“I have not yet begun to fight!” —John Paul Jones (1779)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Trump, Schumer, Pelosi square off over border security.
- Powerful DC government surrounded by wealthiest American counties.
- Daily Features: On the Web, Columnists, Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Opinion in Brief, and Short Cuts.
- Featured Analysis: Waves of bogus asylum seekers overwhelm the system.
“It’s like a manhood thing for him,” incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of President Donald Trump and the border wall. “As if manhood could ever be associated with him. I was trying to be the mom. I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild. It goes to show you: You get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.” Pelosi’s schoolyard taunts were in response to a testy Oval Office meeting with the president, Vice President Mike Pence, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Before we dissect that meeting, however, just imagine for a moment if Trump had insulted Pelosi’s womanhood…
The meeting was televised, and it was certainly quintessential reality TV — a genre in which the president thrives. To mix metaphors, it was also a New Yorker-style rhetorical brawl, and Trump holds his own in those too.
Trump was savvy to bring in the TV cameras. “It’s called transparency,” he explained when Pelosi complained and asked that they be removed. Trump wanted the American people to see that he and his party are serious about border security, while Democrats would rather fling the door open wide for millions of illegals.
Trump wants $5 billion for the border wall, which the House gave him earlier this year. Senate Democrats were willing to give only $1.6 billion; now they’re apparently pulling back to $1.3 billion, and none of that is even for an actual wall. Yet Pelosi had the gall to insist they were negotiating “in good faith.” We’d hate to see bad faith.
Schumer blamed Trump for any coming shutdown, even though, as Trump repeatedly noted, it is 10 Senate Democrats who are the roadblock to a compromise. Nevertheless, unlike most Republicans who are afraid of their own shadows, Trump owned it. “I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck,” he declared. “People in this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I won’t blame you for it.”
Once upon a time, Democrats like Schumer and Pelosi, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, thought building a wall along the southern border was the responsible thing to do for a sane immigration policy. In the last few years, however, Democrats have done a 180, and Pelosi now calls the wall “immoral.” Demo Party leaders shamelessly exploit immigrants and their children for political gain, while Trump and his supporters actually want to solve the problem of illegal immigration.
As the White House email “1600 Daily” put it, “The Democrats’ priority is clear: They would rather keep the U.S. border open to illegal immigrants than keep the Government open to serve American citizens.” Of course, it remains to be seen if either side sticks with their ultimatums, or if this was just partisan showmanship for the cameras.
Nothing says Big Government more than Big Money. And if anyone doubted the reality of the ballooning nature of the U.S. government, a look at the latest data on wealth by region would quickly dispel those doubts. The American Community Survey data on the U.S. population was recently released by the Census Bureau, and it found that the top five richest counties in the U.S. are contained within the DC metro area. Moreover, 10 of the nation’s top 20 wealthiest counties also lie within the Washington area.
From the countless thousands of government employees working for an ever-expanding number of federal agencies to the tens of thousands employed by private government contractors to the lobbyists pouring money into the mechanism of government as they seek greater influence of the regulatory state, the DC swamp has fast become the home of the nation’s fattest cats. Money flows to DC because of its increasing power, and power grows in DC because of its increasing money.
CNS News reports that the “five richest counties in the United States when measured by median household income are: Loudoun County ($129,588), Fairfax County, Va. ($117,515), Howard County, Md. ($115,576), Falls Church City, Va. ($114,795), and Arlington County, Va. ($112,138).” The survey covers five years from 2013 to 2017.
The Daily Signal notes, “The study also found that from 2013 to 2017, median household income increased in 16.6 percent of all the counties included in the analysis, while it decreased in 7.1 percent of counties, when compared to estimates from 2008 to 2012.”
Is it any wonder why those living in and around the Beltway are so out of touch with the rest of the country? This also explains the contempt so many of the Washington elites have for middle America. Working for the government should not be the primary means for entering the top 10% of income earners.
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ON THE WEB TODAY
- Another Bloated Farm Bill — Between food stamps and farm subsidies, this spending legislation should be scrapped.
- Macron Backs Off Taxes Fueling French Anger — The French president hopes to end protests by reversing course on tax increases.
- Video: Who Are the Most Powerful People in America? — Monarchy is making a comeback — though not in the way you think.
- Humor Video: Baby, Just Go Outside — The Holderness Family makes fun of the controversy over “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
- Trump administration files Supreme Court appeal after Ninth Circuit ruling halting new asylum policy (Fox News)
- More than 3,000 illegals caught in one day (The Washington Times)
- Church puts Baby Jesus in a cage in solidarity with migrants (The Resurgent)
- Judge issues permanent order blocking the government from enforcing contraceptive mandate (Townhall)
- Trump threat to kill NAFTA boosts U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (The Washington Times)
- Tax revenues are at record highs (Investor’s Business Daily)
- China to cut U.S. car tariff to 15% (BBC)
- Jamal Khashoggi is the right TIME Person of the Year for all the wrong reasons (Spectator)
- Theresa May faces no-confidence vote amid Brexit chaos (Fox Business)
- Humor: Hollywood working on official list of comedians it’s OK to laugh at (The Babylon Bee)
- Policy: Is the U.S. political system really “structurally biased”? (National Review)
- Policy: The risks of Medicare for All (National Review)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
A tense exchange at the White House on Tuesday between President Donald Trump and the two leading congressional Democrats — recycled incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — provided additional evidence that a chasm remains when it comes to achieving immigration reform.
While President Trump’s desire to secure the border and prioritize America’s needs when determining who to allow to enter our borders has the strong support of the American people, Democrats have abandoned long-held, sensible immigration positions in favor of a radical open-borders policy that allows violent criminals, and drug and sex traffickers to pour into our nation.
In recent months, Americans witnessed waves of thousands of migrants pushing their way up from Central America to the U.S., demanding to be let in while claiming a right to enter. When attempts were made to stop them, they rioted, tearing down border fences and attacking U.S. border agents. Or Trump was foiled by the courts in his efforts to limit the invasion. He’s filed an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court after the Ninth Circuit Court blocked his effort to prevent illegals from entering the U.S. and then seeking asylum.
The real immigration crisis is with asylum seekers. As President Trump has kept his promise to strengthen border security, the number of illegal aliens able to sneak into the U.S. has slowed.
However, those seeking entry have not changed their goals, just their tactics. In 2018 alone, the number of migrants demanding asylum at the U.S. border rose a staggering 67% according to Homeland Security, to nearly 93,000 people. Roughly a third arrived at ports of entry without permission, and another 14% were caught jumping the border illegally before filing for asylum.
Migrants know the immigration system is overwhelmed with existing applications for asylum, and they know there is a good chance they will be processed and released into the U.S. while waiting for immigration hearings sometimes years later that most will never come back for, choosing instead to disappear inside the U.S.
Laughably, one group of migrants is now demanding that the Trump administration either let them into the U.S. or pay them $50,000 each to return home. Points for creativity, we suppose, but good luck with that.
It’s difficult to qualify for asylum; only about 20% of applications are approved. To qualify, the migrant must face a “credible fear” of violence or serious discrimination due to race, religion, or political affiliation. Asylum is broken down into two broad categories: “affirmative” (not yet subjected to deportation proceedings) and “defensive” (fighting deportation).
Affirmative asylum seekers are far fewer in number but much likelier to be granted asylum; roughly 70% get approved. Defensive asylum seekers, on the other hand, are rolling the dice, hoping a friendly judge gives them a last-second reprieve; about 75-95% are rejected.
To increase their chances of gaining asylum, the recent migrant wave from Central America took the longest possible route through Mexico to the U.S. Part of this was to avoid the drug cartels that control the region between southern Mexico and the Texas border, but even more relevant, the migrants are fully aware that California is a “sanctuary” state, and immigration judges in San Diego are far more likely to grant asylum than judges in Texas.
While the migrant/open borders proponents argue these waves of migrants truly fear persecution in their home countries, that fallacy is exposed by the fact that, while defensive asylum applications have skyrocketed (the vast majority coming from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico), affirmative asylum applications have stayed roughly constant. It’s also noteworthy that these so-called asylum seekers have received significant financial and logistical support from leftist organizations as they try to force their way into the U.S.
Last year, the Trump administration received wide condemnation for its wise refusal to sign onto the United Nations’ Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration, which would have given international treaties and laws primacy over U.S. immigration laws. In explaining that refusal UN Ambassador Nikki Haley declared, “No country has done more than the United States, and our generosity will continue. But our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone. We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty.”
Despite the faux outrage of world leaders, nearly a dozen countries — including Australia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Israel, and Poland — have followed America’s lead in rejecting the treaty, and pressure is building in formerly pro-migrant countries like Belgium, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands to spurn it as they face significant difficulties dealing with crime and cultural conflicts after absorbing massive waves of migrants.
As for the showdown with the Democrats, President Trump declared this week that he will get the U.S. border secured one way or another, even if he has to use the U.S. military to build the border wall.
And despite the propensity of Democrats to use immigrant children as political cannon fodder, the American people support Trump’s agenda of securing our borders.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Jonah Goldberg: “We’ve lost the ability to speak clearly across partisan lines about basic notions of decency and morality. The debate over impeachment highlights the problem. A president can be impeached for any reason Congress sees fit. It’s a political tool for sanctioning a president who violates the public trust. The rules of criminal procedure are only relevant, if at all, procedurally. Instead, they are used as a substitute for moral or civic judgment. I am not arguing for impeaching Trump based on what we know now. The precedent of Clinton’s impeachment (but acquittal in the Senate) demonstrates, among other things, that politically you need more than this for a binding national consensus. I am arguing that we’ve lost anything remotely like a moral consensus in this country because legalism has crowded out morality. That’s the naked truth.”
Belly laugh of the week: “I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way.” —Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Non Compos Mentis: “I’d like you to look into overuse of conservative news organizations to put on liberal people’s news on Google.” —Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) to Sundar Pichai
Down with the patriarchy! “I think every elected male should be concerned about a female challenger in 2020.” —Democrat strategist Scott Ferson
Village Idiots: “I’m scared. I’m scared by [Trump], by his possibility. And I do empathize with him. I can’t imagine what his 3 a.m. is like. There’s a gathering storm — everyone feels it, he feels it. His children are in jeopardy, and I feel that. I think, ‘What if my children were in jeopardy?’ I would do anything — anything — to get them out of trouble. So we should be afraid. That’s what I think.” —actress Meryl Streep
Delusions of grandeur: “He’s been known to take long-distance shots, but this one might be the farthest out there. NBA superstar Stephen Curry said he does not believe the U.S. landed on the moon, according to a podcast Monday.” —Fox News’s Amy Lieu
And last… “It isn’t a coincidence that millennials, the most historically, constitutionally and biblically illiterate generation, are also the most progressive. Progressivism requires no critical thinking whatsoever. Hollywood & academia present it as the only option. It’s the easy way.” —Allie Beth Stuckey
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher