Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A complicated Fourth

I’m out of the country, so there’s no July 4th Celebration nearby for me to go to. If, like yesterday, the rain forecast keeps getting pushed back later into the day, we’ll go for a bike ride, but there won’t be hotdogs, grilling out, fireworks, parades—none of that.

My Congressman, John Faso (NY-19), presumably will be at a July 4th event—after all, it would be political malpractice for an elected official not to be back in his district showing up at as many places as possible where he can associate himself with people’s nonpartisan love of their country.

But see, about that...

Right now our country is holding something north of 2000 children who have been separated from their parents when the families crossed the border. And as a judge wrote last week, “The unfortunate reality is that under the present system migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property.”

That is the context in which detained parents are now being asked to sign a form that gives them two options:
  1. I willingly leave without my child(ren)
  2. I willingly leave with my child(ren)
The ACLU says that in some case, the people being asked to sign the form have already passed the first step of the asylum process, adding an extra layer of illegality to a policy that was already barbarically cruel.

But remember, we aren’t tracking those children as well as we track prisoners’ property, so how can ICE even meet its end of the bargain if the parent says they’ll leave with their children?

Meanwhile, month-old news by now, but the president’s lawyer says the president could murder the people investigating him, and the only remedy would be impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate—a president, in Rudy Giuliani’s view—cannot be indicted.

I’ve been trying for a month now to get an answer out of Mr. Faso’s office, but he still won’t say whether he would vote to impeach if the president were to murder those investigating him.

In other words, my congressman is fine with a president who is above the law (at least, if the president is of Faso’s own party). And yet he will be going to July 4th events to celebrate our independence from a king.

And meanwhile meanwhile, Trump apparently told Emmanuel Macron that France could have a better trade deal with the US if it left the EU. Macron won’t confirm it, but he won’t deny it either.

France sells 7.4% of its exports to the U.S., while selling 53.7% of its exports to its European partners (46.7% if we take out the UK).

As for imports, they get 7.1% of their imports from us, while 48.8% of their imports come from Europe (45% without the UK). It is beyond stupid to think that France would destroy the European Union for the sake of a better trade deal with the U.S.

Of course, Trump seems to do many things that are beyond stupid. But I doubt it’s merely coincidence when they line up so perfectly with what Russia would like while harming us.

What is the proper way to celebrate Independence Day when your country is reviving the worst elements of its past, the president wants to be king, and the Congress is standing by and watching while he carries out the will of a foreign power?

Asking for a friend.

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