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We know that there’s two things in life that are guaranteed: death and taxes. Actually, based on this article, there’s apparently a third certainty: that DFL mayors can’t resist raising property taxes.

Preya Samsundar’s article starts by saying “Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges finally revealed her budget plan for 2018 on Tuesday including a proposal for a 5.5 percent property tax levy increase for the upcoming year. Hodges’ budget and the address she gave in presenting it covered a laundry list of progressive talking points and policy plans. The budget has a total price tag of $1.8 billion. Almost $6 million in total will be spent on efforts to use non-fossil fuel sources of energy, improve businesses’ climate effects, and increase energy efficiency in commercial and residential areas of Minneapolis. This is roughly a 60 percent increase compared with the 2014 budget the year Hodges assumed office.”

Hodges knows that she’s in a fight for re-election. That’s likely why she criticized President Trump in presenting her budget:

“Minneapolis is facing a challenge that we couldn’t have conceived of a year ago,” Mayor Hodges said. “Though we are shocked by the damage he does every day of his presidency, we have to anticipate that Donald Trump will remain in the White House through 2020. In the next three and a half years he can wreak untold damage to our country with his authoritarian tactics and his policies of oppression and suppression. Once he was elected, we knew it would be a disaster for our country, but even just six months in, it’s already far more disastrous than we anticipated.” Hodges believes that Trump is coming after “our diversity, our right to vote, our artists, our independent media, our workers” with his policies.

That criticism is just a distraction. Hodges knows that she’ll lose if voters focus on the uptick in violence during her administration. She’s been a disaster since taking over for the equally disastrous R.T. Rybak.

It isn’t that I think Mayor Hodges will lose because she raised property taxes. My point is that the DFL annually promises property tax relief, then falls far short of their promises.

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It isn’t surprising that Sen. Al Franken criticized a Trump judicial nominee. What’s surprising is that his criticism is based on information supplied by the Southern Poverty Law Center, aka SPLC. According to the article, Sen. Franken “tried to tie one of President Trump’s judicial nominees to a “hate group” Wednesday, saying the woman’s decision to speak at an event sponsored by Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious liberty law firm, makes her unfit to sit on a federal appeals court.”

During Wednesday night’s show of The Five, Greg Gutfeld demolished the SPLC, saying “You ever heard the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)? They’re a hard left outfit that loves to label people as extremists. Their ever-growing list seems to defame everyone. Ben Carson, he’s an extremist. Rand Paul. They called Maajid Nawaz an anti-Muslim extremist and get this, he’s a moderate Muslim battling religious extremism. It makes no sense. There’s [Ayaan] Hirsi Ali, a black feminist who protests against genital mutilation. SPLC placed her name and a guy to anti-Muslim extremists. So that’s extreme, to be against genital mutilation?”

Later, Gutfeld said this:

But that’s not the funny part. It’s the money. This poverty center has loads of it. A $320 million endowment and chucks almost 20% of it into offshore equities. Cayman Island stuff. I don’t understand it. So this poverty group sits on a pile of offshore dough. That’s like a personal trainer with a gut. Or a priest with a harem. The Center paid out $20 million in salaries in 2015 but provided just 61 grants in legal assistance. So the Southern Poverty Law Center appears to have no poverty and do virtually no law.

Actually, I’d argue that the SPLC is just another Democrat front group that’s used to criticize people that Democrats disagree with. Then there’s this:

Michael Farris, president of ADF, bristled at the charge, and said seven of the Supreme Court’s justices agreed with ADF’s position in a case earlier this year about state funds used for a church playground. “As a member of Congress, Sen. Franken needs to fact-check before parroting discredited attacks by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a once-proud civil rights organization that is now a left-wing smear machine known to incite violence,” said Mr. Farris.

It’s rich to hear Sen. Franken citing the SPLC as though they were an upstanding, ethical organization. They’re nothing of the sort. Sen. Franken is an ill-informed hyperpartisan bombthrower. What he isn’t is a man that’s intellectually capable of a committee assignment on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Anyone that’d cite the SPLC as an impartial arbiter of justice isn’t the brightest bulb in a chandelier.

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Ron Brownstein’s article highlights the upcoming fight over DACA and immigration reform. Brownstein’s article, though, contains some conflicting information that’s worth examining.

For instance, Brownstein wrote “In both 2006 and 2013, a bipartisan group of Senators crafted legislation whose central beam balanced tougher enforcement measures with a pathway to citizenship for 10-11 million undocumented immigrants, so long as they met certain conditions such as learning English. (Around that centerpiece, both bills also explicitly legalized those brought to the U.S. illegally as children, established a guest-worker program, and reformed legal immigration.) Every concerned interest group gnashed their teeth over some element of that composition, but business, organized labor, and immigrant advocacy groups locked arms behind the final product. With that widespread institutional backing, and polls showing support from a clear majority of Americans, the Senate comfortably approved each bill.”

It doesn’t make sense that “a clear majority of Americans” supported comprehensive immigration reform but elected Donald Trump, the biggest hardliner on border enforcement and illegal immigration. The most logical explanation is that people like immigration in the abstract, like health care reform, but don’t like it when it’s put into legislative form. Further, in the Trump era, people don’t trust Washington politicians to listen to them or to do the right thing.

This phrase is the key in explaining things:

With that widespread institutional backing

Apparently, Mr. Brownstein hasn’t figured it out that having Washington’s “institutional backing” is a negative. People have been trying to get politicians to listen for the last 15+ years. If Congress attempts to pass a bill that’s similar to the Gang of 8 legislation, they’d better expect it to get vetoed immediately. That might be what Washington insiders want but it isn’t what the people want.

If Washington, Democrats and Republicans alike, try shoving another Gang of 8-style bill down our throats, they’d better prepare for the end of their political careers. If Congress doesn’t listen to the American people, they’ll deserve the voters’ wrath. Republicans like Jeff Flake will increase the risk of losing in a primary while Democrats like John Tester, Sherrod Brown and Claire McCaskill will likely lose to their Republican challengers.

Washington, including Mr. Brownstein, hasn’t noticed how popular the wall is. Voters know that future administrations can deploy border patrols 50+ miles north of the border. They don’t trust Democrats to do the right thing with immigration. The wall can’t be redeployed. Where it’s built, it’ll stay. It isn’t just that President Trump insists on the wall. It’s that the people insist on it.

If Democrats running in the heartland won’t listen to the people, the outcome of their races isn’t a mystery. They’re cruising for a bruising. Sarah Huckabee-Sanders put Democrats in their place pretty quickly:

Sarah Huckabee-Sanders put Democrats in their place during one of her most recent briefings. She highlighted the question about why Democrats turned a blind eye towards law-breakers. Democrats don’t have an answer to that question. That’s why they keep losing elections.

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This St. Cloud Times article is about 15 students who walked out of their classes to protest President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA.

According to the article, there was a teachable moment. According to the article, “Sartell-St. Stephen Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert, who taught civics in Mount Vernon, Iowa, for 22 years, said the demonstration served as a teaching moment. ‘So we had to have a little conversation about what civil disobedience is,’ Schwiebert said. ‘And when you’re doing a protest, that’s what you’re doing. You’re disobeying or disagreeing with a law that is in place. In this particular case, they responded very, very well to it.'”

It’s indisputable that that’s a legitimate teaching moment. Unfortunately, I’m afraid, another teachable moment might’ve gotten missed. Did Superintendent Schwiebert, or any of these students’ teachers, teach the students about why DACA was unconstitutional. Did these teachers tell these students that DACA would’ve been a legitimate law if Congress had passed it and the president had signed it? Did these teachers explain to the students that the Constitution doesn’t permit a president to unilaterally create new benefits for anyone, especially illegal aliens? That’s exactly what happened.

If these students’ teachers didn’t teach them those lessons, why didn’t they? Is it because the teachers are activists first, teachers next?

The protests in Sartell weren’t the only DACA protests in Minnesota:

There’s a simple solution to this situation. Unfortunately, Democrats have nixed that solution:

A top Senate Democratic aide said that the party would be open to agreeing to items such as additional drone operations, fencing and sensors; but not a “presidential vanity project. We are open to security that makes sense,” the aide said, noting that the party had agreed to a similar exchange—albeit on a much larger scale—when it put together a comprehensive immigration reform deal in 2013. That measure included some $40 billion for border security measures.

Republicans should immediately tell Democrats that a major compromise on the Republicans’ part requires a major compromise from Democrats. The compromise that Democrats proposed represents a major compromise from Republicans. It doesn’t represent a major compromise for Democrats.

This is the sort of deal that President Trump criticized on the campaign trail. If he accepts this deal, his credibility as a great negotiator will instantly disappear. President Trump must insist that his wall gets funded in exchange for DACA. Trump should insist that the wall be built so we don’t have to worry about another batch of DREAMers 5-10 years from now.

Border Patrol agents were deployed away from the border by President Obama so they weren’t in position to prevent illegal immigration, drug smuggling or human trafficking. A serious border wall can’t be deployed away from the border once it’s been built.

That’s a politically defensible position because it strengthens Republicans’ campaigns in blue collar districts in the Midwest. If Democrats insist on getting their way with DACA, they’ll get clobbered in the 2018 midterms.

Eric Holder’s op-ed doesn’t sound like a man defending the principle of prosecutorial discretion. It sounds like a man rationalizing the Obama administration’s not enforcing existing immigration law.

In the opening paragraph of Holder’s op-ed, he writes “Our nation’s sense of morality — and of itself — is once again being tested.” Shortly thereafter, Holder wrote “DACA, which gave undocumented young people brought to the United States as children a chance to work and study here without fear of deportation, has been a dramatic success. The program provided a two-year grant of protection and a permit to work legally in the United States, after which enrollees were required to go through a renewal process. To qualify, immigrant youths had to meet a set of stringent criteria: When applying, they were required to have been enrolled in high school, have a high school diploma or equivalent, or have been an honorably discharged military veteran. In addition, they must have lived in the United States continuously at least since June 15, 2007, and not have a criminal record suggesting they pose a threat to national security or public safety.”

First, I’d question why Mr. Holder thinks our “nation’s sense of morality … is once again being tested.” Is it against our nation’s sense of morality to enforce this nation’s laws? Is it against our nation’s sense of morality to give lawbreakers an edge over people who follow the rules? Is it against our nation’s sense of morality to tell law enforcement, in this case border patrol and our nation’s sheriffs, not to enforce this nation’s immigration laws?

Next, I’d like to ask Mr. Holder what he meant when he wrote “Of course, as Sessions emphasized, we are a nation of laws, and the immigration system is no different. We must ensure that our laws are enforced to maintain the vitality, prosperity and security of our polity. But in painting DACA as a flagrant disregard for our constitutional separation of powers, Sessions exhibited a fundamental misunderstanding of what DACA did.” Did Mr. Holder mean that he thinks that presidents should have the authority to unilaterally write new laws? After all, that’s what President Obama did when his EO gave illegal immigrants the ability to get a social security card and to apply for the EITC tax credit. Does Mr. Holder seriously think that President Obama never tried appropriating to the executive branch things that the legislative branch was authorized to do?

If Mr. Holder thinks that then-President Obama didn’t try doing things that only the legislative branch is authorized to do, then I’ll throw the National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning ruling in his face. That’s the case where SCOTUS ruled that only the Senate could determine when the Senate was in recess. President Obama’s solicitor general essentially argued that President Obama determined that the Senate wasn’t in session. President Obama lost that lawsuit 9-0.

I’d submit that President Obama and Mr. Holder “exhibited a fundamental misunderstanding of” the Constitution. Further, I’d submit this video as proof that the Trump administration, especially Attorney General Sessions, knows exactly what he’s talking about:

At what point will Mr. Holder admit that he’s a political hack working for the Democratic Party? It’s painfully obvious that he isn’t constitutional lawyer with integrity.

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Though Democrats insist that DACA is constitutional, it’s been a long time since anyone took their statements seriously. When then-President Obama signed that EO, he did 2 things that won’t pass constitutional muster. First and most importantly, he temporarily exempted an entire demographic group of people from deportation. Then-President Obama’s EO didn’t permanently exempt DREAMers from prosecution or deportation. It just temporarily delayed action on DREAMers. Greg Jarrett’s article sheds an important light on DACA.

In his article, Jarrett writes “At the end of the 19th century, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that congress has ‘plenary power’ (meaning full and complete) to regulate immigration. Derived from Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, the doctrine is based on the concept that immigration is a question of national sovereignty, relating to a nation’s right to define its own borders and restrict entrance therein. As the high court observed, ‘Over no conceivable subject is the legislative power of Congress more complete.'”

Considering this information and considering the fact that there’s a well-known proposal that would protect DREAMers permanently, the question is whether Democrats will be reasonable. At this point, I’m betting that they’ll be unreasonable. I’m basing that opinion partially on this video:

Democrats are insisting that Republicans pass the DREAM Act immediately. If the Democrats’ demands aren’t met, Senate Minority Leader Schumer said that they’ll attach the DREAM Act to every bill that the Senate considers until it’s passed. I’d love to see Sen. McConnell tell Sen. Schumer that DREAMers will get protection the minute Democrats vote to fund President Trump’s wall and not a minute sooner.

This does 2 things to Democrats. First, it forces vulnerable Senate Democrats to vote against building the wall. For senators living on the coasts, that isn’t a big deal. For senators living in the Heartland, that’s a big deal. It’s a big deal because it’s a potentially a career-ending vote. Next, it forces Democrats to make a decision on whether being reasonable is more important than obeying the Democrats’ special interest allies. If Democrats vote with their special interest allies, they’ll identify themselves as defenders of The Swamp.

That’s a difficult position to defend going into an election year. Let’s remember that the people that vote in midterms are more conservative than those that vote in presidential elections. Senate Democrats are already running into strong headwinds because of the red states they’re defending seats in. Couple that with the fact that some liberal senators will be running in some fairly red states and you’ve got the definition of pressure. If Democrats side with La Raza, aka NCLR, instead of siding with the American people, they’ll pay a heavy price in November, 2018.

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Sam Stein’s article suggests that someone behind the scenes is pulling strings. Stein’s article starts by saying “President Donald Trump’s decision Tuesday to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy opened the door for legislative deal making. And no proposed trade has been more widely discussed than one in which Trump gets funding for his beloved border wall in exchange for permanent legal protections for the so-called DREAMers. There are just two major hitches: Democrats aren’t biting and, more significantly, neither are DACA recipients. Those recipients, along with immigration reform advocates, have been lobbying lawmakers to reject any deal that would result in a border wall, Capitol Hill aides and activists have told The Daily Beast.”

This suggests that Democrats want the Mexico-to-the-US pipeline stay open after immigration reform is passed. It also tells me that organizations like La Raza, aka NCLR, are have sold DREAMers a lie. This makes building the wall all the more imperative. If DREAMers want permanent protection, the wall will get built. If Democrats don’t vote for President Trump’s wall, then Republicans should play hardball. Period.

“I’m not going to step on top of my community to get ahead,” said Jose Aguiluz, a D.C. native who was brought by his family from Honduras when he was 15 years old and who received his DACA status in 2012. Aguiluz, a nurse, was outside the White House on Tuesday to protest Trump’s decision. “By me trying to say, ‘Oh, let’s make a deal with the wall,’ it is like I’m stepping up on my community, my parents, uncles, and grandparents, that I’m putting them down so that I can get ahead,” he said. “That’s unfair and it’s not American.”

Democrats have tried painting a picture that these DREAMers a) were brought to the US when they were infants and b) would be “returned to a country” they’ve never lived in. Mr. Aguiluz was brought to the US when he was 15. He definitely doesn’t fit the image that Democrats are painting. Neither does this DREAMer:

Nearby stood Carlos Arellano, who was brought to the United States by his parents from Mexico when he was 15 and received DACA protection at age 26. “DACA changed my life completely,” he said, explaining how the program allowed him to pursue a nursing degree.

Republicans should insist that the wall be built. If Sen. McCain insists on going rogue, Sen. McConnell should inform him that his chairmanship is tied to his supporting the bill.

That likely will be met with criticism from the media wing of the Democratic Party and his relatives. It might not get him to change his vote but it will send the message to everyone that this isn’t negotiable. Lest there be any doubt, there will be lawsuits filed. Watch this video and tell me that the ACLU isn’t spoiling for a fight:

The best witness that DACA wasn’t implemented properly is President Obama. This is a collection of times when President Obama admitted that he couldn’t unilaterally implement DACA:

The video runs over 3 minutes. A video that runs over 3 minutes essentially repeating a single sentence contains lots of speeches.

If Democrats want to fight against building President Trump’s wall, that’s their decision. Their fighting that funding, though, will hurt the DREAMers they supposedly fight for.

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If anything was predictable, it’s that Democrats were certain to overreact to President Trump’s decision. This article provides a collection of the Democrats’ overreaction.

The biggest overreaction to President Trump’s DACA decision comes from Rep. Luis Gutierrez. The article said that “Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois lashed out at Kelly, the former head of the Homeland Security Department, on Tuesday. The lawmaker says Kelly has ‘no honor and should be drummed out of the White House along with the white supremacists and those enabling the president’s actions by ‘just following orders.’ Gutierrez says Kelly told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that the mass deportation of so-called ‘Dreamers’ would be prevented. The lawmaker says Kelly, a former Marine, is a ‘disgrace to the uniform he used to wear.'”

House Minority Leader Pelosi overreacted, too, saying “President Trump’s decision to end DACA should break the hearts and offend the morals of all who believe in justice and human dignity. This cruel act of political cowardice deals a stunning blow to the bright young DREAMers and to everyone who cherishes the American Dream. Strangely, the President has chosen to pardon someone who shares his anti-immigrant views, Sheriff Arpaio, who was convicted, while punishing young children who are innocent. Congress must move immediately to protect these courageous, patriotic DREAMers. House Republicans must join Democrats to pass legislation to safeguard our young DREAMers from the senseless cruelty of deportation and shield families from separation and heartbreak. Democrats will stand firm with DREAMers and redouble our efforts to protect our nation’s families from the Trump Administration’s mass deportation agenda.”

The truth is that DACA is all but officially finished. That’s because 12 state attorneys general filed a lawsuit in federal court arguing that then-President Obama didn’t have the authority to unilaterally essentially create new immigration law. These state AGs would win, too, because it’s a matter of whether the Constitution gives the authority to write and pass legislation to the executive branch or to the legislative branch. Students in civics class could answer that question with ease.

Rep. Gutierrez went Vesuvius upon hearing the announcement:

The question now is whether Democrats will work with Republicans on funding President Trump’s wall and make DACA the law of the land. If Democrats refuse to work with Republicans, we’ll know that they’re just in it for the Hispanic vote. It isn’t because Democrats care a whit about Hispanic families.

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When Jeff Sessions announced this morning that DACA was getting rescinded, he and President Trump put a gun to Congress’s head. Tom Rogan’s article explains why this is a smart strategic and political move, saying “Crucially, however, Trump is leaving it up to Congress to affirm the contours of that resolution. He recognizes, as Obama did not, that the whims of a president are a decrepit legislative partner to the rights of Congress. And it’s important that we remember this fact as the media reports on Tuesday’s events. After all, Trump’s decision will be portrayed as immoral, capricious, and narrowly populist.”

Later, Rogan writes “By giving Congress six months to find a replacement law, Trump is returning power to where it belongs, to the authority the Constitution sets in charge of making laws on naturalization. But in return for Democratic congressional support for securing the border, Trump should call for a DACA replacement law that allows relevant recipients to remain in America to pursue better futures. If he takes this approach, Trump will insulate conservative members of the Republican caucus to vote for such a bill without facing huge blowback in next year’s midterm elections. Again, Trump’s hardline credentials on immigration law mean that he is the perfect messenger for a compromise here, a replacement law that lives up to both moral and constitutional standards.”

I wrote in this post that Democrats have the opportunity to do the right thing. I’m still skeptical that they’ll do that but … The truth is that DACA was about to get obliterated in the courts. Attorneys general in 12 states filed a lawsuit that asked for a ruling on whether then-President Obama had the constitutional authority to unilaterally pass immigration legislation. That ruling would’ve gone badly for President Obama because he didn’t have the authority to write law of any sort.

Also in my earlier post, I said that Republicans are willing to make Democrats an offer they shouldn’t refuse. Republicans are prepared to pass legislation that makes DACA the law of the land the constitutional way in exchange for Democrats voting for funding of Trump’s border wall. It isn’t surprising that Luis Gutierrez, (D-IL), is criticizing President Trump’s decision in the harshest terms imaginable:

I’d expect nothing less from him.

This morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that DACA will be rescinded. In making this announcement, Sessions predictably received tons of criticism. Despite that criticism, Sessions made the case for rescinding the program.

The article opens by saying “The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is being ‘rescinded,’ Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday from the Justice Department. President Obama’s ‘unconstitutional’ executive action cannot stand, the AG explained. In enacting DACA, Obama ‘deliberately sought to achieve’ what Congress repeatedly rejected.” The simple truth is that Democrats chose to put a higher priority on enacting the ACA than they put on passing immigration reform. That’s their decision. Now, it’s time for them to live with their decision.

This wouldn’t be the problem that it is today if President Obama had enforced existing immigration laws. That’s essentially what Gen. Sessions has done. What’s interesting is whether Democrats are willing to do a little old-fashioned legislating. According to this article, Republicans are in Let’s-make-a-deal mode.

According to the article’s opening paragraph, “Senior Congressional Republicans are willing to work with Democrats to keep a program allowing young people who came to America illegally with their parents to stay in the U.S. But Democrats will in return have to give President Donald Trump funding for his border wall.”

It’s likely that Democrats will initially reject this proposal by accusing Republicans of playing with people’s lives. If Republicans hang tough on this, though, they’ll win this fight. The American people are with President Trump and Gen. Sessions on this. Funding the wall is a required part of this deal. Laws can be ignored by administrations. We know that because we’ve seen that happen. Walls can’t be rescinded, though. Once they’re built, they form an imposing, impressive border. This video explains why President Trump is rescinding DACA:

All immigration policies should serve the people of the United States, he continued. It is his duty as attorney general to enforce the rule of law. “We cannot admit everyone who would like to come here,” Sessions explained. “This does not mean they’re bad people,” the AG added. It simply means we are “properly enforcing our laws.”

It’s time for Democrats to decide whether they’ll put Mexicans first or if they’ll put Americans first. It’s impossible to put America first if you won’t enforce their laws.