Politics open thread, February 10-16

Any interesting political news?

From WCE:

A political article on how efforts to reduce school suspension hurt the rest of students

Teacher to Parent – Severe or continual disruptive behavior in school is a crime

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174 thoughts on “Politics open thread, February 10-16

  1. The disruptive kid in my class, we later found out, was being fucked by father. The author’s casual dismissal of these kids is very off putting.

  2. “I know that many disruptive students often have tragic backgrounds. Their stories of abuse and neglect are truly heart rending. But here is the problem: nobody’s story should ever get to overwrite somebody else’s. And even though I feel pity for a child, a teacher’s pity should never permit one child to destroy the education of another.”

    This doesn’t seem to be “casual dismissal.” He makes a legitimate point that it serves no person’s interests to allow a disruptive student to remain in the classroom.

  3. a teacher’s pity should never permit one child to destroy the education of another.”

    So you want to get into his narcissistic personality disorder? As if he’s holding the keys to anyone’s education?

  4. I don’t think suspension is the answer but maybe a separate class room is. I don’t think disruptive students should be in regular classrooms, neither should they be left to fend for themselves. They need more resources not less. I also think early intervention is good thing but again this needs funding for guidance conunsolers and learning support teachers.

  5. It it serves no person’s interests to allow a disruptive student to remain in the classroom.

    +

    Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40, 45, NIV)

    = What I believe.

    Fascinating.

  6. Maybe I’m being too harsh.

    But is what you believe really about ensuring the most gifted among us can realize their true potenitial? Is that what He came to teach us?

  7. So presumably that author’s own kids (if he has any) are models of good behavior in the classroom. But what if (God forbid) one of his perfect little angles ever has a severe head injury that renders him or her prone to outbursts and other kids of disruptive behavior? My guess is that he would change his attitude very quickly from “suspend those damn kids!” to “we need to help those poor kids!”

  8. “Maybe I’m being too harsh.”

    Yes, you are.
    I believe that society has an obligation to meet the educational needs of all children. Not necessarily in the same classroom. Most teachers simply aren’t equipped to handle a seriously disruptive child, especially one whose behavior is rooted in trauma or serious psychological issues. It’s not fair to any of the children, including the disruptive one, to allow him to continue that behavior. If he is unable or unwilling to conform his behavior to reasonable expectations, he needs to be removed and placed in another educational setting, and may need to be removed from his home as well.

    Do you disagree?

  9. “This doesn’t mean that suspended or expelled students should be thrown on the streets. We have alternatives to the regular classroom. Reform schools, on-site alternative programs and computerized home study are options that can give these students genuine opportunities to succeed if they so choose.

    But what they should not get to choose is to hijack a classroom and hold hostage the learning of their peers.”

    Tone is in the eye of the beholder.
    The substance of his argument seems sound, and you don’t seem to disagree with that.

  10. Scarlett — I have to agree with Rhett on this one. The author’s tone is sort of unmistakable:

    “Some may criticize me for comparing badly behaving students with criminals. But there really is no more apt comparison. Severe or continual disruptive behavior in school is a crime. It is metaphorical armed robbery. The perpetrators are stealing the educations of innocent children.”

    Children as criminals, armed robbers, thieves, and (to reference your hijack/hostage quote) terrorists. This post strikes a chord with me, because DH has had children like this in his classroom from time to time. Those kids are 9 and 10 years old. Do you really think kids that age are “choosing to hijack a classroom and hold hostage the learning of their peers?” IMO, they are either mentally ill and/or reacting to horrible personal and home situations, the likes of which many (most?) of us on this board cannot fathom.

    Should something be done to remove them from situations where they are having a profoundly negative impact on other students? Yes, certainly. Should that something be the suspensions that this guy advocates for so strongly, which basically means sending the kids back for even more time at home in the awful circumstances that are contributing to the bad behavior in the first place? IMO, no way.

  11. “Should that something be the suspensions that this guy advocates for so strongly, which basically means sending the kids back for even more time at home in the awful circumstances that are contributing to the bad behavior in the first place?”

    Not necessarily, but the author didn’t suggest throwing kids in the street. He’s making the point that well-intentioned reform efforts have consequences, perhaps unforeseen but surely predictable, for the majority of the kids in the class whose education is repeatedly interrupted by the disruptive minority. Those kids have rights too, which are usually overlooked unless their parents are effective advocates.

  12. He’s going way beyond saying that some kids’ behavior is disruptive, or even very disruptive, and that behavior has a negative, or even very negative, effect on other kids (all of which is 100% true). He’s gratuitously calling the kids whose behavior is disruptive criminals, armed robbers, thieves, and terrorists. If someone is truly interested in starting a rational dialogue about a real problem, that is not the terminology they use.

  13. People who are reading his piece are imagining “thugs” – the hollywood criminal. What they are not imagining are the kids who are white, upper-class, well groomed and autistic, sensory processing disordered, blind and deaf. There is a lot of disruption in schools today and we need ways to make sure all the students’ needs are served. Painting the picture of terrorists does quite little to help move the conversation forward.

    On a related note, my youngest just got “invited” to participate in a weekly group led by the school counselor to work on emotional regulation. Only the most special and deserving kids got invites! If that child of mine looked different, dressed poorly and/or went to a less affluent school, I suspect s/he would be right on the path to suspension-ville.

  14. “Reform school”? Nah, let’s go straight to a borstal or juvie. Or just save time and send ’em straight to Q.

  15. To equitably educate students according to their need would require federal, rather than state or local, education funding. Needy and ESL students would be identified for support services, which would cause a change in diagnosis as more districts identified more students with need for services. Per student funding in wealthy northeastern schools would drop a lot, as educational funding was transferred to ESL students and students in poorer parts of the country. Longer-term, property taxes might drop in areas with high property taxes since high property taxes would not benefit local schools.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but as a reader whose children attend public school in a statistically typical city- roughly median income, ~10% ESL students- I’m pretty sure that the current practice of mainstreaming students with behavioral and emotional disabilities is not working, and that most of the people (politicians and educators) who write about the benefits of mainstreaming are not putting their children in the bottom quartile of mainstreamed classrooms.

    I think the tone is harsh in an effort to start a conversation. How do you think a conversation about mainstreaming and its unintended effects could be better handled?

  16. Do you really think he is trying to talk about mainstreaming? I agree that is a big issue in allocation of educational resources. I think he is talking about “bad” kids – the ones without an IEP, 509, etc. He want naughty kids to go to reform school. I don’t see conversation about more one to one aides. Or more special education for teachers.

  17. But incarcerating criminals makes innocent people safer. A 2016 government study found that from 1980 to 2014, the incarceration rate grew by more than 220 percent. In that same period, violent crime rates fell by 39 percent and property crime rates fell by 52 percent. It makes sense. With fewer criminals on the streets, fewer crimes are committed.

    He’s also totally wrong about that as well.

  18. I think the tone is harsh in an effort to start a conversation.

    It’s so harsh that he also ended the conversation.

    Look, I think kids who are violent and disruptive should be separated out of the classroom. But he wants them thrown in prison. “How could we possibly pay for it?” Well, we could take some of the pallets of billions of dollars that the military sends overseas only to have them vanish in the mist, and spend it on education.

  19. “The author’s casual dismissal of these kids is very off putting.”

    But I find the casual dismissal of kids affected by disruptive students is very off putting. It’s usually the most vulnerable students — poor, struggling learners, lacking parental advocates – who suffer from the effects of these classroom disruption. There seems to be an assumption that the affected kids have no problems of their own, either academic or personal, and should be sacrificed in order to allow kids who “bully peers, assault teachers, sexually harass classmates and create major disruptions” to stay in the same classrooms. That’s not the most charitable solution imo.

    The author does not want to put these kids out on the street, but to place them in other setting to try to give everyone the best opportunity to succeed.

  20. I reiterate that violent and disruptive kids should have a different classroom setting. But “reform school” isn’t that setting.

  21. From an anecdotal survey of middle and UMC Totebaggy parents I find that many kids are either in charter schools or public magnets. In my area the IB program magnet program is very popular with Totebaggy types. So, kids are not going to their zoned neighborhood public school but the closest better alternative.
    At least in urban areas here, where there is choice, it leaves the neighborhood schools with a larger number of kids who cannot meet the standards of the better alternatives.

  22. My children actually attended urban public schools. My elder 3 were in the neighborhood school through 5th grade which was true middle class down through welfare and projects. The educated gown not town population opted out of it under school choice. Much like WCE s school but with 40 percent minority. My youngest went to a small middle class magnet program, again not favored by the gown parents, located in the true poor peoples school, all free lunch, forcibly integrated by combining the poor white and the poor non white K to 8 s into a primary and middle school for the conveniently all “town” wrong side of the tracks. My kids left those schools at age 10, the girls on scholarship to private schools, the boys to other programs in the non elite public schools, because the educational content was not up to our expectations. These schools for example, did not offer algebra in 8th grade or foreign language. At no time was there any issue of classrooms disrupted or hijacked on a chronic basis in the fashion described. The asst principals were legendary disciplinarians. At the poor school the principal stood at the front doir in the morning and greeted each arriving family or kid by name. The teachers may not have been focussed on enriching little future Ivy Leaguers, but they were professionals who served the vast majority of their classroom adequately to well.

  23. My junior high separated a lot (not all) of the disruptive kids into a special classroom but they still managed to be disruptive. Between classes they caused trouble in the halls, and even during class, they would escape sometimes and run into other classes, knocking things over. My civics class in 8th was held in a room near their classroom, and it happened several times – they would all run in and pull our chairs out from under us. Those kids would get repeatedly suspended but did not care. I think most dropped out as soon as they could. It was really sad when I think about it – clearly everyone had given up on those kids.

  24. Oh, and besides suspension, we also had paddling as a punishment – which was frequently resorted to. Gotta love southern schools of that era.

  25. Conversely, there was a very disruptive kid in my daughter’s grade for a number of years. It was a real problem because she would rise to his bait. He said horrible, mean, racist things to her all the time. He hit everyone, and generally caused trouble. I knew the mom slightly and could see she was trying. I think he had some kind of special need. Eventually, they sent him to a more specialized private school. I saw him a couple of years ago at a paddleboarding class- he was there with his mom. He was his old self, not listening to the instructor. He would not stick with the group and paddled off into the LI sound, meaning that one of the two instructors had to go off and retrieve him. I wonder what will happen to him

  26. @Louise- my one kid in public attends an alternative school. In my large urban area, all magnet/alternative schools (there are no charter schools) have admission by lottery with preference for siblings and weighting based on address. While of course that selects a certain more-involved-parents cohort, no child is prevented from going, and there is no sense that if you don’t fit/are disruptive, etc. you will get sent back to your neighborhood school.

  27. “Some may criticize me for comparing badly behaving students with criminals. But there really is no more apt comparison. Severe or continual disruptive behavior in school is a crime. It is metaphorical armed robbery. The perpetrators are stealing the educations of innocent children. They are robbing schools of good teachers. And they are armed with a high-powered impunity that descends directly from the conspiratorial consent of educational leaders who refuse to do anything meaningful to stop them.”

    His language is challenging, yes, but is he wrong about the underlying point? No matter WHY the disruptive student is behaving badly, the effect on the rest of the class is the same. Those kids are losing out and, as July noted, their parents are often not in a position to advocate on their behalf.

    The Parkland shootings revealed that well-intentioned efforts to reduce suspension rates among minority students may have had the effect of keeping too many violent students in regular classrooms. Even before Parkland, critics pointed out an alarming increase in school assaults after such efforts were implemented. https://nypost.com/2017/12/23/obamas-lax-discipline-policies-made-schools-dangerous/

    The focus of such criticism is, understandably, on the more serious issue of violence, but this author is raising another concern that seems to me to be entirely justified.

  28. It’s interesting to see that many of you think school is just about book learning and not about social skills and how to deal with others and how we as a society deal with others.

    No elementary school child is a criminal.

  29. “No elementary school child is a criminal.”

    When I was 11, a group home opened in my school district, housing juvenile offenders, ranging in age up to at least 15. They went to my elementary school. They were criminals. One of the boys sent a note to a classmate asking to f***, without the asterisks. They were highly disruptive and really scary. They had been sent to my hometown from L.A. because…..who knows.

    “It’s interesting to see that many of you think school is just about book learning and not about social skills and how to deal with others and how we as a society deal with others.”

    In adult society we have ways to deal with people who throw furniture and threaten to burn buildings with specific people in them. We do not expect the person threatened to sit quietly at their desk while someone hurls things and threatens violence. I do not think it is good to teach anyone that an appropriate response to threats is to sit quietly.

  30. At what age can a child become a criminal? Was my assigned 7th grade social studies partner who stole a car and died in a car chase with the police a criminal yet? I was sufficiently blessed with common sense to fear him.

  31. To be a crime, there must be criminal intent. Reaching back a few years here, but I don’t believe children under 12 (11? 13? 10?) are capable of having criminal intent.

    The 5 year old who found dad’s unlocked gun and shot dad in the face. A criminal – no.

    ” I do not think it is good to teach anyone that an appropriate response to threats is to sit quietly.”

    Who’s arguing that?

  32. How many of us would tolerate kids who regularly acted out and disrupted our children’s classes? If it got too bad, Totebaggers would send their kids to private or magnet schools. I certainly would.

  33. It’s not necessary to get into legal definitions of “criminal,” but surely we all agree that students — of any age — who throw chairs and threaten classmates should not be placed in regular classrooms.

  34. “If it got too bad, Totebaggers would send their kids to private or magnet schools.”

    I doubt many totebaggers have had to deal directly with the worst of these classroom disrupters, but some parents in our affluent suburban school district have. The student in question disrupted class, making especially difficult for other students who had attention issues. When questioned, the teacher shrugged her shoulders and said there was nothing she could do. It should be noted this was not honors class, but one for regular students.

    I had a chance to observe this kid at other times, including on a field trip. To say he was a handful is an understatement. Shortly after he graduated he caused a traffic accident while speeding, but thankfully no one was seriously hurt. Later on he was arrested for a hate crime. His family is UMC, and he has at least one sibling who has been successful through her teen and adult years. I would not be shocked to learn this disruptive kid suffered from some type of abuse growing up.

    Reform school, or juvie as kids call it, can be a proper placement for some of these kids.

  35. ” I do not think it is good to teach anyone that an appropriate response to threats is to sit quietly.”

    Who’s arguing that?

    Well, that was the response when DD1 was in a classroom with the kid throwing desks and threatening to burn the school with DD1 inside. She was 8 at the time.

    Another year, DD2 was in a class with two disrupters. One of the kids figured out that he could drive the other kid into a screaming rage. Which he did every.single.day.

    The disrupters needed to be somewhere else. All three had serious issues that were not being dealt with and they prevented 40-50 other kids from almost a year of education.

    If the discussion is that the author shouldn’t have used the word criminal, ok then. Or is the discussion that dangerous, disruptive kids should be mainstreamed and if the other kids lose out, too bad for them?

  36. July said “I doubt many totebaggers have had to deal directly with the worst of these classroom disrupters, but some parents in our affluent suburban school district have.”
    Yes – I posted about our experience earlier. But the kid eventually moved onwards, because his parents had the resources to place him appropriately.

  37. This kid: https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F2/982/335/137082/

    was two years behind me in elementary school. He was a sociopath. Yes, children can be diagnosed as sociopaths. He disrupted the class every year; the teachers lived in fear of him. Hopefully he’ll stay in the federal pen forever. He’s been there since he was 20. Where was I reading that they’re talking about getting rid of felony murder? If so, he’ll have a good case for parole.

  38. We’re not talking about the posted article which repeatedly uses the rhetoric of crime and criminals and has crime in the title? Um, sure, OK.

    Cassandra – what your children experienced sounds awful. I have similar stories. In a fit, one girl in Kindergarten flipped a piano bench that had three of her classmates sitting on it. Her parents did not see the issue. In 4th grade, my son went to the ER with a concussion because a classmate slammed his head into a padded gym wall. Etc. Trust me the parents raised holy hell with the administration (I sure did). Neither of those kids are bad kids. (Angry, for sure, but bad, no.)

    When you tar all disruptive kids with the label “criminal” or “bad” and simply send them back home by suspending them, that’s too extreme. It doesn’t solve the problem and probably worsens it, for that kid and for society when that kid grows up if he/she hasn’t changed. If a kid can’t handle being mainstreamed, let’s get them appropriate support, which can take different forms and levels.

    At that same school I saw lots and lots of kids successfully mainstreamed in collaborative team teaching rooms. My outburst prone kid got a bunch of supports. (Luckily for me he’s very loud but not aggressive.) I also have experience with foster kids. The younger ones who got support DEFINITELY turned out better than the ones who didn’t.

    What’s interesting to me about these situations is, why didn’t the parents of the K girl see the problem? Why are people so reluctant to get therapy for themselves or their kids? Why are the schools’ hands tied, particularly with very violent kids?

  39. “When you tar all disruptive kids with the label “criminal” or “bad” and simply send them back home by suspending them, that’s too extreme. It doesn’t solve the problem and probably worsens it, for that kid and for society when that kid grows up if he/she hasn’t changed.”

    Of course. But, by the same token, when you tar all disruptive kids with the label “troubled” or “challenging” or “special needs” and simply send them back to the classroom after a timeout in the principal’s office, that’s too extreme as well.

  40. “From an anecdotal survey of middle and UMC Totebaggy parents I find that many kids are either in charter schools or public magnets. “

    A large %age of the totebaggy parents I know have their kids in private schools.

  41. This is a long but absolutely fascinating article by a former NYC public high school teacher, on the consequences of permitting disruptive students to hijack their classrooms. Mary Hudson spent nearly ten years trying to teach French and Italian in three different high schools. She describes her final day in the system:

    “Once again, I finally and suddenly broke. The threat was from an unlikely source, a big lad who was always subdued. He was in the special education program, and never gave any trouble when I substituted in that class. But one afternoon, for some unknowable reason, this usually gentle giant came up to me and said, “I gonna cut yo’ ass.” That was the final humiliation I would suffer in the New York City public school system. I left that afternoon never to return.”

    Her closing observation:

    “Why do precious few adults admit the truth out loud? Because in America the taboo against questioning the current orthodoxy on race is too strong and the price is too high. What is failing our most vulnerable populations is the lack of political will to acknowledge and solve the real problems. The first step is to change the ”anti-discrimination” laws that breed anti-social behavior. Disruptive students must be removed from the classroom, not to punish them but to protect the majority of students who want to learn.” https://quillette.com/2019/02/10/public-educations-dirty-secret/

  42. Mooshi, yes, I’ve heard the %age of kids in private schools here is higher than the national average.

    Anecdotally (anecdatally?), this is one of the reasons many parents cite as rationale.

  43. One of the main reasons low-income families cite for selecting charter schools is safety. This has been criticized as showing that parents don’t know what’s best for their children and should not be given choices.

  44. Anecdotally (anecdatally?), this is one of the reasons many parents cite as rationale.

    Which? Which is the reason? Indefinite pronoun reference.

  45. Anecdotally (anecdatally?), this is one of the reasons many parents cite as rationale.

    The actual reason of course being the historical legacy of racism against Asians and Pacific Islanders.

  46. Something that has been bothering me…the ‘abolish ICE’ call.

    Look, I agree the org’s tactics could (probably) be “kindler, gentler”, but are the people calling for its elimination really saying we should not have a federal office in charge of enforcing our laws? On this one I truly have to ask if they are aiming for zero enforcement, which would be the wrong path. IMHO.

  47. This is an excellent article that touches on the whole single payer, no private insurance debate. It is from Vox, which is one of the few sites that covers healthcare in any real depth. Basically, there is no country with universal coverage that doesn’t have a role for private insurance. Countries fall into one of three groups
    1. Countries that require all citizens to enroll in health coverage run by private insurers – Netherlands, Israel, Switzerland, Germany
    2. Countries where private insurance supplements public insurance. France and Canada are examples.
    3. countries where private insurance complements public insurance. England and Australia

    None of these countries have a government run plan that covers everything, ala Bernie Sanders. That is why they turn to private insurance.

    I have never understood why Americans, whether conservative or liberal, refuse to look at the ways that the healthcare systems in countries with universal coverage actually work.

    https://www.vox.com/health-care/2019/2/12/18215430/single-payer-private-health-insurance-harris-sanders?fbclid=IwAR0Pd4Jr684hec3izS2_WWmP0FTHrqlwnXKAhgAzpSjjHSgGOvLS4jeA7fM

  48. Damn, I’m glad the author of this article wasn’t teaching in my kid’s elementary school when he was having issues in 3rd and 4th grade. He’d be in juvie instead of the magnet middle school he ultimately placed into.

    I wonder, at what point does this guy’s “zero tolerance” policy kick in? Does he advocate banishing third graders who whine or yell out in class or defy instructions to reform schools? This is not, by the way, an issue of special needs or inclusion policies. Some kids just mature faster than others. We tried everything with my son, including therapy. He was never diagnosed with anything, and by 5th grade he outgrew whatever was causing the problem and became a model student. If this author had his way, he’d be in he school to prison pipeline.

  49. The author of the original piece is a middle school teacher. He’s not dealing with third graders, and probably did not have young children in mind when writing that piece.

    However, it seems reasonable to suggest that students who *repeatedly* misbehave — to the extent that they monopolize the teacher’s attention and prevent the rest of the class from learning — need to be removed from regular classrooms and placed in a more suitable environment. It’s great that your son outgrew his problem, and most thankfully do, but it’s just not fair to the other kids in the class to allow those situations to continue.

    One of the reasons we left the public school system was the growing realization of how many resources were directed towards the special ed* and gifted population, to the detriment of the “regular” kids who compose the majority of the school. And we were not alone in that decision, though most parents were unwilling to voice those concerns because of the tremendous power of the special ed and gifted advocacy parents.

    *Broadly defined to include many amorphous diagnoses

  50. Sorry, I can’t figure out why my computer no longer remembers my handle.

    MM, it’s simply not true that Americans are unaware of how other countries handle medical insurance. A few seconds on Google will confirm that health policy wonks are all over these issues, with reams of comparative data analyses.

  51. Mooshi, All of those sound like fine options. I just don’t want to scramble for health care every year.

  52. “I have never understood why Americans, whether conservative or liberal, refuse to look at the ways that the healthcare systems in countries with universal coverage actually work.”

    Do you happen to know of any politicians who support healthcare programs similar to any of those mentioned in the article?

    I keep thinking that universal coverage could develop into a system that works similar to public education, except with less dependence on local tax base for the level of quality. A basic level of care would be provided to all, but the option to buy more would allow wealthier citizens to have better health care.

    “Something that has been bothering me…the ‘abolish ICE’ call.”

    Between that and placing a limit on the number of beds in detention centers, it’s easy to understand the charge that they favor open borders.

  53. “Something that has been bothering me…the ‘abolish ICE’ call.

    Look, I agree the org’s tactics could (probably) be “kindler, gentler”, but are the people calling for its elimination really saying we should not have a federal office in charge of enforcing our laws? On this one I truly have to ask if they are aiming for zero enforcement, which would be the wrong path. IMHO.”

    I take it as “Abolish ICE in its current form”. I don’t think the aim is zero enforcement.

    Fred – There are many stories of egregious abuse by ICE agents, particularly in certain communities. That’s what’s driving this call for reform of ICE.

  54. “health policy wonks” does not equal “regular American voters” who are all screaming either repeal and replace or Medicare for all.

  55. I think “Abolish ICE” is a terrible slogan for any politican to use. They may be *thinking* “abolish and replace” but voters here “Abolish”.

  56. “Do you happen to know of any politicians who support healthcare programs similar to any of those mentioned in the article?”

    Romney in MA, and later Obama, were using Switzerland and Germany as models.

  57. Kerri – point taken “reform of ICE”. But that’s not the call “they” are making. Given the “Abolish ICE” call, it’ll never go anywhere.

  58. Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland use the first model – requiring all citizens to enroll in private health insurance. In Germany the health insurance providers are nonprofits, but not in Switzerland. That was essentially what RomneyCare was, and the ACA. The problem was that they could not put teeth in the mandate, nor could they tightly regulate the insurance providers the way they do in Europe. This was because of the realities of getting the plan through the Senate, in particular. I think this system works really well, though, in the three countries I mention.

  59. Kerri (previous post got eaten) but now that MM has posted, I agree with what she says. I’m not quite as literal in my thinking as Finn seems to be, but I get really peeved when people keep pushing for something that’s completely nonsensical.

  60. And on another political topic, I see that Mark Kelly is entering the Arizona race for the Senate as a Democrat, to try to get the seat that was held by McCain. I think Mark Kelly would make a very strong candidate. People like astronauts

  61. Regular Americans are also woefully ignorant of the tax system, gun laws, immigration issues, and even climate change, but that doesn’t seem to prevent them from having and forcefully expressing their opinions. The health care system is no different.

  62. “I keep thinking that universal coverage could develop into a system that works similar to public education, except with less dependence on local tax base for the level of quality. A basic level of care would be provided to all, but the option to buy more would allow wealthier citizens to have better health care.”

    I’m glad to see someone agrees with me.

    I also think allowing wealthy people to spend freely on their own health care has benefits to everyone.

  63. “I also think allowing wealthy people to spend freely on their own health care has benefits to everyone.”

    Hell no. Healthcare will only be as good as the rich (us) demand. If we can create a two tier system, like we’ve done in education, the less wealthy will be condemned to sub-standard healthcare.

  64. Finn, is your comment automatically showing up twice? Once as anonymous and once as Finn? Or did you manually repost it?

  65. ” I’m not quite as literal in my thinking as Finn seems to be, but I get really peeved when people keep pushing for something that’s completely nonsensical.”

    “Lock her up” chants must really drive you nuts then. Investigated, repeatedly, at great taxpayer expense, no charges, yet we still (over 2 years later) still hear these chants. Totally nonsensical.

    Or the ‘I hate socialism but leave my social security alone’ crowd.

    What drives me crazy is well illustrated by this article. At the end of the discussion, I don’t think we all disagreed that much. Disruptive kids need to be dealt with, including by removing them from regular class, so they don’t disrupt others. We may differ in approach or degree, but generally we agreed. And, some of us had very similar experiences with disruptive kids. Yet, how did the article start – THESE KIDS ARE CRIMINALS!! Why the hyperbole? Be factual and precise without all the drama and I’m all ears. Ridiculous hyperbole – I tune out.

  66. pps – I tune out the Abolish ICE crowd too.

    During one of the Women’s Marches, some guy (not a woman, of course) started a “Down with Police” chant. No one near me joined him. A lady next to me mentioned that she has policie officers in her family and so didn’t agree. I shared that I too have a police officer in my family and that, while there are for sure a few bad apples, it’s not all police officers. Down with Police – catchy slogan, but far too broad.

  67. I think some people mean that they’d like to see a return to the INS from ICE — a department that part of the DOJ instead of Homeland Security.

  68. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/19/17116980/ice-abolish-immigration-arrest-deport

    I see the really, really progressive people running for office” in the Trump era, he says, “and see the opportunity for those candidates to differentiate themselves in Democratic primaries — and to shift the Overton window on deportation policy.” (The Overton window is a concept from political science; it refers to the scope of policy ideas that are considered realistic.)

    “We’re doing what the GOP has so successfully accomplished with its policy priorities,” McElwee says, “which is taking an institution and making it hated.” Conservatives calling for the abolition of the IRS or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau haven’t gotten either agency abolished; they have, however, gotten Republicans in government to take opportunities to weaken the agencies by cutting their funding, narrowing their mandate, and increasing scrutiny

  69. Regarding school discipline, the article was posted by a teacher friend whose daughter was adopted from foster care and has challenges. She definitely sees both sides of the issue.

    I agree with Kerri that we mostly agree at the extremes and that rhetoric is often unhelpful. One of the reasons I opposed Obama the first time he ran for President was his insistence that he would close Guantanamo (he didn’t nor was closing it a priority for his administration). I thought, “Maybe not all the people in Guantanamo are terrorists, but letting everyone out for whom we can’t build a case in U.S. court seems high-risk. I want a President who can appropriately manage national security risk, and this guy can’t even see it.”

    The question about student suspensions is about shifts in policy- Obama pushed to reduce suspensions as a matter of federal policy. The disagreement is about whether there was a net benefit to all students from reducing suspensions or whether the harm to the well-behaved students outweighed the benefit to the disruptive students. I suppose part of the reason I see myself as conservative is that I’m OK with heavy use of the stick (vs. the carrot) for those who don’t conform to social norms, even as I acknowledge that their behavior may not be 100% their fault.

  70. The problem is, most people are not going to start hating ICE. It is easy to get people to hate the IRS – we all deal with them, and they take our money. Very few people deal directly with ICE, and their main mission – border control – is something that most regular Americans agree with. Including progressive ol’ me!
    I think Democrats would have far more luck getting people to hate Big Banking

  71. July, I manually reposted.

    A fair amount of time (looks like about 9 minutes) had passed without my first post showing up, so I figured it had been eaten, and reposted.

    Thus my 11:59 comment about the delay in the post showing up.

  72. “Healthcare will only be as good as the rich (us) demand.”

    The demands of the rich will lead to advances in healthcare, which will become available to the less rich.

  73. “If we can create a two tier system, like we’ve done in education, the less wealthy will be condemned to sub-standard healthcare.”

    No matter how you design a health care system, those with greater resources will *always* be able to access a higher level of care. Whether it’s some kind of concierge program, or medical tourism abroad, it’s not really possible to prevent a multi-tier system. Indeed, perhaps one reason that countries like Canada and Australia are able to run their “universal” health care systems is that residents can travel (to the US and India, respectively) when they find the local options too limited.

  74. “I don’t think we all disagreed that much. Disruptive kids need to be dealt with, including by removing them from regular class, so they don’t disrupt others. We may differ in approach or degree, but generally we agreed.”

    I agree.

    “Yet, how did the article start – THESE KIDS ARE CRIMINALS!! Why the hyperbole?”

    The first reference to criminals or crime is well into the article, the 9th paragraph, by which time the author had already made his point that disruptive students victimize other students, and had also mentioned that “many disruptive students often have tragic backgrounds. Their stories of abuse and neglect are truly heart rending.”

    Saying the article starts by calling kids criminals seems like hyperbole to me.

    The reaction of some to the crime/criminal references seems a bit kneejerk to me.

  75. Anonymous, Australia permits and encourages private insurance to access faster and more convenient healthcare. The Vox article says 47 percent of Australians have private insurance. So no need to travel to India…

  76. “If we can create a two tier system, like we’ve done in education, the less wealthy will be condemned to sub-standard healthcare.”

    Not necessarily, but that depends a lot on how one defines sub-standard in this context.

    Currently, we have a multiple tier system, with the lowest tier being quite low. Is that better than a two-tier system with the lowest tier being a basic level of care?

  77. Finn – the word crime is in the title of the article.

    “Teacher to Parent – Severe or continual disruptive behavior in school is a crime. ”

    I would have gone with “is a shame” or “is a problem that needs to be addressed”.

  78. Oops, my bad. Missed that.

    OTOH, calling disruptive behavior a crime is less incendiary than “THESE KIDS ARE CRIMINALS!!”

    Kinda like saying murder is a crime is less incendiary than calling people murderers.

    Obviously my reaction to the article and its headline differed from yours.

  79. Scarlett, I am betting that cosmetic and dental are not well covered in Australia, which is the same situation here. Those are the kinds of procedures for which Americans go overseas too.

  80. I think that the a language of torts would be much more apt than the language of felonies. When a wild animal such as fox gets into your chickens, you are damaged but the fox is neither a criminal nor acting against your rights under the social or any other contract. On the other hand, you can shoot it. When your neighbors egg sucking dog steals the eggs or kills chickens, the dog is not a criminal nor committing a crime. The neighbor may be expected to control his dog, so perhaps you can collect damages , or maybe you are the one who is expected to defend your property, but unless the dog presents an imminent danger you cannot pronounce sentence on it.

    The student whose public education is so disrupted for whatever reason is a damaged party. It is the institution that allows an untenable situation that should be judged responsible. We dont use innocent and guilty in a civil context. The thief is the system, not the difficult or worse child.

  81. When your neighbors egg sucking dog steals the eggs or kills chickens, the dog is not a criminal nor committing a crime. The neighbor may be expected to control his dog, so perhaps you can collect damages , or maybe you are the one who is expected to defend your property, but unless the dog presents an imminent danger you cannot pronounce sentence on it.

    Actually you can pronounce sentence on the dog….and collect damages from the owners.

    Not relevant to the conversation, but I couldn’t resist.

    Or maybe things are different in Massachusetts, but in California and most of the west, if you think a dog is going to harm your livestock, it can be destroyed. Simple solution really, if you don’t want to risk your dog, keep it under control and off the neighbor’s property.

  82. “The student whose public education is so disrupted for whatever reason is a damaged party. It is the institution that allows an untenable situation that should be judged responsible.”

    Yes, this is a much less inflammatory way of putting it.

    But wasn’t one of the author’s points that entities external to schools are pushing the schools to put disruptive students back into classes?

  83. An old friend from work** just texted me to report that Mitch McConnell is holding a vote in the Senate on the Green New Deal. If true, it will be interesting to see how the very sane Kamala Harris votes.

    **this friend told me in July of 2015 that Trump was going to be president, and I told him he was out of his screwball mind.

  84. 15,000 Australians (out of 24 million) are going abroad for dental or cosmetic procedures, mainly breast augmentations. How does this render any verdict on the state of health coverage in Australia? Is there evidence that people die because of lack of access to basic services? Or suffer on waiting lists? Or have worse overall health than we do in the US?

  85. My friend has a significant optimism bias. It was remarkably accurate in that particular case. (I always confuse the terms accuracy and precision.)

    We were talking and both agreed that national politics very volatile. President Trump is as loose a cannon as you can get. And it’s a challenge for the “bull in the China shop” disruptor to make a case for reelection.

    On the other hand, his very clear rhetorical and stylistic tack during the SOTU and the overwhelmingly positive response it generated in the immediate polls suggest that he is someone who is adept at remaking his image, and that it can well received.

    Combine that with the almost-comical leftward lurch of the Democratic presidential contenders and their base’s apparent eagerness to force them into increasingly unelectable positions, add a continuation of a fairly strong economy with low unemployment, and the optimism of Trump’s supporters is more than justified.

    If we continue to generate headlines and debates about open borders and the inherent evil of enforcing immigration laws, if we talk more about late-term abortion through the next election cycle, and all along the Left is demanding their candidate endorse a foreseeable ban on fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and cars with engines; support for universal basic income and free federal housing for those unable or even unwilling to work, free college, free single-payer health care…well, we think Donald Trump will be president on 1/21/21.

    AOC is the gift that keeps on giving.

  86. I have never understood why Americans, whether conservative or liberal, refuse to look at the ways that the healthcare systems in countries with universal coverage actually work.

    Because that requires putting some time, effort, and thought into it.

  87. “AOC is the gift that keeps on giving.”

    Indeed. Maybe someone on the right has infiltrated her staff and is encouraging her with her GND nonsense.

  88. I agree with Milo and his friend about the Democrats hurting themselves with their recent actions, whether it’s bad optics or just bad policy. Now McConnell is proposing a vote to “Give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the #GreenNewDeal.” But the Democrats are calling this “sabotage”.

  89. Megan McArdle references the Overton window strategy as used by the Democrats.

    Progressives frequently argue that getting to “as much as possible” requires setting goals that are out of reach. They call it “shifting the Overton window,” or widening the spectrum of plausible policy options, an idea broached in the 1990s by policy analyst Joseph P. Overton. The folk version: Ask for the stars, you’ll get the moon.

    Fair enough. Sometimes people and causes do lose out by being too timid. What the progressive window-shoppers forget is that they can also lose out by being over-aggressive.

    A pedestrian example: Many people could do better, salary-wise, if they simply negotiated harder with potential employers. But few of them could do better by opening with a pugnacious demand for $1 million a year. Wild demands, unmoored from reality, don’t increase what you ultimately take away from a negotiation; they are much more likely to end the negotiation abruptly when the other party concludes that you’re crazy.

    The Green New Deal is nice vision of where the United States might try to go someday. But as an actual blueprint for the immediate future, it’s lunatic. And no matter how technically or morally sound your goals may be, as an opening political message, “We’re nuts!” is neither efficient, nor state-of-the-art.

    http://jewishworldreview.com/0219/McArdle021119.php3

  90. It’s really hard to say. July, Milo, et al, were never going to vote Democratic, so of course the proposals seem laughable to them. My left-wing Internet universe thinks that these will energize the base. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last two years, it’s that no one knows what the hell is going on or what will happen next.

  91. RMS, what the base forgets is that the President is elected by the Electoral College, not the popular vote. Proposals that play astonishingly well in California and NYC do not win red states – and the Democrats HAVE to pick up some of the swing and/or red states that they lost to Trump.
    If the Democratic party doesn’t get sane about this, we will see a replay of 2016, perhaps with an even bigger popular vote win.

  92. Mooshi – The GND, assuming the prominent candidates endorse and vote for it and it remains an issue on the forefront, is not going to win the popular vote, either.

  93. RMS, what the base forgets is that the President is elected by the Electoral College, not the popular vote.

    Yeah, well, we’ll see. I want Bernie to run so that he’ll lose and I can travel around the country rubbing it in the faces of all the butthurt Bernie Bros who were all “Bernie wudda won.”

  94. Nah, the GND is a joke. Even AOC and her goofy policy adviser have been outright lying about the extent to which the most absurd elements were in the actual document that they put on her website and provided to NPR. They already have the progressive base, but they won’t get any support from the sensible folks in the middle with proposals like getting rid of airplanes and replacing every building in the country.

  95. Never fear, AOC will just add a section to her GND vowing to “put more bugs, like, everywhere”

  96. Catastrophizing aside, I am somewhat worried about the bugs. I was all set to start eating bugs when the rest of the food ran out due to climate change. Full of protein.

  97. I, personally, would be overjoyed if all the mosquitoes and roaches in my city would die, die, die.

  98. “I was all set to start eating bugs when the rest of the food ran out due to climate change. ”

    That’s not catastrophizing, that’s predicting good times ahead, but alas, farmers continually adapt and over produce…..

    Adapting North American wheat production to climatic challenges, 1839–2009
    https://www.pnas.org/content/108/2/480

  99. taking a topic that was broached on the Open Thread:

    I’m against the idea that the government (fed, state, local) should even be allowed to make special deals and negotiations and rebates and incentives to attract a particular business. (I’m sure Rhett will come back with some example of that that has mainstream acceptance, but as a general rule…)

    The opposite of the Amazon courting is something like DC and how its residents could probably really benefit from a big Super Walmart. But the city politicians are trained to hate Walmart, so they say “$15 minimum wage.” Then all the restaurants and other businesses said “No way, we’ll be driven out of business!” So City says “$15 minimum wage for any employer with more than X employees…” And Walmart says “Forget it. We’re not doing that. Keep your filthy, overpriced shit retail shops and keep bitching about ‘food deserts’.”

    So if AOC said “NFW to the special breaks for Amazon” here, is it possible that she and I found common ground for agreement?

  100. Massachusetts had an ideal empty site, but to support Amazon huge transit improvement outlays would have been required. So there were no cash incentives offered, just a commitment to spend tax dollars for required transit and infrastructure.

    Here are some photos of the Long Island City site the apartment building in the second photo is new

  101. I’m against the idea that the government (fed, state, local) should even be allowed to make special deals and negotiations and rebates and incentives to attract a particular business.

    I am too, but I live in a part of the state that is consistently the loser in the dog and pony shows for these things. The bid itself is often extremely expensive and the losing cities really get no benefit from having participated in the process. But I wonder how HFN comes out, since she’s had a front row seat to South Carolina’s very successful recruitment of BMW, Volvo, etc.

  102. I agree with you that incentives to bring in businesses and stadiums and sports teams are bad, but as long as cities and states are offering incentives, cities need to play the game to get the things they want.
    I was happy when AOC won mainly because she took out someone I hated. But she has proven herself to be an ill informed show boat, kind of the leftwing Ted Cruz. I fully expect a primary challenge in the next election cycle, and I will be helping it (her district is close to 100% Democrat, so people win on the primary)

  103. In my corporate days I participated in bids for state incentives. They used to be given primarily for factories, with certain required employment figures and clawbacks of the tax benefits if there are layoffs. I know that Toyota recently consolidated operations in Texas, leaving Kentucky and some other sites after the clawback period expired.

  104. I googled an old SI article on how Connecticut offered the moon to the Krafts to move the Patriots, but they still ended up staying in Foxboro. That was essentially the doing of the NFL (point man Goodell in his pre-commish days), who overcame the opposition of a key Beacon Hill figure whom, IIRC, politically active Myra Kraft had offended. In the end it was privately owned, built with all Kraft money, supported by a loan from the NFL, with state commitment to $70M of infrastructure improvements.

  105. I don’t like states and cities offering incentives, but I really don’t like that they won’t make the offers public. I don’t understand how that gets past open-records laws. If you’re going to offer $50 million in incentives and tax cuts to a corporation, then you need to have it made public so the voters can decide if they want to re-elect you.

  106. Milo – It would seem that if corporations are treated as having the same rights as natural persons for purposes of Citizens United and Hobby Lobby, that they should be subject to equal protection rights in the matter of tax incentives and not able to pick and choose when to gain protection and when to say it is not applicable. However, historically, equal protection arguments made on behalf of corporations have only prevailed if a law or tax is shown to discriminate against a particular business or class of businesses, not when it singles out some other business for favoritism. There are varying degrees of testing for disparate or discriminatory impact — laws affecting corporations have traditionally been held to the loosest standard – the government has some reasonable basis for the treatment.

  107. None of these things trigger an Equal Protection challenge?

    That’s a great point. If they offer an incentive to one company, shouldn’t they have to offer a comparable incentive every other company that asks? (How comparable would be determined is another issue.)

  108. “None of these things trigger an Equal Protection challenge?”

    That happened here. A law was passed to facilitate special deals for a company that was starting an interisland ferry service, but it was challenged and ruled unconstitutional because it was tailored to benefit one specific company.

  109. “I don’t like states and cities offering incentives, but I really don’t like that they won’t make the offers public.”

    ITA.

  110. How come there aren’t similar complaints down in DC?

    The reality is, most of the real opposition was coming from City Council people who felt cut out of the deal, a number of activists who are opposed to anything having to do with evil big business, and AOC sensing another opportunity to jump into the limelight. My local activist friends were not complaining. Until a week ago, I had no sense that the deal could go south because most of the opposition just seemed political. I actually think Cuomo and DeBlasio were completely surprised too.

    The big losers, besides the aspiring young people of NYC…
    immediate losers:
    Cuomo, who had been thinking of running for President. I think this kills his chances. OK, I am kind of happy about that.
    DeBlasio, who had been really selling it to everyone.

    longer term losers
    AOC, who will get primaried. There was already talk of it before this debacle.
    Liberal East Coast Democrats in general – it just reinforces the view that we are anti-growth and willing to sacrifice jobs for ideology.

  111. “most of the real opposition was coming from City Council people who felt cut out of the deal”

    Consistent with DD’s point about transparency.

    I’m wondering if losers might also include people in the DC area, who will now see a doubling of the negative impacts, e.g., traffic, housing price increases.

  112. “AOC seems pretty popular to me.”

    She is. On FOX News, they literally can not stop talking about her.

  113. Planet Money’s #699 addressed this using Kansas City, KS vs. Kansas City MO which originally aired in 2016. Back when Amazon deal was announced, there was I think The Economist podcast that it was also noted that Amazon got all the development plans for various areas too that were not out in the public which gives them an edge on competition. I put the transcript below of PM if you’re interested.

    NOEL KING, HOST:
    Hey, it’s Noel King here. You probably heard that earlier this week, Amazon announced the location of its new headquarters, and it picked two places. It picked Northern Virginia and New York City. And Amazon says each place is going to get about 25,000 jobs. Now, that was the end of a very long bidding war. There were dozens of states and cities that were courting Amazon by offering them billions of dollars in tax breaks and some other stuff, too. There was this one town in Georgia where the mayor said, OK, we’ll carve out 345 acres, we’ll make a new town, and we will let Jeff Bezos be the mayor or the CEO or the king or whatever he wants. We think that mayor was just joking. But a bunch of you wrote to us with the same question, which was basically why do cities and states offer these huge tax incentives? And when they do it, does it actually makes sense? Is it in their interest? Back in 2016, Stacey Vanek Smith and I reported a story on why this happens.
    (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)
    KING: Kansas City is kind of a unique place. It’s not one city. It’s actually two. And it’s split right down the middle so that half of Kansas City is in Kansas and half of Kansas City is in Missouri.
    STACEY VANEK SMITH, HOST:
    There is a road running down the middle of the city that divides it. It is called State Line Road.
    KING: We are in the car driving along State Line Road – perfect.
    VANEK SMITH: So, OK, Kansas is on the left, and Missouri is on the right.
    KING: Kansas is on the left, and also I need to get in the left lane – oh, perfect.
    VANEK SMITH: So the Phillips 66 is in Missouri?
    KING: Gas station in Missouri.
    VANEK SMITH: And the Capitol Federal, Prairie Village is in Kansas.
    KING: The bank is in Kansas.
    VANEK SMITH: Yeah.
    KING: The bank is in Kansas.
    VANEK SMITH: Yeah.
    People make a really big deal out of this line. We were hearing all this stuff about this huge rivalry between the two states.
    KING: So we pulled off of State Line Road into a little shopping center on the Kansas side to see what people would say about it.
    What are people in Missouri like?
    UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: You’d look – you’re talking to one.
    KING: I am?
    UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: We’re friendly. We are good to be around, and we are very, very hard-working people.
    VANEK SMITH: Are people from Missouri, like, a little different than people from Kansas?
    UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Yes (laughter).
    VANEK SMITH: How so?
    UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Well (laughter)…
    UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: They’re kind of hard to describe.
    UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Yeah, yeah.
    VANEK SMITH: Apparently, people from Kansas are a little bit snobby.
    KING: Rachel Graham (ph) from Kansas says we are not snobby.
    What are people from Kansas like?
    RACHEL GRAHAM: I would say very down to earth, helpful, kind, big sense of community.
    VANEK SMITH: We heard all kinds of things from both sides. People from Kansas told us people from Missouri were like city folk. They didn’t have real country values. And people from Missouri told us people from Kansas were aloof and were bad drivers.
    KING: We wanted to get to the bottom of this, and then there in the parking lot, we met Quentin Donnelly (ph), who broke it down for us like this.
    QUENTIN DONNELLY: Kansas people are very short-minded.
    KING: Very short-minded.
    DONNELLY: You know, they’re Kansas people.
    VANEK SMITH: If you saw me and Noel – one of us was from Kansas and one of us was from Missouri – what would you guess?
    DONNELLY: I’ll say – I’d say you’re more, you know, Kansas. She looks like, you know, she gets the party started.
    VANEK SMITH: And I look like…
    DONNELLY: You look like you like to read books often.
    (LAUGHTER)
    KING: He called you a nerd.
    VANEK SMITH: It’s like I’m back in high school.
    KING: I know. It’s like the readers versus the party kids.
    VANEK SMITH: I know.
    KING: But, look; the rivalry between Kansas and Missouri goes beyond trash talk. While we were down there, people kept telling us there is a war going on along the border between Kansas and Missouri.
    VANEK SMITH: And this war is over something very important. It’s a war over jobs.
    KING: The two states are fighting to lure companies to their state and not the one across State Line Road, and they’re spending millions of dollars to do it.
    VANEK SMITH: This is something that’s happening all over the country right now. It’s just that usually it happens over much greater distances, like California and New York competing over a tech company or Georgia and New Jersey battling it out over car companies. But with Kansas and Missouri, you can see this happening right up close because the tug of war is literally across the street.
    (SOUNDBITE OF JEROME FABY SONG, “FEEL ALRIGHT”)
    KING: Hello, and welcome to PLANET MONEY. I’m Noel King.
    VANEK SMITH: And I’m Stacey Vanek Smith. Today on the show – the Kansas-Missouri border war, a close-up look at what politicians like to call job creation but what looks a lot of times a little bit more like job stealing.
    KING: And we’ll tell you the story of the fight over one company. You probably know it. You may have even eaten one of their quesadilla burgers.
    (SOUNDBITE OF JEROME FABY SONG, “FEEL ALRIGHT”)
    VANEK SMITH: In the Kansas-Missouri border war, just like in any war, there are generals.
    BLAKE SCHRECK: I am a noncommissioned officer.
    KING: Nice.
    SCHRECK: Actually, no, I’m actually just a soldier.
    KING: Blake Schreck works for a chamber of commerce in Kansas, and it’s his job to make sure companies come to Kansas and stay in Kansas. Now, Blake is this really dapper guy. He’s got thick, white hair. He wears jeans and blazers. He has these tortoiseshell glasses. And his office is in this old, sprawling Victorian house. It’s a really lovely place. But, make no mistake, this is Blake’s war room.
    VANEK SMITH: He has got all of these top-secret documents on his desk with code names for the companies that he is trying to attract to Kansas because Blake doesn’t want his rivals from, say, across the street in Missouri to know which companies are in play.
    What are some of the code names?
    SCHRECK: Oh, good heavens. I’ve got – let’s see here. We’ve got – here is the latest. We’ve got Project George, Project Scout, Project Standard, Project View, Twin, Kodiak, Lantern, LSA, Sesame Two. That’s just the last month.
    VANEK SMITH: I have this fantasy that Sesame Two is, like, a fast-food company like Burger King because of the buns.
    KING: I can’t stop thinking about what Sesame One was.
    (LAUGHTER)
    VANEK SMITH: And all these code names, all the secrecy – Blake’s job wasn’t always like this.
    KING: Yeah, he’s been doing this for 30 years, and he said, for him, the war really ramped up about 10 years ago with one company – Applebee’s.
    VANEK SMITH: At the time, Applebee’s had their headquarters on Blake’s side in Kansas, and they were doing well. They were growing. And they came to Blake, and they said we need a bigger building.
    KING: Right. They called him up and said, look; we’d like to stay in Kansas. We want to build this new headquarters – big, fancy, new place – but then there’s, like, a shift in tone. And they tell him…
    SCHRECK: You know, we’re a pretty big deal, and we can go wherever we want to, and we may, you know, go to Missouri. So what can you do for us?
    KING: Blake did not want to lose Applebee’s. They were a big employer. They were a big company, a point of pride for the state of Kansas. So Applebee’s suggested that Kansas give it a tax break – a big one. Like, how about for the next 10 years we basically pay no property taxes?
    SCHRECK: Our feeling was a little bit at the time was that that just wasn’t done. If you really want to be in our community, you need to pay full boat.
    KING: This puts Blake and Kansas in a tough position, right? If they give Applebee’s what it’s asking for, then they’re going to lose a lot of property tax revenue.
    VANEK SMITH: On the other hand, if Kansas said no, it would lose even more. The corporate taxes from a multibillion-dollar company, payroll taxes for hundreds of employees and all of the property taxes from Applebee’s. Tens of millions of dollars were on the line. So Blake calls the mayor and says…
    SCHRECK: We can’t let this payroll – I mean, it was a huge deal – leave the state. But we really need to step up.
    KING: So Blake weighs these two kind of crummy options, and he decides we need to give Applebee’s what they want. He makes his case to the local politicians.
    VANEK SMITH: And in the end, Kansas takes his advice. It makes an offer. They say, Applebee’s, if you stay, we will give you more than $12 million in tax breaks and some other perks. We will also fix up a bunch of roads around where your shiny new headquarters will be.
    KING: And even then, Blake wasn’t sure they’d be able to keep Applebee’s in Kansas. Finally, the company called him.
    SCHRECK: We had it on speakerphone, and they said Kansas is the choice. And then we’re going, like, yay in the background, but we…
    KING: You’re, like, jumping up and down.
    SCHRECK: Absolutely. So we’re very happy. But we can’t just jump around and do an end zone celebration. We just had to say, well, we’re glad to have you.
    KING: And it’s right around this time that the Kansas-Missouri rivalry, the war for jobs, starts to heat up because both states put in place incentive programs to lure companies in. And they say, basically, if you create jobs here, we’ll give you a tax break.
    VANEK SMITH: And if you are a company in, say, Missouri, there is a really easy way for you to create a bunch of jobs in Kansas and get those amazing tax breaks. You just move right across the border – move across State Line Road. You don’t have to hire a single new person. Your workers just change their commute a little bit, and now you qualify for this huge tax break.
    KING: Right. And when a new company crosses State Line Road, the politicians could say, hey, we created a bunch of new jobs.
    VANEK SMITH: Well, you say creating jobs, but it’s kind of like stealing jobs.
    SCHRECK: No because if it’s a new job to the state of Kansas, it’s a new job to the state of Kansas whether it’s from Mississippi or Missouri and because it’s not our state.
    VANEK SMITH: So you’re creating jobs in the state of Kansas that were, like, stolen from across the street.
    SCHRECK: No. Every time that somebody comes from, say, Missouri to Kansas, that is a new revenue stream that we create with payroll taxes and capital investment and all the things that go along with that that we didn’t have before. It’s easy to come down from outer space and think, well, that doesn’t make any sense. But the reality is, it does.
    KING: There are Blakes in every state. This is not just Kansas. According to one study, states all over the country are spending $70 billion a year to create/steal jobs from each other.
    VANEK SMITH: And on the Kansas-Missouri border, this has heated up so much that it’s kind of gotten out of control.
    KING: Yeah. Let’s list some of the companies that are hopping back and forth.
    VANEK SMITH: OK. Let’s see. J.P. Morgan Retirement moved across the border from Missouri to Kansas – win for Kansas.
    KING: Freightquote – a shipping company – Kansas to Missouri. Blake lost that one.
    VANEK SMITH: AMC, the big movie chain, moved from Missouri to Kansas – another win for Kansas.
    KING: North American Savings Bank – Kansas to Missouri. That’s a loss for Blake’s side.
    VANEK SMITH: We even found one company that moved from Missouri to Kansas and then back to Missouri. It’s an accounting and insurance firm called CBIZ.
    KING: Right. So we went by to talk to them, and we met Jeff Carlstedt. He’s the senior managing director. We met him in a conference room on the 11th floor of the building. They have a beautiful view. And from that conference room, he can see his old office from the window.
    VANEK SMITH: Well, it’s not actually his old office. It’s his old, old office from when they used to be in Missouri before they moved to Kansas and then came back to Missouri.
    JEFF CARLSTEDT: Where were we? We were right through that Skelly sign right down there about that parking garage. I can see my very first window that I had from this window.
    KING: We asked him about the moving, and he said there are a lot of factors. He did admit that tax breaks and incentives played a role. He wouldn’t tell us how much Missouri gave the company, but according to what we read in the local papers, it was about $26 million in incentives.
    VANEK SMITH: That was in 2014. And CBIZ now has a 15-year lease in Missouri.
    CARLSTEDT: You’re always going to be looking and evaluating what that next step is. I’m – you know, we’re 15 years away from the end of this lease and, you know, I look at it and say, what’s the next – what’s even the next move?
    KING: Would you go over the state line again?
    CARLSTEDT: We would evaluate whatever makes the most sense for our employee base. I can say that you would never say no to anything.
    VANEK SMITH: Never say no. It’s kind of like he’s sending a coded message over to Blake Schreck. Like, Kansas, make me an offer.
    KING: Yeah, for a company, this makes sense. It’s the smart thing to do. But you can see where all of this ends up, right? The states want to keep these companies, so they’re slashing taxes. And they are digging themselves deeper into a hole. That tax revenue was going to pay for stuff like roads and schools and police. In fact, just a couple months after Kansas spent $50 million snatching AMC Theaters from across the street in Missouri, Kansas cut its education budget by $104 million.
    VANEK SMITH: And once you lure a company over, there is no guarantee it’s going to stay.
    KING: We met Dave Frantze, who’s a lawyer in Kansas City.
    Is your job to leverage Kansas and Missouri against each other?
    DAVID FRANTZE: That’s a part of it, yeah.
    VANEK SMITH: And one day, Dave was talking to a friend of his, another lawyer, one who happens to work for a certain company that, let’s just say, makes a mean quesadilla burger.
    FRANTZE: A man I knew for a long time, a friend of mine, was an in-house lawyer at Applebee’s. And we ran into each other, and he mentioned to me that they were looking at relocating their corporate headquarters.
    KING: Applebee’s, which Kansas had fought so hard to keep just a few years before, was thinking about moving. It was under new ownership. The company was downsizing, and the big, new office building was too big.
    VANEK SMITH: Applebee’s hires Dave Frantze, and Dave starts doing his thing.
    FRANTZE: We reached out to both states, and we said we are representing Applebee’s. Here’s the number of jobs. Here’s the average wages. Here’s the the capital investment they’re planning to make. And we asked each state, you know, what they would propose.
    KING: So now our border warrior on the Kansas side, Blake, is running around trying to find Applebee’s a smaller building. Meanwhile, Missouri is scrambling to get its own incentives package together.
    VANEK SMITH: Both states put their best offer on the table, and Applebee’s weighs its options. Some time goes by, and they call Dave with their decision. He was on his way to a Boy Scout camp where he volunteers.
    FRANTZE: I remember I was driving down, and, you know, I was on a hands-free speakerphone on my – in the car. And, you know, I said, guys, I got five more minutes, and then I’m going to be out of cell range (laughter).
    KING: And Applebee’s tells him, we’re going with Missouri. Blake’s side, Kansas, had lost.
    FRANTZE: The last thing I did before I went out of cell range was called the two states and said, you know, sorry, Kansas, they’ve decided they’re going to move to this other location, and then called Missouri and said, hey, congratulations. They’ve selected Missouri as their location.
    VANEK SMITH: Applebee’s moved 14 miles from Kansas to Missouri, and it got $12 million in tax breaks. And this was just six years after Blake Schreck, our Kansas border warrior, gave Applebee’s millions of dollars in tax breaks to stay in Kansas.
    KING: So Dave Frantze, the lawyer, negotiated this deal. He’s negotiated a lot of them, actually, and he may be the dealmaker, but even he acknowledges this is madness.
    FRANTZE: When I start talking to clients that are in the area, the first thing I say to them is, you know, now, before we talk about what the incentives are, I need to tell you that what we’re going to talk about is probably the worst public policy in the history of the world. It’s terrible thought process by both states of Missouri and Kansas.
    KING: It is also part of how Dave makes his living, so it’s not like he tells companies don’t do it.
    FRANTZE: It is lawful. It is encouraged by both states. And there – it is an opportunity that you as a business have to consider whether you want to do that or not.
    VANEK SMITH: With Dave’s help, Applebee’s negotiated its move to Missouri in 2011.
    KING: We went to see their new offices. They are right on State Line Road – like, a few feet inside of the Missouri border.
    Let’s just go see. OK, going in the lobby. Hi, good morning. How are you?
    SHORNA ANDREWS: I’m good.
    KING: Good, good. Is this the Applebee’s building?
    ANDREWS: Yes, this is.
    KING: That’s Shorna Andrews (ph). She’s the receptionist here.
    VANEK SMITH: It feels so quiet in here.
    ANDREWS: It’s very quiet.
    VANEK SMITH: It’s quiet for a reason. We ran into Dion Crooks (ph) in the lobby. He’s a facilities manager at Applebee’s. And one day last fall, he came to work. He was actually very excited that day because they were having a big all-staff party for the upcoming football game.
    DION CROOKS: We had – had beers and, you know, hot dogs and, you know, everything set up. Then about an hour later, I got an email to say that we have to do a room set up for 300 people.
    KING: This was not a part of the party plan. This was an all-staff meeting.
    CROOKS: Well, fast-forward another hour, we get an email – tailgate party’s cancelled.
    KING: So Dion sets up the conference room, all of the employees come in.
    CROOKS: We got upstairs. We walk in the door. Our CEO – she’s the first person we saw when we walked in the door. Not only did we see her, we saw every department head from every department.
    KING: The CEO starts talking, and Dion can tell it’s something big. She starts out with good news. She says, we’ve had a great year. The company is doing well, which makes him suspicious.
    CROOKS: I used to sell cars for several years. I know how it is to – in a car salesman, we like to put people up at the top and get them happy and then drop a bomb on them.
    VANEK SMITH: And then came the bomb. Applebee’s was moving again and not across the border to Kansas – to California. And most of the people in that room would be losing their jobs.
    CROOKS: It was kind of a big sigh in the entire room.
    KING: What did it sound like?
    CROOKS: (Sighing) And then the next thing, everybody’s head went straight down to their phones. And I personally got up and walked out. I didn’t hear the rest of the – what she was saying. I came back downstairs, went to the office, and I just kind of sat there for a while.
    VANEK SMITH: Since that meeting, which happened last year, Dion says people have been trickling out, and the office has gotten quieter and quieter. Dion says the last Christmas party, which happened just a couple of months after the meeting, was truly awful.
    CROOKS: Not this past Christmas but the Christmas before last, it was just so fun and energetic and everybody’s in the spirit. Oh, man, it was great. Then this past Christmas, it was just kind of like this is my last Christmas party, you know. You know, I won’t be here next year.
    VANEK SMITH: Dion says he understands why Applebee’s made this move. Its parent company is headquartered in California, so it made sense to consolidate.
    KING: So after years of fighting over Applebee’s, Kansas and Missouri both lost. And when you hear politicians talk about creating jobs, sometimes those are new jobs, but a lot of times, it looks like this. Yeah, there’s been a job created in California, but somewhere else, there’s a guy like Dion trying to smile through a Christmas party.
    VANEK SMITH: So here’s one tally of where things stand along the Kansas-Missouri border. From 2010 to 2015, 5,702 jobs moved from Missouri to Kansas.
    KING: You could look at that and say that sounds pretty good for Kansas, but you know how many jobs went the other way from Kansas to Missouri? Almost as many – 3,998.
    VANEK SMITH: In the end, it’s one of those wars where neither side has really won, but everyone has spent a lot of money fighting. The dueling tax breaks have cost the governments half a billion dollars. These numbers, by the way, come from the Hall Family Foundation, which is a local philanthropic group, and they looked at a bunch of counties right around the Kansas City area.
    KING: So maybe not surprisingly Missouri and Kansas have both been talking about a truce.
    VANEK SMITH: Missouri wrote what amounts to a treaty – kind of along the lines of, Kansas, if you don’t steal our jobs, we won’t steal yours.
    KING: Kansas ignored it. And then just a few weeks ago, Kansas wrote its own version of a treaty, which is slightly different from Missouri’s.
    VANEK SMITH: Missouri responded saying, Kansas, we will not sign your treaty. You should sign ours. It is a truce war.
    KING: This is what Kansas and Missouri are fighting over now – how to make peace.
    All right. So we did that story back in the spring of 2016. Did Kansas and Missouri end up calling a truce? If they did, whose truce did they call? That’s coming up after the break.
    When we left off in 2016, Kansas and Missouri were talking about a truce, about a way to avoid these bidding wars. So I did a quick Google search today to find out if they struck a deal, and I found this story in the Kansas Star from February of this year. Kansas – the state of Kansas offered $3 million in tax breaks to a company called HCA Midwest Health if that company would move four miles across the border into Kansas, and the company took the deal. So no truce as far as we can tell.
    (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
    KING: We always love to hear what you think of the show. You can send us an email to planetmoney@npr.org. And we’re on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter – @planetmoney. Today’s show was originally produced by Alex Goldmark and Sally Helm. The rerun today was produced by Shane McKeon. Special thanks in this episode to Kevin Collison, Frank Morris, Nancy Mays (ph) and Greg LeRoy. Our editor is Bryant Urstadt, and our supervising producer is Alex Goldmark.
    VANEK SMITH: I’m Stacey Vanek Smith.
    KING: And I’m Noel King. Thanks for listening.

  114. President Trump has informed Mitch McConnell that he is going to declare a national immigration emergency and repurpose funds to build the wall. I believe that everybody who comments on this thread regularly does not agree with that sort of expansion of executive power, lest someday we have a First Citizen AOC (credit Ross Douthat) who declares a national Green Emergency.

  115. AOC comes from a district that is very Democrat. It is a large part of the Bronx and some parts of Queens. It is over half HIspanic, and the Queens portions have large Asian populations. It has tended to elect the kind of Democrat who brings home the bacon, though, rather than the ideological kind. She won in the primary by beating a traditional bring home the bacon Democrat, mainly because of some weird local Democratic politics that are hard to describe, as well as large infusions of money from the Bernie wing of the Democratic party. But I have heard that the Queens Democratic machine had already been looking at a primary challenge in two years, and I am betting after this, some good amount of money will go into it.

    AOC won with 78% of the vote, but winning percentages usually run between 75% to 85% there.

    The only Republican to have represented that district in modern times was Guy Molinari who served in the 80’s. When he died, his daughter filled out the term, and then there was a long string of Democrats.

  116. AOC won 78% of the vote, but only 13% of registered Democrats bothered to vote, so the total number of folks who put her in office was about 15,000.

    The nonstop media attention is something else though.

  117. That she is.

    On another front, Jussie Smollett should be prosecuted and serve time for his hate crime hoax. No part of his story made any sense, yet a dozen Chicago detectives were assigned to investigate.

  118. I don’t think any city should be complacent and say that they are the tech, banking or whatever hub because over time there will be a trickle out of there if it doesn’t make business sense to stay there.
    In our city news, BBT and South State banks merged and they will have their headquarters here.

  119. Well, for years NYC progressives moaned that the city was too beholden to Big Finance. So now that we have diversified and have high tech, they don’t want that either. I am not sure what they want. Perhaps lots of hipsters in lofts making their own sauerkraut and free ranging their backyard chickens?

  120. If AOC looked like, say, Amy Klobuchar or Susan Collins, no one would be paying attention. I think looks are a large part of Beto O’Rourke’s appeal too.

  121. If AOC looked like, say, Amy Klobuchar or Susan Collins, no one would be paying attention. I think looks are a large part of Beto O’Rourke’s appeal too.

    Agreed. Remember when everyone complained that giving women the vote was a huge mistake, because Warren G. Harding got elected just because he was cute? Good times.

  122. MA is getting 87 million in out of pocket costs back from GE that has scaled back its incentive fueled waterfront move from CT because of its deteriorating financial position. The original plan was for 800 (sic) new HQ jobs. Now there will only be 250. There are attorneys and owners of distressed properties fueling a lot of this churn, as the transcript revealed, and politicians seeking attention and state bragging rights.

  123. I think that if NYC fixed the subway and built more affordable housing, progressives would be happier.

  124. Houston, I was just listening to DeBlasio on the weekly WNYC Ask the Mayor show make exactly that point. And he said, where is the money for affordable housing going to come from? From taxes, which Amazon would have paid. Man, he sounded pissed about the whole thing. I only listened to a bit of the show while I was driving to pick up a prescription.

    You can’t pay for subwayy fixes and housing without building up a tax base.

  125. I don’t have high hopes for Democratic Party and America, if, the likes of AOC, Omar eat all are their hope for future.

  126. OK, he did it. We have our emergency. Not sure I have high hopes for the Republicans either with this dimwit.

  127. This is not in the dimwit category. This is a fundamental Constitution-shaking escalation of executive overreach. We are fortunate that the test of our system is provoked by
    a) this unique President who is
    b) attempting to divert military funds to a non military project that
    c) he could have achieved in the prior Congress by normal give and take cooperation with the legislative branch and
    d) is not the result of sudden and unforeseen events require immediate action which cannot wait for legislative approval (i.e. an ordinary language “emergency”) and
    e) has been expressly rejected by the legislative branch.

  128. Given the readiness of opponents to challenge the President’s legitimate uses of executive authority and the courts’ willingness to issue injunctions thereto, it seems unlikely that this ridiculous national emergency declaration will amount to anything. Surely Trump’s advisers have conveyed this reality — so is this just a desperate attempt to placate the base?

    A pox on both their houses.

  129. I mean dimwit in the sense of not understanding how this will play to the large majority of voters who are not rabid Trumpians.

  130. I hear Bill Weld is going to challenge for the Republican Presidential nomination. I cannot imagine a more tedious person going after Trump. But who knows? Maybe people will want tedious by 2020.

  131. I think that democrats are going to have the same problem that republicans had this past election. Too many candidates that are boring or have dangerous ideologies.

    With dimwit, self destructing, dems and vile repubs, what is going to happen to us?

  132. With dimwit, self destructing, dems and vile repubs, what is going to happen to us?

    Maybe some boring, sane, sensible person from some party or neither will run.

    I agree with Scarlett, a pox on both their houses.

  133. If Michael Bennet runs, I would vote for him. I’ve like him for years. I liked him when he was the superintendent of Denver Public Schools, even if he did make a dumb decision about bond funding for the district.

  134. “I don’t have high hopes for Democratic Party and America, if, the likes of AOC, Omar eat all are their hope for future.”

    This made me laugh as much as anything on the joke topic so far.

    After they’re done eating, there won’t be any hope left.

    Did you post from an iPhone?

  135. While I don’t support the emergency declaration, I don’t see it as unprecedented or completely unlike Obama’s DACA executive action. Plus I don’t make the distinction that this president’s actions are motivated by evil and that the Dems are just being stupid. There is plenty of evil and stupidity on both sides.

    Some discussions that make some good points:

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/im-old-enough-to-remember-when-democrats-loved-unilateral-executive-actions-on-immigration/

    https://althouse.blogspot.com/2019/02/president-trump-pointed-to-nearly-five.html

  136. July, the executive branch has great leeway in unilateral action – to stick with just Obama/Trump the DACA expansion is similar to the 7 Muslim nation ban – both are currently still in effect after court challenges since decisions on enforcement and rules in that area have historically been left to the exec branch – or the implementations of the ACA – the Obama additions and the Trump subtractions are subject to judicial review, and the courts have been much less sympathetic to expanding beyond the intent of Congress or sometimes even to fixing careless drafting errors by reg or fiat.

    The Constitution expressly states that Congress is in charge of appropriating funds. In fact, even though Presidents before Nixon could impound funds appropriated by Congress, that is refuse to spend them, that is no longer possible by statute and Supreme Court ruling. The funds must be spent as directed. If Congress has not appropriated or appropriated only a limited amount (as in this case) for a particular purpose, the executive branch can’t get around that. A primary exception is if the president makes an emergency declaration, and the situation is such that use of the armed forces is required to deal with the emergency, and the Secretary of Defense determines that immediate expenditures of certain sorts are required, then previously appropriated military construction funds for other purposes can be diverted immediately without waiting for formal Congressional action or a declaration of war.

    This is equivalent to you (Congress) telling the bank (Exec branch) to send child A 500 dollars and child B 500 dollars, and the bank saying, no Child B needs a new winter coat, so I am going to divide it 300 and 700.

  137. I think the difference here is that this is the first time a President has used emergency power to allocate funds that had been denied by Congress. Approrpriating money is a power specifically given to Congress by the Constitution. So it brings the Consittution into play here in a way that earlier emergency declarations had not. This will certainly get tied up in the courts, but if they ultimately decide this is OK, we are left with a pretty serious erosion to the way the founding fathers wanted government to function. Many conservatives are pointing that out – once this precedent is explicitly allowed, whoever is the President will use it.

    From the National Review
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/trump-national-emergency-declaration-bypasses-congressional-spending-power/

    And it does entertain me a good bit to go back and read Trump’s pearl cluching about executive orders and overreach back when Obama was President
    ““It should absolutely not pass muster in terms of constitutionality, but it depends on what these justices do. . . . I mean, I think certainly he could be impeached, and certainly they could shut down the government.”
    NOV 2014, on Fox & Friends

    and this one
    ““He doesn’t want to get people together, the old-fashioned way, where you get Congress. You get the Congress, you get the Senate, you get together, you do legislation. He just writes out an executive order. Not supposed to happen that way.”
    Jan 2016

    Hmm, maybe Trump is learning that it isn’t so easy…

  138. That Magellan survey said that his base doesn’t want him to compromise. They want him to be an absolutist. He’s doing what they want.

  139. I understand the funding aspect, and believe me I don’t like taxpayer money being frivolously and unconstitutionally misappropriated. In the links above, Althouse and others have addressed the funding issue for the wall emergency order, arguing that it could be viewed in a more nuanced way. Did congress expressly reject funding for the wall? Did previous executive orders in fact serve to appropriate funds that were never approved by congress for those uses? The court ruling that Obamacare’s subsidizing insurers was unconstitutional because congress had not appropriated the funding has been mentioned as making it easier for this legal challenge against Trump’s wall emergency declaration.

    In any case, our process of checks and balances should work to sort this out. Trump’s not the first president to try to overstep his authority, and he won’t be the last. Maybe congress will pass laws to curtail these emergency actions.

  140. People like to complain about Twitter, but the journalists I follow there did an epic job in questioning the Jussie Smollet story, even while Democrats, the mainstream media, and celebrities not only believed his nonsense, but insisted that Trump’s supporters bore responsibility. Stephen Colbert listened attentively while Ellen Page blamed Mike Pence. Good Morning America gave Smollet a platform to peddle his lies. It seems that they learned absolutely nothing from the Covington episode — when the narrative is too good to be true, it’s probably not true.

    Though Smollet is a good actor, I’ll give him that.

  141. July, Congress expressly rejected giving Trump $5billion for the wall. They directed that 1.32billion be given, with particular stipulations on top of that as to what it could be spent on. Trump wants to get around Congress, so he is using a national emergency. But according to the Constitution, it is Congress that decides what to fund and how much money to appropriate. This isn’t about wasteful spending. It is about the President taking a power that is expressly reserved to Congress.

  142. Lawfare is a good go-to source for generally unbiased legal analysis. This is a thoughtful piece on the national emergency issue. On what isn’t a big deal:

    “I simply wish to put Trump’s actions in context by emphasizing these points: (1) Congress has delegated enormous power to the president and given him enormous effective discretion about how to spend funds; (2) presidents have for many, many decades viewed these delegations expansively, especially in contexts touching on foreign relations, and in those contexts courts almost always agree; (3) the president’s statutory emergency powers are not materially different from other delegated powers that presidents have construed broadly and that courts have almost always upheld; (4) finding imaginative ways to act to achieve important public policies on which a president was elected, in the face of a recalcitrant Congress, is what modern presidents do, often to celebratory applause.”

    And on what is, weirdly, a big deal: Trump’s failure to observe typical presidential hypocrisy in justifying his declaration (for example, by openly admitting that he didn’t have to do this)

    “Trump’s utter lack of hypocrisy in the aggressive exercise of presidential power is a clarifying moment for the nation. His inability to withhold his private motivations, combined with his willingness to push the presidential envelope in controversial ways, combined with his unsteady grasp of his office and worrisome judgment in wielding his massive powers, has shined the brightest of lights on how much power Congress has given away, and how much extraordinary power and discretion presidents have amassed.”

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-and-isnt-big-deal-trumps-executive-actions-related-border

  143. Thank you Scarlett. That is an excellent analysis. And it provides possibly a bipartisan reason to be thankful that this situation has developed with this chief executive, although Congress is still so broken that it is not clear that it even wishes to assume again its responsibility to govern.

  144. I think this is a good analysis, in line with what’s been said before. I think it refutes Mooshi’s point that “this time is different” because of funding. Congress rejected Obamacare funding, too.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/430335-why-trump-will-win-the-wall-fight

    Written by a guy who’s opposed to Trump’s national emergency, and also represented the House in its court challenge against the Obama Administration. So ideologically consistent, unlike the many people who applauded Obama’s actions when “Congress failed to act,” but are now horrified.

  145. The idea that Congress has ceded too much power to the president and that needs to be corrected is something I’ve heard a number of times over the last few days. This was Senator Ron Johnson yesterday:

    SENATOR RON JOHNSON:

    You know, from what I can see, it probably comes from a number of different pieces of legislation. The National Emergency Act. There are other pockets of money that give him the authority. For example, the Department of Defense to fight drugs. I mean, obviously, putting up better barriers is probably the effort to combat that flow of heroin, for example, that is poisoning our cities. So no, listen, this is a real problem. And it’s way more than just a policy crisis. It is a humanitarian crisis. President Obama called that a humanitarian crisis, 2014. We’re at that level, just a third, you know, into the year.

    CHUCK TODD:

    So you believe his use of the National Emergency Act, I want to clarify this, is Constitutional? You believe it will be upheld in the Court? Do you want the Courts to uphold this power?

    SENATOR RON JOHNSON:

    Listen, I regret that past Congresses have given the president, any president, a lot of its, Congress’s constitutional authority. It’s done it on tariffs, it’s done in this case. It’s done in many cases. We should have three co-equal branches. Right now, the presidency is probably the most powerful, and then the Court. And Congress is really diminished. And we should start taking back that Congressional authority. It’d be, it’d return that balance. But that’s the way it is. And again, particularly when Congress has given —

    https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-february-17-2019-n972606

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