WHEN OTHERS ARRIVE: DeSantis changes the shape of the discourse!


What happens when others arrive: Thank God, it was Monday! (A hat tip goes to Bill Maher.) 

At 6 A.M., the analysts checked the possibilities on our cable system's program listings. At the local ABC station, the program listing said this:

Channel 12 (ABC): Special Report

Thank goodness, they cried, a special report!—but a special report about what? As they scrolled through the rest of the list, the truth was instantly clear:

Channel 12 (ABC): Special Report
Channel 21 (NBC): NBC News Special Report—The Funeral
Channel 23 (CBS): Special Report 
Channel 16 (C-Span): Funeral—Queen Elizabeth II 
Channel 22 (Maryland PBS): Funeral of Queen
Channel 26 (Washington, D.C. PBS): Funeral of Queen 
Channel 58 (CNN): Funeral—Queen Elizabeth II
Channel 61 (MSNBC): Funeral of Queen
Channel 63 (Fox News): Funeral—Queen Elizabeth II

Glumly, the analysts took their best guess. That "Special Report" on ABC wasn't about climate change!

Elizabeth II wasn't even our queen, but the networks all went for the pomp. In line with yesterday's special report, "human interest" was involved, along with a lot of pomp.

Eyeballs were taken across the pond. For one brief shining moment, viewers would get a respite from the one topic which matters here:

The Story So Far: Where 6 Investigations Into Donald Trump Stand

"Where 6 Investigations Stand!" That's the headline on this morning's New York Times front-page report

Yesterday, we noted the way the Washington Post seems to be aggressively drifting toward "human interest" material. Evidence suggests that we news consumers, being human, may tend to be drawn to such fare.

That said:

Yesterday morning, C-Span took a gamble with the first hour of its Washington Journal program. Viewers were asked to telephone in with comments about this topic:


Governor DeSantis had flown some migrants to Martha's Vineyard! Viewers were asked to respond.

Many calls during the hour were perhaps a bit off-topic. In this world of "segregated" information, other calls repeated the standard points of our two warring tribes.

Finally, at 7:40 A.M., John from New York arrived on the line. Personally, we didn't agree with the tone of some of the things he said, but we thought he got one thing right:

JOHN FROM NEW YORK (9/18/22): Yeah, thanks for taking my call.

The topic today is "GOP governors send migrants to Democratic areas." Now, it took this long for this topic to come front and center in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and actually be front and center on the Washington Journal. 

Basically, this has been going on for—since Biden was elected president. The first day in office, he changed all kinds of restrictions with executive orders. We've had two million people coming across our borders, and we haven't discussed it until Ron DeSantis and Abbott, the governor of Texas, sent a couple of busloads with a couple of thousand people to New York City. DeSantis sent fifty people to Martha's Vineyard...

John from New York got a bit snippy as he continued from there.  

("They don't have a wall around Martha's Vineyard, right? But look it, they kicked them out within two or three days or arriving there...")

Beyond that, the caller made some comments about mainstream media which were almost surely less than completely accurate. 

That said, we thought John from New York had made an excellent point. That reaction was based on our own observations as we've watched our aggressively segregated "cable news" channels over the past many months.

The southern border is a major topic on the Fox News Channel. Presentations will often be misleading or less than perfectly accurate—and as we noted on Saturday, Tucker Carlson will tend to mention the "filth."

That said, the topic is endlessly discussed on Fox, though usually in a segregated manner. In prime time, star performers repeat the red tribe's standard points with no blue tribe rebuttal.

On our own tribe's cable channels, the situation is different. This topic is almost never discussed. Our only news topic is this:

Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Jail Jail Prison Jail

We don't hear about the southern border on our own news channels. We also don't hear a whole lot about climate change—for example, about the ice sheet in Greenland which is slated to drown New York.

John from New York got a little bit snarky, but we thought his main point was correct. Whatever else one might think about what DeSantis did, his gambit had our own blue tribe discussing this rather large topic.

As Nietzsche described long ago, it almost seemed that we dreamers might have preferred to go on dreaming! But the topic had now been dropped in our laps in a way our stars couldn't avoid.

This morning, all eyes were on a lot of pageantry and pomp from across the pond. Meanwhile, people who are good and decent are crossing the southern border every day, but here within our liberal aeries, we spend uninterrupted hours on Jail Jail Jail Jail Jail.

What happens when others arrive in our nation? The top red star will mention the filth. Until we're forced to change our ways, we blues are strongly inclined to stick with Donald J. Trump Prison Jail.

Tomorrow: Attention, C-Span callers!


  1. Yeah, dear Bob, elizabe... -- who?

    Otherwise, as usual, we appreciate your documenting this small portion of the latest liberal atrocities...

    Cheers, mate.

    1. The Queen was a liberal atrocity?

  2. What is the virtue in Fox talking about the So. border if they don't do it in an accurate or meaningful way?

  3. Biden assigned Kamala Harris to deal with border issues first thing, early in his presidency, and we trust that she has been doing her job. What is there to say about the mess involved in dealing with a backlog of asylum cases? Migrants come to the US for reasons related to their own countries, and Biden's administration has been addressing those issues too. A stunt affecting about 50 migrants is trivial compared to the efforts needed to improve border conditions for all.

    Before the last election, the Republicans talked about a super-caravan making its way to our border, trying to scare red voters to the polls. There is no such caravan this time, but the right is nevertheless trying to whip up concern. The stunt by DeSantis and Abbott is designed to do that, and notice how Somerby is doing his part to focus attention on the border himself, furthering the right-wing agenda.

    Be afraid, be very afraid, immigrants are coming to replace you. And Somerby asks, why aren't we in the blue states being afraid? It isn't because there is a border with trouble, because California has a border too, and there is no widespread hatred of immigrants in that blue state. In fact, there is no overwhelming influx of asylum seekers -- there are border policies that are enacted and followed. So why Texas unable to handle its own border issues? Why the panic and hysteria there?

    Somerby is being his usual right-wing self today. Pretending to be liberal, with a single solitary reference to Greenland's ice shelf and a sarcastic remark about NY being submerged. Implying that Democrats care about the Queen (were we the ones watching those segments?) but don't care about Texas border problems. Is this the news Somerby was searching for yesterday -- finally expressed by John in NY, an obvious conservative caller?

    Somerby himself has never talked about the border either, not even when Trump was separating families and putting children in cages. At least that has stopped. Did Somerby care? Not that we can tell.

    1. If you're bothered by the Obama administration wrapping children in foil like burritos and caging them, wait until you find out what happens over 2000 times a day at the babykilling factories funded by Democrats.

    2. 1:00,
      Is this another made-up story, like the one about the Republican voter who isn't a bigot?

    3. "Biden responded by stating, correctly, that the Obama administration did not systematically separate parents from their children at the border, a practice that generated such backlash that the first lady and Trump’s daughter Ivanka joined the groundswell of people who pressured him to end it."


      Taxes fund lots of things we personally might not support, including walls along the Southern border.

  4. "The southern border is a major topic on the Fox News Channel. Presentations will often be misleading or less than perfectly accurate—and as we noted on Saturday, Tucker Carlson will tend to mention the "filth."

    How is this sort of presentation useful?

  5. It isn't as if Republicans have cooperated in bipartisan legislation to fix our immigration system. It isn't as though the existing system has been well-funded, especially during Trump's term. Trump's get tough policy didn't work and left huge problems for Biden's administration and the border states.



    As long as immigration is being used as a scare tactic to provoke Trump's supporters into activism, it will be difficult to achieve measures that actually improve our immigration policies and respond humanely to the needs of refugees.

    This is a problem that will get worse with climate change. As I noted yesterday, we have had periods of migration within the US itself, requiring flexibility in the communities receiving an influx of people driven by climate and social conditions, availability of jobs and housing. Treating this like a political football is unhelpful, whether Somerby does it or Fox News. Europe is experiencing the same challenges, and it doesn't help to try to block desperate people from seeking shelter when they cannot return to their homes. That's why Poland accepted large numbers of Ukrainian refugees at the start of the Russian invasion. It is why Venezuela accepted large numbers of Colombian refugees back during the drug wars, and now Colombia is returning the favor to Venezuelans. We are a large, wealthy country with vast resources. We need to do our part in helping to stabilize the world when there are local impacts that force people to move. Treating this like a reason to fear other people is wrong, and Somerby is no better than the Republicans with today's essay.

    1. Yes, better laws could help, but the first step is for President Biden to enforce the laws we already have. Trump did.

    2. What have Republicans done to make legal immigration easier?

    3. Who's "Perla", David, and why is there a reward out for information leading to her identification and capture? Why did the state of Florida have people prowling around a refugee center in Texas? And what laws is Biden not enforcing? Your sad devotion to that treasonous bastard piece of shit Trump is embarrassing.

    4. D in C - I understand that under the law, undocumented "emigrants" who enter the US can claim that they are seeking asylum, in which case they are legally allowed to stay in this country until they get a hearing before an administrative law judge, which can take years because of huge backlog. The standard at the hearing is not necessarily that easy . I'm not an immigration lawyer, though, and am not sure what the exact standards are to be granted asylum at the hearing. I don't believe it is legal to make them wait outside the US, like in Mexico, while waiting for their hearing, but I could be wrong. That's what Trump did, and is what Biden continued until recently. It might be that both Trump and Biden justified on Covid grounds; or only Biden did; or they can legally be put in camps in Mexico without the Covid rationale. Maybe someone else here knows the answer to that.

    5. The correct word is immigrant because they have left their country and are coming into ours. You would use the word emigrant to talk about the people leaving our country and going somewhere else. You would use the word migrant to talk about people moving around within our country.

      Trump started the stay in Mexico policy and Biden tried to continue it but the courts ruled against that policy last month. Those seeking asylum must come into the US through legal checkpoints. They immediately file an application for asylum and go through a screening process and are detained until that is completed. Those not eligible are turned back immediately at the checkpoint. Those who try to enter unofficially by crossing the border between entry points are not able to apply for asylum. They are detained and deported, usually back to their country of origin, not Mexico. The same for people who are found to be residing in the US without documentation. Neither the US nor Mexico can detain people in camps without due process. People being deported after living in the US have hearings and lawyers. Covid is no longer relevant.


    6. AC/MA,

      I thought you were supposed to be a lawyer.

      Homeland Security says it will end “remain in Mexico” policy and allow asylum-seekers to enter U.S.AUG. 9, 2022

      The Department of Homeland Security said late Monday it is preparing to quickly end the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” program and will no longer send asylum-seekers back across the border to await a decision on their applications for U.S. protection.

      The announcement came after U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk lifted his injunction blocking Biden officials from ending the program, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols.

      The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 30 that the Biden administration had the authority to terminate the program, opening a path for DHS to finally bring a close to one of the Trump administration’s most contentious border measures.


      There's an election coming up soon. What a surprise that the fascist republican party, after having stepped on their own dicks with the overturning of Roe decision, suddenly decided to raise hysteria over immigration. Last time it was "the caravans are coming, the caravans are coming, run for the hills!!!"

      Of course, we know the republicans have no agenda other than destroying SS and Medicare which they can't really talk about out loud.

  6. Isn't it obvious that when the Republicans send busloads of migrants to Kamala Harris's home, this is a political stunt by conservatives designed to harm Democratic prospects in the next election? Somerby has nerve suggesting that this is about migrants or borders and not red/blue politics.

    1. Anon 10:48, it can be about both.

    2. No, AC/MA, it is not about an issue when migrants on buses are sent to the home of a public official. It is theatrics, since there is nothing she can do for them where she lives and her work is not conducted from her home. Think for a minute about the inconvenience to the migrants who were put on those buses with no purpose relevant to their cases. They have court cases pending. Do you think they would deliberately want to antagonize and embarrass the VP of the US while waiting for approval of their applications? Republicans put them into that position by lying to them (and giving them no choice). So, this is not about the migrants. It is not about the borders, since Harris has no control over legislation that must come from Congress. This is only about politics and it is wrong to use people as pawns for political gain, and wrong to leave them where they do not know how to proceed in finding housing or work. How would you like it if you suddenly found yourself dumped in the middle of Miami, with no resources to help yourself?

      No, this is not a good faith argument about migrants or borders. It is a political stunt that harms the people used as pawns to attack a Democratic administration. How can you even suggest it is both?

  7. We blues will stop calling for Trump to be jailed, when the DOJ gets its act together and charges him with his crimes.

    Most of us can think about two things at the same time. We can worry about Trump getting off scott free, and we can worry about the way Republicans are using asylum seekers as human pawns in their political games.

    1. You're so great in so many ways. When compared to those who differ from you politically, you're an unstoppable moral genius.

      It's weird everyone doesn't see it.

      But their morals and intentions are devious and they don't have the intellectual firepower you have.

    2. Good example of the envy & spite among red tribe members!


  8. "John from New York got a bit snippy as he continued from there."

    You don't say! Did he insult any of your tribe's high-priests as 'mentally ill' or 'disordered boy-child', dear Bob?

    Oh, noes. That'd horrible, horrible... Say it ain't so, dear Bob.

  9. People come across the Northern border too, but no one worries about them because they aren't from Latin America. After the earthquake in Haiti, lots of Haitian immigrants came across the Northern border to find homes in New England. Did it make the news? Did anyone build a wall there? No, but the New England blue states stepped up and helped people, as they did in Martha's Vineyard.

    Texans pretend this is about a porous border, but perhaps it is just that they see their Southern counties turning blue due to Hispanic voters and fear they will lose their political advantage.

    The movie Vengeance (B.J. Novak) on Peacock, shows how New Yorkers feel about Texans and how Texans appear to feel about themselves. Perhaps at some point they will stop being buffoons and become real human beings. To do that, they need to stop electing clowns like Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott, and stop being proud of their dysfunction.

  10. "Officials in Massachusetts, the U.S. Dept. of Justice, and others concerned for the well-being and civil rights of 50 or so asylum seekers from Venezuela, including children, flown to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis were reportedly given a brochure that said they would be eligible to receive “8 months cash assistance,” “assistance with housing,” and “job placement,” along with other benefits.

    Calling it “The smoking gun in Martha’s Vineyard,” Popular Information’s Judd Legum reports it “has obtained documentary evidence that migrants from Venezuela were provided with false information to convince them to board flights chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). The documents suggest that the flights were not just a callous political stunt but potentially a crime.”

  11. Meanwhile, there is catastrophic flooding in Puerto Rico and a major storm hit the coastal cities in Alaska. People living in those areas are US Citizens and, if they relocate, are residents of the states they move to. Trump denied Puerto Rico aid when he was president and tried to install unqualified cronies to repair their power grid. This is what happens when you elect a bigot president.

    Somerby says nothing about either natural disaster, of course, since he rarely mentions any current events. Except he seems fixated on the Queen the past few days, for some reason. I fully believe Biden will do a better job of helping Puerto Rico recover than Trump did. Trump appears to be mired in gloom and unable to even advance the interests of the candidates he is supposedly campaigning for. Somerby is unlikely to comment on the Nazi-style salutes Trump's crowd gave him after his bizarre speech.

  12. The Right's open embrace of fascism is more than just "owning the libs".

  13. Biden encourages 2,000,000 illegal immigrants -- not news

    Biden ships many thousands of illegal immigrants from border states to other states -- not news

    DeSantis ships 50 illegal immigrants to Martha's Vineyard -- HUGE NEWS

    How can this kind of news coverage be explained or justified?

    1. DeSantis is a Republican. DeSantis wanted to take his victory lap over the Liberals, so the Right-wing, corporate-owned media (AKA the media) had no choice but to make this HUGE NEWS.

      That most of the country realizes he's a bigot, is his own mis-reading of the nation.

    2. Meh. It's real easy to explain, David: dembottery.

      Dembottery is the way of life. Everything else is Mis-, Dis, and Malinformation. Take our advice: get used to it.

    3. DeSantis wanted it to be big news. The media gave him what he wanted.

    4. Notwithstanding the nonsensical basis for his grievance, there isn't a fainting couch big enough for DavidinCal.

    5. When Biden "ships" asylum seekers to other states, does he do it under false pretenses, by lying to the asylum seekers?

    6. Agree with DinC : The antics of a child like DeSantis should get no news coverage.

  14. Excluding immigrants damages the economy.