President Donald J. Trump is learning the ways of Washington.
If you are going to work in the swamp you have to get used to putting your waders on every morning, and Trump has done that with his decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
What he did was place the ball squarely in Congress’s court and, as we all know, Congress can’t hit a ball given 10 tries.
Trump said the current DACA program created by executive order – which even President Barack Obama said was unconstitutional the year before he decided to implement it – would be abolished in six months.
This decision gives Congress six months to pass a bill on an issue that has bipartisan support.
Consider that Congress has had five years since Obama, by executive order, put DACA in place to take action to make it legal, what chance does Congress have of getting it done in six months?
Speaker Paul Ryan said that DACA was unconstitutional, that it was the clear role of Congress not the executive branch to make laws regarding naturalization, but Congress hasn’t passed those laws.
The question is, can Congress – which can’t repeal Obamacare, can’t reform the tax code, hasn’t yet raised the debt ceiling or dealt with the budget and can’t seem to tackle any large issue – come to an agreement on something as ticklish as what to do about children who have grown up in the country illegally?
The consensus seems to be that the children who were brought here, educated here and have lived here most of their lives should be allowed to stay. The polls indicate that most Americans believe it would be cruel to deport these young adults who came to this country as children through no fault of their own.
But, of course, nothing is simple. Under the current immigration laws, if these children are given a path to citizenship, which they kind of sort of have now, then their entire extended families have a path to citizenship.
There are efforts to amend that portion of the immigration law to give preference to people with skills over extended family members of citizens, but of course, since Congress can’t get the votes to do anything other than take long vacations, no new law has been passed.
So while DACA currently protects about 800,000 young adults from being deported, if Congress simply grants the Dreamers amnesty and gives them a path to citizenship, it could mean that millions of people will also have a path to citizenship.
The children didn’t choose to come to this country illegally, but their parents did. Should they be granted amnesty and a path to citizenship simply because they brought children with them? If they are, then why shouldn’t people who came here illegally but don’t have children or left their children back in their home country? Should they be punished for not putting their children through a dangerous trip to illegally cross the border?
So what seems simple isn’t simple, and, of course, there are numerous plans in Congress on how to deal with the problem.
The reason Congress has not acted in the past five years is because there doesn’t seem to be a majority behind any one plan. It’s the same reason they didn’t abolish Obamacare and haven’t done anything else of note. With no leadership in Congress there is no one to put together a deal to pass much of anything.
To get legislation passed takes both the carrot and the stick. You get as many votes as you can with carrots, and if that isn’t enough you use the stick. The current leadership doesn’t appear to use either method.
Ryan couldn’t get a repeal of Obamacare through the House – something that virtually every Republican had promised during their campaigns. Now he has six months to get the votes to reform the immigration laws and pass a DACA bill. But he may have more luck with DACA because it’s possible he could get some moderate Democrats to vote for it, and Ryan seems to be better at getting the votes of Democrats than Republicans.
Besides being a do-nothing Congress, this is not a hard-working Congress. It took the month of August off and in September it will only meet for 12 days, which is proof – as if any further proof were needed – that these guys don’t like to work. So a month when they do work, they only work for 12 days. Most people out in the real world would consider a month where they worked 12 days mostly vacation, but then they aren’t congressmen.
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From a political standpoint the response to Trump’s decision on Dreamers proves that it was a bad idea. Trump threw the people who have benefitted from DACA a lifeline and the response is to protest against Trump.
What Trump could have done was nothing, and the court case challenging the constitutionality of the DACA program would have gone forward. Since even Obama said that the DACA program was unconstitutional, there isn’t much chance it would have stood up to a court challenge, and then the Dreamers would really be in trouble. Or Trump could have done what many in his base wanted him to do, which was to say that the program was obviously illegal and he was going to order the immigration services to start enforcing the law.
It appears either the Dreamers have been too completely indoctrinated by the Democrats to believe that Trump would do something to help them, or it is simply further proof that the education system in this country has really gone downhill, because they don’t understand what Trump did.
The DACA program was temporary. It wasn’t a solution to a problem; it was simply Obama kicking the can down the road hoping that someone with more backbone would one day come up with a permanent solution.
Trump has offered Congress the opportunity to do its job and pass a solution to the problem of children growing up in this country when they had no legal right to be here, but are.
The first step toward solving the problem has to be to end the massive illegal immigration into this country of the Obama years.
Even a wall won’t stop every one, but if the number is reduced from millions to a few hundred then the process of dealing with people who have been in this country for years can begin. Until that is done, it doesn’t make sense because a program like DACA offers a huge encouragement to bring children to this country.
But Trump has given Congress – which has the legal authority to deal with this issue – a mandate and a deadline.
What the Dreamers should be doing is not protesting against Trump but petitioning Congress to get off its rather expansive backside and take action.
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If there was any doubt that according to the mainstream media Trump can’t do anything right it was proven in the first trip Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made to Houston.
First the mainstream media went nuts over the first lady’s stiletto heels, which she wore to board the helicopter at the White House, but when she arrived in Houston she had on sensible Adidas. The mainstream media evidently assumed that Melania was too incompetent to change her own clothes, or maybe they were unaware that Air Force One is big enough for a change of clothes.
Then they went after Trump because he wasn’t empathetic enough.
Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were both huggers and criers. It doesn’t make them any better or worse than other people. Some people like to hug folks.
Obama hugged people, but it always looked awkward. With Bill Clinton it looked like the most natural thing in the world for the president of the United States to be putting his arms around someone.
Trump is not a hugger or a crier. That doesn’t make him a bad president or a bad man. Trump in his business, no doubt, has had all kinds of problems where he felt he needed to be on the scene to make sure things were handled properly. But I very much doubt that he flew in to problem areas with the purpose of hugging everyone.
Historically, hugging people is a relatively new duty for the president. For instance, the letter from Abraham Lincoln to Mrs. Bixby, which was read in Saving Private Ryan, is real. Lincoln did not go hug Mrs. Bixby and was not castigated in the media for not doing so. He wrote her a letter, which at the time seemed to suffice, and some 150 odd years later made a great scene in a movie.
Trump got the message and he flew back to Houston to hug people, hold babies, hand out supplies and do all the things that the media expects the president to do in order to provide plenty of good photo-ops for the media.
It’s amazing what our country has become. It is style over substance. It doesn’t seem to matter that it is all staged and actually having the president and first lady around slows down the operation, because evidently the American people only believe the president cares if they see him hugging people and doing menial jobs that any teenager or young adult could have done faster and better.
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I love man-made climate change believers because they take every unusual weather event and turn it into an argument that man is changing the environment at a dangerous rate.
Hurricane Harvey caused a disaster in Houston, but I have shocking news for the true believers – there were hurricanes that hit that piece of land before Houston existed. There were hurricanes that hit that piece of land when man’s only contribution to so-called greenhouse gases were small cooking fires.
What about all the years that not only Houston, but the entire US, was not hit with a major hurricane? If man’s activities are making storms bigger and more frequent, why have storms been less frequent since 2005?
One of the most devastating hurricanes to hit North and South Carolina was Hurricane Hazel in 1955. If man’s activities are making hurricanes bigger and creating them more frequently, why was one of the worst hurricanes to hit the Carolinas over 60 years ago?
Hazel destroyed 80 percent of the buildings in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and that hasn’t happened in the intervening 60-plus years.
Hurricane Hazel caused 81 deaths in Canada. It hit Toronto particularly hard. How often since then have hurricanes caused deaths in Toronto? If man’s activities are causing a dramatic increase in the frequency and size of major tropical storms, it seems after over 60 years of pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that Toronto by now would be hit yearly and every couple of years Myrtle Beach would lose 80 percent of its buildings.
One reason hurricanes today are so much more destructive is that federal flood insurance has taken away the risk of building in areas likely to be destroyed by hurricanes. This is not true in Houston – where most people don’t have flood insurance – but is true on the North Carolina coast. Without federal flood insurance people would not be building multimillion-dollar homes on the beach.
With Hurricane Irma set to hit Florida later this week, the true believers will be in a tizzy with absolute proof that man caused these two hurricanes. But what it seems to prove is that man, even in 2017, doesn’t know nearly as much about the weather as we think we do.
Hurricanes seem to come in groups. Katrina was followed by Hurricane Rita less than a month later in 2005, and then Hurricane Wilma hit Florida. But since 2005 no major hurricane has not made landfall in the US.
The most powerful hurricane to hit the US was Labor Day 1935, and the hurricane that caused the most deaths was in Galveston, Texas, in 1900 – where over 8,000 people died.
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One of the many problems with DACA is that, as it exists, it is difficult to enforce. A person has to prove that they came into this country illegally as a child before they were 16 years old.
If you enter the country illegally there is no stamp on a passport, and no airline or bus ticket. Also, children don’t have official identification unless they have passports. A 20-year-old could who entered the country only a year earlier, could claim to be an 18-year-old who has been here for seven years.
The program depends on the honesty of people who came into this country illegally and, to remain here, have had to lie about it. Expecting people that don’t respect the laws of this country, and are willing to lie to authorities, to be honest in this one sector of their lives doesn’t seem reasonable.
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Trump during his campaign said if elected he would drain the swamp. It’s not easy. It means that he is battling the entrenched power of Republicans, Democrats and the entrenched establishment who work for both. But Trump to his credit is soldiering on. It doesn’t appear he is backing down from any of his campaign promises.
It is tougher than he thought and he has made some major mistakes. He invited some swamp creatures into the White House to work for him and that didn’t turn out well. He also has been far too slow in getting rid of the swamp creatures and Obama supporters still in the administration.
Trump never should have allowed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to continue working for the Justice Department, much less let him become acting attorney general in charge of the Russian collusion investigation. Someone who could work for Attorneys General Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder is not on Trump’s side.
It’s not too late for Trump to do a thorough house cleaning and he needs to get it done.
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Special Prosecutor Bobby Mueller, according to unconfirmed anonymous reports, has discovered that when Trump was in kindergarten he had a friend named Natasha. Mueller has not been able to discover the last name of the now 70-year-old woman, and if she is indeed Russian, or if she has had any contact with Trump since kindergarten, but reportedly he considers this a big breakthrough in his attempt to link the Trump campaign to the Kremlin.
Of course, none of that is true, or at least it isn’t true yet, but doesn’t it seem like Mueller is headed that way?
This investigation goes back to Jan. 21 when the Hillary Clinton campaign had to have some explanation for how she managed to lose a race that nearly everyone on the planet said she was going to win. Hillary Clinton’s brain trust – the same group, by the way, that managed to lose a political race that was being handed to them on a sliver platter – started shouting, “The Russians did it.”
Under normal circumstances, the cries of “the Russians did it” would be ignored as the ravings of poor losers, but we are not in normal times. The entire mainstream media didn’t simply predict Hillary Clinton would win, some were predicting a landslide and that her coattails would give the Democrats majorities in the House and the Senate. (The Rhino Times picked Trump to win, but there is no way we can be considered mainstream.) So the mainstream media had almost as much egg on their faces as Hillary Clinton, and the media were desperate for some explanation for why they had been so wrong.
Hillary Clinton gave them that explanation and the mainstream media have run with it. The problem is that no one, including Mueller, has been able to find any evidence that the Russians and the Trump campaign colluded.
The Russians certainly tried to influence the outcome of the election, as they have done with other US elections, and as the US has done with Russian elections.
It is not new nor is it even news that the Russians try to get people who they believe are friendly toward Russia elected. Nor is it news that US tries to get people it likes elected in other countries. Obama very openly meddled in the Israeli elections when he was president.
According to Dick Morris, when Bill Clinton was president he regularly offered political advice to a Russian candidate for president running against the candidate backed by Putin. It’s one of the reasons that Putin doesn’t like the Clintons and wanted Trump to win.
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Here’s an interesting idea: Why don’t the elected officials in Washington enforce the immigration laws as they now stand? The laws were passed and were at one time enforced. Obama gave up on enforcement because he knew better.
It turned out that he didn’t know better, and the entire immigration system is a complete mess, but enforcing the laws as they now stand may get us back to some level of sanity.
If people are found to be in this country illegally, send them back to their native countries whether they have been in this country for two minutes or 20 years.
If the majority in Congress believe the laws are bad and need to be changed, then they have the power to change them. But unlike with DACA, Congress has no deadline on changing the immigration laws, which means there is very little chance that it will happen in any comprehensive way.
The Democrats are opposed to enforcing immigration laws because they want those illegal immigrants to become citizens, register to vote and vote Democrat. Republicans tied to big business know that more people in the labor force means that businesses can pay lower wages.
The middle class gets to pay the cost of open borders. The cost of government services goes up because there are more people to serve and a lot of illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes. Many illegally immigrate to the US to benefit from the welfare system. Even if they only receive limited assistance, it’s much more than they would receive in their home country. Their kids get free education. There is a lot of free food in this country for people in need whether they have the correct papers or not.
We are a welcoming country, but we need to either enforce the current immigration laws or write new ones. The experiment with open borders under Obama didn’t work, but did create a belief among many Americans that it is wrong to enforce immigration laws.
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Are our intelligence services so bad that they really have no idea what North Korea is doing? Every time North Korea passes another milestone, like launching an intercontinental ballistic missile or detonating a thermonuclear bomb, we are told that the experts didn’t think they had the technology to do it.
Maybe instead of the intelligence services spending their time leaking information about Trump, they should do their job and spy on North Korea.
If North Korea is such a threat to the world, shouldn’t the US be concentrating its efforts on North Korea? Remember when ISIS suddenly appeared and Obama – who was privy to what is supposed to be the best intelligence, if not the best then certainly the most expensive intelligence, in the world – called ISIS a “jayvee team.”
It turned out that ISIS was anything but a jayvee team. Shortly after that, ISIS conquered Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. It has taken years and a new president to push them out.
I hope that the multitude of US intelligence services are actually not the least bit surprised by anything North Korea does and the top secret internal communications would, if ever revealed, show that according to US intelligence services North Korea is progressing along just as they predicted it would and what we are hearing is the political hype that is supposed to make Americans feel better.
I also hope that behind the scenes, China is reassuring the US that Kim Jong Un would not attack anyone because he knows that his dictatorship would end and he would either be dead or rotting in some prison for the rest of his life.
But who knows what you can believe out of Washington these days.
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North Carolina might want to take a look at what Canada is requesting in the NAFTA negotiations. Canada is asking the US to pass a law making it illegal for states to have right to work laws. Fortunately, the voters of the US elected Trump president and there is no chance that Trump will concede to their wishes.
But imagine if Hillary Clinton had been elected. Hillary Clinton loves unions and unions love Hillary Clinton. She also is a believer in big government. There isn’t much chance that anyone could get a bill like that through Congress, but if Hillary Clinton had won she would have appointed a leftist to the Supreme Court and, who knows, a Supreme Court with a leftist majority might decide that the president by executive order could outlaw right-to-work states.
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What’s happened to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is pretty scary. It has branded Christian groups that don’t fully support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender agenda as hate groups.
A Catholic organization, the Alliance Defending Freedom, is currently listed as a hate group because of its position against gay marriage. Philadelphia Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput has spoken out against this designation as a hate group by the SPLC.
But D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) has gone even further, filing a lawsuit against the SPCL for defamation and religious discrimination.
According DJKM’s mission statement: “The corporation seeks to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the supremacy of His Lordship, and biblically informed view of the world, using all available media, so that Jesus Christ would be known throughout all of the Earth and that everywhere He might be trusted, loved and served.”
That doesn’t sound much like a hate group, but it is to SPLC, as is the Family Research Council, Liberty Counsel, the American Family Association, the American College of Pediatricians and the Center for Immigration Studies.
But there is more. The SPLC has assets worth over $300 million, including accounts in the Cayman Islands. Why would a nonprofit organization need offshore accounts, which are usually used to avoid taxes?