Patterico's Pontifications


Trump Reconsidering Birthright Citizenship

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:49 pm

[guest post by Dana]

While immigration has been a central plank of his presidency, and in light of the 14th Amendment, Trump said today that he is once again considering an end to birthright citizenship:

Donald Trump has said the government is weighing whether to abolish birth right citizenship, calling the constitutional right “ridiculous”.

Currently a child born in the US is entitled to a US passport. The constitution’s 14th amendment, passed after the civil war to ensure that black Americans had full citizenship rights, grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States”.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday, Trump said: “We are looking at birthright citizenship very seriously. It’s frankly ridiculous.”

Trump did not elaborate any further.

The 14th Amendment:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Back in October, right before the midterms, Trump said that he would abolish birthright citizenship via executive order:

“You can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order,” he said at the time.


The president’s announcement came hours after the White House said it would move to scrap a major court agreement in order to allow for migrant families to be detained longer as their cases are being considered, instead of having to release them after 20 days.

And then there are the legal issue involved:

Legal experts say the ultimate question regarding birthright citizenship is whether the 14th Amendment – which affords citizenship to “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” – encompasses the children of illegal immigrants.

The unresolved legal dispute centers on whether those children are “subject” to the jurisdiction of the United States.

You can read the opinions of legal experts here, here, here and here.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Chicago Teachers Union Group Under Fire After Traveling To Venezuela And Praising Its Socialism

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:36 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Recently, three Chicago teachers and a union representative crowdfunded a trip to Venezuela this summer. . The group, which identified themselves as a Chicago Teachers Union delegation, met with officials in the Venezuelan government and with fellow educators. The group is now facing a barrage of criticism for their simultaneous praise of the socialist country and its government while at the same time condemning the United States in comparison:

They wrote online about wanting to connect with Venezuelan teachers, students and unionists, criticized U.S. economic sanctions against the South American nation and wrote admiringly of its socialism, its communes and high literacy rates.

But critics say the group glossed over Venezuela’s ongoing political and economic crises and were excessively complimentary of President Nicolás Maduro, whose administration has been accused in recent United Nations reports of “grave” human rights violations and violence against dissenters.

There seems to be some disagreement about whether the group went under the auspices of the Chicago Teachers Union:

And though the four travelers regularly called themselves a “CTU delegation” online, the union representing close to 25,000 people has sought to distance itself from the trip, stating the CTU did not endorse, sponsor or fund the trip.

Asked on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” last week about “some controversy” surrounding the excursion, union President Jesse Sharkey said: “Members go all kinds of places in the summer. This was neither an official trip nor something that was funded by the union. This is a group of people who are members of the CTU who decided to go to Venezuela.”

While that might be so, it doesn’t explain then why CTU would follow the group’s trip and retweet updates and observations made by the group on their official webpage:

Yet, the official CTU Twitter account retweeted some of the group’s updates, including a blog post titled “Introduction to CTU Delegation to Venezuela.”

CTU also retweeted another post by teacher Sarah Chambers, one of the travelers and a member of the CTU executive board, which read: “While staying in #Venezuela, we didn’t see a single homeless person. USA is the richest country in the world; yet, there are homeless people everywhere. Over 17k CPS students are homeless… This is why @CTULocal1 is fighting for fair housing #CTUAgainstVezIntervention.”

[Ed. Are you kidding me? “We didn’t see a single homeless person”? Yeah, I don’t think so… Perhaps there is a massive void on the streets of Venezuela now that 3 million Venezuelans have been driven out of the country by their freefalling government. Of course, Potemkin villages certainly wouldn’t have homeless people milling around…]

Taking the group to task, a union member pointed out the dishonesty of the group:

[T]he Delegation fails to acknowledge is they used the CTU name to raise the funds, to set up meetings, to blog their ‘findings.’ This was never voted on. They don’t get it. Irresponsible and reckless.”

In another article about the trip written by Chambers, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s name came up – and not in a favorable way:

“Through major economic hardships, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro never closed a single public school or a single health clinic. This stands in stark contrast to our experience in Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 50 public schools and several mental health clinics in a single year,” Chambers said in the story for Fight Back! News, a publication that bills itself as “News and Views from the People’s Struggle.”

Imagine coming up short next to Maduro!

The group has received criticism from colleagues and fellow union members among others, for their political advocacy:

Ana Gil-Garcia, who co-founded the Illinois Venezuelan Alliance and teaches in the College of Education at Northeastern Illinois University, said the trip was unacceptable, though it would be different if they’d gone on their own, without using the CTU brand.

“Once you go there as a delegation of a very powerful union like the Chicago Teachers Union, it’s questionable,” Gil-Garcia said, adding the trip could come off as the union endorsing the Maduro regime, which she said has killed and imprisoned opponents and contributed to widespread food shortages in the country.

“That’s what makes me really upset about it,” she said. “The Chicago Teachers Union should be very objective because the membership is formed by people with different ways of thinking.”

Gil-Garcia said more than 50 people, many CTU members, contacted her, displeased by the group’s actions.

Further, 18 year veteran of Chicago Public Schools system and union member, Karen Moody saw the trip as a propaganda tour:

“I am appalled a delegation representing themselves as CTU went to Venezuela, not to support striking teachers, not to object to human rights violations, but to go on what appears to be a state-chaperoned propaganda tour… called the resolution’s “pro-Maduro” tone “heavily biased.”

“Both the resolution and the trip reflect the personal politics and world view of (CTU) leadership and their inner circle — not the majority of rank-and-file teachers,” Moody said.

Saying she’s not anti-socialist and leans “pretty far left” politically: “What I personally object to is not the word socialism — but the support of an extremist anti-democratic autocratic lunatic who rules by fear. “

And yet another Chicago Public Schools teacher criticized the trip:

Rebecca Testa-Ryan, said she found out about the trip when a fellow CTU member showed her the fundraiser.

“My first thought was, ‘Why would you voluntarily go to Venezuela when so many Venezuelans are fleeing the country?’” Testa-Ryan said.

Testa-Ryan said she recently returned from a trip to her native Panama, where she “had the chance to speak to many Venezuelans about the horrific conditions” there. Noting her own family had to endure the dictatorial rule of Panama’s Manuel Noriega, she said the Venezuela trip was disrespectful to Latino people and their history. She also took issue with the union resolution.

“CTU has no business involving themselves in foreign policy,” she said, adding that should be left to groups like the United Nations “and experts who have a handle with what is occurring on the ground in Venezuela.”

As a union member, Testa-Ryan said, “I did not vote for this type of representation nor am I comfortable (with) delegates supporting a dictator.”

Here is CTU’s resolution opposing US military intervention in Venezuela, and to advocate for the suspension of the current sanctions against Venezuela.

Takeaway: Bad U.S. Good Venezuela.


Trump Elated By Comparison To King of Israel

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:34 am

[guest post by Dana]

After Rep. Ilhan Omar suggested that aid to Israel should be reconsidered after not being allowed to make a planned official visit with Rep. Tlaib because of the congresswomen’s public advocacy for the boycott of Israel, Trump made a jarring comment:

“I can’t even believe that we’re having this conversation. Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this — even three years ago — of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people. I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation,” Trump fumed.

“Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they’re defending these two people over the state of Israel? And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty, alright?”

As we discussed briefly in the comments, it’s a little bit difficult to ascertain exactly who Trump thinks the Jews would be being disloyal to because his thought process is, well, difficult to follow at best. However, Phillip Klein has a good examination of the president’s “disloyalty” comment and why it is troubling:

Was he talking about disloyalty to America? Disloyalty to Trump? Disloyalty to Israel? Disloyalty to Jews? No matter which way one wants to interpret this comment, it’s sickening coming from an American president — all the more bizarre coming as he has been unleashing a barrage of attacks on Tlaib and Omar for anti-Semitism.

Among the litany of anti-Semitic remarks made by Tlaib and Omar, the most horrific involved accusations of dual loyalty (see background here and here). Accusations of dual loyalty have been at the center of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews for centuries. Yet here is Trump throwing out the “disloyalty” charge.

One potential interpretation is that he was suggesting it would be disloyal to Israel to vote Democrat. But American Jews are first and foremost American, not Israeli. Suggesting that Jewish votes should be determined primarily by U.S. policy toward Israel is in fact to suggest divided loyalties.

If he was trying to say Jews would be disloyal to their faith by voting Democrat, he needs to shut right the heck up, because he is in no position to criticize somebody’s relationship to their faith.

As a conservative, I have found it difficult to get behind Trump despite supporting a number of his policies, and a big reason why is the manner in which he speaks about many minority groups. He has up to this point avoided turning his wrath on Jews, but given his history of flipping on people he views as “disloyal,” his comments make me wonder what would happen if, as is most likely, Jews overwhelmingly vote against him despite his pro-Israel policies. Is there a point at which American Jews essentially become the next Anthony Scaramucci?

As a result of his remarks receiving criticism, conspiracy theorist and Newsmax TV host Wayne Allyn Root pushed back in support of Trump:

“I happen to be Jewish by birth and 75% of all Jews vote Democrat, and they don’t like Trump,” Root said Tuesday. “This is the greatest president for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world. Not just in America, Trump is the best president for Israel in the history of the world. And the Jewish people love him like he is the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God.”

“In America, American Jews don’t like him,” he continued. “They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense. But that’s okay. He keeps doing what he’s doing. He’s good for all of us. Good for Jews, good for blacks, good for gays.”

“He is good for everyone in America who wants a job,” Root finished.

This morning, unsurprisingly, Trump enthusiastically retweeted Root’s comments:



Some of Wayne Allyn Root’s conspiracy theories involved the suggestion that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Hillary Clinton, Donna Brazile, Bill Clinton, etc. were involved in the murder of Seth Rich, falsely claiming white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. who killed Heather Heyer was a paid actor hired by Soros, and that the mass shooting in Las Vegas was a coordinated Muslim terror attack.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Trump: “We [Republicans] are very strong on our Second Amendment,”

Filed under: Politics,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 2:56 am

[Headline from DRJ]

The Hill:

Trump seems to backtrack on gun control, warns of ‘slippery slope’

President Trump said Tuesday that the United States already has “very strong background checks” for gun purchasers and that officials need to be wary of the prospect of a “slippery slope” where “everything gets taken away.”

Trump’s comments to reporters in the Oval Office provided more evidence that he is backtracking after initially expressing support for enhanced background checks following a pair of mass shootings that killed 31 people earlier this month.

His comments foretelling a “slippery slope” also closely mirrored the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) long-held argument that even modest gun control regulations would inevitably lead to more stringent ones.

Trump also repeated earlier comments that shooters have “mental problems” and he is having “meaningful” talks with Democrats on possible gun regulations.

Politics: The art of being all things to all people.


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