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RIGHT-WING AMERICA: MY WALLET–FIRST AND ALWAYS: PART TWO (OF FOUR)

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Politics, Social commentary on June 9, 2023 at 12:13 am

On May 13, 2012, Forbes magazine ran an Op-Ed piece under the headline: “For De-Friending The U.S., Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin Is an American Hero.”           

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York angrily disagreed.

Chuck Shumer

“It is scary. It is a scary, absurd place where even a tax dodger who renounces America for his own 30 pieces of silver is celebrated as a patriot and an American hero.

“It is perverse. I am appalled by making heroic a man who renounces citizenship to escape a tax rate of capital gains of 15%.

“No one gets rich in America on their own,” Schumer said. “And when people do well in America, they should do well by America. I believe the vast majority of Americans believe this, too.”

From that Op-Ed piece:

“Saverin’s flight from the U.S. is yet another reminder of the superiority of a national consumption tax that in a perfect world would be implemented in concert with the abolition of the I.R.S.”

It’s tempting to imagine a world without an agency to collect taxes. But it’s nightmarish to contemplate a world where there were no taxes to pay for

  • A powerful military to protect us;
  • An FBI to combat terrorism and organized crime;
  • An FAA to safely regulate airline traffic;
  • Agencies to repair roads;
  • Agencies to erect public buildings (such as schools, courts and libraries) and
  • Agencies (such as the EPA and FDA) to protect us from predatory businessmen.

The Op-Ed piece further asserts that “you cannot limit the power of the Federal Government if its officials hold the power to tax incomes.” 

Every nation in history—whether a democracy or a dictatorship, whether capitalist, socialist or communist—has understood the absolute necessity for collecting public revenues. And it has created means by which to do so.

“When individuals resist governmental hubris, we should exalt their actions.”

We should, in short, celebrate those who come to the United States to make fortunes they could not make anywhere else—and then, when they do, turn their backs on their adopted country.

We should rejoice that they have stuffed billions of dollars more into their already-fat pockets and left their supposed fellow countrymen to shift for themselves. 

“In an ideal world the Federal Government should implement a consumption tax.  And if, as a result, poor people suffer because they’re taxed at the same level as rich ones, fine. 

“Everyone should know how much it costs to run the government.”

Of course we should have a “regressive” tax that “hits low incomes at the same percentage as high ones.   

Of course, those who are barely able to feed their families or can’t afford medical care should pay as much in taxes as a rich parasite who, like Mitt Romney, throws out $10,000 bets like so many dimes.

“If the Federal Government can’t fund all its programs because rich people like Saverin refuse to pay taxes, then U.S. taxpayers generally will have to make good for the missing taxes.  It’s the fault of Congress that it cannot put an end to any program.”

For billionaires like Saverin and the well-heeled types who subscribe to Forbes, it doesn’t matter whether “the Federal Government can’t fund all its programs.”

San Simeon, estate of William Randolph Hearst

Greed-obsessed “swells” like Saverin:

  • Don’t depend on Medicare—they can easily afford the best doctors money can buy;
  • Don’t have to depend on Social Security to see them through old age;
  • Don’t have to worry about standing in food bank lines;
  • Don’t need to rely on police departments—if they’re threatened, they can easily afford round-the-clock bodyguards; 
  • Don’t need consumer protection agencies; if they’re victimized by unscrupulous businessmen, they can hire platoons of lawyers and private detectives.

A contemporary writer who warned of America’s abandonment by its privileged classes was Christopher Lasch. In his posthumously published last book, The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy [2005] he wrote:

“There has always been a privileged class, even in America. But it has never been so dangerously isolated from its surroundings.

“George Bush’s [the president who served from 1989 to 1992] wonderment, when he saw for the first time an electronic scanning device at a supermarket checkout counter, revealed…the chasm that divides the privileged classes from the rest of the nation.”

Until recently, wrote Lasch, American cultural and economic elites willingly shouldered civic responsibilities. But in post-modern capitalism, a professional elite defines itself as entirely separate from civic concerns.

The new elites flourish through enterprises that operate across international borders. The rich in America have more in common with their fellows in Europe or Asia than with the vast majority of their fellow Americans who don’t share their comfortable surroundings.

Thus, the privileged class in America—the top 1%—has separated itself from the crumbling public services and industrial cities that are used and lived in by the rest of the country’s citizens.

Even worse, our society has condoned their exalted status. The dust jacket blurb for James Patterson’s crime-thriller, NYPD Red, says it best:

“NYPD Red is a special task force charged with protecting the interests of Manhattan’s wealthiest and most powerful citizens.”

It’s time to protect the 99% of America’s citizens against the predators of its 1% wealthiest.

RIGHT-WING AMERICA: MY WALLET–FIRST AND ALWAYS: PART ONE (OF FOUR)

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Politics, Social commentary on June 8, 2023 at 12:10 am

Americans need to realize that a country can be betrayed for other than political reasons. It can also be sold out for economic ones.              

On May 15, 2012, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin renounced his U.S. citizenship.

Born in Brazil, the then-30-year-old Saverin became a U.S. citizen in 1998 but had lived in Singapore since 2009.

Eduardo Saverin 

Giving up his citizenship allowed him to avoid paying taxes on billions of dollars on capital gains when Facebook launched its IPO on May 18, 2012. Singapore does not have a capital gains tax.

And America’s extreme Right couldn’t have been happier.

Take Rush Limbaugh, the Right-wing talk-show host. The Rush Limbaugh Show aired throughout the U.S. on over 400 stations and was the highest-rated talk-radio program in the United States.

When Limbaugh spoke, his “dittohead” audience listened—and acted as he decreed.

Rush Limbaugh

“So if it’s a more favorable tax haven that you can find elsewhere and you go there,” asked Limbaugh, “why is it automatically that you are unpatriotic?

“Why is it automatically that you are a coward, that you are not paying your fair share? It’s this whole class envy thing rearing its head again.”

For Limbaugh, the villain wasn’t a billionaire who turned his back on the country that gave him the opportunity to become one. No, the villain lay in those who believe that even wealthy businessmen should behave like patriots—instead of parasites.

“But [Barack Obama is] out there demonizing successful people every day,” said Limbaugh, “targeting successful people every day, running a presidential campaign based on class warfare, trying to get the 99% of the country who are not in the top 1% to hate the 1%, to literally despise ’em.”

Consider the implications of this: 

On November 1, 2011, Forbes magazine reported that, in 2007, the then-richest 1% of the American population owned 34.6% of the country’s total wealth, and the next 19% owned 50.5%. 

Thus, the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country’s wealth and the bottom 80% of the population owned 15%.

According to Limbaugh’s philosophy, the bottom 80% of the population owning 15% of the country’s wealth should pay homage to the top 20% of Americans who own 85% of the country’s wealth.

In short, they should “know their place” and not expect the moneyed few to pay their fair share of taxes.

Of course, this was to be expected of Limbaugh—whose own wealth made him a multi-millionaire. 

In 2001, U.S. News & World Report noted that Limbaugh had an eight-year contract, with Clear Channel Communications, for $31.25 million a year.

And according to a July 2, 2008, Matt Drudge column, Limbaugh had signed a contract extension through 2016 that was worth over $400 million.

And Limbaugh wasn’t alone in his praise for Saverin.

Another right-winger who defended those who run out on their country was anti-tax activist Grover Norquist.

On May 7, 2012, two Democratic Senators—Chuck Schumer of New York and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania—introduced legislation designed to tax expatriates even after they have left the country. 

Their “Ex-PATRIOT Act” would have imposed a mandatory 30% tax on American investments for those who renounce their citizenship and would also prohibit individuals like Saverin from re-entering the country.  

But the bill died in committee. 

In 2013, Schumer and two other Senators added similar provisions to a major immigration reform bill. But their amendment was not included in the version of the bill that passed the Senate. 

“Saverin has turned his back from the country that welcomed him, kept him safe, educated him and helped him become a billionaire,” Schumer said at a press conference. He added that it was time to “de-friend” the Facebook co-founder.

Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATF) said that targeting people who turn in their passports reminded him of regimes that had driven people out of the country, only to confiscate their wealth at the door.

Grover Norquist

“I think Schumer can probably find the legislation to do this,” said Norquist. “It existed in Germany in the 1930s and Rhodesia in the ’70s and in South Africa as well. He probably just plagiarized it and translated it from the original German.”

On the floor of the Senate, Schumer denounced Norquist in return:

“I know a thing or two about what the Nazis did. Some of my relatives were killed by them.

“Saying that a person who made their fortune specifically because of the positive elements in American society, in turn, has a responsibility to do right by America is not even on the same planet as comparing to what Nazis did to Jews.”

Chuck Schumer

Schumer added that he found it troubling that conservatives would lionize someone like Saverin, who was called “an American hero” by Forbes magazine.

On May 13, 2012, Forbeswhich describes itself as “The Capitalist Tool”—had run an Op-Ed piece under the headline: “For De-Friending The U.S., Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin Is an American Hero.”

“Can you believe it?” asked Schumer. “An American hero? Renouncing your citizenship now qualifies as heroic for the hard Right-wing?”

“This has gone so far, this idolatry they have taken to such an extreme end, they make Eduardo Saverin into their patron saint. In the name of low taxes for the wealthy, they have lionized an inherently unpatriotic person.” 

RFK: CALLING ON AMERICANS TO BE THEIR BEST, NOT THEIR WORST

In Bureaucracy, History, Law Enforcement, Military, Politics, Social commentary on June 7, 2023 at 12:10 am

Fifty-five years ago, Robert Francis Kennedy aroused passions of an altogether different sort from those aroused by Donald Trump. 

Kennedy had been a United States Attorney General (1961-1964) and Senator from New York (1964-1968). But it was his connection to his beloved and assassinated brother, President John F. Kennedy, for which he was best known.

Kennedy himself remained haunted by the assassination for the rest of his life. He had spent most of his adult life in service to his brother’s ambitions—first as Congressman (1946), then as Senator (1952) and finally as President (1960).

For the last five years of his life (1963-1968) Robert Kennedy had to chart his own course and find his own voice.

As Attorney General, he had waged an unrelenting war against the Mafia. But he also championed civil rights and guaranteed protection of James Meredith, the first black student who entered the all-white University of Mississippi (1963).

In October, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, his wise counsel had helped steer America from the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

As a U.S Senator he continued to support civil rights and urge greater Federal efforts to fight poverty. Like his dead brother, he called on Americans to improve their own lives while aiding the less fortunate.

Robert F. Kennedy campaigning for President

Millions saw RFK as the only candidate who could make life better for America’s impoverished—while standing firmly against those who threatened the Nation’s safety.

As television correspondent Charles Quinn observed: “I talked to a girl in Hawaii who was for [George] Wallace [the segregationist governor of Alabama]. And I said ‘Really?’ [She said] ‘Yeah, but my real candidate is dead.’

“You know what I think it was? All these whites, all these blue collar people who supported Kennedy…all of these people felt that Kennedy would really do what he thought best for the black people, but, at the same time, would not tolerate lawlessness and violence.

“They were willing to gamble…because they knew in their hearts that the country was not right. They were willing to gamble on this man who would try to keep things within reasonable order; and at the same time do some of the things they knew really should be done.”

Campaigning for the Presidency in 1968, RFK had just won the crucial California primary on June 4—when he was shot in the back of the head.

His killer: Sirhan Sirhan, a young Palestinian furious at Kennedy’s support for Israel.

Kennedy died at 1:44 a.m. on June 6, 1968.  He was 42.

On June 8, 1,200 men and women boarded a specially-reserved passenger train at New York’s Pennsylvania Station. They were accompanying Kennedy’s body to its final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery.

As the train slowly moved along 225 miles of track, throngs of men, women and children lined the rails to pay their final respects to a man they considered a genuine hero.

Little Leaguers clutched baseball caps across their chests. Uniformed firemen and policemen saluted. Burly men in shirtsleeves held hardhats over their hearts. Black men in overalls waved small American flags. Women from all levels of society stood and cried.

A nation says goodbye to Robert Kennedy

Commenting on RFK’s legacy, historian William L. O’Neil wrote in Coming Apart: An Informal History of America in the 1960′s:

“…He aimed so high that he must be judged for what he meant to do, and, through error and tragic accident, failed at….He will also be remembered as an extraordinary human being who, though hated by some, was perhaps more deeply loved by his countrymen than any man of his time.

“That too must be entered into the final account, and it is no small thing. With his death something precious disappeared from public life.”

America has never again seen a Presidential candidate who combined toughness on crime and compassion for the poor.

Republican candidates appeal to negative emotions—hatred, greed, fear. They constantly seek new “enemies” to frighten their voters: Asians, Hispanics, blacks, “uppity” women, liberals, “socialists.”

They constantly attack the Federal Government as a source of repression—especially when it reins in predatory businesses or levies taxes on the rich. And they try to convince their voters that if only “government gets out of the way” of these businesses and doesn’t tax billionaires, wonderful riches will “trickle down” to those far below.

They champion “law and order” when they control law enforcement—as governors or Presidents. But when the Biden Justice Department started investigating former President Donald Trump for illegally withholding classified documents, Republicans demanded the defunding of the FBI.

And Democratic candidates try to appease the Right by supporting its foreign and domestic agendas. In 2003, liberal Democrats—such as then-Senator Hillary Clinton—supported President George W. Bush’s unprovoked attack on Iraq.

Democrats have aided Republicans in opposing anti-poverty programs and efforts to combat pollution and climate change. 

RFK had the courage to fight the Mafia—and the compassion to fight poverty. He called on Americans to act on their best qualities, not their worst.

At a time when Americans long for candidates to give them positive reasons for voting, his kind of politics are sorely missed.

“ALL REVOLUTIONS DEVOUR THEIR OWN CHILDREN”: PART TWO (END)

In Bureaucracy, Business, History, Politics, Social commentary on June 6, 2023 at 12:10 am

Right-wingers love to attack those they hate as “snowflakes,” and boast about how easy it is to “trigger” them into anger. 

Yet it is Right-wingers whose sensitive feelings can be “triggered” by something as innocuous as a word: DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion).

Target, Bud Light and Disney have all faced backlash for their support of the queer community, which is officially known as LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer).  

Other companies that have found themselves targets for Right-wing ire have been:

  • Keurig (for dropping advertising on Sean Hannity’s show on the Right-wing Fox Network)
  • The NFL (for its players sitting or kneeling during the National Anthem
  • Amazon (for supporting Washington State in a federal lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s executive order barring people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States) 
  • Starbucks (for its CEO opposing the same executive order)
  • Nordstrom (for cutting ties with Ivanka Trump’s brand of clothing)
  • Kellogg (for dropping advertising on the Right-wing Breitbart website)  

Now comes Chick-fil-A as the latest business to enrage the self-appointed holy warriors of the Right. Its crime: Hiring a vice president of DEI.

And even worse for the Right: He’s black.

Chick-fil-A Logo.svg

Erick McReynolds has been a longtime employee of Chick-fil-A. According to the company’s official statement: 

“Erick McReynolds joined Chick-fil-A in February 2007 as a Business Consultant. Since then, he has been promoted to various positions like Team Captain, Director – Service Team, Executive Director (Midwest Region), and Executive Director (DEI).” 

In 1988 he had earned an MBA from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University  He then worked as a Sales Representative at International Paper till June 2001. He served as a Senior Business Analyst at Sprint for five years till January 2007.

Fall 2022 Commencement Speaker Erick McReynolds - Clayton State University

Erick McReynolds

Chick-fil-A has long championed Right-wing causes. By 2012, it had donated over $5 million to anti-LGTBQ groups. When the company faced backlash for this, Republicans like Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee led counter-protesting efforts such as “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

Its owner, Dan Cathy, publicly denounced same-sex marriage, citing the “biblical definition of the family unit.” This enraged liberals but ignited support among Republicans. 

The company promised in 2019 to stop donating to anti-LGBTQ groups. It would instead focus its philanthropic efforts on hunger, education and homelessness.

Although McReynolds has served as VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion since November, 2021, the Right was unaware of his appointment until May 30, 2023. That was when Right-wing strategist Joey Mannarino tweeted:

“We have a problem. Chick-Fil-A just hired a VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This is bad. I don’t want to have to boycott. Are we going to have to boycott?

“It’s only a matter of time until they start putting tranny semen in the frosted lemonade at this point.”

Joey Mannarino (@JoeyMannarinoUS) / Twitter

Joey Mannarino

Adding to Mannarino’s resentment was McReynolds’ public statement:

“Chick-fil-A restaurants have long been recognized as a place where people know they will be treated well. Modeling care for others starts in the restaurant, and we are committed to ensuring mutual respect, understanding and dignity everywhere we do business. These tenets are good business practice and crucial to fulfilling our Corporate Purpose.” 

Other Right-wing eruptions on Twitter included:

Director of Citizens for Renewing America Wade Miller: “Everything good must come to an end. Here @ChickfilA is stating it’s commitment to systemic racism, sexism, and discrimination. I cannot support such a thing.” 

@BrandonStraka: As a liberal I boycotted Chick-fil-A. As a conservative I’ll be boycotting them again. I will not support any company that pushes the disingenuously named diversity, equity, inclusion agenda.”

@amuse: “Sadly, Chick-fil-A is embracing DEI and ESG [Environmental Social and Corporate Governance] after being co-opted by race & trans activists who have made it impossible for the organization to reflect the Christian values of its founder. Marxists won’t allow belief in Jesus Christ.” 

The Right generally and Republicans in particular have long been fixated on issues involving sexuality. This is especially true for those where children are supposedly victimized.

Thus, fetuses become “babies” even when they’re no bigger than a microdot. This allows Rightists to claim they’re “pro-life”—while they champion the “right” of criminals, terrorists and the insane to own military-style firepower

And even though 90% of child molesters are heterosexual family or friends, the Right continues to charge all homosexuals with pedophilia.

Anyone who dares to challenge its agenda is charged with being a “groomer”—someone who builds an emotional connection with children or young people to sexually exploit them.

Totally ignored by Republicans are supposed Right-wing moral paragons who turn out to be “groomers” like Josh Duggar (of the “19 Kids and Counting” series) who was sentenced in 2022 to 12 years’ imprisonment for possession of child pornography;

A useful rule of thumb: Be wary of those who loudly preach their own virtue—such as Charles Sutherland, an elementary school librarian who spray painted “groomer” around the D.C. area during the 2022 Pride week. When police arrested him for possessing child pornography, they found a child-sized doll in his bed.

Meanwhile, Right-wing politicians—most notably Florida Governor and Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis—continue to exploit the fears and hatred of their equally Fascistic constituents. 

With the 2024 Presidential campaign now underway, expect more of the same to come.

“ALL REVOLUTIONS DEVOUR THEIR OWN CHILDREN”: PART ONE (OF TWO)

In Bureaucracy, History, Medical, Politics, Social commentary on June 5, 2023 at 12:10 am

“All revolutions,” said Ernst Rohm, leader of Adolf Hitler’s brown-shirted thugs, the S.A., “devour their own children.”

Fittingly, he said this as he sat inside a prison cell awaiting his own execution.  

Ernst Rohm

On June 30, 1934, Hitler had ordered a massive purge of his private army, the S.A., or Stormtroopers. The purge was carried out by Hitler’s elite army-within-an-army, the Schutzstaffel, or Protective Squads, better known as the SS.

The S.A. Brownshirts had been instrumental in securing Hitler’s rise to Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. They had intimidated political opponents and organized mass rallies for the Nazi Party.

But after Hitler reached the pinnacle of power, they became a liability.

Ernst Rohm, their commander, urged Hitler to disband the regular German army, the Reichswehr, and replace it with his own legions as the nation’s defense force.

Frightened by Rohm’s ambitions, the generals of the Reichswehr gave Hitler an ultimatum: Get rid of Rohm—or they would get rid of him.

So Rohm died in a hail of SS bullets—as did several hundred of his longtime S.A. cronies.

SS firing squad

Eighty-six years later, even the most Right-wing Republicans learned there’s a price to pay for disagreeing with The Leader.

Case in point: Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) the House Republican Conference Chair—and the only female member of the House GOP leadership. 

On July 21, 2020, she became the target of members of her own party. 

Liz Cheney

Her GOP Freedom Caucus attackers included

  • Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)
  • Matt Gaetz (R-Florida)
  • Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky)
  • Chip Roy (R-Texas)
  • Andy Biggs (R-Arizona)
  • Scott Perry (R-Pennsylvania) and
  • Ralph Norman (R-South Carolina).

Jordan, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, praised Cheney for defending President Donald Trump during the impeachment trial in February. But he attacked her for publicly disagreeing with Trump’s intention to remove troops from Germany and Afghanistan. 

He also assailed Cheney for her recent rebukes of Trump—for his mishandling of the Coronavirus and his Twitter rants.

Cheney remembered that Jordan’s Right-wing Freedom Caucus had caused problems for the GOP’s leadership when the party held the majority in the House. 

“I look forward to hearing your comments about being a team player when we’re back in the majority,” replied Cheney. 

Representative Roy (Texas) assailed Cheney for supporting Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, and complained that his Democratic opponent had retweeted some of Cheney’s tweets. 

Cheney defended Fauci, who had served under Republican and Democratic Presidents as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. 

“At this moment when we’re trying to find every way we can to defeat the virus, when we’re trying to find therapeutics and vaccines, we need all hands on deck, and I can’t imagine anybody better than Dr. Fauci to continue to play that role,” Cheney told reporters after the meeting. 

Trump was jealous of Fauci’s popularity for speaking the hard truth about Coronavirus—and the Federal Government’s failure to combat it.

Green Bay Packers: While Dr. Anthony Fauci expresses concerns, NFL ...

Anthony Fauci

Trump also resented that his own popularity was steadily falling as COVID cases and deaths rose—and he offered only rosy predictions that “one day it will be gone.”

Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, the head of the Freedom Caucus, said that if someone had a problem with Trump, they should keep it to themselves. He said Cheney undermined the GOP’s ability to win back the House, which Democrats won in November, 2018.

Matt Gaetz, who once split with Trump over a war powers resolution, later tweeted: “Liz Cheney has worked behind the scenes (and now in public) against @realDonaldTrump and his agenda. House Republicans deserve better as our Conference Chair.”

Gaetz’ tweet was quickly backed by such major Republicans as Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky) and Trump’s son, Donald, Jr. 

Republicans, tweeted Trump, Jr., “already have one Mitt Romney, we don’t need another.”

Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress during the February, 2020 impeachment effort.

“Donald Trump Jr. Is not a member of the House Republican Conference,” Cheney dismissed the attack later.

During the conference meeting, Gaetz and Massie complained that Cheney was supporting a primary challenge to Massie.

Cheney told Gaetz that she looked forward to seeing an upcoming HBO documentary, “The Swamp,” about him, Massie and a third Republican congressman, Ken Buck of Colorado.

Cheney told Massie that his issue was with Trump, not her. Trump had called Massie “a third rate grandstander” and said he wanted Massie ousted from the Republican party. Despite this, Massie had beaten Todd McMurtry, a primary challenger.

Cheney had donated to McMurtry, but later asked that the money be returned after his past racist social media posts  became public.

Anyone in Nazi Germany could be accused of disloyalty to Adolf Hitler. Now anyone in the Republican party could be accused of disloyalty to Donald Trump.

“Fanatics can justify practically any atrocity to themselves,” wrote the author Mercedes Lackey. “The more untenable their position becomes, the harder they hold to it, and the worse the things they are willing to do to support it.”

THE SPIRALING COSTS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS

In Bureaucracy, Business, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Politics, Social commentary on May 29, 2023 at 1:25 am

Defenders of illegal aliens entering the United States often point to their paying taxes and performing jobs that native-born Americans don’t want to do.  

What they fail to mention are the costs of maintaining millions of unskilled and semi-literate (at best) men, women and children for decades on end.

Fortunately, James Reinl, social affairs correspondent at the British newspaper, The Daily Mail, has taken the time to bring these truths to light. 

This occurred in a September 16, 2022 article headlined:

“America’s $78B Bill for Teaching Schoolkids With Poor English is Rising by BILLIONS in Biden-era Immigration Surge, Study Says, and 76,000 New Language Instructors Are a Tall Order in a Teacher Shortage.”

Among its findings: 

  • One million public school students—ranging from kindergarten to high school—need special training in speaking and writing English.
  • It costs $78 billion each year to educate them.
  • Texas, California, Florida and New York are among the states most burdened with such students.
  • Only three percent of these students are proficient in English when they graduate from high school.
  • These costs are raised by billions owing to an unceasing tide of illegal alien children at the southern border.

These alarming statistics were produced by a study from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). 

The 5.1 million students lacking English language skills need help in all their classes. As a result, it costs 15 to 20 percent more to educate them than American-born students who grow up learning English. 

Illegal alien climbing over the border fence in Brownsville, Texas

With the United States facing a severe teacher shortage, some states have lowered their hiring rules to recruit teachers with only a high school diploma.

In 2020, the 5.1 million illegal alien students in public schools cost American taxpayers $78 billionan $18.8 billion jump from the cost in 2016.

Of those students, 1.15 million were in California, costing the state $19.5 billion. One million more lived in Texas, costing that state $11.4 billion. And 278,000 lived in Florida, at a cost of $3.1 billion.

Only 370,000 teachers nationwide are trained to teach them, and 76,000 more will be needed during the next five years. 

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, almost 200,000 immigrants were intercepted crossing the southern border in July, 2022. Many of them are entitled to claim asylum, and all children in the United States have a right to an education—even if they arrived here illegally.

Border Crisis: CBP's Response | U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Illegal aliens rounded up by ICE

Immigration remains a highly divisive issue among Americans. “Red” Republican states want to close borders. “Blue” Democratic states are more open to newcomers.

Yet even famously liberal enclaves of support for illegal aliens like New York are beginning to have second thoughts about taking in unlimited numbers of uninvited foreigners.

On October 7, 2022, New York City Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency in response to the city’s migrant crisis, which he said will cost the city $1 billion this fiscal year. 

Nancy Pelosi and Eric Adams at the Speaker's Balcony (cropped).jpg

Eric Adams

“We now have a situation where more people are arriving in New York City than we can immediately accommodate, including families with babies and young children,” Adams said.

“Once the asylum seekers from today’s buses are provided shelter, we would surpass the highest number of people in recorded history in our city’s shelter system.”

Behind this unwanted influx lies Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

By the first week of October, Texas had spent more than $18 million busing illegal aliens found in Texas to famously liberal supporters of illegal immigration: Washington D.C., New York City, and Chicago.

Abbott announced the program in April as his response to the Biden administration’s immigration policies. 

Abbott, 2015

Greg Abbott

New York City now has more than 61,000 people in its shelter system. Thousands of these are American citizens who are homeless. They are competing for assistance with illegal aliens who were bused to New York City from the southern border since April, 2022.

Behind this huge surge in illegal aliens and their continuing drain on America’s schools, housing and hospitals (among other facilities) lie three Communist-ruled countries: Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Rising levels of repression, food shortages and economic stability are motivating Cubans, Venezuelans and Nicaraguans to enter the United States. And assisting them in this effort is the longtime policy of the United States government to automatically accept those leaving Communist countries as refugees.

At some point, the United States must face the economic and social absurdity of allowing some cities and states to provide sanctuary to every illegal alien who appears.

Even Eric Adams, emphasizing that New York City remains a sanctuary city, warns it cannot cope with such an overwhelming influx of migrants:

“We are not telling anyone that New York can accommodate every migrant in the city. We’re not encouraging people to send eight, nine buses a day….We’re saying that as a sanctuary city with right to shelter, we’re going to fulfill that obligation. That’s what we’re doing.”

Abbott clearly believes he has the right to inflict thousands of illegal aliens on other states. And illegal aliens clearly believe they have the right to demand unlimited access to the United States.

At some point, America must stop allowing itself to be a dumping-ground for other countries’ unwanteds.

YOUR FRIENDS AS YOUR WORST ENEMIES: PART THREE (END)

In Bureaucracy, History, Politics, Social commentary on May 26, 2023 at 12:10 am

Two suggestions for interviewees with a dark secret to hide:     

First: Don’t give interviews to journalists you like. (Or, in the case of Fox News, pseudo-journalists.) 

Second: Don’t give interviews at 4 A.M. 

Why?

Because you’re less likely to be on guard with a friendly journalist—and thus reveal truths you will later regret spilling.

And because at 4 A.M. you’re likely so tired or keyed up you make the same mistake.

Part One of this series spotlighted such a slip-up by Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield, CA) on September 30, 2015.

In just 51 words, McCarthy revealed that the House Select Committee on Benghazi was not a legitimate investigative body. Its real purpose was to sabotage the expected Presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

In doing so, McCarthy unintentionally sabotaged his own chances of becoming Speaker of the House when the then-Speaker, John Boehner, retired 

Part Two of this series showed how Donald Trump made a similar mistake on September 21, 2022. 

Appearing on the Right’s favorite television network, Fox News, Trump thoroughly embarrassed himself.

He was facing investigation for illegally removing classified government documents when he left the White House on January 20, 2021, and storing them at his private club, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida.

Once again, Trump asserted he had done nothing wrong: “If you’re the President of the United States, you can declassify just by saying, ‘It’s declassified.’ Even by thinking about it, because you’re sending it to Mar-a-Lago or to wherever you’re sending it.”

Not only was this blatantly untrue, it was so outlandish that late-night talk show hosts had a comedic field day with it.

And still Republican politicians refuse to learn.

Latest case in point: House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY).

Rep. James Comer (long cropped).jpg

James Comer

Comer made the same mistake as McCarthy and Trump—letting the public in on an embarrassing secret—with an added twist. He did so at 4 A.M. on May 22.

Speaking—you guessed it—on Fox News, Comer unintentionally admitted weaponizing his investigative committee to aid Donald Trump’s Presidential ambitions.

Fox News host Ashley Strohmier threw out a comforting softball question: “We have talked to you about this on the show, about how the media can just not ignore this any longer. In an op-ed in The Washington Post, it says, ‘Millions Flowed to Biden Family Members. Don’t Pretend It Doesn’t Matter.’

Ashley Strohmier - In case you're stuck at home (which I know most of you are) and want to see where I am.. turn on Fox News! I'll see y'all every hour

Ashley Strohmier

“So do you think that because of your investigation, that is what’s moved this needle with the media?”

Comer, whose committee has been relentlessly investigating Hunter Biden, the son of President Joseph Biden, leaped to answer:

“Absolutely. There’s no question. You look at the polling, and right now Donald Trump is seven points ahead of Joe Biden and trending upward, Joe Biden’s trending downward.

“And I believe that the media is looking around, scratching their head, and they’re realizing that the American people are keeping up with our investigation.” 

His claim that Trump has a seven-point edge over Biden stems from an ABC News/Washington Post survey in early May. But other surveys show Biden leading, and polling generally indicates a tight race between Biden and Trump.

In fact, there is little evidence that House GOP investigations of Biden’s family are having a negative effect on Biden’s political standing. Biden’s approval rating remains low, but surveys show little indication that the Comer-led investigations have had a major effect one way or another.

On May 10, Republicans claimed that President Biden’s family members received millions in suspicious money transfers before Biden became president.

But despite promises of a bombshell revelation, the new evidence Republicans displayed did not directly implicate Biden. 

Comer said that bank records obtained through subpoenas showed that the President’s son Hunter Biden, his brother James Biden and his son Beau’s widow, Hallie Biden, received payments totaling more than $10 million from foreign sources, including from individuals aligned with the Chinese Communist Party. 

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at lunch hosted by the US Vice President, Mr. Joe Biden and the US Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, in Washington DC on September 30, 2014 (1) (cropped).jpg

Hunter Biden

Comer didn’t say that the President himself received any payments or that he performed an official act in exchange for his family members receiving the money. 

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD.), the committee’s top Democrat, said Comer had failed to provide evidence substantiating his claims of wrongdoing by Biden.

“He continues to bombard the public with innuendo, misrepresentations, and outright lies, recycling baseless claims from stories that were debunked years ago,” said Raskin.

Even before Republicans won control of the House on November 8, 2022, they openly admitted their upcoming investigations would target political opponents and influence public opinion for the 2024 elections 

On August 10, 2022, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH): “So, all these things need to be investigated just so you have the truth, plus that will help frame up the 2024 race, when I hope and I think President Trump is going to run again and we need to make sure that he wins.” 

And on October 26, James Comer said: “There are a lot of factors that are going to prevent Joe Biden from running. His age, the results of the midterm elections in two weeks. But also his son. Look, this Biden family investigation’s only going to ramp up in a Republican majority.” 

Not since the notorious reign of Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy have Congressional Republicans been so open about their all-consuming drive for all-encompassing power.

YOUR FRIENDS AS YOUR WORST ENEMIES: PART TWO (OF THREE)

In Bureaucracy, History, Politics, Social commentary on May 25, 2023 at 12:10 am

Donald Trump—before, during and after his Presidency—has always preferred “journalists” who toss him softball questions and repeatedly pay homage to him.   

Such a “journalist” is Sean Hannity, host of the Fox Network’s Sean Hannity Show.

On September 21, 2022, Hannity—who had “interviewed” Trump on many other occasions—did so again.

From the outset, he made his intentions clear: To exonerate Trump—who is now facing multiple civil and criminal investigations—from all accusations.     

Hannity opened by attacking Trump’s longtime foe, New York Attorney General Letitia James:

“Take a look at New York Attorney General Letitia James. Now, today she filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump and three of his children and other entities, claiming that they inflated the value of the Trump Organization. It is nothing short of a very obvious political stunt. It is not a criminal case. It is a civil case….

Sean Hannity 2020.jpg

Sean Hannity

“Now, the attorney general isn’t even trying to hide her efforts to weaponize justice in New York State. Her conduct is deeply unethical at best.”

Then Hannity moved on to other “Trump haters”:

“But she’s not alone, you know, from the Trump haters on Capitol Hill, high-ranking deep state bureaucrats in the DOJ, the FBI. Now we have witnessed, going on many years, the 45th President has been the subject of what is non-stop, never-ending legal scrutiny focused not on a specific crime but on the man himself.”

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Donald Trump

Then he moved on—inevitably—to attacking former Secretary of State and 2016 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton:  

“And, by the way, the President can declassify any of these documents—unlike, for example, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she cannot.

“Still, she stored 110 classified documents on unsecured private servers. Hillary Clinton was never forced to endure a federal raid. She was never charged with any crime.”

Hannity then ran a clip of former FBI Director James Comey saying of Clinton: “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

But Hannity did not say that Trump, on becoming President, fired Comey for investigating the proven ties between Trump’s Presidential campaign and operatives for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

All of this undoubtedly made Trump feel vindicated and comfortable. Too comfortable, as matters turned out.

When Trump left the White House on January 20, 2021, he illegally took highly-classified government documents to his private club, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida.

On August 8, 2022, FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago to recover those documents. Among those retrieved: Eleven sets of classified documents, four of them tagged as “Top Secret” and one as “Top Secret/SCI,” the highest level of classification.

How the Photo of Top Secret Folders at Trump's Home Came About - The New York Times

Documents found at Trump’s residence

Continuing to exonerate Trump, no matter what the offense, Hannity said: “OK. You have said on Truth Social a number of times you did declassify—”

TRUMP: “I did declassify.”

HANNITY: “OK. Is there a process—what was your process to declassify?”

TRUMP: “There doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it. You know, there’s—different people say different things, but as I understand there doesn’t have to be.

“If you’re the President of the United States, you can declassify just by saying, ‘It’s declassified.’ Even by thinking about it, because you’re sending it to Mar-a-Lago or to wherever you’re sending it.”

Not even Trump’s attorneys have dared to make such an argument. Not when they demanded a “Special Master” to comb through the seized documents—allegedly so those that belonged to Trump could be returned to him.

Nor did they make such an assertion when, before Special Master Judge Raymond Dearie, they refused to state the process by which Trump had allegedly declassified the documents.

The media—and Trump’s many enemies—quickly seized upon this mind-blowing claim. Late-night TV hosts in particular milked it for laughs.

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah:  How could Trump “declassify documents with his brain” when he couldn’t even “read documents with his brain?”

“If Trump actually had the power to change things just by thinking about them,” joked Jimmy Kimmel, “Don Jr. would have turned into a Big Mac 30 years ago.”  

Nor did Kimmel pass up the opportunity to stick a barb into Hannity: “His approach was basically, ‘Show me on the doll where the FBI investigated you.’ I mean you have to hand it to Sean. When life gives him felons, he makes felon-ade!”

On a serious level, Trump’s outlandish assertion is liable to hurt his—or his attorneys’—appearances before various state and federal judges. 

More than 500 years ago, Niccolo Machiavelli, the father of modern politics, warned that a prince must guard against being taken lightly—and, worse, expose himself to ridicule.

In his book, The Prince, Machiavelli writes: “…He ought….to pay attention to [guilds and classes], mingle with them from time to time, and give them an example of his humanity and munificence, always upholding, however, the majesty of his dignity, which must never be allowed to fail in anything whatever.”

It’s hard to be taken seriously when you claim supernatural powers denied to other, mere mortals. 

YOUR FRIENDS AS YOUR WORST ENEMIES: PART ONE (OF THREE)

In Bureaucracy, History, Politics, Social commentary on May 24, 2023 at 12:25 am

It’s a truth well-known to cross-examining attorneys: The best way to obtain the truth is often to “kill your opponents with kindness.”

Witnesses always expect the opposing counsel to immediately start SCREAMING at them. But that only causes the witness to stay alert and say as little as possible.

So the smart attorney comes on as courteous, friendly, even sympathetic.

Image result for Images of justice

A classic example of this: A laborer claimed to have permanently injured his shoulder in a railway accident, leaving him unable to work. He claimed he could no longer raise his arm above a point parallel with his shoulder.

The railway’s attorney asked him a few sympathetic questions about his injuries. And the witness quickly volunteered that he was in constant pain and a near-invalid.

“And, as a result of the accident, how high can you raise your arm?” asked the attorney.

The witness slowly raised his arm parallel with his shoulder.

“Oh, that’s terrible,” said the attorney.

Then: “How high could you get it up before the accident?”

Unthinkingly, the witness extended his arm to its full height above his head—to the laughter of the judge, jury and spectators.

Case dismissed.

In politics, sometimes your best friends turn out to be your worst enemies.

Kevin McCarthy proved this during his September 30, 2015 appearance on Fox News.

McCarthy, the Republican member of the House of Representatives from Bakersfield, California, was undoubtedly feeling relaxed.

After all, he wasn’t being interviewed by such “enemies” of the Right as The New York Times or MSNBC political commentator Rachel Maddow.

He was being interviewed by Sean Hannity, a Right-wing political commentator whose books included Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama’s Radical Agenda and Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism.

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Sean Hannity

The topic under discussion: Who would be the next Republican Speaker of the House, now that John Boehner had announced his decision to leave not only the Speakership but the House itself in November?

Now Hannity wanted to know what would happen when the next Republican Speaker took office. And McCarthy—who was in the running for the position—was eager to tell him.

“What you’re going to see is a conservative Speaker, that takes a conservative Congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win.

“And let me give you one example. Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?

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Kevin McCarthy

“But we put together a Benghazi special committee. A select committee. What are her [poll] numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known that any of that had happened had we not fought to make that happen.”

In 51 words, McCarthy revealed that:

  • The House Select Committee on Benghazi was not a legitimate investigative body.
  • Its purpose was not to investigate the 2012 deaths of four American diplomats during a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
  • Its real purpose was to destroy the Presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton.
  • To accomplish this, its members spent 17 months and wasted more than $4.5 million of American taxpayers’ funds.

On October 8, 2015, Republicans were expected to choose their nominee for Speaker. On that same date, McCarthy announced that he was withdrawing his name from consideration:

“Over the last week it has become clear to me that our Conference is deeply divided and needs to unite behind one leader. I have always put this Conference ahead of myself. Therefore I am withdrawing my candidacy for Speaker of the House.”

When reporters asked McCarthy if his revelation was the reason he withdrew, he replied, “Well, that wasn’t helpful.”

But then he quickly replayed the official Republican version: “But this Benghazi committee was only created for one purpose: to find the truth on behalf of the families for the four dead Americans.”

On October 29, 2015, Republicans—holding the majority of House members–elected Paul Ryan, (Wisconsin) the 54th speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

Democrats and Republicans were united in their anger that the real reason for the Benghazi “investigation” had been revealed.

Democrats were furious that McCarthy, in an unguarded moment, had revealed that their major Presidential candidate had been the victim of a Republican smear campaign disguised as a legitimate inquiry.

And Republicans were furious that McCarthy, in an unguarded moment, had revealed that the “legitimate inquiry” had been nothing more than a Republican smear campaign.

For McCarthy, the Benghazi Committee had legitimately served the nation—not by uncovering relevant details about a terrorist act but by causing Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers to drop.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan had attacked the leaders of the Soviet Union thusly: “They reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat.”

McCarthy’s comments demonstrated that the Republican Party had adopted the same mindset and tactics as the dictators of the former Soviet Union.

Almost seven years after Kevin McCarthy revealed himself and his party as ruthless hypocrites, Republicans suffered a similar outbreak of truth.

But this time, the stakes were higher—involving Donald J. Trump, the former President of the United States.  

COUNTDOWN TO DOOMSDAY: PART TWO (END)

In Bureaucracy, Business, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Politics, Social commentary on May 23, 2023 at 12:10 am

President Joseph Biden acts as if he must accept Republican extortion demands or watch the country’s economy collapse. 

But there are legal remedies for punishing such criminal behavior. Biden needs only to direct the Justice Department to apply them.

  • Biden can direct Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate whether actions by Republican Congressmen broke Federal anti-racketeering and/or anti-terrorism laws.
  • Garland, in turn, can order the FBI to conduct that investigation.
  • If the FBI finds sufficient evidence that these laws have been violated, Garland can convene criminal grand juries to indict those violators.

Official portrait of United States Attorney General Merrick Garland

Merrick Garland

Criminally investigating and possibly indicting members of Congress would not violate the separation-of-powers principle. Congressmen have in the past been investigated, indicted and convicted for various criminal offenses. 

Aside from their guilt for extortion, at least 147 Republican Congressional members tried to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 Presidential election to illegally retain Donald Trump in the White House. They can easily be indicted and prosecuted for electoral fraud.

Making the job easier for prosecutors: Former President Donald Trump, still de facto boss of the Republican party, has openly stated his desire to see default happen.

At his infamous May 10 town hall interview with CNN reporter Kaitlin Collins, Trump urged Republicans to default on the United States national debt if President Biden won’t agree to budget cuts.

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Donald Trump

TRUMP: I say to the Republicans out there—Congressmen, Senators—if they don’t give you massive cuts, you’re going to have to do a default. And I don’t believe they’re going to do a default because I think the Democrats will absolutely cave because you don’t want to have that happen.

But it’s better than what we’re doing right now because we’re spending money like drunken sailors. You know the expression? 

COLLINS: You once said that using the—that using the debt ceiling as a negotiating wedge just could not happen. You—you said that when you were in the Oval Office.

TRUMP: Sure, that’s when I was President.

COLLINS: So why is it different now that you’re out of office?

TRUMP: Because now I’m not President. 

In short: If I’m not President, the country can be destroyed for all I care.

Yet for all of Trump’s professed concern about the national deficit, on August 2, 2019, he signed into law a two-year budget deal that raised spending by $320 billion over existing spending caps set in a 2011 law.

The bill also boosted military and domestic spending, and lifted the debt ceiling, which is the legal limit on the amount of debt the federal government can have. 

The bill threatened to push the budget deficit to more than $1 trillion in 2019 for only the second time since the Great Recession of 2007-2008 and add $1.7 trillion to the federal debt over a decade. 

Besides ordering the Justice Department to indict extortionist Republicans, Biden could stand up to them in another way: By urging his fellow Americans to rally to him in a moment of supreme national danger. 

President John F. Kennedy did just that—successfully—during the most dangerous crisis of his administration.

Addressing the Nation on October 22, 1962, Kennedy shocked his fellow citizens by revealing that the Soviet Union had installed offensive nuclear missiles in Cuba.

John F. Kennedy

Kennedy outlined a series of steps he had taken to end the crisis—most notably, a blockade of Cuba. Then he sought to reassure and inspire his audience:

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender or submission.”

President Biden could send that same message to the extortionists of the Republican Party—but he has refused to do so.

Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the newly-installed Speaker of the House of Representatives, has told CNN that Republicans would demand spending cuts in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling. Those cuts would come at the expense of the poorest American citizens, as this has been the standard Republican practice.

Appearing on The PBS Newshour on January 17, Wendy Edelberg of the Hamilton Project, a liberal economic think tank, warned of potential disaster if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling: 

“It’s playing a game with the U.S. economy and people’s lives that I think is irresponsible….I’m very confident that the White House and Democrats in Congress stand ready to negotiate on future tax and spending laws and changes to those laws.

“What I don’t understand is why those negotiations are linked to the debt ceiling. Maybe they’re both about borrowing, and so people have gotten confused. One is about backward-looking obligations based on previous laws, tax and spending laws that were enacted, and one is about future.”

There’s no mystery: By linking the debt ceiling to tax and spending negotiations, Republicans believe they can extort any concessions they want from President Biden.

But this doesn’t have to happen.

Biden can choose to invoke criminal law against criminal extortion. If he does so, he will save the Nation from financial extinction. 

And he will send a message to future Right-wing extortionists: The lives  and fortunes of American citizens may not be held hostage to gain leverage in a political settlement..

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