Number losing unemployment benefits



Paperblog

Friday, January 13, 2017

Canadian Border

To the Editor:

Your oped (Jan 13, 2017) focuses on the Mexican border. But the greater danger is to the North. In Canada, since the defeat of the regressive Harper government in 2015, a series of sensible ideas have been implemented; ideas that I am sure the Trumpeters would not want to see waft across the border.

They include a number of steps to enhance the use of evidence to underpin government policies. For example, the Canadian Government has revived the Long Form Census; the information available tin the Form was essential for the establishment of good social policy on resolving social ills like poverty and unemployment and to provide statistical benchmarks.. The Conservative Government abandoned the Long Form in 2010 so there is a gap in overage which makes longitudinal analysis problematic.

A second sign of an evidence based focus is the announcement that very soon, there will be a Chief Science advisor to the Canadian Government. The person appointed will make sure that sound science is pumped in to the policy making process. In addition, bench level scientists are now allowed to speak directly to the media - a practice banned by the Harper administration as well as our won Bush appointees.

In due course, these sensible changes will be adopted in the United States; but not, I fear under a Trump administration.

Sent to New York Times

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Trump's conflicts of interest

To  the Editor

In all the discussion about Mr. Trump's potential conflicts of interest with respect to the emoluments clause, commentators have been silent on one issue: the second part of the clause; the piece that says "without the consent of Congress."
What does this mean? Does it mean that at the start of Mr. Trump's term, Congress can give blanket consent to all emoluments from any source for the whole four year term? Or does it men that Congress will have to consent to each emolument as soon as it is deposited in one of Mr. Trump's personal or corporate bank accounts; if so, Congress will have no time for any other legislation. Or perhaps there is a middle ground with some emoluments receiving blanket permission while others have to be permitted individually. Where will the line be drawn?
Mr.Trump will be completely at the mercy of Congress due to the emoluments clause. Congress can grant permission for Mr. Trump to continue to receive these emoluments. However, if Mr. Trump puts forward populist legislation, like expanding Medicare, that offends the Republican grandees in Congress, they can withdraw this permission and place Mr. Trump in a position where he may be liable to impeachment. The usual checks and balances will have been blown away.
Perhaps Mr. Trump can avoid triggering the emoluments clause. An emolument is defined as a profit gained from services rendered. With some creative accounting, perhaps involving paying down debt, Mr. Trump could reduce the profits from his overseas activities to a very small amount and then assign those profits to the Federal government. Then there would be no need to gain the consent of Congress.


Sent to Boston Globe

Monday, January 2, 2017

Trump's populist agenda

To the Editor

It is unlikely that President Trump will be able to advance his populist agenda through Congress.

Mr.Trump will be completely at the mercy of Congress due to the emoluments clause. Congress can grant permission for Mr. Trump to continue to receive these emoluments.

However, if Mr. Trump puts forward populist legislation, like expanding Medicare, that offends the Republican grandees in Congress, they can withdraw this permission and place Mr. Trump in a position where he may be liable to impeachment.

The usual checks and balances will have been blown away.


Sent to Washington Post

Friday, December 30, 2016

Emoluments

To the Editor

In all the discussion about Mr. Trump's potential conflicts of interest with respect to the emoluments clause, commentators have been silent on one issue: the second part of the clause; the piece that says "without the consent of Congress."
What does this mean? Does it mean that at the start of Mr. Trump's term, Congress can give blanket consent to all emoluments from any source for the whole four year term? Or does it men that Congress will have to consent to each emolument as soon as it is deposited in one of Mr. Trump's personal or corporate bank accounts; if so, Congress will have no time for any other legislation. Or perhaps there is a middle ground with some emoluments receiving blanket permission while others have to be permitted individually. Where will the line be drawn?
Perhaps Mr. Trump can avoid triggering the emoluments clause. An emolument is defined as a profit gained from services rendered. With some creative accounting, perhaps involving paying down debt, Mr. Trump could reduce the profits from his overseas activities to a very small amount and then assign those profits to the Federal government. Then there would be no need to gain the consent of Congress


Sent to New York Times

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Trump's lack of plan for conflict of interest

To the Editor

The Electors, potential members of the cabinet, and the Vice President elect should all demand that Mr. Trump present a credible plan for dealing with his business interests before December 19th.

This is a promise he made that cannot be broken.


Sent to New York Times

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Libel Law

Dear Editor:


Mr.. Trump should be careful what he wishes for.

The kind of law he wants would have allowed President Obama to sue Mr. Trump over his "birther" claims.

Pity it couldn't happen.

Sent to New York Times