- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 29, 2016

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Nov. 28

Incoming President Donald Trump has been quiet about immigrants and deportation lately, but that hasn’t quelled the fears of 750,000 immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents as children and won protection to stay here under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

These young immigrants call themselves Dreamers. None can forget Trump’s campaign promise to “immediately terminate” Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including DACA, which allows them to receive temporary work permits.

In a YouTube video Trump released Nov. 21, updating his transition decisions and outlining some future plans, he was mum on DACA. He did say he would direct the Labor Department to investigate visa abuses.

That’s scant relief for Dreamers, whose ranks include productive citizens and star students with deep roots in the United States. Many grew up speaking English and have few ties to their native countries. They fear the respite is temporary while Trump turns his attention to other matters, and dread being forced back underground or deported.



Trump has offered no statistical evidence to demonstrate why he believes these young people pose a danger, or what purpose would be served by kicking them out. By allowing them to work and study, free from the threat of deportation, many have turned into wage earners who are improving the quality of life for themselves and their families. They buy cars and houses, start businesses and add to the tax revenue in cities and states across the country.

The real immigration threat is from criminal elements, which is why Obama directed the Department of Homeland Security not to waste valuable federal resources pursuing migrants leading productive lives here.

DACA beneficiaries now are in jeopardy because of detailed information they provided to qualify for DACA - names, addresses and written acknowledgement that they have lived in the country without permission. Many fear the information could be used to track them down if Trump acts on his threat to deploy deportation forces.

The solution is not another series of executive orders. Responsibility lies with Congress to clean up the mess that it has created over several decades. There is no feasible way to deport the 11 million undocumented migrants in this country. The only feasible solution is a comprehensive reform package that establishes a pathway to legalization for people who just want to continue living freely and contributing productively to American society. It should be difficult but fair.

Dreamers are the least of this country’s immigration problems and do not deserve the negative attention Trump has focused on them. These are the kinds of people we want in our country. Dangerous criminals and security threats should be rooted out, but there is no benefit from ousting young people striving to become solid citizens.

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St. Joseph News-Press, Nov. 25

Police work is dangerous enough without having someone decide to use your badge as a target.

That this occurs with any frequency is another reason for growing concern in America.

Defenders of police want something done to put an end to ambush shootings, or at least create a greater deterrence and penalty for this act of cowardice.

Those who take up the cause of inner-city communities understand the outrage about attacks on cops, but in the same breath they ask where is the outrage over society’s failures to help the poor and disadvantaged minorities lift themselves out of poverty.

Missouri lawmakers will take up both issues in coming months, and we think a focus on both is the only appropriate path.

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, says police officers are targeted “just like black men are targeted,” according to The Associated Press. When faced with proposals to do more to protect police, she responds that black men and police both should receive equal protection.

The point is understood but it cannot be allowed to hijack the argument that police deserve all of the protection we can afford them. This must include investments in training and equipment, and also the best protections we can write into our laws.

Governor-elect Eric Greitens said on the campaign trail he supports creating a “Blue Alert” system similar to AMBER Alerts to send out emergency notifications to help quickly apprehend suspects in shootings of law enforcement officers.

State Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff, served notice this week he wants to take an additional step and attempt to mandate harsher penalties for assaults on police. Greitens, in separate remarks, says he also will push for stricter penalties.

A leader of the Fraternal Order of Police in Kansas City says targeting police should be treated like any hate crime. The FOP president, Brad Lemon, adds, “Ambush attacks and assassinations of police officers put our entire society at risk.”

There should be little dispute with that point, or with the need to back those sworn to serve and protect us.

___

Columbia Daily Tribune, Nov. 28

It often is said the states are laboratories for democracy. In our federal republic, new public policy often is given a test drive in smaller jurisdictions on the way to wider adoption nationwide. So it is in a rough way with our movement toward a system providing basic universal health care.

As the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act come into sharper focus, Alaska is at the leading edge of trouble. In its small population, fundamental problems show up earlier and more painfully than elsewhere, particularly the classic insurance coverage pickle: How can broad coverage be most affordably provided when the youngest and healthiest refrain from buying insurance while the sickest and most expensive want and need coverage?

In Alaska, fewer than 500 of the sickest have driven private insurance costs up by more than 40 percent a year. The state government is scrambling to provide special subsidies for these patients, but the problem will outstrip this solution. Only one private insurer remains in the state. Officials worry that by 2018 the state will have no individual insurance market and that sooner or later in the Lower 48 we will face the same thing.

Let us hope the dire promise highlighted in Alaska causes the inevitable solution to come sooner: The adoption of a national single-payer system that will blend Alaska’s population with that of the rest of the nation in a universal risk and funding pool.

Any insurance analyst will agree this arrangement is necessary to provide best coverage for an entire group at lowest cost. The only way to postpone this eternal truth is to continue denying universal basic coverage, a condition of inequity and discrimination we are in the process of correcting the hard way.

Everywhere else in the developed world, single-payer systems provide better health outcomes at lower cost. Over generations in those countries, the benefits of universal basic coverage are obvious. Immediately the process will begin here if all citizens have ready access to good preventive health care at an affordable price through insurance overseen by government.

This does not mean government would take over provision of services. It does not mean individuals could not buy additional coverage, just as we do now with Medicaid augmentation.

What a shame that in this country the dominant major political party opposes this trend as official doctrine. Need and economic imperative are producing irresistible evolution toward a national health plan built around single-payer insurance. Professionals in the industry understand the problem. Some object to the idea of government insurance but private insurance only continues temporarily at the cost of postponing the benefits of broader, more affordable health care for everyone.

There will always be room for providers and patients to deal separately and individually, but the population at large can’t benefit from such an arrangement and the nation at large suffers from lack of universal, prevention-based coverage extant in other developed nations.

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Joplin Globe, Nov. 23

Throughout the campaign, it was difficult to know whether to take Donald Trump’s off-the-cuff and sometimes impromptu statements seriously. It was difficult to know whether he took them seriously himself.

One of those statements concerned his willingness, should he be elected, to prosecute his rival, Hillary Clinton, for her email practices. During their second debate, Trump told the person he labeled “Crooked Hillary,” ”If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.”

He even went so far as say Clinton would be in jail if he won.

Well, he won. But on Tuesday, Trump indicated he doesn’t want to pursue more investigations against Clinton.

Other investigators, of course, don’t necessarily have to stop their probes, and there are some who will feel betrayed, but Trump’s call was the right one.

Hillary’s time as a player on the American political stage has ended.

She is nearly 70 years old, so this was likely her last bid for elective office.

She leaves that stage knowing she did not have the trust or confidence of the American people. She leaves knowing she could not beat a candidate who was badly compromised even while she had the endorsement of hundreds of key Republicans, including a former president.

Clinton’s use of a private email server was no simple mistake. She had been warned not to do it, and she willingly broke the rules. In the end, her actions were perhaps more to her detriment than anyone else’s.

She received her judgment, maybe not from the courts, but from the American people. That’s a damning enough indictment.

Let’s move on.

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