Author Archives: Larry Burton

It only makes sense.

We run into this every year, congress okays spending more money than we have knowing we can borrow the money but they have this ceiling on how much money can be borrowed and they know this. They spend the money anyway and then act surprised when the debt ceiling needs to be raised again.

It’s a stupid process and it keeps things from getting done. The time to worry about the debt ceiling is before the money is spent, not when we open up the credit card statement and see that we are over the limit.

There’s a much better way:

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has suggested scrapping the existing debt-limit process and replacing it with one that automatically lifts the borrowing limit every time Congress appropriates future spending.

Source: Trump, Schumer agree to pursue plan to repeal the debt ceiling – The Washington Post

And it looks like President Trump is throwing in with the Democrats to get this accomplished. Good luck with that but this is a good plan. Rep. Ryan had best agree to it but he won’t.

DACA wasn’t the answer.

President Trump has rescinded former President Obama’s DACA executive order with a six month phase out period. This executive order was supposed to protect undocumented immigrant children who had been brought to this country at a young age and grown up here as knowing nothing but the United States as their home from being deported while they were still attending school. DACA’s biggest problem is that it didn’t offer any pathway to citizenship. An executive order can’t give that, only Congress can.

I really feel for these young people who DACA was protecting. A lot of them have no memory of their home country and many of them can’t even speak their parents’ native language. These kids are American in every way but they aren’t citizens.

What President Trump did by rescinding DACA could be the best thing that could happen to these young people who it affects. As I pointed out above, DACA could not give these young people with a pathway to citizenship, which is what they really need. This puts pressure on Congress to pass legislative protection for them. This could allow for a pathway to citizenship.

But what I would really like to see is our whole immigration laws to change to allow for anyone who is not a danger to the health and safety of anyone residing in the U.S. to enter this country on a two-year provisional work visa. A background check and a blood test would be all that would need to be passed for this visa. At the end of that two-year period if their has been no problem and they have earned a legal income in the U.S. for 80% of the time they have been in the country the provisional visa would be changed to give the immigrant resident alien status. Any problems during that two-year period would result in deportation.

I would also allow anyone residing in this country illegally to apply for the provisional visa but no time spent here illegally would count for anything. Children brought here illegally could apply for the provisional visa and those under eighteen would not be required to meet the 80% income requirement as long as their sponsoring parent or guardian was either meeting the requirement or are U.S. citizens. Completion of honorable military service would allow for immediate application for citizenship on honorable discharge.

The background check would look for any violent misdemeanors or any felonies in the applicants background with any of those being grounds for denying the visa. The blood test would look for any communicable diseases, including STDs, that could pose a health risk to those that come in contact with the applicant. The blood test would also look for the presence of illegal drugs.

I know the U.S. State Department would also have a list of people not to allow in, and that’s fine, but I can’t see a reason to make immigrating into the U.S. any more difficult than I have outlined.

I’d love to hear any thoughts you have on this topic.

I think I’ve been silent too long.

I thought it would all wind down but it’s been two weeks since the problem in Charlottesville and the noise is still out there. I don’t think anyone is willing to let it die down. The core issues shouldn’t die down but the specifics of what is being discussed, these dime store confederate monuments, are distracting from the main issues of racial equality and free speech.

So let me start by saying, since this seems to be made clear from the beginning rather than assume people understand it, I am against all forms of racism, antisemitism, misogyny, and hate. It seems silly that I would need to make that declaration but it seems I do. Secondly, I’m against all forms of repression of free speech. I have no problem with a person being ostracized over anything they say but you do not stop that person from saying it and I don’t care how despicable that speech may be. You and I are free to think and express any idea, and I mean ANY idea, that we might have and we are free to rebut any ideas we find reprehensible or just disagree with but we do not silence any idea from being expressed. If we can’t express our most hateful and evil thoughts then we don’t have free speech.

In case you didn’t get that I condemn the ideas and hatred expressed by the KKK, the Neo-Nazis, the Alt-Right and the White Supremacist marching in Charlottesville, VA. I especially condemn the violence and mourn the loss of life they caused by their actions. I also condemn the counter protesters for their lack of respect for the 1st amendment of the constitution and the violence they wrought in attempting to silence the hate.

“What,” you ask, “Do I not think that the counter-protester’s sentiments were admirable?”

Yes, their sentiments were admirable but their execution was as despicable as the sentiments of the protesters. Charlottesville is full of parks. Rather than confront the hate and give it a platform why didn’t the counter-protesters go to one of the other parks in much larger numbers and steal the publicity with a message of love and cooperation?

As much as I cherish the idea of loving everyone and bringing equality to everyone I’m also very protective of the right to speak my mind even if others don’t like it. I cannot  expect for that to be honored for me if I don’t honor and protect it for others. If you don’t like what someone is saying don’t listen or give a rebuttal that will destroy their argument. Counter protesting at their event just gives their ideas more publicity.

Also, confrontations often will ramp up to violence and make martyrs out of your enemies.

Besides, it is just as horrible to dampen free speech as it is to subjugate a group based on race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. In Charlottesville both sides were my enemies just for different reasons.

Good for the goose….

Leaks are serious. A leaking air conditioning or heating duct can cost you a ton of money, a leaking pipe can destroy your house and a leak in information can destroy the credibility of congressional committees and entire administrations. The Washington Post points that out in an editorial column just this past March:

“His committee’s investigation should be halted immediately — and Mr. Nunes deserves to be subject to the same leaking probe he demanded for the previous disclosures.”

The newspaper said Nunes’s decision to openly discuss the information has compromised Congress’s ability to probe Russian meddling in last year’s election.

Source: Washington Post: Investigate Nunes for leaks | TheHill

Greg Miller, also with the Washington Post, talks about his numerous sources supporting his story that President Trump himself leaked confidential information to the Russians in this CBS News interview. So it seems that the Washington Post is very concerned about leaks, or at least leaks coming out of this administration or from its allies.

So I’m sort of disconcerted about this report where the Washington Post seems to have encouraged a leak just to embarrass the Republican leadership and further disparage Donald Trump. Of course when Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy made the comment, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” he was cracking a joke. But a joke can tell you a lot about a person’s true feelings and the Post goes to great lengths to emphasis that.

See, I think leaks do cause a great problem. The above “joke” came about in a private conversation between congressional Republican leaders and the conversation should have remained confidential. Making every conversation public is not conducive to a free flow of ideas which is needed if we are going to have good legislation.

So, shame on the Post for encouraging the very same type of leaks that it has rallied against in recent articles.

Singing them Impeachment Blues

Things are getting serious. There are charges of obstruction of justice being thrown around and even suggestions of treason. Deserved or not I think we can all see that our future consists of louder and louder demands to impeach Donald Trump.

There’s a web site with more than 976,000 signed onto a petition encouraging Congress to impeach Trump. There’s even an “Impeach Donald Trump” Twitter handle.

It is highly unlikely — there’s almost zero chance — Trump would be impeached by a Republican Congress.

Source: Trump Impeachment Talk Grows From Conspiracy Theory To Mainstream : NPR

I’m not sure that a Republican Congress can prevent it. More and more Republicans seem to be positioning themselves away from Donald Trump than are coming to his defense.

With apologies to Warren Zevon

The FBI Director
Got into a little stew.
How was he to know
The Russians would get him too.

Standing in an L.A. office
Building morale among his staff
Send lawyers, guns and money
He just got the shaft.

He’s an innocent appointee
Just following the clues.
But the president just dismissed him
and he found out on the news!

WHAT! He found out on the news?

Yeah, he found out on the news!

Now he’s being sought out by the Senate
He has a little plan
Send lawyers, guns and money
Trump may wish he’d never ran.

 

Pelosi: Democratic candidates should not be forced to toe party line on abortion – The Washington Post

Even when I agree with her I generally am shaking my head over the partisanship she is exuding. This time it’s different. I’m agreeing with her and applauding her acknowledgement that we don’t have to agree on everything to be a party member.

“This is the Democratic Party. This is not a rubber-stamp party,” Pelosi said in an interview with Washington Post reporters.

“I grew up Nancy D’Alesandro, in Baltimore, Maryland; in Little Italy; in a very devout Catholic family; fiercely patriotic; proud of our town and heritage, and staunchly Democratic,” she added, referring to the fact that she is the daughter and sister of former mayors of that city. “Most of those people — my family, extended family — are not pro-choice. You think I’m kicking them o

Source: Pelosi: Democratic candidates should not be forced to toe party line on abortion – The Washington Post

The Democratic Party could do very well among moderates if some of these litmus tests for candidacies were done away with. A candidate who supports 90% of the Democratic Party’s platform but balks at some of the hard stands on reproductive rights or gun control should be welcomed into the fold, not disqualified as a candidate because very few people honestly hold on as sacred every plank in the platform.

Now if Paul Ryan would only come out with a similar statement for Republicans.

Lawrenceville Homeowner Discovers One Simple Trick To Avoid Foreclosure

Sam Armemtrage saved his money for a down payment on a new home, negotiated a  fifteen year mortgage loan on the remainder of the purchase price and moved into his Lawrenceville dream home. After fifteen years his mortgage company quit sending him a bill.

How did he do this? He paid his mortgage payment on time every month without fail. Not once in those fifteen years did he face foreclosure.

Truth in Advertising?

The headlines proclaim “Adviser reassigned after disagreeing with Trump”, but that isn’t quite the case here. He did more than disagree with him.

Deare reportedly knocked the Trump administration’s handling of Latin American policies during a speech at The Wilson Center Thursday in Washington. He also criticized overall White House dysfunction, Politico reported based on a source.

Source: White House confirms adviser reassigned after disagreeing with Trump – CNNPolitics.com

It sounds more like he slammed the administrations policies in public. That goes a lot further than disagreeing with the president.

It is the job of any adviser to point out opposing opinions to the president and even advocate for them in private. That disagreement should always remain private during the term of the president. Public disclosure of dissent from the presidents advisers can take place after the administration has had its run.

 

Conquering the World

I’m reading this and my imagination kind of walks away with me. When Flynn was in contact with the Russian diplomat was he wearing a Stetson and drinking bourbon? Maybe he was wearing a linen suit and smoking a Cuban cigar. No, I think he was probably wearing a gray jacket with a Nehru collar and petting a fluffy white cat.
What could have been going through his mind?!? Did he act like this when he was an active duty general? Did he have some sort of idea he was some Machiavellian genius? Maybe his two years as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency made him think Trump hired him to be a man of intrigue. No, Trump hired him as someone from the opposing party who could give him a broader understanding of national security.
Good grief this story gives me the willies just thinking that someone scheming and conniving like this was a three star general in our military.

Intelligence officials feared the national security adviser had misled the vice president after saying he did not discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

Source: Justice Department warned White House that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, officials say – The Washington Post