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How American Can a State Be If It’s Never Even Tried To Secede Once?

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sessions trump

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, everyone:

As President Donald Trump’s second travel ban works its way through the courts, Attorney General Jeff Sessions dismissed the Hawaii judge who ruled against it as a “judge sitting on an island in the Pacific.”

“I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power,” Sessions told radio host Mark Levin on Wednesday, as reported by CNN.

It’s just awesome when the Attorney General of the United States is interviewed by a crank wingnut talk show host and isn’t obviously the more hinged one.

This is equally silly:

In his conversation with Levin, Sessions signaled that the administration is confident the ban is constitutional. He also argued that judges should not “psychoanalyze” the president while reviewing it.

“The judges don’t get to psychoanalyze the president to see if the order he issues is lawful,” Sessions said.

Shorter Jeff Sessions: “if you preemptively declare that all evidence of discriminatory intent is invalid, then discriminatory executive orders must be found constitutional.”

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  • tsam

    “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power,”

    Well geez–when ya put it that way…

    Sometimes I wish I was a Republican. That way I wouldn’t have to think about stuff.

    • NeonTrotsky

      The party that spent eight years claiming Obamas use of executive orders made him a tyrant is now annoyed that courts can block executive orders

      • DrDick

        It is only tyranny when Democrats do it, but then anything Democrats do when when they are in power is tyranny.

        • Linnaeus

          And federal courts exercising their authority is only flawed when they issue rulings that Republicans don’t like.

          • efgoldman

            And federal courts exercising their authority is only flawed when they issue rulings that Republicans don’t like.

            Is Evil Leprechaun actually a lawyer? An accredited member of the bar? Did someone take the exam for him?
            Shit, even the Alabama Supreme Court just refused – again – to re-seat Roy Moore.

        • N__B

          anything Democrats do when when they are in power is tyranny.

          Including, specifically, trying to reach consensus.

          • tsam

            Buncha rotten bastards.

        • Gizmo

          This is a fundamental principle of modern conservatism. Since approximately 1860.

    • rea

      a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific

      Which, as everyone knows, is Kenyan territory . . .

      • I really am amazed that a President who has lived his entire life on islands in the Atlantic can issue an order that stops people from entering the mainland United States simply because they’re from majority Muslim countries.

  • MaxUtility

    Well, you know who else came from an ‘island in the Pacific’? Very suspicious…

    • PunditusMaximus

      Mao?

    • Warren Terra

      King Kong?

      • MaxUtility

        Moana

        • cpinva

          Napoleon.

    • Hitler? The answer to these kinds of questions is always Hitler, isn’t it?

      • Warren Terra

        Austria technically isn’t Australia, and Australia technically isn’t an island.

        • Lost Left Coaster

          Seriously? I thought we had an armada steaming to Austria, even as we speak!

          • Origami Isopod

            Never get into a sea war in West-Central-ish Europe.

            • Pete

              Yep. very limited room to maneuver.

              • efgoldman

                Yep. very limited room to maneuver.

                I’m trying to visualize the Vinson battle group steaming down the Danube.

                • Colin Day

                  Wouldn’t they have to steam up?

                • recurse

                  Wouldn’t they have to steam up?

                  Well I suppose they steamed it up to the top of the hill, and then steamed it down again.

          • rea

            Austria once had a navy, hence Admiral Horthy and Captain Von Trapp

            • apogean

              Aquitania and Dalmatia, never forget. Make Austria Great Again.

              • Colin Day

                Austria once ruled Aquitania?

        • Bitter Scribe

          I once went out with a gorgeous but not overly bright woman who said she wanted to go to Austria, and when I asked why, said it was because she’d never seen a kangaroo.

          Apparently she wasn’t the only one. Years later, a well-traveled friend told me he’d seen T-shirts for sale in the Vienna airport that said “There Are No Kangaroos in Austria” and had a silhouette of a kangaroo inside a red circle with a slash.

          • Origami Isopod

            I have heard an anecdote, which should be taken for what it’s worth, of a postal employee who refused to send packages to Austria because it was an abbreviation for Australia and the customer should have spelled it out properly.

          • wjts

            An acquaintance of mine was surprised to learn a few years back that Austria “is still a country”.

            • tsam

              Ever since they quit being hyphen hungry, everyone forgets they’re still hanging around.

              • Colin Day

                More like hyphen-Hungary.

                • tsam

                  No. They wanted nachos so bad.

      • cleek

        well, today is his birthday. so, it’s probably Hitler.

      • MaxUtility

        Well, technically black, muslim Hitler. But yeah, basically Hitler.

        • John Revolta

          Comparing Obama to Hitler is ridiculous. Obama was way worse than Hitler.

          • cleek

            Hitler probably didn’t even get an advance on his books, because Hitler was a friend to the common man.

            • Origami Isopod

              Hitler wouldn't have taken his jacket off in the Oval Office. So unprofessional.

              • efgoldman

                Hitler wouldn't have taken his jacket off in the Oval Office.

                And he was too short to put his feet up on the desk.

            • Warren Terra

              Oh, gawd, now I’m imagining Trump getting royalties from the use of his likeness in government offices, on stamps, etcetera.

          • Gabriel Ratchet

            Well, Hitler at least killed Hitler; by not killing Hitler, Obama is therefore objectively worse than Hitler. Q.E.D. and checkmate, libtards!

    • Q.E.Dumbass

      Pineapple pizza?

      • Warren Terra
        • cleek

          pineapple and canned spaghetti on pizza

          holy crap

          • Warren Terra

            If I got nothing else done today, at least I imparted this knowledge.

            • cpinva

              this is actually a thing? just out of curiosity, what brand of canned spaghetti?

              • Warren Terra

                I don’t know more than what’s said at the link I provided above – some sort of sweetened canned spaghetti of the sort available in New Zealand in the 80s. I assume it’s a lot like Spaghetti-O’s.

              • Ahuitzotl

                Watties, usually (local canning firm)

        • Ahuitzotl

          You dont realise the true horror of it. Back in the 60s and early 70s when I was growing up, this was the only sort of pizza available (indeed, I thought thats what pizza WAS).

          Oh, except it was usually just thick bread slices for a base, not even a pizza base.

    • Gilligan?

      • Judas Peckerwood

        The Skipper, too!

        • veleda_k

          The millionaire.

          • and Melania Ivanka

            • Colin Day

              The movie star, the professor and Kelly Anne.

              • rea

                No professors–they’re all communists

                • rm

                  In the reboot Thurston will be the capitalist hero who assaults Ginger and Mary Ann for laughs, and the Professor will be a black Hawaiian communist atheist muslim jewish community organizing villain who tries to steal Thurston’s wealth and advocates for some rights for the five characters laboring on Thurston’s pineapple plantation.

    • wjts

      Cthulhu?

    • Woodrowfan

      GODZILLA!!!!!!

    • JMP

      Hobbits?

    • tsam

      WILLIE FUCKING NELSON

    • N__B

      Everyone in Alcatraz?

  • Warren Terra

    I am bothered by the paucity of memory seen in the response to this error. I have seen literally no-one else* quoting the words of the noted American politician and theorist Dan Quayle:

    Hawaii has always been a very pivotal role in the Pacific. It is in the Pacific. It is a part of the United States that is an island that is right here.

    * though, I haven’t actually looked

    • That is the theory that Dan Quayle had and which is his, and what it is too.

      • postmodulator

        I forget who it was that observed on Twitter that GOP idiots always sound like they’re giving an oral book report on a book they didn’t read.

        “Oh, the grapes! They had so much wrath.”

        • wjts

          “In conclusion, The Good Earth is a land of contrasts.”

          • “The Western Front was, in short, all quiet.”

            • cpinva

              well, except when artillery shells were being dropped on it, then it was rather noisy.

        • cpinva

          “I forget who it was that observed on Twitter that GOP idiots always sound like they’re giving an oral book report on a book they didn’t read.”

          you laugh, but I did something close to this in college. for a 400 level marketing class, we had to produce a weekly summary of an article related to the class. the instructor would then select a couple, and have the student read the summary and discuss. I made up an article about a new, gay oriented clothing line (this was in the mid 70’s), figuring no way would he pick mine. he did, hilarity ensued. got an A.

          • lizzie

            Ha. I have a friend who,in 5th grade and with a book report due in the morning, invented a book about a volcanic eruption on a pacific island. He claimed it was a Newbury award winner. His mistake, however, was naming it “Fire on Kahlua.”

        • Howlin Wolfe

          Moby was a whale of a Dick.

  • Bitter Scribe

    Yeah, why did we even bother going to war when Japan bombed that little insignificant island out in the Pacific?

    • Brownian

      Right? If I left my ships on someone else’s property and a third somebody came and bombed them, my parents would have told me I should have kept an eye on my stuff and that they hoped I’d learned my lesson.

    • free_fries_

      *clears throat* Well, actually it was the Nazis that bombed Pearl Harbor…

  • djw

    I’ve noticed more than a few people who manage to hold the following views simultaneously, without apparent cognitive dissonance:

    1. Trump is qualitatively and also orders of magnitudes worse than your bog-standard conventional Republican.

    2. Appointing Sessions is one of the very worst things Trump has done so far.

    • PunditusMaximus

      inorite

    • Jake the antisoshul soshulist

      What would cause cognitive dissonance. Both statements could be (and are) true without contradicting each other.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        I think that the point is that Sessions was an influential Republican Senator before taking on the role of Attorney General and thus isn’t just some wingnut that Trump pulled from the dark corners of the Internet like, say, Bannon. In other words, the Republicans have been both this evil and stupid for quite a while now. Suggesting that Trump is just the latest extension of the Republican horror show.

        • cpinva

          you can’t convince me AG Sessions isn’t some wingnut, pulled from the dark recesses of the earth.

      • notahack

        Jeff Sessions was:

        a) literally 2% of the Republican Senate Caucus, all by himself
        b.i) got 98% of the Republican Senate Caucus’ votes for Attorney General
        b.ii) The other 2% was himself, voting present.

        I somehow doubt that Trump can really be all that worse than the worst Republican by appointing Jeff Sessions was the worst thing that he did.

        • Not joking when I say this, but I bet there were Repub senators who figured a new Senator from AL was unlikely to personally be as much of a dick as I suspect Jeff Sessions is, and probably not much worse an AG than anyone Mike Pence would pick, so why not confirm him? And if someone voted no & he wasn’t confirmed, would they want him mucking things up for them the rest of their shared time in the Senate?

          For similar reasons Ted Cruz would sail through for anything to which he was appointed.

    • AMK

      Trump and Sessions are stylistically worse than your bog-standard conventional Republican, which raises the question if President Rubio or Jeb would have appointed him. But certainly the policy differences are negligible.

    • Sly

      3. Every Republican member of the United States Senate voted to confirm Sessions as Attorney General.

    • randy khan

      Well, Sessions is worse than you bog-standard conventional Republican. Remember he was one of Trump’s first supporters. Also, most of them are more careful to conceal their thinking about people not like them.

      I see other people commenting that the other Republican Senators voted to confirm him. That’s just tribal loyalty.

      • efgoldman

        the other Republican Senators voted to confirm him. That’s just tribal loyalty.

        Or maybe they figured it was a way to finally be rid of him.

        • cpinva

          “Or maybe they figured it was a way to finally be rid of him.”

          so how are they going to get rid of Lindsey Graham?

    • Bloix

      That “so far” is doing a hell of a lot of work.

  • NeonTrotsky

    Well I mean when only around a quarter of your population is white you don’t really get to count as a real state to Jeff Sessions

    • Don’t you mean “when only around a quarter of your free population is white?”

  • encephalopath

    There is some East Coast provincialism at work in the way they think about Hawaii. The way Cokie Roberts referred to Obama’s vacationing there as exotic was the same thing as Sessions saying “some island in the Pacific.”

    If you want to go on a warm beach winter vacation from the Acela corridor you wouldn’t try to go to Hawaii; you would go to the Caribbean. Hawaii is an 18 hour travel day away. You might as well be flying to Australia. It’s a destination out of your sphere.

    For the same reason, as a West Coast resident, I’ve never been to the Caribbean. It’s too much of a pain in the ass. Why travel there when I can take a direct flight to Honolulu.

    • Woodrowfan

      There is some East Coast provincialism at work in the way they think about Hawaii.

      Not to be too smart ass, but Sessions is from Alabama, not exactly the East Coast. (Yes, I get it, he’s a Senator so he lives in DC, but his attitude is all deep-fried lily-white cracker…

      • jmauro

        Considering it’s either a 5 hour drive to Atlanta or a 4-5 connection into a hub airport to get to Hawaii from Atlanta, being from Alabama just makes Hawaii even further away in travel time.

    • Juicy_Joel

      Fun Fact: You can fly from JFK to Honolulu direct in a little over 11 hours.

      • cpinva

        I assume they stock that baby with lots of alcohol!

        • PunditusMaximus

          My understanding is that any direct flight to HI from anywhere east of the Mississippi is extremely well stocked with Mai Tais.

          At least the Chicago one was. If you keep a leftover wisdom tooth Percocet, it’s not a bad 9 hour flight.

          Or that’s what I’ve heard.

      • Yeah, little over eight from Chicago. It’s around four hours (and you’re crossing fewer time zones) to most places in the Caribbean, but flying to Hawaii isn’t like flying to Australia.

  • Bitter Scribe

    It doesn’t surprise me that Sessions would be sniffish about Hawaii. The opposition to its statehood in the 1950s was led by Southern segregationists who were uneasy with its non-white and especially its multiracial population. Miscegenation, doncha know.

    • efgoldman

      The opposition to its statehood in the 1950s was led by Southern segregationists who were uneasy with its non-white and especially its multiracial population. Miscegenation, doncha know.

      Because thousands of those large. dusky Polynesians were going to travel thousands of miles to the Traitor States to seduce and deflower the wimmins what didn’t know any better.

      • Hawaii’s two senators & two Congressmen voted for the Civil Rights Act.

        • efgoldman

          Hawaii’s two senators & two Congressmen voted for the Civil Rights Act.

          I would have assumed that even without knowing.

          • So did the segregationists who opposed Hawaii’s statehood.

        • rm

          Hawaii’s vote in the 1960 presidential election was so close that they sent two sets of electors to Washington and didn’t figure out which should vote until around the new year. Yet 12/18/2001 was a hard deadline for settling Florida’s votes that the nation could not survive missing.

  • There are Hawaiian secessionists.
    Monarchists, even. That’s hardcore traditionalism.
    You’d think Sessions would respect that…

    • so-in-so

      Not regarding them as a “State” could be a way if respecting their secessionists. Not saying it is, but could be…

  • nemdam

    Just noting that the Attorney General of the Unites States has both committed perjury and attacked the legitimacy of the judicial branch. Appointed by a man who ran on a platform of law and order. So much winning.

    • It makes more sense if you understand that by “law and order” Republicans mean “keeping the ni[CLANG!]s down,” rather than anything having to do with actual laws or order.

  • liberalrob

    I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States

    I really am amazed that someone who has been involved with the Federal government since the 1980’s has no understanding of how the Federal judiciary works. Even moreso, how such a person could come to be in charge of the Department of Justice.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Justice

    The department was formed in 1870 during the Ulysses S. Grant administration. In its early years, the DOJ vigorously prosecuted Ku Klux Klan members.

    Oh, I get it now.

  • JMP

    A lot of conservatives seemed to have decided that Hawaii doesn’t count as a real state and isn’t really a part of America ever since November 4, 2008. I wonder why that is…

  • stonetools

    Hawaii was the home of most of the members of the 442nd Infantry Regiment:

    The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is an infantry regiment of the United States Army, part of the Army Reserve. The regiment was a fighting unit composed almost entirely of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry (mostly from Hawaii) who fought in World War II. Most of the families of mainland Japanese Americans were confined to internment camps in the United States interior. Beginning in 1944, the regiment fought primarily in Europe during World War II,[2] in particular Italy, southern France, and Germany.

    The 442nd Regiment was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American warfare.[3] The 4,000 men who initially made up the unit in April 1943 had to be replaced nearly 2.5 times. In total, about 14,000 men served, earning 9,486 Purple Hearts. The unit was awarded eight Presidential Unit Citations (five earned in one month).[4]:201 Twenty-one of its members were awarded Medals of Honor.[2] Its motto was “Go for Broke”.

    In light of that , his comment is a disgrace. However, it’s not surprising that the Confederate General does not recognize as a legit US state a nonwhite majority entity with equal rights for all.

    • cpinva

      I always knew the 442nd was an impressive unit, I did not know about the 21CMH’s. that’s like, quadruply impressive!

    • His citation:

      Citation:
      Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

  • Mike Furlan

    States with a smaller population than Hawaii, the 40th in population:

    Maine 41 1,328,302
    New Hampshire 42 1,323,459
    Rhode Island 43 1,051,511
    Montana 44 1,015,165
    Delaware 45 925,749
    South Dakota 46 844,877
    Alaska 47 735,132
    North Dakota 48 723,393
    District of Columbia 49 646,449
    Vermont 50 626,630
    Wyoming 51 582,658

    • Joe_JP

      District of Columbia 49 646,449

      Not quite a “state” though it has shadow senators.

      • Mike Furlan

        If DC voted ‘Merican like Wyoming it would be a state already.

        • Hogan

          Hell, it would be three states.

  • timb

    I get I’m LGM’s only hate-listener to Levin’s radio show, but, even without listening, you guys and gals know how corrupt Sessions and Levin are. I bet that interview was quid pro quo for the silliest motion ever filed in Court.

    Mind you, the motion goes out of its way to mention wire-tapping of “a sitting US Senator.” I guarantee Sessions is afraid and looking to derail this Russia thing any way he can

    • efgoldman

      I guarantee Sessions is afraid and looking to derail this Russia thing any way he can

      Punchable Smarmy Chaffetz isn’t resigning in a vacuum, unless you count the one between his ears.

  • VCarlson

    I would like to point out something else. It’s Judge Derrick Kahala Watson, “the fourth Native Hawaiian federal judge in US history,” per Wikipedia. So him being nonwhite could also be getting up Jeffy’s nose.

  • DAS

    By Jeff Sessions’ “logic”, nobody should be convicted of first degree murder ever: “you can’t psyschoanalyze the defendant or really know whether he intended to kill the victim, hence, at most, you can only convict him of manslaughter”. Heck … by Sessions’ “reasoning”, you can never know whether mens rea exists, so pretty much all criminal convictions are not legally valid.

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