February 9, 2017 6:00 AM HomePoliticsMorning Reads – January 9, 2017 Morning Reads – January 9, 2017 By Jessica Szilagyi Politics 46 Comments On this date in 1825, the U.S. House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes. In the legislature House bills passed yesterday. House bills on the floor today. Senate bills on the floor today: HB 43 (Amended budget) SB 48 – Hunting/Fishing and SB 52 – Mental health Peaches ADHD med prescriptions may need be refilled every 5 days, if law passes Georgia GOP continues to tank The mission to save a Civil War painting in Atlanta And, of course, some good Georgia news Jimmy Carter Former president Jimmy Carter still pushing policy initiatives Forbes issues a warning to Congressional Republicans Anti-Milo protestors are pleased with the results from Berkeley Meanwhile, Hollywood is uniting for a PAC Sweet Tea Mother jailed for homeschooling her children, kids taken by CPS Funeral selfies are getting out of control But what about the bees? A 500-person family reunion. (How do you cook for that?) Share this:TwitterFacebookTumblrRedditEmailPrint Related About Author jszilagyi5 46 Comments Andrew C. Pope David Perdue wants to make overdraft fees great again! https://www.buzzfeed.com/matthewzeitlin/republicans-are-moving-to-scrap-rules-on-overdraft-charges?utm_content=buffere3eea&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer&utm_term=.jfzABZ4qL#.hc6GoZn4L February 9, 2017 7:37 AM Log in to Reply Dave Bearse Truly looking out for the little guy. February 9, 2017 9:23 AM Log in to Reply in_atl I got nothin’. Or actually I do have something … https://www.gotquestions.org/usury-Bible.html February 9, 2017 10:07 AM Log in to Reply Saltycracker Maybe you’d like sharia compliant lending but I’d think you better have pretty good credit to qualify – a bank better to invest in…. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SmROuXO4lD0 February 9, 2017 6:46 PM Log in to Reply Benevolus If you have ADHD you might be inclined to refill your prescription every day. Or every hour. OK, bad joke. February 9, 2017 7:54 AM Log in to Reply Mike Hassinger That’s OCD, which SHOULD be called CDO so it’s in alphabetical order. February 9, 2017 8:14 AM Log in to Reply davidmac But seriously folks, this is not a good thing – it applies to ANY Scheduled drug, not just opioids, because it’s poorly drafted. Also, the bill as written requires counseling to refill the prescription, and that minors can’t get more than a 5 day supply ever, unless it’s acute (broken bone, surgery, etc.) or cancer. Which means taking the kids out of school every week, and taking vacation time from work, for a pediatrician visit. And $20 (or more) copays every 5 days. Hey, protip – copays don’t count toward your deductible! So guess what, you’re paying at least $1400 a year more, not to mention lost productivity at work and lost time in the classroom, instead of calling the ped and swinging by on the way home from work to pick up the scrip. You want parents of kids with chronic medical conditions to go broke? This is your bill. February 9, 2017 9:42 AM Log in to Reply Ellynn I’m on one of the more restrictive ADHA drugs. I have to call in to a medical specialist (only a psychiatrist in this state can prescribe it) every 28 days to get it, pick up the written prescription that day, no calling it in to a drug store allowed. It has to be filled the same day it’s written. If they don’t have it on hand – you need to do this again the next day with a new written prescription. I have to show ID when I drop it off, I have to show ID and have the back of my license scanned when I pay for it, and I have to sign legal type stuff that this is for my use only, selling it is a felony, blah blah blah. This is a three hour process at best during a work day. I also have to see the doctor every 6 months, even though I have no real reason to visit him for his services. Depending on what insurance I have that year, it might not be covered as a doctor visit. And they want to make this even more fun and exiting… February 9, 2017 10:50 AM Log in to Reply davidmac HHS is having a committee meeting this afternoon. If your senator is on the list – http://www.senate.ga.gov/Committees/en-US/Committee.aspx?Committee=76&Session=25 – call ’em now. February 9, 2017 10:52 AM Log in to Reply Ellynn I just did. Thanks. February 9, 2017 12:18 PM Log in to Reply Noway2016 Serious question: In what way does the ADHD drug make you focus? Say you’ve gone off of it for a bit. How does the drug make you focus better. Can you tell me medically how the drug works on your brain? And do you have a “night and day difference” when you are off of it? Genuinely curious. To be honest, I am ADD but not on any meds. I’m wondering if they’d really help. February 9, 2017 10:55 AM Log in to Reply davidmac Medically, you have your activity centers and you have your regulation centers. In an AD(H)D mind, the activity centers are moving more quickly than the regulation centers can keep up. So there’s always a distraction, an inattention, that prevents you from completing work. The medication increases the capability of the regulation centers to take care of the activity centers, and in effect, the stimulant of the medication slows you down by increasing your regular behavior over the hyperactive behavior. For my kid, there is an absolute difference. It’s easy to tell if he missed his dose. February 9, 2017 11:23 AM Log in to Reply Noway2016 Thanks, Dave. I never knew how they worked! Yeah, my nephew was/is on Aderall (?) and he swears by it. February 9, 2017 11:30 AM Noway2016 David, is this going to be a lifetime thing for him or will a young person eventually “grow out of it?” February 9, 2017 11:35 AM Ellynn Mine is getting worse as I get older. I could make myself focus on a task as a child if it interested me. No so much now. February 9, 2017 12:21 PM davidmac Probably he won’t grow out of it. But puberty is strange. February 9, 2017 1:25 PM Benevolus never mind. February 9, 2017 11:27 AM Log in to Reply Ellynn With out the meds, I’m working on assort of hyper drive with like a hundred questions and reminders in my mind going one at once. To put this in a Noway reference: Me without the meds; I’m cleaning a gun, but I’m worried over a grip on another gun that needs to be adjusted, oh and the ammo box is empty for the 9mm I might shot next week, but the 8 mm box is too full. I’m not cleaning the 9 or the 8 till the weekend, oh look at the cute bird out the window, I should shoot some bird next season. Wait – is my hunting tag expired – I should look that up and see. When did I last clean the deer riffle? Maybe I need a new rifle case, none of mine are brown. This cleaning rag is ugly. I should get some different curtians. I wonder if they have different color ammo boxes. I need a deer hound. I should clean the gun cabinet too or maybe I need a different table to hold my bigger guns. Why is the window sill dirty? I should have venison for dinner tomorrow might. I hate this chair. I need a bird feeder. The bristles on this brush are too soft. Blue cases look better then grey ones. I should get a house with different windows and a gun cleaning room. Why do deer like corn. Look how nice this clean this barrel is. I should have gun metal tea when I clean guns… This thought pattern happens in my head just a few seconds. With the meds I can cut the thought patterns down to half, and instead of getting out of my chair and checking on something that just pops into my mind, I can stay focus on the task. SOmetimes I write stuff down is truly important next to me while working. I can also become hyper focus – I can do one extremely important task while pushing the running collection of thoughts to the backburner. I don’t take them every day. Sometimes I need the thoughts to run amuck to be creative and let me think through a problem. Other days, like when I’m reading Title 25 of the OCGA or crafting documents for submission to the Board of Regents, I need to be hyper focused. Most girls who have it are not what you would call hyper or over active. It more of a think, passive event. Thanks for asking, and I hope you enjoying this little tour of the workings of a overthinking mind. February 9, 2017 12:08 PM Log in to Reply Noway2016 Love the Noway example!! Mine has surely gotten worse as I have gotten older. Your examples sound an awful lot like mine, too. You’ve given me a good reason to ask the doc for a scrip… February 9, 2017 12:40 PM Ellynn No doc worth his salt will not just give you a scrip. He’s going to have you tested by a trained psychologist doing a whole sort of IQ like tests first. February 9, 2017 12:53 PM Benevolus Noway would fail an IQ test. 🙂 February 9, 2017 1:30 PM Noway2016 LOL! And I was wondering how long I needed to study for an upcoming urine test. Dang… February 9, 2017 1:42 PM Saltycracker ADHD drugs are used irresponsibly, emergencies increasing, but when used responsibly and really needed the 5 day refill requirement is a disaster. The legislators must get back to the table. February 9, 2017 9:26 PM Log in to Reply Dave Bearse “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand that.”—Cap’n Tinyhands declaring the news media isn’t reporting acts of terrorism. The terrorism is in Europe, natch, since the Great Trumpkin has us safe and sound despite so-called US judges. Is the non-reporting an alternative fact, or reverse fake news by the media? Spicer parroting Trump complaining of how terrible and unfair it was that Nordstrom is discontinuing Ivanka’s fashions….The GOP is indeed fast-acting—it took only three weeks to degrade the White House Press Secretary to Assistant Shill. February 9, 2017 9:41 AM Log in to Reply The Eiger Chris Carr got his first big win as AG. $40 million for Georgia consumers who were being screwed. “ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr today announced that the Office of the Attorney General’s multi-year legal battle against payday lenders Western Sky Financial, LLC, CashCall, Inc. and related entities has concluded in a settlement providing over $40 million in monetary relief to Georgia consumers.” http://law.ga.gov/press-releases/2017-02-08/attorney-general-chris-carr-announces-40-million-plus-settlement-online February 9, 2017 11:19 AM Log in to Reply Dave Bearse Multi-year legal battle means this was a Sam Olens win. February 10, 2017 2:10 AM Log in to Reply The Eiger You are right about Sam. Most of the credit should go to the attorneys that actually tried the case. “The Office of the Attorney General’s legal team was led by Counsel for Legal Policy Timothy Butler and Assistant Attorneys General Charlene Swartz, Monica Sullivan and Andrew Chesser.” I know one of those folks really well. February 10, 2017 10:07 AM Log in to Reply Benevolus Very curious about that Yemen raid. I hope we get some information about how that was planned and green-lighted. I don’t think the national security team was even in place yet, so who was advising the Prez on this? The intel was likely not as good as we had hoped, but why? And why now and not, say, next month? February 9, 2017 11:46 AM Log in to Reply gcp Alabama Governor appoints current Alabama AG, Luther Strange, to replace Sessions in the senate. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/alabama-attorney-general-luther-strange-to-replace-jeff-sessions-in-the-senate-234836 February 9, 2017 12:03 PM Log in to Reply Ellynn The same AG who is investigating said governor… February 9, 2017 12:23 PM Log in to Reply gcp Correct, but will be interesting to see who replaces Strange as Alabama AG. Also, it does not stop possible impeachment of the gov. February 9, 2017 12:29 PM Log in to Reply chefdavid SB 48 Passes in the Senate. I guess this means hunting licenses and fishing licenses will go up. This will make the tax increase more palpable for legislators when they go back home from Atlanta. February 9, 2017 12:42 PM Log in to Reply Ellynn Protecting the port maybe… https://www.axios.com/sen-david-perdue-comes-out-against-border-adjustment-2250572131.html February 9, 2017 2:05 PM Log in to Reply CoastalCat Sarah Palin as ambassador to Canada-hot rumor from up north. That’ll teach them to steal our hockey teams. February 9, 2017 4:59 PM Log in to Reply Noway2016 Trump loses court ruling. Now what? February 9, 2017 6:15 PM Log in to Reply Andrew C. Pope 1) Seek an en banc hearing in front of an 11-judge panel of 9th Circuit judges or 2) Appeal to SCOTUS. SCOTUS is his best chance, but it’s a steep steep battle. For one, it’s a 4-4 split. For two, I don’t think anyone other than Thomas or Alito is down to write the next Korematsu. February 9, 2017 7:10 PM Log in to Reply Sally Forth Funny you should mention the human trafficking industry du jour. Yep, importing immigrants and refugees IS big business in the US – not just some little charitable do-gooder activity. Private corporations hire tens of thousands of employees and the federal government pays overhead and staffing in two separate federal agencies to funnel taxpayer money to private corporations, the UN, and all these newcomers. Get the popcorn and settle in to read a bit of research I’ve spent my spare time with, while recovering from the Falcons’ loss.. Over $2 billion a year in taxpayer money alone goes into this huge industrial complex (tax exempt corporations are still corporations, they just do not pay any taxes). While there are numerous such corporations around the US, nine of the biggest meet weekly with the pertinent subdivision of the State Department to actually set policy and divvy up the incoming migrants, immigrants, refugees, etc. for that week among the various immigrant businesses around the nation. Those nine determine distribution and have no obligation to notify governors or mayors of “incoming.” Those Big Kahuna nine are: Church World Service (CWS) Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular) Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular) US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular) Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) World Relief Corporation (WR) .. which are essentially federal CONTRACTORS. Many of their names suggest that they’re charitable organizations, funded by donations from generous American citizens. Instead, the vast bulk of their money comes from us taxpayers, who have no choice about the exactions. While six of these nine contractors are affiliated with religious groups, the false notion that they are charitable organizations just doing the Lord’s work needs to be corrected. They are federal contractors, relying on the government for most, and sometimes all, of their income. This is big business. They do the government’s bidding, whether it honors religious principles or not. All these groups like to discuss issues of immigration in terms of pure altruism, generosity, and “welcoming the stranger.” For some reason, they rarely if ever mention the possibility that politicians may have self-interested motives for supporting high levels of immigration with little oversight. E.g., packing congressional and legislative districts both protect incumbents and tilt elections, as well as raise population numbers for getting federal dollars into those districts. Much less do the groups mention that they themselves have found that by generously welcoming strangers to our land, they can receive bountiful subsidies of tax dollars that underwrite hefty salaries for persons who claim to act only from the most selfless motives. https://capitalresearch.org/article/refugee-resettlement-the-lucrative-business-of-serving-immigrants/ According to AP, Catholic Charities USA says the executive order will cost the organization millions of dollars and put at risk about 7,000 jobs out of the 54,000 jobs at their agency around the US, according to spokeswoman Patricia Cole. The group launched an $8 million fundraising campaign last week to help replace some funding it expects to lose during the 3-month moratorium on some importing of foreign nationals. (So now they attempt to raise private Christian charity, why didn’t they do that long ago?! The refugee program was supposed to be a public-private partnership, but the public/taxpaid share increases annually as the private share shrinks.) Another company, International Rescue Committee, Inc. is asking its donors to help raise $5 million to ensure its 29 offices around the country can continue to support refugees already here. (Hey, here is a thought maybe David Miliband could take a pay cut, he gets over a half a million dollars annually as CEO of this contractor. The budget for this one is more than a half a billion annually.) Federal taxpayers are on the hook for nearly $20,000 just to settle each refugee and asylum seeker, who are then immediately eligible for cash welfare, food stamps, housing and medical aid, according to a report on the “refugee industry.” The report provided federal budget figures showing that the government spends $19,884 on each refugee the U.S. takes in, as of 2015. It focused on the industry created to accept the $1.8 billion (as of 2 years ago, more now – see below) in federal support to help refugees settle and sign up for further cash awards from Uncle Sam. The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), enrolls refugees in a broad range of welfare programs – for which refugees automatically qualify after 30 days. ORR spent about $609 million in FY 2015. Nearly half of this goes to states and resettlement companies to help defray cash, medical assistance, and employment-related assistance for newly arrived refugees. The balance funds formula grants to states and NGOs for English language and employment-related training and the Unaccompanied Alien Children Program. Once settled, the refugees are eligible for further federal support and most take it. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/feds-spend-nearly-20000-to-settle-every-refugee/article/2593331 The 2015 numbers are used in this report, and of course have increased tremendously in the last year and a half as a result of the influx of more special categories created by Obama and Clinton. The State Dept. site that deals with this has info and shows how far-reaching this is: https://www.state.gov/j/prm/ra/ Inspector General’s Report, February 2017, on The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (in the State Dept.) https://oig.state.gov/system/files/isp-i-17-10.pdf Read it and weep – over $3 billion in the wind with a refugee computer program that was hacked in 2011 and still has not been fixed. Among other things, the Inspector General states the Bureau “should implement a standard operating procedure for future annual statement of assurance processes that includes reviews of contracts, information security, and refugee admissions processes. (Action: PRM)” Also stated “The Information Management Division provided the necessary support to facilitate and enable PRM’s day-to-day operations, but OIG identified weaknesses in project planning and security. In addition, employees told OIG that PRM’s development and deployment of its Enterprise System, developed to improve foreign assistance data and project management and enhance information retrieval and analysis, has been delayed.” (Say what??) Also recommends “The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, in coordination with the Bureau of Administration, should implement internal control procedures for delivery orders to prevent spending in excess of the contract ceiling.” Also recommends “The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration should review all purchase card records, including supporting documentation, and file all missing documentation for acquisitions processed. ” (sounds like DeKalb County p cards!) Bureau FUNDING: $3,112,571,649 (your tax money at work!) Last but not least, here’s the website re US Immigration and Citizenship federal bureaucracy — interesting all the different kinds of subcategories and exceptions for various migrants: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/refugees/united-states-refugee-admissions-program-usrap-consultation-worldwide-processing-priorities Are you mad yet? This only scratches the surface of the many billions of dollars in this human trafficking industry parading as “Christian.” No wonder all those protests looked so well organized — they were! By paid employees and p/r staff of the hundreds of 501(c) corporations around the nation. All the good-hearted people who volunteered their time and energy to go march and carry the signs made up by those companies were misled and should feel really used and abused. February 9, 2017 10:33 PM Log in to Reply Ellynn No I’m not mad, I’m sadden. I have donated to many different Catholic organization involved in refugee and orphan relocation/placement, done volunteer work for them and my church growing up helped relocate almost 100 political refugees out of Vietnam, Laos, Iran, the U.S.S.R. and Poland in just my childhood. They still place middle eastern refugees, also cases from Central America and China. They raise far more in direct donations – both monetary and physical – then they do from direct government funds for temporary room and board (normally less then a 18 months), childcare, and basic education skills in English and civic. I currently volunteer to teach 3 Syrian women along with the 4 other single moms I mentor how to navigate the banking and monetary systems of the US dollar, how to find jobs, etc.. The refuges I helped (and even played with) as a child over 30 years ago are productive tax paying citizens who have given more back to the US coffers then they ever took out. Some stayed in my hometown, others move to different states. They raised children who are voters and in two cases elected officials. They own business and one set of refuge parents lost a child in Iraq in 2007 who is buried in the same row as my own father in a joint private/public owned Catholic cemetery. I don’t feel used for being a decent human being. I don’t consider being kind to strangers who have lost every thing they ever owned, including their identity and prior country, as being abused. When I look at the women I help, I see my own great, great grandmother who came to America at the age of 14 with just her 17 year old brother in the late 1870’s to escape the wars in Prussia, my grandmother who was born on a ship in the Atlantic fleeing the English after her uncles had been involved in the North Irish uprisings of the 1910’s. Some one along the way helped them. The Church of course. But so did the US and local government. The 17 year old brother was given a land grant by the government. Members of my extended family still raise cows on it. My grandmother’s parents lived on and worked a county owned poor farm for years before they could afford to rent a house. Her mother died in the 1920’s at 32 living in a government run hospital for TB patients and was buried in a county owned plot (same cemetery as my father). We are talking about people. Flesh and blood being just like we are. If making a breathing and feeling person into a political tax line item and reducing their right to survive into a phrase like ‘human trafficking industry’ makes you sleep better at night, I grieve and am sadden for your soul. February 10, 2017 12:50 PM Log in to Reply Benevolus Can I have the executive summary? I’m not sure about what your beef actually is. Is it the taxpayer money spent? Is it that these immigrants are supposed to be voters? Is it charity fraud? If you were going to fix whatever this mess is what what be your priority list? February 10, 2017 7:06 PM Log in to Reply bethebalance Sally, it looks like you’ve done your homework on the budget/policy side, but you have severe misconceptions about realities. I’m curious- have you ever worked in, or with, any of the refugee programs? If you had firsthand knowledge, it would bring the necessary balance to your policy discussion. February 10, 2017 10:54 AM Log in to Reply Sally Forth btb, yes, I have indeed worked as a volunteer with many refugees, even to the point of bringing a Somali family of four into a family member’s home, where they stayed for several days until the agency could get them all signed up on government programs and moved into public housing. Boy, was that a rude awakening! They stood up on furniture, squatted on sofas and chairs instead of sitting. They spoke no English, so communicating was very difficult. They were afraid of the commode, didn’t know how to use the bathroom. They ate with their hands and did nothing but sleep most of the day. The woman was treated very badly by the man, totally disrespected. They did not take baths nor do anything that was remotely American civilization, were not in any way prepared for life on their own in the U.S. After they were finally picked up and moved to an apartment, we had to have the house fumigated — and our whole family had head lice treated for weeks! That eye-opening experience showed me that nobody in the chain of all this money is in any way preparing foreign people for living and functioning in America before they get here. My church had gotten recruited by one of the people-moving corporations’ propaganda, and at the time we all thought it was just good Christian charity to help those less fortunate. When I went over to the company’s local office to volunteer there also, I observed their lack of organization and began to have some pretty big questions about what was going on. Yes, Ellynn, these are real live human beings being shuffled around like cattle and placed in unfamiliar situations totally unprepared by the big business that is absolutely human trafficking – making huge profits off this industry cannot be called anything else. We taxpayers and volunteers need to demand accountability from all of these corporations. Your families Prussian experience raises a good point — prior to WW II, people who emigrated to the US came by water on ships. Their’s were long stories. They had lots of time for preparation before they left their homelands, as well as on long ocean voyages. Assimilation into American society was expected and achievable. Consumer air travel is a relatively new thing in our nation’s history, with only limited flights to Britain in the 1950’s, and the large intercontinental air planes of today only proliferating in recent history. The ability to shuffle humans around by planes almost instantaneously now exists, and has definitely contributed to the shell shock we now have with all the clusters of foreign nationalities across the US who have not, and don’t seem to wish to be, assimilated. These corporations are making big money off of the chaos they have created for ordinary Americans, and in many cases the humans in which they traffic. February 10, 2017 1:52 PM Log in to Reply Ellynn Actually, based on census and other records, my Prussian/German ancestors didn’t assimilate into American life as you would think. My great, great grandmother and her brother escaped with literally their cloths on their backs, some curried sausage, a little money from a local convent and an address for a 2nd cousin in Buffalo to help them find their older sister’s family in Wisconsin. They spoke no English and traveled through French Canada most of the way because it was safer for Catholics then traveling through parts of America at the time. It took 7 months and the brother lost fingers while working the sails on a lake freighter. They lived in a German Catholic cluster that today is known as the Holyland area of Wisconsin. My 2nd generation 1912 American born grandmother spoke German (her first language) at home and in school (where they were also taught English) until the start of WW I. The area had their own German newspapers. Their non-government documents were all written in typical German gothic script. Milwaukee today is one of the most segregated cities in the country, and it’s not all because of race. National clusters formed between the 1870-1930’s. You can still tell where German, Polish, Romanian, Bohemia, Greek, Russian, Italian and Jewish families had their ghettos based on the names of the existing churches. My Irish Great Grandparents where involved in the North Ireland riots. My great uncles killed people and was executed by the British. My family members were actual terrorists. The cousins were still involved until the 1980’s in the IRA. Being ‘American’ and interacting in the great assimilated culture a century ago was very different then what you are excepting happened. February 10, 2017 5:04 PM Log in to Reply Andrew C. Pope Having lived in Minneapolis, home to the largest Somali refugee community in the US, I had the completely opposite experience. Of the hundreds of folks I met they were incredibly kind, hard-working, entrepreneurial, and cared deeply about their kids, their communities in the US, and their families back home. That’s the case almost everywhere. According to a GPB story this morning, after 180 days 91% of the refugees resettled in Clarkston are self-sufficient. While I’m in no way doubting your anecdote, these were folks who’d more than likely spent years in refugee camps (which don’t have indoor plumbing, eating utensils, or furniture). Maybe the better response would have been to try and help them in their adjustment. “Your families Prussian experience raises a good point — prior to WW II, people who emigrated to the US came by water on ships.” You mean they were white? “Their’s were long stories. They had lots of time for preparation before they left their homelands, as well as on long ocean voyages. Assimilation into American society was expected and achievable.” This is just flat wrong. The refugee vetting process is more intensive and takes significantly longer now than at any point pre-WWII and the government has higher standards for skills, English proficiency, etc. than they did pre-WWII. Assimilation is still expected, still achievable, and currently taking place. Like I mentioned earlier, Minneapolis has tons of business started by Somali refugees and Hmong refugee… these people assimilate, just because they don’t look like you doesn’t mean they haven’t become part of the American fabric. February 10, 2017 2:50 PM Log in to Reply gcp “According to a GPB story this morning, after 180 days 91% of the refugees resettled in Clarkston are self-sufficient.” You need to define “self-sufficient.” If Somalis have children born in this country those kids are most likely on Medicaid/PeachCare. February 10, 2017 3:39 PM Log in to Reply Sally Forth Right, gcp, plus the parents themselves are most likely on Medicaid and other government programs. Somewhere in all that deluge of information I read this past week there are statistics on use of welfare programs by refugees, and I believe those on Medicaid was seventy-six percent. Drew, you and I don’t see eye to eye on much of anything, and that apparently holds true here also. It seems you find it unthinkable that American citizens might have what Ayn Rand called “rational self interest.” Only refugees and foreign nationals are entitled to that in your book. I didn’t “mean they were white.” If I meant that, I would have said it. I referred to anyone from all over the world who emigrated by sea prior to the development of today’s facilitating commercial air travel industry. About vetting, read the Inspector General’s comments re the system. Regarding Clarkston foreign population’s assimilation into basic sanitation of American society, taking care of where they live, two words – Brannon Hills. And TV documentaries tell a different story about the situation in Minneapolis, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. February 10, 2017 4:29 PM Log in to Reply Andrew C. Pope Sally, I’ll trust my own experience living adjacent to a Somali neighborhood for 3 years over unnamed “TV documentaries,” if you’d like to recommend some I’m happy to watch them. Speaking of not naming things, I’d also love to see your source on welfare usage by refugees, because that runs counter to the research done by the Cato Institute, which found that non-citizens (a group that admittedly includes both immigrants and refugees) utilize public benefit programs at a lower rate than US citizens.* To your philosophical point: While you look to Ayn Rand’s concept of rational self interest, a concept and philosophy I find logically inconsistent,** I elect to look to Christ’s message of “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” I believe we have a moral obligation to care for our fellow human beings, particularly those who are fleeing war, violence, and famine. This obligation is not exclusively a religious imperative, mind you, it is also a national imperative, hardwired into the identity of our nation. We are a nation founded by religious refugees. As Reagan stated in his farewell address, even when America puts up walls, those walls have doors and “the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.” These are people yearning for a better life, yearning for freedom from oppression and, in many cases, certain death. Some of these people are fleeing from situations that we helped create. To ignore their pleas for help is to repeat the mistake we made in the 1940s, where we sent thousands of Jews back to Europe and their deaths in the gas chambers of Birkenau. America is great because it’s a place where everyone with the will and heart to get here can make something of themselves. The America I grew up in, the America I know, is an America made up of Somalis, Irish, Mexicans, Guatemalans, Germans, Swedes, Poles, Nigerians, Chinese, Indians, Koreans, and Italians… refugees are a vital part of the fabric of this nation and to suggest that they should be kept out or that our government should not expend money on bringing them to the United States and helping them settle here is a disgusting rejection of our nation’s values and our moral obligations as human beings. *https://www.cato.org/publications/economic-development-bulletin/poor-immigrants-use-public-benefits-lower-rate-poor **That’s a 45-minute lecture that no one has time for on a Friday afternoon. February 10, 2017 5:07 PM Log in to Reply Add a Comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.