Originally Published: July 24, 2018 10:03 p.m.
Kavanaugh on employees without rights.
Microsoft finds hacking against current candidates.
Russian threats against military families.
Russian hacking of the power grid.
Gosar stumping for extreme group in Europe. Here are both sides of the story. First from the Russian news agency Sputnik News, then from a leading British paper The Independent.
Property tax policies that hurt families.
My pieces on DCReport.
Here are a handful of notable news pieces that might indicate more than they look like on the surface, which I’ll expound on below.
They are on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; Russian hacking of current candidates, targeting military families, and the power grid; Rep. Paul Gosar on a strange mission; and property taxes. All links and references are online.
• In 2008 Kavanaugh, as an appeals court judge, ruled that undocumented workers shouldn’t count toward union votes. Now, undocumented workers must have been hired by an employer who didn’t care or hired on false info. In either case they should be let go. That’s how that problem should be dealt with. But once they’re on the job, they are employees. Kavanaugh concluded they weren’t really employees and shouldn’t get employee rights. Our constitution covers people in the country, citizens or not, and our principle that all people are created equal means we have to extend rights to people everywhere. Not every detail of our laws extend to all, but understanding they are people and have rights does. If we don’t extend that, then it means we don’t believe rights are universal but rather subject to the whim of government. Kavanaugh’s outlook on this is dangerous to our rights.
• One of Microsoft’s leaders of security announced the company has detected the same Russian agencies, which were active during the 2016 campaign, are now attempting to hack into the campaigns of “candidates of note” who are apparently current office holders since he described them as “running for re-election.” These are the same Russian agencies that have been indicted for hacking campaigns in 2016 and hacking state election offices.
In a related item, Russia has targeted our military and their families with violent threats on social media, and then pretend the threats came from ISIS to hide the source. And their hacking of the power grid continues and was just revealed to go deeper, “inside the control rooms of U.S. electric utilities ‘where they could have thrown switches.’”
• Rep. Gosar went to Europe to speak to and support an extreme group. The group is centered on a guy who has been in continuous trouble with the law, sometimes for protesting but often for unrelated assaults. He led an anti-Muslim group, which he claims is strictly anti-violent Muslims, but which has welcomed the support of racist and neo-Nazi groups.
Gosar is free to meet who he wants and have his opinions, but of all the things that need attention here, and with Congress behind in its work, why get involved with a European extremist group? And why entangle his reputation with them? Interesting priorities.
• A recent study found states that limit property taxes end up making life harder for low-wage workers and others of low income. They find that school funding gets reduced, services get cut, sales taxes get raised instead, which are regressive, all of which end up falling hardest on the lowest incomes.
• I have a number of columns on the website of David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer prize winner and author of several best-selling books, investigating tax and economic issues. Search for my name at DCReport.Org. More will be coming, so check again from time to time.
Tom Cantlon is a local business owner and writer and can be reached at comments at tomcantlon.com.