H.R. 8 — “To require a background check for every firearm sale.”

stray dog

Why laws with loopholes, one wonders?

H.R. 8 — “To require a background check for every firearm sale.”

Well, maybe not every one.

An amendment, offered by Mr. Van Drew, numbered 4 printed in Part A of House Report 116-14 to clarify that the exception for gifts and loans of firearms between parents and their children applies to step-parents and step-children.

The Van Drew Amendment was agreed to by voice vote, but why in the world should there be exceptions?

An amendment, offered by Mrs. Lesko, numbered 1 printed in Part A of House Report 116-14 to allow the transfer of firearms to individuals who participate in the TSA Pre-Check program of the Department of Homeland Security.

The Lesko Amendment failed by recorded vote 182-250. Tom Reed voted AYE as did most Republicans.


An amendment, offered by Ms. Dean, numbered 2 printed in Part A of House Report 116-14 to clarify that the exemption from the background check requirement in instances of imminent threats of death or great bodily harm would apply to someone who is at risk of committing suicide.

The Dean Amendment was agreed to by voice vote. I believe the intent is to allow a gun to be taken without a background check to prevent a crime or a suicide.

An amendment, offered by Ms. Horn, Kendra S., numbered 3 printed in Part A of House Report 116-14 to clarify that “great bodily harm” includes domestic violence, dating partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic abuse.

The Horn Amendment was agreed to by recorded vote 310-119. Tom Reed voted AYE.


Mr. Collins (GA) moved to recommit with instructions to the Committee on the Judiciary. The instructions contained in the motion seek to require the bill to be reported back to the House with an amendment to add new text to the bill related to regulations that may be implemented by the Attorney General.

The Collins motion was agreed to by recorded vote 220-209. Tom Reed voted AYE.


On passage, H.R.8 was agreed to 240-190. Tom Reed voted NAY.




Posted in Gun Violence, Reed's Views | Tagged , | 1 Comment



We’re in no rush whatsoever. — DJT on prospective Korean denuclearization

Prior to 5 May 1968, Nixon spoke of seeking a “victorious peace” in Vietnam. But on that day, speaking in New Hampshire, the nation’s first primary state, he used the term “honorable peace” for the first time. 

“Face saving,” said to be important to Asians, seems equally important to American Presidents.

Kim Jong-un has reportedly again purged his government of political opponents. That’s interesting–while we don’t commonly use that word, Kim may have taken a cue from DJT.

American officials purged by the Trump Administration:





Some of those purged held important positions:

  • Michael Flynn –National Security Adviser
  • Rex Tillerson — Secretary of State
  • Jeff Sessions — Attorney General
  • James Mattis — Secretary of Defense
  • Michael Kelly — Chief of Staff

One reason the American President and the North Korean President are said to be friendly is that they have much in common, one notable thing being insecurity.


Posted in Trump, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Political Glossary


“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”–Lewis Carroll


  • That’s a conversation we need to have.I don’t want to talk about it.
  • I will take these concerns from constituents back to Washington D.C.constituents’ concerns will be forgotten before Tom leaves the room.
  • Your opinions are important to me.Why should I care what you think?
  • I’ll get back to you on that.—I don’t want to talk about it.
  • We need to agree to disagree.--forget you!
  • national emergencyCongress won’t cooperate.
  • taxpayer moneyany government spending.
  • bipartisan bill-any bill which one approves with at least one sponsor from each party.
  • reintroduce a billit previously died in committee and likely will again.
  • harmful, unnecessary regulationsthey cost you or your business time and money.
  • Breaking newsnews.
  • Fake newsanything found disagreeable.
  • TDSthe idea that Trump’s blather makes responsible people crazy; there may be some truth to that.
  • The leftanything but the far right.
  • The other side-the left.


Posted in Congress, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged | 4 Comments

Smart border technology

wallIf we build it, we will lose our security and our humanity.–Beto O’Rorke in El Paso

In an article which appeared in The Hill, the authors argue that “Democrats’ ‘smart border’ technology is not a ‘humane’ alternative to Trump’s wall.” The argument is persuasive, but more interesting observations are found at the end of the article. The authors note:

Based on these findings there is a need to reconsider the premise that surveillance technology and infrastructure can provide a “humane” alternative to Trump’s border wall (a proposal we also consider to be wasteful and destructive). Instead, we’d like to see a shift in U.S. border policy that genuinely prioritizes the protection of human life, regardless of a person’s citizenship or immigration status. 

This kind of shift, of course, would require reforms not just to the Border Patrol and its enforcement strategy, but to U.S. immigration policy overall, allowing people to seek safety or reunite with family and loved ones without risking their lives crossing through the desert. 

Democrats were pushed to define an alternative to a border wall to deflect charges that they were weak on “border security,” that they favored “open borders.” Better that the debate had turned to defining a humane immigration policy, a border policy that genuinely prioritizes the protection of human life, regardless of a person’s citizenship or immigration status. 


Posted in 2020, Campaigning, Immigration | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Border Issues

tijuna-river-map“There is a crisis here but it has nothing to do with immigration.”--Gilbert Rebollar, a board member of the Brawley Elementary School District who is also an analyst at the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District.

Jose A. Del Real, in an article published in the NY Times on Feb. 10, 2019, “A California border town swept up in Mexico’s waste,” explains that pollution from Mexico affects communities in California. He writes:

Noxious sewage filled with feces, industrial chemicals and other raw waste regularly comes in through the New River, and through Calexico, leaving neighborhoods along the waterway engulfed in pungent fumes.

In 2017 I wrote an article titled “Bad bills have smelly consequences,”which noted Tom Reed’s indifference to the problem of cross-border pollution.

In 2011, Tom Reed opposed funding needed sewers because the work was on the Mexican side of the border. The consequences affect the California side–now sewage in the Tijuana River is a problem in Southern California.

Not all border problems can be solved by a wall. Violence and poverty in Central America and demand for illegal drugs North of the border are examples. Communities on both sides of the border have interests that need to be addressed with cooperative action. Del Real writes:

As Washington debates spending billions to shore up barriers along the 2,000-mile southwest border, many residents in California’s Imperial Valley feel at least some of that money could be spent to address the region’s public health threats.

When we spend, we ought to spend wisely.


  1. Calexico is 100 miles East of Tijuana.
  2. Some links in the 2017 New NY 23rd article are no longer valid. Tom’s 2011 press release can no longer be found on his web site.


Posted in Congress, Environmental, Political, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sounds right

haterSounds right, so it must be right.

Are we too quick to accept ridiculous ideas because they sound good? Take “balanced budget,” for example. Balancing the Federal budget may be a good idea when times are good, but it is a terrible idea when times are tough. The idea that a balanced Federal budget, unlike a local government budget or a family budget, is always desirable is patently false.

Sounds right, so it must be right.

  1. Conservative.
  2. Job-killing regulations.
  3. Keeping out immigrants means more jobs for us.
  4. Our taxes are too high.
  5. Job killing trade agreements.
  6. Balanced budget.
  7. Disruption.
  8. Strict interpretation, original meaning, textual analysis.
  9. Life.
  10. Right to work.
  11. Reed’s opponents are “haters.”
  12. MAGA.

Sounds right, so it must be right? More likely not. What did I miss?


Posted in Political, Taxes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Social Security

punditThe first thing you can do is pass legislation making it illegal for Congress to take money from Social Security to use for other things, the way they’ve been doing for years.–Often seen on facebook.

The idea that money has been taken from Social Security for other purposes is false. That so many believe it is harmful in several ways:

  • It advertises our ignorance, so our Representatives see how easily fooled we are.
  • It suggest that Social Security benefits depend on money set aside for that purpose, rather than a government obligation.
  • That so many believe it has already happened, may make it more likely to happen in the future with cuts to benefits.

In my opinion, SS benefits might reasonably be reduced if it can be shown that they are excessive; I don’t believe this is true. They should not be reduced to save money–government is obliged to fully fund lawful benefits. There is no excuse to renege.


Posted in Social Security | 2 Comments