Hump Day Tabs
- A “well-oiled machine” part gazillion via the NYT: Former Trump Lawyer Describes Conflict Inside Legal Team.
- Via The Hill: Trump Organization finishes last in brand reputation survey for second straight year.
- Via ProPublica: He Became Convinced the School Board Was Pushing “Transgender Bullshit.” He Ended Up Arrested — and Emboldened. If there are no consequences for such behavior, it is only going to get worse.
- Horrific (via the NYT): He Told Followers to Starve to Meet Jesus. Why Did So Many Do It?
- Also horrific (also via the NYT): Sex Abuse in Catholic Church: Over 1,900 Minors Abused in Illinois, State Says.
- This is a pretty good piece via the NYT: If You’re Hearing About the Border, Someone Is Trying to Scare You. However, this both-sidesing annoyed me because while I can kind of see the point, the asymmetry is just wildly off the scale:
Here’s the truth: If you’re hearing about the border, it’s likely that somebody is trying to scare you. Broadly speaking, Republicans want you to be scared of immigrants, and Democrats want you to be scared of Republicans. Our fixation on terrorists has faded, but we have retained, as a legacy from that frightened era, the habit of thinking about the border as a security risk that must be mastered.
I do agree with this, wholeheartedly:
the United States has no coherent immigration policy, and politicians have little motivation to discuss the issue honestly. Along with the rest of the world’s wealthy countries, we contort our laws so we can duck our treaty obligations to receive refugees.
- Via WaPo: Long-hidden ruins of vast network of Maya cities could recast history.
- Via the Texas Tribune and the “Who could have seen this coming?” Department: UT-Austin tried to hire a game theorist for its new free-enterprise think tank. He turned down the job because of fights over tenure.
- Via The Atlantic: INSIDE THE GARDEN OF EVIL, Harlan Crow wants to stop talking about Clarence Thomas.
From that Trump Organization finishes last in brand reputation survey piece:
Worse than FTX, as for Fox, Twitter, and Facebook, I am not surprised.
Worst in trust. And yet, we can be certain that somewhere around 47% of Americans will vote for him anyway.
I’m going to say something that will not be popular with this group. I’m going to preface it by saying that both my parents were immigrants, and I truly believe that immigrants as a whole are a big part of why the US has been so successful over the past few centuries. Whether it is the Somali immigrants in Minnesota, the Vietnamese in the packing plants throughout the Midwest or the Mexicans shucking crabs here in the Chesapeake bay, I believe we are richer both culturally and economically because they have joined us here.
But we simply cannot honor the commitments we made in the treaty that governs refuges. It is completely unrealistic in today’s world. If we actually welcomed every legitimate refuge that could make their way here it would be tens of millions of people a year. And many of the people that claim refuge status are not actually refugees by the legal definition but rather motivated by the excrutiating poverty and crime that exists in their own countries. If we were to welcome everyone who wanted to move to the US to improve their life and the lives of their families it would be hundreds of millions per year.
And every year going forward from today, we are going to see more and more climate refugees. We have to figure out how we are going to address the chaos that is coming. Not only is there no perfect solution, there is no good solution. But pretending that our current refugee policy is viable is just fooling ourselves.
We need a coherent immigration policy. Part of that would include an assessment of how many we can successfully handle each year so I dont see any problem with setting some limits. We are going to need many more courts or they’re equivalent to process them.
@MarkedMan: My Dad was born in Scotland. Came over at age 2 in 1925. Most Americans have immigrant ancestry. Some more recent than others. My first batch of ancestors came to Canada in the 1840s (Scotland again). The Germans came to Canada in 1870. All those new Canadians then pretty much moved in mass to Cleveland in the 1880s. All had very large families. While I agree that climate will be driving the refugees, overpopulation is also bound up in the issue. Not helping is that too many Third World countries are large scale criminal enterprises rather than legitimate countries. I’m not wise enough to know the answer but I do remain cognizant of my own origins.
@steve: People are trying.
Texas Democrat unveils bipartisan immigration plan with path to citizenship, border security spending
The US has been below replacement birthrate almost every year since 1971. The under-18 demographic is shrinking, and the boomers are reaching the age where they’re going to start dying off. We currently have a natural increase of 1.4M/year–but that’s only because people are living longer than they used to. When the boomers start dying off, we’re going to go into negative growth pretty damn fast (52M Americans are currently 65+).
While we can’t take everyone who wants to come here, we can easily take in several million per year–with that number going up as the natural-born numbers go down. We’re currently at 1.7 replacement rate, when 2.1 is needed for a stable population. And that rate is continuing to drop.
The US is 84% the size of China, and 250% the size of India–and much better prepared to handle a larger population. We could easily add another 200M over the next decade and be able to handle it (from an infrastructure point of view–politically? That’s another story.)
We need immigration reform. We need to make it easier for people to enter the country, to stay here, and to become citizens. Yes, there needs to be some criteria, but the bar can be lowered a whole lot, and we’ll be a much better country for what these people bring to us.
 Births minus deaths, does not include immigration.
Agree with 100%
I have to disagree there. Increasing our population by 60% over a ten year period is not even remotely feasible. We are currently at about 1.5M per year, but the majority of them are coming here with jobs already in hand, or are family members of people with jobs. 20M refugees per year would be overwhelming. And 200M is a fraction of those who will be affected.
Where’s the “like” button gone?
Immigration offers the Democrats an interesting argument – while liberals generally advocate for a more generous immigration policy on humanitarian grounds, we also recognize that cheap labor drives down wages by affecting the supply of labor.
Conservatives have always loved immigration for precisely that reason, but for some reason have decided that they have to appear to be opposed to it – well at least the immigration of brownish-skinned people.
That opens up a couple of opportunities that I have not seen well exploited:
1) Immigration needs to be managed and controlled and limited so that we don’t affect American workers with increased costs and wage pressure
2) Immigration is a great example of how the free market is not appropriate for everything (i.e. healthcare). Government regulation is required to keep capitalists from exploiting cheap labor to the detriment of our country.
I wish we’d be more vocal about these things, helping educate the public about the downstream effects of policies advocated by both major political parties.
Huh. And not a drag queen in sight. Imagine that.
So Ron DeFascist and the other MAGA extremist gay-bashers will soon be filing bills to ban Catholic priests, no?
It’s very feasible–because if you progressively increase the number of people allowed in each year, you never exceed a single year growth of 6.8%.
Pop +M +%
330 6 1.82
336 8 2.38
344 10 2.91
354 15 4.24
369 20 5.42
389 25 6.43
414 27 6.52
441 30 6.80
471 30 6.37
501 30 5.99
Final Population: 531M, 200M added. A 7% population increase per year is manageable–especially since it would start off much lower than that.
Also, remember that “refugee” does not mean “person with no skills who will need 100% support”. Refugees are farmers, shop keepers, engineers, doctors, etc. I recently met an African woman who is applying for refugee status. She’s already living in the US, and working in a nursing home. She has a college degree in agriculture and advanced study in animal husbandry. She wants to attend university and become a veterinarian (a profession that is in need of more people). She’s going to be denied because Tanzania isn’t a war zone. And we’re going to lose a contributing member of our society.
@Mu Yixiao: @MarkedMan:
Our inability to control the border heightens nativist fears. If we could say that we had stemmed illegal immigration we’d have a better shot at reforming immigration to allow a more rational flow of immigrants.
If your central point is that the US cannot live up to the commitment that seems to be inherent in the Refugee Treaty, reluctantly, I would have to agree.
IMO, one of the major issues is that the US seems to think that the distinction of an “economic refugee” and a “persecution refugee” can be equitably handled by the current staffing of immigration courts. *
Interesting fact: In 1903 alone, Ellis island admitted 700,000 immigrants and ferried them to lower Manhatten, the majority of whom stayed in NYC. (NYC seemed to be able to handle the influx – maybe not so much now?)
My grandmother, an unaccompanied 16 year old, was among them. She was not fleeing Hungary (leaving the rest of her family of 7 behind) because of persecution, she was coming to a land of opportunity.
Of course, I’m a tad biased, but I believe that the US was enriched by her arrival. She married and raised 4 college graduates, all of who became professional (teachers and business-owners).
* an obvious solution to the refugee processing problem is to apply for status in one’s own home country, or the first safe-harbor country
@Mu Yixiao: An increase in housing stock by 60% in a 10 years? Of schools, hospital beds, jobs? Domestic consumption agricultural output? I don’t think you realize what 60% is, and how long it takes to build up infrastructure and capacity. That’s like WWII level of effort and investment, probably more.
I got “403 Forbidden” on your link.
@Michael Reynolds: “Our inability to control the border heightens nativist fears. If we could say that we had stemmed illegal immigration we’d have a better shot at reforming immigration to allow a more rational flow of immigrants.”
I disagree. The GOP can make reality.
Are you assuming that every individual gets their own home? It would be lots of families coming in–and people who would be marrying into existing families. You’re looking at maybe a total increase of 20% over 10 years. Again, that’s 2% per year, averaged out. And it’s almost entirely a political problem. Between 1975 and 1979, we added 18.5M homes. It was only 6 million between 2016 and 2019. Our ability to build certainly hasn’t diminished–but the laws allowing construction have gotten more exclusionary. That’s starting to change as state legislatures are removing single-family zoning, allowing for ADUs (“granny flats”), reducing minimum lot and dwelling requirements, and overriding laws that allow NIMBYs to block construction. Developers want to build–they’re not being allowed to.
School populations are declining across most of the country. You’re looking at about 20M of the 200M being under 18–and, on average, only 13M of them will be in school at any given time. Part of that number is absorbed by the loss of US-born students.
Hospital occupancy rates range from 45% to 80%. There’s room to absorb more people. And the influx of immigrants (if the government allows it) would mean more staff for hospitals. And all these new people and new infrastructure needs people to build it–that’s jobs. And people to feed them, and fix their plumbing, and build their cars, and teach their children. That’s jobs.
I’ve worked in grocery. Do you know how much perfectly good food gets thrown away every day because it’s not “perfect”? Produce has about a 50% shrinkage because people won’t buy the apple with a tiny spot on it. We can absolutely feed the increased population.
Over the past 20 years, active farmland has decreased by almost 100,000 square miles. In that same period, output increased by 50%. Getting immigrants to farm that fallow land would easily take up any slack that there might be.
I don’t think you’re looking at the numbers properly, and just how much we can manage–painlessly–if we decide we’re going to do it.
[all emphasis added]
@Bob@Youngstown: In the last pre-pandemic year, the US admitted 1.5M immigrants. We have a very, very high immigration rate as compared to other countries and are the richer for it. But yes, I’m in agreement that we cannot accept all refugees that could make it to our doors, which is what the treaty calls for (yes, Mexico should be accepting those on foot, but we don’t seem to be willing to force that issue). And, as you note, the original law was written to address people who are religiously, ethnically, etc persecuted, and expressly not those who are simply coming from dangerous places. But the way it is written anyone who shows up on our doorway can make a claim and is entitled to a determination.
@CSK: I wondered about that link. Basically, it was a picture of the Pope in his white flowing gown and red shoes, surround by a bunch of cardinals also in a flowing gowns. A joke, but in practicality I don’t know how you could come up with a general definition of “drag” that didn’t include them.
I think we are at an impass. I believe adding 60% to the population in 10 years would be a titanic effort that would require huge sacrifices. You believe we could essentially absorb them with little effort. Since we can’t run the experiment, I don’t see any way to resolve this.
Thanks. I miss the like button.
Not to pick on you this is a more general beef: I dislike the learned impotence of liberals who let themselves be driven by, ‘they.’ Every new thing runs into opposition. Each new group is attacked. Thus always. Yes, ‘they’ are assholes, but they are not ten foot tall assholes, they are not invincible assholes, they’re just more committed, united and organized than we are. They’re tough because we’re weak. And we are not weak because of them, we are weak because of us.. We are the auto-castrati of politics. We’ve become rigid, intolerant, humorless and defeatist.
I’ll give you an easy example: why don’t we picket evangelical churches? Because, what, we’ll make them mad? Turn them against us? White evangelical churches are safe havens for bigots and we’re just too fucking delicate to go after them where they live. It’s weak. They have no reluctance whatever to attack us in any way, in any place, at any time, up to and including invading the Capitol. But we can’t disrupt a hate-speech sermon?
Projection lol. The liberals who do more than spew whiny, cranky rants online like you do are doing wonderful, productive grassroots organizing work that elected Joe Biden, flipped the Senate, turned Arizona and Georgia into purple states, flipped the Wisconsin supreme court, prevented an anti-abortion constitutional amendment in Kansas, flipped statehouses across the country including in crucial Pennsylvania, and turned the vaunted Red Wave 2022 into a ripple at best.
I know many of the people doing this work. They are great people: devoted, committed, tireless, and tough. By diminishing and ignoring their successes, and smearing them as weak — which is a lie — you show *you* are what you claim *they* are.
They are not defeatist. You are. Stop projecting your tedious negativity onto them. And they aren’t picketing evangelical churches because that actually does notthing to get Democratic voters to the polls. But to your point: if that’s what you want to see, get off your butt and go do it! What’s stopping you from organizing protests at evangelical churches? Or do you have nothing to offer but ranting and raving online while criticizing others for not doing stuff you yourself aren’t doing? Let’s hear the excuse. (Which, by the way, will answer your own question.)
@DK: Damn good, and no like button.
ETA – Straight into moderation. Maybe James unplugged the plug-in that allows “damn”. But I could edit it.
Can you name any time in US history when a social justice movement has been rolled back the way abortion and trans rights have been? Black letter law is going on the books and there is no Supreme Court to save us.
But everything is great. Our messages are great, our strategies are great, our tactics are great. Great, great, great, as both my daughters face a world getting smaller and smaller.
1) I’m one of the founders of a kidlit group that raises money for state level races for the purpose of protecting gay, trans and women’s rights. Thus far I believe I’ve put in something like 50K and just got a fundraising email that’ll cost a minimum of another 10 grand. We’ve actually had some impact and some success working with other grassroots funders.
2) I’m one of very few kidlit people to directly take on JK Rowling on Twitter. I’d do more but one of my kids is worried about being doxxed if I lean too hard into this. I am not doing public events lately but my wife wears pro-trans and pro-abortion shirts etc… when and speaks for those rights she tours in non-free states.
3) I give money to trans charities, abortion rights groups and Democrats generally. And yes, I’ve marched and waved signs, but don’t generally love that.
4) I knocked on doors in Las Vegas for Senator Cortez-Masto. I’ve worked phone trees.
5) And I raised a large number of readers to believe in human rights and human decency. If you doubt that, I’ll send you some fan mail from people now in their 30’s.
So, let’s see, that’s money, time, displays of solidarity and long-term cultural contributions. What more would you suggest I do?
But I’m fed up with being told to shut up and fall in line. If we were winning? Sure. But we are winning in the way the Germans retreating from Moscow were winning. I’m sure those poor bastards would have resented being told thy were doing it wrong – but they were doing it wrong. It’s axiomatic: if you’re losing, you don’t get to be arrogant. Arrogance is for winers. We are losing in ways that will take decades to undo.
And let me tell you something else: the trans issue is on a knife’s edge. There’s a lot of, ‘sure, why not?’ support that is paper thin. There are people on our side who are still forming their opinions on trans rights in particular. The propaganda battle is very far from won. We could lose this and lose it for a long, long time.
Oh, and we also buy large lots of banned gay and trans books and contribute them to independent bookstores and libraries in fascist areas.
And part of the reason I’ve put north of a quarter million dollars into a big fucking website (coming soon) is that it gives me the resources to edit, design, cover and distribute books that publishers might be worried about taking on.
And wrote a trans main character in a trilogy.
Is that enough? Have I passed your purity test?
How’s is it liberal activists’ fault that white men refused to listen to Hillary Clinton and the 90% of black voters who supported her, and instead chose to give a supermajority of their votes to a patholgical lying racist buffoon, allowing Trump to appoint the regressive Apartheid Court she warned about? Go yell at white men, or do they not have to take personal responsibility for their electoral choices?
Okay since we’re being melodramatic and hyperbolic, you’re right. Everything is terrible. Nothing good is happening anywhere. Liberals are awful. Democrats suck at everything and are losing everywhere. No progress at all. We’re doomed. Losing, losing, losing, awful, awful, awful.
Also, let’s not be defeatist?
Make up your mind, sir.
You were the one crying and whining about nobody picketing evangelical churches. So the more that you should do is the thing that you were crying and whining about. Go picket evangelical churches.
I’m fed up with negativity negativity negativity negativity negativity all the time. Do you have anything positive or inspirational to say? Do you think being negative and pessimistic and talking about how horrible things are and how terrible liberals are and how they’re doing nothing right is going to rally voters?
I haven’t heard this much darkness and gloom since Trump’s inaugural speech. Maybe you should drop kidlit and go apply to be one of Trump’s speechwriters.
Ha! I’ll give you a passing grade, but just so you can climb down from the cross of pompous, self-pitying martyrdom you’ve nailed yourself to long enough to collect today’s Tedious Drama Queen Award. If you stay up there any longer you’re either gonna break your neck trying to pat yourself on the back, or bore everybody else to death with cranky whining and complaining. Ugh.
What’s defeatist is pretending you’re not losing.
Round up a dozen or so people and I will. Except of course, that would be an old white straight cis guy making decisions for etc… etc… Cue the outrage. Obviously I’m not the MLK of the trans movement (for sooo many reasons) I’m just a voice crying in the wilderness that the messaging has been lousy, that priorities need to be decided on, strategy and tactics need to be focused around core needs which, I would humbly suggest, are not pronouns or half a dozen trans athletes, or even gender-affirming care for minors, but access to facilities, the right of self-definition, and non-discrimination in housing, education, health care and employment. First build the house, then worry about the paint.
By the way, none of this is genius insight, any moderately bright political practitioner would tell you the same thing: pick your battles, hone your message, let some things go and push on others, make friends and try to avoid making unnecessary enemies.
But this outrage any time anyone questions this or any other movement is a sign of weakness. Yes, I understand that the troops in the trenches are fighting hard, I admire those people, but we are losing. And if you’re losing and insisting you’ve made no mistakes, you’re deluded. See also the pro-choice movement where everything is also going just gangbusters.
Not to jump into this discussion and be picky but the end of Reconstruction in 1876 and the beginning of Jim Crow laws reinforced by Plessey vs Ferguson comes to mind.
Which kind of reinforces your point since it took another 100 years to get those rights back.
Sure: I think the trans issue is eminently winnable. If we could erase 20 million old farts tomorrow, it’d be game over. But people have this lazy notion of the arc of history bending. Wrong word choice: the arc of history is bent. I think a smarter movement could regain much of the lost ground in the next decade. If we stay stupid it’s twenty years minimum.
That is an excellent example. A chilling example, but on-point.
@DK: @Michael Reynolds: As an evangelical, I feel that I should weigh in on this question of picketing evangelical churches. I’m not sure that it’s the way to go for several reasons. My first concern is that to successfully picket evangelicals, you’ll have to start pretty early on Sunday mornings. You’ll need to organize and get rolling to your site so that you can arrive there by quarter to eight at the latest (at least on the West Coast). Kickoff time for the early NFL game is 10 am PST and most people I knew didn’t like missing the first drive so they attend an early service that starts at 8-8:30. Reynolds doesn’t strike me as the getting up a dawn on Sunday type, but I may be wrong.
Beyond the initial logistical concern, I would note that picketing a church is going to get you a lot of invitations to come in and see what they are like. Evangelicalism is based on the model of “Jesus the Master Salesman” from the “woman at the well” account in some of the gospels. They truly believe that there’s no such thing as bad publicity and have major league (or bigly, if you prefer) experience at manufacturing sense of outrage at being unjustly persecuted, and you’ll have to listen to their protests of innocence (and you may have to have a charge that specifically relates to that congregation; in which case you’ll also have to listen to them explain why you are either “wrong” or “ignorant of the larger biblical perspective” on the issue).
Moreover, Sunday simply isn’t a good day for picketing. Remember that the reason for picketing is to draw the attention of the public at large to the issue you’re protesting. Who’s going to see you picketing a church between the hours of 7:45 and noon other than the congregation–who are going to discount your views as “deception from Satan?”
My final concern is that, at least on the West Coast, church is already a dying proposition. I grew up in what was probably the most relentlessly secular city north of San Francisco and West of Detroit (Seattle) and know from personal experience that congregations are pretty insular groups. At this time, I live across the river from what was, in the 90s, considered “the most attending church town” in Washington State (Longview). A larger church in Longview three or so years ago sought a new pastor to replace the one who was retiring. In their demographic description of the congregation, they noted that 50% of the congregation was over 70 years old and that another 20% was over 50. And this type of condition has existed in American Christianity for decades now. Back when I converted to Lutheranism in the late 70s, Martin Marty, and LCMS theologian who taught at the University of Chicago until he retired, gave an address at a convocation of Lutherans in which he noted that if anthropologists from outer space visited the United States and went to church, they would conclude that Christianity was a religion for the elderly and babies. And this was in 1982 or so. If anything, Christianity is aging rapidly–something that both of you already know and have commented on before. My personal position is that the “biblical principles” thrust that evangelical churches are making in order to intrude into American politics and the lives of people unknown to them does more damage to Christianity than they will successfully do to American politics–though they have gotten a burst of energy in the recent term and are waaaaayyy better at playing the long game than libs and progs. But I have no more control over evangelicalism than I do over who the GQP chooses to be their next bigot in chief. Still, the notion of never interfering with an opponent while said opponent is making mistakes can be applied here if people choose. I would recommend against picketing churches. YM (as always) MV.
I will note one more point before I go away. It is unseemly for a noted kid lit author to demand that other people do the groundwork for a protest that he has advocated and decried the absence of. Just sayin’.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: At first I thought, “we didn’t used to have a thumbs up function so I probably won’t miss it”, but damn… thumbs up.
What’s defeatist is pretending Democrats have lost elections that they won. And I’m not losing, I’m winning at life. You may be a loser, but don’t project that on to me. I’m black and queer in America, a survivor and a success story. I’m descended from people who have survived much worse than this current situation. I will survive and thrive through this too, because that’s what people like me do. That’s winning. Black folk didn’t get this far with your brand of negativity, doom, gloom, darkness, and pessimism.
No, it’s your bad idea, *you* round them up. White abolitionists didn’t wait for permission. John Brown had a plan and he executed it. But I knew there’d be some excuse, because that’s what slactivist complainers do. They’re great at sitting back to snipe and complain about what others should do. Always an excuse about why they can’t do it themselves. Predictable.
And they will tell you that trashing your side as weak losers and peddling doom, gloom, darkness, negativity, and pessimism is no way to inspire voters and rally them to your cause.
Hm. Insulting them as weak losers is an interesting way to show admiration. And maybe Trump got you to believe the Big Lie, but Biden won in 2020. That’s not losing. Flipping the Senate isn’t losing. Flipping statehouses and state courts isn’t losing. Having two Democratic senators in formerly red states like Georgia and Arizona isn’t losing. Defeating antiabortion amendments isn’t losing. Up isn’t down. Black isn’t white. And winning an election isn’t losing it, no matter what you and Trump say.
Hyberbolic, dishonest strawman arguments are fun, but nobody has said anything about “no mistakes” but you. If you’re arguing against fake strawman arguments, you’re the one that’s deluded.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
Because it’s a dumb idea. Hilarious that someone would lecture the trans movement to “pick your battles” and what they come up with is “picket churches.” How to Lose Friends and Not Influence People.
@Michael Reynolds: “Can you name any time in US history when a social justice movement has been rolled back the way abortion and trans rights have been? ”
I’ll ask my historian buddy, Jim Crow.