Good Friday Morning! Twenty people enter, twenty people leave. That’s about all you need to know about the first Democratic debates. The first night did give us the sight of Corey Booker appearing shocked the Beto stole his chance to speak Spanish first. Otherwise, not much else gets gleaned from the night.
As I’ve written the last few weeks, though, the media is obsessed with Elizabeth Warren. When Epsilon Theory turned their narrative machine on the various nodes of data and the messages of those, every single cluster of stories on the debate focused on Elizabeth Warren in some way. My pre-debate prediction was that Warren would get a boost of some kind, if only because the media wants her to get considered in the top tier. That should continue no matter what the consensus is today as people digest both debate nights together (I’m writing as the second debate is starting).
This week I’m doing a write-up on the border situation after getting questions about it during the week. I have a piece coming out some point today on the gerrymandering Supreme Court case. Links to follow.
Where you can find me this week
In a solid 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court upheld an old WWI memorial which had a cross as its centerpiece. Only Ginsberg and Sotomayor voted against it. The only knock against this case is that it didn’t strike down the Lemon test, but Gorsuch and Thomas signaled a potential end to the “offended observer” lawsuit standard, which is a good sign.
This column is one that I didn’t expect to write, but after seeing a column accuse a pro-eugenics person on Twitter of being “conservative,” I decided to write up a quick history of the progressive side of eugenics.
The Border Crisis
The first question people asked was why they couldn’t send donations to help out with families and children kept in detention facilities at the border. A viral New York Times story, along with a false NowThis video, claimed that children were in sub-standard conditions getting kept in these facilities.
Another part of the outrage were Democrats claiming these were concentration camps, which I addressed last week. These aren’t concentration camps. They’re detention facilities. More specifically, these are facilities that were never designed to do what they’re getting asked to do because our system is swamped.
More than 144,000 migrants were apprehended or denied entry to the country last month — the largest number in 13 years. More than half of them were families with children, and about 8% were unaccompanied minors. The Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and handles minors, has been swamped by the influx.
We do not have the resources or facilities to detain that many people. I heard one report on the radio this week saying that one facility got designed for around 100 people and they had 300, and so the conditions you’re seeing are just lack of resources.
The reason you can’t donate resources to help out, however, is because it’s against the law. Federal employees are prohibited from accepting items, and if you insist they do otherwise, they risk getting fired or jail time.
The Anti-Deficiency Act prohibits a federal agency from accepting donations. A journalist for the Texas Tribune (local journalism > national journalism) did the legwork and asked the government about this situation and got the following explanation:
Theresa Brown, a former policy advisor for U.S. Customs and Border Protections, said there’s a legal reason why Border Patrol and other government agencies aren’t accepting donations from do-gooders.
Under the Antideficiency Act, the government can’t spend any money or accept any donations other than what Congress has allocated to it. The theory behind not accepting donations, Brown said, is so that the government isn’t beholden to private-sector entities for what should be appropriated government actions.
“It’s partially a constitutional thing about Congress controlling the purse and only being able to spend money that Congress gives, but it’s also about ethics,” she said. “Without a change in law, DHS, CPB and Border Patrol cannot accept those private donations.”
It’s to help prevent bribery and other ethical issues. Congress is supposed to handle situations like this, and we don’t want federal agencies seeking ways around Congress for funding or resources.
The one way around this is if a national emergency gets declared. Then donations can get accepted to help fill immediate voids where the need is great. Congress doesn’t have time to pass legislation to provide during an emergency, so there’s less of a need for that act to be in effect.
But, in this case, an emergency regarding resources has not gotten declared. Trump declared an emergency to arrange border wall funding, but not about this issue.
Fortunately, Congress has passed a measure. The Associated Press has the report:
The Democratic-controlled House voted Thursday to send President Donald Trump a bipartisan, Senate-drafted, $4.6 billion measure to care for migrant refugees detained at the southern border, capping a Washington skirmish in which die-hard liberals came out on the losing end in a battle with the White House, the GOP-held Senate and Democratic moderates.
The emergency legislation, required to ease overcrowded, often harsh conditions at U.S. holding facilities for migrants seeking asylum, mostly from Central American nations like Honduras and El Salvador, passed by a bipartisan 305-102 vote. Trump has indicated he’ll sign it into law. …
The legislation contains more than $1 billion to shelter and feed migrants detained by the border patrol and almost $3 billion to care for unaccompanied migrant children who are turned over the Department of Health and Human Services. It rejects an administration request for additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds, however, and contains provisions designed to prevent federal immigration agents from going after immigrants living in the country illegally who seek to care for unaccompanied children.
The funding is urgently needed to prevent the humanitarian emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border from worsening. The government had warned that money would run out in a matter of days.
The bill passed the Senate 84-8, and the House 305-102. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who called these facilities “concentration camps,” voted against funding to help these centers. And she and her cohort also encouraged a Wayfair boycott that sought to punish the company for selling beds to the government for these facilities.
I never want to hear another word about her or anyone in her political group caring about the border or children in custody ever again. She voted down help. She voted against Amazon bringing jobs to her district — that directly harmed more impoverished communities in New York. She’s a socialist who wants to control every part of people’s lives — not help them.
Her extremist part of the party seemingly wants nothing less than letting people through the border without stopping them. It’s open borders and no immigration system for them. Thankfully, they are just a noisy minority in the Democratic Party. Unfortunately, some of those idiots are running for President (Elizabeth Warren).
Here’s the deal with the border. Open borders, ending border security, and all the things the far-left is calling for is a recipe for disaster. Take one look at Europe and how open borders has encouraged an extreme hatred towards immigrants. Every immoral right-wing party is anti-immigrant in some way. People and nations want some control of their borders, denying them that right brings out extreme forms of nationalism.
The far-left seems naive or ignorant of the last 25 years of experiments in the European Union. Browbeating people as racists for wanting things as simple as more facilities to detain people is idiotic. We’ve seen how that doesn’t work in Europe. We should enforce our current immigration laws, streamline the process, and increase funding to process all the people we’re faced with on our borders and ports of entry to prevent a similar phenomenon in the United States.
Last point: Six months ago, the media was committed to the notion that what was happening at the border was not a crisis. Brian Stelter of CNN was informing his audience that everything was a manufactured crisis. After AOC got in hot water for calling these concentration camps, they suddenly changed their tune — it’s a crisis.
I also wrote it wasn’t a crisis for Trump declaring an emergency to get the money he wanted for his wall. I still maintain that because it’s an issue for Congress to handle — which they’ve finally done in this case. We don’t need the executive branch trying to control the purse strings of Congress.
Stelter and his ilk claim that facts changed and that this situation only recently became a crisis.
That’s wildly inaccurate. The reports of people getting detained in facilities without adequate resources go back to the Obama administration. The 2014 election was partially a referendum on Obama’s poor handling of the border. Democrats lost the Senate because of the border and these camps. And the AP noted that many of the viral images being used to hit Trump are in fact from their 2014 reporting.
The media covered for Obama in 2014. They attacked Trump at the start of 2019. And now they’re pivoting to this being a crisis after more photos and reporting emerge, and their precious chosen-one politician, AOC, decided to rant idiotically about these being concentration camps.
It’s disgusting behavior by the media. The facts never changed. They’ve been the same for five years. What’s changed are the politicians they want to protect.
AOC is one of the politicians they’re protecting. Elizabeth Warren is another. Keep an eye on this dynamic as the 2020 primaries continue.
Links of the week
Democrats arrive and Miami’s climate changes. It’s policy pollution! – Dave Barry, The Miami Herald
What the Census Case Means for Administrative Law: Harder Look Review? – Chris Walker, Notice and Comment
‘Complete This Sentence: Donald Trump Wins Reelection If … ’: The battle-scarred Republican campaign managers of 2016 dish on how to handle a chaotic race, which Democrats have the advantage at the debates—and who Trump should be scared of. – Tim Alberta, Politico Magazine
Does Apologizing Work? An Empirical Test of the Conventional Wisdom – Richard Hanania, SSRN
Victims question Kamala Harris’ record on clergy abuse – Michael Rezendes, The Associated Press
U.S. Deficits Expected to Continue Growing: Congressional Budget Office says trend, though slightly eased, is a significant risk for the nation – Kate Davidson, The Wall Street Journal
Our Best Tool For Predicting Midterm Elections Works In Presidential Years Too – Nathaniel Rakich, FiveThirtyEight
We Tried to Publish a Replication of a Science Paper in Science. The Journal Refused. Our research suggests that the theory that conservatives and liberals respond differently to threats isn’t actually true. – By Kevin Arceneaux, Bert N. Bakker, Claire Gothreau, and Gijs Schumacher, Slate Magazine
Why Harvard Was Wrong to Make Me Step Down – Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., The New York Times
Tyler Perry reveals Atlanta studio was once Confederate army base – Najja Parker, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Bernie Sanders Wants To Cancel All Student Debt and Make College Free, at a Cost of $2.2 Trillion: The Vermont senator is clearly trying to outdo his main progressive rival, Sen. Elizabeth Warren. – Robby Soave, Reason Magazine
The Boomers Ruined Everything: The mistakes of the past are fast creating a crisis for younger Americans. – Lyman Stone, The Atlantic
China forcefully harvests organs from detainees, tribunal concludes: China’s organ transplant trade is worth $1 billion a year, according to a tribunal. This story contains details some may find distressing. – Saphora Smith, NBC News
Twitter Thread(s) of the week
Satire piece of the week
MIAMI, FL — After being asked a question on immigration at the Democratic debate Wednesday evening, Beto O’Rourke attempted to appeal to Hispanic voters by jumping up on his lectern, producing a bottle of Cholula hot sauce out of his suit coat pocket, and chugging the entire thing in one swift motion.
“Yes, good question,” he said in response to the question about immigration policy. “Here is my answer.” He jumped up and held up the bottle of Cholula original hot sauce for everyone to see. “I want you all to see that this is not just some gringo mild sauce. This is legit Mexican hot sauce. It says so right on the label.”
Beto then solemnly removed the cap, threw his head back, and began to chug the hot sauce. His face began to redden as he gulped down more and more of the sauce, but he steeled himself and pushed through, guzzling every last drop of the “incredibly spicy” Cholula sauce to prove he’s “down with” Hispanic culture.
I’d also like to give my condolences to the Baltimore Orioles after The Onion murdered them this week with the following headline: “Norfolk Tides Third Baseman Sent Down To Baltimore Orioles.” RIP.
Thanks for reading!