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    Strong Unions & Government Balance

    It is well known that unions are more often than not aligned with the Democratic Party. While I am a Republican, I’m hardly one that tows the party line for the sake of party unity. My positions are dictated by what I think is right and reasonable. They are dictated by what I think is important for America, not what a small group of party organizers in Washington’s back rooms think is important.

    That is why I believe in the need for strong unions. They negotiate fair wages, improve benefits, and ensure good working conditions for their members. But, unions can create problems by demanding unrealistically high wages that produce rising, non-competitive costs for goods and services.

    This is why I also believe in the need for a free market. Without a doubt, those who have lost sight of what is a fair wage or good working conditions in a competitive world should not populate either side the union and management sides of the bargaining table if we are to come to workable solutions.

    One does not need to side solely with the union or with management to intelligently govern. I believe it is the government’s role to ensure balance and compromise, not to burden the process with a bureaucracy loaded with political cronies.

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    Americans are Angry, But Let’s Focus on Real Problems

    Americans are angry. Indeed, it seems everyone in the world is angry. Why? Probably because so many politicians speak in anger, echoing the myriad of complaints, both real and imagined, from their constituents. To what purpose?

    Without question we face real problems to be angry about—war, terrorism, crime, poverty, unaffordable health care, sexual harassment, and job equality for women. Yet far too many people refuse to listen viewpoints that oppose their perspective and instead spread irrational anger on Facebook and Twitter without tolerance or logic. Both sides spout vitriolic tirades that serve no worthwhile purpose. And the media goes out of its way to spread the anger.

    It’s become a tragic comedy. People who try to come together on real problems or discuss them in an intelligent fashion are drowned out by uninformed and ignorant. Worse, social media is swamped with silly complaints about long lines at cash registers, young people dressing like slobs, old people driving too slowly, customer service provided by someone on a phone with a foreign accent, or how there’s nothing to watch on television.

    It just doesn’t stop. And understand this: those lines at the cash register are long because of the choices you have. Young people dress the way they do simply to express themselves. They’ll grow up just fine—the same way that you did. Older people drive slowly because that’s the best they can do, and they don’t want to be a burden on someone else. With literally hundreds of channels across television, there really is something to watch if you take the time to look. And the customer service you get from overseas almost always works and keeps the cost of what you buy lower.

    So we continue to complain about little things and annoyances that in the grand scheme of life mean nothing. Let’s resolve to start counting our blessings and focus on real problems, not petty peeves. If you want to be angry, there are plenty of serious matters to fill your day. Wake up.

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    DACA: Challenging Legislation & Why It Should Pass

    In September 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order to phase out DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) over the next six months. DACA provided protection from the deportation of children brought into this country illegally by their parents – it has been stated that about 800,000 youth will be affected by the Executive Order. The end of those six months is near, with the termination of DACA on March 5th, 2018 if legislation does not pass.

    Congress must act now to pass a law to replace DACA before it expires. But DACA was not included in the spending bill that led to our government’s shut down and many are protesting for a plan for these affected families.

    No one can possibly want to deport a single kid who has DACA documentation—not even President Trump. But President Trump had a Hobson’s Choice.

    President Obama attempted to expand DACA but in response governors from 25 states sued. In February 2015, the federal court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction enjoining implementation of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) and blocking the expansion of DACA. Eventually, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision in a 4-4 vote (before the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch was confirmed).

    The states told the Administration that if by September 2017 it failed to rescind the DACA order, the complaint would be amended to challenge both the DACA and DAPA. Many constitutional experts agree that if that were to happen, DACA would most likely fall. Under that threat, President Trump bought six months for Congress to act before the states add DACA to their suit and kids are potentially deported. If President Trump had not acted, a Texas judge would have decided the fate of hundreds of thousands of children.

    In my blog post “DACA: Demystifying the Blame Game” I go more into the topic. Read here for insight into the subject.

    Trump has now offered Congress special treatment and a path to citizenship to more than 1.5 million undocumented immigrants, nearly twice as many as the Democrats purportedly wanted to protect. But now their leadership has rejected that offer as well. Shame on them. We are simply not a country that deports children who have done nothing wrong and who have contributed to our society and economy as much as anyone born here – indeed, many have been model citizens.

    If that means giving Trump funding for his wall, that’s a small price to pay for the freedom our country offers these innocent children. If it means ending the visa program and curtailing chain immigration, that’s well worth saving the future for these children. Congress needs to stop its rhetoric and get things done before time runs out: Legislation must be passed supporting DACA and DAPA.