“Dirty Work” by Steely Dan.

Check it out here:



Aaron Blake reports for the Washington Post:

“The defining moment of Jeff Sessions’s time as attorney general has been when he recused himself from oversight of the Russia investigation. That quickly led to the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is now extensively probing President Trump. And by all accounts, it seriously strained Sessions’s relationship with Trump, who thinks Sessions should be protecting him and doing his bidding.

But there are increasing signs that Sessions has indeed done plenty of Trump’s bidding behind closed doors. And he’s done it on some dicey and very politically tinged issues — so much so that he made Trump’s second FBI director deeply uncomfortable with the whole thing.

The Post’s Devlin Barrett and Philip Rucker report that Sessions has pressured FBI Director Christopher A. Wray to get rid of his deputy Andrew McCabe, a holdover from James B. Comey’s FBI and favorite target for Republicans alleging bias in federal law enforcement. Some have reported that Wray even threatened to resign; The Post is reporting that he did not explicitly do so.

Here’s the meat of it all:

Sessions, Republican lawmakers and some members of the Trump administration have argued for weeks that Wray should conduct some kind of housecleaning by demoting or reassigning senior aides to his predecessor, Comey, according to people familiar with the matter. These people added that Sessions himself is under tremendous political pressure from conservative lawmakers and White House officials who have complained that the bureaucracy of federal law enforcement is biased against the president.

Trump has made no secret of his distaste for McCabe, even tweeting about it repeatedly after McCabe announced last month that he would soon retire, when he becomes eligible for full pension benefits. Trump’s tweets date back to the summer and have focused on McCabe’s wife’s run for the Virginia state legislature as a Democrat and ties to Hillary Clinton.

. . . .

In other words, Trump has publicly stated his preference for Sessions to try to get rid of McCabe, and he has suggested Wray do it as well. Now we find out Sessions did indeed attempt it, and Wray resisted it.

But it’s only the latest evidence that Sessions and his Justice Department are taking specific actions that Trump has publicly urged, even as they, in some cases, risk looking like they are in service to Trump’s political goals.

The New York Times reported recently that a Sessions aide went to Capitol Hill last year seeking derogatory information about Comey at a time when Trump clearly had his eyes on firing Comey. (A Justice Department spokesman has denied this occurred.) There are also reports that the Justice Department is considering a revival of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, which Trump has repeatedly called for. And back in August, Sessions announced a ramped-up effort to root out leakers in the federal government — just days after Trump tweeted that Sessions had taken “a VERY weak position” on the issue.

(Remarkably, Trump actually hit Sessions for his weak positions on both leakers and Clinton’s emails in the same tweet. The Justice Department now appears to be addressing both.)

The Post’s Josh Dawsey and Matt Zapotosky even reported last month that Sessions has engaged in an all-out campaign to regain Trump’s faith by pointing to things the Justice Department has done in service of Trump’s agenda. That’s a pretty remarkable state of affairs.

Some of these things are issues on which Sessions has clearly sided with Trump, especially the dangers of leakers. So it’s perhaps no surprise Sessions would pursue them. But the fact that Trump called for these actions before Sessions was reported to have taken them sure makes it look like he’s taking direction from Trump — or at least succumbing to pressure that Trump and others have brought to bear.

Sessions has also, notably, resisted that pressure at times. During congressional testimony in November, he very publicly shunned a Republican lawmaker’s conspiracy theory — one to which Trump has also alluded — about how the federal government may have colluded with Democrats to spy on Trump’s campaign. Sessions said the issue didn’t rise to the level of appointing a special counsel.

But the picture of what Sessions is doing behind the scenes is increasingly suggesting that Trump’s very public hints that his attorney general should do this or that have often resulted in those specific actions. And especially when it comes to things such as trying to force out McCabe or reportedly dig up dirt on Comey, it sure makes it look like Sessions is using his authorities to try to address Trump’s political aims.

And for an attorney general who leads the federal law enforcement that is currently investigating the president and his team, that’s a perception problem, at best.”


Read Blake’s full article, complete with “Tweet Texts,” at the link.

Meanwhile “chatter” surrounding the DOJ credits Sessions for doing a “bang up” job of implementing his racist, White Nationalist agenda at Justice. Basically, according to some, he’s very effectively shifting the Government’s resources, focus, and litigating capacity to insuring  that no element of White privilege or far-Right religious intolerance goes unprotected.

At the same time, he’s using basically bogus or at least highly misleading “statistics” to “rev up” racist fervor against immigrant, primarily Latino communities and Democratic local officials who won’t go along with his program of attempting to draw false connections between immigrants and crime and terrorism. Meanwhile, he essentially has consigned the rights of African-Americans, Latinos, Immigrants, Migrants, Women who seek abortions, and the LGBTQ community to the “trash-bin of Justice.” Many who care about the future of racial equality and social justice in America are concerned that this type of “deep damage” to our justice system can’t easily be undone or repaired, even after Sessions and his “wrecking crew” finally depart the “Halls of Injustice.”

Reportedly, Sessions has been ably assisted in his campaign “to take the justice out of Justice” by Associate Attorney General Rachel B. Brand, the “number three” person at Justice. Brand, a former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy under Bush II, DOJ “vet,” and apparent “true believer” in the Radical Right, maintains a much “lower profile” than the ever controversial Sessions. But, apparently she and those under her excel at undoing and “deconstructing” all of the “social justice” achievements of the Obama Administration.

Following the “Watergate Disaster” in the 1970, where the Nixon Administration’s blatant politicization of the DOJ became a national scandal, succeeding Administrations, in my view, more or less “backed off” of obvious political partisanship at the DOJ. But, as Watergate becomes a “mere tiny image in the rearview mirror,” that “tradition of restraint” has gradually eroded. Sounds to me like the “Watergate Era” has basically returned to the DOJ. This time, and quite sadly for our Constitutional system of Government and the U.S. Justice System, there is some doubt as to whether it will ever depart again.






LA TIMES: TO TRUMP, SESSIONS, & HOMAN: “Don’t Wanna Do Your Dirty Work No More!”

“Don’t Wanna Do Your Dirty Work No More!”

From the song “Dirty Work” by Steely Dan.

Check it out here:


From the LA Times Editorial Board:



“ICE, don’t expect us to do your job

Offended by the ‘sanctuary state’ legislation, Trump administration petulantly looks for payback.

State and local governments in California rightly recognize that it’s up to the federal government to determine which people living in the country illegally ought to be tracked down and deported. It’s no more the responsibility of local cops to run immigrants to ground than it is for them to sniff out people cheating on their federal income taxes.

There is an important public safety reason for keeping local police and sheriff’s deputies out of the deportation business. If people who are living in the country illegally come to view local law enforcement officers as just another set of immigration agents, they will be far less likely to report crimes or cooperate with investigators. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said last year that fewer Latinos in the city were reporting rapes, spousal abuse and other crimes for fear of being deported under the Trump administration’s policy of stepped-up arrests.

Nevertheless, the Trump administration has made no secret of its disdain for state and local governments that refuse to use their own resources to help Washington enforce federal immigration law. Twice this month, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Thomas Homan said they have asked the Justice Department whether local officials who don’t report residents who are in the country illegally can be charged under the federal law against harboring “aliens.”

Homan also has warned that he will “significantly” increase ICE’s presence in California to ramp up arrests in neighborhoods and on streets as payback for the California Values Act (the “sanctuary state” law adopted last year), which denied ICE agents access to jailsunless they have a warrant. “California better hold on tight,” he said in a Fox News interview. “They’re about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers in the state of California.”

That’s not enforcing immigration law. That’s coercion by the federal government to try to compel local officials to, in effect, do their jobs for them. It is also the kind of thuggishness we’d expect from someone like Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, not the president of the United States.

Homan also argued that without the cooperation of local law enforcement, “violent criminal aliens” are being released back onto the streets rather than being deported. “If the politicians in California don’t want to protect their communities, then ICE will,” Homan said.

That’s preposterous. ICE has access to databases that reveal who is incarcerated and when they are scheduled for release. If “violent criminal aliens” reenter their communities, it’s because ICE failed to identify them while in custody and pick them up upon release from prison or jail.

Now comes word that ICE may be planning a massive sweep in Northern California targeting as many as 1,500 immigrants, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. That would be little more than showboating. According to the best estimates, California has about 2.35 million immigrants who are living in the state illegally. No matter how hard he tries, Homan is not going to arrest away that problem. Rather, such draconian enforcement actions — and have no doubt, the impetus comes from President Trump — will do little more than disrupt families and communities.

Just last week, the government deportedprosecutorial discretion Jorge Garcia, 39, who was living in the country illegally but was otherwise a productive and law-abiding member of the community. For years, the federal government had exercised not to enforce a deportation order against him. Garcia arrived in the U.S. as a 10-year-old, grew up in the Detroit area and is married to an American citizen with whom he has two American children. What possible good comes from breaking apart that family?

It’s deplorable that the government is pursuing such a heartless and heavy-handed approach to enforcement in service of a system that is hopelessly broken. A wise president would pursue truly dangerous immigrants who are here illegally, find ways to keep new arrivals out (and ensure visa holders leave when they are supposed to) and work with Congress for a humane resolution to the fate of more than 11 million people who have lived in the U.S. for, on average, more than a decade. But wisdom and this president are opposing forces.”


For the Trumpsters, it’s never been about “smart,” “efficient,” or “effective” law enforcement. No, it’s always been about White Nationalism, pandering to an extremist base, and turning ICE into more or less of an “internal security police” to terrorize primarily Latino, but also other ethnic and minority, communities. That’s why Congress should “Just Say No” to the Administration’s outrageous requests for yet more DHS enforcement agents (when they aren’t even able to fill their existing vacancies with qualified candidates).