On Saturday Night Live last month, Kate MacKinnon parodied Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a wispy Albino Forrest Gump.
Far from the soft-spoken softie MacKinnon portrays, Sessions’ life is a consistent expression of hard-line down-the-line racism. Like his boss, Sessions packs no personal punch but sends hired muscle to be his toughness.
Does anyone doubt that Birmingham Police Chief “Bull” Connor was a childhood hero to Alabama’s mightless mite? Does anyone doubt that Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department will do its damnedest to protect today’s Connor bully-alikes from Federal oversight?
Sessions was all for “states’ rights” when it was a cover for local violations of Constitutional protections for African-Americans against discrimination, crime and violence, and often outright murder. Today he’s declared a DOJ vendetta against the rights of states and cities that offer “sanctuary” protections to Latin-American immigrants who have no felony charges against them.
Lawyers in several jurisdictions on Sessions’ target list scoff at his blustering threats to withhold Federal money from such “un-co-operative” governments. They point to a decision by Chief Justice John Roberts’ Supreme Court that bludgeoning local budgets to coerce changes in local policies is as unconstitutional as racial segregation.
Meanwhile Sessions’ attempt to launch his anti-Sanctuary campaign at Gump-like foot-speed has been undermined by his slower-than-Gumpish intellectual processes.
In a stagy proclamation at the US-Mexico border, Sessions, in the words of the Associated Press, “highlighted the San Diego suburb of Escondido to illustrate how jurisdictions that limit cooperation with immigration authorities jeopardize public safety.”
The AG’s selection of Escondido is based on 2 falsehoods. The facts are: 1) Escondido actually has a long record of close co-operation with Federal immigration authorities, and 2) public safety in Escondido is quite good.
Here’s the AP again, quoting the Attorney General: “As you know too well here, Escondido’s gang violence has jumped recently between two violent gangs warring for turf — more shootings, more guns, more terrorized neighborhoods. Sanctuary jurisdictions have put known gang members back on the streets to join the Westside gang in Escondido.”
And correcting him: “Since May 2010, the city has had an extraordinarily close relationship with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, giving ICE officers desk space at police headquarters and working in tandem with them on everything from traffic stops to gang sweeps to remove people who have been previously deported and have criminal records. … In 2012, ICE bestowed Escondido with a Partnerships for Public Safety award.”
As for violent crime, Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter told AP, “We had nothing I’m seeing as a spike or increase.”
There was one shocking recent crime in which 2 Escondido gang-bangers were accused of firing at a gang-enemy and killing a 55 year old woman walking home from church. Both suspects in the case are not immigrants, but U.S. Citizens.
As Forrest Gump famously said, “Stupid is as stupid does.” On that point the SNL parody is on target.
As was the case when he was in the Senate, in the Trump Cabinet Jeff Sessions is among the least rich and most stupid of a muck-heap of malign millionaires.
Here’s the AP story.
***This week on HERE & THERE 3 sharp minds apply themselves to 3 hot topics. On Monday, NBC News’ Chief Business Correspondent and MSNBC News anchor Ali Velshi on 3 “hot messes”– the American system of healthcare, Obamacare, and the Trump Administration’s fumbling attempts to repeal, replace and ruin it.
On Tuesday, novelist, journalist and aid expert Will Everett is recently back from Afghanistan, where dropping the “Mother of All Bombs” is just a sideshow, and probably an intentional distraction from the continuing disintegration of a nation. The most damning evidence? The number of Afghan young people who want to get out of the country.
Wednesday is another Santa Fe City Council meeting day, so no program, but an open invitation to check out our archive.
Thursday, the Turkish-American columnist and scholar Pinar Tremblay look at the frightening future or her homeland, after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blatantly tilted the referendum that may make his tyranny ostensibly legal. This was a result only Donald Trump could love. Even Erdogan can smell the shit on his shoes, but not our President. Even the most compromised triumph of evil makes the Chiseler-in-Chief smile.
A great week to appreciate the illuminating graphics of Amy Marash, the pointed insights of informed observers of important stories, and the wealth of past reports in the davemarash.com archive. All focused on fulfilling our mission, to help you “Understand the news, one story at a time.”
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