Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Rise of Sadism?

August 28, 2017
By Joe Kloc     
From this week's Harper's Weekly:

Days before the Mexican government offered to send aid for the victims of a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall in eastern Texas and caused catastrophic flooding in up to 50 counties and drove an estimated 30,000 people from their homes, one-time pornographic-film extra and current U.S. president Donald Trump issued a pardon for Joe Arpaio, a former sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County who, during his 24-year tenure, held inmates in Korean War tents that reached temperatures of 141 degrees; referred to those tents as a "concentration camp" and the place "where all the Mexicans are"; called complaints from 
Latinos "civil rights crap"; said it costs more to "feed the dogs than it does the inmates," whom he fed rotten green bologna; ran on his office's website a "Mugshot of the Day" contest inviting visitors to vote for their favorite inmate images; shot footage of female inmates that could be viewed online; forced hundreds of inmates not yet convicted of any crime to march from one jail to another in pink underwear; oversaw guards who referred to Latino inmates as "wetbacks" and "Mexican bitches," strapped to a chair a paraplegic inmate and then tightened the restraints until his neck broke, and forced a female inmate to give birth in shackles; said he was the "first in the world" to put women in a "chain gang"; admitted that his counsel had hired a private agent to investigate the wife of a judge who ordered him to stop racially profiling Latinos, a ruling he was later found in contempt of court for ignoring; claimed that all people crossing the Mexican border had swine flu; said he was "doing something good" because the Latino community was "leaving town"; asked a Latino waitress if it was "safe" to drink a glass of iced tea she had given him; was found to have inadequately investigated or ignored hundreds of sex crimes; opened a rape investigation into a political opponent and investigated for child molestation a former Phoenix mayor who disagreed with his treatment of Latinos; oversaw deputies who threatened to arrest a reporter for viewing public records and forced a man's dog back into a burning house that they had set on fire; ran a jail with four times the suicide rate of county jails for Chicago or Miami; banned his inmates from drinking coffee and possessing pornographic magazines, and created an in-house radio station that broadcasted songs by Frank Sinatra; referred to his Italian-American bodyguards as his "mafia"; and chained together teenage inmates and forced them to bury the corpses of poor people. "More rain coming," tweeted Trump.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Not In Kansas Anymore, Toto

So just to check in : A reminder by an astute commenter in the NY Times recently pretty well answers the puzzlingly ubiquitous question of "How we got here", in the World of Trump. This didn't happen in a vacuum.

" sdavidc9 is a trusted commenter Cornwall 3 hours ago

Republicans have wanted to shred the modern safety net ever since FDR started putting it in place. They used to be scared enough of safety net supporters to elect those of their ilk who also wanted to do the safety net and get votes from safety net supporters, but now they have driven safety net supporters out of their party. National Romneycare was proposed by a Democrat and fought by all Republicans, including Romney when he ran for President.

Republicans have been lying for years, ever since they adopted voodoo economics as their own and enticed the segregationists away from the other party with the lies of code words and dog whistles. They support the rule of law with voter disenfranchisement, extreme gerrymandering, and the routine demonization of the other side.

They do not like Trump's style or his inclination to run them down and mock them, which they know may reappear at any time. They do not like his untrustworthiness and unpredictability. But they have little problem with most of his agenda. After all, government is the problem and he is getting rid of it; refusing to staff it is almost as good as drowning it in the bathtub."