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Immigration and Customs Enforcement Photo. Also, NFL? Why?

US Senator Jeff Merkley is calling for the FBI to investigate Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for lying to Congress last month when she denied the existence of a family separation policy in House testimony.

Thursday, Merkley released to NBC News an internal Homeland Security document in which DHS and the Justice Department hashed out plans for what would become the Trump administration's family separation policy, arguing that separating familiies would scare asylum seekers away from the US. The document is from December 2017, well in advance of the family separation policy Nielsen repeatedly said didn't exist.

The document Merkley released is actually the second DHS memo to show Nielsen was lying; a previous memo from April 2018 also discussed options for taking kids from their parents at the border. That first memo was released last September, after a FOIA request, but Nielsen nonetheless said under oath, when she testified to the House Judiciary Committee in December, "I'm not a liar, we've never had a policy for family separation." She also has claimed DHS was simply enforcing existing laws, so no new policy, no new policy, YOU'RE the new policy.


On Friday, Merkley issued a press release calling on the FBI to investigate Nielsen for perjury, since a year before her statement to the House, that 2017 memo makes clear DHS and Justice were working together -- colluding, as it were -- to create a new enforcement regime that would result in families being separated, and that such separations would serve as a deterrent to families seeking asylum.

Let's take a quick look at what that 2017 document says about taking kids away from their parents, huh? Oh, look, it's right here in the second fucking paragraph!

That sure as fuck seems to talk about a policy of separating families. The sort of thing you might describe as a family separation policy. Unless of course you genuinely believe your own hair-splitting bullshit.

The administration's fig leaf for family separation, of course, was always the insistence that the government only intended to prosecute all unauthorized border crossers (the "zero tolerance" bullshit), and that, well gosh, yeah you couldn't jail kids with their parents, so taking the kids away and putting them in the care of Health and Human Services was merely an unfortunate side effect, not the thrust of the policy. The memo is perfectly upfront about the desired effect of prosecuting migrants and taking their kids away, stating the "increase in prosecutions would be reported by the media and it would have a substantial deterrent effect." (Also, no, it didn't deter jack shit.)

The DHS memo also offers a peek into the planning for additional policies that later became reality, like the decision to share with ICE the background checks HHS performed on prospective sponsors for unaccompanied minors, a fun trick that resulted in arrests and deportations of undocumented relatives of families trying to get kids out of baby jail. The administration's plan to remove all asylum seekers to Mexico while their cases are adjudicated is covered, too.

The 2017 memo even discusses a bunch of other awful ideas DHS and Justice were kicking around but never implemented; there's no telling whether they've been dropped or may still be rolled out. The most horrifying was a suggestion that once kids were taken from their parents, the government could simply deny the children an asylum hearing and deport them immediately, possibly even while their parents were still in custody.

"If CBP issues an ER [expedited removal] for the entire family unit, places the parents in the custody of the U.S. Marshal, and then places the minors with HHS, it would seem that DHS could work with HHS to actually repatriate [deport] the minors then," the official wrote.

"It would take coordination with the home countries, of course, but that doesn't seem like too much of a cost to pay compared to the status quo."

It is unclear from the official's comment whether the government planned on reunifying children with their parents before they were deported.

Now, a DHS official insisted to NBC News that OF COURSE the plan would have been to reunify the kids and parents before any such deportation, but as NBC points out, the document makes no mention of reunifying them. And we know quite well that once family separation got rolling, parents whose kids had been taken away were regularly deported while the kids remained in US custody, with no attempt to keep track of the deported parents. So there's no reason to think the administration wouldn't have also considered putting small kids on a plane for Honduras or Guatemala and leaving them at the airport for those countries to deal with. They're illegals, and hence not our problem; really, are they even human?

Beyond that, a note from DOJ suggested the government not simply prosecute parents for illegal border crossings, but that they also be targeted by human trafficking laws if they paid someone to bring them into the US:

I would suggest referring sponsors for criminal prosecution under [Title 8, US Code 1324] if information indicates the sponsor facilitated the travel of the minor into the United States.

Yup, that would have effectively put administration rhetoric about parents "trafficking" their own kids into an actual framework for criminal prosecution, because attempting to escape crime and gangs in your home country is actually child abuse and only a monster would do such a thing.

It's not yet clear whether the FBI will take any action on Merkley's request, but now that Democrats control the House, we're sure the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Jerry Nadler, will be awfully interested in inviting Secretary Nielsen to explain what she meant.

[NBC News / ABC News / Roll Call / Senator Jeff Merkley (DHS memo)]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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