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Ak-Sar-Ben Itself Merits Praise Along With King Dick And Queen Suzanne - 10-14-10

Come Election Day, White And Terry Can’t Duck Party Labels Any Longer - 10-07-10

Today, Second-Guessing Other Sports Commentators But Some Thoughts On Current Political Issues, Too - 09-30-10

Gates Gives Somber Non-Political Appraisals Of Iraq, Afghanistan - 09-23-10

At Last, A Prominent Moderate Muslim Speaks Out Against Muslim Terrorists - 09-16-10

Today, It’s All About College Football With Some “As I See It” Commentary - 09-09-10

Danes’ Sensible Approach To Immigration Won’t, Unfortunately, Fly In The U.S.A. - 09-02-10

Mosque Controversy Isn’t About Legal Rights; It’s About Moral Use Of Those Rights - 08-26-10

Time To Answer The Obvious Question: What Chance For Success In Afghanistan? - 08-19-10

Two-Paragraph News Story Offers Scary Prospect For World’s Future - 08-12-10

Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10

Not Wall Street But Democratic Policy Caused Mortgage Market Crash - 07-29-10

Windfarm Promoters Need More Facts, Less Rhetoric - 07-22-10

Nebraska Democrats’ ‘Find A Candidate’ Problem Began Long Months (Years?) Ago - 07-15-10

When The Subject Is Disasters,Obama Needs A History Lesson - 07-08-10

McChrystal’s Firing Spotlights Afghan War And The Slim Chance Of U.S. Victory There - 07-01-10

Advice For An Egocentric President: “I, I, I” Suggests One-Man Team - 06-24-10

Texas Decision Good For Big 12 But Even Better For The Longhorns - 06-17-10

Europe Is Sobering Up From 'Welfare' Binge; Obama-Led U.S. Moving Toward Similar Crises? - 06-10-10

A New Issue: Does ‘Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell’ Make Military Service Easier For Gays? - 06-03-10

Do State Officials Really Understand The Challenges Faced By Omaha Schools? - 05-27-10

Democrats Continue Cheap Shot Campaign Against Republican Congressman Lee Terry - 05-20-10

Cartoonist Koterba Says It Clearly: Don’t Put All The Blame On Schools - 05-13-10

Citizenship For Immigrants Is Inevitable But Start By Closing The Border - 05-06-10

Punish Wall Streeters If They Deserve It But Liberal Dems Spawned The Mortgage Mess - 04-29-10

Did Legislature, Speaker Mike Flood Deserve All Those Kind Words? - 04-22-10

Tiger Sulks His Way Through Masters— Is Obama Gambling On The Nuclear Issue? Rogue States And Terrorists Won’t Sign Up - 04-15-10

Did Obama/Pelosi ‘Sausage Factory’ Produce A Debt-Increasing Unpopular Health Plan? - 04-08-10

The Stories Behind Some Disturbing Headlines And Some Advice For Avoiding National Bankruptcy - 04-01-10

Four-Vote House Margin Makes Americans Swallow Trillion-Dollar Pill They Don't Want - 03-25-10

Insurance Pays 96% Of Family’s Cost For Seven Years Of ‘End Of Life’ Treatment - 03-18-10

President Angry Replaces President Cool; ‘ObamaCare’s’ Chances Helped Or Hurt? - 03-11-10

Americans To Get ‘ObamaCare’ Even If They Don’t Want It? - 03-04-10

Despite The Headlines, There’s Progress In Curbing Violence In North Omaha - 02-25-10

Corporate Expenditures Bad For Politics Except When They Benefit Liberal Candidates? - 02-18-10

Wind Energy Industry Faced Disaster; V.A. Hospital Not Personal Obama Choice - 02-11-10

Some Remarkable Legislative Comments And Some Questionable Media Performance - 02-04-10

When The Subject Is Nebraska Wind Energy, ‘Green’ Is The Color Of Money - 01-28-10

The “Teddy Kennedy Seat” Lesson Might Benefit Both Democrats and Republicans - 01-21-10

Some Legislative Issues—Like Gambling—Deserve Quick Death But Water Issues Deserve Careful Attention - 01-14-10

Today: ‘Big Daddy’ Government Wrong Again, And How Justified Is Cornhusker Title Talk? - 01-07-10

Dan Neary Worthy Of The Honor--
Today Some Upbeat Comments But "Obama Care" Debate Demands Attention
- 12-30-09

Even Without That Health Bill Vote, Another Term For Nelson Was Questionable - 12-23-09

Let’s Talk Football And Why Nebraska’s Suh Deserved The Heisman - 12-17-09

Image of Immigrants Would Be Helped By Less Cinco de Mayo, More 4th of July - 12-10-09

Image Of Islam Is Badly Damaged By ‘God-Approved’ Slaughter Of Non-Muslims - 12-03-09

Close Call For NU Research, Reputation; Thanksgiving Reminder: Count Your Blessings - 11-25-09

NU’s Reputation And Research Role Are Both At Stake When Regents Vote - 11-19-09

Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’
Changing To ‘Maybe We Can’t’?
- 11-12-09

Review The History Before Renaming A Street; Memories Of Sarah, Our Sweet Senior Dog - 11-05-09

“Socioeconomic Diversity” More Important Then Academic Achievement In “Learning Community”? - 10-29-09

A Visiting Sports Columnist Agrees: ‘There Is No Place Like Nebraska’ - 10-22-09

Might Obama Wish He Had A Chance To Say ‘No, Thanks’ To Early Nobel Prize? - 10-15-09

Don’t Overlook The Variety Of Aid Which Goes To ‘Poverty Level’ Families - 10-08-09

Smorgasbord Today: From UN’s “Nutcake Day” To Obama Performance Here And Abroad - 10-01-09

Must Defense Continue To Cover For Huskers’ Anemic Red Zone Offense? - 09-24-09

'Energizer Bunny' President Continues To Add Proposals For Reform - 09-17-09

Today, Variety: Football, Golf And Why No President Should Televise Himself Into The Nation’s Classrooms - 09-10-09

Massachusetts Gave Kennedy Significant Second Chances - 09-03-09

Obama’s Problem Not Just With GOP
But With A Great Many Americans
- 08-27-09

Tiger Could Use Sportsmanship Lesson—And Less Coverage From Fawning Media - 08-20-09

Gallup ‘Competitive’ Label, If Accurate Long Term, Is Good News Not Only For Nebraska Democrats - 08-13-09

Democrats Go All-Out Negative:
Trash Private Insurance Industry
- 08-06-09

Journalistic Watchdogs Turned Lapdogs When Obama Called That ‘News Conference’ - 07-30-09

Look Back, Mr. President: Opposition Is Catching Up - 07-23-09

Dem Lynch Mob Might Hang President’s Hopes - 07-16-09

Dems Start Oust-Terry Effort In The Political Gutter - 07-09-09

Despite Liberal Media's Views, Nation Better Served By Viable GOP - 07-02-09

A Varied Menu For You To Consider - 06-25-09

Freshman President Learning Some Political Realities? - 06-18-09

Voices Of Reason Raised Too Late To Slow Rush To Wind Power? - 06-11-09

Public Will Be Watching Prosecution Of Three Teen-Age Creatures - 06-04-09

Wealthiest Paying Less, In Taxes?
It’s Simply Not True
- 05-28-09

Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson
- 05-21-09

Special-Interest Liberals
Shouldn’t Badger Obama
- 05-14-09

A Surprising Source: Obama
Cites Positive Results of Iraq War
- 05-07-09

Media Transfer Their Love
From Candidate to President
- 04-30-09

Suttle Campaign Subtly Two-Faced? Or ‘Just Politics’? Voters Will Decide - 04-23-09

If America Is "At War
With Islam," It's Self-Defense
- 04-16-09

Seven Iowans Change Marriage
Tradition For 3 Million Others
- 04-09-09

Will Liberal Democrats Continue
Escaping The Verdict Of History?
- 04-02-09

Multi-Focused President
Upsets Even Liberals
- 03-26-09

Richard Nixon—Appropriate To Recall The Good As Well As The Dark Side - 03-19-09

Not Reducing Mortgage Costs; We’re Simply ‘Modifying’ Them - 03-12-09

Fair Warning From NY Times: Obama’s “Breathtaking Plans” Would “Transform American Society” - 03-05-09

A Look At Academy Awards Nastiness, But First A Plug For My Book, “Life With Marian” - 02-26-09

Let’s Not Move Slot Machine Cancer From Iowa Casinos To Nebraska Race Tracks - 02-19-09

Whiteclay Is Wrong Target;
Aim At Alcoholism Problem
- 02-12-09

For The Best “Stimulus” Formula:
Put Economic Recovery First;
“Remaking USA” Can Wait
- 02-05-09

Journalistic Hounds Are Still
In Full Pursuit Of Bush
- 01-29-09

‘First Black President’ Celebration
Shouldn’t Further Distract Us
From Job We And Obama Face
- 01-22-09

‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real
- 01-15-09

Advice For Husker Fans:
Rejoice—But Be Realistic
- 01-08-09

Kennedy Dynasty History
Includes Shameful Chapters
- 12-31-08

Today Some Merry Christmas Thoughts But A Few Political Barbs, Too - 12-24-08

This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty
- 12-18-08

Me? A Grumpy Old Man?
One Reader Thinks So
- 12-11-08

Obama Steers A Moderate Course
But Congressional Democrats Veer Left
- 12-04-08

Too Many "Non-Blessings"
This Thanksgiving Week
- 11-26-08

Let’s Hear More About
The Principal ‘Crisis’ Victims
- 11-20-08

Color-Blind Issues Voting
Showed No Turn To The Left
- 11-13-08

Election Made History
But Big Questions Remain
- 11-06-08

Today, A Choice of Topics:
Politics Or Football—Or Both
- 10-30-08

Splitting Electoral Votes Good Idea? Then Why Do 48 States Reject It? - 10-23-08

Dems Take 11th Hour Low Road
In 2nd Congressional District Race
- 10-16-08

Another Government “Welfare Program,” Bargain Mortgages, Caused The Crisis - 10-09-08

Words Can Lose Their Meaning
When A Government Program Is Involved
- 10-02-08

—Have We Learned This Lesson?— Crisis Results When Individuals, Encouraged By Financial Institutions, Try To Live Beyond Their Means - 9-25-08

Bonds To Build Four-Lane Highways?
Where Would The Money Come From?
- 9-18-08

Today, a Large Load of Political
Commentary After a Brief Plug For
My Book, ‘Life With Marian’
- 9-17-08

Major News Media Look Bad
In Non-Coverage of
Edwards’ Sex Affair Story
- 9-11-08

Disadvantaged Students Can Be
Helped Without Discriminatory ‘Affirmative Action’
- 9-04-08

My Favorite Olympic Champion?
It Wasn’t Michael Phelps
- 8-28-08

Will Chinese Get Away With
'Out Air Is Clean' Scam?
- 8-21-08

Windmills, Solar Won't Do It;
Time To Get Real On Energy
- 8-07-08

I Doubt That God or Jesus
Have Heavenly Money on Either Team
- 8-07-08

‘Pop Star’ Obama Lacks Experience,
McCain Lacks Clear Campaign Strategy
- 7-31-08

Top Athletes Should
Know When to Quit?
- 7-24-08

Would Odor of Politics
Taint Fire Chief Choice?
- 7-17-08

Will Hospitality, Qwest Center
Lure Swim Trials Back to Omaha?
- 7-09-08

Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage
- 7-02-08

Omaha's CWS Reputation
Gets New "Rave Reviews"
- 6-25-08

S.D. Vote Could Lead
To National Abortion Battle
- 6-18-08

Don’t Let Niobrara Go The Way
Of The Republican And The Platte
- 6-11-08

Voters Didn’t Impose Term Limits
To Rid Legislature of Chambers
- 6-04-08

“It’s Our Turn” Pitch Might
Not End With Hillary Defeat
- 5-28-08

Prime Nebraska Political
Battleground This Year:
2nd Congressional District
- 5-21-08

The 'Browning' of America:
How Far Will It Go?
- 5-14-08

Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory? - 5-08-08

"Does Homebuyer Bailout
Reward the Irresponsible?"
- 4-30-08

"Was McCain, Not Clinton,
The Real Winner in Pennsylvania?"
- 4-25-08

"Cleaner Skies Advice For Gore:
Pressure On China, More Nuke
Power If Jane Fonda Will Allow It"
- 4-16-08

"Why The Big Fuss Over
Tiny Gasoline Cost Increase?"
- 4-09-08

"Quietly, Nebraska Yields
All-Public-Power Status"
-  4-02-08

"Obama’s ‘Historic’ Speech Left
Big Questions Unanswered "
-  3-25-08

"Overweight Moore Produces
“Sicko,” Finds An Ally In Creighton Doctor"
-  3-19-08

"Bush Sings, Praises Press
At Annual Gridiron Dinner"
-  3-12-08

"Obama Would Be Least
Formidable Opponent For McCain"
-  3-7-08

"‘Charisma’ Not Always a Good Thing" -  2-27-08

"Could Citizen ‘Packing Iron’
Have Stopped Von Maur Killings?"
-  2-20-08

"Obama’s Style Without Substance
Exciting, But Is It Presidential?"
-  2-13-08

"Barack Obama and John McCain:
A Major Contrast in Egos? "
-  2-07-08

"‘First Black President’
Emphasis Wouldn’t Help Obama"
-  1-30-08

"Kimball Lauritzen: Think of Her
As Joyous on Some New Dawn"
-  1-23-08

"What 'Tough' Election Contest
Was Ben Nelson Talking About?"
- 1-16-08

"Overhyped New Hampshire
Offsets Overhyped Iowa"
- 1-10-08

"Coach Bo Now Well Welcomed;
Time to Start Thinking of NU Wins"
- 1-2-08

"Words of Jews Most Moving
To Me This Christmas Season"
- 12-25-07

- 12-19-07

"Killer Is Getting Just What He Wanted;
Let's Add Anger and
Action to Our Sorrow"
- 12-12-07

"Bo Brings Emotional Fire to NU Job;
Scary News: Huckabee Gain in Iowa"
- 12-05-07

"Callahan Outclasses Loudmouth Critics;
Tom Osborne Treated Him Fairly"
- 11-28-07

"A Thought for Thanksgiving Day:
Tell Them You Love Them"
- 11-21-07

"Callahan Critics: Is Loss to CU
The Only Way to Satisfy Them?"
- 11-16-07

"Crybaby Fans, Sports Commentators
Distracting Players From Their Job?"
- 11-09-07

"Did Bob Kerrey’s Decision Avoid
the Likelihood of Defeat?"
- 11-02-07

"Nosy Congress Makes
Three Bad Calls"
- 10-26-07

"Is This The Way to Run UNL´s
Athletic Program?"
- 10-19-07

"Right Decision Could
Help Both Fair, UNL"
- 10-12-07

"Stop Trying To Make God A Republican" - 10-6-07

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As I See It
Harold W. Andersen is a retired Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha World-Herald Company. Full biography.

A number of you have told me that you don’t look forward to reading the column on your computer screen. That’s not necessary if you have a printer. Print out the column and take it with you to the breakfast table or wherever else you choose to read printed material. (You can also call up past columns in case you missed them.)

And, if you haven’t already done so, let us know your e-mail address so that we can send you a weekly reminder when a new column is available.

Did Legislature, Speaker Mike Flood
Deserve All Those Kind Words?

April 22, 2010

Both news stories and editorial comments which quickly followed adjournment of the 2010 Nebraska Legislative session tended to leave the impression that the legislators had done a workmanlike, praiseworthy job under difficult circumstances and that Speaker Mike Flood of Norfolk had shown the credentials to be a worthy attorney general or governor. 

(One senator, who usually makes more sense, went so far as to say, “If Mike Flood is not governor, we are missing the opportunity of a lifetime as a state.”  More about Mike Flood’s performance later in today’s column.)

The truth is that in addition to some praiseworthy work, the legislators set the stage for an enormous budgetary problem in the next two-year budget period starting July 1, 2011.  They did this by accepting federal stimulus money to avoid the necessity of either further reducing state spending or increasing state taxes. 

The dip into the state’s cash reserve fund is more defensible, since a shortfall in current tax revenues is presumably one reason for building up a cash reserve fund.  But the federal stimulus funding is scheduled to end in 2011, and you can’t draw down cash reserve funds which you’ve already spent.

Spotlighting this problem—a bit belated, in my opinion—came after the first round of stories and editorial comment indicating that the legislators had done a praiseworthy job.  Several days after adjournment, The World-Herald carried a story under this headline:  “Monster budget gap awaits next Legislature”.  Entirely predictable was the fact that the story gave no indication that there will be serious consideration of that politician’s nightmare—tax increases.

One positive editorial appraisal of the legislature’s performance carried the headline:  “Steadiness at the capitol.”  However, in one important area of public policy—abortion—the Legislature’s course was not steady at all.  Two separate pieces of legislation were passed which could become national-attention-attracting examples for states to further restrict opportunities for abortion.

Anti-Abortion Extremism Gets Little Criticism

Another way to put it would be that the two bills were intended to further restrict women’s opportunities to end unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.

I said earlier that there was general journalistic and legislative colleague praise for the performance of Speaker Mike Flood.  He was described repeatedly as a master at bringing people together to seek agreement rather than confrontation. 

In the controversial and significant area of abortion law, Flood showed no signs of being a conciliator—a leader who that recognizes that there are two sides to most arguments.  On abortion, Flood gives every sign of being a hard-liner.  Consider:

The Norfolk senator proposed a law—it would be the first of its kind in the nation—to forbid an abortion past 20 weeks of pregnancy unless necessary to protect the pregnant woman from irreversible serious medical consequences.

Flood’s reasoning is that some (but emphatically not all) medical opinion is that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks and therefore Nebraska should change the legal pattern of allowing abortions at least as late as the 22nd week of pregnancy. 

Predictably, the measure was supported by the usual anti-abortionists, including a spokesman for the Nebraska Catholic Conference.

Flood’s proposal was, again predictably, given a supposedly attractive title:   “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.”  Any doctor performing an abortion in violation of this only-in-Nebraska abortion restriction could be found guilty of a felony.

Did 44-5 Vote Truly Reflect Nebraskan’s Feelings On Abortion?

Speaker Flood’s controversial bill, in a legislature praised editorially for its “steadiness,” was passed by a 44-5 vote.

The other bill designed to discourage abortions—also an only-in-Nebraska effort which will predictably be tied up in court for years—was introduced by Senator Cap Dierks of Ewing.  It sets out a list of tests and questions and “evaluations” which Dierks contends were designed to assure that abortions are not performed at risk to the health or life of the mother.  But on being told that the tests and proposed restrictions are so detailed and complex that they are likely have the effect of preventing abortions, Dierks said that was not his intent but indicated that such a result would be quite satisfactory to him.

At the Judiciary Committee hearing on the Dierks anti-abortion bill, supporters included spokesmen for Catholic Social Services, the Nebraska Catholic Conference, the Nebraska Family Council, Family First and Nebraska Right To Life.

Opponents included spokesmen for the Nebraska Medical Association, Methodist Physicians Clinic, Nebraska Methodist Health System, Nebraska Methodist Hospital, Nebraska Psychological Association, Nebraska Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood of Nebraska. 

This formidable array of non-emotional, expert opinion on the issue obviously meant less to the Judiciary Committee than did the testimony of the customary anti-abortion activists.  The committee voted 5-0 to advance the bill to the legislative floor, where it was passed 40-5, with no sign of conciliation or seeking a middle ground from any of the 40 affirmative voters, including Speaker Mike Flood.

Next week, more on the activities of the anti-abortion activists.  Also some further comment on the “Mike Flood for Governor” boomlet. 

* * *

At The White House, Truly Generous
Charity Doesn’t Begin At Home

Charity apparently doesn’t begin at home if you live in the White House. 

Release of President and Michelle Obama’s 2009 tax returns showed that the Obamas’ adjusted gross income was $5,505,409 in 2009, mostly from the sale of the president’s two best-selling books.  The federal income tax bill was $1,792,414.

The New York Daily News said that Obama “offset his tab somewhat by being very generous, giving $329,100 to 50 different charities.” 

Very generous?  The total given to charities equaled 5.8% of the Obamas’ adjusted gross income.  This was about one-eighth of the percentage of adjusted gross income which Marian and I gave away last year.

(The Daily News noted that Obama gave away all of the $1.4 million that he was awarded in connection with his Nobel Peace Prize.  A wise decision.  Had he kept the prize money or any significant percentage of it, the result would have been simply to add to the criticism as to why he received the prize at all, after having served only a few months in office and done nothing significant to advance the cause of peace.)

Then there is the amount of charitable contributions given by Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill.  They reported adjusted gross income of $333,182 and $71,147 in federal income taxes and $4,820 in contributions.  That’s right, $4,820 in contributions, which figures to 1.4% of the Bidens’ adjusted gross income.

* * *

Prenatal Medical Care Was Another
Overly Emotionalized Legislative Issue

The abortion issue wasn’t the only one badly over emotionalized in the recent Nebraska legislative session. 

Worthy of serious consideration but not of rhetoric and concern which seemed at times to approach the hysterical was the question of prenatal care for babies of low-income mothers, including a substantial number of mothers who are illegal immigrants.

It turns out that the University of Nebraska Medical Center will continue to offer care to such pregnant mothers, just as has been the case before the federal government moved to cut off use of federal funds in the care of pregnant illegal immigrants.

And buried within one of the multitude of alarmist stories were these facts:  As of March 1, there were 1,619 low-income women who lost prenatal services because of a federal directive that ended the more than 20-year practice in Nebraska of providing such care regardless of the women’s immigration status. 

But about 4,700 low-income women were able to retain prenatal care after a state review.  And of the 1,619 who lost coverage, 752 were U.S. citizens deemed ineligible for reasons such as not following the rules in other welfare programs or not disclosing their incomes or other information.  The rest were 867 illegal immigrants.

So of some 6,319 women who were receiving prenatal care on March 1, 86% continued to receive that care or were U.S. citizens disqualified for reasons like not disclosing their income.  That left approximately 14% disqualified because they were illegal aliens—quite a different picture than “the sky is falling” tone struck by some legislators and some journalists.

15-Year-Old And Skateboarder Boyfriend
Truly Ready For Parenthood?

This is not to suggest that the 867 illegal immigrant mothers who lost federal-financed prenatal care did not pose a issue that needed to be addressed—a gap which quickly began to be closed by free service offered by a South Omaha clinic serving low-income residents and by the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The credibility of those moaning about a major medical crisis was not helped by using estimates such as the possibility—an authoritative source of the figures was not reported, in the account that I saw—that a single pregnancy complicated by the lack of prenatal care could result in post-birth medical costs running as high as $600,000.

Nor was the cause of credibility helped by a front-page story which told of an exceptional case—a pregnant unmarried illegal immigrant, age 15, whose life was threatened, the story said, by a rare condition “likely brought on by lack of prenatal care.”   

Reading into the story, you learn that the 15-year-old and her 17-year-old boyfriend knew that the young mother-to-be had stopped making visits to a private medical clinic when a social worker informed them that Medicaid would no longer be available.  About a month after leaving the care of a private medical clinic, she learned that the OneWorld Community Centers in South Omaha offered inexpensive prenatal visits and she turned to that clinic. 

Before her second visit to the OneWorld clinic, she became wracked with pain and the expectant father, a 17-year-old U.S. citizen, called 911.  The mother-to-be was taken to the Creighton Medical Clinic.  When interviewed, she was recovering at home, with the baby’s delivery paid for by state-funded Medicaid.

The story quoted the 15-year-old mother as saying that she would advise others in her situation to work out some type of affordable prenatal care.  Her boyfriend, whom the story described as a skateboarder, wants to earn money to feed his new family.

Better Advice For 15-Year-Old’s: Avoid Pregnancy

One might suggest that better advice from the 15-year-old unwed mother might be for others to avoid pregnancy if you and your boyfriend, whether he’s a skateboarder or not, aren’t prepared to get married and live on the income from the job he acquires rather than continuing on public welfare.

Better advice yet would be to use contraceptives to avoid getting pregnant and wait until you are mature enough to make a rational decision in your choice of a “boyfriend” who is a prospect for a married relationship and is capable of supporting you and your children.

Incidentally, but importantly, much was made of the fact that although the mothers involved are illegal immigrants, the child on birth immediately becomes a United States citizen.  This is a result of constitutional language adopted shortly after the Civil War to make clear that former slaves would be United States citizens. 

There was no way that the drafters of the 14th Amendment could have anticipated that this language would be used in the future to give citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants

It would make sense now for the 14th Amendment to be amended to read that a person born to parents one of whom is a United States citizen becomes a citizen no matter where the birth occurs.   It makes no legal nor social justice sense at all to grant automatic American citizenship to children born in this country to illegal immigrants. 

* * *

Good Advice, Marian, I’ll Give It A Try

On the occasion of our 58th wedding anniversary April 19, I wrote a brief message thanking Marian for all she had done—much more than her share—to make those 58 years so richly rewarding.

Marian, of course, thanked me for the message which, she said, was so well written that “you should think about taking up journalism.”

# # #

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