Saturday Rate of Exchange:
Was DACA Unconstitutional?

from Raymond

On Monday, we linked to a piece by T. Paine at Saving Common Sense quoting President Obama on immigration reform:

… for me to – simply through Executive Order – ignore those Congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.

He then excoriated Obama for taking exactly the action he had described as unconstitutional.

He praised, at least in title, President Trump for defending the Constitution by rescinding DACA, but encouraged Congress to enact an equivalent law protecting Americans brought here as immigrant children.

As might be expected, some conversation resulted.

From Dave Dubya:

While it may be constitutional to obstruct everything proposed by the people’s choice for president, it is not moral. It would be moral if the president is abusing power to the degree it harms people or it profits him and his family and cronies. (Ring a bell?)

Unwillingness to compromise is a totalitarian tactic, not that of a representation democratic republic.

DACA makes America greater. In no way does it harm the general welfare or security of the country. It is a moral, sane and compassionate approach. None of these qualities is demonstrated by the Republican Party.

It was congress’s dereliction of their duty that prompted Obama’s compassionate priority in immigration enforcement.

Unfortunately Republicans and Trump are not as compassionate as Mr. Paine.

From Burr Deming:

If I recall correctly. President Obama was told by the Office of Legal Council in the Justice Department and by the Council to the President that his statement was incorrect.

Only then did the President issue his Executive Order, instituting DACA. I believe both the OLC and the President’s legal council pointed to similar Executive Orders going back to President Reagan.

Mr. Paine boasts of his willingness to change his mind when confronted by evidence, but would deny President Obama the same right.

From T. Paine:

The amnesty Reagan signed was a bill that came to him from CONGRESS, where constitutional authority to draft laws happens to reside.

The fact that Obama found sympathetic folks within his own Justice Department green-lighting him to usurp congress’ duties in drafting such a law is hardly surprising. It certainly doesn’t rise to the level of evidence of President Obama doing the right thing constitutionally as he once again ignored the balance of powers in our federal government with its checks and balances, Mr. Deming.

It is amazing the lengths some folks will go in twisting things to justify “their side’s” actions.

From Burr Deming:

Thank you, T. Paine.

I can see how you would overlook Reagan’s Executive Order . It is an oversight that seems to be shared universally by conservatives.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 did not cover many spouses and children of those immigrants that were covered. So Reagan, on his own authority, issued an order that did cover those people. Seems he thought it cruel to divide families unnecessarily.

There was a key difference. President Reagan permanently changed the immigration status of immigrants, so they remain safe forever.

President Obama only provided a temporary reprieve, which is what creates problems now.

Conservatives have a bad case of partisan amnesia when it comes to Reagan’s sense of humanity, objecting as they do to the humanity forming the basis of Obama’s action.

Present company excepted, of course.

From T. Paine:

If what you say is true about President Reagan’s subsequent executive order changing the status of spouses and children of illegal immigrants is true, Mr. Deming, and I have no reason to believe it is not, then Reagan also violated the constitution in his role as president. It was not his place to effectively draft such a law via executive order.

Further, it was patently unnecessary to do so on top of that. With Tip O’Neil in control of the House, I have no doubt Reagan could have worked with congress to so amend their immigration law to include spouses and children.

Reagan was wrong in doing so.

From Burr Deming:

I am humbled by your faith in my honesty. However, it is redundant. The public record is available on a plenitude of sites. Here is one of the better sources.

As with Obama, President Reagan’s Council to the President, as well as the Office of Legal Council in the Justice Department, told him his action was constitutional, and well within the law.

Of course, like the parallel groups in the Obama and the Bush administrations, they did not have the benefit of your own expertise. Sadly, all three Presidents were forced to act without your legal wisdom.

From T. Paine:

Evidently they all needed my legal counsel since in each case the checks and balances of our government, as setup by our founders in the U.S. Constitution, was ignored in each matter. The fact that some damned lawyers supposedly found legally ambiguous loopholes that got past the clear and unmistakable fact that the Executive Branch enforces laws and does not write them must have escaped them.

Shakespeare was right. “First, kill all of the lawyers.”

(And no, I am not actually advocating murdering everyone that has passed the bar, but just imagine how much better the world would be if we had far fewer shyster lawyers in it.)

From Trey:

… except the Executive Branch did not write a law. DACA isn’t a law.

“Executive Branch enforces laws”

DACA is a policy on how the law is enforced. I do not understand why this point is going over your head. DACA has been challenged in court and upheld, so it is neither Unconstitutional nor is it the Executive Branch usurping Legislative power.

From T. Paine:

Gee, Trey, I don’t know why I don’t believe that it isn’t a “law” written by the executive branch.

I guess when the provisions of DACA allow for illegal aliens to participate in the Social Security and Medicare programs, as well as receive federal tax benefits such as the earned income tax credit, then perhaps we have gone outside of simply “prioritizing our enforcement of immigration laws.” Aliens also used their qualification under the DACA program to force states to issue them driver’s licenses.

Previous immigration bills that were debated and rejected by congress contained some of these very same provisions and yet there was not a majority to send the bill to the president. The fact that President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security chose to “enforce” existing immigration law by also adding these provisions surely doesn’t sound like the executive branch is keeping to the spirit of the constitution to me.

How about to you?

From Trey:

Then I’m sorry, I think you are confused as why you’re against DACA. You don’t need to put law in quotes. It’s either a law or it’s not. In this instance it’s not a law. Don’t Other it by adding quotations. Since it’s a policy and not law, the Executive Branch didn’t step on the Legislature. If it were a law, there would be similar constitutional outrage with President Trump rescinding it… since only the Legislature can change the law. Right?

The simple matter of fact is that every President in recent memory has granted similar deportation reprieves to certain groups of people. Burr mentioned one example which you’ve rejected for some reason with President Reagan and Nicaraguan citizens in the ’80s.

DACA, similar to how it worked in the ’80s, by granting these people a temporary reprieve, they’re able to acquire work visas. You know what happens when work visas are issued? You get the privilage of paying taxes. You know what you get when you get to pay taxes? You get to follow the same guidelines the rest of us get to follow. Which means if these people now paying taxes meet the guidelines for EITC, than they get it.

They weren’t paying taxes. Now they are. We, the nation, are conceivably getting a net increase in tax revenues because these people weren’t paying anything more than sales taxes before.

“DACA allow for illegal aliens to participate in the Social Security and Medicare programs”

This is wrong. DACA gets the individuals benefiting from the program a SSN for work and tax purposes. They do not benefit from welfare programs OR Medicare. Their “participation” in Medicare and Social Security is that they now pay taxes into those programs but they are disallowed from utilizing those programs as illegal immigrants.

As for your beef with States needing to issue drivers licenses… the fact that DACA compels them to issue them to these individuals is a compulsion prompted by an actual Act passed by Congress, the REAL ID Act. Individuals enjoying the temporary reprieve that DACA provides them are given, effectively, temporary legal status. The REAL ID Act passed by Congress requires people with a legal status in this country to have an ID or Driver’s License available to them in order for those individuals to be able to board airplanes, go into federal buildings and other official purposes… in lieu of a federal identification. An issue that would be solved by a Federally issued I.D. Card, but we know how popular that is on the red-side of the political aisle.

Everyone against DACA always parrots the ‘enforce existing immigration law’… but it’s never followed up with how DACA isn’t doing that. DACA is merely saying ‘We know these people are here illegally, but we lack the resources to deal with every single illegal immigrant in this country, so we’re prioritizing the violent and the criminal rather than these otherwise, proven productive people’

So, explain to me, how is prioritizing enforcement of immigration law against the spirit of the Constitution? I’m honestly, truly asking you and I’m not trying to come off flippant. I don’t understand the rationale as currently presented in your arguments here and in your blog post. I would have engaged you over at your own blog, but I didn’t want Majormajor to leap on me with ‘LOLOLOL LIBERAL GROUP THINK’ comments.

[Note: Aunt Tildy has made it clear that comments consisting only of unrelated links to unrelated posts on unrelated sites will be regarded as abusive spam and deleted. Sadly, the former participant mentioned by Trey has not returned to comment since.]

A Little More About Trump’s UN Speech

found online by Raymond

From Vixen Strangely at Strangely Blogged:

At President Trump’s UN speech yesterday, the cameras caught Chief of Staff John Kelly in a studious face-palm, looking not unlike a college basketball coach whose team was down by 40 points at the half, trying to convince himself that this was a young team in a building year, and surely, the recruiters hadn’t been having him on. The White House can try and tell us he’s just tired because of Trump’s vigorous schedule or what have you, but I think the real story is–he can’t not know that this speech boxed Trump in and fubar’d his options massively.

This was a speech Trump gave as if for one of his rallies for the maybe 30% die-hards who need to hear his MAGA line of business. But he gave it in front of an audience of world leaders, and this was not the speech he needed to give to them.

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Jemele Hill Pulls Trump’s Skirt

found online by Raymond

From The Intersection of Madness and Reality:

Enters Jemele Hill to call out the president for all of his contribution to the chaos. Not one to cower to white tears and mayo-splaining, Hill kept things quite honest. She noted the singular issue that most people have with Donald Trump: he is a white supremacist president. She made it known that Trump was the most “ignorant, offensive president” of her lifetime and that his rise was a direct result of white supremacy. In all, Jemele Hill reflected on the thoughts of millions of other U.S. citizens.

However, ESPN wasn’t having it. So, she apologized. ESPN accepted the apology. And life is moving on.

The malarkey doesn’t stop there.

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Mike Pence: ‘I, Me, Personally, Myself, Didn’t Know Any Russians’

found online by Raymond

From Frances Langum:

Mike Pence is for some reason… this Thursday…. when Congress is out of town…. the guest on the morning talk shows. For now I’ll spare you the Fox and Friends tongue bath and highlight this revealing moment from CBS This Morning:

CHARLIE ROSE: Do you believe – Mr. Mueller is exceeding his jurisdiction?

MIKE PENCE: Well I think that’s for others to say. What I can assure you is that we’re fully cooperating with the special counsel and we’ll continue to do that. I’ve made clear that during my time on the campaign I was not aware of any contacts or any collusion with Russian officials. I stand by that and as I said we’ll provide any information the special counsel requires, but honestly, this is not what the American people are focused on.

What, no declaration of innocence for the so-called president? Just, not me?

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US Air Force is At Your Service

found online by Raymond

From M. Bouffant at Web of Evil:

And what is the now 70-yr. old United States Air Force up? Why, nothing worth noting.
[WARNING: Auto-play at link, because Newsweek is just that irksome.]


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Near the Right Wing
Mother of All Rallies

found online by Raymond

From tengrain at Mock Paper Scissors:

Meanwhile, the Juggalos (the dedicated fans of the rap-rock band Insane Clown Posse) have been planning a Washington rally of their own, too/also. They were going to protest the FBI’s designation of the Juggalos as a “loosely organized hybrid gang.” (But we cannot get people who want to blow up abortion clinics designated as domestic terrorists. Go figure.)

Anyway, the clowns went to DC! (See what I did there?)

So, the size-queen question Trump is no doubt asking as he stares at his short fingers: Who had the bigger rally?

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New Deal with Democrats – Trump Agrees to Be Impeached

found online by Raymond

From The Borowitz Report:

Emerging from an Oval Office meeting with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a beaming Trump touted the deal for his imminent removal from office.

“Chuck and Nancy and I got a deal done on impeachment,” Trump said. “It was a good deal and it was a fast deal.”

Trump said that the Democrats had convinced him that agreeing to be impeached would make him soar in popularity.

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Conservative Mother of All Rallies – Becomes Mini-Mom

found online by Raymond

From Green Eagle:

The Mother of All Rallies!!! Promoted by Republicans for at least two months, this event took place in Washington D.C. today. Didn’t hear about it? Well, here’s some of the advance material:

“MOAR Mother Of All Rallies Patriot Unification Gathering-The Woodstock of American Rallies

America First patriot rally in support of American values, American culture, American traditions, and of course President Donald Trump. Our goal is to rally 1 million patriots to Washington DC to send a shock-wave message to the world that they have to go through us to take this country or change its culture.”

ONE MILLION PATRIOTS! Well, as is the inevitable outcome of right wing marches, they fell a little short of their predictions.

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The Aerodynamics of Cheetahs’ Tails

found online by Raymond

From The Journal of Improbable Research:

“During high-speed pursuit of prey, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) has been observed to swing its tail while manoeuvring (e.g. turning or braking) but the effect of these complex motions is not well understood.”

Prompting, perhaps, the question ‘what is a cheetah’s tail actually for?’

A joint US / South African study (2016) has made made steps towards answers. A set of experiments, in which tails were aerodynamically tested at various airspeeds and inclinations, in a wind tunnel, yielded results :

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