Linda Chavez from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:16:50 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Linda Chavez from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/linda-chavez-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez 95719188598ff744375b96811ffca48c Hyperpartisanship Is Hurting the Country for 03/24/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/03/17/hyperpartisanship-is-hurting-the-country Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Hyperpartisanship is destroying American politics. The announcement this week that Democrats will filibuster Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch &#8212; who is eminently qualified &#8212; puts them on a dangerous collision course that jeopardizes the confirmation process itself. Similarly, Republicans' willingness to pass a major overhaul of the health care system without a single Democrat vote follows in the disgraceful path set when President Obama shoved the Affordable Care Act down the country's throat without a single Republican vote. As of this writing, it is unclear whether there are even enough Republican votes in the House to pass health reform, despite their 44-seat majority, but the point remains: In an already polarized country, partisans on both sides of the aisle are doing more harm than good.</p> <p>The same applies to Congress's oversight responsibility. The week began with testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence by FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers. The testimony was the first open hearing on the government's investigation into meddling by the Russians in last year's election. But instead of focusing on something Republicans and Democrats &#8212; indeed, all Americans &#8212; should be deeply concerned with, the hearings turned into a referendum on whether President Trump was truthful when he tweeted almost three weeks ago that former President Obama was secretly spying on him just before the election. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 24, 2017</p> bf22b9d0cd29e6b78d888acf5ec82c13 No Free Lunch in the Health Care System for 03/10/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/03/17/no-free-lunch-in-the-health-care-system Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The health care reform bill that has now passed two committee hurdles in the House still faces an uphill battle to become law. Many tea party Republicans have already said they won't vote for a bill they call Obamacare Lite, and it is likely that very few, if any, Democrats will cross over to support the GOP bill on the floor. But President Donald Trump says he will do what it takes to get the legislation passed, though it is unclear exactly what that means. <span class="column--highlighted-text">The biggest problem, however, is not Republicans breaking ranks but the fact that despite Obamacare's many flaws, Americans now feel entitled to guaranteed health insurance but don't necessarily want to pay for it.</span> Something has to give.</p> <p>Anyone who believed that we could expand health care coverage to more people, insist that those with pre-existing conditions be covered, mandate that more procedures be paid for by insurance and impose one-size-fits-all policies for the young and healthy and for the elderly and sick and not see premiums explode doesn't understand basic economics. Insurance, by its nature, is about shared risk. When a driver goes to buy auto insurance, his driving record, age, sex, type of vehicle and location are all factors in determining his premium. A 16-year-old boy with a new BMW living in New York City is going to pay higher premiums than a 40-year-old woman living in Sioux City who drives a Volvo and has never had a speeding ticket. What's more, the premiums also depend on what kind of coverage you want. Do you want to be covered for damage to the vehicle or just liability in case you or someone else gets hurt in an accident? And what deductibles are you willing to absorb? No auto insurance policy I know of offers maintenance as part of the package, either; you pay out of pocket for oil changes, brakes, tires, tuneups, etc. The same theories apply to homeowners insurance. You pick how much coverage you want and what deductibles you are willing to pay, and your premiums are based on these factors, as well as where you happen to live.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 10, 2017</p> 7a91ca26e1603f4b898e722dbdfab743 Don't Overlook Trump's Immigration Announcement for 03/03/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/03/17/dont-overlook-trumps-immigration-announcement Fri, 03 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In the Trump era, good news rarely lasts a full 24-hour news cycle. The president's well-received Tuesday speech has already been overshadowed by revelations that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice during the presidential campaign with the Russian ambassador, despite the fact that Sessions testified otherwise under oath during his confirmation hearings. The AG has now recused himself from the ongoing investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and transition team and Russia. Nonetheless, it would be a shame to let this latest drip-drip of Trump team/Russian contacts drown out important policy pronouncements in the president's speech. One that has gotten too little attention is the president's prescription for immigration reform.</p> <p>The day of the speech, President Trump met in an off-the-record discussion with major news anchors over lunch. According to sources who attended &#8212; and later confirmed by White House officials &#8212; the president raised the possibility of pursuing immigration reform that would eventually lead to legal status for some of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S., as long as they have not committed serious crimes. Even more hopeful, the president said he thinks "dreamers," whose parents brought them here illegally as children, should have a path to citizenship. The president then suggested to staff present that maybe the speech he was about to deliver that evening to Congress should include a reference to his thinking on this issue.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 03, 2017</p> 94b844f2397cc1fb6171792781d2e0b0 Trump Moves Mexico Left for 02/24/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/02/17/trump-moves-mexico-left Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The United States has benefited for more than 160 years from having a friendly neighbor to its south, Mexico. But that may be about to change. This week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly visited Mexico to begin talks on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and on President Donald Trump's aggressive new immigration enforcement orders. But Mexico is in no mood to play nice.</p> <p>Mexico is still smarting from candidate Trump's canards about Mexican immigrants, accusing Mexico of "not sending their best. ... They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists." It has only gotten worse since President Trump took office. He continues to claim that Mexico will pay for the wall he intends to build on the border &#8212; which estimates now predict will cost more than $20 billion. And the plan to step up deportations of undocumented immigrants falls most heavily on Mexicans, who account for about half of the undocumented population in the U.S., some 5.5 million people. But perhaps the biggest insult of all is the administration's plan to dump non-Mexican deportees across the border in Mexico.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 24, 2017</p> 14bfc6e1fc7a419735a46e5e0f88da97 The White House Bubble for 02/17/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/02/17/the-white-house-bubble Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Donald Trump is back on the campaign trail. The White House may be in chaos; Congress may be struggling to deliver on a promised rewrite of Obamacare; our NATO allies may be wondering whether they can still count on the U.S. to defend them; the Russians may be so emboldened they've parked a spy ship off Connecticut and sent their warplanes to buzz U.S. destroyers in the Black Sea; but President Trump is heading for a pep rally in Florida this weekend. Will it work? Does it matter?</p> <p>The biggest temptation in any White House is to lock yourself in a protective bubble. I've been there. I've seen it happen. If you're a senior staffer, as I was in the Reagan White House, you drive through the White House gates shortly after dawn and don't leave until well after sunset, sometimes late at night. You don't go out for meetings. People come to you, mostly those who already support your mission or want favors you're in a position to grant. You eat most of your meals in the West Wing basement mess, where you're treated like royalty. If you must venture out, a chauffeured car drives you.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 17, 2017</p> b3af93ef43378bc9a5fe99ffad4560a9 Put Aside Petty Grievances, Mr. President for 02/10/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/02/17/put-aside-petty-grievances-mr-president Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>At no point in my life have I ever felt as alienated from politics as I do now. Three weeks into the Trump administration, I find much to agree with &#8212; proposed tax cuts, deregulation, good Cabinet choices &#8212; but even more that makes me uncomfortable, indeed fearful. Despite the apocalyptic rhetoric of the election, the United States is in relatively good shape. We have an economy that is growing, albeit sluggishly; a crime rate that is historically low, though it has ticked up over the past year or so; the strongest military in the world and perhaps the most experienced, if overtasked, service members in our history; and the most educated population we've ever had.</p> <p>With one party in control of the executive and legislative branches of government, the nation is poised to make progress on several vexing problems, including reforming health care and improving our immigration system. But much of my optimism that it is possible to get important things done is tempered by a White House that seems more interested in settling scores than in moving forward to improve the lives of all who live here.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 10, 2017</p> f9027a74e3cdb4813b94c0659d4f65c4 Continuing in Obama's Path for 02/03/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/02/17/continuing-in-obamas-path Fri, 03 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>For eight years, conservatives &#8212; rightly, in my view &#8212; railed against the imperial presidency of Barack Obama. When he couldn't get what he wanted through the ordered and deliberative legislative process, he used other means, issuing regulations and executive orders that accomplished his goals without having to convince the people's elected representatives of their wisdom. Even Obama's signature legislative accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, became law without a single Republican vote.</p> <p>The deep polarization that resulted from President Obama's ham-fisted approach helped lay the groundwork for the election of Donald Trump. But in his first two weeks in office, President Trump has shown no signs of throwing off the imperial mantle of his predecessor. Instead, he's ignoring even members of his own Cabinet, not to mention Congress, to draft orders and directives that will dramatically alter not just policy but, in the case of proposed immigration changes, the very composition of the American population. In doing so, he jeopardizes one of the most important features of American democracy, stability.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 03, 2017</p> 4c1e705c10e46d7135a29967c2762a28 The Duty of Loyalty for 01/27/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/01/17/the-duty-of-loyalty Fri, 27 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Presidential appointees take an oath "to preserve, protect and defend" not the president who appointed them but rather the Constitution of the United States. It would do well for President Donald Trump's appointees, including those who serve in the highest levels of the White House, to remember that. Their primary duty is not to an individual, no matter how much personal loyalty they may feel they owe him, but to the sovereign laws of the nation. In his first week in office, President Trump has already tested the duty of his highest-level appointees, and some have come up short.</p> <p>Within the first few days of his administration, the president called on top White House staffers to spread disinformation &#8212; and they complied. From press secretary Sean Spicer's debut briefing the day after the swearing-in, where he asserted that "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration &#8212; period &#8212; both in person and around the globe" to counselor Kellyanne Conway's defense of this untruth as based on "alternative facts," these individuals let down both the American people and, ironically, the president. The issue was a trivial one. Who cares how many people witnessed the president's swearing-in, after all? But misstating verifiable facts and then doubling down when the falsehoods are exposed is dangerous and erodes the trust of the people these officials are meant to serve &#8212; namely, the American people.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 27, 2017</p> 8e691a22951f4f306254833d0c8dfb2f Undermining Trust in Our Institutions for 01/13/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/01/17/undermining-trust-in-our-institutions Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>President-elect Donald Trump conceded this week that he thinks Russia was responsible for hacking the emails of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, though he couldn't help but add the caveat that it "could have been others also." Trump's reluctance to accept the conclusions of the intelligence community on this issue until this week has always been based on the fear that it might cast a pall over his election victory. But what if the point of Russia's interference was not to try to pick a winner but to delegitimize the democratic process altogether? This seems far likelier than the questionable theory that Russian President Vladimir Putin preferred Trump to win. No matter how fawning Trump has been over Putin, Republicans in Congress, as well as Republican appointees who make it through confirmation in any Republican administration, are more reliably committed to a strong, assertive national defense than their Democratic counterparts. It seems naive to believe that Putin's Russia would prefer a Republican administration &#8212; even one led by Trump &#8212; over a Democratic administration.</p> <p>What Putin wants is an America that is diminished in the eyes of the world. And what better way to accomplish that aim than to make people lose confidence in America's democratic institutions and sow seeds of doubt about the legitimacy of our democratic process, no matter who won? The Russians seem to have done a pretty good job at accomplishing that goal. If elections in the United States are not free and fair, if their outcome can be tampered with or influenced by outside intervention, if Americans themselves are no longer capable of making informed decisions, how is the U.S. any different from countries such as Russia itself? We are looking more and more like a laughingstock, and our institutions, including a free press, are becoming more vulnerable.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 13, 2017</p> a91dac8b979208d548a85964970b0213 A Tale of Two Trumps for 01/06/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/01/17/a-tale-of-two-trumps Fri, 06 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In a matter of a couple of weeks, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in to office as the 45th president of the United States. But which Trump will occupy the Oval Office is an open question. Will it be the man who has assembled, for the most part, a team of well-qualified and impressive individuals to run the government's most important agencies and departments? Or will it be the man who'd rather believe the likes of Vladimir Putin and Julian Assange than the U.S. intelligence community when it comes to Russia's efforts to influence American elections? Will he spend his first days in office laying out concrete plans to boost the economy through comprehensive tax and regulatory reform? Or will he continue to jawbone individual companies he deems insufficiently committed to keeping a relative handful of jobs in the U.S.? Most importantly, will he immerse himself in learning the details of U.S. foreign policy to formulate careful plans to undo some of the damage that has been done in the past eight years? Or will he continue to rely primarily on cable news talking heads as his source of information and Twitter as his command post for signaling policy changes?</p> <p>Trump will enjoy no honeymoon. The press is hostile. Democrats are furious. And the public is equally divided about whether he will be a good president. He enters office with the lowest approval ratings of any president-elect in modern history. But most worrisome, Trump is almost sure to face an immediate crisis somewhere in the world.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 06, 2017</p> f52d3595575f2fc23ab805973df37eef The Real Obstacle to Peace for 12/30/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/12/16/the-real-obstacle-to-peace Fri, 30 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Shortly after Benjamin Netanyahu won his bid for re-election as prime minister of Israel in March 2015, I wrote a column describing President Barack Obama as being "on track to go down as more hostile toward Israel than any president in the past 68 years." I warned that President Obama was so anti-Netanyahu that administration officials were signaling the president might change U.S. votes at the United Nations Security Council, "perhaps not opposing U.N. resolutions condemning the Jewish state on settlements and other issues," for example. Those words proved prophetic last week when the U.S. abstained from voting on a resolution condemning Israel for its settlement activity while giving only lip service to condemnation of terrorist activity against Israel and its citizens. That Obama waited until the eleventh hour of his presidency to seek revenge against Israel for not bending to his ambition to broker peace speaks volumes not just about his anti-Israel instincts but about his self-serving ambition to curry favor with the left, U.S.-Israel relations and even the Democratic Party's future support from the pro-Israel community be damned.</p> <p>First let's be clear: The U.N. resolution and the support for it is not really about settlement policy. Israel, under successive governments, has had an on-again, off-again policy on building settlements in disputed territory, which has had little effect on the prospects for a comprehensive peace deal. The only true peace treaty negotiated with any of the countries that fought in the 1967 war was the Camp David Accords, agreed to by Israel and Egypt in 1978. With the signing of the accords at a White House ceremony that I was privileged to attend, Israel returned land seized in Sinai from Egypt and dismantled settlement there in 1982. In 2005, Israel dismantled all settlements in Gaza and four in the West Bank.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 30, 2016</p> ef089a7597010fdc488adb78463991ac A State of Permanent War for 12/23/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/12/16/a-state-of-permanent-war Fri, 23 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The vicious attack on a Christmas market in Berlin this week reminds us that terrorism has become a fact of life in our world. How do we stop a hate-filled fanatic from ramming a truck into a crowd of holiday shoppers anywhere, anytime? Now that terrorist networks have decided that trucks can be as effective at mass killings as bombs, it will be increasingly difficult to discover and disrupt such attacks. The planning and access to materials required to build, transport and detonate bombs demand a level of sophistication beyond the level of all but the dedicated and connected would-be terrorists. But hijacking a truck and using it as a weapon takes no more skill than that of a common criminal. The wonder is that there have not been more of these attacks on civilian populations in the West.</p> <p>Increasingly, many people believe that the only way to stop the carnage is to shut our borders to those who might be terrorists. In the wake of the Berlin attack, President-elect Donald Trump said, "You know my plans." But he left open whether he was referring to the wholesale ban on Muslims entering the U.S. he proposed early in his campaign or his revised plan to limit travel from countries with a history of Islamic extremism, which would rule out much of the Arab world, South Asia and even Indonesia and the Philippines. Trump will find implementing such plans difficult, if not impossible. He will be challenged in court, will face serious backlash from the affected countries and could end up playing right into the hands of the terrorist propaganda machine.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 23, 2016</p> f947da5f07358402b2266c7f11ed1591 Cabinet Nominees in for Rude Awakening for 12/16/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/12/16/cabinet-nominees-in-for-rude-awakening Fri, 16 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>President-elect Donald Trump is filling his Cabinet with lions of industry and finance, not surprising for a businessman, and the left has predictably focused on the various conflicts of interest that might arise for his nominees. But the likelihood is that most will make it through confirmation, perhaps with a few bumps &#8212; and that is where the real challenge lies. The problems won't end even if each of these men (and his business picks are mostly men, an exception being Linda McMahon, who received a sub-Cabinet nomination) is willing to be scrupulous in avoiding conflicts of interest. They still face enormous challenges once they take office because they have never worked in government.</p> <p>As someone who has spent most of her career outside government but has also headed a small federal agency and had two stints working in the White House, I can tell you that the federal government is a world unto itself. The normal relationships between employer and employees don't exist. As the head of a department or agency, you pick very few of your own employees, and you have little or no authority to get rid of those employees you inherit. Worst of all, you can't reward outstanding service (except with very modest bonuses, which pale in comparison with those in the business world). There is no such thing as pay for performance, which is the rule in business. Nor is it even possible to promote the best hires, except within the constraints of federal civil service rules, and you can't move employees around easily from one job to another.</p> <p>The word bureaucracy became a synonym for inefficiency and burdensome rules for a reason. Working within the bureaucracy requires a talent and patience that few CEOs, in my experience, possess. I have served on corporate boards for more than 25 years and worked closely with CEOs and others in the executive suite. What I've seen tells me that the businesspeople in the Cabinet are in for a rude awakening.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 16, 2016</p> 7bbf74cc8dd11221d38f58192227fbae Hope for the Dreamers for 12/09/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/12/16/hope-for-the-dreamers Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If there has been one issue on which President-elect Donald Trump has been loud and clear, it is his desire to end illegal immigration and deport immigrants here illegally. Every time he has seemed to soften his stance, his most outspoken supporters have jumped in to make sure he clarifies that he has no intention of modifying that position. So what will happen with Trump's latest indication that he will "work something out" for those 750,000 young people who were brought here illegally by their parents when they were children and were granted temporary legal status by executive action during the Obama years?</p> <p>"On a humanitarian basis, it's a very tough situation," he told Time in an article for the edition in which he was named the magazine's person of the year. "We're going to work something out that's going to make people happy and proud. But that's a very tough situation," he said. I hope this signals a new approach.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 09, 2016</p> 3d51ce7aa3332ddc66294fd444c0159c Trump's Picks for 12/02/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/11/16/trumps-picks Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Like many conservative never-Trumpers, I have decided to take a wait-and-see attitude on the president-elect &#8212; and so far, I'd give him mixed reviews.</p> <p>Donald Trump has made some good Cabinet appointments. Betsy DeVos is an education reformer who will do well at the Department of Education. Rep. Tom Price as secretary of health and human services starts the job with a sound background in medicine and public policy, and he may actually have some ideas on how to provide health care to those who have trouble affording it while not destroying the world's best medical care system in the process. Similarly, Elaine Chao has credentials as an experienced agency head, having served George W. Bush for eight years as labor secretary, and as deputy secretary in the Department of Transportation, where she will now have the top job.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 02, 2016</p> 9440780e7b4a42861fce3fce2da7d682 Why the Exit Polls Were Wrong About Latino Voters for 11/18/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/11/16/why-the-exit-polls-were-wrong-about-latino-voters Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>One of the most amazing things about what was arguably the most surprising election in a generation was the number of Hispanic voters who seemed to choose Donald Trump. According to exit polls, Trump received a higher percentage of Hispanic votes than Mitt Romney in 2012 &#8212; 29 percent, compared with 27 percent. How is it that the man who wants a deportation force to rid the country of undocumented immigrants bested the guy who only wanted people here illegally to self-deport? Well, hold on to your Make America Great Again hat: It turns out that the 29 percent figure is probably way off.</p> <p>According to Latino Decisions, whose sample of 5,600 Latino voters is much larger than the fraction included in exit polls or even polls taken before the election, less than 20 percent of the Hispanic population voted for Trump. Why the big difference? The biggest reason is sample size and the way the sample was selected. Edison Research, the firm that conducted exit polling relied on by the media, warns that its results shouldn't be used to analyze behavior among geographically concentrated subgroups such as Hispanics and blacks. In part, this is because the smaller the sample size of a subgroup within a sample of voters the less accurate the results. But there is another bias at play, as well. If history is a guide, Edison Research skews its precinct sample to more affluent, highly educated areas. Among Edison's sample of nonwhite voters this year, for example, 44 percent had a college degree, while only 15.5 percent of Latinos nationally have a college education.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 18, 2016</p> 17a6d3b128882727b0cc73ac10957182 Let's Help President-elect Trump Fix Immigration the Right Way for 11/11/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/11/16/lets-help-president-elect-trump-fix-immigration-the-right-way Fri, 11 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Immigration was clearly the issue that galvanized many of Donald Trump's supporters. But if he is to try to unite the nation, he needs to think carefully about how to proceed. If he does it right, he could pleasantly surprise his critics, including me.</p> <p>Trump has repeatedly said he will cancel President Barack Obama's "illegal" executive orders, day one, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Some 4 million people who came here illegally as children would once again be subject to removal from the United States, an inhuman and economically self-defeating proposition. But Trump could mitigate the effect by accompanying this action with a pledge to support the DREAM Act. The bill originally proposed by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has had bipartisan support in the past. It would accomplish the same thing as President Obama's DACA program in a way that honors the legislative process &#8212; providing legal status to those who came here before the age of 15, have no criminal record, have paid taxes if they've been employed, completed or are in the process of completing high school, served or are willing to enlist in the U.S. military and learned English. Americans overwhelmingly approve &#8212; 70 percent, according to the exit polls on Election Day &#8212; of giving legal status and a path to citizenship to this group, as they do giving legal status to the rest of the 11 million who are here illegally but have paid taxes and committed no crimes since their arrival.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 11, 2016</p> 49fb3f2f913f64226925c0d7333b60ba Early Voting Is a Bad Idea for 11/04/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/11/16/early-voting-is-a-bad-idea Fri, 04 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If ever there was an argument against early voting, which has become used by most states in recent years, it is what has happened over the past week of this presidential election. With days to go before Election Day, we've learned that the FBI is investigating a trove of emails, ostensibly from Hillary Clinton, on a computer operated by disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who also happens to be the estranged husband of Clinton's closest aide, Huma Abedin. We've also learned of new evidence that Donald Trump abused tax laws in the early 1990s by taking personal deductions for losses of other people's money while not also declaring as income the forgiveness of his loans and that his campaign may have been in direct communication with Russian operatives throughout the course of the campaign. <span class="column--highlighted-text">We don't know whether any of these allegations will prove that either candidate violated the law, but even if it turns out they do, many will have already voted without the information to make an informed choice.</span></p> <p>Modern democratic elections have traditionally been a snapshot in time of the electorate's preferences. In 1845, Congress passed legislation mandating that presidential electors be chosen on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, fulfilling the constitutional dictate that "Congress may determine the Time of (choosing) the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States." At the time, of course, the states themselves determined how the electors would be chosen, by popular vote or by the legislature of the state, with only the apportionment of votes set out in the Constitution: one elector for each senator and representative in the state. We've come a long way since then &#8212; and not necessarily for the better.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 04, 2016</p> 257a10aaaf7d954e539db0ce345b80a5 The Party of Trump or Ryan? for 10/28/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/10/16/the-party-of-trump-or-ryan Fri, 28 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In a little more than a week, the Republican Party will undergo a major realignment. Either it will become the party of Trumpism, with or without Donald Trump in the White House, or it will become the party of House Speaker Paul Ryan and other economic and foreign policy conservatives. The wheels were set in motion for this realignment in 2010, when local tea party groups emerged as a loose coalition of anti-establishment Republicans.</p> <p>Though the different factions of the tea party differed in their focus on major issues from state to state, they had a few elements in common. Tea partyers were as suspicious of big business as they were of big government. They were uneasy with the demographic changes taking place in the country and feared that multiculturalism and multilingualism would fundamentally change the nature of what it means to be American. They were older, likelier to be on Social Security and Medicare, and therefore suspicious of broad entitlement reform. And because they prided themselves as a bottom-up movement, many in the tea party rejected the leadership of the Republican Party and the agenda that had defined the GOP for a generation or more.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 28, 2016</p> 43cbefca81a37729b9ae284e5d5a1e54 An Issue That Won't Be Solved With Insults or Pandering for 10/21/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/linda-chavez/10/16/an-issue-that-wont-be-solved-with-insults-or-pandering Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>No issue has generated more heat in this year's presidential election than immigration &#8212; but neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton shed much light on the issue in their third presidential debate. Trump made his usual promise to build a wall and added to his insults against Mexican immigrants by warning, "We have some bad hombres here, and we're going to get them out." Clinton responded with images of deportation forces going school to school but quickly pivoted from discussing meaningful legal immigration reform to attacking Trump on his relationship to Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, most voters were left in the dark about what is really going on with respect to immigration.</p> <p>Americans are right to want secure borders in a dangerous world. But America's borders have never been more secure than they are now. We spend more protecting our southern border &#8212; more than $16 billion a year &#8212; than we do on all federal criminal law enforcement by the Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives combined. What's more, the money and additional agents have paid off. Illegal immigration is at its lowest point in four decades. There are now more Mexicans leaving the United States than coming here, legally and illegally. But you won't hear that from Trump &#8212; and even Clinton seems loath to mention the fact.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 21, 2016</p>