Of blocking borders and flip flopping

Donald Trump threatened on several occasions last year to close the US-Mexico border, including at one point saying the US would close the border “permanently.” Of course there is always threats but the border never closes and the immigrants continue to come in.

Trump was “100 per cent” ready to shut all, or part, of the US border with Mexico to gain leverage in his ongoing fight with Congress over immigration and his dream of a wall. A few hours later, during an evening speech at the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual spring dinner, he suggested that his threats are working so well that he won’t be able to carry through with the plan.

He said that [with no proof] “And they’ve apprehended over 1,000 people at the southern border, their southern border. And they’re bringing them back to their countries.” The following morning, he was on Twitter demanding immediate measures from the House and Senate. “If no action, Border, or large sections of Border, will close. This is a National Emergency!” Did the 1,000 people exist? I’d say no.

In the meantime, nobody it seems wants the border closed. Not even fellow Republicans. Among the statistics: 500,000 people legally cross the border each day in Texas alone, $726 million US is the estimated losses to US businesses and farmers, per day, if the border is closed and 1 million manufacturing jobs that would be at risk. Auto parts, produce and fruits are exported to the US from Mexico.

Trump changed his mind again on closing the border with Mexico. Initially he said “We’re going to give them a one-year warning, and if the drugs don’t stop or (are) largely stopped, we’re going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular, the cars … and if that doesn’t stop the drugs, we close the border.” This he said to reporters. But later he said “I don’t think we’ll ever have to close the border because the penalty of tariffs on cars coming into the United States from Mexico, at 25%, will be massive.”

When asked if his comments suggested that his new auto tariffs mean the southern border will remain open for at least a year, Trump responded: “No, I didn’t say that.” But he did when he spoke to reporters. Previously he said he would give Mexico one week to increase apprehensions of migrants from Central America from coming toward the US — and threatened a border closure as a consequence.

“Congress has to meet quickly and make a deal. I could do it in 45 minutes. We need to get rid of chain migration,” Trump said. “We need to get rid of catch and release and visa lottery. And we have to do something about asylum. And to be honest with you, we have to get rid of judges.”

Trump has been running the country for about 27 months now. Why hasn’t he proposed anything to the Republicans to fix these problems instead of continuously whining about it. As well “get rid of judges” – we will assume he means immigration judges and not judges in general.

Trump announced the US would be cutting funding to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, blaming them for migrant caravans that have come to the southern border recently and saying the cuts were because “they haven’t done a thing for us.” The three countries get close to $1.3 billion in aid.

“It’s something that I’m sure we’ll be looking into and studying,” Kevin Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers when asked about the economic impact of closing the border crossings with Mexico because Trump has claimed Mexico hasn’t done enough to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the US through Mexico.

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said that when it comes to the contacts members of Trump’s campaign team had with Russians during the 2016 election, “the issue is not whether it’s ethical.” Then he said “the voters are going to decide about the ethics and morality of the people they vote for on either side.” Ummmm. If it is possibly illegal it is not the voters who should decide.

Shocker. Some of Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team said Attorney General William Barr left out some parts of the report that wouldn’t look good for Trump.

Republicans criticized efforts by House Democrats to obtain Trump’s tax returns with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy warning that the request “sets a dangerous standard of having the federal government used as a political weapon” and dismissing the move as “a waste of time.” Laughingly, McCarthy argued that Democrats have not accepted Trump’s victory in the last presidential election and are trying to “use the power of government” for political retaliation.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal formally requested Trump’s tax returns from the IRS. Trump said that he wouldn’t be inclined to provide his tax returns to Congress until he was no longer under audit. Damn that’s one long audit! Is he still being audited from 2016 and before?

Trump has already hinted that he is willing to go to the Supreme Court to block Congress in accessing his tax returns. Exactly what is he hiding? There is obviously something damaging [and not some excuse like a privacy issue]. And if the Supreme Court doesn’t side with him will he still withhold the information?

Trump said that Republicans are working on a new health care plan but won’t introduce it until after the 2020 election. Trump’s statements come a week after his administration announced that it now agreed with a judge’s ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act should be scrapped. The opinion was a dramatic reversal from the administration’s previous stance that only portions of the act could not be defended.

Trump’s latest move allows him to wait on the issue as legal challenges against the health care law, also known as Obamacare, make their way through the federal court system. If it’s ultimately overturned, Trump can claim he made good on a campaign promise in time for his 2020 re-election campaign. If it’s upheld, he can rail against a “liberal” court system.

So not killing ObamaCare is another failed campaign promise. No matter how he spins it, he never replaced it.

“Everybody agrees that ObamaCare doesn’t work. Premiums & deductibles are far too high – Really bad HealthCare! Even the Dems want to replace it, but with Medicare for all, which would cause 180 million Americans to lose their beloved private health insurance,” Trump tweeted. Except the Democrats aren’t in a rush to replace it and ObamaCare works for 20+ million who would be left off any plan under Trump’s plans.

According to Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, one part of Trump’s healthcare plan would increase the out-of-pocket limit by 2.5% more than it would have otherwise – $8,200 per person or $16,400 per family.

A White House staff member has told House investigators that senior officials have overruled concerns raised about 25 individuals whose security clearances were initially denied over a range of disqualifying issues.

Jared Kushner goes on Fox News for an interview. He is asked about the whistle-blower who said maybe 25 people including him and Ivanka sidestepped the security process. He rambles on about collusion [his father-in-law would be proud], answering various questions from investigations, etc. – but never answers the interviewer’s questions. Sounds like a politician.

While having a chat with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg [who’s from Germany], Trump claimed [for the third time] that his father was born in Germany when he was actually born in New York. In fact, his paternal grand-father was]. Years ago, Trump denied his father was German.

Trump pushed in February for his nomination of the Internal Revenue Service’s chief counsel [Michael Desmond], to be fast-tracked in the Senate, even before the chamber held confirmation hearings on Trump’s pending nominee for attorney general. The Senate eventually confirmed Desmond in late February. Trump may need Desmond to block attempts by the Democrats to release his taxes.

Trump said that he’s recommending his friend Herman Cain, a former pizza executive of Godfather’s Pizza, who dropped his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination amid sexual harassment allegations, for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. From 1992 to 1996, he served as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Possibly a reason to hire him is because Cain is black.

A long-time sportswriter, Rick Reilly, who claims in a new book that Trump frequently cheats at golf likened Trump’s habit to a way of “showing you that he’s better than you.” Reilly even allegedly Trump cheating against professional players. I guess Reilly won’t be playing golf with Trump anymore!

According to Reilly, Trump hit two balls in the water when he played professional golfer Tiger Woods and then claimed to have almost tied with him, kicked sportscaster Mike Tirico’s ball into a bunker when the two played, and claims to have a 2.8 handicap despite professionals such as Dustin Johnson assessing him to be a 9 or 10.

Trump’s caddies also allegedly know to accommodate his penchant, Reilly said — “He kicks the ball out of the rough so many times, the caddies call him ‘Pele,'” after the famous soccer player.

“If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75% in value…. And they say the noise causes cancer.” Last month it was 65% and he uses the word “they” which is his code word for no one. The fastest-growing occupation in the US in 2017 was wind turbine technician, although it’s still a small part of the economy. More than 105,000 Americans are employed in the wind industry across all 50 states.

Former Fox News contributor Morgan Ortagus, the expected pick to become the next State Department spokesperson, repeatedly criticized Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Ortagus publicly lambasted then-candidate Trump over what she called his “isolationist foreign policy approach,” and blasted behavior she qualified as “disgusting” and “not serious.”

The House passed a resolution calling for the end of any US military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, sending the proposal to the White House where it is expected to be vetoed by Trump. The Senate passed the resolution and made clear their votes were also aimed at expressing their frustrations with Trump’s continued support for Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Even though 18 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, Trump is making fun at recent claims against former Vice President Joe Biden on the same.

During an interview Trump kept on saying “oringes” – that was even list on White House web site transcript.

Trump publicly bragged about pressuring Canada to accept his terms for a new North American free-trade agreement after he said the negotiators were “not at all nice” during the talks, but he “made them nice.” In previous speeches and tweets, he called Canada “very spoiled”.

Former Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, a foe of Trump, would prefer a Democrat win the 2020 election than have Trump serve a second term, saying that “four years is difficult enough to unravel some of the damage” done internationally by the administration.

Former first lady Barbara Bush didn’t consider herself a Republican after rump took office, according to a forthcoming book by author Susan Page wrote in an excerpt adapted from her new book, “The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty.”

About ebraiter
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