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The U.S .News Daily Digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for July 16, 2014 starts off with more observations about the plan to subdivide California, and that is just the first in a number of very strange stories. A Pulitzer Prize winning reporter is detained then released at a Texas airport because Border Patrol agents thought he might be an illegal alien, something that he just happens to have admitted in a 2011 NY Times article. Another reporter was detained at Orlando International Airport when TSA agents demanded his passport after he presented his District of Columbia driver’s license because they thought he was from the country of Columbia. The Tea Party candidate for an Arizona congressional seat mistakes a group of YMCA day campers for illegal immigrant children. Two – two – former Utah attorneys general are busted on the same day and in the same home town for misbehavior in office, and a Connecticut man was arrested for assaulting a watermelon. The silly season for U.S .news has arrived early this year.
Subdivision of California: Another Corporate Spin-Off?
The plan to subdivide California is gaining momentum, with reports indicating that more than 1.3 million Californians have already signed off on the petition drive to put the subdivision referendum on the 2016 ballot, up from just over 800,000 two days ago. The plan, sponsored by venture capital billionaire Timothy Draper, would break up the world’s eighth largest economy into six smaller units. It would also give the California region 10 more Senators than the Golden State has now, but would not increase the number of seats in the House of Representatives since those seats are apportioned by population. Given California’s historical voting history, it is probable that the majority of the 12 Senate seats for the six new states would become Democratic sinecures, with most handicappers putting the Republicans at a four to two disadvantage.
The good news, for Democrats, is that such a subdivision might very well give their party a permanent stranglehold over the Senate. The bad news for the movement to break up the state is that House Republicans have already done the math, and will never approve of the admission of six new states that would virtually guarantee a permanent Democratic majority in the Senate. California Democrats oppose the bill for a typically democratic reason, because it would break up the state into the wealthiest state in the nation, Silicon Valley, and the poorest state in the nation, Central California.
In business, when a conglomerate has unprofitable business units that are losing money, the smart thing to do is to spin off the losers rather than spending the profits from the profitable units to offset the losses of the losers. The proposed subdivision of California is nothing more than another corporate spin-off, the kind of thing that Mitt Romney made his fortune from, but that is not how states, or countries, are supposed to work, which is “of, by, and for the people.” All of them.
Pulitzer Prize Winning Reporter Almost Gets Jacked by Border Patrol
Pulitzer Prize Winning reporter Jose Antonio Vargas, who is an admitted undocumented immigrant, was detained briefly when he tried to board a commercial aircraft in McAllen,Texas after covering the plight of undocumented immigrant children in the South Texas town. Vargas revealed his undocumented status in a 2011 Times Magazine article, and immediately became the face of the immigration reform movement in the United States.
Vargas, who continues to live and work the United States on his passport from the Philippines, is in a unique situation as a well-known and highly respected journalist who is, nevertheless, technically an illegal immigrant. Articles written about Vargas always describe him as an undocumented immigrant, rather than an illegal one, but there was nevertheless a stark contrast between his situation and that of the undocumented children Vargas went to Texas to report about. Refuting speculation that his detention was a publicity stunt, Vargas has explained that he did not know he would have to pass through a U.S. Border Patrol screening despite being miles from the border.
U.S. Border Control officials, caught between a rock and a hard case, explained that Vargas was released because he has no prior immigration or criminal record. That may be true, but it is also pretty clear that he is an undocumented immigrant, is in the country illegally, and was allowed to go on about his business because, unlike the children he had come to Texas to write about, he is a media personality and different rules apparently apply to him as a prominent U.S. news person.
This is one hot potato that no one wants to catch. Republicans always looking for an item to excoriate President Obama about will not go near this story for one simple reason. Vargas has a lot of friends in the news business and they are not likely to take kindly to any politician who tries to make hay off this story.
Note to the TSA: The District of Columbia is Part of the United States
While Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Jose Antonio Vargas was being detained in Texas as an illegal alien, Cox Media Group reporter Justin Gray was being harassed at Orlando International Airport by TSA agents who apparently did not know that Washington, District of Columbia, is part of the United States and is not part of a South American country known for coffee and cocaine.
The good news is that TSA agents really do read the documents presented to them at security checkpoints. The bad news is that they have no idea what a valid Washington, DC driver’s license looks like. The real question, for TSA officials, is why their agents did not notice that the driver’s license was in English rather than Spanish. Gray was eventually allowed to board his flight back to Washington, DC.
YMCA Day Trippers Mistaken for Illegal Immigrants
Adam Kwasman, an Arizona state representative vying for the Republican nomination for the Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, saw a school bus loaded, he thought, with illegal immigrant children and alerted his constituents with a Twitter message to the effect that a busload of the illegal children had arrived in the town of Oracle.
In this case, however, the man from Oracle was in error, because the children on the school bus were American kids on a YMCA day trip, but that did not stop the would-be congressional candidate from expressing his ire in the since-deleted tweet. Kwasman snapped a picture of a yellow school bus, captioned, “This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law.”
He was wrong about the children, but he was right about the lack of compassion, at least on his part, which he demonstrated by attempting stir up a protest against homeless children looking for a place to sleep. He was also right about the abrogation of the rule of law, which is precisely what he was doing by attempting to prevent government officials from providing shelter for homeless children, as they are required to do by law, regardless of where they are from.
Footnote for further consideration: If a state representative cannot tell the difference between an American kid and an undocumented alien kid, maybe there really were none to begin with.
Two Former Utah Attorneys General Heading to Court on Criminal Charges
Former Utah Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow, both Republicans, were arrested yesterday by team of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Utah Department of Public Safety on a variety of charges that include allegations of bribery, destroying evidence, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.
Shurtleff served as Utah’s attorney general from 2001 to 2013, becoming the first Utah attorney general to win reelection to a third term in office. Shurtleff retired from public service at the end of his third term, becoming a partner in a major Washington DC law firm. Swallow was elected to the office of attorney general in the 2012 general election, but served only 11 months, resigning in November of 2013 after becoming the target of a joint federal and state investigation into allegations of corruption. Both men reside in Sandy, Utah, and both have denied any wrong-doing.
Attorneys general get into trouble from time to time, just like other politicians do but, when an attorney general goes sour, it affects everyone because the attorneys general are people who are supposed to keep an eye on everyone else. One attorney general being charged with misfeasance in office is bad enough, but two attorneys general being arrested on the same day on corruption charges raises serious questions about what is really going on in America’s justice system.
Connecticut Man Arrested for Assaulting a Watermelon
This story is so strange that no one seems to know what to make of it. It seems that Mr.and Mrs. Carmine Cervelino, of Thomaston, CT, are not getting along. As a matter of fact, they are in the middle of a divorce but, like many couples in this situation, they appear to still be living under the same roof together in wedded misery.
On July 4th, something snapped. Mrs. Cervelino (first name so far unreported) allegedly went to the police station to complain that she had found marijuana and “other drugs” in her husband’s tool box. Police were sent to the home, but neither Mr. Cervelino nor his tool box were there to be found. No charges were filed.
After Mrs. Cervelino returned home, she allegedly found a watermelon on her kitchen counter, with a butcher knife stuck into it. Mr.Cervelino returned home just then and carved up the watermelon, in his own kitchen, with a butcher knife, on the Fourth of July in what Mrs. Cervelino has described as a “passive aggressive” manner. Shocking behavior that was probably repeated (without the watermelon stabbing incident) 50 million times over the Fourth of July Weekend. That is what people do on the Fourth of July. Barbecue, drink beer, eat watermelon, watch fireworks. It is as American as apple pie which, by the way, was an English invention.
Mrs. Cervelino called the police again, reporting that Mr. Cervelino had carved up the watermelon in a passive-aggressive manner. Mr. Cervelino was arrested on July 12 and charged with threatening and disorderly conduct. No one is picking up the telephone in the Cervelino household. The watermelon was not available for comment about how it feels to be cut up in a passive aggressive manner. In fact, it is not expected to testify at all. It was reportedly eaten by the time Mr. Cervelino was arrested on July 12.
U.S. News: Guardian Liberty Voice Daily Digest Commentary by Alan M. Milner, National News Editor
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