At one time states were responsible for immigration. Many of my ancestors went through Castle Garden at the lower tip of Manhattan. The Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had jurisdiction. That was when Ellis Island was constructed.
Many cities and the state of California have decided that can ignore federal law by not cooperating with immigration authorities. I don’t see a problem with telling police not to ask people about their immigration status. Refusing to hold people being released from jail is another matter. I fail to understand why they go to such lengths to keep convicted criminals in their midst. One city includes killers unless it was first degree murder. Their desire to help these criminals outweighs their concern for the safety of its residents.
Of greater concern is the idea that a state or local government can pick and choose what federal laws they have to obey. If this is the case, then presumably they have the right to violate our constitutional rights or arrest federal employees for carrying out their responsibilities.
This is a totally separate issue from immigration reform. Personally, I think there is a solution somewhere between the Trump hardline approach and those that want to open the floodgates. Unfortunately, both sides are more interested in fighting each other than coming up with an effective compromise.
The Democratic Party likes to talk about rich vs. poor, male vs. female and black vs. white. Both parties have plenty of millionaires and billionaires. Unfortunately, sexism and racism are still with us but we have made tremendous strides in the last fifty years.
The real war is between wealthy, elite Democrats living on the coasts vs. those with less income and education living in the interior. Of the fifteen states along the Pacific and Atlantic north of Virginia, Hillary Clinton won every state except for Alaska. Of the remaining thirty-five states, she only won Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada and New Mexico.
Once upon a time farmers and blue collar workers were core constituencies of the party. Now their focus is almost exclusively liberal elites plus groups they accuse Republicans of victimizing.
They are not content with abandoning them. They absolutely hate them. Hillary Clinton called them deplorable and irredeemable. An MSNBC host said rural Americans are the “core threat to our democracy”. They even delight in people’s misfortune. Another MSNBC host called the assault on Rand Paul her “favorite story”.
I am a politically independent, college educated person that held a high level white collar job. Since I live in Indiana, I am an evil racist in their eyes. That is a strange way to try to get my vote.
One of the key debates during our founding was whether we would be a pure democracy or let the wealthy elite run things. If they were around then, we know which side they would be on.
It has been more than a year since Donald Trump won the election. Democrats’ disappointment is certainly understandable as is their dislike of Trump’s policies and personality. However, enough is enough.
Hillary Clinton has been making more millions going around the country selling her book. She has offered dozens of reasons why she lost. Somehow being a bad candidate and having a bad strategy didn’t make the list.
Meanwhile, many on the Left have organized a Resist Trump movement. Somehow holding demonstrations and secret conferences is supposed to hurt President Trump. Instead, they hurt their cause as long as people care more about venting their rage than working on a path to recovery.
A recent poll showed that Democrats favor impeaching President Trump by a 49-41 margin. I am certainly not one of his fans, but he hasn’t done anything remotely close to “high crimes and misdemeanors” as required by the Constitution. Even if they regain the House, there is no way they could get the required sixty-seven votes in the Senate. I’m not sure if these people are delusional or are ready to give up on our democracy.
Democrats had more reason to be upset in 2000. A 5-4 Supreme Court decision kept Al Gore from the Oval Office. They went to work. Eight years later they had the White House and a filibuster-proof Senate. Rather than rebuilding the party, they want to keep doing what hasn’t worked.
Congress is working on the greatest change to the tax code in several decades. They are looking to cut back on tax deductions so they can lower rates. Most people are in favor of this approach as long as they don’t lose their deductions. I would suggest that they look at whether the deduction encourages beneficial behavior and who is subsidizing it. Here are some of the major deductions and my thoughts:
1. Medical expenses – Many people, myself included, have incurred significant out of pocket medical expenses. Although lifestyle can be a factor, many became ill through no fault of their own. I think giving us a little help is a good idea.
2. State and local taxes – I see no reason why people in low income states should subsidize those in high income states.
3. Real estate taxes – Owning a home is a worthwhile goal but I don’t think apartment dwellers and low income homeowners should subsidize high income homeowners.
4. Charitable contributions – Encouraging people to give is definitely in our interest. The deduction should stay.
5. Retirement savings – Many people are unprepared for retirement. Encouraging them to save lessens pressure to increase Social Security. Besides, the taxes are only deferred.
It would be nice to think that Congress is thoughtfully looking at tax policy. Unfortunately, decisions will likely depend on who does the best job of lobbying.
Minnesota Senator Al Franken is the latest politician to find himself in hot water over charges of sexual harassment. There have been calls for him to resign. Some are putting him in the same category as Roy Moore.
A few are bringing up tasteless jokes he has told during his career in entertainment. The most serious charge relates to a 2006 USO tour. A woman claims he forcibly kissed her while rehearsing for a skit. There is a picture of him appearing to grope her while she was sleeping on a plane. The real question is where we draw the line in dealing with these accusations.
As a moderate, neither Franken nor Moore is my cup of tea. Of course that shouldn’t be a factor but it often is. First of all, there is a world of difference between the two cases. The charges against Moore are much more serious. He has eight accusers and many were teenagers at the time. Franken has one accuser, a grown woman.
Franken says the picture was a lame attempt at humor. Since the woman was wearing a garment capable of stopping a bullet, I think she was pretty probably grope-proof. The two disagree on the kissing incident. It is clear that he was certainly no gentleman. He deserves all the embarrassment he is getting. However, he should not have to lose his seat over this.
It is high time that Harvey Weinstein and his kind are exposed. However, I am concerned that a single undocumented accusation can be deemed as sufficient proof to take action. They tried that in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. It didn’t work out so well.
Although I am no fan of Roy Moore, I was skeptical when the first accusation of sexual impropriety was lodged against him. Given the level of partisanship, an allegation dating back nearly forty years doesn’t seem too credible.
A lot of has changed since then. There are now five accusers, one a Trump supporter. One produced a high school yearbook signed by Moore when he was in his thirties. Moore gave a weasely answer when asked if he dated underage girls. Like most I believe the accusers, not Moore.
So what happens now? Most Republicans are telling him to drop out. Someone arrogant enough to believe they can ignore federal court orders will likely decide to stay in. Dropping out would be an admission that the charges are true.
There has been talk of Republicans pushing a write-in campaign. Splitting the Republican vote would give the seat to the Democrats. The best that the GOP can hope is for Moore to win and then expel him from the Senate. The Constitution requires a two-thirds majority to do so. Assuming all Democrats vote against him, it would only take nineteen Republicans. Then the election cycle would start over.
A Democratic senator from Alabama? That sounds as likely as Donald Trump winning a presidential election.
Harvey Weinstein’s long history of brutality to women had been an open secret in the movie industry. Now sixty women have come forward with accusations ranging from unwanted advances to rape. Hollywood predators like he and Bill Cosby deserve everything they get.
The behavior of Weinstein and others has long been covered up by the entertainment industry, even by women. Whoopi Goldberg was part of a group seeking to have charges dropped against director Roman Polanski. He fled the country after being accused of raping a thirteen year old girl. She claimed it wasn’t “rape rape”.
I do have a couple of concerns. One is just a matter of linguistics. The term sexual assault is used for everything from a slight touch to rape. We need to be more accurate in our language.
Men seeing their careers harmed and potentially destroyed over unproven accusations is much more serious. I believe that most of the women are telling the truth. However, this is the perfect opportunity for someone wanting to settle a grudge or gain some publicity. Sex crimes are the hardest to prove since consent is the key question. Nobody consents to be mugged, burglarized or murdered. Fairness is one of the core beliefs of our society whether it is in the courtroom or the workplace.
We have made great strides in our society over the last sixty years. Airing Hollywood’s dirty little secret is a step in the right direction.
An off-year election was held yesterday. There were scattered races across the country but gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia generated the most attention. Democrats came out on top in both races. New Jersey was no surprise. It is a Democratic state and the Republican incumbent, Chris Christie, is very unpopular. It was closer in Virginia but the winner had led in the polls. The DC suburbs are turning it into a blue state. It will be interesting to see what lessons Democrats will take from it. There was the Trump bashing and charges of racism we saw last year but the winner ran on a moderate platform.
News outlets are hungry for election news so they made a big deal out it. There was talk of it being a referendum on President Trump and what it portends for next year’s mid-term election. The results will soon be forgotten and of no importance unless you live in New Jersey or Virginia.
The worst political analyst of all was President Trump. He tweeted that the Republican would have won in Virginia if he embraced Trump. Trump lost the state and has a horrible approval rating.
It would be nice if we had clues about next year. In politics, a year is a lifetime.
When Donald Trump announced he was running for President, most assumed it was a publicity stunt like his past attempts. One of the pivotal events in his campaign was the endorsement of Jeff Sessions, the first senator to do so.
He nominated Sessions as Attorney General. It has been downhill ever since. Sessions recused himself from the Russian collusion investigation. He really had no choice since he had a number of conversations with Russian officials as part of his senatorial duties. That earned him considerable public scorn from Trump.
Now Trump has gone a step further. He has threatened to fire him if he doesn’t start investigating Hillary Clinton and the DNC. Clinton’s controversies are well known. The DNC is in the news since it actively supported the Clinton campaign when it was supposed to be neutral. All the talk of rigging the primaries is ridiculous. They behaved badly but didn’t tamper with voting machines or bribe voters.
The real problem was a huge misunderstanding between the two men. Sessions assumed Trump was looking for an Attorney General, not a fixer who covers up scandals and jails Democrats. If Sessions has any self-respect left, he should resign. I’m sure he regrets giving up his safe Senate seat.
This makes it clear that if you have Trump as a friend you sure don’t need any enemies.
Both political parties love a good scandal; provided that it happens to the other party. Democrats feasted on Watergate and Republicans made the most of Bill Clinton’s extracurricular activities.
Waiting for a scandal isn’t good enough anymore. Now parties create them by making them up or dredging up the past. The most egregious example is the Texas district attorney who has indicted a number of prominent Republicans. The supposed collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign has been investigated for nearly a year now. The only evidence so far is the phony dossier that the Democrats bought and paid for. The indictments this week had absolutely nothing to do with the campaign.
Presumably the Republicans are investigating Hillary Clinton as payback. There is some questionable behavior on her part. However, using government resources to punish a past foe is a waste of money. It is also stupid politically. She is yesterday’s news and going after her won’t get the GOP a single vote next year or in 2020.
I was a lifelong Democrat but am now totally disgusted with both parties. I believe there are millions of people that feel the same way. So far we haven’t found someone to speak for us but eventually we will be heard.