Tuesday Open Thread

“People like to say that the conflict is between good and evil. The real conflict is between truth and lies.”

–Don Miguel Ruiz

32 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

    • itlduso says:

      Afternoon from Cape Town, South Africa where I just met a local who knows as much about US politics as 95% of Americans.

      According to Axios, Trump is poised to eliminate birthright status of babies born to undocumented persons.  I don’t necessarily disagree with this (beyond the question whether he can do that by executive order), as long as businesses are required to use EVerify to hire workers.  Currently, we entice people to enter the country illegally by offering employment without verification.  EVerify, with stringent penalties against employers, will greatly reduce illegal immigration.  Dems could neutralize the immigration issue if they were to embrace EVerify.

      • Pseudonymous says:

        It's not a panacea. E-Verify might not be all it's cracked up to be

        An audit from a few years ago by the firm Westat found the system only identified undocumented immigrants about half the time, Nowrasteh said. Then there are the "false negatives"; less than 1 percent of authorized [ed. corrected error in original] workers were identified as unauthorized. Those cases are fairly easy to work out, he said, but in the meantime, it might hurt that worker's job prospects.

        Some states have "safe-harbor" provisions that protect employers if they show they used E-Verify in good faith but still hired an unauthorized worker, but not all E-Verify mandates come with that protection. That could give employers a disincentive to hire certain workers just because they don't want to get in trouble if the system fails, Nowrasteh said. It's happened before, when I-9 forms became required in 1986.

        "Government reports in the years after that found that Hispanic workers who were legal in the U.S. had a much harder time finding jobs and saw small wage declines," he said. "Employers didn't want to take the risk, so as a result they didn't usually interview them as much, and they didn't even enter that process with them."

        • itlduso says:

          Hi Paeudo,

          The biggest problem your article reveals is the failure to identify half of undocumented workers.  Half is better than none, and the system can be improved if desired.  The other problems, e.g. 1% false positives, states without safe harbors, unscrupulous employers, etc., are minor and could be eliminated with stringent national enforcement. IMHO

      • JohnInDenver says:

        itiduso …

        You'd accept abrogation of the clear language of our Constitution "as long as businesses are required to use EVerify" ????


        Just curious … are you opposing citizenship just for the children of undocumented (illegal) immigrants? Or would you bar those with some legal status, too? Would tourist visas be sufficient? How about student or the various sorts of work visas?

        And one  practicality — how would you establish the father is not a citizen? Mandatory disclosure and DNA paternity tests to verify?

        • itlduso says:

          Well, John,

          1) A very brief reading on the internets suggests that there might be a basis that undocumented immigrants are not covered by the Constitution.  The courts will decide.

          2)Are you suggesting that babies of parents with student visas become citizens?  I’m suggesting that children of undocumented parents should not be granted automatic citizenship, at least not until we stop allowing businesses to hire them.

          3) Determining  legal citizenship does not require a dna test — come on.  

          I was anticipating a response like yours to highlight the delusional bubble we Dems can inhabit.  Most of the country agrees with Trump on this one.  We Dems should accept that babies of undocumented people should not be granted automatic citizenship as long as employers are required to use EVerify, that work visas be expanded, and all of the other facets of the Senate passed immigration bill that Boehner buried, are enacted.  Being politically correct on that will continue to lead Dems to electoral losses.


          • Pseudonymous says:

            1) Even if Wong Kim Ark could be contorted into a holding that children born here of parents in the country without legal permission should be denied jus soli, which is very much a minority view,  the only way to do so would be to change the law.

            2) Yeah.  They're here legally.  They fit clearly under the 1898 ruling, even under the interpretation you'd like us to take.

            3) Right now, we determine citizenship largely based on the issuance of a birth certificate for the child.  It pops out of a womb here, it's a citizen.  How would we determine parentage to determine blood citizenship?  He's not the father; Joe is.  Well, Joe moved away after he got me pregnant and I don’t know where he went, but Joe's a citizen, so OK.

            Birthright citizenship isn’t political correctness. It’s a fundamental disagreement about policy that people like me have with people like you. Don’t minimize these peoples’ situation.

          • Sorry – there isn't a majority-level debate over the meaning of persons under the jurisdiction of the US; diplomatic staff don't get it, everyone else does. There's nothing PC about this; even conservatives using strict constructionist readings of the 14th Amendment will uphold the current standard. The only question is, which of our current Supreme Court Justices are willing to throw strict construction out the window to favor white nationalism?

            • Pseudonymous says:

              The right, probably minus Roberts.  Posner opined that Congress could "put and end to this nonsense" (birthright citizenship for children of people here without permission) in the holding in Oforji v. Ashcroft. I expect that you'd get the four rightmost to agree with that.  Maybe not Gorsuch either, but I think likely. This is a fucking reactionary court.

          • mamajama55 says:

            Bullshit, itlduso. Cite something showing "most of the country agrees with Trump on this one". I'll go first. Gallup poll, 2018.

            "Being politically correct will continue to lead Dems to electoral losses" – No. The 2018 Gallup poll shows that 67% of Americans want immigration to stay at its present level or increase. Only 29% want it decreased. 75% also generally favor immigration.

            The poll respondents were not asked about whether the 14th amendment guaranteeing birthright citizenship should be abolished- since it's an absurd question.

            They were also not asked whether slavery should be legal again, or if we'd all be better off if women couldn't vote, or if 18  to 21 year olds were again disenfranchised. All of those measures would disenfranchise comparable numbers of American citizens as would repealing the 14TH amendment, and make them second class citizens. 

            However, in the same poll, the respondents were asked about the status of "Dreamers" – children who were brought here without documents, grown up and educated here, and 83% favored or strongly favored citizenship for these kids.

            By extension, the same proportion of Americans would favor or strongly favor keeping the legal citizenship of kids and young adults who now have that status.

            You are very wrong. Your cruel proposal would throw our public schools into chaos, as half a million kids in Colorado alone would lose their citizenship, and with it, their rights to medical care  and social services.

            The labor force in Colorado would also shrink, forcing fields to go unharvested and construction unbuilt.

            Everify is no kind of a solution to the problems of immigration. Common sense, and a long term, big picture approach are the solution, along with compassion and recognition that white people are not the future of America, or at least white dominance is not the future of America. Our population will get browner over time, and more diverse, and no amount of racist fearmongering by Trump, you, "anxious Democrats", or anyone else will change that. 

  1. Zappatero says:

    Is Hick presidential yet?

  2. DavidThi808 says:

    For those that haven't voted yet because you don't understand all the amendments & proposals – that's no longer an excuse!

  3. Pseudonymous says:

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Magellan Strategies has their summary analysis up here:

      As of this morning [Oct. 30] there are a total of 798,684 ballots returned. For the first time this cycle, ballot returns statewide are now slightly ahead of their 2014 pace. However, that does not hold true across all demographic groups. Some observations:

      • Republicans remain well off their pace from 2014, at 280,000 ballots returned down from 332,000. In all but one 0f Colorado’s top twelve counties, fewer Republicans have returned their ballot than at this time in 2014. The only exception is (just barely) Larimer County.
      • Where in 2014 Republicans had a lead of 81,000 ballots returned over Democrats, they now have only a 1,500 vote lead.
      • Clearly, Democrats are voting earlier than they did in 2014, with 278,000 ballots returned compared to just 251,000 in 2014. This trend holds for most of the top twelve counties in Colorado, with the exceptions of Adams and Pueblo
      • Perhaps most significantly, Unaffiliated voters are now well ahead of their 2014 pace. Their 240,000 ballots returned is not too far behind the two parties.
      • Of the 240,000 Unaffiliated voters who have returned their ballot, close to half of them (114,400) voted in this year’s Primary Elections. Of those, 60% voted in the Democratic Primary and 40% voted in the Republican Primary.
  4. Davie says:

    This Op-ed from Sully Sullenberger in the Washington Post is a must-read.

    I am often told how calm I sounded speaking to passengers, crew and air traffic control during the emergency. In every situation, but especially challenging ones, a leader sets the tone and must create an environment in which all can do their best. You get what you project. Whether it is calm and confidence — or fear, anger and hatred — people will respond in kind. Courage can be contagious.

    Today, tragically, too many people in power are projecting the worst. Many are cowardly, complicit enablers, acting against the interests of the United States, our allies and democracy; encouraging extremists at home and emboldening our adversaries abroad; and threatening the livability of our planet. Many do not respect the offices they hold; they lack — or disregard — a basic knowledge of history, science and leadership; and they act impulsively, worsening a toxic political environment.

    This current absence of civic virtues is not normal, and we must not allow it to become normal. We must rededicate ourselves to the ideals, values and norms that unite us and upon which our democracy depends. We must be engaged and informed voters, and we must get our information from credible, reputable sources.


  5. Davie says:

    Trumpstink is reaching critical levels in Pittsburgh:

    Local and congressional leaders will not accompany President Donald Trump during his Tuesday visit to Pittsburgh aimed at offering condolences to the families of the victims of the mass shooting at a synagogue over the weekend.

    The odor was even too strong for McConnell and Ryan to take:

    The four top congressional leaders in both parties — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), as well as Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — were invited to join Trump in Pittsburgh but declined, according to a source familiar with the matter. Both McConnell and Ryan had previous commitments with the midterms just one week away.


  6. Davie says:

    Nicolas Kristof with an excellent piece on guns and the NRA

    The massacre of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday, allegedly by a man with 21 guns registered to his name, was terrifyingly predictable. Every day in America, about 104 people die from guns, while in Japan it takes about a decade for that many to die from gun violence.

    Equally predictable was the response. President Trump and members of Congress denounced the violence but show no signs of actually doing anything to stop it: So Americans will continue to die from guns at a rate of one every 15 minutes.

    I write this as a former N.R.A. member who grew up with guns on a farm — my 12th birthday present was my own .22 rifle — and I acknowledge that it once was a great organization for shooting enthusiasts and still does important work running safety training programs.

    But it has been hijacked by extremist leaders committed not to their members’ (much more reasonable) views, but to hard-line resistance of safety regulations. All countries have violent, hateful people, but only in America do we give them ready access to assault weapons, large-capacity magazines and even bump stocks, and that’s in part because of the N.R.A.


    “Gun control laws were ubiquitous” in the 19th century, Michael Waldman notes in his book “The Second Amendment.”

    Visitors to Wichita, Kan., had to check their revolvers at police headquarters. And as for Dodge City, a symbol of the Wild West, a photo shows a sign on main street in 1879 warning: “The Carrying of Fire Arms Strictly Prohibited.”

    In the 1920s and 1930s, the N.R.A. favored tighter gun laws, and its president, Karl Frederick, said that the carrying of weapons “should be sharply restricted and only under license.”

    …firing an AR-15 or packing a concealed weapon offers beleaguered men a chance to reassert their masculinity; to such men, guns provide a sense of purpose, fulfilling a traditional manly role of protecting their families and their communities. Bushmaster, the gun company, has marketed one assault rifle with a photo of it and a headline: “CONSIDER YOUR MAN CARD REISSUED.”

    Kristof ends with this advice

    [The NRA] has overreached and is vulnerable. If we want to tackle gun violence in America, we can start by discrediting it as an extremist organization that has been a boon to the firearms industry and a catastrophe for the American public.


  7. Davie says:

    Another right wing sewer rat surfaces — Nutter will take a long swig from the drain pipe and swear it's gotta be true!

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