Pelosi Unites Black And White Women In Report: Amy Coney Barrett’s Video: Man Threw A Drink In Judge: Sacramento Panhandlers Can Finally: Scott Pruitt Resigns Blue Wave Alert: North Korea’s Official Media Drop
Pelosi Unites Black And White Women In Anger Over Remarks About Waters KAREN TOWNSEND Posted at 9:01 pm on July 5, 2018 When Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) issued her mandate to supporters that they continue to harass and bully any member of the Trump cabinet they may run into in public, the other end of the political spectrum reacted in a predictably indignant way. Like-minded critics of the Trump administration embraced Waters’ unhinged performance as the siren call on which they have been waiting. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), however, realized that the directive from Waters may have crossed a line with ordinary people (voters), so she dared to say that the inflammatory statements were uncivil and maybe even unAmerican.
I don’t often credit San Fran Nan with applying some common sense to a potentially volatile situation, but I do in this case. Now, though, it seems that Pelosi has united both black women and white women alike in anger over her response to Waters’ remarks. Two letters have been written and delivered to the minority leader taking her to task for her lack of support and criticism of Waters. Apparently, bullies are bad if the alleged bully is President Trump but not if it includes a far left black woman politician. Go figure. Here is Pelosi’s first call for unity and civility:
Nancy Pelosi ✔ @NancyPelosi In the crucial months ahead, we must strive to make America beautiful again. Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable. As we go forward, we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea. CNN Politics ✔ @CNNPolitics Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters encourages her supporters to harass Trump administration officials https:// cnn.it/2tsBop8 6:05 PM – Jun 25, 2018 13K 17.2K people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy
Black women politicians and activists united to sign a letter to Pelosi expressing their disappointment with failure her to protect Waters from the criticism she deserved and called on her to make amends for labeling the remarks uncivil and unAmerican. The letter also is addressed to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who also called for a calmer approach in his remarks on the Senate floor. They call the pushback on the incendiary remarks “unwarranted”. Their letter was delivered to Pelosi and Schumer on Tuesday.
“We write to share our profound indignation and deep disappointment over your recent failure to protect Congresswoman Waters from unwarranted attacks from the Trump Administration and others in the GOP,” the women wrote in a letter sent Tuesday. “That failure was further compounded by your decision to unfairly deride her as being ‘uncivil‘ and ‘un-American.‘“
“In doing so, we believe this mischaracterizes her call to action for peaceful democratic assembly and the exercise of her constitutional rights to free speech in support of defenseless immigrant children and their families,” the letter continued. You can read the letter for yourself HERE and look at the list of those who signed on to it. You’ll notice that Donna Brazile, longtime political insider and Clinton supporter, counted herself among them. Though there was not an immediate response to the letter, Pelosi did release a statement Wednesday. She speaks against threats to Waters, though there is no such call for the safety of Trump officials.
In a statement released Wednesday, Pelosi said: “Congresswoman Maxine Waters is a valued leader whose passionate call for family reunification should be heard without any threats to her safety.
“Donald Trump has sullied the bully pulpit with reckless disregard for the safety of others … He should stop his attacks on Congresswoman Waters and all Members of Congress, the free press, and all Americans who have the right and the responsibility to speak their minds.” Meanwhile, a letter from angry white Democrat women was penned by a Pelosi constituent in California. Woo boy. Is the far left finally beginning to tire of Pelosi? It appears that the edges are being to fray on her regular blanket of support among liberal women. Third wave feminists are not having it. They want an apology from Pelosi for attempting to “silence” Waters.
When you attack a Black woman for speaking out about injustice, and when you call for ‘civility’ in the face of blatant racism, you invoke a long history of white supremacist power,” the letter to Pelosi states. It continues:
Why should Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kirstjen Nielsen get to walk through a ceaselessly accommodating world, unchallenged by the public, never being forced to grapple with their daily complicity in what will be—what is already being—judged as a particularly dark moment in the history of our country? They are white women backing racist, xenophobic policies, and to ask that your colleague act “appropriately” at a time like this only serves to sustain white supremacy. Leave it to Democrats to label opposition to an unhinged black woman’s political statements as racist. That term was used so frequently by pro-Obama people during his two terms that they totally diluted the sting that the charge of racist held at one time.
As I said, the author of this letter is a Pelosi constituent and a consultant. She even taught a new term to me. She calls for a “call-in” as she calls for action.
The impetus for the letter originated with Lindsey O-Pries, a consultant, who convened a small group of colleagues via a group chat to express her dismay with Pelosi’s words and to brainstorm about possible actions. The letter was signed by the original ten women convened by O-Pries and sent to Pelosi’s chief of staff on Monday morning, July 2. As of today, with the number of signatories approaching 4,000, Pelosi’s office has not acknowledged the letter, much less responded. Sabrina Andrus, executive director of If/When/How (a network for law students and legal professionals working for reproductive justice), said in a phone call that the letter was intended to provide a public statement of “frustration and anger and a means of white women ‘calling in’ another white woman who made a serious mistake in trying to silence a Black colleague. We wanted to make a public statement that would start a conversation, and hopefully lead to a public apology from Pelosi.”
“It’s both a call-in and a call to action,” said Andrus about the letter. A call-in, it turns out, is a way of addressing a problem through education instead of shaming the offender. Our progressive betters are so much smarter than us regular folk. Yes, that’s sarcasm. It gets to be too much. The made-up terms and the sheer arrogance of the leftists are hard to keep up with these days. The letter, in this case, is how the woke women are calling-in with their demand that Pelosi shows support toward Waters. Mostly they want an apology.
The real lesson should be that those who live by identity politics die by identity politics, in the way an elected official risks losing her re-election over angering a very important group – women voters. Pelosi already faces pressure from the far left to step aside and let the next generation of Democratic leadership emerge. This unification of women against her handling of one of their own won’t help.
No word yet on how Chuck Schumer is handling the angry women.
https://hotair.com/ Report: Amy Coney Barrett’s SCOTUS Interview With Trump Went “Poorly” ALLAHPUNDIT Posted at 8:11 pm on July 5, 2018 I’m surprised. You’d think a devoutly Catholic woman academic and President Playboy would get along swimmingly.
This is but a breadcrumb of news, admittedly, but when we’re all starving for SCOTUS updates a morsel is a meal.
Meanwhile, the woman said to be in second place, Amy Coney Barrett, could face a divisive confirmation hearing in front of the Senate if Democrats choose to grill the devout Catholic about her stance on abortion. For Trump, that’s the crux of what makes her a star with his base. But it’s her résumé that isn’t particularly appealing. Barrett is an alumnus of Rhodes College and Notre Dame Law School; she lacks the Harvard and Yale degrees Trump has said he is looking for in a nominee.
In her interview with Trump, Barrett, who has only one year of experience on the bench, performed poorly , according to a second source familiar with the process. I still can’t get over the fact that this guy seems to have his heart set on a Harvard or Yale alum . If anyone in politics should take a firm “F*** the Ivies” line in his personnel choices, it’s him, the most ostentatiously populist president since Andrew Jackson. An armchair psychologist would tell you that one of the things that makes populists populists is a desperate desire to join the elite and consequent hostility when they’re not allowed. That’s always been a theory for why Trump ran for president . Is the Harvard/Yale thing just another manifestation of that desire? Indulge the hostility, Mr. President.
But maybe not with Barrett. A figure as personality-focused as Trump will have a hard time nominating someone with whom he has no chemistry , notwithstanding the singular ability Barrett’s elevation might have to “own the libs.” (There’s always the Michigan grad Kethledge, though!) On the other hand, the one Yalie on Trump’s list may be unconfirmable. Here’s a tidbit from the Chicago Tribune published on Tuesday which I somehow missed at the time and which seems … important:
Trump has also been consulting with lawmakers — including Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has expressed reservations about Kavanaugh’s candidacy, according to a person familiar with the call.
Paul has told colleagues that he wouldn’t vote in favor of Kavanaugh if the judge is nominated , citing Kavanaugh’s role during the Bush administration on cases involving executive privilege and the disclosure of documents to Congress. It’s already been reported that Paul is iffy on Kavanaugh . It has not otherwise been reported that he’s a flat no on Kavanaugh, which would mean the judge would need to flip at least one red-state Democrat to avoid being borked. Trump might believe that he can twist Manchin’s arm to get that one vote or that Paul, faced with a backlash if he cast the deciding vote against Kavanaugh, would cave in the end like he did with Mike Pompeo’s nomination at State. But *any* threat by a Republican senator at this stage to vote no on a nominee, however soft and unconvincing, might be enough to convince the White House to look elsewhere rather than risk a fiasco. If you’ve got Paul leaning no on Kavanaugh, why not exclude him and look to Barrett or Kethledge instead?
Besides, it’s not like Trump is completely sold on him. Kavanaugh’s champion in the process is reportedly White House counsel Don McGahn, befitting the judge’s image as the favorite choice of the Republican establishment. “A lot of social conservatives have coalesced around Amy,” said Jonathan Adler to the NYT this week of Barrett. “The business folks and the D.C. folks tend to pull for Brett a little more.” Not only was Kavanaugh appointed to the D.C. Circuit by George W. Bush, he ended up marrying Dubya’s personal secretary. That Bush pedigree appeals to the “D.C. folks” but doesn’t appeal to Trump. This tweet summarizes the skepticism about him well, I think:
Erick Erickson ✔ @EWErickson The thing that concerns me the most about Brett Kavanaugh is that all the people who said John Roberts would be a rockstar for the right say the same about Kavanaugh. 8:51 PM – Jul 5, 2018 687 271 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy Right, Roberts and Kavanaugh are very much products of the same legal-political culture. Doesn’t mean they’d vote the same way on everything, and it doesn’t mean Roberts is some sort of Souteresque disaster. The ObamaCare vote will always be held against him but he’s with the conservative majority on the Court far more often than not. But you’re getting a more “familiar” legal product with Kavanaugh than you are with Barrett or Kethledge.
Ann Coulter likes him a lot, though, and some of the social conservative invective aimed at him this week is obviously a product of simple favoritism on behalf of Barrett. There’s no reason to think Kavanaugh “will be another Harriet Miers,” as one activist recently told the Daily Caller . There’s really no surefire reason to think Barrett would be a safer vote to overturn Roe than Kavanaugh would. The appeal of Barrett seems to lie more in who she is than certainty about how she’ll vote. Some social conservatives want the most devoutly Christian nominee available confirmed in order to signal that Christian devotion is no barrier to success in public life, never mind that three of the four conservatives currently on the Court are Catholic (maybe all four, although Gorsuch’s status is murky ), Kavanaugh is Catholic, Kennedy is Catholic, and Scalia of course was devoutly Catholic. As of early 2016, six of the nine seats were occupied by Catholics — don’t forget Sotomayor — with zero Protestants on the bench despite the fact that Catholics comprise less than a quarter of the population. The principle that Catholics are unfit for public service, particularly on the Supreme Court, seems to be reasonably well debunked, or at least it was until Dianne Feinstein opened her yapper at Barrett’s confirmation hearing last year. If Democrats end up with her as nominee, they should thank Feinstein for turning her instantly into a star.
Video: Man Threw A Drink In Teen’s Face And Stole His MAGA Hat JOHN SEXTON Posted at 7:21 pm on July 5, 2018 I guess this is the new normal. A group of high school kids went out for some food at Whataburger after midnight. One of them was wearing a red Make America Great Again hat. Video posted on Twitter, which has been viewed over 5 million times, shows a man taking the hat and throwing a drink in the kids’ faces.
SEE ALSO: Judge: Sacramento panhandlers can ask for money near ATM’s The video begins in medias res with the man saying, “…supporting the President. You ain’t supporting s**t, n .” After some more cursing, he holds up the hat and adds, “This is going to look great in my f***ing fireplace, bitch.” Here’s the clip:
Brax @brxpug So went out for a 2am snack and my friend (wearing a MAGA hat) had his hat stolen and a drink thrown in his face (and mine, you can see my arms on the left of the video) 10:54 AM – Jul 4, 2018 49.5K 36.6K people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy This happened at a Whataburger in Texas. News 4 San Antonio reports police are investigating :
In the video, you can see a man throw a drink in 16-year-old Hunter Richard’s face before leaving the restaurant with his hat. Hunter said some of his hair was pulled during the assault.
“I support my President and if you don’t let’s have a conversation about it instead of ripping my hat off. I just think a conversation about politics is more productive for the entire whole rather than taking my hat and yelling subjective words to me,” he said. According to a now-deleted post by the mother of one of the other kids at the table, the man came over to the table unprovoked. However, KENS 5 News reports that another customer says he overheard the same teens making some racial comments before the attack took place.
A man who said he and his family witnessed an attack at the Whataburger at Thousand Oaks and Nacogdoches Wednesday evening claims that it may have been instigated by racist remarks…
The man who spoke to KENS 5 requested anonymity after he said his family was receiving death threats for speaking out about what they reportedly witnessed. He said he did not see the attack, but he did see an altercation inside of the Whataburger before deciding to leave with his family as things got heated.
He also claimed during the conversation another man in the restaurant asked the group of teens to stop making such comments. That’s when he said he cut dinner short and had his family leave the restaurant before things escalated. The anonymous witness is getting death threats? How does that work exactly? More importantly, how do we know this witness isn’t the hat thief’s buddy making an excuse for him after the fact? KENS 5 says it wasn’t able to confirm his account and actually removed some quotes from the story. There is now a note at the top of the story which reads, “An earlier version of this story included quotes from the alleged witness. Those have been removed from this copy due to concerns about the legitimacy of the statements.”
Of course, I’m willing to grant it’s possible the teens did say something racist. Teens are dumb. They say all manner of things they know nothing about, including the ones who go to high schools in Parkland, Florida. If one of the Texas teens said something racist in public, I’d be all for confronting them without the gratuitous use of the f-word and the n-word. But assaulting and intimidating them (and stealing the hat) doesn’t really seem like the right response if the goal is to get them to rethink their own dumb comments. The answer to ignorance from teens isn’t threats and petty crime by adults.
And that’s really all speculation at this point anyway. Let’s wait and see what the police investigation determines about what actually happened just prior to the video. Maybe there’s more to it and maybe not. It’s not as if the far left really needs much of an excuse to behave badly these days.
Fox 5 is reporting that an investigation is underway and that a local San Antonio bar has announced it fired the man seen in the video :
Though he hasn’t been identified, the Rumble bar in San Antonio posted on its Facebook page that it has fired the man in the video, saying he was a part-time employee. “It came to our attention earlier this evening that a part-time employee was captured on cell phone video assaulting another person at a local eatery,” the Rumble bar in San Antonio posted on its Facebook page. “The assault took place, presumably, because this employee did not agree with the other individual’s political stance,” the post said.
“We have since terminated this employee, as his actions go against everything that this establishment stands for. THIS BAR IS A SAFE SPACE FOR EVERYONE! No matter your race, creed, ethnicity, sexual identity, and political stance, you are welcomed here!” Things are pretty bad when a bar called “Rumble” is acting as the voice of reason.
Finally, there’s also a media angle on this already. Marc Lamont Hill who has been a commentator on Fox and CNN posted this reaction to someone offering their approval of what happens in the video:
VanLathan ✔ @VanLathan · 5 Jul Wish I could take the high road. But your MAGA hat reads like a swastika to me. So ummm … hmmm. Yeah. Maybe I’m no longer a decent person. https:// twitter.com/brxpug/status/ 1014417257945018368 … Marc Lamont Hill ✔ @marclamonthill 11:03 AM – Jul 5, 2018 142 1,001 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy He then tried to justify that a little:
Marc Lamont Hill ✔ @marclamonthill I actually don’t advocate throwing drinks on people. Not at all. But yes, i think MAGA hats (deliberately) reflect a movement that conjures racism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. So yes, it’s a little harder to feel sympathy when someone gets Coca Cola thrown on him. BuildTheWall @changeisneeded_ Replying to @marclamonthill @VanLathan So it’s ok to do this to half the country? So basically you want war? 7:09 PM – Jul 5, 2018 846 7,827 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy As you can see from the ratio, that’s not going over very well with a lot of people.
Here’s a local news report that includes an interview with the teen who was the victim of the attack:
https://hotair.com/ Judge: Sacramento Panhandlers Can Ask For Money Near ATM’s JOHN SEXTON Posted at 9:51 pm on July 5, 2018 I’ve written a bunch of stories about the homeless problem in cities on the west coast. So when I first saw this story my thought was, ‘Oh, boy, this sounds like a terrible idea.’ But I have to confess that on second thought I’m not so sure. Maybe the judge got this one right .
A federal judge ordered an immediate halt Thursday to Sacramento’s ordinance against aggressive panhandling, saying “this is a direct First Amendment case” involving the free speech rights of individuals seeking donations from passersby.
U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the ordinance, which was adopted unanimously by the City Council last November…
City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood said officials were “disappointed” with the judge’s order and would provide additional information to the court and seek reconsideration.
Wood added that she believed England “showed a great deal of understanding of the difficult position the city faces.”
“There is wide agreement that aggressive behavior that creates unacceptable harm to individuals and businesses must be addressed in a meaningful way,” Wood said in a statement. “The Court was sympathetic to the Council’s difficult task of grappling with these significant and complicated issues.” I don’t want anyone asking me for money near an ATM, especially if that person looks like they live on the street and might be addicted to drugs or alcohol (and thereby not always thinking clearly). That seems like a potentially bad situation waiting to happen.
Obviously, if someone does and become too aggressive that’s a problem. If a panhandler touches someone or blocks their path or follows them in a way that’s threatening, that’s something which can and should be dealt with by authorities. I’m even in favor of cracking down on the squeegee guys who approach cars and demand money.
But if we’re just talking about someone sitting near an ATM at a grocery store exit with a sign, I’m not sure we should criminalize that absent other factors. Yes, the speech in question is begging and yes that’s a nuisance to most people, but the right to speak (or hold a sign) in a public space, absent other threatening or aggressive behavior, ought not to be criminalized. At least that’s what I’m thinking after reading about this.
At the same time, I’m sympathetic to business owners who worry aggressive panhandling is going to harm their investment. We can’t allow that to become the norm either and that probably means police are going to be involved since business owners would hesitate to take action themselves for fear of a lawsuit (or a crazy person). Police are going to have to weed out the aggressive individuals, who are crossing the line in other ways, and who may be repeat offenders from those who are begging but not really harassing anyone in the process.
Probably the best course of action would be to stop giving people money on the street and thereby encouraging their behavior. In many, many cases that money is going to be used to fund an addiction that is keeping that person on the street and likely shortening their life. It would be better, if you’re so inclined, to give that money to a charity which will help people in a responsible way that doesn’t feed their habit.
Finally: Scott Pruitt Resigns ALLAHPUNDIT Posted at 4:01 pm on July 5, 2018 I’m going to miss the daily “petty Scott Pruitt scandal” story, a reliable source of grim swampy amusement. They were being published practically up to the moment Trump made the announcement on Twitter today that he was out. Here’s the latest one from the Times, dated this afternoon, noting that an EPA aide was mysteriously fired after wondering why meetings involving Pruitt had been retroactively deleted from his schedule when federal law prevents that sort of thing.
It was quite a show. But as POTUS knows, all shows eventually end.
✔ · 11 h I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this. The Senate confirmed Deputy at EPA, Andrew Wheeler, will… Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump …on Monday assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA. I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright! 10:37 PM – Jul 5, 2018 32.8K Twitter Ads info and privacy The guy is facing 14 separate federal investigations at this point, with some aides having already testified before the House Oversight Committee and more set to appear . The final straw may have been this CNN report posted on Tuesday about Pruitt allegedly lobbying Trump to fire Sessions and install him at the DOJ instead. It’s been rumored for months that POTUS might do something like that, since cabinet members can lateral (temporarily) from one agency to another under the Vacancies Reform Act and Pruitt, a Trump loyalist, would obviously ride herd on Mueller for him. There were also rumors that the idea of replacing Sessions with Pruitt had come from Team Pruitt itself , but not until CNN’s story appeared was that substantiated:
Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt directly appealed to President Donald Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and let him run the Department of Justice instead, according to three people familiar with the proposal. In an Oval Office conversation with Trump, Pruitt offered to temporarily replace Sessions for 210 days under the Vacancies Reform Act, telling the President he would return to Oklahoma afterward to run for office…
Advisers quickly shot down the proposal, but it came at a time when Trump’s frustration with Sessions over his decision to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation had resurfaced. Trump has complained loudly and publicly about the recusal for the last 14 months, and floated replacing Sessions with Pruitt as recently as April. It’s one thing to have an endless ethics headache at the top of the EPA, it’s another to have him openly gunning to be in charge of the Justice Department and for the public to know that. Trump spokesman Hogan Gidley called the drumbeat of Pruitt stories “troublesome” on Tuesday after the CNN story came out, suggesting that the end was near. But not near enough, apparently:
Maggie Haberman ✔ @maggieNYT Pruitt still showed up at White House July 4 festivities yesterday. Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this. The Senate confirmed Deputy at EPA, Andrew Wheeler, will… 10:40 PM – Jul 5, 2018 1,324 796 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy The guy has chutzpah, give him that. Even some Trump loyalists had begun to tire of the daily nonsense, knowing that Democrats would (and likely still will) make hay of Pruitt in November as evidence that Trump has only made the swamp swampier:
Laura Ingraham ✔ @IngrahamAngle Pruitt is the swamp. Drain it. 1:55 AM – Jul 4, 2018 16.3K 5,827 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy Just this morning CNN followed up by quoting a senior administration official as saying Pruitt was “inching forward to the tipping point.” In spite of everything, and although admitting to being unhappy with the negative Pruitt news, Trump continued to defend his deregulatory work at the EPA. There’s some merit to that, but Pruitt’s efforts were also overhyped and his continued employment presented an obvious perception problem: Can it really be that there’s no one else in the Republican Party capable of pursuing environmental deregulation as doggedly as Pruitt while sparing the president from a literal scandal du jour?
The closest thing I’ve found to a comprehensive account of ethical lapses in the Pruitt era is this list by Axios . Choose your own favorite; mine is him ordering his staff to drive him around so that he could find a particular type of moisturizer he’s into , although I’m also partial to the one involving $1,500 “tactical pants.” What is and probably will forever remain inexplicable is why a guy who’s all of 50 years old and had impressed the president with his work at EPA would blow his chance at bigger and better things by mucking around with ethical violations. He really might have been Attorney General if he had kept his nose clean. He might have landed on the federal bench somewhere, having spent six years as AG of Oklahoma. Now he’s unconfirmable. Baffling.
Update: Pruitt says goodbye.
View image on Twitter Maggie Haberman ✔ @maggieNYT Pruitt resignation letter. 11:15 PM – Jul 5, 2018 2,020 4,457 people are talking about this https://hotair.com
Blue Wave Alert: Dems Underpeforming With Hispanics? ED MORRISSEY Posted at 2:01 pm on July 5, 2018 Welcome to the junction of “despite” and “because.” Democrats have assumed that Donald Trump’s harsh immigration-enforcement policies would inspire massive turnout in Hispanic communities, especially with the media firestorm fueled by family separation outcomes. Latino voters would lead the repudiation of Trump’s policies at the ballot box in November, leading to a new Democratic majority in Congress.
Sounds like a reasonable plan, right? Not so fast , reports Josh Kraushaar at National Journal. So far, the turnout in primaries in predominantly Hispanic districts looks an awful lot like 2016 rather than 2006:
Democrats counting on President Trump’s hard-line immigration policies to spark energized Hispanic turnout and a wave against GOP candidates in this year’s midterms will be surprised to see what’s transpiring. Even during the heat of the family-separation crisis, Democrats are underperforming in heavily Hispanic constituencies, from GOP-held border battlegrounds in Texas to diversifying districts in Southern California to the nation’s most populous Senate battleground in Florida.
If immigration affects the battle for Congress, it will be because of the anti-Trump backlash among suburban women as much as any increased mobilization in the Hispanic communities. The early returns are a sobering reminder for Democrats that, even as the Republican Party is becoming a more nativist institution, GOP candidates are still holding their own in diverse battlegrounds by distinguishing themselves from Trump. In state after state, the backlash — at least among Hispanics — has yet to materialize. Kraushaar notes that there has been no evidence of a wave in the very districts that Democrats thought immigration would drive turnout. Nothing changed in the special-election primary for Blake Farenthold’s seat in Texas, which is majority-Hispanic. Senator Bill Nelson is still struggling in his re-election bid in Florida against Rick Scott, whose positive polling numbers among Hispanics almost exactly equals Nelson’s. California’s primaries also showed little evidence of any immigration-motivated turnout wave.
The lesson, Kraushaar says, is that economic issues probably still trump everything else, pun intended, including immigration. And that’s true for everyone, including Hispanics:
These results also are an uncomfortable reminder to Republicans who championed the Republican National Committee’s infamous 2013 autopsy report claiming the party needed to moderate its position on immigration to win back Hispanic voters. Trump won the 2016 presidential campaign despite embracing hard-line immigration policies and deploying racially inflammatory rhetoric. Meanwhile, these results show that a critical mass of Hispanic voters are willing to prioritize other issues—like the growing economy—in choosing congressional candidates. It might be more of a “Democrats pounce” issue. The family-separation outcomes did increase with zero tolerance, and it was plain that the Trump administration understood that consequence without preparing first to mitigate it. Had Democrats kept focused on that, they might have made some headway. Instead, they’ve basically come out for zero enforcement, which will alienate the large majority of voters who want tougher enforcement rather than forfeit on border security:
Abolishing ICE, or even just the components responsible for border security, amounts to cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. Family separations are wildly unpopular, and for good reason, but border enforcement is not. A Harvard-Harris poll from last week shows 88% of Americans opposed to family separations, but 70% in favor of stricter enforcement of immigration laws. Majorities oppose the so-called “catch and release” policies forced by the Flores settlement and the TVPRA (55%), prosecuting illegal border crossers (64%), and deportation (64%). Even with the controversy of family separations at the top of the headlines, the same political consensus on immigration policy that put Donald Trump in office remains. It’s worth noting that Trump got a 38% approval rating on immigration among Hispanics in this poll, taken at the peak of the controversy — well above the 21% he got from Democrats, and got 46/50 overall. Hispanics also went 51/49 for stricter enforcement of immigration laws (same as Democrats, actually), and only 29% didn’t want any form of stronger enforcement. There may be a serious question as to whether a lack of a wave among Hispanics on immigration issues is despite Trump or because Trump.
Not so coincidentally, guess who sent up a warning flare to Democrats on this issue?
Ironically, the momentum on this hyperbole was momentarily halted by none other than the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. As The Daily Beast reported, the Democratic group on Capitol Hill began distributing their arguments against calls for the abolition of ICE, even while arguing that its border enforcement was “inhumane and harsh.” However, the group pointed out that ICE and its 20,000 employees do a lot more than enforce border security, such as human trafficking, firearms smuggling, and counterterrorism. The counter to bad policy is to set better policy, the Caucus argued, not to wipe out an agency that has many different responsibilities, most of which have broad bipartisan consensus in both scope and execution. Still, Republicans had better not sit back and rest on the dubious laurels of their opponents’ incompetence. The gap on the generic ballot has begun to expand again, as the average at RCP shows, drifting back up to 7.2 points after two months of Republican gains. It’s even ticking back up at Rasmussen, where the latest iteration found a Democrat +6 lead after several rounds of D+4. That might be a gender gap coming back into play, as Kraushaar believes, or a delayed impact of the family-separation issue finally coming into view. If Democrats continue to demand abolishment of enforcement rather than cooperate on a fix for those outcomes, the backlash might soon be heading their way instead.
North Korea’s Official Media Drop Their Hostility Toward Trump And The US ANDREW MALCOLM Posted at 9:21 am on July 5, 2018 North Korean propaganda, chronically showing heroic North Koreans crushing imperialist powers like the United States, has taken a dramatic turn toward moderation in recent weeks.
Driven by the Kim Jung-un regime’s open meetings with Presidents Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in of South Korea, the ubiquitous posters festooning public squares, shops and elsewhere now deal with economic progress and hailing improved relations with South Korea. Party newspapers show similar shifts.
In a country where access to information is severely controlled, such unannounced shifts are closely watched as reflections of altered official policies. The Communist press has even been reporting the Dear Leader’s foreign trips to Beijing and Singapore in near real-time.
Reduced anti-American hostility might also be part of an ongoing effort to convince President Trump to ease the stringent international economic sanctions he has assembled on the North. The American leader has vowed not to let up until well into the nuclear disarmament process.
However, the hopeful signs of reduced official hostility come at the same time as other developments indicating possible hedging by the Kim state toward its proclaimed goal of “denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, whatever that ends up meaning. Using satellite photos, intelligence analysts say Pyongyang continues a large expansion of a solid-fuel ballistic missile engine factory, as we wrote here the other day .
“In tone, the US is now depicted as if it is a normal country,” North Korea expert Peter Ward told the BBC. “All references to US actions that North Korea considers hostile acts have disappeared from the papers.” They’ve been replaced by what might be considered neutral coverage, even when the US recently quit the UN Human Rights Council.
“This is fascinating,” Ward continued. “Generally speaking, neutral or positive coverage is normally reserved for countries that Pyongyang has friendly relations with.”
Of course, the new line is also propaganda. And it can be changed back to aggressive hostility just as quickly. But it’s an interesting indication of Pyongyang’s more open attitude toward the West. And it comes after yet another post-summit pilgrimmage by Kim to Beijing.
Secy. of State Mike Pompeo is in Pyongyang again this week to continue negotiations started in Singapore. He may notice the propaganda changes and even disappearance of anti-American souvenirs on sale widely.
Fyodor Tertitskiy of NK News that closely monitors the North said: “Pyongyang needs an atmosphere of peace and detente and such posters would help to create it.”