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I Think We’ve Still Got Some Japanese Internment Camps You Could Use.

Republicans in the Oklahoma state legislature have a challenge on their hands: figuring out how to address a gaping $900 million hole in the state budget without raising taxes.

Some lawmakers have proposed firing nonessential college employees. Others want to drop a film tax credit, saving the state as much as $5 million.

Republican Rep. Mike Ritze told CBS affiliate KWTV that he has another proposal in mind: Rounding up the state’s 82,000 non-English-speaking students and handing them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Identify them and then turn them over to ICE to see if they truly are citizens — and do we really have to educate noncitizens?” Ritze asked.

The lawmaker disagrees with the idea that the state should be responsible for educating children who aren’t citizens, though a 1982 Supreme Court decision, Plyler v. Doe, actually prohibits states from denying education to undocumented immigrants.

Still, Ritze told the station that the proposal — which faced immediate backlash and was called “utterly shameful” by the state schools superintendent — could save $60 million.

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Tweet of the Day

 Jeffrey Lewis @ArmsControlWonk

TRUMP: Let’s nominate Sergey to replace Comey!
LAVROV: You kill me, Donald.
KISLYAK: Can I keep my home-brew email server?

And then there’s this:

The administration was not eager for the public to see images of Trump getting chummy with Lavrov and ambassador Sergey Kislyak — the man whose conversation with Michael Flynn about the lifting of sanctions ultimately got the national security adviser fired.

But some intelligence experts worry that Lavrov may have deceived Trump about more than his photographer’s media ties. As the Post reports:

The officials cited the danger that a listening device or other surveillance equipment could have been brought into the Oval Office while hidden in cameras or other electronics … Among those commenting on the issue was former deputy CIA director David S. Cohen. Responding to a question posed online about whether it was a sound decision to allow the photographer into the Oval Office, Cohen replied on Twitter: “No it was not.” He declined to elaborate when reached by phone.

The White House insists that the photographer’s equipment was subjected to a security screening and that the Oval Office is routinely swept for bugs. And that should dispel all concerns. After all, what cause do we have to question this administration’s competence?

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Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who met with Trump earlier today, said the idea of Russia meddling in US elections is “absurd” and “fake information.”

“How is that possible, for a great power?” he said, calling it “humiliating” for the US to believe this.

He added that this topic was not discussed today in his meeting with Trump, nor were sanctions.

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Out of the Mouths of Boobs

In an interview with Boston’s WBUR Friday, golf reporter James Dodson recalled meeting Donald Trump in in 2014 and being invited to play golf at his property in Charlotte. When Dodson asked Donald Trump how he was paying for the courses, he says Trump “sort of tossed off that he had access to $100 million.” He then questioned Eric Trump, who was along for the day: “I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks — because of the recession … have touched a golf course. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years,’” he recalled. “And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’”

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Our Protean President

From New York Magazine by Jonathan Chait:

It is widely known that Trump — whose political profile over the decades has vacillated from liberal to conservative to moderate to populist, and supported and opposed abortion rights, higher taxes on the rich, and universal health care — does not care very much about political ideas. This explanation is true, but incomplete. The president also does not know very much about political ideas. And it is not merely the details of policy that he lacks. Trump has no context for processing ideas. He does not understand which kinds of ideas imply support for which kinds of policies, nor why political figures tend to believe what they do, nor why they agree or disagree with one another. He is capable of forming strongly held beliefs about people in politics, but he does so in entirely personal terms. Trump’s flamboyant, weird ignorance reveals a distinct pattern. He is not so much nonideological as sub-ideological.

It is common to attribute Trump’s protean [my emphasis] identity as simple self-interest: He has aligned himself with whichever party seemed to benefit him at any given moment. And surely calculation plays a role. But it cannot explain all his puzzling statements about politics. Sometimes he expresses openness about unpopular policies his administration and party would never go for (like a higher tax on gasoline). Trump constantly relates questions about politics back to himself and his alleged deal-making genius not only because he’s a narcissist, but because the contest of political debate remains largely mysterious to him.

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Did You Know?

Proteus was the original master of disguise. According to Greek mythology, the grizzled old shepherd of Poseidon’s sea creatures possessed the gift of prophecy but didn’t like to share his knowledge. Proteus would escape those who wanted to question him by changing his shape. The only way to get a straight answer from him was to sneak up behind him during his midday nap and hold onto him (while he frantically changed from shape to shape) until he eventually revealed what he knew. The adjective “protean” describes anyone or anything that is as mutable and adaptable as the mythological shepherd.

Or, you could just sneak up on Trump while he’s watching Fox News.

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He’ll Ask Frederick Douglass About It.

From ThinkProgress:

It’s not unusual for an American president to try and learn from this nation’s history. But the lessons that President Donald Trump has apparently drawn from his studies border on the surreal.

“People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why?” he said. “People don’t ask the question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

Many people do ask why the Civil War took place, and its causes are among the most thoroughly documented and analyzed subjects in American history. Its root cause was the Confederate states’ desire to preserve slavery, as Confederate leaders acknowledged at the time. The subject of slavery receives extensive treatment at the National Museum of African American History, which Trump visited in February; it’s unclear how much information the president absorbed from his trip.

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Here We Go Again

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that President Trump might refuse to sign a government spending bill that does not include money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, leaving open the possibility of a federal government shutdown toward the end of the week.

“Will he sign a government funding bill that does not include funding for the border wall?” Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday,” asked Mulvaney during a televised interview.

“Yeah, and I think you saw his answer just in your little lead-in, which is: We don’t know yet,” Mulvaney responded. He was referring to comments Trump made to the Associated Press.

 

“And it’s got to be at least this high.”