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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.


District Judge Dana Sabraw of San Diego, who's overseeing the reunification case, told the government to get the fuck out with that because it's the government's damn job, and ordered last Friday that the DOJ submit a plan within one week explaining how it was going to find the deported parents. Sabraw rejected the government's "We Broke It, Let The ACLU Fix It" argument and warned the government it was on the verge of committing an atrocity:

For every parent who is not located, there will be a permanently orphaned child — and that is 100 percent the responsibility of the administration.

Hey, Judge Sabraw, maybe you could crib from that judge in DC and tell Jeff Sessions he'll be jailed for contempt of court?

In the week since, there's been nothing but a lot of cricket noises coming from the DOJ. But because the ACLU and other nonprofit legal groups actually give two shits about people's "rights," they've taken up the difficult work of tracking down the deported parents, even as they insist in court that the responsibility for reuniting families falls on the government, because hey, who split the families up in the first place?

Yes, exactly, Deleted Commenters, the parents themselves, for committing a misdemeanor. Fuck you.

For the last week, the ACLU has been taking up the slack, and not getting a hell of a lot of help from the government. The DOJ said it would provide phone numbers or other information to the ACLU to "help" it find parents, but dragged its feet on that, too. Lee Gelernt, the ACLU's lead attorney in the family separation case, told the Daily Beast,

We absolutely are not planning on allowing the government to thwart reunification based on a supposed claim of a parent knowingly being removed without their kid [...] The judge has made it clear that if the parents want their child, they are entitled to their child—regardless of whether the government thought it was voluntary.

The government has claimed that the deportees all signed away their right to be reunited with their kids, although many deportees have testified they were given no choice at all, just told to sign a paper in English, or in many cases were told if they signed the form, they'd get their children back, when in fact the form waived their rights to have their children returned.

Finally, last night, well after the deadline, the DOJ submitted its "plan," but it still calls for the ACLU to do most of the heavy lifting, according to the Texas Tribune:

The ACLU, the government said, will be responsible for locating the class members using some information provided by the government, establishing contact with parents and determining whether they wish to be reunified with their children.

That sounds a hell of a lot like what Judge Sabraw rejected last week, saying it was the government's "sole obligation and responsibility." Rephrasing it in the guise of a "plan" is some bullshit.

The government said in its filing Thursday it had at least located the parents of 386 children -- about 360 parents altogether -- and had "contacted" 299 of the parents within the last week.

But the Thursday filing also fell back on that bullshit claim about families willingly saying they didn't want to see their kids again, saying

163 children "indicated desire against reunification." That number has precipitously dropped and grown again over the past several weeks, a change ACLU lawyers have called highly suspect.

"Plaintiffs have consistently raised concerns that many of these purported relinquishments were not made voluntarily," ACLU lawyers wrote in a court document Thursday evening.

We don't see any reason why Judge Sabraw shouldn't start issuing contempt orders right now. This is completely insane.

Also, let's just remind you one more time that this shit is not over, the ACLU needs your help, and so does RAICES, which provides lawyers for migrant parents to help them navigate the hellwaters Trump and Sessions have thrown them into.

Oh hey! If you are coming to the Seattle Wonkette meet up tomorrow, Doktor Zoom will be there! That is assuming he can tell the difference between his ass and rental car and find his way there! So, 50/50!

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click here to money us, or hit the tip jar below!

[Daily Beast / Texas Tribune / Reuters]

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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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

Follow your FDF on Twitter!

Money us, PLEASE! Throw a tip in the jar, or click here to keep your Wonkette snarking forever.

[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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