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U.S. Senator Cruz greets businessman Trump onstage as they address a Tea Party rally against the Iran nuclear deal at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

We can see a troubling future looming for America in two seemingly unrelated events — the water crisis in Flint and the Republican presidential primaries.

Both suggest that America is moving away from the high ideals of President Kennedy’s inaugural address — “Ask not what your country do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Instead we see politicians who say they love America, but hate the American government.

There is a word to describe the kind of government Michigan has and America is at risk of developing. It’s called kakistocracy.

It means government by the worst men, from the ancient Greek words kákistos, meaning worst, and kratia, meaning to rule.

Think of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona, Governor Paul LePage of Maine and others notorious for abuse of power and utter contempt for those who disagree with them.

We can see one of the worst in Michigan, where Governor Rick Snyder persuaded the legislature to grant him imperial powers to take over local elected governments. Soon a whole city was poisoned.

Snyder, like all leaders seeking to replace self-governance with dictatorship, claims that he acted solely in the best interests of the people. Snyder’s administration did not just fail to forcefully correct the evil it had wrought; it actively tried to hide the awful truth, another badge of dictators.

When the official secret was finally exposed, Snyder showed himself to be at best a slothful minimalist in fixing his mess. He also made what he claimed as a full disclosure, while withholding the most important documents about his toxic administration.

On television you may have seen National Guard troops, called up by Snyder, handing out bottled water. It was a cynical PR stunt: Seven Guardsmen at one location in a city of 99,000 people.

An accountant by profession, who calls himself a tough nerd, Snyder fields mass phone calls rather than take charge in Flint, the once prosperous home of Buick made famous in Michael Moore’s 1989 documentary Roger & Me.

Snyder tries to shift blame to people he appointed. And he remains focused on corporate tax favors, not the people of Flint, a city with a slight black majority.

To those who insist racism is in the past, Snyder’s behavior shows that racialized politics endure.

Bad as poisoning an entire city is, that’s nothing compared to what the Republican candidates for the White House propose – more war, more tax cuts for the rich, massive surveillance and a host of other policies fit not for a land of liberty, but a police state.

Think about Chris Christie, the New Jersey fabulist who misleads about his appointment as U.S. Attorney for the Garden State and who mocks people who say he should be doing more to address shore flooding since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. There’s his false justification for stopping a replacement for the century-old rail tunnel between his state and Manhattan, and his aggressively hiding of the facts about the dangerous George Washington bridge lane closures by his aides.

But the monstrous wrongdoing of Snyder and the incompetency and mendaciousness of Christie pale next to some other GOP presidential wannabes. Many of them love war, especially now that, having avoided military service in their youth, they’re too old to face enemy fire on the battlefield.

Senator Ted Cruz wants to “carpet bomb ISIS into oblivion” until the sand “glows in the dark.” Asked about the legality of this, Cruz doubled down during the Fox News debate last month. The Texas senator thinks this is a brilliant military strategy, even though actual experts think it is a terrible idea and so does America’s top general in Iraq.

By the way, indiscriminately bombing civilians is a war crime.

Donald Trump favors the policies of Mexican drug cartels and the most vicious Mafia bosses. He doesn’t just want to wipe out those seeking to create the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant. Trump vows to kill their families, too. Challenged by a college student on this, Trump too doubled down.

It was fellow candidate-at-the-time Rand Paul, the libertarian senator from Kentucky, who pointed out that killing the families of combatants is a war crime.

Of course killing families would only stir hatred of America and lead to more violence. Sending Americans once again into Middle East combat would only enrage more young Muslim men, which is why I earlier described Trump as ISIS’ chief recruitment officer.

Trump would also break up families by arresting 11 million or so immigrants who are here illegally; bar any Muslim from entering the country; spy on mosques; impose tariffs; punish corporations that make investments he dislikes, among his long list of promised extra-Constitutional actions.

Asked about what laws authorize his proposals, Trump claims unnamed experts are on his side.

Trump’s proposal is not so much for a term or two as president, but for a Trump dictatorship. (see Snyder, Rick; imperial powers).

Then there’s the vile language Trump uses, claiming variously that he was just repeating what someone else said or that he will not be forced into political correctness. Evidently Trump’s mother failed at teaching him any manners. The Presbyterian Church, which Trump recently made a public show of attending, also failed at teaching him about asking God for forgiveness, about the sacraments, the names of Biblical chapters, and the last five of the Ten Commandments.

Except for the now-departed Rand Paul, the Republican presidential candidates talk easily of war, almost as if they were proposing a picnic.  And they all insist we need a bigger military, even though more than 40 percent of all military spending worldwide is American.

ISIS is a pipsqueak threat, nothing like the Soviet Union during the Cold War or the Axis powers of World War II.  Yet the Republicans encourage us to live in fear. ISIS is failing and can do no more than harry us, but Trump, Cruz, and some of the other candidates would have us give up our liberties and grant them powers that the framers of our Constitution explicitly denied the executive branch.

Other Republicans have shown their lack of knowledge to be almost Trumpian in its vacuity, especially Senator Marco Rubio and Dr. Ben Carson. The one woman who was running on the GOP side, Carly Fiorina, has a track record in business (and veracity) that deserves boos, not applause.

On top of this the Republicans, everywhere, continue marketing the economic snake oil that what ails our economy is that the rich do not have enough and are in dire need of more tax cuts.

We should not be surprised that in so many places our governments are under the control of men and women who are careless, destructive, incompetent, and passive-aggressive.

Since Ronald Reagan declared in his 1981 inaugural address “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem” we have seen more and more people who hate government going into government.

A government run by people who believe it is bad will, of course, make it fail. They are dedicated not to making our government work for us, but to making their own worst beliefs about government come true. We see this at every level from Uncle Sam down to the local school boards that try to replace biological science with religious beliefs.

Big business has learned to take advantage of government run by those who despite it. With cronies in high places big companies find it much easier to mine gold from the Treasury than the market, the subject of my book Free Lunch.

Our Constitution makes the federal government ours. We choose our leaders. We decide what powers they can exercise. And if we elect people who are nasty, brutish, or megalomaniacal we have no one to blame but ourselves.

That anyone in America would think that any of the Republican candidates, save Governor John Kasich of Ohio, is competent to hold office shows how easily politics can drift from ideals to the basest attitudes. (More than three dozen progressive members of Congress told me this month that while they don’t agree with Kasich on most issues, he is unquestionably competent.)

The Founders warned us to beware of those who lust for power.

Now we see on full display those who lust not just for the authority our Constitution conveys on the Office of President, but who seek to do as they please without regard for the checks and balances of our Constitution, without regard for thoughtful strategies in dealing with foreign powers and would-be powers, and without regard for human life, not just among the wives and children of ISIS combatants, but among those American citizens who are poor, black, Latino, Muslim — or happen to live in Flint.

Kakistocracy. Use that word. Get others talking about what it means.

Photo: Ted Cruz greets businessman Donald Trump onstage as they address a Tea Party rally against th0e Iran nuclear deal at the U.S. Capitol in Washington September 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst      

David Cay Johnston

David Cay Johnston won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of taxes in The New York Times. The Washington Monthly calls him “one of America’s most important journalists” and the Portland Oregonian says is work is the equal of the great muckrakers Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair.

At 19 he became a staff writer at the San Jose Mercury and then reported for the Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and from 1995 to 2008 The New York Times.

Johnston is in his eighth year teaching the tax, property and regulatory law at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management.

He also writes for USA Today, Newsweek and Tax Analysts.

Johnston is the immediate past president of the 5,700-member Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and is board president of the nonprofit Investigative Post in Buffalo.

His latest book Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality an anthology he edited. He also wrote a trilogy on hidden aspects of the American economy -- Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch, and The Fine Print – and a casino industry exposé, Temples of Chance.

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  1. Dominick Vila February 13, 2016

    Let’s not forget that what Republicans are pushing for is not really smaller government, but a government willing to advance their causes and impose their will on everyone else. The most appropriate terms to describe their political goal are totalitarianism, dictatorship, with shades of anarchy.
    If their goal was really to reduce the size of government they would support President Obama’s ability to reduce the civil servant workforce to its lowest level in decades, and his ability to reduce the budget deficits…and would deplore President Reagan’s expansion in the physical size of government and his dependence on deficit spending.

    1. itsfun February 13, 2016

      Maybe Trump wants to make government smarter.

      1. bobnstuff February 13, 2016

        How? He talks down to the country, believing that being crude is OK and never goes above a fourth grade level when he speaks. He’s a used car salesman who thanks to a rich Daddy and Reality TV has become a rock star.

        1. itsfun February 13, 2016

          He is smart enough to hire the best people. Probably most people in this country and all countries can be labeled as talking crude. Should he talk over the head of people? He’s not a used car salesman, as he tells you what he thinks and doesn’t pull punches.

          1. bobnstuff February 13, 2016

            He hired the best people to run Trump University, Atlantic City, his multi level marketing company his Airline and all those other great moments in Trump history. I wish I could have gone to Daddy and gotten a million dollar loan. I wish I was a good enough salesman to talk the banks into fixing my mistakes. He is a great salesman. He tells you what you want to believe and truth isn’t important. Ever bought a used car?

          2. itsfun February 13, 2016

            The man is not stupid. Many people are given a start by their parents. He was smart enough to turn it into billions.

          3. bobnstuff February 13, 2016

            Take a look at how well he did in relation to others, he’s would have made more money with a money market account. Bloomberg started out with nothing and has five times the money in the same town. This man started on third base and thinks he hit a triple. Had he been born into a working mans family in Mckees Rocks like others running he wouldn’t have gone anywhere. He would have been selling cars at Kenny Ross Ford.

          4. itsfun February 13, 2016

            You have no idea where he would be today. You are just envious of his success. Isn’t Bloomberg the would that said you can’t buy a 16oz Pepsi? Just what we need in the nanny state.

          5. bobnstuff February 13, 2016

            I have envy for Trump. I have a good life and wouldn’t trade it for all of Trumps money. Bloomberg isn’t as goofy as Trump and is five times richer. If money makes you right the he is five times more right then Trump and didn’t to cheat people out of money to get there.

          6. Dominick Vila February 13, 2016

            I am willing to bet that Mitt Romney also hired smart people when he purchased DELCO, shut down its U.S. operations, laid off thousands of workers, re-named the company and moved its operations to China.

          7. itsfun February 13, 2016

            Just what does that have to do with Donald Trump?

          8. Independent1 February 13, 2016

            He’s not smart he’s devious. He deliberately set up a number of his projects intending to defraud people – which is why he had to declare bankruptcy 4 times, leaving maybe hundreds, or thousands of investors holding the bag. That’s not smart that’s being deliberately crooked!!!!!

          9. davidcayjohnston February 14, 2016

            Columnist here…

            Itsfun, please read my Nationalmemo.com column “21 Questions for Donakd Trump.” Please pay particular attention to the observations of Fortune magazine.

            When I covered Trump’s Atlantic City casinos I saw excellent executive fired, replaced by raging incompetents. The people Trump fired in many cases went onto terrific careers under successful casino managers who paid their bills on time.

          10. itsfun February 14, 2016

            And you get to decide who is competent and who is not. Why would Trump or any other business owner hire or fire anyone without your advice?

          11. davidcayjohnston February 14, 2016

            As I wrote, but you failed to notice, the first-rate executives Trump canned went on to terrific careers elsewhere.

            The sycophants later sunk back to lower level positions at other organizations.

            Do read what Fortune found in analyzing almost 500 publicly traded companies? Trump’s casino firm came in last or nearly last in every category.

          12. itsfun February 14, 2016

            Why would I care where fired executives went to work or how they did? I don’t work for them. I don’t know how many companies Mr. Trump owns, but after seeing how much money he has made, he must know something about how to be successful. He probably has make some bad decisions, but who hasn’t? Any decisions made by the former Governors or current Senators had or have no real consequences for them. They never lose even one cent in pay, or their jobs The only bad things that can happen is they lose votes in their next election bid.

          13. davidcayjohnston February 14, 2016

            Columnist here…

            You, itsfun, were the one asserting that Trump hires the best people. If that were the case then they would go on to great careers elsewhere, but it was the ones he fired who did well.

            And did you look into the analysis by Fortune, which is deeply respected by executives and investors? Almost last or dead last in every category out of almost 500 companies examined?

            Lots of people make money through smart business decisions, but not all. If you think refusing to pay people for their works (many hundreds of lawsuits by workers and vendors), hiring 150 illegal immigrants and then cheating them (as a federal judge ruled following a trial) and collecting massive amounts of welfare ($400 million in one deal alone) is a measure of management skill, well, imagine the same applied to some politician you don’t like. You seem, so far, to favor rose-colored glasses rather than thoughtful assessment and research.

          14. itsfun February 14, 2016

            If the people Trump fired went on to great careers, doesn’t that tell you he hired the best to start with. Career politicians never have to make a decision that adversity affects their personal life. They don’t lose one cent for terrible decisions. Just look at Snyder in Michigan. He is on his last term so he people can’t even vote against him. He won’t lose anything for allowing the people in Flint to get poisoned by bad water. Trump has the guts to make decisions, some have cost him money, others have made him a billionaire. Yep, he did declare bankruptcy, but he isn’t the only one that ever has. If it wasn’t for us tax payers, GM would have filed bankruptcy.

          15. davidcayjohnston February 14, 2016

            Columnist here…

            Yes, Trump hired sound people — and then got rid of them in favor of sycophants. Got it? Good managers promote and retain talent, they don’t send it away to replace with yes-men. This is so basic that your inability to grasp the salient issue amazes.

            You are wrong on career politicians. They get voted out for failed performance. Sounds like you don’t approve of term limits, on the theory it reduces accountability. Of course, we could go back to the strict accountability of ancient Athens (something I teach) and execute those who abuse public trusts.

            Did you miss the whole section of my column on Snyder and Flint? Your posts suggest you either did not read my column or didn’t understand it.

            And on bankruptcy, you have the facts bollixed.

            Trump never declared personal bankruptcy because NJ casino regulators took his side in negotiations against his bankers (see my book Temples of Chance), allowing him to escape paying back the money he borrowed and the interest and the regulators looked the other way at his failure to pay vendors according to the casino acts standards.
            Years later Trump’s casino company obtained refuge from creditors four times — and in the last his creditors insisted on shutting him out of the enterprise, which speaks volumes about his management skills.

            On the other hand, GM did declare bankruptcy. (It was the Wall Street banks that escaped bankruptcy because of the GWBush/Henry Paulson bailout of Wall Street. Paulson was the immediate past CEO of Goldman Sachs, BTW, when he demanded that Congress give $700 billion with no accountability — and he soon he got it with almost no accountability.)

          16. itsfun February 14, 2016

            I read about Snyder and Flint and you left our information as you seem to do a lot of. The citizens of Michigan voted against have emergency managers in the State of Michigan in a general election. Snyder hated that, so he got his lame duck legislature to change a few words and pass a law to let him name emergency managers. Career politicians don’t always get voted out for incompetence. Many incumbents get reelected just by putting their names on the ballot.

      2. Dominick Vila February 13, 2016

        Nope. His proposal to restore our military involves increasing the number of troops, at a time when the Pentagon and plain logic tells us that the days of human waves, when a 19 year old in front of a computer at a base in Nevada can wipe out an entire enemy division, is no longer needed.

        1. itsfun February 13, 2016

          Using you logic we should not need a military.

          1. Dominick Vila February 13, 2016

            We need a military that uses all the technological advances available to them, instead of depending on archaic military strategies, such as the ones being proposed by some opportunists. The Pentagon is well aware of that, and they support the reality of a smaller ARMY that takes advantage of the tools available, using technology such as that taught at institutions such as the NGA, and some classified agencies, to combat foreign armies with a small, but very sophisticated, military apparatus.
            Don’t forget that we have more carrier groups than the rest of the world combined. That we have more fighter jets and bombers than any other country in the world, and that our nuclear capabilities, including ICBMs and nuclear warheads is the largest in the world. Proposing increases only makes sense if the goal is to engage in inter-galactic warfare.

          2. Independent1 February 13, 2016

            When you talk about ICBMs, people should keep in mind that we have several submarines cruising the oceans at all times with enough ICBMs to flatten almost any continent (I believe it carries 27). I posted the YouTube link on the submarine above for itsfun.

          3. itsfun February 13, 2016

            I see Generals on TV news almost every day and they all say they need and will always need boots on the ground. If you know more that those generals, you are in the wrong business.

          4. Independent1 February 13, 2016

            And on top of what Dominick just posted for you, don’t forget we have several of the submarines shown below cruising the oceans with enough ICBMs on board to flatten almost any continent.


      3. Sand_Cat February 16, 2016

        If so, he sets a poor example.

  2. itsfun February 13, 2016

    There was a state wide election in Michigan where the people of Michigan defeated a proposal for the Governor to have the power to just appoint a emergency manager. Snyder then used his lame duck legislature to pass a law giving him the same authority with just a few words changed. What Snyder did was just deny the people in Michigan the right to vote. How he was allowed to get away with that tells you just how many rights people really have.

  3. Thomas Martin February 13, 2016

    Republicans have shifted to fascist concepts. Period. Unfortunately, part of the electorate is falling for the trend. Hopefully, the American people are wise enough to fight off the lunatics or we will have a real mess on our hands.

  4. charleo1 February 13, 2016

    Must say, terrific article Mr. Johnston, in case you’re checking the comment section.

    1. Independent1 February 13, 2016

      I’ll say. Nothing like laying the truth out on the line!!!

  5. Buford2k11 February 13, 2016

    Kakistocracy, I like it…or hate it, but like the word….It seems this is our path…the Koch/Nazi party is full of these types…..

  6. Jane nelson February 13, 2016

    I would suggest that the writer do a little checking on Kasich. Just asking for opinions does not do the job. He is, to borrow a phrase used by another, a Trojan horse.

    1. davidcayjohnston February 14, 2016

      Columnist here …

      You missed the point. Try carefully re-reading. Not everybody you like it’s competent and not everybody you dislike is incompetent. A significant number of House progressives say, without question, Kasich is competent even though they seriously disagree with him on the issues. However, not all of them think Sanders is competent even though they side with him on the issues.

      1. Independent1 February 15, 2016

        I go along with your last sentence. Although I fully agree with many of the issues that Bernie is raising, I feel that for a number of them he is overreaching and promising a great deal that our country simply can’t afford to implement at this time given the state of our economy.

        For example: although I think single-payer insurance is something our country should consider moving to, I don’t think it’s one of the top 5 priorities we should be thinking about at this time. Personally, I think working to bring our country into the 21st century with respect to our infrastructure and mass transit (like high speed rail) is a much more a pressing priority. Because Republicans have over the past 2 decades have virtually ignored providing the funding needed to keep our infrastructure even just maintained properly, America is falling dramatically behind the majority of similar industrialized nations in the world especially a number of nations in Europe.

        It’s disturbing to me that even China, which 2-3 decades ago was a country more like America back in the early 1900s, is now significantly ahead of us in its infrastructure development. In fact, I read somewhere that over the past couple decades, China has poured more concrete in enhancing its infrastructure over the past 2 decades than America has poured in the past century. And China now has trains that travel over 300 mph, which if America had them, could make the need for flying short halls, even from New York to Chicago say, unnecessary. It would likely take less time to by train than to fly between those cities given all the delays associated with flying.

        And with respect to focusing on single-payer, I think we need to give ACA time to flesh out a lot of our healthcare delivery system performance problems and cost-related issues, before we look at trashing all the jobs people are doing today related to our private sector health insurance industry. And given that the CBO estimates that providing Medicare to less than 20% of our population is costing about 3-4% of GDP, I’m really not convinced that the American taxpayers are in a financial position today (especially the 30-40 million who today don’t have health insurance) that would be required to implement single-payer health insurance for all.

  7. CripesAmighty February 13, 2016

    As usual the Bullsh*t-clearing Bush Hog analysis by David Cay Johnston does its work. Read his books. They’re just as clear, cogent and right.

  8. Phil Christensen February 13, 2016

    “Trump would also break up families by arresting 11 million or so immigrants who are here illegally;”

    I thought it was “impossible” to deport that many illegals. You people need to get your story straight.

    1. JPHALL February 14, 2016

      The major problem with you right wingers is that you have a limited ability to use your brains. The mere attempt will disrupt an unknown number of families. The uncertainty will cause havoc in many communities.

      1. Phil Christensen February 14, 2016

        By talking heads, you mean Maddow, Matthews, and Hayes, right? I’m just pointing out some inconsistencies within the leftist canon. We could have a discussion with some depth, so let’s not get personal with the first response.

        1. JPHALL February 14, 2016

          Why stop there! There’s also Rash Limburger, Shorn Hannity, and the Fox dumb blonde squad! Subject: Re: Comment on Kakistocracy

        2. Sand_Cat February 15, 2016

          None in the rightest canon?
          Phil, Phil, you disappoint me. Do you also post on the “Red State” and other wing-nut sites, or are we the exclusive beneficiaries of your wisdom?

          1. Phil Christensen February 17, 2016

            Seriously Sand, given that this site puts up with the measured reason of folks like independent1, should you or any of your fellow denizens throw around terms like “nut?” Yeah, didn’t think so.

          2. Sand_Cat February 18, 2016

            Nice dodge.
            Do you “point out the contradictions” in the right-wing “canon” and criticize the people posting irrational, racist, xenophobic, and just plain crazy comments (and don’t tell me there are none; I know better) on various sites that cater to the right, or are you trying to say that the only “nuts” are those who oppose them here?
            You keep trying to convey the idea that you’re just an objective observer, and evading responsibility for any “opinion” in or implied by your posts here, so the above seems a fair question, however much you seem to try to avoid it.

          3. Phil Christensen February 18, 2016

            racist… Sand, I only wish that I could say you disappoint me.

          4. Sand_Cat February 19, 2016

            I only wish I could say the same, Phil. I see you subscribe to the right-wing lunatic canon that there is only anti-white racism (if any) in America. So much for your objectivity.
            I accused no specific person, but one finds plenty of flagrantly racist comments on multiple forums on the Net; but of course, according to the right-wing lunatics, only those who are concerned about the effect of this are racists.
            So why don’t you try being honest for a change and admit that you are simply another right-wing troll trying to convince himself he’s superior to the sane people?
            You and OTTO must be bosom buddies.

          5. Phil Christensen February 21, 2016

            Sand, you have no idea what I “subscribe” to. You are the rigid ideologue here. It appears that any deviation from your belief system can not be tolerated. I am here to entertain different ideas. You and others here just crave the validation of your opinions. So sad. I have no such requirement. If that makes me superior, I can’t help you.
            Whatever the faults of the Right, the Left has diluted the word “racist” to the point where it has lost all affect.
            Just ignore me if having your opinions challenged enrages you so much.

          6. Sand_Cat February 22, 2016

            You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about if you honestly believe that.
            “The[non-existent] “left” has “diluted ” the word racist in your mind because you don’t like to hear it, not because it isn’t true. Your denial and failure to acknowledge that a lot of indisputably racist garbage gets posted on the net by “conservatives” is simply part of the overall right-wing denial of any problem not solvable by shooting or bombing someone, putting someone in prison, giving tax cuts to billionaires, preaching hypocritical religious sermons, or some combination of the above.
            I don’t really care what you claim to “subscribe to” or not. Clearly you are simply dishonest and attempting to show your “superiority,” to yourself if not to anyone else.
            Good bye.

          7. Phil Christensen February 22, 2016

            Ah, but you do care. That’s why you’ve allowed me to take up residence inside your head, rent free. Kind of empty in here though…

    2. GraceAdams830 February 14, 2016

      Is US population between 300 million and 400 million? If so, then 11 million would be at most still less than 10% of US population. Impossibility or possibility of deporting 11 million illegal aliens is a matter of opinion. Some conservatives think it is possible; some progressives think it is impossible. I do NOT know.

      1. davidcayjohnston February 14, 2016

        Columnist here….

        US population is 320 million in round numbers.

        Phil Christensen misconstrues. I described what Trump SAID he will do, which as explained by him would violate our Constitution, as would many other of the actions Trump SAYS he would take.

        1. GraceAdams830 February 14, 2016

          So, Trump is a little out of line. I hope we can figure out how to make good use of everything and avoid wasting anything.

        2. itsfun February 14, 2016

          11 million people here illegally and Trump wants to use the laws we have in place to deport the illegal people. You say he will violate the constitution by following the laws and deporting the ILLEGAL people?

          1. davidcayjohnston February 14, 2016

            Columnist here…

            Did you pay any attention in junior high civics?

          2. itsfun February 14, 2016

            Do you pay any attention to the laws of our nation? If someone is a illegal immigrant, they are breaking our laws. People sneak into our country and that is just fine with you. I’ll bet you just love the sanctuary cities, where illegals can break the law people and be protected. Just what rights do illegals have? They have done nothing to earn any rights in this country. Thousands of our young men have died in combat fighting for these rights and you want to give the same rights to people that ignore our laws, don’t bother to learn our language, demand free educations, health care, housing, etc. There are lawful procedures to get into our country and become a citizen in America. We just can pick and choose which laws we enforce. Maybe we should make it legal to rob a bank because some people hate big bankers.

          3. davidcayjohnston February 14, 2016

            Columnist here…

            Now you are just making stuff up and writing nonsense. It is not “just fine with me.” Nor is robbing banks (or anyone else).

            What I wrote was that people are entitled to due process, which is the core concept in the laws of our nation, something you evidently do not understand. Do you know what due process is? Have you ever actually read the Constitution and then studied its provisions and the reasons they are there — to limit abuses of power.

            Rounding people up because you think they are here illegally is extra-Constitutional and should offend you given your concern for obedience to the law.

            And if you want to remove these 11 million or so people then you must support the taxes needed to cover the enormous costs required to comply with the law. And then there’s thejudicial process and for the severe economic disruptions in places whose economies depend on illegal immigrant labor, especially in the food industries.

            You must be appalled that our armed forces swear-in people who entered the country illegally and that many such people have died in combat. Reagan’s amnesty must also upset you. That banks routinely approve mortgages and other loans to people who are here illegally must also upset you.

            BTW, in many local elections no proof of citizenship is required. That;s for federal elections. This has been true since we were British colonies.

            If you took the time to study the history of human migration you would discover that no rich country has been able to keep people seeking to improve their circumstances from entering its jurisdiction.

            You would learn that people with the gumption to move across borders are less likely to engage in crimes, more likely to save, less likely to use government services (and these folks do pay taxes) and that they often add to our store of knowledge, the basis of all wealth in the modern economies.

            What smart countries do is figure out how to deal with such realities. There are literally hundreds of well-researched and reasoned books on this written over the last 2,000 plus years. Have you cracked even one of them?

            Your lines about not learning, etc., make it clear you do not engage with illegals and have no idea about actual facts. Otherwise, you would know that many people brought here as small children and who are now adults are monolingual — in English.

            BTW, all governments picks and choose which laws they enforce. Did you see GWBush or Obama prosecute the bankers who engaged in wholesale frauds? Did Reagan go after the extensive contractor corruption on his watch? Did McKinley enforce the Sherman Act against companies?

            So, again, you have no idea what you are posting about. Go do some serious study because neither the law nor how it is enforced is anything like you imagine.

          4. itsfun February 14, 2016

            Didn’t make anything up.. Yep I have read the Constitution. Yep I know what due process is. We have laws regarding immigration. Are you in your fantasy world trying to tell me the 11 million or more immigrants are here legally? When these people are arrested (rounded up you say like a herd of cattle), they then go before a hearing board and can prove they are not illegal. It is legal to arrest someone before a trial or hearing with probable cause. You act like all 11 million will be picked up tomorrow and deported the next day. It won’t work that way. They will have a hearing first. How enormous is the cost to house, feed, educate, give free healthcare compared to the cost of deporting illegal immigrants? Pickle pickers have been legally coming here for decades and still can. How many of these hard working people are drug dealers, gang members , drug users, etc. We have enough of them already, we don’t need another countries thugs. You want to give these illegals a free ride and have me and other taxpayers pay for them.

          5. davidcayjohnston February 14, 2016

            Yes, you are making it up.

            Nowhere did I say that those 11 million people are here legally, yet you concoct a claim that I am trying to persuade that they are. You seem unable to follow a logical argument. And you ignore facts, as with my pointing out that Snyder sought imperial powers (no need there to note Michigan voters rejected this to make my point about kakistocracy).

            Do you have any idea how many native born Americans lack documentation of their lawful residency?

            And you describe those here as “thugs” and suggest legal Americans are bearing the cost of the presence of illegals– who work, pay taxes, etc. How to explain lower crime rates and the fact that people come here seeking work?

          6. itsfun February 15, 2016

            Like I said you choose to leave things out of your articles. At least you admit it. I pointed out the facts about Snyder getting the power to abuse the voters that you just ignored. You have said how do we know any of the people are here illegally, then when I point out they all would have a hearing, you change your tune. I will always call drug cartels, and gangs thugs. You may not, but that’s your choice. Talk to the citizens in Arizona and Texas about the lower crime rates you are talking about.

          7. davidcayjohnston February 15, 2016

            A column is not a book. Of course things are left out. The thing you were so upset about simply adds to the strength of my argument.

          8. itsfun February 15, 2016

            No body said it is a book. Just pointing out how you left out important points, that can change ones opinion.

          9. Independent1 February 15, 2016

            When are you going to own up to the fact that you’re nothing but a pathological lying RNC shill??? You only add to your level of absolute ignorance with every post you make!!

            My goodness – it’s amazing that anyone could be as ignorant as you are!!!!! And even David Cay Johnston can see it in one discussion with your idiocy!!! Amazing!!! And you get paid money for the jibberish that you post??? What a waste!!!

          10. Independent1 February 15, 2016

            What’s really telling, is that anyone of those illegal immigrants that you lie about is worth far more to American than you will ever be!! If anyone should be deported IT’S PEOPLE LIKE YOU!!!!

          11. Independent1 February 15, 2016

            David, my sense is itsfun is posting from the RNC and is determined to deliberately not comprehend reason and simply post statements that rile up posters here on the NM. He’s is intentionally refusing to understand facts and even common sense.

          12. Sand_Cat February 15, 2016

            Don’t get your panties in a twist.

        3. Phil Christensen February 15, 2016

          Phil Christensen extrapolates. There, fixed it for you.
          Just be happy that you wrote something coherent and spurred a constructive discussion. Don’t fret that every phrase, nuance, and punctuation mark isn’t read and comprehended in lock step with your creative process.

        4. GraceAdams830 February 19, 2016

          thanks for the information on US population.

      2. Phil Christensen February 14, 2016

        It’s possible. Just depends on the amount of resources the federal government is willing to channel in that direction. Is it a realistic expectation? No. If its undertaken, then what? What does NOT get funded? And then, Is it moral? That’s one for all of us philosophers here, but unlikely to be a consideration on the federal level.

        1. GraceAdams830 February 14, 2016

          I hope our powers that be have enough sense to try to make good use of labor of all our immigrants in useful work. I really wish we would live up to Emma Lazarus poem on base of Statue of Liberty, instead of rejecting most recent immigrants.

  9. jif6360 February 14, 2016

    There maybe truth in this article, but this is Obama’s war. Where is the outrage.



    Read more at http://www.judicialimmunitynecessaryevil.com/petition.html

    1. charleo1 February 14, 2016

      Sure, this is Obama’s war because he invaded Iraq, and went on to destabilize the entire region. And Israel would much prefer ISIS occupying the Golan Heights as opposed to Assad, because Iran holds Death to America, and Death to Israel rallies? Get real. Russia has strategic interests in, and a history of alliance with Syria. We, the U.S. knocked out the counter balance to Iran’s ambitions in the region. While President Obama is left to deal with the inevitable forces Bush, the Neocons, opportunists and warmongers, allied with the military contractors, set in motion. The American taxpayers got the 4 trillion dollar bill, and a collapsed economy to boot. They should be deeply ashamed. But better to blame the Black guy for it all. Your treason, your lying conspiratorial propaganda, along with your RW Party first, win a all costs politics, insults my intelligence as a person, and disgusts me as an American.

      1. jif6360 February 14, 2016

        As an American it is your duty to question our public officials. Without, this ability there is no democracy.

        The propaganda u speak of could it be the mainstream media. Note the mainstream media is nothing more than a propaganda ministry for Washington, D.C. Without a doubt, the controlled major media in America rivals the controlled major media of Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Soviet Union. This is the truth about the war.

        1. Bob Eddy February 14, 2016

          The point you seem to miss is that Obama, quite correctly in my opinion, considers this to be Middle East war that should be settled by those in the Middle East…and to a large extent it is working. It is no longer us against them. It is them against them and while it may take longer (or not. The Bush invasion went on for ten years with no tangible results) but in the end they seem to finally understand the threat of radical groups such as ISIS and the Taliban are a threat to their security…and largely because they can no longer get away with using the US as their the target of their propaganda.

          1. itsfun February 14, 2016

            The middle east has been at war for thousands of years and will be in thousands more.

          2. Bob Eddy February 14, 2016

            How true. And anyone that thinks our military might is enough to bring Christianity, democracy and an American way of life to them as Bush apparently did, is delusional, insane and just not very bright.

          3. Sand_Cat February 15, 2016

            You are quite correct. For once, we agree.

          4. jif6360 February 14, 2016

            It’s hard to respond to your comments. You’re not even acknowledging that we are trying to overthrow Assad, using the rebels. These rebels have used WMDs. In a nutshell we’re supporting war crimes.
            Obamas own general have assisted Assad contradicting Obama’s position.
            Gen Clerk was the NATO commander, and has given very plain insight of the US goals.

          5. Sand_Cat February 15, 2016

            “We” have committed war crimes during the prior administration, and the GOP you seem to want in office have promised many more and worse, war crimes.
            I believe that the locals should defend themselves. I believe Assad is an evil man, but this whole mess got a huge boost by “our” removal of another inarguably evil man.
            What are you suggesting? Should we attack both Assad and the rebels? That sounds like a recipe for our continued “success” in the Middle East if I ever heard one. The GOP would no doubt love it, but what about the sane people of the world?

          6. jif6360 February 15, 2016

            Let me simplify this.
            We the United States have no right to overthrow Assad.
            We the United States are supporting rebels that have used WMDs against the people of Syria. These are war crimes. If we support these monsters do we not share the guilt of these crimes?
            Please respond
            Note if Assad is also guilty of war crimes those should be addressed at the UN.

          7. Sand_Cat February 16, 2016

            I believe we’re basically on the same side. Realistically, no one seems to have the stomach for prosecuting war crimes unless the perpetrator is from a small state or organization.
            I do not care for US efforts to overthrow leaders of other nations; after all, look at what happened in Iraq.
            I’m not sure that it has been definitely established who used WMDs, Assad or the rebels, and if the rebels, which group. Of course, the effort to support only “good” rebels – pushed on the administration by Congress – was pretty much doomed from the start.
            I’d like to see us get out and let the Shia and Sunnis and the other nutcases fight it out, since outsiders have done little to nothing to help, and a great deal to bring about the situation we find ourselves in.
            My main point was that the GOP has promised even greater war crimes by the US, so calling on them for help is pretty much like supporting ISIS.

          8. jif6360 February 16, 2016

            Yes I agree. But I believe the Peace movement will not protest against the war effort as long as we have a Dem in the WH.
            Our politicians need this check (protesters) to keep them honest. They no longer serve the people.

            Personally I blame Congress. They have the power of the purse and do nothing. We need to push the reset button. Vote out all the incumbents in Congress and keep voting them out until they restore our voice and right. No stronger message could be sent to show our dissatisfaction in their ability to Governor.

        2. charleo1 February 14, 2016

          We Americans have the Right to question, to probe, to even accuse. However, with that Right comes, or ought to come the responsibility to inform, and educate ourselves So the questions we asked, or accusations we make, are not done so as to serve a certain political partisanship. Taken from sources who’s sole motivation is to divide, and mislead the American public for political gain. But rather, seek out the true facts as to promote the best outcome for the Country. Which in the case of Syria, would most likely be to extricate ourselves as quickly, and to the greatest extent as possible from a war that is a lot of things. None of which are so dear to our safety, and security as would be worth sacrificing a single American Soldier. In a war in which the combatants on all sides view us as maleficent interlopers. Who’s goals, and aspirations for the region, or for the people there, have nothing in common with the participants on the ground’s goals and visions. In a situation where our involvement in their eyes, can bring nothing that resembles the World they are intent on creating for themselves.

  10. Bob Eddy February 14, 2016

    What walker did in Flint is much worse than blaming His staff. He completely denies any culpability by labeling it as “a failure of government.” It was not a failure of government. It was another failure of right wing agenda.


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