Thursday, October 31, 2019
WHAT DID THEY KNOW?
A trailer loaded with chickens passes a federal agent outside a Koch Foods plant in Morton, Miss., after a raid by immigration officials. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)
Neither the companies that operate the plants nor any of their executives have yet been charged with violating immigration law, The Post reports. Peco Foods said it is cooperating with investigators, while Koch Foods denied knowingly employing people with false documentation to work. The other plants, PH Food, A&B and Pearl River Foods, did not respond or declined to comment to Post reporters.
The public is less than impressed with coverage of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. (AP Photo)
The American electorate is not very impressed with non-stop news coverage of Democratic efforts to impeach President Trump. A new Politico/Morning Consult poll asked voters to describe their reactions to “current media coverage of the impeachment process” — and the results are telling.
Nancy Pelosi, CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag
Total political war has been joined. On the floor of the United Sates House of Representatives on Thursday, the battle lines were drawn — and they could not be more clear or decisive. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “Every member should support allowing the American people to hear the facts for themselves. That is really what this vote is about. It is about the truth, and what is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy.”
Stirring stuff, but not to be outdone, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan fired back, calling into question the origins of the Ukraine investigation that began with a whistleblower’s meeting with Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s staff.
Chiding the chairman, Jordan said, “One member of this body knows who this person is who started this whole darn, crazy process: Chairman Schiff. And what’s this resolution do? Gives him even more power to run this secret proceeding in a bunker in the basement of the Capitol.”
The United States has now entered uncharted territory. After spending two years in a failed effort to prove that President Trump colluded with Russia, an effort that fizzled and did not lead to impeachment, in a mere five weeks Democrats have rushed headlong into another attempt to remove the duly elected president.
Democrats and their allies in the media had hoped that Republican defections in the House, even just a handful, would give a glimmer of bipartisan legitimacy to this impeachment. This didn’t happen, as the impeachment resolution received exactly zero GOP votes. That shutout is a major victory for a White House that has consistently argued this process is a partisan sham, not a principled pursuit of truth.
The clear signal from House Republicans is that they intend to fight this impeachment effort tooth and nail, and given that none of the allegations against Trump have moved the needle among Republican voters in favor of impeachment, it is easy to see why they are taking this stand.
Meanwhile, vulnerable Democrats in districts that Trump carried can only hold their breath and hope that they are not punished for supporting impeachment. Here in New York, within minutes of the vote, NY-11 GOP candidate Nicole Malliotakis released a scathing press release, saying of her opponent, Rep. Max Rose, that, “along with radical Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Adam Schiff, he’s cynically voted to waste more taxpayer money and time on a partisan witch-hunt.”
Speaker Pelosi dragged her heels for months on impeachment for just this reason. Vulnerable Democrats such as Rose now have to explain to their voters why they want to remove the president whom those very same voters elected. There is no more political cover. There is no more middle ground for moderates. There is only the fight.
In the coming weeks, Democrats will seek to make the case that the 2016 election result should be overturned. They will make that case alone. There has been no more unifying moment for Republicans in the Trump era than the battle over Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and the GOP will no doubt try to bring that unity and conviction to their defense of Trump.
So far, so good. Both sides have now cried havoc, and let slip the dogs the war. Wars are fights to the death, but will it be the death of a presidency or the death of attempts to undo one? The American people will have that answer sooner rather than later.
David Marcus is the New York correspondent for The Federalist.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, AP
Post Editorial Board
Cash shortages aside, the reforms — which require defendants to be set free with no bail for all but a handful of violent crimes — are set to trigger a host of new public safety concerns, such as witness intimidation and allowing the accused to flee, this will probably suffice:
When even officials as progressive as state Attorney General Letitia James are warning of big problems with New York state’s latest criminal justice “fixes,” it’s time to worry.
At a Senate hearing Monday, James’ aide Kate Powers, on behalf of the AG, raised major red flags about reforms rushed through the Legislature this year — especially those requiring prosecutors to turn over all evidence within 15 days of an arraignment. That includes police and medical reports, videos, phone records, forensic findings, etc.
Powers praised lawmakers for moving to “mend our broken criminal-justice system” and reform the discovery process. But she warned that “the challenges” of complying with the new mandates are “real.”
To comply, DAs with just a few attorneys for an entire county may have to “double” their support staffs, she noted. The largest offices, with the “most complex cases,” may need “investments in the double-digit millions.”
Even the state AG’s office, which handles a far smaller criminal caseload than county DAs, “will need a significant infusion,” to the tune of $10 million, Powers said. Yet there’s no sign the needed funds will be available.
Some DAs were even more blunt — and alarming: “The reforms, as drafted, are not practical,” railed Rensselaer County DA Mary Pat Donnelly. She blasted lawmakers for “playing roulette with public safety.”
Among other public safety concerns, the new rules greatly increase the chances for witness intimidation — since lawyers for the accused will know far sooner the names of those prosecutors might call to testify. Plus, DAs will have to drop some cases because they simply can’t meet the new requirements — especially when there’s no money to hire new staff.
Then, too, most accused will be sprung pending trial — only those charged with a handful of violent crimes will have to post bail. Expect more perps to flee before trial.
In short, New York may soon face a truly serious resurgence of crime.
It’s rare for this page to sympathize with officials demanding more taxpayer dollars. But state lawmakers clearly didn’t think through the consequences of these reforms.
Unless they fix the flaws and provide the funds to make the changes work before the new law kicks in Jan. 1, New Yorkers should brace for a major public safety disaster.
New York City and its suburbs aren’t building enough housing to keep pace with job growth, exacerbating the region’s affordability crisis and threatening future economic growth.
“[T]he Region’s housing supply has not been keeping up with job growth in recent years,” the city Planning Department study argues. “This pattern would be expected to heighten affordability challenges and create headwinds to further business growth.”
The report, released Wednesday, found that New York and its tri-state suburbs — including Long Island, Westchester, northern New Jersey and Connecticut — averaged just 46,000 permits for new apartments and homes per year between 2009 through 2018.
That’s down roughly a third from an average of 64,000 permits between 2001 and 2008 — before the Great Recession struck.
New York and its suburbs added just .5 units of new housing per job created over the last decade, down from an average of 2.2 new houses or apartments built per new job before the recession, the 32-page report found.
Over the last decade, New York City permitted more housing than any other part of the metropolitan area — averaging 20,000 new houses or apartments annually.
Northern New Jersey placed a close second as communities across the Hudson permitted 18,000 new units annually, the study shows.
However, New York’s eastern Long Island suburbs remained practically free of new construction — permitting fewer than 2,000 new houses and apartments on average each year over the decade.
That’s a dramatic 58 percent drop from already low pre-recession levels.
City Hall said in a statement that they bested their decade average in 2018, issuing permits to build 22,000 new units of housing.
“It’s key that we continue to produce housing at a high pace, and we need our neighbors to do the same if we are going to address regional housing affordability and support economic growth,” said City Planning spokeswoman Rachaele Raynoff.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
In this March 18, 2014 photo, Dr. Kim Seok-Kwun, center, operates a sex change surgery at the operating room at Dong-A University Dr. Kim is a pioneer in slowly changing views on sexuality and gender in the country, where many have long considered even discussions of sexuality a taboo. As Dr. Kim begins what will be 11 hours of surgery meant to create a functioning penis for a Buddhist nun, he is well aware of the unease his work creates in this deeply conservative country. The devout Protestant known as the “father of South Korean transgender people” once wrestled with similar feelings. “I’ve decided to defy God’s will,” Kim said in an interview before the nun’s recent successful surgery to become a man. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)