17 thoughts on “Who’s Making Sense?”

  1. a real emergency in our midst that trump should be declaring and not inspiring  [NZ killer: trump is “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” ]

    here’s an excerpt from an informative discussion last night on pbs newshour:

     [Kathleen Belew is an assistant professor of history at the University of Chicago and has written extensively about white supremacy movements.]

    You know, this is a social movement.

    I think this is the most important thing to understand. This is an action carried out by the white power movement. It has decades of history in the United States and beyond. It is part of a social groundswell. Its members are deeply connected with one another. And they’re ideologically driven, as my co-panelists have said.

    That means that we have to think about how to connect these disparate acts of violence together into one story, so that we can start to think about formulating a response to this as a movement. These aren’t lone wolf attacks. These aren’t individual errant madman. These are political actors who understand what they’re doing to be motivated and purposeful.

    And the other thing about acts like this — and I — again, I’m a historian. I study the period from the Vietnam War to the Oklahoma City bombing, which is the moment of sort of formation of this movement and its kind of first wave of intense radicalization and anti-state violence.

    When we think about acts like the New Zealand shooting, the Oklahoma City, the massacre in Charleston, the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue, these actions are not meant to be end, in and of themselves. The violent action, the mass attack, that’s not the end point of this ideology.

    These actors envision these acts as purposeful political statements meant to awaken a broader white public to the urgency of their ideology and to race war.

    • Judy Woodruff:

      And race war, literally?

    • Kathleen Belew:


      That’s why I think it’s important to call this what it is, which is the white power movement. I think, when people say white nationalist or white supremacist, it serves to sort of soften the very radical and revolutionary nature of this activism.

      White nationalist makes people sort of think that the nation implied is going to be the nation of the United States or the nation of New Zealand, when, in fact, these activists think about a white nation that transcends national boundaries. They’re pursuing an Aryan nation.

      And they’re often doing this violently, with the end goal of ethnic cleansing and race war.

  2. stanage at the hill:  The Memo: Questions sharpen for Trump after New Zealand massacre

    Friday’s mass shooting in New Zealand is sharpening scrutiny of the rhetoric of international political figures, including President Trump

    Even trenchant Trump critics have not accused him of a direct line of culpability for the shooting at two mosques in Christchurch that left at least 49 people dead. It was the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s modern history.

    But the massacre has reinvigorated criticism that Trump has empowered extremists and Islamophobes globally since his 2015 call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” 

    George Selim, senior vice president of programs at the Anti-Defamation League, declined to be drawn into specific comments on Trump in a Friday interview with The Hill, but said, “You need look no further than what the [alleged] shooter himself has said about political leaders in the United States.” 


    But Trump fueled the controversy on Friday afternoon when he pushed back against the idea that white nationalism was a growing problem.

    “I don’t really [think so],” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess.”

    During the same encounter, marking the president’s veto of a congressional resolution disapproving of his declaration of a national emergency regarding immigration, Trump referred to the situation on the U.S. southern border as an “invasion.”

    “People hate the word ‘invasion’ but that’s what it is,” he said, according to pool reports.

    In Tarrant’s apparent manifesto, he repeatedly portrayed himself as seeking to stop an “invasion” of predominantly white countries by people of non-European heritage.

    White extremism has long been a flashpoint between defenders and critics of the Trump administration. 


    More recently, Trump called himself a “nationalist” during an October 2018 rally in Texas. The remark was seen by his defenders as encapsulating his “America First” approach to governing, but as something more sinister by his critics.

    Selim, who served in the administrations of President George W. Bush, President Obama and during the first six months of the Trump administration, noted that “when hateful rhetoric is allowed in our public square without condemnation, it gives the green light to extremists to speak up — and in the case of New Zealand, act on it; and in the case of Pittsburgh, act on it.”


  3. Trump’s remarks may contain ‘dog whistles,’ fired FBI official McCabe tells ‘Real Time’ host Bill Maher:

    Is President Trump sending out “dog whistles” to some of his supporters? That’s what former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe said he feared Friday night during an appearance on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

    Maher had asked McCabe about remarks Trump made to Breitbart News earlier this week, specifically Trump’s claim of having strong support from the nation’s military, police and “bikers.”

    “It’s very disturbing and concerning,” McCabe said. “I think he may be overestimating a bit how much support he has from the people and law enforcement and the military. The thing that concerns me the most about statements like that is not is what he means, but what that audience actually hears.”

    “Which audience are we talking about?” Maher asked

    “So, those folks who are looking for the dog whistle and the coded language,” McCabe responded. “They receive those wildly inappropriate and irresponsible texts and messages and statements and it concerns me how they interpret what they’re hearing.  And they see that as some sort of call to action.”


  4. wapo editorial board:

    President Trump is not to blame for the tragedy, despite his own history of Islamophobic statements and a travel ban that targets predominantly Muslim nations. Still, he should go further than he has; for starters, by condemning the alleged killer, whose nativist rhetoric — he called immigrants “invaders,” attacked “mass immigration” and wrote that he hoped to “directly reduce immigration rates” — overlaps with the president’s own. On Friday, Mr. Trump cited an “invasion” of immigrants to justify his national emergency declaration to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.


    And Mr. Trump, who could not bring himself to criticize the white nationalists in Charlottesville who chanted that minorities (Jews, in that case) would “not replace us,” on Friday said he doesn’t regard white nationalism as a problem. That’s the wrong message. Instead, he ought to state unambiguously that the New Zealand suspect’s “replacement” ideology is an unacceptable trope in civilized discourse.


  5. with regard to building the wall and what won’t be built because of it- TBD aka no one knows

     from stars and stripes:

    Sen. Jack Reed said Thursday that acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan broke his promise.


    During an exchange with Reed at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee about the Defense Department’s proposed $718 billion budget, the Pentagon’s top official said he would deliver by the end of the day a list of military construction projects at risk of delay so money could be used to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.


    Shanahan told senators on Thursday that no list was available, but then — after continued questioning on the matter — told Reed that he would provide the list by the end of the day. But by Friday afternoon, staffers for the Democratic senator from Rhode Island said they still had not received the list.


    A month has passed since President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to contend with migration along the U.S.-Mexico border and ordered the use of up to $3.6 billion in military construction funds to build a wall there. Since then, the Pentagon has said it’s working to identify projects that can be delayed to divert funds to the construction of the wall.

    “This unacceptable series of evasions should trouble members of Congress, regardless of political party,” Reed, the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, said Thursday night in a prepared statement, after Shanahan informed him that he would not meet his obligation. “I will continue working to make this list public because the American people deserve to know the facts.”


  6. If Chump wants to spend all his political capital on some shitty steel fence that will rust out in 50 years, have a ball.

  7. Wapo’s editorial board almost called SFB out for being the inspiration for the Christ church attack and giving a ritual tepid disapproval. Almost 

  8. I agree early polls are kind of so what.  But even though I think Biden will be out after Iowa and New Hampshire if he isn’t in at all..the media is using the early polls to promote him as the centrist answer — a total pile of crap
    I don’t think Dems want a centrist — which the same as a liberal Republican.  I think they want someone who will do what they had to do for themselves in the last couple of years.  They want healthcare and not some bullshit SFB version.  They want good schools, decent housing and a criminal justice system that works for everyone not just the rich.
    Republicans want no government and everyone to serve the rich

  9. The only way I’d be okay with Trump’s wall is if he were on the other side of it once it is built.

  10. nytimes via msn:

    One overarching law is almost always applicable in Washington — the law of unintended consequences.




    Time and again, Congress takes steps to fix a problem, only to end up further aggravating the situation or creating a whole new issue. Such is the case with the National Emergencies Act of 1976, enacted in the post-Watergate era to rein in presidential power.


    “Ultimately, this is a problem created by Congress, and it has been allowed to persist by Congress,” said Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, who introduced a measure this past week to make it more difficult for presidents to circumvent Congress through an emergency declaration. “Congress is starting to wake up to the fact that over time it has delegated out too much power.”

    The emergencies act was meant to restore Congress’s constitutional role as a check on an increasingly powerful executive branch, not just because of President Richard Nixon, but because of a growing imbalance between the two supposedly equal branches dating to at least the era of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    Mr. Lee’s proposal was scuttled by Mr. Trump, who rejected the Republican offer of trading a future legislative fix for support of his current declaration. Top Democrats ridiculed Mr. Lee’s measure as a transparent political move to provide cover for Republicans facing the difficult choice of siding with Congress or Mr. Trump, and they dismissed it out of hand.

    In the end, Mr. Lee and 11 other Republican senators joined Democrats in voting to block Mr. Trump’s emergency declaration, sending the resolution of disapproval to the White House, where the president enthusiastically vetoed it on Friday — and slammed critics in both parties.

    Both the House and the Senate are well short of the votes required to override the veto. This means that any money that Mr. Trump diverted for his wall could stand despite Congress’s refusal to allocate him the funding in the first place and then voting decisively to end his emergency.

    The legality of Mr. Trump’s declaration will now be fought in the courts, where the third branch of the government will no doubt consider the congressional intent represented by two votes against the president, who exploited the emergencies law.

    The thoroughly unsatisfying outcome for many on Capitol Hill could provide new impetus for Mr. Lee’s plan, which would require Congress to approve any president’s emergency declaration — or it will automatically terminate after 30 days. That would be a significant change from the current process of ending an emergency declaration only by passing a resolution of disapproval subject to veto — an approach that leaves most of the leverage in the hands of the executive branch.

    “If you want to declare a national emergency, we need to put a shot clock on it,” Mr. Lee said.


    Though Democrats initially ridiculed Mr. Lee’s proposal, a spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was also open to considering changes as long as they were not being pursued in the interest of political cover. Democrats will also need to be convinced that the purpose is not just to tie the hands of future presidents from their party.

    “The House committees are reviewing the president’s unlawful use of the National Emergencies Act,” said the spokesman, Drew Hammill. “It was never intended — and still is not permissible — to be used by the president to settle a policy dispute in which he miserably failed to convince the Congress and the American people.”

    Mr. Hammill was reflecting a widespread bipartisan sentiment that Mr. Trump and his advisers were employing the law in a way in which it was never intended to be used. But many Republicans, backed by in-house legal review, also acknowledged that the 1976 legislation gave the president a legal basis to move ahead. Some of the 12 Republicans who voted to end the national emergency did so not because they believed the president acted illegally, but because they considered it a grievous trespass on congressional prerogative on spending under a badly flawed law.


    “It was a hasty decision without much deliberation,” Mr. Lee said. “It was written for a bygone era that really doesn’t exist anymore.”

    Mr. Lee said he believed his idea of establishing a time limit subject to congressional approval would be constitutional. He acknowledges that there is no chance it can move forward without bipartisan buy-in, buy-in he believes is attainable as Congress realizes the extent to which it has relinquished its authority.

    Sometimes, he said, it takes a galvanizing event like the wall declaration to get lawmakers to band together.

    “This has been created over time under Congresses and White Houses of every conceivable partisan configuration,” Mr. Lee said. “It needs to be a bipartisan solution.”


  11. The only way I’d be okay with Trump’s wall is if he were on the other side of it once it is built. – Mr Corey
    That’s what oceans are for, and they are more cost effective. Give him a trench tool, a bag of Burpee’s seeds and drop him in Antarctica. 

  12. Our pussy Congress – even Mike fuhchrissake Lee – has now seen the danger of delegating its responsibilities to a president- it comes home when the president is nucking futs. 

  13. I was most surprised to find this marvelous oped in the Journal that I unfolded yesterday:

    Houses of Worship

    Buddhism as a National-Security Threat

    By Duncan Ryūken Williams
    March 14, 2019 6:53 pm ET

    After Pearl Harbor, Japanese-Americans found their faith under attack.
    My classmate Mira, along with all of her American family, was rounded-up and deposited out-West; they were heartbroken.
    That said, I will never forgive official Japan for stealing Kumcho’s sister from her family.

  14. Getting ready for tomorrow, I’m sampling one of the Guinness extra stouts that I picked-up at Kroger’s yesterday—marvelous. I find them most like the draft served over-there if they are lightly chilled. That relieves the carbonation that is never found in a proper pub.
    “Extra Stout, 11.2-oz bottles, 5.6% alc.  Drink responsibly or risk losing your Lenten St Paddy’s pass.”

  15. Mr Jace, you think that the court will scrap the ’emergency’. I kinda wonder if the Supremes will uphold a lower court on this. The law doesn’t say that a president’s emergency declaration must be reasonable, actual, or sane. Apparently, the Congress didn’t think ahead to a time when nero might be lounge about in the Oval Office. Therefore, despite the fact that it actually is trump’s reaction to some unauthorized persons crossing the border that is the emergency, the Supreme’s might give him a pass on this one. 
    It may be time for a taxpayer revolt on paying for a wall.

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