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If Trump pardons Arpaio, he'll reward defiance of the courts, and that's wrong

President Trump hinted Tuesday night that he planned to pardon former Arizona Sheriff Joseph Arpaio for his federal contempt of court conviction, telling a crowd in Phoenix: “I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine. But I won’t do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversy. … But Sheriff Joe can feel good.”

If Trump can be believed — never a sure thing — and he makes good on that semi-veiled promise, he won’t be delivering a gift of mercy to a deserving and repentant offender. He’ll be rewarding a political friend and supporter who shares his abhorrence of illegal immigration and his affection for draconian enforcement strategies. By blessing a top local law enforcement officer’s defiance of a federal judge, Trump would again exhibit his own contempt for the courts.

Arpaio, 85, made himself a hero of the anti-immigrant right by cracking down on people living illegally in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. But his practices smelled of 1930s Alabama. He reintroduced the chain gang and forced inmates to live in a tent city under the hot desert sun, where critics complained deputies routinely used racial epithets in dealing with minorities, particularly Latinos, and some inmates died at deputies’ hands. He was sued a decade ago over complaints that his department routinely violated the rights of Latinos — including many who were citizens of the U.S. or living in the country perfectly legally — by stopping them based on racial profiling. Those who were suspected of living here without permission were detained, even though being in the country illegally is not a state crime. A federal judge ordered Arpaio to put a stop to the practice, but he did not.

The message Trump really sends here is that the president of the United States doesn’t think court orders need to be respected.
The Maricopa department’s atrocious treatment of those in custody — with or without a legal right to live here — contributed to Arpaio’s failure to win a seventh term as sheriff last November. Some people who take a hard line against illegal immigration might have appreciated Arpaio’s actions, but civil libertarians — and, really, anyone with a heart — were appalled, and rightly so.


Trump Struck By Beautiful Vision Of What America Could Be While Looking Out Over Seething Crowd

PHOENIX—Visibly moved by the outpouring of rancor before of him, President Trump was reportedly struck by the beautiful vision of what America could be while looking out over a seething, screaming Arizona rally on Tuesday.

“As I gaze upon the snarls on your red faces today, I’m filled with hope at what astonishing hostility the America of tomorrow can achieve,” said the president, swelling with optimism at the inspiring scene of thousands of Americans gathering to act on their basest instincts.

“I’m simply overcome by the bitterness and resentment filling this convention center. Just imagine if everyone in the nation—every single man and every single woman—could let their anger and intolerance consume them the way it has the good people in this room. What a wonderful country this would be.”

Trump went on to say that while progress would not always be easy, the uncontainable rage of crowds like this one made him feel like America was well on its way.


Trump's Horrific Spelling Reassures Nation That He Cannot Correctly Enter Nuclear Codes

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump’s demonstrable inability to spell even the simplest words has reassured many that he lacks the aptitude to correctly enter the nuclear launch codes entrusted to the President of the United States.

While millions of Americans have lost sleep over the thought of Trump being anywhere near the nuclear codes, his failure to spell such words as “heal” and “tap” suggests that mastering a more complicated sequence of letters or numbers would be well above his grade level.

“Giving one person the power to launch the most destructive nuclear arsenal in the world has always been problematic,” Harland Dorrinson, the director of the Society for Nuclear Security, said. “In their infinite wisdom, the American people have solved that problem by electing someone whose brain would be utterly flummoxed by the task.”

While Trump has demonstrated an ability to use simple tools, such as a television remote or a fork, Dorrinson does not foresee him mastering the nuclear codes anytime soon. “This is not exactly the system of checks and balances that the Constitution intended, but we should all be grateful for it,” he said.


Trump roasted over pair of tweets saying country must heel

What a heel.

President Trump punted his first two attempts at a tweet Saturday, and the internet began kicking up jokes about the snafus.

While Trump tried to address protests and counter-protests across the country, he got caught up on a typo, writing “heel” instead of “heal” — twice.

“Our great country has been divided for decade, but it will come together again.Sometimes protest is needed in order to heel,and heel we will!” Trump wrote in the first tweet.


Controversy Over Confederate Statues Inspires Betsy DeVos to Google Civil War

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—The raging controversy over Confederate statues has impelled Betsy DeVos to Google the Civil War, the Education Secretary confirmed on Thursday.

“People have been going on and on about the Civil War, and I was like, Betsy, what the heck are they talking about, exactly?” DeVos told reporters. “After a certain point, I decided I just had to Google it.”

DeVos said that she was glad that she Googled the Civil War, calling it “an extremely fascinating chapter in American history that people need to find out about.”

“Like President Trump has been saying, the Civil War had sides to it,” she said. “Although I don’t think it had many sides. I only counted two.”


Venezuela's political crisis deepens as its legislature is essentially dissolved

Source: LA Times

Venezuela’s political crisis deepened Friday as the controversial constitutional assembly declared that it is the country’s sole legislative body, essentially dissolving the democratically elected congress.

“All public bodies are subordinated to the National Constitutional Assembly,” said Delcy Rodriguez, the body’s president. “No other power can impede our decisions.”

The move was hardly a surprise. The assembly was elected late last month in a disputed election that domestic and and international critics said was an unconstitutional maneuver by President Nicolas Maduro to neuter the opposition-controlled legislature, known as the National Assembly, and consolidate his power. All of the candidates — and all 545 delegates who were elected — are loyal to the president.

The electoral consulting company hired by the government, Britain-based Smartmatic, denounced the vote count as “manipulated.”

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/world/mexico-americas/la-fg-venezuela-assembly-20170818-story.html

Bolivarian democracy in action.

After Virginia violence, far right and white nationalists turn to a familiar target: California

When far-right activist Kyle Chapman took to Facebook last week urging followers to attend upcoming rallies in the Bay Area, he was downright gleeful about taking the fight to the celebrated liberal bastion.

“Talk about kicking the hornets nest! This is sure to be barn burner,” wrote Chapman, who became a hero to the extreme-right and earned the nickname “Based Stickman” when he battled counter-protesters armed with a shield and staff earlier this year. “Let’s show these intolerant Communist we will not be silenced or intimidated!”

Left-leaning, multicultural California might not seem like an ideal place for the extreme-right and white-nationalist groups to make a stand. But the movement has increasingly targeted the state in recent years, with optics as much as membership in mind.

Seeking media attention and validation for their “us vs. the world” narrative, far-right activists find desired attention and conflict in California, leading to clashes that often end in blood and bruises, experts say.


Alabama Attorney General sues Birmingham for hiding Confederate monument

Source: USA Today

The Alabama Attorney General's Office sued the city of Birmingham on Wednesday for erecting plywood around a monument to Confederate sailors and soldiers.

The city began placing the wood around the monument Tuesday evening, days after a white supremacist rally at a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va., led to violence.

In a statement Wednesday, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said the action violated a law passed by the Alabama Legislature this year aimed at preserving historic structures.

"My office has determined that by affixing tarps and placing plywood around the Linn Park Memorial such that it is hidden from view, the defendants have 'altered' or 'otherwise disturbed' the memorial in violation of the letter and spirit of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act," Marshall said in a statement.

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/08/16/alabama-attorney-general-sues-birmingham-hiding-confederate-monument/574781001/

Planned protests against Google bring culture wars to Silicon Valley

With plans to protest outside Google’s offices this weekend, conservatives are taking America’s culture wars directly to Silicon Valley, a place that was long insulated from political rancor but is now one of the most important ideological battlegrounds.

The rallies were inspired by James Damore, the former Google engineer who was fired last week for posting a 10-page internal memo arguing that the lack of women in tech could be attributed to biological differences. His dismissal sparked an outcry from conservatives who say their opinions are being muzzled by liberal technology companies and led Damore to criticize his former company for promoting a “particularly intense echo chamber.”

“The March on Google stands for free speech and the open discussion of ideas,” wrote event organizer Jack Posobiec, a conservative media figure who pushed the “Pizzagate” and Seth Rich conspiracy theories and was recently retweeted by the president.

Posobiec, who did not respond to questions sent to his Facebook page, said the marches planned for Saturday are not “alt-right” events and that he wanted to avoid the violence and mayhem experienced in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend.


Millions Willing to Work for Mueller for Free If That Would Speed Things Up

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Millions of Americans would gladly work for Robert Mueller for free if that would help speed things up, a new poll finds.

According to the survey, a substantial number of Americans would leave their jobs, their homes, and even their families to join the special counsel’s team if doing so would help bring this nightmare to a swifter conclusion.

A spokesperson for the special counsel confirmed that his office has been receiving thousands of résumés a day from Americans begging to do anything to help Mueller “move things along.”

“We saw a big surge in interest after the bust on Paul Manafort’s house,” the spokesperson said. “A lot of folks were devastated that they didn’t get to play a part in that.”

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