Trump vs. Kim
President Trump yesterday ratcheted up the pressure on North Korea. He issued an executive order instructing the Treasury Department to target individuals, companies and financial institutions that do business with the rogue regime.
“Foreign banks will face a clear choice: Do business with the United States or facilitate trade with the lawless regime in North Korea,” President Trump said. This will have a major impact on North Korea as companies and countries are forced to choose between Pyongyang and access to the United States.
In a related development, Reuters reports that China’s central bank has instructed the country’s financial institutions to stop dealing with North Korean customers. China is North Korea’s biggest trading partner. By some estimates, China accounts for 90% of North Korea’s trade and 40% of its GDP.
In July, Trump expressed his frustration with China’s coziness with North Korea. In a series of tweets, the president wrote: “I am very disappointed in China… they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”
I can only hope that China has gotten the message that the weakness and appeasement of the past eight years is over.
Obamacare Repeal Round II?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Wednesday that the Senate will “consider” another Obamacare reform plan, this one offered by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). There could be a vote sometime next week.
The Graham-Cassidy bill is far from perfect. Sadly, the votes for a full repeal of Obamacare do not exist in the Senate today. So the question is what — if anything — can be accomplished in the meantime.
The legislation is modeled after the 1996 welfare reform effort led by former Sen. Rick Santorum. It would restructure Obamacare and block-grant the funding directly to the states. It would also enable states to seek waivers from various regulations, potentially lowering costs.
Responding to critics, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who feel the bill doesn’t do enough, Santorum explained, “This is a starting point. The point is that [if] we don’t get this started now we’re going to be stuck with this for a long time. This is really an opportunity to get the ball rolling.”
The White House is fully behind this effort. Vice President Pence was on Capitol Hill earlier this week making the case for the bill, and Trump has been tweeting his support.
Wednesday, Trump tweeted this: “Rand Paul is a friend of mine but he is such a negative force when it comes to fixing healthcare. Graham-Cassidy Bill is GREAT! Ends Ocare!”
Meanwhile, Politico reports that the Left is on “full war footing” to stop this latest GOP effort. In fact, Barack Obama has even come out of “retirement” to denounce the Graham-Cassidy bill.
Obama said it was “aggravating” that liberals were having to constantly defend his signature initiative, and he accused Republicans of “inflicting real human suffering on their constituents.”
I must say, it is hard to take Obama seriously when he talks about human suffering when he pursued policies that took the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in the womb every year.
Several weeks ago, news broke that one Obama official had been particularly aggressive in demanding the unmasking of U.S. citizens in classified intelligence reports. While it is legal to do so, there has to be a very good reason for it.
As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy explained, “It is unlikely that any single instance of unmasking would be found to be a violation of law… Nevertheless, were a pattern of unmasking established, divorced from any proper foreign-intelligence purpose, that would be a profound abuse of power.”
In late July, Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that he had discovered “that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration.”
According to Fox News, that official is former UN Ambassador Samantha Power.
Sources told Fox that Power “was ‘unmasking’ at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016.”
That is unprecedented and appears to confirm what we have suspected — that the Obama administration politicized our intelligence agencies in an effort to destroy the Trump administration.
The Trouble With Amnesty
While much of the media attention about the so-called “Dreamers” has focused on tensions between President Trump and the GOP, Democrats are facing significant divisions of their own. The Hill reports, “Liberal Unrest Threatens Dem Immigration Strategy.”
House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi was recently heckled by radical amnesty advocates who oppose any deals with President Trump that include stronger border security. And they want much more than just protection for “Dreamers.”
In fact, at a press conference Wednesday, Pelosi admitted that the DREAM Act was just the first step. “The list goes on and on about how we want to advance and protect the Dreamers until we can pass the bill, and protecting their families, of course, [is] the logical next step,” she said. “Their families did a great thing for our country, bringing these kids here.”
Once again, we are seeing the trouble with amnesty — it never ends! Ronald Reagan tried it, on the promise that we would secure the border. That never happened and the amnesty only encouraged more illegal immigration.
Now if we grant amnesty to the “Dreamers,” what about their parents? What about other family members? Well, according to one analysis, amnesty for the so-called “Dreamers” could easily expand into the millions.