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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Clueless in Boston

For John, BLUFInvincible ignorance on Morrissey Boulevard.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Boston Globe has a particularly inane Editorial today, "Boehner must spurn Tea Party again on immigration reform".

The Editorial Cartoon, by Mr Michael Ramirez, better captures the actual situation in DC.

The editors totally miss the point that the debt is growing and no one seems to have any idea how to deal with it, the various Tea Parties aside.  We sail further and further out on this uncharted sea, confident that the directions left by Lord Keynes will bring us safely to port.  Their Lordships at The Globe see only some men and women dressed as Native Americans and dumping tea in the harbor.  They don't see a possible economic disaster in front of us.  Their Lordships lack the grace to acknowledge that those of us who identify with the various Tea Parties have concerns that deserve some consideration.

The other place Their Lordships show a lack of grace, and lack of insight, is with regard to immigration.  If the President is legislating from the Oval Office, if only by selective enforcement of the laws passed by the US Congress, then how will a deal on immigration be enforced, except by shutting down parts of the Government?  (I don't think the Feed and Forage act extents to Customs and Border Patrol or the Immigration and Naturalization Service.)  But then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would shut down the entire Federal Government rather than allow the Lower House to call the President's attention to his lack of attention to parts of an agreement, by not funding certain agencies involved in immigration (eg, CBP and INS).  And Their Lordships at The Globe would applaud Mr Reid.

Regards  —  Cliff


Craig H said...

That "selective enforcement" canard is a ridiculously lame excuse, especially considering the relatively short time the current POTUS has left to serve, compared to all the years that will follow. I was with you right up to that point, at which point I immediately dismissed this whole rant as senselessly excusing of obstructionism, and doubly ridiculous because of projecting obstructionism onto only one party in your ardor to take a side that is otherwise unsupportable.

Craig H said...

So here's a recent article citing the statistics available about the current POTUS' "selective enforcement":

Under the aegis of the current POTUS, America is deporting 9 times as many people as 20 years ago, and no American president has ever deported more. Illegal border crossings have also dropped a significant amount. (2/3rds of deportees are detained at the border, which also thoroughly and conveniently explains why 2013 deportations are slightly less than 2012).

"Selective enforcement"? I'd say it's far more a case of "selective hyperbole" on the part of those, like you, who seem to refuse to see reason.

C R Krieger said...

For those who like their links clickable, here is Craig's (I hope).

I would argue that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a large case of "selective enforcement".  Congress passes the law and the Administration decides what is and what is not required.  Mandates come and mandates go.  I am not happy to be so old, but I am happy to have Medicare and Tricare.  The sand is not shifting so much under my feet.

As I hope to blog tomorrow, the President has stuck by some agreements, and been condemned by the Progressives for it, but his "I have a pen" oratory does not bode well for the next few years.

And, as for the fact that the current POTUS has only a little time to serve, there is the question of who comes after him.  My friend Rick assures me that the GOP can not win a General Election, so that leaves SecState Hillary Clinton or Senator E Warren.  I am dismissing all other parties and non-parties as unable to actually mount a real challenge.  When was the last real one?  The Dixiecrats in 1948.  Would The Kingfish have formed a separate party in 1936, if he hadn't been assassinated in 1935?  The Bull Moose party in 1912?

I am not confident.

Regards  —  Cliff

Craig H said...

Ah, but we're talking about "selective enforcement" on immigration issues, aren't we? Or are you suggesting frustration over the Affordable Care Act" needs to be expressed via intransigence on immigration reform, too?

And, seriously, the suggestion that it's simply not worth the bother to pass worthwhile laws because of some anticipated disappointment with future elected officials is somewhat stunning. Does the rise of Barry the Fascist Socialist mean that Hancock, Adams and Jefferson et al. were really wasting their time after all, and should have gone back to whatever they were doing before they imagined a better way?

And, lastly, I think Betsy Warren deserves better than to be lumped in with Hillary when tossing out the brickbats. As a Freshman Senator, I've been impressed with her approach and her impact, and do not find reason behind the accusations of fault leveled by opposition polemics.

So, back to immigration reform... Explain to me again why improving the law isn't an unequivocally better idea? Because, if you can't, I'm afraid you've just laid down the "logic" behind the opposition intransigence for generations and administrations to come, and that does not paint a pretty future picture at all.

C R Krieger said...

I agree we should pass legislation.  It is about cutting a deal.  The President can and has cut deals.  On the other hand, the PP&ACA was a deal and it is all mushy.

You just like Senator E Warren because you didn't build that.  Someone else did.  But then she didn't either.

But, to the Constitution.  In another forum I wrote:

I fear that [some are] slowly sliding into the Max Boot Camp--we don't need no stinking Congress to take action.

Worse, some seem to believe that "the agency to dispense with the duties of the office thus established" includes the authority to ignore acts of Congress from time to time when those acts get in the way of effective Federal action ["as perceived by that agency, its leadership or employees"] [Add by some guy in Conn.].

Not that there is much to admire about the US Congress, but they are the ones we sent to Washington to make the laws and to check on their execution by holding hearings and maybe even withholding funds from time to time.  They are a motley crew, but they are in charge, subject to rulings of the US Supreme Court.  IMHO.

Regards  —  Cliff

Craig H said...


I didn't build what? Statistically, I'm on the cusp of being a 1%'er, which is frightening, not because I'm all that well off, but because I'm not all that well off, and it's just that the wealth is so insanely concentrated nowadays that by the time you get to the top of the middle class folks, they're right up there beyond the 2% line and bordering on the 1.

I do not dislike E Warren because: 1) she's earnest, 2) from what I can see relatively honest, and 3) following her convictions in a stand-up and straightforward way. Those who disagree with her politics should not begrudge her the mandate offered by her popular election based on the same principles she espouses while in office. (I put her in the same respected category I would put Ed Brooke if that helps your partisan perspective).

I am 1000% with you on the need to re-set our national priorities and resolve to respect and leverage the legislative branch while curtailing the worst of the perversions now extant in our executive branch. But let's be fair, objective and respective of history here: The Nixonian doctrine of absolute presidential power was resumed by one Mr. Cheney, and nobody should be complaining about Obaminations without resolving to clean it up right, and not just use the revolving door to replace one would-be despot with another as we've endured these last few election cycles.

C R Krieger said...

Re ?, I am not asserting, I am quoting.  :–)

Regards  — Cliff

Craig H said...

Not quoting me was the point of the "?". I have no idea why "you didn't build that" is so inflammatory to so many people--investment in infrastructure is one of the first things for which our corporate lobbies lobby our legislators, from improvements around NFL stadiums to all the rest of the stuff that Sal Lupoli and others are relying upon to make their investments in DTL pay off. Elizabeth Warren is right to point out that some portion of government spending benefits the wealthy, and it's fair to ask them to pay their fair share in return. Of course we can all dispute how much "fair" should be, but we shouldn't be arguing over the premise itself.

C R Krieger said...

It is just that to a certain segment of the population it didn't come across as being about infrastructure.  It seemed to denigrate the contributions of the creative individuals.   It ignored the insights of the power curve.  The remark, picked up by President Obama, just seemed to strike at the root of the idea of small company capitalism.  It put its emphasis on how the "Government" makes things happen.

My Father and two Brothers were Federal Civil Servants and did good things.  Father set a world's record for work without a lost time accident as the Chief of Safety in an industrial facility of a certain size (in his case the Naval Shipyard in Long Beach).  One Brother was an SES Chief of Procurement for Air Force Special Projects.  No more said there.  My other Brother had the contract for expendable launch vehicles (ELVs) and made it tight and cost saving.

All that said, we need room for private initiative and should not put it down.

Regards  —  Cliff

Craig H said...

I didn't take EW's remarks to be put downs of private initiative--in fact, reading them as cynically as you please would ultimately require the inference that she's saying that private initiative is the one thing that makes the world and everything in it (including governments and their infrastructure projects) go round, which likewise requires the conclusion that she thinks it's pretty important indeed. But, by all means, let's boil it back to the sound bit (bits being even smaller than bytes) and assume she wants to kill the one thing that's necessary to keep the lights on where she works.