duddy who his old loyalists do not much like. They derisively call the old gentleman “Kelly the church lady”, considering him strict and morally superior.

“He’s having a very hard time,” one friend who spoke with Trump this week said of the president. “He doesn’t like how Kelly’s handling him.”

The President of the United States of America, has been reduced to sneaking phone calls to Steve Bannon– when Kelly’s not around. How did it come to this?

 

Calamity and Climate Change- Will Trump Deny Floods?

The city of Houston is nearly underwater, thanks to the relentless Hurricane Harvey, which Vice President Mike Pence referred to on Friday as  “frustrating.” Harvey remains now where it has been for several days, dumping trillions of gallons of rain on an already inundated and devastated region. Twenty two lives have been lost, and authorities fear the worst is yet to come, in what is already the worst continental rainstorm in American history.

The enthusiastic president has traveled to Corpus Christi, to take a distant look for himself at what has proved to be a truly terrible disaster. A Houston police officer drowned this morning, after attempting a different route to his assigned coordinate, where he encountered the high water that trapped him in his car and killed him.
Trump still doesn’t seem to be understanding the gravity of it all. “What a crowd. What a turnout”, he said upon touching down in Corpus Christi, vowing to congratulate himself at a later time. He spent the hours before the storm pardoning Joe Arpaio and ordering that immigration checkpoints remain open during the evacuation process. All but giddy, every time he talks about the “big, big hurricane”, it would seem he’s very happy to have been given a chance to show his mettle. This is ironic. Because Trump himself, has been a disaster for any kind of emergency relief program, including this one.

When President Trump released his proposed budget earlier this year, it included cuts across the board — including hundreds of millions from programs that help Americans cope with disasters like Hurricane Harvey.

Gigantic cuts are proposed for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency charged with overseeing the government’s response to Hurricane Harvey, as well as other natural disasters. The National Weather Service and the government’s flood insurance programs are to be cut as well.

Conservative commentator Laura Ingraham noted Tuesday on “Fox & Friends” that FEMA administrator Brock Long is still without a deputy.

From looking at photos of flooded Houston, she said: “We can conclude that a federal government does need staff. We see it acutely in need of staff in a situation like this.”

But, mere moments later, Trump took to Twitter by way of a response, tweeting: “@foxandfriends We are not looking to fill all of those positions. Don’t need many of them – reduce size of government.”

It is a very good thing for the people of Houston, that Trump had not yet gotten around to reducing the people who’ve been saving them, the heroic holdovers from President Obama’s administration Kathleen Fox and David Grant.

Two weeks ago, just before his disgusting rant at the news conference in which he blamed “both sides” for the violence days earlier in Charlottesville, Virginia. President Donald Trump unveiled an executive order killing planned regulations on new infrastructure building.

Among them was a rule that would have required federally funded projects to account for flood risks. Ten days later, Hurricane Harvey made its first landfall in Texas. This order revoked a whole set of Obama-era rules and regulations that would have made federally-funded infrastructure less vulnerable to flooding. It would have required the federal government to factor in the risk of flooding and sea-level rise, as a result of climate change, when constructing new infrastructure and rebuilding after disasters. Would have been nice, except that Trump doesn’t believe in climate change.
Trump’s entire climate approach, activists say, belies a profound insincerity at his administration’s response to the catastrophic flooding in the region. His strategy is to rip up any and all regulations that interfere with the short-term gain of wealth. This is the same strategy that gave us the Dust Bowl, which is another thing that could happen again if Trump policies in this area come to life. Cities like Houston, particularly the at-risk section of the people, are becoming increasingly vulnerable to future catastrophe.
“While Trump is speaking to people impacted by the storm, his policies themselves are going to make the lives of people in these storm-prone areas worse,” said Thanu Yakupitiyage, the US communications manager for 350.org. Well said.
Back in June, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, was one of dozens of American city leaders to pledge continued support for the Paris climate agreement, after Trump announced his intent to back us out. Scientists across the planet are universal in their conclusions that human effects on the climate are adding to the general trend of worsening storms. Although our knowledge of how the weather works is still very much incomplete, it is safe to say that human-caused climate change has enhanced Hurricane Harvey.
Not according to the president, however. He called climate change “a hoax invented by the Chinese.” 
A guy like that isn’t someone you can even talk to. It would take Archie Bunker himself, to hold fast so tight to a belief that not only flies in the face of scientific evidence, but threatens the long-term health and safety of every living thing. And all for a little more money. Here is a picture of the Manhattan Skyline in 1973, compared to now.

Image result for manhattan skyline 1973 compared to 2016

There comes a time in every adult life when they’ve got to face reality. For example, if you don’t change the oil in your car, it will turn before long into a very, very big and huge paperweight. How much more so is this true, regarding the upkeep of an entire city, or country, or world? However, unpleasant as it is, the reality of our current situation is that our President will not accept this crucial concept. Donald Trump has been a climate-change denier from the first.
By vital contrast, the 2016 Democratic Party Platform had the following statement to make on the subject.
“Democrats believe that climate change poses a real and urgent threat to our economy, our national security, and our children’s health and futures, and that Americans deserve the jobs and security that come from becoming the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.”
Democrats are aware that climate change is one of the most critical challenges that this nation has to face. Hurricane Harvey is the latest addition to a long list of disastrous proofs. Properly addressing this urgent threat will ensure America’s place as the world’s clean energy superpower, and continue to assure us a role of global leadership in the ongoing process of finding solutions. Democrats will continue to fight to return us to the table of the Paris Agreement. Our goal is to protect both our nation and our planet, for this and future generations.

Heroic Holdovers and Houston- Thanks, President Obama.

Donald Trump has been boasting about the federal government’s stellar response so far to the disaster caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. For once, he is absolutely right- and we have President Barack Obama to thank for it. Currently, the holdover heroes from Obama’s presidency, David Grant, and Kathleen Fox, are the ones most directly responsible for the organization of actual efforts on the ground. All Trump did, was to sign the piece of paper put in front of him to authorize federal aid. FEMA was reshaped, streamlined, and made viable, by the wisdom and decency of our former president.

That did not stop Trump from stealing all the credit, though. He spent Sunday coping with the problem the only way he knows how- by going on Twitter and bragging. He seemed more excited than anything by the storm. He repeatedly sent out tweets regarding its size and potency, but did not have any words at all for the most tragic aspect of this disaster yet- the two people who have lost their lives so far.
Trump’s administration wants to show the public they are capable of adequately addressing this catastrophe. The handling of a natural disaster is a defining moment for any presidency.  As a general rule, though, it’s bad to go into any crisis, including a gigantic hurricane, with a federal government at war with itself.
Trump’s White House did little to prepare. Instead, Trump spent the hours before the impending storm starting a political hurricane to go with the real one, by granting an unpopular pardon to the former Sheriff of Phoenix, Joe Arpaio.
Fortunately for the good people of Houston, however, Trump has been unable yet to fill two out of three politically appointed positions in FEMA. Trump took so long in deciding who he wanted to do the jobs, that his picks did not have time to be confirmed before the Senate went on recess. The same goes with the top position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which monitors storms.
This leaves FEMA’s administrator, Brock Long, who said that this storm was “unlike anything ever seen before. FEMA is going to be there for years,” Long added Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union. There is no doubt this is true. In the meantime, however, the aforementioned Grant and Fox are running the show on the ground, and we are very grateful for them.“Federal civilian employees with decades of experience are currently serving as acting in those positions,” a FEMA spokesperson said.

R. David Paulison, who succeeded the Bush administration’s FEMA director Michael Brown after the latter resigned in the wake of national outrage to his feeble Katrina response, said he is “very comfortable” with the leadership currently in place.

“You like those positions filled,” he said, especially “as you put your policies in place, you want to put your own people in.” But, he added, “The people there in acting positions are seasoned FEMA executives. They’ve been there a long time.”

Unfortunately these efforts have been needlessly complicated, by the fact of major evacuation routes having to pass through immigration checkpoints. These have remained open throughout, contrary to the dictates both of reason and conscience.
Things are certainly looking brighter than they did in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck the coast of New Orleans, in the most destructive storm ever to be wrought upon our shores. President Obama saw to that while he was still serving. But one can’t help wondering, what will happen once these heroic holdovers are gone? There is no evidence at all that Trump’s usual sloven would not have carried the day, had it not been for them. It nearly did anyhow.
It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that the citizens of America should not count on the Trump administration to be able to handle a disaster of this magnitude properly. Over the twelve years that have passed since Katrina, extensive studies have been undertaken in the area of disaster relief. The key implication of them is that government does play a vital role, but that it is also our own responsibility to watch each other’s backs and be prepared. The former president said himself, “We can’t control the weather, but we can control our responses to it“.