Coronavirus Makes Us Re-think How We Value Labor and Lives

“It’s like suddenly they realized we are here contributing,” Nancy Silva told The New York Times.

Silva, a 43-old undocumented immigrant who has been picking fruit on American farms for most of her life while constantly evading immigration authorities, made this statement in response to the federal government deeming her and other farmworkers “essential employees.”  The Department of Homeland Security determined such farmworkers to “critical to the food supply chain.” read more

Tucker Carlson Blasts Trump: ‘I don’t think he’s capable’

For some unknown reason it took a Swiss newspaper to discover how Tucker Carlson really feels about Donald Trump.

In an interview with “Die Weltwoche,” Switzerland’s leading German-language weekly, the Fox News host was very blunt: “I don’t think he’s capable,” he said.

Carlson also made clear that he strongly dislikes the self-aggrandizement and boasting that have become President Trump’s hallmarks. And, when the interviewer asked if he thought Trump has kept his promises, the normally verbose Carlson simply said: “No.”

Fox News Channel is known to be generally pro-Trump, so it is surprising for one of their leading commentators to voice harsh words about the president. Fox is usually aligned with the current administration’s policies and positions. And popular prime time hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro have taken strong positions supporting Trump in his battles against Democrats and “the Resistance.”

When asked about Trump’s boastfulness, Carlson said:  “I hate that about him. It’s not my culture. I didn’t grow up like that.”

When asked to provide more details about whether Trump has kept his promises or achieved his goals, Carlson did not hold back on expressing his opinion:

“His chief promises were that he would build the wall, de-fund planned parenthood, and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn’t done any of those things. “I don’t think he’s capable of sustained focus. I don’t think he understands the system. I don’t think the Congress is on his side. I don’t think his own agencies support him.”

“He knows very little about the legislative process, hasn’t learned anything, hasn’t surrounded himself with people that can get it done, hasn’t done all the things you need to do, so it’s mostly his fault that he hasn’t achieved those things.”

Carlson has been critical of Trump before. When he harshly attacked then-attorney general Jeff Sessions, for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, Carlson said Trump’s attack was a “useless, self-destructive act.”

For Carlson the main issue is immigration, and has been “a fervent advocate for

Trump’s hard-right position on immigration, read more

Trump Threatens to Cut Off All Aid to Honduras Over Migrant Caravan

In a Tuesday tweet President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off all U.S. financial aid to the country of Honduras if its government does not stop a migrant “caravan” from to the United States.

The president tweeted.

“The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!”

The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately! read more

Republican Congressman Peter King Slams Self-Righteous Delusional Wing Of His Party

Appearing on Luke Russert’s online MSNBC TV program, Shift, New York Congressman Peter King (R) slammed fellow House Republicans for not simply banding together to pass a clean funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. King made it clear that he was fed up with Tea Party Republicans playing politics with Homeland Security funding. The New York Congressman declared: ”This madness has to end soon…I’ve had it with this self-righteous, delusional wing of the party.”

King lamented that may GOP members of Congress come from very conservative districts where they “live in an echo chamber”. He argued that those Republicans are so blinded by being anti-Obama, that they would rather put American lives at risk, than yield an inch to the President on immigration reform. While King announced that he, like his GOP colleagues, was not in favor of President Obama’s Executive Order on immigration, he noted that funding Homeland Security was more important than picking a fight with Obama over immigration policy.

King was adamant that funding Homeland Security was a matter of life and death, and that Republican actions endangered the country, by threatening to “take away our front lines against Islamic terrorism”. The New York Congressman chastised his fellow Republican lawmakers repeatedly, for putting American lives at risk.

In addition to arguing that the Tea Party wing of the GOP was foolishly playing with American lives, the Congressman also argued that their strategy made no sense politically, either. He likened Republican strategy, to the Charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War, and to Custer’s Last Stand. By comparing the Tea Party strategy to two exceedingly foolhardy military attacks, King was accusing his GOP colleagues of not only being morally wrong, but also of being flat out stupid.

In fairness to the Tea Party wing, Congressmen Peter King is prone to hawkishness on foreign policy, and his fear of Islamic terrorism at home, is often out of proportion to the actual threat. Nevertheless, King is on target with his criticism of his House GOP colleagues. Many of them dwell so much on anti-immigration sentiment, and anti-Obama fervor, that they have lost any sense of perspective for how to govern.

Fed by votes from xenophobic Obama-bashing zealots in deep red congressional districts, these Tea Party representatives have little incentive to govern. They simply can count on stoking the flames of right-wing rage, to propel their political careers, while they let the nation suffer from their collective inaction.

The Tea Party wing of the GOP puts Congressman Peter King in a quandary, because the Long Island swing district he represents, twice voted for Barack Obama for President, albeit narrowly. King has an incentive to govern, because he is in a district that could theoretically turn on him, and replace him with a Democrat in 2016. This is a concern that many of his fellow Republicans in Congress do not share.

Tea Party members who represent places like East Texas, the Ozarks, and the Kansas plains, are not only far removed from the sites of the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks, they are also far removed from any threat of being bounced out of office by a Democrat. Many of them are looking over their right shoulders at the threat of being ousted by a more extreme conservative in a GOP primary, but they don’t even have to glance to their left, ensconced as they are in completely safe red districts.

However, the bottom line should be, that on issues of national security, the primary concern on how to vote should not be dictated by political considerations. Instead, lawmakers should focus on what will best provide security for the American people. While we don’t have to agree with Peter King’s assessment of the terrorist threat, nor do we have to accept the notion that Homeland Security is the “be all and end all” for combating terrorism. However, King’s criticism of his fellow GOP lawmakers is a legitimate one. If they care about the security of our nation, they should stop playing politics with Homeland Security funding, and the self-righteous delusional wing of the Republican Party should step aside and let the Congress vote on a clean funding bill. Anything less, as Congressmen King said, is “madness” that must come to an end.