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Posts tagged ‘President Trump’

Breaking: Trump Has Found $8 Billion for Border Barrier Construction


Reported By AP Reports | Published February 15, 2019 at 8:40am | Modified February 15, 2019 at 9:20am

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournal.com/ap-the-latest-trump-plans-to-spend-8b-on-border-barriers/

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in El Paso, Texas.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney says Trump will tap various other sources of money beyond the nearly $1.4 billion in a government funding bill that Congress passed. Trump is expected to sign the bill.

Besides the money from Congress, Mulvaney said Friday that Trump plans to spend $600 million in Treasury forfeiture funds and $2.5 billion in Defense Department counterdrug money.

Trump is also tapping about $3.6 billion worth of funds set aside for military construction projects.

Mulvaney says Trump is not tapping disaster relief money designated to help Texas and Puerto Rico following recent devastating hurricanes.

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12:45 a.m.

Congress has lopsidedly approved a border security compromise that would avert a second painful government shutdown.

But a new confrontation has been ignited. Trump’s plan to bypass lawmakers and declare a national emergency to siphon billions from other federal coffers for a wall on the Mexican boundary is certain to be challenged.

Money in the bill for border barriers, about $1.4 billion, is far below the $5.7 billion Trump insisted he needed and would finance just a quarter of the 200-plus miles he wanted.

The White House said he’d sign the legislation passed Thursday but act unilaterally to get more. That prompted condemnations from Democrats and threats of lawsuits from states and others who might lose federal money or said Trump was abusing his authority.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

President Donald Trump Speaks at the 2019 National Prayer Breakfast: Livestream


Commander-in-chief makes remarks on Thursday

The president makes remarks this morning at the 2019 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.

During the event, he’ll speak to a range of leaders from all over the world, including clergy, diplomats and lobbyists.

The annual event at the Washington Hilton especially attracts conservative evangelicals who are “jockeying to rub shoulders with Washington’s elite,” as The Washington Post put it.

Every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has attended the event.

It draws several thousand people; this year’s event is co-chaired by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.).

Watch the livestream here:

This Week’s Ann Coulter Letter: “Who Benefits From Mass Immigration? Not You!”


Commentary by Ann Coulter | Posted: Jan 30, 2019 5:02 PM

Who Benefits From Mass Immigration? Not You!
Assiduous readers of my columns know that I have frequently made the point that America’s immigration policies benefit only three groups of people: 1) rich Americans with a lot of employees, 2) the immigrants themselves, and 3) their grandmothers back in Chiapas.
The money illegal immigrants send out of the country doesn’t come from their low wages. It comes from the taxpayers, who are required to subsidize immigrants so that investment bankers can have cheap nannies. Yes, it is a problem that they couldn’t possibly live on what I pay them, but that’s where YOU come in, taxpayers!

When the rich merely have to pay Social Security taxes on their nannies, they quickly say, Oh, never mind, as we saw in the 1990s, when Bill Clinton’s first two female attorney general nominees had to withdraw because of the illegal aliens raising their kids, and we finally ended up with Janet Reno.

Zoe Baird, the first nominee caught up in Nannygate, promptly fired her illegal alien nanny and chauffeur, Lillian and Victor Corderos, who were deported.

That’s how much the rich love Latino immigrants! As Baird’s spokeswoman, Jamie Gorelick, said at the time: “I think it truly pains them that Lillian has had to pay this price. … They have true affection for her.”

She’s like family!

A cynic might wonder if the beneficiaries of mass Third-World immigration would be so altruistic toward the rest of the world if they were the ones being forced to compete with immigrant workers.

At a time when the working class could have been ginned up to oppose this dump of low-wage workers on the country, the unions lied to them and told them, Don’t worry! This will make the union stronger. Thirty years later, California construction workers who were making $45 an hour are now making $11 an hour.

The entire readership of The New York Times is immune from wage pressure like that. Our immigration policies strictly limit high-skilled immigration, ensuring that there will be no competition for jobs in the executive suite, while foisting a dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest competition on their employees.

The left has never had to defend the argument that everyone on the planet has a right to come to America, drive down wages, access welfare and force us to educate their children — because rich Republicans like the cheap labor, too.

Seeing what a fantastic deal mass immigration is for the rich, it’s easy to understand why they lie so much about it.
For example, the Cato Institute — funded by the Koch brothers — keeps producing “studies” claiming that immigrants are less likely to be on welfare than Americans. That’s at least counterintuitive.

We’re told day in and day out about the horrible lives of the poor asylum-seekers. They’ll starve if we send them back! Their children have all kinds of health problems, no medical care, no decent food, no roof over their heads! Their neighborhoods are hotbeds of wife-beaters, drugs, murder and gangs! And then: A financial burden to America? No … what makes you say that?

Even if it were true that fewer immigrants were accessing government assistance than American citizens, the number of immigrants who should be on welfare is, wait, checking my notes … yes: ZERO. Why would any country bring in people who immediately need our monetary support? In fact, bringing in poverty-stricken immigrants is a disaster for the welfare programs intended to help our fellow Americans. Fully half of all non-citizens in the United States are on at least one welfare program, according to the (very non-MAGA) Migration Policy Institute. 

The only purpose of these Cato “studies” are the headlines, which will be endlessly repeated throughout media without a moment’s reflection. Whether journalists are citing phony studies, phony polls or phony experts, every statement about immigration in the mainstream media is a lie. You always have to look for the trick. Cato’s welfare “studies,” for example, put welfare-receiving children of immigrants — legal and illegal — in the “American” column. This tells us nothing about the soundness of our immigration policy. If the immigrants’ kids need welfare, we’re not bringing in the right immigrants.

Even more preposterous, Cato counts Social Security and Medicare as “welfare.” This is money that was taken by force from working Americans for their entire lives, of which they will get a portion back upon reaching retirement age. Immigrants are collecting welfare that the older Americans didn’t collect when they were the same age. Wait until they retire. 

Of course Americans are more likely to be collecting Social Security and Medicare! I refer you to mass-immigration advocates’ usual sneer about white Americans being so much older than young, hardworking — and surprisingly cheap! — Latino immigrants. It’s so obvious that our immigration policies are bankrupting the nation’s welfare programs that I’ve often wondered if this was the intent of the libertarian Koch brothers all along. Burden the entire system until it blows up — and then we can finally return to pre-Great Society America! 

Someone needs to tell the plutocrats that their employees are voting, and they aren’t voting libertarian. Heard of Venezuela? Heard of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Heard of California?

The rich’s Third World employees — “natural Republicans,” we’re always told by The Wall Street Journal — turn out NOT to be huge fans of small government. That’s why, instead of being a libertarian paradise, California is a banana republic, running on fumes from Silicon Valley and Hollywood. 

As Lenin supposedly said, “Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” The rich know they want to pay their employees less, and they don’t know anything else.

Group of Border Patrol wives invite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Texas border town


Reported By Lucia I. Suarez Sang | Fox News

“We would like to show you around! You don’t need to bring any security detail. Our husbands/boyfriends/fiancés/wives/significant others are actually very good at their jobs, thank goodness!” Jill Demanski wrote in the letter posted on Facebook.

Demanski added: “We’d also appreciate if you’d stop pretending that you care about federal workers. If you did, you would care for their safety, not just their paychecks. We can hold out a while longer if it means our husbands and communities are safer.”

Posted on Thursday – a day before President Trump announced a tentative deal to reopen the government at least until mid-February – the letter quickly went viral.

“I felt it’s really important to have our leaders come here and see what’s happening first. It’s important to meet with the people who are here on a daily basis, that are witnessing it – the effects of it, that it has on our country,” Demaski said on “Fox & Friends” on Monday. “We want them to come here and make an informed decision and to see what’s really going on.”

A 17-person bipartisan committee of House and Senate lawmakers is expected to negotiate border spending as part of the legislative process. It’s unclear if Democrats will budge in their opposition to funding a border wall, while Trump said Sunday he doubted he could accept any agreement struck by congressional negotiators that gives him less than his requested $5.7 billion for the construction of a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Renea Perez, another Border Patrol wife, told “Fox & Friends” that, while the women feel safe in Rio Grande Valley, the men and women who patrol the southern border could still use some help in high-traffic areas.

“[A wall] will allow them to do their job more efficiently and give them more time – if they are by themselves – have another agent meet them. It is definitely needed,” Perez said. “We just want them to come down there on the line and actually see where the argument is all about.”

She added the partial shutdown was very hard for the families of Border Patrol agents, who hadn’t received a paycheck during the partial shutdown, and, at times, it felt like nobody cared about their community.

“It gets tough. The bills don’t stop. We were feeling like we were forgotten,” Perez said.

Demaski said if Pelosi sees the letter and agrees to visit, she hopes the California Democrat will do a ride-along with border agents to see the day-to-day experiences of those on the front lines of the border issue.

“Border patrol and our agents and experts here have been asking for [the wall] for years,” she said. “Now we have a president who has come here and seen first-hand the need and has had our backs.”

Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.

Today’s Ann Coulter Letter: “Break Ground, Not Promises”


Commentary by Ann Coulter | Posted: Jan 23, 2019 6:45 PM

Break Ground, Not Promises

Source: AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

As days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months and months turned to years, and not 1 inch of the wall was built, the “3-D chess” crowd dwindled.  Sometimes Trump would concede he hadn’t built any part of the wall. Sometimes he would fib and claim it was being built. There’s no way to sugarcoat it: That was a lie.

Drug dealers, drunk drivers, criminals, welfare dependents and low-wage workers driving down American wages continued to flow across our border.  We are now past the midway point of Trump’s first term, maybe his only term. If Trump couldn’t come up with a legislative fix when he controlled both houses of Congress, he’s sure not going to now that he’s lost the House.

We are headed for another failed Republican presidency.

President George H.W. Bush promised, “Read my lips, no new taxes” — then raised taxes. President George W. Bush promised that America would not be “the world’s policeman” — then turned the United States into the world’s policeman.

Whether these promises weren’t kept out of bad faith, incompetence or changed minds is of no consequence. That will be a minor footnote for future historians to debate. All that matters is that it didn’t happen. That’s why Trump got elected.

But he still hasn’t started the wall.

By now, my erstwhile critics are getting the point. But I’m not sure the president is — a few weeks ago, he unfollowed me on Twitter. Trump seems to be mystified about what he needs to do to maintain the support of his most devoted backers. He’s saying the right things, isn’t he? He’s holding press conferences, giving Oval Office addresses and tweeting that he wants a wall.

Here’s what you haven’t done, Mr. President: You haven’t broken ground. You want your supporters back? BREAK GROUND TODAY.

You know those caravans marching north toward our border? They’re not giving speeches about how they’re coming north. They’re not tweeting about how they’re coming north. They’re not giving Oval Office addresses about how they’re coming north.

They’re coming north.

What you need to do today — not after the State of the Union address, not after the next GOP retreat, not after another meeting with the Democrats — is to start rolling construction trucks to the southern border.

When Obama wanted something done, he did it. After spending two years saying he didn’t have constitutional authority to amnesty Dreamers, he issued an executive order amnestying Dreamers.  Obama has a legacy — a terrible legacy, but a legacy nonetheless. We’re still living with that executive order today.

By contrast, Mr. President, you do have constitutional authority to defend the nation’s borders, as you have noted repeatedly. But you’ve chickened out. The only edifice you have built is constructed of tweets, press conferences and speeches.

Ironically, Obama was a man of action. The New York real estate tycoon is just a man of words.

Words don’t stop caravans. No one rushes to a caravan saying — WAIT! STOP! TRUMP IS ABOUT TO TWEET!

Are you sure you want to make a dangerous 700-mile journey through cartel-infested lands when you know that as soon as you get to the U.S. border, there could be a Donald Trump tweet awaiting you?

Obama assumed dictatorial powers, bypassing Congress to issue laws from the Oval Office. You would just be doing your job, Mr. President. BREAK GROUND TODAY.

The most fundamental responsibility of the U.S. president is to protect the nation’s sovereignty. It is not to ensure the safety of the Kurds or the Syrian Christians or Pakistani goat herders, but to ensure the safety and security of the American people. BREAK GROUND TODAY.

The Senate’s latest omnibus spending bill provides “not less than $15,000,000” for border security — in Pakistan. The border security of our own country has become a joke. BREAK GROUND TODAY.

Yesterday people crossed our border who will kill Americans. Today there are people crossing our border who will kill Americans. And tomorrow there will be more people crossing our border who will kill Americans. BREAK GROUND TODAY.
 
It’s great that you met with the Clemson football team, but while you were doing that, people were crossing the border who will kill Americans. BREAK GROUND TODAY.
 
Countless presidents and presidential candidates have vowed to stop illegal immigration. Good intentions, bad intentions — it doesn’t matter. They didn’t keep their promises. BREAK GROUND TODAY.

Fifty years from now, an American family will pile into the car to see the country and, while motoring by the Texas border, will slam on the brakes. Oh look, honey, here’s a historic site! They’ll blow the dust off a small plaque on a garden trellis that will read: “On this site, President Donald Trump built the impregnable southern border wall.”

Stanley, you have to step to the left — you’re blocking the whole thing!

There will be plenty of room in the Trump Presidential Library for the entire border wall, because the library will contain only two books, “The Art of the Deal,” and Trump’s follow-up book, “Never Mind.” BREAK GROUND TODAY.

Emergency powers or no emergency powers, on tomorrow night’s news we want to see helicopters circling the trucks headed to the border. BREAK GROUND TODAY.

They have a caravan; you have a caravan. They’re heading north; you head south. BREAK GROUND TODAY.

Cost: People who don’t like you will continue not to like you. Benefit: Your legacy will be — He kept Americans alive who would otherwise be dead. BREAK GROUND TODAY.

We’ve heard your speeches. We know you understand the crisis, and you know what needs to be done. But none of that will mean anything if you don’t take action — not in a month, not in a week, but today. BREAK GROUND TODAY.

In shutdown fight with Trump, Dems reject immigration deal they once sponsored


Reported By Alex Pappas | Fox News

But now that President Trump has offered to essentially include it as part of a compromise to re-open shuttered government agencies, those same Democrats are rejecting it — unwilling to trade border wall funding for the immigrant protections they have long sought.

“We must move on the Bridge Act quickly to protect DREAMers,” Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin said back in December 2016.

TRUMP OFFERS IMMIGRATION COMPROMISE TO END PARTIAL SHUTDOWN; DEMS COOL TO OFFER

Durbin, along with South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, unveiled the bill before Trump took office; others who signed on as sponsors included California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The president would eventually try to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that shielded the 700,000 immigrants illegally brought to the United States as children from deportation, leaving the program in legal limbo ever since.

On Saturday, though, Trump announced he was prepared to back a three-year extension of protections for DACA recipients, and extend protections for 300,000 recipients of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program — which protects immigrants from designated countries with conditions that prevent nationals from returning safely. The BRIDGE Act, likewise, included a three-year DACA extension.

But Durbin, like virtually every other congressional Democrat, said he would oppose Trump’s offer considering it’s attached to $5.7 billion for a barrier on the southern border with Mexico.

“I cannot support the proposed offer as reported and do not believe it can pass the Senate,” Durbin said, adding he is “ready to sit down at any time after the government is opened and work to resolve all outstanding issues.”

“He talked about protecting those already in the program,” Durbin said. “Our bill talked about those eligible for the program.”

But Republicans accused Democrats of turning their back on a deal they once supported.

“@POTUS offers to support 2 bills sponsored by Dems (TPS & DACA extensions)in exchange for Border Security (something Democrats claim to support) & the immediate response from Dem leaders is No?” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted.

“Walls are not immoral,” he said, adding that a wall “will save many lives and stop drugs from pouring into our country.”

While the Democratic leadership in Congress has come out against the compromise, they are facing some pressure to deal. The editorial board of the Washington Post over the weekend called on Democrats to come back to the table. In an editorial titled “Make a deal. Save the dreamers,” the paper argued Trump “should not be rewarded for having taken the government hostage” but said Trump’s offer to compromise “should be welcomed.”

Meanwhile, some in Trump’s conservative base are coming out against the deal — signaling significant concessions were put forward over the weekend — with commentator Ann Coulter and others accusing the president of offering “amnesty.”

The plan would also allocate $800 million for drug detection technology to secure ports of entry, 2,750 new border agents and law enforcement professionals, and 75 new immigration judges to reduce an immense backlog of asylum requests.

The partial government shutdown has dragged on for a month now and led to hundreds of thousands of federal workers being furloughed or working without pay.

Trump has said he will not sign a bill to open the government unless it includes that wall funding, while Democrats have refused to consider the $5.7 billion figure, instead offering $1.3 billion for general border security.

From My Email INbox


AN EXCEPTIONAL EDITORIAL, by Rabbi Dov Fischer, Attorney and Adjunct Professor of Law

 
  Rabbi Dov Fischer, is an attorney and adjunct professor of law, is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, congregational rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California, and holds prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations.
  
He has been Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerked for the Hon Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served for most of the past decade on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America His writings have appeared in the Weekly Standard, National Review, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Jerusalem Post, American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, and Israel National News.  http://rabbidov.com/
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Everyone Is Smart, Except Trump


It really is quite simple.  Everyone is smart except Donald J. Trump.  That’s why they all are billionaires and all got elected President.  Only Trump does not know what he is doing. Only Trump does not know how to negotiate with Vladimir Putin.  Anderson Cooper knows how to stand up to Putin.  The whole crowd at MSNBC does.  All the journalists do.


They could not stand up to Matt Lauer at NBC.  They could not stand up to Charlie Rose at CBS.  They could not stand up to Mark Halperin at NBC, nor up to Leon Wieseltier at the New Republic, nor Jann Wenner at Rolling Stone, nor Michael Oreskes at NPR, anyone at the New York Times, or at the Associated Press.  But — oh, wow! — can they ever stand up to Putin!  Only Trump is incapable of negotiating with the Russian tyrant.


Remember the four years when Anderson Cooper was President of the United States?  And before that — when the entire Washington Post editorial staff jointly were elected to be President?  Remember?  Neither do I.


The Seedier Media never have negotiated life and death, not corporate life and death, and not human life and death.  They think they know how to negotiate, but they do not know how.  They go to a college, are told by peers that they are smart, get some good grades, proceed to a graduate degree in journalism, and get hired as analysts.  Now they are experts, ready to take on Putin and the Iranian Ayatollahs at age 30.


That is not the road to expertise in tough dealing.  The alternate road is that, along the way, maybe you get forced into some street fights.  Sometimes the other guy wins, and sometimes you beat the intestines out of him.  Then you deal with grown-ups as you mature, and you learn that people can be nasty, often after they smile and speak softly.  You get cheated a few times, played.  And you learn.  Maybe you become an attorney litigating multi-million-dollar case matters.  Say what you will about attorneys, but those years — not the years in law school, not the years drafting legal memoranda, but the years of meeting face-to-face and confronting opposing counsel — those years can teach a great deal.  They can teach how to transition from sweet, gentle, diplomatic negotiating to tough negotiating.  At some point, with enough tough-nosed experience, you figure out Trump’s “The Art of the Deal” yourself.


Trump’s voters get him because not only is he we, but we are he.  We were not snowflaked-for-life by effete professors who themselves never had negotiated tough life-or-death serious deals.  Instead we live in the real world, and we know how that works.  Not based on social science theories, not based on “conceptual negotiating models”.  But based on the people we have met over life, and always will hate.  That worst boss we ever had.  The coworker who tried to sabotage us.  We know the sons of bums whom we survived, the dastardly types who are out there, and we learned from those experiences how to deal with them.  We won’t have John Kerry soothe us by having James Taylor sing “You’ve Got a Friend” carols.


The Bushes got us into all kinds of messes.  The first one killed the economic miracle that Reagan had fashioned.  The second one screwed up the Middle East, where Iraq and Iran beautifully were engaged in killing each other for years, and he got us mired into the middle of the muddle.  Clinton was too busy with Monica Lewinsky to protect us from Osama bin Laden when we had him in our sights.  Hillary gave us Benghazi and more.  And Obama and Kerry gave us the Iran Deal, ISIS run amok, America in retreat.  All to the daily praise of a media who now attack Trump every minute of every day.


So let us understand a few things:


Negotiating with NATO 


NATO is our friend.  They also rip off America.  They have been ripping us off forever.  We saved their butts — before there even was a NATO — in World War I.  They messed up, and 116,456 Americans had to die to save their butts.


Then they messed up again for the next two decades because West Europeans are effete and so obsessed with their class manners and their rules of savoir faire and their socialist welfare states and their early retirements that they did not have the character to stand up to Hitler in the 1930s.  Peace in our time.  So they messed up, and we had to save their butts again.  And another 405,399 Americans died for them during World War II.  And then we had to rebuild them!  And we had to station our boys in Germany and all over their blood-stained continent.  So, hey, we love those guys.  We love NATO.


And yet they still rip us off.  We pay 4% of our gigantic gross domestic product to protect them, and they will not pay a lousy 2% of their GDP towards their own defense.  Is there a culture more penny-pinching-cheap-and-stingy than the fine constituents of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?  These cheap baseborn prigs will not pay their fare.  They are too cheap.  They expect America to send boys to die for them in one world war, then another — hundreds of thousands — and then to pay for their NATO defense even a century later.  And then they have the temerity to cheat us further in trade


Long before Trump, they set up tariffs against us for so many things.  If the average American knew how badly Europe has been ripping us off for decades with their tariffs, no one in this country would buy anything European again.  We would say, as a matter of self-respect and personal pride, “I no longer will buy anything but American, no matter what it costs”.


Every American President has complained about the cheating and imbalance — the NATO penny-pinching-cheapness, the tariff and trade imbalances.  In more recent years, the various Bushes complained about it.  Even Obama complained about it.  But they all did it so gently, so diplomatically.  They would deliver the sermon, just as the pastor predictably tells the church-goers on Sunday morning that he is against sin, and the Europeans would sit quietly and nod their heads — nodding from sleeping, not from agreeing — and then they would go back out and sin some more.  Another four years of America being suckered and snookered.  All they had to do was give Obama a Nobel Peace Prize his ninth month in office and let Kerry ride his bike around Paris.


So Trump did what any effective negotiator would do: he took note of past approaches to NATO and their failures, and correctly determined that the only way to get these penny-pinching-cheap baseborn prigs to pay their freight would be to bulldoze right into their faces, stare them right in their glazed eyes with cameras rolling, and tell them point-blank the equivalent of: “You are the cheapest penny-pinching, miserly, stingy, tightwadded skinflints ever.  And it is going to stop on my watch.  Whatever it takes from my end, you selfish, curmudgeonly cheap prigs, you are going to pay your fair share.  I am not being diplomatic.  I am being All-Business: either you start to pay or, wow, are you in for some surprises!  And you know what you read in the Fake News: I am crazy!  I am out of control!  So, lemme see.  I know: We will go to trade war!  How do you like that?  Maybe we even will pull all our troops out of Europe.  Hmmm.  Yeah, maybe.  Why not?  Sounds good.  Well, let’s see.”


So Trump stuffed it into their quiche-and-schnitzel ingesting faces.  And he convinced them — thanks to America’s Seedier Media who are the real secret to the “Legend That is Trump” — that he just might be crazy enough to go to trade war and to pull American boys home.  They knew that Clinton and Bush x 2 and Kerry and Hillary and Nobel Laureate Obama never would do it.  But they also know that Trump just might.  And if they think they are going to find comfort and moderating in his new advisers, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, alongside him…. Nuh-uh.


So CNN and the Washington Post and all the Seedier Media attacked Trump for days: He is destroying the alliance!  He attacks our friends!


Baloney.  Obama was the one whom the Left Echo Chamber never called out for attacking our friends — Israel, Britain, so many others — while cozying up to Hugo Chavez, bowing to dictators, and dancing the Tango for Raul Castro.  Trump is just the opposite: He knows who the friends are, and he wants to maintain and strengthen those friendships.  It is no different from a parent telling a 35-year-old son: “I have been supporting you for thirty-five years.  I put you through college by signing four years and $100,000 PLUS in Loans.  You graduated college fifteen years ago.  For fifteen years I have been asking you nicely to look for a job and to start contributing.  Instead, you sit home all day playing video games, texting your friends on a smartphone I pay for, and picking little fuzz balls out of your navel.  So, look, I love you.  You are my flesh and blood.  But if you are not employed and earning a paycheck — and contributing to the cost of this household — in six months, we are throwing you out of the house”.  That boy is NATO.  Trump is Dad.  And all of us have been signing for the PLUS Loans.


Negotiating with Putin


Putin is a bad guy  A really bad guy.  He is better than Lenin.  Better than Stalin, Khrushchev, Kosygin, Brezhnev, Pol Pot, Mao.  But he is a really bad guy.


Here’s the thing: Putin is a dictator.  He answers to no one.  He does whatever he wants.  If there arises an opponent, that guy dies.  Maybe the opponent gets poked with a poisoned umbrella.  Maybe he gets shot on the street.  Maybe the opponent is forced to watch Susan Rice interviews telling the world that Benghazi happened because of a YouTube video seen by nine derelicts in Berkeley and that Bowe Berghdal served with honor and distinction.  But, one way or another, the opponent dies.


Trump knows this about Putin.  And here is what that means: If you insult Putin in public, like by telling the news media just before or after meeting with him that he is the Butcher of Crimea, and he messed with our elections, and is an overall jerk — then you will get nothing behind closed doors from Putin.  Putin will decide “To heck with you, and to heck with the relationship we just forged”.  Putin will get even, will take intense personal revenge, even if it is bad for Russia — even if it is bad for Putin.  Because there are no institutional reins on him.


But if you go in public and tell everyone that Putin is a nice guy (y’know, just like Kim Jong Un) and that Putin intensely maintains that he did not mess with elections — not sweet little Putey Wutey (even though he obviously did) — then you next can maintain the momentum established beforehand in the private room.  You can proceed to remind Putin what you told him privately: that this garbage has to stop —or else.  That if he messes in Syria, we will do “X”   If he messes with our Iran boycott, we will do “Y.”   We will generate so much oil from hydraulic fracturing and from ANWR and from all our sources that we will glut the market — if not tomorrow, then a year from now.  We will send even more lethal offensive military weapons to Ukraine.  We can restore the promised shield to Eastern Europe that Obama withdrew.  And even if we cannot mess with Russian elections (because they have no elections), they do have computers — and, so help us, we will mess with their technology in a way they cannot imagine.  Trump knows from his advisers what we can do.  If he sweet-talks Putin in public — just Putin on the Ritz — then everything that Trump has told Putin privately can be reinforced with action, and he even can wedge concessions because, against that background, Putin knows that no one will believe that he made any concessions.  Everyone is set to believe that Putin is getting whatever he wants, that Trump understands nothing.  So, in that setting, Putin can make concessions and still save face.


That is why Trump talks about him that way.  And that is the only possible way to do it when negotiating with a tyrant who has no checks and balances on him.  If you embarrass the tyrant publicly, then the tyrant never will make concessions because he will fear that people will say he was intimidated and backed down.  And that he never will do.  Meanwhile, Trump has expelled 60 Russians from America, reversed Obama policy and sent lethal weapons to Ukraine, and is pressing Germany severely on its pipeline project with Russia.


The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, Donald Trump is over seventy years old.  He has made many mistakes in his life.  He still makes some.  He is human.  But Trump likewise has spent three score and a dozen years learning.  He has seen some of his businesses go bankrupt, and he has learned from those experiences to be a billionaire and not let it happen again.  No doubt that he has been fooled, outsmarted in years past.  And he has learned from life.

He is a tough and smart negotiator.  He sizes up his opponent, and he knows that the approach that works best for one is not the same as for another.  It does not matter what he says publicly about his negotiating opponent.  What matters is what results months later.

In his first eighteen months in Washington, this man has turned around the American economy, brought us near full employment, reduced the welfare and food stamp lines, wiped out ISIS in Raqqa, moved America’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem, successfully has launched massive deregulation of the economy, has opened oil exploration in ANWR, is rebuilding the military massively, has walked out of the useless Paris Climate Accords that were negotiated by America’s amateurs who always get snookered, canned the disastrous Iran Deal, exited the bogus United Nations Human Rights Council.  He has Canada and Mexico convinced he will walk out of NAFTA if they do not pony up, and he has the Europeans convinced he will walk out of NATO if they don’t stop being the cheap and lazy parasitic penny-pinchers they are.  He has slashed income taxes, expanded legal protections for college students falsely accused of crimes, has taken real steps to protect religious freedoms and liberties promised in the First Amendment, boldly has taken on the lyme-disease-quality of a legislative mess that he inherited from Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama on immigration, and has appointed a steady line of remarkably brilliant conservative federal judges to sit on the district courts, the circuit appellate courts, and the Supreme Court.

What has Anderson Cooper achieved during that period?  Jim Acosta or the editorial staffs of the New York Times and Washington Post?  They have not even found the courage and strength to stand up to the coworkers and celebrities within their orbits who abuse sexually or psychologically or emotionally.  They have no accomplishments to compare to his.  Just their effete opinions, all echoing each other, all echoing, echoing, echoing.  They gave us eight years of Nobel Peace Laureate Obama negotiating with the ISIS JV team, calming the rise of the oceans, and healing the planet.

We will take Trump negotiating with Putin any day.
 
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
~ Winston Churchill ~


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