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Member since: Sat Jan 5, 2008, 08:45 PM
Number of posts: 51,346

Journal Archives

Who knew? Who knew that the TPP would be great for keeping US jobs in the US?

This guy knew:

There are dozens of pictures like the one below showing how the President used his office to break barriers for US businesses, but selling hundreds of of Boeings to Vietnam is of my favorites because when I arrived in Vietnam in 1978 to negotiate a deal on moving migrants the North Vietnamese generals asked me how long would it take to get the Boeing 747s to land in Vietnam, and I was momentarily lost for words and said they would have to ask United and Pan American about that.

Here is President Obama on the occasion of PRV ordering their first 100 737 Max 200 airplanes, the largest purchase of airplanes in Vietnamese history.

It really is true, Donald Trump is trying to undo everything that President Obama got done.

America's Capitalists (WSJ and Forbes) explain WHY WE NEED REFUGEES/MIGRANTS AND ASYLUM SEEKERS

It has to do with math.

People wonder why Merkel was so quick to take in 1 1/2 million Syrian refugees.

Germany's economy needs 1.5 million younger workers over the next ten years.

And they will still have problems with an increasing aging population. Japan has hit this aging crises 10 years ago and the US is starting to hit it now.

First the WSJ


In a bilateral summit, the German chancellor and French president agreed to work toward some protean form of eurowide fiscal union. This eurozone budget would be financed both via member-state contributions and by developing a stream of earmarked revenues (or “own resources” in eurospeak).

. . .

Yet there’s a lot less money here than meets the eye. Over the next few decades, Germany’s inexorably aging population will place ever greater demands on the national fisc. This is a common condition across the developed world, but it’s more acute in Germany than anywhere other than Japan, since the population is aging quickly.

A 2016 analysis prepared for the Finance Ministry in Berlin showed that total age-related spending—taxpayer-funded pension payouts, medical care and other items—amounted to 26% of GDP in 2014, or nearly 60% of total government spending. Under a particularly optimistic set of assumptions about demographic change, employment conditions and economic growth, that burden would grow to 29% of GDP by 2060. If Germany misses those rosy forecasts, old-age entitlements will account for 33% of GDP instead.

Similar statistics from Forbes


If Western Europe wants to keep its social benefits, the countries of the E.U. are going to need more workers. No place in the world has an older population that's not into baby making than Europe. No wonder policy planners are doing what they can to encourage immigration.. Eastern Europe is old. The U.K.'s median age is approaching a mid-life crisis, currently at 40.5. With fertility rates expected to hit zero in Europe in the next decade, the only way the European Union can fight elderly poverty and maintain its expensive entitlement programs is to increase immigration. Another option is to provide incentives to convince 20 and 30-something-year-olds to have more than one baby.

. . .

Poland's median age is 40.3. Czech Republic is 41.7. New euro zone member Lithuania in the Baltics is even older: 43.4, according to the CIA World Factbook. Despite the fact that many young people (say under 40) from the Baltics have moved to richer Western European cities like London and Stockholm, Sweden's average age is still higher than the U.S. at 41.2.

Population Trends in the US are starting to follow that of Japan and Europe


The national population is growing older and more diverse than ever before, according to new Census Bureau numbers released Thursday.

The nation’s median age is 37.9 years old, more than two years higher than the median age in 2000, according to new Census Bureau numbers released Thursday. The number of Americans over 65 years old has jumped from 35 million at the turn of the century to 49.2 million today.

We need these workers and the fact is that we get a lot of the cream of other populations as it is the most courageous, hard working and imaginative folks that tend to risk everything to another country. They also tend to be the ones that are most committed to their families.

As more people move to retirement years, and as costs increase for these populations there is only one way that we can maintain the model that we currently have that requires transgenerational support of benefits, we need these migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

We need them for entry level work, we need them for agricultural work and we need them to open up small businesses like garages, contractors and family restaurants.

The one thing we don't need is to criminalize them or to put them into cages. We could set up an orderly system to bring them in and integrate them carefully with the help of non profits, I know because I was a part of that movement when we brought in a million refugees from South East Asia after the Vietnam War.

We have done it before.

It is good for the families that are escaping violence.

It is good for us, in fact we need it.

F*$king Gibberish: If we get more boats for the Coast Guard we can kill more wolves.

1) Beyond the obvious and heart wrenching attacks on American values and basic moral and religious beliefs the Trump administration separation of children from their mothers and fathers is a basic exercise in gibberish, and most media commentators and reporters are too ignorant or lazy to call the administration on presenting a line of argument that can best be called gibberish.

President Trump continues to spout nonsense that if we only had the wall then he wouldn't have to separate the children from the parents.

These are not undocumented workers or illegal drug smugglers who are trying to evade capture at the border by the Border Patrol. These are Asylum Seekers who are presenting themselves at the border to apply for asylum. The only reason that they are not approaching the US port is because access to the port is being manned by federal law enforcement agents who are telling them they cannot proceed because "facilities are full" (which is not a legal reason to prevent them from proceeding).

The Asylum Seekers are following US law. US law requires Asylum Seekers to apply at a Port of Entry


Asylum is a form of legal protection available to certain people who cannot or would not feel safe if they tried to live in their home country, because of past persecution or the danger of future persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Unfortunately, U.S. embassies and consulates cannot process requests for this form of protection because, under U.S. law, asylum seekers can apply only if they are physically present in the United States (or at least at a U.S. border or other point of entry).

There is a common misconception that U.S. embassies and consulates are basically the same as U.S. soil. It is true that international law protects national embassies and consulates from being destroyed, entered, or searched (without permission) by the government of the country where they are located (the host country). However, this does not give those embassies or consulates the full status of being part of their home nation’s territory. Therefore, U.S. law does not consider asylum seekers at U.S. embassies and consulates to be “physically present in the United States” (or at a U.S. border or point of entry).

Physical barriers like fences or walls are created for those that are trying to avoid detection and enter the country illegally. Asylum seekers simply seek access to the port of entry so that they can make a lawful application of asylum. Rather than attempt to enter outside the port area ACLU and other legal parties should get an injunction stopping the illegal detouring of Asylum Seekers away from the Port of Entry.

In any case the wall or fence is implemented not for Asylum Seekers but for those who are trying to successfully gain a surreptitious entry.

When Trump says that a wall will prevent Asylum Seekers and obviate the need to separate children from their parents it has all of the logic of saying, "If you provide more boats for the Coast Guard it will assist in killing more wolves". It is gibberish and the media should confront him when he says it.

2) The second point that has been lost is that the Trump administration has so far implemented 4 other distinct programs to destroy families of non white immigrants, and the other three have nothing to do with the border:

a) 800,000 families under DACA
Removing protection under DACA for children that were brought to the country without documentation and have lived exemplary lives.

b) 280,000 El Salvadoran families
that were here legally under Temporary Protection Orders but who have had the TPO removed and will become illegal migrants in 2020

c) 60,000 Haitian families
also had TPOs who were cancelled

d) Ban on Muslim visa applications

These three groups, along with the war on Asylum applicants represent a systematic attack on groups that are largely people of color. The wall has nothing to do with these groups. When you see all 5 attacks on non white migrants it is obvious that this isn't about border security but about racial composition.

By the way several of my clients have told me that the new rules regarding zero tolerance against asylum seekers has created a demand for paper work the size of the Rocky Mountains which has had significant impact on the ability of the Border Patrol to man operations against cartel drug running and human trafficking in the more remote areas. Rather than improving security these actions against asylum seekers are seriously undermining security.

This is really about Trump pardoning Kim as a foreshadowing for Trump pardoning Trump

No regime has reduced its entire population to cannon fodder more effectively than North Korea. Tyranny, oppression, fear and mass starvation.

Of course any advancement that brings them out of isolation is a good thing. Just as it is with Cuba and Iran.

The real message that Trump is selling us however is not 'practical engagement', it is "sure they have murdered and oppressed their people but lets give them a new page, forget the past and move forward".

Effectively all of the crimes will be erased and a new bright future with bright tall buildings and openings for American businesses will be embraced.

We are about to see Donald Trump engage in a "forgiveness regime".

Forgiveness in the morning, afternoon and evening.

Embrace terrible dictators and release grandmothers in jail.

We are going to see months and months of acts of "pardoning and forgiveness".

All as a part of conditioning to that point he will forgive himself on behalf of the American people, it will sound something like this.

"I was never aware of all of the various meetings that were held with the Russians or all of the things that the Russians did to interfere with the elections. We cannot proceed any further by arguing about things that are over and no longer have any meaning anyway. In that spirit I will pardon all of the people involved in these acts so we can move forward. While I was not aware or active in any of these contacts I am going to include my name among the others so we can have a clear separation and move to a future where Americans will establish peace among all nations, like I did with North Korea."

Cliffordu update 6/25


Cliffordu continues to battle heroically against a most virulent form of ALS. He is still in ICU and is awaiting transfer to a facility that can accommodate close monitoring of his respirator, which now replaces his diaphragm for breathing and the stomach intake tube.

He doesn't feel any pain but he has lost almost all ability to move any muscle.

I am in contact with his ex brother in law who tells me he still has visitors, still is up beat but understands he is on "house time" as he put it. His BIL told me that he was down to moving just his wrist at the last meeting.

Anybody that is in or near the Portland area that would like to connect for a possible visit PM me and I will give you the BIL contact.

He knows that he has friends here that care for him and should any DUer be able to connect with him he would respond with overwhelming appreciation, because that's who he is.

Tuesday update: He has gone in for a Tracheal tube so that he can get a respirator and a feeding tube which are aimed at giving him stability in the upcoming months. The surgery isn't that difficult or dangerous but Clifford has lost so much muscle that he is on reserves and any little complication could be life threatening.

Two good things are he is getting great care at the VA in Portland and he is a fighter.

Don't expect any news until tomorrow morning.

Original OP

Cliffordu and I struck up one of those unlikely off line DU relationships as we seemingly had radically different sensibilities, Cliffordu had a titanic struggle with addiction and I was pretty close to a teetotaller. Cliffordu had hilarious stories about smoking weed in the army in Vietnam and I had hilarious stories living in Thailand but still haven't had my first cannabis in either smoke or brownie form.

I had lost my phone three months ago along with his phone number and got it back when Mopinko posted this thread updating on his condition:


We kept up a weekly phone routine and over the years I had a lot of strange phone conversations with Clliffordu when he had fallen off the wagon and was going back and forth into rehab. It was as bad as it can get without dying from it. His divorce seemed to have a long lasting destabilizing effect on him. I found it hard to relate and just would listen. He had multiple trips to the emergency room, detox and rehab and it seemed to be locked into a fatal cycle.

Over the last 3 years it changed as he found a new lease by really committing to AA with multiple groups. He got full time employment in a home that was part of the complex rehab/legal system. He was working on his poetry and his music but he more importantly he had balance, perspective and humor that we missed. In the strange ways that these relationships go through he was now helping me stay motivated through business challenges and loss of friends and relatives.

Cliffordu found his place and was making a contribution.

Tomorrow Cliffordu will be having surgery that will help with his breathing as he combats a very aggressive ALS.

I am not really sure what the surgery does because his speech has become labored and monosyllabic as he grasps for air. The advance of this ALS has been stunning. Cliffordu advises he has lost 35 lbs of muscle in the last three months and is down to 135. His voice is a whisper of the loud and gregarious spirit that I was used to and each conversation was weaker than before.

This disease gave Cliffordu one gift, it gave all of the people that he touched a chance to check in with him and informing him of how they felt. A couple of days ago he talked about all of the visitors that were trekking to see him. I told him he was a seed generator, that all of these AA meetings (many times two a day for months at a time) he was throwing out seeds and he would never know how many people he touched.

Beside his family there were dozens of people that came by to see Cliffordu and tell him what he had done for them. "it was just like those seeds. Lots of people I only met a few times came to tell me my words had changed their life and gave them tools and hope. It has blown me away."

He told me this surgery will help him with the breathing and then he will rest and move to his final hospice.

I asked him if there was anything I could do from where I was, was he missing anything.

His answer was in a surprisingly strong voice filled with gratitude for what this last inning gave him in letting him know that he had delivered hope to a bunch that really needed it. His answer captured the clever, smart and very funny Cliffordu:

"The VA has been fantastic, as soon as they confirmed the diagnosis they arranged the best care. My disability was bumped up to $ 3,000. I have doctors, nurses, physical therapists. I have a private room and its like a clown car opens up and people have been streaming in. I have everything I need, everything is great I have no complaints, you know except for the whole dying part".

Cliffordu has been, is now and will always remain one of my heroes.

He will have a chance to read your comments when he wakes up from surgery tomorrow evening.

The real Democrats were at Valley Forge

They are the real Democrats because they were sacrificing to build a new country and knew that they had very little chance of ever personally benefitting from what they were risking their lives for.

When we think about the inconvenience of another robocall, or another candidate forum, or going down to make some calls we should remember that this is still the country that elected President Obama twice.

It isn't about us anymore, its about the generations down the road that will either be participating in a democratically led republic or wondering what happened that allowed mentally unstable people to reach a fulcrum of power that triggered massive round up of "illegal" residents, aggressive military interventions, tactical use of nuclear arms and disconnecting American industry from a global trading system that it dominated based on a primal tribal jingoism of America being first (all the while going to religious institutions that regularly taught that the "first will be last".)

One out of every four soldiers never made it through Valley Forge. They sacrificed their lives for a dream that they had little chance of seeing but out of the hope that they could pass a better life to the next generation.

We have that dream, as imperfect as it is, and the question is can we be patient, mature, disciplined and make a modest sacrifice to save the dream and pass it on to the next generation.

+++ The Continental Army that marched into Valley Forge consisted of about 12,000 people—soldiers, artificers, women, and children. Throughout the winter, patriot commanders and legislators faced the challenge of supplying a population the size of a colonial city.

+++ Scabies broke out due to the filthy conditions within the encampment, as did other, deadlier ailments. The army had a limited water supply for cooking, washing, and bathing. Dead horse remains often lay unburied, and Washington found the smell of some places intolerable.[33][34] Neither plumbing nor a standardized system of trash collection existed.

+++ At Valley Forge, the Continentals struggled to manage a disastrous supply crisis while retraining and reorganizing their units. About 1,700 to 2,000 soldiers died due to disease, possibly exacerbated by malnutrition.

+++ Subsequently, outbreaks of typhoid and dysentery spread through contaminated food and water. Soldiers contracted influenza and pneumonia, while still others succumbed to typhus, caused by body lice.

+++ Contrary to popular perceptions, Valley Forge had a high percentage of racial and ethnic diversity, since Washington’s army comprised individuals from all thirteen states. About thirty percent of Continental soldiers at Valley Forge did not speak English as their first language.

+++ By January 1778, nearly ten percent of Washington’s effective force consisted of African American troops.

+++ By Spring 1778, Wappinger warriors, a delegation of the Oneida and Tuscarora, and Colonel Joseph Louis Cook of the St. Regis Mohawk had all joined the troops at Valley Forge. Most served as scouts against British raiding parties in the area, and in May 1778, they fought under Lafayette at the Battle of Barren Hill. In oral histories, however, a prominent Oneida woman named Polly Cooper also brought “hundreds of bushels of white corn” to hungry troops, teaching them how to process it for safe consumption

How about this: We don't post how many irritating robocalls we get, or how many commercials we have to tolerate but post how many candidate forums you have gone to, how fun it was to join and knock and doors and the wonderfully sweet people who answered the phone when you were phoning for Democratic candidates and told you that they couldn't wait to vote for a Democrat.

It is 5 months and 4 days, a total of 157 days before the United States makes a U turn and heads away from the abyss of Trump and back towards the hope of Obama. Lets forget all of the inconvenience, negativity, doubt and despair and stay focus on the prize remembering the sacrifice at Valley Forge.

Three things from President Truman that every American should be reminded of every day under Trump

1) When Trump cries about all of the hell that is coming down on him from Avenatti, Mueller and Federal Law Enforcement Officers the American people should remember what Truman said when the Republicans cried that "he was giving them hell":

“I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.”

― Harry Truman

2) Stop blaming President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Senator McCain, Republican Senators, Democratic Senators and professional football players, this trade war, this mess with Russia, increased violence against people of color, all of the bad things that are happening have a single source:

The buck stops here

3) When the war effort got underway and there was a big increase in military spending, Senator Truman who was a relatively unknown first term Senator didn't hold show hearings he got in his car and went to military bases where he saw both waste and profiteering. He didn't hide it, he brought a spotlight to it which could have embarrassed the Democratic President. President Roosevelt didn't try to out manoeuvre it or cover it up. He cooperated with it, enlarged it and eventually made Truman his Vice President.

Democrats don't investigate Republicans, they investigate problems. They seek the truth and want to build policy on what the facts are. If you want to find out what is really going on put the Democrats in charge


In late 1940, Truman traveled to various military bases. The waste and profiteering he saw led him to use his subcommittee chairmanship in the Committee on Military Affairs to start investigations into abuses while the nation prepared for war. A new special committee was set up under Truman to conduct a formal investigation; the Roosevelt administration supported this plan

The Children aren't "missing". They and their families are in hiding.

Edited to change the title and add this summation:

The news media is conflating two separate events. One is the disposition of 57,000 undocumented minors that came to the US to join their families that had legal Temporary Protection Status. Those 320,000 families are now living in hiding and aren't going to immigration court so the undocumented minors are listed as "missing" because they missed a court date. What makes it confusing is that Trump is now separating "accompanied" minors from their mothers to create a horror scenario so that they are too afraid to come.

Back to the original OP

I) A new policy by Trump has been implemented to create a draconian situation so that mothers coming with their children are separated from their children creating a frightening situation to deter mothers from coming up with their children.

This is a new and intolerable change from the past.

II) Over the past several years, mostly under the Obama administration, nearly 50,000 children were brought to the border and handed to Border Patrol Agents (they weren't caught but literally handed to the Agents) who were processed as Unaccompanied Minors. In 90% of the cases these children were "paroled" to relatives in the US who promised to bring the children to an immigration hearing.

These children were largely from Honduras and El Salvador and had relatives in the United States since about 1990s who along with migrants from Haiti were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS). They were allowed to get Social Security cards and work legally in the United States. DHS law enforcement officers could not take action against people with TPS. I know this because my son in law had one and we breezed through Border Patrol Check Points without incident under President Obama.

Under President Obama the relatives would show up when they were supposed to for processing because they had a path to at least a temporary legal status.

Trump has (see below) ripped up the TSP of 320,000 who, in most cases, had lived here for 15-20 years and for the last 8 years had been allowed to stay here legally. If they left the US (as one unfortunate friend of mine did to go to Canada) they could not return. If they broke a law they could not stay. My son-in-law would not, for example, cross a deserted street at midnight if the light flashed "do not walk" even if all of the rest of the group had crossed and were waiting at the other side.

Trump has destroyed the lives of 320,000 families who had an even stronger claim than the DACA students.

Obviously with this level of fear many of the family members who became foster sponsors for the undocumented children are too frightened to go to an immigration court where not only the child will be seized but the rest of the family.

The Senate has now become aware that about 1500 undocumented minors (not the recent accompanied children who have been ripped from their families) who in 90% of the cases were living with relatives have not showed up for their court appointed hearing. Out of the base 7000 remaining cases there probably a few dozen runaways or others that have unfortunate ends like trafficking (and I have in laws in Thailand who were subjected to that fait so I don't discount it) BUT that is not the real story here.

The real story is that hundred of thousands of people from Haiti, Honduras and El Salvador who did everything the government asked are now losing their legal status and are living a life that is full of fear. Every siren, every uniform now causes the same fear as the Jews in the early 30's in Germany who were being rounded up and had to report their status and show their papers.

It is this fear over a much larger group that is causing relatives to "hide" these UM. Unfortunately the two stories are being conflated and the real story is not being understood even by reliable news agencies.

Here are some of the facts:

This is about Stephen Miller's policies but its not about unaccompanied minors not showing up its about 320,000 families losing their legal status and now they are afraid to come to immigration hearings.

To begin with the wave of tens of thousands of undocumented minors started under Obama and not Trump.
Most of the undocumented minors arrived under Obama not Trump and the procedures developed from that.

President Obama issued Temporary Protection Status for 320,000 individuals from Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras who arrived in the US about 20 years ago fleeing hurricane, earthquake and other natural disasters. The TPS allowed them to live here legally. Until Trump made this an issue the issue of these people staying here had broad bipartisan support.

In 5 years 47,000 undocumented minors were brought into the US


The difference lies in the number of children making their way from Central America to cross the Rio Grande Valley into South Texas. According to the Border Patrol, apprehension of unaccompanied children increased from 16,067 in FY 2011 to 24,481 in FY 2012 and 38,833 in FY 2013. During the first eight months of FY 2014, 47,017 children were apprehended, most of them from Honduras.

What do you do with 47,000 children? Try and reunite them with their family. So in the policy known as "catch and release" these children were sent to live with their relatives in 90% of the time. When no relative is available they are sent to live with licensed foster care parents.

The reality is that insufficient space exists to house the large number of apprehended children and the Immigration Courts are seriously overwhelmed by the number of removal proceedings. Consequently children wait on average 578 days before a Hearing. During that time, the child is placed with a parent or family member who must vouch that the child will appear in Court. The Migration Policy Institute anticipates that approximately 85-90 percent of children are placed with a parent or close relative.

When they say that they are "Missing" what they are really saying is that the children don't appear in court. They have no way to determine if the children are really "missing" as we understand it or with their relatives who don't want to go to an immigration court that could harm not only the minor but all of the relatives.


Between October 2016 and December 2017, he said, the agency was unable to locate almost 1,500 out of the 7,635 minors that it attempted to reach — or about 19 percent. Over two dozen had run away, according to Wagner, who said the agency did not have the capacity to track them down.

. . .

Sponsors are meant to ensure that minors show up at their immigration hearings. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) pressed Wagner on why more than half of unaccompanied minors in 2017 did not show up to their immigration hearings.

Its the same employees and the same placement policies between the Obama and Trump administration. The only thing that has changed is the fear in these immigrant communities which creates a disincentive for people to come into the system.

The real issue is not that the children are missing but that entire communities are being pushed under ground because of fear that even though they are here legally that the Trump administration is going to break the word of the US government and take people who are here legally one day and illegal the next.

You will note that the Brookings Institute stated that most of the undocumented children were from Honduras.

There are about 60,000 people from Honduras who came here illegally but gained temporary protective status under Executive Order from President Obama. Tens of thousands from Haiti and El Salvador (including my son-in-law) also were given this legal umbrella to live and work here legally. Most of them have been here about 20 years.

Trump has ripped the legal basis for these people to be here and that is the reason that the children are not showing up for their hearings. Their parents (or other close relatives that are taking care of them) have lost their legal status and are afraid to go to an immigration court for the child. In any case the child is not going to get a permanent legal status to live here so there is little reason to go to an immigration court until there is a new President.

While losing 1500 children would be a great tragedy, that's not what is happening. What is really happening is that 320,000 law abiding families have lost their legal status and are now living underground and avoiding contact with immigration authorities.

Here is Trump taking away TPS (Temporary Protection Status) from various non white populations which is the real strategy of Miller:


The Trump administration has announced the end of temporary protections for thousands of Honduran immigrants.

Up to 57,000 people could be forced to leave the US by 5 January 2020, when their temporary protected status (TPS) will be revoked.

Hondurans were granted this status after Hurricane Mitch hit the Central American country in 1998.


LOS ANGELES — Nearly 200,000 people from El Salvador who have been allowed to live in the United States for more than a decade must leave the country, government officials announced Monday. It is the Trump administration’s latest reversal of years of immigration policies and one of the most consequential to date.

Homeland security officials said that they were ending a humanitarian program, known as Temporary Protected Status, for Salvadorans who have been allowed to live and work legally in the United States since a pair of devastating earthquakes struck their country in 2001.


The Trump administration is ending a humanitarian program that has allowed some 59,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States since an earthquake ravaged their country in 2010, Homeland Security officials said on Monday.

Haitians with what is known as Temporary Protected Status will be expected to leave the United States by July 2019 or face deportation.

The decision set off immediate dismay among Haitian communities in South Florida, New York and beyond, and was a signal to other foreigners with temporary protections that they, too, could soon be asked to leave.

This isn't about 1500 children that have "slipped through the cracks" its really about hundreds of thousands of families who came here decades ago and have established themselves as productive citizens and had legal protection. Trump has ripped that away and these families are living in fear and are too afraid to go to immigration court and risk losing their minor children being ripped from them.

The Trump administration has gone to war on 320,000 families from Honduras, El Salvador, and Haiti who were here legally and making a contribution to the country. Now entire communities have to take maximum evasive measures to avoid detection. It isn't a mystery what happened to the 1500 children who are almost entirely living with relatives, its a mystery why any of them show up to an Immigration Court at all.

Paul Ryan is the worst Speaker in history, worse than the child molester.

Subjugating a constitutional republic is not a one man show. There is a cast of dozens and Mueller will document dozens, many who will be going to jail.

One of the main actors is going to walk away without facing any legal recourse.

Paul Davis Ryan Jr. will likely escape any criminal prosecution because his crime is not a crime of commission but one of omission.

Trump is able to act today without impunity because Paul Ryan has surrendered one of the main functions of the House of Representatives; serving as a check to excesses of the executive branch. The Senate serves as a check on the excesses of the people's House but it is the House of Representatives that is to serve as the first and most important check against a lawless executive.

We are in a constitutional Twilight Zone because the only real hope (until elections bring in a new House of Representatives) of Trump being held accountable is by an independent investigation by his own Executive Branch. By definition it is going to exist on the edge of a precipice as the law breaker is the head executive of the branch that is investigating him.

That's not the way that the Founding Fathers envisioned taking on an executive who embraced emoluments and partied with sedition and treason to benefit personally from being President.

The position of Special Prosecutor isn't in the Constitution, the Speaker of the House is.

Ryan's failure to act against Nunes and the co-opted Republican leadership on the House Intelligence Committee as was well documented this week shows what happened when a carefully balanced system of checks and balances operates when one key part of the checks and balances opts to not do its job.

The criminal activity of Trump belongs to Trump and his crime family. This constitutional crises belongs solely to Paul Ryan who has brought more shame to the Speaker's office than Dennis Hastert's crimes because the entire country will have to suffer the results of his dereliction

That Republicans would consider making Speaker Pelosi's return to the Speaker an issue after the incumbency of Hastert (The criminal molester), Boehner (the alcoholic obstructionist and now a paid spokesman for the pot industry), and Ryan who actively destroyed the fabric of our Constitutional tapestry only shows they have gone from a regular diet of Kool Aid to mainlining it with a constant drip.

When faced with the a choice of continuing with corruption, Malaysia took the Mandela option.

Good update on the situation in Malaysia here:


When faced with a fork in the road between continuing with a very corrupted status quo or taking a radical risk with a man who sat in a prison cell unjustly accused, Malaysia chose Mandela. I say that because the only parallel I can think of going from prison to Prime Minister by a demand of the people is Mandela. It is also a fundamental political change in the structure of the country.

This is not simply a change of party or coalition but a fundamental opening of the system. Following independence the Malays found themselves a minority of the population and owning only 20% of the assets of their own country. In order to secure their position in their own homeland they expelled Singapore from the Malay federation which enabled them create UMNO and a paternal state that brought in favourable conditions for the Malays to bring parity against the Chinese and Indian populations that dominated the cities.

This election shows that the Malays no longer feel pressured to follow an ethnically balkanized Malaysia but now are pursuing typical middle class values of fairness, anti corruption and transparency in government. It is the most astonishing political development in Asia in 3 decades.

Here are statements from Anwar in the article that also echo some of the tempering that you could hear in Mandela as a result of the suffering he had in prison.

UMNO’s race-based politics and patronage system has been slammed by its critics and blamed for the bulging civil service and weak institutions like the judiciary. “Probably he seems to be the right man...I am a bit more moderate and have a softer image,” Anwar said.

“Because of how I suffered, I always think how any decision would cause sufferings to those affected. So I’m a bit more considerate...and that may not be good in these times when we have to make sure the elements of the old regime do not resurface.”

. . .

“I have given that message. We don’t want UMNO 2.0.”

A great beginning to the Malaysian Ramadan Season.
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