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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: gop border crisis

#EndorseThis: Randy Rainbow Rips Cruz And Graham Over 'Border Crisis'

Randy Rainbow is back with a sassy new parody, this time targeting Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for their border crisis "hypocrisy" in a documentary-style video titled, "TED and LINDSEY!"

Covering their respective idiocies to the tune of the Broadway classic "Kansas City," Randy pays special attention to Graham's sycophantic Trump toadying and the "Cancun Cruz" fiasco. Enjoy!

TED and LINDSEY! - A Randy Rainbow Song Parody www.youtube.com

VIDEO: Trump Makes Rambling Anti-Biden Speech At Mar-a-Lago Wedding

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Two of the last three U.S. presidents who were voted out of office — Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1980 and Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992 — graciously accepted defeat and moved on after their successors were sworn in. But when former President Donald Trump spoke at a wedding at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Saturday night, it was obvious that he still holds a grudge against President Joe Biden and remains bitter about losing the 2020 election.

More than two months after leaving the White House, Trump used the wedding speech as an opportunity to rail against Biden — and he ranted against Biden's border policy, telling the crowd, "The border's not good. The border is the worst anybody has ever seen it…. There's never been anything like this."

The former president continued, "Look, it's a disaster…. It's going to destroy the country. And frankly, the country can't afford it…. It's a rough thing."

TMZ, commenting on Trump's wedding speech, wrote, "Trump seems to be saying the way he was handling things before his exit — separating kids from their parents and housing them in cages — was more humane than what's happening now. At the moment, large groups of people are being sandwiched together in encampments, and the conditions are awful. He did not, however, mention the misery he caused these families when he was in charge."

Trump also used the wedding speech as an opportunity to promote debunked and bogus claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him through widespread voter fraud.

Donald Trump Rails on Biden During Wedding Speech at Mar-a-Lago | TMZ www.youtube.com

Angry That Biden Hasn’t Painted Wall, Trump Plans Border Visit

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Jason Miller, senior advisor to former President Donald Trump, revealed that he may soon be traveling to visit the U.S. border but the trip won't be immediate since he's reportedly trying to avoid "creating the impression that he's "showboating" about the issue," Mediaite reports.

During an appearance on The Michael Berry Show, Miller leveled a litany of complaints about the situation unfolding at the border as he criticized President Joe Biden for tapping Vice President Kamala Harris to oversee the issue.

Describing the situation as an "absolute crisis," Miller said, "And then to make matters worse, Joe Biden throws gasoline all over the fire by putting Kamala Harris, Mrs. Open Borders herself, in charge of the entire Southern border?" Miller said. "I mean if this doesn't scare the you-know-what out of you, it should."

Then, the host Michael Berry asked, "Do you foresee the [former] president making a visit to the border?"

Miller admitted that Trump had discussed doing so. "You know, we discussed that recently," he said. "I can see him doing that soon. One of the things that I think President Trump wanted to let Joe Biden go and fail on his own before he goes and steps in on that."

However, Miller insists the trip may not be anytime soon because Trump does not want it to appear like a publicity stunt. He added, "I think there's a very fine line between calling someone out on the policies and then appearing to do something that's showboating, or give Joe Biden an opportunity to point and say 'See? You know this isn't serious work, President Trump is down at the border making a scene out of this,' and allowing Joe to essentially weasel out for not having to go himself."

Miller also suggested that Trump is not happy about the wall not being painted. He added that "it is something that President Trump is really concerned about. All of his hard work. They won't even paint the wall. They were supposed to paint the wall this month. So it would be a black color as opposed to the rust color because elements and such. And Biden has even stopped that."

Despite Miller describing the border situation as a "crisis," the Associated Press reportedly sent guidance to its reporters this week advising them to refrain from describing it with that term.

Biden Takes A Victory Lap Around Clueless Beltway Press Corps

Reprinted with permission from Press Run

Deep into a five-minute, detailed policy answer about immigration on Thursday, President Joe Biden asked reporters at the White House press conference if he was wading too deeply into the weeds. Biden wanted to know if he was giving too many details and providing too much factual information.

Talk about a seismic shift from the Trump years, when the entirety of policy discussion could be squeezed onto the back of a matchbook. Back then, reporters were also lied to nonstop at press conferences, and personally denigrated in front of the cameras. As Biden now constantly does, he flipped the script. Affable and at times folksy, Biden was his usual self, offering a common sense outlook to practical governance: "I can't guarantee we're going to solve everything, but I can guarantee we can make everything better. We can change the lives of so many people."

Overall, Biden delivered a strong, one-hour performance during his inaugural press conference, which must have felt like a colossal letdown for the Beltway media. Journalists had spent weeks mindlessly hyping the idea that Biden was hiding from the press and its legions of truth-seekers. The unending desire by the media to turn Biden's press conference into two-week, navel-gazing "news" story was something to behold.

"Stumbling or steady?" asked a Washington Post reporter, hours before the press conference. "Finally," harrumphed Politico.

Did the Beltway press really think Biden, who's been in public life nearly 50 years, who just tallied more votes than any presidential candidate in American history, and who clearly won both televised face-offs with Trump last year, can't effectively communicate his agenda and answer broad questions from reporters?

Just last week, Biden gave an extended, sit-down interview with ABC News, and he's already participated in a CNN town hall. Yet the media's myopic obsession with press conferences continued, as they worked overtime with Republicans to create a nasty Biden narrative. In the end, he emerged as the clear winner.

The strangest part of the Thursday press conference? Biden wasn't asked a single question about Covid, which has dominated every waking day of American life for the last 13 months, and has claimed more than half-a-million lives. Biden was asked twice if he planned on running for re-election in 2024, and he was peppered with questions about the border, a story Republicans have been pounding for weeks as a "crisis" for the administration. On that issue, the White House press corps was in step with the GOP and tacitly framed their multiple border questions around Republican talking points.

The media however, showed no interest in the topic of Covid, just as the GOP today shows no interest in the topic of Covid, as Biden posts success after success on that front. In fact, the Thursday presser functioned as a Biden victory lap when he announced at the opening of the Q&A that his new goal was to have 200 million Americans receive a vaccine shot within the first 100 days of his presidency. That would be an unthinkable accomplishment compared to the national embarrassment the vaccine rollout had been under Trump.

But the White House press corps on Thursday looked away.

The incessant press chatter over Biden's missing press conference in recent weeks wasn't about a larger story regarding the Biden White House trying to choke off access to reporters, operating in the dark, or waging war on the Fourth Estate. (That would be bad!) In fact, it's been the opposite, with the Biden team hosting a press briefing nearly every day where journalists are able to pose questions and receive factual, professional answers from the press secretary.

The media caterwauling was all about how Biden hadn't yet appeared in a very specific communications forum to answer questions for an hour. The issue was so pressing that the Washington Post editorial page weighed in. (The paper posted five pieces on the topic in the span of two weeks.)

Here's the reality: Trump made news popular for four years, giving outlets across the country sizeable bumps in readership and viewership as Trump remained committed to creating news all day, every day with his cascade of lies, taunts, and erratic behavior. And Beltway journalists loved it — they loved being in the middle of the tumult and being the creators of the roiling content.

That's all gone now with Biden, who has made a conscious decision to avoid the spotlight and to not needlessly interject himself into every news cycle the way narcissist Trump did. By turning the temperature way down, by refusing to manufacture news where none exists in the name of partisan warfare and general chaos, Biden is denying journalists their professional momentum.

Add to that the fact that Biden slow-walked his way to his first press conference, as compared to his predecessors who held them sooner, and that D.C. journalists hold up pressers as the pinnacle form of presidential communication, and journalists get cranky. They want White House performances. That's why they tried to turn Biden's lack of a press conference into a national news story, when it's really just inside baseball chatter. Searching for a path forward in the post-Trump world, the Beltway press is frantically trying to generate controversy where none exists.

Biden's modest, winning press conference confirmed all that.

Behind The Latest ‘Border Crisis’

The frightening story of a "crisis" at the U.S. border with Mexico, with an "overwhelming surge" of destitute and possibly disease-bearing humans, is now repeated constantly by Republicans and their eager echoes in the mainstream media. But what interest beyond partisanship is served by that narrative? What would serve us all far better is to understand the background of these events so that panic and prejudice don't distort our response.

On Thursday evening, President Joe Biden provided sorely needed context to the latest "border crisis" when asked whether the latest increase in migration is due to his kindly image — and his reversal of the cruelest immigration policies of his predecessor.

"I guess I should be flattered that people are coming because I'm a nice guy," Biden said, without quite laughing. Noting that a roughly similar "surge" occurred at the border during the winter of 2019, he asked acidly, "Does anyone suggest there was a 31 percent increase under Trump because he was a nice guy?"

Nobody is suggesting that, although the Trump partisans complaining about Biden's border policies are trying their demagogic best to hide the truth about what happened then and what is happening now. The Republican impulse to stoke bigotry for political gain is as predictable as the annual pilgrimage of migrants fleeing violence and privation.

Writing in The Washington Post on the day of Biden's press conference, a trio of academic researchers — Tom K. Wong, Gabriel De Roche and Jesus Rojas Venzor — laid out the evidence that the recent increases are seasonal, not political, based on data published by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Their analysis showed that the rising number of migrants arriving at the border during the first five months of fiscal year 2021 closely matched the trend for the same months in fiscal year 2019. The difference was the number of migrants who didn't show up or were turned back in fiscal 2020 and are coming now.

After looking at not only those recent numbers but data for every year dating back to 2012, they "found no clear evidence that the overall increase in border crossings in 2021 can be attributed to Biden administration policies." Instead, they discovered that these migrations are seasonal, owing to the simple fact that as winter turns into spring and summer, the southern deserts are simply too hot and deadly for humans to cross on foot.

If the bulge in migration is so predictable, then the next question is why the Biden administration was unprepared to handle it. And the apparent answer is that it tried but its efforts were thwarted by Trump and his pathetic refusal to recognize his election defeat.

When the Trump White House and its minions across the government declined to cooperate with the Biden transition teams, many predicted that the costs of that irresponsible attitude would eventually come due. And now we're seeing the human cost every day, as unaccompanied children look to cross the border and seek asylum in a country unprepared to receive them.

As NBC News reported on March 24, Biden aides warned their counterparts in Trump's Department of Health and Human Services — which is responsible for migrant children — that many children would be coming to the border shortly and that the facilities to shelter them were insufficient. The Biden team, experienced and competent, sent that message to the Trump officials as early as December. Not only did they anticipate the arrival of Central American kids but they knew that Trump had closed down shelter space as part of his no-tolerance, family-separation approach to immigration.

It was a disastrous mistake. And what made matters far worse was that Trump's HHS officials simply ignored the warnings and did nothing until time ran out. They also brushed off the concerns of nonpartisan HHS staff, who issued the same warnings internally. According to one official who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, "It was irresponsible of the Trump administration not to listen to us when we were throwing up red flags."

Now the Biden administration has to clean up their mess, including their absolute failure to address the underlying causes of migration. They are trying to improve the bad situation at the border as rapidly as possible, and they will need to fashion more effective policies going forward.

But there's at least one thing they know for sure: Trump's cruel attitude toward immigrants accomplished nothing, except to bring misery to innocent families and dishonor to the United States.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com

Why Is The Washington Post Hyping The GOP's ‘Border Crisis’?

Reprinted with permission from Press Run

Eagerly joining forces with partisan Republicans, the Washington Post over the weekend uncorked a doomsday write-up about the surge of young migrants currently overwhelming U.S. facilities along the Southern Border. Laying all of the blame for the three-decade problem directly at the feet of the new, two-month-old Democratic administration, the Post article echoed every conceivable GOP talking point.

What the piece failed to do was include crucial context for a complicated policy puzzle, and to delve deeply into whether Trump spent four years deliberately creating a border crisis that Biden is now trying to fix.

The Post also included no context for how Biden's brand new administration has been addressing border crossings while at the same time dealing with the aftermath of a deadly insurrection, an impeachment trial, and passing the largest social spending bill in U.S. history. All in less than 60 days.

The Post is hardly alone in manically hyping the border story, at the behest of the GOP. In a highly unusual move, ABC This Week staged its entire Sunday program from the border, in order to focus on the "emerging crisis for the Biden administration."

On Saturday night, Post reporters fanned out on Twitter to tout their breathless story, which Republicans quickly seized upon. "'No end in sight: Inside the Biden administration's failure to contain the border surge," posted Josh Dawsey of the Post. Even more frantic was the tweet from colleague Nick Miroff: "How the Biden admin's poor planning, botched messaging, rush to repudiate Trump and a broken asylum system unleashed the biggest border surge in 20 years, with "no end in sight""

Fact: This is not currently the "biggest border surge in 20 years." It's not even close.

The Post article, as Julian Castro advisor Sawyer Hackett noted, was "pure hot garbage, beginning to end." He added, "Where the fuck was the outrage when Trump deported 13K children last year?"

Designed to portray the White House as poised on the brink of a defining and perhaps fatal failure, the Post article was drenched in politics instead of policy — "Republicans are reveling in the administration's border problems." The piece stressed the issue of immigration could be a loser for Democrats — it could cost them the House in 2022! — and even "overshadow" the administration's success in vaccinating tens of millions of Americans in recent weeks, and passing the wildly popular $1.9 trillion relief package. All of that could be forgotten, the Post stressed, because more people are trying to cross the U.S. border. That's an absurd premise that only adds up if you're trying tell this story from a Republican perspective.

Among the article's more egregious failures was its refusal to mention that the surge in unaccompanied minors at the border began during Trump's last year in office, as well as a surge in adults seeking asylum, the Trump team's refusal to cooperate with the Biden White House transition, and the Republicans' deliberate delay in confirming key cabinet members who most closely work on border issues.

Additionally, the article quoted former Department of Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf attacking the Biden administration. Wolf was a key member of Trump's anti-immigrant border team who worked overtime creating deliberately ineffective, chaotic, and cruel policies, which Democrats are now trying to fix. But Wolf gets to spout off in the Post about how Biden has created a crisis?

Is Biden alone responsible for the current surge? Not according to the Washington Post's own reporting just four months ago: "Attempted crossings have risen as migrants fled the aftermath of powerful hurricanes in Central America and as crime, hunger and political instability continued to ravage numerous countries in Latin America." That's now all been flushed down the memory hole, as the Post amplifies GOP attacks and targets Biden, and Biden alone for the surge.

Also disturbing was the premise from the Post piece, which echoed a Republican talking point: 'There are too many undocumented people crossing the border and in U.S. custody!' Left out of that simplistic and alarmist narrative is the fact that they're in U.S. custody because this Democratic administration has adopted a humane policy of not sending children back to often unlivable conditions. Basically, the Post penalizes Biden for trying to fix Trump's deliberate mess, by wildly hyping the change in border numbers.

"The politicians and the pundits trying to push America back to the "good old days" of 2018, of ripping families apart or condemning them to inhumane refugee camps in Mexico, are shameless," stressed the Philadelphia Inquirer's Will Bunch, after the Postarticle was published.

In terms of border crossing apprehensions, 2021 is currently on pace to match the 2019 surge under Trump. Where was the panic-stricken media coverage about the border "crisis" then, and how the Republican administration had no policy answer? In truth, Trump touted the huge influx in 2019 because he thought it was good politics for wanting to build a mythical wall across America's southern border, which Democrats opposed.

So when a Republican was in the White House, he claimed the huge border surge was bad news for Democrats, and the press largely played along. Two years later, the press is once again playing along with Republicans, claiming a huge border surge is bad news for Democrats.

#EndorseThis: Tooning Out Rebukes Carlson For A Nasty Case Of 'Plagiarism'

Tooning Out The News, the animated satirical snippets produced by Stephen Colbert, uncovered what it describes as a very troubling example of "plagiarism" by Tucker Carlson. The Fox News idol of the swastika set seems to have taken a cue from an old and infamous political tract.

This will undoubtedly annoy Tucker, but hasn't he asked for it? Enjoy!


Longtime Hate Group Amplifies GOP Immigration Rhetoric

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

An anti-immigration group with long-standing ties to white nationalism has spent the last week amplifying harsh Republican rhetoric on immigration, some of which was created by the group itself.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform, which goes by the acronym FAIR, has used its social media accounts, which are followed by millions of people, to promote the Republican Party's attacks on Democratic President Joe Biden.

On Wednesday, the group hosted a video stream of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers seeking to push Republican leadership to the right, on its Facebook page as House Republicans held a press event in front of the Capitol on "Biden Border Crisis." FAIR has over 2.3 million followers on Facebook, and another 413,000-plus more on Twitter, where it also promoted the stream.

The event's slogan, which has been on the lips of multiple Republicans for the last few weeks, took hold after FAIR issued a press release on Jan. 21, the day after Biden was sworn into office, accusing Biden of "inducing an immigration and border crisis."

The Biden administration's Homeland Security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, has said the challenges at the border are largely due to inheriting an immigration system he described as having been "gutted" by the Trump team.

FAIR and its Republican allies have continued their attacks nonetheless.

In just one week on Twitter, FAIR has promoted several immigration-related tweets from Republicans in Congress. They have retweeted Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), and shared Rep. Dan Bishop's (R-NC) comments twice.

Additionally, FAIR tweeted out stories reporting on Republicans pushing FAIR's message on immigration, including remarks from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, also a Republican.

FAIR has also shared immigration tweets from the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress, and the official account for Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee. The tweet from the Judiciary Committee minority was a request to get FAIR's language in the hashtag "#BidenBorderCrisis" to trend on Twitter.

FAIR has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has longstanding ties to white nationalism.

The organization's founder and board member John Tanton wrote in 1986 that " whites see their power and control over their lives declining," and said, "for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority."

Tanton ran the Social Contract Press, a publishing company that republished the anti-immigrant novel The Camp of Saints, which describes "swarthy hordes" of Indian immigrants overrunning France and calls immigrants "monsters." The book is reportedly a favorite of former Trump White House official Stephen Miller.

Additionally, for nearly 10 years FAIR took over $1.2 million in grants from the Pioneer Fund, which advocated for eugenics.

But the group's past has not prevented Republicans from repeatedly hosting representatives from FAIR to give Congressional testimony, and now both find themselves pushing the same anti-immigrant rhetoric once again.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.