U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado’s bi-partisan bill to aid family farmers during downturns in the agriculture economy was signed into law Friday by President Trump, the congressman’s office announced.
H.R. 2336, The Family Farmer Relief Act, eases the process of reorganizing debt through Chapter 12 bankruptcy rules, a tool created specifically to help family farmers during tough economic times. Delgado introduced the legislation in April with support from House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), and Reps. TJ Cox (D-Calif.), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.). This legislation passed the House on July 26, the Senate on Aug. 2.
COOPERSTOWN – Otsego County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner said yesterday she has joined 30 county clerks in sending a letter to President Trump, asking him to direct the U.S. Justice Department to go to court to block the state’s new “Green Light Law.”
In an interview, Saratoga County Clerk Chris Hayner said, as of yesterday, that number had risen to 35. He said all were Republicans, except Oneida County Clerk Sandra DePerno, a Utica Democrat.
I feel obligated to respond to just a few pearls of wisdom promulgated by Otsego County Republican Chairperson Vince Casale in his recent column, “Was Justice Achieved?”
Does anyone else see the irony of Mr. Casale decrying the horrors of “gotcha politics” while simultaneously extolling the virtues of Roger Stone, his dapper prom date at the most recent Otsego County Republican dinner?
Stone is after all, a self-professed and self-promoted “dirty trickster” so it’s a little hard to generate a whole lot of sympathy for him.
Vince, we may have indicted a ham sandwich as you said, but by the time the justice system is finished with Stone we can only hope that he’s finely ground sausage. For years he’s been emblematic of the type of “gotcha politics” Vince decries, and he deserves nothing less than the book being thrown at him.
I was also interested in Vince’s claim of a “smear campaign” being perpetrated by the Democrats. Last time I checked, we had documented proof of extensive Russian meddling in our election.
After a stop at Fort Drum in Watertown, Air Force One is due to arrive at 4:05 p.m. at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome for the president to attend a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, the Utica area Republican, whose 22nd District skirts the Otsego-Oneida county line.
About a year ago, a deal was suggested between President Trump and establishment Democrats whereby Trump would support a path to citizenship for at least some illegal aliens while Democrats would support something like The Wall on the southern border.
The deal came very close, after Democrats met with Trump, but fell apart. It’s now back in the news again.
Is such a compromise possible, or even desirable? A Wall is anathema to Democrats. Closing off the southern border with some kind of impenetrable human barrier seems to them a crime against humanity.
Thousands of refugees from Central America in particular are fleeing the violence not only of drug lords, but also – this isn’t so well reported – of authoritarian regimes suppressing dissent, especially in San Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
A case could be made that the American support for these governments has contributed to the violence, and that the U.S. owes it to these people to take them in – but the Democrats aren’t making that argument.
The idealism of some Democrats has reached the point where, in their minds, national borders are an anachronism that should no longer exist. Since all peoples are equal, what could possibly justify any kind of barrier to admission to the United States?
Isn’t everyone really a citizen of the world? Isn’t the United States – as the exceptional society defined by the Constitution, not by ethnicity – the representative of the future, and thereby the natural home of all refugees?
Some Republicans, on the other hand, are alarmed by the loss of national identity and traditional values. They fear cultural dissolution not only from unrestricted immigration, but from the related forces of globalization and secularization.
The certitudes of family, religion, custom, ethics, patriotism – even the rule of law – seem to be eroding away in favor of a disorienting cosmopolitan culture without clear values, where money rules, and traditional roles and behaviors are replaced by consumerism and egotism.
Walls don’t seem very promising. Think of the Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, the Berlin Wall, or the current Israeli West Bank Wall. Border; security only seems to work when there is normal traffic, not a press of desperate refugees or insurgents.
On the other hand, there is arguably no national sovereignty if there is little or no border control at all. That’s long been the case on our southern border, where a blind eye has been turned to illegal immigrants because they provided cheap labor for jobs no one else would do. The result has been an illegal American underclass, estimated at around 11 million people.
In a deal, Trump would get his Wall, or some version of it, which would probably be more effective, if not foolproof, than what we have now. In return for this, the Democrats would get no less than a reasonable path to citizenship for ALL illegal aliens currently in the country, not just the Dreamers. Immigrants would be offered a dignified formal process for citizenship, with families kept together, in place of the police state tactics we have seen.
Some kind of standard of what it means to be an American would be established. Not everyone (criminals, etc.) would qualify, but most presumably would. Think of Ellis Island. The promise of an America for all would be restored, and the underworld of illegal immigration would be drastically reduced, if not eliminated.
Compromise takes courage and vision, now in short supply. The challenge is to figure out a definition of America that lies between the relentless march of a global cosmopolitanism that undermines traditional values, and a desperate reaction to it that doubles down on chauvinism, racism, and religious dogmatism.
The middle ground between these extremes is where a real compromise can be found. It would be the reinvention of a viable American center, something long overdue.
Adrian Kuzminski, retired Hartwick College philosophy professor and Sustainable Otsego moderator, lives in Fly Creek.