I haven’t read the decision yet, but finally the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals released its obvious conclusion, that Trump does not have blanket immunity for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Trump has until Monday, February 12, to appeal to the Supreme Court. and then we’ll see how long the SCOTUS sits on it.
In Other News: God’s Army, a.k.a. Meatballs for God, did manage to find the Texas border this weekend. What was supposed to be a mighty convoy of hundreds of thousands turned into about 200 befuddled guys in pickup trucks. Of course, it’s possible some of them got lost trying to find Texas. And some of them were disappointed they couldn’t find an “invasion.” They seem to have expected a bunch of armed banditos and drug runners swarming across the border. However, there were some vendors selling Trump merch, so the trip wasn’t a complete loss. One of the local residents said the only invasion around was the meatballs in pickup trucks.
Do read this USA Today article about it; it’s hysterical. Too bad the meatballs were a bit too late to fight these guys, by a little over a century.
To no one’s surprise, the bipartisan Senate border security bill was killed by Republicans in the Senate. They’ve come up with some lame excuses about “needing more time,” but the truth is that they’re killing the bill because Donald Trump wants it dead. And apparently some of the dimmer bulbs on the Right — which are barely flickering in the best of times — grew hysterical in the bellief that the bill would grant amnesty to asylum seekers — it would not — and so they ran away from it, shrieking.
Sometimes, a negotiation produces a deal.
Sometimes, a negotiation reveals the truth.
Negotiators in the Senate have produced a draft agreement on immigration and asylum. The deal delivers on Republican priorities. It includes changes to federal law to discourage asylum seeking. It shuts down asylum processing altogether if too many people arrive at once. Those and other changes send a clear message to would-be immigrants: You’re going to find it a lot harder to enter the United States without authorization. Rethink your plans.
The draft agreement offers little to nothing on major Democratic immigration priorities: no pathway to citizenship for long-term undocumented immigrants, only the slightest increase in legal immigration. The Democrats traded away most of their own policy wish list. In return, they want an end to the mood of crisis at the border, plus emergency defense aid for Ukraine and Israel.
Yet Republicans in the House seem determined to reject the draft agreement. They appear poised to leave in place a status quo that one senior GOP House leader has described as an “invasion” and an “existential and national security threat.”
So what do Republicans really want?
Consider that Florida’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives has voted to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work eight-hour days during the school year. Or that the Republican governor of Arkansas has signed a bill that relieves the state of having to certify that teenage workers aged 14 and 15 may work. Or that Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature may soon pass a law allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to work as late as 9 p.m. on school nights. Or that Republican legislators in Wisconsin are pushing to allow 14-to-17-year-olds to serve alcohol in bars and restaurants. Consider also that all of these changes are written with teenage migrants very much in mind: Almost 40 percent of recent border-crossers have been under 18, a fivefold increase since the late aughts.
Those teenagers are traveling both alone and in family groups. They are coming to the U.S. to work. When state legislatures relax the rules on employing under-18s and under-16s, they’re flashing a giant we’re hiring sign to job-seeking teenagers around the world. The legislators know that. The teenagers know it. American voters should know it too.
Frum also discusses GOP opposition to aid to Ukraine and GOP opposition to negotiating with Democrats about anything. They basically don’t grasp the governing thing, any more than Trump grasps the law thing. “No need to reckon with the concerns and interests of people who disagree with House Republicans,” Frum writes. “Just somehow return Trump to the presidency: He’ll bark; the system will obey.” Yeah, let’s not.
Molly Jong-Fast writes at Vanity Fair that Congress looks like just another arm of the Trump campaign. See also David Kurtz at TPM, Trump Is Doing To The GOP What He Wants To Do To America.