Political MoJo

Donald Trump Wants to Model His Immigration Plan After Something Called "Operation Wetback"

| Tue Nov. 10, 2015 10:52 PM EST

At Tuesday night's debate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich ripped into Donald Trump about his plan to deport 11 million immigrants should he become president. "Come on, folks," he said, exasperated. "We all know you can't pick them up and ship them back across the border. It's a silly argument. It's not an adult argument. It makes no sense!"

In response, Trump invoked historical precedent: "Let me just tell you that Dwight Eisenhower. Good president. Great president. People liked him. I liked him. I Like Ike, right? The expression, 'I like Ike.' Moved 1.5 million illegal immigrants out of this country. Moved them just beyond the border, they came back. Moved them again beyond the border, they came back. Didn't like it. Moved 'em waaaay south, they never came back. Dwight Eisenhower. You don't get nicer, you don't get friendlier. They moved 1.5 million people out. We have no choice. We. Have. No. Choice." (You can see video of the entire exchange above.)

The Eisenhower program Trump was referring to, if not by name, was called "Operation Wetback." Implemented by President Eisenhower in the 1950s, the program was frighteningly simple: round up undocumented immigrants and drop them off in Mexico by the busload. The more obscure the location, the better. Dozens of the operation's deportees died. The program was initiated by then-Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr., who ordered his officers to shoot "wetbacks" trying to enter America. Ultimately, it wasn't even as successful as Trump claims: Some researchers consider the 1.5 million-deported figure to be highly exaggerated.

White supremacists picked up on Trump's reference immediately:

While the rest of us took to Google:


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Ted Cruz Can’t Remember All the Departments He Wants to Defund

| Tue Nov. 10, 2015 10:22 PM EST


This Is the Funniest Chart About Tonight's GOP Debate

| Tue Nov. 10, 2015 9:58 PM EST

Donald Trump was asked about immigration at tonight's debate and answered with some ramble about Eisenhower or something.

Anyway, here's what happened on Google:


Mike Huckabee: Take My Wife, Please!

| Tue Nov. 10, 2015 8:25 PM EST

Noted without comment, Mike Huckabee's answer to a question about the Fed at tonight's GOP kid's table debate:

Professor at Center of Missouri University Protest Video Offers "Sincere Apologies"

| Tue Nov. 10, 2015 7:28 PM EST

The communications professor who called for "muscle" to block a reporter from covering Monday's demonstrations at the University of Missouri—a moment captured in a video that went viral—issued an apology on Tuesday evening. In a written statement tweeted by the university's Department of Communications, Melissa Click—an assistant professor specializing in pop culture and feminism—said she had reached out to the journalists involved "to offer my sincere apologies and to express regret over my actions." Read her full statement below:

Click became the center of a firestorm after a video clip was posted online showing a confrontation between a group of students and a freelance photographer working for ESPN, Tim Tai. Protesters had assembled after Tim Wolfe, the president of the University of Missouri system, resigned from his post on Monday amid growing furor over a series of racial incidents at the system's flagship Columbia campus. In the video, students argued with Tai, who was trying to take photographs, and chanted, "Hey hey, ho ho, reporters have got to go." At the end of the video, Click puts her hand in the lens of the camera filming her, and then calls for help from students to expel reporters. In a longer clip posted later, Click can be seen rallying students to prevent the media from reaching the quad, where a mini tent-city had been erected by protestors. In the wake of the viral video, Click made her Twitter account private and went to ground, apparently enduring rape and death threats.

The showdown between protestors and the press at the University of Missouri has since become a subject of national debate. In the meantime, the dean of the university's famous journalism school, David Kurpius, defended Tai, a senior at the university, by saying the incident provided "an opportunity to educate students and citizens about the role of a free press."

Soviet-Themed Anti-Elizabeth Warren Ad Will Air During Republican Debate

| Tue Nov. 10, 2015 1:16 PM EST

Liberal fans haven't been able to persuade Sen. Elizabeth Warren to make a run for president, but she'll appear at Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate on Fox Business Network—during a commercial break. As Politico's Burgess Everett reports, the conservative American Action Network will run an ad opposing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the consumer watchdog agency that Warren created following the financial crash. Per Everett, the group is spending half a million dollars to run the ad during the debate and later this week.

The commercial paints the CFPB as a Kremlin-like bureaucratic nightmare, with Warren as the Stalinesque figure barring regular Americans from collecting loans. Warren's face is plastered on a giant red banner in the background, alongside that of CFPB director Richard Cordray. The Soviet imagery is not subtle.

"They call it CFPB," the ad's narrator ominously intones. "Washington’s latest regulatory agency, designed to interfere with your personal financial decisions: that car loan you needed, your mortgage, that personal loan. With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, those who need help the most are denied."

The CFPB has been a frequent target of attacks from conservative organizations. But while those groups like to paint Warren's brainchild as a scourge of consumers, the CFPB has fined banks for deceiving customers, fought predatory for-profit colleges, and simplified the mortgage application process.

Watch the ad:

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Senator Claire McCaskill Wants Her Male Colleagues to Learn to "Just Shut the Hell Up"

| Tue Nov. 10, 2015 10:19 AM EST

Are you listening, male US Senators? Your colleague, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) wants you to stop mansplaining and "just shut the hell up."

In a refreshing video prepared for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday, the first woman elected to the Missouri senate (and consummate badass) explains that while she values the importance of encouraging more women to run for office, it's equally important for men to stop inserting their opinions into every damn issue.

"It's not that women don't value your thoughts—it's just that we don't value all of them," McCaskill said. "The world doesn't need your opinion on everything."

The senator continued by enumerating a list of topics she'd love to see all men stop talking about. These include: what women do with their bodies, pantsuits, Star Wars (repeated twice), Shonda Rhimes, and #GamerGate.

"If you can control yourselves and hold back from further expressing your opinions on any of these topics, we'll let you keep weighing in on marijuana legalization," she said, offering a reward for their good behavior.

"But," she cautioned. "That's a huge, big 'if.'"

The Supreme Court Will Take Up Affordable Care Act Contraceptive Cases

| Fri Nov. 6, 2015 4:37 PM EST

The Supreme Court announced today it will hear more appeals from religious groups that seek exemption from the Affordable Care Act's contraception requirements, marking the fourth challenge to President Obama's health care law that has made it to the nation's highest court.

The court has decided to review seven appeals total from religious nonprofits challenging the requirement for contraception coverage— but instead of addressing each case separately, the court has decided to consolidate them. The plaintiffs range from a nursing home chain, Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, to religious universities.

This appeal is different from the Hobby Lobby v. Burwell case, which provided protection for a for-profit company under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Nonprofits with religious affiliations were not addressed in the ruling, which was a 5-4 decision by the court.

The ACA requires employers with at least 50 full-time employees to provide insurance plans with “minimum essential coverage,” including access to contraception for women that does not require them to pay copayments or deductibles.

The case will likely be decided by June.


Top Cop Union Threatens Quentin Tarantino

| Fri Nov. 6, 2015 2:36 PM EST
Quentin Tarantino at a New York City protest against police brutality, October 24.

Amid the continuing national debate about policing, Thursday brought the latest batshit PR move from police union leaders. Their current target, Quentin Tarantino, found himself on the receiving end of a veiled threat when Jim Pasco, the head of the national Fraternal Order of Police, told reporters that "something is in the works" against the Hollywood filmmaker. The union's plan, Pasco said, "could happen any time" between now and the premiere of Tarantino's upcoming film, The Hateful Eight, on Christmas Day. Just what exactly did he mean? More from the Hollywood Reporter:

Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, would not go into any detail about what is being cooked up for the Hollywood director, but he did tell THR: "We'll be opportunistic."

"Tarantino has made a good living out of violence and surprise," says Pasco. "Our offices make a living trying to stop violence, but surprise is not out of the question."

The FOP, based in Washington, D.C., consists of more than 330,000 full-time, sworn officers. According to Pasco, the surprise in question is already "in the works," and will be in addition to the standing boycott of Tarantino's films, including his upcoming movie The Hateful Eight.

"Something is in the works, but the element of surprise is the most important element," says Pasco. "Something could happen anytime between now and [the premiere]. And a lot of it is going to be driven by Tarantino, who is nothing if not predictable.

"The right time and place will come up and we'll try to hurt him in the only way that seems to matter to him, and that's economically," says Pasco.

When asked, Pasco clarified that he was not making a violent threat. But his vow that "we'll try to hurt him" joins a growing list of over-the-top statements from police union leaders.

Donald Trump Is Hosting SNL This Weekend. Here's the Best Sketch From His Last Time Hosting.

| Fri Nov. 6, 2015 12:07 PM EST

Donald Trump is hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend. It is bound to be a strange, strange 90 minutes of television. Will he play himself in a sketch? Will he don a silly costume? Who knows!

But this won't be the first time The Donald has swung by 30 Rockefeller Center late on a Saturday. Back in 2004, amidst peak Apprentice hoopla, Trump hosted the show. And it included an absolutely delightful sketch titled Donald Trump's House of Wings.

"Cock-a-doodle-doo," Trump deadpans over a disco beat to open the sketch. Wearing a garish yellow shirt and yellow tie, Trump is joined by young Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Kenan Thompson, and Seth Meyers as backup dancers dressed in chicken costumes. Does it make sense? Not really. But it's SNL at its absurdist best.

Sadly, the beauty of Donald Trump's House of Wings was lost in the ether for many years. As Mediaite detailed earlier this summer, the sketch was mysteriously left off the DVD release of that season—despite being listed on the package—and didn't make it onto SNL's web archive. A cover-up to protect his presidential ambitions? Or a copyright issue with the background jingle? No one knows, but thankfully, intrepid YouTube users have made sure that the truth is set free.