IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Trump has accomplished some good things, but he’d do more with more appointments.
- Sanctions against North Korea are significant — if the Chinese uphold their end.
- Real immigration reform is possible should the GOP have the spine to pursue it.
- Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send … lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, & talk by the hour? That … lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected.” —Thomas Jefferson (1821)
TOP RIGHT HOOKS
As Donald Trump arrives at his 200th day in office, it provides an opportunity for a brief look at where things stand in DC, the nation and the world — the good, the bad and the ugly. First, the good: Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court was a home run. Senate Republicans’ decision to hold the line on refusing to consider Barack Obama’s nominee proved to be well played — at least for this pick. Also a win for Trump has been his decisive actions on deregulation, and Congress has followed suit, passing several measures pulling back on the regulatory state. Trump has also proven himself surprisingly adept in his foreign trips, in both pressing his America First agenda while reassuring allies of our commitment to stand with them.
Second, the bad. Republican senators’ failure on health care reform leaves ObamaCare hanging as an albatross around Republicans’ necks, weighing down their prospects of actually enacting significant reforms to the tax code. Meanwhile, Trump lags well behind his predecessors in filling executive branch vacancies. Thus far Trump has nominated 279 people, of which only 124 have been confirmed — 78 of whom just last Thursday. While Democrats have been responsible for much of the obstruction, Trump is guilty of being slow in presenting nominees. While part of this may be designed to shrink the size of government via attrition, it has proven mostly to slow his swamp-draining agenda.
Finally, the ugly. The Russia/Trump collusion conspiracy promoted by the Democrats and their cohorts in the mainstream media has proven to be the biggest distraction and most effective cloud over Trump’s presidency thus far. It precipitated Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, followed by the subsequent call for and naming of Robert Mueller as independent counsel to investigate Russian interference.
Perhaps the key lesson here is for Trump and the GOP to focus on what they can control — confirming appointments to get the government running more smoothly. Small successes often lead to greater ones and help ease the toll of petulant distractions.
In a significant move Saturday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously leveled new sanctions on North Korea after the hermit kingdom’s game-changing tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. These ICBMs can reach the continental U.S., meaning many American cities are in range of a nuclear attack by unhinged North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The sanctions on North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood are worth about $1 billion, which is roughly a third of its annual export revenue.
“This resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled against the North Korean regime,” said UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. “This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation. And this time, the council has matched its words and actions.” Yet Haley appropriately warned, “We should not fool ourselves into thinking we have solved the problem. Not even close. The North Korean threat has not left us.”
The sanctions are important because Russia and especially China agreed to them. China is not only North Korea’s primary communist backer but its biggest trading partner, accounting for at least 85% of the North’s trade.
To succeed in countering the North Korean threat, the U.S. must have assistance from China. But China has its own interests, particularly in the amount of trade it depends on with the U.S. Thus, the Chinese are using North Korean saber rattling as a bargaining chip to counter Donald Trump’s rhetoric about trade with China. It’s leverage to talk Trump down from starting a trade war, which was itself partly a bargaining position to get the Chinese to rein in North Korea. So perhaps the Art of the Deal is working for both sides — if the Chinese uphold their end of the bargain rather than skirting sanctions as they have in the past. Oh, and if anything will work on a lunatic like Kim, who promised “thousands-fold” vengeance and a “severe lesson” for the U.S., as well as reiterating that “under no circumstances” will the North negotiate on its nuclear weapons.
Optimism of small-business owners at highest level in decade. (The Washington Free Beacon)
AG: Classified leak referrals in past six months equal past three years combined. (CNS News)
Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson on leaks: “I’ve never seen it this bad.” (Washington Examiner)
Dershowitz: Mueller chose DC for his grand jury knowing jurors are likely to be anti-Trump. (Hot Air)
Trump’s deals in Russia once encouraged even by Clintons now under scrutiny. (The Washington Times)
Wassermann Schultz says laptop she sought to keep from police was IT aide’s, not hers. (The Daily Signal)
DOJ releases 400-plus pages of Lynch-Clinton meeting emails — after Comey’s FBI said no records existed. (CNS News)
California Dems to recall their own assembly speaker for being insufficiently liberal. (Hot Air)
Chicago to sue DOJ over sanctuary cities policy. (Fox News)
“Barack Obama Day” is official holiday in Illinois. (Washington Examiner)
Policy: Jeff Sessions is right about the gang threat. (American Enterprise Institute)
Policy: When it comes to helping people, facts don’t care about your intentions. (The Daily Signal)
For more, visit Patriot Headline Report.
FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS
By Arnold Ahlert
Last Wednesday, something truly remarkable happened: A Republican actually framed an agenda and forced Democrats and their media allies — along with weak-kneed fellow Republicans — to defend their resistance to it.
An updated version of the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act (RAISE) was introduced at the White House by Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue. The bill would give America a skills-based immigration system similar to those of Canada and Australia.
In other words, this is an effort to admit people who are a benefit to America, not people who merely benefit from America.
Thus, “Diversity Lottery Visas” that give 50,000 green cards to immigrants completely at random — for diversity’s sake — would be eliminated. RAISE would also scale back chain migration. Currently, when an immigrant and his or her spouse become a citizen, they can petition to bring in their parents, their adult children, those children’s spouses and children, and their adult siblings.
Chain migration precipitated an increase in immigration from 250,000 per year during the ‘50s and '60s to more than one million annually since 1990.
RAISE “would take a sledgehammer to this system, dramatically reducing low-skilled immigration and revamping our system for skilled immigration,” explains columnist Robert VerBruggen. “It would cut immigration by more than 40 percent immediately, and by half in a decade.”
The best part of RAISE is the points system it uses to determine who should be admitted. The scale goes from one to 100, but practically speaking, no one other than Nobel Prize winners, Olympic athletes or wealthy investors would score higher than 45. Those who score lower than 30 would not be admitted. An immigrant’s level of education, English fluency, age and the salary he’s been offered would be decisive factors.
The salary provision is critical. Applicants would be awarded 13 points for compensation at least triple the median salary of the state where a job is located, and zero points for a salary offer less than 50 percent above the median. This provision is aimed at undercutting employers looking to drive down wage scales by hiring foreign workers who will work for far less than their American counterparts.
More important, RAISE challenges the collective presumptions of the American Left and its Republican allies in place since 1965, when Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act. “The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants,” insisted Ted Kennedy at the time. “It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”
Kennedy was not the only one advancing such “idealistic” (read: duplicitous) nonsense. An avalanche of false assurances regarding the “minimal” effect the bill would have on our nation makes the lies used to sell ObamaCare pale by comparison. As Fortune Magazine pointed out in 1988, the “family reunification” category alone completely belied minimalism. “Within a dozen years, one immigrant entering as a skilled worker could easily generate 25 visas for in-laws, nieces, and nephews,” it reported.
The two most catastrophic realities arising from that bill? First, the notion that America must accept one million immigrants per year, irrespective of need. Second, the increasingly popular but completely erroneous perception that emigrating to America is a right, not a privilege.
Regardless, leftists and their allies are “all in” for maintaining the status quo, and no one exemplified it better than CNN reporter Jim Acosta. As far as he’s concerned, America’s entire immigration policy should be based on Emma Lazarus’ poem on the Statue of Liberty. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” she wrote.
In other words, no restrictions whatsoever.
Anything less? “Lazarus has long been a target of white nationalists,” the Democracy Now! website asserts, implying anyone who disagrees with Acosta and his fellow travelers is racist.
That all of the net gain in the number of working-age people (16 to 65) holding a job has gone to immigrants since 2000? Or that immigrants access various welfare programs at far higher rates than native born Americans? Or that immigrants remain completely removed from any conversation regarding wage stagnation? Or that only 6.5% of immigrants are admitted based on labor and skill? Or that immigrants compose 22% of federal prison population, despite being just 13.5% of the U.S. population as a whole?
All irrelevant, along with anything resembling journalistic integrity on Acosta’s part. As columnist George Neumayr aptly describes it, his hectoring of presidential advisor Stephen Miller was “indistinguishable from a La Raza activist at a Trump rally.”
As for many Republicans, they remain wedded to their cheap labor campaign donors who insist a shortage of low-skill American workers, largely in agriculture, and high-skill workers, largely in the nation’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, requires stratospheric levels of legal immigration and illegal “reform.”
The former assertion is an insult in a nation with millions of able-bodied Americans collecting welfare. The latter assertion is an outright lie, one rationalized by people like Marco Rubio, who insisted in 2015 that foreign STEM workers are necessary because American workers “for lack of a better term can’t cut it.”
If that’s true, better to fix America’s education system than sell out its workforce. Unfortunately our ruling class, globalist-minded corporations and a plethora of special interests are far more invested in expanding opportunities for immigrants than their fellow Americans, claiming it’s a gain for the overall economy — while conspicuously omitting an individual American’s share of that economy is reduced as a result.
Thus, cynicism about the bill’s passage remains rampant, and Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst with the libertarian Cato Institute, advances the argument likely to be the central strategy used to intimidate weak-willed legislators. “For years, we’ve heard people say they are only against illegal immigration, not legal immigration,” he told The Daily Signal. “This shows there are a significant number in Congress who are against legal immigration.”
Legal immigration and massive levels of unvetted legal immigration are interchangeable concepts? A nation that is home to 20% of the world’s entire immigrant population says otherwise. And the notion that it’s “draconian” to reduce immigration levels from a number that exceeds the population of Austin to one around the population of Atlanta — every year — is laughable.
Yet Americans are supposed to believe that reduction constitutes xenophobia or isolationism?
Trump has promised to enact an America first agenda. The negotiations surrounding this bill will reveal — perhaps more than any other piece of legislation — which lawmakers stand by that proposition, and which ones are more beholden to special interests.
Globalist, wage-undercutting special interests, for whom the distinction between “patriotism” and “profiteering” is conspicuously blurred.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- End the Leaks — Jeff Sessions is ramping up investigations because leaks have become incredibly damaging and frequent.
- Is a Congressional Bailout of ObamaCare Imminent? — The GOP is faced with whether to fund ACA insurer subsides they refused to fund when Obama was in office.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Burt Prelutsky: Colluding With the Pakistanis
- Tony Perkins: Leave and Learn: Senate Heads Home to Regroup
- Joe Bastardi: Bill Nye: The Real Message We Should Pay Attention To
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Burt Prelutsky: “While the Democrats have been devoting all their time and attention to connecting the Trump campaign to Russia, they’ve been ignoring, and in fact impeding, an actual scandal involving four Pakistanis and national security. I refer to the fact that Imran Awan, his wife Hina Alvi and her brothers, Abid and Jamal, were all working as ITs (information technicians) for House Democrats, most notably Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who spent months trying to hinder the feds in their investigation of the Pakis. The Awans had access to the confidential computer files of numerous House Democrats, including those serving on committees involved with Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Although federal agents were able to arrest Mr. Awan just before he boarded a flight to Qatar, his wife and brothers-in-law had already flown the coop with several hundred thousand dollars — and Allah only knows how many state secrets! No doubt Wasserman Schultz and her fellow House members had conducted a massive search for Americans who knew their way around a computer before finally, in desperation, settling on a family of Pakistani nationals. Apparently, the charge against Imran Awan involves bank fraud, which, under the circumstances, is reminiscent of the feds nailing Al Capone for not paying his income taxes.”
The Gipper: “I urge you to beware the temptation … to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of any evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil.”
For the record: “[Unlicensed] disclosures have been disseminated to both the media and to our foreign adversaries. These disclosures have resulted in a major threat to our national security. … If you improperly disclose classified information, we will find you, we will investigate you, we will prosecute you to the fullest extent to the law, and you will not be happy with the result.” —Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats
Enabling lawlessness: “No, not at all. I am so glad they’re telling us what’s going on.” —Maxine Waters when asked if she’s worried about leaks
Braying Jenny: “I am not running for anything except the impeachment of Trump.” —Maxine Waters
The BIG Lie: “When the sea levels rise, obviously we could lose, like, Venice. We could lose Florida. And who would know better about losing Florida? Actually, I think I carried Florida. But that’s another — we won’t go there.” —Al Gore
Litmus test: “Progressives share our party with people who personally don’t believe that abortion is an option for them. This includes self-identified ‘pro-life’ legislators up until the moment they seek to impose those personal views on their constituents and the country. If they vote to restrict abortion access or contraception access, they then undercut the party platform and they undercut the welfare of women.” —National Abortion Rights Action League
Friendly fire: “Look, even on the abortion issue, it wasn’t very long ago that a number of Catholic Democrats were opposed to abortion. So the fact that somebody believes today what most people believed 50 years ago should not be the basis for their exclusion.” —California Gov. Jerry Brown
And last… “Difference between Nazi and Communist is when you say how horrible Nazis have been, they don’t say, ‘Well, real Nazism has never been tried.’” —Frank Fleming
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.