Is a DACA Deal for Real or Fake News?

New Orleans   Is this a dream or are the DREAMers about to be protected?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer after dinner with the President announced that they have an agreement to protect the DREAMers in exchange for some more border and security protections, not including the Trump Wall. This didn’t come from the White House, though the White House did agree that there were productive discussions. Anti-immigrant legislators are begging for details in fear that Trump may have not done enough for the border. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan reportedly in meeting with Representative Pelosi agreed that the DREAMers had to be protected as well.

Is this a trial balloon to allow the haters to organize or is this the real thing, just as other stories were filling up the papers indicating that DACA was last on the list for Congress, and there was no way they would meet the 6-month deadline? Is this President Trump confounding the pundits once again by making a deal while singing Britney Spears’ hit song, “hit me one more time?” With no details available, is this really a deal or is this fake news?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, President Trump reaching across the aisle to make deals is the smartest thing he’s done since orchestrating his own improbable victory in winning the presidency. If he continues to demonstrate that he can produce victories with bipartisan support and wrong-footing his detractors on the left and and on the right, while allowing his secretaries to bleed Obama reforms out through the regulatory process in one department after another from the environment to education, the threat level his presidency poses goes to another level.

Will this hurt him with his 35-40% base? Heck, no! He’s proven over and over again that he can sell them manure and claim its perfume. The far right, anti-immigrant caucus, Attorney General Sessions, former Sheriff Arpaio, Steve Bannon, and the like will be unhappy and bitter, but they are marginal, and, give the devil his due, Trump knows he can make a deal on DACA, throw some crumbs their way, and keep stepping. They have no threat of exit, so they are stuck with him.

Just like we are.

We have no real alternative that has emerged thus far. There is speculation on a 3rd party emerging in a split within the Republican camp, but not among the Democratic forces. The ambitious are trying to position themselves early, but progressive are united in opposition, but not on the direction forward.

Meanwhile we are grasping at straws hoping for anything that even looks like a deal without any understanding of what it might cost us.

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On the Espresso Trail in Torino

Torino It was a good day at the main location of Fair Grinds Coffeehouse on Ponce de Leon Street in New Orleans. Largely due to the inspiration of Cafe Degas across the street from the coffeehouse the Saturday evening after Bastille Day for something of a block party celebration. We do our small part by waving French flags from the balcony and see who wants a cup of coffee before they head home. There’s good spirit, and it’s not one of the military parades that President Trump greets with such relish, since it’s much more of a family affair.

In solidarity, my companera and I walked the streets of the city from dawn until dusk in Italy in the fascinating city of Turin, as English maps call it, and Torino, as the city calls itself. In a full disclosure, I’m a Fair Grinds blend coffee-and-chicory guy. I squirrel away a pound for an over two-week trip like this and try to ratio it so that I can have one or two cups of home brew every day on the road. Mi companera though has become an espresso girl in recent years. She was a stove topper in the manner that we learned in Buenos Aires for a while. Then she went with an Italian brand made somewhere around Milan. I got her an espresso maker for her birthday last year, and recently she got it working to her satisfaction.

recycling in Torino

But, as they say, “when in Rome,” and in this case we were in Torino, and though I was hoarding Fair Grinds coffee-and-chicory, it only make sense and good company to join my companera for an espresso in a bit of field research for our coffeehouses. Howard Schultz, the billionaire behind Starbucks, famously claimed that his experience drinking espresso in Italy drove him to evangelize for coffee and propelled his chain forward. In truth Starbucks did a lot of things but not as much for coffee as it did for milk, by creating a fetish for all manner of drinks that were not simple shots of espresso.

super recycling station

I’ve had some good espressos with perfect crema, the layer of foam on top, but what has amazed me more is the wide variety in pricing. We had a near perfect cup this morning on Corso Vittorio Emmanuel II for one euro a cup and I spent another euro on a delightful nut and confection bar called a “torinocino.” That might not be exactly the right name, so I’ll obviously have to go back and have another and write it down this time to see if we can get someone to make them at Fair Grinds. Darned this field research is hard work. Elsewhere it has been a euro thirty, a euro twenty, and a euro fifty. In France sometimes it was two euros. One euro seems right, since that’s more than a dollar in the States, and no matter how good, there are only a couple of sips to it.

Mi conpanera thought she should help out and wanting something cold she spotted some women at the coffee bar in the marketplace near the River Po spooning a white substance out of their glasses from a machine with Eraclea labeled on it. Turned out this was a granita, and Eraclea makes a bunch of them with different mixes. Hers had a lemon flavor, I thought, and pineapple she felt, so maybe it was both or neither.

one of many public water fountains in Torino

Of course one of the reasons she swears by espresso is that the machines require filtered water to work well, and of course that means no lead to the head. Fair Grinds uses filtered water on all of our machines, and we assume the same goes for the espresso makers of Torino.

There are worse ways to spend your time that trying to figure out the city and stand at a coffee bar and take a couple of quick sips to down an espresso shot.

park bench along the River Po

A glass espresso on Corso Vittorio Emmanuel II

Eraclea granita machine

An espresso along the River Po

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