An article published in July by two close associates of Pope Francis in a Vatican-vetted Jesuit journal, La Civiltà Cattolica, has caused waves in the American Catholic Church. The article accuses ultraconservative Catholics — including White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon — of gradually forging a reactionary political alliance with evangelical Christians that's now supporting President Trump's agenda, including a "xenophobic and Islamophobic vision that wants walls and purifying deportations."
The Catholic right, already feeling under siege by Pope Francis, portrayed the July 13 article as a thinly veiled shot across the bow from the pope himself, and on Monday, leaders of Trump's evangelical advisory board requested a meeting with Francis to address "efforts to divide Catholics and Evangelicals." On Tuesday, an executive vice president and editor at Fox News, John Moody, jumped into the conversation. He began his op-ed by reporting that somebody brought a dog to mass last Sunday, drawing this conclusion: "Dogs may be going to church, but the universal Roman Catholic Church is going to the dogs." Then he got down to the meat of his displeasure:
Under Pope Francis, the church has abandoned many of its bedrock positions on issues like divorce and homosexuality in favor of a "why not?" attitude. Francis has scolded people for being rich, sided with illegal immigrants, and suggested the church should be a refuge for the poor.
He has sidelined conservative cardinals, installed like-minded allies in key jobs, taken personal control of the Knights of Malta for defying him, and generally sent the signal that behind his amiable smile and humble talk lurks a radically liberal agenda. [Moody, Fox News]
Pope Francis isn't much of a liberal, and his views on social issues like immigration, the environment, and aiding the poor don't really deviate from his more conservative predecessors, as The Week's Matthew Walther explains. (Nor do his views on abortion and gay marriage, for that matter.) And Catholic social teaching is drawn from the teachings of Jesus. Moody offers a warning to the pope anyway: "Francis can run the church any way he wants. But demonizing conservative American Catholics is a risky business. They have deep pockets and long memories." One more thing they share in common with elephants? You can read Moody's op-ed at Fox News. Peter Weber
Facilities holding immigrant children who have been separated from their parents at the border are already getting crowded, and in Texas they're about to get even worse.
Texas officials have given the green light for 15 shelters to hold up to 50 percent more children, filling up beyond capacity as President Trump's administration continues its zero-tolerance border policy, the Texas Observer reported Wednesday.
Records show that facilities have been approved to hold an additional 722 kids beyond their current max capacities, a 16 percent increase. Some shelters have filled even more rapidly, increasing capacities by 48 percent. The shelters are owned and run by nonprofit organizations that the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement contracts to oversee youth detention. About 11,000 children are in ORR shelters, reports the Observer.
"Child welfare is being thrown out of the window because the feds say they don't have enough room," a National Association of Social Workers official said. "The capacity was never meant for this new population [of separated kids], so you're going to run into issues." State officials say they have reviewed the facilities to ensure they will be able to handle the new influx of kids. Read more at the Texas Observer. Summer Meza
Republicans have rolled 'legislation to keep families together' into an immigration vote that likely won't pass the House or Senate
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Wednesday that "tomorrow the House will vote on legislation to keep families together" in an effort to halt the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy of splitting up migrant parents from their children at the border. "The administration says it wants Congress to act and we are," Ryan said.
House Republicans, though, do not appear to have the votes on their immigration compromise bill, which includes "a path to address the family separations," CNN reports. What's more, that legislation has no realistic chance in the Senate.
Paul Ryan says Republicans don’t want families separated at the border, so they’re adjusting their immigration bills — bills that likely won’t pass the House and won’t even get a vote in the Senate — to address that crisis.
Again, unclear how this becomes law.
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) June 20, 2018
Peak House GOP conference — they’re going to try to pass a bill that won’t be able to become law in order to fix family separation, which Trump could end right now. And they won’t say whether they’d consider legislation that actually could pass to fix it.
— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) June 20, 2018
Notably, there is no law mandating the separation of immigrant families at the border, and legislation is not required to stop the policy — only an order from President Trump. Senate Democrats, as a result, have been resistant to legislation targeting the "zero tolerance" policy, demanding the president address it on his own. Jeva Lange
Disney's hounding of 21st Century Fox finally paid off.
Fox accepted Disney's massive $71.3 billion offer in cash and stock to buy the company, The Wall Street Journal reports. The whopping deal, which Disney proposed Wednesday morning, is "superior" to Comcast's $65 billion all-cash offer made earlier this month, Fox said in a statement Wednesday. Disney had previously offered $52.4 billion in stock before being outflanked by Comcast.
The rejection is good news for Comcast's bank account. Buying Fox would've plunged Comcast nearly $170 billion in the hole and made it one of the most indebted companies in the world, CNN reports.
Disney's acquisition includes the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, Fox's American cable channels, and U.K.-based Sky News, says Bloomberg. Some major Fox assets, including Fox News, Fox Sports, and its TV stations, aren't part of the purchase. They'll be spun off into a so-called "New Fox."
The Justice Department still has to okay the deal, and Fox was worried that Comcast's offer posed bigger regulatory concerns, the Journal reports. A judge's recent approval of the AT&T-Time Warner merger bodes well for Fox and Disney's union. Kathryn Krawczyk
President Trump is worried about staff holdovers.
Trump is becoming paranoid that officials who also worked for previous administrations are not sufficiently loyal to him, The New York Times reported Tuesday. "The Bushies in the White House are out to get me," he reportedly said of staffers who also worked for former President George W. Bush.
The Trump administration has seen a record-breaking number of departures and an incredibly high turnover rate, reportedly leaving Trump concerned that he can't trust the staffers who are left. Few of Trump's original team members remain, which has pushed the president to become increasingly isolated in the White House, preferring not to communicate much with his aides out of worry that they are secretly hoping for his downfall. Read more at Talking Points Memo. Summer Meza
A visibly distraught Rachel Maddow ended her show after trying to report on shelters housing babies forcibly separated from immigrant parents
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow broke down in tears Tuesday night while trying to make her way through an Associated Press report about "tender age" shelters, which are being used by the Trump administration to house babies and toddlers forcibly separated from their parents on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rachel Maddow breaking down on live television is all of us. pic.twitter.com/KBa9ewcG48
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) June 20, 2018
Maddow, visibly distraught, was unable to make her way through the opening sentence of the report, looking up at the camera to say, "I think I'm going to have to hand this off. Sorry, that's it for us tonight, we'll see you again tomorrow."
She later tweeted an apology to her viewers:
Ugh, I'm sorry.
If nothing else, it is my job to actually be able to speak while I'm on TV.
What I was trying to do -- when I suddenly couldn't say/do anything -- was read this lede:
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) June 20, 2018
Maddow subsequently shared the AP report, which reads: "Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents to at least three 'tender age' shelters in South Texas. Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the 'tender age' shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis." Maddow added: "Again, I apologize for losing it there for a moment. Not the way I intended that to go, not by a mile."
With the possible exceptions of Corey Lewandowski and White House policy adviser Stephen Miller, nobody in Washington says they like President Trump's new "zero tolerance" policy and the resulting separation of 2,300 migrant children — including babies — from their parents, and counting. Even President Trump disavows responsibility for his administration's policy. But Iran sees the value in America separating families and locking children up in cages.
— Press TV (@PressTV) June 19, 2018
"Iran state TV no longer needs to broadcast slogans against America," U.S.-Iranian journalist Borzou Daragahi noted. Now Tehran "just shows handout pictures distributed by U.S. [government] itself." Those who live in free-press-less houses, of course, have no business throwing stones. But the Iranian government is surely not the only repressive regime delighted at this propagandistic own goal. Peter Weber
'Jarring' footage shows young girls being transferred to and from a NYC facility believed to be housing migrant minors
Spectrum News NY1 captured "jarring" footage of a number of young girls being ushered to and from the building that houses the Cayuga Centers in Harlem around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, after a tipster told reporters that "kids separated from their parents along the southern U.S. border would be brought there," said anchor Josh Robin, who was on the scene.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has confirmed that more than 70 children who were separated from their parents at the border are now being housed in New York state. People familiar with the situation told NY1 that the Cayuga Centers are helping to care for such kids, including by placing them in foster care. A woman who was with the girls seen in the video "emphatically denied they had been separated from their parents."
"We want to be very careful," Robin said. "We don't know for sure the situation … We can't say for sure what my sources have told me, that [these girls] have been brought from the southern border." You can watch the footage below. Jeva Lange
EXCLUSIVE: Children from the southern border are being brought to NYC after being separated from their families.
Overnight, @joshrobin captured video of unusual activity at a foster agency in East Harlem. #MorningsOn1 pic.twitter.com/WhiN27wb5T
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) June 20, 2018