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Member since: Thu May 7, 2009, 11:59 PM
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President Obama Should Thank Trump for Sudden Endorsement of Immigration Status Quo...

...but note that while he appreciates Trump's 11th hour embrace of the President's current policies under existing law, that even President Obama thinks that immigration should be reformed in a comprehensive manner.

Hillary, on the other hand, should have some fun with Donald Trump, the self-described agent of change, now being a warrior for defending the status quo. America under President Obama is pretty great after all?


Trump’s new position appears to be an embrace of the status quo, in which those in the U.S. illegally with criminal histories are prioritized for deportation, but no action is taken to push forward with comprehensive reform.

* * *

The apparent shift comes days after Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Trump’s position on mass deportation was “to be determined,” indicating a forthcoming campaign shift. Trump also cancelled a planned immigration speech in Colorado on Wednesday on account of the policy uncertainty. It’s the second such “softening” in recent weeks, as Trump appeared to move away from his proposed ban on Muslim immigration, seeking to replace it with an ideological test for immigrants and a temporary ban on immigration from countries with active Islamic extremist elements. But both Trump’s original policy on immigration and the Muslim ban remain on his campaign website.

Several Trump surrogates spent Tuesday on cable television arguing that Trump’s new position—he said this week that he’d prioritize the removal of those with criminal records—is similar to President Barack Obama’s, who has sought to deprioritize the removal of those in the U.S. illegally but have broken no other laws.

But Obama has called for comprehensive immigration reform legislation to provide a path to citizenship for the majority of those in the U.S. illegally—a position held by many Republicans but repeatedly rejected by Trump over the course of the campaign.

National Review - "Could a President Trump Really Impound All Immigrant Payments to Mexico?"

I think we are now seeing some details about the new kinder and gentler Trump.

Instead of a physical deportation force, Trump is proposing that the U.S. just steal money earned by poor immigrants in the U.S. and sent home to their families and need, and use that money to pay for the Great Wall of Trump. That way, by starving their families back home, Trump could force Mexican immigrants to self-deport.


Donald Trump’s new immigration plan boldly declares that, “Mexico must pay for the border wall and, until they do, the United States will, among other things: impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages.”

Would that even be possible? A Trump administration could erect a lot of legal, regulatory, and logistical obstacles to transferring money from the U.S. to Mexico. But those moves would enrage the banks and financial institutions that make money off the transfers, and probably spur interest in transfer methods that escape the attention and grasp of law enforcement.

Earlier this year, Mexico’s central bank released data indicating Mexicans abroad sent home $23.6 billion in 2014, almost all of it from the United States. Payments from workers abroad make up just 2 percent of Mexican GDP, but they can play a much bigger role in particular local economies. One study concluded that “the poorest rural areas” of the country derive 19.5 percent of their income from remittances. Whatever their economic impact, the payments are widespread: An estimated 83 percent of Mexicans who enter the country illegally send money home. But so do 73 percent of legal Mexican immigrants — making a blanket restriction on remittances virtually impossible.

* * *
Trump’s pledge to “impound” remittance payments implies seizure, an act that would face a high legal bar to clear. But the government has successfully seized money in the accounts of criminals who smuggle illegal immigrants across the border.

LA Times - "Donald Trump's media obsession led him to hire the head of a far-right news site."

What is Trump does not represent the high water mark of RW racial extremism, but the beginning of the normalization of such rhetoric? If Hillary wins, I think that GOP's lurch to the far right will continue through the 2018 midterms with openly racist Republicans dominating the GOP primaries.


It seemed bizarre. But Donald Trump’s choice this week of a renegade, far-right news executive to lead his campaign was an inevitable culmination of a candidate’s war with the mainstream media and his embrace of his party’s most incendiary voices.

Trump’s obsession with the media has been one of the few constants in his campaign. He rails against “scum” reporters, withholding credentials from major news organizations and lashing out on Twitter this week against the “failing New York Times,” while granting lengthy interviews to those same outlets and basking in their attention. He exploits the divide in conservative media to bash enemies and create safe zones on select television and radio shows. He questions the core tenets of the 1st Amendment and flouts the judgment of fact-checkers with abandon.

The union of conservative media’s edgiest elements with the party’s standard-bearer has been years in the making, fomented by the establishment media’s loss of dominance and credibility. Trump, who has spent years learning how to navigate and dominate the news, has stepped into that credibility void to push once-fringe ideas into mainstream conversation like no other candidate.

“You have all these websites that create this echo chamber — that’s kind of an old term,” said Charlie Sykes, a conservative radio host in Wisconsin. “It’s gone beyond an echo chamber” to competing realities.

Hillary Clinton Twists the Knife in Donald Trump’s Tax Proposals

Source: NY Times

Hillary Clinton leaned into her plans to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans on Wednesday, denouncing Donald J. Trump’s tax proposals as a boondoggle for billionaires.

“We’re going to tax the wealthy who have made all of the income gains in the last 15 years,” Mrs. Clinton told a crowd in Cleveland. “The superwealthy, corporations, Wall Street,” she declared emphatically, “they’re going to have to invest in education, in skills training, in infrastructure.”

For months, Mrs. Clinton has attacked Mr. Trump’s economic agenda in broad terms, portraying him as a follower of the “trickle down” orthodoxy of previous Republican administrations. But Mr. Trump’s release of his tax plans last week in Detroit allowed her to begin to criticize them more specifically.

Just as President Obama attacked his 2012 rival, Mitt Romney, for paying a lower effective tax rate than the vast majority of Americans, Mrs. Clinton said that Mr. Trump’s plan would benefit people in his own income bracket, declaring that he “would pay a lower rate than middle-class families” if it were put into effect. Mr. Trump has recommended cutting the top marginal income tax rate to 33 percent from the current 39.6 percent, and broadening deductions for things like child care.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/18/us/politics/hillary-clinton-twists-the-knife-in-donald-trumps-tax-proposals.html?_r=0

While most of the news is focused on the latest drama or racism emanating from the Trump campaign, Democrats are actually making some concrete policy proposals.

Sean Hannity called a columnist an asshole. What happened next explains Donald Trump.

Nice article that illustrates the irony of some Republican condemnations of Donald Trump.


What’s interesting here isn’t just how nasty the fight is. It’s what the spat tells us about the core divides within the conservative movement in the age of Trump.

The Hannity-Stephens divide is really a fight over how we got to Trump. Hannity argues that Trump’s rise is a logical response to the inability of feckless conservative elites like Stephens to stop Obama. Stephens thinks that Trump is an outgrowth of an anti-intellectual "echo chamber" inhabited by people like Hannity.

This is one of the major cleavages in the conservative movement today. The way the argument shakes out will have a profound impact on the conservative movement’s future, so it’s worth paying attention to.

But the truth is that the debate is taking place under false pretenses. Hannity and Stephens see themselves as opposed, but the truth is that they’re both part of the same "echo chamber" Stephens ironically decries. It’s this broader conservative worldview, defined by a widespread acceptance of unsupportable ideas, that helped give rise to Trump.

NBC: Trump's Conspiracy Theories Aren't Far Outside GOP Mainstream

One thing the media refuses to acknowledge when it questions why "establishment" Republicans do not abandon Trump is that Trump is actually more conservative and closer to the current GOP party base.


Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has caused an uproar by repeatedly associating President Barack Obama with terrorism, raising questions about his citizenship and casting aspersions on his loyalty to the country — but what is often lost in all the outrage is the fact that the real estate mogul's views are not that far outside the mainstream of conservative opinion.

While Trump has differentiated himself as the first presidential candidate to lend credence to conspiracy theories about Obama's motives and background, his views are shared by a majority of Republican voters and have been for some time.

A recent NBC News Survey Monkey poll found that a whopping 72 percent of Republicans have doubts about Obama's citizenship and 41 percent are emphatic that he was foreign born. Meanwhile, 31 percent are unsure if he is an American, leaving 27 percent who acknowledge that their country's president was born in the U.S.

The fact that most rank-and-file Republicans refuse to accept the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate has long been something of an embarrassing open secret which prominent party leaders have chosen to sidestep. The reality is that even after the president begrudgingly released his long-form birth certificate — confirming that was born in Hawaii — to the public in April of 2011 to quash the rumors, it did little to shake conservatives' steadfast belief that he is a fraud.
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