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2018 State and Local Elections

The Right Fails To Unite. Wonkagenda For Mon., Aug. 13, 2018

DC unites against the right, Omarosa still clinging to 15 minutes of fame, and hackers find new ways to break voting machines. Your morning news brief.

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Cops Behaving Badly

Trump Administration Too Fucking Lazy To Find Deported Parents, Tells ACLU To Do It

Court order? Why would the Trump administration follow one of those?

Two weeks ago, the US government patted itself on the back and gave itself a "Top Achiever!" medal for reuniting just two thirds of the families it had taken kids from. A week ago, the Department of Justice filed a motion saying it shouldn't have to find any of the parents it already deported, because are they in the US anymore? Not our problem, even if over 500 kids remain in custody here. Instead, DOJ lawyers argued the ACLU and volunteers should go find the deported parents, because the government is in the business of keeping foreigns out of the country, not doing favors for them. Yep, the government is really claiming every single one of the deportees asked to be sent away without their kids, because anyone who'd subject their kids to the danger of crossing Mexico and entering the US illegally clearly never cared about the kids in the first place.

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Post-Racial America

Hero Judge 'Bout To Deport His Foot Up Jeff Session's Ass

Sessions plenty contemptible already, so why not hold him in contempt of court?

A federal judge in Washington DC got VERY ANGRY at the government Thursday when he learned that a woman in a case he was hearing had been deported. The judge ordered that the plane carrying the woman and her daughter turn around and fly back to the US. And he threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt if that didn't happen immediately. Oh, he was pissed, all right.

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Post-Racial America

Laura Ingraham Did Not Mean Her Racist Comments Racistly, You Racist!

She had a friend from another 'demographic' once.

Well golly fucking dammit, it has happened again! Laura Ingraham did that thing where she opens her mouth and words come out, and then suddenly everybody was like "what the fuck is wrong with you" and "you piece of shit." Unfortunately for Ingraham, unlike many purveyors of racism and white nationalism and other generalized bigotry, she is also a coward. Or maybe she is just worried all her advertisers will leave again.

Whatever it is, Ingraham felt the need on Thursday night to clarify her comments from Wednesday night, which were construed as OMG SO FUCKING RACIST for some reason, we guess because of all the unrepentant racism. In case you missed it, here's what she said:

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Russia

Devin Nunes, Keep Fucking That Chicken! Wonkagenda For Thurs., Aug. 9, 2018

Devin Nunes accidentally spilled the beans, Judge Ellis is a cranky old bitch, and Laura Ingraham is afraid of a brown America. Your morning news brief.

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Mexicans

Meet Trump's Little Eichmanns

Abolish ICE.

The Atlantic has a new must-read story about how ICE became a monstrous cruelty machine under Donald Trump. Sure, immigration enforcement has always had a whiff of horror about it -- La Migra has always been a threat in migrant communities. But reporter Franklin Foer gives us a close look at just how an agency that used to feel like something of an afterthought has become an instrument of terror. Not because it's gone rogue, but because America's leaders have.

The story's opening example tells you much of what you need to know about the evolution of ICE into a new Gestapo: Foer recounts the experience of Mauritanian refugees who came to the US after that West African nation's Arab majority decided to do some ethnic cleansing of its small black minority.

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2018 State and Local Elections

Manafort Trial Getting Hot In Here. Wonkagenda For Tues., Aug. 7, 2018

Paul Manafort's partner snitches, California burns, and Mike Pence has thoughts on impeachment. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Mexicans

Deportation Nation: Bear Witness To The Week In Immigration Horror

Still no mass deportations of Norwegians.

Now that all the children taken from their parents at the border -- OK, more like two thirds of them -- have been reunited with their families, everything is fine now and we don't need to treat immigration as a major story anymore, right? Haha, we like bitter dark jokes, which is also how we like our coffee. SO MUCH immigration fuckery to get to this week! Let us round it all up like a bunch of escaped goats marauding through the streets of Boise!

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Post-Racial America

Donald Trump To Rush Limbaugh: Government Shutdown Would Be Great For Sweeps Week!

He really just gets politics, you know?

Donald Trump, still riding a high from all the love of his big Tampa rally where finally everyone loved him again, called in to Rush Limbaugh's show Wednesday to congratulate his own personal John the Baptist on 30 years of lowering the bar in American political discourse. In there among all the mutual admiration, Trump mused that he'd really like to shut down the government to force Congress to buy him a Wall, ideally before the midterm elections. But maybe after, since a lot of Republicans seem to think a shutdown in the last weeks of the campaign might hurt them, isn't that weird?

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Post-Racial America

Kris Kobach Grifted A Bunch Of Racists, And It Is Hilarious!

It's trouble, and that starts with T and has ruble in it, not that this is a Russia post.

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach may not be a very good lawyer -- his precious Kansas voter suppression law got overturned, and he was found in contempt, too. But when it comes to fabulously expensive bad ideas, he's one heck of a salesman, as a new investigative piece by ProPublica and the Kansas City Star documents in hilarious detail. Hilarious, of course, if you're not a taxpayer in one of the several small cities Kobach grifted into a hefty consulting fee to write anti-immigrant laws, almost all of which have been thrown out in court. Oh, yes, and he also got paid to help defend the laws when the cities were sued. It's a good racket if you're not the one paying for it!

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Russia

Paul Manafort: Wannabe Eurotrash Gigolo. Wonkagenda For Thurs., Aug 2, 2018

Paul Manafort has no fashion sense, Trump ShutDown will be great for ratings, and Trump rolls out the red carpet for Dinesh D'Souza. Your morning news brief.

Morning Wonketariat! Sorry we're late, we had backend problems. (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID.) Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Culture Wars

Watch ICE Director Almost Have Human Emotion In PBS's 'Separated'

Get ready for your jaw to drop, again

PBS gives Donald Trump's family separation policy the "Frontline" treatment tonight in "Separated: Children at the Border" to start the series' 37th season. It's a concise look at how we got to this weird place, and how migrant families' lives have been disrupted; it even offers some incredible footage of Thomas Homan, then the acting director of ICE. reacting to the now-infamous recording of children crying in a Texas shelter. Correspondent Martin Smith never quite gets a straight answer from anyone in the government when it comes to the most important questions, though: Did anyone think this was a good idea? Why? And it turns out: At least one person didn't.


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Post-Racial America

Florida's Ron DeSantis Humiliates Himself For Daddy Trump's Approval

How can Democrats lose to these morons?

Every day I wonder if there's an actual bottom to how low Republicans can sink in their defense of and fawning support for Donald Trump, and every day I find another Republican willing to debase themselves for a chance to advance to the next round in "Who Wants To Be The President's Stooge?" It's early yet, but this week's winner is probably Florida gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis. Monday DeSantis released a campaign ad that lacked the subtle dignity of one of Casey Kasem's long distance dedications.

"Build the wall," Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) says while playing with toy blocks with his daughter, Madison, nearly 2, in his Florida home. "Then, Mr. Trump said, 'You're fired,' " he says while holding his infant son, Mason, in one arm and Trump's book "The Art of the Deal" in his other.

"People say Ron's all Trump. But he is so much more," his wife, Casey, jokes before the screen flips to a shot of Mason lying in a crib, dressed in a red "Make America Great Again" onesie. "Bigly," the gubernatorial candidate adds. "So good."

"The ad is just meant to reinforce the fact that the President is endorsing Ron and that Ron has defended the President," David Vasquez, a spokesman for DeSantis, told The Washington Post in an email. "It's just a bit of humor."

Humor is a man walking into a rake. That's always gold. This is the shameless exploitation of a political candidate's family for the gratification of Trump's massive baby ego. Why is DeSantis so desperate to seek the favor of a guy who only narrowly carried Florida in 2016? Because Trump is a kingmaker in the region's Republican primaries. He backed Katie Arrington in her upset victory over South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford. He endorsed Brian Kemp, who ran over Casey Cagle in last week's Georgia run-off. Trump picks winners and lords it over the losers. All he asks in return is that you humiliate yourself for his amusement.

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Culture

Judge Frees Immigrant Babies From Cuckoo's Nest!

A NICE TIME, if you don't count what came before!

A federal judge in California has ruled the government must release most kids being held in a notorious Texas facility where they were given psychiatric medications without parental consent, and that federal baby jailers must get proper consent or a court order to administer such meds in the future. It's a big win for immigrant advocates who contended the government-contracted facilities misused psychiatric drugs as "chemical straight jackets" to force kids into compliance. We agree, that's terrible. For one thing, it's "straitjacket."

The lawsuit involved yet another follow-up to the 1997 Flores settlement, which limited how long the government can detain minors in immigration cases, and was overseen by US District Judge Dolly Gee. The defendants were the Department of Justice and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the agency responsible for caring for migrant kids. ORR had been housing kids at Shiloh Treatment Center in Manvel, Texas, where kids were sent for a lot of reasons Gee found violated the terms of Flores, particularly the terms that required minors be housed in the "least restrictive setting" possible unless they were determined to be a danger to themselves or others, as the song goes.

The Center for Investigative Reporting, relying on court documents that cited the testimony of kids and parents, discovered in June that kids at Shiloh were routinely medicated, and often had no idea why -- or for that matter, why they'd been sent to Shiloh in the first place. Some had extreme side effects, like being so dizzy they had trouble walking or even sitting up in a chair.

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Elections

Trump's YUGE Koch Problem. Wonkagenda For Tues., July 31, 2018

The Koch brothers jump off the Trump train, Rudy Giuliani's media blitz, and Julian Assange is about to be homeless (again). Your morning news brief.

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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