Congress’s disgrace: the failure to reform immigration


Congress once again failed to resolve the critical immigration problem plaguing the southern border of the United States. Thousands of undocumented migrants are crossing into the country. Just a year and a half ago, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis sent 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. According to the MV Times, some called it “a political stunt.” Numerous Islanders immediately provided the migrants with food, clothing, and other necessities and even took them into their homes.

Recently, a small bipartisan group of three senators tried. Led by James Lankford (R-Ok.), they failed to persuade their Republican colleagues to bring their proposal to a vote in the Senate. Lankford, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, is one of the most conservative Republicans in the Senate. The other negotiators were Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and the White House.

Because Lankford’s views prevailed in the proposal, the Wall Street Journal editorial board said that the bill was “the most restrictive migrant legislation in decades.” It went on: “previous immigration talks have involved trading security measures for legalizing more immigration. There is little of the latter in this bill…no general pathway to citizenship or green cards for most illegal immigrants already in the U.S.” It was, the Journal said, “a border security bill worth passing.” Senate leaders, including minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), supported it. McConnell said the bill included “direct and immediate solutions to the crisis at our southern border.”

But it failed. Republicans in the House and Senate view the border crisis as a campaign issue, not one worth solving. Even so, the Journal concluded that “the Senate bill has reforms Trump never came close to getting.” 

President Joe Biden is reportedly considering new measures, such as a provision in the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act. It authorizes the president to suspend immigration for those he determines to be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” Even if he reinstated the Trump-era “Stay in Mexico” and other programs, they would have little impact, given the number of people trying to enter the U.S. and the lack of financial resources to implement them.

The basic question is this: what branch of government is responsible for regulating immigration into the United States? The answer lies within Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which simply states that “Congress shall have the power…to establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.”

The “shall have” in this sentence is uncompromising: it does not mean “may have,” “might have”, or “will have.” It is the imperative voice: no other branch of government, neither the president nor the justices of the Supreme Court, shall make the rules and regulations regarding new arrivals into the country.

In 2012, by executive order, President Barack Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program. It allowed children, known as Dreamers, who came to the United States as children, to remain here under certain circumstances. Today, there are about 800,000 people who qualify. They must register with the Department of Homeland Security and renew their registration every two years. In 2021, a federal judge ruled that the program was likely unconstitutional because only Congress had the authority to implement it. Yet he allowed those Dreamers currently protected by the program to keep their status and allow DACA renewals. 

Congress can resolve the crisis of thousands of undocumented migrants flowing across the southern border of the United States, despite higher deportations by Biden officials as opposed to those by the Trump administration. Look what happened during the Reagan administration. 

When President Reagan took office in 1981, he asked Congress to overhaul the United States immigration procedures. His thinking was clear about how new arrivals to America enrich our culture, society, and economic well being. In his final address, he noted that “other countries may seek to compete with us; but in one vital area, as a beacon of freedom and opportunity that draws the people of the world, no country on Earth comes close.… This, I believe, is one of the most important sources of America’s greatness.”

Immigration was so important to him, he said that “we lead the world because, unique among nations, we draw our people — our strength — from every country and every corner of the world. And by doing so we continuously renew and enrich our nation.… This quality is vital to our future as a nation. If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.”

Reagan was proud when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. He noted at the time that it was “the most comprehensive reform of our immigration laws since 1952…. Further, it’s an excellent example of a truly successful bipartisan effort.… Our objective is only to establish a reasonable, fair, orderly, and secure system of immigration into this country and not to discriminate in any way against particular nations or people.”

President George W. Bush pushed Congress to reform the nation’s immigration system. Senators Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) worked together to develop the Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2007. Unlike the Reagan years, it too failed to Bush’s disappointment. He was ready to sign it into law.

Now, Republicans blame President Joe Biden and his Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, for having “open borders.” The House of Representatives on February 13 impeached Mayorkas along partisan lines (the vote was 214 to 213). But that charge is nonsense.

There is no hope however that this Congress will act in a bipartisan manner. The House recently passed the child tax credit bill by a bipartisan vote of 357 to 70. If the Senate agrees, it will become law. So could immigration reform. But the prospects are beyond dim, they are nil.


Jack Fruchtman, who lives in Aquinnah, is preparing a fourth edition of his book, “The Supreme Court and Constitutional Law.”


  1. I have a thought for the editorial staff: in the spirit of the new request to keep the Letters to the Editor about local topics, I feel the same courtesy should be extended to readers when it comes to national topics like this in a local newspaper. This type of essay does not seem to belong the MV Times in my opinion. What does it really have to do with Martha’s Vineyard, I would ask the publisher? No more or less than letters about wars and federal elections.

    • Thank you for bringing this up, and so cleverly. The editorial staff of this newspaper wrote “To our readers”, an opinion piece, but called it a Letter to the Editor. How does a newspaper write a Letter to the Editor to itself? There were all kinds of issues with that “letter”, and you’re the first person I know of to bring it up as the disingenuous nonsense it was. Online community comments are allowed under news stories and opinions pieces, but not under Letters. How convenient.

      Here’s the thing, and it seems as if you are well aware: There are national and world topics, like immigration and the war against Hamas, that do indeed impact Martha’s Vineyard folks. Why would anyone, especially a newspaper, say otherwise? There are other reasons why truth, too much of it, cannot be allowed. The Times wants to back away from the anti-Israel rants, but it’s fine with anti-immigration rants, as they invite here under this editorial.

      I dare anyone to tell me that Hamas’ genocidal intentions did not impact every single Jew on the island, every single Jew reading this paper. That would be like someone telling a Brazillian immigrant that they’ve done little to contribute socially or fit in on the Island, and then turn around and say out of the other corner of his mouth, that the island has been a welcoming place to ALL groups since at least the 80s. If the island were welcoming, in the truest sense, no one would have reason so blame a community for not “blending in” more. Where have i heard that before?

      It seems to me that the “To our readers” letter was a way to weasel out of the fact that this newspaper has been playing host to antisemitic lies, published without apology, and worse, censoring the strongly worded rebuttal letters (mine) that pointed out exactly why the antisemitic Letters to the Editor writers needed to be exposed. Antisemitism is quite popular these days, just wearing a new mask, that’s all.

      Nearly everything I write here these days is censored, so I don’t know if this will see the light of day. Questioning someone else’s motives for saying things that are untrue even though they can sound sorta true is not acceptable. Questioning a newspaper why they’re allowing someone else to say untruths, and without rebuttal, is often not allowed. That’s my experience here, and that’s what’s largely going on worldwide. To think that Martha’s Vineyard is somehow spared of hate and lies would be a joke– except it’s not funny at all.

      Immigration at the border affects the island. It affects everyone. Editorials and Letters are opinions. People are entitled to them. And we are entitled to say why opinions are wrong, when we believe them to be wrong. The use of acceptable lies is just so prevalent. It’s a danger to everyone.

    • MV needs the reality check of the real world. Once exposed to the real world they showed their true colors and packed those migrants right up and sent them on their way. And it was the right decision. Just like it’s the right decision for Texas to send them to sanctuary cities to spread the burden around. MV residents were saying the exact same thing as Texas which was we don’t have the resources. Well who does? Burying your head in the sand and ignoring national problems certainly is not the answer. If that’s your stance then why allow MV residents to vote in national elections? Ignorance is bliss. The border has been on fire for years but Biden continues to throw gasoline on the fire. Why? Could it be that the counting of illegal aliens are allowed in the census thereby increasing elected representatives? You can attribute 22 congressional seats to illegal immigration.
      If you follow this through, sanctuary cities are overwhelmingly democratic, and by counting illegal immigrants in the census, blue states gain the advantage of an additional 22 congressional seats. It’s by design.

    • Martha Vineyard is part of America and the World.
      Islander’s want a local perspective, and discussion, on national and international events.
      Like the recent monotheist unpleasantness in the Middle East.

      • There are people who have no understanding that world events are more than a “discussion” on MV. I have a feeling these folks will not grasp this reality until the MV Times starts pubishing in Arabic.

    • I disagree 100%. Last time I checked, Martha’s Vineyard was still part of the US of A. Immigration policies affect all of us. I appreciate and welcome Jack Fruchtman’s perspective on these issues. You’re welcome to simply not read it if you don’t want to.

      It’s sad that a bipartisan immigration bill was passed in the Senate, only to be hijacked by that orange fool, and then died in the House. This bill was endorsed by the Border Patrol union and was the most comprehensive legislation in decades. But our limp Speaker of the House has a leash around his neck. The Gang of Putin is pathetic.

      • I may be giving credit where it is not due, but I read the first comment as tongue in cheek, but I could be wrong. Andrew’s take is correct, and nicer than mine. The Times editorial staff realized that playing host to antisemitism was not a good look so they wrote a letter to themselves trying to reign in the lies this paper published in several letters, one guest editorial (which I am certain they regret), and innumerable comments. I am not mentioning a pastor’s Thaniksgiving message nor the High School View. I would remind people that the “unpleasantness in the Middle East” (!) led to a bomb threat against the Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven.

    • The ”local topics” letter came in timely fashion as a means to tone down the conversations and to create more ”unity” amongst the reading public. The Editors while new, had quickly seen, how one woman brilliantly disarmed the prevailing voices (who often hid behind antisemitism) supporting so called Palestinians. Our local Palestinian supporters knew that Hamas was using schools, hospitals, mosques to store their ammo and set up rocket launchers right next to those buildings. They knew as Hamas used precious resources to build hundreds of miles of tunnels under the civilians. They knew that Hamas used the educational system to teach the Gazan’s children to hate and kill. None of them argued that there were too many civilians in Berlin, Frankfurt, or any other German city except Dresden. Nobody made that argument re Tokyo, or Hiroshima and Nagasaki or about Falluja or Mosul. None of our locals save a couple, insisted that Israeli decisions were made to defeat implacable enemies whose leaders cared nothing about people and whose whose continued power would have meant repeated war and mass murder. None of our local MV Palestinian supporters argued Israel is taking more precautions with civilians than any of the others while fighting an enemy that will never make real peace. None of them saw that Hamas and Palestinians are one. No– instead they shouted Genocide by Israel; cried to the UN and ranted war crimes showing a nasty side of themselves. The temperature got too hot for our new Editors so they reverted to ‘’local topics’’ where doing right and morality don’t exist. Plovers and ticks and drainage, erosion and language translation are far more important.

      • Andy — what a load of right wing propaganda.
        Just because a doddering anile goyim hater calls
        everyone who objects to the slaughter of innocent
        civilians anti semitic does not make it so.
        Everyone knows Hamas in a terrorist organization
        that murdered over a thousand innocent Israelis.
        I think there actually are innocent Israelis and
        innocent Palestinians. You have stated here,
        on this forum that “there are no innocent Palestinians”
        HOW DARE YOU !
        I for one mentioned the atrocities of WW 2 ,
        and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki .
        I had to go as far as to post links to the yearly
        memorials on this island to the victims of
        Hiroshima and Nagasaki as biased and misguided
        commenters here claimed
        that no one ever cared about those atrocities.
        But let me tell you what those who casually accuse
        others of bigotry and antisemitism have never
        mentioned. That is the unwarranted and unprovoked
        invasion and massacre of thousands of innocent
        civilians in Ukraine. Not a word condemning it–
        It’s genocide–And yes,andy, there are innocent
        Ukrainians. And innocent Russians.

        • Keller;”” how dare you”” is right out of the Greta playbook and it affects me not at all. No Keller, no one mentioned those other atrocities in the context of the Hamas brutality. Yours and those of others were one way all the time against Israel and to suggest that occasionally some memorialize Hiroshima as a historical fact never insulates Israel in your view. Yes in case you didn’t hear me Hamas and so called Palestinians are one. When the good people of Gaza learned of the Hamas barbaric attack inside Israel they ran into the streets in massive demonstrations to celebrate a great victory.

          • andy– right, and trump personally saw thousands
            of Muslims celebrating on the rooftops of N.J on 9/11
            Interesting that no one else did.

        • What makes it so, Keller, are the lies straight from the Gaza Health Ministry, a terrorist controlled group, repeated here by 3 or 4 antisemites who have unapologetically dug themselves into that hole all by themselves. They’re hardly alone, though. When the world comes to understand that no one gets to incinerate living Jews and get away with it, and knows that using dead civilians was the intended strategy of Hamas instead of the tragedy it is to Israel, then we will not have this popular Jew-hatred that most liberal American newspapers are only too happy to promote, either in their own biases or by giving people like you a platform.

          • Jackie– you often mention the “lies” but never
            actually tell us what the “lies” are.
            So is the story that a bunch of crazed religiously
            motivated terrorist slaughtered about 12 hundred
            innocent civilians a lie ?
            Or is that the only story you believe ?
            Do you think no innocent people are incinerated
            by American bombs dropped by Israeli pilots in Gaza ?
            You seem to be implying that it’s fine to incinerate
            Palestinian children, but not “living Jews” point your
            finger all you want about supposed antisemites, but your
            full on display hatred and bigotry towards Palestinians
            is disgusting.
            Do you think every news media outlet in the world is
            showing AI generated fake pictures of the devastation
            in Gaza?
            Do you think the death toll there is “not even
            close to a thousand” and will never get there ?
            Do you think it’s all lies that children are literally starving
            to death because of a modern day siege ?
            Do you think the united nations, the world court,
            and every international aid agency on the planet is
            in on an anti semitic conspiracy because they hate Jews?
            Jackie— tell me the lies .
            But I know it doesn’t matter to you– Only Jewish lives
            matter in your tiny world. You have made that quite clear.
            You are a disgrace to your religion.
            You can point your doddering finger at me all you want,
            but tell me what I, and all the other liberals
            that you paint with such a wide brush are lying about.

  2. The doddering anile President rolled back Trump era policies and created a defacto open border. He is now considering executive action to stop the flow of illegals. You are correct that both parties have done little, however Bidens policies made it so much worse and ”some of their worst people are coming”

  3. Andrew, what makes you think that Biden is “doddering?” If your sources of information present Biden as “doddering,” they are misleading you. Biden is sharp as a tack and he is using diplomatic tools to solve problems instead of being like a bull in a china shop destroying everything in his path (like Trump did with tariffs, for instance). And as for immigration—there is a lot going on at the border. Equador is chartering flights from Asia and providing means to cross our borders and earning so much money doing it they may never stop. The one question that I rarely see asked or answered is why in world would someone want to abandon their home sweet home with the clothes on their back and risk the lives of their family members to cross our borders?

      • Sharp enough to not be indited.
        Or found guilty of sexual assault.
        At a cost of 80 million.

    • Mary– I can answer that question.
      It’s because the industrialized western countries
      have exploited their resources, installed brutal
      dictatorial regimes and basically left them with
      nothing but polluted industrial wastelands.
      And then put on top of that, that the United States,
      under the steady leadership of OUR DULY ELECTED
      PRESIDENT Joseph R Biden, has the strongest economy
      in the world. Why wouldn’t they risk their lives to
      come here? We have stolen everything they ever dreamed
      of, and we are the shining beacon of hope for the world.

    • So Mary, does this give me the right to walk in your home and demand your goods and services? So anyone who has a hardship is entitled to your hard earned belongings? We won’t have a country if we allow unfettered access to our shores. This money we are spending on illegal immigration is our offsprings. It’s borrowed without the permission of those who will,have to carry the burden.

      Wait until the fraudulent leases and squatters inhabit the unoccupied homes on the vineyard like we are seeing elsewhere around the country. Squatters can claim an emergency and live in one’s uninhabited building or merely say they have an agreement with the owner and it becomes a civil matter only to be held up in the courts for months and in some cases years.
      Where are we going to house these people? MV did a great job with the 50 we had. I’ll say it. It’s unsustainable for MV and it’s unsustainable for the rest of the country.

      • Carl, it would be my interest for you to see a different position than the one you have. I don’t know how to get you to see that for people who are living in violent situations with no food to feed their babies, they are willing to do anything to fix it. Have you read, “What Happened to the Corbetts” by Nevil Shute? How about “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins? Or, “Left to Tell” by Immaculée Ilibagiza?
        Putin is using people as pawns by creating immigration issues in at least Finland. Maybe other countries as well. Putin is using his team of hackers to plant lies in our social media. Yes, immigration is a problem. Probably a bigger problem for the people starving to death than for us.

        • Mary, thank you for your response to my comment and doing so in such a respectful way. I should do better with my comments and will try and emulate your gracefulness going forward.

          I have not read those authors as mentioned but will try and make some time.

          My frustration and my apologies if I took them out on you is that we meaning the citizens of the US can not solve the world problems on our own. We can’t change the climate and feed every person on our own. Talk about arrogance. Life isn’t that simple. I guess I’m more Darwin than Mother Theresa. If you don’t want starving babies don’t have children. I absolutely wanted more kids but I couldn’t afford them so we didn’t. People have to make their own destiny and yes that could be immigrating to another country but when doing so they have to assimilate to their new country. Immigrants should not make demands of their new country to be like their old one. And they shouldn’t expect a hand out but certainly a hand up.

          I agree with everything you said about Putin and how heart wrenching it is that babies are starving but if we don’t stop spending money that we don’t have it will be our babies that our starving in the not too distant future. The US is 34.4 trillion in debt. We all want utopia but the fact of the matter is there is no such thing.

          Thanks again Mary for making me take inventory of myself.

          • Carl, in regard to your comment about that we can’t feed everyone, do you mean that if we (the US) was capable (financially and economically) you would be okay with it?
            I remember going to a museum exhibit once in Florence and there were gowns on display from the “queen” of the Florentine empire. Her gowns had been mended and patched, a lot. It struck me that even poor people in the US today have a higher standard of living than a queen used to have. No one goes around in obviously mended clothes. Nearly everyone has hot and cold running water in their home. Everyone has shoes.
            Maybe we don’t have the means to take care of everyone on the planet, but we do have largesse.
            We have the largest prison population on the planet. The only way a culture can have that many people in prison is because there is enough money to take care of them. Immigrants don’t necessarily cause harm. Maybe they’re helping our economy.
            I do appreciate you taking consideration of my viewpoints. Thank you

          • Ugh, typos! I meant *(physically and financially). Do we have enough farm land to grow what is needed? Do we have enough farm workers to tend and harvest the crops? Do we have enough money for seed and water? I was trying to point out that we have more people on the planet now and it doesn’t matter if they live here or somewhere else, there’s enough. We will be able to create enough. Really! There’s enough for everyone.

          • Mary,
            I often talk to my kids about how much better our “lower class” citizens are than kings of the Roman Empire. You are correct. Food available for everyone, indoor plumbing, air conditioning and dare I say basic human rights. I call that progress but it didn’t come cheap. People sacrificed for us. I respect your questions as to our capabilities of being able to feed people with the resources we have and the answer probably not. Definitely not if we adhere to the left’s environmental crusade of zero emissions and chemicals. If you want to feed more people you need the bi products of fossil fuels as that’s what industrial fertilizer is made from
            I’m thinking the only way to satisfy the lefts obsession with climate change is to quell the human race. Either way it seems we are doomed.
            As for the prison population, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. We are seeing the adverse ramifications in real time to soft on crime policies. As former law enforcement I speak from experience, this administration policies are a disaster.

        • Mary, re reading your comment again after submitting my post I had another thought. A controversial one at that. Maybe if those who were fleeing those violent corrupt countries had a second amendment they wouldn’t be in the position they are in now. After all there was a lot of violence and bloodshed founding this great country. Respectfully

          • Carl– you gotta be kidding me — you are suggesting
            that the solution to violent regimes is to arm the people ?
            Sorry, I’m not having “touchy feely thoughts” about you or
            that comment right now. Actually– I have written what I
            think about it 5 times and deleted them before the editor does–
            I’ll just leave it at that.
            The U.S exports about 500,000 illegal and untraceable guns to Mexican cartels every year. Hows that working out ?
            The cartels are opposed to the corrupt government there
            after all.
            And by the way– Here is the law regarding asylum requests.
            Yes, they actually do have the LEGAL right to our goods and services

          • Don, no I’m not kidding. People have to fend for themselves for survival. What do you think is going on in Ukraine? Are we not arming those civilians for their survival? And didn’t we have to bear arms during the founding of our country? As far as Mexico it’s a corrupt country and they could do much more to stop the flow of illegal guns into their country. They should have stopped the Obama administration from doing exactly that. You must be familiar with fast and furious fiasco.
            Don, you are mixing up legitimate Asylum and people coming over here for a better job and to make money.
            And most asylum seekers are denied asylum
            Sadly liberal states are granting more asylum seekers citizenship based on their feelings instead of the law.

      • Carl, maybe you have experience with squatters? The law in Massachusetts seems to highly favor the actual owner of property. And 20 years is a very long time to not look after your property.

        • Mary, read the law. The 20 years is for property abandonment. Focus on the emergency exception and lease disputes. It’s called squatters rights for a reason and not land owner rights.

    • Hardly sharp as a tack. Biden has been caving to political pressures to get reelected and it’s backfiring. He may as well hand the election to Trump and call it a day. He’s too damn old, and yes, doddering. Trump is worse, but this country needs something better than awful. Biden is awful and every honest dem knows it.

      • Sorry Jackie, I disagree with you.
        Maybe you won’t be voting for Trump, but I don’t see how a woman in this country could vote for someone who s. assaults women (the jury decided there was enough evidence for that judgment).

        • Cry me a river to the sea, Mary Hansen. You should be sorry. I don’t see how the liberal left in this country, including people like the hypocrite and once-admired Michelle Obama, can expect anyone to believe liberals give a fig about women, their rights, their protections from sexual abuse, and their control over their own bodies. How do you say your nonsense to me with a straight face? The liberal left has been exposed, my dear, and it ain’t pretty. There is certainly not a single liberal on these pages who can think for themself. It’s robotic and pre-programmed, not thought through. The liberal left’s abandoning of the full support of our one true ally in the Middle East, Israel, and her raped, mutilated, tortured, and kidnapped victims, male and female, was the left’s downfall in the eyes of many who do not want to vote for doddering Biden. Israel is the only democracy in the area, the only place where Jews, Muslims and Christian men and women live together with the same rights. But now the liberal left, including Biden who has caved to politics, has violated any claim to morality and compassion. If Israel goes the way Hamas has brainwashed the left to want it to go, so go other democracies where women have rights, including here. You don’t know what you’re talking about. So yeah, cry me a river to the sea.

          • Jackie, It sounds as if you are personally experiencing a lot of pain. I’m so sorry for your loss and/or pain. Even though it appears that you and I will cast our votes for different reasons, I defend your right to vote for whom you wish. Or to not vote at all. I remember seeing in the news a few years ago that people were being forced to vote (in another country) at gunpoint. So grateful for living in the US!

      • In this severely divided congress/ country, how does one get reelected without caving to political pressures/ courting political favors ?
        Probably more important that our president be served by competent cabinet members whom he trusts and relies on than he be “sharp as a tack.”
        Conservatives didn’t seem to mind it when their beloved Reagan was “slipping away”….
        These are our choices. Not even a close call for those with a conscience.

        • Sir, you can’t honestly be comparing Reagan to Biden. I happen to agree with you about voting your conscience and after talking to many Biden voters their conscience is telling them they won’t be voting for him again. I have no counter argument when they compare Trumps 4 years to Bidens. If it weren’t for the Roe decision this next election wouldn’t be close.

          • Carl– what metric would you like to compare the trump regime with
            the Biden administration ?
            You pick a topic
            I will respond
            Then I pick a topic —

          • For the record Don, I was responding to the comparison between Reagan and Biden. But I do understand how you must bring everything back to Trump. But ok, I’ll play.
            The border. Just look at the numbers. And I’ll give you a bonus. Inflation. One more, crime stats.

          • Carl–Read your comment that I replied to and tell
            me you didn’t mention trump.
            on this page– please note figure one
            So more people coming to the border because of horrible
            conditions in their home countries, and because of climate
            disasters. Sure– Sleepy Loes fault.

            US Inflation Rate is at 3.09%, compared to 3.35% last month and 6.41% last year. This is lower than the long term average of 3.28%.
            So a pandemic slowed the worldwide economy and dropped
            inflation rates for a while at the cost of over a million American
            Then, the best buddy of our former president decided to invade
            a sovereign country and touched off a worldwide surge in the
            price of oil and food and that’s Bidens fault also.
            Note where we are in relation to the rest of the world.
            We live on an interconnected planet you know.
            this is where I have the most fun:
            “Murders in 2020 increased at the fastest rate since national statistics began in 1960. Other crimes, like shootings and car thefts, also increased.”
            ” the violent-crime rate in 2023 was near its lowest level in more than 50 years, ”
            and just for the record, despite what the right wing media would have
            you believe, shoplifting has dropped by 2 % since 2019.
            I’ll let you look that up —
            My turn
            Mass murders.
            If it’s a problem with mental health , why does the republican
            party fight every effort to keep guns out of the hands
            of the mentally ill ?

          • Don, ok my bad regarding the comparison of Biden to Reagan. I did mention Trump. As far as the ATF scandal that you mentioned under Busch I was unaware. Two wrongs don’t make a right and Obama should have learned from that so I would argue his scandal is worse.

            Compare the cost of goods and services to when trump was in office and now. Can say we are at 3 percent and how great Biden is for “fixing it. We are still paying 20% more for milk,eggs, and beef. Not to mention energy. You can’t blame Putin aggression on trump. Putin is a classic predator and smelled weakness in Biden and exposed it. No way would he have done so with Trump in office. How do I know. Well he didn’t. But under Obama he annexed Crimea. Under Biden well you get the point.
            Crime is up we see it every day in the real world. Walk in Newark, NJ and New York City. I can’t totally blame Biden but the progressive policies that he champions I can blame it on. And migrant crime is a problem outside of the MV bubble. I see it every day.

            Not sure why you skipped the border to respond to but I think you can see it’s unconscionable what Biden has done.
            So as far as mass murders and mental health we have the liberal judges to thank for that. We used to institutionalize those who were violent but no longer can
            The problems are t that difficult to fix but liberals fixated on fairness and feelings only exasperates the problem. I’m not sure its arrogance or not have the mental capacity to see cause and effect.

    • While I won’t put a diagnostic label on it, Biden’s cognitive decline is not, medically speaking, as subjective as some would like us to believe. It doesn’t boil down to differing opinions. There’s plenty of textbook proof that can’t be countered. Denying it is dangerous.

      Biased news coverage exists on both sides, but that’s irrelevant in this instance. We should be able to discard commentary and reach an honest conclusion just by observing the man himself. He has repeatedly demonstrated that he can’t retain vital facts about his own life. That he can barely navigate a small space. Sad, to be sure. But also terribly alarming.

      These lapses are, in part, what trained professionals look for when assessing a patient. Why hold the president, of all people, to a lesser threshold of competency? Of accuracy? At this point, his memory issues are serious. To pretend otherwise isn’t convincing anybody. If he were an average citizen exhibiting such frank symptoms, folks would consider it elder abuse/neglect not to acknowledge the situation for what it is and treat him accordingly.

      If he worked in the private sector, I’m guessing he’d have been fired long ago for endless mistakes. Why are we abandoning typical expectations when it comes to the most important job in the country? A leader needs to communicate effectively. Reliably. Plus, most liberals claim to value compassion. Where is the concern while watching him struggle on a regular basis? It’s discomfiting.

      The rest of the globe can see what is happening with Biden. America must do the same. It shouldn’t matter if we like or dislike this person as an individual. It shouldn’t even matter whether we share his views. He is unfit for an ultra-demanding, high-stakes office. I would say the same if he were my grandfather—then I would advocate to get him off the public stage. This charade is not serving anyone. Not him. Certainly not us citizens. Foreign leaders, including Putin, are all too aware of Biden’s weaknesses. That makes them our weaknesses.

      I won’t vote for him for several reasons, his mental state chief among them. There is nothing moral about knowingly placing enormous power in the hands of someone who cannot recall events, names, dates, and countless words, let alone juggle the increasing demands of diplomacy. I would consider such a vote unethical. It’s a hard enough job for someone who is operating at 100%.

      Trying to shame folks into voting blue has been done to death. How about earning our support by raising the bar? If Biden’s party is as solid as it purports—and it isn’t—they’ll provide us with a more worthy candidate. They depended on the anyone-but-Trump strategy last time, an effective but lazy approach that led, IMO, to an often subpar administration. No reason we have to keep repeating this cycle. These specific men are not some default binary. There are other fish in the over-35 ocean.

      I’m tired of seeing voters blamed for wanting better than a 2020 repeat. It’s okay to say we deserve fresh blood, sound choices, and that’s not a dig to anyone’s age. I am good with older candidates, provided they can meet the same standards as everyone else. Biden cannot. and that’s okay, too. Or at least it should be.

      Sometimes wisdom means knowing when to bow out. Grace, it follows, would be allowing him to do so without cloaking the circumstances in obvious lies. Sharp as a tack? Never. When the gig is this consequential, there’s only room for a realistic tally of pros and cons. And if Biden’s strong suit is now acuity, well… mine is brevity.

      • Katie, so you don’t have a problem voting for someone who s. assaults women? Or who commits fraud with his taxes? Or who commits fraud when completing bank forms? Or who borrows money from foreign nations (which makes him a national security risk)? Or someone who hires his attorney to pay an “escort” to keep her mouth shut about him “escorting” with her? The list of bad behavior is too long for this post.

        • Mary, today the UN said it was likely Hamas committed sexual atrocities during the October massacre. “Likely.” 5 months after the fact, after we’ve all seen the bloody, spit upon, beaten with a slab of wood videos. No women’s group here has shown support. No liberal left celebrity like Michelle Obama has stood with pictures of the kidnapped girls and demanded they be released. You’re new here, but over active on every single liberal talking point. Where were you on October 7th? How do you ask Katie, the most straightforward and morally clear person on these pages, if she has a problem “voting for someone who sexually assaults women”? How do you dare NOT to be standing behind the kidnapped Israeli women who are obviously still being sexually abused, since you’re standing behind every single other issue of caring and human rights this paper writes about? I’m voting my conscience. Because I have one. That means Biden does not get my vote. The list of liberal, shameless, phony moral outrages in denial of the unfitness of Biden and Harris is too long for this post.

        • Mary, sometimes I wanna tap an imaginary mic and whisper, “Is… is this thing on?”

          The replies I receive after addressing a specific issue often have nothing to do with my stated positions. In fact, they read as if I said something else entirely. Your response here fits that mold—please take note that I never mentioned voting for Trump.

          To clarify, I believe we would do best to aim for a political reset of sorts. A clean(ish) slate with new-to-the-White-House leadership. My logic, however unpopular, is that there’s too much baggage attached to the last couple of terms for us to thrive as a collective. If we remain mired in past resentments by retaining the same people—and their shortcomings—nothing will improve.

          I didn’t shine a spotlight on the Trump controversies because that topic has been exhausted on other occasions, my two cents included. The finer points of our current president’s health require attention, too. You claimed Biden’s mind is sound and that he’s performing well, then changed the subject when challenged. Respectfully, if you cannot support such a bold assertion, why bring it up?

          There’s loads of fair criticism to go around in Washington, but we can’t remedy or conceal one party’s mistakes by hyperfixating on the other guy. Trump’s presence doesn’t make it any more advisible to run an incumbent who’s struggling with term #1. Competency is a stand-alone quality, independent of who else is in the race.

          It baffles me when folks act like Biden is the lone Dem available to fill this role. I don’t feel he’s uniquely qualified in any area, and there’s a lot of lukewarm sentiment directed his way already. I realize some expect us to re-elect him on a wink-wink basis, with the tacit understanding that he won’t really be in power, but I’m not on board. The POTUS should be able to get by on his or her own merits. Again, the world is watching. There are multiple wars in progress. We need to project true strength.

          Lastly, I try to give all sexual allegations the same level of consideration and respect, and I have followed related stories carefully. Have you? I ask because those allegations are not limited to one politician. Biden was also accused of sexual assault. Does that matter on these pages?

          I’ve watched the left cherry-pick such claims too many times to assume the concern is always authentic. The most recent hypocrisy, as Jackie mentioned, has been over the horrific rapes in Israel. Women who have championed #metoo for years have switched to spamming social media with watermelon emojis, their sympathies resting with Hamas alone. It sickens me to read.


          Jackie, thank you for the warm welcome back. Hope you’re doing well! Also, I feel the same as you do about the recent Letter to the Editor situation, among other things. Would elaborate but this is already long. Next time, maybe. 🙂

          • Katie, you said, “I won’t vote for him for several reasons…” meaning Biden. How is it that you saw my response as not matching your comment?
            Also, your latest comment says that Biden was also accused of sexual assault. Please note your own word “accused.” Trump was found liable for his sexual assault by a jury of his peers (I would like to think that if you and I sat next to each other on the jury we would have agreed with the other members of the jury and contributed to the unanimous decision).
            That doesn’t have anything to do with the risk that we are taking by considering someone for office who has already said that he thinks that we should throw out one section of the Constitution. No, it isn’t the second amendment.

      • Well said, Katie. I missed seeing you here.

        The pretending about Biden from some on the liberal left is another signal of a grotesque immorality that cannot be ignored. I’d go with Nikki Haley. Imagine, someone tried to shame me, of all people, about why it’s not okay to support those who abuse and rape women. Funny. NOT.

      • Katie– We have 2 old white guys who are both losing it.
        But trump is a pathological liar. Just look at clips of him
        talking about how many miles of wall he allegedly built.
        It goes up about every 4 campaign speeches.
        He didn’t know what state Kansas city was in, didn’t
        know he was having a rally in New Orleans –thought it was in
        Tennessee– He said he was in “pleasure” Ca after a fire,
        When shown a picture of himself with E.Jean Carol, he thought
        the woman was the first wife he cheated on, Recently called his
        current wife that he cheated on with a porn star “Mercedes”
        can’t figure out which leaders belong to which country, thinks there
        were no wars going on while he was president and has told a
        ruthless communist dictator to do what he wants with europe.
        And let’s not forget that he has a nasty nickname for anyone he doesn’t
        like or who opposes him in any way. During his presidency he suggested
        the way to cure Covid was with bleach, bright light “inside” the body, and horse dewormer. Fired most of his “best” aids , cabinet members
        and advisors– the rest quit. He is charged with 91 felony counts,
        including insurrection and willfully stealing classified documents and
        showing them off to his buddies. He has lost dozens of lawsuits
        about his lie that he won the 2020 election, has been fined on
        multiple defamation suits and fraud cases he has lost,– and
        his cronies too, thinks he can end the war in Ukraine in one day
        —that’s the one day he will declare himself dictator– and has vowed
        to pardon hundreds of violent convicted felons who assaulted police, and weaponize the justice
        department to lock up his enemies. The supreme court is currently
        hearing an incredible case as to whether or not, as president, he could
        legally order Seal Team 6 to murder his political opponents.
        And this is a guy who boasts about being able to sexually assault
        women. Need I go on ?
        I’ll take sleepy Joe, thanks.

      • “Great.” We “deserve” better choices.
        But we ain’t getting them
        Maybe your non-vote for Biden will be of no consequence in liberal Massachusetts, but god forbid purple-state like-minded folks take the same approach to their voting booths.
        Sometimes wisdom means knowing when you must choose the lesser of two evils.
        Hardly a tough call.

      • Katie, a diatribe about our president’s cognitive and stable proficiency does not make it reality. Considering the fact that you’ve never even met the man, nor know anyone who knows him, but are ready to judge him based upon curated news clips and the pearl clutchers on the right wing, including the former president currently in second place? Let’s face facts: Donald Trump has a bad memory, he rambles, and has difficulty presenting coherent thoughts that can add up to more than a few sentences in a row! He confuses Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton with Barack Obama–the last two aren’t even the same race or gender? The guy is losing it, he’s bombastic but has lost a step. I’d rather someone who knows that it matters to protect a woman’s reproductive choices under every single circumstance on God’s green earth than someone who would be ready to deep-six the rights of my niece without batting an eyelash. He serves himself, Biden serves America. Those who have been conned before are getting conned again–it’s not as if either of us works for the Federalist Society, they make all his choices, regardless. A suit, a haircut, and perpetual suntan–wow, I’m turned on–make me a million dollars, Mr. President? Pwetty please?

        • I’m not assessing Biden based on Trump’s take or conservative opinion. I’m basing my remarks on hours of clearcut video and speeches—just like the rest of the world has been doing. No one who’s being honest can deny his failings. That there’s so little honesty is the real issue.

          Besides, his mental state isn’t the only thing I take issue with. He’s mishandled plenty, and I have no interest in another round. When the Democratic party stops feeling entitled to votes they haven’t earned through performance and consistency, maybe we’ll see some real change. I won’t be holding my breath.

          FYI, the “lesser of two evils” argument was made repeatedly in 2020. Democrats have had four years since to come up with a better plan, knowing their pick has been in decline and would likely need replacing.

          They’ve done nothing to remedy this instead.

          • The contenders are both feeble old men.
            One lies more than the other.
            I prefer the one who lies less.
            Republicans have had four years since to come up with a better plan, knowing their pick has been in decline and would likely need replacing.

            They’ve done nothing to remedy this.

          • Not sure how any of this thoughtful commentary is constructive for the 2024 election.
            These 2 are your choices.
            If standing on your principles translates to a non-Biden vote than you’re essentially sanctioning a 2nd Trump term.
            Maybe you’ll feel good about that on election day. How ’bout the day after.

  4. What do we manufacture in the United States of America these days? Is industrial exploitatation part of the political game played on the World stage?

    • Shelly– we manufacture weapons that we sell to verifiably
      insane people in this country. We are the world’s
      largest exporter of weapons, and rarely care where they
      wind up and who they kill. 500,000 small arms a year are sold
      by American manufacturers directly to the south American
      drug cartels that the MAGAnuts claim are destroying our
      country. Other than that, I think we make paper towels
      that presidents can throw at desperate people after
      an un natural disaster.

      • Don, you can’t have it both ways with who we decide to arm. Ukraine good. Israel bad. The arrogance of the US, thinking we can control human nature and Mother Nature. Evil people exist and we need to deter through strength. A proven concept that unfortunately has been lost on this administration. As for Mother Nature the US can’t throw trillions of dollars at a problem we can’t solve on our own. I’ll leave it at that because if I go on any further my comment won’t get posted.

        Don, on a side note I think something is up with my email. Check your spam going back a month.

        • Carl– Yes, I am saying that we choose who to arm
          and why. Ukraine was invaded by Russia. They need help
          to defend themselves against communist domination.
          When did we give up on defending democracies around the
          world. I’m sorry, but a lot of Americans have died in conflicts
          around the word in the name of freedom and democracy.
          Why has the republican party decided to spit on the memory
          and sacrifice of our military heroes and just give Ukraine to
          Putin. . I get that there are not a lot of Jews there, so some
          don’t care.
          Israel clearly has the right to defend itself, It is surrounded by hostile nations and would clearly have been driven into the sea if we
          didn’t help. But there comes a point where defense turns to
          offense– Yeah, I know– you don’t win a war by playing defense.
          But when does the metric change from being defensive to a war of
          attrition and vengeance.? Does the U.S have any responsibility
          for how it’s weapons are used ?

          Last e mail I have from you was feb 12

          • I think you made a couple of my points for me. First is that Americans have shed a lot of blood in the name of freedom. Don’t you think it’s high time for those who are oppressed to stand up to those regimes? If we picked up arms to do it why can’t they? Why do our sons and daughters have to die to fight others wars or pay for people coming here for a better life on our dime.
            Secondly, if you have no winner in a war people dying will be infinite. Only after you crush your enemy into submission will the dying stop. And hopefully the good guys win so the surviving people can live free. I have often said and firmly believe that if Hamas laid down their weapons the dying would stop but is Israel did that history would repeat itself and Hamas would try to exterminate every living Jew. It’s literally in their charter.
            And the US absolutely should have complete control over all our weapons used and deployed but unfortunately our hasty incompetent exit from Afghanistan under Joe Biden we delivered the most technological weapons to our enemy on a sliver plater. Billions of dollars in equipment left behind, assault rifles with superior optics, night vision equipment that gave our troops a ten fold advantage and of course countless humvees. It Gauls me to see our enemy carrying our weapons with acog scopes on them driving around in humvees.
            Don, I’m all about peace until you take advantage of our good nature.

    • Shelly, in the US we manufacture (by company or product): Liberty Tabletop Flatware, All-Clad Cookware, Gulfstream airplanes, Boeing airplanes, Boeing helicopters, Boeing spacecraft, Vitamix blenders, Norwalk juicers, Nordicware cookware, USA Pan bakeware, Red Oxx Manufacturing travel bags, Hamilton shirts, Ratio shirts, ARQ underwear, Hugger Mugger yoga mats, Frye boots, instant mashed potatoes 🥔 (most brands, including most restaurants, by the railroad carful), orange 🍊 juice, Florida and California strawberries 🍓, Name Bubbles washable stickers (if you haven’t tried these you’re missing out), some New Balance shoes, Alden shoes, Allen Edmonds shoes, Costco roast chicken, store fixture displays, eggs, milk, bread, decorated cakes, ice cream, Gillette razors, slot machines, Marshmallow Fluff, Cape Cod potato chips, Ocean Spray products, Yankee Candles, Necco candy, Floret seeds, Lockheed Martin products, Electric Boat products, windmills, Tesla cars, GM vehicles , Ford vehicles, Darn Tough socks, Wigwam socks, Red Wing boots, maple 🍁 syrup, Monopoly games, SpaceX products, Sockwell products, Boldfoot socks, chocolate chip cookies, Girl Scout cookies, Wee Forest Folks miniature collectibles, Zildjian cymbals, Truffle Shots (they ship to you), Taza Chocolate, Seven Cycles Bicycles, Refleece products, Polar Seltzer, pawTree pet food (pamper your pets), Ritual chocolate, wine, beer, whiskey, gin, Faribault Mill textiles, Nantucket Looms textiles, composite materials products, Forte3d cellos, Apple products, Dell products, Intel products, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, Pfizer pharmaceuticals, Johnson and Johnson pharmaceuticals, Burt’s Bees products, Formula 409, Clorox bleach, KC Masterpiece, Hidden Valley, oil, gasoline, liquified natural gas, Huntington Ingalls industries, and…

  5. Your logic Keller is that Mexican crime is predicated by 500k guns trafficked to Mexico by the US. Mexicans are peaceful people who would not commit crimes without the aid of US guns you say. Cartels would not exist without US guns you say. Who is trafficking the guns Keller? Is it some innocent school teacher in Racine Wisconsin or the Cartels connections themselves? Who are these people trafficking guns to peaceful Mexico. Is Hamas getting its armaments from Israeli people? What kind of twisted logic are you putting forth. Are shops in the US just handing over guns freely to Mexicans buying from them? Cartel people are heavily imbedded in the US and those people are buying and sending guns through their networks and with fentanyl money gotten from the sale of drugs. Sheeeeesh!!!!

  6. Katie Lane you are a great thoughtful writer whatever the subject. Balanced even, no bias. Every time you write something it is a pleasure read. God given gift.

      • Thank you so much, Andrew and Jackie. That’s really kind of you to say. I’ve admired the way you both have been able to shed light on Israel’s history throughout those necessary discussions, especially when doing so feels like swimming against prevailing tides. I’m forever in learning mode on this topic, so it helps to have it broken down with great insight.

  7. The liberal left has become incredibly morally bankrupt. Is there a sliding scale on this kind of morally vile viciousness? On these very pages we hear that Jews need to stop speaking out against blatant antisemitism, (they’ve had enough, thank you), but cannot themselves stop speaking out against Trump, (never enough, thank you). They try to convince themselves that they do not support the rape of women and abuse of gays while they scream their anti-Israel lies gleaned from antisemitic and terrorist sources and choose evil over good every single day by remaining silent on hostages being abused while telling women that they cannot vote for Trump because he’s a sexual abuser. The liberal left will even make an argument equating “bad behavior” like lying on tax forms, a creepy sexlife and cheating on a pornstar wife, with their support of life or death evil over good. If the liberal left spent half the time speaking out against the world wide antisemitism threatening and sometimes taking the lives of Jews everywhere who have nothing to do with Gaza, than they carry on with repeating the lies about “war crimes” and “geniocide”, they might sound less immoral. They might sound like they ha e an inkling of understanding that the Hamas’ declaration of war against Israel on Oct 7 was not about land or freeing anything. But liberals don’t spend one second of their time doing that because they are without morality. The pick and choose compassion game. It’s okay to support exactly what terrorists want, the terrorists who rape and kill and deny rights to all and steal billions and starve their own people and want more dead civilians so that gullible and antisemitic idiots can partner with the “kill the jews” groupies. I find it hard to believe what I read here, but then I look at X and Instagram, and read the headlines in the NY Times that blame Israel for “not agreeing to attend” ceasefire talks. Turns out, Hamas won’t agree to release the NAMES of the hostages still alive in Gaza.

    I will never again vote for a candidate that the liberal left supports. Never again. And in case anyone thinks that NEVER AGAIN is somehow a question or that it means “Never again after this time”, think again.

    People with actual values cannot in good conscience vote for Biden. That won’t be an issue for the liberals, as we see above in their pathetic, “yeah, but” arguments. When the liberal left tells us who they are, it is up to us to believe them and to not support what they do. Across the board. That’s what liberals have done to themselves. I’m voting my conscience because I have one. You cannot use “I’m a liberal” and “conscience” in the same sentence anymore.

    • The Conservative Right has become incredibly morally bankrupt.
      America has become incredibly morally bankrupt.
      Trump and Biden are our leaders.

  8. Katie, I get that you won’t vote for Joe Biden. But please tell us who you will vote for?

    • Sara with all due that is an incredibly inappropriate question to ask. We vote in secret for a reason and to think times were a lot better when we didn’t talk about who we voted for so publicly

      • Carl, keeping our vote secret is a matter of personal preference.
        We would be better off if there were more discussion.
        Interchange of points of view.
        Only then can we be free.

  9. When given the space, forum, and time, antisemites never fail to make fools of themselves.

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