Patterico's Pontifications


Governors Livid, But Don’t Speak Up

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:41 am

[guest post by Dana]

An article came out on Friday titled Governors livid over border crisis and was was covered at a number of conservative sites. However, when I read the article, what jumped out at me – and made me livid – was something altogether different.

In the article, readers were informed that state governors (about 30 of them) assembled in Nashville for the National Governors Association’s meeting. Apparently, a number of the governors are livid about a lack of support and information coming from the federal government with regard to the influx of illegal detainees.

“I found out in the last 48 hours that approximately 200 illegal individuals have been transported to Nebraska [by the federal government],” said Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, in an interview. “The federal government is complicit in a secret operation to transfer illegal individuals to my state and they won’t tell us who they are.”

And from Governor Mary Fallin (Oklahoma):

…whose state is housing 1,100 immigrant children at Fort Sill – just 100 shy of total capacity – said she’s still grasping at the scope of the problem and worried about the conditions the children now face.

“We had one case of chicken pox. We’ve had many cases of scabies and lice,” Fallin said.

She added that there’s been no guidance about how long the children will be housed, whether they’re entitled to any taxpayer-funded benefits, from education to Medicaid to foster care. And she’s unsure whether they might be “let loose in the United States” once they turn 18.

“Those are all the questions and concerns that governors like myself,” she said. “They are children so we want to treat them very humanely, but we also have a lot of concerns.”

The governors are clearly right to be so concerned (and frustrated) about an ongoing crisis that threatens them with staggering hits on state resources. And there is no doubt that the federal government is being anything but transparent, thus leaving states to muddle through the mess as best as they can.

But here’s the rub: keynote speaker at the NGA meeting was Vice-President Joe Biden and after his speech, held a Q&A session with these frustrated governors. And what did these, our elected representatives, bring up at the Q&A session?

The border crisis was on the tip of nearly every governor’s tongue in the early part of their meeting here, yet the group passed on the chance to grill Vice President Joe Biden on the subject when he appeared before them Friday.

During a question-and-answer session that followed a keynote address by Biden to the governors, the state executives asked him relatively tame questions about workforce development and jobs.

Livid, my ass! Because this is not what livid looks like to me. I am not a politician nor an elected official, but I am a reasonably intelligent person and know that if I, a private citizen, had the opportunity to speak to the Vice-President of the United States, the second in command, about the most significant “humanitarian crisis” we face – regardless of whether he were in a position to do anything other than placate – you can be certain that I would take full advantage of such an opportunity. So how much more should our elected officials take advantage of every such opportunity – especially in a room packed with state leaders? At the very least (and perhaps at the most), Biden has the ear of the president to some degree and could have gone back and reported the frustration of the governors. (“Wow, Barack, these governors are seriously pissed off at us! I mean, like they are seething with frustration! We gotta do something, man.”) Even that would have been … something. But instead, they remained silent.

And what did Biden say in turn?

[B]iden — who also may run for president in 2016 — didn’t refer to the controversial topic, either.

And why would he?

Too bad these governors didn’t take a tip from that other governor’s playbook.

Note: This was the thrust of Biden’s address delivered to the governors. However, in no way did it provide an excuse not to bring up the staggering “humanitarian crisis” our country faces.

Vice President Joe Biden called on the nation’s governors Friday in Nashville to help break partisan gridlock and lead the way in building infrastructure and investing in job training programs.

“You’ve got to lead us out of this mess we’re in,” the Democratic vice president said.

The vice president’s speech focused on two main goals: to shore up infrastructure, especially for transportation, and to build the nation’s workforce. He encouraged the governors to push for federal legislation such as the Grow America Act, which would pump $302 billion over the next four years into highways, bridges, transit and rail systems.


Questions About Making What Was Once Believed Wrong, Right

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:29 am

[guest post by Dana]

On Friday, I posted about Cleveland’s latest news. One item of particular interest was the selection of Cleveland to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. The driving force behind the successful bid was Sen. Rob Portman.

I noted in the post that Portman’s:

…views on it (same sex marriage) evolved after finding out his son was gay.

In response, commenter happyfeet provocatively asked:

wouldn’t yours? mine would.

I responded:

I guess if it were to change, then that would seem to be the time it would.

But here’s the thing, a change of mind would depend on what motivated the belief that it was wrong in the first place. Regretfully, I did not pursue this in the comments and instead gave an off-the-cuff response. I did, however, make a mental note that this brief exchange begged further consideration of what informs our beliefs in moral rights and wrongs, especially in light of politics.

Included in my response to happyfeet was the explanation that I chose the term “evolved” as I recalled President Obama’s evolution on SSM came at a politically opportune moment. This could also be suggested of Portman’s evolution.

What provokes questions about this evolution is that both Portman and Obama have claimed that their non-supportive views of SSM were informed by their belief in God and the tenets of their faith.

From Portman:

At the time, my position on marriage for same-sex couples was rooted in my faith tradition that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman.

From President Obama:

“What I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman … What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God, and it’s not simply the two persons who are meeting.”

In essence, their prior stands were shaped by a belief in God and foundational principles stemming from Him. And certainly, to those of us who profess faith, that source supersedes the politics of mere man. To put it another way, faith informed their politics, not the other way around. In light of this and that both have changed their stands, does this speak to God’s changing nature and ceasing immutability? Or does it speak to a shrewd calculation made in an ever-shifting political landscape? Or, maybe it’s something else, altogether?

Commenter Mark responded to happyfeet’s original question with this analogy:

So if he found out his son had a common-law wife and another wife in a neighboring community, and they all knew about one another and were perfectly fine about it, should the father’s views therefore evolve on the issue of polygamy?

Commenter Millhouse questions further:

If your views were correct before you found this out, how could this possibly make them wrong? And if they were wrong before, then why didn’t you change them earlier? What possible difference can it make whose ox is gored? Besides, anyone with any brain should have realised years ago that they’re almost bound to have close relatives who are gay; hardly anyone doesn’t. If it wasn’t your son it might be your granddaughter, or your favourite neice, or a cousin. And if it’s nobody in your immediate family, then it’s someone in your neighbour’s family, or your best friend’s. So what difference does finding out who it is make? What’s right remains right, and what’s wrong remains wrong, and you have to decide that based on solid principles, not on whom it affects.

If one believes something to be morally wrong and has stood on a solid principle of faith supporting that belief derived from God, what must take place to allow what was once believed wrong to now be right?

P.S. happyfeet, Mark and Millhouse – thanks for your interesting comments. I really hope none of you mind me using them in this post.


Illegal Aliens Now Boarding Planes with No ID But Their Notice to Appear in Court

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:21 am

The numbers are staggering. In the Rio Grande sector of Texas, almost 20,000 illegal immigrants were detained in the final two weeks of June. Those numbers tapered off to close to 8000 per week in the beginning of July, but the fact remains: in a one-month period, between 30,000 and 35,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended in that one sector alone.

Now, those people are starting to get shipped all over the country. As has been reported, many receive a notice to appear in immigration court. Best of all: the TSA now accepts those notices to appear as identification for purposes of boarding a plane. As Brandon Darby reported Friday:

Illegal aliens are being allowed to fly on commercial airliners without valid identification, according to the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC). “The aliens who are getting released on their own recognizance are being allowed to board and travel commercial airliners by simply showing their Notice to Appear forms,” NBPC’s Local 2455 Spokesman, Hector Garza, told Breitbart Texas.

“This is not the CBP [Customs and Border Protection] or another federal agency renting or leasing an aircraft, these are the same planes that the American public uses for domestic travel,” said Garza. “This just adds insult to injury. Not only are we releasing unknown illegal aliens onto American streets, but we are allowing them to travel commercially using paperwork that could easily be reproduced or manipulated on any home computer. The Notice to Appear form has no photo, anyone can make one and manipulate one. They do not have any security features, no watermark, nothing. They are simply printed on standard copy paper based on the information the illegal alien says is the truth.”

Spokesman Garza continued, “We do not know who these people are, we often have to solely rely on who they say they are, where they say they came from, and the history they say they have. We know nothing about most of them, ICE releases them into the American public, and now they are boarding aircraft at will with a simple paper document that anyone can easily alter or reproduce themselves.”

If you think terrorists aren’t taking advantage of this chaotic situation, you’re hopelessly naive.

P.S. I saw some Obama shill over the weekend say that this was the result of Republicans’ failure to address immigration reform. She didn’t explain how. Can anyone explain this to me? You don’t have to agree with the argument; just tell me what it is. How is a refusal to grant amnesty to people who crossed the border illegally . . . causing a flood of new illegal immigrants to cross the border? What is it, that without amnesty Democrats won’t give us that awesome border protection that would prevent this from happening, or something? I honestly don’t get it.

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