Catching up on Events the Week of March 25

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on April 14, 2019

Trump and taxes: The House Oversight committee requested President Trump’s tax returns, to which it is entitled by law. (Just ask the Republican House members who requested tax returns of Obama administration employees regularly.) I’m all for this request. I have thought all along that Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” will be more easily determined and understood than his politically deflected ones.

It’s hard to imagine, when you think about it, that Russia may have decided long ago to help Trump get elected president. That thinking probably formed coincidentally with their decision to meddle in our elections generally. It is, however, very easy to see Russia deciding that a sleazy and rather stupid real estate shyster would be easy to use in money laundering schemes, whether wittingly or unknowingly.

Immigrant abuse: ICE raided CVE Technology in Allen. TX, a suburb of Dallas, and walked away with 280 workers on immigration violation charges. This was the largest such workplace operation in more than a decade, and must have pleased the Trump administration no end. Most of the workers were women. The administration is being coy about whether any of those arrested were actual members of CVE’s management, which explains the schizophrenic core of our immigration problem.

On the one hand are anti-immigrant, bigoted, ignorant xenophobes who hate immigrants, and on the other, businesses that want and need to employ immigrants.

If we really want to stop “illegal immigration,” which I do not, nor do I think most people think is a true problem, we only need to put more business owners who employ undocumented immigrants in prison, not the undocumented immigrants themselves. The prospect of real jail time would be an effective deterrent to these owners.

But we can’t manage to do this, because, well, we all know we really need these workers. The result of this conflict is that we do nothing meaningful either way, but keep these people in limbo, exploit them, and use them as political pawns.

Pig on parade: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used the “nuclear option” to make it easier to get Trump’s judicial nominees confirmed, which has caused many to opine that all filibuster rules will be gone soon. McConnell, a genuine pig part, about whom I will have more to write soon, is a greater affront to our democracy than President Trump can ever dream of being.

I’m ambivalent about the potential loss of the filibuster. On the one hand, it has been a useful tactic to slow things down in the Senate, which helps Senators avoid rushing into hastily ill thought out legislation. On the other hand, there is no denying that the whole process, which is found nowhere in the Constitution, is contrary to democratic theory.

In practice, the filibuster has been so badly abused by the Senate for the last several years that I think we are probably better off doing away with it entirely. Then, when Democrats take over the Senate, they can beat McConnell around the head and shoulders with it.

Status of the States: None of our worst states distinguished itself from the others in terms of egregious behavior this week, so we’ll not give out a cup. We certainly can’t give it to Texas, whose central casting Senator John Cornyn is showing faint signs waking up to smell the coffee, or more likely, smelling his own blood in the election waters. fff

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