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Cohen: AOC under fire for insane Holocaust comparison

No, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. detention centers being used as temporary holding facilities for thousands of migrants violating U.S. Customs and Immigration laws at the southern border are not concentration camps like ones used by Nazis during the Holocaust—far from it.

In fact, any such insane comparison must be resoundingly rebuked by both sides of the aisle.

On Monday, the far-left congresswoman from New York commonly known as AOC made headlines—for all the wrong reasons—telling her Instagram followers via a live stream video that the U.S. government is “running concentration camps on our southern border.” She said, “That is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps.” The freshman Democrat continued, “The fact that concentrations camps are now an institutionalized practice in the ‘home of the free’ is extraordinarily disturbing, and we need to do something about it.”

Not surprisingly, AOC—who’s made baseless calls for the president to be impeached in recent weeks—took swipes at America and our commander in chief, claiming, “we are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency.” She added, “I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist, and it’s very difficult to say that.”

This is what happens when unhinged Democrats can’t take down Trump—and undo the will of 63 million Americans who voted for him in 2016—with far-fetched conspiracy theories involving “Russian collusion” during the presidential cycle. Since that manufactured tale has been officially debunked by the findings of a 22-month special counsel investigation, far-left radicals like AOC are now comparing the administration and U.S. customs officials to Nazis—who murdered 6 million Jews during the Holocaust.

This was a bridge too far for many Americans including liberal “Meet the Press” moderator and veteran NBC news anchor Chuck Todd, who took to the MSNBC airwaves Wednesday to condemn AOC’s outrageous remarks as doing a “tremendous disservice” to detainees.

Todd acknowledged that AOC “tried to make a distinction between concentration camps and Nazi death camps” following public backlash to her crazy analogy and subsequent remarks. “Fair enough,” Todd said. “But congresswoman, tens of thousands were also brutalized, starved and ultimately died in concentration camps. ... If you want to criticize the shameful treatment of people at our border, fine. You’ll have plenty of company. But be careful comparing them to Nazi concentration camps, because they’re not at all comparable.”

Here’s the stark reality. There is a full-blown immigration crisis at the southern border, with over 144,000 migrants arrested in May alone. This is a 32% jump from April in what is the highest number of apprehensions in a single month in 13 years, according to data released this month by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Yet Democratic lawmakers—including their leadership—have refused to work with the president to secure the border, build the wall and implement other common-sense measures to curtail the massive influx.

It’s no secret that Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security and Border Patrol officials are overwhelmed, understaffed and unable to accommodate over a hundred thousand illegal immigrants per month in need of housing facilities, beds, medical assistance and other services. As such, many migrants who willfully broke our immigration laws are being crowded into detention centers, some sleeping on the floor because there is no other place to put them, as thousands wait for their claims to be processed.

Is it the Trump administration’s fault if any migrants die or suffer waiting in a U.S. detention center?

Or is it Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and AOC’s Democratic Party’s fault for refusing to work with the president to fix the border crisis by blocking billions of needed funding the president has requested? Not to mention his other sensible measures.

It’s well known Democrats forced a costly and disruptive government shutdown earlier this year by refusing to give the president the money he requested to build the wall. They didn’t want to give Trump a political win by fulfilling his campaign promise to secure the porous southern border.

The result? We’re now seeing many migrants crowded into detention centers and the many problems associated with it. Instead of taking responsibility for failing to act, far-left politicians like AOC are complaining about the inhumane way these migrants, here illegally, are being treated. Go figure.

Someone please tell the left: The health and safety of migrants and U.S. national security far surpasses the partisan politics consuming Washington. It’s high time to start working with the president to solve the immigration crisis before another preventable tragedy takes place.

Other Views: Elizabeth Warren is the ultimate Democratic debate overdog

Elizabeth Warren fans rejoice: The Massachusetts senator and surging presidential candidate just nabbed the top seed in the easiest, breeziest debate bracket possible.

Her stiffest competition will come from Sens. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, the presidential-campaign equivalent of March Madness teams from “mid-major” conferences such as the Ohio Valley or the Big West. And none of the three have matched the lofty hype bestowed upon them by preseason prognosticators. They debate Wednesday.

The other side of the bracket—the second night of Democratic primary debates—is a political royal rumble. All four of the non-Warren frontrunners—former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg—will be sharing the stage Thursday, battling for sound-bite supremacy.

Even the longshot would-be Cinderella, internet hero Andrew Yang, could get hot and pull off an upset with a barrage of universal basic income three-pointers.

Meanwhile, Warren will be dunking on Twitter punchline Bill de Blasio.

To switch metaphors from college to pro hoops (and conjure up a comparison I never thought I’d write): Elizabeth Warren appears to be playing the role that LeBron James played before he boarded the Titanic, err, the Lakers. With the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers, James perennially prospered from extreme NBA conference imbalance, as four or five title contenders ripped each others’ throats out in the Western Conference playoffs while his teams walked over cute but ultimately impotent rivals in the Eastern Conference. In this metaphor, I think Beto is the Brad Stevens Celtics: charming and even impressive at times—just never the talent we thought they’d be.

Or maybe Warren is Tom Brady, cruising through the regular season and into the playoffs by racking up wins in the paper-thin AFC East (which would make de Blasio the Buffalo Bills).

Either way, she’s the clear overdog on an outgunned debate stage.

Wager accordingly.

Letters to the editor for Saturday, June 22

US should pursue diplomatic solution for Iran

Contrary to the Chicago Tribune editorial that The Gazette printed Thursday stating we should stay the course with Iran, we actually need to change course immediately to avoid a needless conflict.

It was Trump who tore up the nuclear agreement which had been negotiated with Iran by ourselves, the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany. It was Trump who then tightened crippling export sanctions against Iran.

Can you imagine what we would do if Iran was enforcing sanctions preventing us from shipping our exports to other countries? This is a penalty we imposed on Iran even though Iran was in compliance with the treaty. War begins when diplomacy ends.

Trump is no diplomat. He is simply a bully who goes around the world poking other nations in the eye.

Congress is scrambling to put a leash on Trump. The House on Wednesday voted to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which George W. Bush used to get us entangled in that needless war with Iraq. The bill faces an uncertain vote in the Senate, where Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will likely block the vote.

Read the Constitution, Mitch. Only Congress has the power to declare war. A nation of laws needs to follow those laws.

Call the White House comment line at 202-456-1111 or the switchboard at 202-456-1414. Your message should be simple: Diplomacy, not war. No more war.



Janesville taxes hurt residents on fixed incomes

Does the city of Janesville ever prorate a person’s income as to raising tax rates? I’ve been around 76 years, mostly working, and now am on a fixed income.

I’m not wealthy by any means, no longer have children in school and drive on our roads maybe 3% compared to a working person. If I should make an improvement to my property, it should make Janesville proud. But instead they get greedy.

Wake up and smell the coffee.



Guest Views: Rollback of clean energy won’t save coal

It’s no surprise that President Donald Trump is trying to eviscerate the Obama-era Clean Energy Plan with a completely inadequate substitute that has far lower targets for reducing carbon emissions from the power sector. Trump has been trying to undo as much of his predecessor’s legacy as possible.

Trump’s plan is the worst of all worlds. It won’t cut carbon emissions sufficiently to slow the growing impact of climate change, but it will keep some coal plants operating longer. The plants won’t stay open long enough to actually reverse coal’s inevitable decline, but long enough to harm air quality around the nation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s own analysis shows that Trump’s plan will result in the deaths of thousands of Americans because of increased air pollution. Air quality has already begun to decline across the United States, according to a recent Associated Press analysis.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson slammed the new rule. “Today’s action is one of the most dangerous steps taken by the Trump administration to date for the health of our families, our environment and our economy,” they said via a joint statement. “Our nation and our planet cannot afford for the federal government to be a bystander in the climate crisis.”

Coal and utility economy experts agree that Trump’s move will not—and cannot—save the coal industry.

“This will not change the market trend of coal plant retirement,” said Julie McNamara, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “But for those laggard states not participating in this transition underway, this will lessen any need to limit emissions from the power sector.”

The utility sector has clearly moved on from coal. The number of coal-fired plant retirements continues to grow, and no new coal-fired plants are coming online. Natural gas and renewables are more economical, flexible and far, far cleaner.

More and more states, like Washington, are passing laws to speed the transition completely away from carbon fuels.

With his plan, Trump might be able to tell his supporters in coal country that he has ended Obama’s nonexistent war on coal, but it won’t actually put coal miners back to work or do anything to help former miners.

What it will do is blunt the urgent action we need to be taking as a nation to address the global climate crisis.