Trump draws rebuke for ‘animal’ remark at immigration talk
By JILL COLVIN
Thursday, May 17
WASHINGTON (AP) — While railing against California for its so-called sanctuary immigration policies, President Donald Trump referred to some people who cross the border illegally as “animals” — drawing a sharp rebuke from Democratic leaders for the harsh rhetoric.
Trump’s remark at meeting with local leaders was in response to a complaint about gang members.
“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them,” Trump said during the immigration round table after a sheriff commented about gangs. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., responded on Twitter to the president, saying, “When all of our great-great-grandparents came to America they weren’t ‘animals,’ and these people aren’t either.”
Trump was joined at the Wednesday White House meeting by mayors, sheriffs and other local leaders from California who oppose the state’s immigration policies and who applauded his administration’s hard-line efforts.
“This is your Republican resistance right here against what they’re doing in California,” said Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, co-opting a term used by Democrats opposed to Trump’s presidency. She, like others, said the president and his policies were far more popular in the state than people realize.
They were criticizing legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law last year that bars police from asking people about their immigration status or helping federal agents with immigration enforcement. Jail officials can transfer inmates to federal immigration authorities if they have been convicted of one of about 800 crimes, mostly felonies, but not for minor offenses.
Brown insists the legislation, which took effect Jan. 1, doesn’t prevent federal immigration officials from doing their jobs. But the Trump administration has sued to reverse it, calling the policies unconstitutional and dangerous. Some counties, including San Diego and Orange, have voted to support the lawsuit or have passed their own anti-sanctuary resolutions.
Republicans see backlash to the law as a potentially galvanizing issue during the midterm elections, especially with Trump’s anti-immigrant base. And Trump has held numerous events in recent months during which he’s drawn attention to California’s policies.
During the session, Trump thanked the officials, saying they had “bravely resisted California’s deadly and unconstitutional sanctuary state laws.” He claimed those laws are forcing “the release of illegal immigrant criminals, drug dealers, gang members and violent predators into your communities” and providing “safe harbor to some of the most vicious and violent offenders on earth.”
Brown responded on Twitter, writing that Trump “is lying on immigration, lying about crime and lying about the laws of CA.”
The Democratic governor added: “Flying in a dozen Republican politicians to flatter him and praise his reckless policies changes nothing. We, the citizens of the fifth largest economy in the world, are not impressed.”
The discussion comes as the Trump administration is under fire for a new policy that is expected to increase the number of children separated from their parents when families cross the border illegally.
Trump, in his remarks, wrongly blamed Democrats for forcing his administration’s hand.
“I know what you’re going through right now with families is very tough,” he told Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, “but those are the bad laws that the Democrats gave us. We have to break up families … because of the Democrats. It’s terrible.”
But no law “the Democrats gave us” mandates the separation of children from their parents at the border. The administration is using protocols described in a 2008 law designed to combat child trafficking that gave special protections to Central American children at the border. While the bill was authored by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, it unanimously passed both houses of Congress and was signed by Republican President George W. Bush as one of his last acts in office.
Nielsen on Tuesday defended the practice, telling a Senate committee that removing children from parents facing criminal charges happens “in the United States every day.”
The event also came as top House Republicans worked to head off an attempt by party moderates to force roll calls on four immigration bills. Republican leaders privately warned GOP lawmakers Wednesday that such a drive could damage the party’s prospects in the fall’s congressional elections by dispiriting conservative voters, according to people at the closed-door meeting.
The House leaders fear the winning legislation would be a compromise bill backed solidly by Democrats but opposed by most Republicans, an outcome that could anger conservatives, according to Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., a leader of the effort to force the immigration votes.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., issued the warning, said a second person who was in the room and spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private conversation.
Asked about his remarks, McCarthy said his objection to the procedure was that it would in effect “turn the floor over” to Democrats.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said the petition would be “a big mistake” that would “dis-unify our majority.” He said the leaders were “working with the administration.”
The moderates said later Wednesday that House leaders were trying to end the immigration standoff and that they could soon see a specific proposal on how to do that.
“We’re willing to see what this looks like,” said Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., a leader of the lawmakers trying to force the House to address the issue. Conservatives had their own session with party leaders and also suggested there had been movement, but offered no specifics.
Many of the legislators demanding action face potentially competitive re-election races in congressional districts with large numbers of Hispanic, suburban or agriculture-industry voters with pro-immigration views.
Earlier this year, competing bills aimed at protecting young immigrants and toughening border security — including one backed by Trump — collapsed in the Senate. The measures never received House votes.
Associated Press writers Alan Fram in Washington, Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento and Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed to this report.
Ohio Inspector General Investigation Finds Inmates Built 28 Computers from Parts Contrary to State Policy
Ohio Inspector General
Columbus, Ohio, May 22, 2018
The Ohio Inspector General issued a report of investigation today after receiving a complaint from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) regarding contraband found in the Marion Correctional Institution. This investigation stemmed from remediation efforts recommended by the Inspector General in a previously issued report, 2015-CA00043, involving inmates who were building computers from parts diverted from an institution recycling program.
The Office of the Ohio Inspector General determined that the computers were not acquired in accordance with Ohio Department of Administrative Services policies and lacked standard configuration and security requirements. In addition, the computers were found to contain thousands of pirated movies and songs as well as illegally duplicated software.
The report of investigation has been sent to the Marion County Prosecuting Attorney and the Ohio Auditor of State for consideration.
Ohio Inspector General Report of Investigation file number 2016-CA00032 is now available at: http://watchdog.ohio.gov/investigations/2018investigations.aspx
Ohio Inspector General Report of Investigation file number 2015-CA00043 is now available at: http://watchdog.ohio.gov/investigations/2017investigations.aspx
Raising boys to love and care, not kill
By Rob Okun
Heart contracts; numbness and tears collide. Ten dead, 13 wounded; this time in Santa Fe. If we’re ever to end the bloodbaths, we have to put gender at the center of the national conversation about mass murders.
Here’s a news flash for the media: The location of the killings is only one way to describe the murders; highlighting the shooters’ gender is essential to gain insights to prevent tragedies. While not all mass murders occur at schools— think churches and movie theaters—virtually every murderer is male, usually white. We ignore that truth at our peril. Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, who opened fire at Santa Fe High School on Galveston County’s Gulf Coast, is no exception.
In Texas, memories are still fresh from November’s mass murder at a church in Sutherland Springs (27 dead, including the perpetrator). Santa Fe is reeling from the killings and wounding — real and psychic. Will the Texas Legislature or Congress do something now?
In the national conversation, why does the gender of the perpetrator rank a distant fourth behind gun access, mental health, and building security? Perplexing, since gender is central in another arena where men are perpetrating violence: sexual assault. Women in the #MeToo movement speaking out, being believed, and men suffering consequences have marked a powerful shift in our cultural narrative. So why are we reluctant to call a mass shooter a male mass shooter? If women were doing the killing, you can bet gender would lead every broadcast and news story.
In talking about men, phrases like “toxic masculinity” (or “healthy masculinity” for that matter) do men a disservice. They obscure deeper issues about manhood, especially the most important one: how we raise boys.
The majority of boys and men do not commit mass murder, do not enter public spaces brandishing automatic weapons, do not mow down pedestrians with cars careening down city sidewalks. The men who do are the hawks in the coal mine; we need to pay attention to the canaries who long to be hawks.
Any middle or high school student can identify the canaries—isolated, alienated, bullied boys with low self-esteem, products of a culture indifferent to boys’ social anxieties, disillusionment and loneliness. Addressing their struggles in middle or high school is late; we must begin following boys in preschool, learning from discerning early childhood educators and insightful psychotherapists how to mentor parents, coaches, faith leaders and youth groups.
In considering both mass shootings and #MeToo, we’re told men have been largely silent. That’s only partially true. How many readers are aware of the 4-decade-old antisexist men’s movement that has been challenging men’s violence against women (and other men), since the 1970s? How many know about the initiatives and organizations that have dotted the national landscape since then?
Decades ago, when Gloria Steinem famously said, “Women want a men’s movement. We are literally dying for it,” some men were listening. In the aftermath of a tragedy like Santa Fe, there is a treasure trove of resources addressing contemporary masculinity. Men are helping; men want to help. Demonizing all men is a losing proposition.
Of course, there is never any justification for the twisted belief that men are “entitled” to a girlfriend or to sex. Troubled, lonely males are made, not born. A culture that refuses to consider the health of our boy children, and fails to acknowledge the gender inequality girls and women have experienced for, well, forever, will continue to produce wounded men, a tiny number of whom will become violent. Without early counseling and support, though, many will turn to extremist misogynist groups online for validation.
Boys can grow to be beautiful men if society is willing to reevaluate how they are socialized. If Congress won’t fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct a comprehensive public health study of male socialization, then every state legislature should take up the cause. To honor the memories of the murdered in Santa Fe and Parkland, Fla., and all those who came before, we have to act. Now.
Rob Okun, syndicated by PeaceVoice, edits Voice Malemagazine, is author of VOICE MALE – The Untold Story of the Profeminist Men’s Movement , and a member of the board of North American MenEngage, a gender justice organization.
By Tom H. Hastings
As a boy who grew up on skates in Minnesota with my Dad as hockey coach, I vividly recall that he frequently echoed the old adage, “The best defense is a good offense.” Someone evidently told that to Donald Trump too, and we see it play out constantly.
Our swampy guy in the White House is more surreal by the day. Along the lines of Benito Mussolini, he is claiming to clean up corruption—his primary campaign promise—even as he practices it on a daily basis.
He is under investigation, of course, for a campaign that colluded with Russian and probably Middle Eastern operatives to manipulate the American electorate via false flag social media posts. The Fake News strategy. His campaigners, from Paul Manafort (erstwhile campaign chair, now slated to go on trial for several corruption charges) to his son, Donald Jr., are serial liars about dealings with Russian operatives.
Who are actual American heroes? That is a debater, but some folks like John McCain, former POW, tortured, and currently dying from brain cancer. Trump disses him every chance he gets. Others might say Green Beret Sgt. La David Johnson, already dead, killed in an ambush in Niger last October, and Trump tells his widow, “He knew what he signed up for.” For some of us, civil rights hero John Lewis—arguably the most squeaky clean politician in US history—is an icon, but naturally Trump, who never worked for anyone’s civil rights, who never went to jail to protect the rights of the oppressed, who never served in uniform to rightly or wrongly protect the US, tweeted that Lewis was “Sad.”
Welcome to third grade. When someone offers criticism, do not respond with facts about that criticism, respond with lies and smears and attacks on unrelated matters. We are ruled by an adolescent spoiled rich boy — and his base can’t let it go, can’t face his glaring lies and crimes.
Crimes? Yup. He has all the immunity afforded to a president (even if his election was a pack of fraudulent practices), or he might well be in prison right now.
· He pays hush money to a porn actress to keep her quiet right before the 2016 election. Illegal.
· He lies to the FBI. Against the law.
· He is very likely a multiple predatory sex offender.
· He has a long history of lawbreaking in his landlord career.
· The Big Irony: all the crimes he accused Hillary Clinton of committing, he committed.
And now he is basically demanding to flip reality and start a Department of Justice investigation into whether or not the FBI infiltrated and embedded in his campaign. Many call that flatly illegal, that is, to seek to learn the identity of any intelligence agent tasked with investigating Trump/Russian collusion or conspiracy. Senator Mark Warner and others call it criminal, and note that Trump Jr. likely broke laws in his meetings with Middle Eastern and Russian social media manipulators (the Fake News brigade, working for Trump and against Clinton). It is certainly unprecedented and beneath normal conduct.
He gets away with it all, even profits, even gains in power over others. The bad guy wins and enough good people choose to stay silent or elect to not make waves to enable his abuse of America.
Will we stand up to the Swampiest one ever? His venal style, his sophomoric reactions, and his criminal conduct are so reminiscent of Nixon, the president who ordered break-ins, who is on tape calling Mexicans “wetbacks,” and who left office as the impeachment sword was about to fall. We live in a democracy and so we get what we deserve, but I hope we earn back a far better leader very soon. If Trump is planning to obviate the Mueller investigation we may all need to prove that our best defense is a good offense, even if that means nonviolently shutting down the government until we get some relief.
Tom H. Hastings is Founding Director of PeaceVoice.