Immigration Reform

The US Senate Parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough: Most Powerful Figure In Senate Deliberations!

Very few people are aware of the job of the US Senate Parliamentarian, or the holder of that position, Elizabeth MacDonough.

She has held that job since 2012, appointed by then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

The first woman to hold that position, she is the sixth person to be in that job, since it was created in 1935.

She is designed to be a nonpartisan official who determines what and what cannot be done under the “reconciliation” process in the Senate, which can allow certain budgetary situations to move forward without meeting the filibuster requirement of sixty senators.

Without that, very little could be done in a Senate which for only the fourth time in history has seen an evenly divided Senate.

The 47th Congress (1881-1883); 83rd Congress (1953-1955); and the 107th Congress (2002-2003) are the only times before the 117th Congress, where we have seen such a situation.

So this woman, Elizabeth MacDonough, highly respected, has tremendous power over the Joe Biden agenda, and now has made clear that immigration reform cannot be utilized under “reconciliation”, a blow to action on that issue, which seems unlikely to be able to be overcome!

Five Months Of President Joe Biden: A World Of Difference!

President Joe Biden has now been in the Oval Office for five months, and what a world of difference!

The right wing media and the Republican Party, of course, are constantly on the attack on every issue imaginable.

But Joe Biden has been successful in so many ways:

The COVID 19 Pandemic response, a great success with 300 million vaccinations after five months (150 days)
The Economic Revival through the American Rescue Plan legislation, greater success than thought possible in five months
Moving toward action on Infrastructure, Voting Rights, Gun Regulations, Health Care And Education Reform
Reversing many actions of Donald Trump on the Environment by Executive Order
Reversing actions of Trump on Immigration, Climate Change, Civil Rights, and so many other domestic issues
Choosing Federal Judges to balance out the right wing tilt of the Trump Judicial appointments
Restoring good relations with NATO, the European Union, and the G-7 Nations
Succeeding in making Vladimir Putin know he has met his match, with Putin saying Biden was professional, constructive, and experienced
Making clear to the world community that America has returned to world leadership and a sense of ethics and morals
Restoring Dignity, Compassion, Empathy, Decency, Humanity to the Oval Office

The Republican Party Base Is Anti Immigrant, But They Are Also Anti Science And Anti Historical Fact!

The Republican Party base is anti immigrant (nativist), and has prevented immigration reform, despite the efforts over the years of Republicans, such as John McCain and George W. Bush to deal with the issue, alongside Democrats, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and a multitude of others.

It is also anti Science, allowing right wing evangelical Christians to utilize mind control, and to attack evolution a century after the Scopes Trial, and to be anti vaccine and anti mask advocates, and also anti climate change, along with attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci.

And the Republican Party base is also anti history, wanting to promote a “white” history, without discussion of the horrendous treatment and abuse of African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic-Latino Americans, and Asian Americans over the long run of American history.

The situation for teachers of the Social Sciences and American history, and also of American literature teachers who assign fiction that depicts and informs us of horrible mistreatment and racial language, is in crisis, as many teachers will lose their positions as state governments in many of the states dictate how their curriculums are to be controlled and presented.

Lawsuits are beginning by teachers’ unions and other groups to stop censorship of the truth, but the Republican Party base promoting “Know Nothingism” on immigration, science and history are an attack on academic freedom that must be fought through all legal means!

The Joe Manchin Problem

West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is a real problem for the Democrats in the US Senate.

While he is a Democrat, and has supported all actions so far by President Joe Biden in legislative votes, he has now made it clear that he will NOT work to end or modify the Senate filibuster. This despite great disappointment that ten Republican Senators could not be found to support the creation of the January 6 Commission.

Manchin is a conservative who, if he was to retire or lose support of his voters, he would be most likely replaced by a Republican, so this creates an impossible situation in a 50-50 Senate.

This mess creates great problems for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and could do great damage to the Joe Biden agenda, in a way similar to what Barack Obama faced after the first two years of his Presidency.

The ability to have a voting rights law to overcome the actions by many Republican legislatures to limit voting rights for racial minorities will be hampered, as well as a serious infrastructure legislation, gun control legislation, immigration reform, and so much else.

“Reconciliation”, which would not require 60 votes, might be possible, but is based on some bipartisan support, which is far from guaranteed.

One Month Anniversary Of The Biden Presidency: Tremendous Initiatives And Goals And Early Success!

It is today one month since Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States, and there is a sense of great optimism.

The basic decency, compassion, empathy of Joe Biden is very evident, and he has staked out goals in foreign policy and domestic policy, canceling out most of the damage done by Donald Trump in his horrendous four years in office.

Biden has embraced NATO and our democratic allies in Asia;

has made clear that America will hold authoritarian governments around the world accountable for their outrageous violations of basic freedoms;

has selected an exceptional group of Cabinet and other advisors to deal with the myriad of issues he faces, greater than anyone since Franklin D. Roosevelt nine decades ago;

has committed himself to the fight against climate change;

has dedicated himself to the need for immigration reform, and to protect DACA recipients who have been living in uncertainty for the past five years;

has worked to promote the environment and conservation after the worst environmental record of any American President;

has been moving forward on a major economic relief bill;

has surpassed his goal of daily vaccinations against COVID 19 and made it a national commitment, not just left up to states alone;

has made the fight for civil liberties, civil rights, and the struggle against racism, nativism, misogyny a major commitment;

has endorsed full protection for the gay and lesbian community;

and above all, has restored the dignity and prestige of the American Presidency which was in rapid decline.

Joe Biden may not be able to accomplish everything he wishes, due to political realities, but his heart is in the right place, and he clearly is out to promote progressive goals and work against domestic terrorist groups which endanger American democracy.

Joe Biden Needs To Use Executive Orders Vigorously To Overcome Stalemate In Congress

Executive Orders have been part of American government, and often are controversial.

It is clear that President Elect Joe Biden will use this authority extensively to backtrack and reverse many of the Executive Orders put forth by outgoing President Donald Trump.

This use of executive orders has been escalating in recent years as Congress has become more difficult and intransigent, forcing Presidents to take action, which sometimes is challenged in the Courts, but often is not successful in negating what Presidents have initiated.

It seems clear that Biden is likely to use executive orders on such matters as

Climate Change
Covid 19 Pandemic
Racial Injustice
Economic Depression
Health Care Reform
Immigration Reform

There will be opposition, but Joe Biden has done better in popular vote support than when Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush were elected, and these are crisis times, which calls for strong leadership by the 46th President!

The Urgent Democratic Platform For 2020: 30 Goals For The Next Decade

What MUST be part of the Democratic Party platform in 2020, no matter who is the Democratic Presidential nominee?

In no special order, it MUST include:

Medicare for all Americans of all ages
$15 minimum wage by 2022 everywhere in America and Paid Family Leave
Free public university and college tuition for the first two years or 60 credits of higher education
Wiping out of college debt which prevents many young people from marrying, having children, buying a home, having a future
Repeal of Citizens United, which has allowed corporations to be called people, and destroy political campaigns with large donations, and instead promote public financing of campaigns
Responsible Gun Control legislation
Protection of Women’s Rights, including abortion rights
Enforcement of gay and lesbian and transgender rights
A responsible immigration reform program, reversing the damage done by Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, John Kelly, Kirstjen Nielsen, Stephen Miller and Thomas Homan
Revival of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that have been curbed by Donald Trump
Protection of the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Labor Rights promoted, including prevention of “right to work” laws
Environmental regulations revived and strengthened
Consumer Rights revived and strengthened
Investment in infrastructure across America
Condemnation of violations of human rights in other nations, including Russia, China, Turkey, Egypt, the Philippines and elsewhere
Revival of NATO alliance and other alliances that have been weakened in the Trump Presidency
The end of protectionist tariffs, which undermine the American economy
Strengthening of relations with Cuba, and attempts to overcome strains and tensions with Iran, and revive the Iran Nuclear Deal
Promoting total separation of church and state, with religion not being promoted by government
Reenactment of responsible corporation and Wall Street reforms
Protection of Native American lands and properties
Criminal Justice Reforms for those not involved in violent Crimes
National restoration of Voting Rights to former convicts who have paid their debt to society
Decriminalizing Drug Use and Sales, so as to overcome the Opioid Crisis, and allow Medicinal Marijuana without penalty
Promoting funding for the Arts and Culture across America
Dealing with poverty and homelessness in America
Hurricane Relief for Puerto Rico and move toward statehood as the 51st state
Tax Reform to require a fair and equitable tax system for all, not just the wealthy
Reviving respect for Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press

Would all of these 30 “planks” be successfully accomplished in the term of the next Democratic President from 2021-2025? Most certainly, highly unlikely, but these must be the goals of the next Democratic administration, as we attempt to recover from the disaster and tragedy of the Donald Trump nightmare!

Donald Trump And Jeff Sessions: The Ultimate Nativists And Racists In Modern American History

President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have taken the most outrageous action imaginable, in declaring DACA ended within six months unless Congress finally gets its act together and promotes immigration reform.

What they have done is the ultimate nativist and racist action in modern American history. Both of them will be condemned in history for the hateful action they have taken, and in the process disrupting and destroying millions of American families, by forcing deportation of young men and women, brought here without their consent by their parents looking for a better life, and now sent back to nations they do not remember, and which they have no knowledge of their languages and cultures.

Just imagine if any of us were told you are deported, even though you have not committed a criminal act, and you are thrown into a society you have no experience with, and are separated from family members and friends who are what makes your life worthwhile.

imagine how that upends your life, as a law abiding young man or woman, who is working, paying taxes, many going to college, some into the military, and one person helping to rescue victims of Hurricane Harvey being killed in that storm. Imagine those who are patriotic as much as anyone, and may have opened up their own business, or bought a home, and had children, now faced with total disruption of their lives.

One can expect some of these young men and women might commit suicide, rather than face deportation. Many may face harassment and hate from white supremacists, who have been emboldened by this action.

This is a crime against humanity, something that should be brought to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the Netherlands, as there is no justification to do this to young people who had no control over their lives at a young age.

House Speaker Paul Ryan And Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch Are Right: Leave DACA In Place, Do NOT Victimize Young Immigrants!

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch are second and third in line to be President, under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947.

Both are clearly conservative Republicans, and yet both have called on President Donald Trump to leave DACA (Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals) in place for 800,000 young men and women who were given the right to remain in America by President Obama in 2012, despite the illegal status of their presence, when they were brought here by their parents from Mexico and other nations in Latin America.

These children (now young adults) should NOT be forced to face deportation to nations they have never known, and which in most cases, do not know the language or culture, or have relatives they know in those nations that their parents migrated from for opportunity for a better life.

These DACA young people are in many cases, in college or the military, and are not engaged in criminal activity, which would clearly eliminate them from the program if proven in a court of law.

Realistically, beyond the DACA kids, there is no rational way to deport millions upon millions of people who, while they may have come illegally, have not broken the law while in America.

These undocumented immigrants pay taxes, face discrimination by police officers who intimidate them in many cases, and do a multitude of jobs that no one else will take on, including working in agricultural fields, hotels, restaurants, and as maids and engaged in property upkeep and in child care duties, and cannot be replaced.

As always, immigrants work much harder than most Americans, in many cases two to three jobs under great stress, and do not complain in the spoiled way that many Americans engage in.

This is a nation of immigrants, and one can be sure that historically there were many undocumented immigrants who came here, and made contributions to the welfare and success of America, so the answer is NOT deporting anyone who is making a positive contribution, and instead having systematic immigration reform, as Paul Ryan and Orrin Hatch, and other Republicans, including Senators John McCain, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham and others, are advocating.

Trump Speech To Congress: More Sober And Balanced, But Still Full Of Lies, Mistruths, And Deceptions!

Donald Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress was more sober and balanced in tone, and avoided controversial rhetoric, but Donald Trump is still Donald Trump, and to believe that Trump is really going to change his lifetime pattern of behavior, is to believe in the tooth fairy!

His speech, no matter how well it seemed to come across in performance, sticking to a script of a person known for good acting on “The Apprentice”, it was full of lies, mistruths, and deceptions.

Trump said crime was at an all time high, when the opposite is reality, but he loves to stoke fear. Instead of defending civil rights and civil liberties his Justice Department under Jeff Sessions will promote law and order, which means, as under Richard Nixon, widespread abuse of power.

Trump said most of the terrorist attacks are from outside, when that is totally false, as it is by Americans who unleash violence, and now the Republicans want mentally ill people to have the right to firearms restored. We have a far greater danger from domestic terrorism than foreign terrorism, as we already have a vetting system that makes it hard for people of ill intention to enter the nation, but instead Trump promotes fear and trepidation to grab more power, as promoted by Stephen Miller and Stephen Bannon.

Trump exploited the family of the fallen SEAL Ryan Owens killed in Yemen, saluting the widow (a touching moment), but bragging about the longest applause ever, as if this is a TV show and that he was looking for ratings. Meanwhile , the Yemen raid was a disaster, so declared by intelligence agencies, and Trump is trying to avoid an investigation called for by the father of the fallen SEAL, who sees Trump as ordering something done in Yemen on a whim, without proper information, and deciding at dinner with Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner, and not in the Situation Room in the White House, where such decisions are made traditionally.

Trump told a group at the White House during the day that he had interest in immigration reform, rather than deporting millions, even though already undocumented immigrants have been deported or detained, including an immigrant who committed suicide once he was brought to the Mexican side of the border, and a woman detained who has breast cancer with no medical intervention available. When it came time to discuss what he had said earlier in the day, Trump avoided any discussion.

Trump used the term “radical Islamic terrorism” in his speech, despite the advice of National Security Adviser HR McMaster, and if this continues, McMaster, highly respected, might decide to leave, since Trump is ignoring his well regarded advice.

Trump distorted increased costs of ObamaCare, an average of 22 percent, not two to three times what the premiums were, so he lied, and gets away with it with many gullible people.

So Trump is depending on the moment, the audience, and the advisers around him in what he says,and is totally unhinged, totally manipulative and deceitful, totally uncaring about the effect that he has on others. No one knows what the “real” Donald Trump thinks, including himself.

So yes, the speech “sounded” better, but upon further investigation and thought, Donald Trump is still Donald Trump, a disgrace to the office he holds!