• After Prof. Mae Ngai gave her lecture, “Nation of Immigrants: Short History of an Idea” on the University of Oregon campus Jan. 16, she left us with this important takeaway: “The politics of hate toward immigrants is not the politics of most of the American people… I really believe that.” So do we. Ngai was speaking as part of the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics program on immigration and borders.

• Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber’s call for civility and a retreat from political tribalism makes sense and was enthusiastically received by much of the City Club of Eugene on Jan. 25. But in times like these, that can be a simplistic and soft route. For instance, Kitzhaber criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her tough stance denying President Donald Trump a stage for his State of the Union speech. Pelosi was right. That was a critical bargaining chip in forcing Trump to open our government. Civility has to work both ways. We can’t all get along when some of the players cheat and lie constantly for their political tribe.

• Speaking of tribalism, Rep. Peter DeFazio flew into Eugene to listen to those who were affected by the government shutdown due to an absence of bipartisan collaboration. During his Jan. 26 town hall at Lane Community College, he reminded residents that a wall wouldn’t prevent drugs from being smuggled in. DeFazio’s source? Court testimonies from drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s trial. DeFazio added that he and other legislators are looking into establishing a two-year budget cycle to avoid Washington’s nature of procrastination of passing timely budgets, especially since passing a budget tends to dominate so much congressional time. 

• Reading Trump’s Twitter feed would be funny it he weren’t the president of the United States. In response to the polar vortex hitting the Midwest this week with potentially life-threatening cold temps, he tweeted: “What the hell is going on with Global Waming [sic]? Please come back fast, we need you!” First, weather and climate are not the same. Second, some scientists studying the wandering vortex say when warm air invades the Arctic, some of the cold — like the vortex — that should remain up there instead makes its way south. Third, please don’t use a potential tragedy and your Twitter bully pulpit to be a climate change denier. 

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