Archive for June 24th, 2014

Special My Arse!

If Dems have learned anything this past decade plus is that nothing good ever comes out of Regular or Special Sessions of the Lone Star State Legislature. That’s why I am thinking Sen. Wendy Davis’ letter to Guv Dude asking him to call for a Special Session so the State can provide humanitarian relief to border communities is just posturing.

Some right wing GOP legislators also want a Special Session, but they want increased funding for border security, i.e, tanks, artillery, armed drones, and alligator filled moats.

The situation on the border is serious and needs to be addressed. The border situation also lends itself to political and campaign maneuvering in an election year. Yesterday Sen. Davis, AG Abbott, Guv Dude, and Sen. Ted Cruz all photo opted on the subject.

Texas Monthly’s Erica Grieder put out a real good take on the issue yesterday. I recommend you checking out her take. Here is how it ends:

Also clear, during my time in the Valley, was that the immigrants themselves are not particularly scary or threatening. They are not, for example, disease-infested. Tony Lopez, who was volunteering as a medic, said that half of the health problems he’s encountered thus far could be cured with Pedialyte. Other than dehydration, he added, the most common ailment among the migrants is seasonal allergies, which he was suffering from himself at the moment. Nor do they seem to be criminal. Many have reportedly hired smugglers to help them get across, and many Mexican smugglers work for that country’s powerful drug-trafficking organizations. But the relationship between the immigrants and the cartels seems to begin and end with that transaction. One local explained that in her experience, people who cross the border on cartel business usually dart through the brush on the banks of the river. They certainly don’t stroll up in broad daylight and ask if someone can call the authorities.

What’s happening in the Rio Grande Valley can fairly be described as a humanitarian crisis. It’s also, simultaneously, a situation with serious implications for America’s border security. As sympathetic as these immigrants are, their relatively sudden arrival in large numbers clearly requires a lot of attention from law enforcement–attention that used to be applied to other tasks. A Border Patrol agent who stopped to chat as I was sitting by the river made that clear. “What’s more important—being nice to these people, or protecting the American public?” he asked. The immigrants themselves don’t seem to be drug lords or human traffickers, he continued, but such criminals exist, and are surely aware that local law enforcement suddenly has its hands full.

Democrats have reacted to the humanitarian dimension of the story; Republicans are more focused on the security side. Both aspects of the situation should be addressed. The effort to do so would benefit from thoughtfulness, calm, and cooperation—between the parties, and between the state and federal government. Such qualities have been in short supply during recent rounds of debate about illegal immigration, though, and after several days of reporting, I found that to be an ominous aspect of the situation in itself. Compared to the situation unfolding in the Valley this summer, illegal immigration from Mexico looks more and more straightforward: an economic phenomenon, rising and falling in response to labor market conditions, without nearly so many children caught in the middle.

Here is Grieder’s entire take:

It is going to take a while to get this issue resolved – if ever. Congress isn’t going to be a part of the solution because when was the last time Congress was part of any solution?

It is going to take The President’s administration working with state and local government agencies and officials. The administration is going to have to work with Mexican and Central American leaders on a long term strategy involving economic development incentives. The administration and state and local governments are going to have to enlist the support of non-profits and charities.

This situation down on the border is going to last for months. There is going to be a lot of heavy lifting involved, all against a backdrop of political posturing, finger pointing, playing the blame game, and sniping at The President.

The last thing we need is for members of the Texas Legislature to convene in a Special Session. No telling what wacky and outlandish proposals would be introduced. Let’s not forget that this is the same bunch that wanted to arrest TSA personnel. Stay tuned!

The ATL returns to The Yard this evening. Name the last ATL pitcher to win the NL Cy Young Award?

Now this is interesting. This is from Chron.com this morning:

Superstar LeBron James will opt out of the final two years of his Miami Heat contract and become an unrestricted free agent, his agent has told the franchise, according to multiple reports.

The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen wrote here that the Rockets would try to sign James in the offseason if he became a free agent.

Tom Glavine of course won the NL Cy Young Award in 1998.

Both the Rangers and the ‘Stros are under .500 in case you have not noticed.

Jose Altuve leads the MLB in base hits and the AL in stolen bases.

The team only hit .144 against the Rays this past weekend. Oh well!

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