Credit Where Credit is Due

My new normal includes calling my Reps and Senators about important issues every day, and making sure they know there are people out in the world who care about this stuff. Bit by bit, it's having an effect. []

First on the list today was Mike Coffman, my rep. Now, Coffman's a Republican, and I'm not, and honestly I'm not expecting a lot of headway.


Here's the thing: Coffman did distance himself from Trump during the election – did say he wasn't voting for him, that Trump should withdraw, that he would hold Tan Dumplord accountable for his actions if he won.

And, so far, he has… kind of done that. [] – It's a little weak, certainly open to interpretation, but it's there, and right now you take the wins you can get.

So, credit where it was due: I got a live person (wonder of wonders) and made sure to start off by commending Coffman on his statements regarding the Muslim Ban, and how glad I was to see him take that stand.

THEN I went into "And since he's made such a principled stand on the Muslim Ban, let's talk about what he needs to say about the White Supremacist civilian who just replaced two experienced, core members of the National Security Council…"

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman says he doesn’t support a travel ban based on religion. But how does he feel about Trump’s executive order? – Denverite
Update: The Denver Post caught up with Mike Coffman in D.C., and he had some stronger words. He called the executive order an “embarrassment” and said it was poorly thought out and poorly executed. Presumably this is a statement in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees, but it doesn’t actually refer to the order … Continue reading “Republican Rep. Mike Coffman says he doesn’t support a travel ban based on religion. But …


In pretty much any story – any fiction, that is – the amount of blatantly greedy and/or evil shit being pushed out by Trump's administration would see him shut down and tied to a chair by a group of plucky teenagers days ago.

And yet, nothing. He just keeps adding to the pile. Old Man Withers isn't even wearing the swamp monster mask – he doesn't think he needs to, and so far it looks like he's right.

Nobody listens to the hippies in the van.

And even if they do, they don't (or can't?) do anything.

Trump and his cronies took a look at the board and decided the other side just flat-out doesn't have enough pieces in play to stop one. goddamn. thing. they do.

"Work out what you’re best at, and act."

Politics and News stuff is, right now, pretty goddamn painful.

It may not seem like it, but I really do try to balance the doom and gloom stuff with things that, while maybe still newsy, are a little less horrible.

So, here's this piece I just read.

I think you can learn a lot from history. “Don’t be complacent” is a good lesson. “Yes, this is really happening” is a good lesson. “Little events can spiral out of control almost in an instant” is a pretty good one, too.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm intensely, nauseously worried about where things are are right now, but I do appreciate a realistic take on events that is a little more optimistic about our chances, so I thought I'd share.

Don’t buy into the inevitability […]. That goes double if you feel like Trump is the end of the world.

Germany after WW1, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Russia during and after the Communist regime — they didn’t have strong civil societies and a strong tradition of government. The United States does. Despite how it may appear at the moment.

Believing that disaster is inevitable helps allow it to happen. Don’t be blinkered about what a Trump presidency means, but don’t believe that disaster is inevitable.

History is About the Past, That’s Kind of the Point
Why you shouldn’t buy into Tobias Stone’s end of the world article

I Don’t Think People Understand How Bad Things Are Right Now

SeaTac CBP refuses to talk to any attorneys. They told the only attorney they opened the door for that they don’t care how many attorneys show up, they don’t take orders from attorneys or judges. Senator Patty Murray showed up just after 4:00 & CBP refused to talk to her, too.

Process that: Customs and Border Patrol refused to talk to a sitting United States Senator. They have refused other senators at other airports, according to the Washington Post.

At Dulles, CBP has been stonewalling four members of the US House of Representatives, both the governer and attorney general of Virginia, and Senators Cory Booker (NJ) and Mark Warner (VA)–the latter of whom chewed out the head of CBP in person. No dice. Not even with a federal court order telling CBP at Dulles, only them, and them in particular to give detainees access to lawyers.

And they’re pulling an old trick from the national-security handbook that’s been used to evade the courts on issues like domestic surveillance:

“Lawyers and advocates still didn’t know how many people are being held in the secondary inspection area at Dulles or what their immigration status was, which led to a catch-22: Attorneys couldn’t file for contempt of court without having proof that legal residents were being detained and not being given access to lawyers, but they couldn’t get proof without getting access.” 1

At least two VA reps found out about constituents being detained at Dulles, at which point CBP released them in order to dodge the access-to-lawyers issue.

If the Executive can ignore the Judiciary, then we have a full-on constitutional crisis. The only options for enforcement of judicial orders are 1) U.S. Marshals (who are ordered around by the Judiciary but ultimately still a part of the Executive as part of the Department of Justice), in which case we have an actual armed conflict between two branches of government, or if the Marshals refuse to comply, 2) the Governor of the state, say Virginia, sends in the National Guard of the state, which leads to an armed conflict between a state militia and the federal government.

This is literally Civil War-level stuff going on.

Trump has been in office a week.

Horrifying History, Repeating

In the early 1930s, the German Nationalist Party (read: Nazis) didn't start out with concentration camps; they started out with new employment laws.

Well, there was a progression. First, no new immigrants of certain types (Jews, Romani, etc.).

Then, new employment laws aimed at 'undesirables' (previous list, plus Gays) who were already in the country (and in many cases had been for generations), making it illegal or very difficult to hire/employ them.

Stop me if this sounds familiar.

So then: "It's a real shame what happened to our Jewish neighbors, but HEY Heinrich, maybe now you can apply for that promotion…"

You know what made me think of this?

A (very) liberal guy in my feed who shared this article with the comment "Actually, as an engineer, I kind of support this…"


Donald Trump’s Next Immigration Move Said to Hit Closer to Home for Tech

Not Prescient

"Of all the prospects raised by the evolution of digital culture, the most tantalizing is the possibility that technology could fuse with politics to create a more civil society."

— Jon Katz, Wired 5.04, Apr 1997

Still the best tech writing out there at the time.

Obama rejects comparison between Trump’s immigration policy and his own, encourages protests

Obama pledged before leaving office to only speak about Trump's policy moves “where I think our core values may be at stake.”

So that took 10 days.

Obama rejects comparison between Trump’s immigration policy and his own, encourages protests
A spokesman said Obama “is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.”

This is a constitutional crisis.

The Dulles airport CBP continues to hold detainees without access to lawyers, deporting two, both in defiance of specific federal court order.

If the CBP continues a refusal of unambiguous Federal court orders, then this is serious, serious beyond the scale of anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes: it’s the Department of Homeland Security saying that if Trump tells them to do one thing and the courts another, they will do what Trump says and best of luck to the courts trying to enforce that. Which is to say, they’re establishing a precedent that DHS actions are not subject to any sort of court review, or to anything other than the personal fiat of Trump – including their right to detain people, deport them, or hold them incommunicado.

And the Trump Administration removed the link for The Judicial branch of the federal government off the White House website.

This is a constitutional crisis.