Did You Like The State Of The Union Address?

The most important questions that come to mind after a conciliatory (sort of) State of the Union Address are: Is the president capable of changing his aggressive and unproductive style towards his opponents and work in concert with them? Will Democrats continue to denigrate the administration in spite of his admirable agenda?

From my vantage point I would say no to both queries. For sure Trump will be tweeting away about how great he performed and how Democrats would be fools if they rejected his offer to cooperate for the betterment of the country. The president will continue to rub Americans the wrong way. Even in a speech that rightly lauded his accomplishments, he managed to make many average Americans cringe.

The answer to the second question became obvious as TV cameras panned the faces of Democrat lawmakers. They hate Trump with a passion there will be no peace or comity in Congress, that’s for sure. Even while Trump showcased the fact that African Americans unemployment rates are the lowest in history, the black caucus members scowled.

Nevertheless it’s worth thinking about the administration’s agenda because it could result in extraordinary gains for Republicans in the mid-term elections. The president launched into a review of all the good things happening economically that he inspired. One could see the reaction of the opposition as they falsely believe that Obama set the stage for the current economic bonanza .

The items discussed included a vibrant stock market that has benefited millions of Americans as the Dow Jones set new records repeatedly during 2017. The gains are widespread as average Americans have enjoyed excellent growth in their 401Ks and pensions. Americans, other than the affluent, will all receive tax decreases. Unemployment is down to record lows. Wages are increasing. Manufacturing jobs increased. Companies are paying bonuses, and building new plant and equipment in the US that will further grow employment.

Trump discussed a number of pet items relating to respect for the flag and our National Anthem, the appointment of many new conservative judges including a new Supreme Court member, accountability towards veterans, less regulations, energy independence, improved conditions in the auto industry, FDA approvals of new drugs, reduced prices for prescription drugs and improved trade agreements.

Trump then brought up our crumbling infrastructure. He suggested a $1.5 trillion government initiative that could be bolstered by leverage and private equity participation. The response from Republicans was tremendous and Democrats sat on their hands and made funny, disapproving faces.

Next was welfare, to be replaced by work. Trump said the secret to solving the welfare problem is workforce development, training and new vocational schools. Once again there were cheers from the right and slumping from the left.

Immigration reform received extra attention in the president’s speech. He said he has offered a bipartisan approach that includes critical reforms. There are four pillars to the administration’s proposal: (1) a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegals (2) a secure border with a wall and more officers (3) the end of the lottery system that gives green cards to random applicants and troublemakers (4) the end of migration in which a single migrant can bring his extended family to the US.

The president mentioned the growing drug problem and the 64,000 overdoses in the past year.

And finally the speech focused on the military, modernization of the nuclear arsenal, the extermination of ISIS and the $20 billion that has been given to countries that oppose the US at the United Nations. I hoped that Trump would order the UN to move its headquarters out of New York to some foreign city.

Trump made special mention of the rogue state of North Korea and its attempts to destabilize the world with their nuclear weapons.

Where does all this leave America? Getting anything done in Congress that requires support from the opposition will be impossible. We should expect continued unproductive commentary and jockeying on Russian collusion (fake news),  investigations and memos by partisan members of Congress suggesting wrongdoing by the FBI, the Justice Department, Trump, Hillary Clinton, etc. and general obstruction and name calling straight into the mid-term elections.

I continue to believe Trump’s style and methods are abominable and greatly responsible for him not receiving the credit he deserves. Yet Democrats will lose big in November if they don’t develop alternative plans to solve the country’s problems.

Don’t expect any wisdom or olive branches from the opposition. They will continue to make funny faces and attack the president personally. Ultimately Democrats will be demolished in the mid-terms and all the old hacks will lose their leadership positions (finally). Hopefully the replacements will work for a better America.

I rate the content of the speech A-. Trump did not discuss the sexual revolution underway in America or any of the unproductive activities in Congress. I think Trump’s delivery earned a B-. I lowered his grade because there was too much self-aggrandizement for my taste.

Russian Collusion, Obstruction And The Wall

It’s getting pretty tense in Washington as the politicians continue to hurl accusations at each other.

President Trump is attacking the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, as well as fake news generated by legitimate and not so legitimate outlets. Democrats are assailing Trump for every known abhorrent behavior and personality trait known to man including misogyny, sexism, xenophobia, racism, egomania and just being a damn liar. Never has a president been accused of so much.

Let’s discuss the Special Counsel. Mueller may be nearing the end of his investigation (yawn). He recently asked the president to testify under oath. Trump agreed, IF his personal counsel sanctioned it. Given the risks of such a conversation, I think we know how this is going to play out. It would be an unwise action given the well-known tactics used by prosecutors in these types of situations.

In any case Mueller should wrap up his adventure and tell us about all of the crimes against humanity Trump has perpetrated. The whole process to prove that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the election was ill advised, inane and too expensive.

Based upon what we have been told about the chaos in the Trump campaign and his administration (read Fire and Fury), does anyone really believe he or any of his flunkies have the savvy or ability to rig an entire presidential election with Vladimir Putin? Please!

Mueller is also investigating obstruction of justice accusations even though the president has the constitutional right to choose and fire any of his advisors. Everyone in the Justice Department directly or indirectly works for the president. The obstruction ploy is a stretch given the transparency of the administration on this matter.

Democrat name-calling has no real effect on the president. He has weathered the storm for years. If the best argument liberals can muster is that Trump does not have the personality or demeanor to be president, so what? Americans already know all this. Has any one forgotten the Republican primaries?

Democrats will surely take aim on Trump’s agenda. Let’s discuss the wall, the most controversial issue. Americans want border security. There is a wall that will be acceptable to a majority of voters. It’s not going to be 2,000 miles long and cost $50 billion. Trump is ready to scale back the structure that will be built in strategic location to limit incremental illegal immigration from Mexico, thereby keeping a campaign promise.

Trump should accuse liberals of being more concerned about illegals than Americans. Democrats, with their never-ending concern about cruel treatment of illegal aliens, will lose the debate. Ask anyone in Middle America about how they feel about the 10+ million illegals that Democrats want to give amnesty to.

The spread of sanctuary cities and states is another canard. Why are liberals so intent on focusing on those who entered the country illegally and are draining our resources? Why are these people more important than Americans living in abject poverty in urban areas? Why don’t we allocate limited resources towards crime, education, drug usage and more social services, rather than to those who broke our laws?

Regarding DACA, let’s be clear. An overwhelming majority of Americans, including both liberals and conservatives, want to protect young immigrants who were brought to America by their parents. Liberals, stop saying conservatives don’t care about these young people. There is no debate. The problem is that Democrats want to use this issue to close down our government and make gains in other unrelated areas.

Trump said DACA is a done deal with border security (including a modest wall), and no more lottery immigration or migration of extended families. Let’s do this deal and move on.


Is The Senate Becoming Bi-Partisan? Maybe.

The Senate is at a crossroads. Fresh off bipartisan agreement to keep the government open, moderate members from both sides of the aisle are preparing to minimize the most radical elements of their own parties.

The enemies of the newly formed bipartisan group in the Senate have three common antagonists. They are: President Trump, Sen. McConnell and Sen. Schumer.

Trump smells blood on the heels of the huge battle to keep the government open. The president will take a very aggressive stance in the impending immigration debate. In a DACA deal he will settle for nothing less than a large down payment on the wall, which the administration thinks is critical to border security. Also he will expect the end of migration immigration and termination of immigration lotteries.

The wall will be the most bloody aspect of these negotiations because it is one of Trump’s signature campaign promises. At this point it’s difficult to ascertain Trump’s flexibility on this issue.

Sen. McConnell has promised to work with both sides to enact immigration reform. His most vehement opponents in the Senate have called him a unpredictable liar (not a great starting point for negotiations). The Senate Leader must try to rein in Trump (doubtful) and the most conservative elements in his own caucus (difficult). Senators Cotton and Cruz could be great impediments to an immigration deal as they both abhor any proposals that offer amnesty to immigrants (an explosive term in this debate). Needless to say McConnell despises Schumer and would like to do anything to shake his leadership position.

The most vulnerable player in this entire process is Sen. Schumer. He has been degraded  by members of his own caucus for caving to Republicans. His greatest critics are those Democratic senators who are vying for their party’s presidential nomination. They include: Senators Warren, Sanders, Booker, Klobuchar, Gillibrand, Murphy, Harris and Kaine.

After spewing harsh rhetoric Schumer was forced to capitulate to a deal that kept the government open for a few days. He is resentful and it’s now questionable whether he will retain his position as minority leader. A challenge may be forthcoming from Sen. Durbin who is a member of the bipartisan group that negotiated the temporary government settlement. It may boil down to whether Democrats opt for a partisan or bipartisan attitude in the Senate.

An additional issue is that there are ten Democratic senators running for reelection that are from states won by Trump in 2016. A bad immigration outcome, such as no resolution, will severely hurt their chances and will forestall any chances of Democrats taking over the Senate. These senators will be scorned by voters if they believe that immigrant rights are more important than America’s need for border security.

Political careers are on the line so Americans should expect bloody negotiations over the next few days. Exacerbating the situation is an electorate that has the lowest opinion of this do-nothing and partisan Congress. Congressional elections will be won and lost to a large degree based upon the ability of the body to get things done. Anyone who stands in the way of bipartisan efforts will be punished by voters.

My prediction is that the threats by Trump and Schumer, in particular, will be overwhelmed by moderate sentiment in Congress. The president would be wise to allow Senate Democrats to go down the partisan road if they choose to do so.

Illegal Aliens Benefit At The Expense Of Average Americans

Republicans and Democrats have decidedly different perspectives on immigration. This philosophical divide is creating titanic legislative issues. In fact Democrats are regularly derailing unrelated legislation in the interests of individuals who are not citizens and entered the country illegally.

The latest brouhaha had Democrats shutting down our government for DACA. DACA immigrants are those who were brought into the US illegally as children through not fault of their own. A DACA solution will likely grant amnesty to both the children and the parents of this group.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and a vast majority of Americans recognize the humanitarian aspect of this situation. In a nutshell just about everybody is in favor of these people receiving an accelerated path to legitimacy and then citizenship.

But what kind of warped logic justifies the closing of the government as leverage to assist people who are in the country illegally? Should Democrats led by Chuck Schumer be using immigration goals as a reason to deny our soldiers their compensation? Should the entire government come to a halt for the benefit of felons?

I am for well thought out immigration reform. Yet I cannot justify any inconvenience foisted on Americans as part of the process. This is the most misunderstood and warped aspect of Democratic priorities. Why would Congress do anything that hurts Americans for another group of people who illegally entered our country?

These are the same individuals who are draining state and local governments of resources because they are using, free of charge, our health and educational services. In fact a case could be made that money, billions of it being spent each year on 10 million illegals in the country, is being diverted away from needy Americans in urban areas.

The incompetence and shortsightedness of previous administrations should not be justified by humanitarian fervor. Ten million aliens have invaded our country and there is no practical solution to this menacing situation except citizenship under certain circumstances. These conditions should at least include no criminality, speaking English, having jobs and paying taxes. Why should illegals gain citizenship without earning it?

Practical and humanitarian considerations make it impossible to round up illegal aliens and ship them back to their countries of origin. I agree this is a reality, but I don’t believe that the group should have any advantages or lower standards of acceptable conduct than average Americans.

The 800-pound gorilla in the room is the impact of amnesty and granting citizenship to 10 million people. In certain places these people, when they vote, could change the political landscape. It’s logical that illegals, as new American citizens, will vote liberal, and Democratic leaders know it. I don’t believe liberal motives are 100% altruistic in this regard.

From an electoral perspective in 2018 and 2020, Democrats are going to pay a price. On both coasts the sentiment is favorable towards assisting illegals, but not so in the heartland of the country. Closing down the government for felons will not sit well with Middle America.

Also, at some point, state and local governments will feel greater financial pressure as illegals procreate at a faster rate than average Americans.

One final word. People from other countries do not have a divine right to become Americans. It is a great privilege that has been exploited by millions of people abetted by our lawmakers. We are on the verge of institutionalizing the illegal immigration phenomenon. The least we should do is to stop any new illegals from making the problem worse.


Sexual Abuse And Children

Over the past few decades many cases of sexual abuse have come to light that should put all parents on high alert. Children are the most frequent targets of despicable, sex-crazed individuals. The most frightening fact is that people we have long trusted are the ones most likely to abuse women and children.

The mind-boggling revelations involving US Gymnastic female athletes is the latest atrocity. For years Dr. Laurence G. Nasser has been abusing young female athletes as they prepared and competed in world and Olympic competitions. The “bad” doctor has been molesting young women on the treatment table.

Aly Raisman, a 23 year-old Olympic champion in the past two Games made an impassioned statement about personal abuse she was subjected to in the trial of the aforementioned doctor. Rightly so she castigated the doctor along with all the Olympic Committee officials that enabled this man to ruin her life and so many others. The number of young women who have come forward already is far more than 100.

The plight of these girls is weirdly reminiscent of the Penn State football team episode involving Jerry Sandusky, who abused young men in the locker room over 15 years as college officials and coaches, including the famous Joe Paterno, turned a blind eye. Sandusky is now in jail.

And of course there are the thousands of young boys who have been molested by Catholic priests. It’s hard to imagine that men of God forced children to do abhorrent acts for so many years, and possibly centuries. All the while popes, bishops and other high ranking officials protected sexual offenders and enabled them to repeat their acts of violence against others.

The sad truth is that large institutions have fostered bad behavior and failed to act when they became aware of it. All these organizations and the men who manage them are just as culpable as the deviants who abuse others.

If you can’t trust your priest, who can you trust? If you can’t trust your doctor, who can you trust? If you can’t trust your teachers, who can you trust? The answer, sadly, is no one.

The current women’s revolution against sexual abuse has turned out to be more important than anyone ever thought. It has opened the eyes of all Americans as courageous women across the country are speaking up and identifying criminals that abused them.

If parents are enlightened they will no longer allow their children to be alone with adults outside of the home, be they doctors, priests, coaches, camp counselors, even nannies. Hideous acts of perversion occur when demented adults are alone with helpless children.

The same thing holds true for women in the workplace. Do not find yourself in your boss’ office late at night after everyone has gone home, in a hotel room delivering papers or at office parties where everyone is intoxicated.

Every type of person that we originally thought would protect us has let us down. There should be no one above suspicion including family members. Sexual abuse by relatives has occurred since the beginning of time. These crimes are almost never adjudicated because of the shame they instill on those afflicted.

Parents, be alert. The best protection for children is to be in groups. They should never be alone with adults in secluded places at school, in church, in gymnasiums or in doctors’ offices. We must be protective of the innocent.

And one final note. It is extremely important for parents and schools to  educate children about the dangers that are so prevalent in our society. For instance no one has a right to touch them in any way without permission . And they should avoid being alone with any adult in the places identified earlier.


Congressional Dysfunction Threatens The US

Like many Americans this morning, I’m disgusted with the incompetence and inflexibility of our federal government. The ability of the government to operate on a daily basis is the highest priority. Securing our nation and paying those that operate it, should supersede all other priorities.

Both political parties share the responsibility of shutting down the government last night. But Democrats deserve the most scorn. Why would they prevent the government from doing its job to protect illegal aliens?

Don’t get me wrong, I want to protect DACA children and I want a merit-based path to citizenship for 10 million people living in the US illegally. If I were negotiating a deal for the Democrats I would not emasculate my government for the interests of those who are not citizens and have broken the law.

Senate Democrats in states won by Trump in 2016 are in grave danger. Middle America is not so concerned about the needs of felons living here, as they are worried about paying federal employees and refurbishing our military.

Many believe draconian actions by Congress relating to our armed forces have impacted our military readiness. In a world where America is threatened by Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and terrorists throughout the world, should our air force have bombers that are out of service, or ballistic missiles that might not fire if we need them?

The individuals that are setting priorities for the Democrats (Schumer and Pelosi) are leading their flock into a raging storm. If their actions impede our country’s ability to protect its citizens, they are dead meat. America will never forgive them for putting illegals ahead of citizens and national security.

Republicans share a great deal of blame as well. Given that they control the entire government, why aren’t they leading America out of its current funk? With intra-party cooperation the G.O.P. could do almost anything legislatively. It could overwhelm the radical left wing elements of the opposition party.

But certain individuals, specifically the most conservative Republicans, are unable to understand that without a united front, Republicans lose their clout. Any idiot should be able comprehend this basic concept.

So when I read that Republicans are conflicting with each other, and this includes the president, it turns my stomach. Democrats, by remaining united, are calling the shots. The electorate could naturally conclude that Republicans are unable to govern even with a majority position in both houses of Congress.

If Republicans want to retain control of the government, the first thing they must do is join together and set aside petty issues to retain the majority. United they will ultimately destroy the opposition. Divided they will soon be calling Nancy Pelosi Madam Speaker.

Most important is that Congress set priorities to ensure conservative principles. If a small compromise is necessary, do it and back track later. The government’s operational capabilities are more important than any entitlement and certainly more important than any group of interlopers in our country.

NY Times Publishes Letters That Support Trump, And Then Publishes Letters That Ridicule Same People

The New York Times prominently published letters from several supporters of President Trump in the editorial section of the newspaper on Thursday. Was this some sort of scam? Why would the Times give “deplorables” an opportunity to laud the accomplishments and agenda of the most hated man among liberals.

Let me first say that I congratulate the Times for airing the opinions of others that they so vehemently oppose. This is an example of fair and balanced journalism. Yet I can’t believe that there might be a catch or a surprise forthcoming.

Note: The aforementioned was written last night. This morning I immediately checked the letters section of the paper and what did I find? Vicious attacks by liberal readers who really do believe that anyone who disagrees with their perspectives is deplorable. One person summed up the collective response of the letters. “Why do you keep asking questions of Trump voters? Who cares what they think?” This attitude is reminiscent of the recent Berkeley riots during which protesters ravaged the campus because they objected to a conservative speaker. So much for the home of free speech. Political haters should stop judging Trump and his supporters and reconsider their close-minded perspectives and inflammatory rhetoric. Frankly they give liberalism a bad name.

Generally the letters supporting Trump were well-written and thoughtful. These people knew they would be scorned by the radical left for having their political perspectives. This compares to the pathetic and trite comments by the letters today. Most of the pro-Trump letters clearly indicated that the president’s demeanor, attitude, belligerence and lack of complete knowledge of the facts are detrimental to the country. Notwithstanding all this they approve of his agenda and laud his accomplishments.

For the benefit of all the readers who side with the anti-Trumpers, I’d like to remind you of some of the positive things he has done and will do in the coming months. Everything in the administration is transparent unlike the previous president who thought every American was an idiot that could never understand his world view. I’m very happy he is  in retirement.

Allow me to expand on the ideas presented by the pro-Trump letters on Thursday.

  • Trump eliminated many burdensome regulations that Obama installed by circumventing Congress.
  • Trump was able to confirm a conservative judge to the Supreme Court, replacing a conservative judge who passed away.
  • Trump has dramatically impacted ISIS by enabling our military leaders to effectively deal with these terrorists.
  • Trump is in the process of terminating unfair trade agreements globally that cost the US billions.
  • Trump is moving the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
  • Trump has indicated that he wants to increase the readiness of the military. Recent studies have shown a dramatic decline in the effectiveness of our forces.
  • Trump was able to enact his tax reform. It will benefit corporations and all citizens.
  • Corporations have promised to use tax savings to build new facilities in the US and to share increased after tax profits with workers.
  • Many corporations will bring trillions of dollars back from foreign subsidiaries at a one-time low tax rate. This money will generate revenues for the Treasury and a meaningful portion of it will be used for capital expenditures in the US, which will increase employment.
  • Trump is effectively dealing with North Korea attempting to clean up the missteps of previous administrations.
  • Trump is effectively dealing with Iran and will abrogate an inane nuclear treaty with our most hated enemy.
  • Trump is in favor of DACA. He will act to protect 800,000 innocent children of illegal aliens supplemented by more border security.
  • Illegal immigration has subsided markedly.
  • The stock market has increased about 40% this year enriching many Americans including millions of middle class individuals through their 401ks.
  • Trump has been totally transparent about his objectives something that has been helpful to those who report the news. Not that news people appreciate it.
  • Immigration reform is around the corner. No longer will our borders be porous enabling more illegals to enter the country and sap the resources of those states that accumulate illegals.
  • Trump has exposed the media every time it errs or twists the truth. This is not an attack on free speech. It is an effort to improve the reporting of news in this country. Conversely the press exposes mistakes made by the administration. Sounds like a fair trade off.

Of course there are many issues plaguing the administration including an ongoing and inane Russian collusion investigation. Additionally the relationship between the administration and Congress is not productive. And finally the president really does not act like a statesman.

Considering all the pros and cons, I would say, on balance, America is ahead of the game in spite of all the efforts by radical liberals to destroy the administration.



Wolff’s Book Is Tabloid Trash

If you are unaware that Donald Trump is screwing up the federal government with his unorthodox, unsophisticated, un-statesmanlike and inefficient style, you should read Michael Wolff’s new book that has Washington and the entire nation abuzz. If you’ve been reading the newspapers and watching cable news don’t waste your hard earned money on this trash.

In summary I found Wolff to be a dishonorable and vindictive pseudo-journalist no better than the horrible man he has set out to destroy in “Fire and Fury . . .” Wolff wants America to celebrate his writing skills in a book that is nothing more than a 300 plus page tabloid with hateful gossip about every important and influential person affiliated with Trump. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer must have been gleeful when they read this expose of the president and his merry men and women.

I gave Wolff too much credit to think that he might balance out all the personality attacks with some analysis of Trump’s agenda and the positive effect it’s had on America. It never happened as I slogged through his missive.

Wolff psychoanalyzed the Trump minions and the power groups that formed during the campaign and into the first year of the administration as if he were Sigmund Freud. The infighting between Bannon, Ivanka and Jared, Priebus and all the other members of the Trump team is the real story of the book, along with Trump’s ever changing attitude to each of these individuals.

Let’s be clear: There is no discourse at all about policies, campaign promises, achievements or the health of the nation in Wolff’s work. I suppose the latter issue is of no interest to him. The book is exclusively about the weirdos and sycophants that that surround the president.

This is not to say that every Trump advisor is a scalawag. Many of the people who took positions in the new administration are honorable and interested in public service. Little did they know that Trump was more of an emperor, than a leader of a democratic country. But the temptation to bolster one’s career is seductive, and now his aides struggle to keep the interest of their boss who has a difficult time staying focused.

The book does not fairly assess the performance of the Trump administration. It does not discuss the objectives and initiatives of Trump as he tries to make America great in his own way. The tome is about a very aggressive and self-centered man who pulled off the upset of the Century. Trump was a candidate that rode the wave of dissatisfaction in the country to victory. Today some regret supporting the man and long for the days of more traditional political leadership.

All of Trump’s worst behavior is on display and exploited by Wolff. Americans knew before the book was written that Trump is a compilation of bad personality and managerial traits. Without rehashing all of them, suffice it to say that the president acts more like a despot than a president accountable to a diverse electorate.

Trump needs to be told that he is the smartest man alive every day, even though it’s not even close to reality. He needs servants to tell him his way is the way to proceed on any important issue. He wants to be admired by his billionaire peers. Americans already know the complete list of Trump’s bizarre behavior and desires.

Wolff has unmasked the unbridled ambitions of several people that serve (or served) Trump. The most important odd duck is Steve Bannon, an almost humorous combination of Darth Vader and Yoda that embodies militaristic attitude and political egoism. Bannon tells all who will listen that he made Trump. Per Bannon Trump would have never been elected without his counsel and the administration is going to hell in a hand basket without his continuing mentorship.

For years Trump managed a company inherited from his father with an iron fist. Every employee followed him loyally or was fired on the spot. Trump believes the same tactics that brought him great wealth and notoriety will make him a successful president. The problem is that many of his aides are successful in their own right and will only kiss ass to a degree. Worse is the fact that they are uninhibited and freely leak to the press to advance their own positions. Leaking of information, including classified information by Trump’s staff is a major story line in the book.

Wolff analyzes all the other characters that surround the president. He writes as if he knows everyone’s deepest feelings and ambitions. Nobody could be so insightful about so many. This leads me to believe that Wolff has taken many liberties in his book.

The big question: Is Fire and Fury worth reading? My response is unequivocally no. You may feel left out in the cold if you are unable to say you read Wolff tabloid piece because it is being discussed in many circles. But so what?

If you really want a sense of what the Trump administration is doing regarding any of the major issues impacting the country tune into CNN and FOX to hear the spin of both sides. Chances are someone in the administration leaked information to the reporters.

Trump’s DACA Meeting Was A Flop

The president and Congress are doing everything possible to sabotage a solution for  800,000 young illegal immigrants who were brought into the US by their parents.

As I pointed out in an earlier blog the bipartisan conversation hosted by Trump had so many crosscurrents that a quick deal has become more remote every hour. This microcosm of our government in action is why Americans would be better off if the president and every member of Congress resigned today. It’s impossible for this group of sanctimonious, pseudo intellectuals to govern and make laws.

The meeting on Wednesday was unprecedented as Trump wanted to prove that he is not senile or incapable of leading the country. In this regard he wanted everyone to see him in action as he guided congressional lawmakers to a deal. The president invited the most important congresspeople to a sit-down to negotiate a quick resolution. The most important objective was clear- extend indefinitely the ability of several hundred thousand young illegals to remain in the country. Every person in the room expressed support of this mission.

Moreover, everyone agreed that the new law should be relatively simple and not include more comprehensive immigration issues, such as paths to citizenship for the 10+ million illegals in the country.

Trump was selling hard, but was the only person in the room and among the TV audience that failed to sense that some members were conspiring. Diane Feinstein indicated that a DACA solution should be a clean bill that would enable the 800,000 young people to stay and work in the US. This was a pipe dream.

Although Trump said he would support a clean transaction, he didn’t really mean it. A congressman present pointed out that a DACA solution without border security was a non-starter for House Republicans. Trump said this was not big deal. He was either asleep at the wheel or duplicitous.

Democrats responded that the wall, which is the most offensive part of border security from their perspective, would require a great deal of negotiation and should be part of a follow-up, more comprehensive, immigration bill.

Trump pooh-poohed the sidebars fully aware that he promised, scores of times, to stop illegal immigration with a wall. His base will revolt if any immigration legislation does not include it.

In any case Trump asked a House Republican if he had a bill ready to be enacted. The congressman responded affirmatively and added that it included DACA, elimination of migration and lottery immigration, which I defined in an earlier blog, and the WALL.

At this point everyone knew the situation was dire, except maybe Trump. There would be no quick legislation for the dreamers of DACA. Exacerbating the situation was a court order the next day  to reinstall DACA as soon as possible prior to action by Congress.

Trump is only going to get a DACA deal if he instructs conservative lawmakers to stop stirring the pot, and he proposes a wall that is far less intrusive than the one he talks about regularly.

This relatively small issue, DACA, clearly exhibits why our government is unable to rule and legislate. Our leaders have an opportunity to do a simple thing that would benefit many young people, and are unable to perform.

The Impending DACA (And Immigration Reform) Disaster

For those of you who were at work yesterday afternoon, I want to tell you about a “bipartisan” meeting between President Trump and congressional leaders from both parties representing the Senate and House.

The subject was immigration, and specifically the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (know commonly as DACA). DACA allows  individuals who entered and remained in the country as minors to receive a renewable period of deferred action from deportation and a work permit. This policy was established by President Obama in 2012 via regulation.

President Trump rescinded the regulation in September 2017 because it circumvented the responsibility of Congress to effect such laws. The rescission was delayed six month (until March 2018) to give Congress an opportunity to enact a new and permanent law for the affected illegal aliens. The policy has had a positive impact on the 800,000 young individuals involved, by all accounts. And it is generally seen as favorable by most legislators.

Back to the meeting. All the parties present were in favor of renewing DACA. Trump was ecstatic and Democratic members were cautiously optimistic about the direction of the conversation. To make a long story short, Trump asked one Republican House member if he was ready to introduce legislation to extend DACA. The individual said a draft of a new law was ready, and it included DACA, a rescission of chain migration and visa lotteries along with border security measures that would provide funding for the infamous border wall.

As a aside chain migration is a process in which legal immigrants are able to sponsor their extended families to obtain visas to enter the country. Visa lotteries provide visas to individuals from countries with low migration rates into the U.S, Both of these programs have been denigrated by the Trump administration. Essentially Trump believes that  immigrants are not being vetted properly and undesirable individuals are entering the country.

The wall according to Trump will deter illegal immigration across the Mexican border from many places further south. Anyone who has followed this story knows that the wall is extraordinarily controversial. It’s important to recognize that Trump made the wall a principle issue in his campaign and is obligated to build it to retain the support of his base.

Back to the meeting again. Trump said that it looked like a done deal. Immigration reform would begin with DACA, chain migration, visa lotteries and border security (a.k.a., the wall). Comprehensive reform would follow later to decide, for instance, the paths to citizenship for illegals and other huge issues relating to immigration.

The Democrats began to rise up and say they only wanted to extend DACA and keep all other items for later reform negotiations. Trump said it was no big deal and that all the items he favored could be negotiated now. This went on for some time as individual lawmakers made mini-speeches about why DACA was important as a first step in immigration reform. Everybody was talking past each other. Trump was trying to end the meeting by saying a deal was imminent, but it is not.

In fact when the press was asked to leave the room, one journalist asked Trump specifically whether DACA could be extended without the wall. He responded no, and that DACA needed to be supported with border security.

No matter what you read today, do not be enthusiastic that the 800,000 illegals covered by DACA will be protected before the clock runs out in March. The meeting was a perfect example of the dysfunctional government in Washington. The parties cannot even enact legislation they both are in favor of. It is a sign of the times.