There is a daily roundup of immigration news on this blog, well worth checking out regularly:
The very limited travel ban reinstated by the Supreme Court will go into effect Thursday morning — but exactly who is banned remains unclear. Under a very narrow reading of the decision, only tourists with no other connection to the United States would be barred. Most visa applicants from the six targeted, mostly-Muslim countries will have the “bona-fide connection” to a person or entity within the United States that would exempt them from the travel ban.
Refugees, all of whom have undergone years of vetting before approval for visas, can arguably claim connection to the resettlement agencies working with them. However, it seems likely that the Trump administration will continue to resist admission of refugees.
Actually, anyone who eats food is likely to be adversely affected by what’s going on with immigration. Making America Great Again!
Research by the Farm Bureau suggests that the federal immigration policy Trump is promoting could result in a massive farm labor shortage across the country, causing domestic fruit output to plunge anywhere from 30 to 61 percent and vegetable production to fall by 15 to 31 percent. Industrial-scale livestock operations and slaughterhouses also rely heavily on immigrants, so meat production could tumble by as much as 27 percent. As a result, the group concludes, US eaters are looking at food price hikes of 5 to 6 percent. That might not sound like much, but it’s sure to squeeze families on a tight budget. So Trump’s efforts to save us from “bad hombres” is bad news for farms—and for Americans who are just trying to put dinner on the table.
The cold, hard reality on the ground.
In a move that appears to negate President Donald Trump’s numerous vows to fight for American workers at risk of losing their jobs due to corporate outsourcing and layoffs, Boeing told CNN on Thursday that around 200 workers based in South Carolina would be fired in an effort to cut costs.
The layoffs, according to reports, will come from several factories throughout the state, including one Trump visited just a few months ago.
“The South Carolina plant was Trump’s first company visit outside the Beltway after he became president,” the Washington Post noted…
The news comes just as Carrier, another company Trump has frequently criticized for outsourcing, is set to send 600 of its Indianapolis factory jobs to Mexico, a move many view as a direct refutation to Trump’s boasts and a betrayal of his promises.
This is profoundly concerning.
Here’s the score so far: Trump has been suckered by China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. He has pissed off Mexico, Canada, Germany, France, Britain, Australia, and most of our other traditional allies. Nobody knows what his policy toward Israel is. Or his policy in Afghanistan. Or his policy in Syria. Or his trade policy toward anyone. Or whether he ever bothers talking with his Secretary of State.
Welcome to our new foreign policy, ladies and gentlemen. Isn’t it great that we finally have a firm leader at the helm once again?
I certainly haven’t seen any indication that Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) could be thinking of leaving Congress at the end of this term. But conventional wisdom is that 2018 will be his toughest electoral challenge (as will be the case with a lot of GOP incumbents), and he’s certainly paid his dues to the rich man to the point that he will have his pick of lucrative lobbying gigs whenever he wants them.
On the other hand, he doesn’t have to beg for money; Big Device in particular will see to it that his campaign has plenty. And if I’m not mistaken he has always easily outperformed GOP presidential candidates, in the district. It’s certainly possible that he has little to fear unless Democrats can score an A+ list candidate to run against him, and I don’t know who that would be.
Anyway, this new practice of his at least borders on the pitiful. At the very least.
Erik Paulsen regularly issues a video Correspondence Corner in which he responds to constituent questions.
It is a great ploy — Congressman Paulsen determines what question is to be answered … thus, providing him an opportunity to portray himself as effectively responding to issues that he wishes to address as if they are the most critical issues that voters want addressed…
Later in the session, the House approved Amendment 90 offered by Congressman Don Young (R-AK) to H.R. 5538 to prevent use of funds to implement the Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan, which recommended that Congress designate the Coastal Plain as wilderness. That vote was approved 237-191, Congressman Paulsen was one of twelve Republicans to vote NO. OK … that supports his stance but the Republican majority prevailed.
However, that amendment was just an amendment … would Congressman Paulsen retain that same opposition on the final vote ? No … while 15 Republicans voted NO on the bill, it was approved 231-196, with Congressman Paulsen voting YES.
Being able to cast a protest vote on amendments does little when you vote inline with Republican leadership orders on the final bill.
In summary, while Congressman Paulsen’s Correspondence Corner response to April of Edina may give some hope that he will reject Trump’s calls for more oil and gas drilling, his votes say that in the end, he will side with “the Boss” and his Big Oil donors.
(MN Political Roundtable)
There are more critiques of Rep. Paulsen’s “Correspondence Corner,” at the same blog.
You don’t – at least, I certainly don’t – see as much talk about the national debt as there was, say, back in the 1990’s. Perhaps even debt hawks among the sorriest dregs and rinsings of the contemporary human intellect – the conservative punditry – realize that the issue has lost its edge since it’s become clear that a huge federal debt doesn’t mean economic apocalypse.
But that’s not to suggest that a gi-normous national debt is a good thing. Especially if you consider what has really caused it. If you’re reading this you’re presumably enough into the issue to have seen graphs like the following plenty of times before.
Yeah, it started with Almighty Reagan’s tax cuts for the rich and military spending. And the fundamentals haven’t changed. The U.S. national debt is nothing more or less than the cost of 35+ years of aggrandizing the plutocrats and warmongers.
But the real cost of prioritizing that aggrandizement is even greater – indeed, far greater. It’s the cost of the lost potential inherent in a shrinking middle class, and a long-term underclass being screwed in almost every conceivable way. And so on; again, if you’ve read this far, having come to this blog, you know what I’m typing about. Fundamentally, we’re talking about constrained to virtually nonexistent access to substantial resources and opportunity for those not born to wealth, or otherwise granted ready access to it.
This past weekend:
Police cleared hundreds of demonstrators who were protesting the verdict in the Jeronimo Yanez trial from Interstate 94 early Saturday morning.
Police gave protesters numerous warnings that being on the interstate constituted an unlawful assembly and that arrests would be made if they did not clear the roadway. A KSTP reporter on scene said officers sprayed protesters with mace while attempting to control the crowd.
It’s interesting that it’s Hubbard News, of all outlets, that emphasized in its headline how minor any “violence” was. Anyway, early in the legislative session, namely January:
Representative Kathy Lohmer says the growing number of freeway protests are a threat to public safety, not only to police, but drivers and protesters too.
“You need to obey the laws of the freeway,” said Lohmer, a Republican from Stillwater. “They are there for a purpose. Freeways are not really public spaces, like parks and places like that. You need a license to drive on the freeway. You can’t walk on the freeway.”
Lohmer’s bill beefs up penalties for obstructing highways, including entrance and exit ramps. Right now, it’s a misdemeanor carrying fines up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail.
The bill would make it a gross misdemeanor, carrying fines up to $3,000 and a year in jail.
That didn’t make it into law, this time. It will, if Republicans take the trifecta in Minnesota in 2018. And said GOPers apparently honestly believe that it will help turn angry people who intend to get noticed into obedient little authoritarians. That is delusional.
Image: Twin Cities Daily Planet
(In Part 1 I blogged about the Great American Stupid. In Part 2, about voting numbers and trends. In Part 3, about the foul antics of corporate media.)
Voter suppression is a despicable, unconscionable thing. Voting is a fundamental right in a democracy, so if it was up to me, leaders of the “voter ID” movement would face federal prosecution for denial of civil rights. But it’s not up to the likes of me. Bummer.
That being said, the actual, practical effect of voter suppression in elections so far is tough to figure. Wisconsin has been noted as a place in the last election where the result may have been swung because of it.
While states with no change to voter identification laws witnessed an average increased turnout of +1.3% from 2012 to 2016, Wisconsin’s turnout (where voter ID laws changed to strict) dropped by -3.3%. If turnout had instead increased by the national- no-change average, we estimate that over 200,000 more voters would have voted in Wisconsin in 2016. For context, Clinton lost to Trump in Wisconsin by only 20,000 votes.