What time is it? What year is it? The first night of Donald Trump’s convention suggested we were back in an earlier age, when crime was rampant, fear stalked the cities, and good people hunkered down in their homes and prayed the storm would pass.
“The vast majority of Americans do not feel safe,” Rudy Giuliani grimly announced, before proclaiming that Trump would restore order in America as he, Rudy (thumping his chest to make sure you understood he meant himself), had in New York. Never mind that serious crime has fallen by a quarter since 2006, and had been halved in the decade preceding. Dangers lurk everywhere.
To prove the point, Trump’s handlers produced three parents of sons killed by undocumented immigrants. Two were killed in auto accidents, however, and with more than 30,000 Americans killed in such accidents every year, it’s hard to argue on the basis of two cases that the undocumented present a disproportionate hazard on the road. The third son was killed by an immigrant gangbanger, but since this happened in 2008, during the presidency of George W. Bush, it’s not clear why their father held Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton responsible. One can only conclude that the Trump campaign went shopping for tragedies in which immigrants were to blame, and this was all they could come up with. Read More.
While presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has tried to cast himself as the (white) workingman’s candidate, his vice presidential pick is anything but that. Indiana Governor Mike Pence is a prototypical Koch brothers Republican who has followed conservatives’ anti-worker, anti-union political playbook to a tee.
While Trump has repeatedly flip-flopped on whether he thinks the minimum wage should be increased, Pence has been steadfastly opposed. As The Huffington Post reported, back in 2007, when Pence was a U.S. congressman, he argued that increasing the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour was much too drastic. “A 41 percent increase in the minimum wage that is brought into the well of Congress without providing any relief to small business owners and family farmers is irresponsible and unwise,” Pence declared. “It will harm both the wage payer and the wage earner. An excessive increase in the minimum wage will hurt the working poor.”
In 2013, while he was governor of Indiana, Pence’s party blocked an effort to increase the state minimum wage to $8.25. Instead, Pence signed into law legislation that preempts localities from passing ordinances that require minimum wages higher than the state’s, or any other benefit, such as paid sick or family leave, that isn’t state-mandated. Such laws have become a critical tool used by Republicans in red states to block progressive policies at the local level. Read More.