This might have been the most embarrassing day in the history of the Fox News network

This might have been the most embarrassing day in the history of the Fox News network

Just when you think Fox News can’t go any lower, they find a sinkhole. Monday, while people nationwide were grappling with images of children being held in cages and were listening to the stomach-churning cries of a young girl repeatedly crying, “Noooo, Papa! Nooo, Papa!” as border agents tore her from her father in an audio recording snuck out of a Texas detention facility, the folks over at Fox News were clearly sticking to their marching orders: blame Democrats and downplay the cruelty that is clearly on display for the world to see. Here’s a round-up of the more callous, hateful, embarrassing and downright jaw-dropping moments their entire line-up shoved to viewers throughout the day. Buckle up and ride this embarrassing wave until the end. 

The morning began with the bubbly Fox & Friends crew helpfully Foxsplaining to viewers that the children aren’t really being kept in cages. You see, they are “merely chain-link walls” to create rooms. Small rooms, but hey! Definitely not cages! Nothing to worry about Fox viewers, toooooootally not cages. (If you missed it, please view that video rage-inducing below.)

But, it was the evening and night time line-up that provided the best of the worst for Fox News. Let’s work our way through the crazy by starting with Tucker Carlson’s White Supremacy Power Hour. Carlson has really unleashed his racism since Donald Trump was elected and last night it was on full display as he went back and forth between dismissing critics of this border cruelty because many of the people publicly decrying this policy probably “don’t even have kids” (what?) and complaining “their goal is to change your country forever.” It doesn’t take a genius to decipher Tucker’s message to his white audience. 

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.@TuckerCarlson comes close to saying the 14 words: “No matter what they tell you, this isn’t about helping children. A lot of people yelling at you on TV don’t even have kids, so don’t for a second let them take moral high ground. Their goal is to change your country forever.” pic.twitter.com/GPpUbqtiVL

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 19, 2018

And with no irony detected whatsoever, Carlson’s guest, acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said the comparison to Nazis is unfair because “they are simply following orders.”

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‘Moderate’ Republican pretends action to help immigrant children, enables Trump

‘Moderate’ Republican pretends action to help immigrant children, enables Trump

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has another opportunity to be what she sees herself as, a principled moderate Republican who will stand up against her party and her party’s president. As usual, she is overestimating the degree to which anyone in her party pays attention to her. This time it’s the Trump policy of family separation, ripping infants and children from their parents and putting them in cages in detention centers. Collins insists she’s seeking a solution, but is refusing to accept the solution that could actually end this.

Sen. Susan Collins called the federal government’s policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border “inhumane” and said she is seeking a legislative solution to the issue, even as the Trump administration doubled down on the policy Monday despite mounting criticism. […]

“I oppose the administration’s policy that is leading to children being separated from their parents,” Collins said in a prepared statement sent Monday to the Portland Press Herald. “It is traumatizing to children, inhumane, and contrary to our American values.”

There’s a legislative solution which every single Democratic senator—49 of them—has signed on to that would stop the administration. But Collins won’t sign on to it because she says it’s “too broad.” Because she’s willing to split hairs when families are being ripped apart, when little children are being kidnapped by her government.

“I have talked to Senator Feinstein and other colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” Collins insisted, “and will continue to work with them on a legislative solution.” Because that’s worked so well for her before. Remember when she was working on a legislative solution on Obamacare? Remember all those “promises” she extracted from Mitch McConnell that he reneged on again and again and again? All that she’s achieving with this is providing cover to McConnell and fellow Republicans. As long as she can pretend she’s doing something to resist, they can pretend they’re considering her efforts.

The schtick from Collins is making everything even worse. Clearly, McConnell doesn’t give a damn what she thinks or about her legislation. There’s one thing Collins can do to be actually effective. She can leave the Republican party and join the Democrats on this. She can leverage her vote to tie up the Senate and force McConnell to deal. Unless she does that, she’s worse than useless.

Can you give $5 to help keep immigrant families together—or bring them back together after separation?

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‘Where are the girls?’ DHS chief shrugs, can’t say where migrant girls and toddlers are held

‘Where are the girls?’ DHS chief shrugs, can’t say where migrant girls and toddlers are held

Department of Homeland Security Chief Kirstjen Nielsen showed up at the White House press briefing to answer questions from a White House press corps that had been waiting for nearly four hours as the briefing was delayed numerous times. After a torrent out outright lies defending the Trump policy of separating asylum-seeking children from their parents and holding them in prison-like camps indefinitely, Nielsen was asked, “Where are the girls? Were are the toddlers?” After all, reporters have only been given photos and videos of men and young boys being detained, no sign of the girls and the younger detainees, some of whom are infants without their mothers. 

Nielsen refuses to tell reporters where they are, and says she’ll look into that. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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Reporter: Why is the government only releasing images of the boys being held? Where are the girls & toddlers? Nielsen: I’ll look into that pic.twitter.com/aWZ7UoehEr

— POLITICO (@politico) June 18, 2018

And here was her response when asked, “How is this not child abuse?”

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GOP lawmakers scramble to rein in Trump’s family separation policy without poking the bear

GOP lawmakers scramble to rein in Trump’s family separation policy without poking the bear

The only “fix” necessary to end Donald Trump’s barbaric policy of separating families at the border is for him to reverse course on the sick policy he created. Yet Trump’s GOP allies, suddenly feeling the strain of growing public outrage, are scrambling to put forth legislation that will give them cover from Trump’s state-sponsored terror. 

In the Senate, Politico writes Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas is working with a small cohort of his colleagues who have realized that Congress “may have to step in and do something if President Donald Trump won’t back down.” In other words, even Trump’s allies think he’s headed off the rails.

The same goes in the House, where immigration hardliner Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia is arguing against taking up his own anti-immigrant bill because he thinks Paul Ryan’s “compromise” bill has a better chance of passing, thereby restraining Trump to some extent. (In fact, the “compromise” bill won’t end the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, but it would modify how officials enforce it in regard to housing families.)

“That is what has in my opinion the best chance of passing and getting 218 votes. We should focus on that,” Goodlatte argued [on NPR], saying he supported setting aside his own bill to do so. “We don’t need to vote on both of these at the same time,” the Virginia Republican said.

And CNN reports Freedom Caucus chief, Rep. Mark Meadows, is putting a third GOP bill on the table that would more narrowly address the family separation issue, allowing children “to be detained indefinitely” with their parents.

The round of frenzied action signals desperation is settling into GOP lawmakers as they try to find a way of containing Trump without actually telling him to simply change his policy—god forbid they speak a shred of truth to the man. At the same time, Trump’s aides are busily showing him cheery pictures of detained kids so he can remain in his perpetually distorted news bubble. 

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Morning Digest: Supreme Court’s punt on gerrymandering still leaves room for continued challenge

Morning Digest: Supreme Court’s punt on gerrymandering still leaves room for continued challenge

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

Redistricting: On Monday, the Supreme Court released its long-awaited decisions in two major lawsuits arguing that electoral maps in Maryland and Wisconsin represented partisan gerrymanders that violated the Constitution, but in both cases, the justices declined to rule on the merits and instead sent both cases back to the lower courts on procedural grounds.​

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​In the Maryland case, Benisek v. Lamone, the court let a Republican-backed challenge to the state’s 6th Congressional district proceed in federal district court without adjudicating the substance of plaintiffs’ claims that Maryland’s map, which was created by Democrats, violates the First Amendment.

Meanwhile, in Gill v. Whitford, the Supreme Court vacated a lower court ruling that struck down Wisconsin’s GOP-drawn map of the state Assembly, finding that the Democratic voters who sued lacked standing—meaning they had not demonstrated their rights had been injured—to challenge the map on a statewide basis.

The Supreme Court’s move will now require plaintiffs to present new arguments before the district court. One option would be to challenge the map on a district-by-district basis, though such an approach is inherently more difficult for a variety of reasons. It’s also possible that different plaintiffs could demonstrate that they have standing to bring a statewide challenge. In particular, election law expert Rick Hasen has suggested the Supreme Court’s ruling might allow Wisconsin’s Democratic Party to challenge the map as a whole.

These cases are far from over, and they could eventually find their way back before the high court. They’re also not alone: There’s an outstanding case in which a lower court struck down North Carolina’s congressional map as a Republican gerrymander that could make its way before the court when it returns in the fall and presents the justices with a different set of facts and legal arguments to choose from.

These rulings are a disappointment to reformers, but they by no means represent the kind of defeat that many feared in the fight for fair maps. Nevertheless, they’re a reminder that gerrymandering foes can’t rely only on the courts to curb the worst excesses of partisan gerrymandering. Progressives need to win elections at the state level to break the GOP’s grip on power, and activists must use ballot initiatives to create redistricting commissions where possible.

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Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Well, things are turning grim pretty quickly. But if there’s an upside, it might just have to be that the media is catching on to the reality that there’s a real crisis going on, and the Trump goons are all red-handed.

We’ll sort through the burning wreckage, come 9 o’clock.

Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET!

PODCAST LISTENERS: There’s a new podcast platform in town, and the big news is: this one pays! RadioPublic pays podcast producers on a CPM basis, for listens on their native app (available for iPhones & Androids), financed by pre- and post-roll ads they insert. Not a bad way to support the show, with somebody else’s money!

So if you’re a podcast listener, please consider downloading the RadioPublic app on your Android or iOS phone. Yes, you can still download directly from their site, or listen to the player embedded here at Daily Kos. But it’s listens in their app that count toward payment.

Nothing changes on our end. It’s still Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter, and even Armando. Plus also, me. And you! As always, we still want your voice on the air with us. Sit down with your smart phone or other electronic recording device and send us your stories and commentary to share with the audience. There’s no easier way to try your hand at podcasting, without all the hassle!

Of course there’s no substitute for having your support via Patreon, or one-time contributions via Square Cash. (And hey, if you want a cool trick for donating sorta-kinda cost free, get their cash.me app and use this share code to get $5 in your account (plus $5 in mine) when you send your first $5 (to anyone)!

For now, how about one on the house? Here’s what we did last time out, on our LIVE show:

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It’s Week 74 of The Presidential Apprentice, issue 689 of my coverage of David Waldman’s coverage of Donald Trump, and I don’t know, I must be doing something wrong, ‘cause that jerk’s still around. (No, not David… Donald): Also very nice guy Greg Dworkin tells us about those who very much aren’t: Republicans approve of the Trump policy of torturing children by separating them from their parents. Republican lawmakers, just as evil, slightly smarter, are pushing to roll back the “zero tolerance” part of the policy. Laura Bush’s heart is broken. US. Catholic Bishops declare the policy immoral. The New York Post is demanding changes. Susan Collins is troubled. Melania Trump thinks this must be someone’s fault. The Trump staff lays down as many smokescreens as possible. Steve Doocy doesn’t see any cages. Kirstjen Nielsen doesn’t see any policy, in fact she has a hard time seeing any children. Jeff Sessions sees God… just not yours. Hillary Clinton saw this coming. And, Donald Trump sees this as Angela Merkel’s problem. Trump intensifies and narrows his base into one white-hot white nugget, but fewer voters still equal fewer voters. Paul Ryan kicks the crap out of Medicare and leaves it in a ditch. The great minds of KITM and Macleans think alike, and suggest sanctioning Trump’s two most precious things in the world: his money, and his kid’s money. After bending over for North Korea, Trump turns to Russia. The White House ignored grandpa for as long as they could. Roger Stone just remembered a little bit of collusion a couple of years ago. Armando calls in to discuss how the Supreme Court sidestepped the issue of partisan gerrymandering through partisan political game-playing.

(Thanks to Scott Anderson for the show summary! Please help me pay him more!)

Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.

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Spade, Bourdain, and the costs of ignoring mental health: Disrespectability Politics Season 2, Ep. 5

Spade, Bourdain, and the costs of ignoring mental health: Disrespectability Politics Season 2, Ep. 5

Content warning: This post, or pages it links to, contain information about severe depression and/or suicide and may be triggering.

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This week hosts Wagatwe Wanjuki and Irna Landrum reflect on the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain and what they personally mean to them. They also discuss the big question: What does helping someone in need look like?

Support the podcast: Subscribe and comment on Itunes! Follow @disrespectcast on Twitter! Like our Facebook page! Find us on Instagram!

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Trump taps unknown for consumer bureau nominee, sure to keep agency under his destructive control

Trump taps unknown for consumer bureau nominee, sure to keep agency under his destructive control

The occupier of the Oval Office, Donald Trump, has tapped a nominee to replace the current squatter in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney has been pulling double duty running the Office of Management and Budget and as interim director of the CFPB, where he’s been working full time to dismantle it. He can’t be in the job forever, but neither do he and his boss want him to totally relinquish his control over it. What to do? Appoint one of his lackeys who no one has heard of. It’s a decision that’s not going down well with anyone.

Kathy Kraninger has been working in the OMB—Mulvaney’s main shop—since March 2017. She’s also worked for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and for the Department of Transportation. Her experience in the realm of the financial sector or consumer advocacy is apparently nonexistent. So why her? There are a few possible answers. Her current boss is Mulvaney and she’d be pretty likely to continue to do whatever Mulvaney wanted.

The second one is even less flattering, and is coming from even harder-line conservatives than Mulvaney, who wanted an outspoken opponent of the CFPB appointed. This line of thinking is that she’s a sacrificial nominee, named for now so that Mulvaney can continue on in the job while the confirmation process cranks on. His tenure in the job would have ended on June 22 in the absence of a nominee, but now that one has been tapped, he stays there as long as the confirmation process plays out. Which might be indefinitely, because it looks like Kraninger is opposed on all sides.

“It would be exactly like the Bush administration’s try at Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court and would end the same way,” said J.W. Verret, professor of banking law at Scalia Law School, referring to the former White House counsel whose nomination to the top court by George W. Bush in 2005 was pulled in the face of tepid support.

Verret says “Republican opposition is building,” because she hasn’t proven that she hates the CFPB as much as the candidates they had in mind. Ironically, her lack of a track record—and because of her ties to Mulvaney—consumer groups and Democrats are likely to oppose her as well. “The CFPB needs a director with a strong record of commitment to protecting consumers in the financial services marketplace,” Americans for Financial Reform executive director Lisa Donner said, reacting to the nomination. “This nomination aims to keep the CFPB hobbled.”

All of which points to what one analyst says will be “a barbarous confirmation process.” And to Mulvaney keeping the bureau in his disastrous paws for the foreseeable future.

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India joins Trump’s trade war, announcing $241 million in tariffs

India joins Trump’s trade war, announcing $241 million in tariffs

The Trump trade wars continue to expand, with India joining a host of other nations in imposing tariffs on the United States in retaliation for Donald Trump imposing tariffs on them. India is affected by Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, and has announced its own tariffs of $241 million—matching the U.S. tariffs—to retaliate.

Almonds, walnuts and apples grown in the U.S. would be targeted under India’s plan, and an existing tariff on large American motorcycles (translation: Harley-Davidsons, except Harley has a factory in India anyway) would be increased. Shrimp and chocolate are also on the list.

India joins Canada, Mexico, the European Union and China in retaliating against the tariffs Trump is using to posture about his own toughness.

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Republicans have a more favorable view of North Korean dictator than of Democratic opposition leader

Republicans have a more favorable view of North Korean dictator than of Democratic opposition leader

The Republican Party is now nothing more than a cult. A new Ipsos/Daily Beast poll finds that Republican voters are more likely to view North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un favorably than the American woman their party has demanded they hate, Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi: Among Republicans, 19 percent answered that they had a “favorable” view of Kim; 68 percent said they had an unfavorable view. But only 17 percent were favorable toward Pelosi, while 72 percent found her unfavorable.

The numbers for both North Korean dictator and member of the American opposition party were both abysmal, of course, but do give some credence to the notion that Republicans would, by an albeit-slight margin rather support an authoritarian monster than an American from the other party (Democrats did not repeat this performance, by the way; it, like many fetishes of modern conservatism, is not a “both sides” phenomenon.)

This may be understandable. Fox News has spent considerably more time demonizing the enemies of Republicanism than on unfavorable coverage of the world’s worst dictators. It’s no surprise Republican voters are now thoroughly pudding-brained about this, and as anyone who has watched an elderly relative fall into conspiracy-minded paranoia and racism after consuming a daily diet of network blowhardism, merely rendering viewers pudding-brained is not even the worst thing Fox has done to their audience.

Consider our times: On this particular day, the Republican administration is mounting a full-court effort to lie about their recently enacted “zero tolerance” policy stripping children from their refugee parents at the border. The Republican House and Senate are steadfastly refusing to step in, spending their time instead on efforts to sabotage criminal investigations into the acts of members of that administration. Conservative propaganda efforts are relentless, demanding cages not be called cages, insisting that separating families is necessary because the refugees are only pretending to be families, and continuing to demonize anyone seen as an enemy of the party with conspiracy-addled notions of a deep state undermining the glorious national leader.

There is ample evidence that a measurable subset of Republicans would rather see the nation a dictatorship than be obliged to compromise with the notions of the other side. This particular poll hints that all that would be required would be pairing conservative demonization of the political opposition with praise for the ideas of “strong” national leaders like Kim Jong Un. In normal times, efforts to do so would be met with such widespread revulsion, from both inside and outside the movement, that a media outlet like Fox would not dare go so far, but we are very far removed from normal times.

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