Today’s announcement that Congressman Cook will not seek re-election presents the people of his district with a dilemma. Since he has not been seen here, held a town hall meeting for four years or responded to letters to his Washington address for at least three, how will we know he has gone?

(33) comments


I live in Yucca Valley, Cook's supposed hometown, and I have seen him precisely once since I moved here. I see our assemblyman Chad Mayes out and about reasonably often.

Branson Hunter

I wish Congress Member Paul Cook well in his retirement from congress. Yet can we overlook the that he and many congress members ‘sat on their hands’ when the Office of the President was seizing infants, children, and teens along with refugee fleeing from unlivable political or environmental conditions in Central and South America. Many congressional members were silent while thousands of people were rounded-up and incarcerate in inhumane cages. Those frightened people were forced to sleep concrete floors.

The were denied bedding, blankets, toothbrushes, soap and condolences or professional services. I’m confused many Congressman were silent while the world was was watching wilful cruel and unusual acts on these people. All Constitutional safeguards were out the window. That silence from congressional leaders enable and encouraged the sitting president to continue that sort of treatment to infants and human being.


Branson, your remarks are a bit afield of Aubrey’s concerns but since you’ve segued to your usual Trump hysteria, I’d like to respond with some of my thinking on the matter.

“…soap and condolences…”? Yes Branson, I think you are confused. And the part about being denied bedding, blankets, toothbrushes, soap and professional services (meaning Doctors I suppose)”is just plane bunk.

I wonder if it occurred to you that these folks slept on the ground, exposed to the elements, all during their long and arduous journey here. Seems to me the temperature controlled holding facilities might be a welcome change, nice clean concrete floors and all.


So what would you do about the situation at our border Branson, particularly concerning the children? We’ve asked you before and all we ever get is more complaining about our President and Congress’ inaction. Well Sir, we are asking again. What exactly do you want them to do?

Branson Hunter

Easy question Mike: Before you forcibly put human beings in chainlink cages make sure sanitation conditions are in place. Conditions like I presume you have in your home: You understand, facilities such as showers for pregnant women and mothers and children, tooth paste, soap. You don't need to be educated about hygiene, medicines, access to medical care, the application of the Constitution. WE ALL UNDERSTAND that immigration needs reform, and he entire outdated immigrations and naturalization process need a bunch of money to make it work. We have a king. A corrupt and historic white racist King. A king without clothes. An immoral and unethical king. A King who loathes democracy nations. You are on board. Good luck Mike.


When the obstructionist left saw they could no longer deny there is a border crisis they changed their tune and began blaming the crisis on our duly elected President.

Their propaganda mill quickly conjured up a series of related, but erroneous, atrocities and convinced their lemmings it’s all Trump’s doing.

Those that know the truth didn’t get it by drinking the blue Kool-Aid, Branson.


Obstructionists on the left? I guess McConnell and Cantor telling the world they wouldn't work with the relected president on national telly was a hologram.

Regarding Cook, he was a "good" soldier and kept his mouth shut. Not a surprise. Like all old soldiers, it's an appropriate time for this one to fade away.

Branson Hunter

I''ll give you that Mike. There was a huge denial about the crises at the border and immigration problems. For decades I advocated Immigrations and Nationality reform -- and border controls. Just as I predicted, that one day a president would come along who implements draconian and unconstitutional measures against undocumented persons, children and kids and confine them in concentration camps without due process or human necessities.

bill jenkins

i think cook got feed up with trump and did the only thing he could to have peace of mind.


The hoards of scofflaws sneaking across our boarder know they are breaking the law - They know they will be arrested and detained if they are caught - They know they are unlikely to be caught unless they want to be (thousands every month are, God only knows how many aren’t and none wanting to ever become a US citizen) - They know they are overtaxing the system and overcrowding our detention centers - They know that when captured, any children will be separated from them and sent to special holding facilities - They know those facilities are overcrowded – They know what that means and they know It is they themselves who are ultimately responsible for the health and welfare of those children not you and me, not DHS, not America and certainly not America’s President - They know the children must be released within 3 weeks and that accompanying adults, whether fully vetted by then or not, will be sent right along into our country with them (the policy begs for nefarious exploitation) - They know all of this, bet on it – Does anyone think “All Things Border” isn’t the discussion topic of the day, every day, as they trek en masse weeks on end to get to it? They know the game and they play it well, Branson!


The news that Paul Cook is not running for Congress is welcome news! He has done nothing for his district. Has anyone ever went to a town hall he hosted? Has anyone seen him interacting and talking to his constituents? Have you seen or heard him reacting to the chaos in the White House? No...the only comments and actions he takes are to defend the party of the White House. Grow some, Paul Cook, and maybe you can regain some of the manhood you had when you were in the Marines.

Branson Hunter

Paul Cook has shamed America by remaining silent during the purges.


A bit harsh bdelph...You seem to overlook the fact that Cook has been instrumental in getting a Post office renamed during his term so far, which I estimate has cost the taxpayers at least $10 million . (Salary, Staff, Offices, Postage, Expenses etc etc etc and of course he chose not to retire util the 5 years years obligatory to collect another pension. Cynical much?

Branson Hunter

I am not surprised, but upset that Mike's above comment sounds much like the demonization of other human beings in Europe when I was a child. That didn't bode very well with history.

The countries that many of these refugees come from have fled because of agricultural failures and failures. One of these countries is said by the UN to be the most dangerous place of Earth.

Mike, how dare you analogize that that since these refugees traveled long distances and slept outdoors, the inhuman facilities is not a big deal. Could look me in the eyes and seriously say you believe that?


That IS funny Aubrey!


@ bdelph:

Yes. I think Paul Cook running for County Supervisor is great news! We could end up having two Board Members with intimate knowledge of our area, both of whom understand our unique issues.

No not a Town Hall, bdelph, but I attended a couple of Cook’s Meet and Greets in Yucca and went one on one with the gentleman there, as did others. Where were you? I had also visited him, previously, in his office at the State Capitol while he served the Assembly. I just walked right in the door that had that gaudy Marine Corp flag hanging on it, told secretary I was from Yucca Valley and he came out received me personally.

You know he has penned several articles on these very pages don’t you? Did you comment on any of them?

There’s a laundry list of work the good Congressman has done, some of which I am particularly appreciative of, some of which I am not. It’s all on his website, if you care.

Does Cook support our President? He darn well better or he’ll not have my vote! Oh Yea, I recon he'll not get another vote from me now anyhow, eh?


“Conditions like I presume you have in your home…”

Sure Branson, you can presume conditions in my home are as good as yours, but that’s irrelevant. What can we presume about the homes that the detainees left behind? How does that compare to the DHS facilities they are visiting? That’s what’s important to them!

The majority of these folks are rural Mesoamericans, mostly descendents of the areas indigenous peoples. I think we can honestly “presume” that typically their abode had one room, a dirt floor, no indoor plumbing or electricity and was shared with an extended family.

I think you can you imagine how difficult that would be and how laborious? Think about it. No toilets, no hot water heaters, no refrigerators, no air conditioning, no washing machines, no television, no phones, no emergency services and no automobiles…

We could go on but I think it’s clear that a short detour through any of our border facilities is of little consequence to these hardy souls, whether little Jimmy has any freaking toothpaste or not.

Branson Hunter

Hi Mike, but I'm not buying the argument that these since immigrating or fleeing refugees live in dirt it's okay okay to treat like dirt. That is manifestly bigoted and racist as applied. Further, that's not what is taught in any constitutional law class in American law school. I took a pledge to defend the Constitution more than five times in five government or related venues. Twice here in the Morongo Basin. I am fighting with words now to defend Constitution safeguards.

The POTUS has suspended common decency and constitutional rights for protected classes of people in the US. He pays little attention to the other two branches of government. He openly and notoriously tells dictators they are his 'favorite dictator' while writing love letters to a N. Korea despot. He has charged the free press with being the enemy of the people.

Umm... what is wrong with this picture Mike?

Branson Hunter

PS: Is this why Congress member Paul Cook is not seeking reelection: To disassociate himself from an arrant and lawless POTUS?


I am glad you’re not surprised.

Certainly, I hold these folks responsible for their actions. Of course I do. I am surprise you don’t.

I have demonized no one, Branson; rather I have offered you, however futilely, some food for thought.

As defined by term – scofflaw - these particular human beings are fully aware of any ramifications associated with circumventing the process. Besides being illegal, choosing to crash our border is analogous to cutting in line ahead of their fellow human beings, responsible human beings whose need is equally great but who appreciate the need to be accounted for and who understand the importance of law and order. These are the human beings who we would be proud to include as American citizens should they choose that endeavor.

Wrongly suggesting illegal immigrants are ignorant of these facts… that would be demonizing!

Branson Hunter

Hi Mike, may I say that blame is not progress. Blame is a side-distraction. Blame Congress who for decades sat on their hands and looked the other way. Blame everyone. Blame all of us.

What is clear is that you don't give a diddly squat about immigrant human rights, common decency for these people, or following and enforcing U.S. Codes and Code of Federal Regulations as it applies to these immigration. Supreme Court and U.S. Federal Court decisions are the law of the land. You know that don't you Mike?

We can't just pick and choose when we want the constitution to apply, or chose to revoke the Bill or Rights of people you believe don't deserve any rights.

I encourage you to demonstrate something more than blame and tympany to justification overstepping the US Constitution and thousands of federal and Supreme Court cases.

People either believe in it or they don't. Not much wiggle room.


Come on Branson, you expect a bully like Mike to care about malnourished kids showing up at the border. Outsiders have taken a proverbial dump on Central America for last 500 years. Why stop now?

Branson Hunter

Mike avoids constitutional issues and laws of the land. Rather, he is committed to the POTUS who suspending civil rights; disregarding the constitutional rights of tens of thousands of downtrodden people; who suggest he destroy powerful hurricanes with nuclear weapons, and who disregarding US Codes and the CFR; and the Federal Procedure Act.

Fervent POTUS supporters may have never ever heard of these laws or have ever read any federal court cases pertaining to the laws that protect all classes and all persons.

Some POTUS people just don't care. That's there right to advocate punishing people and literally treating them like animals in cages. Zoo animals have healthcare, excellent food and are taken care of better that those whom are in US concentration camps and behind cages.

Maybe in another life if I lacked empathy, nourished a black heart I could get behind the degradation of people and deplorable spartan concentration camps were people are held, admittedly, for punishment.

I encourage Mike to write something smart and convincing: Balance 'fundamental constitutional rights with the harsh, immoral treatment he prefers.

Friday many good Americans and residents breathed a little easier when the federal courts came down very hard on the mad man who has usurped absolute power. Three different federal courts ruled that Trump is violation of the laws and the constitution.

The SCOTUS struck a hard and disabling blow to the POTUS and his draconian immigration plan to keep children in camps permanently.

What say you Mike? Let's get to it... . Why is the SCOTUS wrong?


Detention centers are not concentration camps.

If detention centers were concentration camps there would not be hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens attempting to violate the laws of our land and illegally cross our borders.

Civil rights are not suspended while illegal aliens are detained.

Illegal aliens are not held in detention centers for punishment.

Illegal aliens are held in detention centers for due process and adjudication.

Illegal aliens are violating the laws of our land not our nation’s attempts to enforce our laws regarding illegal immigration.

It is the fervent open borders advocates that despise our immigration laws, regulations, and policies that protect and preserve our nation’s sovereignty.

The Supreme Court did not struck a hard blow to the POTOS.

It was three liberal District Court Judges that challenged the POTUS goals to end the massive flow of illegal aliens flooding our borders and like many bad decisions are eventually overturned by appeals to the Supreme Court.

I encourage you Branson to write something smart and convincing rather than just quoting the usual political rhetoric and fabrications used by the open border advocates.

Branson Hunter

Friday the Supreme Court told the president that you cannot do that sir it's against the law we don't do that in our country we are a law of Nations.


Sorry Branson. You are wrong again.

“Supreme Court Is Key After Trump’s String of Losses in Lower Courts”

The Wall Street Journal Sept. 30, 2019 10:14 am ET

Also we are not a Law of Nations.

We are a Nation of Laws.

You may want to ease up a bit on the fabrications.

Branson Hunter

Cookie, you're partially correct. I apologize I'll try to make the point again: this week, three separate federal judges, three jurisdictions, ruled that the president is violating the law as it pertains to immigrants. In our discussion question is is this okay with you?


There are over 900 million LEGAL crossings at our southern border every year. For our part, the US maintains more than three hundred ports of entry for that purpose. It is ILLEGAL to circumnavigate them. It is ILLEGAL to sneak in behind our backs. It is ILLEGAL to enter our country without our knowledge. It is AGAINST THE LAW to enter without our approval and it is DANGEROUS to let that happen!

But it does happen. Why? Why would any LAW ABIDING person need to avoid our ports of entry? Answer - THEY wouldn’t. The reasons SCOFFLAWS do are as numerous as they are nefarious and thousands a month are caught trying.

It is critically important to national security that we find out what those defying our nation’s authority, are up to. The places we hold them until we can do that are already woefully overcrowded, overcrowded even to the point that many must be released before they are properly vetted.

Nevertheless Branson frustrates efforts to alleviate the overcrowding by encouraging the behavior that’s causing it. If Branson really believes conditions in the holding facilities are so bad, why would he do that?

A third of the children traveling with adults are not even related to them. Branson, I fully empathize with the true immigrants, but who are they?

“Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.” – Dalai Lama

Branson Hunter

Hi Mike, we need an administration that is capable of dealing with the immigration problem. There is no balancing, that is trade off of the Constitution for the administration to bypass the Bill of Rights. What is important now is that Republicans are turning away from Trump and very fast. The law and the elements of the law are very clear. Trump and Pence are in deep trouble


"Trump and Pence are in deep trouble"- I don't think so.

Branson Hunter

Hi Mike. Believe it or not I don't like where we are at in this country. And neither do you. I would think that you would be concerned about this president's Behavior.


Yeah? And Hillary would be better, right?

You know, I was proud to be a Democrat for better than fifty years but that ended when all this destructive stupidity started.

The campaign “to impeach 45” began before he was even inaugurated. That ain’t the cowboy way.

Branson Hunter

Hi Mike, Hillary is not president so she cannot be impeached. Let's focus on the Constitutional crisis and the fact that the president has declared the Constitution illegitimate.

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