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New York state editorial roundup: Trump's divisiveness, streamlining foreclosures
THEIR VIEW

New York state editorial roundup: Trump's divisiveness, streamlining foreclosures

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Speaking on the White House lawn Monday, President Donald Trump continued his racist rants against four members of the House of Representatives, saying they "hate the United States." At a news conference later, however, the respect and love of these women for their country shone, perfectly framing Trump's childish strategy to denounce opponents personally because he can't debate policy.

Trump, plagued by static poll numbers, unleashed a Twitter assault steeped in racism, sexism and vile prejudices Sunday. His attack was un-American, degrading one of this nation's most exceptional attributes, a willingness to welcome people of any race, hue or religion.

"So interesting to see 'Progressive' Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world...now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."

Trump has not denied that the four citizens he was referring to are Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York (born in the Bronx), Rashida Tlaib of Michigan (born in Detroit), Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts (born in Cincinnati) and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota (born in Somalia in 1982, came to the United States in 1992, became a citizen in 2000).

Ocasio-Cortez is free to say "how our government is to be run" because she won election by 110,318 to 17,762. Tlaib won 165,355 to 22,186. Pressley had no opponent, and won 98.3 percent of the vote. Omar won 267,703 to 74,440.

As much as we sometimes disagree with the political views of these members of Congress, no one has more of a right to express opinions than they do.

So what point was Trump making when he attempted to delegitimize these women? Was it to further cleave the the Democratic Party as it struggles to find a path between moderates and progressives? Clearly so.

It was more of the same bigotry that led him to make the farcical accusations that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, that a U.S. judge of Mexican descent cannot be impartial, and that people coming here from Mexico are drug dealers and rapists.

GOP officials were mostly muted in response to their leader implying that Muslims, African Americans and Hispanics are not real Americans even if born here and should leave because of their negative views. If negative views of America were a deportable offense, Trump's catalog-of-horrors inauguration speech clearly would have qualified him.

Rep. Lee Zeldin chose to attack his four fellow representatives for a "blame America first mentality," but said Trump should have stuck to policy disagreements.

Rep. Peter King said Trump's tweets were "entirely inappropriate and wrong," but did little else to make it clear that this was not acceptable behavior from the president.

Trump's message is a dangerous one, that the other, the person who is different from you, is not a real American. Soon enough, if Trump's hatred is not rejected, anyone who speaks against him will be the other.

— Newsday

New York state needs to make up its mind if it wants foreclosures to proceed quickly or slowly.

Twice at the end of the legislative session in June, lawmakers voted on bills that dealt with foreclosures.

One of the bills would allow a homeowner to file a defense challenging a bank's standing to file a foreclosure action at the last minute, an action Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, said could add a month or two to a foreclosure process that is already the longest in the nation at slightly more than three years on average. Goodell said on the Assembly floor that allowing such a late claim of standing by the bank could make the problem of zombie properties even worse.

Sure enough, less than 24 hours later, the Zombie Property Remediation Act was debated on the state Assembly floor. The legislation grants new powers to municipalities to file a suit against a bank and force a foreclosure or settlement of a mortgage if a home has been verified to be vacant regardless of whether or not the home's mortgage was actually in default. The act requires banks to try to wrap a foreclosure up within a year — timelines that can't be reached as a result of legislation passed a decade ago at the height of the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

It's as if state legislators never read the bills to see how they contradict each other or complicate an already complicated process. We agree with Goodell's suggestion that the legislature should consider legislation to streamline the foreclosure process. Too much competing legislation has been passed over the years for the process to be anything but a tangled, confused mess.

— The Post-Journal (Jamestown)

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