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Ohio GOP Legislators Think Trump's Birthday Should Be A Holiday

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Republican Ohio State Representatives Jon Cross and Reggie Stoltzfus want to make former President Donald Trump's June 14 birthday a holiday called "Donald J. Trump Day" in order to "celebrate one of the greatest presidents in American history." But June 14 is already Flag Day, a national holiday commemorating the adoption of the U.S. flag by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777 -- and Trump was a horrible president.

This wouldn't be the first time a modern president was given a state-level holiday, according to Fox News. Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan also have state-level holidays. Forty states recognize Ronald Reagan Day and Illinois celebrates former President Barack Obama's birthday on August 4.However, considering that Trump is currently facing an impeachment trial for inciting an attempted coup that sought to overturn millions of Black and brown people's votes based on a repeatedly disproven lie about widespread election fraud, perhaps now isn't the best time to celebrate his birth… or ever.

The Dreamers Are Still Waiting For Their Nightmare To End

In 2001, two U.S. senators introduced the DREAM Act, to let immigrants brought here without authorization as children remain in the country. Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah didn't know how fitting the name would be. Today, the idea of granting legal status to these innocents is just that — a dream.

This is legislation that both parties should be able to agree on — and, to some extent, have. It would be an act of compassion for people who have grown up to be Americans, despite the accident of their foreign birth, and become productive members of our society. It would also be a service to everyone else, by ensuring the continuation of their valuable contributions — as doctors, nurses, teachers, construction workers and more — while opening up wider opportunities for them to contribute.

The usual complaints about immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, don't apply to the people who would benefit, known as "Dreamers." They didn't choose to violate our immigration laws. The vast majority has grown up speaking English and integrating into society. The legalization would include only those who earned a high school diploma or General Education Degree, haven't committed crimes and exhibit "good moral character." MS-13 need not apply.

This change has found its way into one major immigration bill after another, including a 2006 package that had the support of President George W. Bush as well as such Republican senators as Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Sam Brownback. That year, 23 GOP senators voted for it as part of an immigration overhaul. But it has never managed to become law.

It has been in abeyance for so long that some of the children who stood to gain back in 2001 have become parents. At this point, deporting the "Dreamers" would do grave harm not only to them but to their American-born children. But the measure has stayed on the shelf, in a triumph of indifference, inertia, cruelty and political dysfunction.

In 2012, confronted with this maddening failure, Barack Obama issued an executive order shielding these immigrants from expulsion. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program granted temporary protection to some 700,000 people. Republicans denounced it as a shocking overreach by a would-be king — back before they learned to love untrammeled presidential power. They forgot Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush had taken similar action to block the removal of large numbers of undocumented immigrants.

When the virulently anti-immigration Donald Trump became president, he ordered an end to DACA. But federal courts ruled against him; the program remained in effect; and this year, the Supreme Court saved it, finding that the administration failed to follow federal law in rescinding it.

For the "Dreamers," the decision was a reprieve. The next administration would like to make it permanent. Joe Biden's campaign website said: "Dreamers and their parents should have a roadmap to citizenship through legislative immigration reform. But in the meantime, Biden will remove the uncertainty for Dreamers by reinstating the DACA program, and he will explore all legal options to protect their families from inhumane separation."

DACA's opponents, however, have not given up their merciless crusade to punish the blameless. In July, acting secretary Chad Wolf ordered DHS to reject all new applications — only to be overruled by a federal court, which ordered the department to resume taking them.

On Tuesday, Texas and eight other Republican-controlled states asked a federal court in Houston to strip the "Dreamers" of their protection. That would allow their deportation to countries that, for many, are no more familiar than Antarctica.

The states supporting DACA argued that the court should bide its time until the new administration arrives and decides what to do. If the court should strike it down, Biden could unilaterally fashion a new program, which might or might not survive judicial review.

All this would have been avoided had Congress mustered the humanity to pass legislation protecting them. Trump professed "love" for the "Dreamers" and vowed to help them. But over the past four years, neither he nor his allies in Congress could bring themselves to do the right thing.

In the closing weeks of his presidency, Trump has granted clemency to all sorts of vile people who committed serious crimes. The "Dreamers," who did nothing wrong, are still waiting for their absolution.

Steve Chapman blogs at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman. Follow him on Twitter @SteveChapman13 or at https://www.facebook.com/stevechapman13. To find out more about Steve Chapman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

When Republicans Tell The Truth (And Think It’s A Joke)

My friend Mark Russell, the wonderful American humorist, had an ironclad prediction:

The results of the 2020 Census will show that more than 215,000 Americans, in the coming year, will reach the age of 100, and Russell adds, "All of them will have valid Florida driver's licenses."

The unreelected 45th president is (sadly) that rare human being with neither an embarrassment gene nor a sense of humor. A sense of humor usually indicates perspective in its possessor. Our two most previous presidents, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican George W. Bush, both of whom were reelected, were not afraid to laugh publicly at their own perceived problems or shortcomings.

Bush, the 43rd president, was clearly comfortable poking fun at himself: "Those stories about my intellectual capacity do get under my skin. You know, for a while, I even thought my staff believed it. There on my schedule first thing every morning it said, 'Intelligence Briefing.'" Acknowledging his frequent mispronunciations and fractured syntax, Bush said. "You know what Garrison Keillor said: 'George Bush's lips are where words go to die.'"

After former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani had asserted, "I do not believe President Obama loves America," and then-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker added that he didn't "really know whether Obama loves America," President Obama offered the following rejoinder. With Walker sitting only a few feet away from him, Obama responded: "Think about it, Scott. If I didn't love America, I wouldn't have moved here from Kenya." Conceding that his White House years had noticeably aged him, Barack Obama publicly remarked, "I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I'm not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be."

If this does not seem important, then just remember that when President George W. Bush ran successfully for reelection — the one and only Republican to do so since 1984 — against then-Sen. John Kerry, the consensus judgment was that Kerry won all three debates against Bush, and public opinion polls revealed that voters judged Kerry to be more intelligent and knowledgeable than Bush. Asked, given those facts, how Bush won, the respected Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart explained, "Voters value 'I like' over IQ."

Contrary to popular lore, not all political scandals take place in Washington, D.C. Not that many hours' drive from where we are right now, in a state prison, one convict turned to his cellmate and said, "You know, the food was a lot better here when you were governor."


Hands down, the year's award for Daring to Admit the Ugly Truth goes to former Trump Budget Director and South Carolina Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney when he exposed the Republican inconsistencies on federal spending: "My party is very interested in deficits when there is a Democrat in the White House. The worst thing in the whole world is deficits when Barack Obama was the president. Then Donald Trump became president and we're a lot less interested as a party."

Happy new year.


To find out more about Mark Shields and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Obama’s Afghan Failure Underlines Biden’s Hard Choices Now

Shortly before becoming vice president, Joe Biden traveled to Afghanistan in his role as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. When he returned, he had a succinct assessment of the situation there: "a real mess."

When he takes the presidential oath on Jan. 20, Biden will find not much has changed. He will find himself saddled with a host of serious problems — a raging pandemic, a struggling economy, a toxic political environment — that are largely the fault of Donald Trump. But the blame for being stuck in Afghanistan lies mostly with Barack Obama.

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