Sunday, May 20, 2018
Friends, I recommend this very interesting article about the electoral college, and whether or not Republicans can rely on winning it, even if we lose the popular vote.
Now, personally I support the electoral college. I do so partly because I support states' rights, and the college gives states an important role in selecting the President. I also wish we would go back to allowing state legislatures to pick U.S. Senators, but that's a battle for another day... Now, the gist of this article is the idea that, if Republicans increasingly rely on the electoral college to win Presidential elections, but steadily lose support in the popular vote, the legitimacy of Republican rule will be questioned. I disagree, and for one overpowering reason: Trump-haters hate Trump, yes, and the Left hates the Republican Party, but frankly the fact that Trump won the electoral college and lost the popular vote is THE LEAST OF THEIR CONCERNS. Collusion, emoluments, strippers -- you name it, they'll take any excuse to criticize, delegitimize, and hopefully destroy President Trump. Increasingly, this kind of bare knuckles politics is common in the trenches too -- at the level of House, Senate, and even state and local elections. To put it simply, more and more often, the two parties and their adherents have no respect for one another or for the "process". They want to WIN, and they don't care how they do it. Thus, in my opinion, just as it's unlikely for any real change in the electoral college to occur, it's also beside the point. American politics has gotten ugly, and it will stay that way, unless and until the media environment, which stokes these animosities, changes. In short, OF COURSE the legitimacy of Republican rule will be questioned. Get used to it, because it will happen regardless of who wins the popular vote and/or the electoral college.
My belief is that the electoral college does, in fact, benefit Republicans, and it is likely to help our candidates win Presidential elections, just as the two-Senators-per-state formulation is likely to help us keep control of the Senate. We could move to a system more oriented towards the popular vote, yes, but since this would only help the Left, which I do not see as devoted either to democracy or the U.S. Constitution, I don't believe this would be sensible or proper. I say, therefore, keep the electoral college in place, and keep the presidency, the Senate, the House, most governorships, most state legislatures, and above all most judgeships, in safe, Republican hands. The alternative is...bleak, to put it mildly.
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Friends, I've written before about the American-Canadian-South African tech titan Elon Musk. He has some great ideas, and he has some not-so-great ideas. This article is about his "Starlink" project, which aims to provide global satellite-based broadband internet access. Sounds nifty, right? Perhaps not so nifty when you consider the technical challenges and expense -- and, I don't know about you, but I already have good internet access. A few thousand more satellites floating in space won't change that.
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Friends, my latest article, coming soon to The Daily Caller in a more abbreviated form, takes on one of the most bedeviling issues related to illegal immigration. Millions of illegals are working for a living in this country, despite numerous laws that are designed to make hiring illegal aliens impossible. To solve this problem, we need an entirely new, and much more aggressive, approach to punishing employers who violate our immigration and labor laws. Are you with me? If we can eliminate the "job magnet" for illegal immigrants, I believe much of the problem will solve itself. The illegals will simply stay home.
The Battle Over Illegal Immigration Will Be Won or Lost with Employers
Recently, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has stepped up its enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. More and more raids are targeting illegal immigrants, especially dangerous criminals, and sometimes these raids occur in the illegals' workplaces, much to the chagrin of “sanctuary” mayors and governors, who feel that these hapless “immigrants” are being terrorized. However, the fact is that these raids are still few and far between. Even with more vigorous enforcement of our immigration laws, and even with increased deportations of criminal illegal immigrants, the number of illegals in the U.S. has barely budged, and illegal aliens continue to stream into the country. Businesses also continue to employ around 8 million illegals.
President Trump, and many Republicans, are apt to focus on the need for a wall on our southern border. Such a wall is indeed a necessity, in order to promote the security and integrity of our border with Mexico. The President should thus insist that Congress funds the wall before the midterm elections, as he has stated he will.
The problem, though, is that even a wall will not solve the problem of illegal immigration. This is because many illegal immigrants, and possibly most of them, don't hop the border in the first place. They come to the U.S. as tourists, or on student or temporary work visas, and then they never leave. A border wall will do nothing to halt this species of illegal alien.
We should also consider the fact that, once an illegal enters the country, even if he/she is eventually identified by federal authorities, the average wait time for a hearing in our immigration courts is 718 days! This means many illegals are simply released pending a hearing, and, predictably, few of them choose to show up when their day in court arrives. In so many ways, therefore, the traditional immigration enforcement system is hopelessly broken. Merely expanding it won't fix the problem of illegal immigration. A more fundamental change in direction is needed.
As many in ICE realize, the ultimate draw for many illegal immigrants is the ability to work in this country, despite their “undocumented” status. Millions of illegal immigrants work for U.S. companies, large and small, and it is abundantly clear that most of these firms believe they can violate immigration laws and labor laws with impunity. It's easy to see why: very few employers are ever punished for hiring illegals, and very few companies pay fines for doing so, and when such fines are assessed, the amounts involved are laughably small. The result is that America is open for business, vis-a-vis illegal immigrant workers. It has been for decades, and it remains so today.
Why has the problem of illegal immigrant workers been allowed to fester? To Democrats, in essence there is no such thing as an illegal immigrant. There are only “immigrants,” and they can do no wrong. Republican elected officials, though, are equally unlikely to tackle the illegal immigration problem at its source – with employers – because of their pro-business attitudes, and because such workers are cheap and pliable. In fact, illegal immigrant workers are subjected to systematically abusive and exploitative treatment by their employers, which neither party seems to mind. In addition, Republicans are generally afraid that any serious effort to enforce immigration laws will result in accusations of “racism!” The end result is what amounts to a tacit conspiracy in Washington, D.C. to ignore the rampant violation of our country's immigration and labor laws.
I would argue that the presidency of Donald Trump represents the best opportunity our country has had in the last several decades to tackle the problem of illegal immigration energetically and successfully. To do so, however, we cannot afford to target only the illegal immigrants themselves. We also need to target the government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and businesses that facilitate illegal immigration. As I have argued before, this means prosecuting public officials who implement “sanctuary” policies that are designed to obstruct the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. This should also mean the prosecution of NGOs that exist to harbor and protect illegal immigrants. Where the rubber meets the road, though, is with employers, and here we have much work to do.
Every year, hundreds of workplaces are raided by ICE, and millions of dollars in fines are meted out to employers. Under President Trump, these enforcement actions are multiplying, and more businesses than ever are being “audited,” but given the scale of the private sector economy – and the sheer numbers of illegal immigrants employed – this traditional approach to enforcement simply won't yield significant results. What is needed is a change in the culture of American business. As it stands now, frequently U.S. companies are more afraid of illegal immigration activists picketing or boycotting them if they cooperate with ICE than they are of federal authorities punishing them for violating the law. This is outrageous.
Two simple steps could turn this situation around. First, ICE should reward informants who provide tips about employers who routinely hire illegal immigrants. The flow of intel that this unlocks could be used to prosecute hiring managers who knowingly violate the law or conceal the “undocumented” status of their employees. Such white collar criminals should face serious jail time. This is what federal prisons are for, if you ask me. The mental calculus of hiring managers and HR departments across America would change overnight if this tactic were utilized. Presumably, the use of the federal government's E-Verify system, that aims to detect illegal immigrants and prevent their employment, would skyrocket. Under current law, use of the system is mostly voluntary.
Secondly, the fines assessed on companies violating immigration and labor laws need to be dramatically increased. If one were to add three zeros to the aggregate amount of fines collected by immigration authorities from U.S. businesses every year, one would thus add a serious expense for these companies that would undoubtedly change their attitudes and behavior. We would be hitting these rogue businesses where it hurts: their bottom line. Probably, though, this tactic would require Congress to reform our immigration laws, which, as we have seen, is apparently next to impossible.
Whether an enforcement crackdown of the sort I have proposed will emerge is uncertain. As vigorous as the Trump administration has been when it comes to tracking down and deporting criminal illegal aliens, it has shown remarkable restraint in other respects, and it has shown little appetite for making U.S. companies pay a price for their complicity in illegal immigration. We should not allow our desire to promote economic growth to undermine our dedication to the rule of law, however.
If we want to end illegal immigration once and for all, it's clear that not only illegal immigrants, but also their enablers, need to face justice. ICE understands this. President Trump may not, as yet, but let us hope he will come around.
Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: www.waddyisright.com.
And here's the published version! My thanks to The Daily Caller.
And here's the published version! My thanks to The Daily Caller.
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Friends, don't miss my latest interview on WLEA's Newsmaker program. Brian O'Neil and I consider Rush Limbaugh's bombshell allegations that members of the Trump campaign were set up by people working for the FBI...not to engage in real "collusion," but merely to talk about "Russian emails" so as to provide a pretext for an investigation, FISA warrants, leaks to the press, etc. The implication is that the whole "Russian collusion" narrative was cooked by up shadowy figures on the left long before the election happened in November 2016. If this is true, it's one of history's most successful conspiracies...not in the sense that it succeeded in destroying the Trump campaign or the Trump presidency, but in the sense that it's captivated the world's attention and hoodwinked millions, and possibly billions, of reasonably intelligent people. Conclusion: the "deep state" knows what it's doing, and no one should underestimate it.
Brian and I also talked about North Korea, illegal immigration, the resurrection of Last Man Standing, and more. The sound quality is better than ever, and you can listen in right here:
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Friends, there are few Americans braver and more essential to our safety and well-being than police officers and other law enforcement officials. Nonetheless, many on the left think they can malign and even threaten our men in blue with impunity. Hatred of the police, and violence against police officers, is on the rise. Part of the blame lies with those who give aid and comfort to police-hating zealots. Be that as it may, President Trump has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with law enforcement throughout his campaign and his presidency. How refreshing!
Do I support an automatic death penalty for those who kill police officers? No. I support the rule of law, and fair but severe punishment for anyone who commits a violent crime. We don't need to make policemen into superheroes, nor do we need to give them special rights or privileges. All we need to do is support their efforts to enforce the law, obey their lawful instructions, respect their professionalism, and thank them for their service to our nation and to the ideal of justice. Is that asking so much? No!
Friday, May 11, 2018
Friends, many conservatives will be familiar with the furor that was caused by ABC's cancellation of the sitcom Last Man Standing, starring Tim Allen as a conservative white male who was, shockingly, portrayed as a decent human being. Fans of the show petitioned for it to be resurrected, and now it has been...by Fox, no less! This is some rare good news from Hollywood. Waddyheads across the land will be nodding approvingly.
Friends, be extra thankful, because this week WLEA's Newsmaker program is serving up a veritable cornucopia of Waddy-branded conservatism. Brian O'Neil and I discuss the Iran nuclear deal, North Korea, disgraced NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Mueller and Cohen, and so much more. Give it a listen!
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Friends, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is announcing a zero tolerance policy for illegal immigration -- that is, he intends to prosecute 100% of those who cross the border illegally, and they will then face punishment for that crime of border-hopping. In addition, this will mean that parents who illegally cross with their children will be separated from those children. This is "tough love," but it's a big improvement from the old policy, which said that, if a family shows up at the border, we'll release them into the U.S. population, and even bus them wherever they'd like to go, while we consider their "status". What a joke!
This new tack is a breath of fresh air, but does Sessions have the moxie to follow through? Let's keep his feet to the fire, shall we?
Friday, May 4, 2018
Friends, the wheels are turning in the White House, and the President's lawyers are debating whether or not to subject him to an interview with Robert Mueller's hit squad. Check out my latest article, in which I analyze all the legal and political ramifications. My bottom line: I think Trump should do an interview, if for no other reason than because it will bring this fiasco to a close sooner rather than later. In said interview, however, Trump should say as little as possible!
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Friends, anyone who has worked in government, or with government, knows that the process to gain approval for any major (or minor) construction project can be agonizing. Many of our environmental laws, in particular, seemed designed to obstruct progress. They're also designed, in many cases, to enrich the lawyers, activists, and special interests that profit from the need to comply with said laws. Now, no one is against Planet Earth, despite what the environmentalists want us to believe. The question is...how do we protect the environment sensibly? Too often, regulations require builders to spend vast amounts in order to comply with requirements that produce no meaningful environmental benefit whatsoever. This needs to end. Long delays in finishing important infrastructure projects are also endangering our economy, and it some cases our safety. The article below advances some common sense solutions that ought to be incorporated in any infrastructure bill. As the article points out, President Trump can only do so much. Congress needs to get in on the act.