"Legacy" Legislation to Honor McCain Proposed
Fresh off his crucial vote to kill the repeal of Obamacare, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is now working with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to craft what McCain called "a fitting legacy to honor my service to the country and Senate over my lifetime."
The bill they are drafting is a revival of the so-called "Gang of Eight" measure passed by the Senate in 2013, but rejected by the House. It would give a path to citizenship to most illegal immigrants, greatly increase the number of visas to allow companies to replace American workers with foreigners and greatly increase the number of legal immigrants who would be eligible to enter the country over the next 30 years.
Schumer suggested that "the new law might be dubbed 'McCainesty' as way to help people remember the man we are honoring with this crucial reform to our immigration policy. Considering the dire health of Sen. McCain, his good friend Sen. Graham (R-SC) has reluctantly agreed to surrender his long-held claimed right to name the policy change 'Grahamnesty.'"
McCain compared his proposal with the immigration bill recently unveiled by the Trump Administration, calling it "a glaring contrast between a stance of selfishness and generosity. Trump wants to restrict immigration to protect already rich Americans from having to share our nation's wealth with those less fortunate. This is not the America I want to leave behind when I'm gone. I want an America that lives up to the Statue of Liberty's promise to house the homeless, wretched masses yearning to eat free."
The Senator cited the $1.3 billion in welfare paid to illegal immigrants by Los Angeles County over the last two years as "a down payment on our historic promise. Our new bill will remove barriers to an even greater fulfillment of the dream of a more equitable redistribution of the Earth's bounty and take us further toward President Obama's vision of a transformed world."
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti endorsed the McCain-Schumer initiative as "a demonstration of common sense. In theory, the redistribution could be accomplished by sending our wealth to other countries. It would be more practical, though, to let the beneficiaries come here. Not only will they spend a greater portion of the welfare in the local community, they'll also be present to cast the votes needed to elect those who will work to continue the transformation."
Senators Want to Strengthen Independence of Special Counsel
Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-Del) are proposing legislation that would bar anyone from firing or in any way impeding Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to investigate President Trump and his associates for winning the 2016 presidential election.
"It is critical that special counsels have the independence and resources they need to lead investigations," Tillis said. "Mueller can't be independent if he can be fired by anyone in the chain of command in the executive branch of government. He can't be independent if he must rely on congress for appropriations. He can't be independent if he must rely on a court or jury to validate his prosecutions."
Jay Sekulow, one of President Trump's lawyers, blasted the proposed legislation as "unconstitutional. Ours is a representative government. What Sen. Tillis and Coons are proposing is to create an omnipotent new office within the federal government. They would immunize Mueller from any executive oversight. They would enable him to dip into the treasury for any amount of money he deems necessary."
Coons rallied to the defense of his senate colleague, pointing out that "the premise that Trump represents the people is belied by the fact that he didn't win the popular vote. Every member of congress did win the popular vote in his state or district. It is our prerogative to transfer whatever powers we deem appropriate to whom ever we want. Much of the legislating that is now done in this country is by executive agencies that congress has empowered to make laws. In our view, setting a man with an untarnished record of integrity like Robert Mueller above and outside the normal processes that are suggested in the Constitution is a clear improvement over the governance we see incompetently emerging from the Trump Administration on a daily basis."
Poll Results Addle Dem Leader
A poll conducted for Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) by her "House Majority PAC" produced consternation and confusion for this top Democrat. For one, the poll found that the political ideologies of voters were 41% conservative, 32% moderate and 19% liberal, with 37% identifying as Independents, 35% as Republicans and 29% as Democrats. For two, among white working class voters 69% favored policies that reward hard work.
"These findings make no sense," Pelosi argued. "Surely leisure is preferred over hard work. The Democratic Party has enacted measures that have expanded the opportunities for people to leave the workforce and still be able to live comfortably. There's public housing, food stamps, cell phones—all supplied gratis by laws and regulations we've championed. The liberal and Democratic cohorts among voters should be expanding, especially among the undocumented portion of the population."
The Congresswoman speculated that "perhaps the life of leisure we've provided has insidiously sapped the energy and initiative of those whose votes are crucial for our Party to continue to win elections. We think asking the beneficiaries to cast a vote is a small effort, but maybe once we've removed the effort required to support oneself from the equation even the minimal task of marking a ballot may seem too arduous."
"Even worse, our new slogan--'a better deal: better jobs, better wages, better future'--seems to have backfired," Pelosi lamented. "In the six months since Trump became president the economic data has been awful. There are more better-paying jobs and lower unemployment than anyone expected. Welfare rolls are shrinking. Fewer are living on food stamps. It's as if Trump's view is being vindicated."
In related news, a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 61% say the Democratic Party "too often sees government as the only way to solve problems." Unsurprisingly, this view was held by 83% of registered Republicans. Less expected was the finding that 44% of registered Democrats agreed. This perception of the Party as an advocate for statism is probably best encapsulated by Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy's statement that "there is no anxiety, sadness, or fear that cannot be cured by political action."
Felons Vying to Be Detroit's Mayor
Half of the eight candidates for mayor on Detroit's primary ballot have been previously convicted criminals. Donna Marie Pitts has multiple felony convictions dating back to 1977. Danetta Simpson has a 1996 felony conviction for assault with intent to murder. Articia Bomer was charged in 2008 with carrying a concealed weapon. In 2004, Curtis Christopher Greene was sentenced to 18 months' probation under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act for dealing marijuana and in 2005 plead guilty to writing a fraudulent check.
Pitts called her conviction stemming from a shoot out at an auto repair shop "an honest disagreement over the bill. Both sides were armed. Sending me to jail was bogus." She says she is running to "stamp out the kind of discrimination and racism that wrecked my life."
Simpson got into a dispute with a woman who was living with the father of two of her four children, pulled out a gun and fired a shot that missed hitting the other woman. She contends that she was "wrongfully convicted. No one was hurt. How is that an assault with intent? If I had intended to kill the bitch the bullet would've been in her head." She says she is running to offer voters "someone new and different."
Bomer was charged in 2008 with carrying a concealed weapon. "Overly suspicious" police approached her while she was sitting in a parked car and found a loaded gun in the vehicle. Bomer denied that it was hers, but was convicted during a bench trial in January 2009 and sentenced to a year of probation. She says she is running on a platform of "preservation, restoration and revitalization."
Greene contends that "my youthful indiscretions shouldn't be held against me. I have a seven point plan to rebuild Detroit. It addresses jobs, discriminatory lending and access to meaningful employment for convicted felons. I believe I'm the one to change the city."
Whether any of the former felons will be able to win over the four other candidates—incumbent Mayor Mike Duggan, state Sen. Coleman A. Young II, Edward Dean and Angelo Brown—that do not have criminal records seems improbable. However, this election is the first since the City went bankrupt under the governance on non-felon Democrats over the last five decades.
In related news, Fayetteville, N.C. Mayoral candidate Quancidine Gribble has been arrested twice in the last two months for stealing and vandalizing a water company's equipment. Gribble, a philosophy student, community activist and charity leader, contends that "water is a basic human need. No business has the right withhold it from the people. My action to liberate it from their control so it could flow freely to those who need it is simple social justice."
Trump Threat an "Impeachable Offense"
After the failure of the Senate to repeal Obamacare, a frustrated President Trump's threat to reverse President Obama's executive action exempting members of congress from having to live under the same regulations that apply to ordinary citizens forced into Obamacare brought howls of rage from Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT).
"We are members of government," Murphy fulminated. "For Trump to vindictively throw us into the pit with the common people violates the unwritten rule against one segment of this elite group harming the privileges of another. It would renege on the bipartisanship exhibited by President Obama in even handedly extending the exemption to congressional Democrats and Republicans alike."
"Trump may think he's immune from retaliation, but he should think again," the Senator advised. "The House has the power to impeach and the Senate has the power to convict. The Constitutional grounds for impeachment are vague and unspecified. Let me remind Mr. Trump that Congress has the sole prerogative of determining what constitutes a satisfactory cause for his removal from office."