Job Openings Hit New Record
This week the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job openings increased to a record 6.3 million. The number of openings now equals the number of currently unemployed Americans.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) assailed these statistics, saying "this is the economic disaster our Party tried to avert, but the GOP rammed through their tax cut, which as we now see, has created a serious labor shortage. Millions of unemployed Americans will now be pressured into taking jobs they'd rather not do."
Pelosi also contended that "these statistics validate the foolishness of the Administration's determination to throttle immigration. In addition to trying to force unwilling Americans into the workforce the barriers to immigration will result in rising labor costs for businesses across a wide spectrum as the pool of undocumented workers shrinks due to heightened ICE efforts to deport those in the country illegally."
The Minority Leader cited Trump's proposed 30 foot high border wall as "an obnoxious impediment to the free flow of migrating herds of Mexicans seeking better opportunities in lands forcibly seized from their country by 19th century American aggression. Maybe I could support a 30 inch wall. That would be high enough to block the physically unfit from entering the United States while still allowing the much needed and spry individuals who mow our lawns and make our beds to still get through."
In related news, Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate, the illegal alien who killed Kate Steinle in 2015 has filed suit alleging that the state's prosecution of him for the slaying was "vindictive." Garcia was acquitted in the case because, although he did fire the gun that caused Steinle's death the jury accepted his assertion that it was an accident. "I told the police that I didn't even know that woman," Garcia said. "I had no motive to kill her. In my country, firing guns into the air is our way of celebrating. Yet, they went ahead and put me on trial. If that wasn't vindictive prosecution I don't know what is." The lawsuit has put Garcia's 6th deportation on hold.
"National Walkout Day" Stirs Controversy
This week, various schools across the country sponsored "walkouts" in memory of the 17 students and faculty members killed in the Feb 14th massacre carried out by Nikolas Cruz at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In other schools students took it upon themselves to walkout without permission.
New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) warned school administrators not to punish students who engaged in unsanctioned walkouts, asserting that "it would be wrong. Threatening to discipline students for participating in the peaceful demonstrations is not only inappropriate, it is unconstitutional. Demonstrations against gun violence are protected by the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble and petition government for a redress of grievances."
If the Governor's plea were a genuine advocacy for freedom of speech it would be laudable. Many schools have exhibited antagonism toward free speech. For example, in some schools where students were encouraged to participate in the anti-gun protest, dissenters were not encouraged to voice their contrary views.
In Hilliard Davidson High School in Ohio, senior Jacob Shoemaker was given a suspension for refusing to join fellow students who walked out. "Divisive politics have no place in America's schools," Shoemaker argued. School district spokesperson Stacie Raterman said "Shoemaker was warned repeatedly that his demand to receive instruction in his classroom would not be honored by the administration. His refusal to exit the building constituted an illegal presence on school property."
In New Prague High School in Minnesota one student attempted to express a divergent opinion by holding a sign saying "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Principal Lonnie Seifert accosted the student and threatened to have him arrested for "trying to disrupt the solidarity of the student body on this crucial issue of public safety. No one else there agreed with him. Why should he be allowed to prevent unanimity?"
In California, a Rocklin High School history teacher was put on administrative leave for conducting a class discussion about political protests. Julianne Benzel asked students whether it was appropriate for the school to sanction some protests, but not others. "The school was permitting students who wanted to challenge gun laws time off from class to protest," she said. "Should the school then also allow students time off to protest on other issues, like abortion?" While her students were able to engage in a dialog on the question, complaints from a parent led to her subsequent suspension from her duties. A hearing on whether she should be dismissed has been scheduled.
In Chicago, students from the Simeon Career Academy used their 17 minutes of sanctioned out-of-school time to harass nearby businesses, intimidate employees, steal merchandise and vandalize displays. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel acknowledged that "I don't think this was envisioned by school officials when they agreed to allow the students out for the protest. On the other hand, I don't think we can just dismiss this form of expression as unwarranted lawbreaking. There could be legitimate reasons behind the looting and trashing of these businesses near the school. Perhaps the students had been ripped off by high prices or dissed by poor service. We shouldn't condemn these young people unless we have walked in their shoes."
Hillary Defends Sexist Remarks
While in India promoting her election memoir "What Happened," former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laid a big share of the blame for her loss to Trump on "white women who were too weak to stand up to bullying by their husbands demanding that they vote for Trump."
Clinton's former 2008 presidential campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle called Hillary's contention "wrong" and "unhelpful. To try to portray women as the pawns of men will clash with every woman's personal perception that she is the master of her own self. It won't ring true to women or to men. Rather than blaming other women for her defeat I think Hillary needs to consider whether she could've done better in communicating a rationale for voters to choose her over Trump."
"The assumption that women are free to make their own choices ignores simple facts," Clinton responded when told of Doyle's comments. "My own personal history disproves her contention. My husband bullied me on how to vote. I started out as a Goldwater Girl, but after years of unrelenting pressure from Bill I switched to Democrat. His psychological domination was so intense that I was cowed into a humiliating campaign to cover up for his philandering. So don't tell me that the 52% of married white women who voted for Trump weren't victims of marital intimidation. As a former victim myself, I know that this type of bullying is real."
House Intel Committee Closes Collusion Investigation
House Intelligence Committee Republicans' announcement that it is ending its investigation of possible collusion between Trump and Russia to rig the 2016 presidential election because "there is no evidence" enraged House Intel Committee leaker Adam Schiff (D-Calif).
"There's plenty of evidence that the Republicans refuse to acknowledge," Schiff maintained. "So blatant was the conspiracy that during a televised debate Trump brazenly signaled the Russians to reveal the 30,000 emails that Secretary Clinton had erased from her computer. And lo and behold, these emails started showing up in Wikileaks publications."
"On top of that, the Russians punked Sec. Clinton by selling her a bogus intel dossier that misled her, the media, and the FBI down a dead-end road that failed to persuade voters that Trump was a dangerous mole of a foreign power," Schiff added. "This misinformation ploy led to overconfidence among these three legs of the Clinton campaign. The FBI focused on bit players like Papadopolos and Manafort instead of seizing Trump's IRS files and NSA surveillance records, as Mueller is now belatedly doing. The media coasted on the salacious content of the dossier and the Hollywood Access tape when they could've created more allegations from unnamed sources. And with the polls showing she had a big lead Hillary opted to conserve her strength for governing rather than further damage her health by excessive campaigning."
Schiff brushed off concerns that some of the actions he suggests could have been taken might be illegal or unethical. "Technically, that may be true, but isn't it better to condone minor infractions if the objective is to prevent or resist the tyranny that Trump has brought to this country?" he asked. "In any case, it's not over yet. After we take back congress in the November elections we're going to reopen the investigation and take whatever other steps are needed to oust the Trump regime."
Meanwhile, former CIA Director John Brennan warned that "Republicans on the House Intel Committee will face a day of reckoning for their decision to close this investigation. Everyone knows that Trump is unstable, inept, inexperienced, and unethical. For the committee to stop short of calling for his impeachment is tantamount to committing treason. I look forward to when they are all behind bars for what they have done to this country."
In related news, on the recommendation of FBI disciplinary officials, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired on Friday. The action came just 24 hours ahead of McCabe's planned retirement date and could reduce his pension, which is projected to amount to several million dollars. McCabe called the move "incredibly unfair. Others who have leaked confidential information and lied about it haven't been treated as harshly. Comey leaked and lied more than I did. Now he's a media hero with a multi-million dollar book deal and speaking tour. All I did was follow the orders that came down the line from above."