Today about 800,000 federal government employees — a figure equal to the combined populations of this and several surrounding Texas counties — will miss their first full paychecks as the federal government remains on partial shutdown.

Imagine if the entire populations of Galveston County (321,000), Brazoria County (345,000), Chambers (39,000) and Matagorda (36,000) counties all missed their hard-earned pay? The economic impact would be disastrous for a great number of families, not to mention the economic ripple effect on local businesses.

Automobiles would stop rolling off the lots, home loans would be denied, and even grocery stores would find themselves sitting on milk and bread.

The government shutdown is political theater at its highest and most absurd level.

Regardless of how you feel about a wall being built or a controversial health care plan, the government should never stop serving those for which it exists in the first place. And to cut off the modest to average paychecks, a great many below $50,000 per year, is to maliciously kick the average citizen in the bank account. This shutdown is wrong and hurting the wrong people.

Let’s compare those not getting a paycheck against those starring in this theater.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s estimated net worth was $26.9 million in 2015. Sen. Nancy Pelosi’s estimated net worth was $100.6 million in 2015. Sen. Chuck Schumer comes in at roughly $1 million. President Trump’s net worth is about $3.1 billion.

By comparison, the average U.S. government worker earns $51,340 a year — of which a great number earn below $40,000 a year.

Who is going to have trouble missing a paycheck in this equation?

For the record, Congress is considered an essential service and therefore members continue to draw their $174,000 annual salary. Senators and representatives should carefully consider the optics of this action. Even making a commitment to donate their earnings to their local agencies would be a good step to showing compassion and solidarity with those who are not being paid.

This editorial is not about a wall. Rather this is about a game of high-stakes poker (or chicken) in which the chips carry the faces of pregnant mothers worried about paying a deductible for health care, Coast Guard workers risking their lives on the waters to protect our coastline, and families worried about having enough in the bank to cover both rent and groceries. Don’t kid yourself — the average American has less than $4,000 in savings, and 57 percent have less than a $1,000 to their name.

Let’s stop playing games with people’s lives. Regardless of the government classifying 800,000 workers as non-essential, the paychecks they earn are considered very essential to their families. Draw closed the curtains on this bad theater.

• Leonard Woolsey

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207; leonard.woolsey@galvnews.com

President & Publisher

(93) comments

Emile Pope

Pelosi passed a bill to reopen the government. McConnell won’t allow it to come to a vote. donald is holding the government hostage in order to force American taxpayers to pay for a useless wall that he promised Mexico would pay for. And 800,000 people go without pay, some being forced to work without pay. donald’s response? Say that they’ll be fine and that they support him (without a single shred of evidence to support his claim). I guess when you’re running low on funds and could simply ask Daddy for a couple of mil you’d be fine too...

Carlos Ponce

"useless wall" - It is apparent Emile refuses to listen to those who work at the border.
View: "CNN's Acosta Tries To Prove Trump Wrong At Border Wall - Proves Walls Work, Trump Is Right Instead."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK80x46IWhg
In the December, the Republican Congress passed a bill to reopen the government. Pelosi and company voted against it. The bill passed the House but fell short of the 60 votes in the Senate.
Newly elected Democrats in the House want the wall. Nancy won't let the bill be amended.
“If I am getting comments and contact from my constituents expressing concern that the Democrats are not prioritizing security, then I think we can do better,” said freshman Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.).

Emile Pope

Simply made up garbage. If the Democrats want the wall they would have added it to the ew bill. Stop spreading propaganda...

Carlos Ponce

"Garbage" man Emile strikes again! Not made up, Emile. Apparently when truth contradicts your false narrative, you deem it "garbage". Funny![beam]

Emile Pope

When you say that Democrats support building a wall with absolutely no evidence or names then i call garbage...

Carlos Ponce

So Democrat freshman Rep. Abigail Spanberger has no name?

Carlos Ponce

"Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) stood up in the closed-door meeting Wednesday to urge fellow Democrats to consider trading some amount of wall funding for legal protections for the thousands of immigrants brought the country as children who stand to be deported. The Illinois Democrat said he’s talked to Dreamers in his own district who have told him to 'hold my nose and vote' for a deal.
'I’m not going to rule anything out, I really am not,' Colin Allred (D-TX) responded when asked if he would support some border wall funding in exchange for Democratic immigration priorities.
Spanberger and another freshman lawmaker, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), stood up at the meeting to voice concerns about the direction of the party.
'I hope that we can all come to a compromise because that’s the way things get done,' Georgia Democrat Lucy McBath said. 'If we don’t compromise, the American people are the ones who get hurt. Right now, they are hanging in the balance.' ”

Carlos Ponce

Above is from:
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/09/house-democrats-government-shutdown-strategy-1092440

Emile Pope

Two out of how many? How many House Republicans voted for a bill without the wall? More than two...

Carlos Ponce

Two? I named more than two, Emile.

Carlos Ponce

It depends on which bill HJR 1 or HR 21.
Rep. Will Hurd, who represents the 23rd District in Texas, voted for both H.J. Res. 1 and H.R. 21. He's on record for opposing the wall.
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania's 1st District voted for both H.J. Res. 1 and H.R. 21 ran as an anti-Trump Republican, and he has voted out of step with the president on multiple occasions.
Rep. John Katko from New York's 24th District voted in favor of both H.J. Res. 1 and H.R. 21. He has opposed Trump on several issues.
Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey voted for H.J. Res. 1 but not H.R. 21. He supports Trump's wall.
Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York's 21st District voted for both H.J. Res. 1 and H.R. 21. "I don't think a wall is the best model, but I do think we need to get serious about border security on the southern border," she said.
Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan's 6th District voted "no" on H.J. Res. 1 but "yes" on H.R. 21. He believes a wall is suitable in some but not all areas along the southern US border. [ DUH! So does President Trump!]
Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon's 2nd District voted "no" on H.J. Res. 1 but "yes" on H.R. 21. Walden's voting record usually matches up with Trump's views, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Rep. Peter King of New York's 2nd District voted for H.R. 21 but against H.J. Res. 1. "You give the president close to $5 billion for the wall; you give the Democrats DACA." [Trump is okay with that but is awaiting the final court ruling on DACA.]
https://www.businessinsider.com/house-republicans-who-voted-against-trump-government-shutdown-2019-1#rep-peter-king-of-new-yorks-2nd-district-voted-for-hr-21-but-against-hj-res-1-8
With the exception of Hurd, they are all from non-border states. That's revealing.

Gary Miller

I think the 700,000 Democrats,out of the 800,000 total, should tell Pelosi to fund the wall if they want regular handouts from taxpayers. A large number of them weren't hired for a job needing done but were hired to spend that years budget. Not needed when hired, still not needed.

Carlos Ponce

"Coast Guard workers risking their lives on the waters to protect our coastline, and families worried about having enough in the bank to cover both rent and groceries."
"Every Coast Guard member will be given back pay for days worked during the shutdown, but in the meantime financial institutions like the USAA have offered low interest loans to cover any expenses.
The one-time 12-month personal loan carries an interest rate as low as 0.01% APR, with a minimum loan amount of $2,500."
https://www.khou.com/article/news/politics/coast-guard-spouses-concerned-about-losing-paychecks-due-to-government-shutdown/285-625152574
At 0.01% they pay twenty five cents a year for every $2500 borrowed.
Borrow $25,000 and they pay $2.50 in interest per year.

LeonardWoolsey Staff
Leonard Woolsey

Carlos, these people should not have the indignity of having to go out for a loan due to political posturing by any political party. And back pay tomorrow does not pay the rent due today.

Carlos Ponce

So asking for a temporary loan at an extremely low interest rate is an "indignity" to you. A family must do what it must do to get by - pay off mortgages, put food on the table, clothing for your children. Do you consider welfare an "indignity" too?
And do you consider asking for the protection of Americans "political posturing?

Claudia Burnam

Great reply Carlos! E G Wiley

Emile Pope

Being put into the position because of the ego of a pompous blowhard more concerned about the opinion of right wing pundits than hard working Americans is sickening...

Carlos Ponce

Those who died because of the actions of illegal aliens were "hard working Americans" too, Emile. And so are Angel Families.

Jim Forsythe

USAA has been in hot water more than once. Even if you are a member and part of the shutdown, you may not get the low rate, or a loan at all.
Alice Veksler identified herself as a member of a Coast Guard family in a Facebook post to USAA asking the company for more transparency in regard to what is required to receive one of the new loans. She said her family and others she knew with good credit were being denied the loans.
“It seems that it is very difficult for those most significantly affected to receive any help with this loan program,” Veksler wrote. “Can you provide some transparency with respect to who can actually get a loan?"
USAA responded by asking Veksler to call an 800 number.
This is the second high-profile customer relations misstep for USAA's banking operation in the past week. Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a consent order detailing how the company violated banking and consumer protection laws in recent years, with USAA agreeing to pay $15.5 million in a settlement.
Tracy cade on January 10, 2019 at 6:12 PM said:
I’ve been with USAA for over 30 years and a civilian with the federal government for 27 years. I am part of the DOJ and must continue working which goes unfunded without pay for the shut down. I called USAA for assistance and what is the best they can do: $10,000 loan at 9% interest


Carlos Ponce

Jim, read the comments at
https://communities.usaa.com/t5/Military-Life/Have-not-seen-the-Government-Shutdown-Loan-Offer/td-p/198239
Some have had problems with the low interest loan, some have not. Suggestions are given for those who experienced problems.

George Croix

That's true, Leonard.
What about the indignity of paying hundreds of billions of dollars a year to care for people who are illegally here, when that could be greatly diminished by spending a fraction of that amount. The 5.7 billion asked for now is less than 1/10th of 1% of the federal budget.
Or, the indignity of having a family member robbed/raped/KILLED by an illegal alien.
Then, there's the indignity of past Democrat promises to build barriers and secure the southern border if a President just moved along with their demands, and they'd debate and do it later.
Ask Reagan and Bush 41 how that worked out...the indignity of being lied to.
Political posturing indeed.
With a little media posturing tossed in alongside..............
imo...

Rusty Schroeder

Leonard your 2nd paragraph is a grandstanding attempt at a non-realistic scenario, kind of like if a nuclear bomb exploded and everyone was killed. The government is busting at the seams with too much fat, it needs the Keto diet or better yet privatization in some sectors. I haven't missed one minute of sleep nor been inconvenienced by the shutdown, 21 days now. I am not alone, this fact is worth noting. I don't like seeing people go without pay, but most doing so are also not working either. Employee at will state, go find another job if you are unhappy with the one you have. Unemployment is at record lows, jobs are out there. Problem is, most require a work ethic many in the government are not accustomed to nor willing to accept. I will keep doing the same thing I have done the last 21 days, not worrying about it, the media is doing enough of that for everyone.

LeonardWoolsey Staff
Leonard Woolsey

Rusty, you will always have me on your side saying the federal governemnt inherently an inefficient machine with much room for belt-tightning. And yes, using the surrounding counties is a literal explanation - but used to illustrate 800,000 people is not a meaningless or insignificant number. I appreciate your comments.

Emile Pope

Fat is necessary for the Keto diet. Your "let them eat cake" position combined with the "long as I'm not affected i don't care" belief is sad. So sad...

Rusty Schroeder

Emile, the Keto diet does not say anything about eating lard or fat, proteins are necessary. You make two quotes that are nowhere in my post, I would appreciate you learning the correct use of quotation marks if you feel the need to comment on my remarks. You interpretation of my comments are humorous at best, I unlike you, gave alternatives to make ends meet during the government shutdown. Have you ever been fired Emile or lose a contract ? Guess what, you don't get paid and you find a way to feed yourself and your family, put gas in your vehicle and make your monthly payments. So my position is one of the American Dream, endless possibilities to those that work for it. I've mowed lawns, painted houses, planted trees, you name it I've done it the times I have been without work. I hire people to help me build fences, work my cattle, and clean my house. But your attitude of give me something for nothing is what is wrong with our country, you feel the 1st and 15th crowd is owed a living on the taxpayers dime. I don't feel that way Emile, and if that is sad to you, so be it. rs

Emile Pope

https://perfectketo.com/how-much-fat-should-you-eat-on-a-ketogenic-diet/

Don't you have any idea of what you are talking about?

Rusty Schroeder

Emile coming from you that is a compliment, I know fat is in almost everything, but I'm not eating sticks of butter nor the fat cap of a steak. And yes I do know what I am talking about, you on the other hand make up lies and create deception to make a point that is often ludicrous for anyone to believe. Answer me this, have you learned how to use quotations correctly? I would think with your scholastic expertise you would have learned that by at least the 8th grade, but then again I've seen your posts. And out of curiosity, and this is not in any way a swipe at you, are you male or female ?

Jarvis Buckley

Leonard most of the time I enjoy your articles , but this one is ridiculous . Normally you don't let your liberal bias creep into your articles. It appears you are siding with Emile &
that progressive group of Trump haters. You are GDN your word have
Consequences . These other folks are Trump haters. This isn't the first time we have had a shut down want be the last. You don't win when you screw with our president.
Your article is a disappointment to many folks that support your newspaper. Again your word have consequences. Save it for pillow talk.
We aren't interested.

LeonardWoolsey Staff
Leonard Woolsey

Jarvis, thank you for you comments. You pegging my political persuassions simply due to having empahty for people who are hurting is inaccurate. I am sure your heart reacts the same to seeig someone in need as mine. This is not the first time the governement has shut down - and both parties are to blame. I only hope this is the last time.

Carlos Ponce

"empahty" "seeig" - I expect us novices in writing to make mistakes in spelling. But a newspaper editor? That's okay Leonard, you can always go back and change it. That is something we cannot do.[beam]

LeonardWoolsey Staff
Leonard Woolsey

Carlos, maybe I should make sure I have my morning tea before replying. Yes, you busted me for being human. It happens to me occasionally. But regardless, I stick by the spirit of what I shared with you. Have a great day.

Ray Taft

The partial government shutdown, which goes unnoticed by most people, is all about The Wall. Democrats could end it by just agreeing to negotiate about building The Wall. It is clearly apparent that Pres. Trump is a negotiator.

It is crystal clear that we need The Wall. Democrats who previously voted for it and now say they don’t want it are the ones playing with people’s lives. They’re doing it for purely political reasons and do not give a damn about anyone but themselves.

Pres. Trump wants to secure our border and end the crisis on the border. The Fake News Media is the propaganda wing of the Democrats, so all we get is this editorial crying about how inhumane it is for some government workers to miss a payday. Never mind the crisis that costs average Americans so very much more in lives and treasure.

Emile Pope

Negotiate? Build the wall or I'll keep the government shut down is not negotiating. It's extortion...

Carlos Ponce

American lives are what the president is trying to defend, Emile. Or do you consider the lives of tens of thousands of Americans killed by illegals not important?
The life he saves by getting a wall may be Emile's.

Gary Scoggin

The President made it clear on December 11th that he owns this shut down. Inthe meeting with Schumer and Pelosi he said, “And I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don't want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it.”

I think he was being a bit selfish then, as the other guys share some of the blame, but the again, like all politiciasn he does like to take credit for stuff he didn’t do by himself.

Carlos Ponce

"And I am proud to shut down the government for border security..."
FOR BORDER SECURITY, Gary Scoggin.
Chuck and Nancy are shutting it down for political reasons, grandstanding.
Gary Scoggin, do you think a wall is needed or not? It's what the CBP and ICE agents want, need. It's what Angel families want, say is needed. They (including the president) also want the electronic gizmos and additional personnel to help monitor the border. But an electronic gizmo cannot stop someone from crossing illegally. A properly built wall/fence/barrier can.
I still like my idea of electrifying the steel fence with hot-shot cattle prod strength electricity. The president wouldn't go for it.[wink]

Gary Scoggin

I want a secure border. I just want the solution to be determined by professionals and not by campaign slogan. I didn’t realize you were such an expert in electronic gizmos.

Carlos Ponce

"I want a secure border." Thank you Gary. And the professionals - those who work at securing our border agree that a wall is needed.
I'm not an expert in "electronic gizmos" - just informed.[beam]

George Croix

The problem with 'electronic gizmos' rather than a barrier is that even if apprehended when the electronic gizmo aids such, the illegals STILL soak is for BILLIONS in costs once they set foot on this country's ground until returned or WORSE released into this country to CONTINUE to be financial burdens, when not criminal burdens.
There are 'experts' who deny this fact, begging the question 'expert in what' besides politicking and selective empathy............

Jim Forsythe

Increased investment in the legal ports
Julie Hillrichs, spokeswoman for the Texas Border Coalition, a group of border mayors , county judges and border communities focused on issues that impact border quality of life for more than 2.5 million people, the Coalition believes the real way to increase security at the border would not be a wall, but increased investment in the legal ports of entry that already exist in their area.
“We have never supported the wall,” Hillrichs says. “The Border Coalition has consistently over the years stated we believe the wall is a wasted investment.”

Safest city in the state of Texas
McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, who is not affiliated with a political party “We don’t feel a crisis in our city,” “That’s one of the problems with just saying there’s a crisis on the border: It affects border towns. We’re a vibrant area. McAllen is the safest city in the state of Texas, and we’re right on the border, so that kind of rhetoric resonates and sells newspapers, but it hurts our area.”

One of the safest cities in the USA.
Bert Guerra, co-owner of Cine El Rey, a theater in McAllen, customized the marquee to read “Welcome to McAllen 7th safest city in America.” (In 2018, Niche ranked McAllen at 20th safest.) “We’re about eighty-five percent Hispanic in the Rio Grande Valley, so I think we have a decent poll of what a majority of the people feel like,” Guerra said. “Unfortunately, we had to put that sign up just to start a conversation: Is this so bad that we have to shut down the government? Are people going amok in our backyards? They’re not.”


Ron Woody

Mr. Forsythe, these are great stories about individual law enforcement efforts in localities that appear to be adhering to and enforcing laws. What do you say to families that have had members killed or assaulted by criminal aliens that have come back and forth illegal across the border numerous times? What happens when criminal aliens reach municipalities where there status is protected by elected officials ignoring federal mandates?
This debate is not about American safety, there is enough evidence even from the previous administration that additional barriers and enforcement of all types are needed at the border. Most of the Democrats currently in office have voted for this additional funding previously. So why not vote for it now. EVERYONE knows the answer!

Doug Sivyer

Good reporting Jim. Apparently Donald tRrump cannot read or only uses selective listening skills. It's a disgrace that he or nay president is allowed to hold our nation hostage like this. The laws need to be changed to prevent this form being possible. Just as our laws should require congressional approval to enact emergency powers act for funding. Using this action o build the wall is a gross injustice. This was never intended to be used as a political tool to circumvent the will of congress and the people of this Nation. 58% of the nation does not support the wall and the comment above by Jim Forsythe is spells out the case against the wall perfectly. So why are we still talking about this nonsense? Because Donnie Boy wants his way at the expense of the American people. I say impeach the SOB before he ruins this nation.

Ron Woody

Mr. Sivyer, my only question is were you this upset when the previous President "violated the constitution" his words when he enacted DACA? Were you screaming and shouting about that injustice? Both parties in Congress are getting exactly what they want, someone to blame so they do not have to do their job. Presidents of any stripe are not the problem. A Congress with no term limits and a lifetime of doing very little except sow division so that they can fund raise and remain in power is the issue! I will ask the question one more time. Democrats that have had the opportunity to vote for additional border barriers and security have done so in the past (in larger amounts than $5B) because they know it is necessary. They have previously recognized that it is an issue and acknowledged it with their vote. Why not vote for it now!

George Croix

Congressional approval for reaction to national emergencies.....

Wow.......

That's......interesting.....

George Croix

Jim, when do you plan to print a quote about illegal alien related safety from the Angel families.....?

Bailey Jones

Bad theater? What would you expect from a reality TV star?

Carlos Ponce

For the record, Bailey Jones. Are you FOR a border wall/fence barrier construction or AGAINST it?

Bailey Jones

Carlos, I'm in favor of comprehensive immigration reform, border security - including physical barriers where they are useful and warranted, justice for the DACA kids, more tech to stop drugs coming through the ports, and a foreign policy that addresses the causes of illegal immigration. In short, I want to see real solutions to real problems. That's what we all want, isn't it?

Carlos Ponce

" That's what we all want, isn't it?"
All that you mention is what Trump wants. Problem is Democrats won't fund any of it. Contact your Senators, representative. Oh wait, Weber Cruz and Cronyn already believe in all that you mention. Contact Nancy if you can. I tried but she only allows messages from her California constituents. You as a Democrat believe all that as I believe most intelligent Democrats do. Yet the Democrat leadership doesn't want Trump to have a victory leading into 2020. Look for the BUZZWORD "chaos" to be in their propaganda. Liberal media will also use that word.

Ron Woody

Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell have been a member of Congress for 38 years. Nancy Pelosi has been a Congressman for 31 years. President Trump has been President for two years.

In their 38/31 years in Congress these "Master Legislators of the Long Game", have passed all the necessary appropriation bills exactly three times. THREE TIMES!!!!! The rest of the time over the past four decades they operate on Continuing Resolutions and other tricks of the trade.
Now I am supposed to believe the guy that has been there two years, regardless of his personality or behavior, is the problem! YEAH RIGHT!!!

Emile Pope

Because he wants a wall and doesn't care who he has to hurt to get it...

Carlos Ponce

Because Emile doesn't want a wall and does not give a .........care for the tens of thousands hurt by illegal entry.

Ron Woody

So the seven shutdowns from 1981 to 2013 were all the current President's fault also. With all due respect these shutdowns are a result of Congress' failure to do their job. Again, only three times in four decades have they passed all the necessary appropriations bills to keep the country running.
Congressmen know they only have to tolerate any President for four to eight years. They play the American citizen as fools. Sound immigration policy has been an issue for my entire 58 years it has not been because of Presidents that nothing gets accomplished. It is because of ineffective elected Congressmen that ignore laws and common sense. Now there is a President that is simply trying to enforce the laws on the book and it is his fault. Again, just use some common sense.
It was just as bad approximately a year ago when there was a deal for the four immigration pillars the President wanted and the Freedom Caucus blocked it. He should have shut down the government then.
This is an issue that has been piling up and piling up for decades and now there is a President demanding that Congress do their job. I refuse to believe that this is any one person or parties fault. It is the fault of a Congress that has no term limits and routinely get returned to Congress with very little change.
This holiday when 800,000 government employees plus an additional unknown number of federal contractors were without jobs where were our elected leaders. At home with there families, hosting fundraisers or planning their exploratory committees to run for President. I am supposed to believe either party cares!
From what I can tell the President is the only one taking immigration policy seriously and he is the newcomer. Congressional leadership have done nothing but talk, talk, talk and more talk for decades.
I am tired of kicking the can down the road on this and other issues.

Gary Scoggin

Of course not all shutdown's were the current President's fault. We have the Gingrich shutdown and the Cruz shutdown just to name a few that weren't. But the President stepped up and owned this one, so i think, out of courtesy, we should give it to him.

Congress, in a bipartisan way, through the Gang of Eight, attempted a good effort at immigration reform. But, as you noted, the RINOs in the Freedom Caucus blocked it. Too bad those of us who believe in secure boarders didn't hold them (which includes our Congressman) to account. Also, too bad we didn't hold our Junior Senator and Lt. Governor to account as well.

Leigh Cowart

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_government_shutdown_of_2013

People have such short memories...

I would like to see Trump successful on this issue. The Democrats are the grandstanders by not coming to the table. Sickening.

Emile Pope

Long winded nothing...you don't shut down the government because Congress won't give you what you want. They don't work for donald, they work for their constituents and have to do what's best for them...not hannity and Ingraham...

Ron Woody

Mr. Pope, Is there a criminal immigration issue in the US? YES!
How do I know this, both parties over the last two decades have supported funding for border barriers/security, etc.
Do the immigration laws of our country need to be changed and modified? YES!
How do I know this, because every political platform, Chamber of Commerce, numerous lobby groups on both sides tell me there is a need to change the law.
Is current federal law being enforced by all State and Local entities? NO!
How do I know this, from news reports and personal conversations with law enforcement at the Local, State and Federal level that are trying to enforce the law.
Is Congress going to do anything to change the current situation if the government is funded? NO.
If anyone believes differently they are ignoring history.
The only way that Congress will do their job is if they feel pain. The only pain they feel is when constituents get angry. If the only way to make constituents angry is to shut down the government then I am all for it. Unfortunately, based on our current environment nothing gets done without the most radical of processes.
Again, I will ask the question that no one has answered? If current Democrats have voted for much larger amounts of funding for border security in the past what is keeping them from voting for it now?

Mr. Woolsey may call me hard-hearted and lacking empathy but too many times I have been a reduction of force for little or no reason other than executives wanting to ensure their bonuses were paid. I have been on food stamps twice and at the unemployment office many more times than I like. I understand the anxiety and embarrassment of having a family of six to take care of and not have an income. It is gruesome! The idea that federal workers, that will eventually get paid are suffering the same plight of unemployed persons that government policies have created through the years is laughable.
Point of reference I was at a restaurant last night listening to numerous government employees talk about when the government does start back up the large "bonus" check they will receive when the funding comes through. Now government contract workers that are not compensated is also an issue. Please do not compare furloughed government workers that are suffering now to those that have been suffering for years because of the global trade policies of DC elite in both parties.
IT IS NOTHING MORE THAN A GAME to our elected officials.
Sorry for such a long rabbit hole response. I do not know how some of you do this over and over. It just saddens me!

George Croix

Ron, sad as it can be, it's the only way to avoid ending up neck deep in pure D bullstuff tossed around to a base, that most certainly is...............[beam]...imo.....

Jarvis Buckley

Our president has about as much of a chance to get bipartisan support
as Galveston does getting the storm surge levee . Zero Zip.

Ron Woody

Mr. Buckley, Thank you I needed that laugh!

Carlos Ponce

Do illegal aliens pose a problem in Texas? According to the Texas Department of Public safety:
"Between June 1, 2011 and December 31, 2018, these 186,000 illegal aliens were charged with more than 292,000 criminal offenses which included arrests for 539 homicide charges; 32,443 assault charges; 5,695 burglary charges; 36,840 drug charges; 395 kidnapping charges; 15,859 theft charges; 23,487 obstructing police charges; 1,650 robbery charges; 3,428 sexual assault charges; 2,152 sexual offense charges; and 2,949 weapon charges."
https://www.dps.texas.gov/administration/crime_records/pages/txCriminalAlienStatistics.htm
"These figures only count arrests in Texas for state offenses. These individuals may have criminal records in other states.
These figures do not count federal criminal charges."
Historical Arrests and conviction of illegal aliens in Texas has 1,018 homicides listed.
A crisis if one of the murdered is a friend or loved one or you believe in the rule of law. A non-crisis if you don't give a ...........

Gary Scoggin

How do these rates compare to legal residents and citizens?

Anne Reiswerg

Good question Gary.
Lets talk about all the angry American men who commit mass shootings in schools, night clubs, Federal Buildings, concert venues, and churches just to name a few.
Kidnapping young girls for sex. The most recent one unfolding now in Wisconsin where he killed both her parents so he could take her.
The bottom line is "bad actors" are not exclusive to illegal immigrants. They are all of us.

Ron Woody

So the answer is to allow more criminals to enter our country where the first act is to break the law. Yeah, that makes sense! I do not understand the point.

George Croix

So, it's OK to IMPORT more bad actors than we already have??
Interesting reasoning............

George Croix

How do they compare?
Here's how, Gary.
They are ALL, 100%, crimes by people that should never have been committed in this country because the ones doing so are here ILLEGALLY and should not have been here TO commit further crimes beyond the trespass to get here.

That 'crime rate comparison' for legal residents vs illegal is a total dodge, but it plays well with the usual suspects.........imo.....

George Croix

Twice during my career at the refinery, once for 93 days and once for 125 days, people went without a paycheck and never got a dime of it back.
Just a few years back, over 5 months off work without back pay at the end.

In ALL THREE cases, there did not HAVE to be a work stoppage.
One side or the other thought it was the only way to get what they wanted, and a majority of them stood by their decision.
It's entirely safe to say that not every person affected wanted to be so.

Lest we forget the local effects of partial shutdowns and cutbacks.....

Emile Pope

Those people didn't elect not to work so stop insulting them. And comparing a strike to a government shutdown is ridiculous...

George Croix

An important part of the article was supposedly about empathy for people missing a paycheck, unless it was really just all a camo covered attack job on Trump.
There's still 354 days left in the year, Pope....the odds are you're bound to be right on one of them..........

Dan Freeman

Carlos Ponce asked “Do illegal aliens pose a problem in Texas?” and then Mr. Ponce cited a report by the Texas Department of Public Safety to prove his point that they do. But he should drill down into the question more thoughtfully.

The Cato Institute, a conservative think tank, took the time to do this for at least one year. The report was limited to 2015 because “This brief reports the conviction and arrest rates for 2015 because that is the most recent year for which estimates are available for the sizes of the legal immigrant, native-born, and illegal immigrant populations residing in the state of Texas.”

They concluded illegal immigrants and legal immigrants had lower rates of crime in all categories examined. In particular: “The homicide conviction rate for illegal immigrants was 16 percent below that of native-born Americans in Texas in 2015. The conviction rates for illegal immigrants were 7.9 percent and 77 percent below that of native-born Americans for sex crimes and larceny, respectively. For all criminal convictions in Texas in 2015, illegal immigrants had a criminal conviction rate 50 percent below that of native-born Americans. Legal immigrants had a criminal conviction rate 66 percent below that of native-born Americans.”

It follows that if a wall kept illegal immigrants out, the crime rate would go up not down. All crime is a problem, but focusing on immigrants is a distraction.

https://www.cato.org/publications/immigration-research-policy-brief/criminal-immigrants-texas-illegal-immigrant#full

Ron Woody

I am totally confused with how removing a subset of criminals would drive crime rates higher. Let me try my basic algebra from middle school.
A is illegal immigrant crime
B is legal resident/citizen crime
C is total crime
A + B = C
If I substract A from the equation how does that make B increase to the point of equaling C?
Maybe if I had not dropped calculus twice I would understand!

Dan Freeman

This is a good question. This is what happens with rates. The total rate, C, is the weighted average of A and B. Let us keep it simple. If A is .5 and B is .75 and the populations are the same then C = (A+B)/2 = (.75 + .5)/2 = 1.25/2 = 0.625. But if the immigrant population is removed A = 0 and the new value of C =.75 so by removing the lower rate you have increased the remaining rate to .75. High school math not calculus answers the question. I hope that helps. Notice the total crimes may also go down because the population is smaller.

Carlos Ponce

"illegal immigrants and legal immigrants had lower rates of crime"
"homicide conviction rate....in 2015" 2015? 2015? 2015? Really? Using ONE year's statistics to make a point is FOOLHARDY. What about the rest of the years?
Dan Freeman doesn't get it. If they weren't here in the first place the crime would not, could not have been committed.
Read the report from the Crime Prevention Research Center
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3099992
The study was based on Arizona.
"Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes and serve 10.5% longer sentences, more likely to be classified as dangerous, and 45% more likely to be gang members than U.S. citizens."
The Crime Prevention Research Center responds to CATO's attacks:
https://crimeresearch.org/2018/02/responding-catos-attacks-research-regarding-crime-illegal-immigrants/

Dan Freeman

As the authors of the Cato Institute noted: “This brief reports the conviction and arrest rates for 2015 because that is the most recent year for which estimates are available for the sizes of the legal immigrant, native-born, and illegal immigrant populations residing in the state of Texas.10” Put in simpler terms, the most current data was used for an analysis by a respected conservative think tank. They believe earlier years would give similar results. They may do an analysis as later data become available. In any case the total number of crimes in Texas is so large that the results will not vary by a large amount over time.

As for the Crime Prevention and Research Center, they self-describe as “…a research and education organization dedicated to conducting academic quality research on the relationship between laws regulating the ownership or use of guns, crime, and public safety… ” CPRC does not pretend to have expertise in immigration or demographic research. It is not surprising the Cato Institute was highly and accurately critical of their superficial analysis.

Finally, I was surprised at the Cato analysis because of their usual conservative approach but happy to read the care and thought that went into it. It raised my respect for them.

Carlos Ponce

Dan Freeman you should know better than to take ONE YEAR and make deductions from it. Seriously flawed reasoning. Bad sampling to take just one year.
CPRC uses data from 2011 to 2018. Donald Trump's numbers were from 2001 to 2018.
CATO Institute isn't what it used to be.

George Croix

It follows what?
The bullstuff wagon.
That's utterly absurd.
If you have fewer people committing crimes here because they cannot get here in the first place, the number of crimes committed in any time period will decrease, not increase, BECAUSE THOSE FOLKS ARE NOT HERE TO COMMIT CRIMES.
It's possible the people LEGALLY here pick up THEIR pace and raise the numbers, but that's why 'crime rates by demographic' is a dodge, and a smokescreen.
Do ya figure that Kate Steinle (sp) would have been killed anyway but just a few tenths of a percent less likely, had the illegal alien who shot her not ever come here?

What part of 'someone NOT in the USA because they have no right to be here and were kept out will NOT be able to commit crimes here' is hard to understand.....??

It's not the crime RATE that harms a victim, it's the CRIMINAL committing the crime....

George Croix

I thought the forum 'proof' demander was AGAINST 'whatabouts'?
Yet, you're on board with this.
Another guy against it, before he was for it......[beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam]

Mike Zeller

The guy in the White House is getting just what he wants, distraction. When the Mueller report becomes public, The Wall will be the least of his problems.

Carlos Ponce

The Mueller report will be written to suggest something but reveal NOTHING.

Gary Scoggin

I didn’t realize you had already read it. Or were you reading Hannity talking points. One never knows.

Carlos Ponce

No Gary, but Team Mueller leaks.

Mike Zeller

Mueller is running a tight ship, no leaks. Carlos, "You don't know what you don't know" and Gary, yes, the Hannity spin has infected many on this forum.

Carlos Ponce

"Mueller needs to plug the leaks"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mueller-needs-to-plug-the-leaks/2017/06/16/c0631bbc-5237-11e7-
b74e-0d2785d3083d_story.html?utm_term=.115aa17f1ec4

"Mueller's office opposes hearing on leaks"
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/14/mueller-leaks-hearing-trump-586555

"Leaks in the Mueller investigation mean the endgame must be near"
https://www.latimes.com/la-ol-enter-the-fray-the-mueller-questions-leak-1525186933-htmlstory.html

"FBI and Justice Department Must Investigate Mueller Leaks"
https://www.newsweek.com/mueller-leaks-russia-investigation-freedom-watch-sessions-wray-doj-fbi-755748

"Crooked Cop Mueller Leaks Investigation Info to CNN Continuing His Long History of Corrupt and Criminal Actions"
https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/10/mueller-leaks-investigation-info-to-cnn-continuing-his-long-history-of-corrupt-and-criminal-actions/

"25 leaks about the Mueller investigation and the problems they may cause"
https://wjla.com/news/nation-world/25-leaks-about-the-mueller-investigation-and-the-problems-they-may-cause

"Robert Mueller’s leak problem"
https://nypost.com/2017/11/06/robert-muellers-leak-problem/

George Croix

If Mueller's report shows Trump has been soliciting funds from foreign powers while in office as an elected official or cutting deals that are paid for by direct political access or even allowing foreign entities to gain control of a big percentage of strategically important materials, OR that while as a candidate he colluded with and paid money to foreign entities in an attempt to effect the election by getting inside info on his opponent, then.....well.....he'll have no worries, because those same things have already been poo-poo'd away for...others.....
Heck, if it shows he was complicit in getting 4 Americans killed then lied about why they were killed, he's assured of re-election!!!

Emile Pope

Guess that saves me a trip to Walmart to get some tinfoil...

Carlos Ponce

We always knew you were into tinfoil hats, Emile.

Gary Scoggin

If you’re referring to whom I think you’re referring to, George, that person lost. And largely for those reasons.

George Croix

I'm referring to more than one, Gary, but for just one, losing an election is not an absolution from bad acting, even crime...except to a lot of people who should know better....
It's also not a wipe-the-slate clean event to come out in second place.....
Remember, they never got Al Capone for the murders, just income tax evasion.....

George Croix

You wear tin foil when somebody tells the truth, Pope??
Is that why you don't buy any until someone else speaks..............????
[beam][beam][beam][beam][whistling][rolleyes][lol][sleep]

Jarvis Buckley

I have mentioned in the past to Leonard that he needed to write about current events so he would get more comments regarding his articles which I always read. But after this article he has broke me of the habit.
Reminds me of the old adage . " Be
careful what you wish for." I think your comment list broke all your previous records. I'm proud of you.

Jarvis Buckley

Just don't agree with you.✌️

Ron Woody

Jarvis, I was thinking the same thing. Never miss a Leonard column. I know he is sincere in his beliefs if like you I do not usually agree. That said I am also jealous of his hair!

George Croix

Comprehensive immigration reform.
Well, it's one way to make a statement without actually saying anything....


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