Our team is gigantically less than sharp!

MONDAY, MAY 1, 2017

Sean McElwee edition:
As it has finally turned out, we the people just aren't sharp enough to conduct our own affairs.

It isn't just Them, the ones Over There. It's also Us, the ones Over Here! As it turns out, we the fiery liberals tend to be tremendously hapless too.

The examples have come thick and fast in the past several days. For today, let's pile on Sean McElwee.

Over at the new Salon, McElwee was fighting mad yesterday morning. Because our team knows only one play, his piece ran beneath these long, fiery headlines:
MCELWEE (4/30/17): Donald Trump’s first 100 days have been a big success—at least when it comes to vicious racist policies

Amid all the failures, Trump can claim a big win: He has pursued overtly racist policies that will shape our future
Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay! Trump wasn't just succeeding with racist policies. His policies were viciously racist. They were overtly racist!

Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay! We love hearing talk like that!

Just for the record, to what policies did young McElwee refer? After naming some topics Trump has abandoned, the fireman cut to the chase:
MCELWEE: Infrastructure seems to have fallen off Trump’s agenda for now, and contrary to his promise to provide health insurance for all, Trump pushed for Paul Ryan’s health care bill, which would have left millions uninsured. He backed cuts to Medicaid (despite his promise not to touch it) and has proposed massive tax cuts for the Republican donor class. Far from pursuing a non-interventionist foreign policy, Trump has been sucked into the Blob and embraced interventionism. The only area where he has distinguished himself from the GOP establishment is his aggressive pursuit of deeply racist policies.

Trump has freed ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to deport undocumented immigrants aggressively—even those with no criminal record—and has proposed a massive expansion of the agency. According to the Washington Post, “Arrests of immigrants with no criminal records more than doubled to 5,441.”
Under the headline "Trump's Key Success," McElwee said that Trump has aggressively pushed deeply racist policies. Specifically, “arrests of immigrants with no criminal records more than doubled to 5,441,” McElwee said, providing a link.

Before we clicked, we wondered. We wondered if McElwee could possibly be linking to the Washington Post report we had in mind.

We clicked, and sure enough! He linked to this April 17 report by the Post's Maria Sacchetti—a report which clearly shows the following:

In 2014, when Barack Obama was president, substantially more "immigrants with no criminal record" were arrested from January 20 through March 13, as compared to the number of such people arrested this year. The numbers look like this:
Immigrants with no criminal record arrested,
January 20 through March 13

Under Obama, 2014: 7,483
Under Trump, 2017: 5,441
We're going by what Sacchetti reported. That said, it's the report to which McElwee linked.

Don't get out wrong! The number of arrests this year is higher than in either of the past two years. But in 2014, three years ago, the number of arrests was much higher. On that basis:

If Trump's policies are deeply, viciously, overtly racist, what does that say about Obama? For the record, we're just asking.

Given the numbers she was reporting, we were struck by the weakness of Sacchetti's report when it first appeared. McElwee came along and excitingly ginned up the language.

At the present time, for good or for ill, this is the only way our pitiful team knows how to play the game. It helps explain the remarkable fact that Donald J. Trump is sitting in the White House.

McElwee's young; he knows one play. Over Here, among us rubes, that play is overtly exciting.

Also reported by Sacchetti: "Overall, deportations are down by 1.2 percent, to 54,741 in January, February and March, compared to the same period last year."

"Last year," Obama was president. Once again, we're just saying. We have no idea.


  1. First a fact. Then a question.

    Fact: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is the Attorney General of the United States of America.

    Question: What the ^%#! are you trying to defend?

    1. Are you kidding me? Don't facts matter? Sure, Sessions looks like a racist to me, but have you ever checked on conservative blogs? Every time a college student acts out in support of a liberal cause, or a media outlet overstates or misstates a fact about a conservative politician, the right-wing propaganda machine uses those mis-steps to reinforce the argument that liberals are full of shit and the media can't be trusted.

      We have a country here that's supposed to be governed by our citizenry. If the conservatives are successful in de-legitimizing the press, we won't have a common set of facts over which to debate. That's a sure-fire way to civil war.

      So, the short answer is that Bob is trying to defend our country by calling-out media bullshit. The media have failed us for too long, and they have to be convinced that they need to get their act together.

    2. There is more to this situation than the numbers quoted by Somerby. The animosity expressed by Trump has unleashed his alt-right supporters to engage in acts of violence and hate. Kids are being bullied because of this. Those ICE agents are now much more aggressive in rounding up people, including going into courts to pick them up and arresting them as they apply for immigration status. As a result, immigrant women are not reporting domestic abuse and assault for fear of being deported. They are picking up parents in front of schools. They are terrorizing neighborhoods in ways that Obama did not. That is the situation behind the numbers, which Somerby ignores.

      Somerby says: "After naming some topics Trump has abandoned,"

      The report is about Trump's first 100 days. It is fair to report his attempts to enact hate-motivated policies, such as his ban on Muslims and his attempt to deny funding to sanctuary cities. No one can say his pledges to the NRA don't give joy to the alt-right and white supremacist bigots who are part of his base. And you cannot explain away his appointments.

      The viciousness is revealed by the fact that he rarely misses an opportunity to (1) undo what Obama did, and (2) take a swipe at minority groups and the programs that help disadvantaged people in every department of the government, systematically erasing social progress.

      Somerby can call BS on the numbers but not on Trump's intent, which is clearly expressed and real, and not a figment of liberal imagination.

      The right is busy making up more fake news. It doesn't need subtle flaws like this article in order to attack the left. The latest garbage I saw yesterday was that the anti-Coulter protestors at Berkeley are a group that also supports NAMBLA. If the liberal press were perfect in every respect, they would still have a full time job refuting the made up stuff from the right.

  2. It's the President's job to enforce the law. In particular, it's his job to deport people here illegally. I don't think the President is a demon because he performs a job required by the Constitution and US law.

    1. The devil is in the details of how he does his job.

    2. Dearest David,

      How can we miss you when you won't go away?

      The World

  3. It's pretty sad when TDH tries to make this comparison between President Obama and the pussygrabber moron (“I don't stand by anything. I just — you can take it the way you want. I think our side's been proven very strongly. And everybody's talking about it. And frankly, it should be discussed,” Trump said.)))

    President Obama tried for his entire 2 terms to deal with immigration reform only to be blocked every step of the way by the barbarians who have taken over congress.

    You know what else happened in 2014?

    A key element of Obama's plan is to instruct immigration authorities to target those undocumented immigrants who are dangerous rather than law-abiding undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and residents and others.

    He said they will go after "felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a Mom who's working hard to provide for her kids."

    "We'll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day," he said.

    The changes will offer those who qualify the chance to stay temporarily in the country for three years, as long as they pass background checks and pay back taxes. But they will not be offered a path to eventual citizenship or be eligible for federal benefits or health care programs. And, in theory, the measures could be reversed by a future president.

    "If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you're a criminal, you'll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up," Obama said.

    The President argued that ordering a mass amnesty would be unfair but mass deportation would "be both impossible and contrary to our character."


    Yes, you see, President Obama tried to bring a measure of humanity and common sense to the issue rather than play rabble rouser like the ignorant pussygrabber in chief we have today.


    And then we have DACA 2012, viciously attacked and resisted by the mongol hoards that now constitute the GOP. No mention of that from TDH either, I wonder why?

    1. Dave the Guitar PlayerMay 2, 2017 at 12:49 PM

      It is not the job of the media to decide (for you) whether Trump is or isn't racist. However, if Trump is objectively pushing racist policies, it is important for the media to carefully and accurately report the facts if they use the term "racist". Bob is simply pointing out that the liberal media is not particularly good at being careful or even accurate, let alone convincing. This does not mean that Bob thinks that Trump is not racist, just that he wants the media to convince him, not just assume that it is so. Is that not reasonable?

    2. Now you are suggesting that newspapers cannot use adjectives without justifying them? That is ridiculous.

      The journalist in question didn't evaluate a number to compare it to previous administrations. That would have taken some digging and it no doubt didn't occur to him to do so. One reason it didn't is because Trump's rhetoric surrounding immigration is so harsh it seems natural that he would be rounding up and deporting more people -- that is, after all, what he promised to do. Another reason is that Trump has systematically lied about Obama's immigration policies and actions. So, this particular journalist got taken in by Trump's falsehoods. He shouldn't have, but it is understandable why it happened.

      Somerby isn't arguing that the press must convince readers that Trump is a racist every time they use that word. He is arguing that journalists should get their facts straight and use accurate evidence when do attempt to justify the term. This reporter didn't leave out the evidence -- he got it wrong.

      It is the job of the media to label events and people in ways that help readers understand what is happening. So, when they refer to WWII Fascist Dictator, Adolf Hitler, they are placing the person in historical time and in the political landscape. They do this all the time. It is part of their job. Popular cable talk show host...Liberal mayor of New York...and so on. It is an objective fact that Trump is not only a racist but a liar. It is the duty of the press to tell us about this.

    3. Certainly using adjectives, such as "racist", should be eschewed unless amply documented. Adjectives, such as red, windy, or even pungent, can be used more freely.

    4. Dave, I understand and agree with you. This was an opinion piece with a ton of supporting evidence.

      I agree with TDH that invoking the racist charge is counterproductive, but reading the list of actions taken by tRump compiled in that Salon piece is kind of chilling.


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