August 24, 2018

Mollie Tibbetts

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

while she was running in her small Iowa hometown, killing her and dumping her body in a cornfield, authorities said Tuesday.” (AP)

After Rivera was arrested, his immigration status became a

See past issues

The left is critical of the manner in which Republicans have politicized the case in order to promote their preferred immigration policies.

“The families [of such victims] deserve our sympathy, but the Trump administration is using their tragic loss perpetrated by a few violent criminals to paint the existence of a larger group as dangerous, threatening, criminal... ‘White nationalists could assemble a group of people whose children were murdered by black Americans or by Jews, and it would not make their cause any more legitimate.’”


Immigrants do not commit violent crimes at a higher rate than native-born Americans, according to federal and state crime statistics. A study published in February by the libertarian Cato Institute examining 2015 criminal data in Texas found native-born residents were much more likely to be convicted of a crime than immigrants in the country legally or illegally.”

Washington Post

Yet “from the day he declared his presidential run in 2015 by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers, Donald Trump has made fear of crime by unauthorized immigrants the central theme of his rhetoric and agenda... The use of Mollie Tibbetts [is] another excuse to hammer on this theme, despite the wishes of some family members.”


“By Tuesday evening, the killing of the college student, allegedly at the hands of an undocumented immigrant, was the biggest story on FOX News. Never mind the blockbuster courtroom developments that same day that resulted in Trump’s personal lawyer and his former campaign chairman being convicted of multiple felony crimes.”

Huffington Post

Some are asking, “the White House tweets about Mollie Tibbetts, but why not about other cases?...

"The Trump administration

and to a lesser extent, some of the media) has been silent about cases involving non-white victims -- ranging from missing black girls in Washington DC to the death of Nabra Hassanen, a northern Virginia Muslim teen, allegedly also at the hands of a man who entered the country illegally. The political expediency of using one girl or woman's death over another says ugly things about where we are in America today.”


“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

The right argues that the murder might have been prevented with stricter immigration enforcement and criticizes the mainstream media coverage of the tragedy.

The right argues that the murder might have been prevented with stricter immigration enforcement and criticizes the mainstream media coverage of the tragedy.

“The murder of Mollie Tibbetts or Kate Steinle can be particularly hard to take because of a simple, anguished declaration. The murderer wasn’t supposed to be here... Americans are completely justified in their anger when, say, the background-check system fails and a known criminal or mentally unfit person purchases a gun… So they are also justified in their anger when officials make the choice not to effectively enforce existing law.”

National Review

“The fact that Rivera used stolen identification papers to obtain employment speaks... to how our immigration system needs to be stricter. We need more ICE agents, we need to get rid of sanctuary cities, and we need the wall.”


“The media loves to put the spotlight on Dreamer children who grow up to be high-school valedictorians and go to Yale... But the flip side is that some illegal immigrants are very bad people... a lot of Americans would like a system that prevents people from entering illegally or overstaying visas so that we can get more potential valedictorians and keep out the [criminals].”

National Review

Counterpoint:Good policy decisions are not made in the heat of the moment based on an emotional reaction to a tragedy. That is as true with crimes committed by illegals as it is after mass shootings when victims and their relatives often clamor for a quick solution... The murder of Mollie Tibbetts was a horrible crime, but it should not be used to unfairly demonize all illegal immigrants.”

The Resurgent

for removing the word ‘undocumented’ from its headline. “If you do what most Americans do when getting their news — by scrolling through headlines and absorbing one-sentence blurbs... you might be led to believe that the president was ‘seizing’ on a perfectly legal American citizen being accused of murdering another perfectly legal American citizen, in order for him to push a policy of halting illegal immigration...

“The motivation for blurring or erasing the line between ‘legal’ and ‘illegal,’ in the view of any objective observer, seems to be to

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

“The Democrats want to talk to Don McGahn, and maybe they will ultimately prevail in court to get his testimony, but what’s the point? McGahn talked extensively to Mueller, and surely everything remotely damaging is already in the report

“Congress has the report, and now it is up to it to decide. But it doesn’t want to. It’s too painful to admit that the Mueller report was a bust on Russia and that the obstruction material, while damaging to Trump, is hardly a slam dunk; that the public doesn’t support impeachment; that if the House goes through with it anyway, it will end with a whimper in the Senate; and that it’s better for Democrats to focus on beating Trump in 2020 than a forlorn impeachment.”
Rich Lowry, National Review

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

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