Sunday, March 28, 2021

Justice Trumped

The white male plaintiff seemed to get a sympathetic hearing from the Sixth Circuit

By Scott V. Sandford
Justice Correspondent

Remember that crazed corrupt Russian stooge who snuck into the Presidency, f***ked everything up, got impeached twice, committed innumerable crimes and abuses of power, and left a trail of 550,000 pandemic deaths, none cured by his preferred nostrums of domination and bleach?  Remember how after he lost an election, he fomented an insurrection that came within a few bullets of dispatching our democracy?

I know, it seems so long ago.  Whatever happened to that guy?  And who gives a s***?

It turns out that just defeating the Former Loser Grifter and indicting his armed goons doesn't make him go away.  His legacy, aided and abetted by contemptible cowardly reactionary Qpublicans, lives on.

One example: a recent decision by a panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that included two FLG appointees in which a professor was allowed to exercise his right to bigotry by singling out one student in his class for discriminatory treatment.  The professor said his blatant discrimination was in fact based upon his sincere religious beliefs.

Last week, the Sixth Circuit said his employer lacked the power to protect its students from bigoted treatment.

Why, you may ask?

Let's let the Sixth Circuit speak for itself as best it can.  In its recounting of the tale, the professor, who remember holds enormous power over his student, is the hero, and the wicked university is the villain.

Did we mention the brave professor was a white man?

What happened was that the student (called Doe, representing the Sixth Circuit's sole concession to her understandable feelings and interests) asked to be referred to by pronouns that corresponded with their gender identity.

This simple request for respectful treatment was rejected.

When the University, acting as it had to under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, sought to accommodate the student's legitimate concerns, the professor said he had a religious right to his bigotry.

But it sounds so much better in the Sixth Circuit's telling of the tale.  Let's let FLG-appointed Judge Thapar tell the story his way (for those who want to follow along at home, it's Meriwhether v. Hartop, No. 20-3289 (6th Cir. Mar. 26, 2021)):

Protected First Amendment activity, according to the Sixth Circuit

Shawnee State began awarding bachelor’s degrees just thirty years ago. And for twenty-five of those years, Professor Meriwether has been a fixture at the school. . . . Professor Meriwether is also a devout Christian. He strives to live out his faith each day. And, like many people of faith, his religious convictions influence how he thinks about “human nature, marriage, gender, sexuality, morality, politics, and social issues.” . . . Meriwether believes that “God created human beings as either male or female, that this sex is fixed in each person from the moment of conception, and that it cannot be changed, regardless of an individual’s feelings or desires.” Id. He also believes that he cannot “affirm as true ideas and concepts that are not true.” 

Where God says this is not immediately apparent.  Indeed, given the number of religious leaders calling for decent and equal treatment of trans individuals, it would appear that the Eternal One's position on discriminating against trans persons is not quite as clear as it appears in this retelling.   But go on:

Being faithful to his religion was never a problem at Shawnee State. But in 2016, things changed.

At the start of the school year, Shawnee State emailed the faculty informing them that they had to refer to students by their “preferred pronoun[s].” . . . Meriwether asked university officials for more details about the new pronoun policy, and the officials confirmed that professors would be disciplined if they “refused to use a pronoun that reflects a student’s self-asserted gender identity.” . . . What if a professor had moral or religious objections? That didn’t matter: The policy applied “regardless of the professor’s convictions or views on the subject.” 

Or, to put it another way, in 2016, the school (like other institutions) realized that invidious discrimination on the basis of gender identity was not only wrong, it was contrary to federal law and therefore it had a responsibility to make sure that its employees (like ol' Meriwhether) complied with its law and policies.  Like every other employer in the country.

It turns out that Professor Meriwhether is, surprise, surprise, not only a bigot but a pretentious douchebag:

On the first day of class, Meriwether was using the Socratic method to lead discussion in his course on Political Philosophy. When using that method, he addresses students as “Mr.” or “Ms.” He believes “this formal manner of addressing students helps them view the academic enterprise as a serious, weighty endeavor” and “foster[s] an atmosphere of seriousness and mutual respect.”  . . . He “has found that addressing students in this fashion is an important pedagogical tool in all of his classes, but especially in Political Philosophy where he and [the] students discuss many of the most controversial issues of public concern.” 

Oh, does he?  Now we're all in favor of in-class discussion (based upon our experience at a college only slightly more reputable than Shawnee State, where the professors regarded questions from undergraduates as if they were bullets: to be avoided at all costs).  Anyway, you can use the Socratic method if you want to emulate Professor Kingsfield.  All you have to do is treat all your powerless students with respect.  The key word here being of course “all” not just the white, male, or cis ones.

In that first class, one of the students Meriwether called on was Doe. According to Meriwether, “no one . . . would have assumed that [Doe] was female” based on Doe’s outward appearances. [And the relevance of this supposed fact is what? – Prof. Kingsfield]. . . Thus, Meriwether responded to a question from Doe by saying, “Yes, sir.” Id. This was Meriwether’s first time meeting Doe, and the university had not provided Meriwether with any information about Doe’s sex or gender identity. 

After class, Doe approached Meriwether and “demanded” that Meriwether “refer to [Doe] as a woman” and use “feminine titles and pronouns.” . . . This was the first time that Meriwether learned that Doe identified as a woman. So Meriwether paused before responding because his sincerely held religious beliefs prevented him from communicating messages about gender identity that he believes are false. He explained that he wasn’t sure if he could comply with Doe’s demands. Doe became hostile—circling around Meriwether at first, and then approaching him in a threatening manner: “I guess this means I can call you a cu--.”
Id. Doe promised that Meriwether would be fired if he did not give in to Doe’s demands.

Or, put another way, Ms. Doe made it clear to Prof. Holy Roller that she would insist on her legal and moral right to respectful treatment, including being recognized in accordance with her gender. The Sixth Circuit apparently wants you to tut-tut Ms. Doe's response, but frankly if Professor S***head is behaving like a c***, we don't see the harm in bringing such a fact to his attention.  Nor is informing him that you will pursue your federally-protected rights a threat.

The Sixth Circuit painted a lurid picture of the professor's treatment by university administrators

And by the way, if a student asks to be referred as Ms., that doesn't mean the Professor has to agree with her gender designation.  He just has to say it.  If you tell some a**hole, “I wish you a good day, sir,” that doesn't mean you believe they have been knighted. 

There ensued a series of discussions with university administrators who eventually laid down the literal law to Prof. J. H. Christ:

[The administrator] said he had just two options: (1) stop using all sex-based pronouns in referring to students (a practical impossibility that would also alter the pedagogical environment in his classroom), or (2) refer to Doe as a female, even though doing so would violate Meriwether’s religious beliefs.

We haven't heard as heart-rending a tale of religious martyrdom since Joan of Arc. Talk about carrying Christ's cross – imagine having to either refer to a student as she requested or simply drop all gendered references.   (That's how it works in English boarding schools and we haven't heard any complaints, although the flogging of complainers by the prefects might have something to do with it.)

So the school offered Prof. Justin Martyr a solution that he admits did not interfere with his batsh*t crazy hateful religious beliefs.  End of case, right?

Er, no.  The three black-robed clowns upheld Prof. Elmer Gantry's claims against the school on First Amendment grounds.

According to the Sixth Circuit panel, because state college professors have a right to freely express their political beliefs, they have an equally protected right to engage in hate speech specifically proscribed by federal law.  

What's the difference between the two types of speech?  Statements of political opinion, especially outside of class, do not infringe on any legitimate interests of a college or its students. Bigotry and hate speech do.  

Under the Court's First Amendment rationale, Prof. George Wallace could refer to Black students with racial slurs and Prof. Mel Gibson could call a women student “Sugar Tits” and no one could do anything about it.

The three stooge judges dismissed the argument that singling out trans students for special stigmatizing treatment violated Title IX:

But Meriwether’s decision not to refer to Doe using feminine pronouns did not have any such effect. As we have already explained, there is no indication at this stage of the litigation that Meriwether’s speech inhibited Doe’s education or ability to succeed in the classroom.

Except of course for the testimony of the offended individual herself, not to mention the massive body of evidence demonstrating that students subject to stigmatizing discrimination do less well than white male schmucks.  The panel's theory again seems to be that if a woman is willing to endure being called “Sugar Tits” and passes the final, she hasn't suffered any harm, unless she wants to be a total bitch about it.  

But as is usually the case when reactionary judges go off the rails, there's more.  Apparently prohibiting Prof. St. Sebastian from expressing his anti-trans bigotry in front of a trans student is the same as locking him out of his church, on the grounds of the record suggesting that the university quite properly didn't believe there is any religion-based right to torment helpless trans students.  The panel called this view “religious hostility.”

By the way,  even judges as mediocre as this panel know that this exact same argument was considered and rejected over a half century ago in the context of supposed religious objections to serving cheeseburgers to Black patrons in southern greasy spoons:

Defendant Bessinger further contends that the Act violates his freedom of religion under the First Amendment "since his religious beliefs compel him to oppose any integration of the races whatever."

The constitutionality of the public accommodations section, Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. Section 2000a, has been fully considered and determined by the United States Supreme Court in Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States, et al., 379 U.S. 241, . . (1964); Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294, . .(1964) . . . .;

The constitutional questions posed by defendants herein were before the Supreme Court in McClung and Atlanta Motel, supra, and were decided adversely to defendant's contentions.

That's a District Court judge in South Carolina summarizing the state of the law in 1966.  Thanks to the Former Loser Grifter and his Republican accomplices, we've now regressed to the point where newly appointed Trumpublican judges have less interest in faithfully or even logically applying the law than in imposing their own warped view of right and wrong even if it means tormenting people, like Doe, who only sought to be treated in a equal and respectful manner by a public institution.

Speaking of a rigged court, we'd suggest a rehearing before the full Sixth Circuit, but given the 11-5 Republican advantage on the Court, we suspect that this Christian martyr would prevail on rehearing en banc.

We have some passing interest in religion too and we'd remind the three reactionary cleric-judges and indeed the entire Republican Party of a passage in an interesting religious tome, referred to at this season: “Our rabbis taught: 'Adding seven new positions to the Sixth Circuit comes into the world because of justice delayed and justice denied.'”

Maybe that's a paraphrase but after four cups of wine, we can't be too sure.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Today's Republican Party: Guns, Germs, and Steal

The Spy's Report from Washington

By Nellie Bly
Spy Washington Bureau with Gus McCrae in Texas

Having had nothing useful to contribute to President Biden's $1,900,000,000,000 pandemic relief package, the Republicans, not surprisingly, are casting about for crowd-pleasing issues. The crowd they're trying to please are the usual deplorable basket of white supremacists, wackos, gun nuts, and religious extremists.  

In other words, their base.

Their platform could be more or less summed up in three words: guns, germs, and steal.

As for guns, in the wake of the appalling hate-based massacre in Atlanta, in which a white supremacist hate-addled religious extremist (sound familiar) targeted mainly Asian-American victims with a gun he had bought in an instant the day before, surely to protect himself from government overreach.  Slate pointed out that in Georgia you have to wait for an abortion, but not for a handgun.  That's the “pro-life” position.

We're not going to use his real name because the killer doesn't deserve even infamy, but let's just say that Jefferson Beauregard Incel was a slaughter waiting to happen.

Why is an unending parade of unbalanced bigoted inbred white male losers able to buy high powered munitions (often assault weapons capable of inflicting even more damage than the ordinary handgun)?

If you listened to old white man and veteran Conventional Wisdom dispenser Dan Balz, it would be a puzzlement.  On Washington Week, he did note that in the aftermath of past massacres of innocents, Democrats had proposed various effective gun safety measures.  He then said that “nothing happened,” as if the two Houses of Congress were paralyzed by Dr. Rand Paul's Amazing Aqua Buddha Death Ray.

It's not that Congress is suffering a mysterious palsy; it's that Republicans have relentlessly blocked any gun safety measures in the aftermath of every appalling mass shooting, including the 26 children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Guess which of these four journalists spouted clueless s***?

Remember Moscow Mitch's reaction to that outrage?  If not, we'll refresh your recollection, with the assistance of The New York Times:

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, announced Monday that he would join at least 13 other Republicans who have vowed to block consideration of gun legislation passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and assembled by the Democratic leadership. That effectively made the threatened filibuster a test of Republican unity.

Mr. McConnell made his announcement as the Senate returned from recess and the legislative struggle over new gun safety legislation entered a critical phase. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, took steps to force a vote to start a broad review of gun-control proposals and accused those threatening a filibuster of “blatant obstruction,” even as they showed no signs of backing down.

“Shame on them,” said Mr. Reid, a Democrat. . . .

Mr. Obama . . . . pushed for a broad agenda that would include universal background checks for gun buyers, restraints on gun trafficking and a ban on assault weapons. But he focused on the background checks, which he said were supported by 90 percent of Americans. “. . . .[H]e said that at the very least, Newtown and similar tragedies demanded a vote in Congress on gun control issues.

“If our democracy’s working the way it’s supposed to and 90 percent of the American people agree on something, in the wake of a tragedy, you’d think this would not be a heavy lift,” Mr. Obama said. “And yet some folks back in Washington are already floating the idea that they may use political stunts to prevent votes on any of these reforms. Think about that.

“They’re not just saying they’ll vote no on ideas that almost all Americans support,” he said. “They’re saying they’ll do everything they can to even prevent any votes on these provisions. They’re saying your opinion doesn’t matter, and that’s not right.” . . .

“We have to believe that every once in a while we set politics aside, and just do what’s right,” Mr. Obama said. 

On that one, count us as an atheist.  Perhaps this successful record of blocking any effort to reduce America's gruesome and unique toll of gun carnage helps explain why Moscow Mitch has stuck his head out of his shell to protect the God-given right of filibuster.

Then there's germs, although you would think that a party whose cowardice and dereliction of duty contributed to the appalling toll of over 530,000 dead Americans, most of whose deaths could have been prevented by adopting sound public health practices like those used in Canada and Japan would be inclined not to dilate on the topic of infectious disease control.

Instead of supporting obvious public health measures like mask mandates and limits on indoor dining and drinking, Republicans have instead focused on what they see as the real health threat: Americans of Asian descent and immigrants.

Last week, the year-long Republican demonizing of China because the first cases of COVID-19 were reported there, and the 200 years of anti-Asian bigotry had their easily predictable result described above: the slaughter of eight innocents, including six of Asian descent, in and around Atlanta.

Let's also note that when Congress held a hearing to investigate anti-AAPI bigotry and the pain and suffering it has inflicted, one especially notorious Qpublican goon, Virginia-born Chip Goy [Surely, Roy? – Ed.] (Q - TX) took the floor not to condemn anti-Asian bigotry but to malign those calling it out and demanding it cease, while endorsing lynching as a remedy for – it wasn't clear exactly what, but just on general principles.

The second supposed lethal carrier of pandemic is, wait for it, immigrants, who according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (Q) are vectors of COVID-19, just waiting to infect the healthy white buckaroos of his state, and also their cattle. 

There's only one flaw with this jalapeno-hot take, other than its obvious bigotry and intent to distract Texans from Abbott's utter failure to protect them from or prevent future instances of the collapse of the state's electric grid because it got cold in winter.

The problem:


To quote political commentator Emily Litella, “That's different, then.” Don't expect Republicans to follow up with Emily's conclusion: “Never mind.” When it comes to QOP fomenting of hate and bigotry, it's always time for a Chip Roy Texas necktie party.

Lest you think that lying about the true incidence of COVID-19 is limited to Texans left out too long in the hot sun, let's check out long-running national joke Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis (Q) is, um, lying about the true incidence of COVID-19:

It also became clear that not only was Florida not taking any responsibility for tourists who came there, shared coronavirus on the beach, and returned home to deliver their virus souvenir to family and friends, it wasn't counting the people who died in Florida if they were from out of state. That didn't just include those who dropped in for a few weeks, it included "snowbirds" who spend a good part of the year at Florida homes. People who lived in Florida, got sick in Florida, and died in Florida did not show up on Florida's dashboard unless they were also official residents of Florida—and even then, the odds that they might have been left off seem high. . . .

The truth about Florida is … we don't know the truth about Florida. We do know that DeSantis has behaved recklessly and irresponsibly, that he has defied medical advice, used authoritarian tactics to hide information, and sold vaccine access to the highest bidder while denying vaccine to communities of color.  

Which brings us to the holiest of the Republican Trinity: steal.  Elections, that is.  Republicans have absorbed from their 2020 electoral shellackings not that they need to sharpen their case to the voters.  Rather, they have (correctly) concluded that they cannot possibly win future elections by adhering to the extreme positions, some just mentioned, demanded by their insurrectionist racist base.  The only alternative to winning elections, they know, is stealing them, by keeping non-Qpublican voters from the polls.

That's why the hard-right fundraising machine is shaking the money tree not by trotting out the specter of Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, or other favorite boogeypersons, but by scaring the faithful with a simple truth: unless Republicans change the law to suppress voting, they'll never return to power.

As Jeremy Peters of The New York Times put it, only a touch more elegantly:

Hey, it worked great before     
Passing new restrictions on voting — in particular, tougher limits on early voting and vote-by-mail — is now at the heart of the right’s strategy to keep donors and voters engaged as Mr. Trump fades from public view and leaves a void in the Republican Party that no other figure or issue has filled. In recent weeks, many of the most prominent and well-organized groups that power the G.O.P.’s vast voter turnout efforts have directed their resources toward a campaign to restrict when and how people can vote, with a focus on the emergency policies that states enacted last year to make casting a ballot during a pandemic easier. The groups believe it could be their best shot at regaining a purchase on power in Washington. . . .

Several Republican strategists said that while the “stolen” election canard was accepted widely among rank-and-file Republican voters, they were surprised to find how deeply it had taken hold with major donors, who seem the most convinced of its truth and eager to act.

Two quick points:

1.  Best, meaning only.  

2.  Canard is a fifty-cent Times word for lie.

It will be recalled that white racists then doing business as the Democratic Party kept their vise-like grip on power in the old Confederacy by establishing a wall of racist laws to prevent Blacks from voting.  It worked from 1876 to 1965.  Now white racists vote Republican, and their Lost Cause, as it turns out, isn't Dixie, it's a panoply of voter suppression initiatives, including the return of the infamous Literacy Test.

All of these problems have legislative solutions, including gun safety and immigration reforms, and Federal protection of voters' rights.  By amazing coincidence, the bar to the passage of all of this legislation is the party of guns, germs, and steal: Republicans.  Not because they command a majority, but because they can rely on the so-called filibuster to block legislation that doesn't have 60 yes votes in Senate.  As noted above, that's what happened after the slaughters of children in Sandy Hook and Parkland.

Why should a racist anti-democratic minority be allowed to hold on to power by fanning the flames of bigotry and undermining democracy?  

It's a good question. Perhaps someday the Democratic Party will demand an answer.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Journalism of the Plague Year



By A.J. Liebling
Meta-Content Generator with Medical Editor Vincent Boom-Batz, M.D

It's been a full year since the country shut down in response to the worst public health crisis in a century.  This fact, shocking in itself, occasioned any number of media retrospectives.  All of them dilated on the crushing toll of human suffering and the over half million dead.  

A surprising number of them however missed one of the most salient aspects of the tale: the ineptitude and intentional misconduct of the Former Loser Grifter and his regime, which greatly increased the scale of the calamity.  

First, let's get a few facts out of the way.  The United States death rate from COVID-19, as a percentage of population, was the fifth highest in the world, notwithstanding our nation's riches and medical sophistication.

Here are the hard numbers from Johns Hopkins University:

The actual numbers are kinda small on this plot, so here's a few that will help us do the arithmetic.  The U.S. has lost 532,590 souls as of March 13, representing a mortality rate of 162.79 per 100,000.

Through the miracle of fractions, we can calculate how many we would have lost if we had had the lower mortality rates of other advanced countries.  

Let's start with our friend Germany, where the death rate per 100,000 was 88.45, about half of ours.  Had we been blessed with this death rate, we would have lost only 289,376 persons and 243,213 Americans would still be breathing.

Germany's totally different, you may say.  To which we say first, why, and, second, let's look at our frosty neighbor to the North, Canada, where the death rate was 60.44.  At that rate, we would have lost only 197,737 and 334,853 of our fellow citizens would still be walking around.

By the way, the mortality rate for Japan was 6.73. At that rate, only 22,018 Americans would have died from COVID, and 510,571 not.

So we would contend that one of the biggest stories of the plague year was the hundred of thousands of Americans who died needlessly due to the inept and often counterproductive response of the Former Loser Grifter Administration.  Hydrochloroquine, anyone?

So did the media focus on this appalling fact?  

Well, some more than others.  You're up, NBC Nightly News:

You can watch for yourself, but we didn't hear one f***kin' word about the role of the FLG regime in making a bad situation so much worse.  Frankly, Lester, we care less about your newsroom than we do about the failure of government to save our lives.  And while NBC did cover the hunger and poverty caused or exacerbated by COVID, it didn't think the political response to this agony was worth mentioning.

Over at the Tiffany Network, there was a sound bite of this idiot predicting 120,000 dead



and a glancing reference at unnamed “stumbles” in response, but nothing more specific, like drinking bleach or more generally the failure of the Former Loser Grifter to set an example by wearing masks and socially distancing and generally not behaving like a clueless inept narcissistic corrupt Russian stooge.

Since we are examining the response of news media, we can pass over right-wing bullsh*t volcanoes like Fox “News,” except to point out that one year later they are still doing their level batsh*t crazy best to kill off their audience:

The whole flaming mess is just a Death Cult for Rupie.

To be fair, the scriveners did a little better.  Here's the Newspaper of Record:

Mr. Biden signed the landmark legislation and scheduled his speech a year to the day after Mr. Trump declared from the Oval Office, in an early indication of what became a catastrophically misguided pattern of denying the reality of what faced the United States and the world, that a “low risk” coronavirus pandemic would amount to nothing more than “a temporary moment in time.”

That's not so hard, Lester and Nora.  Is it?

And here's The Washington Post:

It will be a cold hard fact, as evidenced by 500,000 tombstones and counting, that a nation President Donald Trump declared “more prepared” than any other has clocked the globe’s largest death toll, becoming a symbol of deadly hubris and apathy. A mad scramble for personal protective equipment and ventilators betrayed a lack of preparation, even as a sort of toxic masculinity sickened health policy.

But the clearest recounting of the catastrophe that unfolded over the last 12 months came from not from self-proclaimed journalists but from the late-night patrol.

Seth Myers reminded us that the source of so-much suffering was the “sociopathic incompetence” of the Former Loser Grifter Administration and the FLG himself who “often did everything he could to spread the disease.”

That's not even opinion, that's just the facts, people.

Meanwhile, Stephen Colbert said that the nation's leaders had failed to respond to the pandemic, and noted the irony of the Former Loser Grifter opposing masks because he “should be ashamed to show his face in public.”

All of which leads to (not begs, ffs) the question: why do we have to get the straight story from late-night comedians?  It's like the old Russian joke about their Communist-era newspapers, Truth and News:  “In the Truth there is no news and in the News there is no truth.”

The massive unnecessary loss of life caused by the failure of government at all levels to respond properly to this pandemic isn't an opinion or a joke.  

It's the Awful Truth.  And it's also the news.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Crisis at the Border, by Will Wright-Clickbait!


There's no


... so shut up

By Meta-content Generator A.J. Liebling with
Immigration Editor Emma Goldman

Now that the media can't spend all day quoting the Former Loser Grifter's Tweets and manufacturing stories about them, they are casting about for other nonsense to fill their websites and cable TV news slots.  We can't think of any other explanation for the sudden spate of stories about a supposed Crisis at the Border.

Here's a too-representative bad example, from people who really should know better, The Washington Post's Immigration Team: 

MCALLEN, Tex. — President Biden's more-welcoming message to immigrants is facing an immediate challenge along the Mexican border, where Central American families and children have been crossing in numbers that point to a building crisis.

In recent days, U.S. authorities have seen the return of large groups of parents and children crossing the border in the darkness, a replay of scenes that occurred during the record influx of families who arrived in 2018 and 2019, overwhelming migrant shelters and Border Patrol stations.

Republican critics of Biden say the new wave is the start of the crisis they have long predicted, invited by the new administration’s eager rejection of Trump’s deterrent approach.  

What's the crisis here? 

Desperate children seeking safety in the U.S. hardly strikes us as a crisis.  A crisis is a rampaging epidemic that has killed 500,000 Americans and almost 2,000 every day as hard-right idiots like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (Q) tell his constituents to abandon basic public health measures.  A crisis is the collapse of a state's electric power system, leading to scores freezing to death and billions of dollars of damage, not to mention millions still without safe drinking water, all thanks to the inaction of hard-right idiots like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (Q).

Here's the latest from the same Post team: 

As the Biden administration races to find shelter for a fast-growing migration surge along the Mexico border, they are handling the influx primarily as a capacity challenge. The measures they have taken are aimed accommodating the increase, not to contain it or change the upward trend.

Contain the increase? What does that mean?

Actually we know exactly what that means: it describes the illegal anti-immigrant policies of the disgraced Former Loser Grifter Administration and their hate-addled henchmen, chief among them Stephen Miller. 

Let's have a look at what is really going on at the U.S.-Mexican border:

Pretty scary, no?

For those of you who have dropped the last four years down the old Memory Hole, let's review the bidding.  Elected on a platform of white supremacy and nativist hatred, the Former Loser Grifter moved to clamp down on what he saw as the menace of undocumented border-crossers by instituting a number of illegal and immoral anti-immigrant measures, like turning away all comers at border crossings, including those who had the right to claim asylum and be let in to the U.S., at least temporarily (the so-called Migrant Protection Program or MPP), and more recently on the pretext of protecting Americans against COVID-19 (and a heckuva job the Qpublicans did with that!) kicking all border crossers back into Mexico, again without legal basis.

As a result of these unlawful actions, and the continued suffering of the people of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatamala, which was caused by corrupt dictators and societies broken by past U.S. intervention, tens of thousands of suffering would-be immigrants, many women and children, were left to rot and die in dangerous border towns, like Matamoros, Mexico.

To The Washington Post and other media outlets, this mighty river of human suffering was not a crisis because it involved invisible refugees suffering in Mexico and was not fluffed constantly by Qpublican hate-mongers and their various media mouthpieces.

It seemed like a crisis to the mother and children, though.  A survey conducted by Physicians for Human Rights found:


Numbers on a slide don't really do it, though.  Here's a story from the same survey:

Natalia and her young daughter, Maria, fled domestic and political violence in Central America, only to be subjected to MPP when they sought asylum at the U.S. border. Sent back to Mexico, they were abducted by a criminal organization. Natalia was abducted a second time while Maria hid herself in a stove.

The second time she was abducted, Natalia was separated from Maria and only later found out that her daughter had escaped to the United States, crossing the border as an unaccompanied child.

Of the first kidnapping, Maria states that:

“When we were heading to the store, three men with their faces covered placed a gun to my head and my mother’s head…. They would come and take my mother all the time. They would ask her to dress pretty and they would come get her. My mother would tell me not to scream or cry and just to hide when she was not there. She would ask me to cover my ears and my eyes as well.… I have a lot of nightmares in which I am taken from my mother’s side. I dream of people coming after me with guns and they kill me. I have an ongoing dream where I am in the park and I see two men coming after me and shooting me. I see my body filled with blood and, in the dream, I find myself running to a house in construction and hiding there scared while the men continue to search for me.”

Briefs filed in Federal Court summarize the plight of the plaintiffs thusly:

As of the end of March 2020, DHS had returned around 28,500 migrants to Mexico pursuant to MPP-Tamaulipas, including hundreds of children. See . . .Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, through Mar. 2020; . . . .Large numbers of these asylum seekers have been subject to physical violence, kidnapping, sexual violence and other crimes. See Gilman Decl. ¶¶ 43-45 (citing study that found 80 percent of surveyed migrants in Nuevo Laredo to have suffered at least one violent incident during the first nine months of 2019); Leutert Decl. ¶¶ 29-43 (summarizing reports of violence in Matamoros, Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo); Goodwin Decl. ¶¶ 11-23 (describing targeting of migrants in Matamoros for kidnappings, extortion, rape, robbery and assault); HRF Decl. ¶¶ 11-15 (describing trends in Tamaulipas), 20-24 (same for Matamoros), 26-32 (same for Nuevo Laredo); . . . 

Horror stories like these do not constitute a crisis in the minds of The Washington Post and Qpublicans everywhere.

So let's go back and look at the supposed “crisis.”

As a result of the illegal Former Loser Grifter Administration policies, there's a backlog of persons seeking to cross the U.S. border. To the extent this backlog presents as a “crisis,” it's a crisis caused by the illegal acts of the FLG Administration.

The way to resolve this supposed crisis is to quickly and efficiently process those waiting at the border, starting with the most desperate – unaccompanied minors and women with children. Give them COVID tests.  Release the children to their sponsors and relatives in the U.S.. Women and families should be evaluated for plausible asylum claims (like Maria's) and released with Immigration Court dates.  In cases where CBP reasonably believes that the families may not show up in court, put GPS monitors on the adults.

Crisis averted, right?

Chaos at the border, Eagle Pass Dep't

It depends on what you think the crisis is. If it's that the volume of border crossers exceeds the facilities available, add facilities.

That's not really what Qpublicans and the anti-immigrant hatemongers infecting the U.S. immigration agencies think is the crisis. To them, the crisis isn't a tsunami of humanity at the border (although that's good for whipping up hysteria).  The crisis is that the folks travel to the different places in the United States and – live.  

Yes, it's true: when immigrants are let into the United States, they live in the United States, often doing the work that Sean Hannity wouldn't sully his hands with, like mowing Mitt Romney's lawns or carving up chicken for your 20-piece buckets.

Or perhaps the border crisis is that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (Q - he's back) is trying to blame border crossers for the forthcoming rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths actually caused by his own fact-free decision to drop the state's mask mandates and restrictions on indoor saloons. That would explain his otherwise senseless decision to reject federal aid to test migrants.

Is the border being overwhelmed?  The Washington Post tells us that up to 4,000 migrants including 450 unaccompanied children are apprehended by border cops a day.   According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, last fiscal year (with the Canadian border mostly closed), 444,541 people crossed U.S. land borders a day.  Can the border guards really not handle an additional 1% without pissing and moaning about it?  

The point is that there's only a crisis at the border if the media create one, or amplify the tendentious claims of anti-immigrant persecutors and thirsty hacks desperate to distract from their own incompetence and lack of leadership, like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (Q).  If that in turn frustrates real immigration reform and a return to the Former Loser Grifter era of gratuitous cruelty, that would be a crisis.  

Not to mention an entirely preventable human tragedy. 

And we've had enough of those already.