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Zeros

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Wahhh! I haven't heard this much crying since John "Spray Tan" Boehner was House Speaker. Of course, this time around it's not a visit by Pope Francis or being handed the gavel that's got a "brown" person's waterworks flowing. No, it's the caterwauling of actual brown children being separated from their brown parents at the southern U.S. border thanks to Prez Donald "Immigrants Bad" Trump and his "zero tolerance" policy regarding asylum-seekers.

Before our Racist-in-Chief finally backed down and signed an executive order to reverse the policy on June 20, the Department of Homeland Security under Trump's direction had managed to pry about 2,000 crying kids from their desperate parents who had sought refuge in the good old U.S.A., aka The Land of Opportunity, aka Honey, I Lost the Kids. How does that Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty go again? "Give me your tired," yada yada, something about, "Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me." Somebody ought to put up an "Out of Order" sign on that big, green, lamp-holding lady. And "tost"? Get a proofreader, Lazarus!

Until he retreated, Trump, of course, un-presidentially passed the proverbial buck like it was covered in Russian prostitute pee and saying that Democrat-passed legislation has tied his hands. He's just enforcing the laws, people! Never mind there was zero truth to his statements!

"Democrat bad! Trump good!"

He's at the mercy of Congress, see? You know Congress, right? It's that Republican controlled legislative body that's of the same party as the president ... hey, wait a minute! Republicans control the presidency, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, and it's the Democrats' fault?

Locally we have Democratic 24th District U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal up in arms over the border debacle. He issued a press release condemning Trump's policy and called for the passage of the Keep Families Together Act H.R. 6135, a companion bill to the one introduced by California U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein earlier this month, which would stop family separation.

Carbajal's challenger for his congressional seat, Justin "Toe the Party Line" Fareed, followed up with his own press release claiming he's also "devastated" by "photos of immigrant children crying after being separated from their parents" (note: it's just the photos—not the actual immigrant children) but instead of specifically calling out Trump, he argued, "Our laws must be enforced," even though—as already noted—there are no laws requiring separating families. Zero!

Fareed did mention other bills in Congress—none of which are Feinstein's bill—that purport to end family separation but have politically toxic elements attached that will lead to zero Democratic votes. No one, other than Feinstein, seemed willing to put forth a bill that would disconnect Trump's immigration demands—like billions of bucks for his border wall and increased difficulty to earn U.S. asylum—from his zero tolerance family separation policy.

"Children should not be separated from their parents, and should never be used as bargaining chips ... will Salud Carbajal do his job and be part of that solution?" Fareed asked, ignoring the fact that Carbajal is doing his job by publicly supporting Feinstein's bill and that the bills Fareed references do in fact use children as bargaining chips, as in, "We'll stop the separation if you give in to all our other immigration demands."

Sigh. Forget about kids on the southern border; we've got a toddler in the White House.

Frankly, I sort of miss Crybaby Boehner. He clearly had more heart than current House Speaker Paul Ryan, another "compassionate conservative Christian" who's short on compassion and unclear on Christ's message, and who refuses to demand an unfettered end to Trump's zero tolerance policy.

Speaking of crybabies, did 4th District Supervisor Lynn Compton, who's locked in a nail-biter race with challenger Jimmy Paulding, really sue Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong in SLO Superior Court to stop him from processing ballots with unconfirmed signatures? Yes. Yes, she did.

Gong said there were 35 mail-in ballots he was trying to confirm signatures for before adding them to the tally, but Compton and her lawyers cited a technicality about allowing only eight days to confirm signatures, and if they're not confirmed, to throw the ballots away.

Gong disputed their interpretation of the law, but regardless, what's more important: the letter of the law or fairness? Do these voters deserve to be disenfranchised?

On the other hand, if some voters are too daft to properly fill out a mail-in ballot and correctly complete their signatures, should their votes count? That's a real conundrum, eh?

No, it's not! Gong should do everything in his power to confirm the authenticity of the disputed ballots and make sure those votes are counted in the tally. That's the spirit of the law!

And Judge Barry LaBarbera believes in the spirit of the law! He ruled against Compton. Not that it made a difference—Compton is currently ahead by 55 votes. I guess she desperately wanted to maintain the conservative majority on the SLO County Board of Supervisors so they can continue their "highly functional" governance. They did recently manage to avoid going to court over the anti-fracking ordinance that garnered enough signatures to go on the November ballot. "Hey look, we agreed to follow the law!"

Yay? Δ

The Shredder has zero tolerance for human rights abuses. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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