We just announced the 2014 Malibu Times Dolphin recipients in this week’s newspaper. As usual, we had a slew of enormously worthy candidates, so although we picked eight, we could have easily chosen twice that. Many of you sent in nominations with detailed bios and letters from supporters. All of it helps us in deciding. As you can see, Malibu is a very diverse community and we try to select a diverse group of honorees.
Don’t be disappointed if your recommendation didn’t get selected this year. Sometimes we have several worthy candidates in the same category and we can only chose one. So don’t hesitate to resubmit people next year.
Thank you again for your help.
If you were around the Civic Center this past weekend, you couldn’t help but wonder which government official was in town. Those big black SUVs with tinted windows and the slew of California Highway Patrol leading and following usually mean a high level federal official or the Governor. If you guessed a federal official, you would have been right because Jeh Johnson, the Director of Homeland Security (DHS) was in town for the holiday weekend. Johnson, a lawyer and former general counsel for the department of Defense, runs the DHS, which is the third largest federal Department (just behind Defense and the VA) with 200,000 employees and authority over Immigration and Naturalization, Customs and Border Patrol, FEMA (which we in Malibu know only all too well), Secret Service, TSA (all those security people at the airports) and the Coast Guard. All in all, this guy has a lot on his plate for domestic security and he is obviously a primo target for a lot of nasty people, which explains the heavy security contingent.
You really can’t begrudge him a short vacation because he’s in for a very tough month. The budget for his department runs out at the end of this month, which means no authority and, therefore, no money to pay those 200,000 government employees, who will find themselves caught between the House, the Senate and the President. The House has passed a bill funding the Department, but stuck in a little hook, which essentially would prohibit funding Obama’s recent executive orders on immigration and, if it became law, would probably lead to the immediate deportation of a thousand, if not tens of thousands, of people.
Obama, of course, has said he would veto it if he doesn’t get a clean bill funding the Department. It may, however, never come to that because the Senate, even with the recently elected Republican majority, is deeply divided on the issue and it’s apparent they’ll never get 60 votes to block a filibuster in the Senate, or, perhaps, never even get a majority of votes in the Senate.
There is a big blame game going on and Boehner is trying to appear very casual about it all, and even has said he could live with them not funding the DHS. That would appear to me to mean that he has no control of his House and this is a very dangerous game of chicken being played. If the Republicans are going to play at being President, do it with a Department that many people don’t like, like the IRS, for example. But to shut down the DHS, which most everyone views as essential, is very risky. If anything happens here while the department is unfunded (and you have to assume that ISIL is not stupid and also reads the newspapers), I believe there will be a very unforgiving electorate in the U.S.
I know there are things like exceptions for essential services, and many federal employees will continue to work, even if they’re not paid right away. I predict, however, the Republicans will lose this one and lose it bad, and, ultimately, have to fold their cards. All the administration has to do is furlough 25% of the TSA workers at the airports and the lines will go down the block and people will be enraged.
Put your bets down. I think that Boehner is raising with a pair of twos, and when he gets called, the Dems are totally willing — in fact, eager — to call him. He’s going to have to fold.