ELIOT – Halt eclipse of the West; HANSON – World upside down; YORK – Enforce immigration law; LIPSKY – Sanctury cities; McCarthy – Feds in Chicago?; KASS – Chicago’s Mayor Zorro.
LEADS: DRUDGE LINKS; NY Post – State Dept exodus; PARTLOW – Mexico wall; Johnson – Immigration blocks; INVESTMENT WATCH – Ocare deadline?; HUTTON & TALEV – UK’s Theresa May.
NOTES: HEINE – Frozen $221M; LEVIN – Mexico.
Francis Eliot, UK Times: “Let’s stand together and halt eclipse of the West”
“Our values must endure despite China’s rise, May tells Trump
“Theresa May offered last night to help President Trump to prevent the West from being “eclipsed” by China as she urged him not to shirk his “obligation” to lead the world.
In a speech to a Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia the prime minister matched parts of Mr Trump’s controversial foreign policy.
She criticised China’s increasingly “assertive” posture, promised to help to curb Iran’s “malign influence” in the Middle East and to do more to defend allies such as Israel in “tough neighbourhoods” while admitting that it was time to engage Russia in the search for peace in Syria.
Mrs May offered an updated edition of the special relationship, one that would be shorn of illusions about “making the world in our image” and without the baggage of “failed” interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Victor Davis Hanson, Real Clear Politics: “The World Turned Upside Down”
“Legend has it that the British played ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ after their unforeseen and disastrous defeat at the Battle of Yorktown.
“Such topsy-turvy upheaval characterizes the start of Donald Trump’s presidency.
“Everything is in flux in a way not seen since the election of 1932, in which Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover. Mainstream Democrats are infuriated. Even Republicans are vexed over the outsider Trump.
“Polls, political pundits and “wise” people, guilty of past partisan-driven false prognostications, remain discredited. Their new creased-brow prophesies of doom for President Trump are about as credible as their past insistence that a “blue wall” would keep him out of the White House.
“The media collusion with the Clinton campaign was endemic in the WikiLeaks email trove. The complicity blew up any lingering notion that establishment journalists are disinterested and principled, as they now turn from eight years of obsequiousness to frenzied hostility toward the White House.
“In the media’s now radically amended progressive dictionary, Senate filibusters are no longer subversive, but quite vital.
“Executive orders are no longer inspired, but dangerous. Bypassing Congress on treaties and overseas interventions, or refusal to enforce existing laws, is no longer presidential leadership. If Trump follows Obama’s example of presidential fiats, he will be recalibrated as seditious.
“Protests against a sitting president are no longer near treasonous, but patriotic. Media collusion with the president is no longer natural, but unprofessional and dishonest. Cruel invective against the president and his family is no longer racist, but inspired. . .”
Byron York, DC Examiner: “Trump’s radical immigration plan: Enforce the law”
“. . . Trump’s two immigration executive orders, issued Wednesday, are long, far-reaching, and complicated. But perhaps the most consequential passage in the two combined orders is a single sentence: “The purpose of this order is to direct executive departments and agencies to employ all lawful means to enforce the immigration laws of the United States.”
That is the heart of Trump’s immigration strategy. ‘We do not need new laws,’ the president said at the Department of Homeland Security Wednesday. ‘We will work within the existing system and framework.’
“Trump’s proposal to build a wall on the Mexican border dominated coverage of the two executive orders. But the orders do much, much more than that — or at least they start the process of doing much, much more. For those who follow immigration closely, the Trump orders contain several critical provisions. Among them:
1) End ‘catch and release.’ In the Obama years, as thousands of people, mostly from Central America, crossed the Mexican border illegally — and made no effort to escape apprehension, asking for a “permiso” to stay — the border authorities would briefly detain them, give them a date to show up in court, and let them go. The practice was known as ‘catch and release.’
“It did not take a rocket scientist to predict that most, now safely inside the U.S., would not show up for court. With family units who arrived in that fashion, immigration court statistics gathered by the Center for Immigration Studies (a group which favors tighter immigration restrictions), reveal that 84 percent do not show up in court.
“Under Trump’s new directive, the Department of Homeland Security will now detain those illegal crossers and handle their cases on the spot. ‘The Secretary [of DHS] shall immediately take all appropriate actions to ensure the detention of aliens apprehended for violations of immigration law,’ the order on border enforcement says, ‘pending the outcome of their removal proceedings or their removal from the country to the extent permitted by law.’
“They will be setting up detention facilities and have asylum officers and immigration judges on hand to deal with these cases right away, instead of releasing them into the country to disappear, or claim a work permit,” notes the Center for Immigration Studies’s Jessica Vaughan.
“2) Put pressure on ‘sanctuary cities.’ Trump spoke often during the campaign about cities and counties that openly defy federal immigration law. He frequently cited the case of Kate Steinle, the young woman murdered in San Francisco in 2015 by a criminal illegal immigrant who had been convicted of multiple felonies and deported multiple times, yet was still protected from another deportation by local officials enforcing San Francisco’s sanctuary policy.
“‘Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States,’ the Trump order on interior enforcement says. The order would give the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to determine ‘that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with [federal law] are not eligible to receive federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the [DHS] Secretary.’
“Some leaders of sanctuary cities are already promising to fight the federal government. But some will likely yield to federal pressure — a remarkable change from the Obama years.
“3) Speed deportations. Both the Obama administration and now Trump said they want to remove illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes. But Obama waited until the immigrant in question had been convicted before even beginning what could be a lengthy removal process. The Trump interior enforcement order allows removal paperwork to begin at the time an illegal immigrant is charged, on the reasonable assumption that a person who is in the United States illegally to begin with, and is then charged with at least one additional crime, does not have a right to stay in the country indefinitely.
4) Follow the law in deporting ‘removable’ illegal immigrants. ‘We cannot faithfully execute the immigration laws of the United States if we exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,’ the order on interior enforcement says, referring to illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes, and in some cases deported multiple times, only to return to commit more crimes and endanger local communities. “I hereby direct agencies to employ all lawful means to ensure the faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States against all removable aliens.”
“‘I think it’s very important that he is telling DHS officers in all three enforcement agencies that they will again have the discretion to enforce the law as written,” says Vaughan, “and not be limited by arbitrary prioritization policies that have been so disastrous for public safety and that have encouraged more illegal immigration.’”
Seth Lipsky, NY Post: “Sanctuary Cities must still obey the Constitution”
“. . . The 2016 Republican platform stated flatly that “‘sanctuary cities’ violate federal law and endanger their own citizens” and “should not be eligible for federal funding.” Yet the votes had barely been counted when sanctuary cities began fighting back.
“Mayor Rahm Emanuel of the village of Chicago fetched up at Trump Tower in early December. He presented the then-president-elect with a petition on behalf of sanctuary cities, signed by, among others, Mayor de Blasio.
“De Blasio, meantime, is being sued by two members of the state Assembly for his plan to destroy certain records from the city’s ID card program. Hizzoner wants to protect undocumented immigrants from America’s government.
“New York’s drama is part of a movement that, some reports suggest, now involves more than 300 jurisdictions.
“Which is what raises the question of whether we are going to end up in a new nullification crisis.
“The original crisis erupted in the 1830s, when South Carolina tried to defy a federal tariff act. Vice President John Calhoun quit to run for Senate, the better to defend the Palmetto State. President Andrew Jackson prepared for war, before a compromise was reached.
“It wasn’t the only nullification. Virginia and Kentucky once blocked enforcement of the Alien and Sedition Acts, passed in 1798 during the Quasi War with the French. Some states — heroically, in my view — refused to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act.
“What is going to bring the current crisis to a head is hard to predict. . .”
Andrew McCarthy, NRO: “Can the Feds Save Chicago?
“. . . While the feds can improve the situation in Chicago, they cannot fix it. By itself, the 12,000-strong CPD is nearly as big as the FBI’s nationwide force of less than 14,000 agents, only a small number of whom work in Chicago — and even fewer on street crime there. (See the website of the FBI’s Chicago office, which mentions “violent crime” only fleetingly.) New York City’s stunning decline in crime did not occur until Rudy Giuliani made the three-block walk from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office to City Hall — at which point the mayor and Bill Bratton, the commissioner of the 30,000-strong New York City Police Department, led a
revolution in policing.
“In fact, the best thing the feds can do for Chicago right now could not be done in Chicago. It would have to be done in Washington.
“In Chicago, federal law enforcement could make a difference by using and building on task-force arrangements with the CPD and state police. High-crime areas could be targeted over a sustained period for investigations of narcotics trafficking, firearms offenses, violent crimes in aid of racketeering (racketeering can include street-gang violence and drug conspiracies), and extortionate interference with commerce by violence or threats. A healthy percentage of the cases developed — involving the most heinous crimes — could then be indicted in federal court, where the penalties are stiffer and surer.
“Street-level felons, even when occasionally arrested, are used to being back in business before the cops can finish the paperwork. As a young prosecutor, I always found it refreshing to see the shock on the faces of such sociopaths on learning they’d had the misfortune to be arrested on “Federal Day” — the day or two per week when drug arrestees were brought into our less overwhelmed court system, ensuring that they’d be doing real time. That prospect led to the cultivation of countless informants, who decided they’d rather cooperate with police than sit in a federal penitentiary for five or ten years. In turn, this led to the successful prosecution of insulated gang leaders in large-scale cases.
“Such a campaign could send a powerful message that there is a price to pay for preying on a community. . .”
John Kass, Chicago Tribune: “Trump transforms Emanuel into Mayor Zorro”
“Depending on your politics, President Donald Trump is either a miracle worker saving America or an evil wizard bent on ruining the nation.
“But in Chicago, no matter what your politics, the president has accomplished something truly magical.
“He’s turned Mayor Rahm Emanuel into a sympathetic figure.
“Emanuel had been a wounded politician limping toward re-election, beset by a terribly high murder rate and uncontrolled gang wars, a mayor viewed with deep suspicion by black voters.
“And now he’s Rahm who fights on behalf of Latinos to keep Chicago as a sanctuary city, protective of undocumented residents here in this country illegally.
“Welcome to Chicago politics, where Rahm Emanuel is no longer Mayor Emanuel.
“Thanks to Trump, he is now Mayor Zorro. . .”
Trump’s White House charm offensive contrast to solitary Obama…
Sets dizzying pace in first days…
WALL CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN ‘IN MONTHS’…
Mexico braced for confrontation…
ORDER: Weekly publication of crimes committed by illegals…
Defiance from mayors…
Border officials: ‘It will take ‘years’ to secure nation…
NEXT: Drastically Reduce US Involvement in UN…
“Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson has lost his top echelon of staff before he even gets confirmed: The whole senior contingent at State quit Wednesday.
“Let’s hope the same happens at Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, the IRS and a host of others.
“Yes, it’ll mean bureaucratic nightmares for the new administration: High-level experience in making the government work is rare, valuable and hard to replace.
“But not impossible — and Team Trump is looking to break with established expectations across the board. Dug-in careerists — especially ones ideologically hostile to the new agenda — can hurt more than they help. . .”
Joshua Partlow, WaPo: “White House says Mexico border wall might be funded by tax on imports”
“MEXICO CITY — A deep rift opened Thursday between the United States and its southern neighbor as the Trump administration pressed forward with a plan for a giant border wall and insisted that Mexico would pay for it, possibly through a U.S. tax on imports.
“President Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday called off a trip to Washington after emphasizing that Mexico would not finance the wall. Hours later, Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, said the border barrier would be funded by a 20 percent import tax on goods from Mexico.
“Spicer did not provide details of how the policy would work. Later, he appeared to backtrack, telling reporters that the tax was “one idea” to pay for the wall and that his intent was not to “roll out” a new policy. He said it could be part of a broader import tax plan backed by some House Republicans. . .”
Bridget Johnson, PJM: “Handful of Countries with ‘Tremendous Terror’ Targeted for Immigration, Visa Block”
“According to a draft of the order still subject to changes obtained by the Huffington Post, all entry of individuals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen would be banned for 30 days. Visas would be suspended for 60 days from countries of “particular concern” — unknown if that correlates with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom list of the same name — while U.S. officials attempt to obtain security information from those countries. Interviews would be required with all visa applications.
“Refugees from all countries would be blocked for 120 days while the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Director of National Intelligence unanimously decide which countries’ refugees will be allowed in. Fiscal year 2017 refugees would be limited to 50,000; President Obama allowed for 110,000 refugees.
“All refugees from Syria would be blocked indefinitely, according to the draft. It would establish safe zones in Syria, thereby increasing U.S. involvement there.
“‘We are excluding certain countries. But for other countries we’re gonna have extreme vetting. It’s going to be very hard to come in. Right now it’s very easy to come in. It’s gonna be very, very hard.’ . . .”
Investment Watch: “GOP Acknowledges It Won’t Meet Self-Imposed Deadline to Repeal Obamacare”
“Two days before Republicans’ self-imposed deadline for producing legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, GOP lawmakers acknowledged they were unlikely to meet it.
“Both the GOP-controlled House and Senate passed budgets this month requiring four committees to deliver proposals by Jan. 27 to roll back major tenets of the 2010 health-care law.
“The Friday deadline is whizzing by in part because there are no consequences for missing the Jan. 27 date, which was always viewed as optimistic. In addition, the GOP strategy has shifted after a sizable group of Republicans balked at repealing the health care law without having a replacement in hand.
“President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he wants to repeal and replace the law at effectively the same time. To make that happen, lawmakers are accelerating the development of the replacement plan — and slowing down the law’s repeal.”
Robert Hutton & Margaret Talev, Bloomberg: “Trump Greets U.K.’s May as World Leaders Look For Cues”
“Theresa May will provide the first test for how world leaders can deal with Donald Trump when she arrives in the U.S. to welcome the new president to the global stage and lay the groundwork for a U.S.-U.K. trade deal.
“As we rediscover our confidence together –- as you renew your nation just as we renew ours –- we have the opportunity, indeed the responsibility, to renew the special relationship for this new age,” the U.K. prime minister will tell Republican lawmakers gathered in Philadelphia on Thursday, according to excerpts from her prepared remarks. “We have the opportunity to lead, together, again.”
“The good news for May, who’s due to meet Trump at the White House on Friday, is that he’s eager to cement relations and nail down a U.K. trade deal too — for his own reasons. He’d like to further drive a wedge into a fractured Europe and strengthen at least one trade relationship as he exits the Trans-Pacific Partnership and prepares to renegotiate Nafta.
A close relationship between the U.S. and U.K. would prove that neither nation is turning inward — Trump after an election victory fueled by his “America First” campaign, and May as she takes Britain out of the European Union after last year’s Brexit referendum. . .”
Debra Heine, PJM: “Trump Freezes Obama’s $221 Million Payout to the Palestinians”
“That $221 million transfer to the Palestinian Authority former Secretary of State John Kerry snuck through hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office may not be happening anytime soon, The Times of Israel reports.
A senior Palestinian source told the Times that the Trump administration informed PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah that it is freezing the transfer of the $221 million payout and that the funds “were not expected to be handed over in the immediate future.”
Mark Levin (01/26/17)
“On Thursday’s Mark Levin show, The Trump administration has floated the idea of a 20% tax on goods coming from Mexico. The problem? If the government imposes a 20% tax on the southern imports, it’s not Mexicans or their government that would be paying the tax — you are. Mexico doesn’t get taxed on anything! These are taxes on the American people. This tax isn’t for the workers. You want to do something for the workers? Unleash the economy. How do you do that? Cut taxes. Roll back cumbersome, paralyzing regulations. Rein in government spending. Don’t pass a tax on the American people and claim you’re making Mexico pay for the wall. This 20% tax on Mexican goods has everything to do with Herbert Hoover and big government, not Andrew Jackson. The American people are going to pay a huge price if we have taxes for every country that we have a trade deficit with. What will happen when these countries retaliate with their own tariffs or taxes? Our blue collar workers such as those in the coal industry will lose their jobs. That’s not America first.
“Also, China is mapping global trading strategies as we pursue protectionist policies. It’s not that China is rushing to the front, but that the U.S is withdrawing from the international stage when it comes to trade. We are going to weaken ourselves from within and make America second.
“Finally, leftist mayors are nullifying federal law when it comes to sanctuary cities. Why don’t we just nullify federal gun laws then?”