Chargers Say Goodbye to San Diego

2017-01-13_chargersmove

Greetings and Happy New Year!

Before we get into some government poltical news this year and get super depressed, let’s break into the sad news with sports.

The San Diego Chargers are becoming the Los Angeles Chargers.

After going decades without an NFL presence, Los Angeles will now get 2 teams to share one stadium that has yet to be built.

Continue reading “Chargers Say Goodbye to San Diego”

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A Guide to the Electoral College, and the Impact it has on the Presidential Election

Since the election, the Electoral College has been the topic of much hate and much debate. “How is it that Clinton got more votes, but Trump still won this college? This is outrageous! The same thing happened in 2000! The college is a complete failure! Abolish it!”

To start, calm down and take a deep breath. Grab a towel, and don’t panic.

So, what exactly is the Electoral College, and why do they even matter? The manner in which the president of the United States is chosen is laid out in Article II, Section I of the Constitution, as well as the Twelfth Amendment:

“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

Continue reading “A Guide to the Electoral College, and the Impact it has on the Presidential Election”

The Importance of the 1st Amendment

President-elect Trump’s reaction to comments made by Brandon Victor Dixon, an actor portraying Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical Hamilton: An American Musical, is unbecoming of a person who will be the President of the United States. Trump’s statements were in reaction to Vice President-elect Pence’s experience at the musical on Friday night when he was booed by members of the audience, and delivered a special message by the cast and crew of the play:

15134653_1566213490072189_8327091635629795419_n.jpg

Here is President-elect Trump’s reply on Twitter:

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Reacting to an incident via twitter is perfectly acceptable behavior for a private citizen since they have permission to express their opinions under the protection of the First Amendment. However, President-elect Trump is not a private citizen anymore. He is a public servant and the future voice of the United States. His words now carry extra weight, and everything he says will be analyzed and scrutinized. President-elect Trump just criticized a private citizen for criticizing an elected government official. The most concerning lines from these tweets are “harrassed”, “Apologize!”, and “This should not happen”.  This last phrase, “This should not happen”, is not something the President of the United States should use lightly. This statement can be read as, “people should not be allowed to criticize the Vice President of the United States.”

As a nation, we have been here before: not being allowed to criticize the government. It is the real reason why we have the First Amendment. The First Amendment was not included in the Bill of Rights for the freedom to tweet, and it is so much more than the freedom of speech. The reason why the First Amendment was so important to the ratification of the Constitution was so that the people could criticize the government. During the 1760s and 1770s, colonists who criticized King George III were often arrested, and often without trial. Not having a voice is what helped spark the anger that united the colonies to rebel. President John Adams learned this lesson when he and his Federalist Congress passed the Sedition Act of 1798, in which they determined what was “malicious writing against the government of the United States.” (http://www.constitution.org/rf/sedition_1798.htm). Even though the law was set to expire on March 1, 1801, it helped to ensure that Adams would lose his reelection bid to Thomas Jefferson, a member of the Democratic-Republican party that the law was intended to silence. In President Jefferson’s inaugural address he took the opportunity to redefine what the freedom of speech meant, that Americans, even those in the minority, were to be able to think freely and to speek out and write what they think . “…the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” (http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres16.html)

It is the right of the people of the United States to criticize and petition their elected officials under the First Amendment. If civil criticism from the cast of a musical is too “rude” for President-elect Trump to tolerate, then he should not have campaigned to be the President of the United States, which is the most criticized position in the world.

Looking at President-elect Trump’s 1st 100 Days part 3.2

 I found President-elect Trump’s plans for his first 100 days in office on npr.org. I will examine them and add commentary on them. I also encourage everyone to do their own research if they feel that they would like to learn more about the issues.This post will examine his remaining 4 actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law. (This is long. I’m warning you in advance)

SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States

1. Keith Blackwell
2. Charles Canady
3. Steven Colloton
4. Allison Eid
5. Neil Gorsuch
6. Raymond Gruender
7. Thomas Hardiman
8. Raymond Kethledge
9. Joan Larsen
10. Mike Lee
11. Thomas Lee
12. Edward Masfield
13. Federico Moreno
14. William Pryor
15. Margaret A. Ryan
16. Amul Thapar
17. Timothy Tymkovich
18. David Stras
19. Diane Sykes
20. Don Willet
21. Robert Young

Also, Forbes has a nice summary of them: http://www.forbes.com/…/trumps-supreme-court-nominees-wil…/…
CNN also has some commentary: http://edition.cnn.com/…/supreme-court-vacancy-donald-trump/.]

THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities

  • What exactly are sanctuary cities? Sanctuary cities are American cities that have policies protecting immigrants in the country illegally from federal immigration law, such as restricting police from turning them over to federal agents. Will President Trump be able to do this? I’m sure he can with an Executive Order. The reality is that Congress is already on this: http://gosar.house.gov/…/house-passes-gosar-amendment-block… .

Here are some articles about Sanctuary Cities:
~http://www.nytimes.com/…/2016/09/02/us/sanctuary-cities.html
~https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/what-exactly-are-sanctuar…/]

FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back

  • The biggest question with this one really comes down to, “where will the funding come from?” President-elect Trump has already made comments about controlling spending, and the amount of money this will take is more than I think he realizes. Sure, he can divert the money that he plans on keeping from sanctuary cities for this, but I still do not think this will be enough. To take a long quote from the Washington Post (sadly it seems you only get a few free articles a month before they want you to pay for it ;_;):

“Trump has said he wants to triple the number of ICE agents. Even so, rounding up millions of people, criminals or not, would require monumental expense and potentially expose Americans to all kinds of disruptions. Agents can’t simply break down the doors of homes, looking for illegal immigrants. And so there would have to be a surge in raids at farms and factories. New checkpoints might be established along roads. For those who are apprehended and awaiting deportation, the United States would also need to build new detention facilities — or pay private companies to do so.
Trump has also pledged to clamp down on so-called sanctuary cities, places in which local authorities decide not to proactively ask immigrants for paperwork, even if they believe they’re undocumented. Trump could pressure these cities by cutting off or reducing federal funding, a step for which he’d need support from Congress.

Tripling ICE’s immigration-agent core, which currently numbers about 7,000, would be “incredibly expensive” and unlikely to be approved by a Senate run by Republicans but with a large Democratic minority, Sandweg said.

“Think about all the downstream consequences of that,’’ he said. “You need more officers around the country. You need office space, you need all those guns, uniforms, slots at the academy for training. We’re talking about possibly close to $1 billion a year in increased costs.’’”

Now I will quote John Burnett, NPR’s Southwest Correspondent who covers immigration: “Trump has vowed to expand the definition of “criminal alien,” for example, to include immigrants in the U.S. illegally who are convicted of drunken driving. Without the approval of Congress, a President Trump could instruct his immigration agents to round up every immigrant convicted of a crime and deport them all. There are currently 23 countries considered “recalcitrant” by ICE because they will not accept criminal aliens sent home from the U.S. — among them Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran and Zimbabwe. Trump could instruct his State Department to withhold visas for the citizens of these countries unless they agree to accept their deportees.”

Most people would agree that keeping our cities safe from criminals is a good thing. My biggest concern here will be how he plans to pay for this (since he ran on cutting the deficit), and how these criminals are “rounded up”.

As for the denying visas, what exactly does he mean by “cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back”. Is he says that visas will no longer be issued to U.S. citizens who want to visit those countries? Business visas? Tourist visas? Here is the ICE memo that Trump referred to about the 23 recalcitrant (having an obstinately uncooperative attitude towards authority or discipline) countries: https://www.ice.gov/…/docum…/Speech/2016/ragsdale-160714.pdf . Not all the countries are listed, but China is. You need a visa in order to visit China from the U.S. I know; I’ve been there twice. Combine this with the economic posturing he wants to take with China… I’m not trying to sound like a conspiracy theory person, but I am going to want to follow how he deals with China.

Again, this is something to keep an eye on.

FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.

 

There are also 10 legislative measures that he wishes for Congress to pass. I will also examine them, though they may not come out as quickly or be in order. After all, as much fun as economics is (especially when you have to teach it to high school seniors…), I don’t think I can take on his tax plan in one post. Some of the others are a bit simpler.

I also plan on examining his picks for his staff and cabinet in later posts.

Looking at President-elect Trump’s 1st 100 Days part 3.1

I found President-elect Trump’s plans for his first 100 days in office on npr.org. I will examine them and add commentary on them. I also encourage everyone to do their own research if they feel that they would like to learn more about the issues.

This post will examine his first action to to restore security and the constitutional rule of law. (Yes, just the first… I’ll follow up with 2-5 in another post.)

FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama

  • “Every” is an absolute word, and is one that Trump might want to re-examine before taking office. After all, the key word in this phrase is “unconstitutional”. Something isn’t unconstitutional just because you don’t agree with it. Also, if it is truly unconstitutional, then the Supreme Court will strike it down. (Some orders and actions are being looked at by courts, so let’s leave those there.) That being said, can President Trump reverse executive orders and the like? Yes, he can. But to do all of them in one fell swoop might have more consequences than he may know. I’m sure there are some memorandums that even President Trump will agree with, or at least have a fun time in explaining why they aren’t good. Here are 5 that I found that most people would be okay with:

~https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/presidential-memorandum-establ…
~https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/presidential-memorandum-modern…
~https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/presidential-memorandum-creati…
~https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/presidential-memorandum-retire…
~https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/memorandum-establishing-white-…

There are even executive orders that make sense:
~ https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/executive-order-termination-em…
~ https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/executive-order-comprehensive-…
~ https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/executive-order-facilitation-p… (This deals with peaceful transition between presidents… does Trump think this is unconstitutional just because it was an executive order?)
~ https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/executive-order-amending-execu… (This talks about the Peace Corps logo: “ In section 1-1, a new section 1-113 is added to read as follows:
“1-113. The functions of adopting, altering, and using an official seal or emblem of the Peace Corps as set forth in section 19 of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2518) is hereby delegated to the Director of the Peace Corps.”)
~ https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/executive-order-blocking-prope… (I would advise that President Trump keeps this E.O. about North Korea in place.)
~ https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/executive-order-blocking-prope… (This explains our situation in Yemen…)

I could go on. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-ro…/presidential-actions. Read to your hearts content. Again, whether or not some of these are agreed with (there are a bunch just providing an order of succession within the cabinet departments), to eliminate them all will be ridiculous.

The biggest fear, and a legitimate one, is DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which was an executive action (Actually, it was a memo by former Secretary Janet Napolitano of Homeland Security. But since the cabinets operate under the Executive Branch, it is seen as an executive action). The Obama administration did try to pass a the DREAM Act back in 2011, but it went nowhere in the Senate, and I can’t even find it in the House (unless it had a different name?) (https://www.congress.gov/…/112th-congr…/senate-bill/952/text). This is about undocumented immigrants, but it allows illegal immigrants who came over as children to be protected from deportation and to be allowed to have work permits (for 2 years) (https://www.whitehouse.gov/…/deferred-action-childhood-arri…). Depending on what Trump wants to do with this, he can either let the permits expire or dissolve them.

Other foreign policy issues that can be reversed include Cuba, Iran (though the agreement would need to be ignored since agreements between 6 countries are difficult to just “dismantle”, but he could impose more economic sanctions), and anywhere we have drones.

Some interesting reads:
~http://www.forbes.com/…/this-inventory-of-obamas-dozens-o…/…
~ http://www.reuters.com/…/us-usa-election-obama-foreignpolic…
~ http://www.dailydot.com/…/number-of-executive-orders-per-p…/