Michele Bachmann Speculates About Another Presidential Campaign
Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota Congresswoman who was briefly the frontrunner in the 2012 Republican primaries, is speculating about making another run for the White House, which means that she is probably thinking of signing up for the annual 5K School House to White House run that takes places every March. That is the only way she is going to get close enough to the White House to see it….and even then she will need a visitor’s pass.
Perturbed that no one is speculating about whether she might run in 2016, she asked Real Clear Politics reporter Scott Conroy why no one thinks she might running again when she, herself, is thinking about doing it again. Conroy was apparently too polite to offer the obvious answer: “Because no one wants you anywhere near the Oval Office except as a visitor, and perhaps not even then.”
The second most disturbing thing about the slate of Republican presidential hopefuls for 2016 is that there are so many of them who are manifestly not qualified for the position they are seeking. The most disturbing thing about the state of the Republican party is that anyone, even Michele Bachmann, thinks she stands a chance of winning that nomination, much less the presidency itself. Sarah Palin, so far at least, has had the good grace not to publicly speculate about why no one is speculating about her political future, quite possibly because she does not have one.
Political reporters and comedians are already chomping at the bit, hoping against hope that Bachmann will, in fact, throw her bonnet into the ring, chanting something like “Go ahead, Michele. We need the comic relief.” Another famous Republican once said something even more appropriate before he became famous (or infamous depending on one’s point of view) for being a Republican: “Go ahead. Make my day.”
There are some bad pennies that just keep popping up again, and Michele Bachmann is of that mintage. She belongs to that special breed of politicians who actually believe the country cannot do without them, despite tangible evidence to the contrary. Having failed to capitalize on her early lead in the 2012 primaries, and just barely holding onto her house seat from Minnesota’s 6th District, Bachman retires from Congress this year, but she still keeps thinking about that cool place on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Senate Democrats Endorse U.N. Treaty on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12 to 6 to in favor of ratifying the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Republicans John McCain and John Barrasso crossed the aisle to join the 10 Democrats on the Committee to send the bill to the floor of the Senate for debate. The bill is expected to die there because it takes 67 votes in the Senate to approve a treaty, and the Democrats only have 55, if all the members of the Democratic Caucus vote with the leadership, 12 short of the number needed for approval.
The last time the bill came up for consideration, in 2012, it failed by just five votes. Conservatives opposed to the bill worry that, if the U.S. signs the treaty, it could result in foreign meddling into the internal affairs of the United States. Those fears might have some validity because the treaty, if approved, could force the federal government to abrogate certain state prerogatives in order to live up to the tenets built into the treaty. This one is dead on arrival. In an election year, no Republican currently campaigning to hold onto his or her Senate seat is going to vote in favor of this measure. There are 12 incumbent Republican Senators running for re-election this year, which leaves only 32 Republicans from which the bill’s proponents have to find 12 turncoats willing to vote for the measure. This one is dead on arrival.
House Republicans Tackle the Immigration Mess: Return to Sender
A group of House Republicans have tackled the problem of unaccompanied Honduran and Guatemalan children entering the United States illegally by meeting with the presidents of those two Latin American nations to obtain their assurances that they want the children back. The Republican lawmakers want to expedite the repatriation of the illegal children by changing a 2008 anti-human trafficking law that specifically bars the Federal government from expediting the deportation of children coming from nations where human trafficking is a significant problem. The law currently excludes children from Canada and Mexico, although very few unaccompanied children jump the border between the U.S, and Canada where, US news sources have learned, there no immigration problem….except on the Canadian side, as more and more undocumented U.S. citizens take up residence there.
Other measures in the shopping cart of ideas for stopping the flood of illegal immigrants include deploying National Guard troops along the border with Mexico, something that Texas Governor Rick Perry has already done, assigning additional immigration magistrates to hear child deportation cases, and a public relations campaign aimed at convincing people in other countries that it is not a good idea to come to the United States illegally. In the process, the House Republicans are rewriting the lines from the Emma Lazarus sonnet,”The New Colossus,” that have been emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty since 1903,“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” The revised text reads: “Return to Sender. Addressee unknown.”
Backstabbing Senate Democrats Do Not Have Their President’s Back On Immigration
While their president is under fire for failing to solve the nation’s suddenly discovered immigration crisis, Senate Democrats have decided to add insult to injury by shaving $1 billion from President Obama’s $3.7 billion emergency funding request to underwrite the cost of tightening up the border with Mexico and deporting immigrant children more quickly. Perhaps they thought the vote was immaterial, because the Republican majority in the House of Representatives has already signalled they will hold the emergency funding bill hostage against changes they want made to the 2008 Human Anti-Trafficking Law that presently make it impossible for the federal government to deport children to countries where there are known human trafficking issues.
At $2.7 billion, the bill reportedly still includes $615 million to fight wildfires in the Western states due largely to the droughts caused by the climate changes in which the Republican party does not believe, and $225 million to help Israel improve their missile defense systems. These two expenditures, which Obama thought would endear the legislation to Republicans, leave only $1.86 billion to corral and deport the illegal immigrants flooding through the country’s porous Southern border.
Backlash: Arizona Citizens Try Passive Resistance Against Border Patrol Checkpoints
Commuting to work in Arizona is becoming a political act as more and more Arizonans profess themselves fed up with the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints deep within the state and miles from any border. Arizonans are, however, somewhat schizophrenic about the enforcement of immigration laws. In 2010, they voted for the Arizona Immigration Law,(S.B. 1070) which authorizes Arizona police departments to enforce federal immigration laws by checking the immigration status of anyone they have a “reasonable suspicion:” of being in the U.S. illegally.
There are approximately 11 Border Patrol checkpoints in Arizona, all between 25 to 50 miles from the border with Mexico. Nationally, there are thought to be around 100 checkpoints, according to the Arizona Republic, all of which operate under the aegis of a 1976 Supreme Court Decision in Martinez-Fuerte, where the Court held that Border Patrol agents could question anyone about their citizenship and request identification on a random case basis, which means without any reasonable cause for suspicion.
Unlike most countries, the United States has long prided itself on not having a national identity card system that is usually associated with totalitarian regimes. For sure, the U.S. has driver’s licenses, or identity cards issued by State Motor Vehicle Departments, which were once necessary for cashing checks, when people still used checks. Anyone who does not have a driver’s license or state-issued identity card would be more or less forced to carry a passport at all times in order to do things like board domestic flights or even register for a room at a hotel. Nevertheless, Americans like to maintain the illusion that they do not need identity cards to travel around their own country, but that may no longer be so.
An anti-checkpoint community movement, called People Helping People in the Border Zone, is one of a number of formal and informal organizations that are beginning to organize against the practice of demanding identity documents from American citizens going about their personal business. A campaign of passive resistance to the checkpoints is also developing in which U.S. citizens, most of whom are white, middle class professionals, are refusing to comply with the instructions from the Border Patrol officers. They would not even talk to them, preferring instead to simply sit in their cars and wait until they are finally waved on by frustrated Patrol officers, who know most of them by sight anyway.
By allowing those citizens to refuse to cooperate, however, the Border Patrol is creating a double standard situation which could run afoul of the due process and equal treatment clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Those are the same clauses that have been employed recently to overturn bans on Gay marriages, and could be used to overturn laws requiring what amounts to an unlawful search and seizure campaign initiated by the federal government in response to calls from the Southwestern states to stop the flood of illegal immigrants coming into the United States
Sometimes He Just Has to Get Out of Town for a Few Days
Obamacare is under attack in the courts, the latest in a series of steps taken by conservative leaders to undermine and eventually sink the controversial program they could not kill in Congress. President Obama, however, appears unconcerned, despite efforts from critics to force the president to alter or abandon his fundraising efforts on behalf of Democratic congressional candidates. In California for a series of fundraising events to restock Democratic coffers for the runoff elections in November, Obama has been taken to task by Republicans for not staying in Oval Office. Between forest fires in Washington State, the California drought, intimations of Russian involvement in the destruction of Malaysian Air Flight MH17 over the Ukraine, the latest battle in the war between Israel and Hamas, and the manufactured immigration crisis along the country’s border with Mexico, the president should just stay home and take care of business, according to Kirsten Kukowski, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee.
Okay, then. Memo to the Republican National Committee. Why not suggest that Rick Perry and Chris Christie go home to Texas and New Jersey, respectively, where Perry can deal with the immigration problem on his border, and Christie can explain why his hurricane ravaged state has still not returned to normal?
US News: Guardian Liberty Voice Daily Digest
Commentary by Alan M. Milner, National News Editor
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