Obama’s Death Sentence for Young Refugees, by Nicholas Kristof – The New York Times

“If I’m sent back, they will kill me,” says Cristóbal, who is staying temporarily at a shelter for unaccompanied migrant kids in Mexico. He says he was forced to work for the gang as a cocaine courier beginning at age 14 — a gun was held to his head, and he was told he would be shot if he declined. He finally quit and fled after he witnessed gang members murder two of his friends. Now the gang is looking for him, he says, and it already sent a hit team to his home.Yet he may well be sent back under a policy backed by Obama and Peña Nieto. I admire much about the Obama administration, including its fine words about refugees, but this policy is rank with deadly hypocrisy.

Source: Obama’s Death Sentence for Young Refugees – The New York Times

I really wanted to weigh in and disagree with Nicholas Kristof here, but the comments were closed. Luckily, and to my amazement, someone wrote a comment with my three main points, so I completely endorse the following comment:

Matthew Carnicelli

is a trusted commenter Brooklyn, New York 1 day ago

“Nick, I refuse to fault Obama here inasmuch as this is clearly one of those scenarios where a President is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

The furor over uncontrolled immigration is one of the factors driving the Presidential candidacy of an American fascist – and yet you see fit to blame Obama for not doing more.

The human rights situation in Mexico is a horror story as is, as drug cartels and criminal gangs wreak havoc across that nation, largely, if not exclusively, because our American appetite for narcotics is unacceptable to our moral elite. And yet you expect Mexico to do even more for us, by providing sanctuary to these children.

The reality is that we need a comprehensive economic and cultural strategy for the Americas if we ever hope to address this problem – and part this strategy must involve the decriminalization of narcotics. Another part of this strategy must involve real world grassroots economic development for Mexico and Central America, so that these governments have a prayer of dissuading their youth from choosing a life of crime and violence. There’s no reason but sheer corporate greed that these nations can’t be hubs of manufacturing for the Americas – with their workers being paid FAIR WAGES (not serf wages) for the work done.

Nick, what you propose is a band-aid – but what’s required is a greater vision, a truly American vision.”

Terrorists, Bathtubs and Snakes. Nick Kristof – The New York Times

“Our visceral fear of terrorism has repeatedly led us to adopt policies that are expensive and counterproductive, such as the invasion of Iraq. We have ramped up the intelligence community so much that there are now seven times as many Americans with security clearances (4.5 million) as live in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, Donald Trump responded to the Brussels attacks with crowd-pleasing calls for torture or barring Muslims that even Republican security experts agree are preposterous.On the same day as the attacks, a paper by James E. Hansen and other climate experts was released arguing that carbon emissions are transforming our world far more quickly than expected, in ways that may inundate coastal cities and cause storms more horrendous than any in modern history. The response? A yawn.”

Source: Terrorists, Bathtubs and Snakes – The New York Times

‘Every Parent’s Nightmare’ by Nick Kristof – The New York Times

“We as a society derided the Roman Catholic Church as an accessory to child sexual abuse, and we lambasted Penn State for similar offenses. Yet we as a society are complicit or passive in a similar way, by allowing a popular website called Backpage.com to be used to arrange child rape. Consider what happened to a girl I’ll call Natalie, who was trafficked into the sex industry in Seattle at age 15.“It was every parent’s nightmare,” Natalie’s mother, Nacole, told me. “It can happen to any parent. Fifteen-year-olds don’t make the best choices. I dropped her off at school in the morning, I was expecting to pick her up after track practice in the afternoon, and then I didn’t see her for 108 days.” The girl ran off to a bus station, was found by a pimp, and within days was being sold for sex on Backpage.
»Backpage has classified ads for everything from antiques to boats, but it makes its money on escort ads. It has about 80 percent of the U.S. market for online sex ads in America, mostly for consenting adults but many also for women who are forcibly trafficked or for underage girls. Children in at least 47 states have been sold on Backpage, by one aid group’s count.“We were an everyday, average family,” Nacole said. “Our children were involved in sports. She played the violin. She was on the soccer team. And she made a stupid decision one day that forever changed her life. And Backpage facilitated it.” ”

Source: ‘Every Parent’s Nightmare’ – The New York Times

After Super Tuesday, Bracing for a President Trump – Nick Kristof, The New York Times

“The general election campaign may have already begun.From Our AdvertisersIn the aftermath of Super Tuesday election results, betting markets show Hillary Clinton with more than a 90 percent chance of becoming the Democratic nominee, and Donald Trump with at least a 75 percent chance of emerging as the Republican nominee.This is the most astonishing presidential election since at least 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War. The G.O.P. front-runner is reviled not only by Democrats, but also by many prominent Republicans, and has less government experience than any president in history.Only two presidents — William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover — lacked background in major elective office or in the military, and both had held cabinet posts. In short, a Trump presidency would be unprecedented not only for his bizarre policy positions and propensity to insult women and minorities, but also because of his staggering lack of relevant experience or knowledge.Nicholas KristofHuman rights, women’s rights, health, global affairs. The Killing Field The Party of ‘No Way!’ My Friend, the Former Muslim Extremist America’s Stacked Deck Are You a Toxic Waste Disposal Site?See More »Trump has shrewdly manipulated the news media and has proved a much more accurate reader of the electorate than we pundits. Yet I’ve never met a national politician so ill informed, so evasive, so bombastic and, frankly, so puerile.According to Dana Milbank of The Washington Post, most Republican candidates spoke at a high-school or middle-school level in the last G.O.P. debate, based on the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Index. Meanwhile, Trump spoke at a third- or fourth-grade level. After the Nevada caucuses, Ted Cruz spoke at a ninth-grade level, Clinton at a seventh-grade level — and Trump at about a second-grade level! (I checked Trump’s victory speech on Super Tuesday evening, a more moderate speech that seemed to reach for the center, and Trump had raised his rhetoric to a sixth-grade level.)”

Source: After Super Tuesday, Bracing for a President Trump – The New York Times

Here is a coherent comment, that contradicts my opinion that Trump will be easier for Hillary to beat than one of the other Rrepublicans.

Mark Thomason is a trusted commenter Clawson, Mich 19 hours ago

“Trumps’ speech patterns are deliberate, honed on reality TV. Make fun of that, make fun of reality TV, but it works. I don’t have to like it or admire it to see it.

Trumps policy positions are obscure. He clearly wants it that way. Again it is reality TV — everything for everyone, and keep up the suspense, make it emotional, give them hope for anything.

This is design, not “ill informed, so evasive, so bombastic and, frankly, so puerile.” He knows what he’s doing, because it works, and he’s consistent. That is a lot more dangerous than would be just ill-informed and puerile.

Trump is aiming at a group in both parties who have much reason to be dissatisfied.

Bernie aims at much of the same group, with sanity and organized thought and higher language levels. He can win over many who otherwise would vote for Trump.

Hillary represents everything that dissatisfies those voters. She has been an important part of government for decades. She has been a focus of attention in government for decades. She can’t pretend now she isn’t part of it all.

She is linked to all the powers-that-be in government over that time, trade agreements and the Washington Consensus, wars and the Serious People of Washington who demand and get them, Wall Street and the bankers who ruined those voters and bailed out only themselves, and the steady export of jobs.

Those are exactly what those voters reject, and exactly what Trump (and Bernie) promise to change.

Hillary is Trump’s ideal target.”

I still disagree with this analysis. The Republican hate machine will probably shred Bernie Sanders as an out of touch, Jewish Socialist and communist revolutionary. Not true, but they will create the narrative. I think analytically, that Trump will be easier for Hillary to beat than one of the other three remaining. Only Kasich is not a light-weight, deceiving puppet of big oil and gas money.

America’s Stacked Deck Voters are right to be angry and demand change, but scapegoating isn’t the answer. nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

Saint Nick: “It seems to me to make more sense to target solutions than scapegoats, but sense is often in short supply in politics. After a characteristically brilliant speech by Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic nominee for president in 1952 and 1956, a supporter is said to have bellowed, “Every thinking American will vote for you!”

Legend has it that Stevenson shouted back: “That’s not enough. I need a majority!”

In the solutions domain, a starting point should be to reduce the influence of money in politics.

The pharmaceutical industry, for example, has used its lobbying heft — it spent $272,000 in campaign donations per member of Congress last year, and it has more lobbyists than there are members of Congress — to bar the government from bargaining for drug prices in Medicare. That amounts to a $50 billion annual gift to pharmaceutical companies.”

Voters are right to be angry and demand change, but scapegoating isn’t the answer.
nytimes.com|By Nicholas Kristof

The G.O.P. Created Donald Trump – Nick Kristof, The New York Times

The betting markets now say that the most likely Republican nominee for president is a man who mocks women, insults Latinos, endorses war crimes like torture, denounces party icons and favors barring people from the United States based on their religion.He’s less a true-believer conservative than an opportunist, though, for he has supported single-payer health insurance, abortion rights and tighter gun measures. Lindsey Graham says he’s “crazy,” Jeb Bush says he would be worse than President Obama, and the conservative National Review warned that he is a “menace to American conservatism.”It’s Donald Trump, of course. He’s smarter than critics believe — he understood the political mood better than we pundits did — but I can’t think of any national politician I’ve met over the decades who was so ill informed on the issues, or so evasive, or who so elegantly and dangerously melded bombast and vapidity.”

Source: The G.O.P. Created Donald Trump – The New York Times

2 Questions for Bernie Sanders – by Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

“I admire Sanders’s passion, his relentless focus on inequality and his consistency. When he was sworn in as mayor of Burlington, he declared: “The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the millions of families in the middle are gradually sliding out of the middle class and into poverty.” That has remained his mantra across 35 years. And yet, I still have two fundamental questions for Sanders:Can you translate your bold vision into reality?”

Source: 2 Questions for Bernie Sanders – The New York Times

In spite of what others say, the biggest threat to our nation and civilization is overpopulation and its associated global warming, and the wars and immigration flows these storm clouds will increase and make more severe.
I think Bernie Sanders and his ideas are terrific, now that I have learned of him. I still ardently support Hillary Clinton, for her extraordinary record of leadership, recently outlined in 15 points in the New York Times endorsement, and because we can not afford to lose the White House in the next election. Another eight years of ignoring climate change could reduce our chances significantly of ever dealing with green house gases before its too late. It was Ross Douthat who wrote in the NY Times that the Republicans are praying for a Sanders candidate. The polls of his running against any of the nine dwarves are meaningless, because he has never had to withstand the blistering broadsides and dirty tricks of the Republican political super pacs and attack organizations.
The Times reported that Republican super pacs quietly ran ads in Iowa supporting Bernie Sanders. They think that any of the climate change denying, anti-science dwarves can beat a Socialist in the big election.
Both Clinton and Sanders are such excellent people and leaders, that it my wish that both announce that they will include the other in their cabinets. We will benefit from a Team of Rivals, that are data driven, and concerned about all Americans, and non human species extinction.

America the Unfair? – Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

“Martin Gilens of Princeton University and Benjamin I. Page of Northwestern University found that in policy-making, views of ordinary citizens essentially don’t matter. They examined 1,779 policy issues and found that attitudes of wealthy people and of business groups mattered a great deal to the final outcome — but that preferences of average citizens were almost irrelevant.“In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule,” they concluded. “Majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts.” ”

Source: America the Unfair? – The New York Times

Some Inconvenient Gun Facts for Liberals – Nicholas, Kristof, The New York Times

“One of the puzzles of American politics is that most voters want gun regulation, but Congress resists. One poll found that 74 percent even of N.R.A. members favor universal background checks to acquire a gun. Likewise, the latest New York Times poll found that 62 percent of Americans approved of President Obama’s executive actions on guns this month.So why does nothing get done? One reason is that liberals often inadvertently antagonize gun owners and empower the National Rifle Association by coming across as supercilious, condescending and spectacularly uninformed about the guns they propose to regulate. A classic of gun ignorance: New York passed a law three years ago banning gun magazines holding more than seven bullets — without realizing that for most guns there is no such thing as a magazine for seven bullets or less.And every time liberals speak blithely about banning guns, they boost the N.R.A. Let’s also banish the term “gun control”: the better expression is “gun safety.” ”

Source: Some Inconvenient Gun Facts for Liberals – The New York Times