Preliminary Injunction Against DAPA – USDC SD TX

Some excerpts from the 123 bloody paged opinion:
This case examines complex issues relating to immigration which necessarily involve questions of federalism, separation of powers, and the ability and advisability, if any, of the Judiciary to hear and resolve such a dispute.

Regardless of the fact that the Executive Branch has made public statements to the contrary, there are no executive orders or other presidential proclamations or communique that exist regarding DAPA. The DAPA Memorandum issued by Secretary Johnson is the focus in this suit.

Secretary Johnson supported the implementation of DAPA with two main justifications.  …limited resources …humanitarian concerns.

As Defendants concede, a direct and genuine injury to a State?s own proprietary interests may give rise to standing. Doc. No. 38 at 23; see also, e. g, Clinton v. City of N. Y., 524 US. 417, 430-31 (1998) (negative effects on the borrowing power, financial strength, and fiscal planning of a government entity are sufficient injuries to establish standing); Sch. Dist. of City of Pontiac, 584 F.3d 253, 261 (6th Cir. 2009) (school districts had standing based on their allegation that they must spend state and local funds to comply with federal law). Defendants in this case argue, however, that the projected costs to Plaintiffs drivers license programs are self-inflicted because the DHS Directive does not directly require states to provide any state benefits to deferred action recipients, and because states can adjust their benefit programs to avoid incurring these costs. Doc. No. 38 at 21-22. This assertion,
however, evaluates the DHS Directive in a vacuum. Further, this claim is, at best, disingenuous.  Although the terms of DAPA do not compel states to provide any benefits to deferred action recipients, it is clear that the DHS Directive will nonetheless affect state programs. Specifically,
in the wake of the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Arizona Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer, it is apparent that the federal government will compel compliance by all states regarding the issuance of drivers licenses to recipients of deferred action. 757 F.3d 1053 (9th Cir. 2014).

Also, it is not a defense to the Plaintiffs’ assertion of standing to argue that it is not the DAPA program causing the harm, but rather the Justice Department’s enforcement of the program.

…standing under Massachusetts v. E.P.A….

If the Court were to grant the requested relief, it would not change the presence of these individuals in this country, nor would it relieve the States of their obligations to pay for any associated costs. Thus, an injunction against DAPA would not redress the damages described above.

Three important factors separate those cases from the present one…Because of this announced policy of non-enforcement, the Plaintiffs’ claims are completely different from those based on mere ineffective enforcement. This
is abdication by any meaningful measure…Conversely, in the present case, Texas has shown that it will suffer millions of dollars in direct damages caused by the implementation of DAPA…Finally, … the above-cited cases pre-date the REAL ID Act of 2005.

To establish the second element necessary for abdication standing, the States assert that the Government has abandoned its duty to enforce the law. This assertion cannot be disputed…standing under a theory of abdication requires only that the Government declines to enforce the law. Here, it has.

… it is clear that Plaintiffs satisfy the standing requirements as prescribed by the APA.

Having concluded that at least one Plaintiff, the State of Texas, has standing, the Court now addresses the merits of the States’ claims regarding the DAPA program.

Absent abdication, decisions to not take enforcement action are rarely reviewable under the APA.

As there is no statute that authorizes the DHS to implement the DAPA program, there is certainly no statute that precludes judicial review under Section 701(a).

the Court finds that, in this case, to the extent that the DAPA Directive can be characterized as “non~enforcement”, it is actually affirmative action rather than inaction.  …the very statutes under which Defendants claim discretionary authority actually compel the opposite result. In particular, detailed and mandatory commands within the INA provisions applicable to Defendants’ action in this case circumscribe discretion.
After 123 pages of discussing “standing” under 3 theories and reviewability under APA, the trial court granted the Preliminary Injunction.
I do wonder about the discretion – abdication distinction.  I also wonder if a “non-enforcement” directive so sweeping and so rigidly constructed can avoid the strictures of APA.  I initially thought that DAPA and DACA before it were within the limits of executive authority and I still do as a constitutional matter, in a vacuum,  but as an Administrative Procedure Act violation, I can see this as an overreach based on the facts as recited in the Opinion.  Scott has pointed to the theory of abdication without calling it that, and I had not realized how iron bound the denial of individual discretion in DAPA was until I read all the footnotes in this case.  JNC – if you wade through the 123 pages I think you will be struck by the court’s stream of consciousness attempt to address the matter[s].

Hump Day Craziness

I read this yesterday and it lead me to some interesting questions.  Well, they were interesting to me anyway.  I’ve been fascinated with the different factions of the Republican Party and the increased number of Libertarians who primarily seem to vote Republican when there is no Libertarian around to vote for.  This piece mentions the possible break between Evangelical Christian Republicans and conservative Catholics over the new Pope’s recent comments regarding gays and poverty.  It appears to me that Libertarians have also broken with the Christian wing of the Republican Party over many social issues.   I’ve learned from our discussions here that Libertarians seem to be for both open borders and abortion, in some cases “on demand”, even I don’t believe in either of those suggestions, so is that to the left of me?

I guess I’m wondering where all this will eventually lead.  How hard will it be for Libertarians to vote for a Republican of the evangelical sort?  Is it just a case of voting for the lesser of two evils in a Presidential election, or even a local election?  When do your votes and principles collide?  I swallowed my objections and voted for Obama because of health care, and a couple of other accomplishments I supported,  rather than third party, which is what I normally do.  A big fat wasted vote either way really.

My thoughts rambled from the original piece but I wanted you guys to see how it got me thinking.  I’m finding it somewhat interesting that I tend to vote social issues and for the preservation of things such as Social Security, Medicare and other safety net protections.  There doesn’t seem to be that much difference to me in the reality of economic policy between the parties or for that matter even foreign policy now that many conservatives seem to be more isolationist than they were in the past, but I’m guessing the Libertarians/Conservatives here don’t agree and vote their pocket book, or is it all big vs small government and the demolition of the safety net that motivates y’all.  I’m curious.  It seems to me that the differences between us are more along the lines of priorities.  I think we all value similar things but just place more weight on some than others.  Or maybe I’m delusional.

I think it is a safe bet that if Pope Francis I lives more than a few years that Catholics will soon be kicked out of the Republican Party and resume their previous status as the semi-black race. The reason is simple. Pope Francis I is on the opposite side of the political divide from Pope John Paul II. The Polish pope was a Cold Warrior who basically took the Reagan-Thatcher line on left-leaning political movements in the Third World, including in Latin America. The Argentinian Jesuit pope isn’t a communist, but he advocates for the poor without any apology.

For now, conservative American Catholics are trying to parse the distinction, but it isn’t going to work. They are not going to be able to embrace The Slum Pope who wants to “make a mess” of the established order within the Church by encouraging young people to shake up the dioceses and force them to embrace the convicts, drug addicts, and the truly impoverished.

Our country is uniquely unable to appreciate this change specifically because our right wing succeeded in categorizing the left in the Third World (and, to an extent, even in Europe) as communist in sympathy. The right assumes that the Vatican is an ally in all things, but that is no longer even close to being the case. On so-called family values, the papacy is still reliably conservative, even if it can’t be counted on anymore to demonize homosexuality. But on economic issues, the papacy is now a dedicated enemy of the Republican Party.

Before long, the right will have no choice but to break from the pope, and then their opposition will grow to a point that the alliance between Catholics and evangelicals will not hold.

There sure has been a lot of talk lately about women.  I’ve been troubled by some of it as it seems we’re going backwards in some respects.  There are too many stories to link but between all the states enacting TRAP laws, all the strange definitions of rape, the mayor of San Diego’s bizarre harassment and who has and has not shielded him from investigation, the treatment of rape victims in the military,  USC redefining rape as not rape if there is no ejaculation (my personal favorite), who is and isn’t hot enough to either run for office or other more nefarious activities, etc. etc. that I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on.  Maybe nothing ever really changed.  I’m concerned that so much of it has become political football.  I thought this piece on the subtleties of how a woman can succeed in the financial industry was pretty troubling.

Our youngest is working in another male dominated industry and is constantly trying to determine how to proceed on her merits while most of the men are attracted to her looks.  She has a few male mentors who seem to take her seriously so she’s focusing on that and trying to stay away from the guys who want to date her and stay focused on her work.  She’s discovering it’s an interesting dynamic that has many challenges.  She faced numerous challenges as a grad student but that was nothing compared to what she’s dealing with now.

It doesn’t help when other women give this kind of advice.

New details have emerged from a bias lawsuit filed by three former employees of Merrill Lynch against the company, which alleges that during training they were instructed to read a book called “Seducing the Boys Club: Uncensored Tactics From a Woman at the Top” and emulate its advice.

The tips in the book, published by New York Magazine’s The Cut, are truly shocking. “I play on [men’s] masculine pride and natural instincts to protect the weaker sex,” says a section of the book advising women on how to get men to do their work. “Unless he is morbidly obese, there is no man on earth who won’t puff up at this sentence: Wow, you look great. Been working out?” suggests a portion on diffusing tense situations.

On a lighter note the Anthony Weiner story is in another realm altogether in my opinion.  I guess I’d like to know why his wife is standing by him but it’s none of my business really.  Otherwise it seems to be a case of “consenting adults” which doesn’t bode well for his marriage or his candidacy but otherwise is just more creepily entertaining than anything else.

I wish I could share all the “Carlos Danger” jokes my husband has come up with, they’re hysterical, and just pop out of his mouth at the most inconvenient times.  He’s a true comic and I’ve thanked my lucky stars more than once that he makes me laugh.  Anyway we’ve had a lot of fun at Anthony Weiner’s expense around here.  I saw this and couldn’t resist.

Anthony Weiner Forever

Weiner forever

Immigration Reform-ATiM Style

I’ve been thinking about this post all week and trying to come up with a clever angle to get a discussion going.  After a few brief exchanges with some of you I realized that most of us probably support some variety of reform that leads to citizenship, so what’s there to discuss right?  One thing I’d like to understand more clearly is why some of you support open borders or how you think that would actually work in reality.   I’m also curious about what everyone thinks the chances are of the Senate bill passing first the Senate and eventually the House.  I’m not really expecting it to pass the House at this point but think it might squeak past in the Senate.  And also, at 844 pages with 300 amendments already offered isn’t it just another boondoggle anyway?

The first thing I had trouble finding was a good summary of the bill, I love you guys but I’m not willing to read that many pages of gobbledegook to come up with the gist of the bill.  I’m reading a book I’m really enthralled with right now and am not giving that up for ATiM.  The best summary I could find was Marco Rubio’s…………..funny huh?

Here are a few highlights:

This legislation contains the toughest border immigration enforcement measures in U.S. history. It is based on six required security triggers that must be achieved before the newly legalized are allowed to apply for green cards. These six triggers include:

1. Border Security Plan: DHS must create, fund and initiate a border security plan (within 6 months of bill’s enactment).

2. Border Fence Plan: DHS must create, fund & initiate a border fence plan (within 6 months of bill’s enactment).

3. Border Security Metrics: DHS must achieve 100 percent border awareness and at least 90 percent apprehension rates in high-risk sectors of the U.S.-Mexico border (within 5 years of bill’s enactment).

4. Border Commission: If DHS fails to achieve #3, a Border Commission of border state officials and stakeholders is required to create & implement a plan to achieve 100 percent border awareness and at least 90 percent apprehension rates in high-risk sectors of the U.S.-Mexico border (within 10 years of bill’s enactment).

5. Employment Verification: Universal E-verify must be implemented (within 10 years of bill’s enactment).

6. Exit System To Stop Visa Overstays: Visa exit system must be implemented at all international airports & seaports (within 10 years of bill’s enactment).

Conservative Economists Say Modernizing Our System Will Grow Our Economy And Create Jobs: The modernization of our legal immigration system will be a net benefit for America as we make historic reforms towards a more merit-based immigration system that will help us attract entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, skilled workers and people driven by the desire to build a better life for themselves and, in turn, create jobs for American workers.

Protecting American Workers: This bill protects American workers from unwarranted immigration for jobs that Americans are willing and able to do. For example, the proposal would not allow any work visas to be issued if the unemployment rate in a certain area is above 8.5 percent, which is the norm in many cities.

Highly Skilled Workers: After educating the world’s brightest and most innovative minds, we will no longer send them home to benefit competing economies like China and India; we will instead staple green cards to their diplomas. We will also expand the highly skilled H1-B visa program from 65,000 to 110,000 to fill jobs Americans can’t do. To accomplish the move to a more merit-based immigration system, we eliminate certain categories of family preferences that have allowed for chain migration and completely eliminate the diversity visa lottery, among other reforms.

Guest Worker Program: The bill establishes a guest worker program for lower-skilled workers that ensures our future flow of workers is manageable, traceable, fair to American workers, and in line with our economy’s needs. The modernization of our visa programs will ensure people who want to come legally – and who our economy needs to come legally – can do so.

Agricultural Worker Program: A new agricultural guest worker visa program would be established to ensure an adequate agricultural workforce to safeguard our food supply. This program will also allow current undocumented farm workers who have made a substantial prior commitment to agricultural work in the United States to obtain legal status.

And then it goes on to detail how the bill deals with the illegal immigrants here now.  It explains why it’s not amnesty, how they’re going to deny Federal benefits until certain criteria are met, what to do about children (dreamers) brought here unwittingly by their parents and how the path for  immigrants who came her illegally will be longer and more difficult than it is for those who chose the legal path.  There’s a lot in there, and you can tell where the compromises are.

Here are a few comments from various people here that I would love to hear more about and am also wondering what everyone thinks of the bill the gang of eight crafted.

Mark:  I am for need based immigration. I think we should permit immigrants with talent and skill to come here and apply for citizenship after five years. I think we should allow many more immigrants in toto than we do now. But I want them to actually learn American history and become acculturated and be fluent in English before they take their oath of citizenship. I want their knowing and proud allegiance to our country. And I don’t want extended family reunification – I want it limited to spouse and minor children.

I agree with George that immigrants are our lifeblood. But without selectivity, I believe we can get blood poisoning.

Brent:  On immigration, I am to the left of both parties. Our economy’s biggest growth came during periods of greatest immigration. While there is a correlation / causation issue there (were immigrants flocking to the US because the economy was great or were immigrants making the economy great?) I think we need an influx of young people to balance out the aging baby boom generation. Since we can’t go back and change fertility rates, well that leaves immigration.

McWing:  I’d give citizenship on day one, also, I wouldn’t have any language requirement though I would not publish anything official in anything other than English. A common language is important, IMO. And since I think the welfare state will collapse anyway, sure, let them have at it, though I dont think that is why the overwhelming number of immigrants come here, for welfare. I, perhaps naively, think they come here to live and work in a society who’s governent interferes in their lives less than where they came from. Also, they’ll be paying taxes, so the schools will be funded adequately. I hope the parents demand English only/immersion for their kids, to give them a fighting chance once they hit the working world. I don’t think the border states will be swamped, people move to where there are jobs, immigrants are no different.

Scott:  I am instinctively in favor of open borders and easy immigration. But that cannot coexist with the kind of welfare state that we now have. I suppose if you assume the welfare state as it exists must eventually collapse anyway, then accelerating it and getting on with the recovery process sooner rather than later makes sense. In which case open borders and immigration is even more attractive.

Perhaps more of you have weighed in and I missed it so I’m curious what the rest of you think and is there any chance that the Senate bill is a launching pad for the kind of reform each of you wants?  As a Californian with a keen interest in Mexico and it’s people I probably wouldn’t go as far as McWing, although I might be persuaded, but the bill looks a little constipated with stumbling blocks to me.

There’s been all sorts of coverage lately and I’ve read a lot of it but one of the most interesting to me was this email exchange Greg Sargent had a couple of days ago on Cornyn’s suggested compromise and perhaps thwarting Presidential aspirations:

This has put Marco Rubio in a box, and it needs to be acknowledged that Cornyn’s move really does threaten the prospects for reform. Frank Sharry, of the pro-immigration America’s Voice, explains why in an email to me:

“Cornyn is trying to box Rubio in, and if he does, we’ve got a problem.  Cornyn is taking dead aim at hardening the triggers – threatens the path to citizenship in a big way – in hopes of dragging Rubio to the right. The problem is that Rubio going right loses many Dems. Dicey moment. Cornyn stepped out in front with a proposal for more border security in way that undermines the path to citizenship. Rubio either goes with Cornyn — to look more conservative — and threatens the bipartisan core support for reform, or says no to Cornyn and looks weak, damaging the chance to get 15 Republicans to come in board.”

In other words, Cornyn has undercut Rubio by staking out a position much further to the right of the Gang of Eight compromise that Rubio had been taking.

I’ve read, in a variety of opinions, that the only way immigration reform will pass is if Republican leadership and the big donors want it to pass and they’ll have to pressure Boehner to put it up for a vote and hope the Democrats will get it across the finish line.  I can’t help but wonder if that would finally be the end of Boehner’s Speakership though.

In the News Now

Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation

There was a lot of internet chatter about the above “GOP for a New Generation” report today.  Out of curiosity I decided to read it.  It was really interesting and while it doesn’t have much to do with our recent discussion of whether the Republican Party has moved right or not, I think it’s indicative of where they could use some improvement.

I happen to be the mother of young voters just outside of this under 30 age group, and because I’ve enjoyed watching their political views form so much, I thought this was a great study.

To be clear, in addition to the parts I’ve excerpted, they also polled economic matters, the size of government (interesting results there), the environment, and also discussed the use of social media and other sources of political news.

The following report assesses the findings from a variety of studies on young voters, including a new March 2013 survey conducted for the College Republican National Committee (CRNC), and makes recommendations about how Republicans can begin this work today.

We believe that Republicans can win young voters but that it will require a significantly different approach than has been used in recent elections.

Health Care

Health care remains a second-tier issue behind the economy and the national debt. In the August 2012 XG survey, only 8% of young voters said it was their top issue, and just 27% named “lowering health care costs and improving care” as one of their top two or three priorities in the March 2013 CRNC survey.

Nonetheless, the issue is at the top of the second tier in both surveys and came up frequently in our focus group research. In the August XG survey, young voters handed Democrats a heavy advantage on the issue, preferring their handling of health care to Republicans by a 63-37 margin. Some 41% thought things overall would be better as a result of Obama’s health care reform plan (versus to 32% who said things would be worse).

Many of the young people in our focus groups noted that they thought everyone in America should have access to health coverage. In the Spring 2012Harvard Institute of Politics survey of young voters, 44% said that “basic health insurance is a right for all people, and if someone has no means of paying for it, the government should provide it”; 23% disagreed.

Admittedly, there were concerns about the cost and quality of health care under the ACA but in general the young people gave Obama credit for trying.


While immigration wasn’t a major issue it appeared it might be an issue that could turn a voter against a conservative candidate who they agreed with on taxes or other economic issues but disagreed with on immigration reform.

The position taken most frequently by young voters was that “illegal immigrants should have a path to earn citizenship,” chosen by35% of respondents. Closely behind this were the 30% who preferred the “enforcement first” strategy of securing the border and enforcing existing immigration laws. Some 19% chose “illegal immigrants should be deported or put in jail for breaking the law,” while another 17% took the position that “illegal immigrants should have a path to legal status but not citizenship.”On the issue of laws that “would allow illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to gain legal resident status if they join the military or go to college,” three out of four (75.3%) young adults agreed in an October 2012 poll conducted by CIRCLE. And young voters for the most part knew how the candidates in the election stood on that issue; in that same survey, 63% of respondents said that Barack Obama was the candidate who supported “allowing many illegal or undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to remain in the country,” while only 3% said that was Mitt Romney’s position.


This really surprised me; I knew it was pretty close but not quite this close.  In this case I wish Dems would alter their position a little to make room for a more tolerant culture of life position, but I repeat myself.

The results debunk the conventional wisdom on the issue and establish that not all “social issues” are viewed the same. Indeed, only 16% of young voters preferred that abortion be legal in all cases, while 32% said abortion should be legal “up to a certain point.” Combined, that comprises 48% who take a position leaning toward legality. On the other side, 37% felt abortion should be illegal with exceptions, and 14% thought abortion should always be illegal, making a combined 51% who lean toward prohibiting abortion. On this issue, there is small gender divide, with men in the survey actually tending to lean more pro-choice than women.

Where the Republican Party runs into trouble with young voters on the abortion issue is not necessarily in being pro-life. On the contrary, the Democratic Party’s position of pushing for abortion to be legal in all cases and at all times, including some recent laws around how to handle medical care for babies born alive during abortion procedures, is what is outside the norm of where young voters stand. Unfortunately for the GOP, the Republican Party has been painted – both by Democrats and by unhelpful voices in our own ranks – as holding the most extreme anti-abortion position (that it should be prohibited in all cases). Furthermore, the issue of protecting life has been conflated with issues around the definition of rape, funding for Planned Parenthood, and even contraception.

In the words of one pro-life respondent, “The Planned Parenthood thing for me is not so much about abortion; it’s about counseling before you can get to that point, and I feel that that’s a big part of what they do, is contraception counseling and about being safe.”


Gay Marriage

Perhaps no topic has gotten more attention with regards to the youth vote than the issue of gay marriage. And on this issue, the conventional wisdom is right: young people are unlikely to view homosexuality as morally wrong, and they lean toward legal recognition of same-sex relationships. Only 21% of young voters in the Spring 2012 Harvard Institute of Politics survey felt that religious values should play a more important role in government, and only 25% felt homosexual relationships were wrong. Young people nowadays are more likely than ever to know someone who is openly gay or lesbian, and that factor is correlated with attitudes supporting same-sex marriage.

Surveys have consistently shown that gay marriage is not as important an issue as jobs and the economy to young voters. Yet it was unmistakable in the focus groups that gay marriage was a reason many of these young voters disliked the GOP.

The conclusion of the report discusses five areas where they think the GOP can improve their chances to win over a larger percentage of the youth vote and they explain their methodology and whatnot.

I’m still working on an immigration post, just thought this was interesting and current considering all the references I read about it today on both sides of the political divide.

Being a Muslim in America

I thought that this piece by Rany Jazayerli was amazing. I usually balk at web pieces that make me click through five pages to read it (just put it all on one page, dammit, or do what Salon does and give me the option of seeing it on multiple pages or scrolling down one), but his writing is excellent and I think his point resonates.

It was with some reservation that I voted for Obama last Tuesday. I have found his presidency to be a disappointment in many ways. He wasn’t nearly aggressive enough about addressing the financial crisis he inherited, nor did he press for a public airing of what caused the crisis in the first place. His sustained use of drones to fight the war on terror has been both utterly immoral – an inordinate number of innocent victims, including children, have been killed – and completely counterproductive, because the obvious immorality of these attacks has ignited more terrorists than it has killed. Obama’s weak and unfocused response to the horrors being committed every day by the Syrian government is appalling.

But — third parties aside — the alternative was Mitt Romney, and I could not vote for Romney. There was simply no way that I could justify voting for a party that denies the very legitimacy of my identity as an American. And there was no way that I could justify voting for any member of that party that does not, in the strongest possible terms, denounce that view. Nor could most other members of the American Muslim community, who just happen to be clustered in swing states like Ohio, Virginia and Florida.

As it turned out, with the Muslim community voting overwhelmingly against him, Romney lost Ohio, Virginia and Florida by narrow margins, and lost the election. Joe Walsh lost his bid for reelection in Illinois’ 8th district, which frees up his schedule to start looking for the terrorists in Elk Grove and Addison. Also losing his bid for reelection was Florida congressman Allen West, who claims that “Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion.” Well, that’s one way to get around that pesky 1st amendment.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The Muslim community still shares many core values with Republicans, the same core issues that attracted most Muslims to the Republican Party in the first place. Muslims haven’t changed their views on limited government, or the superiority of the traditional nuclear family, or the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship. A Republican Party that focused on its core principles rather than on demonizing a minority as a way to score cheap political points would find support among the American Muslim community again.

Look, I don’t want to be a party-line voter. It does Muslims no good to be identified with a single political party – we run the risk of being taken advantage of by the Democratic Party, while having our needs completely ignored by the Republicans. And I look forward to the day, hopefully in the near future, when I once again vote for a Republican candidate. If Chris Christie — who unlike Romney has forcefully denounced “the crazies” (his term, not mine) — runs for president, I’ll give him full consideration.

But first, the Republicans have to stop insinuating that I’m alien to this nation. They have to stop implying that I support terrorists. They have to stop accusing me of being anti-American. And they need to denounce anyone in their ranks who does those things. That, I’m afraid, is not negotiable.



But beware the new immigration policy set to go into effect soon.  I blame Obama.  Mark, lms and I should be very afraid.

People can function perfectly in parts of NoVa and never speak a word of English or have any contact with the larger culture. I don’t think that’s a problem. – NoVAH

New topic is introduced, raising these questions, and more.

Does the USA need an official language?


Does it need a national language, even if it is not proclaimed “official”?


Is the traditional melting pot where the school kid grew up to rapidly identify herself as “American” first even though her parents came from some other country a part of our culture worth reinforcing?  By whom?

Thanx to NoVAH for the inspiration.  I will comment with my own tentative answers.

Bits & Pieces – Columbus Day Open Thread

Gov. Jerry Brown of CA has signed California’s own version of the Dream Act. It’s odd to compare this with what they’re doing in Alabama. I saw a photo of a sign in front of a local water department in AL over the weekend that said you could no longer have an account with the city for water without a picture ID.

Declaring the need to expand educational opportunity, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Saturday that he has signed legislation making illegal immigrants eligible to receive state financial aid to attend California universities and community colleges.

Brown said he signed the California Dream Act because it makes sense to allow high-achieving students access to college financial aid.

“Going to college is a dream that promises intellectual excitement and creative thinking,” Brown said in a statement. “The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us.”


I’ve been reading lots of negatives regarding the possibility of the Super Committee actually accomplishing much. Considering Obama’s Jobs Bill appears dead in the water and the Super Committee has pretty low expectations along with the debt ceiling battle, these guys are beginning to get a little worried.

This is from Gates, the other two are Bernanke and Geithner.

“I do believe that we are now in uncharted waters when it comes to the dysfunction in our political system–and it is no longer a joking matter,” former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told an audience two weeks ago at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, where he received the Liberty Medal for national service. “It appears that as a result of several long-building, polarizing trends in American politics and culture, we have lost the ability to execute even the basic functions of government much less solve the most difficult and divisive problems facing the country. Thus, I am more concerned than I have ever been about the state of American governance.”


And I couldn’t resist another OWS link

As Gregory Djerejian writes, this was inevitable. A seemingly endless recession sparked by a financial meltdown was bound to create a backlash, one way or another. The President famously said in a meeting with 13 Bankers that he was the only thing standing between them and the pitchforks. He cannot hold them back any longer. Djerejian sums up the national mood:

“Speaking to several of these protesters today, I met MBA students who cannot find jobs (one even told me his GPA at business school, a respectable 3.2) and law students in a similar predicament. As money gets wasted in epic fashion overseas for desperately flawed ‘provincial reconstruction teams’ in Iraq and risible ‘Government-in-a-Box’ initiatives in Afghanistan, these kids are staring at mountains of debt and an equally daunting lack of viable employment prospects (the MBA student was underemployed working as a barista at Starbucks). So there are intelligent faces and voices in these crowds—not just aimless rabble-rousers out for a rise—and I can sense this movement becoming more contagious (for instance, I detected among several of the more junior police officers perhaps some degree of sympathy for the protesters). To some extent, after all, these are our young screaming out in need, meriting not kettling and reprimands, but job prospects and dignity […] They want accountability and dignity and prospects. Their leaders have failed them. So they have taken to the street to lead themselves.”

Former State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter actually had some good thoughts as well. Whether the Democrats can get fuel from this movement or whether they become terrified of it, what is happening around the country is ultimately a statement of hope from a disaffected group of people who want to build something and will not let the constraints of politics or big money get in the way.


%d bloggers like this: